Rewiring the System


Swami Said Self


“The machine mechanically performs all the movements

its maker wants it to perform, its movements are not those of life.

How can we make the distinction between the living and the dead, then?

In the living there is freedom, there is intelligence;

in the dead all is bound and no freedom is possible, because there is no intelligence.”

———-      ~ Swami Vivekananda

Advertisements

Tough Day


I have made a lot of mistakes in my years on this planet. I come from a first generation American dysfunctional family and married into a Mayflower dysfunctional family. The most painful part is that no matter how hard I tried to break the chain, I did not succeed. Today was a tough day. I can feel my heart breaking. The reality is that all my worries are pointless: If there’s a solution, I have no need to worry. If no solution exists, what’s the point in worrying? Yet because this is family, I feel laden?

My Unhappy story starts back several generations, all of whom are dead.  I am a human being and flawed. I never recognized that I was not using my time with my family wisely. I do not have all the juicy stories. I only have the stories that happened when I was present.

There is a thread from my Grandfather about the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.  All sides of my family were liberal and believed that the revolution by the Mugziks, the peasants, to upturn their slave status, was a good thing. The Mensheviks did not win

My parents fled the Bolsheviks and the Russian Revolution. The Revolutionaries came to my Grandfathers house and put a gun to his head. “You have three hours to get as far away from here or I am going to line you up and shoot you all. We want your house and land.” My mother was the oldest of eleven children. My Grandmother, my mother’s mother had the courage to take a few valuables and started walking through Russia, from whatever small town between St Petersburg and Kiev to the closest river. I guess it took a few years until the three surviving children arrived at Ellis Island. My Fathers family came via Vienna because of their mercantile history in the Kosher Foods Business and arrived in New York City in the same year.

The two were so glad to be alive. Their gratitude to America was deep and strong. My father joined the armed forces and they gave him a test and he got a perfect score. You can imagine that was magic for both my father and the country that both saved his life and gave him the possibility for a long and grand future. He became all clearance Intelligence with an office deep underground in a concrete fortress. He is not here to tell me exactly what exact part of what state but he did take me to his office. I have clear visual memory along the concrete halls. His desk was a government issue metal hunk painted a dark green with a rounded corner surface.

He flew the undercover government line just like a Hawk. He was a tough smart man. He was asked to work with the Navaho Nation to set up the Code Whispers.

I remember biting into my first big ripe red tomato on that reservation. The Army guy had a big beige cowboy hat, the tall kind with a widish turned brim bend down and handed it to me, then stood up and smiled. No words passed from him to me. Just his reaching toward me with a lovely Beefsteak. Were did that Jersey tomato come from? Were we in front of a gas station food store in the vast Arizona desert? I turned around in a 360 degree circle taking in the vast reddish dusty earth. My parents green panel truck stood out in the distance. We got back into the truck and drove off down the roadless expanse to the Chiefs small brick house complete with a pointed black tack tar roof. It was built right on the earth. I remember my looking down in surprise since this was the first house I had been in that did not have flooring.

My parents got along beautifully with the Chief and his wife.  My mother gave me the ring which the Chief had given to my father. I have worn it when I was traveling on to Navaho territory 10 years ago when I was crossing the country.  My father worked with the Chief in choosing the members of the tribe who would serve with the Marines and other military forces. Tonight I saw the movie about the service of the Navaho Nation in 1943 Saipan. The part my father played does not appear since he was completely invisible!

Tuesday In California


Hey, It’s a Tuesday after the long holiday weekend. It is time to get back into the grind! After all the avoidance, all the convivial gatherings, it is now time to take care of details and doctors. I went off to my appointments with a general gladness. Here I am, at this time and place, where I am able to care for my body injured which was injured from that bad fall way back at the beginning of this year.

The uneven ‘art’ construction by the builder, on what is city sidewalks, surprised me.  (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Minna+Street,+San+Francisco,+CA,+United+States&hl=en&ll=37.788005,-122.3988&spn=0.005664,0.008497&sll=37.857507,-95.712891&sspn=45.803434,69.609375&oq=minna+street&hnear=Minna+St,+San+Francisco,+California&t=m&z=17&layer=c&cbll=37.788201,-122.398543&panoid=4fVDYkSs_AH-fE4dX7n7wQ&cbp=12,307.64,,0,0)

Even though I am sure footed from years of running cross country with a running club, the paving surprised me. Cross country running in Nature connects the soles of my feet with the balance hairs inside my ear structure. All runners know what I am talking about even if they have not looked up the inner ear or the name of its parts. “Stereocilia are the mechanosensing organelles of hair cells, which respond to fluid motion for various functions, including hearing and balance.” (* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereocilia_%28inner_ear%29)

Going to the doctors offices at the University Hospital San Francisco, I get a clear picture of our human condition; that people get sick or injured every hour of every day. People lose balance in such a variety of ways which science seeks to address in an unending cycle of science and magic. I settle into my issues as I try to actually get in contact with and feel in an authentic way. I ask myself, what exactly is the octave of pain that is here and there, right now, held inside my skin. What do I feel? How can I understand the pain I am having as the expression of my human experience rather than as a monster attacking me?

I am returning home, from the City, where I had an early morning meeting with a truly kindest and most insightful doctor in my group. I have a lot to think about in preparation for an important visit with a new doctor in two days. Nonetheless, I remain interested in my fellow humans since we all share a plight of facts and fancies, pains and aches, joy and sorrow. Just after lunch I have yet another dose of the culture of Californians.

California people are a well documented class all into themselves. People talk about New Yorkers in a certain way, but real New Yorkers are kind to one another. There is a way of talking which is regional which is so different from the Heartland singsong or the slow southern drawl, yet the core of regionalism is based on caring for one another. Here in California I have heard stories and suffered the direct experience of a self centered-ness that borders on human destruction.

I cannot imagine a New Yorker or a Bostonian talking at me as this particular Californian did from his perch to keep out the world flowing on around him. It is beyond arrogant. He was on a chair within the confines of the sitting area of my absolutely favorite cafe on College Avenue. I had just come out of the same cafe and as I turned the corner I caught sight of his knee brace.

Five days ago, I got a shot of Novocaine and cortisol in my right knee. This was a step by the Sports Medicine, Orthopedic doctor to help my combined issues that made every step shiver with some level of pain. The latest was the bad fall, before that is the negative effects throughout my body and especially my knee joints of the Radiation treatment for the cancer. Before that the strain of being addicted to running. I choose to run with a brace rather than to slow down to a walk!

The man was sitting at my favorite cafe which is so European in character that I supposed he would be open to my asking about his very high quality brace. I wondered what happened though first I wondered about the brace. It looked like something which would help my knee. So I spoke to a complete stranger!

I actually believe that I do not know everything! Is this my greatest flaw and the trail of experience traditionally an East Coast quality! When I speak to people I get to learn a piece of the fabric of reality that is new to me. For me this is a good thing. To many of the Californians I meet in my travels, this is not the case. New information, new thoughts, new people, all rock their cloistered minds out of the response of Maybe unless something better comes along. The sense of being busy reminds me of a walled medieval city. The boundaries are interesting to the historical eye but the here and now aspect of externals and veneers separates with a chilling effect.

He looked approachable! We had a short conversation. I asked about his awesome brace. He asked me how I got my injury and where I went for the shot. He said that his knee had a very invasive surgery but he was biking after just a few weeks later. That was interesting. He asked who was my doctor and I took out my smart phone, called up the calendar entry and told him the name. He went on that he knew the building, that it was just down the block from where he was treated. But my doctor was in a building that was less wonderful! He gave an air that his doctor was better than my doctor which dumfounded me and I became silent both inside and out. REALLY?

Then came the ‘put down’ that can only be created, imagined, felt, and uttered by one of those overly tidy on the ‘outside’ ordinary folks with something invisible to protect. It is a distressing inhuman view that anyone slightly different than who they see in the mirror is to be avoided. Have you had the experience with this sort, who are rotten to the core on the inside? And, Oh My, devoid of a warm hearted easy communication with people. Especially those bothersome strangers wanting information or a helping hand.

Then he said the totally California Space Cadet Thing! “I don’t smoke pot or eat it either’!

Really?

Here was a man in a blue blazer and professionally starched shirt who assumed since I smiled and talked to him that I was a druggy! He had to announce his assessment of my being friendly and interested in his brace as a marijuana inspired conversation! Was it my red hair or that I have an easy outgoing outlook that made him think I was stoned? REALLY?

I was stopped right in my tracks, turned toward him, and said directly to him: It’s called DOPE for a reason. Then I walked down the block to my awaiting car.

A post thought: After the Boston Marathon my dear friend called me to tell me that his family was ok and how except for some odd circumstance they would ave been a that very place greeting the runners at the end of the Marathon. Then R. said a very important thing. It was a huge wake up call to me as I listened to him. It is about the choices we each have in the interactions with our fellow beings… He said, ‘Did you notice that the bystanders and Bostonian who were in the area Ran Toward The Explosion?’

He told me that and I heard it as well. The newscasters commented on the caring nature of the people who live in Boston. I have been told by another that he does not want to move to California because neighbors will not help neighbors here as everyone does where they live. I need to ask, Has the good weather and sunshine gone and altered the California human?

What To Say About The Holiday Spirit


What to say to people at this season of flaunting religiosity?

I like to include the entire person I am speaking with so I say, “I honor you”.  I honor others beliefs, what ever corner of their heart or the world they come from. I might learn some special facet of this man or woman!   I hope to do this with a quiet warmth and well mannered grace, a quiet quality that creates a container of quiet for the other person to fill with his or her story.  Then when the right  moment occurs I might say that I am a JewBuQuackAPrestarianChrisIsm.
Then the conversation in no longer confrontational. It is fun to be opened to life though I might be too exotic to be included in a circle of friendship, where people are a group who all believe the same thing. But I was true to myself. And as I broadened the idea of what is the true holiday conversation, I am not feeling bad.

My friends are not all like me. I look for and like people as they really are and offer my gift of friendship
smile, in recognition that the tiresome overused language that cloth infinity would only build a concrete boundary.

I look forward to Festivus For The Rest Of Us! With the Airing of Grievances, the undecorated poll, and giving wrapped stuff you have in the house that you do not want! What an idea. Topping the experience with meat loaf and spaghetti and ‘red sauce’ and drakes cakes makes this a power preserve day of fun.
just sayin’

AAhhh, It’s a Festivus Miracle!!! The ‘rest of us’ need Festivus!

Need an alternative to the usual Xmas fare? Then create a party or join others to celebrate, “Festivus,” a holiday for the “Rest of Us.”

The origins of this alternative holiday tradition can be dated back to an episode of Seinfeld titled “The Strike”. In this episode Frank Costanza expresses a concern over the increased commercialism and consumerism that tends to saturate the December holiday season.

Festivus

Festivus Pole

See: http://youtu.be/dS7-jcsB_WQ

Disquisitive Digestion


Ask me a question about the meaning of life and I can answer based on my personal experience, with all the insight of years of training. I saw the writing on the wall.

The weariness with life, my unloved existence, and low self esteem, which started  to push me out of the comfort of my night time bed in my ninth year. In the outside world there was daylight and I walked through the darkness striding toward the dawn. Year after year, since that primary night, I have been restless and deeply irritated about the pain of existence, the harsh difficulties of living in a body,. ‘This is life’, I say to myself, this is what it is. Life,  which forever shifts with frightening swiftness has no regard for my  personal dreams or desires.  Do I have a dream, a desire or a plan? Stuff happens to me in a web of layer cake proportions with thin sections of sweet icing holding the granular stable mix.

Chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate shavings

I was alone to love myself, to see and nurture the spark of life and secure my light in the world,  a small flame from my heart outward.  I, as Athena, at war with my circle of family, unwanted from my birth by both my Mother and Father,  with no friends who took up the existential yet holy grail wore armor.  The hard plates over my heart, body, and mind to this day, are a persona to shelter my tender introverted truth.

Athena, Born fully grown and ready for the rigor of battle

I first took that first long walk from Sixth and Mifflen Streets in South Philadelphia.  On that walk to nowhere, I slipped out of my Grandmothers home several hours after midnight and walked toward the Delaware River.  The city was curtained in an indigo darkness unknown today. The stars sparkled, dazzled and comforted my child’s mind . Stars, held together with stories of constellations, myths about an epic past that shined on my every step  I just walked between the moral axis of the real life and the one I constructed to cover the pointless pain of my prisoner-ship of childhood.

Athena in NYC at the Occupy Wall Street protest, November 2011

How wonderful to imagine it was last weekend!  My story actually starts a lifetime ago, when rock and roll, the military–industrial–congressional complex, and Ilsa were all in their infancy. Perhaps you will be interested in one or more of my weeks. Both backwards to the birth, my birth, in a welcome to the world with all the material to be reformed and purified, and forward into the unraveling of my life. The request to spin the story is in service to survival. How did I survive?

I look at Life from two sides now that I want to live again.  The story starts with all the darkness intact. I have been so weary mentally though I have posted about stones. The personal point has not surfaced. I need something, though I do not know what it is that will release the tension on that tight plug which keeps my life stories pent up and not penned out.

A New York Minute


How many New Yorkers know the definition of the New York Minute?  ‘I doono da answer to dis ’cause  New Yorkers use the phrase correctly without needing to be telling the meaning’ says the guy at Third Street deli, ‘it’s in the water’!

A New York Minute is the time between when the street light turns green and it takes you to get your car through the intersection. That is the power of a well oiled system based on trust that the safe history is constant and Trust. All the past times I drove in that quarter of nanosecond, I trusted that I had somewhere to go and the perfect clear lane to use to get going. By the way, A nanosecond (ns) is one billionth of a second (10−9 or 1/1,000,000,000s). One nanosecond is the relation of one second as an equation of one second is to 31.7 years. The Ultimate Be Here Now is A Billion To One!

Ready, Set, Stop!

I am finding that traffic in New York City is less mean spirited and more trustworthy than most human traffic. Nice people exist in about the same ratio of a Billion to One!

In the two years of my battle with breast cancer I have the eyes wide open abandonment. People run away for truth, commitment and caring. I know that so many people have experienced this same suffering.  I guess it is an unspoken aspect of illness in western society. Friendship that feels just like the changing of a traffic light!

 

Do Not Mock Me On Rose Day


Happy Monday. Today is Rose Day, the day when you give people you care about a rose. It is a heart happy holiday. “Praise Mothers”, Japanese society adopted the second Sunday of May as the official date. It is a rather commercial holiday, and people typically give flowers such as red carnations and roses as gifts to Mothers and other special Woman friends.  If you do not get a rose is your heart feeling a little crack in it’s structure?

.

I remember each intersection when I felt my Heart being broken. I guess the veins and arteries demand conductivity driven by the word “With”.  My heart responds to the change in connection. Starting the complex story from scratch is not short and easy. I guess I am taking a risk by sharing a fact which I am sure  we all share since heart ache is a shared human experience. The series of affronts happen too often to too many people.

I guess it is the way we think about one another. I feel people are constantly modifying and reinforcing the walls that separate us one from the other

Sad Truth


Actions speak Louder than Words.  I know this, since words are just warm air passing lips. Actions, on the other hand, move mountains and bring hearts together.  The True Gracious Character never uses language as a weapon that draws blood. True Character never speaks in a manner that sends sounds out toward another person that will Punch Pain into that persons Heart. Heart Ache is an attack on the very core of life. The increasing number of heart attacks in one manner are a collection of attacks until the organ just is so punched it gets broken.

THE SORROW BEHIND MY SMILE

Integrity never Injures. I need to understand the collective underpinning of that, which is “we are all in the same boat”.

http://cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2012/04/26/piers-morgan-only-in-america-wisdom-from-the-dalai-lama.cnn.html  (If this url is not hyperlink it is beyond my computer skills. I guess you will have to cut and paste!)

That it is ridiculous my watching me watching you trying to have your own boat. We are not going together anywhere. No part of this Me Me Mine is useful to either of us. I now must start rowing again since I seem to be a traitor of the normal ‘Me First’, Schadenfreude! I am rowing toward the collective to contact and connect with ship jumpers who are feeling the welcome to row all together now.

Clean your ears and listen: How does one prove that light travels faster than sound?

Easy: Observe how some people appear bright until one hears them speak..!

Character Never Draws Blood, Character Never Punches You In The Heart

I absolutely LOVE Kucinich!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAOMPxmNXcs

 

An Open-Ended Sadness!


An open-ended sadness!   She says she is not sure I meant.. It is my turn to say that a touch of reticence might be nice.

Age ten is a mirror and the secondary spiral in the life cycle of each person on earth. You have no doubt heard that humans get all new cells every seven years, so that places are returned to for review both in the molecular and cell level creating bodies anew and the emotional psychological feeling and thought level. For me feeling out of the cosmic communication loop at three was replicated   the sumer before I turned ten.

After the family was all asleep, way after midnight, I would step out the back door and down the alley and go for a walk. Sometimes I would walk into the city and sometimes down to the Delaware River. I took the walk from South Phila to the Rittenhouse Square in the early late evening around 10:00 so I would arrive at the clubs in the Locust Street area before eleven. It was about three and a half miles  at a fast clip in the cool late spring or early summer evening air. I got to look at the deep indigo sky. All those years ago there was not the electric blanking of the blinking twinkling stars. I became a good friend of Cassiopeia and Orion in their dance around the elliptic. I seemed to remember my close  heart felt association with Sirius , as though I lived there in the recent past.  I missed my natural home on Sirius!  I would walk along the quiet safe streets looking up!

Sirius appeared bright to me because of both its intrinsic white luminosity and its proximity to me walking on Earth.  (At a distance of 2.6 parsecs  (8.6 ly), as measured in modern times by the Hipparcos astrometry satellite, the Sirius system is one of Earth’snear neighbors; for Northern-hemisphere observers between 30 degrees and 73 degrees of latitude (including almost all of Europe and North America), it is the closest star (after the Sun) that can be seen with a naked eye. ~ Wikipedia)

X1
N14
M44

Hieroglyph of
Sirius/Sopdet

The walk to the river was longer from Snyder Avenue down to the docks and along the waterfront until I got to Walnut Street then up to Twenty-first Street and the park. I would meet some beatnik friends and have a beer at the deli on Spruce Street and then walk home. That deli is still there! Ahh the life of a nine year old who looked like she was over 16..  My love for black cloths started in this circle of poetry friends. Here  was a gathering of non judgmental creative intelligent people who had an endless curiosity and gee whizz delight in life itself.

Fast forward for just a leap and jump to today.  This afternoon, a woman came out of a side door at my physical therapists while I was making a return apointment and she said in a loud rushed sonic timber, something about the elevator and I literally jumped an inch in the air. Much to my surprise, my coffee jumped too and there was a round tablespoon of the dark brown liquid ten inches from my feet. Then my face turned bright red. So since my illness I am scared stiff and jumpie in my own skin.

 

I guess this comes across as a sort of self-protection. The lovely woman who makes appointments said how nice I looked with bright red cheeks. I guess that was the nicest thing she could say to my bodily reaction to a ‘not so special’ background noise. I am sick with the infection of  a life history of bickering, quarreling, and associative generalized global greed.

.

Murder / Death, What Is The Difference


I have been thinking about the pressure and pain that pushes a person to the edge. I have been thinking about the seeds of sadness which are the kernel of stepping out of the Human Body into another series of choices. It is like walking on the skipping stones I tossed just down the hill from Harper’s Ferry dock.

This is the way this place looked when I was there

This is where John Brown captured the attention of the nation like no other abolitionist or slave owner before or since. He was killed by the Marines for his effort to free five men who happened to have a different color skin. A large group of people killed a few because those people were treated as possessions. This end of life happened for what reason?  It was Murder!

Walk Down To The Edge Of The River Where The United States Civil War Started


On 22 July 2011, a mass shooting took place at the AUF‘s summer camp, where 650 young people were staying.

The Red Circle Is The Island Camp

A young 33 year old man who spent 13 or more hours every day of the week “trained” for the attacks he carried out in Norway last summer using the computer game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and World of WarCraft. Anders Behring Breivik, arrived on Utøya dressed as a police officer and told those on the island that he was there for security reasons following the explosions in Oslo which took place a few hours before. He then began shooting at individuals, continuing until the police arrived one hour after the first alarm call. The suspect immediately surrendered. Combined, the attacks in Oslo and Utøya, (This island is largely forested, with some open spaces), left 77 dead, with 69 killed on the island, 55 of whom were teenagers. What is strange about this country is the strong racist mentality in the general population.

I delight in the Glowing Flower Of My Life

Lately I have been listening to the talk of life and death. I hear in the undercurrent that people talk more about their refusal to imagine mortality. It is a cycle of beginning with birth and ending with death.  Is the term used to describe the cessation of all biological functions an end? Is there more to the end than we know?  Not thinking about mortality can surface in the strange mental illness and murderous reaction into action. Knowing that there is an end to our mortal being makes every thought, emotion, and act sweeter and a richer experience. For some people the way to find that moment of intense richness is in violence. Choose to make the hard choices in life and enjoy the ride.

 

Next Page »