June 5th, 2006

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Good Morning!!

Thank you for your support.  I realize now that  crying comes when we are tired.  It is a sign to rest, so rest I did yesterday, and I will pay more attention now to fatigue.  I keep saying that, and I see the lesson is not easily learned.   My belief system has been mind over matter, not mind is matter.  I am slowly learning a little more each day.

Jane and I spoke this morning about capturing the knowledge of our generation.  I enjoyed Tom Brokaw's book "The Greatest Generation," and I am wondering now about ours.  I think we were enthusiastic and idealistic and we worked for change.  We understood the mechanics of putting a key into a lock.  I wonderful how it is for a generation that thinks you just click, and the car door opens.   They use the microwave as we once did the stove.  No wonder it is so gratifying sometimes to feel the heat of a fire, and toast a marshmallow on a stick.   I smile now.  I remember when I learned that you could make homemade marshmallows.  I thought they only came in a bag.  How funny it all is, what we take for granted, and what we can mosey out for ourselves.   My wish for today is to  see things new and at the root, and one day I will make marshmallows from scratch, though probably not. 

One time, for a Scout camp-out, we gave the busiest mother what seemed to be the easiest task.  We asked her to bring s'mores for the pot luck.  We pictured her buying a box or two of graham crackers, some chocolate bars, and a couple bags of marshmallows.  She came exhausted.  She had been up until two putting two graham crackers together with a chocolate bar and a marshmallow and tying each package with a bow.   They were neatly arranged in a huge box.

The day is again so exquisite I don't know what to say.  I have no words, though I notice now how much my eyes are drawn to the sky.  I used to draw energy up from the earth for support.  That is still there, but I feel myself rising with my eyes to touch the sky.  I am finding support there, feeling the sky reach down and pat me on the  head.  The sky says marvels abound when you're there to embody what surrounds.  

Happy Monday to All!!
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Editorial from the NY Times today -

Here is another ploy of Bush.  I have hope that this time the American people won't fall for the tricks of Bush.  What happened to our warning system?   Remember the red, orange, and yellow alerts?   Oh, that's right.  They only come out right before an election.    Which reminds me, let us start a campaign that we will not vote for anyone who calls us to vote for them and leaves computerized messages on our answering machines.  I consider it a complete invasion, and I am totally offended.  I have not mustered much enthusiasm for this election, though there are a few I wholly support.  Jackie Spier, and Lynn Woolsey were easy votes.  I voted absentee again this year.  I take the risk that something will come up in the last few days, and my vote is already in. 

Editorial

Divide and Conquer the Voters

Published: June 5, 2006

President Bush devoted his Saturday radio speech to a cynical boost for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. It was depressing in the extreme to hear the chief executive trying to pretend, at this moment in American history, that this was a critical priority.

Mr. Bush's central point was that the nation is under siege from "activist judges" who are striking down anti-gay-marriage laws that conflict with their own state constitutions. That's their job, just as it is the job of state legislators to either fix the laws or change their constitutions.

If there's anything the country should have learned over the past five years, it is that Mr. Bush and his supporters have no problem with judicial decisions, no matter how cutting edge, that endorse their political positions. They trot out the "activist judge" threat only when they're worried about getting out their base on Election Day.

The aim of the president's radio address — which darkly warned that Massachusetts and San Francisco (nudge, nudge) are going to destroy marriage — is the same as the Republican leadership's plans to trot out one cultural hot button after another in the coming weeks. After gay marriage comes the push for a constitutional ban on flag burning, a solution in search of a problem if there ever was one.

All this effort to divert the nation's attention to issues that divide and distract would be bad enough if the country were not facing real, disastrous problems at home and abroad. But then, if that weren't the case, Mr. Bush probably wouldn't feel moved to stoop so low.

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Jon Carroll today -

JON CARROLL

Jon Carroll

Monday, June 5, 2006

 
 
 

This is so great. The Congress of the United States, which has cheerfully given President Bush essentially everything he's asked for in his extensions of executive power, has condoned or at least not condemned illegal wiretaps, illegal detentions, torture, violations of the Geneva Conventions and essentially any other action the government wants to take against American citizens it thinks might be somehow, maybe connected with someone who may be connected with someone who knew someone who once went to Pakistan or some country that sounds like Pakistan -- that Congress is now upset because some FBI agents raided the offices of Rep. William Jefferson, an apparently corrupt Louisiana Democrat.

A corrupt Louisiana politician -- what are the odds?

President Bush became so alarmed by this unexpected challenge to his monarchy that he called for a 45-day cooling-off period. It's not clear who or what is cooling off -- the central evidence in the case, the bribe money paid to Jefferson, was found in his freezer, so presumably it's cool enough. Perhaps it's intended to calm down congressional Republicans, who might find their heads rotating like demon-possessed children if they were forced to ask tough questions of Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, the public official best known for finding legal reasons for the president to do whatever the president feels like doing.

First, of course, the president must wave a banner reading "Sept. 11." That makes everything OK. Why? Because we must honor the firefighters. Why are you being held without bail or access to counsel? To honor the firefighters. Why is your phone being tapped? To honor the firefighters. It's crazy-making, and Congress has gone along with it. Why? Because ain't nobody going to throw them in jail without charges; ain't nobody going to harass them -- wait, that just changed.

It's unconstitutional! It's a violation of the separation of powers! What bloody separation of powers? Congress has been sitting on Dick Cheney's lap and accepting tasty treats from Jack Abramoff for six years now. That ship has sailed; that famed separation is just a bit of patriotic nostalgia, like the Liberty Bell. Better they should have worried about it back when it mattered.

You see the problem. Being in Congress is not like living in America. You have a hired car and driver, and you don't carry money. You don't buy groceries and you don't pay plumbers. You spend every day raising money so you can go back to Congress, where you will raise more money. People want to buy you dinner, take you golfing, give you ... what do you want? There are people who will give it to you, and other people who make it look OK. Unless you do something dopey like keeping cash in your freezer, you'll never get caught.

You are supposed to represent the people in your district, but you don't live like the people in your district. Hell, most of the time you're not even in your district. You live in a bubble, and you take seriously stuff that other people find silly, and you ignore stuff that other people find important. Tim Russert: important. Working two jobs while trying to find health insurance to cover your pre-existing condition: not so important.

People in Congress do not speak the way other people speak. Have you ever listened to a congressional hearing? Congress members do not ask questions when it is time to ask questions; they make speeches. Sometimes they pretend it's a question by starting with "Wouldn't you agree... ?" -- but that doesn't make it a question. They seem to be utterly indifferent to their routine pomposities. They frequently call themselves "the American people," as in, "The American people are shocked by midnight break-ins at congressional offices."

We could feel sorry for them because they don't actually have lives. They may have had good motives at the start, and they may still have tiny areas of expertise in public policy that they use to benefit the nation as a whole, but basically they are aliens. They live on Planet Beltway. They've become tone deaf, so they don't understand that whining about one office break-in on Capitol Hill while showing supreme indifference to unwarranted searches, seizures, traffic stops and detentions might be considered in the outside world to be, well, dopey. Dopey in a bipartisan look-at-the-monkeys sort of way.

Basically, we're screwed. The Congress was supposed to save us from the executive branch, and the Supreme Court was supposed to save us from both, and now all three are playing some game that does not involve protecting citizens, spending money wisely or making sense. End rant. Have a nice Monday.

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Common Sense -

I read this morning that traffic changes on the Bay bridge were confusing today, so the commute will be longer.  The commute was complicated today by a driver who didn't understand English and so simply stopped his car on the freeway.  He was rear-ended, and that car was rear-ended.   Caltrans said they can't print directions in every language.   That does not seem to be the point.  We don't even know if this person can read.  The literacy rate is hardly soaring in this country, and it is hard to drive and sound out the letters of a new sign and possibly find their coherence in a word.  The point is that you never stop your car on the freeway.   

I feel like I am ranting this morning, and yet, I am actually in an incredibly good mood.  I just have some concerns about this country as I read about the level of those running for political office, and the competence of those who will be voting for them.   Are we evolved enough for this modern world we have created? 

One thing that seems certain is that we can't  stop in the middle of the road while we decide where to go.   At least pull off to the side and rest!!   You see, everything eventually comes back to me, and perhaps that is how it should be.  Circle home.  Park your car, and rest.   All you need is within, and at the nearest store, and work place, and on and on.   When I was young, my mother loved the soap opera As the World Turns.  Somehow I remember the "evil" Lisa to this day.  And flowers are pointing their noses at me, and peering in the window.  We take a whiff of each other this day.
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thoughts on matter -

I realize that though I am trying to let go of the concept of "mind over matter," where I think if I want it enough, or believe it enough, I can have it or do it, I still strongly believe our thoughts influence our lives.  I think my belief in my healing, my desire for it,  and mental involvement in it, influenced the process and progress of my healing, and my doctors agree.  They wanted the energy of my enthusiasm harnessed for my healing.   I am just seeing there is a limit to that, and, there, are times, when I need, when my body, and maybe it is my mental, spiritual, and physical body, need rest.   I am trying to find the balance of activity and rest.   Today, I sit with stretching the pause between my breaths.   I have time to inhale and exhale, to renew, pause, and generate zest.
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poem of the moment -

        I am interested in this dance of life and death, and how life is moist and wet, and yet, it is bound in books, dry and well-cared for,  like memories of those we love who have died.                    


                            Life and Death

 

                                      Life -

 

          the shine of newly written ink on a page in the sun

                   moments of liquid, caught before they’re gone

 

                             a settling in of connection -

                                      new ways to sing -

                                      words are bound

                                      like ribbons by string -

 

                                                Death -

 

                             words go on - imprinted for years -

                                      centers for opening

                                                the camouflaged eye

                                                          on the butterfly

                                                                    wing

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Poem by Todd Boss

    We Tend to Sleep Better
    When the Clock Is Wound

          than we do
             when it's all

             wound down.
             I don't know

             why we settle
             to the sound.

             Somehow
             the regular

             click and chime
             of passing time,

             like water, turns
             a water wheel

             that turns a gear
             that turns a stone

             that turns upon
             another stone

             and fine
             and finer in between

             our dreams like grain
             are ground.  

                      - Todd Boss
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The White Countess -

I watched the film, The White Countess tonight, and I highly recommend it.    It is written by Kazuo Ishiguro who wrote Remains of the Day. 

The moon is shining in the evening sky.   It is a lovely evening.   Someone asked me today if I was worried about the world ending tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be  6-6-6.

I said I have had a good life, and he agreed, and my sense is that we will all be around for a long time now.   Take care and enjoy the vote tomorrow.   Won't it be lovely to not have our phones ringing with messages of how much everyone cares about the environment?    Words are cheap, and could be, so valued. 
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Joy!

This comes from the Higher Awareness newsletter.


The Ancient Egyptians saw Joy as a sacred responsibility. They believed that upon their death, the God Osiris would ask them two questions: "Did you bring Joy?" and "Did you find Joy?" Those who answered ‘yes’ could continue their journey into the afterlife.