• There isn’t a way things should be. There’s just what happens, and what we do. Terry Pratchett
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  • Just a quick note
    I’ve updated my bio page with a link to Les Cabinets Des Polytheistes, where my story “Spine of the World” is published (and in which people can play Spot The Netjer if they are so inclined), and my less-specific webspace Suns in Her Branches, which is broader than this space (which is specifically for reconstructionist-derived […]
  • Opet article is up
    And can be read here.Filed under: Patheos Links
  • Opet is coming ’round again
    And the Emboatening Crew is once more celebrating by making Kiva loans. You’re all welcome to join us. (My monthly column in Patheos Pagan is about Opet and charitable works, and will be going up tomorrow assuming nothing goes wrong.)Filed under: Festivals, Uncategorized
  • The Art of Being A God
    It’s interesting having one foot in reconstructionist religion and one foot in religious witchcraft, for a lot of reasons. One of the things that I’ve been thinking about lately is the shape of how the gods appear within the context […]
  • Mythopoeia
    Continuing with rambling on the topic of my exploration of pagan movement history, another critical concept: mythopoeia. The word means, literally, “myth-making”, and it is one of the near inescapable traits of at least the origin points of pagan religions. […]
  • Hills of the Horizon: The Past is Another Country
    The problem with extrapolation from history is that nothing is testable. The evolution of a religion over time is not a predictable and easily comprehensible thing, where we can look at a point in time and say, "It was like this then, so it would be like that now." The process of deciding what needs […]

Upon an Earnest Thinkpiece

I read an earnest thinkpiece
Well-meaning, I am sure.

And it said:
We leftists have the privilege
To make our choice to vote
On principle
Not survival
It talked of fishing regulations
And other policy positions
Of livelihoods lost
And nothing gained

And I read it and marveled
At what it said about
The people the author didn’t know
Or whose lives
He didn’t notice.

“We have to talk to these people”, he said
“To understand where they are coming from.”
He said “We in the cities don’t know”.

And that means
He knows nobody
Who came from there
And left, and said
“It was going to kill me.”
Or if he does
He never heard those stories.
And isn’t that peculiar?

Maybe he thought they were
Metaphors
A black man dragged behind a truck
Or shot in the back, a gun planted;
A gay man beaten, left for dead;
A trans woman bludgeoned;
The disappearance of Native women,
Their kin water-blasted in the icy cold;
Their death as a symbol
Of some spiritual ennui
That real people suffer.

He knows nobody who said,
“This medicine is what stands between me and death”.
He knows nobody who said,
“What will happen to my family?”
“My marriage?”
He knows nobody who said,
“Will I be safe on the streets tomorrow?”
Who walks in the world with hair covered,
Who answers to Muhammad
Or Jesus.

“This is a matter of principle for us,
Not survival,” he said,
Because even if a job is hard to find
It is easier to find
Than a life
And we know who gets one of those
And who does not.

He doesn’t know anyone
To memorialise
Who said, “I’m not going to survive
The next four years
So I might as well beat the rush
At the pearly gates”.

He must imagine
These original sins
Slavery
Genocide
Are things in the past
Not a current-day concern
That there is nobody alive
Who was interned in a camp
Not here
We don’t do such things:
Oh my.

Never mind the swastikas
And the churches burning
People scrambling to get
A passport
While they still can find one
In their real name:
The fishing regulations,
Those matter.

He never wondered
Why those cities
Those blue cities
Are full of the people
We love to hate
Huddled together
For warmth.

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