Tuesday, October 28, 2008

8 Against 8 and related...

So I wanted to introduce folks to another group of amazing, outspoken, brilliant bloggers who are doing their part to defeat Prop 8 in California! They've formed 8Aginst8 and are doing great work on the their own to defeat hate in California!

So aside from the really cool logo, they are each putting their own feelings on this rediculous, hateful measure, and I'm so loving what I'm reading, I thought I'd share. But first, a new picture I cobbled together just for the duration of the emergency per Reise's request:

Reise has a fun and funny PSA over on her blog, that is great to watch. So if you get a chance, run on over and give it a look, well worth it!

Seems from the latest that we are going to win this one, I personally know several people who've voted early and voted AGAINST 8, so I'm looking forward to the polls on election night saying that Prop 8 has been voted down!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fall in Winton Woods

With little rain in the spring and summer, fall is being somewhat less than spectaular in terms of foliage. Trees are already losing their leaves and there is precious little in the way of color. That's not to say that fall is a waste this year.

Frankly it is the first fall in many, to many, years that I'm in a position to sit by the lake and enjoy the season. Trees many be muted, but the sounds, smell, and feeling of the day is still wonderful. It's also a touch sad too.

Why sad? Because in a few days it will be my 11th wedding anniversary, and sitting her, on the shore of Winton lake, I'm reminded of so many Falls of the past on the shores of Lake Winnepesaugie with Earl. We honeymooned there, on purpose, and went back time and again. We'd even talked about getting a house there. Last time we were there together was so hard on me, because I KNEW we'd never be back there. I hate knowing the future sometimes.

So, as I sit here enjoying the day, I''m struck by much I've lost, and yet what I've gained. The pain of loss, so real, and so lasting. All I have left are the memories, and the longing to have Earl actually whisper the word Ducks, with that tone and laugh that spoke volumes. Our own little inside joke. One I can still giggle about, but really can't share the same way... So I sit here, on this perfect day, alone, crying into a palmtop... Just another day, here in Women's Country.

In the immortal words of Orlan, "I can't believe how much this hurts."

Monday, October 20, 2008


So I'm watching "The Sarah Chronicles" and they are talking about Fear, how on a bad day it can keep you alive.

Left unsaid is that when you live in fear, it takes all the good days from you. There are no good days because fear is running your life. Fear is your life, it is all you know, you eat, sleep, drink and become fear. It's not even like it's a choice. It's not something you do on purpose, you don't even think about it. It takes over your life slowly, inexorably, and without care or concern for you. It's like a drug, one that will take your life away from you like any other.

Funny the things that click in your mind when you watch TV.

So, a positive note. Another group I'm on was talking about fun things to do. And pointed to a blast from the past:


It's so much fun now that I never had back then. So I'm gonna be doing it for a while!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

News flash! There's NO "R" in Washington!

I'm sorry, but if I had any doubt whatsoever about who I was voting for, John "I should have been a plumber" McCain is not on my short list. I mean if Darth Vader showed up and it was either John McCain or Darth, well, no doubt in my mind, I'd vote for Darth.

What brought this up? John McCain's latest advermercial was recorded by his people, and they let him talk. In Warshington...

Where John?

In Warshington!


Certainly, why we're even going to have Joe the plumber come on down and stay in the Lincoln Bedroom!

Is that before or after you goto speech therapy, and get your GED?

Sorry John, but my Grandfather used to say Warshington, and well he's long since passed. My idiot brother STILL SAYS Warshington.

I'm sorry folks, but there is no "R" in WASHINGTON, and that's where the White House is...

If you pronounce an "R" in Wash or Washington, you might be a redneck!

Unless of course you've been a senator from Arizona for umpteen years. Then it just makes you an idiot. Business as usual, same failed policies, same greedy people who claim to be Mavricks, but still pronounce an "R" where there isn't one. He's so smart? Such a Maverick?

Learn how to speak!

The horrible truth about some parents claims...

No, you can't have that, it's full of sugar, it will rot your teeth!

What is it you may wonder that she's babbling about? Cap'tn Crunch, Fruit Loops, Fruity Pebbles and so many more...

I cannot tell a live, now and again I like some Captn Crunch, or either of the two Fruit cereals listed above among others. They were a rare treat when I was a kid (despite the fact that my Dad practically lived on Fruit Loops) because there was too much sugar...

Now, I also really love Special K. On the surface of things it's as close to health as Captn Crunch is far away. I mean really, it's used to lose weight... The Special K diet? I've used it. So looking at just the calories there is no difference whatsoever. So, let's take a look at the most important part for the conversation at hand. Carbohydrates are the measure of how much sugar is in something...

And here it all comes crashing down and all the horror stories I heard as a kid come to pass!

There IS more sugar in Captn Crunch... An entire GRAM of it!!! Oh dear God, is nothing sacred? I can practically hear my teeth rotting. A gram of sugar... I've got to go brush...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Murphy's Luck and a girl named River.

I cannot lie, I'm a fan of Charmed, but I think I've mentioned that before. It's long since passed from the 'verse, but I still enjoy it on DVD. Periodically I'll come across something that I hadn't noticed before. In this particular episode I noticed the acting of the woman playing the character of Maggie Murphy. She was being "haunted" by a Dark Lighter who was trying to get Maggie to commit suicide. Yeah, dark stuff. What really struck me was her acting. She was tapping into a dark place in herself to portray in such a readily believable fashion, something I happen to have lived through myself.

So as she stood there on that rooftop, she was "projecting" emotions and body language that I knew, that struck me deep in my heart. As an empath, it was that much harder for me, because at the same time I was feeling her emotions, my own ghosts were being poked so to speak. So it was especially hard watching it again. I was in that horrific place in my life again, wondering why the heck I was working so hard to survive. I wasn't really in my right mind so to speak, because life threatening depression can cause the entire view of the universe to be different.

Makes me wonder what the actress has been through in her life. Can't portray it that well, that clearly, if you have no idea what it's like. Well, folks could fake it, but having lived through it, I can read in the way she moves, the way she stands, the way her eyes move, her face, that she's tapping into something she knows. Either she spent a whole bunch of time with someone dying, or was ready herself at some point to be able to portray things that well. It was a powerful episode. One that reminds me of a time not long ago when I was on that ledge, ready to end my pain.

Post Traumatic Stress is a horrible thing to have to deal with on top of depression, and quite often can make things (almost always) much worse. In short, PTSD often involves flashbacks and nightmares. River Tam, one of the characters on the short lived hit show "Firefly" was another example of someone reaching deep into the well of her own life, to find something to bring to her character. Again, it was really hard for me.

So while I'm still dealing with my own demons, I can still see, feel, what other people have to deal with, be it real or portrayed, and often have a very visceral reaction to things I see on the tube. No small wonder I don't watch it all that often!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Vote to PREVENT hate from being written into California's constitution.

Tell everyone, regardless of where they live, that they need to help raise awareness of this issue. Narrow minded hate peddlers are trying write HATE into the constitution of California. Now the Mormons, who really should know better, are pumping money into organizations that sponsor hate. Tell someone, tell everyone that they need to get the word out in any way possible. Sara has an excellent post about it on her blog, she did a better job of writing it up than I could right now, so please, please go give it a quick read?

You could, even if it's only five dollars, donate to the fund, it certainly can't hurt right?

This is important folks, and with the election not far off, we need to get involved. As Sara points out, this effects everyone in one way or another. It's not even just about who can or cannot marry, it's the first step towards excluding everyone who isn't some kind of perfect "Blond haired, Blue Eyed" bible thumping biggot. Talk the talk, walk the walk, or they will find a reason that the consitution can be used against you. This is supposed to be a democracy, but increasingly the right is trying to make it a Theocracy. I'm not saying having a faith is a bad thing, heck, I'm a Buddhist, so I have one too. But nothing in or about mine says that I should EXCLUDE others who don't believe.

So please, vote NO on prop 8, even if with a small donation to the cause. Know anyone in California that's not a narrow minded biggot? Please, call them and get them out to the polls to vote down Prop 8!!! The rights you save could be your own...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008



Sparkling lights dancing across a sea of pure silver.

A shore of sharpness, beginning, ending, creating, destroying, a razor sharp expression of endless possibility.

A coastline broken by gentle undulations in the sea of shiny solidness, small undulations in the perfection to balance surface tension.

Strength, length, rigid, hard, unyielding shape of solid, real, stillness sliding gracefully, coaxing out possibility.

My hand around a shank of wood and metal, bonded together, touching but always apart, solid and real to my touch.

Destroying one shape, one now and creating another.

This fixed, rigid object, lifeless and solid, flowing with energy, purpose, context as I gently draw it across a surface.

Biting into the flesh, red, round, cold and wet, once whole, changing state and shape, ending and yet beginning all at once.

Graceful, slow, deliberate moments of transformation.

Nows of then.

Ending a now of wholeness, birthing slices of juicy summer freshness, a hint of fragrance freed, the core removed, seeds released back into an endless ocean of life.

An end and a beginning.


Saturday, October 04, 2008

Bosniacs reward is in heaven...

Okay, first things first, if you are reading this and you or someone you know and love, or even care about is Trans, then please donate something to the special page for the community to make our voice heard.


This is a historic opportunity to show that we are not an insignificant cross section of the population. There are by latest statistics, real ones, based on science and mathematics, at least several hundred thousand Trans folks in the US. If we figure at a high end, one in 3000 people are Trans to some degree, that's over 126,500 people in the us today.

As far as women who've already had surgery, let's look at it this way. Low end figure of two hundred surgeries a year for each of the top six surgeons in North America alone, over the last ten years, that's TWELVE THOUSAND women who have more than a passing connection to the Trans community. If each of us gives 10 dollars, that's at least 120,000 dollars. If 126,500 people each give ten dollars, well you get the idea.

It's not too late to give, so stop and and give something for a shot at hope! I haven't been this involved in an election since the Nixon/Kennedy race in '60. I actually watched the Biden/Palin debate, and frankly while they both had some mistakes, I finally was able to see Palin as actually being human, if horribly misguided, and thing Joe did a great job. Even if he did call Bosnians "Bosniacs" when he was talking about the plight of BOSNIANS (Joe, take notes okay? BOSNIANS, NOT Boniacs) and how his administration might see that.

Palin's big stinker of the night? Falling back on religion when talking about the plight of teachers right here in the US. They don't want to hear that they're gonna be rewarded in heaven, they want some hope the government of the us is going to get it's collective head out of it's but and start taking education SERIOUSLY for a change.

So, while I see Palin as human now, and not the devil incarnate, I'm still not going to vote for her. Her suit designer maybe, that suit was just awesome, but her and John "I think offshore drilling idea is a good thing because of fishing" McLainbrain? Not a snowballs chance in a hot plate. My brother's still thinking of keeping the Rapeublican's in office so they get blamed for the second depression, but I just don't want to take that chance. I lived through the first depression, I'd like to skip the next one, or maybe not have it happen at all?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Attachment, Impremanance and Buddha

So, here I am back at a thought I keep tripping on. It speaks to the differences between Men and Women, how we move through time and space, and what the big question is. We know the answer is 42, but what was the question right?

Buddha teaches us that life, this world, the things and even people in it don't last, so why get attached to anything right?

Well hold on here fella, not so fast!

The "attrition rate" in my life is incredibly high. So many people I love and care about have died. People I've even "hated," have died. Everything and everyone I know now, have known, or will ever know will one day be gone. It's Impermanence in action. One day, POOF! All gone, bye bye, no more, is all gone! So, Buddha says, don't get attached knowing it will one day vanish from existence like it never was before.

Chauncer talked about "Wyrd" the impersonal fate that awaits all of us, and how important it is to leave behind a monument so as people will know we were once here. Beth Neislen Chapman talks about Stone being sand and water, and a million years gone by. Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote:
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
Way back in 1850. Smart guy.

And how does this relate to Buddha? When you break it all down, break him all down, as a famous meditation on attachment suggests, you find that Buddha was just a man. A man living in a time and place, dealing best he knew how, with this plane of existence. While more than the sum of his parts, his experiences, his view, his perspective which has survived for thousands of years longer than the new kid on the block (The Late, Great, JC himself!) was limited by his search for enlightenment.

We all filter the world through our own existence, and somehow must transcend it, even while we are experiencing it if we are to find enlightenment. It's kind of amazing when you look at it. But, back to my much belabored point. Buddha was a Prince who felt that no-one should be suffering. A noble thought indeed! He felt so strongly about it he walked away from everything in his life, to spread kindness while walking toward enlightenment. He's still walking. A friend's sister met him once, and he was still walking then. I say, more power to him, he's found his Wa. There's a kind of magic in that kind of existence, but there is more to the 'verse than that.

Men and Women look at life through different filters, each of us regardless of gender, can look at exactly the same thing, and see something completely different. Men tend to be less attached in general to many things that nurture and enrich a woman's soul. Take "porn" for example. Guy porn and girl porn are often so dramatically different as to leave guys (and us) scratching our heads going "I don't get it..." Quite often this is true. Things that turn a guy on do utterly nothing for me, in fact, some of it I find rather repulsive. Things that get me going? A guy will observe it and go "I don't get it..." We are different, and that's okay, even good, because the sexes compliment each other in many ways. Variety is good right? Infinite diversity in infinte combinations according to Spock of Vulcan. You know, for a fictional character, he's a pretty smart guy too, the whole race, pretty smart.

So how does this relate to attachment? Impermanence? Buddhism as a whole? I'm "attached" to the people and things that enrich my life, nurture my soul, and leave me with feelings and memories I'll treasure forever. Like bobby socks and rollerskates, working at the drive in when I was a kid, before the universe hit me. That was back in the fifties, in Denver. People, places, things that don't exist anymore. A ME even that doesn't exist anymore because I took my own life in 1961. Wait, WHAT? How can she be blogging if she killed herself?

Exactly!!! And herein is the rub. Those people, places, things are no less important to me now that they are all, even the me that was then, gone. I'm a better person for having lived it, experienced it, known them. And I'm left with the thoughts and feelings I had then. I was even left with the anger I had then that killed me. Been working on that one, it's this lovely thing called Karma in action. My life, the details, circumstances, and lessons I should have learned last trip, where worse this time. Yup, not three fold as the Wiccan version of Karma says, but certainly enough so as to get my attention, and to encourage me to work a little harder. I was also given Empathy this trip, and learned a vital lesson about perspective. Combined, this is the ultimate eticket for really getting compassion. So, as bad as things have been, I've been majorly blessed too.

Now for the kicker? I chose this. Yup, harder life, all the bits that went into it, the lessons to learn and so on... The "ultimate" Karmic judge? Me. Sitting on the other side with "all the answers" so to speak, and a level of wisdom difficult, but not impossible to achieve in the physical world, I put this all into motion before I took this life, this body.

Admittedly I altered the circumstances of the test. One is not supposed to remember, to know, all the stuff from the other side, or all of one's past lives. One agrees to a short (very short) term memory wipe so that your current life and the lessons here are not tainted by the past. Most of the time, this is a good thing, valuable even as it doesn't throw the whole thing off. Well, your also NOT supposed to take Anger and hostility with you to the other side either. So, to quote "Sarah (but I like shooting other living things from a helicopter) Palain" I'm a bit of a Mavrick.

I remember everything now. I'll be honest, it's a bit like waking from a coma. Slowly things come back to you. Slowly you start to remember, and regain what was lost. It's been like that for me. Some of the things I've learned, well just WOW! So I'm learning things I never expected to find out. Amazing stuff, powerful stuff, and stuff that is going to stand me in good stead for the trip back, which right now I'm no longer in a rush toward.

So, I guess my point is that there is a certain value to "attachment" and even emotion in the long run, because it's the only things you CAN take with you. Doesn't make me love Buddha any less, just's helps me put his perspective into the right context in my over all life. Doesn't show me any less value in Dharma, in the eight fold path, quite the opposite, makes it that much more important to me because anyone I can see, meet, or have anything to do with here, can be, or has been, part of my life before, or again. The four noble truths?

Well here I come to an interesting point to ponder. Buddha was after all a guy. Nothing inherently wrong with that, some of my closest friends are guys. However, they are raised, and socialized in a fashion that tends to somewhat limit their options in terms of emotion. They have a course view, and typically lack the detail, and or the language to express it, deal with it, or value it in terms of their life.

"All emotion is pain" Eh? What? You mean when I stand watching a spectacular light show of a sunset, totally engrossed in being utterly present, I'm hurting myself? That the love I feel for the children in my life is pain too? That the breath taking gasp the whole world takes around three or so in the morning is also painful? That the plants I nourish with love, kindness and Reiki is causing them and me pain? Oh dear, what have I been doing all this time? That the one plant that my sister-in-law was killing slowly that was all but dead is alive because I didn't want to see it suffer and die? Wow, silly me! I could go on, but shant, the point I think has been well met.

I do not now, nor in the thousands of years I've been pondering it, feel that all emotion is pain. Yes, I'm a failure as a Buddhist I guess. Poor deluded soul that I am... (Tongue very much in cheek here...)

So, on I go, walking the middle path and touching as much of the world with kindness, compassion, empathy, perspective and synergy as I am able.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Music Is Emotion...

I wrote this back in 2006 on a yahoo group I was running at the time, and Karyn just reminded me of it when she was talking about changing senses. Mind you, she wasn't part of that group then, but her comments about something similar made me think of it. So, I'm giving myself permission to reprint part of it here:

Curiously for all the years of logic and analysis of every last detail of existence, I never questioned musics effects on me. Music for me, like reading, was an inexpensive and nearly effortless way to get away, and yes, it is extremely cathartic in nature. No matter what I'm doing, or when I'm doing it, music always has a place in my life.

More than simply notes made from instruments, there is ALWAYS a vast and powerful amount of emotion poured into music from the artist. Regardless of what their instrument is, from Voice to woodwinds, strings, brass, keys whatever, it is almost impossible for music to lack feelings expressed. From the subtle nuances of how notes are struck, plucked, slid, blown or sung, to the power as well, there are as many ways to convey emotion in music as in any other form of expression.

For me, music IS emotion. Art is expression is life and the living of it!

I have found music to be, like any form of expression, devoid of gender until an artist takes it, shapes it and imparts his or her soul into the work. No two performances identical from event to event, artist to artist. Some songs are also expressions of the soul of a person, gender and all. There are two songs by two different artists that say quite literally exactly the same thing, in two completely different ways. One very male in thinking, expression and nuance, one very female. Regardless of what kind of music one likes, these two songs can be enjoyed by anyone and represent the same thing;

Clint Blacks "State of mind" refrain;

"Ain't it funny how a melody can bring back a memory
Take you to another place in time
Completely change your state of mind
It can make a right from a wrong, it can make you fall in love
It can get you singin' along
Chase the clouds away and make the sun shine above
A melody can bring back a memory
Take you to another place in time
Completely change your state of mind"

Trisha Yearwoods "The Song Remembers When" refrain;

I guess somethin' must have happened
And we must have said goodbye
And my heart must have been broken
Though I can't recall just why
The song remembers when

Well, for all the miles between us
And for all the time that's passed
You would think I haven't gotten very far
And I hope my hasty heart
Will forgive me just this once
If I stop to wonder how on earth you are

But that's just a lot of water
Underneath a bridge I burned
And there's no use in backtrackin'
Around corners I have turned
Still I guess some things we bury
Are just bound to rise again
For even if the whole world has forgotten
The song remembers when

Yeah, and even if the whole world has forgotten
The song remembers when . . .

Each of these songs are powerful, beautiful in their own way and very much gender oriented. Choice of words, the expression of nearly identical concepts, passion, feeling and the soul of the artist and his/her respective gender woven together to say something. Men can, and typically do, avoid direct connection to detailed concepts, saving them the pain attached to specific events. This tendency toward generalization, compression, avoidance, and a refusal to directly touch a feeling connected to a memory flavor Clints wonderful song. Trisha on the other hand, takes out entire memories, the feelings connected to them and shares, in great detail the depth, the power of the memories in a fashion that almost any feeling creature can relate to. Curiously though (big shock) what little demographics I've gathered on the two pieces indicate a decided preference for Clint's song by men, and Trisha's song by women. Mind this is from direct observation of both artists in a number of venues in different parts of the country at different times. So there is, in my humble opine a distinct gender to music and it's not always female.

I've happily seen many artists in concert many times over the years, many of them every chance I can. The Dead, Moody Blues, Peter, Paul and Mary, Trisha Yearwood, Clint Black, I could go on for days listing the artists and concerts I've seen time and again, each time a treat, each time different.

"What is she talking about and what does that have to do with Karyn's post" I can almost hear you thinking from here.

Women not only experience things differently in the way we sense the universe, but how it all get stored and put away in our head is different. Well, maybe not different, but expanded? We connect things, one to another, our memories are almost referencial, as in they refer to each other and themselves. A sight, sound, smell, taste, texture, everything is connected to everything else. Walk up behind me, cover my eyes, and hold some Fruit Loops under my nose and I'll start talking about the rescued Robin that stayed with us when I was a kid. Swear to god. Just the smell alone. Mind you to this day I love Fruit Loops, but there are so many memories "attached" to the them that take me to another place and time.

The smell of sweet and sour chicken takes me 40 years back in time to "Ho Yen" a great chinese restaurant in Danbury CT that I first went to as a newborn in a car seat. And to a date I had there may years later with Pat. To how red I turned when Jimmy, one of the guys who worked there, and remembered me from, well my whole life, told Pat all about how cute I was as a baby. To the new place in China Town, the China Town, in Manhattan he'd opened that I found by accident when I was living and working there. How I walked into the place I heard that voice, Jimmy's voice holler "I know you from car seat!" much to the shock of the colleagues I was there with. I was welcomed as family, treated like Royalty, given the grand tour, spent time catching up since I hadn't seen him in a bunch of years. The business lunch I was trying to have was totally blown, here I am in a suit trying tobe serious and my crazy, but much loved uncle Jimmy was doting over me and telling all these people I worked with about my whole life...

In the immortal words of Phil Hartman "Ah... Good times... Good times..."

Yup, all that from just the smell of decent sweet and sour chicken.

Forever changing senses? Oh yeah, and the memories to go with...

Worse things could happen...

...than being Mrs. Someone. But I haven't been Mrs. Anyone since Earl died. Imagine then my surprise when I called into AAA to change my address, to be addressed as Mrs? Ah, no, sorry Max, I'm Ms. Me, not Mrs. Me. "Oh, I'm sorry Ma'am, I didn't realize..." Mind you it's single membership, I'm the only one on it, and I started it up new last year. They wouldn't allow me to change my address on the website, because I moved out of the coverage area. Wait, WHAT? I thought my card was good anywhere I traveled to, and by extension, anywhere I drive to because well, I'm taking my car right? "Oh yes, Ms. You, it's good anywhere in the world really, just that membership is handled by different companies in different regions."

"Eh? What? Different companies? I thought this was Triple A? I am talking to Triple A right?"

"Oh yes Ms. You, it's just that the regions are all managed by different companies, even though we are all Triple A."

Great so I have to have a headache just because you have Multiple Personality Disorder? So anyway, after much ado, I managed to get my address changed and It'll still say member since 2007 on it, even though it's a different company, with the same everything, including name, but I'll probably pay less because it's not the east coast anymore. Right. Same name, start date, services, just cheaper and a different company in a different area...

Makes me think of a M*A*S*H episode. Several actually. Like any of the number of the times they try to stop drinking. Which of course lets them see JUST how insane it really all is. No wonder they wanted to hook up and IV bag of highgrade "hooch" right into their veins. Saves them all the trouble of getting drunk!

So, with any luck, I'll get a new welcome package, from a new company with the same name, that's going to charge me less because I live in a different state, but they provide the same service. Does your head hurt yet?

Thank Buddha for the path, the view of the middle way, of not getting attached, because otherwise this might be grounds for paranoia instead of mild bemusement at the intensional, institutionalized, needless, suffering... It's all kinda funny when I think about it outside the experience. I am a leaf on the wind...