Blog Closed

I have had a personal crisis and it is a doozy.  As I read through this blog I see where some parts  of it might indeed be very painful to follow-up on.  In short, there is a lot emotional pain connected to a lot of what is here.  There is also a lot of love too.  I enjoyed doing a lot of this. I also now read a lot of this with a painful connection to someone else.   I have mentioned Miss Salty before and now I will say she is out of my life probably forever.

There is no way I can read through this blog or continue some of the series without this painful connection and reminders of it.  Also due to this crisis I am going to have a tough time writing anyway.  As much as I love blogging I don’t want to face all this right now and I will actually write some stuff off-line.  Therefore I will leave everything up that is written but this blog is officially closed.

For those of you who have enjoyed reading, Thank you.

Blessings and Cheers!!!

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Hiatus (May 27, 2018)

Due to some issues of a personal nature.  I am taking a writing Hiatus.  I regret this very much because writing is very therapeutic to me.  But I must maintain silence for a while.  I will be writing on things privately for therapy but not posting anything publicly.

I hope everyone understands.  Thanks for reading and hopefully I will be back soon.

Blessings and Cheers!!!

The Hedge Wizard of Redberg – Part 53 – Freshman (Winter 1983/1984)

I didn’t play any other sports than football.  I mean I probably should have played basketball because I was so tall.  Truth is I didn’t really like any other sport and really still don’t.  Instead I found myself in the place of being someone who didn’t really have anything to do but school work, church youth group and visiting Elpis.  The thing is I did gain some respect after that first season.  At least my fellow football players left me alone.  I was the only player that didn’t miss a practice so I guess I got the unofficial toughness award.

School was school though.  I mean most of my teachers were cool but some of them played a lot of favoritism. I mean I didn’t look the greatest.  I wore t-shirts (plain) maybe a jacket, jeans and tennis shoes we bought a K-Mart.  So working class. I was smart but not driven as far as homework. I only worked hard in classes I liked so my grades reflected that.  My grandma, who I think hated me, always made a big deal out of that. I couldn’t care less what she thought.  But the issue always remained that I struggled to meet everyone’s expectations and it was clear at that time I was never going to be a straight A student.  I took a pummeling for it though.

Socially, two things tried to break me down.  Lunette kept her distance but she began to work against me.  I mean my social status in school wasn’t very high to begin with but she worked to make sure it never got any higher. I would hear rumors about me all the time.  Secondly, someone who everyone respected accused me of being gay.  Now today that is no big deal, but back in the 80s being gay meant you were subject to even more bullying.  The evidence was overwhelming because I didn’t have a girlfriend everyone could see after all.  It made me bitter.

If you are thinking I was passive aggressive in response to everything you would be right. This was no more evident than in church.  I mean Sunday School teachers hated me and my freshman year I caused a couple of them to quit.  I am sorry, if you can’t find someone to teach teenagers who has at least a basic knowledge of how the Bible is put together, you need a new plan.  I mean if I can point the obvious flaws in your lesson out at 14 what the heck do you think I am going to do as an adult.  Youth group was no better, but the gang flocked to my banner against the religious control nonsense.  I don’t think my popularity was good with the church leaders, but they couldn’t get  Biblical lines because I wasn’t really doing anything Biblically wrong.  I think it intimidated them that I was smarter than them and that was simply the truth.

I mean, I liked the Bible and Jesus and the whole concept of what Jesus was teaching, but what these preachers made Jesus into was something different.  I mean, don’t just leave verses out of what Jesus said or slant words to the meaning you want them to be.   Even I could see the fraud back then.  For most of these guys it was about the money and it pissed me off that no one else could see it. It made it worse that the adults, particularly my parents lapped it up like it was gold.  It was frustrating.

My solace was Elpis. We deepened our relationship and not through the Lunette Method of sex alone.  I mean we made love, but we also talked, about life, love, and faith.  She told me that the original dryads were the tree spirits that guarded all the trees of the Garden of Eden.  When The Fall happened, the dryads were scattered across the world.  In her case, she was a human who had become a dryad in place of one that had been killed.  It was an interesting discussion but Elpis wouldn’t say which dryad she replaced or what brought her to make that decision.  She told me that was the secret of her power, the secret itself.

I accept that she has some mystery to her.  I was fine with it because the mystery gave me more to love.  She was a woman who was old a time itself, as old as womanhood.  At the same time she was young and full of secrets that just made me light up within trying understand them and love her the more for having them.  Our love was a journey of discovery and it was good.

She also made sure that the bullies didn’t get to me.

“Well, I know for sure you aren’t gay.  Definitely not gay for sure.”

“Can you come to school with me?  Kiss me on the front steps?”

“No, In the outside world I would look very adult and they would call the police on me.  However, I think I can provide some confidence you are not gay.  Why don’t you prove it to me again.”

That’s when she would pull me into our bed of leaves and make love to me. I would suddenly not care what people at the school said about me.

When I spent time with her, it changed my perspective on the world.  I would come to the grove cold and dead like the winter around me.  But after time with her the winter became full of life and light and I could see the beauty of the cold and the snow.  The frozen pictures in the ice became clear. They were beautiful and memorable.  I was in the same place, but my perspective had completely changed, and it was all due to Elpis.

The Reflecting Pool – Feeling (F)

Part Three of delving deeper into my personality.  If you are feeling oriented sort of person this might help you understand yourself better.  Just for review, My personality according to Myers – Briggs is INFP or as some would call it the Idealist or Healer.  Today I am looking at the F or Feeling aspect of my personality.

Feeling is about weighing decisions by caring about all the people involved in the decision or consideration of each persons point of view.  As opposed to it opposite letter T – Thinking which is more concerned with a principle of truth that needs to be applied to the situation, feeling people focus on relationships as more important than principles.  When I was first tested I was a T but barely.  I wanted principles of truth coupled with respect for relationships.  Over the years I have become aware of the principle of truth that relationships are more important to me than being right.

Traits of the Feeling:

  1. Maintaining harmony is important.
  2. Caring, Warm and Tactful
  3. People or communications orientation.
  4. Harmony makes them calm, disharmony makes them nervous.
  5. Others focused
  6. Focused on heart and compassion
  7. Tact is more important than truth
  8. Often does not see the hard truth, has to discover it.
  9. Perceived as idealistic, mushy or indirect.

As far as population goes the issue is not so much percentages as it is about sex.  That is males tend to be thinking oriented and women feeling oriented.  The real issue is how rare it is for the opposite to be true.  Now this is not as pronounced as some people might think as there is actually  high level of Thinking women and Feeling men.  It is just that it is more unusual than the opposite. I have changed here quite a bit but it is not as pronounced as the whole Intuition-Sensing change.

The longer I live the more principle seems less important that people.  Now I am not saying people don’t need principles to guide them.  What I am saying is if those principles are not people centered then I feel they are out of line.  I am not one for ‘Snowflake’ behavior either.  When your viewpoint is so sacred to you that you actually lose it when someone challenges it, you have a problem.  Feelings are still a poor substitute for reasoned solutions.  But of the reasoned solutions are not done with a careful consideration of how people are going to react emotionally than they are not being reasonable about how people are going to react.

I like being feelings oriented as a human being and as a male.  It is something that results in empathy which is far more conducive to good relationships. Good relationship lead to favor and that is always helpful.  The world is also not a black and white place of reason, order and clear ethics and morals.  Being more feeling oriented not only allows you to recognize those facts but deal with them more effectively.

Blessings and Cheers!!!

The Hedge Wizard of Redberg – Part 52 – Freshman (Fall 1983)

My first football season was a long one.  We ended up only winning 2 games.  I was further bummed out that despite my compliments from coaches, I didn’t play very much.  I was frustrated because I loved the game but I was definitely short on ability.  My only issue was I was growing taller but not bigger.  I was slow and skinny.  Deadly combination against the possibility of starting.  It kind of depressed me but that wasn’t the only thing that was grinding me.

The other issue was that the only thing that was giving me any kind of social status was the fact I sat on the bench on the freshman football team.  That put me slightly up on the dope heads and the dropouts.  I even got on the bus one day wearing my jersey and one of the people said – ‘you play football’  Yes, it was that big of surprise to them.  I found myself too cool to be a smoking drop out but too uncool to be anything else.

I was a loner that could wander from clique to clique, but I couldn’t really fit anywhere.  I could hang with the nerds, but I wasn’t nerdy enough to be one (I played football) and I could hang with the jocks but I wasn’t athletic enough to be a jock.  (I was good at science and math).  Basically I bounced from group to group but I never could stay very long before someone gave me the hint I wasn’t welcome anymore.  If there had been a wizard clique I would have been king.  But the only two magically attuned people in school were myself and Lunette.  And she was too busy being elected to court for Homecoming and ruling the freshmen preppy girls.

I had one saving grace socially and it was an odd one –  church youth group.  I was simply too Biblically knowledgeable and in some ways charismatic for me to not be the leader. Even though I was surrounded by seniors and juniors,  I simply made them look stupid in any discussion and I was rebellious enough for some of the others to gravitate to me.  Those that remembered what freedom we had before the change of leadership.  Yeah, the pastor and youth leaders had the official positions, but I had the influence.  I learned that the later is more important.  I became the discussion of many board meetings I am sure as they tried to undermine that influence.  Problem was they simply were not smart enough to beat me and because they were controlling, no one listened to them.

One thing did follow me from middle school – The erection in English class had been my bane all through middle school.  It was evident that it followed me when Seniors began to come after me for it.  One of the more humiliating ones was when some senior girls surrounded me and started asking which of them would give me a hard on the fastest. Everyone laughed. I put my head down and made a hasty retreat.

That time was a low point.  I turned in my pads after our last game and the cold chill of Fall was in the air.  I hiked to the grove. The grove was covered in the color of autumn.  It was stunningly beautiful.  Here I was hiking into the center on a Friday night because quite frankly no one wanted me around. Jocks, nerds, preps, outcasts.  None of them. I was feeling low.

Elpis was waiting for me.  She was beautiful and when she saw me she smiled. I felt a little lighter. I still was generally bummed. I told her what I was feeling.  She listened and nodded and when I was finished I leaned back against the Tree.  I looked at my shoes and then closed my eyes. I felt awful. I just wanted to be happy and nothing was doing that.

Elpis suddenly took me into her arms.  Only after a few second of holding her did  I realize she was naked.  She kissed me.

“Tonight you can be the pervert.  Let me make you feel better my love.  Come complete my healing.”

“Are you sure? ”

Elpis kissed me hard in response and she began to remove my clothes.

“Elpis, it’s a little cold.”

“Don’t worry, The Tree and our love will keep us warm.”

She was right.

Now, I am not going to give a blow-by-blow here at all.  I have too much love and respect  for Elpis to degrade her like that before the Council. She is the Dryad Queen of the Red Tree Grove and everyone should respect her for it. I will only say that night she was queen of my world and has been so ever since. I will say that we both just did what was truly natural to us pretty much the whole night.  I may not have gotten invited to any parties that night, but I participated in something that will live in my memories forever.  I became her lover in truth.  I didn’t know what the future held, but I knew that for that evening she was my comfort and my salvation.

The next morning we woke up in the leaf bed she had made.  I lay there with her in my arms.  She was still sleeping peacefully.  I looked at the wound on the Tree and it was now just a faded scar like the other two.  You could see where it had been but it was no longer a wound.  Elpis had found her healing and it was surprising to me that I had been the one to do it..

Elpis, in later conversation, told me my surprise was strange.  It was I who after all started her healing process, so it was not only fitting that I finished it, but I may have been the only one who could finish it as well.  She then said, it was equally fitting then that she should fill my emptiness and sorrow with her joy from being healed.  Over the years, whenever I was feeling low, I would head to her and she would take me into her arms and she would make it right with the world.

I have heard it said that love can be like that and couples often draw strength form each other.  It is a sad thing kids in high school can’t do the same.  Oddly enough it is probably the time of life that needs this kind of strength the most but at the same time such relationships are often discouraged.  I was only glad to say that I had such a relationship because I am fairly sure I would have come close to self-destruction without it. As Fall gave way to Winter, this became even more apparent.

The Rabyd Microphone – “Sunlight in My Heart”

Steps to Microphone.

For the first time in a long time, I feel much better.  There are several hints in this weeks Rabyd Microphone as to why.  But would say I have learned where to draw my happiness from and where not to keep going in vain thinking I will find it there. We will leave it at that.

Rhyme:

‘Sunlight in My Heart’

Darkness, everywhere darkness

Darkness that consumes all light and turns it to grey ash

Darkness, that destroys my hope, destroys my will.

Then a flash of sunlight from the one I love.

I rush to it and cover it with my hands, but the darkness hunts it.

I cradle it in my fingers but the darkness still comes.

So,  I open my chest with my sword and slip the sunlight into my heart.

I close the wound and the darkness cannot reach it.

My hope – restored, My will – strengthened

Now I no longer walk in darkness, for the light goes with me.

Shinning from my heart, where the darkness cannot reach it.

Restate:

“It’s like when you are excited about a girl and you see a couple, holding hands, and you feel so happy for them.  And other times, you see the same couple, and the make you so mad.  And all you want is to always feel happy for them because you know that if you do, that means that you’re happy too.

I just remembered what made me think of this.  I am going to write it down because maybe if I do I won’t have to think about it  And I won’t get upset. But the thing is I can hear Sam and Craig having sex, and for the first time in my life, I understand the end of the poem.

And I never wanted to.  You have to believe me”

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – p 96

When you understand the poem of a kid who committed suicide had in his possession and it is because you hear the girl you love having sex with another guy is going to be one of those moments that will not go well.  You didn’t want to understand but suddenly you get it, like it or not.

I had experience like this and so the quote stuck out to me. I get the emotion of loving someone who does not love you in return and then you see them happy with someone else. Or hear them having sex.  It can definitely mix up your insides.

Record:

Heavy on my playlist this week have been the following.  I suppose they all have significance in some way but some of that needs simply to be discovered, rather than have me tell you.

Matchbox 20 – She’s So Mean: 

I have been playing this one a lot for some reason.  The music is actually pretty good and I like it from start to finish.  The real issue of course is liking a girl who is pretty, energetic but she is absolutely a mean girl.  “You want her, but she’s so mean.”

Halestorm – All I Wanna Do ( Is Make Love to You):

This song actually has a much longer history than Halestorm’s version but I would say I like this version the best of all I have heard. It’s powerful and I think the lead singer really belts it out. She definitely has the feeling that this is something she has experienced herself. The original song was done by Dobie Gray in 1979 but the lyrics were changed.  It was probably first made famous by Heart in the 1980s. The switch back to a women telling the story was a good one and makes more sense if you listen to the story. Halestorm in my opinion improves it even further with their musical style and talent.

Metallica – Until it Sleeps:

Old Metallica, but not that old.  I have always liked this one as it really gets the feeling of evil or sin within that sometimes comes out and is a beast, self-destructive, and then we have to wait until it sleeps again.  The imagery in the video is excellent and I consider it one of Metallica’s better videos.  Only the video for One is probably better.

Hootie and the Blowfish – Let Her Cry:

Ah, Hootie and the Blowfish.  One day they were on top of the world and everyone, and I mean everyone, liked them and then they were gone.  I remember talking to some kids a little bit after they kind of just faded fast and their view was when your grandparents, parents and you like the same group, it kind of defeats the rebellious nature of rock and roll.  They may have a point.  I like this song the best of their works. It definitely tells a story and moves you.

Simon and Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence:

What a duo and it is unfortunate that they really didn’t get along.  Genius is sometimes like that.   I however can think of very few people who can listen to this song and not be moved by it.  Inspired by a heated argument where Paul Simon wrote the song.  It is one of those songs that if you have experienced depression resonates with you. Disturbed does a version that I find well done but it doesn’t seem to have the same power as the original.

Drops Mic.

Blessings and Cheers!!!

The Hedge Wizard of Redberg – Part 51 – Freshman (Starting Out)

To say my high school experience radically changed my attitude about lots of things would be an understatement.  Probably the most significant and early changes involved pain and music. Pain you might ask? Yes, because school for me actually began two weeks before classes started on the football practice field.

I have always loved American football and all its forms which would include rugby and Australian rules football which became part of my life when my parents got cable.  The little know channel ESPN at the time had all of this on television. The one thing I wanted to do was play football .  Now mind you it was purely for the love of the game not that I had any talent at it.  I was 5 feet, ten inches tall as I entered football.  I weighed 145 lbs.   I was tall and thin – a skinny guy.  However, one thing the coaches would remark on very early was the size of my heart.

The first two weeks are called two-a-days.  Two practices back to back and they literally try to get you to quit. You run a lot – sprint and long distance.  They put you through drills that have one purpose – to break you down so you can be rebuilt.  The drill you so you step over things on the ground using just your peripheral vision.  They get you used to the idea of being knocked down and having the desire to get right back up or not fall down in the first place. Everything you need to play they put into you instinctively. It has to be automatic.  That said, it was hot and hell on earth for two weeks, but I didn’t quit.

I went home the first day, sore and I could hardly walk.  The pain was intense and I slept pretty much all the rest of the day and the night as well.  I was so tired and in so much pain I seriously thought of using my healing magic but then I made a decision about pain.  It was necessary to build me and so I didn’t cast a single spell.  I got up the next morning and my parents dropped me off for day two.  After the first of the two practices, the head coach of the varsity came up to me and said something I will never forget.

“I thought you were going to quit after yesterday, the fact you are still here is a testimony to your character. You don’t quit despite the pain.  That’s impressive.”

Since that day I have never quit simply because of pain.  There may be other factors where I have to acknowledge a battle cannot be won, but I will never quit because of pain.  Physical, emotional or otherwise.  It also meant I used less healing spells unless I was damaged by a magical cause.

School did eventually start and the two-a-days shifted to once a day after school.  By that time my body had adjusted to the punishment somewhat.  That’s when music changed for me.  The first day of class,  I walked into the halls of the high school as a student for the first time. There were Def Leppard ‘Pyromania’ t-shirts everywhere. I had never at that time heard of them, so I asked about them and for the first time got my real taste of the hard rock /metal genre.  My musical tastes up to that time had been pretty much church music, classical, country and a little rock and roll of the 50s – 70s when I could get it.  Metal changed everything because it gave my frustrations, passions and rage expression.  I would fill my lack of words about how I was feeling with music and it worked.  Def Leppard, AC/DC, Quit Riot, Motley Crew, etc. all entered my life.

True, back then you had to buy vinyl or cassette tapes. So it was much harder to do. I added a healthy dose of Christian rock at the time  also.  My new pastor didn’t like it, calling rock the devil’s music. I asked him to give Biblical proof of that and he failed. But it became an issue because like it or not for them , I was becoming the leader of the pack at church.  Not something chosen but I was being looked at as the leader. The magical world and its confidence were rubbing off and there was nothing they could do about it.

Of course, Lunette and I ran into each other the first day.  She looked at me and because she was now hanging with the preps, she gave me a disdainful look.  She had changed her look, punk rock outcast was gone and she was definitely going for the prom queen look. Her hair had been turning pink since the wings had changed but she was now dying it blonde to have a natural human look. Guys surrounded her like flies and I knew probably all of them were banging her.  She tried to make a snide comment about me when I was close to her and no one was around.  I touched her and it was like lightning to her.

“Listen, my former flame.  The fact is I am still your cocaine.  The best thing you should do is keep your distance and keep your mouth shut and polite. I am not the high up in social society around here.  It wouldn’t do for the prom queen if everyone suddenly knew who you have been f—ing all summer.”

Harsh probably, but it appealed to her pride now.  She wanted people to adore her and social standing in high school was important.  Your clique and you standing in that clique were all that mattered.  If word got out she had spent the summer with me between her legs, it would not go well for her in this regard.  She backed off and I started to hate her for it.

My only rock was Elpis now.  To all outside appearances, I was a loner in high school but I was definitely in a relationship with Elpis.  She took football in stride.  She wanted to heal me when I finally crawled to the grove after the second day of practice to tell her what was going on.  I told her no and told her why.  She understood my reasons.  So she did the next best thing.  She waved her hand and made a large bed of leaves under the shade of the Tree.  We laid down there and she gently and tenderly cuddled with me while I slept.

My whole body was sore, but her presence simply seemed to wash it  away.  The weariness,  the sadness and anger about Lunette.  They all melted I her arms.  My arm that was around her gently moved up and down her back.  She kissed me.  My strength returned.  Did she use magic?  I would have known.  No, it was simply the magic of love. I would do a lot of things, walk into hell for her if necessary, to hold her.  Elpis gave me hope that happiness could be found. I kept going for her because it became very clear high school was not going to be a completely pleasant experience for me.

I think what I found that Fall was mutual love.  Real love given and received.  Lunette always took from me and gave little back.  Elpis was both a good giver and a good receiver when it came to love.  The irony was we hadn’t had sex yet and I felt more deeply about her than I ever felt about Lunette.  Sex isn’t the only intimacy that matters and I was learning that more and more with Elpis every day. Don’t get me wrong, sexual desire was there, but I would be patient.  I would wait for the time to be right.  I wanted sexual things to flow out of love this time.  Besides it was still fun when my hands would stray a little and she would call me ‘pervert’.