Posted by: aediculaantinoi | February 25, 2014

Posting from an unusual place…

I am on Whidbey Island.

I’m technically still in Oak Harbor, though this particular location does have its own zip code (one number off from Oak Harbor’s).

I’m about a quarter of a mile from where I actually made my first appearance in this world, i.e. the hospital where I was born.

I’m at my other job, which is also a teaching job, but I happen to have a lot of spare time before class today, so here I am.

I’m at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, the economic engine of the town where I grew up and lived most of my life before college, and where I work now, and where I’ve spent quite a lot of time in my life generally speaking. Almost everything here is connected to “the Base” in some way or another, and that’s only going to increase in the coming years as this base becomes more and more important strategically.

I am a “pagan” in the sense of “civilian,” as I’ve said on many occasions before; but, I deal with military personnel and veterans constantly in every facet of my daily life. I’m honored to serve this population as a teacher at the various colleges where I am lucky enough to be employed (no matter how bad the hours or minimal the pay and benefits) at present, and at this college, almost everyone in my classes is current or former servicemembers.

Still, it feels “weird” to be posting a blog post from here, where it was illegal to be queer (and still is illegal for trans* folks) and be in the military until a year or so ago, and where pagans are still in a minority and often don’t have some of the same religious rights (or rites!) that people from other religions enjoy, including paid trained and recognized chaplains.

My ultimate dream: to be performing a same-sex wedding of current servicemembers on this base at the Chapel (where my mom and step-dad were married, and where my step-dad had his funeral) under the auspices of the Ekklesía Antínoou. Wouldn’t that be awesome? ;)

But, enough dreams–I must grade two papers, and then go to class. It’s a five-hour class, and tonight’s topic is Christianity, and they’ll be getting an earful about Gnosticism, apocryphal texts, the Secret Gospel of Mark, Marguerite Porete, and Candida Moss’ latest theories about martyrdom. Fun, fun, fun! :P


Responses

  1. Warping minds, I see!

    As it happens, I’ve been to Whidbey NAS. My folks used to live at Ledgewood Beach (technically Coupeville) and many’s the time I trolled for salmon offshore there in Dad’s boat. Ah, the days.

    • Indeed–it’s one of my favorite pastimes to warp otherwise unsuspecting minds…and, they actually pay me for it! (Not a lot, but still!)

      Wonderful that you have this local connection! My dad lives in Coupeville, and I’m on the island 5 of 7 days a week at the moment, so it’s good to be close to home, etc. It’s been a while since I’ve been out on the water, though…the occasional ferry trip is nice, but I haven’t been on the water properly since last year when we went whale watching in Saratoga Passage from Oak Harbor.

  2. Thank you for the work you do teaching classes to our servicepeople. There are probably some people in your classes that are sympathetic to the ancient Gods. Even in a class on Christianity. When I first started to have contact with other Roman religionists I was impressed by the number of veterans, from several countries.

    Di Deaeque te semper ament.

    C. Aeliuse Ericius.

    • Gratias tibi ago!

      I’ve had some pagan, polytheist, and Wiccan students in my classes at one of the colleges (several of whom are also veterans and/or current service members!), and some who seem to be interested in the classes at the college on base, but I’ve not had any at the college on base admit to it to me at this stage, in any case.

      Not a lot of recons of any tradition around this area, unfortunately…but, who knows?

  3. That would be very awesome. Hope it happens for you.

  4. Sounds like you’re doing it right, then. ;)

    • I certainly hope so!

      (There was an unexpected event in the class last night, when I was talking about an ecstatic hymn and dance recorded in an apocryphal books of Acts from Christian tradition, and I jokingly did the chicken dance with words from the hymn…one of the students asked if I could do that again so she could put it on YouTube. Nope, you’e got to be quick to get things in religion 101! But the class thought it was hilarious!)

  5. Nice! My daughter’s godmother used to be stationed at Whidbey, 20+ years ago… I’ve heard a number of stories of the place.

    • Despite the shortcomings of Oak Harbor and its people, and some of the negative environmental impacts of the Base, nonetheless this is one of the most beautiful areas I’ve ever been to, and it will always be my spiritual and psychic home.


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