Saturday, December 31, 2011

Little personal facts

1. Certain sounds repulse me. The pouring of liquid. Eating and drinking sounds. Clinking silverware on plates. Sandpaper/wiping dirt off of rocks/that sort of thing, especially if I imagine what that feels like.

2. The moon is possibly my most important spiritual symbol.

3. I love mosque (masjid) photos, even though I’m not a practicing Muslim and I’ve never been to one.

4. 2011 sucked bigtime for me, but ended very nicely. I landed a part-time dishwasher job and an interview for a full-time better-paying office job. I could go from basically unemployed to working 60-hour weeks very soon.

5. I’m still grieving my choice to leave behind my academic dreams after more than 20 years of holding onto those dreams. At 41, I’m ready to just take a job and retire from it someday. Letting go of ambition has been a crushing experience. I’m hoping to go through the grief and come out at the other end in a sort of personal resurrection.

6. My boyfriend is 20 years younger than me. We have been officially together for over a year, we have very little in common, but we are making it work.

7. I will probably always love “boy bands.” I think it’s because they bring back childhood/teen closet memories. They touch something of my past that still hurts a bit in my heart. And their music, however corny, brings me healing.

8. The only kind of spiritual process that brings me faith is in-the-moment experiential spiritual activity, like meditation, ritual, music, dancing, being surrounded by religious art, etc. I have (as of yet) failed to maintain faith just by thinking about it, reasoning things out, or any other strictly mental exercise. If I relied purely on intellect, I would be a strict agnostic. But I’m not. I feel strongly there is something beyond this life, an afterlife, other beings, maybe even a singular God, and my spiritual quest is to experience more about that, not necessarily to declare faith or argue about it. No human’s declarations are convincing to me, and certainly no religion’s moralism or dictates. As a postcard I have says, “Faith is a journey, not a guilt trip.”

9. If you have read this far, I think you’re one of the coolest people ever. Thank you.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A note I wrote to a soldier who said Bradley Manning is a traitor for putting soldiers in "harm's way"

If Manning did a noble thing, he did it from a position that very few people have access to. Kicking him out is keeping vital information from the public. The military was committing crimes of a very grievous nature, a military funded from the taxes all of us pay. Going to war puts soldiers in danger already. I don’t see that your point is greater than getting the truth about actual war crimes and atrocities out into the public eye.

In other words, you asked to be in battle. Civilians did not.

Sorry if I sound blunt, but I’m not sure why we should be concerned about putting soldiers in harm’s way in a war. That’s what you’re there for. Personally, I think all the wars should be cancelled and you all should come home. It’s time for humanity to assume its natural evolution into a nonviolent species. ”Traitor” is an outdated term, just like “patriotism” and “country.”

Finally, the actions of those who committed the atrocities are the ones who made life more dangerous for soldiers, not those who blew the whistle. This is, in very literal terms, punishing the messenger. The traitors are the ones who ordered AND carried out such acts, not the one who revealed them.