Posted in Society

The End of the World

Finiteness is a concept I have never been able to grasp, at least not from a spiritual perspective. Some years ago a pair of Mormons visited my home. It was quite nice, to sit and talk about God in the sun of the front yard while my son danced in the driveway. They gave me “The Book of Mormon,” and said that it and the Bible held all of God’s message for us. I had so enjoyed meeting them, I put off thinking about it.

But the moment I did, I knew I could not be a Mormon any more than I could be a Seventh Day Adventist, or a Catholic, or a Jehovah’s Witness. Though I’d had friends who were, I could not. It is not my path. I can not believe in a single day of judgement. Everyday is a new judgement day to me and we each are judged separately, according to our own knowledge and destiny. I can not believe there is one vision of right and all other visions are wrong. I believe we are each given our own part to play, our own gift to share. I cannot believe that God can be found in one book or three or a million. I believe that God is in every book and tree and grain of sand. Look for God in your heart if you need to, but even there, only a fragment can be found. My God is alive and like anyone living, He changes and grows every moment. I cannot believe that there is one last prophet because He will always have new things to say as He teaches us more and more amazing truths.

I have never been able to believe in death as a final end. When a puddle disappears, some of it joins the clouds in the sky and some is absorbed into the ground. That what death is to me. Sentience traveling as it could not in its earthly shell. It bonds to something bigger, like the cloud and the earth. Eventually it will become a puddle again, through rain and osmosis. It may be changed or look the same, but never was it gone entirely.

Think about history, the world ended for many Eastern Native American Tribes with in a few years of the white men visiting (due to small pox.) Yet a new world was born and though most of the tribes were decimated by decease not all died. They live still with a history and a memory of their lost world. But who can say that world will not return when the time is right. They were one with the land and the land holds their spirits still. Walk barefoot and listen, they are there.

I have had many dreams of Armageddon. People run everywhere, animals stampede. The earth shakes and rips itself apart. Fires flow like rivers. Demons march across the land causing panic. Ancient demigods awaken and demand bloody sacrifice. Yet in every one of these dreams I find I am holding a child or two. My fears tempt me to leave them and run, but I never do. I know these children are the future and I must hold on through the storm. If we are to die we will die together. Often the dream ends there, with me holding children, surrounded by chaos.

A few times though, holding them, loving them, I bow my head and thank God for the life I’ve had. He comes, He quiets the storm. He looks in my eyes and lets me know no harm will come to me so long as I believe. I hold the children close and wonder at how at peace I can feel at the end of the world. That’s when I realize it isn’t the end of the world at all. It is the birth of a new world.

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Posted in Poems, Winter 2015 - 2016

What’s In A Word

This is the oldest, 

the strongest,

magic I know.

Start with a word, 

speak it aloud, 

watch it grow.

It will come to be, 

sometimes fast, 

sometimes slow.

In the beginning, 

the words made 

shape from shadow.

Now at the end, 

we are parted 

by the word “no.”

We walked together, hand in hand,

and you said, “This is good.” 

In that moment, I loved you so.

Kissing me over and over  

I thought this meant 

you were my beau.

But your words, 

cut like razors, 

as lies did flow.

Saying I was a friend, 

only a friend, 

filled me with woe.

What’s in a word,

from Heaven to Hell, 

a difference you bestow.

Nothing more clearly ended our life,

than when you called her your wife.

That was the final blow. 

For the word was the deed, 

now space I do need. 

Not hesitating to let go.

Let these words become true.

Let me be nothing to you, 

but someone who walks alone.

Posted in Texts, Winter 2015 - 2016

The Root of All Evil

Money may not be truly evil, but interest, especially compound interest is a leading candidate. What better, more efficient mechanism has man created to keep the rich getting richer off the poor getting poorer at an ever increasing rate. For only the rich can lend and only the poor must borrow. Here is where legal slavery grows and breeds.

Researching the concept, I learned a new word “usury.”

usury |ˈyo͞oZH(ə)rē|

noun

the illegal action or practice of lending money at unreasonably high rates of interest.

archaic interest at such rates.

ORIGIN Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French usurie, or from medieval Latin usuria, from Latin usura, from usus ‘a use’ (see use) . – New Oxford American Dictionary

Did you know that originally charging any interest was considered illegal by both Christians and Muslims? This makes sense because in both religions, charity is not only encouraged but demanded of the good Christian and the good Muslim. Islam still considers charging interest sinful today in many places. Now I understand why my Kurdish friend kept asking me where he could get a loan without having to pay more back. I told him I didn’t know of such a place and he was quite frustrated.

Many religious texts have condemned usury and a number of ancient countries outlawed loans with interest. What is really sad is that unable to work legally in other professions Jewish people often became moneylenders. The Old Testament encouraged this practice.

Thou shalt not lend upon interest to thy brother: interest of money, interest of victuals, interest of any thing that is lent upon interest.

Unto a foreigner thou mayest lend upon interest; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon interest; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou puttest thy hand unto, in the land whither thou goest in to possess it.-Deuteronomy 23:19-20

Here is religious prejudice sown, and what could come of it but what did. Hatred and prejudice came back. I have read that Islam teaches that there are corruptions in the Bible. I think this must be one of them. To understand this corruption we must look at the world in which Judaism was born.

Most early religious systems in the ancient Near East, and the secular codes arising from them, did not forbid usury. These societies regarded inanimate matter as alive, like plants, animals and people, and capable of reproducing itself. Hence if you lent ‘food money’, or monetary tokens of any kind, it was legitimate to charge interest. Food money in the shape of olives, dates, seeds or animals was lent out as early as c. 5000 BC, if not earlier. …Among the Mesopotamians, Hittites, Phoenicians and Egyptians, interest was legal and often fixed by the state. -Paul Johnson, historian.

So in a world where everybody else was charging interest, Jews were taught not to charge other Jews. It was the first step in the right direction, but when other religions condemned the practice it made Jews look like the bad guys. Was this the doom of millions?

Posted in Texts Tuesday

Honor All Parents

When you’re a child you think your parents know everything, when you are a teenager you hate your parents for not knowing everything, when you forgive your parents for being human, then you are an adult.” – my daughter

I love her so much for that. It helped me learn to forgive myself. I was not a perfect parent but I did the best I could. I continue each day, knowing I am still mother (and father) to three of the most beautiful and unique spiritual beings I have ever met. It is the greatest of honors.

Honor your father and your mother so you may live long in the Land the Lord is giving you. – Exodus 20:12

This is the commandment I hated the most when I was young. “Yeah, but what if your parents are bad people. I asked. What if your Dad’s a murderer or a rapist? What if your Mom is broken, too hurt by life and society to get past her own pain to see her child’s needs?” I asked.

My first step to coming to terms with this was to look at the verb “Honor.”

honor |ˈänər|(Brit. Honour )

verb [ with obj. ]

1 regard with great respect: Joyce has now learned to honor her father’s memory | (as adj. honored) : an honored guest.

pay public respect to: talented writers were honored at a special ceremony.

2 fulfill (an obligation) or keep (an agreement): make sure the franchisees honor the terms of the contract.

accept (a bill) or pay (a check) when due: the bank informed him that the check would not be honored. – The New Oxford American Dictionary

Which led me to look at the verb “respect.”

verb [ with obj. ]

admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements: she was respected by everyone she worked with | (as adj. respected) : a respected academic.

have due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of: I respected his views.

avoid harming or interfering with: it is incumbent upon all boaters to respect the environment.

agree to recognize and abide by (a legal requirement): he urged all foreign nationals to respect the laws of their country of residence.-The New Oxford American Dictionary

Neither word says to agree completely with, nor to worship as infallible. I chose to take this commandment as an urging to look for the good in your parents and admire their achievements no matter how small they may seem to us when we are young, to learn about their feelings and wishes, and to the best of our ability abide by those wishes. Chances are as we get older we will see those small achievements were much bigger than we thought.

But as Kahlil Gibran said “Your children are not your children . . .” All of us belong first to ourselves, as children of God, if that is our belief or as responsible, sentient beings if that is our path. But we only belong to our parents, our families and ancestors second, as we are able while we fulfill our own spiritual destiny.

The second thing that I wonder about in the meaning of this commandment, especially looking at the end of it “ . . .so you may live long in the Land the Lord is giving you.” What if father was Father Sky and mother was Mother Earth? For me Father Sky represents the weather and seasons, while Mother Earth is the land and water, mountains and valleys. No matter your religious beliefs, respect for the earth, its seasons and weather are vital to life. I chose to follow both meanings. The older, I get the more I understand the battles my parents and their parents fought so that I would exist today, but I also look at the natural world as a parent to me and my family, it made life possible. I hope it will continue.

Posted in spirituality, Winter 2015 - 2016

Quickening Moon

Quickening Moon

Looking at different names for the full moon of February, I decided the Wiccan Quickening fit best for this year. The Snow moon didn’t work because we just had a lovely weather warm up. Most of our snow has melted. The Hunger moon feels at odds with my sense of being overwhelmed by how much I am trying to do now. But quickening, full of life, full of ideas, that is how I feel.

quicken |ˈkwikən|

verb

1 make or become faster or quicker: [ with obj. ] : she quickened her pace, desperate to escape | [ no obj. ] : I felt my pulse quicken.

2 [ no obj. ] spring to life; become animated: her interest quickened | (as adj. quickening) : he looked with quickening curiosity through the smoke.

[ with obj. ] stimulate: the coroner’s words suddenly quickened his own memories.

[ with obj. ] give or restore life to: on the third day after his death the human body of Jesus was quickened by the Spirit.

archaic (of a woman) reach a stage in pregnancy when movements of the fetus can be felt.

archaic (of a fetus) begin to show signs of life.

[ with obj. ] archaic make (a fire) burn brighter.

-New Oxford American Dictionary

I still have so many stories I want to write, it is a struggle to decide which to do each day. I wish I had more time for research, writing and reading.

The warm weather has me dreaming of my next garden. Now is the time to get started planning. We had a great harvest of tomatoes last year. This year I want to have more squash and beans. Hopefully we can get some decent corn. But there are also the taxes to be done, and spring cleaning to start on too.

Last night the full moon and the pain in my shoulder kept me up most of the night. While my humerus is healed, the physical therapy and stretching exercises keep me hurting most of the time. Today my doctor said I might not get back full mobility of my shoulder, all I could think is, “you don’t know me very well.” I use this arm all the time and I can’t stand not being able to do things for myself. That is why it hurts so much.

To give me more time and increase my groups, I plan on changing my blog categories this spring so that I only do the really long blogs one to three times a week and the other days just do quickies, like five-minute Fridays and quote Mondays.

What about you? Do you have any plans you want to bring to life this month?

Posted in Society Sunday

Of Study and Struggle

Learning can done be either way. You can read up to learn about a thing or you can learn by doing and enjoy the struggle. I like some of both. I quit college quickly the first time partly because being right out of high school, I had no idea what to study. It’s pretty scary to spend thousands on an education for a career your not sure you want. But mostly I quit because I suffered from such extreme shyness I was unable to ever ask a teacher a question when I didn’t understand.

I had struggled my way through twelve grades, guessing at what my teachers wanted. Most of the time it was okay. A few times it was embarrassing and other times it meant giving up on a subject entirely. But I had to pay for college and when I started having problems my first semester, with no way to ask for help, giving up made the most sense. (There was no internet then, I had to ask questions face to face, email wasn’t an option.)

The good news is that the struggles, I went through, getting jobs, getting married and having children did make me stronger. When I finally went back to college not only did I manage to ask questions, but I was able to participate far more in discussions because I had life experiences to share. I found that I got more out of each class as an older student than I ever could have when I was a teenager. I also found I got more out of my classes by taking only one or two a semester. While having three children and a home to take care of makes taking full time classes too much anyways, I have noticed that I like to ruminate over each new thing I learn. If I don’t allow enough time for mulling over new information I get frustrated trying to take in so much (the classes instruction plus my own intuitive absorbing of knowledge.) Taking only one or two classes and then spending time in meditative activity, gives me a stronger sense of learning, and of knowing what I’m learning. I think it is a sad waste the way young people are urged to hurry through college today, focused entirely on grades and getting that degree, to get that job, to earn more money, to be happy. I’d rather be happy now as I grow.

My happiness comes from the struggle to keep living and learning, to become a better person. Maybe someday I will get my bachelors, I finally decided the one I want, Multidisciplinary. It suits me because I do believe we need to learn a little of everything to see the amazing, wonderful connections in life all around us. Right now I’m too busy trying to help my daughter pay off her debt to think about the thousands I’d need. But that’s okay because I know how to keep learning with or without a teacher. The longer it takes me to get back to the classroom, the more I’ll knock their socks off when I do!

Posted in Dark Dreams

Flee to Egypt

Holding the carving in my hand, I couldn’t believe it. He said, I inspired them as he placed them in my hands. Me, holding the baby. One figure holds him up dancing, the other holds him close to nurse my son. These statuettes in my hands. My husband made them carved of wood and sanded smooth as marble. He is so proud of me and the baby, so full of joy to be alive. I feel as though there is something magic about the statuettes.

But now we must run, hiding with so many refugees. We have to get to Egypt. I know that and yet something is pulling me else where. Is it the figures he carved? As soon as I touched them a timelessness surrounded me. I was holding them but now my hands are empty. I have to get to Egypt with my baby.

But there are so many people. I am pulled along in the flood. Where my husband and child have gone, I don’t know. I can feel them with me somehow. As though my husband is just out of sight ahead of me and my son wrapped in my many layers of scarves I have about me. My veil is quite long, somehow the white and light blue colors seem wrong, everyone else is wearing dark and dull colors. No one seems to notice though, no one seems to notice me at all. I am glad. Everyone around me is tense, hungry and afraid. We travel many miles to stop at a camp. They are telling the men and women to separate. Most are exhausted. There is a line for food. Small portions of a soup with rice and vegetables, but they have no more bowls. No bowl, no soup, we should share.

Looking around I know we won’t. There is distrust in every eye. I look again to find my husband. Not only do I not see him but I feel more certain than ever I have stepped through time. The people around me are so grim. Death feels so close it is palatable. A man comes and sits next to me, he doesn’t seem to see me but then he moves closer and sighs. He can definitely feel me, my warmth, my life. It makes me uncomfortable. I get up and try to find the other women. There is only one left. I follow her down a concrete hallway. As soon as I enter things change drastically. I am pulled down the hallway to a pair of double glass doors. A yellow van, the letters Polizia flash by, and a horrid popping sound starts. A gun is going off. Looking inside the van I see a small boy holding a toy gun. All around him are the bodies of his family, dying. A woman with a colorful scarf about her head looks directly at me, her face is bloody. She seems to ask me why I’m not doing anything. Why can she see me? Is it because she is dying? I don’t want to be here. I want to run. The sound of gunshots is everywhere, all around me. I don’t want to know the truth. I don’t want to know that they are killing them all in a massacre, the refugees. People rush all around me, bodies fall in heaps. I keep expecting to be shot myself but no one sees me. I try to run away but I can’t, my feet seem stuck in the pavement. I fall over and try to crawl. Reaching forward I notice the white and light blue veil against my arm. That’s when I know the connection. The carved statuettes of a mother and child, a refugee trying to get to Egypt with her husband and child, and a veil of white and light blue, one single name connects them all; Mary.

The moment I think it, I am awake in my own bed. Cats scatter as I jump up. I’ll sleep no more this morning. I still have goosebumps from the sound of the guns and the sight of bodies and blood. I wish I could convince myself it was just a dream. But I can’t. The way no one saw me, that and the ethereal feel of my body upon awaking I remember from other dreams I wished weren’t true, but were. I don’t know what to do, so I start typing.

Posted in Thankful Thursday

The Blessing of Roots

I can’t watch Alex Haley’s TV miniseries without going back in time to my childhood. I loved it, because it said something I rarely heard growing up. It said family was important. Not in the family that is rich or influential way, but in the knowing who you are, where you came from as a clue to where you are going, way. Nature versus nurture is a surprisingly old debate.

Sadly the idea of viewing people as a “blank slate” goes back to 1690 and was used to justify the taking away of children from their parents, to train them to be servants and slaves. Genetics was most unpopular when purist behaviorism dominated from the 1920’s to the 1960’s. It kept my grandfather (a geneticist) from continuing his studies with dogs in the 1930’s. It encouraged psychologists and psychiatrists to recommend institutionalizing children with autism and schizophrenia, since it blamed mothers as the cause. And it allowed child protective services to take children away suddenly and permanently.

Then in 1976 Alex Haley wrote Roots: The Saga of an American Family and in 1977 it aired on television. In 1979 the sequel Roots: The Next Generations finished the amazing story.

It changed so many things. Suddenly, everybody was interested in genealogy.

Was it a coincidence that the Indian Child Welfare Act that stopped Native American children from being taken from their tribes became law in 1978? Prior to the act 25 to 35 percent of Native American children were removed and thus grew up absent their culture.

As Louis La Rose (Winnebago tribe of Nebraska) testified:

“I think the cruelest trick that the white man has ever done to Indian children is to take them into adoption court, erase all of their records and send them off to some nebulous family … residing in a white community and he goes back to the reservation and he has absolutely no idea who his relatives are, and they effectively make him a non-person and I think … they destroy him.”

In my own experiences with protective services, I was very aware every time I was visited how lucky I was that it is now seen as in the child’s best interest to remain in their family and culture.

Thank you Alex Haley and your ancestor Kunta Kinte. Though it took you 200 years to go home, you have led many more to remember that nature and roots matter. Knowing our parents, grandparents and beyond helps us to find our true paths. Would I have managed to keep my family together, would I still have my son, with out your help? I hate to imagine.

Posted in spirituality, Winter 2015 - 2016

Live Simply

Today I had to relight the pilot on our hot water heater. It was no problem once I looked it up online and could see from the pictures that I had the knob in the wrong position. Hot water may not be a necessity but it is pretty high on my list of things I’d hate to live without. But that reminded me that the time is here when the world must take global warning seriously and ask what so we really need and what can we do without.

I was surprised to learn that fracking (hydraulic fracturing) is advertised as environmentally friendly. It is controversial and I hold with the cautious. Increased seismic activity is dangerous. When nuclear power was first introduced, it was believed to be the answer to all our energy problems. But I grew up with The China Syndrome for fiction, Silkwood and Chernobyl for reality. Even without any accidents the question of what to do with the waste is a difficult. Most are not very economical much less practical.

It is like that saying “You get what you pay for.” Only as I see it the cost isn’t just about the quality of the material good you buy, but also about the social and environmental impact of how it is manufactured. Nuclear power and fracking aren’t magic, they have a price, the same as all other sources of energy. Knowing that they have a huge potential only makes them more frightening.

To live simply has to be the ultimate goal for the spiritually aware. In harmony with nature, is the only answer that has true long run potential for our world. The Native Americans knew it and the Amish do too. Hopefully it’s not too late for the rest of the world to learn.

Posted in Society Sunday

Of Single Awareness and Self-Love

Happy Single Awareness Day!” The first time my daughter said that to me, I just stared at her like she’d spoken some alien tongue. I am a bit slow. Finally I said “ Yes thank you, Happy Single Awareness Day” and laughed. It felt good to laugh about it.

I don’t joke about it enough. I’ve managed a few years where I could honestly say I was single and happy, but not nearly enough. Not enough compared to how much more I am single and miserably heartbroken. I usually take a year or more to get over someone.

Somehow I have this infallible sense of who is the least able to return my feelings and that is the one. The funny thing is how he always gives the appearance of being totally single right up until I profess my love, then “poof”. Out of nowhere this woman he only just met or the woman who had turned him down 10 times before or his family friend . . . pops up and they get engaged and married so fast. But I’m in luck because he still wants to be friends (with benefits as long as I keep quiet.)

No thank you. I’d rather be single.

I shouldn’t be surprised I’ve done my chart, Venus in the twelfth house. Love is my weakness, unless I can learn to be secretive. But my Moon in Gemini means I must show my feelings or explode. Even the Chinese Astrology hits where it hurts, born the day of the water dragon, I can heal any wound except a broken heart.

I chose not to believe that last bit, (we dragons tend towards egotism.) I chose to believe that even broken hearts can be mended with water. Tears. I tried not crying about one guy for a couple of years and felt dead inside. It wasn’t until I fell in love with a new person. The first moment he said something to remind me of my ex. the dam broke. I cried and cried and couldn’t stop.

I don’t need astrology though. I have this inkling that I know what causes every man I fall for to run so fast. I am doing something really important with my life. He feels guilty for wanting me to himself. My talking to God and dead people doesn’t help. That part I could hush up if I wanted to, and did when I was married. But I can never hide my severely autistic son. So there’s no point in worrying about the rest. I’m a weirdo and either you love me for being a weirdo or you don’t love me.

It makes sense. Guys fall in love with me for my weirdness, but get scared when I get serious. Weirdness is fun in little bits but terrifying in a big chunk. All of a sudden, he has to find someone else as quick as he can. The other woman knows he still has feelings for me and insists on his marrying her to prove his devotion to her. I don’t know, but it’s my best guess. It makes me feel better than sitting around saying they’re all jerks. They’re not. Relationships are hard for both sexes. All the choices today make it even more confusing.

I know the key to being happy single is to fill my own cup. If I want something, I do it or at least make a plan for how I can do it alone. I don’t wait for someone else to tell me it’s okay. Perfecting the art of self-love is a matter of survival. Rubbing my own stiff shoulders and feet may not be as fun as getting a massage from a partner, but at least I have no regrets the next day. I make a lot of mistakes, but that’s where a glaring of cats to hug and believing in God comes in handy. I am never really alone. My fiery Venus in Leo passion and Mercury in Cancer intuition may scare the living away, but it’s just what the dead are looking for.

Posted in Uncategorized

Incompetence

I have been having a hard time writing since receiving a call from a collections company last Friday. I know I am not alone in losing my temper trying to be heard by a big company so I thought I’d share.  Here is the heart of my letter. ( At least this way I have some proof of the date I disputed this.) Hopefully letting this out will help me get back on track with my blog. Thanks.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am so furious about this bill I can not trust myself to speak about it intelligibly on the phone. Each day since Credence collection agency called I have found it harder to carry on with my writing, knowing that I have to try to put into words how upset I am about AT&T’s treatment of my account. Yes! I dispute this bill. This whole incident has been the result of such repeated incompetence it boggles my mind how AT&T can have any hope of remaining in business  with this kind of incompetent service.

First I never should have been signed up.

The sales lady never should have signed me up for this service in the first place. I told her right from the start that I did not want DSL. I’d had too many problems with it in the past. I told her I didn’t know what I wanted as long as it was not DSL. I tried to explain to her that the reason I didn’t want DSL was because we had not had properly working phone lines in our house in years, but she kept interrupting me saying I should have no problem setting it up. She did not work directly for AT&T so I can’t blame them for her mistake but . . .

Second the AT&T sales representative should have seen my problem ahead of time. Later while waiting for my internet to be hooked up, I called to cancel the bad phone service that I had been sick of paying for to keep our old DSL running, I did tell the AT&T representative all about our bad phone service and how if AT&T service had ever answered my calls and dealt with the problems two years ago instead of having me leave phone messages on their computer answering system that were never followed up on, I might be interested in other services with them. I thought for once I was being heard and listened to, but NO, not only did the man not warn me that AT&T internet was DSL and would need to use those phone lines that didn’t work, but he actually tried to sell me more services!!!!!

Thirdly the installer left without saying if it was or was not set up.

When the package arrived with my modem the night before installation I saw that it was DSL. I was very worried. We desperately needed our internet back so my daughter, the only wage-earner in my household could do her work online. She already had to take a week off while we waited for AT&T to schedule a hook-up. I spent the night praying the worker who arrived the next day would find a way to make things work. He did not. He arrived early that afternoon, and not wanting to waste his time anymore than necessary, I explained the problem. He assured me he would get it working, though he looked worried. He said he was working with someone else at the nearest large intersection to our house, because they couldn’t seem to get the phone line to work there yet, much less at our house. I explained to him how I had had to rig the line straight from the box since none of the internal phone jacks worked at all. He said it didn’t matter and got to work. If he ever got the phone lines to work at all I don’t know. After leaving and coming back several times, he disappeared at 4:30pm and never returned. He never said a word to me as to whether he had any success whatsoever. He did replace our box though, with one that lacked an opening so that even if he had gotten the lines to work there would be no way to rig the phone line as I had before. Still I was desperate, I tried to set up the modem outside (the weather was clear and warm.) It did not work, the phone line light never lit up. So far as could tell the phone line still did not work at all.

Fourth, you should have realized something was wrong when not only did I not set up any account online but I sent the modem back. I called a AT&T to cancel service the first thing the very next day and I boxed up the modem and returned it by UPS as instructed . AT&T never gave me any paperwork to describe their terms of service nor cancellation policy beyond the instructions for returning their modem so as far as I knew the account was closed.

After all any responsible business would have noticed that I never set up my internet account, used the service, nor did I sign any papers for the installation that failed.

Lastly, I called in early November to ask if there were any charges for the failed installation. I talked with a person who was surprised to learn that I had cancelled my account, but he assured me, after I had explained in detail all the problems, that since I had cancelled within the first 30 days, there was no charge.

Unfortunately, when I received this bill the end of November, I had broken my right shoulder and could not use my right hand even to type up an explanation like this and I really couldn’t see the point in calling. Calling hadn’t helped at all. I kept praying eventually some person at this company would take the time to notice that I never received any service. It was a ridiculous hope I admit, but I continue to chose to believe there are ethical people in this world who want to do a good job. Apparently none of them ever looked into my account.

When I saw the collection notice from Creedence, I felt sorry for them. I apologized on the phone to the operator. Unfortunately he seemed to think I would pay. It was tempting to do so, spending money I needed to pay for . . . trust me you don’t want to know. I am very poor, without the charitable kindness of others my family would not be able to stay together and care for my severely autistic son.

It is difficult enough to beg for money to take care of my family, but I will not beg to pay a company for wasting my time with their own incompetence. Besides what favor am I really doing you, by not speaking up to make you aware. YOU have a serious problem with communication in your customer service department. This account should never have gone to collections. I sincerely hope you fix not only my account but your own communications training for your employees. I should not have to call repeatedly to cancel a service I never received or used.

Thank you.

Posted in Why? Wednesday

Why Obi-Wan Was More Powerful Dead

If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine,” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

Why?” my son asked me as we enjoyed reliving the first Star Wars movie. “Why would he be more powerful dead?”

I smiled, a little embarrassed. I love it when he asks me stuff like this. He knows I will answer. Because Luke was alive is the short answer. That’s not enough for him, so I dive into the long answer.

First we must ask, does Obi-Wan actually become more powerful. Too be honest I think the movies do a poor job of showing or explaining it, but that’s not important. I have to answer based on the rules I know about life, death, and spiritual power. Is he more powerful dead than alive?

In truth every dead person, demon, angel and even God has told me I was far more powerful alive. They have all insisted it is my being alive and able to commune with spirits that makes me special.

There are two situations I know of where a being might be more powerful dead than alive. Martyrdom, to die for what you believe in, is already well known to inspire armies to battle. The situation does matter though, as was questioned in the case of Thomas Beckett. Personally I favor Beckett, he was unarmed, he was praying, he had exercised his free-will to believe what he felt was true. The King did not have to have him killed, he could have imprisoned Beckett or banished Beckett.

While Obi-Wan did turn off his lightsaber and seems to surrender to Darth Vader, I can’t call him a martyr. His goal was to help the Rebel Alliance destroy the Death Star and noble as that may seem to some, that Death Star was filled with men, Stormtroopers yes, but still men. When it comes to spiritual power, killing is still killing, no matter how righteous you may think your cause is. Believing that the end justifies the means is the path to darkness every time. A message I desperately wish I could tell anyone considering being a suicide bomber, you can’t be a martyr if you willingly kill anyone including yourself. Every murder you commit will weigh down your soul like rocks in the stomach of Red Riding Hood’s wolf.

So we are left to look at the other way a person can become more powerful dead. The other way is to be linked with an empathic living person. You are not actually more powerful, but the living person you link to is. In the story Obi-Wan failed his apprentice Anakin. He needed redemption, by surrendering his spiritual energy to Anakin’s son, Obi-Wan would have become more powerful simply because he had partially redeemed himself by becoming the servant of the son of the man he failed and betrayed. Luke wasn’t just the savior of his father, he saved Obi-Wan too. Luke’s trusting nature was the key. His innocence and and belief in others brought out the best in everyone around him. Had Obi-Wan lived and tried to teach Luke himself he would have corrupted that innocence, only by giving complete control to Luke could he keep his own cynicism and fear from staining the boy. Yes, he was more powerful dead.

I think my son is sorry he asked now. He says he still doesn’t get it.