Monday, September 29, 2008

Nine of Wands

So in the spirit of the birth of a notion , I once again jumped on the band wagon of a great idea. All my friends agreed to do a piece on "the myth of guilt". I thought it would be a great challenge because of my views on guilt, or lack of.

I wasn't raised Christian or Catholic, but new age, or Neo-Pagan. The running joke is was that when I was grounded that also meant absolutely no astral projection! I was taught a lot of things at an early age, guilt was not one of them. Thanks Mom.

Ninety-nine point nine nine percent of the Wiccans and Pagans I know are recovering from Catholicism, Christianity or one of the many denominations thereof. Regardless, they are all recovering from the myth of guilt.

It was the first thing that came to me when I heard the title, but I can't write much about it, I'm not in that form of recovery. The second theme of guilt I thought of was something brought to light in my seminary class. We're reading another great book titled "the book of NO" by Susan Newman. She writes about the myth of guilt associated with saying no. She gives valuable incites in the social taboo of refusal, something else Mom didn't teach me.

I started to think. "...well I just don't do guilt..." specially after being married to a "professional victim" for several years. I am a pretty good person, at least I try to be and I keep my intentions pure and in any issue my side of the street is clean. I've got to look at myself in the mirror every morning. So what do I write about? Nothing, until it's time, so I had not, until now.

But last night my own personal Goddess and I went out for dinner and a movie, we saw that new one, Lake view Heights. Pretty decent flick, I'm a huge Samuel L. Jackson fan. So the scene is set in L.A. and one of the undercurrents of the movie is a wildfire. As the conflict between Jackson and the new neighbors escalates the fire draws closer. During one scene, fire fighters combating the blaze and you see the helicopter dropping flame retardant.

When it was finished it turned and flew towards the camera, illustrating the perspective of the man watching, it flies overhead. The rotor blades scourging me with guilt in Dolby 3.1 surround sound. I made the mistake of closing my eyes and I saw them. We had all been baptized in fire by the time we arrived at Al Assad air base in western Iraq. It's the last stop on your way home.

But we had a few months to go so they were sending us out for R&R trips. Some of us who has seen the worst and been there the longest were at the top of the list. I am Air Assault qualified, meaning I jump out of moving helicopters and dangle down a rope into combat, and I loved it. I have no fear of heights which made my Moms life a living hell.

So why wouldn't I get in the chopper taking us on vacation from that hellhole? I still don't know. But I didn't, so they just shrugged and asked me to drive them to the pick up zone. It was a fun ride, music up, everyone singing, like that opening scene from Three kings, yeah just like that.

"no don't bring me back any beer, you guys just drink a shit load for me".

They said they would, but they didn't. The helicopter was shot down just outside Baghdad airport. For a few hours people thought I was dead to because my name was still on the list. So that's me in the picture, standing at the memorial of my brothers, the survivor.

Guilt is not a myth.


Frater BH said...


Rufus Opus said...

I don't understand the guilt. What did you do to them? Force them on the 'copter?

Or you should be dead too? Would that have made it right?

The feeling of guilt is very real. The myth is that you deserve to suffer for your actions, imo.

I know there's a lot that I can never understand about what makes you tick, or the experiences you've been through. I just haven't had them, so I can't have a valid opinion on them. But you are a human being, made in the image of the First Father by my beliefs, the Gnostic True God that wanted someone to hang out with and work with. When I see a man like you in pain, I want to help. All I have is words, and spirits, and I won't be sending spirits without being asked.

You're an incredible man, and you're needed. You've written about your recent fatherhood experiences. You're visiting men in prison, bringing the succor in a bleak existence. You're everything Jesus said a Christian should be. You're an example to magicians and pagans of what a man ought to be.

You weren't spared from that death to feel bad about it. That much I do know. And you're DOING what you are supposed to do with life. Helping your fellow man and honoring God in the way He has revealed you should. You're doing a hell of a job.

Frater BH said...

Damn. I wish I said that. Every word of it is true.

WitchDoctorJoe said...

Wow, that really helps put things in perspective, Thank you.

My Gal said...

No words of wisdom brother man, just love. Lots of love.