Friday, February 29, 2008

And So It Snows ...


 .... and I don't like it.  Don't want, don't need, don't expect to cooperate with it.  Just when I need to do more outside chores, I'm barred at the gate by Mom Nature's dander.  Though not that bad, it's just enough to make it harder to find that good mood I thought I was already in.  Darn it.

You know what else is mystifyingly annoying?  Why won't my Journal allow me to add more links, huh?  I've made several new friends with wonderful Journals yet AOL seems to think I have enough friends, and refuses to let me add more.  So I have them bookmarked.  But still. 

How does a conglomerate like AOL decide when you've too many friends in your life, huh?  I say huh??  Yeesh.  Think I'll visit Journals, fall asleep at the monitor, and dream about mud puddles ...



I know you'll enjoy this, it might drive you nuts or something interesting may pop right out at you.  Either way, read these lines carefully before answering:

              The sentence below is true.

              The sentence above is false.

                       Which is true?

Oh I'm so bad for doing this .... but give it a shot ... if you've got a few hours tehehe!!


Monday, February 25, 2008

Why Do Humans Age?


                   Adjusted repost of June 12, 2006

Nature certainly has it all fixed, I'd say.  No matter what we do, our genetic blueprint will dictate what happens to us and when.  From the moment we're born, we're vulnerable to the progression of time, and we start to grown up.  But why do we grow old?  Insects, especially bees, ants, they all die soon after procreating.  It's their main purpose.  They don't age.  In fact, many animals seem to have that purpose, to reproduce for as long as possible, then quickly die.  They don't hang around in that limbo called "old age" for the many decades humans do.  No, not like the human animal, who can choose whether or not to have young, and can even choose how they age.  Humans are the only mammal who grow into older age for no natural reason (you have to be coldly analytical here) and contribute nothing of substance to the commune.  I know, it rings of the icy logic of nature.  But is it true?  Once we have children, and they are sufficiently weaned from us, why do we continue living?  What force of nature keeps us alive into our 70's, 80's?  It's not always an inviting life, either.  Like other mammals we're prone to bone loss, heart disease, cancerous cells, a plethora of illnesses which cost us dearly, emotionally, financially, spiritually.  So why do we age, while others species never do?

The elephant, now there's a similar example of growing old for no viable reason, and yet there's a very good reason, which I'll explain.  It takes almost 3 years for the baby elephant to gestate, and if it's female, remains with its mother for the rest of her life, having babies of her own.  The male is rarely tolerated and must leave the herd when fulled weaned, going off to find his fortune, perhaps starting his own herd.  The elephant lives a long time in comparison, over 70 years, well past the time to procreate.  So why does it live on?  In studying these wondrous creatures it's found that the aged and elder of the herd are always the decision-makers, the keepers of the health of the commune by not allowing rogue elephants to mate with the females.  They preserve the viability of the genetic health of the herd.  They lead the young to water, when none can be found.  They show the young where to migrate for the best grasses.  They teach the ways of fending off predators, and in their numbers they form a true family bond, eagerly followed by the young.  So the elephant world has a use for its elder members.  Why are others different?

Look to the ape family, genetically the most similar to our own species.  When a female is past the age of bearing young, she is tolerated for a short time by the pack, but only by her relatives, then left to fend on her own.  Ignored and left out of special feedings when meat is available, she soons starves or dies of simian disease.  Yes, apes eat meat on occasion, usually monkeys.  But the point is, once you can no longer give anything of import to the pack, you're considered a burden, and because you're older you are susceptible to all the illnesses we humans are, including SIV, the simian form of HIV.  None of the wisdom you may've collected in your life is of any use, since nature sees with its cold icy eye that having you around is more trouble than not.  That is the condition in ape society.  Is this starting to sound a bit familiar?

The human animal ages if allowed to live healthy, born without disease, and lives in the proper environs.  In aging, we acquire illness and disease making it a burden for us to live, and for others to care for us.  The total wisdom collected in our lives is rarely respected, if even tolerated.  And yet, the Asian people see their elderly as honored living treasures, and treat them accordingly.  What's wrong here in the west, why do we fear aging so?  Perhaps because it's the harbinger of death, a state we can only hope is not some oblivion since we have no proof at all that our molecules won't dissipate into the stratosphere when our bodies decay.  We cling to our faith in a Special Being, a God, who will welcome us (who will we be when we die though?) yet it's easier to believe than not to.  We know in our hearts there's a chance our Judeo-Christian God may not be what we imagine, and the afterlife is something so alien to how we think now that it's just unimaginable, using the limited brain power we have.  This tableau frightens many into offering prayer to something they don't really believe in but would rather not chance the prospect of oblivion, so they believe in what they're told is true.  

This can have nothing to do with religion, it's about the cold, clear waters of science and nature.  Belief in God is something that comes from the spirit or soul, and we choose to believe because it comforts us.  No matter how many times I pray to God, meditate on what He is, I cannot explain Him.  But I believe I comprehend nature, believe I can explain it, still it puzzles me why nature allows the human to continue on into old age if for no other reason than we can.  People live so much longer now, I wonder is that natural?  Hasn't anyone noticed how many older humans are on this planet compared to other species?  What use has nature for the elder human past the ability to reproduce?  Well I certainly know the very personal, emotional use of my grandparents, and anyone with accumulated knowledge I can benefit from, but again, why does nature allow this condition?  And in that regard, what about habitat?  Most animals require a certain amount of space to live a normal, healthy life.  Except humans, who demand the whole planet as their habitat, and not content with that have propelled our bodies far into space, to explore other worlds.  I know of no other creature who only truly needs a small amount of space to live but demands all of the planet and then some.  We even rob the habitats of other species to use for ourselves, and end up misusing that space by trying to farm it.  Why would such a life form be allowed to procreate at will, take up all the space they can buy or steal, and the big question, live for such a long, long time?  I feel in my bones that nature will win out in this question, and someday humans may be confronted with the hard fact that, as a species, we may not be as successful as we think. 

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What You Saw, What You Couldn't

It could've been better, but it certainly could've been worse.  In a light-polluted overcast pallette, many folks all over the globe were still able to get very satisfying views of the eclipse.  Oddly slow, however.  The pictured exposures were made 10-15 minutes apart. 

I know many of us couldn't see the refracted light from the sunrises and sunsets, though without any aid I could see it here in Jersey almost to the minute predicted to start.  Looking east, a thumbnail sliver of rust visible in the left upper quadrant and continuing southerly.  This event was the second brightest, outranked only by the eclipse of November, 2003.  Incredibly bright.  I could even make out the lunar seas with no aid whatsoever, and it seems a so-far mystery why this event was so powerfully bright.         

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

An Invitation To Awe - TONIGHT

 HOPING YOU HAVE CLEAR CRISP SKIES FOR TONIGHT'S LUNAR ECLIPSE AT 10:00 PM EST.  The process begins at 8:43 PM EST but the eclipse will start at 10:01 PM.  During the intial hour of the five phases the moon will go through as she passes into and out of earth's shadow, you'll be seeing an event which startled and amazed your ancestors of millenia past.  Imagine earliest homo-sapiens as they stood and gazed at this red-orange sight, how did they interpret what they saw, what information did they process?  No doubt the majority ran into their caves, fearful and confused, but that one lone progenitor of modern astronomy risked whatever doom imagineable and continued to gaze in awe and wonder .... 

That's what I'll be doing tonight, while silently thanking that singular, curious ancient ancestor.  She was an exceptional woman !   ;-)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Not Willing To Change?

What I would term a dangerous precedent has found its way into modern American thought.  Where once we sought differing opinions and viewpoints, thereby learning from the beliefs of others, now it seems this country is more comfortable with listening to and following only those persons who proffer opinions they already agree with.  They learn nothing. 

A small example could be made of my previous post about the "Mosquito" device which I based upon what knowledge I had.  A very dear friend, ED, by his more-informed view, and laden with facts, gave me to see a more accurate side to the issue - so I've come away with a better idea of what is involved.  I've learned something.  Dissention breeds the act of further learning, I'd say, if the mind is open and willing.

What's happening now is what author Susan Jacoby calls the "Age of American Unreason" (the title of her book which I recommend).  If we agree with certain tenets,, we seek others of like mind and listen to their dictates, giving way only grudgingly to those of dissenting views.  So how can we learn if such an unwillingness to change exists in our behaviors?

Dissention brings argument, which fosters discussion, meaningful dialogue, and hopefully, the changes which are parent to eventual broadening of viewpoints. 

Robert Ingersoll, the great agnostic and speaker, always found his audiences filled with those who disagreed with his views and said so.  A fertile field for thought.  In the last several decades, however, more people have insisted on retaining their comfort level of simply believing what they always have.  All that's accomplished is the reaffirmation of the same principles over and over.  Where lies growth in that?  I already know what I know, tell me something I don't - better still and more especially, about what I think I do! 

I will always court different views.  Continual learning is the avenue to real growth, I believe, and so long as we're honest, we'll disagree.  And grow.  Evolve. 

Did you know there are people who still insist the sun revolves around the earth?  A dangerous example of where the unwillingness to change can lead.     


My Fate Is Your Fate

I am ancient.    Prehistoric.  Perfectly suited to my habitat.

I have crawled upont the shores of planet earth for hundreds of millions of years.  My design has not changed.

Species human has named me "Horse-shoe Crab" and I wear a large, broad, heavy carapace to protect my inner organs.   When seen, I appear as a large crawling shell with long tail, slowly inching my way up onto the shores of America's eastern corridor, then slowly returning back into the deep.  I do this only to spawn, when the moon is full and I sense the time to procreate.  Of the thousands of eggs I bury, only 10 will survive.  This is nature in it's most prefect balance, as many other life forms depend on me to exist.   

My blood is blue-grey and every human on the planet has been positively affected by it.  I am called "biomedically integral" to humanity.  This is a welcome change from what once was, but I fear it will not be enough to save me. 

 Only as recent as ten years ago, I was harvested and killed to bait other animals.  All the good I do now was unknown, and in only one year alone, over 2 million of my kind were killed, routinely.  Just to bait other life.  Today, there is a moritorium on killing me, but it will end in two years.

A wiser human of this age is now harvesting me for another purpose.  I am caught, then drained of up to l/3rd of my precious blood, and returned into the sea.  Unfortunately, I am greatly weakened by this process and almost 25% of us who undergo this procedure are not strong enough to survive it.   Humans who perform biomedical research are trying to race the clock in finding a synthetic substitute for the ingredient found in my blood.  It is greatly prized. 

One-third of my blood, a matter of mere ounces, is valued at $15,000.00.  Therein lies the reason I am now so protected.  Yet the damage of years past cannot be repaired.  My numbers are in decline as my shoreline habitat is decreased.  Humans are once again encroaching upon this waterfront land, stealing my ancient habitat for themselves.  They really don't need it.     

In this guise I have managed to survive almost 400 million years.  400 million years.   I've watched other life forms rise and fall, yet I have been successful.  Not until the human being found my value was I ever in danger of becoming extinct.  The present threat is incalculable.

When I am gone, it will be forever.  The varied life that depends on me will suffer, but I can feel in my precious blood that species human will by then have found a substitute for it.  They will survive.  A species not even a half-million years in existence will go on, as my ancient heritage is lost for all time. 

Somehow, nature will demand its due.  All in balance.  


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Buzz Off

I don't like whatI'm about to tell you.  A rule put in effect just for me, sitting innocently at my PC.  Or a rule for you, imagine it.

A law which only pertains to you, no one else.  Yet we have these things and think nothing of them.  It's life.  For instance, a rule for non-handicapped persons - you can't park in a disabled person's zone.  That's reasonable.  Or not going through a stop-sign - that's a rule for drivers only.  Fine.  It's just life.  We accept things all the time without thinking.  But think a moment: 

Imagine a rule for people with brown eyes.  Or long hair.  Or left-handed people.  Wouldn't we protest such a law to the bitter end of it?

There exists a rule which pertains and applies to one group of people, children in fact, meant only to effect them - yet by its very nature this rule effects everyone.

There's such a rule, and though meant to penalize one group of unruly school children, it cannot help but effect anyone who can hear.  It's an aural mechanism invented to keep them in line.  This instrument emits a high-pitched buzzing sound that, though unheard by the function of the human ear, is indeed heard by the brain, and causes the child to become extremely uncomfortable, they're actually in pain.  You might better understand the concept in thinking of a dog's hearing - 10 times sharper than our own - when a dog hears a sound made at a certain decibel they bark and jump, they are actually in pain hearing this noise, which humans cannot.  Instances of bleeding from the ear are not uncommon.  A sound made at a certain high decibel heard only by bats for instance, which navigate by sonar.  Like whales.  Or dolphins.  And many birds.

Imagine a piercing, buzzing noise made to keep children in line.  Is this what we've become?  We're that lazy that we can't bother to involve ourselves with these kids, who might have ADD or just be extremely hyperactive and can't help making trouble? 

In the UK they've invented a machine which emits a piercing sound that cannot be heard, but nonetheless is felt by humans.  As I say, it's meant to corral children who've become unmanageable.  But its fault lies in the very concept of a noise which EVERYONE can hear.  Officials play this noise in the schoolyard to get kids to play nice.  Yet those children behaving well are effected by this torturous sound and are just as vulnerable.  Not fair, says I.  What say you?      

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love Love Love




                       Dear JLand                          Cathy

Sunday, February 10, 2008

An Experience Of The Unknown

                  This might interest you.  It is an analogy and you may've heard it before.  My brother Chris related it to me several times in my life.   
An elephant stood in a clearing on the African plain.
Six blind men surrounded the elephant.  Each man touched a different part of the beast.  One touched the ear, another a foot, another the tail, a tusk, the body, etc.  But none could see a thing.
They were then asked to describe the animal they had just experienced. 
"This animal is flat and smooth, very thin," said the man who touched the ear.
"No, it's tiny and wiry, hairy," said the man who touched the tail.
"It's actually very tall and round, with deeply wrinkled rouch skin," said the man who touched the body.
The blind man who touched the trunk said, "You're all wrong, it's long and serpentine, winding, with a small mouth at the end."
"It has large, sharp spikes on it," said the man who touched a tusk.
The man who touched the foot and nails said, "No, this is a small animal close to the ground, with armour plating."
Each had touched the same animal.  Each had come away with a difference experience of it.  It reminds me of how each of us experiences a God, by whatever name.
If you relate to a God who is waiting to judge you, keeps a place of incredible beauty and peace, another of eternal pain, fire and damnation, your experience of God is as a judgmental deity of vengeance, which has no "gray" areas and in fact sounds very human.  "Right and wrong" and nothing in between.  A no-nonsense God.     
If you relate to a God who is loving and forgiving, like a parent for a small child, you'll experience God like that - as a child to its parent - always accepted, always forgiven, always cared for and loved. 
If you relate to a God who has anthropomorphic habits ascribed to it by humans, you'll experience a God of gender (He) of feelings (happy, sad) of age (about 70-ish) of confusion (why do my children forsake me) and other human qualities.  Sometimes, this is an easier way to visualize it and express love, gratitude and worship. 
If you relate to a God beyond all things human, better and finer, out of all realms we understand, you'll experience a mysterious deity of great power that we humans can never grasp but nonetheless can use a blinded faith to bring comfort and primal joy - whether true or not.  What's the difference if it makes one lead a better life?   
If indeed, you cannot relate to any power or presence of spirit or mystery beyond what you see, hear, feel, touch, taste, i.e., all things human, then you most likely will worship only things of this world - as is so visible in our society - with no thought to what may exist in another dimension, except perhaps extra-terrestrial beings.  A life with ones' self at the heart seems shallow, but is certainly a life and deserves respect.  We make our choices, we live out the consequences. 
Yet surely whatever God is, everyone's conception of it is right.  The elephant was always the same animal.  Someone's Allah and someone's Yahweh are to me, the same.  It matters not that we humans concoct so many religions, organizations, titles and rituals by which to show  worship and praise, our needs and petitions.  All that should matter I believe, is that humanity lives with respect for the choices others make regarding a God of any name or disposition, which may represent the home our souls yearn to return to ~ or may be an invention of man. 
Some believe sadness is only the soul feeling homesick for its maker, its true home.  We cannot comprehend it.
When people say they "know" God, understand it, I can only think it's simply their experience of that elephant, the part of God they are in touch with, the part they relate to.     
What part of any God do you "touch" ?  

Friday, February 8, 2008

Angry Red Moon In Earth's Shadow

You're looking at our magical Luna, in full rusty colors, as she is shadowed by the earth, who's edge is seen in white.  This is how ancient Greeks were able to determine the size of the earth, much larger than the moon.  And it's time for this event to happen again, the Full Moon being eclipsed by the Earth's shadow on February 20-21st.  Everyone will see this no matter where on earth you are.

For the Americas, we'll see the shadow of the earth totally swallow the full moon on Wednesday the 20th from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm, EST.  For Europe, it'll happen in the early hours of Thursday, the 21st.  During this hour as the moon passes through it's stages, the sight will be incredible.

There are five stages Luna will go through, the first being called the penumbra.  When Luna crosses the inner part of earth's shadow, it's called the umbra, and this is when no direct sunlight will hit the surface of the moon.  Few sights are more eerie or impressive than watching this deep shadow creeping along, minute by minute, across the bright surface of the moon. 

Total lunar eclipse begins when the very last bit of the moon slips into umbra, and will last about 52 minutes, sometimes longer.  This is called totality.  We'll all see it. 

As Luna continues in her orbit in an eastward direction, the stages will unwind in reverse order and the leading edge will emerge into the sunlight.  At this stage, totality is ended and the eclipse is once again partial, just as it started.

As the final duskiness gradually fades, for the next 40 minutes or so, you'll see a very bright, white Luna shining in the sky as if nothing at all had happened.  It's a truly magical sight. 

The umbra is the part of earth's shadow where the sun is completely blocked.  So why does Luna glow in that eerie reddish-orange light, instead of blacked out?  A wondrous answer:

The red glow on the moon is coming from all the sunrises and sunsets occuring around the earth at the same time.

If you happen to be standing on the moon during this event, it would be more obvious to you what is happening.  You'd see the Sun covered by a dark earth, which is ringed by a bright band of the colors of sunrises and sunsets.  Just fastastic.

You might want to watch for other colors, especially if you have binocs or a scope.  Time-lapse photography has caught many "flying shadows" in purple and blue-green shades crossing the face of the moon during totality.  This oddity is caused by features of the earth as our atmosphere bends and scatters sunlight, as the sun itself changes position behind the earth. 

We're really fortunate this time, it should be one amazing sight as all features fall into place.  Look close and you'll see a very bright Saturn in the picture.  All in all, you cannot miss it. 


Basics courtesy of Gryphon, S&T, star charts. 








Love And Other Ironies

Two people fall in love and have a child.  They fall out of love and both want the little girl, who just wants a Mom and Dad.

The woman decides to get rid of the man, and has him killed.

Now she has no Daddy.

The woman is caught and goes straight to jail.

Now she has no Mommy.

The little girl is now a ward of the State of New York and I can't imagine what she's thinking each night as she tries to fall asleep in some strange home, strange bed, strangers all around.  And all for what?  

Did they just love their child too much?

Not a chance.  It was vengence.  It was a tragic waste.   


Monday, February 4, 2008


The calendar has been screaming "WINTER" for months but the planet thinks otherwise.  Nonetheless, it's that time when cold weather makes little creatures seek warmth, and in this complex where I live, that means mice.  For some, you already know how wonderful my habitat is Why Would I Move? and if not, you can read about it.  This complex takes up a huge city block and is more secure than the bank account I wish I had.

I've seen the commercials for weeks now, trying to frighten me into buying those spring-traps in case, heaven forbid, a furry little long-tailed creature wants to sleep under my frig.  In the 8 years I've lived here, the only time I saw any other forms of life were when I moved in (an ant) and a few years ago (a mouse who saw me and immediately climbed back into the walls, ne'er to be seen again).  But I must be pragmatic so Saturday I called the maintenance people and asked about mouse-traps.  Within an hour, a duly-uniformed man appeared at my door pushing his cart full of any-and-everything necessary to live as a human being.  Like light-bulbs.

In very broken Spanish I told him what I needed, though he knew already, but I was trying to convey my concern about those spring-loaded torture devices.  I needn't have - he proudly displayed the very humane "sticky pads" used for some time now to safey catch a mousie then release it in the neighbor's yard.  I was delighted, and said I'd take five - cinco - he looked at me strangely but I assured him it was only my greed, not a hoard of mice, that made me ask for so many. 

It was Saturday and fast becoming night - I wanted to watch my cop shows, so after a hurried "muchas gratias" I stored three and unpeeled the safety-paper from two, which I then strategically placed in my kitchen where I thought the attack would come from.  Following instructions, I never touched the sticky side of the pad which, to me, looked harmless enough.  Feeling like a member of Greenpeace, I decided I'd done my part and after a shower, got comfy with the TV.  As usual, American's Most Wanted showed me faces which I imprinted on my memory - in this largest of New Jersey's cities, I'd already seen one "TV star" of that show only blocks from here.  During a commercial for football, I fell asleep.

It was around 3 a.m. when my mind started making logical pictures again, and I knew I was awake.  But very thirsty.  With my toasty knitted socks on, I padded into the kitchen with half-closed eyes, thinking about cool waterfalls.  After getting a tumbler full of water I padded back to the bed and started climbing in.  As I tucked my feet into the still-warm sheets, I cried out in a kind of weird "WHA...?" because there was a big sheet of cardboard stuck to my foot.  And I do mean STUCK.  Fast slipping out of bed I pulled my foot out of the sock then tried to tear that sock off the sticky stuff.  No way.  Wouldn't budge, wouldn't move, it was as planted as if nailed there.  As I struggled, my fingers kept getting stuck on the darn thing too.  Then as I changed position, my other foot hit the paper and WHAM I'm stuck again.  Letting go an old Italian oath, I pulled my other foot from the sock and stared down at these two lovely hand-knitted argyle socks stuck like two giant green aliens on a piece of sticky-something.  Now I'm getting mad.  At my idiocy.  And somehow, at that maintenance guy, the poor soul.  He should've told me these things could trap humans, too.  And their socks.

Nothing worked.  Not even my largest, sharpest knife could pry those socks away.  Now I'm thinking more logically:  Yeesh these are the special socks Mern knitted for me for Christmas, damn it.  ( Remember Mern of  Thelma and Louise  fame? )  I didn't want to lose these thick silly looking things, I really used them alot and expert knitter she be, Mern did make them just for me.   So I put the whole lot under the sink and ran hot water over them.  I have NO idea why.  It only made everything worse.  What to do, what to do .....

There is no ending to this tale, the sticky pad which caught my socks is sitting in the hallway under my old walker, where I (hopefully) can't trap anything else as dangerous as clothing.  It's now Monday afternoon, and I think I hear tiny laughter from the kitchen walls....... 



Comment On Comments

This is an incredible place - because of you. 

People make the difference, their opinions and drives, their caring remarks - as in the previous post.  I don't know why I should be surprised, but when first reading how you responded to my simple fasting, it occurred that this Land of J has some remarkable souls in it.  Then I slapped my forehead when the light came on:  EVERYONE is special.  EVERYONE deserves to be validated in some way.  And that includes, perhaps more especially, the ones who decry my little habit of praying.

I want to thank you for understanding, for not making what I do into something more than it is, and in keeping with the reason I posted it, I thank you for reinforcing my belief that what I do is perfectly fine. 

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Drinking Water, Eating Crow


Right now, I'm fasting.  Once a month, every month, at the start of that month, for about 30 hours I eat nothing and drink only water.  For some reason it hurts, but I don't care.  I do this on behalf of something more important - an act of empathy.  Let me explain.

Remember when you had that operation, how frightened you were?  The prayers you asked for?  Remember when your dog died, how sad you felt?  And your cat, when he was so sick.  What about your Mom, who you miss so much, and your Father who you haven't spoken to in so long.  That brother who died so young, who you can't stop grieving for.  Let's not forget the pain you live with every day of your life.  At some point, almost all of you have asked in your own way for prayers, for rememberances, for empathy.  When I tap out my comments on your pages about something close to your heart, I make a commitment and I do this most seriously because I keep each commitment I make.

I'm looking at two pages, both sides filled with names of people, things, animals, intentions.  To read any would do a disservice to those who have wants and needs but don't know how to ask, so I'll say only that if you've ever made a plea for something or someone, your name is here.  Some of these names represent lives who've died to this world.  They don't need my prayers anymore, I need theirs.  But I keep the names.

Why am I disclosing something I've kept so private...Up to now, this post would never have been made, but something's gone so terribly wrong and I don't understand it.  I've been confronted with anger, confusion and fierce opposition to what I do each month.  So of course, I come here to present my position.  Certain members of my family and several friends somehow found out I do this, and the more vocal of them are furious. 

"Are you an idiot??  You're damaging your health for people you don't know!"

"These aren't real people, Cathy, they're virtual.  You don't even know if they exist."

"Without food for that long you can't walk.  Keep this up and someone will have to step in." 

"No one really cares - why should you?!"

When a person galvanizes themselves, their body, mind, spirit, on behalf of another life, to me it makes that person so much more than ever they were.  I'm grateful and privileged to be able to use this ability in the name of someone other than myself. 

Yet I love my family and friends, they're all hard-won and precious.  Incredibly, I've heard myself agreeing with some, eating crow to preserve the peace - and I'm ashamed of that.  Though I'm set on continuing this tradition, it's important to me that my acts don't affect them in a negative way.  This seems to be one of those acts.  I note that some don't seem to understand the real value of people, even themselves, and look upon what I do as self-destrutive - one insists I have a mental defect.  Is it a character flaw to care about people?   

Whatever God represents to others, I see that as private and inviting no preachful sounds from anyone.  God to me is not so much loving as LOVE ITSELF and no power can match it.  So I look to that Supreme Love on behalf of you, your needs, your fears and hopes, your family, your life.  I've been invited into your lives, I'd be monstrously selfish to decline such an offer.  To me, every person who takes the time to venture into this experiment of public journalling makes a statement, and it's one of trust.  Trust and hope that someone will read their words and it'll matter.  It will make a difference.  It does to me.

Whether it's a tale of woe or one of joy, whether it's about the broken washing machine or the broken heart, whether it's simple or complex, I see each word as a direct call to others, just as I do here.  I'd be a sorry excuse and a blatant liar if I said I write in these pages only for myself.  If I wanted to hear myself talk there's an easier way to do it than this.  The input and feedback I get in comments, even if it's but one, is welcome help and sometimes just the right guidance and assurance needed.  Other times, and most of it, all a human being wants is contact.

So I put it to you:  Does caring really matter anymore, in a world where people are so focused on what affects them and nothing more?  Why do we put such distance between each other?