Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba
Taken from Huatusco, Veracruz, the closest town to Margarita's family's ranch.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Astrology, the Kamasutra, Male Chauvanistic Mutts and Feminist Bitches; Conversations with a Past Life September 28, 2011

I remember you mentioning not being interested in Astrology or something of the sort...  But, I don't remember hearing any super harsh words that caused a red flag saying, "careful not to mention the word Astrology..."  Well, I am a born again believer...  No.  Your reaction to astrology is much like my reaction to new agers and activists and new age activists...  Would it be unfair if I said I despised them...  Why despise?  It's a very harsh word.  I want to accept these super well-intentioned people.  But they seem to be so detached from the reality of the world...  But back to you.  You sound very angry today, especially towards your father... and his...  I don't like the word Yoni or Yani.  It brings me back to a traumatic experience I had with the Kamasutra...  Just kidding.  I studied Hatha Yoga at R.V.C.C., for one horrible semester or less.  The problem is that I have a short stubby body.  I'm being poetic.  My body is very stocky, with short arms, which means that I have horrible difficulty with those stretching exercises meant for long slim people...  So, you can imagine what my reaction was looking at the drawings of the sexual positions in the Kamasutra.  I never opened that book again.  But back to you again... No, I don't know biblio burro...

As you know, I didn't grow up with men in my house.  I don't know how my father would have been.   My mother was horrible.  So, I can't say that I get my "feminism" from her...  I am a man.  I am a man with those foolish male ego self-validation, virility needs.  I don't know if it's instinct or based on male socio-psychological problems that causes the man to need to be validated by strangers; it could be part of the male socio-political structure; hierarchy.  For a man to feel successful, he must attract women... Penis Power?  All that said, it angers me greatly hearing about a husband and/or father who blatantly or flagrantly cheats on his wife.  In Mexico there is a saying, "The married one is SHE" meaning his wife...  For awhile I stopped being "friends" with married men here who openly spoke about their girlfriends, as if it were normal.  And then they would talk about how their children were so important to them, their daughters are their princesses...  One of these "friends" tells his girlfriends that he is married, but "out of respect for THEM".  And I ask, "what about 'out of respect for your wife?'"  And how do the children feel? What do they learn? 

I hated being presented to their wives knowing that horrible secret.  But worse was feeling that she was "the fool"... Don't misinterpret that statement.  She was made into "the fool"...  By being friendly with their husband, by being friendly with them, while knowing the secret, I was participating in a horrible hypocracy. So, I prefered not knowing their wives.  I couldn't give them the respect they deserved; which in a very strange way translates into disrespecting them...  Holding the secret is a participation in the disrespect.  Respecting them entails mentioning infront of their husband and them the horrible game he is playing, so we could get into an argument so I could explain what is the duty of both people...  Respecting her would be telling her to get herself the fuck out of the relationship.  But, it's very complicated.  Who are my friends here in Mexico?  They are the people who also travel around in the giant and luxury state fairs with their businesses.  So, truthfully, we don't ever become so personal; there is no time or space.

As for my surgeries... my childhood... no one knows me enough.  All of the experiences are horribly isolating, alienating...  You know that most people don't want to hear about oppressive shit outside of the movie theater.  But, you know that the movie will end in a few hours and you return to your safe, calm world. Back during the summer when I was in the midst of writing all of this personal stuff, hoping someone would find value in it, I realized that the only people who will respond to my writings are people who have similar experiences.  But, I see myself as so much more than just the surgeries shit and the risk and varied connected discomforts.  Although much of how I view the world is connected with these experiences.  What I mean is that I don't want to be seen as one thing.  But, the stress, the discomforts, the concerns,  the frustrations... turn my body (or mind) into a pressure cooker.  Truthfully, I don't know what I would expect anyone to say if they were to say something. 
The person with a permanent ailment, disease, who has periodic surgeries or lives with disease, surgeries or death hanging over his head is in a world separate from those who don't know the personal hospital experience outside of the maternity ward... being a lab test animal, a dog put on the Veterinarian's table...  Frigid God-like doctors who treat you as a slab of meat, meaning that you don't feel.  But, they can't become sensitive or they won't do their job well. They won't tell you all the dirty details or maybe you won't have the surgery or maybe they believe that they will add to your discomfort if they tell you the truth...  I don't know. 

I don't have friends.  I have Margarita.  I have my brother-in-laws (I don’t consider them my friends; it’s more like a strange experiment).  My friends are at different ends of the world.  I've lived most of my life far distant from others because my mother was that way with me and because I was picked on for being "A Jew" and then a "Poorboy"... Being “Jewish”, having a genetic strangeness, having surgeries, shitting more and shitting differently is alienating.  I immersed myself in intense romantic relationships, probably for creating the illusion of connection with another,  of creating the illusion that someone else truly understands.  But no one can truly understand.  It’s not just very complicated, it’s supra personal.  And here I am writing you stuff that you aren't prepared to read, because you don't know me.  And it's true.

Would I read so much written me by someone I don't know?  I doubt it.  I don’t usually have so much patience.  I probably don’t want to get tangled up in other people’s problems I can’t resolve.  What can you say to ease your own stress knowing that the other person seemingly needs your assistance? 

So, why do I do it to you or anybody else for that matter? 
I believe there is something else going on with my writing; there is something else I’m trying to share.  I use these “conversations” as a blackboard attempt towards truly understanding the message I’m trying to get across.

My story is about overcoming horrendous obstacles, finding beauty and meaning in life from a life that began as a horrible quicksand trap.  Not only about overcoming obstacles, but about creating and overcoming additional, unimaginable challenges, about finding “god” or spirit or something way beyond what can be proven scientifically and about living alongside unmoveable obstacles…  And someday my writing you will help someone connect and better understand and better live somewhere down the road.  Astrology is part of this, because it helps us understand that somethings or many things have so little to do with you, including mental illnesses, including superstardome.  You didn’t do it.  Maybe your family’s money and connections helped a bunch.  But, for you to stand way out of the crowd, there must have been something else going on…  It’s a crap-shoot.  “Luck of the draw”?  I don’t see life as being about luck, good or bad.  I see it as chance.  Maybe “God” or the spirits or your ancestors connected with “the higher power”  decide you should have an Astrological make-up that allows you to stand ahead of the crowd.  But, maybe Astrology is just a formula for creating each new born baby’s distinct destiny.  Or maybe your soul (or spirit) decides that it wishes for a certain experience and decides to be born under a certain cosmic positioning…  For some reason it seems so much easier to administer using mathematics and maintaining organized accounts.  How can God keep track of so many spirits?  Yes, you are thinking that I am a born again fool…  If you don’t know about my surgeries, you can’t understand that I saw something about our existence you’ve never seen…  If you don’t see something, you can deny its existence.  But that does mean that you are correct and that it doesn’t exist, just because you didn’t see it…  As I’ve written earlier, I saw my small intestine.  I touched it.  I didn’t feel the touch.  But, my intestine responded to the touch.  It was like a snake or a slug or a worm and it retracted into my abdomen.  I was changing my colostomy bag hoping that the damn thing would be calm enough time for me to clean the area where I attached the shit bag and replace the damn contraption, that had the tendency towards coming unattached in the most compromising positions and place.  Well, the snake did not read my mind or respect my needs and it stretched its head back out of the hole and spit shit at me…  No, I’m exaggerating.  It’s nothing like a bathroom experience.  The small intestine is just moving the food waste along towards the end of the line.  It’s a movement I didn’t feel.  I couldn’t know when it would release more shit.  I could see it moving.  But, I couldn’t feel it moving.  The small intestine is not connected with the mind.  It cannot obey orders;  it’s not like the anus.  It’s not like the lungs, although the lungs will cease obeying your orders if they feel you are going to harm yourself… 

Now, if this is my body.  If I am the one who rules this entity, then why can’t I communicate with my small intestine?  Why does it and my lungs and my heart have the last word?  Why can’t I decide that I truly don’t want to eat and be able to tell my stomach to decrease the amount of stomach acid secreted into the stomach so as to decrease the risk of stomach ulcers?  The body has fat stores to protect you from famine.  But, what if I have too much fat stored and I believe it’s time to burn some of that excess fat and I tell my body, “look, if you need energy, burn the damn fat.  Look stomach, nothing is going your way for a few days, turn off the hunger alarm.”  ????

Your body is not yours damn it!  It is a vessel, “for getting you there…”  Where?  I don’t know where you are going.  I can’t answer that question.  It is not yours.  You are of your body.  You are trapped in your body.  Yes, you alter your body; but so superficially.  Don’t delude yourself.  You were placed in a body, with a family and within a class, within a society, below a status…  For what reason?  That is for you to figure out or not; it all depends upon you.  So, why not the body and why the spirit or the soul; your self?  Why yoga, why meditation, but why not Astrology?  Fuck all the pitiful offensive people.  You saw their trap, you saw their game.  Just because I don’t like certain vegetarians, doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t eat vegetarian food.  If I learned that George Bush Jr.’s favorite dish was Thai Mussaman Curry, it wouldn’t cease being my favorite Thai dish. 

In one of my first blog pieces I wrote about my friend José “Montaña and how he sees spirits or phantasms.  Well, a few weeks ago, my brother-in-law Nicolas presented his girlfriend Adreana to José.  One of the first things that José said to Adreana was “you are missing one of your grandmothers…”  Adreana said, “No, that’s not true.  Both are alive.”  Half an hour later Adreana received a phonecall from her mother stating that her grandmother had died that morning… 

José Montaña sends me messages through our cell phones saying, “In my session at the moment I have a Taurus—Aries with Moon in Scorpio.  What can you tell me about them…?”  And I tell him a bunch of garbage that comes to mind, since I am not an expert on Astrology, nor am I near that, nor do I have any books here for consulting.  But, he usually tells me that I was pretty much on the dot with my quick garbage statement.  José hopes I will study Astrology so that I can teach him.  He doesn’t read.  He has eye problems…  But he helps heal people.  But he doesn’t heal himself and he doesn’t listen to me about his health…  And I don’t usually say anything, since it is a waste of time for the most part. 

He says that he wants to go with me to New York City.  He says he wants to meet my family.  He believes he once knew my mother.  He says that he has dreams about New York City before the bridges were built…  Most  New Yorkers don’t think about New York City before the bridges were built…  New York City isn’t New York City without it’s monuments…  So, why would he say such a thing?

I see it as being on the same line as his statement about Adreana’s grandmother.  When Nicolas and Andrea returned to tell him what happened, José just stood there staring at Adreana.  He didn’t smile.  He didn’t gloat.  He didn’t say, “Ya see?  I told you so!”  He says that spirits attack him in the night.  They don’t let him sleep.  He says that they want to remove him from this world.  However, José said that when he returned to Guadalajara from Zacatecas Saturday night, he was able to sleep undisturbed for the first time in years…  They left him be…  We’re not talking about Schizophrenia;  Schizophrenia wouldn’t explain what he said to me 4 years ago and the appearance of my grandfather in my mother-in-law’s kitchen.  Schizophrenia wouldn’t explain José “knowing” about the death of Adreana’s grandmother’s.
Astrology can explain certain things.  But I’m interested more in what it doesn’t explain; and that is what comes before astrology.  I see astrology as how our characters/personalities/moods were formed.  It’s still our physical body in ways, although no.  I’m more concerned with our spirits; and I don’t believe in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic concept of God. So, when I mention God or Spirit it is because I am writing within the confines of our language and our imagination… 

We live within fantasies and illusions no matter how informed, educated and intelligent we may be…  Science could be a convenient illusion or delusion or smoke screen…  Believe in god or pay the consequences.  But if there is no god, there are no consequences.  But, what if I am wrong and there is a Judgement Day? And that is one of the many doubts built into the system of enculturation in all societies…  They teach you very early on…

But, my concern is that so many people have been murdered, exploited, neglected, abused etc and yadi because of the so many different systems of thought that explain the difference between US and THEM, justifying abuse of others throughout the history of humankind… 

We could say that everything that happens on this planet it God’s will, including your father fucking his secretary and Mexican men saying that the one who is married is the wife…  It’s God’s will that we rape and mutilate and disrespect and exploit and lie about others.  Maybe it’s part of male nature to have extramarital affairs and maybe it’s part of the female nature to fall and fall again for that type of man, since his virility his ability to play the game is what truly attracts women.  I saw that at Hampshire College with it’s 60% female and feminist population ragging on the “feminist” males as being SNAGs (Sensitive New Age “gag-me-with-a-spoon” Guys)…  Political power fantasies.  Very few of the activists truly want the relinquishment of the power struggle…  It’s about being an Activist.  It’s not about having a healthier world.  Maybe the men should fuck who they want, especially if the women are willing to give it to them…  Oops! Did I just say something wrong?  How about this:  The bitch doesn’t complain when the male dog leaves her side to pursue another bitch in heat…  If the guys hang out on the street corner like a pack of dogs barking in unison at the woman passing along the street, why complain?  Afterall, God made all of the animals similar in certain aspects.  And within our bodies we find a snake from our mouth to our anus.  The only thing missing is spinal column attached to our digestive tract.  But, in all other forms, the digestive tract moves food in the same way of that of a snake… 

My connection with you is not about Astrology. After all I don't like Cancers.  Ha! Ha!  No.  It's about the spiritual possibility.  And I don't like the word spiritual.  It seems like my own personal buzzword.  But, I don't have another language you can understand.  So, I assume that there is always the possibility of connecting with someone regardless of what is considered socially normal. 

I'm not socially normal.  I wasn't born socially normal.  Without opening my mouth, without lifting a finger I wasn't socially normal.  It's part of my destiny.  I couldn't prevent the death of my father and I couldn't prevent his passing on the gene to me...  It's enough to understand that this has nothing to do with character, attitude, world view or decision making.  Life or God or the Spirits or the astros decided for me.  And I spend my life responding within the situation.  Built into the situation is the reality that so few people could possibly understand what the hell...  From the very beginning of our meeting, wherever and however that may be, you and so many others will notice that I am different.  It could be very basic from the osteoma on my forehead THAT I REFUSE TO REMOVE IF I HAD THE MONEY, since I'm not so frivolous or shallow (I am very vane), to hearing how I talk...  You wouldn't become close to me because of a warning bell and I would be very careful not truly allowing you into my world if I didn't feel that we had some work to do together...  something truly to share...  I'm very frank and very candid.  But, in the real world, I keep you at more than an arms length... 

But, about "knowing" a person...  How many of us know ourselves?  Ok, that may seem like a popular new age question...  Fine.  How many of us truly know the person to whom we are married?  How many people know the true reason we hooked up and then made the decision to marry?  How many people know the true reasons why they make horrible mistakes or horrible life decisions?  Do you truly like what you think you truly like?

I think life is a crap shoot.  You make the best decisions you can and you live with the repercussions and hope that you are being clean and honest with yourself....  Hopefully we are truly intuned with ourselves, with life and with others...  That way we have a slightly better chance at not fucking up... 

You've gotta understand that I met Margarita without a common language.  And I remembered everything she told me about herself and her family when I was in my first weeks of learning Spanish with a dictionary in my hand and with my ears open trying to have a conversation in everyday life... 

I didn't know Margarita.  She couldn't have known me.  She does not know "my world", meaning that she doesn't know where I grew up, where I was born, how are the people, how do I interact with them and a hundred thousand more things. But, I know her world. I'm a semi-expert in her world.  She doesn't know English.

But, somewhere down the line she must have learned faith in me or in us...  I could leave.  I could disappear and she wouldn't have any way of seeking me without legal access into the U.S., without English, without money...  And I feel horrible for her, since that's a horrible thing to carry.  But somewhere there must be true respect and consideration within the relationship. And we must believe in the other person.  We must trust.

I wonder why I should trust you with all this information I share with you.  I chose you.  And that could be horribly stupid or foolish.  But, if you disappear, I don't lose anything, since you were never truly there.  If you were truly there, you wouldn't disappear, if you know what I mean.  It's a belief in spirit... or destiny or life's work. 

You can say anything. You can ask anything.  Language was created for exchanging information, for communicating--for sharing ideas and experiences, for knowing, for understanding.  Very few people have anything to share... nor do they truly share concerns...  If you lack that, it will just be another leaf floating upon the river...  But if you are different... Well, lucky me and lucky us...  Like I said, it's a crap shoot.  And then you die.  And then your body becomes organic crap shat out of a  whole bunch of other varying organisms.  But I am not just my body.  And I learned that through my surgeries...  Sometimes you must have alternative experiences in order to start understanding exactly what the hell is going on around you.  Maybe you've gotta have those experiences to actually begin truly interacting with the real world...

That's why I ask you questions about what happened in Colima, about your husband.  Because I believe something else is going on.  And I believe you know it...  Maybe you shouldn't have thought it special that you believe that you and I are the only ones from Branchburg who know of Evergreen and Hampshire.  In the bigger picture, this is actually very small.  But, it does say something about the other person and possibly their value systems.  But you will find a whole bunch of horribly materialistic, egoistic, super-privileged, status hungry Hampshire alumns who would make you nauteous.  I was different there too...  But something drew me to that school and that something has something to do with my style of living and my world or universal view. 

So, maybe, possibly you don't need to truly "know" me...  to know me, to ask questions or participate within the conversation.

Or maybe I'm incorrect.  And, no, I'm not that person in the café talking about who is a triple Leo...  Infact, I have very little interest in the astrology of others.  It helped me put myself and my life into perspective.  It helped me understand aspects of certain relationships.  I do think it can help people understand themselves more, accept themselves more and possibly understand their relationships with others.  But, that is a personal belief based upon experience and I don't spend my time within Astrology here...  I begin looking into Astrology when I am bored and have nothing better to do with my time, meaning that I don't have a book, am tired and don't have the space for painting, or the inspiration for drawing...  I go through periods of heavy reading and then periods of almost no reading.  I go through periods of painting and drawing and then periods when I don't paint or draw.  Reading usually is during the Autumn-Winter period and painting/drawing is during the spring/summer period.  "Autumn/Winter cocoons"...  I was just loving the reading spree of the past 3 weeks.  I don't have a book that grabs me at the moment and I've never had the patience for reading on the internet.  Astrology is easy, quick, sometimes very intriguing or momentarily intriguing as it was for a moment today. 

And there you have it, my response.

And now you probably think I'm totally nuts and it doesn't matter what else I say.  Read your message.  I am inspired to comment to something you wrote.  I re-read what I wrote and am inspired to expand upon what I wrote.  And then I realize that so much of what I wrote has so little to do with you, but has something to do with what I want to say to others, so I place it on my blog, risking you thinking that I had broken some sort of interpersonal/privacy code.  And then I decide to re-read what you wrote, since I am sure that I didn't adequately read or respond to what I read.  And here I am... not as nuts as you probably think...  

Truthfully, I don't understand why I woman should be looking at her watch or a clock when she is in the midst of giving birth.  My mother told me that I was born around 1pm.  That would have made my rising sign Libra or Scorpio.  In all I read about rising sign in Libra or Scorpio, I didn't see me.  So, I contacted the hall of records of the municipality where I was born and they sent me my birth certificate with the time: 10:45am.  Big difference making my rising sign Virgo, with all the hyper critical, perfectionist, prudish, analytical and isolationist social qualities...  I don't like parties.  I don't like small talk.  I don't like public events.  I don't like crowds.  While I work in giant fairs, I've never been to one in my adult life, with the exception of going with the environmental club to the 4-H Fair...  I love New York City and walking through all the crowds; but I'll repeat WALKING THROUGH the crowds, passing through them, not staying within them.  I'm not agoraphobic or xenaphobic.  I so much prefer large cities of isolated rural regions...  I don't go to parties; I've never thrown a party.  

But back to knowing the time of our births...  Only for Astrological purposes, I wish that all exact birthtimes were recorded; not by the mother, but by the hospital and saved within the hall of records...  But, that's only to say that the society believes in Astrology.  Otherwise, why record this information?

I can't understand your father's behavior as being embarrassing for your mother.  I feel that the word for describing her experience must have been much worse.  Then again, I don't know how he went about it and how he presented it or reacted to accusations and concerns infront of you or towards her...  I can understand how you would have felt embarrassed.  Afterall, it was your father...  But, having not been there to experience him and your mother, truthfully I can't near imagining, although I can imagine how your mother felt...  

Children do one of two things in response to their parents' behaviors: 1) they emulate them/repeat the same lifestyle; 2) they organize their lives and mentality around not repeating their parents' behaviors.  But, our first role model and the #1 educator/informer is our parent.  So, it is human to not being exactly as you wish you would be...  But, you must learn to truly accept you.  Saying that it is human not being perfect is just a throw-out phrase that probably makes you feel worse in ways, since it sounds like a cop-out.  "Who do... Who do you think you're foolin'"  Who sang that line and tell me more about that song...  I'm not pulling out any more of the lyrics; drawing a blank, although I know exactly who sang the song...  I see them singing it on the Muppets:-)

Truthfully, what inspired me most to write you one more time is your statement about not knowing me well enough to discuss such an intimate statement...  But, that's just the problem.  No one thinks they know another person well enough to discuss such an intimate issue.  Michael's wife M'nique surprised me and visited me in the hospital during the last surgery.  We weren't close.  She visited me alone, without Michael.  I imagine Michael visited me.  But, M'nique is strangely shy or timid or prudish (she's a horrible Virgo).  But she visited me, which was great.  I spent my last New Years Eve in the U.S. (and the only one that I actually celebrated in my life, since my father died that day and I was raised not celebrating it) with her (her invitation) in a Native American sweat lodge ceremony in Stony Brook, Long Island.  Michael was "abroad".  I believe he was in Sydney.  So, I went with her and my friend Milo.  None of my friends comment on my writings in my blog.  No one talks to me about this stuff.  Margarita is incredibly supportive and goes through stages of concern or worry.  But, I'm sure she senses my tension connected with the subject of doctors or examinations and she learns to not say anything, as I am with José "Montaña"...  She wonders what is going on within my body.  I wonder too...  But, maybe I don't truly want to know.  Or I don't want to enter into that discomfort connected with being responsible...  Or maybe it just doesn't matter, because I don't believe that any Mexican doctor can know anything about my "disease" and if they did know something, I don't believe they will be very adept...  So, why enter?  

I have my wife.  But, there is a cultural/language divide...  We connect deeply.  We develop an increasing understanding, love and respect for one another.  But, she is only one half of my reality; my other half is my former life in the U.S., my yearning for reconnecting with those people, with sharing with them, with returning to that lifestyle.  I yearn for having intimacy with true friends.  But, that is almost impossible.  And you can't just be intimate with just anyone at any given time.  And you can't be intimate because someone said so, that someone possibly being you.  I've learned a lot from life and a lot from relationships.  And one thing I've learned is that you shouldn't expect anything from anyone.  Whatever you've said to me that is intimate, is a surprise and has been inspiring or appreciated.  But, as you know, I don't ask you a question two times.  You share what you share.  And if you don't share anything tomorrow; well, that's absolutely normal.  

All this said, I don't believe I will return to the U.S.  I need a miracle that would say that it all would work out; and I won't abandon Margarita.  She is my connection to the me that I love and respect.  And I never met "her" in the U.S., if you know what I mean. But there is a cultural issue within me, and that is that I am not from here and I long for what I enjoyed there, that I don't find here and the most important of those things is TRUE AND ENJOYABLE FRIENDSHIPS.  Mexicans don't understand that...  There are cultural issues here that make it very difficult to find this type of friendship.  Here, the friendships are more political and reguarded with suspicion...  And as I've said before, male friendships revolve around alcohol and around the disrespect towards women..

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Saturn in the 9th House; Saturn in Taurus; Thoughts about Astrology, Thoughts about Ross

For me, Saturn is the most important planet in Astrology, since it relates to your life struggle, fears, shadow; something you must question, confront and overcome over a lifetime.  Saturn is your route that encompasses and influences all of your other astrological planets and signs.  As modern humans, each of us choses which planet most interests us depending upon our "needs" and desires at the moment.  For instance, the sun has so much to do with ego, the moon has to do with some sort of dependency/connection within relationships, your emotional state, Venus has to do with aesthetics/beauty/tastes, cultural styles, art...  Mars has to do with aggression and how you go pursue your goals, be it gaining a lover or obtaining a material need, pursuing a career.  Jupiter has to do with your spiritual beliefs, the Rising sign or Ascendent has so much to do with relationships, how people perceive us and our outward appearance, and Saturn has to do with our true life struggles, our fears, what we think we reject, what we hide in the closet, our shadow.  If you believe that the only way to overcome obstacles is by confronting them, then you embrace your Saturn and you don't hide yourself from others or from yourself...  You accept conflict as part of the process...  But maybe you believe that the most important aspect of your horoscope is your Sun, Mars and Ascendent.  That wouldn't be a surprise if you are from 21st Century Hollywood influenced United States. Ego, Ambition and Public Relations/Networking/Who you know/appearance (Sun, Mars, Rising) are all about that.  The problem is that there is so much more to life and to you than those 3 aspects.  So, if you ignore the rest, maybe you will become very disattisfied later on in life...  All this said, I read that my Saturn is in Taurus in the 9th House.  But I can't find any information written about that as a whole.  I only encountered Saturn in the 9th House as if that means that it is in Sagittarius or Saturn in Taurus, although she connects that with the 2nd house...  Following are the two written pieces.   Both heavily ring a bell in me...  

Here we have the call of the spiritual journey—here the “work” of Saturn in Sagittarius or the 9th house is about learning what brings meaning to life. Sound easy? It's not….this is not the typical old model of the religious journey, with its call to hand over spiritual authority to someone else, but the call to seek personal meaningfulness in this life. This is a quest for knowledge—it’s not about accepting the image of a god who is all knowing and all judging—in fact, with this placement, you’re likely to find the idea of an Old Testament god or any patriarchal super-ego to be quite distasteful! (Yes, this could include your boss at work too…)
But…you’d like to be right. You have a hunger for wisdom. You may be persistent, humorous and have a tolerant view of life, yet at your core there’s a hunger for something more. You want to get your relationship with God and Life right—even if you’re an atheist. You want daily work that has meaning, and a life you can be proud of. Who doesn’t? But your ability to set priorities and “focus in” can make the rest of us look spiritually lazy...for you’re willing to travel, study and struggle to come into right relationship with your Self.
Some astrologers might see this Saturn placement as being one of the “reluctant philosopher.” It sounds easy, but the search for wisdom often leads us on paths that travel right through hell before we get it right. You don’t get this hunger for Truth, fairness, and spiritual equality by being in a state of bliss—it’s more likely you’ve seen and lived through the worst, and passed through the shadows of prejudice, constriction, and narrow minded injustice. Most of us are reluctant travelers through the realms of hell.
Saturn Return Questions: With Saturn, the planet of “concentrated focus” in expansive Sagittarius, you will be challenged to see both sides of any issue and to hold the “tension of the opposites” in your life till the gleam of understanding and wisdom breaks through. Don’t give up! As you willingly hold two opposing viewpoints or have to choose between “a rock and a hard place” make a decision to wait and ponder before acting. The right answer will arise in time. Can you set your own self-generated priorities and find what brings inner freedom for you? You are being called to be a wise person who will teach the rest of us the true meaning of freedom, tolerance and love. But no short cuts are allowed—you can’t do a spiritual bypass on emotional problems. One step at a time…and you’re there. Not so bad! ~ Elizabeth Spring

With Saturn in Taurus there can often be a “fear of loss” both subtly and not so subtly. Saturn’s lesson in Taurus is to teach the individual how to develop his self-worth by discovering and upholding his true sense of values and priorities, independent of society’s judgment.
  On the downside, there are several challenging manifestations with this placement.
 Saturn in Taurus appreciates the fine things in life, but still may be dealing with a sense of scarcity and fear of loss on some level. There’s a desire for stability—emotional, financial, even spiritual. Taurus would like clear uncomplicated answers. Life is paradoxical and often messy, so this in itself upsets those who have Saturn placed in Taurus.
   Taurus has an affinity (or ‘issues’ as we often say!) with food, beauty and money—so Saturn here tests our relationship with each of these things. Physically, it effects how we feel about our body; the manner we perceive ourselves physically, and how susceptible we are to social pressures about our looks. If other planetary parts of our charts are rebellious and are non-conforming there can be even more challenges, as Saturn in Taurus can manifest as a love-hate struggle with food, money, diets, exercise, and struggle with the process of aging.
Similar to other earth signs, Saturn in Taurus can be a workaholic who can experience guilt and shame for indulging in the rewards of hard work. In a sense you could see yourself as “being tested” for knowing and living by your true sense of values. Don't make material things too important. You may want to possess even loved ones; so jealousy can be a problem.
 Saturn in Taurus is persistent to the point of stubbornness, and has great stamina and loyalty. You can be very pragmatic, restricting yourself in the present, and with careful planning you may put off immediate gratification for the promise of future reward.
 If Saturn is afflicted by difficult aspects, money isn't denied, but there may be problems attached to it, as well as in the use of your sexual energy. The 2ndand 5th chakras are involved here, so sexual as well as throat and speech issues can be important. But because something is “challenging” doesn’t mean it’s bad or lacking, in fact, when you meet the challenge, you may very well find you have gifts in precisely those areas in which you are challenged!
 Saturn in Taurus motivates one to discipline, structure, and ‘grounding’. Saturn here will teach lessons of trust, patience and self-worth. Many people with this placement achieve what they want in life because they are willing to bring their loyalty and persistence to long-term plans and goals.
Saturn Return Questions: When do I sabotage myself by being too slow to respond or too fearful to take a risk? Could I give myself more time to ponder what my true beliefs are, and act from them, rather than “reacting” to outside pressure or expectations? Do I cultivate-- and let myself appreciate--the joys of loyal friendships? What would happen if I changed my mind about some old assumptions? elizabethspring@aol.com   www.elizabethspring.com

Monday, September 26, 2011

Anti-Culturalism, Anti-health in Mexico; God, the devil, books and conversations with a past life September 26, 2011

I didn't find the books I was looking for today when I went to one of the few bookstores I know in Guadalajara. So, I have only two options for passing my time; 1 is writing, which means I've gotta return to the yoga letter response I lost the other day; 2 is draw or paint. But after walking for miles around the city, I'm too tired to draw or paint. So, I guess I must return to that letter, although this response won't be as interesting as the one I lost...

Your husband is an unpaid PT artist... So, if he works as a part time artist, what does he do for the rest of the time... I didn't pick-up your resentful tone the last time I read your letter... You didn't mention his birthday, nor his name, nor anything else. I guess that's a bad sign... You probably don't like that I said that you benefit from your role as the breadwinner... I guess you would appreciate some more contribution from his part. I don't know him... Nor do I truly know what it is you truly expect from life, from yourself and from others. I don't think it's just that. Expectations are strange, arbitrary, often fantasies. So, the question is Do you feel you are receiving enough from yourself and from life, from your relationship from him? I'm not asking you for a response to me. It's something you must do for yourself. How much money do we need? Yes, we probably need more for security, for safety, a few perks. I took Margarita to an Indian restaurant tonight knowing that it will not be anything like what you find in the U.S., since there aren't any Indians here... But, it was something that she really appreciated, something new for her, a little perk, a small luxury. I do the books and know that it's not the greatest idea to throw $350 pesos $30USD into a meal for two. That feeds 4 for almost a week here... But, it made her happy; a relaxed couple thing. Much earlier we stumbled across a tea lounge; something you don't find in Mexico; there was an absolutely wonderful one in Park Slope, Brooklyn... And we paid $80 pesos $7USD for two pots of tea. And she said, "It was like giving yourself a spa, without the cost of the spa..." meaning that, in the middle of a long walk, and also years of limiting ourselves extremely, it was like stumbling upon an oasis with the lounge chairs and the music and the fresh tea flavors and the just relaxing... We may never have our own house, but somehow we've gotta have a healthy relationship and these extras aren't every day.

You want to rent and Margarita wants to stop having to rent. I want to go back 20 years and start over again with the person I learned to be in Mexico; responsible and concerned about getting by. But, I wouldn't be that person had I not met Margarita here in Mexico. I can fantasize about returning to the age of 22 as a much more organized, responsible and concerned young adult. But the truth is that I needed an inspiration for changing. The problem is that here in Mexico it's almost a Lose Lose situation no matter how responsible you are and how much energy you have connected with inspiration. Without a very strong economic base which has so much to do with what family you were born into, it's almost impossible to truly compete in the U.S. middle-class style. I can give you upper middle-class quality food or baked goods. But, I don't have the financial backing for being able to put that business in those communities... And now I am very tired. I've burned myself out, moreso over the past two years with the incredible concern about the insecurity/violence here... At the moment I consider us fortunate to be where/how we are at the moment. 

Oh! And now I know what I wrote about and why... "Americans" get caught up on the belief that the "poor" communities are rich in culture... I thought I would find that in Mexico. I was sure that Mexico was a much more "spiritual" place than the U.S. But, it's just as vacant as the U.S. and worse... without money and access to a better education that nurtures an interest in reading and without money for buying those books, the poor here have less chance of developing a rich culture. Here they exchange all their traditions for garbage food and garbage television programs and garbage clothing... And they don't learn to think and they don't learn to question and they don't learn to care. In fact, it seems that they only care about one thing and that is their "appearances"(physical and socio-political) and if they will have money enough to be able to buy another television or a cell phone with more cell phone games and better speakers for listening to their music and with a video camera built in..., since they just lost their 3rd phone in the past 8 months... Sounds harsh? I've been here almost 9 years and am surprised just how much money is thrown into garbage. I've never bought a television in my life. But how many flat-screen tvs have I seen in poor houses here? My brother-in-laws bought their first cell-phones years before I bought my first one; and for what use? For cellphone games, music and then photographs... 

My ex-roomate Scott visited us with his fiance, now wife, back in 2004. They came to Mexico on a personal photo journalism project and interviewed around 60 families who have sons living and working in New York City. They expected to hear the mothers and the siblings etc say how much they miss the "boys" and how concerned they are for them. Truthfully, it was a  naive point of view of theirs, since the bigger question is Why are do so many Mexicans leave Mexico for the U.S.?  Yes, one would think that with so many Mexicans living in the U.S. there are so many Mexican mothers and siblings with sad faces here in Mexico.  But this is the history of the past 160 years of world immigration to the U.S.  How many Italian mothers and Russian mothers and German mothers and Irish mothers and Chinese mothers etc have suffered the disappearance of their children to the U.S.?  But no one writes about that.  Why not?  Because the bigger story in these and those communities is that now they have family thriving in the U.S.; they have "American" relatives with those perks...

 But, in any case, Scott mentioned that he visited newly constructed houses, many pretty big and pretty modern, constructed with money sent back from the U.S. For the most part, the people didn't know what to do with the space, and lived in those houses as if they were living in the traditional much smaller house. And when asked the question how they felt about their child or brother being so far away from home, the generic response was, "I'm fine. Look at all we have now..." Scott and Laura were horribly disillusioned, just as I am horribly disillusioned. Here, Mexicans complain about the Gringos and the other privileged people of the world. But, the truth is is that what they want most from life is to have the same consumer power as those privileged people. The problem is that no one here cares to make them intellectual/cultural consumers.

Now to talk about Mexican-style consumerism and the ignored health repercussions...

For a moment a bill was passed through the congress and the senate banning soda machines, junk food and candy tables from the public schools, coming into effect in 2013, since 60 percent of the children under the age of 12 are considered obese. Pass by any public school in Mexico and inside the school entrance (inside the school building) greeting the children is a long table piled with candy, Frito-Lay and BIMBO products...manned by housewives who have been given permission to mount their "store"... When you entered Branchburg Central or Somerville High School or Old York School, what did you see? I remember plaques and trophy cases... maybe bulletin boards... But, in Mexico you see these tables... 

Not long after the bills were passed, they were changed and reworked and then tabled. If there wasn't a voting problem in Congress or the Senate, why would they table the bills? Why would they suddenly decide that it was OK that the children were obese and then diabetic as adults? Mexico is #1 in Diabetes in the world. It is also the #1 consumer of Coca Cola products in the world. As I mentioned before, BIMBO is the largest bakery in the world after buying Weston Foods of Canada that was the owner of Wonder. But, BIMBO sells a long line of Hostess style cakes and cookies. The equivalent of the Hostess cupcake now claims to have MORE MILK, as if that is to tell the mothers that it is healthier for their children. Nestle has a monopoly on the purchase of milk in many states of Mexico as it has in the state of Veracruz. Yes, Nestle is better known for its milk products (and coffee products) here in Mexico than it is known for its chocolate products. There was a Nestle Quick commercial showing the mothers how drinking Quick will help their sons grow up to be big and strong... But it doesn't show how they will grow up to be big, fat and diabetic... Nestle picked up on the studies that the raw flesh that covers the coffee bean is high in anti-oxidants (but the raw flesh is removed from the bean and dumped in the second phase of the coffee production process beginning with the harvesting the coffee berries/the fruit of the coffee plant; The coffee pulp isn't even used as organic fertilizer because of its high acid content.  In order for the bean to reach your cup of coffee, it must be removed from the flesh and then it must be removed from the casing.  It is washed and then it is dried.  Finally it is roasted). However, Nestle is marketing Nescafé as having anti-oxidants! Don't eat broccoli or carrots or papaya or swiss chard or or or for anti-oxidants. Drink Nescafé!

 In Mexico, Pepsi loses to Coca Cola hands down. However, it is the proud owner of Frito-Lay, which controlls 85% of the world's junk food production and sales... And, in Mexico, there are at least 50 varieties of Cheetos, "Lays" (called Sabritas in Mexico), Fritos and Doritos to choose from. The child is spell-bound by the new flavors and what to choose from when they enter into the local store. The local family store sells all the varieties of flavored-sweetened waters/sodas, Frito-lay products, BIMBO products and Coca-Cola products and very little of anything else... Then controlling the giant supermarket industry is Wallmart Stores, followed by their Mexican competitors/allies Soriana, Chedraui and Mega; all of these supermarkets displaying purely Frito-Lay, Coca-Cola and BIMBO products. Yes, I'm simplifying this; they sell produce, meat, clothing, household supplies, toys, school supplies, canned sauces and canned vegetable; but who is selling them those goods/what is their place in the international market?  Did you know that Del Monte is from the Yucatan, if I am correct?  How big an enterprise are they?  Don't fool yourself into believing that Mexico and Mexicans are small and poor. 

There are only 2 beer brewing companies in Mexico since they were allowed to absorb all the other popular regional beer brewers; Moctazuma that brews Dos Equis (XX), Indio, and Bohemia, Sol and so many more (if I am correct) and Corona that brews Corona, Negra Modelo, Tecate and so many more. Moctezuma connected with Heinekin and Miller if I'm correct and now is the largest brewer in the world... But, that has nothing to do with the children. However, what connection does that have with the children? Back in July it was announced that just over 40% of Mexicans are alcoholics... By my calculations, that makes almost all adult Mexican males alcoholics... In many cities you see giant drive-through beer cans where you can purchase your liquor while driving. The giant beer cans are called Auto Latas; lata means “can”…  In many of the beer cans there is a small bar for purchasing mixed drinks. In all of the convenience stores, many found at the freeway gas stations, there are walls of refrigerators selling all the brands of cold beer you can imagine. A popular ad on Mexican television takes place at a funeral. The somber comment spoken is, "Death caused by consumption of alcohol, although they didn't ingest one drop..." Seen is the casket of a child being lowered into the grave and the parents crying... But, you must ask, why do they put this ad on the television, if no one restricts the sales and the consumption of liquor?

If anyone, like me, criticizes Mexicans as being thoughtless people without consciousness nor concern for the wellbeing of others, the first thing shoved in my face will be that commercial and all the other propaganda placed in the newspapers and other places stating that the Mexican people and the Mexican government is concerned about the health of their fellow Mexicans; the future of their children... Here there is the argument amongst intellectual university students that the U.S. is one of the #1 contaminators of the environment and that it ignores most of the environmental laws it supposedly promulgates. However, there is very little regulation of the exhaust that comes out of the city buses.  You can see your toilet water dumped into the stream behind your house and watch that stream connect to rivers that dump into the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific Ocean.  There is a beautiful giant ravine that is the natural boundary of Guadalajara where we are living at the moment.  We went to the nearest park with great views of the ravine and the river that winds through it.  From at least 2 miles away, the white/yellow foam covering the river is clearly seen passing through the lush green forrests that drop down from the mountains... 

4 years ago we were on a beach in Acapulco in the luxury hotel region.  Suddenly people started screaming and running out of the water.  Did someone just spot a shark?  NO!  Raw sewage was suddenly dumped into the ocean from a drainage pipe crossing the beach towards the ocean!  In Acapulco of all places! And, no, we weren't on a luxury vacation.  We were working there, sleeping on the floor of our stand two blocks from the street, bathing in horribly dirty bathrooms in the Convention Center where we had our coffee bar...

Do you want me to write a thesis on anti-Culturalism in Mexico?  Ask me questions and I will pull out my memories...  Do you want photographs of all the bleached blonde Mexicans?  How about the study that came out at least 5 years ago stating that Mexico is in the top 3 countries where their people spend the most money on appearance?  #1 is the U.S. # 2 is Brazil. #3 is Mexico.  Appearance?  What does that signify?  Plastic surgery, Cosmetics, Clothing, hair styling, hair products.  Now, before I learned that Mexico was #12 then #11 then #10 in the list of the the richest of the world’s 196+/- countries, I exclaimed "HOW CAN THAT BE? WHERE DO THEY GET THEIR MONEY?"

Wherever you see a Starbucks in Mexico, you see a coffee bar/cafe more filled than any other coffee bar/café in the town, city or country...  Maybe you would think that they offer discount prices. Our wonderful moca frappucino which has whipped cream costs $30 pesos or $2.50USD.  Their frappuccinos run from $40-55 pesos...  Where do the people get their money?  I've been told that in Monterrey, Mexicans put on suits and ties to go to Starbucks and only speak in English there!  Go to Starbucks in Union Square, New York and check out what the people are wearing...  My point is that here in Mexico people believe that, by going to Starbucks you are making a statement about your class-level/status...  It doesn't matter that the Starbucks coffee in Mexico is horribly flavorless...  Surprised? when in the U.S. (at least when I was last there almost 9 years ago), Starbucks coffee was horribly strong (people claimed that Starbucks burned their beans...) and it generally "short-circuited" my brain.  If I drank it on my way to work I would find myself incapacitated for at least 2 or 3 hours, as if I had been drugged. 

That said, I think I'm going to end this.  And I haven't mentioned what happened with Mexican Traditional crafts/artesans and their wonderful culinary traditions...  speaking of "poor yet wealthy in culture..."

I started re-reading this and forgot to mention how much paperback novels cost here; the going rate is between $220 and $360 pesos ($18 & 30 USD).  How much would you pay for a Kingsolver or Isabel Allende novel?  If you can find those books in a used bookstore, they still sell for between $6-10USD..., at least 3 times more than I would have payed in NYC.  I worked shortly for Random House and learned that they shredded millions of books a year, intentionally; something having to do with politics and pricing.  I could take home all the books I wanted.  They donated books to libraries, but only if the libraries sent them a written request...  SEND THE DAMN BOOKS TO MEXICO! 

Yes, I think I should find myself a nice little rug and learn to meditate.  If I'm fortunate, I'll also learn how to levitate...  Turn off my brain, pull out my eyes...  Maybe I will write a poem similar to that most beautiful one read at the funeral towards the end of "Four Weddings and a Funeral", but, instead of being in memory of a beautiful man and friend (or lover of the author reading the poem) it will be in memory of human consciousness and "soul"...  But I don't believe it ever truly existed.  That's the story of Moses; the story of Jesus of Nazareth...  They seeking to guide the people away from the shallow abyss of materialism to a more concerned, more responsible, more profound consciousness of their relationship with themselves, others and with the world...

Did you like "The Last Temptation of Christ"? and the possibilities the Greek Author (who grew up very Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic) offers; he claims that he was  very religious and read everything connected with the bible.  But questions kept arrising in his mind; connected with certain biblical contradictions and certain inprobabilities.  The questions nagged him so much that he ended up writing "The Last Temptation of Christ".  I like the idea that Jesus and Mary Magdeline were married and had kids... and that Jesus never truly died...

How about José Saramago's "The Gospel According to Christ"?  He was a poor peasant farmer's son in Spain.  He became a Nobel Prize winning author...  It's really an incredible book.  The idea is very impressive.  The message is mind-blowing; a bit existential.  God and the "Devil" play games with humans in the name of justifying their (God and the Devil) existence...  The people need something new in order to continue believing in God.  So, God creates Jesus.  But, Jesus must die, because "no one" should compete with God's powers.  Plus, Jesus must die for people to believe in him...  Mary Magdalene truly loved Jesus.  Jesus became overly confident and self-righteous.  But she always loved him...

Now, I don't believe in the Devil.  I believe that God is the God of both the "good" and the "bad".  God is the God of all experience necessary for you and I to learn and grow as spirits. 

I believe that there are many "saints" and living "angels" and passionate "Jesus"es and many very sensitive and overly conscious and intelligent people (many of them "mentally ill") who could also become a Jesus... For me, Jesus was a prophet-type person.  Someone who was moved by an uncontrollable need to right the immediate world of its "problems", its contradictions/hypocracies...  But, the world does not truly want to be righted...  We are selfish, greedy, short-sighted, inconsiderate, intentionally ignorant increasingly bored and fearful materialist parasites who only think about the immediate craving and the fear of not being able to sate tomorrow's craving... 

You... Practice yoga, meditate, commune with the earth and the plants and nature and love what is natural; a gift to you from life or from the Earth and practice being thoughtful and considerate and the healthiest person possible and nurture your son and your relationships and the people you love.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Midlife Crises, Facebook Popularity, Friend's Lists; Conversations with a Past Life September 23, 2011

2 minutes ag
  • And I just deleted 130 friends... You may ask, "how could you have done that Ross? afterall, this is the 21st Century determinant of one's popularity; how many friends you have on Facebook!" But I got tired of seeing faces I didn't know or didn't truly know calling people "friends" that don't truly have any interest in having a decent conversation... And truthfully, I am so far away from the reality of ya all... I've never been one for shallow "small talk" and, in as much as I am a 'voyeur', I don't feel good peeking into the lives of people who don't truly interest me; I hardly do that with my true friends connected with me on Facebook. So... If I say yes to you, keep in mind that I may delete you tomorrow... Nothing personal. In fact, it's probably for that exact reason I've deleted over 200 friends and family between June and last night. It's cool. As you've seen in my Blog, I appear a bit cracked. I'm not. But I do see things a bit differently. If that's what interests you in connecting with me on Facebook, cool. But, I have a feeling that you see me as a personal connection with the long lost Cathy Bayer. You still haven't read "Jumping off Train Bridges; Cathy", not that that's so important. Our relationship was based on pure adolescent romantic fantasy. We didn't hook up because that wasn't in the cards for us. Midlife "crisis" sucks, don't you think... This crazy yearning to recover what one has lost from the past. But, that's just it; it's lost, it's gone, like Ian Fagenbaum and Lee Dowchess and who knows how many others. Gone is our youth, our adolescent and young adult vitality. Some of us retain a good part of that energy into our 50s and 60s; but we still lose enough of something in order to become seriously concerned. I imagine you are recently divorced and that's why you are seeking Cathy. Maybe you see this as a chance for rebirth... The problem is that 27 years have passed and we all change/evolve. It's important not to repeat the same mistakes/games we played earlier on... So, all that said, do you still want to be my "friend"? ha! ha! ha! No, I don't believe in religion. I appreciated your photo of where you go for worshipping... Ross

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Drugs and Rage and Disfunctional relationships, Branchburg, New York City, Mexico; conversations with a past life September 21, 2011

Rage... I think it is a very healthy emotion, although we fear our own rage and we fear the helplessness of not being able to change what creates our rage.  So, maybe we convince ourselves not to rage...  Maybe that's why many people become alcoholics or drug addicts...  For some reason I didn't become either... Would you believe that I have never seen Cocaine or Heroin, have seen once a form of acid in a form of a stamp that my younger sister and her friends used, but I've never used it...?  After figuring out that I could drink, I also figured out that I couldn't drink enough to get drunk.  Back when I used to say that 1 out of 6 experiences is a good alcohol high; 2 of those 6 experiences creates what seems like an alergic reaction; the last time I recall happening after drinking who knows how many piña-coladas at a celebration at the Latin American Cultural Center on Park Avenue...  My muscles cramp up horribly.  I develop a horrible pain in my chest and in my head and I have difficulty breathing.  After a half hour it passes and so does any seeming affect of having druck alcohol.  The other 3 times my stomach quickly says, "you're not going to like this one!" and I stop...  I had that allergic reaction a few times drinking apple cider; one of those times was with Francesca at the Oldwick General Store.  In New York City I learned I could drink Tequila and Vodka without feeling bad.  In fact, I felt that those two liquors gave me energy.  But, after my last surgery, especially in Mexico, my body tolerates less and less the consumption of alcohol.  And I loved Mexican Beer!  My grandfather was an alcoholic and supposedly is "travelling" with me.  There is a photo...  I smoked pot with Pete a few times in 10th grade.  One time we were sure it was laced with angel dust.  WHAT AN INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE/HALLUCINATIONS!  We were with Eric Keeler in the fields after sneaking out of the houses after 1am.  I have alergies to hay or long grass spores or whatever; WHAT AN EXPERIENCE SNEEZING!  But then I met you and Fran and Eric took Pete as if he was stealing my friend or lover, since it seemed that Eric was so envious of my friendship with Pete and decided to become possessive of him.  But, I became overly immersed in my relationship with Fran and dumped all my friends...  I smoked pot a few times in 1989 and then one time in 1997 and realized that I didn't like the experience, since I felt horribly trapped...  During my first surgeries, they gave me introvenious injections of Morphine or Demerol, which was an incredible experience at the age of 13.  But, then the practice was changed to injecting it into muscles to prevent the risk of addiction.  And, let me tell you, I can understand why one would become addicted to Heroin.  Let me also tell you that I was very fortunate that I never saw Cocaine in my life, because I never went to parties in High School or afterwards.  The third time that Peter and I wanted to smoke marijuana, we road our bikes to the Somerville Movie theater on the circle and Peter encountered the person who sells to his sister's friend who gave us the pot that was laced.  He said that he didn't have any marijuana, but he could get us cocaine and I said, NO...  And somehow I ended up counciling alcoholics and drug addicts in the Veteran's Homeless Shelter in Long Island City, Queens until just after 9/11 when I informed my boss that I would need a leave of action for my last major surgery and I was promptly fired by the Salvation Army Social Services:-) and my insurance promptly dropped me...  And now I hear Ani DiFranco in the distance.  But I can't make out the song, because it is very faint in my memory...  Something about building buildings upon graveyards and "You tell me what's real... You tell me how to deal..." or something like that...  

No, I've never truly dabbled in drugs or alcohol; just in food and girlfriends...  a lot of disfunctional relationships with women, many who had been sexually abused as children...  No, I didn't have many girlfriends.  But I almost always had a girlfriend.  I think I dated a few prostitutes in New York City and had some experiences, 2 to be precise with much older women when I was a very young man, who clearly sexually abused their sons...  uhm...  One was my 42-years-old supervisor opening up Flowertime when I was 17-years-old, who invited me to my first rock concert ELP.  The second was a 36-year-old artist from Lawrenceville when I was 21-years-old...  She wanted to teach me to paint.  But it was 8 years too early...  I didn't cheat on Francesca.  But I cheated on Sue.  But Sue was cheating on me the whole time, but not with other people.  I wrote about it in my blog piece about Cathy Bayer called "Jumping off Train Bridges--Cathy"...  I don't believe I wrote about Dina from Lawrenceville.  

The point?  

Fuck the point!  The truth is that I got tired of other peoples' problems and you (the general you) should be tired of my problems too... if I lay them onto you...  I've gotta catch myself.  And, no, it's not about insensitivity.  But, there is a limit to what other people can do for you.  Most of the struggle is personal and won alone, if won.  The help people can give others is with financial support, career or business ideas, networking--job connections-connections with galleries or with people who will become our friends later on.  But with psychological/spiritual/existential pain--angst...  That is something very personal.  

I vent.  I believe in venting...  But, I also believe that we should give others a break.  I can't expect anyone to read everything I write all the time.  And truthfully, at this point, I will question the mental health of someone who reads everything I post on my blog.  Now, if I'm writing directly to you....?  Well, now I expect a response each and every time.  Remember, you will be quizzed at the end of the week:-)

That said and done... Where am I?  

I am very fortunate that I wasn't introduced to drugs or I would be dead a long time ago.  And, yes, you heard that I committed suicide in 1988...  But you didn't hear that I did it again in 2001 and then finally succeeded January 28th, 2003...  And I say that I am very fortunate that I wasn't introduced to cocaine and or heroin or I would be dead long ago.  But, maybe I don't truly understand myself or the situation.  Maybe I would have been so much better off.  Imagine dying to a heroin overdose; truthfully floating to heaven....  Ha! Ha! Ha!

When I was at R.V.C.C. and possibly before Dead Head friends at R.V.C.C. or of my younger sister Beth use to talk about LSD being "the key" and other things.  They would talk about "what if Ross tried it" or other things...  No, this isn't LIFE cereal and I was not Mikey.  But, it seems that so often the friends or aquaintances would reach the conclusion, "Ross doesn't need acid or weed... he's already high.." or that I just didn't need to artificially need to alter myself for finding enlightenment or that it would probably end up in a bad trip since it wasn't necessary for me.  And I always kept  myself on the edge of or aloof to those conversations and I don't truly understand why...  

I even went to my only Grateful Dead concert in Pittsburg.  I had the car and suddenly new friends from Bernardsville if I'm correct.  But, during the concert most of those friends disappeared.  Yes, I smoked pot with them and we all drove high crossing from Pittsburgh back to Somerset County.  Now that was horror and incredibly stupid.  But it passed...  I don't believe we even ran over a squirrel and, fortunately we weren't pulled over by any state troopers or that would have been the end of my driving my Nissan Stanza and who knows what else...  

Well, this was a letter inspired by you, by something you wrote a very short long time ago; but a must for my blog...