My Memory Is Me

I’m not what you see at 83.

I’m so much more, almost

filled to the top–

with a little room to grow.

The touch of velvet is still

alive in me; the fig tree

and the good hard red clay.

Grandmother’s good soft lap and

the fragrance of the land

after the rainfall. And oh my,

the comfortable settling of

coal in the grate in the dark.

Childhood fills one big toe. Yet

as you see, I could go on and

on ’til one of us fell asleep.

 

Nan  10/19/15

(I must have said 83 to make it rhyme–5 years later I’m now 84

 

 

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New Thoughts from Friend John

It is a critical time with regard to democracy in this country. I have waffled between supporting Sanders and Warren. It is time to vote for the changes democracy needs and for someone  who can possibly win. That is Sanders.

Many voters probably chose Biden over Sanders because they feel Biden has a better chance of winning the general election. Maybe that is true; maybe it isn’t. We thought Hillary was a shoe-in over Trump, but the electorate, through our distorted electoral college system, made an anti-establishment choice. Biden is the establishment candidate for the Democrats this time. To some people he feels safe. He won’t rock the boat. He won’t change things.

But people know that change is what we need. Biden may reverse some of the worst things Trump has done, but things will go as they have in the past over decades – continued environmental degradation, corporate control of government, a healthcare system that fails millions of Americans, continued concentration of wealth and power in fewer and fewer hands, worsening financial and food insecurity, and outright poverty.

People are afraid of change, but change happens. Without major changes in policy, the changes we will see are continued degradation of society and the environment. That is where unchecked greed, concern only for the present, and only for ourselves, will take us.

I know some people find Sanders scary. It is too bad that people, especially older people, are scared of the label, “socialist.” Would they like to get rid of the socialist things we already have in place, such as Social Security and Medicare? And what about the socialist protection that Wall Street banks have against failure? Perhaps it can be said that capitalism survives because socialism is there to bail it out.

People are understandably afraid that change might mean they lose what little they have. Might “Medicare for All” mean higher taxes? Will it mean I’ll lose my present insurance? These questions linger despite the fact that “Medicare for All” will provide health insurance for all and better healthcare at lower overall costs. Other countries find ways to pay for it; we can too.

When we are determined to do something, we can find ways to pay. No one objects to the development of a new weapon system for military use because it will increase their taxes. There is no reason to hesitate about doing what needs to be done now.

Economic and monetary systems should facilitate what we as a people want to do. Physical and social resources impose real limits, but money, which is created everyday by keystrokes on computers, should not be limiting.

A changed money system, in which government creates money instead of private banks, would open up possibilities. Where new money is spent increasing goods and services, through improvement of infrastructure, healthcare and education, there is little inflationary pressure. Inflation comes from increased costs, not from government spending.

Our current socialist system benefits the wealthy and the old folks who hold the wealth. What is needed now is some socialist policies to benefit the young and those who haven’t inherited wealth. It is time for us to seize the opportunity in this election and get Bernie nominated so the voters are offered a real choice. Unfortunately, at this point support for Warren amounts to supporting Biden.

As Supreme Court Justice said, “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

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Do You Remember?

I’m trying to re-connect with a book on dealing with grief over the loss of a spouse.  It was upbeat in that it suggests the spouse does not have to say goodbye, but can carry the loving memories with them.  If anyone can remember even the existence of this  book it would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry I’ve been away so long–had a date with pneumonia for 5 days in the hospital.

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Harry Truman Quote

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Very Short Quotes

I’m not okay, you’re not okay, and that’s okay. — Sheldon Kopp

We wish we were otherwise, and that is our hell, our resistance to Life. — Stephen and Ondrea Levine, Who Dies?

I have found out who I am and I have no intention of impersonating anyone else. —  George Sheehan, Running and Being

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NOT the FIRST TIME

Written by Alex Henderson February 3, 2020 Alter Net

President Donald Trump has not been shy about berating anyone who doesn’t “stand proudly” when the United States’ national anthem is playing at sports events. But a video posted on Instagram shows Trump moving around quite a bit when “The Star-Spangled Banner” was playing during the Super Bowl on Sunday.

The Miami Herald’s Sarah Blaskey notes that the video “shows Trump greeting guests, adjusting his chair, and straightening his suit jacket as other attendees — including First Lady Melania Trump and their teenage son — stand with their hands over their hearts. As ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ crescendos, Trump raises both of his hands in the air, and twirls them around as if conducting the music.”

Blaskey notes that the brief video, which has also been posted on the Miami Herald’s website, was “included in an Instagram story by a real estate agent for a Russian-American firm who frequents Mar-a-Lago and other Trump properties and events.”

Trump has been especially critical of African-American football stars who have opted to “take a knee” during “The Star Spangled Banner” as a way of protesting racial injustice.  Above: Much earlier post of nonchalant Trump.

 

 

 

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Anonymous Poem on Loneliness

The poem below appeared in Guy’s Hospital Gazette,  the Newsletter of Greenwich District Hospital, London, on February 2, 1974. It was written by a lady in a geriatric ward and found in her locker after she died by staff who thought her incapable of writing.

POEM ON LONELINESS

What do you see, nurses, what do you see?

Are you thinking when you are looking at me–

A crabbit old woman, not very wise,

Uncertain of habit with far away eyes.

Who dribbles her food and makes no reply,

When you say in a loud voice, “I do wish you’d try.”

I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still

As I rise at your bidding , as I eat at your will.

I’m a small child of ten with a father and mother

Brothers and sister who love one another;

A bride soon at twenty my heart gives a leap

Remembering the vows that I promised to keep;

At twenty-five now I have young of my own

Who need me to build a secure happy home;

At fifty once more babies play round my knee,

again we know children, my loved one and me;

Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead

I look to the future I shudder with dread.

My young are all busy rearing young of their own.

And I think of the years and the love that I’ve known.

I’m an old woman now and Nature is cruel

‘Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body it crumbles, grace and vigour depart.

There is now a stone where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcase a young girl still dwells

And now and again my battered heart swells,

I remember the joys, I remember the pain,

And I’m loving and living all over again.

And I think of the years all too few–gone too fast

And accept the stark fact that nothing will last.

So open your eyes, nurses, open and see,

Not a crabbit old woman, look closer–see me!

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