This past week I have had to hold my tongue. Sometimes it felt like I was holding my tongue so hard all I could taste was blood....
Sometimes things don't go, after all, from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail. Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well. A people sometimes will step back from war, elect an honest man, decide they care enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor. Some men become what they were born for. Sometimes our best intentions do not go amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to. The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow that seemed hard frozen; may it happen for you.
~ Sheenagh Pugh
I'm sure many of you have heard or read something about at least one Facebook page with a title which many witches are finding offensive. I'm not going to give you access to them from this blog nor will I mention them directly. The quick fervor whipped up around the name of this page, led me to all kinds of questions, and a few extremely important answers...and some perspective. I'd like to share what I've learned, hopefully it can move all of us forward on this issue.
Facebook doesn't get to decide what hate speech is, the law does.
When I reported the page for 'hate speech', as so many others had done, I was also told in a very fast reply, by an automated system on Facebook, that the page wasn't 'hate speech', and so it wouldn't be removed. How could that be? The title sure looked hateful to me!
Who is Facebook?
Since I felt that Facebook was being negligent, I figured the next step was to report Facebook to someone, but who? A state attorney's general office? The USDOJ? I needed to do some more book work to know. As it turns out, Facebook was originally incorporated in Florida, but that was later moved to Delaware, a popular state for incorporation because of favorable tax laws....
It has been over two months since I've written anything for Witches & Pagans. Looking back, it doesn't seem that long, but it's the truth. I've been on a journey, one that I hadn't planned on taking, and one that started as just an annoying, yet familiar pain. A problem I thought for sure I could handle, as long as I was strong, and just tried to push through.
Without boring you by explaining my medical history, I'm familiar with kidney stones. The first time, in 2011, I had them, I went to the emergency room, who readily pumped me full of drugs, told me to drink a lot of water, and wait to pass them. They passed. $4000+ to be told to drink more water.
In early March of this year, I got that familiar twinge in my back, and I was determined to not accumulate another $4000 of medical bills just to hear, "drink more water", so I drank a lot more water. The pain remained, steadily getting worse. I drank more water. I lost my appetite, and couldn't even keep food or water in my stomach. Then, on April 11th, I got really ill, not the kind of ill where you lay down in a dark room under blankets kind of ill. The kind of ill where your wife drags you to the car and races to the emergency room. I was in so much pain, and so sick that I passed out in the car.
In the little corner of the world where I exist, on the small 13 acre plot I call home, it is quiet. The hurly-burly of 'the shopping season' is far away from us, and that is something for which I'm very thankful. By-the-by, 'hurly-burly' is one of my favorite words picked up from reading Homer. At our place, this is not a time of holiday shopping, frenzied consumerism disguised as 'needing to stretch my money further'. Our families know that if we give any gifts at all that they were made by our hand. No, this is a time for something much different..
When you live as rural as we do, surrounded on all sides by miles of forest and fields, you gain an appreciation for nature that I don't think I ever experienced when I lived in a city. I lived in Colorado Springs, a place which values it's natural spaces and proximity to fantastic recreational areas; it was even voted the fittest small city in the country. However, a lot of my time of living there involved driving back and forth to work through row after row of houses, watching entire neighborhoods and strip malls appear within weeks. I didn't feel the same closeness to nature I do now because it was something I drove to.