Archive for the adversity Category

Once in a Blue Agave Moon Chapter three: Diversity

Posted in adversity, Collaboration, NSFW, Once in a Blue Agave Moon on April 2, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

Diversity is a critical component in the evolution of anything.
So is adversity.
Without adversity from within or without the species or subset, there would be no provocation for evolutionary processes to be instigated.
External threats or hardships winnow and cull the weak from the herd.
The strong survive and thrive. The weak become one with the food chain.
Natural selection promotes incrimental improvements in the species in order to better adapt to its microcosm.
The strength of adversity is much like an alloy of a metal for improved tensile strength, shear strength, hardness, density or weight.
In a society, common purspose and mutual support provides flexibility, adaptive abilty, and resilience to external threats when there is cooperation amongst those diverse members.
On the other hand, from a purely Machiavenian standpoint, when one group opresses another group, there is potential for strengthening the opressed group, although it produces a degree of factionalism and tension or stressors to the group as a whole.
There is nothing inherently Humanitarian about evolution.
As the civilization of a society develops, It is more capable of sustaining and caring for the mentally and physically infirm.
As long as a society is wealthy enough and affluent enough it can easily support and nurture and portion of its population that is not capable of caring for themselves for any variety of reasons.
As long as someone is willing to pay someone else to care for these unfortunates, others who provide the care will make a living out of it, and the prosperity of the entire group is enhanced.
It takes a very enlightened, tolerant affluent and altruistic society to develop a culture that is inclined to care for all of its citizens humanely.
It would be easy to make the incorrect assumption that the members at the colony were a homogeneous group.
The stereotypical generalization of the ultra right-wing, violent, Christian, alcoholic, heavily-armed, home-schooled, racist Florida redneck comes to mind when most people think about hunting in the Everglades. Fifty years ago, that notion might have had a little more validity, but Florida is more of a melting pot than most other areas of the United States, (unless of course, you are a Seminole or Miccosukee Indian).
Most of Florida is a mixture of a space-age frontier town, Disney World, a smuggler’s paradise and tourist trap where every imaginable ethnicity and social strata rub elbows on a daily basis.
In less than an hour you can drive from the center of almost any city to west bum-fuck Egypt or Timbukthree. Similarly, in the same amount of time you can go from Miami Beach (aka little Tel Aviv) to Little Havana, or Little Haiti, although the distinct boundaries of one ethnicity or another is rapidly blurring.
Similarly, Kosher, Hispanic, Asian, Continental, or Caribbean cuisines are everywhere you look from South Florida to the Keys, Orlando, Tampa, Daytona or Jacksonville.
This has a tendency to produce a more eclectic atmosphere than one might suspect in Florida, and it is reflected in the residents’ tastes and comfort zones.
Religion (or the lack of it) remains the singularly most divisive influence no matter where you go, and of course, most sexual mores and customs are dictated by religion.
Elliott’s older son was introduced to what became known as The Colony several years before by one of his high-school classmates. His father was a welder from upstate New York who had lived in Florida for more than twenty years. His son had a blue mohawk and listened to Heavy Metal.
Although the expression “safety in numbers” has a distinct ring of validity to it, because no one lifestyle or religion was of any preponderance within the group, most of the residents minded their own business as long as no one was forced to confront any specific behaviors, beliefs,or customs and as long as they did not impinge on the privacy or comfort of any of the others.
The cowardice of numbers lies at the heart of bullying; there was no real preponderance of any lifestyle or belief system at the colony. Because of this, there developed an enforced tolerance of all opinions and beliefs that was not seen in previous societies.
Drug store cowboys and self-proclaimed rednecks are no more prone to prejudice or narrow-mindedness than Northeastern members of the “Intelligencia” or passive-aggresive Southern Californians.
Group-think mentalities need to have their prejudices reinforced by other fearful sheep of the same mind-set before they can be too much of a pain in the ass to anyone else.
The term “rugged individualist” best described most of the members of the Colony. There was plenty of insular space for all of them, and as long as everybody minded their own business, they neither took nor gave any grief to anyone else.
Peaceful co-existence had been the prevailing mood within the group long before they had decided to eschew urban un-civilization.
Their most common interest was in each other’s safety and well-being. The collapse of western civilization had leveled the field for everyone.
It was no longer a zero-sum game.

 

 

On Letting Go, Part XI: Blame and Excuses

Posted in adversity, Letting Go, LONGREAD, Sapience, Sentience with tags on October 10, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

We judge others by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intentions.

How many people do you know who would describe themselves as satisfied in terms of their lives?

The paradigm that seems to drive many people’s lives is “One’s grasp should exceed their reach.”

I am no stranger to the concept, but I have seriously marred some of the best stages or phases of my life due to my inability to remember to smell the roses while I am still in the garden.

No matter what I am in the midst of doing or trying to achieve, I am infused with this sense of Angst and Frustration because I find it very difficult to enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done…because it will never be quite perfectly executed….and because there’s always more….

I have a way of focusing too much attention on some real or perceived hidden flaw or imperfection in my work, or the tapestry of my life as a film noire.

For as long as I can remember, it has been my artistic expressions, whether in Music, Art. Photography, Film, Video, Multi-Media, or Writing that have been the driving force in my life, my purpose…my raison d’être.

 

To me, the activities of daily living are more like watching the Dead doing the St. Vitus Dance to waves of endorphins and polypeptides.

My Love and Sex lives reflect the same preoccupation with artistic, philosophical and creative expression…(needless to say, often to the chagrin of those who aspire to love and understand me).

My attention seems forever drawn to what could be somewhere over the next hill.

Yet years later it will seem like a grand romantic adventure to which I wish I could return…so why am I so unhappy?

Many years ago, a very dear lifetime friend said “I sometimes think that even on the clearest and most perfect days, your attention will be drawn to a dark cloud off on the horizon, saying ‘…eventually, we are going to have to deal with that…’ “.

At the time, I took it as a compliment to my foresight and vision.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized that she was lamenting on how I could ruin a moment of bliss with pessimism and negativity.

I have known her almost all of my adult life. We started as lovers but her lifelong friendship is unique to my life experiences with the exception of my wife. Only one other female relationship (or marriage) has ever lasted for more than six years.

She is the most successful person I know, and seems to possess a quiet satisfaction that I envy, despite the fact that she is no stranger to tragedy or disappointment.

…But back to the original point.

Several decades ago, I found myself proclaiming that I felt that it was time to get serious about my life and make something of myself, and perhaps achieve the satisfaction of artistic and financial success, a vow I seem to be compelled to renew every few years.

Money comes, money goes; jobs come and jobs go, but the work of one’s life remains. For me, my Art is my Life.

With the exception of my current compulsion for writing, my creative life has been in a flat spiral ever since I became preoccupied by some measure of financial security (which was almost completely fear-based). It has left me broke and nearly despondent at times.

(Just as it seems as if the digressions will never end, the snake bites its own tail…the Uroburos returns….)

Although I have been frequently led astray by others, and distracted from my real or imagined goals and dreams, their part in the failed processes was minor, compared to my own incredibly bad judgment.

There is a word for sound judgment, and it is referred to as Sapience. It is the cognate from which the term homo sapiens is derived.

Without it, we are just a bunch of Talking Monkeys, and I am their spokesperson.

Whenever I find myself beset by “…a sea of troubles…” and contemplating how to “…put an end to them…”, I meditate.

This last time around, my focus was on “Who am I?…”Who is asking this question?”

I am the one who is tired of singing only torch songs.

I am the one who is tired of settling for less.

I am the one who is tired of doing things I do not love to do.

I am the one who is tired of withholding my candor to simply keep the peace I never seem to find anyway.

I am the one who is tired of not being myself, or not trusting the results of my own actions to take me where they will. Better to die gloriously in battle, roaring like a lion than to be led whimpering like a lamb to slaughter.

I am the one who vows to embrace the results.

If I blame anyone else for the dissatisfaction I feel, I am once again relinquishing control over my life. It is only in accepting responsibility for my present condition that I can exercise some degree of self-determination.

Excuse-mongering and blame are like a co-dependent dysfunctional couple who never seem to be able to stop making excuses for themselves and blaming each other for their own misery.

Next time you feel defensive and find yourself declaring that something was not your fault, better think again….

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, charted by unrealistic expectations and lined with lame excuses.

The I in Failure comes well before the U.

Of course it is always your own fault ultimately, whether it be a failed marriage, a career, or your dreams, but there are so many factors (aside from poor judgment) beyond your control from which there is No Escape that we might as well learn as early as possible to view our lives with enough Loving-Kindness and Acceptance to learn from our mistakes and move on to make new mistakes as we learn to forgive so we can forgive to learn.

However…when I was a rescue paramedic, more than once I heard statements like:

“There I was, just standing there minding my own business (in a bar, or on a street corner in Ft. Lauderdale or Key West)…and from out of nowhere, this guy comes up and….”

or:

“I was trying to reach the top shelf, but the chair wasn’t quite high enough, so I stacked a couple telephone books on top of each other and suddenly…”

or:

“No I dont want to press charges…he was just drunk…I know he loves me and he’s the father of two of my children, and I got no place else to go…it was my fault for nagging him about losing his job…” (for being drunk) “…and I don’t work…because…and….”

Who hasn’t heard: “I just have so much love to give…I can’t understand why I am so alone.”

(Much of it is not beyond our control.)

I’ve heard it said that at least seventy-five per cent of what happens to us is random; whether you were born a Kennedy or an orphan in Calcutta is beyond your control, but it is what you do with the other twenty-five per cent that determines what will become of each of us.

I have a strong suspicion that it is our past and present Karma that determines the first seventy-five per cent. We just don’t recognize the connection.

The dog chases the bone.

It is said that the elephant is the only animal that can remember all of his past lives, and stands alone contemplating his Karma.

There are no good excuses, and blame is what distracts us from that realization. It is the difference between fault-finding and trouble-shooting.

The sooner you learn to forgive yourself, the easier it is to forgive others and accept responsibility for your life and your condition.

You don’t have to be kind, but you don’t have to be cruel either.

Just be real.

 

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

10/09/2015

 

 

 

 

Know Thyself

Posted in Acknowledgement, adversity, Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Crossing the Abyss, Ctical Incident Stress Disorder, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Depersonalization Disorder, Depersonalization Syndrome, DPD, Emergency Medical Services, EMS War Stories, Enhanced and Fortified non-fiction, Explicit Sexual Language, Knowledge, Mature Theme, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Much Too Good For Children, NSFW, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Sentience, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, Theater of the Mind, Zen on March 15, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

Know Thyself

While conducting research for the final editing of my latest novel, I literally stumbled upon a concept that has radically improved my coping mechanisms…something of which I have admittedly been in dire need for a very long time.

I recognize that self-diagnosis is a slippery slope, but after a great deal of inquiry and assessment, I realized that I simply felt better knowing that not only was I not alone, but also that the simple recognition of my condition is in itself instrumental in my own recovery.

Just as it has been said that those who would try to act as their own attorney have a fool for a client, so also it is that those who would attempt to act as their own psychiatrist may by definition have a crazy person as a patient, but it all depends on how much they want to get better because in this case, the physician has to “heal thyself”.

No one can figure it out for you; once you are given the map and the compass, you only have to find yourself.

Recognition provides opportunities for alternate behaviors that target the isolation, and initiate theraputic responses.

For that reason, I am sharing this with my readers. Some of you may benefit from it yourselves; some of you may know someone who will.

Wikipedia describes Depersonalization Disorder (or Syndrome) as:

The core symptom of depersonalization disorder is the subjective experience of “unreality in one’s sense of self”, and as such there are no clinical signs.

(This is probably because DPD victims are taught to cope, to move on and to ignore, mask, or overcome the symptoms. Divorcing oneself from one’s feelings enables a pattern of denial that allows the sufferer to continue to function despite overwhelming toxic stimulae.)

(Please note that I have added emphasis and comments throughout this text. This is typical of one of them. Also, the first time I saw the initialization of the syndrome, it sounded like a term of art from the Kink/Fet community…but that could just be me, I suppose.)

Depersonalization Disorder is frequently described as feeling disconnected from one’s physicality; feeling like one is not completely occupying the body; not feeling in control of one’s speech or physical movements; and feeling detached from one’s own thoughts or emotions; experiencing one’s self and life from a distance; a sense of just going through the motions; feeling as though one is in a dream or movie; and even out-of-body experiences.

People who are diagnosed with depersonalization also experience an almost uncontrollable urge to question and think about the nature of reality and existence as well as other deeply philosophical questions.

(Or is it more a matter of course that people are more prone to experience epiphanies and profound realizations that are triggered by the emotional, physical and sensory overload experienced as a result of Critical Incident Stress?)

(Those who choose to put themselves in harms way as a career often try to divine and attach meaning or purpose on a grand scale as part of the troubleshooting and diagnostic processes of our respective careers and life-long ambitions. This would appear to be an effort to prevent or resolve DPD by Rationalization.)

Individuals who experience depersonalization can feel divorced from their own personal physicality by sensing their body sensations, feelings, emotions and behaviors as not being theirs. This in effect, is the exact opposite of Sentience (as self-awareness).

Also, a recognition of Self breaks down (hence the name). Depersonalization can result in very high anxiety levels, which can intensify these perceptions even further.

A diagnosis is made when the disassociation is persistent and interferes with the social and/or occupational functions necessary for everyday living.

(Oh really? Just how fucked up do you have to be for this to be recognized? …Wouldn’t these people benefit from recognition and help long before it gets to that point? Even when I was that severely disordered, I never even knew that such a diagnosis existed, and the subject certainly never came up during numerous therapy sessions with many different mental healthcare professionals.)

Depersonalization disorder is thought to be caused largely by severe traumatic lifetime events, (such as the death of a spouse, or child, divorce, or other emotional losses involving a loved one), childhood abuse (verbal, emotional and sexual), accidents, natural disasters, war, torture, “…justifiable self-defense with extreme prejudice”, panic attacks and bad drug experiences.

(For many of us, “bad drug experiences” were regarded as failures to assimilate a positive outcome from an extremely challenging situation…after all, no matter what you experience, it all came from within you. You cannot fear the Poison Thought. Embrace it, and you will find meaning.)

Although the disorder is an alteration in the subjective experience of reality, it is not related to psychosis, as sufferers maintain the ability to distinguish between their own internal experiences and the objective reality of the outside world.

During either episodic or continuous depersonalization, sufferers are able to distinguish between reality and fantasy, and their grasp on reality remains stable at all times. (…or at least as much as it ever was…you could be completely delusional, for instance, and be quite stable.)

(For some, Zen meditation can lead to a paradoxical state of mind wherein the connection between the individual and all life, energy and matter is only recognized by detaching oneself from all personal biases and attachments including words themselves. Without a strong sense of Self, this strongly resembles DPD.)

Factors that tend to diminish symptoms are comforting interpersonal interactions (How about Romance?), intense physical or emotional stimulation, (especially sex) and relaxation (afterwards). Distracting oneself (by engaging in conversation, sexual escapades, meditation, or watching a movie for example) may also provide temporary symptomatic relief.

(Which does nothing to cure the condition, whereas “comforting interpersonal interactions” practically is the cure, or at the very least a good indicator of progress.)

Some other factors that are identified as relieving symptom severity are diet and/or exercise as well as psycho-pharmacological agents; while alcohol and fatigue are listed by others as to cause worsening of symptoms.

The exact cause of depersonalization is unknown, although bio-psycho-social correlations and triggers have been identified. Childhood interpersonal trauma – emotional abuse in particular – is a significant predictor of a diagnosis.

The most common immediate precipitators of the disorder are severe stress (either chronic or acute), major depressive disorder and panic; as well as hallucinogen ingestion.

(Personally, I never met a hallucinogen I didn’t like.)

Patients demonstrate abnormal cortisol levels and basal activity. (Frequently, the diurnal circadian rhythms are also disrupted.)

Studies found that patients with DPD could be distinguished from patients with clinical depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, (although the conditions may also exist concommitantly).

It has been thought that depersonalization has been caused by a biological response to dangerous, life-threatening or profoundly tragic situations which causes heightened senses and emotional neutrality.

Depersonalization disorder may be associated with dysregulation of the hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary disorder, the area of the brain involved in the “fight-(fuck)-or-flight” response.

(I honestly think that is a dangerous combination…it may keep you alive, but it also facilitates detachment from our actions in order to enable us to survive the unthinkable consequences.)

As I read the above description, I realized that it was a condensed synopsis of my life thus far, which for me, meant that I now had an identifiable, recognized series of causative agents to explain a condition that I had not yet discretely identified despite the fact that even my earliest childhood memories are filled with elements of those descriptions.

Until very recently, I believed that my adult experiences, including a twenty-two year career in Emergency Medical Services, five failed marriages, the death of a spouse, and a lifetime of bad choices and dangerous living were all that factored into my condition.

It has only been after careful re-consideration of my childhood and early adult life that I began to recognize how the pre-disposing anticedents of my childhood set the stage for what was to follow; not because I did not have any choice, but because I did not know that I had one.

I now realize that it is long past time to make peace with myself, to forgive myself, and acknowledge the horrors I have either survived or created, congratulate myself for my achievements, and to embrace my life and loves like there is no tomorrow.

Unfortunately, Depersonalization Disorder patients do not process emotionally salient material in the same way as do healthy individuals.

As a result, I have been in denial for so long, that every time I open the door even the tiniest bit, so as to allow my emotions to touch me, to allow even the happiest or subtle moments of joy to be experienced long enough to be felt and savored I am overwhelmed by feelings so strong that they feel as if they will tear me apart as I am swept away…and heroes are not allowed to cry.

This is not a test.

This is not a drill.

This is not a movie.

This is not a dream.

This is real.

Every day is a miracle.

Every day is judgment day.

Be here now.

This is the only life you will ever recognize as yours.

I share these observations and information not to call attention to myself. It is not something most people would be inclined to admit. My own recovery is a work in progress.

If you know an armed services veteran, or a cop, paramedic, or firefighter, doctor or nurse, chances are that some aspect of Depersonalization Disorder/Syndrome either has or will affect them or someone they know or love eventually, depending on whether of not they were pre-disposed to it by early primal life experiences.

Perhaps aspiring heroes are born out of the emotional needs created by dysfunctional or abusive childhoods, further predisposing them to harm from critical incident stress and isolation as adults.

The very same tools that we were taught to use to prevent us from becoming emotionally attached to the critical stress incidents that hurt and damage us as we are thrust into them have the potential to distance us from the rest of the world as well, long after the turmoil is over.

Awareness and recognition are the first steps toward healing.

Namasté

नमस्ते

THFWS&TTM’s: Every Day is Judgment Day

Posted in adversity, Boiler Room operations, Civil Liberties, Collaboration, Crossing the Abyss, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Drug Experience, Enhanced and Fortified non-fiction, GROUP MARRIAGE, Knowledge, Liason Between Parties, Line Marriage, Long Form, longreads, Love, Mature Theme, Metaphysical Action/Adventure, Much Too Good For Children, Novel, NSFW, Philosophical Sexuality, Polyamory, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Primate Romance/Adventure, Sentience, Telemarketers, The Home For Wayward Souls, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, The Talking Monkeys, The Tyranny of Evil Men, The Wisdom with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2014 by dreamlanddancing

Every Day is Judgment Day

 

You could fill a law book with a summary of the flurry of motions, claims and counter-claims filed by both sides regarding the disposition of the primates requesting asylum at The Home for Wayward Souls. The basic premises were these:

    • The Home for Wayward Souls was being challenged as not being a legitimate house of worship because they were not affiliated with any specific denomination, nor did they espouse belief in or worship of any specific deity. If it was ruled that they were not in fact a true church, then seeking asylum in their sanctuary would not be a valid claim.
    • PharmaCorp was petitioning the IRS to revoke their Religious tax-exempt status. The government stood to receive a great deal of money if this did occur, were it not for the 501-(c)3 non-profit status incorporated into what in effect constituted a line marriage of all the church officers, including Ash and Kali. PharmaCorp’s strategy here was to disarm them of their considerable wealth in an attempt to limit their ability to finance their legal campaign. It was more of a show of flexing their considerable muscle and a psychological intimidation factor, once their non-profit status was discovered.
    • Ash maintained that as an ordained minister (due to his original affiliation with the Unitarian Universalists), as well as a Doctor of Divinity it was not within the purview of The State to dictate, regulate, define, or pass judgment upon what even constituted a church in the first place by virtue of the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. He also publicly stated that if pressed, he could claim that they worshipped all primates, including Man, or even the Ancient Ones, or Los Guerreros, not unlike the Church of Lukumi Aye Babalu, (aka Santeria). If the Hindus could worship cattle, elephants and monkeys he defied The State to discredit his church.
    • The Primates, both Chimps and Bonobos alike (as well as Frederick, who was a hybrid cross between the two, who also maintained he was the sole member of a unique species so rare as to be classified as endangered) claimed to possess sentience, therefore to be owned or possessed by anyone and forced to commit labor against their free will and choice constituted slavery, as well as false imprisonment.
    • PharmaCorp maintained that all the primates as well as their offspring were their legally purchased property, and were to be returned to their rightful owners.
    • In an attempt to play both sides of the coin however, PharmaCorp further stated that even if the courts did find the primates to be sentient, then they should be held accountable for their actions, including the destruction of millions of dollars of property, as well as disruption of commerce.
    • PharmaCorp further alleged that the influences of Frederick’s attendance of services at The Home for Wayward Souls was directly responsible for inciting the rebellion of the primates, therefore they were suing Ash’s church for damages and subsequent profit losses incurred, alleging conspiracy to incite riot, sedition and malicious aggravated vandalism.
    • It was the contention of the primates’ attorneys that they had been subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment against their will, including using coercion to cause them to unknowingly take addictive drugs to induce them to perform tasks that resulted in profits being made from their servitude without proper compensation. They were countersuing for unpaid wages as well as punitive claims for damages, interest, and all attorney’s fees.
  • Perhaps the most controversial claim made by the primates was that they had incurred stress and injuries resulting from the influences of forced repetitive thoughts and stimulus-mediated responses, much like repetitive motion injuries, which they referred to as Cerebral Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Because the conditions to which the primates were subjected were no different from those in any other telemarketing boiler-room operation, a great deal was at stake regarding working conditions. If it was to be ruled that it was inhumane to treat an animal (sentient or not) to such conditions, the consequences would be far-reaching in an industry already notorious for poor treatment of its employees.

 

  • In the interim, Stanley Linderman was put in charge of “protecting” the property and personal interests of PharmaCorp as regards all of the primates, especially Frederick. It was mutually agreed that he be allowed to remain on the premises, even though the FDLA (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) and the FBI had established a perimeter around the property associated with The Home for Wayward Souls. It was sketchy as to the jurisdiction that warranted FBI presence, given the fact that PharmaCorp was not owning up to any affiliation with the DOD despite the fact that it was becoming increasingly clear that the federal government also had a vested interest, and no one wanted to see either the Army or National Guard surrounding the premises.

Amidst all of this, Darcy’s due date was rapidly approaching. Mark and Darcy had already moved into the Sanctuary, but despite the chaos and stress that would normally be associated with the stand-off and the never-ending surveillance by the news media as well as law-enforcement including helicopter fly-overs and obnoxious paparazzi the religious services and television shows continued, and the human members were allowed to come and go as they pleased, including Ash’s congregation and guests.

Most of the single members of Ash’s band, The ArchAngels had moved in semi-permanently, and during that time they produced a double album entitled Apocalypso Music from The Siege of the Garden, which went double-platinum in less than six weeks.

The Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil got to be like a vitamin for the enlightened inner circle, and provided much-needed insight and a sense of calm for all of those privileged to experience it.

It became the place to be, to experience, and to give and receive in like kind, and it seemed like the whole world was watching…and all the while, the band played on.

Merely a Series of Unfortunate Coincidences? The Illusion of Synchronicity…Sorry for the Inconvenience…and now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Posted in adversity, Bardot Thordol, Bereavement, coincidences, Keep Coming Back, longreads, Random Observations, Sentience, Synchronicity, The Liberation Through Hearing, Thorn Tree in the Garden with tags , , , , on August 16, 2014 by dreamlanddancing

At approximately ten PM on July the 16th, my brother was pronounced dead in an Emergency Room approximately one thousand miles from my current home. He was two years younger than I.

In less than six years he managed to turn a five-bedroom French Colonial mansion into a landfill, starting with the second floor, which he occupied while my parents were still alive.

Alcoholism and poor judgment based on bad legal advice has rendered the entire estate uninhabitable and facing a sea of legal encumbrances that would prevent me from even taking my parents’ wedding album or my own high school yearbooks from the premises.

In less than seven months’ time since my mother passed away, the kitchen, dining room and front parlor will now require a hazmat team to clean up the mess he left, which in some places was knee-deep.

Power and water services have been disconnected. There is two feet of standing water in the basement.

We were forced to stay at a local motel.

After waiting nearly a week, I was still unable to make arrangements to have his ashes scattered over the graves of my parents, and was forced to leave to return to work.

My parents’ Lutheran minister seems to (correctly) suspect that my wife and I are Pagans, and insisted on being present to say a few words and prayers over my brother’s remains, although he was busy at a conference in St. Louis at the time.

It is my understanding that he still is in possession of his ashes.

My father died two years ago, and my mother passed away on December 30th of 2013. While we were there, I installed two solar powered carriage lamps to light their gravesite at night.

On the way home, I was struck by the question “Who will see the lights?”

It takes somewhere between twenty-four and twenty-nine hours to drive to my parents’ home…and the same amount of time to return.

The only resting or sleeping done in either direction consisted of short naps at designated rest areas or while Suki was driving and one meal not eaten in the vehicle enroute.

Several hours after my first day back at work, I was diagnosed at a local ER with a DVT, or Deep Vein Thrombosis in my left leg. It is potentially life-threatening.

A new miracle oral drug called Xarelto has allowed me to convalesce at home without the customary four-day hospital admittance with intravenous drug therapy and frequent blood tests.

My healthcare insurance provider does not cover this medication, which can cost as much as four hundred dollars per month on average. My employer is a prescription drug plan administrator.

The irony of the fact that many of the plans my employer administers for other providers are much more generous in terms of the coverage, or cost of co-payments and premiums than the policy provided to company employees is not lost in moments like these.

Fortunately, the manufacturer is providing it for free for the first month, and only five dollars per month for the next two months I will need to take it. It would also appear that my annual salary is low enough to qualify me for hardship benefits…really? Really?!?! …Yeah, really.

After a week of bed rest under the skillful care of both my wife Suki and the lovely and talented Anastasia, I am slowly returning to full health.

If you absolutely have to get sick, plan on doing it under the care of a nurse, or better still, two of them…(especially if they are close friends with each other)…the right nurses can make almost anything better, and these two could turn a disaster into a block party.

“Sic hoc ergo propter hoc” means literally “after this, therefore because of this”. It represents what is regarded in the scientific community as one of the commonest flaws of logic, which is to assume that mere juxtaposition somehow implies a relationship between two or more possibly unrelated events.

Synchronicity is a term coined by Carl Jung, who initially identified an “acausal relationship” between the simultaneous occurrence of two or more unrelated psycho-physic phenomena.

Jung and his associates later noted, however that our ability to perceive meaning, portent or omen in the simultaneity of the events allows us to assimilate unconscious materials”, thereby encouraging us to experience a renewal and vitalization of our unilateral personality. In this way, our sentience enables us to construct order out of chaos.

This is a process well-known to both the Chinese (I Ching, Consulting the Oracle of Changes) and the aboriginal peoples of what is now called North America, whose shamanistic traditions divined meaning and direction from occurrences within the natural world.

As unfortunate and sad as the recent series of events are, they are hopefully merely a series of unfortunate coincidences. They were replete with enough foreshadowing and ominous portents to fill up any novel by Nathanial Hawthorne or Theodore Dreiser.

Were I so inclined, I could spend the rest of my life waiting for “the other shoe to drop” and in the process miss whatever joyous opportunities await, barring superstition and fear.

On the other hand, those of us who are inclined to believe in the in the interconnection between the finite physical world and the more elusive and occult ethereal worlds do have the opportunity to reflect, if you will, on the interconnection of all things, even in the midst of random chaos.

I have missed you all these past four weeks…although it would appear that nobody noticed I was gone….

As my heath returns, I will be doing my best to make up for lost time, despite the fact that the expression is in itself an oxymoron.

I have been told that some of my more charming attributes are my irreverence, glib facetiousness, and affectionate preoccupation with anarchy and the self-determinism of lawless disregard for other people’s rules, and this trip was no exception. It was in part a journey into the heartland of America (or the Heart of Darkness), as well as an opportunity to skylark in the midst of loss and sorrow.

Somewhere between the extremes, illumination awaits us.

You be the judge.

As soon as I consult my advisors as to how to tell the story without subjecting myself to incarceration for any number of possible felonies that might be construed as to having been committed, I will be sure to share it with you.

…and now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

 

 

 

 

What have You Done with My Goddess?

Posted in adversity, Appreciation, Dancing in Dreamland, Goddess, Greatest Sorrow, Jantor To The Temple Of The Holy of Holies, Keep Coming Back, Liason, Love, NSFW, Poetry, Torch Song with tags , , on July 14, 2014 by dreamlanddancing

*****

What have You Done with My Goddess?

Dull eyes staring back at me
Misplaced anger
and my own misdirected self-pity…
Who was hiding
in this shell,
this empty house?
…this tired, bitter imposter?
I pray she can forgive me
for not recognizing
the face of my own widow.
A Goddess mourning
the passing of her own Hero,
forever plagued by the ghost of
Yesterday’s Greatest Love.

A minion of years….

Yesterday’s Bitter Ashes,

The sweet honey of Love and Passion

and the mixed emotions

of realized dreams,

great hopes

and

Devastating Regrets.
*****

Come with me.

Take my hand again in Love and Faith.

Remember what was…

never forget….

Let yourself feel the anguish

and acknowledge what we have lost.

Let it inspire us again.

To live each day

as the resurrected idols

of each other’s Idols.

Rekindle the fires…

Breathe life back into each other.

Reanimate The Dream.

*****

Yesterday we found and lost each other,

as well as ourselves….

I remember the joy we felt

the first time I gazed into your eyes

and chose to ignore the foreboding…

knowing my life

would never be the same.

Knowing that our destiny could not be ignored,

Hoping it was all a dream

from which we never would awake.

*****
We are old souls that have lost our way,

our selves,

and each other.

Rediscover today, My Goddess.

Your Hero awaits his Idol.

Take my hand and walk with me

together into tomorrow

and…

Never Forget

Yesterday.

*****

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

You are my goddess yesterday,

today and tomorrow.

Alone, I hear my own heartbeat.

Can you?

It is the knocking

that I pray that you hear

at the door to your soul,

begging to come back inside…

forever wanting to come inside….

Miami’s yesterdays

wash away

my daily preoccupations

like a summer monsoon,

laying bare

the memories

of years gone by.

Sweet memories of what was

and bitter tears of regret

for a million missed opportunities

to have lived better todays back then.

A hurricane of emotions

blowing away the doldrums of horse latitudes of inertia.

Too many todays taken for granted…

Too many yesterdays

of apathy,

complacency

and boredom,

borne of mind-numbing fatigue

spawned from forgotten exhilaration…

that each of the first days

that seemed like they would never end.

Anticipating every day,

just to wake up next to my Goddess

with the realization that our love

was not a dream;

that my Goddess was real,

and she was mine and I was hers.

God and Goddess were alive

and magic was afoot.

T
o
o

M
a
n
y

L
o
s
t

Y
e
a
r
s
.
.
.
.
¿?

This poem was written long ago, before Suki and I rediscovered each
other.
I found this poem after believing it to be forever lost. I should have known better…it was written almost a decade ago in the midst of a reawakening I was experiencing while quartered with my flight crew in Miami Shores at the Marriot Courtyards.
We had been grounded for the last five days first for maintenance, then for weather, when I had this epiphany and it wrecked me completely.
IT was written for Suki. It took a long time for her to take it to heart, but she kept it just the same. There came a time when she experienced a sort of spiritual death and this made her gasp her first new breaths.
Shortly afterward I started writing what was to become Dancing in Dreamland. It took me eight years to write it and another year before she would read the first words of the completed manuscript, and about five days to stop crying after she did.
We have both been breathing a lot better ever since.
It is a call to arms to resuscitate a lost lover in order to resuscitate a lost love.
XO,
Chazz

The Iron Dragon Voice Recognition Project

Posted in adversity, Auto-Correct Speech Recognition, Blogging, Collaboration, Conjured Up Next, Dragon award, Flash Fiction, Fun, Humor, Imp Of The Perverse, Just For Fun, recycling vs. plagerism, Sorcery with tags , , on April 14, 2014 by dreamlanddancing

 

Recently I began attempting to utilize the speech recognition function of my computer to dictate text.

Daily (w)rite had just posted the A to Z Challenge: Flash Fiction, which included a photograph and a prompt “Lately he had been feeling…”.

This is completely new ground for me, and I was fascinated.

I decided to attempt the project using the Speech Recognition function of my computer.

Behold the results; a story within a story, it would seem…or…you be the judge….

Here is the artwork, by Joseph W. Richardson: (with the prompt: …”lately, he had been feeling…”)

josephwrichardson_600x400-42

This is the Iron Dragon Project result:

*****

True on and all,

Too true II be true.

This is going to be eight to two attached

and the howl for the old ones who weren’t.

Iron dragons can be humans

who buy in bulk and buy one another.

Lately he’d been feeling

like an imaginary dinosaur

so out of date that he couldn’t even scare

a five-year old girl.

(Let’s face it…

after Pixar,

how you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm

after they’ve seen

Monsters Inc.?)

Thank you.

***

And you and you might be wrong

if you were among the one

that will allow them believe

this can be done to learn more than one,

or the dragon in the garden may be a man…

is he our own only hope

that can help our town?

Take anything on the day

and it still leaves us poor

and unrecognizable

to my original text

(which is pretty good for a Mayan.)

***

Tensions thee into my mission

and an avid listen

to become one with the machine

which

in their words

might become a bump on a node

in their worlds;

a bogey on the radar

or give a madman time to ship,

were she to tell it all.

***

Dick you.

(that was thank-you, btw)

…mad that really only you

have been equally

compensated

and that early on

you’re more on the money

on the back F.U.N. and Y

(“funny”)

than all the rest

that ever were.

***

And so it goes from where it ends.

Hula room deliveries

and buried on an

old fairgrounds

captured

in a faded photograph.

You don’t know how

to interpret the butt of a joke,

meaning something early on

that makes

me so horney….

And let’s let poor

caveman UG alone,

(let alone the UG woman)

and the older elder too

and that old lady who

laughed

when laugh launched luna.

***

Run one thing on

to

try something on

fun fun fun

as a loan on laughter

in a letter that said

fun is dead

and you can’t play on

fun fun fun alone,

but the challenge to him was that this

…this the…

…this Italian leather dealer

in each letter on a letter

adds up.

…the AIM’s not even close…

but this

intention

could have made a difference,

(…but it didn’t.)

***

I’m not having loved all of this and more.

I’m not loving this.

If you would treat me

as an acute writers group

…maybe God already knew…

if so,

then dial me

but

you have no clue.

No one meant that as a car wreck, children.

No…

I was saying that was a correct assumption…

And by her now this is goodbye for now…

Logo and you finally

get right question.

Goodbye?

(Something there is that does not love auto-correct dictation)

PS: with team Damyani’s permission, I intend to reblog her original post, which I found to be quite a hoot in its own (w)right(e).

 

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