Life Is More Than A Bumper Sticker ~ Late Afternoon Thoughts

On a site I follow daily, they posted about depression as living in the past. There’s a tremendous truth to that…However, those of us living with depression for any length of time also know “the mind is a dangerous place to wander in, unaccompanied – especially at night.” And that depression is more than a bumper sticker.

Over these last few years – you’re welcome to read about it in other posts – I’ve also discovered there’s a huge difference between the “dark night of the soul” and a “dark night”. Tuesday was one of those “nights”.

Duane Townsend (.com)

Duane Townsend (.com)

 

It’s a feeling of things not being quite right, of emotions that want to come to the forefront for no apparent reason. It’s a soft feeling of dread. A feeling of loneliness that may or may not have roots in reality.

It’s a terrible feeling when you that in your mind there’s no one to call … which is vastly different from the feeling there’s no one who cares

Sometimes, I set the timer and just “let it all hang out”,~ however,  sometimes – such as tonight – it’s more important to do a version of what AA calls fearless moral inventory. I do what I call a version of that because when I’m doing this inventory, I must sit quietly and track back where this is all coming from.

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You see for those of us with severe depression, there is no “It will suddenly get better”, “snap out of it, quit being selfish”, “fake it ’till you make it” or “Pray and all will go away as if it had never been”. If such things had worked for me, there wouldn’t be the gash scar on my forehead or the long scar on my neck from the exploratory surgery to see if I’d damaged something after I’d tried to commit suicide.

And I've actually had a couple of these tossed my way ...

And I’ve actually had a couple of these tossed my way …

For those of us with severe depression, it’s a life-long job. And 99% of the time, it’s a job that’s actually quite easy…it’s that 1% which gets really, really difficult and makes even doing the simplest tasks a major undertaking.

And here’s the other “rub” … sometimes when we are going through these “dark night(s)” … it’s highly possible no one will know. We’re awfully good at hiding. There are those we can’t hide from – ourselves and our [don’t judge my term here – there’s a reason for it] higher power, and eventually, one of the two (if not both) will get our attention …

When I was at CRU, they gave us a tool called F.L.A.S.H to instantly check our feelings (which as you know, feelings are neither right NOR wrong – they just are.). F-fearful, L-lethargic, A- angry, S- sad. (not just “down” but sad) and last H-happy. Of course, being the sane adults we all were, we laughed quietly at such a childish idea. Childish until you realize that given the letter – you then must try to identify why. Not necessarily solve it, but identify it ….. Ah, not so childish or easy now, is it ….
So, after – OK, the truth – two days of F,S,S,F,A (FSSFA sounds like a bill from a drunk congressional committee) I can say I’m firmly in the H camp.

This isn’t a call for pats on the back … but rather part of my ongoing attempt to be honest and transparent with others …

We will now resume your regularly scheduled broadcast. 

It’s A Combination Of Remembering (AND reading) ~ Late Evening Thoughts…Intermezzo

Prophet-Amos

A dear friend of mine, M. Christopher Boyer, is Pastor at Good Shepard Baptist Church. This morning, he took his congregation on a journey involving the Prophet Amos and the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin issue.

It’s a powerful piece and one I told him was worthy of publication somewhere.  He graciously gave me permission to post it here – and hopefully, he’ll find a wide outlet for his thoughts.

I was going to reprint it in its entirety, but decided to post this link to the printed sermon.  If I posted it on the page in full, I’d be wanting to break it up with pictures and such.  This way it stands alone … in all it’s power.  This being Sunday and all ….

http://www.gsbchurch.com/Sermons/2013_7_21_LiketheMourningforanOnlySon.pdf

Early Afternoon Thoughts ~ Things That Go Bump In The Night, Or Show Up In My Inbox ….

I consider myself pretty computer savvy … I don’t fall for the Nigerian wealth scams (although I do sigh at all the money I’d missed out on) or phishing scams.  Today, however, was almost the exception.  This delightful missive showed up in my email, and I’m not going to redact much except the links …..

Nick H. – WordPress.com
Hi there,

We have received a DMCA Takedown Notice (http://automattic.com/dmca/) for the following material published on your WordPress.com site:
[redacted]
[redacted]

As such, we were legally required to remove the material from our servers.

If you wish to challenge this notice we will be happy to provide you with all of the appropriate details.

Thank you

Nick H.

WordPress.com | Automattic

First of all the two issues were posted in 2007 – I guess in June.  I frankly couldn’t find where they were….I’m assuming the when I moved from Blogger to WordPress there might have been some missed pictures – but more likely videos as the two sites have different methods of embedding videos.

Then (foolish me, I know) I tried to find a link to contact someone at WordPress about all this … there doesn’t seem to be one.

This is why I’ve decided to turn to you folks here in ‘bloggerville” – have any of you gotten something such as this? According to the sight Atuomattic – someone is supposed to contact the blogger directly to request that the blogger remove the material.  While I’ve not had a DMCA notification before, I have gotten requests to re-do my attribution on photos I’ve used.  There is no way I’m going to reply the email, as I have no way to ascertain that this is valid …. Any suggestions?

unknown source

Early Evening Thoughts ~ Tomorrowland ….

 

No, I’m not talking about Disney this time, but rather one of the most amazing parties in the world!!! This has been called Burning Man for people who like to bathe … whatever, it still looks like a heck of a party. It’s world party staged in Belgium since 2005.  This year was HUGE with 180,000 tickets completely sold out.  Here’s a description of the party:

The 2012 edition took place on Friday, July 27, Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29. The line-up consisted of 400 DJs, such as Skrilles, Avicii, , Skazi, David GUretts, Nervo, Hardwell, Swedish House Mafia, Afrojack, Steve Aoki, Carl Cox, The Bloody Beetroots, Paul van Dyk, Martin Solveig, Chuckie (DJ), Fatboy Slim and Pendulum playing on 15 stages per day. Because of the enormous success of Tomorrowland and the fact that it is a Belgian festival, ID&T decided to give Belgians an exclusive chance with a presale (80,000 of the 180,000 tickets) on Saturday, March 24. In less than one day, all of the tickets sold out and at some moments there were 2,000,000 people on the online waiting list. The worldwide sale started Saturday, April 7 at 11am. Within less than 2 hours, the other 100,000 tickets sold out. The event became the most international one as yet, attracting over 75 nationalities. More than 35,000 people used the camping option at the so called “Dreamville.” [bolding is mine]

This is actually the first time I’ve heard of this party … and even though I’m slightly (ahem) above the age of most of the participants … I’d still LOVE to go.  ‘

Here’s the official “after” video ….

 

And We Got Here How? (Part 1) ~

When I first began to gather my thoughts for this “ramble” … I was concerned with discourse, or lack of discourse.

As I thought and worked through how I want to try and connect my thoughts – yesterday, THIS report was released by the PEW foundation – which has been polling the polarization of America since 1986.  This report, which I’m going to link to in it’s entirety, shows that we are more polarized than we’ve been since they began tracking.  This does not surprise me in the least. http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2277/republicans-democrats-partisanship-partisan-divide-polarization-social-safety-net-environmental-protection-government-regulation-independents

As I’ve said before – I’m a member of several forums, follow an insane number of blogs and news sites (and the comments) as well as being part of World of Warcraft and Pogo games.

I cut my computer “teeth” – so to speak – in the AOL chat rooms of all kinds – where one had to have an advanced degree in AOLese or AOL speak or you would be five conversations behind everyone else.  (For those who may not know, you had to learn to read through the typos/spellings and strange constructions because people were typing so fast and thinking so quickly that sometimes things didn’t quite match-up.)

All of this introduction is to simply say, I didn’t need the PEW organization to let me know “There’s Trouble In River City”, all I’ve had to do is be around people on-line and even in real life.

What has happened over the years is a steady decline in the ability of people of differing beliefs, hopes, dream, ideas, lives to even civilly approach each other.  At one time, personal opinion, you either were willing to listen to another person or you didn’t interact with that person at all.  Much of time now, I feel it has become a game of seeing who can one-up another in either hate/degradation/intimidation/provoking (not to be confused with trolling – that’s a special sub-set of behavior!!)   or proving how much more someone knows than anyone else.

Just the other day on Facebook, I entered into what I thought was a discussion involving the concept of gay marriage (how’s that for a hot button at the beginning of these postings?) and the difficulty someone had found in talking to someone else about it.  Those of us who are friends with this person and know the overwhelming love in her heart for all people, commiserated with her and offered some light-hearted and yes, even snarky thoughts to help.  Another person had entered the conversation and within two posts it had devolved into 1) necrophilia 2) pedophilia and 3) bestiality.  Even with AOL speak, I couldn’t figure out how we’d gotten there.  It became very obvious that the person simply wanted to anger everyone and bait everyone into an “argument” so that they could present themselves as a 1) winner 2) extremely knowledgeable and at the same time 3) the victim.

So, how did we get here? There were news events from when PEW began tracking the polarization: 1984 The Aids Virus is identified it is not the worldwide problem it is today. Following on from the PC Apple releases the Macintosh computer. Following the Widespread Famine in Ethiopia many of the top British and Irish USSR pop musicians join together under the Name Band Aid and record the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas”. Following the boycott by the US of the Moscow Olympics the soviet block boycotts the Los Angeles Olympic games. Recession continues to be a problem in the US and 70 US Banks fail in just one year.  But I think it goes back to even before that.

Here are three images and comments that will start this series of posts ~ and hopefully, you’ll forgive the length of this one…

At this point in time, we as a people were pushed into the realization that those dedicated to protect us, could indeed seem to turn against us.

Kent State by John Filo

Add to that another realization that perhaps our view of life wasn’t quite so quaint as we wanted to believe.

Birmingham Alabama 1963
I don’t know whose picture this is

 

And lastly – an event that shook our already shaky belief in our government.

So bear with me, and more on this journey of thought over the next few days ….

Is It Still Safe To Go Back In The Water ~ Morning thoughts

Yesterday I arrived at the doctor’s office in time for my appointment, to be met with the news that she had an emergency and would need to reschedule. However, they did know some of what she wanted done for testing, and would I have a seat and hold out my arm.

After feeling similar to a pin cushion, my NEW appointment is for tomorrow – although if there is a cancellation, they will try and get me in today. They also had some pills to take that would help me sleep and not spend all my time coughing. Did they work? Yes, they did.

I will know more tonight, and even more after tomorrow. And, trust me, I am going to be playing “sardines” (see last post) and you will know what’s going on.

This morning I was going through some news sites — and I ran across this wonderful news item. My only question? What else could they use the batter for? …

(June 26, 2007)SCOTT CITY, Missouri – Police said inmates used pancake batter and toothpaste to cover a hole they made to allow a female inmate to slide into the next cell and join a male inmate. Now steel plates are being added to the Missouri jail’s interior walls.

The hole at the Scott City Jail was discovered this weekend, said police Chief Don Cobb. He said inmates removed a block from the wall, after making a digging tool with a nail, a wire from a light fixture and a toothbrush.

The mixture of pancake batter and toothpaste looked like mortar, he said.

Prisoners will stay in a county jail until a security check is completed at the city building.

The city jail’s exterior walls already are reinforced with steel to prevent inmates from escaping, Cobb said.

“Unless they can smuggle in an arc welder, they aren’t getting through that,” he said.

Togas? They Are So Last Century

Published: January 7, 2007

In the unforgiving fluorescent light of Rosenfeld Hall, a dormitory on the periphery of Yale’s campus, students crouched in a hallway and quickly stuffed their clothes into plastic grocery bags. Shirts were left inside out, socks balled in pant legs. Giggling, they hurried into a basement storage room, where some 40 people stood around, under stone arches and gargoyles, wearing nothing but shoes.

. . . another senior, says the party changed her idea of what an attractive body looks like. “We’re used to the naked bodies we see on movie screens,” she says, “not natural, typical bodies. I found that people who would have been considered heavy with their clothes on actually looked better naked. I’m not sure why. And definitely the gaunt look was a lot less attractive. Visible hip bones looked alarming. It was a nice reality check.”

. . . “You find yourself accepting people in a completely different light. For me, there’s something totally captivating about it. It reinforces in a really profound way this common thread of humanity. Everyone is bared in all their glory, but it turns out no one is actually that glorious.”

As for the rest of the outfit, just leave it at the door — this party’s naked.

Rachel Aviv is a freelance writer in Brooklyn.

Early Morning Thoughts ~ Truth or ? (part 2)

All the time we are bombarded with what someone wants to have us believe is the truth. A very good, recent example is the recent election. And that is the same reason that after an election we still haven’t “gotten” over it. We continually see people trying to persuade that they, and they alone, are the champions of the value of truth … the knight in shining armor for those values. They conveniently forget that many of us see through their pretenses.

Unfortunately, what they are after is not the value of truth, but a desire – overwhelming desire for self-importance and the power that goes with it..

Truth sets rules and so many people would try to take away those rules that would estrain THEIR actions but also put restraints on the actions of others.

And where Truth brings about peace and contentment, we are in a time where a lack of truth makes everyone polarized and willing to demonize anything/anyone that stands in the way. I”m not sure there’s ever been such a disdain for the truth or how “truth” is spun to help us hear only what is wanted to be heard.

When this happens being a “conservative” or a “liberal” becomes something different and something quite dangerous. For, in the long run, those wandering in this desert appear not to be guided by any values what-so-ever.

It seems to be difficult to find people willing to sacrifice anything for a greater good. And I’m not talking politics (although it would be a very easy target) or the entertainment industry. No, this goes all the way down to me as an individual. Why am I not keeping this topic at the top level such as the presidency or congress? Simply put – they are merely a creature of larger and smaller forces. There seems to be a marriage of a number of unholy alliances causing tremendous divisions and hypocrisy at almost every level.

Whether gay, straight, black, white or whatever – we individually need to answer for the lack of truth – moral truth – as a core value of our lives. We once again need to find our shared values – particularly the shared value of truth. The truth in our lives, the truth to ourselves and the truth to each other. And that means finding out who we are and how we are for ourselves. Yes, it is a journey of self-discovery. But it also is a journey of learning to get those around us to be themselves as well.

I look around and see that the very soul of community is in danger.

Yet those in power have failed to speak about this profound moral danger, but the political opposition remains virtually mute and effectively impotent in the face of these forces. (This silence and this impotence are signs of another part of America’s moral crisis, of that also-dangerous moral flaccidity into which too much of America has lapsed.)


But my major concern is individual, and especially the individual “me.” If I fail to live in truth, and to require truth from those around me, it is my core value that is in danger. When I fail to live in truth, I need an ”Emperor’s New Clothes” moment. “This emperor,” I must loudly, and forcefully remind myself, “has no moral clothes.” This fits into a “coat piece” plan for change. (more on that later)