I have come to believe that people pray to God not because One exists, but because our Ego does. I believe Prayer works because it takes our most naturally destructive energies (intention, will, hope, judgement, etc.) and channels them outward, rather than back toward ourselves where they do the most damage.
As usual, I am having trouble with the fact that Donald Trump’s base of support would eat a shit sandwich if he said it was a big brown chicken nugget.
As Agent Orange spitballs ideas such as paying people who don’t have sick leave, massive financial stimulus packages, and other socialistic methods to help patch the smoldering wreck that was his ‘beautiful stock market value’, I can’t help but wonder why no Republicans are screaming about Trump’s sudden socialist shift. I mean, this is obviously going to taint the free market.
Just to be clear, right now the biggest difference between Bernie’s version of socialism and Trump’s is that Bernie’s would actually be part of a cohesive plan, and not part of some knee-jerk, radioactive act of desperation.
In the world of material worship, socialism is an old testament god that may only be summoned in the event of an apocalyptic event. Specifically one that threatens the wealthy, as well as us lowly serfs.
Sitting on my summer deck
Jerry plays, hot in the sun
I reach out with myself
to commune with nature
The very same one
I tamed with power tools
irony hangs thick on the air
While Congress wrings it’s hands over Bill Barr, here’s an idea:
Why doesn’t every person currently running for President (regardless of party) make sure to make the following pledge in every speech, “My name is Blah Blah Blah, I’m running for President of the United States and I refuse to accept help from a foreign power to get elected to be your President!”
At some point, what will be most notable and newsworthy will be the candidates who don’t make that promise. And it doesn’t take an Act of Congress!
the edge of the abyss
is where we dance
singing is prohibited
without the scream
backwards to front
to complete the story tell
kept inside of empty ears
laughter comes so final
accidental as a shiver
the signs point to home
a valley full of tears
I spied the keyhole tonight
the signpost planted deep
No Trespassing —
The shadow reaches back
more dire for what it hides.
What it says of the soul
I was just texting with a friend who had just come back from a house party, and part of his comments were that he didn’t feel like he fit in with that particular group of people. My initial response was, “I feel like that at every party.” Which isn’t entirely true, but it sometimes feels like it. In fact, for about 95% of my life, I’ve felt like I’ve only had about 5% in common with any person in the room.
For myself, I feel as though that happens to me when I am acutely aware of my-self. You know, that part that tells me that J am actually separate from others. There’s something about those feelings of isolation, or separation that seem to fuel the egos growth, solidifying the belief that we are unique and different from others.
Of course, none of that is actually true. The more I lose myself in any situation, whether some music or even just a really good conversation, the less I am thinking about myself. I don’t think about whether I’m hungry or not, or if I’m bored, or even if I am being self-conscious about the clothes I’m wearing. Instead, I am engrossed in the moment, in the now. I am present.
Self-talk, that chattering monkey in your head, necessarily requires you to pause your attention to the current moment, and asks of you to step slightly outside of it to gain perspective. While this view is only a subtle difference, it’s more than enough to stop you from being fully present.
When we aren’t present in our own life, we miss the magic of the moment. And by missing that we begin to separate from others, just a little bit. We begin to see the differences between ourselves and others. And when we do that, we begin to make judgements, even the most well-meaning of which encourage us to compare and separate again. And each time it needs just a little bit more, inch by inch, stretching on for miles.
And we find that, no matter the teacher, the message is the same. “Judge not, lest ye be judged”, is nothing more than a statement of cause and effect, one that we can expect to happen if we allow ourselves to step back in order to observe the differences between ourselves and others. That in itself is neither a good nor a bad thing. What it is though, is simply the statement of a natural law that we can count on as surely as gravity pulls us back to earth.
It is a mile built on inches.
Because, once we do, we have begun to lead ourselves into the hell of no longer truly being on the same plane as others around us. Each judgement one more small wedge that we use, to split ourselves off of the larger tree of society.
When I am sitting in a party and begin to think, “I’m not sure I agree with that lady’s politics”, or whatever other differentiation I might toss to my mind for fodder and fun, is the moment that I set that this separation in motion.
And only we can do it to ourselves. I am the only person actually capable of deciding whether or not to put chasms of thought between myself and the person sitting right next to me.
I was listening and laughing to David Sedaris’s Santaland Diaries near the end of this writing, and during a discussion about forced enthusiasm and fake authenticity, David uttered such a profound line that I stopped dead. It summed up everything I was saying about the cause and effect nature of self-judgement that dooms then dooms us as individuals. And it’s that line I will end with:
“All I do is lie, and that has made me immune to compliments.”
I saw Bohemian Rhapsody recently with some friends, and I loved it. I’m also old enough to have been around for the first time around. Long before it seemed necessary to immortalize it on the big screen as its own story.
Soon after I saw it, I found myself listening to an interview with Rami Malek as he discussed what it was like to attempt to portray Freddy Mercury, and it got me thinking. Imagine the process someone has to go through when they try to portray a primarily contemporary musical idol to their original audience, as well as a newer world. More than that, someone who was such an absolutely massive personality. I mean, Freddy Mercury was, if nothing else, a man with a huge presence in recent musical history. A personality that embodies, and maybe even defines the title of “lead singer in a rock and roll band”.
And, during this interview, Malek, begins to describe how to emulate a man who, when he was on stage, gave 120% at all times…
I stopped right there.
Ok, at so first my pedantic nature takes over and I think, “Ugh. I hate that crap. Per Cent. Per 100! If we are giving something our all, that all would be 100% of what we have to give, right?! I hate this crap. It’s just over-the-top Tony Robbins motivational blargspeak, and it makes my teeth itch. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought about why some people make us feel as though they can give beyond what we think they are capable of giving. Therefore, when they give it their all, we see that it’s in excess of what we expected to see from someone like that. And we label it as them having given 120%.
But, this is about art. My belief is that art is really spirit. Or, more specifically art comes out of the gaps in our spirit. It reaches itself out to, seeking the same in others. And art is the language they speak.
Art is spirituality manifested in some form that pleases/stimulates/connects with other people’s spirits, and it communicates entirely on its own plane. It comes into being when its creator creates it, or names it, or loves it, or even passionately hates it. Sculpture and music, painting or stagecraft, subway platforms or museum niches, art exists because we’re human. In the darkest of places, art is a blazing torch. Even in the mundane, art is the eyebrows* we put on that spreadsheet of dry numbers we give to our boss.
But what about the artist who doesn’t have cracks, or even gaps in their shell? What about those who are almost raw spirit under a thin human veneer, coming face to face with the world for the first time. They don’t create when they make their art, they become it. As they perform their art, they create an energy around them that is its own, higher form of art. This form we call ‘love’.
I don’t think artists like Freddy Mercury are capable of giving 20% more than everyone else. I think they are somehow able to transmit the love they helped create when their untethered spirit is finally allowed to fluently speak its native tongue. That’s what we call that ‘art’.
And the best we’ve come up with to describe this phenomenon is, ‘he gave 120%’?! No. No. No. We’re going to need to get an artist on this right away and change that.
People with chronic anxiety, huddle up! It’s time to give yourself that ‘pep talk’ that only you can give to yourself…
“Get out there Tiger! Don’t worry, today’s going to be boring! Everything going to go as planned, finally. And, for once there won’t be any nasty surprises!”
“No ones going to scream about something in your ear, or yell at their kids when you happen to be close enough to get the ‘shock’ from it. Better yet, I’ll bet you no one is going to yell near you at all!”
“Today you’re not going to have to worry about your boss. You’re won’t need to get clarification from them when they give you vague instructions about some incredibly sensitive matter that they won’t offer you any help with, never mind answer your questions. Instead, everything will make sense, and every angle will be covered beforehand. Doubt is a thing of the past!”
“Today’s the day that your family, and friends won’t ask how you’re feeling, nor will they even have to. You won’t have to deal with that moment when the conversation awkwardly dies, because you don’t have the answer they’re hoping for. Today no one is going to ask you at all, and all of the conversations will be fine.”
“Today will also be the day that your heart rate will finally respond to those breathing exercises everyone has been showing you for years. You know the ones. You’ve tried them a million times, but they only seem to work on normal people. Not today, my friend!”
“And best of all, today you won’t need those rescue meds either. Which means, you won’t need to worry about feeling crappy for days afterwards because of all the side effects.”
“Today is your day! Enjoy, or not. It’s totally up to you! Do whatever you want to today.
And don’t worry, there’s no reason to second guess any of this. It’s all good!”
So, after listening to the last half of Susan Collins speech, a few things occurred to me that I would love to ask, or point out to the Senator.
When Ms Collins was listing all of the doubts that were never satisfied for her in this vetting, with questions like, “Why didn’t anyone step forward to say ‘I was at that party’?”, it occurred to me that this was one of the easiest questions to answer... No one stepped forward to say any of those things because the FBI wasn’t allowed to look into the scores of affidavits that citizens had to submit to the news media because no one in our government (Senate, FBI, White House, etc.) would take their call. Duh!
Which reminds me, if you’re worried voter confidence in the judiciary, wouldn’t it be better to appear thorough and non-partisan by waiting until after the election so that the voters can have their say? Plus that would give the FBI more time to run down those affidavits.
Your speech was nice, and contained inspiring words and all, but I have another question: Why didn’t you lecture the Senate and voters about your concerns over the partisan divide in America when Mitch McConnell decided to block the appointment of Merrick Garland by President Obama?
As for Mitch McConnel… He’s a coward who hides behind women when he want to screw over their gender as a whole. He’s afraid of the voters that he screwed when he blocked Obama’s SCOTUS pick. And he did so in a way that would absolutely preclude any sort of vote being called between now and November.
P. S. I’d also like to see more people in the Senate who aren’t actually older than the average human life expectancy was when they were first elected.