“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!!!

“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!!!

“Taking A Few Deep Breaths” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sif’s Day

These last two weeks have been interesting and challenging. I was in the doctor’s office on Thursday and as always a little anxious. I was there for my routine checkup and consultation. But as I waited I did some thinking.  I have had the following experiences this last couple of weeks.

  1. I have had more denials from potential employers in the last ten days than in a couple months previously.  It’s like all the applications I filed came back with nulls.
  2. At my current employer, I was passed over for a job and it was given to someone with no experience whatsoever.
  3. I have had another bout with The Grey and while it was not severe. The cause was known, however.
  4. I have had a doctor’s appointment and while a lot of the news was good, there was some news that reminded me I am getting older.   And that sucks by the way.
  5. The End of August marks one year that my wife and I have been back together after our separation last summer and that has lead to some very reflective moments about my marriage.

This post is about taking a few deep breaths and looking at each of these a little reflectively and spiritually.

Deep Breath. 

I guess I have to say the whole job situation has caused me to look at the basic fact that I have not really discovered what my new identity is. It is in-process both practically and spiritually and so there is that.  Mostly though the practical concerns will start to become forefront issues in the next couple of months I don’t find something better. For now, though my meditations center on who am I?

Deep Breath.

The decision at work at first angered me and then I just felt disrespected. It was like really, could have slapped all of us from the department any harder, especially those of us that work hard over here and have management experience?  Then I took a breath, realized that this is not my place, I am in my heart looking to move on to something better, so I might as well get about it.

Deep Breath.

My bought with The Grey recently was brought about by a song played on the radio at work. It was my song to Miss Salty and it triggered the whole mess of feelings involved in that.  One thing they never seem to mention about being empathic is that emotions experienced in certain situations stay and lay dormant until something triggers them and then there you are all over again. Which triggers a whole lot of meditation on the problem.  My most recent meditations have led me to a question: What exactly is The Grey?

Depression?  It involves depression but there is that switch that goes off to protect me from the sadness so I feel nothing. In that state, am I depressed or something else entirely?  I think I might have had an introspective moment because of this that might lead to an awakening.   I hope so.

Deep Breath.

I took a lot of those deep breaths before I met my new doctor. I just passed 50 so the protocol becomes: ‘You need this test done, you need to start this medication as a diabetic.’  I am like – what is this malevolent magic that took place where all this was unnecessary at age 49 and 364 days but one day later, a whole list of evil fairies have comes and makes you vulnerable to a whole new crops of shit. I hope my new doctor is a good salesman and explains things well, because if you don’t sell me – Yeah, fuck that shit.

The problem is that all my health indicators indicate I am healthier than I was last year, but somehow my medicines need to be increased and new treatments engaged for possible problems down the road. I hate American medicine, they either engage in damage control after the fact or their definition of preventative medicine is purely put more pills in your body. Not my thoughts on how to approach my health.

Deep Breath.

I don’t take too much for granted when it regards my marriage.  Our reconciliation is in truth a work in progress. I simply acknowledge here that It still might not work, something I started when we first decided to go down this path to my family and something I remind myself of right now. I want it very much to work, don’t get me wrong. But I also acknowledge the struggle in my heart between how much do I have to give up as far as my personal happiness to stay married? I shouldn’t be looking at it that way should I, but I am, and that is very troubling to me.

  1. My wife and I have very different values now.  That is basically because I ‘fuck it’ to my former faith and she has not.  What is important to me is very different than what is important to her.  And it is growing more divided.
  2. Our goals are very different and trying to find common ground either involves a lot of compromises or straight up, from my perspective, me giving up a lot of my goals entirely.  I am growing weary of having to give up what I desire simply to make my family and friends happy, and that is exactly the state of mind I was in that caused me to walk away a year ago. Not good.
  3. I now know what aspects of a relationship with a woman I am missing and still desire. It creates a longing in my heart that I cannot seem to shake.

Deep Breath.

I think it is time to look within.  Discover who I am again and out of that might flow a lot of answers.  It is time to awaken and to take that first breath of who I am now.  It is time to find that person and become them.

Deep Breath.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Year Ago Retrospect (Part 3) – My Marriage – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 18

Happy Wooden’s (Odin) 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 three 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

An additional disclaimer might be necessary here – I am talking very openly about my feelings and struggles I have had and am having with my marriage. Two things: 1) My wife and I are in the process of rebuilding things and, given recent experience, are painfully aware of the weaknesses in our marriage. That said we are working on it but both of us are no longer naive enough to believe that things will always be cool without working on them. 2) I am not going to speak for my wife’s feelings on things currently.  That would be rude and presumptuous on my part to do that, but I am going to be very open about mine.  This is about sorting things out in my head, not looking for excuses or reason to call it quits.  It is more an honest assessment of the situation, so I can move forward.

A little background.  We have been married for 30 years now.  It almost wasn’t 30 years. My wife and I have known each other since we were children, we dated on and off through middle school and high school.  In early 1989, we got back together and in February of that same year, I proposed to her.  We got married that June on the 10th.  From that time on our life has been basically revolving around two things: 1) Our lives as a pastor and his wife and 2) Our children.  We always talked early on about how we wanted a few kids early so later in life we could spend more time enjoying each other but life began and slowly these two things dominated our lives.

Through the years we were pastor and wife through four churches and we raised our kids.  The last one graduated in 2011 and that is when the seeds of our troubles really began.  Mostly, I guess my expectations that we would do more together felt a little short-changed. It was one of those moments when you are done focusing on the kids and you look at this person you have been with and go – who are you again?  I would say to any couple that hits an empty nest stage, even if you think you are in good shape – go get a marriage check-up with a counselor.  There are probably things that have been unsaid while you have been raising the kids that need to be said now as it turns back into the two of you.

For me, things started south at about the same time I started school in 2015.   I know I wasn’t supported in that decision by my wife.  It bothered me because I was facing the reality of the fact that the church was never going to support me so that retirement was an option.  I was basically going to have to stay preaching until they put me in a box and to be honest, that image did not appeal to me.  The thing is my wife and I had drifted by that point because even though the kids had grown up she kept injecting herself into their lives. At the time I felt that if I was a priority on my wife’s list it was down near the bottom and I didn’t feel at all supported as I tried to do something to make a better life for us now that the kids were gone.

Over the next three years, a gap began to develop between us.  It became pretty much church, the kid’s life, and other small talk items. As someone who hates small talk, this began to drive me nuts. As early as 2016 I began to think about divorce because from my perspective it seemed our marriage worked great for her but it sucked for me. Throw in at that point a lost faith and frustration with the Dirty Pig and his control of the church and my mind is pretty much in a very dark place about the whole thing.

As I have said before in this series, my plan was to finish school, get a new job, resign from the church and file for divorce.  I wasn’t going to provide a better life for someone who hadn’t been supportive and didn’t seem to care that from a financial point of view we were in the middle third quarter of our life and down by 35.  Time to get off the bench and put up some financial offense.  My view was if she wasn’t going help with that, I needed to either play on my own or find a new teammate.

My affair with Miss Salty accelerated my departure from the church and it also caused the troubles in our marriage to be brought to the forefront.   My wife and I spent the next three months separated including our 29th anniversary.  We had a couple conversations and the same problem presented itself from my end.  I never fall out of love with a woman completely.  That was true for my wife as well. I just didn’t feel at the time I had the right kind fo love. I felt also that my wife and I’s passive aggression had also hammered most of my love right out of me for her. I just could bring myself to love her the way a husband should love his wife.  Plus all the practical concerns listed above.

I filed for divorce in middle June and given the 60-day waiting period before a hearing, we were slated lat August and that would have been that.  It was an interesting test at times because when the severance was denied my letter written in response said that the main person they had hurt with that decision was not me but my wife who had to shoulder all the bills seeing I was not working. I had also wanted to give her some of the money to help her transition, but that was no longer an option. It demonstrates that I wasn’t out to hurt my wife in any way on this.  I just wanted out of a relationship that at the time wasn’t very good for either of us.

Then Miss Salty left me for the last time and I found myself alone, again. People remarked later how quickly I made the decision to return to my wife.  It was a 10 day or so wait.  I remark back it only took Miss Salty about 3-5 days to get over dumping her fiance and moving on, so what is their point?  My main concern was I knew that Miss Salty was no longer an option for me.  My two choices: 1) go to something new or 2) try to fix things with my wife.

My decision to try to fix things with my wife was predicated on a few factors.  1) I would never be able to trust Miss Salty again with my heart, so that was done. 2) My children had remarked that I hadn’t really tried to fix things with their mother. True. (I want to give a shout out to my daughter if she reads this – a lot of your comments my dear were spot on – take a bow girl, you probably saved your parents’ marriage.) 3) There was that little bit of love for her left.  That said, it was my wife’s reaction that ultimately made it work. For my kids’ sake, I contacted my wife and asked if we could try to work this out.

My wife listened to me and then she talked.  She did something I didn’t expect.  She forgave me.   She also took responsibility for her part in all the crap that went on before.  She didn’t tell me it was all my fault and she listened to my story and believed it.  Long story short, we got back together, I canceled the divorce with like two days to spare and we took a mini-vacation where we spent a lot of time naked in bed talking and doing what married couples do when they’re naked in bed.  We got counseling and moved into our own apartment on our own.  It isn’t perfect, but we are working on it.

There is one element of church nonsense that happened during the whole thing I feel the need to address.  When word got out one member of the church, Miss Salty’s aunt; she tried to contact my wife about what an evil person I was. How I had committed a felony, had a teenage girl problem, etc.  My wife’s friend basically told my wife to tell her to shove off as a busybody and move along with the reconciliation. My wife was kinder than that but the basic advice was followed to tell people to mind their own business.

Later in counseling, our counselor made the simple observation that the affair was a typical one that had nothing to do with Miss Salty’s age, but our marriage being shitty.  When a marriage doesn’t help the people in it, these things happen because you are vulnerable. For my part, I simply fell in love with someone who started to meet the needs I had that my wife was not meeting.  That’s it.  Anything else people want to think is Bull Shit.

If there is any possibility this still might not work, it lays with me and a few issues that are between us because of who we are:

  1. I place a high value on my freedom to act as I see fit. I don’t like a constraint.  I accept the few constraints that our marriage puts on us because it is a marriage, but outside that I want the freedom to do what I want and what is best for me.  That could pull us in different directions.
  2. Part of my problem related to this is that I tend to help others at the expense of myself.  This leads to a building up of a deficit emotionally that eventually will blow up like a bomb.  If someone doesn’t make a point to stop and ask me genuinely how I am, or as an INFJ I will go on my merry way on destruction.  My wife has learned not to take my “I’m OKs” at face value which is good, but I still have to watch myself on this and on occasion do what is emotionally right for me even if it seems selfish to others.
  3. My values are rapidly changing.  My social mores are also changing. This means in our religiously mixed marriage, I a Deist/Pagan don’t see things as evil or sinful anymore.  As a Christian she does and so compromise is definitely the order of the day. I measure things in terms of building virtue and benefit to each other, not avoiding what is wrong or bad. If our values get too far apart, our counselor said it could still be our marriage downfall.
  4. Our compromises have to be genuine give and take.  I call bullshit pretty quick if I don’t feel they are.  Some things are still in tension because of this and it is going to take time to work them out. With our values, she and I have to really watch this because it is pretty significant if a couple values different things from one another. You can still love one another and the marriage can still fail because of this.
  5. My Weaknesses are now pretty apparent.  I miss certain things about another relationship that speaks to these weaknesses.  I either have to go without or find alternatives. In some of these areas, there is no alternative so it becomes a major internal battle.  I concede now that I could very well lose those battles.  I’m am indeed vulnerable to these things.

I am not trying to create doubt here, but state the reality of where I am.  I view marriage as a pagan would.  In particular, the brand of paganism that renews vows every year.  This forces you to be constantly working at it to make it mutually beneficial, rather than just taking it for granted as a lifetime commitment does. It is far more realistic in my opinion and the vows don’t set you up for failure.

That said, our vows are Chrisitan ones, so the basis for me is gone except for my commitment to the Asatru Virtue of Fidelity. I still honor the spirit of those vows for that alone and nothing else. That said, one aspect of Fidelity is loyalty to self.  It is possible given our different faiths/values that loyalty to my marriage and loyalty to self might come into conflict. How I view the virtue of Fidelity is starting to solidify with self at the center and all my other relationships in a circle around it.  If that circle is broken or weak in some spots, it needs to be addressed or changed but the center needs to always be strong.

One part to go and that will be me directly addressing some of the people I mentioned in this series so far. For now, know that my wife and I are good and we are working to be great.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Fantasy Hedge Nuptials” – The Skald’s Lyre

Happy Saturn’s Day

Musical Journal:

I doubt anyone but a very few who have followed me for a long time would understand the meaning of both the image and the title of this post. Only one person, that I know of, knows the full meaning of what I am writing about and the songs I am about to select.  Only one person knows why this is the day I choose to post them. Whether or not she even reads me anymore, I have no fucking clue.  But if she does, here are my thoughts on a day that was supposed to be something but turned into nothing.

What I do know is that I have been either calm because I have been busy, but every time I have too much time to think about things, this comes up and the combination of sadness and rage begins. I handle it, of course, like I always do, but it means shutting down to the cold side. That is not the side I like very much.  My other alternative is music. The problem is the songs I find in my memory or that I think revolve around this non-existent event that was supposed to be today.  Only one-way then left to deal with it – write about it and get it out of my system.

Disclaimer: This is a raw one, so be advised.  Although I might just post the songs and leave it at that.  You know that is probably the best idea:  Just a playlist this week.  Make your own meaning out of it. Me – I am just trying to sing my way through The Grey.  The one thing I will say is not every word of every song applies to how I feel about this whole thing, but there is some line in every song that does.

Playlist:

400LUX – Lorde:

All of Me – John Legend:

Familiar Taste of Poison – Halestorm:

Just Give Me a Reason – Pink:

Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye:

Bonus Tracks:

Bad Romance – Lady Gaga:

Incomplete – Back Street Boys:

A toast then, to the fantasy hedge nuptials that never came to be.  Too bad, because at least the music and poetry would have been epic.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Marriage Balance” – A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

I mentioned on Wooden’s Day that the struggle for me and my wife is marriage balance.  if you love someone you want them to be happy and the best way for you to let them achieve that is let them be themselves.  On the flip side, you got married to that person because there are things you expected from the marriage as far as what the marriage does for you.  What you expected the other person to do for you that would help you pursue that happiness.

For me, there is a lot of freedom I expect to be given to me and I work very hard to give a lot to my wife. At the same time, I know she expects some things from me and I from her. We wouldn’t have gotten married if there wasn’t something we were expecting for ourselves from that marriage that in some way contributed to our well being. We at least at the bare minimum expect our spouses to love and respect us.

my struggle is not to lose what I want to compromise to make my wife happy.  I know that sounds counter to what I just said but the problem is if you are miserable as a consequence of making the other person happy, then that is not right.  This is the problem because freedom and expectations need to be such that both people are achieving happiness.  That the other person’s happiness affects your own.

I spent three very long years doing stuff to make my wife happy which at the same time made me miserable so my struggle is not to repeat that. I don’t want to lose what I want out of life and my marriage to make her happy at my expense.  She loves me, so it should mean she doesn’t want that either. It is definitely one of those tricky things for us.

It is where the virtues of discipline, perseverance, and fidelity help.

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.

Now I am not talking BDSM here with marriage and discipline. 🙂 I am talking about the regualar expression of love, affection, and renewal of the relationship that needs to take place on a daily basis.  If your spouse is the number one person in your life, then one of your number one priorities should be to express that every day somehow.  On your list of things to do this should be right up there as the number one relationship discipline of your life.

With my wife and me, this involves a few things.  For my part, I make sure to send her a text saying I love you every day.  I do this in person every day as well.  Now we have the possibility of us being separated for whatever reason which means a face to face phone call that day instead.  Every day we are together we also have cuddle and communication time which is mandatory for at least ten minutes. I know my wife asks me how I am doing most days because she knows I walk the Grey known as depression so she asks from time to time and really means it.  I do my best to answer absolutely as honestly as I can.

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.

Marriages fail when all sides give up.  My wife never gave up once we split-up. She was getting close to it as we got closer to divorce but she never caved. Her failure was pretty much giving up on thinking she needed to still work at our relationship.  Part of perseverance is not taking things for granted including your marriage is strong.  Sometimes it just isn’t strong and you need to work on that.  Never assume that just because you have been together for a while that you or your spouse are in a good place.

In our case, the relationship was falling apart for years before my affair.  If it hadn’t been nothing would have happened because the strength of it would have protected it.  It was a weak marriage because both of us were dissatisfied with the other person.  Respect and expressions of love were very minimal. For me, this coupled with my personality type which is the kind that expects a lot out of relationships and needs a small amount of very close relationships and at least one intimate one to function, I was very lonely.  The rest is pretty much the anatomy of the typical good guy who has an affair.

Even after all that both my wife and I still decided to give it one more try and make the necessary changes. We got up after failure and kept going.

Fidelity: 

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

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

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

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

The balance problem in our marriage is one of respecting the individual loyalty she and I should have for ourselves and what each of us wants as individuals; and at the same time, there is our relationship that requires compromise on that to maintain loyalty to the marriage itself. It is a balancing act where sometimes we give up something we want and other times, we give the other person the freedom to do what they want to do.   The real challenge is when what we want involves the other person.  Still a work in progress on this one as we are both trying to figure out a lot of things.

One note I need to make here is the mini-vacation was achieved. It was nice although every time we take one of these things, other issues get revealed that require thought and action.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

Wisdom in marriage is a collective thing and each side needs to listen to the other.  Sometimes you are the one with the wise words, sometimes it’s your spouse. Balance is key the most in this regard. What I do know is that following the Nine Noble Virtues on my side has lead to some good things in my marriage.

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.

Next week I will be working on moving these things as much as possible to the daily list.

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

Goals Achieved: 3

  1. Graduated College with a BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business – December 2018
  2. Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019
  3. Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation – June 2019

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“The Business of Marriage” – A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues

Happy Wooden’s (Odin’s) Day

Journal Entry:

This post will is being written the last moments of my wife and I’s little anniversary excursion. I am up in the early am again as always and she is sleeping nearby.  This post will, however, drop on Wooden’s Day.  I will be back to work, my wife too.  We will be back to the business of our lives and the business of marriage will resume.

I know some people don’t like that idea of ‘the business of marriage’.  Romanticism has done that to us. Truth is in the past people had a far better understanding of ‘business’ as being the relationships people have.  Sometimes business involves money, but it always involves a human relationship.  Marriage is at its core a business relationship.  I mean I can get friendship and sex without marriage.  I can even have kids without it.  What marriage brings to the table is a certain understanding of responsibility toward each other.  I am not going to debate the thought of if this is how it should be, but society and the people involved in marriage are in business together as far as a relationship and that is supposed to be about gaining mutual gain and happiness.

Socially it has all the trappings of a business relationship 1) A contract, 2) expectations and 3) a cost. I am not sure I like these thoughts either which is why I have said that anything should happen to my wife (no I don’t want that to happen but I am a realist about these things), my next intimate relationship with a woman may not involve any of what mainstream society thinks.  Just read what any libertarian writes about marriage licenses and government involvement in marriage and you will get what I think about them.

The thing is with my wife and me the business of marriage has never been our problem.  It is the balance of love of the other person and the love of ourselves that is the most difficult about this, but more on that in a couple days.  For now, I want to simply point to the fact that my wife and I have a business arrangement and the license, rings, and vows don’t stop you from breaking it. Something we have both learned through painful experience.  No, you have to commit to walking in the virtues of business to make this work.  You have to commit to the ideals of self-reliance, industriousness, and hospitality.

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.

Part of self-reliance is having someone you can trust to work with you to achieve independence. It is easy to work for your own independence but when you start that bridge to working for the independence of your family, that first person that should be your partner in that is your spouse or it better be. My wife and I have always been good partners in this regard because we share a pretty common thread of not wanting to be dependent on others for support.  Neither of us likes to spend money unless we have to and that helps but it is also sometimes a drag.  There is a reason why independence needs to be celebrated and that is what this last anniversary trip was about.

Industriousness:

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

Principle: Work with the enjoyment of work itself.

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

Bucket List: Write A Novel and Get it Published.

A long term relationship is work.  There are often no shortcuts to it either.  You also don’t want to be just working at it to work at it. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is insanity after all.  Relationships need some level of efficient working at communication and actions.  This one is a struggle for me in the communication part as I have this issue of verbal communication of feelings.  It is real work for me to express them with my mouth.  Easier with my fingers on a keyboard. So it is work to talk.  It also is a recognized vulnerability for me when I can open up verbally about anything I want to talk about.  I didn’t realize this until very recently.

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.

The essence of hospitality is compassion.  For my wife and me, as a pastor and wife in the past, this was a central tenet of our ministry – compassion to people.  Hospitality was something we wanted people to feel.  Now, I am not sure how we are going to express that together with me leaving the faith and the ministry. It is something we will in the future have to figure out.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

At some point last year, my marriage became worth fighting for and it still is.  Part of this is the concept of treating my wife as fairly as possible. Part of it is also that I am being treated fairly by her and making sure that she and I are living up to our end of what we agreed to  All this and at the same time making sure we each are not losing what we want for ourselves.  Justice is the main goal of the business virtues.

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 actions, etc.
  6. Check Communications and Email after 2 pm but before 4 pm.
  7. Weekly Routine Items
  8. Nutrition: Daily Carb Count – 2

I will be working on moving things from my weekly routine to this one as much as possible next week. Trying something new to get better results.

Still walking,

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

Skaal!!!

“The 30th Anniversary That Almost Wasn’t” – A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues

Happy Moon’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

Right now as I write this post it is June 9th, 2019.  I am sitting in my hotel room at 3 am and my wife is sleeping nearby. My wife is still with me and that is the greatest cause for me to be happy at this point. Tomorrow this post will drop and it will be our 30th anniversary.  Three decades together is a pretty impressive milestone these days and I suppose that should be the topic of my thoughts but rather it is the fact that this is the anniversary that almost wasn’t.

On our 29th anniversary, my wife and I were separated.  At the time I was sick of our marriage and the cold deadness of it. I didn’t hate my wife, I just didn’t want to be married to her anymore.  My love for her had completely dried up.  The results of keeping a lot of thought to myself and her own admitted lack of respect for me. That leads to a dead marriage where you live together and can even have sex, but the relationship sucks overall. I mark this date because I waited until the 11th to file for divorce.

At the time I was in love with someone else. Some people don’t want to think it was genuine but the truth that needs to be faced is at least on my side. This dead marriage I was in had left me vulnerable and open to anyone who showed me some sort of concern or respect and Miss Salty stepped in.  Fast forward a couple months and that relationship was over and I was hurt very badly.  I contacted my wife after a couple weeks of being miserable.

Oddly enough she didn’t react like I think most women would have, she listened.  Over the next week, a lot happened but the short story was we reconciled and I canceled the divorce.  It was only three days from our hearing. On that day, we weren’t in court and instead were in a hotel room much like now spending that day naked in each other’s arms instead.

For her, she never stopped loving me.  She just had to realize that love isn’t enough to keep things going in a marriage and now I see a lot of changes in how she treats me because of it.  It wasn’t the best way to learn this but she has done very well in a lot of respects. If she had approached it differently we would not be here.

For me, my love is much different toward her.  I suppose it is reflected in my Foundational Virtues and so my love for her is not the old one – that dried up.  It is new, based on a new understanding of what I value most.

This week’s journal posts, in general, will be a consideration of my virtues in my life regarding my marriage.  If you want to know why my love for my wife is new and different and learn something from it, then keep reading.  Not just today, but Woden’s Day and Frigg and Freya’s Day too.

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.

Part of honor is showing respect toward the honorable in your life when they demonstrate it. My wife is a very noble person in that respect.  Despite all the hurt she looked past it and was open to hearing my side of why I wanted out.  She didn’t react in anger toward me although I am sure she felt it. She gets my respect a lot more in this new love of mine because, in some aspects of character, she exceeds me by quite a bit.

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.

It took a lot of courage for us to both face reconciliation.  But to bravely hope the best was her doing.  In that respect, she had far more courage than I did.  I wanted to walk and start over with someone else. It has been a lot of work and challenges for us.  For her it is bravely facing the fact her husband is a different man in many respects. She is facing this very well.

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.

It takes both sides to admit the truth that it is both their fault. Just yesterday, we had this conversation about a friend of ours and how when he had done much the same as I did, how no one was concerned about he felt. I can echo that feeling during my own struggles.  If you are going to reconcile, the fact that the opposite number might have had an affair needs to be addressed for sure and there is no excuse for it, but there are reasons a person turns to someone else besides their spouse that relates to the relationship and why it fell apart.  my wife faced the truth of this and if she hadn’t this would be a non-existent anniversary.

Higher Virtue: Love:

I guess Love is central but my definition of love is far different than my days a Christian –  It is deeper and more realistic.  Romance is fine but it comes and goes. Love that has some strength to it requires Honor, Courage and Truth.

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. Stretching / Yoga
  6. Breakfast, Medications, and Supplements.
  7. Shower and Personal Hygiene
  8. Get Dressed for the Day

No morning routine these next couple days.  Other than to wake up next to my wife and do some serious naked cuddling and making love.  This part of my life’s journey is one I want to enjoy.

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!!!