Sunday, June 28, 2015

Taste the Rainbow.

First of all let me say that I am so glad that there are things in my life past, present and more than likely future that only God alone knows about. So, I try not to get into many polemics and rants and self righteous anger. But, this particular post isn't about heaven or hell or obliteration. This isn't about being a good democrat or republican. This is about something that I really get frustrated about at times and can easily find myself taking sides and pointing fingers. But, I do want to say this:

I see so many of my conservative friends ranting and saying they have been crying over the nation due to recent political decisions. I say the following from my honest heart and I say it without anger or derision. You don't have to agree but please at least think about it. I have thought about and was raised in the Christian aspect of things. So, please know that I have thought about some of the legitimate arguments a conservative might have. I am not a life long left wing godless liberal. As a matter of fact I'm not a "godless" liberal now. But, that's not the point of this:

1. We have in this nation right now families living on the street with no shelter, no food or clothing.

2. We have right now. People who fought and stepped up when they were sent to fight in a war that they may or may not have understood. They have no shelter and not enough health care and mental health support.

3. We place a "price" on the lives of people's access to health care and call it good old conservative, American, biblical values. It's not. It's a system that was put in place by powerful people charging interest on goods and establishing profit for selling insurance and driving up prices and dividing people into "us vs them." Please wake up.

4. We have picketed abortion clinics and called the murder of the unborn a sin. Yet, we have cheered as if in a football game when bombs and rockets tore the limbs and life from the old and poor and sick and pregnant of the "enemy." We have told young mothers you must have the baby. But, once they get here we have called them thugs and refused to aknowledge any other human responsibility to them. You can't revere the womb and hate the person that emerges from it.

5. We morn when someone burns a piece of cloth and yet call another murder or killing of a human a "justified" kill and put pictures and stories of how bad they were as if that justifies anything.

6. Some are born on third base and think they hit a triple. Some will get angry and say everybody is equal. But, their not. That's okay. That's life. But, have a little compassion. Unless of course you really do think this is just a contest to see who wins the "sperm lottery."

7. We worry that the poor folks coming over the border are the problem. Yet, we have a false war on drugs, a out of control prison system that is for profit and career politicians that draw public welfare and pensions for the rest of their life while cutting services for the poor.

8. We act as if God himself founded America. Yet, there was a Native American genocide and a displacement from home and property in order for America to expand. Slave labor built houses and industry. My own ancestors were grabbed off the boat from Ireland or the British Isles and forced to work or fight for causes that were not their own. Being American I also have Native American, African American and other blood as do we all.

9. So, if you are going to weep. Then weep. But, please shed a tear and say a prayer for the homeless and the sick and the poor and the desperate. Their lot isn't changed much by Sam being able to marry Tom.

10: Finally, yes. You have the right to believe homosexuality is a sin. Yes, you have the right to refuse to personally or as a church refuse to recognize a homosexual marriage. I disagree with you but that is my right.

11. But, you do not have the right to enforce your religious belief as the law of the land. Marriage was not (sorry guys) created just for Christians. Marriage in the U.S. and other nations is a legal, civil union. It simply gives one partner the right to oversee and share in the worldly goods and inheritance of another partner.

12. Also, what about the people who marry time and again. What about the quickie wedding in Vegas. What about the atheist who marries?

13. YOU are the one who makes your marriage sanctified or not sanctified. A judge can't do that. A church can't do that. A legal document can't do that.

14. Finally, I do as I said before disagree with you on homosexuality. I honestly think people are born to be who they are. I don't intend to get into a long endless argument over "what if's"

15. One more thing to some of y'all. No, you can't take back your country. There is no blond haired blue eyed Christian nation for you to take back. The country and even "gasp" the military you love is made up of black,white, brown, red and yellow. Male and female, democrat and republican, young and old. Christian and atheist. So, I don't know that what you want to "take back." is there for you to take back.


Saturday, June 20, 2015


 Prologue from Salem's Lot by Stephen King:

Old friend, what are you looking for?
After those many years abroad you come with images you tended under foreign skies. Far away from your own land. ....George Seferis.

This started as a comment on a facebook page for Gadsden, Alabama where I was born and raised. The subject was jobs and as with many small American cities that once boomed how, do we bring it back? We being they since I don't live there anymore. But, at 58 years old anything can bring on a bout of nostalgia:

When you are old and grey and full of sleep, and nodding by the fire..."When You Are Old." William Butler Yeats:

Wasn't supposed to happen so damn fast. :-0   Still, I guess late fifties doesn't really qualify as old age..yet. Right? Oh shut up!

Anyway, I think one reason we see the past as better is that we were better. Physically speaking that is. We remember those 19 year old bodies that could work all day and party all night and get up and do it again. The world was new and the future was endless. So, yeah that part always seems better. 2015 in around 35 or 40 years will be spoken of in those hushed, awed voices of people that are 17, 18, 19 and 20 years old today. The music will be classic and the culture will be so much worse than back in the day when "we" were in school in 2015. :-) 

Hey, I just noticed once I looked down when my coffee got cold. My mostly eaten poptart looks like the state of Alabama. Wild...Oh yeah, sorry I get distracted easily these days. The best part is I'm Not going to take a phone pic and post it on facebook. So, don't worry. Now, where was I? 

 Twenty-one and strong as I can be
I know what freedom means to me
And I can't give the reason why
I should ever want to die...Eagles

I hope to do a drive up to Etowah County before to much time passes. I always feel "home" when I get closer  to the hills after getting through Birmingham and heading north. I guess I don't really see with eyes from now. In my mind I'm going to Walnut Park and Chester Street. Then my grandparents in Altoona. But first, I see the Rebel Drive In where there is a "Dusk till Dawn" Horror Movie marathon starring Christopher Lee and a host of Romance novel cover girls breathing heavy and running from the Vampire/Werewolf,Frankenstein,  and "Oh my goodness don't fall he's coming!." After the movie and the obligatory "she's on my side of the car" fight with my sister we will head home.

I'll go up to Chester Street and play basketball with Barry and Rickey while brother Mike calls us little sissies. He will do it from a safe distance because Barry has an arm when there's a rock handy and a big brother taunting him. ;-)

 There's a world where I can go
And tell my secrets to
In my room
In my room...The Beach Boys.

I know. Stereotypical right? Still, it was true. I would go to my room and dive into a comic book or my electric football or Strat-O-Matic baseball game. My G.I. Joe or the box of cowboys and Indians under my bed. This in all reality didn't last long and my mother and stepdad fought a lot. But, in my mind this was an endless refuge. I feel guilty that my son missed out on some of the neighborhood experience. On the other hand we have made sure he missed the parents fighting experience so I think he's good. :-)

Bam, Pow, Zap! Batman!

There was a little "drug store" in Altoona, Alabama. Prince's Drugstore. If you could go back you would see a soda fountain and little round tables and chairs. A wire with comic books hung up over the counter. Mrs Prince or Mr. Prince would let me go around the counter to the back. "Now, don't make a mess." and pick out a comic or two from the stacks that weren't hung up yet. So, when I go through Altoona I see that drug store and I see where my grandparents and my uncle and aunt lived. I see the mountain where my Grandaddy dug coal. Even though now it's been laid low by strip mining and blast from long ago.

Oh well, it's been a good day in hell
And tomorrow I'll be glory bound....Eagles:

As a teenager I would play that song and just want to "get out." Now, I look back and I was never really trapped. There were endless possibilities. I try to remember that now as I get older. There are still endless possibilities.

But, sometime I still think there's something "back there" that I need to go find.

 “The only way back is the way forward.”...Dean Koontz, Brother Odd.

Never been a huge poetry guy. But, this one has always touched me. I first heard it a long time ago in an episode of "The New Twilight Zone." The episode was titled "Her Pilgrim Soul." I haven't found it since but if you come across it (the episode) I recommend it. I was first starting to really consider the concept of reincarnation at that time. Don't worry, I don't preach and I don't try to convert or convince anybody of anything. Mostly because I don't know much in a "for sure" way. :-)

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;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars. 
William Butler Yeats


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Caitlyn, Bruce and me.

I would say that I have read with interest the brouhaha concerning a former world class athlete turned reality star turned female turned lightning rod. But, I'd be lying if I did. I have had very little interest.

 It's kind of like fundamentalist televangelist and shrill atheistic pop scientist. Lot's of noise signifying nothing. It's like people who root for a political party as if it were a football team. It allows great evil to be manifest in the world but as long as it's our team then it's OK.

Honestly? I was more flabbergasted and even hurt by reading a self styled "Christian" woman who has daughters and grandchildren say that a certain molestation wasn't all that bad since it really didn't hurt anybody and it was forgiven. Yeah, that was something especially when the same person who said that then later in the week posted pictures of her precious (and I say that with absolutely no malice) they really were precious, granddaughters. However, the contradiction still could make ones head explode.

Still, in the midst of trying to make the world safe for "Truth, Justice and the American Way" I guess bad stuff isn't so bad as long as it's happening to somebody else. I see a lot of stuff happening to "somebody else" in my job. I really at times even though I'm pretty well educated. I still at times feel like making the sign of the cross or throwing salt over my shoulder or just asking my maker to hold me so that " doesn't get on me. People who don't have a home or job or enough clothes or medical care or dental care or things like that. Still at least the gays are still not welcome to get married. So, long as we have our priorities in order.

I saw somebody the other day that looked like their clothes were falling off. They were dirty and half crazed by who knows what? I certainly wasn't going to touch them or talk to them to find out. They might have been a veteran or something so I'm sure they would understand. Somebody had insulted my political party so I had to run down and make sure they got a good throttling. After all a human is well, sometimes smelly and nasty and well, who knows. But, my political and religious wing?  My God that stands for all of us doesn't it? 

I was listening  just the other day to a preacher. He was really concerned about the sanctity of marriage. At first I thought he might be a hypocrite. Since he was on his third marriage don'tcha know. :-) But, fortunately he explained it all to me. See, he didn't listen to "God" on his first marriage and she didn't listen on the second but this one is "Just right" See how that works? Whew, glad he cleared that one up.

Anyway, did you know that there are many people who are old and sick and can't get medication? Some can't get dialysis or won't be able to once more services are cut. That bothered me a lot. But, then someone explained that our "guvnor" is a "godly" man and just doesn't want people to get something for nothing. Sounds fair. After all if God had of intended for everybody to have food and clothing and be cared for when they are sick then he wouldn't have invented capitalism. He would have done some kind of hippie crap like sharing all things and giving somebody your coat as well as cloak. Why, Oh, wait a minute! Scratch that! Let's go on!

Anyway, why worry about under insured children and old people or parents working two jobs. We need to be worried about getting "god" back in school. I mean as long as we pledge and do a public prayer then we shouldn't have to worry about poor people. Somebody the other day was trying to tell me different. He was telling me about those "Godly" times back then. What? Ya mean back in the 50's when we still had prayer in school there were still mean people? You mean back when black people couldn't go to the same bathroom or eat at the same lunch counter? Those "godly" times? Well, don't worry I shut that communist up quick. Next thing ya know he'd be wanting me to touch poor people or talk to smelly people as if they were my equals.

I drove though Texas several years ago. I think it was near El Paso. I looked over and there was the Mexican border. There was a big fence but it looked kind of rough over there. I remember thinking "Ya know if I was on that side of the border, I'd be trying to get over here myself." But, then thankfully a right wing preacher explained to me that "those" people were trying  to tear down the U.S. and I shouldn't support them. He explained how the minute they come over here some liberal social worker is handing them a social security card and a bag of groceries and free health care. Later after I had become a social worker I realized that I don't have any extra social security cards or bags of groceries or free health care to give to people. Still, I'm sure that preacher was right. He's a man of "god" ya know.

Now, with all this you might think I'm cynical. You might think that I don't believe in ultimate truth or morals or self responsibility. You'd be wrong but, I can see where you might see some cynicism here. But, I really do believe that people matter. That God is not superman and isn't likely to be "kicked" out of anyplace. I really am cynical of religion (been there and got the t-shirt) but I'm also cynical of atheism. You can put perfume on a corpse but it still stinks. So, no I'm not an atheist. I'm also not a right wing republican. Not leaning so far left my brains fall out either.

I just see a lot of things that concern me. Bruce, Caitlyn Jenner isn't one of them. More power to her. I really don't care and I am more  concerned with trying  to treat people the way I want to be treated. I know sounds high and mighty and I"m sorry. Because, honestly? if you knew all my deepest secrets and feelings I'd be scared to death. But, wouldn't we all?

So, here's what I'm going to do this week. I'm going to try (even with that one jerk at work) to treat everybody the way I'd want to be treated. To actually see the Divine in everybody and in all my dealings this coming week. I'm going to try to be less cynical and less scared of people/things I don't understand. Just for this week I'm going to be fearless! Or act like I am. :-)