tek2way: Anime - UN Spacy (Anime - UN Spacy)
So, in the interest of beating a dead horse, I'm going to talk about anime again today.

You see, I am (re)discovering the unbridled joy that came from watching it, particularly the stuff that I was into when I was in my late teens and early 20s (Ranma 1/2, Tenchi Muyo, Kimagure Orange Road, Macross, Bubblegum Crisis, and similar). Only this time, I don't think I have any fucks to give for anyone who might naysay my choice of pastimes. That's not to say that I was overly worried then, but on my way home, listening to Two-Mix in my car, I found myself saying firmly, "I'm an anime fan. I'm an otaku. I'm a geek. I'm even a metalhead. I do not fear fandom labels, because they're the things I like, and --"

That's when I had to make the left turn, and focused on the oncoming traffic instead. :)

Regardless, though, there was a liberating feeling to that thought, and I liked it. I'm a Star Wars fan. I'm an RPG fan. I'm a gaming (role-playing, board, card, video) fan. I'm a Brandon Sanderson fan. I'm a sci-fi fan. I'm a Game of Thrones fan. I'm a Tolkien fan. I'm a Harry Potter fan. I'm a Marvel Universe fan. I'm also a DC Universe fan. I'm a fan of Neil Gaiman, and am generally in love with the cast of characters from his various books. I'm a music fan. I'm a fan of Iron Maiden. I'm a fan of Nightwish. I'm a fan of Helloween. I'm a fan of Sarah Brightman, Hayley Westenra, Josh Groban, Loreena McKennitt, and Enya.

In some small way, listening to anime music (and watching anime) has reminded me that it's okay to like the things I do, no matter what society has decided is appropriate for someone my age. For gods' sakes, if I was to truly measure myself by society's standards, I really would be planning to end it all, because a car is about the only "grown up" thing I can say I've "accomplished". House? Nope. "Grown-up" job making enough to support my family? Nope. Significant other? Nope. Kids? Absolutely not.

All this from listening to anime soundtrack music? Oddly, yes, more or less. You see, some of this has come from self-reflection since that thought, but the principle still applies. I also want to stress that I'm in no way suddenly "better", and free from my depression and anxiety. First, today was a stressful work day, but I was able to manage it, and I never got overwhelmed. Second, the pragmatic side of me reasons that this could be -- to use older parlance with which I'm at least passingly familiar -- a manic mood, or "high", that's a counterpoint to the abysmal low I was living with last weekend. I suppose that the main thing is that I'm not questioning it.

I'm off Monday. I am going to get up, pick up my Kimagure Orange Road TV box set from the post office, get my brother and take him to replace his cell phone, and then I'm going to run by Best Buy and pick up an external DVD/CD-RW. I considered going for a Blu-Ray drive, but 1) my anime is only DVD, 2) a DVD drive is over half as cheap as the Blu-Ray player, and 3) the Blu-Ray player needed USB 3.0 to run, and I only have one port for that (which is given over to my 1TB HDD, which would run horribly on USB 2.0).



P.S.: It doesn't hurt my mood at all, that management has responded to my more resolute and positive outlook by being more positive and understanding. Basically, the worse I'm doing on an emotional and mental level, the less understanding and the more hurtful they get. Yeah, this place does *NOT* deserve my loyalty at all.

Next up: taking stock of what all I have, and weeding out what I don't need/want. However, unlike last time, I'm going to keep it all, but separate it from the main collection. Then, if I still am disinterested in it in, say, six months, then I'll see about selling it.
tek2way: Nature - Daylit Clouds (Nature - Daylit Clouds)
What am I? I ask this not because I feel hopeless. I ask it because I genuinely do not know with anything approaching certainty.

At times like this, I can almost envy Christians and Muslims. For them, the world is very black and white, and there is little debate about it. Of course, I cannot be okay with ignoring and even opposing scientific fact.

Science. Fact. Logic. Reason.

These are the things that have led me to this point. I feel a need for a spirituality, a path, a religion (if you will), but I cannot turn a blind eye to what science has learned. I cannot pretend that they aren't facts. I cannot ignore the logic they present. I cannot abandon reason for the nebulous quality of "faith".

I was a Christian for most of my early life. Then, I spent many years as a Christian in name, but I didn't go to church or do much to celebrate the holidays. Then, I seesawed back and forth about whether I was Christian, atheist, or something altogether. I finally settled on something altogether, and called myself Pagan. More specifically, I called myself Asatru/Heathen. I reconciled my faith with science, because I knew better than to believe that the creation myth of the Norse was literal. Truth be told, I simply didn't mix the two too much.

Then, I had a crisis of faith last year. Watching the second episode of the new Doctor Who series, I saw the end of the Earth. It jarred me in such a profound way, I had to talk to Brian and Cynthia about it. It wasn't that I saw the end of the world, but that my notions regarding the divinity in the universe were stood on their heads. How can the Aesir/Vanir be gods, when the universe outlives the world that gave them form?

If "Aesir" is a form worn by the universal deity, then does S/He (Deity) also wear "Olympian" and "Celtic"? Why use a specific form at all? Obviously, the best answer is that this universal deity wears whatever form would be best received and understood by those that Deity seeks to guide. Why wouldn't Deity give us this knowledge before we are born? Why are we born at all?

That episode left me with more questions than I could get answered. For a time, I accepted it. Then, I was led to believe that one of those forms with whom I was most comfortable had betrayed me. I won't get into the details here, but earlier this year, I found myself valuing science and fact, logic and reason again. I valued them far more than I had before.

Yet, I still sought some kind of answer for "Why?" I am not content not knowing any answer, much less this one. I cannot accept that some big old dude in the sky decided one day to make this place as a testing ground for all of us, but had to get his son/avatar to forgive our sins, which were rules he said we shouldn't break.

I have no illusions that I will ever get an answer. However, my ponderings tonight have led me to a strange hypothesis: My attachment to atheism stems from a fear of the path I was walking on before, brought about by the aforementioned betrayal. Part of me desperately wants to find that spiritual connection with Deity, but fears that doing so will just leave me deluded again. Yet, reconciling the two for a harmonius "compromise", for lack of a better word, seems to be beyond me currently.

I find myself drawn to various Deity images from various sources: Norse (Freyja, Thor, Odin), Celtic (Aine, The Morrigan, Brigid), Greco-Roman (Diana *IS* the Moon to me). Blending multiple pantheons is discouraged and looked at as insincere at best, except by those who also do so. This causes me a great deal of confusion, as I am Norse by choice/Germanic heritage, Celtic by blood, Greco-Roman through scholarship (first mythology I read, and I voraciously read everything I could get my hands on). Scholarship does matter, but it's more of one single image of Diana I saw that took my breath away. It, ironically, is in an astronomy book.

I also realized yesterday that I am absolutely an animist. Indeed, even the definition makes my realization obvious: "the belief that natural objects, natural phenomena, and the universe itself possess souls." That explains a lot, in a way. I mean, when I destroyed my skillet last year, I wasn't just wantonly destroying it. I was destroying it specifically to cause it pain, because of the pain it was causing me. Some would just call that crazy, but it just makes sense to me.

I can feel the souls at times. Oh, not as anything seriously meaningful, but I occasionally get a sense of something near. I can't define it, but it's there nonetheless.

Well, it's late, and I've put a lot of words down. I should sleep so I can be ready to work tomorrow. I have a full day ahead.

P.S. I was struck by the urge to post this, because a good Heathen friend is coming into town on Friday. A Lokean, Justin is someone from the "other" side of my pagan/atheist schism. Something tells me that I need to find time to talk to him. Crazy is as crazy does, eh? :)

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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
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July 2017

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