Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Whenever the subject of luck comes up with the right leaning people I know, I find I must always defend the luck of the gene pool when discussing the difference between affluence and privilege we are born into, and that which we work to achieve. J and I sit on our dock, looking out onto the moving water while we take in the beautiful sunset; and yes there are swans that swim by. If you think we’re not grateful, guess again. We have been living here 8 years now and still elbow each other every night…”this is our house” we say, as we acknowledge how lucky we are for all our blessings. Then we send off prayers to all those who aren’t as fortunate as we are, and whenever we can, give money or our time.

Right leaners however, don’t think luck has anything to do with it. They think they sit where they sit only because they worked their asses off to get where they are instead of lazing around and looking for government handouts.

Rather than argue, I visualize them as little girls or boys born in the Sudan, or say Afghanistan, maybe Darfur, (I don’t think I need to complete the list), anywhere but where they landed and nod my head at them. I don’t remark out loud anymore about this, although i have in the past, because it never goes over very well.

My argument begins with the notion that our luck begins at the beginning. It begins with where we are born, followed by to whom, and then all the rest of the seemingly important things that make such a difference on how far you get, no matter where you are dropped. Things like beauty as opposed to plain, or worse yet, ugly. Things like intellectual capacity, or at least the capacity to ask the questions necessary to continue growing, never mind do math, as opposed to those not so smart; or whether one is born healthy or came into this world with Down ’s syndrome, or spina bifida, or leukemia or just plain hungry. I understand there are some who believe that we choose where and to whom we are born, and while I do believe we come back, I do not believe we choose any of it. How’s that for specific and selective beliefs. But they’re mine and this is my blog.

I also understand that no matter how bad things are in one’s life, it IS possible to rise above it- at least in this country, because truth is if you were born in Somalia during a drought, you aren’t very likely to make it past two. However, the percentage of people who are born with that much courage, guts, testicular or ovarian fortitude, to crawl their way out of the ghetto after being born to a HIV positive, heroin addicted mother (describe any of hundreds of scenarios here), are few and far between. Yes, it can be done. It’s not an impossibility, but I don’t know how many of us have the fortitude to rise above such adversities. I don't think many of us could if we were honest with ourselves.

Meanwhile, it so often seems to me that those of us who already have so much are the very ones always wanting for more. I catch myself so many times saying..I wish this or that….I wish I had this or that…and I end up feeling so ridiculous…because it is so easy to fall into a pattern of wanting, and I know I am in that one percentile of people globally who have so much. We forget that. We forget how few people in the world get to have what we have.

I have always been bothered by the inequities of the world. The have’s and the have not’s. And it’s not like I’m saying we should feel guilty about what we have, I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, I get as tired of hearing ….”well, you know you could have cancer, or you could be a young girl in Afghanistan who just had acid thrown in her face “, because it invalidates anything we may be experiencing in our lives that causes us pain, or worry, or anger. I know, I know…so many have it so much worse. But our lives are also important and it’s ok to bitch and complain as long as you keep it in perspective. I’m just saying, that at a minimum we should certainly be thankful and we should each, individually do what we can to make this world we live in a good place to live for all of us.

So I came up with this idea. What if global society required that we switch places with someone else in the world every so often? It would be like a flip switch that would be randomly pulled. You wouldn’t know when it was about to happen or where you would be transported. You would always be transported into the current year and at the age you are presently, but you might go from rich to poor, from black to white; Asian to African; hungry or satiated, brilliant or stupid, male or female, Christian, Muslim, or Jew. You’d span countries you never heard of, let alone find on a map. It would begin from the time you were an infant and could happen as frequently as once a year to as long as a decade. The only other societal rule would be that at some point, (could be at 25, 48 or 75, you would never know) you would be sucked back to your home town in the country of your birth where you would be required to spend at least part of each day doing something to make the world a better place to live.

I think that would be fair and it would give us all a better understanding of who and what we are all about – I mean all of us – the collective human race.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

the rape of memory

so we finally have a summer day and i decide to put on my white pants and of course I do not have white underwear other than my white thong. I decide they would be a good choice anyway, once I figure out which holes my legs go through (that's a little tricky actually as the patch that goes in front is not much bigger than the cheek divider side - i have on occasion put them on sideways - it's quiet a sight!). Anyway, thirty seconds after i have them on I'm trying to pick my underwear out of my ass until I remember I am wearing my thong. Eight times inside of eleven minutes I find my hand reaching around to pick, pick, pick. Each time I remember I am wearing a thong and withdrawal my hand. At first I am annoyed with myself that I can't remember! For g-d's sake woman - it's the thong! By the sixth time my annoyance has turned into fear. How I do i forget so quickly?! By the eight time I'm depressed. What's happening to me?? It's just not funny anymore. The cycle repeats itself many times throughout the day...the rape of memory has gone well beyond the misplacement of keys. I can barely carry on a conversation. As i am listening to someone my responses float out of my mind before it is my turn to speak. i stare back blankly and get accused of not listening but actually, not only can i not remember what i wanted to say, but by the time it's my turn i can't remember what we are talking about.

work is another story entirely. if i don't make lists, nothing gets accomplished. it has also become necessary that my lists provide details, as the single line..."new design - big struts" just leaves me wondering - what new design? for what project? everyday i get in my car and i have forgotten my coffee on the counter, before i get to the end of the road i remember i forgot to lock the studio door, or did i? what is even more frightening is that it has begun to affect my motor skills. yesterday i was cleaning string beans; snip off the ends, break them in half, drop the good parts into the pan. before i realized it, my pan was half full of ends and strings and the good parts are in the bottom of the sink. i had to concentrate to get the right part in the right place. then i had i go through the entire pan of beans to dig out all the ends. of course by the time that exercise was done i was wondering what i was going to do with the beans. i want to call J to express my concern but i cannot find the phone. i look and look. nowhere. i press the FIND button on the base and i can hear it buzzing, but where the hell is it coming from? it's a mystery. i give up on the beans and decide to just put them away for tomorrow and of course find the phone in the refrigerator. oy vey iz mir...