Sunday, September 16, 2012

How the Public sees us - Representing our Gods.



So here I am not doing my homework...again...instead reading blogs and once again as is out of character for me, commenting on blogs, which seems to be becoming a habit the past few days. oh well. Well here is the post I was just reading: We represent our Gods. Posted by: naiadis | August 20, 2012 And here is my comment to said post:


I get this sort of thing a lot, not because of a tattoo, but rather because of the way I dress (usually with a long full tiered white skirt, and a blue 200 year old Kente` cloth/robe from Africa) the outfit stands out big time. Every day no less than 20 people come up to me and ask "Why are you dressed like that?" or "Why are you wearing a costume?" or "Is their a CosPlay event in town?" or "What the hell planet did you drop off of?" and as I usually have my head covered (sometimes with a veil, other times a cap, other times a sunbonnet, other times a hat) I also get the questions "So, are you Amish/Mennonite/Muslim?" and once in a while someone will say "You're white, why are you dressed like an African?" or sometimes their laugh and joke and ask in sarcasm "So what are you supposed to be, some sort of Voodoo priestess? ha, ha, ha, ha..." to which I'll say, "Why yes, in fact I am." and they'll stand there dumbfounded. :) I had one guy stand there staring for a few seconds, than drop his drink on the ground and run down the sidewalk screaming "Help, it's a Voodoo witch, she's gonna put a curse on me!" ROTFLMAO!!!! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! Sad, but funny.

(see photos below for the outfit in question:)










But yeah, Walmart seems to be a place where I get the whole, "Oh I love that outfit, where did you get it?" I look around at the line behind me and have to think fast, how do I answer this without getting into a religious discussion? I say "I sew my own cloths, except for the Kente, it's an antique that belonged to an African priestess back in the 1800s", which should end it, except, folks get all agog over the Kente and the fact that it's so ancient (and I dare wear it in spite of it's age) and suddenly folks want to know why I'm wearing priests robes, and oh African priests robes, does that mean they belonged to a witch doctor and am I a witch doctor and what religion is it, and I want to run to my car, but heck, I get to my car and find crowds flocked around it, and can't get close enough to get the door open, because yeah I went all Erzulie Freda on my car and rhinestoned it, and now I'm stuck answering questions "Why did you do this to your car? and "What is this weird symbol on it?" I say, that's the Veve of Damballa, and next thing I know I'm answer questions about why I've got snakes and Damballa veve painted and rhinestoned to my car, and that eventually ends up with me saying something about being the future bride of Danballa, and the whole, oh yeah, by the way, my soon to be husband is a snake spirit-god...

wow the reactions!

I get everything from, "Hey, man, that's like so cool!" to "Ohmigod! You freak, I'm calling the police, you're frigging crazy!" and everything in between.

I think the thing folks have the hardest time understanding about it all, is when they ask about, why do I dress this way and why did I do that to my car, and my answer is "Well, Damballa told me to. He wants me to be his representative, he wants to know that I will not be ashamed to tell others of our marriage (as some god spouses are), he wants me to commit every aspect of my life to him, right down to the way I dress and the car I drive, I don't expect you to understand it. This is a test of my devotion, and I will be expected to do this the rest of my life, if/when I do submit to marriage to him." - They just can not grasp, such a huge level of commitment to another being (thus why the divorce rate is so high, no one commits themselves fully to another person these days, so when they meet a person who is not only committing to a marriage, but also committing to a marriage with a spirit being, well that just blows their minds right out of the water!

But yeah, the whole "we represent our gods" thing, I totally get that. I've always been a highly religious person, granted I was born and raised Christian and stayed that way many years because I felt I HAD to remain Christian "or else"...I'm not sure or else what, but there was always the "or else" in the back of my head...it was like I could not explore other religions because I was terrified of being struck down by lightening if I did. After a while it occurred to me, that if God really was God, than God would be for everyone, not just a small group of people, and he would love and welcome everyone and not be threatening to blow us up for trying to better ourselves, and one thing lead to another, and finally I branched away from the fear based religious ideas I had growing up and followed the whispers of a kind loving god(?) who had haunted my dreams since childhood (some 30+ years ago). I wanted to know who he was and what he wanted and why me? (He couldn't talk so it was not like he could tell me who he was or what he wanted!) Why was he in my dreams every night? I discovered that there are 15,000 religions each with a whole great big set of gods and it was like looking for a needle in a haystack, when all I had to go on was the man was an albino, dressed always in white or green, couldn't talk, and was always carrying this giant anaconda/snake.

You'd think that would make it easy to figure out who he was, but pretty much every religion has a snake god, most gods wear white, and mute gods are not quiet as uncommon as they would seem. It took me years of searching to identify his identity (Damballa Weddo)

Well, me being the ubber Christian that I was at the time, I totally freaked out when I found out the guy visiting me in my dreams was a Voodoo god, because I had the whole Voodoo=Satanism theory going on in my head at the time, than it got worse when about 15 years ago, that I found out, ohmigod, he wants me to just toss my secular life aside, become his wife, and devote my life 100% to serving him. Yikes! I was engaged to marry a Mormon priest, and had some rather common (and false) misconceptions about Voodoo, well, I was very "No way am I EVER going to marry a god, and even if I did it certainly wouldn't be a Voodoo one!"

Well,  suddenly everything went wrong, really wrong, really fast: my grandmother died, my engagement was ended because my future husband decided to become a celibate type priest, my dad went into a coma, a flood took my house, I started rebuilding only to have that house burnt to the ground by vandals, I spent 6 years homeless living under a tarp, my church excommunicated me after 27 years of faithful service, and one day I was sitting at the library trying to figure out what the heck was happening, when I saw this book about Voodoo sitting on a desk opened to a chapter about Damballa. So I started studying Voodoo and found out it was nothing like I thought it was.

From there, one thing lead to another and once I stopped be scared of Voodoo and started paying more attention to Damballa all of a sudden my life turned back around, and the more I devoted my life to him, the better my life became. I mean 15 years ago the thought of marrying a Voodoo lwa and devoting the rest of my life to him was a terrifying thought that I wanted nothing to do with, and now today, it's a comforting thought that I look forward to.

But than, how the heck to I explain this to the cashier at Walmart and do it in 15 seconds so I don't hold up the line or come off sounding like a deranged lunatic?

I found a solution: business cards!

Yes, business cards! It is so simple, I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. The card reads:

Rev. EelKat Wendy C. Allen
Autistic Author, Artist, Illstrator, Rootwork, Doll Maker, & Art Car Designer.

there is a picture of me in my "outfit" and my car.

than it lists the urls of my Zazzle store, my etsy store, and my blog.

Now when folks ask about my clothes or my car or my religion, I just pull out a card and say "It's Voodoo. I've explained everything on my blog. Here's my card. If you want to know more about me and what I do, just read my blog."

Than I put my bags in the shopping cart and leave, no worrying about holding up the line! I've answered them in under 5 seconds, and if they really want to know the answer, than it's up to them to head to my blog, if they were just making conversation, than I've not wasted every one's time explaining the details to the uninterested, and I have not caused undo irritation to the line standing behind me.



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Ever wonder what it was like to live with Autism?  
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I have Autism. For more of my life I rarely spoke and was considered "too crazy" to ever live a normal life. I communicated via writing instead of vocally. I did not attend school. Psychologists said I would never drive a car, never get a job, never go to college, never function as a meaningful member of society, never be able to take care of myself or live on my own. They said there was no hope for me, I would need full-time care my whole life. 
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My progression was long and slow and very hard. Things other people found easy to do (getting dressed, brushing teeth/hair, walking across the street, etc,) I found extremely confusing and hard to learn. I was prone to wandering off and getting lost (I still am). Driver's ed takes most people a few weeks to learn - it took me 5 years. 
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I determined to prove the doctors wrong, but it was far harder to do, than most people would imagine. I got my first job working at Macy's at age 30 (a very difficult job as I had to deal one on one with customers and I still at that point was not talking in a manner that could be understood by others). I got my GED at age 34. I got my driver's license at age 35. I started college at age 36. By age 37 I had become a Phi Theta Kappa Honor Student and I was finally able to speak to others in full spoken verbal conversation for the first time in my life. 
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Now you can find out what it's like Being an Adult with Autism
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Good morning Starshine! Liked this post? Looking to connect with me online? I love social networks and am on most of them. You can find me on: BloggerEtsyFaceBookGoogle+KeenMySpaceNaNoWriMoProBoardsScript FrenzySpoonflowerSquidooTwitterULC Ministers NetworkWordpress, and Zazzle Feel free to give me a shout any  time. Many blessings to you, may all your silver clouds be lined with rhinestones and sparkle of golden sunshine. Have yourself a great and wonderful glorious day!
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~Rev. Wendy C. Allen aka EelKat of Laughing Gnome Hollow

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FYI: I welcome all email! That includes arrogant, bigoted, rude, ignorant, snide hate mail many uber religious folks enjoy sending my way.  However, be forewarned that by choosing to send me a letter, email, blog comment, FaceBook comments, or any other message from any other means, which falls into any category, you thereby relenquish all ownership rights and responsibilities concerning your letter(s) and comments(s). I will post any and all letters, both positive and negative, that I feel require or deserve a response. If you don't want the world knowing your troubles, knowing you are a hater, or knowing you are a bigoted jackass, please refrain from sending me mail, because if you get really bitchy, I'll go right ahead and use your real name too. Thank you and have a nice day.
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This post was written by Wendy C Allen aka EelKat, is copyrighted by The Twighlight Manor Press and was posted on Houseless Living @ http://houselessliving.blogspot.com and reposted at EK's Star Log http://eelkat.wordpress.com and parts of it may also be seen on http://www.squidoo.com/EelKat and http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com  If you are reading this from a different location than those listed above, please contact me Wendy C. Allen aka EelKat http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=viewprofile and let me know where it is you found this post. Plagiarism is illegal and I DO actively pursue offenders. Unless copying a Blog Meme, you do not have permission to copy anything appearing on this blog, including words, art, or photos. This will be your only warning. Thank you and have a glorious day!                             
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                                                                   ~ EelKat
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