Sunday, June 6, 2010
The problem, however, is always economic. I have been on my own since I was sixteen years old, struggling to keep my head above water, to educate myself, to find work that was meaningful and worthwhile and still develop my talents and abilities that are challenging and certainly not economically easy: writing and acting. This is of course everyone's struggle who was not born with a silver spoon.
I have been reading about the famous Harvey Weinstein whose phenomenal success is legendary and was surprised he grew up in a coop in a New York City borough, not poor but certainly working class. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised since his drive to succeed is very aggressive and from what I can tell at times ruthless. We become desperate creatures when we wish to rise above the fray and leave our hard scrabble roots behind.
My life for the last 20 years has been teaching. Richard Seyd has said a few times in our class that we teach what we need to learn. I wanted to learn film, all aspects of it because in my heart of hearts I wanted to become a filmmaker. I am distantly related to Fellini so some of this desire is genetic, rooted in the Italian storyteller and commedia, yet ignored for generations by a working class family. I love movies, film actors and dreamed as a child of making and starring in movies. Now I find myself slowly integrating into that life. I ask myself is this all too little, too late? The film business is notorious in America for being geared to youth and perhaps rightfully so. It is a physically demanding occupation. I have to tell myself repeatedly "Better late than never." And it is.
I have a few years left before I retire completely although I have gone into a pre retirement phase which means less money, less work and more flexibility in my schedule for half the year so this is all good. My home has become a burden and I want to rid myself of it and the ties to the past life in a way that is respectful of the last 25 years, a way that honors the work I have done, the lives that I have affected and that have affected me. I am hopeful and excited about this relocation to the south because, truthfully,I am much happier down there. Everyone says it is so ugly, there are no trees, the air and traffic is horrible. All this is true. But beauty is where you find it and even though it is not nearly as pretty as where I am, it is where I belong. You teach what you need to learn and where can I learn about film except where the industry is? Every nerve and fiber in my body wants me there...but still it is sad to move on, leave behind an old life and find a new one. Leave behind the ornamental plum tree I planted in my backyard to honor my father. The Japanese maple that falls gracefully over the wise Buddha. The apple, fig, pear and lemon trees in the front yard. The stream that runs below on my quarter of an acre. The redwood. The ancient oak. How strong our dreams can be that they pull us away from such beauty. We teach what we need to know.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Carla's very public exposure of what it is like to die, on both her blog, in her film and on Facebook, gave me a gift that nothing and no one else has ever been able to give me. It has shown me it is not such a horrible, terrifying thing to leave our known consciousness and enter into another. It is not the worst thing that can happen, this thing we call death, even though it takes us away from the immeasurable gift of life. It has shown me that step by step if we stay aware, we can go in a way that ennobles ourselves and others.
Carla lived her life with passion, hope, kindness, honesty and an awareness of the moment by moment beauty that is with us all the time. And she showed me how to do it by simply being totally present the very last time I was lucky enough to spend an hour with her. She was so there ALWAYS for everyone she cared about even when it might have been detrimental to her well being. The day I visited her a few months ago she smiled at me with that deep and loving smile and said, "Don't worry. You have a generous heart. You will be fine." It meant a lot to me to hear her say that. I so wanted her approval and love. She gave it generously to a fallible, not always there human being because she knew I needed it. That was Carla.
Her sharing of her death in a very real and messy way, made a lot of people uncomfortable. It freaked a lot of people out. It made some feel very guilty for how they had abandoned her. It even made some people demand that I stop sharing news about her. But it also made some people take a good long look at their lives and the choices they have made. It made some folks write me loving letters of support and compassion.
I learned from Carla how to be a human being: vulnerable, messy, stupid, fucked up, wise, witty, risk taking and compassionate. I learned these things because she was all these things with me, at one time or another, and her being that way allowed me to be that way as well.
I do not have an incurable disease. I have a curable disease: fear. And now because of watching how she dealt with all of this I have a deeper, rock solid courage. Not a bombastic, in your face courage to stand up to injustice - I always had that. Now I have the courage to simply be and when I open my heart to others who are worth opening one's heart to (not everyone is there yet, are they?) I believe in my heart of hearts that those people will embrace me and I them. It has begun already.
It took me a long time to see how truly good people can be and it is because of those who loved Carla and those she loved that I genuinely believe in the inherent goodness of people. It is because of Carla's example that I can see beauty in this world. Despite all its decadence and craziness, all its perversions and meanness, all its falling short, it is a "wonderful world." Such a gift Carla Zilbersmith has given to everyone whose heart opened up to her and to whom she deeply touched. Such is the power of a soul in grace.
Good Bye Forever, Carla and Hello for always.....be at peace in your next life...for no one can extinguish you. No one ever will.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Carla and I were on and off again friends. Sometimes our creative energies blended perfectly and sometimes clashed. It didn't matter. I recall telling her I thought we would be friends til our dying days. I had no idea how quickly and how devastatingly that time would come. And now it is here. Dying days.
I have an elderly 89 year old mother who is also dying but she has had a decent run, albeit not a particularly happy or easy one. She, like Carla, is now housebound, rarely venturing outside the sanctity of her home. Why would she when the world can be so incredibly unforgiving to the disabled, the elderly, the ill?
I also have a 13 year old dog companion who was diagnosed 2.5 years ago with congestive heart failure and given hours to live. Some people would think I was crazy the way I fought to find him the best cardiologist, paid stiff prices to get him on medication and nursed him back to the living. Of course, I have no children so it makes a lot of sense in light of that. Luis is also dying now. He can not climb, run or play the way he once did and it is just a matter of time before his little brave spirit says bye bye, reluctantly I am sure.
Like Carla, Luis loves life. And like my mom, crippled with arthritic pain, he hangs on to it for...dear life.
Dear life. I don't think we recognize, most of us, til it is too late just how dear it is regardless of what befalls us. And that is why we cling to it, beyond all hope until the pain becomes so overwhelming that we decide, it is better to go gently into that good and long night. I think Carla made that choice recently. She decided that enough is enough. I hope I also have the wisdom to know when to let go, when to know that the universe is calling me home.
On Wednesday night at 7 PM at my college I am showing the documentary that will make Carla's journey and her battle with ALS much more known in the wide world. Perhaps the film will speed up the cure for an ugly disease that claimed my uncle Carmen's life as well. ALS grabs people, the young particularly, by the throat and wreaks its havoc on the muscles until no breath, no swallowing, no control is left. Carla recognizes the importance and futility of having control and that is why she has chosen to let go of life by her own choosing. She knows how to use humor fearlessly in order to push away the demons. It is something we can all learn from.
I have tried to learn from watching Carla's battle, her good nature and her integrity. I think because of her I am a better human being. And I don't say this lightly. I had significant flaws behind the mask of toughness I wore. Significant. Now I feel that it's okay to have flaws, to be vulnerable and in fact it is actually a very good thing to be human. If my life were endless and impenetrable, I would be a wall. And nothing could ever make it inside and behind the barrier. Because of Carla, and the harsh treatment of life in general over the last few years, I can grab at life like the hungry human I really am. I can go for it for however much time I have left.
And that's the real lesson here. Carla knows how much time she has. I think most of us are in a long state of denial about death and so we miss out on much in life we really want. We don't have the discipline, the passion and the awareness that says clearly, THIS IS IT, folks. It's not a dress rehearsal and there's nothing else like this ever again. Imagine the enormity of that.
So thank you beautiful and unique Carla for the gift your blog has been to a lot of us. Thanks for the shining example of the way to handle an incurable devastating illness. I hope I die from old age in my sleep. Who doesn't hope that? But if something hits me hard, some horrible thing waiting down the pike, I and many others have the memory of what it looks like to live and die in a state of grace.
I only hope I can come close to what Carla has provided: a role model of the Divine in the every day. Carla the butterfly, the Gerber daisy, the clown, the helium balloon....I will miss you, my fine fine friend. And like hundreds of others, I will always love you.
Encore. Bravo. Standing ovation.
Read her blog folks....
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Take a moment to look at us today like you never have before.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?NPD is a type of psychological personality disorder characterized primarily by grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy. Narcissism occurs in a spectrum of severity, but the pathologically narcissistic tend to be extremely self-absorbed, intolerant of others’ perspectives, insensitive to others’ needs and indifferent to the effect of their own egocentric behavior.
It is not uncommon for persons with this disorder to frequently compare themselves to the accomplished, well-known and well-to-do. They feel entitled to great praise, attention, and deferential treatment by others.
Those with NPD crave the limelight and are quick to abandon situations in which they are not the center of attention. Defects of empathy may cause narcissists to misperceive other people's speech and actions, causing them to believe that they are well-liked and respected despite a history of negative personal interactions.
Those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are often ambitious and capable, but are unable to cope with setbacks, disagreements or criticism. These emotional limitations, along with lack of empathy, make it difficult for such individuals to work well with others and to build a successful career (Kernberg 2003, 2004, APA 2000).
Diagnosis of Narcissistic PDConsiderable overlap between the characteristics of different personality disorders makes diagnosis of NPD a challenge. Grandiosity, lack of empathy and exploitative interpersonal relations are not unique to NPD, nor is the need to be seen as special or unique. The differential diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is typically made based on the absence of certain behaviors. Borderline Personality Disorder has several conspicuous similarities, but unlike NPD, is characterized by self-injury, whereas narcissists are rarely physically self-injurious. The need for constant attention is also found in Histrionic Personality Disorder, but HPD and BPD are both relationship oriented, whereas NPD is characterized by the avoidance of intimacy. Psychopathy, or Antisocial Personality Disorder is differentiated from NPD by the psychopaths' willingness to use physical violence whereas narcissists rarely commit crimes Kernberg 2003, Vaknin 2007).
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), a patient must exhibit five or more of the following traits in order to be diagnosed with NPD:
Saturday, March 20, 2010
So here on the first day of Spring in 2010, I get to size myself up and ask if it has been worth it so far....after all I have no children, the mark in an Italian family of value and worth as a woman. I forfeited that reality for both emotional and physical reasons and because as they say "it was not in the cards". Actually looking back now the choices I made were all pretty much made when I was about 8 years old.
The blog below this one pretty much explains it all: I rejected 100% the path my mother had laid out for me. At least the surface path. Because I think underneath that surface path, the roles decent women should take, which in her opinion were clear in the 1950's and 1960's, she watched and waited and, dare I say, hoped for my rebellion. I think I was her under the surface path where she had so long wanted to walk but could not because of fear and the oppressive nature of being a woman back then and of course, my father, the eternal chauvinist.
I never received much encouragement to be who I wanted to be. I risked the ire and rejection of my mother and my older sister if I did and yet here I am today: a filmmaker, an actor, a writer, a college professor, owner of a beautiful home, with great and remarkable friends, foster mother to children in Bolivia and Cambodia, and embarking on what is most likely my most intimate and longest relationship to date with a man I have known for 25 years.....all signs of health and growth and commitment.
I wonder about the other women in my family from later generations, nieces most especially. I have 4 nieces, 3 of them who ended up having children and one who seems lonely and a little lost although she still has time to find herself. I wonder how strong their mother's voices were in their heads and if they had the courage to stand up to that figure and speak the truth: To say with deep conviction: I am not you, mother. I am independent of you, both emotionally, financially, spiritually and every other way and this is my life, not yours. Of course, maybe you do not need to say that unless she refuses to let you go. Then I suppose a dramatic scene is called for if only to act as a breaking off climactic moment. But doing it in your own mind and heart is pretty much the only way you ever do claim your own life and "grow up", isn't it?
It is the first day of spring. I am truly blessed to have this life, to own this life I have created out of dreams and whispers. It's also the first day of the rest of YOUR lives, nieces. As an act of faith in yourselves, you might choose one thing you are afraid to do...write that children's story, draw that picture, make that movie, dance that dance...you only have so many springs and yours are winding down...so get to it...don't waste another moment...find the time, make the time. Reclaim yourselves.
When mom is gone either metaphorically or for real, make sure you are able to locate that under the surface path because, truthfully, it's the one she really wants you to walk anyway, despite her fears and protests. Trust me, I know.
Today is the first day.......
So here is my Day One...very revealing....you ought to try it
I learned I was funny
(Out of control at times) I choose this
Very very brave
Flying down Blueberry Hill a hundred miles an hour on my winged steed, a red Schwinn footbrake bike like mad dogs were nipping at my feet. Hollering to my friends Joey and Jason ten feet behind me that they were girls and realizing I was a girl and not a boy. Feeling the loss of that as they laughed at me and said, "Who you calling girls, girl?" And wanting to be a boy, wanting very much the physical limitations lifted so I could fly over the hill and into a world of endless possibilities in which no one could say, "No you can not be that, do that, want that, know that because you are the wrong sex." Coming home sweaty, knees bleeding, exhilarated and proud that I beat my buddies once again on my mad quest for adventure in mundane places and seeing my mother standing, arms crossed at the front door, looking disappointed in me because I was not frilly and clean and unblemished. Hearing her ask me for the hundredth time, "Why are you so out of control?" And shutting down my listening as I rushed past her shouts and into the kitchen where I would stand in front of the fridge looking for fudgsicles to feed my lust for ice cold chocolate which was the only thing that could or would soothe me from her looks of disgust and disdain and her realization I was never going to be like her other daughter, the princess, the cheerleader, the winner and stuffing my feelings along with the fudgsicles and my own disappointment in myself down my throat, worrying I was not good enough to be as good as I actually was in math and other male subjects and realizing I might end up like all the women in my family with kids or worse: without themselves.
Friday, March 19, 2010
The Broken Society
The United States is becoming a broken society. The public has contempt for the political class. Public debt is piling up at an astonishing and unrelenting pace. Middle-class wages have lagged. Unemployment will remain high. It will take years to fully recover from the financial crisis.
This confluence of crises has produced a surge in vehement libertarianism. People are disgusted with Washington. The Tea Party movement rallies against big government, big business and the ruling class in general. Even beyond their ranks, there is a corrosive cynicism about public action.
But there is another way to respond to these problems that is more communitarian and less libertarian. This alternative has been explored most fully by the British writer Phillip Blond.
He grew up in working-class Liverpool. “I lived in the city when it was being eviscerated,” he told The London.. “It was a beautiful city, one of the few in Britain to have a genuinely indigenous culture. And that whole way of life was destroyed.” Industry died. was centralized in
Blond argues that over the past generation we have witnessed two revolutions, both of which liberated the individual and decimated local associations. First, there was a revolution from the left: a cultural revolution that displaced traditional manners and mores; a legal revolution that emphasized individual rights instead of responsibilities; a welfare revolution in which social workers displaced mutual aid societies and self-organized associations.
Then there was the market revolution from the right. In the age of deregulation, giant chains like Wal-Mart decimated local shop owners. Global financial markets took over small banks, so that the local knowledge of a town banker was replaced by a manic herd of traders thousands of miles away. Unions withered.
The two revolutions talked the language of individual freedom, but they perversely ended up creating greater centralization. They created an atomized, segmented society and then the state had to come in and attempt to repair the damage.
The free-market revolution didn’t create the pluralistic decentralized economy. It created a centralized financial monoculture, which requires a gigantic government to audit its activities. The effort to liberate individuals from repressive social constraints didn’t produce a flowering of freedom; it weakened families, increased out-of-wedlock births and turned neighbors into strangers. In Britain, you get a country with rising crime, and, as a result, four million security cameras.
In a much-discussed essay in Prospect magazine in February 2009, Blond wrote, “Look at the society we have become: We are a bi-polar nation, a bureaucratic, centralised state that presides dysfunctionally over an increasingly fragmented, disempowered and isolated citizenry.” In a separate essay, he added, “The welfare state and the market state are now two defunct and mutually supporting failures.”
The task today, he argued in a recent speech, is to revive the sector that the two revolutions have mutually decimated: “The project of radical transformative conservatism is nothing less than the restoration and creation of human association, and the elevation of society and the people who form it to their proper central and sovereign station.”
Economically, Blond lays out three big areas of reform: remoralize the market, relocalize the economy and recapitalize the poor. This would mean passing zoning legislation to give small shopkeepers a shot against the retail giants, reducing barriers to entry for new businesses, revitalizing local banks, encouraging employee share ownership, setting up local capital funds so community associations could invest in local enterprises, rewarding savings, cutting regulations that socialize risk and privatize profit, and reducing the subsidies that flow from big government and big business.
To create a civil state, Blond would reduce the power of senior government officials and widen the discretion of front-line civil servants, the people actually working in neighborhoods. He would decentralize power, giving more budget authority to the smallest units of government. He would funnel more services through charities. He would increase investments in infrastructure, so that more places could be vibrant economic hubs. He would rebuild the “village college” so that universities would be more intertwined with the towns around them.
Essentially, Blond would take a political culture that has been oriented around individual choice and replace it with one oriented around relationships and associations. His ideas have made a big splash in Britain over the past year. His think tank, ResPublica, is influential with the Georgetown’s Tocqueville Forum Friday and at Villanova on Monday.. His book, “Red Tory,” is coming out soon. He’s on a small U.S. speaking tour, appearing at
Britain is always going to be more hospitable to communitarian politics than the more libertarian U.S. But people are social creatures here, too. American society has been atomized by the twin revolutions here, too. This country, too, needs a fresh political wind. America, too, is suffering a devastating crisis of authority. The only way to restore trust is from the local community on up.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
when two violins are placed in a room
if a chord on one violin is struck
the other violin will sound the note
if this is your definition of hope
this is for you
the ones who know how powerful we are
who know we can sound the music in the people around us
simply by playing our own strings
for the ones who sing life into broken wings
open their chests and offer their breath
as wind on a still day when nothing seems to be moving
spare those intent on proving god is dead
for you when your fingers are red
from clutching your heart
so it will beat faster
for the time you mastered the art of giving yourself for the sake of someone else
for the ones who have felt what it is to crush the lies
and lift truth so high the steeples bow to the sky
this is for you
this is also for the people who wake early to watch flowers bloom
who notice the moon at noon on a day when the world
has slapped them in the face with its lack of light
for the mothers who feed their children first
and thirst for nothing when they're full
this is for women
and for the men who taught me only women bleed with the moon
but there are men who cry when women bleed
men who bleed from women's wounds
and this is for that moon
on the nights she seems hung by a noose
for the people who cut her loose
and for the people still waiting for the rope to burn
about to learn they have scissors in their hands
this is for the man who showed me
the hardest thing about having nothing
is having nothing to give
who said the only reason to live is to give ourselves away
so this is for the day we'll quit or jobs and work for something real
we'll feel for sunshine in the shadows
look for sunrays in the shade
this is for the people who rattle the cage that slave wage built
and for the ones who didn't know the filth until tonight
but right now are beginning songs that sound something like
people turning their porch lights on and calling the homeless back home
this is for all the shit we own
and for the day we'll learn how much we have
when we learn to give that shit away
this is for doubt becoming faith
for falling from grace and climbing back up
for trading our silver platters for something that matters
like the gold that shines from our hands when we hold each other
this is for the grandmother who walked a thousand miles on broken glass
to find that single patch of grass to plant a family tree
where the fruit would grow to laugh
for the ones who know the math of war
has always been subtraction
so they live like an action of addition
for you when you give like every star is wishing on you
and for the people still wishing on stars
this is for you too
this is for the times you went through hell so someone else wouldn't have to
for the time you taught a 14 year old girl she was powerful
this is for the time you taught a 14 year old boy he was beautiful
for the radical anarchist asking a republican to dance
cause what's the chance of everyone moving from right to left
if the only moves they see are NBC and CBS
this is for the no becoming yes
for scars becoming breath
for saying i love you to people who will never say it to us
for scraping away the rust and remembering how to shine
for the dime you gave away when you didn't have a penny
for the many beautiful things we do
for every song we've ever sung
for refusing to believe in miracles
because miracles are the impossible coming true
and everything is possible
this is for the possibility that guides us
and for the possibilities still waiting to sing
and spread their wings inside us
cause tonight saturn is on his knees
proposing with all of his ten thousand rings
that whatever song we've been singing we sing even more
the world needs us right now more than it ever has before
pull all your strings
play every chord
if you're writing letters to the prisoners
start tearing down the bars
if you're handing our flashlights in the dark
start handing our stars
never go a second hushing the percussion of your heart
play like you know the clouds have left too many people cold and broken
and you're their last chance for sun
play like there's no time for hoping brighter days will come
play like the apocalypse is only 4...3...2
but you have a drum in your chest that could save us
you have a song like a breath that could raise us
like the sunrise into a dark sky that cries to be blue
play like you know we won't survive if you don't
but we will if you do
play like saturn is on his knees
proposing with all of his ten thousand rings
that we give every single breath
this is for saying-yes
this is for saying-yes
Friday, February 12, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
I spend a lot of time in my outdoor gardens growing things: fruit trees, vegetables, flowering plants, ornamental plum trees, Japanese maples, rhododendrums. Hundreds of plants each with their own lifecyle, passing in and out of the seasons. It's the way I was raised; my mother was a great outdoor gardener, both flowers and vegetables and even now at 89 years old, she seems to tend to her beautiful plants in her indoor window boxes as if her very life depended on it. And I suppose in a way, it does. Her gardening has sustained her through the majority of her very painful and challenged life. There is something profoundly peaceful and Zen-like about watching something grow. I never had children although I feel like I was part of the raising of my niece and nephew since I lived for a short time with my sister and her husband when Maria and Russ were babies. And I am connected to them despite whatever obstacles are put in our way. The connection is deep and mysterious. That's the way it is when you nurture anything I suppose. My little dog Luis has the same deep tug on me. I have had him since he was a tiny pup and now 12 years later in his waning years, the deep and profound love I have for him is more powerful than ever. He is my wunderdog. Hell, I named a screenplay after him. What we love lives on both within us and outside of us perhaps for eternity. Even when people and animals you love die, they are still in another way alive, in memory and thought. Just because the Japanese maple looks dead in winter does not mean it is. It comes back in its newest incarnation, more beautiful and stronger each time it makes it through the winter. And wherever there is a spot where once stood growth that is no longer there, I can vividly recall its shape and substance as if it still were. In my backyard garden I have a very large and very ancient oak tree. A few years back an unscrupulous tree guy told me I should take it down because it was dying. "You could put a patio there," he said matter of factly. And I thought about what he said because in truth the tree is dying. Each year there are less and less leaves and more and more of its branches fall to the ground. If I were practical, it would come down. Something about its demise, however, is quite lovely. I think it will tell me in no uncertain terms when it is time to go. It hasn't told me yet so my belief is it should be left in its dignity to live its remaining years any way it sees fit. It still provides shade and beauty. What it lacks in youthful vitality, it makes up for in wisdom. I look forward to the spring this year. It may be the last year I spend in this house. Whoever knows about these things really? So in April, I will begin the cycle again. Luis will sit by me in the garden while I dig up the soil and plant vegetables. He will lick at his paws, roll around in the grasses and chase squirrels, those dastardly critters. And I will say prayers and incantations to the flowering plum and the azalea and the old oak so they will stay just a little longer and fill the world with beauty. I can not get over what a remarkable gift this world is. Even the bees know that which is why they are sticking around when the human species works so hard to destroy them. You stick around too. No matter how bad it gets. Stick it out. It is so worth it.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Watching Pink last night on The Grammy's took my breath away. Not only do I envy the powerful strength in her arms and legs but her lack of any apparent fear or nervousness was simply astonishing. Granted, I admire and envy singers. They have such a readily accessible performance tool...they open their mouths, breathe in air and the resultant expulsion of sound can be at times sublime. But Pink's twirling in mid air, suspended by a thin sheet of cloth, belting out the lyrics to Sparkle was not just a great piece of theatre. It was something else: a death defying act that would not admit any possibility of failure. She simply would not have it. What a tribute to life itself as well as the human body in its prime. I wonder why every moment of every single life can not be exactly like this. Why can't we recognize the power in the simplest thing? I know dying people often have this appreciation of nearly everything they experience, everything that comes into their range, animate or inanimate. Well, it makes perfect sense, doesn't it? They KNOW they are about to lose it all ... they know fairly accurately when they will cease to exist. Their senses become heightened by that recognition. Quite often they see life moment to moment. But the rest of us...we aren't so certain. We know somewhere in the back of our minds we will die but because we don't know quite when, we fool ourselves for a great portion of our lives into thinking somehow it is endless. But in truth, neither you nor I have the slightest clue when it will be snatched away. When something inside goes haywire or something outside plows us down unexpectedly and the end comes, will we swing from a sheet, dripping wet, saying to hell with fear? Will we risk everything for the moment? Will we dangle upside down 25 feet off the ground, belting out the lyrics to a song we wrote? Or holler the name of the person we most love? Or laugh so hard and long that our last breath will freeze a smile on our face? Will we finally seize the moment and render it sublime? Imagine if everyone one of us every single day made every moment like Pink's moment. We would all sparkle into eternity.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
What does this have to do with our currently dismal state of the Union?
I think sometimes when I watch Barack that he is "acting" presidential, balanced, intelligent but I wonder what Barack the human being really wants to say and do and I wonder if he will have the courage it will take to push back and push hard. To expose himself up there on the world stage. To cut to the chase and get the job done. And I wonder the same thing about me as well.
A work-in-progress. Let's not bring the curtain down too soon.
Let's start with the honey bees. Did you know they are disappearing? They are simply dying in the hive or fleeing from the hive. Do the bees know something we are just beginning to sense? The sad fact is that if the bees go, it's not long before we will too. Remember pollination? No bees, no food...no life.
So why did we allow this to happen? Better yet what did we do to stop it from happening?
I got this in an email and it does say what we all now know (from John Nichols):
gave us the phrase "these are the times that try men's souls" to describe moments like this. With the 's decision in the case of Citizens United v. FEC to strike down the barriers to corporate campaigning, we are being asked to give up what remains of our democracy and accept that the United States will now be an advertocracy --where our elections and our governing processes are fully defined by corporate spin and spending.
It's a nightmare scenario, truly a "try men's soul" moment. And in traveling the country in recent days, speaking at public events and doing dozens of broadcast interviews, I have heard the despair. Is there any hope for democracy?
I don't have the answer to this obviously but I know there is a solution. I just don't know if "we the people" are willing and/or able to find the solution and then act upon it. Frankly it scares the crap out of me.
And I know that the disappearance of the bees is tied into the corporations somehow. Pesticides, pollutants...someone is profiting greatly from the business of death, aren't they?