It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a man in possession of a rigid dogma must be in want of others to harass. It is also a fact that you can’t shout into a forest for every creature, animal, bird and insect to stop having sex. It is a forest. They will not listen to you. Nevertheless, some people try it. I watched with my satyr friends from the trees as a man in his thirties in a checked polyester shirt and brown slacks bent down, turned on an amplifier and squeaked the megaphone in his other hand to test that it was working. He stood up and faced the meadow, “Little DEVILS!” the megaphone shouted and squeaked. He bent down and adjusted the volume. He stood up and cleared his throat. “Little FORNicating devils! Good morning! I know you can hear me. I came here from a Holy Place to tell you that the Lord does NOT love you.” You can probably guess the rest. This went on for ten minutes, spewed almost in one continuous breath. He seemed to enjoy it too, as he gyrated his body whenever the word “sex-u-al” came up, like he was working a hula-hoop around his waist. He said all manner of nasty things about sex in general, about their sex definitely, and about their lustful ways. Apparently he did this three times a day, and had been doing it for the last three months.
“He’s honestly wearing us down, Yukon,” Cosmo said. Estevan confessed that he was starting to think the man spoke the truth. He didn’t know this man’s god very well. This is the first time he’d heard about it. But gods should be respected, and now, there was a god who didn’t want them to play in the meadow anymore. Art said, “They enjoy words like ‘lasciviousness’,” and all of them repeated the word the way the youth would say it, “and fornication. They quote a poem to us that describes us but they spit when they say it—“for they exchanged all manner of lusts with each other and lied down together.” They nodded. Art continued, “We love doing that! I exchange lust with Wendell the Tall and Dark, and Wendell the Tall and Dark exchanges lust with Cosmo, and sometimes two of us exchange lust with a third at the same time.” They were all very robust looking men with goat legs and horns, grinning about their passions. Estevan said, “But when they say it—it makes me feel I should be ashamed of myself.”
Had I ever heard of anything shaming the sexuality of a Satyr? I had not. Art said, “It’s what we enjoy. We have a lovely day of just having pleasure and playing our flutes and dancing and singing.” Cosmo said, touching my arm, “We lost two of our group a few weeks ago, Tadd and Flavian. One day, they just came into the meadow and said that they realized they had been going through a sexual phase for the last three hundred years and had now, that week, grown out of it. They were more mature now, and well, they didn’t want to stay in the forest with us anymore. They urged us to grow up, settle down, and to get meaningful work and contribute to society.” Where did they go, I asked. They said, “Corporate administration.”
They asked me what they should do. How could they get rid of these people? I told them, “I’m more concerned about the effects on you. It’s vile and toxic, but you should know that there is nothing wrong with your horny sexy ways. You should feel free to have as much sex as you want with each other in your meadow, in your forest, all day and all night. These people didn’t speak for their god. Love cannot enjoy hurting others. It can’t.” Outsiders had no right to take away what’s been giving the satyrs joy every day. I told them that these people are speaking from their fear and their lack of comfortability with their own bodies. And they want you to be as uncomfortable with your bodies. “They are intimidated by your freedom to express yourselves. They are jealous of your pure joy. I don’t see any real joy in them—except the pleasure they get from inflicting pain and ‘being right’ in their dogma, do you?” They shook their heads, agreeing.
Before they sunk into a funk, I told them. “But, I see so much joy in you. I don’t want you to lose that joy because of what someone else says. It doesn’t matter in whose authority they say they come in. Sexuality isn’t theirs to govern. It isn’t anyone’s to govern. As long as you make each other happy, and everything is consensual, you should be able to do what you like.” I knelt and drew a circle in the dirt and placed four rocks in it. “But you live in a place where people are often afraid of sexuality. A lot of humans right now are under similar situations—being harassed, even controlled, by the fears of others—fears about others’ bodies, their own bodies.” They could not understand why anyone would be afraid of their own body or the bodies of others. Afraid of pleasure. I said, “For them, it’s tied up in old ideas of shame, ownership, people as property, sexism, and a fear of the wrath of a loving god they were talking about. Unfortunately, you live in that place surrounded by that. We all live in that place.” They sighed. “But,” I pointed to my head, “They don’t live in this place.” I touched my heart. “They don’t live in this place. You can’t let them into those spaces, okay? No matter how loud they are. You can’t let them take over those spaces. You must remember the joy you have and not let anyone take it away.”
“What do we do with them? It’s hard to ignore them when they have a megaphone.” I told them to leave that to me. I had some friends that might help. I think they could change the situation. “Come see me in two weeks if things haven’t changed,” I said.
I needed an incentive for the evangelists to move, and I needed a disruption to push them to move. I also needed to stamp it with an authority they understood. I dressed up in my oldest out-of-fashion suit and found a leather-bound book that could look like a Bible from a distance. It was “Wind in the Willows,” but it would work. I went to Horace, a friendly, chatty ghost I knew. He let me borrow something he was attached to—a letter from his father—to take with me. I slipped that into the book. I found the church they were associated with. I walked in as a traveling evangelist and, with the right words, was accepted immediately. I told them dramatically why I had to come and see them. This vision I had received concerning them! It was so positive! How well they were doing! So God decided He would put his best people in the most needed place—downtown—to rail about Corporate Greed! He needed it loud! He needed his best humble servants! I slipped Horace and his letter under the cushion of the pew. Of course they weren’t going to be convinced right away. You have to synchronize messages from other places. After I left, Horace worked on them for a week, whispering to them about how greedy the corporations were, how He was upset about it, and started to win them over by correlating with my “vision.”
Finally, I contacted the poltergeist, Tammy, I met at GenCon. She was still hanging out with Ellen listening to old vinyl records and only slightly restless. I asked if she might visit this church. She asked Ellen and me, “Can I stay with them for a bit?” Ellen told her, “Yes! You can.” Tammy clung to me till we got there, met the pastor for a follow up visit, and then she transferred herself to him. She ramped up so much chaos at the church, each day, enough for them to believe that their god wanted them to move immediately –out of this possessed place. One night, during a service, all the hymnals floated out of their racks and opened above them, and the organ played something sinister. They ran out of the church and quickly positioned themselves downtown against The Beastly Greed of This Age. They were happy doing the work they did best. I went back to the church, now with its doors wide open but empty, retrieved and returned Horace’s letter. Tammy had moved with them. I hoped she would pace herself, give them some time to get comfy downtown before she started up again.
My satyr friends came to see me very soon afterwards, and invited me back to their recently reclaimed meadow and forest. I got a little carried away! But it was fun, and we all had a great time. Be good to yourselves, and be kind to others.
Tammy is watching you.
*not all faiths or all Christians are like this. You know specifically who I am talking about. And while our satyrs and Yukon love sex, we have folks and friends who are Ace (asexual) and are perfectly happy. None of these groups try to push their sexual values or ideas onto others or force behaviors or shame others for their differences. God bless you. May Tammy never bother you.