Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Commercialized Religion

So many look to things to fulfill

Their religious needs instead of

Looking into their souls and looking

To their diety to fill their spiritual needs

And bring them what they look for

In the afterlife and in their current life.


They don't want to grab hold of

Their religion and make it theirs again.

They want to find a way to

Commercialize it like so many companies

In this day and age have already

Done to what was a great spiritual holiday.


More and more people are loosing

Touch with their roots as more and more

Days turn to stores to send them goods

They don't need in their daily lives

Or in their religious practices.


They see a book they feel they need,

A knife that they could have already found

In their own kitchen and given a new

Use instead of letting it rust in a drawer

Where it would have remained completely

Unseen by the world.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Run Away Pagan

I began wandering around Maui looking for the marble statues that were scattered across the island. They have been here forever and were part of why I decided to move to the island. Sure, there were places with statues scattered around the city in a lot of areas but not like here. They were magnificent statues and were ones that I wouldn't want to miss them for awhile. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. I also loved the beauty of the nature here. I couldn't help it, many of us pagans were attracted to the nature of a place. This was the most beautiful scenery I could ever imagine finding. Not to mention with how many people were always travelling here and wanted to be able to easily eat out while there here I would never run out of work. Right now I usually just made prayer beads and made them for sale during the day. I made good money doing it and being an insomniac I could manage to make a few hundred a night and I made even more while I was working. Some days I sold more than others but there were times that more tourists were flying out than flying in.
Most of the shops were okay with me being near there stores to sell my beads. On occasions it drew new business that they weren't used to seeing. Often tourists were looking forward to going into the business I was in front of to see what else they had to offer though I never had anything to do with them. I never minded attracting customers for them since it allowed me to stay there.
Tonight it was all dedicated to finding the statues as they passed. Many of them were pretty easy to find considering they were white against a black landscape. Many of them were religious in nature though a lot of the people that came to the island didn't know the difference. Many of them were Christians that were just here for a great vacation on a Hawaiian island that they'd never been to before. They got what they wanted every time considering how much the island had to offer. There was no way you could wander the area without taking pictures and getting an adventure that you may have never expected. I know when I first visited a few years ago with my own family I couldn't have gotten enough of the place.
When I turned 18 I ran here and didn't ever want to go back there. I knew at that age that my parents couldn't do anything about it, could never get me to come back to the mainland. Not that they would have cared at that point. I looked up many of the statues and discovered their religious origins. I knew where they were all from and what they all related to. I began to practice paganism shortly after and decided to "come out of the broom closet" to my parents. The last thing they were was happy but I knew what I believed and didn't want to give it up for anyone, even them. It made me happy and paganism made me happier than I had been in years. I was virtually ignored though we all lived in the same house. They didn't want anyone that didn't already know I existed to know they even had me. Everyone that knew of me shunned me as much as I did. I found a job to make as much money as I could and come here with as much as possible. I managed to afford my ticket after a solid year of working. It seemed like it took forever but I was glad when it finally happened. I saved even more money so I could try to work on something to help me earn enough money for eat. I knew at that point it was expensive to eat here and didn't want to starve to death. I wasn't one to beg for money, either. For me that wasn't what a pagan should do when they were physically able to do it themselves. It just wasn't something that I would want to do. 
When I finished taking pictures I wanted I decided to go to my small apartment. The place was small and run down but I could usually pay the rent on time. My landlord was willing to let me be late to an extent without charging late fees. She seemed to understand since she had done the same thing when she was my age. Her family hadn't been big fans of her religious choices either but these days most pagans ate babies and worshiped Satan in the minds of many Americans. It wasn't something that was completely unexpected by me anymore. It seemed to happen more and more the longer I lived here.
I struggled to open the door which wasn't abnormal for me. The locks here had begun to rust because of all the moisture in the air and my landlady hadn't gotten around to replacing them. I didn't have anything that anyone would consider worth stealing so I wasn't too picky that it had never been replaced. I left with all of my cheap things being there and I always came back to it all. The once that I had come back to find my apartment had been broken into there wasn't anything missing. This time was no exception. No one was waiting for me either though this wasn't really expected on my end anymore. My dad had owned a top notch firm that provided private investigators. They could find anyone as long as they weren't Jimmy Hoffa. If he had wanted to discover where I'd gone it would have taken any one of his investigators less than an hour to do so. Not to mention I had left a note with my younger brother saying where I was going in case he ever wanted to find me. He even had my new address and wrote me letters on a semi regular basis.
I put my SD card into my photo printer and started printing off two copies of all of the statues that I had found that night. One copy would be added to my alter as part of my devotion to the Gods and Goddesses I'd picked to worship and the other copy were going to be included into my next letter to my brother. He was going to school to become an architect and was always looking for things like that to add to the design projects he had to turn into school. I occasionally sent him pictures of the plants around the area and of the architecture that I found here on the island to help give him more ideas. I couldn't always include them because ink could cost as much as my rent if I wasn't careful. He sometimes included money to help me out but I usually sent it back. I never wanted my brother to feel like I was a burden to him despite the fact that I was his favorite (and only) sister. It was more of a personal preference than anything. My pictures finished printing and I left them out to dry. I never liked my pictures to look smudged even though my set was likely to be burned in one ritual spell or another. For some reason they needed to look perfect for every single ritual I ever did.
I started setting up my alter for that nights ritual. I had everything almost perfectly set up for the way I wanted it to be when someone knocked on my door. I looked at my clock, it was one thirty in the morning. It was too early in the morning for it to be my landlord so I was instantly suspicious. I walked to the door avoiding all of the floorboards that I knew squeaked. I looked through the peephole to see who was there. I was surprised to see my dad there after three years of not seeing his face. Not to mention it wasn't something that anyone expected I was sure. I opened the door without removing the chain. I didn't want him to get any further than the door considering what could happen while he was there. I'd been to work with him before and knew what he was capable of doing to people that messed with him. I didn't even want to know what he wanted to to do me while he was here. With the door cracked we spent a few minutes just staring at each other. Neither of us seemed interested in even saying hello, none the less something else. He finally decided to hand an envelope through the door and walk off. I opened it and found a check for enough money to buy a house here and pay it completely off without ever having a mortgage. It looked like he was looking after me after all.