In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"


1 Comment

The Gift of Writing in the Mindful Word

  
My first piece published as a contributing writer for this wonderful journal, The Mindful Word, came out today. Please enjoy this esssay about writing and teaching students old and young about the craft I attribute as salve for what ails us in the human condition of illusory separateness.
Peace, 

the Gaze


Leave a comment

Ban it

  
The California plastic ban that will be before voters in California next general election has been on my mind. Since I live in the only city that has repealed the ban after two years, I thought I would investigate the city council’s doings to earn such an honored historic distinction.

As usual, the war between environmentalists and big business wages. Environmentalists claim the plastic bags pollute and harm marine life. Big plastic says not so, and people will lose jobs if the ban is instituted.

No surprises in the world of politics. Both sides accuse one another of cheating, irresponsibility, and undue influence by monied folk, special interests. And so it goes.

In the end, it matters little the motivations–money or environment–behind the law so long as the law does what it is purported to do and people support it. The larger matter lies in individual responsibility to others, and not just with plastic.

When do we cross the line between a seemingly innocuous lack of consciousness of those around us–say, like my forgetting recycling bags–and conscious disregard of others? The “rugged individualism” (pride of this country’s founding generation and their progeny), pitted against the social contract based on a benevolence toward others with whom we live in society–an agreement to let live–always calls up that question. And not only for people.

Philosopher Peter Singer, in an interview with the New York Times opinionator blogger, George Yancy, earlier this year defined human disregard of animals’ as “speciesism,” when humans give “less weight to the interests of nonhuman animals than they give to the similar interests of human beings.”
Interests like survival in clean oceans, I imagine.
Whether we consider ourselves the shepherds of other species, a posture of assumed superiority, or we consider ourselves on par with other species and posit survival as the burden of each species, there is still a path that is neither too philosophical nor too patriotic. 
When we teach ourselves good habits, the correlative benefits to all society reverberate small and large. And we are such trainable creatures, we humans, if we have the will, both personal and political.
 

credit: http://vsknow1.com


Leave a comment

Shhhh…

  
Shhh…don’t tell anyone.

I have a long, torrid relationship with her, my mistress and master both. I submit to her daily, as she owns me now. Though it was not always that way. She once hurt me badly, my heart and body, which caused us to part ways for many years, close to twenty, in fact. But I realize now that she had something to teach me, a lesson I needed to learn about myself–and her–before we could be together, merge our lives seamlessly into the desire and need we are about today.

I met her as a teen with big ideas. I was sixteen then and drawn to everything and everyone I measured as cool, earthy, and spiritual. I read about her in a book I purchased second hand from a used bookstore, and I was immediately lured to her mystique. There was something there I did not understand but wanted to know more about. So I read and learned about her, imitated her every move to earn me my cool. Until one day, I met her.

She was all she was cracked up to be at that first meeting: sexy, lithe, strong and flexible. Muscular and compact, she appeared the picture of youth, while she breathed ancient wisdom, emitted it from her pores. I was astounded and flustered in love.

And though our meeting ended then, we met again, and then again…for awhile…until the pain. 

I had to learn the hard way, as I always have. I was arrogant and needy. Not one to be forced and taken, controlled and overpowered, she left me howling, bedridden for months, depressed and injured. The love affair ended in the slow drip of time it takes to heal a body and mind.

When we later met again, I had changed. She had not. But my approach to her differed then from the earlier times. I did not need her, merely wanted her. I penetrated her eye to eye, then bowed. That made all the difference between us.

We co-exist now, as one. Since our reunion five or six years ago, she has never left me. We live with and through one another.

When I am down, face down to the ground but hips high to the sky, she takes me, makes my breath grow steady and strong; she makes me weep sometimes like this, too much to hold, my arms arrested for the weight of my body. She buckles my knees sometimes, how she holds me in her grasp, in her heart and her embrace, me and all who love her, whom she loves. And she loves.

 
credit:  http://ih1.redbubble.net


Leave a comment

Stupid Ashley Crime

  
So help me out here because I don’t get it. The hackers of the Ashley Madison site and other Avid LIfe Media subsidiaries, CougarLife and Established Men, purportedly declared that they attacked the site not for moral grounds, not for sheer mischief, not for extortion, not for revenge nor for a specific social or political cause. No, the hack, along with the threat to reveal member names, fantasies and nude photos as well as company bank account information, resulted in protest of the sites’ unfulfilled “full delete guarantee.”  

The Impact Team, as they call themselves (nothing like themed criminal activity), appear to be disgruntled ex-users. Why else take such extreme action in protest to a failed guarantee that has no relevance to them? Did they think they were the Edward Snowden‘s of the dating site world? I mean, the charges for this crime must come with lengthy prison terms, so the risk must be worth the outcome. 

Or maybe they merely join the ranks of dumb criminals, assuming a public stunt on such a grand scale will go unpunished and undiscovered. Perhaps they count on the public’s disdain for cheaters to get them a pass on the full efforts of the law enforcement agencies called in to investigate this cyber crime.

They must be stupid. Money and reputations stand to be lost, and who knows who risks exposure? Perhaps monied folk, who will not take too kindly for the exposure, a sure generator of pressure to make arrests. 

But the puzzler for me is the lack of logic. Exposing the site’s participants for the site owner’s failed “full delete guarantee” seems like beating the prisoners to expose the abuse of the jailers. 

The hackers complain, according to the Inqisitr write up the other day, that Ashley Madison, et al., charge $19.00 to members for deleting information from the site, but do not actually do so, leaving credit card information with real names attached to them as well as other incriminating information to the cheating spouse. 

Ashley Madison, advertised as a discrete dating site for married adults, with the slogan, “Life is Short. Have an Affair, boasts over 37 million members. According to krebsonsecurity.com, this hack follows an earlier hack on AdultFriendFinder, though the connection has not been established to date. Krebs also reports that the hackers worked from inside, not as employees but people who had access to information working on site.

The hackers demand Ashley Madison shut down, unconcerned about the “dirt bags” who risk exposure:

“Avid Life Media has been instructed to take Ashley Madison and Established Men offline permanently in all forms, or we will release all customer records, including profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails. The other websites may stay online.”
So tell me again why the hackers risked their lives as free citizens to protest the breach of promised privacy by which this site profited? 

I hate incoherent crimes.


5 Comments

Bottoms Up

  

It’s true. 
Sometimes you must
start anew
from the bottom up.
And not just once.
But often
on a hunch
you climb the ladder
reach for that highest rung
fingers outstretched
palms wide flung
curled tips in anticipation
of a firm grasp
no trepidation
but slip
fall flat to the floor
bypassing rung after rung
the places you reached before
gripping with all your might
flashing before eyes wide
whirring in a smudge of time
shocked and numb
til bottom hits 
and you think it’s done
and it hurts too much
but the spinning ceases
the dust clears
and your body works
not barely broken
and your heart strength opens
once your mind obeys
so you rise again
like a burning wingless wren
clawing and clutching
fighting air and doubt–again
dizzying your stance 
hands out
feet unsteadily chance
the ground
for the grab
and reach it.
You clasp
the bottom rung.

  
credit:  http://blogs.ft.com

http://www.builderbill-diy-help.com