I was a conservative in my youth. It’s how I was raised. How I was indoctrinated. And it’s really odd. Because when I was young my parents weren’t religious. Their positions weren’t anointed by the false images of a god that never was. So they justified them with science and opinion. And my mom was fiercely feminist. Like hardcore feminist. So she would talk and I respected the strong women in my life forever because of her. They used to be Democrats. They’d declare it that after Jimmy Carter they lost faith. That’s how they described it. Like politics was religion. And that is the key, isn’t it? They viewed their politics as religion and they rolled into the 80’s doing well economically. So they’re religion became money and their presidents became saviors. Each one inviolable. The opposing party, a villain. The face of the adversary. And that’s how they raised us. I was never comfortable with it. I argued and that original politics as science is what sunk in. And science, science changes. It looks at the world. It looks at the evidence and it shifts. By the time I was 18, I’d shifted to Libertarian. The platform not the individuals in it. The people that are in it are fringe. The ideas fringe. Maybe, I read too much Heinlein. But my thinking shifted. And my relationship with my parents became double sided. On one side they were my parents, and on the other they were adversaries. But ones who I still had some things in common with. Those commonalities waned down the years. As my eyes and world grew wider. And science based politics forced my positions and opinions to change. I became far left Libertarian. Until 2016. Until the rubber band broke, and I could no longer affiliate with a party that had anything in common with the Republican party and the monster they endorsed and elected. And I’ve watched as my now so called practicing Christian parents salivate at the thought of doing harm to those who are other than them. Eating up the thinly veiled propoganda of Fox news. And far right radio. Believing everything that Trump says even when it contradicts the things he just said. And I find that I love them. Because they are my parents. And they have never acted against me. Seem to genuinely want the best for me. But, I know that they are my enemies. And that hurts. That loss of safety. Because I can never be sure now that I will be supported. And maybe it’s dumb for an adult to need them still. But I’ve seen them be better people. And I wish they would come back.
The awful truth of memory is that the more important, more cherished, a memory is…the quicker it’s faded or distorted. Each time we recall a memory it’s like pulling it from an old school platter drive. Erasing it completely until we save it again. Over and over, each time wearing away the section and introducing distortions until the original memory is lost. Until all you have is the memory of the memory and a description you tell yourself while recalling it. Or maybe only writers do that, I don’t know.
My memories take a long time to fade. Mainly because I try to only access the description of the memory and not the full blown sensory experience. But some important people, they’ve faded almost completely. A worn out picture. A novel read and reread so much that the paper can no longer hold ink. Trying to recall them and all I have is flashes and vague gauze, which even now tatters and fades.
I understand pictures now. But still, what the camera sees and what my mind saw, will never be the same.
I dreamed that new software was being loaded into my head and that I needed to call into work so that I could sleep while the software installed. There was a particular block of mathematics which I was to tell them that explained it all. I woke up with a fever and a headache as if my brain was overheating from running its cpu at redline due to a rushed install
The problem with writing about inner turmoil is that as you deal with your emotional trauma that voice which drives you to write gets quieter and quieter
Sometimes depression yells pretty loudly, sometimes anxiety breaks through and gibbers all over the page. But that bleak dying cry from the abyss is silent. And this is better, I know it’s better. It’s just hard to reach that emotional depth. And I wonder if the wounds are really healed or if there’s just so much scar tissue that I can’t feel through it.
I feel like I cry about things which never would have touched me before. I don’t know if that’s progress or emotional honesty. I’m on a self guided journey. There are good and bad things to celebrate in that, but sometimes, you just want someone to tell you that you are doing the right thing. But who can? When you are adrift in the wilderness.
Even when you are with someone, you are alone. What else could you be, in the white noise silence. In the space of their lives and the distance between you
How we got here seems obvious now…
We did all the things which we tell ourselves we must not do in order to have a good life
We didn’t take responsibility for our actions
At each step denying the rights of one group while celebrating how great we are. Building a lie while lying to ourselves and fooling the world that the lie was true. All while denying our own history. And with each successive step, teaching the lies as truth which then shocks the adult either awake or into denial. And awareness is terrible. So we have the sleeping and the awake and the people who violently reject what is in front of their eyes.
And those awake try to wake others up, but doing so carries the cost of being difficult. It wears one down. Wears away at the soul and soon enough some parts of us slip back into sleep. In self defense of the tattered mind.
And those strong enough or crazy enough take advantage, promising a return to the “good days”. A lie which only persists because we taught everyone that the past was good and that makes the present feel wrong. Because how could the past be so wonderful and the present so messed up? There must be something wrong with now, so we go back to sleep, to the laws of the past, because we lied.
We taught the lie. We taught ourselves that in the past things were good. A happy shiny lie. Which made homes easy and let people go about their day until reality comes along like a brick to the head.
Some people get only a piece of the lie, they get the isolation of fear which is not understood by those who still live in the lie.
We have lied to ourselves. Constructed false narratives about who we are. Then compounded the lie, generation after generation, by teaching the lies as truth. We are the architects of this disaster.
I don’t know how to fix this. Waking everyone up will lead to violent rejection of the truth. Which will lead to at least one form of war.
The best course would be to teach the real history of us, starting from the beginning of the nation. To stare unflinching at our past, at least with the children. So that those who are asleep can die away. Safe in their lie. But we are seeing what happens when we try that. This violent rejection of reality and the sleeping led around by the nose by those self-serving enough to damn us all for their short term gain.
(While pretending we didn’t erode safeguards and protections to prosperity which allow this situation to flourish)
I think I could have written this at any time in our history. And I would be sad with that truth. Because the lens of the world is one which we can’t hide from. And they have finally uncovered our fraud.
The USA has not and never was the greatest nation on earth. It is not the most free, the most prosperous, and the most educated. We falsified the numbers. Put our thumb on the scale. We hid the truth. And those lies are coming out. Hopefully it will be to the good. Before the lies destroy us.
There is a nebulous feeling that accompanies knowing that you should be doing something but not knowing how to. It’s a calm moment before the storm. You know that with a simple beginning you will place yourself on a new path. And what that will lead to, you cannot know. So you hesitate. You do something else. And all the while that subtle pressure builds. You know you will give in to it. You know you must. But choosing when is the only thing left to you. So you cling to that bit of control, until it slips away. And you find yourself at the beginning of a path you might not have chosen had you the courage to first set your feet and take that first step.
And instead of orchestrated action, you are forced to leap from improvisation to improvisation always trying to steer things back on course. It gets to be addictive. The improvisation. The averting of disaster by shear force of will, intelligence, and cunning. And that’s when you know. The fall is coming. Maybe not soon, but soon enough. Because no one averts disaster forever. No one remains in lucks embrace. Eventually, it won’t be enough. And hopefully, when you fail, you won’t bring everyone caught up in your wake crashing down with you. Better to set yourself on the path. Better to choose, and be ready to improvise. Use the right blade for the job and everything else will be easier.
Love is not a cure all. It can’t paper over pain. Or fix what is broken. It can’t be the only thing in a relationship. Those tender quiet moments you share together, where love is allowed to be. Those are glorious. They lift you up. Make you whole.
But afterwards, at the breakfast table. Their casual cruelty. The silence. The important things you seek to share pissed on. Treated as less, for the sake of their ego. For the sake of their wounds.
Those few moments of feeling love. They are not enough.
Love can break barriers. It can shatter shells. It can make someone better. But they must choose that. They must use love as a place of strength to be more. To embrace vulnerability because in love they are safe.
It’s hard when you know the love is real. But who your partner is, is no partner. They think only of their pain. Their hurts. Their fear. And they dress it up as wrongs you’ve done. They have to be right, even when they are wrong. They have to dominate even when they display every reason they cannot be trusted.
Those moments when they are sorry. When they promise to never do it again. When they are so sweet. Those are the lies. The only real apology is changed behavior. And hard as it is, especially when you are vulnerable. When you are isolated. When you have abandoned friends for this relationship. When you have cut off family. When you are financially dependent. Even then, you must know.
Love is not enough.
And you deserve a relationship that gives strength.
That builds upon itself. And brings joy just by being.
It’s possible. If you build it. But…
Not with them. If they choose their anger, their fear. If they choose their trauma. Their pain. You can only show them that they are safe to heal. You can’t force them. And you can’t be their punching bag. Physical or mental.
It’s the hardest thing in the world to walk away. To be afraid. Of the maybe one day. Of how they might react. Because that’s what they do. They build a cage of fear. They enforce that fear with sudden and irrational violence. Then they promise never again. It may even last for a while. But they are just biding their time.
You deserve better than a cage of fear. A life of violence. Of lies.
It’s hard. It’s scary. But eventually they will go too far. They will break you. Kill you. Destroy your sense of self. And you deserve better than that. Your life is worth more than that.
You can be strong enough to do this. You can lean on old friends. Maybe old family. They likely don’t know what is happening. That person they were in the beginning, that joy and kindness you felt. That’s all they know. Tell them. If they support you lean on them. If they express doubt, believe their lies. Walk away from those. Don’t try to convince them. They aren’t real friends. The same for family.
Rebuild your network. And reach out to trauma centers and hotlines. Even emergency rooms. Firefighters, but not cops. The high level of domestic violence in the cop world has normalized trauma. They cannot be helpful when they are tacit offenders themselves.
You are not alone. You can do this. You can be safe. You deserve more than this.
I’m afraid. That’s hard to admit. I’m not a person that admits to fear. That allows fear to gain a foothold in my actions.
But, I must be honest. I’m afraid. My country is disintegrating. The bonds which held us together have frayed. The truths we thought of as a steady progression towards freedom came to a tipping point. One where our nation had a choice. A choice to make a decision to support the people it was killing. To support the lives of its citizens. To move the country forward in its goal of freedom.
And instead, it decided to embrace the killers. To see the behavior of the people who were hired enforce our laws and applaud their efforts to subvert those laws. To drape themselves in fear and make themselves into a protection racket.
I say protection racket because their negotiation tactic is to threaten the cities and states that they work for. To no longer protect citizens in their areas, but still draw paychecks. To sit in their clubhouses and watch as the world burns.
But, that tactic must be seen as what it is. Fear mongering. Pure and simple. Because the fact is, the function of the police is not to protect the citizens. It is not to serve the citizens. It is to enforce the laws of the state and government to which they are employed.
They protect and serve only themselves and the state. In that order. And when confronted with their consistent and quantifiable history of injustice and murder, they threaten and hide. They lie and engage in brutal behavior which breaches all standards of warfare.(but to which they are not held accountable, because cops are not soldiers. It was never conceived that so called enforcers of the public good would become war criminals)
And instead of the federal government stepping in to work against this injustice. Which is how this is supposed to work(the federal government can cease support for local law enforcement and impose stringent sanctions on behavior to force local law enforcement to change should local structures of government fail to do so. Since the citizens of local municipalities are also citizens of the country as well and since local law enforcement receives support and federal funding). Instead of that, they have pulled in federal officers who work in fields with no actual training in crowd control or self control and employ them as bully boys and brownshirts. Under the guidance that they are protecting federal property. Which is tough to do when you are wandering the streets blocks away from any federal property.
They have begun arresting people without probable cause. And that should scare the shit out of you. Without that requirement of probable cause, you can be arrested for anything. For disagreeing with the local government. For being the “wrong” faith. For having the “wrong” skin. For anything. And those arrests will lead to charges. Trumped up charges. Pun fully intended.
Our local governments are trying to fight this legally. But they must do so in the federal system which is the ones sending these walking violations to the constitution. Which is like fighting a war with your teeth. These judges are federal appointees. Which means that they are beholden to the federal government for their livelihood. They are as much hostages as they are collaborators.
It is your legal duty to question and disobey any order which is illegal. Moreover, it is your moral obligation to the citizens of the United States which should override any order or command you are given. And yet there are still people who are following these orders which will be proven to be unlawful. And make no mistake, however this shakes out. There will be a price to pay for following these illegal orders.
Things are being pushed past nonviolent protests. Being pushed to not allow nonviolent revolution. And when that happens, violent revolution is the only recourse.
I am afraid. But fear only pushes you so far. And once you are done, your only options are to fight or cower. I hope I make the right decision.
And I hope all of you do as well.
Time gets away from me more often these days
These vague thoughts lead to vague deeds
Which, inevitably, lead to a failure of the spirit
It’s far to easy to be kind
To allow things to slip
To let them keep slipping
Until, at last, what you are left with is a series of broken promises
Indeed, that must be how it starts
The failure of of one small corner ideal
Becomes the compromise which opens the door to the next
Until you have sacrificed everything you are
Everything you purport to believe in
For the sake of the comfort
The convenience of settling
It not a failure of faith
It’s not a betrayal of your core
It’s just a bit easier
And don’t you deserve a little easy in these broken times…
I wish I could say that I haven’t done this but we all know that I have. However, when a compromise becomes a apology, and the apology leads to nothing
It is then that you know that you have broken promises
The most important ones
The promises made you your self
The ones you swore to adhere to
The ones that make you who you choose to be
Let these small warnings serve
And turn away from the easy
Destruction of self is never worth the price
Even when the doing
Feels so good
Sleep is the one thing in this world which seems genuinely good anymore
And it’s not that there are not elements of the waking world which I love
Rather it is the ecosystem of everything which surrounds us which is so perverse and broken that only in sleep do I feel free
I slide into bed and cool sheets greet me
The most comfortable pillow I’ve ever owned
Which I bought from a small local shop which I hope weathers this storm
Because I also get my beds from them
Beds that are called insidious
Because they are deceptively comfortable and lure you into deep sleep
I pull the blanket given to me by the woman I love across me, snuggling down in her distant embrace
And I slip from this abomination of a world into another
Perhaps just my own mind
Or perhaps a shard reality made real only for me
Still, sleep takes in another lost soul
Hoping that dreams become refuge for a weary heart
And when I wake
It is always with reluctance
For dreams and sleep
Is the last refuge we have