Claimed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dance with me, when the music plays softly

The melody wraps around us, palpitating    

Then pulling us into a dream state  

Maybe fantasy instead, they are similar

But ours are different in their nature

Mine gentle, gossamer and wrapped in whispers

Lifted and twined, hips teasing and loose

Heals keeping the gentle teasing rhythm   

Yours like the steel of your arms at my back

They are harsher, hard and demanding

Pulling close to the dark whispers of possession

Iron bands of familiarity and title

Opposite in our needs and desires

We come together like bees to honey

Or is there something more to our dance

Is it only the possession you have claimed

The familiarity of your arms at my back

 I am stung, my honey depleted time and again

Yet, with a whisper of Dance with Me I return

To wrap you in gossamer and twist my hips

With songs playing only the two of us hear

As my heals beat staccato to your desire

23-February-2020

Home Alone

Linda1What do you do at the age I am when faced with big choices, huge life altering decisions? There are forks in the road at any age, but I think as we get older either we get less brave or they get more daunting, perhaps it is a bit of both. You would think it would be easier, these choices as there are less people and things to consider yet oddly it is not.

Let me give you some background. The strangeness of it all and my thinking on the subject of big decisions at this stage of life.

After a terrible run, I ended up in a job that suits me in many ways doing work that fits my skills and background. Like any position there is always good and bad. With this one the scale is fairly equally balanced. Odd to say that, but when I really look at it with clear eyes it is quite true. The issue? I don’t know that it is stable, not my position so much as the organization itself. This frightens me to death. At my age finding work is hard, I found that out after looking for six months, running through my entire savings and nearly losing everything. It was terrifying.

Dating at 62 is petrifying, looking for work is even more so.

Every now and then something comes along though, something that causes you to stop and think, stop and question. One of those questions is always, “what if?”

What if I take this risk? What will it cost me vs. what do I have to gain.

A few weeks ago a headhunter presented me with one of those conundrums, at least on paper. Usually I read these with a jaundiced eye. This one though, for some reason it caught me. This one seemed at least on paper to have been written for me. So, with a bit Opportunity-Signof ‘what the hell’ I responded to the request for me resume, my current status and my standard hourly rate. The next day I got a call back, would I be willing to negotiate my rate by $5, it was after all a long-term contract and it came with great benefits for the right candidate. Well, sure that did make a difference.

Then nothing. For a couple of weeks. I didn’t think much of the nothing, that is how things go. Then, well they really want a local candidate so that is what they are interviewing, well that really does make sense given the type of contract. Then, would you be willing to move for the contract duration, they won’t pay travel, but they might negotiate some of the cost of the move.

Hmmmm, that is a big ask for a contract. Give me a day to think about it. With one exception I have never been asked to physically move for job and that was under very different circumstances. My answer? Let’s get through the first round of interviews, see if we even like each other and if there really is a fit then we can talk about the rest.

Businesswoman and business planWell, we did that. Now we are trying to set a schedule for the next round and I am at that proverbial crossroad, though I see it as more of a branch. What is my answer? How much risk am I willing to take? I am 62 years old, I should be thinking about retirement not galivanting off on my next damned adventure. Instead here I am considering:

Do I shut my house down, rent it or sell it.

Do I have another great purge, move some or all of my things. I could always put what I love in storage. Hell some of my stuff is still in boxes from my move to this house three years ago.

Then there are really some personal questions that have to be answered, maybe asked and answered is a better way to think about these:

For four years I have been in and out of a relationship that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. Recently it truly doesn’t and it has caused a great deal of hurt. I am using this as an opportunity to escape?

Will a move to a completely new city, new state cause me to act any differently than I do today? Will I suddenly become more extroverted, get out more?

Will going to an office everyday rather than working from home force me to form more human bonds?

Finally there are the financial questions, both short term and long term that loom at my age that have to be considered carefully. We all face these at any age, but I think as we get older they become more obvious and perhaps in some cases are more perilous.

My six months of unemployment wiped out my savings and damaged my debt. I have summer-job-hunting-0812worked on debt but have not rebuilt savings. This opportunity would allow me to finish wiping out debt and rebuild a great deal of what I lost in savings, if I sold my current house and banked the equity for the two years of the contract. Yes, I have run the numbers. Debt free, I would have far more choices than I have today about many things, including:

Where I live

The types of jobs I can accept

The salary I need to live

Two years out of my life doesn’t seem huge in the face of the choice it would give me for risk2a different future. A future with less struggle and less drama. A future less tied to the past. Perhaps the choice should be easy, I wish it were so. Yet, as with every big choice there remains that looming risk of ‘what if?’

Contracts go south every single day. Projects get put on hold or contractors get let go with no warning and no cushion to bounce on. There I would be 62, strange city, strange state, no family or friends and no home to go home to. Thus my challenge. How will I answer if the position is offered? What will I do? There are so many reasons to say yes, is fear the only reason to say no?

leaping2

Political Purity Tests

Soapbox LogoWill there ever be a perfect candidate? Is it possible we will have some glowing Deity float down from the heavens on a fluffy white cloud surrounded by angels flinging gold coins and smelling of roses and whispering ‘FREE’. Someone we could all get behind, someone with no history, someone with no skeletons, someone with DNA to match this diverse nation who did not offend any of our sensibilities.

The Perfect Candidate, who we can fall all over ourselves in our rush to the polls. The Perfect Candidate who would pass all of our Purity tests. The Candidate with the most beautiful wife, two and half children, a dog and zero sins to their name.

The Perfect Candidate does not exist. There is not a human being alive today, nor will there ever be one who hasn’t collected some bumps and bruises and an imperfect track record. There will never be a candidate, especially one seeking the Presidency that will pass the unreasonable Purity Tests of the Democrats who align to their individual candidates to the detriment of all others. Let us consider the real issues and real outcomes for 2020. What do we really want?

  • Beat current occupant of White House, Donald J. Trump
  • Take back Senate2020_Election_1
  • Retain House

As an Independent Centrist who usually votes Democrat I am committed to voting a Blue ticket this year. Not just on a federal level but at the state and local level as well. I want to see the nation brought back together. I want to see us working together again as a single people, it has been too long that we have been divided. I want to see our government work. I want to see Justice began to work. I want to see our courts work. I want to see real work done for and by the people. Do I think this will happen overnight? No, of course not. What I believe is if we elect the right president and a Senate and House to back that President we can begin to make the nation whole by passing legislation and undoing a dysfunctional federal Courts filled with under qualified and unqualified judges.

I do not do Purity Tests. What I do is listen, I look at history but not just soundbites the full history. I look at everything, what a person has done and hasn’t done. What they have said and haven’t said. When they said it, what context they said it in. What have they written? Many candidates today have a written history, many have books and an on-line presence they cannot escape from either. Some of the candidates today have had decades of public presence, not just one or two, but three to five or even more. It is impossible not to build a portfolio of missteps and misjudgments during the course of a nakedkinglong life and those who wish to serve behind the Resolute Desk must be prepared to walk naked before the citizens of this land, we have no remorse and no shame in exposing our would be Presidents.

It wasn’t always this way, the Presidency of William Jefferson Clinton seems to have opened the door and now we have no shame in peering through the window of Presidents private lives, judging their personal predilections. We, as a nation seem to think it is our calling to judge whether a President is ‘Pure’ enough for us even while we ourselves would never meet this very same test. Just to bring this full circle, the party of family values and moral righteousness elected a President who is an anathema to all they stood for and yet claim he is God’s chosen.

So we stand at the abyss and stare down into the darkness and still instead of listening with open minds, we apply Purity Tests. We allow members of this broken party and non-members who have the audacity to run under the banner to tear down others in the name of their own desire to WIN. We watch idolaters and ideologues tear at others in base terms disallowing any view but their own from being heard, any question being asked, any challenge being made.

Does anyone remember 2016? I do.

Does anyone know how Donald J. Trump got elected? I do.

Don’t answer those questions with baseless bullshit about White Woman, Electoral College, Hillary won the popular vote or other nonsense. Let me give you the real answer.

Donald J. Trump is the President of the United States of America because Bernie Sanders was allowed to run on the Democratic Ticket and many of those who idolized him, followed him did one of three things:

  1. Stayed home
  2. Voted third party
  3. Voted for Trump

Why did they do this? Because they were convinced they were cheated, because Trump was the most like Bernie in his rhetoric and demeanor and because they were revengeful snots.

Purity Tests. Why they don’t work and how to overcome them.

First and foremost, participate. This means vote in the Primaries in your state and vote for the candidate that you believe best represents your interests and the interests in the nation. Vote for the candidate that you believe will put the nation back together. Vote for govote3the candidate that will best influence the down ticket. Vote for the candidate that will put our alliances back together. Vote for the candidate that will represent the largest majority of the people in America, not just a small minority but all of us, keeping in mind there is not a single candidate standing before you without something to explain, without history, without skeletons.

My question to each of the candidates isn’t ever going to be are you Pure, it is going to be how are you going to remedy the sickness in this nation. What will you do to fix what is broken. Do you acknowledge that you might have contributed, what did you learn and what are you doing today based on what you learned?

People learn, people are not the same today they were yesterday, five years ago or a decade ago. Unless a person is a complete and utter moron with the emotional and intellectual capacity of a snake, they grow. I want to know how a person has grown in knowledge, compassion and emotional empathy. I will not hold yesterday against you if today your actions show you have made true changes. If the words you say and the actions you take are in accord, I am going to take you at your word and listen with the openness you deserve from me as a citizen.

snakeTrumpPurity Tests are abhorrent and we need to stop, today. If we do not we can look forward to another four years of Donald J. Trump in the White House and this is something the nation will not survive.

No Celebrations

tears_of_sadnessToday is my anniversary. If I could find a less ‘romantic’ word for today I certainly would, but today I celebrate twenty-eight years since I lived beyond when I should have lived, beyond the day three miscreants tried to take my life with three bullets. Today I woke up and it was my twenty-eighth year of life beyond the day they attempted to take my life and certainly changed my world forever.

I wish I could say today was just like any other day. It is not.

I wish I could say I do not feel it, that I do not know what today is. The truth is, I do know and it affects my outlook and my ability to see the world entirely positively.

I wish I could say today was just like any other day, but it isn’t. Today is different. Today marks the day twenty-eight years ago my world changed. It marks the day my sons, my husband, my parents, my siblings, my nieces and nephews, my friends everyone who knew me or would know me in the future had to embrace a different me and had to face that I might have died. Those are difficult truths.

Those early years, they were hard on all of us. The recovery was hard. The daily struggle to get through the day was hard. Pain sometimes brought me to my knees, begging God to please kill me, don’t demand I live like this with no recourse, no relief. Then, finally learning I could live with pain, it just required adjustments, some days without crushing nrm_1413410111-storm2pain or finally that pain was simply my new norm and we can learn to live with anything. The refusal to resort to pain medications, to live in a haze saved my sanity even when everyone around me thought I was crazy; maybe it was just that I was so damned mean and I was driving them crazy.

Then came the results of those strokes I had on the operating table, the gift that keeps giving. Epilepsy in two forms and the early medications that put me right into the fog I had tried to avoid. Medications I might add that did not stop the seizures only turned me into a drooling zombie incapable of even minimal adult functions. I was finally blessed with a doctor who weaned me off those killers onto something that allowed me to live fog free but mostly seizure free too, I only had to give up alcohol. Fair trade, I guess.

Twenty-eight years, today. There are days I am still furious at the series of events. There are days I am furious at a society that enabled those events to happen. There are days I am enraged at those three young men who are now all walking the streets, free having never shown remorse for their actions. I wonder though, what do they think of their actions, what are their thoughts after all these years? Do they think of their victims and the grievous harm they did in the name of racial hate and wanting to ‘kill white people’? Has their hate changed or was it solidified during the years they were incarcerated?

During the past twenty years I have spent my time trying to do right, trying to work toward peace for my soul and my spirit. Trying to create forgiveness even where there was no remorse. Trying to work for a better justice system, one of reconciliation and growth rather than simply incarceration and warehousing. One thing I have consistently justicereformfound, we are all of us human; there but for the grace of God go I. None of us are without our own choices, our own failures, our own sins. The difference is some of us have been more fortunate in our outcomes. I use to say there could be no forgiveness without remorse, that I did not need to forgive my offenders that was between them and the God they worship. I still believe this. The difference is now, I had to let go of their punishment. I had to stop demanding my pound of flesh and leave that to fate, this was a hard lesson.

Twenty-eight years, they got time but I got life. Their acts shortened my life so all the medical professionals tell me. This may be true. Yet their acts hastened my learning. I have found peace and accepted my truths much earlier in life than many of my friends. Perhaps this is the gift inside of the terrible. I struggle with this day even all these years later, maybe I will struggle with this day for the rest of my life. Today though I will try to be grateful I have had twenty-eight extra years.

To read more:

Crime and Punishment

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