I quite looked forward to watching HBO’s Newsroom, for reasons that I believe will become obvious soon. After a handful of shows I became more disappointed by its apparent letdown… again for reasons that I believe will become obvious soon. I was so inclined to distaste, for something I thought may have the opportunity to literally turn this nation around (again, read on) that I verbalized part of the below concerns on their website under the “What the press is missing” section.
First, keep in mind, any and all info on my site is protected under… well, you know. As a writer if you wish to use my ideas as a show(s), you will pay me or I will sick my daughter the attorney after you… or someone, if there is someone, more driven. I state that for obvious reasons as well.
I realize I am going off the beat again. Fret not. We will return. It is too good a story not to, as usual. Back to today’s post…
HBO limits the word count on their site so I was only able to condense my thoughts and leave out much. Here is what is posted on their site:
As an independent voter I am constantly disappointed in media bias. These days to be an informed citizen we must research the researchers, due to bias and sensationalism. It is extremely frustrating and time consuming. When I first heard of your show I thought finally, through creativity we may get reality and a bright spotlight of shame exemplified through lively characters of how unjust and truly disgusting this has become in America. I find NR as infuriating as the news itself with its bias. In your bio you state, “mission to do the news well in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles-not to mention their own personal entanglements.” Maybe I am misunderstanding this statement yet I read that to mean: “to do the news well” equals unbiased. “in face of corporate and commercial obstacles” means without the sensationalism generally seen in today’s news market. Now either I am reading far too much into your statement or I am not. If I am not, are you not troubled that you are indeed biased, therefore being exactly what you are attempting to bring to light? Does it trouble you that you are undermining those of us that truly desire more unity in this country, which not only begins with news reporting, the fierce separations are perpetuated by them? “Hope and change” was such a collective phrase because many interpreted it as Truth. She turns the individual into the masses. Without Her we merely have just another jackal perceived to be promoting another personal agenda… which most americans are fed up with. Don’t you desire to be bigger than the one? As an example, the piece on the Tea Party; wouldn’t an unbiased approach be to also look at the financial backers of say Occupy Wall Street group? what impact backers have on groups, if any? Wiener: has corruption/greed taken the creme out of the ethical crop replacing it with pure out of control ego? What role biased reporting has perpetuating such ego through sensationalism?
When the News picks a side, do they not pick the side against Truth Herself?
What I did not say on their site:
If I was reading too much into their mission statement, confusing real life with drama… would it not be best for them to leave the real life stories for the supposed experts who hack at them day-in, day-out, over and over and over again?… till there is little to nothing left to them but the spin the said experts try force-feeding us?.. –you know, like TNT’s Political Animals, which any sensible newsworthy, news following individual can interpret was created with the Clinton’s in mind?.. yet they at least suspend our believability for enjoyment pleasure.– Are you folks over at NR being paid to propagate a party’s agenda? If you are not, I would be totally surprised by your writing… may I recommend if you are not being paid, certainly begin reaching your mighty hand out for a big fat tax payer stimulus/grant/loan like most political bundlers of the past few years.
So while the news is busy reporting on Anthony’s wiener… totally distorting most facts to pick a side against Truth… there are folks like yourself, Aaron Sorkin, perpetuating it even more, keeping a vast majority in lies, deception and distraction, assisting in dividing a Nation against itself… Russia patiently plans, watches us in our own waters undetected, fully armed, not only laughing at us, taunting us to just how full of shit you all really, truly are. Even more importantly, while the govt and media propagate tension within its own boarders and keep their eyes on that main focus/”prize”, the US’s real enemies are operating under their noses. While they are busy creating a made up war for some personal agenda, many of our enemies are crossing our boarders and hovering on our shores, unnoticed by the very entity whose main purpose was designed to protect those boarders and all those that reside within them.
Indeed, I had such great expectations of hope and change for Sorkin’s Newsroom. My, the things Newsroom could have done, could have accomplished through Truth… they could have gone down in history as the sole entity that saved the Greatest Nation on the face of the Earth… in the very least, the beginner of great change to a nation in serious decline… the itch to all’s skin of ethics and true character, amid a vast sea of ego and greed… whereas a beginning to a place where doing the right thing is demanded over merely following on the heels of the supposed professional masses being right. The Newsroom, through its entangled dramatic relationships, could have been the home for millions upon millions of Americans starving to be fed the facts, without being treated like an idiot on how to interpret them… not to mention you could have knocked Bill O’Reilly off his best seller number one pedestal. Jesus, the possibilities lost.
(If you are a SN follower, there is a certain correlation between the Dean character and myself when it comes to God these days. Not to mention, the actor is simply fine to look at.)
I loved my Creator. I mean I really, really loved Him. We grew to be great buds over the years. Regardless of anything else going on in life, regardless of who came and went, regardless of any hurts or struggles, regardless of human disappointment, regardless of all the many fears being human can throw on a self, regardless of any love, regardless of pain or successes, regardless of how hard things got or seemed to get; That relationship, which became stronger and grew deeper and more meaningful every single day for many days in a row… that relationship was constant. It was reliable. And above all else, it was trustworthy. The Creator never lied and always, despite my shortcomings, kept His promises. That is, until He didn’t.
This is where the writing and inspiration began to take a nose dive. I have procrastinated the share of this truth to anyone… So, I am about to make myself a little naked without giving myself much time detached from the nudity, so to speak. It is one thing to share with someone or multiple someones about past pains, having given oneself enough time to move beyond the confusion and vulnerability of the life lesson and into the clarity verses regurgitating amidst the insanity of it all… which I still appear to be at the time and have been for a few years now. So please, again, be patient with me?–and again, the thousands that have been following me from the beginning, you will get this much more than those just coming aboard. You have a better sense of my life, my service, my relationship with God– hence holding more meaning relating to the current strife.
Those that know me, and even those that have been following me for sometime, know I am not a religious person… many years ago (which I believe I touched on in a previous blog), someone referred to me as a truck driving preacher. He went on to explain (at least the way I remember hearing it) that I had the ability to dive deep into the scriptures, extend that research out into many other venues of spirituality, philosophy, history, etc and then was able to share and teach what I learned in layman’s terms… leaving behind the judgement and force-feeding that generally comes from religiosity. I truly tried to live my life by the understandings I gained through change and allow others the same.
For the many that know me well, and for the many that have followed my blog have come to understand, I had a pretty tough young life. Much of my own making… other things just a bad hand dealt to a kid with no guidance. I know what real struggle feels like. I know what consequences can fall after poor choices. It wasn’t until I began my relationship with my Creator that I began to fully comprehend just how damned hard being human is and always has been… and that that is just okay. There is peace in that.
Having had such experiences in life and a relationship with a loving forgiving God allowed me to travel to levels of service unlike where most could/would go. Those that know me well know there is no ghetto scary enough, no brute big enough, no soul unworthy enough to frighten me enough to sway my resolve of extending a hand of service. When I say service, I am in no way saying it is about fixing someone’s life. I learned, for myself, through my mentors, my learning, that service is merely extending a hand behind to help someone onto the path that I was once offered and chose to travel. It was about giving freely of myself, to give to others what others and God had given so freely to me. Service to me is quite simply all about introducing people to a Creator… to love… to acceptance of their humanism… and trust me, it is a daunting, tireless, never-ending parade that knows no time. It begins as mere exercises and then somewhere along the way turns merely into a way of life.
You cannot remember exactly when you began to leave a change of cloths beside your bed for the late evening, early morning calls that randomly happened. Whether they be from the police, mental health agencies, jails, or friend of a friend of a friend, you always answered… you always went out into the darkness, the unexpected… never fearful, because of that relationship with god (and later the cell phone.) Somewhere along the way it simply became a way of life. I have been spit on, slapped, punched, once stabbed, had weapons aimed at me, been called every single name in the book you can think of and some you have probably never heard… yet never hurt worse than those I was hoping to serve… sure, sometimes it was emotionally exhaustive. Many times I cried. I was constantly broke, no matter the large amounts of money I made, for it all went to those behind. Jennifer grew up expecting strangers living in the basement… open houses on all holidays… random calls from other states shipping me off to far away states to assist a strangers family member in need… such is the life of the kind of service I was involved.
Now granted, the meaning of service is always the same, yet the level that one participates in service is different for each person providing it. Some folks help someone move. Some will cook food for the church social. Others will stay behind to clean. Maybe someone leads a church group or inspirational meeting, while yet another simply sets up the chairs or puts them away. Some comfort or lend an ear. All are equally as important to the whole. Service is given in many different ways by the many different vessels used. You don’t really question it. You just do what you can, what you are good at based on the talents the good lord gives you… the experiences life took you through… and all those providing service learn the strengths of the others and use each other to make the whole. That was just how it works.
… now granted, I might add here. Sometimes you get the guilt givers involved in service work. What I mean by that is, say you have some fool that request that you bake a pie for an upcoming event… now you know that you have someone living in your basement, you are mentoring 14 people, you just got back home to california from mass because some fool dad found your number on his bill from a time when his kid was doing better and he needed you out there to find the kid and get’em help, cuz the last time they saw him he was suicidal… So, you simply say no to the pie making request. That is when the guilt givers try to manipulate you into doing what they want through shaming you with some half assed comment like, “you are never supposed to say no to a request of service.” Now granted, these poor folks generally just don’t get it or they simply are talking the talk instead of walking the walk… Given whatever mood I was in at the time would directly be proportionate to my response… it could be anywhere between “if you keep going down this path you are taking, you will prove to the world what a true ass you really are by knowing that you obviously do not know me” to giving a real deep reflective pause, smile, then say something like, “I have just confirmed, it is okay with my God to say no this time; so good luck with that.”… leaving the person to think the luck is in the pie making and not their failed attempt at manipulation.
For those just joining this party you probably question. Well, good for you. Go back through the blogs and read… there are many stories there of service… and dysfunction. Catch up to hang on, my crazies.
A few years ago, after over 25 years of living such a life of service, I had one major trudge after another. 911. My best friend drinks herself to death. The guy leaves, for the third and final time. My weekends of all of fall, spring and much of winter is 24/7 service… during part of the week I was volunteering for a place that was helping returning vets… building a business… shopping scripts… writing a novel… finishing then publishing a novel… my business finally comfortable… still taking folks in and mentoring… Obama gets elected, health reform gets enacted and the govt literally begins to steal a business I took over a decade to build…
It was all okay. It was all good. Me and God, by all this point, had a pretty good thing going on. No matter whatever happened in my life. No matter what struggles life presented. I could always trust on That strength, That reassurance… and that is not something I have ever felt from any human being. People lie. People let you down. That’s okay. It is part of being human…
but not the Creator…
Or at least I thought…
You see in the midst of the achievements and struggles I mentioned above, my daughter had hit a rough patch. For about two or so years I spent a great deal of time going between the east and west coast… trying to help… trying to fix… trying to assist… trying to make better… trying to correct… trying to change… trying to make sure the path she was on would not suffer the same consequences or worse than mine had… trying to be a mommy to a 30 something year old who had her own life, her own children, her own husband, her own career, her own incredibly loving, slightly lost at the time, intelligent, caring spirit…
… I know, big mistake…
But more importantly… a few blogs ago i mentioned one of god’s promises in the scriptures that kept me going for so many years no matter the battles. The promise I held tight to my chest… the promise that made the impossible possible…
… Then, having brunch with a friend over from Ireland, looking to catch up over good food and friendship and get his novel signed, I get a call on my cell…
“Hey ma” the voice said over the phone. “I am just calling to say good-bye.”
I excused myself from the table of my irish friend who had traveled so many miles.
“I just cannot do this anymore. I am checking out.” The voice became clear of the man who was once my child I took in so many years ago…
“Honey?” I fought back the tears to be strong for him.
“Can you just hold on?.. just long enough for me to get to you to say good-bye?”
“Sure, ma. When will you be coming?”
“I’ll leave the restaurant now to go throw some things in a bag and I will be coming for you. A few days. I love you.”
“I love you too, ma.” His strong NY accent still lingered.
Not such a strange thing to happen in my life. It was the life of service. I went home threw some things in a bag and drove from CA to KS. It was a horrible experience I was much too raw for at the time. Sleeping in a home, with no gas, no electricity, with a knife and baseball bat by my side, on a mattress on the floor… he I had placed in the hospital the moment day light hit after my arrival.
I made it through that experience with many calls to many friends in Los Angeles and San Diego. For the first time ever, outside of trying to help my own blood daughter, my strength was not as powerful as his demons. I fear to admit, I had to have him arrested for his own safety. Then I cried my way back to CA defeated.
After arriving home, tired and beaten once again, I curled in a ball on top of my bed for days to lick my wounds. I thought of my failures with the kids I loved so much… the excruciating pains… the broken promise.
Calls kept coming in. I tried to share with folks how useless I was. The toll the past few years had bared on me. Yet my place in the world felt set. So I stopped answering my calls. I stopped responding to emails. I refused to be of service (so if you are one of those folks that had tried to reach out to me for some wisdom or encouragement, here is your explanation for my distance. You all know who you are and I am sure you have felt the pain… and for that I am truly sorry. Not saying I am going to change it, not just yet… but I am truly sorry for any pain my being unavailable or short has caused.) I had no strength left. The One I counted on, the One who never lied had betrayed me. He broke His promise. So, I did what I do and flipped Him off… yet that time was different. I cursed the day. I was soooo incredibly angry. I said no more. I cried of the thousand I brought to Him, of the years of sacrifice believing in His word, His promise… and for what? No more. You see, I wasn’t simply angry with God. I have been angry with Him a bazillion times over the years. For the first time ever in my life, I was disappointed in Him. I lost a tremendous amount of trust for Him. In that instant, for the very first time, I had absolutely nothing left to offer anyone.
I was not planning on blogging today. My plan was to wait till tomorrow to continue my story, my thought process. We all know how plans work. I was so moved by some posts on the social websites about America’s response and outpouring on the Chick-fil-a event, I simply could not hold back. So here I am. Here we are. Now, even though this post is slightly off topic from my last two, it most certainly ties in to the whole of the theme. You know me (and if you do not, I strongly invite you to read prior post so you can catch up), I will get you there. I promise.
First before I go on, I would like to draw your attention to the upper right corner of the blog. I have added a donate button. I pray you use it. This is not me begging for your cash. This is me asking, if you enjoy an advertisement free site, and the blog… that you would either donate (no amount too little or large) or purchase Courage of Fear to help cover the cost of my time spent writing everyday. I can assure you, I am not independently wealthy… and it is important for me to keep eating to continue to write. With that said, thanks in advance, and off to today’s thoughts.
Yesterday on many of the social websites I saw picture after picture of lines encompassing Chick-fil-a across the country. Today there is a blog going around the social websites about a gay girl’s response to her feelings on the issue; what she experienced. Many folks are flinging that blog around like the Chick-fil-a tool of shame. Stating that yesterday’s participation in the event had everything to do with gay vs religious and not freedom of speech at all.
Again, I found myself troubled.
Again, I was left shaking my head.
Again, I grew tired of the hate.
Again, I was sickened by the presumption.
Again, I felt God weeping.
Again, many fell into the trap of division.
Here was my comment on one person’s post:
Over the past several months I have read several articles citing fierce language (even death threats) toward the CEO of the chicken chain. Many times I would shake my head and one more time I questioned (like so many other topics of late, whether that be on the fetus, vaginas, race, class warfare, etc), how did we get to here? When exactly did we all start playing God? When exactly is one sin less potent than another? Even if you are not a spiritual person, much of the conversations, dialogues, monologues, etc, have to effect you in a neg way. When did we get to that? Why? More importantly, how effective is it?
Morality is not something that can be judged by any means by anyone. It is something for the individual to decide for themselves, personal between them and their Creator, or whatever they belief in… and that line does not diminish whether one is gay or one has a religious objection about the gay lifestyle. Whether we like it or not, if we participate in it in anyway, especially with hateful opposition… we have put ourselves above that which we are entitled to… an individual’s morality I ate at Chick-fil-A yesterday. If one of my gay friends would have wanted to join me, I would have proudly stood beside them; because you see, I no more wish for folks to judge my gay friend’s morality or beliefs anymore than I wished for others to so harshly and cruelly judge that CEO’s individual morality or beliefs. No matter which side of the morality fence you rest your hat, you cannot have it both ways. It is simply not our duty to play God on any of these issues. I certainly wasn’t, nor was anyone I know (now I know there were some that were, yet few), casting stones yesterday. We were standing up for an individual’s personal liberty… and in my mind’s eye, that included gays, women, blacks, white, conservative, liberal… we were standing up for an American’s, endowed by his Creators, right to personal freedom. Least we forget… This is the flippin USA for christ’s sake. Unlike any nation on God’s green earth it is the freaking melting pot. WE are the example of the world for tolerance and peace… and more importantly on our ability to lovingly agree to disagree. It is our right of individual liberty that has made us the great nation, feared and respected… unlike any other. Do I believe we have much room to grow on many issues? Indeed. Today, let it begin where the real power resides… and so demonstrated yesterday in the masses… in each and everyone of us. The hating needs to stop.
I am not sure if that hit a chord or what. I am sure there were many posts above it and none below it. And this is where it ties into the theme of the past few days.
A few blogs ago I touched on my frustration with all the negativity of late; basically how that has effected my serenity and in part my ability of inspiration… my desire to rid my life from it.
The last blog I wrote, I touched on part of my spiritual journey of the past, some of my beliefs and why I hold them. In yesterday’s blog I gave an example of staunch Christian beliefs and my “not knowing.” I discussed how even though I was fine with the not knowing, and why, most bible bangers in my life were not so okay with that. I was/am even okay with them not being okay. My beliefs are personal, based on my level of understanding and knowledge and more importantly they are between me and my Creator. –if you haven’t read those I suggest you stop and do so before continuing. Catch up people, lest you be left behind. One thing about me as a writer, it may take me a while, but I always build to bring you full circle. You miss one part, you may miss the whole.–
This is where this blog ties together with the others (even though slightly side tracked.) In my entire life, through all the things that have happened during my lifetime, never have I seen so much division and hatred in my homeland… in America. It sickens me. I am damned tired of it. Now some things I may have been very young for, but I do remember… both Kennedy’s deaths and the effects they had on our nation, Vietnam war and protests, civil rights violence and marches, the Beatles, John and Yoko and time square, nuclear power demonstrations, my grandmother (who came over on the boat from Ireland at age 11) constantly beating me with the importance of saving and finishing my plate of food, because she experienced two great wars, acceptance of divorce and homosexuality… sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, Woodstock, Charles Manson, the cold war, Watergate, Clinton impeachment… to name a few. That is a lot of history in a lifetime… and never, never, anything that created this kind of hatred and division.
What is wrong with people? All this hatred makes me really begin to think that the conspiracy theorists who believe in the dumbing down of society are right.
And what confuses me most? While we are being enticed, prodded, motivated, by the media and the government to continue at each others’ throats, many continue to participate. And the real soul suckers, the real culprits, the real unlawful (the govt., the media) merely continues on their personal agendas… keeping us busy fighting amongst ourselves allows business as usual in this mess THEY created and we let them. We continue to let them.
Now granted, in many of the hard issues above there were sides. Yet rarely was there the hatred against each other many participate in today. It is wrong. It is counter productive. We all need to take a step back. We all need to go back to the basics. We all need to stand together against the real angst to turn this thing around… and we should stay the hell out of other folks morality unless it directly affects our own… and we should be demanding the govt do the same. Enough already with the minutia.
Yesterday was a prime example of that as far as I was concerned. It wasn’t about being gay or religious beliefs that had a perspective against gays. It was about individual americans (again, for the most part) exercising their power, through peaceful demonstration. It was about us saying to the govt., cities like Chicago and New York, that just because you are a politician, you have no right in this country to make laws to control a populous in this country just for the sake of control or greed (lobbyist, back door deals.) We the people have the power, and basically we are telling you, you have gone too far. We are showing you, through our power to stand as one, where the real power lies in this country and THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE.
Now, while all you haters are throwing mud over a person’s moralities issues, which again is no one’s damned business but their own, over vaginas, fetuses, race, class warfare, etc… our govt has/is, enacted executive orders on martial law during peacetime, created regulation that damn near closed down small farmers (and in some states even shooting all their livestock), by-passed laws they simply do not agree with, expanding their incomes over 200% a quarter by their voting power, created almost a 16 trillion dollar debt, sent our boys and girls into wars that have little to nothing to do with us, used trillions of our hard earned tax dollars to pay off other countries (for God knows what and why), opened up our boarders–even closing down boarder patrol stations, passed bills allowing govt and authorities without warrant to search our bank records, phones, gps our vehicles… even authorizing 30,000 drones to peek through our windows and our back yards, molest us at the airports, put chips in us through “health reform”, even laws telling us what we are allowed to eat and drink… and with the new terrorist bill they can now detain us without due process, yet they gave due process to foreign terrorists, they are entering into treaties, or trying to, with the world that directly violate our constitutional rights to freedom–and in and of itself is a direct violation of their constitutional power… and now they want to tell someone what they can believe or not believe and try to stop them from freely speaking of it?
Yesterday was about enough is enough. You only hold the power we give you… and WE ARE POWERFUL IN THIS COUNTRY and we will use that power to defeat you.
What in the hell is wrong with you haters? This isn’t you against me. This is us against them. Some really big shit is going on while all you folks are wondering what’s in it for me and mine. So you are gay. Good for you… the same drone is going to be watching you pee that watches me, watching you and your partner having sex in your back yard that watches me sun bath nude. Good for you that you are gay. You should have had your ass at chick fil a yesterday, standing beside your gay friends that were there and got it… if you really want equal rights than god damn it, you should be standing with the rest of us against our out of control govt… before none of us have any rights left and the damn fema camps become a reality and your asses are shipped to Iran to experience real civil issues against your morality.
Look, while many spew unnecessary hate at others, homeland security is buying ammunition and riot gear, and lots of it. They are pitting us, setting us up to hold arms against our neighbors. Is that what you want? Go on. Go on outside. Take a really good look at the people around you. Take a deep look in their eyes. Do the same with friends and family members you love, who at one time or another disagreed with you? Do you really wish to be standing barrel-to-barrel against them? Just picture that for a moment, picture how that would really feel. Is that less important than your vaginas or lack there of? When your neighbor billy bob from down the street is forced or coerced to take up arms against you and shoots your ass, will your sexuality, your brother’s sexuality, your abortions or lack thereof, your vaginas… will any of that matter to you then? Can you imagine our country like that? Can you imagine it for your kids or grand kids? Cuz all this hate can only lead to one place or the other. How far are you haters willing to go, while our govts demonstrated through purchases, executive orders, regulations and bills how far they are going?
THAT WAS WHAT YESTERDAY WAS ALL ABOUT.
Can we please stop it now?
Can we please stand as one, just briefly, to focus on the bigger issues here? Like so many did yesterday?
“When life throws you curve balls, which it will, having a belief in
a Creator teaches you how to bend without breaking.” Barbara Boyer, Courage of Fear
Trudging is such a great word. When the term was first given to me so many years ago, my mind instantly saw myself in heavy army gear and fatigues, practically knee (need) deep in mud, attempting (and very slowly) to continue to move forward. With every hard pull of my leg, my brain heard that hard sllllluppp sound as each boot was released from the mushy ground, which unsuccessfully continued to try to suck me in against my angst, and indeed conquest. So with that in mind, and if you follow my post you have an idea how my brain works, when the term was first given to me, my brain thought and without filter I responded… “and what the hell is that supposed to mean? Why does it have to be so damned difficult?” The person smiled. Needless to say, I was none the more content.
Throughout the years in my spiritual quest that word trudging continued to come up. And yes, you guessed it, my mind went to the muddy fields in the army gear and the struggle was all the more present. Life became one trudge (struggle) after the next. Making it to the top of one hill or mountain only to hit head on into yet another… or so I thought.
You see one day, years after the first of course, that term was thrown at me yet again. I was pissed at the thought that it was used like such a loose garment when it was nothing of the sort… or so I thought. I finally went home and looked the dang thing up… and yes, you guessed it, there was no reference to army gear or mud or boots or anything like that. I read something on the lines of “to plod, walk heavily as in upward mobility.” So, like so many things in my life, trudging wasn’t nearly as extreme as my mind’s eye. I found a tremendous pressure had been lifted from my shoulders. I hadn’t been walking in the damp thickness of shit after all. I had just been climbing on all those many occasions. I found comfort in that. Cuz lets face it, when you got to a place old Janis Joplin sung so cooly, “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose… I mean nothing… nothin’…”, upward mobility sounded better than fine. It meant, with every upward step, I was moving above the hell I had created as a confused youth… further away from every bad hand delt to the child. I could take that, happily. So I trudged.
After so long a period of trudging, my spiritual mentors advised me it was then time for a new phase of growth… more or less it was time to pay it back. I was to give freely of that which had been given to me. Not saying I wouldn’t continue to trudge in my life… just saying that I had hit a point on the hill where I could see the journey more clearly because I was far enough removed from the hell to be of service to those behind me.
First, I certainly didn’t feel ready or well equipped for that part of the journey. After all, didn’t those folks know how selfish I was? Didn’t they understand that where I came from it was every man for themselves? After all, I had a daughter to think of… possessions I had worked, and sacrificed, very hard for over the years. What of all that? But, against my better judgement (which didn’t say much), against my personal concerns (mostly for those behind me), I was advised that if I wanted to continue trudging, my upward mobility, I had to begin this new phase. Not only did I have to begin it, I had to commit to a life of service. If I really wanted to obtain enlightenment, spiritual growth, I had to commit to a selfless life of service. So basically I was asked how thirsty was I? How bad did I want it?
Trust me, I wanted it badly. Not so much for myself. I felt totally unworthy. I wanted it for Jennifer (my daughter.) I needed her to have a better life than my poor choices of the past. I demanded that from myself.
And that small point leads me to back up a bit… a word about the journey and the lessons… which of course leads me to the many inspirational, philosophical, yes even religious texts I had read along the way… and there were many. I tried starting with the bible… many times, for many years, the damned thing aggressively landed on my walls, many more times than the thing contentedly rested on my lap. It was just too difficult to understand… and when I tried to ask others whom were much more advanced than myself in the scriptures I merely got their interpretation of what they thought that it said… and my experience from hell was that listening to folks interpretation of things, blindly, lead me to jail on many occasions… fun that was not. So, though I listened with an open mind, I was extremely cautious to follow blindly. I kept trudging. I kept reading. I kept trying and one day, after about five freaking years, the bible started clicking. I really began to understand, as much as any keen thinker can, the Word.
I began to believe. Many things began to make sense.
Now somethings simply don’t change about a person. I totally agree with House on that one.
However, with every read, every investigation (my mind doesn’t work like many, I just cannot, as stated above, believe something cuz someone told me about it nor just because I read something. I always go deeper on things that are important. And that was and continues to be a cornerstone for me. I need to know it for myself.) I began to build an interpretation… ones in many cases are against the average scriptural beliefs of the masses.
Lets see? How to put this? K, for example (and please if you are a zealot christian, please don’t leave me angry posts about me going to hell because of the opinion I have formed. These are my current interpretations of my knowledge of understanding… and yes I have an answer for that as well. I wish not for anyone to take on my beliefs. You all need to find and hold your own, whether we agree or not.)…
…Many folks have asked me over the years, “Do you believe Christ is the messiah, the living God? That only through Him will God hear you?” My answer is always the same. I don’t know. Do I believe that Christ existed? Yes, indeed I do. History tells me (yes, because in my investigations I went there too) that all the other characters were indeed alive and kicking, so it would only make sense that, even though the history books don’t talk about the Christ or the apostles, that indeed he must have existed as well.
Do I believe he is the only way to God? I don’t know the answer to that. Maybe. Maybe not… however, to cover my bases I do end each prayer in Christ name I pray. After all, in the not knowing it sure the hell isn’t going to hurt. The general response by most advent Christians is if I do not believe such than I am going to hell… where I respond, if that is the case than you just made Christ life meaningless so it would matter not. Usually I get a very inquisitional look at that point where I respond, if you believe in Christ, then you believe that he died on the cross for all our sins, do you not? The answer is always yes. If that is the case, i generally respond, than God and Christ would be okay with me not knowing, would they not? I mean, I wasn’t there when Christ was. I didn’t see first hand the things that happen… so for me to presume that I know would be the greatest sin of all, would it not? I mean I would be playing God if I did that, would I not? And that is the first, and stated above all others, commandment, is it not? So if Christ died on the cross for my sins, wouldn’t it make sense he could forgive me for not knowing, yet being open to the possibility of clarification once I move beyond this world to the KNOWING part? If not, was not his life not at all what Christians believe? You cannot have it both ways, can you? At that point, and no offense to anyone, most bible bangers lose their enthusiasm and logic.
I do generally advise folks in the midst of debate that sometimes I do think it is so… that christ was the living god. I mean when you string the stories, the history together, logic tells me that god, after several attempts of “fixing” the human race, and getting no result…well, he would eventually (I would if I were Him) come here Himself and be human to try to understand why we all kept sinning… and when one thinks on those terms, one can follow that up with, and the shit took the easy way out cuz he learned being human was really, really, really hard… he screwed up when after he created perfection, then split it in two… and why the hell did he, if he is all knowing, put that damned apple tree there? I mean, all knowing, means he knew what would happen, so why the hell set us up like that to be kicked out of paradise? You surely cannot blame eve for that one, it was all Him. And He cannot blame humans for their imperfections. He separated us. That is all on Him. So of course he took the nailing. It makes sense, based on the logic of events that he himself would take responsibility for that which he himself caused… forcing all humans to a must trudge (or be mercilessly sucked under) state of existence…
I digress. But trust me there is a reason why knowing the above is important to this story (which I will never get through today and will be worth your while, I believe, to follow it through… well, if you wish.) It lead to my next point, which ties into the first point above.
In investigating the scriptures, there was one part that I felt extremely confident in the knowing. After all, it was spelled out very clearly. Left no room for, or little room for, interpretation… that was the ten commandments… which christ later interpreted when some lawyers tried to trick Him… and he replied something like the old laws were the new laws. That (and this is all off memory and summation) first, love your God with all your heart and soul above all else… and love thine neighbor as they self… which is all the following commandments. Do on to others as you would have them do on to you… and I know there is a whole new blog on all this paragraph that maybe one day I will get into it, but for now,…
In those commandments there was one line that opened up my selfish human mind to the requests of the time noted in the beginning to the life of service… If I wanted my daughter, my children (cuz over the years I had taken in many mixed up kids, no matter the age… they are all gods kids and we are all family), and their children to have a better life… there was a promise by God in those commandments… the promise states something like, the sins of the fathers will be passed on for seven generations, yet the one that breaks that cycle, they will be rewarded for a thousand generations.
If I truly wanted a better life for my children, I needed to break the cycle… and I did… and yes, I did it for purely selfish reasons, I wanted a better life for those yet to come. I was promised that. So, as to fulfill that promise for all those thousand generations, I could do for others what I would wish done for myself. It was so determined, so many years ago. I would commit… and I did.
So I vigorously began my life of service, as required of me, so many years ago…
Where is she going with this?
Well, you know me… I will get you there…
Till the next time. May you keep on trudging today.
“Every road I take feels, lost with no direction, My faith is shaken…”
Over the past few years I have received hundreds of emails from folks asking about my blog. Mostly folks advising me how much they miss my daily writing, questioning if/when I will begin again and what made me stop. Sometimes I respond with a generic well-meaning a writer’s life, busy as it is; blogging is a lot of work with absolutely no pay, unless one opts for the annoying ads… sometimes I don’t respond at all. One thing is for certain, I never shared an honest answer out loud, which is, what is an inspirational writer to write when once caught by the darkness and incivility of a populous she has found herself among? As Peter so eloquently sings above, “in all the places we were hiding love…”
I realize such thoughts come across as blame-shifting. As the good book says, we are who we hang with. yadda yadda. Yet hear me out and try to be a bit patient with me as I think out loud for you all once again.
As most published writers I began my blog to grow closer to my audience. I then joined many, too many, social websites to grow my blog. At first, it was exhilarating reaching out and touching, and being touched by, so many artists… so many incredible people, with incredible stories. Soon, emails began to be exchanged, sharing bits of our lives that were beyond the scope of a blog and its commentators. Book sales grew as my blog grew (and my blog following soared extremely fast) … but more importantly I was getting to know some truly incredible people from around the world.
Somewhere along the way things began to change. The climate changed… and I began to change along with it. As Peter continues to sing, “What was it we were thinking of?”
Such changes, as I saw/see it, were of a political nature. As time passed, lines began to be drawn. To the extent of where you are on one side on another, with no place in-between. The line became the point and all humanity was lost to any and all whom opposed it. As if now here, in America, to have your own viewpoint, your own belief, that falls outside of that of an opposing side or belief seems to make you less than verses what was once a right to individualism. Where once a nation where diversity was looked on as an asset that built the great states, it now serves as a dysfunction that on some occasions that hostilely and perilously divides us. Where once such things as tolerance, compassion, acceptance clung to our american souls, now seems to be replaced by my way or the highway.
… “and down by the railway side, in our secret world, we were colliding. In all the places we were hiding love. What was it we were thinking of?”
Oh, and yes, I got right in there. Maybe not to the extremes as some. Certainly not to the extent of name-calling, nor lack of openness to a belief that differed from my own… but the negativity attached itself to me like a pesky mosquito that invades your dreams at one in the morning with its buzzing ear fly-byes… you know?.. where you unconsciously keep smacking yourself in the head to the point of consciousness? Yes, I was indeed wrapped up in it. Still am to some extend. How can you not be I wonder?
You are either spreading the message or spreading the disease, someone once said and I fully believe.
At first, and since deleted, I began to share my political viewpoints on my blog. Sometimes simply bringing knowledge or insight, or so I believed, to a topic… sometimes trying to center an angry populous. Then I gave up writing about it. I still read the blogs and posts on the social sites. Sometimes I am shocked to tears at the intolerance and hostility–to the point where I am doing that which I promised myself I would never do, delete people from my friends who simply go to far. I basically threw my hands in the air and said the hell with it.
Just this past weekend on fb a female fb friend called Palin a cunt for eating at chic-filet–and the supporting comments she received under her posts had my head shaking. When did that become acceptable? Does that mean I am a cunt for not believing in abortion? I mean, I don’t believe I have any right to tell you how to live your life (that is the american way, is it not?), but all the same, as is the beauty of this country, which now seems long-lost, I do not believe abortion is right for me… anymore than I believe I should force-feed, guilt, nor shame anyone who feels differently than I. I deleted her. I no longer need the negativity. I am done with it.
I am a freaking inspirational writer who lost her inspiration!.. and by no fault but my own.
“In all those places, we were hiding love. What was it we were thinking of?”
This leads me to another point… for all that were faithful followers in the past, you will get this. I used to love the word fuck. It was one of those defining words. It used to put real meaning to a statement. Now, thanks to the many social sites and the loose use of the word, it has lost meaning to me. There is no longer any great exclamation that comes from the word cuz it is used like shit. Now that’s a real crime, right there. Thank many very much for that.
So, I say no more. The news no longer plays in the back-drop. Your hostility, no longer my own…
“… in this house of make believe. divided in two like adam and eve… you put out and I receive…”
I come in peace, allowing others their hell and negativity… while I begin my search of inspiration once felt… so I fill my glass, raise it to you, to my nation compassionate in its diversity.
“… Oh the wheel is turning spinning round and round, And the house is crumbling but the stairways stand. With no guilt and no shame, no sorrow or blame. Whatever it is, we are all the same. Seeing things that were not there. On a wing on a prayer. In this state of disrepair. Down by the railway side, in our secret world we were colliding, in all the places we were hiding love. What was it we were thinking of? shhhh, listen.”
“We should live everyday as if it were everyone else’s last.” Courage of Fear
We became great friends fast, Robert and me. We met through mutual friends sometime after 9/11 (so, if you have read previous posts you understand my state of mind at the time.) He was a tall, lanky guy with hair down to his shoulder blades. His face aged and rutted; you could truly see the life he lived right there defined on his weathered face.
“Idaho Bob” he was called by many; a poet. I heard-tell he got that name because he was known for disappearing for months on end to Idaho to work on his next book. He would depart from Encinitas, California in his old VW sleeper van and disappear to the wilderness to connect with Mother Earth and write till he was done. Then he would return home. He had the most calming, welcoming smile than any man I have ever met. When you read Courage of Fear you will find him there in the acknowledgments. I grew to love my friend, Robert, very much.
We shared many common interests that bonded our relationship. First and foremost was our love for writing. We would sit for hours on end talking about our latest works or past works…kind of like how i do with you folks. Even though we would weave stories, there was always personal meaning to every detailed stitch of them. It wasn’t the words that bonded our friendship, no. It was the passion we shared for the expression of our souls that grew to be the cement. Many people can write, yet true artists have an understanding of and for the human condition that delves deep beneath the surface. Bob and I both knew, and shared, that this concept and/or understanding was what made a true artist more than a mere writer; it made them the Bard (if you don’t know the true definition of a Bard, I strongly suggest you google it.)
Most of the time we would meet at the Lumber Yard in Encinitas (it is not actually a lumber yard, it is an outdoor plaza; coffee shop, stores, food on Coast Highway. It got its name because it used to be an actual lumber yard.) Sometimes we would jump into the VW and head out to Palamar Mountain (under the Grandfather Cedar) or Borrego Desert just to see what nature had to offer us that day, or maybe to pick sage. Robert was very heavy into Native American culture, so we NEVER took anything from Mother Earth without first a thoughtful prayer of gratitude… almost a ritual really.
Like myself Robert loved music. Not for the beat or the lyrics, for its entirety. Like our own art, we would talk about song; maybe deciphering the lyrics or expressing how certain instruments would cause certain reactions. We could go for hours really without speaking just appreciating, maybe contemplating, or plum just getting lost in different artist’s work coming through the speakers at the time.
On different occasions friends would see us together. On many occasions different folks pulled me aside and warned me. Might be best to stay away from him. Things about him that could cause me troubles. We are just friends, I would say. They would smile at him and go about their days (california, i swear.)
It had been days and I had not heard from Robert. Non-returned voice mails, no phone calls, never see him at the usual places. Went on for over a few weeks, if I remember correctly. I sought out a mutual friend and asked, have you seen him? Ah, he was in bad shape the friend reported. Had been drinking hard for days (the Robert I knew didn’t drink) and our friend was concerned. So we loaded ourselves in his car and headed over to check on our friend Robert together.
Bad shape, my ass. Robert was in horrible shape; bad a true understatement. It was mid-morning and you could have lit Robert on fire a foot away just from the fumes alone. I made us all coffee. Robert shook so bad I had to hold his cup. My heart broke. My friend Robert. He told me he had to stop. He just couldn’t. His face bruised from face to the concrete falls. He wanted to quit. He refused to go to a facility. Okay then, we shall do it together.
Our friend help load Robert into my car. What are you going to do he questioned.
Well, sober him up. I responded. Don’t worry. It will be fine. I have done this before.
(WARNING do not ever try to do this on your own. Alcohol withdrawal is the only withdrawal a person can die from. Unless you have seen it done and done it yourself you will very likely kill someone.)
I swung by the liquor store and picked up a couple bottles of Vodka, threw them in my trunk, and then started to drive east. I needed to get us somewhere where there were no people. Just looking at someone in his shape someone was bound to desire to help… whether that be calling the police, helping him escape from me (cause of course once the process starts alcoholics will do or say just about anything to get their hands on the bottle and get away from whom ever is keeping it from them.) I thought and thought. Lets face it, I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. Everywhere there are people in San Diego, you blink and you’ve passed a dozen houses. Then it hit me.
Less than an hour into the trip the uncontrollable shaking and perfuse sweating began. It was time. I pulled over to the side of the rode, popped the trunk and grabbed a bottle. I held it tight when he grabbed on. Just a few sips I told him. That was all he would get. I struggled to pry it back from his lips. Back in the trunk it went. He was leveled a bit again.
All was going pretty good when we hit the dirt road to the Indian Reservation. . . Fitting I thought for such an occasion. It was a very hilly area with lots of twists and turns. I needed to find just the right location so in the event old Bob got the gump (highly unlikely) to bolt he would be totally lost. I found it. Nestled down in a valley like area. From that POV all one could see was hills and green… absolutely nothing else. It was perfect.
I helped my friend out of the car. He rolled to the rear tire wall and slid down to the ground. Again, the uncontrollable shaking and profuse sweating… I grabbed the bottle. This time he yanked it from my hands. I need more than a sip he reported.
Like hell, I snapped grabbing it back.
At this Robert became hostile. I don’t want to do this anymore. Take me back. Give me the vodka.
Look, I can give you this bottle and I will. However, if i do, you are on your own. I’m leaving your sorry-ass here.
Again, the few sips had leveled out his physiological symptoms. He looked around. Where are we, he asked.
Somewhere special. I responded.
How in the hell am I going to get out of here?
That’s the point, fool. So, the bottle?… or me and the ride?
For the first time in all the hours, there it was, not fully, but I saw a glimpse of it… that smile. You suck was his response.
I know. I put the bottle back in the trunk, turned on the stereo, and then slid next to Bob on the ground. We stayed there for a very long time, me, Robert and the bottle. Just us, nature and the music. It was a grand day.
Robert stayed sober until his death shortly thereafter. He was diagnosed with bone cancer and left us very quickly after his diagnosis. He was very peaceful about it. When many folks heard he was dying, they reached out to him… even the one’s that sent me their warnings. And me, Tai Pan or Wyoming as Robert called me in many of his poems?.. I wasn’t in California when he passed but we were together just the same.
Robert was merely one of many who crossed my path reminding me that this journey will one day end… abruptly for some… I do not want to be one of those people saying I wish I had or I wish I did because I cannot any longer.
We should treat everyone as if it were their last day. No regrets.
There you have it. That is the story behind today’s quote.
“When we find that one person, that one love, we have found the physical manifestation of our Creator.” Barbara Boyer, Courage of Fear.
Good Morning all:
When first reading this philosophy of relationships I thought it sacrilege really. I mean it had always been my understanding that if I put anything between me and god I would surely lose it. Yet as I dug deeper, read more about this philosophy, something wonderful began to unfold for me.
It all happened when I lost “the one”, or whom I perceived to be the one. There I sat, balled-up, licking my wounds. . . trying to make sense of it all. Months past, time slipped by, and for the first time in my life I was unable to let go…me of all people? Unheard of… anyway like everything else in my life I HAD to make sense of it. I HAD to understand what happened. Not because of the loss of the relationship, more because of my inability to be able to let it go. So I did what I do. I read.
It was at this time I came across a book by Paramahansa Yoganada, “The Divine Romance.” It was totally by mishap. With every corner I took my spirit weakened. I would walk to clear my mind. Passing the Self-Realization Fellowship I heard a service going on so I thought what the hell and went in. It was wonderful. After, I hit the bookstore–and there it was calling out to me. After its purchase I went to my favorite outdoor french bistro, ordered brunch, and opened its pages… and there it was this philosophy of a human romance being the physical manifestation.
I thought. Blasphemy! I thought. Ridiculous! I thought. The lightening bolt was sure to hit soon for me partaking in such hockis-pockis. I thought. My past relationships with men were indeed similar to my past relationships with my creator. I thought. Over the years my relationship with God had changed, like any relationship does over time. I thought. And so had my relationships with others. I thought. Hockis-Pockis, my ass. This guy was on to something.
As I read on Yogananda told the story of two relationships. One that worked and the other that did not work. He gave examples of one of the partners leaving town.
In the relationship that didn’t work one could hardly wait for the other to leave. As the time grew closer so did that persons enthusiasm about their time apart. Then as the time grew closer for that person to return the anxiety grew stronger. Upon arrival the other was greeted with discourse.
Then there was the other couple. One was happy that the other was fulfilling their dreams, proud of their accomplishments. Although they would surely miss the other while apart, they were happy for their accomplishments and supportive of their journey. As the love and hugs were at their departure, so were they at their arrival… if i recall correctly it was as if they were greeting each other again for the first time.
So there I sat. Humbled in remembrance of my lost love over which i mourned so deeply–thinking of the time I was heading to Austin so his mom could come to visit; him excited about my departure–smiling, after a breakfast that was finally over.
Today may we see each other for the first time…or let go so someone else can.
So there you have it. That is how this quote in Courage of Fear came about in my life… you won’t find this little tid-bit in Courage, just the quote.
btw… if you all like my daily blog… please get your behinds over to amazon, barnesandnoble and pick up a copy of Courage of Fear… Support your daily contributor friend, me. . . a girls got to eat and it is a good read! Tell all your friends too.
Fear can be a great motivator. But, when one lacks
courage to walk through the fear, the boogieman
eventually gains enough power to
paralyze its victims. Courage of Fear, Barbara Boyer
Having been in the healing field for so many years, I cannot even begin to count the number of times I heard well-meaning folks say that shitty old expression, “fear is a lack of faith.” Shoot, that expression used to remind my of me dear old irish nana that used to tell me I was going to hell for speaking poorly or something or other. The comment in itself is a gotcha kind of expression. My idea of God is bigger than that. He is not a gotcha god.
I mean if God created us all in His own image, perfect (then the Fool (sorry Big Guy) separated the sexes and we haven’t recovered from that poor choice (again, sorry Big Guy) since… had a shit ton of fun, wonder and awe trying to reconnect… but that is another post for another blog all together). If we are all perfect just the way we are, why do so many of us want to make so many of us feel inadequate with all our god-given instincts? I am sorry. My God doesn’t roll that way. To me it limits Him and His creation.
Like I said a few days ago. In every lie there is a truth. I believe on the end of an extreme fear can be a lack of faith… yet folks throw it around out of context from the scripture’s message/lessons. I mean, shit, Christ experienced fear. Are those folks trying to tell me Christ (whether the real messiah or not) lacked Faith? I wish I could lack Faith like that guy. No. He took that fear and made it positive. He drew His circle in the sand. He prayed in the garden. He fought in the temples… the list is almost endless of what He did with his fear… how he turned it around… how He used it to guild Him… how fear was the vary fabric that bonded him and solidified and strengthened His relationship with the Father.
Fear is natural. Fear is a God-given instinct. Fear can be a positive thing. And like all things, I can use it to my advantage and own it or, as I wrote in Courage of Fear, I can let it be my handicap and own me. Like ALL things it is my choice. In my life fear is the built-in warning sign “danger Will Robertson, danger!”
Now maybe I am just full of crap and my nana was right. I am going to hell. I think not, but that’s okay if you think so. Maybe I feel this way because I am an artist and like most artist types I enjoy the exhilaration of the edge. Who knows?
What I do know is way too many humans automatically go to the negative in all things. I don’t know why this is. But it is. I just choose not to… or try to choose not to. For me it is kind of like that expression “either God is or He is not”… “He is Everything or He is Nothing.” There is not middle of the rode for me. If I want to say that fear is a bad/negative thing, in my mind I am saying maybe God is not, maybe He is nothing. Just doesn’t fly for me.
Fear is a way for me to be more.
It is just that simple.
… when beginning my journey of writing I was indeed exhilarated with fear. Those wonderful, beautiful, little butterflies in my belly that come about due to the fear, was a sign I was on to something for me, and indeed, maybe for you too. They were sensual… sometimes they make me lose my breath (I think some folks see those as anxiety attacks–and of course folks want folks to see those as negative–yet to me those are events that says, hey this is important to me… they are a good thing… just breath and rejoice in the fear of truth) Like Jenny, I am sure, with her new life adventures, we welcomed the fear and felt peace with its offering. We walked through it… made it to the next wonderful fearful new experience and began again.
The blog I wrote a few days ago, the decision to sit and write Courage of Fear began my life, without me knowing at the time, in a different direction. And one, I am fearful to admit, I am still a bit in flux with. As I have discussed in prior blogs I have been feeling for some time a strong sense of change. . . wanting a different life than the one I have had for so many years. In that blog a few days ago seeing that sentence, feeling those feelings about blending and wondering what that feels like, brought home some inner thoughts unknown to me.
Let’s see? As I have stated in past blogs I have had many many years of a life of service. I was the go-to gal. I was like Martha in many ways in Courage of Fear. It made things click for me for many years… I mean it gave meaning to my life… it made sense of the senseless youth. I was here for you… who ever you were.
Yet unknown to me just before writing Courage I began to see what a toll that was taking on my life. I mean really more than anything in the world I want to love unconditionally… and more importantly I do not want to be made to feel guilty or dirty for doing so. I guess it is what made me an effective counselor. It just seemed to be the Universe was crossing my path with more and more of folks who talked about wanting the same things… yet did they really? More and more relationships were appearing to be about “what’s in it for me?” “What does this look like to the outer world?”… and it was no ones fault but my own. It was who I was. Could I bring to myself the same things I gave to others for so many years?… just being?
For once, before I die, I would like to be one of those folks that can go unnoticed in the crowd. I would like to blend. Is that possible? I would like to know what that is like. I suppose, unknowing to me at the time, it is why I chose to be a screenwriter (someone behind the scenes). Was it that the Creator was preparing me for my future desires for myself?
As I have stated in past blogs I had recently made some drastic changes in my life. As a result, some old friends have left. Which I think is completely understandable. Yet others seem to want to keep trying to pull me back… although I try nicely to change the subject or divert, pull they do… thinking they know what is best for me… and maybe that is so…
…but the butterflies… oh those wonderful, beautiful butterflies, tell me I must continue to stand my ground, stay steadfast in my current direction of self-love and continue to try to trudge toward blending.
“When you look at the color blue do you see the same color as I do?” Courage of Fear, Barbara Boyer
I believe Jennifer was in tenth grade when she arrived home that day. She appeared disgruntled and antsy. “What’s up?” I asked. “What has you so on edge?”
It appeared that day in one of her classes they were discussing abortions. The teacher had asked the class to take their stance on pro-choice or pro-life. As usual certain youths were called on to present their case and argument to back it up. Jennifer argued pro-life.
After the class, one of her classmates cornered her in the restroom. She was very angry with Jennifer’s position. Jennifer explained to me all of the young lady’s opinions and normal debates on pro-choice. She was appalled Jennifer would try to set women back with her pro-life stance.
Good for her. I said to my daughter. She was, after all, entitled to her opinions and passions therefore.
That wasn’t the problem, according to Jennifer. What was the problem was that this girl was trying to force, through intimidation, her thought process on to Jennifer. . . to make her change her mind. . . to make her agree with her. That was what had Jennifer so upset.
Now, granted, this young lady probably had no idea that Jennifer was a result of a teen pregnancy; I thought to myself. She probably had no idea that my family thought and verbalized that I should have gotten an abortion. I had no right to have a child at my age, where I was at that time in my life. Never mind what Jennifer’s rights were at the time (and having been now almost grown and able to think for herself she now thought that it was very likely, had I followed the wishes of my family she wouldn’t be.) She probably had no idea, while she was yelling at Jennifer in the high school bathroom, that with each point she made she erased Jennifer’s existence just that much more (and maybe I think too much.) Even though all those thoughts raced through my head I simply responded:
“What color blue do you see?” pointing at the hanging blue towel.
What does that have to do with anything? She snapped.
Look at it. Do you see the same color as I do?
Well, ah, yeah. It is blue.
But do we see that color exactly the same?
Are you sure?
Look, honey, we all see things based on the colors we see. There will never be a way to know we see things exactly the same. All that girl did was showed you how not to bully someone, to teach you not to make someone feel guilty because their colors don’t let them see things the same way as you.
Even though it was a difficult and traumatic event for her. I have since heard her ask me the exact question. What color blue do you see?
“Love is not an act based on conditions. Love is the condition all other acts are based on. Love for our Creator. Love for others. Love for ourselves.” Courage of Fear, Barbara Boyer
If I remember correctly it was early in the morning and I was just finishing up with the details of chapter three in Courage when the phone rang. On the other end was a woman I had been working with (I met this woman during a traumatic time in her life when her husband of eleven years had just left her and their beautiful five year old daughter for another woman… a woman he had been sleeping with during their marriage–(asshole)). She was hysterical. Her breathing short, sobbing.
“Breathe.” I said to her.
“Maybe it was because I was a terrible housekeeper. I bet her house is clean.” Her voice still shaky. “He always hated the fact that the house was cluttered. Maybe if I did a better job? Maybe then he would have stayed?”
“Wait a minute.” I said. “Where is all this coming from? Tell me what happened?”
“Nothing happened!” She snapped at me. “After i got the baby off to school I started looking around and I started thinking maybe that was it. Maybe if I just kept things cleaner? Maybe then he would have stayed?” It was still difficult to make out the words through her shaky sobs.
“Take a few deep breaths.” I asked of her. “Let me see if I am hearing you right?”
“Okay.” She breathed.
“Your husband left you because you kept a cluttered house?”
“Yes. Maybe that is it.” She cried.
“And he stuck his thing in her bucket because she had a clean house?” I asked.
“Well, yeah.” She was beginning to calm. “She probably does everything better.” She began to excite again. “I was just looking around and everything is a mess.”
“Hold on a second.” I demanded. “She lives alone, does she not?”
“And his two kids, the ones that used to live with you and he, they are back with their mother, right?”
“Well, yeah. I told you that.”
“Just play along with me for a minute okay?”
She was steadying, “Okay.”
“And you have your daughter, she has no kids, Right?”
“But maybe if I did more. I mean, maybe if kept the house better… maybe if I was a better cook–I bet she is a good cook. Maybe, maybe he would have loved me more.”
“Wait a minute. Lets back up. Tell me how your day started?”
“Well I got, Jessie (totally fake name) off to school.”
“No before that… you woke up–wait, how well did you sleep last night?”
“Not good. My mind kept racing. I don’t think I got to sleep till about three.”
“And what time did you get up?”
“And when you woke up what did you do?”
“And what were you crying about? What was going on in your head?”
“I just kept thinking about him leaving me and jessie. How could he have done that? What did I do wrong?”
“And how long did that go on for?”
“I don’t know for about an hour. I kept telling myself I had to pull myself together so I could get jessie up, make her breakfast and get her ready for school–”
“And did you do that?”
“Well, I first laid with her for a bit. You know this has been hard on her. I like to wake her up slowly. So I laid with her talking her awake.”
“And were you crying?”
“No. Of course not. I was just talking with her.”
“And about how long was that.”
“I don’t know, maybe twenty minutes.”
“And then what did you do?”
“I made her breakfast and her lunch.”
“I walked her to school.”
“I started to work on some purses… but I just couldn’t stop thinking about things. I kept looking around me–”
“And the purses?… did you get your ebay account set up yesterday, so you could sell them?”
“Well you know…”
“Stay with me here.”
“You are a very talented artist. Do you know that?”
“Well, I don’t feel that way.”
“Yes, well you are. And that beautiful baby of yours, she’s pretty special, isn’t she?”
“Yes, she is.”
“And when your husband was off boinking someone else you were there not only starting your own business you were raising your daughter and his two kids too… isn’t that right?”
“You know he was working for the studios, he worked long hours–”
“Just stay with me here.”
“Are you glad you were involved in his kids lives?”
“You know I am. Their mother just couldn’t take care of them. I was glad I was there for them. You know that.”
“So would you rather those kids be homeless and your purses never seeing the light of day or a tiddy house?”
“Well, would you rather create things or clean them?.. cause lets face, there really isn’t any such thing as superwoman.”
She started to laugh. “Create things.”
“Look, that woman has no kids. She lives alone and has no desire to have children. She has no personal goals outside of getting up every morning and going to work… oh, and stealing other woman’s husbands. . . so she has no loyalties– Let’s face it, you or I would never go out with a married man. We just wouldn’t do that to another woman.”
“Well, that’s true.”
“And they are both bound to do it again. With other people and to themselves.”
“So no matter who you were or what you did it never would have been enough?”
“I suppose so.”
“Honey, love isn’t an act based on conditions. Love is the condition. You get that. Right?”
“Yeah, I get that.”
“So I guess when it all boils down; would you rather be a spiritual, inspirational, principled woman; be artistic and create all those beautiful things you bring to the world and raise and love those kids the way you do or have an immaculate house, wearing an apron making a better homes and garden dinner, sleeping with someone else’s husband?”
“Be a good mom and be creative and principled.”
“Now that’s my point!”
There you have it folks… it made it in the book… well, not like above, but it is in there all the same.