When Words Fail Me

Lately I could say SO much and yet I know there is nothing of value in saying it.

Were this comedy of errors less critical to the welfare of the entire planet and to all of us who live here, it would be easy to complain and rail and stomp about, but instead I find silence the best choice for my own sanity.

dictatorsThis is no way to run a country in which democratic ideals and humanitarian pursuits are its founding principles; nor is it remotely smart to devalue intelligent, factual information on national security, political, and ecological subjects, or to deride the highly-trained specialists who are providing it.

When despots and dictators become the most admired and most emulated management style of a country’s highest executive, it is time to reassess the wisdom of having that person in such a powerful office.

There are always alternate choices. Perhaps it is time to consider them.

It only takes intense congressional discomfort with the present office occupant to initiate the change.25th amend

Help your congressional representatives (Senate and House) to make the choice that is in all of our best interests: Amendment 25.

No Sense of Identity

snack.jpg

Looking at my Facebook homepage this morning and seeing yet another of those “Who Are You?” quizzes (a potato chip or a Dorito?) being shared and taken by people who I actually know, I could make a broad non-judgmental comment like: “Human nature—go figure.”

But I think there is something deeper there to consider.

marketingAside from the on-line fun-quizzes being a marketing gimmick to further determine your buying habits or preferences for future products, they also show how gullible people can be and how willing many are to label themselves in some way for public acceptance.

 

I guess that aspect mystifies me the most.

The entirety of my life I have fought against the ready use of labels and judgments in labels.jpgdefining people—against me personally being grouped as a thoughtless commodity so easily shelved into a hierarchal genus or a colloquial catch-all phrase that disputes my individuality and unique qualities as a living, breathing, human being.

I refuse to be de-humanized.

While here, on my Facebook homepage—amidst people I actually know—they giggle and comment on which Saint they are, or which animal temperament they resemble, or which world leader they most emulate or which….snack food they seem to be.

identityI mean, ….seriously people? Do you have no sense of personal identity that you need to have a marketer try to group you onto some grocery shelf in the snack isle?

What’s wrong with you?????

 

So the best I can offer the people I actually DO know is to say: “Human nature—go figure.”

And leave it at that.crisis ident.jpg

On Expectations

This sounds like a familiar theme to me….perhaps once written about in a previous diatribe, but no matter the repetition, it still applies to the present.expectations.jpg

We naturally form expectations about every aspect of our lives. We may not want to do this, but we do.

We expect the world to be a certain way, but of course, it isn’t.

We want the people that we love to act toward us with loving and thoughtful manners, but of course, that doesn’t always happen.

We want our jobs to be purposeful and important to the betterment of ourselves and to humanity’s continuing evolvement, but of course, they may not really be.

We want our nation’s leadership to be intelligent, mature, and capable of rationally dealing with every national and world-wide crisis, but of course, …….you get the picture.

What I’ve found most personally helpful when considering the subject of expectations is to say simply, “Release all your expectations over everything and everyone, and simply deal with each moment in your life as it presents itself. Do whatever you need to do when the situation arises.”

For without expectations, there are no disappointments.

Hopefully reality has begun to sink in to those who once lived in the fantasy that a Savior would appear to right all the perceived wrongs in the world and straighten the winding road before us; if not reality, then perhaps a closer version of it after two days of close public exposure to what is more likely to happen.

To those who fervently shout continued allegiance to their manufactured “cause” sporting nationalist slogans slapped across their hat brims, please keep in mind that they don’t call a carnival barker a “flim-flam man” for nothing.

barker“Hey-ya, hey-ya, ….see the 3-eyed boy, the two-headed cow, ….hurry now….catch the show right here, hurry now, … or miss the opportunity of a lifetime!”

And by droves they laid out hard-earned dollars purchasing tickets for the “lifetime opportunity” they would never see. They’d been had. Their expectations had been dashed. They were angry—they felt like fools.

Suddenly they realized that a carnival barker makes his living by lying and deceiving others to sell a fantasy that doesn’t actually exist behind the tent flaps.

“But he promised…” they stammer.

Of course he did. He raised your expectations, …and in the end he laughingly called you “suckers” for believing him.

He is what he is people, and that’s all he will ever be. Don’t expect him to be otherwise.

He never met a TRUTH he couldn’t twist to fit his purposes. That’s how he made his millions: by salesmanship and smoking mirrors.

Don’t expect him to change. He’s simply being himself; and that’s the lemon you really bought.lemon car.jpg

Hope you enjoy the ride, ….at least until the wheels fall off.

Time Out

Can we all stop for a moment and give ourselves a “TIME OUT”…wouldn’t that be nice?

I will make me sit in the corner for 15 minutes (often called “meditation”) and contemplate the error of my ways.boy in corner.jpg

I will pout and scowl and stomp my feet, and hear deep within me, “If you keep that up, you’ll sit there another 15 minutes.”

And at the end of my allotted time, I will rise again, fresh, renewed, with attitude adjusted, and proceed on with the rest of my day or life.

It would be nice to hit the reset button on many things.

Unfortunately the most important things aren’t resettable.

That makes them more important to do right the first time.

A Bit Too Early

After watching last night’s debate spectacle the only thing that I am certain of is that I took my nightly shower WAY too early.

It’s unfortunate that so much shadow-fodder has become the determiner of who will become the next President of the United States of America, but it appears that this is indeed the case.

limbo party.jpgThis was reminiscent of 1960’s “limbo” party-goers shouting to the gathering crowds: “How low can you go, my friends?  How far backward can you bend and still pass under the low-hanging bar?”

Well, it looks like we nearly scraped the ground last night with only those who slither capable of passing beneath it.

And slither he did, …this way, … and then that way.  One commentator said it was like watching a stand-off between a cobra and a mongoose.cobra-mongoose

 

Beyond the dust-kicking spectacle on last night’s television, I was a little amused Friday night and Saturday by the religious zealots suddenly remembering their moral stances and denouncing their alignment to limbo snake-dom; but as I mentioned in my previous “hypocrisy” rant, if they were actually true to their supposed moral-compasses, they wouldn’t have needed to change direction at this stage in the game. Trump said the same thing to all who defected from his campaign. He actually called them “HYPOCRITES” for deserting him, and that was about the only truth that he stated all weekend.

So there you have it.

In my opinion, this is what the murky, shadow-world exposition has revealed to all: There’s a lot of nastiness (energies, attitudes, actions) everywhere in the world right now, and when a candidate tries to make himself look cleaner by slinging twice the amount of mud on his opponent, we all get doused with it.

We’ll need to shower more frequently until this election season is over, so don’t use all the hot water.group showers.jpg

“American Crime” – Studies in Character

I love a good character study, whether enjoyed through reading a good book or a watching a dramatic presentation.charac quote.jpg

Nothing says “humanity” better than witnessing exposed human foibles and a character’s visually-recorded self-delusion.

It’s the mirror we all stare into but seldom realize who we see because we are so busy watching ourselves acting in different bodies with strange faces that sometimes appeal to or repel us.

This comes as no surprise to anyone who watches it, but our present television offering is the black hole of attention consumption. It sucks away our hours, our days, and our lives. We watch renditions of LIFE rather than actually living it.

And in return, television media gives us…….um,……I mean besides all the blatant money-grubbing advertising, …it basically gives us little other than being an insomniac’s last refuge or a 50-inch, rectangular pacifier.

I wouldn’t even call most viewing options “entertainment” as much as I would call it varied flavors of escapism—escapism geared to your favorite obsession or fear.

So when I, in my own escapist foray, ran across a really good dramatic series based mainly on character study utilizing creative character dissection, I took notice.american crime

I’ve trolled the Netflix options many times. Some series are so-so, some hard to get past the first 4 minutes, and some were fairly interesting. But if you are really into character studies, I would suggest the series called “American Crime.”

It’s certainly not what I expected it to be, and gladly so. The main actors are some of the best, and are well-known in their own rights, but combined together in this unusual format and artistic renditions of “life as it actually is, not as we project it to be” they are superb mirrors of human self-deception, self-destruction, and self/family annihilation.

And that is the ironic title’s claim: “American Crime” – it explores the cultural/societal/legal crimes we commit daily on ourselves, our families, muslim women.jpgand our communities.

Why on earth would that be interesting or entertaining to watch?

Because it is so revelatory in each unveiling episode. You relate to the de-masking of the characters—their proposed aspirations, their genuine woundedness, and seas 2.jpgtheir hidden weaknesses. Through each of their depictions, you see how easy it is to slide away just a little from your own integrity and end up in a complex situation with the sudden choice of now facing the evolved problem head on, or trying to bury it deeper in even greater deception coupled with harsher future consequences. (Hint: they all go for the latter one.)

What I liked most about the two season series other than showing the same actors in alternate character universes, was that there really were no clear good guys—no clear child protectbad guys depicted in the show. There were no easily distinguished heroes and no pure villains, although some were implied and assumed until proven not to be.

In each season’s dramatic character exposition, there were only flawed people like you and me, making one or two choices that led to violent repercussions and forever tainted lives because of their simple acts of greed, lust, loneliness or self-loathing.character are you

The most prevalent theme I took from both seasons was that all of us need love and acceptance, openness and understanding. But without those necessities, we live shallow, deceptive, and destructive lives that eventually implode.

It isn’t that our lives are fated to be that way—it’s that we choose our fates because of those unmet needs.

And that is the biggest crime.

Celebrating Grayness

(Written 10/23/02, Edited 8/21/16)

Outside the day was as gray as my hair appeared in the mirror that morning, and I sighed just thinking about it.cloudy.jpg

“I’m not nearly as morose as I sound,” I thought, but the enticing dreariness was convincing me otherwise. “It’s a dark day,” I said to my mirrored reflection. “But so what? We all have dark days. The sun can’t shine brightly every day.”

It’s easy to go with the mood of the day—to slide into cynicism and negativity. Why not? Who cares? Gray days are meant for gray moods, aren’t they?

Gray is that inbetween color—including all the multi-shaded variations ranging from blackest black to whitest white. There are a lot more gray areas than there are the polargray shades.jpg extremes wherever you look—whatever you see. Even silver is just light gray buffed to a high shine. There’s nothing wrong with gray. If you could actually see their true hair colors, some of my best friends are going gray. My favorite cat is gray and white. My favorite slacks outfit is gray. (Well, it’s not really my favorite, but it looks sharply astute.) That’s what gray does for you. It gives you subtle distinction.

So I was having a “subtle distinction” day. Yeah, I could go with that.

That definitely describes it better than calling it a “gray” day. A “subtle distinction” day is a day devoted to nuances rather than contrast, detached engagement rather than enthusiastic support, and perhaps even contemplative acquiescence rather than flat out refusals.

Today was the day for “maybe.” Today was the “perhaps” of lingered consideration. Today stood mootly by with glazed expression and simply said, “I AM, …or I think I AM, …if I don’t think too hard.”

Gray days are for indecision. They celebrate fence-sitting, hem-hawing, shrugging shoulders, sagging heads, blank stares, mumbled responses, luke-warm coffee, and melted ice cream.

At lunchtime a gray day will promote clerk indifference, order confusion, bad choices, and frustrated.jpgsitting in ketchup.

At dinner, you will see crabby faces, hear stinging comments about your cooking, and you will wish that you lived alone.

Gray is for quiet contemplation far away from the nasty attitudes of others.

Gray is for monastery cubicles lined with slender white candles that allow you to watch melting candle wax slowly fill the pewter holder until it spills onto the shelf and then the floor knowing that the residents won’t scold you for not blowing out the candle sooner.

Gray is for stupor—for simple, unabridged “nothing” existing between the ears.spouses.jpg

Gray is grumbling spouses and cranky workmates, all in the same day.

Gray is finding, as you are ready to leave for work in the morning, that your garbage bag has been shredded in the night by the neighbor’s dog.

Gray is having your toddler sit on your lap with a wet, leaking diaper when you are already 10 minutes late for an appointment.

Gray is discovering an ironing rack full of clothes to press and none in your closet to wear.crabby woman.jpg

Gray is welcoming your new neighbors with open arms before realizing that they like staying in your house better than their own.

Gray is having Sunday buffet with in-laws that smilingly criticize your every thought, word, and deed.

Gray is the smell of something rotten when you open the front door after a two-week, summer vacation and remembering that you meant to put the newly-purchased hamburger into the freezer rather than on the counter beside it.cat in litter.jpg

Gray is having a cat that occasionally “misses” the litter box and leaves little “Uh-oh, better cover this up,” front paw tracks up the stairs, through the foyer and onto the livingroom carpet, before nesting in your favorite recliner.

Gray is for taking a deep breath and helplessly watching that 3rd button from the top pop off your blouse while meeting your new employer.

Gray is for shaking your head in disbelief at how every stoplight changes to red, just as you approach them.vaccum grass

 

Clearly, a gray day is meant for thinking all these gray thoughts, and then laughing at the craziness you call your life.