What Happened To The Word Thank You?

Our world is going to hell in a hand basket. As I write these words I wonder where they come from: hell in a hand basket. Maybe it’s because as we go down this slippery slope of not caring about each other we wrap it up in pretty paper and pretty words and add pretty flowers that smell oh so sweet! and it hides the rotten smell of what is inside.

It’s everywhere. People you think should love you, and they say they do, but delight in negative gossip because it makes them feel better about themselves because their life never amounted to a hill of beans. Maybe this is why so many older people are so bitter because they think they reached the point they are too old to do begin anything new. 

I’ve talked to quite a few people and asked them about their families – trying to find a family that isn’t dysfunctional. But I found there aren’t any. Whenever you get beyond a small family, where there are sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, etc., the nitpicking, and jealousy comes out. Family thinks they have the right to judge you and the right to gossip so much more than your friends do. Maybe we are more careful with our friends because they can leave us in a heartbeat, but we expect our family to try to understand us and love us because we are tied by blood. We think they are “supposed” to love us and then we’re hurt because they don’t. So we wait, thinking someday they’ll see the light, but they never do. Our bad, thinking that will happen.

I’m not very good at superficial relationships where the conversation never gets any deeper than the weather. In a large gathering of people the main topic of conversation revolves around each others jobs while we politely listen to each other is rapt attention. We don’t know each other. We rarely talk to each other holidays and getting together to actually get to know each other doesn’t happen because there is no time. But we say, “Of course, I’ll call you and we’ll get together real soon,” but it never ever happens.

And I’m expected to keep trying. They’re family!

The man Jamie I write about at My Name is Jamie. My Life in Prison also has a large family. He’s been locked up since he was 16. He’s 33 now. His own mother never answers his letters because it hurts HER too much because he’s in there. The rest of his family can’t even put a stamp on a birthday card. His hurt has been devastating. Then it made him numb. But I’d bet they’d all say they love him. Love him why? How do they show it?

Is there anyone out there that has a large family where everyone loves each other? How do they show it because I’m confused. I’d sure like to meet one, where there isn’t someone who gets talked about and lied about, behind their back and forth from one cell phone to another. Do you have family members who insist they are nice people, but they just can’t be nice to you,’right now’. Don’t pressure them and maybe they’ll be nice to you later, in a few years, if they think about it. Do you have family members who treat you with indifference and then say it’s your fault, because you had the audacity to actually expect them to do something they said they would do, but just can’t get around to it, and you had the nerve to ask them why? Do you have family that have lost the ability to say, “Thank you,” when you have done something special for them, a gift from your heart to theirs and you wait to perhaps hear what they thought about it, and they don’t even acknowledge you gave it to them? I’ll give it to you instead

Anyone who has read this blog knows I record improvised piano music. Except for my mother, no one has ever taken the time to listen to it. I’m 61 years old. No other family member has ever heard me play in my entire adult life. I’m assuming my sisters heard me practice as a kid. If you go to the Sound Cloud and scroll down a few pieces you’ll see “Graduation Day”. That was my gift. Something else . . . If you think I’m wrong or if you think I’m overreacting, let me know, because I am at a loss. This has made me very unhappy and out of a sense of self preservation all I can of is to just cut them out of my life like a hanging toe nail I keep banging on the end of my bed.

This Lifetime Will Never Come Again

sgi-usa

This lifetime will never come again; it is precious and irreplaceable.  To live without regret, it is crucial for us to have a concrete purpose and continually set goals and challenges for ourselves.  It is equally important that we keep moving forward toward specific targets steadily and tenaciously, one step at a time.

Daisaku Ikeda   SGI International    http://sgi-usa.org      my mentor

Nichiren Buddhist lay organization

Daisaku Ikeda, sgi-usa, daily guidance, Nichiren buddhism
Photo credit: sgipanama.com

Dear Past, Dear Future

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This sounds good. It would be nice if we learned lessons from our past. This is one of those wishful thinking posts that sounds good but I don’t think we have learned anything at all from our past or the United States wouldn’t be in such deep shit. If there is anyone out there who has learned anything, please raise your hand so we know who you are. Granted, there are people who understand the direction this country is headed, but I promise you they aren’t saying, “Dear future, I’m ready.” They are depressed. We try to remain hopeful that somehow we will get through even one more year without imploding.

There are too many ignorant, brain-dead people that continue to push us toward self-destruction even as they watch us sink faster and faster. People vote against their own best interest. They want us to be a Christian nation. I’ll tell you this much; if America is an example of a Christian nation, and the behavior of its people is an example of the way Christians show respect to human beings, then I am really glad that I am not one. It’s depressing to watch.

The sign above should say, “Thank you for all the lessons. Maybe this year we can work on understanding one or two lessons this year, so in the future we won’t be so ignorant and self centered and learn to help people. Maybe then we’ll have a future we can be proud of. Right now it’s hard to have much hope.

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It Takes a Certain Kind to be Unkind

. . . . .So many times I have opened my mouth when I should have kept it shut, even though it felt so good at the moment I said it. It is taking a life time of learning this. I wonder if I’ll learn it before I die!

It's In The Tale

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It had been a beautiful day. A great picnic, at an incredibly scenic place. Lush greens, woods of oak and other trees I don’t know of, a lake, a hundred-year-old hacienda, a cottage with roses growing all around. Marvellous people, an extravagant potluck lunch, bonhomie…and then it was time to wrap up on this high note of pleasure. But nothing perfect lasts forever – forever? This didn’t even last through a picnic!

As I gathered my things: crockery, cutlery etc and put them back into my bags, one of the bags – the bigger one – toppled over knocking another smaller one off the bench on which some of us had placed our stuff. I was engrossed in what I was doing, getting out my medicines which I had to take at that hour, and I didn’t register the sound of anything falling off. In my favour, I could add…

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Tears For All The Years That Passed

im crying, sonni quick. karma, liver transplant
photo source: crazy4images.com

I’m crying
Why can’t the world hear my crying?
Tears for all the years that passed
seeing dreams that never last.
beyond the time you can see
and when you open up your eyes
the dream has passed
It’s now too late
to dream that dream again
my heart is torn it can not mend.
My dreams are dying
and I’m crying
for all I have that’s left is pain
I lost it all with none to gain
I look in the mirror, I see myself
hoping to see where the years have gone
I made the cause, I was so young
Sharp turns to the left
that way was wrong.
tears fall, say please
as they stream down your face.
a longing look at the piano keys
I wrap my arms around my knees,
Crying tears of loss
Crying tears of pain
No one takes a step across
No one ever takes the time
No one ever looks to find
No one feels the pain inside
And no one cares about the tears I cried.

This poem was written in 2012 around the time of my liver transplant when no one took the time to hear me. I didn’t want to die, and I didn’t want to fully realize I  was walking a very fine line. I still had things to. I wasn’t yet done living. I had been in a state of denial for many years. I still am. I was determined to live – to learn everything my body needed to live. I succeeded for a long time until the year I turned 54. It all came crashing down like a delicate house of cards made from one card too many.

I found the poem today when I was cleaning my desk, looking for one last book of blank checks. Some wounds are deep and they are almost impossible to heal.  They go round and round in your head until you want to scream to drown out the noise. That is when I often choose to write. All through my life I have put my words on paper or music. I have also written many journals through multiple decades. I think it was a way to not lose myself; to not disappear- a need to keep me solid to prove I was here. A hundred years from now my descendants can still know who I was today.

I had know for years that the number 54 was going to mean something to me.  I know this is going to sound strange, but I thought of it again when I recently wrote to someone who said she was 54.  I was born in 1954.  My father died when he was 54.  He died from liver failure from alcohol.  His body swelled with fluid until he looked 9 months pregnant.  His father died, too, when he was 54.  His body filled with fluid and it went over his heart and he drowned.

When I was 54 my body swelled with fluid and I had my first attack of ascites.  I was in end stage liver disease and my body was shutting down. The week before I felt fine, but my legs were swelling and I was getting very think around the middle.  The women who ran my doctor’s front office wouldn’t let me make an appointment with him because I had just been in, but after getting very angry they scheduled me with a part time doctor in the office who told me I was constipated and go do an enema.  It got worse. I crashed my doctors office and demanded to see him. His jaw dropped.  After he got done yelling at his office staff he gave me meds to take the water out.  It worked but he told me later he was scared for me.  Next thing to do? Pack up, leave key West and go get on the liver transplant list.

At the age of 54 I should have died.  Without the advance of medicine I would have been gone.  Many times, on this blog I have talked about karma – cause and effect.  We carry karma with us.  It is passed down through the generations.  From the time I was in my 20’s I always thought that any year I lived after 54 would be a gift. I don’t even know why I thought that.  My father was still alive.  I just knew.  The doctors at the hospital worked hard to keep me alive as long as they could, because I also had to battle liver cancer. Finally, 2 years past the age of 54 a liver came available that matched what I needed.  Not all livers work for all people and more people die waiting for a liver for that reason. The doctors said I came as close as possible to death without dying.  That is an eye opener.

But still, even now, I have to push through the damage it had done, and every day I tell myself I can do it.  I can dream.  I can still do things.  I can start new chapters in my life.  I’m off and running. I still have a few sharp turns to the left in me.  I beat the karma.  I’m 61 now and next July 2nd I will have my fourth birthday.  Date of transplant.  I’m a kid again. It will take a lot more than this to keep me down!

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What Does The Bible Say About This?

I have some questions I wish someone would answer.  I’m trying to decide if I want to go to heaven.
heaven
What would life be without challenges? Are there any challenges in heaven or are we done with all that? It is easy to say, if we got everything we wanted in life it would be very boring. If we didn’t have to work to improve our life or our talents, it would be no fun.  If it all came easy, there would be no feeling of accomplishment. That is how I view heaven and why I would never want to go there when I try to imagine what I have heard about the place.

bearI relate life to the song, “The Bear Went Over the Mountain” and what do you think he saw?  He saw another mountain. If there were no more mountains to climb there would be no more lessons to learn, and you might as well park it in front of your TV and let someone else’s life and let their problems entertain you until you are tired enough to go to sleep.  BORING.

I think heaven would be very boring without challenges to overcome and things to learn. Is there any mention in the Bible of being able to go to school in heaven, or do we automatically know everything about everything and everyone there all knows the same stuff, too?  No one is smarter than anyone else?  No one has a different talent?  Can everyone play the piano?  If there isn’t a piano there I don’t want to go.  Or do we all just sit around in the grass and feeling happy?  I get a lot of enjoyment from learning new things and if I can’t do that in heaven I’d be pretty upset – and bored.  Do we just sit around adoring God and feeding his over large ego who says – “There shall be no Gods before me or I’ll through a plague or something at you.”  Sounds pretty insecure to me.

This is part of my problem with Christianity.  I’d have an easier time accepting it except for the human feelings and emotions of love and hate that are given to him. He also sounds extremely selfish and definitely only loving when he feels like it. “You didn’t worship me enough today.  I didn’t see you at my feet.  Where were you?”

We are supposed to be able to see God in heaven right?  There are a lot of people up there.  It should be crowded, except for all of these really good people who helped people and cared for the sick and loved the animals, but they were atheists and Buddhists and Christian scientists (they are a little weird) and yes, Muslims and wiccans and pagans and they all had to go to hell.  There are a whole bunch more of all these people than there are Christians because Christianity is not the number one religion in the world and yet they can’t go to heaven.  But a really bad person can repent at the end and he gets to go!  Maybe he doesn’t get all the same perks as someone who was a believer their whole life.  What does the Bible say about that?

Since there are many many planets and we aren’t even at the center of everything, and there are also many solar systems we know nothing about, and we amount to a piece of dust,  the chance of other types of life are probably out there.  So how come God has human “feelings”?  Or is he a different god to other species?  I think people have attached these human qualities out of a need to be protected and loved.  I practice Nichiren Buddhism as many of you already know.  We DO BELIEVE there is power in the universe.  It’s as real as the tides and the cycle of life – birth, aging, sickness and death that all life goes through.  We just don’t give it emotions.  We don’t need to have it love us.  To me that seems silly.  I read a bunch of posters on facebook that has God saying this and that and feeling this and that and you know darn well he never said any of it.  It is a human being projecting their own feelings on what they think God would have said.  Now, I may be pissing off a few people, but I have to deal with so much stuff on Christianity printed online so you can deal with this from me.  If you continue reading you just might learn something useful.

Tell me about these mansions we are to live in – are they self cleaning? Do we just go outside mansion in heavenand play? What good is having a mansion if we don’t cook in it, because we can’t eat because then we have to poop and then we would need plumbing and plumbers to keep them fixed. I doubt we need to sleep so what do we do all night?  Or is there even night and day?  What the hell do we do all day?  I need answers!

Are there any new books being written? I love to read.  I just have so many questions about what we do for eternity because it really is a long time. And after all the people we knew and were close to have died, and they have gone to either heaven or hell, then there would be no new people to greet. No new babies to cuddle or birthday cakes to make. No new friends – unless we make friends of other people up there? Any mention of these things in the Bible?

Please – someone tell me – what do we do for eternity in heaven where the skies are always blue and the birds always sing and harps never need to be tuned or repaired? I hear a lot from Christians about going to heaven when they die but I have never heard one person tell me what happens after we get there! If you have the answer, tell me. If no one knows, I have no intention on going. I think I will instead reincarnate into another life so I can continue on my growth. I’d rather use the wisdom I am gaining and move to a higher stage of development so I can help other people overcome the problems in their life.  I want to be able to use what I am learning for a better purpose.

Our life is one big cause and effect. 100%. We can’t pick and choose what we want and have it magically be there. We have to work for it. I think everyone can agree on that. It has to happen because we made a cause for it. We have to make a plan and fight through all the setbacks until we accomplish it. We have to be responsible for the effect of our causes. We can’t chose to not be affected by our causes just like we can’t choose when we want to be affected by gravity. Gravity doesn’t work only part of the time. If we jump off a building we are going to smack the ground. That is cause and effect.

life is an echo, you reap what you sowIn the Bible it teaches  “You reap what you sow”. What does that mean to you? How much time have you given to thinking about that? Do you apply it to everything you do?  Do you think before you act? It’s the same thing as the law of cause and effect.  Buddhist or Christian it is the exact same thing.  So either you are responsible or you aren’t. If you come back and say God gives you free will then doesn’t that blow his plan to pieces? Or does he keep readjusting the plan depending on the causes you make. That is confusing. Either he has a plan or he doesn’t. You don’t reap what you sow part of the time – you reap it all of the time. It is the basis for all you do because you have to live with the effects.  We get back what we dish out. What goes around come around. We all have karma, made by what you think, say and do. Hundreds of years ago they took any mention of the word karma out of the bible. Why? In order to control the people who could neither read nor right.  They had to be afraid of going to hell. If they knew they didn’t have to fear the wrath of God they would have less control. I’m not making this up. This is history.
why do you believe what you believe.

Have you ever really asked yourself why you believe what you do? Seriously? I have. When I was young – up until age 18 I believed what I was taught to believe. Everyone around me believed the same thing. A lot of them even went to the same church I did. There was also Monday evening catechism class, Girl Scouts on Tuesday, Wednesday afternoon bible school and Thursday evening choir practice, Sunday school and Church. We were in the church a lot. That was in addition to my parents activities and pot lucks and Luther league. Church was a big part of our life and I had a good time. I had my Sunday clothes and shoes and after church we always had a big Sunday dinner where everyone sat around the table. We had all of our dinners together. Aside from the religion itself, I came from a time when families acted like a family. We were taught table manners and never talked back to our elders. We never even THOUGHT about talking back to our elders. Showing respect was a big thing. Once that was lost it is easy to see the effect on families today.

But back to religion – it was all for show.  It had nothing to do with what was taught during the sermons.  Everyone believed in God because it was what you were taught.  You never learned anything else. That DOES NOT make it valid. When you question what you’re taught and start to think for yourself, you finally say, this doesn’t make sense.  You realize it is only something passed doesn’t through the ages, like gossip, changing here and there depending on the capacity of the people’s understanding at the time.

angry godSome people are afraid to not believe just in case God gets angry and causes bad things to happen. Some people believe because they want a place like heaven to exist because the are either afraid of dying or because they don’t want to exist.  Some people believe because they are afraid of what people will say.  Some people believe because it’s easier and they don’t want to have to learn anything else.  And . . . I can’t leave these people out . . . some people believe because they really do and they try hard to live by what they are taught.  I understand and respect that choice. There are many good things taught in the bible. You will find many of the same things in the Sutras – the teachings of Shakamuni Buddha.

What I have little respect for are the Christians who say they are Christian but it doesn’t effect their behavior. They say they believe in God but it doesn’t change anything. They think believing is all they need to do. Ask for forgiveness and keep on doing the same thing.

I’ve gone on a bit of a rant. But I’m serious about wanting to know what it is you believe happens in heaven because I seriously have no clue.  So if you can tell me I’d appreciate it.  Then again, if no one can answer my questions or give me anything more than what you think is up there and can’t back it up then I’ll just considerate it hearsay and whole lot of wishful thinking.

As a Buddhist I believe heaven and hell is life condition we live – not some place we go when we die. http://sgi-usa.org

Good Wouldn’t Exist Without Bad

Alonza Thomas

Alonza Thomas

It was a stormy winter night on the streets of New Orleans

A fortune teller told me that she could see me in her dreams

She said, there’s a part of me that evil overtook

Plus the devil has my heart, and my name is in his book.

I cried, i cried.

I’m a mixed drink, combined with good and bad.

The image I’ve portrayed became my truth, I chose my path.

I look myself in the mirror and i wish that I would die. Then I heard the Lord whisper, he said, believe that your mine. Believe that your mine!

My mind beats my heart, my emotions are second nature.

The result of realizing my mind was never basic.

My heart tells lies. My heart is self destructive.

I do right for the good, and well being of the structure.

Trust is not the issue, really it never was.

I don’t trust my heart, I treat it like a loaded gun.

I rarely trust my eyes I cover them with suspicion.

And even when I’m broke, i promise to pay attention.

Karma is a bitch, who I’m trying to fuck bareback.

California bear that’s wicked as a black cat.

My aim is at the level of all these Devils ball cap.

If you loyal then you family, if not watch me fall back.