Thursday, July 29, 2004

As I stepped out of the studio and onto the path toward the house, I noticed that the honeysuckle had grown or something, maybe bent over from the heavy rain, but anyway, it was in my way. I had to step a half step to the right. I took another step and thought that I should come back and trim the bush back, maybe with a chain saw and cut it all the way back so I could finish that small deck and roof I have wanted to do for decades. Then, as I often do, I thought about what I was saying from the standpoint of the object in discussion, in this case the right of a plant to live in such a way that I had to take a step to the right, instead of merely remembering where the plant was, what it had looked like the first time I passed it. No, I thought about whacking a living thing so I wouldn't have to step sideways. Why there are people who pay money to go somewhere and step sideways while some excitable person plays loud music. Just amazing.

Anyway I was thinking about this concept of feeling like I had a "space" that I had to defend, even to a point where I would kill something in that space without my permission, or something. Although there are plenty of other animals who also seem to feel that way, starting at least with that white faced hornet growing a tribe in my lawn tractor. He loves his space. So I flexed my shoulders and thought about that space. I always think of my friend when I start flexing and thinking about my "body space" because he is so aware of his most of the time. He tries a lot to be aware of himself because he almost lost himself once or twice. Anyway, of course in defining one's "self" as selft you always have to deal with and define the limits at which point you are a finer "you" than this body is, was or maybe is soon not to be. Why do I "need" so much buffer room?

I got to thinking about something I see a lot of lately, mud, and all the things living in it, in a different space. Like the earthworm living in it's tube while being themselves something of a tube, as we learned in high school biology class. I think that with biology should be a smattering of spirituality. If, for instance, I had at least listened to someone read about that great story where the mystic shows the god a line of ants and reveals that each ant had been a god at one time, well maybe disecting that worm could have been a spiritual journey. There's a segment of a show I saw once where the young medical students are being introduced to their cadavers, being told something about them and a small lecture is made about respecting the dead forms. Well, it would have been nice to have the same lecture for the worms and frogs. They all have spirits and deserve respect and there I was getting ready to set back a living form to control a space I can't control anyway.

Think about that worm space, Many of us must have dug tunnels or played in the sand so the idea of soil on arm is not a bad feeling. Now expand that sense to where you draw up your consciousness into that long, thin form down under the soil and it's all your form. That's you moving blindly about sniffing. When you find something that smells good you open your mouth and dig into it, swallowing, digesting, modifying, transfering out wastes and expelling. You leave behind an imprint from the inside of your passage. How many times do I feel that I am leaving an impact of my passage? Being an artist it's easier to leave stuff, but if I look at the stuff...

I read so many times about Egyptians saving up fingernails, hair and such so in the afterlife all your parts would stull be there or something, as if cast off parts are something you'd ned when you had transcended form? They apparently didn't think highly of the idea of transcending form. Odd, because the butterfly certainly understands it. We all deal with the idea of a agg hatching into a worm which becomes a catterpiller and that turns into a cocoon or crysalis which then splits and turns into a big winged thingy that lays eggs. Yeah, it's a great story and analogy, but if you treat it as a template and extend the metaphor or something, then we think about that honeysuckle and that space not being mine to control, I sure don't control the space that I normally think of as me very well. It hurts, and I don't want it to hurt. And it didn't used to. Like the egg thing may have hurt like hell so many times along the way as it became a winged thingy, which then did something else. It stopped flying and fell apart, becoming soil, dust, that sort of thing, scattering out into the environment. The assumed form becomes quite large that way and just as tenuous as the form I had back in 1974. It didn't hurt and it didn't last. So if I had all my body parts saved in jars, maybe I'd have some back parts that could plug in, that'd be great.

Actually, an earthworm has no backbone to hurt. Although getting stepped on has to be real tough, even underground. Great apes dent the earth. But ordinarily I bet the thing is, just keep digging and sniffing. Eventually they must from time to time dug up to a dead earthworm, maybe torn by a shovel or something. I don't know what they do when they run nose first into dead Roy, do they pause and give some thought to "It could well be me." or by eating dead Roy, shoving him into their tube allow Roy to become, for a time, them. Do they eat crying over some wormy memory? Most would say no, but that is specieism or something because we have no way of knowing, without becoming worm bait ourselves. Which most of us will do, even if the bait is deferred by way of the crematorium. Or sent to a hospital, as my dad wants to do. Bravo, dad.

I have been told that my son cannot donate his body very easily in terms of organs and all. Except as a package to a medical school where someone can learn something from that form which once I assumed was him. I'm not so sure any more, in no small part because I am not exactly sure how I became that which I do not recall advocating for. I would have liked a lot more warranty on the back thingy, but then, interestingly enough, in terms of population the beings most impacted by sudden changes like death are bacteria. Which live in me and are always trying to eat me. Like little worms or tube thingys, eating me from the inside. Or if you like merely trying to get me to become them for a time. They may see this as a form of greeting. They have to be fatalists because if I ever do answer back it often takes the form of dietary changes to elimintae most of them, another genocide to my credit. But life goes on, changeing form as life does.

We got all these tubes running in all directions causing changes of forms which could all boil down to a confusion over the difference between "Eat me!" and "Hello!"

As I type I drink water from some unknown source filled with life forms becoming me or as much of me as I can normally see. Curious criteria for what I consider "me". I mean by and large the part of me that I can't see that mutters in the dark and plans things and projects itself through time and space, well that me I can never see. So just because I can't see it doesn't mean it isn't me. And since most of the universe as I am willing to conceed exists can't be seen, then there exists such a very good potential for my being infinite that by and large this should make my back feel beter. I keep asking myself is any of this going to stop the pain in the back which for some reason I seem to having a difficulty today. With.

Maybe it's trying to say hello, like a toddler fumbling it's first words. Maybe my form is stumbling toward a greeting. Well, trust me to misunderstand something like that. We must go through our entire lives screening calls we never knew we got. Like filters on an email program we don't know what we lose. Lately gnats have been buzzing around and now and then one flies into my ear. It sounds a bit like feedback from a microphone but maybe the guy is simply apologizing for his friends bumping into me like that. Maybe he was listening to his echo.

Maybe when I sleep my consciousness seeps through into the bed like water draining out of a strainer of sushi rice. Like a "sea in a bottle" my mind sloshes back and forth. It may seem calm to those watching but to one inside it might feel sometimes like a tempest. Wow. A tempest in a teapot would still seem a tempest to a bacteria, I'll wager. On his way to becoming me.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

This is from a letter I wrote to a friend, talking about how to convince the doctors where my son lives that he is responding to people. She suggests that when aides tell me stories about Jon reacting to them I should have them write down these stories to show the doctors in charge of his care....

I'll try to do this, if they have the time, but you know that these aides and/or nurses are usually talking to me as they are going from patient to patient and don't have much time to sit down and write something up. It's a good idea, I guess, but in the end what will the result be? They may fear "crossing" their superiors and risking their jobs, which could easily happen, especially if the superiors think I may use this information to get them in trouble with the health department. It'll come down to them saying they know more than the doctors do and that won't go over too well. Even if I have a 500 page report from janitors, aides and nurses saying Jon seems to respond in a coherent manner, what would be the result? They still don't have the funding for special therapies like HBOT, they still don't have enough aides for patterning, they can't give him drugs that the Medicaid people say NO to.......I'm just saying that this is not a democracy and no matter how many votes Jon gets for being "in there" ol' Doc Shroud can be perfectly within his rights to say "No, he isn't" and keep doing what he's been doing. The chief advantage might be for moving him, to convince the place I want to move him to that he is capable of being much more responsive. So in that case we are waiting for someone to get better and move out, or die and leave an open bed.....and we need Jon to be first in line on the "A" list. That's a hard one, because he's just another person waiting for a bed. ON the plus side, if the new place should ask the guys in LK if Jon is a problem patient the answer is "NO" and does the family support and advocate in a civilized manner the answer is "YES" so we have a good record to go on.
Does anyone know of a device to measure hand pressure? I remember various doctors measuring my squeezing capabilities to determine the extent of nerve damage in my back...I'm wondering if there is an objective test, like a grip with a dial. I could put it in Jon's hand and ask him to squeeze and on a good day he would squeeze and then I can record the pressure...maybe even document smaller pressures that I didn't notice. Another potential record would be measuring the electrical input to his hands. Even if the muscles don't move, if you ask for a squeeze and the brain sends signals to the hand, then he's reacting, right? These guys are going to want objective data. How much does it cost to fly a guy to Germany? I wonder..... if I can get Jon to Dr. Birbaumer's clinic in Germany, then we would have the expert using the equipment, seeing if Jon is "in there" AND in a country with universal health care! Something to think about. At least it isn't like the guy in Cuba with the stem cell therapy and nobody from America can go there because Cuba is "EVIL" damn socialists. Another thought I had...that book The Butterfly and the Diving Bell was written about the clinic where the publisher guy was discovered to be locked in, not PVS. As I recall the place became a major research center to explore this locked in stuff. Does anyone else remember that? More research for Will to do. Finally, here's a crazy idea from a crazy father..... I used to do a lot of theater stuff when I was a mace-swinging mail-wearing Viking guy. I liked to do puppets, white face mime etc. Well, there's this nice picture of Jon as a toddler looking at a marionette I had of a Scotsman. I was looking at that and suddenly had this thought of Jon as the puppet, all tied up from above. You move the ropes and Jon's legs move.... so in patterning they want the legs and such to move like he's a baby, right? Why not have a rig to hold him up vertical, move his arms and legs as if he's walking and let the feedback loop help him recall what it felt like and how it happened? Just a thought. Couldn't require any more equipment than a ceiling lift. It might take fewer aides than patterning and if you did it in front of a mirror he'd see himself move....

Hang in there Will, hopefully Jon will be at home soon.

Jon's doing alright, kiddo. Just between you and me and the several hundred others on the list, crazy Will the Shaman gets "visits" fairly often these days. I told Jon he can spirit walk over and sit inside my head and visit when I can't get down there. When it happens I can feel his body from my side, feel the trache, taste the crap in his mouth, the tube in the gut, the a distant feeling, but it's there. And in exchange he gets to feel my hands moving, taste my lunch, help me drink a beer...8-) It has helped him stay sane, I think, because it shows him that I am working on his problem even when I'm not holding his hand. I can tell when he's feverish this way too and call down to LK to tell them to check...he's always sick when I say he is..... Jon is rational outside the body, the chemistry is not there to upset the balence. The thing is, I think sometimes he thinks he's dreaming the visit and I tell him that if he is dreaming, it's a nice dream, so he shouldn't fight it. Then again, maybe I'm dreaming as I walk around feeling like two men in one body, maybe I'm just crazy now, but if I am it's a nice crazy...well, not really nice, but it helps me deal with my little problems. How can I be too despondent over my pain when I can feel that trache, and the back pain and the cramps in the feet and legs and arms.....? In this way my faith supports me, reinforces the concept that the soul, the spirit is not bound to the body and although it can be effected by disaster, the true "self" is free of such concerns. In the end we are all ONE and this life is just another in a string of lives, like a poem made of stanzas, some of which leave the spirit flying high and others which seem forced and uncomfortable. Over all we like the poem even when we get grumpy with the poet.

Will, Jon's dad

This feeling I get when Jon visits is like the feeling you get when you are sudden aware that you are drunk or high. You feel your thoughts are not quite connected to your body and it's possible to be more objective about the pains and such you normally feel, even to the extent of ignoring them. Then there is the feeling of someone standing just behind your shoulder so that if you turn your head you will see them standing there. I relax and let Jon "in". I feel his arms in my arms, his body slowly superimposing itself on mine. I can feel the places where plastic tubes come into his body and taste the plastic of the trache in his throat. It's useful for me to know how he feels but useless in terms of being able to talk to the doctors about it. In fact, it's important that I not tell them that we do this sort of thing, because as good Christians they would think very badly of a man who thinks people can control their spirit and leave their bodies.

I'm not sure what would happen if you had a party for shamans. Like if there were a room full of people dressed in whatever they think of as "party clothes", maybe feathers in their hat, like I wear, maybe feathered cloaks like the Central American shamans like to wear. We all have sticks of some kind, all have special rocks, special bits of flotsom, maybe animal friends like old Fred the cat, or spirit friends and guides. What kind of music would a shaman party have? No doubt drums would play up big, and a bonfire, maybe a sweat lodge. What a nice idea to be somewhere I could talk to others who know about spirit walking, about distance healing. I'd like so much to be somewhere I could talk about what it is like behind the veil, how the spirits assume form, the kinds of things you have to do or not do. They wouldn't look at me funny and move away. They wouldn't suggest more drugs or counseling. They'd show off their crystals and rocks and mirrors. Talk about dead ancestors coming around, maybe introduce me to their guides. What a nice party that would be.

But shamans do not have parties and do not come together for support groups. Maybe I should start one, if I could be sure that I wouldn't be in a room with some neo-pagans talking about urban pagan myths and wiccan spells. I don't need to hear from wannabes, I would just like to listen to some serious spirit guy talking about a bit of business done some equinox by a bonfire in the desert, involving birds and snakes, turtles and foxes, huge semi-transparent figures against the sky and some friend getting a good report on their latest MRI's. No credit, no claim to fame, but somehow helping those who need it. That would be interesting.

Monday, July 19, 2004

It's a lot like going to a jail, going to see my son. My wife and I, and Jon's half-sister drive two hours down country roads in order to have some relaxing moments before entering the world of traumatic brain injury. I showed them a historical Dutch barn that had been reconstructed and we took some pictures. We looked for interesting houses in some of the litle hamlets, chased an interesting bus to take a picture of it and then discovered that it was carrying a bunch of crazy religous zealots who once tried to convert Jess. Lots of things happen before you pull into the driveway and walk thru the automatic doors at Lake Katrine.

You have to sign a book when you arrive and there are two of them at the desk. There's always some confusion because they label them strangely, so that the book that seems to be for visiting families is actually the one for more commmercial visitors. A TBI survivor is almost always there to greet you and sullen, damaged individuals stare at you from their chairs until they recognize your face from before and then they wave. It always makes me feel better somehow when I see the wave. It means their memories work, their vision works, they can control their hands and arms. They know what to do when they see someone they know. Funny, isn't it, those things we never think much about when we live in the world or normal functioning brains.

You also have to sign a book once they let you in to the vent unit, and I often can't recall which desk has the sign in book. It all serves to make you feel like you are entering a prison, which of course in a way you are, but it's mostly to protect the residents from hurting themselves or being hurt by people from outside who would take advantage of them.

Jon was not having a good day. His forehead was hot and sweaty, his lungs were rattling, the sheets were damp and his skin was pasty and broken out. Another infection. Each one can take his life and I noticed the two IV bags hanging at his bed, empty. He'd been sick for a few days, but none of the weekend staff could tell me with what or for how long he had been infected. UTI, pneumonia? Doesn't matter, they both can kill and they are both treated the same way. I've been thru this so many times but it always scares me. He looked almost as bad as when he was down in Scottsdale, but still, much better than those terible days. No bloody wounds gaping and smeared with shit. No piss stained sheets or gum smacking, unconcerned nurses. He was being taken care of.

The room mate, Charlie, was being visited by his wife and fat old dog, Skipper. Skipper likes to sneak over and give Jon a kiss and wait near his twisted hand for a stroking. They tell me Jon gets to see the dog often and between this dog and the therapy dogs Jon gets a visit every day. I wish it would be Jon's dog, but Jon's dog was taken by a friend and it seems isn't coming back. Funny how people feel okay about stealing things from a man in a coma. Even his dog. Skipper is a kindly old dog who shows me clearly that she knows Jon is sick, but reassures me that she is there for him. Jon likes to have a dog nearby and smiles his twisted litle half-smile and he struggles to breathe.

I tell Jon about how we're trying to find a facility close to home, how we're arranging to fix the leaking roof and set up his old bedroom so he can come visit. He smiles at me a bit, with a film over his eyes, but the fever seems to be breaking and his skin feels cooler. I stroke his dampened hair, wash off his face and we turn the pillow over to a dry side. HIs hands are tighter than before and haven't seen a splint in months. they may have lost them, the aide says, as she hasn't seen him wearing one in a long time. I told her that the place has thrown in the towel on Jon, given up, no longer trying. She seems uncomfortable, but doesn't bother to contradict me. It's the truth.

She tell me about how she was telling Jon some funny story about Frank Zappa's kids and how he smiled at her. She told the other nurses that Jon reacted to a story, but no one believed her. the woman with the dog tells me he responds to the dog, looking at her and smiling when he has his hand on the dog's head. No one believes her, either. They don't believe me, they don't believe the visitors, they don't believe the aides or the nurses...anyone who says Jon is responsive is dismissed as imagining things. Otherwise they have to deal with the fact that he is locked in and understands what's going on around him, and that is too depressing a concept so they dismiss the stories. To them he's just a corpse waiting for the grave, a body filling a bed until he can find his way into the ground. Somehow that's easier for them than the idea that he may be someone who requires more care, not less, who requires equipment the government won't provide, nursing they don't have enough staff for, and more stimulation than he gets. Better accept defeat than accept that nobody with the power to heal, to help, gives a damn.

I tell Jon it's time to go, to drive back thru the rain and darkness to our little soggy home and he frowns and bites his lower lip. He pouts like he did as a child and closes his eyes, refusing to look at me again. My wife, his step-mother, bends down to say goodbye and give him a kiss. He looks up at her. Not responsive means he can't understand that we're leaving, so those appropriate reactions have to be labeled as "reflex", as if sorow at being left behind is a reflex, not an honest reaction. Well, maybe it is. Everybody hears about how coma patients can laugh and look and otherwise seem so aware, when they're not. But then a smaller group has read the studies that say 43% of the people diagnosed as "vegetative" are later proven to be "locked in" and get better and sometimes even walk and speak.

What to do first? Find a facility with beds free and fill in an application to move Jon in, except none have available beds. Fill in the applications anyway. Visit places and get to know the staff, except the staff is too busy to stop and chat and I don't want to get in their way. Research, search and more research, trying not to get panicked, trying to shut out the sight of the boy sweating, wheezing, maybe dying. Take it one step at a time, except there are no steps for Jon, no clear paths to some form of better days.

He was scared last night because of the problems he had breathing. I could feel the pain from the pneumonia in his chest, feel the rattle in his lungs. I could feel how he wanted to be free, to leave that bed. Our connection doesn't usually bring me those feelings except when he's pretty sick, and then I get the "pleasure" of sharing his feelings. I mentally stroke his head, tell him I'm somehow nearby and things are getting better. I know that if I call the place and ask about his fever they will tell me it's back, but no one will be able to believe I knew because he told me. Nobody will believe that a shaman father can join his shaman son on a plane of existence closed to most people. Nobody will even want to hear that spirits can walk and sick people can leave their tattered bodies to travel around. It doesn't matter what they believe as far as I am concerned. Their faith in their science and in their drugs is unshakable and my job is not to convert people to a piritual life, my job is to make sure the people of their faith don't kill my son through their ignorance.

I'm really tired and the meds are kicking in. My pain is fading away to a dull ache and my eyes are heavy. Jon is probably waking up to his daily routine. More meds, more cursory massage, more people calling him by another's name, ignoring the signs in the room asking that they call him "JON". I have to organize my thoughts and start looking up addresses and phone numbers. Time to Google around looking for a new bed for the boy to sleep in.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Prisoners came by this morning and chopped up the plants growing in the ditch in front of the house. A week or so ago the town went through and cut down the plants along most of the roads in the area. Here's how it goes. Spring arrives and melts back all the snow. The sun comes out and warms the flesh of the Goddess, our Mother earth. She receives this warmth, this love and becomes healthy and filled with life and love. Seeds sprout, plants flourish, flowers open up. Before long the roadways are lined with day lillies, chicory, sunflowers, clover.... a riot of color and life. Then the town comes through and cuts down all the plants, leaving a swath of dried, dead plants. Ragweed grows up between the dead stalks. It grows about four inches, just the height of the mowers' blades and then make little blooms, dispersing huge amounts of pollen. The pollen gets tossed up in the wake of passing cars and everybody gets red swollen eyes and stuffy nose. So instead of streets lined in yellows, blues, reds and whites we get barren shoulders of brown and red itchy eyes. No one can explain to me why this is an improvement worthy of my tax dollars.

For those who refuse to believe that Life is change, that things change and become different than their parents, I refer you to those ragweeds and the dandelions. Ragweed grows up to the height of the blades on the mowers the town and state use to destroy the life along the roadsides. There is no reason for the plant to stop there, it's a good healthy plant growing in reasonably good soil, but if it grows higher the mowers get it and it will be injured. So it stops at four inches. This is why when you drive along the local highways you will see a faint yellow haze from all the pollen.... which, by the way, most people are allergic to. Now there's the dandelions. We brought them here from Britain as a salad plant. Rich in vitamins, easy to grow, useful in many ways: salads, cooked, dandelion wine. In the warmer climate of North America the plant jumped the garden, as do most garden plants when moved to warmer climes...or when the climate changes....Now you have fields of wonderful yellow flowers, rich tasty leaves filled with valuable minerals and vits. So we spray it all with Round-up and other noxious chemicals, making it useless to every living thing. We mow it down to create a false environment, an ethnic cleansed yard, a monoculture, vulnerable and weak. So the plant, which can grow to a couple of feet high, now produces flowers at ground level. The seeds can be ripened on cut stalks lying on the ground and scattered by the mower. We evolve these plants ourselves and spend millions a year to continue the changeover from a tall useful plant to a short, useless plant. We spend millions every year dealing with the increased pollen from our new ragweeds, in medicine and gasoline and mowers. I have many friends who spend hundreds of dollars on new lawn tractors. I have neighbors who ride a lawn tractor around in circles for hours in their little lawns, chopping weeds and flowers and herbs, medicines, food.... replacing it all with a puny, weak grass which produces a dull green yard and lots more pollen. Instead of a mix of pollen-free clover, plantains, dandelions, ground ivy we get dead brown roads and dull green lawns. This is evolution under management, like what happens in our schools.

Every great mind was a mind in isolation, free of the crowd mentality. We teach this. We show how Einstein was a poor student, unwilling to follow the school line of thought. He got a second rate job and instead of sitting with the boys talking about soccer and sex he thought about Life and the Universe. Hawking sits in his chair, isolated in his dis-ease, speaking by proxy and thinking not about soccer, sex and "Survivor"...although he might..... Edison was nearly deaf, a maverick and a loony who slept hardly at all and tried many times to make something work, without thinking about the black skin of his assistant, just about the work. Yet in our schools we teach team work. We teach children to repeat facts without questions, to rely on the knowledge of others and the facts of the moment. We teach them lies and when they find out that the lies were lies we teach them that sometimes we lie to make a point, or to prepare for a greater truth. Like teaching the long way to do a math problem rather than a quick way to solve the same problem. We memorize false facts about our history and if some poor kid should raise his hand and ask, for instance, why we teach Jefferson thought democracy was great when he wrote that it was dangerous and should be avoided because the masses were uneducated and silly. Then he screwed his slave, chatted with his wife and sold his children. The kid is sent to the office for being a mind in isolation.

What would it be like if we nurtured these minds and this kind of thinking? If the kid being teased for being weak was given extra classes and opportunities would he then not bring an assault weapon to school and murder the teasers? What if instead of young men being told to "Kill them!" as they entered the football field, what if they were taught aikido, yoga, herbalism, reikei, philosophy, debate, dialogue and compromise? When if when that young weak man was attacked by the football players he was able to twist them down onto the ground, without pain, and force them to rethink their attitudes and assumptions? What if black kids were allowed to give speeches about the founding father's support for genocide and slavery? What if instead of apologizing for past repression we took the money we spend on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction and rebuilt the inner cities and trolley systems and built windplants on the corners and roofs of the big cities? What if we considered aggressive thoughts to be a kind of mental illness? If people who wanted to join the police in order to "get the bad guys" were weeded out and given therapy so they joined the "force" to mediate and assist in neighborhood disputes? What if we made sure everyone had a home and enough food to eat and then took the excess resources and healed the world?

Ethnic cleansing is in our culture and it always has been, in much the way that a gene for a disease is in so many people. Something triggers it and people die. That we so easily kill the things around us, the flowers, the herbs, the natural medicines, shows that we have been indocrinated into this form of thinking. The lone mind, in isolation, in a basement corner, typing into his blog suggesting ways to make things healthier is the aberration. Even he must think hard not to flinch when, walking down the city streets, he sees a young black man approaching. Even he must force his eyes away from the breasts of the young woman bending down to pick up her child. To think about what you do is to introduce a higher form of life into the equation, a more expanded kind of consciousness. So, when you weed or chop or kill, you think about what and who you kill. You honor their deaths and think about the life you have changed. The seeds of the dandelion ripen in the sun and fly away. Maybe they fly away because the mother plant has told them that "Here there are men with their blades and chemicals." Maybe they are flying away to a better place, with stories in their isolated minds about a time when they were cultivated and cared for and grew tall and bright in the sun.

I thought awhile back that this next election would be "fixed" like the last one. I figured that if things were hard to do one way a backup plan could be used, maybe even suspending the election due to terrorist threats. Yesterday they announced that some unspecified but credible threat had been detected that may target gatherings like conventions or even polling places. So it might not be safe to vote, ya know. Might be more prudent to stay home, to wait and see. Can't change horses in mid-stream and changing Commanders-in-Chief in the middle of a war would be insane, even dangerous. So I'm thinking we will see four more years of the same group thinking that has killed so many tens of thousands of people. The Other White Meat has chosen his running mate. I wonder, do they run, do they mate? He says we should "Stay the course" which seems to me that he has the same handlers as the Burning Bush.

Trickster loves to fool around, to teach the masses that things change and that group thinking leads to poor thinking. The Trickster is the ultimate mind in isolation, the Shaman God. In all those myths through all those centuries, the solitary mind tries to change things by extraordinary means. If it ever worked it eventually failed, because people like to think in masses, like dandelions. Eventually we learn to keep our heads down, to bloom down low and send out our seed even after our own deaths. We teach our children that things change and they must be willing to change and travel far sometimes in order to grow and prosper. Then Trickster comes through with a busload of prisoners, free thinkers and thieves and mows down all life along the way, except the deaths are not forever and Life can only be changed, so in the end the Great Trick of the Trickster is that he is helping us change and promoting Life.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

An aspect of guilt has come to my attention. The spinning in circles kind of guilt that leaves you breathless but seems to accomplish little. In this aspect it is like the Dervish, whose accomplishments are more in the spiritual side than in the obvious whirling side.

It starts as a guilt over having survived. This is well documented and there's probably a 7th step to work thru it. Nevertheless, it is insidious and pervasive. IN fact you are often told by some well meaning person that "You mustn't feel guilty." For someone who always says "Screw the establishment" this is a red flag to guilt. But it doesn't hold water because you haven't survived any more than your son has survived, or for that matter any one still alive at this time has actually survived in that we all have "Moved on". You have to, because you are alive and "Alive" is change.

So you have to have survived in some form.

There is the Superman guilt over not being a Superman who can somehow make things right. I imagine that Jehovah feels this sometimes. But if you feel that you should be doing more, you tend to do less because less is more. That is to say, that Less is more, somewhere else. See, unless someone spends way too much time thinking, which I would have to concede is all pretty much my son can do.... So if at some point they can unscramble Jon's brains and bring him to some point we'd all recognize, it wouldn't work, because I am not the father he last saw and spoke with any more than he is the same son I spoke to last. So we both have moved on, like a scene fade in a Swedish movie. It's not the same as "Goodbye". But it is a bit of that whenever you part company with someone you love, now...Each day they behead someone or blow someplace up. Someone could decided that brain injured individuals are God's Blight and go behead them all. Yes, it could happen. So each "goodbye" might be, yes, a "GOODBYE".

There's suddenly an awareness that what we leave behind for some future archeologist, some child of my children perhaps, is "what" we were. A bit of pottery might hold some imprint decipherable in some future technology, the sound of the potter having a conversation with people in the room. You just never know what may be a fewmet to some might be a revelation to some other. Best not to start with shit, unless it be compost.

You want the house to be nice, so you work at it. You want money to somehow be in some bank account, so you arrange for it to be there. But so rare the opportunity to leave behind a voice. And then there's the mute. Or the guy with the hole in his throat. A man with a vocalizer spoke to me at the gas station and it took three repeats to make me understand what he was saying and answer intelligibly. What if the ONE uses a vocalizer? It might take so many misunderstandings before the POINT is made. Lots of stuff could happen that didn't make much sense, because as we know, God Said the Word, and the Word was Creation... or some such thing.

So if you take the time to sit and Document Yourself for your future child, perhaps child of your help understand some other Clue you might leave behind... We might be a series of generations of mumblers, leaving behind fragments of expressions trying to explain to a toddler of some 50 years why the earth rocks and why men have knees. The important stuff. By then you are losing the ability to remember the important stuff yourself. IT just starts to remind you of What Dreams May Come and you get to play all the parts. Good for a Movie but kinda sucky for Living Thru.

I threw a loaf of bread out to the chickens today. Jalapeno Cheddar with some mold. I hope the mold isn't psychaelic because for a chicken the world is a bright and colorful place. They focus on just everything and having a hot pepper in your craw could just "bend your mind, man" as a Rhode Island Red might cluck on psilocybin.

In all my childhood dreams I never would have thought of the irony of looking up at the lawn, as I do now. My parents lived in a basement apartment briefly when I was born, so then too I looked up at a lawn. I used to dig holes in the back yard and join them up with tunnels. My dad was upset that I didn't shore them up but I had plans to and they always got shut down before could get the lumber. As a metaphor for life, life proves a difficult metaphor. That's why we tend to use myth. If life is proving difficult to understand, then myth is the perfect way to make it understandable, as long as one understands there is a difference and moves to live life and understand myth.