First, I want to say thank you to everyone who’s contributed to the outpouring of support the past couple of days regarding my last post. The kerfuffle ended up not amounting to more than a couple of snarky emails and one mildly suspicious reply to the blog post I wrote–no protesters or flyers at the event, no droves of animal rights activists descending upon Seattle, etc. Which is about what I expected. People are generally much braver online than in person, and of the sum total of two (maybe three?) people who contacted me this weekend with harsh criticisms, not a single one used an email address that showed anything when searched on Google or any other identifiable information.
More importantly, though, I was reminded over the past few days, both through this and through the many people who I did meet face to face at my booth at FaerieCon West, that there are a LOT of people who have my back. I got emails, I got blog responses, I got hugs and support in person, and every one of them was from someone who wanted to let me know that they appreciate my work, physically and spiritually. I always appreciate when people take the time to send me a nice note or give me a thank you for something I’ve done that’s helped them, but there was a small flood of that this weekend! For that I am incredibly grateful.
Moreover, you are always welcome to ask me questions about what I do and why. I normally don’t get frustrated with people just asking me “So where do you get your stuff?” This was an isolated case in which it seemed the anonymous person wasn’t actually interested in the answer for any reason other than protest fodder and had made a clear threat to act on it. I don’t want this situation to make people to feel they can’t ask me perfectly reasonable questions about my art, or my (neo)shamanism, or how to start an Etsy shop, or anything else I might be able to help with. I like questions, and I like helping others, and while it may take me a couple of days to respond depending on how busy I am, I do check emails and Tumblr inbox messages and deviantArt notes and Facebook PMs and blog comments and the like. I’m even okay with people asking me questions in person when I’m vending, presenting workshops, etc. I just ask that you be respectful about it, that’s all.
And if we end up at loggerheads over something and we simply don’t agree (assuming you haven’t been so utterly caustic in your delivery that I decide to delete the message instead of engage), the worst I’m likely to do is to agree to disagree and end the conversation. I’m not going to go to my Tumblr brigade and say “Go get ‘em!” or talk about how horrible a person you are and try to make everyone else hate you. I don’t pull that sort of junior high dramatics. I can disagree with a person and still respect them otherwise. Truth be told, a lot of the people who disagree with me on certain details (the use of animal parts in my art, my choice to use the word “totem”, etc.) are people with whom I’d probably agree on most other things surrounding the more general topic.
Alright. Time for me to head on back down to Portland. I’ve stuff and things aplenty to accomplish!