My dad was in WWII. He was a recon man. Slept in the trenches. Participated in freeing one of the camps. Then, when it was over, he came home. I doubt he ever got post-traumatic treatment.
We were allowed to watch our cartoons on Saturday mornings, but he watched 'You were there' with Walter Cronkite after our cartoons. He watched this religiously every Saturday for years.
It wasn't until I myself lived through the '73 war in Israel. One thing that helped those soldiers, especially ones who had been captured, tortured and released, was to talk about it, be recognized and listened to. Dad didn't have that either.
Living through the war affected me more than I realized until after I came back to the US. I personally met and talked with some Israeli soldiers. I realized that living on the edge of death makes everything intense. Colors. Smells, Life itself. For some, this state is actually exciting. I don't know how they do it, in Israel. They are always in this state, especially recently.
It took my dad years to stop reliving the war. I believe that, compared to his experience in the war, civilian life, working for the government, was boring. In his second marriage, he took up drinking again.
He died before 9/11. I don't think he ever realized his full potential.
We used to spend our summers in Bradley Beach. I was 14 but I wanted to hang out with the 16 year olds. I was a hairy girl, though, and there was no way I could see myself with them unless I shaved. And no way did these girls want a hairy baby with them.
So I asked my friend how to shave.
There were showers outside our cabin. Since I didn't have an allowance, nor did I know what a depilatory was, I decided to borrow my dad's razor and shaving cream and do the deed in that outdoor shower.
Ignorance is not bliss. I had no idea what affect my shaving would have on dad's razor. He nearly cut his face off. Mother didn't shave, so it took him a while to figure out what I had done. He wasn't really an Orthodox Jew, but he still believed that you shouldn't do anything to change what G'd gave you. So, not only was he mad about his razor, but he was more mad about being disrespectful to G'd.
No matter. The result of the shaving lasted the whole summer, and by the grace of G'd I was able to join those 16 year olds and have some evening fun at the boardwalk.
Mother blamed the new 'bad' behavior of people on the pill. Condoms and French Letters were fine, but they still belonged to men. The pill, for the first time, put behavioral choices in the hands of women. What power! How liberating that was.
I don't think mother objected so much to the liberty of sexual behavior, as to the lack of consequence and the break down of accepted behaviors between men and women. In old China, if you got pregnant outside of marriage, you could be asked to jump in a well and drown. Today, in certain Middle East countries, you could be killed for ruining the purity of your family's name. In places in Europe not so long ago, as well as here in the States, you might have been sent to a home for wayward girls. The consequences of sexual relations were definitely dire and certainly a damper on acting on your urges.
The pill certainly changed that. The whole idea that you could enjoy sex and not consider yourself a bad, filthy person, was and probably still is, a revolutionary idea. The idea of touch itself is still dangerous. Oh, bless those Puritans! People need touch. Remember those abandoned babies in Ceausesu's Romania? These babies were housed in orphanages where they were not held or touched or physically loved. They died. Closer to home, we heard of a woman offended by being bumped by a kid. It was a 9 year old black kid. She made a scene and tried to call the police. OMG. Brings back images of Southern women accusing Black men of rape when it never happened and having these hapless men hanged.
The pill or not, touch and sex are still too taboo to talk about openly. Still too taboo to not condemn or vilify the physical, the body. And yet, it seems we are obsessed with the subject. Face those Pilgrims and stop burning people at the stake!
I like listening to this guy named Ralph Smart. And he is smart. He looks at things in a unique way and expresses his ideas in ways that help you see differently. Like this expression BS. BS is not just bull shit, but belief systems. And it is those that operate behind the scenes of what we see people doing.
I was raised well, I think. Right and wrong. This and that. However, when it came down to it, they never helped me deal with anger, or shame or other strong emotions. They never helped me when the time came to know what to do. That is what troubles me the most with all the demands of how to behave are raising their heads.
It's fine to admire a dad who works with young boys, adolescents, and tries to guide them in the correct way to treat women. It's fine when the priests do it, when teachers and shrinks do it. But there you are, and your feelings arise, and all that training goes out the door.
In the sixties, there were conscious raising groups and activities. The idea seemed new at the time. It may seem naive or even new agey now. However, meditation does indeed raise your consciousness. Wayne Dyer and others who are not strange or foreign promote meditation. It works! You can become the master of your mind, the master of your emotions. Not to suppress them. Not to feel guilty that you haven't lived up to any BS, any standard of what is right or wrong, but to recognize and even honor your emotions. Become a witness to them. Recognize them. And let them pass through like clouds pass in the sky.
Had I know what meditation was when I was younger, I am sure it would have saved me lots of turmoil and distress. Raising our awareness as human beings will work better than finger pointing, new rules of behavior and more BS!
You can scream, you can yell, protest or whatever, BUT there are always going to be haters. And not just quiet ones. Ones that actively harm you. They will never go away. They will just reproduce.
So, why even fuss about them?
How about taking all that energy and finding a way to produce affordable housing? Provide a living wage? Affordable fresh food?
This is the cutest thing! This pajama set can be purchased on: www.cafepress.com/risaspieces. It's on sale for only $39. I know that sounds like a lot and you can get PJs for a lot less. Yet, this is the season of giving, giving gifts and giving thanks. A way to show appreciation is to give something unique.
You won't find this design in stores. There are other items with this design in my cafepress shop, RisasPieces. Start a collection! Everyone needs a buddy.
Having food readily available is almost something we don't even notice. If you've never gone camping, it is not even something you think about. I go to my fridge, or the cabinets and just reach out my hand and the food is there, wrapped nicely and clean.
It's actually a fight to keep it that way. We have an exterminator. I'm a vegetarian so there is no meat grease left anywhere, but my neighbor is a meat eater and if her dishes or stove are not spotless, not only does she have roaches, but they come over here, too. They don't last too long, though; anything that moves is of interest to the cats. They are the terminators here.
Then there are the ants. It is the rainy season now and there are lots of ants. I have to put the cat dishes on top of other dishes filled with water or the ants will take over.
In the big picture, there are many more insects than man. By myself in the apartment, I feel powerful, independent, and in control of my world. That is such an illusion. I am in the minority, and becoming careless, I'd be overrun with weeds, bugs and other creatures that want to survive. There's a Hindu saying: "we are food."
I was listening to Osho on the needs of people: physical, mental and spiritual. Osho said that a starving man is not interested in art; he has to attend to his physical needs. Once those are met, he can then be free enough to develop his intellectual needs, then those satisfied, he can turn his attention to his spiritual needs.
I originally started my working career as an art teacher. I believed and still believe that art is for everyone. Recent studies have shown that art activities in many cases calm people, bring them happiness and satisfaction. You don't have to be a Picasso to be happy doing something artistic.
In Japan, many people pursue artistic activities. I saw businessmen attending flower arranging classes. Children in schools routinely learn origami, the paper art. I felt respected as an artist when I lived in Japan. I wasn't looked at as weird or strange. This was very refreshing for me.
Art classes have happened and more often not been included in our children's education. It all depends on the budget. Too often, it is one of the first subjects cut in school curriculum. Of course, this has long term affects. Children whose parents can afford 'enrichment' studies find private art teachers.
Which brings me to my topic: art is for rich people. Art is actually expensive. The materials. The frames. The entrance fees into shows. And if you are struggling economically, art is the last thing on the list of where your money will go.
Personally, I can attest to the destructive power of economic challenges. It has taken me almost nine months to finally rebuild my client base and start making money again. During these nine months, I felt like a thief had stolen my creativity.
Then again, I came to realize that although I was not making art, creativity was and is still part of my way of life. Using my ability to find a solution to my work situation was part of my success. I've heard people say, oh, I am not artistic. And yes, in many cases that is true. A better way to look at this is to recognize that we can be creative in other ways. Our best resource is still our ability to use our minds and find solutions! Art itself may be for those who can afford it, but creativity belongs to all of us!
I've trained cats to walk on a leash. They hated it. Cpt January was the first. In the beginning, he would like down dead and refuse to move. The other, Puddy, would do the same. Eventually, they got used to it and whenever I would jingle the leash, they were eager to go out. I had told them if they didn't cooperate, they would never go outside.
Recently, I changed my approach. I found this backpack/stroller on Chewey for carrying/transporting your pets. It is the coolest thing. I really needed to get more exercise myself and this was a good excuse. I stuff the furbaby in the container and go out on the property for a stroll.
Of course, they are new to it and sit inside crying. I know they will get used to it. These two furbabies of mine have never been outside. It is time! And I am not just sitting in my corner at the computer. I have joined the pet walkers!!!!