Happy Thor’s Day
I suppose it is a testimony to the effectiveness of the last four The Grey and The Wayfarer posts that I really have not had The Grey strong in my life for almost a month, until last week. The trigger is this poem I have been basically dismissing and setting aside for a month until this last week it started crystalizing fully in my mind and then it became a problem. It was bad enough for the last ten days or so for me to have a few minor moments with The Grey. Finally, last Sif’s Day I finalized the poem and published it and I do feel better. Below is the link:
That said, the ghost of Miss Salty isn’t the only ghost I have been struggling with. I suppose when I look at what ghosts symbolize, it is unfinished business. I have a bit of that but also there is the aspect of someone dead to you either literally or figuratively. People who for whatever reason are no longer part of your life that still haunt you. Sometimes the haunting is good, sometimes bad.
Probably a good example of each is in order. The first is my father who died on October 5th, 1994. He was a great man and his funeral was one of the best attended I have ever seen in my life. Not a week goes by that I don’t think of him still. I have adapted to his absence but I have never gotten completely used to it. This time of year both mom and I are a little cranky because of it. The three musketeers (I was an only child) are still missing Porthos. His love of life was infectious and both mom and I have struggled with that ever since his death.
The other kind is best represented by the man known to me as The Dirty Pig. Probably because the real ghost of that is our friendship which, given all that has happened, was ultimately ghost-like the entire time. It was illusionary and only remained as long as there was some benefit in it for him. Real friends can’t be lost so what was revealed was a man who was a poser and a fraud. The Dirty Pig he is to me and will remain so until I am dead.
Sometimes things are also ghosts particularly relationships. My life as a pastor and my marriage before our almost divorce or both there to haunt me. The first becomes a ghost because I wasted a lot of time that I could have been enjoying life an building one. Doing something more useful than being a good storyteller, cut-rate counselor, and spiritual guru. I am now playing a colossal game of catchup when it comes to my finances being prepared for retirement. I counsel everyone who will listen to me to not go into the ministry. If you want to help people start a non-profit charity and run it yourself or go into counseling or some form of social work. Be a teacher. Do anything but a preacher or pastor.
My ‘former’ marriage and the combo of my wife and I being a pastor and pastor’s wife is also a ghost that haunts me. Mostly because inside my heart I am longing for something different now when it comes to my marriage and my wife wants to return to the way things were. If we stay together, neither of us is going to get what we want and that may still bring about our downfall. I don’t want that but I also don’t want to be miserable like before and so the tension between loving her and loving myself is very real. It is also not the only thing providing tension.
The other thing is this is now a mixed marriage as far as faith/spirituality and that is particularly stressful to both of us because our values are different now. They are also diverging more and more. I know if we had gotten divorced, my life would be different and the only thing holding me back with some of my desires is I chose to stay. I know what happened the last time I sacrificed my own happiness to make everyone else happy and it was pretty devastating to all involved. While I have no desire to have that happen again, I know this is kind of an Achilles’ Heal of mine and I don’t think it has been removed from how I function as a person. It is a ghost that hangs over me.
One other thing besides ghosts to talk about in this The Grey and The Wayfarer. That is the nature of The Grey itself which might be considered a large ghost if you look at it a certain way. A bit ago I asked myself the question of what exactly is The Grey? It is not raw depression that is for sure because I can shut off the negative emotions completely and I would still say I am in The Grey. Depression is a part of it but not the total of it. There is something else, and I am still thinking about it. I think though I would need counseling to get to the bottom of it completely. The one thing I am sure of is that the depressive elements are not the only thing going on here.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.