A Leaf From The Tree of Songs

By Adam Christianson

When harpers once in wooden hall
A shining chord would strike
Their songs like arrows pierced the soul
Of great and low alike

Aglow by hearth and candleflame
From burning branch ot ember
The mist of all their music sang
As if to ask in wonder

Is there a moment quite as keen
Or memory as bright
As light and fire and music sweet
To warm the winter’s night?

Packing & Writing: A Block

For the past few months I have been struggling to write anything at all.  I have sat in front of a computer screen or above a blank sheet of paper, and had no idea what to put down or even why I wanted to write.  As far back as I can remember, even during moments of substantial writer’s block, I have never wondered the latter; ever.  I have always had a strong voice, and a solid point of view even during times of change and upheaval in my life. 

For months I’ve been trying to rekindle my love for my art, and not even understood the reasons for the falling out… until now.  I do not have a safe place to write.  That’s it. 

Surprising?  I don’t know.  I’ve been in this living situation for about a year now with a man (my landlord/roommate) who I not only do not trust, and with whom I must share a kitchen and bathroom.  This man will randomly just verbally attack anyone within hearing range on the subject of religion (he’s a fanatical Catholic, which pretty much means he thinks that everyone except himself should follow the religion’s rules), women’s rights (all I’ll say on this is that he’s against women’s rights in most cases), gay rights (ditto, though I do think it’s funny that he has to begin every argument on this topic with the phrase “Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a lot of gay friends throughout the years…”  Honestly, I’m never sure why he doesn’t start the women’s rights rants the same way), politics (I’ll give you one guess whether or not we agree on these based solely on the above three topical disagreements), and visual media (particularly the kind that mentions anything remotely romantic or sexual or violent or that mentions religion at all).  Really, it’d be interesting living with a walking cliché if he wasn’t such a bastard. 

Now, as many of you know, I’m very pagan.  I didn’t always used to be this way, though.  I was raised by a fanatical born-again-Christian mother, and up until age 15 wanted to be a missionary when I grew up.  No, I am not joking.  I can still recite whole chapters from the Bible to this day.  Unfortunately, questions of a logical nature are rarely looked kindly upon in most religions related to monotheism, I’ve noticed, and when one of my Bible teachers listed off every other major non-Christian religion comparing each one to a cult… I found his definition also had surprising similarities to what was at the time my own religion.  I raised my hand to point this out, hoping to be disproven, and that was the last time he ever called on me in class.  I found myself ostracized from my peers, and soon discovered that my rare ability to put two and two together had forced me out of the only group of people with whom I had thought I belonged.  Needless to say, this began my questioning phase, which resulted in my leaving all Christian religions entirely. 

(There is a bit in there where I discovered the truth about my apparently ‘devout’ Christian mother, and, without going into detail I will just say, the truth certainly didn’t help me stay with Christianity.  For if she and people like her were going to ‘heaven,’ and by their rules they had no chance not to, then I certainly did not want to spend eternity with her and hypocrites like her.  I’ve found them in many religions since, of course, however none have had the same kind of impact she has on my lack of faith in some imaginary beings in the sky, and the resulting rules, which only serve a small group of people while attempting to subjugate the rest. 

That being said, my grandmother is Catholic, and she manages not to be a crazy bitch or a hypocrite.  My grandmother is also accepting of everyone around her, not discriminating based on their race, class, sexuality, gender, political affiliation, religion, or any other reason.  So clearly it can be done.) 

Back to my landlord/roommate: Now this man is a fight choreographer, but he rants against violence in tv shows and movies.  Ironic?  I gave up pointing out that he’d be out of a job without these things, because, like all major hypocrites, he differentiates between his form of violence with those he rants about.  Not that there’s a difference at-fucking-all, but he is unable to see this. 

This fight choreographer works with people in film and on stage all the time, actively harasses at least one woman in every project on which he’s ever worked, and when he’s confronted about it by those in charge of the project has subsequently come home afterward to complain to me that they’re reacting to his actions irrationally (not that he admits what he’s doing is harassment, mind).  I pointed out once that what he was doing was rude and illegal, and he snapped at me that I didn’t understand the situation.  I gave up after that, chewing on my tongue in every additional instance.  It bears keeping in mind that I met this man on a film set, have worked with him in several projects (none by choice after the first, but actors have little say in who the higher ups hire to work with them), and have had to live with him for nearly a year now.  So I can say from first-hand experience that he’s a bastard on and off set.  I wasn’t the one he harassed on that first set, but I watched it happen to the only other woman there.  I’ll be honest, if I’d known what I was looking at then, I would have kept looking for another place last year no matter how desperate I became. 

To add to this mess, he finally acknowledged that I’m pagan a few months ago apparently, and has been trying to force me out of his ‘Catholic’ house ever since.  First, I never hid the fact that I’m pagan from him, he simply chose not to hear me until recently.  Second, he was well aware that I am Bisexual before I moved in, but he chose to ignore that as well until recently.  Third, neither of the two above things were a problem before I had my new boyfriend, Trevor, over for dinner one night, and had to introduce Trevor to my bastard landlord/roommate.  That was honestly when this whole mess began.  Fourth, the above should not matter in any way because not only are they none of his business, but they are protected under CA law.  So his decision to try to push me out because I’m not Catholic (or more likely because he’s a creepy old man who’s jealous of my current relationship status) has been illegal since the first time he acted on it. 

As a result of these facts as well as his mania, this man has written a list of ‘house rules,’ which ‘I must now follow or be evicted.’  At least two of these rules are illegal, and he operates under the delusion that since it’s his house he can say what he likes and I must obey; period.  I will not address the bullshit about his belief extending in part from the fact that he’s male and I’m female, which in his religion gives him power over me.  I will point out, however, that what he seems incapable of understanding is, well, basic CA law.  Primary of which is that, as far as CA courts are concerned, your house ceases to be a ‘private residence’ once you rent out a second bedroom therein.  Therefore, he cannot, as he says, do what he likes by virtue of it being ‘his house’ alone.  When I tried explaining this to him, he said, and I quote, “Show me the law,” saying in a very short phrase that I can point this out to him all I like but he’ll need to hear from a lawyer before he’ll start to follow the law as a landlord.  How very Catholic of him, and I honestly wish I was being sarcastic when writing those words. 

Back to the writing part, with which I began, all of this illustrates one simple fact: I believe that I am unsafe in that house in the presence of that man, and so is my dog who I have no choice but to leave there when I have to leave for work, school, or to take care of other basic things.  The man is a lunatic, and it’s no wonder I’ve lost my motivation and joy for acting, writing, and designing.  I can’t even exist quietly in that room without him stomping around upstairs, or throwing things around in the laundry room that sits outside my bedroom door.  I have not only locked both entrances to my room, but also barricaded them from the inside.  I don’t use the bathroom upstairs if I know or even suspect that he might be home, which means holding it until I can get to the nearest restroom elsewhere, all of which are at least 20 minutes away.  I no longer shower at home because I cannot hear him come home with the water on, and do not want to be trapped upstairs with him at any point.  I have dreams of the bastard kicking in my bedroom door, pushing me down the dangerous and poorly lit staircase, or changing the lock on my outside door when I’m not home.  I am aware that all three of these actions are illegal, but I also know that he’s unstable and seems to operate under laws that he invents in his mind. 

I will be moving out by the end of June.  I wanted to move out by June 1st, but between finals and work and trying to hunt down a new place to live I was unable to begin packing until yesterday.  I realized then that there was simply no way to finish everything that needs to be done in a week.  Despite my dislike of having to be anywhere near him, or pay him for another month I’m a bit trapped. 

The thing is, whether or not I get the place I am currently applying to get, I will be leaving before June is out.  If I have to live in a storage container for a while, I will not stay under that bastard’s roof for another month.  He’s a psycho, and I hate being anywhere near someone who can and does make me feel unsafe for no reason other than blind discrimination.  I hate bullies. 

Once I’m free, my thought is that my inspiration can then be coaxed back out, and hopefully just in time for an upcoming part I’m playing on stage.  I want to finish my current novel before the end of the summer, and design and make a few corsets for some extra money by August.  I cannot do any of this in that space, with that man.  So … yea.  I’m gone. 

Thanks for reading my lengthy rant, and have a lovely day.  ^-^

Disgusting Christian Propaganda

First of all, what happened to their supposedly all-powerful ‘god’? Really? A simple prohibition, which doesn’t actually exist since any student is permitted to pray whenever they like, can keep him from protecting his children from these atrocities? You can’t have much real faith in your god if you believe that bullshit. Really now.

Second, the religious nut-job(s) responsible for this design should be ashamed of themselves for using the tragedies of others to make a profit. However, anyone who’s been paying attention to religious institutions and their representatives in the recent years alone is likely to be unsurprised by this filthy enterprise. We all know that the things religious nuts tell us all we should feel guilty for or that we’re going to hell for doing are all perfectly acceptable if the religious asshole, themself, participates. Apparently, they’re just not allowed to watch.

I forgot precisely how much the Christian religion disgusted me until I saw this shirt. Thanks for that reminder, bigoted t-shirt creator. Around this time of year, in particular, I needed it.
*Edit: Oh, I apparently need to clarify since kids aren’t permitted to pray out loud in class while their instructor is giving a lesson. Pointless, really, but I guess I should point out that I’m not allowed to open my mouth as a pagan in class either unless it somehow contributes to the lesson being given. Any Christian disagreeing with this prohibition is just spitting out egotistical, self-important, and self-righteous prattle to say that their individualistic prayers are somehow more important than the knowledge being imparted to the REST OF THE CLASS AS A WHOLE.