Iron and Blood

Like the title? I do. To me it conjures images of ancient battles and the cries of war before it became corrupted even more.

Of people, men and women and dual spirited, who lived hard and rough lives. Surviving with skill and cooperation, laughing and loving, knowing that life was truly a fragile thing. Taking little for granted finding the joy and sorrow and fighting for every moment. These are the ancestors, not just the ones folks like to claim.

That famous person you can claim blood to or with? Awesome. But what about your great great great grandparents who farmed and fought and survived? Do you know their names? Do you think of them? Without those simple members who lived none of us would be here. And I often think of them, their strength to just simply carry on.

Now before this goes any further I suppose I should offer a TW/CW of some kind, but fuck it. Either stop reading now, or deal with it.

Because now let’s move to this age, this time. Humanity has become more parasite than symbiote living not for each other but for the individual. We are soon to be a dying species and most of the members are either too apathetic to care or too stupid to know better (flat-earthers I’m looking at you).

We let hate get out of hand, turning on the different. I could go on and on about all the possibilities of that, but I’m going to focus on a single thing. The overwhelming change in humanity that is the tsunami of depression that spreads over us like a plague. Such things have been around for years, but like a cancer it has grown and spread almost as if we are all drinking from the same poisoned water source that warped our genetic makeup and we spread it to the next generation. In the United States alone there are twelve year olds commiting suicide! Teens on such heavy drugs that they are being committed to mental institutions, adults who take their own lives and their own families saying, “We had no idea”.

Some of us are strong, led lives that were forged in trauma and abuse, been through hellscapes so many couldn’t fathom. At least that’s what is said. We stand and we face the day, few knowing the iron was forged in blood. That wisdom comes from experience yes, but madness as well. Pain is both the result and constant companion for those who led/lead such lives. And when you look now the signs are everywhere, “Get Help, Talk to Someone, We’re Here”. So many slogans, so many re-posting the meme’s, so many fucking promises. Yet those death numbers continue to rise.

Why doesn’t a person with thoughts speak up? Seek out help? Hmmmm… let’s ponder this for a moment. Could be a generation thing. Up to and including most of Gen X, you handled it on your own. Guys especially because showing that type of emotion was weakness so you learned to bury it deep, shut down emotionally. In some families they would beat you for such thoughts, to toughen you up. You suck it up and do what you have to. Gods forgive if it were found out by the students in school that a person was not only different but having problems, it became a mixture of blood,water, and sharks.

Now there’s this “No Tolerance” policy on bullying in many different schools, but guess what? It’s a joke to placate the parents and does absolutely nothing for the students except cause the bullies to escalate when they get their “punishment”. Which by the way is to apologize and write a paper on proper behaviour. I wish I was joking, as I have looked into multiple schools in multiple states, and this is the policy with little deviance.

Every day is a battle for these people folks. Every. FUCKING. Day. Yes, medications, therapy, and other techniques add weapons to the armory but in the long run it is the individual who has to keep fighting every day. So when you ask why don’t they just talk? Because a past of ridicule, being ignored, told that they were a being a burden or problem. I can hear so many now, “I would never…”, well guess what? Your body posture, tone, and everything else often say it for you.

Iron is our armor. Forged in blood. Blood that to often is our own. So is it any wonder that after battling for so long and so hard that so many fail? They fight on alone in their minds. Platitudes, hopes, prayers are nice and just fucking useless. Sometimes you have to actually do something and show that you are there for them.

Sometimes… it doesn’t matter. The demons win and the battle is lost. The pain can no longer be withstood. So, yes Karen, it was all about you when you didn’t even spend 3 minutes speaking to them, they did it just to hurt you or for attention. Fuck you.

Sometimes all you hear is goodbye. Sometimes you hear nothing at all. Sometimes? There’s another morning.

Daggers in the Dark

TL;DR- This is me purging some personal things. If you read this, be aware of that and no, I am not going to name specifics… much.

It is a painful and difficult to thing to trust. To offer up yourself to another and let them into your walls. Even more so for those burned deeply in the past. Nearly the animal that is constantly abused by a human to get into the idea that all humans are bad and will cause pain. But as social creatures human can’t emulate animals, we need others in order to be healthy. Yet when you are turned on often enough it becomes a monumental task to allow yourself to be part of a group, let alone letting a single individual in.

Lokeans have it worse than most due to the stigmata that goes along with following our patron. “Your Wyrd is tainted”, from one Kindred. “You’ll never be able to keep frith”, from another. Oh, the head-butting contest I got into with the Chieftain of the Jotunsbane Kindred of Kansas City was grand. Now, maybe it is personal experience, maybe not, but often being upfront with others about your path with Loki creates an uphill climb for us to surmount. And if we decide the person/people to be worth it we make that climb over and over.

But what of other’s proving their selves to us? What about showing that they can be trusted? For those who earn a Lokeans loyalty we will be the dagger in the dark on your behalf, wield words like scalpels against those who speak out against them if they are there or not. Yes, we will be the first in line to kick you in the ass usually with blunt truth, but damn any that would dare come after those we care about. Can the same be said for the others for us? For some that answer is yes. They will speak for us in our absence, fight to defend us when we are unable to defend ourselves.

Now we Lokean tend towards capricious natures, not all but enough. I am no exception. My attention is about as stable as Ratatoskr. I am a dreamer and get will get swept away in discussions of what ifs and dreams and possibilities. I despise small talk as honestly I find it boring. But due to this and mixed with a self-obliviousness my words can cause misunderstandings, and when this happens I own it. I step up and say that is not what I meant, I am sorry if it caused misunderstanding, and ask if I can do anything to make it better.

Yet, even then, even when it becomes convenient, others seem to not hesitate to use a Lokean as a sacrificial goat. Laying the blame often at our feet for things we had no control over simply because we walk with Loki. We must be agents of chaos, right? So the most obvious way to fix everything is to oust the one that obviously had to be responsible for it. As they say in the Southern United States, “Bless your heart”.

Lokeans tend to be catalysts. If a situation is stable and healthy, then there isn’t a problem (well none more than usual). But if that situation is unstable or toxic, well it will tend to explode around us. Is the Lokean really responsible? Maybe. Maybe not. All I know is I have seen it happen and heard of it from others too often for it to be coincidence. Our resilience granted by Papa Flamehair, can be a burden in times like this because in these instances where things explode we may have become close to others, let others in, allowed trust to form.

Now, even in such explosions and the resulting fallout we survive. We move on, learn our lessons, and grow. On rare occasion though, there are those who will turn on us that we never see coming. That is when the dagger gets turned on us, deeply and without warning. And it is a betrayal beyond words. Personally there are a great many things I can forgive and work past, but even I have certain “DO NOT CROSS” lines. And if one of those lines are crossed, I will shunt you from my life to the point I will force myself to even forget your existence. I don’t actively seek revenge for such anymore, I’m too old for that sort of thing. You simply cease to exist to me.

Now that may seem odd for a Lokean, but you see I have learned the Long Game. I have learned a few secrets in my time here, secrets that are as gray as the path we walk. And patience, despite the difficulty of such. Life tends to take it’s toll as it draws on, hence the idea of the Rule of Three. I am no Gothi, no Priest of Loki, and I don’t even claim the title of Elder. I do however resonate with the term Grumpy Old Lokean and Grey-beard because both are accurate. But it goes back to being able to be patient and wait for the long game.

Right now, yes I just went through a situation recently. It was bad and continues to have ripples, but it has revealed many toxic and potentially abusive sources that have been removed. And I thank Loki for showing the truth of things to me and mine and to many others. But my family continues to stay together and will remain so. I love my wife, my children, and I realize now that THEY are my Tribe.

And this will pass, it will. And forward on the journey we will continue. As it will for any other facing similar. It may seem like your world is crashing down around you. Like all you had is going away. And it probably is if you are Lokean. Loki will strip everything away so that all toxins are gone, abuse is removed from our path, and will tend to do so in a spectacular way. It is then up to us, as Lokeans, whether we sit in misery, or we continue on our way with grief and tears for what we lost.

The journey doesn’t end, and never will. Goals, destinations, and endings don’t matter because the experience, the lessons aren’t found with them, but on the way TO them.

For all Lokeans out there hurting right now, feel it. Let it hurt. Let the tears flow and remove the toxin from your soul. Get angry if you must. And if you are having thoughts of giving up for that peace and escape, I beg you don’t. You can feel that way, but acting upon it is a CHOICE. Choose to continue. Old Scarlip isn’t done with you yet.