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Wednesday, August 24, 2011



Listening to somebody talk about dissatisfaction with where they are. I understand. But I'm happy to say I'm not the one saying it. The remark took me on an inward journey looking at a few of the aspects of where I am that satisfies me. The image above is one aspect. This curve, with the house my friend Jean used to live in out of sight on the right, the beautiful Primitive Baptist church house with shadows of the maple leaves projected onto its white screen. The car I'm driving treats me very well. It's my friend just like any human I would call a friend. The world outside these mountains has almost ceased to exist for me. When I drive out into it, I'm in a foreign country where I don't know the language, the ways of the people. Finding myself in a city situation from time to time, I sometimes have told myself, "Don't make eye contact with anybody." It's hard for me in an airport lobby with hundreds of people to ignore that these are individual psyches, every one with a lot of good stories, all of them with full lives, each very, very different from any of the others.

I like to think about the time 500 or so years from now, when I have a feeling the people on the earth will be friendly with each other. You don't have to watch your back. I'm seeing a world of religious belief that all of us are holy. The time of war our mythology over, into the time of love our mythology. Capitalism and Communism in the ancient history books, or kindles, a period of time the humans went through that in many ways was from hell. How many centuries of ongoing war? All the way back to the Amazon where the men of a tribe sneak up on the neighboring tribe, kill the men, take the women and kids. To the chimpanzees where a couple of males will go into the territory of a neighboring tribe, find a lone male out looking for something to eat and kill him. It's in us all the way back to bugs, bacteria. It must be in the nature of life itself to dislike neighbors. When God comes along and advises to love our neighbor as ourselves, that's the hardest of all. We're disposed from all the way back to regard our neighbor as adversary. It's a bitter pill. The Bible advises love your neighbor as the most important of all, and everybody ignores it. "It has a spiritual meaning. Doesn't apply to this world." "It means the brothers and sisters in the congregation."

Hearing today on Fresh Air a woman talking about a fundamentalist outfit that is spreading the gospel that the Democrat party is full of demons and Muslims even worse. Given absolute power, we can see who their targets would be for genocide. They're doing it for Jesus. They're clearing the world of dead souls so they can love their neighbors without interference. Talking about they love you, but hate what you do, hate what you believe. This is the mind I ran for my life from. When I was finally away from parents and could make my own decisions, I quit going to church. To appease parents somewhat, I started going to a Unitarian church, that I found the same as nothing. Stopped that after a short time. For years and years and years, every time I talked with my mother on the phone, before she would say goodbye, she'd say, "Have you found a church yet?" No, I haven't found a church yet. "I wish you'd find a church." I know you do. This went on until it was difficult to pick up the phone to call her. Finally, one time I said, "No, I have not found a church and will never find a church. I am finished with church for the rest of my life. In the first part of my life I went to enough church for 10 lifetimes, so this lifetime is paid in full." That was the end of it. I thought: Wow, I could have said that years ago. That was all it took.

I actually am afraid for our country in every way when I hear Fundamentalist Christians talk. For one thing, I have a hard time calling them Christians, but they've changed the meaning of the word to include whatever they want it to be. It's become a meaningless word anyway, so there's no point making distinctions about definitions. From my experience on the inside, I have seen how absolutist they are about what they believe they're supposed to believe. There is just one way, and that's the way of the preacher's uninformed opinions. I hear about politician Rick Perry and his fundamentalist smug manner. I know what's behind him: No-two-ways-about-it. It runs a shudder of fear through me to think of a serious possibility he could become the next president. He has Karl Rove behind him. Rove got Perry the governor of Texas job like he got it for W. Rove has no bottom for as low as he can go. With Rove and the Supreme Court behind him, anything can happen. My rational mind says, No way is it possible. But American politics doesn't do rational. 

I'm having a hard time with all the hatred that has come into our politics since 1980. Ignorance has entered the political arena as a strategy to trump intelligence. It works. Over and over. If it is true that our representatives truly represent us, and if it's true we get what we deserve, after 60 years of television our representatives have become a pool of ignorance, and what we deserve appears to be the same. Not one shows an interest in We The People like we have little to do with anything besides crime. I wonder if we're going to have a civil war as a result of Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh stirring up ignorance into hate into power in a time when morality is dead in those circles. It's worrisome to me, especially with police state in its early years. It's a popular police state willed by people who don't want to make decisions anymore, wanting to live in the mental wonderland of television belief systems. It might not be what we want, but as long as anti-intelligence rules us, we collectively become more and more ignorant. When it's got to where fundamentalists are listened to like they have some sense, even taken seriously, ignorance rules.

I laugh at myself. I came to the mountain years ago to get away from the political world. And here I am in the best place on earth for me, the sound of katydids in the air with open windows and door, Janacek piano on the radio, a good combo. I paint by day, watch movies, read and write to you. Music of my choice any time day or night as I choose. There is no way I can play it loud enough for the nearest neighbor in either direction to hear it. Maybe somebody driving by in a car, but everybody keeps their windows rolled up for heat in winter and AC in summer. I am free to walk naked through the woods if I want to, but I'm saving that thrill for the Alzheimer's years. I have a good life. Good friends. Good people all around me. Buoyed up by them, in fact. And I listen to the news every day, keeping up with the daily soaps, checking in to see who's killing who today and the latest report on Sarah Palin's tourbus. I live in a beautiful place and let that swill into my head like it's important. It's time for me to do some serious head examination to look at how much I feel I really need all this news, most of it fake, done for the news. It's a good time to give that some consideration. Do I really need that world of lies in my house, in my head?


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