Saturday, December 26, 2020

Rise or Fall?

I think that every nation starts to devolve and fall apart into explosion and ruin after enough time passes. Maybe it's human nature. Maybe the US has been riding the afterglow of its infant idealism and now its starting to turn on itself and crumble, as every great society has done throughout history, only to reform as something else, over and over again. Every more ancient country has endured ebbs of civilizations, free thought and intellect, only to be overrun with tyranny, back and forth, over and over. Many are more humble and less loud-mouthed now than the USA. And that's probably why. Human nature being what it's historically proven itself to be, are we really expecting America to act differently? Please.

Maybe it's the beginning of the end of American Democracy and a new era of something else...something more violent, closed minded, backwards. Perhaps not. Perhaps opposite. I don't know. And it might be a long, drawn out end, but an end seems inevitable.

In the long run, the human story has always been a tumultuous, wrenching and often miserable one. We can't help warring and fighting over the right to institute our religious beliefs, our rules, our desires upon the lives of others and society as a whole. Then people grow weary of being oppressed, rise up, and change things. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.

It seems like, until we can learn to truly live and let live (not simply tolerate temporarily until we feel it's permissible to be tyrannical again), unless we can truly do this, the same old tumult and misery of human history is unavoidable. We have short memories for lessons learned. We're like twenty-year-olds who think they know everything, but what do we truly understand as we age? Only that we really don't know much at all. Humility is wisdom. Unlike any other species, humans have egos, and especially in America today, our egos are our Achilles heels. They drive us to fear, greed, apathy and war, over and over again. America is young. We're due some more growing pains. I just pray we make it past this self-destructive phase and learn to control our egos and reinvent ourselves well.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

With a Heavy Heart

Went to Metuchen to get a package I'd had delivered to little sister's convent today. I brought the nuns hot cocoa from Starbucks and dropped it off out front. Sister came out and we sat on the porch with our masks on for a little bit and just talked. I told her how much I missed her. I told her how heavy this life and human beings are weighing on my heart these days and how unbearably sad I've been feeling. I know I'm not the only one. I told her I miss her. I am tired of being alone, but it's the sacrifice worth making right now to do what's right. It just hurts. The visit was brief and chilly, but at least I got to see her eyes. I love her so much.
I'd planned to go pick up my groceries curbside after that, but when I went to start my car, the check oil/engine light came on. So a detour to Valvoline later, I finally got my food and headed the long way home, thankful that for the moment, I can cover the costs of an oil change and some groceries. I talked to God the whole drive home. In fact, I talked to Jesus...a name I've not dropped much in a few decades. I don't know why, but talking to him felt comforting, so I went with it.
This world is in a state. I feel the suffering all around me, and I am constantly crying. "Christians" of many a denomination have warped the life of Jesus into a greed-filled, fear-based, prideful power trip that gets twisted into violence and ignorance and spite. People are claiming to follow Christ or love God, they speak these names constantly and tout "personal relationships" with them...but they cannot let go of their greed, their malice and anger, their prejudice, feeling threatened by everyone and everything that doesn't agree with them. These people must infuriate whoever God really is. Humans...we're so very, very far off the mark.
But some of us are trying. We're trying just to care, about each other, about the whole world. We're trying to feel empathy and wishing to do good, regardless of what religion you might or might not be...even while every day is a struggle just to survive, feeling invisible to the wealthy, the prideful, the arrogant humans of this world who live in a state of desperate greed that creates immeasurable suffering to others. Those who suffer know what suffering feels like, and so it breeds empathy. Empathy...a missing vital ingredient in our culture.
Those who forego compassion for rage and power, I expect, will have much, MUCH to answer for.
It kills me, this constant question I have, what can I do with my life that's good? I so often feel like I spend all my time and energy just trying to survive. And as much as I want to live a life of serving and loving others, bringing hope, comfort, food, shelter, peace to others...all I seem to have the time to do is scrape together a living over the long hours, then start again the next day. When I talk to God I say, there has to be more I'm supposed to do...but HOW? How do I help the world in any significant way beyond writing a little song hardly anyone hears or singing something that doesn't put food in the mouths of others, doesn't create opportunity for those who don't have any? What book or poem can I write that will do anything real or impactful enough to make ANY kind of difference? I don't have the resources or the means to do anything else, but what I can do seems to make little difference to those who really, truly need it most desperately.
What am I supposed to do with my life? Not just what do I WANT to do, or what do I love to do. What am I MEANT to do for this world? And how do I get there?
All of these questions just keep erupting from my aching heart. There's too much pain around me, and yet I fear there is much more to come. Humans don't seem to change unless their guts are ripped to shreds and they are brought to their knees. I hate that that's the case, but we know it is. Humans are so very often fools.
Oh, man. What a mess we're in. What can I truly, meaningfully do? I hope God helps me understand that soon. Please, let me understand it soon.

Friday, December 11, 2020

What We Carry

It really dawns on me more and more sadly that I was brought up in an extended family full of deeply conceited, judgmental and snobby people. It was the recipe for misery and it was soul crushing. 

My family's conceit hasn't been earned. It had no real justification. But everything was centered around appearances over all else. I realize that's why certain aunts and uncles looked down on my siblings and myself. So much about us flew in the face of their narcissistic delusions. I saw a lot of it for what it was even as a child, but that didn't make it easier to survive. 

You had to live in the right house, drive the right car, own the right things, wear the right clothes, have the right looking body, have the right jobs, follow the right trends.... and generally behave like life was built on high school popularity parameters. If you were a waitress,  a service person,  if you dressed or acted outside the norm, chose to live small, alternatively, simply, non materialistically or just plain looked different.... something was wrong with you or you weren't good enough. Therefore,  living in a run down hell of a home like I did, wearing crappy clothes, being without parents,  the feelings of shame and inadequacy were unspoken...but constant. My brother and sister and I just didn't fit in.  We were an ugly blemish.  We shouldn't have existed, in some of their minds, but there we were... the family scandal. We felt it. It shaped us.

I think my family's behavior was a lot of overcompensation. A lot of them were people who didn't evolve or accomplish anything real with their lives and they were deeply screwed up, so all they had was an eternally aesthetic and materialistic way to feel better about themselves. It's pitiable.  But it did a lot if damage. 

A lot of them are very much the same, btw.

I told the truth, I stood up to them when I had to, I left their toxicity in the dust geographically. And yet, I spent many many years feeling like I had to live life in a way that proved my worth to them, even after I knew they were a mess and never deserved that power over me. It was programmed into my neurology to accomplish big enough things to try and make them accept me. Even though I moved away,  and despite my deliberate rebellions, I still partly avoided living my life on my own terms, according to my own preferences and inclinations, because a part of myself still remained back in Pennsylvania, subconsciously caring about who would look down on me for, say, wanting to live off grid, or in a tiny home. Wanting to live cheaply. Shunning the vapid, narcissistic vanity of my home culture. Working a non impressive sounding job. I mean, being raised in a home and coming from parental circumstances that brought constant shame to the family image really weighed down on my sense of self worth. I was still trying to prove my value....decades later.  

I still wrestle with these feelings, though now I recognize them. Not everyone I'm related to is like the above, but a majority of the people I spent my most consequential years with were. So many people are like them, because we live in a brutal culture. It expects more of us than we can really shoulder,  it demands we take on more than we may ever want. And it trickles down from there,  into the veins of our towns,  our families. It destroys people and it trains us to destroy the true happiness of our own in the name of pretending you've got it all together, with the proper aesthetics check marked for everyone around you to see. The thing is, I don't know about you, but I'm tired of it. I'm just plain tired...period.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Descending into Madness

A plee to my conservative friends leaving the general public for things like Parler.

I've seen the pro-raping and shooting-people-you-disagree-with messages out there in the right wing world, calling for re-voting an entire election until they like the outcome. 

And here's the thing. If our conservative brethren of a more sound mind think, for even a moment, that they can temper that rampant disease within their own demographic and overcome it by themselves....they are in for a terrifying awakening. Psychopaths and sociopaths filled with rage, delusional entitlement, hatred and fearful bigotry do NOT listen to reason. They just kill, they just bully, they strong arm with violent force...and they would take out a rational conservative just as fast as a liberal if they got in the way.

Please see reason. You're helping to create a tragic disaster.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Inbreeding Thoughts and Breathing Poison

Ugh. I'm seeing some Conservatives spreading all these nonsensical memes about fraud, military votes for Trump in PA being "thrown in the trash", etc, and it's all proven bullshit, but they believe it. They want to and NEED to believe it. They are going OFF on anyone trying to refute it with facts, complaining about "being talked down to" by "libtards", that what their experience of being presented with facts is? Being "talked down to"?

*Sigh* It is.

It makes me so grateful to have been rejected by my conservative family all those years ago. It saved my mind.

I've seen both ends of the spectrum of political social views. I was raised and believed in one for the first 20 years of my life, then was thrust into the world and forced to experience lots of other perspectives and people until I realized fully, and quickly, just how small, closed off and stubbornly blind people like the above are. They COULD, you see...they could go and learn. They could grow and see. They could understand. But they don't get that they need to. They are in a psychological bubble. They don't understand the reality of other people's experiences outside of their own. No one else's lives and thoughts are real or good because they're outside the comfort zone of what they've been raised with. It's too scary to even contemplate changing it. It feels so safe, their worldview. It's black and white, it has rules and a sense of control and knowing. And some folks are terrified of losing that security blanket of a life and way of thinking. It takes a brave (and often shamed) desire to go and learn and understand, making decisions to leave those kinds of folds. Most cannot and will not do it, and will only inbreed those thought children and conspiracy theories until they are so far out there and extreme that they are without logic. But it's their reality, and God knows they are just too damned scared not to hold firmly to their ship, sinking, on fire, full of the delusion and corruption that comes with preserving it.

So anyone who has learned, who has perspective, and tries to speak it to them---they are talking down to them. They are "lying". Because nothing outside the poison bubble is true. If you're always breathing in that toxicity, maybe you never learn how to breathe fresh air. Oxygen is scarier than poison to them, because it means questioning the unknown. Questioning themselves and life as a whole. And that's the scariest thing in the world for some people.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

 The World Trade Center

For a few more weeks I'll be looking at the World Trade Center as I go to work. Pretty soon I'll be commuting in the opposite direction, away from New York city. It's funny because in the last almost month I've been working in Hoboken, I haven't taken much time to look around and notice things. I've been so caught up in the stress of this place and the pace of everything, so caught up in my anxiety and the pressing to do lists in my head, that I haven't noticed even the most spectacular things.  I finally find myself looking around now like I'm coming out of a haze and noticing a world so foreign to me and everything unique about it. I see the balconies of high-rise luxury apartments. I see the entire Manhattan skyline. I notice just how very close it is to where I am and wonder how I missed that all this time. I wonder how much, if at all, that kind of world will play a part  in my life.

#hoboken #manhattan #worldtradecenter

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Adventures in Hoboken

Manhattan skyline from Hoboken. 

Life in the city is a different world entirely from what I'm used to. I love my quiet, my nature and green and space. I've definitely had to get used to a next level degree of stress and driving and people and noise in this region, but it's forcing me to up my a game with regards to how much anxiety I can push through and overcome. My adventures in Hoboken are only temporary, but they have changed me just the same. Had to pull out my inner beast to conquer my fears for this one.

Had another little escapade this morning. When I got to the street where my garage is for work, the police had barricades up blocking access to the road. I ended up basically ignoring the barricades and driving right around them. When I got to the construction workers and cops in the middle of the road, I rolled down my window to talk to them, heard the one guy say, "how'd she get past that?" LMAO. Sheer will, Sir. Plus that huge gap you left on the left hand side. Might want to rethink that layout a little. 

They were very nice, surprisingly...let me get into my parking garage. Moved a crane for me and everything. ;) 

That's my act of rebellion for the day. 

P.S. The bagels here will blow your mind