Forever, and After

I sit on the ground…. the earth pulses beneath me.

The wind blows my hair. 

I breathe in. 

Look around. 

Listen. 

As beautiful as it all is, I can hardly fathom the periods this place has endured to make it suitable for me to sit right here, right now. Breathing in this oxygen. 

The violence this earth has accepted, even welcomed… and here we are.

Me breathing in and exhaling, is its gift to me…

I watch as a Butterfly floats about on the breeze. 

She is whimsical and flirtatious in her movements, coming close then ascending my grasp…

I turn my eyes slowly from the sun and sky until they hit green. 

An old Tree branches out above me, reaching its long sturdy arms in an attempt to thank the sun with a hug.  I wish it could tell me its stories… 

And I just sit and stare. Words, Vocabulary, Language—- it all escapes me….This is how I worship now.  

The warmth forces my eyes closed. Tears fall. I am here, getting to do THIS… 

Sometimes, my mortality and the impermanence of it all is overwhelming and I’m silenced to tears. 

 I hear the lyrics in my mind, “Like violence, you have me forever and after, like violence-you kill me, forever and after.”

I think on the relationship that is time,  and the earth, and humanity and it is a violent affair indeed, it always has been.  And, it does have me,  forever and even after. 

The very particles of my being are paradoxical, arising from the stuff of Matter and Antimatter, and just as the conditions battled it out for us to evolve, so too, will we return to that state of chaos after our galaxy collides with another. 

Our dust, will be the beginning of another’s evolution and that is what is meant by eternity…

I am grateful, I am at peace, and I am paradoxically,  contained violence. Forever, and after…

Thanks for reading….

*** lyrics belong to Blink 182’s “Violence.”

Meaning of Life?

Um, there isn’t one??? That is a horse-size pill in the hard pills to swallow conundrums of life. It’s actually one of the toughest things I’ve had to reconcile to myself after moving out of god giving me my purpose, is realizing that by simply BEING HERE on Earth, I have purpose.

It’s not some “in the grand scheme of things” shenanigans, it’s not some “it all makes sense in the future” problem to solve. No, I am here and that is alone, what gives me meaning.

I have chosen to further give myself meaning by procreating, thus moving my genes further down the time-line of history. But I’m learning to be okay with knowing there isn’t some philosophical conclusion to the meaning of humanity. Simply put, we GET to be here and that is AMAZING in and of itself.

Below, I had to document how precious it is to pass my genes along. He kept looking at me and I just had that primal maternal moment of recognizing that evolutionarily, he is why I am here… There is one minute that passes between pics and then he sleeps.





I get to be here, and THAT is the miracle,


After 38 years, Dad is Retired!

A few days ago, I drove by Dad’s house and his Entergy truck wasn’t there, I thought, “Wow, this is the first time, that spot in the yards been bare.”

It gave me a moment’s pause, a smile rolled across my face-my dads been a hard worker from the earliest of my  days.

I recall the sunny mornings, us girls riding to school with Mom, he’d turn and   hit the  old T and we’d wave til his truck was gone.

Our little blonde heads in the car windows, we’d wave like flags whipping in the wind and there would be his smiling face saying  “I love you too” in a car window grin.

I knew his  job was dangerous, there’d be high voltage in his hands so I’d pray, “Lord, help keep my Daddy  safe for  another day.”

Each and every evening, he’d come in and take off his boots, and always paused to ask us, “How was your day at school.” 

Sometimes he would’ve just sit down, he’d have just begun to take a rest, the phone would ring and we knew what it’d mean, he’d head out for that on-call request. 

And, the weather didn’t matter, he’d be gone sometimes with one lightening flash, and even in a blizzard up the light poles he would dash.

For him it was important to do the work with integrity, not only for the sake of his job-but for the sake of the community.

Anytime there’d be an outage, our home phone would ring non-stop, from folks around the town demanding he get their lights back-on.

He showed patience, he showed mercy-he dealt with folks so gently, and even as a Daddy, he extended grace to my sisters and me. 

I’ve watched my Dad work my whole life, giving his job and his family his best, and now it’s time for him to move on along and enjoy some retirement rest. 

Of all the things I know of Dad- he’ll miss you people most of all, but I can say with certainty he will NOT miss being on call.

From AP&L to Entergy, the years have flown right by, and from meter reader to Supervisor, it’s time to say goodbye.

Dad, I’m so proud of you and life you built for us, you gave us all the chance to see a man that we could trust.

You were a good employee, and an even better husband and father, and for all my life I’ve been proud to say that I am Michaels’s  daughter.

Love You Tons, congratulations on an Awesome 38 year career, Dad🎉🎊

My Dad💚


Anxiety

One of the struggles I face most after leaving the Christian faith is an inability to quiet my mind’s desire to unhinge the religion. I so wish to pick each and every part out that damaged me, and announce to the world-how we can fix it, I so badly want to SCREAM, “You have google at your fingertips, Christian people—— research the shit out of this——you are DAMAGING your thinking children, and you won’t know it til it’s too late!”

Imagine one of those billboards that stream their message flashing from left to right. That is precisely what my thoughts look like running through my mind. And what’s strange is that I’m up and about, going and doing, but ALWAYS in these two places. My head is invested in whatever my hands are doing, but the flashing billboard is zipping by, sometimes slow, but usually fast. When it’s rapid firing, I notice that I’m tense, my jaw is clenched, and I have to force myself to loosen up. So much of this is based on the fact that my subconscious is hurting and angry. The systems at work inside Christianity are so degrading and I was raised in them from birth. I torment myself at times by mentally listing the ways it warped me, here are a few things I believed and in the parentheses is the reality:

You are worthy of hell,  (but there’s not one)

Your natural state is sinful, (I’m actually innately good)

You must ask forgiveness for Every Sin, (harm no one and there is no sin)

Women caused the fall of man,  (Patriarchal folktale)

Women are weaker minded, (FALSE)

Women need leadership, (FALSE)

Women must submit, (FALSE)

Women can’t teach men- only children, (laughably false)

Your body isn’t yours-it’s your dad or husband’s, it’s a temple, (She is fully mine)

You can’t trust yourself, (Always Always trust yourself)

You can’t trust your questions, (ask and research EVERY question for yourself)

Women have roles in the home that men shouldn’t, (Patriarchal BS)

You must not divorce unless there is an affair or physical abuse—-but really you should stay to work it out… (Get out the moment you realize they aren’t who you thought they were.)

Besides the basic false teachings of the church, the folktales that were told to me as fact, as God’s word, that I’ve had to research and tear down the walls of, I’ve also got these corrupt brain hi-jackers, that were embedded in me, that aren’t as easy to silence as a mythical Bible story. I know they aren’t true—-but I believed with my whole heart every bit of it, and that means for most of my life, I believed I was not good. I was a child, believing that I was innately in my core, bad. That is some tough shit to recover from. So the flashing lights stream on, playing over and over. This is simply me trying to pinpoint where the pain is coming from, me trying to undo the abusive talk of a subconscious that was herself, abused.. Sometimes I just wonder who I could’ve been had these systems not been at play. I mourn and lament for her…

Inspire.

I hope, I hope,  I hope like hell 

you wear your feelings loud, not well.

Blast your heart from roof to roof.

Make sure this world knows your whole truth.

Your every experience is important, 

You can’t let your thoughts lay dormant.

Inside your mind you hold the key,

It sounds cliche but listen to me,

This Universe is on your side,

Conspiring to ease the tide.

There are no corners, no walls, no seams,

Just Endless possibilities 

What could be, what could be, 

If you just step out- if you just break free.

There is no such thing as break the mold,

The mold is not real, there’s no such hold,

No such hold, weighing you down.

Listen, can you hear the sound?

“You’re supposed to be here,

You ARE  supposed to be here!

Do something. Do something. 

JUST GET IT STARTED,

It doesn’t have to be clear!”

It’s all on You, it’s yours hands that create,

Don’t tap out, don’t take the bait.

You CAN DO ANYTHING, BE ANYTHING,

BUT first you must let yourself Dream Things

You must, you must be willing to dream, manifest  in your thoughts, see the unseen.

With your  hands- work, 

With your soul- receive, 

let go of fear, 

then 

Achieve. Achieve. Achieve. 

Written by: Stacy Johnson

Thanks for reading, Friends. 👣❤️🔥

Your child is not a Christian

Recently while listening to Richard Dawkins’, “The God Delusion,” I had to pause and let some of his words wash over me—they were cleansing, if you will.

I won’t quote him directly, but here’s the jist:

**There can be indoctrinated children, and there can be children of Christian parents, but there are zero Christian children.**

Obviously, a few years ago I would have wanted to battle back and proclaim that MY children were believers and students of the Holy book. I would’ve scrambled to find the flaw in his statement—- but deep in my noggin, I would’ve been arguing, not with Dawkins, but with my own indoctrination.

As much as I would’ve wanted to believe my kids WERE Christian kids, the truth was—every belief they possessed came directly from me or the Bible stories I’d allowed them to learn. Sure they knew scripture, but how did they learn it? –Me, a curriculum I’d chosen, a class I’d taken them to… Sure they knew the prayers, but how did they know who to pray to and the format of recitation? Me! These weren’t things they would’ve ever approached on their own. They were simply babies who wanted to PLAY! But my kids were my echo chambers, they were simply regurgitating by beliefs right back out at me. It’s scary to think how deeply I had sculpted their entire world view and reality. Shits terrifying, man. Wheeeew. Breathe. Even scarier is the way some folks never realize what they are doing….

Fortunately for me now, as a deconstructed exvangelical, when I read Dawkins’ words, I was in complete and total agreement. It was actually freeing to hear someone else saying what I knew from my own childhood and in raising my kids.

Every single attempt at raising Godly kids is a form of indoctrination. From reciting scripture, creeds, and prayers at young ages, to attending weekly services, to routines of the home. Every time a parent intentionally places their belief system into the mind of their child, they are indoctrinating that child. Every time a child declares they are saved or that they’ve had a God experience, it is simply a replication of what they’ve witnessed from adults around them or is a fictitious response to hormones released in emotional situations. Again, a fabrication of that child’s reality set up by someone else.

Children are born religion free. Again, when a baby is born, their brain has zero knowledge of any religion. Yet, they are divine. They come to us with an awe-struck curiosity for the mystical experiences of nature. They are bright eyed and eager to explore, they worship in the form of wonder. Wouldn’t it be grand to approach guiding them, with that same joy of learning that they implore. When THEY ask about God, faith, sins, the devil, as parents we show excitement and present them with timelines of all the major world religions, allowing them to see for themselves the bigger picture. There is NO indoctrination in that method. And, there is no right answer, therefore no pressure to conform out of fear.

I remember the fear that being a Christian places within parents. The “their blood is on your hands,” approach to training up children. Hell, I pulled my kids from school so I COULD INDOCTRINATE them to think like me.

I remember feeling afraid when they “sinned.” I remember crying out to God that he would guard their hearts. I spent literal nights awake trying to envision a way to best teach them so they’d know God’s Love….

But now I see, if you look at your child as a fallen being to be saved, you’ve lost the chance at letting the magic of life teach them. Their own Life is their best teacher. You are cutting them off from their own flow when you’ve set the default state of being as a religious one. They have very little chance at growing beyond that default setting, and for many Christians that is their hope.

How sad. But that’s what you get when generation after generation sits in the church pew and never does the work of thinking. You get uneducated worldviews, partnered with indoctrinated beliefs, sculpted into little robotic beings, passing off their ideals as the ONLY right way, all the way into their adulthood, and this then repeats itself with their children. And it’s ALL misinformation, but they live from default because it’s safe and requires no conscious effort to learn new ways and new information.  It’s frankly, an irresponsible way to live.

For me and for my children, I did the work of reprogramming my default settings. They will not have to deconstruct, they will not have to “go astray” or “leave the fold.” Together, we are free to let Wonder, Curiosity, and Life be our teachers. Please join me in ending the brain-washing of our youth-they deserve better. They deserve to be the joyful explorers that they were literally born being. Let us, as adults, give our children the space they need to be here, free from your default settings.

Thanks for reading! XO

Dear Patriarchy

Dear Patriarchy,

I was placed into your grasp as a little girl. I ate the crumbs from your gnarled and mangled hands. I watched you work the system and create a breed of subservient little female beings. You chewed us up and spit us out and told us our purpose was to simply be present to help You. You needed our fertility, open our legs for your pleasure and your cum. Carry your babies so you don’t fade away into oblivion. We sit here now foaming at the mouth ready to rip your fucking throats out, and you tell us to smile, keep quiet, be a lady. Meanwhile, you’re lusting for the blossoms in the church pew, with your pious and godly wife sitting right there beside you. But she doesn’t know how to be the Slut you need. The Sacred Whore within, she’s never unleashed. You did that to her. You, Patriarchy! You told her to be good, but with everything you are, you like em bad. So so bad. You told us to be honest, but you’ve got your secrets. You snicker, and you smile, and you keep things under the table. Your army, your squad, your “good ol boys”—- they uphold you as the Man among men, and while your wife may be fooled cause she’s a product of her raising, just know-your daughter won’t bow down to ANY SYSTEM that’s degrading, she’s not just the winds of change-she’s a fucking tornado. She is tearing this shit down and you don’t know what to do. You hang on to your faith cause it ALWAYS WORKS FOR YOU. Cling to your traditions, the empire built by men for men, but your daughter yells, “No!” She’s watched and she’s listened to every command made on her mother and her sisters, she’s thirsty for the blood of every person whose ever said, “A woman’s place is in the kitchen.” She is harsh and bold and she is ready to hurt your feelings. She yells, “Fuck you and fuck your religion! You pieces of shit-stealing the minds of the innocent, and they can’t even think critically enough to harbor resentment.” Your daughters are coming for you, Patriarchy, are you shaking in your work boots? We are coming for you, right after we untie your shoes.

Written by: Stacy Johnson