Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Well just when you get into a rut someone fills it full of crap and you have to climb out. Maybe that was crude but that's how it feels when you find out that the government may be closing the facility where your son gets his therapy. See, the thing is that NO facility in this country is willing to take a man with a trache and who is not terribly responsive. Part of the reason is money, as in how much it costs to care for such a person, and the other aprt of the problem is money, as in if anything went wrong they expect to be sued for a billion dollars.

So, on Friday we may find that Jon has been shutled off to some random nursing home where if we are lucky he will be turned every two hours to avoid bed sores, but he will not get any coma stim to try to get him to be fully responsive. He will likely not get much of anything. If we are lucky he will be close enough so I can take care of some of what he needs, but as my health is breaking down somewhat what with breaking backs and so forth, there isn't much that I can physically do. Even leaning over the bed to kiss him goodbye is painful....emotionally, yeah, but physically too. I will gladly suffer shooting pains in the leg to kiss my son goodnight, though. I can always double up on the pain meds and back in the 60's I used to drive while on acid, so driving on Neurontin and Tramadol is a piece of cake. A sleepy cake with slow reflexes, but no pink dogs with flaming tails jumping up and down in the back seat.

You have to wonder at a group of grown men who can look over the books and see that they have been spending more than they take in for years and decide that the best solution is to continue to spend more than they take in, but also shut down some hospitals and long-term care facilities. Do they sell their fleet of jets they use to fly around the country gathering up election money? OH no, that would not be prudent. Do they drop some of their staff and use pencils instead of gold leaf pens from a small company in Sweden? Oh no, they have the prestige of the office to maintain. No, a much better idea is to cause vast suffering on the backs of those with no voices. And then those men in grey pin stripe suits kiss their wife goodnight and sleep a dreamless sleep, smiling at a job well done.

I cannot hate the people who drop bombs on people, who obey orders to fire into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. I cannot hate the people who read the newspapers and believe the lies. I feel that hate feeds the Trickster god who is calling the shots. He loves bloodshed chaos and suffering. "Vengence is Mine!" he says. "I am a jealous God!" he says. He instructs Joshua to go into the cities and kill all the men, rape all the women and sell the children into slavery. So here in New York all they are doing is taking 300+ people who need 24/7 care and placing them in inadequate facilities where their lives will certainly be made shorter for lack of skilled care. All they're doing is killing my child. I cannot hate them and feed that Trickster god.

What I do is go out back to my altar and light a white candle for peace, a green candle for growth and healing and a red candle to acknowlege that death is a function of life.

I have tried to explain before what are the implications of being a pagan. I have said that "First, do no harm." is the only commandment a pagan has, and I try to do that. When I find a small bug has crawled into a glass of water I get them to crawl onto my finger and then I place them in the sun so they can dry out their wings and fly away. Then I pour the water onto a plant to help it grow. I do not hate the bug, nor the plant, nor the Fate that tossed a bug into my water. See, I have bugs inside me, on me....there are thousands of tiny, little bugs crawling in my eyebrows. I have seen electron microscope pictures in National Geographic which purport to be bugs that live on people. I have bugs living inside my gut digesting my food for me and stacking it up against the walls of my intestines for my blood to absorb the juices. The cells in my body are one-celled beings who live, grow and die inside me. When I die some of these things may die too, but some will simply move to another person and live there. They may not even realize that I have died.

The idea of being a walking apartment house for tiny beings is an interesting thing. This planet is spinning about having the same relationship to us as my body has to those gut bugs. I don't hate the little white blood cells when they try to digest part of me in their efforts to digest a piece of wood.....it's their job, or at least, their nature. Just like it is the nature of a compasionate conservative like George Bush to order the dropping of cluster bombs on a civilian target in case there is one man in the crowd who "tried to kill my dad". It was the nature of a man in Germany to find, dine with and eat another man from Germany. The other man wanted to be eaten, in fact, they both ate parts of him before the first man killed the second man.

So, as you can see, beings do what is in their nature to do. My son apparently has chosen to survive a terrible car wreck and a terrible nursing home and several seizures and raging fevers. I have never met a man with more courage and strength than my son. It is in my nature to love humanity not for it's wonderful and noble acts, but because I know that we all come from the Goddess Earth and we all return to Her. We are family. My dad beat me bloody when I was a child and I love him not for those beatings, not even because he loved my mother enough to create a family with her, I love him because to do so feeds the Goddess and not her drunken asshole husband, the Trickster.

I have a video made from old home movies and in one there is a scene from a family reunion where dad is telling my cousin in the background how "Billy was an accident, see.....we didn't want him, he just happened." That was pretty informative. I often wondered why I had the feeling that I was an unwelcome intrusion into his life. Now I know. But I also know that when I help my dad from his wheelchair and guide his blind old form to the seat at the IHOP and order his iced tea for him, that dad is glad I came. He doesn't regret the accident that brought me into his life, not because of my helping him out now that he's old and feeble, but, I think, because dad has come into his true maturity and even though he bellows out his atheistic beliefs and laughs at the fools who worship unseen gods, he is at heart a pagan like me. I have seen him bind the broken wing of a pigeon and speak to it softly and soothingly. I have watched him watch a bird hatch from it's egg and breathe it's first breath. He taught my son to ride a bike when I was thousands of miles away.

Jon was no accident. When I made love to his mother I felt that sperm launch itself to that egg and I felt his soul come into this world. I had a son and I told my wife that this was so. I loved that golden boy for his little offerings of dandelions and hugs. I loved him enough to send him away when I thought I was going to maybe jump into a cold river and take my life. I thought about him when he was vanished into the roads and valleys of America, when I had no idea where he was. Now I may get to be there holding his hand when he passes from this world and returns to She who made us all. The old blessing: "grandfather dies, father dies, son dies." Each man should live to be a grandfather, each father should have a son and no son should die before his father. In my family it may be reversed, which is a typical Trickster game.

Abraham was told to slit his son's throat, and he was just crazy enough to say "Yes". I would have looked into the face of the Trickster and told him to kiss my butt! I would have told him that I would be happy to wrestle him, to offer up the sweat of my brow in service to humanity, to bleed protecting my family, but never would I harm my son for no hot-headed egocentric brute of a God. I would have rolled up my sleeves and offered to fight him there and then and I would have won. Now we have grey eyed men in grey suits hidden behind papers and laws and desks and they say my son is not important enough to have a chance at recovering his life. I can't tell them what I would have told Trickster, because they surround themselves with armed thugs wearing badges and they are driven in armored cars and high flying jets, collecting money to buy ads showing their smiling faces under slogans like "I'm the Health-Care Governor!"

So, we follow our nature and do what we have to do. I have to create. I take clay from the earth and mold it into a face of sorrow, or a laughing mask of joy. I bury the dried clay in ash and build a fire on top of the ash. I burn for hours, for half a day and then walk away. Two days later I come and sift thru the ashes and pull out a face that can, if things work out, be prized by someone for thousands of years. The laughing face of a father who has seen his son lift up a thumb when asked, or the wailing, pained face of a young man who is so very tired of being a cripple with a plastic tube driven into his throat. Prized by some, and maybe even the grey eyed man who ordered my son to be placed in a nursing home where he will be maintained, but not recovered. It is the nature of art to not care where it goes. I send out the product of my hands and heart in hopes that someone someday will look and say "AH!"

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