Well, my muse - such as she is - is still refusing to speak to me. Whether she is still in the cave or off vacationing somewhere with beaches, pretty flowers and no snow is another question and one I can't answer. I just know she isn't speaking to me. Once again even thought there was a great prompt for One Single Impression (forks in the road), my brain remains blank. Not even a five little poetic syllables can I squeeze out, none-the-less 17 beyond that. And you know I hate posting just one poem in any case... or one of anything. But I don't want to go back to not posting because I think that's bad for me, so I'm going to take this opportunity to grumble about a few things. ("Oh joy!" my generous readers mutter to themselves. Isn't it bad enough when she's cheerful?")
So here are a few things that are irritating me.
Irritation #1: Endless winter. I have to concede, though, that we have had a couple of warmish days and that there are actually large patches of green showing. Carletta posted pictures of forsythia this morning so hopefully Spring is making its way north. Not fast enough for me, though. My spirit needs something soon. I've barely picked up my camera lately. I probably should. There are no doubt subtle changes to catch if I wasn't sulking because there's been no high drama and flowers.
2. Irritation #2: Republicans... and the news media... Well, my first complaint in this category is could the media (and of course I COULD turn my TV off and stop listening to them 24/7... what a concept) stop the non-stop assessing of whether the economy has improved. It will take time. The endless second-guessing every 20 seconds is just crazy making for everyone. I think it has a negative influence on people's psyches and that has a negative influence on the market.
Then, there's the whole Rush Limbaugh thing. Why do we listen to people like him? Why are we giving mean-spirited creeps like Limbaugh and the creepy blond (what's her name?) who spew nothing but hate and hooey so much air time? Why aren't more Republicans (and of course here I am falling right into the trap and quoting the aforementioned creep myself) expressing outrage that someone has wished failure on the leader of our nation when we are in a state of crisis (or at any time). I thought patriotism involved wishing success on the nation no matter who is leading it... Oh and then I guess attention for being crude and offensive must have been waning because he went on to announce that Ted Kennedy would be dead by the time we have changed health care. Mr. Limbaugh is just a walking obscenity. Crude and ugly words are all he ever speaks. I don't know why anyone listens to him or why those who know better help him to spread his hatefulness. I wish we would stop.
And then there's the whole "fear of socialism" crap. Give me a break. And the continuing delusion that cutting taxes for the rich will fix everything. It's worked really well so far, hasn't it (she muttered with bitter sarcasm). Obama has been in office for 7 weeks. We've seen and heard more from him than any president in recent history. He's confronting more - and more difficult problems - than any president in recent history and he's communicating with us... and still there are people out there acting like he's failing because in 7 weeks, with an incomplete staff, he hasn't undone the damage of the past administration. Agggghhhhh! I think he's doing a pretty good job so far and I also think he's one person trying to accomplish miracles.
Irritation #3: Greedy people. Well, of course first there are the people on Wall Street (or the ones we hear the most about... I'm sure there are decent people on Wall Street too) who helped put the nation in the mess it's in and have no shame or compunction taking salaries and bonuses that could rescue a host of other human beings. One $2.5 million bonus could provide more than 80 families with $30,000 in assistance... or 176 families with what I subsist on. And 2.5 million is (from what I've read) a modest bonus for these people who have done so much harm in order to line their own pockets.
Then there are people like Mr. Madoff... Isn't it funny how so many of these crooks have names that suit their crimes... the man who made off with so much money that belonged to others... What pisses me off about him is that he isn't negotiating from jail. Some jerk who stole a loaf of bread or $80 from a convenience store wouldn't be lounging around in his apartment while the wheels of justice ground away. Why isn't this man in JAIL!
Then there's "Me, Me, Me" view of life. I know that there are people out there who speculated on houses who are part of the big housing crisis, but there are more people who just wanted a home for themselves and their children and who genuinely didn't know they were getting in over their heads. When I was looking for a house, the bank offered me a mortgage for a house that - I know now - I could never have afforded. It was the cheapest house I had found, not a palace and it was a fixed rate (7.5% or something like that, I think). On paper, to someone who had never owned a home before, it looked like I could just barely afford it, but that I could afford it. And the bank offered me a loan. I'm old enough and watched enough old movies to think that banks only gave you loans when they knew you could pay them back. So anyway, I don't get the logic that says only my fate counts and that some guy who was stupid or unlucky should live on the street or starve to death so I can have an extra cookie or because I didn't make a mistake or was luckier than he/she was. I don't get the logic that says only my health counts and screw all the people who can't afford a doctor. Or that it will be the end of the world if I have to wait a day or an extra 20 minutes to see a doctor but it doesn't matter that there are hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people out there who can't see a doctor at all so that I don't ever have to wait. I can't tell you how sad and cranky that makes me. That to me is society shooting itself in the foot. I think we're also losing doctors to the current system but that's a conversation for another day. In our society and in the world, I personally believe that we are all interconnected, materially and spiritually. When we minister to our neighbors - at home, around the nation and around the world - so that we all share in the bounty of the Universe - we will be happier and the world will be a more peaceful place. I don't get the whole "let the poor and unfortunate fend for themselves... it's not my problem" view of life. I could rant on and on about this, but I won't.
Irritation #4: The Stem Cell Debate: I understand that there are differing opinions on when life starts and whether non-viable life is life, but... the ruling the president made this morning involves material that would otherwise be thrown away and is available by donation only. The argument that the 600,000 stem cells will all be adopted is just silly, particularly when there are live flesh-and-blood already born children (whose aliveness and viability are beyond question or debate) out there pining for parents. It sometimes seems to me - that some of the love for life stops once embryos turn into actual babies. Then you can get into the question of where does the sacredness of life end? All the millions of dollars and energy spent protecting these cells from serving a purpose could feed children here and in underdeveloped countries, it could provide health care for unprotected children... That seems so much more life-loving to me. Then what about cruelty to animals? I was a a vegetarian for a while. I eat meat again and when I give thanks for my food, I don't give thanks for the food itself as much as for the LIFE given. And if you want to take it a step further, plants give their lives too. Where does the sacredness of life begin and end? I realize that this is an issue beyond rational conversation. The debate here arises from world views that are so profoundly at variance that there is no middle in which to meet. I think great good will come of today's decision.
Irritation #5: Naughty cats: Angel Joy has a new obsession. The stove. Add that to all her other pranks and misdeeds. She is living on borrowed time. Lucky for her she's also really cute and gives good hugs in between acts of terror.
Irritation #6: Daylight Savings time: My psyche is just not cool with this time change thing. I got myself to bed at the appointed hour but something in me doesn't care a bit when morning comes. I got up an hour late this morning and felt grumbly about doing that. The life of a curmudgeon is not an easy one.
Irritation #7: Being disabled: OK. This is a really pathetic part of my rant. As disabled people go, I'm really lucky. My pain is relatively minor, though consistent and even though it's a wobbly go to walk across a room, I can still do it. I'm not in a wheel chair. I'm ambulatory after a fashion. Where I get cranky some days is that I'm not self sufficient any more. Well, I am and I'm not. I was never a good house keeper, now I just can barely do it at all. I need help for most things and that takes advantage of the good nature of my friends and/or leaves my house pretty messy most of the time. Even simple things are beyond my capacity. My inner demons scold me none-the-less. They tell me I'm just lazy. Trouble with my inner demons is that they have been with me for a long time and I'm prone to believe them even when I try to dismiss what they say. Right now the house is a mess and between that and the weather....
Ok... so that's a WHOLE LOT of whining. Had to get it out of my system. I could probably add other things but I've already gone too far so just to be true to my belief system and to be a little less negative... I need to add some positives... some gratitude.
Here are some counters to all the things I just whined about.
First... even though it's gray and gloomy and there's still snow on the ground, there's much LESS snow on the ground, the trees are starting to show bud-lets, birds are returning and it's not nearly as cold.
Republicans and the media may irritate the hell out of me, but they are a reminder that I live in a free country. The media may be biased and frivolous, but it isn't state run... yet. Republicans are incredibly irritating, but thank God, they don't have complete control of the government any more. We have a leader who has a heart for the poor, doesn't think tax breaks for the rich are the only solution to every problem and doesn't have war as his first response to every conflict. Whether President Obama will be a great success or not, I don't know, but I think he is a great man... and perhaps uniquely suited to face and hopefully conquer the dreadful challenges facing the world right now.
As for stem cells, I'm grateful that there are minds out there working on cures for some of the most dreadful diseases facing us. I'm grateful that even though our passion expresses it self differently, that there is so much passion for life out there in the world. I'm grateful that there may be cures on the way for Parkinson's Disease and nerve and brain damage. I'm grateful that the voices on my side of some of these deeply divisive arguments are getting our turn to have expression.
Naughty cats... well they are entertaining.... and they do give good hugs.
I suppose daylight savings time has it's function. I'm not sure the world and our bodies wouldn't be better off just going through the natural adjustments of nature's cycles, but... I'm grateful that I don't have to get up tired and go to work while my body and mind adjust to the time shift. Being home bound has it's virtues.
Disability. I'm grateful that I live in a society that offers SSD so that I'm not homeless. As I said, I'm grateful that even though walking is hard I can still walk. And I have wonderful, kind friends who help me out with cleaning and other things. And now... in the next few months... at no cost to myself and totally without having done anything to deserve it, I'll have a front entrance to my house that will be navigable and a bathroom that's easier to use. No more wondering if I'm going to make it in and out of the shower... it will be walk in... no more groaning as I sit and stand on the toilet. I've been thinking about those extra few inches that my new toilet will offer and what a remarkable change such a tiny thing will make in my life.
I know my current funk will pass eventually. It has been a long one and I apologize for that. I'm also grateful for those of you who visit here and read and add a word of encouragement or response. It means a lot.
Not going to re-read this. Sorry. If I did, I probably wouldn't post it and then I'd feel bad about that... so...
"Have a great day!" she grumbled.