Universal Nerve

There are Universal Nerves that run through us all

All Humanity

All LIFE

Some are deeper than others

Others,

Like tree roots rolling across the earth

Are near the surface

It is for US to see and feel those near our senses

To feel more human

More alive

In love

Joy

Sorrow 

And Pain

SHARED with all Humanity

And deeper

As the deeper nerves are,

SHARED with all LIFE. 

The Universal Nerves are EMPATHETIC pathways to our simplest Salvation

Connecting us with all around us

All that are 

Were 

And shall be.

All LIFE that IS

Was

And will be.

Reaching for,

Lightly touching if not fully connecting

We become the closest thing to the gods we so yearn for

When we touch 

Sense

The Universal Nerves within

Connecting ALL LIFE.

Connecting us

Reassuring us at least,

We are not alone

In anything we may think 

Feel

Experience,

Or Live.

8/19/18

Went in to work today ready to push around 400 pieces of yard long rough hickory sticks through a shaping machine. 4 heads of a few blades. Hickory about wrist circumference. Wax on the ends used to keep it from drying out. Bad for the machine getting a grip on it. VERY dusty. Had a fan blowing on it. Had to use a 3 pound hammer to pound the wood through the machine. Push with whole body using guts, hips, thighs and yeah all my arms. A full body torture. At times screaming at it. Gave me more adrenaline. At one point, hit a little finger bruising it. Freak accident in that one blade hit a knot or something and blew the piece back at me into my hand. Nothing broken. I continue to knock on wood. Finished the job after 2 hours. Went to see my boss to take the rest of the day off. Told him I was a mass of pain and did the same job at 36 as I now do at 63 just more pain. He told me he has a cream you can put on your skin to kill the pain. I wanted to tell him how totally FUCKING STUPID THAT IS! Yeah. Sure. Body gets battered and bruised. Tear my joints up and this person thinks some TOPICAL OINTMENT WILL HEAL ME? I wanted to tell him I have a magical wand up my ass I can pull out and make things right. Wanted to say hey sure let me use it on my nuts because they are hurting too. He joked about my going back to work. He offered me a donut. I told him I am fasting. Shit! I drooled. Good boy. Went home sneezing and blowing from the damned dust. Took a Benadryl that put me out. If my hands are hurting so much how can I write this?

SLOWLY. 😉

Age is a bitch but beats the alternative. When I was born I knew I had to sign on for the whole life thing. No dying early and missing the big ending show. 

Nah. But that sounds cool.

Give me a couple days and since nothing torn or broken, go back to it and not give the boss a lecture about how topical crap will not heal the abused flesh under the skin or raise the dead. Hmmmm idea for a movie: Use his ointment on a corpse … Nope! Does not raise the dead! 

Went shopping a few items. Drove using arms at times. Cursed the idea I had of getting a car with a stick. Saw blueberries on sale. Bought 2 pounds. My conure loves them. Told the girl at the check out how the owner of my company gave me a cantaloupe this week. I told him I would share it with my bird. He got freaky weird anxious angry and said, “NO! DON’T LET YOUR BIRD EAT THAT MELON!” (Like, the whole thing) I told him no my bird eats a lot but cannot eat a whole fucking melon. Maybe if he was a CONDOR he could. Maybe he thought I said I bought a CONDOR? YEP! Going to share my food with my pet CONDOR. Conure/Condor? Slight difference. 

Ok so much for now… I see the bird eating crumbled pancake. Nutritious stuff. 

Oh I did show him the melon. Scared the pancake out of him. 

Nope… guess no eating a whole melon for him….

 

Pancake eater. NOT whole melon eater 😉IMG_0116

MY NEW HERO

I have a new hero that puts me in my place with all my complaints about life.

Boss hired a kid of around 35. I thought he was younger. I thought he was a bit creepy when he first came in. Scary. Head is malformed from surgeries he has had. First thing he did was tell me 2 jokes. I was still suspicious of him because he talked about kicking someone’s ass or almost doing it. He made some mention about surgery and he joked about it. Boss has had him doing some simple assembly. This man drives a bike or takes a bus to get to work part time to not ruin his social security. He is a hard worker. People have ridiculed him for talking to imaginary people and himself. I was reluctant to talk about it because I know that can blow-up in our faces. I KNOW the ways of a group of people ridiculing me. I had it a lot as a kid for being “crazy”.

I have made a point of being nice to Jonathan. I wish him safe journey home. He always likes to joke. I think he was at first suspicious of my being kind to him. Yeah be kind to the weird guy. No, not so. I see this man as trying more than most non handicapped people. Over and over he falls down then gets back up. One day we were joking and he called me an “old fart” and we had some back and forth about that. I just called him a “kid”. It was all good because hell, I AM AN OLD FART! 

Jonathan has had to leave work or not come in to work a few days because of problems. Seizures and other things. Today he came in with his sister and we joked a bit. I joked a bit with Jonathan. We have a good rapport now. My boss told me later about how Jonathan has had cancer. Whoooa. 

I asked Jonathan about it today. Yeah when young he had Leukemia. Later, testicular cancer. He beat both. He had some surgery putting this part of his body in other places. I think bone from his arms to put into the holes in his head where cancer was removed from his brain. Yeah, it had done some traveling. Jonathan has seizures and has to take meds for it as well. I understand now why he talks to himself a lot. Today he told some jokes and I told him that a good sense of humor; an ability to make jokes is a sign of a high intelligence. He thought I was joking at first but then realized (beaming) I was not. Yes true. Making a joke takes a good mind. A joke that is not cheap and made of cruelty. Jonathan can joke about his near death experiences and suffering. 

Jonathan told me he is getting married soon to his best friend. A girl. Known each other a long time. That is love, for a woman or man to stick with you after you have gone through so much hell. I am happy for Jonathan. He has suffered so much and is now going to get married.

WOW!

That sonofabitch. 

I envy him his courage. Then again, why not? It is his life his pain. It is his choice as to how to face it. Facing it all with humor and making others laugh around him. 

That sonofabitch…

I love that kid. 

I will try to look out for him and give him what kindness I can.

I am in awe of this handicapped crazy seeming man. He puts all my past bad experiences into perspective. He also reminds me to show my intelligence by making jokes when things to very bad for me. 

I recall my mother, dying of cancer was trying to help others. People like that inspire and humble me. Great teachers. MY HEROS. 

Jonathan is a new hero. I will tell him that and then cuss him out like guys do with each other. It will be a little gift for him: Treating him like just one of the guys. NORMALIZING HIM. Yeah you fit in you sonofabitch! 

Sincerely your new friend, The Old Fart

Modern Witch Hunts

In some primitive societies witchcraft is alive and well. NOT that anyone actually practices it but the ACCUSATIONS OF SUCH are the “witchcraft” involved. Women are accused of this or that and then stoned beaten and burned alive. As are some men. The accusations are trumped-up or made-up accusations that get people killed. Someone wants to get rid of someone or is jealous of someone and so they make such false accusations about it. 

NOW we have this in the USA. 

It was once something extremely fringe but now it is mainstream in the right wing of USA society. Instead of being witches people are accused of being pedophiles. It is the worst sort of crime. Second to that is rape but that is a primarily a man thing in a male dominated society and so many men get a pass – although much progress has been made in that regard. 

When ANYONE is accused of a crime no matter how wild the accusation is, there is a question in the back of the minds of some about no matter how innocent that person is thought to be and how good and decent MAYBE… MAYBE they did it?

In our society, things can escalate so that instead of clubs, pitch forks, axes and machetes, people go to the internet and troll with great malice. Expanding and energizing the accusations which become similar to beating someone and setting them aflame…

Like in more primitive societies. 

I have to wonder how far from those other primitive societies we are now. SO FAR we have not had public hangings, stoning’s and beatings. We just do it on the internet. 

How long before the modern technological converges with the more primitive of say… New Guinea?

DECADES past someone made wild accusations against me for a crime. A crime that I did not commit. I went to the police and did all they asked me to do. I was eventually exonerated in that the whole thing just fizzled into obscurity. Yet for all the time of that ordeal, I wondered how many people wondered IF I had done what I was accused of. If I WAS some secret this or that? What was I hiding? I was hiding nothing. I was open about all giving evidence of innocence. It worked in my favor yet I felt although I had unanimous support from family and coworkers, there were shadows of doubt in the backs of people’s minds. 

Was I possibly a witch?

See how it works?

Accusations. Whispers. Seeds of doubt then louder accusations and a gang and mob forms in a small village or a monstrous village of the internet.

(Yeah you were wondering here. No there was nothing sexual in what I was accused of. That person still owes me a huge apology but they do not have the courage and decency to give it. All we can do is learn from it not be like those people. Rise above it.)

Empathy For The Opposite Side

 

I am as white as white can be in the USA. 

As blue collar as WHITE blue collar can be, working in a factory.

If you look at me with my shaved head, I could be a buddhist monk or… a Neo nazi. 

I Identify as a LIBERAL.

Although that is my self-designated political identity, I CAN empathize with and understand how the OTHERS feel and are. Those other white folks that hate folks like me. The same kind of people that own the company I work for and that I work with. 

I can EMPATHIZE with THEM when I hear the people next door talking SPANISH all the time. Or people in the grocery store. Or see some woman with a head covering or a man with her dressed a little differently. I can hear the SHADOW murmurs of bigotry in me muttering about “dammit the language here is ENGLISH!” Or, an impulse to ridicule the woman with the head scarf or any person that my SHADOW self deems to be what THAT SHADOW SELF views as not traditionally “American”. 

I have a harder time empathizing with any whites that want to say bad things about blacks. To use that filthy “N” word I take pride in NEVER HAVING CALLED ANYONE! Not even in my most angry moments with any person of color. Theirs or mine. It has always shown people to be LOW to me. There have been times when I felt disgust with a BLACK coworker for how he is … but I have NEVER called him the “N” word like a fellow worker often does or refers to him as such. I understand WHY they use THAT word. It is to make the OTHER more “OTHER” and dehumanize them and thus REMOVE ALL CHANCES FOR EMPATHY. It breaks the human connection and bond they do not want. They want to continue hating because hate is difficult when you feel some connection with someone and see they are a little like you. That  Mirror Image Of Humanity. 

When I HEAR and SEE that SHADOW person inside myself resenting people very different from me, I reach for my INTELLECT AND RATIONAL THINKING. I remember the DIVERSITY of this country and how there have been WAVES of immigrants over the years from all over the world. My ancestors among them. I am sure groups of them were spat upon in one of those waves.  I think of how this is what the USA is made of and has been made of: ALL. ALL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. Every place. Every religion. Most languages and cultures. Some hold to them proudly and stubbornly and often add them to the melting pot of the USA. I remember that the American flag is NOT ONLY red, white and blue: It is the color of every skin every eye every heart and every HUMAN that comes here. Unlike the SHADOW self bigot I could become, I see the USA as BEING the IMMIGRANTS that try to come here legally or illegally. The voices in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, German or Canadian that come here. Sometimes walking through my neighborhood I smell America and wonder in my bigoted way laughing at myself…. “Who in the hell is eating GARLIC at 8AM!”.

That is the USA that is rational and REAL. 

It goes far beyond the shots of SHADOW bigotry I and so many others think and feel THEN LET GO.

Because in a way that is part of us but we DO NOT BECOME THAT.

As that bigotry BECAME so many in the Right Wing.

MORE Reflections As I Watch Ken Burns Documentary On The Vietnam War

In the past 2 weeks I have been watching Ken Burns, THE VIETNAM WAR on Netflix. Every time I see those poor bastards out in the field fighting, getting wounded, traumatized in so many ways and dying, I am reminded of how trump got out with bone spurs and shit luck to have been born with a silver spoon up his ass. I wonder whose name replace HIS name on THE WALL? Has that piece of shit ever thought of it? 

I doubt it.

My childhood and teen years were the late 50’s, 1960’s and early 70’s. FORTUNATELY the was was winding down as I was graduating high school. I BARELY made it. Terrible student back then. The draft was a lottery and I was not chosen that year. Family was relieved. I was not fully aware of it except for seeing VIETNAM on the TV news every night for MOST OF MY YOUTH! Watching the documentary brings back memories. Yeah I have some vague memories of THAT photo. THAT bit of war footage. The body counts that counted as success or failure. Images of dead, wounded and dying. Vietnamese left homeless by the American burning of their homes. Peace protests. My dad had an office at the University of Michigan over looking “the Diag” – a main place where there were many student protests. He grew-up in the Depression and missed-out on WWII service because of hockey ruined knees. He TRIED to join ALL branches of the service. The whole Vietnam war thing was confusing to him as I vaguely recall. Those damned long haired students! Many of them HIS students. Many got out of service through Student Deferments. 

HAD I been drafted I would have HAD to serve. Sure, my dad was a professor at a University. I was nothing. Shit grades in school. No job skills. NOT a rich family. Yeah I would have HAD to serve. The Vietnam war had a horribly disproportionate number of minorities and poor whites doing the fighting and dying.

And then … you had chicken shit like trump. Trump that loves military action and nukes. Trump that wears a damned military style jacket at times. Trump that is so big on military action and threats and … whose name is on THE WALL instead of HIS? His supporters might argue that GOD saved him for a greater purpose. I will argue that there is no “god” and that that sonofabitch was just lucky and chicken shit to avoid service. He has not SERVED his country. The good economy (like much of his life wealth) has been an inheritance. He blunders along trying to DESTROY the USA and world every day. Past leaders BUILT the USA and PEOPLE and this stupid crazy sonofabitch just wants to see it burn and the only thing he wants to build is a FUCKING WALL ON OUR SOUTH BORDER!

I remember the anti-war protests. I remember the cracked heads the blood flowing. The PASSION AND CONVICTION of the protestors. There were those FOR the war that protested against them calling them, “Commies”. THEY thought the war was about saving the world from Communism. As it turns out, Economics killed much of Communism. We did not have the gadgets the cell phones and the growing police state we have now. We had TV but people did not sit ALL THE TIME as I see so many SEEMING to do NOW. I wonder IF Americans can rise up against and fight the trump regime and bring it down. The past protests changed the USA. THE BOOMERS. NOT those corrupt sonsabitches in power now. The youth of that time. NOT the Koch brothers. The often more common Boomers and their parents. I wonder if Americans will cower in fear and APATHY as things get worse and worse. Who wants to be the first to get their head busted or be willing to die for A CAUSE of bringing down trump? Sounds painful… back to my cell phone youtube videos…

I have been getting a refresher course in the Ken Burns VIETNAM Documentary on Richard Nixon. Sick laugh when I hear the supporters of trump talk about “crooked Hillary”. Trump is more like Nixon than any politician in history. To his credit, Nixon was genuinely smart and in a perverse way genuinely patriotic – when not drunk on his ass being pure fucking stupid and crazy.  There is no patriotism in trump. No good. No BUILDER. Nothing brave or courageous. 

I think of that WALL of names. THE VIETNAM MEMORIAL. Every one of those PEOPLE that are now name on a wall had the potential to be far better leaders than COWARD TRUMP. 

Posted On Facebook

(This is like a journal or diary entry I suppose, posted here)

 

I have been up and down a lot lately. Terrifyingly DOWN last week. Worried too of becoming crippled from shoulder injuries at work from this old body breaking down. Repetitive motion. A coworker retiring and I never can due to never having saved a damn bit. I always felt I was never paid enough TO save. Power was out for a day. I took that day off and fasted. Saturday I pushed myself out of myself and walked for an hour. Had not been on any walks for a while. I have a stationary bike I was going to toss out. GOOD exercise bike. Have felt pain in left knee for a long time after riding it for a little while. Feared using it and believed my knee was not able to handle a bike anymore. I tested myself. Pushed myself a bit on the bike. 10 minutes every other day. Better than nothing. Then 15. 30 on Friday. TODAY I walked for 90 minutes and decided either I make it or fall and call for an ambulance. I did fine. 3 hours later I used the bike for an HOUR. Got off and walked for 15 minutes. Been eating a lot after the fast. Does that to me. Go to 0 for a day then climb up to feeling huge amounts of calories then that will level off to healthy. Point of all this is I am forcing myself to be positive. Pushing myself to show myself I am healthier than I believe. I go beyond that “belief” to REALITY of my physical and mental being. Exercising, I feel a sense of calm and confidence. I recall how today wearing noise canceling head phones and listening to an opera as I walked, I felt like I was in the drivers seat of a car or truck maneuvering a vehicle. How I felt and saw the path I walked and the path ahead. Insulated from the world in a good way. Waving at strangers a bit robotic.
 
As those that know me have seen, I am eccentric about Facebook. I go and delete it all at times. “Impermanence” is how I explain it. In recent months I feel I am on the last part of my marathon run in life. Some friend on Facebook are helping me to realize a lost identity that buoys me up with a renewed desire to make the marathon go further. Tomorrow another day of bone grinding work inspecting wood. NOW days I try to AVOID my coworkers due to simply not having a damned thing in common with any of them. I am the only person that wears ear protection. I look and feel like an alien but don’t we all at times in our work. It comes with being individuals. We are not weird or eccentric: We are INDIVIDUALS. UNIQUE. Those we find negative issue with are the same. I need to keep that in mind at work. They got their issues I got mine. Shut-up and let them deal with it and hope they leave me alone to mine. I am more out-going than they are. It took me a long time to realize that when men just want to be isolated leave them be: It’s a form of respect. Don’t ask them to be like me.
 
Having this bird now, I see humans more and more like that bird. For example I have wanted people to like me all my life. It’s ok they will not all the time. This bird seems to hate or fear me. I have realized it is ok. Why should I torture the bird by trying to get it to like me? I realize that is how I was with women long ago: Try to buy their affection and want them to like or love me. I guess that is how it is with birds and people. Sometimes they like us, sometimes not. But we cannot expect people to sit on our fingers and eat seeds. I hope humans never do 😉

Reflections On The Vietnam War After Watching A Documentary About It

In the past 2 days I have been watching the documentary film series by Ken Burns: THE VIETNAM WAR. I was a child during the 1960’s. Born in 1955. My memories of that war are memories of what I saw on the television and the culture and life of that time. The war shadowed everything. It was a vague distant thing. “Vietnam” was some obscure place far away. I recall no feeling about the right or wrongness of it. It was war and it was CONFUSING because it was not like what I had heard about  World War II. Black and White. At the same time there was the civil rights movement that added more confusion. I never had any black friends at school. They were DIFFERENT but there were never any racial incidents with anyone I knew. I never called anyone “nigger”. It was just a very rude word. It was easier to learn to say “fuck” than that “N” word. There was also a survival aspect to it: Where I lived if you used that “N” word on someone not white, you got your ass beat 😉 Yes I live in the North.

I never served in the military. The draft became a lottery system when I was in high school and ended soon after. IF I had been drafted, I probably would have been rejected for mental problems. I was mental wreck at that time. Even though I have never served, the war of that time, the culture the whole shitty mess of it has followed me. The older I got the more I learned about it. The documentary is merely a refresher course about it. It is a very good BALANCED documentary with views from all sides. What it shows is the stupidity and insanity of that war and perhaps ALL wars. It makes me think of all little wars since that time and of how the USA has never learned anything from the Vietnam war. The USA is still in Afghanistan. There are vague sounds of war talk in Washington DC now. Possibly a war with Iran. It’s like we Americans cannot help but choose stupid people to lead us and send our youth off to die stupidly for nothing. If this were a course taken in school, the USA as a student would get a failing grade over and over because the same stupidity is repeated over and over. 

The oldest of those that now lead the USA are men that got out of military service. 1 man, dying of cancer was a decorated fighter pilot and eventual POW. In a very sick way, HE of all people was ridiculed by the president WHO WAS A DRAFT DODGER! A coward. THAT is what the USA has come to now. How soon the USA forgets the lessons of the past and thus may so easily send more of it’s youth off to die while old men that have only seen wars in movies, urge them on. 

Appreciating The Power We So Often Take For Granted

 

Thursday there was a localized storm that knocked out power in a path through my area. My house was one affected by it. Oddly, this happens often. It makes me feel like I am living in a 3rd world country. Oh the power is out AGAIN. This time, TH0USANDS without power. For me it was only 24 hours. I took a day off and cleaned out my refrigerator. It gave me plenty of time to reflect on life without electric.

It was my normal fasting day of the week. No big problem with NOT eating because of that one day fasting time. I was ready to go 2 days until the power came on. I had water so that was no problem. If you have water to drink then you are in good shape. EASY to live without food a few days. It is healthy. 

In my day without power, I thought about the joys of so many simple things we take for granted. “Simple” to us Americans, such as TV, internet service, hot water and cooking. We enter a room and as we enter it, we touch something on the wall and LIGHT APPEARS! Wow! 

After 24 hours the power came back on. I was napping, saving my energy when I heard the refrigerator come to life. IT’S ALIVE! THOUSANDS OF OTHER HOMES COMING TO LIFE! This area was fortunate no heat wave. I imagined how horrible without air conditioning had there been a heat wave. 5 minutes after the power came on, I was driving to my local grocery store. The power had been out there but put back online 12 hours earlier. I had gone there for groceries Thursday but they were shockingly closed due to a power outage. On the way home, I had to SLOWLY CREEP through traffic intersections with dead lights. People trying to take turns going through the intersections and hoping others would be courteous. I remember looking at 1 woman in the right hand lane at 1 intersection. Grim faced, white knuckled. Scared. I could see her RELIEVED as we made it through the intersection safely. Thursday night and Friday I could hear sirens approaching THAT intersection near my home. Some were overly impatient and just ran the intersection and hit someone. 

 I went back to the grocery store on  Friday and the place was fully functional. NORMAL. No food shortages in that huge store. That amazed me. They had been able to save their food with generators. I felt greedy buying the simple foods I eat weekly. I bought ice cream and thought with horror, “what happens if the power goes out again?” No storms near for a while. I thought of how wonderful I CAN have that delicious fattening bad for my health concoction of ice cream. How wonderful this abundance in this grocery store and the thousands like it all over the USA. So much ELECTRICITY POWERING IT ALL. Electricity so many just accept as part of life as they enter a dark room and it suddenly burns bright with electric light. 

It has been less than 150 years we have had electricity powering nations. It seems such a short time. So much we have compared to others. Many would be totally lost without their damned cell phones. I thought of this as I used a special battery to power mine a few times. 

It has made me wonder: What happens when the power goes out a LONG time? I recall how years ago much of the mid west USA was blacked out for nearly a week. I recall how QUIET it was but also a sense of deep helplessness about it all. Our lives are powerless without the electrical grid. All that another nation needs to do to destroy or cripple the USA IS to interrupt the power supply to a nation. We fall back to simpler more intimately brutal times. Primitive times. Times without power most of us in the USA are not prepared for. We were not raised that way. Most of us. We hunt and forage in grocery stores and the internet shops now. Yes, most of us would be fairly helpless. I can feel it in that 24 hours without power. I can imagine it in all those people feverishly looking for some place to charge a cell phone to watch … cat videos on youtube. 

Offerings To Minor Gods

Offerings To Minor Gods

With reverence

I eat part of an apple 

Open the front door of my house and toss it on the lawn,

I know a God will eat it,

Some time.

With humor

I take what food I do not eat

Lay it on the ground under a tree

Or knowing it will decay

I give it to the earth

To a tree

To some minor Gods that need my Reverence

My nurturing offerings

Whatever humble gifts I have

I have 

I offer to Minor gods

Winged 

Furred 

Many limbed

Rooted,

I offer to Minor Gods,

Minor gifts of life. 

Placing a bowl of water under a tree

I invite their thirst quenching

Their unconditional blessing of life

My offering of what gives life. 

I don’t want to pet you

Befriend you

Expect or want anything of you.

My reward is the feeling inside

I gave some small thing

I did some small thing

That will continue a life 

And thus to me,

An offering To Minor Gods