Monday, April 26, 2004

I'm still trying to reach someone who can tell me what will be happening with my son. If they close down the facility where he is, where will they place him? How will they place him? Why would they shut down Lake Katrine? I get to leave phone messages, tell my story to secretaries and get increasingly aggravated. IN the mean time my oldest sister is sending me forwarded emails with glowing pictures of strong chinned American soldiers in Iraq with pithy political slogans......Go Army! The Iraqis are thawing out frozen blood in toilets because the Army has blocked the roads to a hospital. The same Army, or Marines shooting up ambulances because the "bad guys" sometimes use them for cover. Or maybe not. Maybe it's just that anybody not wearing a green USA uniform is fair game. In the mean time, as I said, no one can tell me where my son might be tomorrow.

I read about an Iraqi mother whose son was shot up by our boys in green. They took the bleeding boy away on a jeep but would not allow the family to come along. They saw the boy had died and dumped him on the sidewalk a few blocks away. It took several hours of searching for the family to find the body. Maybe it's true, maybe it's not, but I recall during the Viet nam War hearing these terrible stories of massacres by the Americans and being told by my father and his friends that A) it couldn't be true, we don't do that sort of thing and B) that sort of thing happens in every war, everybody does it. Hard to reconcile the two.

My sister has a husband who served during the Viet Nam War so she is all pro-military, as is he. They are also pro-administration...except where it touches on them. For instance he used to tell me how screwed up the military was, how incompetent the officers were.... now he acts as if they could make no mistakes. I know a lot of folks who are really loud about the things that touch them...high taxes, bad roads, poor schools. Then you ask them about other countries, how they handle these problems and you get the line that we are the Best, we are the only true democracy, our people know how to do it right, etc etc...We are the best country in the world. Of course when the speaker is a fat, middle aged man who drinks too much and has never read any other section of the paper but the sports section...well, they lose credibility. Would our government lie to us? Our government is, by definition, OF the people, right? Which means the fat, middle aged drunken slob smoking ciggies and coughing up his guts is the same kind of person who is now sitting in the White House making choices. The same kind of person who won't return my phone calls and tell me what is happening to my son.

Angry at the world? No, just tired of not knowing. Tired of not knowing how many people this government is willing to see dead before they stop the killing. Tired of hearing about hospitals closing, VA hospitals closing, soldiers remains sneaking into the country by night, tired of hearing about children with no arms, no feet or legs.....drinking filthy water because the sewer plant was blown up. It seems like it's a war on all of us with no money, no power, no hope.

And then I read a mail from some gal whose husband is worse than my son. He is able to move and respond and such, but screams all day and seems so disconnected. Why is that worse? Because it's her husband! Because her love, her sweetheart, is screaming at her over the breakfast table, at lunch, at dinner and before going to bed. She sleeps when she can, still loving him, still trying to cope. Where's the therapy for him, where are the helpers? Well, there's only so much money to go around. Maybe in some countries there is universal health care, those OTHER socialist, unAmerican, nasty cowardly countries where they don't send their children off to war for oil and control of the Middle east. Countries where the high taxes pays for health, education and housing. Bad countries where the elected leaders are elected by the people, where the leaders listen to the majority of the people instead of the terribly important and wealthy.

Yep, it could be worse. I could be dipping water out of the stream, walking back to my blown up shack of a house, caring for my son myself. But then, I know of Americans right here in this country who do that same exact thing. People whose water was cut off because they had the choice of water or electricity and they need the electricity for their loved one's needs. The nutrient they pour into the tube that feeds into the stomach has to be kept cold.

So things are okay here.

When we were attacked by our allies the Pakistanis and the Saudis and the twin towers came down everybody on the street put out American flags. Some were actually made in America, but the little ones were made in China. I know, I looked. I asked my neighbor why he had a flag out. He said he was afraid not to. He didn't want his government taking him away in the night for being unpatriotic. He was serious. Would it have happened? We don't know, but I find it significant that he was actually afraid of his own government, in much the same way the Germans were afraid of their government. Nobody tried to stop the little painter from Austria and his bully boys in the brown shirts. They hunkered down, went to the theatre, worked in their offices and factories and sent their children off to school in their little brown shirts.

Every day I call down to see how my son is doing..."How's Jon today?" and every day I wait for the dial tone, thinking, "Maybe I'll get a recording....I'm sorry, but the number you have dialed in out of service at this time" And where will Jon be today? At therapy, or on a gurney in a park somewhere? Sitting in his wheelchair in down town Kingston with a sign in his lap, "Will do nothing for food" Couldn't happen here....this is America. America where we don't expose soldiers to chemical, nuclear and biological weapons without knowledge or permission. America where we don't lie to the people before launching a pre-emptive war against a defenseless nation. America where elections are free and people make the choices. That America where a helpless young man waits in a bed not knowing that his father waits, feeling helpless, for a call to be returned. "Where's Jon?" Where's my son going to be next week?

Other American fathers with sons in the National Guard or the Reserves are thinking the same thing for much the same reasons. No information, lies, switching stories, misinformation....doubts....fears.....

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I started reading a forum for computer people... it had a section called the Coffee House and there was a discussion about gay marriages. It's funny but I have known a lot of gays and lesbians in my time and I have never heard them insult and threaten violence to a straight couple because they were straight. I recall growing up aroiund people who felt that way about blacks. I have seen flyers being passed around proving blacks were bald apes. Not a bad statement if you allow that whites are also bald apes. So now it's gays are inferior species threatening the future of mankind, as if the WMD we all own isn't a threat, or smokestacks in Ohio, or the draft coming back.

Shows to go you that computer folks are not subject to fits of logic any more than non-computer folks. Oddly enough, non-computer folks are also prone to loud, even violent declarations that they don't know computers, don't want to know computers.....exactly what these gay-haters say about gays. Except they're probably wrong, about knowing any. They may work shoulder to shoulder with one or more gay guys.

There was a guy at my job who told me one day that come Monday he would be coming to work as a woman, following that one year requirement before having the operation. I thought he showed a lot of courage, although he was, in fact, most likely crazy as a hoot owl....but he was a great programmer and was straight as they come...for a transsexual. Said when HE became SHE, she would be a lesbian, because he had no interest in men. I understand this is not uncommon. Oddly enough the men at work treated Alice very badly, hiding files, destroying property and so forth. So Alice retired early and before leaving she told me that there was one other person in the office who was having the operation soon, but had not come out of the closet yet. Nobody knew.

So is a gay man less a man for being gay? Is a comatose man less a man for being immobile? Am I any less a man for not working in an office or having never cheated on my sweetie-pie? Gosh I hope not. The only people who threatened my life, holding guns to my head and saying things like "I'm gonna blow your brains all over the desert!" were white and straight, so I have a problem with that group. And I'm in it.

There's a game where you try to explain certain things about life on earth to a person from another world. I think about doing that for my son: explaining things like the War on Terror being fought by breaking into a priest's house at 1 AM and blowing him and his son into comatose conditions. It was a mistake, the wrong house or something. "Why, dad?" asks Jon...... I don't know. Men with weapons and attitudes are running the show.

If Jon comes home, if Jon can communicate, if Jon can travel....maybe we'll all run to Sweden and try to find freedom and tolerance there. Funny how the American Dream used to be freedom and tolerance and now it's Global Domination and Acculmulation of Vast Amounts of Wealth.....preferably requiring collaterol damage. Because any country that sends young people to die and be blown into broken pieces and then shuts down VA hospitals is just screwy. Any state that closes down the only facility that has a long term coma stimulation and rehab program is just screwy. Any human that thinks other humans are less than human and deserve violence done to them is just screwy.

My garden is being planted. My herbs are coming up. I weed with trepidation....what right do I have to kill some plants and save others? Why should the grass be punished so I can maybe grow my green beans? I apologize to the weeds and try to find a way to transplant them to a safer part of the garden. I have found that most of the "weeds" are medicinal and good for my bronchitis or my back pain. Others taste good. So I have modified my pogrom, my genocide. I try not to kill things because I do not feel right about taking life. I want to be able to tell my children that I tried to be non-violent. It's harder than you might think. So many things are trying to kill me.

I pulled a tick off my arm and crushed it. It may not have been able to "see me" as life. I might have been a blood warehouse to it. Skeeters only bite if they are female and they need the food for their eggs. Life has a price but we don't need to tax it as well. I try not to kill people. I try not to kill birds or dogs or cats, and I try not to hang out with people who like to kill, or talk about killing. It seems unwise.

So there you have it. I'm a tree hugging, pro-choice, pro-life, anti-war, pro-technology and pro-organic gardening and I like to use wood to fire my kilns. The extra carbon dioxide may just change the weather long enough to distract governments from waging war. It's a small thing, my kilns and bonfires, but every little bit helps.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Since I bought these two antique computers, I ended up with a big box full of plastic styrofoam peanuts. A big collection of different shapes, too. So I was looking and thinking that I would have, as a child, seen an entirely different thing. I would have seen all the cool shapes and colors...mostly pastels, but cool shapes. Then I decided that as a kid I would have wanted to build things with them. I vaguely remembered that I loved to build things.

So I took a big pile of these things onto a TV tray and tried to stack them into a "shape". They were too short to their length for making walls except as stones. But I found that as I stacked them.....I had worried about static electricity... but they were so light, they couldn't hold a wall, they brokae up at maybe three levels. Try as I might, I found that a random pile of layers and directions was the only way you could stack them. And no matter how hard you tried to make something "Pleasing to the eye" it always ended up looking like various sizes of piles of shit.

And oddly enough, one may well be able to argue that, in life, no matter how hard you try, you end up with what appears to be various sizes of piles of shit. It's all a matter of perception. To an organic gardener, piles of shit are great! I, myself, have gone to great lengths to attend to great piles of shit. That's how my garden started. I suppose my marriage to my sweety-pie can be said to be based on that stuff. But isn't shit just composted stuff by an organic-walking-around-something-or-another? Yes, I say, eventually, with plate tectonics, we shall all be compost, and that to any other might be called shit. It's my life and i can see tomato beds if I want. Not quite the lemons=lemonade thing.... squishing lemons is a mess. Gardens are less messy.

But ya know, there was SOMETHING in that scene where the guy says 'This means something!'. Things just don't weigh down on styrofoam pellets and figure eights and tubes.... nah, they just "move aside" and the whole thing collapses. But then, their individual natures are not compromised. They cannot become an army of styrofoam. They'd just drift off. It's hard to tear them up individually, being closed cell foam, so all you can do is try to "stack them" and watch it collapse into a sea of beadies. Maybe in the end we can live as diffused bits in a digital sea of beadies. "Bee" Dee"...Buddha Dharma. See, ya don't need acid for that sort of thing. There's all kinds of connections. You just have to be perceptive and try to "Listen". Not act...not cut off the head of your neighbor with a machete.... No, that's what we call "Over the top" in technical terms.

And in the end, we have the whole relationship thing going, the "father" and the "son" thing..... When Jon was born I did his natal chart and I thought that this was the chart of someone incredibly near the liminal point. Everything was in his last house, his 12th house, except for one aspect in his 4th and one in his 8th. "Death and regeneration" and "Family".... and the 12th house is "Karma"....really an inaccurate term, but close. Closer to "Dharma", I think. So Jon is much, much further along than I. I mean, I have had a "Near-death" or two, but never as deep as this, never as long. Man, I don't envy the crawl back.

But at the same time, as "Father" I have to insist. As I insisted he walk before, and not put EVERYTHING into his mouth. There were lots of impositions based strictly on this "father" thing. And to be frank, I did not have a good role model. A violent alcoholic is just not the right role model. So I used Grand-dad and bits of this guy and that, people I admired, dad when he was sober. That's probably the way most fathers do it. But now, with my own father so close, I feel, to stepping over that I have to think about how it will impact Jon if I don't make it to see him recover. Odd concept, but a practical one.

So the image is Hansel and Gretal leaving trails of breadcrumbs to find their way home. The birds eat the breadcrumbs and they get lost. But why leave that element in the story? The part that failed... it didn't add to the drama of the story, and so I think it has to do with the nature of the crumbs. What did they leave behind? Was it really bread, or could you leave any number of things behind... like a record, like a picture. My goodness, if that was all you could do for your child was to leave behind something to connect them to a Greater-self.... why would you not?

Ah, the noon whistle. The False-alarm to let us know that "All is well".... unless someone attacks at noon, and then all the alarms will be ignored. Fortunately, no one but us know that we are vulnerable by our dogma and rituals.

I guess that's why I like being shamanic. The idea that each trip is just another trip and each fall is just an upside down smile... well, it just helps me thru the day. Each up is a merino sheep being found after 6 years of hiding, having accumulated some Xnumber of pounds of wool... the poor thing looked like a popcorn machine gone mad..... this crazy sheep, waving at the cameras, mouthing "Hey, you crazy bastards! I finally did it, I Malcolm Daley, turned myself into a sheep and am now IMMORTAL!!!" But nobody could read sheep lips, so the poor crazy genius was sheered, crated and shipped to Australia, 12,000 miles from his lab and the formula which will bring back his humanity....

Time for lunch. Where I will turn some organic life-form into compost, including myself. BUT I will also grow great freakin pocorn!

Monday, April 19, 2004

I just came off the phone with one of the doctors working on this coma device..... this is a system which includes an EEG machine...maybe modified. But they test someone wired to this device. They stimulate them in a variety of ways and senses and monitor the EEGs. Then they study these and maybe they can determine that someone is "thinking" and is "self aware".

Bearing in mind the Bell-Curve theory of the universe: That everything, every thought, pulse, experience.... can be plotted along a Bell Curve and so most fall on the top or near it.... and the rest drop off either side in a curve, like sand or bodies piling up at the foot of a cliff.... Some people can be at the top of the Bell Curve with full awareness. I presume that means like the Dali Lama or Fred, the janitor. Both at the top of the curve. Then there's the rest of us....remember that this is in maybe 11 dimensions, too... are less and less "at the top". By definition for every ONE at the top, there have to be an infinite number of "Not the tops", which explains why so much of the universe acts like it is pissed at something, and merely lashing out at you somehow. We forget that by definition of an "Infinite Something" there will also be just a TON of great stuff, if we choose to perceive it.We don't have to DO a damn thing, something is always GOOD happening to us. If we can get up in the morning, great, but save a cheer for being able to THINK of getting up. Literally. What if that concept was contained in a part of your brain which took the brunt of the hit when your van got hit?

So maybe Jon will first say, "What are these things hanging down from me?" and I will have to explain "legs" to him. Or me and his doctors. Times like this my back hurts... of course.

The information they may get from working with Jon may someday greatly help some other son or daughter to walk again, to speak again...Something more than just BE there. Which is, if you think about it, exactly how God must feel. Being infinite He can't go anywhere that he isn't already there. Being All-Knowing He can't play hide and seek with His Son, because He is All-Freaking Knowing. Well, goody for those who think that's great, but all it is, is All-Knowing. No Surprises. That would make anyONE go nuts from time to time. I think that explains the Balkans and the Mideast. And maybe Vegas.

If you were a doctor and felt you had mapped out pretty much everything modern technology could tell you about a person.... that is the kind of thing you can notice with machines.... and tell if they are noticing you. What if they notice and just don't care? This thing called TBI can certainly, I think, argue for a Near Death Experience. Big time. It just doesn't STOP, does it? Your brain is spending 99% of it's energy trying to plug holes. And once in awhile someone has the chance to look in and notice the guy pluggin' holes. It strikes me that for the guy pluggin' holes we might forgive him if he doesn't stand up and cheer, but HE'S PLUGGIN' HOLES!

So I wonder if that is what it might be like for Jon.

Maybe when he sighs and puffs out his cheeks and stares ahead... Maybe he's seeing himself being 60 or so, still in a wheelchair, still not able to move a limb and not really caring. You have to ask if maybe there is not a good reason to consider the idea that we need to be watchful and considerate and be ready to do what any person of good will would do. NObody will hurt my son. I had these tests once on my back, my leg, really. I guess they were working on the theory my numbness and pain came from damaged nerves. So this guy ran current thru my leg and measured how it went. It hurt like hell and I told him so. I told him several times and sat up and made him stop once. It hurt like hell. If I had to lay there and "take it like a man" because I couldn't make my eye blink the way I wanted it to... well, that will never do.

But these very nice people measure "little" currents. They don't impose their own. They want to know how Jon feels about things like pictures and touch and movement and light. And then we may be able to teach the kid to think about something easy to create in his mind and we measure a purposeful response. Ain't life grand? It all comes to being perceptive enough to see when someone is talking to us. Even if it is a "little talk" so hard to hear, or understand. Who is disabled, if WE have to have machines to "hear"?

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Seems to me that instead of thinking like lines in a chart, we need to think like cells on a Petri dish, or mushrooms under Michigan.
I was taught as a kid that there were these things called "countries" and they existed as lines on a map and everybody in these "countries" spoke the same and followed the same rules. French guys all swore allegiance to their President and ate stinky cheese. As it turns out there are also French who speak German and eat sausages. There are Romani, who have no country and speak their own language but wander around owing allegiance to a local person. In Iraq and Afghanistan people speak many languages and owe allegiance to the local lord, like in the Middle Ages.

We tend to think that tribal societies evolved into countries, but in fact one group of people decided to change the way they thought of leaders and began to think they were a country. Not all of them, not everywhere, any more than everybody gets a spring cold in my neighborhood. But if they did you could say everybody in my neighborhood now swears allegiance to colds. The other people who did NOT decide to change the way they think are still tribal or uber-family oriented.

Online you may be part of a "government" which governs the way you live, obligates you to certain actions. Your economy may be thru Paypal or eBay. It may be barter through file sharing. Your army may be a group of hackers who meet online and do things online as a group or as individuals. A society is what we agree it is, and we can agree that it is mutable, flexible and heat sensitive. If everybody, or the majority or even a small group of people agreed that money was just flat green paper slices, and real labor was the currency of choice, like it is when homeless, then the actions of groups based on money would be extraneous to your ken. You wouldn't recognize it when you saw it.

The Mafia is a tribal government and so is a government like our own where there are agencies which exchange information and goods via a system not common to the civilians around it. Yet, it governs the actions of those inside it. If you want to deal with those people, you need to know the government which controls them and you HAVE TO be able to recognize a government when you see it.

There are hostages in Iraq, taken because the tribal government in that region takes hostages and barters them for some form of good or service. The people in that tribe may know some other tribe which will act as a fair broker. They naturally enough see our troops and their tribal form of government and expect we operate along those lines. Why else would a small group of men and women go into harms way if not directed to by their tribal leader, a person owing allegiance to a greater tribal leader and on up the line, sometimes going sideways for a distance as individual arrangements are satisfied.

Our government calls itself a Republic and is nominally ruled by a pyramid scheme of loyalties. The main tribal leader of the military is George Bush, but he has no ties to the people on the ground, they are not part of his immediate tribe, the tribe of incredibly wealthy oil brats. So bargaining has to take place in a disconnect. The hostage takers want certain tribal members released by the local American tribal lord. BUT that tribal lord must obey the commands of his leader and on up to George Bush. It is not a diffusion of tribal loyalties, it is a pyramid scheme. Who gets nailed in a pyramid scheme? The guy on the ground floor, the guy with the gun pointed at his head. The top tribal leader says "Bring 'em on!" ands "We will not negotiate with terrorists." which is silly because we are ourselves terrorists. Terrorists say "We will terrorize members of your tribe until your leader, in order to protect his tribe, agrees to our reasonable requests." like when fire-bombed Iraq, killing tens of thousands of women, children and old men. None of them were combat troops, so they should have been immune to the hit. Like in the Civil War you could picnic on the hillside and watch the battles. Now you are in them, part of them, a "soft target".

We have brought them to our form of non-tribal government. We have shown them the way we operate and they are operating in that manner. Shock and Awe. Take down a building, kill innocent people, make a political albatross. Deny responsibility for your actions. Pass the buck, follow the money, kill a commie for Christ.

The poor soldier never expected his targets would turn on him. He was thinking as trained, linear. He did not realize the kid with the flowers had a bomb jacket on. He did not realize that his commander in chief would not bail him out. He thought he could win, because WE have evolved past the tribal government. WE are superior, more advanced, less primitive. But if you had a dual-processor Unix driven many-gigahertz computer and a large rock to move, isn't a long stick a better tool? There is no linear evolution even in governments.

The local community organization, whether it is "Take Back the Streets" or the local mosque in down town Albany, is better equipped to deal with a rash of muggings than is the entire Marine Corps or the U.N. Those groups can not do a damn thing to help a man whose daughter was raped by the drunken son of a local Mafia lord. You have to go to the Godfather and make a trade of some service. So a Constitutional amendment is worth the paper it is written on with regards to how a redneck will deal with a flaming queen who is negotiating for a job. It is all tribal and all individual. Governments do not exist except in the mind of the beholder.

There is a tribe of people who believe that this world is a dream. The real world behind the dream can only be entered by the use of strong psychotropic drugs which grow nearby. When they go hunting or other activities which are vital, they take drugs, even dosing their dogs. Then they can SEE reality and bring him the meat. It works and has worked for thousands of years. If you were to deal with them, you would have to take these drugs or they would not see you as part of reality. You would be part of the dream. If you were to impose our reality upon them, you would kill the group, just as if you pull a happy deep water fish out of the ocean where it has swum for 40 million years, back into the sun and happy bright waters, you would kill the ancient fish. Other fish have evolved to deal with the shallow waters, even walking on land sometimes, but it is not a pyramid. The old fish has survived by not changing. It has shown us the folly of thinking that time is a line. It is a spider web which has caught us all. You walk on the non-sticky threads.

So by not seeing the world as a spider web we risk the sticky threads of life. Iraq is very sticky and even a fierce wasp can be eaten by a bunch of hungry little spiders if it walks on the sticky threads and is caught. Ants can be stuck and thousands of ants crawling on the web will not kill or capture the spider because they think in lines and will pile up on the sticky threads. If you imagine the sticky threads as not having physical presence, but being an idea, you can see that a people can be stuck in a form of thinking which is not in their best interests...even if all of them think that way, it still ends up on the web being eaten by tiny spiders.

Ancient forms, ancient gods, ancient truths. Not the truth the spindoctors spin, the threads of scam, cooked books and press conferences, but the thread which run from truth, to truth...from tribal lord to tribal lord. The uncle of the man who raped your daughter calls in a man who borrowed money to pay off a loan shark. The rapist is taken care of, will no longer be a threat. Now you have a debt which cannot be placed into a bank, but governs your actions. We are governed by our obligations, not our laws. All Americans break Laws. We speed, we cheat, we lie, we kill. We are out of control and some uncle will be called in to make a phone call to have some big man with a softball bat visit us. The two knee-cap buildings go down and the debt is paid, but since we cannot see that reality, we fail to see the balance.

When we firebombed downtown Baghdad, bombed a wedding party, machine gunned down a happy Iraqi family, calls were made, favors were called up, men named Ahmed rolled up their sleeves and packed explosives into a can of coffee. A balance had to be made. This is government, this is commerce. We fail to recognize it, but that is because we are not on the same drug, the same dream. To say there is such a thing as collateral damage only makes sense to those who can see a blown apart baby as a "thing" and not a godson or daughter. Family ties, tribal ties...these endure. Here and there, forever and a day, people pay respect to local leaders and wise family members. This is civilized, this has a deep, long history and has never been replaced.

So we invent a form of government based on laws we do not obey because we are drugged on power, on destruction power, on economic power. The bombs are real, but the money is a fiction, one which changes value every single hour of every single day. People don't always value your values and you cannot make them do so at the point of a gun. That just makes them angry. I cannot make you a pagan by killing your daughter and saying that GODDESS told me to do it. I cannot impose democracy from within a Republic ruled by the wealthy elite onto a tribal region ruled by local leaders who live with their neighbors and respect their beliefs. You can't give what you ain't never had and you cannot lose what you never had.

We never had a chance, we never had a democracy, we never had a plan, we never had a need. We had a dream and we shot it. We had a farm and we paved it. We had a child and we got a phone call saying our child has been killed by strangers because our leader put them in harms way, in front of the tanks. Phone calls are made, messages are left, form letters are mailed, but the balance is not achieved because we do not believe this reality. We want our dreams back, we want our drugs back, we want our child back.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

This is an interesting time for me, both near and far. I strongly believe in rule by law, rather than rule by edict. I think that law allows for debate and review, but edicts just go out and make demands on the people. Tyrants rule by edict. When the President issues an executive order, he is being a tyrant. When he says it's okay for Israel to invade and occupy and annex, he is rewarding imperialists. Sharon said he is putting children before tanks by allowing the settlements to grow and continue and become part of Uber-Israel. This way if people try to take back what was stolen they will face children and by killing children they become terrorists. Oddly enough, when Israel kills children by firing missiles into crowds at street corners, only the Muslims call them terrorists. When Americans kill children by machine gunning them down in a dark corner of the world, nobody calls us terrorists because we cover up the act. Korea knows what we did to it's children, but they need our bombs, so they wait before condemning us.

They say Jon can't communicate for one reason or another. His brain has atrophied, his neurons are sheared, the connections are gone. These are the same reasons the CIA didn't stop 9-11 from happening. They couldn't communicate with the FBI, their staff had been reduced, their power was reduced, the field agents didn't follow thru. So like a brain injured man our country continues to kill babies and women and support murderers of crippled old men in wheelchairs. Oddly enough the hijackers of the cruise ship did the same thing and people around the world were outraged. Brain injured people have impulse control. They do things that are unsafe and then can't agree why they did it.

They may move Jon to a nursing home. We are looking for one nearby that will take people with traches and who are mostly unresponsive. Last time I checked there weren't any but now my sweetie-pie has found one nearby, within bicycle distance and we are checking it out. They don't have coma stim but they do apparently take care of total care people. Does a father have any say as to where his son goes? We'll find out. Jon is an adult, but he has no power of attorney assigned, nor was he living here when he got hit. So the law decides that he's just a guy and I am just a guy. The country that won't legally recognize love between the same sex, also does not recognize that a father of an adult might still be a father. We recognize occupying invading armies as legitimate, but not a father's love and concern.

A brain injured man when they emerge, sometimes cannot fit facts together properly. They may think they are God, or think that they have no wife or husband, or children. They may scream if their radio batteries are dead, scream and tear up a room, throwing things around. Once they get their batteries, they settle down happily.

A President who got there by manipulating the laws, by fixing an election to keep his family in charge of the greatest military force in the world may go slightly insane with power. He may invade a defenseless country. He may throw out the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. He may rule by "gut feelings", by insights and religious visions. He may start quoting from the Bible and saying that God is on our side. Hitler did the exact same things. So did Saddam, so did Sharon. None of them practiced religion except for the press and for photo shoots. They all want the world to see them as strong and powerful and deadly. They are none of the above. Sharon is fat, lazy and obsessed. Saddam was a psychotic. George was a perpetual loser/bully/drunk. Now he can punish those who laughed at him. Now he can remake the world. He is in charge of the world, in fact, he can order countries to follow our laws, his edicts, or face our wrath.

He tears down the towel rack, screaming that his batteries are dead. He wants his radio. He lays in a bed, staring at the holes in the ceiling, looking at the TV, glancing at his father. Asked to squeeze a hand, he thinks he does, he feels the hand squeeze, but now the holes call to him and he resumes counting. He stands in front of the camera and says that we will stay the course, that to do otherwise would be unthinkable. He says we will kill everyone who stands in our way, in his way. He says we will do all this because God has spoken to him and He says we can do this. He says that God has told him to cut the head off his oldest son. He has the knife, the boy is quiet, he listens for the Voice. A young boy is hit in the head by the wheel of a chair which was blown apart by an American missile fired by an Israeli soldier at a crippled old man who said that people should kill people who kill people.

So what I'm seeing is a society that is brain injured. If we use the analogy of the body politic, we can see that the brain is injured, it doesn't work anymore, not the way it was designed, not the way it would be safe for the people who create it.

If they allow us to suggest a place to send my son and I can see him every day as a result, he may wake up and rehab and become a man who screams at the TV, who tears towel racks off the wall and threatens to kill if his batteries are not returned. He may hear voices, he may want to hurt people. He could be exactly like the Presidents of the world, except without the military to arm him.

When Jon was first injured, I went and watched the sun rise and meditated. I suddenly was blessed with a phrase:"I remember why the Buddha laughed". Mom says you sometimes have to laugh because you can't cry all the time. Buddha decided that fasting and denying life was not the Way and he turned to Life with a gusto, eating, drinking and laughing. He was strongly condemned by the other Buddhas as being too flip, but in an infinite universe, there has to be room for the silly, the stern and the insane.

If the universe is self aware, as it must be, is it like a brain and can it be injured? Not likely, because the universe is All, and so there can be no accidents because everything is known. But if there are no accidents, then the universe is not infinite because it excludes accidents. So there have to be accidents, but accidents are by definition outside the scope of expectations. The only true consistency is inconsistency, and the only true inconsistency is inconsistent inconsistency. An infinite universe allows my boy to be somewhere and nowhere, aware and not aware, alive and not alive. He is my father, my brother, myself. He is the windshield and the brain, the Alpha and the Omega and the Omega-3 acids that help me avoid heart attacks and ending up like my father: a crippled old man, blind and in a wheelchair. Just like the man the Israelis thought needed a missile in the gut more than a trial and a defense.

Knowledge of Right and Wrong, partaking of the tree of Knowledge, is not knowledge of When or How. It just is that when you do it, you know if it is right or wrong. Not always you, but the man watching the missile approach him through his clouded vision, hearing the motor and the screams, knew something was wrong. Stroking the hair of a man in a wheelchair, my son, my father, a stranger in the hallway, I know I am right.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Freedom is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world. And as the greatest power on the face of the Earth, we have an obligation to help the spread of freedom." I read this, the Almighty has given everybody the gift of freedom....and therefore everybody is truly what is it that George is talking about 'spreading' if everybody already has freedom as a gift from 'the Almighty'. Unless.......we know that many people refer to money as the "Almighty Dollar", so maybe he's suggesting that the War on Terror and Iraq is about spreading money around and/or controlling the spreading of money around. Like 'cooking the books' sort of so everybody is being controlled by the flow of money. Hmmmm. Somehow I take issue with that as a plan for a nation to take on. Insofar as it is my money and my life and my family's life that seems to be the equity on this money he is spreading around. Just a thought. or is he saying that HE is working for HIM, being that he is under an obligation to serve the Almighty in actually delivering this 'freedom'. It reminds me of a line in Dragonheart where the evil king is asked to set an old blind man free and he shoots him with an arrow and remarks that "Death is a release". The old guy was set free for sure, and it made the king happy. When the king is happy, everybody's happy. It's a trickle down.

Now it's Tuesday, right? Last Tuesday I got hold by email of a doctor in the National Institute of Health, who turned me onto a researcher in Germany, a Professor of Neurology or something, who turned me on to a lab, research place in Albany, an hour away. Now there exists a chance that they may be able to test Jon and see if they can tell if he is aware, but locked in. Now there's a quandary, because to imagine that he is aware of his situation and maybe for 3 years has been unable to tell us....Well, that sucks. But, we have to know every thing we can, all the time, and make sure people like these are "in the loop" because their work may someday set a person free without having to kill them.

There's a book which speaks of amputees experiencing great pain in absent limbs. Sometimes it doesn't respond to any kind of treatment, but this guy took a man who was suffering daily enormous pain in an arm which was gone. He put the left hand in a box with a mirror in it to reflect the left hand. The guy looks down and sees two hands, a right and a left. The pain disappears. So it's their self image that trumps 'reality". What a brain injured, locked in man may be experiencing could be as complete, as sensual, as what I experience. And one irony is that under the stress of trying as a father and a human being to help this young man, this person I helped create.....I try to avoid "input". I play computer games that I know I can either win, or at least have no time limit. I can just dive in, play a hand of solitaire until I win. Then I watch the fireworks and wash a load of dishes. I take pride in delivering clean dishes. In part I get all excited about a clean kitchen because it's a done deal. It may dirty back up, but that's life. What Jon is going thru is not quite life. It may not even be awareness, but then there have been times in the past when I was walking around numb. It happens. In Jon's case it may be a done deal, or it may be a bad trip. I have to find the appropriate mirror to show him the other side, the missing part. What I call reality. Just long enough to help me understand where I should be putting my energies. i don't have a lot to spread around. I am not free.

Last night they had a show on PBS that showed them wrapping stem cells around a broken spinal nerve and a year later the person is feeling something there and moving a bit. Now, how would you spread stem cells in a broken brain? Where would you put the stuff? Would it migrate to damaged areas. What if it caused tumors and now I have a son who is not only unable to communicate his awareness, but now he's aware of a terrible pain because we did something and that was the result. Maybe even be getting increasingly aware and able to communicate, but what he says is "the pain won't stop!". Now there's a freakin' bit o'irony. What a quandary.

It's not about 'damned if you do, damned if you don't.' I'm not damned. I'm doing all I can, but no doubt not all that could be done. The thing is you don't know what was the right thing to do until you see the results. So you want to do the carefully right thing, and maybe spreading cells scraped from his nose onto his brain....I don't know if we are there yet.

Then there's Jon all wired up, shooting out alpha waves to mean yes and something else to mean no and now he's talking. It's like something out of one of my childhood horror movies, "The Brain" only it's my son. Woof. What if he starts chewing me out...not an impossible scenario....typical, actually, for someone to lash out at someone close. You certainly have a right to be pissed. I'm not happy about having a bunch of busted, aching vertebrae so i have to figure that I would be raging if I couldn't move a freaking thing but my thoughts. I think I would spend a few hours typing out on a virtual keyboard every swear word, every angry phrase I could think of. But maybe not. Not if it hurt Margaret's feelings. I'm pretty careful about that. I think it's bad luck to hurt a sensitive, sweet, soul. Besides, she's my wellspring of hope and energy. I figure if she can stand being around me all this time, we ought to be able to stand all kinds of crap the world hands us. It's a kind of concept I have that were I to be unable to feel my arms again due to some accident or disease, I would strive to imagine a hand which held hers at all hours of the day. She wouldn't have to know, but if I could do that, I could probably handle the crap.

I'm taking a lot of pictures, using that digital camera I was given. I take pictures driving up to see Jon, sort of documenting how I get there and how I get back. I have doors, lots of old doors. There are shots of tree roots, some looking like they are pulling up and moving out. I also like waterfalls, in the Spring when they are full and vibrant. It's a great camera for that kind of thing. The chip holds 64 pictures, enough to go from home to Jon and back again and still have a lot of neat things to show. Next time I want to stop and take shots of old trucks and cars, the shells of autos from the 40's and 50's. There's a lot of that sort of thing, also hot rods, all shiny and hot locking. So one trip might be mostly images of the landscape. I want to write captions for them and put them into a book. Might even try to publish or print it up myself. You could make a few copies and give them to people who might enjoy them.

One thing I like is that I feel a connection with Jon sometimes, that I know he's hooked in and watching thru my eyes. Then I go looking at everything, just in case it's true. I look at clouds, at trees, dogs, women. I try to listen to great music, jazz and avant garde stuff like Laurie Anderson and Bjork. Stuff I like and he liked, so I'm doing for me as well. This is something I'm doing for Jon, or doing for Margaret, this is something I can do and get it done. I can enjoy life, think about the people I love, experience the world and document what I feel and see and think. Then if something happens and at 65 Jon is given a healing injection and returns to the walking, wheeling or sitting up in bed talking world, he may ask "whatever happened to Dad?" Someone could give him some books and say "He left these for you to read." In case he's blind, I have the masks and other ceramic and wood sculptures. They should allow anyone close to me to understand what i was doing and feeling. I'm kinda right out there to touch and poke. When I pass I think I want to take a little walkabout and experience things like black holes and such. I'm tired of entropy.