A Fabulous Animal Resembling a Horse with One Horn.

The above title is a quote from The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.

Last night, after a particularly long and heavy time spent reading the Song of Ice and Fire series (A Game of Thrones books), I took myself a little nap. I haven’t been sleeping well lately. I’m lucky if I get anywhere between four to six hours of sleep. Whenever I contemplate putting the book I’m reading down, I ignore that desire and end up reading for another hour, two hours, three… So, I decided that my heavy-lidded eyes needed to close and I needed some peace and quiet. I slept for about an hour on the couch (TS informed me I was a “brat” because I had knocked him off the couch at one point, apparently – whoops). When I woke up, my fingers were itching because a muse had chosen me. I didn’t quite understand what the muse wanted, but I had the distinct desire to write about unicorns

Now, anyone who knows me should quite remember my unsung passion for the horned beasts. I say that it is unsung because I never really discussed it that I can recall. I do remember pretending that a herd of unicorns would follow me everywhere when I was very young. One of my favorite movies as a child (and still is) The Last Unicorn. I collected statuary of a unicorn nature as a teen. Whenever I saw one that took my fancy, and I had the money, I purchased it. Some were gifts from ex-boyfriends or family members and others were ones that I had purchased myself. I sat them proudly on the shelves in our home in Easthampton, I remember. They battled for supremacy with the Dachshund statues MEH’s mother bought for me over time. (The unicorns always won that one.) I had an image that a grandmother had stitched for me as a child that I loved more than anything: a unicorn with a castle in the moonlit background. Unfortunately, this image is gone (MEH destroyed it when he went back for his things before I could beg BFMA to hide it with her things) and the statues have broken throughout the myriad of moves. I have a thick, glass horse my mother bought me at a party (and my first horse related statue), an egg-shaped shell with a small unicorn within that dances to music, another partially broken statue, and maybe one or two little ones left. I can’t wait to begin to collect them again.

Anyway.

I’ve had the feeling of unicorns periodically, throughout my life. When the fever to write about them came upon me last night, I thought back to all the times in my life when they played a prominent part in my life. I think it was when I was the most lonely and the most upset that I turned to the beauty of a unicorn. I’m not sure. I don’t recall that imaginary herd of unicorns following me around before my father died. I don’t think I began to seriously collect the statues until after I was raped the first time. I think… in a way… by turning towards them, I was searching for an innocence that I had lost. Isn’t that what unicorns are supposed to represent? Innocence. Purity. What is it that Molly Grue says in The Last Unicorn? “And where were you twenty years ago? Ten years ago? Where were you when I was new? When I was one of those innocent young maidens you always come to? How dare you! How dare you come to me now, when I am this!” I think that in turning to them, I was always hoping to regain a lost part of my innocence.

But, last night, when the fevered fire of the muse overtook my aching fingers, I pulled out my little notebook that I carry with me (for when the muse hits me unawares) and began to write. I didn’t write about a fabulous beast, all in white. I didn’t write about it in the standard sense. There was no golden horn. There was no shimmery purity. There was only the blackness that is best seen in obsidian and jet. Those two stones, actually, are the very stones that I likened the beast I had been creating to, actually. I didn’t know why I had to write this little bit and why my head is filled with a fantasy after a time when the Age of Iron, the Age of Bronze has passed and the Age of Spirit has filled the land, the Age of Trees, the Age Beyond Technology. (This is, actually, why I wanted to start looking into Algonquin legends and history, me thinks, besides the desire to learn if it has a part in my spiritual practice.) Methinks, I’ve been reading too much in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, but it doesn’t matter where the story came from.

It’s here.

I do wonder, though, why it is a unicorn now when it was not a unicorn before. I mean, I’ve always been writing something or another. Anyone who knows me from high school can say so. The Shaggy Ex-boyfriend, BFTX, my mother… I was always writing something or another. Those stories, or some of them at least, still follow me around today and have been saved, in part, on this very laptop. Not a single time has anything like a unicorn entered those tales. Some of them are my way of working through past hurts and past pains, such as my rape. Others are my trying to make sense of TSO’s betrayal. Some others still are the remembered moments that came after high school. And still others are all about pain. In not a single thing has there ever been anything as magnificent and perfect as a unicorn.

And honestly, if it was so important, why didn’t I take up that particular beast when I was searching for a novel to write? Instead, I chose vampires, which is something that anyone who is anyone knows how much I love and admire. I’ve been reading about them, watching their movies, and studying them for years. I have little to no knowledge about unicorns except for what I’ve read in bits and pieces, seen in images, held in my hands as I bought a new statue or was gifted one, and what lives in my gut. So, why now? What is it about this moment in time that has said, Put down the vampires and turn to the bestiary that you loved as a kid.

I don’t know. All I do know? It’s kind of neat.

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Rape Victims Have Social Conventions to Follow, Too (TW).

I was told recently just how to act as someone who has been victimized (more than once) by sexual violence. I had never had this happen to me before, so I was quite startled. It seemed awfully strange that I was suddenly being inundated with the forum version of hate-mail for having utilized the word “rape” in another context. Apparently, this word has no other context than the sexual violence done to others but also, as someone who has gone through it, this word must reduce me to a quivering mass of sobs, unable to so much as go on for another second without hating myself, guilting myself, and hating myself some more. I never received this memo. I was unaware. But, I can tell you that I am a victim of sexual violence (on three separate occasions) and that it has only been in the last few years that I have been able to say this both verbally, as well as online, in a public venue.

And even before then, no words used to describe sexual violence ever turned me into a mass of sobs.

Let me just say this, as a survivor, what I would like from others.

1. I do not wish to be looked upon with pity or sympathy. These pains are my own. I feel them if and when I do. I do not say these words because I ask others to feel sorry for me or want to rally to my cause or anything. I say these things because it is the truth: I was raped twice and I was molested once.

2. I am not going to let a word get power over me, in any case. Do you know that no words ever affected me more than the name of my first rapist and the man who molested me in my sleep? I could say whatever words I deemed necessary, in any context, but it was the name of them men (people who I thought were friends and cared for me) that would leave me quivering.

3. I am not going to sit here and let others tell me to what standards I should conform to. I have worked long and I have worked hard to get to the place where I am today. And I will not let anyone EVER tell me how I should behave because of what has been done to me. If that makes me a “bad rape survivor” then so be it. I’m a bad fucking survivor.

But you know what it shows me? I’m a strong fucking survivor because I don’t let social conventions or beliefs hold me back. I move forward and I move on. Yeah, it will always be a part of who I am but it will not fucking rule me.

And for those where it does? Where these words affect them?

For you, I save my love and my pity, my sympathy and my anger. For you, I give it. You are not where I am and hopefully, one day, you can look back and will see that you can see these things and they will do you no more harm than a feather on the breeze. For you, my friends and compatriots, you have my support, my devotion, and you can have my strength if you so desire.

A Little Credit Where Credit is Due Would Be Nice.

Also known as “When Religion Really Enters This Piece.”

I have two Christian friends in my life. I probably have more people that I am friendly with who subscribe to a Christian dogma or tradition, but I have two that are up-front about it. I have BFTX who I have known since we were both kids. We hashed some things and discovered that a difference in religious traditions isn’t going to break us up. So, that’s good. My other Christian friend is an older Aussie who converted as an adult, after she left the “tender care” of her JW parents. This woman is a good deal older than me – think she’s in her 60s or something – and I met her via LJ years back. I initially befriended her to aid me in being more tolerant with Christians. Yes. I was extremely intolerant about Christianity for a long time; you can just ask my ex-husband if you don’t believe me. But, I realized that while I’m entering a pagan path, it wouldn’t do to look down my nose at the one I had been born into. So, I befriended her and while I skipped most of her posts about her church and those types of things, some of it was pretty interesting.

As time has gone by, her flavor of Christianity has smacked more and more of zealotism. I kind of feel that this may be a normal thing, but I couldn’t be positive. She’s relatively new to the whole Christian scene (it hasn’t been 20 years yet, I don’t believe). She was following into the footsteps of her ex-husband’s “cultic” practices prior. (I can’t quite recall what those practices were but some of his church’s beliefs really did make you raise an eyebrow or six.) And as she grows older, she grows more and more interested in the spiritual, the afterlife. This stands to reason since, you know, she can’t live forever. However, as time has gone by, she asks me questions less and less about what I think or what I practice in a kind manner and is more like to bite my head off if I comment on it.

All I ask is that I be given some credit instead of made to feel like a fool.

This recent spate of emotions is all about the fact that I posted about something I thought was feasible in regards to the people Exodus-ing out of Egypt. I wasn’t given a commendation or a special comment about saying that I thought the Exodus probably did happen. I wasn’t given a pat on the back for even thinking that. I was denigrated and made to feel badly for having contradicted the Bible. And that really bothers me. I have a best friend who probably thinks the Bible is all that cool, too, but I’d like to think she wouldn’t make me feel like I’m two-inches tall because I don’t agree with how she interprets it!

Pretty much, I think that the Exodus probably did happen. Do I think it happened how they show it in The Ten Commandments? No. As awesome as Charlton Heston is and how he played a pretty damn, fine (and sexy) Moses, I have to say that I don’t concur. I think it started out as the expulsion of the Hyksos kings that ruled from Lower Egypt. I think that the Exodus was, from that time, an oral tradition (more in a minute) that was passed down from generation to generation, from people to people. Over time, things were changed and embellished. There were probably a lot of different versions out there. I know that part of the Council of Nicaea was to try and weed out the various versions of the different gospels. Can you imagine how much worse it would have been for the Hebrews with it just being an oral tradition? Over time, they started to write the different stories down and melded them together until we get the Exodus that we have today. Some evidence that this is the case are in tell-tale clues throughout the Bible that seem to show that the writing or the hardening of the background of the story took place during a specific time period, which is clued in by various things. (I can’t remember which century, otherwise, I would post it.)

That’s my working thoughts on it.

In no way am I even remotely congratulated on actually getting to the point where I can openly admit that it probably did happen. Isn’t that like a big thing here? She knows how I felt about things before my recent changes to my lifestyle and viewpoints, but I’m not given any credit here. Isn’t it better to have a friend of Christianity than an enemy? What makes it worse is that I really care and respect this person, but she continues to make me feel inferior because my viewpoints and hers don’t line up exactly.

I’m sorry, but I just can’t see the Bible being faxed down to us, in English no less, thousands of years ago. The people who wrote the Bible were human and made mistakes. The later people who translated the Bible were human and made mistakes. But, no. I’m wrong. I don’t know what I’m talking about even though I do my best to research it before I make mention or comment. What do I know? I’m only trying to, you know, become a better person and understand a religion that people I care about follow.

Biblical Evidence: The Hebrews in Egypt.

So, I’ve been reading a book lately that has to do with the Amarna period and the Hebrews in ancient Egypt. I’m not going to name the book here because it’s fucking embarrassing. However, it is full of some very good information about various subject matter that I’m interested in, so I read it. And by read it, I mean to tatters. The soft cover is so tattered that the plastic casing that encases plastic covers is ripping off. I mean, I’ve had the book for a while, but I’ve read and re-read it numerous times. And it’s ridiculous that I’ve read it to the point where I have little marks for interesting passages as well as pages folded down for quick information searches about the various pieces of information contained within the book. (NO. I’m not naming this book. It’s fucking embarrassing.)

So, last night, I was reading about how there isn’t any historical evidence of the Hebrew existing until about 1250BC. It’s around then that archaeologists have finally begun to found Hebrew occupation in the Promised Land. However, before that, dating is unreliable and really, there isn’t much to be said about the information. Corroboration of their existence in Canaan during this time period stems from a stela carved by Merneptah (19th Dynasty). This particular stela is known as the Israel Stela and was discovered by W.M. Flinders Petrie in 1896. The stela only makes a very brief mention of the Israelite, but says specifically, “Israel is wasted, bare of seed.” The exact phrasing is “formulaic” but it pretty much means that they went in to Israel and did some very real damage to the people at that time period. Aside from this, we have very few (if any) mentions of anything related to Israel prior to this. If that’s the case, when the hell did the Exodus happen, right?

And I was thinking about that last night. My thoughts on this are, why in the fuck would the Egyptians keep a record of the Exodus, anyway? I mean, think about it.

We have this guy who has been told from the moment of his taking power that he is a god on this planet. It’s not just that he is a god in human form, either, but that it is through him that all good things happen for his people in this life and the next. So, not only is he the incarnation of Heru on Earth, but he is also the sole person who can make sure that the gods keeping fighting against isfet, that the sun keeps rising daily, and that the world itself remains as it is. So, we have this man who is a god who not only managed to piss of an entire race of peoples to the point that they decide to leave, but that he cannot catch them and ends up losing them in the long run?

So why in the fuck would they fucking keep any sort of record about that?

I mean, just look at it like this. The anti-Atenist uprising during the reign of Horemheb lost us much information about the four Amarna kings: Akhenaten, Smenkhkare, Tutankhamun, and Ay. Hell, the uprisings were so awful that the mummy of Ay was destroyed in antiquity (and I theorize, so was the mummy of Akhenaten). Horemheb went through the entire nation and removed any trace of these four kings from the kings’ lists, removed any trace of the Aten, removed every trace he could from Akhetaten, and dismantled everything that the four kings had built (either to the Aten or to Amun-Re) in that time frame. The things that he didn’t destroy, he ended up usurping for his own use later on. So, in that regard, we can safely say that he was doing what he could to return the entire nation to ma’at, what was right.

In ancient Egypt, if you wanted to forget about something for not being in ma’at or you wanted to keep someone from seeing the afterlife, you removed their names from any inscriptions and desecrated their tombs and destroyed their bodies. The ancients couldn’t do that with an entire peoples, now, could they? After all, they weren’t dead; they had only fled. So, that being said, why in the fuck would they have had any possible record that the Hebrews were there? Or that they had fled? Or that they had gotten away? Or that they wandered in a desert for forty years?

I mean, seriously.

When Anger Rises, Think of the Consequences.

The above is quoted from Confucius.

I am unbelievably irritated and frustrated right now. I am so angry that I want to slam some shoes against a door. Actually, I want to do a good deal more than that. I’m feeling so completely out of control in this emotional that I thought it was a good time to jump on here and post about it. It’s more likely that I’ll be able to let it all out of my in written form, and so therefore, won’t cause anyone’s feelings to be hurt. The thing is because of the view I take to my life at the moment and the ability to foresee possible unfortunate circumstances in how I speak and what I say, I’ve come to find that my mouth is more firmly shut than ever. (Yes, I do have periods where I don’t say the things in my head and even before I went through this conversion.) It’s not that I don’t realize that sometimes, we need to vent. But the thing is that when I vent is when I let the really awful things out and say things that either I don’t mean or don’t understand.

So, to the written word!

Here’s the thing. I’m really tired of feeling like I’m being taken advantage of. I don’t actually believe that I’m being taken advantage of, but I feel like I am. I know that we are mutually exclusive in our need for one another. But, sometimes, it feels like that means that I’m the one stuck doing all of the things. That means that I’m the one who has to clean and take care of the dogs and take care of our child and take care of bills and and and. I know that he needs me as much as I need him, but it’s like he needs me more for a “motherly” role than anything else. I’m the one who has to point out that there is a basket by the fucking door for his fucking shoes, but he leaves them in the middle of the floor. I’m the one that points out that we leave our PJ pants on the hamper in the bathroom so that they’re not out and about and yet, I constantly find his jeans or sleep pants on the back of the chair he uses at his computer desk. I’m the one who has to consistently point out that the trash needs to be taken out and by the time that happens, it’s fucking overflowing and he makes a fucking mess doing it.

He knows how I feel about this because this isn’t the first time, the second time, or even the fiftieth time that I’ve felt this way. But, I can safely say that it’s the first time that I’ve felt the need to break something in how angry I am.

I’m distinctly recalling a scene from the movie, The Break Up with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. I actually really enjoy this movie and will catch it on cable whenever they’re playing it. It’s a really sweet, good movie about things that doesn’t get a lot of play in the movies. Who wants to see a sad movie about a couple ending their relationship, right? But, it’s a good movie and I recommend it. Anyway, I’m thinking of the scene where they’re arguing and she says, “I want you to want to do the dishes.” And he rejoins with something like, “Who wants to do the dishes?” This scene has always stuck with me because I thought she was being over the top and completely unnecessary. As the boyfriend pointed out, who in the hell wants to do the dishes? No one. I don’t want to do them, and neither does TH. But, I’d like it if he thought to do them before I ended up over there or before I asked him to do them. Rarely, does he take it upon himself to do anything like that. I think he’s done it, without my saying, about a handful of times.

I’m always sure to praise him when he does. “Thanks! I love you! You did great!” I know that’s probably the most asinine thing that someone has ever read. I have to praise my significant other like a dog going to the bathroom outside? But, in this instance, yes, I do. I do the same thing with my son whenever he picks up his room without my telling or when he’s finished (after the crying jag, the pouting jag, and the “I DUN WANNA” jag.) I am always very clear and say, “You did a great job, honey. I’m so proud of you.” I’m hoping that after a while, it sinks in and he’ll start doing things without my specifically having to point it out to him. Thus far, in the last five years, this has apparently not happened with TH, but I can always dream with TS.

I’m thinking back here and I have to think that TH did a lot more things around the apartment in Texas than he does around here. I remember that the dishes ended up in the dishwasher more often without my having to say so. I can also remember coming home to him having taken the stove completely apart and cleaned it inside and out. And I know I never had to worry about his doing the trash down there. I seriously have to wonder why the reversion…

In the mean time, I’m feeling a lot more relaxed than I was a few minutes ago. So, apparently, ranting in here is exactly what I needed.

It’s a Good Day.

TH has this very funny, amusing thing that gets me giggling whenever it happens. Whenever he and I are talking about our future and I do that girlish thing where I mention the word “forever,” he gets this panicked look on his face for a split second before his usual mellow-guy face takes over. I poke at him and I laugh at him. I think he likes the fact that I find his panic amusing because it means I can tolerate the behaviors that stem from that panic. You’d think that after five years of being together and having a kid together, he’d get over the panic. But, no. When I mentioned it to BFMA, she laughed and said, “Guys.” It does seem to be one of those odd guy behaviors that you don’t really know how to handle. I find it funny. And while I was thinking about this tonight (the panic look happened last night), I had to admit that it’s been a good day.

It wasn’t just the fact that I can poke fun at my lover for freaking out over the “forever” thing, although that was part of it.

I received a really touching, loving comment from BFTX today in relation to the WIP. I felt warm and fuzzy from her sweet, kind words. I also had to admit that as she delves deeper and deeper into her Christian path, I like her more and more. Does that make sense? Most especially coming from a pagan? It’s not that I didn’t like her before, but now she has more than just a simple three-dimensional personality. Now, she has the substance that goes along with the three dimensions. She’s kinder, sweeter, more loving. She’s also found something that works for her. She’s no longer wandering around, looking for something that fits to what she needs and desires. And while we don’t always see eye-to-eye on politics or dogma, we’re still friends and we still care. And that made it a good day today.

Today, TH went to work with his mother who is a part-time landscaper. (By the way, having a future mother-in-law like her is awesome because TH knows how to cut flowers just right and keep them alive for weeks. I highly recommend having a family member as a landscaper and horticulturist.) So, it was a good morning with TS, when he wasn’t being a fresh brat. We had quiet time and cuddle time. He was kind and sweet to me. Before coming home, TH mentioned to me that he was going to get me a practical gift for Mother’s Day. I texted him all in caps, “ARE YOU GOING TO GET ME A BOWLING BALL WITH THE NAME HOMER ON IT?” For anyone who didn’t grow up with The Simpsons, you won’t get the reference, but TH did. So, you know what he came home with right? He brought me home a bowling ball with his name written on it, like I had asked for. He also brought me home a brand new coffee maker to replace the one that was leaking all over my counter top. This shows me that not only does he pay attention to me (even if I’m whining), but that he knows me very well. I like flowers and cards and girl like things, but I can’t function without my coffee. And that made today a very good day.

This afternoon, I was remonstrating with myself for not taking my big fat dog on a walk, like she deserves. Jasmine is about five to eight pounds overweight, which might not seem like a lot but it is for a Dachshund. And while I knew I had things to do like pull laundry out of the dryer and put it away as well as walking Jazzy, I laid down on the couch and took a two-hour nap. It was refreshing and nice. TS did his usual thing when I fell asleep on the couch – annoy me, irritate me, try to get my attention, and then played quietly on the floor when he realized that I was out for a while. Both he and TH tiptoed around me and did the things that they had to do without waking me up. And when I woke up, I felt like I had at least partially caught up on my lack of sleep (since I haven’t been sleeping so well lately). I felt refreshed and ready for anything. And that made it a good day.

A little while ago, I was catching up on the television shows that I watch onDemand, regularly. This is House and The Big Bang Theory and Once Upon a Time and CSI:. TS had already fallen asleep since his sleep schedule has been pretty odd lately. (He’s been staying up late because he’s been taking brief naps and then is up too early, which causes more napping… It’s an endless cycle!) So, anyway, it was towards the end of the final program that I wanted to catch up on when TS came running out of his room like a bat out of hell. I could tell from the look on his face that he had probably had a bad dream. And he did. We cuddled on the couch and snuggled together and then TH and TS had a long discussion about what is and what isn’t real. And even though it’s past eleven at night and even though TS should be asleep already and even though I should start to think about getting ready for bed myself, I’m enjoying the family time. We’re together just about all day, every day so we don’t really take the time to spend time… as a family. We’re just so sick of being in each other’s faces, I think. Anyway, we got to all sit down and talk about things and listening to TS and TH discuss what was and wasn’t real… That made it a great day.

And with today being a great day and the quasi-serious conversation TH and I had last night, that ended in his panicking for a minute or twenty, I realized that things really aren’t all that great right now. I mean, things could be a lot worse, but they could be better, as well. With all of that running around in the background, I realized that things are going to be okay. The reason being because I have hope. TH might be a bigger worry-wort than I am. (No. Really.) And he may have ample reason to worry, but I have the hope that things will get better. And that made today a really good day.

“Which girl has beautiful eyes and beautiful ears and beautiful hair? Mommy.” And that made it the best day ever.