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

Happy Sol’s Day!

Announcements:

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

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

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

Mediation:

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Text: 

 

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

Sermon:

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

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

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

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

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

Parting Thought:

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No Gods, No Masters

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

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

Happy Sif’s Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still Walking,

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

Skaal!!!

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

 

 

Happy Sif’s Day

Discussion: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Playlist:

Wardruna and Aurora – ‘Helvegen’:

Disturbed – ‘Stricken’:

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

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

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

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

Happy Thor’s Day

Rogue Wizard’s Journal August 27th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You two mind if I join you?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Is it magical?”, I asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I nodded.

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

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

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

This time both women laughed.

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

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

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

Amber shrugged then spoke.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You both do?”

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

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

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

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

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

Author’s Notes: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Dealing with Ghosts” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 20

Happy Thor’s Day

I suppose it is a testimony to the effectiveness of the last four The Grey and The Wayfarer posts that I really have not had The Grey strong in my life for almost a month, until last week.  The trigger is this poem I have been basically dismissing and setting aside for a month until this last week it started crystalizing fully in my mind and then it became a problem.  It was bad enough for the last ten days or so for me to have a few minor moments with The Grey.  Finally, last Sif’s Day I finalized the poem and published it and I do feel better. Below is the link:

“The Ghost of You” – Skald Tales and Poems – Poem

That said, the ghost of Miss Salty isn’t the only ghost I have been struggling with. I suppose when I look at what ghosts symbolize, it is unfinished business. I have a bit of that but also there is the aspect of someone dead to you either literally or figuratively.  People who for whatever reason are no longer part of your life that still haunt you. Sometimes the haunting is good, sometimes bad.

Probably a good example of each is in order.  The first is my father who died on October 5th, 1994.  He was a great man and his funeral was one of the best attended I have ever seen in my life. Not a week goes by that I don’t think of him still.  I have adapted to his absence but I have never gotten completely used to it.  This time of year both mom and I are a little cranky because of it. The three musketeers (I was an only child) are still missing Porthos. His love of life was infectious and both mom and I have struggled with that ever since his death.

The other kind is best represented by the man known to me as The Dirty Pig.  Probably because the real ghost of that is our friendship which, given all that has happened, was ultimately ghost-like the entire time.  It was illusionary and only remained as long as there was some benefit in it for him.  Real friends can’t be lost so what was revealed was a man who was a poser and a fraud. The Dirty Pig he is to me and will remain so until I am dead.

Sometimes things are also ghosts particularly relationships.  My life as a pastor and my marriage before our almost divorce or both there to haunt me.  The first becomes a ghost because I wasted a lot of time that I could have been enjoying life an building one.  Doing something more useful than being a good storyteller, cut-rate counselor, and spiritual guru. I am now playing a colossal game of catchup when it comes to my finances being prepared for retirement.  I counsel everyone who will listen to me to not go into the ministry.  If you want to help people start a non-profit charity and run it yourself or go into counseling or some form of social work. Be a teacher. Do anything but a preacher or pastor.

My ‘former’ marriage and the combo of my wife and I being a pastor and pastor’s wife is also a ghost that haunts me.  Mostly because inside my heart I am longing for something different now when it comes to my marriage and my wife wants to return to the way things were.  If we stay together, neither of us is going to get what we want and that may still bring about our downfall. I don’t want that but I also don’t want to be miserable like before and so the tension between loving her and loving myself is very real.  It is also not the only thing providing tension.

The other thing is this is now a mixed marriage as far as faith/spirituality and that is particularly stressful to both of us because our values are different now.  They are also diverging more and more. I know if we had gotten divorced, my life would be different and the only thing holding me back with some of my desires is I chose to stay. I know what happened the last time I sacrificed my own happiness to make everyone else happy and it was pretty devastating to all involved.  While I have no desire to have that happen again, I know this is kind of an Achilles’ Heal of mine and I don’t think it has been removed from how I function as a person. It is a ghost that hangs over me.

One other thing besides ghosts to talk about in this The Grey and The Wayfarer.  That is the nature of The Grey itself which might be considered a large ghost if you look at it a certain way.  A bit ago I asked myself the question of what exactly is The Grey?  It is not raw depression that is for sure because I can shut off the negative emotions completely and I would still say I am in The Grey.  Depression is a part of it but not the total of it. There is something else, and I am still thinking about it.  I think though I would need counseling to get to the bottom of it completely.  The one thing I am sure of is that the depressive elements are not the only thing going on here.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Behind Enemy Lines” – Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 11

Happy Woden’s (Odin) Day

Rogue Wizard’s Journal: June 12, 2019

Wow, it has been a while since I have written in this journal.  Mostly because it has been boring as shit. Sure there was an initial buzz after the Red Grove Tree was finally laid to rest in flames, but then the reports became dull.  The fairie folk as predicted stopped fighting so hard for the salient that was trying to fight for the tree.  The wizards for their part advanced into the grove only to find the tree burning in magical fire.  It burned up quickly and a day later there was truly nothing left.

As far as the war went, the fae pulled back to a line they could defend better with fewer casualties.  The wizards saw this and now that there was no strategic objective in the area, they sent many of their forces elsewhere. The line stabilized and then most of the fighting stopped in this area.

Lunette and I moved fully the House Venus Mansion.  Lunette took the room next to mine, but mostly she just slept there.  The rest of the time she was with me talking (yes, talking) or she would turn invisible, shrink down and fly out and do some recon work.  For my part, I visited the Lioness when she was at the mansion or talked with Amber.  I was keeping a very close eye on what was going on and my ‘allies’.  I wasn’t going to be caught again unprepared.

Lunette’s recon trips brought back the information about how the lines had stabilized in the area. I also had committed a high crime in the faerie world, so there was a bounty on my head with them now.  A rather large one.  So I was behind enemy lines no matter where I was now. The search for me had all but disappeared because the mages had larger problems elsewhere.

I have spent the last few months doing one of the following. Reading and studying magical tomes and doing magical research.  Talking with Lunette and Amber about the situation. Finishing up my political science degree.  I received it in late May. Keeping up family appearances by visiting them once a week and calling them.  They call me more than I call them.

Lunette didn’t just do recon trips all the time.  She did set up a small alchemy station in my room. She did her own reading and research.  She seems a little happier now.  That kiss was the start of that but we haven’t done anything but hold hands since. She respects my mourning period for my wife and hasn’t pushed it.  She seems very much interested in building our trust level.

Two days ago would have been my wife and I’s 30th anniversary. May 1st was the end of the six months, but I decided that it might be more appropriate for me to end this period of mourning on our anniversary itself.  So two days ago. I opened a small chest that I have with stuff in it that reminds me of her. A few pictures of us, some jewelry, a negligee she used to wear.  I laid it all out on the table in front of me.  Tears were easy on this one.

I took off my wedding band and laid it in the negligee. I folded it around the band and then placed it back in the chest, I put the pictures and other jewelry on top, and closed the lid. I cast a protection spell on the chest.  Only I or my immediate family could open it now.  I set the chest near my reading chair. I cried myself to sleep that night and when I woke up I felt better.  I felt at peace about the whole thing, my wife finally laid to rest in my heart.

Last night, Lunette was with me and she looked nervous. I asked her what was up and she said she wanted to respect that even though she knew I had laid my wife to rest, at last, she didn’t want to push our relationship.  I asked her what kind of relationship she thought we could have and what kind of relationship did she want with me?

“I think I love you, Edward.  For the first time, my lecherous pixie heart loves someone and I think it is you.”

“Love? I don’t know Lunette, is that even possible for your kind?  Fidelity, particular sexual fidelity doesn’t seem to be your strong suit.”

“Would you demand sexual fidelity out of me?  Do you still hold that morality?”

“Honestly, no.  Fidelity has not much to do with sex if you ask me. It is far more important to be there for someone when they need you.  To be in their corner even when they disappoint you.  That’s real fidelity. Sex is a wonderful experience to be sure, but it is also just sex.  I don’t want to sound like I am diminishing its importance, but fidelity is measured more when the chips are down and you need someone to watch your back, not on where you stick your dick or who you spread your legs too.  I don’t think it is right to say you have some exclusive ownership to someone else’s sexuality, sounds kind of like a miniature form of slavery if you ask me now.”

“You maintained it with your wife, even after death.”

“Yes, but those were the vows I took, so I tried my level best to keep them.  I never slept with any other females but you, Elpis and her.  I loved Miss Salty too, but I never had sex with her although I can’t say the relationship didn’t have sexual elements to it, it certainly did. I came back to my wife so the vows we took were back in force.  That said my dear, you might say I have come, in part, to the more fairy way of thinking about the subject of sex now. I am simply not a one-night stand kind of guy. I have to feel I have a relationship with a woman that is loving for me to make love to her. There is still a spiritual side to it to me, a magical side if you will, and it’s not just a physical humping in the dark thing to me.”

Lunette smiled and nodded.

“Edward, I know I have tricked you a couple times, do you trust me?”

“Hmm.  I don’t know. You are a deceitful little spy these days.  Good at it too.  On what basis could you and I trust one another.  I don’t know what side you are on right now.  Like me, you are wanted by both sides.”

“There are three sides to this one Edward.  There is also the side of peace and coexistence.  Not just between fae and mage, but also with mundanes. ”

“You think the mundanes will be comfortable with creatures walking around that can kill them with a thought or spell or that are from their deepest nightmares?”

“No, not at first, but magic can be awakened in everyone. If that is so then, the idea of mundanes might be gone in time as well.”

She had a point, it was my turn to nod because this had been my working theory since high school.

“But to answer your question I am on the side of the survivors. I want you and me to survive.  But if you need more proof of my loyalty to you: I swear by the memory of my mother and father and the Red Tree Grove, that I will guard and protect you Edward and I will be a supporter of you through all of your remaining life – My troth upon it.”

I sat in silence for a minute or two.

“Hmm, sounds like an oath.  I guess I will say the same to you as it is only fair. My troth upon it.”

We sat and talked for a little while longer. Basically making sure we were on the same page and then both of us turned in for bed.  Well, I thought that is what Lunette was doing. I was down to my underwear when a knock came at the door.

“Edward, it’s me again”

I threw my t-shirt back on and told her to come in. She was wearing a purple robe that was tied and went down to her mid-thigh.

“Edward isn’t it customary to seal oaths in some way?”

“Yes.”

Lunette pulled her robe back and let it fall to the floor, revealing her naked body.

“Once, a long time ago, I offered myself to you like this.  You turned me down and told me to go home.  I thought afterward that you were a strong man to do such a thing. Now, I offer myself to you again.  Not as a star-struck teenage girl, but as a woman. A woman in love with you. A woman who wants to give her strength to you, and receive it in return.”

I stood dumb for a second.  I remembered what she was talking about.  I wasn’t ready for sex at the time so I turned her down.  But now…

“Lunette, we were lovers once.  It was about healing back then and lust, to be honest. But now, if you truly love me.  Do what your heart says for you to do. I will do the same.”

This morning I have awoken to find myself lying next to a beautiful faerie woman.  I can see her naked form laying sideways on the bed as she sleeps from my desk.  Her wings are behind her and folded so I can’t see them.  She is a vision of beauty and glowing in her own way. I feel the love I had for her once awakening in me again. Dormant but never gone. That’s just the way I am.

I don’t know what the future will bring,  But, I know that Lunette will be back to back with me in the end.  I can only hope we will remain survivors.

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

Skaal!!!

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

Happy Saturn’s Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

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

Happy Moon’s Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

 

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

Happy Saturn’s Day

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

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

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

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

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

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

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

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

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

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

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

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

Discipline:

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

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

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

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

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

Perseverance:

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

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

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

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

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

Fidelity: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

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

Weekly Routine: 

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

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

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

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

Bucket List Items Crossed Off: 0

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!