Greetings, brothers and sisters!
I have been pretty quiet over the past couple of days – mainly because I really just “needed a moment.” What I’ve witnessed over the past 48 hours has utterly floored and humbled me, leaving me (perhaps for the first time ever) speechless.
But I know I gotta say something, so I’ve been trying to think of how best to share my feelings. That’s no easy task because I’m really all over the map on this one. Where do I even begin??
Here’s Looking At You – For Now…
Ok, first let me tell you how all of this came to be. Last fall, I went to the eye doctor because the vision in my right eye was getting increasingly blurry. I had to squint one eye closed to do almost anything, and I was getting headaches besides. I already “suffer” from ocular albinism, which basically means bright light hurts my eyes, I have incredible night vision, but everything else about my vision generally sucks. Oh, and it means I have a chance of various eye problems as I get older – such as cataracts. Which I got, in spades. I was told I have the eyes of a 70 year old man. lol Also, I was told that my right eye was already legally blind, and the left eye would follow soon enough.
When it came time to talk payment, my heart sank. I’m not very experienced with the insurance game (in my youth, I sure as hell couldn’t afford medical) – so I was shocked to learn that my out-of-pocket expenses combined with a ridiculous deductible meant I had to raise over $5000!
And could I spread that out over a payment plan? Of course not! This is America, boy! Cars and televisions come on easy payment plans. But sick people can just suffer unless they raise the money because fuck sick people. 😦
When I told this news to my household, my friend and brother Steve Kinney said, “Screw that, we’ll crowd-source that bitch!” And that was the last I heard of it. The Holidays followed soon after, and all of our attention and resources had to focus on that.
Those of you who know me have seen the eye patch I’ve worn for the last several months. Some of you actually thought I was joking around about going blind, and that the eye patch was a prank or weird fashion statement – which officially makes me the Andy Kaufman of the occult world. lol
Then, just two nights ago, Steve up and published the YouCaring website to raise the funds. I was at work at the time I discovered it, and thought ‘Well, it’s got a month, let’s see how much it can raise. Every little bit helps.’
What I saw from that point forward was nothing short of incredible.
The Modern Western Occult Community
You guys know the rest of the story, because you ARE the rest of the story. I believe the first donation came in around noon the following day. Then – ye Gods! – I think the entire global occult community responded! I believe I now know what it’s like to “go viral” – because I was suddenly all over Facebook, Twitter, emails, phone calls, etc, etc. Even Chic Cicero was getting calls. Many of you, quite rightly, wanted to make sure this was not a hoax or scam before you committed yourselves.
But, once you knew it was real, you all got together and showed such incredible, mind-blowing support. The full goal of the fund-raiser was reached in less than a day! I have also been reading the comments you’ve posted to the YouCaring page as well as Facebook, and I have been deeply moved and humbled by the expressions of love, caring, support and well-wishes I have seen there. I wish I could respond to each and every one of you personally, to express even a small portion of my gratitude for all you have done.
All too often, you guys are going to read about how awful we occultists are. You’ll be told we are all ego and no compassion. You’ll hear that we would rather fight and belittle one another than give the time of day. You’ll even see it said, emphatically, that there is something wrong with occultists that just makes us horrible people.
And every time you encounter that nonsense, I want you to come back here and read this post. (Or, even better, read the comments made by the Supporters at the YouCaring page.) In the past two days, I have seen every wall crumble. Every hatchet set aside. Every hard feeling forgotten. And I have seen Thelemites, Golden Dawners, Pagans, Voodoo and Hoodoo practitioners, Wiccans, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Atheists and more all come together with one single proclamation: “We take care of our own!”
And you did! We are certainly a dysfunctional family, but when the chips are down and a member of the family is in need we come together and get shit done.
And this isn’t an isolated case! I’ve seen you guys do this before, and I have no doubt whatsoever you’ll (we’ll) do it again when another member of our family needs emergency help. Because, yeah, we take care of our own.
Thanks. And Thanks. And… THANKS!
I can’t thank all of you enough! This Monday I’ll be calling the eye doc to schedule my first surgery. Within the next couple of months, I will set aside my glasses for the final time since the first grade. That’s right – you didn’t just step in and keep me from going blind. They’re going to aim a Buck Rogers laser at my eyeballs and damn well fix them for good. :) (I’ll always be an ocular albino, of course, but I’ll be able to actually see for the first time I can remember.)
Thank you, Steve Kinney, for taking the initiative in setting up this fundraiser. Without you, I’d still be sitting at home wondering how in the hell I’d save the funds before my left eye finally gave out! I honestly (honestly!) did not know how many people out there seriously appreciate my work and contributions to the Community.
Thank you Carrie Mikell, my lovely wife, who fielded all the calls and texts and emails that poured in once the fundraiser went live. If she had a dollar for every time she had to say “Yes, this is real” we wouldn’t have needed nearly as much from the fundraiser! 😉
I also want to thank all of you who shared and tweeted my story over the internet. Especially Nick Farrell, who took it and ran with it more than any other, both on his blog and on Facebook. Even those of you who couldn’t contribute funds (believe me I know how it is!) still got the word out there, which was every bit as important.
Some of you even took the fundraising off the net and into your own circles and temples. I want to thank you as individuals and as organizations.
Keep an eye on the YouCaring page, and this blog, for further updates. I’ll post pics – especially before and after shots, and maybe a shot of me throwing my glasses in the trash. lol
Also, remember that any donations beyond the costs of the surgery and associated expenses (like meds) will go directly to the Himalayan Cataract Project. Steve researched them, and they are top-of-the-line where it comes to your donations actually getting to the people who need help. So we’re going to make sure that several people get their eyesight back from this. 😉
And, have no fear, I’ll be getting to work on the next book this year. That’s what you guys were paying for, and I have no plans to disappoint! (Next in the queue, Abramelin! Then maybe one final Enochian book after that.)
It’s damn hard to have faith in this world, as I’m sure you know. But I’ll tell you one thing – I’ve got an unshakable faith in our particular corner of it. If this is who we really are, then I’ve chosen the right life path.