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!