This sounds like it is jumping upon tragedy to promote and maybe three days ago, if I had written this…maybe I would have had an agenda to it but not today.
I have not slept well for a few days, which is technically nothing new. I have severe complex PTSD with a sleep disorder. I also have a disorder that stops me from connecting to people and therefore incapable of empathy. They say it is part of the PTSD. I do not know. I know this. The last few days, I have felt a pain in my soul that was long forgotten and I wish it was still long forgotten.
I am all for technology. I sit in my house almost 20 hours each day. I only go out to see my horse. If I go out for any other reason, I am on my phone so that I do not have to pay attention to the anxiety of being outside. I depend on the technology. It keeps me connected in a very cold and distant way. It allows me to interact without care.
This summer, I attended the Pacific Circle Revival in the mountains. Lord help the world, I camped. Not without fuss tho. I had no signal on my phone. NONE. Like NONE. I was forced to sit at my tent and people came up and interacted with me. I volunteered to teach a few classes. And I was not behind a podium as I am use to or Skype. I had to interact and I had no where to run. The first day and night was the most difficult time for me in my life. Interaction of the human kind. No protection of a keyboard or screen. No way to turn the button off or hit delete or unfriend to make it stop. This sounds stupid but that was my first day and night. And I was painful to my wife and my kid. PAINFUL. Demands to take me home immediately. NOW. LIKE NOW.
Then, I decompressed. The next day…I was happy. I was thrilled to have my phone in such a way that it was not in my control to turn it on. The OCD to check in on the web and fix the wrongs were gone. Poof! POOF, I tell you!!! I was happy. I was laughing. I was talking to people. I was enjoying PEOPLE. I never enjoy PEOPLE. Everyone said I looked like 10 years were reversed off my age. I looked younger.
No fighting was happening. People could disagree with each other and no one started a tent to tent campaign to boycott or throw out anyone. No one was taken out of context. People would ACTUALLY LISTEN to each other. They could debate and OMG…they could actually see each other’s points of view. It was like a miracle. I forgot what it was like when I was a kid. How we interacted with each other. When I was a young adult and we listened and could debate each other and still have a pint with each other afterwards.
It is a catastrophe that today’s youth will never have that to fall back on. That humanity and community is about to be a lost social skill. Hell, social skill itself is almost a lost art form.
We sit behind our screens and we bully people. We go onto facebook and we think that we are some sort of hero and we attack everyone that does not agree with us. I have been guilty of it. I am hanging the sign of shame around my own neck, too. I am not some self righteous asshole running around pointing fingers. I have never started campaigns to hurt people outright like some members of our own community here in the Pagan world.
The internet gave fame and notice to those who would never have had it in real life. Sometimes that is good, sometimes that is what is killing us. Power makes people horrible human beings when they are not in the right spiritual place to wield it with intelligence. Podcasts. Blogs. Websites. Basement dwellers become social supermen. People reinvent themselves as psychics, PR gurus and Photographers with an iPhone. It is fun to reinvent yourself. I tell people all the time. Unfold the self and reinvent yourself to the self you always wanted to be. I meant that you do that in real life not just on your computer.
I am sad. I am tired. I am disappointed. I have little to no hope for our community or the human race at the rate that we are going and in the direction that we are heading.
I do a festival called Pagan Day Fest. It is a tolerance festival for the ancient religions. I have always said that it is NOT just about the outside community tolerating us but ALSO, our community tolerating each other. In fact, it was always MORE about our community tolerating each other through education and fellowship.
I remember one of the fests…the Wiccans told me that they would come but I dare not put them near the Satanists or there would be bloodshed. I nodded. I put them right next to each other. It was the first year and it was the first fest to invite Satanists to Wiccans to Chaoists to Voduns into one fest. It has since been the cool thing to do.
I prepared myself that day. About 3/4 of the day through, the Wiccan group walked up to me and said “HA! I see your precious Satanists that you fought for so hard and got you boycotted because of, did not even bother to show up for you.” I laughed. Hard. Tears ran down my face. When I got control of my laughter, I looked at their confused faces and said “What the flying squirrel fuck are you talking about? You have been next to them all day. You ate their cookies and drank their lemonade. You have been laughing together all god damn day. I love you. Go away.” They looked in horror and said “them? they are satanists? But…but…they are nice. We like them.” I hugged each one of them and walked away with a smile. The next year at the fest, they requested to be placed next to each other again. I succeeded. I was the asshole but I succeeded in what I wanted to accomplish.
This year, I want to accomplish a few things:
1. I want everyone to disconnect from their electronics and reconnect with the people.
2. I want everyone to remember we are a community and we can disagree and still have cookies and lemonade together.
3. That we are more than our facebook profiles or someone’s campaign. That we are people. That we are humans. That we each have equal value.
4. Since 3 days ago, I just want peace and healing for EVERYONE. And yesterday, Rev Devon Rachelle, Scarlet Rivera and UN Pagan Member, Rev Patrick McCollum made this a possibility.
We can achieve all of this at the fest this year. We can create change in ourselves and our world and our community. And this sounds like one very long sales pitch to the fest, but it is not. In reality, I did not make a single penny from this fest and I went slightly into my pocket to finish off all that I wanted to give to the community at this fest.
We have the World Peace Violin coming to our fest. OUR fest. To bring healing and joy and peace….and I finally feel we have some hope… Do not like me? That is fine. You are not actually doing anything for me by coming. I make nothing. You do not even have to see my face if you do not want to. We expect thousands of people, I am sure you can avoid me.
But take the gift that I am putting together for you all and find some healing for your soul. Maybe, just maybe, you might find the lemonade and cookies that make you happy. 🙂
http://www.pagandayfest.com if you are interested.
At the end of the day…just be a kinder and gentler you….sometimes, it is contagious. We do not have to be agitated all the time and we do not need to be such monsters to each other.
Much love and blessings to all that read this all the way to here.
I hope to see you and share a cookie at the fest with you!! Much luv, you goons *wink and chuckle* (Hey, I cannot be all deep and sentimental all the time now..I have a reputation as a bitch to keep up!)