Lughnasadh

Hello dear reader(s)!

As far as the Pagan Sabbats are concerned, Lughnasadh or Lammas to me is “Meh”.  Don’t get me wrong, I will still do a couple of things in order to celebrate it, but all the Sabbats for me are times to connect with nature or observe the changing of the seasons and to me, Litha and Lughnasadh feel roughly the same.  They’re both hot as fuck and around times where being outside for any major length of time will result in skin cancer or heat stroke.

It is the first of the harvest festivals, so fruit and grain are big on this day.  My love is baking some braided bread that looks amazing.  It is rising right now, but I am sure it will smell and taste even better.  I am looking forward to that.

This evening, when the sun goes down, I will try to get outside.

I belong to a local group that celebrates the Sabbats and they are having a celebration this evening, but I am pretty certain I will not be able to attend due to extreme gastrointestinal issues which will make me want to stay close to home wherein lies my magical porcelain throne which the seven kingdoms do not fight over.

I will feast tonight, because my love is an awesome cook.  Maybe I will light a fire in the evening (as this is a fire festival) or burn an effigy to release the negativity we carry.  Incense and candles will be burned (of course), and good times will be had.

But I am still kinda “Meh” on this one.  One of the problems with a nature-centric belief system is that sometimes, nature sucks.  You understand the necessity of it.  You are thankful for what is provided by it, but you don’t want to go outside and play in it.

“That’s great that the love between the Goddess and the God burned so hot it literally consumed him, but could they not get their passionate heat all over the rest of us?  I don’t want to be consumed too!”

If you want to get really technical, this celebration should have happened yesterday after sunset since that is when the day began for the Celtic pagans, but fuck technicalities.  I do what I want.  Besides, if you get in to those kind of technicalities, you probably actually want to celebrate on the closest full moon.  My path allows me to mark days on a regular calendar, thank you very much.

Perhaps if my stomach feels any better later, I will let my Goddess consume me, if y’all know what I’m sayin’.   😉

Happy Lughnasadh, everyone!  May it be more than “Meh” for you!

 

 

 

 

Long Ago

When the sun still shone brightly, before the clouds of toxins, there were birds that would fly through the sky.  Little ones and larger ones of all different shapes and colors flew through it.  The sky appeared, then, long ago, blue on most of the days.

Beneath that sky was the land.  Many different species of animals roamed on it, alongside us.  It was not unlike the land you know today, except that it was not covered with concrete and asphalt.  There were trees.  They grew in many places, and they had green leaves.  Green?  That is the color we paint the artificial lawns of the wealthy.  Lawns were once real, filled with grass, a green plant that grew across the land.  The wealthy wish to remember what that is like, and that is why we have work.

We had rivers, and streams, filled with crystal clear water that used to reflect the color of the sky and would appear blue.  It did more than carry our industrial waste and sewage.  We could capture it and treat it for drinking and cooking.  There were vast aquifers of water under the ground.  Yes, those are what the wells are for.  Yes, they are running dry.

The oceans used to have fish living in them.  Before they turned to acid and lost oxygen.  People could eat the fish they caught from the ocean.  No, the toxic algae wasn’t that much of an issue, long ago.  The chemicals began to show up in some fish, but those fish could be avoided for a time.  Eventually, they either showed up in all the fish, or the fish simply could not live in our oceans any longer.

Long ago, the ocean was further away.  You can still see the tops of some of the buildings peeking out from the water when the tide is out.  That was a very large city.  It was gradually abandoned as the waters began to rise.  That building over there?  On the edge of the water?  That was a desalinization plant.  It tried to take the salt from the ocean water so that we could drink it.  It worked for a few years, but the water became too toxic to treat even after the salt was removed.

Okay, enough questions for now, I think they are watching us.  Hand me some more paint, please.

Long ago, some men, convinced that nothing mattered more than money, decided to make it so that all of this would be impossible to stop.  Long ago, they prevented the development of technologies that could have slowed or reversed some of the damages we have caused.  They removed restrictions from doing the greatest damage, knowing that they would be rich and living in luxury when they left this world, long ago.  Now their children and grandchildren hire people like us to paint their lawns, as they watch their protected enclaves get smaller and smaller.  Yet they still speak of their fathers and grandfathers as if they were great men.

Where is your mother?  Why are you working alongside this old man?

Oh, I am sorry to hear that.  It is an honor to work beside such a responsible child.  I am sure it can’t be easy taking care of a family at your age.

How can we fix this?  What should you do now?  You ask these questions as if I have answers.

I am sorry.  I am near death.  I can feel my body beginning to give up this fight.  I can’t help you there.  I am not certain there is anything you can do.  I do not mean to sound hopeless.  But, in my opinion, something needed to be done long ago.

 

 

There Exists A World

Hello dear reader(s)!

As you can tell, if you are paying attention, I have been very inconsistent about my posting lately.  It is not as if I do not enjoy blog-type-thinging, or that I want my readership to return to the levels where it was just my mom, or that I am out living some kind of glorious and excitement-packed life packed full of excitement packs; I simply have been doing my best to unplug a little bit.

Because there exists a world out there.  One beyond our screens and angry internet comments.  One beyond the funny memes and great blog posts.  One where there is a lot of beautiful and fun things waiting to be experienced.  A world where people treat each other with respect and compassion, even as forces attempt to stop us.  A world where animals play near a beautiful river that cuts through some woods that may soon be cut down to make way for the newest shopping center.  A world where you can breathe the air on most days.

And I will be damned if I do not experience that world while I still can.

So while my health may not always allow me to get outside, on the days it does, I am going to try.  I am going to continue to smile at the people I see as I pass them.  Maybe they are angry, maybe they think that I am the enemy because I do not support the President or his administration, maybe they think I am a sinner; I will smile anyway.  I will show my humanity to this world every chance I get.

If you spend your life in front of a computer screen, you live in an ugly world.  If you think real life is represented in the comments section of an inflammatory story on the website of your local television news station, you have no clue what real life is all about.  There are people, just trying to get along, doing the best they can with what they have.  People of all ethnicities, of all classes, just trying to live their life in peace.  They do not care what you believe, what you do with your body, or what you do to survive.  They are too busy being worried about their own survival and that of their loved-ones.  Their biggest concern right now is whether or not they should participate in the commercially forced display of love that is Valentine’s Day.  They’re looking at their checking accounts wondering if they can afford that thing they want or need.

They care about you too.  If they knew, and really understood what their taxes were used for, and were not being misinformed by those with a vested interest in taking more of the share for themselves, they wouldn’t care if you needed those food stamps to help you get by.  If they weren’t constantly being subjected to the spin and fictional alternative facts of the corporate whores in power, they might not care that you self-medicate with marijuana instead of the legal vodka, prescriptions, or tobacco.   They do not really want to see you suffering.  Not out in the real world.

Hiding behind their computer screens, there are a lot of people who want to see you suffer.  There are a lot of evil people who think they want to see you die.  Out in the real world, those people rarely dare to make an appearance.  And when they do, the vast, vast majority of people rush to your assistance.

But the real world is rarely even that confrontational.  The conversations I have had with strangers in the real world go a little more like this:

Stranger:  I have never understood why they don’t staff more cashiers.  

Me:  It’s less expensive to make one person do the job that should be done by many.  This is why I wouldn’t even shop here if I could afford to go anywhere else.

Stranger:  That and the way they helped shut down local businesses.  

Me:  You got that right.

Stranger:  One time it was so bad in here, that my husband, who is usually very patient, just left his full cart right by the line and walked out.  I’ve never seen him so upset.  He didn’t say anything to the employees though, because he saw how busy they all were.  

Me:  Yeah, I feel really bad for most of them.  Occasionally, you’ll notice it is their own fault, but that rarely is the case.  {Noticing the line moving}  Finally!  I hope you have a great day!

Stranger:  You too!

And that is much more involved than usual.  That was an almost verbatim conversation I had the other day with a lady of another racial group at a big store that shall not be named but rhymes with Ball Fart.  Even more typical interactions with people go more like this:

Me:  Hi!  I’d like a number 4, with a large coke.

Stranger:  $7.42 at the window.

Me:  Thanks!

And then they repeat the total, I give them the money, they give me the food.  I thank them, wish them a nice day, they do the same, and I drive off.

It’s not that motherfucking hard to be a good person in the real world.

Online, there are people taking issue with everything you do.  That rarely happens in the real world.  Online, there are people who think that they are always right, and everyone else is always wrong.  That is rarely the case in the real world.

There exists a world out there, that is full of nature, full of smiles, and full of people just trying to get along.  And yes, bad things happen out in that world.  But out in that world, those bad things aren’t blown out of proportion and debated about whether or not they are actually bad.   There aren’t pundits brought in to give legitimacy to the motivations of whatever was bad.

I am not going away, I am not stopping this here blog-type-thing.  I am just taking a little time to remember that there exists world out there, while it still exists.


Don’t forget, there is a general strike being called for this Friday.  Get out in the world that day and do some good.

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The Final Christmas

Hello dear reader(s)!

I wish I could say that this is fiction, but unfortunately, it seems as though it is all too real.  This will surely be the final Christmas for humanity.  Though scholars may point to the looming Trump Presidency, the consumer culture, the divided nature of the world, mass extinctions, or climate change, I hope that this documentation of our final days will reveal the actual truth of our demise.

This post contains graphic depictions of real events some people may find disturbing.  For that reason, reader discretion is advised.  

6:31 am:  The effects of the medication, while delayed, were obviously quite dramatic.  I attempt to lift my head from the pillow, but it feels like I am being held down.  My bladder is sending signals to my brain that it has reached its natural capacity, and it would be a good idea to empty it.  Yet, I see that the world remains rather dark through the windows, and lay my head back down before returning to sleep once again.

7:37 am:  The nearby child of the village has stirred, awakening me from my slumber.  I try to take a deep breath, in order to get out of the bed, but breathe in some saliva or something and get thrown into a massive coughing fit.  My bladder once again has let me know of its unhappiness with the situation, and each cough leads to worry of an accidental emptying.  I attempt to lift my head off the pillow once more, but am unsuccessful.  I think to myself that it is like something I used to wake up for, has been taken from me, and now I lack the basic motivation to live.  I reach over, and grab my phone, to surf the book of faces.  I post a status update, and soon, I am back asleep.

8:22 am:  My bladder is screaming at me.  Despite lacking any motivation to live, I can feel that my bladder has plenty of motivation.  Soon, even my unmotivated mind realizes that it had better get motivated in order to avoid wetting the bed.  I finally decide to get up to empty my bladder, but have every intention of returning to bed once I finish and wash my hands.

8:24 am:  The nearby child of the village signals that he is in the bathroom.  His voice can be heard from my bunker.  The fan of the bathroom echoes through my ears, laughing mockingly at my bladder.  As the tears stream from my eyes, my mind considers gathering the empty water bottles I have yet to clean from my bunker.  I do not want to resort to such measures, but will if I have to.  I wait with crossed legs.

8:34 am:  The nearby child of the village has left the bathroom.  The bladder is saved!  Despite this excellent news, I still find it difficult to get out of bed.  My motor functions are slowing.  Something is definitely wrong.  Could it be the medication?  I feel like a zombie.

8:37 am:  I finally get out of bed and make it to the bathroom.  I did not have an accident, but likely only made it with a tenth of a second or so to spare.

8:41 am:  After washing my hands, I exit the bathroom and head back toward my bunker in order to find my glasses, so that I can see the looming threats on the horizon.  I walk around my bed, which calls to me.  I struggle to resist the call of the bed, knowing that I really should get up.  I successfully resist, and obtain my glasses.  I question why I fought as I make my way down the hall into the village kitchen.  I wander into the kitchen, feeling as though as I am on autopilot.  I walk toward the cupboard wherein my beloved espresso machine lies, and am suddenly faced with the knowledge that humanity has seen its last Christmas.

8:44 am:  I pass by my beloved espresso machine, and instead grab the toaster.  I plug it in, and make myself a bagel in a fog, knowing that none of us will survive, because yesterday, my doctor told me I am not allowed to have coffee.  I wait for the inevitable fall of civilization.

May Goddess forgive us.

The Return Of Love

Hello dear reader(s)!

As you know I was deeply affected and still am by the shooting at Pulse in Orlando.  I do not intend to move on from this.  That’s what’s we seem to do as a nation.  We hear about something we should not accept, and through everything we’ve been taught about the grieving process, we learn to accept it.  But we shouldn’t accept this.  We should never accept this.

We can change things.  We did have an assault weapons ban in this country before.  It expired in 2005.  The gun nuts will argue the weapons to be banned aren’t actually assault weapons by whatever definition they prefer, but when I am referring to assault weapons, I am referring to the high capacity, hair trigger semi-autos that are designed to kill.  The Ar-15 is exactly the same as the M-16 when the M-16 is in select fire mode.  I know soldiers, and can tell you that full auto mode is actually rare as it decreases accuracy.  It is primarily used for cover fire.  This means people with an AR-15 are walking around with a weapon of war.  In one audio clip of the massacre, the gunman can be heard firing 24 shots in 9 seconds.  2 and 2/3 shots a second.  There is only one purpose for a gun that can do that.  We can regulate guns.  We already do.  You can’t buy a machine gun.  You can’t buy cluster bombs.  Or nukes.  But why not?  Those are arms.  It is constitutional.  We have done it, and we can again.

Things won’t change right away if we do.  Like the last assault weapons ban, the existing stock will be grandfathered in.  That’s a huge arsenal.  But there can be no denying that these types of mass casualty shootings have increased since the ban was allowed to expire in September of 2004.  You can say there are many factors that may have contributed to it, but it is both constitutional and necessary to limit weapons that can take out 49 people in a matter of minutes.  We can do better.  We can, and if we lead with love, we will.

Gun control is only one part of the equation.  The smallest part.  We need to change.  This nation was founded by people who fled persecution for believing differently than the people from which they fled.  Granted, those people were insane puritanical bastards, but the First Amendment is the First Amendment for a reason.  We are supposed to be able to think, speak, and live differently than some might prefer without having to fear for our lives, safety and freedom.

But, unlike what the average Trump voter will tell you, it has never meant that you can threaten or intimidate people.  It has never meant that you can call for the execution of people who do not live like you want them to.  It has never meant that you can use public resources to spread your messages of hate without other members of the public demanding their resources aren’t used for that purpose.  It has never meant that people need to provide you a forum to use your voice.  It has never meant that someone can’t speak right back at you.  That isn’t PC, that is responding to free speech with free speech.

How do grown adults loving each other hurt you?  Do they hold you hostage and force you to watch tied to a chair as they have free-for-all orgies and call out chants to their dark lord and master to smite you?  Do they decide because you want to have a traditional wedding in a church with your wife or husband that you must die?

No.

Those people you hate were probably more involved in your wedding than you know.  Maybe they cleaned the hall you rented.  Maybe they were part of the team that baked your cake or catered the dinner.  Maybe they helped manufacture or even sold you the decorations.  Perhaps they grew, arranged, or sold the flowers.  Designed the websites so you could find it all.  They support your love.  You don’t need to support theirs, just accept it.  Accept that having a business open to the public means being open to all the public who is not causing a disturbance and is willing to pay.  Or don’t start a fucking a business and live in your hateful bunker away from all the things you hate because the way you read your book tells you to.

Because different people are here.  They are not going anywhere.  You can’t deport them all.  You can not send them all to gas chambers.  (Hitler tried that once, remember?)  Is that really what you want?  Do you think you can actually win?  Let’s do the math.

The piece of shit with the AR-15 took out 50 people including himself, and last I heard wounded another 53.  One hundred and three people out of commission with a relatively unarmed, unprepared, and untrained target.  According to the Census, there is roughly 322 million people in the US, most people estimate 1 in 10 of those people are gay in some way.  32 million.  Now, let’s count all the people in support of equality.  According to Gallup, roughly 60% of Americans supported marriage equality just before the Supreme Court made it legal.  193.2 million people.  So out of the 128.8 million people who are opposed, let’s say that the radical opposition is the same as as the percentage of Muslims who are extremists which according to a recent Pew Research study is .00625%.  And that’s being generous given the different levels of desperation that influence extremism.  So .00625% of 128 million is 8,480.  8,480 people against 193.2 million.  Some of which also own assault weapons.  Some of which fly fighter jets and drive tanks.  Do you really think you can win?

If gay people and their allies hated you the way you hate them?  You’d be fucking dead.

But guess what?  We don’t want to hate.

We just think people should be able to love the way want to as long as they are consenting adults.  If you think your God doesn’t like that, let your God condemn those of us that believe otherwise in the afterlife you feel the need to bring on prematurely.  Because look around fuckfaces, this isn’t Heaven.

Not that I’d want to go there with a God that hates anyway.

I choose hope.

I choose love.

The Land of Make-Believe

Hello dear reader(s)!

Do you like to pretend?  Do you want to play make-believe?  No?  Too bad.

I want you to close your eyes, and imagine that Climate Change is not either caused or made worse by man.  Oh, that’s already your belief?  Good, this should be easy then.  What?  You have a hard time imagining that Climate Change could NOT be caused or made worse by man?  Well, I applaud your intelligence but just indulge me here and pretend it is not affected by humans in any way.  Could you do that for me?  Pretty please?

Because it doesn’t matter.

What?!?!?!  How could you say that?  Look at what is happening!  How could you say it doesn’t matter?  

Well, look who the most vocal deniers of climate change are.  They are politicians, or their blind followers.  And those politicians continue to vote to subsidize an obsolete fossil fuel industry, and call for less environmental regulation on the largest polluters.  They vote to allow unchecked development and sprawl, and vote to lower the fines for breaking the regulations they leave in place.

The fact of the matter is that some polluters make money by risking the paltry fines should they be caught circumventing environmental regulations.  And with a smaller government and hostility toward the EPA, there are fewer people to inspect and enforce what regulations remain.

But how could that not matter?!?!

Because it doesn’t take a changing climate to wipe out the world’s biodiversity.  It doesn’t take global warming to cause rivers to burn.  It doesn’t take trapped heat to eliminate our resources, to contaminate our air and water, and to make this world a hell for your children and their children.

Fossil fuels are obsolete.  Other developed nations are already turning toward renewable energy.  The technology exists, and is only getting better.  Right now, due to storage, renewable energy is slightly more expensive than fossil fuels, but technology that already exists and will soon be produced on a massive scale will change that.  “But renewable energy will put hard working fossil fuel extractors out of jobs!!!”  That may be true, in which case…find another job.  There are lots of jobs.  There will be jobs in renewable energy production.  Keep in mind, they said the steam engine would eliminate jobs, the internal combustion engine, the tractor, the combine, the “business machines”, the personal computer, robots, and the internet.

So, pretending climate change doesn’t exist, I ask you to look at some of the pictures in the link below and ask yourself if it matters anyway.  Ignore the stupid title.

27 images that prove that we are in danger. #7 left my mouth open..

Okay…so after looking at those pictures, and seeing how our greed, consumerism, overpopulation, and pollution are destroying our animals, our air, our water, our health, and our land, I ask you again; does it matter if Climate Change is caused or made worse by humans?  Even if we didn’t have an effect on the climate, surely we have an effect on our air, water, land, health, and the eco-system around us.

We need to re-evaluate our priorities.  How much is too much?  Is having the latest gadget at the lowest price worth not being able to walk through a forest, not having clean air to breathe, having fire come out of your tap, or your children getting stricken with and dying from cancer or poisoning?

Every year we level more and more wilderness to build further and further away from the riff-raff in the inner city.  And every year we are surprised or saddened when those multi-million dollar homes go up in flames.  And even if you put your fingers in your ears when someone talks about the increase in wildfires due to climate change, you can’t argue about the increase in wildfires.  And even if you could argue about that…you can’t argue that we are building out so far, and spreading like mold on a piece of cheese over the surface of this planet.  And then we cry for the insured homes lost in a fire in a place they never should have been built?  I have about the same amount of sympathy for the people who lose their homes in wildfires on the edges of a town as I do for those who watch their houses fall into the ocean because they built on a cliff for the best view and didn’t take erosion into account.

Does this seem cold-hearted?  Well, I’m sorry.  I have no empathy for those who lack empathy to such a degree that they will destroy the future in pursuit of almighty money.  But hey, I’m not the one with kids.  I’ll be gone before the food stops growing because there are no bees left to pollinate.  I’ll be gone before the oceans are so acidic that no fish can survive.  I’ll be long gone before there is no water to put out the fires that were just on the edges of town but will soon sweep through major cities.  Our firefighting has come a long way since the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, but that does depend on water.

To this generation of brand new voters,

Your parents and grandparents are fucking you over.  I hope you are smart and strong enough to stop them, and reverse some of the damage they have done before it is too late.  I sincerely wish you the best of luck.