Friday, June 24, 2016

A Day Fit For A Queen (for Momma Vick)


In honor of our great friend today, let her name be Victoria. She told several of us, she always wished she had been named Victoria; it was her mother’s original intention! It was her helpful big sis, Debra, who supplied the name “Vickie Jane,” as humble as could be imagined. But she would tell you, she was no plain ol’ Jane. In glory, she radiates like the queen she is. “Victoria” if you please.
That spry little tom boy of old still lived on in her eyes, to the summer solstice day she peacefully closed them last. She told me stories of Raiford, Mildred, Debra, Randy, Barry, Ronald and all the grandparents and all the brothers and sisters, that made me her family, too. But her heart, full of all those beautiful ideals that seem so unpopular to the cynics of late, made many, many people part of her family, and if you were really her friend, too, you know they were her diverse and moving work of art.

As we drove home under the first full moon without her tied to this plane alone, we reflected how,
in our loss, we are not so alone. Somewhere, others were asked to give to Time and Death the dearest sacrifice that had come to fruition. To lose a life long companion, to lose a wife, to lose a mother, to lose a family member-this is the lot of humanity.

But never say Victoria wasn’t unique! Her cheery way of singing jingles about whatever she was doing at the moment, unabashed around her house-her bluntness, her utter authenticity and disregard for airs or pretense, her desire to make everyone in her family’s life better any way she could, in prayer or deed, and her invaluable discernment of people’s character- all these I will miss, but am so much the better for having known such a beautiful, true person.

She never took back her unconditionally given love. She was quick to share her candy and loved a hearty laugh. She loved babies. She even correctly dreamed predictions of their genders. She loved sleep, where much more gets done that you might realize, for there, you dream. The true motives of people fascinated her; she loved an honest question as much as an honest answer, and had an unlimited supply of both. She spent much of her final years enjoying the memories she’d piled up so vigorously, comfort to pains that piled up equally so. She was forgetful. She was a voice of Reason.

She loved a good vampire story, a true ghost story, a love story of any kind, and Dark Shadows for being all three! -the brutal and macabre, game shows, her kitty Cap; she loved Loretta, real country music, and trips to different places. When she didn’t feel like she was on the spot, she could break out a gospel harmony that could melt your heart. She was a smash to party with. She stood up for herself, without ever taking herself disproportionately serious. She wore herself out, cheer leading.

She adored singing any of her favorite songs with Poppa, as if they’d just come on the radio. She laughed with Chris and hung out after work on the bed with Dixie and talked to Angie in the mornings, she helped raise three beautiful grand children with Anna, and she learned the undying nature of love with precious Joy. She worried sometimes til it hurt, found contentedness in a frosty Coke or little piece of candy, shared a lot of delicious home cooked meals, and dreamed of a lot of fun things that stayed dreams. She hated cleaning the house and waiting on her husband in the car. If you washed her dishes without asking, her love and respect were yours. That’s how I earned my invitation here today, I guess. They took in a LOT of strays, so long as their kids loved them. She lived until she could simply hug and kiss no more. But if you look in your heart, her words will leave you never.

She knew some of the saddest, and happiest days, any person could know, but kept faith in the way of her heart without surrender. In that way, she achieved a victory that Death can never take away, for she lives still in you and me, and in places yet unimagined. Cheer up!
Today is Queen Victoria's Day. 6/24/16

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Just Give Me Some Truth


The abstract is called
Misperceiving Bullshit as Profound Is Associated with Favorable Views of Cruz, Rubio, Trump and Conservatism


The writing in question can be found here:
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0153419
I am not actually here to make a partisan point. The abstract, in fact, finds an attraction
to pseudo-profundity in people identifying with any of the candidates for President of the United States
at the time. I try to get to an honest bit of truth in each and every one of these posts, and in all good
conscience, could never sully one with outright factual untruths. Granted, there are short stories along
the way- many were collected in Be Chill, Cease ill Vol. 1 for anyone interested in a copy- but even
those are either outright factual accounts at their core, or symbols and metaphors for true events.
"http://www.amazon.com/Be-Chill-Cease-ill-Volume/dp/1518629849">

As for the abstract: it's fairly intensive and takes a few minutes of clarity to read.
Yet, while a lot of people will go to the provocative title alone for their reaction,
the writers do attempt to delineate how a standard for objective detection of any sort of logic
does not exist strongly for many individuals- and tries to be a little scientific, if inconclusively,
about the underlying logic with which people of different political stripes examine the principle soundness
of the ideas presented, in pragmatic terms. That's really too bad- one would fervently hope
pragmatic measures would be the only sort about which we would debate, politically- the only ends
we'd attempt to seek in our laws. But we must remain discerning, for they are not-
and this is the cause of unjust laws.

There are numerous positions where the most humane approach can be figured out with facts.
A set of facts can be configured to buttress most any position's logical argument,
but those facts themselves deserve examination. Strong opinions deserve an examination of both
conscience and existing examples. Most bigotry- and inhumane points of view -relies on a perception
where emotions overrule empathy as well as demonstrable proof- sometimes substituting isolated events as
evidence, sometimes manufacturing said events for the sake of propaganda. It is my opinion that respectable critical
thinking skills are desperately needed to form and support humane individual, group, corporate or governmental policies.

I find much less evidence of this than I had hoped to discover upon reaching adulthood. But I can at least stand for this
principle, and I appeal to you to do so, too.

Feel free to leave a well-reasoned comment. Such thought is really good for the soul!


Monday, February 8, 2016

From a place of peace and radiance

Of all the things I felt compelled to take up in my day, the hour I gave to simply enjoy my darling's company and then, the hour I gave to a full routine of yoga, were sustenance to me. My order happens to change as I go by feel: what part of me needs a life-giving stretch?

Inspiration often comes when you truly relax; the value of the inspiration relates to what you value most about your life. For example, when you are being hard on yourself, who's the "you"? Think about it! Take it apart. We take on an imaginary guise of being "Other" to ourselves. Help yourself like a friend when you think of yourself, at all.

Why assail myself with thoughts? There is a very basic level at which we all exist, and within that existence, if you go into the silence, you'll find a self stretching from before you came here, to which you'll return one day afterwards. You'll discover the love that went into the life you've had, if you seek it. There may be someone who acts as if they are your opponent, but when they seem to tear away your inner peace, it's nothing personal. They aren't in touch with peace of their own. If you acknowledge the peace that belongs to you, you see the story in progress with a clear head. Don't congest your emotional self with anger, bitterness, over shadowing sadness; meditate regularly until you are again able to "hear" or "see" a thought...then let it go. If you want to accomplish anything methodically, you have to move on to the next step, and know when it's time to move on. You wouldn't eat spoiled food if you had a choice, would you? When you have a vision something's good for you, and you feel the goodness, accept it! You have an entire collection of thoughts that make up a great life; you just have to go through it.

What you actually achieve will remain a testament to yourself: you had these doubts, these problems, and in resolution, this is what you now have to share.