Tag Archives: American Politics

Report from the Implosion. Blah, Blah, Blah.

Spiritual Exhaustion

Clouds tap Morse code on the skylights overhead.

 

There’s a message I don’t bother to decipher. I don’t really even look. Peripherally aware, I let it go.

 

Last night I brushed my teeth with hydro-cortisone cream and wondered why the toothpaste tasted so bad. It took a long moment to register. And then only because I noticed that something was different about my carefully curated basket beside the sink.  In a quick glance, a painting always on my wall kind of noticing, I recognized that something was off. I’d non-habitually thrown the only thing that relieves the endless bug bites of Tennessee summer next to the toothpaste instead of on the counter where it usually sits till autumn.

 

Ask the people who know me best what comes to mind about my mind and they will tell you I don’t miss a thing. Is it stress or age or exhaustion or depression or what? I’m missing.

 

I turned on the news yesterday morning to hear the Sunday news shows. I’ve been eating a daily breakfast and dinner of world crisis and crazy election shit sandwiches. I watch like I’ll be tested. I watch like something more shocking can occur. I watch like it matters that I know.

 

I switched from one station to the next to get a taste of the offerings. I would say I was paying attention if not my fullest attention as I was making coffee and feeding dogs and putting away dishes washed the night before. But all I heard was blah, blah blah.

 

I steeled myself to the television. What was happening? Is this what they call ADHD? Why can’t I pay attention!! I turned up the volume but I could not make out the words.

 

I could blame it on a Nashville party weekend and there was that but gears don’t slip that far unless they’re totally stripped. Seems I am totally stripped.

 

I haven’t posted much about this election. I have my reasons. But I have written scores. I looked back over some musings today.

 

The phenomena of a reality T.V. figure appropriating the highest branch in the Republican family tree is shocking. How did he do it? He understood an electorate’s doubt in itself and this life. He understood how to slither between the broken shards of people’s uncertainty. Can a guy that sure be wrong? They’re mesmerized by the gold crown on his self anointed head.

 

 

Politicians speak with confidence. We’re used to ignoring them. Trump got our attention with a confidence that didn’t jive with his adolescent insecurity. He fascinates us by calling admirers wonderful and detractors nah -nah names. He reduces the gravitas of President with a combination of juvenile delinquent and Mafia Don while his fans cheer him on. While a person of conscience would have exhausted himself, Trump fueled by the disease of winning can’t stop. While anyone else would have been buried under so much awfulness, Trump’s supporters are enthralled.

Trump RNC

Perhaps they see themselves in him or want to. Maybe it feels good to let all the trappings of civilization get trod under boots thick with the mud you want to roll in. Have we been too tightly wrapped? Are we longing to be overcome and helpless? Do we lack faith in ourselves or just that much faith in the system?

 

The name Clinton no longer has the ring of progressive intelligence. It is besmirched with the wanderings of a sex addict and the hint of lawlessness regrettably tinged with boring that describes the long suffering wife. Still, there is a history there of good deed doings that Trump lacks entirely. It’s something to cling to like a leaky raft. She lacks the history of stomping on the little guy. That’s a clear difference.

Hillary

There is an ongoing history of persuasive leaders and vulnerable followers whether victims of government or kidnappers or even yoga teachers. Not all leaders are the same. Some are idealized and elevated without seeking that status. Some purposefully reach for power. Those work to convince us they know more than we do. Whether different personalities end up in the same muck given the same circumstances or character trumps circumstance is an individual thing. But power is hypnotizing. Ask Frodo.

 

More fascinating is the nature of the follower. My brain almost refuses to dwell on the topic. I want to reduce it to the word douche bag. I want to reduce all annoyances to douche bag right now. But it’s not so simple. We are one body of exhausted people who feel powerless. We are tired of struggling to keep our heads above the quicksand. We’re dying to let go. Not all of that is our fault.

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Filed under American culture, new age enlightenment, politcal action, social action, social commentary, yoga and blogging, yoga wisdom

Revolution 2016 is Not an Election but a Reckoning

It began with the presidential blow job that finished Bill Clinton at the hands of a mercenary court of jesters who didn’t realize they were hanging the image of America along with Clinton’s presidential dick.

 

In came boy George and old man Cheney. Time to change the guard. The Dems were dirty. We don’t condone that in Yankee Doodle.

 

People like to assign blame. Who did it is initially more important than why it got done or how it happened. We want to punish someone and give vent to our anger. Eastern psychopaths assigned blame to the U.S. infidels. We got attention with the sex scandal  topping up our other depravity like greediness, ungodliness and world domination. It was a good time to vent.

 

Cheney and the boy roused Yankee Doodle and we went to war with the guy we could quickly blame even though it was the wrong guy and the wrong blame and meanwhile wages forgot to get raised with the cost of living.  People starved for many things because things cost money and kids can be too much trouble to raise when you’re depressed with an empty pit in your belly and then those kids were angry and forget school because why bother and our decline grew.

 

What better time to elect a sort of Black president with a message of hope and change? So we did.

Euro street art in downtown Nashville

There was the onslaught of technology. No one could keep up. We weren’t prepared to know the work we needed to learn. We weren’t prepared for the onslaught of depression and divisiveness now come to the surface as we shouted in each others faces by one venue or another non-stop. No stop. Ever.

In the land of opportunity we were all that! Everybody strutting for the camera. Declarative sentences only.

 

But we can’t support ourselves and our infrastructure can’t support us either. Reality is shifting like the ice caps under polar bear paws. Blame the politicians. Blame the rich. Blame the other guys. It’s not our fault is our mantra and to some degree it is not.

 

There is a wormhole and Toy Story’s army of creepy toys crawls out of the slime and onto the stage to become the Republican hopefuls.

 

When Fiorina dropped off Cruz’s carni soapbox like a hung corpse cut loose and pulled down by a blood thirsty mob it was clear we had gone through the looking glass. Nothing could be more telling since Madame Defarge’s satisfied knitting at carnage’s front row even if it was only my imagination.

 

I’ve had my eye on Trump since The Apprentice which I watched with the same grim fascination I watch all corruption of humanity. He was no better than the guy running dog fights for profit. His M.O. was to turn members of the team against each other. You watch him now like I did then. Shock and horror. Better to see it coming than let it surprise you, I say.

 

And Hillary is a wonder to me. How she ever went out in public after the public shaming of her marriage is beyond me but then I guess that’s why she feels so comfortable with Anthony Weiner’s still wife. People say she’s power hungry and who isn’t? Don’t you want to feel powerful? She’s been dreaming of glory since she was a little girl who wanted to be an astronaut. That’s a bigger desire for power than I certainly have. I just want to control my own life which is never going to happen to me or anyone else. But I don’t fault her for it. If you ask me she has the largest measure of self control I’ve ever seen unless that’s just for the public.

I can’t imagine what she laid on Bill back when. Yeah I can.

 

Bernie is an old hippie with vision. Or visions.  I am too.  Good food, the love of a family who can be present for you, financial stability, a life that has a place for all of us and a good education is the beginning of mine.

 

I’d like to hear him say we should have respect for everything living on this earth. I would like to hear him refute Trumps’ charges that America will be great again when we bring back dinosaurs. I mean non-technology jobs. I’d like him to say we can be the janitorial meek for the gilded palaces of the rich when we inherit the earth and maybe a factory job. He won’t say that though because he’s not jaded like me. Sarcasm is a weak man’s weapon. But he could say that Mexicans aren’t taking our jobs because we are eliminating our own jobs as society shifts. Robots will farm and do construction soon enough so we can have more time to abuse the prescription drugs that are the only things being handed out freely to everyone.

 

Now that shameless is on the table and no one feels the cringe like the first cringe when Mexicans were declared rapists, the G.O.P.  Zombies are climbing out of their shallow graves to form alliances hoping to stand again in the spotlight no matter that it’s meant for someone else. Even someone appalling. Even someone who trashed them and their loved ones. Unlike their vampire brethren, they live on the light.

 

Who will be the next leader of the free world?  It’s down to an indomitable woman, an old hippie or a celebrity businessman. We don’t agree on the answer but we are mostly at the end of one rope. Let’s hope we don’t use it to hang ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Voice of Civilization

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During the last election, a voice analyst on public radio discussed what one might glean from the voices of John McCain, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton.

 

She said that Hillary was unlikable and perceived as whiny when she raised her voice because as a woman, she is the “voice of civilization” and no one likes to hear the voice of civilization sound peeved. She explained that the voice of civilization tells you to take a shower, take your vitamins and make your bed. She said that we can take it when a man raises his voice because it’s acceptable but the voice that maintains order in the home must be sweet. A woman sounds trashy, while a man sounds, well, manly.

 

There have been more than a few times in my life when a man has shouted, “don’t yell at me” when I’ve raised my voice just enough to be emphatic and if I’ve been foolish enough to insist in a firm voice that I am not yelling, I’ve been shouted back at by someone who doesn’t seem to notice the irony.

 

I’m wondering who was trying to fool us when they made a commercial for some antidepressant with a woman doing the voice-over in a reassuring, confident, voice of civilization kind of trustworthy way. She’s letting me know I might be depressed even if I don’t think so and that I can get a pill that will keep the depression away. She’s a siren luring sailors to a drowning death, cooing like Snow White to her seven dwarfs, convincing me to take the pill which can cause me to kill myself or have a stroke or destroy my liver or cause tremors and nausea. Those things don’t even sound dangerous when she describes them like she’s sharing her secrets for immortality.

6472337-surrealist-artwork-of-a-woman-wearing-a-dress-which-becomes-the-ocean

 

Is this the tone a woman must take to be heard as she campaigns against men for the presidency? Shall she manipulate her tone to be a voice that we can hear without being reactive?

 

The answer is yes for some of the public and my advice for Hillary Clinton as she campaigns in 2016 is to put on the veil of illusion that is not much different from any other political manipulation that we are so aware of because it will allow her to even the playing field as a woman. Give them the voice of civilization as men perceive it. That would be a masterful political stroke. That is the strongest voice there is and this is a year of the master game.

 

You have only to take a page from Donald Trump’s playbook to see how simple it is to manipulate people when you give them what they think they want. I do not imagine he would break bread with most of the crowd he has amassed. He is not one of them but they have missed that being so caught up in his relentless performance.

 

If this election points out anything it is that people are frightened. Period. Give them the cool hand on the scorched forehead, Senator. Let the vehicle of civilization lure them, lull them into your lap.

 

Trump’s wife and beloved daughter know that. He told the rabid crowd in Arizona yesterday that they both urged him to act presidential. Listen to your women, Trump. They are the voices trying to civilize you.

 

Author’s note: This post was revised from a post I wrote in 2008 railing against drug sales on television which I found doubly heinous when done with a woman’s voice over.  This is not a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump but a point of view on the differences of the sexes.

 

 

 

 

 

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Everything Will Be Alright

 

She approaches me after class. Tells me she’s in law school. She and her peers are suffering from P.T.S.D. she says. From life.

She’s responding to a comment I made in class. I consider it pure luck that I have a positive position on the life we share at the moment.

Things need to break. The shit storm of happenstance and wrong actions that are instigating an onslaught of information on disaster is also precipitating a wellspring of solutions. That is a wellspring of love. That is the breath we choose.

Hilary Lindsay-one precious life

Hilary Lindsay-one precious life

The human condition shifts with awareness and it changes with our reactions. I see many hopeful reactions despite the barrage of sorrowful scenarios. We are looking for ways out. We are wielding sledgehammers. We are scraping peeling paint.

As radical politicians move the conversation from the usual banter, awareness grows. As spokesmen, leaders and newscasters inform people on pollution, poverty and violence against each other and the planet, quiet numbers choose to make things better in small and large ways.

It’s a life of small steps. We just step faster now. Diverse paths are rapidly emerging.

Some of us will be sacrificed no doubt. It was never easy to be aware.

But it would be less glorious to not be.

To blame nature’s weather or planets for our discomfort is shortsighted as well. Instability is nature itself. The perfect day will not last no matter how we pray for that.

Welcome to your place in the world. To smash and break it until it is right for you without harming any creature is artful. Perhaps that’s why the arts sustain us through hard times.

Remember, we are all artists. Your expression inspires mine. This is a beautiful instability.

Even trauma can generate beauty.

 

 

 

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The Others

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I am the others.  Hours waiting in a medical facility on the North side, the side for people without health insurance, without money, without connections, I am privy to the service of the underprivileged.

I am a white middle class statistic without health insurance with a shoulder that was hurt in a white middle class Iyengar studio and a fused sacrum that’s becoming more troublesome.  I cannot do my job as well as I need to. I am in pain and I am a lucky one because I am allowed free medical attention through an effort called Art Docs which is to alleviate the suffering of starving artists.

Turning the corner into the hospital parking lot I pass a shoot -out at a pawn shop. The parking garage that is the only option for General Hospital is full. I make several passes before parking several floors above ground and my instinct in an unfamiliar setting tells me to take my chance on the stairs. Do not get into an elevator in a parking garage in the hood.

The entrance and alien waiting area is stripped down and I think of an army triage in a war zone. The place feels abandoned but for the gentle mannered young girl behind a plastic window who takes my name and steers me to the elevator toward my destination. It smells of cigarette smoke and despair.

I enter the next waiting room and then another. I have not seen another white face. I have seen the legless, the toothless, and the hobbled before old age, the starved and overweight, the overburdened and the other world.

The nurse who checks me in laughs when she weighs me and tells me of her battle to lose weight. She takes my input and seems bemused that I have nothing to note but an allergy to Sulfa. Do you drink, smoke, suffer abuse; any meds, surgeries or accidents?  No, no, no and I know how lucky I am to be a rare statistic here. I am sensitive to being out of place; an observer who can walk out through the worn doors to freedom.

Two hours later I’m seen by a kind very young doctor who attempts to use each of the hand sanitizer wall dispensers which are empty. He quickly rinses his hands at the sink and thoughtfully extends one to me with his introduction. He has me go through some mobility tests. He tells me that MRIs and X-Rays are expensive and he doesn’t think I need surgery so why bother. He gives me exercises to do that I have in fact been doing since last November and suggests I double up on anti-inflammatory meds.

I ask him about my displaced sacrum and he says he doesn’t know what to make of it but I can tell my time is up. Relieved, I thank him and head quickly out the door catching the eye of a woman in another room. A scarf covers her head. She sits on the table with her husband in a chair by her side and casts me an imploring glance, making a gesture of helplessness with her hands.  She calls softly; I have been here such a long time. No one is coming.

What can I do but smile to say that I get it. No one is coming feels like the banner for the poor.

I stop at the plastic window to have my parking pass validated. There is a distressed young man, a dark skinned foreigner with poor English accompanied by a parking garage guard. His car has been towed. He didn’t understand the sign; explains that he doesn’t read English and now his car is gone and the powerless clerk behind the plastic window just repeats again and again; you parked in veterans parking. There is a sign. I can’t help you.

He gestures for me to hand him my pass. I am the lucky one. For this guy… no one is coming. As I walk away I hear the guard asking the hapless desk clerk what he should do. I wish I had the money to get this guy’s car back but I’m dealing with first world problems that leave me no resource but my prayers for the helpless.

I live in the light, where civilization seems to flourish but I know it’s an illusion. The leader of our country wants to punish Syria for spraying poison gas on its innocents while Monsanto is allowed to poison our innocents and those we import our produce to. We pick and choose who we will champion based on its bang in our bank and how it might affect our future. We mandate equality for all and demand societies whose constructs we do not understand to follow our moral code while our people go hungry and illiterate and our financial leaders dictate our compass.

We are not protected. The leaders may think themselves immune but few can stand the allure of Tolkien’s ring. My precious will ensnare all who come in contact; that can touch the power, feel the power, be befuddled by the power.  We are pawns on that board. Our future hangs in a precarious balance; all of us.

Still, some of us have a better cushion than others; a bigger space between us and the grit. Some of us are lucky. I am the lucky one. It’s up to me to pay that forward. I began today with a greater effort, extended myself purposefully into the discomfort where I can do some good as I’ve done before but confess to being so often relieved when my extended hand is not taken. Today I did not take silence for an answer but kept pushing.

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Can Yoga Save Tea Party Barbie?

 

 Enlightenment consists not in seeing the luminous shapes and visions, but in making the darkness visible –Carl Jung

 

Time is a twisted path circling back on itself, creeping through the brush marked by                               memory, presence or anticipation. It is not two dimensional or orderly. This is written by a serpentine memory. This is written by a member of planet earth. Come on.

 

Walk through this door and into the earth writhing heat. Head up the road with my dog and a rain jacket tied round my already sweat soaked waist. On this full moon lunar eclipse morning it will storm from the east which is an unusual scenario, promising hail and hurricane force winds. Omens scream in black clouds and stirring branches. I don’t care. I head for the woods as the world rumbles. For all you know, I’m there still, casting this post via satellite.

 

Energy is rocking us; stronger when the moon is full or during an eclipse or storm but always there like a heartbeat.  I look up and beg lightning to charge the earth and wind to scour the air. Branches will fall and trees as well. Someone will die. Storms beg our attention. They bridge the gap between form and formless.  The earth spin overlooked in a high gravity world on duller days is as clear as the heart pounding in anticipation now. I cling to this body of mine that is both form and formless. I am familiar with its part in this quickening. Like you, I am most clear in a storm.  I trust it as I trust the ground under my feet. As I trust all of us most in the wake of destruction. Don’t you see how we rise out of ashes?

 

Walk with me down the pedestrian bridge over the Cumberland for the closing performance of the CMA festival last week. Hawkers like archangels heralding hell stand every few feet begging us to give a dollar for plastic water pulled in coolers like chains through purgatory, to put money in ragged pockets. I wonder what land was stolen and raped for that water. I think of an empire ravaged by corporate greed and predicated on consumption. I consider companies that buy rights to Africa and India’s water, pour it into petroleum based bottles and carry it across the world to the gaping mouths of Americans who do not seem to remember that there was a time you could survive just fine without a bottle of water as ready as a mother’s tit.  Parched and stubborn with no public fountain in sight or in this entire town; I choose wine over water.  I thank my country for my drunkenness.

 

My cup is half full but my gas tank is half empty. My half full cup is full of poison thanks to the water that flows from the tar poisoned streams of West Virginia to my door. Still, I do not take this personally. I have too much faith in myself for that. My stirring heart circulates love within circles of sorrow. But I wonder what to do beyond writing letters to my Senators and Congresswoman who are not that interested anyway.

 

Will I proclaim my superior yoga teacher’s techniques while we rape the earth for fuel and water? Will I argue about God or what ancient texts are most valid to my synthetic genetically modified life? Will I talk of business and selling yoga while the administration of hope and change opens wild lands to drilling? Will my business ethics be no different than any other but worse because I’m delusional? Will I pad the pockets of false prophets who tell me I am perfect just the way I am while women’s reproductive rights are quietly removed?  Perhaps I should stay here and leave no footprint in these woods.

 

A doe stands quietly by. She looks no more than a yearling but she is a child bride guarding her baby. She will know when to run for shelter. I might be advised to do the same though I know there’s no place to run.

 

My dog slips into the creek. Water spiders slide past the freckled nose he rests on a half sunken tree vine. Disturbed silt swirls and shifts creating silhouettes in the dappled light. I peer into the depth like a seer with a crystal ball.

 

The wind bears down bouncing branches and flapping leaves that reveal a hidden palette of pastel colors missed when staring straight ahead.  Look up and don’t miss what habit stole before. There are bundles of dead leaves stuck in trees that look brilliant copper more than the brown of decay cast by egg laying cicadas. Point of view depends on where one’s coming from. It’s best to always see in all ways so the looking doesn’t wear you down. I’m looking this way for now.

 

The rain comes quickly and I ignore the dripping rain coat round my waist to let the rain cool hot skin that might otherwise tempt me to preen ruffled feathers in the birdbath of my own discontent.  That discontent can be assuaged by running into storms, into power that is greater than mine though it is strengthened by my power too. That discontent can also be buried alive by retreat. That discontent can be reckoned with by facing facts head on.

 

I used to have a name, now I have a username: And a password.  I’m not so much even a name as a set of numbers: I ‘m not so much a person as a profile.  A thousand years ago I had a flirtation with a fellow in a bar who asked to see my wallet saying that you could tell everything about a person from the contents in her wallet. I wonder what he would say about me now.

 

This storm is a global reckoning like the others.  Who are we in all this? Does a pass key to yoga make me different from anyone else? All I know of yoga is in revealing the body’s secrets. I know that formlessness is found in the form of the body. I can shed light on a map to the bridge between forms and formless but that is just clarity. After that it is about choices. Though yoga has lessons to teach, yoga teacher arms don’t grasp or pull. One must walk willingly into them. We don’t know you.  We have to respect the mystery.

 

People stare from shaded glasses and tinted windows. If I can see your eyes I might think I know you but then again, I once knew a criminal with kind eyes and a beautiful smile.

 

I recall a walk down this road last winter.  A squirrel’s sunken body was hanging by its armpits from a tree branch. A leering death grin evoked Batman’s enemy, The Joker. Hands curled at the shoulders, he crouched in the sky on hind legs like a meerkat.  A hawk must have dropped him in flight.  The image of this communal creature hung out to dry in a predator’s sky inspired the thought; here are we the people, a grotesque masquerade of our former selves. I pictured the waxy faces of Fox News pundits. I heard Bill O’Reilly embracing the rising moon and ocean tides as proof of a puppeteer God. I imagined blond Velociraptors wielding talons, forcing tiny Botox frozen faces into smirks and ripping lies. I pictured shocked stares of the suddenly homeless.

 

I think of Sarah Palin and her We the People tour riding on her earth-exhausting bus, spreading stupid like Monsanto’s poison seeds. I embrace the worst of us, the disease of us, the koo koo catchoo hold him in your arms yeah you can feel his disease of us. I’m braced for the storm and storming memories. Some would call this distraction. I think apathy a greater threat. Bring on the storm. I know when to be peaceful.

 

 

 

Tea Party Barbie Bachmann with her self -proclaimed titanium spine is running for president. Next to her, Sarah Palin looks more like a cross -eyed Smurf with a speech impediment than Sweeney Todd’s scary tea party hostess.  Who are the people who make these women powerful? Most everyone I meet seems too sane for that and I wonder if they vote. Then I wonder if they twitter.

 

With the shameful exit of Clinton we became a country divided; a bumper sticker badge wearing group of yahoos who screamed and jeered like rioters at a soccer game. We learned to flaunt our disrespect. Eight years under Bush and Cheney revealed that fear and ego is always there and deserves managing. We made greed the prize for fear. We learned group shame.  Anarchy and repression are part of our menu and there for the taking. Anything goes. Put it on the internet so we can see it. In a country that declares itself bankrupt in debtor’s prison; corporate America is still cajoling us to buy with credit to ensure we spend more than we have.

 

We’re in a storm. Storms bridge the gap between form and formless. The earth spin is as clear as a heart pounding in anticipation now.

 

I’m putting away the breakfast dishes. The television is on. Florence and the Machine is on stage for the Good Morning America Summer Concert Series.  The Burger King logo floats behind her.  She’s singing an apocalyptic song. It’s pure poetry.

 

To respect the nature of the place we inhabit and recognize that our preservation depends on our relationship to it, to love its inhabitants great and small, is to live gracefully. Where we might recognize ourselves alone in a forest, do we recognize ourselves in a global society or any society at all? Is it possible at this uneasy, dis-easy juncture where all of our welfare is at stake, that we are shape shifters with feet in cement only by our lack of imagination? Light and dark are cast not only by sun and moon but by emotions, ego and love.  What shapes us also shapes the world. How will we shape ourselves?

 

 

I’m awake at sunrise and head east for the highest hill. Sun shifts and clouds slip and the earth feels uncomplicated and unfathomable at once. Awe is a halo that surrounds my heart and cradles my brain. I’m struck dumb with love for this planet. I see angels in the form of hawkers, beggars and homeless urging us to wake up.  I have no answers but imagine us on the brink of a stampede to sanity because right now, alone in the forest, it’s what I have to believe.

You don’t love because. You love despite – William Faulkner

Hilary

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