Reflections

Happy New Year…? Really?!

Am I the only one who feels reluctance to voice those words this year? Am I the only one who believes that uttering such sentiments is tantamount to inviting people to indulge in fantasy while abandoning reality?

I mean, it’s not that I don’t want good things to happen to people, because I certainly do. It’s more that I sense that such “good things” as health, prosperity and peace are unattainable at this time. And while it’s true that I said the obligatory greetings at midnight between December 31st and January 1st, even I could not miss the sarcasm or irony in my tone as I did so.

I have avoided posting (or responding to) Facebook greetings about the new year for the most part. And when I felt it was necessary, I have acknowledged them with “likes” rather than reciprocity; anything more would feel too insincere. It just doesn’t seem like a happy new year…

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just my innate honesty coming out. I’m not depressed, nor do I wish to trigger others’ anxieties, but all of my instincts rail against the false hope implied in that traditional greeting.

***. ***. ***

I avoid the news. I’ve cut myself off from anyone’s supposedly factual presentation of “what’s happening now.” I did so because… well, I guess if I have to explain why, then you likely would disagree with my reasoning, so never mind. The point is, when I feel compelled to investigate “what’s happening out there (as opposed to in here),” I tend to read opinion pieces instead. At least they’re honest about being opinions (mostly), and if I read enough opposing opinions, I can sometimes get a sense of what “facts” might have triggered them, somewhere in between their interpretations of events.

So today I got up early enough to read several such opposing opinions, and thought now might be a good time to catch up on the world my body is inhabiting.

I think that might have been a mistake…

Because I’m truly not sure what reality I tagged into. And I’m not convinced anyone else I read knows either, though they don’t seem at all concerned with their skewed points of view. I just couldn’t make sense of anything I read!

There were the Earth-friendly writers (usually liberal leaning, if not outright left wing extremists) touting Trump as the destroyer of the Cabal…?! Umm… is this the same Trump who’s been on a direct “destroy the environment to eke out a few more pennies of profit” kick for decades?

Or the self-declared leftist revolutionaries questioning why openly right wing conservatives are mysteriously dying, supporting the alt-right’s declaration of conspiracies against them…?! Umm… really?!

There are the Evangelicals finally admitting that their Bible prophesies a non-believer who would become king, restoring their patriarchal, authoritarian rule of law…?! “Of course Trump is a non-believer, but we wouldn’t want him any other way! Only a non-believer could support our [ridiculous, restrictive, murderous] agenda!”

There are high-ranking (former) military and government officials openly, and publicly, calling on our military to stage a coup, while our rank and file members turn out in droves (against military rules) in Trump supporting paraphernalia, appearing to be his greatest fans…! All while not getting paid?! Really?!

And then there’s the truly delusional ones. You know the hype. “We’ve finally turned the corner! So many people have evolved enough that true peace is right around the corner!” Really? Where?

Meanwhile, in my city, there were three murders already, before New Year’s Day was officially over – a shooting, a stabbing, and a home invasion resulting in a fatality (home dweller, not thief, of course). And these are all “poor on poor” crimes, regardless of color, religion, immigration status, or sexual orientation…

I don’t know… Maybe I am depressed after all. But “happy new year”?

Hardly…

Advertisements
Standard
Poetry, Reflections

These are the reasons…

When I stop to question why I bother to survive

in a world hell-bent on destruction and dying

I realize…

I don’t have to travel far

to see the smiles or feel the scars

to ride the highs of excitement and joy

or wallow in the depths of disappointment and sorrow.

For all around me are excuses to be

whatever we want or expect to become:

the rich, the poor, the sickly and well

the humble, the prideful, the angry and lustful.

And whether or not I agree with their choices

I acknowledge their right to choose.

Soo…

Looking into the “eyes” that surround me

wherever the place, whatever the time

I accept

These are the reasons for all of the seasons

Life to be lived without rhyme or reason.

Standard
Reflections

MIA (aka “Out of the Loop”)…

How long does something need to be missing from your life before you notice it’s gone? How long does it take you to identify that missing element? Can you even identify it?

Just curious, I guess. Lately I’ve been experiencing that a lot.

I walked into my craft room the other day, and noticed a gaping hole on a display shelf. I stopped to wonder what might have been there…? I mean, clearly something else must have sat there, else why would the one other item on the shelf be sitting off to one side? Or am I missing something obvious here…?

I have a shelf of broken and forgotten toys at work, gathered over my 13+ years there, and including some that predate even me. I noticed a similar “hole” on that shelf recently. But I absolutely cannot imagine what used to sit there!

My daughter was in serious crisis the weekend before Thanksgiving. It dragged into days… then weeks. She is attempting to reconstruct her life around new principles and priorities now. Yesterday, someone thought to ask me how she was doing with that. My response?

“I have no idea…”

“How can you have no idea?!,” she asked with incredulity.

Hmm… good question, so I pondered for a moment.

“I guess I’m just out of the loop these days,” I answered finally. “She doesn’t report to me, and we only talk when I see her once a week. But then the kids are there…”

A co-worker asked me about something work related yesterday (damned if I remember what – lol!), and my response was “I have no idea.” When she went on to question me about it, I learned something else I didn’t know! She just stared at me like I’d lost my mind, and I merely laughed, pointing out the obvious fact that I was clearly “out of the loop.”

And frankly, I don’t seem to mind…

Working the floor, dealing with customers a lot this time of year. And over the last week or so I’ve been pressed for things we haven’t carried in years. All things I remember having… once. But no more. “Sorry” is all I can offer. Why the sudden fascination with things long gone, things I wouldn’t even know we’re missing unless someone asked?

And so it goes, day in and day out. A monotony of dim colors with an occasional splash of brilliant sparkle, rapidly lost to memory. I not only feel detached from reality, but actually distanced from it, as though none of it is real anymore. My thoughts aren’t even present anymore, spinning as they are around long forgotten memories suddenly resurfacing in my conscious mind. Memories that seem to lack both purpose and significance. Memories that make me wonder why I’m even bothering…?

And all I can “hear” when I question all this is “I’m out of the loop…”

Missing in action…

And I didn’t even know…

So… how long has it been? How long did it take me to realize this?!

Ahhh, time. The loopiest of life’s loops!

Standard
Reflections

Truisms…

Love heals all wounds…

Not really, though I might be willing to concede that caring causes most…

Denial – not just a river in Egypt…

Funny. Ha ha! But not. At least not when it really matters…

Truth speaks for itself…

Perhaps the biggest lie of All, because it means nothing, if no one can actually hear it.

***. ***. ***

And in the end, what does it really matter? We will do what we will do, regardless of love, awareness or truth. We will believe what we want to believe, regardless of what wisdom, experience or knowledge we possess. We will trust ourselves before all others, even when we know that we are wrong…

Why?

I have no real idea other than the fact that truisms stand by themselves. Static little moments in a dynamic, ever-changing reality. Anchors in a stormy sea of unrelenting tides and passions…

Hope springs eternal…

Though only in a world where time is irrelevant.

Standard
Reflections

Loving Veterans/Hating War

I am reminded today, Veteran’s Day, of an old dichotomy that I have never understood, and which still rears its ugly, hateful rhetoric quite frequently.

Why can so many NOT understand that it is possible to be both pro-veteran and anti-war at the same time?!

I mean, really people! Is that truly so difficult to understand?! So I thought I’d take one more stab at trying to explain, knowing full well that those who already get it will agree, and those who don’t won’t…

I, personally, love veterans! I mean that sincerely. I grew up in a military family. Most of my family members (and many of my male ancestors) are now enshrined in veteran’s memorial cemetaries. I am the only one in my immediate family who chose not to serve in that capacity, and that is because I have always been anti-war.

Which is not to say that all veterans must be combat vets to truly represent, but all active duty military must be prepared to face combat in order to serve. And that was a commitment I couldn’t make. I remember my father explaining to me that there were useful (and important) ways to serve the U.S. military without facing combat, but the bottom line for me was that, if all else failed, even those support personnel would be called up before civilians would have to “take over,” and I wouldn’t trust myself to serve adequately. Besides, I have never been one to follow orders first and question later, which is precisely the mindset required in emergency situations; my hesitation under those circumstances would cause undue hardship on my fellow soldiers…

But this isn’t really about me. I share these details only to emphasize my point. I know many men and women who joined because it ennabled them to get a “fresh start,” escaping lives of poverty, abuse, gangs, criminal cohorts, etc. I know some who joined out of a sense of duty, and a desire to serve our country. And I’m old enough to know some who were drafted against their wills. But in all cases, they made a commitment to serve, and they did so to the best of their ability. I can only honor and respect that. Always…

But war… War is run by moneyed interests, detached from the personnel and resources they exploit. War wreaks havoc, leaves scars that never heal, denies Life. I cannot respect or honor that. It is not in my nature to do so.

Are wars ever necessary? I don’t truly have the wisdom to answer that. I know I would not be living in this failing democratic republic were it not for those who took up arms against Britain to declare our independent status. But, by the same token, I know I would not be living in this vast, consumer-driven capitalist nation were it not for those who took up arms to annihilate the indigineous people of this land. And while I can tentatively support the first scenario, I can never (in my own heart and mind) justify the latter…

So… I know I lack the wisdom to determine the cause and/or course of war. It makes more “sense” then for me to choose the path of caution, to choose not to support any excuse for war. I declare myself anti-war.

But I have nothing but respect and honor for those who serve the military, in whatever capacity, and for whatever reason. Who serve in times of peace or war. I am pro-veteran to my core…

It is possible to be both, simultaneously, and without contradiction...

Enough said…

Standard
Conversations, Reflections

Moments…

There are moments, like this one, in which everything feels perfect…

Disappointments stand hand in hand with hopes…

Joy and sorrow support one another…

Life echoes in the silence surrounding me, while the Silence mutes the sounds of living…

A cat purrs in timely rhythm with me, clocking each breath I take…

And my heartbeat, steady and slow, drives out all thoughts of death…

And time…

I am alone, yet I am Whole.

I am divided, yet I am sure.

I am ashamed, yet I am wiser.

I am complete.

*** *** ***

And he said to me…

“Did you know it takes three minutes to make a moment?”

“Yes, actually, I have heard that,” I responded. “Thanks for reminding me!”

Standard
Reflections

Bursting Bubbles…

There is a post I recently read that touched me. Deeply. I don’t know why, or how, other than the fact that the topic has been on my mind a lot of late. I’ve reread it multiple times, and still can not form a “proper” response to it. But in contemplating it, my mind has wandered down many seemingly unrelated paths. This post attempts to document that meandering journey, while the link that follows credits the impetus for taking it:

https://spiritandworld.com/2018/10/27/what-is-healing/

*** *** ***

I had a dream the other day, after reading this post on healing. In it I possessed (was given or found) a piece of Ocean Jasper. It is a variety of jasper I’d never even heard of, which I noted in my dream, but it was beautiful; greens and blues and whites, with bubbles everywhere, both actual and bisected (like little bullseyes all around). I was so mesmerized by this stone that I immediately looked it up upon wakening to see if it was a real thing. Turns out it is…

So, off to the gem show I went this weekend (luckily there was a gem and mineral show in town this weekend), daughter and grandkids in tow. I spoke to a vendor about Ocean Jasper, and he knew exactly what I was looking for. He told me it was hard to come by these days, and becoming rarer, as the mines in Madagascar are pretty much tapped out. But he had a chunk at home he could cut for me, and only $75-80 for a decent sized cabochen. I don’t have that kind of disposable income. Disappointed, I took his card anyway, in case by some unforeseen miracle, an extra $100 dropped into my life one day… And off we went to enjoy the rest of the show…

We saw hundreds of rocks. We “ooo’d” and “ahhh’d” over many of them. We looked for samples to add to my grandson’s collection. He learned to sluice, gathering some small, unusual bits he’d “earned.” We talked about taking a trip to Herkimer, about mining our own, and spoke to a knowledgable and patient vendor about the process. My daughter developed an unusual attraction to jasper, being drawn to its many varieties wherever we went; apparently there are many (MANY!) varieties of jasper. As the day drew to a close and the announcements began the final countdown, we visited one last vendor to let the kids choose a stone they felt most attracted to.

After going 3/4 of the way around an immense display of hundreds of varieties of stones, my daughter softly called my name. And there it sat, in a tiny basket with two other stones that looked nothing like it, label almost obscured: Ocean Jasper. Not just any ocean jasper, but THE ocean jasper, straight out of my dream. $5 later I left with a pocket full of dreams. Literally!

*** *** ***

I have been trying to “heal” my self, to become whole and healthy once more. I know it is possible, I believe it is necessary. Not that I should not suffer physical discomforts as all of us must, but because there is something else in that process to “prove.” I don’t know what that is, because I haven’t yet succeeded in accomplishing it. But I am driven to continue trying.

I understand the words used when others describe the process. I “get” the logic (both rational and intuitive) behind it. “It” all makes perfect sense to me…

But still I do not heal. In fact, I seem to be getting worse rather than better. And I do not understand why?! That part does not make sense to me. I am clearly missing something, some vital link, and I cannot determine what it is!

*** *** ***

I have a few sites I visit on the internet fairly regularly. Some are news sites, though I visit them less and less frequently these days as I begin to more fully embrace the “head in the sand” form of reality awareness. Many are blogs or sites where personal and spiritual evolution are discussed or promoted. I go there looking for inspiration, ideas, anything that can spur me forward on my journey.

But lately I find I cannot access those sites. I still get emails from them, every day, but when I click on the email, it doesn’t load. If I try to circumvent the email and go directly to the site itself, it doesn’t load. Hmm…

I thought at first it was my phone, until I realized it was only certain things that wouldn’t work. Then I thought maybe it was the individual sites themselves. I briefly considered a conspiracy-censorship tale, until it occurred to me that the sites were so random and often unrelated (including my own workplace blogs/groups in which I am an administrator!) that were now unavailable to me. In fact, the only thing these sites share in common is that I look to them for insight and direction. And the fact that they all present as blank white screens…

Leaving me feeling lost and adrift, unsure of where or how to anchor myself…

*** *** ***

I had a dream today in which my grandson and I were imagining things together. Suddenly he showed me what we had created, and it was an actual physical object! I was shocked, holding this small stone item he had manifested from our conversation. I thought to comment how it was smaller than I had imagined, but otherwise perfect in detail…

He immediately apologized (for the sizing “error”), and began a new series of “what if we…” remarks to try to “fix” his mistake. To which I could only respond:

“Nonononono… Stop! I wasn’t complaining, I was only surprised. It’s perfect just the way it is! Do you have any idea how amazing this is? How amazing you are?! You created this! Out of our dreams and imaginings. You made it real!”

And then I woke up, still holding the small stone deciphering cube he had created in my memory. Every edge smooth but well defined, a complex collection of smaller cubes combined to form an impossible 3-D structure, all composed of different varieties of jasper…

And a deep sadness to waken fully and discover my hands held nothing but memories of dreams…

*** *** ***

Election day is next week. Yes, I am going to vote, even if I am convinced the act is likely futile. I will go to my polling place. I will express my displeasure with the current government by not voting for anyone running on the Republican ticket. But I don’t yet know who I will vote for.

I am caught in that familiar tug of war between conventional wisdom and my own conscience. Because conventional wisdom says I need to throw my tiny weight behind the Democrats, supporting the two party system, even if I believe the Democrats (individually or as a collective party) are every bit as dirty and corrupt as the Republicans; any other vote dilutes the resistance to the Republicans. If I vote my conscience, if I actually vote for someone, rather than against someone, then I wind up supporting the candidate I definitely don’t want to win. But if I don’t vote my conscience then I wind up voting a blind party line, for a party I don’t even belong to, much less agree with, an act I swore I’d never do. And worse, I continue to feed the two party only machine, making further inroads by independent or 3rd party candidates even more difficult.

So yes, I will vote next Tuesday. But no, I have no idea for whom. And I probably won’t know until after I’ve walked into that booth and seen what I chose to do…

*** *** ***

And I suddenly remember my daughter asking me what the Ocean Jasper does, metaphysically speaking. I don’t really know, it being a stone I’d never heard of before that dream. But my initial research seems to indicate it has two primary functions: to increase empathy (opening channels between self and others) and to promote healing. When I told her this, she laughed out loud…

“Do you really need a stone to increase your empathy?!,” she asked in all sincerity.

To which I could only respond, “I know, right?! It seems counter-intuitive as I’m already drowning in it these days. But the healing… Well, that I could definitely use!”

*** *** ***

And as I write these words tonight, holding tightly to that stone, I sense it rising up behind me, threatening to engulf me totally. I “see” my self standing on the shore, back to the ocean, as a huge wave approaches; translucent blues and greens shimmering in the moonlight, white-tipped foam beginning to furl, full of bubbles… I stand there, rigid and aware, but unable or unwilling to move, anticipating the full weight of this wave crashing down upon me, driving the breath from my lungs, tossing me mercilessly about, helpless and vulnerable against the sheer force of so much water in motion…

Bubbles bursting like “the bombs in air”…

Standard