“Low Point” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 30

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day!

Full Family/Friends Disclaimer in Force.  This is me being raw as far as my feelings for the purposes of writing therapy. There are strong emotions with all this that may be uncomfortable for some. You have been warned.

This will be in two parts.  The first will be done before I talk to my therapist today and the second afterward. This is why it is later than normal today.

Before:

I think I am at a new low point since everything blew up almost two years ago  This spring so far as been hard emotionally. The memories and the stuck feeling I have just won’t seem to go away no matter what I do. I feel like The Grey is ever-present even when I have good things happening in my life.  I need a fresh start and I have the plan to do that.

I am not going to give the details. I am playing that part close to the vest and it is known only to a selected few. One of them is my wife, but the nature of it is causing a strain on us and our marriage because this is where our two different directions are starting to get the most obvious.  I love her, but this is where I feel I was before two years ago and now it’s worse because of everything that happened. I really feel like I am not in the right place anymore or doing the right thing.  I need to talk about this and get some clarity.

After:

If there is one word I need to keep in mind the next two weeks it’s ‘guilt’. That is why I feel guilty all the time when others are feeling bad.  My therapist wants me to take notes about how I feel guilty and specific cases in which I do feel guilty. I think she might be on to something. Is it guilty that holds me back the most?  I take full responsibility for things I can control and guilty for them is understandable, but am I feeling guilty for things I cannot control or for how others feel and think like I am the cause?

Something to think about and make note of for a couple weeks.

I remain.

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

Skaal!!!

“Heritage, The Grey, and Dried Salt” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 27

Happy Mani’s Day:

I should be happy with my life right now, but I struggle with it.  Things are getting better for my life all the time, but I feel something is missing in my life. Now those of you of faith need to understand this has been going on for a while and it isn’t the result of losing my faith as it precedes this.  Jesus never filled this supposed hole in my heart as much as I preached it was so.  Before I lost my faith in Christianity, it was this thing known as The Grey that was like clouds over who I was that indicated to me that I was missing something.

Heritage:

I have been studying my family history to see if there is anything in it that might indicate why this is so. I mean there are signs you can see in people by where they lived when they got married, the number of children, divorce, and death in a lineage that can tell you if things were rough or smooth for that person.  My continued use of Ancestory has proven to me that stories can be written and my lineage is varied but readable.

Some highlights:

  1. My father’s biological parents were people who eventually abandoned him.  His father because he was a drunk and his mother who knew she couldn’t afford him and his siblings.  The Bauman and Hole families are those legacies. The first family stretches back to Germany; the second is Dutch and Irish. I only know all this now because I discovered my biological grandmother’s (who I did meet while she was alive) maiden name and that opened the door to who she was married to and their parents. My grandfather was a drunk by all accounts and my grandmother found herself alone and on the streets.  She gave up my father for adoption.  She would go on to divorce two husbands and finally find a man who treated her well.
  2. This biological lineage has highlights but is noted most for its many marriages, divorces, and remarriages even at times when divorce was only allowed for infidelity indicating that infidelity was present. But also some of these remarriages are because a woman or man would watch their spouse die of some disease. There is a lot of sorrow on this side of the tree inflicted by the world and by self. I can see it and I don’t even know many details.
  3. My mother’s side of the family is far easier and better documented. It is a story of successful farmers, pioneers, and colonists. Most notably the Ackley’s who came from England to settle in the British Connecticut Colonies in the 1600s.  Many of them originally from Weymouth England and London.  They ended up coming further and further west until they settled in the Kalamazoo and Portage area of Michigan.
  4. Of course, my mother’s mom is even simpler and shorter.  The came from the Netherlands.  Like the whole family just picked up and left the Groningen area of the northern Netherlands.  My great grandparents and their parents all at the same time just got on a boat and came to America in the 1890s. They settled in Michigan and the rest is a short but powerful history of a family of Dutch Reformed people doing well in their new land.

So does heritage being this split have an effect on me? I guess I will wait for the DNA test results, to clear up the few loose ends that remain.  But right now the fact all of this is clearer should be something I am enjoying but other things seem to be pulling me into the Grey.

Depression: 

I believe part of it is where I live.  It has been mostly overcast and dreary this winter and that is never good for anyone with depression. I have been getting more concerned about my finances but it looks like a new job in my current company might help alleviate that short term for a bit anyway. My car and I went into the ditch and it is developing mechanical problems since.  I may need a ‘new’ one.  Life is intruding a lot right now and that triggers depression even if it is good.

Family trigger warning: Reading further might be a little too troubling for family members.  I am simply trying to get some things clearer in my mind and I find writing them and posting them does this, so hang on from here down. 

My marriage has definitely improved, but for me, there is still a lot missing and no matter how I try to fight it, I am becoming more restless every single day. The one thing for sure is whatever is missing, this improvement hasn’t fixed it, at least for me. I feel very much like I am giving up what I want to make my family happy at this point. I know what I want to do but I am fairly sure there will be a lot of pushback. This struggle, of course, causes The Grey.  That and thoughts returning from a lost love.

Dried Salt:

Miss Salty returned to mind due to posting a Facebook memory only to find her reaction to it with her name attached.  I guess feelings about her have solidified to a point.  I miss her; I care about her still, but I still wouldn’t trust her.  I know that sounds stupid probably, but the pain of this is still not gone.  I was looking at some old poems about her on this blog and the feelings are still there when I read them.  Although. I did manage to get through John Legend’s – ‘All of Me’ without crying once or shutting it off to avoid crying. She still haunts me like a ghost.

I avoid any sort of news about her, I haven’t even looked at her social media pages since June of 2019. I intentionally try to not think of her at times but she seems to come back in my thoughts more than I would like. WTF?  I should be a lot wiser from this whole situation but I miss that feeling I had and wonder if I can get it back. It is not happening with my marriage, improved though it is.

I guess I cling to this because, for a few months in 2018, I didn’t feel like something was missing.  This bothers me.  What was it that made me feel like I wasn’t missing something, because this relationship with Miss Salty, in the final analysis, was a shitshow?  How did this rollercoaster of an affair make me feel whole for once? For the first time, there was light in The Grey and I want to know what was it about this relationship that did that?  Can I get it back some other way?  All these questions are just made to order triggers for The Grey. I guess I have something to talk about with my therapist.

Walking the Grey:

True to form, Perseverance kicks in and no matter how I feel, I keep walking. I remain The Grey Wayfarer. Ravens of reason and wisdom overhead while following the wolves of what I need and want.  I search for the missing thing that will make me whole once again. Finding this wholeness is a large driving force and motivation in my life right now.  I walk the Grey because this is so worth it to me, I will walk in sadness for the rest of my life to find it.  Succeed or fail, it is worth that much to me.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Counseling Thoughts” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!

I would normally be doing a Freya’s Chambers today but I need to do some more research on some things before I wrote about them.  Part of the problem is my thoughts are a jumbled mess since meeting with both my job coach and my therapist on Wednesday so I feel the need to write about this at least in general terms.  It is not really a The Grey and The Wayfarer kind fo post.  More of thoughts being conflicted sort of post so I am trying to sort them out by writing about them.

Every time I think about the job situation it brings up a whole pack of emotions because of the fact that my last church fired me instead of accepting my resignation so it leaves my job history with a huge hole. Of course, I don’t feel I want to use any of those people as contacts for new jobs because I clearly can’t trust them.  That resource is gone and so I am now painfully aware I need to do something very uncomfortable for me which I build my network back up and that means talking to people about what they do and seeing if it fits me. I am just not very good at just starting cold conversations like that.

I am creating multiple prototypes of my life to come but all of them require either moving to the one place I still have contacts and that is not going to sit well with my wife and perhaps even my family.  I WANT a completely fresh start just to move on.  Just to have the feeling that I am not going to run into somebody I know and have to explain things all over again.   I won’t have the fear of running into Miss Salty or the Dirty Pig because I still don;t know how I would react to either. I just to be with my best friend and start over in a new place with new people.  This involves a big move literally and figuratively.

I don’t know how to express this any way that is spoken, so I write about it and I am trying to be careful about being open about what I talk with my therapist about in detail but the fact that I continue to struggle with doing what would make me happy versus what makes everyone else happy has become the BIG struggle of my life. This is my frost giant to fight right now. The problem is sometimes I see the face of the frost giant and it’s my own.

Part of me died with my faith, but it keeps acting like a ghost to haunt and attack my thoughts and feelings.   I am trying to bring new life to the place of deadness, but to me, that means a lot of new things need to happen and soon.  As an atheist, life is much more precious to me now realizing it will be the only one I get and is finite. I want my own happiness to be central and I want to do all I can to secure it.  I just don’t feel that will ever happen if the situation does not change drastically.

Both my job coach and my therapist have helped me sort out my own thoughts on this and for that, I am very grateful.  I truly think people should get over the stigma of therapy.  I am glad to have it. I have to thank The Clergy Project for that.

Thanks for reading this very personal post but it needed to be done.  My writing has stimied and so has my reading.  Sometimes getting things off my chest helps.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Viking Virtues – Part 2” – A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues

Happy Thor’s Day! 

Journal Entry:

The virtues that constitute business virtues for me have the quality of being ones that more directly deal with other people while at the same time maintain my personal integrity.  They are about having a perception of myself that others see that is true and accurate.  Thus Self-Reliance, Industriousness, and Hospitality.

All of these combine into a sense of justice that is about dealing justly both with others and myself.  That all my relationships are founded on doing the right thing as fairly as possible. Not an easy task to be sure, but it all starts with a desire to work hard to be independent but at the same time become passionate to others.

Self-Reliance:

“Self-Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved when each person is their own master and no one else’s’ .”

Principle: To walk in the spirit of independence by being my own master and no one else’s

Goal:  Find a new, better paying job by March 2020.

Bucket List: To be a published author of at least five books by March 2029

No gods, no masters.  I bow to no one and I expect no one to help me.  It doesn’t preclude recognizing when you do need help.  I do after all belong to a support group for former ministers, have a job counselor and a therapist. This is more about helping me help myself more than anything.  The ultimate decisions need to be mine.  These people are here to help me make better ones.

Industriousness:

“Industriousness is the willingness to work hard, always striving for efficiency, as a joyous activity in itself”

Principle: Work with the enjoyment of work itself.

Goal: Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019 (achieved)

Bucket List: Write A Novel and Get it Published by March 2022.

No lazy person ever really gained anything of value to them.  The things I have now are few but I value all of them very highly because I earned them.  I worked hard and worked efficiently to gain them.  I forge my own fortune and industriousness is about working the forge itself.

Hospitality:

“Hospitality is the willingness to share what one has with one’s fellows, especially when they are far from home.”

Principle: To share out of my abundance to help people where I can with their life’s journey.

Goal: By March 31st of 2020, to be the leader/participant in a group of some kind.  (Goal Achieved

Bucket List: To own my own home by March 2024.

Hospitality remind me that the goal is to return help for help.  To be an aid for someone who needs it.  We don’t live in a vacuum and we are after all a social species that has learned survival is best if we help one another. My goal here is to pay things forward that I have received.  We are only strong for a little while and while we are, we should help others with that strength.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

Justice for me is twofold: to get justice for wrongs is obvious, but acting justly in all relationships is the larger and more constant aspect of justice here.

Work Day Routine:

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  3. Blogging – Organize, revise, write a new post for the next day, templates
  4. Weightlifting: Gym time – 1 hour after work.
  5. Writing: 1000 words/day.
  6. Reading – 1/7 of a book a day
  7. Personal Business: record financial transactions, savings plan actions, budgeting, appointments, job search, other actions, etc.
  8. Check Communications and Email after 2 pm but before 4 pm.

Workdays can be hectic but they also get things done.  My rest days are still a little productive but not near as much as these days where work is all day long for the most part.  I do go to bed satisfied with a day well done.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Holiday Struggles” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 25

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!

Happy First Day of Yuletide – Mother’s Night – A night sacred to Frigg and Freya so it is fitting that it starts on their day.  Tonight was the celebration of the ancestral mothers.  it is also in some Asatru communities the celebration of the virtue of Industriousness which is a virtue associated with mothers.  To the hard-working mothers out there – Skaal.

Walking The Grey 

I am definitely struggling with the holiday season more than last year and it is because I have so much on my mind about the end of this year and what I am going to try to accomplish next year. It is not so much about missing the meaning behind holidays this year as last year, but more about the year coming to an end and the one pagan tradition that I want to observe at the end of it.  – Oath Night (Dec 31).

There is also a massive amount of uncertainty to my life right now as far as the future and I am getting help with that but it seems for every question I answer in my mind there are many more.   This has caused some sleepless nights and no shortage of anxious thoughts.  I also feel like I am alone a lot and the loneliness is pretty heavy at times.  My wife, family, and freinds are great, but there are always those lone times for me and for some reason they seem infested with walking the Grey.

Blog News:

A little news from the blog front.  I order to have some more time in the coming year to write and engage in a couple other projects I am going to reduce the schedule to one post a day.  There might be a The Rabyd Skald or s special post from time to time, but for the most part, I want the regular pattern of The Pagan Pulpit, Three A Skalds’ Life posts covering the Virtues, Of Wolves and Ravens, Odin’s Eye and Freya’s Chambers.  In short, this blog is going to take on more of the characteristics of a journal and less a platform for my art.  I really need to get going on my writing for publication, reading and another project that I am thinking of launching soon.  This just simplifies things for me so I will have the time to do the rest.

Freya’s Chambers will return next week. This week there is simply too much Grey in my life even for a lighthearted look at sex and sexuality. I will also be finishing the Rogue Wizard and Space Tramp series, but not replacing them. Peace.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Before and After” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 24

Happy Woden’s (Odin) Day!

This post is a little later than usual because I am doing a little bit of an experiment with it.  In about a half-hour, my therapist and I will be meeting via Skype and we will be hopefully discussing some of my issues so what you are getting with this installment is The Grey and The Wayfarer ‘before and after’.  So the part marked ‘Before’ is what I was thinking before I went into session and the part marked “After” is my thoughts as I reflected on them after the session.  It has really been up and down these last two weeks so I need to talk about that.

Before:

The issues I want to discuss in this session are the main two of my marriage and identity.  In the issue of my marriage, there are some things I need to discuss with my wife and my therapist is going to help me, according to our last session, as to how to approach this discussion as I am a little apprehensive of talking about the specific issues.  It’s weird because this isn’t about sex or intimacy but more about common goals, vision and what are we going to do now. What are we now with our values shifting in different directions and the objective for our lives shifting.

The second issue of identity is one of trying to figure out what I am now that I am both an atheist and no longer a pastor.  Part of this is career issues that my job coach is helping me with and I will talk on that at a different time.  This is deeper than that.  More of a foundational question.  My hope is there will be some insight as the last two sessions have been more of me talking and her digesting things and coming to understand my situation.  Hopefully, she has some wisdom, because right now I could use some and I am starting to feel confined and trapped by the situation.  That’s before.  See what happens and then I will write an after and then post both.

After:

Things worked as I think she guided my own thoughts into doing what needs to be done.  I need to really think about a direct course of designing my life as far as what I am going to be while having options.  My primary identity is being a writer, but it is going to be my second one which can be multiple things that will define me as far as other people are concerned for a while.

Also, we talked about Christmas and the family mostly.  I just don’t want it to be drama, but I also have the task of telling people I don’t pray anymore over the meals.  It’s more about celebrating the season of Yuletide and being with the kids and grandkids as much as possible. I am just there to enjoy, not be the spiritual master of ceremonies.

Of course, we talked about my marriage and all I will say about that is that a conversation between us needs to take place soon.  No more there, as no one else needs to know yet what is going on. I just now have it very clear that before the new year my wife and I need to talk about some things. ‘Need’ being the keyword.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Hospitality, Atheism, and Asatru” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Hospitality

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

I have been struggling with something for a while now and that is the ability to connect with people. When I was pastor fo my last church I created a small group of people with the idea of sharing and prayer for one another. I called it Living Stones based on `1 Peter 2:4-5:

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

The point was to share one’s struggles and triumphs in one’s spiritual walk with Christ to become drawn together in relationship with each other and Christ as living stones.  it was good in that it was for a while one of the best support groups I was ever a part of and my main motivation for creating it was my need for companionship where I could be open with people about some of my feelings.  It is the support group aspect I miss very much.

Hospitality is the same virtue if you take a broad definition of showing care and concern for others.  Asatru’s definition is about sharing when one can, especially with those far from home. Being kind. But for me, it is also about gathering with others in an environment that is safe so one can share more than prosperity, but one’s life with others.  I miss it.  But I also have developed through the painful experience of trusting others that people can betray you when you need them the most.

The atheist community is foreign to me.  I mean not completely so, but I am just starting in it nad it is good that through the Clergy Project I have a group and it did meet my goal.  But it isn’t the same as having people in your life every day or a couple times a week. Real flesh and blood that you have hospitality with.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

Needs (Geri):

I still need something but I am not sure I will ever have it again.  Fellowship.  I lack fellowship and it is eating at me.  The problem is I don’t trust anyone anymore. How does one meet a need in your life when you have trouble trusting those that could provide it?

Wants (Freki):

On a want level, I want this in other relationships to be deeper, but once again trust or my high expectations seem to get in the way.  So better not to trust at all than being disappointed.  Hospitality demands I trust and boy do I struggle with it even though it would gain for me something I need and want.

Reason (Huginn):

So what is the reasonable thing to do?  It is the question I will have for my therapist on Woden’s Day. I am glad to have a group to talk to and her about this, but how far do I trust them even. Or is the better question, how far do I trust them?  I hate being lonely on the one hand, but I can’t trust people at times enough to open up so I am not lonely. Will I ever find someone to be fully transparent with again?

Wisdom (Muninn):

Wisdom is very cloudy on this issue for me.  Grey and overcast. Hopefully, something will become clear.

Conclusion:

Hospitality is the virtue I struggle with the most. I just don’t know what to do about it.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Rogue Wizard Delay and Other Notes” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and the Wayfarer – Part 23

Happy Sols’ Day!

Rogue Wizard Delay:

No, it is not an accident there is a delay in the next chapter of Rogue Wizard and this is a The Grey and The Wayfarer post for The Rabyd Skald.  It’s connected to the fact that the more I think about writing this next chapter, the more the Grey seems to hit me.  It seems to be one of those moments where I have a choice about facing the Grey and walking through it – it needs to be done.  But when I do this is up to me.

Writing is therapy for me, as many of you know.  Sometimes it is unpleasant and has to be done. Other times it flows.  I this case I know what I want to do and what should be done and they are the same. The problem is the process of writing is going to be an emotional roller coaster. So I am having trouble,  but I will have it done by next week but not this week. Apologies.

Support Group:

My support group is working out very well. I mean it is great to have fellow former clergy to talk to who are also non-believers in anything.  It makes everyone relatable and a lot of them have been through the process and at a later age than me so they help out a lot in keeping my feet on the ground and standing.

My Therapist: 

My therapist and I have had two sessions.  Doing it on Skype allows me to see her and she can see me so it gives me a genuine reactions both ways.  She is a good listener and hasn’t been judgmental at all.  Mostly though she has listened to me and thinks that next session we can start working on a plan.  The main two issues I deal with on this level are my change of identity and my marriage.

Job Coach: 

Through The Clergy Project, I also have job help for my career change.  I decided that even though I could use a new job soon to go more organic and find what fits me as well.  I don’t want to be doing a job I hate just to pay the bills anymore. So what do I enjoy and can make money at the same time is a journey of discovery and my job coach is taking me on and she is really thinking January or February which still is within my goal of having this done by March.

Reading List:

I was reminded by my wife that there are many books on my shelf that I have not read and should read them. So new books only when needed to keep the pattern of a non-fiction book; then a fiction book.  I haven’t been doing well on this yet, but I have started. Mostly though it is going to be a process of going through my library and pulling out things I haven’t read and putting them together to work through the rest of this year and next.

Writing Books:

I have come to the conclusion that I need to do my book writing like I do this blog.  I need about 3-5 projects at once and rotate them so boredom does not set in. Basically, I have three non-fiction books and two fiction in the hopper now.  I try to make progress on one or more every day.  It is the word count that matters.

Final Word:

Thanks for everyone’s patience.  My emotions tend to dominate my writing more than other things in my life. I have been able to be consistent on this blog, but other things need consistency too. Thanks for reading.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Dealing with Ghosts” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 20

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:

“The Ghost of You” – Skald Tales and Poems – Poem

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.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Year Ago Retrospect (Part 4) – Closure in Walking On” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 19

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Warning: To my family and friends, this one is going to be as truthful as the old Rabyd Microphone so be advised.  Mostly I feel the need to write this series for therapeutic reasons.  This also a long post so be prepared to give it some time. 

This is part four of a Year Ago Retrospect. These are going to take the place of my normal journal posts this week in a mini-series:

Click Here for Part 1 

Click Here for Part 2

Click Here for Part 3

All of what has come before in this series has been about getting to this post. I want final closure on a lot of this and so writing is for me a way of working through all that.  How successful I have been with this will be revealed in time. I don’t want to write on this stuff again.  There are scars and aspects of some of this I will probably carry for the rest of my life, but I want to speak of them as little as possible and only when I have to do so.

This last post will take the form of me having one-sided conversations with some of the various people I have mentioned already.  This is an idea given to me from a book that was suggested to my wife and I called – Words Can Change Your Brain by Newberg and Waldman.  It has a way of bringing closure but also I have another objective.  Some of these people I no longer have contact with and I just want to say my piece to them as if they were there and then walk away.  My life awaits and it is time to start living it more fully.  I can’t do that with these emotional weights on my back. If I carry anything as The Grey Wayfarer, it needs to be only what I need to carry.  This shit isn’t something I need anymore. I am hoping this is a way to put it all down and walk on.

So who am going to talk to?: The Dirty Pig, My Former Congregation, Miss Salty’s Family, Miss Salty, and two conversations with myself – The Old Me and the New Me.  Basically a list of people I need to walk on from and one person that needs to move on. This is going to be painful.  But also completely necessary for ‘Final’ Closure.

To the Dirty Pig:

I have rehearsed what I would say to you if we ever ran into each other again many times, it boils down to the following list.

  1. I trusted you to handle things as my friend, you said you would, but you never really were my friend, just a poser who pretended to be so for his own advantage.
  2. If you even hold your hand out to me know I already have a response that goes something like this:  “Take that hand and shine it up pretty, turn it sideways and shove it up to your ass.” Sorry, that it is as warm and friendly as it is going to get.
  3. I should have known because the trail of bodies that represents former ‘friends’ of yours that lays behind you in a long line and now I am just one of them. Does it ever bother you, that people are so disposable to you?
  4. What hurts the most, if the roles had been reversed, is I would have given you the benefit of the doubt and time to think things over some more because I cared for you as a friend. It hurt even more because you tricked me into not confessing to my congregation so you could play that to your advantage – you were a coward and stabbed me in the back.  You did me personal harm and damage even though I never did any to you.  Had to ‘teach me a lesson”. What a self-righteous and sanctimonious fuck you are.
  5. I really hope that you get over your narcism and pathological tendency to bend the world around you to the lies you tell yourself. You need help.
  6. If you really care for the church, resign as a moderator and don’t be involved for a few years. Better yet, never again.
  7. I wish you a long but miserable life. I hope what goes around comes around is true for you. I have no desire for revenge because it is stupid, but know this – if an opportunity for justice presents itself to me, I will not hesitate to take it.  You have no friend in me anymore, I am your enemy. Your best course of action is to mind your own business, and if you see me, walk the other direction. I will certainly do the same.

To  My Former Congregation:

This has three parts:

  1. To those of you who voted to fire me.  I have forgiven all of you but you as my former flock disappoint me as much as I may have disappointed you. I may have hurt you, but you hurt me back which I don’t think you could classify as ‘Chrisitan’. If you see me and are not prepared in some way or form to say you are sorry, then just keep walking.   I stand by my statement that I feel I was judged, not for the nine and a half years I loved you and cared for you, but for the one bad decision I made at the end.
  2. To those who didn’t vote to me fire – thanks for listening and remembering. I have talked with many of you but I don’t know if I have talked with all of you.  I am glad you listened to me and remembered my teachings over the years.
  3. To those that have asked for forgiveness directly – thanks.  Most of you have left the church with much the same observations of the Dirty Pig as me.  So I am glad I am not alone.  You are always welcome at my door, just call first.  Some of you are friends and will remain so.

To Miss Salty’s Family:

I offer my apologies to you.  I know my reaction if it had been my niece, daughter, etc., would have been much the same as yours. That said, I feel your largest problem was that you couldn’t accept that Miss Salty had grown up.  The one thing for sure is I would have never hurt her or asked her to do anything she didn’t want to do.   You probably won’t believe this but the whole thing was indeed mutual from the very beginning.  Sorry for the feelings caused, but I don’t expect your forgiveness.  You don’t have to.  You can take comfort in the fact that the way she broke up with me was such I will have trust issues with her for a long time, and there isn’t really much of a possibility of a relationship in the future in any case with me being back with my wife. I wish you all health and happiness.

To Miss Salty

Of all the messages I had to write in this post the one to you Miss Salty is the hardest.  I have imagined how this conversation would go many times and it comes out different each time.  I am hoping by writing it this time, it will be more concrete.

I ain’t going to lie, I miss you. But I struggle with who exactly I miss. Was it really you or the character you were playing?  Was it MaKala, Miss Salty, Elpis or someone else?  I do know that whoever she was, she came into my life at a very cold, dark time and offered a lot of warmth and light. For that, I thank her, whoever she was.  She was truly the salt in my life that gave it flavor at the time. She will always be Miss Salty to me. There will always be a small piece of my heart that loves her. It is just the way I am.  I don’t know if not being able to get rid of love completely for a woman I have loved is a blessing or curse sometimes.  Please don’t take advantage of it.

I also know that I try very hard to remember the good and to forget the bad but without too much success.  I don’t know what to do about that, I am hoping someday to get some personal counseling on it. I still write poems but they are difficult because you are remembered every damn time. August 2nd, I found myself crying over the remembered emotions from last year and so it is the pain that is hardest to get over. There a hole missing in my life that no person or thing seems to be able to fill now. Maybe with time, it will.  I hope so. There is also a scared over slash in my heart that is still healing but it bleeds still on the inside.

I want you to live life. I want you to find someone that loves you for you.  Be who you really are and find the person who loves you for who you are – all the good, bad, ugly and the beautiful parts of you. You are worth that. Never forget you are worth that.

I applaud you for at least having the courage to do what you did and you did it to my face. Unlike one I have already talked to above, you were far braver.  I am sorry he used you to get to me, but that is his nature.  I said it before and I say it again – The Dirty Pig is not your friend.  Remember that.  Remember you are disposable to him if no longer sees a use for you, I found that out the hard way.  Please don’t be another one of his discarded people. Don’t let yourself be another one of his ‘friendship’ casualties.

I just wish how you did it was different, so I didn’t have so many questions.  That said, trying to contact me with answers would be a bad idea unless you can find a way that doesn’t involve social media (you’re blocked for obvious reasons) or direct contact (I am not sure how I would take that).  I will just have to learn to live with my ignorance.  It wouldn’t be the first time I had to do so.

I hold nothing against you, but one thing.  I think you need to tell people and yourself the truth about your role in all this being mutual and not me manipulating you.  You know that is not true. I think you need to show some courage and face the consequences of that truth. I don’t know if I would ever hear about it, but I think for your own sake, you need to do it. Being truthful with yourself is a hard thing – I know. But it is better that way.

I have said goodbye before to you and yet, despite it all, you are there.  All pictures are deleted or destroyed, the books were thrown away along with the first aid kit. The rock you gave me also gone. I deleted The Hedge completely.  I have tried to be very thorough in getting rid of any reminder of you out of my life, and yet, there you are.  Sometimes in troubling dreams or in thoughts when I see or read something we used to talk about. Songs we talked about come to my ear, and there you are. I have tried to say a permanent goodbye so many times in my heart but can never seem to make it have the effect of healing I want.  This is going to be a slow goodbye for me, I can tell. No getting around it.

It has been a year since I heard those words from your lips – “I can’t do this” and they still echo in my heart like ripples back and forth on a pond.  I am trying to love my wife more and more each day, but your ghost or the ghost of what I thought was you haunt me.  Worse still is the possibility that someday we might very well run into each other, and then I am not sure what my reaction will be.  I guess if that happens, it will speak for itself.

Goodbyes are difficult for me and I am coming to the painful conclusion that they might be impossible regarding you.  I don’t know yet, I have to walk this out and see.  You hurt me and yet, I find it impossible to hate you.  You left me lonely and alone and yet…I don’t feel any malice.  Maybe somebody can help me someday with this. I hope so because it makes things more difficult than they need to be. The Grey gets triggered because of it and it would be nice if that stopped happening.

I would say goodbye, but your ghost still follows me. So its ‘goodbye’ in quotes for now and maybe someday, with enough time, you will haunt me less. I hope so.

To My Old Self – Pastor Ed:

You need to go, buddy.  You sacrifice too much of yourself and then you end up hurting yourself and people you love.  You have long been a liability to yourself.  You need to go. You’re a good guy, but you are also self-destructive.  You need to go. I know some people will miss you and I will too, but you cost me too much over the years to maintain anymore.  You need to go. You are just not a really good friend to me anymore. You need to go. You make yourself vulnerable and people take advantage of us. You need to go.  Goodbye, Pastor Ed.

To My New Self – The Grey Wayfarer:

It’s time to get up and walk again.  You have had your conversations here on the side of the road and now, you need to get up, grab your spear, pull your cloak around you, whistle for the wolves and ravens and walk on.  It’s time to move on and be yourself.

Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.  If some choose to catch up with you and talk to you that is one thing, or people cross your path again that is OK.  Old friends and those you know are always welcome to walk with you for a time. But you know it is dangerous to look back and think of all the would haves and should-haves.  It’s the path behind and there is no changing where your footsteps already are.

Time to walk into the future.  Time to face the unknown with courage, honor, and truth.  Time to live your life, be self-reliant, work hard and give generously as you can.  Time to maintain disciplined steps, keep getting up when you fail and stay loyal to those who have shown themselves loyal to you. Keep walking.  The ghosts of the past are going to haunt you from time to time, but find a way to be at peace with them and keep walking. The Grey Storm is going to come from time to time. Learn to walk through it and be better for it.

Time to truly become,

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

Skaal!!!