religion

I’m Too Lazy to Spell “Annaversary” Correctly and I’m Not Fighting Spell-check…

Bits of mental wanderings…

I have a Facebook page called “Intolerance Sucks”. The first bit of its “About” section reads “This page is founded on the idea that we all deserve respect. That the “content of our character” is far more important than any external differences. That it doesn’t matter your faith, personal identity, or any other dividing line you want to pick. We are all humans and share this rock.” It says, farther down, “If you have read this far and want to stay on this page, I have only a little bit of a request. Please do not be a troll. Respect that everyone is welcome here as long as there is no hate. I will not allow someone to be threatened, harmed, or harrassed. I will not warn. I will block and ban.” So, someone that I “knew” from FB that came to my personal page and compared being gay to being a pedophile came to IS and trolled. Why? What possible outcome other than being blocked and banned could he have expected? I am fine with discussing differing views. Who knows, one or the other of us might change our mind? On the other hand, I really despise dogmatic internet trolls…

*grins* Ya know what happens when you know one witch? You seem to find more. Ya know what else happens? Your mind gets opened…and closed. *grins again* My Witch opened my mind, she would say “I gave you a chance to learn” but, I disagree. She opened it to the possibility that there are more possibilities. Another thing that happened is that I cannot watch fictional witches. *grins 3rd time* I can’t imagine how irritating it is for them…

Who says Magik isn’t real? I have magik beans that I put into hot water that turn me from a drooling idiot into a semi-functional human. I am also celebrating my 8th wedding “Day that We Get to the Same Place We Were in Our Orbit this Time 365 Days Ago”. That she still puts up with my bad jokes is also magic.

I think that about covers it. Nothing major. It’s good to be me. If y’all have something to add, go for it. Have a good “whatever time of day it happens to be wherever you are”.

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“Cool” or “Neat”?

Pardon a dated term but, and I don’t think I’ve said it before, I really think that Aj being a witch is kind of “cool”. Would “neat” be a better word? Allow, or don’t as you wish, me to explain…

I get to learn stuff. I may not want to practice or follow those things but, for me, learning is important. I love the interwebbish thingie because I am able to fall down a rabbit hole with no idea where I may end up. The process of discovery is something I enjoy. Because, ’till I met her, I had zero knowledge, outside of fiction or religious bias, of what a witch is or does, there is a vast unknown that I am able to explore…

To carry the thought farther, it allows, forces if you will, to explore my own faith and worldview. It means that I have to stretch my mind to see another perspective and, by doing that, look deeply into my own. It is my personal view that if our beliefs cannot stand up to close examination, they probably need to be discarded or updated. She has given me reasons to look at the actual words in the Bible and see what the actions of Jesus were and His words. Those are good things. There are things that her beliefs have taught me, that all things are interconnected, that balance, I would say “moderation”, is important, that “prayer,  even if she uses a different term. transcends divides…

She has also taught me that, by looking at her faith, that there are people outside of mine that are probably “better Christians” than some Christians I know…even though she isn’t Christian. This is just one example of that…and one of the reasons I love her dearly…she said this about some who wished her harm, ” I turn the other cheek, if you will. I don’t curse them. I don’t hex them. (Oh, I could) instead, I light a candle for them and put into the universe my desire for them to find peace in their miserable lives. I won’t stick around and allow their horrible treatment of me, but I don’t wish them harm.” If for no other reason, THAT is reason enough for me to want her as my (still can’t figure out the term because “best friend” is overused).

Here’s another bit…She walks her own path. She will think her own thoughts and make what decisions she will and ignore societal conventional wisdom so that she may remain true to herself. She judges someone based on what they actually are, just as she should be based on herself…

Sadly enough, this is also a reason…We live some hours apart so, I am not around to see her as often as my wife and I or she would like. I don’t get to do what I “normally” do for loved ones, i.e. cook, so I write these pages. It is also sad because these pages are needed…at least the attempt is. I am not there to physically protect or offer the comfort that food brings so, these are what I have. That and I keep her at the front of my mind anyway. If you can’t be close, you should, at least, keep those you cannot replace near in your heart. *sigh* I don’t know that this paragraph says what I am trying to say. It is neither cool nor neat that there is a need to feel that she should be protected. I would much rather that she were safe and free to publicly express herself as she would. So, I am proud of her for being who she is in spite of the overt and covert pressure to conform…Maybe that makes more sense?

Why else?…I would never have guessed…well…eventually I “probably” would have but, she told me first. I’ve said it before but, her thinking that I was worth reaching out to, across a divide, and sharing part where we are different, made me, still makes me, feel good. It is really nice to be trusted by someone you admire. I know it goes both ways, we’ve talked about it. It gives us a bond that only people who have found common ground, trust, and love across differences have. I cannot imagine that we would have been this close if either of us was different.

I love her to bits. I love that she’s a witch. She is a “neat” person. Wouldn’t have her any other way…

*edit* *grin* Yeah, thinking about this, I’m not making light. I mean it with all seriousness, all the words up there…and Aj being a Witch just makes me smile. It wasn’t always that way. It used to scare me. Now, it is just one more of the many reasons that I have, when I often think of her, to be happy for her that she has her path, Yeah, it IS pretty cool…

*other edit* *other grin* Because of Aj and these, I know more witches than just Aj. I like them. They seem like, to use a Texas expression, “good people” but, Aj is still my favorite. No matter where our paths take us, she will always be the first one and will ALWAYS bring a smile when she comes to mine. Thanks, Aj…for everything…

How?

…as I walked away I wondered how it had become so easy? The smoke didn’t really bother me. It was just a step away from who I used to be…I’ll miss Aj but, she was just another witch…

*****

I wondered how I got to this place? I always thought I was a nice guy.  I don’t suppose that matters anymore…I always knew Aj was my friend. We were from the very start. Some people just become friends. They are destined to be. We started off a bit rough but, after a bit, things smoothed out. It’s like we’ve been friends all our lives. I mean, she told me she was a witch but that didn’t really matter.

It wasn’t really her fault that she was one. Besides, who really cared? I mean, sure, some people treated her like s**t but, she really didn’t complain. She just took it and went on because that was what happens to witches, right? Just keep your mouth shut and accept it, right? Anyway, she KNEW she wasn’t quite good enough but, I didn’t hold that against her.

That’s what we were told and, after awhile, we believed it. They ARE different…other…

After that, it was easy. We got along as long while she stayed in her place. I had to remind her of that a few times but she learned. As time went on, she got used to the idea that those things “just happened” and that I would never do anything worse. I didn’t expect to and besides, how much worse can it get for someone who’s future is Hell?

The first steps were the hardest for me. We had eaten together. I had cooked dinner and let her into my house and told her that she was my best friend.

That’s ok. I was wrong. How could a Christian be best friends with a heathen? Once I figured out that answer, I couldn’t, lying to her was easy. All I had to do was keep going on like things were still the same. Act like the subtle insults and slights were accidents. Just play the fool and keep her trust? It isn’t really lying or wrong if it’s to a witch because she’s not Christian, is it?

I’ll miss her…of course, I miss me, too…

*****

*wipes eyes*

When you read that section, do not believe that I believe those words about her.

I had to go back and try to figure out how an “ordinary person”, like me.could do what Burning Aj did. I really don’t want to ever revisit that post.

I have often thought I could not be a criminal profiler, these posts are why. To do that job you have to understand the madness. You have to visit a dark place and look back.

Leaders teach hate to gain power. They say, “see them” to distract from their own evils. Ordinary people follow along because it’s always easier to be an “us” than “one of them”. We find safety in the herd. We just gradually wander into evil, never realizing we’re doing it. We smell the smoke and are glad it’s someone else…

*****

This is the last of 3. In order, the other two are Burning Aj and Why?. This one does not make sense without the other two. If you read this one, please read or have read, the first. It doesn’t make sense without it. The second two explain the first.

Also, please, please understand. I HATE the first one. In my mind’s eye, it happened in my own yard and it hurts. I set it there and made myself see it that way so this would not be some casual exercise with words. I hope that my grief over what didn’t really happen comes through. I hope you never have to put your mind in the place I went. I did it that way because if I am going to put Aj into these three, it is only fair that there is some real cost to me for doing it…

Aj, I love you. Period.

Burning Aj

Hey Aj, glad you’re here come in…yeah, I have a surprise for you, it’s in back…close your eyes… trust me… *mutters darkly “I wouldn’t*…what’s that? …oh, I didn’t say anything…yeah, it’s a BIG surprise…closed?…good, watch out, 3 steps…there ya go…stand right here…*takes shoulders and puts back against post*…stand still…*mutters “where did I put that damn rope?…found it”*…stand still…*grabs hands and starts to tie wrists*…stop struggling!…there we go, got ’em…*mutters “should have brought a damn gag”*…quit yelling…I’ll be right back…quit yelling…*runs into house and grabs dish towel*…*shoves into mouth*…*uses sleeve to wipe spit off of face*…what was that?…what am I doing?…hard to hear you with that towel in your mouth, sorry…what do you think I’m doing…*starts piling firewood around feet*…I said I had a “Big Surprise”. this is it. I’m burning a witch…you…*mutters*…where did I put that fucking gas can? …there it is …don’t mind the smell…why?… because you’re a Witch. what’s so hard to understand?…look at it like this, you did say you like the heat *inane giggle*…where did I put those matches…*pats pockets*…hey, you got a match?…sorry, I was joking, here they are…

*****

Miller!
What?
Stop!
Why?
Aj is your best friend. You can’t burn her!
*scratches head* Why not”
She’s a person. She’s your BestFriend. You. Can. Not. Burn. Her.
Yes, I can. She’s a witch, That means she’s NOT a person. It doesn’t matter what I do to a witch because they don’t matter. It’s not like they’re “real people”. Besides, everyone else treats them like shit. What does it matter what I do to one? They’re. Not. Real. People. .. Even if they were, it doesn’t mean anything, she’s just a witch. She’s gonna bun eventually, this is just a head start. Practice, in a manner of speaking…
Miller!
*exasperation* What?
You can’t burn Aj…
Look, we always figured my life would be less complicated if I had a “normal” Best Friend, this just simplifies things because she won’t be my best friend for long…and it really doesn’t matter because she’s a witch. Nobody cares what happens to them…
Miller!!
ENOUGH!! SHUT UP
*quietly* Miller…but…she’s your best friend and you love her…
…*almost silently* I know but, she’s a witch…and no one cares what happens to them so, why should I?…

*****

*checks knots*
*pours gas*
*lights cigarette*
*throws match*
*turns back and walks away…*

I’m a Snake

Well…here we go again…

My best friend is a witch. My best friend is a woman. My wife is a woman. My closest friends are women…and witches. My bias is that I’m a “bit scared” of them…because they are women and any semi-sane man and husband should be. I am not scared of them because they are witches. My general response to finding out someone is a witch varies between “ok” and “cool”…

My best friend’s best friend is a man, me. If I were her, I’d have probably picked a different best friend because I’m a bit of a bonehead…sometimes more than a bit but, I digress…and I’m Christian.

From a historical standpoint, the story about the snake should apply. You know the one, where a guy nurtures a wounded snake back to health and after it’s bitten him and he lays dying he asks “why did you bite me?” The snake replies, “what did you expect, I’m a snake, it’s my nature.” From my best friend’s perspective, she has no reasonable expectation of not, at some point, being bitten…

I got mad at Google and typed a rant at the AI into the search bar. It sent me down a trail that I didn’t expect. It sent me to prayers binding against Witches. It sent me to articles telling me how to find out if I’m “under attack” by witchcraft. For what it’s worth, an allergy attack fits those symptoms, as does a Cold,  food poisoning, and being depressed…

Hmmmmm…

So I started looking into what else Christian articles say about witches. Every single one I found cited OT references why we should shun witches and the “evils” of them but, NONE could give an NT cite to back those up. Here’s a tiny theological tip, if you’re a “Christian” and can not cite the NT to make your point, you should probably either re-think your pint or which religion you claim to be. Meaning, Christians follow Jesus and if He didn’t say it, then you’re not following him…

Are there witches that are evil? Well, ask this, are there Christians that are evil? ANY group of humans will contain both “good” and “evil” humans. Do “I” think that being a witch makes someone inherently “evil”? No more than “I” think that being Christian makes someone inherently “good”.

I read a bunch of nonsense by Christians that claimed to be “authorities” on the topic. I came to this conclusion, not one had actually sat down and asked a witch. I read a bunch of stuff that could have been drawn from popular fiction…or from watching “The Wizard of Oz” but, no actual conversation.  One used “Lord of the Rings” as a reference…Really, you cited LOTR as a source for your article?

*sigh*

I have done “some” research. I have a biased perspective. *just re-read the second paragraph* I know that there are some points of congruency between Witches and Christians. I also know that despite those points, there are views and practices that, while appearing to be similar, are not. Christianity and Witchcraft aren’t the same. The references may “look” the same to an outsider…or even me trying to understand, they just don’t translate…at all. To try to impose a Christian World View on someone that does not share it is a HUGE mistake. Yes, moral people share some traits. Yes, good citizens share traits. Those are secular and not spiritual.

There is a point to all this…It was back up there when I was going on about trusting a snake. There is an insidious persecution that still happens to Witches. It is far more overt in the Middle-east and Africa but, that is not in the scope of my writing. My best friend, if directly asked, will tell you she’s a Witch. She will, given some very specific circumstance, volunteer that, not often but, she told me unasked. *read some other posts for the reasoning* I know someone else that was told that her “kind” were what’s wrong with this country and that she’d be the “downfall”. I read an article with a prayer against witches that bound every part of the person’s body including the endocrine system. Really, you think your endocrine is under attack?

…yeah, my point, Christians have a bad habit of attacking what they don’t understand. They are of a “damn to hell and ask questions later” mindset. I “think”, from what I’ve read, that there are still people that would merrily burn witches. I KNOW that they don’t see a person when they persecute. They think they are not causing harm to a living person. *editorial, de-personalization is the only way a semi-rational person could do the things they did to humans*

*sigh*

I’m really not out here Christain-bashing. I know the vast majority of us either don’t care or are too busy with our own lives to even look as far as I have. The biggest majority of Christians do not use our faith to persecute but, “some” do. Enough do to make the Witches hide or at least keep a “low profile”.

*sigh*

I really don’t care if The Witches EVER publicly tell anyone. By looking at them, you wouldn’t know… of course, by looking at me, you wouldn’t know I’m Christian. What I DO care about is that they don’t HAVE to hide if they don’t want to. We’ve done enough nonsense and b.s. to them in this century and enough physical harm, burning and hanging ring a bell?  They’ve well and truly earned the right to be left in peace…

Yeah, if I were my best friend, I probably wouldn’t be. What should she expect? I could be a snake…

I Shouldn’t Do Research…or…How To Scare The Pee-pee Outta Myself In One Easy Step…or…What A Long Winded Ramble…

I gotta laugh at myself. I was doing research…well what really happened is this…

There I was, minding my own business when a mutual friend…
*as an aside, when I use the word “friend” it has contextual meaning to me that means quite a bit more than the casual social media form of the word, in other words, I know a bunch of people. I talk to quite a few. I have very few friends. K, got it?*
…mentioned how odd it was that a Water Witch lived in the Desert. I knew who she was talking about but, it had never really occurred to me that that would be an odd thing…

With me so far?

Anyway…there I was minding my own business all skinny and stupid, yes I’m “skinny as all hell:, and I decided to go to some sites and blogs and find out why it would be odd that a Water Witch would love the heat and enjoy the desert. I’m not sure I agree with the reasoning they used. They said she was “supposed” to be a winter person but, that doesn’t make sense to me cause it takes heat to get water to move. Don’t believe me, the heat in the oceans gives rise to hurricanes. Those and the storm surge that comes along for the ride is a bunch of moving water…

Holy smokes, writing is easier after coffee but, don’t wanna wake anyone up…

So…like I keep trying to get to… minding my own business doing research in blogs and stuff, articles and s**t when I got to an article or a blog or a site that wanted to talk about what “rituals” to use…and I ran like a rabbit being chased by a coyote…

Here’s an odd tidbit of thought as another aside…I never asked Aj what rituals she uses. She would answer, she said she would but, I have boundaries. I don’t invade people’s privacy. Her practice is HERS. If she decided that I needed to know, she’d tell me. In the meantime, I won’t ask because I don’t really have any need. A person I used to know would say, “didn’t I tell you? Must not be any of your business”. Sometimes, when I want to ask someone a question as background for writing, I ask permission to ask…

…and back to where I was going…

I understand the principals of the Practice, I get the basic tenets and have a sort of basic grasp of what the elements represent. I know about “energy” and its uses. Those things are like chemistry or physics. You don’t have to “believe” in them or “do” them. They happen. It’s the “doing”, the Practice and Ritual, the “work” for lack of a better term, that makes me quail. I have roughly zero desire to know how that goes…let me clarify, I don’t really have a problem with energy transference, that’s physics. Healing and Empathy have direct correlations, if not actual similarity, to things that are in my faith. Using food as a part is similar to, not the same as, Communion.

Still wandering along with my ramble?

What I don’t want to know but, in the vein of facing what I don’t know that I probably should in order to gain insight into what I write about, are the details, not of any one person’s rituals but, as an overview. Hmmmm…I’m not even sure that makes sense to me…I don’t need to know the tools used. I don’t particularly need to know the spells. I don’t need to know what happens in a coven. I don’t need to know what someone involved with tarot or divination is thinking or even where they make contact. I don’t particularly care what clothes are worn during any of these processes…in point of fact, it is not my business. Why would it be? I’m not a Witch nor will I ever become one…and Rituals, Pagan Rituals, Christian Rituals, rituals in general, scare me. Praying or the Pagan analog is something I’m comfortable with but, I don’t particularly tell people how I pray…

Yes, I am using a Christian phrase to describe a Pagan practice. Don’t beat me up. I am merely using a construct, an imperfect one, that “I” know…

Heaven help me, this is getting wordy and I still haven’t gotten to the point…*laugh, very small laugh, at self*

…so, given everything I’ve written so far, why? In the words of the Bard, “that IS the question”…Ignore for a moment My Favorite Water Witch. Ignore also, My Favorite Hedge Witch”. Ignore also that I say my motives are selfish, and they are because these women are my friends. Why would I go out of my way to find out about some things I don’t understand? Why would I tend to be so protective of them?

Truth be told, I can not “ignore” those things. I am protective and curious because of them. If it were not for the Witches I know, would I be writing this, looking at things that scare me, facing my own cultural and religious bias against them, seeking out other Witches to gain perspective on a  very non-homogenous group, asking questions and trying to understand?

No, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t even bother to be asking if I would. Probably, knowing the way I think, I’d be mocking and deriding. I’d be using words that tend to p**s me off when they’re directed at people I like. I’d be on some stupid page being a jerk. Also, given that The Witches are women, and I am “not a woman”, further that I tend to be a bit of a “Richard” towards things I think I have permission to bully, I’d probably use sexist phrases that offend the crap out of me when they are directed at women that are in my group. I know me, sarcasm is my default. I love being condescending. It’s a “sport” or a hobby to me…They are also the way I deal with things I don’t understand…

…and again, The Witches are a couple of things, no snark intended, that I really don’t understand. I have no true understanding of people that find the Spiritual World to be as tactile as the Physical World. I also do not understand women, again, not being sarcastic or sexist, I just don’t. Kipling explained “why” I don’t far better than I may,
“She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity—must not swerve for fact or jest.
These be purely male diversions—not in these her honour dwells—
She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.”

Aside from my selfish motives, and I am not “entirely” able to set those aside, why? What point is there in even trying to understand? I mean, if I NEVER asked another question, if I never even made any further attempt at writing out these posts so that I might see my own words and think through the thoughts The Witches provoke, they would still keep me around…I hope…*tiny joke*…but, I would not be true to myself if I were to abandon the questions and the introspection that facing myself brings up.

I suppose I could ask them, “what would you think if I were to publicly make some smarta$$ comment about a witch being ‘some ugly old hag that can’t get laid’?”…

…Except for a few “tiny” problems… First, I think that would hurt them. I wouldn’t do that for the world. Second, doing that as a test, without warning them that the comment is coming, would be untrue to me because I don’t believe that. Third, I know better than to believe the stereotypes. Witches come in all forms and sizes and ages and sexualities and every other variation that women are. So, that is several lies for the price of one…

…and if I hit them with it un forewarned, my life would be FAR less complicated because, poof, no more Witches, no more looking beyond my own construct, and no more Water Witch… no more Hedge Witch… just asshole Miller wondering why he did that…but…at least I wouldn’t have to be afraid of Ritual and Practice, right?

I don’t particularly “enjoy” fearing Ritual but, I don’t really want to not fear it, either. I DO want to protect The Witches with my words because, if someone that LOVES them is afraid of them then, what about the people that don’t love them and will never attempt to understand them? They know that I will keep trying…for them…and for me…to understand. They also know that my grasp will be imperfect. It’s ok.

*****

I wrote this entire post and added this afterward because it is the Truth I don’t want to face…

This is “what” scares me. To Practice, as I understand it, you must allow yourself to be a “conduit” for energy, be it for healing or divining or whatever. To be an Empath, you must feel what others feel. That flow means that you allow something into yourself and become a medium. My limited grasp thinks that you could possibly allow something inimical to yourself in…and not be able to control it. To be a Healer, you have to directly contact the “unhealthy” and that it could do you harm. Leaving you subject to the whims of something or someone that not only doesn’t care about you but, actively wants to hurt you.

Does that also explain my being “protective” of The Witches? That they would willingly take that risk in order to help someone, to make themselves vulnerable to harm, that sounds distinctly like “no greater love…than to lay down your life for another…” I SHOULD want to protect someone that would do that. I should be “concerned” that people I love do that…and will again and again…and they are my friends. I do not ever want to even contemplate them being harmed, not physically, emotionally, or spiritually harmed. I would rather be hurt myself than see The Witches, or my wife harmed.

If I got this section wrong, I’m sure they will tell me. I’ll give it this, though, if I have the mechanism right, I do not want to stop being scared for them. I know this bit also if I’m right, they will let me know…they’d better because I’d rather know the Truth and be scared than be a “happy idiot” not knowing…

*****

It really is ok that I don’t understand. It’s ok that I remain scared. It’s also ok, better than ok, that they don’t fear me for what I represent. I mean, male Christian, isn’t that the group that made a few, 15 or so, centuries of hell on earth for their faith and a few more centuries of b.s., if you subtract the “Christian”, for their gender?

This is enough introspection for one morning. I’m not doubting myself. I’m not doubting The Witches. We’re there for each other.

It’s what we do. In that case, I think I’ll end with a quote from my favorite, sarcasm, blogger…me…”Hell…f**k it…who really cares? Roll with it and just enjoy the ride, huh?’

Divination Scares the S**t Outta Me

Divination, in all its forms, scares me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. I mean, the idea of it, even this mention will cause nightmares. A few of the people I love are Witches. In point of fact, with one exception, the closest of the handful of people that aren’t related, are Witches. The Witches keep reassuring me that divination is nothing to be feared…and I still fear it. I suspect I always will…

So what?

To The Witches, divination and their spiritual life,  are a part of them as much as the physical parts of themselves. So, if I love The Witches, if they are as dear to me as I say they are, what choices do I have?

Well, I could reject them. Just kick them away from me. You know, “Hey, y’all are just a bunch of trash. If that’s a part of you, y’all are going to Hell anyway, keep away from me. Besides that s**t scares the crap outta me. Damn Sinners…” Yeah…NO. Not an option. First of all, I’m a Heretic and figure that my God is capable of many things that I don’t know or understand. Also, the Bible says it isn’t MY place to Judge the condition of anyone’s soul. Besides, The Witches are my friends and are the Wise Women I go to when I need advice from wise women. Aj prefers the term “crone”.

I could ignore it but, that option doesn’t work because their spiritual life IS a part of who and what they are. It would be like going to an exhibit of paintings and only look at the frames, missing the image you came to see. Seems fairly stupid to me.

That leaves the third option, I could just realize that THEY are not to be feared. That if I don’t run from them or push them away, my choice is to live with the fact that one of MY deepest fears is in error…or at least, try to convince my hind-brain of that even if my “thinking brain” knows they aren’t a  threat.

I KNOW The Witches.

I don’t know their every thought. I don’t their every thought. I don’t want to. I don’t know their rituals and practices. It isn’t my business. I don’t know what god(s) they follow and, again, unless they make it my business, it isn’t my business. What I do know is their character. I know that I can trust them with my fear of some of their Practice and they will, patiently, try…one more time…for the zillionth time…to explain and reassure. I know their love.

You know, it’s “odd” to be me. A Witch taught me some of the life lessons I needed to learn. The first woman that wasn’t a blood relative or a dog that I told I loved I married. That is my Lady Wife.

The second woman I ever said that to is a Witch. SHE, Aj, taught me that it is possible to love someone that you are not obligated to. To love a friend. She taught me that I don’t have to understand to be able to accept. She taught me that “different” is not the same as “threat”. She taught me that her beliefs and mine are not the same but, they can exist in harmony. She helped to teach me, read kick my a$$ in the right direction, that “I” am worth trusting, even if I didn’t believe it about myself. She gives me advice on difficult subjects like “how does my wife think?” She taught that sometimes you have to risk a great loss to have a great gain but, that’s a different story for a different time.

It seems kind of mercenary to me to not just kick The Witches out. I mean, I gain from them and they have to deal with my b.s. I mean, I see what MY upside is. I get to be around people I love and like and admire. What’s in it for them? I’m no great shakes. Just some random Heretic from a faith that pushed them underground and persecuted them for the better part of 2,000 years…I really don’t get it…That loss that is in the paragraph above, Aj told an, at that time, Evangelical Christian, now Heretic. that she was a Witch. She had decided she had found someone that could be her Best Friend…while I was realizing it…and KNEW that she had to tell me the Truth about herself, to remove any assumptions I may have, rather than to let me live with Illusion…and if I just decided that I should kick her aside, that would hurt but, not as much as the Lie would.

The Witches are NOT a threat. The first Witch I ever knew taught me that. The others I know reinforce that. Our beliefs are NOT the same but, the way we live our lives are.

You don’t have to agree with my faith…or theirs but, before you so readily dismiss someone as worthless, consider who they are. Don’t look at the frame and miss the artwork within…If all I see is what I fear, I lose The Witches. THAT loss is a price I am unwilling to pay.

A Curmudgeonly Protective Rant

I’ve decided to be more close-minded. I’m going to slam it shut. I am not going to tolerate other views or perspectives. Willingly and with forethought jump off the deep end into my own view being the only correct one…

You might, at this point, be thinking, “Miller, you claim to be a Heretic. You ‘say’ that your best friends are “other” when it comes to who your demographic is. What gives? Have you just become some kind of a hypocrite?”

Well…no. My view is that my “other” friends are MY friends. What is good for them is good and what harms them is bad. Period. I can not physically protect them. They live too far away. I’m fairly sure that, between them, they have enough shovels to bury the bodies on their own anyway.

In fact, I don’t think they “need” me for any d**n thing. They’ve put up with enough bulls**t in their lives and come out stronger. They’ve walked their paths since long before I was around and they’re still on their feet. They made it past exes and a$$holes and abuse that would make my knees buckle. They’re a bunch of tough broads and I admire the hell out of them for it.

My friends, the “usual suspects” and another that seems to have crawled in over the past couple of years are better than me…and for damn sure you…*see, close-minded as hell*…In spite of that, they put up with me.

What I CAN do is to be on their side…meaning MINE. I can channel my inner curmudgeon and say “f**k you” to the world for them.

If this seems a “tad belligerent”, it is.

It is me protecting by wrapping my figurative arms around them and letting them have space, not a silly “safe space” but, just space where they don’t have to be anything other than who they are. Where some a$$hole guy doesn’t want them for what he can get from them…I lied, I do want to “get” something. It’s just that it isn’t sex, money, power, or personal validation. I don’t need any of those. I get to have people to care about. I get to let them have a bit of me…and I have a bit of them.

So, yeah, closed tight. Wrapped around a group of people that I wouldn’t have sought out. They’re far too different from “old me” for me to have gone looking but, since they’re here, I wouldn’t trade them for any number of you.

Like ’em. Love ’em. Hate ’em. I don’t care what you think. I’m not their “only” friend but, I am one that says “p**s on my demographic I love them just the way they are”

I Want to Title This “I Am Lucky” But, I Don’t Remember If I Have…

I haven’t written in a very long time. I don’t know if the words will find me…

Since my last post, it seems the World has changed. We are more divided than ever. *editorial, I am not and will not make this “political” because I think the state of “politics” is a symptom and not the disease*

If anyone is to “blame” it is ourselves. Maybe I missed it? Whatever happened to “live and let live”? What happened to being responsible for our own actions? Why is it someone else’s “fault” if something happens to me?

Why is it that it is easier to see someone as “different” and then claim persecution by them. Yes, persecution does happen. I am not denying that. Yes, prejudice and misogyny exist. People are stupid. I really get that. People are xenophobic and clannish. People are a$$holes just because…

People can also be kind and caring. People can empathize. People can reach out to strangers. We may, if we’re lucky, meet people that give us a chance to learn and grow.

I am lucky. I married my best friend. It was our first marriage. It happened in our mid-40’s. It is still, some years later, an “adventure”. I have said a few (thousand) times, “Smartest damn thing I ever did was marry her”. She makes me grow. She, not realizing it, forces me to look outside myself. I do things for her that I will not do for any other human…and sometimes I fall flat on my face, too…

Yesterday, I was also lucky. If you happen to read back through the blog from years past, you’ll find Aj all through them. I used, in a conversation a few minutes ago, the phrase, “I am romantically attached to ONE human and love a vanishingly few others”. As it turned out, yesterday, I was able to talk to, and watch them talk, a pair of them. It was the first time they interacted. There are not really words for how nice that was. The “funny”, read odd, thing is that I don’t really have any common demographic with them…race but, that doesn’t count…The list of “we don’t share” includes, gender, faith, geographical location, parental status, probably “that ‘p-word'”, a desire to go outdoors…pick a bunch more… and I love them dearly… What they have in common with my wife is that they force me, unknowingly, to look outside myself…and for that, they have my eternal gratitude…

Hobbes said, “No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” 

Yet, if we are lucky and I am, there are reasons not to be those.

We can make our own society that doesn’t include fear…well, aside from our own nightmares and insecurities but, you get my point. We can live knowing that the odds of “violent death” are small. We can be not “solitary”. The paragraphs up there prove that to me…As for the next two, “nasty” and “brutish”, those choices belong to YOU. “Short”? Who knows when this path ends? We are all going to be surprised when it does…

Life is an odd place. I am lucky that I finally grew up. I am grateful for every breath I am allowed. I am also grateful that I am allowed to have some people to love and that, I truly hope, love me back.

Ya know what? You decide what you want to do. Love me or hate me. See my demographic and blame me. See my loves as different. Those are YOUR choices. Live a cold, bleak, and distant life. See life as competition and struggle. I am not willing to spend my emotional energy on that. For me and mine, I’ll care for those in MY world and not be concerned with how you live in yours. Seems fair to me…

 

Other…

I was talking to a friend. She called herself “other”, meaning “different”…

It occurs to me that we are all other. I mean, even the people we think are “same” aren’t. How could we be? As far as I know, there are no cloned humans with exactly the same experiences. We might share a gender, political views, religious views, and sexual orientation but, even then, we came to those spots inside our own skins…

So, why did this idea of Other stick in my head?

It is because of this…We need to protect other. We need to appreciate the Otherness of those that are other. Gaaaaack, this seems so obvious to me. We will never be able to fully understand any human. Hell, we don’t even understand ourselves. Anyway, *sigh* to not protect Other, we fail to protect ourselves.

There’s nothing wrong with not being the same.

Current society thinks Other equals Dangerous. If your political views differ, that person must be a threat… I suppose I could go down the list but, y’all get the point…Jumpin’ Jimmeny Christmas and The Easter Bunny, being different doesn’t present an existential threat.

The next part of this thought is, how do we develop and mature our own views if we are so hidebound that we refuse to listen to difference? If am so unwilling to listen to dissent and become so defensive of my own views that I refuse to admit the possibility that I could be in error, odds are that MY views are less valid than I think. Perhaps it’s just me but, I do make mistakes and continually look for holes in what I think and my personal philosophies…and adapt when some Other shows me error or invalidity…

*****

Other is also a trap when you apply it to yourself…

“I am Other and they’re all the Same so, they couldn’t possibly understand me…” That’s what a kid says to their parents and a 20-something says to someone in their 50’s…Not realizing the oldsters survived what they are living. I know I used the section up there to point out how we’re all different but, which in this case doesn’t mean “please disregard”, in quite a few ways we are the same. We all started out pooping our pants. We all want whatever form of “success” we deem. We all want to love and be loved. We will all face the same end…

…and not to drop into “politics” because I have avoided making any indication of any “political” view I might have…

…Our parents survived the Cold War. *I was born in 1963*. Their childhood was filled with above ground Atom Bomb testing. Their parents were the generation of WWII. The parents of kids today, are children of the Viet Nam Era. The World has been filled with “threats” to us since before the Dawn of History…

We, humanity, will survive and adapt. It is our nature to do that…

*****

Other, hunh? Celebrate it.

Other, hunh? Protect it.

Other, hunh? Ignore it.

Other, hunh? Learn from it.

Other, hunh? Yeah, and Same…