Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas.

It says "...freedom of...", not "...freedom from...".

"It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint." - Penn Jillette

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pollen Count

When I was a child, I never knew there was such a thing as a pollen count.  Even in my teens, I was unaware of what, exactly, the phenomenon was called.

What I did know was that every year, something crawled into my head through my sinuses and played the timpani...badly...before migrating down into my lungs and camping there for a few weeks, lodging me firmly in The Misery Zone.

One spring, it even turned into a lovely case of pneumonia that came within a gnat's ninny of hospitalizing me.  Fun times.

To this day I am not certain what the pollen count really means.  I mean...okay...I understand it's how much pollen is in the air at any given time, usually a daily average or high.  But...how does that apply?  Sometimes the count is really quite low and I have a head full of glue.  Sometimes the count is insanely high and my sinuses are as clear as if I'd been eating hot Chinese mustard by the spoonful.  It seems it's not the amount of pollen, it's what the pollen is that matters most.

I propose that instead of a count telling us how much pollen there is overall, we change it to a pollen quality, enumerating the various things trying to kill us at any given time.  Heck...not just pollen...how about we include particulate matter like pollution and diesel exhaust, construction dust, and the dry, powdery substance that looks, acts, and smells remarkably like what comes out of a bull's backside but in fact spills out of politicians' mouths every time they open them.

In fact, I bet if we installed BS filters on politicians, our general air quality would improve exponentially!

Meanwhile, we are well within the time period when my immune system goes haywire in response to the blooming of things, so I will be keeping Kleenex in business for the next month or so.  Poor Evil Genius suffers the same affliction, so he'll be joining me in the head-full-of-pudding-lungs-full-of-gelatin-nose-running-like-a-faucet club.  Lucky us.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Rare (Hah!) Political Rant

So much of what passes for politics these days is an expression of fear.  On either side of the line, people are fearful of what they could lose, of what they may have to accept, or what others may gain from them.  Fear becomes anger, becomes hatred, becomes a blinding unreason and goads people into believing what they would never  consider were they rooted in calmer thought.  Insults are hurled, and stones, and judgement.  Here's the thing - we all need to eat.  We all need shelter.  We all need water.  The sun shining on one group shines on another.  If the fear were gone, we could perhaps feel free to express our better selves, our compassionate selves, and move beyond these galvanizing polarities of Democrat, Republican, Tea Party, Libertarian, all so much of a muchness.

I am vociferous in my opinion of politicians.  All politicians.  I lump every one of them beyond the grassroots level into the category of Untrustworthy Manipulative Liars and Thieves.  There isn't a single one of them who has not lied to us, who has not been forsworn.  Oathbreakers, all of them, every President in my lifetime, every member of the House and the Senate, every Mayor, every Governor.

Of course I fear losing my freedom.  Equally, I fear losing my Self to the fear being flung will-he, nil-he into the world by people who will do whatever it takes to have their way.  I fear being blinded by an emotional response to an irrational  manipulation.

Once again, I remind you of what Sarah said to the Goblin King:  You have no power over me.

When we realize this...then we'll truly be free...and all of the politicking in the world won't be able to enslave us.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Not My Cuppa

Today I made coffee.  I don't usually.  I like coffee okay, but I prefer tea.  Still, today I made coffee so I would smell it throughout the house and feel Someone's presence here in his absence.  He's away for a bit.

The thing is, once I made it, I couldn't let it go to waste, so I drank some of it.  Okay, a lot of it.

You wouldn't think it would have much of an impact given my tea habit.  No...you wouldn't think that.

After the third cup, I could feel the Universe vibrating.

I saw colors that aren't part of the known spectrum.

I could hear the creaking of the harness on draft horses in Pennsylvania.  From next week.

Next time I will just sniff the bag of beans.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

It's Not East Being Cheesy

It's not much easier being mentally ill. Sounds so scary "Mentally ill", and a little dangerous. Not at all glamorous, though, and not terribly interesting. Mostly dull and uncomfortable.  Often terribly self-contained, because no one really wants to hear about it as often as I experience it.

Right now, the depression is in the forefront, and I am trying not to let it win...but boy, oh boy am I tempted not to get up in the morning.  The kids can just eat graham crackers all day, right?

No.  No, they can't.  Get up.


I wish I could say there is a great and noble battle being fought, or relate some heartening tale of how I have triumphed over evil...or at least ennui...but the truth is, I'm just muddling through in a rather uninspiring fashion.  It's boring, really.

Every day, at some point in the day, I just want to give up, to lie down and quietly fade into nothingness.  Every day, I continue on with what I am doing and just endure.  Every day, I could easily just be done, and every day I find something to keep ticking along for.

Paranoia is taking its toll, as well.  Recently, traffic in the cul-de-sac had increased.  People come driving down our road and zip around the circle...and it has me on edge.  I want to go out and stop them, ask them who they are and why they need to come down here.  I imagine telling them "If you don't live here and aren't visiting someone here, you don't need to drive down here, so cut it out before I have to start pelting you with stones or rotten fruit."  It's because my mind is trying to convince me they're looking for a house to rob, or are simply part of the vast and nameless "them" who are watching me for whatever reason "they" are watching me.  This would be the same mind that is utterly convinced that my house is bugged and that same "they" zooming around the cul-de-sac have also put video cameras in all my vents.  I kid you not, there is a part of me that believes this.  Luckily, that part is relegated to a dark corner of my mind where it has to be content with rocking back and forth and sucking its thumb. I'm lucky...I know what's paranoia and what's real...it doesn't make the unreal less...umm...real...in the moment, but I have an anchor to reality that many are missing.  It makes all the difference.

The news is full of cruelty, hatred, and anger, and I don't understand it.  I don't understand why people think it's okay to make special rules for a special few, to give privilege to some and deny it to others.  Basic things, simple human rights.  I don't understand how people can be so horrid to themselves, others, animals, or even the very planet.  How, even in a greed induced tizzy, can ANYONE think that waste and destruction are good for any future generations?  It makes me sad and frustrated...for crying out loud, my brain is broken, people, and I can see we're in a very bad way here on our little rock!

My mind preys on me, and there's not much to be done about it.  I'm one of the lucky ones - my OCD expresses itself in small ways, like how the dishwasher is loaded, how the dishes are put away, and how laundry is done and folded.  I'm not trapped in a cycle of hand washing or door locking or some of the other terrible behavioral tics that make up the illness for others.

It would be so easy to dwell and dwell on what's wrong...but instead, I'm trying to do something right.  Feed someone hungry.  Make a quilt to help raise money for someone who needs it.  Listen when a friend needs to talk.  Plant things...lots of things...big things, little things, edible things, flowering things, beautiful things, ordinary things.  Tickle my kids until their laughter makes the walls ring.  Asking "How can I help?"  All anger does is create more anger.  I'm aiming for some Zen, some peace, some compassion, and some light-heartedness.  Misery I have in spades...I'm working on my store of good stuff right now.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Things In My Head In the Wee Hours

We can't help who we love, nor the intensity of the loving.  We can't help that bone-deep aching that can come with the need-love, nor the breathless exhilaration of the want-love.

We can't help feeling driven to the edge and tipped over, dropped over, launched over into the grand unknown.

We can't help out flight through turbulent winds, blazing glorious shards of light and dark, sun and moon and stars setting our prismatic feathers alight as we flutter futilely seeking to control our wildly wandering path through a maelstrom of stillness.

We can't help out motley-clad hearts dancing with ungainly, mocking steps, jingling merrily discordant bells with every stomp and whirl.

We can't help our madness, whatever direction the wind be blowing.

All we can hope for is to retain our core and live on, live on, live on, as if we are not, each moment, being entirely remade by our own conflagration.

Friday, March 21, 2014

What We Share

The sun that shines on me, shines on you
The wind that touches me, touches you
The earth that holds my feet, holds your feet, too
The rain that falls on me, falls on you
We are connected by these sacred things no matter where you are
Location and distance are just geography
The sun that shines on me, shines on you.