Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," by the light of the sun and moon, by the power of sea and stone, by the beauty of flower and field, we bid you welcome to this blog! Let all disturbing thoughts be laid aside!
Wow. Just writing that makes me feel serene. Which, believe it or not, is what religion is supposed to do for you. It's supposed to impart serenity.
Eight times a year I meet with fellow Druids of the Grove of the Black Oak. We are a very small fellowship, but we get it done. The best part is that we meet outdoors, in a huge Pennsylvania state park. So there's no threat of a pesky soot stain on the upholstery.
Two nights before Druid Grove, my daughter The Spare went to a party where she and her friends watched a horror film called Cloverfield.
(I do not watch horror films. They make me unwell.)
Cloverfield so frightened The Spare that she came home and couldn't sleep. Even when I joined her in her bed, she still sat there, mumbling about parasites and monsters and everybody being dead in the end.
This little cinematic effort was still hard on The Spare's mind when we went to Druid Grove. She brought up the subject at first chance when the rest of us were chatting our hellos.
Muin, who is a founding member of the Grove, had seen the film and loved it. He and The Spare began a long, earnest conversation about it, in which he explained to her (without making her feel stupid) that some of the characters had to survive. He helped The Spare to evaluate the quality of the movie, its special effects, etc.
As they talked, I could see that The Spare was becoming more comfortable not only on the topic of one scary movie, but on the overall, broader realm of conversing with adult males other than her dad.
If you think about it, teenaged girls don't get a big choice in who they can chat with among the adult male population. There are dads, other peoples' dads, uncles, pastors, teachers, and (icky icky yuck yuck yuck) coaches.
Since our Druid Grove is egalitarian, I wouldn't call Muin a "pastor," although it's hard to argue theology with a Druid who speaks fluent Gaelic and whose grandparents don't think modern Druids are doing it right because they did it differently. What Muin is, though, is a valuable role model in a particular praise and worship path.
When I think back over my days in mainstream Christianity, which were many, I can only remember one pastor who seemed to give a fig about his people, and then only in the most professional manner -- rather like a doctor about to examine a Plantar wart. The rest of the Christian leadership I've known has been extremely dismissive of the opinions, yea even the presence, of young women. (Think: "Go play in the traffic now so we can get out of here in time for the Eagles kickoff.")
Druid Grove is different. The Spare takes her role, it's as important as any other role, and her presence is welcome and appreciated. No one's shoving doctrine down her maw, but if she's got an issue with a horror film, she can have it resolved.
What I guess I'm trying to say in a nutshell is that a whole legion of Christian youth pastors, educated out the wazoo on how to handle teenagers, can't hold a candle to one cheerful Druid who loves scary movies.
Muin makes beautiful Celtic jewelry. You can see his stuff here.
I'm going to add him to my sidebar for those of you who want to wear your religion proudly as something other than a tattoo.
May the harmony of the land be complete!
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS