“Freeing Myself” – The Grey and the Wayfarer

Happy Sol’s Day!!!

It been a long time, but long overdue. Here I am writing. This year has been very hard from “The Grey” point of view. I have been existing without any real purpose and I am finally getting sick of it. The boredom and loneliness have been pretty much the cause of me shelling up. COVID be damned because I still could do a lot of things right now – writing among them.

It’s the whole damn situation again that bothers me.

I miss dreaming of a better future and then going out and achieving it. I haven’t achieved anything I really wanted this year and it sucks. I am not sure what is causing what at this point – Is the Grey causing my lack of ambition or is it the other way around.  All I know is it is a vicious cycle for me.

I want the picture above. A man who has wandered long, fought his way to the shore and now gets to look at the view. Blood on axe and exhausted.  But feeling incredibly wonderful because he has written a new chapter in his story and it is a good one.

I haven’t been inspired by anything going on right now to dream, to have vision and that needs to stop.  The Wayfarer has spent
far too much time in this place. I have gotten comfortable with mediocrity.  Time to move on and start getting somewhere.

A large part of that is this Blog.  Probably the greatest testimony to my problem is this blog’s absolute silence for roughly the last
year. The occasional half-hearted attempt but nothing that lasts.  

I need to move and to do that I need to keep it simple. Some basics to work on and build on.

1.      Need to finish my certification for the career opportunity I have in front of me.  I just haven’t been inspired by anything
about it until now – That happy thought that will make me fly? – Freedom.  Living Free. And this career is the means.

2.      I need to write, read and blog as much as possible.

3.      I need to get my nutrition, lifting and walking back online.

4.      I need to work on my Youtube channel and make it better.

That’s it.  Nothing fancy to clog up the works, just get moving.  I don’t have time for it.  I just need to move.

I return.

I remain.

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


“Ghost Dryad” – Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 22

Happy Sol’s Day!

Rogue Wizard’s Journal – November 5th, 2019

Yesterday I spoke about what happened according to my girls after I was hit with the death spell by the necromancer Death Angels.  I need to now speak about what happened to me while unconscious because it needs to be written down before the nature of it slips away.   Before my emotions about it swallow up the memory of it.

I spoke before of how my consciousness slipped away and I fell down ‘dead’.  I found though that I was not feeling too much death, but rather peace and love. It was a strange feeling and then as I lay there with my eyes closed I heard a voice.


I knew that voice instantly and in my excitement, my eyes fluttered open.  I was shocked at what I saw because I wasn’t in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan anymore. I was in The Red Tree Grove.  Like it was when I was young.  Full of life, trees, ferns, birds, squirrels, and bright colors. There was the tree not too far away.  Large like an oak, but covered in red maple leaves and white birch like bark.  A truly unique tree. Majestic and making anyone standing next to it feel small and very young.

My eye focused however on the throne part of the tree was in front of.  There she was sitting – Elpis.  She was covered in the same birch park skin as the tree so it was hard at first to see her but the red hair like the color of the tree’s leaves set her off a little.

She stood up and walked toward me and as she did the bark skin was shed and revealed the naked woman beneath.  Her body was short but the kind of sensual curvy that made a lump in my throat every time. Large breasts with cute nipples and nice curvy backside.  Her round face dripped innocence but eyes that were deep and spoke of long years of life but youth at the same time. Her hair was brown, but it could have been any color she liked.  She changed the color and length often.  Her smile beamed right into my heart.

She was not so much the gorgeous dryad of legend but the young teen girl and ancient matron all rolled into one. The experience of meeting Elpis is something people do not forget. I know the first time I did, I fell hopelessly in love with her.

“Hello Edward, it is good to see you again. You got old. Still, look good though”

For the first time, I realized I was naked myself and for once felt old.  The last time I was in her presence I had been eighteen. Now my body had suffered the years of a few decades of mortality.  I hoped at that moment I wasn’t a disappointment to her. But there was an old deep emotion that began to take over in me.  I crossed the few feet that separated us and took her in my arms and hugged her.  Crushed her really and kissed her hard. When the kiss stopped I whispered in her ear.

“I love you.”

“I love you too Edward.”

She kissed me this time and then breaking away she took me by the hand and led me to the side of the tree where we used to make love.  She pulled me close to her and we made love again.  I will not speak of the details here.  That is my memory and one I will cherish for all my remaining life.  When we were done she spoke again as we lay in each other’s arms on the soft grass.

“Well Edward, you are still good at that. Better actually”

“I had a good woman teach me.  She was wonderful and gentle with me. I have missed her.”

Elpis teared up but then she took a breath and spoke.

“I don’t have much time. I can’t maintain this reality much longer and soon I will be gone. The powers have granted us this one moment to say goodbye for good.”

I began to cry and she took me in her arms again.

“I took the death ray for you, Edward.  I possessed you and took the death intended for you. You will live, but I am now finally dead and at peace.  My regret is that I will have to leave you behind again.  I don’t know if we will see each other again.  I don’t know so many things about what is after death.  I do know that you will go back to Lunette and Amber and you need to love them and let them love you.  The moment you live is all you really have so live life.”

“Elpis, there is so much I want to say.”

“Edward, sweet Edward.  There is no time.  ‘I love you’ is enough. close your eyes.”

I closed them reluctantly taking in one last look at Elpis’ face.

“I love you, Edward.”

“I love you, Elpis.”

I felt her lips against mine as we held each other in the grass and then the feelings of her body and lips next to mine faded away.  When I awoke, she and the grove were completely gone and I was laying on an open empty field that stretched as far as I could see. I began to weep. I wish things had turned out very differently. So much do I wish that.

It wasn’t but a few moments that I felt the tug of mortality pulling me back to the real world. When I woke up, I had Amber hovering over me and she started to cry as she held me.  I was crying too, but for a very different reason.

I am alive because of Elpis’ sacrifice.  I guess she lived up to her name after all by giving me hope in the midst of death.

I am a little emotionally distraught after writing this so I will break for now and try to write the rest tomorrow.

Writer’s Notes:

This was a hard part to write.  The emotions were pretty high on this one. Elpis is a character based on Miss Salty and the connection is very emotional.  I never built a  series like the Hedge Wizard of Redberg which contained: 1) Love for a woman, 2) My own life and 3) my favorite genre of fantasy fiction – urban fantasy.  It was a labor of love for someone and I never have done that before.  It ended abruptly when the whole affair between Miss Salty and I came to light.  I had to literally delete the blog and everything on it because people were reading it as reality. 

Which is why I make this final note. There is no love scene in either the Hedge Wizard of Redberg or Rogue Wizard that has ever been real.  They are fantasy, perhaps longing and desire at times, but never real life. 

Now, I truly do need to take a break.  But I wanted to send Elpis off as she deserved –  a heroine with a deep love for Edward at the end. As a character, she was a labor of love I will never forget. I did weep like this when Miss Salty left me and now I will probably at least cry again.  There are a few more scenes to Epilogue this series and bring closure, but Elpis had more act to play and I sent her out the way I wanted to, the way she deserved, and not by someone else’s hand.

Elpis means “Hope”.  

I remain,

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


The Book of Rabyd 1:4 – ‘People Have the Right to Pursue Happiness’

Happy Sun’s Day


“Everyone has the Right to Pursue Happiness” – The Book of Rabyd 1:4

Thoughts and Exposition:

Will Smith has a great line in the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness”.  He centers on the idea of how the founding fathers has enough wisdom to put in the word ‘pursuit’.  This is what is often forgotten in this right.  You do not have the right to be happy.  You do have the right to pursue what will make you happy or what you think will make you happy.  It does not include a safety net where the government bails you out if you fail.

I suppose it should be argued at this point that this right is equal to the other two already stated of life and liberty.  The issue here is that some people will be champion of people’s life and liberty but then will involve themselves in the affairs of others in such a way as to either meddle or try to restrict other’s pursuit of happiness by law or ordinance.  They think they know what would make others happy and try to use force or influence to make it so.

Truthfully, the respect for this right in others is the biggest litmus test of whether you genuinely treat people as human beings or objects.  The person who can see what would be better for someone else but does not act because he or she respects that person’s right to pursue their own happiness is a person who also is seeing them as a human being, not as something to manipulate.

I have been using the abortion debate throughout this discussion so I will use it again here.  The conflict is simple I think because a woman might argue that having a child would not be in line with her pursuit of happiness.  The counter argument then comes that you are violating the child or fetus’ right to live.  If we are truly seeing the two rights as equals then we are pretty much left in a stalemate and so the issue falls to other things.  The right to happiness doesn’t really help us here either because we could make an argument for both sides for happiness.

In abortion we have a conflict of rights but the question is which right has superiority over others.  If we give certain rights superiority over others then how can we say we are treating them all equally?  Some other factor, must come into play to settle this quandary and it may be Rabyd 1:5 which we will talk about in the next week.

For me personally this is why I try to conduct myself (and I hope my family conducts themselves with the idea as well) of not meddling in other people’s affairs.  If we do feel we have a better way for people to live that might aid them in their pursuit of happiness; we do not force the issue, but attempt to persuade people to that end.  Our goal is not to meddle, but we will certainly act in compassion if we see a need and react if asked to help.

Part of respecting the pursuit of happiness is respecting the need for people to struggle through that issue on their own.  To impose my view of what would make them happy on them would be wrong.  It is wrong because it does not recognize the other person’s humanity or their right to pursuit what they believe will make them happy.

One thing needs to be said here.  People who achieve happiness are often ones who find out the pursuit of it involves letting other be happy.  The one great obstacle to our pursuit is think other people need to live up to our standards of what they should do and be. When they don’t do this, then disappointment leads to unhappiness.  Part of being happy and pursuing it is learning a) You will not find it in others and b) You will never be happy as long as you are trying to impose your view of it on others.

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


A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues – Finding My Vocation


Happy Wooden’s (Odin’s) Day. 

Journal Entry:


  1. A strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation
  2. A person’s employment or main occupation, especially regarded as particularly worthy and requiring great dedication.
  3. A trade or profession

You know it is funny when you look up the definition of a word and there are multiple definitions of a word and they all fit together and for a single concept that is true.  The word ‘vocation’ is such a  word for me right now.

For a long time my vocation was defined by a single word – ‘pastor’.  I left that behind me like and old worn out garment which can no longer be mended.  I threw it in the trash for a lot of reasons. Most notably that I no longer consider it an honorable profession myself.  I don’t speak of this often because I am not trying to be offensive; particularly for those people who are my friends in the ministry, but I made my living basically telling stories and giving people encouragement through belief in something that may not even be true. There is a lot of falsehood to it; to put it kindly.  The only real part of my job that  feel now might have been helpful was to coach people though some of their tough life decisions.  Life coach if you will.  You don’t need a religion to do that.

So now what?  Well, trying to take twenty years of people and organizational skills, a political science degree and my soon to be 50 year old self and have a new vocation that is 1) suitable for me, 2) becomes a new main occupation that people find worth of pursuit and 3) is my new profession. This is the goal.  It is the Business Virtues that guide me the most in this.


“Self Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved not only for the individual, but also for the family, clan, tribe and nation.”

Principle: Work to be self-reliant in all things.

Long term a vocation leads to the kind of self-reliance I am really looking for. The kind that allows me to look to the future with a basic knowledge that my wife and I will be OK as we grow older for many years to come.


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

Principle: Work with enjoyment of work itself.

Something worthy of dedication and time spent doing it. I want something that actually accomplishes something real and tangible that people can see. To be respected again is probably the most noble part of Industriousness.


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

Principle: Be ready to be hospitable to those who truly need it.

The ultimate goal is a prosperity that my profession or trade gives me that I can share or use to help others. To build wealth and give. Something my old vocation never really gave me the opportunity to do.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

I want something that has one other quality.  It allows me the opportunity to do the right thing and help others get though things in their life.  The life coach aspect of the ministry is probably the one thing I truly enjoyed over the years, I would like something that allows me to do that again in some form.  It’s why I lean toward Human Resources in Business.

 Daily Routine:

  1. Communication / Cuddle Time
  2. Blogging
  3. Reading / Study – Half-hour per day minimum or until all necessary work is completed.
  4. Clear In Box/ To Do List
  5. Financial Transaction Input
  6. Carb Count – zero.

Still struggling with this one. The truth be told as I look at the calendar, I need to revise my routines again when we hit March.  My birthday month has always been a good time to completely overhaul or revise things and this Routine along with many others will be going under revision.


  1. Be transparent with my wife to improve communication
  2. Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship.
  3. Find a new, better paying job by the end of March 2019 or before.
  4. In 2019 have  a clear budget and financial plan working by the end of the year.
  5. Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).
  6. Keep gym membership going somewhere and lift weights minimum of four times per week and walk minimum four times per week through end of 2019
  7. Follow Paleo Diet completely and use intermittent fasting until the end of 2019
  8. Cross one thing off bucket list every six months (Deadlines July 1st, and December 31st of 2019)
  9. Be in the best shape I can be by March 18th, 2019 (50th birthday), take pictures.

A lot of these goals have March deadlines.  They will be compelled so a few more goals will increase the number below.

Goals achieved since Summer 2018: 1


  1. Basic Emergency Fund – $1000
  2. Debt Snowball
  3. Fully funded Emergency fund
  4. Invest 15% of income into retirement
  5. Pay off Home Early
  6. Build Wealth and Give

Eye on the prize of number six.   It remains there like a great golden crown.  Every day is a step towards it.

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


Of Wolves and Ravens: Perseverance – Stubborn Purpose

Happy Tyr’s Day


I think when it comes to Perseverance, my strength with it is that it comes very naturally.  On the other side of it; because it does come naturally to me, it is hard to write about it and explain it. The things that come most naturally to a person are so deep-seated at times that they do the almost without thought.  So when someone asks you how you do it; it’s not that you don’t know, it is that you find it hard to explain something that is probably best described as deeply spiritual.

So when I keep getting up from defeat or failure, I guess the best thing to say about it is that I don’t like the feeling of being down on the ground, so I stand back up a quickly as possible.  It is just habit.  I suppose that is the goal of following every virtue, that the actions they lead you to do be come automatic habit. In this case, I think I am there already in that respect.  Mostly my growth here is trying to figure out how Perseverance applies to more and more things and the way it applies and to what extent.  How much of this stubbornness with a purpose is needed to get through life successfully.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

Needs (Geri):

To me the need for perseverance connects with the simple basic need to survive.  But more than that, I don’t think any successful person; at any level, has ever gotten there without Perseverance.  You will never be successful at anything unless you keep training, practicing, follow discipline and do it over and over again until you are successful. If you don’t get how much this is necessary, than that is probably the reason you are not successful.

Wants (Freki):

Wanting Perseverance seems secondary when you consider how much it is needed. You want it because you want that feeling of being on top of the mountain, of looking at what you have built and having that feeling of being satisfied, etc.  You don’t get to those moments without Perseverance.

Reason (Huginn):

Survival and Success are two rational goals in life. “Live long and prosper.” Like it or not there are other forces in this world that will challenge that and you need some force to counter them.  Perseverance is that force.

The part I am discovering now is how perseverance connects with purpose.  How it gives you purpose.  It gives you reason to keep going.  How it gives you clearer vision of what you want to be and how you are going to get there. It makes such vision practical and very real.

Wisdom (Muninn):

I think I have learned the most life lessons after standing back up again. I have gained the most wisdom just standing back up. You, the gentle reader, read a lot of things here on The Grey Wayfarer that are simply a product of me standing up again.


“Coyotes Never Quit.” It statement that was made to me by my football coach back in 9th grade during the heat of two a day practices.  It is something, that has stuck with me.  Back then it meant in four years, no matter how I felt. I never missed a practice and I never used an excuse not to get back on my feet. I never got too much opportunity to play on the field, but for life later, it has been the secret to my survival and successes.  It has given my life Stubborn Purpose.  Otherwise known as Perseverance.

I remain,

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


The Pagan Pulpit – The Book of Rabyd 1:3 – “Everyone Has the Right to Liberty”

Happy Sun’s Day


We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods and goddesses, or whatever powers that be either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves, and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.

We also don’t take an offering here.  We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it.  Let’s be honest, offerings are not giving to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never see a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Opening Song: ‘Bad Reputation’ – Joan Jett (Uncensored)

Is there an opening message here about liberty.  Yeah.  Liberty often requires that you don’t do things to please others, you do what is right for you and sometimes others are just being self-righteous, sanctimonious pricks.  The message today is about respect of others right to liberty, but sometimes it isn’t about that – it’s about trying to maintain your own liberty in the face of those who would take it away though cultural and political rules that they want to impose on you. Sometimes the fight for liberty is simply a matter of telling such rules and those who impose the to ‘go to hell’.

Poem: “Untitled Meme” by Unknown.
Image may contain: text that says 'Let the gays get married. Let the rednecks have their guns. Let the atheists be atheists. Let the Christians be Christians. America is about FREEDOM. Freedom to live your life as you please. So smoke a bowl, eat a greasy burger, shoot your guns, praise Jesus and wish those two fellas next door a happy honeymoon. It's only when people FORCE their ways on others that problems begin. It never ceases to amaze me how many full grown adults don' t understand that.'
Forcing your viewpoint on others is the issue. Not sure if this is a poem, but it definitely gets the point across.

Image may contain: text

Song of Preparation: “Imagine” – John Lennon

“They say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one.”


“Everyone has the Right to Liberty” – The Book of Rabyd 1:3


Liberty.  It is an easy word to say and it is easy to demand it for yourself.  It becomes quite another matter to give liberty to others.  The great problem with humans is that we objectify others and nearly all methods of objectification involve this notion that people should live a certain way, or do certain things and if they don’t then they just are wrong and we should make them.

I would submit the moment you are trying to use force, threat of force or fraud to make another person or group of people conform to your vision of morality, behavior or ethics you demonstrate you do not understand the word liberty. Liberty isn’t just about you being able to live the way you desire, it is about letting others do it too.

This is the thing about calling thing inalienable rights.  This means that if you want your right to something inalienable you have to respect it in others. The other thing is there is more than one inalienable right – you also have life and the pursuit of happiness.  No use of your liberty can deter then from another person’s rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

This has some pretty astounding implication which I will get into later in The book of Rabyd, but for now note that liberty allows you to do what you want to do as long as it does not interfere in the rights of others. That means you have to think a little bit about things before you act.  There is no just do what you want and damn the consequences. Liberty demands the notion of ‘love your neighbor as yourself’.

On the flip side though, if a person is going to tell me I am interfering with their rights, they better bring proof.  If they can’t do so, then they are simply attempting to diminish my right to choosing my own path which should be considered as just as evil a crime as trying to take my life.  People use all kinds of forces from philosophy, to religion to a straight up desire to control others to justify interfering with people’s liberty.  That notion cannot be allowed.

If there is any legacy I want to leave to my children and grandchildren at this point it is I hope they truly consider the blessings of liberty.  Not just for themselves but there is also a blessing in letting others be free.  From freeing oneself from the terrible desire to control the behavior of others.   If I were ever get around to creating a family motto, it will certainly have the Latin word: ‘Libertas‘ in it. It is that important; just as much the inalienable right as life.

Closing Song: ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ – Metallica

One final Skaal!!!

Parting Thought: 

Image may contain: one or more people

Amen, Mr. Hoppe, Amen

I remain,

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


Of Wolves and Ravens: Discipline – Pain Becoming Strength

Happy Tyr’s Day


I suppose life is full of strange ironies.  One of them is that you don’t get stronger unless you go through a little pain. Discipline as Virtue is something I have long practiced in certain regards, but until I started following the Nine Noble Virtues (NNV), I never really covered all of its facets.  Mostly that if you want growth or more strength, endurance, etc., it is probably going to take some form of discipline to make it happen. You can’t get there by just wishful thinking, prayer or vain hope.  It requires discipline.

Over the years personally, I have applied discipline to a lot of areas of my life.  Right now every routine I have created, every goal or list of objectives has some sort of systematic plan to getting there.  Things are not just going to happen, they have to be made to happen and this is particularly true with improvement to one’s self. I come to learn that more and more every day.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

Needs (Geri):

I cannot stress the need for discipline enough. Without it the first steps cannot be taken to even achieve any goal that anyone sets for themselves.  I want to a new job right now, so each day I spend some time searching.  I can’t just hope that someone will offer me the perfect job.  I have to go find it.  I have lifted weights for years.  I want a strong, leaned out and healthy body, and I want it to last for as long as possible. I NEED discipline of diet, exercises and the weights to achieve this. Wanting is not enough.  You have to understand what you need to get what you want and that path is often filled with discipline.

Wants (Freki):

I suppose this relationship between need and want is very critical when it comes to discipline. You do have to ask yourself what you want.  What you really want. The test of whether you really want something is whether or not you ware willing to engage in the discipline to get it.  What sacrifices and pain are you willing to go through to get what you want.  When it comes to discipline, the two wolves dance back and forth, and when you figure out the steps to that dance, you make progress.

Reason (Huginn):

Rationally, when you look at the worlds great achievements, there was discipline behind every one of them.  The scientist who had the breakthrough discovery, spending weeks and months in disciplined study before the discovery.  The athlete who sets the world record, a lifetime of disciplined exercise and drill. Etc.  The one thing that reason tells us is that if we are going to reach our goals, discipline is the path we must walk. Then it helps us come up with that plan.

Wisdom (Muninn):

I have an image in my head of what I want to be.  It is not completely formed, but it is a vision of what I would like to be.  Wisdom says the path is disciplined action over time that will be the greatest contributor to getting that vision to become reality.  It is what will place me in a postition; that when opportunity arrives, I will be strong enough to take it and hold on to it.


I don’t know what others think of discipline.  I know that pain and sweat is not something people like to experience. I just know that no change has taken place in my life or to myself without either. It is perhaps and ironic fact of life, that strength comes through pain.  But there is that moment of satisfaction that you have when the results are achieved that far outweighs the pain in the end.  So there is that truth – discipline also leads to satisfaction.  That feeling of satisfaction, is greater than any pain or struggle.

I remain,

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


The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 6 – Replacing Memories with Memories

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

If you have been reading this last week an a half, you are very well aware that I am in the midst of what I what I would call a Grey Storm.  That is depression is overshadowing my life with dark clouds and a little rain. Mostly I just have been having a lot of problems feeling anything at all as I go through my day.

I mentioned that I felt this was triggered in my journal posts by some memories which were triggered in part by the time of year and by a dream.  The time of year is significant because last year at this time my organist at the church died.  He was a good friend and the last of my musicians with any real talent that I started with nine and half years previously.  Everyone I had started with in that regard was gone and I dubbed this time as the day the music died.  End of an era really for the church which really was completely true once I left.

I was really hurting and the only one who was listening to me at the time was a young woman who I ended up having an affair with.  I am not proud of this; and there are no good excuses for it, but there were reasons.  The starting point though was my organists death and reaching out at the time in friendship to her and her to me at this time last year.

The other trigger was a dream I had last Tuesday (Feb. 5th).  It was very vivid and real in its feeling.  I was walking down a downtown street. I had to find a bathroom and ducked into a restaurant.  I found the bathroom and went in a started to do my business.  While there heard someone enter the room.  They stopped behind me.  They stood there and I could feel their presence but they didn’t move. It was actually unnerving.  I finished and then turned around only to find it was the man from the church who I had considered a friend for well over nine years standing there. Now, I know he was no friend at all, and I would consider him a backstabbing liar and thief. He was smiling at me but it was a wicked smile.  He shook his head at me like a person who has judged you and has nothing but contempt.  I snorted and walked out. My general approach to any memory of this man is to basically say “Fuck you asshole” and try to push it from my mind.

As I was trying to leave the restaurant, there she was – the young lady in question sitting at the table by the door facing me.  She too was smiling.  Not in a judgmental way, just that same smile she always had when she saw me.  I couldn’t get out without going right next to her, and I couldn’t go back with the man behind me, so I went forward and sat down at the table to her left. Yes, the dream was so vivid I can remember details like this. She looked at me and the smile faded from her face as I sat down.  I tried to speak but discovered I couldn’t.  She smiled again and then sang a song.  The weird thing is, I can’t remember what it was.  I can remember everything else in great detail but the song and then she laughed.  I got up and ran out. I could feel both of them following me and then my alarm for work went off.  I was extremely thankful to be getting out of bed that morning, but the dream shook me.

Since then, I have been walking a Grey Storm. Normally dreams fade from my mind until in a week I can’t remember them, but not this one. It was so vivid and real, I just can’t shake it.  I find that the only thing that helps is thinking about other memories that are more pleasant.  Replacing memories with memories.

Today is February 15th.  That probably has the significance to many of you as the day after Valentine’s Day.  To me it has a little more meaning as 30 years ago this is the day  I proposed to my wife. I had chickened out the night before.  But then I knew that I wanted her in my life forever and I took a brave pill.  I asked her the next day in the front seat of my old 1979 LTD.  The rest is history.  It was a great day for me.  One right now that I hold close to my mind, so I can’t see or feel the others that are not so good.

Only time will tell if this technique of using good memories of the long past will help with the memories of the recent past. I am also hoping new memories of the future will help as well.  I need some wins and some success.  I just hate times like this where everything is in autopilot and I am just walking without feeling. My heart and soul going into shutdown mode and staying numb, so I don’t feel pain. At least for now, the good memories of the past pull me out of the numb for a bit.

I suspect there will be more The Grey and The Wayfarer posts.  They will probably increase in frequency from now until the end of summer.  Mostly, I hope to remember some good things to keep out the bad, but I know me.  This is going to be a love/hate year when it comes to memories. and so The Grey will be ever present, like it or not.

Walking the Grey,

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



A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues – The Storm


Happy Moon’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

If someone were to ask what is the most difficult thing for me right now it is to be positive about my future. This is an essential element to my understanding of personal honor. The reason is that the past right now, and memories of it, are very strong.  February last year is the time when things really started to go off course and I ended up in some very stormy seas because of it, all the way to the end of summer. I unfortunately has a dream Tuesday of last week that kind of supercharged all that because there were two people in that dream that were center stage to all that. Both of which hurt me pretty badly, and both of which I now regret ever being involved with in the first place. I also have my own demons from my own actions that were not in line with what I would consider good virtue.  MY introspective moments seem to lead to the following observation.

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The real need right now is to look to the horizon and see my course. The drag on that is the storm of The Grey, memories, self battles and negative feelings about last year.  I am trying very hard to look at this as phantom storm because it is really not there; but at the same time, it is. The cold reality sometimes is that some memories never fade and some scars never completely heal. I will probably carry some of this the rest of my life.  My hope is to find a way to adapt and see past it.


Honor is the feeling of inner value and worth from which one knows that one is noble of being, and the desire to show respect for this quality when it is found in the world”

Principle – Be positive about my future

Honor.  It’s a difficult word because it very much involves looking toward the future with a positive eye.  I am doing that positive part more as a matter of discipline than feelings right now. That makes the honor thing a little shaky because I don’t feel honorable.  But honor, the real stuff is a little deeper than feelings. I need to remember that more and more.


“Courage is the bravery to do what is right always.”

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

There is some truth to the idea that on some days courage might be displayed in the fact that I get up and face the day. Getting out of bed a couple of times last week was the most courageous thing I did. Mostly though I am finally seeing that some days are just a grind and I need to just move and keep walking.


“Truth is the willingness to be honest and to say what one knows to be true and right. It is often better to not say anything at all if one cannot be honest.”

Principle – Pursue knowledge, wisdom and truth at all times.

Truth is I am at that point where things are just work.  Not the good kind of work either. It is just the day-to-day of doing what I need to do with that numbness that accompanies The Grey.  The reason I hate this is it reminds me so much of how I felt just a year ago as I would saddle up every morning on Sunday and go to preach.  I hate that feeling, but the only remedy I have found is to keep doing what needs to be done and wait for it to fade. I just don’t know how long that is going to be given the memories are pretty strong that keep stirring things up.

Higher Virtue: Love:

I have one thing that seems to light my way these days – Love.  I love my wife and I am working very hard to show that as much as possible. At the same time I fear that I am doing things purely to make up for what happened last year; out of guilt, and that is really not the kind of love I want to express.  More of a love that is new and fresh.  A new horizon kind of love.

Morning Routine:

  1. Review Nine Noble Virtues (NNV) and Principles
  2. Review Goals and Bucket List
  3. Meditation
  4. Full Body Stretch
  5. Shower and Personal Hygiene
  6. Get Dressed for the Day

Pretty good.  It is hard to develop new habits, but my best bet for doing so is in the morning. It also has been providing motivation to get up every morning; and once I am started, I don’t seem to have trouble in keeping going.

Bucket List:

  1. Go Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation.
  2. Get My Tattoos.
  3. Actually Get Drunk.
  4. Smoke a Joint.
  5. Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
  6. Write My Novel.
  7. Learn Latin.
  8. Learn Hungarian.
  9. Weightlifting – Bench 225 lbs, Squat 315 lbs, and Deadlift 405 lbs.

I need to reassess what is possible by July.  But these things could be the kind of things that pull me out of the Storm.  One victory here might be the key to having the summer not be so draining.


It is these kind of emotional moments that make me miss the gym and my iron.  The iron never is anything but what it is. I miss the consistency of it.  I really hope i find a new job soon and that it is close to a new gym.  In the meantime, I am thinking a few dumbbells and a simple folding bench might be my answer so I don’t go completely soft.

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


A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – Skill in Battle

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

When it comes to being ready for the battles of life and developing the skills I need as warrior of life, it is the Self Virtues that do this most. Discipline has obvious implications but there is also the perseverance and fidelity virtues that teach me that continuing to  strengthen my resolve and relationships leads to being a stronger and more skillful warrior of life as well.

These also are the ones that help with The Grey the most.  This had been a bad week as far as how I personally feel, probably triggered by some bad memories and a bad dream I had Tuesday night.  No, I don’t feel sad.  That’s not what depression does for me.  It just makes me feel numb.  I found this on the internet this week that describes it perfectly.

Image may contain: text that says 'People think depression is sadness. People think depression is crying. People think depression is dressing in black. But people are wrong. Depression is the constant feeling of being numb. Being numb to emotions, being numb to life. You wake up in the morning just to g0 back to bed again. HealthyPlace.com'

It is this feeling that is The Grey. But I am the Grey Wayfarer – I keep up the Discipline of walking through it. I Persevere and I close ranks with my Circle in Fidelity.  It is the only ways I have found to combat The Grey and numbness that goes with it.


“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

I do struggle with the discipline of life when I get like this.  The temptation is to just stop and exist.  But I keep getting up and doing my routines and sticking to my plan because eventually it is the thing that gets me out of it. It is the thing that develop’s the skills I need to fight it.


“Perseverance is the ability to stand up and return from defeat and failure”

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Keep walking.  I guess I can say about this week when it comes to Perseverance. I keep walking.


“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

Close ranks, stay loyal to family and philosophy and keep moving.  These are the strengths of fidelity in The Grey.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

Keeping Balance in times like these is difficult.  Love is hard because you feel nothing and Justice is hard because you are self-absorbed in times like this.  Wisdom however at items has fertile ground in these times of depression for me. You have to be careful and keep it in context becasue as I have said before The Grey makes it hard to see clearly at times, but it is the coming out of the grey clouds of depression, that usually I have a moment of insight.  A minor epiphany does happen and things get better. Balance returns and wisdom grows.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting – 4 days per week.
  2. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  3. Walking – 4 days a week
  4. Writing – 4 times a week
  5. Cheat Meal Count – Currently 1

The dropping of the cheat meal to one has really been a challenge here. I do however think I have a plan for weightlifting as I may simply purchase a few dumbbells to at least keep my muscles toned at home, until some final decisions regarding a gym can be made. This might also be helpful in times when life gets busy.

Evening Routine:

  1. Take supplements and medications.
  2. Brush and Floss Teeth
  3. Out the Door Preparation
  4. Reading – 15 min.
  5. Go to Bed

Still a challenge, I need to simply get in my head that supper time is the trigger to working through it and I will be OK I think.


This time of special nutrition has been in many ways a really good thing.  I haven’t been able to lift or walk and so it is keeping me from blowing up like a balloon.  Of course there is the thing of the stress level in my life being lower because I no longer carry the burdens of a lot of other people now that I am out of the ministry. That has had a good effect on my health as well.

Weekly Recap:

Foundational – The Foundational Virtues have been good this week.  Courage is more than a warriors virtue, it is a life virtue and having the courage this week to just get up and function has been the difference maker.

Business – I focus on what needs to be done here.  I need an overall career plan at this point and then I need to start executing it.

Self – I can’t tell you how many times the Discipline of the Routines and just my dogged determinism to not quit kept me going this week. I am glad I established these things because it is they that help me the most when depression hits.

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