The Fun House

You wouldn’t know it from looking at the outside, but we live in a Fun House. That’s right, we do. Only the walls know what goes on when we’re not home, and they’ve managed to remain mute for nearly two decades now.

I’ll give you two examples of the fun that can be had:

First off, there isn’t a source of natural light anywhere in the house at 5am. So, when I go into the closet (always careful to close myself in so one of the cats doesn’t sneak in and hide in there the whole work day without a litter box) I carefully choose what I”m going to wear for work. Because of the light, though, I’ve frequently gotten the color scheme wrong. Let’s just say that it’s always a surprise what I’ve picked out to wear for the day, and I don’t know what that it is until I get into my office and look down. Frequently that means that what I thought was brown is actually green, and what I thought was black is actually blue, etc.

Second example: There’s always one cat out of five that has perfected talents unbeknownst to any of us. Today one of them exhibited the ability to set off a window alarm. As I plodded down the sleet covered flagstone that is my front sidewalk (with as much grace as a 99 year old), returning home from a long Monday in Hell (work), I heard a noise. “An alarm? WTF?”

Peering through the front windows, there wasn’t a cat to be seen anywhere. Normally there are at least 3 snoozing in the sun at one pair of windows, lazily gazing at me with annoyance. “Did you have to come home now and wake me up?”

Not this time. Not a fuzzball anywhere, but the window alarm was screeching merrily. Enough to drive even the cats crazy apparently. How that talented individual managed to accomplish this without the other 4 cats meowing a hairball out of him, I’m not sure. I doubt, however, that he’ll pull a stunt like that one again anytime soon.

More later. Cheers for now!

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Harvest Me

Fingers and toes begin like kernels of corn and pods of peas, making

the grown ones giggle and coo. I never knew any of you

when the world introduced you and you were so new. God kept count

of each inhale that brought you closer to Fate and every exhale

that propelled you closer to Heaven. I counted on my fingers

and then my toes, the number of times I found you

through the laughter of your words, hiding in the shed to ward off the rooster

or skating down the thin ice on the smallest of hills, your shoe soles

not enough to keep you rooted and upright. The hands that dug

the ditch so well that could never be promoted. The gentle man

that played cards at the firehouse, waiting for a turn at the hose.

The many that have scattered seeds that scattered seeds, or fell

where they would never germinate. Each of you will harvest me

like a fruit so ripe on the vine, a blossom that conquers Winter.

And in this way I will be yours. I will be yours as I so rarely was

since the beginning of my day.

© Tina Zabielski 2011-2019

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My Horizon

We go our ways, don’t we? Cut the chord, turn out

the light, change direction, lock the door. Sometimes the heart

skips a beat and before you know it your feet are clinging

to a tightrope and your hands are grabbing air. I saw you

down below, laughing. Your eyes sparkled as they always did, merry

meet and never part because you just are. There. No need

for shouts or whistles, your encouragement carried on a laugh

a hand to hide the smile that couldn’t be shuttled away.

I’ll thank you now because I’m a dolt who didn’t possess

enough sense to thank you before. You funny little court jester

not afraid to speak your truth or twinkle at twilight.

When I was up on that wire you were my horizon and I would fly

to the edge of any cloud to greet you again.

© Tina Zabielski 2011-2019

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What the world needs now: Trans-parency

I’m one of the lucky ones; I believe that to be true. When I was a kid, growing up in a conservative, religious household, I struggled with my sexuality. It wasn’t easy, realizing that I felt differently than what I was taught to feel. There was a lot of self loathing to work through, and no way for me to effectively communicate what I was thinking or feeling to the people closest to me.
But like I said, I’m one of the lucky ones. At least I, being born a girl, still felt like a girl and identified as a girl, even though I hated the pleated skirts and the patent leather shoes. I can’t imagine the confusion and despair and self loathing I might have felt if I’d been born transgendered.
If I had been born a girl, but felt like a boy, how hard would that have been? How much pain might I have inflicted upon myself then, or might others have inflicted upon me?
Too weird, right? Such a strange concept to most people, and not something that “normal” people choose to understand or concern themselves with. After all, those people are freaks, and most of us don’t know anybody like “them”.
The truth is that there are hundreds, thousands, ten of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people around the world that feel like they’d been born into the wrong bodies, and the pain and confusion and despair they feel are enough to make them attempt suicide an alarming rate. For transgendered people, the suicide rate is an astounding 41%.
Luckily for me I only had to tell my parents that I’m a lesbian, and despite their religious beliefs they showed me love and support and embraced me. That was hard enough. I can’t imagine struggling with gender issues and having to muster the courage to tell them about that.
Why the hell am I posting this? Because my heart aches for all those people out there who hate themselves and feel they are forced to live a lie. Who feel trapped in a body they despise, and have been assigned a gender they don’t feel is their own. The brave ones who choose to live the way they feel risk losing everything, including their lives.
Trans people go into prostitution at a very high rate because they have difficulties finding work otherwise. This puts them at a very high risk for violence, sexual assault and murder. Those are worst case scenarios, of course. Daily living, for openly trans people, is wrought with discrimination from all corners: health care professionals, police, landlords, employers, family and community members.
I’m bringing this up to shine a spotlight in my very small way, in the hope that someday being transgendered will carry no more stigma than having red hair.

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Compassion الرحمة

حقا، والله هو الرحيم ومغرم الرحمة، وقال انه يعطي لالرأفة وما لا يعطي على قاسية

“Verily, God is Compassionate and is fond of compassion, and He gives

to the compassionate what He does not give to the harsh.”

Do they do it for Allah, the mass killings, the videos, with their bare

hands twisting mercy into ribbons of blood and their prayers

flying on the sour winds of hatred to stain the heavens?

Is a human being better off without a head, and the gesture becomes

the waving flag of Love? لن تدخلوا الجنة حتى يكون لديك الإيمان. وأنك لن يكمل إيمانك حتى تحبوا بعضكم بعضا.

“You will not enter paradise until you have faith. And you will not complete your faith

until you love one another.”  Love-  Not the wily hand servant of power,

not the densely woven fabric of terror, not the tricky mirror of self righteousness.

Love like a crown of Light yields no space for the heavy helm of delusion.

هل تحب خالقك؟ أحب المخلوقات زميل الخاص بك أولا.

Do you love your creator? Love your fellow creatures first.” 

Where does compassion live within Islamic State? Compassion. الرحمة.

© Tina Zabielski 2011-2019

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Default: Judgement Rendered

Gay Marriage. So, the US Supreme Court denies a couple of appeals and makes a few million dreams come true. Thank you.

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The Camel and the Marlboro Man

When my friends and I started smoking – in our teens in the 70’s – cigarette smoke was everywhere. Elevators, hospitals, restaurants, grocery stores, workplaces, you name it. My mother smoked through 4 pregnancies. I remember Sunday drives with both my parents smoking in the front seat while my little brother and I whined in the back. Still, I took up the habit as soon as I could get away with it. (No one carded at the gas station, they were just eager to make a sale to all the high school kids passing by.)
Back then Big Tobacco operated like devious, mad scientists, didn’t they? They polished up the image so you wouldn’t even consider that you were consuming a carcinogen. They commissioned scientists to research exactly how to make their product more addictive (yes, they did), and as soon as the results were in the project was terminated and the researchers were sworn to secrecy. Sugar,. That’s right. Just the right amount of sugar in the processing of the tobacco triggered the nicotine in just the right away to get all those new smokers hooked, making them life long customers.
I remember when my best friend – indeed, my first REAL friend in the whole world – was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. She’d had the biopsies, part of a lung removed but it was too late; the cancer had metastasized and was already in her blood stream. She did the chemo, the radiation, she went on a raw food diet, she made plans to go to Costa Rica or some other paradise that promised a holistic cure to her ailments.
She decided to sue R J Reynolds. Say what you will about smokers who sue tobacco companies; I understand the arguments completely. I’ve had those thoughts myself. “You knew it couldn’t be good for you.” “You could have stopped, but you didn’t.” “No one made you smoke! You chose to do that your self, when so many people chose not to.” On and on. But when my friend tried to justify her decision to me she said, “When we started smoking those things were everywhere! If you wanted to be cool you had to take up smoking in school. And when it became an addiction? It was more powerful than I was. I was an addict. And now it’s too late.”
She had the support of her lawyer husband, but even he knew it was a futile effort. I think he agreed to support her because it gave her some sort of feeling of empowerment. She had the lawyers videotape her testimony… just in case. She died before she could go to court in person. Her husband dropped the case after she passed.
The lawyers for R J Reynolds were like pit bulls, of course. They looked up everyone who had ever been in her life. Her psychotic mother, cousins, aunts, uncles, grade school friends, high school friends, abusive ex husbands, everyone. It mattered not to the lawyers for Big Tobacco that I lived nearly 2,000 miles away from where we had our first cigarettes. They hunted me down, found me in my tiny little blue house and knocked on my door.
When they identified themselves to me I told them to “Get the fuck off my property. I have no obligation to speak to you. I will not speak to you. Get away from my house.” They never came back. It was a minute victory that gave me no satisfaction. I had lost my best friend in the whole world because of shrewd and deceptive marketing, and the sale of a product the company knew would kill millions. They had secured enough profits to withstand plenty of nuisance lawsuits, after all. Nothing was going to break that camel’s back, or put the Marlboro Man in an early grave, right?

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Largest City In Vermont Now Gets All Its Power From Wind, Water And Biomass – by Ari Phillips

Yes, it can be done.

Desert Dogmeh

Go read the article.

And then call your biggest wingnut friend/family member and see what kind of BS conservative “Can’t be done!!” spin they throw at you.

Always good for a laugh to watch them squirm for a minute or two until the full bullsh#t denialist stream gets underway.

But seriously,…. this is freakin Vermont. Smart progressive self-sufficient people. The fact that the sun don’t shine all that much didn’t hold them back at all.

Because, — well — there’s alternatives, dontcha see??

From thinkprogress

Largest City In Vermont Now Gets All Its Power From Wind, Water And Biomass

Posted on September 15, 2014 at 10:16 am

 Water flows through the Winooski One hydro-electric plant in Winooski, VT. The Burlington Electric Department's recent purchase of the facility, located in the Winooski River between Burlington and the city of Winooski, enabled it to reach 100 percent renewable power.

Water flows through the Winooski One hydro-electric plant in Winooski, VT. The Burlington Electric Department’s recent purchase of the facility, located in the Winooski River between Burlington and the city of Winooski, enabled it to reach 100 percent renewable power.

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The Mystery of Daylight

The moon whispers of her nuance, her hidden places

and her sovereignty over night, as the night hawk flies I hear

the cries and wonder at the solitude of her flight.

Morning comes with the sweet mutterings of sparrows

and the flowers turn their head eastward anticipating light.

You will have to drag me kicking and screaming because my love resides

with the rocks and the trees and my lover’s creaky knees

and as the rattlesnake’s percussion speeds the beating of my heart

I will give up the ghost only to marvel at the mystery of daylight.

© Tina Zabielski 2011-2019

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Pride and Governments

I’ve done a lot of thinking over the years about systems of government and I’ve come to one conclusion: they ALL fail to one extent or another. Why do they fail? There’s a myriad of reasons; surely, some are specific to the form of government being examined, and some are shared equally across the board.

One of the major reasons, a “shared” one, is because governments are instituted and administered by human beings. Humans are subject to whims, view the world through the lens of their own personal experiences, and are susceptible to a “mob mentality” because we seek approval long before we seek authenticity or truth. That’s human nature. We are also prone to greed from the moment we take our first breath, which is why we have to be taught to share.

Like it or not, we are all animals. We seek to survive and to further the species. Communities are formed because somewhere along the evolutionary scale we learned that we do better if we work together, and have a better chance of survival over the long run by having the collective pool certain resources and build a life as a dependable unit.

Governments are an extension of that primal need to assure survival. Systems seek to organize and manage societies of people with different beliefs, backgrounds, abilities and agendas. It was a bit more manageable when populations were not so connected and not nearly as numerous as they are now. (How the hell do you “govern” a billion people in one nation? Answer: you don’t. More on that another time.)

Laws have been passed to try and limit the violence we subject each other to or the wrongs and trespasses we commit, but laws cannot take away our greed, our narcissism, our thrill at succeeding even if it means stepping on the heads of the people that give you a lift up. I’ve always believed that we cannot legislate racial tolerance, for example. We can try and institute hate crimes as a deterrence to violence but we cannot turn a skinhead away from the concept of white power or the perceived dangers of a multiracial community.

So, I don’t believe in governments of any kind- at least, not as the answer to our problems. I identify as a Social Democrat (or Democratic Socialist, take your pick) because: 1) I believe in Democracy, with all my heart (if only we lived in one) and 2) I believe in things like work collectives and employee owned and operated businesses, and communal gardens and barter/trade systems of commerce. And I’m certainly not afraid to identify myself in that way. In fact, I believe that is the best course we can take, globally, as a species. I believe the directive to Love Thy Neighbor and all our wishes for Goodwill Unto Men is best demonstrated by a cultural norm that includes collective efforts, collective problem solving and collective sharing. Yes, I do.

Now, I’ve done a lot of typing… let’s see who’s had the interest or the stamina to read this all the way through and share their thoughts- respectfully, of course.

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