Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Ancient Life

I have decided on a title for this little series. "My Ancient Life".
So I'm here again with my thoughts on my life as an older women.  Many of the women I talk to enjoy their lives now.  I think a lot of them in their 70's feel this is all there is and so are not wanting to change, grow, or do too much different.  I guess this is sort of natural but it isn't at all how I feel.  I am interested in so many things and feel I just don't have enough time to pursue them all.  My will to do is strong but the body is weak.
A lot of my activities now center around church but this is because that is where my local friends   were met and mostly hang out.  There is Sunday church, Bible study Tuesday nights, Thursday morning Martha's Circle( a study and craft group), and monthly Woman to Women meetings.  In addition there are the events like Craft and Bake Sale, luncheons and teas and the rummage sale.  It seems like a lot of church activity but it is in mostly women's activities.
If I had not met my friends at church I would most likely be at the Red Hat Society, have Bunco nights, go on outings to galleries and museums etc. In other words I sort of do what my friends do. My most prominent interests are in sharing and being with others and I mostly go along with their interests.  I go where I am invited.
That is sort of sad isn't it.  No, not really when what you are interested in are people.  You can find them everywhere and in all sorts of interest categories.
My most abiding love and interest is in God but I am not talking about it right now. My husband is also an abiding love for over 50 years but I'm not talking about him here either. Or my amimals who I love, have loved and lost, etc.
My personal interests are reading, some TV shows and movies, politics and world events, science, philosophy; and scrap booking, making jewelry, baking, and THE COMPUTER.  I can spend all day just on the computer, but I try not to.  I also love to shop at grocery, home goods and big box stores. I also love to shop on QVC and HSN.  I love magazines as they keep me up on what is happening in the worlds of fashion, celebrities, news and the high life. In magazines you do not have to stop for commercials and ads like on TV or computer.  You can just ignore whatever doesn't interest you.
There is just not time or energy for all my interests and sometimes I really have trouble finding focus among them.  I am so happy I am retired but it was nice when I had more money.
You will notice none of these interests involve sports or physical activity.  I used to love martial arts but I cannot work out anymore.  When you can no longer participate or teach you feel like a 5th wheel.  I was never into team sports but I did like to go on long walks in parks or woods, ride bicycle, go on long drives and see sights, travel to foreign places and countries, etc.  I can no longer do any of these but I can live vicariously through my friend's pictures and word portraits, as well as travel shows on TV.  When I ride in the car for a few hours I can hardly walk and am really done for the day. I enjoy eating out as well, but it is spend y.
So there you have it.  Most of my old age activities.  There are a few more but we will leave them for other posts.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Changing direction for the time being.

It is sometimes necessary to reflect and then begin to consider new areas to pursue.  I have long felt there is very little out there for older women.  What do you consider older?, you might ask.  For me older begins at 50 and rapidly progresses to 60, 70, 80 and beyond.   
This may seem to be extreme to my nieces, who have already passed the threshold but for me, it only seems to get better with each year that passes.  I was very unhappy as a child and cried rivers over things I barely remember now.  As a teen I was extremely miserable because I wasn't popular, didn't have a boyfriend, never went to a prom, and all the other foolishness my peers enjoyed in abundance.  As soon as I left home for college the clouds lifted and I began to be me.  The freedom to reinvent myself made me the happiest I had ever been.  Moving to New York City when I was 18 gave me the final thrust into the unknown and new adventures. 
Each decade since then has brought it's own trials and triumphs.
I am absolutely enjoying my old age and again each decade brings it own satisfactions and sadness's.
My intention for this new focus in my blog is to help you understand some of the challenges and new directions one must take, perhaps unwillingly, as one either gets older or dies.  It is one or the other my friends so we may as well enjoy the journey.
I hope that many of you will join my circle of friends and sign up for G+.  It is really quite painless and you can adopt a fake name if you so desire, but I would very much like to hear your comments and point of view on this subject.
The first subject I would like to address is the lack of information, media( social or otherwise), reality shows, etc. available for older women. 
The Golden Girls is the only TV show I can think of for older women.  It is enjoying a long life on reruns but really, we can do better.  There are no fashion or household magazines dedicated to older women. "More"  tried to make a weak attempt but it just doesn't cut it.  We are beginning to see a few older female actors in Movies, but damn it they look so young.  What about Margaret Rutherford or her kind?  It would certainly be more realistic to show older women as they really are rather than the cougars the magazines seem to favor.  AARP is interesting, but again it profiles the youngest among the old and is specific to money, insurance, etc.  Except for geriatric catalogues there isn't much else relevant to my present life to read.  
I am going to end here to see what kind of feedback this blog generates.  If you want it and don't want to sign up for Google +, just like the announcement on Facebook or email me.    Since I don't have much time left, generally speaking, I need some direction now.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Walk in the neighborhood.

My new morning routine. Coffee, check computer for email, bank and Facebook, more coffee, bathroom, gather supplies, call my little dog, she comes; and then I have to chase and catch her so we can go for our walk.  This is a little game with her.  She wants to go for her walk but first she has to play hard to get.  Once I catch her I lift her up, kiss her little neck, carry her to the counter to get dressed and then get my walker.
I put on her into her little service dog vest and her leash. I have my walker, cane, pepper spray, cell phone, inhaler, sun glasses and poop bags.   Oh, and I almost forgot, my coffee in a container hooked to the seat of the walker.  Now I am ready to go for a walk with my Chihuahua
It is a lovely day, full of sunshine, which immediately makes me clip on my sun glasses.  As we strolled along Angie detoured to pee on the neighbors lawn, then skipped ahead to the utmost length of her 15 foot retractable lease and lead the way like a mushing sled dog. 
On ward ho! until we spotted a kitty in the far distance.  Suddenly we stopped, dead alert for this unforeseen intrusion on our peaceful walk.  Ears straight up(Angie's, not mine), and tail at full mast, we watched as kitty scooted across the street and slid under a garage door. Said door conveniently left open 4 inches for several neighborhood cats.
Interest now gone,  Angie starts up the street again at breakneck speed sloshing my coffee as I attempt to keep up with her.   It never fails to amaze me how much strength a 7 lb Chihuahua with a mission can exert.  As we pass neatly trimmed lawns  my little dog stops to squat and deposit a teaspoon of liquid on the grass.  Further along she takes the same action on a rock lawn, but also stops to sniff among the wild flowers.  Ah Ha!! she has found a snack of some unknown origin.  It could be gum, poop or a dead cricket for all I know, but she seems to enjoy it immensely and patently ignores my shrike of anguish.
Once said snack is eaten with great relish my little lady resumes our walk.  Tail held high and a spirit of inquiry in her normally soft eyes.  She cannot wait to find the next adventure.  Soon we begin to pass one of the alleys which cross behind most of the houses in our area.  Angie doesn't seem to realize that the walker wheels do not travel well over dirt, ruts and gravel, so she is forced to stop at the end of the leash and find a place to poop.  She walks back and forth in ever tightening radius until she finds the perfect place to drop her offering to the alley spirits. At this point I must leave my walker and proceed, plastic bag in hand, to retrieve her waste.  Angie does not even glance at me as I conduct this rather strange activity.  She cannot wait to pull me to the next challenge. I, however, must hold her back until I find one of the huge city garbage cans to deposit the plastic bag.
She is so impatient to get on with her walk she makes me trip over a rut before I manage to make the walker. Off we go again, now with a bit more decorum from my pup.  She stops to smell more spots and in a lush patch of grass begins to eat certain tasty blades.  She chooses from the lawn very carefully.  A blade here and another one there.  Never munch all at once from the same little patch.  I can't help wondering what guides her selection.  They all look the same to me.   Perhaps one is flavored from a spot of pee from some former dog, or even some more exotic animal like a raccoon or a bird.  What ever the draw she finally manages to eat her fill and then the retching begins.  Her tail curls between the legs and up under her belly.  Her whole body spasm's from back to front several times until finally she hacks up a blob of mucus and chopped grass.  She surveys this output for several seconds then hoists her tail and we are off to other pursuits. 
In the meantime, between all of Angie's activities, I maintain my role as protector, and follower, bringing up the rear guard and taking a sip of coffee when we stop for a minute..  I have my cane at the ready to beat off other dogs or human attackers, if the case may be.  I also have my little pink canister of pepper spray in my pocket to use only as a last resort.  With my aim I would most likely spray Angie instead of an attacking dog.  My plan would be to quickly place Angie on the seat of the walker where she has some protection on four sides.  I would then use my voice (or kiai) and banish my cane like a short jo to scare off any attackers.  Once, before I had to use a walker, we were attacked by a dog running out of an alley.(the dog was running, not Angie or me)  Anyway I grabbed her and put her on top of a large blue plastic garbage can(fortunately it was re-cycling pick up day) and faced the evil dog, cane in hand.  I let our a yell and stepped towards the dog banishing the cane, and he ran off yipping. Angie watched the whole process with interest from her perch on the garbage can and was none the worse for ware.  I was shaking and couldn't breathe and had to resort to leaning on the can and using my inhaler.  I always say I have about 20 seconds of intense activity before I am done for. This is just about time to save either my little dog or myself.  So far I have chosen the dog and it has worked out O.K.
Of course the highlight of any walk for Angie is to meet one of her little dog friends.  Two of them Poppie and Keeko, live together with their humans, around the corner and up the block.  Another friend, Little Bucko, lives two blocks away and we see him less frequently as his human leaves early for work.  These three little dogs are Angie's favorites but she will show interest in any dog, no matter how far away.  Her interest is very short lived.  She is such a CAP(Canine American Princess) that her attention to any other animal is very short lived.    It is a brief sniff and be sniffed under the tail, and then she wants to be on her way.  No matter if the other dog is drooling with excitement about potential play.  Off we go with no backward glance to find the next interesting thing.
Finally we have made the circle to home from whatever direction she chose to start from, and our walk is over.  Angie never shows any disappointment that her one walk of the day is over.  Instead she walks at my side with the leash off from the fire hydrant to our front door. We take the leash off to show we trust her, but it is never very far because she has been known in the past to gleefully play Duck, Duck, Goose, and you know who the goose is.
Angie is impatient when I open the front door because she has to run for her bacon strip treat.  And she dances around as I struggle with the walker through the front door. Finally I give her the treat and she jumps on her green pillow on the sofa for her well deserved rest.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

An apologists view on prayer



noun \ə-ˈpä-lə-jist\
: a person who defends or supports something (such as a religion, cause, or organization) that is being criticized or attacked by other people 
Every culture prays or has prayed to some sort of God or Deity.  They must believe prayer brings them benefits or they would not continue the practice.  Muslims bow toward Mecca five times a day and pray, and in their mosques, offer their prayers to Allah.  Hindu's pray both at home and in temples to their representations of God.  Christians pray at home and in churches to God, Jesus, Mary and some, to a list of saints. Jews pray at home and in the temple to  the unnamed God whom some call Y H W H  or Adonai which means Lord.  There are at least a dozen other revered religions like Jain, Sikh, Buddhist, etc.etc. all of which offer prayers to either their God or those who possess virtues who have passed on.  There are many early religions which have prayed to sacred symbols, animals, locations or spirits who have influenced their lives. There are many religions of today who pray to founders, or spirits who inhabit special realms in the Himalayas or other places.
There are books and videos and CD's on prayer, how to pray and how to influence the god or Gods to do your will.  My niece used to say God is not a wish nick but many persons direct their prayers as if the object of their prayer was one. 
There is the "Prayer of Jabez" to increase your territory which has attracted a  a whole series by itself.

I would imagine there are as many kinds of prayer as there are men and women who pray, but I think they all have one thing in common.  An attempt by a mortal to connect with a source or being other than his or herself  to effect a relationship and gain some kind of favor.
Full Definition of FAVOR. 1. a (1): friendly regard shown toward another especially by a superior (2): approving consideration or attention

Many Atheists and agnostics find no reason for prayer and deny any attributes for it.  Others of a "spiritual" nature, but not religious in any sense, feel it may effect some change but are at a loss to explain how or what occurs when one prays.
Now having put forth all of the above what do I think?
I call myself a follower of Jesus and I pray to God and the Holy Spirit which I believe exists in all of us. 
How or What is prayerfor me? :
I compare it to the butterfly effect which occurs when a small insignificant creature in South America flaps it's wings and influences the wind in Texas.
"The butterfly effect is a term used in chaos theory to describe how small changes to a seemingly unrelated thing or condition (also known as an initial condition) can affect large, complex systems. The term comes from the suggestion that the flapping of a butterfly's wings in South America could affect the weather in Texas, meaning that the tiniest influence on one part of a system can have a huge effect on another part. Taken more broadly, the butterfly effect is a way of describing how, unless all factors can be accounted for, large systems like the weather remain impossible to predict with total accuracy because there are too many unknown variables to track."(From Wise Geek )

We know without doubt that people can communicate with each other without wires or other attachments.  Cell phones, the Internet, and satellite communications prove this beyond any apparent doubt.  Why is it so far fetched or a matter of only faith, to believe we can communicate with our Creator or the Spirit or Life Force within each of us?  We have horse whispers and dog whispers and  and people who communicate with other animals.  We know that many of earth's creatures communicate with sounds humans cannot hear or understand. Many animals like dolphins, and elephants communicate on levels we seek desperately to understand.  Birds fly in V shaped formation with no apparent communications and ants scurry to the latest sugar find and bees fly towards a threat to their hive, with a suddenness we cannot begin to understand.
Communication which is unheard or not understood is rampant through out the universe and yet so many doubt the power and effect of prayers. I know many will say prove to me prayer has an effect and possibly I too would believe.  I only believe in what can be known, understood or seen.
O.K. then, Does a tree which falls in the forest make a sound if there is no one there to hear it? 

Best AnswerVoter's Choice

  • Kid B answered 4 years ago

Everything that vibrates the air creates the potential for sound, regardless of what conscious being is there to perceive it in the first place. If there is nobody is there to perceive it occurring, then it could not exist as sound, only vibration.

Sound is a subjective interaction with matter. All that sound is, is vibrations through a medium, without humans to perceive it, those vibrations that we call sound, when the tree fell, would make vibrations, but "sound" as we know it, couldn't exist, since no conscious being was there to interpret those vibrations.
O.K. so a vibration can be heard only if there is a conscious being to interpret the vibration.  But Humans are conscious beings so why if mental vibrations, or brain waves are generated when we pray, cannot another conscious being receive the brain wave or vibration and be effected by it?
I think science has not yet discovered the effects and consequences of prayer but that doesn't mean there are none.  The generation of and reception of individual brain waves to and from others has not yet been proven by science. I think individual and group prayers do have an effect on the consciousness of the receiver and can generate physical changes in health, happiness and even material bodies.  As with other ideas it remains to be seen or proved but I believe in possibilities and things unseen.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friendship Lost, then Regained

Last week, Jan 31st to Feb 6 I received a visit from my lost friend C.M.  I had known C for 8 years between 1964 and 1974.  We lost touch because I abandoned her after she got pregnant with her daughter K.  I didn't let her go because she was pregnant, but because I had issues with her husband.  C's mother had recently regained her health and I felt with her baby and mother for support C would be too busy to care if I was no longer in her life.  Unfortunately, I could not just let our relationship drift.  Instead I wrote her an apparently devastating letter telling her I no longer wanted to be friends.  I did this for a variety of reasons which I can barely recall now, 42 years later.  I know one of the expressed reasons was that she and her husband were always comparing everything they did with us to our detriment. Our house, our car, our furniture, our wood paneling, our anything was up for competition.  I think I secretly feared the baby and their little family would be compared to our childless state, as well. We were in the relationship for friendship, not competition.
  I know I included C in my reasoning but the letter was truly directed to her husband.  My husband had said he never wanted to see M again or have him in our home.  I was young and inexperienced with handling situations like this so instead of talking to C I sent her a Dear John letter.  This had the intended result but I always missed C in my life and felt guilty about what I had done. 

In August 2013 when I was thinking about C, I looked her up on Face book  I discover she was no longer married to M and was in face in a deep relationship with a man she loved with all her heart.  After reading her timeline and that of her daughter K, I got up the courage to contact her and asked her if she would be able to renew you friendship. I have briefly copied my request and her gracious response below.

Claire Sastri

Hi C, I was looking for old friends on Facebook and there you were. Would you like to catch up again. Claire(Terry) Sastri

  • August 31, 2013
  • Hi again C. thanks for friending me. It has been a long time.  Can you send me an email, so I can update you on what has happened in my life since we were in touch? K is a lovely young woman. I'm sorry I missed her growing up years. Love, Terry

    • The Claire threw me off, but Sastri definitely got my attention. I'd love to reconnect with you; I felt so awful way back then when you "broke up" with me. I had such high regard for you and valued our friendship immeasurably. I'm sure both of our lives have changed considerably. I do prefer email to facebook since it's more private, so look for mine.

    • Since this initial correspondence my friend and I have been joined at the hip.  Not literally but we email, do facebook, call each other, and best of all she visited us.

      In fact it seems like there had been no separation between us.  The events that took place in our lives took us on very separate adventures but who we really are remained the same.  I remembered C as very intelligent with a photographic memory.(She says it is not, but admits it is really good).  I also remembered her as very proficient in French and always said she spoke like a native. (she says she doesn't but did get a 3 month scholarship to McGill Univ. in Montreal to study towards her Masters). She now speaks French, Italian and Spanish fluently, and a smattering of other languages and dialects.  She is a Doctor of English Literature, who wrote her thesis on Milton.  She taught language of 30 years and is still teaching as an Associate Professor at a community college.  She has traveled to almost every country in the world as well as extensively in the U.S.  Still this amazing and learned woman is as natural and forgiving as they come. She is brave and confident and extremely loving and considerate.

      I threw away a relationship with this lovely woman many years ago and I am so blessed to have her back in my life. 
      I think I have written this as both a confession of extreme stupidity in my life, as well as a caution to others.  Be very careful in your relationships and do not let your friends and family slip away.  If you do you will miss out on life's greatest treasures 

      Wednesday, February 12, 2014


      This can be deep or shallow depending on where you are when you wade in.
      I have always thought that friendships eluded me. I felt that there was most likely something wrong with me for being unable to keep deep relationships with people, other than my husband.  I know that through our fifty years together he has been most forgiving of my deepest faults and accepting of my minor ones. 
      I have learned through the years that I have always expected way too much of the people I have called my friends.  On the one hand I have always been attracted to charismatic personalities.  For a few of my BestFriendsNever or BFN,  beginning with Christa,( followed by Marissa, Margaret, and several others who shall not be named), it was admiration at first sight and a long time after to regret.  I really loved these women for their charm, wit, sense of style and I think, secretly , their apparent admiration for me and my qualities. Alas and alack, each of these friendships resulted in them betraying me and then moving along, out of touch forever.
      I always did and still do,( and perversely so), miss their friendship.  They had me at go and when they went it left me with a huge emptiness I thought could not be filled.  I thought for a long time that everyone woman I loved and admired could not love me back and I felt a deep hole where there had been a best friend.  I felt there was something really lacking for me in the friendship department. 
      Because of these failed relationships in my late teens and early twenty's I failed to be a good friend to others.  I had learned that friendships were expendable and if I was not very careful I would be hurt again. When you do not allow yourself to feel deeply you can shut yourself off from opportunities of more lasting friendships.  You can leave locations and companies and jobs with seldom a backward glance at relationships you have left behind.  I shut the door firmly on every job I ever left, to my regret now. 
      My mom always told me you were blessed if when you were old you could count your good friends on one hand. I believed this. What I have now discovered is that if you hold to this and only seek a few good friends you are denying all the other good people and great qualities they have. I do not believe now that friendships should be limited.  Of course some people hold special places in our hearts, but we really need to be in relationship with as many people as we can.  I used to laugh at people with 800 face book friends.  I no longer laugh.  I see my sister-in-law and all the people who helped her plan and supported her through the marriage ceremonies of her daughter. I also see her daughter with 18 attendants at her wedding and am proud she values and honors so many of her friends.  We are a community to which we all contribute. 
      Over subsequent years I have had many lovely friendships with many treasured and wonderful women, but I continued to search for a BFF who had the special haunting qualities of those who had abandoned me.  I ignored all the lovely roses and pansies, lilacs, hyacinths and irises around me and kept searching for the illusive exotic orchids which had escaped me.
      Finally in my late 50's and 60's I learned to value the flowers of friendship which were offered to me and love the true beauty of these friendships which endured despite my stupidity.
      I have finally learned to value the metals of gold and silver and even brass, copper, and iron. I have always been attracted to bling and glitter, flashing lights, and the exotic.  I still unfortunately have these attractions and denying them would mean denying a part of myself.  I am, however, more discerning about the value of what and to whom I am attracted.  Core values are very real to me now and I have thankfully lived long enough to re evaluate my life and friendships.  I have had wonderful experiences with old friends who have forgotten or forgiven my past mistakes and given me the renewed friendship and love, I was afraid I had lost. I also have new friends who mean the world to me and I am so thankful they have allowed me into their lives.
      I am reminded of the hackneyed phrase" Make new friends but keep the old, some are silver and the others are gold."  And some who were lost were pure dross

      Saturday, January 18, 2014

      Poor Jackie hated me.

      It is always hard to come back.  When one has been off it is hard to be on.  I have been slightly off all my life so this is natural.
      Maybe this is why my sister hated me as a child.  Being slightly off garners a lot of attention.  I was so like my father in this way that we totally bemused my mom and perhaps my sister. 
      My earliest memories of my sister are of her not liking me and me trying to get her approval.  I think this happens a lot with younger sisters.  I am sure this played a part with my nieces.
      The younger sister never feels as valued by mom as does the older.  It stands to reason that since the older girl was mom's first little baby girl, she got all the pictures and attention and special love only an only child or first girl can experience.  I see the love lavished on baby Natalie now in our family and woe be to the second if ever she comes along.  Mama favored Jackie all along but when I was sick it took a lot of attention away from her in her adolescent years. 
      Anyway, I adored my sister as much as she loathed me.  I always wanted to be near her and her friends.  Mama used to make Jackie take me with her when she went to the movies with friends or even on dates, like to the country fair and the little traveling circus.  You see we lived in the country and there were at first no other little kids around me.
      I had rheumatic fever(St Vitus Dance), when I was like six and a half to seven and a half.  I had to stay in bed all the time for one year and then start up real slow.  They didn't want my heart strained in any way. The thing I had resulted in facial movements and twitches, but hadn't effected my heart as rheumatic fever often does.  I was on penicillin until I graduated from high school.  The year I was in bed I had to have a blood test(sedrate) once a week.  My mom and dad ran a truck stop cafe and garage while I was in bed.  Our house was on a little hill and my bed was placed next to a window where I could sometimes catch a glimpse of mama through her window in the little lunch room down the hill from me. She worked very long hours cooking and serving at the cafe.  We were connected by a walkie/talkie from my bed, down the little hill and to the kitchen attached to the garage.  Mama could hear me all the time but she had to press down on a button to speak to me.  I used to sing to myself and talk out loud as I told myself stories.  The truckers would sometime asked my mom what kind of children's program she was listening to on the radio.  She would say it was just her sick daughter.  I'm sure the word for her had more than one meaning.
      I used to ask my mom to put something down on the button like a soup can, so I could hear what was going on in the kitchen, but she could not then hear me.  She hated to do this because she wanted to hear me and monitor me all the time.  Sometimes, after school when Jackie got home from school, mama would allow the button to be down and I could hear all the exciting things going on in the real world.  One day mom's worst fears were realized.  Jackie got home.  The button was pressed down, and Jackie decided to listen to the radio.  I complained because with the radio on I could not hear the customers in the cafe and my mother.  Jackie screamed at me and said "you are  a spoiled little brat  who always gets what you want" and she ran out of the house crying.  SHE LEFT THE RADIO ON.  I cried, very upset and then the program changed and instead of music a scary  horror serial came on.  It was dusk, though still late afternoon, as nights were long in the north country in the winter. Classical spooky music played in the sound track for the scary program. I became terrified and kept crying for mama.  My little hands beat against my window trying to get her attention and I screamed and kept crying and screaming.  I do not know how long this went on or when my sister came back and found me but it was a horrific experience for all of us.  My sister got punished, I got babied even more and mama would never let the button be put down again unless an adult was with me. I am sure this didn't endear me more to poor Jackie.
      All I know is that still, when I am alone at dusk I feel somewhat scared and I've never really taken to most classical music.  I HAVE BEEN SCARED FOR LIFE.
      Mama used to bring me special food treats the year I was in bed and I gained weight.  I could eat all the pie, cake and ice cream I wanted.  Still today, food, especially sweets comfort me when I am feeling sick or blue.  I can remember Aunt Mildred telling mama she was making me as fat as a little pig.  Mama tried to cut me back but I had a way of  asking daddy and he always caved.
      daddy had special feelings for his sick little girl and I really could do no wrong. I was crazy and funny and Jackie seethed when I got special treats or little presents.  I remember when Dad worked for Spartan he went on a business trip and came back with a gold colored metal ashtray that said Spartan on it.  He gave the ashtray to me and Jackie was furious.  He gave her some little packets of Sen Sen but it didn't help.(Sen Sen are little mouth mints sort of like TicTacs)
      I tried later to give the ashtray to Jackie but every time I tried she would get more angry as it wasn't really about the ashtray.
      I look at these things with hindsight 20/20 but then I just thought she hated me.
      I an done for now but we will definitely come back to my sister, who loves me now, but hated me then. 

      Tuesday, January 7, 2014

      O.K. So you do not like philo/religio thoughts


      We will move on to something else.  Need to keep my followers happy and engaged.  Why? Because this is what I do.  At 70 you do not have a lot of energy for challenging new outlets but I damn well am going to keep looking. 
      Social media is perplexing isn't it?  You find out things about others you are often better off not knowing. Much of what we learn is useless but amusing.  Some of it is downright unacceptable.  Yet it is the world wide phenomenon of the 21st century.  Everyone who doesn't have a devise, if only a smart phone, is, almost entirely cut off from the rest of the world.  Maybe this is the best way to be but it is too insular for me.
       My dad would have hated social media.  Of course he was mainly interested in himself and his own little pleasures. He would sit in his recliner and watch Vanna White turn the letters and think he was in hog heaven. I am seriously afraid my sister is doing the same thing, but I am not sure if she has a recliner.  I know she is afraid of some of the technology and thinks her secrets might be put out there.  Who cares about secrets when you are over 70.  You know that God knows anyway, and he is the only one who matters once you are dead.  Gloria Vanderbilt sure doesn't worry, and I don't either.  What are you going to do sue me, or arrest me, or defame me, or even ignore me!!! ?  None of it matters much anymore. 
      Now if I was a young person, yes, I would worry.  For most people their professional life depends on their image and in only certain fields can you let it all hang. 
      Oh, the freedom and joy of the elderly.  For what you have to put up with in pain, limited mobility, and relative poverty you gain in mostly untold advantages.  In the future I might let out even more of our aging secrets.

      Monday, January 6, 2014

      Being and Nothingness, a journey in understanding.

      I'm not sure how to title this yet as I don't know what it is about.  I sit here as the sound and the muse enter my consciousness.  It is an altered state as I am here but not here.  Everywhere I hear other sounds like the keys clicking and the heater motor whirring but the sound in my head overrides all else.  I experience dry mouth so go for more coffee all the while my sound is with me.  I know what most of you must think.  Tinnitus. Srini experienced tinnitus several years back and it was found he had a blockage in his inner ear channel. It almost drove him crazy until he went to physical therapy and in one session it was gone.  I would be very unhappy if my sound disappeared. It grounds me in everything I do.   Dizzy Gillespie said once that on drugs he could hear the space between the notes.  That is what this is like.  The sound beneath all sounds.  The continuous ground which lies beneath everything.
      Being is that ground.  I AM that I AM.  Nothing can exist without the ground or Being, but everything exists within it.  Contrast every thing with no thing.  All things come into and then pass from existence.  No thing can nor can not exist because it is NO THING.  Existence presupposes thingness. Non existence is just a metaphor involving that which cannot be imagined. One cannot imagine nothingness.  Space/time/universe, existence is always filled with some thing.  That thing can perhaps be imagined as a vacuum or a void or a blank space or antimatter.  Each of these participates in thingness. Not, no thing ness. Nothing can be conceived as outside the whole of existence.  We can talk in the abstract about WHAT IS NOT. If we try to deny existence in any form we are left with SOME THING beyond infinity or eternity but we always hold in our imagination some thing, that is the WHAT.  So we are left with what is and what is not. Notness trys to deny existence, but since it is not, it can not.
      This is all so clear to me and my muse but I am aware that is can be confusing or even absurd to my audience.  All I can say is Everything IS, and Nothing is Not.  There is nothing outside the Whole or Being, or God.  All things are contained within the Whole and it is inconceivable that they are Not. How do I know this.  The only way one knows is to know.  Many people believe that they know but when you really know there is an internal realization that yes, this is not a belief or something some wise man said.  It is knowledge itself , recognized.
      I owe my tortured journey to three individuals,  Plato, Spinoza and Harvey Burstein, (teacher of philosophy at Queens college.  I owe my understanding to my ground of my being who let me know.

      Saturday, January 4, 2014

      The Sound of Music

      When I don't really feel like writing I just start writing.  The old clichés go through my mind. Just do it.  Do it now. Don't procrastinate.  Losers never win(how did that get in there?)
      Anyway, I mostly try to face the unpleasant task after a few minutes of avoiding it.  This doesn't always work as a lot of drivel can come out but I try to keep an open mind.  If it is important to my lazy brain there might be something in it for my sharp, intuitive, restless, and creative being.  So today I'm just plodding along awaiting my muse.  I wonder about the word muse.  a muse ment.  It is a part of it all.  If the muse is not amused it will simply not cooperate.  After all, there should be something for everyone in my blogs.
      I was discussing the sound in my head with a dear friend in December.  This high pitched sound has been with me as long as I can remember.  When I was a child I used to ask Mama, "what is that high pitched sound?" I used to think the light bulb was humming or something. Since she never heard it and would look at me strangely I didn't mention it to anyone else.  Mama looked at me strangely a lot but that is another story for another day.
      So I have always had the sound with me as my companion.  When I used to have migraine headaches I would try to relax into the sound(go into an Alpha state).  If there were no distractions I would go to sleep in the sound and wake with no migraine.  At times the sound drove me crazy because I didn't understand it and would wonder why it was always with me.  I figured it was some kind of Electra/chemical process  and I would occasionally ask others if they too had a sound. No one I asked ever did but I did read in a few places that some people hear this but it is believed to have something to do with the inner channel of the ear.  I do have large floppy ears so I thought this was most likely a result of my strange hearing apparatus.   When I practiced transcendental meditation for a few months I was given a mantra but it never worked.  I simply could not meditate.
      Much later I discovered that if I tuned into this sound when I prayed I could feel God's presence more strongly, but again didn't think too much about it. 
      Then, along in December, comes my friend of untold years and lo and behold, she too has a permanent sound in her head.  Upon discussion I learn that as a child she too questioned people and she also got little understanding and strange looks.  She told me she has discovered this is an om sound. 
      I still do not know for sure but it has been humming like crazy since I began writing this piece. 
      I feel that, among other things it is my muse, my guardian angel, my soul.  It is always with me.  Sometimes in the background, very quiet, a mere whisper.  At other times, like now it is a roar. a celestial song playing loudly in my brain.  It is in me, yet I actually hear it. When I tune in and let the sound envelope me there is no fear and no problem. It simply is and it comforts me and drives me and consoles me.
      My husband loves to listen to music, I often like the quiet because the music is in my head.
      I feel it is an integral part of me and makes me what I am.  So much for this post.  If you have a similar sound please let me know.  There cannot only be two of us in the world!!!.