Thank You for The Ship of Fools

•April 1, 2014 • 1 Comment

So much has been written and artistically depicted in regard to the allegory attributed to The Ship of Fools; A boat of crazy people without a pilot, without direction or guidance, oblivious to their own journey.

These days it seems we may all have been aboard this allegorical ship, economically and ecologically pirated without being piloted.

Perhaps there is a new mooring in our future.

Perhaps it is time for the fools to take back the helm from the pirates who have sprung a leak in our boat?

Today is the day of fools. We are all in this boat together. Let’s think about it, yes?

A German Woodcut from Narrenschiff 1549:

narrenschiff_1549

Thank You for the Ta-Da Nick of Time

•March 28, 2014 • 3 Comments

Remember Rocky the squirrel and Bullwinkle the moose?

Remember how Bullwinkle would get into a crazy situation and Rocky would zoom in and save the day in the ta-da nick of time?

I am Bullwinkle and life is Rocky.

Read that last sentence twice.

Life can be rocky but it seems that no matter how precarious things may look, or how far I get stretched to physical and metaphoric limits, something amazing happens in the ta-da nick of time to bring my life back into balance.

It seems magical sometimes. It seems like I may be the luckiest person on Earth sometimes.

It seems like the Universe just pulls a rabbit out of the hat sometimes.

Maybe all of us are this lucky and some of us just don’t recognize the synchronistic elements that guide us.

On occasion I forget to notice these moments, and take for granted this wonderful life of cyclic ups and downs.

But this morning I am so thankful for the many Rocky moments that make this journey fascinating and mystifying. I have too many examples to list.

Thank you for the TA DA! Nick of time.

Thank You for Specific Standard Time

•March 20, 2014 • 3 Comments

I live in an exceptionally well maintained building.

My apartment managers and the maintenance department are really good at what they do and they are really frequent in doing it.

I get a lot of benefit from their frequent 48 hour notices to enter.

I get a brand new water heater, new batteries in my smoke detector, pest prevention, maintenance and repair inspections, quality control of my environment, code maintenance of every law that was ever written in regard to landlord-tenant rights…

And a whole lot of company at undetermined times within the day of notice.

You know, kinda like the cable guy that tells you We’ll be there sometime within a 12 hour period so just sit on the edge of your toilette seat and wait for us to knock on the door.

The 48 hour notice is a bit vague for me. I got control issues, ya know.

I like specifics in regard to the very second someone may walk through my door and catch me in a compromised position, speaking with the KGB or naked, standing on a chair, changing a light bulb or entertaining guests from the local circus.

There’s nothing more embarrassing than to be caught on a trapeze in a small apartment with two clowns hanging from your teeth and an elephant on your desk with an open umbrella.

Just so you know, I adore the folks who manage and take care of my building.

They are thoughtful, kind people and treat their tenants with respect and, in some cases, more patience than most baby sitters would offer unruly children waving leases like swords and throwing around whiney complaints like confetti.

The main management contact is a young woman with super hero patience and the fortitude of a rock wrapped in a calm demeanor.

She spends a lot of time nodding and smiling at frequent interruptions to her overwhelming workload by folks who claim emergency status for such random statements and questions as;

“Am I allowed to burn candles in my clothes closet?”

“The dog(s) ate my rent money—Oh, I’m not allowed to have three Rottwiellers in my studio apartment? Can I keep the Saint Bernard? No? How ‘bout the Yorkie? Oh never mind…Uh Oh. Hey, have you seen my Yorkie?”

“Wah Wah my neighbor peed in the laundry room!”

“Pardon me, got a minute? I’d like to hold you, my apartment manager, hostage with my stories about how I came to be a serial whiner because my drunk mother never listened to me.”

“Is it all right for me to sublet my apartment to 23 Vietnamese immigrants? They’ll only be here while I’m away at Re-Hab.”

Yes, The apartment manager is truly a Saint.

She keeps smiling and nodding and actually responds to some of the absurdities tenants toss at her.

So, I do not want you to think I am in any way negating the efforts of the team who maintains my lovely abode, I’m just sayin’… What time will you be here? I’ll have coffee ready— and put some clothes on, and get rid of my company.

circus

Thank You for The Soul Survivor

•March 11, 2014 • 3 Comments

The term Survivor Guilt was established in the 60’s to describe a reaction by those who witnessed terrible events where others were traumatized or killed.

Sole survivors of disasters, mass suffering, and terrible events, can be so effected by the suffering and loss of others that they find their own survival unbearable and develop anxiety and depression symptoms.

Survivor Guilt lost recognition as a bona fide mental disorder when the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) was published.

The term was usurped by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

As human beings, we are effected by the suffering of others—unless we are one of the unfortunate broken people who experience no empathy.

It is in our nature as a species.

But unlike the myth of the Lemmings, who are believed to commit mass suicide when their territories become over populated, we do not follow our fellow humans into death or suffering.

That is not in our nature.

We are wired to survive by whatever means is required.

By the way, so are Lemmings.

They are actually trying to swim to survival when they reach cliffs and jump into the water.

They are compelled to do this for survival, not mass suicide.

The myths, folk lore, and metaphors have omitted some of the details of Lemming behavior.

lemmings

Like Lemmings, humans are compelled to survive.

The only exception is when our wiring gets tangled up, either by external stimuli, mythological heroics, or distorted internal dialogue.

So what can we do with all those complex feelings we experience when we see so many people around us suffering?

You know, that feeling when your coworkers are getting laid off and you get to keep your job?

That discomfort when someone loses a loved one and your family is in tact and healthy?

That awful feeling in your stomach when you read about genocides, famines, disasters, and tragedies that happen to other human beings?

What do we do about the shame of having so much when so many have so little?

We are constantly confronted with the suffering of others these days.  From the homeless pan handler on our way to work, to the tear jerking photos on the television imploring us to Save the Children, the suffering of others permeates our lives.

I think that feeling powerless contributes to survivor guilt.

I think if we look deep into ourselves, to the Soul of who we are and realize that we are lemmings, (in the true sense) compelled to survive, that we are not powerless, just wired by nature to avoid suffering, we can also recognize the opportunities to alleviate some of the suffering of our fellow humans.

One of the ways that people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Survival Guilt cope with their circumstance is to assist others in getting through their own traumas.

That is one way to put a soul into survivor.

Thank you for Whistling

•February 28, 2014 • 2 Comments

Have you ever heard an unhappy person whistle? I can’t even imagine what that would sound like.

It’s been said that only one in six women can whistle. (That could be an obsolete statistic.)

Whistling was one of the first musical instruments—long before the electric guitar. I whistle for my friends when I’m lost in a department store, I whistle when I enter my friend, Karma’s house and she whistles back.

When my friend, Paglietti calls he has a special whistle to let me know it’s him. I have not heard my friend, Linda whistle–she’s from the South and whistling was probably not allowed by curly haired little girls in patent leather shoes, but her laughter is just as contagious as any whistle.

I love the sound of a wolf whistle when I walk past a work crew (this happens rarely anymore and I don’t know if that’s because I am older or because of the threat that an unsuspecting whistler will be harangued by a lawyer and sent to flirter’s prison). I really respect those folks who can whistle for a taxi from 2 blocks away.

The Seven Dwarves would probably not be so cute if they didn’t whistle while they worked.

It is said that sailors on old ships had a different whistle for each sail so they knew which line to pull when it was time to raise the sails.

I have taught a couple folks how to whistle in my life.

I learned when I was nine, from my friend Emma, who lived on a horse ranch.

Teaching someone to whistle is like giving them free music on their ipod.

Listening to a person whistle makes one feel like all is right with the world and something good is happening.

Whistling is cheeky soul music.

Thanks for whistling.

pan-whistling-at-a-blackbird-1863

 

Pan (Faun) Whistling at a Blackbird –Arnold Böcklin 1863

Thank You For Being a Good Sex Driver

•February 26, 2014 • 2 Comments

A healthy Libido has a good drive but not always a good sense of direction.

It is unfortunate that a libido does not come with a GPS locator and a steering wheel.

There are a lot of traffic hazards and collision incidents that could be avoided if a libido had better maneuverability.

Some folks are sporting dents from bumping into other libidos while trying to pull out of various parking spaces and charging onto entrance ramps without forethought and observation skills.

Some folks, the ones who practice sex driving without insurance, have  their own  issues—many named after their grandparents.

Some libido owners start sex driving before they get their learner’s permit.

This may result in careening libidos, out of control—without a steering wheel or a GPS, one must acquire a feel for the road before moving ahead.

Some folks exercise poor judgment as sex drivers.

This may be influenced by vodka and orange juice—you know, Screwdrivers.

Screwdrivers do not benefit sex drivers in anyway.

They instigate chase scenes and tailgating.

Screwdrivers also cause sex drivers to misinterpret oncoming traffic as coming on to them.

A good sex driver has read and practiced the manual before getting on the freeway.

Here’s some important tips in the sex driver’s manual:

Residential parking is preferred to street parking.

Do not toot your horn unless it is required by law.

Prior to starting engine, place gear shift in neutral.

Know when to release the clutch.

Do not fill the gas tank prior to driving

Drive at a reduced speed until signs indicate otherwise.

Stopping abruptly may cause stalls.

The most important one:

Get the big picture.

Look around, know what’s behind you, in front of you, and in your peripheral vision.

Stay awake.

A good sex driver has a hand book to refer to when the libido is temporarily parked.

Thank you for Eating Crow with Humble Pie for dessert (but I’m full)

•February 13, 2014 • 5 Comments

Dignity is defined as “the state of being worthy of honor or respect”.

Human Dignity is used to signify that all human beings possess inherent worth and deserve unconditional respect, regardless of differences among us.

We, as Americans seem to bounce from indignity to indignity.

We try, but we just can’t seem to get it right.

There is always some kind of victim in the wake of our historical and social development.

It is becoming embarrassing that we live with, and tolerate injustices toward each other and accept as authorities those who would humiliate us and strangle our sense of fairness and what we know is right as human beings.

Even as we are still eating (Jim) Crow over the travesties we have committed in our brief history by enslaving one people (African Americans) while usurping the land of another people (Native Americans), we now prepare our dessert.

“Humble pie” was considered inferior food, in medieval times.

The pie was often served to lower-class people and was originally called “Umbal” pie. It consisted of liver, heart and otherwise undesirable cast offs from any beast eaten by the wealthier class.

Evidently, Poverty is the new Black.

We continue to treat the poor (of all races) as though they were separate from us, as though they should somehow rise above their station and join those who do not sit in waiting rooms, submitting to scrutiny of their lives to feed their children.

We keep them standing in lines at low income housing, food banks, and the few overcrowded medical clinics that will accept them.

We segregate them from blatant view by insulating ourselves with the ridiculous notion that they have every opportunity to alleviate their own plight.

It is apparent that humiliating one another has woven it’s way into acceptability as a permanent attribute of our culture.

Not only have we oppressed and humiliated ourselves, our own, but now we have been so numbed by the prevalence of a lack of dignity, that we don’t even balk when we are required to strip to our underwear at an airport or submit to searches, surveillance, inspection, and  herding of humans into the slaughterhouse of our dignity.

We have expanded our menu.

Evidently, acquiescence is the new Patriotism.

Patriotism:  A pride in one’s culture or nation.

The implication of such devotion to a “fatherland” that one is willing to even sacrifice one’s life for the ideals that it stands for.

Sacrificing our humanity by humiliating others, naming them the lessor, the other, the enemy, the evil, or any other term that inches us toward idiocy so we can build a selective economic empire on their suffering and loss of dignity is just too much to swallow anymore.

I am full up to here with Crow and I would like to skip dessert, if you don’t mind.

 
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