What I see from here

I'm not sure what this blog is going to be about. It may be about something really silly, or about a recipe, or something that pisses me off, or about something I read or something I think about. I just don't know, because, well, that's how my mind works. What it will be is stuff that occurs to me whether I'm in my apartment in Portland, Oregon or driving around from one place to another, or sitting in a meeting letting my mind wander because the meeting is boring and/or stupid. So, our commonality is that neither of us knows what it will be about. But, hey, stick around for the ride, put on your seatbelt, and we'll see what happens. Oh, and p.s. there may be curse words. Deal. Peace ya'all.

The Color Purple

The Color Purple

January 25, 2015

Smiling, not happy

I watched Lucy last night and it started me thinking about things, primarily how we use so little of our brains, and what we could do if we focused on, as they said "being" instead of "having."  If humans chose to evolve further, to use our brains for good instead of anger, judgment, destruction, hate, power, and greed, imagine the world we could inhabit. But that's not what this post is about... Well, it is sort of I guess....

Today I was cleaning out my Google Drive photos and happened upon some pictures. At the time when I looked at or took those photos (not just me, but photos from others as well), I was thinking "So happy. Everyone is so happy."  That was, at the time, the present, and the only story I knew was the one I was in at that moment, or that I was seeing with my limited capacity brain. Today when I look at those photos, they are the past. Today I know the story. When I look at those photos now, I know that in some cases the person in them was having some problems, was lying to someone, was planning something unknown that would hurt someone, was angry with the person they were sitting or standing next to, or was just incredibly unhappy about something in their life.. When I look at them now, knowing that back story, what I know is that although they were smiling for the camera, they were not happy.  When the camera was pointed at them and the photographer said "smile!!" that's exactly what they did. They curved their mouth into the symbol for happy, but inside, not so much.

If we all had that extra usage - just another 5% or 10% - we would be able to see through that facade and know the story. The question I ask is: do we not - as small-time brain users - have the capacity to see past the happy symbol, or do we have the capacity and simply choose not to see something that may require conversation and/or effort?

So here's the thing that occurs to me as I continue to think about Lucy and life and photos and humans: let's try to stretch our brains just a little. Even though we likely won't get to 15%, we can in fact use our brains along with our hearts and instincts. We can look deeper, look into their eyes, listen to the words they tell us, and understand at least a smidgen of their truth. Perhaps in so doing we can  rise above our limitations and become more sensitive, kinder, gentler, less judgmental people. We can ask ourselves why on earth we turn our backs on people - especially those we purport to love. We can look at our parents, friends, and family members and choose not to be pissed off at someone because they disagree with us (or we with them), or because they exercised their free will and did something different than us. We can stop tormenting people we know and love with a need to control or dominate. And we can, maybe, apply that to the broader population: to our communities, to our villages, our nation, those in countries we may never visit but who could use our support and love instead of the blind eye we choose to turn.

Am I great at this? I won't pretend I am. But I do try to limit my angst and anger (well, except that whole breakup thing, but that was covered elsewhere), and I certainly try not to direct it toward my family members. Why? Short of them doing something really horrible to me or another human (and I'm not talking about hurting someone's feelings and having slip-ups where you hurt someone unintentionally, I'm talking about just in general being a shitty, horrible, harmful human), it is entirely unnecessary for me to get angry with them, or to judge them, take sides with or against them, or to stop talking to them.  I really do not need to contribute to being a part of a photo where people are simply smiling and not really happy.  I'm not perfect, but expanding my capacity to stay away from this is certainly a worthwhile endeavor, and I'm willing to give it a shot.

So I've got that going for me...

P!nk - Try

January 24, 2015

Just an observation

Here are some things I love (not in order, just things, which is why the list is not numbered):
Image courtesy of Matador Network
  • Portland, OR
  • Spring days in Winter
  • Livin' on the left bank
  • Weird shit you see in the city
  • Irony
  • Observing humans and their behavior
  • Conversations with friends
  • The Interwebz
The sum of these things combined makes for a damn fine day. Hence, today's post. 

I woke this morning feeling rather ho-hum, which was interrupted by a call from my friend Heidi. Funny that she called, because I was laying in bed thinking of canceling our 1:00 drinking plan. She called to cancel; but then as we began chatting and talking about why I deactivated my FB page, self care, and all that, she decided that we should get together after all (to support my self-care plan) even though she has a paper to write. Because, friends. So, in the back and forth planning I ended up going to her place, which for me as a resident of the left bank means driving down Martin Luther King Boulevard/99E, past the Convention Center.

Naturally, the lovely Spring Day had lots of people out on the street, which grew  to a veritable throng as I approached the Convention Center. Here's the part I love. Today at the Center there were two events happening concurrently: The Wizard World Comic Con, and the Chocolate Fest. It made me smile, driving past and seeing the combination of people from both mingling outside, like the children whose necks twisted in all directions to take in the characters from Wizard World Comic Con. On one hand, "mmm chocolate." On the other "look at that green guy mom!" And of course, when you combine good weather with devilry (you know, all those crazed wizard/fantasy/cartoon//science fiction characters got nuthin' but the devil in 'em), you know who's coming out of the woodwork don't you? That's right - the doom & gloom "good lawd bebe jeebus is a comin' for all y'all sinners (because all ya'll is plural for the singular y'all), you're goin' square ta HELL as soon as the world finally ends" faction. Which made me think of this:

When those people wake up in the morning on a beautiful day, does one nudge the other and say "hey, honey, I got an idea. Let's git outside and enjoy the day. Let's call up our friends from the Church of Everybody's Goin' to Hell in a Hand Basket But Us Because Us Good Them Bad, and we'll dust off them there signs leanin' up against the house and go on down to where they're making devilry and go out on the street and scream at them about how God hates them and they ought not to be embracing the devil and his ways because it's our God-given right to stand on the street and force our personal belief on people who just want to get some damn chocolate and/or dress up in their vampire/zombie slaying, universe saving, super hero, cartoon, Star Trek costumes and have a bit of 'I don't have a stick up my butt' fun. Didn't I tell you when we got married I'd always show you a good time baby?" And isn't it ironic that these very same screamers who have the right to stand on the street and yell their beliefs at us also piss and moan that their rights as Christians are being infringed upon. Oh don't you just love blatant, raw irony??

That shit cracks me up. So, Heidi and I laughed at them as we started our walk, and for the next hour we walked, talked about 48 different things, soaked in some good old-fashioned Vitamin D infused sunshine, enjoyed the river, and got some exercise. I love that I live in Portland where there's no snow and ice in January, and I get to see and take in all this stuff. And the fact that I have awesome friends I can share this with just makes for a perfect Spring in Winter day.

Finally, I just love that when I come home and decide to write something this stupid I can go on the Interwebz and find for-real stupid stuff,  like Crazy Christian Nonsense (thank you YouTube), that helps me mock things like crazy Christians.

Yeah, this is the sort of thing I think about...

January 19, 2015

Now is the time.

To go with yesterday's post:

"The dispossessed of this nation - the poor, both white and Negro - live in a cruelly unjust society. They must organize a revolution against that injustice, not against the lives of the persons who are their fellow citizens, but against the structures through which society is refusing to take means which have been called for, and which are at hand, to lift the load of poverty." -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1967)