Wednesday, August 17, 2016

So my friend Gloria is coming for the weekend …



…and I am freaking out.

Now, it is important to say that my current stress is NOT Gloria’s fault in any way. She is probably the least non-judgmental person I have in my life. And I am confident she would not say anything to me, or anyone, simply to be hateful or self-righteous. I really admire her for that. I know I would be this anxious regardless of who the visitor was.

I am freaking out about my house, and the state it is currently in. One of the things people do not seem to realize about certain mental illnesses is that it affects more than just your mood. Other manifestations occur such as feeling so overwhelmed by daily tasks that you are simply unable to even start something. So it has been with me and housework over the past year or so.

I have never been the Queen of Housework. I am not the woman who scrubs and waxes her kitchen floor every Saturday morning. I rarely wash out my garbage cans, I thank the universe for frost-free freezers and I have been known to sleep on the other side of the bed to postpone changing the sheets. Something I can as I live alone.

On the other hand I am not a candidate for Hoarders and the Health Department would not shut me down or ban me from making anyone a sandwich (*fingers crossed*). The refrigerator is cleaned out often and the garbage makes it out for pickup. And I do have my super intense anal moments when the first thing I do on a Saturday morning is to dismantle the stove top and exhaust hood so I can wash every crevice. Once a year I take down the drapes and shake them out and wash the sheers as well as empty the china closets to dust everything.

After Mom died last June and I came home, washing windows or vacuuming did not feel like priorities. In fact things got to a point that just before Thanksgiving I hired a cleaning service to make my townhouse presentable for the guests that were coming. Something I had never done before – pay someone else to clean my home. And I felt bad about doing it, and needing to do it. As if I had failed in some fundamental way in the game of taking care of myself and being an adult.

When I had exchange students there was an unspoken social pressure to keep things up better, as well as the expectation to not gross out the kids. Since I now share my space with four cats and no other bi-pods I place “keeping up” lower and lower on my list of things I feel I must do.

As a result my home does not feel much like the refuge I want, and need, it to be. Each week seems to just add to the pressure and feeling of being overwhelmed by where to start.  So I struggle to even take baby steps, after all as long as the food comes on time and the water is changed regularly the cats have no interest in whether there is dust on the Dining Room table.

But now I have a guest arriving for the weekend. Which I am actually very happy about and anticipate we will have a good two days. Yet I feel that the latter will not happen unless my living space is pristine and perfect. That if it is less than that it will mean I am somehow lacking as a person, homeowner, or friend. A part of this may be ego for sure – that I am looking for validation because my home sparkles and smells like a field of wildflowers. Part may be my buying into media images of living spaces that never have clutter. The floors gleam, never is the sink filled with dishes, laundry is not piled up nor is there a ring in the tub. However if I was attacked in my home today and the forensics team hoped to find a stray fiber or hair to lead them to the assailant they would fail miserably.


When I am brutally honest with myself I know that most of my inertia and lack of action are based in anxiety and feelings of being adrift in life and society, while a small part of me still struggles to find purpose and relevance and relationships that are reciprocal. Intellectually I know that if my home was tidier I would most likely feel calmer. More grounded. But at the same time it all seems too overwhelming to even begin. And there is the cycle I am in at the moment.


I also have these old “tapes” playing in my head filled with comments from people who I should stop lending real estate in my consciousness. But for whatever reason their words found a bull’s eye in my insecurities and will not be dislodged. And the negatives that are flung at most of us through our life always seem to become permanent while the positives for me just slide off ass if I was Teflon coated. It is  a real mystery to me how people live with these things reversed.
 

While I ponder whether I am the only person I know who goes through this, at the same time fearing I am, I should start by clearing off the extra linens that got piled onto the guest room bed.

Friday, July 8, 2016

If Mermaids were fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Well - it is confession time. This is where I expose a dark and geeky part of my misspent youth.

I LOVE the Rocky Horror Picture Show. My friends and I would go into the University District in Seattle every Saturday night to attend the midnight showing of RHPS. I know all the words to all the songs and almost all of the dialect word for word. And yes - I even got to the point where we would go in character and in costume.

For those who have never seen the RHPS - well, Google it. It would take several other posts to fully explain the movie, plot and subplots. You only need to know that the iconic song, and dance, is called The Time Warp as seen in this movie clip below.





"That is all well and good" you say, even as you are a bit bemused by what you have just seen if it was your first exposure to it, "But what does any of this have to do with Mermaids?"

To answer that I have to pass the buck to a local artist I know. A very gifted woman with a strong attachment to all things mermaid. She posted a draft of some new mermaids she had drafted a while back - Columbia, Magenta and Janet with a comment "...It's just a swim to the right .. " And then she noted that her significant other was trying to come up with more mermaid appropriate lyrics for the song.

As most of you know, I enjoy re-writing songs and stories in my own weird way. Which is how I came up with changing the Time Warp into The Mermaid.





The Time Warp
The Mermaid
It's astounding
Time is fleeting
Madness takes its toll

But listen closely
Not for very much longer
I've got to keep control

I remember doing the Time Warp
Drinking those moments when
The blackness would hit me
And the void would be calling

Let's do the Time Warp again
Let's do the Time Warp again

It's just a jump to the left
And then a step to the right
With your hands on your hips
You bring your knees in tight

But it's the pelvic thrust
That really drives you insane
Let's do the Time Warp again
Let's do the Time Warp again

It's so dreamy
Oh, fantasy free me
So you can't see me
No, not at all
In another dimension
With voyeuristic intention
Well secluded, I see all

With a bit of a mind flip
You're into the time slip
And nothing can ever be the same
You're spaced out on sensation
Like you're under sedation

Let's do the Time Warp again
Let's do the Time Warp again

Well I was walking down the street
Just a having a think
When a snake of a guy gave me an evil wink
He shook-a me up, he took me by surprise
He had a pick up truck and the devil's eyes
He stared at me and I felt a change
Time meant nothing, never would again

Let's do the Time Warp again
Let's do the Time Warp again

It's just a jump to the left
And then a step to the right
With your hands on your hips
You bring your knees in tight

But it's the pelvic thrust
That really drives you insane
Let's do the Time Warp again
Let's do the Time Warp again

It's astounding
Tides are fleeting
Currents take their toll

But listen closely
Not for very much longer
I've got to keep control

I remember doing The Mermaid
Drinking those moments when
The blackness would hit me
And Poseidon would be calling

Let's do The Mermaid again
Let's do The Mermaid again

It's just a flick to the left
And then a tail to the right
With your hands on your scales
You bring your gills in tight

But it's the dorsal thrust
That really drives you insane
Let's do The Mermaid again
Let's do The Mermaid again

It's so dreamy
No seaweed can cage me
Starfish cannot see me
No, not at all
In another dimension
With crustacean intention
Well secluded, I see all

With a bit of a tail flip
You're into the scale slip
And nothing can ever be the same
You're spaced out on salinity
Riding waves into infinity

Let's do The Mermaid again
Let's do The Mermaid again

Well I was swimming in the Gulf
Just a having a think
When an eel of a fish gave me an evil wink
He shook-a me up, took me on an Orca ride
He had tentacles of fire and the devil's eyes
He stared at me and I felt a change
Tides meant nothing, never would again

Let's do The Mermaid again
Let's do The Mermaid again

It's just a flick to the left
And then a tail to the right
With your hands on your scales
You bring your gills in tight

But it's the dorsal thrust
That really drives you insane
Let's do The Mermaid again
Let's do The Mermaid again

I Am Tired of Gray






It has been a difficult month in the news. And while there is no denying that such events touch people in different ways it can get to the point where a person begins to just feel numb. The ability to process negatives and seemingly unexplainable events overwhelm our spirit’s resources and we feel ourselves shut down as a means of self-defense.

Others see this and think we care not about this group, or that event. When in truth we care too much. We may not identify with a specific gender, race or other qualifier but as cliché as it may sound – our spirit has responded to the disturbance in the “force” or the life force in all of us.

I have read several social media postings today urging peace, using hashtags, or taking a political position. And if that makes the author feel better I am not going to say they are wrong. What they believe is as valid as what I believe.

The difference is that what I believe does not teach me to kill those who do not agree with my beliefs. What my beliefs DO tell me is that there is dignity in ALL other people as God’s creation. What I believe is:


  •  There is ONE God, ONE Redeemer and ONE Holy Spirit.

  •  I acknowledge that no group of people has ever acted perfectly and is without sin. The Crusaders acted in a way that would not be tolerated today. Various civilizations throughout history have enslaved, tortured and targeted entire groups of people for elimination. Wars, conquests and atrocities have been committed in the name of Kings, Queens, Gods and Ideologies. Chinese, Muslims, Germans, Aztecs, American Indians, Romans, Goths, Celts – all have had moments in their history where they felt themselves better than those they encountered. And yet humans still survive as a species on this speck in the universe.  

  • Being born Black, White, Female, Blond, missing chromosomes, having a physical abnormality or being born into a culture I cannot support is not permission for others to seek to hurt you.

  • While I consider heterosexuality to be God’s ultimate design for human sexuality I do not hate people simply because they express their sexuality differently. It also means I do not have to support their lifestyle, I can leave the decision about the right or wrong of their actions to a much wiser, higher power.

  •  Guns are not the problem. There are cheaper ways to kill people if murder is your goal. Just like a car, a computer or a hammer – they are just objects. Cars kill far more people every year but they do not carry the stigma a firearm does.

  • The police are not the problem. If, as some commentators have suggested, every police officer in this country was as blood-thirsty and filled with hate as claimed – wouldn’t that mean everyone should stay in their house and never leave for the store, work, or errands?  Yet there are peaceful traffic stops, arrests that do not involve beatings or shootings, police manage to direct traffic and escort funeral processions without drawing their weapons or taking pot shots.


Unfortunately people seem to have forgotten that for all their training, police officers are still just people. And they are stressed and feeling threatened as many other citizens are as well. I am not making excuses for the actions of any one officer, but I know it is a job I would not do. We would like to believe that the cops are always able to rise above personal feelings or stress – but no one can do that all of the time. And I am not so certain that the accounts the media forces upon us of how every person shot by an officer was a “nice boy”, “upstanding citizen”, “never would hurt anyone” is even close to the truth about half the time.  Hell, I am not sure a lot of people under the age of 30 even know how to speak respectfully to anyone – even their own grandparents.

·        And while it does seem that a disproportionate number of confrontations happen between non-white civilians and non-black officers – it is not accurate or fair to claim that the recent spate of violence is only racial in nature.

What I believe is that a lot of the root cause for the violence, intolerance and denigration of other people is a SPIRITUAL matter – not a political one. There are contributory factors in a lot of prior political decisions and initiatives: Welfare, Housing, Food Stamps etc. But I feel as if they are merely symptoms of the larger lack of moral balance.

I think we have had almost two generations of parents who only recognize the word as a noun and not a verb. It takes more than depositing sperm, or becoming pregnant, to make you a parent. As witnessed by the self-congratulatory, what’s-in-it-for-me, when-do-i-get-stock and what-do-you-mean-i-cannot-ripped-jeans-and-and-cropped-tops-into-the-office candidates I see come through here. I see a lack of manners, etiquette, respect for other’s time, and a lax work ethic. People who care more about how their lunch looks on Instagram than being able to hold a conversation with those at the table.

I don’t see young people being taught how to think and reason – only how to pass tests so their teachers don’t get fired. I see too many kids with no boundaries on their behavior. I have been cussed at and called foul names in my own neighborhood by spawn who clearly have never been taught anything different – because if daddy IS around he probably says the same things to mommy.

But mostly I see a society that has turned away from God and His teachings. Where life is being treated as cheaper by the year and wanting something you see your neighbor with doesn’t make you work harder to get your own – instead you try to take it by force.  There seems to be no sense of consequences for your actions anymore either. And when you get caught doing something wrong – no one seems to take responsibility for themselves. It is always “someone else’s” fault.

·        The schools for not teaching you – even though you skipped most of your classes to hang out with friends and smoke


  • You have no job skills – even though there are many programs available for free to train you for work. Or you can join any branch of the military and they will train you.

  •  It’s the government’s fault for not giving you free housing, clothes, cell phones, cars, cable, vacations or spending cash just because you are Navajo/Black/Latino/Illegal Alien/Druid etc.

  • It’s the media’s fault for telling me that everyone must have A, B or C and that I am entitled to whatever I want even if I don’t work for it and cannot afford it.


Isn’t it past time we stopped putting  up with this behavior and started as a society practicing some Tough Love? And how about we, and here I mean especially Christians, stop apologizing for what we believe. Stop being silent for fear of being labeled a hater or racist. Stop doing the politically correct dance and start calling sin a sin, and that there is black and white in a society that only wants to see gray.

Start by standing up for what you believe – and think – and know in your heart to be the Truth. Other groups have no problem getting in our face and yelling their beliefs at us. Why do we duck our head and turn away? Why do we shy away from posting scripture onto our social media pages? Or religious icons and symbols?

I am tired of being part of the silent, spineless millions who would rather keep quiet rather than risk offending anyone. You know what? Christ was confrontational, as were the Apostles and the early Popes. To follow Christ required real backbone in the early days. If our ancestors were willing to risk being mauled by lions then why are we afraid of words on a screen?