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THIS MONTH I’VE BEEN SCOURING THE VILLAGE FOR GREAT HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS – THE NEIGHBORS ARE RESTLESS (AND CREATIVE – VOTE YOUR FAVORITE (disclaimer: frog below discovered in photographer’s house)
Terry Kay on Southern Authors, New York Publishers, and why literary fiction matters – By Georgia Lee
Author Terry Kay’s beloved “To Dance with the White Dog” might never have existed, if not for a whopper of a tall tale, from writer Pat Conroy. Continue reading
Re-blogged from “Take off the Mask” – a mental health worker “treats the patient, not the diagnosis,” counter-intuitive to prevailing labels, stigmas and missed-treatment.
Call me Saint Francis of Suburbia.
My back yard is an official Natural Habitat. It’s easy. Go online, check off: Feeders, Water, Trees, and the like, pay $25 (yard flag) up to $100-plus (a bronze plaque) I went with the mid-sized $50 model.
I love my birds. So near, yet unreachable, like my distant grown children or my dead parents.
Click click clicking, like a prehistoric tribal language, my Cardinals wake me every morning. Monarchs, their reign pre-dates my dozen-year residence here. At this moment, 20 feet away, the blood-red King pecks a beak-full of seeds from my “Super Songbird Station.” He inches over, snuggles his baby’s tiny head to a nurturing kiss – mouth-to-mouth feeding.
So mysterious, these birds. So many questions:
1. I’ve heard that Cardinals mate for life. Is that true? Why would they do that? Haven’t wildlife suffered enough?
2. What is their lifespan? Are these the SAME dozen-year-old Cardinals, or am I watching a succession? Is the hungry Princeling next year’s King, after the father, having served his subjects, passes on? Should I, as protective saint, declare: “The king is dead, long live the king,” and all that?
3. Are birds REALLY dinosaur descendants? How does a teeny bird evolve from creatures the size of LeBron James, who “ruled the earth” for 140 million years? How can ancestors be annihilated 40 million years ago by a cataclysmic event, then reincarnate at a bird feeder?
I looked up those figures, but don’t expect me to research anything else. If you know the answers, let me know. I’m free at last of the accuracy demanded by journalism, my now-extinct career. Mirroring the internet, my blog runs on opinion, bait-and-switch tactics and astonishing misinformation.
My 20-year-old daughter can’t wait to see the new (second, third or fourth?) “Jurassic Park.”
She lives her life in lines – on line, party lines, text lines. I live in circles, within circles. Dreams within dreams. Seasons. Reincarnations. On and On. Round and Round. Alpha and Omega. Yin and Yang. Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity. (Remember the “Ben Casey” show opening?) Of course you don’t.
This morning, teaching yoga, I said “loosen up, y’all. Yoga should be more dance than rigid statue.” It’s not the be all, end all, as some gurus teach it, NOT that I am one. Yoga is one of many paths that overlap and circle around faith, hope, love.
Tolerance may be spin out of organized religion’s orbit. How can any Religion insist on itself as the One Absolute Truth? How do people buy that? By asking the question, am I being intolerant? Probably.
Still. Organized Religion seems part cultural dictate. Like a Tier One college. A good job. You may hate it, but you need money to get married, have at least two kids, buy an overpriced home in a neighborhood with good schools that lead to Tier One colleges. Round and Round.
“Love me all the time girl. We’ll go on and on. Someday when I’m lonely, wishing you weren’t so far away, then I will remember things we said today.” See: “Things We Said Today” – the most under rated Beatles song. Source: Me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPnTy0Ef2G0
Re: Children: Like baby Cardinals, they’re so helpless, vulnerable, so OURS, that we feed and protect them.
Everyone smiles at them. How old are they? How adorable he/she/it is. As producers of mini celebrities, we beam with delight. Give them our souls, round the clock. Can’t imagine life without them.
Summertime and the living is easy. Daddy’s rich and the kids are good looking.
Then they grow. Into Crows. Pigeons. Perigrine Falcons. Vultures. Velociraptors. Predators, that bite, target the weak, eat carrion, transmit disease. Assuming we’re still in tact, their targets may become: US!
Show me a mother with grown children who hasn’t gone through pure hell at some point, and I’ll give you a thousand dollars. Well, may a hundred. Kahlil Gibran is right (see poem) We don’t own our children. We are delivery devices/vehicles for species evolution.
Silly old me. I thought our love would go on and on. My love did, for my parents and children. I didn’t count on such radical changes.
Whoop. Text just came in. From my son, who may be in a manic, paranoid, schizoaffective state, or some combo of all that and more. I won’t stop to read it now. I know it will be insulting. He rejects my help.
But oh, man. The night he was born. Physical agony combined with bliss of a near-death experience. Less than 24 hours after birth, middle of the night and wide awake, the Angels spoke to me. “Go to the nursery,” they sang. Feeling, yet not caring, that my insides might splatter the hospital halls with each step, I went on, as in a pilgrimage of Sun Salutations over Tibetan mountains to the Dalai Lama. There, among the dozens wrapped in swaddling clothes, I knew him. Him. Widening circles of Faith, Hope Love. And the greatest of these is love.
Okay, Carnac. “And the text says:” Remember “‘Carnac the Magnificent'” from the Johnny Carson Show? Of course you don’t. I read:
“Mom, I trust you to an extent, but you can’t live my life for me. Do you believe in Aliens? They are the Angels. Light Beings. They are but being covered-up. As usual.”
“Yes,” I write back. “I believe in Angels. All around us.”
I’m crying as I write this.
This past Easter Sunday – visiting hours at Peachford Hospital. I am alone.
My son, 26, unshaven, shaking, in flip-flops and torn clothes he slept in, sits alone at a table, peeling a tangerine. He doesn’t eat it. He’s looking for poison. He doesn’t look up when I come in.
I brought an Easter basket. The front desk searched and transferred it to a brown paper bag. They searched me too, with a wand, made me leave all my possessions outside.
He looks in the bag. Little jokey things – Super-Hero socks, origami paper, a journal with an ancient map with half-discovered territories and a book of word games.
He will lose or misplace it all, but I wanted him to have something. He smiles a little. Likes the Batman socks and the journal best. I try to talk. It is harder, MUCH harder, than communicating with him as a two-year-old. I call every night. Get a different attendant who never heard of him. Give his number&^*^x4. “He’s fine, just fine” they say.
Below: See how “just fine” he really is
HIM: I’ve been calculating the numbers of our birthdays, got a formula for exact date of my death: it will be next Tuesday. I’m working on yours.
Explain why I saw you on ADULT FRIEND FINDER – (sex site) I saw Dad’s girlfriend and xxxx’s mother too. I know what I saw and I’ll never trust you again.
Our cat, Gracie, is evil. She has bad juju. Put her down immediately. Kill her
The government is a prostitution ring. My ex-girlfriend’s father is pimping her out.
Dad runs a girlfriend experience web site business
Breaks. Looks down. My grand daddy used to take me to the park,…bursts to baby tears, then jumps up, runs to refrigerator for a carton of milk.
I want to stay here, not in the world that’s trying to kill everybody. I see those cameras over there. I want to be homeless. No. I want to die. I want to die. I want to die.
ME: You don’t want to die, you’re going to get better. Too many people love you. How would your sister and I feel? What would your grandmother, (who died two years ago) think?
She’d be glad to see me. I want to go to my heavenly home. He cries. He has never said “heavenly home.”
ME: Can I hold your hand? Please? Suspicious, he lets me. I’m here. I’ll always be here. You’re not going to die. You’re going to feel better. Please just take the medicine the dr. wants you to take, and you’ll see.
I haven’t seen any doctor. I’m not taking anything. He’s trying to kill me.
No he’s trying to help you. Jerks hand away. Slaps at me. GET OUT OF HERE, NOW – NOW!!!
VISITING HOURS ARE OVER, MAM – Behind the desk – a 300 pound woman yells at me.
It tears my soul to leave. Yellow doors clang behind me, solid as the prison that this is. I stand with my face against the cold metal.
“Help me!, God, please, somebody help me. I’m dying. Help Me.”
It’s him. Screaming. Behind the steel doors. And nobody helps.
I’m his mother and I can only stand, locked out. Then I’m gasping for air. Heart. Bursting. Crying. Lost in the winding halls. Can’t find anyone. I need help. I stagger into doors no idea how to get out, and no way to get back in.
I stop the first person I see. I need help I say.
“I’m in the middle of something. I’m late.”
I stand there, crying. “I can’t drive home like this.”
“I’ll find somebody. Stand right there.” Shuts a door.
I stand there for 45 minutes. Look at each of the 12 paintings of the 12 steps. one by one. on the wall. that’s just fine. yessir just peachy. i could recite all the steps and a dozen books on these. So what now? which step will get us out of here?
I slide down the wall, put my head in my hands. Not one person helps me or even seems to notice me. I’m invisible. good. that’s best. Excellent.
I run through the halls to find a red exit sign. I tear off my sticky VISITOR badge throw it away. Get in the car.
I fought years of my own depression. If I thought this place would help me, I’d check right in.
But they wouldn’t take me. They only stabilize people. I’m not suicidal or homocidal, haven’t committed a crime, so I don’t qualify.
Once these patients are “stabilized,” they will be dump them out on the sidewalk with all their belongings and no where to go.
Treatment, real treatment, would cost mulitiple thousands, (we’ve been there, spent that) out of pocket. Treatment is a for-profit racket too. Insurance doesn’t call this an illness worth paying for. Neither does our government. The richest country in the world. But hey, you sure can get Viagra or Cialis.
If you find this appalling, Go to https://www.nami.org/
– Georgia Lee
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