The F*ck

(Warning: Adult content. Writing poetry is cheaper than therapy. Thanks for listening ;))

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We live in a world where we can say whatever

The F*ck

We want to say whenever

The F*ck

We want to.

Gently,

Harshly,

Politely,

R*dely.

These are MY words.

Yo* can take them,

Or leave them.

Sit on them,

Or fl*sh them.

Yo* choose,

To place meaning,

On what I say.

This is yo*r b*siness.

Yo* choose to follow

The winds of liars,

digging us f*rther into the r*t,

of our thin skinned morality.

 

I will live in world where,

My children are free to be whatever,

The F*ck

They choose.

If you wo*ld like to give me your *nreq*ited opinion

(That means I don’t care what yo* think)

Then we can converse in h*shed intimate tones,

Like lovers who hate one another,

awash with masks and inn*endo,

On the s*perlative cost of Freedom.

We can tell the stories

Long into o*r darkest night

Of times past,

Hard gripped baskets

Flowing with rotten *gly things.

 

I live in a world where I can be,

The best version of whatever

The F*ck

I am today.

It is not p*nishable by death

Or h*miliation

By men

for me to *se these

or any

words.

 

I do not wish to live in a world,

Where we kill one another

For words.

This is not my world.

If this were so,

Then Shakespeare’s heart would have only been pierced by thorns,

His eyes wo*ld have never gazed *pon the rose,

And there wo*ld be no love stories to tell,

At all.

 

 

 

 

 

Jo’s SoapBox – Entry 1

I have been meeting allot of people…I mean ALLOT of people who say

Image result for I dont talk politics

“I don’t talk politics” like its beneath them or

“I don’t watch that stuff it, just upsets me. ” Seriously? Are you more upset than the mother in the Sudan who just watched her baby die of hunger while you ate a bag of chips in front of the TV?

Another woman told me it makes her angry to talk about current events- and she doesn’t like to be angry.  Is that about what my mother said – that anger will give me wrinkles and make me ugly when I am older?

Wait a minute! Damned right you should be angry, Lady!

Every woman on the planet should be furious!

Pay attention to a few very good reason: (this is not fake news…):

There is a lunatic running the free world!

Men making choices for women’s bodies. Again.

Babies dying of preventable diseases and hunger.

Wars all over the place because of fanatical religions that suppress women.

And yet – we are hesitating to even begin the conversation about how to heal this because – we think it is all bigger than us – when in fact it CAME from us!

Nothing that exists in this world has happened outside of us.

But we don’t like to talk about it.

Why do you think this is?

Partly because we are angry and we don’t know what to do about it. It is anger born in impotence.

Notably, anger is  a weird thing for women in Western cultures.  There are allot of social conventions around our expression of it. It is probably where we most resemble our Muslim and other sisters who live in female suppressing cultures and I think this may be a big part of the problem. Ask yourself: Why Western women aren’t rising up like furious lions in the current climate of injustice and environmental aberrations taking place.

Is it not deeply in our nature to protect our children and the place they live?

Image result for dalai lama on angerThe Dalai Lama says that anger can be a good thing – if it is used consciously and purposefully.  Anger can be a sign that something needs to be changed or fixed within yourself or your environment. Anger can be a fuel – a kind of combustion towards positive action.

He also said it was Western Women who would rise up and protect the earth. Image result for dalai lama on western women

So, where are we?

As a person who is “spiritually focused” –  I tried for a long time to just let the issues of our world, wash off me – I thought THAT was the spiritual thing to do. Knowing what I had power over – which was not the governments of the world, or even the environment, outside of my own little house.  I thought knowing how small I was – was humble and in effect – Spiritual.

It took me a long time to come to the realization that without involvement in the larger construct of our lives, our cultures and society, we are not only not living anything close to a spiritual life.  Image result for spiritual living in society

Indeed, we are not living at all – but merely existing.

The purpose of your life is to know yourselves.

We know ourselves best by finding the “thing” we do, the passion we have for some form of creation or creativity.

Then we teach or we find a way to share that creativity with others and inspire them to do the same.

This is critically important on the search to self discovery.

A spiritual or any living construct is moot if there is no culture or society within which to practice it.

The point of living a life with larger focus, is not to gain security for yourself, but to assume and know that you are best serving your life if you are able to attain this understanding of yourself.

Right now.

Not next week or next month.

This has to happen right now.

Many of us are aware that there is a consciousness movement on the planet. And for those that have been connecting and practicing long enough to be self aware of their self awareness…then now is the time to pull out all the stops.

I do realize it is fine and well to give you the rallying cry and then, leave you hanging as to what exactly to do – I mean really TO DO.

The planets problems seems to all be tied into one central philosophical focus – our morality.  What we believe about life, what is owed to us, and what we need to survive. Our political, social and economic turmoil all reflect a lack of connection to our moral selves.

This is why a spiritual life not only fits in with the chaos of this period in history, but is the only “unified potential” for a solution.

Peace – the peaceful mindset – the idea that LOVE is an actual force that can make change and ensure the survival of our race, is the only solution to the binding crisis we find ourselves in.

Even that idea seems esoteric, so I will give you other more solid ideas, and potential courses of action to take to begin to manifest change in our world. Rea life changes.

The time for thinking, talking and self discovery is coming to an end and we are entering the time to put our practice to work, to walk our talk, and refuse to engage or participate in any form of violence or hatred whatsoever.  Not our actions nor our thoughts.

1- Stillness: Be quiet at least once a day. Meditate, sit, just be still in silence and away form technology. This is the time to refuel your inner manna, raise your vibration and in turn that of every living thing around you.  Image result for spiritual pictures

2- Have the conversation: Don’t back away from local conversations.  share opinions and ideas. Change the way you see the interchange of political ideas.  It was in the beginning that we gathered in discourse to create and build ideas that would result in the societies we inhabit today.  Don’t be afraid to continue and evolve this conversation into new ideas about how to establish deeper peace in our world.

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3- Expand your mind outwards – and include issues outside of your own self interest in your conversations and interchanges.

Image result for open your mind

4- Monitor your thinking: eliminate any and all negative or fearful thoughts from your mind. each time one is noticed, gently remind yourself to be more kind to your self. Even if the thoughts are not about you, they still have an impact on your perceptions.

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5-Don’t be afraid to speak your mind when you see injustice. don’t be afraid to walk the picket lines, to express outrage and to take peaceful action where it is needed.  Peaceful non-violence does NOT mean powerless and without passion!

Image result for peaceful protest

Have a day without violence at all – in your mind, actions thoughts words – only peace. and when you drift off course because of habit – just go back to the middle where peace waits for you. Image result for non violence

Bring that peace everywhere.  And when you see something or someone who needs it, share it, in whatever way you can.

 

 

 

 

This is my soap box.

😉 I hope you can find one of your own and begin to spread your good ideas.

Take action.

Now.

Peace

We Who Are Willing

A few days ago I got to sit with an old friend who happens to describe himself as “a liberal-conservative”.   I must also warn you that he believes Rush Limbaugh is “right 99.9% of the time” and that he is a very “wise and knowledgeable man”. So, depending on which side of the scales of morality you sit on, this will either be an agreeable or a disagreeable statement to you. Either way it gives you a pretty clear indication of what I was dealing with.  But, I really desire to expand my mind, keep it open and hear all sides of an issue – because no matter how much I see something as insanely wrong, i know the  the person who believes it, really and truly believes in what they believe.  Just like I do. So, if what they believe is “inconceivable to me”, then it’s me who is missing something, not them.  My job is not to change anyone’s opinion but to allow everyone to live as they are while still maintaining my own beliefs which include:

Non interference. I don’t care what you believe in as long as you don’t hurt anything.

On the other hand if you DO intentionally cause harm, then I also feel it is incumbent on me and all of us, to disallow and repair this harm. Eg: American Slavery, Treatment of First Nations People, ecologically irresponsible natural resource extraction, treatment of wildlife…this is a very long potential list. You get the picture.

If we can allow, we can also step in when something is truly fundamentally wrong.  Like – extracting more coal from the earth.  This is CLEARLY a bad idea for the planet.  The fact that it contributes nothing positive to the earth that supports us, should naturally extricate it from consideration as a resource for humans, by default. So, why is it still being pursued?

Because throughout our evolution we have prioritized comfort and self gain over the planet.

Some beliefs are difficult to questioned and must be recognized at least, by each person: we must become consciously aware of what we believe and why we believe it.

In your discovery of your own beliefs (from the heart) as opposed to opinions (of the mind), you will find beliefs come from a soulful place, and certain things will always remain inconceivable to you.  For example, war will never be ok with me.  There is no rationalization for war. There can never be a “good reason”. You can’t Shawn Spicer away any war, they are all bad – for me.

But, my opinion on universal healthcare – is something more elastic.  Something that requires room for growth and further understanding.  There are ideas in our minds that must always be questioned. But when we enter a “fundamental” approach to life – through religion, or political culture – we eliminate the questioning and become pre-programmed without plasticity and allowance for individuality. We become soldiers of a belief system which does not represent us.

Leaving ourselves open to really engaging and hearing the other side, has the two fold positive effect of allowing us to maybe take in more useful information, or it can substantiate what we have already come to understand about the world.

We cannot be FUNDAMENTALLY anything, because everyone believes what they believe based on a lifetime of their own experiences, and no religion, political system or even culture will completely support what we as individuals have come to see and understand from our own particular lenses.  That’s why communism doesn’t work – its why it is fundamentally unfair to the human spirit; because it does not allow for the individuality of a person and all of their understanding to flow freely through their life choices.

Fundamentalism in politics, business, religion  and culture no longer have a positive or productive value for human beings.

The man I spoke to who is a supporter of Trump seemed to be adamant in his belief that the “left wingers” were responsible for all of the violence happening around the planet, indeed, and that all of the protestors that we are seeing for climate change, the pipe line, the women’s march for example, are all paid and bought for by private interest organizations.

Yes a perfectly intelligent person said this to me.

Of course you would not believe me if I aid he was a minority, or short or poor, fat, gay or a woman – you know, any of those things that make you sensitive to the needs of the world. No, he is a half-read, fully brainwashed and fear based representative of a massive number of people who believe

1- that the country they live in owes them a certain lifestyle

2- that this lifestyle does not include anyone who does not look are act like them

3- that isolating people based on their beliefs or cultural values makes some sort of sense to them

4- building walls is the solution to a moral problem they themselves have created

There is a cloud of paranoia covering this country which is beyond description and magnificently terrifying and its starting to make my country stink.  I’d like it to stop right now.

How will it stop?

Well like other kinds of dysfunctional family squabbles, such is the relationship between the United States and Canada. the United States right now is like the drunk uncle who shows up every single Christmas, and predictably gropes you and all your cousins.  That is the united states right now, and its pretty much how Canada is feeling I suppose.

Remember how in the Walton’s whenever they had a big fight over  little Ben would go out missing in the woods and get surrounded by wolves, or Elizabeth would have a temper tantrum and run into an electrical storm atop a mountain?  The point is, the family had to work together!

And that’s what is goign to happen here – with four famines rising up in our world, there will come a point where we cannot ignore the real and terrible things that we could be alleviating if we could just focus our thinking in the right direction – towards each other.

The good news about all this is NOW you know what it looks like, acts like, sounds likes – and how it makes decisions based on fear, and disillusionment.

Consider creating some personal guidelines and become aware about what you support:

For example:

If it increases hate – don’t support it.

If it decreases health in communities – don’t support it

If it can cause harm to the planet – don’t support it

If it creates tiers of advantage – don’t support it

If it causes war and people to die – DO NOT support it

If it hoards things we have too much of when other people need it – Don’t support it

Basic rules. Compassion we all have and can easily access.  And anyone who believes even ONE of them to be true, cannot support Donald Trump.

The bottom line  is that we need not support anything that doesn’t not support us.  WE are the living things on this planet.

There are VERY VERY few human examples of people like Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong whats-his-face. Thank whatever God you believe in that this is true.

And there are a hell of allot more people like you and me, who want health and happiness and are willing to live a more simple life so that the whole world can get better. We who are willing to open our minds and our communities to those that need help. We who are willing to share our food, time and talents to increase the “happiness quotient” of this planet.

We who are willing to live together.

 

Both Sides Now

Working for Indian people is not like working for anyone else, I think.

Take for example last week, when I had an 11 day stretch of day work and night gigs and rehearsals, so my back half way through Tuesday afternoon last week just simply stopped functioning properly.  and shooting pains brought me to my knees, which made me think:

“Well hey – maybe I should take a break”. I have been accused of ignoring my own needs in the past.

Unable to even get to clients coming into the store, I was reduced to admitting that “I think I need help”.

I texted Aman, the store owner who responded within seconds that she would be there in fifteen minutes.

I sat down on the chair and hoped no one would come into the store as I didn’t know if I would be able to actually walk to the racks to show them anything. It was pretty bad. A few came in and there i was waving like the Queen of Sheba not moving from behind the cash upon my perch, my back inordinately straight.

Thirteen minutes after my text, and after a few more people had begun to come in and mill about, Aman and Romy came stampeding into the store, with their eldest daughter in tow. It was like an efficient  military swat team operation.

Aman looked at me, with her grouchy concerned face, marched immediately  to the back of the store, grabbed a Nepalese blanket, tossed it down on the floor between the middle of the store and a changing room, and quite literally threw me down to the ground on my stomach.

“You stay”. she said all business, and began issuing confident sounding  orders in Hindi to Arpita, who also snapped into action as her mother’s habitual other right hand.

” Hindi hindi Coconut oil…hindi hindi hindi …terrible dry skin!! ….hindi hindi” is what i heard allot of.

I often wear the things in the store that we are wanting to show people the most, so that day i was uncharacteristically wearing a short “business like” dress, maybe mid thigh length. Beige.

But as I lay there my dwindling consciousness told me there we people in the store. Lots of people.

Romy and Arpita held them at bay showing them things to stay interested in at the front of the store,

Suddenly my dress was half way up my body and my underwear were half way down.

On the floor

In the store.

yeah.

I felt a little uncomfortable but the pain won and I tried muttering supplications.

Can I give you some advice?

Never ever supplicate an Indian.

I tried speaking to her – thank her. I don’t know.

What the hell do you say to someone when they have laid you down on the floor and are covering your body in coconut oil to ease the aches of decades of physical self abuse?

If you’re me – you minimize.

“Oh Aman I’ll be fine…don’t worry! ill just go home and have a ba…”

I’m sure Aman heard sometime like

“Blah blah … blah blah blah…”

She snapped…

“You don’t speak now! ok? Understand? Shh”.

I could hear the concern in her voice and let myself sink back into painless bliss.

Suddenly her hands were on my lower back and the pain was absolutely gone. Poof. Eliminated. She hadn’t actually done anything yet, just the fact that she knew EXACTLY where the pain and went straight to it, I think it began to dissolve.  Over the next half hour, with my new dress now covered in coconut oil, as was the entire rest of my body,  Aman managed to perform some miracle on me, relieving pain and bringing my dry and sad skin back to life. I left he store relaxed and disheveled,  my hair now a massive mane of shiny greasy mess piled on top of my head and went home.

I cancelled a gig to rest, because I’ll tell you it got worse before it got better. I spent four days basically immobilized in some weird fog, sleeping or awake sketching was all I could muster.

I did an afternoon gig where the music started to revive me, and then I was back at work, feeling better than I have in years.

I am sharing this story because not only does it illustrate to me all of the things I am learning about the Indian people, how they take care of each other, and there is a genuine concern for every person’s well being.

I have grown up in a culture where we talk about how nice that idea is on Sundays and act like assholes the rest of the week.

These people are completely different.

To have an opportunity to see a loving example of how people truly incorporate compassion and community into their lives is probably the greatest thing I have ever experienced.

It is frustrating to me when I see people come into the store treating Aman like something less, thrusting things at her to hold, not saying please or thank you, never making eye contact or talking to her as though she is an idiot. It is hard for me to bear.

But I am fortunate to see both sides, and it is obvious that there are a many preconception that interfere with our ability to get to know each other as people.

One is who we think we are and the second is who we think each other is.

Very often I see the Montreal dwelling unlingual french canadians that treat Aman  with the greatest disdain. I hear them hammering her to speak better french and being angry and obnoxious when they confuse her (fifth) language.

I had one person ask me in french if “the English here were friendly”?

Hunh?

I had another ask me if “bosses pray four times a day”

Seriously. No.

I love that they support me in everything. Even what others have called “my bad temper” has come to good use.  Like with the lady in a failed attempt to negotiate (which I disdain)  who said she wouldn’t even pay two dollars for this “Indian crap” – to the hand beaded dress in her sweaty little palms.  It was my pleasure to show her to the door.  Aman is too polite for this but we have a rule: No amount of sales equals our dignity.

I’ll tell you honestly, when I was a kid, I was frequently horrified by my fathers treatment of people who worked in boutiques and restaurants. It was his way of “commanding respect”. Old school and often ugly.

More than once I remember wanting to crawl under a dinner table in a fancy restaurant as my father carried on in his indignant manner, obviously horrifying the poor waiter or waitress who had the misfortune of crossing his path on a “need to feed the ego” day.

The irony that now, at least five times a day I get to be on the receiving end of people just like him, who make me change their shoes while they talk on their cell phones (that never goes well) and who speak to me as though I am their personal attendant and no need for common courtesies are required. We don’t put up with that either.,

Maybe our store is special in another way – that we will provide free instruction on kindness if you seem to require it.   The place is steeped in it.

You just have to come in and breathe.