54 – My Birthday and My Goals for Healthy Next Year

Happy Sif’s Day and Happy Birthday to Me!

I am Detroit Lions Fan so I in general have a respectful hatred for all things Chicago Bears. That said, when I was picking the number 54 to represent one of the best for the number of my age 54, Brian Urlacher went to the front of the class. Got to give the Devil his due. The man could Ball. Linebacker sized, fast as safety, and skilled. I was happy to see him retire so the Lions wouldn’t have to face him twice a year anymore.

So today I turn 54. I can’t lean into my early fifties anymore with that number, we are definitely middle fifties now. I have tried to turn my birthday back in but no one wants to take it. So I guess I will own it for as long as it gets mileage. My birthday has one redeeming feature, it works far better than New Year for changing my life’s course. This year My goal is to get healthy in a lot of areas.

  1. Physically I want to get back to pre-COVID. Muscled. leaned out with good strength, endurance, and flexibility. I was in the best shape of my life in March 2020 and then we all know what happened to take us all away from the gym which in retrospect was a bad thing overall. I want to look the part of the sexy over-50 man, so this is the year.
  2. Emotionally and Mentally I need to be in a better place. To that end, I want to work on getting back to being a creative educator. This may take some time. I also renewed my relationship with my therapist. I am hoping to be more disciplined and focused going forward in my life.
  3. Financial Health needs to be a focus this year. I need more income than working for the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer can provide. This involves creating some income streams outside the norm. As well as looking for better career choices.
  4. Family/Friends: I feel like communication needs to be a focus this year and given that I seem at times to be the source of my family’s anxiety. I want to change that if at all possible. I just tend to be reserved and quiet most of the time.
  5. Love: I would like if at all possible, to be in love by this time next year with a woman who makes me better. I am good being a bachelor, but I mess with having a confident, lover and partner in crime. Not going to force it, but I am looking harder for it.

Well, I have soem work to do. Hopefully tomorrow I will be starting my D&D series and then the rotation for this and a few other projects will be rolling. This year is about learning and implementing things for good personal health in a lot of areas.

I remain.

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


“Lonely Milestones” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 24

Happy Sif’s Day!


I know some of you are probably expecting Space Tramp and I do apologize for not having it this week.  I am really struggling with inspiration for writing and the issue of my muse is going to come up soon in my writing.  Its why I am trying to finish both Rogue Wizard and Space Tramp in the next couple of months because I am trying to get a completely new fantasy series going that creates a muse of sorts.  Or more concretely explores the topic of inspiration so I can find a source for it that is more consistent.

I have a few things to talk about in this edition of The Grey and The Wayfarer.   1) Some Milestones for the Blog, 2) My Loneliness and 3) A Personal Reflection on Therapy.

Blog Milestones:

Some good news upfront.  1) This blog actually past 500 posts a couple of weeks ago.  Now I can say I do have a bit of content.  2) Yesterday I hit the 100 WordPress follower mark.  I want to thank everyone for reading and following.

My Loneliness:

The Grey for the last few weeks has brought about loneliness I can’t describe other than to say that no matter what I do I can’t shake the feeling.  I don’t know if it is the realization of mortality or perhaps simply a broken heart still bleeding on the inside. I miss some people being in my life more consistently but there is the need in my heart for someone who truly gets me.

I either did have that for a few months in 2018 or thought I did and I miss it terribly. There is still a hole in my life from a relationship that is now gone and I am still dealing with it.  It’s the same observation that I have had that I long for a relationship that is intimate on a more instinctual emotional level.  But my heart is guarded by attack dogs, a wall of Trust No One and staying distant for fear of being hurt again.

I hate being INFJ where you can read other emotions on people like a book and even have my own emotions mimic theirs.  The only time I know what I am truly feeling is when I am alone and then when I try to express it verbally to others, it comes garbled or not at all because I don’t want to trouble others with my feelings. Only writing them seems to work.

The lonely wanderer is who I am and I both love and hate it. There is a wisdom to it.  There is loneliness I can’t describe to it as well.  I am glad I have a support group, a job coach and a therapist to talk me through things. But at the same time, they can’t fix my problems, I have to do that.

Therapy Reflections:

Of course, some of you are wondering at this point – ‘what about his wife?”  My wife is a wonderful person and I know she loves me and I love her.  It is just with all the changes to me and my outlook on life I am starting to feel trapped again by this marriage.  There is no common core goal for this marriage anymore and that is largely my fault because I am the one that has changed so much.  I like change – life is a journey of constant change and I embrace that and it is hard to live with someone who would rather have stability and security.  Nothin wrong with those things, they just are not me anymore.  They also are not real to me anymore.

This is why even though our relationship is much better as far as friendship and intimacy, it still leaves something to be desired from my perspective.  Once again because of my changed worldview.  My wife and I got married because we were Christians and called into the ministry and everyone told us we would be good ministry partners. We were also secretly personally guilt driven into marriage because we were having sex for months before we were married. In the mindset we were brought up in; once you fuck you better get married or you’re sinning against a holy god. There was no consideration of compatibility or common interest.  It is why some look at us and don’t get it. I at times feel that way too.

That is why in therapy the majority of focuses on what my new identity is now to deal with the loneliness question and a lot of questions on how to make this marriage work despite widely diverging values.  My wife seems content but I know I am restless.  Very restless. I don’t want to get to the point where I hate my life and marriage and all that goes with them again.  But if something doesn’t change soon, that is where I will be.  I know myself much better now and the danger is very real.

Thanks for reading all that if you did.

I remain,

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


“Blót and Sumble” (Asatru – Part 21) – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!


We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, goddesses, or whatever powers that be (if any) 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 given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Theme Song: MANEGARM – ‘Blot’

An absolutely beautiful song. English translation below.


At the hills of the kings
The trees of the gods are standing
An ash tree so proud and strong
A link to the land of the gods
A gate to ancient worlds
Made open with life
A sacrifice made with nine hanged
Whose flesh the ravens prey on
The fields that are here, bear the wounds from the years of famine
Seeds are vanishing in their path
Hear our speech
Bring our sacrifice to your table
A sacrifice to honor you, we give life
We give blood
Give us your crops
Let it the starved earth grow
Give life to the barren north
The fields that are here, bear the wounds from the years of famine
Seeds are vanishing in their path
Hear our songs
Help us to suppress the grime of Sweden
Give us wind in our sails
Cure our broken dreams
Let the tree sprout
Give new life to the root of the tree
Let the ravens eat this sacrifice
Let the ravens eat this sacrifice





See the source image

If you want more details about Asatru, I can’t recommend this book enough.


Probably the two most common things that I understand quite well because religions all have them are 1) Festivals and 2) Services. In Asatru, the words are Blót and Sumble but the concept is the same.

Blóts are festivals that involve sacrifice.  There are lots of these that either focuses on a particular deity or centered around a holiday. Blóts vary in style and elements depending on the worshipers much like any religion but there are a few common elements to all of them. 1) Preparation, 2) Focusing, 3) Invocation, 4) Offering, 5) Blessing, 6) Sharing, 7) Completion.  These elements are commonalities and I have seen them in pretty much any type of religion when it comes to the celebration fo holidays.

A sumble is more of a regular meeting for the purposes of meeting together as a group of worshipers. It is far less formal than a Blót although it can be part of a Blót.  Basically put, the master or mistress of ceremonies fills the horn with ale or mead and then announces the focus of that round of the sumble and then either gives the horn to the one taking the role of the Valkerie or just to the next person. The person drinks and then gives it to the next person or speaks with the focus of that round in mind.  This is the time for toasts, boasts, and oaths.  One tradition has the first round being the focus of praise to the gods, the second round is to remember the honored dead and the third to give oaths as an example.

Oaths are a special case because the sumble has certain responsibilities to the oath-taker.  Most notably to challenge the oath if they think it too large or difficult.  The group is responsible to make sure oaths are reasonable. They are also responsible to praise fulfilled oaths and penalize or fine oaths that fail.

I have to say that there are two things that happened this week that are of note in regard to Asatru and religion in general. In my group of former ministers turned atheist/agnostic, we spoke this week on social values of religion and how it can hold families, cultures, and societies together. part of that was the mention of holidays and services. People need some symbols and practices to note their tribe and culture and religion often fills that role. The substitute for me is Norse paganism.

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The second thing that happened was during work.  Thanksgiving I had to work and it is Black ‘Friday’s start so I was there helping with setting up and on the second half of the day checking receipts as people left the store.  During that whole time, I was wearing my Wolf Hammer (above) as it was Thor’s Day.  I received about five comments on how cool it was and two of those specifically mentioned how they appreciated other religions being represented at this time of year, one mentioning Yuletide. One guy even showed me his hammer tattoed to the top part of his chest. I never met any of these people before in my life, but the connection was there.

This illustrates the power that blóts ad sumbles undoubtedly have to build community and connection.  Something that has been missing from my life. Something I probably need to recover.  I really don’t connect with Christians that well anymore.

Parting Thought:

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I remain,

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


“Redefining Fidelity” – A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

Happy Sif’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

When you have had an affair wrestling with fidelity is an issue. You might say it has become a ‘what went wrong” issue for me. But that is not all that factors into this.  There are a lot of practical concerns not least of which is as an atheist the basis for marriage has to be practical and also involve spiritual issues from that standpoint.

Are we compatible? Are we good for each other?  Etc.  Feelings of love aside there is the simple question of ‘what is the purpose of marriage, or any other relationship for that matter if there is no god to answer to?’  When the vows you took have no basis to you anymore why do you have to be faithful and should you? It is a discussion my therapist and I are starting to have.

But fidelity is bigger than marriage and my largest problem with my definition of the virtue of fidelity is that it is taken from Asatru which assumes the existence of gods to be loyal to.  It has probably needed a rewrite for some months because of this.  Mostly this idea of gods needs to be addressed but there is also the issue of friends and being loyal to myself.


“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.

Goal: To be following a full Paleo Diet by March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April 30th, 2020 – Beltane.

I really have no problem with this definition of discipline. One might quibble about the ideas involving others in light of my new understanding of self-reliance, but leadership does require good discipline of the group you lead to be an effective leader.


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

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Goal: To engage in an exercise program that involves weightlifting, hiking/walking, and stretching/ yoga an average of three days a week from April 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: To get at least one tattoo by March 18th, 2020.

No problems.


“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s moral philosophy, to one’s family, one’s friends, and most important to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends is valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

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

Goal: Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation (achieved)

Bucket List: Discover all the countries of origin from my genetics and visit them all by March 18th, 2029.

  1. Changed gods and goddesses to moral philosophy
  2. Added freinds officially to the list of groups to be loyal to
  3. Emphasized loyalty to self.
  4. I moved things to the present tense instead of the past tense.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom:

Wisdom is found in consistency.  As a writer, I dislike plot holes, dangling side plots, etc.  In a same vein, I don’t like inconsistency in one’s viewpoint.  Hypocrisy might have an excuse in someone who believes that simply by believing in atonement their hypocrisies are forgiven and thus justified. There is no such idea in atheism.  You better have some level of pride to be an atheist and this means to have honor and being ashamed when you fail.

Rest Day Routine: 

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  3. Blogging – Organize, revise, write a new post for the next day, 15 min. work on fiction.
  4. Cleaning – varies but one room of the apartment at least.
  5. Reading – 1/7th of a book
  6. Writing – 3000 Words

Solid, it’s just when I have days off I tend to get lazy about things.

Goals and Bucket List Items Achieved (Since Summer 2018):

Goals Achieved: 5

  1. Graduated College with a BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business – December 2018
  2. Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019
  3. Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation – June 2019
  4. Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).
  5. By March 31st of 2020, to be the leader/participant in a group of some kind.

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

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


“Being a Friend of the Gods” (Asatru – Part 19) – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!


We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, 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 given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Theme Song: “A Sacrifice for the Gods” – Chulainn Music


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See the source image

If you want more details about Asatru, I can’t recommend this book enough.


The are many other Norse gods I could have continued with but I will leave the issue of which god or goddess someone venerates and why to the actual followers of Asatru as that is not my purpose in this series. The main point from a pantheon of deities is that you can find one or several that you can consider yourself friends with.  Being a friend of the gods is the main concept here not fawning worship and abject humiliation.  This is an important concept to repeat at this point because it affects the idea of what sacrifice and worship are, as compared to other religions.

It is this being a friend based on admiration and respect that differs Asatru and many other pagan forms from most of what people normally consider worship.  There is no bending the knee in supplication to the gods.  There is no begging and pleading in prayer.  Rather there is an asking to be empowered by them to achieve what one wants for themselves. There is no sin, so there is no need for forgiveness but rather a simple need to be better than one was yesterday.

You might look at this way that the Asatru virtues of Fidelity and Self-Reliance are very much a part of this concept. it is about the loyalty of friendship but at the same time painting balance with that by a desire to be independent and self-reliant.  The gods are friends not objects of fawning worship.  This is expressed in the idea that a person who follows Thor is not a worshiper of thor, but a ‘friend of Thor.”

If was a member of Asatru, I would be considered first and foremost a “Friend of Odin” but I have to admit I admire the sexy independence of Freya as well.  Which would put me in good standing in either hall I would find myself in if I died in battle.  I could nod my head to the others but it is these two I would want to be friends with even though there are dangers associated with being a friend of either of them.

Theologically speaking, it seems to me that any god that needs lordship to be a god is no god at all.  The god of the bible, for instance, is jealous and demands worship thus indicating his insecurities. The Norse gods by contrast simply are portrayed as being of power that one can be friends with.  This indicates they are quite secure in themselves and need no such blind devotion. If I still believed in any god, this is the kind of god I think I would rather have been true – one that isn’t an insecure prick but simple one that offers friendship.  Kind of reminds me of this prayer in a movie

Parting Thought:

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No Gods, No Masters

I remain,

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


“Scattered Grey Showers” -The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 21

Happy Sif’s Day

Of course in the middle of the triumph of achieving a goal, The Grey would have to make an appearance and the problem is it is not one single thing causing the issue but several scattered showers of shit I would rather not deal with; but there it is.  There have been all kinds of scattered Grey showers this week and I haven’t been able to control them all the time which has led to some sleepless nights and emotions that have been less than happy ones.

It actually started the day after I achieved my one-year blogging goal with the simple thought of – ‘yeah that’s great, but you still don’t have a better job yet.”  I hate moments like that because they seem to take all the joy of succeeding at something away from me in a second. I shell up and just exist. I need a new job it’s true, but blogging every single day without fail is an achievement,  I know and anyone who blogs knows it is. It’s just The Grey has a tendency to crop in after I have a high moment.

If this wasn’t enough, I am working one day and over the speakers, it becomes clear that they have at long last changed the loop of songs to something new.  Cool right?  Except that now twice a day it seems I hear the song I don’t want to hear.  “All of Me” by John Legend.  It’s not that I think it is a bad song, it’s damn skippy good.  It is also connected emotionally to Miss Salty in a very strong way and then the whole memories shit of that relationship comes up and I want to cry.  Yeah, 6’4″ 275 lbs. weightlifter crying at work.  So The Grey kicks in as a protective measure and I try to ignore the song.  But later catch me singing it and thinking about her. What the Fuck?  This is why I avoid this song in the first place, and now I can’t avoid it at times.

So, I finally get a day off and I go to bed the night before and I have a dream. Yeah, it’s about The Dirty Pig.  Nothing big or symbolic just him making fun of me and laughing. Him doing his thing of doing things for his own entertainment and throwing me under the bus to that end. I used to be able to control my dreams a little, but as I grow older that ability seems to be lost. I think I still have enough ability to keep the ‘night terrors’ I used to have a bay.  If they come back, that will not be good.

I wake up and then I had to get up for a bit.  Kind of alarmed my wife as it is unusual for me to let my insomnia get me out of bed. The whole extreme anger thing is high with him.  Hard to control.  But then there is my old friend/enemy – the Grey and I head back to bed and fall asleep.

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My personality type makes me emotionally intelligent.  Sometimes called ’empathic’ and it’s pretty high in me.  The curse is that strong emotions in others or in songs or from my past experiences get supercharged because of it.   The Grey has developed in me as a counter to that. When things get too negatively strong, it kicks in to keep me sane. Cool huh?  But the downside is I don’t give a shit about anyone else in those moments.  I have also noted that The Grey occurs more frequently when I am not taking care of myself as far as self-love.  Loving myself keeps the emotional balance better, but I have to really work at that as it is much more natural to help other people than myself.

The other defense is introversion, but that isn’t good for me either.  Part of self-love is receiving love and you can’t do that by yourself.  This what led to the problems of last year.  My wife was penciling me into her busy schedule and I wasn’t a priority.  The church was taking a lot out of me and not giving much back in terms of emotional support and school wasn’t the outlet for my attention like it had been.  Along comes Miss Salty who absolutely understood this and BAM – affair, breakup, getting fired, near divorce, life turned upside down.

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The problem is I am absolutely terrified of letting someone else in right now.  Miss Salty leaving me and The Dirty Pig betraying my trust and leading the other friends I had at the church to fire me have all given me current trust issues off the chart at times. I function all right with people, but let them into my life to love and be loved by them? – yeah, no thanks.  Got my family, a couple close friends and that is it.  My wife helps a lot, but we both have to work and she is extroverted so she has to get away from the apartment or she would go nuts.  That leaves me alone.

The other downside is I get along better with women than men.  Men are comrades in arms but it takes a self-confident guy to be a friend that I trust..  I always feel men are competing with me rather than trying to be a friend. If you are that insecure, yeah, I don’t like you; because I know you’re going to brag about shit in front of me and I don’t do that.  I don’t need to because I am pretty secure in my masculinity.  I don’t have to prove my manhood to anybody.  Only one other guy on the planet gets that right now and that is why we are best friends.  Most men can’t handle that so they shy away for me or our relationship is the joking sarcasm of guys doing the same job and dealing with the same shit.

So women are easier to get along with for me. You can imagine how this is a downside. Today in the western world, 1) showing a woman some attention, 2) understanding her emotions and 3) being self-confident in your own masculinity equals flirting. Like, it comes naturally to me and that has lead to being flirted with back in return more than once.  Pre-affair this was just fun and a way to play around that broke up the monotony of life.  Women made my life more bearable with this flirting with boundaries thing.

Post-affair?  You draw your own conclusions but I have some women now that it is purely professional much like I act with guys.  But my natural tendencies are still there and so subtle I don’t often realize I am doing it.  Getting close to another woman as a friend is just difficult and undesirable given recent events.

So, I am left with my one friend who lives far away who thankfully calls me every few days to check on me and my wife.  My wife and I get along and she now very much understands that you can’t just pencil me in to be my lover/friend.  I have to be much higher on the priority list than that because I am high maintenance when it comes to internal emotions.

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That’s the bitch about being INFJ.  Perfect personality my ass.  Yeah, from an external point of view, we function and don’t appear to need human interaction as much, we navigate emotional situations well outwardly and get along pretty much with anybody.  The price tag of those positives is high internal emotional costs. We pay every part of that cost ourselves for the benefits others enjoy.  No human is strong enough to take that all the time and so the trade-offs are: 1) We disappear for a while, 2) it gets to a point of overload, so we develop coping mechanisms (aka for me The Grey) or 3) Eventually we explode and do something tremendously stupid or risky.  It’s a ticking time bomb that needs to have minutes added to the clock by #1 and 2 or #3 is inevitable.

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On top of it all, today (October 5th, 2019) is the 25th anniversary of my father’s death. Yeah, that always is a grey shower no matter what I do.  I still miss him.

But I keep walking. Ravens on my shoulder and wolves at my feet. My coat and cloak pulled tight against the storm.  No rest for the weary or the wicked.  The showers will eventually end and I will be that much stronger for walking through them.

Still Walking,

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


“Music – My Meaning Between Words (or How to Know the Real Me) ” – The Skald’s Lyre



Happy Sif’s Day


It has been a while since I have discussed music and its relationship to my life.  I guess I would describe music as my meaning between words.  I don’t actually perform music but have an uncanny ability to be listening to something and feeling what the artist is feeling very strongly.  This also has to lead to sometimes shutting a song off and moving on because it is not what I actually feel, because it doesn’t resonate. When it does, then it becomes my meaning between words.

I guess the best way to show how important this is to tell you how you get to know the real me.

  1. Firstly don’t expect me to jump up and down if you meet me.  My trust level is pretty low of new people because of many painful experiences so I will speak in two languages to you at first – English and profanity (light).  Over time you might graduate to harder profanity (fuck as a root word) and sarcasm. If this offends you were are done; if not then, this means I like you. It doesn’t mean we are friends, just I like you.  If I add my fourth language – real shit, then you have become a 1st level friend.  That’s it, don’t expect a huge fanfare about it.
  2. If you want more than that, it is on you.  Sorry, introverts have friends because someone came along and adopted them as friends.  I am INFJ so understand my idealism about friendship is higher than the value I place on my relationship with my family. You want to know me better, it’s on you.  I have to see you value friendship with me enough to make some sort of effort to reach out.  Otherwise, as an introvert, I am happy to move along with my own company.  I get along great with myself.  This is the point where understanding me and friendship diverge.  They become two different things.  Friendship with me after this takes time and demonstration in action, not words.  Getting to know me is actually easier and the more you do, the more it speeds up the friendship process.
  3. To understand me completely as in my thoughts and feelings, don’t start with conversations with me, I am guarded as fuck in conversations and evasive as to my feelings and thoughts in that context.  It takes a long time for me to open up to someone in conversation. First impressions of me are often off by quite a bit because I would just as soon move on from your presence as talk to you. If you meet me don’t think you know me. Observation and conversation will get you about 15-20 percent of the real me and only the parts I allow people to see.
  4. Read what I write. INFJs pick an artistic outlet to express real thoughts and feelings and mine is writing.  This blog is right now my main expression of thoughts and feelings and a person who reads this blog will get another 40-60% of me depending on whether or not you also know me where I live.  I am pretty transparent here on The Grey Wayfarer so minimum if you live somewhere else in the world you would know about 40% of the real me by reading it.  If you know me personally and read this blog you are going to get about 60-65% of me.  The real me.
  5. Ask what music I am listening to.  This will give you an additional 10-15% because no matter what you learn from observing me and reading my writing, this fills a lot of the gaps.  There are thoughts and feelings I cannot put into words but if you listen to the music I am listening to, you will get a little more of me. that will put you at 70-80% if you know me, read what I write and listen to the music I am listening to as well. At that point, you are on the fast track to becoming a member of my very small inner circle.
  6. Getting to know the rest of me involves getting in that inner circle and that is where the friendship, and getting to know me, come back together.  Inner circle people get to actually will hear more of the real me in conversations. That’s how you know you have arrived when how I talk to you starts to sounds more like this blog. At some point, you will be at about 90%.
  7. The other ten percent requires a level of intimacy that few achieve. You have either known me for a very long time, are or were my lover at some level, or you are me. My personality is such that even with people I have considered friends all my life and even my wife I keep a few cards close to the vest. Very few get to see them. I would say only one person has gotten close to 100% and she is no longer part of my life except as a ghost.

People ask what about my wife at this point?  My wife is a good woman and loves me very much.  I love her but the struggle in our relationship is that she knows me pretty much by watching me, being my friend for a long period of time and being my lover. She is not a reader and our discussions of music involve musical taste not what we are listening to and why. This means two of the biggest avenues she could get to know me with better she does not utilize.  My personality is such that because of this I get guarded even with her because of this.  Note I am saying is mostly on me there, not her.

You would think after 30 years of marriage, I would be having open conversations with her about everything. Especially since we actually have on top of the length of the relationship, being lovers.  But my INFJ guard is up with everyone including her and that is just how I am.  Getting to know me requires effort, reading my writing and listening to my music.  Otherwise, you could probably get to 80% otherwise at most, which is where sometimes I feel my relationship with my wife is most of the time.  Recent events in the last couple of years still haunt my thoughts about our relationship making me still guarded.  I may have had an affair, but that was symptomatic of many issues that existed in our marriage before that and we are still working through them.

So you can see where music fits as not the most important thing in my life but as something that is important and helpful in understanding me.  Ity makes the difference between having a good understanding of me and a great one.


Wardruna and Aurora – ‘Helvegen’:

Disturbed – ‘Stricken’:

Five Finger Death Punch – ‘Wash It All Away’:

Three songs that resonate with me right now.  Well, the first is representative of pagan music that I listen to and there are a lot of different groups and songs there.  This is just the latest example.

I remain,

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


“A Fireplace, A Sauna, and A Skinnydip” – Rogue Wizard: The Fire of Fury – Part 13

Happy Thor’s Day

Rogue Wizard’s Journal August 27th, 2019

It’s been a week of hiding out and I think we are all going a little stir crazy. It’s late summer so we don’t have to deal with cabin fever at least.  Yet. The three of us put on more passible civilian clothes to go to town.  Amber in jean shorts and a tank top is something to see.  Unusual to not see her in that red dress.  The town trip was uneventful as the only person who actually saw us was the keeper of the small grocery store.  We bought some fresh milk and meat and some other stuff. I dropped off a magical letter in the post office.  It would only reach my daughter if I died.  Until then it was pretty much unnoticeable.

The cabin looks ordinary enough but Lunette informed me that it had some magical features.  The lights were candles and oil lamps that went on and off with the wave of a hand near them.  The fireplace required no wood but in true fairy-fashion burned magic. It might be late summer but the cabin is shielded buy tall think trees and this is the Upper Penisula or what we Michiganders call ‘true up-north’.  It was starting to get cold at night. So the fireplace was a welcome addition in the evening as the three of us would gather on the couch and talk and watch the flames.

The icebox was also magical.  There was no electric line to the place so it all was magic.  The consequence was no internet or television.  My phone sat inert and its battery quite dead at the bottom of my pack now. Better that way, no way to trace me using it.

The same was true for the sauna by the lake as it was powered by magical rocks that you threw water on to get steam, which did have to be dipped from the lake in a bucket.  There was one of those metal portable tubs hanging from the wall that we had been taking turns in getting a bath.  Well, the girls have as I can’t really fit in it, so I fill it and then sponge bath myself standing in it (with Lunette helping scrub my back) and then pour the bucket of water over my head to rinse off.  Up until three days ago, the pattern was me and Lunette going down and helping each other bathe and sauna together. Then I come up to the cabin and Amber goes down and Lunette helps her. They usually come back together, often after an hour or so.

Three nights ago it was however particularly hot for a lot of reasons.  One was the night temperature didn’t drop much and it was still late summer heat even at night.  So the whole sauna bath thing was even hotter and I was literally sweating bullet-sized drops.  Lunette being a pixie is less affected by changes in temperature but even she was feeling it I could tell.

“Let’s cool off in the lake. Skinnydip time.”

It kind of brought back memories at my uncle’s cabin when all us cousins would get in the sauna and then do skinny dip time to cool off. We were all little kids so the whole girl boy thing hadn’t really dawned on us yet.

So I saw her get up and followed her perfect naked backside out into the lake and jumped out into it with her.  Soon we were waist-deep. The lake wasn’t dirty at all, in fact, I remarked how clear it was to Lunette and she said her family owned the whole thing.  They called it Mysterious Clear Lake.  But in truth, you will not see it on the map.  Her family had used their abilities of illusion and suggestion to basically make it disappear.  So you could see the sand even in deep water below you and when it was calm it was like a mirror. Tonight the moon was shinning out on it and it was wonderful.  I took Lunette in my arms after splashing each other for a bit.  I kissed her.  After a few seconds though we were interrupted.  It was Amber clearing her throat.

“You two mind if I join you?”

Before I could speak, Lunette said no we didn’t.

“Oh, thanks.  It’s pretty hot in the cabin.”

I was about to speak when Lunette pulled me close and whispered in my ear.

“It’s OK.  Were all adults here and I would like to know where she stands with you. Her being naked means she doesn’t have anything up her sleeve.  Gods Ed, I am still a pixie about this, I don’t own your sexuality.”

I nodded, but my eyes had not left Amber.  She kicked offer sandals and pulled her tank top up over her head.  She undid her bra and dropped it into a pile with her shirt and sandals.  She then unbuttoned her shorts and in one motion dropped them and her panties down to her ankles and then stepped out.  Looking at the front of her, I now knew she was truly a redhead.

‘There, fully disrobed, well except for my tattoo.”

I didn’t have to ask as she turned around and showed us.  Well me, because Lunette had probably seen it before.  It was a tramp stamp but it was flames of red, orange and yellow all mixed beautifully together.  The flames actually moved a bit like they were real.

“Is it magical?”, I asked.

“Oh, yes.  It augments my flame powers.”

Then bold a brass she strode down into the water up to her waist as well.

” I got it from an alchemist tattoo artist who specializes in that sort of thing.”

“Is that common.  I have been thinking about that as well.”

“Yes.  There are quite a few now that tattoos are less taboo with mundanes.  It has the advantage of being a talisman that can’t be removed.  You are pretty powerful already. I am not sure what a tattoo augment would do to your powers.”

I caught myself staring at Amber and then turned to Lunette who was smiling a wry smile.  She leaned over again and whispered.

“You know I think you are part nymph yourself. You need to focus and find out where her loyalties lie.  She is no longer your bodyguard now, so why is she with us still?”

I nodded.

“You know Amber, you don’t have to stay with me anymore.  You are not under orders to guard me anymore?”

“I know.  I could just join the underground and fight, but I feel in a way my place is still with you.  You have a tendency to draw trouble and end up in awkward and tense situations.”

“Yeah, like skinny dipping with two beautiful women.”

This time both women laughed.

I sighed and looked back and forth between the two of them they were both alternating between looking at me and each other.  Then it hit me.

“You girls are up to something. I have been set up haven’t I?”

“I told you, Amber.  He is pretty quick on the uptake when it is staring right at him.”

Amber shrugged then spoke.

“Ed, I have been your bodyguard now for some time.  I have come to care about you in that time like no one else except maybe Lunette.  Things have changed, you are right but something has been building for a while now inside me toward the both of you.  I can only describe it as affection, maybe the beginnings of love. I know my place is with both of you.”

“Ok, this is truly awkward and tense.  Are you saying you love both of us?”, I asked.

“Yes.  I have already expressed this to Lunette.  As a Pixie, I knew she would understand but we both worried about you.”

“Yeah, how you would react, Edward.  I know you just finished mourning your wife nad our relationship is still new.  You have a hard time with this heart stuff, I know. But Amber is still with us because she loves us.  No other reason than she is in love with both of us and doesn’t know any way to express it other than protect us.”

I sighed, “Well, leave it to the women in my life to complicate things. I don’t even know what to think right now. I really am a little more fae in my understandings of these issues now, but it is still all very new to me.”

Lunette spoke, “Edward, we thought about that too.  We don’t want you to rush things.  I know you wouldn’t have that type of relationship or sex with any woman you didn’t have some feeling of love for and my guess is that; true to you; the relationship between you and her has, up until now, been a professional one. She and I want that to change.”

“You both do?”

Lunette sighed, “Yes.  We have been talking.  Edward when you got back with me you said you understood what I was and what that might entail in our relationship.  I am a fae and sexual fidelity is not in the cards and you said that was OK.  That it didn’t affect our loyalty to each other because you knew how I am. Well, you should know that I find it as easy to cuddle up to a girl as a boy. I’m bisexual. Amber and I have…”

“Been getting cuddly.  I see. Ok. I am good with that.  I said I would be and so there it is.  But I am not sure about me and Amber.”

“We know Edward.  That’s why Amber and I felt you should be told this way and then gradually be brought into it. For starters, we want to stop the separate bathing times and bathe and sauna together.  Skinnydip too. It would just be good if we can dress, undress and be naked in each other’s presence without inhibition.  The cabin is just too small for any real privacy anyway. It will lead to more conversation and emotional intimacy if nothing else. There is also a practical concern.”

“Yeah, I know.  When we bathe and sauna separately the one person alone is vulnerable.  We should try to be together as much as possible. Ok. I will go along with this.  I guess we will see how it goes.”

For the last three days, we have been doing the fireplace, sauna and skinnydipping together.  Amber is a redhead and fire mage, but definitely, not a hothead and her passion I can feel is that quiet kind.  I can see her and Lunette sleeping right now from the table where I am writing this journal out by hand. I slept alone last night and let them have a night together. They are both beautiful women both outside and in. While I am still not completely sure about this, I am willing to stay open-minded. After all, life may be very short for us and we need to enjoy as much as we can while it lasts.

Author’s Notes: 

I suppose I have to say that any similarities to the characters and events in this story are purely coincidental with the exception of yours truly. I have to say that because for some reason during The Hedge Wizard of Redburg some people actually thought I was relaying all true stories.  Most of the time I was not.   

When I write fiction of any type I like to push social mores. Hell. I like to slap them in the face, knock them on their ass, and then kick them when their down. The context of this story is that we have a male wizard, a female wizard, and a female pixie.  The two mages already push the social boundaries of this imaginary world by being mages.  A little nudism and sex outside the lines are not going to phase them.  Especially since I have established in past canon (now deleted) that nudity and sometimes sex is necessary for some magic to even work or take place.

Lunette is even further off the chain when it regards sexuality and nudity.  As a fae, she is immune to disease including STDs.  In addition, she cannot get pregnant except with another fae and only if she wishes it. I ask you what kind of social mores about sex would you expect if this was the case in fae society?  None – pretty much other than perhaps incest being taboo, maybe not even that given the fae are also not subject to genetic disease either. The faerie spends more time naked than clothed when among their own kind as well. Needless to say, each faerie and pixie has probably seen a lions share of boobs, asses, and penises regardless of their own sex. Nudity does not phase them. 

In this story, Edward is hunted, a widower and pretty much looks at sex and nudity like a fae, with reasonable precautions relating to human beings.  He can get another female human pregnant without protection and STDs are real things.  But not with Lunette and Amber has a few magical tricks up her sleeve (when she is wearing clothes) regarding her own feminine issues. Edward is very well aware at this time every day could be his last so yeah, he is looking for any bright spot in that situation.    

I am simply extrapolating what would happen in this context given all the above. There is no reality here and I am not relating any real event that happened in my life at all. In real life, I am married and have been (since my wife and I’s reconciliation) faithful to her.  I want that understood before the gossip hounds go off relating this story to everyone.

Yes, I know from my stats on both my Facebook page and here that traffic indicates some people from my former congregation probably still check me out. Oddly enough, I never lost a follower on my author Facebook page last year, but I did lose a lot of facebook friends on my personal page.  Some of you are waiting to run off and tell my wife some story so you can be ‘right’ about me and warn her what an awful person I am.  I am going to say this with all the love in my heart I can muster for you – Go fuck yourself.   

I remain,

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


“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.


“Self-Love – The Essential Ingredient for Happiness” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Love

Happy Mani’s Day


Just a reminder that Of Wolves and Ravens will be the second post on Mani’s Day from now on instead of on Tyr’s Day.

The last time I wrote on the virtue of Love, I engaged the topic of love based on Robert Heinlein’s definition which is love is mutually essential happiness.  I still hold with that which is why turning this idea of mutual essential happiness toward the idea of self-love is personally difficult.  Because it basically amounts to the simple fact that if you do not view loving yourself as essential then you will never be happy even if you love someone else and they in return love you.

I know this from painful experience as my lack of self-love led to a lot of problems with loving others.  It creates an imbalance NOT because self-love is at one end of the scale and loving others at the other end of the scale.  It is actually that self-love is the central fulcrum point on which all other loves are balanced and if the fulcrum isn’t solid the rest will collapse.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

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

Needs (Geri):

I hope that the above understanding of self-love demonstrates the need we all have for it.  For me, this revelation showed why things went bad and why they also went so bad once they did.  This is the difference,  When your self-love is good, then you consider your love for others as trying to balance all the rest but the central love of self will not be sacrificed while doing it.

When you don’t have that, you are like a juggler that keeps taking on another object to juggle and never considers if they can handle another one. There is no self to maintain so you just keep loving others more and more until it flips to self-loathing and then you focus on that and forget you are juggling. You can’t keep all the balls in the air at that point and they start to fall until you just say ‘fuck it’ and sit down letting them crash all around you and you don’t care anymore.  That’s what happened to me.

Wants (Freki):

This is why I personally spend a lot of time thinking about how to love myself.  Loving others comes naturally to me; loving myself is work but essential work I want to do.  Taking the time to ask the simple question of ‘If I take on loving this person, will it help me love myself or hinder me loving myself? Is this love a benefit or a burden too great for me to carry?” When things are balanced, you are not juggling, but carefully considering if things between yourself and the others you love are balanced on self-love.

Reason (Huginn):

Rationally there is also the fact that loving others and finding that person whose happiness is essential to your own keeps you from narcism.  Loving yourself at the expense of all others needs to be guarded against.  Narcism is probably the basis of all evil shit in the world. Loving others is rationally necessary to keep yourself from that path, but it has to be balanced on the fulcrum of the love of self.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Balancing the love we have for others while maintaining the central fulcrum of the love of self is the issue here. We need both to be happy.  Whenever I feel unhappy, I realize now either something is out of balance or my love for self has slipped.


Going back through all my discussions on love, I have to get back to the beginning idea that Love is the combination of Courage, Honor, and Truth.  Love takes these and combines them into a very powerful force.  A force that leads us to be happy in this world and that happiness’ essential ingredient is self-love that allows us to keep all our other loves balanced.  It is this understanding of love that now guides me and so far the only issues it raises is about whether certain relationships are essential to my happiness. The most essential of these is the one with myself.

I remain,

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