Or at least, it is I that am changing. Over the last couple of years I traveled in a little circle on the web, seeking to do...something. Even now, I'm not sure what that something was, except maybe to help awaken the promise that was Paganism, to show that it wasn't evil, or political, or to be feared. But, in the end, I found the little peaces of the world I walked in to be unwilling to listen.
The non-pagans, who rightly feared the growth of a major monotheistic religion filled with bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, and intolerance, were already starting to show the tendancy to cling to the other major monotheistic religion, filled with those things. They thought themselves good, and the other evil, and had no patience for one insisting that a gathering of many beliefs, of tolerance, was better than a homoginy too often filled with the vary things they were claiming to fight against.
The Pagans, angry at Christianity, had no patience for one who spoke of a dangerous force growing, seeking dominion. Nor for one who warned them that they too, were becoming intolerant and political, rather than tolerant and spiritual. The decenter had no place. The darkness, no welcome in their light.
People have accused me of melodrama. I don't see it, but then I came of age watching anime, reading comics, and following the exploited of Harry Dresden over the last few years probably hasn't done anything to change what I learned. But I learned a lot. And being an outsider to society all growing up, I lack the foundations that most people have. I don't have the views, or experiences, of racism that they do, or of politics, or anything else for that matter. I came into a world of conflict, violence, rage, and despair. And unlike those around me, I learned the value of these things, and what they really were. And in looking into its face, I was changed.
Someone close to me says I see the world differently from everyone else. That I can see the things no one else wants to see. That I can look upon the horror unblinkingly, where most must run and hide. Sometimes, I think she is right about that.
I know that from a kids anime I learned to "look underneath, the underneath" and see what was hidden there.
I learned about power, and violence. I learned that these things were not to be feared, no matter what society says.
I learned that "good" often times cannot destroy "evil." That only "evil" can destroy "evil." That everyone is the hero of their own story, even the ones we call "villains." I learned that "evil" is a matter of perspective, that every "evil" action can be morally justified, and often is.
That people are hypocrites, even myself, and will say one thing while behaving another. I've seen the irony of that statement in work too, where people who preached tolerance were intolerant, and in my bigotry I was not bigoted at all.
I learned that truth is what we make true, not what is "true" and that often enough there isn't anything "true" at all.
I know that I know much, and I know that I know nothing. I know that every man who calls himself wise is a fool, and every fool has his wisdom.
I was once the Norse Alchemist. I had dreams of using all I had learned to better those I saw potential in. To work the sacred alchemy with them as I had with myself. But now, now I am no longer certain I am the Norse Alchemist. The Alchemy that succeeded with me fell before the materials before me, that claimed nobility, but in the end proved as base as the rest. Unwilling, to improve, happy with what they were and intent only on becoming it more so, rather than transforming beyond. So, as the Alchemist, the alchemy worked on me, and I change.
I have set aside the title of Norse Alchemist. I do not know if I shall ever pick it up again. For now, I am merely a different sort of person. For now, I shall be the Svartwulf, the black wolf, the predator of the dark. But I will not hunt where once I walked. I will not seek vengeance for my ill treatment. All who wish, who can, are welcome to walk with me, to hunt that which lies in the dark, that makes mortals tremble with fear.
Am I melodramatic? Maybe. But the best characters are always the ones with a bit of ham and cheese between the bread, rather than the white loaves so many wish to be, and are.