Life, Mental and Emotional Health, Poetry

Born to a Better Sun

(About a 1 minute read)

Sometimes you phone
On the days you are cartwheeling
Into a black sun.

Then I listen to your voice,
Your voice so soft,
Your voice so gentle
That I can imagine it must have glided
Across a newborn’s skin
On it’s way to me.

I never hear in your voice the solar flares.
I never hear in your voice the flares,
That are ripping through your mind,
That are tearing it apart.

Once long ago you were whole.
Do you remember now
The years when you were whole?

Once long ago your teachers
Had no other word for you,
No other word than “brilliant”.

We all had no other word for you
Than “brilliant”.

You we thought were a traveler
Born to lands we’d never known.
You we thought were an explorer
Born to reach a distant shore.

You we thought had eyes
That would look inside the stars.
You we thought had eyes
That would see the nature of time.

You we thought were destined,
Destined for a better sun

Back in the years before,
The years before your began your fall

Into the fires of a black sun,
The fires that killed
Something inside us all.

Adolescence, Adolescent Sexuality, Attachment, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Coffee Shop Folks, Coffee Shop Stories, Family, Fatherless Children, Fatherless Daughters, Fatherless Girls, Friends, Human Nature, Jackie, Jerks, Judgementalism, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Mental and Emotional Health, Obsession, People, Quality of Life, Relationships, Sarah, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Self-determination, Self-Knowledge, Sex, Sexuality, Society

All the Young Women

SUMMARY: I take a look at the women I met some years ago in Colorado Springs, and then draw a few conclusions about the challenges they faced at that time in their lives.

(About a 8 minute read)

People are often more predictable than life itself.  I can often predict, with surprising accuracy, what a long-term friend will do in almost any situation, but my life has taught me that it can be considerably more difficult to predict where I will be in a year or two.

I certainly did not expect when I came to Colorado that I would soon know — at least casually — about 200 young men and women twenty years younger than me, nor that about two dozen of them would befriend me.

Yet that’s what happened — largely as a direct consequence of my choosing to frequent a coffee shop that both served the cheapest cup in town and was the hang out of hundreds of local high school students.  Since it was also the oldest and most established coffee shop in town, it was also the hang out of everyone else — from the mayor and some city council members to several homeless people.

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Advice, Education, Health, Learning, Life, Living, Mental and Emotional Health, Teacher, Teaching

One Good Reason to Help People

SUMMARY: Psychologists treating their patients might be curing themselves by doing so.  This seems related to the often remarked upon fact that teachers learn subjects they teach especially well compared to subjects they don’t teach.

(About a 2 minute read)

Sometime in my sophomore or junior year at university some 40 years ago, I began to notice something.  All the psychology students — at least the ones who planned to go into clinical practice — were a bit messed up, a bit more dysfunctional than seemed the average student.

At first I was suspicious that I might be misjudging them, but when I spoke with others about it, they usually agreed with me.  Then one day, I was talking with a psyche student and she brought it up on her own.  It was a common joke among psyche students, she said, that they were more messed up than the people they would treat upon graduation.

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Abuse, Cultural Traits, Culture, Equality, Equality of Opportunity, Fairness, Freedom and Liberty, Honesty, Mental and Emotional Health, Morality, News and Current Events, Oppression, Quality of Life, Racism, Society, Values

The Two Kinds of Racism

(About a 5 minute read)

Some years ago, I had a contract to supervise and manage for a corporation its small call center of about a dozen people.  One day, my client informed me that a vice-president of the corporation had come to her more or less demanding that a young friend of hers be given a job as one of the callers.  Consequently, I was forced to bring the young woman on board without going through the normal hiring practice.

I forget her name now, but she was about 20 years old and black.  The day following her first day on the job, all three of my other black employees approached me — one by one — to privately warn me about her.

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Abuse, Complaining, Emotions, Human Nature, Humor, Irony, Life, Living, Mental and Emotional Health, Satire, Self-Pity, Spirituality, Whining

What is the Best Way to Whine About Life?

(About a 4 minute read)

“Never explain, never complain.” — Benjamin Disraeli

I have long been an enemy of the cheerful notion that “Life is Only What We Make It to Be”.  I much prefer, as I like to put it, “to see both the spider and the fly, to accept both the flower and the thorns of life”.

The notion that we should or must focus on the silver linings, or be unreasonably optimistic about both the present and the future, is simply alien to my spirit.

But please don’t get me wrong!  I am not advocating unreasonable pessimism any more than I am advocating unreasonable optimism.  When no reason for either pessimism or optimism exists, I advocate neutrality.  And I have the experience to say with certainty that, even in the darkest hours, we do not know that tomorrow will be dark.  I have known both totally unexpected bad fortune, and totally unexpected good fortune, too.

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Bad Ideas, Censorship, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Family, Human Nature, Internet, Love, Lovers, Loyalty, Masturbation, Mental and Emotional Health, Morality, Obsession, Political Issues, Politics, Pornography, Relationships, Sexuality, Sexualization, Values

Men, Women, and Internet Porn

(About a 4 minute read)

I am old enough to have known a time — long before the internet — when porn was something you could get hold of only by being man enough to face a real human in order to lay your sweaty hands on it.  A store clerk, or at least now and then, a postal carrier.

Well, I concede you didn’t really have to be fully a man to get it.  In an earlier post on this blog, “How to Get Away with Buying a Playboy, Circa 1970“,  I confessed to how I would buy porn long before I  — much to my mother’s surprise — actually turned into a man.

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Alienation From Self, Angst, Anhedonism, Anxiety, Attached Love, Attachment, Buddhism, Delusion, Depression, Emotional Dependency, Emotions, Fear, Fun, Gluttony, Greed, Happiness, Human Nature, Life, Love, Lovers, Marriage, New Love, Quality of Life, Romantic Love, Self, Self-Knowledge, Sex, Wisdom

Pleasure is Like a Fire: It Warms You or it Burns

(About a 6 minute read)

I will be among the last people on earth to become an ascetic.   The idea of rejecting pleasure — all pleasure — for any reason gut-punches me.  It’s alien, it’s unnecessary, it’s outrageous.

Or at least that’s what my instincts tell me.  Whatever the reason, I simply wasn’t born to be an ascetic.  Not my path at all.  Someone else may “get” asceticism, benefit from it, but not me.

So it might seem curious to some of you that I have gone a full two years in my life without even once laughing out loud.  Not once in two years.

Continue reading “Pleasure is Like a Fire: It Warms You or it Burns”