life in the fast lane of a deity cloned through pride

oh, gone over it a million times:
is there a God, or isn’t there a God?

no control group
i agree with that
would have to compare and contrast
a world known to not have a God
with a world known to have a God

so next best thing is to test your own worlds
with a belief in God
and without a belief in God

so that’s what i did
but even so
can only decide for myself
if life is better WITH a belief in God
or WITHOUT a belief in God

it’s true that you can decide to not carry
a belief in God
all day long … and when disaster strikes,
(such as an earthquake or some event completely
outside of human control)
then might … or many often do
come to complete belief in God very quickly!

the fox-hole effect.

i believe much of life is inevitable.
you can believe all day long that you will never age
and yet …….. you do! so whatever i decide to believe
is not going to impact the reality

God does not need my belief to exist. i think that’s
the most important realization.

there are pluses and minuses to life with belief
and life without belief

i do think it is a fallacy to see belief in God as a weakness…

it can be.
but it’s not a direct correlation
and not evident — in that some of the strongest
people i have ever known, had a great deal of faith

and not the blind sort, but the kind of faith
that spells out home…

i don’t believe in a God that grants my wishes,
and rains fire down out of the sky when i’ve been ‘bad’

i just don’t. i don’t think it works that way.

whatever “mystery” that rules and reigns the happenstance
of mankind and his existence on earth… my beliefs are not the end-all:
i don’t think
things hinge on my part, my smallness.
they can’t – for impact of one human
is according to their impact, not the human.

people try to make little changes
often just a wish for everyone to get along
to see the good in others
to know the good in themselves….

is God a witness to that? i don’t expect reward
i think that if you need reward for doing good, then
something is wrong in you
…..have to see the world as a whole with others
and others who have needs, too

the reward
has to be the good things itself

look at it, and humble yourself
not necessarily to a God that is going to punish you
if you don’t do good — but one who knows you
want to do your best.

i don’t know if there is a God or not,
never did! can’t know, all i can know
is if i do or do not believe in something
beyond my understanding. and how can i not do that?

i don’t understand a lot of things
and many things that i do believe exist, are not
visible to my own senses
many things in science are based on explanations
that change over time because the understanding grows

which means nobody knows it all or has answers
so i don’t know if God exists. i know i NEED God, sometimes.
i know that sometimes God is not there, because
my mind isn’t working right and i can’t imagine the next day,
let alone any power somewhere out there…

away from me, and my small problems

belief is often used as a point of commonality

we don’t want to exist among the stranger
how can you know what they will do, if they
are not in sync with your beliefs?

and that’s the point …..

why not let them surprise you?

some of the best people doing good in the world have absolutely no belief in God,
and what kind of God would hate them for it?
what kind of judgement of anyone, can be based
on what they think they know regarding things that nobody can know?

so i look at God as the part of life
that is there no matter what i believe or don’t believe

i see God in the motion
the dance
the pattern … not the elements
that twirl

but you don’t have to believe that
you get to believe whatever you want

and if and when you believe you have freedom
when you believe you have freedom
enough to exercise freedom
of belief, and harness your right to look at the world
in the way it presents itself to you …..

then that is home.

i don’t need people to agree with me
though i do often feel i just don’t express
things well enough to be understood

every feels that way, sometimes
like no matter what, nobody is going to understand
nobody! not a one can live inside the you
the being
the eternal self that is known
best according to memory and only that

and so a God — any God that knows you
that you feel can see and understand the fullness
of your trials — your hardships — well, that is
then why God is there

and no one can say He/She isn’t
there

that’s why personal belief and a belief held in common
are what the issues hang on
and power — people that lead, while others follow

follow example, follow a life
because there is something about that life you envy
or respect
or want to see happen for yourself

it is the mystery that draws
the greatest leaders have mystery all about them

even learn how to encourage mystery, how to appear mysterious

the whole game that has enshrouded religion
from the start? pretty much

i never believed in religion. could run the odds
on percentage possibilities that a specific belief
that contradicts another belief — is correct. it’s
just not feasible that MY religion is correct and everyone
else is wrong ……. couldn’t ever see it that way.

so i kind of disqualifies me for being considered a
religious person … except that i think when a collective
focuses on doing good, then a lot of good gets done.

and that’s what i care about. you can believe all day
that a God watches over you, but if your world has hurt, and
injustice, and oppression, and unfairness, and simply people
or animals in constant and dire need … then
there is something wrong there that your belief
in God is not fixing ………..

it’s all balance
perception ….. the way to see the self,
as opposed to others. as opposed to the world.

having the belief in God gives a comfort, but also
it is a challenge to then redefine
within a principal of never knowing the mind of God.

and that is where humility is granted. humility is a state
of insignificance that leads to peace. trying to be important,
or think of oneself as important — rarely turns out well.

i don’t know why. maybe that is how God punishes, when you try
to build up that ego or sense of self-importance. the idea of
being a God, yourself. i’ve looked at that too, because
in the psych business it is called a God complex, or a Jesus complex.

and the problem with many who believe in God, is they see it
as they are God that controls. internalize, and function on
a belief that everything they desire is what happens when
the “right” choices are made

and i don’t believe in that. i think that choices are not
right or wrong, but either instructive or not-instructive.
something can be against the law, can be against state
or religious law
…. so we have boundaries

of acceptable and unacceptable actions.

most are for living with others in an harmonious fashion

eh …………..point is that man rights law
and man makes up religion
and God talking to man mostly means that man
is playing a con, or has some mental issues

but the dance ……. the reaction TO the bible,
that is God. i have no delusions on the extent to
how far one man will go to fool another

lol…. has bitten me in the ass many times in my life.

trust is something you lose gradually, until you forget
what it is. but faith in others, is what community is about

whether it’s religious community, or topographical, or
similarities held in common, or even choices that
lead to meetings and interaction with others…..

so my understanding is that you find faith in your friends
and faith in family, if you’re lucky

and faith in God? that depends on how much you trust
life to not hit you upside the head

once you’ve been hit a few hundred times, your faith is not
in a God of protection

it’s not even in a God that gives good company …. no

i guess from being an artist — my faith is in the beauty
in looking outward and seeing the gorgeous dance
of people and plants and animals and the earth waters
and streams and life … everywhere becoming one thing
while remaining another …….. on the way to
more adventure than anyone can name

my God is a God who loves adventure
who explores life with me, through my eyes
and most importantly — through a heart that
only beats because so many …… so very many….
beat before it.

i don’t know if there is a God — but if there is,
then i have known a very wonderful thing in this life.

and if there is not, then i have imagined a very wonderful thing.

either way — it’s wonderful
either way, the important thing is not my belief or periods of disbelief
has my experience made me a kinder person? no
but it has given me an understanding why people sometimes fail to be kind

and my judgement — my judgement isn’t what matters
helps to listen to the thoughts of others
and if it’s all about you, then you can’t hear them

also … the relating to other human beings is only
this one, small pie-slice of life. maybe 20%?
the rest is how you navigate the environment,
and find what suits yourself best

or how everything becomes self-defeating
all the effects that make you the cause that you are …
that is what i think of as God

a mind much larger and more intricate, and running
through and in all life

so the last thing God is, to me, is a man on a throne
impressed with humans that kneel and kiss a royal behind…

but i bow my head and pray
yea, i do
because you can close out the world
and search in that other realm … the one that
tells you that you actually are the real person
that you know yourself to be — not the reactions of
other people to the person they perceive

i guess what is weird, is that i don’t need to believe
what others around me believe — trust my own senses best
always … always.

so they can belief what suits and what helps, unless …
big unless here …… that belief infringes on the freedom
of another to have a belief in their own experience.

i guess that comes down to being ‘right’ about things
and i wonder about that often … as an artist, you look
at something as fundamental as colors — and contemplate how
nice it would be to have a few more.
ones that don’t exist. see… i can imagine that

because i know the finite nature of colors

and IF you perceive the continual finite …. that is a type
of mental prison. there has to be an ‘infinite’ … a mystery,
a wonder and a sense of that which expands outside of vision, but
also outside of personal comprehension.

so does God exist?

well ………. i think there is an awful lot of love in this world.

there is also an awful lot of hate and deception. manipulation.

religion is the ultimate manipulation … there is no doubt that it isn’t

but God? oh ….. i think that if a “being” of some sort is in charge
of my fate, and the fate of everyone — then none of us would be very free.

i also think that we make decisions
that are often predictable — often countered.

if a ‘being’ is watching my decisions, and determining how right i am
or am not, then i guess i would feel sorry for it. my life is not
that exciting — at least, when i’m doing the “right” thing it is
not very exciting.

so i can’t see that as a reality — but i do think there is a God that listens,
that reacts in ways that change the environment differently, that might even
change the decisions by others. influences … pushes. ways of granting insight.

ways of becoming
the person that you ARE going to be tomorrow

i suppose that if i saw interaction and creativity die …

to me, that would be the death of God. and so God is still
very much alive. in and throughout the world. but it’s easy to
perceive that when you exist in comfort.

see….. that’s the thing. if i’m in constant pain — heck yea,
i’m cursing life and cursing God and hating it all. if i’m in comfort,
then i kick back and write a bit — muse out loud — type as i think
so that some kind of order can be put to my typing.

so you CAN’T decide for someone else if they should believe in God
because you don’t have their level of pain

each is a formula unique to circumstances surrounding life

can only decide for myself
and why do i pose the question, even? well, folk want to know
how much you believe in …….fate, good fortune, and divinity.

i believe that i must keep my mind open

to new experiences that might change the way i see things
tomorrow — or the next day
and i see that as sort of having bravery — a confidence
that your faith won’t leave you, is when you do keep your mind
open…… and at the end of the day, the faith is still there

comprehending life is only a small part

living it …… interaction and determining your part in life

that is freedom
that is the birth of beauty
and beauty is a God that is not a finality …
but only a beginning

so i try to think about what would be nice to read after
all that pompous blowhard junk i got out of my system …

you know the night is quiet, other than the tap
of my fingers on the keyboard, and the tick tock of the clock
or i guess it’s just a tick — my clock doesn’t tock…

i breathe in and out
part of me knows i missed a favorite tv show…. and
should be in bed…..
other part of me is writing furiously … emphatically

trying to draw off of these thoughts, bring them
to a state where i can look outward again
and see things in this other-light —- in a mind
i capture for a brief while

i wonder about being a piteous creature. but truly,
i feel fortunate most days to simply be alive.

the clock ticks, and sometimes it is like it slows
but i know it can’t ….. so if i wanted to bring in a metaphor,
i guess that is like how i think of God.

might seem to slow, or go faster. it might seem like God
is punishing you, or helping you. but the reality, is that God
must be a state outside of perception. by definition. and therefore,
IF i get to determine what God is doing, then for me — God is not
helping overtly or hindering overtly or hurting ….. but the

comfort?

yea ……….. that is where i look at results
and let out a big sigh as

tell myself it’s time to help the world in other ways
and bid readers, and myself …… a good night.

and God … if you are listening … which you are, if i believe in God …
then i hope my efforts are not too terribly insane
and maybe even a little bit beautiful (beautiful like God)

just a bit? all i hope ……. my dream is for the pattern to live
and then

change

so what IS this — the end of the line?

feeling a little out of sorts
maybe it’s the weather
sure, i’m sure it’s the weather

have decided to organize “things”
so many of those things
tend to be disorganized
wherever they please

and then i scream and stomp
my not-so-little feet
when no-THING can be found
and so have to admit

this it IT
i am OLD
can’t remember anything
so everything will have to have
it’s place

… just like grandma

and i love cataloging
; knowing where everything is
and now it’s this big blob in my mind

thought occurred to me
that if i can’t get it straightened out
then i’ll have to get some large bags
and put it all in the trash …

no one needs this level of chaos
and i cringe at the despicable
and sharp-edge nature of order
i don’t want those levels of exact intolerance

but i do need to look at things
and decide what i should sell
or take to the rummage sale at church
because who needs 4 tablets? 5 phones? 3 laptops?

i’m like an electronics’ junkie
and i have my stash of back-up highs ….

so this is a very SPECIAL spring cleaning
one that is the end of an era?
end of something

i never cared for sanity much, anyway.
some day it will all come together
on that day, i hope peace is grasped hard
tight … the thing i WILL remember
when the rest is gone

everything lost and forgotten
but i’ll still hold fast
that feeling of standing on a patio
in your PJ’s, when the morning
comes around … and deciding the flowers
need a little more water as you sip
your tea and think– “in a minute.”

Saturday Sermon number 4 because i feel like today is Saturday

ha! that’s well put. chaos is the only answer to fractal repetition. the beauty of the untended garden. opposition is a difficult ground on which to place definition.

at one point, i took it all the way to the “big bang” of opposition creating the start of everything ordered in the universe. it didn’t work.

freedom must see beyond the cage of our own bilateral balancing act. the difference between a circle and a sphere? a linear that must be straight, otherwise is it only one part of a very large circle. the up and down of measured existence, even in time.

human interaction is not only messy, it must be messy. otherwise, the predictive nature calls forth machine, not man. that is where my hopes live. i bought a measuring cup yesterday. force myself to cook without one, for the most part. measurement is only as good as the consistency of the ingredients themselves. then are caught in requiring consistency. and then what is boredom? lol…

people trade in uncertainty for boredom. fear …. survival …. power. i light up a cigarette and reread my words. think about my need for the soap box and what that means. i know how to reach for freedom, how to not force a garden, how to leave the ordered state and simply enjoy life. it’s the little things. but they need room, and need to be as far away from despair as possible. that is one opposition that is worthwhile to maintain. recognize the roots of your despair. find where it lives. then go ok, that is the NOT.

i have sat in cells, pumped with drugs that eradicated my imagination. you don’t realize how dependent you are on that, until it is gone. until the moment in which you live, is the moment that is forever. until despair itself has no roots. what i found there was the emptiness of ordered existence at the mercy of others. once i comprehended that human beings will purposely work to keep something alive just to torture it … once i opened myself up to that realization. that depth. i knew that i myself could never hold on to anything as permanent. the flux and flow of life is the opposite of evil. chaos is the redemption that tells us fear and order make poor bedfellows.

look for what has no pattern until it has a pattern. then look at patterns. look at how anxiety drives us to require imagined predictability. and then be thankful to all the heavens, that life is everything that is not predictable, and more. the difference between a circle and a sphere? those things that test our imagination. after all, chaos might simply be another form of order. life might be the complete cage, where predictability reigns, and the only reason it’s not quantified is the inability of the mind to do so. i think about that. then i’m glad i’m not.

in some ways, reaching for more knowledge can be a path to greater despair, as attached to the “laws” of the reactive process surrounding us. when reactive processes can be a comfort – like the crowds dressing in warm coats at winter. there is an expectation, that it cycles and circles. that the opposite of cold will always be warm. but without that inner part of yourself, that can form its own reactive processes and go against all that is considered necessary. when you entertain the other paths, then the path you are on is a choice, not an obligation.

and the need for predictability is your own expression of love for others. to comfort expectations for the sake of calm. to be something that is considered non-threatening, and to hold off applying your own realizations for the moment that calls for them. which is sometimes never.

the quail have come onto my patio, looking for food and water. and they left. i find their calls comforting. the natural order of their existence that has a pattern to me, and yet i know that is more due to my ignorance than due to any innate repetition. i don’t speak quail.

life is too short. but it’s length is beside the point. what makes me happy, in this world of chaos and order, is that freedom is just a word for a concept much larger than any definition maps. the irony is that we have one word, and then spend lifetimes of trillions of words to describe the one. the irony is that we have dictionaries at all. the sharing of thought is fascinating for its forms, not for its content. we all live in the same reality, even if some theirs is special. so what is special? singular … original?

it’s the need for that, not the manifestation of its action. it’s the need for art, and the further exploration of the self. the ability of the self to survive. to take the moment. to pause in typing, and listen to the quail. to smile. to know — deep down inside — that there is maybe a God and maybe not a God. that order is something perceived, not necessarily something that actually manifests. that human understanding is always going to be limited. that freedom is not so much the dissolving of limits, but the mapping of where those limits are necessary.

number one, there is no such thing as limits for intelligence. you learn. you learn to learn more. the pathways in the brain grow. you exercise logic, you don’t create it. there are points in that journey, where despair hit me like a rock. i recall sitting in the bath tub, picturing all … all … as it spiraled to greater and back again. there was no freedom of the linear. only mistaken freedom. that was at the stage. once i exercised the mind beyond that realm of concept — i saw greater interactions that lead away from despair.

it’s like they say, that the in between of comprehension is what will allow insanity to bite you in the ass. how can you advise others to take your own “path” to enlightenment, when you know how many pits it contains? each has to find their own. i’m no closer to “correct” than a snail climbing a rock away from the rain. reactive states of being.

the important thing to realize, is that we can think alike. we can act alike. but it is the differences that save us from ourselves. it is the opposition of differing magnitudes. it is the fact that something pisses me the hell off, and you only see me — want the human being you care about to be “happy.” to focus on the joys, and leave that which can drag a mind down …be. i understand, and appreciate the degrees of love, the degrees of caring. my view is singular to my existence, just as yours is singular to your own. i even quantify “caring” as manifestations born out of perceived states.

chaos and order. circles and spheres. the imagination is a very rich playground. the artist is not a role, it’s a reaction. only fits a form, if that is the form you use.

i can imagine other worlds. mostly i wonder about a world of expression that is not limited to the lowest common denominator of the receiving end. where it all attaches, the male and female of “the plug.” the representation born through so many ‘inventions’ of man and his industry. the fascination. the fact that as adults, we still get mired in the investigation of our own body parts. the foundations and framework of initial comprehensions.

it’s why poetry says so much more, by saying less. it’s why we don’t need definitions for words. we need words that defy definition. it’s why the good in life is the unexpected. why i look at polka dots on a purse, and smile. why there is no right way to live. only a right way to live with others.

i sat in that cell, and faced the deepest horrors of human action. and that horror was not from expanding vision. it was from limiting the mind itself, to the mindset of others. to break free from that, is to challenge your own ability to love. to let some things go. to live not just for your own comfort, but in the awareness of what helps or harms. chaos and order, the way of law and the mapping of reactions to degrees of fractal that only implode on themselves into greater detail.

have to be able to let that go. feel the sunshine, know that life itself is a beauty that defies any categorization. all of science itself, only marches blithely onward to a perceived ideology of stasis. the wonder of it all, is that i know how ordered states absolve fear. the reason i don’t fear life, or death, or even what next year will bring for our country. why i do not fear, is because my mind moved beyond that. i had to place myself into a state of hope that ranges past any “faith” in man and the limits we impose on each other.

part of me wants to give that to others. part of me knows i never can. each has to do with their own culminations of joys and sorrow. i now my answer to those that like to perceive me as flawed, as crazy — my answer is to feel pity for the minds that are caught in perceptions of order imposed upon them by fear — fear generated and accepted into their own hearts. from others, from life that taught them that nothing is fair. that struggle is the antidote to emptiness.

i pity out of genuine understanding, have moved through that state to where i exist now. which is not a place of loneliness, though you could call it a reaction to that. it’s a place where i get that i’m not anything special in this world. that the world has to be special to me. that the question was NEVER “does God love me?” the question, is if i love God. how you show that, then — is how life turns on something more than what you can give and what you can get.

the concerns of rich and poor, wealthy and destitute. the search for meaning. life brings us to so many crossroads. often i think it is the INNS at those crossroads that matter, not the destinations that span out. that spell our choices. our justifications that are based solely on interpretations of pattern and laws that are merely abstract designs, in the first place.

the reason i write, is because it gives my thoughts someplace to live. i can take one detail to heart’s content. limited only by my own perception of how long any sane person would listen. how far any would follow on my questionable trains of thought. many times, we hope joy is that thing everyone finds, even if it means finding it out of innocence. i don’t believe in that. i don’t believe in protecting others from reality. years ago, i named this blog, “from an otherwise sane perspective.” what i place here is the crazy. what i keep unsaid is the sane.

when the world has decided that i embody a defect of “crazy” — then i will take that and make it look sane to you, and ask you why you think you are so different than me? why do you believe that my actions had no purpose? because they certainly have had their impact. where it goes, nobody knows. that’s the beauty.

that’s why my poetry is where you will find the decisions. the bump to myself, where i challenge even my deepest comprehensions according to their framework. we all have lives to live. the world has collectively decided to disregard mine as unimportant. so i made it important on a differnt level. i decided to write on this blog, and that only happened because someone formed wordpress. because someone followed the ‘norm’ and were good little citizens and started a business. how can i NOT appreciate that?

therefore i let it go. my ‘spot’ in this world doesn’t matter. my view of order or chaos, and the click of the typing as i work to slow things enough, to put them into a form that can be “shared.” just love it when someone says “thanks for sharing” …lol. sarcasm … being put through a mind for no use. nothing to show for the time spent. in some ways, with the title of this blog, i warned of that. at one point i removed the “from an” and made it “otherwise sane perspective.” the definition that is a word. the word that is Eileen. or me. whatever that happens to be at the moment.

life gives you lemons, and you make lemonade. well i stockpiled the dumb things, and there’s a lot of juice to be made. life is too short. art is forever. we were all “given” the ambitions that drive and motivate from one day to the next. but in my understanding, people only appear to be ‘sheep’ when you do not know them. you get beyond the surface, and the details are always there.

that is why i don’t despair, over the state of man, or his search or denial … why i let the garden grow with both its chaos, and its order. it’s easy to quantify reaction. not so easy to multiply that by the diverse nature of man himself.

i have other memories, besides the cell where i met reality. the punishment i got for being “different.” in contrast, i have the memory of gripping a boogie board, waiting in the ocean for a wave. waiting for the “perfect” wave — judging what is good. what won’t work. sometimes the good ones get past you. but the JOY of that memory, is not in the riding the wave part. the joy is in the bobbing in the ocean, the wait that caused me to slow down. to LOOK at the world. to see the beauty and weep … just weep for every single thing that is given.

every single moment that gives me gratitude for the next. no, i don’t think humans need to order much more of the world into predictable little snippets. i want to set them free. i want them to see that it isn’t crazy, if you have a reason.

i will go first, for survival. but sacrifice is what you do, when love leaves and you ask yourself where it went. painful matters of the spirit are only ghosts, the manifestation that just needs a good wind to blow it out and away. and physical is different. discomfort, and the far reaching power of medicine, and the industries that tell us “if you don’t have your health, you have nothing!” and then they call challenges of the spirit, “mental health.” all kinds of manipulation, with all the insults to even the average intelligence.

i think about that, and the work to move people into states of behavior that will benefit the self. in so many ways, it is the inescapable nature of man. then the only question becomes, who are you dealing with? friend or foe?

at some point in the future, i imagine how the code of pattern i have woven into every word placed here, will be cracked. that the message is not the words and their definition, the message is their music. i look at the future as the friend. i look at hope as the companion necessary for my existence. whether it be in a cell, or on an ocean. you all have a really good new years, though i’m not sure of the person that put us on this merry go round in the first place. it’s a dead end into despair. but celebration has its own divinity in the scope of things. i can appreciate that. i also know that every day is another day for one like me. i fear boredom more than i fear the wrong designs that lead to multiple cases of despair. i want surprises, i want the polka dots on a purse. what i never want is your pity.

what i never want, is scorn that determines i was ‘born bad’ — what can you do? NO ONE IS BORN BAD. GOD DON”T MAKE JUNK. i can see that. i don’t care if you can see that or not.

when i walk to the store, i don’t want pity from those who drive. i don’t want them believing that i am not capable of changing my own state of existence, because “been there, done that.” it’s only exploration if the path you forge is new! i don’t want pity for the crap i’ve undergone in the past. that’s not my goal. go feel sorry for the people selling barbie dolls at the swap meet. but don’t feel sorry for me. i am always where i need to be, and what i want from you is to change the crap that’s being dished out, that is being called ‘normal’ with no thought to the consequences of collective action. “sorry” doesn’t heal someone like me. what heals, is seeing real changes that impact lives for the better.

that’s why i side with the left, and going forward, not going backward. sometimes the death of a master is freedom. if God oppresses you, then killing “God” frees you. “been there, done that,” too. i want to see you smile at the birds — not be carefree like them. because there’s no such thing as carefree.

and circles are for the birds. boredom is for sissies. i never did learn to speak quail, but in my defense there were no quail where i grew up, and so i understand seagull speak, instead. a plaintive bird, the seagull. grey when young, white when they grow old and greedy. they are both brave, and beautiful. i know i am no beauty. i’m not trying to be beautiful, i’m trying to find what looks beautiful to ME. the woman who would watch me stop and admire her roses … who would come outside with a pair of clippers, and cut some and hand them to me. see, THAT was beautiful. it needed no words. a gesture of good faith. friend or foe?

my best achievement is when i shut up, and listen. but when all i did was listen, you all decided i had nothing to say.

and the long road has an inn called centenary -saturday sermon #1

in the days before housing assistance, i was forced to work despite my disability. in order to pay rent even for renting only a room — which was often all that i could afford. the exception to that was when i had a boyfriend to “share” expenses. and this led to constantly “looking for a man” to help support me, rather than finding a means to support myself.

and in that way, i was further dragged into a life of promiscuity, which was even part of my mental health diagnosis. i simply needed a way to live on my own, without being obligated to men that were often drug users, alcoholics, and violent. i needed some way to FEEL secure, because insecurity only resulted in more hospitalizations, and more medications applied to my quickly degenerating and panicked brain.

then i took the steps to apply for housing assistance. it was after leaving yet another boyfriend, who drained my finances and even wrecked my car by driving it into a garage door! i couldn’t get to work after that, and life was again very bleak and very insecure. my disability check was not enough to live on, in any “normal” sense. i had to spend upwards of 75% on rent alone, and then to eat or have gas money, i had to find jobs that were often temporary and at minimum wage. then to top that off, the federal government questioned my disability status every time i had to work, and that meant reams of paperwork and signatures from doctors. it was just more hoops that left me feeling more insecure. i had to work to live, but working threatened my livelihood and income for my very real disability that only gets worse during times of stress.

these years of stress included many points of hospitalization — which it makes me ill to think of the cost. months, sometimes — at institutions that kept patients that long specifically for testing new medications on human subjects. it’s not pretty, it jerks your body chemistry all over the place — and in the end leads to feelings of MORE insecurity. the hospital is not a place to get ‘well’ or to feel ‘better’ — it is a matter of being ‘captured’ for the purpose of medical experiments. and those experiments ranged into being woken every hour on the hour, to being locked in a space for weeks with no clock, no windows, and no access to ‘time.’ it always involved the experiment of isolation from outside events, with no newspapers, no tv, and frequently not even books. given only a pencil and tablet, and asked to write down how you feel for them to read as part of their studies. i knew all this was for their benefit, not mine, it was not hard to discern — and led to MORE feelings of insecurity and quite frankly — a complete distrust of those slotted by the system as being those who supposedly ‘care’ for the mentally disabled.

so anyway — i applied for housing first in california, but the “waiting list” was 10 years long. i left california in search of a better situation, because i completely panicked when a man renting space at the house where is was renting a room — offered money to sleep with me. i panicked because i was hurting again for money, and in between jobs, and i was VERY tempted to take it! but i didn’t … decided that was one line i did not ever want to cross. so i fled california and its very expensive rents — and wound up in utah. and then years later, after leaving the boyfriend that crashed my car into his garage, i decided to apply for housing assistance in utah.

it came through only after a few months, and i was able to get my own apartment in the very first time ever in my life. i was 36 years old. it was a kind of miracle. i even applied for credit cards again, and sold the broken car. i began to realize that i could budget better on my own, than when living with a man. but i had no skills for budgeting, and also had no support groups and looked to having a job to fill the void of human contact and purpose. after a couple years at the very first apartment, i was dating a different man, who persuaded me to move to one in a better neighborhood. in the end, i could not deal with him being drunk and high all the time, so i broke that off. started a long distance relationship and moved to albuquerque.

and i was able to take my housing assistance with me, because it was a federal program. so in new mexico, even though i went there because of a relationship, i soon realized that i needed my own place. got an apartment that was near a shopping center, and applied for a job at a shop there as well. for the most part, i managed — but still found myself in line at the food bank for hours, because bills were too high and the biggest problem was that i was still not in reality. i was operating without medications at that time, and another factor of my disability — which is spending money — was not under control. my answer to running out of money, was to work more hours if i could, or was to pawn items that i bought and could not afford.

i had four boyfriends simultaneously, when i decided it was time to leave albuquerque and return to california. many things went into that decision, but the biggest was my involvement with the DEA and something found at work that allowed for the arrest of a cuban drug lord from florida. i kind of thought a change of address might lengthen my life a bit at that point….

so in california, i stayed with family until i found another apartment. the apartment i rented was surrounded by “partiers” and i didn’t realize this when i signed the lease. was a very ‘insecure’ feeling, and the bedroom had a large glass door facing a balcony of constant partiers. i felt vulnerable, and preyed upon. the lack of sleep and unable to afford to buy a real bed and sleeping on the floor — led to another hospitalization, and an eviction from the apartments after i screamed in terror when a gigantic possum came onto the patio at night. the “partier” neighbors reported me as screaming at them — and i was evicted and had to find a new apartment quickly. and do that after the degree of insecurity and no sleep landed me in the hospital again, where i was drugged with some new liquid medications as well as shots that left me in a poor mental state.

but i managed to get a new place, and it was one studio room, very cramped and depressing. i could not find work, and i sat in the one room either staring out the window that showed nothing but sky, or i went over and over bills — wondering how i could make things work. finally, when the lease was up on that apartment, i searched and found an apartment in oxnard. not the best, and in a semi-bad neighborhood. but was run by an ok company, and again — i managed. the problem then became, that with all the recent moving of furniture, i seriously hurt my back. woke up only able to crawl on the floor one day. part of that, was i budgeted downward and had a futon for a bed, also. lesson learned, there. i then went to the doctor and had an MRI, where they found 3 bulging disks and told me i could either have surgery, or have physical therapy. i voted for physical therapy, which in hind sight was probably the wrong choice.

but no one advised me on the better choice, or gave projections, even. the problem i now faced, that it was very difficult if not impossible, to go out and work a job if found myself strapped for cash. i was effectively looking at having to live on a fixed income for the first time in my life, and to manage that somehow while supporting a car (that often broke down) and paying rent (even though reduced considerably by housing assistance) and while still feeling mostly insecure. though by that time in my life, by the time i was 41 years old — i realized that men were not helping the situation any. if anything, the mere IDEA that i ‘needed’ a man to live, contributed to a GREATER sense of instability and insecurity. and with a “broken” back, i knew i could not work jobs to make myself valuable in a relationship. i could not function well enough to be an asset.

i was at the point in my life that finding yet “another boyfriend” was not a solution. i only felt useful at all, by visiting my grandmother almost every day at the resthome. and by taking her to lunch at Denny’s, that was right around the corner. i still had a car, even getting one after an accident where an uninsured driver totaled my car, slammed it and spun it — shaking me up quite badly. when i asked my family to store the broken car for me, because the apartment did not allow a non-working vehicle in their parking lot — the family refused to help. to help at all. so it was towed and i lost it. i honestly did not understand that, and it left me feeling more insecure than ever. what kind of support were they? what kind of anything? that was topped off by family also asking the resthome where my grandmother was at, to not allow me to take grandma for lunch at Denneys anymore. not without permission from them. at that point, i was crippled by my back, i was “outed” by my family for no reason that i could see, and i had no way to work or get a job to improve anything. top that off, with the fact that if i were to lose my housing assistance for any reason — the rents were so high in california it meant that i would be on the street ………….. on the street! if i lost my housing for any reason. and if the family there would not put up a car, even – where did that leave me?

so i tearfully said good-bye to my grandmother — in tears so great i can’t tell you. i can’t. she was the one touchstone that kept me from giving up over the years, through every kind of struggle and difficulty. she was the only reason i believed in anything. in anything! and i had to abandon her. it was that, or several more trips to a hospital that would use me as a human test subject for more torture and very IN-human treatment. i decided i needed to leave while i could, not wait until something happened and i had no place to live at all, and no family that cared enough about me to even park a car on their 3 garage driveway. had to have room for the boat, you know. see…. that is what i was USED to. i didn’t question how they treated me, because it was how i was always treated. instead of believing THEY were wrong, i more often decided i was bad. if ANYTHING regarding me was an inconvenience, that was not allowed. that is why i always felt i had to sell myself as a slave to boyfriends, to be something valuable, somehow. from the start, and the death of my parents — i was nothing but an INCONVENIENCE. an inconvenience who often thought life and others would have been better if she, too, had been on that plane and died with the rest of my immediate family.

i read faces, i read actions. everything brought me to this state, that i found exhausting.

exhausting. i needed disability payments to live on my own, at all. but i was scorned by family for having the disability in the first place. with the rising property rates and property speculation that made rents jump to enormous amounts — i had to have housing assistance to live, and placed me even lower in the eyes of family and all else. they saw me as a “free-loader” — even though i never was. the only person who helped me, was my grandmother — and she did that from her heart and it gave her something to be NEEDED. i recognized that. part of me didn’t care how that was seen by others. part of me thought that they needed to grow the hell up.

so….the social complications and feelings of insecurity, leading to bad relationships — is how i found myself going through unbelievable humiliations, and degradation. that is why a large, very large part of my life was surrounded by feelings of insecurity, feelings of fear, and a continuing mystery over money and how others managed their money, while i could not. or not so well. it’s why i continually had the IDEA in my head, that a man was going to somehow “rescue” me from financial woes. save me — i just needed to be pretty enough — just needed to be useful enough. but it was an uphill battle i never was going to win. mainly, because in that mode of self-fulfilling prophecy, you end up receiving the thing you are looking for. if you are looking for a master, rather than a partner, then it is a master that you will get. i always found what i was looking for, but it was nothing that was going to “save” me.

i moved back to utah when i was 44, after hugging grandma good-bye and praying very hard that she would not suffer much for my not being there every day in california. i used my housing assistance once again, to find an apartment. this time it proved almost impossible, and my sister had to help me with an outrageous deposit that was more of a bribe, to allow me to rent a place despite my bad credit score. i couldn’t wait, and save money for a deposit, because housing required that you “use it or lose” it and you only have so much time to find an apartment. a very stressful thing, to get refused over and over, looking for a place to live, all the while knowing that if you don’t find something soon, you will no longer have assistance. is a very large sense of insecurity, but also the constant refusal only reinforces the idea that your family was right, and you are a loser that should not be helped in any way. that was really hard, very stressful — and within a year of settling, i started myself on medications from mental health again, and instead of helping at all, the medications sent me into an imbalance and i was in a hospital again. for whatever reason, it was only for a week, there was no “trials” with experimental medications, and so things were looking up.

i had trouble 4 years later, though. it was the worst winter in awhile. snow knee deep. the costs for heating were bad, and i was barely getting by month to month. and the worst thing, i guess, was that the apartments had a newer fulltime handyman, and he began hanging out with a very bad crowd, and letting himself into apartments without knocking first. i felt completely insecure, and even though the branch of my family in utah was infinitely more understanding and emotionally supportive – i never felt comfortable asking them for monetary help or anything. the mental health system in utah had experienced so many cuts, there were no longer day programs or places to be. a snowed-in winter left me feeling stir-crazy, and at the same time not secure and vulnerable. squatters moved in downstairs, and they ran a power cord from the hallway to the apartment they squatted in. the building was half-empty. it was scary, and i had a run-in with the three large men at one point. i even cut their power cord with wire cutters. between the fear, the insecurity, and the lack of sleep while barring my door at night with a broom … i took another trip to the hospital.

now, i’m not trying to “explain things away” — i’m trying to show that a disability has many facets. and the support for that is not a “handout” and the support of housing assistance is not “enabling.” it gave me the ability to have my own life, and to begin the process of LEARNING money-management. that help makes it so i can have my own place, and determine my own fate and hopefully find situations that leave me with feelings of security, rather than feelings of fear.

the strangest thing, when you are getting assistance that overall is just enough to get by. i gave up fast food years ago. i gave up going to the movies, i gave up shopping for new clothes or ‘nice’ clothes and buy only from used stores…. or if i’m feeling indulgent, i get clothing from walmart. NOW. i didn’t used to do that. i was ingrained with my “upper-middle-class” life style, and it took awhile for me to realize how to cut corners and how to manage on a fixed income. i gave up supporting a car. i paid more attention to monthly bills, and how it’s necessary to always apply a X12 when taking on a new monthly expense.

it was time to find a new apartment……… again, with the help of housing and the utah housing department, and to my surprise, there was no outrageous deposit, no bribe for being allowed to rent. there was no shady lease, all read on the up and up. was like heaven. you mean they won’t try to take advantage of my desperate state? apparently not. and the family nearby, welcomed me to join them at church every sunday. soon i realized that church is the people — it’s what the people MAKE of it. my experience of church up until then, had been it was a place for gossip and fighting and trying to go up in popularity, and i just had had enough of that by the time i was 25. assumed that all churches were that way, and i figured life was hard enough without adding that to it.

by this point, i’m learning that money management is a real thing, and i still have “spending bouts” — in fact, christmas is very hard for me, not because of the expense as much as it is i have to police my disability and not go into a “spending spree.” because the thing about money, is you can pretend you have plenty and go shopping — and then the reality hits you when you run out of food at the end of the month. i’m still working through the difficulty of budgeting, and managing money. but for the first time in my adult life, i am experiencing a SECURITY that is about support not based on a pecking order or how i’m perceived by others, and not based on how much money you have to spend. no…. it’s a security based on knowledge of the GOODNESS in other people. that’s kind of a first, as in there is a difference in “knowledge of” and “hope.”

and part of my getting there, or getting here where i am — in a somewhat stabilized state, with activities that include donating time in volunteer work, and helping others, but also a sense that in my apartment now — i am not vulnerable as a single woman. i have a sense of security, a feeling that this is home. and it’s not because just the apartment is ‘better’ and run by decent people, though that’s part of it. but it’s also that i have a church community now that cares about me. that doesn’t see me as an inconvenience, that doesn’t expect me to jump hoops and be exactly like them in every way. a community that does not view my life, and my disability — as something to be ashamed of? well, that doesn’t see my life as this collective of failure — but rather my life is a future of possibility not yet written. and that helps me to see that, too.

so those who hate government programs, and the help they give to those in need … i want you to think about this, on this christmas after a very scary election season. i want you to THINK about how you have been fed lies about people enabled in their poverty, to where otherwise they would pull up and out of it. because i would NOT have. i would have gone down into complete institutionalization. i am more than sure of that, i am aware of my illness and the degrees of degeneration over time, in correlation to the number of hospitalizations.

and i work to make the world a better place, i hope. i can do the math, on how much medical expense and how much $$$$$ overall. i DID pay into social security for many years of work at more jobs than i can name. i’ve easily worked over 20 different jobs — might be more than 50. it’s not like i haven’t TRIED. it’s not like i never paid into the system. but i never felt like i deserved help, only that i needed it. only that it was this, or some kind of dependency on a family that resented me enough when i was NOT dependent on them. you can’t win for losing. the oddest thing was that the one reliable entity my whole life, has been the government.

for some reason, that makes people mad. that makes them jealous — and they think trying to scratch out an existence on social security disability is luxurious and awesome. they think a life of no work and no job is something to envy — when life needs work of some kind to feel like a life at all. that’s what i don’t get, i don’t get why they don’t get that. work their jobs and hate people that get disability income, because they are jealous and for some reason think they want to lie around all day and do nothing. and see, that isn’t what you end up doing when getting assistance. or if you do, you are living a life even LESS to be envied. not more….!

i suppose that somewhere inside of me, i got tired of the scorn for my disability. i got tired of the assumptions, i got tired of being seen as less. having my own place, and housing assistance, helped me to rise above and consider things from a level that was more secure, but also more to where managing money was a possibility. paying bills on time, was a possibility. not continually IMPOSSIBLE. having that help, to rent an apartment on my own without a boyfriend or roommates — made all the difference in my life you can imagine.

now … i don’t know why trump followers think housing assistance should be eliminated. but i do know that it makes me uneasy, and the future is not quite so sure. thing is — it’s still more sure than it ever was, because of my church and the love and support of those who only want the world to be a little bit better, for everyone. and that i can get behind. i go over the past, and think of all the turning points that made a difference in my life. and getting the housing assistance was a point that made the biggest difference i could ever imagine. it’s not instant security, but it gave me a chance, it gave me a start. and joining the congregation at my church was another turning point. the pastor that spoke to me and took me to lunch, as we discussed world politics and life in general. i started SEEING people a little differently. in some ways, if a korean woman could forgive what asses the USA had been to them, i could surely forgive my own family and forgive the past. let some things go. let ’em go for good.

and why i began writing this, is the possible threat to the housing program, now that there is a change in government. it’s important to not fear something until it happens, but hard not to get a little frightened in this case. the housing assistance that has made such a difference in my life, i truly don’t know where i would be without it. and what i wanted to say, before i got caught up talking about the crazy past — is don’t take that away for others. i know i will manage, somehow. but don’t take that help from others. please. they might be at a point in their lives where it makes the difference, too. helping a fellow human being is not enabling sloth. it’s enabling a future. i thank you, for the one given to me.

am now 53 years old, and the world has never looked more promising. i’m finally free, to exist as a person not driven by shame. not driven by fear and insecurity. what drives me now, is love. and that’s a pretty good place to be.

merry christmas — happy holidays — and may the world shine a little brighter for all of us, a little steadier … a little more filled with that love. Christ is the reason for the season. Lately it’s more like consumerism is the reason for the season. but regardless, i’m going to try to remember a few things this christmas. one, is that it doesn’t take a lot of time to be a better person. and two, you need to spend most of that time deciding what a better person actually IS.

be well
sing a song
have some joy

next year we will deal with a new government
and hopefully find some humanity along the way … i sure hope so

polish my petal pushers and crack my baloney

to determine the tide and time of it all.
but part wants to say there is no direction

no convoluted exigency
embellished in withdrawal
through depravity and angst

starlight tells little
of the sky they occupy
names owned
tell more of the namers…..

the thing itself a particle of speculation

how to proceed?
with caution, with care
with abandon, with indiscriminate address

following the process, not the processors
–owning the nature of portents
and the downside of countless hills

do you see yourself when you awaken?
or is the day mostly within …

i believe life is more than waxing
to the wane

i think it’s about knowing how most would stop
therefore you continue onward

i think it’s about seeking approval and not needing approval at the same time

there’s no reason to fear your own thoughts
eventually they silence

nobody understands how fast a decision is made
how long it takes to say i’m sorry
how quickly a garden grows when you are not watching

nobody knows why it’s better to say “what can you do?”
than admit that you can do nothing

the best words are never spoken

highlights of a confluence
embarkment of a consecration
deliverance belongs to the end of time
but the end of time belongs only to oblivion

try as i might
my eyelids fall and i wish for peace
before rest
knowing it is my wont to scurry and worry
to pace and pounce and proclaim … before i find
myself once again

looking at my toes and thinking
numb is only a difference

part of me never understood cruelty
never saw where the stalker arrived
swelled and burst
intonations

the mirror is a beast
but rather — what a mirror becomes
soughs and sighs
partners and pilgrimage

no dusting is complete without a tear for infamy
i was ruled by nothing overtly familiar
though coldly alert

time and tenacity and telescoping perpetuity
…dawn was mastered

now i want to see how far it is to remembering where i left
the last dance that broke time
and made me deathly ill over death and its equality
to anything mistreated

birthed …. from a right and distracted somnolence
sprouted out of gripping the outskirts of a spin
to balance neatly on ruffles

at the center of every norm.

breathing the one thing no breath can repeat
offering no sacrifice but the present in all its awkwardness

resilience proceeds with caution and verve
moves with stupid and wisdom and delight
no amount of hope can halt redacted controversy
gloaming and gristing
the day looks up and ahead there is light
and warmth and laughter
ready to meet the more favored
of copious tears

stumbling onward
i am no more seen than a ghost
no more necessary than the last envelope

holding a final letter that is not meant for silence …
but for screams

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