“Ruins” – A Poem

Happy Main’s Day!

“Ruins” by Edward W . Raby, Sr.

There was once life here

Now all is ruin

Window pains

Doorways with no doors

No roof.

We build this house brick by brick

Love was the mortar

We had children, raised them

We gave our love to them

Taking the mortar and giving it to them

Then they left.

We discovered the mortar of our love

Was cracked and crumbling – nothing.

But we had no time to reset it.

We continued to live giving it away

The roof collapsed

The bricks fell apart

We walked away

And now all is ruins.

A sad testimony to what was

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.

Skal!!!

Routine Adjustments and Forming Habits

Happy Sol’s Day!

So what is the vision for myself I am trying to base my goals and thus what habits do I need to form on daily basis to achieve them? So we start with my vision of what I would like to see myself be. This has a few new elements seeing I am now single and working toward better things for me without consideration for a significant other. This has its own challenges because I am doing it with one income and without someone to run it through as a filter. I do consider that last part to be a bit of a weakness of being single.

My vision for myself has some specifics in that I value strength, masculinity, rationality, virtue, and quality of relationships over quantity. I also believe these work together and fortify each other. Thus the reason I used the quote from Henry Rollins for this post. One strength leads to another. So what habits do I need to achieve this?

The problem with this for me right now is that I recognize this as a process. Because of this habits may need to be added once I recognize the need for them, and others might need to be dropped. This is an evolving list and one that is going to change with time and further consideration. Thus the Daily Routine. Each item is designed to bring me day by day to some part of the vision. It’s interesting that this almost eliminates the idea of goals, now that I think of it, other than the goal is to create habits that create the vision of what I want to be.

The Grey Wayfarer’s Daily Routine (as of 5-15-22)

  1. Get up and Make the Bed: Goes to Mental Health. I can say at any time of the day I have made my bed. It’s also nice at the end of the day to climb into a made bed, even though the other side is empty right now. I miss cuddling the most. I usually get up 3am.
  2. Meditation on the Nine Noble Virtues: Goes to Virtue. Basically, I read through them three times out loud. This is my way of coming to a better understanding of the virtues and thinking about how to apply them.
  3. Full Body Stretch: Goes to Strength of Body and Masculinity. I also put on my headphones at this point to listen to Viking Wisdom and Warrior Wisdom.
  4. Weight Training: Goes to Strength and Masculinity. I am still usually listening to Wisdom and Motivational stuff on my headphones. This is Monday through Saturday Only.
  5. Breakfast and Supplements: Goes Strength and Masculinity. My Diet is Cave Man (Paleo).
  6. Shit, Shower and Shave: Physical Health: Part of the Viking Wisdom I listen to is the expression about not worrying about the simplicity of Dress but rather worrying about health and Hygiene. Being clean and hygienic of body is more important than what you wear on that body.
  7. Get Dressed for the Day: Mental Health: This is the first mental acknowledgment that I am going to have to go outdoors so I need to prepare. It should be noted that 1 through 6 are done in the nude. I sleep naked as it leads to a more restful night of sleep for me. When I get up I fail to see the point of getting dressed to just take it off again to take a shower. I am comfortable in my own skin and tend to be an at-home nudist anyway. I have also found this leads to a good mental state of “This is me in the raw, what I am stripped down – what am I capable of like this?”
  8. Get ready for work: This is Monday through Friday only. It leads to financial health but there is a mental shift going on as well. I have a separate work routine. I will probably go over that at some point.
  9. Record YouTube Video for The Rabyd Atheist. Edit and Post. Goes to being socially strong. Having a voice in the world. I used to do this later but a practical concern caused me to change it to earlier. That concern is that after school the kids in my apartment complex play loudly. So Yesterday I made the decision to record as soon as I am ready for work. Even if I have to go to work right after I record I can pick this up later. Usually, I have plenty of time, as my routine (the more I get used to it) goes faster and takes less time.
  10. Write Post for The Grey Wayfarer: Goes to Mental Health and Social. I also have a vision of myself as being a philosopher writing out his wisdom at the end of his life. I am the guy who played LIFE the board game and wondered why retiring and becoming a philosopher was a bad outcome.
  11. Study: 30 mInutes: Right now this comes before reading because I am trying to finish my training for my teacher certification and working on it for a half-hour a day seems reasonable
  12. Reading – 3 chapters. God for me as the scholar and it starts to mark me coming down from the day. I find reading both engaging and relaxing. Mental Health here as well.
  13. Cleaning: 30 mInutes. This is more of a mental thing as well. This is also more of the spot cleaning of a room or rooms as on Sunday I have a full reset cleaning I do. Keeping my environment clean and in line with my tastes goes a long way toward fighting my depression.
  14. Personal Business: Mail, email, paying bills. I am probably going to morph this into planning and budgeting as I have a financial goal of getting debt-free as soon as possible.
  15. End the day: Take off my clothes and climb into bed. My alarms are all set through Alexa so. Sleep and reset.

Over time this should start to shape me in a lot of ways into a strong person of mind, body, and social responsibility. The only thing I am trying to add is a routine about staying connected to my family but in many ways that are in their hands as all my kids are welcome to interrupt my routine to talk to me. One of the perks of being my children. They are far busier than me so they all have permission to interrupt my life to talk to me.

I suspect that some of this will be changed over time and added to and subtracted from. There are two other routines in my life – Work and Sunday Rest. More on those next weekend.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.

Skal!!!

The Weekly Harvest of My Habits

Happy Sif’s Day!

Sif’s Day is about looking at how much of a personal harvest I have generated this week. Am I making progress with my life? Those of you who were fans of this blog a couple of years ago know I am a firm believer in setting goals, but I always struggled with execution. The mechanics of being consistent escaped me.

I recently found what I believe to be the key by reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. What I learned is much akin to Aristotle’s quote on excellence. You don’t just achieve excellence by a single act or even a few, but rather through the habits you practice every single day. It hit me at that moment that my vision and goals require one further question: What do I need to do every single day to reach them?

This epiphany has led to a lot of thinking about how vision/goals require habits to achieve and what habits are specific to mine. My overall goal now is to create the habits that lead to step-by-step reaching of my vision for myself. This requires a lot of planning and a lot of patience. This is because the results at first are slow but as time goes by, the results stack on each other until I will be a different person.

This week has been tough and a lot of adjustments, which I am going to talk about tomorrow, will be made as I realize what I need is a habit routine that will work regardless of my circumstances. I am planning on camping and hiking this summer but I need my routine to still be there every single day.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.

Skal!!!

Love: All My Exes Don’t Live in Texas

Happy Freya’s Day!

So I start this new routine and here we are talking about love, sex, and relationships the first thing. Let’s stick with just love for this one. For me, and probably the rest of the human race love is complicated. For me specifically, it’s complicated by the fact that my heart is a stupid fuck that can’t stop loving a woman once it starts and this has massive problems long term.

It took me literally several years debating with myself, therapy, and several gut-wrenching decisions moments to divorce my wife. It wasn’t that I didn’t love her, but I didn’t feel loved by her, nor did I feel she was a person who gave me peace. We weren’t yelling at each other or anything like that, but the relationship became tired and old and no matter how much I tried on my end to point this out, it was ignored by a lack of desire to change that from her. When you pour out your guts to a woman about what’s wrong emotionally with your relationship and it takes three months for her to get back to you on it that is not good. That’s a communication problem and we had a big one which is me and her and not just her. We had counseling, read books, and yet – divorce.

Here is the funny part. I have no problem loving her. If in the course of our lives, and I told her this when we parted; if she needs a shoulder to cry on, a hug, kiss, or a love-making session, I am still there for her as a friend. I know her Christianity will never allow her to accept this. She would have to set it aside. But for my part, I consider her a friend and wish her nothing but happiness. I also have the weakness of if she really needed me I would respond.

My first love is happily married to someone else. She has kids and another life, but my heart still has a place for her. I still on rare occasions run across her and it’s awkward for me at least. Some weakness, if she were to ask for my help, I am there. I still wish her nothing but happiness.

Miss Salty. She hurt me and may have done it on purpose. She can’t help it though as she has some mental issues that I should have known were trouble. But I was broken myself at the time and vulnerable, so perhaps it was just two broken people trying to find peace in each other. It worked for a short time. Until it didn’t. Same weakness if she came into my life. I hope she finds happiness.

Maybe this is why I moved to Texas. Less chance of any of them walking into my life at this point at the random. I might have subconsciously needed the space for all of them to reset my love life. I am a bachelor now and while that comes with its own form of loneliness, it also has some tremendous freedoms to it in regard to what relationships I can have and what I can do in them. But that is a subject for next week.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.

Skal!!!

The Weekly Writing Routine

Happy Thor’s Day!

Today I want to start with a weekly routine that I will probably run for a month to see how it goes. I am keeping with the Norse Mythology Theme and trying to make the posts fit the day.

Sol’s Day Reflection: On Sol’s Day I want to engage in reflection on my life. Where am I and what do I want to do. Much like cleaning my apartment, I want to clean my mind. Check my bearings, correct course, and get moving again.

Mani’s Day Poetry: I think this would be a good day to write a poem each week.

Tyr’s Day Norse Mythology: I think this is also an excuse to read more but I want to go through the stories of Norse Mythology and reflect on them.

Odin’s Day Nine Noble Virtues: I want to write down my thoughts on the Nine Noble Virtues on Odin’s Day.

Thor’s Day Tales: I am not sure if this is going to be a short story or a serial where, like a comic book, I just start with a story and a character or two and just keep going. I might mix and match and have several stories going at once. I guess this is really open but the point is to write some fiction.

Freya’s Day Love, Sex, and Relationships: I can really write freely on this subject now and I think I am going to. I mean I am a bachelor now so no wife to offend and being a pagan atheist I really have no church to offend. So let’s be real about the subjects of Love, Sex, and Relationships

Sif’s Day Reflection: Much like Sol’s Day except this reflection will be looking back at the past week and seeing I made progress. If the results match the plan that I had.

Hopefully, this will keep me at least grinding on my writing even if it isn’t as inspired as I would like.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.

Skal!!!

Writing from the Heart

Happy Odin’s Day!

As I enter my second week of writing every day, I am trying to find my groove. Part of that has always been to have a setlist of topics. A Weekly Routine or writing with each day being about writing on that topic on that day. To be honest, this does help me, but it sometimes gets in the way of writing from the heart. If a topic doesn’t vibe with me that day, it will be choppy.

I have spoken before about finding my Muse and I still recognize my need for a woman in my life for this to be a supercharged inspiration. I know it will be mIss right when she inspires my best writing. In the meantime, I have been reflecting on what I like about women in general. There are some obstacles to this like being recently divorced, experiencing modern feminism in a lot of women, and just generally being more traditionally-minded (not completely) about women.

So having a set routine and trying to find my groove is a good option. I just don’t want to stop writing from the heart. Routine being a tool to keep you writing is one thing, but if you feel inspired to write on something else, you should probably break the routine and do that. A routine should be guidelines, not actual rules.

In the coming week, I will be thinking about my Routine. But I also will keep writing from the heart s much as possible.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.

Skal!!!

“Wayfarer”

Happy Tyr’s Day!

Wayfarer

Alone he walks

The snow crunches

beneath his feet.

He is the Wayfarer

The Walker of Paths

He wanders

But he is not lost.

He seeks

He looks for the wisdom

Of the old, the new

And his fellow travelers

Spear in hand for protection

His friends

Two ravens, Two wolves.

He wanders

He walks

He is the Wayfarer

Author’s commentary:

I fell in love with the imagery of Odin a long time ago. I however didn’t realize that is what the original myth was that I was enjoying because I was reading Lord of the Rings and the character was Gandalf, the Grey. But Tolkien took his inspiration from mythology and in this case Odin.

When I finally did get to Norse mythology as a teen the image of Odin appealed to me. The man leading his people trying to delay his fate and the fate of the Nine Worlds. Trying to delay Ragnorok. Warrior and Wizard all in one. The interesting thing is he doesn’t go out and build an army to fight but takes the role of a humble traveler looking not for strength, but knowledge.

I take for myself the moniker The Grey Wayfarer in honor of this inspiration and in truth this was my inspiration not just for this blog but also for some of my interests. I am a scholar and teacher but I lift weights with a warrior’s mind and discipline. I hike, you don’t get much more Wayfarer than that. I guess I came to see my self-image resonate with this image and this poem is a reflection of that.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.

Skal!!!

Music and The Wayfarer

Happy Mani’s Day!

If you know me you know that my musical taste is very eclectic. Mostly, I tend to listen to music that reflects my emotions. Some people, a very few, have been able to figure out that if you want to know what iI am going through emotionally in my head all you really have to do is listen to my playlist. If you are emotionally inclined you can read between the lines and find the connections between the songs I am listening to and what I am thinking and feeling.

I have always been impressed by people who can read me this way. Miss Salty was one of these and it was sometimes scary how accurate she was. My ex-wife was not. Often she would just pass judgment on what I was listening to. She had no desire to know me in this way. The point I am making here is that the woman who can read my music and thus read me has an advantage. It’s a weakness, maybe. Or it is just a safer way for me to express my emotions without verbalizing them. I guess I would rather look at it as an open door to understanding the man who is The Grey Wayfarer.

Because my emotions change, what I listen to changes with it. It is probably also why I look for new music all the time because I do run into emotions that have no expression and I look for something musical to express them. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes I am not. But the search can be some of the most rewarding I have done. Especially when something new turns out to be perfect.

It’s probably why I don’t hate on any genre, but there are some I just don’t resonate with. Probably because what they express just isn’t me or my emotions.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.

Skal!!!

My Sundays Now

Happy Sol’s Day!

When I was a preacher, Sundays were the most important and busy days of my life. I would rise early to pray (truth needed to get my brain going), get showed, dressed, and start going over the service. It was a day to preach, teach, pray and proselytize. It was how I made my living. It was integral to my faith in the god of the Bible. It was also integral to my livelihood. So, it was usually a full day from start to finish, and especially during times I was working nights – tiring. Sleep was often non-existent. For the day of rest, I often didn’t get any rest, and it was a perpetual state of being tired.

When I walked away things changed. Suddenly, Sundays became free and open. They became restful and peaceful. I still worked at night, but I actually got sleep on Sundays, so I was ready for work the next night and not a zombie. My waking hours on Sunday were actually quite reflective and now that I have a more regular job, this is even more true.

Sundays have become my ‘reset’ button. I clean the apartment, I organize my week, I look at the week ahead and modify my routines, and I rest my mind and body. It actually is more of a day of rest than when I was a preacher. Ironic.

Sunday is important. In a far different way than was before. It’s the day I take a deep breath. It’s the day I pause the show, hit the reset button, and then move forward again. It really feels like I am walking along and then stop to get my bearings, correct course, and then keep moving.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.

Skal!!!

Learning How to Teach

Happy Saturn’s Day!

About four years ago I made the decision to become a teacher. Even after a year of teaching squirrely freshmen, I still do not regret the decision. Every day in the classroom I learn something new. Learning how to teach is something I have often done, but it was part of my job, not the whole. Now it is the whole of what I do.

I teach World Geography which is the only downside and I probably will be doing it again next year, Of all the Social Studies topics it is my least favorite, but no one was offering my dream job. Get in the door first Ed, then prepare to embrace the right opportunity. This is where I am now, but not where I will eventually be.

Regardless, my chief lessons have nothing to due with World Geography. World Geography is a tool to teach what every teacher should teach – character. Vitrue and its expression in real life should be the goal of every teacher regardless of the subject. Because these can always be taught and have value in more than just in my class but in life. I don’t care if I see some of my students five years from now and they don’t know a lick of World Geography anymore. Shit, they can look up everything I teach on Google.

I will be proud if they talk to me about a job they got a promotion on because they were hard-working or that they have started a family with honor and fidelity as the center. If they talk about how they faced their fears and acted despite them. That is the joy of being a teacher.

Until then, though it is learning how to teach character through whatever subject I am teaching. That is work and I love the job. Doesn’t hurt that I get paid better than any job I have had. But in the end, it is about the satisfaction of those moments where students get it and become better.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.

Skal!!!