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Tag Archives: hospitality

Spiritual Molestation

H/t to Wintersong for posting this today.
While the article comes from a Christian perspective, about a Christian action,
 
1) its good to see other Christians calling this stuff out and
 
2) It’s always something to keep in mind. There is a big difference between the give and take of hospitality and the gifting of charity – hospitality has a give and take between a host and guess.
 
Sure they may be in an unequal position in hospitality, but if you are giving charity, charity out of the good of your heart and the love of your God(s), then charity? Is not conditional. Ask if you can pray for someone LATER, after you handle the issue at hand: feeding a hungry person who is so hungry, they’re willing to risk pain and humiliation to ask for some food.
 
Don’t be a dick. You shame your Gods with such actions.
 
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“To demand that someone do something that makes you happy before you will give them food is not to show the love of God, nor is it loving like God does. It abuses people in the name of God and bears witness to the idea that God is abusive and power-hungry to someone who has good reason to doubt God’s love in the first place. It is, instead, to work against the love of God and the message of Jesus. It is anti-gospel and, in fact, anti-Christ.” 
Read the full article, Spiritual Molestation, by Hugh Hollowell
 
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Posted by on January 30, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Help Repair the Jotunmobile!

Help! On Saturday, 2/14 (the day before my birthday!) I was driving home from work, and lost control of my car in the snow, going down a hill which I hadn’t planned to be on (It was really nasty snow).

I lost control of my car, winged someone who had pulled over, and then stopped when my minivan hit the curb. The other car is fine, we were both fine (I hit my head but not badly), however my car…the alignment, headlight, some sort of belt, its all messed up, and there is nothing I can ignore and still have a functioning car.

Its going to be 1100$ to fix my car, and I certainly dont have that. I’m also in the process of planning to move this summer, and of course, dealing with the usual debt of someone my age.

The things I do have – good friends, runes, and  have two hands and a degree in massage therapy from the Swedish Institute.

If you want to help me, AND get a massage, my rate is $85 an hour/session for Swedish, Shiatsu, moxabustion treatments, and Guasha. Clearly, as I have no car, in call only. (I live in Philadelphia!)

However, if you would still like to be awesome and help, I am more than happy to offer gift certificates with no expiration date.

If you are interested in more than one massage, we can arrange a discount.

Gift certificates can be used both locally, or if we happen to wind up in the same place/same time, such as conventions (FSG folks: I will bring my mat or table with me if you’d like to claim your certificate there!)

I am also offering divination for donations (if you would like a donation, you can paypal me directly at Ulfdis.Jarnvidar@gmail.com, or use the gofundme account, and forward me your donation confirmation.)

I am fairly new to public divination. I use a set of wolfs bone Anglo-Saxon Futhorc to do rune readings. I also offer tarot readings with the Transparent Tarot  as well; but I have a stronger connection to the runes.

There is also a go fund me set up, where if you feel so inclined, you can donate any amount, or you can PayPal me as Ulfdis.Jarnvidar@gmail.com.

My father cannot help me pay for these car repairs, as he’s just finished divorcing my horrible mother and has been more than supportive of me during my divorce as well.

I would only need to give 12 massages to be able to pay for these repairs; any I have set the gofundme at 1200, 100 more than the anticipated cost of the repairs, to offset the percentage the website takes. If I happen to raise more than 1200, it will go to defraying the other expenses I will incur not having my car.

I need this car both to get to and from work (the train is not an ideal solution, as i work in the burbs and live in the city) and to make sure I can get to and from my Kindred work, as I am our assistant Gythia. I do also have help with that right now, but would prefer not to strain my good relationship with my blood brother, much as he loves driving.

I’ve always believed in small acts of kindness making a huge difference in someone’s life, and do my best to pay kindness forward and help those who need, so hopefully, I’m right and there are folks who are kind enough to help me as well.

You may PM me here on Tumblr or email me directly for any futher details or questions.

The link for the Go Fund Me is here: http://www.gofundme.com/mru87g

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Honoring Angrboda

As promised in my previous Deity and the Divine post, here are associations suggestions for honoring Angrboda. The majority of these are pulled from my own personal practice. Some has been corroborated with UPG shared by friends and fellow devotees.

Symbols and Icons:

The heart, the anatomical human heart, has become one of the symbols I most closely associate with Angrboda. Raven Kaldera re-tells the story here of how Angrboda, was burned three times and reborn, her heart stolen by Loki to bring her back to life.

This, of course, bears strong similarities to the story of Gullveig, who was speared, burned alive three times and reborn, and who’s heart was also consumed by Loki.

There is debate regarding the identity of Gullveig/Heidr in modern Heathenry – some see her as an aspect or another name of Frejya, some see her as a unique Goddess in her own right, and some see her as an aspect of or another name for Angrboda. Clearly, I fall in the latter camp, and as such, the heart and the eating of the heart in order to revive her/give birth is a significant symbol of her mysteries.

As you see in the photos below of Her shrine, the heart is a constant presence. The very first part of my altar to Angrboda was the painting on black wood of the anatomically correct heart. I had been trying to search for a visual representation of Her to have as a focus on my shrine, and nothing I found or created was suitable until I made this painting.

Sigurd’s eating of Fafnir’s heart in the Volsung saga is also a significant event in that saga, allowing the hero to gain knowledge he otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have found some ties between Angrboda and the Volsung line.

In The Lay of Hyndla, as mentioned in my previous post, there is a fragment at line 34:

Heith and Hrossthjof, | the children of Hrimnir

Heith (Heidr) being the reborn Gullveig’s name.

Hrimnir was also the father of Hljod, the giantess who brings Renir and his Queen the apple that impregnates her, and who later on weds the first Volsung

From the Volsung Saga, Ch II

“Much wealth won in war gat Rerir to himself, and wedded a wife withal, such as he deemed meet for him, and long they lived together, but had no child to take the heritage after them; and ill-content they both were with that, and prayed the Gods with heart and soul that they might get them a child. And so it is said that Odin hears their prayer, and Freyia no less hearkens wherewith they prayed unto her: so she, never lacking for all good counsel, calls to her her casket-bearing may, [1] the daughter of Hrimnir the giant, and sets an apple in her hand, and bids her bring it to the king. She took the apple, and did on her the gear of a crow, and went flying till she came whereas the king sat on a mound, and there she let the apple fall into the lap of the king; but he took the apple and deemed he knew whereto it would avail; so he goes home from the mound to his own folk, and came to the queen, and some deal of that apple she ate.
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Now when he was fully come to man’s estate, Hrimnir the giant sends to him Ljod his daughter; she of whom the tale told, that she brought the apple to Rerir, Volsung’s father. So Volsung weds her withal; and long they abode together with good hap and great love. They had ten sons and one daughter, and their eldest son was hight Sigmund, and their daughter Signy; and these two were twins, and in all wise the foremost and the fairest of the children of Volsung the king, and mighty, as all his seed was; even as has been long told from ancient days, and in tales of long ago, with the greatest fame of all men, how that the Volsungs have been great men and high-minded and far above the most of men both in cunning and in prowess and all things high and mighty.”

The Rokkrbok identifies this giantess as Angrboda, and other sources/readings identify them as sisters. Either way, it should be noted that the Volsung line is decended in part from a Giantess (there are echos of this as a reflection of a Sacred Marriage between a king and and the land, as personified by a woman/Goddess/priestess.  We see echos of this in the marriage of Gerd and Frey, and the relationship between Odin and Jord (the Earth) to give birth to Thor. Both Gerd and Jord are Jotun women)

Another motif you will see on my altar are acorn and oak leaves. Angrboda is associated with the red oak trees – those with pointed leaves, whereas Thor, who is also associated with oaks, is associated with the white oak, those with rounded leaves.

Oak, as a hard wood, is also sometimes known as Ironwood. There are other woods that are popularly known as Ironwood as well, which I consider an acceptable connection to her.

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The rune Ac is also associated with Angrboda. Ac is the rune of the Oak Tree, and its pictograph is a person holding a stick: (Imagine and quote from Northern Shamanism.org)

The figure of Angrboda is that of a female Jotun, or giant; she is seen as tall, immensely strong, and very assertive. She also brings forth powerful children – Fenris, the great wolf who nearly ate the world; the Midgard Serpent that surrounds it, and Hel, the Goddess of Death. Unfortunately, she was secretly killed by Odin, who feared that she and Loki would populate the entire world with such creatures and thus overthrow his regime. It is said that all Loki found of her was her ashen heart, burnt like the heartwood of an oak tree.

To draw the rune Ac is to be the lightning rod for the fears and anger of others, whether or not it is deserved. You will have to stand as strong as the oak tree, and endure the blows and flames. If it does not kill you, it will make you stronger. Ac’s keyword is Endurance, as opposed to the other “strength” rune, Uruz/Ur. Ac is the rooted tree and the high mountain. Indeed, there is something very “masculine” about Ur’s strength, that of the wild charging buffalo, while there something more feminine (but not passive) about Ac’s strength. Consider one the irresistible force and the other the immovable object.

As well, Endurance is concept I strongly associate with Angrboda.

Family

As I touched on Angrboda’s father and potential sister above, reference should be made to the rest of her family, as the Jotuns are clannish to the extreme – I have representations of all Her children on her altar, and as folks who work with Jotuns soon learn, the family of their Fulltrui is part of the package.

It has been said before that while some of the nine worlds see Angrboda as Loki’s wife (or, gag, mistress), but that in the pecking order of the Ironwood, Loki is Angrboda’s husband/consort. Loki is the father of three of her most famous children, Hela, Fenrir and Jormungandr. These were not her only children, as she is believed to be the mother of Hati and Skoll, the solar wolves, whose father is likely Her own son, Fenrir.

Both the Rokkrbok and Gullveigarbok cite Aurboda as an aspect of Angrboda/Gullveig, and as such cite Gymir as one of her husbands and Gerda as a daughter. As well, some who hold to this also cite Gymir as being Ægir, and as such connecting Ran to Angrboda/Gullveig. I point this out not because I agree, as I do  not share this UPG, but for the point of sharing all the information I’ve collected.

Kaldera and other practitioners of Northern Tradition Paganism also cite Glut as both a wife of Loki and a (possibly adopted) sister of Angrboda. Again, this is a view I do not personally hold, but share for the sake of completion.

Other Beings associated with Angrboda

Angrboda does not generally seem to spend much time outside of the Ironwood or outside of Jotunheim.

Sigyn

Through Their relationship with Loki. As well some hold UPG that after Vali was transformed into a wolf, Angrboda took him in (Weregild),

Some folks feel very strongly that those that work with Angrboda don’t usually speak with Sigyn, and those that work with Sigyn don’t generally speak with Angrboda; I’ve heard this is a matter of respect between the two Ladies. I’ve never been told one way or another by Them.

Personally, I feel they must have got on fairly well if they ever did meet. I don’t experience Angrboda as particularly jealous and I doubt she was unaware that she married a fellow with flying shoes that liked to travel from bed to bed, nor was she particularly monogamous herself.

Odin and Freya

My own experience has led me to feel that She is connected to both Odin and Freya. All three know seidhr; all three are well versed in magic and martial skills; all three have associations with sex magic, and it could be argued that the three of them are each the respective ‘leaders’ (all were war leaders, and all could be considered religious leaders of their folks) of their tribes.

Odin

Obviously there are nuances to these relationship. The connection between Angrboda and Odin exists – they do not seem to be actively at war at this time, though They do seem to keep a wary eye on each other. As she is the mother of wolves, and Odin keeps wolves, I would not be surprised if this was not some sort of exchange of hostages, much like Frey and Njord’s presence in Asgard.

Freya

The connection to Freya is through Seidhr magic. It is my belief that much as Freya taught Odin, She also taught Angrboda this magic, As well, it was the Aesir’s treatment of Gullveig (Angrboda) which set off the first war. I feel that there was a strong relationship at that point between the Van and the Jotuns (who even in the lore seem to have gotten on rather well; Giant women were not uncommon brides. Both Njord and Frey married etinwomen.)

Tyr

When Fenrir was taken from Her and held hostage in Asgard, it was only Tyr who was brave enough to feed him, and play with him, and care for him in his gruff warrior way.  And it was Tyr who did what was necessary and scarified his hand to the Wolf when it was time for him to be bound. Tyr was of the Aesir, but like Loki, his parentage was Jotun.

Animals

Animals associated with Angrboda are the wolf (both through her connection as the mother of Fenrir and as Chieftess of the Wolf Clan (per UPG shared in the Jotunbok) as well as other canines, the snake (again through her connection to the World Serpent as their mother. As well, the giantess Hyrrokin was noted to ride a wolf using a snake as reins) and cats (as jotnar have been associated with cats, as were volva. Other personal aspects of my practice inform this as well.)

Correspondences and other associations
Colour: Red, particularly blood red, oranges/yellows, firey autumnal colours. Bronze and Copper. In Her aspect as Gullveig, gold and green. In her aspect as Hyrrokkin, black.

Metals and Minerals: copper, bronze, gold. Flint, jet. Dark red stones.

Herbs and Plants: red oak trees, mugwort, agrimony, henbane.

Items: images/representations of hearts, wolves, oak leaves and acorns, nine stones (for the nine Clans). Flint or copper knives.A staff or wand. Angrboda is often described as a seven-foot tall woman with waist length hair the colour of dried blood, tattooed, wearing men’s clothing.

Offerings

Incense: I have found that offers of strong almost ‘masculine’ incense have been well received. My personal ‘go-to’ is piñon incense, as well as dragon’s blood and mugwort.  I sometimes mix my own incense of oak leave, mugwort, and other herbs and items I gather. The Jotunbok cites agrimonny as sacred to her, and there is also a set of directions for an Angrboda incense located here which I have not yet tried.

Food and Drink: Whisky and other hard alcohol. I’ve given Her rum, vodka, beer.  My go-to is usually Jack Daniels. I once got Her a bottle of hard alcohol made of strawberry mash called “Sweet Revenge”; sometimes something strikes my fancy like that. I once found a local beer company that made a wolf themed beer where some profits went to a wolf sanctuary, so I brought her that as well. Water (everyone like a cool glass of water).  Meat (raw is better. Sometimes I offer it raw and then prepare it to share.). I find I like to try to bring her things I think She might not be able to get in Jotunheim or the Ironwood all the time – fresh bread and cheese, sweets, coffee. Chocolate, though sometimes I feel silly because of the canine connection. I have also found She enjoys Sriracha.

Service Offerings: its an awkward way to say it, but “Doing the Thing”, that is, the task put before you to do, unflinchingly. Learn a martial art or some kind of fighting skill (I often thing She feels very strongly about stick-fighting).  Support causes such as wolf and other wildlife protection, those that work with at risk women and children. Blood, sweat and tears (of all kinds – from fighting to fucking to agony).

Names and epithets

Angrboda – “Distress Bringer” “She Who Brings Sorrow” “Bringer of Woe” “Foreboding””the one who brings grief” or “she-who-offers-sorrow” as Angrboda, she is the Chief of the Ironwood Clans; Chief of Chiefs, Iárnvidia: ‘She of Iron-wood’; Mother of Monsters, Mother of Wolves, Mother of Death Hag of the Ironwood, Hagia, Hag of the Ironwood, Wolf Lady, She who Endures.

Hyrrokkin – “Fire Smoked”

Thokk – “Thanks” (Thokk is the Giantess who refused to weep for Baldur, thus denying his return)

Heidr –  adjective meaning “bright” or “clear”  or the noun meaning “honour” or “fame”

Gullveig – The current popular translation is ‘gold power’ ‘gold lust’ ‘gold intoxication’. Ekortu has a rather interesting breakdown of the name in Gullveigarbok, which is worth looking at, though I can’t speak to the scholarship behind it, not speaking any of the languages involved nor being much of a translator myself.

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Below are some photos of my current shrine/altar for Angrboda. The two paintings are “The Unlucky Family” By Hellanim and “I’m an Animal” by Jensine Eckwall

The first two images are close ups of the wall shelf and dresser top portion of the altar.

The altar started initially as just this shelf, and it kind of took up the whole area eventually. I’m an altar maker by nature. I like the way they look, and I love helping create them!

Up here you will see wolves, acorns, hearts. A pretty pine cone I found, the image of a tree.  There are a few cats.

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I keep some of my devotional jewelry on this altar as well. In the back right you see three little paintings I did of Her children. I hung them by putting command brand velcro strips on the back of the canvass and attaching them to the wall that way!

They are just the perfect size to fit in a little box, like the gold one below, which is my travel altar. I don’t actually carry those images in that box , but I plan to make a one just for Her in the future.

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Here are close up photos of the travel altar. I cut strips of water colour paper and folded them together to write prayers on, and I also found a tiny wolf figure recently that fits just right.  I sometimes take an electric tea light with me, as I generally take this with me traveling, and usually can’t light candles. The box was one dollar from a craft store. The pictures were from old Fables comics that had been damaged and salvaged for later use. The rhinestones were also random findings I happened to have around. I lined the inside and bottom of the box with felt, which had one side pre-glued.

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Posted by on January 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Practice makes Perfect

Week two and already running late – so I’m right on schedule.

My practice, which I could rightly call ‘The Struggle’ is interesting. With Northern Tradition Paganism being both relatively new to the game, and being extremely personal, my practice varies. Up until I was typing this, I would have told you I have no ‘daily’ practice. That is, I would have said there was nothing I do every single day that is part of my practice.

Currently, I work hard to keep a regular practice, rather than a daily one – I would rather be doing the same thing with regularity rather than the same thing every day for a month and then forget about it. I would ideally like to have a day to day practice that consisted of formal prayer and ritual, but I often feel as if that is a hold over from my Roman Catholic upbringing, though there are some I would like to bring back (For example, I could totally get behind praying before meals.  Really, why aren’t we doing that Pagans? Considering how tied so many of us are to agricultural and hunting traditions, we ought to be giving way more thanks for our food now than we were before! Really, I think we should all be praying more. I always enjoyed prayer when I was Catholic, both formal and spontaneous. To this day, some of the most intense moments I’ve had with my Gods have been when I’ve stood in front of them and talked to them in spontaneous prayer – if I’m weeping, I’m doing it right.)

However, there are two parts of my practice I would like to share:

The first, and these really are part of my personal daily practice, and I didn’t put it together until now, are my taboos. Angrboda has made several requests of me that I honor. The most obvious is covering my hair, which I have done every single day since I started in July. For martial arts and any other occasion where I wouldn’t or can’t cover, I wear my hair in french braids.

As well, at Her request I also only wear natural fiber clothing (currently I have been allowed to keep my ‘pelts’; that is, winter coats, though unsurprisingly they are mostly if not fully natural materials, go figure. I do have several costume pieces as well, because we all need a costume now and then). This has been one of the harder ones for me, as I do very much enjoy clothing shopping and thrifting, and shopping for clothing is a bit more difficult. I swear, I might have to start learning to machine sew again so I can make sure I have enough pants. As well as the fabric being natural materials, She has colour preferences as well – you will notice I tend to wear fall forest colours – browns, reds, orange, dark green, dark blues/purples, black.  Apparently W/we both think October is the best colour.

Along with my clothing, I no longer imbibe caffeine – this one was less Mrs. A saying No and more my body going “NOPE” and then divination confirming it was a good idea to no longer drink coffee.

So, every day, I get up and remember those things – cover my hair, check the tag, and don’t drink that coffee.

The other part of my practice, my favourite part, is Sunday. Yup. Every Sunday is Ancestor day, and usually a “Me” day. I get up, go to Aikido (another devotional request of my Lady), and when I come home I clean the house and altars and make offerings to my Ancestors and my house wight. Once a month, I have a slightly more involved Ancestor ritual, but usually its simple – a fresh glass of water, candles, sometimes rum, sometimes coffee, incense. Sometimes a formal petition, sometimes just a few moments in the mirror and a heartfelt “Thank you”.

Sundays are my favourite days. ^_^

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Today, I would like to talk about Luke.

Luke is a homeless man I see regularly when I’m heading home from work. He’s usually right at 40th street near the SEPTA station. I was seeing him every Saturday after work for a while, and I would stop and give him change or food or something – I usually tried to have something. I’d swing by Wawa and get a big ass meat hoagie and a coffee and stuff, or grab a couple of extra bagels at work or part of my lunch. It usually worked out that I had something.

It occurred to me one day that I ought to ask him his name, since I saw him so much, and I have a feeling people don’t stop and talk to him often. I see lots of people just drive right by. He remembers my face and my car, but usually forgets my name. Once I got into a little fender bender and he came over to see how I was – thankfully the other dude just decided we could drive away!

But I hadn’t seen Luke for a few weeks, and I had been hoping he found somewhere warmer to be for the season. Then I saw him yesterday while I was driving home. I said hello and gave him a dollar (all I had at the moment) and he asked my name again, and then I cried the rest of the drive home because it was so cold out. (I’m trying not to cry now at work while thinking about it). My house mate works for one of the Philadelphia Domestic Violence hotlines – I know how hard it is to find and get into a shelter here WITH help, let alone figuring out yourself. And I can imagine there are plenty of reasons why one wouldn’t want to go either.

So as soon as I got home, I put one of my spare quilts in a bag, and my housemate gave me a pair of gloves and scarf and a hat, and I had a spare scarf too, and I ran back out and stopped to get a bagel and some coffee, since we didn’t have anything around the house. However, by the time I got back there, Luke was gone and there was a cop at the intersection directing traffic (on the way home I had passed a fire truck and they had partially closed a street – by the time I made it back over there they had closed things down farther) I assumed he scarpered as soon as the police showed up – he had told me a couple of weeks before that he had been hassled by cops (I think he said it was the FBI. I’m not sure if he’s paranoid or not, but it was right when all the Ferguson protests were really in high gear, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they had given him grief.

I walked around a bit, figuring he’d have gone the opposite directions of the cops, but it was getting very late, and very cold, and finding one single person who’s probably always moving isn’t easy. So I left the bag in my car and if I see him again, they’re his.  I took the coffee and on my way home , walked through the park and said a prayer to the Wight of West Philly for him and poured it out.

Part of me feels like a dick – I had been thinking I ought to walk back one of these days to talk to him, to find out his story and how he wound up here, and this was the first time.

While walking, I realized our stories probably aren’t that different. A human was born. Then, shit happened. The difference is what happened after shit happened, I would assume. Much as I can dislike, them, I have blood family who will help, and an extended network of tribe, kindred and friends to help me

On my walk home, I was crossing the street and looked down and saw this painted on the side-walk: “This one time, I almost did something, and then I didn’t”

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I had said to myself a couple of times before, I ought to stop and talk to him, and of course the one time I did, this is what happened – I missed him. But I’m glad I Did The Thing – or at least, Tried to Do The Thing.

I was thinking, on my walk to find him, about how I was raised in New York/Long Island. The ‘secret’, the ‘trick’ to dealing with NYC was no eye contact. You never look at the homeless – your eyes slide right past them, and you pretend they don’t exist, and that’s how you get by. I had shaken this habit off in the past few year, but I didn’t realize quite how fucked up it was until very recently.

Realistically, there isn’t much I can do to help – I can’t find him a place to stay, I can’t feed him forever, i can’t fix whatever it was that brought him to where he is now. But the least I can do is acknowledge him as a person, as a fucking human being. I can’t help everyone.

But at the bare minimum, I can look people in the eye, call them by name, and shake their hand. I can treat them like people. All of us can do that. We can take back a little bit of our own humanity by honoring the humanity of others, and not walking past them like nothing.

Hospitality is more than having food and drink for your guests; it is more than what goes on in our own homes. I am engaging in hospitality by sharing what I have with those who don’t, and by honoring the human that they are, flaws, issues and all.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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