Holding On pt7

Semi-Erotic Fiction Based on True Events

Holding On pt6

David, exhausted, finally fell asleep and I knew this was my sign to leave. I felt like all he had wanted was a one night stand and we both got that and then some.
I quietly slipped out of his arms, reluctantly, and got dressed trying to not disturb him. He had more than earned his rest.

I pulled my pants on, without putting on my panties, they were still damp, so I just wadded them up and stuffed them into my purse. I shimmied back into the tube top and slipped on my sweater. Sometimes not putting on underwear is so much easier. As I slipped my shoes on, I felt him stir on the bed and I looked over just as he opened his eyes..

“Where are you going?”

“I have to leave, love.. I have to go to work.”

That wasn’t totally true. I didn’t have to go to work later that afternoon. But I feared the garish light of morning, and the awkward turn of events after a night of sex, of a one night stand, when you both try to find a way to end it and say good bye. I didn’t want to be the one who was kicked to the curb, so I chose to lie and leave first.

David stroked my arm and said, plaintively,

“But I love waking up to the face of a beautiful girl….”

Oh, my god, that almost did it. I almost peeled off my clothes again and fell back into his waiting arms. But I held on to my resolve.

“I’m sorry, I have to go.”

I kissed him one last time on his incredibly soft lips and willed myself to pull way from him. I stood up and turned and walked towards the door. A single tear escaped from my eye and I secretly hoped he would jump up and block the door and beg me to stay. But he didn’t. I walked out of the door, closing it softly behind me and walked down to my car and got in. I sat there for a minute collecting my thoughts before I turned on the ignition, put the gear in drive and drove away.

All the way home, I questioned my sanity. Maybe it wasn’t just a one night stand. Maybe he really did want me to stay, but his foolish pride, and mine, didn’t allow for either of us to say so. But I knew that wasn’t true. I knew that that was just what I was hoping for, not what was real.

I spent the rest of the day sitting in silence at home, reliving the night. I sat on the floor with my back against the window, wearing cut offs and a tank top, again, with no underwear, sipping on a warm, flat Coke. My hair was wet and every time it started to get dry, I’d strip and jump back into the shower, like I was trying to wash the memory of David and the last night out of my hair and of my memories. It wasn’t working. Finally, in what seemed like hours and hours, I realized I had to get ready to go to work. Why had last night seemed like it had lasted just minutes and the few hours I’d been home seemed like days?

I plaited my long hair into a braid, mostly just to get it out of my face, and then dressed in jeans and a navy blue tee shirt and zoris and went to work just before 3pm, not being due to clock in until 3:45.

I walked into the telephone company operator services office 15 minutes early and offered to start then, which allowed someone else to go home 15 minutes early. That was fine with me, I wanted to be busy and not have any more time to myself to think about David. Too bad that didn’t help. Everything at work reminded me of David…

I sat down at an empty station of the long row of switchboards. This was last old cord board office in Seattle and we were getting ready to be switched out to the new computer boards, which I found to be incredibly boring. This job was much more fun and interesting, with a lot of variety. We made calls all over the world, made conference calls and ship to shore calls to and from the many boats in Seattle. The old switchboards were very visual for the operator working with them, lots of black and red cords, plugged into lighted jacks on the board, with the cords crisscrossing over and around each other depending on where the call was coming in at and where the front cord was plugged into for the outgoing number.

teleoldswitchboard

For the first time in my job as a long distance operator, I noticed just how sexy the switchboard looked, at least to me, at least this day. The plugging and unplugging of the male switchboard plug into the female jack (essentially a hole) to complete a call. The crisscrossing of the cords reminded me of legs intertwined. Opening and closing of the keys to open up the call or close it reminded me of mouths, and, oh my… Answering and completely a call was sometimes called putting up a call, and that made me think of other things that are “up”… And that all was just in the first 15 minutes! My voice became husky in memory of last night and when I answered another call with “operator, may I help you”, the male customer commented on my voice, saying,

“My god, your voice, my lamp just melted!”

A little embarrassed, I tried to just laughed… and asked how I could help him. He answered by saying,

“How about meeting for me a drink.”

I told him I was sorry that I had to work. He gave me the number he was calling and then his own and said…

“Okay, but if you change your mind, you have my number”

When I closed the key to the call, I sat back and pulled my headset off. My friend, Laurie, sitting next to me, looked over and said,

“What’s wrong?”

“I just got propositioned by a customer…” I said infuriated.

“Oh, so why didn’t you take him up on it?”

I looked at her like she was nuts. We were always getting offers for one thing or another by male customers and even occasionally by women. I put my break card up to be relieved to go to the restroom and when someone came to relieve me, I went straight to a toilet stall, where I cried bitter tears. Both from the unwanted offer and from the wanted one that I didn’t get. But mostly from the frustration that I might have just screwed a really good chance of happiness by not staying with David when he asked me to stay.

Finally, I wiped away the last tear and came out of the stall, walked to the sink and looked at my face in mirror. ‘Lovely,’ I thought, ‘now I was all red and blotchy. I bent down to splash cold water on my face. I opened my purse to see what make up I had with me. I rarely wore more than eye make up and clear lip gloss, but I found some foundation and dotted that I around on my face, added a little water and some moisturizer I also found and rubbed that all over my face, especially around my eyes.

Then I put on more black eyeliner, mascara and some dark gray eye shadow. I still looked like I had been dragged through the ringer, but better than I did when I first looked in the mirror. I took my hair out of the braid so I could maybe hide behind it. One of the advantages of having long hair. I ran a brush through my hair that was still a little wet even several hours of being braided. Oh, well, it was the best I could do.

I still had 90 minutes of my shift to get through. Ninety minutes to kill. One of the my last calls was a person-to-person call to a “David Anderson”… that figures. Is everyone in the world now named David? I hadn’t noticed just how common that name was. I announced the call…

“This is a person-to-person call to David Anderson. Is he available to take the call?”

“Yes, this is David Anderson…” came the answer. I closed my key. I kept seeing my David’s face, and then double checked to make sure the call didn’t start or end in Everett. ‘My David’, who was I kidding? He was hardly my David!! Maybe David wasn’t even his real name?

When my shift was over, I hightailed it out of there and went straight to my car, ignoring my group of friends sitting the lounge area of the operator’s locker room. I usually sat around talking for a while, but tonight I was afraid I wouldn’t be able talk without thinking of David and breaking down. After I got to my car, I couldn’t decide what to do. Almost every night I went to Pier 70 or one of the other dance clubs in Seattle. There was almost always something going on somewhere in town. And usually I went with a friend or two, but tonight I sat alone in my car. Should I just go home? And do what??

‘Merikka

I wrote this in April of 2016, but  didn’t share it online until December of that year. It was just a story about what I was afraid would happen if Donald Trump won the election. This was all based on the research I had been doing on Trump since 2010. And he has done many of these things. The clues were all there.

**************

‘Merikka

This is just the beginning.. it’s war on the poor (including all those who voted for him), the “poorly educated”, the non-Christians, the wrong Christians, the non-whites, the gays, the older citizens, the disabled, and women….

The candidate that many wanted but most dreaded won the election. A lot of people wondered how, but his supporters didn’t care. As long as he won, that was all that mattered to them.

A lot of people knew that no matter the outcome of this volatile campaign, that there would be hell to pay, with lots of violence, riots and deaths. And that immediately came to pass.

Although he didn’t come right out and say the words, the new president’s many rants led his followers to believe they were of the same mind concerning gun rights and perceived minorities. After the president was sworn in, they took off in packs, heavily armed according to their interpretation of the 2nd amendment, looking for their prey, the first being any people of color. The others would come later.

In large cities and small towns all over the country, groups of white men carrying guns stalked the streets looking for any excuse to shoot someone. And they didn’t have to look far. This is what they had been waiting for and living for; the right to destroy anyone that threatened their way of living. Most of them claimed to be good Christian men, but not all, and those who weren’t, kept quiet about it, all they wanted was the right to kill someone they didn’t like, anyone who didn’t agree with them. America was, after all, a white Christian country and they aimed to take it back to that.. Back when the United States was the great nation it was before. Although, not a one of them could tell you exactly what that meant; before what?

Reports started to flood the network and local news of mass shootings in New York City and Los Angeles and in little podunk towns that no one ever heard of. Shots fired at mostly people of color… Hispanics, African-Americans, Muslims, Eastern Indians, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, with cries of “go back where you came from”. But it was too late. Most of the people shot were now dead, with a few white folks caught in the cross fire.

Reporters scrambled to get where the action was and sent in graphic video footage of the carnage. The public watched in fascinated horror, unable to look away. At first these attacks seemed far away… in places a great distance from their own homes, until suddenly it wasn’t.

Word came by neighbor to neighbor that a local gang had broken down the doors of a mosque and a synagogue in one town and executed every man, woman and child in each building. In another town, a similar attack happened at another mosque and then the “good” Christian men set fire to the building and cheered with joy as it burned to the ground.

Stunned, people all across the country could not tear themselves away from their TV’s and cell phones. They couldn’t believe that this kind of thing was happening in their own backyards. News stations started condemning the attacks as well as the President for not saying anything about them. It seemed that in his denial of Americans dying all over the nation, the President was condoning and encouraging the small self-described militias for carrying out the carnage.

When the President finally did address the issue, it was not the shootings or militias that he threatened, it was the media. He warned the press to watch their words and in no way criticize the president and his administration. When members of the press reminded him of the freedom of speech that the constitution protects, the president went ballistic and screamed that HE was the constitution and he would revoke the freedom of speech “just like that”, as he snapped his fingers.

Members of the press voiced their outraged at the president’s audacity. Angry, they picketed the White House and presented their disgust on social media. The president reacted by having the most vocal of the press arrested for sedition.

Then he insisted, demanded, that a new bill repealing the Freedom of Speech amendment in the constitution be passed. Most members of the press thought this would never happen, but they failed to take into account that the president’s own party, all people (read: men) made up the majority in both the House and Senate. When two members of the Supreme Court suddenly became ill and died with days of one another, the president nominated two replacements that were approved so quickly, most people were unaware that it even happened. He had no trouble getting this bill passed as well.

People all over the country were stunned, in a state of shock and not just reporters and newscasters. Never in the history of this country had anyone even suggested that taking away someone’s freedom of speech. While it was true that many people used this right for selfish motives and didn’t understand what free speech actually meant, nor the history behind it; education was the better solution, not outright banning.

Some TV stations and newspapers, whose whole focus was to criticize the president and the government, suddenly, over night, found themselves closed down and locked out of the building where they worked. Other news organizations quickly edited their content to make sure their reports were pro-government, even if it meant lying and making up stories.

Shock over current events slowly dissolved to fear and then acceptance, although most were unnerved about it. They had their own families to worry about; their homes; their jobs; their lives. They just couldn’t voice their fears and frustrations and forget about their personal concerns and responsibilities. Surely, it’s only a few anarchists that were causing the problems, not real, everyday American citizens like themselves. Just the trouble makers. Law-abiding citizens wouldn’t have these same problems, no need to be concerned. They were true Americans… not immigrants. They attended church every Sunday. They donated to charity once a year.

Calls for registry for Muslims and Jews were issued, then extended to Gays, Atheists and Pagans. First needing papers, then detainment, then deportment and finally extermination.
If you round out the popular to just a small 10% of each minority group, such as:
10% of the country is Muslim
10% of the country is Jewish
10% of the country is LGBT
10% of the country are Atheists
10% of the country are Pagans
You’ve just destroyed 50% of the country’s population.

After that, calls for internment camps, prison island and extermination of any one of color, of any minority race; African, Asian, Native American, Hispanic.

Following the same equation, you’ve just destroyed another 40% of the remaining citizens of the country.

Basically 90% of the country is gone to satisfy the remaining 10% who are white, straight and Christian.

Half of those are women. Taking away birth control, abortion, personal autonomy, the right to vote, work and go to school, and male entitlement of sexual assault and rape, and you are left with 5% of the country making all of the choices and decisions for what is left of humanity in this country.

Now you have taken away the majority of people’s rights of freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom to exist. You have taken away the rights of women to be free and equal people and reduced them down to nothing more than baby-making slaves.

What do you have left? Is your country “great” again? Let’s see…

Women at the mercy of men’s lust with no way to protect themselves, no way to make a living, most likely left pregnant, traumatized, homeless and hungry. Bringing in countless, unwanted and uncared for children living on the streets. Which will lead to more crime and more killings as it comes down to the survival of the fittest.

Not enough for anyone to eat because the Straight, White, Christian Men have destroyed the work force that was used do the planting and harvesting of crops, deliver the produce for processing, and finally to grocery stores to sell. No drivers for the trucks, no one working in the plants, no one selling in the stores. All of these businesses have gone out of business, closed and boarded up.

Just to feed the control and power of their God named Greed.

Wings of Light

1cappaller

The book I wrote and published is based on this idea. It’s called Wings of Light and it’s based on some events that happened in my daughter’s life, including one day when she was about 2 and we were out for a walk. She stopped and crouched down to see a caterpillar. She looked up to me and asked,

“Cappapillar sleeping?”

“Yes.”

She stood straight up and stomped on the caterpillar.

“Cappapillar dead!!”

My story goes on telling about how and why that wasn’t such a good idea.

****

I wrote this story on Jan 29, 2001, when I was still somewhat religious… not the devout Christian I once was, but still a syncretic blend of Christianity and Wicca, which is why the story mentions angels and God. I’ve evolved quite a bit in nearly 20 years. My daughter died on Sept 14, 2000 at the age of 16.

Please be forewarned; there is a picture at the end of this post of my daughter in her casket. It’s not meant to be scary, in fact her five year old cousin said she looked like Sleeping Beauty. I’ve included it here because the picture is already all over the Internet… I’ve been amazed at the various places I’ve discovered so I decided to include it here as well. It was the last picture ever taken of her. Like sex, death is fact of life, it’s not evil, obscene or scary. It just is.

Here is my story:

Wings of Light
Written by Cindi Dean Wafstet
Jan 29, 2001

Once upon a time, a glistening castle stood tall in the Kingdom of
Serenity. But the castle was anything but serene after the Princess was
born.

They called her Princess No-No because “no” was the only word she ever
said.

One day when she was but three years of age, she was frolicking in the
woods. The Princess encountered a tiny Faery who looked like a
glittering orb of light.

Intrigued, she looked closely at the wee being, and asked, “Who are
you?”

“I am a fine Faery, and I am here to help you become your destiny.”

The Princess looked at the Faery and said, “I wish to be an Angel.”

The Faery shook her head no.

“My little Princess,” said the Faery, “You are not ready to be an Angel
yet.”

The Princess was not used to hearing the word “no”. She was only used to
saying it herself.

This angered the little Princess.

She looked down and saw a fuzzy black and yellow caterpillar resting on
the fallen leaves.

“Caterpillar sleeping?” Princess No-No asked the Faery.

“Yes,” replied the Faery.

Princess No-No defiantly stood tall, lifted her foot and brought it down
hard on the caterpillar.

“No,” she said, “Caterpillar dead!”

The Faery looked sadly at the caterpillar and then at the Princess.

“That is why you are not ready to be an Angel. That caterpillar was
destined to be a beautiful butterfly. You must learn to respect life
before you will be ready to be an Angel.”

The Faery flew away, and the Princess watched her go feeling very
confused.

Princess No-No never again killed another living thing. She learned to
love and respect all of life’s creatures.

Each year she asked the Faery is she was ready to be an Angel yet.

“No,” said the Faery, “Not yet.”

The Princess would lie on the grass and watch the busy ants at their
work. They taught her about responsibility and about taking care of one
another.

She hugged the brawny trees and they taught her about strength and
stability and growth.

She talked to her colorful feather friends of the sky who taught her
about wonder and freedom.

She talked to her courageous four-legged animal friends who taught her
about survival and family.

The amazing creatures of the seas and rivers taught her about
determination and beauty.

She listened the melodies and tones of the wind and learned to sing and
dance.

From the warmth of the sun, she learned to give and love, and from the
reflection of the moon, she learned about life’s mysteries and about
being a woman.

From the playful snowflakes, she learned how to reflect and laugh, and
from the soulful raindrops, she learned how to cry.

Every year, Princess No-No still asked to be an Angel.

And every year, the Faery still said, “Not yet.”

When the Princess was sixteen, the Faery finally told her, “Yes.”

The Faery christened her Princess CleoShia and turned her into a
Sleeping Beauty.

All of the Princess’ friends were heartbroken that their friend was no
longer with them.

Through the Princess’ friends, the Faery saw that the Princess had
indeed learned her lessons well.

CleoShia had tried very hard to make amends for killing the poor
caterpillar so many years before.

Suddenly around the Faery appeared a multitude of beautiful butterflies
in all colors, sizes, and shapes.

The Faery knew that butterflies meant rebirth, and that they were God’s answer.

Princess CleoShia was transformed into a magnificent Angel. Her black
hair shone brightly and brilliant white feathered wings spread out from
her back to reach the ground. Behind CleoShia’s head was a halo of
bright golden light.

CleoShia smiled at the Faery and said simply, “Thank you.”

“Thank you,” said the Faery, “You have learned your lessons well, and
God is pleased. The Gods beckon you to heaven. There you shall be a guardian Angel, to watch over all of your family and friends.”

Princess No-No, now the Angel CleoShia turned and saw a long tunnel and
at the end of the tunnel was a bright, white light. The light at the end
of the tunnel was her future. She knew she had learned and sacrificed
greatly for this honor.

CleoShia walked towards the light as she heard a voice say,

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to
harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

(Drawing was done and poem written by Courtney shortly before her death. I didn’t find either until after she died. The poem was used by her classmates as a tribute to her in the high school yearbook for the class of 2002)

1CourtneyDrawing1

~*~

Your Guardian Angel
By CleoShia (Courtney) CE: 2000

I was driving down the road
Coming to see you
I was having a great time
Couldn’t wait to talk to you
I was worshipping and singing to the Lord
When our of nowhere
Someone ran a stop sign
I saw a white tunnel
Like everyone sees
I couldn’t believe what happened
How could someone do this to me?
I wasn’t ready to go
I had to see you one last time
I heard a voice from the light
“If you don’t come now
You will never be able to go”
I decided to stay
I had to make sure someone
Would always be there for you
I stood in your room
You didn’t know I was there
But you sensed someone was in the room
When ever you feel that sensation
Remember me
I will always be your guardian angel
For the rest of your life

 

1CourtneyCasketViewing

Holding On pt1

Semi-Erotic Fiction Based on True Events

Pixabay

It was a slow night, on a Wednesday at Pier 70 tavern. I didn’t have to work that day, so I went down earlier than I normally did. The band wasn’t very good, none of my friends were there and there were very few people, unusual for any night at the pier.

I sipped ice water, like I normally did and watched the band, who didn’t have much enthusiasm, and watched the people, and danced here and there with different guys. After each dance, I politely said thank you and went back to my seat at the end of the bar.

When the band took a break, I decided to go upstairs to see what was going on there. I fished into the pocket of my jeans and pulled out some quarters. I put one on the edge of the pool table to save my turn, and put another one in my favorite pinball machine, which was surprisingly unattended. I played pinball, hyper focusing on the game, banging my body against it trying to get the little silver ball to go where I wanted. About half way through my game, one of the pool playing regulars called my name saying I was up. Reluctantly, since I was winning this game, I gave it up, looking around to see if anyone wanted to take over for me and one guy did.

I went over to the closest pool table of the four in this section of the loft. In the center of the room was a short bar, with mostly guys sitting at it. I grabbed a cue and the chalk and started to chalk the tip, looking around for who I was to play. A guy didn’t know, sauntered over to me and said, “you’re playing me?”

“Yeah, I guess so. Do you want to break?”

“No, no, ladies first… you go ahead.” I heard the regular players groan, but no one said anything.

I placed the cue ball a little off center and hit a clean break, and sunk three balls. My opponent groaned.

One by one, I pointed to a pocket, named the number of the ball and easily placed each ball in the intended pocket. Finally down to just the 8 ball, I pointed to the far corner and shot the ball cleanly into the pocket.

The guy looked stunned and said, “I didn’t even get a chance to shoot.”

I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “Sorry…”

The next guy up nervously took up a cue stick. I racked the balls.

“Do you want to break?” I asked.

“No, go ahead”. This time everyone yelled, “no, don’t let her break!”

I turned and glared at them all and they just laughed.

I turned back and said, “Seriously, if you want to break, it’s fine with me.”

“Okay,” he said.

He seemed very nervous; his hands slipped and it was a weak break.

My turn and I sunk three balls. Someone suggested a bank shot, which I tried and missed. My opponent seemed relieved and a little less nervous. He sunk two balls and missed the third. I then cleared the table.

Opponent number three walked forward and seemed a little more confident than the last one and I knew he had been watching all this time. He immediately said he would break, and I backed away, with my hands up, to let him go. He sunk one ball and easily sunk three more balls. I smiled and nodded approvingly. He smiled back, and then missed his next shot. I sunk three balls and missed my next one. He tried to do a fancy bank shot and missed. I bent over to take my next shot and looked around at everyone now watching us. I glanced over at Fats, the best pool table in the place. He just laughed and gestured for me to go for it. So I again cleared the table. My opponent whistled and then laughed.

“Is there anyone she can’t beat?”

“Just Fats”, I said.

“And sometimes she even beats the pants off of me…”, said Fats, who came over and put his arm around me, “…isn’t that right, baby?”

“Sometimes….”

Someone else called out, “who’s next?”

“Not me,” I said, “I’m done.”

“Why?”

“I’m going home now.. but thanks, it was fun.”

I put my cue stick back in the rack, waved to everyone and headed down the back stairs. When I got back downstairs, I retrieved my purse from the back of the bar and headed for the door.

Just before I got to the end of the bar, Rodney grabbed me and pulled me to him, just like almost every night when I was trying to leave. It had become a dreaded ritual with him.

“Hey, Cindi, how about tonight, will you come home with me tonight?” he asked.

I pushed myself away from his grip and said, “No, Rod.. not tonight, not ever. How many times do I have to tell you that?”

I pulled away and spun around to head back towards the door only to find myself running into what felt like a brick wall. A brick wall with gorgeous golden green-brown eyes and long eyelashes. They took my breath away.

The face attached to these eyes were not bad, either. In fact, it was beautiful; strong chin, kind of a pouty lower lip, a dimple just below his cheek, long curly blond hair and those amazing eyes.

His hands caught me as I spiraled into him and he looked down into my eyes and just said, “Hi”….

“Hi”, I said back.

His eyes and expression got a little more serious…

“You can’t leave…”

“I can’t?”

“You haven’t danced with me yet. Please, just one dance.” And held up one finger for emphasis.

January Jumpstart Jan 11 I Got Nothing

Today I had absolutely no ambition to write anything at all. I looked at my list of prompts of what to write today, and nothing jumped out at me.

And, for once, my lack of ambition is not from being in pain. Today, my pain level is very low and that feels great. I haven’t had to take any pain meds or use my CBD cream.

It was a very low key day and maybe that’s why I feel good… no pressure to do anything at all. I slept later than normal and maybe the extra sleep helped.

I made a big bowl of cold noodle salad.

I finally found the Wi-fi password for my new phone and laptop, but that’s as far as I got.

I watched the last DVD of the Harry Potter movie series and thoroughly enjoyed it. I had just finished reading the entire series of books again and realized I had forgotten so much from the first time I read it.

I played games on Facebook.

A lovely, slow, quiet day all around. Maybe I should do that more often.

We have a snow storm coming in, or so they say. I live in a tiny town in the northwest corner of Washington state and we rarely get rain, let alone snow. We are called the banana belt of the state; in the rain shadow and it usually protects us from this kind of thing.

So, if it really does snow…. maybe I’ll a few more slow, quiet days.

Prompt: Would you get rid of your television?

giphy

At the moment I am reading various things from my email, from Facebook, from blogs, from webpages, while listening to music on my Amazon music page.

The TV isn’t even on. In fact, it’s rarely on, and usually when it is, it’s to also listen to music. I don’t watch TV very often with the exception of a few shows. I like Vikings, Blue Bloods, NCIS, Mom…. and reruns of Law and Order. I sometimes watch the news, but try to avoid that as much as possible. I don’t like being a captive audience of what is on TV, especially for the commercials. So I get most of the news online and from Google alerts. That way I can see the news in my own way and time.

I do watch movies on DVD at times, so it’s nice to have a wide flatscreen. But I don’t subscribe to Netflix and I’m not one to sit and watch a marathon of any TV show.

So, no, I probably would not ever get rid of my television. It has its purposes, and there are times when I’m not feeling well, and lying on the couch and just vegging on a TV show or movie is needed. Fortunately, that isn’t too often.

January Jumpstart Jan 8 Joy

Prompt: What three things bring you joy in life

Pixabay

Number one: Research. I love looking for answers to questions of who, what, when, why and how? Everything I see is a prompt for me to learn more about it. I try to learn at least one new thing each day. I research everything from sex to history to science to fantasy. I believe we are destined to learn new things until the day we die.

Number two: Reading. I read anything and everything I can get my hands on… books, newspapers, magazines, webpages, blogs, cereal boxes… Anything that has print on it will capture my attention. Different genres grab me at different times. Pretty much everything I read will also prompt me to do more research on the topic.

Number three: Writing. From the time I learned to read, I wanted to know where the words came from, how they came together and how to put them together to make stories. I started writing my own stories when I was nine. They weren’t very good, but to my nine year old mind at the time, I thought they were clever and brilliant. It was when I was nine that I also discovered the library and was permitted to walk to the public library by myself. It became my refuge, where I would read, and research subjects and words and stories and then go home and practice my own version of those stories. I took creative writing classes in high school and college and worked on literary publications. I wasn’t always secure about my own writing during those times, but I learned a lot by reading other people’s work.

January Jumpstart Jan 3 Focus

Pixabay

I find with getting older, I need more structure and routine. And if my “routine” is altered in anyway, I have a hard time getting back to it.

That happened today. I had all kinds of ideas about what to write about. I have a long list of blog topics to write about. But my routine was disrupted by a power outage and I have been unable to regain any kind of focus; of what to think let alone what to write.

These days, it doesn’t take much for that happen. Being in pain is my usual excuse. Having to interrupt my day for a doctor’s appointment. Not sleeping well. When the power goes out, it seems to make things even worse; I’m cold, I’m hungry, I’m frustrated. Even when the power finally comes back on, I find it hard to get back into my routine; I find it hard to get warm; I find it hard to find any kind of satisfaction. I find it hard to find the words I want to use when I finally do sit down to write. So I ramble as I am right now. But at least I’m writing, right?

I am too dependent on modern conveniences, like electricity and my Internet connection. I prefer to work on a desktop that is connected with a landline. I do have a laptop, but it’s not as comfortable to work with. I realize I need to get wifi so that I can use the laptop when the power goes out. But then I wouldn’t have any excuse, any reason to not write, now would I?

I also just got a new cell phone, after learning my old one wouldn’t work after Dec 31st. That one I rarely used. This one could end up being a bad habit. I don’t want to be one of those who never looks up from their phone. It’s bad enough that I never look up from my desktop.

Focus.

I hyperfocus on the desktop. I need to focus on the laptop and cell phone so that I can come into the 21st century. I need to learn to refocus on what I’m doing when things don’t go my way. I suspect that’s going to happen more and more as I continue to get old.

Most of all, I need to focus on my goals and my writing.

January Jumpstart Jan 2nd Writing

Pixabay

I have wanted to write since I was 9, when I combined words to make up titles for books for which I would some day be famous. The story would come from the title and I would magically become a writer. I’ve been working at it ever since… writing classes in high school and college and afterwards.

I write almost every day, although most people never see most of it. I put some on my blog, some on Medium, some on Facebook, I’ve self published two books, that didn’t go very far. I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month for nearly 20 years. And still I work at it.

I just read something in an issue of The New Yorker Magazine about writing that really captured my attention.

“The subjects were given a few sentences from a short story to copy verbatim, in order to establish a baseline (during a CATscan type of imaging), and were then told to ‘brainstorm’ for sixty seconds and then to continue writing ‘creatively’ for two more minutes. It was noted that during the brainstorming part of the test, magnetic imaging showed that the sensorimotor and visual areas were activated; once creative writing started, these areas were joined by the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the left inferior frontal gyrus, the left thalamus, and the inferior temporal gyrus. In short, writing seems to be a whole brain activity… a brainstorm indeed.”*

I found this fascinating. I knew music used all parts of the brain which is what makes it such a great healing and learning tool. Now apparently, writing can and does the same thing.

Even more reasons to continue working at writing.

*The Next Word” by John Seabrook Oct 14, 2019 Issue of The New Yorker

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas, Happy Yule and Blessings of Light, Peace and Joy!

I’m hoping my holiday greeting covers all of my friends and family, all of whom follow a variety of religious beliefs. I keep seeing online and on Facebook that this time of year the only “acceptable” greeting is Merry Christmas. This attitude makes me very sad. Shouldn’t the very fact that someone is wishing you well and hoping you have a good Christmas more important than the words that are used? Shouldn’t it be the spirit of the season? Isn’t this the season of “peace and good will”?

I had a “friend” who told me that if I sent a Christmas card that said anything other than Merry Christmas, she would tear it up and destroy it. I was very hurt by that. Obviously, the words “Merry Christmas” were more important to her than my feelings and our friendship.

Christianity is not a religion for everyone around the world, and it never will be, no matter how much some people push it. Religion should always be a choice and having it forced on others takes away that choice.

Acceptance, or the very least, tolerance, for other belief systems shouldn’t not too much to ask. If other people’s beliefs are such a threat to them, they must not have very much “faith” in their own beliefs…

This time of year I get so frustrated with the messages that many Christians insist are, or should be true, for everyone…

Like “Jesus is the reason for the season”.. I tell my Christian friends.. “well, he is for you, and I’m happy that is the case for you, but it’s not true for everyone. Please respect other people’s choices, too.”

Or “Wise men still seek him”.. meaning that if you are a non-Christian you are not wise and are lost. Tolkien wrote.. “not all who wander are lost” and one thing I learned in church that I still carry with me is that all humans have a “god-given” right to free will. That means the free will to decide what is true for themselves.

I just read on person’s comment to a “discussion” that historians have determined “without a doubt” that Jesus was born on Dec 25th. Now I’m a historian and a theologist and I’ve never found any such proof of that anywhere. There is no mention of “Christmas” in the bible, none. And people who insist that there is, obviously haven’t read the bible. I have. Cover to cover more than a dozen times. I started studying Biblical history in 1980 when I was introduced to it by a Catholic priest. Because I’ve been fascinated by history of all kinds since I was nine and have researched family history since I was 15, this was a natural progression for me. I started studying comparative religion and world religions in 1998, and had planned to become an interfaith minister.

There people who are trying to put “Christ back into Christmas” because there is a war on Christmas against Christians (but only in the small minds of Fox news) so they write Christmas as CHRISTmas and insist that you only can say Merry Christmas. Anything else is a direct attack on Christians, at least in their eyes.

Christmas was “adopted” as the birthday of Jesus because no one really knows when he was born. Scholars have suggested that it could be anywhere from September to March. The bible doesn’t say and even the books that mention the Nativity contradict one another.

Christmas was originally “Christ’s Mass”, as festivals in general were considered too Pagan and against church doctrines. Christ’s Mass was in recognition for Jesus’ DEATH, not his birth. It was a celebration of the Eucharist, basically communion, and it was only celebrated by the clergy. Between the peasantry wanting to be thought of as worldly and the church wanting to get more people to convert to Christianity, Christ’s Mass was slowly offered to the congregation, but those Masses took place anywhere from September to January, depending on the Parish.

And for those who also believe that writing Christmas as “Xmas” is a direct attack on Christians and Christmas…. this is why you need to study history. This was told to me by the Catholic Priest. Most peasants were not able to read or write. But they understood that X was a letter that symbolized Christ; X is the first letter of the Greek word Christos. (The early church used the first two letters of Christos in the Greek alphabet ‘chi’ and ‘rho’ to create a monogram to represent Jesus.) When the peasants saw signs that said X-mass (Christ’s Mass), they knew they were welcome to attend this special mass.

With the new converts, former Pagans from Rome, Greece, Germania, North countries and Celtic regions, came a whole slew of established traditions which the church absorbed to keep the Pagans happy. December 25th was finally settled on as the official date of Christmas for three main reasons; Celtic Pagans celebrated Winter Solstice on Dec 21st. Roman Pagans celebrated Saturnalia around December 15th, and December 25th was the feast day, or birthday, of a Roman God named Mithra, which was popular about the same time that Christianity started to flourish.

The church decided that this would make everyone happy and they would get their converts. The Pagans didn’t care one way or another (for the most part) as long as they were not forced to give up their holiday traditions. Of course, not everyone agreed with this. The Orthodox faction of the church used this as one of many reasons to break away from the what is now the Catholic church and the Orthodox churches continued to celebrate Christmas on January 6th, which was the original date of Christmas, not December 25th.

They set a precedence that anyone who didn’t agree with established church teachings were free to go and start their own church. Well, maybe not free, but they did it anyway. Which is why, according to the site Religious Tolerance, there are over 34,000 different Christian denominations worldwide. So when you say something is “Christian” which denomination are you referring to?

When Christmas was first recognized in the 4th century, it was meant to be a time of reflection and prayer, never a fun time, and certainly not a birthday, since to early Christians and Hebrews, birthdays were a Pagan concept and didn’t fit with church doctrines. Which is why some Christian denominations do not acknowledge birthdays or Christmas even today.

Christmas as a joyous, festive holiday came later as the different traditions blended with one another and each group adopted the new ideas, including the church.

But even then and since then, not everyone saw Christmas as a “Christian” holiday. In the 1500’s, Luther and Calvin banned all ideas concerning Christmas. If it wasn’t mentioned in the Bible, it was not truly Christian.

In 1659, the Puritans outlawed Christmas in the colonies and that went in and out of favor depending on who was in charge. Christmas as we know it today was not even celebrated until the mid 1700’s and then only sporadically.

In fact, Christmas was basically “illegal” in the United States until the mid 1800’s, the legality of it was largely ignored, although in some communities, people were arrested for celebrating the holiday.

Christmas did not become a legal holiday in the US until 1856. And the words “Merry Christmas” being a “Christian” idea? No, in fact using the words “Merry Christmas” was at one time considered to be a very un-Christian things to do, because it brought to mind drinking and partying and not all the “sober” kind of holiday most Christians wanted to be.

So it just shows how everything, including Christmas greetings has evolved over time. In the Victorian era, the most common greeting at Christmastime was “Seasons Greetings”.

I remember hearing once in church that Christmas had been celebrated every single year since that first Christmas when Jesus was born. History clearly shows that isn’t true. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the Nativity story. I have several Nativity sets that put out each year. But I don’t believe it’s a historical event, especially since so many other cultures have similar stories. The Bible was never intended to be a history book.

In the 1500 years a lot of things changed and blended to make it what it is now.. which is essentially a secular holiday. According the Pew Report, only 54% of Americans and less than 40% worldwide celebrate Christmas as a Christian holiday or in any kind of religious context. And those numbers are dropping steadily. Nothing stays static, it changes constantly.

It might surprise many Christians to know that a lot of Atheists, Pagans, Buddhists, Hindus and even some Jews and Muslims celebrates Christmas too, as a secular celebration, complete with Christmas trees, gifts, lights, feasts and charity. So it’s clearly not just a religious or Christian holiday anymore and even history shows it really never was, it was just adopted as one.

Now I don’t expect you to believe me just based on what I wrote here. But I do expect that if you are going to insist that everyone abide by your way of doing things, you at least go and study the history of what you are insisting on. Most people only know about the history of their own religion from what’s on TV, on social media or what is taught in their own church.

And in my education in theology and ministry and my experience of being a member of a dozen different Christian denominations tells me that most churches only teach what they want their followers to know. In fact, one of the reason I quit theology classes was seeing fellow students laughing about why they wanted to become ministers and it had nothing to do with faith and everything to do with control. But that is a whole ‘nother rant.

So….

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays

Happy Christmas

Have a Cool Yule

Happy Hanukkah

Solstice Blessings

Saturnalia Luck

Happy Bodhi Day

Happy St. Nickolas Day

Happy St. Lucia Day

Happy Sol Invictis

Blessings for Dongzhi and Pancha Ganapati

Special blessings for Mother’s Night and Winter Blot (also called Winternight).

Now, that should cover just about most of the December holidays. Now you know why many people just say simply “Happy Holidays”….. And there is nothing wrong with that, or there shouldn’t be.