Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, How I see the World..., Life

Displaced Intentions

  We are living in an age of technology.  We are also living in an age of information.  We are inundated by them.  And they are growing and multiplying together at staggering rates.  And we are more disconnected from Life, and each other, than we’ve ever been.

  In the 1995 film Powder, Albert Einstein is attributed with the phrase, “It’s become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity.”  Whether he said it or not (and personally, I think it likely he did), it is becoming more and more true every day.

  How is it we can download terabytes of information on to a drive the size of my thumb, but struggle ceaselessly to express, honestly and clearly, how we feel to “Loved Ones”??  We’re not only losing touch with our fellow human beings, but with our Mother Earth, who sustains us continually, despite the atrocities we’re committing to/upon her!  And our Heavenly Father, who Inspires us to greatness in every moment, regardless of the impurity of  our minds?

  We are losing touch with all that is important, and filling our Lives, and the space(s) we live in with things that matter not at all to our survival!  In fact, nearly ALL that we are presently about, is destructive to our well being, and a detriment to the survival of our children, and if we are not quick to change, the very existence of humanity.

  Have we become so narrowly focused on the acquisition of “stuff” that we cannot see the damage we are doing?  Have we been so far removed from our emotions that we are numb to the pain and suffering our inaction is causing at alarming rates?  And not just to ourselves, but to BILLIONS of our sisters, mothers, daughters, brothers, fathers, and sons?

  what Good is there in tracking the “time” we spend working, when we fail to treasure the moments we share with each other (physically, not digitally)?

  Our moral compass has been shattered.  Our values misaligned.  We are losing more quickly than we are gaining, our sense of right and wrong, and the very basic desire to see things done rightly!

  What happened?  I’m not yet that old, and not yet too old to remember, when -Deity- came first, then of the Earth Family(ies), then Friends, then all else!  Swear and curse words were not heard on television, and vile/crude jokes weren’t the standard for “comedic discourse”.

  We are losing track of what matters most.  Love!  And from it, Life!  And in losing them, we’re losing every bit of happiness we used to sing about, in Praise and in delight.  In the war against apathy/evil, we are not just losing, we’re giving up!  How can this be??

  Life is so precious, so fragile, so fleeting, and we’re wasting it!  Constantly looking for “new and improved” ways in which to take it, to make others miserable through it.  How many trillions in currency are we spending on saving our planet?  On saving the human race?  We’re spending that much on its destruction!

  How many people have you complained to today, about some aspect of your existence?  How many people have you hugged, and told them you Love them?  Have you hugged a tree today, in gratitude for the air you breathe, because of it?  Or the shade it offers?  Or the fruit?  When’s the last time you smiled and greeted a stranger passing you by, just because?

  There isn’t much any of us need during these short lived mortal experiences.  Love, Sustenance, shelter.  That’s it.  And there’s PLENTY of each,  for each and every one of us, if we are but willing to share!

  We cannot, we will not survive, if we don’t do it together!  As yet another old saying goes, “Together we stand!  Divided we fall!”  We’re all in this together.  If we do not learn from the mistakes of the past, we will continue to repeat them!  Only this time, we’ll be eliminating our future as well!

Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, Life

Too Much, or, Not Enough?

  Good day to thee all!  Yet more time has passed, much more than desired for a blogger, since last I posted.  I’ve been suffering a bit from “writer’s block” if you will.  So I will do my best to make up for it with quality, as quantity does not seem to be forthcoming!  LOL

  My Birthday was not that long ago, and as I am wont to do on my Birthday, I spent the day evaluating my present, comparing it with the past (only for the sake of -hopefully- measuring growth), and plotting a course for the future!  This blog of course, having a part therein.

  And my current “trap”, or “time-suck” if you will, has been digital in nature, the many venues by which we “connect” with our fellow humans these days, as “personal”, face-to-face relationships are on the decline!

  And thus my question, is it a case of  “Too much…” digital input, ease in access, accessibility to the ‘fake’, and therefore free of real obligation or commitment?  Or is it “Not enough…” time, Positive feed back, ‘real people’, allowing for a desire for something “digital”, knowing it is more than likely not original, not real, not personal, not committal in any manner?

  One could add any number of adjective/verb combinations to the above list or lists, but the results wouldn’t vary much.  We’ve gotten so far away from personal, real, in-Life interactions, that it’s simply too easy, too desirable, too alluring, too safe to bother with the time-tested, time-proven, time-based, long lasting relationships of yesteryore!  It’s time for the new, the fake, the ever changeable, ever replaceable, short-term, non-committal, non-proven, non-existent relationships of the future!  Today it’s all about the be as fake (or as real) as you want, never mind the risk (’cause there’s so little chance of it mattering), it’ll all be over in the morning so you can try it all again with someone new at light speed whoever you want to pretend to be reality!

  Have we really come so far in our technology?  Have we really digressed so much from our humanity?  How ironic that a character in a movie (played by Jeff Goldblum) quoted so prophetically more than 20 years ago (in the film Powder), “It’s become appallingly clear, that our technology has surpassed our humanity!”  Guess what?  It was said originally by Albert Einstein, nearly (if not more than) 100 years ago!!!  What’s it say about us, that this has not only NOT improved, but gotten worse, and become more true since then!?!?

  Heaven help us if AI ever does decide to wipe out the virus that is humanity, in an attempt to save ourselves from ourselves!  We’ve already put most of our Lives into a digital box to “escape” the harsh reality(ies) of the “real world”, would we even notice if some AI decided we’d wasted enough of this planet away, and started systematically removing us from our USB charged ports??  I wonder…

  We, the human race, face a plethora of Life-threatening issues!  From Global Warming/Climate Change, to Genocide en mass, to the decay of moral values and Family ties, to our very ability to relate/communicate one-with-another without a digital interface!  Technology is a great tool, and has many Positive possible applications for the betterment of our species.The problem is, we’ve become not only dependent upon it, we’ve begun replacing RL with it!  THIS MUST STOP!!

  If it doesn’t, there’s little chance that we as a human organism upon the planet Terra, will see even the devastation our own practices of waste, pollution, and stripping of our natural resources will cause!  And something akin to the Matrix will “shelter” us all from the Real World we’ve enabled!

Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, How I see the World..., Life

Choices…

  Life is a series of choices.  Moment by moment, second by second, minute by minute…

  We choose to act, or not.  To Live, or not.  On the micro-scale, these choices become infinite.  Do we greet the stranger as we walk past, or pretend they aren’t there?  do we pick up the garbage (plastic, styrofoam) toxic to our planet, or step over/around it?  Do we offer a smile, a frown, a grimace, to a Friend, Loved One, acquaintance, co-worker, -again- stranger, or look the other way?  Do we offer assistance to the beggar, with the Prayer they will get better?  Or scorn them for their plight, assuming the worst possible reasons for it, and rationalizing that they are totally responsible for their predicament?

  These are but a few of the myriad choices we make, not even scratching the surface of their entirety.  Yet they are some of the more poignant, the more character driven, those that -to others as well as ourselves- define us, and determine the example(s) we make for those who are and/or may be watching.  And we never know who may be watching at any given time…maybe safer to assume we always are.

  As we get older, the “legacy” which we leave behind becomes ever-more prevalent in our thoughts, and additionally, if we care, in our deeds.  And it is all based upon the choices we make.  Go to Church, or stay home.  Write that letter to a Friend, or watch the next episode of “X”, “Y”, or “Z” that we’ve DVR’d, downloaded, or subscribed to (who watches cable any more?)?

  Of course these choices are not always so “black or white”…  or are they?  Can everything really be so neatly packaged into a set of “right” or “wrong” boxes?  Is there not an endless field of gray?  I guess that depends upon your values, your morals, and what and/or how much you are willing to take responsibility for.

  Better people have said before me, “Be the change you wish to see in the world!”, and “I’m starting with the [wo]man in the mirror!  I’m asking [her]him to make that change!  If you want to make the world, a better place, take a look at yourself, and make that… change!

  It is amazing to me, that we have come so far technologically, and yet have digressed so humanitarianly!  It’s been less than my recollected lifetime since we were a MUCH more Family-oriented, neighborly, and kind peoples.  It was in my youth that We Are the World and Hands Across America were launched, and quite successfully for their time!  The youth of that time were alive with curiosity, a desire to reach out, to feel, and to be connected, figuratively as well as literally, to the world around them, and to step out of the “box” that surrounded the mindset(s) of our U.S. citizen parents, and their rampant “hands off” policy following the Vietnam tragedy(ies).  We wanted to be involved, and to make a difference, not just in the U.S. (and neither excluding it), but to/for all of humanity!

  And then “personal computing” happened… a boon to our ability to communicate globally, a bane to our ability to be connected, and to communicating personally!  Thirty-some years later, we are more disconnected than ever before, while simultaneously being fed more information about the globe and those 7+ billion brothers and sisters of ours than any one city of humans can keep up with!  iGen is the new and upcoming 20 somethings, and they’ve not known a time without the internet, mass-social media, and instant-connectivity, and are perhaps some of the most instant-gratification seeking individuals the world has known!  And we, their 40-something parents, have let it happen.  We’ve allowed TV programs (our generation’s single-parent baby-sitter), movies and video games to desensitize us,  to influence our decisions, our viewpoints, our choices, to the extent that many don’t recognize any longer the evil it has brought!  Family values are nearly non-existent, discipline (not to be confused with abuse!) found only from armed “enforcers” of the law, and banned from the home!

  Our choices to be more “individual”, less responsible, have changed the very landscape of our social makeup!  The right to choose is a sacred one, and one that should be afforded to all in much greater abundance than is presently the case in these “United” States, but it does not come without consequence!  With the right, the freedom to choose, comes great responsibility!  It is, in and of itself, not ‘free’, but that is how it’s meant to be!

  No one can take away our right to choose!  We may not like the consequences, or the responsibility, but it is the only thing that CANNOT be taken from us!  And yet, ironically, it is the “little things” that make the biggest impact, that have the most meaning!  Ever given a random hug, and seen the person’s face light up because of it?  Ever offer an unexpected compliment, and seen the person, at first bewildered, walk away more confident, happier, and full of good cheer they then, turned around and shared?  Ever help someone out, who fell, or tripped, or was down on their luck, then walked away without expectation of reward or praise?  Ever voted according to your conscience, regardless of the “popularity contest” that went on outside of the ballot box?

  It is a proven fact that random acts of kindness, generosity, and doing what’s right for the simple fact that it was right to do so, are contagious!  When we set this example, when we choose to act, instead of being acted upon, we can make a difference!  But we must want to… we must choose to.  Those choices can be major, or minor.  We don’t usually know which they are, or the impact they may have, ’til after the fact.  Sometimes not at all.  But they are always important, those choices we make.  Because they will inevitably have an effect on someone, whether we ever see it, or know it, or not.

  Choose wisely.

Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, Life

A Life Too Short

  In memoriam of the lost, the fallen, the Loved ones left behind.

  I’m not entirely sure if it’s ’cause I’m getting older, or because of my views, or the death I’ve seen (not as much as some… many even, too many more…), or just an innate longing to see Life flourish, as opposed to seeing it squelched.  Regardless of the reason, it effects me to see death!  It rends my heart to see Life’s  senseless destruction!

  And such is what transpired on the night of 10JAN2019, here in Davis, CA.  To be sure, in a societal, or even global context (most unfortunately), this is not an uncommon occurrence.  But it happened here, in Davis, where it is uncommon, and where I was able to be present (geographically) as it transpired, aware of it, and, as noted, effected by it!

  22 year old Davis Police Officer Natalie CORONA was shot and killed by a (reportedly) crazed gunman, who showed up on a bicycle where she was responding to an (unrelated to the shooter, as far as we know) accident involving 3 vehicles in downtown Davis.

  I’m still soul searching to figure out why exactly this has had such an impact on me… I’ve come up with a few possibilities, but none of them -on their own anyway- seem to fit.  Perhaps it is just a combination of factors in my Life… my sensitivity, my Love for Life, beauty, and all things natural… perhaps it’s my poetic nature, and a “Life interrupted” in such a cruel manor is anything but “natural”.  Perhaps it’s because she was young enough to be my own daughter, and, not having any children of my own (though I dearly, painfully want them), I “adopted” her as a “soul daughter”, a surrogate, not so much unlike the premature death(s) of my own unborn children.

  Whatever the reason, I’ve a strong emotional attachment to this young woman, as “crazy” as it may seem, and the deepest of sympathies for her parents, having -even if only fractionally- a small modicum of understanding the pain of losing a child, being a surviving parent of two separate miscarriages of 3 children… a pain I wish upon no parent.  The world is worse off, with her absence.  By all accounts given, she was a caring, giving, gentle, strong, passionate, determined, upright server and protector of the city!  One who was destined for greatness in her chosen career, had she been allowed the opportunity to grow with it!

  I know I’ve spoken before of Life, it’s importance and meaning to me (poetically, at the very least), what I believe it means to be a part of so wonderful a Creation as human beings are!  The thing is, is that “my views” are not necessarily “your views”, and, quite obviously, there are those that have no regard for Life at all.  And that in-and-of itself hurts me deeply.

  My one time therapist told me I was a romantic.  I nearly laughed, for I know no poet who is otherwise!  But for me, this entails an optimism, an idealism, about what Life should/could be!  And a desire to see a shift in/towards that direction in ALL of us!  We are capable, as sentient human-beings, of growing, of becoming better than we are!  We are able, to be the “best” “us” we can be, if we but choose to do so!  And therein lies the crux of the matter.  Choice.  An indelible condition of our mortality!  I would not have it any other way!!  Yet there are so many of us, for some reason, who are choosing death over Life!  I don’t understand this!  There is not one out of 7 billion (plus) of us Human Beings, our brothers and sisters, that has any need that is different from our own!  Love, Food, Shelter.  That’s it!  So why are we continuing to refuse/deny our brothers and sisters of the very things we ourselves want?

  Are we not supposed to Love our neighbors as ourselves (EVERY major religion has a form of the Golden Rule, whether they follow it or not…)!?!?  Therefore, if we want it, shouldn’t we help them to have it too?  Who doesn’t want help obtaining a perfect “trifecta”, a balance of all that is necessary, with just a hint of what we want thrown in as the cherry on top, to keep us striving for better???

  As this is a COMMON goal among us all, why are we getting in each others way, and our own, to prevent it?  Ask anyone, and most people will tell you they’d rather live in Peace, than discord!  They’d rather face Love, than apathy.  They’d rather Live, than die.  Why then, are we so stuck on destruction?  Why do we continue to act not for the Greater Good (which, ironically, would indeed serve ourselves as well… especially if everybody was doing the same), but for the narrow, itty-bitty self-serving “now” and instant gratification we know cannot last, and will benefit not one of our progeny!?

  No one with more than most others will seriously or honestly tell you there Lives are better, or simpler with the abundance they have!  Easier, maybe, but their quality of Life is actually much lower than that of someone of the “blue collar” class, for, as “we” have less, we appreciate what we do have more!

  It is a shame, then, that there are so many out there, so hurting, so lost, that they feel the only way they can improve their own lives is by taking an other’s.  It’s false.  It solves nothing, and only increases the hurt that is felt.  And yet we allow it, by our own inaction.  By our neglect of that which we know to be right, versus what we are willing to do that is right.  Evil cannot win unless Good people do nothing.

  This, therefore, is a call to action!  To all those Good people out there, who have been convinced -falsely- that there’s “…nothing I can do”, STOP BELIEVING THIS LIE!!  Great things are accomplished by small acts!  You don’t have to move a mountain, just a pebble!  So that someone else’s journey through this Life might be a little smoother!  We all must climb that hill, that mountain, take those switchbacks, like it or not!  But if we take the time, and make the effort to help out another, by so simple a means as moving a pebble out of the way to make the path a little more smooth, can you imagine how easy that climb would be, for ALL of us, if we ALL chipped in in like manner????

  Who knows… by a simple random act of kindness, you might just be changing someones mood just enough, by putting a smile on their face, or in their heart, that they don’t feel that an other’s Life is worth being lost.

Posted in Life

Happy New Year!

 

The New year is always a time of new beginnings!  Yule has just past (the longest night), and we now move towards the Vernal Equinox, and the longest day!  As the days grow colder, we find and/or seek warmth from our companions… our Kindred, our Friends, our Loved Ones!

            It is a time of regrowth, of birth, of Life begun anew, as with the dawn.

            And so  we move towards the Light, the brighter days, towards the pleasant things we like to do outdoors, even as we hunker down for the cold, winter days ahead.

            Some make plans, set goals, “resolutions”, from every perspective and angle, newness is in the air.

            Embrace this energy, turn it to the Good, make the most of the year to come, starting with you!  Pick some “thing” you wish to improve, some “flaw” that needs work, and better your self.  Better your self-image, your self-Love, your self-talk.  Be the change you wish to see in the world! 

Let the world know you’re coming, and you won’t be held back!  And most importantly, don’t hold yourself back!!  We can accomplish ANYTHING if we set our minds to it!  Love all of Life to the fullest, and all that you are!  Or change that which you don’t Love about yourself so that you can!

            Follow the Golden Rule, and the Universe will pour upon you all the Blessings of Life!  Do good works, and cheerfully accept each challenge as a precious gift!  For it is, and they are!  How else are we to grow?

            May you find in the New Year all your heart’s desire, much success, and all the Love you put out into the world be returned to you an hundred fold!

            Aloha! Namaste! As-Salàmu Àlaykum!

Posted in 1, Deep(er) Thoughts, How I see the World..., Life, Poetry

Good Morning!!

Well, somebody had to say it!  LOL  You can’t see me, you’re reading this!  So it is important that I describe to you all that is going on around me, that you may understand.

Life.  Life is going on, all around me!  And I want so much to be a part of it!  But you won’t let me.  You keep the door(s) locked.  I can’t get in {“What if I’m (he’s) a “criminal”??}  Well, the cat’s out of the bag.  I am.

By “societies” standards, and definition.  In truth, I’m not.  I try, every day to be the Best me I can be, every day.

By “Best”, I mean, non-violent, Peace Loving, Love wanting, me that I can be.  I don’t condone violence, of ANY SORT, but I continue to be subjected to it, literally and figuratively.

My Name is Elron!  What’s your name?  How are you??  Simple greetings, to be shared or ignored as you please.  I have only my words, all else has left me.!

And so I return.  Again and again!  Gladly, for YOU!  Will you have me?

If so, I’ve made the means and the ways for you to contact me when you Wish, available on as many “sharing” “medias” as I’m willing to tolerate.  To be honest, I grow tired of all the technology, the data, it’s all so superfluous!  What MATTERS, IS LIFE!!!!  And the Living of it.

And the people you know, that you invite into your space, matters.  What you do with them, how you do it, Why you do it!

If I’ve confused you, please start from the top, and read it again.  Everything else, is so much fluff!!

I could sit here typing to/at/for you all about what I’ve gone through in this Life, or others, but I do not wish to spend every waking moment typing, or reading, though I enjoy both!  And yet, how else do we share?  I’d rather be Living, alive, feeling, experiencing, all that Life has to offer.  For it doesn’t matter WHAT you do, just so long as you are harming none in doing so.  That includes YOURSELF!

The TRUTH is out there, in every language.  And if that’s what you’re lookin’ for, you’ve found It!  If not, look else where.  I’ll tire eventually of repeating it, but I’ll say it again, perhaps with more words, so you can more easily Understand.

I Love you ALL, that I’ll NEVER tire of saying, to you as an individual, or as a Group.  For THAT is what matters, nothing more, nothing less.  If You’d like to Hear more, feel free to ask (in “person”, in RL preferably), but I’ll respond digitally if you want [you can’t like it or Love it, it’s not “alive”!]!

Aloha!  Namaste!  As-Alámu Álaykum!

~Me~  {~Elron~}

Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, Life

Precious Moments: Share A Long Hug!

I seem to be posting a lot on this subject lately, but it’s something that continues to be on my mind, and thus the only way I know of to get it out, is to write about it…

There are so many moments in each and every second, and those moments are what matter most in the make up of our being.  They not only define us, but they are what we remember, what triggers our emotions, what drives us to action.  And it’s the “small” things, those fractions of measured time that have the greatest impact on our lives, that inevitably mean the most to us, for Good or ill.

Yet we’ve become so caught up in the day-to-day routine, the digital connection, that we’re missing what’s most important, the “RL” connection(s).  Real Life.  Where those precious moments are not just experienced, but shared!

Life is fragile, and quick, and we don’t have the time to waste forgoing the meaningful, quality time that leads to deeply personal, intimate relationships.  Whether forming Friendships, connecting with Family, or creating a bond with a potential partner for Life, these things take time.  They take effort.  And social media sights are not about building those relationships, they’re about the instant gratification.  Their results are short term, and shallow in comparison.  Yet we’re turning to them more and more for that very reason!  “We don’t have the time to invest!”, “It’s safer, and we’re less likely to suffer heartbreak.”  These excuses sound good, but they are the root of the problem, and in the end, just an excuse, one that will leave us feeling hollow, and terribly alone.

If we don’t take the time to form the bonds of Friendship, that lead to the more meaningful “levels” of True Love (if you’ve read my blog, you know I’m referring to Charity), which can be shared with Friends, Family, and Loved Ones, then we miss out on those bonds that are most likely to keep us alive!  It takes time.  Any thing of value does.  Any thing worth our time, is worth the effort that must be included.  Otherwise we are short changing ourselves, and denying ourselves the opportunity(ies) to experience the greatest moments of our Lives!

There is NO replacement for “face-to-face” time, and NO comparison to the quality of relationship that stems from a serious investment of that time!  Sure, the “instant gratification” method produces those “free” endorphins of stimulation, but they also create a dependency that detracts from our ability to experience that same “rush” in RL situations.  And too, a trend has taken shape towards the digital because we’re less vulnerable…  Perhaps, but at what cost?  We are none of us “safe” in this world, and we are not promised -at least not us typical mortals- the next day, or even the next moment!  We have but a Hope…  we have but this one moment to live, this one Life’s worth of memories to build upon (again, typically), and if we don’t maximize our efforts for building relationships, we are denying ourselves many (if not most) of the greatest of successes in Life!  To hear, and to be heard, to feel, and to be felt, to see, and to be seen.

There is a bonding hormone and neurotransmitter (oxytocin) that is released after a twenty second hug, and it’s a natural antidepressant (…among other things)!  I’ve been a “huggy” kind of guy most of my Life, and I don’t often invest that much time in a hug… what are missing out on???  And why???  I can think of nothing more valuable, nor worthwhile, than Family and Friends!  Don’t we owe it to each other to be “present” enough in our relationships to give more 20 second hugs????  I know I plan on giving more of them, and maybe I’ll get a few in return (…be sure the person is willing, of course)!

Life is too short.  It is fragile, and fleeting.  We do ourselves no favors by shortchanging the time we spend with those we care about, or are interested in spending time with, perhaps leading to a deeper more caring relationship with them.  We are in fact doing ourselves a great disservice.  We are denying ourselves, and others, the opportunity(ies) to develop fundamental and core relationships, that can not only improve our quality of Life, but the length thereof as well!  And who doesn’t want that?

The rest of the “civilized” (…okay, the 1%) world seems to be on the fast-track to destroying the only home planet we have, and all of the Life thereon as quickly as they’re able.  Let us not give in by shortening our own lives for them, they’re trying hard enough.

Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, How I see the World..., Life

A Writer’s Frustration(s)…

Hello world! It may seem to you (the reader) as though it’s been a long time (several days) since last I posted, but in reality (at least in my reality), I actually DID make a post 3 nights ago…mornings. Anyway, as it was about to complete, two things occurred… My battery died, and I lost the internet connection! Nearly simultaneously, and to the effect that, though the site “completed” the post enough to remove all drafts, it didn’t ever make it to the “posted” realm! Grrrr!
So here we are, I more frustrated than if I hadn’t written at all (Yes, many of us writers/wordsmiths actually get anxious if we haven’t written in awhile… or go a little insane… or a lot, depending), and you poor reader(s) haven’t had anything from me in nearly a week. The battery is my fault, the ether problem… well, anyway.
Sadly, I’ve had a lot going on this week, and I only recall vaguely what it was about… I recall that I’d made reference to Sherry TURKLE, and her book Alone Together.
Which means I was saying something about how vital our ability to relate is, and how we are becoming entirely too consumed by our gadgets/devices.
You cannot get from an emoji the level of detail the brain processes while physically, personally communicating with someone, to include facial expressions, body language, tonal qualities and inflection(s), all the little nuances that make up our day-to-day, face-to-face interactions, and make them so rich, so animated, and so meaningful!!
I was referencing (among other things) the time spent with “J” and “C”, and how much that “physical”, personal time meant, and how much more that time means/meant than a thousand “likes” on a social media platform!
There is nothing more important, no gift more precious, than Life! And how Beautiful the gesture, of being invited to share even brief moments of “time”, making them allthemore purposeful, special, and memorable in the process!
A Life shared is one full of Joy, and a Life in seclusion one full of misery. All of the worlds most miserable people are alone, and the ones filled with Joy, surrounded by Friends, Family, and precious moments shared with them and Loved Ones.
It’s not hard, it’s not meant to be. But we continue to complicate our lives, fill the “time” with meaningless “fluff”, gadgetry and greed, and we’re missing the point of it all together! There are people half starving in much of the worlds ‘3rd world’ nations, and most of them are HAPPY compared to the majority of the “civilized” world, for the simple fact that they have each other!! They don’t expend their energy(ies) worrying about keeping up with the Jones’, or making the most of a “9 to 5”, They simply Live Life to the fullest, and spend more of it amongst Friends/Family/Loved Ones, while “we” spend most of our time worrying about paying bills, getting/having more, and maximizing the 2 out of 7 days a week we get off in order to remain “productive”.
Then you have those such as myself, who are working diligently (or trying to) at what we’re passionate about, hoping “…One day…” it’ll pay off, while in the meantime doing whatever we can to make ends meet, usually doing something we enjoy much less. Why must there be a trade off?? Isn’t the “American Dream” doing what one enjoys to the fullest, and being able to make a “living wage” while doing so? And if not, why not???
The quick, and most accurate answer is simple: greed. Capitalism. We’ve sacrificed the “American Dream” for comfort, for ease and laziness and glut. There’s more to it of course, but that’s a fair, short assessment, if we’re honest about it.
And we’re losing the very “cure” that we are all so desperately in need of… each other! Through our devices, and their apps, and the instant gratification that comes from a “like” or a “heart” or a “tweet”, feeding off the adrenaline rush of a quick response of approval, while forsaking the immeasurable benefits of the long term investments that produce relationships that last a lifetime.
And now I’ve got to go… I’ve much to do, and not a lot of “time” to accomplish it all in before an early bedtime so I can get up and begin my own “9 to 5” tomorrow.
Blesséd be all! Take the time to spend some time away from your devices and gadgets and games on the go, and enjoy the building of a foundation of a long-term relationship with Loved Ones, Family, and Friends! You’ll be stronger for it, more connected for it, and happier for it… in the long run.

Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, How I see the World..., Life

A Room of One’s Own: Part II

Greetings world! Over the course of the last two days/nights, I have had the opportunity to enjoy a room of my own… kinda.
Once a month, the transitional house I am staying at allows us (its residents/clients) to take two nights out, in which we have total “freedom” from obligation, minus the expectant cup we must fill upon our return. A small (haha) price to pay for two nights out and about, and worth every moment!
My day(s) out began with me rushing around the “house” like a chicken with my head cut off, checking, re-checking, re-re-checking, and re-re-re-checking to make sure I had all I would want/need with me before I left. I then got on the bus, came to the motel where I’d be staying to check in (they were nice enough to let me check in early so I wouldn’t have to cart my “baggage” with me all over the place ’til later in the day!), and then getting back on the bus (same route, one hour later) to Sac.
There I met up with a wonderful young woman (whom we’ll call “J”) who my Friend Caleb had introduced me to about a week ago, to spend some time together in the city. She met me at the bus stop, and we walked back to her place of residence, where we spent the next hour deciding what we were going to do.
We started by going to one of J’s favorite thrift shops, where she gleefully showed me some of the more interesting pieces of glass-ware she so enjoys, when she got a call from a another Friend (whom we’ll call “C”) who was coming by to visit as well. So we walked back to her place, and met up with C.
From there, it didn’t take us long to decide to go to the river. It was getting hot, and it sounded like a “cool” place to go, and we even took J’s dog Buddy with us.
The three of us connected better and faster than a 5G network! It was amazing! To have so much in common philosophically is a rare, and tanfastic Blessing, one for which I am immensely Grateful! (Of course, Caleb and I have a very Spiritual connection as well, and so it didn’t surprise me that J and I found a similar connection, as Caleb is typically a great judge of character… he’s a natural at it!)
For me, the day was incredible! Such connections, and the ability/opportunity to do so is something I had been severely lacking during the 6 years, 9 months, and 11 days of my incarceration. A treasure for which no monetary amount could ever replace! In today’s fast pace world (as I am learning, and had suspected was becoming the case in my “absence”), we are so caught up in the digital stream that there seems to be less and less time for the quality of relationship building that can ONLY come from face-to-face interaction, being so readily replaced with the tweet, the “share”, the f-book update and like, ad nauseum.
And though I cannot say there wasn’t at least one moment when we all three had our devices out, they were limited, and we spent most of the time together sharing our thoughts/feelings on the minutiae of Life, and our reflections thereupon. It was truly wonderful!!
It is so refreshing, to meet young(er) minds, who though removed by a decade or so, have, hold, and share so many of the same values that are so uncommon in a society that is degradating the very core of relation(ship)s at every turn.
The day together came to a close with some card games back at J’s place, and then my time ran out, and I had to catch the last bus back to Davis and my hotel room.
“My” room. A room of one’s own. Sort of. Though I am in possession of it, it is not “mine”. I’m simply renting it for a couple of nights. But it is private, and quiet. I have not once so much as picked up the TV remote. It has remained off, its blaring advertisements locked safely behind a black screen that will not emit one nano-watt of energy while I reside herein (yes, I am saying light is energy…)! It has been very peaceful, and quite nice enjoying the sound of my own thoughts as opposed to the din of others constantly present. (No offense to those with whom I live/coexist, they are each of them good people!)
I did have a class I had to attend this morning, but the rest of the day has been mine. I even took a nap, something I haven’t done (in private) for a very long time. It has not yet ceased to amaze me, how such simple things can bring such delight! Given my experience(s) of the last “7 years” (it’s just easier to go with the upward “estimate”, for if I get specific, I’ll have to constantly say “the 2444 days in which I was incarcerated”… The estimation is just quicker), I’ve found such joy in so many “simplistic” things! Having/Making time to spend engaged with Friends, the color of the leaves on the tree as the morning sun shines through them,, the sound of “om” as it resonates in the back yard of the “house” as I chant it four times at the start of each new day.
I’m still working on re-developing those “common” habits of old… feeding myself, making time to read, scheduling my time… all things I once took for granted. And even during my incarceration, I did not imagine I would one day have trouble doing them again. Apparently, “7 years” of being told when to eat, sleep, when and what I could do and for how long, and only as long as a C.O. was present and/or nearby, was enough to break the ones I’d developed over a short 36 year lifespan.
Such pleasure(s) to be found in being able to touch/hug people, freely and openly, and of the opposite sex! LOL So many small details, that once made up the whole of me, left at a gate of stone, chain-link fences and concertina wire, and nobody told me I wouldn’t be getting them back as soon as I was released. Are they now still mine to have?? And what of the pieces I’ll never get back?
I used to be able to trace linearly the “me” that I was, to the me that I am… now there is this gap that has no connection point to either end. Though I remember where I was, and know where I am, and even how I got here, too many of those missing “pieces” bear unrecognizable shadows that, though they should have context, just don’t fit, and I don’t know how, or if, they will and can again.
In some regards, I understand (conceptually) that it is the mere passage of time, that elusive substance which none of us own, and are yet irrevocably bound to. It changes us, whether we like it or not, and in the process of reinventing ourselves some things must be relearned. But why, though I remember being able to do so before, are so many things almost foreign now? If I’d simply moved away, I’d still be in the habit of feeding myself. My routine(s) would still be second-nature, instead of a constant struggle.
To be fair, I suppose it is a good thing that I am learning again to be me. I am certainly more dedicated now than I ever thought possible to making every moment count, alone or in the company of others. I don’t believe one can ever value what time we are granted too much.
Before I saw myself as simply unique. Now I am distinctly different! A label has been given me that has no place in the TRUTH of who I am, and yet it is -already- causing judgment against me, a bane to the progress I have always sought, though perhaps not so fervently (I speak presently about “gainful” employment). More than once, construction and its relevant sub-categories of jobs have not only been suggested to me, but implied that that may be -for me- the only thing going! I have no issue with that(those) trade(s), and I do enjoy manual labor, but if it is not what I want to do, why should I have to do it? Because someone else gave me a label I don’t deserve?? What about the fact that I’m willing and wanting to work, to even simply wash dishes, makes me unqualified for the job because of the title “convicted felon”? That is not who I am, but the result of an single act that was done out of compassion, NOT malice. It does not define me, it is merely a subtext of the events that lead to the shaping of who I am.
It is a stone I must carry though, and one that gains more weight with each denial of employment I receive, for a label, not a definition.
Can I honestly say I am “free”, while I continue to be judged and oppressed by a system designed to keep me in thrall to it, so that it will continue to flourish? What sense does that make, and what part of such a system have the words “correction” and “rehabilitation”, if that is not TRULY their goal, nor the result thereof???
And here I sit… alone, in a “room of my own”, in many ways more free than I’ve been in years. And in many others, more imprisoned than I’ve ever been.

Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, Life

Back In the Swing of Things…

Hello World!  I Pray this post finds you all well, and in the best and brightest of Spirits!  (If I’ve ever personally written you a letter, that may seem familiar, but please don’t let it diminish the intent, nor the depth and seriousness of my saying so.  And if I haven’t, I start many letters similarly, and mean it no less here than there, though I am unable to personalize it thus said to the “world”!  LOL)

I believe I stated before, and to my watchers it was painfully obvious, I was ‘AFK’ for several years, but am now back, and getting back to what matters in my Life!  Namely, the Living thereof, and doing those things, and supporting those things that matter most, to me, to my Family, Friends, and Loved Ones.

Life’s trials left me out of touch.  Out of touch with those whom I care(d) most about, out of touch with my “true” self, unreachable, except by the most devout, and truest of Friends and Family.  It taught me a lot too.  About my self, about others, and about the U.S. we live in (NOT to be confused with the “world”, though we could honestly say “…our own little world“), the state I live in, and what these things mean to me.  My likes, dislikes, hopes, Prayers, even my Beliefs, though unquestioned, changed.  For the better in most cases.  My “views” have certainly changed.  As did my view.  I’ve come to a much greater appreciation of the Serenity Prayer, most often recited at substance abuse programs I don’t require.  It goes something like this:

“God, grant me the strength to accept those things I cannot change.  The courage to change those things I can.  And the Wisdom to know the difference.”

We are in a terrible state these days.  Largely, if not completely, of our own doing.  We allowed, by simply not participating, a man less qualified than any before him to become President… a position that is SUPPOSED to be reserved for someone who represents the ideals, and desires for change of the U.S. populous.  Do you feel fairly, equally, and/or honestly represented?  I’m not.

Our Mother Earth is weeping and trembling at every pour, for the great and horrific damage(s) we’ve done, and are continuing to do to Her!  She bore us, and nurtures us still!  But without drastic and immediate changes to our practices and habits of consumption, She will no longer be able to support us, and we will no longer have a planet to call home…  We’ll simply cease to be.  Are you secure in/about our future?  I’m not.

Overall, the acts of violent crime(s) have been decreasing over the past 20 years, and yet the media reports and shows us these things 4 times as much!  But we are not removed from the guilt of it, for we are tuned in, linked, “liked”, and “favorites” of each and every despicable display of the failings of ourselves, and the system(s) which are SUPPOSED to be making things “better”, “easier”, more livable, not less.  Are you okay, or worse, happy with this?  I’m not.

Families are on the fall, single parenting on the rise, and we are more Plugged in and Disconnected than we’ve ever been, through the advent of the very technology that professes to be bringing us together, while addicting you to their products/services, and keeping us further apart, and less able to connect than we -a Social species- have ever been!  Comforted?  Not me.

The “world” I left, is not the “world” I returned to, but I didn’t expect it to be.  I had hoped, that as iGen came to be a force in our society they would take the connection(s) provided them through the ever-changing tech boom and use it for the furthering, and bettering of themselves and mankind… it could happen.  Perhaps.  I’m not confident.  I remain hopeful.

It is time.  It is time for us to get over the “buzz” of the instant feedback, the “quick fix”, because these things have profited us NOTHING!  There is nothing glamorous, or worthy of our precious and fragile time upon this Earth about violence, and it only begets violence, we’ve been proving it for thousands of years.  It is PAST time for us to put our energy and efforts to our survival, TOGETHER, or we WILL NOT survive.  We cannot solve the problems we ALL face alone.  We cannot overcome the darkness that is surrounding us without the billions of points of light we ALL are, coming together, to outshine that darkness!  We can overcome the tide that is drawing ever near.  But not without each other.  Not without Family.  Not without Friends.  These last two are NOT replaceable.  They cannot be exchanged for a better model as our tech can.  They take time to grow, and time to heal, and time to make strong.

And we’re running out of time.