Karmic Takedown

“What goes around comes around.”

As a former student of philosophy and a current member of 12-step recovery groups, this slogan holds meaning for me. Its simplicity embodies the fundamental principle of Karma, the spiritual belief of cause and effect.  In the past month karma has helped explain the evolving outcome in the 2016 Presidential race.  Continue reading

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Ferment: Distilling Culture & Politics

fer·ment– verb

1. (of a substance) undergo fermentation.
“the drink had fermented, turning some of the juice into alcohol”
synonyms: undergo fermentation, brew;

2. incite or stir up (trouble or disorder).
“the politicians and warlords who are fermenting this chaos”
synonyms: cause, bring about, give rise to, generate, engender, spawn, instigate, provoke, incite, excite, stir up, whip up, foment

The past month has been wet, stormy, and unseasonably warm.  The lack of sunshine began eroding my well-being.  The political climate continued to heat up too, becoming a category 5 shit-storm, casting a dark cloud on my outlook for the future. I realized I wasn’t spending enough time in nature during my favorite season of the year doing the things that feed my spirit. Instead I kept reading more online and watching commentators discuss the fermenting disillusionment of the electorate. Continue reading

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A Book Is Not A Gun

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” — H. P. Lovecraft

A book is not a gun. The event that triggered this statement is still unfolding. Since Tuesday of this past week, the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by Charlotte, North Carolina police is still being investigated and cell phone videos recorded by Scott’s wife, Rayeiya, plus dash cam and officer body camera videos do not definitely prove that Scott was wielding a gun. His wife claimed that he wasn’t carrying a gun, but instead a book that he was reading while he waited for his son to be dropped off by the school bus. Police reported a book was not found on the scene, or in his car, and further allege that Scott did not follow commands to drop his gun. A book is not a gun.

Continue reading

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“I watch the ripples change their size
but never leave the stream
of warm impermanence
so the days float through my eyes” — David Bowie, Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

The summer is beginning to wind down and autumn is right around the corner. I often muse about the changing seasons this time of the year and reflect on my life, time-hopping from the past to the future, then back to today. Though it’s common to look back at the preceding year on New Year’s Eve or look ahead to the coming year the next day, I usually follow the school year calendar and my annual staycation. Some habits are hard to break. Continue reading

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Ode to Blue-Collar Working Class Heroes

“There’s room at the top they are telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill”
 —John Lennon, Working Class Hero

In July both the Republican and Democratic Presidential Conventions concluded. Each party, their supporters, speakers, and candidates have driven stakes, describing in detail— some more than others — their position on the issues, their plans for the future, and identified who their party represents, or not. The Republicans embraced fear, law and order, and promised to “Make America Great Again.” The Democrats expressed optimism for the future and reaffirmed that America is already great, in fact, in the words of Michelle Obama, “This right now is the greatest country on earth.” And as a people, we are “Stronger Together.”  Continue reading

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“By adapting and adjusting to randomness, you shape but do not control your endpoint.” ― Bob Deutsch

“Without the sleeping bag I’m just somebody up early in the morning, sitting under a tree. With the sleeping bag I’m nobody up early, sitting under a tree: a slight, but important difference in how I’ll be perceived.”  Craig Stone

I started writing this essay on July 4th, Independence Day, which began as a quiet morning that ended in fireworks. It wasn’t a random occurrence, but planned. What happened in between was a combination of the two, the interplay of intention and randomness. Lately, with all the random and planned violence, inequality and poverty in the world, it’s an unsettling and dangerous time, difficult to know how to prevent tragedy, how to be safe, and how to engage in the discourse and solutions. Continue reading

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A Grateful Daughter: A Father’s Day Tribute

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” — Jim Valvano

As my friends, family, work colleagues, and regular readers are already aware, I recently finished moving. I now have only one set of keys, and my material life resides in a single location for the exception of a dozen totes that a friend generously volunteered to store in her basement.  Moving seemed like a never-ending process and I’m grateful it’s over and I can stop writing and talking about it (I will, I promise).  I can now direct my energy to other things, which brings me to Father’s Day and the tragedy in Orlando at Pulse LGBTQ nightclub. You might ask, “How are these two subjects related?” Continue reading

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Another Moving Story II

“Home again; another journey ends. I’m home again and grateful. I sat at my desk, looked out my window on the world — or at least my neighborhood — and journaled. I immediately felt comforted by a familiar ritual as I reflected on the days that led to my arrival here.”

“Today I’ll unpack, find my bearings and my belongings. Everything will find its place again and everything will be okay. I’m home again.”  — Excerpts from Moving Story III, June, 2013 Continue reading

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Another Moving Story

“It’s just as hard to go back to a place you once left, as it is to leave it again.” ― Charlotte Eriksson

Now that I’ve created expectations I offer this disclaimer. This is not a moving story ― as in moved to tears or moved to laughter.  I’m simply mixing metaphors ― that’s what I do. On the contrary, this story is about packing boxes and totes to schlep across town to my new home, after sorting through the ephemera of my life, then shredding, saving, or throwing away the paper trail. Yet, as I’ve recently learned during this experience, both tears and laughter took me by surprise and took me places from the past. Like an archaeologist exploring a lost civilization, I discovered orphaned relics and forgotten memories. Continue reading

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Without Her: A Mother’s Day Lament

“The death of a mother is the first sorrow wept without her.” — Author unknown

On this Mother’s Day I want to express my gratitude. I’m lucky. My eyes first met my mother’s over 66 years ago on the day I was born. She was the first person I ever experienced in life, whose flesh touched mine, her smell familiar, whose breasts nourished me, and whose arms held me close to her heart. I’m sure I was comforted by the sound of her soft voice and steady heartbeat that I heard while still in her womb. Every year on my birthday I felt intimately close to her. We often shared tears, tears of gratitude and joy. This year was the last one we’ll ever share together. Mom died 10 days after my birthday. This is my first Mother’s Day without her. Continue reading

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