Monday, September 26, 2011

Lost Opportunities

I'm feeling a little guilty tonight. I had an opportunity to maybe really help someone, and I blew it. I'm feeling especially bad because I feel that this is what I do, what I've always been meant to do, and yet I let the moment pass; because I was too concerned with myself.

A young Asian woman approached my car as I was ordering food at a drive-in, waving at me through the window and then walking over to the driver's side. I already knew what she was about. Dressed presentably, with the black strap and bag over the shoulder; I'd seen this before. A Moonie; a devotee of the notorious cult leader Rev. Sun Myung Moon. A waste of time. And she of course wants to waste my time, and solicit for money. Well, I'm a little busy. I showed her my debit card and told her that's all I had (which was the truth). Of course, they take credit cards. Well, there is no way I'm giving her a credit card number. She looks in my car and eyes a box of food on the seat. Is she hungry? She asks if I have even any change, and I say I do not (again, true). So she steps back, gives me a polite half-bow and thank you, and then is on her way.

I pull over, and try to organize myself, and began to think about how I know that she is being deceived, and that she does not even know it, soliciting donations for Rev. Moon at 9:15 in the evening on a Sunday night. I've talked to these people before, at the front door, and when you tell them that you know who they are, they admit to it, but cannot see that they are being used for a gigantic LIE, because they are so deeply enthralled by the message and indoctrination of Rev. Moon. My heart began to ache for the young woman. I should have talked to her. I should talk to her. So I drove down the street, looking for her.

After a while, I saw her again, entering one business, and then walking back out maybe one minute later. Then she entered another place, another Asian restaurant, and stayed in there for maybe five to seven minutes. Good. Maybe they are feeding her. Maybe she is having success at collecting donations. Then she eventually comes out, and moves on further down the street, to a large Asian shopping center, in which most of the business have closed for the night. I am hesitant about approaching her now, not wanting to cause her fear or think that I have bad intentions, and I am afraid now too. Does she know that I am following her in my car? I don't think so, but I am beginning to feel kind of creepy about it. I usually don't do this sort of thing. She moves from one place to yet another Asian restaurant I believe, across the lonely parking, and disappears. I look around a few more times, go up and down the street once or twice, and come to believe that, or really hope that, someone has taken compassion upon her, and is maybe feeding her and talking to her, perhaps even in her own language. I don't see her anymore, and I head for home.

I had planned to giver her a little money; find an ATM somewhere; and talk to her. Not a romantic interest, but more of just seeing someone who obviously is unknowingly lost, and trying to talk a little about it. Just planting a seed, maybe something said, or maybe just the act of caring. Days, weeks, months or even years later, just a small something that might be a little contribution toward ending the lot of someone who is in slavery, and who does not realize it, and then just maybe beginning the process of their freedom. We only have a finite time, here on this earth. To rearrange or re-start a life that has been diverted, or to reach out and help someone who has been placed in front of you for this very purpose. Do not be like me, and let the moment pass. Life is too short, and Grace only rarely makes an appearance within it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Please Come To Boston

Dave Loggins

Please come to Boston for the spring time
I'm stayin' here with some friends
And they've got lots of room
You can sell your paintings on the sidewalk
By a cafe where I hope to be workin' soon
Please come to Boston,
She said, "No"
"Would you come home to me?"

And she said, "Hey, ramblin' boy,
Now won't you settle down?
Boston ain't your kind of town
There ain't no gold and
There ain't nobody like me,
I'm the number one fan
Of the man from Tennessee."

Please come to Denver with the snow fall
We'll move up into the mountains so far
That we can't be found
And throw "I love you's" echo down the canyon
And then lie awake at night, until they come back around
Please come to Denver,
She said, "No"
"Boy, would you come home to me?"

And she said, "Hey, ramblin' boy,
Why don't you settle down?
Denver ain't your kind of town
There ain't no gold
And there ain't nobody like me,
'Cause I'm the number one fan
Of the man from Tennessee"

Now, this drifter's world goes 'round and 'round
And I doubt that it's ever gonna stop,
But of all the dreams I've lost or found
And all that I ain't got,
I still need to lean to
Somebody I can sing to

Please come to LA to live forever
California life alone is just too hard to build
I live in a house that looks out over the ocean
And there's some stars that fell from the sky
And livin' up on the hill,
Please come to LA
She just said, "No"
"Boy, won't you come home to me?"

And she said, "Hey, ramblin' boy,
"Why don't you settle down?
LA can't be your kind of town
There ain't no gold and
There ain't nobody like me,
No, no, I'm the number one fan
Of the man from Tennessee
I'm the number one fan
Of the man from Tennessee"

Monday, January 24, 2011

If I Were A Carpenter

I remember hearing this as a little kid; and thinking how beautiful it never hear it anymore....

If I Were A Carpenter
sung by Bobby Darin

If I were a carpenter
and you were a lady,
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby?

If a tinker were my trade
would you still find me,
carryin' the pots I made,
followin' behind me.

Save my love through loneliness,
Save my love for sorrow,
I've given you my onliness,
Come give me your tomorrow.

If I worked my hands in wood,
Would you still love me?
Answer me babe, "Yes I would,
I'll put you above me."

If I were a miller
at a mill wheel grinding,
would you miss your color box,
and your soft shoe shining?

If I were a carpenter
and you were a lady,
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby?
Would you marry anyway?
Would you have my baby?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Candied Ethics

For some reason, I was thinking of this on the drive home today from work:

I must have been about twelve yrs. old or so. Maybe in the 7th grade? I had just barely begun junior high school, and was still adjusting to the overwhelming experience of that trauma, after leaving the safe cocoon of elementary school. We had had a canned food drive in one of my classes for some cause; probably to feed needy people I suppose, and on a certain day we were to bring in our cans. Well, I had my cans set out the night before, after asking my mother if it was ok if I took some food, and what all exactly I could take. She put two cans in a bag on the kitchen counter, so that I could just grab them on my way out of the door to school the next morning. Morning came, and I rushed off to school, without the cans of food. I don't know if I'd even realized this, until I was sitting in that class, and our temporary interim teacher asked us all to come up to his desk and drop off our cans. Needless to say, I just stayed in my seat, with no cans to contribute. Afterward, one-by-one, on the basis of the rows in which we were sitting, each kid was called up and allowed to dip into a bowl full of candy and take a few pieces back to their seat. When my turn came, I of course dutifully went to the front of the room and took a share of the candy. When you're 12, you don't want to stand out, or seem different from the rest of the group; so it was not so much that I even wanted any candy, but rather that I did not wish to stand out or be singled out, and so I walked to the front of the room and took what I considered to be my share. I did this without any sense of shame at all or any consciousness that I'd done anything wrong. This would all be straightened out tomorrow, when I brought in the cans of vegetables that I had left on the kitchen counter that morning. No big deal. Or, so I thought. I was one of the “good” kids, who always did his work, and always did well. Always compliant, always complicit. Even the bad kids though, even the worst of kids, brought in cans of food for the needy on that day. But I didn't. I noticed that, and someone else had noticed it to. After everyone had got a go at the candy and was settled into their seats, the teacher asked for our attention, as he had something very important to tell us. There was someone in this room who had enjoyed in the partaking of the candy. This someone however, had not brought in any canned food for the food drive. Here, a lesson was to be taught. There are some people who take, who in a sense take from others, when they have done nothing to earn such a privilege. What kind of a person does this? You've not only wronged yourself, you've wronged everyone in this classroom. Come up here, and admit your wrong doing, and we can then end this situation. This all went on for quite some time, it seemed. If you don't come up here and admit what you've done, well it's a shame, it's a bloody crime against humanity....and I just guess that you'll have to live with yourself and what you are, and what you've done.

Well, I was having none of this. This may have been the first time in my life that I ever resisted authority, or had refused to obey an order, or felt a compulsion to not allow such a thing to happen. And I was a good kid. I obeyed my teachers, my parents. I did the right thing, all the time. People, older people, knew that about me. This teacher, a shaggy-haired recovering hippie-type with round Lennon glasses, probably a real feely-sensitive know-it-all, turned hard-ass, was going to teach me, in this inner-city school, about what I didn't know, about ethics, and right and wrong. And he was going to be tough about it, because these kids are all tough and they don't know between right-and-wrong, and the enlightened have to teach people like these and those around them, just basic right and wrong, so that they can know it, and then not forget it. I wasn't scared of this guy, and I was no longer scared of the situation that I'd gotten myself into, by my mistake. In fact, he disgusted me. All of the sudden, it was no longer me sitting there in that seat being berated by some do-gooder turned hard-ass fool, it was some other kid, some poor kid that couldn't stand up for himself, who was being beaten down and taken apart in front of everyone, by someone with all of the control, with complete control. Me though, I just sat there, as if above it in a way, and watched it all happen, with heels dug deep into the ground. And I knew at that moment, that I would never, never in my life, be complicit with such an act, such an act of the bullying use of power against the weak. No matter what he had, no matter what he did, no matter what he said; there would be no acknowledgment from me, never, in any way, whatsoever. Only resistance.

The next day, I brought in my cans of food and explained to the teacher that I had forgotten them on the previous morning. I can't remember exactly what was said, but the gist of it was that basically I knew that what I had done was wrong, and yes they'd take the food if it was still at all possible, although it was a real hardship for everyone involved since it was a day late, and that essentially I was a real sorry sonofabitch for trying skirt my way out from under all of this in such a manner.

Yeah?, well fuck you too. That's the day I became free.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fast Train

Here's a song I recently discovered while watching the former HBO television series The Wire, performed by the great Solomon Burke

Fast Train

Well, you've been on a fast train, and it's going off the rails
And you can't come back, can't come back again
And you start breaking down
In the pouring rain
Well you've been on a fast train

When your lover has gone away, don't it make you feet so sad
And you go on a journey way into the land
And you start breaking down
'Cos you're under the strain
And you jump on a fast train

You had to go on the lam you, stepped into no-man's land
Ain't nobody here on your waveband
Ain't nobody gonna give you a helping hand
And you start breaking down
And you just go into the sound
When you hear that fast train

And you keep moving on, to the sound of the wheels
And deep inside your heart, you really know oh, just how it feels
And you start breaking down, and go into the pain
Keep on moving on a fast train

You're way over the line, next thing you're out of your mind
And you're out of your depth, in through the window she crept
Oh there's nowhere to go, in the sleet and the snow
Just keep on moving on a fast train

You had to go on the lam, stepping in no-man's land
Ain't nobody here on your waveband
Nobody even gonna lend you a helping hand
Oh and you're so alone, can you really make it on your own
Keep on moving on a fast train

Oh going nowhere, except on a fast train
Oh trying to get away from the past
Oh keep on moving keep on, moving on a fast train
Going nowhere across the desert sand through the barren waste
On a fast train going nowhere,
On a fast train going nowhere

Friday, October 15, 2010

UFO's Over NYC !!

The New York Daily News reported on Thursday 14, as did many other news outlets, of a mysterious UFO sighting over Manhattan on October 13, 2010, the day before. The article also mentions that a former NORAD officer recently published a book stating that UFO's would visit major world cities on October 13 of this year. Very interesting. It's all being explained away as party "balloons" which escaped up into the air. I didn't see it, so I don't know. The Daily News story has several comments posted at the end of the article; one of which I found to be very thought-provoking:

"For several years now, I've had the haunting suspicion/feeling that something like this (and most likely, this) was going to happen but on a much larger scale -- more UFOs at lower altitudes, worldwide. They're not from other planets/dimensions but are the reappearance of Archetypes of old which the ancients wrongly thought to be "gods." Bizarre sightings such as this, archetypes, manifest when humanity is soon to undergo an evolutionary transformation of humanitys' collective psyche. This evolutionary transformation is in man's mentality and moral nature. Obviously, that means that stock-brokers and bankers will not be included. This is most likely the "new heaven and new earth." With the stupid mess we have this world in, lets hope it is."
Read more:

This idea of archetypes goes back to the work of Carl Jung, student of Sigmund Freud and founder of his own field in the area of psychology. More on his work can be found here:. I have always been a big fan of Jung, and his autobiography, "Memories, Dreams and Reflections", was one of the most influential works I've ever read in my life. Whatever UFO's ultimately turn out to be, I think that the archetypes, the underlying symbol world of the unconscious, is something that has guided us from the beginning, and is at work even still today.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Pepsi Refresh Project

-We're looking for people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive impact. Look around your community and think about how you want to change it-

Check out the following link I came across the other day. I haven't had time yet to look too much into it, but maybe we could put some of our good ideas to work through this project! Pepsi Refresh Project


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
...But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man (or a woman!), my son (daughter)!

--Rudyard Kipling