Archive for April, 2011

JOY
April 30, 2011

A major differences between a believer and a non believer is  we find joy in every moment. We do not find joy in a mythical being or after life  that may or may not happen.

What is difficult for minds like ours to understand is how ‘they’ can ‘believe’ something so strongly ‘they’ are willing to kill someone who dares not ‘believe’ as they believe. That, should it turn out what they ‘believe’ is not true, it would destroy them. That ‘they’ will, to protect their belief  -whatever that is-actually tell stories so incredible they look feeble-minded.

Rude? I think not.

I asked, politely, on another line, how can an intelligent person, in the 21st Century,  possibly believe Pandas sprang full-blown four thousand- six thousand whatever-years ago?  How can he/she make such a statement without feeling a fool?

Rude? I think not.

One way is to gather in bunches, believing the same absurdity, and, by some odd miracle, the numbers will make it true.

If everyone but thee and me believed the moon was made of green cheese, the moon would still not be made of green cheese.

There are so many variables attached to their stories that even those who profess to believe can have a vicious murderous go around with people of the same faith who worship next door. Thesesenseless murders have been going on for centuries. isn’t it time they stopped?

Would it not be best to put all the cards on the table? Not one of us cares if they believe in the Great God Gander. If they build sky scraping temples, with fleeced funds from the intellectually impaired, to whatever horror they dream up in nightmare corners of their minds.

The killing machine- christian, muslim, or jew-is riddled with them. The ancient murderous gods they worship are  pathological and they send countless innocents out to main  and murder in their name.

Rude? I think not.

As a devout non believer- atheist, agnostic, humanist-call me what you will, I love this planet. I love life. I love human kind.  At no time, ever, will I bow my head, submit, humble myself to these modern-day Neanderthals. I hope you won’t either.

I think the order of the day should be-with love and peace in our hearts-make them at least admit who and what they are. There are occasions when I wish they would all go out and kill each other.  Kill to their heart’s content.

I’m quite certain the reptilian mid brainers on the discussion line, will cut me off, but remember, when they do, they can do it to you, too. It’s the curse Ed Silvoso left behind.

If so I will plead my case, and when I’m back-the censorship only lasts ten days-any time I appear and answer a letter, a new column is up and ready.

I find great joy playing with my animals. Walking in the sun and under the trees. Smelling the flowers. Listening to the birds. Feeling the soft wind on my face. Sipping an iced Chardonnay. Wish you were here.

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HAPPY ENDING
April 24, 2011

When last we left the story our poor hero was still hanging on the cross, speaking to his mother. “Woman behold they son,” he said. I mean, “Lady, look what you did to me. Do you think she got it?

Then to his brother, I think it was Simon, he said, “Brother behold thy mother.” Like, look out she’ll do the same to you.  I don’t think he got it, but his story is another story.

According to ‘their’ story, the story in the book, our hero agonized for 3 hours and then, with a loud cry gives up the ghost. There’s an earthquake, tombs break open, all kinds of bad stuff happens and the thug on guard declares, “Truly he is the son of God.”

It gets a bit complicated here. Another  thug threw a lance at our hero and he bled and water flowed and a guy, Joseph of Arimathea,  a secret follower of our hero, convinces the thug our hero is dead, takes him down off the cross, wraps him in clean linen and  places him in a tomb carved in a rock and, to keep their secret safe, rolls another rock over the entrance. The thug, meanwhile, goes to Pilate to tell him the trouble maker is dead.

Now, I must tell you, there existed at the time a Jewish sect, the Essenes, about whom many Greek and Roman historians wrote. They were kind of Jewish monks, without women, without money. They’d got the hell out of the cities because they were almost as filthy as our planet is today. They were gardners. They made the desert bloom, Pliny said.  Kind and admirable and peaceful, they were much respected. They were  also healers and often took in little kids, boys, who worked for months to prove their worth and join them. I think our hero had probably spent his missing years there, learned their ways, was a teacher, a good man, but one who just couldn’t live with the celibacy part of the deal. Sort of  “…a man of the cloth without the cloth,”  as Carl Sagan put it.

As for the healing part,  let me tell you something about healers: before one can become a healer one must learn to heal oneself and our hero, according to ‘their’ book even says, red letters, baby, “…physician, heal thyself, ” which physicians in those days didn’t like the sound of any more then than they do today.

So our hero, stashed safely in the tomb with his girl friend, Mary Magdelane, recovers from his wound, you’d be amazed how quickly the body can heal itself and this was a strong, healthy, lusty  young man. He certainly wasn’t the silly creature in the pink nightgown his mother and his brother and that awful Constantine pictured floating off to heaven.  The moment he was strong enough to walk, three days later, he shoved back the rock, went outside, said goodbye to his friends and he and his love got  out of Dodge.

They left. Quietly. Hand in hand. Married. Had a lot of kids and, today, have something like 416 million descendants-I rounded it down- world wide.

Happy ending…

GOOD FRIDAY ?
April 22, 2011

The last time we saw our mythical hero, the guy whose momma proclaimed him the son of god, he was riding triumphantly into

Dodge on a donkey preceded by a bunch of happy hippy friends tossing palm leaves before him.I hope they were also mouthing make-believe trumpet sounds and tossing fragrant flowers at his feet.

Sadly, this funny put- on turned nasty. Fast. According to the story some bad Temple Guards, helped along by a traitorous disciple-he had twelve, one of whom was a woman-turned him in for 30 piece of silver and our hero was arrested.

Here begins a really terrible part of the story. Our poor hero is found guilty of blasphemy and another of his disciples, Peter, of the rock and shoes of the fisherman Roman Catholic Popish fame, denies him, too.

We move on with all kinds of awfulness. Flogging by the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, who, later, washes his hands of the whole business. Pilate declares our hero to be innocent but, for political reasons, turns him over to a bunch of Roman thugs to be crucified.

Now crucifixtion is an absolutely horrible way to die-and we’ll talk about that later- because, at the moment, our hero is being marched through town dragging a heavy wooden cross, wearing a crown of thorns-the town’s people throwing rotten eggs and stuff-and ends up nailed to the cross he’s carrying…

…what kind of nightmare writer wrote this Grimm’s Fairy Tale anyhow?

Even worse, let’s roll time out a bit, some religious folks today have kept our poor hero hanging in effigy  for over two thousand years! In their rites on this day, in some neck of the woods, they even reenact the story. Carry crosses. Walk the walk. In my neighborhood, in a church- goers parking lot, there is a huge white marble-well, it looks, like marble- statue of our hero on the cross.  His Mommy, his brother, the son of the old Carpenter we may assume, and his girl friend and disciple, Mary Magdelane, stand at his feet. Every time I drive by, it hangs there 24/7, I want to drive in and physically haul him down.

Do you know how one dies of crucifixtion?  Your feet are nailed to a board, your hands are nailed to the cross beam. Your feet start to hurt, the nails, remember, so you lift yourself up with your arms and your hands start to hurt. When your hands hurt, you put your weight in your feet. Unbelievable agony and it can go on for days.  Fortunately a Roman soldier comes along and saves the day, our hero does not die of crucifiction….

…but before this it is written that our poor suffering hero looks down at the figures below and says, “Woman behold thy son. Brother behold thy mother.”

That says it all, don’t you think? I mean, it’s a pretty clearly stated summation of the entire affair and this, dear readers, is the expurgated story of Good Friday (?).  Sounds like a perfectly dreadful way to spend a Friday afternoon to me. To be continued…

PALM SUNDAY
April 18, 2011

We all know the story. Some two thousand years ago a little Jewish girl was married off to an old man in another town and, when she got there, it was discovered she was pregnant.  Again, as we all know, in those days Jewish girls in such a situation could be stoned. Well, this young girl hadn’t gone to school to carry her lunch, so she told the old carpenter that god did it. In  those days gods often came down and had sex with women. They don’t do that so much anymore.

Anyhow, the old carpenter bought it and a few months later his young bride gave birth to a son who was born in a manger with great folderol and hoop de doo and wise men and stars and sheep and goats and cows and camels and angels and stuff starred in minor roles.

What’s really of interest here, it seems to me, is that the young mother taught her first-born that his father was god. I can almost hear her, “See that old carpenter? He’s not your daddy. Your daddy is god.” He was a precocious kid and raised a lot of hell in the community.

So far so good, the story hangs, but then the kid disappears. He leaves home when he’s about thirteen-about the time little boys learn about the birds and the bees- and doesn’t show up again until he’s in his late twenties and, when he does,  he shows up barefoot, in a brown robe, riding a donkey. Now his mother, delighted to see him again, rushes about telling everyone whose ear she could bend that her son, the son of god, was back and that he was the Messiah. These were not very healthy words to be spreading around Jerusalem in those days.  Made worse because this itinerant young Jewish rabbi, barefoot and on a donkey, was hanging  with a bad bunch. Poor guys. Sick guys. Fishermen. You know, peasants, hippies and the like.

We all remember the story of the wedding. Poor guys. No wine.  Momma bursts through the door.  “Oh son, show them you’re god. Turn the water to wine,” she cries. At which time he replies, so it says in the book, “Get that woman out of here.”

Odd that he never called his mother mother. Maybe he got fed up with the silliness. Remember, in those days it was believed the Jewish Messiah would ride triumphantly into Jerusalem on a white horse, over a red carpet  with trumpets blaring and worshippers tossing flowers and stuff and oust the Romans.

So what does this guy do? He gets himself barefoot on the donkey, gets his hippy friends to run out ahead of him strewing palm leaves and rides triumphantly into the city…

…that’s when I fell in love with the guy. What a put on. I mean he really did have a neat sense of humor. Too bad most people don’t get it and the story ends badly.

PAGE 52
April 17, 2011

So there I was snuggled up in bed with Book 1, The Character of Tao. Laotse assumed the lotus and smiled a very silly buddha smile. We were very kind to Lin. I really didn’t toss him out of bed, I just suggested, sweetly, that three’s a crowd. Little did I know.

Now, in my tattered dusty old tome, held together with chewing gum, rubber bands and scotch tape, the first Book begins on page 41. There were no pages turned, nothing underlined, no notes in margins. I read, as wide-eyed I suspect as I had the first time I read it, but I continued, holding my breath as I hit bottom and bounced end to end and side to side.

“What are they talking about?” I understood why it was called a Cosmic Mystery and it sure was a mystery to me. I must be the dumbest student ever to attempt the cosmic.

Book 2 began on page 27 but it made no better sense to dumb as a rock me. It wasn’t until I hit Page 52 that wires got pulled. The first under- linement-or whatever-was “…he knows that time is without end,” the second “…conditions are not constant,”  the third, “…external limits are not final,”  were vague yet somehow touched a chord.  It was the last under-linement- that rang the bell. “The universe and I came into being together; the myriad things of creation and I are One.” I painted a hefty black star in the margin and all heck broke loose. I think everybody I ever knew since time- at least my time- began burst in the door. Party crashers. Poor Laotse dove under the bed.

Fred Hoyle, Carl Sagan, Gary Zukov, Spinoza, S Radadhakrishnan, so many more I couldn’t count’em, gathered around the water-bed.

Fred took center stage, “The damn Big Bang. That’s when it all went wrong. I loved the steady state.”

“Fred… ” the other guys chorused but Fred shook them off.

He frowned,  “…look out you guys. If you  ever look out and see the red shift shift back, the Universe, that is the entire universe’ll fall back on itself in thirty minutes.”

“Thirty minutes,” I gasped. Everybody but Fred laughed.

“All the energy of the universe collapsed to the size of a period at the end of a sentence. The end. I loved mankind.” Fred pulled his hair.

“Come on, Fred, baby, ” Rad said, “You’re forgetting. It’s pure energy, it’ll go off again. Kaboomb. Kaboomb. A new Big Bang. A whole new game. We’ve,” he reached around and patted himself on the back, “known that for ever. It’s called the breath of god. I mean if everything grows old and dies, which is the nature of things, then so must the universe but it certainly isn’t the end.”

It was then Laotsu popped out from under the bed and proclaimed,

“The Tao that can be told of

Is not the Absolute Tao;

The Names that can be given

Are not Absolute Names.”

I got out of there, they were going at it hammer and tong.  I dragged out some chilled Chardonnay  and a bowl of crackers and cheese. Woke up hung.

THE WISDOM OF LAOTSE
April 15, 2011

Okay, I cheated. I went to Island Breath and found this: “When man interferes with the Tao, the sky becomes depleted, the equilibrium crumbles creatures become extinct.” Lao Tzu. A voice from the past but so appropriate today. I posted it and received a response from a very scholarly fellow in the discussion group and was on my way.

I hadn’t opened the book for years, not since 1985, the year my husband died, but I went directly to the site.  I don’t think the book had been dusted or moved since 1985. Talk about dusting a book off with a shovel. It’s a mess. Books need lots of tender loving care to survive a tropical climate and my books are not treated nearly as well as my animals. Anyway, I opened it and the center fell out. I picked it up and reinserted it. Further, and please don’t tell anyone, discovered it was a library book I’d ‘forgotten’ to return. The last date was June 10, 1985.

The very first words that came to mind was-excuse my while I sniff and wipe away a tear…

“The little toy dog was covered with dust but sturdy and staunch he stands

“The little toy soldier is covered with rust with his musket still in his hand.”

That’s a big stretch but you can see how my mind works and I don’t read a book, I fight with it. If this book had been a dog, it would have bitten me. If it had been a soldier he’d have shot me down.  I wrote in the margins. I turned down the pages. I underlined.  I argued.  I raged.  I throw the damn thing across the room when it wouldn’t talk back and sulked. When I’d cooled off and  picked it up again I’d lost the page. That was twenty-six years ago. Today I take it to bed with me. Is that an up or or is that a down?

The introduction  was written by Lin Yutang, another guy I hadn’t thought about in years. The first notes in the margin was on page 15  in response to, and I quote , “The thought has been constantly on my mind to find a religion that is acceptable to a scientist.” I underlined this. In the margin I drew a * and wrote  THE FORCE in caps. Remember I was twenty-six years younger, Star Wars was fresh in my imagination and my juvenile mind was still very impressionable.

I had a fight with Lin on page 17 when he said “intuitive knowledge and mathematical knowledge never meet.” I drew an arrow and noted in the margin, black ink, “Yeah? Well Einstein relied on intuition.” Lin ignored my sass.

On page 18 we made up. He said, “Only one who can imagine the formless in the formed can arrive at the truth.” I made a sweeping gesture of agreement and replied, “I find this reasonable.”

I finished the introduction and threw Lin, baby, out of bed and cuddled up with Lao.  It’s raining today. I’m going back to bed with Lao and sending you home. Come back tomorrow and see how this guys fares. Course you can leave a note on the table. I don’t know whether I’m moving ahead, backward or sideways. I wonder what Lao would think if he were here.

GOD SPEAKS TO GUYS IN THE GARDEN ISLAND
April 6, 2011

I just found god. Somehow one of my comments in THE MENS’ ROOM, “…none of the heaven and hell and damnation stuff, none of the sin stuff got poured into my hungry little mind…” ended up in a religious site. Really stirred god up. He sent a message to me, direct, through the discussion site of the Garden Island. Holy Jiminy Crickets! And all this time I was waiting for an earth shaking voice from the sky…or a thunderbolt.

There were nine posts in all. I was mentioned by name once and referred to once in a lengthy diatribe, “…pray for the wretched, bitter, miserable, shriveled-up hate-monger whose only depraved joy in life is mocking those of us who find personal peace in you, and comparing you with her dog as she did yesterday…then sarcastically claiming to do so in the name of ‘peace and love’. Amen. Hell awaits!” This god can’t even keep his personal pronouns straight. No wonder it took him forty years to write the Ten Commandments.

He also claims he did not give us “…a Neil and Bob.” Wow he’s a dyed in the wool Republican. Does he get to vote, do you think? Seems he couldn’t even perform such a simple godlike thing as fixing an election. Is he slipping or what?

He also speaks to Kimo Rosen, A Jewish friend  who posts on line, who he calls “… a serving narcissist from whom he wants , ” once again I quote, “…3 hail Mary’s and the Lords prayer out of you twice daily for the next 10 days.” Kimo hasn’t even converted yet. Don’t think he ‘believes’ in the Virgin Whoever. I’ll ask next time I see him.

He also speaks to Pete, a friend of his, I guess,  and says, “Give em it Pete!!” Well, considering everything I guess you can’t expect the guy to speak’a’da English so good. Then again, he did write the Bible which, as nasty as it sometimes is, is often, in a literary sense, quite exquisite.

And  to interesting, another poster,  he claims, she “…just made the watch list.”

He also says, “The praise the Lord line is always open to callers. Even to those in government buildings….”

Holy Moley. You can get a direct line from a government building? Whatever is the world coming to?

Well, for a moment I was happy I had called such a distinguished speaker into the discussion group-even if he did call me silly, childish and stupid names and sent me to hell but after re-reading I’m beginning to have serious doubts.

He claimed that “Ever since man has relinquished his chattel rights over women things have turned for the worse.” Holy four letter word, god, them’s fighting words.

At any rate if god would like to reply, I would, and I’m sure many of us would, appreciate a response. I promise It will be posted verbatim.

THE MEN’S ROOM
April 4, 2011

If you are a religious type woman who is submissive to her husband and always most humble, this is not for you. It’s not a tea party. If you’re sassy and feisty come on in. Just lock the door behind you and watch your back.

I like men, right next to a long list of animals- horses, macaws, cats, dogs, roosters and other living stuff on this planet- I like them best of all. I think we are products of our past, don’t you? Guess I was fortunate.  I had a wonderful small loving family-I was an only child- adored my father and that’s where it all began…

I was fortunate in that I did not have a religious up bringing. None of the heaven and hell and damnation stuff, none of the sin stuff or god stuff got poured into my hungry little mind. I was taught to behave. Be polite. Not to lie. To respect my elders, my teachers. I loved school. My father told me I was as good as any boy and he put me on a flea-bitten grey horse, my first horse, Finlandia who stood sixty four inches at the withers; I stood about thirty six inches top to toe. That may be part of it  as well. Once you learn to deal with these big animals, bullies get a kind’a cutting down to size. “Bully me,” was my motto, “and maybe I’m a hundred pounds wringing wet but I know how to use a curb.” Later, as all who read me know, I learned to wield a poisoned pen. My daddy liked my sharp tongue. In fact, he kind’a fostered a ‘talk back attitude’. We loved to argue at my house, in my married house we did, too.

On a recent  infamous Kauai post I suggested that-hold your breath- “…maybe there are guys who identify with dumb as a rock, alcohalic, macho loons like George Bush,” and-holy moly- a macho loon pitched a fit. Of course, as it always turns out with the right wing propaganda machine, the lie was it was I who went berzerk. This would really be hilarious, if it weren’t so annoying. The next macho fit came about  when a fellow-a kind nice guy if a bit over the religious top -quoted Voltaire at me and I quoted back, ” “Ecrasez l’infame!” (crush the infamous thing-Christianity) and thus began another fight.

Now listen closely-sassy, fiesties- just a few hundred years ago I’d have been burned at the stake. In my grandmother’s day, I’d have been tossed in the loony and things haven’t changed that much. Any uppity, arrogant woman who dares talk back is a…I’ll let you insert assorted adjectives.

Still with me?  The male chorus  in the MEN’S ROOM, many self proclaimed Jesus jumpers who wear right wing Republican banners round their blubber, are still singing in the discordant choir.

Think: you seldom see this on the political left.  Women on the left are admired for their sharp tongues, their wit, their intelligence, their poisoned pens. Women on the left write their own books. They don’t need religious right wing money, ghost writers and editors to strut their stuff. The women right wing looners would never enter a men’s room. Exccpt to scrub the toilet.

Please young sassy and feisty, watch Iron Jawed Angels. Know we’re not yet out of the woods. Talk back. Join the party and it ain’t tea, baby.

THEE AND ME
April 2, 2011

We must not lose the child in us

We must not lose the magic

We must never lose the lover, that would be truly tragic.

We are funny loving creatures

All of us together

Skipping through the universe, holding hands forever

Laughing in the face of fate

Knowing that the game is

Always different always new

And always just the same.

We’ve worn a million costumes, we’ve played a million roles

But writing the script of the play we’re in

Is always in our control

So come my darling darlings and play the game with glee

So  the heading of this brave new act

Can be titled thee and me.