Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Die Now

“Die now!” chanted the crowd as Diagóras of Rhodes circled the stadium. They meant it as a compliment.

Olympia, 448 BCE. Two of Diagóras' sons had just received Olympic crowns. "Die now!" chanted the crowd as his sons raised him to their shoulders and bore him aloft.

Meaning: you might as well die now; you're never going to get any happier than this.


In my long and rich life, I've been fortunate enough to have several “Die now!” moments.

Here's one.


It sounds like the beginning of a fairy tale.

There was once a woman who had three sons, each one more beautiful than the next.

It so happened that I was talking with this woman at the annual community-wide May Day breakfast.

Across the table, her youngest son sat with his boyfriend. In fact, he was sitting in his boyfriend's lap.

They were making out.

No one said anything, no one cared.

No one even noticed.

My eyes filled up with tears.

This is what I've been working for all my life, I thought: To make a world in which two boys can kiss in a roomful of people, and no one even notices.


It's been a long, hard journey, and gods know there's plenty yet to be done.

But you can die happy now, Posch.

Die now.




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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


  • Haley
    Haley Wednesday, 05 July 2017

    This is a beautiful thing.

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