Every day 100 Americans are killed with guns. This includes suicides which makes up two thirds of the firearm deaths in the United States. The first leading cause of death in black children and teens is firearms.

One in one million Australians die of gun violence while 30 in one million Americans die from guns. Under the 1996 law, Australia banned certain semi-automatic, self-loading rifles and shotguns, and imposed stricter licensing and registration requirements. Australia's strict gun laws came as reaction to a terrible mass shooting that killed 35 people.

If you believe in firearm ownership, how do you explain that all the developed nations with strong gun legislation have strikingly low gun deaths compared to the lax/ NRA influenced United States?

I know so many friends and even family members who believe in gun ownership, and the ignorance makes my stomach turn. It is a life and death matter and perfectly easy to relinquish firearms for a safe world. A gun ban is the only way.

Posted Tue Jun 4 10:53:38 2019

While civilization will almost definitely be ended by 2050 due to climate apocalypse, Biden has chosen that as his date to reduce carbon emissions to zero. Also of note, abortion will be legal, there will be zero Traffic Deaths in Texas, and sex robots will be wide spread.

Posted Thu Jun 6 12:42:02 2019

The story used to be,

of a stuck woman,

with limited income,

wishing for a change.

Until one day

a coconut landed on her head,

and she stopped waiting

for change to find her.

She woke up realizing

the world is going under water,

and “I’m wallowing in pity

on some of the only dry land.”

She jumped in,

joined an activist collective,

and together they super glued their bodies

to the steps of the capitol building.

She was thrown in jail,

but even in there,

she did not feel

stuck anymore.

Posted Sun Jun 9 12:27:27 2019

A Biden nomination could very likely mean 4 more years of Trump. Biden is one of those weak, establishment candidates, and hopefully his numbers continue to drop, like they have been. Currently if you add the support for Warren and Sanders their polling numbers are higher than Creepy Joe. Both Warren and Sanders refuse to accept corporate donations, both of them have strong policies and seem very sincere regarding the threat of climate change. Is it too early for them to join forces? Maybe. I don't think Biden holds a chance of winning the presidency, but a Warren/Sanders ticket seems pretty good. Maybe they could bring Yang's Universal Basic Income policy to the table, and get even more votes. No matter what, we have to be sure to not repeat the mistakes that lead to Trump being put in office. I think that both means that for the final vote, progressives should vote for whatever Democrat is left standing, but also that whatever Democrat is standing should not concede, and also that we should stop Biden in his tracks because he is not the right person to win.

Posted Mon Jun 10 10:01:24 2019

Dear Editor,

A week ago, I started reading reports all over mainstream media that the chances climate change will end civilization by 2050 are a coin toss. The source of this news originates with an Australian think tank, known as "Breakthrough." See https://www.breakthroughonline.org.au/papers I saw on a report from The Young Turks, that this is a conservative estimate, and that civilization could collapse due to climate change as soon as six years. But to quote from "Breakthrough": "It's not a technological or a scientific problem. It's a question of humanity's socio-political values. We need a social tipping point that tips our thinking before we reach a tipping point in the climate system." Annihilation is not inevitable, but without immediate, drastic action our hope is grim. The need is for local and global leadership to act. This is a local paper, and I always think personally I have more potential to make impact on a local level, so my question is what can be done locally to ensure fossil fuel divestment as quickly as possible, what can be done locally to stop the true threat of consumer culture, what can be done locally to dismantle the looming net of the military industrial complex, what can be done locally to ensure food and water will exist if civilization crumbles or not, what can be done locally to ensure that the economy provides climate-change-useful jobs so workers are not wasting their time in a dead end zone of casino/consumer waste, what can be done locally so that women will be able to chose what they do with their bodies and not make the population even more unstable in scope? Can our local leaders talk about climate change at all and if they can't what is wrong with them/us? Forty eight individuals are so rich that they have a wealth equal to the poorest half of the world. Our local leaders could do so much good, it wouldn't matter if civilization ended, we could be the one of the areas that survived no matter what. For the past week, since learning of the looming number of 2050 as the conservative estimate for the end of civilization, I have been shocked and dismayed. I don't think a healthy response is to grow distressed or to think too much about the tentative date. We need to mobilize to save our Earth. But for now, I have run out of words...

Posted Wed Jun 12 23:34:37 2019

I have this idea that has been floating around in my head that city curb side trash barrels could easily be cleaned and converted into rain barrels. All that -the city- would need to do is distribute new tops for them with mosquito netting centers. The people would do the work. Of course we'd have to become zero waste at the same time. Just thoughts.

Posted Wed Jun 12 23:39:41 2019

I believe in hope. I believe that there is hope and that it is right to have hope but in writing this entry, my main point is more specific: that there is a spiritual need for people to keep up the ing hope word, the gerund, to actively and ongoingly be hoping. Hope can be a word that can be used to express false hope, hopelessness, and can seem like an empty word to a lot of people, really to everyone if used that way, if thought of that way, if internalized that way.

I woke up just now because I had to use the bathroom, a task that's been completed, for your information. When I was previously in bed, thinking about the possibilities I had, to get up, or not to get up, I quite oddly, but honestly, thought for a minute about the laundry box placed precariously on top of the laundry hamper across the room, and it became for me a symbol for what I can do. I thought to myself and this is where it gets strange "I wonder if I could telepathically cause that hamper to fall. It's already quite precarious." Then only sort of half musing for a moment, I was kind of convinced that I might with my mind alone be capable of inducing the box to fall. I guess I have some odd thoughts on occasion about the power of the mind, and my mind, to do miraculous things, overcoming obstacles, or really doing anything that we feel we need to do.

But then, I actively decided not to use my telekinesis to drop the box, for the serious, honest, true reason that there is no earthly need for the box to fall. It was a random idea. And there are a great many things that do need done. That do need committed minds and bodies working hard to do, like saving humanity from climate peril.

This was for me a spiritual moment, a revelation of importance, because I do think there is a need for humanity to figure out how to hope, and to actively remain hoping for our collective future. On a spiritual level, we can hope and remain hoping. It sets our actions in the right direction for us to use our psychic, mental, and emotional energies not from a point of despair, but to use that worst case scenario and hope against it.

I had been feeling despair, in the past week especially. I started believing in climate change when I first watched Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth. But then it seemed like an obstacle that could be figured out for the better and solved so that humans could retain the important elements of our human civilization that keep us human. Again, I am saying that more important to me than the physical realm (keeping lights on, having refrigeration for our food, or driving cars) is the spiritual realm of humanity (maintaining dignity, honoring our human rights, and hoping).

As long as our physical basic needs are met we don't need a extravagance at all to maintain the spiritual realm of humanity. We do have material needs such as food, water, shelter, and love/community. But we don't need a lot of the things that many of us currently take for granted, and to the extreme. I think simplicity to the extreme is one important step to ensuring that people's hopefulness for the survival of humanity is not a false hope. The main culprit and cause of climate change is two fold: wealthy political/corporate interests are to blame and each of us who live in America or the developed world who use more than our rightful amount of resources need to stop. It's like the fact that Greta Thunberg is an amazing climate activist on a political level, but she also personally is a vegan. We all need to use less.

Actually I am going to say this. I used to dine and hang out at a coffee shop in my town (I don't now because it doesn't make any economic sense anymore.) But there was a friendly staff person there named Dan who I probably am misquoting, but I understood from what he believed that he thought the blame of climate change rests firmly and solely in the hands of corporations and not in regular developed world citizens. I like Dan, but this response is for the large portion of the population who seems to also agree that we individual poor working people don't have a part to do in the climate change problem. But we do. We each have a responsibility to act in civil disobedience if we have to but certainly to commit our lives to changing the dilemma, to live as simply as we can that others may simply live, and certainly to do what Dan already does, to admit there is a problem.

Back to the spiritual, I think we also need to hope if we are not already, and to keep hoping for the common good, so that my teenage nephew and niece live to be older than 40. So that Greta Thunberg lives a good long life. So that I see an older age than 61. May our action, our simplicity, and our recognition of a problem come immediately and let us know we each are needed in solving this crisis.

Posted Thu Jun 13 06:01:02 2019

If you have HBO, I recommend checking out Leonardo DiCaprio's new Climate Change documentary, Ice on Fire. Today you can see it at 3:50 PM Eastern Standard Time, and a few other times: HBO (East) Today, 6:50 PM, HBO (West) Tomorrow, 5:20 PM, HBO2 (East) Tomorrow, 8:20 PM, HBO2 (West) Sun, 6/16, 8:55 AM HBO (East) (all times are EST). Also, if you are like me and have wifi and a computer, you an stream it right now for free. I just watched it this morning and am feeling hopeful and ready to do something about its message. It presents numerous solutions to climate change that go vastly beyond my Environmental Science studying of 15 years ago, so I am glad for the new science. I learned about biochar and marine snow and Tidal Energy in the Orkney Islands of Scotland, about the EMEC converting sea water to electricity, about bionic leaves which create anything from plastics to drugs without releasing CO2, to add to PV solar and wind.

My response to this wonderful film is that there were just four "real people" in the film. I loved the film, and find it necessary and well done, but I have a suggestion for the future filmmakers. We ordinary people need to see more than four non-scientists/hyper-successful innovators in a film like that. (I counted one African American organic gardening spokesperson in Los Angeles, two firemen in California, and one fisherman in New England as my somewhat common people in this film.) What I want is for someone to make a film that inspires the masses to do all that we can in our backyards and small businesses to defeat climate peril. I know it is a generalization and perhaps a bit insulting to say just 4 of these people were "real," but I am saying it out of wanting something better in the next film. I would give the film 5 stars, but this is how the next film could be brilliant and future worthy.

I want to see a film that interview the people in Detroit who are gardening in empty blocks, I want to see a film that shows what the low budget, small scale, ordinary person can do. In "Ice on Fire" DiCaprio states that we all are needed to do our part and save the blue globe, so I suggest somebody makes a documentary chock full of simple ways we can all act to save the world not just the super scientists of the world.

Posted Thu Jun 13 14:34:23 2019

When I initially received news that I was getting removed from Social Security Disability, for over a week, my complete reaction was a boost in confidence, utter gladness. I have been doing really well, or up to then I had been, meditating and keeping pretty level, not impulsively doing much, so when I read in the letter that my Doctor said my condition no longer prevents me from doing gainful work. That I "can communicate with others, act in my best interest, and perform ordinary activities." I took this news as glad tidings, concluded that I am better now, and began researching two education oriented jobs in Washington DC, because I was certain I could get either job if I put myself to it.

I am Beautiful Mind. That is the best explanation I have heard of my illness and why I have been able to accomplish (over 12 years) the triumphant achievement of graduating college with a 3.17. The brilliant mathematician featured in the movie A Beautiful Mind has my same diagnosis, which allowed him to achieve great things, but to his death in 2015, this man did live a volatile harrowing existence too. It is not known exactly what illness Nash suffered, according to Psychology Today, and in his lifetime he was said to be schizophrenic, but his condition feels the same as mine, when I think about it. Though my diagnosis is schizoaffective, I do wonder if that is what he would have been called in a different era. Regardless, thinking about his illness seems a good way to explain the severity and diversity of my abilities and inabilities.

About a week after I received the notice from Social Security, I had an awakening moment that a family member says was me being more honest with myself than he had ever seen. I realized that the fact that I have quit over 100 things in the past two decades of my diagnosis, with over 50 of those actions being vocational, means in itself that working enough to survive would for me be an impossible challenge at this point in my life. So my tactic was to write the doctor a 2 page letter with a 2 page list of quitting attached to it, and send it in the mail to him begging he reconsider my sentence.

According to Legal Aid, if a doctor says I am capable and well, I don't stand a chance in hell at continuing with disability, which is why I decided to go about it this way, and beg mercy of the doctor, hoping my life does not unravel in the meantime. When my longest therapist spoke of my condition the biggest word that stood out to me was always "impulse" and it is true I struggle with impulses. They may not be conventional urges, and often are vocational pursuits. In the recent past I have dug on the internet for job openings that often are away from here, which moving and starting a new job is not something I can handle, or I find local opportunities that don't make a bit of sense for me as a person, like working in a gas station (which lasted a week) or driving train workers (which lasted one week.)

I had been going to see the doctor for 15 minutes every 3 months and accidentally presenting a positive veneer because I wanted to improve in my condition and I felt that putting on my nicest clothes that day and acting as polite as possible would possibly earn me improved success. Not one segment of my being wanted my doctor to give me more medicine, so I put the best foot forward I possibly could, not realizing that in positively presenting myself I might be depleting myself of a vital medication, my stability inducing, aptly named "security."

Now, in this blog, for weeks, I have not wanted to bring up much about what is wrong about my moods and thoughts or where they conjoin, my impulses. Just like in with the doctor, I want to present the best possible image of me in this public realm. But truth carries a heavy significance, and I have to honestly express how things are, and the answer is not good.

The very act of seeking employment is an impulse in my life. Maybe for some people this reads as a statement of privilege, but no, I have a true disability and impulse is its key, and I am witnessing effects in my life, my relationships, and my stability. Now I must prove that I am unwell, and I am worried it is contrived, and I have an unstable living arrangement especially when it comes to the long term and I am worried I will not have a home, so I am seeking jobs that all are unrealistic, and then I catch my impulse and cancel applications, again and again.

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang has this Universal Basic Income, and how he talks about it makes me think of the grim realities of my own life, that there is a psychological improvement by given by having a token 750 dollars per month in my case, that gives security. I don't agree with Yang on a main aspect of his UBI plan, which is to give all Americans equally 1000 per month, and not offer additional Social Security. It is as if he doesn't understand the necessity of disability for so many of our stability. Zooming in, I don't think most Americans understand the necessity of Disability in achieving stability, especially for people with mental illness.

I want to keep an even keel, I want my family not to have to suffer my trying to work when I am not ready and the mental implications for each person there. I am terrified of losing disability. I know now that it is bad news for me to lose it, that it is necessary for my health in a way like my medicine or therapy. It is not advised that patients quit taking medication when they improve or can pass as normal for 15 minutes every third month, and I wish my doctor understood that, and notified social security that I am not able to work after all.

As it is things look pretty scary.

Posted Fri Jun 14 05:14:25 2019

Going to the country to buy once beings,

local meat production exists in my bible.

A patch of piglets I wanted to take home,

my pitchfork digging through manure,

hugging an endangered species, community,

I tell the piggy I’m kidnapping it.

But it’s not a goat.

Then bending over the farmer’s giant cooler

half full of her meat,

less overflowing than usual

because of the chicken slaughter this weekend,

200 broken necks.

The farmer jokes to me she wants to be a vegetarian,

peering over the freezer

asking me what I can cram in my little fridge.

I have mixed views on meat.

In general, a carcinogen,

but local growers get a pass.

There is nothing more ethical or healthy than local food production.

I tell it to the piglet,

swinging my legs into my car,

and leave it unnamed.

(Neopolitan Pig)

Posted Fri Jun 14 12:11:05 2019

My Massachusetts grandfather was a lead engineer on a number of dams and canal projects including some around here, and also the Panama Canal. Legend has it, since he was very scientific, he would approximate the rate of leaves as they flowed along beside his dug out canoe. So this letter is for my grandfather.

I used to meditate on my front porch. Now I estimate the speed of passing vehicles. A simple formula exists to determine the speed: Speed equals Distance (in miles) divided by time (in hours). Skipping to the end, the speed in mph of a vehicle passing the distance between 3 telephone poles is equal to 170 divided by the number of seconds it takes to pass. (I already converted the answer to mph within the equation, so all you have to do is count the seconds it takes a car to pass between 3 poles, and divide the number you get into 170, and you have the mph.) Now, I don’t expect you to take my word for it, without the proof. So here goes: The distance between 3 poles in an urban area is 250 feet. 250 feet is the same as .0473485 miles. Multiply .0473485 miles times 3,600 because you are going to divide in terms of seconds (60 seconds times 60 minutes), so your final answer will be in hours, and you get 170.

Now everyone knows how to approximate speed of a vehicle passing three telephone poles. The more seconds it takes to pass my front porch, the lower the miles per hour, and visa versa. Next, let’s all work on slowing down as we roll along.

Posted Fri Jun 14 12:37:36 2019

If your hand is empty,

you can take some yarn

or a light switch

to do something with your hand.

If you find that you need a hand

to hold in your hand,

you will always have one

in your other hand.

You are the one who gets to straighten your back

when your posture starts to slack.

You are the one who can tell you you can

when you aren’t quite sure you can.

You are not an island

but it’s good to be a rock

if you can learn to stand tall

someone else might need your hand!

Posted Sat Jun 15 01:13:38 2019

I met my friend in a songwriter's workshop. I didn't know how to take the teacher, and probably offended him and the whole class. But she turns to me with her sultry melodic voice saying, "I'm not going to let you go without making a friend today." And she didn't.

She also is a beautiful singer, her voice is something amazing. https://mommamolasses.org

"Sweeter than honey, Momma Molasses sings like a quilt comforts." - Tom Netherland, Bristol Hearold Courier

"Superbly haunting, a poignant anthems to loneliness, heartbreak, hope and the wistful intracacies of life's twists." - David Namerow

"There is power in simplicity, and there is power in sadness. Such power is the backbone of bluegrass, country, and swamp-pop music...Momma Molasses explores the limitations of life with traditional American rhythms, straightforward melodies, and clear, sophisticated lyricism.” - Jonathan Penton,Unlikelystor

Currently based in Bristol, VA. , and originally from the Pines of North Carolina, (just south of the Pedimont in Carthage, NC) Momma Molasses' music is soul stirringly resonate, and smothered in good old fashioned folk sentiment; blending Americana, Old-Time, Alt-Country, Pedimont Blues, Swing, Appalachian, and Bluegrass music into a uniquely timeless sound. Harnessing her rolling contralto voice which scales over homespun finger-picked guitar, her sound is warm, rich, and passionate, with songs that embrace, and captivate listeners.

​ Momma Molasses is the musical project of singer-songwriter Ellen "Ella" Patrick. Growing up with a deep love of music, Patrick began playing stringed instruments at an early age while singing gospel music in church, and learning folk ballads from her parents dusty late 60’s record collection. She spent most of her childhood summers in a Swamp south of her home in Moore County, where she began playing for friends around the campfire, or sneaking out in canoes after dark to sing by herself to the moon. While in college at Warren Wilson, just outside of Asheville, NC Patrick became greatly influenced by Appalachian folk music, and took classes in old-time, murder ballad singing, and bluegrass music.

Three years ago, Patrick decided cook up some songs of her own, with a recipe consisting of equal parts Southern Appalachia, 1940's Country Swing, and 1960's folk revival. With her sweetly stirring voice, Momma Molasses has been likened by listeners to Patsy Cline, "Mother" Maybelle Carter, early (pre-rock n’ roll) Janis Joplin. Now with two years of touring under her belt, and a self released EP, Momma Molasses recently released a new album “Anthems from a Broken Heart”. Chronicling the process of falling “out of love” and into self-respect, the album is a collection fit for those broken by past relationships, aiming to bring a sense of power, self-worth, and clarity from the knowledge that loneliness, heartbreak, and hope all walk hand in hand.

For booking contact: mommamolassesmusic@gmail.com

Ella, you are a revolutionary thinker, a true poet, a doll, and one beauty. I love you! xo

Posted Sat Jun 15 11:04:21 2019

She was reeling with the feeling... People give her things all the time, but when the old man at the farmer's market insisted she take a small dozen of his eggs, her heart didn't know how to process the emotion. All she had said was, "this is my favorite place to buy eggs when I bring my wallet." Then he motioned to the usual sales person, his apparent daughter, a woman about the age of Martha, who Martha had always liked, and out the woman puled the eggs. "Give her the small ones." He said, but Martha kept saying "oh, no! I can't take your business. You put so much hard work into this and it is your livelihood and you probably just break even." Martha kept saying no, but the old man kept his stance. He would not take no for an answer, and when Martha finally, reluctantly grasped for the bag, she became flooded with a well of emotion, and blurted out "I had just been kicked off of disability. I am so grateful."

The old man looked at Martha and smiled kindly, thinking he was proud of his family and his farm, and he never knew when it would be that something he could give to someone literally saved a person from starving that day. Martha looked to him a well dressed woman with a clean hair cut, and he hoped this bumped her safely from this lost paycheck into whatever she found next. He had faith in God that he was doing the right thing, which was one thing he never questioned. And just maybe God's self looked down approvingly because of what a good hearted person the old man truly was. Even in absence of God, there was no questioning how deeply kind the old man was.

Thanking the family again, Martha stepped down the line of tables to the next farmer, whose eye looked at her in a reserved way and she wondered for a moment what that man thought about her, since he likely had over heard the whole conversation. Martha could feel the rushing emotion like ground water in her soul, and it was getting higher and higher for a while, as she thought over what had just happened in this generous act, and also felt a blush form on her creased face and wondered what she was showing in her expression. Then Martha tried to dial back the feeling, and it amplified, and she almost cried a minute until she breathed in deeply and it calmed a bit.

This was different than the kind friend of hers who always gave her new outfits, who had given her the nice flowery blouse that was currently on her back, and on second glance, the everything she wore from head to toe. No, that friend was probably the most generous person she ever had met up until this farmer family, but somehow her obtuse giving didn't touch what had just happened to her. Part of it was she imagined the old man and his family really needed the sale money more than even Martha who had, as mentioned, just lost her disability, and didn't know what might happen when the final check ran out at the end of the following month. In her rose many different feelings: anger at the doctor who should have looked more deeply at the fact she still was struggling vastly before reporting her healed, embarrassment at the fact that her face was nearing tears, the gut wrenching feeling of thankfulness, and the sense of wonder at the circumstances at hand.

Martha drove home trying to keep steady on the road, to not let the emotion push into her driving ability. In the house, she sat down in an arm chair in her room, leaned back, and just shook her head over and over again, like how can this even be real? I just don't understand? Nodding no at the puzzle of life. She breathed deeply in and out until she felt a bit more herself, then she stood up and began to clean her room. The laundry in the box she kept, but all of the other things of any worth at all, she began carrying out to her yard where she posted a bold sign "free to anyone who needs it." She pulled out her record player onto the porch because she knew some people prefer using those and she generally played music on the computer. She put out new text books, a new comforter set in it's packaging because she hadn't really needed it, a colander because she could just scoop out the pasta with a spoon, all of the things that she really didn't need. I have all I really need, she thought, humming to herself with improved happiness.

For a while she was scrambling up some eggs in the kitchen, just leaving her belongings out for the taking, because she had a gurgle in her stomach. People seemed to be rolling their eyes and thinking her crazy, neighbors laughed and chucked as had carted heavy objects out, walking sidewalk exercisers crossed to the other side, not knowing what to expect. But when Martha was just salting and peppering the eggs, she heard a little bell outside, and "oh my" and "what a great thing" and "this must be a mistake." So she went out on the front porch to see who had noticed her give away. There stood a stranger, a young man holding the colander, with his beat up bicycle propped against the railing. He had an intense look in his eye, a bit confused, and fully joyful.

"You can't really be giving this away? I have been eating only pasta and I don't have a strainer at all. I just moved here and I don't have much to speak of." Martha grinned at him but stayed quiet a minute, and the stranger, stopped in his tracks, and said "oh this must be a joke. Or maybe you meant to write Yard Sale?" "It's absolutely free. I am sure!" Martha was so glad to give away her colander strainer, and a soothing feeling came over her.

Posted Sat Jun 15 14:47:49 2019

Posted Sun Jun 16 00:18:59 2019

I used to think the universe is so big. How could ANYONE possibly know more than they don't know.

My whole life I have had a very unique opportunity to doubt and not know as much as I want. I have existed in so many free zones of Quakers and nonprofits and education. But until your sermon I never knew. And until your sermon I never thought I might know more than I don't know. I have an affirmed faith experience beginning in me.

I am very grateful for you and the Episcopal Church. It is the Church where I first felt God, in middle school. I never found I was a Quaker as hard as I tried and I would like to be an Epsicopalian and I finally don't mind being a Christian.

Posted Sun Jun 16 16:22:30 2019

Catching up

You might wonder why I write.

Sometimes the best thing I can do

is to write a poem.

My poems run ahead of my thoughts

like a school of minnows

jumping in front of a tugboat.

Looking back can help

because by the time I am ready to read the poem,

I might, at last, understand the meaning.

Posted Sun Jun 16 21:43:24 2019













Got kicked off disability. I can rise above. It takes a miracle and I have always been a miracle.


The Space of Not

I found the space of not

When in a deep can

I fell like hell

Into the not

A sister educated me

The can was still around

Then I shot

On out

Posted Sun Jun 16 22:08:15 2019

/Too Much

Too much,

you are the three batches of new clothes

I ended up with after two friends downloaded.

I want you, too much,

and I need space.

Too much,

you give me such guilt,

for civilization is surely ending

too soon for the children of this Earth,

and too much,

you hang bold and proud and beautiful

in my open closet,

and I only really need about 7 of you,

but I have about 40 now.

Too much,

I have been trying hard not to want you,

to take you in and call you my own.

But how fortunate am I to have two large figured friends

in two weeks in a world lacking community.

Too much

you are a gift

and my therapist said guilt is not my friend.

Too much

I must learn to be thankful for you,

a puzzle I am still wrapping around.

Posted Sun Jun 16 22:10:48 2019

Knowing that I Know

I know that I don’t know a vast amount of things,

how many beats is in the life of a turkey vulture’s wings?

I don’t know how many stars are in a clear night’s sky.

I don’t really know what happens when I die.

I can think I know that, but I can’t know that.

There are a myriad things I do not know,

but I know God,

and God is an Infinite thing to know.

God is larger than the world.

God is whiter than the snow.

Posted Mon Jun 17 10:42:42 2019

I am taking a hiatus from reaching out to others. I am learning to listen inward this week and will hopefully tone back in the future. I will respond if you have any further communication, in one week. Will still be blogging regularly.

Posted Mon Jun 17 21:09:45 2019

George and Maggie

Before Poetry

'76 Toyota

Posted Mon Jun 17 23:16:27 2019

a fairy is born.

Every second I keep to myself,

a relationship strengthens.

Posted Mon Jun 17 23:21:18 2019

if need me, see me.

Posted Mon Jun 17 23:24:04 2019

Our Poet Laureate, Tracy K Smith, also likes to share poetry every day.

Every weekday, Tracy K. Smith delivers a different way to see the world – through poetry. Produced in partnership with the Poetry Foundation.

It is called "The Slowdown."

It is beautiful and enjoyable to hear.

Check out: https://www.slowdownshow.org/episodes

Posted Mon Jun 17 23:33:26 2019

Not that I'm actively annoyed, but the thing of boundaries seems something most people should improve. On my end, sharing too much, personally, and also my poems, when others don't want to read them. But it is a two way street. Maybe before I should have really heard other people saying tone it back, but now that I am actively toning it back, people had better tell me how much they want me to dial it back, or not, or I am just not going to communicate, and we'll see what happens!

Posted Tue Jun 18 10:08:41 2019

Brazen I love you the most.

But Tobin was the best dog.

Posted Tue Jun 18 10:14:25 2019

Inferiority complex

you ravenous monster

don't you know how to stop?

Posted Tue Jun 18 10:16:47 2019

If you don't like someone

but continue talking with them

just to see how long they go,

you are doing something wrong.

If you kind of like someone

but let them talk too much to you

without expressing your needs

you are doing something wrong.

Unless you are a time honored family member

like my poor sweet sister

who thinks she wears the thorns of the devil

but is in the good girl club.

Posted Tue Jun 18 10:21:13 2019

Before disability removal,


After disability removal,


Before removal,


After removal,


To doctors who think they are doing good by removing people from disability, think again! People generally don't tell doctors everything. Imagine going to see a doctor every 3 months for 20 years. Psychiatrist, general doctor, doesn't matter. Doctor asks, how are you? You don't generally tell everything that ever happened in that period. You learn to just tell minimal details. I am fine thank you. How are you? You have to ask if someone is capable of work to know!

Posted Tue Jun 18 10:26:38 2019

If you are humoring a friendship with me, and you don't know that I am a miracle, please stop. If you are saying you are my friend but don't know I am a brilliant Poet, why?!

Posted Tue Jun 18 12:01:24 2019

Once, someone asked me if I am a cat or a dog,

and I thought,

what a dumb question,

and now I am certain

I am a dog

and not a cat.

Two main reasons.

I am loyal.

And I like having my head patted

and my hair messed up!

Wag, wag, wag!!!

Posted Tue Jun 18 12:58:39 2019


That is the link for my online Poetry Reading.

Will reoccur Tuesdays at 11.

Posted Tue Jun 18 15:41:26 2019

Just heard Sue C. G. refer to a neighbor referring to "hippie holler." Had a catharsis that it's not just area neighbors who call it that, it's also residents of Bristol and Kingsport. Then had a revelation that I am a hippie. Wonders never cease. Guess I really am learning to be honest. lol

Posted Wed Jun 19 01:40:40 2019

I seek an opening in Bristol or Berea where I can help someone who really needs me for in kind home.

Posted Wed Jun 19 12:55:32 2019

I am giving these readings on youtube every Tuesday, at 11AM, EST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VjgUSwZ9A8

Posted Wed Jun 19 13:11:01 2019

I am having this issue with everyone remotely close: I don't know how to set appropriate boundaries and shut my mouth and listen. I don't know how to wait for responses and I email tons of friends daily poems or 4. This is what I am working on in therapy other than disability issues.

Know it is not just with you.

(note to several people)

Posted Wed Jun 19 17:03:12 2019

Using new email, trying to phase out old address.

Posted Thu Jun 20 10:59:36 2019


Posted Thu Jun 20 13:51:16 2019

I was pretty harsh on myself the past couple of days with the need for change, but not knowing exactly how. I strongly believe in replacement behaviors. It is much easier to make changes when we have new things to do in the place of the thing we want to quit. So instead of sharing all of my thoughts, I am journaling and blogging. But that is only part of my attempted change.

It is still new to me. So I am still in the conceptualization stage, like deciding how I think about it. And that was where my self talk got pretty harsh before. I have to have self compassion. The reason I was oversharing is at least partially owed to my poet personality, and is not entirely a personality flaw.

Posted Thu Jun 20 16:28:09 2019

Soccer ball,

I kick you,

I throw you,

you do what I want,

you ram chaotic into a toddler's belly,

you bop my head,

I scream as you score a goal!

Posted Fri Jun 21 19:53:29 2019

In the moment you realize

you need so much space

the marriage cannot work,

a desperation hurricane causes the healing to begin.

In the moment you begin ghosting me

there is a chance for forgiveness

around the bend of the river.

If you can scream at me,

life will salve the conflict.

I will learn how to leave alone my love.

Posted Sat Jun 22 13:35:30 2019

I used to tell a little boy that he had to be the bigger person when he hit his younger sister. There is a difference between a bigger person and attempting to improve. You can't make a child be better. Maybe what would have helped better is if I pointed out to the little boy that he was actually not as good as his sister. I would have had trouble doing that though, since they both were so cute.

Posted Sat Jun 22 13:40:55 2019

We don't meditate to improve ourselves.

We meditate to discover

our faults

more deeply,

to dig into our body,

and feel what we feel more fully.

Posted Sat Jun 22 13:51:40 2019

Kamala Harris has been exposed for her mixed voting record. According to the New York Times, Harris refused to instate camera use by officers. She didn't support legal use of recreational marijuana until last year. She fought to uphold wrongful convictions that included evidence tampering and withholding information about a technician's wrongdoings. A judge condemned her indifference to wrongdoing, and her sort of prosecution leads to wrongful convictions. She arrested parents of children whose children were habitually truant, despite the fact it affected children of color more than others. If you are looking for a centrist president with questionable history as a prosecutor, maybe vote for Kamala Harris, but if you want a progressive, I suggest voting for Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

That said, I am thanking my lucky stars for Kamala Harris because someone needed to knock Biden down a peg. Last night, Kamala blamed Biden's political willingness to work with segregationists and bipartisanship that led to the ban of busing integration. Biden was in favor of segregationist elements. Biden is also as establishment as it gets, and he is not at all worthy of the Democratic Nomination, so I am very happy that he got stampeded by Kamala Harris. And by the way, when an African American woman calls out a white man (or woman) the white person had better be taking notes. So I am hoping Kamala Harris ended Biden's career, though sadly, I am afraid his crew of establishment voters who see him and think of Obama will not be able to discern enough to make the right decision.

But here's hoping Bernie rises higher in the polls thanks to Kamala Harris.

Posted Fri Jun 28 10:30:22 2019

After some stewing it occurred to me that I am most excited about having a peace candidate. I hope to vote for a 37 year old winter soldier from Hawaii, Tusli Gabbard.

If you ever watch something on Tulsi, this is a concise summary by a good progressive person, https://youtu.be/A69AfQqfFK0

But it was this second video that won me for her.

This will make you cry and vote for her: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2sU7PgELQA

I'm writing more about her later. She exhilarates me just to think about her. She is a miracle.

Posted Sat Jun 29 21:14:02 2019

Harness your power

where you may

in questions

and silence


Posted Sun Jun 30 07:05:14 2019

I don’t know you,

and I say this will pure love and kindness.

I don’t know you

because when I fell,

an injured wing,

you felt deeper for my heart,

and because you touched the heart

when few believed it was there

I sang my song for you

again and again

over the telephone wire

until it was just my voice carrying along

and for all I know you slept.

I haven’t heard you talk much since.

I want to know how to listen.

I have hurt your wing.

You’ve been carrying me along.

Posted Sun Jun 30 07:11:11 2019

Mantra for a new era.

Posted Sun Jun 30 07:22:04 2019

Part 1

I am rereading Kelly McGonigal’s The Willpower Instinct, which is a sort of course in improving willpower around a rut. I am focusing on the question Why do I quit? Previously I read this book but my hope was to “swim more.” This time ultimately I am approaching the problem of greatest depth in my personal life, quitting. I want to quit quitting. I want to hold a job someday, and it has always been a huge goal to get a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Bennington if I could get accepted again. I can be an idealist to a fault. I want to teach Poetry, to the point that working at a gas station can be something I allow myself to quit. The problem is I will never stick with my ultimate life goal if I don’t hold to what I am trying to do. The best aim for me would be to work jobs that build upon each other and to always have a job like when I was a student and laborer at Berea College. My time at Berea was a great model of the segue in to working. I did quit a lot at Berea but somehow I miraculously also graduated. When I start a job is it possible for me to communicate my quitting trend to the boss? An understanding boss could be another key to keeping working.

The Willpower Instinct suggests that the key to improving willpower is knowing why you sometimes mess up. So I am examining the question under Why do I quit?

Why do I quit?

I start thinking about quitting.

I grow weak in self confidence based on record of quitting.

I lose sight of the positive side of what I am trying not to quit.

I allow myself to quit.

I justify quitting.

I lose sight of how hard it can be to have a job or be in school and what a big loss it would be.

I have a safety net in place so I can quit without going homeless or suffering immediate consequences.

I let the doubt I hear from loved ones be another reason to quit.

I grow depressed or hopeless.

There is a conflict with a person at work that I might not even have addressed.

I quit so that I don’t have to mess up another way.

I don’t want to get fired and am afraid I might lose my job somehow.

I tell myself I could do something different instead that would suit my better.

When I quit I want rest.

When I quit I want to hide away for a long time often.

I want to feel better.

I want immediate gratification and nothing seems to fix the feeling but when I quit there will be real relief.

Willpower is the ability to control impulses, so I clearly am still working on my impulses. My pre-frontal cortex is made up of three distinct parts. The left front part is responsible for I will power. The right front controls I won’t power. The middle is in charge of what I want.

The impulse version of me wants to quit. The long term version of myself wants to keep working the same job for as song as I can. The impulse version of myself wants to feel relief. The impulse version of myself wants to end the discussion of my quitting that seems ongoing while I am working prior to quitting. The impulse version of myself wants not to be fired so badly that I am willing to quit and that feels like a good idea for me. The long term version of myself wants to work and work lesser jobs and to earn my right to someday teach Poetry.
The question for my future is not will I get another job. I always get something else, at least lately. The better question is will I quit and how can I not quit?

I made a list in another document of 100 quitting times. It was probably only 50 things I listed but some of them repeated. I am not proud of these bad choices I have made. Kelly McGonigal says that listing our goal offenses can help us with meeting our goal. I guess I should also say that my goals are always bigger than is realistic. I want to work forever while I don’t work at all. A more realistic goal would be to stick with a job for a couple months or at most a year. Having a shorter goal doesn’t mean I cannot work longer, but it does make it more realistic that I might someday succeed. Achieving a goal can feel like the release that I seek in quitting. The brain finds it easier to do what feels like a success. You can train your brain to get better at self control. Meditating greatly improves self control skills.

One of the most basic mediation techniques is to breath in thinking breathing in and then to breathe out thinking breathing out and repeat until mindfulness on the breath improves.

Heart-rate variability is one of the big indicators of impulsiveness. Slowing the breath is one way to improve impulse control and will power. Slowing breath to 4 breaths per minute for 20 minutes a day can significantly help. Exercise is one additional helpful strength inducing thing that can be done for self control. It also can nix depression.

I think another big thing about my quitting is how I am in the period immediately leading up to the quitting. I am in a new job, in a new semester of school, or something new. I have been pepped up by it, excited, thrilled, elevated and doing well for the most part probably, but maybe not. Something happens to turn that around, and it is like slipping down a slide. There is no stopping to push myself back up. It seems inevitable. Could slowing my breathing help in this instance, or exercising more? Having quit a hundred times, I am leery to think it could. There is something in the quitting I have to get to the bottom of it before I quit quitting for good, I think. I am still digging to find it.

I guess that the mediation, slow breathing, and mindfulness is wonderful and beneficial but is not guaranteed at nipping the problem in the bud. I want to do the techniques, and also get to the root of the problem.

The root of my problem is history. But it is also this: people who use their willpower more lose it more. Perfectionism in a spell, like when I am doing good at a job, breeds failure, like when I stub my toe and suddenly am ready to quit. My self control abilities in this are vulnerable. I am a willpower burn out, like many people, and many quitters. I just happen to have this as the largest problem in my whole life.

This is a part one of a multi part blog series. I have decided to share these personal things about me for one thing so my loved ones who might get energy to read it that they may if they want to, and for two things to give evidence that I am a person who tries hard, maybe even harder than most. I am working on myself and I am not ashamed. If anything, I am proud.

(I love comments!)

Quitting ANYTHING is suicide. Life is not just this black and white thing. Quitting something in life is suicide. This is about suicide in a way and I have to talk about it.

But overall my record on suicide and thinking about suicide is pretty good. I have had suicidal thoughts and ideas but it always felt like they were less than most people with depression, and I know I never will act on these thoughts. It is somber to have even had suicidal thoughts, and I had some really really bad suicide natured thoughts just this week. I need to get to the bottom of why I went so low in that period of depression. But in terms of quitting, I am just saying, I am not ever literally giving up on life.

Once, a decade ago, I was in a silent retreat that I took very seriously and I think that what I uncovered in that retreat is worth putting under a microscope for a while. A decade ago, I only had ever had one small fleeting suicidal idea. My idea was something like really deeply feeling “life is just not worth it anymore.” So that might not even be in some people’s eye bad enough to be considered suicidal. But I put my page down on that page of my reflective journal and that is how I know it was a buried thing I had not come to terms yet. What I mean is, my contemplative writing instructor told us students on retreat to write until we could write no more and then keep writing. She said write anything, and then turn your journal in, but she promised not to read the pages we turned down. I turned down one single page that semester. I since have lost my notebooks, I am pretty sure. I but I do remember that.

What my contemplative writing professor said was, it might be that that turned down page ends up being something you should think more about later. What if it is something I need to unfold now? What if the key to my ending quitting in my life is in those words I was afraid to write then and that I was terrified to have someone else read.

Part of my new recent suicidal thoughts may or may not be that I decided against doctor’s orders to not take my mood stabilizer anymore, and to just take the antipsychotic medication. A family member wondered if new depression at this time points to that. I am open to such ideas, but I tend to believe I have experienced similar in length and extremity periods of depression at other points at regular-ish intervals in my life.

Let me repeat, I am talking about suicide here because it is somehow central to the willpower of not quitting. Let me dig a little deeper into that. Part of my reason that I have quit so many things before is that I might deep in me be afraid of what I might do to myself if I increasingly stress out. I love life but I don’t always see it. Could part of my bad tendency be rooted in fear of actual suicide?

I feel a need to talk some about the people of support in my life in broad terms. I have nearly exhausted my friends and family with all of the quitting. There also have been parallel bad actions, me starting and stopping plans to go to family vacations or Thanksgivings or Solstice. I have been so back and forth with them, so daily needing help and consolation, so fickle and many other bad words that they have grown tired of me. They have tirelessly been present for me, or tiredly. They have been very supportive to the point of burning out entirely.

I am now in this new era, where I have recognized that I have a problem in being what I am calling “unprofessional” with loved ones. I have been accidentally abusing relationships with loved ones to the point of their distress and definite burn out. I am resolving to change on this very day, due to a conflict last night, to be professional in all my relationships. So a new start, and something important not to quit at!

Last night, underneath the stars and flashing lightening bugs of my front porch, a mantra poem came to me in a way that poems rarely ever have in my waking hours. I don’t know how to see the poem clearly because I am in love with it at this point, because it expresses every bit of my feelings about what I am working on personally right now.

Harness your power

where you may

in questions

and silence


So I am deciding, since it is so meaningful to me, I am going to spell out the meaning here, which is something that I never do with my God endowed poetry. Or rather, my poetry that I sometimes seem to feel comes from God, but really is debatable.

Harness is how I begin the poem. Harness your power. In my mind when I thought about this in the context of the poem the image that arose was a giant turtle literally with a harness and me riding the turtle with a shell against my ear. Power in this first line refers more to Thich Naht Hanh’s The Art of Power rather than misused power. I am speaking of personal empowerment. Harness feels like a strong descriptive word when referring to power. Then I say where you may aware that it sounds like “gather thy rosebuds whilst thee may” or however you write that classic poem. Robert Herrick’s poem needed homage I guess. Then I just kind of list the three things I am using my power in this self growth to work on in terms of personal relationships. Questions, silence, and listening are the approach that I am still trying to master in terms of asking more questions than I answer to be kind, allowing periods of silence in communication for the pursuit of better thinking, and listening as the best key word. I am working in therapy right now on Listening, which happens to sound like glistening and hearkens to the Herrick poem in a way.

Relationship dealings might seem abroad and distant from a problem quitting jobs, or at least like a definite new subject, but it is what is happening in my current personal work, and it is impossible to do anything without relating. Relationships are at the heart of the human experience. So this work I am doing on quitting can’t be done without expanding and growing the field of sort. I must improve my relationships and come to terms with my suicidal undertones in my quitting in order not to quit.

So now I must talk even more precisely about the here and now and what is going on with me now. This is because I have a tendency to be eager as can be to apply to jobs (too much), and right now I have about 6 job applications in to 4 Americorps positions, one Pendle Hill cook job, and a local dentists office. To add to the complications of my life, I also am currently being reviewed for disability which I have been drawing for my mental illness. The doctor announced that he believes I can work now, so that is a wrinkle in what is going on too. I am not sure if working is going to make my appeal of this decision less successful. So that is one reason I might not want any of those six jobs even if I got a call for employment. So I kind of am wonder and trying to decide if I want to withdraw the applications. Yet I also happen to have needs for earning income which make me wonder if I should try to pursue the opportunities I am given if any ask me. So I have a decision to make.

Posted Sun Jun 30 12:04:56 2019

Probably should have written a disclaimer for the previous entry, or a trigger warning. It is partially about suicidal thinking, and I am sorry if I upset anyone.

Posted Sun Jun 30 19:49:39 2019

Part 2

Choosing a Path and Striving to Stick to It

Small things do add up though. According to McGonigal’s book, willpower can be boosted by drinking lemon-aid and in general can be replenished by increasing blood sugar. Wow. Just a brief interjection to remind my reader to grab a snack if you want a boost!

Right now I think one of the biggest things I can do for my personal growth is to set reasonable goals. I think I am ready to write over my plan with ins and outs built in. I know I will fail somehow because I am human, but knowing what I am going to do is a big important precursor for succeeding especially because sometimes I don’t do much at all, since I have been drawing disability. So having had a snack of substance that still brought up my ATP/ energy level yet was not entirely sugar, I am ready to build a plan for my future. Or at least to start planning.

Two month planning is clearly something I need to do for success. I do have the a couple issues of unknown in the disability appeal time frame I am existing in and also not having any current jobs who have declared they want to hire me. I am going to list some things that I might do, because I really don’t have the answers ready, and am writing out my ideas to know.

So I could do the push push push method but I don’t think that is the right choice for me. In the push push push method, I apply to numerous suitable jobs until I get one. Then there is no deciding whether to do it or not. I do it. Then after 2 months I have achieved my preliminary goal with the written in hope that I might try for longer. I guess because I say push push push, in this hypothetical, I try for a full time job. I think this goal is too sizable for me right now though and am just mentioning to illustrate an example of something that probably is too much.

On the other edge of the continuum, there is the goal that is too little. In this goal, maybe I allow whatever I want for the next 2 months. This goal overlooks that I am at a good point for trying something since at least I am self exploring. In this goal I try to read one book in the two month period and allow whatever other time occupation I want. I know I can achieve the goal. What makes it too small is simply that I have been trying things for 36 years, and that is less than I know I can do. It is less than I usually do, or at least, in my high success phases it is less than I do. I think rest times are important, and frankly I only feel like doing one phase higher than this in terms of trying hard right now. It is good to know that my energy is limited right now and to know that I know it. It also is good to express the lowest effort idea so that I can add something to it that I really do want to do, to complete. If you see my creativity though, you will be glad for what I think I might add.

The middle option is one of many possibilities. But my end game ultimate goal in life still is MFA from Bennington in Poetry, career teaching writing. And I have a Bachelors of Arts in English, so I am not starting from scratch, and I don’t need to think so small that I just set a goal of reading.

Here are some middle options that would not go towards the aim. Americorps semester. I am going to cancel my applications. Working in a dental office. Not in these next 2 months. Cancel that idea. And it is ok to cancel and quit a bad idea. Pendle Hill full time cook job is now off the table.

I do not have a creative writing project in mind other than to do more in this self help willpower blog series. So for the first day or two of the next two months, starting July 1, 2019, I think I am going to decide on a creative writing project that I can pour my heart into finishing. I have no doubt I will come up with something to excite me. Then I am going to pour my heart into that project, without changing away from the project, though writing adapts for 2 months. At the end of those months, my award to myself for completing this easy beginner project will be to apply to Bennington if I feel I am ready for that. Meanwhile, my disability will not be taken off for the sole reason that I am trying to work during this period, though in the hard reality I still might lose the case for disability.

OK! I am excited about this!!!

Posted Sun Jun 30 20:27:51 2019

Posted Sun Jun 30 20:58:49 2019