widgets and whiners

Say you need something, for this discussion we will say a widget.
You promised someone this widget. This widget is available in 5 places.

-Imagine you know exactly which widget you want.
-Imagine there are 5 locations in which to obtain this widget, you’ve looked into them all. You know exactly which store you want to purchase it from.
-Imagine all of these stores are lined up next to each other with smiling faces waiting at the threshold.

So as you approach the store you WANT to shop in, you are bombarded with reps from the other stores-spewing propaganda as to why you shouldn’t go there. They are physically blocking your entry. You listen to them …you really have no choice. Some try to use logic to convince you, others bully and call names to get their point across.

So, you are beat down and go to the next store. Guess what, they follow you. Same outcome.
After you’ve explored all options and have to make a choice, only one will be happy. The others will be disappointed. Bottom line, you did what you could but there just wasn’t a solution that would please everyone.

The solution lies not in the choice you made. The solution can’t come from name-calling and character bashing, even threats.
The solution will not come until the folks who didn’t get their way grow the fuck up and move on.

Silence

When I need to disconnect, I head to the woods.
Right now I am sitting on a bench, alongside the Kiski River. The Westmoreland Heritage Trail, like other rails-to-trails projects, is a glorious thing. Following long forgotten railways, they offer a view that is precious to we “city-dwellers”. And the sound…
Yes, there is noise. A distant plane passing over, a far away car. What I listen for is the crunch of the squirrel running to gather acorns, the crows as they circle, the hiccup in the Kiski when she encounters a boulder, the rustle of the dry leaves as the wind blows, that is the silence I crave.
Surely not silence by definition, but for me it’s welcome. In a day filled with bustling traffic, needy kids(or parents), that ominous hum of florescent lights and the tap-tap-tap as we mindlessly type on our computers, this is the noise I need.
This earth, and this silence, fill me with spirit. Not of the religious sort, just a peace-I am connected. If I wasn’t, why would I need this?
The words of Carolyn McDade are my mantra as I hit the trail once more.
“Spirit of Life, come unto me.
Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion.
Blow in the wind, rise in the sea;
Move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice.
Roots hold me close; wings set me free;
Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me.”
Peace friends and Blessed Be

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I had a dream…well, several actually

I am blessed (or cursed) to be one of those folks who can remember my dreams. No one can tell me that dreams mean nothing, I am convinced more than ever that my dreams are telling me something.

It’s been a tumultuous October. The decision to change is not one I take lightly, especially when it comes to jobs. So it’s not surprising to me that my dreams reflect this.

It started Thursday, with a dream that was dark and dreary. In this dream I was walking stone corridors. It was dark and dank, and quite chilly. The floor crunched under my feet as I wandered. It was gritty and littered with rocks. I turned a corner and saw a miniature stone castle, like a child’s playhouse. Inside was a golem, but an infant. I was scared and threw a rock, breaking off a piece of his little clay head. I was instantly horrified and scooped him up and comforted him. He snuggled with me and we went outside into the sunshine.
(Side note-I felt perplexed as to why one would craft a baby golem, when their purpose was to serve. How could this infant trapped in a stone castle serve anyone?)

The next nights’ dream also had an infant. In this dream I stated to another that the baby needs a bath. The other gently set the baby in the commode and began bathing him. Horrified, I snapped at the other, took the baby and bathed him in the tub. Then I realized the other felt terrible and simply didn’t know how to bathe the baby.

Saturday I dreamed I was walking and talking with a grungy man with long dreadlocks and a pure white Labrador retriever. He talked about how no one listened to him, no matter what church he went to. They all ridiculed his thoughts.
We discussed hunger, cruelty toward women, children and animals and in general, hate in the world. We were kicking around ideas and how the world needed to change its mindset and find balance.

Then, on Sunday at work, I had a conversation with an amazing woman.
All she did was ask if I knew anyone with kids who had old coats.
Then she told me her story. She was stabbed(I saw the scars) and left for dead by her ex husband. She spoke of the fear of leaving him, and that feeling that she caused it. This rang close to my heart, having been through so much with my best friend earlier this year. Then she spoke of an “underground” group of women who took women and children into their own homes and helped to get them on their feet. After she got stable, vowed she would speak for and help those who are unable.
This woman lives close to poverty not because she makes no money, but because she gives. Last year, when their coat drive didn’t have enough, she went to 4 goodwill stores and bought coats for them. She gives her time, money and her spirit to those in need. This MOVED me.

So I spent some time when I got home making a list of friends with young kids that I could email/call to see if they had spare coats. I fell asleep quickly, feeling filled with hope that my generous friends would help me help her.

And that night the dream(memory) was familiar, and welcome. This is one I’ve had before, always when I need it the most.
…it’s 1984. It’s fall. I’m driving (on my permit) my moms red Grand Torino. At the top of Hershey Road, I turn right onto Saltsburg. “Cut it tight” my dad says. As we drive he says “take us home” and I must’ve looked nervous because he said, as he always does as this point “don’t worry, your going the right way”.

I have never been more sure that I am exactly where I should be RIGHT NOW.
I’ve been moved by these dreams, this woman and I hope to embark on a mission to help, everywhere possible for the next phase of my life.

The smallest things can make the biggest difference.

(Side note realization-the golem would serve through me-mind blown)

M.Y.O.B.

I cannot count how many times I have said this, double that number for how many times it’s been said to me. Are there times that we should mind our own business? Sure. But then there are times when we should, no, we must intervene because it’s the right thing to do. 

While at this point in my life I practice no formal religion, I am drawn to tenets from a few.

One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated-Golden Rule

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.-UU 7th Principle

Today, during the weekly torture that I call laundry day, I witnessed something that angers me to my core. In the laundromat was a young woman, maybe 25 if that. She was wrangling 2 kids under 5 and more laundry than seemed possible for one family. Her husband/boyfriend stood there on his phone while she did this. Whatever. So the young girl asked her mom if she could get candy from the machine(kids do this, it’s normal people). The man flew into a rage! Grabbed her arm and said “I will beat you to sleep if you ask for another thing”. The mom stepped in and was told to do the f**ing laundry or she was next. Me, being the idiot I am, said “sir take a deep breath” and was told to MIND MY OWN BUSINESS

Certainly this man doesn’t know not to get my Irish up, because that was it. 

I calmly (shocking) explained that this was my business. He chose to assault his child and threaten his wife in front of me, thereby making it my business. I asked him how he would feel if that were done to him. (he’s laughing the whole time mind you). I said what could that child possibly have done to warrant such an assault? He chimed in here, and said “stop calling it an assault” to which I wisely replied, “google it sunshine, that’s the definition of assault”. He’s still laughing mind you, and says “there’s not a F**ing thing you can do, get out of here”. Now I am laughing, because he is unaware that 911 was on the line the whole time I was speaking calmly and they had triangulated my position. I am literally cracking up at this point, because I know they are on their way. He didn’t like that I was laughing, in fact he was getting angrier as I laughed. He asked what was so funny, and I quoted a favorite line from the mummy “nasty little people like you always get their comeuppance”:. As I walked out, I saw what I believe to be an undercover car pull in. 

I should not take such gratification in this, but I do. That is a flaw I shall work on. 

Whether she pressed charges or not, I don’t know. I will need to find a new laundromat. That’s cool.

What I do know is that we MUST treat others the way we want to be treated. We MUST NOT let others bring us down or hold us back. And above all we MUST, step in and help those who can’t help themselves. If we don’t we are no better than those causing the suffering. 

Blessed Be

Ladies, if you are in a situation you think you can’t get out of, there is help. Be brave if not for you for your kids. Don’t let them carry on the tradition into the next generation. Let theirs be a legacy of strength and courage. You can do this. These are resources in Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties, PA. If you are too scared, message me and I will personally help you to get there. 

http://www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/housing/domestic-violence.aspx

http://www.blackburncenter.org/

Decisions

Everyday you and I make decisions, sometimes very hard decisions. Decisions that will positively affect those around us, and some decisions that will devastate those around us. It is never easy, and sometimes they end up being wrong.

Some of us, at least the humans among us, may lose sleep or worry sick over our decisions. We worry who and how others will get through the decisions we’ve made. We wonder, does this make me a bad human?

Sometimes others get to weigh in and affect our decisions-good or bad. Occasionally we rely solely on the advice if others, and sometimes we are pressured by the loudest among then to make our choice in their favor.

We are human, and very few of us can say that every decision we’ve ever made is right for everyone concerned.
I’d like to meet you if you have.
If you know me, you know I’m unlikely to quote the bible “he who is without sin, cast the first stone”.

(In response to a text this morning expressing myopic views that cannot take the above into account)