Friday, June 24, 2016

My Happy Place


My Happy Place:

Dear God,

I’ve seen so much anger lately. People saying their your children (and I’m not saying their not.) wanting to deport little brown kids and their parents for having the audacity to try to get to a better place than the one their from. People using intimidation and cursing on one hand and then listing “Come worship with us on the other.” People yelling at each other over the best narccisst to elect and how everybody else is killing the country.  People hating a president and belittling but yet giving a free pass to the one’s who took us into war and the edge of depression. People telling me although they don’t know my life that I have had “privilege” just for the color of my skin. Yet, my journey isn’t one that many of them would have chosen or even made  it through.  People tailgating on the road because they are in such a hurry. People proclaiming you as an old angry man with a stick up his butt and then wondering why some us don’t have any desire to come to church to worship such a being. People claiming that all we are is a brain fart and then trying to find comfort in nothingness. You can put lipstick on a corpse but it’s still a corpse. I want off.

I WANT OFF!

Just for a little while. I want to see and talk and breathe with Jesus. NO, not that one. Not the blue eyed all American Franklin Graham U.S. Constitution flag waving fraud. Not that one. See the other one? Over there? Palestinian?  Jew? Human? Yeah that one.

The one who weeps with the hurting and rejoices with the joyful. Yeah, that one. The one with the growth of beard and the dark weathered skin and the world weary eyes  that still sparkle somehow. The one with the rough hands that are so gentle when I take them. Yeah, that one. The one going into the cancer ward and weeping and wiping away tears. You know the one. The one who takes me through the times when I just feel like giving up. The one that doesn’t care if I yell @#$#$%#&!  The one who is sitting beside that dirty homeless man over there that I don’t even want to look at in case something jumps off him onto me. Yeah, that Jesus. Just for a minute.

See? Here’s a nice spot. Let’s sit here a little while. Want some more tea? It’s a hot one. I miss so much these days. Sometimes, I  think I need to go back to about 1975. I feel like I left something on one of those hot Alabama black top roads. I can’t really recognize the old guy in the mirror these days. But, every once in a while I see a certain glint of the eye.

Let’s stay just a little longer. Ya know? I don’t much care for religion these days. I don’t much care  for dogma and people yelling at each other when they don’t and can’t understand what it’s like to be the other person. But, I’ve missed you. I really have. Just a little longer.  That shade feels good. I think I’ll be okay but when I get to the place where I cross the river. Don’t forget me. In my own way I’ve never forgotten you.
Peace

Monday, June 20, 2016

Thoughts and Rants.


What you have done to the least of these. You have done to me…..Jesus

So now our choices are down to a cruel idiotic bully and a narcissist jerk that got a young girls rapist off by taking the girl down. Now, one was recent and one was long ago. But, both speak so much to the character and quality of these two “candidates.”  Trump is too chicken s..t to admit he made fun of a disabled reporter. Although, the “video” is there. At least be a man you piece of ….Oh well, I digress

Hillary says she had “No choice” and tried to get out of it way back in 1975. Still she chuckled about it as recently as a few months ago and her defenders saying it was taken out of context? Oh good gravy.

 

There’s no way now for you to get the Democratic or Republican nomination without being able to raise two or three hundred million dollars, or more, and I would not be inclined to do that. And I would not be capable of doing it.

“We’ve become now an oligarchy instead of a democracy. And I think that’s been the worst damage to the basic moral and ethical standards of the American political system that I’ve ever seen in my life.”


 

So, what’s the point in voting? Honestly? I’m not sure. But realistically? Given that we have to choose one. I’ll have to vote for the narcissistic  heir to the throne with apologies to King George. Because if you have lived and watched names such as Kennedy, Bush, Romney, Clinton and countless politicians on the local, state and federal level going into the “family business.” Then you have to know that we do indeed have political Royalty in this nation.

But, if I’m in an airplane and I have to choose between bad people then I have to at least choose the one with the pilot’s license. That would be Hillary. It’s a shame that she will now be thought of as the pioneer who broke through the glass ceiling for women. Because, honestly there are many, many better women than her.

 

COURIC: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this—to stay informed and to understand the world?

PALIN: I've read most of them again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media, coming f—

COURIC: But like which ones specifically? I'm curious that you—

PALIN: Um, all of 'em, any of 'em that, um, have, have been in front of me over all these years. Um, I have a va—

COURIC: Can you name a few?

PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news too. Alaska isn't a foreign country, where, it's kind of suggested and it seems like, 'Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C. may be thinking and doing when you live up there in Alaska?' Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.[10]

 

So, no not her. Not Sarah “Oh, I read em all.” Palin. I still haven’t forgiven John MCcain for foisting that intellectual moron on the nation. Has it been hard for me to take the G.O.P. and MCain in particular serious since then as far as national elections? You Betcha.

 

I remember when I worked for Etowah County in Gadsden, Alabama. A county Commissioner ran on being “pro life.” Really:? A COUNTY COMMISSIONER. I don’t think fixing potholes will have a real impact on the right to life debate. That’s how much respect these folks have for the voters. It’s as if a governor ran a campaign and had no clue as to how he or she was going to lead. But, just kept saying “I’m against Obama.” I mean how smart would you be to elect an imbecile like….Oh, Never Mind. Roll Tide and War Eagle y’all.

 

I really think we need term limits. But, on the other hand maybe this is what the majority really want for themselves. I have watched my home state gut education and social services. Hospitals facing possible closure. Industry going across state lines. But, ya know what? At least “we” showed Obama. Sheesh!

 

I could go on and on and offer quick fixes. But,  I really don’t have any. The only thing I can say is we need to hold all politicians accountable and stop being manipulated like football or basketball fans for a sports team. Stop thinking that these people are “godly” or have integrity or honesty. These are bought and paid for political whores and we need to stop the worship of them. Make them work for the money. Ya know what? A soldier “serves.” A firefighter “serves.” A police officer or a nurse or even a …Blushing here, social worker can serve. But, the next time I hear a rich @#$%$ politician named Bush, or Clinton or any other elected official say they serve? Well, lets just say I’ll try not to throw up in my own mouth. Sheesh!

So, yeah I’ll vote for Hillary. But, not because I think she’s a hero or has a servants heart. But, because I think the G.O.P. has lost its collective mind and at least the democrats will listen. But, that’s my opinion. Everybody has to follow their own heart. But, I’ll have to vote for my wallet and since I’m not independently wealthy I can’t vote G.O.P. Well that and the fact that Donald Trump is about as much a conservative republican as Mickey Mouse is. 

Anyway, that’s my rant. As always. I could be wrong.

Peace.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Comfortably Numb


 I realized that I just didn't have the energy for another sound bite post on facebook. I  don't have the energy for another "just so" story from the right or the left. For the record I believe that we need to calm down and talk with each other instead of at each other. I do lean left. I do take the words of Jesus seriously when he says "whatever we do to the least of these." But, I also know that everybody has a life experience and an opinion. I've seen only a couple of truly evil people in my 59 years on this planet. Most people are conflicted. Most people are decent at their core but they are also afraid of people who are different. Anyway, right now as far as politics and religion and hate and violence. I'm just tired. Trying to get to the end of this part of my eternal journey without doing too much more damage to my own soul and none to anybody else's.
Peace.




Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone at home?


Another shooting. Another reason to hate Obama, Hillary, The N.R.A. White men, Muslims, Christians. Just depends on which channel you happen to be tuning in at the moment.

 

Come on, now,
I hear you're feeling down.
Well I can ease your pain
Get you on your feet again.
Relax.


 

Well, I can vent it all on facebook. Listen, I know the truth. Listen this is what we should do. Get rid of all the guns. That will shore up the human heart quite nicely. If you don’t agree we can send you to a sensitivity class.  This is what we need to do. Take all the people that don’t look “American” and put them in camps and take the heads of families and ship them to a top secret “facility somewhere.” Wait a minute! Lets get religious fanatics out of the public eye. Wait a minute. Lets get the bible back in schools. Why, we used to know how to ….Wait a minute. Listen up. $#%#@

 

I'll need some information first.
Just the basic facts.
Can you show me where it hurts?


 

Ya know if they would just pull their damn pants up and ….Wait a minute if the old white men would just shut up and admit they are the reason for all the racism and hate in the world. Why you…@#$%$

 

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship, smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.


 

It’s judgement is what it is. Why, I remember when I was a child….Wait a minute. You can’t tell me anything. I just read a study the other day that shows that people “like you” are closed minded. So, I  don’t need to hear anything you have to say. What? I’ll tell you what you …@#$%$#

 

When I was a child I had a fever
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I've got that feeling once again
I can't explain you would not understand
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb.


 

I’m going to binge watch that series again today. It speaks to me…It explains all the evils of the system man. You gotta see it…..I’m telling you that he was a great evangelist son and if you will stand with him then all of “those” people will be destroyed in god’s wrath. I know because I sent in a $300 love donation and I have the pendant to prove it…..What? well  on public radio the other day I heard from a very well respected scientist that the only reason you think you have a feeling is because a certain section of your brain is being sent a signal. What? On whose authority? Why you #$%$# On God’s authority. What? You can’t question me on that. I told you it’s Science!

 

O.K.
Just a little pinprick.
There'll be no more aaaaaaaaah!
But you may feel a little sick.
Can you stand up?


 

Well, yeah we might have stolen it from the heathens but ya know god was on our side. Besides what were they doing with it? It was just growing up and trees were taking over….Well, I don’t need to respect anything you have because ya know that California and Texas belonged to “my people” first…Well if they had of been obeying nature. All’s I’m saying is it’s a plot to take away our guns man…

 

I do believe it's working, good.
That'll keep you going through the show
Come on it's time to go.


 

Well, what I’m saying is if we could seal up our borders….Well wait a minute are you going to shoot people for trying to better their life? That’s a little girl over there. You think you could shoot her for coming across the border?  Why you…..@#$%$#&. I’m voting for him because he is going to make them build that wall and pay for it. ….What? F.B.I.? She’s not worried about the F.B.I. Are you some kind of racist? Why would you ask that? Why you…#$%@&

 

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship, smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.

 

I know people died and people are hurting. But, the message is important. We can agree on that can’t we? Hush here they come. I gotta get this point across. It’s important! What? I can’t hear you. But, I did hear my political party leader say…

 

When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
I have become comfortably numb

 

 

Hey look at this. See this proves that it’s “them” that are causing all the problems.  I was just on my “group’s” facebook page and some idiot came in to troll. Man we let him have it. We all agreed that he/she is an idiot. By the way let me show you this post on youtube. I just found it.

I have become comfortably numb….Pink Floyd

 

 

 

I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

Monday, May 30, 2016

Coffee With Jesus

 There's a site called Radio Free Babylon and that is where I "borrowed" the Coffee With Jesus title from. Anyway, I got up early this morning and decided to have "coffee with Jesus." So, I got my "Dark Tower Mug." which has the "Go, then there are other worlds than these" inscription. Made my coffee and headed for my pickup in the yard where I could chill and roll down the window before it gets to hot and talk out loud without the neighbors hearing me and assuming I'm getting even more screwy in my old age. :-) So, here's a little of what we talked about:

 For all of the literalist folks out there (Christians, Atheist, Agnostics and Skeptics) who do me the honor of reading my meanderings let me say this. No, I don't think I am writing a new scripture or making up my "inspired path to God." No, I don't think a physical flesh and blood person was sitting in the seat beside me (although, I did look over a time or two.) :-) Yes, I do believe I was drinking coffee and communicating with the very source of my being.

Me: "You know I was raised to believe you were literally the Son of God." That under your robe might as well have been a big "S" for Superman because you orchestrated the whole thing and could have called 'Ten thousand Angels" if you had wanted and would have been rescued from the cross.

Jesus: Uh, huh.

Me: I will say this though. When I was going through my recent patch of rough times the bible verses from my youth meant everything to me. I remembered them and held on to several and prayed them back to you. I didn't become a fundamentalist or anything but I held on to the wisdom of my lifetime. So far.

Jesus: And how did that make you feel?
Me: Just kidding. He, didn't say that. Jesus isn't a social worker. I just couldn't resist a little inside social work joke. :-)

Me: So, I'm not as sure of what I literally believe these days about reality. I find the whole "we are just brain farts and chemical reactions" of modern science jargon to be utterly depressing. On the other hand I find the "angry, sky god who want's us to walk around with a stick up our butts judging others as well as ourselves as nothing but unworthy worms to be very unlikely.

Me: I'm not even sure of what I'll see when I finish out my journey or transition to the next step of the journey. It wouldn't surprise me if you are physical manifestation of God. On the other hand it won't surprise me if you are purely spirit and not the "historical" flesh and blood just so character of my Sunday School classes.

Jesus: You recall the "The Wild God."

Me: I do. I was really young and happened to pick up a newspaper article. In those days I was either looking for the comics or the sports pages. But, I also loved to read about the strange and ghostly and I of course was a bible belt kid  from the south. So, the article called "The Wild God." caught my eye.

Jesus: Words and stories and truth and attempts to define even with the words "he, she, it, even source."

Me: Yeah, their all right and their all wrong.

Me: I don't know for sure. But, I think it's an eternal journey. Live this life and learn a little science, theology, love and hate. Peach and anxiety. Patience. Then take a little of the puzzle with you. The ever changing puzzle and continue to "Be."

Jesus: You already have the wisdom if you just knew how to listen, and see. The kingdom is within you. Not "up there" or "down here.

Me: The next part of this journey will be wonderful and sad and hard and peaceful and it will be okay.

Jesus: Enjoy the coffee and smell and see the world. But, don't get so attached that you lose the truth.

Me: All things serve the beam. :-) "Gotta be a Dark Tower reader to get that one.

Jesus: That sense of humor?  It's served you well. But, just don't forget who gave that to you. :-)

Me: Tears and laughter. Thank you God.

Me: Thank you for this. I hope to hear you better and see you in all the stages. I'm going to step on out there and try to flow with the universe. But, there are some (when are there not?) rocks and hills to navigate.

Jesus: I got ya.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Slow Ride.


Hi there. How are ya? It’s been a long time….Joe Walsh (Eagles)

 

I recently was thinking about my life and how fast time has gone. I remember thinking back when I was young. I’d get older someday. But, when I would look back it would seem like I would be remembering a long, far away lifetime. Nobody ever told me it would be like remembering yesterday. I can still close my eyes and touch 16, 17, 18,19. It’s still a hot southern night and Foghat is blaring Slow Ride on my eight track or radio and the prettiest girl in the world is just right over there.

 

But still they lead me back to the long winding road…Beatles

 

I hear so much talk these days about politics and religion and so much venom spewed. No wonder I miss riding around full of teenage angst and pony millers and girls in halters and boys getting bleary eyed and ready to fight. At least when they finished they shook hands and there was no thought of coming back and ending it with a gun.  Men were men and the women were glad of it. J

 

Bahhahaha. I’m sorry but every once in a while the little liberal bleeding heart social worker in me has to get in touch with my inner redneck.  Don’t want to stay there but a little bit will balance me out.

 

My, but we learn so slow and hero’s,  they come and they go and leave us behind as if we’re supposed to know…Joe Walsh

 

I was recently reading a post on a site about another killing. While reading it I noticed that within just a few comments it became political. Seriously, people yelling at each other for being liberal or conservative and blaming Obama and Bush and then making crude jokes about killing. So, yeah sometimes I just want off.

 

Oh well, it’s been a good day in hell and tomorrow I’ll be glory bound….Eagles

 

Good Day in Hell. I can remember that being my anthem as a young person. Just wanted to hurry up and grow up and get out of the small town that was of course in my mind the reason for all my troubles and go down the road to that magical time when all I wanted was just going to be dumped in my lap. Sigh.

One toke over the line sweet Jesus one toke over the line…Brewer & Shipley

Don’t ask. Don’t tell. Anyway, 1976 to 1984 was a long time ago.

 

I can still feel the breeze that rustles through the trees and misty memories of days gone by…Bee Gees

 

I think it’s okay. Getting older has given me some perspective on the world. It might seem like every day is a long slow slog at times. But, really? Now, is what matters. Not waiting for the perfect time, perfect finances or perfect home.  Just breathe.  At least a little. I love meditation and I find that prayer and  getting quiet and meditating gives me a release. It’s hard these days because my attention span isn’t what it used to be.

 

I’m in the mood the rhythm is right move to the music we can roll all night…Foghat (Slow Ride)

 

Well, my roll all night is basically my ride home from work. But, I can crank it up loud and the years roll away for just a little while.  J

 

When you are old and grey and full of sleep, and nodding by the fire, take down this book and slowly read, and dream of the soft look your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep:…William Butler Yeats

 

So, just for right now I’m going to dump all the loud Trump, Clinton, Obama and Bush rhetoric. Just for right now I’m going to go for a “Slow Ride.”

 

Peace!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Left and Right


Left vs Right:

But wisdom is proved right by all her children…Luke 7:35 NIV

I have to make a confession. I thought the above scripture was from Proverbs. But, it is something that I have often thought of. I always heard it as “Wisdom is known of all her children.” Meaning that once you look at the accumulation of evidence the wisdom of an action or thought will be apparent.  For instance “Obama was born in Kenya and is actually a radical Muslim.” This is not wisdom nor is it known of or proven right by wisdom or evidence.  “The only reason people attack Obama is his race.” Again, this isn’t wisdom or true. See Hillary or Bill Clinton. See Ronald Reagan on the other side. Does that mean nobody hates the president because of his race? OH No, believe me that’s exactly where some of the hate comes from. But, not all of it.

Black lives matter: Yes they do. But, in making it an us vs them type motto I fear the exact opposite of the stated purpose is being put into play. We talk “at” each other instead of “to” each other these days. If you truly want the people you are trying  to persuade to consider your cause then making them defend themselves instead of listening to your point is more than likely not the best way to do it. On the other hand if you only want to have your side to pat you on the head then go on with your bad self.  Nothing will change and you can wallow in your self righteous indignation.  I knew two ladies I worked with a long time ago in the Etowah Count Courthouse. I noticed them one day as they were talking.  They were not listening at all. One would talk and you could see the other nodding and bouncing and just waiting for her friend to shut up so she could talk. Finally, when the other woman finished the one waiting said “okay” as if “finally.” Then she started to talk. J It wasn’t a woman thing it was a human thing. It’s what we all do to an extent.

 

Abortion is murder:  Truth is if men got pregnant you could get an abortion out of a vending machine. Sorry, it’s just true. If you really want to change things then support young mothers and try to make a way in society instead of slapping labels on them and telling them how sorry they are. Truth is that the far right wing is one reason  that some young women do abort. You put pictures of young black men in hoods on your facebook pages and say the cops made a righteous kill. You support bombing men women and children back to the stone age. You want to deport young kid’s parents and yet you say you are pro life or pro family or Christ like. You’re Not! You’re pro birth. Period!

White priviledge: You think that just being born “of color” gives you a moral superiority over those of us born white. It Doesn’t! You don’t know my struggles. You don’t know how many times I’ve been told to go the back of the line because I was not rich or powerful or had a birth defect. It’s MONEY that matters. I cringe when Will Smith or Jada Pinkett (and I love Jada) yells about racial injustice as if they have the same experience that a poor black lady in the projects has. Are they in the projects? Are they supporting black families? Or do they just want to play the race card and sit in their “ivory tower” Pun intended.

Obama is horrible: Really? Truly? You do know that he inherited a country on the brink of depression right? You do know that George Bush had the nation in two war’s and was cutting aid to military families right? You don’t? Well, I worked for the army back then and let me tell ya. We couldn’t even get @#$% toilet paper for the schools and day care’s on post because good ole George the patriot’s administration was cutting funds to the families while the fathers and mothers were sent into a war zone. I still remember mothers and fathers running to the t.v. in the day room’s of the centers because their husband, wife, mom, dad were in the unit  that was taking fire and being reported by Fox or CNN or other networks. Love Bush? Ya know where I’d like to stick Bush? Nuff Said!

Guns: Really people? Back off. I was raised in a family of hunters. I don’t hunt. I’m a hypocrite because I would never shoot a deer but I’ll eat the hell out of some steak. J  However, why not have guns registered and make sure felons don’t have the priviledge of buying legal guns. Sorry to my fellow liberals but it’s not the hunters and home owners and people registering guns that are the danger.  So, lets keep em legal and regulated and stop demonizing each other.

Here’s a shout out to my folks in Bama: Look at how bankrupt the state of Alabama is because you have given one party the absolute rule over your state.  The next  time a politician tells you he/she is fighting Obama ask them what the !@#$ that has to do with making sure the people of Alabama have clean water and good jobs and decent roads and schools. IT’s a shell game folks.

Medicaid: Health care does need to be reformed. I agree there are some major flaws in Obama Care. But, the heart is in the  right place. I was recently (at least to me it was recent) between jobs. It was horrible. My child has Asthma. If it were not for Medicaid I would have been more of a basket case than I was. I work with older people who have to have dialysis treatment just to live. People who don’t make enough to afford insurance or don’t have the blessing of working for an employer who can provide insurance. Employers who honestly can’t afford insurance. Hospitals and doctors threaten to leave and close up because they will go broke.  Please wake up!

The Border: Let me tell ya I’m glad Taco Bell was open late the other night. The Burrito’s hit the spot. Oh, that border. Never mind. J

Seriously, I do understand both sides of the debate.  However, no matter which way you come down at least have a little compassion on the poor families and children at the border. You might with good reason be alarmed at the ease in which gangs and drugs are crossing. But, do you really think that if it were you on the other side of that border and your family was hungry that you wouldn’t give it a shot? Really? I would!  One other thing from a social workers perspective. We are not standing at the border giving out free social security and Medicaid benefits to everyone who crosses the border illegally. The people who cross are having to work two and three jobs and live two and three families to a residence just to stay afloat. Now you can argue the merits of doing that. There are  arguments to be made. But, I just wanted to assure you that us liberal social workers are not handing out Medicaid and SSI benefits like candy. Just so you know.

Gay Marriage: Why is this an issue? You have evangelist standing in the pulpit while their third wife beams with pride talking about the sanctity of marriage. If Vegas and multiple divorce hasn’t damaged or destroyed marriage then Bob and Tom entering into a legal adult union isn’t going to destroy it. If the church doesn’t want to recognize it then it doesn’t have to. A church I attended in my youth didn’t recognize divorce and remarriage. So, there are people in the other churches preaching on marriage when their own marriage is a sin in the eyes of some other “Christian” denominations.  Chill out folks. Time to be big boys and girls.

Bathrooms: Honestly, I never let my child go into a public bathroom by himself until he was 12 years old. Even now I stand anxiously at the door. So, if you are afraid some pedophile is going to accost your 3 year old daughter in the restroom then I think you’re an idiot. Because your 3 year old daughter shouldn’t be going into a public restroom by herself in the first place. But, (and this will bug my liberal friends) there is an easy way to handle this. If you have a penis then use the men’s room. If you have a vagina then use the women’s room. If it’s a restroom that specifies both men and women can use it then lock the door. Got it? Good! Move on.

Just Vote: Please Don’t! Telling someone to “just vote” is like telling them to just shoot the arrow without looking. It does matter. Look at the issues. Think about what’s important to you. Hold both parties accountable. Then vote. Honestly? I’m becoming more and more cynical about voting. I do vote and will continue to do so. But, I’m not silly enough to think that anybody who rises to the level of senate or presidential candidate  is a pure and clean servant of the people.

Just some ramblings and as always. I could be wrong. J Thanks for the honor of reading my occasional rants.  Peace.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Life before, during and after.


Do you believe in life after death? No, I don’t mean are you a Christian, atheist, or new ager or Wiccan or Unitarian. I mean what do you really believe? I have always been fascinated or haunted by the reality of those two little dates on a tombstone. Born: ….Died:….

What does it mean? Wow, that’s fast. Since returning to my native state of Alabama around 2005 after living in Hawaii and Colorado and points in between I have been surprised and at times dissappointed in the meanness of religious and political views of people I have loved and respected my whole life. I have kept from commenting to often because I don’t want to hurt or belittle or distance myself from people I grew up with. Fell in love with in my youth or have the same family blood flowing though my veins. Still, some of the statements concerning the refugee the “illegal” children and homeless and poor among us make me want to say at times “Have you lost your #$%&* mind?” Have you really forgotten where you came from? Are you now that rich? That comfortable? That sure of your own rightousness? But, I don’t. I can’t. I can put it out here like this and maybe I’m a coward. I don’t think so. But, I also can’t help but wonder. What do I really believe. Some are able to say “Well, the bible says it, I believe it and that settles it.” Now, I can give lip service to that. I can say amen to that and get a pat on the head from family, old school mates and friends. But, as my momma always said: God already knows me so why do I care what you think? J So, I can’t lie to you. I don’t know for sure. I still wonder. I have really, really different feelings on things than the ones I  was taught in Sunday School or the political right wing absolutes of most of my home state. I also don’t lean left so far my brains fall out. I don’t apologize for my skin color or the so called “white privilege” birth. Nobody ever apologized for my cleft lip and pallet (not that they should) so I’m not apologizing for any so called priviledge of being born a certain Irish or European background. My maternal grandparents pretty much raised me and they were poor, applachhain survivors of the great depression. I haven’t forgotten. So, to me all people matter. All God’s children are important. Anyway, I recently finished a book on the subject of what comes next. So, here’s my “book report.” J

 

What Dreams May Come
Richard Matheson
First Published 1977
Tor Books 2004

I listened to the audio book format since these days I have a long although peaceful drive to and from work. The Robin Williams movie “What Dreams May Come” is based on this book. I honestly don’t remember that much about the movie. I remember the last part where Robin rescues his soul mate from a hellish afterlife and cut scene to a little boy and little girl meeting after both were reincarnated. Richard Matheson in his day was a prolific writer and also a contributer to the original Twilight Zone t.v. series. Richard Matheson wrote another book I believe called “The Path” where he expanded some of his beliefs and opinions about the “afterlife.” I have not read that book. This is a work of fiction but based on extensive reading of the author. I have the ebook along with the audio book and I can tell you the listing of resource material the author supplies is extensive. Since the book was written in the 70’s many of the resources are from early to mid 20th centaury so it’s also a very valuable resource to see how this subject was treated before the internet and made for t.v. and ghost hunter type stuff muddied the waters.

 
The main character is Chris Nielsen who has been killed in a car accident. The story opens with his brother receiving a visit from a very reluctant psychic who far from trying to take advantage simply wants to be rid of the whole affair. The spirit of Chris Nielsen is very persistant in wanting to tell his story and pretty much hounds the psychic until she channels the account for his brother to read.
Ann who is the wife of Chris is grieving so horribly that she just can’t seem to go forward. They were so close in life that even though she has children she just loses all hope. She isn’t religious and doesn’t really accept that there could be such a thing as life before or after death. It makes her grief all the more crippling.


There is a scene at the gravesite where her teenage son has brought a psychic or a medium who sees spirits. The medium sees the spirit of Chris but Ann is not comforted at all. As a matter of fact she is angry and calls him a fraud. Later in a scene at her house Chris has gone to the bedroom. He comes down the stairs and sees the same psychic trying one more time at the sons insistence to convince Ann that Chris still exist and isn’t annihilated. However, this time the medium sees a pale robot like shade that only he can see. This creature is a product of the medium and perhaps Ann’s own subconscious making. Chris is disgusted and tries to get through to the medium that this creature isn’t him. Creepy scene and you would just have to read it. It’s hard to convey because the way I have told it sounds like a grade b horror movie. I assure you it isn’t.

The afterlife in this telling is shaped by the thoughts and desires of the deceased. I would recommend (although, it’s Christian themed so you may or may not like it) “The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis. At least on the shaping afterlife aspect. Other than that this book has nothing in common with the Lewis book. What Dreams May Come is not a religious book.


The afterlife in this book has a summerland type environment but also hellish regions depending on the spirit and thoughts of the deceased person. Ann eventually takes her own life and that is when Chris begins his journey with the assistance of his spirit guide. There is also a brief encounter with his deceased father where while civil also makes a point. The fact that you are related by blood doesn’t always mean (and that’s okay) that you are spiritually connected in a soul mate or even group soul way.
There is a library where you can read the “true history” of earth as opposed to the text books and accounts that we have here. Reincarnation is also touched on and reasons for reincarnating. It’s not a book about reincarnation per say but it does have something to say on the subject. Especially at the end.
The book is a little dated and I found myself glad to be listening instead of reading through it. But, as I get older I get more easily distracted so some of that my be me instead of the dating of the book. I do highly recommend the book and I think the author has something important to say.
I once read an account of someone speaking about the bible. It might have been the American political commentator George Will but I’m not sure. Anyway, the quote was about the bible. It could well apply to many things including this book. The quote: “Important, if true.”

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