About My Pain

I trained for my own pain
believing it would be relieved in success,
such so to override the pain it took to get there,
yet never realizing that I trained for my own pain.

I am who I am. And it will be what it will be,
but I can’t see beyond the misery.
I made the me I am, for the dream of who I am,
yet unaware that I trained for my own pain.
The pain is freely given for those on this road, need no tarots for this is no
mystery.

Simply and shamelessly gullibly ignorantly oblivious to my training for for my own pain.
Not enough paint can paint the painting to my pain.
Can’t point the finger knowing I was the master of my slavery.

I trained for my pain to become a slave–unknowingly.
I’m the me I am that created the slave I am,
unnoticing the grave I’m digging for where I’ll lay one day.

Not sure how I didn’t realize that I was training for my own pain, yet a pain I didn’t train for, but no less adore.

To Evolve our Concept of God and Religion

Way back when people thought the world was flat, we had Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, among other religions. Since then, not only did we find that the world was round, but additionally we learned that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and that the Sun is not the center of the universe. Countless other discoveries, through scientific processes have unveiled enormous amounts of knowledge. Thus, enhancing our understanding of the world we live in, bringing humans closer to a realization that many want. Why is it not similarly possible to have our understanding of God and our religious practices improve bringing those who practice closer to what is required of us while on this planet?

The only thing we should do is continue seeking “truth,” new realities and new possibilities; then embrace them and incorporate them.  Change and growth is part and parcel of realizing our purpose.

The Thing about Cages

We don’t cage the animals, like livestock although we may fence them. Livestock are not considered a treat. It’s analogous to how we treat people. We cage the potentially fierce like lions, tigers, gorillas, sharks, killer whales, and other “majestic” species you can think of (the aforementioned are not equivalent to those in jail). It’s our own human limitations that make us want to limit the special among us. It’s our selfishness, fear, and insecurity that makes us want to capture them. Then view them in awe. It’s our selfishness wrapped in fear that makes us want to tame and keep these living beings hostage. We keep these animals from maintaining a balance and expressing their freedoms. Us humans foolishly, also ironically, believe that holding back is the best way to move forward. And we cage the greatest or special humans as well.

The most fierce of humans are kept in control–or caged. Not speaking to the dangerous of us that are in jail, but there are many people who found themselves in jail–innocently–as a way to keep them under control, see Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you are special, you better watch out. People will gang-up on you, and try to control you or cage you. People are rewarded for not being a treat to others’ egos or goal-reaching, even though they are supremely mediocre. So for those tigers of men who can out run, swim, climb, think, dedicate their passion to something, you must be careful. Be careful not to end up caged, while having your ability of expression which could manifest in awesome change for the world be stifled or shutdown.

Concept of God through Sports

I don’t have to look further than my athletic experience or other people participating in sports to help me understand bigger life conundrums or know that a “higher power” does exist. I know there to be a God/Gods/God-like-force in the universe and functioning this planet because of the miracles I’ve witness in watching sports and playing sports. As athletes, we are like living physics problems; we are also like artists. But, sometimes when art and science can’t fill that gap, we have to turn to something else. Thus, I found myself transfixed at times seeing or feeling the presence of God in what I was doing or watching in rarefied moments, because it was unexplainable without such. You could make the argument that “science just hasn’t come far enough yet.” But, we will never be able to explain our existence as it is, purpose, and all the questions that start with why.

My concept of God isn’t associated with any one religion, but more so a collection of many religions. God is availed everywhere as like an energy in the atmosphere, especially in times when science or probability leave us stupefied. For example: when that hockey, basketball, lacrosse, or billiard ball player makes a miraculous shot, that can’t be duplicated because of the perfect alignment of “the planets” if you will, to allow for that triumph for that team or person in that very moment, while simultaneously creating joy in others watching; and the associated pain for the opposition, to learn from that experience. Giving them the chance to bounce back and appreciate their next win or success (moral victory) more deeply. That has to be something greater than coincidence or luck or misfortune depending on which side of the equation you are on. People often time wonder why a God, would focus on sports. 1) I don’t think it is right to personify God; but 2) why wouldn’t God work in sports as with the rest of life since it is a part of life just the same; also 3) There is so much attention in the sports world, if God were to want to send a message, why wouldn’t “he/she/it” want to express their powers there? But again, God is something else that’s everywhere, all the time, drawing on our energy as we get it back from that energy.

God is that presence when two cars collide, but no one is injured, because of the occurrence as it unfolded allowed one or both people to defy the odds of incurring pain. God was there when the vehicles were being designed to be safer. There is video of a person being perfectly spit out of his car as it rolled over, landing him on his feet, with pure bewilderment on his face, as his car went on to get thrashed. (Wish I could find it to link it. But this is good enough.) God is that presence which allows a surgeon to have the focus, skill, and ingenuity to combine correctly to help save a life in the most delicate or intricate of situations. Or,  it’s where the Internal Medicine doctor that has been sleep deprived, is still able to go through the memory bank and combine that knowledge with a unique perspective to allow them to treat a ailing patient, ailing from a little known problem, as glorified in the television show House.

Sadly, car accidents, or when other less than fortunate events take place that have a tragic outcome also leave us questioning the presence or existence of God. “Why me?” we wonder with pain and agony. And I don’t know!

Even when I fail in the future, or when I have failed in the past; or experience other unfortunate occurrences, I know I have to remain steadfast in my work ethic, while hopeful, as I keep trying to create a time when things materialize as I dreamed them. If and when it happens, it is bigger than me or you, the individual, but a sum of effort, the procedure or steps taken, probability of success, and good fortune working in our favor. We can only take responsibility for so much when things go wrong just as when things manifest as desired.

In athletics, especially a team-sport, players and coaches analyze what could’ve been done better or differently, often times resulting in a player being held accountable. An awesome and most pure approach is that the team outcome is the accumulation of many events not to be blamed on one person; or allow one person to have all the glory. But, too often, we see players feeling the pressure or accepting the blame for a loss, when there were many players out there on the field or court. But what about when a player drops a pass only he could’ve caught to win the game, or miss a shot only he had the opportunity to make? It becomes very absolute then. Either it went well or it didn’t. Was it fear of failing or fear of success, lack of talent, or something bigger? But one thing is true: there is another time to get it right…unless that was the last. Hopefully we aren’t experiencing the last one, but you never know when it is or the next to last one. Just give it your all and be thankful for every experience. And understand that there are other venues for the expression of talent to create success or happiness.

In my estimation, Athletics are a microcosm of life in its entirety. And athletes have a very direct connection to the physical and incalculable energy that exists in the world. It’s why I love my sport of choice and was so sad when I didn’t have the opportunity to continue it at the highest level. But, I’ve found peace in that I can still play the game and still feel that connection.

Now, I’m moving forward with what I have learned from the game and those lessons have been priceless for me in the non-sport world. I also can better appreciate that there is something greater working its show too.

Shutdown a Hoax?

I’m not sure we aren’t all being duped by this Shutdown. Everywhere we look we see that it’s Republicans vs. Democrats; Boehner vs. Obama; Tea party vs. Obamacare. But, I can’t imagine that these incredibly smart and successful people are this dumb: 1) Obamacare will continue to have America and Americans spending money on healthcare, which will allow those who profit from medicine to continue to do so; and 2) America has spoken; and politicians have an interest in remaining in office, assuming voting isn’t rigged, so they should act in the best interest of their constituents. Unless of course, there is something going on we do not know about.

How does this affect money? I’m not an economist, but “when there is blood on the street, buy property.” And the World is clearly bleeding behind this and someone is making money or setting up to make it. I don’t know, maybe some of the largest American Companies’ stocks will drop. Companies that heavily rely on government contracts especially…so buy low, then sell high when stuff gets “better.” Wall Street is having a ball again. But who else? Those at the top are going to remain at the top, while we, at the bottom, suffer–and we have been suffering. Would anyone think that this is a continuation of what we have already seen? The 1% are wielding all the money and power just now with the Affordable Care Act being the smoke and mirror to allow for more chicanery. Maybe we can sacrifice and get in on the stock market game?

In the NFL, it is well known that Quarterbacks have a fraternity of sorts, and there is a pecking order there, but at the end of the day they are all friends no matter how much they want to beat each other when they face off. Politicians are the same way. The new guys get hazed, and find their buddies in the Capitol, then develop while trying to remain in office, as QBs try to stay in the NFL or keep a starting job.

Rappers are notorious for hating one another but it’s all a show. They want to be “the best,” but they are usually rapping on each other’s songs, sharing studio space, producers, and the like. It’s show biz. A business profiting off of us every time there is a “beef ” or “dispute.” Profits come in the form of radio play and singles or albums bought. There is no difference with politics. They share the same work space, socialize with the same people, and have similar agendas. There may be harsh feelings and bad blood when someone is on the short-end of the stick, but it is the game they love and the show must go on. More importantly, they have to take care of their financial interests of companies paying lawyers and lobbyists who all then donate to campaigns.

During this Shutdown, is the federal money being stored anywhere? Collecting interest? Are the wheels really stopped, for those Politicians think are important? This can’t be about the President being black, although many think it could be, like Bill Mahr; or that the ACA is that horrible? But the result of this may give us pause when electing another minority to office. The Shutdown is clearly showing that there is a battle going on. It’s just not the one we see promoted. I’m simply taking another view that these politicians have made a grand show of this, and are somehow working in concert in order to benefit a certain few interests.

On Earth

Hard pressed to
find a pretty dress that our mother can wear
But pressing harder to unscar that surface she wears
it’s been far too many years of our arrogance
we should fear it
not adhere to it
we are the feeble ones
I’m declaring it
that our actions lack perspective of nexus
to our own demise
it’s our selfishness

But it could be that our Mother can handle all that we do
and it could be that we’re just annoying
like in our terrible twos
Our mother will out live us all
and we’ll likely be the cause of our own downfall
and take others with us
hoping our time won’t go unnoticed in forever
from atoms we came
or dust
years spent pillaging and searching for lust
depleting all we can
not worried about the next man
we’ll be lined up together as sand
to the dust we return
dealing with a woman’s scorn

Maybe the lord’s or other bad fortune of the heavens
we should pray for benevolence
our mother spins hard in rotation
much is her flotation
and patience
let us learn from the world we’re in for all the clues are here
embrace it, take trips, and get there…
finding the why…

Here on Earth

 

Sport to Life

Coach Mike Preston once told me that I’ll never be as good as I can be, until I take it upon myself to put in the wok on my own. Mike Preston was my prep school basketball coach, who also accompanied me to my first college, as an Assistant Coach.

In college, I had to work on my jump shot accuracy and consistency. Over the years, a player will learn certain drills and believe in them blindly, as if that’s all a player can do to improve on those areas of their basketball game. That was me. I thought I was hard working and motivated–and I may have been compared to those closest to me, but I needed to do more. Bear in mind that there is always someone somewhere working. Getting better when you aren’t.

Working with this coach was an exercise in expanding my mind and approach to what it was to master a skill and become great. “It” has to come from within. A person will only be as good as they can be when they start making themselves take those 200 extra shots; or going to run; or hitting the library or writing without being told by an authority figure. It creates ability or skill, and confidence in yourself.

The greatest theories or innovations in art, philosophy, sports, and the like are not made or formed in a classroom or during a team regulated practice for the most part. The real discoveries of self-ability are found when doing one’s own experiments–although maybe based on classroom teachings, furthering the groundwork laid by individuals in a person’s environment.

I got exponentially better at basketball when I decided that I didn’t need a coach to put me through a workout. I found a way to challenge myself. As this relates to the rest of the world, I know that self-starters or those who go above and beyond the call of duty are those improving at the greatest rate of change.

Improvement is a core feature of living, in my estimation, such as adaptability is essential to survival. You can reference Darwin and other theorists of evolution if you feel otherwise.

I guess the teaching my parents gave me for being accountable or responsible for my own actions was driven home by a basketball coach, by seeing it applied in a more discrete venue. My room was never as clean as the time I wanted it clean. The same way my jump shot was never as accurate until I took it upon myself to never want to miss, or think every shot was going in the basket.

I found new ways to perfect shooting; or made new moves to help me get by a defender; or imagined making shots with a defender guarding me. When I was using my imagination the results were greater. I believe that is applicable to all things.

Being mindful that rules and laws set a baseline, the imagination in conjunction with hard work is here to expand that baseline; thus giving us more. Sports are a microcosm of life in general, but certainly as sports pertain to improvement.

Do a Sit in on this Shutdown!

snagged from the Huffington Post

snagged from the Huffington Post

It’s a shame that Congress has taken this step to estop the Affordable Care Act (worse known as Obamacare). Congress is debunking the theory that the cream of the crop rises to the top. Now, what’s more disgusting is what this says about us. It says that money drives everything for us. Federal workers will not get paid, therefore they will not be able to go to work. Aren’t there things that need to be done? Isn’t our government here to work for the people by the people–not trap us. But, I guess federal workers very well can’t just go in to the job because the costs of energy used to run certain buildings or the supplies used for doing jobs.

I still feel as if that is a cop out. Energy companies and property owners can’t take the hit, just to keep the wheels turning? The Feds not working will affect them too. The paper and ink that is used at federal agencies and departments have been paid for. Why does everything need to stop? But, it’s clear that we work for money and not for the people, which the federal government is supposed to do. Shouldn’t we be working for a purpose greater than money?

Congress is also sending another message: We wield the power. And, this may serve as a disincentive to ever vote a minority into power again. Or create a country-wide response where the majority will never be elected, as the population continues to shift.

Congress has used money as a mechanism to punish us. Well, we have to grow to become better than allowing money to control our actions. You can’t very well say “fuck money,” but there is more to life. We have purpose. Other people depend on the work you do. And, there are responsibilities that we should feel are greater to us than just a way to pay the mortgage. We shouldn’t be mad a Congress alone. Be mad at the fact we have allowed this to have so much power over us; and it’s something we created–money. We’re handcuffed by money and an absurdly high cost of living environment. We have to work.

Therefore, Federal Employees ought to rebel by going to work. They ought to not follow the instructions to close offices or federal land. Stand-up, rise up, fight, against the Shutdown by doing what it is you do everyday. Let this be our restaurant “sit-ins” of the 60’s. Have some gumption.

The New Civil Rights Movement

Gay marriage or gay rights is not the new civil rights movement as compared to that of African Americans and other minorities that fought levels of injustice in decades gone by. Gary rights are a real and pertinent issue, but it’s the 99% that is the New Civil Rights Movement. And, has precedent in the history of our world. The most of us are getting the worst of it. We’re most affected by this American socioeconomic structure, built on a faulty foundation, with remedial treatment of patchwork which is faulty too; perpetuated by those educated in its environment, who don’t seem to know better, or desire to create an America they weren’t given. It’s income inequality. It’s profiting from another’s pain, then turning a blind eye wondering why everyone else is as “hardworking” or “skilled.” While never considering it’s purely dumb luck and the sweat of their forefather’s brow, which was most likely also built on pain of another.

It’s the Occupy Movement. Gay rights? Sure. But, there is a bigger issue that affects everyone that is blind to “minorities” although disproportionately affecting most minorities. There are legal mechanisms such as making a will, creating a power of attorney in your partner; and, simply loving and cherishing the one you love. Fuck what a politician says and mothafuck a Church that bases its beliefs from a time when they thought the Earth was the center of the universe and flat, while having it’s operators infamously engage in pedophilia-homosexual activities, and there’s no telling what else. Why demand a handout from hypocrites, when you can forge your own future with your own belief system, that will undoubtedly accept you as you are.

The new civil rights movement is dealing with being bled financially, while not being able to receive a just compensation for work done. We’re worried about the legality of universal healthcare, but it’s what we need since we do NOT have livable wages to pay to care for ourselves; or the education or access to care for ourselves.

Speaking of education, it is no longer the ladder up. It could be a rope, but physical education has been removed from academia literally and figuratively. We don’t learn what is important and if we do go to attain higher education you will be paying it back for years, without having gained any substantive skills during college to get the jobs or career that can repay the effort. And, those with the hiring or managing power say that “you need experience.” Well give it to me. We aren’t scared of it. We want it. Also an example of how the pain is perpetuated by ourselves with weak-knee excuses such as that to dismiss an applicant or a person from being promoted.

The rent is too damn high, property taxes, income taxes, parking tickets, speeding tickets, cost of necessities such as food and utilities. And, we are all a part of over-pricing services in order to keep our heads above water. We are doing it to ourselves as a result of legislation, policies, and social norms or culture. It also comes as  result of our class-ism and racism. Many viable living areas exist, but they aren’t desirable, therefore creating landowners to charge a premium for property, which leads to the best schools and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

People judge you by where you live, where you went to school, the job you have, the clothes you wear, and your “attractiveness” among other things. Where’s the substance? Isn’t there more to life? Aren’t capable of more depth and more effort?

Our civil rights movement is to be able to live without being in debt; without having to rob Peter to pay Paul; without needing a government handout; or having to save for years before you can enjoy your one go-round, as we know it so far, on this planet. Too many want to join those they can’t beat, hoping to change it from the other side, but end up getting lost in it. This is all so a small minority can live nice and comfy. No different than surfs and turfs, or how kingdoms operated.

People are dying from curable diseases because they can’t pay for treatment. Or, dying because they can’t pay for the right foods to put in their bodies. But, we can stay high on various drugs and play on the Internet and smart phones (this is written on one). We play a role in this pain too. We’re inflicting pain to ourselves hoping to reduce the hurt caused by others.

Our civil rights are aligned with those in Iran, Pakistan, Rwanda, Liberia, Egypt, Greece, etc. We are all interconnected, if the Internet is any evidence. We live in a global market, therefore problems in China, France, or wherever affect us all. A market where bleeding the people for products they believe they need and giving them debt in return with underpaying jobs is the mission. We are all working in a version of a sweatshop. And, we are all a part of the puzzle, in some capacity. Can’t get more civilly unjust than this.