Cindy Sheehan. The Plea, Promote Harmony Peacefully

Cindy Sheehan Quits

copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

Dearest Cindy . . .

I meant to write this letter days ago after reading your farewell “Good Riddance Attention Whore.”  I watched as the number of electronic communiqués in response to your essay mounted.  I thought my message might be lost and perhaps was not important.  I decided to forego a seemingly fruitless endeavor.

Yet, as I reflected on my reading of your words, and those writing in reply, I was haunted.  Still, I hesitated.  I was drowning in sorrow as I observed the interchanges.  Ultimately, I concluded I can stay silent no longer, for if I do I endorse the verbal struggle.  Oh, how I long for peace, harmony, and tranquility in every aspect of life.  I hope to express my thoughts in a manner that honors calm and furthers a shared understanding.  However, if the present is as the past, what are meant to be peaceful ponderings may provoke.

Cindy, the chatter surrounding your letter of resignation reminded of what struck me most in your offering.  I experience as you mention.

[T]he “left” started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used.  I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of “right or left”, but “right and wrong.”

I experience this as well.  More often than not, my missives bring talk of divisiveness.  When I am critical of those that send our young and now older to combat, I receive comments  of how “evil” the right is.  I may frequently speak of the neoconservatives with disdain; however, I think the Left is no less liable.  For me, any being that thinks war is ever an option allows for the practice.

I have also been slammed for calling the Commander and his Cabinet criminal.  While I do believe that all beings have the potential for enlightenment, some are extremely slow to evolve.  The ego delays their ascent.  I have faith that each of us will make errors repeatedly as we travel through this Earthly existence; nonetheless, when these blunders take sweet and vulnerable men and women into battle, I think that iniquitous.

For me, it matters not the Party affiliation; harming another is errant.  I experience as you have.

I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike.

I cannot comprehend the reprimands of one that thinks I am too harsh verbally, when I, without swearing explain my disdain for any being that is willing to hurt others.  Merely calling for censure or impeachment, a nonviolent means for ending mass murder, is considered illogical and disappointing to this self-defined contrarian.  Apparently for this self-proclaimed Buddhist, placing the onus on me seems apt.  I am bombarded with barbs while men and women die on battlefields abroad.

It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party.

The mad cap fellow I mention and I would each agree with this statement.  However, he would remind me that the philosophical form of Zen, Hinduism that I hold dear is deeply flawed for it differs from the religious sect of Buddhism he prefers.

I sigh  deeply.  I trust that as much as I appreciate many of this man’s musings, the need to be right or reproach drains me.  I want no part of such exchanges.  I long for peace in every effort eternally.

I am not a competitive person and have no interest in engaging is dialogues where one is left the victor, and the other defeated.  I prefer peace.  For me, even an arraignment is an opportunity for growth.  It need not be confrontational.  I only wish to lessen the power of those that think we have the right to punish another nation or our own citizens by putting them to death, or torturing them until they talk.  Yet, consistently I realize bringing about harmony is not the intent of many in the movement.

I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group won?t work with that group; he won?t attend an event if she is going to be there; and why does Cindy Sheehan get all the attention anyway? It is hard to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.

When working with an organization devoted to harmony, the two persons prominent is coordinating the events argued vehemently.  Those assisting with the installation project then took sides.  There was no tranquility among the pacifists; yet, they claimed to be people of peace.

While walking with a group dedicated to calm, marchers called out to the law officers.  These peace protesters preferred to fight the fuzz.  The antics of those supporting an end to war actually promoted the same on local streets.

Cindy, I relent as you have.

[N]o matter how much I sacrifice, I can?t make you be that [peaceful, loving] country unless you want it.

Persons and political structures are as they wish to be.  I cannot change them; nor do I desire to try.  I speak out for I trust that my silence will not benefit them or me.  In my own life much has been said when I was not ready to understand the meaning or significance.  I trust that people and policies are in flux.  They are evolving as am I.  I can only hope that my love of peace will be honored within my lifetime.  I accept that this may not be so.  Nonetheless, for me and I trust the same is true for you Cindy Sheehan, I will continue to do as I can.  However, I cannot sacrifice my own soul.  If I am to stay strong, I cannot continually allow others to deplete my spirit.

Cindy, I thank you so much for sharing your self, your strength, and for remaining vigilant.  I believe peace will come.  You will be among those that made the transition possible.  I am grateful.

Sincerely, with great respect . . .

Betsy L. Angert

  • “Good Riddance Attention Whore.”  By Cindy Sheehan. Daily Kos.  May 28, 2007
  • Beyond Hope

    copyright © 2007 Possum Ponders.  Sedalia Tales

    A friend pointed out an article by Derrick Jensen on the subject of hope.  My life is lived as the eternal optimist.  Hope that the future will be better than the present is always part of my life.  Follow if you will over the fold and down the lane for another of possum’s ponderings.

    According to Webster, hope is a desire for certain events to happen.  There is no defined means for that to come about, simply the wish to see a certain future.  According to Jensen

    hope is a longing for a future condition over which you have no agency; it means you are essentially powerless.

    Not for one single moment do I believe that to be true.  As Jensen goes on to say

    I would say that when hope dies, action begins.

    I on the other hand believe that hope is the one driving force that brings me to action.  If I thought for a single microsecond that my activism had no chance of being successful I?d quit in a heartbeat.

    We are doing what we love, fighting for what (and whom) we love.

    At last Jensen and I agree on one point.  I love my country and I love the principles on which the Founding Fathers agreed.  I continue to wish that our original course will one day be restored.  It is to that end that I maintain hope.  If that future is to be denied I will stop my activism and find other outlets that make me happy while the world falls apart around me.

    Doesn?t activism make you feel good?

    Of course it does.  Just like Jensen says, but that is not the primary reason for being an activist.  Personal pleasure can be gained in lots of ways that don?t require spending hours on a street corner in all kinds of weather.  Or that require putting my name and my face in the public eye in letters to the editor or in speeches to any group willing to listen.  I remain an activist because I love the causes I stand for today.  I fight because I am not willing to let the future die.  I fight because I envision a future that is better than the present for all of humankind.  If and only if I fail to fight do I become powerless over the future.

    When you give up on hope, you turn away from fear.

    This makes no sense at all to me.  I see fear as a positive driving force as much as I do hope.  Fear of a failing future makes me work that much harder to insure a success, not a failure.  I fear for my grandchildren?s lives and what world they may find.  Heck, I fear for the world left in my lifetime let alone the future generations.  I cannot let fear reduce me to a quivering pile of jelly.  That fear turns inward to fuel the engines of my activism.  In action there is reduced fear.  By touching other lives by whatever means I have at my disposal the chance of a better future seems to me to be increased.

    And when you quit relying on hope, and instead begin to protect the people, things, and places you love, you become very dangerous indeed to those in power.

    Once again we disagree.  Protecting the parts of life I love requires action on my part.  And to sustain that action I must be able to believe my actions will result in positive changes.  I must be allowed to hope.  Otherwise life for me becomes less a positive and more a negative.  Then despair begins to set in.

    Despair is all too easily found in our lives these days.  These are dark times in which little seems to be positive so often.  In my mind, hope is the wellspring from which despair may be overcome.  Hope for a better future allows me to work to that end without falling into the dark depression that is despair.  May you, too, find reasons to hope today.  Or at least find reasons for activism whatever those reasons may be.

    Politics. An Introduction. An Informed Public Votes

    Pre-School Political Ad

    copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

    When you cast your ballot for President, how informed will you be?  In this nation, we speak of electability.  That term equates to ‘this candidate, or that looks and sounds Presidential.’  His or her posture is excellent.  Photogenic personas are preferred.  Being properly proportioned is an important consideration.  Pssst, how much money did he raise?  Are her funds from large donors or the common folk?

    Joey, Johnny, Edward, and Bill practice the correct religion.  Hillary is married and stood by her man for years.  Bob is bold; however, not brave enough.  Did he follow his bliss and do battle during wartime?  Wes is fine.  However, he crossed the line.

    Rudolph is right for the job, but wrong on abortion.  Besides, I do not like his wife.  Mitt has a million dollar smile.  Perchance, he is strong.  He said he will veto any law Congress attempts to pass.  He revels in the practice.  That is my kind of man. 

    I want no government in my life.  However, I will ensure that you live as I think is best.

    Might Barack be too fat?  Dennis is definitely thin.  Did you know he is a vegan?  He is eccentric, and proposes too much change.  I want no one in my kitchen.  I like my meat.  Besides, that man has no charisma.  I will not vote for him.

    Where does he stand on health care, social security, the schools, and the economy?  I cannot be bother with such trivial issues.  The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are my concern.  When will we get out?  Not until Bush is gone.  What is that you say?  One or two of these candidates wants to exit sooner.  That can’t be true.  I would have heard that on the news. 

    Information on the issues is mounting.  Might we pour over the profound?  Ooops, I forgot.  There is no room for such pondering.  This is ‘the political process’ in America.

    Down Home: Grandaddy and the Mule

    copyright © 2007 Possum Tales.  Sedalia Tales

    Family stories are as varied and individual as are lives and families.  In some families stories are a rite of passage handed down by oral tradition.  My grandfather was a man of few words.  Even so as a child I heard him tell this tale many times.  Each and every time my grandmother was present for the telling.  The significance of her presence was not evident to me until my adulthood, and even now I wonder if I got it right.

    Follow one more time down the yellow brick road, across the river, and over the fold for one of the possum’s favorite family tales.

    My grandparents were farmers living in far western Kentucky during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.  Their wedding likely took place around 1910.  Grandaddy and Grandmother were married in a small country church not far from their home.  The trek home meant a mule and wagon ride as they were too poor to own anything so fine as a horse and buggy. 

    But back to the story.  Mules are known for having a certain degree of stubborn resistance to being told what to do.  The trip home began without event.  All was well until the mule stopped and refused to move any further no matter the urgings from the driver’s seat.  Grandaddy said in a quiet and calm voice, “That’s one,” dismounted, walked to the mule’s head, and whispered in the mule’s ear.  Upon Grandaddy’s return to the reins the mule set off down the road with real alacrity.

    No too far down the road the mule halted again, refusing to move in spite of all Grandaddy’s exhortations from the buggy seat.  The distance home remained significant.  Once again Grandaddy spoke more loudly than was customary for him saying, “That’s two,” and  dismounted to whisper in the mule’s ear.  The mule  responded to the command of the reins and the journey started up one more time.

    They hadn’t traveled much farther before the mule stopped right in the middle of the road.  This time Grandaddy spoke in the sort of gruff tones that were rarely ever heard from him, “That’s three,” dismounted, went to the mule’s front end, and taking his favorite pistol shot shot the mule right between the eyes.  Grandmother, being an observant woman saw the reality of their situation, newly married, far from home, and nothing to do now but walk the rest of the way.  Life was not going the way she anticipated that day.  A defining moment in life came as Grandmother took real exception to Grandaddy’s action complaining, “That mule was all we had to get us around.  Now we have no way to get home.  What are we going to do?”

    Grandaddy returned to the wagon and spoke quietly to Grandmother saying in his usual way of simple and direct speech, “That’s one.”  For the next 50 plus years of life together both of them agreed they never had another argument.

    Crossposted from Daily Kos.

    Memorial Day. Honoring War and the Fallen? Not Peace and Life

    (The ceremonies and celebrations are over. The festivities are complete. We await the next holiday weekend. Perhaps, in the interim we might reflect. – promoted by Betsy L. Angert)

    Sam Keen on War

    copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

    Granted on this a day en memoriam we might discuss the military record of our Commander-In-Chief.  We could quibble about his service and his unwillingness to sacrifice his life for this nation.  We might speak of the Vice President and his own hesitancy to enlist.  Perhaps a focus on their folly would be wise; however futile.  These men did as they did and do as they do.  We will not change that through our rants.  Our rage will not alter the world.  Reflection on the topic of war might help begin a transformation.  However, perhaps, contemplation, a conversation, and a concentration on peace are best.

    I listen to those that speak in praise of the men and women that serve, defend, and protect this country in battle.  I wonder and inquire.  Are we honoring the fallen in these traditional ceremonies, or do we revere combat.  The President of the United States stands before a nation in mourning and states . . .

    Today we honor the warriors who fought our nation’s enemies, defended the cause of liberty, and gave their lives in the cause of freedom.  We offer our love and our heartfelt compassion to the families who mourn them.  We pray that our country may always prove worthy of the sacrifices they made.

    Earlier on the Memorial Day weekend, Vice President Cheney, while delivering a commencement address empathically declared.

    ?We?re fighting a war on terror because the enemy attacked us first, and hit us hard.?

    Our leaders make claims that we accept as valid.  Yet, as I ponder I think otherwise.  I muse.  One country, one community, or an individual cannot intimidate another and think peace will prosper.  Bullying does not eliminate bullying.  Nor can a person, political system, or an armed force enter an engagement, believing that the other is an adversary and expect love will grow, 

    In truth, I do not understand why we might consider another being our opponent.  The mere use of the term creates conflict.  Differences will forever exist between powers or persons.  We can learn from these or chose war.  If we choose to kill, those that disagree with us nothing will be resolved .

    A massacre, no matter the dimension will destroy any possibility of peace. Rationally, realistically combat does little to secure a nation or the globe.  Perhaps, temporarily, we have bathed in illusions of harmony.  Nevertheless, there has never been a Sea of Tranquility on Earth.  Oh, were there one, a permanent respite.

    However, man continues to become enraged and then violently engage.  The cycle is familiar and comfortable although quite contrary to the preferred conclusion.  We persist, then venerate the behavior. 

    Intellectually we accept, slaughter is terrifying regardless of who does the deed.  Murder is never correct, Assassination does not endear the killer to his, or her loved ones.  Nor will shooting help to spread or preserve a particular philosophy, even one declared democratic. 

    Freedom, fairness, and the prospect of equal participation in government evolve when people choose to live in concert.  These qualities cannot be forcefully imposed upon an anxious public. 

    Firing a missile at my home, scolding my family, or waving a gun at me will not demonstrate you have my best interests at heart.  These are characteristics of war; they do not promote, prompt, protect, or preserve the peace.  There is no tranquility when threats are made and acted on.  Can any of us truly claim, ‘Might makes right’ or two wrongs will cure all ills.

    Mister Cheney postures we must fight for we were attacked.  I inquire.  Does it matter who was the first to strike a blow.  I surmise that any show of aggression breeds another.  If there is an initial incursion, it will not be a last.  Violence begets violence.  Brutality builds on itself.  An inescapable energy is generated when we fuel the fire.

    At times, the catalyst does not cause death.  More often than not, an assault is the result of ample unrest.  Distress is deep when repeated reactive practices, policies, and procedures are ratified.  Without thoughtful attention, anxiety increases.  However, the person or people in power justify their prerogatives.  Rationalizations pass for reason.  The assailant believes they have grounds for a fight. 

    If, as you cogitate international events this principle is not apparent, then consider what occurs within your home, on the streets, and in your community.  If a family member brutally reprimands, or criticizes with great contempt the recipient of this rebuke rarely respond by saying, “You are correct.  What was I thinking?”  An individual walking down the street, when approached by another pedestrian yelling “Get out of my way you blankety-blank” does not usually happily stand aside.  Nor do they feel as though the request was polite.  Few if any are honored when, thankfully, or abruptly pushed aside. 

    Wars, combat, and conflict in the fields are as those elsewhere.  They frequently establish fissures too vast to fill. 

    Suppressed emotions, resentment ultimately rises to the surface.  The concealed is ultimately revealed.  A wounded animal, man, or beast will lash out, rather than allow another to control them.  Those that live outside a country cannot change regimes.  Soldiers armed with bayonets cannot calm a civilization destroyed by the bullets and bombs military men and women bear.  The emergence of war is inevitable when one entity tells another how to live.

    Characteristically, revenge, retribution, and retaliation are classified as a means towards peace; at least our Administration posits this myth.  We may fight our forebears as we did during the Revolution, our brother, or neighbor as we did in the Civil War, or we may war with our former friends.  Please name the battle of your choice.  Nonetheless, fighters and civilians alike are doomed to death when we war.

    For seven generations, we have carried our fallen to these fields.  Here rest some 360,000 Americans who died fighting to preserve the Union and end slavery. Here rest some 500,000 Americans who perished in two world wars to conquer tyrannies and build free nations from their ruins. Here rest some 90,000 Americans who gave their lives to confront Communist aggression in places such as Korea and Vietnam.

    An antagonist provokes, and then voices surprise or joy when the injured party fights back.  In some weird warped world, one or the other person committing a transgression truly thinks that violence will alleviate the anxiety.  Clearly, in a cloud of smoke, as the guns blaze, we trust that if we assert our position, all will be well.  Those that oppose us will say, “Certainly,  you are correct.”  Rarely if ever does that occur.  Everyone believes that they know best, especially for the other individual [or country.]

    Nonetheless, in an attempt to defend a self-righteous stance Vice President, Richard [Dick] Cheney asserts we must stay the course for

    ?Nobody can guarantee that we won?t be hit again.?

    Oh, Mister Cheney, do you not recognize, we will be battered if we continue to beat another down.  One blow creates a supposed need for the next.  Each hit will be worse than the last.

    For me, the foolishness is found in reckless rationalizations.  Might we cease talk of war for a moment and consider the concept of “enemy.” 

    I have no foes, no rivals, or adversaries.  I do not believe in the concept.  It is my assertion that those that wish to do us harm do so for they fear us, the unknown, as much as we are frightened by them.  As long as we presume one person is an alien, an opponent, or a stranger they will be.  Often apprehension is the catalyst for chaos. 

    At times, it is not angst that leads us into battle; it is arrogance.  If we haughtily proclaim our superiority, and proclaim with pride, ‘We have rights, or we are right’ while violating the civil liberties of others, then wrongs will be realized.  Reprisal is the consequence of such a declaration and decisive stance.

    Nonetheless, thinking we know and are best, we travel abroad, gather our guns, and spill the guts of young and old on battlefields in the name of freedom, democracy, and [“just us”] justice for all.  Then we allege we are brave.

    Our nation is free because of brave Americans like these, who volunteer to confront our adversaries abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.

    I wonder whether we are emancipated or valiant.  The soldiers that serve and those fallen are indeed courageous.  For they accepted positions knowing these might sadly lead to their demise.  They trusted in higher powers.  Servicemen and women went beyond the call of duty in giving of their life, limbs, and vision.  Enlistees had faith that they were protecting their families; they were fighting for a just cause.  However, perhaps these premises are not valid.

    Are we truly liberated if we are bound by antediluvian beliefs.?  Might we consider that we cannot preach peace when we claim to have enemies.  The concepts are in conflict.

    In 2006, our President proclaimed . . .

    Our nation mourns the loss of our men and women in uniform; we will honor them by completing the mission for which they gave their lives — by defeating the terrorists, by advancing the cause of liberty, and by laying the foundation of peace for a generation of young Americans.

    The President received applause.  Yet, I know not why. 

    We can never complete a mission that requires military might.  We fought many wars to end all others; however, the fire never ceases.  For as long as we believe another is our foe, there will be conflict.  If we consider our neighbor a terrorist, and do not acknowledge that likewise, we threaten them, that the avenger and the prey are often one and the same, nothing will ever change.

    I invite each of us to grieve the corporeal losses while realizing these need never be again.  If we accept that our fellow global citizen could be as we are, that he or she might share our aspirations, frustrations, and concerns then this nameless, faceless, fiend could become a friend.  Were we merely to extend our hand, hold his, and look at her face we might see their soul shining through.

    Sadly, we do not.  On this Memorial Day, May 28, 2007, President George W. Bush proclaims as many before him have.

    Our duty is to ensure that its outcome justifies the sacrifices made by those who fought and died in it.  From their deaths must come a world where the cruel dreams of tyrants and terrorists are frustrated and foiled — where our nation is more secure from attack, and where the gift of liberty is secured for millions who have never known it.

    Once more I can only sigh and surrender as we honor war and not the warrior.  Might we remember there is no security to be found through murder, malice, and malevolence.  Massacre does not ensure safety.  Indeed, it threatens the possibility. 

    Each day we watch the death toll mount.  More and more Americans, allied forces, and innocent Iraqis fall.  The number of insurgents increases.  The violence intensifies and we are told failure is not an option.  It is not; it is the truth, a reality that need not be.

    Let us give rise to the reason for lives lost.  May we work towards authentic peace.  Might we recognize that as long as we believe in the notion of an enemy, we will have them.  If we think war an option, we will engage in battle.  The perception ‘Might makes right’ will breed wrong.  There is no equality, justice, or freedom for all when the strong set out to prove they are powerful.  As a nation, we often ask . . .

    May God Bless the Untied States of America.

    Perhaps we must concede that the Almighty commends only those that love all others equally.  Unless and until citizens of this country act honorably, we will be no more blessed than any of the other combative creature is.  We may request the support of a greater being; however, I believe appreciation will only be bestowed upon those that act lovingly.  Waging war will not bring peace; nor do I think G-d blesses this brutality.

    Rationalizing War and Peace.  Resources . . .

  • We were Soldiers Once? Bush War Record. Mother Jones.
  • Elizabeth Cheney, Deferment Baby, How Dick Cheney Dodged the Vietnam Draft.  By Timothy Noah.  Slate Magazine. Thursday, March 18, 2004
  • Vice President’s Remarks at the United States Military Academy Commencement.  West Point, New York.  Office of the Vice President.
  • Bush Pays Tribute to Fallen U.S. Troops, By Sheryl Gay Stolberg.  The New York Times. May 28, 2007
  • pdf Bush Pays Tribute to Fallen U.S. Troops, By Sheryl Gay Stolberg.  The New York Times. May 28, 2007
  • President Bush Honors Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery.  Office of the President.  May 29, 2006
  • President Bush Commemorates Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery.  Office of the President.  May 28, 2007
  • Sad Conversations With Bushies

    copyright © 2007 Possum Ponders.  Sedalia Tales

    One recent morning as twelve of us stood on the sidewalk for our regular Saturday morning vigil, a young (thirty-something) man approached.  He smiled and seemed friendly enough with his greeting.  He said he’d seen us there the week before and just wished to see what we were about.  Our signs made very clear just what we were about.  We mourn for those who have died and protest the war in an effort to end the ongoing succession of deaths.  Signs always include the number of Americans killed in Iraq to date and today included at least one with the “T” word.  We are pretty outspoken overall and even at that do practice measured restraint in our messages.  More beyond the fold.

    Recognizing our hats (mine says Vietnam Veteran) and the uniform shirt of another man, he stumbled over the words “so you are veterans.”  Not all of us are, but two of us right in front of him just happened to be.  Then the one way conversation began with “What do you think we should do about terrorists and what about the Buddhist terrorists?”  (his words, not mine).  No amount of explanation of either fact or history was to deter the young man.  He continued to be polite but misinformed through a several minute conversation.  One member of the group gave him a DVD to review and we all invited him back next week to continue the interaction.

    Hard as we tried, none of the three of were able to penetrate the right-wing slogan spouting ideas the man posited.  We simply could find no common ground from which to begin a real conversation.  His ideas were set in bedrock and we had no drill strong enough to penetrate the barrier.

    Today’s episode reminded me of last weekend spent with my creationist, fundamentalist Christian, right-winger, war supporting son.  He is an adult who lives with a wife in North Carolina.  We spent a weekend as father and son in Virginia Beach.  Our goal was to find some of the connections we had when he was younger.  Just as we have so many times, we were forced at last to keep the conversation to light subjects for complete lack of common ground.  Saturday was spent hanging out in the hotel room while he watched TV and I followed a childhood story diary of mine on Kos.  Our only meaningful conversation had to do with creationism.  Even there we had no middle ground.  At least he agreed to read a book on the subject.  I mailed the book early this week.  Will be interesting to see if he finds any place for the book in his life.

    How do we approach these closed minds.  I am at a breaking point in frustration.  So many are so misled and continue to ignore facts in the face of the fiction being put out from the administration.  Finding common ground is sometimes outside my reach even though I pride myself on being a somewhat sane and very rational human being.  Whatever are we to do indeed?

    Crossposted from Daily Kos.

    Could Culture Clashes Cease?

    Stop the Clash of Civilizations. YouTube.

    Please compose your own missive.  Tell your tales.  Share your stories.  Does your narrative mirror the message seen in this presentation?  Why or why not.  We welcome a discussion, a dialogue, and discourse.  Agree or disagree, feel free to foment or speak favorably.  The choice is yours.

    Can we stop the crash of civilizations?  Must one culture be in conflict with another?  Might we quarrel no more and look at others as our mirror image?  Please offer your reflections.

    Bulimia. “Control,” Not the Means Nor the Mission [Chapter Seven]

    Carousel of Romance? Top Revolving Carousel Musical Globe

    Copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

    She heard it said every time the topic was brought up.  The words flow from their mouths as the food did from hers.  Terminology spills into the sink of the uninformed and ignorant just as her fare did almost immediately after she swallowed it.  Resembling her refusal to digest what she ate, they reject what is offered to them.  Bulimics do not do as they do so that they might feel in control.  While marinating in a myriad of feelings and flavors, a binger that purges is not exerting his or her desire to control.  She cannot.  She knows this all too well. 

    In the same way an athlete understands, muscles have memory she recognizes a little practice goes a long way.  The first time might have been a choice.  The second was a consideration, followed quickly by an almost unexpected upheaval.  After that, there was no need for a prompt.  The cycle was complete.  She was on a carousel cemented in concrete.  She could not get off this ride.  Oh, how she tried.

    For her physiology, neurology, and biology were forces to be reckoned with.  Psychology played a part, particularly on that first day.  There were so many feelings she wanted to avoid.  That evening she stuffed her face, inhaled her meal.  Surely, food would relieve the pain. 

    Her stomach was bloated.  She felt sick.  Fingers were not necessary.  She just threw up.  After, she felt better, temporarily.  In those moments, she was not thinking ‘this would be gratifying or great.’  She only wanted the ache to end.  It did.  The throbbing in her head, her heart, and her body went away for an instant. 

    She could not and did not control the hurt coming on; certainly, she was not controlling its egress.  In actuality, the anguish only increased.  Her life became a series, a sequel of events, repeated over and over again.

    She awakes and thinks of food as she goes about the day.  Thankfully, since transitioning from anorexia to bulimia the thoughts are not as overwhelming.  Puking allows her to eat, and eat, and eat again and again.  Indeed, she has become an eating apparatus.  She consumes and is consumed. 

    Each day she must make time for her doings.  She purchases her provisions.  She buys enough to feed a few, perhaps, throngs of people.  Preparing the fare will be full-filling for as she cooks she chomps on those condiments that need no roasting, toasting, baking, boiling, or frying.  She controls nothing more than the temperature of the comestibles.

    However, much must be done before she can fully engage.  She has to drive or walk hauling her heavy load, pabulum for the voracious.  As she strolls or struggles to maneuver the curves on the road, she begins her antics.  Bananas are best for this part of the process.  Should there be an accident she will be less worried if only fruit sits in her stomach.  The long yellow crop exits the system easily.  Some foods do; others do not.

    Knowing what will settle in the belly too deeply to be retrieved and what is pliable enough to take leave on command is important.  A scientist such as she is never able to fully control the chaos that is life.  There is much to consider and manage.  She learned long ago, nothing is truly manageable.  Control is but a myth and she has no illusions.

    In those early days, she choose to chew nuts while in transit.  Cashews are beyond delicious.  Brazil nuts are not bad.  Peanuts are good-a plenty.  Nevertheless, she learned.  Too many of these, if the travel is long, or if the unexpected occurs, will not sit well.  She might worry.  Bulk gnaws at her.  What if she cannot relieve herself in time?  Besides, teeth crumble under the pressure.  This delicacy is too hard on the enamel.  After a fracture, a fissure, and the final falling out of dentine she forfeited the practice.

    Once home was in sight, the excitement increases.  Still there was much to do before she might genuinely begin.  The groceries needed to brought in.  Imagine taking bag after bag into the house, then the kitchen.  She is a clean person and prefers to avoid chaos at all costs.  The items must be put away.  Some went directly into the stomach.  Others filled cabinets. 

    The cupboards were never bare.  She back-stocked.  The idea of withdrawal, not having what she craved haunted her, even when not at home and not indulging or ingesting.  This young woman would never suffer; it was contrary to her every belief.  Yet, in truth she knew.  She was agonizing.  Nothing was in her control, not her thoughts, her actions, her feelings, and certainly, not her life.

    After all was ready for her attention, there was more to be done before she could focus.  She needed to dress in her throw-up clothes.  She had a full wardrobe just for this purpose.  As a fabric lost its resiliency, it was placed in an honored bin, a treasure trove.  Shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, tee shirts, and pantaloons graced her body before the ceremony began.  She cleaned these fibers each evening.  She is a traditional soul and cherishes rituals.

    Next, though she revels in sunshine and light, she needed to seal herself off from intruders.  She did not wish to be discovered.  Doors and windows were locked and sealed.  Drapes and shutters were closed.  Blankets, sheets, cardboard, and planks of wood were used to bar peekers from seeing beyond the shade.  She wanted no one to view what was within. 

    Heaven knows what others might think if they knew what was going on inside the house, in her mind, heart, body, or soul.  There are gaps between the wall and the window frame you know.  She must eliminate these, close herself off.  Try to control the uncontrollable, the unruly, herself, her life, her feelings, most importantly her hurt.

    That did not happen.  With each passing day, she was more distressed.  The agony deepened.  The doings had more power over her than she had over them.

    The only consolation was, bingeing and purging were far easier than not eating.  When she was an anorexic, she had less control or so it seemed.  Starving a body starves a mind.  Without nutrients or nourishment, growth and learning were less possible.  She loves learning.  She always has.

    The lesson she now  comprehends to her core is bulimia has nothing to do with a need to control or be in control.  There is in reality no such possibility.  Probabilities are chance.  Any scientist will tell you we can only control for what we can predict.  We can never fully understand the chaos of the universe.  She certainly did not grasp hers.  All that she was sure of was she was out of control.

    She recognizes that she has no power.  She tries to flee from her feelings.  That is her deepest desire.  Weight is not the issue.  It is a derivative, a diversion.  She longs to take flight.  At last, she is organized.  The great escape can begin!

    Responding to Life Today

    copyright © 2007 Possum Tales.  Sedalia Tales

    Life has a way of taking twists and turns that most of us don?t really expect.  In recent days we have seen a Democratic Congress fail to oppose ongoing spending in Iraq in spite of what so many of us in blogland expected.  On top of the continuing toll of American deaths and the damage to our economy as a result of war spending the toll is being taken on our psyche.  Add in all the other concerns like global warming, the various costs of living, and so on and on and life becomes a very complex issue indeed.

    Most humans tend to react almost spontaneously when events come to their life.  Road rage is one class example.  A driver cuts us off and we immediately rise to anger and often speak or act in ways that demonstrate our feelings.  The same happens when other events touch our lives.  We tend to react in opposition to those events which cause any measure of discomfort.  Anger, striking out, resentment, unhappiness and so on begin to consume our lives.

    The Buddhists teach a different way which is not an area of expertise of mine, but is an interesting perspective for sure.  Some teachers recommend reaching inside our own self for that place of peace and tranquility that resides deep within each of us.  My thinking suggests that is a part of our soul, but that is just my way of seeing this.  To reach that point of peace we can take a few deep breaths and a few moments of quiet contemplation before acting.  At that time we are likely to be better able to act in ways that are productive in changing the course of events or at least in meeting the situation head on without damaging ourselves in the process.

    The current issues with Congress and the apparent Dem failure is a fine example of a threatening outside event.  We can rant and rave and call them all the names we wish to assign or we can reach deep inside and find peace in ourselves and get back to work.  We can write, call, and Fax our Congress critters to let them know our disappointment and our annoyance.  Action to a positive end has its own rewards.  We may not always attain the goals set by our thoughts and actions, but at least we have the personal reward in knowing we were active.

    As always action is the best medicine available in my life today.  I write letters to the editor, call my Congress critters, and stand a pair of weekly vigils for peace as described here and here.  No longer am I able to sit and stew.  I must reach inside often to find inner peace and serenity.  Action helps me reach that place and helps heal the hurts inflicted by so many events of today.  Life may continue its twists and turns, but it seems to me we must all keep ourselves alive and well by acting in the best interests of our overall society.  In the end that will assure the twists and turns of life lead to a better future for all of us.

    Happy Anniversary of Your Birth Bobby. Open Thread

    Bob Dylan – Forever Young (live)

    Bob Dylan
    Born on this day, May 24, 1941

    I share the theme song my family holds dear.  Robert A. Zimmerman has been and is still our inspiration.  He, his music, and lyrics remind us to drink deeply.  Life is good, as are you Bobby.

    Please sing the tune as you stroll through life.  Embrace your being; I celebrate you.  These are my wishes for each and everyone.

    May God bless and keep you always,
    May your wishes all come true,
    May you always do for others
    And let others do for you.
    May you build a ladder to the stars
    And climb on every rung,
    May you stay forever young,
    Forever young, forever young,
    May you stay forever young.

    May you grow up to be righteous,
    May you grow up to be true,
    May you always know the truth
    And see the lights surrounding you.
    May you always be courageous,
    Stand upright and be strong,
    May you stay forever young,
    Forever young, forever young,
    May you stay forever young.

    May your hands always be busy,
    May your feet always be swift,
    May you have a strong foundation
    When the winds of changes shift.
    May your heart always be joyful,
    May your song always be sung,
    May you stay forever young,
    Forever young, forever young,
    May you stay forever young.

    It is an honor to share with your sweet and forever young soul.