“The Cold Hard Reality of Justice” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Justice

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

The cold hard reality of justice is that you may never receive it. Ever.  No matter how much you desire it or want to think you deserve it, justice may elude you. It this injustice of life that causes people to think if a final cosmic justice after death where the scales are balanced and everyone gets what they deserve.  Every type of life after death mythos has this in it in some way. The problem is that there is no evidence that this will ever happen. It might be something hoped for, but it is likely to be all nonsense and wishful thinking.

When people ask me what I believe, I tell them that I have no active belief in any god of any type. That makes me for all practical purposes an atheist. I occasionally conceded it would be nice if deism was true, but believing in a creator cause is a far cry from all the other claims of theism of any kind. Including any form of a goddess, that holds a scale in her hand one hand and a sword in the other and is blindfolded.  That is mythology.

See the source image

The sad real truth is many people will never receive justice for what has been done to them and in some cases, you have to be content with it.  Notice, I didn’t say forgive because in my opinion forgiveness should not just be given toward injustice.  Forgiveness being encouraged is often simply an excuse for those who have the power to get away with wrongdoing and abuse. A man who sexually abuses and rapes his daughter should have his dick cut off; not be forgiven.

There are other ways to get peace about things that happen to you, forgiveness needs to be carefully measured and viewed in the light of contrition from the person who did the harm in the first place.  Without contrition and restitution upfront, forgiveness is not deserved in my opinion.  Justice is a better option until those things take place.

Justice can take many forms and merits a discussion in regards to philosophy outside of any final afterlife balancing of the scales. So…

To the Wolves and Ravens:

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

Needs (Geri):

To illustrate my meaning here, I will use my own unpleasant experience with and desire for justice to take place toward The Dirty Pig.  I need justice in this regard as I know like so many others who have wronged me, they haunt me like ghosts to this very day. I never get over them and that is simply how I am.  I learn to cope but it never sits right with me ever.  The only exception has been when I learned later that karma or the universe had bitten them in the ass in much the same way.  The leadership of my former denomination that was instrumental in my downfall from my second church is a good example as later I learned their own bad actions caught up with them and they too were discredited.

I need something similar to happen to the Dirty Pig for my conscience’s sake.  Such justice allows me to smile and truly walk away and not look back.

Wants (Freki):

I want justice in regard to The Dirty Pig as well.  Pardon me if I think people who are fake and false friends should be seen for it. That an honorless person should be exposed as being honorless. That people who have a trail of broken friendships they no longer saw as useful to them or that were necessary to shuck off to cover their own ass should face the consequences of being narcissistic self-righteous assholes.  Yes, pardon me for think justice should be enacted on people who are sanctimonious jerks who use people to entertain themselves.  Sorry, I don’t just want to see it with the Dirty Pig, I want to take the sword from lady justice and use it myself.See the source image

Reason (Huginn):

All that said with my wolves howling for justice, the raven of reason caws and reminds me I may never see it, or be the one who holds the sword, and I need to be ready for that.  I need to be content that it may be someone else he has wronged (there are many of us) that brings down the old boar known as The Dirty Pig.  In such a moment I need to be content with simply toasting that bringer of justice’s good fortune.  I may also have to accept that he may die having never received justice. Then my contentment will come from toasting in contempt of his memory and I won’t be alone in that regard.

Wisdom (Muninn):

The raven of wisdom caws – patience. Yeah, I can do that. Mostly one day I know he is going to need friends and because he has thrown so many of us away as no longer worthy, he will be lacking in that regard. The potential and probability for poetic justice are very high given his behavior and patterns.  He also isn’t as smart as he thinks he is and that means he has the potential to make a mistake with the wrong person who will show him for what he is. Yeah, I wait and watch.  My fury can stay smoldering and focused on the right time to act.

Conclusion:

In the last two years, I can say three traumatic events have happened in my life. I loved and lost Miss Salty.  I nearly got a divorce from my wife.  Someone I thought was a good friend turned his back on me.  He lied to me and used someone I loved and a congregation I loved to get his own version of honorless justice to prove he was the kingfish. He slandered me, lied about me and stabbed me in the back.  In doing so he demonstrated his lack of honor, friendship and concern for anyone but himself. Of the three it is the only one I am still angry about and want justice for.  But, I realize patience and keeping myself open to the many forms justice may take is necessary.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

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

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

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

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

Click Here for Part 1 

Click Here for Part 2

Click Here for Part 3

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

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

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

To the Dirty Pig:

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

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

To  My Former Congregation:

This has three parts:

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

To Miss Salty’s Family:

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

To Miss Salty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To My Old Self – Pastor Ed:

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

To My New Self – The Grey Wayfarer:

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

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

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

Time to truly become,

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

Skaal!!!

“Year Ago Retrospect (Part 2) – Church Nonsense” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 17

Happy Moon’s Day

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

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

Click Here for Part 1 

In Part 2 of “Year Ago Retrospect,” I am going o deal with my other break up – with my faith and my last church.  The major trouble with the church started the moment I let certain people know I was having an affair with Miss Salty,  Most notably The Dirty Pig.  But I need to do a little background on my relationship with him first so you know why his betrayal was so painful. It is this relationship that is central to the Church Nonsense so bear with me.

When I first came to my last church, the two of us hit it off.  He made the observation that I was going to be myself and that people would just have to deal with that and from then on I considered him a friend.  A lot of people think they know this guy so when I talk about this stuff, they think I am lying about his character and actions.  You need to understand that I knew him a lot longer than any of them.  We were friends, we did the same small group together for over nine years, I did him a lot of favors over the years and while I never asked him for anything he would on occasion give me something or help me out. I know the Dirty Pig from long experience and only after he betrayed me and I looked back did I see the painful truth that I suspected, but could never prove and didn’t want to believe was true.

Our friendship was good; not best friends but solid and he was a part of my circle. Note that for me, an INFJ personality type to say that is significant.  But also I knew the emotions of the man as an empath and sometimes what he felt was troubling.  It was contradictory to what I felt he should be feeling at times.  Amusement when something was pretty tragic. Over time I would say it was like a cat looking at mice as far as his emotions. Given that he had been a cop all most of his career, somewhat understandable although a little uncomfortable. There was always this element of ‘my viewpoint on life is superior and people better respect that’ with him.  He also was highly competitive and I never saw him happy when he came in second in anything.

We got along fine for a long while but our friendship got strained more and more as time went by. I am very accepting of people’s flaws and other viewpoints and he is not. The first real issue I noticed there was a problem here was when I was trying to get a modern worship team started. It was going OK, but he would make comments like ‘that hippie music’ and such.  He said he didn’t mean much by it, but it had a negative effect. I went away for vacation and when I came back he basically tells me that the worship team is no more.  Funny, as the pastor I was constitutionally in charge of ministry – the spiritual head of the church.

I had dealt with powerful influencers in the church before.  If thy are for the most part benevolent then the best course of action is to make them allies if possible. The problem with the Dirty Pig is I would classify him as a traditional obstructionist. That is the preferred a very traditional view of what a church service and function were. If he didn’t like something along these lines, he would pretty much not support it or even actively block it.

His basic tactic was to control the agenda of the church by using his position as the moderator to channel what was talked about and what was not.  I am now firmly convinced in that church, in particular, the moderator is the most powerful position because of this and should have term limits because of it. He also added the fact he maintained a good relationship with enough people to vote both on the council and in the congregation to get what decision he wanted. If the church grew or added people who did not share his view, something would be said by him that would cause them to either backdown or stop attending.  The church could never really grow too big because that gets harder to control and the people in it were his supporters with only a few people that were detractors.

One thing that really bothered me about his attitude, but I could never do much about, is his belief that by being cop he could also be a good pastor.  I would probably tell him now there is no direct correlation and he has no fucking clue what he is doing when it comes to building a church and ministry.  But it is all irrelevant to me now.

In the summer of 2016, I took a sabbatical of one month. I had two issues at the time 1) my faith was starting to crumble, and 2) the church was not going to be able to support me long term unless changes were made and there was no way effective change was going to be made as long as the Dirty Pig kept interfering in everything new I proposed that he didn’t like.  When I got back I wrote a letter to the church board outlining my problems and what needed to be done. A good chunk of it was directed at the Dirty Pig and his church political control, and he knew it.

There were only two responses: 1) One guy who understood I was right said so privately but also didn’t want to fight any more about it.  He stayed on the council long enough to got something for his departed wife done as a memorial and left the church.  2) A second guy who was not on the council challenged the business dealings of the church and was basically silenced through the Dirty Pig’s moderator power. Everyone else stayed in line and stayed quiet.

After that, I basically said to myself:  “This church is going nowhere as long as the Dirty Pig runs it.”  I am just going to come, preach and help people where I can.  I had a couple years of education to do and then I was out. I could do the job and then walk.

Then, of course, Miss Salty came along and kind of upset all that. One day in April of 2018, at a prayer meeting, she bounces in and announces that the Dirty Pig is no longer her favorite person, but I am.  I could see his face.  That “I don’t like to finish in second’ look all over it. I am not saying there was anything romantic in his intentions toward Miss Salty, but like all people who came into his life with problems he always wanted to be the one that ‘fixed’ them, so he could pat himself on the back. The sides were set at that point.

The following events are as best I can reconstruct them in order and true as I know:

  1. Miss Salty and I announced our affair to her aunt and my wife on Sunday evening.  Monday, the Dirty Pig got the news from the aunt and I headed over to his place of business to talk.
  2. I had written my resignation and gave it to him.  He argued four things: 1) That I shouldn’t resign, 2) That I was going to ruin my pastor career, 3) That I was going to not have a future career in anything else. and 4) That I needed to dump is Salty because she was ‘a deranged little girl’ that is never going to amount to much and be an embarrassment to me. My responses: 1) No, I am going to resign. Inside my head, I knew he would use this against me to control me. 2) Didn’t give a shit anymore.  3) Maybe.  But as my one friend would say later, people don’t really care why a pastor leaves the ministry when they switch to something else.  He is right. 4) That’s an interesting opinion of a woman who has a very high opinion of you Mr. Dirty Pig.  I told him I didn’t know where this relationship was going but I knew I loved her and wanted it to be mutual.
  3. One might argue that at this point I should have known the Dirty Pig was dirty, but he told me he would do as I asked and read my resignation and would handle things as my friend. Given all I had done for him over the years pretty much because he was my friend, I was grateful. I trusted him to do the right thing in this regard because of our friendship, and it is what I would have done for him.  I had not seen him be dishonorable in that regard and that was my downfall with him.
  4. On Tuesday, Miss Salty and I broke up the first time.
  5. Wednesday, The Dirty Pig calls me up and asks me to revise my resignation to not have the confession line.  His reasons: not wanting to start gossip in the church and not wanting to drag Miss Salty into this.  I felt the reasons were sound and because I was planning to tell the story myself the next Sunday after, I agreed and told him I would get it to him in the next couple days.
  6. On Friday, I handed him the revised resignation, no confession line in it.
  7. From a conversation I had later in July with Miss Salty, I was made aware that it was also Friday and about the same time that he called her asking her permission to tell the story.
  8. Sunday The Dirty Pig reads my resignation and then tells the story.  This information got back to me as well as the information that the congregation had been whipped into a lynch mob for all practical purposes. I knew then I could not go back and talk to them now as from their perception I was hiding something, which was never my intention.  The Dirty Pig absolute dragged Miss Salty into it and used her, and had every intention of starting gossip in the church to use for his own purposes.
  9. I was also told there was a plan in place to vote for my resignation or to fire me.  They already even had the ballots from one report I got.  That speaks to a lot of intentional planning for a certain result long before the announcement was even made.  Hmmm.
  10. Second Monday, I texted the Dirty Pig as to what was going on?  He never responded and still never has said one thing to me since.
  11. Miss Salty and I began our second dating cycle on Tuesday, In retrospect, my need for someone to talk to given the whole weight of this made me open once again for this relationship.  I was hurting and she was there.

I was fired and then denied any kind fo severance.  They even made it retroactive to May 27th, 2018.  I could probably just walk away from it if it had been fairly treated but I wasn’t.  The deck was stacked against me and I didn’t know it until it was too late.  A person I love was used against me and a congregation I loved turned against me by the Dirty Pig.

Later on August 2nd, as a related in part 1, all this came to the attention of Miss Salty who couldn’t believe The Dirty pig would do that to her..probably.  Through my sources, I learned she called him up when she read my post on August 2nd about this and asked him to refute it.  He wouldn’t talk to her or give her an answer. I guess that was right after she hung up on me for the last time.  After that, she gets high and drunk all the way to the end of the 3rd probably. She found out the hard way what I knew from early June –  I was no longer relevant to the Dirty Pig and now she knew neither was she.

The fact is I now know one thing about him.  If you are no longer of use or you are going to tarnish his precious reputation, he has no problem discarding you. His view of friendship is purely utilitarian.  I would have given him love enough to squash all the rumors and I certainly would have at least have given him time to think about things.  I would have also made sure both sides were represented fairly.  I would take heat for him as a friend too.

There was a ton of rumors at the time and 95% of them were nonsense. Some of them affect my reuniting with my wife so I will deal with them in part three. But I want to set the record straight about my relationship with Miss Salty from May 21st, 2018, to the time of my resignation.

  1. We never had any physical contact beyond holding hands once, hugs and a kiss on the forehead from me to her. There was no sex or sexual conduct.
  2. Our relationship was a lot of ‘I love you’s’ and genuine concern for each other’s happiness and welfare. At least for me, I can’t speak for her.
  3. There were no other women, girls or whatever.  Just Miss Salty.
  4. Miss Salty was a legal and functional adult at the time of this, the entire time. No crime was committed.

The other things that burn me:

  1. That I was never informed at any time of what was happening by any official channel of the church.  I was also fired without once being asked if I could come and defend myself in any way. If it hadn’t been for a few friends, I wouldn’t have known shit.
  2. I currently make more money where I am now and have more benefits than the entire almost decade I served that church.  It seems one mistake costs you a lot of years where I was there for people, held their hands in tragedy and backed and encouraged them. Severance isn’t just about the money.
  3. Very few from the church have come to me to talk to me about this.
  4. They actually sent Miss Salty a voting ballot about my fate. I love the dual accountability. Hammer for me; free pass for her. After all the time they said I was being too soft on her and not treating her like an adult, what they do? Treat her like a child, and actually make her decide something about someone she loved. I applaud her for throwing the thing in the trash.
  5. Because I was fired, I can’t even list anyone from the church a reference because primarily I don’t trust any of them.  But it would be impractical and counterproductive too.
  6. I preached for nine and a half years on grace and forgiveness.  I gave people a lot of grace and we as a church even forgave a couple that actually stole from the church and welcomed them back in. Me – throw me to the wolves.

Some of the rest of the church nonsense comes into play in my marriage discussion, so I will leave it until then.

One last thing, some argue this is the reason for my leaving the faith. Not true, it is more the final crash from a falling faith that started falling back in 2015-2016. My objections to Christianity are theological and philosophical and I will be rewriting them soon in Odin’s Eye for the next month or so.  All this really does is make me thankful I left the world of church politics and hypocritical Christianity behind.  I haven’t been in a church for a service since May 27th, 2018 and I feel so much better for it.  The only justification for a pagan for being hypocritical is making it right or conflict through fire and steel for honor sake.  I will have a message for my church and the Dirty Pig in my last post in this series on Frigg and Freya’s Day.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

Of Wolves and Ravens – A Living Definition of Justice

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

Defining justice is not easy especially when you have realized a couple things. 1) That there is no such thing as fair. 2) There may not be an afterlife or a supreme being to balance the scales after this life is over.

The first means that justice is not based on fairness so much as equitable treatment of each person as much as possible.  No matter what might seem fair, it isn’t always going to happen. Something you can either accept which will give you a lot more peace, or fight which will lead to personal strife.  Hopefully, the price of that strife is worth it, so the peace that follows more than makes up for it.

The second notion is a little harder to accept and one of the reasons I think belief in the afterlife with a supreme being that balances all the scales of justice is a common concept among many religions.  It might just be wishful thinking to a childish hope.  It might well be that you may be the victim of a crime or an injustice and there will never be any resolution to it in this life or the next.  What do you do about that?

For me, I have decided that it is more important to act justly than receive recompense as my personal definition of justice.  I may never see justice done to certain people that I think deserve it, but I can treat people with just dealings that fit a certain definition of justice.  I can behave justly, so perhaps this definition works best:

Justice: Just behavior or treatment of others, a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

Needs (Geri):

I need this sense of justice in my life as I deal with others. I don’t always like the people that I deal with, but there is still a need to be respectful of others’ humanity regardless of personal feelings.  Being respectful has its own rewards. People also know when that respect is genuine or not. That means there is a need for this definition to be more than lip service but a genuine lifestyle.

Wants (Freki):

If you want to be treated justly, you need to treat others with justice.  Even though you may not receive it at times, you will never receive justice if you are a person who never gives it.  If you play favorites, don’t be surprised if people do the same back. If you do treat people equally, then you have a better chance of receiving the same in return. Personally, this is why my definition of continues to be about respect for everyone’s humanity.

Reason (Huginn):

Reason address the subject of mercy verses rightness.  I have pretty much abandoned the notion that forgiveness should just be given.  I find a whole lot of injustice goes on and it basically white-washed in the name of forgiveness.  A lot of injustice takes place and is glossed over in the name of ‘God will fix it later’ or ‘it’s better for you to forgive’.  Reason tells me that those two statements might not be true.  Sometimes when you receive justice in this world for wrongs, that’s when you find peace. It is also more responsible to act like we are the only instruments of justice and not believe blindly that others will do it for you later, even a supreme being.

Wisdom (Muninn):

The wisdom issue is when to forgive and when to demand justice. I forgive a lot as most things are just not worth crying or expending the emotional energy to achieve in regards to justice.  Life isn’t fair, so many things are just a reflection of that and you can spend your life bitter if you don’t let a lot of them go.  There are a few things and they center around I know that I won’t be at peace until I see the scales balance.  It is identifying these issues and how to approach them knowing that I might never receive justice. Patience again is key but also knowing the fine line between vengeance and justice.

Conclusion:

I have about three things in my life right now that I struggle with concerning justice, the rest is just noise and things I forgive most of the time. These things haunt my dreams and thoughts almost every day.

1) I struggle to still respect the humanity of certain people, it is hard being equitable at times when you see douchebags get away with shit in how they treat others.

2) I still struggle with how people perceive me as more responsible for my affair than the young woman with whom I was involved.  The only thing I hold against her is that she really hasn’t or I haven’t heard of her doing much to correct this notion. I would give it as much thought as the rest of the issues in our relationship – chalk it up to love lost and ‘that’s the way some relationships go’  except for this one thing.  Hurts, but I can live with most of it. I wish her well for the most part.  The favoritism toward her, which is unmerited in my opinion, and she doesn’t seem to have ever done anything to correct herself that bothers me.

3) The man who handled things ‘for me’ in front of the church claiming to be my friend. Yeah, my hope would be to see poetic justice done where his lifestyle of lies is revealed for what it is. He is as phony as a three dollar bill, but some people think he is a good man.  I know better now.  He dumps anyone who is no longer of use to him, as evidenced by the people he has broken faith with who are in a long line of broken relationships behind him. When they no longer serve his purpose or are an advantage to him, he dumps them often deceiving them in the process.  It is a pretty clear pattern going back quite a way.  If I saw poetic justice done to him, I would clap. If I had the chance to be a part of it – yep, no hesitation to pull that trigger.  I just patiently wait to see if it will ever happen or I will be given the opportunity, as I know it would give me a great deal of peace to see it or help it along.

See the source image

I remain,

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!!!

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!!!

A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues – Realigning Self-Reliance

Happy Wooden’s (Odin’s) Day

Journal Entry:

You are on your own.  It is a simple but direct fact.  When people help me now I thank them and appreciate it.  This is because, for the most part, I accept the reality that the majority of the time I better figure out a way to achieve self-reliance on my own.  Most of the time I am on my own and so are you.  Self-reliance frees you from the temptation to be both a thief and a leech.  Two things I never want to be.

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

In realigning this virtue, once again I really have no problem with the virtue.  It is solid to me.  The problem for me the Principle is not as exclusive to the whole virtue as I would like.  It is focused on me, but the whole notion of my family, clan, etc. is missing.  Time for a rewrite.

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

The Goal is a little easier.  One current goal fits pretty well:

Goal:  Find a new, better paying job by the end of March 2019 or before.

I consider this goal to be the next step to greater independence.  It is a natural fit for a business virtue and principle as well.  I have had to alter this one once as far as time but no matter how long it takes, putting my degree and experience to good use in the business world seems the next logical step to personal independence.

The bucket list item is a different matter. I just don’t see anything.  Time to bring something back.

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

This is the ultimate in independence to me. If there is something I miss about being a pastor, it is being my own boss.  I was still dependent on other people though and so this will be a step up from that.

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.

I think the changes here are good ones. I can’t really achieve independence for others, but I can fight and advocate for it.

Industriousness:

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

Principle: Work with enjoyment of work itself.

If I want to change the principle here is would be to try to bring in the idea of efficiency.  I still like the rest of it. I have a week more time to think on it. The new job thing is becoming more and more central for a lot of things.  Not because I hate my current job,  it is just not going to be enough to achieve my goals.

Hospitality:

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

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

I don’t have a problem with the virtue or the principle. It’s what to have a goal and bucket list item that I am still thinking on.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

That all things I do toward others are not just loving but just.  Yeah. that is a challenge. For me justice as a higher virtue means you don’t just forgive and forget.  Mercy and forgiveness are sometimes very necessary in justice.  But I also think you can be so forgiving you let injustices slide which frees the person who does them to do more. That is something I have learned the hard way. But justice isn’t primarily concerned with righting wrongs so much as it is in doing no harm in the first place.  Acting in a way where forgiveness or judgment is not going to be an issue in the first place is the highest expression of this virtue.

 Daily Routine:

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

It’s not the routine that is the problem, it the execution here at times. I will however say that I am thinking of splitting the In Box and To Do list Items.  I have been creating a list of things to do at the beginning of the week and then as the week goes along. The To Do list Item may become crossing off a couple of things from that list on a daily basis. I will think on it another week and keep experimenting but so far this change has been a good one.

Goals: 

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

The goal list has been change to reflect the changes to Honor and Self Reliance.  I look at the rest and see editing is going to be needed.  I think as March goes along things are going to get clearer and clearer so I am excited for the changes.  I want goals that work.

Along this line I want to add the concept of SMART to my goals.  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reliant and Time-Bound goals are what I am after here.  The two I have changed definitely have these qualities. For every one going forward, it needs be the same.

Goals achieved since Summer 2018: 1

Budgeting: 

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

We had our taxes done and there is definitely going to be enough to finish number 1. The next step would be to have a plan of debt reduction that snowballs.

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

Skaal!!!

Of Wolves and Ravens – Fidelity – Noble Vulnerability

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

I always approach the subject of fidelity with a little trepidation. One the one hand, I have not been the most loyal of husbands in the very recent past.  Having an affair kind of undercuts your credibility when it comes to lecturing anyone on the subject of fidelity.  On the flip side, while I don’t recommend doing it this way, the lessons about fidelity I have learned from others and myself during that time were quite profound. So no lecture from me.  I don’t have the moral authority here to tell you how to be loyal and show fidelity, but I do have a testimony here of some of the things I observed and learned that might help someone.  That is if you are willing to listen before the shit hits the fan for you.

Before I begin though I want to share something my wife sent me on Sunday.  When I saw this I told her thank you and that I loved her.  What she couldn’t see, because it was sent via Messenger was the tears rolling down my face. I have no idea how she loves me so much.  I just do not get it.  She is the best example of fidelity I know.

I suppose that is the first observation I can make.  That just because you are in the midst of being disloyal to someone, it doesn’t mean that they will automatically switch to being disloyal to you.  That is the high road if you ask me.  It is a rare person who can maintain fidelity to you while you are walking away from them.  When you discover this, it can be a soul wrenching moment. I don’t recommend testing people’s loyalty to you this way, but it is very revealing who really loves you and continues to love you even when you are not being the most loyal person yourself.

I also can share the tale of two friends.  I had two friends I would have considered very close at the time. Now, I want people to understand that as disloyal as I was to my wife at the time, I had this thing about loyalty to my friends and family that was still very strong. It was my marriage that was a problem to me at the time as well as my faith, but I would have marched through hell for my friends and family.

Not all the other relationships were problematic to me. I was actually depending on them to kind of get me through the crisis I was having at the time.  One friend proved that his lifelong fidelity was true. He stuck by me, confronted me and loved me no matter what.  He even kept a few secrets, although I knew he wanted to say something.  I will give the man this, loyalty, that is fidelity runs through his veins like blood.  He still remains my truest friend and for that I will be forever grateful.

The other who was a friend for almost a decade. He, on the other hand, deliberately set me up to look like I was trying to hide the affair to my congregation, and then came out and told the story himself to pass himself off as the ‘noble hero’.  You find out who your real friends are in crisis moments and I never saw that one coming.  I trusted him and that ended that day. I discovered very quickly that this person’s definition of friendship includes in his loyalty clause – “only if you agree with me and are useful to me.”  He threw our relationship away as easily as tossing a piece of paper into the trash.

This was because I had become a liability to him and I was no longer useful to him. He not only abandoned me, but he had to kick me when I was down in his self-righteous sanctimonious arrogance.  I will never trust him again.  Even my wife, who had the greatest reason to do so, didn’t try to destroy me when I was walking away and hurting.  This man did. He has nothing but my contempt now and anyone who trusts his friendship or loyalty is a fool.

My tale of two friends demonstrates fidelity in one and its lack in the other. In the end the first friend helped me see the light and the other just has contributed to my darkness.  When you see a friend struggling, even with their own loyalty to someone, you don’t demonstrate fidelity and help them by being a disloyal prick yourself.

I suppose I have to say one other thing.  Fidelity isn’t as black and white as people like to make it out to be.  Sometimes you don’t know who to be loyal to at all.  Sometimes you have to be loyal to a couple of people who are having problems with each other.  There is a world of mines in this minefield you have to tiptoe around. Relationships can be toxic or one-sided. That is because I have also learned that fidelity is the strongest thing in the world when it is right.  It is also the most fragile and explosive thing when it goes wrong.  Handle with care.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

Needs (Geri):

I have come to understand how much I need loyalty in my life. Not just people to be loyal to me but how being loyal makes me a better person.  Oddly enough, I have been loyal to some of the people, even the above unfaithful friend, since all this happened. There is a professionalism to the ministry I maintain out of loyalty and respect for helping others and for people’s privacy.  So I have a lot of confidences that were entrusted to me, that I still keep.  I know a lot of things that could be damaging to others, but I keep them to myself out of fidelity.  I refuse to be the same person my other friend was, that just because these relationships may have philosophical differences with me, or no longer have any use, I will not be a disloyal prick and reveal those secrets to damage people.

Wants (Freki):

If I want anything right now, it is to strengthen my own loyalty to those who have proven loyal to me. I don’t know any other way to demonstrate my appreciation and respect for these people than to do this.  I want a small group of friends that fidelity is strong both ways.  I think I have a few. But I need a few more.  I also want to get over the fear of making new friends, as new relationships cause me a little of the ‘who can a trust’ syndrome based on past experience. I want to get over that while remembering not everyone who says they are your friend is one, they only prove that with actions not words.

Reason (Huginn):

When I think about this rationally, Loyalty is difficult to intellectualize.  It is much more something soul felt than rationalized. At the same time, I can see rationally that without it I won’t go forward.  I just wont.

Wisdom (Muninn):

If experience teaches wisdom, then this last year is has a taught me the wisdom of fidelity. I can’t even put to words all the things I have learned.  I guess I can say this mostly though.  If you’re having a problem in your relationship with your significant other, the place you need to talk about it is with the other person. I also understand there are problems of pain and depression that keep you from doing this at times, so you have my empathy if you can’t.  I get it.  But if you can find a way, do it.  It is far better to mend the fence than have to build a new one. Fidelity demands that.

Conclusion:

I know I have little in the way of strength here at times.  I am gaining new understandings of this virtue known as fidelity all the time.  I really don’t see it as my weakest area and even last year going though my marriage issues, I still maintained fidelity with friends, family and others despite the fact it was strained in a couple of areas. One of those areas was my marriage and it is very much on the mend.  The other was my faith and like my friend who betrayed me, I think I will say that this separation in relationship will be permanent. The real struggle now is to keep searching and walking to find the truth when it comes to faith and spirituality.  But that is what this while blog is about.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 4 – Ghost Church

Happy Tyr’s Day. 

Rogue Wizard’s Journal January 7th, 2019

After two days of waiting for Lunette to show up; but she remained a no show, I finally had one of those problems that required me to leave the house. I was running out of food. So, I threw my college hooded sweatshirt over my shoulders and after gathering my wallet and my keys headed out.  Winter had finally arrived with the snow and cold; so I braced against the wind as I walked along. It jumped into the Dodge Journey and took off toward the nearest town with a Wal-Mart.

Based on what I knew, this would mean crossing the battle lines into mage territory, but it was midday and so I wasn’t to worried that the forces of mages would attack me.  They don’t like that kind of attention.  Despite this, I kept myself alert. Of course the benefit of being a battle-mage is that you carry your weapons with you at all times. No concealed weapon permit required. I went to Wal-Mart, got my groceries and a few other items and after paying, loaded the Dodge up and headed home.

There was some sort of accident; probably due to the snow and ice, on my normal route home. So the authorities were routing people different ways.  I turned on a side street long before that and took a way that was a little more circuitous but would still get me home in short order.  It was one of those roads that thirty years ago had been busy but with the freeway since was pretty abandoned.  I was driving by an old abandoned church and a strange feeling struck me.

Remember that thing about magic being drawn to magic?  That is what was happening. I could sense it.  I stopped the car and backed up into the church’s small parking lot.  The sign read ‘Faith Church” but the message in the message board of the sign said –
‘Closed’.  The snow couldn’t disguise the fact that the yard had been overgrown with weeds. There were no other buildings close by and in fact trees kind of isolated this small church with it’s small steeple on a corner of the road.  It had been painted white, but it was slipping into gray. The front doors were chained.

As I looked at the chained doors, I was thinking about how remarkably similar this church was to my last one as far as design.  Tall steeple with a sanctuary over the basement.  The little white church of song and postcards. Mine had been much larger but just as old and made of Michigan white pine.  It required constant maintenance to just keep it looking good and standing.  Expensive maintenance that I had often wondered what good could have been done to help people with all that money. Didn’t matter anymore, but this whole concept of maintaining a building sure seems to be an excuse not to help people in retrospect.

I approached the doors and looked at the lock. I could feel something drawing me to the inside, but I with the chained door I was pretty much stuck looking through the windows.  They were stained glass, so there was no way to really see inside. Then the lock popped open.  I looked twice and double checked the lock but it had been opened. The chains fell open as I removed it, and I opened the right door.

Oddly enough the inside was in pretty good repair. The entry way had its coat rack and bulletin board on which remained a couple newspaper clippings. It was the obituaries first of the last pastor of the place.  The second of a nineteen year old girl.  Date of death for both was the same day.  Then memory bank in my head awakened and I remembered the story from ten years ago.

The pastor and this young lady had been having an affair. His wife found out and threatened to tell the whole congregation if he didn’t end it.  He did end it, by committing suicide.  The girl was the one who discovered the body and she too killed herself.  Star-crossed lovers.  What a tragic and evil tale. All because of the judgmental nature of Christians, who righteousness is supposedly as filthy rags, but they had created an atmosphere of self-righteousness so strong, that the shame of what was happening was too great, so they ended their lives.

Of course my own failure at marriage fidelity flooded my memories at that moment.  The story was similar, but the end very different.  I guess the difference was I left my faith behind. The judgmental nature of supposed sinners who bask in the forgiveness of God when given to them; but then turn around and judge harshly other sinners is a hypocrisy I simply dismiss as no longer part of my life.  The anger of all that was welling inside me; however, and I could feel the fury building my magical rage.

With that thought a voice spoke behind me.

“Tragic isn’t it?”

I turned around expecting to see some caretaker, but instead I saw a ghost. A literal ghost. Well, two actually.   The first looked like a middle-aged gentleman in a suit and tie. He had glasses and in his free hand was a Bible.  His other hand held the hand of a young beautiful woman.  She was in a dress and had a flower in her hair.  Colors are difficult with ghosts, as they are usually white and various shades of grey.  The flower in her hair however was red and gold indicating it was something special to her.  She smiled at me.  Of course they were both partially transparent, as I could see coat rack behind them

Now I have met ghosts before. Most of them are pretty harmless; just souls with some unfinished business.  I of course had that first moment of queasy stomach knowing you talking to someone dead,  then I was OK.

“Actually, I was thinking about how my own story is pretty close to yours, only without the ending.”

“Yes, that ending could have been different.  What is commonly known is not even true. We were actually found naked in each others arms.  We had made love one last time before taking the pills. They left that out; changed the whole story actually. That and the fact were found up on the pulpit on a blanket on the floor.  One last ‘desecration’ they wanted to forget by not talking about it.  What you probably know is false.  That tends to be the way of things.”

I smirked as I recognized the sarcasm in his voice; so similar to my own.  He chuckled and as I looked at the girl, she looked down and had her cheeks been able to show color they might have shown a little blush.

“Don’t worry about it young lady.  You were in love and had nothing to be ashamed of in truth. I don’t get it though, what’s the unfinished business both of you could have?”

The girl spoke this time.  Her voice was a soft soprano, I could tell she must have sung in the choir.

“We are were not sure for a long time. My mother and his wife are still alive. Both of us had harsh last words with them, but it doesn’t explain it.  Although if it is the reason then when they die, we might fade but we no longer think so.  We felt you drive by and now know what it is.”

“Me.  I don’t recall meeting either of you in life.”

The man spoke this time.

“Basically Dickens and his ghost Marley in a Christmas Carol.  One last act of penance to someone who needs our message.  We know now that someone is you.”

“Me?”

“Yes, we know your story, it was heavy on your thoughts a few moment ago. That fury inside you is very powerful. It needs release or it will consume you, like our love consumed us. The fire it creates burns everything and if you don’t find a target outside yourself to direct it towards…. ”

The girls voice was hauntingly beautiful as she spoke.   I nodded at her words.

“My fury is directed at those who have lied about me and at the Council for killing my wife when we were just beginning to love each other deeply again.  In part, I suppose it is fueled by my loneliness and the thoughts of a few treacherous actions I want justice for.  Christianity’s ‘turn the other cheek’ seems very stupid when it comes to justice.”

The man spoke this time.

“Yes, it does cause people to be abused and shamed then justify those that do it to them. Understand we are not saying your fury is bad; just dangerous. Our message to you is a little more centered on letting go of the past, so you can focus that fire of your fury at a proper target now and not at yourself.”

I nodded.  I knew what he meant. My rage was mostly self-destructive right now.  It didn’t create any positive action.  The only positive effect is that it fueled my magic with tremendous power. But where to focus that power?

“You said you had a message for me, each of you.  What is it?”

“You first my dear,” the man said.

“I speak to you as a woman with a woman’s heart. This last year you have loved two women deeply.  One hurt you and the other forgave you.  I want to submit to you that the one that hurt you might have done you a tremendous favor.  You may very well have avoided a lot of rage directed at you and her because of her choice to leave you.  I don’t know her, but I know it crossed my mind more than once to leave; so we could live and maybe love again.  It might have been her motivation.  She may have been the smart one on the decision, because you couldn’t be. If there is a need for forgiveness that will help you and not upset your sense of justice; it is probably to forgive her.”

Tears poured down my cheeks.  The truth of what she said made it hurt again, but her words rang true, and I had made a commitment to the truth. As I  looked at the ghost girl I saw her start to fade.  She had been right.  Her unfinished business was her message to me.

The man looked at her.

“Go my dear, I will be along shortly.”

I watched as the girl completely disappeared.  Then he looked at me.  He looked like he was about to cry himself.

“My message is man to man. I have learned the folly of worrying too much about what people will think of me.  I paid for that with my foolish death. The only honor that matters is what you have for yourself. Remember that, when opinion is against you for doing the right thing or even for just following your heart.  Your honor is within you, it is not the product of whether other people respect you or not. Had I known that, the two of us might still be alive.”

I nodded again and then he too began to fade.

“Looks like we were right.”

“Thank you, both of you.”

He nodded and faded out of sight.  Now the church foyer had a truly empty feeling. Whatever spirit this little church had left and now passed on to the other side.  It was indeed abandoned now.  Kind of a metaphor for my faith in truth. I walked out,  padlocked the chains back in place, and then went home.

I don’t know what the future will hold, but I do know that the lessons those two ghosts taught me are going to be with me for a bit.

Author’s Note: You will notice that the dates for the journals are now slipping into the past.  This is by design as one of the magical forms my character uses is divination. The ability to see the future is part of that. From an authorship stand point that means using twenty- twenty hindsight instead.  There will be times where nothing is happening, and the time line used here can catch up, but I am going to keep it at leas a month into the past from now on to reflect the characters powers.

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

Skaal!!!

 

A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues – Between Battles

Happy Moon’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

I have a lot more time off this week than normal from work.  I only work three days and for a total of a little more than twenty hours.  Not the greatest for the bank account but from a certain perspective it is an opportunity to do some other things and have the time to get my new career going.

So this week is also a good opportunity to do some thing to make life at home better and take a look at what can be done about things that are not getting down right now.  It is not truly going to be a week of rest so much as time between battles to adjust, train and fix my weapons and adjust my armor to use the warrior analogy.

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 – Be positive about my future

I am feeling my life is getting more about the future and less about the past every day.  That is good. It’s nice to put past battles in the past and look forward to see what new ones are on the horizon. Self-worth or honor is something that is growing in me and has reached the point that I feel I am more valuable than my current employment level. Time to find a more honorable occupation.

Courage:

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

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

The real issue as always is Courage. Putting myself out there are my age and with kind of restart attitude is a little challenging, but a little courage goes a long way.  The right thing to do all across the board is to act and get this next step moving in my life.  The time between battles is a time to focus and prepare and then take those steps toward the next challenge.

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 – Pursue knowledge, wisdom and truth at all times.

Truth is, I still find this task daunting at times.  It is not something I was completely unprepared for.  I was going to school for a reason after all.  It is jut the events of this last year have made this a little bit of a crisis moment instead of smooth transition.  Trying to smooth out some of that bumpy road is also a between battles task.

Higher Virtue: Love:

My motivation is all this is the woman of my life now.  My wife of almost thirty years.  The sad thing is this relationship almost came to an end.  The joyous thing is that at the last moment we both decided to give it another shot and so far it is working.

The one thing that is truly good is the realization that love does not allow you to take relationships like this for granted.  You can’t assume because love is active not passive and you have to keep expressing it to have it work. I guess if there is a silver lining to all this; it is this lesson, and we both have learned it. Forgiveness is definitely a needed, but more importantly is the need to proactively keep your love growing and pure.

Morning Routine:

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

I like the changes and meditation is starting to feel more normal.  I did give up the lotus position thing and settle for just sitting in my chair instead but I feel that this still is a relaxed position that allows me to meditate without distraction.  I still want to add candle and incense to the whole thing but it is mostly a matter of money that this hasn’t happened.  This is an important thing to me and I don’t want to be cheap about it or not get something that truly works for me.  It should be noted that I look forward to getting up in the morning which is one of the goals here.

Bucket List:

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

Yeah, I know I can do some things on this list very quickly if I wanted to.  However, as I sit here between battles and think to myself one of the harder things needs to come off of here by July.  It needs to be something significant.

Weightlifting:

I am thinking of baby steps at this point.  A portable dumbbell bench and a few dumbbells might get me back into the basics for muscle tone purposes. Once I know where I am working, I can look for a gym but even then a good home gym long-term is a better solution.

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

Skaal!!!