“Battle’s End” – Dark Shieldmaiden – Prelude

Happy Odin’s Day!

September 25, 1066

Anya the Bold knew she was dying.  She still clung to her sword while sitting with her back against the tree.  She had lost so much blood through her wound on her left side that she was sure death would come soon.  She had seen this many times before in others but now she knew it was coming to her. A mortal wound that she knew would be her end.

Not that she feared death.  Vahalla awaited and now she had more than enough reason to enter its gates. She had watched her husband die as a warrior.  Vagnar had stood on the bridge with his great axe holding off the Saxons long enough for the rest of them to escape. She knew he would fall but she had not waited around to see it.  She honored his sacrifice while hiding the fact that she herself had been stabbed by a Saxon sword.

She lay dying she thought of his embrace knowing it would soon be renewed in Vahalla. Her thoughts turned to his strong arms around her and the last time they had made love on the morning of the battle when King Godwinson’s army then surprised them.  They had enough time to arm themselves and then battle ensued.  Had not their own king fallen and their ally Earl Tostig, King Gdowinson’s brother fallen as well, things might have been different.  The Saxons had completely surprised them.

She knew her husband had felled many Saxons that day.  How many had fallen would surely be the stuff of legend as the tale was retold.  For now, though she knew he had only proceeded her in death by some hours. She stared at the trees in front of her while her vision darkened…

She awoke but it was not the hall of Vahalla she saw.  The same English trees lay before her and she felt strange. It was now nightfall and she was alive; something she had not expected.  She actually felt renewed and yet also had a feeling like she had downed far too much mead. She could move which when she had fallen asleep she could not do. She had lost too much blood.  How was this possible?

Looking down at her wound, her breath caught in her throat.

“Odin.”

It was healed like it had never existed.  Her head swam in disbelief.

“It’s alright, You were dying and I saved you.  You might not, however, believe how.”

She looked to see one of her fellow Norseman standing over her.  He had a strong young face, but his eyes betrayed an age much older.  She had seen him before but did not know his name.

“Why?”

“Because the wife of a brave man needs to be around to hear his tale.”

He held out his hand and helped her to her feet. Then she smashed her fist right into his face, knocking him on his backside.

“You rob me of Vahalla and my husbands embrace.  I should kill you.”

The man sat there, rubbing his chin.  He smiled.

“No.  You will join your husband someday, just not yet.  And killing me might prove far more difficult than you might imagine.”

Anya raised her sword and drove it down; but in a motion, which she did not see, the man stood to his feet and caught her wrist.   The strength of his grip caused her hand to flex and the sword to fall from her fingers. He then put the arm behind her back and his other arm went around her holding her still.  His strength was far superior to any man she had ever met.

“I have given you a gift.  A gift that you need to understand and I am willing to teach you, but you must calm down and listen.  I have given you a chance to tell your husband’s tale for generations to come.  But more than that, I have given you a chance to truly live.”

Anya relaxed.

“Why would you do this.”

“Because your husband was not the only one who has loved you.”

He let go of her and she spun and looked at him.

“Anya the Bold.  I have watched you for a long time. From the time you were a child.  You have a strong spirit and an intelligent mind. You are brave and a passionate heart.  I have come to love you, but I would not dishonor your marriage.”

“Who are you?”

“Just call me Erik. Listen, If you want to honor your husband’s sacrifice, live and give him vengeance. What happened today cannot go unpunished.”

Anya looked at Erik grimly and then nodded.  She then held up her sword.  The sword her husband had given her a few years ago.

“I shall avenge my husband, twenty Saxons will fall to this blade, I swear by Odin the All-Father.”

“Good, and I will tell you more about what happened to you. But for now, we must join the others and return home. The Saxons will wait until another day.”

As he turned and she followed a tear formed in her eyes. If only she had known the horrors that awaited her, she might have killed Erik for his ‘gift’.

Writer’s Notes:

Its been a bit since I started something new. My hope is this series is intriguing enough and entertaining enough for me.  It is a story I wanted to read but seeing no one has written it yet, I decided to do it. 

I remain.

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

Skaal!!!

 

“Tolkein’s Day” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

Today is Tolkein’s Day and as most of us might be at home, perhaps picking up and reading one of his books is a good way to celebrate it. I cannot underestimate the influence of the man on my imagination as a boy growing up. The Hobbit remains my favorite fantasy book of all time. The effect on me was to open my horizons and cause me to think more with the eye of how imagination can take us to places we could never go with my other way

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”

Meditation:

I meditate on my days as a child a lot.  I would have to say the chief influences of that wonderful year I went from elementary school to middle school was one of the best between reading The Hobbit that summer, as well as, Mrs. Frisby and the Rat’s of Nihm (an introduction to science fiction for me)  were both books that set my course.

See the source image

Of course, I also learned a great deal about adult female anatomy from the teacher who gave me Nihm.  She had a habit of dressing in lingerie that shall we say was a little loose fitting and didn’t cover much.  She apparently didn’t notice my body was going through puberty a little earlier than most boys my age.  Between Tolkein. Nihm and the free anatomy lessons, I found my boy’s heart starting to grow into manhood.

See the source image

Mystery:

I would say that the same feeling of awe and mystery is with me today.  Tolkien gave me a sense of imaginative mystery that still inspires me to write to this day.  Not to mention giving my favorite wizard of all time – Gandalf. A wizard I might say that is based on Woden – Odin’s English counterpart.

See the source image

Spirituality:

In some small way, I think this might have been the beginning of my fall from faith.  I found myself constantly at odds with people who would condemn Tolkein for his use of magic or that he was a Catholic.  mY response would be – ‘who cares, the man writes good stories.  It is this rebellion that remains in my soul whenever some busybody with an opinion wants to intrude into my life. A rebellious spirit that lives with me to this day.

See the source image

Conclusion:

I am grateful to Tolkein for his works and to a time of my life in a summer that I was reading them that made me start shifting from boy to man. Happy Tolkein Day everyone!

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Happy Sif’s Day and Some Personal and Writing Notes” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sif’s Day

Sif: Gold-Haired Earth Goddess

After a week’s deliberation, I decided that from henceforth, Saturn’s Day will now be Sif’s Day.  I juggled Eostre and Idun in this spot but in the end, I think Thor’s wife, goddess of the land, earth, and harvest takes Saturn’s Place the best.  Her story in Norse mythology is the one where her hair is shaved off, presumably by Loki as a prank.  Thor threatens to hurt Loki repeatedly unless he fixes the problem.  Through a complex, multilayered scheme, Loki convinces the Dwarves to create living gold hair that when Sif places it on her head attaches itself and becomes her hair.

Other than that, Sif represents the fertility of the earth.  Something that is missing from the week with the current gods and goddesses.  As Thor’s wife, the rain – earth duo is in the days now.  I rejected Idun and Eostre in the end because they already have their time of the year all to themselves in many respects.  Sif represents the constant and continual bounty of the earth in all seasons.  With Sol, we have the bright sun goddess who is a beacon of life and truth.  With Frigg, we have hearth and home.  Freya gives us a passionate woman both in love and war.   The addition of Sif gives us the hard-working woman in the field. A welcome addition.

So. Happy Sif’s Day.

Personal Notes: 

This is not a The Grey and The Wayfarer post. But after writing my four-part series of getting things off my chest so to speak, I have felt much better.  I have thought of some of these things far less and seem to be moving on better. Perhaps the Storm is breaking and some sun is shining through at last.  Time to get moving.

My job search can be a little frustrating at times. I learned recently that most Human Resources jobs want certification.  No problem accept its another few months of time and a couple thousand dollars. So crossing that off at least for now, I have focused on Business, Education, and Government.

Business – I am moving my focus from human resources to retail as I actually not only have some education there as far as management but also experience both in retail and management but never at the same time. Mostly, business is attractive because I have 15-20 years left before age and retirement will start to kick my ass and I need to make as much money and put it aside as possible in that frame of time.  At the same time, the physical labor thing is going to be less and less of an option. Retail Business Management fits given experience and education.

Education – I could go to another state and teach.  Texas would let me start and then learn the education stuff as I go.  Mostly though I would be using it as a springboard for a masters’ degree and eventual doctorate. I would want to teach at the university level.

Government – Like it or not, I am adding this to the list because my Political Science degree gives me the most qualifications for government jobs. It is what the degree is actually designed for, so it is time to add it to the list.

One of the things I have done is to rewrite my Resume again. I eliminated, as much as possible, any references to my ministry career and my education for it. They are irrelevant to the jobs listed above.  I also have been removing anything that might give away my age. My experience listed will still make me older, but I want it to be, without lying, a little nebulous.

Writing Notes:

There is, of course, my other ‘career’ as a writer which I need to get more serious about.  So here is that list:

Blog: This personal blog needs to be kept up because it is simply good practice.

Blog Fiction: Last time I wrote about some fiction ideas I had floating, but there is some other fiction on this blog already that I need to address and make the previously mentioned ideas a little more concrete.

  1. The Grey Wayfarer (Serial) – I wrote this series when I first started this blog  It was a work of fantasy fiction with the same name as the blog.  That was confusing I am sure, but the reason I stopped writing it here was a realized it had potential to be one helluva novel.  So, I leave the five parts that exist as a teaser to a someday maybe finished work. I just felt the writing was that good and so was the concept.
  2. Rogue Wizard: The Fire of Fury –  There is a large part of me that senses the whole Hedge Wizard of Redberg / Rogue Wizard universe and storyline needs come to a complete end. I originally started the whole thing as a labor of love for Miss Salty and now she is gone out of my life.  The continuation based on it in this blog is difficult emotionally at best to write. Spoiler: It might be time for the whole thing to die. But it will die by my own hand and not just fade away unfinished. I have been sitting on Part 10 for months because emotionally it might be the last difficult thing to write with the whole saga. After that, it is simply a matter of killing off the main character. Me.
  3. ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ (adult version) I have toyed with the idea of taking fairy tales and giving them a modern spin many times.  It would fit my short story or short fiction series niche.  Red Riding Hood, if you know the actual origin and symbolism is already a pretty adult tale, but I want to give it an urban fantasy truly adult feel.  Little Red wouldn’t be the only one but it is my favorite fairy tale and a good place to start.
  4. Tales of a Viking Muse (working title) – I mentioned this a couple days ago.  This will be my Viking Shieldmaiden Skald Muse.  I am using Dungeons and Dragons to flesh out the character and to create the backdrop world to an extent.  She will be a combination of a fighter/bard.
  5. ‘Space Tramp’ – Basically I am taking the advanced character generation system from MegaTraveller and doing a year by year full flesh out of the background of a character.  The challenge, of course, is the random nature of the generation process which will force me to in one year explain a near-death and another year take a pretty boring admin assignment and make an interesting story of it.  The character will be a free trader crewman of the merchant branch, so it should give him the freedom to move about as he sees fit.  It should be fun.

Non-Fiction Book: My book here is basically Life of Christ, but form a skeptics’ point of view. I taught the life of Christ as a pastor and instructor in the faith probably ten times. I am simply writing what would amount to a harmony of the gospels with a twist.  I am going to show even with four accounts, the gospels still are not compelling evidence to believe that the Life of Christ as presented in the Bible is a genuine story of any more historical value than Homer’s Illiad or the Tales of Gilgamesh.

Novel: Over the last few years the successful fantasy stories have been the epic ones from Game of Thrones, to Lord of the Rings, to Wheel of Time and Sword of Truth.  I don’t mind these but I enjoy more the stories that are a little more down to earth.  Five friends from a small village heading out into the unknown and finding an adventure.  No saving the world or correcting the imbalances in the powers of magic for the universe.  Just some friends finding themselves in a tough spot and fighting to get out of it.  That’s my novel. I am thinking of using National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) to fast forward its content by 50,000 words in November.

This is a lot of writing, but good writers write a lot and I want to be a good writer. So, raise a drinking horn to the challenge of making some changes in my writing with the goal of publication and making it my second and hopefully also paying career.  What you may see over the next couple of weeks is me trying to make progress on all of this. Hopefully, my muse will come alive and something will not only click but take off.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Songs About the Wolf Within” – The Skald’s Lyre

Happy Saturn’s Day

Musical Journal:

In the fantasy genre of literature, the wolf and werewolf are very symbolic of the wild untamed side of the human experience. There is a sensual and animalistic point to the image of a wolf or a man/woman transforming into a werewolf.  In the world of music, there are songs about this animalistic side of humanity and they often use the image of the wolf. It’s not coincidental that this is so the image of wolves and men is an old one and a very powerful one.

This Skald’s Lyre is a little different.  It is about a type of song that relates to the human experience coupled with one of my favorite genres of books and film – fantasy.  In particular the world of fantasy horror and the wolf and werewolf image.  The music attempts to capture this essence in both lyrics and setting the tone with the music. It often does a very good job at both.

Personal Significance:

Today I am not going to list my personal significance with each song as that is not really the point.  For me, there are simply some good songs that call to my animal side or remind me that I have one. For me, the image of the wolf is center to my heart and self-identity so that fits too.

I have had two conversations with women about men that reflect this point along the sexual side of things. Hey, whenever I write about sex it always gets attention.

1) “What the world needs are fewer wolves and more gentlemen.” – my response was pretty simple. “My dear, a gentleman is nothing more than a patient wolf.” Sorry, there is no such thing as a man who has an interest in a woman where raw sexuality isn’t present. You can keep it domesticated on civil but that raw energy is what powers all the other aspects of the relationship.  As an author once said – “everything is about sex, except sex which is about something else.”  A gentleman is just a really patient strategically-minded wolf looking for a certain type of woman to bed. He is simply a patient hunter.

2) “Men are all dogs.” – I had two responses to this.  a) So are women, women are just as horny and sexual as men.  They just like men to work at it to get them because they want to feel desired. Nothing wrong with that, but to take the high minded route that women aren’t just as interested as men about getting laid is just hypocritical. b) Men are all canine to be sure, but some of them are more domesticated than others.  Some of us seek to be more true to our ancestors and be the wolf. We are just honest about it.  If being a wolf means I am a truly masculine male, then that is my desire.  As a woman, you are either going to accept that and lose your fear of it or you are going to try to domesticate your man out of fear of his wild side and in my opinion, make him less of a man. You would probably be better off accepting his wild side and work more on embracing your own.

For me, being as wolf-like as possible and staying honest about it is something I strive to both focus and embrace.  This isn’t just about being honest about being masculine or sexual but also about the stronger emotions of anger and rage.  The desire to fight for what you care about and desire. So on my playlist are a few songs about this wolf side of things – the animal within and that animal for me is the wolf.

Playlist:

Bark at the Moon – Ozzy Osborne:

Wolf and Man – Metallica:

Animal I Have Become – Three Days Grace:

Night of the Werewolves – Powerwolf:

Úlfhéðnar – Dervhengrym:

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

Crossing Bifrost – The Norse World: Helheim

Happy Saturn’s Day

One of two realms of the underworld, depending on which way you divide up the nine worlds, Helheim is the realm of the Dead and the sphere of power for the goddess Hel.  Hel is the goddess of the dead and their caretaker. This place only really shares the name I common with the Christian notion.  It is a far different place than the Chrisitan Hell or Hades.

See the source image

Most notably there is some debate as to whether this place is even about punishment. The Viking concept of the afterlife doesn’t seem to have much in the way of moral good going to paradise and moral bad going to punishment.  Rather, it is how one dies that seems to determine eternal destiny. In the case of those who go to Helheim, it is more about the fact they did not die in battle but died of natural causes.

See the source image

This is why the Realm of Helheim is so differently described.  It is in much of the mythology, just an underground place where life continues much as it did before. People do much the same as they did before when they were alive – drinking. fighting, eating, fucking, sleeping, etc. It is just that is all that it is – a continuation without end.

See the source image

Later on, other writers add to Helheim being a cold, misty land – like a cold marsh with stone islands or a place of drab grey.  The notion of a river that encircles the place that cannot be cross once one enters the fence surrounding Helheim is there too.  A dog known as Garm guards it and a giant whose name is translated “Corpse Eater” watches over it. It seems a lot of this darker version of Helheim comes later when Christianity is more prevalent and is probably due to that influence.

See the source image

In my own writings, I chose a middle path between the two.  My notion was the continuation of life but in a place where that continuation no longer gives much joy or comfort. A grey world that is dull and not interesting in the slightest.  A life that is just being alive but not living fully. No battle, no songs, no celebrations or holidays.  Just the same thing over and over all day and every day.  If Boredom and/or Depression could be turned into a place, that is what I chose to portray Helheim being.

See the source image

If there is historically anything to look at it is as many scholars present that the view of Helheim changes as Christianity becomes more and more prevalent.  It becomes darker and more sinister.  Probably to reflect the ‘moral character’ view of the afterlife. It shows how the stories of mythology change base on what surrounds them and that is a good lesson to learn.  Even when the stories are written down, how they are emotionally perceived changes with time and other influences.

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

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues – Warrior Mind (Part 2)

Happy Wooden’s (Odin’s) Day

Journal Entry:

When it comes to a warrior mind, the Business Virtues are in many ways doing the business of war during peace.  Self-Reliance prepares for war in peace by making sure one is independent and free to act in one’s interest as best as possible.  Industriousness is working so one has the resources one needs when the battles of life start. Hospitality means one is known for grace and mercy because it leads quicker to peace after a war is over and often you might need grace and mercy for yourself.

Your dealings with others and how they perceive you and respect you go a long way to being successful when battles come. Being known as independent, hard-working and gracious is a far better reputation than being dependent, lazy and unmerciful. It is easy to make peace with life and enjoy it when your reputation is solid.  At least this is true for your own self if not for others.

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 the end of June 2019 or before.

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

The job search is a little frustrating right now and I am glad I set things back to the end of June so school will be out in a couple weeks and I can give the job search my full attention.  I have given my word to my wife if I can find a job in Michigan by the end of June that fits the bill I would do it. If not, then my search hits the whole country. Owning my own business is the ultimate in self-reliance and the goal here.

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

Bucket List: Write A Novel and Get it Published.

The degree is almost done.  About three weeks now before the semester is over and all requirements are finished. My novel idea is taking root in my heart of five childhood friends that set out together to find adventure.  I like it and I think the five characters I have in mind are not typical, but rather represent a good adventure team.

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 of a support group of some kind.

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

I have to say if I get a job, I hope it is in a place with a little higher population density. I think that will make support groups, in general, a more viable option as well as owning a home of the right size.  Something me and the wife talk about which both of us agree on the minimum necessary to be comfortable for both of us.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

Justice keeps my life balanced. For all my talk of mercy and grace earlier, it should be noted that part of justice is to know when you have had enough of someone’s shit or when they have betrayed your trust.  Don’t have to deal with those people in my mind or treat them well when you encounter them.  I have a short list of such people and I think that it is simply exercising justice to myself.

 Daily Routine:

  1. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  2. Blogging – Organize, revise, write a new post for the next day, 15 min. work on fiction.
  3. Reading – half-hour. Priority order: work, school, pleasure
  4. Study / Homework / Research: half hour per day minimum or until all necessary work is completed.
  5. Personal Business: record financial transactions, savings plan actions, budgeting, appointments, other.
  6. Check Communications and Email after 2 pm but before 4 pm.
  7. Weekly Routine Items
  8. Nutrition: Daily Carb Count – 2

Next week I am going to do some routine shuffle and rearrangement.

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

Skaal!!!

The Rabyd Skald – Weekend Musings and Writing Plans

Happy Saturn’s Day

By way of announcements:

  1. There will be no Crossing Bifrost today as I am very much near the end of the semester and I am trying to complete some extra work for school plus get my Routines back on track.  Possible finish off another class’ work today.  For the same reason and as a gesture of respect to the Christians out there doing their Easter celebrations, there will be no Pagan Pulpit this Sun’s Day either.  I have said my piece on Thor’s Day about the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth in my post on the subject.
  2. What will happen is this post on some writing plans today as well as some other wandering thoughts.  Tomorrow on Sun’s Day I will post the next installment of Rogue Wizard.  I also plan on canonizing a poem I wrote last week sometime this weekend as well.

Well, time for a few musings and wandering thoughts.

This is the first Easter season where I honestly can say I haven’t been stressed out.  I am no longer a minister so I am not preparing a message or getting a service ready.  I have to work at my job, probably because all the Christians asked for the day off, but I am good with that. I actually have more peace about it than anything else.  I just wonder if I will be working alone.

I am hopefully going to get my first walk in of the season today.  I have been waiting for a sunny day that is above 50 degrees and so today may be the first hike of the wandering skald. Hiking is a real spiritual thing for me and I am looking forward to the walk.  After that as long as it is above 45 degrees walking will take place.

The Grey has been thankfully very light right now. It is more of a dull boring sensation than depression.  More of an annoyance than anything else. I guess part of that is I have come to look at my memories of this time last year as more of a challenge o picking out the good and discarding the bad.  That will be far more difficult this summer, but right now it isn’t that hard.

Writing plans:

Part of getting back on track with all my routines is setting my writing goals.  Most notably my goals for my novel and my non-fiction book. I think I have narrowed things down a bit.

For my non-fiction book I am going to do something involving the Bible and Skepticism.  My former Christian friends might not like it but I am thinking of doing a harmony of the gospels from a skeptics point of view.  I guess announcing this at Easter is fitting in some ways as it marks a turn of thought for me.  The book will be more designed for the popular press written in something that anyone with a basic education can understand but I may do another version that is scholarly first then rewrite it for publication.

For my novel, I am going to go pure fantasy.  I had an idea a long time ago of five friends who after growing up together in a small medieval fantasy city decide to take up adventuring together in an old blog that is now deleted.  I am thinking though it might make a good novel.  It is the kind of story I would like to read so it should be fun to write.

Here on this blog I am moving slowly forward with Rogue Wizard.  I must say that The Grey Wayfarer series is not so much halted as it is me taking some time to continue my research into Norse mythology before I continue with it.  That series is more about quality than quantity. I am therefore taking a lot more time with it. Rogue Wizard on the other hand is placing myself into situations as the main character is basically me on a divergent timeline. This makes it easier to write.  I have noted since I decided to engage my memories instead of avoid them, I have found it easier to write in general.  Sill need a new muse, but I will find her somewhere I am sure.

Enjoy your weekend, there should be a Poem and A Story somewhere for you.  This week coming up I will be talking about the Pagan Holiday Walpurgis on Odin’s Eye.  This is the May Eve celebrations.  So for you pagan’s out there do not fear, we will get past this to our own stuff.

As a final announcement, on Thursday I passed 200 days straight blogging.  With this post today it will be 202.  So I have 163 days to go for a whole year.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

 

The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 9 – Avoiding vs. Facing (Plus Some Writing Notes)

Happy Wooden’s (Odin) Day

I haven’t given a family warning for a while, but the rest of this post probably has one.  I am simply going to be very real for a bit with my feeling about what was going on last year and how it affects me now. If you want to know simply what my writing plans are then you can scroll down to that and start reading there. I will give it a headline.

I wouldn’t give you a nickel for how I felt this past weekend..  I knew memories of last year at this same time were going to be rough, but this is downright painful at times.  Like pins under your fingernails painful.  Then to protect myself from said pain, I go Grey. That feeling of nothing being preferable to the pain and sadness. I hate when people say – “Get over it” or “Move on”.  I think to myself when I hear this: “Yes, this is where I want to be.  To have a choice between sorrow and nothing,  Yeah, this is fun.”  People who say such things, don’t have a fucking clue, and they should probably just learn some shit about depression and then shut up and be thankful you don’t fight this particular battle.

I am conflicted at times as to what strategy to employ as far as dealing with memories. There are simply times; I note, there is no way not to be triggered. So avoiding the memory is not an option.  But then how to confront and face them then?  The real problem of course is not all my memories are bad ones.  There was some good things taking place through a certain relationship last year, it is just the relationship that was doing some of those good things was ‘toxic’ or ‘wrong’.  I don’t know how else to express it, but there were some good things happening for me but other people might say it wasn’t good how it was happening.

I wasn’t moping around in April of 2018, I was actually feeling quite confident and good.  My female friend at the time was helping me deal with things that were a bummer and I was loving her for it. She was keeping the Grey at bay for me or maybe my love for her was, I don’t know. I still miss that friendship, and it hurts that it is gone.  Probably always will.

Unfortunately, we both took things too far.  We let our friendship grow into something else. Something far more intimate emotionally than was probably safe for both of us.  But I think given the state of my marriage at the time; I probably didn’t care as much then as I would now.  Our counselor said my affair was actually pretty typical. Marriage sucked, you didn’t feel loved, you hurt.  Someone else expresses love for you in some way and you are drawn to them like a moth to flame. Nothing special, happens all the time.  Sounds common and base; something I dislike, but there it is.

This weekend was rough because I was; as I often do, sifting through my Facebook memories and there was her name.  Something I had tagged her in.  Fuck it but if it didn’t trigger an immediate emotional response.  A mix of sadness, loss, grief and who knows what else. It is the kind of emotions you get when something good has turned bad or died. The whole thing hurt again and I wanted to crawl up inside and die.  But I didn’t, I kept going. I have to.  It’s all I know. I turned on the Grey and went forward choosing to feel nothing and not all that. Weird thing this time I couldn’t keep it on all the time.  I kept alternating between nothing and sadness. It sucked. I actually cried once.

Despite this, I have concluded avoid things is not an option.  I will not do that.  Let Facebook and other memories come. I need to learn to deal with this.  Let it make me stronger. Let it make me handle The Grey better. I just know this is really the small shower before the storm that will be later this spring and then this summer. It is the warm up and if I can’t learn how to handle this now, the time between now and the end of August is going to seriously suck. Well, it’s going to suck regardless, but I need to learn how to face it so I keep going and that it sucks less.  That’s all for now.

Time to talk about writing.

Writing Notes:

I have a struggle with the non-Fiction book that I am trying to resolve.  Here is the thing, I could be one helluva critic of Religion in general and The Bible and Christianity in particular.  I could write books that would seriously challenge both and possibly make a shit ton of money doing it. It would make all the past learning and experiences as a minister not feel like such a waste of time, if I could use them to build a new future with writing books.  The flip side is I still have a lot of friends who are religious and Christians, including my wife. This would seriously put some shit out there between us.  At the same time I feel what they believe is a fraud and their lives would be better without it.  Shit.

My novel is a little easier. But at the same time genre is important. I have written every fiction genre at one time or another.  Even ones I didn’t really care for and by writing them I found out that I didn’t really care for them.  My best bet would probably be to create a fantasy setting and go with that.  The reason is you can do anything with that.  But my passion is modern fantasy.  What to choose?  I also should note I won’t be writing this novel for a children’s or young adult audience – definitely adult stuff.  So yep – adult situations, sex, and violence.

As far as the blog goes, I am going to try to get out two installments of Rogue Wizard.  One for Thursday and one for Friday.  It’s time for them.  The timeline shift is going to cause the character based on me to have a major life change so that nothing in his life will relate to what is going on in my real life. The purpose of this is to change the nature of the story into something that is pure fiction.  Or mostly pure as the kind of decisions my alter ego would make will still be based on what I would really do in that situation.

Walking The Grey,

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

Skaal!!!

Crossing Bifrost – Races and Creatures – Giants

Happy Saturn’s Day

I suppose the imagery of a giant is pretty universal but as we will see there is a controversy about it when it comes to Norse Mythology. Giants are the primary antagonists in most of the stories of the gods in Norse mythology.  The frost giants take prominence but there are also other types of giants.  Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition’s Monster Manual lists six types of giants – Cloud, Fire, Frost, Hill, Stone and Storm.  It might be argued that all of these have some  from ideas found in Norse mythology.

See the source image

But the question starts pretty early as regards if the Norse people actually conceived these giants as ‘giants’.  The problem is one of translation and when Christians began to translate the word for ‘giant’ they may have bastardized it by adding the Greek mythology concepts and used the word for ‘giant’ that reflected this change.  What you see then is a mutation of the original Norse Idea and the Greek idea of titans.

See the source image

The original concept in the Norse may simply have been beings that represented the forces of Chaos. When you look at some of the giants you get that – Storm, Fire, Frost, Hills, Stone and Clouds are forces of nature that are both large and powerful.  Both needed for survival, but also feared because of their destructive nature at times.  The “giants” are simply personification of these forces.  They may or may not have been large humanoids to the Norse people.  It would make more sense if they were not.

See the source image

The reason I say it would make more sense if they were not, is  the simple fact that the gods and goddesses mate with giants and produce offspring. Sex between two individuals of great difference in size becomes problematic, unless the Norse people didn’t really have the concept of giants being large humanoids but rather simple humanoids that personified certain powerful natural forces.  To the Norse people the gods and the giants may simply been the same size just representing on the one hand forces of order and civilization (the gods), and on the other, the raw natural forces of the world (the ‘giants’).

What I am saying is that the whole notion of these ‘giants’ being large humanoid like creatures might be a later addition.  This would explain why later writers had to give some of the gods the ability to shape shift and change size.  But the original myths may not have had this at all. The my simply have been referring to ‘giants’ as those being who represented the great powers of nature.

See the source image

To me this makes the parings of some of the gods and giants interesting because it represents symbolically the need for the forces of civilization and humanity, if you will, to sometimes cooperate and draw strength from the chaotic forces of nature.  That sometimes the ‘children’ of these paring represent both sides of that equation such as Loki pairings with the giantess that produced Fenrir, Hel,  and Jormungandr.  All of these Children have their chaotic element but there is also the ability to think and speak beyond the base animal that they represent in the case of Fenrir and Jormungandr. Hel herself is human like but represents that primal force of Death, but also her realm is orderly and well thought out.

It is why in Norse mythology all of the gods and giants are the product of a an original giant.  That out of the primal forces of nature came the forces of order and chaos. Both are necessary and both can be in conflict or in love (lust) for each other.  To me it speaks of how the Norse people could recognize that; in all things, some necessary things were present. Fire is a primal natural force that is dangerous; but without it, civilization and technology is simply not possible. The earth and hills can be wild and dangerous places; but without the earth we mine and the trees we cut down, we would not have tools or shelter. The mythology reflects this idea of necessary harmony, even tough at times those forces are a threat to each other.

See the source image

In our world the giants represent much the same.  Large chaotic forces that must be fought and overcome. The show up in a lot of places in fantasy mythology.  But the idea of being primal natural forces is pretty interesting and we see that too.  For me though I prefer if the giants remain as the larger than life humanoids. It just makes the battles more epic. Courage is a necessary thing when facing them. Every movie or book that uses them reflects this.  Or on rare occasions we find a giant that is actually gentle who desires to help but his great power can unintentionally cause harm.  Thus even when we bend such forces to our will, there is still a danger because of their nature.

All important lessons taught to us through the giants.

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

Skaal!!!

Crossing Bifrost – Gods and Goddesses – The Norse Pantheon

 

Happy Saturn’s Day

The center piece of course of Norse mythology is the characters that play on its stage and that is the Gods and Goddesses of the pantheon.  The interesting thing about the gods and goddesses of Norse mythology is that they are very real.  Some critics of such pantheons say that these gods are all too human, but then again so is the jealous and vengeful god of the Bible. The point of such stories is not to be historically accurate or factual but to be morality plays that people think on.  Religion dwells in the realm of ethics and one has to wonder if the stories are the smart clergyman’s way of illustration of the values people are trying to pass on.

The Norse God’s family tree is complicated.  Like most myths the central characters are not the first generation.  Rather they are often the third and fourth generation.  There is also the complication of the fact that the Norse Pantheon also has two separate races of gods the Aesir and the Vanir.  Plus the Gods often mate with the giants producing offspring.  So most people can relate to such gods as the whole family question seems to be pretty relative. The whole Vanir /Aesir question seems to be the result at least as far as I understand it of two mythologies of different parts of the Scandinavian / Germanic world merging.  The result is a little confusion but it makes for an interesting story in and of itself when Freya, who is Vanir, is sent as an exchange to Asgard which is the home of the Aesir.

The stories of the Norse Gods are quite extensive but they have a couple challenging issues. 1) The goddesses do play prominently very often and so their personalities as far as characters in the story or even a full idea of what their sphere and powers are is sometimes missing. 2) There are gaps in the stories like there are supposed to be more of them but they were not written down. My guess is that there are tons of stories that were told but only a few were preserved.

From my perspective as a writer this is a blessing in some ways because I can fill in the gaps when I use Norse mythology and no one can really bitch about it. I can for instance take what little is known about the goddess Hel for example and then fill in the gaps with my own imagination which is what I did in this post: The Grey Wayfarer (Fantasy Serial) – Chapter 5 – Evil Intent (Hel).  I can also do this with other blank spots in the story and characters.  So Norse mythology becomes a rich backdrop that my imagination as a writer can fill in the blank spots. It is primarily why The Grey Wayfarer will center on female goddesses because I can fill in the gaps and there are a lot of gaps.

In popular culture of course the Norse Pantheon is prevalent from the comics all the way to books and movies and has been so for a long time. The influences of this pantheon are seen in other characters indirectly as well.  JRR Tolkien’s Gandalf the Grey is certainly inspired in part by Odin.  There are simply tons of this kind of thing in fantasy literature and that is kind of my reason for delving into it.  To find my own inspiration for my own characters and writing.

There is also the fact that a religion built around a warrior culture is fascinating.  It is amazing to me how many of this pantheon are gods and goddesses of battle or war. I would say very few of them could not be invoked before a battle by a Viking, and that makes conflict a central aspect of the pantheon.  War and battle are common but also politics and diplomacy. Adventure in these stories is often high and powerful.

In the future the Gods and Goddess’ section of Crossing Bifrost will center on a singular god or goddess.  There basically will be dossier of them and then some thoughts about them from my perspective.  My goal is to draw inspiration with Crossing Bifrost and this section will be no different. I will probably start with Odin of course and then work radially out from him.  It seems if there is one thing that binds the whole thing together is the All-Father.

As always I claim no expertise here.  I am still learning and reading but I want to keep a record of my thoughts as I do.  The goal of Crossing Bifrost is to record my journey in understanding this rich mythology, not necessarily to educate.  If while I am doing that you are inspired and learn something then that is a bonus for me.

I hope you continue to enjoy this.

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

Skaal!!!