REFLECTIONS ON HONESTY

This relates to a dream, a self reflection, memories, connections of past events, wondering, and a resolution to reflect at the end of each day on any lies I’ve told that day, the motivation for them, how many were due to not wanting to hurt the others’ feelings, alternative things I could have said that were truthful, etc.  Perhaps reading Difficult Conversations, a library book I recently checked out,  recent readings on consciousness and the booklet I’m writing for my children and grandchildren called “Stepping Stones to Inside,” two longstanding grudges against likeable people who insulted me in the past, wondering how I limit my relations with others (and always have) by an unwillingness to hurt others.  No need to review the encyclopedic past,  but I am excited about the decision to reflect on my truthtelling at the end of each day, and to see what alternatives I might have utilized, because I am  thirsty for honesty and aware of how I may keep myself from the warming experience of a truthful relationship.  Right now I feel hungry for the truth from a benign person.  Truth from someone whose intention is to hurt me would not be welcome.  It’s an experiment in living that I’m seeking.  And yes, this is motivated by a dream I had and which my unconscious let me remember.  All this may be a little too honest for the reader, so I will resume tomorrow night on my DIARY page.

And if my truth be told, I did not stay on my vegetarian diet.  And oh, one thing I absolutely hate are manipulations.

(Sorry, not my image. Is it yours?)

 

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McAfee

Does anyone know how to communicate with McAfee?  They just want to know yes or do I want to renew without saying how much it costs and they want me to prove I have bought it in the past and some stuff I dont know what they’rf talkikng about. It’s like they’ve gotten toop big for their pants.  Can someone refer me to a different security system that will communicate with you?

I expire today.

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Swimming Cows Escape to Safety

I’m a fan of the Week magazine, and discovered this clipping from a 2019 issue:

“Three cows that Hurricane Dorian swept out to sea from the Outer Banks have been discovered living on a nearby island. After being hit with a 9-foot wall of water on Cedar Island, the bovine trio apparently swam several miles across North Carolina’s Core Sound to Cape Lookout National Seashore park. B. G. Horvat, a spokesman for the park, said the valiant cattle ‘appear to have a bond.’…”

 

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Costumes of myself – A poem

Most worthy of a reblog!

Lauren Kathleen

An unchanging skeleton template –
The foundation of every self
Is the same cascade of roots
Mapped out in a blueprint, essential
To the unfolding of a life.

We build costumes of ourselves around the frame work,
Skins new then old then made new again.
Or new then old then forgotten completely,
New year, new me.
But the old year, old me
Still lingers silently –
Hung on a hanger in the wardrobe,
Hidden amongst the other worn and torn
Uniforms of which me I’ll be today.

Today I may be washed and dried
With the creases ironed and holes patched
And sleeves attached, with rips repaired and
Complete with a belt and a bow in my hair,
But maybe tomorrow I will slip back into an old skin
To be momentarily reacquainted with
A memory, for the fun of remembering.
I will cloak myself in a costume of my…

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THE JOKE’S ON ME

I thought I knew my regular taxi driver pretty well, and apparently he thought he knew me.  When he picked me up the other day he said, “Did you hear? The leader of Iran wanted to come to the United Nations to ask for help for his country, but Trump wouldn’t let him enter the USA.  Something about not having done his paperwork on time.”

Later I decided he was telling me a joke (only because it wasn’t in the news).  I said at the time, “That’s terrible!  That’s awful!”

He said “Yeah it is, isn’t it.”

So I’ve decided (a)That he’s a Trump man telling a joke to Trump supporters

(b) He thought I was for Trump and would laugh.

(c)He had no idea I was so gullible as to believe him.

(d)He’ll find out who I’m for next time he picks me up, if he doesn’t already know.  Still, I’m embarrassed by my naivete.

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THE RETREAT

The afternoon shadows were lengthening as the last car drove into the makeshift parking lot in the field adjacent to the camp and a hooded figure covered in drapery exited from the wooden gatehouse. The figure, shrouded in a yellow toga, said, “Welcome. You are Tee. You are familiar with the rules?” Tee guessed that it was the voice of a man, but could not be sure, due to utilization of a voice modifier. Only fingers flashed momentarily from beneath the loose sleeves of  a toga, with which everyone had been supplied in advance.

Tee nodded. Tee was covered in a green toga.

“You are assigned to the third cabin on the right down the path. Dinner will be in the large building further along the path, and will be announced by a gong, as will other gatherings, in the same building. You are not to reveal your birth sex to any person, whether registrant or staff.” A pamphlet describing the rules and goals for encampment changed hands, as did a proffered voice modifier and a pad of paper and pen. “Most folks write notes instead of talk….Oh, and each cabin has its own privy and running water….And you’re just in time for dinner.”

Tee’s head bowed briefly. A week of meditation, contemplation, education and sharing with other non-binary individuals lay ahead. Twenty individuals had paid the tuition, seeking what?  An additional six had completed an earlier camp and functioned now as staff.  The combination totaled the 26 letters of the alphabet, each letter assigned as a name for members of the gathering. Tee’s stomach spasmed alarmingly. What was he afraid of?

The large suitcase on wheels rattled as it passed over occasional rocks along the well-trod path. Tee deposited the suitcase just inside the door of the third cabin, and headed for the privy just as the gong sounded. Following other robed figures in silence beneath a canopy of occasional bird song felt unreal as though Tee was in a stage play.

Well, it was staged, but it wasn’t playful. Would everyone really maintain their anonymity for an entire week? Of course an accidental flash of skin would reveal little, since all were either in a pre-transitioning, current or post-transitioning stage.

Upon entering the rustic mess hall which would double for meetings, Tee was greeted with silence. Only the clinking of plates and silverware along the self-help cafeteria line filled the air. Someone stifled a sneeze. What few sounds there were echoed hollowly. A figure in the corner at a rear table seemed to be weeping silently. A scrap of paper was handed down the long table at which Tee sat: please pass the salt.

The meal was tasty, a large serving of either regular or vegan vegetable soup and a mixed garden salad. It was not until the dessert of baked apple had been finished and each participant had returned their utensils that a figure of medium height spoke, utilizing a voice modifier.  The figure was wearing a hooded yellow robe and stood, directing the registrants to the far side of the large room.

“Welcome, bearers of the life force!  If you are seriously on the non-binary journey that phrase will not sound smaltzy to you. I am Ex. Our first task is to bond, and to facilitate that we will join in chanting, an old and revered tradition. You may have heard recordings of monks chanting, as well as nuns. We will develop our own version, after first listening to the following recording.  At any time you may add your voice through the voice modifier or naturally—we won’t notice the difference.”

The lights were dimmed and a  recording began to play. After several minutes of absorption with eyes closed, Tee imagined God being present, then with a start realized he was He: binary. So much for trying to tie religion into this concept. Evolution was responsible. Tee had earlier felt a connectivity that floated above, below, within, accepting the totality of one’s own being. That feeling was returning now.

So religion was out and spirituality was in. Was it the chanting or the setting that was responsible for the increased percolating of realizations about the binary/nonbinary conundrum?  The voices of an indeterminate sex rising now from the gathering blended in with those on the recording. When the recorded chanting came to an end the chanting of those present continued for an extended period, with the droning sounds rising and falling until there was absolute silence.

`           Tee became aware of a thrill or a chill, at least a quivering awakening inside. The bonding had begun–spiritual, if not religious.

There was a soft rustle as the entire staff, dressed in their yellow attire, stepped up to welcome the newcomers. Everyone’s identities were private. Only the body size could not be modified.

“We will break into two groups in order to share our hopes and expectations for the retreat.” The groups counted themselves off and sat at some distance from each other. Three of the staff accompanied each grouping.

Silence followed, as each reflected on their hopes and needs. Finally, one said through the voice modulator, “I’m tired of feeling like a weirdo. I want to feel connected to humanity.”

Another spoke, and another, the momentum growing. “I want to experience myself.”

“If I’m really non-binary I want to find out who I am, then.”

“I want to quit feeling ashamed of myself.”

“I want to understand what’s happened to me.”

“I’d like to know why.”

“I know I’m up against evolution, and that’s scary.”

“I want to connect with reality…if there is any.”

“As I get clearer things get muddier.”

And so it went, one of those dressed in yellow drapery joining in.  “I sought integration in the face of sexuality. I received help, but I need more.”

The silence was heavy as the new members—devotees—seekers—the wounded–departed for their assigned cabins, each wrapped deep in solitary reflection.

THE END

Words:  1014

c nan mykel

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Euthanasia Forgiven

I’ll never euthanize another pet.  Maybe that’s an overstatement, but the need would have to be extreme.

We were sitting comfortably in a circle in my living room at the time, each with our own glass of wine, as usual. It was our weekly consciousness-raising group, and the mood was mellow until a spunky friend I admired said, “Pet owners are being cruel when they let their pets suffer rather than have them put down!”

She wasn’t talking about me, but I let the remark fester until I saw myself through her eyes, a cruel mistress to my aging cat Lucky, a misnomer if there was ever one.

At the time, Lucky had become both deaf and blind, but living in my bedroom he could find his food, water, litter box, and accurately jump up into the darkness to find his own place of comfort on our shared bed. I now believe that I over-reacted when he started losing weight and I had him euthanized. He trusted me kept going through my mind.

I missed him, felt guilty, and overall miserable. I had allowed someone else’s opinion to bully myself into “putting him down,” and yes I do think I was protecting my own feelings.

Two weeks of loneliness passed before my muscles twitched and while lying on my bed  I felt the mattress jostle gently and a soft knot of pressure lay against my back. That night I fell asleep with a smile on my lips.

Lucky chose a different spot to occupy each night, but his warm presence continued to soothe until the morning I felt his soft paws tapping on my face. That wasn’t a surprise; he knew how to wake me when he was ready for company.  So familiar were the gentle pats that I reached out for him, half asleep, and found myself with a fistful of empty air. And noticed a thin veil of smoke and the acrid smell of scorching.

The smell led to an outlet in the living room that was sparking and snapping and ready to combust. Between a 911 call, the power box, a raincoat lying nearby and the arrival of the fire department, the danger was over within minutes.

I returned to bed, sensitized myself to reconnect with Lucky’s presence, but he was gone, mission accomplished I supposed. Also gone were my pangs of guilt.

The following week scorch had been replaced by the odor of blooming honeysuckle just outside the open window, and after pulling my hair into a pony tail I headed out.  Would today be my own lucky day?  I wondered as I pulled into the Animal Rescue Center’s parking lot. Sure enough, there they were, a playful pair or young brother and sister kittens. They seemed to have been waiting for me.

 

c. nan mykel

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