Having Been Erased….

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It was a unique day today.  I won’t say that I have felt melancholy today….more like I knew something was going to happen.  I got up as normal, showered, shaved, drove to work, mechanically did my appointed tasks…you know, all that ho hum, work-a-day stuff.  I was in no way prepared for what was looming around the corner at lunchtime.

Now, I have talked about most of my relationships…..but there is one that I have not even shared with my dearest friend or my partner.  It wasn’t that it was so painful…but it was..and it wasn’t…and it was confusing and I didn’t know what to do with myself.  This was my very first relationship…in my mind, I put it into a special compartment….where it existed on its own, apart from my other relationships….but also where it didn’t exist.

I was very young.  We had been dating for five years.  We met when I was sixteen.  It had happened by accident.  He was a sweet boy the same age as me.  We did everything together.  We went hiking, white water rafting.  We discussed poetry and languages and wondered to each other about where we would be when we were fifty.  We were in our fifth year together and making arrangements for me to move in with him.  His family didn’t like me and mine didn’t like him….all because being a couple made both sides face the truth of who we were and who we were becoming.

Then it happened.  I got a call from a friend who worked with the local VFW.  There had been a fire.  They had found him unconscious hanging halfway out of a large window.  I rushed to the hospital.  He was still unconscious.  The family let me into the room for ten minutes.  Then I was hurriedly ushered out.  From that point on, I was not allowed to go back into the room.  I was alerted a few weeks later that he was coming around.  He would recover physically, but one thing had happened.  His memory was gone.  He couldn’t remember much of anything but bits and pieces.  He had no clue who I was. 

His aunt was appointed his caretaker. She had gone into his home while he was in the hospital and removed all traces of me.  She had taken all photos, all gifts…anything that might stir any kind of memory.  In one puff of smoke….I had been erased from his life.  To him, I had never existed.

I was hurt…confused.  How could someone be so inconsequential that they could be wiped completely from someones memory.  Not one speck of me existed in any of the recesses of his mind.  It was as if someone had gone into that big whiteboard of his mind and wiped everything clean.  I had become Mr. Cellophane.

Most people would have crumbled under these circumstances…..I proved something to myself in those months.  I am stronger than any situation that can hit me.  I decided at the moment that I was “removed” from his life…that from then on, I would always be memorable. 

It was then that I continued my pursuit of acting and singing for a time.  It was then that I gathered the strength that I would need to eventually be a pastor to hundreds.  It was then that I pulled from what was buried deep inside of me to begin the study of the Craft.  It was then that I began my journey into what would become the Weathered Wiseman.

In the years that followed, I did all the things that would make me, me.  I don’t regret one thing.  Have I said some things I shouldn’t have?  Sure.  Have I done some things that I might have been able to live without doing?  Sure.  Have I lived a life instead of existing?  Definitely.  Have I lived a life erased or invisible?  Oh Hell No!!  I am stubborn, opinionated, funny, loving, wise, and all over awesome.  Not because I was erased from someones memory…but in spite of it. 

I have learned so many things over the course of this journey…..things that I may have never learned had things taken a different turn.  I think on it now….the element that I most identify with is Fire.  The element that changed my life the most…..Fire.

Many years later, I was working at a local retail store. He came in with his aunt (who didn’t realize I was working there).  He looked me in the eyes and smiled that smile that I had known so intimately.  His aunt politely said, “This is Dave.”  He looked at me quizzically.  “It’s so nice to meet you, Dave.”  Once again, he was hurriedly ushered out of my life.  I sighed. It hadn’t hurt as much as I thought it would.

Back to today….I had gone home for lunch like I always do to walk the dogs.  I spent a little extra time looking at the different plants and flowers poking their lazy little heads out from the dirt.  I had just finished walking the dogs and was rounding the courtyard.  My phone rang.  It was my mother.  She said, “David, I am off work today and the strangest message was on the answering machine when I got back from the grocery store.  It’s for you.  I don’t know who it is.  It’s just strange.”  She played the message into the phone.  It was very brief, but very powerful at the same time.  The words spoken were, “Dave, it’s me.  I don’t know if you are even still at this number.  I don’t know if you even still live around here.  I just wanted to let you know….I finally remembered you.”  Then I heard the dial tone.

All he did was confirm what I had already known.  I am not and will not be erased.  I am not Mr. Cellophane.  I am far too strong to ever be invisible.  I am content.  I hope he is.

InvisibleMan2

Riding the Brakes and Rubbernecking

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Over the past few days, it has been raining off and on here in Atlanta.  I am not fond of driving in Atlanta traffic in the rain.  Wait….that may be a tad understated….I loathe driving in Atlanta traffic in the rain. 

I am not one that speeds.  I typically drive within the speed limit…but that is just it.  I drive.  Here in Atlanta, when it rains, most of the population ride their brakes.  On the way to work this morning, it did not matter which lane I got in, the person in front of me rode their brakes the whole way…then when someone rearended another brake-rider, traffic came to a dead halt so that every car passing could rubberneck.  I never understood that either.  It isn’t like you really know that person or really intend to stop and help. 

Of course, this got my brain reeling.  How often, in our own lives, do we “ride the brakes?”  We let fear of the unknown or the opinions of other people dictate how we live our lives.  Personally, it would be really easy, as a witch, for me to live my life that way.  I mean, who wants to deal with people thinking that you are just a few bricks shy of a load because you “stir energy,” or “believe in fairies?”  On a daily basis I deal with raised eyebrows and giggles when I don’t behave the way that the world around me does.

I remember when I “came out of the broom closet” to my partner.  I just knew that he was going to laugh at my spiritual practices or he was going to lump me in the category of the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus.  The relief that flooded over me when he told me that he was fine with whatever I believed or did because it was what made me, me.  Fear had tried to put the Craft on the backburner, but truth made the magick flourish.

Riding the brakes can go another direction also…in today’s society, it is far too easy to become buried by day to day activities and troubles.  I am as guilty of this as the next person.  Back in October, I was told by my doctor to decrease my stress….yeah, ok, right.  I live with two gay men who apparently know no other name in the household when it comes to resolving issues.  I have four pets…end of that sentence.  I have a job that changes constantly with more and more requirements each week….and even with the lifestyle change that I have undertaken, I am obese. 

Many days and nights, it takes everything I have just to spend a few minutes in meditation or in the great outdoors.  I put my foot through the floor board to try to get the world to slow down around me.  If only my memory weren’t too short.  If only I could remember that it is in the meditation and in the time outdoors that I am renewed.  If I could just stop twisting my neck out of joint trying to see what everybody around me was doing and concentrate on what is going on right in front of me there might be a better flow.537393_193957130744475_2044726616_n

I read the above quote on Facebook a couple of weeks ago and it struck me as profound.  If you think about it, when you feel disheartened, dispirited and depressed….that is when you need your spirit stirred the most.  Dancing gets your circulation going.  When you put your whole self into the dance…when you feel it down to the soles of your feet…it brings life back to the body.  If you are like me, when you sing, it comes from the deepest part of your being.  Singing moves my spirit like nothing else…that is when raw emotion touches every fiber of my heart.  Stories….I love a good Fairytale.  It makes the brain race forward and the imagination take you on exciting journeys.  Silence helps us to feel ourselves….truly feel who we are.  It allows us to touch our own souls.

I will add one more to this list.  Make a little magick.  This doesn’t have to be some elaborate ritual.  Just do something.  For the kitchen witch it may be as simple as whipping up a delicious treat, for the craft witch making something cute and simple, for the garden witch digging in the dirt might do it.  Remember….it is in the intention.  If you do something with the knowledge and intent that what you are doing is magickal…..the worlds will open up before you!  Trust me….I have been fortunate enough to be shown the magick in a simple walk.  If you see yourself as ordinary, you will be ordinary.  If you see yourself as the wonderful witch, wizard, or alchemist you are….then guess what??  You will see magick unfold right before your eyes.  After all, believing is seeing.2012-08-24 14.51.02

I have had to think today about what makes me put on the brakes and stare out at what others have crashed into.  So many things try to distract me.  It is time for me to lose the distractions, put my foot on the gas and move forward….Can I help it if magick sparkles fly out of the tailpipe?

Blessed Be!

Magickal Things Sometimes Happen Through the Most Mundane

Something has struck me quite odd this year.  Normally as fall starts to set in, I find myself preparing for nesting or hibernation mode.  This year has been quite different.  As the leaves begin to fall and the wind picks up noticeably and there is a crispness in the air that hasn’t been there for quite a while…..I find myself energized.  I find myself motivated.  I find myself……at peace.

A dear friend of mine said earlier this week, “Be careful what you ask for.  You just might get it.”  He had been talking to the Goddess about prospering his business….we all had done magick on his behalf.  He saw it come to fruition.  You all know that over the past month or two that there have been a few challenges trying to circle their way around me.  I was seeking out Goddess for motivation, health, calming.  Again, as my friend said….”Be careful what you ask for.” 

Magickal things sometimes happen through the most mundane.  It was through my own doctor that motivation began.  It was either get healthy or….well, let’s just say that he gave me a long list of ‘what if’s.’  So, I set the goal of getting healthy.  It has been almost a month now and it seems almost effortless…but then again, I have done non-stop motivation magick, and I know that many friends have done the same.  I also did something that I never do….I ordered an outfit that I want in an XLarge to help me see where I want to be.  Maybe frivolous, but I feel it will be effective.

I use a lot of music in my magick.  How was I to know that was the key to calm.  Normally, when I am doing spellwork, I will sing over the cauldron or the fire.  I let my music float into the universe to accomplish the spells intent.  One afternoon at work, I felt my stress levels start to rise.  Softly, under my breath, I started humming…..nothing identifiable..just lilting music.  I found myself being soothed, calmed within minutes.  What do you know…..music really does soothe the savage beast.

Yesterday at work, I was allowed something that alludes most.  A client brought in a baby owl that had flown into her glass doors.  You could tell by looking at it that it was an immature bird, but this beautiful creature was by no means small.  Apparently, I am the only one in the clinic that is not afraid of birds, so I held it for the examination.  It was very obviously dazed.  The doctor determined there was no damage done, but we needed to feed it and call our wildlife rehabilitator.  I ran to the supermarket across the street and bought raw hamburger.  With strong leather gloves on, I was able to handfeed this magickal animal.  It ate heartily and I placed it in a toweled kennel for safekeeping until the rehabilitator came.  It was in this moment with this strong and beautiful creature that I was shown a glimpse into myself.

How many walls and windows have I hit over the past year?  How many times have I walked around dazed because something had overwhelmed me?  How many times have I walked away unscathed by something that could have completely destroyed me?  Too many times for recollection.  It is in those times that I must nourish my spirit…..seek out those energies that will invest in me and heal those deepest parts.  I know that it was magick that brought me into contact with this creature of the night.

The crispness in the air in the mornings has been calling me to the pond more and more.  I am beginning to see worn ground against Oak.  It faintly resembles the shape of a large behind.  Last night, I felt the need to unplug and just be.  I said goodnight to my friends on Facebook, left my cellphone behind charging and took a book into the courtyard to read.  As I sat on the outside sofa, I could hear my name being whispered in the breeze.  I knew it was my ‘Lady of the Lake’ calling to me.  I left my book behind and leisurely walked to her.  Friz was already in bed, so I walked down by myself.

It was pretty chilly last night so I had on my lightweight fleece jacket.  This couldn’t have been more appealing to my herd of cats.  Yes, Black and White cat has started bringing friends along.  There is now a tan, brown, and white cat that looks like the ragdoll breed and a seal point himalayan.  The other two are more tame than Black and White cat.  They came right up to me….and of course everyone wanted to snuggle in the fleece. 

I sat out under the waxing moon.  It is the perfect moon for success and health and friendships.  I whispered the names of those friends who came to mind and blessed the Lord and Lady for the gift of renewed health.  I called on the gift of Cat Magick that I was blessed with.  A trilogy of magick curled up on me, built new anticipation in me.

This morning was just like any other Saturday morning.  I was walking Friz and he immediately headed to the pond.  I think his spirit yearns for it as much as mine.  We settled in and here comes the herd.  Friz didn’t quite know what to do with all this cat energy, but he quickly settled in.  We listened in the distance to the crows.  It was if each caw was telling some  glorious ancient wisdom.  I dozed off as usual and was awakened abruptly by a man shaking my arm vigorously.  There were no cats around me. Friz was standing at attention.  At first, I was perturbed that my solitude was broken, but the man began to speak.

He told me that he had seen me out by the pond many times.  He said that he had seen me in my ‘cape’ and had thought that I was the Grim Reaper.  He told me that he had seen me in the dark and wondered if I was a messenger of death.  He had been scared to come near the pond.  But this morning, he saw me from a distance and said that he felt like he needed to come up to me.  He asked if I was an angel.  I tried really hard to stifle a snort and told him that I was really far from that.  He told me that there was something different about me and asked if I had mojo.  I found out a bit later that he was originally from New Orleans.  I told him that I was a worker of magick.  He laughed out loud and told me that he just knew it.  He sat out there with me and Friz for the rest of our time…..he told as we left and he pumped my hand up and down, “You can throw some of that Mojo at me anytime you want.” I told him I would.

Who would have ever guessed that in the midst of my solitude that Magick would have tapped me on the shoulder?  It just goes to show that we have to be prepared for the Magickal things no matter where we are and what we are doing.  Sometimes those things that seem to be the most bothersome…..an interruption, so to speak…..can be the most magickal things experienced.

Blessed Be!

Where Do I Fit?

This past weekend I had alot of time to think about things by the pond. The coolness in the weather seemed to call me outside more than normal. The wind was begging to play and the water was laughing as it was tickled by the breeze. It seems that I am called to the pond so much more lately. My courtyard used to be more my refuge, but it always seemed so ‘put together.’ I knew that my spirit was being summoned to something wilder…something that had not been tamed by the city.

I decided to wander out there today after work. It was a really stressful day and my blood pressure decided to bounce up and down like a yo-yo. I found myself getting angry at every stupid little comment and trying to separate myself from everything and everyone. Now was my chance. I went by myself today. I could feel my Lady of the Lake singing to me. I could feel Oak calling for me to nestle myself against his trunk (when I am lying against him, it is almost as if he is absorbing the negativity within me and pushing it deep underground with his roots).

My mind was going in a thousand different directions. I thought about the past. I thought about all the things I had been allowed to do in life. I was a singer, an actor, a clown, a minister, a counsellor, an artist, a boyfriend, a farmer…..it seemed to me like it had been too short a life for all those personalities to be wound up inside me.

I have always been a mutt of sorts. I have always used the old phrase “Jack of All Trades, Master of None.” It is one thing to be able to do alot of stuff, but if you don’t completely excel at those things, it can be dreadfully unfulfilling. There were only two things that ever felt completely natural to me…..being gay and being a witch. I felt like I excelled at both. In the church, I had always been taught ‘Father God’ but I always felt drawn to the Horned one and Mother Goddess.

I laughed out loud today as I remembered my days in the church. I was very much like Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. It seemed that the other pastors I worked with were always singing, “How Do You Solve A Problem Like David.” I always had an unconventional approach to things. I loved to take the classes I taught out into nature to experience what I truly knew was Divine. I spent my lunches wandering through woods and creek beds. I never quite fit into the mold they had created for me.

And this is why I went to the pond today. I am feeling like I am not so much fitting anymore. I am caught inside the hamster wheel. Before the ooohs and aahhs start, my relationship is fine, my walk along the Path is fine, I am basically fine. There is just a puzzle piece loose somewhere.

I think the clearest when I am in nature. I can breathe again. I needed my time with the Horned One and Mother Goddess. I needed it to be me. Just me. I took my shoes off straight away and dug my toes into the dirt. I pushed my hands down into the grass just to feel that connection with the earth around me. I could hear the crows in the distance. My have I heard the crows lately…..and seen the crows…they have been everywhere. I have also been having more dreams about travel this week. I travel in my dreams by broom or by foot or just by puff of smoke.

This has also been a week when animals have been drawn to me more than ever. Dogs that I don’t know at the clinic are running up to me in a crowd of people. The clinic cats have been leaving gifts (goddess help me) on my desk. Today I was standing in the hall at work and I see this flash of white running toward me……it was a ferret who had escaped and ran at me and climbed me. Now you have to know that I am afraid of ferrets, rats, anything along that line. I am hyperventilating and he is having the best time. Everyone around me is laughing because they know of my fear.

Of course as I come to this revelation, it should not surprise me that at that moment there is a black and white cat winding itself around me. I don’t think I have ever heard him purring as loudly. I feel my brain starting to relax. Too many thoughts have been circling it. I smell the turn of the wheel as I sit there. I am delighted by having friends circled around me. I take my cue from them. I make myself laugh with the water. I make myself dance in the wind. I make myself calm and steady along with the Oak, and I breathed contentment like black and white cat.

I am far from depressed. Something has just been off. I find the best way to deal with that ‘off’ feeling is to put myself in the place that I fit best…..right in the midst of the Lord and Lady. While I am watching the world start to go dormant as the wheel turns, I am reminded that there are those times in us when we feel like a blank page. It is in those times that I must allow the Lord and Lady to write on those pages. I must also allow my elemental friends to do the same….it is important to pull on the personalities of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.

I gather myself and bid black and white cat ‘Good Evening’ and give my offerings to the elements and head back to the condo. I go about my regular nightly duties. I empty the garbage and head to the dumpster with the bag. I open the door into the courtyard and look up….there is a hawk sitting on the brick of the courtyard fence. I fumbled for my camera and end up with a blurred picture of bricks. Immediately I think about the significance of the hawk. Hawk brings awareness and perspective ( Am I going through life blindly right now…going through the motions). He also brings insight and vision (Am I bottling my creativity? Is my self confidence waning a bit). He brings initiative and decisiveness (Am I procrastinating about something).

I can definitely see that the weeks ahead will bring many new thoughts and ponderings…..many days by the pond….culminating in a trip to the mountains of Asheville the first weekend of November. I see an adventure in the making.