RACIST

I suspect you might call me a racist. It’s an ugly word; it is non-accepting even judgmental. It’s an exclusionist word. Being a racist is not acceptable in polite society.

You’re not from my tribe, religion or race. My daughters are off-limits to you. I suspect you of evil or at least being a danger to me.

I have had no bad experience, with diversity. I’ve seen people of race on the news and sitcoms. College and the professional world was a melding pot of the elite from many races. Every single encounter was positive, both casual interaction and professional collaboration.

Still I know I am a racist, harboring distrust of people who are different. I don’t wear it like a badge; I hide it deep down. I do my best to foster positive relations, respect, and collaboration. I know that deep down there is a wall that won’t allow outsiders entry into my heart.

I try to give everyone truth, justice, and respect, but it melts away quickly in the face of anger and violence. The persecuted who think they deserve retribution for hundred-year-old transgressions make me want to puke. Yes, slavery and brutality built a lot of this country, get over it, there is no undoing it. Racism is noticeably absent on TV. Shows like American Idol, The Voice, sitcoms, and all major sports, go out of their way to avoid showing any inkling of race bias.

I am isolated and only see racism on the national news. I see police so fed up with what they perceive as low life scum that they feel justified in exercising authority far beyond an acceptable scope. Even if it is only a half of one percent of police encounters with the public, it is unacceptable to use a badge to beat and murder. The response can’t be idiots destroying property and their neighbors livelihoods. We need accountability even if it means body cameras for everyone we give authority over others.

What does it feel like to be on the receiving end of racism? I honestly thought it was a non-issue a done deal, dealt with by the civil rights movement of the 60’s. I was naive; 60 years later it rears its ugly head in everything from police brutality to common discrimination. It is hard to give respect for people living in the past with the weight of a chip on their shoulder. It is also hard to give respect to a destructive ass with a negative attitude. I sit on the fence ignoring racism and living a Pollyanna life.

Without a deep friendship and years of interaction, racism is unlikely to change, accept that racism will always exist but keep it in check with justice and respect for the importance of our differences.

The problem has an immediate solution: if an alien threat arises to force humanity to abandon differences we will unite as one. There is always hope that global enlightenment takes the world by storm… neither is likely.

CHILDBIRTH

Since the dawn of time, you have shouldered the burden. It is a huge commitment to the future of the human race. At its best a quarter of every month is spent bleeding, preparing the womb for a new egg. At its worst cramps and moods torment you.

Endured endlessly month after month in the name of fertility. The sacrifice is unrewarded, unappreciated and expected because it is nature’s way. When a baby does appear inside you, the change is catastrophic. Swollen and stretched to near a breaking point. Luscious curves and supple skin are surrendered to the discomfort of pregnancy. The fear of childbirth gives way to the desire just to have it be over.

Then the baby comes after up to twenty hours of intense pain. Pushing, stretching and even ripping its way into the world. The joy of holding a new life in your arms helps you file away the burden you bear. You are woman; you are powerful and strong. The fact that unlike your ancestors, you didn’t have to squat in the woods to birth a new baby in no way diminishes the commitment and risk you took.

The intense love you feel for your child makes the sacrifice all worthwhile. When you are put on a pedestal, and protected don’t jump down in the name of equality. There is not a man in the world who can come close your contribution to humanity.

A “thank you” rings hollow for you and the thousands of moms that came before you. You truly are the unsung hero.

SOLDIER

From the earliest days of man when families became tribes, we have been sucked into the evil. Villages became cities; cities became countries and kingdoms became dictatorships or democracies. We threaten, maim and kill those who compete with our point of view. We arm and train our children; calling them the righteous soldier. We take the innocent volunteer and send them off to commit state-sponsored murder and other atrocities.

No soldier,  I won’t thank you for your service.

I apologize that humanity needs your service.

All indications are it will never change; countries without power live in chains. The peaceful who abandon the blade, spear, arrow and bullet soon find torture, suppression and elimination their fate.  To maintain our peaceful way of life the murder, suppression and even total elimination of our foes will always be required.

If our society was violent by nature, the satisfaction of vanquishing our enemies would be acceptable. We try to maintain a peaceful facade and leave you to deal with the conflicts that arise from your state-sponsored actions.

No warrior, I won’t thank you for your service.

I apologize for human nature and the things you had to see and do in the name of peace.

For the glory of Rome.

For freedom from colonial rule.

For the safety of the pioneer.

For the preservation of the union.

For stopping the axis of evil. (WW 1&2)

For stopping the red menace from the north (Korea and Vietnam)

For elimination of terrorism.

For this list being only seven of thousands.

Unless you have experienced the trauma good men and women feel when they eliminate an enemy and have to relive that vivid moment for a lifetime, you need to know how hollow “thank you” sounds.

Even I’m sorry is inadequate.

BULLY

Beware the power of the bully.
Helplessness magnified by unrelenting cruelty.
Lost in the darkness, wallowing in self-pity.
Crushed self-worth.
The bully reaches across decades haunting you.

Seeking approval and inclusion anywhere.
What will be enough to banish the demon?
Stellar academic success, decades of professional success, amazing children and grand-kids, early retirement and financial stability?
Decades filled with love and joy
Yet you carry the bullies marks.

You can never change the past.
It will never be better, softer, or more acceptable.
Accept the bullying for what it was.
Unpleasant, heartbreaking torture.
Looking back from this future see clearly how the bully inspired and motivated tremendous success.

You are imperfect, blemishes make you real.
Perfection exists only at this moment, the sum and total of your past.
Embrace and thank the bully.
Your soul will shine with light and love when you embrace who you are.
Be at peace, demolish guilt, shame, or blame.

Have compassion for yourself.
The world can’t hurt you when you harbor no enemies.
You are not on earth to just observe time’s passing.
Explore, experience and enjoy,
Let emotion flow, fully feel delight.

My bully jumped me from the monkey bars.
I beat the living crap out of him.
I left him in the principal’s office decades ago.
It’s time you left yours in the past too.
We live, love and find our joy now.

BASKET

My fans: Sam & Sadie

DSCN1759

I have a nice big basket hidden in my closet.

The basket’s tag says “I can’t do that”.

It is filled with stones engraved with, things like:

  • Public speaking
  • Advanced statistics
  • Wide receiver
  • Keyboard and piano
  • Point guard

I took a sneak peak in the basket.

I pulled out a guitar,

And so the long journey began.

Progress is slow.

The reasons a guitar was in the basket were legitimate.

It is fun to chip away at things etched in stone.

Someday the guitar may not fit in the basket.

But if it does, no harm no foul.

FLY A KITE

I think I just might,
Go to a field and fly a kite.
I could improve my mind with a read,
Or change the world with a deed.

Today it’s not to be,
I’ll take whimsy and carefree.
In the sky my kite will soar,
Knocking gently on heavens door.

I know it is just a toy,
The truth is, it brings me joy.
An express trip to my youth,
No worry I’m long in the tooth.

No words required to seize the day,
In the moment, is where I play.
Please join me on my quiet quest,
A dance in the sky is not a test.

The world will turn our day to-night
Let’s keep the stars in our sight.
Gazing the hours away,
On this beach I choose to stay.

Tomorrow brings responsibility,
Today I choose whimsy and carefree.
Tomorrow I may fly a kite,
A favorite reel from my mind’s sight.

STORYTELLER

We are extraordinary story tellers.
Our mind weaves an elaborate tale about reality.
Over time we even craft a tale about our self.
Elaborate details on why we are good or bad, happy or sad.

We beat ourselves up and suffer far too much over the unchangeable past and the ever present “NOW.”
Control is an illusion, a great untruth we weave into our story.
Life is not a tale without grief and trauma.
Pretending the past was painless is pointless. (insert pregnant pause here to let that sink in)

What happened happened.
Let go of suffering by letting go of the thought that some element of the past should not have been.
Making demands on ourselves or others to manipulate reality is the short road to UNHAPPY.
You can never insist that life be different from what is or what was.

The only chance to influence the story is as the future unfurls.
Our stories (thoughts) are not totally accurate perfect representations of reality.
Strides towards happiness come when you see that your true self is not the stories but the vast empty slate behind the tale, observing our passage through the world.
There is a depth of emotion in the silent space before the stories. It will embrace you if you let it.

We tell ourselves tales about happiness, peace, love and freedom but the emotion is not in the stories, the emotion lives deep in the background, an integral part of our true self.
It is ok to tell stories but always keep the perspective that they are our attempt to define reality, they are our fiction and the stories don’t define our true inner self.
End the suffering by writing a new story with a new perspective.
Realize all we seek is at the center of our existence, and that will set us free.

My new story recognizes the light inside observing our world from a few billion perspectives.
Rich with all emotions it bathes the world we know.
Lost in our separation we sometimes overlook the wonder of our inner world.
Our connection to our inner self is our link to eternity.
Try as you might to prove your separate worth you can’t.
Grace is an unearned gift.