Poetry, Reflections

“The Glass Prison…”

Trapped in a prison of glass…

Free to see…

Free to feel…

But unable to touch those outside.

Watching as they self-destruct,

dragging along as many Others

as each can touch…

Only windows here,

but no doors I can find.

Bearing witness to the fury that consumes…

Nothing more.

Or less.

There are airholes high above me,

allowing me to breathe.

The stench of death and rotten things

nearly suffocating me…

“It’s only glass!,” you point out,

your tone a measured mix of disdain and disgust.

“If you feel trapped by it, you can only blame yourself!”

“True,” I think, knowing you are right.

“But if the only weapons I have are my hands, and feet and head…

“If I can only turn within this space, but not take a single step…

“Then how do I escape without also destroying my Self?”

And do I really want to?

***

Standing in a sanctuary made of glass…

Free to see…

Free to feel…

But unable to be touched by those outside.

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Reflections, Stories...

Drowning…

“Fire looked at Water blankly, completely unprepared to answer. Laughing merrily at his sudden discomposure, Water reached out to embrace Fire. But Fire jumped back quickly, avoiding the contact.

“Are you nuts, Water?! What are you trying to do, kill me?” Responding to Water’s deep and disheartened confusion, Fire added more gently. “Water puts out fire, remember?”

Nodding sadly, Water concurred. “And fire destroys water… I remember.” “

(An excerpt from a short story entitled “Fire and Water: The Search for Life” I wrote many years ago…)

***

Relevant now, again, because I feel as if I am drowning…

Lately I seem to be inundated with water issues, from flooding to our most recent household disaster where the aforementioned flooding took out the hot water heater’s pilot, and we cannot get it lit again.  There are other minor issues, too, of course, like leaky sinks, and shower hoses suddenly spurting where they’re not supposed to, all of which lead my friends to believe that we are being overcome by emotions.  At least symbolically…

But I am more intrigued with the water’s effect on fire in our home, and my inability to keep the home fires burning.  Literally!  There was the power outage that left us without heat for five days during a wicked cold snap.  And even though we have a woodburning stove, I could not keep the fire going for any length of time because the wood was wet, and so reluctant to burn.  For 5 days I lived here, with internal household temps never getting above 40 degrees.  And then I finally got dry wood!  And the power came back on…

That was followed by a record breaking snowfall (within hours, no less) made so much more difficult to handle by rising temps throughout.  The snow was incredibly heavy and wet, with the sun shining brilliantly after the storm, making the shovelling out process a 3 day nightmare for the physically challenged, like myself…

All that snow melted quickly in the spring-like weather that followed, bringing on the first floods…  And so April arrived with steady, constant rain for days, until the whole world seemed to be drowning in it.  Everything was under water…  Until finally, this past weekend brought a taste of early summer, and we could finally assess the damage all that water caused.  And it was then we lost the hot water heater…

So… clearly my fire is being overwhelmed by my water!  My passion, creativity, motivation, even action, snuffed out, made impotent and ineffectual by the flood of emotions drowning me…

Just last night I came home late after spending some valuable time with a respected friend.  She left me with much to think about; intrigued, and moving in new directions at last.  I spent time alone after coming home basking in the light of a full moon shining from a nearly cloudless sky.  The cool rays of moonlight contrasted sharply with the unusually warm temperature, and it was a balm to my restless and disheartened spirit.  I let down my guard, as I usually do, and opened myself to the healing that only time alone at night can bring.  And so the feelings came…

Heart-wrenching, gut-twisting, rage-inducing pain from so very many sources, I could not begin to identify them all.  So much suffering happening in the world…  The tears came unbidden, as they do every night recently; impotent and pointless, but flowing nonetheless.  And this time I found I couldn’t actually breathe anymore, as the flood assaulted me.  I was, metaphorically and literally, drowning in sorrow!  The weight on my chest was so heavy, I seriously wondered if I was having genuine medical issues.  But no, not really, at least not the “fixable” kind…

And then it began to rain, softly at first, before becoming a deluge.  Lightning flashed and thunder rolled; an unexpected storm drenching me.  I just stood there on the deck, my tears still falling, and looked up at the brightness of the moon.  And there she sat in all her glory… in a completely cloudless sky.

A full blown thunderstorm raging from a cloudless sky?!

And my first and only thought was to question, “did I do that?”

The storm ended as quickly as it began, before I could pull myself together enough to seek shelter in the house.  But my soaked clothes and skin were proof enough for me to accept the storm was not my imagination…

And when I woke this morning with that same weight upon my chest, I recognized it clearly for what it was – anxiety.  Not fear.  Anxiety…

The world I live in makes no sense to me today.  I cannot understand what is happening anymore.  At all!  Rationality has left the building, and everything around me is in complete chaos.  And I do not know how to maneuver effectively through it.  Hence my anxiety.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not so naive as to believe that life should be fair; I know better, based upon only my own experience.  And I cannot deny that there are good people out there doing great things, even if it’s not reported with the same enthusiasm as all the bad.  I see good moments in every day… But there is no balance occurring, no matter how much I widen my view or broaden my perspective.  There is no way to justify, explain, or empathize with the purely destructive acts occurring all around me!  I am beyond bewildered…

These few people, bringing so much suffering down upon the rest, for their own tiny glorification are determined to destroy everything, including that which would serve their own interests!  I literally cannot comprehend the motives of such self-destructiveness; it goes so far beyond the limits of my vision and experience!  Even in the darkest moments of my life, in the very depths of my insanity (the antithesis of rationality), I retained a remote and distant sense of balance.  But there is none of that in evidence today.  Hatred rules, and people rush headlong into battle with no other goal than to destroy as much as possible before impaling themselves upon their own weapons!

And I am driven back, into my own past, looking for something… anything!… that will restore a sense of balance…  A life preserver of some sort to save me from drowning…

***

Warily, Water faced him. “But nothing can come of my love for you, Fire. You know that; you pointed it out.”

Thoughtfully, Fire responded. “Yet the Creator spoke to us of Love. We were left here together to find Life… Maybe if we joined forces?” Hopefully Fire looked to Water.

“But we would destroy each other,” Water reminded him, confused.

“I know,” Fire agreed. Then smiling at Water, he added. “But at least we wouldn’t be alone anymore in a vast, lifeless universe… And we would be together. Is that so bad a destiny?” Lowering his voice, he spoke once more. “I love you, too, Water. I know that now.”

Unable to contain her joy, Water rushed to Fire and embraced him, all thoughts of consequences lost in her love for him… The Creator of All-That-Is smiled at long last, marking this moment in a timeless eternity, and a miracle occurred. For out of the union of Fire and Water arose Life, not death; in the wake of that union, there were four in the universe, rather than two…

Where Water embraced Fire, Fire cooled, leaving in his place a solid element – Earth; so daughter was borne of the father’s essence. Where Fire warmed Water, steam arose, creating yet another element – Air; and son was borne of the mother’s flesh. From the love of Fire and Water came the twin elements Earth and Air. And a family existed where only emptiness had been…”

(The entire story can be found at the following links…  maybe… if you’re interested:

Part 1: https://theotherhoodofone.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/fire-and-water-the-search-for-life/

Part 2: https://theotherhoodofone.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/fire-and-water-part-2/ )

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Reflections

“Just Unplug, dammit! Do it!”

I had a dream the Monday before yesterday of which I recall very little.  All I remember is a feeling of frustration as I struggled to make sense of what someone was telling me, and a voice yelling at me as I woke up: “just unplug, dammit!  Do it!”

I don’t know about all of you, but when I hear the term “unplug” in this context, I interpret it to mean get off the internet; take a break from all things electronic, including email, cell phone, games, tv, even blogging.  I wondered at the purpose of unplugging, and figured it had to do with tuning in more to my natural self and the rhythms of nature.

Two days later (on Wednesday) a massive windstorm blew through my city (winds of change, perhaps?), taking down trees and power lines and leaving some 200,000 households (including my own) without electric.  For those of us with forced air gas furnaces, that also meant no heat.  And, of course, no internet or tv…  Unplugged, indeed…

Luckily for me, our house has a woodburning stove, functional and useful, though usually only used for “fun”.  In addition, I have quite a stash of candles (because I love them) and flashlights (from my camping days), so it seemed we might fare better than some.  After all, they were going to be out repairing the damage, right?  And I could easily live without the internet and social media for a day or two, so I was eager to prove I could “survive” this test.

My only concern, really, was my phone and keeping it charged, because we don’t have a landline.  But my workplace never lost power, and they allowed me to recharge there.  I also have a car charger for backup, and a friend lent me a portable charging unit just in case.  All was well…  At first, anyway.

But who knew it would take the power company two and a half days just to assess the damage and develop a plan for restoring power?  And that it would then take several more days, and the helpful intervention of crews from multiple other cities and provinces of Canada to actually make the repairs?  Or that the weather would snap back from “early spring” to “dead of winter,” with temperatures hovering around 10 degrees?

For the first full day and a half, my roommate was here to keep the woodstove burning, and though cold, it was survivable here.  I missed my electronics that first night, but then hardly thought of them again, except for keeping my phone charged for emergencies.  By Friday morning, her asthma (aggravated by the fire) forced her to leave, seeking shelter for her and her dogs at her daughter’s.  And while I received many such offers of shelter, none could accomodate my cat, so I chose to stick it out here, with him.  After all, how long could it take with all these extra crews on site?  And I could surely survive another day… or two.

How blindly optimistic of me to assume I had the necessary survival skills, and supplies, to make it through…  Repairs didn’t even begin until Saturday, and it was late on Monday before our power would be restored.  Just in time for the blizzard blowing into town last night, keeping us holed up for the next three days supposedly…

I share all this with you for two reasons.  First to explain my absence and lack of response to comments and emails; being off the grid has left me way behind, and I may, or may not, catch up.  My apologies to you if I don’t get around to acknowledging you here.

Second, I want to share a few things I learned over the last few days of being totally, and literally, unplugged…

*  Frontier style living is hard work!

I know… “Duh!”  But it looks so easy when other people do it.  Yes, I expected it to be physically challenging, especially with my disabilities (severe joint pain in my lower spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet).  But I had no idea how challenging!

Take hauling wood, for an example.  How easy it looks to pile up a few pieces in your arms, carry it in, and stack it neatly by the stove.  The truth, though, is that it is incredibly dense and heavy, with sharp, uneven edges, and the bending, lifting,  and carrying it upstairs taxed me to my limits.  I thought my job was painful on my body, but this was a whole new level of pain…

And when you order wood, and tell them your stove can only handle pieces 12-14″ long, and you mostly use your woodstove for fun, you tend to be content just eyeballing the delivery, and saying, “yeah, that looks pretty good.”  But when your survival depends on it, and you discover that every 3rd piece is too long to fit in the stove, suddenly you wish you’d actually checked before accepting delivery…

Ditto on the tendency to be lax in protecting said wood.  When fire is just for pleasure, maybe you don’t regularly check to make sure the tarp covering it is in place.  But that’s one of the first things you notice when hauling wood for survival; wet wood doesn’t burn well…

Speaking of which…

Starting (and maintaining) a fire is not as easy as it seems, even with modern tools available.  It is a skill that must be learned, and a survival situation is not the best time to start learning how…

I received a quick how-to lesson before my roommate left Friday morning, and I thought to myself, “simple enough!”  It’s about the proper ratio of fuel, air and flame, she told me, and I, being a strong, intelligent, independent woman, thought I could figure it out; sure I might fail at first, but I learn quickly.  Usually…

But I failed to get the fire really going on Friday night, and finally had to give up and sleep, trusting my blankets and cat would keep me warm enough.  They did not.  Freezing, I had difficulty sleeping, and more difficulty getting up.  It was 40 degrees in my house (I will likely never complain again that 68 degrees is too cold…lol!)  Getting that fire going was essential to my survival.  So taking the lessons I learned the night before, I headed out for supplies and a hot meal before tackling it again.

This time I did get it going, and kept it going, and I felt a renewed sense of confidence and competence.  But after about 15 hours of a strong, steady fire, it was still only 46 degrees in my house.  I had thought that, once going, I could sit by the fire and relax.  Maybe meditate or something similar to take advantage of this down time…

But no…  I had to boil water for dishes and bathing, haul more wood, try and feed myself, and prepare for when darkness settled once again.  And when I did sit in front of the fire, I was fraught with worry every time it faltered.  Not exactly the relaxing time I expected.  And eventually I had to sleep, which meant trusting I could restart the fire on Sunday…

I woke on Sunday to a bed of hot coals, and the fire roared to life when I added fuel and air…  Then it faltered on the wet wood.  I would not succeed in getting the fire truly going again.  Period.  Not Sunday morning before work, nor Sunday night, nor Monday morning.  And, as the temperature in my house continued to drop, and the estimated time of restoration of power kept getting pushed back (until it passed the expected start time of the incoming blizzard), I genuinely started considering other survival plans…  It was no longer a joke or a vacation from the grid…

* Stubbornness is both a curse and a gift…

It was stubbornness that allowed me to haul wood when my body said “you can’t do this!”  It was stubbornness that allowed me to linger on, against hope, believing that I was not meant to die this way.  It was stubbornness that got me to actually use the bathroom when I could no longer hold out (because it was too cold to face), and stubbornness that allowed me to dress and undress.

It was also stubbornness that convinced me it was better to avoid eating and drinking, than to face those dreaded bathroom runs, which allowed me to weaken and become dehydrated.  It was stubbornness that kept me here in survival mode, rather than abandon my cat to seek shelter elsewhere; I abolutely refused to do so.  And it was stubbornness that cut me off from my loving “community,” as they became more vocal and vehement about my leaving the house.

Stubbornness is a double-edged sword…

Philosophy, politics, economics, even spiritual practices (like meditation, yoga, or going to church) have no place in survival mode, but the need to believe in some higher-order Other does…

As the situation developed from bad, to worse, to sometimes seeming hopeless, I found my interest in all things non-essential wavering, and finally dying off.  I no longer cared what Trump and his cronies were doing, or what new disasters were befalling the planet and its inhabitants.  I didn’t meditate, or remember my dreams; only focused on how unrested I felt, as the cold made sleeping difficult, and I desperately needed rest to continue.  I no longer worried about the long-term damage being done abroad, or who was responsible for it; I could only focus on the next thing I needed to do to survive, on what had to be done before the long night, and its bitter cold arrived…

And as my confidence in my own competency wavered, I found myself reaching out in prayer to elementals and the Universe, seeking help and strength to survive.  And it did help, much to my surprise.  Maybe these spiritual beings did not directly intervene, but the asking gave me the strength to carry on…

***  ***  ***

So I’m sitting here today, snuggled with my cat and multiple blankets with the heat working, yet still unable to feel warm.  I ache deeply, not just in the usual places, but in my shoulders, arms, hands and head; and I’m dealing with muscle cramping from dehydration, yet am still unwilling to drink a lot (lol!).  I am trying to take this momentary reprieve to consider what I’ve “learned” from being unplugged, and discovering that much of what drove me before still feels irrelevant.

I’m so far behind in emails and reading, not to mention catching up on others’ blogs and comments, but it doesn’t seem to motivate me.  Instead, I’m staring out the window, contemplating the increasing snow and wind, wondering what I need to do to prepare in case the power goes out again.  So laundry is going while it can.  And I’m trying to talk my way out of the pain I feel, knowing that the arduous task of shovelling out is looming…

And keeping my phone charged, of course…

And it occurs to me that survival trumps all other motivations, and renders everything outside my immediate world irrelevant.  And I wonder if all my sense of self – my confidence and independence, my compassion for others, my “enlightenment” and understanding of the world, even my ethics and morality – aren’t just distractions, “false flags,” perpetuated by my own ignorance of what truly matters.  For I have discovered that, as survival gains primacy in my life, all else falls to the wayside…

I think I may actually be “unplugged” now.   Dammit!  😀

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Poetry, Reflections

“I Hear You…”

I hear your voice in the wind

calling me…

And I cannot help but follow the sound.

There is no fear in me

nor doubt…

Nor any question of why or when.

It’s automatic; my response, that is.

You call.  I come…

For that’s what it means to be friends.

And if our paths do not physically cross today,

it hardly matters on the whole…

For distance can never truly separate us;

only our inner walls.

And I have nothing to hide from you today.

I see clearly through your pain…

“You are not alone anymore…

… in your grief, your sorrow, your shame.

I am with you, dear One.”

That’s all I wanted to say…

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Reflections

“I woke today…”

… to pale sunlight filtering into my room.  It was an unexpectedly joyous moment, as it’s been months since I’ve been greeted by natural light upon wakening on a work day…

I watched the sun lift Himself over the horizon while I waited for my first cup of coffee to brew.  My tears flowed easily and happily as I bore witness to the Light’s triumph over Darkness once more…

And it didn’t matter in the least that it was temporary; that Night would come again.  Nor did it feel at all ordinary, as such a common reoccurance can be.  It was a Moment, significant and meaningful, complete.  And I felt Whole for the first time in weeks…

I remember being “told” some weeks back that February 20th was special.  It simply came to me, a date, with absolutely no explanation.  But it repeated itself in my mind, gaining weight with every iteration.  And it stuck with me.  So much so, that I felt compelled to share that date with a friend last night, one I finally reconnected with after many failed attempts.

And here I am, enjoying sunshine with my coffee on this glorious early Spring day.  Sensing a cycle has concluded.  Feeling free and happy at last…

I woke this morning…

… and felt the nightmare slip away, without any lingering pieces to haunt me through the day.  And I was Grateful, deeply, sincerely grateful!

For this one day, at least, I need not fear the content of my own thoughts, for there are no traps waiting for me, no horror waiting to be triggered by a passing comment or deed, no images of suffering filling the space behind my closed eyes…

Which is not to suggest the horror itself has ended in the world; only that (for some unknown reason) I have been granted a brief reprieve from reliving it all today.  And that is a Blessing I will humbly and thankfully receive…

I woke today…

… and Life was good again.

I woke today…

… to pale sunlight filtering into my room.  And it grew brighter and stronger with every breath I took.

Yes…

I woke today…

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Reflections

“Silence Speaks…”

Sitting with the pain today.  In silence…

For there are no words for what I am feeling.  Yet speak I must.  If only to reassure myself that all of this is real, and not simply some paranoid delusion I have constructed for myself…

I saw this coming.  I spoke freely of it.  I knew before I cast my vote yesterday that the election was lost.  We were losers either way, but something warned me to be afraid anyway.  I voted my conscience, as I said I would, but I sensed them out there – the silent majority, lurking, waiting, for just the right moment to speak.

“You’re being paranoid!,” people told me, and I couldn’t counter that.

“I hope so,” I assured them.  But the anxiety I felt was real…

And as I watched the results come in, I knew…  It’s not paranoia if it’s true.

Silence…  All conscious thought ceases…

Single words and phrases flicker through the blankness of my mind…

Stunned…

Shocked…

Surreal…

But certainly not true.  Right?

Right?!

But it is true.  And this is not a dream…  I reach for my blanket of silence once again…

I listen…  Carefully…

Some attempt to comfort others.  Some attempt to gloat.  Others attempt to rationalize, justify, hope… that something good will arise.

Someone near me laughs, excited about what lies ahead, eager for the ride…

“I don’t know what you’re so upset about.  It’s only an election!”

I hear, but I do not comprehend.  Only an election?  Is that what it is?  For it feels much more significant to me…

The people have chosen their battlefield; now they must decide on their teams.  But I will not be playing this game.  I am opting out…

I saw this coming.  I did what I could to warn them.  I tried.  And now the people have chosen their course.  I will witness their progress.  I will acknowledge their gains and losses.  But I will remain detached.  That is my place now: a witness, a bridge, a recorder of history in the making…

For I have felt this way before.  I have felt it many times…

I have walked the grounds of Dachau, sickened by what I felt, unable to breathe through the stench of decaying flesh, the misery of lost souls, the sheer evil of those who revelled in their basest expression, silencing whatever conscience they had left…

I have collapsed upon Civil War battlefields, overcome by the pain that lingers still, the sense of betrayal and futility, the loss of innocence and hope…

I have sat upon ground sacred to indigenous peoples and cried, overwhelmed by a sense of all that has been lost; the wisdom, the laughter, the light of ages past, all gone, sacrificed to greed and power…

I have wandered through castles ripe with history, and shivered at the ghosts that linger there, reliving torture, poverty, suffering so extreme, I cannot move for fear of being seen…

I have visited sites of ancient cultures, long since vanished from this earth, and felt a grief so profound, it stopped me cold, unable to process how a once peaceful community could self-destruct so completely as to leave no trace at all…

History…  and the future… seem close in time once more.  But hopefully, I’m still just being paranoid…

And none of what I feel today is real.  It’s nothing more than atmosphere, the dense fog of what others are experiencing.  But it will pass.  It always does.  And my life will continue because, for some unknown reason, it must.  And nothing more terrible will occur.

Because change is good, and necessary.  And he didn’t really mean what he said.  And the people who believe in him can’t all be wrong; even if most can’t be reasoned with.  And their dirty little secret is out now, yet everything is business as usual.  And really…  how bad can it really be?!

Yes, sometimes paranoia is a blessing.  Because it means it isn’t true, after all…  And being “crazy” is a blessing when you can convince yourself you’re being delusional.  And being wrong would be the greatest blessing of them all…

Silence…

Seeking silence…

I cannot (will not) hear at all…  That would be best, of course.  And yet…

And yet I cannot quite escape the silent screams I “hear”…  All around me…  Throughout history…

Reverberating…

Echoing…

Vibrating through me.

Or is that simply Me I hear screaming?  Alone.  In my own head.

Before the long silence comes to comfort me…

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Essay, Reflections

“Wake Up, America!!”

This post has been sitting in my Draft folder for about 10 days, but I was unwilling to publish it, waiting instead for something more inspirational to arise.  Nothing has.  And while this essay is angry, sarcastic, and self-centered in the extreme, it appears to be how I really feel these days.  Go figure…

So I’m sharing it now.  Perhaps by doing so, and by owning this crappiness, I will be able to move beyond it.  Or perhaps not.  We shall see soon enough…

 

Wake up, America!!

Stand up!  Be brave!  Exercise your freedom!  Unite!…

Vote!  Don’t vote!  Vote for him!  Vote for her!  Vote for neither of them!  Vote for another!

Protest!  Resist!  Boycott!  Donate!

Protect the environment!  Stop climate change!  Save the rainforest!  Save the children!  Save the bees!

Change your life!  Empower yourself!  Save the world!  Be the Light!

Speak up, America!  Own your flaws!  Admit your racism!  Stop the lies!

You’re all narcissists, obsessed with entertainment!  You’re all slaves of the Matrix system!  Turn off your TV’s; turn on your brains!  Look up from your phones!  Get involved!  Do something, America!  Act now, before it’s too late!

Head spinning, bugles ringing, drums beating in my veins.  Battle cries shoring up my broken heart, the need to act driving every step with urgency and power.  I reach for the door, ready to go, and…

Stop…

Stuck…

“Where exactly am I going?,” I ask myself.  “What exactly am I planning to do?!”

I am poor, but I am white, and somehow that should make a difference.  I am crippled, but I am educated, and somehow that should matter.  I am empowered, self-aware, and empathic, and all of this somehow uniquely qualifies me to act at this time…  And I chose this life, this time to be born, so there’s that as well…

But what exactly am I supposed to do?!

And there is the crux of the problem…

For there are a lot of people “out there” with a lot to say, a lot of opinions, a lot of rhetoric.  But very few who offer real and practical advice about what we should actually do!

I have no extra money to donate, no matter how great the cause.  Besides, I cannot avoid the screaming implications that the pursuit of more (money) makes me a part of the problem, even though those claiming to be working to resolve the problems keep soliciting more…

I could go join a “march for…” something, I suppose, but 5 blocks at a time is about my limit these days.  Do you suppose my hobbling 5 blocks will change the course of history, no matter how much such marching might cost me physically and personally?  I’ll do it, of course, if it will help, because I live to serve.  But someone please explain to me how this is supposed to work…  I hobble along, at great personal sacrifice, and hope that someone, somewhere, in some corporate office, will be so impressed with my effort that they will call an immediate board meeting to rescind their evil ways…?

I could go join the front lines in North Dakota (or anywhere else that peaceful prayer is standing up to corporate greed).  But the police and soldiers there are armed with clubs, guns, dogs and pepper spray, and they are using them with immunity.  Suppose I could afford to get there.  Suppose I could get my lame ass on the cold earth to sit in a prayer circle.  Chances are, I could not get up by myself when we were through.  And if those militarized forces ordered us to go, I could not physically comply.  So then what?  I get beat up, bitten, broken or bulldozed over?  And what have I accomplished now?  It might be “noble,” I admit, but ultimately futile in the end…

Enough whining, Lisa!  Focus!

Ok, so here’s my thing.  I cannot “fix” what’s wrong with my country, and what’s wrong with my world.  I have no power, at least not in a broader context.  I can only exercise control over my own life, priorities and actions.  So what am I going to do?

Someone mentioned to me recently that blaming “Americans” for all that is wrong is a lot like blaming the victim for the crimes committed against them.  I resisted that thought, knowing as I do, that we “can’t be victims unless we choose to be.”  It’s been my mantra for many years.  And yet…

And yet, we are all “victims” of the same system in a sense.  We are so deeply indoctrinated into it that even if we see its limitations, we cannot see a way out.  We have no power.  And its not just the powerful preying upon us, but our fellow powerless neighbors seeking some control over their lives.

Explain to me, for example, why thieves would break into my home in a poor city neighborhood to steal a $400 TV that took me 18 months to pay for?  Why are they tempted to break into my 9 year old car that I’m still going to be paying for 3 years from now?  The garage just down the street (where I spent another $600 this year to get my car through a state inspection again) is empty at night.  Why break in here??

Why not go stand on the side of the expressway, or in the grocery store parking lot, and bum a dollar for a bus ride to the rich part of town?  There you could steal a car, break into a home and take whatever you want, knowing they have the resources to replace said items before the insurance check (from their good coverage/low deductible insurance) even comes in the mail?  Why do poor people steal from poor people instead of from rich people?

Why do those gun toting, mad bomber types prefer to kill “innocent” people in a shopping mall, school or nightclub, rather than targeting politicians, corporate executives and bankers?  Do they honestly believe that killing myself and my grandkids before getting themselves killed is going to change anything? Or punish anyone who truly needs punishing?!  How does that serve any purpose?

I’m not talking about terrorist organizations which are no more than fronts for those already in power.  I’m talking about individuals acting out of rage and frustration.  Think about it!  If you took out a few corporate executives, or bankers responsible for fleecing you, destroying the environment and enslaving you, you’d actually be serving your fellow citizens!

If you chose to target the actual “bad” cops, rather than all cops, most of whom take their oath to “protect and serve” their communities seriously, you would be much more likely to end corruption and police brutality.  It’s not like the names of the “guilty” cops aren’t out there.  Target them, and so discourage other cops from becoming like them, rather than discouraging all cops from protecting we the people…

I understand that “revolution” without a plan for what comes after invites even more power hungry, tyrannical overlords into power, but sitting here whining about how bad things are accomplishes nothing!  And yet…

And yet I honestly cannot see what is expected of me at this time!  I try to speak truth as I understand it, but the only ones who hear me are those who already believe what I say.  I look for ways to take action, but those actions accomplish little to nothing in the big picture scenarios.  I am NOT powerless, and yet I cannot seem to change the current course of history as it unravels before my disbelieving eyes!…

And so…

Head spinning, bugles ringing, drums beating in my veins.  Battle cries shoring up my broken heart, the need to act driving every step with urgency and power.  I reach for the door, ready to go, and…

Head off to work for someone else, to collect my paycheck and pay my bills.  Gotta keep the fossil fuel hog car running so I can earn that money, so I can eat, live indoors with heat and electric, so I can continue to support the system that enslaves me.

And when it all gets to be too much, I will turn on that TV I just finished paying for, or watch some cat videos on my phone, or read a good fantasy novel on my e-reader…  And for a few minutes, at least, maybe I can forget that I’m supposed to be doing something…

Go back to sleep, America; it was just another false alarm…

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