The Social Contract Breaks First

Don’t Tread on Me

Trump’s last year was set on the field of Global Pandemic in a battle between Left and Right, revealing incompatible ideas about human rights, personal freedom and truth.

The quarantined  constant chatter about the intractable, unreasonable, myopic and ignorant human condition , one side furiously judging the other  had dampened bitchin yoga’s fire and spoiled my appetite for the rant. 

Recently the phrase “social contract” came up in conversation and stirred the curtains. Social contract is the foundation of modern yoga and social contract is the glue that holds this country together.

From Hilary Lindsay Rebel Yogis 2001 Calendar

~The social contract of yoga is self centered.

~The social contract of Judeo/Christian ethics is founded on love for others.

~The social contract that founded America was designed to protect us from each other’s worst impulses.

In the “Yoga Sutras” which is the seminal work of modern yoga, the author offers a system to manage man’s weaknesses with a check list to determine the outcome of the process.

Don’t harm or steal or overstep. Don’t covet or lie. In unspoken theory, if you follow those rules the outcome is a shiny spirit, a fire in the belly for work, a desire to learn including knowledge of one’s self and the recognition that there’s something greater than the sum of one that dictates the energy we share. And we are humble.

The outcome will be a better society but not because we are concerned with society. We are managing our composure to ensure personal peace.

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In the biblical teachings we are asked to love our neighbors as ourselves and the Ten Commandments share some of the tenants of the Sutras. The intention attributed to Jesus is love.  Love others and things will go well.

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The social contract that founded America was derived largely from the philosophy of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes who posited that conflict is inevitable in nature and men left to their own selfish devices will need government to restrain their passions. Paradoxically legal restraints are a necessary measure toward individual freedom. The alternative is vigilantism. Hobbes called this a war of every one against every one. Madison and Hamilton concurred and put safeguards in our Constitution.

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Now citizens who mistake anarchy for liberty are emboldened by Donald Trump’s new Republican leadership.  Don’t tread on me has been exhumed from the American Revolution to serve as a battle cry for the Libertarians and Tea Party enthusiasts who seemingly have no concept of American civics. The ignorance and subsequent violence are causing the wounded country to hemorrhage. The January 6th insurrection was no anomaly but a peek beneath the sheets.

Today is July 4th, the day Americans celebrate the notion of freedom by firing off explosives. In theory it’s an awesome and glorious display of light and power, a show by the people for the people.

Here in the buckle of the Bible belt as they used to call Tennessee, personal fireworks are banned but if anyone pays that heed I haven’t noticed. Fireworks begin weeks before the fourth terrorizing the dogs and horses at the nearby agricultural center where we gather each day to walk with friends.

Where these days simplicity allows for constructs of Black v. White, Left v. Right, Gal v. Guy, Straight v. High, the behavior around gunshot blasts of explosives in neighboring yards now blurs those lines as anyone can disprove the position of love your neighbor as yourself. 

Not to be a total buzz kill, this American past time is beloved and brief.  Though I have given up seeing fireworks to stay home with my quaking dogs, I am a fan. And because I know when the local displays begin I am able to manage my animals.

The things is that though social networks reveal the widespread terror our kids and animals face each year in the face of neighbors randomly setting off explosives for weeks prior and on the 4th from their own yards people who know the law will not be enforced  do not mind how they affect others. They are entitled. The line is drawn there.

Entitled is the new norm. Freedom may be the most misunderstood word in the dictionary. The social contracts are breaking down. Yoga is not excluded.

What is the sound of freedom ringing?

This is a blog and so I’ll leave it there. You can fill in the rest as you see it.

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Buried Alive

February 2021

We lie but do not rest in peace beneath a white shroud. Sea to shining sea, there is no footing in this block of ice though human footprints soften in drowning snow.

The sound of my own thoughts is the only sound I hear.

Snow is a quiet that’s not the absence of sound but a sound itself.

Different than the hush that keeps spiraling in a year of tornadoes, floods, fires and quarantine.

Perhaps it’s the lone balance for the chatter of political dissent that roared ceaselessly across the airwaves, on twitter, the internet, our conversations, that kept us in touch.

Eleven months after global quarantine, we shelter in place once more.

Nature’s shots keep pace with shots in arms. Her power is a fury.

Blessed be the tired earth as it slays its inhabitants again.

The virus persists but the people weary of worry laid down their guard and rushed to work and habit.

Lack of discipline or protection sent us back to life marked at dawn ringing alarms.

Alarm. What is that? How is that a word to wake up to?

Alarm is the ringing bell of my awakening.

How long must I hide out because others will not?

Their habits prolong my prison sentence as they excuse themselves from the table.

How will I get to my ailing parents?

What use am I to anyone here in the confines of my home asylum.

Every day the same day. Every thought the same thought.

Buried alive.

But now the snow melts and rain moves toward us on the scent of spring.

The nature of man is undeniable.

Even as we ready for floods, warned again,

We rise from the burial ground like ghostly shadows

And reach for the light.

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Sensory Yoga In Hair Raising Times ~Namaste

February 2021.

Soft hands belie a commitment to hand sanitizers as the Pandemic forges onward.

Corona Easter Bunny 2020 by Hilary

Those souls whose sensory overload comes quickly in the best of times are quickest to notice the rawness of skin now washed in a constant acid bath of battle. No lotion soothes these scoured parts, the instruments of giving and receiving for too human bodies.

The skin the world sees, the skin of the organs, the skin of the breath and even the mind is chafed and chapped and twitchy. We are fragile and too tender for the fight.

Being thin skinned takes on a sharp meaning when the thickness of ones skin implies protection.

In a world where beauty certainly isn’t only skin deep, at a time when we are forced to the surface hourly in an attempt to come up for news that is the air defining our days, we live on the surface.

The yoga teacher urges the student toward the down under. Seek the quiet beneath the surf for answers to your urgent question. Who am I? What’s happening? What is real?

One might see living beneath the surface now as denial or detachment or worse, disassociation.

Underground is a dirty word aligned with other words like the “dark web”.

The underground rises to the surface again and again. It is blind and desperate for a light. It will not be ignored. On the surface it crashed the nation’s Capitol in a murderous rage. On the surface it is a violent virus burning holes in the skin of lungs.

But in yoga we encourage the students to visit the dark. We tell them with our salutation of namaste that here we are all together. Here we are one.

We are all the same beneath the skin. I see your true self. The light in you shines a light on me. I recognize myself and yourself without ego. We all shine like gold beneath the skin. These are a few of the ways yoga teachers express the meaning of the word Namaste.

At times like these it is a helpful band-aid for the wounds of the skin. It allows the surface of all who hear it to let down the guard, to receive the rarefied air of potential collective kindness.

It assumes what it doesn’t see but is spoken to be true until the words wear off like chipped paint.

For the sensory over-dosed yogi a solitary trip to the darkness shines light on sensations that over-load the circuits. The protective shield of namaste is not enough to ensure safety for the organs of the senses as skin, eyes, ears, mouth and mind reel in the hurricane force of lonesome clarity.

Layla

A sensory over-loaded yogi has the challenge of managing the organs of the senses without the warm blanket of Namaste. Naked and alone, that person has to be the nurturing balm for oneself applied hourly as the glow of a yoga practice fades when weathered by storms.

Unfiltered the organs of the senses get clogged with contaminants of memory and fear. That exposure brings sickness.

Yoga is a filter and searchlight at once but not all yoga fits all people.

Sensory yogis should move lightly, breathe softly as downy feathers floating in the wind. Sensory yogis do well to marry yoga to Tai Chi and dance. The dance should be like the I Ching taking them down the path where the souls’ dowel directs them.

Sensory yogis don’t hold your heads beneath the water forcing down that which is desperate for air! Rather let the skin soften and spread into other. There’s no room for the universe in you. You are too full. Let yourself bloom into the universe.

Gently.

And when eyes close and the skin presses down let your meditation begin, this too shall pass.

Hilary.

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Light Peeks Through the Cracks of Our Broken Home

The Inauguration of Joe Biden 2021

Spring air teases the forsythia and bluebirds forward. The white cold light of winter still shines slantingly through my Southern facing windows this early dawn. It will soon shift to the northern side of this house and morning will be less of a call to attention as the days drift on for hours, eventually bleeding into night.

On this day that Donald Trump departs he will take despair with him. He will carry the crushing weight of hate away on the country’s helicopter. His departure will unclog the suffocating sludge of contention that has sucked the oxygen from our people.

It will feel that way for some of us. Some of us will follow the fumes kicked up by his dust, hoping to stay in his reality star story. Some will choose lies but most will roll over with exhaustion hoping for an unbroken rest now that he’s been replaced by a human being whether it be in defeat of their vote or victory.

Will we emerge from the bunker rolls of toilet paper and paper towels to wonder at our prison walls? Will we stare in confusion at the storehouse of swabs, sanitizers, soaps and wipes stuffed into corners?

Will we ever look at a communal bowl of food without horror? Will we find the old friends waiting and pick up the pieces as if they’d never broken?

What do our jobs that were lost mean now? Were we necessary and is there a place for us? What do the jobs we’ve done from home feel like when we take them back to the circle of others? Are we glad for the company of others or too tender from our quiet time in solitary?

Who do we trust?

I know yoga but yoga has not saved me this year. Love has been buried beneath fury, joy subjugated beneath fear.

It took most of the year but on insurrection day January 6th, that news overriding the daily death toll that remains consistent, it seemed hopeless and forever that I’d live in a wasteland after so many wonderful years in this beautiful country.

Trying to put myself into the shoes of those I disagreed with sent shivers through my soul. Spending time in their skin sickened me though I did try to sympathize or make excuses for them. From this, this yoga teachers’ circuits are fried but not irreparable.

The mother board is undergoing a systems analysis. The memory will be rebooted, the dust blown away, old programs discarded, the hardware upgraded.

Could this moment seem so potent if not for the last four years plus of trauma?

Perhaps the breakdown, the degradation and shame of our collective national consciousness is for a moment, the pathway to equity, community, and yes, love.

Let’s stay here in this moment. Draw it out with feathery breaths. Soak in the possibilities, breath out the past.

Love, Hilary

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Post Capitol Hill Combat, Corporate America Replaces a Republican Conscience 2021

Corporate America is fleeing the corpse of the Republican party on the heels of international horror as American democracy unraveled at the hands of the empowered, entitled and greedy.

Donald Trump, his family, followers advisors and sycophants hammered home the message they shoved in our faces for four years plus. Morality is what they say it is, truth is what they say it is, ownership of the government is what they say it is and they finally declared it was theirs with a war cry to their red hatted army to seize it.

It might have gone by as quietly as every other injury visited on America but for the public display of destruction it wrought on January 6th at the Capitol.

Finally this was too much to dismiss as it’s just Trump, he doesn’t mean it.

Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett Packard, famously declared in the run for presidency 2016 that corporations were people. That’s because they have to answer to their investors.

Corporations fund political campaigns. Corporations bank on who will fill their coffers. Politicians bank on who will fund them.

Corporations are pulling financial support from Republicans who stood with Trump against the 2021 elections results. World opinion matters to business. World opinion is that America is a shit hole country. Still one worth investing in for now but big money is hedging its bets.

Republicans are pivoting as fast as they can to denounce the support they gave publicly days before in order to save their political skin. Without corporate money they have no chance of keeping their seats.

The public outcry for campaign finance reform has been loud and ongoing though no inroads are made because they would have to be made by politicians who don’t want them.

Corporate political sponsors are on the right side of history now for a minute when almost half the country doesn’t know truth from fiction. Nearly half the country is complicit in the ongoing domestic terrorism that Trump fomented with his first public statement that Obama wasn’t a citizen culminating in the cry for a violent overthrow of the government as his reign of terror comes to an end.

What does it say that the next onslaught of news: revolution, corruption, violence, unmasked Covid spreading Republican congressmen is a relief from near a year of killer virus facts and fiction?

What does it say that this man told the bloodthirsty murderous mob that they were “very special” people who “we love..” and people who voted for him just weeks before have no remorse that this was their choice as they tsk tsk he went off the rails.

Somehow they didn’t mind the bullet train he was steadily driving into the heart of America from the first campaign stop. Until now, when things started looking really bad for them.

Money worship is the obscene idolatry that fomented this moment. The Republican party continues to fall in line.

Welcome to the Civil War.

Hilary

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Your Emotional Response is Not Your Response

Trump, his family, his lawyer, his Chief of Staff, his Senate and House coat tail political aspirants, enabled by a complicit Republican party incited his base to surge the Capitol in protest against the 2021 election results.

And they did. The scenes on television were horrific. People were terrified and so shaken that at the last moment of a four year assault on truth and fellowship, a purposeful fracturing of a country for personal gains and before that a methodical discrediting of the Black president and then the cruel dismembering of every one of his political opponents in the race for the Presidency, so shaken that for almost a day they ditched support for the creature they co-created.

And then they started spinning stories, about themselves, and this man who went off the rails as if he was on any rail from the moment he grabbed the political spotlight.

Why be so arrogant that you can’t admit you turned your head against his racism, audacious lies, thievery because you liked what he could do for you? Because it was easy and it didn’t directly affect you? Why feign shock at the culmination of what was the only possible outcome of this sociopath turned psycho?

Why defend the political party that two days after the siege shows only a 27% rate of concern that this was a huge deal.

The fringe splintered and seems to be dragging the Conservatives with them.

Look how Mitch McConnell has rushed to recess the Senate until the day before Biden’s inauguration so they can’t vote to impeach or remove him. Listen to the spin to blame left wing conspirators. I’m sure they would have blamed Black Lives Matter as well but it was hard to find a black or brown face in the crowd.

The RNC quietly renominated the puffy powdered Trump smitten chairwoman in a cozy meeting that worried not about the events of days before.

Why defend yourself as a member of a soul sacrificing fractured group that Trump’s advisor and son in law bragged openly is no longer the Republican party but the Trump party! You have not platform, no party, no ideology now. You have spent any good will years ago as the party of fiscal moderation or independence.

Maybe you don’t care. Maybe you aren’t capable of admitting you got it wrong. Maybe you like these protesters carrying your secret fury for you. Maybe you are them.

Maybe it’s convenient to ignore or dismiss your indifference. Like the outrage after every mass murder shooting shown on television after a few days you realize it’s not your problem at your door and easier to forget about it than do something about it.

Everyone knows what a nice person you are. Good parent, provider, neighbor, friend. You’d do anything for the people in your circle.

And that’s where it stops.

Kids in cages stolen from their parents, foreigners seeking asylum stopped at borders,abused animals, starving children, workers doing three jobs to keep their homes, wildlife sacrificed for deregulation, health care costs insurmountable, it’s not your problem.

Smug, you think, I did what I have to do to take care of my own. Keep your hands off and get yours like I did.

No nuance for you.

I wrote about the feral morons who stormed the Capitol but that wasn’t all of them. Yes the visual was Duck Dynasty but millionaires flew in private planes for the event. Middle and upper class educated people attended the insurrection, Duck Dynasty beneath their discount designer labels.

They were radicalized by the internet.

Shame on educated people to be so gullible. A villain with mind control just had to stoke the flames. His followers kept them burning.

Shame on you. I am particularly offended by descendants of Holocaust victims who shrink from the idea of asylum seekers or people who want a better life from entering this country. Trump surrounded himself with the most corrupted of them. More opportunity for Jew haters to find scapegoats as the tide turns and the mob turns its bloodshot eyes toward Mike Pence with cries of “Hang Mike Pence” for not doing Trump’s bidding as his term of bag-man comes to an end.

Trump will slink away from Twitter’s locked doors and take his place in the underworld on the dirty web.

You’ll pay no attention until your television explodes again.

And you’ll blame someone or something else.

But never yourselves.

Hilary

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The Miserables 2021~Our National Disgrace

Chromosome cracked lead chewing drooling hags and blood thirsty Trump thugs breached the Capitol.

Trump finished off four years discrediting the free press with a final desperate blow to democracy as he urged forward the cretins he unearthed unmasked by tweet and lie to keep the throne.

Democratic elections are fake news for the base. He did that.

Bravo to the reality star.

He’s not what he projects but what he creates in concert with believers.

What an award worthy show! Present him with the steaming pile of shit he created on a gold platter. He loves gold. He knows shit.

Clap for him Tinkerbells. Clap or he fades away. Didn’t you hear him demand your applause? Didn’t you hear him beg you to love him?

The bottomless pit of human fury frustration and ignorance swallowed us whole on the day of Joe Biden’s entrance.

Trump’s bottomless pit of desire married to the base’s bottomless pit of anger bore deplorable actions.

Yesterday the roaches who had built his dirty castle, filled the moat with man eating reptiles scuttled to microphones to disassociate themselves as the curtain came down.

Don’t you dare praise these Trump water-boys trying to save their political skin!

While their colleagues equivocate Black Lives Matter protests with the insurrection they are silent.

Had one black face stormed that building it would have faced a SWAT team and probably been shot without a second thought.

This is no contrition, just a different dance.

Maintaining imbalance in the populace is like shooting fish in a barrel and they know it. A barrel of human chum they toss for the cameras at the rallies and on the tweet chain so the clueless fish keep taking the hook.

So busy are we wondering at the failure of law enforcement to stop the insurgence we haven’t even begun to note the event as another in the long year of Trump “super spreader” events.

Mutating virus is just a metaphor for Trump poison as the world looks on in horror.

Bitchin Yoga mic drop. I’m out.

Hilary

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Non-Attachment in Binary Times

October 2020

Non-attachment in yoga recognizes the nature of impermanence. It does not imply that one doesn’t have opinions or desire a final result. It does mean that things have a beginning and an end and if you don’t see that then what you’re holding on to will hold on to you.

Is it possible to not be attached to the outcome of the 2020 election when a win by Trump feels like a plunge into a bottomless cesspool in the dark? Is it possible to not be attached to the outcome of one who will tip the balance of the Supreme Court to deny human rights in a country reputed to be a beacon for freedom?

When Trump was elected in 2016 I was fairly calm. I thought I understood that people voted for him because this government needed a shake down. Things were not that great here and the time was ripe for ripping the status quo a new one. But with each aberration of Trump and his support team and supporters growing exponentially worse I no longer understand.

And acceptance is out of the question as he and his coven of Stockholm syndrome sycophants place a young cult follower into the Supreme Court declaring that no one should be judged on their religious beliefs. This opens a door to a Q-Anon appointee or a maybe someone whose religion is cannibalism. In a country where you can declare anything you want to be your religion this is an unacceptable non-qualifier. And that appointment is permanent unless you want to bank on death which is just a lousy karma way to think..

Non-attachment seems like a cop out though who wouldn’t want to claim it? How does living under a despotic regime not claim you even though you turn inward! It does. But at least there are elections unlike the permanence barring death in the Supreme Court.

“It is what it is” is now a death mantra of a broken down accidental President whose “it is what it is” referring to 200,000 dead citizens happened because he was more attached to the stock market than the welfare of the people he was supposed to protect.

Man! I am not a fan of it is what it is. Such a cop out. Derisive detachment.

The destroyer in chief is Shiva opening the gates of awareness. Scum is rising as he’s encouraged it to surface. We are a country ridden with racists, morons self serving money hoarders and sexual deviants. Thank you. Now we know. Now get out of here.

With such a boldly villainous outreach from the Republican party, any backlash by the opposition seems by contrast that much nobler than perhaps would be the case in more moderate times. They are by default the good guys. Even more, the heroes of the people. Or that would be how one side sees them.

The title here is binary and binary is because things at the top are black or white. Like prison stripes. That is the prison of our choices made this narrow by this extremism by one party. Yes, I said one party because they are responsible. Not good people on both sides anymore. The other side may seem holy by default because it is the only position left in this dual but they are the humanitarians now.

Non-attached is delusion. What happens in your country does own you whether you like it or not. You are attached. There are no free woods to camp or farm, no free water, you have to pay the price that someone demands, you have to live by the rules that someone sets for you. Maybe you think you can live in prison like some do and find God or whatever peace you call it within those confines. Maybe you can bank on it’s not forever although it’s your forever if you are older or your kids forever if the impact will last for decades.

And what of sifting the real from the unreal? The moment from the potential? What of the veil of illusion we yogis consider to be the detriment of reason? This time of stark differences, this battle for the soul of a country has mounted a war on emotional balance as well. One has to manage the mind to keep hysterics at bay. The assault against the weakest has frightened most of us.

We are living in a what if time. Binary feeling like will I live or die? Will I thrive or falter? So much shift to the unknown that was always so but now marked in real time by real problems. Masked, sanitized and hunkered down not knowing who or what will be the ax or anvil.

I’m off to have a hip replaced. I have ignored the pain and limping for as many years as I can remember to avoid putting this body in the hands of anyone, to avoid the risk of a foreign body in this body.

On my surgery day the Supreme Court will be decided, Biden and Trump will battle at Belmont University for the presidency, a stranger will dislocate me and put me back together. I will ,whatever happens in all this, have to shift, find peace in the space within the seeming solidity of chance and all its what ifs.

Is there non-attachment to personal outcome? Can one protect the integrity of “I” apart from outcomes beyond our control?

In a world where the surface is home it is not easy to imagine that. Yes, we live on the surface. The surface matters.

There is a biblical reckoning happening here. The truth of mortality seems realer than ever. Things some of us could not fathom are forming. We are called to resist harmful outcomes. We are called to stay sane and calm despite them. We are called to ease attachment to that which we can’t control. But only once we’ve given all to control it.

Good luck.

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Night Terrors

 

 

 

Head held to my pillow

Comforter cover a mummy’s sheath

Sweat soaked sheets

He’s howling

My baby

 

Dream let me go!

I need to get up

get him but

I run in place against

 a hidden force of mechanical phenomenon

Thrashing about,  delirious

in the muck that

willfully conceals my way.

 

God!

Help me reach

His screams

Not for you

But ME

his long departed

deceased lifeline.

 

Impossible to save him

His neck pressed to the pavement

Life slowly suffocating

Squeezing his heart

His lungs

His voice

Calling calling for me

HIS MOTHER

to save him.

 

I can’t baby!

I can’t get to you

I’m letting you down

Letting you die

As I die again

Here in the next world

I die again.

.

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I Can’t Breathe

Exploding canisters

We are all suffocating

Tears pouring

As autocracy creeps

ky-lousiville-0529-4-1440 george loyd protest

Need a minute to get my breath

Some space

Some breathing room

 

Peaceful protesters flushed like roaches

Trump declares he needs no Governor’s blessing to bring them to their knees

On their knees they will have to look up

To him

He sets his flag for fascism

 

Breathtaking

Breathless

Relentless

Get off my neck!

Heavy metal death roar

This weight on my chest

 

Respirator, intubate, oxygen tank, hospital bed, mask

I can’t breathe

Wearing this mask

Anxious

Virus Violent

 

Permit to carry anywhere anytime

Weapons unmasked

Endangered cops and itchy triggers

Psychopath cops excuse to murder

Insanity

War

Smoke

Tear gas

 

In Nashville, my corner

Funnel cloud first

Dust storm next

Smashed sheet rock and ink dyed paper sheets

Scarred the air

Shelter in place, the virus is hunting you

Then the storm

Power out

For days

Hoarded frozen food to stay in for days now useless

What good was preparing for dearth?

 

You don’t know what’s coming

 

Black and White make black and white

Not gray today

Let Black have its day

 

The under loved rightly rage while

Savage Supremacists

stain

Intercept, interfere, interface

Time Square cleared for months by THE VIRUS

Teems with righteous indignation

 

Across the country

Tainted by anarchy placed and paid

Looters

Ruiners

Devastate the innocent and already broken

Misplaced misery

Monsters for hire

 

Being Black means no space

To mourn together

Protest together

Rise together

Yoga, ”The practice of the last breath

Is not enough.

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