Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Morning Brain Brunch

Those of you who know me personally are well aware that I have no life to speak of. Most of my days are spent alone, talking to myself, and eating. Sometimes, I have to just take a reality check to make sure I haven’t veered off the Sanity Highway and onto the unpaved, dusty, backwoods road into the village of Bizarro Land. This is one of those times.

Whenever I begin to write one of these posts, one of the questions that inevitably come up in my head is, Julia, just how much of the crazy in you do you want to show these good folks? Trust me, only about 1.6% of the thoughts that whiz through my head on any given day are possible fodder for this blog. The other 98.4% are fed a quick box-lunch of pondering and are placed on the afternoon brain train out of town, unable to do me any additional harm. So today, I thought I’d share some of the more ‘acceptable’ stuff with you in what I hope will be short, concise, and lucid paragraphs. Here, let’s try one out and see how it goes.

If a person’s past is always more alive to them than their present, something is terribly wrong.

I always worry about people like this, and we all know someone who lives this way. Perhaps you might be one of them. I know that I used to be. In fact, one of the blessings of my transgendered journey has been that I’ve been forced to come face-to-face with many of the Great Truths and Lies of my life up till then. Coming out as transgendered demands that, at some point, you will have a huge mental garage sale, where you keep what is truly important, and get rid of the junk that’s been cluttering up your mental house for years.  

If you are someone who finds that comfort in reliving past conquests, achievements, loves, and triumphs more comforting to you than where you are at this very moment, you need to ask yourself just why that is. If you are lucky enough, you will realize that it’s probably because you are more attached to the ‘was’ than the ‘is’. And by missing the NOW, you will only perpetuate the feelings of frustration and un-fulfillment that gnaw at you constantly. All you have is this moment. And in the time it took to read that sentence, the moment became your past. Those moments add up, speed by, and become your history. Don’t waste them, because there are no do-overs.

Hey, that wasn’t so difficult! Okay, let’s try another one.

The essence of hate is the deeply profound belief that a person’s core beliefs are the correct ones and that everyone else must be wrong.

This is, unfortunately, most apparent when it is cloaked in the guise of extreme religious beliefs. Overseas, we are all well versed in the hatred of radical Islam toward anyone who does not share their beliefs. Over here, we have Fred Phelps
and his Westboro Baptist Church thugs, who believe that homosexuality is the cause of every misfortune and evil in our country. They picket everywhere, including the funerals of servicemen killed in the line of duty and the funeral of Matthew Shepard, the young man who was beaten to death for the crime of being gay. You might be familiar with Phelps’ battle cry, “God Hates Fags” which seems to show up at every demonstration on a picket sign. Just how Phelps knows that God hates Fags is a mystery to me, since my understanding of the Christian view of God is that he is all loving, which automatically precludes him from hating anyone.

By the way, there is no mention of how either Freddie (or God) feels about transgendered folk in their literature. Perhaps if Fred allowed himself to have thoughts along those lines, the stress would be too much for him and would actually cause his head to explode. Who knows? Who cares?        

My point is that hate is not something God does; at least not the God I learned about as a kid. If we are to be more god-like, then we need to be more loving. No one is asking Fred Phelps to put aside his personal feelings about LGBT folk (although I suspect the ‘reverend’ doth protest a tad too much), but if you make your living selling God as an all-knowing, all loving entity, then you, as a mere mortal, need to stop speaking for Him and even more, stop thinking you know more than He does. You don’t.

Wow, that actually made sense too! I think I’m on a sanity roll here. Let’s try one more.

Maybe it’s time we stop pontificating about what the founding fathers were like as people, and just try to live by the principles they laid out for us.

It is awfully difficult, these days, to look at the goings on in Washington, and the beauty pageant of inanity that is the selection process for choosing the highest qualified Republican candidate for the Presidency, without pausing and wondering how many of the founders would be suffering aneurysms at the sight and state of our Republic. When you look around and see what passes for statesmen and women, you have to ask yourself, how did we survive two hundred and thirty-five years of this? How did we, as a people triumph over all the political and economic ills and all of the wars that have beset us? I have some thoughts on that.

Epic stories, like ours, tend to take on mythological elements as time goes on. We all know the dichotomous reality of Jefferson’s slave ownership at the very time he was writing the Declaration of Independence, but it’s just a lot easier, it seems, for us to digest when we elevate him to icon status.

Ben Franklin was all of the things we remember him for; inventor, diplomat, etc. But he was also a womanizing lecher, it seems with a sexual appetite that strayed from the norms.

If I had to guess, I would have to probably say that politicians back then were no different than today’s crop. The only difference is that there was no media back then to capture every single dopey thing they said or did. So it just seems that we are doomed, when the truth of the matter is that the idea and ideal of America, lives in the hearts of its citizens, not in its government. Politicians will come and go (preferably the latter), some will be good for America and some will not. But they are not America; WE are. And we will live as long as good people continue to do something, even when our government doesn’t or won’t.

Go and read Emma Lazarus’ The New Colossus. That’s where you’ll find America. Not in pandering, or walls through states that keep people out. Not in lobbyists who buy influence. Not in the banks who rob us or the arrogance of pompous industrialists. America is an intangible idea that power brokers ignore because they are so convinced that their power makes them unstoppable. But we are bigger than they, because we believe in a place that imperfect men created.

Okay, so maybe I ain’t so crazy as I thought I was. Some of this stuff actually makes sense. Well now, I feel much better.

Next time I open up my mind vault, I really have to take issue with the State of New Jersey for raising the tolls on the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway . Perhaps now would be the time for me to re-submit my suggestion for using ghosts as toll collectors. What do you think, hmmm?

That's it. I'm done bitching. Everybody hug, everybody eat! Abbondanza!

1 comment:

  1. I wish I could capture the thoughts and feelings that went through me as I read this. Of course, I'm yelling, YES at many points.

    btw, Ben had an "illegitimate" son whom he completely recognized. He also didn't force himself on women. He and they enjoyed their passions. I really like that about him. Our DaVinci. You know I'm Philly Girl, so I'm all about the Ben Man.

    Once again, thank you for this writing. You help me to be transformed!