12/15 Edition: On The Subject of Connecticut, Culture Trauma, A Love Letter About Explaining God, an Email to Myself, My Life on Twitter, and a Note to Surveil

On The Subject of Connecticut 

Posted in white, so if you want to read it, you can highlight it and read. Otherwise, scroll down.

I’m pasting this from The Icarus Project’s facebook page, because it’s what I have to say right now re: the day and CT:
(Hey, this got really long and ended up being really emotive. I think I just used this facebook comment as peer support. That being said, it might be “triggering” (no pun intended, really) and so if you’re feeling vulnerable to grief or not-helpful outrage, skip it for sure. Thanks. ♥)
Am I the only one who is outraged that they keep saying that these mass shootings are the result of “mental illness” ?
Could they not come up with some different designation for people who are driven toward violence of that magnitude…like soul sickness, a deep desolate desperate rage that can push one to devise hideous ways to get back at the world they feel hurt them and to destroy themselves in the process?
Could they not acknowledge that people ask for help for years and that often they are hurt for needing help and that…when there is no help and the shame and fear is all you are…you hate happiness…you hate life…you hate everything…and you cannot live like that and you want others, for once, to feel the pain that destroyed you. You want it to destroy them.
That’s not a mental illness, it’s a human tragedy.
There is also the issue of SSRIs and the effect they have on the killing – of self or others – part of the human psyche. Like, duh, in almost ALL mass shootings there is SSRI involvement. That’s not “mental illness” – it’s a “side effect” of the “treatment” for “mental illness.”
Drowning rates go up in summer, so do ice cream sales. Does eating ice cream cause drowning? No, swimming does.
So, in the meantime, mental health stigma flourishes to create more forced and coercive treatment that actually can cause violence.
As for guns, I don’t think anyone should have them. I think they were a stupid invention. Why would you make something that kills when you’re not supposed kill?
Oh, yeah, because you’re a human and we just can’t seem to get it right. Any of it.
Bravo, indeed.
(Sorry that was a rant. I just went to a holiday party at a state funded mental health organization and I didn’t win anything in the raffle and the whole way home I heard about kids dying at their school and how incredibly sad that is. I have two kids that go to school. To think of how many families will never be the same, how many kids won’t be okay for a long, long time. I wish I hadn’t gotten fucked with so much that I couldn’t do what I want to do, which might’ve put me in a position to sit with those stunned little kids in that grieving town in some way that helps them to feel safe in their world for at least a minute. I wish an army of Peers could go to that town and sit with those kids. Peers in childhood trauma and peers in grief. Healers.) (Man, I feel so sad about those little kids, that whole town, this whole world…I guess I’ll make that feeling LOVE and telepathically send it to every quiet kid in CT…and their grandparents and their mom’s and dad’s and sisters and brothers…oh, wow…it’s just so massive, this sadness, and I hope the whole world feels the grief of those hearts and all the hearts in Gaza and the DRC and Syria and every fucking broken place where little kids die.)
(Addendum: …and that in that grief, they find love, because we only grieve for what we love and that from that love we will realize how thoroughly revenge and weapons wreck the world.)

068

On Culture Trauma
The idea that the culture we live in can be harmful to us is not new.
For centuries, dominant culture has wrought itself on people’s lives in ways that are deeply traumatic. In the traditions of colonialism and fascism, billions of people have been harmed by cultures.
Culture is more than ideas. Culture is everything that comes of ideas, which is everything.
What we believe and our means of expressing and enforcing those beliefs create economies and laws, ritual and language…they become our story and our history.
What happens to people when they live in a culture that conflicts with their core values, that undermines their inherent self-worth, that harms people and places that they love?
What are the effects of living in a culture that one may experience as violent, cruel, faithless, greedy, shallow plastic make-believe war games that make trees into topiary and humans into consumers of dreams that are not theirs, denied the full range of their human potential and housed in squares pushing square keys and looking out square windows…or worse, sleeping under square cardboard?
What are the effects of living in a culture that you are not able to believe in? What about living in a culture that imposes itself upon your own culture, your true culture, in such a way that your culture must struggle to survive and you, therefore, must struggle to survive?
People have spent millions of hours trying to define the core human truths and the core human conflicts. It seems to me that living in a world in which humans are harmful to other humans and to animals and to land and water…a world in which we have no real place of dignity, many of us…a place in which all culture has become mockery in the shadow of corporate colonialist brutality and consumer banality…it seems to me that our history and its effects are killing us.
Trauma is defined as witnessing or experiencing a threat of imminent death.
Death comes in many forms and mediated witnessing can be just as damaging as first person witnessing, relative one’s own current sensitivities. A child watching the news may be traumatized.
I stopped watching television after 09/11. I couldn’t watch any more. It made me too sad for the world and I was already too sad about the world.
Can going to the mall be traumatic? For me, it has become a near perfect threat of imminent death, because if we do not stop abiding by the culture that has been created for us and that we were coerced into taking on as our own…we will all die.
People seem totally okay with that at the mall and that is terrifying to me.

Did you know that there were no cars a hundred years ago?

O

Thursday via mobile

A Love Letter About Explaining God

If you asked me
to tell you
everything I know
about God
I would have to stand up
or sit down
or curl into a ball
with my head on your chest

where I might decide not to say a word
and just listen
to your heartbeat
and the sound of air

I’d kiss your scar.

The smallness of my breath on your arm would tell the whole story.

“Close your eyes,” I’d say.

“Tell me when my hand is just about to touch your face.”

we’d laugh
a million births and deaths
with our fingertips
together
Dreaming
new quiet words
in the salt-scent
of sweat
And the sweetness of rain.

***

If you asked me to tell you everything I know about God, I’d look you right in the eye and I wouldn’t blink.

There was a song
on the radio
and it made me
remember
a person
that I met on the street
in the rain
a hundred years ago
and you remind me of everyone
and
everyone
reminds me of everything.

I’d tell you about a good dog that died
the bird that flew
into a window
The smell of wood on fire
and diesel buses
highschool hallways
and old lady dresses
locked doors
antiseptic floors
kissing the ground
spitting on pavement
dancing the dust out of the boards
and writing poems
like this
to nobody in particular

***

If you asked me…
I’d show you
my palms
and the way
the stars are blue tonight

I’m sure you’d see.

I’d show you
the letters in the sky
and the ones I never sent

I’d smile like I had a secret, but I’d tell you everything.
…if you asked me.

***

To tell you everything I know about God, this is what I’ll need:
You.
(Note and Disclaimer: This poem is not to any one person or about any one person…it is to everyone and nobody.)

z4

To me, this looked like a byzantine Christmas card angel, symbols and all.

An Email To Myself

The beans in the colander, the light on the silver, the green reflected…it all began to look like a metaphor for the world. It showed me how nothing is separate.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I couldn’t pull the beans apart from the hands that picked them or the soil the plants grew in…the sun, the rain, the season…the water underground and the factory in China, filled with silver 1/2 moons punched full of holes. The ships on the sea and the sandpipers on the beach.

The rattling pipes reminded me that this house is a 100 years old and, thinking about that life didn’t seem so hard, and my own frailty was suddenly great.

We’re nothing. We are a part of everything. We don’t matter. Everything matters.

I knew that I was, somehow, figuring out Zen. I didn’t care what they called it. I wasn’t trying to figure anything out. I was just trying to make dinner.

I was just trying to stay alive.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I could look around and see birds and babies and bees, but sometimes something grey and frozen, steel and timecard, hunger and fire and grief…it seeped in.

I was sad for everything alive, including myself. Loving things and finding beauty in them made me sad.

“What a stupid and ugly story they’ve made out of all of this!”

The world was bleak and disgusting. The bees were dying. There was oil on the beaches. I had no friends. Nobody cared.

“What a terrible fucking story.”

I couldn’t stand it.

For the first time in years, I was being honest about what I saw, how I felt, who I am…and just how much…
I didn’t
understand.

I wanted to understand.
scan0002
I have said before that, if I had been born 20 years later, I’d have probably gotten pegged with Asperger’s instead of depression and then bipolar.

That label, too, would not have done me much justice, but it might have at least indicated an etiology of my existence that was more accurate and more dignified than a “chemical imbalance.” I’d have probably still gotten put into coercive treatment and would probably still have been forced to take medications.

I have no desire to be known by the name of an Austrian man or understood on the basis of his understanding.

I know now that my experiences in living, in struggling to live, have everything to do with how I think about the world and the extent to which I feel I am a part of it…or not a part of it.

002
In my mind, at all times, there are gears and flow maps and tides and exchanges and fires and wires and codes and scripts and
picture
upon
picture
upon
picture.

Every thought I think has at least hundred stories attached to it.

It’s not as exhilarating as it sounds.

In fact, at this point, it’s fucking exhausting. Most of the time, my talkingness can’t even grab ahold of the scenes as they lurch and leap and pop and fizzle and bleed together. Am I consciously aware of my subconscious? Eek.

***

I have to go and get ready for the holiday party at work now.

IMG00026

MY LIFE ON TWITTER
In many ways, these archives are an experiment in self/world surveillance and documentation. I like the idea that these little bits of digital ephemera last a lot longer than we sometimes realize. I’ve left the names in, because twitter is a public sphere and all exchanges are easily accessible. I don’t use anybody’s real names here, because I don’t know anybody’s real name and people’s names are their own to say.
49m(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@amatorscientiae thanks for the mention. Curious, does twitter have a peer support/mutual aid network? @unsuicide
View conversation
53m(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@youarenotalone so, what if someone has a GREAT twitter acct. name and they’ve not used it ever since 2008? Can someone else have it?
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Retweeted by (…faith…)
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Retweeted by (…faith…)
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14h(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@PJA64X nice group. #thanks
View conversation
14h(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@PJA64X Does the “spiritual discussion” generate spiritual action within and beyond the group? That’s what, in my opinion, makes it real.
View conversation
14h(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@jediladder seriously not trolling you. Twitter has a way of making sincere remarks/?s look sarcastic, smug, and smirking. #realworld
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14h(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@jediladder there are so many fakes. They believe that they are real. That righteous deception is their religion. How can you help? #curious
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15h(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@jediladder I initially replied because I am interested in the use of social media as a tool in the coming/present spiritual REvolution.
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15h(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@jediladder oh, not at all! I don’t believe much in enemies and get along well with most people who trust the small still voice.
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15h(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@jediladder What do you mean “no with you”? Does that mean the small voice doesn’t like me? I’m not being trollish. I’m genuinely curious.
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15h(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@jediladder …and who would the be the one, when there are so many ones…and zeros. How do you know what you are called to do? #realworld
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15h(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@jediladder Depends on how you “fight” ? #realworld
View conversation
16hKevin Green‏@MySOdotCom
RT @PhilosophersSay: It is not possible for one to teach others who cannot teach his own family. ~Confucius #quote
Retweeted by (…faith…)
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16h(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@MotherJones #violence ? #mentalhealth ? What does the #FBI know? …the US govt. has killed millions of children… #NoGuns
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16h(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@markfollman @MotherJones The “mentally ill” are more likely to be victims of violence. SSRIs have “side effects” that = #violence #noguns
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16h(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@Sectioned_ I write without trying to remember, just catching the bits and pieces as they fall free, rise up. Cry as needed. Break often.
View conversation
16h(…faith…)‏@faithghost
It’s just so obvious.
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16hEllen‏@Ellenthinks
#NOguns #NOguns #NOguns
Retweeted by (…faith…)
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16h(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@faithghost: @trutherbot tolerance implies there is something to tolerate. We only have to tolerate things we don’t like. @zizek_ebooks
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Retweeted by (…faith…)
13 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost
People far away, with stories and offices and cold feet. I made them smile. They made me smile. < that’s a story, too. G’nite.
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13 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost
Wow. I’m being really friendly on twitter tonight. I’d better go engage with the 3D world for a while. Oh, I am engaging w/ the 3D world.
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13 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@MarkOneinFour Shorts are a great sort of story to make! I’ll try to remember to read it. Maybe I should read it now? It’s only 200 words!
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13 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@punkboyinsf: Feel free to troll @SpeakerBolger at will. He’s the #douchebag speaker of the Michigan House of Reps. #TratterGate #Right2Work
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13 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@StreetRoots I used to spend time @ the Burnside Cadillac office. #houseless folks in Portland were angels to me more than a few times. ♥
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13 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@supPushPop message me the addy and a name and I’ll drop it in the mail tomorrow-ish. Super fun! (<~ Oh, gee. That’s really nerdy.) View conversation 13 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost I could address the package to your favorite coworker! Expand View conversation 13 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost @supPushPop you should decorate your whole fuckin office with heart stickers. Psst…they’re just #jealous cuz they don’t get mail. View conversation 13 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost @supPushPop People send you embellished things? Really? I love it when people send things to people! White envelopes r4☑s. View conversation 13 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost “@StreetRoots: #SR24 Read all about the history of Dignity Village here: http://streetroots.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/dignity-village-today/ …” It all started with a story. #houselesss View summary 13 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost Yeah, it’s awesome! #awesome Expand Expand 12 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost …actually, you don’t have to respect me, people can do whatever they want, but disrespect to others says more re: you than it does “them” Expand 12 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost You don’t have to accept me, but you do have to respect me. Expand 12 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost Oh, now I’m thinking about acceptance. Gifts are things that become ours to like or dislike. Living things are not ours to accept or deny. Expand 12 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost @trutherbot accept a gift, accept death, accept a comfort in giving up your dreams/rights. ♥ = acceptance>offering to be accepted.
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12 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost
@trutherbot tolerance implies there is something to tolerate. We only have to tolerate things we don’t like, so…
View conversation
12 Dec(…faith…)‏@faithghost
“@Pontifex: How can we celebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives?” (Sometimes, it is so weird to be named Faith.)
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And, finally…a facebook comment re: a protest event intended to stop WWIII, which will likely not stop WWIII:

e 11:34am Dec 15

“This is just the beginning of an invasion and we have to stop it.”

This is true. We, collectively, have to stop it, or persuade those doing this to stop it. While gathering in mid-winter in a southern city may raise awareness for some, it is unlikely to stop it.

What are ways to stop it?

How can we persuade the entire American population to stop buying shit and working for corporations and making weapons and paying taxes?

How can we help all of the US armed forces to defect as conscientious objectors?

What would it take to nonviolently stop global violence?

I’m assuming this event page is being surveilled, due to the avatar in solidarity and its guest list.

So, hi guys, how are you? What would it take for you, the people who work for the government and its agencies, to realize that the current structure of corporate/military culture and economy is killing people and hurting places, that it is – in ways – hurting everybody…even you.

Did you want to be a government spy when you were a kid? Did you want to spy for the “good guys” or the “bad guys” ?

Who would that be now? Why?

…or did you want to be a veterinarian or a superhero or an artist or a…?

What happened? Why did you become a spy?

Really. I’m curious. I’m not just trolling you. I genuinely want to know what happens in the human heart and reality that makes good people who care about the world somehow seem like “terrorists” and that makes horrible things like “war” seem like “duty” – how does that happen?

…sent from my handheld device…

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