“They Call Me ‘The Bartender'” – The Grey Wayfarer Pub – Episode 1

Happy Thor’s Day!

Episode 1 – They Call Me ‘The Bartender’

They call me “The Bartender”

It’s not a title I just have because I have served a few drinks to customers over the years. That’s true, but it is far more than that. It’s also my codename. I earned it by running a cover business for The Silver Shields for roughly five years. I served drinks and provided support for operations in the city I had been residing in at the time. It was a wild time of fighting vampires, werewolves, and any other supernatural thing that crossed my path. I should say ‘our’ path. I wasn’t alone.

The pub was a magical nexus built with its apex at a large tree that happened to be the home of a dryad. I made peace with her and the pub was built up around her. This of course attracted many different entities of a magical nature. Pixies, dwarves, elves, and humans with the magical talent to name just a few. Including my two wives Tequila and Constance.

Tequila was my very first barmaid and eventually, I won her heart (or she mine, I am never sure on that point). I was already married to Constance, but it took her being infected with vampirism and her subsequent cure to start seeing things as they really were. She changed her attitude about Tequila and let me marry her as well. Eventually, Tequila and Constance became a thing as well and we were one happy Trios family.

But the pub was under constant attack, and I moved my family, including the little dog Pint, out of the pub to a house just outside the city, This proved to be a mistake as I found we lost significant magical strength away from the Nexus. What happened after we moved is too horrific for me to recount even now, but in the end, all that matters is I did indeed kill all the bad guys but lost both my wives in the process. Pint was a fine miniature beagle and being magical himself, he was the main reason I was still breathing. He moved back to the pub and I was left in the ashes of my home with two dead wives.

I guess you could say I went nuts after that. I had what could only be described as a nervous breakdown and after a year I got back on my feet and the Shields gave me a further leave of absence. Pint, at that point, went with me and we spent our days lounging and reading and Pint having his bowl of beer three times a day. It’s been a couple more years and I guess the headshrinkers feel I am ready to go back to the war.

The problem is at present the old pub is peaceful as a lamb. There haven’t been any attacks on it for quite some time. It’s like the forces of darkness have conceded that point. If so, then the current staff can handle things and my boss at the Silver Shields offered me an alternative position given my experience and skill set. To start over with a new pub in a new place. I took it without hesitation.

My reasoning was that I don’t know how good it would be for my sanity to go back. Tequila was a part of that place almost from day one. The blood, sweat, and tears I spent in that place connected it to me forever, but I knew going back was impossible. I bent down and scratched Pint’s head. He whined,. The problem for him is that his magic is connected to the old pub. He simply wouldn’t be of use to me in a new place. I hugged him and he licked me sorrowfully.

“It’s OK boy. You are your own dog, and nothing is forever.”

Pint understands me and wagged his tail one more time and then after giving me a parting lick trotted off. I don’t know if I will see him again. I am not sure what his motive for going back is. It could be the desire to have his warm bed back by the fire or he wants to look up the barmaids’ skirts. I know he will miss me, but he was at the old pub long before I arrived and I suspect he will be there long after everyone is gone. I suspect Pint is immortal, but don’t quote me.

My real problem was the fact my trade as the bartender disguised my true skill – alchemy. I was the one that created the cure for vampirism, but it only was a temporary fix. The vampire virus mutated and developed immunity. Science overcame theology as magical biology overcame the faith magic. Now vampirism is back and I am going to be hard-pressed against it. Why? Because I don’t have faith magic anymore to fuel my alchemy. I need something new and right now I have no clue what it could be.

This means several goals are in front of me and I need as soon as possible to get to them. 1) I have to examine the new pub the Silver Shields purchased for me for my base of operations. 2) I have to get at least basic recon and intelligence about the area and what the basic supernatural problems are and 3) I have to meet my contact in the area with the Silver Shields and 4) I need to start experimenting with new forms of magic to fuel my alchemical concoctions. On top of this, I had a new apartment to furnish. Lot’s to do but in truth, there were no time limits as of yet.

Author’s Notes:

It has been a long time since I have taken up a digital pen, dipped it in digital ink, and then put it on digital paper. For the last year or two, I have struggled with inspiration and motivation to write anything. Heartbreak will take you only so far in the writing discipline. Once rage, sorrow, and sadness fade; there is simply no motivation worth writing for. There needs to be something positive to inspiration as a core to writing, or you basically begin to see your writing tapper off with nothing for fuel to feed the furnace. While I search for a love that will inspire me to write out of that love (aka my muse), I simply need to realize that emotionally I am a better human being when I write. Even if I have to force myself to do it.

The inspiration for this series is my old theology pub series on my blog All Things Rabyd. I last wrote on that series on July 15th, 2016. It’s been a long time. The idea was to allegorize concepts into an interesting story. The world was that of urban fantasy with the occasional side trip into horror and science fiction. The pub was a place n my own mind where the characters and plot were free to do anything. It was a long-running drama series that ran from February 7th, 2013 to July 15, 2016.

A lot has changed since that last episode. Mostly Me. I am no longer a believer in Christ having now the opinion that until someone shows me good evidence to believe in anything spiritual I will remain a skeptic and an atheist. That said, the concept of a pub where the characters, places, and events are allegories of thoughts and feelings I am still having still appeals to me. It will also be good practice. The original pub allowed me to explore genres of writing, create new characters, and explore various types of stories. This one will do the same and the fact is without the worry of which Christian sensibilities I might offend, I can explore some genres that were previously unwise to pursue.

But mostly this is the first step to bringing writing back into my sphere. I hope you enjoy it. Without further delay – I present the series – The Grey Wayfarer Pub

I remain.

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

Skal!!!

Nine Noble Virtues – Interconnected

Happy Odin’s Day!

The Nine Noble Virtues (NNV) each have their own purpose. The surprising thing is how much they overlap and often two or more virtues work in you t the same time. Discipline, Industriousness, and Self-Reliance often work together to bring prosperity into one’s life. Fidelity and Self-Reliance provide a balance between not being a burden to others while at the same time being a support to family and friends.

For me, there have been other aspects. I used to group the virtues by function in the past, and I no longer do that. The idea that some virtues are more in tune with love or justice or wisdom was something I thought until I realized that by living the nine virtues, all nine lead to being a person with these qualities. It’s a simple change, but in my meditations, I realize truth can be about love, justice, or wisdom. sometimes all three at once. I realized I was limiting what each virtue could do by such assumptions and categories.

This actually simplified things rather than complicated them. I now can meditate on the NNV without really keeping each one of them in a box. I don;t have to have a filter as to where they must go. Life meets virtue and what virtue might be the most helpful at that moment could be any one of them. It’s both freeing and simplified.

I find myself these days meditating on this interconnectedness far more than each virtue on its own. How do they twist into that cord or symbol that is the whole of being a virtuous person? It’s refreshing in some ways.

I remain.

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

Skal!!!

Norse Mythology – Odin

Happy Tyr’s Day!

I want it to be very clear here that as an atheist I do not believe in the literal god Odin. However, I believe the values and aspirations of the Norse/Germanic people are expressed in the stories they tell about their gods. Mythology, if nothing else, is mostly stories that have moral and ethical lessons to them. Things to meditate on and learn the values presented. In all mythology the values of the people who created the mythology are evident.

Odin has always fascinated me. Sure most people look at Thor and think what a cool God. But Thor is a pure warrior with very little magic. Odin on the other hand not only has magic but the magic that is often reserved for women. He has foresight. It is this foresight that drives him to do what he does. He either is trying to prevent what he sees from happening or trying to delay it. He is both a warrior and a mage.

In simple terms, Odin is a conservative in that he tries to conserve the nine worlds as they are and prevent their end. He likes the current state of things and wants to keep it intact. Ragnarok isn’t the end of existence so much as it is a complete change of existence and that is what he is trying to avoid.

To this end, he wanders the world as a solitary person looking for wisdom, power, and knowledge to forestall Ragnarok. He is so dedicated, that he loses an eye, hangs on a tree upside down for nine days, etc. He makes extraordinary sacrifices to conserve what is. To protect what is his own.

In leadership, Odin is different from most chief gods in that he seems to be more of a chairman of the board than a king. He listens to the other gods, tries to build concensus, and then enforces the decision they all made together. In this last part, he acts more like a king. He makes sure ‘the will of the gods’ as a whole is respected and honored.

He has his flaws. He doesn’t seem to think of the possibility that at times his actions might be bringing about the ends he is trying to avoid. The whole story of Fenrir illustrates this point. He foresees his end in the fangs of Fenrir so he tries to take action to diminish Fenrir’s power. In so doing, he actually creates Fenrir’s motivation to destroy him. It also has an incredible cost that could have been avoided -Tyr’s hand is lost. If he rather befriended Fenrir, the outcome might have been very different.

Of course, for me, the image of the wandering god both warrior and wizard is the theme of this blog so it is fitting I talk about him first.

I remain.

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

Skal!!!

“Ruins” – A Poem

Happy Main’s Day!

“Ruins” by Edward W . Raby, Sr.

There was once life here

Now all is ruin

Window pains broken

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!!!