Afterdeath

Congratulations, Charlo Greene : ‘F**k It, I Quit’ Reporter Celebrates Alaska Marijuana Legalization | #OYRchallenge

charlogreenepicEx-Anchorwoman Charlo Greene (Charlene Egbe) for KTVA celebrates her work with Alaska winning the fight to legalized marijuana for recreational use. Greene’s business, The Alaska Cannabis Club, served as the only clearinghouse connecting Alaskan medical marijuana card holders with legal suppliers. Legalizing recreational marijuana in her state not only boosts her business, but lowers the stats for those imprisoned for non-violent crimes in America.

Women of Power organizations, clubs, and seminars draw hundreds of women, yet no one celebrated Charlo Greene’s explosive  on the air exit from her KTVA Anchorwoman position except the media. Greene’s choosing her business over profitable employment should empower many women — and men to consider free enterprise. The November 5, 2014 Huffington Post article goes more into detail about what this means to Alaskan politics. Enjoy and a hearty Congratulations, Charlo Greene. #OYRchallenge

Charlo Green quits, September 22, 2014 video:

“Honestly I don’t even know what to say right now aside from the fact that we just made history,” Greene said in a video posted to her Facebook page early Wednesday morning. “It’s a fact. We just made history for doing a good thing. Congratulations.

via ‘F**k It, I Quit’ Reporter Celebrates Alaska Marijuana Legalization.

Afterdeath: The Seventh Bell – Poverty v. Poorverty

Afterdeath is a learning experience in that it exposes our lives, past and present. Recovering from economic hardship releases a tell, that if we pay close attention, clues us in to what makes us do what we do best. Most people become so elated with overcoming a circumstance that how they got to that tragic place becomes arbitrary. One of the best explanations for economic and social hardship is Poorverty. Hearing the words poverty and poorverty may bring to mind similar circumstances. Poverty denotes lack and so does poorverty. Poverty, however, leans more toward the pocket, while poorvety envelopes the mind. One may remove their self from poverty mentally, physically, and economically but poorvety is forever. Poorvety may be learned from one growing up in an environment of poverty, neglect, savagery, or hatred. Either or all of these circumstances combined nurture anger in the human spirit. The difference between one dealing with lifelong poverty and lifelong poverty is that poorverty cancels out love in any form it comes to the individual or community.

Poorverty in men and women can explain their lack of commitment and excellence in relationships, employment, and organizations. Then again it can excel an individual to become aggressive in their quest for leadership and prominence. Poorverty plays an important part in industry where marketing can locate, denigrate, and then create a mindset of display for whatever product the manufacturer chooses to push. Disreputable ones in leadership may control a group by seeking out those in poorverty to place in positions of limited power, thereby creating an atmosphere where any inconsistency dispensing goods and services is less likely to become announced for fear of retribution. This is most apparent in low-income and minority communities where poverty and poorverty thrives best.

Have you seen the newest line of bags that will push you to the top of the community fashion trend? One would wonder how those in poverty have time to worry with fashion but like the Franklin D. Roosevelt’s use of the arts during the Great Depression, fashion is a great diversion for those in poorverty. No one in poorverty feels slighted or even poor in a pair of designer shoes. Depending on the system of poorvety, knock-offs do just as well. But if those in both poorvety and poverty spent an extra the extra change for a copy of Vogue, they would soon realize that their fashionista sense is a few years behind the elite styles. By the time fashions reach the poverty-line, top designers have long forgotten they existed. A Coach bag travels well in the poorest of neighborhoods. The question begs, which and how many Coach bags are really making it to the runway these days? In an environment of poorverty the Coach trumps a good, well-made bag any day; even if the electric company has to wait for their share of the household income. In the non-profit world of dispensing goods and services, the volunteer is king or queen as the gender may have it.

The 21st century of deprivation leaves less legitimate goods and services to go around and more charlatans in need of a good venue. There is also a greater population of needy than before in the most prominent of countries. The need may be financial or spiritual and in this depth of need there is a fortress constructed of politically minded individuals to offer assistance. One of these master manipulators proclaimed to his followers and staff, as he came under fire from an inquisitive individual, “If they do this to me then how do you think they will treat you.” He neither answered the inquirers questions, nor offered any sense to his actions other than to strike fear in those whose authority and prestige would suffer if he fell. By the time the leader left his position, the organization was bankrupt to the point where the office telephone and electricity was cut-off. He had the past of poorverty to shield his audacity.

In the Afterdeath, poorverty places value on the outer portrayal of the person. There is nothing genuine in the productivity. Everyone in range is under fire; a target for what they can afford to give or convey. The rush to regain the sense of self that was dependent on physical manifestations of social value becomes prominent and the sacrifice is anyone in the path of the train to success. This is the most important time to re-access priorities and count the cost of the soul in exchange for the moment. When things look their most prominent is the time to back away and take a look at the overall picture in the mirror. Whose advice are you following? How are they perceived? What is their record of sustainability? And most of all, how many car crashes are you willing to walk away from in the future?

Afterdeath: The Sixth Bell – Simplistic Power

Power for the powerless is examined in quite a few texts. Self-help literature sells more than most literary markets, with exception of the Bible. Even the Bible can be classified among the Self-Help genre if utilized effectively. So no one is truly powerless. They are power ignorant, at best. A patriarch or matriarch is powerful in his or her ability to marshal family resources, and manipulate its members. So it is with managers and CEOs of businesses. Politicians are effective through their ability to accumulate and utilize the power of a community, nation, or any universe. It is the individual power of a number of people that denotes the sway and ability of one to have a voice.  Gangs control an entire neighborhood as long as the power of each member remains dedicated to that purpose. Why do you feel powerless in the Afterdeath phases of your life?  What you perceived as leverage in a world of hidden power has been removed. It could be health, money, physical and mental independence, geography, or any other parameter of symbolic organized power. That only means it is time for you to reorganize the power within yourself.

For some, the Afterdeath is a curse. All has been lost and the individual looks, feels, and thinks like someone pulled from a major auto accident; still alive but barely. They see it as failure or disgrace. For others, the Afterdeath phase becomes a reawakening of simplistic power. Simplistic power, for this piece, is the power inherent in all and pursued by everyone. Take a metropolitan clothing store for instance. The store had been busy for at least two hours at the end of the day shift. The evening shift is arriving. Sales clerk 1 is 15 minutes late.  Sales clerk 2 is 30 minutes late. Still another, Sales clerk 3, is 1 hour late, with a plausible excuse. Customers sift through table items until each display table is unmanageable. The manager attempts to field customers’ questions, but is overrun. He becomes combative with those he considers least likely to purchase major items. Customers become agitated and begin to leave without a purchase.

Every customer in the store was equal in power, yet unequal in their ability to use it. Luckily in most metropolitan areas there are a variety of venues to purchase goods and services. Each customer had the power to search out that coat, hat, etc… at another location. It may take some longer to realize it than others. There are those who are easily diverted from their original motivations and get caught up in the extraneous, like demanding attention or acknowledgement of their importance in any situation. In the Afterdeath phase, this is dangerous. Stick to the point. Don’t get diverted from your purpose. Let others have their 2 seconds of fame while you continue on your journey. Why did I cut the 15 minutes to 2 seconds? You don’t have the time.

At the weekly employee meeting, the manager tightens the policy on lateness and absence. His tone is threatening, vulgar, and demeaning. Where was the simplistic power in this scenario? The manager imagined the power to vent his unbridled frustrations. Was it the manager’s ability to fire the tardy employees? You would think so. But in actuality the power actually laid with the first person who frowned their lips, sucked their teeth, and headed for the door without a purchase. There was also the power of the individual (simplistic) and collective power of the employees to consider. With all of the manager’s power to relieve others of a livelihood, his careless use of this power damaged him.

Let us examine the employees at the weekly meeting.  Each employee received the same message from the manager. They each had collective and individual reactions. The measure of simplistic power in each individual is the same. They can take the trashing and learn to prepare better for appointments, which will definitely be an asset to any individual. But in the perfect world, there are still unseen complications. Sales clerk 1 took an important phone call just as she was ready to leave for work. She may reassess her actions by weighing the chastisement against the importance of the call. Sales clerk 2 slipped and fell on ice two blocks from his home. He returned home to address a bloody nose.  Assessing that the nose was not broken, he went in to work. He may feel quite undone by the manager’s attitude. Sales clerk 3 advised the manager two weeks earlier of a doctor’s appointment, which, with travel time, would stretch and hour into her shift. She was scheduled for surgery in two weeks and would also have to take time for recuperation. Will this affect her job in the future? Two of the three, Sales clerk 2 and 3 were bound by their obligations to their health in this scenario. Their simplistic power used properly will either, after close assessment of the salary and future prospects, bring them to choose other employment or battle through an abusive experience. Regardless of the circumstances, they have the power to cause a business to lose viable assets. The business must then use unnecessary resources to train new people. Small retail businesses find it difficult to hire legal, loyal employees, who will work hard at minimal pay.

The Afterdeath experience becomes cultivated ground for training your simplistic power. The aim is to cut down on loss of time and resources while recovering self.  After all you have already lost, utilizing your personal power effectively improves your mental, physical, social, and economic health exponentially.

Afterdeath: The Fifth Bell – Time Like These

Economic faults, climates gone crazy, obesity, smoking anything rolled in paper, tobacco, tobacco rolled in paper. We are falling apart. Piece by piece. In the midst of this bad news, we have holiday cheer, and folks resurrecting the argument of whether we should celebrate December 25th  with reverence denoting the birth of Christ; or is Santa Claus more appropriate in a free society? So much drama for new a century bent on becoming more educated, stronger, wiser, and healthier than the last.

There were two women arguing, at the cash register of a major department store, as to whether computers are making or breaking down human communication. In the midst of their conversation, one woman’s cellphone rang. She excused herself to answer the call. The other woman rolled her eyes and turned her back to the other. “See that’s what I’m talking about,” she exclaimed when she heard the other woman conclude her call. “We can’t finish a conversation without technology interrupting.”

“That was my father. My mother just passed away.”

“Well couldn’t it have waited until you got home?”

While we fall apart together, can we afford to still banter on about personal annoyances? The example above may be extreme to some, but when it comes to saving the world, it is doubtful. The claim of community in America falls short of its mark in the face of major inconsistencies. Free enterprise leaves little room for community when individuals seek out each other as fair game in the rush for property, purse, and enterprise. We want to slow our carbon foot print, yet on a personal level few want to make the sacrifices necessary to make this possible. To our detriment, we will buy Styrofoam cups because they are on sale, yet sign petitions for climate legislation. We refuse to read product labels for harmful chemical contents, yet complain when we stand on long lines at the emergency room. Our selfishness is our inconvenience.

During a time of Afterdeath, we have the moments available to rethink our past program. What has brought us to the point in life where we no longer live to enjoy our past labors? Where did we go wrong in our responsibility to our family, neighborhood, nation, and the world we live in? How will we as an individual, on a new journey, calculate our future worth, promise, and debt? If these questions are not asked, we leave ourselves open to the parasites ready to put us back into the game.   When I complained to a minister, a few months ago, about the failure of society to live up to its promise, she answered me thus, “Don’t hate the player.  Hate the game.” It surprised me. First because she was a minister, second because she was a mother of two young boys. Her answer is not personal but prophetic of what our society has taken to be normal. The dog eat dog.

The technological world is a prime example of the Afterdeath experience. Whatever we relish internally, we will find it on the internet. There are people who surf the web daily and pass over pornography advertisements when or if they appear. Still many demonize the internet and technology as a whole. It may be that they are fearful of newness in any form on a personal level. If the unknown is fearful to those in the Afterdeath, it must be the first thing to go. The fear is what will keep the individual stalled in the turnstile of social services; buried in a life of those seeking to devour someone – anyone.

Afterdeath: The Fourth Bell

The Beginning

I love him and then I didn’t. I loved it and now I hate it. I loved it, then I lost it. The switch happens at times without notice. Normally, we move from one mode of thinking to another. Some call it growth, others call it fickle. No matter which side of the path you walk there are always borders trying to keep you steady. Sigmund Freud and his theories busily boxed in your emotions, tendencies, social parameters, and answered the whats and whos of normalcy. If he were alive today would any of us be normal? So why not create your own normal. Throw out the mirror stage with the paradigms. Release yourself for one day. Dive into his perception of madness, just for a second. Dare to see someone else in that mirror and see what happens. Now do not go out and commit some heinous crime for giggles. This is an internal deconstruction. Keep it neat. Go back and rewrite the messages you were fed from birth. In other words, re-become self. I chose to exaggerate this methodology because it must be a complete, no holds barred washing. Embrace the Afterdeath experience.

Going through a trial shakes loose everything we know and love about ourselves. Standing on line at a food pantry for the first time puts one in a place outside of the self we knew already. Picture a construction worker, Mike, who has made a good living for 15 years. In his mind, this life will go on forever – he is still young at 33. There are 3 cars in his driveway; one family car, a brand new pick up, and his toy. He may also have a boat. Not yacht size, but still a sign of prosperity as neighbors pass his neatly kept home. He has three children; 10, 7, and 3. His wife, Ellen, has never worked since their marriage. Before that, she was a waitress in a corner restaurant.

Ellen watches the home shopping channels between clipping coupons and catching sales at the malls. Their home is a collage of Southern Living, Better Homes & Garden, House & Home, and Chicago Home & Garden magazines. Lunch with the girls is always at her home. It always concludes with a replication of the latest infomercial, along with product demonstration and price. The girls fawn, and one by one excuse themselves for another appointment.

 Mike falls from a 15 ft. ladder at work and is rushed to the hospital. His leg is fractured in three places. No matter, he has also severed his spinal cord on a metal shard poking out of the ground. Mike has minimal health insurance, which includes a $500 co-pay. There is no savings nor retirement plan deep enough to cover his rehabilitation or mortgage costs.  After two years, the couple is financially, mentally, and socially dead.

The couple has sells their home to pay for hospital and aftercare costs. Their lives in the small apartment on the other side of town, affords them little after rent and utilities. Ellen is forced to seek out the food pantries in her area. This is the beginning of her life in the Afterdeath.

Afterdeath: The Third Bell

To begin this conversation on the right note, let us recall the table of delights from our first chapter. Remember the waiter. He was ready and eager to grant your every wish when you first sat down to the meal.  Gradually, he became more distant. Slow to bring that extra napkin or carelessly dropping fresh silverware here and there. It’s his job to know when the hook is securely in place. And when to jam it deeper. The one thing to the carrier’s advantage is the advancement into self. This can also be the dangerous curve in the road where they will lose quite a few passengers.

We are conditioned to be polite, giving, cooperative, patient, accepting, etc… The waiters of this world depend on these qualities to shame the carrier into compliance. The waiter nurtures the fear of hunger, rejection, isolation, and abandonment. He can be the lonesome parent leaning heavily on her adult child, the ill-prepared educator trying to save face; or the faith-leader, counselor, or employer unable to keep pace with his competitors. The parent will never become satisfied no matter how much the adult child cares for him or her. The rest must convince the carrier, like the salesperson, that without them, the carrier will be destitute. They are the keepers of all that is binding to the self.

Suppose, for instance, the student ceases to become the carrier and actually asks the right questions, challenging the educator. Society is set up where, for the student, there is no reward, only condemnation. The student learns to absorb the nagging stomach, just to get the ‘A’ or ‘B.’ Now as an adult carrier, the store clerk sells them items they’ll never use, but are too embarrassed to turn down.  Likewise, an employer slights them on wages and promotions, because they will never complain. Family and friends will cheer them on for lasting 30 years with the same firm – as they watch others with less education and ability, reap the benefits of maneuvering the corporate arenas.

While taking a computer certification course in the late 1970’s, one instructor counseled the students to never stop looking for the ideal position. Global technology called for lateral movements between companies and corporations in order to rise. Technology did not only change the speed at which we did business, but the essence of the employer/employee relationship.  A systems engineer at one company could get twice his pay and loads of benefits at another company. Also, employees were now vested after 5 years, instead of 15 or 20 years, as decades before.

The average middle-aged or senior citizen was at a disadvantage re-entering the job market unless they had computer skills. Their labor was now disposable, since most of them were declining in health and ambition. The world began to run helter skelter to work, instead of the cog and wheel past. So if they appear to represent more of the carrier and keeper set, fear is all they have lived after the Great American Depression, two world wars, nuclear threats, drug wars, and loosing that lovely head of hair.  Radical as those times seemed, the present is even more radical with choices of lifestyles, employment, and social communities.

Afterdeath: The Second Bell

The Second Bell or “clearing the decks” is similar to washing and sanitizing a utensil before you reuse it. Washing is fine… it looks brilliant and shiny. On top of that gloss, however, lies bacteria and chemical traces inaccessible to the human eye. It must be boiled at a very high temperature. So it is with the carrier of fear. He or she must go through the fire to be cleansed in order to become useful to itself.

Ok… you gain the courage to leave the table of grinning faces and bounty. Now what? Memories of hunger come back. You want to turn around, take your seat, and re-engage the knife and fork to destruction. Yet you are not really depleted. Scared maybe, but only enveloping the fear of being hungry once again. This is the time of searching for the next meal; one of substance and stability.

Learning to defeat your fears is the most important lesson of the second bell. It took courage to leave the table. That courage is a sprint in the race. It pushes you ahead, yet only to dissipate as you walk through the doors of the café. Look around you. There are other venues filled with different sorts of meals to enjoy equally, yet more beneficial to the body. The carrier of fear must learn to push anxiety to the background. It must become a slow hum, decreasing at a rate of two decibels per minute. Simultaneously, the carrier must fill the void with visions of what their healthy environment or meal will look like, taste like, feel like as it passes their lips and engages the pit of their stomach. That vision must become all encompassing. I heard a story of George Washington, where he crossed the river with his troops, then ordered them to burn the ships. There is no retreat, no surrender in the quest to the perfect self-realization. The carrier must establish a vision of their perfect world; arm them self with resistance,  and turn a deaf ear to tunes out of sync with their music.

Everyone carries music. You hear it in their walk; hear it in their talk, or the wave of their hand. Listen for your own symphony first. Let the wholeness of it drive out fear. After you have your ideal piece in place, run, not walk, away from the sour notes of life – no matter how beautiful they sound on their own. They belong to another chorus and will only ruin yours. If you cannot distinguish off beats, you have not yet developed your symphony or are too filled with fear to hear it. To do this, you must become the rejecter, – not the rejected.

Afterdeath: The First Bell

Leaving the focus off of self-inflicted catastrophes, such as drug and alcohol abuse, leaves a still wider array of situations open to us as humans. The climate of drug and alcohol rehabilitation has created a community of parasites, both apart and inclusive in the human rehabilitation or recovery systems. Due to the complexity and delicacy of the situation, we will leave that community for a more extensive conversation as it deserves a volume of chapters all its own. Accidents, layoffs, physical and mental, illness, mostly psychological trauma, constitute the worst forms of human pollution since they damage with no category of victims or prohibitions.  Everyone is open to each of these situations regardless of race, class, gender, or occupation. We may say, “What about a doctor?” Surprisingly, the more education or prestige a person acquires, the more destructive forces available to them. For instance, a dentist’s wife dies in a plane crash. While suing the airline for millions, he begins to drink heavily. He is not only a dentist, but a white male with a luxurious office in a prominent part of town.  In America, he is king.  

Each working day, he eats breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner at a more bar than restaurant near his office. The owner of the bar-restaurant is honored to have a dentist among the truck drivers and office workers frequenting his place. They form a firm friendship. Meals are half-priced or free. Drinks are always full-price, plentiful, and include a tip. The dentist meets a young administrative assistant during lunch. He tells her his story. They begin to meet every day and form a solid friendship. He loves her, she loves him. He’s counting on the $4,000,000 suit with the airline to cover his faltering work ethic.  They fly away for a two month vacation tour of Europe. She is only a temp at the office. He returns to his stool broke and alone. She finds another bar.

The dentist’s partner forces him out of the LLP. His clients have dwindled. One woman slaps the drill from his wobbling fingers after smelling the alcohol on his breath. Now, the dentist is at the bar morning until evening. The owner becomes less friendly as the dentist’s running tab is not paid at the end of the week. The owner must demand his money but is conflicted.   The owner has just learned he has prostate cancer. Turns out, the building housing the bar-restaurant, he leased for 25 years, is being sold. The lease will not be renewed. Therefore, his home, which he also leases, he can no longer afford. An IRS audit shows him owing in excess of $200,000 and his car, also leased, must be returned. Oh! His wife is leaving him. She is not going to move into an apartment with an ailing husband who has treated her badly for the past 10 years of their 32 year marriage. The dentist and the bar-restaurant owner are more in love than ever.  

  Accidents could be due to carelessness. There are varying degrees of carelessness in the human condition. Individuals and worldviews dictate the concept of responsibility. Yet, there is always a point at where we have a conscious or unconscious choice — to the left or to the right. Then sometimes, the choice is made for us.

Afterdeath: Return to Life

Those who show pity and are always ready to help during times of trouble are seldom the same ones who rejoice in our joy: when others are happy they have nothing to do, they become superfluous and lose their feeling of superiority, and so they easily show their displeasure.

   — Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher

A Journey of Rebirth

Returning to your life after a catastrophic experience is not as easy as you may think. Especially when recovery is big business and often the only business seeking you out in the media, non-profits and spiritual organizations, government, and advertisements. Every area of your life becomes a commodity, most especially the inner you. We refer to it as rehabilitation, overcoming, spiritual enlightenment, and other buzz words generic to this era of our lives. None of these, however, necessarily mean returning to your life. Sometimes the methods and assistance we receive in our overcoming stalls us in a holding pattern or void. Empty spaces remain inside of us, throbbing worse than the physical, mental, or economical hardship that brought us to this point. Why is that, despite the smiling face in the mirror and applause from everyone that helped us get to this point? Or is this the point?  Is it now really your life?

Even the most vibrant young and older adults suffer life altering experiences. Some experiences, they recover from easily over time. Then other incidents or illnesses take years of recovery after the initial experience concludes. These debilitating cycles can be caused by severe accidents, drug abuse, layoffs, and divorce, which cause permanent or temporary physical, economic, and mental disabilities. During this cycle the individual accumulates people and habits that can be more harmful to their well-being than the initial mental, economic, or physical condition. A person may find life no longer enjoyable and yearns for the “good ole days” or a period when finding happiness was not an effort, but easily accessible. This is the optimal moment when the effort to return to life is most important.

The concept of recovery or rehabilitation may seem easy at first. Some join clubs, become more spiritual, volunteer in organizations, go back to school, and change their style of dress or even address. Still there is that constant, nagging sadness within. That sadness, for the sake of clarity, we will call the accumulation of debt. A debt is something owed, yet it can be an assumed tie to people and habits that enforce negative feelings and guilt within the person consumed — the carrier. Within the mind of the carrier, pictures and scenarios play out constantly, reinforcing sadness, anger, paranoia, and taint whatever joy and accomplishment attainable. In an effort to break this cycle, some become extremely overt in their frivolity. They seek out outward stimulations as a substitute for inner peace and joy. Those who were present during the period of illness or mental upheaval become important, since through the continuous association with these persons, the carrier reinforces a sense of accomplishment. They develop mantras to reinforce their sense of accomplishment. We will hear them proclaim “I could have been dead,” or “I’m not where I used to be.” It is most important, during this period, to break these chains of negative reasoning to truly move ahead.

Moving ahead is fearful. There is no foundation in the return to life. There is no set road to follow; no security other than to choose their life. The carrier must recreate out of nothing a something, a new way of being acceptable to only them. In the search for self, the carrier becomes a magnate for sociopaths, conmen, opportunist, and those who live to pity — parasites. The carrier is targeted by those who have no real talent or skill other than to feed off the misadventures of others. The elderly, for example, become prey to many because of their vulnerability. Their well-earned fortunes are squandered by those taking care of their finances. Some suffer ill-health and dire living conditions due to unscrupulous caregivers. It is a sad situation but it is even sadder when a young vibrant carrier recovers to find that they have been living a similar situation, and feel they have no way out. But there is a way out. Hard, yet worth it.

Think of a table filled with fatty foods. There is a well-cooked turkey, drenched in a well-thickened gravy. It is accompanied by a platter of steaming roast pork, a three quart bowl of buttery mashed potatoes, a large pan of macaroni and cheese, three two inch steaks; and four bowls of ice cream, each topped with syrups and chocolate for dessert. There are no fresh vegetables and salads; nothing to off-set the oils and sweets you are to consume. You have been starving for many days and this is the closest bit of food source you can attain. You gorge yourself over and over again, day after day until you are no longer able to move away from the table. You become fearful that if you try to leave that table, you will be hungry again, starve even. So you stay.

You become the carrier of the memory of starvation. You carry the pain and fear of an aching belling, fierce cravings, light-headedness, and a savage mind with unthinkable thoughts. Your cholesterol is now out of control. Your blood pressure soars causing you to wobble on the chair. But now your legs are too heavy to move. The smell of the comfort food sickens you, but the fear of starvation weighs heavy against the urge to run away. It is this quandary that hinders many in their quest to return to life. Your parasite? The waiter, who elegantly replaces the ravaged pork platter, with a heaping platter of rack of lamb. As long as there are members at the table, he is paid to serve.

The First Bell

Leaving the focus off of self-inflicted catastrophes, such as drug and alcohol abuse, leaves a still wider array of situations open to us as humans. The climate of drug and alcohol rehabilitation has created a community of parasites, both apart and inclusive in the human rehabilitation or recovery systems. Due to the complexity and delicacy of the situation, we will leave that community for a more extensive conversation as it deserves a volume of chapters all its own. Accidents, layoffs, physical and mental, illness, mostly psychological trauma, constitute the worst forms of human pollution since they damage with no category of victims or prohibitions.  Everyone is open to each of these situations regardless of race, class, gender, or occupation. We may say, “What about a doctor?” Surprisingly, the more education or prestige a person acquires, the more destructive forces available to them. For instance, a dentist’s wife dies in a plane crash. While suing the airline for millions, he begins to drink heavily. He is not only a dentist, but a white male with a luxurious office in a prominent part of town.  In America, he is king.  

Each working day, he eats breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner at a more bar than restaurant near his office. The owner of the bar-restaurant is honored to have a dentist among the truck drivers and office workers frequenting his place. They form a firm friendship. Meals are half-priced or free. Drinks are always full-price, plentiful, and include a tip. The dentist meets a young administrative assistant during lunch. He tells her his story. They begin to meet every day and form a solid friendship. He loves her, she loves him. He’s counting on the $4,000,000 suit with the airline to cover his faltering work ethic.  They fly away for a two month vacation tour of Europe. She is only a temp at the office. He returns to his stool broke and alone. She finds another bar.

The dentist’s partner forces him out of the LLP. His clients have dwindled. One woman slaps the drill from his wobbling fingers after smelling the alcohol on his breath. Now, the dentist is at the bar morning until evening. The owner becomes less friendly as the dentist’s running tab is not paid at the end of the week. The owner must demand his money but is conflicted.   The owner has just learned he has prostate cancer. Turns out, the building housing the bar-restaurant, he leased for 25 years, is being sold. The lease will not be renewed. Therefore, his home, which he also leases, he can no longer afford. An IRS audit shows him owing in excess of $200,000 and his car, also leased, must be returned. Oh! His wife is leaving him. She is not going to move into an apartment with an ailing husband who has treated her badly for the past 10 years of their 32 year marriage. The dentist and the bar-restaurant owner are more in love than ever.  

  Accidents could be due to carelessness. There are varying degrees of carelessness in the human condition. Individuals and worldviews dictate the concept of responsibility. Yet, there is always a point at where we have a conscious or unconscious choice — to the left or to the right. Then sometimes, the choice is made for us.

Sometimes We Worry…

Sometimes we worry too much instead of letting life happen.
I know this because time and again there were movements between people that kept me arched on the edge of my seat.
And then… it all dissolved into a sweet, warm ocean breeze.

So I say again…
sometimes we worry too much instead of letting life happen.
Branches may break off of a tree, but while the birds may lose a nest, and caterpillars fall to the ground, the tree is rejuvenated by the juices it tried to force through a closed, burned out appendage.
The flow of nutrients and vibrant motion excels to a symphony of sunlit euphoria.
Fruit bears plentiful. Flowers increase to feed insects waiting in the shade of its living branches.
The caterpillars that survive reclaim new and succulent life, as their dead replenish the earth. And they are glad.
The birds build new nest for ever waiting creation. And they are glad for the sound foundations under their burdened, aching feet.

So I must repeat…
sometimes we worry too much instead of letting life happen.
We are nature’s burden not its glory. Not its conquest nor conqueror.
For even the rocks change form and context as we look only at its outer crust.
Men still bear the weight of sickness and death. Women still bear children; tell stories, till the soil of hearth and home.
Divided by consequence, we give and take; weep and laugh; sorrow and jest at the folly of what we call Earth.

Yet we are glad.