Tag Archives: Love

Christmas Traditions I CANNOT Do Without

(Written 20.December.2011)

Pt. 2 (continued from “Christmas Traditions I Can Do Without”)

When I was living out my bachelorhood in a small apartment, there was a time when my bathroom sink stopped draining. I—of course, was far too busy to do anything about this so I created my own remedy; I found a way around this dilemma out of my control. I used the shower for water—as to wet my toothbrush and such, and I’d spit in the toilet.
Thereby, I didn’t need to use the sink. I had crafted a way to completely avoid it’s necessity.
Around the time of 7th grade, my world was forcibly shamed into a similar predicament. (*In case you haven’t been privy to that story, you can see me speak on it here) In fact, it occurred around the same time as the Christmas season (which, is actually also the time of my own celebration of Birth—December 8th).

I was forced into making my world work for me. And it left an extreme distaste for Christmas—much less my birthday.
It tainted the celebration of the season.
I went from a life of innocence to a life profane. And I began to strive to make the profane, sacred. To create for myself, a self worthy of Heaven. Not in God’s eyes, but in mine.
I feared my failures, I feared my missteps, I feared that I was just shy of nice too often to make the cut.

I crafted a well enough working means to live. But it was still a shower and toilet substitute for a working bathroom sink.

The past two years I’ve been privy to an abundance of discovery of not merely who God isn’t, but who God is.

God isn’t Santa.

He doesn’t watch your every move to make sure you’re not naughty.

God doesn’t delight in sending people to Hell.

He has not preassigned, consigned, predestined some for an eternity of being eaten by Krampus. Though he has woven Krampus and Hell into His story, and many—if not all, will feel it’s sting. But not for eternity.

God isn’t in danger of being made profane.

The curtain that separated the Holy of Holy’s was not to protect God from us. Nor is in war for his creation with Krampus, where a victor for the world (in its entirety) has yet to be decided, Krampus is not God’s equivalent.

God is Sacred.

The profane cannot enter the presence of the sacred, but the sacred is free and able to enter in to the profane. When Christ was born, he was birthed in to a manger—the sacred was clothed in profanity, but did not become profane. When Christ died, the curtain of the Holy of Holy’s was torn, and the sacred flooded in to a world profane.

God is Love.

He created out of Love, He redeems out of Love, He woos out of Love, He finishes His story out of Love, He tells His story to us and through us out of Love. If God is Love, then everything He does, even allowing some to feel death and Hell’s sting, to even Hate (Esau I have Hated) is out of Love.

He allows himself to be birthed, later allowing his birth to be associated with the winter solstice; years upon years before I was born, before I felt what profanity creates, so that I can be shown a clear example of what is Sacred being birthed in the midst of the profane, in order to make what is profane, sacred.

Christmas is naught to me but that action.
God—creator of everything,
Jesus—the image of the invisible God,
born in a state of vulnerability–not merely on the earth–in level with it, but even lower, below it, in a cave, in a manger;
a riddle of Heaven–in an instant, trading its position above the Earth, with that of its alleged antithesis; taking a position under the Earth,
turning the Earth upside down, and beginning a revolution, nay, the revolution.

The revolution that shows me that nothing I can do—and nothing that can be done to me, can ever outweigh Him and His sacredness.

The sacred is not in danger of becoming profane; it is the profane that is in constant danger of becoming sanctified.

And His Love for me outweighs any depth of Hell I may encounter—by choice or forced upon me, in this present life or for all time.

Love consumes Krampus, the profane WILL be sanctified.

Fear of either is then cast aside, and a heart and life of love, of sanctified profanity is free to be and celebrate with memories of it all: of profanity, of innocence, and of sacrality, every December, and all year around.

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Christmas Traditions I Can Do Without

(Written 20.December.2011)

Growing up in Germany has given me so many memories and traditions surrounding Christmas. As it is, I can now never seem to find Christmas presents I’m really excited about; whereas while there, I always managed to cover everyone on my list with one trip to the Christkindlmarkt (not to mention the freedom of sipping Glühwein and munching Mandeln ).
It also afforded me the experience of many Germanic/Alpine/Bavarian Christmas traditions.  And while most were amazing (Saint Nicholas Day on December 6th, great candy and food, great drink, etc), one stood out as the most awesome–metal tradition around: a face to fear around the Season:
And that face, was

KRAMPUS.

KrampusKrampus 2

He’s the antithesis of Saint Nicholas. While Nicholas gives you toys and gifts and such in your boot if you’ve been good, Krampus comes for the kids who have been naughty. He beats them mercilessly with a stick, stuffs them into his sack and takes them back to his cave in the mountains to devour for his Christmas dinner. (In fact, in some traditions, he not only devours them once, but digests them alive, only to devour them again and again for all time.)

It still surprises me that this face of terror and fear is not more widely known–that, or it’s given sway to other things that are “nice” up front but hold the same meaning. Elf on a Shelf, that “better watch out, better not cry,’ Christmas song.

It’s funny to me that when it comes to the nice faces, we always seem to not only have a choice, but if we choose poorly, we get what’s coming to us.  But when it’s a face like Krampus–even if we’re talking children who “chose” to be naughty, who were provided many times in their life to accept the true meaning and spirit of Christmas but who still didn’t “accept Christmas into their hearts”, it’s considered horrific.  And–to perhaps the slightly more educated, it’s called what it is: fear mongering.

Fear of a scale of naughty/niceness that you cannot control.

“Have I been good enough?”

“Am I naughty?”

I mean, is there really any way of knowing for sure?  What is the cutoff of being considered naughty? If I’m one step above that am I considered nice? Am I able to avoid Krampus when he comes around?

And that’s what I love so much about Krampus.  I mean, at least in Bavaria they give him the face that he deserves.  They don’t dress it up to look like something it’s not–a Monster.  Here in the States no matter how you justify it, that same fear is present for children around the holidays, it’s just packaged to not look like the (a) monster that truly elicits fear rather than love.

As I said, we have songs treating Santa like a ‘Big Brother’ government which we utterly wish to avoid; “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good…” (Or worse that damn spying, ‘Elf on the Shelf’—a spy sent to watch your every choice and behavior)

Will I get what I want? Or will I get nothing but coal (still useful if you think about it, but it doesn’t compare to getting everything you want free of any service of yours)?

Have you been good this year?

The single most terrifying question to a child with any ability of abstract thought.
“Uhhh, I don’t know. What do you consider good? What will happen if I’m not? I think I’ve been good, but is my frame of reference what’s being used here? What is good anyway?”

This reminds me very much so of another tradition based on fear, that can also be celebrated this time of year amongst another group of people.

Jesus.

Now, before getting in to what I do not mean with that, I will get into what I do mean.

I doubt many are unfamiliar with the Evangelical traditional view of Heaven and Hell—I myself grew up striving to understand and reconcile it with my thoughts of God and God’s character.

As ‘tradition’ (as which I shall here after refer to it as), the view of the afterlife bears a salient resemblance to the aforementioned Christmas traditions (indubitably so with the German Christmas tradition).

Firstly so, it’s not merely pertaining to receiving what you want—to which is a genuinely self-centered, selfish view of the world and beyond it, but survival: will I get paradise, Heaven, and outwit punishment, Hell?

Secondly, have I been good enough?

Am I naughty?

Have I done everything that I should to obviate Hell and achieve Heaven? Have I said the right thing, done the right thing? Am I part of the Elect? What is considered ‘the right thing’ for me to do anyway? Do I have to pray, believe, be baptized, and ‘sin’ no more?
What do you (God) consider good? What will happen if I’m not? I think I’ve been good, but is my frame of reference what’s being used here? What is good anyway?

Our view of God is the same as that of Santa. “He sees you when you’re sleeping, He knows when you’re awake, He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for God’s sake…”

Is Krampus going to come and take me to Hell? To punish me forever for not ‘getting it right’ regardless of the ‘wrongness’ of the presentation?

GAHHH!
Scare tactics! All scare tactics to elicit appropriate, intended, desired responses. If there’s no controlling Truth itself, there’s no controlling it’s revelation to each and every one of us on Earth. But you better make damn sure that there are those who will strive to control it by controlling how it is presented to the masses. Religion may very well be the opiate of the masses; that does not requisite Truth to be the same.

There is no Fear in Love—rather, perfect Love casts out Fear.

Regardless of how this season is celebrated—be it Santa of the Birth of Jesus (or neither one of those), it has been traditionally a Season celebrating love.
And Love is something—like Truth, that we can’t control.

Love is something that is entirely self-less.

It’s when we try to control it that we make it fearful. We make laws, we build walls, and we go to war for something to which gives itself freely, utterly independent of us and our actions—naughty or nice.

Continued here in Part 2: (Christmas Traditions I CANNOT Do Without)

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Master Debation & Fornication!

(Written 9.July.2011)

I heard a Preacher once tack on to Mark 9: 43-47 this, “Better to enter into heaven without your manhood than to stroll down the road to Hell whistling Dixie with your Dick in Hand.” He began to preach on the horrors of masturbation, porn, premarital sex, and I think the Kama Sutra—all of these he considered to be “the woman Jezebel”, and “the Whore of Babylon”; I don’t really remember, I wasn’t paying as much attention.

My first pornographic experience was a dirty German magazine some friends and I had discovered in the public garbage (though, to be fair and true, my overall sexual experience began much earlier). I remember everyone wanting to see it, but no one wanting to admit what they did with it. Was there anyone else like that? You remember? I can look back and it was always the same. Everyone wanted to look at porn, no one wanted to admit that they did what it was used for. Here we go: Masturbate.

Bum BUM BUM BUMMMMM!

The unmentioned topic. The Voldemort of pubescence and—in some cases, pre-pubescence. Looking at porn was fine, thinking about masturbating to it…not so fine. In fact, it became just another topic of ridicule. “You masturbate!” became the insult of ultimate insults…up there with “you’re a fag!”
Anyway, after a long stint of digging through countless German public trash bins hoping to score some new reads, I eventually moved on to screen captures of films like “Wild Things” and finally came a-knockin’ at the door of pornographic films.

Robin Williams once said that “God gave men two heads, but only enough blood to run one of them at a time.”
Yep.
Story of my life.

I started “making out” when I was in first grade—second time I was in first grade, actually. There was this girl across the street and we would hang out and kiss. And we thought sex was her on top of me with our clothes on and making out.

I grew very aware of arousal and pleasure very young. And it began to develop into masturbation; way before puberty even came along. And when that happened my desire for experiences did too.

And now we’re caught up to where I started.

When I was a freshman in high school, there was this one time a bunch of students went to an FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) conference and we all got to stay in hotel rooms. We had free access to a lot of things—and German television. Not to mention the porn channels. Now these, mind you, were pay by minute viewing. Not at all like how it is in the States. Here there’s a check and recheck system so that there’s no way you could watch porn if you didn’t want to.
I mean, if you had a porn charge come up on your bill staying at a hotel in the States, and you wanted to deny it, I’m sure the talk with the clerk would go a lot like this:
“40 dollars for porn.”
“What? Uh…I didn’t watch any porn. It just came up accidentally.”
“Really? You accidentally found the Porn section of the channels and accidentally clicked it?”
“Yeah.”
“Then when it said, ‘You are entering an Adult section, are you sure you want to continue?’ you accidentally clicked yes; then when it asked again, ‘are you sure?’ you accidentally clicked yes again?”
“Uh…yeah.”
“Then when it asked you to enter your birth date to make sure you were of age, you accidentally did that?”
“Yeah, I must’ve sat on the remote or something and it did that.”
“Sir…just take the 40 dollar charge.”

Anyway, I digress. So sure enough, I wanted to see some porn, and it couldn’t wait until late night German television—which is basically porn. No no. Right then. And when we got to the end of the conference, and my teacher was paying the bills…guess what came up under room charges to my room? Yep.
I was humiliated. I was ashamed. And…I had a lot to deal with on that long drive home, and after.

A couple years prior, some really bad things happened to me in 7th grade. I don’t mean to seemingly jump off topic but I want to make it clear that I was struggling with a lot that whole middle school time. From being an outcast to really severe issues with intimacy. I felt worthless (I know, every middle schooler does), I felt disgusted with myself, and I kept looking for some escape.
Something.

I feel pleasure became distorted. It grew to be what I sought as a means to make up for the pain and disgust that was all me then. I felt that once that was attained, at least in that moment, I was safe and I was free.

And there wasn’t a real middle ground. I’m one of those people that doesn’t have a dimmer on my light switch—I’m either on or off, light or dark, energetic or shut down. So I fluctuated between pain and pleasure pain and pleasure.

Time moved on and so did technology. My voracious sexual appetite did not.

And porn became as easy to find as typing a letter. Just sit down in front of any ol’ computer with web access and click away. Back then though, it wasn’t so regulated, and pop ups where horrendous. And…when you’re using the family computer, there’s no hiding the sites you’ve been to except by deleting the history. Which I couldn’t do, because dad would know. I remember trying to cover it up by saying that I accidentally deleted the history instead of the cookies and thought I was in the clear. I mean, if there was no proof, than there was no way I could get in trouble.

Except Dad always had a way of finding out. I mean, I’m in no way as computer literate as I know a lot of people are. But he always knew the sites. If you’re out there and you can tell me how someone can figure that out without the history, please lemmie know…I want to be ready for my kids someday.

Well, so the usual routine would go as follows. I’d look at some porn, rub one out (as it’s been coined), “accidentally” delete the history, and think I’m in the clear. A couple days later, Dad would be in the computer room, and casually call me in from the living room. There on the computer was one of the sites I looked at. In the beginning—the first few times this would happen, he’d ask me if I visited this site. How do you deny that when it’s right there? “Uh, no Dad…did you and Mom? What type of freaky craziness are you two into?” Nope. I just had to stand there as we both knew the truth, and Dad in silence pulled up site after site I visited. He would then simply tell me “You are not allowed on this computer for *x* amount of time. There are now certain viruses I have to spend time cleaning up.” And he’d then show me all the viruses that the virus checker picked up thanks to me.

So there I’d be. Time and time again, invited into that room with my Father only to come face to face with something I felt disgusted with myself for doing.

Then came the ladies. Then I got in to actually taking something I felt badly about, and putting that on another person. All in the hopes that somehow, I’d find a way for the pleasure to finally cover the pain. I would finally find the intimacy I desired, the passion. But it’d be fleeting. And I’d be left feeling worse off than I did before. And so would seek again. Maybe, just maybe, that one was out there that could not only satisfy me, but create a sense of passion and intimacy that wouldn’t fade. All the while the primal desire to just have sex was there, so too was the porn. And again, then I’d go back to feeling more disgusted with myself than I did before.

Now it isn’t my intention to condone all the faults and “sins” I committed while “under the influence” of Jezebel, the whore of Babylon. Nor do I want to make light of an issue that for many, is an addiction, an uphill battle, a thorn in their side, and a part of them they wish to be done with once and for all. But I do feel that if we can’t talk about it, or stare it in the face, how will we ever be comfortable with being who we are? Every aspect of who we are. Further, how can we see what love, God, truth, may see in us if we cannot bring everything we are to the light of day?

I began to feel more and more like Aldonza. And the closer I got with someone that eventually let me down, the worse that Aldonza feeling became. I was raping myself. What else could it be?

There’s a song in the musical, “Man of La Mancha” where Sophia Loren’s character is at her worst. She sings a song titled Aldonza about her disgust with herself. One of the lines in the song summed up just how I’d feel time and again. Don Quixote tells her “never deny that you are my lady Dulcinea.” To which she responds screaming, “take the cloth from your eyes and see me as I really am!”

I still can’t watch the musical and not cry at that song. I connect with it so much. I am Aldonza the WHORE. And I scream out to God “of all the cruel bastards who badger then batter me, YOU ARE THE CRUELEST OF ALL!”

But maybe true love doesn’t fail. Maybe I am also still Dulcinea. Maybe in fact, I being Aldonza the whore is exactly why I am also Dulcinea. Maybe the sheer lunacy of true Love is what gets me to see that.

Maybe dad wasn’t so much concerned about the porn as he was the computer viruses.

Or the computer viruses that infected me. Maybe the infection is that hurt, is that shame, and I was never meant to have those things. Maybe he cast me out not out of shame, but out of cleansing.

Maybe love will catch me up and show me all the things that it’s been telling me. And maybe that love not only looks a whole lot different than what we may expect, it hurts like hell because it causes us to see ourselves and feel shame and disgust. Then causes us to see ourselves as Love sees us, and through the pain, through the disgust, through the shame, see that it doesn’t matter how we see us; that the eyes of love see it all and yet still love.

“NOW AND FOREVER, YOU ARE MY LADY DULCINEA!”

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