Monday, December 26, 2011

Change and Craziness

The slightly less than 2% of this country's people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, a serious mental illness involving neurological dysfunction, experience debilitating, disruptive misfires.  Symptoms can often be alleviated with proper medication, enabling those who use those methods to effectively comply with societal constraints.   What if this condition, and many others, is a small portion of a much larger and less visible whole?  One must have clinically diagnosable psychotic symptoms - much in the way injuries of accident victims are placed in emergency-assistance order - to be 'noticed' and 'treated' - or so it appears.

Behavior which necessitates being medicated at present is the end of the 'disordered' spectrum currently identifiable.  If indeed there IS such a spectrum, the lower end resonably could contain scattered groups of people among society, in communities/organizations, government, schools, families,  who regularly assail associates and those around them with fallout -- which frequently is dismissed as (less threatening) eccentricity, personality quirks or some form of aberrant behavior.

Many cultures contain some version of a demon possessed belief system.  It is literally believed that the devil is after you at all times -- to participate in evil, to lose control, to resist conformity, stay away from certain moral, mental, physical boundaries.  It isn't 'normal' to be gifted, to create, to excise one's ear under the influence of anything.  Indeed to BE under the influence of anything outside accepted modes of current belief.

Is it truly possible to use a blanket term to describe 'crazy' behavior?  Or to use 1,000 of them believing that one day it may be possible to efficiently describe and identify awry neuro-functionality?

Expressions of creativity, free thinking and current ideas of 'insane' may ultimately be indistinguishable.  World-altering, original ideas, controversial art, legislative acceptance of life choices formerly believed to be deadly threats to societies, frequently emerge from those wildly defiant souls who flail against societal norms, absent approval, while creating completely new paths to change.  That which may appear 'normal' today may tomorrow be replaced with an idea which was, at one time, labeled "crazy" -- seemingly unrecognizable as it is happening.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Efficient Exits

Watching several versions of old Scrooge's journey through his almost-demise has brought another interesting thought to mind.  Most people simply do not think about leaving this life, this earth.  If one has not been required to become a caregiver, been really sick themselves or moved into old age, with its attendant introspective considerations as to ending life, or some combination of these disruptive conditions, ideas of how removal from this life/earth might be accomplished just do not occur.

It is accurate that people do not simply evaporate off this earth at will, out of this body, into some type of cleanly vaporous oblivion.  Things get much more complicated or messy than that.  Say life ends quickly, in an instant (this likely does not happen as often as we may believe, percentage-wise); someone then has to deal with the aftermath of it all - a body, grief and/or horror, planning, expense, disposal of lifeless remains, stressful ritualism.

It seems as if, as an intelligent race, humans could have achieved more enlightened progress solving this unavoidable outcome.  Perhaps a remote, comfortably serene platform could be built in the middle of an ocean somewhere - at the end of life, one could choose to go there and inhale a properly soothing concoction, designed to render the willing participant unconscious.  A quietly silent slip into the ocean then ensures consumption by other living creatures, effectively assuring an ecological continuation of that life form.

This method at least seems more sensible, functional . . . and humane.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Real Treasures

That time of year is rapidly approaching . . . the gift-giving season.  Somehow it has become a frenetic flurry of shopping, buying, wrapping, securing, and transferring . . . a sense of urgency prevails, amidst deep fretting about timeliness, appropriateness, even in regard to receipt of hoped-for approval from those we 'gift' -- whether the goods given will be happily accepted.

Perhaps some enlightened soul will begin a petition, to simply put a complete stop to all gifting and/or giving during the holiday season . . . food and drink offerings excluded, since these are traditionally life-sustaining items . . . and concentrate instead on imparting joy and kindness to as many people as possible.  Retailers would be properly horrified and deprived of much-needed profits, thereby impacting our necessarily capitalistic economy.

All offerings and contributions could be used specifically to shelter and nourish human beings who were in need of comfort and support.  No one would expect baubles and trinkets.

The current concept of giving may need some polishing to bring into view a shinier, deeply burnished image, looking less like frantic bartering and more like divinely applied love.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It is Over

The war - that one fought primarily in Iraq - is today 'officially over' and flags are packed away ceremoniously, troops flown home with quiet fanfare to be reunited with families - those who are fortunate enough to reclaim their loved ones from the yawning maw of hell and fury from the past decade.

So many thousands of this country's best and brightest sacrificed and many more maimed for the rest of their lives.  And 'life' -- as all others in their country know it -- goes on as usual.  As in past wars, these silent warriors will continue an even more subtle fight, largely absent support or notice from fellow citizens of the nation they served so nobly.

Resolve this day to think with uncommon awareness about the broad view of what is transpiring in the world at this moment in time.  Place some importance on giving consideration to the price paid by many thousands of human beings, most of whom will remain anonymous and faceless.  Remember that patriotic fervor, when not tested to the maximum stretching point, is largely insulated, thus radically different from facing death or dismemberment.

Opinions about validity, necessity, or advisability of any war, in the end, have little or nothing to do with compassion for those who have been required to fight it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gut check

Excision of long-growing, thriving malignancies leaves emptiness . . . thereby requiring healthy cells to grow and fill a warm and pulsing space, formerly occupied by relentless killers.  Even one undetected, hideously altered cell can stealthily enter and infect again all those healthy ones -- thwarting a drastic rescue mission.

So it is within space just vacated within the fertile, ever-mutating mind.  A deadly, tenacious idea, having grown to giant proportions, is abandoned . . . to be replaced with . . . more noble pursuits, or seven demons where one once resided?  Those small but potentially deadly modified cells of thought lie in patient wait.

Stay quiet, refuse to submit.  This humming, alert, moistly receptive batch of tissue, washed and dressed for proper presentment, is capable of survival.  Listen carefully, respond unfailingly.  One's own body cries out daily, for acknowledgment, for attention, for support, help.  Insert strength, purity, hope, alignment . . . with each pregnant moment, so very similar to small cells . . . those tiny, wholly able moment/cells the final answer to living -- believe this.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Make a Move

There's an old blues song about a bullfrog just sitting on a lily pad, not knowing which way to jump.  It describes most of us, this indecision, inactivity, inability to move on.  Schedules mercifully provide us socially acceptable reasons for being.  Following the plan can provide a measure of satisfaction.

Responsiblities discharged honorably, in a timely fashion, surround performers with approval.  It can be enough for a long while . . . even a lifetime occasionally.  Settling for an existence absent passion can serve well, if not fully.

Do not embrace or ever hold to your heart any life endeavor - work, people, leisure - which contains no excitement, feeling, intensity.  While it is difficult to trust these conditions of the mind, they are integral to optimal function.

Efficiency & excitement are not mutually exclusive . . .  never believe it, refuse to accept it.  Create peak experiences, weave deep ardor into the fabric of your life tapestry.  Love deeply and completely -- refuse to carefully step around your destiny.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


So . . . when does a simple opinion morph into a judgment?  Pronouncement? Levying? Heavy-handedness? Likely all of these and maybe more.  Lightening fast oblivion, from autonomic neuronal process - realization just -- flies out the window.  Sometimes it is sameness that motivates our ideas - often it is mood.  If not traditional, habitual, then bad.  Open minds grow little imaginary mold - clean, aware thinking usually creates clean slates on which to write anew.

Really look inside that busy mind . . . the 'chattering monkey' is constantly at work, ready to play old tapes, deliver edicts long-held to be irrevocable living law.  Amazingly, acquiring new material is great fun, creating freedom to grow, uplifting.  Try it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Caregiving . . . encompasses and permeates personal territory.  Constant assessment of another's needs, relentless requirements for seeing, hearing, responding.  Draining, distracting, demanding.  When a person is no longer able to perform specific duties such as bathing, dressing or eliminating waste from their bodies sanitarily, suddenly it is incumbent on others to carry out/support these actions.

Exactly what is divinely inspired about changing an adult diaper?  Soiled linens, endless medication schedules, feeding necessities, physical exertion such as lifting, knowledge that there is no foreseeable end to all of it.  Can a daily expectation of this sort of life be fit appropriately into a loving, kind or selfless category?  People who spend their own healthy, capable lives in caring for the needs of others must find purpose, meaning in some realm of thought regarding what they do each moment.  The activity has to bring a form of satisfaction, either from tasks discharged once more and understood to be repeated endlessly, tirelessly, or from knowledge that it is a job completed, for a particular sum of money which will sustain the performer for a time.

Compassion and empathy are indispensable in caregiving situations, though such admirable qualities cannot possibly remain whole and present in one who is increasingly exhausted.  Fatigue plays tricks on even the strongest.

There are those who bring themselves willingly, grimly to the tasks, and those who understand that stepping away is necessary.  Caring for others is a truly thankless, deadly, mind-numbing experience for some -- yet fulfilling & enhancing for others.  It is not so simple to ascertain which of these categories we fall into.