As a little girl I grew up in a tiny farming community, 2 bars, 5 churches, and a grocery store; more cows than people, and unpaved streets. We had to entertain ourselves, so it's probably not surprising that I found myself in the closet.
I spent hours there in my secret room (pre Narnia for me). Quiet and cool, safe from all my fears, I wandered around for hours in my secret fortress. Many a great adventure happened there, the world never knew how many times I saved it.
School started, and I made a friend that lived nearby. I invited her over excited to share my secret fortress. I guided her into the house and back to my room and into the opening for my secret.
Your over active mind can't take the time
to separate fact from fiction.
You use diction to blur,
the slur of your imagination.
God didn't mean for creation
to be tearing itself apart,
broken hearts, minds, and lives in pieces.
All is lost, nothing found
when we refuse to recognize
our reflection in the mirror and fear to see the bigotry
in our preconceived ideas of reality.
Is it Hell or is it Heaven?
when the self righteous finds himself
soul to soul
christian, buddhist, muslim, pagan, non believer,
and all God faces laughing
echoing through the ages
Sages stare in wonder
as his voice thunders,
"Did no man understand?
Judge not! Judge not!
No man shall know the time,
the place, the very face of God
All is mine and made in my image
the human race of God
The faith of God
The joke of God
Can you hear the laughter?"
Well, how do you start something like this but to say I am a hypocrite. After years of pontificating on the dangers of drinking and driving I was charged and convicted of a DUI. I am sharing this information NOT because I am proud of what has happened at the most stressful point of my life, but so that if it happens to you you will be AWARE.
First and for most KNOW that if you have been drinking that IF you are charged with a BAC, (blood alcohol content), of .08 or more that you will most likely be charged with a DUI, (Driving Under the Influence). There is NO negotiation on a first time DUI offense in California, so save yourself the $2500 (or more) charge of hiring a lawyer and plan on attending all your court appearances on time and expecting to stay most of the day. If you are lucky enough that YOUR time is more than the expense of the lawyer make your own choice.
Note that at some point you will have to appear in front of the judge and be sentenced.
Here are my notes from the experience:
You have ten days to apply to the DMV for the right to obtain a restricted license during your education process if you fail to apply for this privilege you will be denied the right to drive for a minimum of 4 months. EVEN with this privilege you will be denied the right to drive for a minimum of 30 days.
If you fail to appear at any of your mandated court appearances you will have a warrant issued for your arrest
You will have to attend traffic school and it will cost you in time and money in accordance to your BAC.
Embrace the experience of traffic school. You have to go, you have no choice, IT IS A PROCESS and your restricted license only lasts so long. Most of the things you'll learn won't kill you to know and may enlighten even the most cosmopolitain types. KNOIW that any missed activities will add to your cost, so just go and get it done.
Know that if you need to apply for a payment situation that even though your paper work SAYS you have 90 days to contact them they start your billing immediately and any missed payments (even if you are unaware that they have started) will cost you $300 in fees that will be added on per missed fee.
I'm sitting with my younger brother as he makes his journey from this world into the next. I watch as his friends stop by and view what remains of my 6'7" mountain man. My "little" brother who towered over me by nearly a foot and a half, ravaged by cancer, flesh hanging from his once robust frame. Strong and powerful he once hung a boyfriend upside down by his ankles off a two story balcony over the Rogue River in order to explain to him that he didn't like the way the boyfriend was talking to his sister. Traumatic for the boyfriend, and stupid if he had dropped him; it might have been manslaughter, but one of those things that can make a sister feel a bit warm and fuzzy (at least after I broke up with the boyfriend). He was always doing over the top things in order to make his point, so prone to unbelievable tall tales that it was occasionally hard to believe him, but even I was surprised by the story his friend Peter shared with me.
Peter, sat down quietly by me and watched as Ray labored to breathe. He told me about a fly fishing trip they took together with friends on one of local rivers. The current was swift, so they would cast up stream and allow their lines to drift with the current past them and start the process again. A stranger, from a neighboring town, joined them and proceeded to cast straight out crossing three lines, creating havoc with their technique. tangling lines and stealing the tranquility of the day. My brother, Ray, his friend Peter, and the rest of the fishing expedition tried to explain to the stranger about the current, and how he should cast upstream and allow his line to drift past them, so that he would quit crossing the other lines, tangling them, and ruining the experience for everyone. Fishing, Peter explained, is meant to be fun and relaxing. Peter relaxed, smiling as he described the events, they had just wanted the stranger to listen, but he continued to cast straight out from the bank creating a tangled mess of line for no apparent reason other than he did not want to be told how to cast.
Quietly, according to Peter, my brother pulled his line, set his pole, slowly walked up the bank to his truck, and started to rummage around. His friends continued to try to fish and paid little attention to what he was doing until a gun shot echoed over their head's and the stranger's bobbin exploded in tiny pieces; shot out of the water by my brother standing on the upper bank.
The startled stranger grabbed his pole, what was left of his fishing tackle, and quickly departed as my brother quietly strolled back to the bank picked up his pole, and cast his line upstream to gently bob past him on the current while his friends sat stunned. Finally, Peter exclaimed, "I can't believe you did that". My brother's reply was, " I came to fish and relax and I got tired of talking about it. Now, let's fish."
This morning I am reminded that any club that has to vote to let me in I will continue to avoid. I hate that kind of thing for some reason. Clicks should belong to my fingers tapping on the keys, woodpeckers on poles, maybe even a bit of percussion, but should not be for human socializing. People tend to change in big groups, and as long as the finger isn't pointed at them they don't mind pointing at you. The thought has crossed my mind that this could be a past life memory or maybe stamped in my DNA from ancestors who were persecuted from using their intelligence to stand up to the masses. I was a Bluebird once for three days before I quit to ride my horse, Taffy Dawn, alone. I didn't hate the people there, or gluing popsicle sticks together into squares and rectangles. I just loved my horse more and she was waiting, and I was impatient, and the day had begun. Maybe I just knew I would never have enough of those days. . . . I do love people, but for some reason large groups of anything I like better from a stage with a 10' elevation. Especially, if they are looking at me. It's even better if the lights are so bright I can't see them and I can shake, spin, sing, and laugh madly while I lift myself, (and anyone willing to travel), out of the fog. Still, even at this age, I find myself terrified in large groups as I ready my weapon of choice. Machine gun laughter, quick, resonant, and piercing enough to be heard across a football field. Amazed and embarassed that I can still scare all but the very hardy with but one quick burst I use it to fend off those who would get too close without invitation, or a brave heart. ~;) Some things change very little.
Cecil liked to wear stilleto heels, and skirts that flowed. She kept her greying hair that pert shade of port, her nails exactly 1/2" long, squared at the tips, curved slightly downward like her mouth. She'd take advantage of her stilleto heels and push her grocery cart with long strides and perfectly manicured nails past the fruits and vegetables, past the dairy case, past the grains and dry goods, to finally take her stand firmly between the diet coke and the front of her cart and proceed to load it heaven bound. . .her only offering.
Loaded, eyes glazed, saliva flaking at the corners of her down turned mouth. Her four inch heels would carry her step after step through puddles of rain forest leftovers, like a float plane landing one pontoon at a time. on schedule she'd drift toward the checkout docking long enough to purchase one last carton of cigarettes She always said she planned to quit before it killed her, but "You get such nice things with the mileage."
Fire trucks struggled to contain the flame that was Cecelia, couch and carton, temporarily appearing to be the hottest spot in the universe. As the first long cough of winter rattled upward through the smoke, dry leaves raced through the gutter adding percussion to the hometown blues on NPR. Prelude for the unheard funeral dirge that followed the smoldered carnage south.
Today, while driving down Mission Blvd., a young hispanic girl stepped into the crosswalk. As she passed I noticed a mark right in the middle of her forehead and immediately thought of Charles Manson and his sadistic batch of killer women. How sad I thought that at some moment she had deemed it a good idea to permanently mark her face. I went on with my chores without thinking too much more about it until I saw another beautiful, young hispanic mother holding her new baby close, and pushing an older child in a stroller with a very similar mark in the middle of her forehead, 'Oh, how sad it must be a gang thing,' I thought to myself. Suddenly, a strapping young body builder, turned to help her. As he turned I could now clearly distinguish the nature of the mark, an ash cross. No doubt put there by a priest for "Ash Wednesday". How sad my eyes and brain have both started to fail me at the same time.
The things we're not suppose to discuss: politics, religion, and our personal lives. Just in case we reveal too much, and someone finds out that we don't think exactly the way they do, or even worse that we actually think. Everyone pretends to appreciate the eccentric opinion, the quirky purple hats, the off beat song or movie, but we really just want to enjoy the things that our peers have already deemed worthy. We roll in self congratulation on what we consider original as it's embraced by the masses, and suffer the recriminations of our associates by not freely wrapping ourselves around the ever popular opinion.
I've never worried much about the popular opinion, or current happening trend. I spend too much time alone to dwell on anyone's negative thoughts but my own, and I try to avoid those. Maybe the voices in my head are enough company? The legions drifting through over the years have helped me draft a plan for world domination. After all, I've raised three fine sons to be well adjusted slackers why not help the rest of the world?
My first objective would be to ensure that everyone would be sterilized at birth. I hate hearing children called "accidents". Science is such that we now have a choice to control our population, and the damage we do to unwanted children. There should never be an unwanted birth, or an unloved child. It is our moral duty to protect the children, allow them health, education, and unconditional love, and it takes more than two people to do it right.
Everything should be legal and taxed. You can't control anyone but yourself, so we should quit trying and quit allowing excuses for people's chosen behavior. At some point people will quit passing the buck and choose life. I personally think people choose alcohol, drugs, vandalism, and possibly violence because they're bored. Children should be taught accountability and responsibility. Make their first school field trip to the 'new world order's adult entertainment center.' Where the children could watch junkies through a one way glass as they indulge in their need, dispensed by a pro in a safe environment. When they have reached capacity, turn their heads and retch, the children would see their bald heads, bad teeth, and nasty stomach acids and the whole thought of being a junkie like "Jimi, Janis, Billie, or John"* will be less romantic. (*Hendrix, Joplin, Holiday, and Coltrane).
I don't believe in prison; violent criminals should be blinded and encouraged to live on the same amount of disability as any other disabled American. My husband insists my hatred for what I consider to be an obsolete waste of tax money was developed because I grew up near Washington State Penitentiary, angry that the prisoners had color television ten years before we had it at the farm. The truth is blind people rarely commit violent crime. No armed robberies, no DUI's, they don't participate in drive by shootings, or blame their sexual deviation on the look of a prepubescent child. I don't want to cut off anyone's body parts, or put offenders in a prison where they can watch television, learn the law, tie up the courts, or have conjugal visits with women they didn't know prior to incarceration. If I had a dog that continued to bite people I would put it to sleep not put it in an air conditioned cage and serve it three meals a day. Everything is done by choice, and the innocent should not have to suffer repeatedly by people who choose to live outside the limits of civilization.
The borders should be open so that the people who are willing to pick fruit, do your laundry, or get an education can easily come, do those jobs, return to their friends and families and enjoy the fruit of their labor. Hopefully, this will prevent contrived marriages, dangerous illegal container shipments of people, and the separation of families, and enable small farmers, cafe owners, to get the help they need, and people of all walks of life to interact on a positive level without fear.
Teachers should be required to go to comedy school, so that they can at least pretend to maintain a sense of humor. High school graduates should receive an "all american road trip" via Amtrack. As they travel around they can help Habitat for Humanity to create live able space for those in need, and meet their neighbors. This will enable them to see the countryside, learn skills they will need to maintain their own homes, and get to know people on a personal level. When they graduate from college they should receive the same opportunity to help the world. Hopefully this would teach people that there are lot's of wonderful places in the world and that people are basically the same everywhere.
Opinions, the internet, health, (including vision and dental), and education should be free for all who wish to participate. It can only make us stronger as a country and people.
My father died of cancer when I was 2 1/2, my brother was 3 months old, mom, 24. It was a surprise, no notice, and over within 2 weeks. You move on. Sometimes, with the help of well meaning people, who think they know what's best for you, but have no time or patience of their own. That is how my poor Uncle Aubry became my mentor and my Pop in the fall of 1961. The girls, Mom and her sister Vonalee, thought that I needed a father figure that fall. I had been devastated at leaving my asphalt jungle with the monkey bars that I hung from for hours while I watched and waited. I hated the heat, the dust and the fact their was no asphalt anywhere. I stood at the end of our sidewalk looking out at the dust, tears leaving tracks on my dirty face wailing, "No, not here," for hours. It was decided that Aunt Vona's husband, Aubry, should watch me. After all Mom and Aunt Vona were both watching 2 & 3 year olds, and Pop's time had been freed to "just the farming" because school had started and the rest of the "cousins" were all old enough to attend. According to Aunt Vona there was no reason Pop couldn't step up to the plate and entertain me. He started by leading me down the hill towards the barn with the cautionary advice, "It'd be best if you step where I step Missy." Missy, because he hated the name my mother had given me declaring that it was pretentious, and much too long for such a little girl. So it was that I became his "Missy" and he became my "Pop" as I trailed him down the hill, over the 4" X 6" plank that spanned the irrigation ditch, and across the cow pie covered field. Having much shorter legs it wasn't long before I had stepped ankle deep in a fresh pile of steaming cow dung. "Oh no, nasty Poppa," I cried as the cow poop slid over my shoe soaking my pretty white anklets. Pop picked me up and dug my shoe out of the quick sand like muck, rinsing it in the ditch. and laughing as he answered, "Hush now Missy, that's not nasty that's manure. That's money you smell." I knew money was a good thing because my mother was constantly lamenting her lack of it, and, as my tears dried, I took into account this new bit of information. I followed Pop step for step occasionally running into a bit more "money", and it was without a worry in my mind that I proudly entered Aunt Vona's pristine kitchen for lunch. Mouth salivating, ready for the huge bowl of steaming country gravy and fresh biscuits already on the table, I looked up to see her eyes turning into the back of her head like a horse tied to a fence during a lightning storm as she hissed, "Get those nasty shoes out of my clean kitchen Elisia!" Startled I replied, "That's not nasty; that's manure. That's money," confident in my innocence. Her wild eyes turned focusing on my now emerging Pop as she tried to catch her breath, "Aubry did you teach that little girl such a word?" as she grabbed the broom and chased him out the door, and Pop ran laughing down the hill exclaiming, "What'd you want me to tell her it was, Honey?' The next day dawned the same with the ladies declaring that they had their hands full, and he would just have to keep an eye on me again. Poor Pop, like he didn't have enough to do milking 200 head twice a day of prime cattle. Jersey, Guernsey, and Holstein mixed together to create the finest milk Mayflower could buy, the richest ice cream Aunt Vona could make and the best butter Grandma could churn. Pop, was of Dutch descent. stoic most of the time, hard working, but with a clear direction of where the butt end of his jokes were intended to land. That day when we were alone he leaned in and lowered his voice, "Missy, next time some one asks your name I want you to say 'Poontang, ask me again and I'll tell you the same'." I listened intently and caught the fun of the quirky rhyme as we echoed back and forth across the barn like a cheer at a football game, "Hey, what's your name" "Poontang ask me again and I'll tell you the same!" Eagerly I ran to the kitchen door pulling off my shoes as I pulled open the door. Greeted the smell of a farmer's lunch as I cried, "Aunt Vona, Aunt Vona, ask me my name." "Good Lord Honey, I know you're name." "But you have to ask me Aunt Vona! You have to ask me my name!" "Ok. What's your name?" she asked. "Poontang! Ask me again I'll tell you the same!" I proudly yelled back, big grin on my face, I watched her eyes turn in her head, as she reached for the broom all the while chasing Pop's laugh out the door, and down the hill.