“Year Ago Retrospect (Part 1) – The Breakup” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 16

Happy Saturn’s Day

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

Year Ago Retrospect will thave three parts:  The Breakup, The Church Nonsense, and Marriage.  I will also write a conclusion post on Frigg and Freya’s Day that is a message to a few people who I no longer have any other avenue to say something to if they read this series and hopefully some final direction for myself.  I am hoping these posts and writing about the events in them will give me some clarity of what to do now that it has been a year.  I knew The Grey would be strong this week, but so far it has been almost overwhelming so…

These will take the place of my normal journal posts this week because in a very real sense they are me journaling my feelings.  Today –  The Breakup.  Moon’s Day – The Church Nonsense.  Wooden’s Day – My Marriage. Frigg and Freya’s Day – Conclusion.  I apologize for any hard or difficult feelings this may cause. I have no doubt that this will cause some.

That said, I feel if I don’t do this, I am going to lose it with memories so strong right now.  The feelings they are causing are so difficult it is hard to keep it together. I need to write about this.  Why? Because it is time to get this out of my system because it is affecting me negatively.  Writing as therapy.  One other thing – please wait to read all the posts before passing complete judgment on me.  Here we go.

A year ago yesterday, my affair with Miss Salty ended with her breaking up with me and then pretty much blocking me on every social media avenue leaving me pretty much alone, lonely and bleeding from my soul. It has now been a year since I have had any sort of contact with her. Life in the Grey has been very difficult ever since.

To understand why this was so, I have to go back a some months before that, so today as a matter of therapeutic writing and to set my side of the story straight as far as I see it, I am going to recount the events of this relationship from roughy January of 2018 to the breakup and a little beyond.  I want to then end with the implications for me today, now that it is a year later.

It is hard to think of this but in January 2018 I was a respected minister of a small church.  That said I was struggling with my faith and had been in that state for several years.  My theological objections to Christianity were there and I was finding no answers and the fact that I was making a living doing something that was based on a faith I no longer had didn’t help my psyche. It was causing quite a crisis of conscience.  I was trying to preach my way back to faith, and it wasn’t working. Then my organist died.

This was significant because it marked the end of an era for my church.  Our pianist had died a couple years before and my main singer had died just a few months before the organist. With my long-time organist dead, there was nothing left in the music realm that I had started with nine years before.  We were also fairly good friends. I liked Jim and understood him and respected him.  I was grieving about it but no one was asking me how I was.

That is the peril of the modern ministry, you look after everyone else but no one looks after you. Into my grief walked Miss Salty. She had been a part of my church since October of 2017 when she left her home because it was an abusive environment. I had befriended her and was trying to counsel her through some issues.  When she saw my grief and depression she recognized it right away and asked me several times how I was doing.  It was honest and genuine and she really wanted to know. She was the only one asking me this genuinely.

At this time, it kind of took our friendship up a notch.  We began to talk a lot and I soon was very amazed at how open I was with her.  The more I got to know her, and she got to know me, the easier it was to talk to her.  I have never had a person get me so quickly and understand me so well that I have been that transparent.  Not even my wife.

I never believed in a soul mate before.  I always looked at relationships with people as something you had to work at because none of them were perfect. But my relationship with Miss Salty began to challenge that notion.  My own marriage at the time was hostile with that kind of passive aggression that makes things mostly unbearable. I had been going to school for three years by this time and my basic plan was to finish my degree, find a new job and then very seriously consider divorcing my wife because it wasn’t working.  If Miss Salty had not come along, I would probably have continued at the church and be finishing the divorce part of the plan right now.

I started to see Miss Salty not just as a friend but a confidant. She kept my secrets and me hers. Looking back my feelings of romantic love started in about late February 2018, a month after her 18th birthday.  I know what people think at this point, so let me stress this, her age didn’t factor in other than had she been under age my responses to some of the events that followed would have been different. I have far too much desire to keep my own freedom to break the law.

She was from the time my feelings started until the end of our affair a legal adult and I am very certain she had the capacity to understand what she was doing. She is smart and has enough life experience to know what people understand is right and wrong.  Our relationship started as a friendship and a damn good one.  The circumstances and our choices that followed led to what happened.  Two people in pain, drawing comfort from one another is how this started. Nothing more and nothing less.

I want to shorten this part of the story, but suffice it to say from February until late May my feelings of love grew for her.  I kept them to myself. I have never been good at starting romantic relationships.  According to her, she started feeling the same in late March.  She was going through a tough time then and I reached out to her and then as April and May went along we grew very close.  I went to her graduation and the day after she flat out asked me if I loved her. I wish she had never asked because I have this thing with telling the truth.

I said yes because it was true. It lasted a week before it came unglued in that neither one of us could take the pressure of trying to keep up the lies to cover this up. She told her aunt and I told my wife. My wife left and we separated. Two days later I was feeling I was going to go down hard, so I deliberately pushed her away to protect her from the fallout. She was smart enough to figure it out and a week later reached out to me saying she wanted to try again.

That week had some other shenanigans I need to talk about because they factor into the breakup later.  On that Monday I handed my original resignation to the church moderator (from now on referred to in these posts as The Dirty Pig) for him to read to the church. The Dirty Pig tried to lecture me; which rubbed me wrong, but he had been a friend for a long time, so I trusted him and handed him my church-key.  The day after Miss Salty and I split the first time he called me and asked me to change my resignation by removing the one sentence that confessed what I had done.

His reasons were that he didn’t want to start gossip in the church at that time and that he didn’t want to drag Miss Salty into this. In retrospect, he read me pretty well.  He knew I still genuinely loved my congregation and Miss Salty and he used both those things. He knew I trusted him and he used that against me as well.  I turned my revised resignation into him on Friday and probably within a half-hour, based on something Miss Salty told me, but she didn’t realize it was a clue to me figuring this out, the Dirty Pig calls her up and asks permission to tell the story. Miss Salty and I were not talking at the time because we had broken up, or The Dirty Pig would have never been able to pull what he did next off.

He reads my resignation and then tells the whole story. My revised resignation didn’t have a confession line anymore, so the whole thing made it look like I was hiding something.  I had planned on showing up the next Sunday to explain the situation myself,  but as I got the report of what happened, I knew that was no longer possible without causing the congregation some major pain.

I am going to stay with Miss Salty here and talk about the church thing in more detail later in my second post.  I have three things that cause The Grey Storm from this time period. The other two besides the breakup are the church issue and my marriage.  But the foremost is the breakup with Miss Salty.

We would date two more times. The second time was truly “let’s try this out”.  She broke up with me on the day I was returning from my friend’s house in Houston, TX in late June. She never gave me a reason that time, but I wrote about it on my blog at the time, because this time I wasn’t going to just suffer in silence.  She cut me off, but not completely as she kept one social media avenue open.

It was through this avenue that we restarted our friendship because both of us missed that.  The problem was staying just friends.  It was soon friends with benefits. Not the actual physical kind as this entire time we were separated by about 40 miles of distance with neither one of us having a transportation method to see each other.  Things might have turned out very differently if we had possessed this.  The one thing I expressed early on is that I loved her and I knew I couldn’t remain just friends. After a couple days she sends me a short video expressing that she still loved me too.

In late July, she did something I didn’t expect.  She asked me to marry her.  I haven’t mentioned this to anyone but my wife and our counselor until now. At least I don’t think I have, but it is probably time to do so. I said yes. A little untraditional but I was happy to accept because I was very much in love with her.  For the days leading up to the last breakup, I was never happier.  I have never felt like that before or since.  I finally got a job interview and things were looking up.

August 2nd, 2018 is a day I will not probably ever forget.   I got up and everything was normal in the sense that Miss Salty and I were loving and she even gave me a pep talk for my interview. I borrowed my mom’s car feeling on top of the world and I nailed the interview and got offered a job.  I felt great, better than I had in years.  I was finally taking the first steps to all that I wanted at the time.  On the way home, she texts me that we need to talk.  I knew something was wrong because the usual “I love you” was missing.

I had written on the subject of the Dirty Pig’s involvement in my firing and what I had ultimately discovered above a week before this on The Rabyd Microphone.  Miss Salty finally got to read it that day and she was upset.  I think she thought I was lying about some of it, but I wasn’t.  The hammer dropped.  We had talked the day before about her drama class and how she was a good actress, and I mentioned I would have liked to see that. That moment she told me that I already had seen her act.  That some of the things she had been doing with me were an act.  I told her I didn’t believe her and started to cry.  The conversation was one of me asking ‘why?’ through my tears and her going through a lot of reasons that didn’t make sense to me and still don’t.  I guess in retrospect I am just a stupid old man that fell in love with the wrong woman.

The problem for me now is I still have more questions than answers.  I don’t know whether she was genuine or not.  I know the next day she got high and drunk.  That is the actions of someone in love trying to forget it.  I know I cried for the next few days and felt very close to losing it. Like my sanity.  I suppose the spirit that would become The Grey Wayfarer was born at this time, and it kept me sane.  It also probably helped that a few days later on Facebook she had posted a picture of her holding hands with someone else.

The questions remain: 1) Did she love me or was it truly an act? 2) Is it possible that I loved her but she didn’t love me back?  She sure fooled me if that is the case.  3) What does this say about me now? 4) Will this scar in my heart ever heal?  Probably not completely.

It has been a year; I still struggle with this.  I suppose it is a testimony to the fact my love was genuine toward her and that makes me feel somewhat decent about the whole thing. I wasn’t acting or lying that was for sure.  I wrote once that maybe she was the smart one and did what needed to be done so neither of us would face the ire of our respective families. It would have been a hard relationship for those we love. But to be with one’s soul mate?  Maybe she was to me, but I wasn’t to her. I don’t know and it is this ignorance that haunts my thoughts.

All I know is my personality is such that I never truly fall out of love with any woman I have loved.  I just don’t seem to have the capacity to completely kill that love or even be angry at that woman.  Even with my wife, I never wished her ill or was angry enough to harm her.  It was this love for my wife, as small as it was that lead me to reach out to try to reconcile. But that is the story for another The Grey and The Wayfarer.  Until then maybe some of you that have taken the time to read all this can offer me some wisdom as to how to deal with my pain over this. I don’t believe time heals everything, I think this is one thing that will remain with me for the rest of my life.  But is there a better way to cope?

Yes. I know I am an idiot. But it is something I struggle with.  Miss Salty gave me a couple final instructions: 1) To try to find someone else and 2) focus on my writing.  In the end, the second one has led to this blog: The Grey Wayfarer. But, it also means that the memory of her haunts my steps every time I write.  I have lost something and I wander to find it and wonder if I ever will.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Hospitable Like Frigg” – A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues

Happy Wooden’s (Odin’s) Day

Journal Entry:

Of all the Norse Goddesses, there is none more revered and honored than Frigg.  Freya has her place, but she is more of the party girl/warrior whose motto seems very much to be “if you can’t lay ’em, slay ’em”.  Frigg, by contrast, is close to hearth and home.  She is the living image of the household matriarch who rules her realms with a firm but loving hand. You don’t really think of her as a war goddess like you do with Freya, but that doesn’t mean that sometimes she doesn’t pick up sword and spear to defend hearth and home.

Hospitality is about taking some of your abundance achieved through Self-Reliance and Industriousness and using it to provide a means of refuge.  I say means of refuge rather than a home because in modern times followers of Asatru have had to find new ways of expressing hospitality. Finding ways to be a sharing person is not only in some ways more challenging given our more internet-based culture, but there are different ways to do it thanks to the same technology.

Frigg reminds me of all the women and a few men in my life who when I came over to their houses and crossed their threshold, I found myself feeling right at home.  not because they always had a lot, but simply because they were willing to share with me a relative stranger as if I was family. A lost a dying art if you ask me. One that I hope to revive in my own life.

Self-Reliance:

“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: To achieve and maintain personal independence and advocate for independence in my family, state and nation.

Goal:  Find a new, better paying job by September 2019.

Bucket List: To own and run my own successful business or company by March 2029.

Still engaged in a very active job search thee days.  I just am now pretty open to the location of where I might end up.  I was accused of being picky, but that is not so much true as it is probably more difficult at my age to switch careers than anything else.  I do have a little time to be picky but mostly it is the ‘thanks for considering this position, we will get back to you” followed by a silence that is the most common thing.

Industriousness:

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

Principle: Work with the enjoyment of work itself.

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

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

My novel is something I would enjoy reading and for the first time, I think I am on to something here. With all the epic, end of the world scenario, fantasy tales out there, it is nice to just have a group of friends on a simple adventure.

Hospitality:

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

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

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

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

As I look at my bucket list item and goal here, I see that the main goal is simply to create a place where people can be hospitable and enjoy the hospitality I could provide. Life needs more of these places and I simply want my home to be one.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

I was reflecting on justice and mercy the other day.  I do wrestle with some of the people that wronged me.  Don’t get me wrong I have hurt people myself as far as people’s feelings, but my intentions have never been violent nor did I have a desire to take what isn’t mine to take. That was not reciprocated and mostly I have come to dislike people that use their illusion of respectability others have of them to do some dirty underhanded things, and then justify it because of the ends. For these people, forgiveness doesn’t enter the equation as I consider them.  Justice, however, does.

Work 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. Weightlifting: Gym time – 1 hour after work.
  5. Writing: Half-Hour on top of the blogging routine each day. Alternate between Non-Fiction Book and Novel.
  6. Language Study: A half-hour on Latin
  7. Personal Business: record financial transactions, savings plan actions, budgeting, appointments, other actions, etc.
  8. Check Communications and Email after 2 pm but before 4 pm.
  9. Nutrition: Daily Carb Count – 2

Working the workday is interesting but difficult. I hope this gets easier as the memories of last summer start to fade.  If they fade.

Still walking,

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

Skaal!!!

“A Deadly Grey Storm” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and the Wayfarer – Part 13

Happy Saturn’s Day

Hmm.  Lucky 13?

I haven’t done a warning/disclaimer on one of these posts in a while and this one will probably need one.  I am going to be very open here emotionally and if you don’t want to be inside that storm of mine known as depression (aka The Grey) just don’t read any further.  My purpose here is mostly to sort out my own emotions. For some reason that works better when I know I am going to publish them publically and always has.  I don’t get it either, but trust me, I know the difference between this and private journal entries and it is night and day as far as honesty.  I really lie to myself when it’s private.

I have been having a real battle with The Grey these days.  A real fucking storm that feels as deadly as a lightning bolt for my psyche.  It started as soon as the week that transitions from June to July and it all as to do with memories. But I now am beginning to realize that it is also about this continued struggle between my own happiness and trying to make others happy.

The questions continue: How much of my own happiness do I need to give up in order for others to be happy? At what point will I cross that line again where I become fucking miserable and feel trapped? In feeling trapped, at what point do I fucking lose it again?  Can I keep the animal inside, the monster caged? Do I even want to keep him caged?

There is still a hole that got ripped into my life last summer that none of the events of this last year have filled. A scar that still bleeds inside no matter how much I try to forget and move on. The doom of grey clouds that swirl while they are tapping into that hole in my heart is sometimes overwhelming, and I don’t know why. Why can’t I get over this?  Why do I still think of her and what happened? Why do I still revisit the pain of this over and over again?  A real pain in my soul.  Most of the time I use it as fuel for a lot of things.  ‘Pain as Fuel’ is a theme of mine, but there are times it hurts too bad.

The pain of the loss of friendship dots the landscape too.  The betrayal that revealed a man who was never my friend but a silent hater and took the opportunity to do all he could to destroy me when I made my mistake. Why do I keep this letter from my church that is so painful to me?  Sometimes it motivates me, but other times it just makes me angry and sad.  Some days all I really want is one free shot at a man who is as false as a three dollar bill and whose friendship is half as valuable.  Who most people in the church think is wonderful, but now I see the truth of his hypocrisy and narcissism. The image of him lying bleeding and broken makes me smile and then I get worried about that image even being in my head.

Emotions are strong and run the gambit from anger…no check that…fury to deep sadness to shame and back again.  My insomnia runs deep sometimes because the dreams and nightmares are back and they hurt to have them.  So some nights I don’t sleep well at all and other nights not at all. I knew it would be bad but this much more than I expected.  Why am I trying to simply get a mere five minutes of peace of mind at least once a day?

Religion was no help before and it still isn’t.  Worthless is my old faith.  No amount of believing in fairy tales and imaginary friends helps anymore.  I know it is up to me and that’ the bottom line.

Sometimes the Nine Noble Virtues help but sometimes they are the problem as I try to apply them:

  1. Fidelity – I am trying to be loyal to some of my loyal relationships but at the same time be loyal to myself and I find that it is getting harder not easier. I have given up a lot of what I want in order to stay true to others.  One relationship, in particular, seems neglected – the one to myself.  It is starting to become apparent to me that I have given up some loyalty to myself to maintain the others. Are my loyalties simply contradictory by nature and that is the problem?
  2. Courage – I need freedom like water to a dying man in a desert. But, I lack the courage sometimes to board the ship.  The storm is great right now, so motivation and courage are at best difficult.  But is it an act of courage that is needed where I face the truth, board the ship in the bad weather and sail anyway?
  3. Truth – why is it so much easier to write my feelings like this than say them? Is the answer obvious but I don’t want to take that path because others would be unhappy if I did?
  4. Honor – Some days I would give a lot for the simple feeling that I have some value to myself.  Last year at this time I had that and then it was suddenly yanked away.  It has been a hard haul every since with honor.
  5. Perseverance – I keep getting up, but I wonder why.  What is the point?
  6. Discipline – Have I disciplined myself enough before the storm to ride it out? Is staying disciplined the way out?

Lots of questions here, not a lot of answers.

The Grey Storm is great and my only real fear at this point is that I won’t see the fork in the road I need to take to get out of it. Or, that I won’t last to see the end of it.  I know something will take me out in the end.  I just am not sure what it will be, but I will never stop trying if not for any other purpose that I want to give Death the middle finger as I pass her in the rain.  Not today bitch.

It all adds up to one big Grey Storm that I am trying to navigate.  Spear in hand; Ravens at the shoulders: Wolves at my feet. Hoping it ends soon because I need to see the path and take the right steps.

If you have read this, thanks for taking the time for reading the ramblings of a tired old wanderer.  I just want to be happy again and all this dwelling on the past undercuts that.  I would like to get past it, but it has never been easy for me to do so.  Relationships leave an indelible mark on my soul because of who I am and it just isn’t that easy for me. Even when I do the INFJ door slam, it takes a lot to get there.  My heart is easily bruised and damaged and part of that damage is the mark people leave behind that I can’t shake.

Well time to end this for now.  I strongly suspect there will be another The Grey and The Wayfarer very soon as the saga of my journey will continue and right now it is pretty dramatic.

Still Walking,

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

Skaal!!!

“Moving from Religious Slavery to Rational Freedom” – Odin’s Eye – Deism

Happy Thor’s Day

Discussion:

I remember as a pastor helping people through so-called tests of faith.  Now as a more deistic person in search of a rational divinity, I would say that it wasn’t so much a test of faith, but a person running into legitimate problems with their religion and their rational mind trying to get them to see that.  A lot of the times this doubt of ones religion is interpreted as doubt in one’s faith and that is only partially correct.  Regardless it is not a bad thing, but rather our own mind trying to help us see that we have bought into a pack of lies.

Religion doesn’t seem to have very many positive purposes.  It is used to control and manipulates through fear or by creating imaginary concepts that are passed off as read to change people’s thinking and thus their behavior. Occasionally a religion might talk about virtue or character that human beings should have or exercise and in that regard religion might do something positive.

For myself, this transition into being a deistic humanist with pagan tendencies is about firstly a search to see if a rational god can be found.  Secondly, I am trying to throw off the trappings of religion to embrace a more spiritual and practical philosophy of living my life. I work to be spiritually attuned to the world around me but rationally grounded.  Mostly though I seek to be free of religion’s negative effects and thus freer.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

Faith:

I have faith that there is something beyond ourselves.  We talk of romantic love for another person but there is no rational reason to believe it is anything more than hormones being exchanged.  Yet, there we are talking and very much believing we fall in love, that making love is more than just hedonistic pleasure for the purpose of procreation, etc. Concepts such as beauty and friendship fall into this category as well, there is more to human senses that the five senses and more to determine what is true and real other than the rational mind. I have faith that this is so still.

Religion:

I avoid religion as much as possible. I find people who are religious to be inherently self-righteous as much of religion centers on “we have found the truth about the divine”.  It is this belief that leads people to think they have arrived in some place that is superior to others whether they openly say so or not. They find themselves looking at others either as poor wretches who still need to find ‘the truth’ or ‘sinner in the hands of an angry god’.  There are inherent condescension and hubris to any religious belief.

Theology:

My theology as a deist pretty much does not have a divine entity or entities that intervene in human affairs. I won’t say that I don’t believe miracles are possible as even Einstien conceded in his probability based universe, all things are possible no matter how unlikely.  I have just seen too much as a Pentecostal believer to believe miracles are as common as they say.  I have seen a tremendous amount of con artist fraud and sleight of hand magician’s tricks to buy that it happens. I don’t fall into the deist problem of believing in the larger miracle of creation and not believing smaller things called miracles can’t happen, but I also have found that most miracles have a rational explanation and usually it is some form of deception followed by a large amount of confirmation bias.

Spirituality:

I would consider myself no longer religious but spiritual.  My rational mind is part of that spiritually.  I just think there is more to mankind that a computer lodged in the head of a biochemical body. If there is any spiritual practice that has changed for me is I don’t spend a lot of time praying, if at all.  I realized that people when they get a result they wanted often cite that as proof prayer works.  I challenge such people to rationally do an experiment for a bit.  Keep a record of everything you pray about and be absolutely honest about how all of the things on that list are ‘answered’ I know when I did this about 20% of the things I was praying for came about.  80% either didn’t happen at all or things went a completely different way from how I was praying.

No, I spend more time thinking and meditating on things to understand them these days rather than praying.  I find it leads to far more freedom of thought and a better way to navigate through life’s challenges.

Conclusion:

I became a diest because of ignorance.  I think the human race simply does not know enough to dismiss the possibility of the divine. What I also am fairly sure of is that most religions are irrational and are basically attempts to either fool people or control their thoughts and behaviors using appeal to divine authority to do so.  I search for a rational divine, not one which is defined by others through religion.  It has been a very liberating choice.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“The Last Sermon” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and the Wayfarer – Part 11

Happy Moon’s Day

One year ago today (May 27th, 2018), I preached my last sermon as a Christian pastor. When people ask me how I am doing, I am doing as well as can be expected, given the time of year and the memories involved with it. Part of that is leaving the identity behind of ‘pastor’.  This week is dotted with a lot of emotions, but leaving the ministry behind for good was bittersweet and it speaks to me of waste.  The thought that I have wasted 20 years of my life crosses my mind a lot.

My last sermon couldn’t have been more ironic. I was in an affair preaching on adultery from the ten commandments. My basic message was that if Jesus’ words on adultery were the facts, then we have all failed and we just need to cling to grace because that is all we got. No one is going to make it if the standard is not lusting.  No one could meet that standard.

Emotionally this was my most difficult sermon ever. I just wanted the service to end and go home. Neither my flame at the time or my wife was there and I felt alone and just sick of being a pastor and all of it. I went home, the woman I was having an affair with told her aunt about it.  I told my wife and the rest is a painful history.

I wouldn’t have minded so much but when it came to my last church, the message of grace seemed completely lost, even though I had been preaching it for nine and a half years to them. Lots of wasted words from my point of view. The man I entrusted my resignation to engaged in a plan to basically make things to be much worse than they really were.

For the record once again, I have never actually had sex with the woman I had an affair with, in fact ever.  At the time of my resignation, it had barely graduated beyond “I love you” and holding hands at a prayer meeting that looked normal to everyone else.  People made this to be much more than it was and that hurt too.  Because the man in charge let it happen on purpose. He told me he didn’t want gossip to spread through the church which is very sensible. He also told me he didn’t want to drag the woman into it either to protect her, something that was my concern as well. But once he had my resignation I had revised removing that confession line at his request, he called the woman up within probably minutes of me giving it to him and asked her permission to tell the story.

In the week’s that followed he did everything possible to make sure that gossip and rumor were exactly what happened. He deliberately dragged the woman into it (made possible by the fact we had broken up at the time and we were not talking to each other)  to do this and used her to get to me. I looked like I was hiding something, which I wasn’t. He looked like the hero so he could feed that ego and hero complex of his. He used it in the following weeks to paint a picture of me as a monster, the woman as a victim and him as the white knight that was here to bring the monster down. What a load of bullshit he piled up. All of it. 

In the end, he used the emotional hurt and anger of the congregation to get me fired and no severance given. I was never informed of anything that was going on officially until it was all over. The whole process was done without me being asked to speak on my own behalf one time.  ‘Grace’ and ‘Mercy’ at their finest.  That’s sarcasm if you can’t tell.  Bitter Sarcasm.   

I have forgiven the congregation for this.  They were misinformed and misled by a man who has to be in control of everything because he is personally insecure. People like him are in every church and the real cause of problems and why churches don’t succeed and have the reputations they have.  I have even forgiven the woman’s busybody aunt who did the most to engage in gossip. She was just acting in anger and hurt and I very much understand it.  She actually had good reasons to act the way she did, even if her actions were not very Christian.  Whatever that means. 

But the man himself – if there is any force of justice in the world I hope he has to experience the betrayal, manipulation, lies, theft of honor, and all the rest of it that he visited on me himself.  That karma visits on him the exact same thing he did to me. If nothing else I hope he lives a long and miserable life surrounded by no one at the end of it. That would be an end which he deserves because of his very utilitarian view of friendship. His friends no longer seeing him as useful so they simply don’t show up to help or comfort him. That would be truly fitting. 

As far as me and The Grey, this ‘one year ago thing’ is bothering me but I am moving through it. I refuse to go down to this storm.  I want to walk through it laughing at it. Mostly though, I just want a new sense of identity beyond the pastoral ministry thing.  It’s garbage to me now. An old cloak I have discarded. The white hat, the cross, and white cloak no longer suit me.  I prefer grey vestments and vulknut medallion now.

Mostly, my wife and I are trying to build some new memories. I worry about her as she has to get used to a man who is in many ways, not the same as he was. A man who is damaged in some ways, trying to heal as well.  Who will never completely heal and will no longer be what he was.  I want her to be happy because my own happiness depends on it.  I just don’t know about my side of it a lot.

The last sermon I preached in the church was ironic but also fitting.  The whole thing of pastoral ministry is adultery in my opinion now.  A pastor’s church is a mistress.  One that takes a lot and gives back very little and much like a real mistress drives a wedge between you and those you love as a pastor. A smart man gets out a lot sooner than I did.

I walk The Grey right now.  It is this time of year last year where every day has some significant event and memory that makes it difficult.  It probably won’t stop until the summer is over. I am just trying to live my life and living it in joy as much as possible.  If it wasn’t for the guilt and pain I have associated with these memories of last year, it would be easier.  The thing is I have come to accept that this walk is my path, but I can’t control the weather. I wish I could.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

 

“A Wolf Self” – A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

I am Wolf.  It’s a way of looking at my identity that is more internal and resonates far more with me than many others.  Wolves have that dual identity of being loyal but frightening to others. Wild and untamed but at the same the virtues of Discipline, Perseverance, and Fidelity reign supreme in the heart of any Wolf and Wolfpack.  I suppose what I am going for with this identity is placing some understanding of having the soul of the wolf and not be alarmed by the truth of that for myself.

I suppose when you put it all together, I am a wandering warrior with the heart and soul of a wolf. If I was asked what I value in my soul it is freedom and liberty to roam, explore, search and follow my path.  I no longer believe in the split nature of mankind or its sinfulness.  Rather that we are individual beings that are human and none of that is inherently good or evil.  Rather, I believe that our entire nature simply waits to be harnessed as we follow our needs and wants to be guided by our reason and experience.

Warrior, Wayfarer, and Wolf.

Discipline:

“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 follow A FULL Paleo Diet Plan from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April Fools Day, April 1st, 2020.

I remember at work one woman telling me she wished more men were gentlemen and less were dogs. I told her that a gentleman is nothing more than a patient wolf. Still canine, not a dog but perhaps in other ways more primal and certainly more disciplined. The gentleman’s objectives are very wolflike, he just is more relentless and patient about it. He wants the best so he engages the virtue of discipline.  He waits patiently engaging in the things that day by day bring him closer to his goals. Such a ‘gentleman’ is simply a relentless wolf.  I seek to be such a wolf.

Perseverance:

“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.

Wolves, of course, face defeat and failure.  it doesn’t top them, they get up and go back at it.  The only defeat or failure that ends their quest for what they want and needs id death. My nature has never been one to quit. So me and the wolf within keep getting up and keep going.

Fidelity: 

“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.

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

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

My pack is small but close.  I do wish there were more members at times, but I take the ones I have and our bonds of loyalty grow stronger. Nothing is more important to the pack that fidelity.  Those who break deserve nothing more or less than what I have done to others – to be shown my teeth because I do indeed bite.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

Wisdom is a tough call when it comes to being a wolf.  Wolves that survive listen to the raven’s caw overhead.  The learn from their mistakes and it allows them to become old wolves. They know what the need and want and use reason and wisdom to achieve them.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting/Stretching – Minimum 3 days per week.
  2. Walking – Minimum 3 days a week
  3. Job Search – Minimum 3 days a week
  4. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  5. Writing – 3 times a week
  6. Latin – 3 times per week
  7. Cheat Meal Count: 3 per week.

This is the part that still needs a lot of work.  A new week is coming soon so it is another opportunity to make the effort to get it all done.

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

Goals Achieved: 2

  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

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and the Wayfarer – Part 10 – Storm’s Edge

Happy Saturn’s Day

No Crossin Bifrost this week. I just don’t have the time for proper research.  There however might be another Rogue Wizard this weekend.

If you ever had that moment where you are standing outside and you can see the edge of a storm coming in toward you, then you might have an idea of what I am feeling.  It’s the storm known as The Grey and what is causing it is memories of the past, particularly from this time last year. I know it is coming and I know it is going to be tough.  I also know it is probably unavoidable. The list of problems is already forming in my head.

  1. My last sermon was May 27th, 2018 and I haven’t been in a church since May 28th, 2018.  It a kind of bittersweet milestone. I miss my people at times but they also fired me after years of preaching love, grace, and forgiveness.  Seems like my words were wasted. Twenty years of ministry is over and I am sure that some small amount of Grey will try to creep into my life over it because I feel largely it accomplished very little.
  2. Last year my wife and I were separated from May 27th until August 19th. We called off our divorce pretty much with days to spare. This last year has been a time of counseling and work to get our relationship back on track.  It has been good but we are both going to hit our 30th anniversary this year and remember that last year we were separated for it.  We hopefully will use our mini-vacation to make some better memories for next year.  One thing I am glad of is I won’t have to deal with an annual church even which caused us to miss our anniversary to stay and work at the church for many years on that day.
  3. A good friend betrayed me last year and is no longer a friend. I suspected he wasn’t the most loyal of a person based on his track record with others; but still, I trusted him and he took advantage of that so he could come off the white knight riding to the rescue.  Yeah, still burns me and I patiently wait for karma to bite his ass. That knife in my back through left a scar and I am sure it will flare up as we head through May and June.
  4. Lost love.  I deal with the pain of loss here as much as I wish I didn’t. Forgiveness has been easy on this one except for the one thing I have previously mentioned. It is just my nature to forgive those I have loved unless betrayal is involved. I don’t feel that way about this one, she had the decency to at least stab in the chest and look me in the face when she did it. I just feel I took a chance, rolled the dice and lost. Unfortunately, it was my heart the dice were being rolled for and it got hurt because of that loss.  My new love for my wife is helping; but like all things, it takes time and I am sure it will never fully heal.  It never does.

So what to do when you know you have a storm to walk through? Well, knowing it is coming helps so you can prepare.  Resolving to walk on regardless is the simple act of a survivor. I know what the memories involved; know the emotions involved.  I have dealt with them before.  Knowing is half the battle as GI Joe used to say. The rest of the battle is actually having the courage to keep walking and to act when necessary.

Well, time to pull the collar up around my neck and my hat down.  Time to make sure my robes and cloak are pulled tight around me. Have the wolves and ravens go ahead and scout the path. A storm is coming and I need to keep walking.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – INFJ and Wisdom

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

At 1.5% of the population, we INFJs are the rarest personality type of the 16 identified by Myers-Briggs. We know it too. We feel unique because it is clear what motivates us is to not be like everybody else.  It is no accident that my personality gravitates to something like the Nine Noble Virtues and living a life that is higher and deeper based on them.  Words like Discipline, Perseverance and Fidelity as far as my self concept mean a lot more to me, than they might to others.  All of these virtues have one powerful thing behind them – they are the wise way to handle myself in the midst of this world.  Stay disciplined, keep getting up and stay faithful to the people who have shown themselves faithful to you is simply the wisest way to live for me.

At this point, I have to mention how much from last year to this my personality changed.  Not that I moved to INFJ from something else, but rather how much stronger it is. I mentioned before my Introverted score increased from 75% to 94%.  From an understanding of myself point of view the other three also all became stronger as well.  I got burned, because I trusted my logic a little too much about people instead of my intuition, so I follow my gut more now with a higher N score 64% to 76%.  I have a higher emphasis on love being mutual happiness, so I am much more focused on feelings being important.  F score goes from 58% to 63%  I used to point out how close my J score was to becoming P, but not anymore as it has gone from 51% to 78%.

This is the most significant change.  I might reflect this in the statement – “I don’t trust words or even actions anymore – I judge patterns and results.” I look at the end result and the patterns of behavior and trust my judgment of them more than just the surface words and actions anymore.  In short, I am much more cautious about relationships than ever and I am far more focused on stuff that really means something and my own happiness.

The suggested strategy for my living with this personality is to walk in confident individualism and realize that my role in any group is to be the diplomat.  I would say that is a fairly accurate way to live – a wise way to live.

Discipline:

“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 follow A FULL Paleo Diet Plan from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April Fools Day, April 1st, 2020.

Discipline is something I cling to as an INFJ. Having a plan of self-improvement is just a natural thing to me.  If I have to watch anything, it is when I do achieve something the satisfaction from that does not last very long.  I am asking what is next very quickly.  I need to learn to celebrate achievements a little more.

Perseverance:

“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.

INFJ people just keep going, Mostly because we don’t really ‘need’ people but we do. I know that seems contradictory, but my personality is such that I can live without people and so when they leave me or abandon me or hurt me, I keep going.  That said, I can’t go forever without someone ‘getting me’,  It makes me slow down and it also leaves me vulnerable. Vulnerability that I can’t see but does build up until I will, without much thought, gravitate toward a person who does ‘get me’ regardless of consequences.

Fidelity: 

“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.

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

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

This vulnerability became really apparent to me last year at this very time of year, although I would not at that time have identified it as such.  There was a young woman who ‘got me’ at a time of my life where I felt no one really did, not even those closest to me in both family and friends seemed to get me, just her. My personality was really excited about this person because they got me. I started to love and gravitate toward this person because of it.  I didn’t really care about much else. I didn’t’ really identify at the time the danger because I didn’t feel it was a bad thing because my need for this had gotten so high.

In the area fidelity, I struggle because I can go long periods without people in my life, but at the same time something inside is crying out to be understood and it slowly gets louder until it is screaming. The problem then is fidelity and even other virtues and their importance diminish in order to meet this need and it is such a strong need I don’t care about too much else.

I still have a hole in my life since Miss Salty’s departure but it isn’t about the romantic side of that relationship at all.  I have that with my wife right now.  It’s the simple thing of she ‘got me’ completely. Saw through the bullshit of the hard calm exterior and reached out to me as a friend and that meant a lot to me..  That was worth its weight in gold to someone with my personality. It is so rare though and I wonder if I will ever have that again.  At the same time I wonder if I even want it to happen again, because my fidelity with other people becomes a struggle when such a relationship appears in my life.  It tends to be all-encompassing because it is so rare to me.

To combat this, I make sure my wife and I tell each other we love each other now.  We make a point of it to tell each other in not just words but actions.  The problem remains in that I am not sure right now even with her, if she truly ‘gets me’ all the time. She is however more mindful of it and checks on my much more than she did which I appreciate so much.  Also, I am much more mindful of my need here and try to deal with it better.  What I need probably is more friends that can each fill a part of that hole. But that Introvert score is so large now thanks to this last year, and as such I am always being a skeptic when someone says their my friend or want to be my friend.  I really only have two friends I trust anymore completely and one of them is my wife.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

I am all about making wise choices now, but in wisdom I also see there are not ‘black and white’ answers.  Only different levels of grey that I must navigate to find the best course. With Discipline I stay focused on my goals and try to be better every day.  With Perseverance I keep going because there is little wisdom in dwelling on defeats and failures.  Keeping a small circle and staying true to those who have been true to me is my fidelity motto, but there is my ‘weakness’ of the growing need for someone who ‘gets me’ completely and I have to guard myself but at the same time meet that need some way.  I guess the path to wisdom will become apparent as I walk it.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting/Stretching – Minimum 3 days per week.
  2. Walking – Minimum 3 days a week
  3. Job Search – Minimum 3 days a week
  4. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  5. Writing – 3 times a week
  6. Latin – 3 times per week
  7. Cheat Meal Count: 3 per week.

This needs simply to be implemented.  I think it is simply time to run with it and see what happens.

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

Goals Achieved: 1  Graduated College with BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business – December 2018.

Bucket List Items Crossed Off: 0

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues – INFJ and Love

 

Happy Moon’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

My personality type is INFJ-A.  If you are familiar with Meyers-Briggs you know that means I am and Introverted, Intuitive, Feelings oriented, Judging type of person with a A on the end for being slightly assertive.  Sometime called the advocate or protector. Now over the years I have changed in my personality indicating to me that events of life can change personality.

I want to look this week at the Higher Virtues and the Nine Noble Virtues in relationship to my personality type to see if I can find any insight into myself. Today I will talk about Love (Romantic Love in particular) and the other Foundational Virtues related to my personality,  I will hit other subjects as the week goes on.

There are lot general things I could see but the thing that sticks out to me about myself when it comes to love, is that when I share with you my inner self, it is because I believe you will never hurt me. I have missed judged this many times and I have paid a price for it. I also am struck with how once I have loved or had a strong friendship with someone I never forget it.  Love is tough for me, because I bear the joys and scars from it for long time.  When someone I trust my inner feelings to betrays or breaks that trust in some other way, it is devastating.  The hurt is long-term and never completely goes away.

Honor:

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 – To possess a feeling of inner value about myself and my future with a desire to find the same in others.

Goal: Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).

Bucket List: Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

This is the second week in a row that I have struggled with honor.  I don’t know why or how to get over it.  I think getting back to lifting helped but I think I need that long walk yet and the weather has sucked. I think my personality might have problems me loving me. Am I actually reaching the point where I am trying to learn to trust myself again after failing myself?  That would be very INFJ.

Courage:

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

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

Goal: Cross one thing off bucket list every year. Deadline March 31st

Bucket List: Go Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation.

Courage as a part of love is difficult.  It is one of the reasons I came back to my wife and continue to struggle with rebuilding the relationship.  In my mind actually we are building something new that is better, because the old was not that great. It’s the right thing to do even though when I was considering reconciling I struggled with what I would have to give up – opportunity for something new – in order to reconcile.  Love require work – courageous work at times.  For me as a INFJ, I perceive how deep that is and why I gravitate toward it.

Truth:

“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 – To Be Honest and Speak Truth to Myself and Others.  To Be Silent in the presence of Fools.

Goal: To Write a Non-Fiction Book by March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: Learn Latin by March 31st 2020 to the point I can take a test and show my self proficient.

Truth in Love.  In the Bible Love rejoices in the truth and I would say that is a solid statement.  The real problem last year with me and love is that even though I trusted in love both on the friendship side and the romantic side. The truth I couldn’t see, but should have known on my INFJ side, is that it might be true that the other side of those relationships was not feeling the love I felt at the same level. That truth, which I didn’t see, bit me in the ass.

One of the things in my recent taking of the personality test is a significant change in my introverted level.  It indicates that from this year to last year I have moved to be more introverted  75% to 94% which is pretty significant.  Truth is, my trust level of others has been pretty damaged by this whole thing. Something I might take a long time to get over as an INFJ.

Higher Virtue: Love:

People should come up to my wife and give her a big hug and tell her what a great person.  She is because of a lot of love factors. 1) Of all the people I hurt during this crisis, she had the most reason to tell me to fuck off and not come back.  But instead she did two things.  She acknowledge to me her part in the failure of our marriage and she forgave me for mine.  I started loving her anew at that moment. 2) Without her I wouldn’t have any reason to completely trust anyone other than maybe one last friend and that would have meant a lot of really bad things for me. Like dark angry shit. Without love, I think we INFJ types get mean.  Because we expect much, we get disappointed hard when love fails and that leads to some pretty extreme reactions.

My wife’s love is definitely one of only two close relationships right now that I would consider proof of my trust in other people. The rest have all been damaged because it is apparent to me with most of them the statement they claim as Christians – ‘love bears no record of wrongs’ on a practical level is bullshit. They don’t really believe it or practice it. Wish they did.  For me I gave my trust and love to some wrong people and they turned their backs on me.

Morning Routine:

  1. Review Nine Noble Virtues (NNV), Principles, Goals and Bucket List
  2. Meditation – 3 min.
  3. Check Communications and Email.
  4. Paper Journal: Create Daily Log and To Do List.
  5. Breakfast, Medications and Supplements.
  6. Shower and Personal Hygiene
  7. Get Dressed for the Day

Solid, no complaints.

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

Skaal!!!

Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 7 – Painful Revelations

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Rogue Wizard’s Journal January 14th, 2019 (cont.)

I found my clothes on a table just outside the room and a couple of towels.  I was still a little wet from whatever process they had washed me off with, so I dried off. and then started getting dressed. It was then that I felt eyes watching me.  The Lioness of course and two other individuals – Lunette and Raven.

“Now all you ladies have me at a disadvantage.  You have now all seen me in the buff, but other than Lunette in middle school, I have not seen any of you in your natural state. Any takers?  No?  Well, excuse me.”

The three of them seemed a little self-conscious, so they looked away as best they could but I continued to catch glances.  I smiled.  Underwear, t-shirt with workout saying, socks, jeans, hiking boots, necklace with Valknut symbol, wedding band, sweatshirt hoodie with local university on front.

“Mr. Raby, do you use enchantments at all?”

“No, not yet anyway.  Never had he need, always focused my studies on how magic in and of itself could help me.  Enchantments are nice to have but they can be taken from you, if you lose what is enchanted.”

“You could do an enchanted tattoo”, Raven suggested.

“Yes, I could.  Combination of alchemy and enchantment and attached to my skin.  Might be worth considering.  Speaking of alchemy, nice bit of work there Lunette with the lipstick.”

Lunette looked down at her feet.

“Can I ask if the alchemy works on everyone, or it was just targeted to me?”

“Targeted. made the formula from a lock of you hair I took back in middle school.  I was surprised the formula hadn’t gone inert, but it was still active.”

“Shit knocked me out fast, figured it was targeted.  That long ago?  What was the occasion?”

“That day when we were freshmen in High School. When you grabbed my arm when I was being a bitch to you.  You basically told me to back down and I was pissed about it.  Wanted a weapon to target you.”

I nodded. I remember that day.  I said something to the effect that I was like crack cocaine to her, so she was vulnerable to me and needed to knock off the snotty bitch thing. Enough reminiscing, need information.

“Well, ladies what happened to the Red Tree Grove? Best theories please.”

Lunette spoke first.

“She must have decided to leave and give up immortality. Only thing that fits.  She didn’t pick a replacement, so her power simply diffused. The protective power was gone about ten years ago, so I went inside. The tree was still alive but barely.  Those three scars you helped heal.  Someone had opened them up again. Given that she was the only one living there at the time, she might have done it herself.”

“Well fuck.  Yeah, trying to break her addiction completely.  No tree, no drug. Where do you think she went?”

This time the Lioness spoke.

“We don’t think she kept her physical form.  We think she went completely spirit form.  It would allow her to possess any female she wanted, and keep a long life possible for her.  She could move from female to female and occupy them. Use them as hosts to live for a long time. Then move on.  Only problem is that every time she would switch she would lose a part of herself.”

“Any leads on that?”

“One, you.”

“Me?”

“Yeah, the woman you had an affair with? She might have been one of them.  Highly likely.”

This stunned me for a minute, then.  Of course it would explain how could she have connected with me so well and so quickly and how I also had changed in my thoughts about her.  I mean up until February she was just another woman in the congregation, then that all changed.

“How much control would she have had? Over her host I mean?”

Raven spoke this time.

“Only when it was truly needed, she would be too weak otherwise.  Indirect influence most likely. The woman had her own choices, but perhaps there was a nudge from Elpis.”

I cringed at the name.

“Oh, sorry.”

“No, it’s OK. I have been running from this too long. I suppose it was inevitable that both Elpis and Miss Salty would be mentioned. Time to quite avoiding and face what they were to me.  Both loves of mine and lost.”

“I guess I would fall in that category too.”, Lunette injected. Sad tone in her voice too.

“Yes, you would and my wife now that she has been killed by the Council. I don’t have any loves that are not lost in some way now. I’m alone.”

Those last two words hung there for a minute.  Like a diagnoses of cancer said aloud. Lunette seemed a little pained by it.

Raven spoke first, “You might find love again.”

“Right now, I don’t want it.  It hurts too much; too risky.  Need to mourn my wife for a bit yet.  Promised myself, if she died I would mourn her for at least six months. It’s only been a couple. I honored our Christian vows when we got back together, would have continued if she had lived. I don’t really have that view anymore so my next love, if there is one, would have different rules.”

I turned to face all of them.

“OK, the only thing left for me is family. They will be in danger as long as I am alive.  What’s the plan?  What do you want me to do?”

Writer’s Notes

I know, I broke my initial rule about mentioning Elpis and Miss Salty. But it is time I faced down my real life actions and dealt with the emotions of this whole thing. 

For a long time when it comes to fiction I have been struggling to find some inspiration and I think it is because I have been avoiding this issue of late.  I need a new motivation, a new muse to write for. Instead I have been dealing with The Grey that results from emotional constipation. I think laying things out there ends the bullshit at least and now things can get flowing again.  Like an enema for my emotions. Gross but accurate.  

I write fiction from emotion.  It is definitely a more heart then through the mind thing.  Non-fiction is the other way around, so it is easier.  This last week has been me struggling to get past this and I think I have some relief at this point.  Still some things to work out, but I feel for the first time I can write at least a little more freely when it comes to fiction.  Hopefully I am right.  If I am, you all should be seeing more fiction from me very soon. 

Practically for this series, it eliminates the past almost completely for my alter ego. His decision to fake his death would mean; at least for a time, he would be walking alone and too busy for a relationship.  Not saying there won’t be something in the future, but for now love is going to be kept at arm’s length.

In real life, my wife (alive and well) and I have made a strong commitment to make our relationship work.  There are some more obstacles because of my change of faith and my attitude about a lot of things in general has changed as well, but we work on them.  It has been hard at times, but for he most part we are a loving couple again. 

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!