Hear the rattle(of the snake)

When I go out into the world, I wear a specific style of dress. I wear black. Black pants, black shoes, black socks and a black button down dress shirt(short sleeve). And in some ways it’s to express my dark side of life nature and my gothness in a corporate world. That’s what I’ll tell you if you ask.

But, it serves other purposes as well. It marks me as other. Which, is a reflection of how I feel about myself. Other. I don’t belong to the crowd.

It’s not about alienation so much as an acknowledgement of fact. The way I think and hold myself forth is different. Which isn’t even my thought, it’s a comment that friends of mine make.

And there’s a third reason…I’m brown. Long hair and brown. Light skinned but brown. And I have a distinct aversion to being mistaken for else.

Through my dress and demeanor I reject any external notion that I might be a grocery store employee. I don’t know where the apples are and if you expect me to and voice it to me as if my place is one of subservience… Well, expect to hear an earful.
I’ve already done my best to flash danger and other with my dress. You’re failure to see reality is not my problem and if you make it my problem, it will swiftly become your problem.

People are afraid. To be confrontational. To be seen as the ‘minority’ with the chip on their shoulder. But what they see, when what I am is contraindicated, is not my emotional responsibility. I refuse to take up their burden.

The bottom line is not blue

Cops want to believe that they are to protect and serve. That is the ideal they espouse. The motto of nearly every city or department. But it is not their function.

The function of police is to determine 2 things. 1. Has a law been broken and if so, by whom.
2. To gather evidence of said infraction to present to the District Attorneys/prosecutor.

That is the base function.
That’s it. Anything beyond that is frosting.

But when we allow them to believe that ‘protecting’ is their function, we get into a quagmire of value judgments. Where personal bias and institutional bias meet and have a toxic baby.

Yes. There was a time when police could execute some judgment upon execution of the law. But we’ve grown too far beyond that. It’s no longer true that street cops actually know the people on their beat. Further, they have no investment in the community that they patrol because they don’t live there. They don’t need to make sure their neighborhood is a good place to live.

And the internal culture reflects this mentality. They see themselves as a community under siege. That ‘civilians’ don’t understand. That cops should be given freedom to persue their goals to protect.
Without true scrutiny, oversight, or interference.

That is the worst kind of false narrative. One which creates a Us vs Them dynamic. Which makes it so that actions outside of the rules become justified. Because they are trying to ‘protect’.

This culture which sees itself as us vs them. Which denounces those who report the crimes of other police. Which considers the body which is there to police them as the “Rat squad”. Which eschews civilian oversight. Which relies on police unions to keep them in power. Its a broken system.

One which functions more like a gang than the military that they play as. Gangs don’t want you to ‘rat’. Gangs want you to rely solely on them for solace and support. Gangs create a us vs them society. And gangs only care about the gang. The thin blue line.

Police use the perpetual threat in negotiations that their members will pull their protection from the cities and citizenry that they serve. That is the definition of a protection racket. Pay up or you don’t know what could happen.

This is a system which requires drastic change. Which requires drastic measures. And it is evident that the change is no longer possible from within.

Police in our country(the USA) are flawed and corrupt on such a fundamental level that internal reforms are no longer an option.

It’s a incendiary statement. But if it is, perhaps it’s time to light the pyre.

What’s yearned for is not simple

I wrote this 11 years ago.

To understand this world you must feel it, breathe in its air as it breathes you in; dance with it as it dances , caress the wind and be caressed in turn. And as I dance and breathe and touch I wonder if there are others experiencing the world as I do or are they all just caught up in the mundane details unable to see the larger world except in momentary glimpses.

And now I feel ensnared. Caught fast in amber. Unable to feel my way through.

I remember that feeling. That singular euphoria of feeling so much a part of the living world that I was connected to its very breathe.

And I now only see it in brief glimpses, which feel insubstantial. There’s no time, it seems, to just be.

And that is what is required. Time to just be in the world. Without tether. Free. With only those physically by your side to share it with you.

4 am thoughts

Love is blind is a false phrase perpetrated by those who only see a relationship from the outside. Who see only the shallow surface and mistake it for the whole.

While this phrase seems to be an indictment of those in love, in fact it is merely a reflection of the observer.

To the observer it seems as if disparate people have joined and they cannot fathom the connection. So with limited understanding they impose their viewpoint. They cannot see the attraction, so they determine that love itself must be blind. Except this is a false image.

Love is not blind. It sees deeply and knows deeply.
So our conclusion must instead be that the observer is admitting to their own incomprehension.

Moving forward in the wake of treason

Trump’s actions in office while heinous were in no way done without the complicity of those in Congress. People who, either by cynical manipulation wore the colors of this fascist movement in a bid for power or through genuine passion for an ideology anathema to the ideals of this country, supported and conceded to this presidency all grounds of decency. Who under rule by then Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Decided to stonewall any effort to make the lives of Americans better. To deny safeguards both physical and financial to protect its citizens from a virus that has killed almost 1 in 10 people in these United States. To appoint federal and Supreme Court justices who would lead us into the future instead of miring us in a mythical past.

It is into this atmosphere that our President Elect Joe Biden wants to restore normalcy and cooperation. It is a false hope and the wrong move. You cannot settle with people who hold you in such contempt. Who will use your inability to enforce change to swing the pendulum back to the simmering fascism for the next populist ideologue to take advantage of.

There is no normal to recreate. There is no consensus which can be reached with those who either through cynicism or fanaticism have engaged in support of sedition. Anything less than the denial of these complicit parties will leave the cancer to metastasize. They must be denied their seats. New members must be seated and all activities they have engaged in must be brought to light.

We stand near the maelstrom, just past the lip. We can either forge a new future or try to make peace with those who have no true desire for it and plunge back into the gyre.

Writing tropes I could do without reading again

The only way to protect someone is to give them the freedom to choose. You must give them all the information and trust that their decision will be the right one for them.

You hope that the decision will coincide with yours. But it might not. And that’s ok. It has to be ok.

Taking away someone’s choice by providing narrow or no information is manipulation.

Ignorance is not safety.

It sucks. We want to protect the ones we love. But treating them like a child because it hurts you to take the neccesary steps. Because you think you know better… Takes away their agency. Doing so is a betrayal of their trust.

Laying in bed, pillow uncomfortable from the wet of tears

I would walk through fire to make sure a friend was ok.

That’s a thought I had the other night. And it’s true.
I’ve endangered long term friendships to make sure they had information that I couldn’t keep silent about. Information that I wasn’t sure was true, but which, if true, could have devastating consequences.

So knowing that I was about to lose everything. I told them anyway. Saying that I was afraid but that I felt that they needed to know.

I don’t have many friends. At most I can count them on two hands. Probably on one. But I would fight a war to the knife on their behalf.

Perhaps because I live by a code. A simple and perhaps harsh one. Perhaps because I value them more than I value myself. The latter thought hurts the most. So it’s probably more true than not.

I don’t have a point here. Just that there are still things about myself that feel painful. That bring tears and silent screams.

So, I need to listen and be honest and keep writing. I may be better, more whole than I’ve ever been. But still, there is more. And I need to remember that.

Advice no one asked for, nor will likely take

One should never wait for love.
It seems stupid to even say but we wait to say it. We wait for some sure sign that we feel it. We wait to see if they feel it too.

We wait. And we push it away because outside things say that its not the right time.

If it’s inside things. If you are working on yourself. To get yourself well; then fair enough.

But external things?

No.

Don’t wait. Love is as much an act of faith as it is a feeling. Tell them how you feel without expectation.

You’re feelings are yours. Not a burden for them to carry. But, true freedom is honest. And being honest even when you are scared is better than the alternative.

And it’s better to know. If they run or the relationship ends, then at least you know. And maybe the person you love next will be in the same place as you.

But you can’t know unless you say something.

Love is the truest thing we have.
Don’t run from it.

Season of meh

As I get older the holidays feel less holiday and more burden. I’ll be the first to say that my view may be skewed as my particular holiday is skewed.

For most that celebrate Winter Solstice, it’s a time of joy. For me, its a time of quiet reflection.

But I still participate in most of the secular traditions and there is where it becomes nonfun.

Gift giving was more fun when I didn’t have responsibilities beyond basic ones. I could afford to be generous because there was no downside to my doing so. I remember being crazy happy to give all kinds of gifts to every person I cared for. Now, for most, its a social obligation rather than a joy.

And when there is a gift exchange, I mostly feel like we’re shuffling money around. We spend roughly the same amount. We could just as easily bought those things for ourselves, without the forced social contract.

Maybe if my friends would/could gather I’d feel different. But mostly the only thing the holiday gives is a few days which are mostly quiet.

I’m not a grinch. I just don’t see the point as time passes and belts get tighter and tighter.

Anyway, if the holidays mean something to you, then I hope that whatever positive feelings you get from them are present and whatever meh or negative feelings are minimized.

The gods know that we could use a break

This pandemic life

I missed a post yesterday. I acknowledge my failure and offer this response:

Isolation from those we love coupled with physical situation changes, eg working from home and closed gyms, has effected me deeply.

It’s hard to build relationships without physical presence. Not impossible. Just hard. But it’s the lack of exercise, good food, and regular companionship from friends which just sends me deeper inside.

I try to keep up emotionally. I’m doing the work. But some days it’s too much. Today(Monday) was one of those days. Mostly I’ve managed to post a song or a haiku to cover but I couldn’t find the motivation today. I ended up sleeping for 8 hours immediately after work and I’m still tired.

Usually, I love the cold bite in the air and the approaching solstice. Now I feel like it is more of the same. And the levers I would normally use to regulate my feelings are either not available or are physically distant.

It is a lot.

I miss the family of choosing which I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of.

As to the blog. I will be better. I’ll need to devote some spoons. It is important to me. And while it would be easy to quit, the damage from doing so would have repercussions. So I guess anyone who reads here stillbis stuck with me.