Monday, July 31, 2006

Klumsy ole fool

I just broke my best glasses.  First reaction:  AHHH NO NO NO NO DAMN IT NO NO NO!!!!  Second reaction:  "This is what's supposed to happen, this is what's supposed to happen......"  Okay, I need to play with this:

I broke my glass, I cannot see

I wonder how the world sees me?

Without my glass, my books lay stilled -

my brain is waiting to be filled.

And now I know just how it feels

without my glass to grease the wheels!

Okay, it could be worse, I could've .... I could've ..... okay, what?  This is awful, I can't see a dern thing.  Look how life plays with us, how things occur that just twist and turn us in the wind.  I'm off to the optometrist, unplanned and unwanted, but... that's life.  I'll take it. 

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Daily Pain In A Different Light

Are you the parent of your pain?

It's a beautiful hot morning and I'm finishing my yoga breathing and stretching, to help me deal with physical pain.  I know there is a group of us who live with chronic, exhaustive pain daily, and we all have our rituals and habits we perform because of what is hurting us.  I want to address something about that.  Energy.

Everything, every situation, every sound or thought or act is composed of pure energy.  Our high school physics reminds us that energy cannot be destroyed, only changed.  When we exist in pain, we create a state of energy with particular qualities.  Do you ever notice when first meeting someone online who you cannot see, that they introduce themselves by listing their ailments?  It soothes the human need to be assured that those listening to us know our hurtful condition - I just did it at the start of this entry.  But soon a person can easily become what acts upon their bodies, they become their disability and that's sad, indeed.  I know pain is energy and I cannot destroy it, but there is something I can do. 

After many months of meditating on the Almighty Power that controls this Universe, I found that I could transform my energy of pain into the energy of nothingness, of non-pain.  Then I could throw it out.  Period.  The power of the mind over everything.  It doesn't mean I am out of pain.  It means I've taken steps to regain my power over it, of how I chose to live, which pain is trying to rob me of.  Again, it's all energy, which can be changed - I can change how I view and maintain this anguish thereby adjusting the fullness of my life and throwing out anything that bars my way to a happier, more giving existence.       

Unless I reshape what hurts me I cannot deal with it and will always be hurting, uncomfortable, unable to partake of life's bounty.  So I use the incredible energy of my chronic pain to motivate me into transforming it into something I don't need, I don't want, and I mentally toss it out.  What really happens, however, is that these thoughts, which are actions, become part of the complete Universe, each molecule being sent out into the cosmos still existing as energy but in a form that doesn't fall on me.  I do not own this pain, I am not it's parent. 

Many of us are forced to medicate ourselves daily.  We do this because we have to live, and in the most complete way we know.  Chemicals work, since we are mostly made of chemicals, and the ones we take for our ailments co-exist and act in accord with our natural endorphins, or morphine, which keeps us from feeling pain from even a slight breeze.  Humans are so vulnerable to their environs, but don't always think to change them.  They find it simpler to accept what is given them, to adapt to it as it is.  And who can blame them, it's extremely difficult to maintain a semblance of normalcy when your every nerve is screaming at you.      

Have you adapted to life as it is, or do you seek to change certain parts of it that stifle you?  It's so easy to medicate, relax and do only what is possible.  That's acceptance, good or bad it's acceptance of a condition which impacts the way we live.  Many of us work through our pain, we have jobs or children and other responsibilities.  Many cannot, they have _________(fill in disease).  See how it becomes who you are if you see it that way?  But whatever our condition, we have the power within us to change this energy, not adapt to it by accepting it.  We can adapt in other ways that are positive, that don't make the pain energy too strong.  Why do we bother to take our medicines if we have no care for a good life, to heal?  If you're doing things to help yourself then it means you want to change your situation.  So we already know we care for ourselves, we look to make a decent life a possibility, but we only go just so far.  When you fight against something it only exhausts you and expends wasted energy.  When you try to harmonize with something, it then adapts to you, not the other way round.  Why not transform unwanted states of energy into unbound molecules and send them out into the universe?  It's not easy, it's not hard.  It's just another way to live.  YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO RELIEVE YOUR PAIN, BUT YOU CAN RELIEVE YOUR SUFFERING.  I believe this.          

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Why Would I Move?

Hey, good to see you!  I had a feeling you'd be here today, isn't that weird?  I'll tell you what's weird is the idea of this Journaling, I mean imagine:  You get to talk to yourself, knowing people are listening, and you stay sane!  In fact you keep going back and do it over and over.  Love it!

Remember when the Princess of Wales was still amongst us, and Prince Charles was having that "private" phone call?  I remember only one sentence from those days, he said he felt like "...that last little piece that just won't flush."  Lesson?  Even the House of Windsor has lousy plumbing.  Anyhoo...

I live in Newark, New Jersery and I love my building, never a plumbing problem.  It's a large but cozy habitat for disabled folks over 50, and has everything set out for all kinds of ortho equipment like canes, wheelchairs, walkers; we have health-care workers who come in daily for some tenants, a large room where they serve breakfast and lunch for anyone who wants to partake (a bit heavy on the pancakes and saugage though, I don't go).  They have a room for games like bingo, ladies sit and chat while knitting, there's the recquisite amount of gossip, and the kicker is the security - we have 24/7 security guards with cameras everywhere, making sure the building and the folks in it are safe and that no one gets past the first set of doors without being scanned.  Then they have to sign in and leave a picture ID even if just visiting - I like that, even though many think it's a bit much.  They get it back when they leave.  One one side of the building there's a walled in area with picnic tables, umbrellas, gardens, just a nice big place if you want to be outside to read, sit and talk, do crosswords which I always love, eat, drink and be secure.  No one can walk in off the street.  No loitering.  A large parking lot out back with trees, gardens, and a secure fencing set-up, discreet cameras everywhere manned by security officers inside.  Locked mailboxes, a huge double lobby they decorate with each seasonal holiday - big enough for two creches and three trees, lights, all the gee-gaws we elders expect.  There's a chapel which I attend every Sunday whic has a nice baby grand piano and I get to play.  Yes, I pray when I play.  I bought a book of mostly Baptist gospel hymns because they seem to enjoy those, so I can play anything they want to sing.  There's a convenient (much too convenient) slew of candy machines, there's soda, fresh milk and juices, and every floor (8) has it's own little sitting room with couches and tables, chairs, where we meet now and again to discuss anything a tenant feels needs addressing.  The management encourages this!  Every floor has about 40-50 apartments, in a square shape (never counted, think I will) and you have a choice of small stuido, large studio, one, two or three-bedroom apartment.  I have the smallest studio so I can keep it clean myself.  Nice little kitchen.  We have two separate rooms of two washers and dryers on each floor, operated by cards instead of coins, two recyclying rooms for our garbage (my place is directly across from both rooms, I'm especially blessed.  They felt with my wheelchair it would make things easier - I've been on a walker and cane now though for about 6 years, yeah!!)  We have an in-house doctor downstairs who mostly cares for the myriad of diabetic folks but sees anyone who needs it, a top-notch dentist who visits yearly, my goodness I could go on - think I will.  

Management is tenant-friendly almost to a fault.  Although your lease is month-to-month, the majority of us stay a long time.  All utilities included in rent.  No transients or young people with children, I'm afraid.  But that's how it's planned out.  Management makes their employees available 5 days a week, they're courteous, respectful and patient (that can be hard with the folks in the first stages of Alzheimer's).  This isn't a nursing home by any means, so if someone becomes entirely bedridden they're transferred through social services to a suitable place.  

What else - the rent, you're thinking, right?  Okay it's $800 for everyone, no matter the size of your place.  Everyone here has some disability of a type, and their SSI covers a portion of the rent.  Mine is okay since I worked all my life, so right now I only pay $300.  Most people live alone but know everyone, especially their neighbors.  We haveeach others' phone numbers for emergencies but don't need them really, since there's these little silver boxes in each apartment about knee-high and each has a button to push which immediately barks out a loud, persistent beeping, bringing security at the run.  We also have portable "alarms" you wear around your neck, it's about the size of a pendant, unseen under your clothes and useful if you're especially afraid of falling, which is reasonable with all the elder folks who live alone here.  Each room has a alarm in a convenient spot, especially the bathroom (with great plumbing as you know lol).  Smoke detectors.  Triple locks.  Those hospital handle-bars in every room.  Beautiful, lush park across the street, only a few little corners stores though, no big grocery stores like Shop-Rite, that's the only flaw, but for good reason:  This building takes up a complete city block and was built to be a dwelling set apart from the crowds of downtown city living.  It doesn't have anything to attract young kids who do nothing but walk around in jeans they painted on, or others up to no good.  But if anyone has the capital they could do worse than open a Shop-Rite near here - it would be packed daily.  Police patrol all the time.  Never had a fire here but we did have a lovers' spat between two men and one stabbed the other, that was 5 years ago.  This is Newark, after all.  Evidence of the homicide disappeared surprisingly quickly .... we have people here in their 90's who walk better and faster than I do - everyone walks faster than me, what the hey.  But it's fine, the disabilities that knocked me down 12 years ago didn't knock me out, I'm good to go.  But never from here lol that's a no-brainer.                                              

Friday, July 28, 2006

My "Stupid IQ Test" Score

89% scored higher (more stupid),
3% scored the same, and
8% scored lower (less stupid).

Got a pretty decent score but took me a hard thought trying to get this graphic in here ... ah, we Einsteins have our trials. 

 And I thought my score was a whopping 89% according to the graph, then I see 8% and think, woa that's so loooooow!!  EGO CHECK NEEDED HERE!!!!       

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Meteor Madness This Week

Skywatchers all, you probably got the alert but it may not be worth staying up late to watch, dern it all.  The Delta Aquarid Meteors will be bombarding our southern hemisphere all week, and because the moon is faint, and if we have very dark skies, you'll see meteors every few minutes.  This is really only for really staunch skywatchers since the show starts around midnight till 4:00 a.m., and Friday is the best day (night) to get a look.  It may not be as visible as hoped, thank you pollution, but certainly it's worth a mention.   

Answers to Kathy's "Tag You're It" Thingy

Okay, Kathy, I'm usualy terrible at these things, hence I'll jump in, and for those who haven't seen it, the original is in her Journal, try it !'sDay/

I AM an extremely curious person. 

I WANT to be believed.

I HAVE more than I need to live.

I WISH I could fly through the oceans of the world.

I HATE with great reluctance.

I FEAR pain.

I HEAR my name being called when no one's there.  (ut oh...)

I SEARCH for new wisdom in old books.

I WONDER why I cut my long, silky hair.

I REGRET growing up so fast.

I LOVE the idea of love and everything about it. 

I ACHE for fantasy lovers to come to life.

I ALWAYS check the door-knob 3 times before leaving.

I USUALLY give earned compliments.

I AM NOT sure of known theories.

I DANCE only in dreams.

I SING whenever possible and many times when not.

I NEVER prevaricate.

I RARELY have time to waste.

I CRY whenever I can, it's cleansing.   

I AM NOT ALWAYS light-hearted and cheery.

I LOSE anything I really need at the time.

I'M CONFUSED about death.

I NEED to tolerate the intolerable. 

I SHOULD help my dreams come true.








Talking Them Bible Blues

Ah what a day to have a soul!  And to know it's the only part of me that isn't mine, it's my Creator's.  I know He'll return at His "second coming", which is the hour of my death, and retrieve what he placed in me at my conception.  I know my soul needs not my belief in it to exist, just as God doesn't.  It's a plain, simple, yet miraculous event - being alive and so close to God.  In the Bible He said He would always be with us.  I take these words and use them, they help guide and direct me, and I believe that is what the Bible is truly for.  It was never meant to be taken word for word, I believe.   

I can't say I'm staunchly religious, since I'm not a literalist when it comes to the Bible, as most people surely aren't.  Organized religion makes me nervous.  But I love and worship my God and try hard to be merciful and giving to others.  Tolerate the intolerable.  Endure the unendurable.  I don't always make it to Church.  I don't always remember the "dearly departed" - but I never forget to pray, it's ingrained in my being.  It would be like forgetting to wake up.   

So many parables, like the "eye for an eye" and the "ascend to my Father..."  That reminds me, in my reading of theological views and facts, I continually find that one word, "ascend" has been mis-translated almost from the start, from Aramaic.  It would seem Our Lord had actually instructed Mary Magdelene not to touch Him, as He had yet to "join in being" with His Father.  In Greek, it starts to gets muddy,and in Hebrew it becomes another translation altogether.  It always interested me why Jesus would need to ascend, to "go up" to "arise" anyway, since that would mean He was headed toward a place, we mighy immediately think "heaven" and that heaven was somewhere "up there" which of course it can't be.  I don't know what state we'll exist in after we lose these fleshy shells but I know it won't be physical, since God and everything involving Him is spiritual and personal, intimate to each person in their way.  My way is that my soul, my "God-part", will return into the Great Transcending Power that is God and join all other souls who've come before me.  Something deep within wants to believe I'll recognize them, but that's just the natural urge to be anthropomorphic.  Not a mistake.

Heaven and hell are spoken of as places, so if they exist we'd require a physical body of some kind after we die.  I don't think that will happen, and though I find many great truths and peace from reading my Bible, my heart knows there's a whole world of the spirit I could never fathom.  The realm of God is beyond the human understanding of it, no one I know on earth understands God or why He does what He does, especially for those of us who suffer daily in what seems to be useless pain.  Yet we go on, we're like warriors this way, because we have the one thing necessary for life:  FAITH.  

I recently read of imagining a God who plays favorites - that of course, would be a Creator who sends souls to "lakes of fire" and dooms them to "eternal damnation", that's certainly not a wise and merciful Deity at all.  Perhaps it's difficult for us to believe in just being with God, being a part of Him, after we die, because we continually hear and use those words, heaven and hell, giving us a preconceived idea that they must exist, as places.  I don't believe they do, of course.  But then again, as with all of us, no one has the answers.  We can only Love Him and be kind to others, that's all I feel we need to complete our spirituality.  Love God and be nice.  All the other complications that go along with those two tenets are details, and will work themselves out during our lives. 

If heaven is somewhere "up there", is hell beneath our feet?  Without making light of this, I want to put forth that science can only answer so much before we find cause to retreat to our blind faith, and not worry about such things.  

Places, actually physical places for reward and punishment don't correspond to any of the qualities of the merciful, perfect Deity I believe in.  God to me, is not a person, but a Power - not a lover but the essence of Pure Love itself!  Imagine!  I love God and believe in His mercy, just as He believes in me and the mercies I've learned to show in my life.  Part of this I gleamed from the Bible, it is an incredibly inspiring and useful tool to navigate and understand many of life's complexities.  It is also overflowing with many beautiful stories of how others loved God while they lived, and it can make one cry.  The Bible directs, it teaches, but never, I believe, was it meant to be a literally worded testament in every regard.  Imagine how confusing things would be!  We'd become caught and entangled in all the contradictions, without learning the true meaning of the passage itself.  We'd lose the initial thought, or lesson.   

I say, take from these miraculous writings all the wisdom you need, all that helps you better explain in your heart why things happen as they do.  You won't get an answer for everything, and of course were never meant to.  That will happen when God returns for us, each individually, in His Time in His Way.     



Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Answers To Barb's Survey

Barb's Q&A is to list 5 things from the Past you experienced or accomplished, 5 from the Present you're happy with, and 5 Future goals or dreams:

                                         P A S T

l.   Playing piano and listening to Mom and Dad sing.

2.  Summer vacations down the shore.

3.  Gave life to a son and a daughter.

4.  Discovered my parents were popular.

5.  Woke to find a horse on my front lawn and rode her all over the neighborhood in my nightie.

                                         P R E S E N T

1.  Playing piano, and though Mom and Dad are no longer living, hear me anyway and sing along.

2.  Being happy with my own company.

3.  Using "Sir" or "Madam" when placing a dollar in a hand whose owner has no home.

4.  Finish all the books I can't stop starting.

5.  Getting through recent surgery without being a big baby.

                                         F U T U R E

1.  To be more tolerant of the intolerable.

2.  Putting my grandkids through college using my inheritance (thanks Mom and Dad!)

3.  Never cease to read books.  Books books books !!

4.  Take a cruise, or at least visit Niagra Falls.

5.  Give more than I get.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Here's Barbara's link, please take the simple Q&A and leave your link at Barb's Journal so we can read your answers.  I'd love knowing more about all of us!  (Thanks Barb :-)


Monday, July 17, 2006

The Post-Op Prowler Finds The Hidden Vanilla Fudge

I'm wearing a girdle.  Yes, you heard me right, a post-op torso girdle to hold in the stitches as I heal from my surgery on the 13th.  Funny, really.  And since my Doctor never said I couldn't play on the computer, I decided I could, well actually I never asked him, so I'd like to take a pain killer and expound on my experiences at the hospital and home. 

The moment I opened my eyes I felt someone pull something from my throat, which told me immediately I'd been intebated.  Guess I should've known they were prepared for trouble when the registrar asked if I had a Living Will - proudly I told her "of course!"  Not so proudly I confessed I left it home.  She frowned, but was friendly.  A friendly frown.  Anyway the pre-and-post-op nurses were amazingly polite and well-trained, I kept waiting for that "Shut up it's only pain!"  No, these fine ladies had morphine drips at the ready and all the 5 minute check-ins I could take.  "Need water, Cathy?"  "Can you stand a little jello, Cathy?"  "Oh such lovely hair, are you really 56, what beautiful skin...." I could listen to this for hours!  Except for the sharp, tugging pain at my center; it felt like someone was in there with a pliers pulling at my insides.  I couldn't speak very well, couldn't inhale much air to get a full sentence out, but made myself understood when asked questions.  Or so I thought.   

Then the surgeon comes in - "Cathy, you came through very well, but the anesthetist wants to know if you want to keep that old shoe they found in there."  Everyone had a yuk over that.  They knew my ansethetist was really a stand-up comic in his heart and practiced on patients all the time.  I remember before I went under, he warned me he was about to inject the "pina colada mix" into my IV.  I tried to laugh.  He goes, "Okay you should be feeling a bit dizzy now."  I wasn't!  Not even a twinge.  Oh no!  He's standing behind my head so I can't see what he's up to, and I go, "Sir, maybe another pina colada is needed?"  He said this was very unusal, might have to call someone in - now I feel a thin sheen of perspiration on my forehead.  So he goes, "Well let's try another."  Still nothing.  "Amazing!" he says.  Finally, I hear this maniacal laugh as he tells me it was all just saline, I'm about to get the real "Mother's milk" as they call it, right away.  Oh great, I'm thinking - a stand-up comic wannabe for an anesthetist!  So I didn't believe he was giving me the "real thing" as I suddenly lost consciousness...

z z z z z z z z z z z z z Then I woke with that girdle. 

My sister Marianne and brother Chris were both at their cell-phones waiting to hear if I needed to stay overnight, but I fussed a bit about that, knowing the secret of all hospital stays:  if the surgery goes well and you can form intelligent thoughts, get the heck out!  It's always on the second day they find "something we didn't notice before" so I behaved well and even ate a little jello.  Isn't it odd how we always try to be "good patients" in a hospital, so the nursing staff will like us and be kind?  These were really special, kind nurses anyway, so all my transparent flattery wasn't needed.  Once again, I thanked God for good nurses who actually listen and smile. 

After the 4-hour surgery (not bad!) and a short stay in the post-op "watch her closely" room, I was brought to recovery and began my immediate plan of willing the pain away so I'd look fit to go home.  It didn't work.  I had a morphine cocktail drip in one arm, saline in another for emergency meds, and antibios in another vein.  Coughing and especially sneezing were verboden as I could burst a stitch.  Oh!  Did I mention this was torsal surgery for a ventral hernia?  I'll make another entry as I recoup.  All in all, I felt like I should:  a sick, drugged pup.  But I was getting better with each hour.  After being there since 6:30 a.m., by 5:00 p.m. I was allowed to try the restroom.  YEAH!  Nurse Nicely took my arm and started to lift me off the bed when AARG!! the man with the pliers went at me with a cruel vengence.  But since such things are expected after torsal surgery, in one, swift professional move she lifted me straight up to my feet and handed me my cane as we slowly limped to the bathroom - well, I limped, she just walked professionally, my IV trundle rolling by her side.  After a long but successful visit, I decided I could get back to my bed unaided so I opened the door and started limping out, pulling my IV along.  Suddenly, a sea of faces came running toward me softly shouting, "No!  We'll help you, don't do that!"  I felt duly remorseful and hung my head as I was helped back to bed.  

Nurse Nicely called my sis to tell her of my progress and that after a few more hours, the Doctor felt I could be released, conditionally, especially after hearing of my bathroom bravery.  (He called it something else)  So Marianne was on her way to drive me home and I actually felt a little sad that I couldn't take one of these perfect nurses with me.  (That was the anesthesia wearing off I guess).  Then Nurse Pretty-Pat came in to dress me and I was full of that "see what I can do?" kind of attitude, since I do have neuropathy in the best of times dressing is a chore.  All was going fine, even the bra part, until finally we had to get my shoes on.  The right foot, no problem.  The left?  Well, I don't have feeling in my left foot so I explained she'd have to put the shoe on around my foot, instead of having the foot wiggle into the shoe.  It's a strange world, this neuropathy thing.  I remember 12 years past when I first developed it, telling my brother "You could nail my foot to the floor and I wouldn't feel a thing!"  Somehow I thought that was a great talent to have .....

Safely strapped into a fine, clean wheelchair, Orderly O-So-Sweet wheeled me down to the emergency room exit where my siblings were waiting like eager bunnies to hear how I was.  I couldn't talk above a whisper using 3 or 4 word sentences, but they could see I was already on the mend.  Handing my sibs the Doctor's post-op instructions, they all helped me into the car with the seat pushed way back and headrest almost to the backseat floor.  Throughout everything, the pliers guy was constantly at work but I tried keeping my mind in a peaceful place, knowing the importance of mind-body connections.  Actually, the only connection I wanted was with some pain killers so we drove away (they waved to us!) and went to the drug store.  I sat in the car with Chris as Marianne went in, and according to Chris I kept mumbling about some magical waterfall with little purple elves wearing uniforms.   

Post-op orders were ridiculously simple:  Don't Move!  Except for necessary bathroom and kitchen visits, I was not to walk, strain, lift, carry, and rest in a half-sitting position.  Hence, I was bolstered with a zillion pillows so when those bathroom times would call, I wouldn't have to strain my torso to get up, just sort of roll off the bed onto the walker.  Yes, my sibs arranged my little place with all I needed at the ready.  Bed rest is not exactlly as it sounds, most of you know this.  It's not a bed, it's a prison and you're not resting, you're just immobile.  I had books (Thank You God!) and crosswords (thank you Chris!) even vanilla fudge ice cream in the freezer when I felt I could get something down - my throat still hurt from the intebation.  When they were certain I was all set, Marianne and Chris left with a promise to call in the morning - it was already past 8:00 p.m. here in Jersey. 

I couldn't concentrate on TV.  I did a few crosswords and even looked at my hidden stash of Playgirl.  But nothing would soothe me, not even the pain pills.  Something was knawing at my mind and wouldn't let me be - of course I knew what it was:  that vanilla fudge ice cream.  I had to have it!  Now!  Well, my throat you know ....

Breaking rule #1 not to move unless necessary, I rolled off the bed and limped straight for the freezer.  Nothing!  Not a lick of ice cream in sight.  Aha, they'd hidden it!  Well, weak as I was I'd find that thing and have at it!  So I pushed past the frozen veggies and chicken, not really noticing the tin-foil wrapped square shape in the far back.  Eventually, it hit me like a soft hammer:  my drugged mind realized I never wrap anything in tin-foil so the jig was up!  Like a mad dog (drugged mad dog) I tore open the foil and EUREKA!  It was the good-stuff, the super-slow churned rich with fudge, brand name Vanilla Fudge Delight that begs a spoon.  Need I say more?  

Well, that was Thursday night and here it is Sunday night - needless to say the ice cream disappeared (probably those purple elves) and I feel a bit stronger with each sunrise.  I know my throat feels better, but unless I want to pack on the pounds I won't be doing that again.  Like the good patient I so want to be, to please my concerned family, to thank my friends who prayed and wished me well, for all of you and those incredibly perfect nurses, this post-op prowler is keeping her girdle on.                    



Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Will it hurt, Doc?

Please forgive my mood, I have this dumb surgery in a few hours - around 8:30 a.m. EST to be exact.  Of course, hospitals always have a "hurry up and wait" policy so I have to be there at 6:30 a.m.  That's when I usually do my yoga, man I'm going to miss it.  Post-op I won't be able to do anything for a few months but if my Doc says I can't use the computer I just won't pay him.  Wait.  I have to, I'm disabled so I have Medicaid.  That means, YOU'RE paying him, right?  So what did MY taxes pay for anyway? 

It's a ventral hernia and starts at my sternum then ends at my navel so it's vital to have it repaired.  Get this, they call it an "encarcerated" hernia.  It's in jail I tell ya!  Different spelling but same idea ... Oh, and the umbilical part by the navel pushed out HALF of my belly button - just HALF!  So now I have an innie AND outy, how many can say that?  I have to laugh because hospitals and injuries make me such a baby that my mind begs a release, a joke, a smile at the risk of more wrinkles, anything but to think about that anesthesia and scapel!  Have to be adult about this - grow a few years overnight.  Wish me luck!  I love you all!!!  :-)    

Monday, July 10, 2006


If you're a Skywatcher member, you've gotten your Alert for tonight's Moon, and I gaze at it between these words, it's bright rust-colored magnificence dropping my jaw.  This is the "Buck Moon" for at this time, by some ancient instinct, the male deer sheds the fur from his forehead, bringing him into a new state of being.  He is now something he wasn't.  And every time I watch Luna gaze upon me I, too, become someone else. 

The Second Coming

The second coming of Christ - it means to most exactly what it proclaims.  I've had a different experience with this and want to share it.

To those who believe Jesus walked this earth, whether the historical Jesus or the Christ (Blessed) of God, we know this man existed, spoke, gathered crowds and was executed.  We read our Bible and find He plans to come again to this earth, "to judge the living and the dead" and one can interpret that as they feel most comfortable with.  I personally don't accept it. 

I've had Extreme Unction 3 times in my 56 years.  So while I awaited death, naturally I prayed that God would come for me in peace (and of course very little physical pain) and I'd become a part of the Universe, a speck of a molecule of the "body" of God.  "I" meaning my soul.  So I've been close.

I also had to bury a very dear friend.  She promised to send a message, as she truly believed she'd have that ability.  But what happened to me, as I sat at her funeral in a blinding mist of tears, was truly an epiphany of amazing truth:  

When Jesus, Son of God, God Himself, proclaims that He will come again, I now know He means He will come intimately, personally, as ONE, to EACH of us INDIVIDUALLY, alone, which will be the time of our physical death.  It will be a PRIVATE, singular thing for each of us, at our time.  "Prepare, for the time is at hand."  Of course it's at hand!  It's always at hand, we don't know our date with death!    To God, a life of 5 minutes or 95 years is all the same, for time to Him means not as it does to us.  Our physical lives are short and He WILL come for us at our deaths to reclaim the soul he instilled, the soul which years for its home.  I believe His second coming is the personal coming for us at the moment of death, each one INDIVIDUALLY, and separate from any other, He comes for our soul, the soul He created apart from anything of this physical world.  The soul which yearns for its Maker.  I do not believe Hewill appear on earth to draw crowds, or to throw lightening bolts, or anything that remotely resembles judgment.  A true God doesn't need to judge - why WOULD He?  If God knows all that will happen, he knew before you were born what kind of person you'd be.  And if God needs a hell, a "place" of eternal, unbearable, firey bloody vengeful suffering, what kind of God is He?  Not one I would surrender belief to.  Which is also why I don't believe in heaven, and for the same reason.  Could ANY God worth His salt sit in glory and honor knowing his own children were burning alive, but some were not?  Would God be partial like that?  I could never hope to understand how He thinks or why He allows certain things to exist in our world, but I know this:  The earth won't be opening up with dead people ascending to heaven.  That's a key word there:  "ascending" it means "up" which is definitely not where heaven would be, would it.  Just as hell would not be "down there".  Down where??  If indeed, Jesus Christ will appear on a cloud with a book and condemn his children for all eternity, I'm completely lost.  It makes no sense at all.  This "Second Coming" where He will nothing short of thumbs up, thumbs down now come on, that sounds a bit too HUMAN to me.  A true God doesn't need to consider, to judge, to contemplate, He IS.  And He said it Himself:  "I AM THAT I AM."   

So I do believe His "second coming" will be private for you and I, individually, at our time, as a Father for his beloved children, and that will be His return.  Yes, Jesus will come again, when it's time for the soul to be reunited back into the One God who created it.  The soul- our "God-part".  

The "second coming" of Jesus occurs at the moment of our death.  That is what He asks us to "prepare the way" for.  And oddly, when I read my written journal for that time in 2004, I kept seeing the word "Prepare!"  It was the continual response I'd get whenever I'd put my mind on the Lord and meditate on His goodness.  At first I thought, well maybe He's telling me to get my affairs in order as I was going to die to this world.  Then I realized the truth:  Of course we should prepare His Way, for it will come for each one of us when we shed these fleshy coils and the soul will be released back into the vast Universe that is God.  There is no second coming except the last one, our deaths. 

In believing this, I know I have disclaimers.  It doesn't matter, faith is faith and if you live by what you believe, what can harm you?  God does not require our faith in Him in order to exist.  "I am that I am."  When the second coming arrives for me, the world will continue and people will live on, until their own second coming is at hand.      

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Who Came First, God Or Man?

When I wake each morning and realize I'm alive, the first thing I do is re-close my eyes, relax, and try to connect to a source more powerful than myself, something vast, something far better than me.  I call this power God.  It makes it simple and I understand the word.  I meditate on this power, this God, and just feel gratitude, feel quiet, at peace.  I am starting this as yet unknown day in a state of thankfulness which will affect everything I do and say.  But the true amazement is that I know this God believes in me, has faith in me, doesn't need to see or hear me yet knows I exist, knows I am real.  However, this God relates to the human world on a level I cannot understand while I live.  Some would say it's because God had something to do with putting it all in place, in sparking the light of evolution.       

Sorry, but I can't explain it.  I can't see, hear or touch it, but I know it's there.  It believes in me.  God believes in me. 

In the reverse, I live my life with a foundation of virtually no proof that He exists, yet able to go about my days realizing that I've no rationale way of knowing that this God I love can see, hear, or touch me in any way.  Oh but something has, something so far beyond my puny human brain's ability to comprehend it that I'd most likely go mad trying.  It could be something else entirely I feel when deep in meditative prayer, but somehow the presence of a powerful Deity infuses and refreshes me.  Yes, it could all be imaginary transference, but it touches me and I don't have to see it.  I don't think I can with these human eyes.     

Since God needs no one's faith in Him to exist, we have no obligation to believe.  Yet it would seem He has infinite faith in us, for how many stones have been put in your way as you walk through life only to crumble inexplicably so you may continue your sole journey?  How many times has your path been made smooth when seemingly impossible?  How many unproven things can simply be attributable to God, and need no further explaning?  Some say it is dangerous to give God so much credit and power, to simply say, "God did it, God wants it, I don't know why but He does." 

It's difficult.  But imagine a world where people come to a different kind of evolved state where they no longer feel a need for any unseen faith, no more praying to what they can't understand, no belief in any higher Divine Life, no smiling, closed-eyed gratitude to this Being at that moment things go exactly as we'd hoped.  A world with no faith in anything but ourselves. 

Then I reflect on our world as it is, still evolving, but with so many people having that blind faith in a Being worshipped by many names in as many ways; people who know the meaning of love for love's sake, kindness because it's possible, generosity and care simply because the human nature we possess reacts so much more positively when this blind faith is in action.  Not blinded faith, just a sure and solid belief that this Great Power (what words can describe it?) is in the Universe, is most likely the Creator of it, and controls life in whatever way It choses - which is something we can never understand, yet find ourselves more than willing to believe in.  I know the difference these two worlds would have:

A place where faith florishes in something greater than ourselves is a place of hope, of optomistic forward-looking progressive warmth and feeling.  But a place where no faith in anything more evolved than ourselves is, by its very nature, a factual scientific cold and pessimistic world.  This isn't to say that people cannot be happy living without faith,  and certainly this has nothing to do with religion.  It's a simple idea that the beginnings of life and all that has evolved in these billions of eons was not without an unseen, unknowable architect. 

An existence, a mass of people, all believing in nothing but what they see and hear and feel, would be a sorrowful world indeed, where you only receive what someone feels you deserve.  But in a world of people with faith in what they can't see but feel in their very souls is a world that bestowskind acts upon people with no question of what is "deserved" or not.  We all deserve to be cared for and loved.  We deserve to believe in what pleases our senses, mental and physical.  If it pleases my senses to worship this Deity, I have that honor just as anyone who cannot or will not make a connection between ourselves and this God have their honor not to believe.  Is it honorable though?  If you feel no God exists, meaning you feel there is no Being with a pure unchanging Love for us, wouldn't you most likely tend to be a rather unloving sort?  Naturally, that's an overview.  But a world where we can believe without anyone's eye-witness account, and yes I include the Bible, is a world of optomistic hopeful souls, who know something very unique indeed.   

I use the Bible because it is not a blueprint, but rather a tool which helps guide and direct a life, it does not design it.  These incredulous stories and parables were written to inspire and to bring hope, peace when it's needed most.  It is a book of beautiful stories scribed by men who were said to be spiritually inspired when they wrote it, yet its true benefit seems to be when we retreat to its pages at those times when strength and hope are needed most.  Sometimes we read it just for the pleasure of learning how much others loved this God. 

So I look to those who believe there exists no life form in this Universe more powerful than themselves and add that there is no conflict between creationism and evolution.  Why should there be?  We know for scientific, anthropological fact that our solar system, our little expanse of the Universe, is over 4.6 billion years old.  We know that the first appearance of life most likely appeared when a turbulent atmosphere threw off a lightening flash which hit the oceans that covered our world in just such a way as to cause the first bacterium to form and replicate into a single-celled animal, and we know we are a result of that first cell.  So a person who believes not in any God would say, "There!  The Bible is wrong, God could not have made the world and everything in it within 7 days."  But how do we know what a day means to such a one as God? One minute could have meant 10 million years.  It's a level we can't imagine.  This is a Power beyond our wildest comprehension, we have no way of grasping it's abilities, even it's form or means of communication.  But we feel it's something apart from our fleshy bodies and part of that spiritual side of us we call a soul and which I call my God-part.  Yes, I believe I have a soul and it is the portion of me that is most like God, most spiritual.  And this tells me there is no conflict between those who believe and those who do not.  There is only the differences we create, using what we know, seeking always to know more.  I am not wrong if I believe this God exists on some level, but I feel it makes me more human.  Why?   Because I would need the gift of blind faith to believe this way.  I would need the ability to love for love's sake, as I said earlier.  My focus would be slanted more towards others and their needs, because of this belief.  Without it, why would I care?  Which is to say, if I don't believe my soul will, upon my death, return into its Creator from whence it came, why would I bother seeing to the health of that soul?  For if the Universe is only myself and my kind, what use is there for spiritual nourishment?  And that I cannot accept.

Even the spiritual health of myth is a necessary part of being human.  Our ancestors practiced this in dark caves where evidence exists of ritual burials.  Why partake of ritual if you don't believe something lives on after the flesh decays?  Whether a power such as God exists or not, all through the ages we humans found a need to invent as many deities as we had civilizations, it's in our nature to explain that which we fear by creating a Great Spirit to worship and make sacrafice to.  It made us feel protected, safe and beloved.  A people who feel loved are a loving people, and a people who feel they've angered their God are a frightened lot who beg forgiveness, running to hide in the caves.  The reason worship has evolved is because we now understand thunder and lightening, volcanoes and earthquakes.  There is no demon living at the center of the earth, causing fires and floods; the powerful mythology of our past civilizations has evolved into the monothesim we understand today.  But it seemed there was always a place for a God in our existence, if only to explain the sun and moon or the abundance of beauty on this planet. 

So if one cannot believe in the awesome, unknowable power of a God, at least believe in the mythology, because faith in what we cannot explain is what makes us truly human.