Friday, July 06, 2012

A Spiral of Dreaming

Once again, I feel as if I have written words similar to these, many, many, times before. They still rattle on until I put them down on paper and share them. They appear to want to share themselves independent of the neural pathways I label as “Moi”.

I awoke this morning to memories of my Native American ancestors. I believe that those of us who live in the Americas, whose European, Asian, Middle Eastern and yes, even African ancestors, will never sleep peacefully until we recognize and teach our children what actually happened to the first people on this continent. We must teach our children the truth about those who lived for thousands of years with a rich culture, whose languages were as old or older than Sanskrit; the millions who roamed traded freely from Canada to Tierra del Fuego; who managed the biosphere of the entire continent - forests with no undergrowth, so there was more room for deer, turkey and other game, floating islands of cultivated fields in the Amazonian basin; navigation and trade canals that ran for thousands of miles; astronomical observatories second to none in the ancient world; languages of immense richness and complexity. Until this history is as much a part of the education for our children as the powdered wig-wearing Mason founders of our country; until we admit to ourselves the thousands of treaties that were written and broken and do what we can to redress the miscarriages of justice done in the names of European dominated governments; until we are completely honest about these sort of things we will continue to be a nation living a lie. Such nations, or any people, who lie to themselves about their past: not wallow in its misery, but freely admit the miscarriages of justice done in the name of their religions, governments or the love of greed, power and imagined wealth; these nations or people are not living up to the full potential of what humans are capable of being. Imagine a butterfly who refused to emerge from the chrysalis and spread its wings, and you see the image I am seeing.
I dreamed of the first people of the Americas, but the same can be said of all first people around the world. Archaeological, and Genetic evidence is building for the all but incontrovertible fact that all of us are descended from a few hundred or a few thousand breeding pairs of the ape Homo Sapiens Sapiens, who lived in Africa at roughly two hundred thousand years ago. If true, and one buys into the capitalistic idea of hereditary ownership of land and wealth by single families, then we need to reconsider our accounting of how management of the planet's resources should be distributed. Each of the descendents of the initial breeding pairs should receive consideration. Otherwise, we are not being true to very principals of inherited wealth that we espouse. We are instead, saying “might makes right”, and that all broken treaties are valid, which is to say no treaties are valid. In this type of world all of us will go to sleep worried that someone may take from us what we inherited. If on the other hand, we say the rule of inheritance is inviolate, then genetics should soon tell us exactly how many breeding pairs we descended from and that figure can be used as the basis for distributing responsibility for the management of the nation's resources.
However, for me personally, this equation will forever be incomplete, since it ignores the simple fact that Homo Sapiens Sapiens is not alone on this planet. All life, which by my accouting includes every atom making up this planet, for even the so-called inanimate elements, even the very stone itself is constantly changing and evolving into new forms; all life is owned by life, and is responsible for the nurture of life. This phrase makes no sense in English or American English, because that language, even most of the language in science and current major religions is based on the idea of ownership in order to manipulate, rather than responsibility in order to nourish.
Here again, native peoples such as my Native American ancestors can help guide us. We must be honest with our children in all things as soon as they open their eyes. We must show them that they are part of the web of life, not separate from it. We must coach them in how to try and right the wrongs for which they play a part. Only then, can we hope to have them realize their full potential as human beings. Only then, can those who harm become those who nurture. Only then can we devote ourselves to our true destiny – to continue to grow, learn and enjoy the vastness of the Universe. What would Star Trek be like if the crew fully acted out these principles, precepts, or laws? Roddenberry gave us one vision. Perhaps, there are others, even more wonderful. Perhaps, here again Native peoples, first peoples, can show us the way. Maybe their Crow Medicine can achieve its full potential in the stars.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

New post - 7-5-2012

Beautiful person sitting the corner, legs of tan, drinks the water down and I return the challenge with a long drink of tea. What will happen next?

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Another One, Much Like The Other Ones

Dateline: Town House Motel, Winnemucca, Nevada, 5:17 a.m.

The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends

has come out with a new piece, You Must Be Upgraded.
I closed my eyes and tapped the old trusty keyboard one more time. Here's what she wrote as I listened.

Upgraded to a beautiful ass or just a crying piece of whatever comes your way? When you sing this way you become the thing you cannot see or know. Ass is ass and dance it must. Bust and ass you cannot see inside the mind the blinds the world with an ass of its own that cannot be known. Lovely voice. Plaintive sounding, a bit of Bush. The Bush you know, Kate Bush and the Hounds of Love will never be topped for plaintive singing.

Switch. Switch and tan the bottom as it stares into the sky.

She sings, "All my mind must be a boo, hoo, who." S'okay, insult away. Very nice. Very nice. Would do you any time.

Gotta go, gotta go. Maybe Mayes will see me in Denver. I hope so. Life is short and its always nice to see friends.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Thinking of Father's Day

A week from today will be Father's Day, I opened my mind and this fell out. 4:27 AM, Toledo, Iowa - Designer Inn and Suites
This winter certainly has been full of discontent; for me, and for my family. My Father and I are the last two members of the family that began in Pine Bluff, Arkansas decades ago. This spring, my brothers moved on. They are no more. Yet they remain. My mind plays memories of them daily, some of them incredibly beautiful, some of them filled with guilt and sadness. The feelings are so strong at times, that all I can manage is to put one foot in front of the other. Thankfully, nature restores me, the sky is filled with ever-changing light and the trees sing as the breeze plays through their leaves. (A bit trite, but what the heck? It's 4 AM.)
I try to imagine what my Father must be feeling just now. In addition to my brothers, he lost his eldest brother. To be cliché, words are inadequate for the despair he must feel at these losses. Knowing this further deepens my sadness. Why? Because many times I've selfishly shared my angst and anger over our relationship. I have allowed my desire for Fatherly approval to stew and boil until it erupted in vitriol so harsh and scalding that it must have hurt him deeply. There is no remedy for this. I cannot take the words back. I could try to erase them on the internet, but I feel that removing them now would be nothing more than trying to deny or hide my pettiness. If he has read or heard of them, he has already felt their sting.
I hope people will be able to see past my words, will see that although my Father has the same human failings as do we all, he also has a healthy dose of the best our species has to offer. In fact, when I look at his life objectively, I see that he has been a model of strength and kindness in countless situations, such as working full time, and studying at night to improve his family's lot in life, like sacrificing time off and working extra overtime to move us to neighborhoods with better opportunities. He spoiled us in many ways. He did his best through it all.
I can only look at some of my past behavior toward my Father and shake my head in sadness. For example, last fall I took my Uncle Phil to Washington DC in honor of his service to my country. I purposely scheduled the trip on my Father's birthday. I purposely avoided inviting him along on the trip. I wanted to cause him pain. I was angry for something he had said on my previous birthday. I wanted pay back. How sad that I had so little compassion. That is not the person I want to be. That is not the person my Father taught me to be.
I am saddened by writing this. I am worried about sharing it. Perhaps, I will hurt him more by doing so. Who can say? My thinking is that since I shared my hatred of my father publicly, I should share my amends in a similar fashion. There are many who question my thinking. Perhaps they are right, perhaps some will question it to such an extent that they will compel my physicians to send me back to the hospital once more. Or, more likely, most people will never read this. My struggles are my no means unique, and for the most part are nothing but meaningless drivel to the rest of humanity.
I will go to see my Father soon. I look forward to it for the first time in a long time. I am afraid that I might not be able to show the compassion I want to share. I have fears that my mere presence (long-haired, bisexual, fat, “not normal”) will be upsetting to him and those he respects. I hope that this is not the case. Even if it is, I owe my Father the respect of facing him directly and being specific about the fact that I am bisexual and telling him I am sorry that I have let my fear of other's disapproval keep me from visiting him. But most of all, I need to declare to his face, “I love you Dad. I always have. I always will.”

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thoughts From An Unknown Place

(4 AM, Iowa City, Iowa – 2012, May 5)

Periodically, late at night, like now, I awaken and feel as if I have done something horrible to the entire world. Some might say that I have. It is impossible for me to know if this is true or not, and it really is not important. If I have done something horrible, then I have done something horrible. I do not know what it is.
Some would say these thoughts come from the stars, the devil, mental illness, or some such. That is not important to me. It is important that I recognize them, accept them, and do what I can to move past them. I do not want to pass on the feeling of having done something horrible. I do not want to feel horrible myself.
I have tried many practices and, to the best of my ability; I have prayed, I have meditated, I have followed directions, and taken many treatments. These have not eliminated the thoughts. Apparently, they are what they are – thoughts that come to my mind unbidden, from an unknown place.
What now?
I write. Later, I will walk. These thoughts are necessary. Just as the steps on my walk are necessary. Just as death is a necessary part of life. Some thoughts are pleasant. Some steps are very difficult. As for death, I have experienced cases where it was not unpleasant, and as easy as ceasing to breathe.
Of course, if you are ridiculously fat and have sleep apnea (like I probably do), you can improve your breathing either by getting oxygen via a tube or get up and walk. I prefer walking. You can never tell what you are going to see, or whom you may meet.
You may even find a pack of hot dog buns that costs $1.18 rather than $1.99. (Two other people on the planet will get that joke. The rest of you will have to buy the damned book.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Forever Young

My walk for today is complete. The tiredness of six miles of steps feels like virtue. I listen to Forever Young, “May you stay forever young...” I think of my brothers. The tears come. It's a good thing. Tears wash my heart.
Bob pleads for me to stay forever young, and I will. I will be young forever, as I remember my brothers and the times we had. I will build a ladder to the stars in the place where my brothers once lived. I will climb it and visit their memories whenever I can.
Tears make it difficult to see the photographs I took on my “Liver Walk”, something I am doing to move past the pain and raise a few bucks for liver research. Keith would laugh at the name. Mike would want to laugh, but wouldn't.
As I listen to Dylan, I can see Mike's sea-green eyes, heavy brow and the smile he shared with everyone. He never saw a stranger, only friends he had not met. Keith is looking at me too; hazel-eyed, with the movie star profile he would be sure to tell you about, before he burst out laughing at how silly he was being. I can write about them forever and never capture the depth of sadness I feel. Thank you Bob, for giving voice to my wishes for them. Maybe sometime I can return the favor.
I started today's walk by picking up a hitchhiker at the corner of Hwy 1 and 218. At first, I was afraid to pick him up. But then I thought, Mike would have stopped, Keith too.
The hitchhiker said his name was Rob, and he carried what looked might have been his entire life in a Hefty trash bag. He looked like somebody I should know, but I've learned that kind of thinking can land me back in the hospital.
He told me about his struggle to get a job driving a truck.
It's a hard life.” He shifted in his seat as if he was uncomfortable admitting that fact.
I worked for one company, and they only gave you 36-48 hours at home between trips, even if you'd been away for a month.”
I gripped the steering wheel a bit harder. “Yeah, sometimes it seems like people just don't give a shit.”
His sigh clouded the window. “At least they pay real good.”
We both laughed.
The sun was turning clouds purple and gray. I decided that I could afford to start my walk a little bit later. I offered to drive him all the way to Independence.
He shook his head. “No. I wouldn't feel right about that. You got things to do.”
I looked him in the eye. “Really, it's not a problem. I've got the time and a full tank of gas.”
His mouth formed a thin line. “No. It wouldn't be right.”
It sounded like something my Dad taught us boys. All three of us lived colorful lives but Dad gave us some good direction. We always ended up back at simple rules like it says in the song, “May you always be courageous; stand upright and be strong.” Always is a tall order but we did our best.
Mike and Keith are gone, and Mom passed years ago. Now, it's just me and Dad. We are closer now than we have been in many years. Funny, death makes me appreciate life more and more.
But enough of this daydreaming. Time to turn off the music and get back to editing those photos. I'm three days behind, and this weeping is getting old. I'll look at pictures of Iowa sky and flowers along the road. I'll do what I need to do. Mike and Keith would want it that way.