13 Dec 2017 Random Sharpies and Women with wings (dream)

Hello to you.  It’s Wednesday.  There is the sound of rapid gun-fire somewhere in town just now – sounds like it’s just down the street by the man-made pond where they just built a bunch of new houses.  Living where I do that isn’t  uncommon to hear people target practicing or hunting but not at 6:55 am on a school day!  Kind of weird.   With all the mass shootings in this country now it’s unsettling to hear gun fire like that because it’s hard to know if people are hunting animals or other people!   We live right near an Jr. High School and an Elementary school.

23 July 2016 the process today — getting fancy!

Yesterday afternoon I decided to revisit making music with my lap harp (https://saymber.com/2016/07/23/22-july-2016-my-first-light-song-using-my-music-maker-lap-harp-to-help-me-a-possible-new-way-to-make-music-practicing-the-exercise-of-following-through-for-people-with-adhd-aka-monkey-mind/).  The pendant I was using before lost all the color coating on it so I can’t really use it and it’s difficult to use.  So I came up with an idea to toss my collection of colored Sharpie markers and that actually worked lol!  I definitely need to refine this idea.  It’s fun to be creative and explore new ways of making music.

It all started with this pendant I got for like a $1 at a neighbors garage sale last year

This is the combination that came up.  I had to laugh when I actually played it on my harp because it sounded horrible, dissonant just like this world looks and sounds to me right now:

So – Blue, Do – Pink, La – Indigo, G – Teal, Fa – Green, Ti, Violet, Do – Red, Re – Orange, Fa – Lime Green, B – Pink, Fa – Green, Mi – Yellow, D – Brown, Do- Red, Ti –  Violet, B – Pink, Ti – Violet, C# – orange, La – Indigo, Fa – Green, Re- Orange, B- Fuchsia, Ti – Violet, Re – Orange

When I had the markers laid out, a large fly landed specifically on an orange marker and flew away.  Colors can “mean” many things.  Lately orange for me has been about our President.  This time the colors orange, green, black and brown brought to mind the Irish slave trade: https://saymber.com/2016/09/24/24-sept-2016-london-town-2016-film-starring-jonathan-rhys-meyers-and-inconvenient-truths-of-our-past-the-irish-slave-trade/.

This phrase, “Slavery is not a color problem it is a human problem” came to mind looking at these colors put together.  In this very day and age we have human beings being trafficked, bought and sold into slavery  (Lybia:  http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/horrified-by-libya-slave-trade-rwanda-offers-refuge-african-migrants-wishing-leave-country-1648518).  Sometimes the slavery is consensual but it is slavery nonetheless.

The dream I had last night/this morning (time doesn’t exist in the dream world of course) was about being in a place where women had wings.  I had wings too but we didn’t use them, we hid them until one day when “Grandma” was gone.  I can remember flying over water were other women with wings were.  Then she was coming back unannounced and we had to hurry and clean up before we got caught using our wings.

This dream is resonant to what I am seeing in the headlines ever day about sexual misconduct.  Women want to soar next to the men and make this world a better place without shame for being who they are…without the four letter word FEAR clipping their wings.  People just want to be who they have been put on this earth to be.  They just keep getting obstructed!  If you notice, babies are talking and becoming aware faster and faster than I’ve ever seen before.  I wonder if this is an indication of the state of emergency we are in?

12 Dec 2017 – I was thinking the spiral on the tips of our fingers is a reminder of our connection to God and the Universe.

The way I’ve been feeling lately – on a bridge walking to the unknown.

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8 Dec 2017 Old town visit, Jan Ingenhousz (Photosynthesis), Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his interns, CRISPR-Cas9 (Gene editing) and Our Father (prayer)

Hello to you. How are you this morning? I am on my second cup of coffee as I write to you….another night of poor sleep. Kyle says that after the Vet’s office calls us to collect May’s ashes and we bring them home, may be I’ll be able to rest. I’ll admit I do keep listening for her voice. Last night before bed I did a drawing and she was definitely there in my thoughts as I did it:

7 Dec 2017 – Drawing I did before bed last night. Missing our May kitty.

Yesterday afternoon I went to our town square to see if one of the shops, Indians and Outlaws (https://www.facebook.com/Indiansandoutlaws) in particular, still had some of the home-made soaps I bought last year.  Kyle’s youngest brother just loved the lemon soaps.  The shop owner, Brian and I had another one of our far-reaching spiritual talks.  He told me he loves it when I come in there because of the discussions we get into.  As we talked he was saying it was funny how many things we were talking about overlapped with conversations he had just had with other people.  I love it when that happens!  He reminds me of my Dad’s brother Uncle John when he was younger.  He could be family!  Part of our conversation before I bought the soaps, was about our physical bodies just being earthly vessels – Brian’s words and I really liked that way of saying what we both believe.  These bodies are just earthly vessels.  We both also feel like Jesus never left us – just became part of us all.

7 Dec 2017 – it was cold after I got back from talking to Brian but I was so inspired I did this drawing.

After spending time with Brian, I walked down to Alvarado Crafts, Gifts and Collectibles to see how everyone was doing in there: (https://www.facebook.com/Alvarado-Gifts-and-Collectibles-147253735447257/ or  http://lloop27.wixsite.com/alvarado-gifts)

Snowflakes had started to fall, which was surprising to us all!  Apparently Brian and Mr. Davis had a friendly wager going on between them about that the day before!  I was sad to find out that the owner’s mother-in-law Darlene son Michael wasn’t doing very well.  It sounded like they weren’t sure if he would be with us much longer.  Michael suffers from muscular dystrophy.  They lost his brother recently from the same condition.  The two boys had shared the same room for 12 years.  I can only imagine how lonely it must be for Michael without his brother who probably understood him better than anyone on this earth.  My prayers are with these folks.  It’s tough to face such things, especially during a time of year that is supposed to be happy.

So this mornings post title and subject matter may seem oddly patched together. It started with my seeing Google celebrating the 287th birthday of the Dutch physiologist, biologist and chemist named Jan Ingenhousz. I didn’t remember hearing about him so when I looked and saw he was responsibly for the discovery of photosynthesis in plants, I had to know more!

http://time.com/5055533/jan-ingenhousz-google-doodle-photosynthesis-plants/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Ingenhousz

Jan Ingenhousz or Ingen-Housz FRS (8 December 1730 – 7 September 1799) was a Dutch physiologist, biologist and chemist. He is best known for discovering photosynthesis by showing that light is essential to the process by which green plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.[1][2][3] He also discovered that plants, like animals, have cellular respiration.[4] In his lifetime he was best known for successfully inoculating the members of the Habsburg family in Vienna against smallpox in 1768 and subsequently being the private counsellor and personal physician to the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa.[5]

As I perused the news headlines, I was curious to see what happened with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his interns. It turned out there was “plant-related” discussion, about cannabis (Marijuana) in particular (see the actual video by using the link):

http://www.businessinsider.com/interns-confront-jeff-sessions-on-police-brutality-gun-control-marijuana-2017-12

Justice Department interns confronted Jeff Sessions over police brutality, gun control, and marijuana

Michelle Mark

Justice Department interns posed tough questions to Attorney General Jeff Sessions during an event over the summer, newly published video shows.

Sessions told one intern that “other places in the country” have different views regarding excessive use-of-force from police officers.

He told another that marijuana is not a healthy substance.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was grilled by Justice Department interns over the summer about contentious issues like police violence and marijuana legalization, an internal video obtained by ABC News shows.

During the private event, one intern asked Sessions about Philando Castile and Michael Brown, two black men killed in recent years by police officers who were not convicted for the fatal shootings.

“I grew up in one of these communities,” the intern said. “I grew up in the projects to a single mother. And the people who we are afraid of are not necessarily our neighbors but the police.”

Sessions, appearing frustrated, replied, “Well, that may be the view in Berkeley, but it’s not the view in other places in the country.”

“I hear you, I hear you,” Sessions continued. “We’ve got a situation where we need to confront violent crime in America in cities that have abandoned traditional police activities, like Baltimore and Chicago. Murder rates have surged, particularly in poor neighborhoods.”

Sessions went on to say that the Justice Department is committed to defending Americans’ civil rights and would prosecute police officers who violate them.

Coincidentally, the video’s release occurred on the same day as the sentencing of former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager, who will serve 20 years in prison for fatally shooting Walter Scott in the back as he fled a traffic stop in April 2015. Slager pleaded guilty in May to federal civil rights violations.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said Thursday that Sessions’ discussion with the interns was intended to give students the opportunity “to have robust conversation — even debates — about the challenges facing our country with the attorney general.”

‘Marijuana is not a healthy substance’

Another intern posed a fiery question comparing marijuana deaths to gun deaths, remarking that the latter was more statistically significant.

“Since guns kill more people than marijuana, why lax laws on one and harsh laws on the other?” she said.

Sessions responded that the question was one of “apples and oranges” and asked whether she was aware of the Second Amendment.

“I intend to defend that Second Amendment. It’s as valid as the First Amendment. So that’s my basic philosophical view about it,” he said. “Look, there’s this view that marijuana is harmless and it does no damage. I believe last year was the first year that automobile accidents that occurred were found to have been caused more by drugs than by alcohol.”

He went on to say that “marijuana is not a healthy substance, in my opinion,” arguing that the American Medical Association is “crystal clear on that.” When Sessions asked the intern whether she believed that point, the intern responded, “I don’t.”

“Okay, so Dr. Whatever Your Name Is, you can write to AMA to see why they think otherwise,” Sessions said.

I don’t entirely agree with the Attorney General either and found his reply to the intern rather rude. A few pro’s and con’s about Marijuana:

http://www.cannabissearch.com/articles/pros-vs-cons-of-marijuana/

Pros vs. Cons of Cannabis

There are many great things that cannabis has to offer, both as a medicine and a potentially legal drug in the future. On the other end of the spectrum, there are a few negative aspects about this medication. Under current federal law, the Controlled Substances Act classifies marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance. This is means that the U.S. government feels that there are no accepted medical benefits, it has a high potential for abuse and is unsafe for use even under medical supervision. As of now, 16 states and territories currently permit medical marijuana use for patients with legitimate prescriptions for the substance. The following will chronicle both the pros and cons of medical marijuana use, as well as legalization.

Pros

Despite the fact that the government has classified cannabis as a Schedule I substance, it has been proven that marijuana is helpful in the treatment of many medical ailments, ranging from cancer to anxiety. One of the main reasons many feel that marijuana is still illegal is because of the minimal amount of effort the government has put into testing its medicinal value. Were cannabis to be legalized, it would be easier for scientists to conduct tests proving marijuana’s effectiveness as a medication. Another positive outcome of legalization would be the immense amount of jobs it would generate for people such as Oaksterdam graduates. Taxing marijuana (like we now do with alcohol) would also assist in maintaining a steadier economy. In California, medical marijuana generates over $14 billion per year. Ironically, the United States government spends an estimated $10 billion per year trying to rid the streets and dispensaries of marijuana. Imagine how much more revenue would be generated if you could purchase it at a convenience store.

Cancer patients and/or those undergoing chemotherapy find medical marijuana extremely helpful in reducing vomiting, nausea and increasing appetite. Most of these patients are taking enough heavy-duty medications as it is, and rather than take one more for appetite increase (that often doesn’t work), they turn to medicinal marijuana. Also, prior to undergoing potentially worrisome treatments or doctor visits, these patients will find that using medical marijuana prior to these trips can relieve much stress, tension and anxiety. AIDS patients also find this medication helpful in increasing appetite and maintaining some muscle mass.

Shown to provide relief for those suffering from pain and muscle spasms associated with epilepsy and multiple sclerosis (MS), cannabis also helps with chronic pain and depression. Many patients with severe and chronic pain are prescribed medical marijuana, especially those who do not wish to take such “hard” drugs as Oxycontin or Vicodin. There are many more medical ailments that cannabis is capable of treating, including migraines, glaucoma, insomnia, asthma, anorexia, as an alcohol substitute and even ADHD/ADD.

Cons

While exceptionally helpful in treating a wide array of medical problems, as with an medication, is has side-effects. Ingesting cannabis slows the motor skills and reaction time, can sometimes cause paranoia and mood swings, fatigue and increased appetite, while under its effect. Long-term effects of marijuana use include memory loss, confusion and/or a delayed thought-process, blockage of blood vessels and can lead to lung cancer if continuously smoked (not vaporized or eaten). It can also cause loss of motivation, cramps and rarely diarrhea.

Then the path I’m on this morning lead to an article about how Scientists are playing with DNA again. In my mind, this next leading connects back to plants, to the “first” creations of the force, the “God” that created all of existence.  This article is yet another, of too many examples of  how humans insist on continuing to muck around in creation.  Sometimes it seems to me they do it more for  personal glory and profit than for humanitarian aims:

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-crispr-gene-expression-20171207-story.html

Scientists use CRISPR to turn genes on without editing their DNA

The revolutionary gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 is best-known for helping scientists edit a strand of DNA more precisely and efficiently than ever before.

Now, researchers have demonstrated another use for the CRISPR complex: changing what genes are expressed without altering the genome itself.

…………………………………

What this looks like is yet another money-making scheme. Rather than a cure we get another, more expensive treatment option. There will more than likely be the Elysium movie version of such a treatment (for the wealthy) and the rest of us will most likely only have the repeated treatments option like we currently do to “treat” cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other common ailments:

“Our final goal is treatment of disease, so we want to make sure this technique is really working,” Hatanaka said.

Komor said the work is exciting, but she noted that the end result would be a disease treatment, rather than a cure.

“So a patient would likely require repeated treatments depending on the particular disease,” she said.

For example (lead to this article next); could this CRISPR “treatment” potentially cure the incurable Alzheimers disease? Or would it ultimately just be like what is going on in the realms of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases? Kyle and I suspect one of the reasons Bernie Sander’s proposal for healthcare for all Americans (https://berniesanders.com/issues/medicare-for-all/) hasn’t taken hold and been approved is because it would not be in the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry.   Would we see more cures if there was no profit to be made from long-term “treatments?”

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/new-estimate-says-46-million-americans-headed-alzheimer-s-n827456

New estimate says 46 million Americans headed to Alzheimer’s

by Maggie Fox

Close to 50 million Americans could be in the early stages leading to Alzheimer’s disease right now, according to a new forecast.

And 6 million people likely have it now, the team at the University of California Los Angeles calculated.

The forecast is based on a lot of supposition as well as some hard data, but it’s the best estimate of how badly Alzheimer’s will affect the country in the coming years, said Keith Fargo of the Alzheimer’s Association, who was not involved in the research.

Finally lead to prayer. I know from my own personal experience that when people I love and care about are sick or dying I pray to the God of my understanding. There was this headline today:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/pope-francis-wants-to-change-line-of-our-father/ar-BBGnr4G?OCID=ansmsnnews11

Pope Francis wants to change line of ‘Our Father’

Pope Francis has suggested he wants to make a change to The Lord’s Prayer, widely known among the faithful as the “Our Father.”

Specifically, the Catholic leader said in an interview Wednesday he would prefer to adjust the phrase “lead us not into temptation,” saying that it too strongly suggested that God leads people to sin.

“That is not a good translation,” the pope said, according to Reuters.

The phrase “do not let us fall into temptation,” which the Catholic Church in France has previously decided to use, would be a more appropriate alternative, Francis said.

He added that the phrase used by the French, or similar wording, should then be implemented around the globe.

The prayer originated from Jesus’s language of Aramaic. It was then translated to ancient Greek, and later to Latin.

The pope earlier this week weighed in on President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and would aim to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Francis said he was “profoundly concerned” and appealed that “everyone respects the status quo of the city.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

In my curiosity to see if there was something official on the Vatican site, I found this which coincides in the date timeframe of the final article I’m linking:

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/cotidie/2013/documents/papa-francesco-cotidie_20130620_our-father.html

POPE FRANCIS

MORNING MEDITATION IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
DOMUS SANCTAE MARTHAE

Pray Our Father

Thursday, 20 June 2013

(by L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n. 26, 26 June 2013)

There is no need to fritter away words in order to pray: the Lord knows what we want to say to him. The important thing is that our first word be “Father”. Jesus’ advice to the Apostles was what Pope Francis, in turn, offered during the homily at Mass on Thursday morning, 20 June, in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Concelebrating, among others, was Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, who was accompanied by some staff from the dicastery.

Thus the Pontiff repeated Jesus’ advice to the Apostles when he gave them the Our Father, according the Evangelist Matthew’s account (6:7-15). In order to pray, there is no need to make noise or believe that that it is better to use more words. There is no need to trust in noise, the noise of worldliness which Jesus pointed out, “to sound the trumpet” or “making oneself seen while fasting”. To pray, the Holy Father repeated, there is no need to heap up empty phrases: Jesus called this a characteristic of pagans.

Pope Francis went further, confirming that prayer must not be considered a magic formula: “Praying is not something magic; one doesn’t practice magic with prayer”. As he often does, he recounted his personal experience. He said that he never turned to sorcerers who promise magic; rather he knew what happened in meetings of this sort: many words are used to obtain “healing one time and at another time something else” with the help of magic. However, he warned, “this is pagan”.

So how should we pray? Jesus has taught us: “he says that the Father who is in heaven ‘knows what you need before you ask him”. Therefore, let our first word be “’Father’. This is the key to prayer. Without speaking, without feeling this word, praying is not possible”, the Bishop of Rome explained. Then he asked: “To whom do I pray? The almighty God? He is too far away. I don’t feel him; neither did Jesus feel him. To whom do I pray? The God of the cosmos? This is quite frequent nowadays, isn’t it? Praying to the cosmic God. This polytheistic model comes with a superficial culture”.

Rather, we must “pray to the Father”, who begot us. But this is not all: we must pray “our” Father, that is, not the Father of a generic and too anonymous “all”, but the One “who begot you, who gave you life, who gave life to you and me”.

———–

I don’t agree with everything here, to me the term Father is exclusive and paternalistic. I have a loving Father AND Mother and that is not the case for many people on this planet. There are many people who hate their parents and to inject these terms into their prayers often keeps them off prayer altogether. Turns them away from any concept of God altogether.

I believe masculine and feminine energy of creation applies in “heaven” as on earth. I have learned to pray like supposedly Jesus did when he talked to the God of his understanding which it is written was his Father, “Not as I would have it, but as you would have it. Whatever is for the greatest, most loving good for this (person, place or situation.” Then I let it go. I agree with the Pope that when you use too many words or place too many conditions in your prayers you seldom if ever get an discernable answer.

I was curious to see if there would be any articles like this to back up my theories here as to why so many people have turned away from organized religions and was lead to this article:

https://www.npr.org/2013/01/15/169342349/more-young-people-are-moving-away-from-religion-but-why

More Young People Are Moving Away From Religion, But Why?

January 15, 20133:21 AM ET

Heard on Morning Edition

NPR Staff

Rigoberto Perez (from left), Kyle Simpson and Miriam Nissly participated in a roundtable discussion about religion with NPR’s David Greene at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.

Coburn Dukehart/NPR

One-fifth of Americans are religiously unaffiliated — higher than at any time in recent U.S. history — and those younger than 30 especially seem to be drifting from organized religion. A third of young Americans say they don’t belong to any religion.

NPR’s David Greene wanted to understand why, so he gathered a roundtable of young people at a synagogue in Washington, D.C. The 6th & I Historic Synagogue seemed like the right venue: It’s both a holy and secular place that has everything from religious services to rock concerts. Greene speaks with six people — three young women and three young men — all struggling with the role of faith and religion in their lives.

Interview Highlights

Miriam Nissly, 29, was raised Jewish and considers herself Jewish with an “agnostic bent.” She loves going to synagogue.

“I realize maybe there’s a disconnect there — why are you doing it if you don’t necessarily have a belief in God? But I think there’s a cultural aspect, there’s a spiritual aspect, I suppose. I find the practice of sitting and being quiet and being alone with your thoughts to be helpful, but I don’t think I need to answer that question [about God] in order to participate in the traditions I was brought up with.”

Yusuf Ahmad, 33, raised Muslim, is now an atheist. His doubts set in as a child with sacred stories he just didn’t believe.

“Like the story of Abraham — his God tells him to sacrifice his son. Then he takes his son to sacrifice him, and he turns into a goat. I remember growing up, in like fifth [or] sixth grade I’d hear these stories and be like, ‘That’s crazy! Why would this guy do this? Just because he heard a voice in his head, he went to sacrifice his son and it turned into a goat?’ There’s no way that this happened. I wasn’t buying it.

“Today if some guy told you that ‘I need to sacrifice my son because God told me to do it,’ he’d be locked up in a crazy institution.”

Kyle Simpson, 27, raised Christian. He has a tattoo on the inside of his wrist that says “Salvation from the cross” in Latin.

“It’s a little troublesome now when people ask me. I tell them and they go, ‘Oh, you’re a Christian,’ and I try to skirt the issue now. They go, ‘What does that mean?’ and it’s like, “It’s Latin for ‘I made a mistake when I was 18.’

“When I first got the tattoo I remember thinking, ‘Oh, this will be great because when I’m having troubles in my faith I will be able to look at it, and I can’t run away from it.’ And that is exactly what is happening.

“I don’t [believe in God] but I really want to. That’s the problem with questions like these is you don’t have anything that clearly states, ‘Yes, this is fact,’ so I’m constantly struggling. But looking right at the facts — evolution and science — they’re saying, no there is none. But what about love? What about the ideas of forgiveness? I like to believe they are true and they are meaningful.

“I think having a God would create a meaning for our lives, like we’re working toward a purpose — and it’s all worthwhile because at the end of the day we will maybe move on to another life where everything is beautiful. I love that idea.”

Melissa Adelman, 30, raised Catholic

“Starting in middle school we got the lessons about why premarital sex was not OK, why active homosexuality was not OK, and growing up in American culture, kids automatically pushed back on those things, and so we had some of those conversations in school with our theology teachers. The thing for me — a large part of the reason I moved away from Catholicism was because without accepting a lot of these core beliefs, I just didn’t think that I could still be part of that community.

“I remember a theology test in eighth grade where there was a question about homosexuality, and the right answer was that if you are homosexual, then that is not a sin because that’s how God made you, but acting upon it would be a sin. That’s what I put down as the answer, but I vividly remember thinking to myself that that was not the right answer.”

Rigoberto Perez, 30, raised as Seventh-day Adventist

“It was a fairly important part of our lives. It was something we did every Saturday morning. We celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday. It was pretty hard growing up in a lot of ways. We didn’t have a lot of money, the household wasn’t very stable a lot of the time, so when something bad would happen, say a prayer, go to church. When my mom got cancer the first time, it was something that was useful at the time for me as a coping mechanism.

“While I was younger, my father drank a lot. There was abuse in the home. My brother committed suicide in 2001. So at some point you start to say, ‘Why does all this stuff happen to people?’ And if I pray and nothing good happens, is that supposed to be I’m being tried? I find that almost kind of cruel in some ways. It’s like burning ants with a magnifying glass. Eventually that gets just too hard to believe anymore.”

Lizz Reeves, 23, raised by a Jewish mother and a Christian father. She lost a brother to cancer.

“I wanted so badly to believe in God and in heaven, and that’s where he was going. I wanted to have some sort of purpose and meaning associated with his passing. And ultimately the more time I spent thinking about it, I realized the purpose and meaning of his life had nothing to do with heaven, but it had to do with how I could make choices in my life that give his life meaning. And that had a lot more weight with me than any kind of faith in anything else.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Dec 2017 Contradictions and Hypocrisy – when actions don’t match your words (Gun violence in America and Peace in Jerusalem)

Hello to you.  It’s 6:04 am and I know most people are going to tune out of what I am sharing here but I have resolved a long time ago that even if one other person is helped by anything I have to say here, even if it’s only me, then I have fulfilled the mission of the blogger.

This said……

News headline I read this morning:  House passes bill to let gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines  and then I read President Trump’s speech about recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel…..two words came to mind….contradiction and hypocrisy.  The second word very apt with regards to Jerusalem as it comes from the book about a man who was declared a God who had the same problem with the Government officials of his time; some things never change!  I had just recently mentioned my being happy that 16 retired military generals were trying to influence sensible gun control legislation and apparently the House was unmoved to take any such sort of action.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/after-mass-shootings-retired-military-commanders-urge-congress-to-address-gun-violence-crisis/ar-BBG2X1c?OCID=ansmsnnews11

After mass shootings, retired military commanders urge Congress to address ‘gun violence crisis’

There is an irony to there being 16 noted entries of hypocrisy in the NIV Bible translation.  At least these retired generals are trying make up for their part in the violence that exists in this world: 

https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=hypocrites&qs_version=NIV

16 Bible results for “hypocrites.” Showing results 1-16.

Suggested result

Matthew 23 [Full Chapter]

[ A Warning Against Hypocrisy ] Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. …

Bible search results

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

[ Prayer ] “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

[ Seven Woes on the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees ] “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. Old challenges demand new approaches.” From President Donald Trump’s speech as he justified to the world recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  How about we try some new approaches to stem the violence in our own country Mr. President and members of the House of Representatives!

 

http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/

Gun Violence Archive

Vox

Gun violence in America, explained in 17 maps and charts

October 02, 2017

Gun violence in America, explained in 17 maps and charts

Read Article

Washington Post

Trump promised to end the “American carnage.” Gun deaths are up 12 percent.

July 27, 2017

Trump promised to end the “American carnage.” Gun deaths are up 12 percent.

Read Article

Media Matters

Mass Shootings Still Happen All The Time, So Why Does The Press Look Away?

April 01, 2017

Mass Shootings Still Happen All The Time, So Why Does The Press Look Away?

Read Article

Last Vegas Review Journal

Las Vegas Shooting

October 26, 2017

In-depth coverage of the Las Vegas shooting.

Read Article

Newsweek

There Have Been More Mass Shootings in the U.S. in 2017 than Days

August 30, 2017

There have been more mass shootings in the U.S. in 2017 than days.

Read Article

The Guardian

Mapping gun murders at the micro level

March 21, 2017

Mapping US gun murders at a micro level: new data zooms in on violence .

Read Article

Gun Violence Archive

 Again – Republicans have been given an opportunity to try and bring peace to the people of the United States with regards to gun violence and once again…..epic failure.  Who are we to talk to any other country on earth about how to attain peace?!   Hypocricy and Contradictions yet rule the day and an entire country: 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/house-passes-bill-to-let-gun-owners-to-carry-concealed-weapons-across-state-lines/2017/12/06/844bd7b2-dad2-11e7-a841-2066faf731ef_story.html?utm_term=.5c38649b6443

House passes bill to let gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines

Demonstrators at the Capitol on Wednesday protest concealed-carry legislation. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

By Katie Zezima December 6 at 6:27 PM

The House on Wednesday passed a bill that allows gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines.

The bill, which the National Rifle Association has called its “highest legislative priority,” passed 231 to 198.

But the fate of the bill remains uncertain. It was linked this week with legislation to improve the national background-check system for gun purchases, a measure that has rare bipartisan consensus. House Democrats accused Republicans of “trickery” and “sabotage” in tying the two bills together.

In the Senate, Democrats have said the combination bill is a non-starter, and senior Republicans have said that pairing the bills could torpedo them both.

7 Dec 2017 Trump says US recognizes Jerusalem The speech in full

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42264868

Trump says US recognises Jerusalem: The speech in full

1 hour ago – 7 Dec 2017

US President Donald Trump announced in a speech on Wednesday that Washington was officially recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Here is the full transcript of what he said, as released by the White House.

When I came into office, I promised to look at the world’s challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking. We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. Old challenges demand new approaches.

My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act, urging the federal government to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem and to recognise that that city – and so importantly – is Israel’s capital. This act passed Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority and was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.

Yet, for over 20 years, every previous American president has exercised the law’s waiver, refusing to move the US embassy to Jerusalem or to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.

Presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace. Some say they lacked courage, but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time. Nevertheless, the record is in. After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.

Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.

I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement.

Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace.

It was 70 years ago that the United States, under President Truman, recognised the State of Israel. Ever since then, Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem – the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times. Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the prime minister and the president. It is the headquarters of many government ministries.

For decades, visiting American presidents, secretaries of state, and military leaders have met their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem, as I did on my trip to Israel earlier this year.

Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world. Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs.

Jerusalem is today, and must remain, a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall, where Christians walk the Stations of the Cross, and where Muslims worship at al-Aqsa Mosque.

However, through all of these years, presidents representing the United States have declined to officially recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In fact, we have declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital at all.

But today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more, or less, than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.

That is why, consistent with the Jerusalem Embassy Act, I am also directing the state department to begin preparation to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will immediately begin the process of hiring architects, engineers, and planners, so that a new embassy, when completed, will be a magnificent tribute to peace.

In making these announcements, I also want to make one point very clear: This decision is not intended, in any way, to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement. We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians. We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved.

The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides. I intend to do everything in my power to help forge such an agreement. Without question, Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in those talks. The United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides.

In the meantime, I call on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites, including the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif.

Above all, our greatest hope is for peace, the universal yearning in every human soul. With today’s action, I reaffirm my administration’s longstanding commitment to a future of peace and security for the region.

There will, of course, be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement. But we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a peace and a place far greater in understanding and co-operation.

This sacred city should call forth the best in humanity, lifting our sights to what it is possible; not pulling us back and down to the old fights that have become so totally predictable. Peace is never beyond the grasp of those willing to reach.

So today, we call for calm, for moderation, and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate. Our children should inherit our love, not our conflicts.

I repeat the message I delivered at the historic and extraordinary summit in Saudi Arabia earlier this year: the Middle East is a region rich with culture, spirit, and history. Its people are brilliant, proud, and diverse, vibrant and strong. But the incredible future awaiting this region is held at bay by bloodshed, ignorance, and terror.

Vice-President Pence will travel to the region in the coming days to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism that threatens the hopes and dreams of future generations.

It is time for the many who desire peace to expel the extremists from their midst. It is time for all civilised nations, and people, to respond to disagreement with reasoned debate – not violence.

And it is time for young and moderate voices all across the Middle East to claim for themselves a bright and beautiful future.

So today, let us rededicate ourselves to a path of mutual understanding and respect. Let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities. And finally, I ask the leaders of the region – political and religious; Israeli and Palestinian; Jewish and Christian and Muslim – to join us in the noble quest for lasting peace.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless Israel. God bless the Palestinians. And God bless the United States. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.

con·tra·dic·tion

[ˌkäntrəˈdikSH(ə)n]

NOUN
contradictions (plural noun)
  1. a combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another:
    “the proposed new system suffers from a set of internal contradictions”
    • a person, thing, or situation in which inconsistent elements are present:
      “the paradox of using force to overcome force is a real contradiction”
    • the statement of a position opposite to one already made:

      “the second sentence appears to be in flat contradiction of the first” ·

      [more]
      “the experiment provides a contradiction of the hypothesis”
hy·poc·ri·sy

[həˈpäkrəsē]

 NOUN
hypocrisies (plural noun)
the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.
What was behind these numbers?  I think, but am not for certain it is because of a word everyone knows the definition of:  Fear

https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-11-27/fbi-record-number-of-gun-background-check-requests-on-black-Friday     Gun Background Check Requests Skyrocketed on Black Friday

Requests soared past 200,000 — a new record.

By Alexa Lardieri, Staff Writer |Nov. 27, 2017, at 10:23 a.m.

A gun with a pink grip is seen for sale at the Eagle Sports gun range in Oak Forest, Illinois, July 16, 2017.

The spike in numbers comes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. (JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)

The FBI received its highest number of background check requests in a single day on Nov. 24 — Black Friday, the big post-Thanksgiving shopping day. The agency reported its National Instant Criminal Background Check System received 203,086 requests, according to USA Today. This beat the previous single-day record of 185,713 requests reported, also on Black Friday, in 2016.

The number of firearms sold on Black Friday is likely higher, however, because multiple guns can be bought by one person in a single transaction, which requires just one background check. A background check is required to buy a gun at federally licensed firearm dealers and takes just a few minutes. Since the establishment of the instant background check system in 1998, more than 230 million background checks have been run, 1.3 million of which have been denied, the FBI reported.

Ineligible gun buyers include convicted felons and anyone under a domestic violence protective order, NPR reported.

The surge in numbers comes days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of the NICS by the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. A break in the system allowed a court-martialed Air Force veteran to purchase a rifle he used to kill 25 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas earlier this month. Had the Air Force reported his criminal history to the FBI, he most likely would not have been able to purchase the murder weapon.

 “The National Instant Criminal Background Check System is for us to be able to keep guns out of the hands of those that are prohibited from owning them,” Sessions wrote in a memo on Nov. 22. “The recent shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas revealed that relevant information may not be getting reported to the NICS – this is alarming and it is unacceptable. Therefore, I am directing the FBI and ATF to do a comprehensive review of the NICS and report back to me the steps we can take to ensure that those who are prohibited from purchasing firearms are prevented from doing so.”

 

5 Dec 2017 Addressing gun violence – retired military commanders urge Congress to address “gun violence crisis” (Washington Post, Katie Zezima)

Just popping in while I have this on my mind…AGAIN!  Ever since I first saw this article I’ve had it on my heart to acknowledge it.  I am pleased these folks are trying to do something about this issue.  In the wake of our own personal events, this was set aside.  I hope these folks are successful in trying to influence sensible gun control measures in this country.  My question to all those who said after the shootings in Sutherland Texas and Las Vegas that “now isn’t the time to talk about this” – how about now?!   I hope this issue won’t get tossed aside.

https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/local-nevada/reno-gunman-fired-from-building-connected-to-las-vegas-shooter/Reno gunman fired from building connected to Las Vegas shooter

(use link for entire article)

Updated November 29, 2017 – 8:19 pm
Police respond to an active shooter at a high-rise building of luxury condominiums in Reno, Nev., Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017.  (Andy Barron/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP)

Police respond to an active shooter at a high-rise building of luxury condominiums in Reno, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. (Andy Barron/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP)

RENO — A gunman who took a hostage and rained gunshots on a downtown Reno street Tuesday night fired from a luxury high-rise where Las Vegas festival gunman Stephen Paddock apparently once owned a condominium.

The Reno gunman died when SWAT team officers shot him in the eighth-floor Montage unit where he had barricaded himself, Reno police Deputy Chief Tom Robinson told reporters.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/after-mass-shootings-retired-military-commanders-urge-congress-to-address-gun-violence-crisis/ar-BBG2X1c?OCID=ansmsnnews11

After mass shootings, retired military commanders urge Congress to address ‘gun violence crisis’

The Washington Post

2 Dec 2017

Katie Zezima

Sixteen of the nation’s top retired military commanders are urging Congress to pass gun control legislation, arguing that there are many steps that can be taken to curb gun deaths that do not violate the Second Amendment.

In a letter they plan to send to Congressional leaders, the retired commanders, including Army Gens. Wesley Clark and Michael V. Hayden, Navy Admiral Eric T. Olson, Air Force Lt. Gen. Norman R. Seip and Marine Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Cheney, argue that Congress is “no longer speaking or voting for the majority of Americans, including gun owners” when it comes to the issue of firearms.

“There is no acceptable excuse for our elected leaders to avoid addressing this as a national crisis,” they write.

The group is part of the veterans coalition of a gun control group founded by former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly. They laid out their arguments in a letter they plan to send to Congressional leaders.

The retired military men and women said that, as military leaders, they defended the Constitution and have considerable firearms training. As Americans, they said, they find the level of gun violence across the country unacceptable, calling the shootings that killed 58 people in Las Vegas in October and 26 in a church in Sutherland Springs, Tex., in November “but the latest instances of shocking horror” that the nation has experienced in recent years.

“Thoughts and prayers will not bring solutions,” they write.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the rate of gun deaths rose for the second straight year in 2016, to 12 per 100,000 people.

The letter comes as a House panel this week voted to advance a measure that would expand the ability to carry concealed firearms across state lines. Under the bill, known as concealed carry reciprocity, a person with a concealed-carry permit and a photo identification would be able to have a concealed weapon in any state that allows them. The gun owner would still have to follow state and local laws regarding where and what type of weapons can be carried. The National Rifle Association has called the bill its “highest legislative priority in Congress.”

The legislation is scheduled for a House vote next week. Its sponsor, Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) said in a statement that the bill is extremely popular and “momentum, common sense, and the facts are on our side.”

Giffords said the bill weakens public safety, and Retired Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal said he agrees.

“In the aftermath of two of the country’s worst mass shootings, it’s an affront to both our safety as a nation and the common sense of its citizens that Congress would consider actually weakening our gun laws,” McChrystal said. “Untrained and potentially dangerous people have no business carrying guns in our communities, but the concealed carry bill in the House would allow exactly that.”

Wesley Clark standing in front of a flag: Then-presidential candidate Wesley Clark holds a U.S. flag as he speaks to delegates at the Florida Democratic Party convention in this file photo from December 2003. He and several other retired military commanders are urging action on gun violence.© Scott Martin/AP Then-presidential candidate Wesley Clark holds a U.S. flag as he speaks to delegates at the Florida Democratic Party convention in this file photo from December 2003. He and several other retired military commanders are…

A memorial stands in the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church one week after 26 people were killed there in one of the nation’s worst mass shootings. (Photo by Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)© Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post A memorial stands in the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church one week after 26 people were killed there in one of the nation’s worst mass shootings. (Photo by Carolyn Van Houten/The…

The retired commanders argue that it is imperative that Congress tackle the issue because inaction will lead to more deaths. They argue that closing background check loopholes, barring extremely lethal guns and accessories and working toward preventing gun suicides can be addressed within “every reasonable interpretation” of the Second Amendment.

“We do not pretend that addressing our nation’s gun violence crisis will be quick or easy, but we know for certain that it is your duty,” the letter says.

They also said that the failure of the Defense Department to report domestic violence convictions so people with those convictions can’t purchase firearms, is “unacceptable” and must be fixed. The Air Force failed to tell federal authorities about the domestic violence convictions of Devin Kelley, the Sutherland Springs shooter, who purchased several guns after his release from jail and discharge from the military.

Giffords’ husband, Kelly, a retired Navy captain, said veterans understand firearms — and the damage they can inflict when they end up in the wrong hands.

“These are people who have also defended the Constitution, which includes the Bill of Rights, which includes the Second Amendment, with their lives. And they understand that common sense gun laws to protect communities from gun violence are not an infringement on the Second Amendment,” he said. “They know this shouldn’t be a political issue.”

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said he believes it’s time for both sides of the polarized debate to sit down and talk about the problem of gun violence.

“Let’s have a discussion,” he said. “I think we need to have reasonable people come to the table and have a discussion and need to understand that they have a responsibility to carry this conversation forward so we can deal with the risk that’s currently in our society.”

5 Dec 2017 – This strange drawing came about thinking about things going on currently in Washington. The phrase “Poker Face” is apt….he is a casino owner and a gambler right? He’s been at the games a long time and hard to read for certain. We shall see what happens with all this.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/tim-scott-urges-trump-not-to-pardon-michael-flynn/article/2642400

Tim Scott urges Trump not to pardon Michael Flynn

 

3 Dec 2017 Our Sacred House (drawing), Trevince House (My Beautiful Things) and A Prayer When I Feel Lonely (Rachel Wojo)

Hello to you.  How are you?  It’s Sunday morning here and I am slowly waking up.  It’s one of those mornings where it was warmer in bed but my lower back was starting to hurt and I couldn’t go back to sleep so I knew it was time to get up!  My goal today is to continue working on writing up notes in Christmas cards so I can more of them in the mail tomorrow.   I was going to do a Christmas letter and decided against it.  Kyle was joking that I should write “Have a nice summer” in the cards.   I told him that wasn’t very  nice LOL!  Remember the school yearbooks?  Getting that written in your book was kind of like them saying, “I don’t know who you are but hey, have a nice summer!”    I won’t be writing that in my notes to people lol!

So I was looking at posts of folks I follow here on WordPress and got a nice synchronicity sort of thing.  My friend Sally from My Beautiful Things had shared some pictures from their visit to Trevince House and in looking at the second picture she shared, I realized it looked a lot like a drawing I did yesterday afternoon!

2 Dec 2017 240 pm Jackie Wygant outdoor chalk drawing our sacred house Alvarado TX

When I drew this all sorts of thoughts were going through my head!  The title I came up with, “Our Sacred House” coincides very well with Sally’s picture I think!

My Beautiful Things

Paddling, Trevince House and Canapés 

Photo #2 From My Beautiful Things blog post about Sally’s visiting Trevince House. (Trevince sits proudly atop a hill overlooking St Wennappa’s Church in the parish of Gwennap, Cornwall)

I was curious about where she was talking about and found the official web site for Trevince House:

http://www.trevince.co.uk/
Trevince sits proudly atop a hill overlooking St Wennappa’s Church in the parish of Gwennap, Cornwall. With roots in the 13th century, Trevince has experienced many architectural changes, from a lost medieval house, to a modest Elizabethan country farmhouse, to a grand redevelopment by the famed Cornish architect Piers St. Aubyn in 1865.

Set in two hundred and seventy acres of farm and woodland, Trevince is adjacent to the renowned ‘richest square mile in the world’, a term coined in the nineteenth century when the area was rich in copper. The importance of Trevince as part of the social history of copper mining led to it being included in the World Heritage Site.

With its granite ashlar and pink killas stone, and classical portico entrance, Trevince has a beauty of its own. It has been in the same family since before 1281, and had never been open to the public until it hosted its first event at Christmas 2016; A COUNTRY HOUSE CHRISTMAS was a unique retail event and pop-up café to which thousands of shoppers eager for a new experience visited during the double-week end event.

The Trevince Team has now announced the dates for the 2017 event. So please join us on 24, 25, 26 November and 1, 2, 3 December for an exquisite Christmas shopping experience. Keep an eye on our news pages for more information.


I hope this finds you well and if not, I hope you know you are not alone in this world.  No one is ever truly alone.  It may seem like it sometimes but just because there isn’t another person around, that doesn’t mean no one is there.   The holiday season isn’t always so jolly for many people.   I was looking for a message to share to help anyone who might need help with this feeling of being alone today and found Rachel Wojo’s message.   I would ask you to get beyond this being a prayer, the words Father and Jesus, if Christianity offends you.  Try to read this prayer with your heart and not with your head.

http://rachelwojo.com/a-prayer-when-i-feel-lonely/

A Prayer When I Feel Lonely

Yesterday on the Facebook page, we took prayer requests. One of our precious readers, Joeann, lost her husband two years ago and she is feeling so lonely.  There have been times in my life when I felt deep feelings of loneliness and my heart aches for Joeann. I was thinking about her during my run today. We’re all praying for you, Joeann! May this prayer provide comfort to her and to you.

A Prayer When I Feel Lonely

Thank you for listening to my heart;

Your patience with me is to be praised.

Today I had that feeling again-

The one where I feel so alone.

It seems that no one understands…

Even my family and friends don’t “get” me at times.

Though I can be in a room full of people,

I feel lonely…

And I feel alone.

I know You said You would never leave me.

 Your Word promises this and it’s true.

These feelings are but signs of my human form.

Would You reveal Yourself to me

In a way far beyond my imagination?

Thank you for the peace beyond my comprehension

That can only be provided by You.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

 

when you feel lonely

Be blessed!

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7&version=NIVthis Chapter is resonate with my thoughts this morning and for most of this year.  We will never heal as a nation or as a world if we continue to take joy in others sufferings.  

Matthew 7New International Version (NIV)

Judging Others

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Ask, Seek, Knock

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

2 Dec 2017 Lindsey Stirling Warmer in the Winter Concert (Verizon Theater Grand Prairie TX) and Mr. Blue (John 8:7)

Hello to you!  Hope this finds you doing well today.  Last night Rhonda, her friend Hannah and I made it to the Lindsey Stirling concert last night at the Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie.

David Zeck’s description of  his experience closely mirrors what Rhonda and I experienced last night.  The Verizon Theater was a great venue – there wasn’t a bad seat in the place.  All the staff from the folks out directing traffic, security and concessions were very friendly and helpful.  Really set  great tone to interact with them prior to the show!

We dressed up, well mostly Rhonda did, and she of course looked fantastic!  We had a great time.  I was so thrilled Lindsey included Crystallize and Elements with the holiday themed lineup of music.  There is something pretty amazing about being able to hear a song straight from the source.  I absolutely love the “live” experience be it music, comedy or theater.  Unlike many people around us, Rhonda and I put down our phones during the performance and gave Lindsey our undivided attention.   She deserved every ounce of it!  She took time between sets to share pieces of her story and that made her even more endearing to all of us.  Hearing her talk about her battle with anorexia and depression resonated very deeply with me as we share that experience.  I loved that she made sure to emphasize playing the violin the way she does take hard work and practice.  Rhonda could have done without the many religious references Lindsey made,  but I understood.  Lindsey lost her Dad to cancer earlier this year:

http://www.ldsliving.com/Lindsey-Stirling-Announces-Dad-s-Death-Shares-Beautiful-Message/s/84336

In her book, The Only Pirate at the Party, Stirling explains what helped pull her through this period of her life: her faith.

“I did rely on that, reading scripture passages about the afterlife and that the gospel will be taught to those who pass on and we will see them again and there is a wonderful place for them,” Stirling says, according to the Deseret News. “But also to be able to know that there is modern-day revelation about that today and in more detail — it’s been everything to me in those moments, to realize that I would see Gavi again and that he is happy.”

I know from my own experiences in this life that when we have losses or earth shattering experiences of that magnitude, we often turn to what gives us the most strength.  Everyone “has their own warm blanket” something that gives them comfort and the strength to get through the tough times in life.  It was obvious to me that Lindsey’s strength is her faith in God.  She truly is a shining star inside and out and a beautiful role model for young and old alike.  All this said, when I have the honor to be in the presence of such a fine “fragment of God,”  (I believe we are all fragments of the one) I will give them my complete attention and leave my cell phone in my purse.  Lindsey even touched on this when talking about her experience when she performed for 3 hours in a subway in disguise.  She said she was practically ignored!  People get so wrapped up in their phones and other distractions that they miss the world…the people all around them….sometimes miss people like Lindsey standing right in front of their eyes.

Hallelujah – Lindsey Stirling

Thank you Lindsey, all those involved with the Verizon Theater for making a wonderful memory with my dear friend possible.

1 Dec 2017 – Rhonda and me at the Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie last night in costume to see Lindsey Stirling Warmer in the Winter Concert

http://www.shutter16.com/lindsey-stirling-brings-warmth-in-the-winter-with-latest-tour/

Lindsey Stirling brings Warmth In The Winter with latest tour

<img src=”http://www.shutter16.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/lind-min.jpg” class=”attachment-large size-large wp-post-image” alt=”” srcset=”http://www.shutter16.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/lind-min.jpg 1024w, http://www.shutter16.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/lind-min-640×427.jpg 640w, http://www.shutter16.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/lind-min-768×512.jpg 768w” sizes=”(max-width: 911px) 100vw, 911px” />

Warmer In The Winter Tour

Lindsey Stirling is a busy girl these days. The acclaimed violinist is currently a contestant on the hit TV show Dancing With The Stars and is in the top five headed for the semi-finals. She also just released her holiday album “Warmer in the Winter” on October 20th which can purchased HERE, and with all of that she has now managed to curate her latest tour the Warmer in the Winter Tour.

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The violinist is no stranger to doing things on her own. Since the start of her career she has gone the independent route, seeking no help from a record label. Instead, Lindsey chooses to engage with the fans and run things on her terms, launching crowd funding campaigns to make new albums and music videos possible. Lindsey started her career on YouTube gaining an impressive 10 million subscribers with just electronic beats and her skills as a classically trained violinist, which launched her to almost 2 billion views on her channel.

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Warmer in the Winter is Lindsey’s attempt of bringing a holiday show across the U.S. I made my way to the second show of the tour in Asbury Park, NJ at the Paramount theater. As I arrived to the historical theater I made my way inside to find Lindsey not only created a show but even the lobby felt like a winter wonderland with windows of the theater filled with Christmas balls and frosting. I saw kids as young as 5 or 6 years old and full families there to watch the show together. While I had some time to kill before the show began, I really wanted to get some feedback from her fans many who had attended a VIP Meet and Greet, which you can purchase HERE. I walked down the line asking fans how the Meet and Greet was, pretty much all of them had the same response. “It was awesome,” said a little girl whose father noted Lindsey spent time talking to the fans and took pictures with everyone, and, from what I’m told, it was a well worth experience for any fan.

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I made my way into the theater as the show was about to start, when the lights went down and the curtained opened as the music began. The violinist along with two dancers appeared in what was doorways of a house with the tops reading the tour’s name, and a led screen house behind that had the look of being snow covered. During Lindsey’s version of “All I Want for Christmas,” I looked into the crowd it was all smiles from everyone young or old, dancing or miming the words to the Christmas classic. The show spares no expense at production with a ton of beautiful outfit changes and props that keep the Holiday spirit alive throughout. Lindsey and company went on to play “Let it Snow,” literally making snowfall come down all over the stage. Lindsey glided across the stage effortlessly while playing the songs flawlessly.

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The show also has a ton of laugh factors, which I loved!!! During the first set change Lindsey asked for her band to come out on stage to join her, as they do the tours crew brings out tiny instruments. A tiny violin, tiny drum set and a kazoo. The audience filled with laughter as the band sat and began playing classics like “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Baby,” Lindsey’s drummer then dares her to play “Devil Went Down to Georgia” which she does on the tiny violin as the crowd erupted in cheers.  The band walked off and Lindsey walked to her mic stand to introduce the next song “Hallelujah.” Before starting the Leonard Cohen cover, she told a story of shooting the video in New York City and being in the subway for hours and only two people stopped to see what was going on. Lindsey told the crowd to be present and experience the moment.

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As the song began, an Orchestra made up of students from the New Brunswick, NJ public school system begins to play along. Next up would see a performance of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” which features dancers in red dresses running around Lindsey with a huge red feather boa. As the show entered its final part, the set included “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” “Carol of the Bells,” and a special guest appearance by Lindsey’s best friend, her puppy Luna. Both Luna and Lindsey were in their Christmas PJ’s as the puppy does some tricks that had the audience sending aww’s throughout the theater.

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I admit when I first heard about the tour, I was a bit skeptical, but wow this show does not disappoint. I found myself smiling throughout the whole show and I honestly forgot about the outside world while in this magical wonderland that Lindsey created. The show lasted for about an hour and a half and is super family friendly, I highly urge you to check it out if it’s coming to a city near you. It’s a one of a kind experience you will not forget. Check out the full list of dates below (go to link).

I really liked this interpretation of the song!  Makes you want to dance to it!

The theme lately is thinking of God as “Mr. Blue.”   Part of it is that darn ELO song Kyle likes to play a lot to cheer us both up lol.   Sometimes when I look around when I’m thinking about spiritual things, I will see a flash of blue color.  It’s more than likely something going on with my eyes, who knows for sure but the eye doctor the next time we get our eyes checked.

1 Dec 2017 Morning Meditation

Hello to you. How are you doing in your present moment as you visit here? I hope you are less conflicted inside than I am! I am excited about seeing Lindsey Stirling tonight and sad with the news that our neighbors sister died yesterday after not recovering from complications due to an automobile accident! Rhonda was apt to remind me there are pills for my being happy and sad at the same time. I reminded her I’m taking some of those and it’s not helping with my predicament today!

There are more than a few things just popping some pill or another won’t provide any sort of consolation for. Coping with mixed emotions is an inside job to tackle with the God of your understanding if you have one or spending time in prayer, meditation, a long walk….for some to even smoke some weed! It’s important to allow ourselves to feel emotions and not just use people, places and things to obstruct or mask the experience. We are human beings and having feelings is part of being human!

Had an early morning wake up, like 1:38 am or so. It was like someone was standing right next to my side of the bed with a cup of prepared coffee! The mystery kind of got solved when I let the dogs out later and smelled the same sort of smell outside. Must have got into the house via our HVAC system or something.

So this morning’s meditation included my cards and a map of the United States I got from the Sierra Club many years ago. The messages spoke to me but also seemed to speak to what I see is happening these days in our country…in our world. I want to stress cards of any kind and there are millions of different types people use, are just tools. Sometimes I feel like my chalk drawings are too ambiguous and vague. Adding the cards lately is helping things get more specific.

It’s important to not read too much into such things..the phrase “self-fulfilling prophecy” comes to mind. There is always a fork in the road and we can choose, at any moment, which road to take.

1 Dec 2017 – overall reading

1 Dec 2017 – closer look at the cards ad their positions. The direction, facing up or down, changes the overall meaning.

8 of Cups face up- Tells you you will get what you’ve hoped for, but you may be being over-cautious

8 of Swords face down – Warns of unexpected calamities

Knight of Cups face up- Most often represents a lover, or the messenger of true love

8 of Wands face up – This is a time to take action, to be hopeful, to plan your next moves.

2 of Wands face down – Portends something unexpected will happen or enter the picture, or loss or failure in your new enterprise

Ace of Swords face up – Represents triumph by force

3 of Wands face up – Problems can be resolved if the person remains calm, dignified, intelligent

The World face down – Symbolizes complete mastery and understanding of your own inner nature and of the forces surrounding you

3 of Swords face up – Indicates the disintegration of alliances

6 of Swords face down – Indicates a journey, or visitor or message

Special: 5 of Wands face up – Signifies Greed, competition for financial gain, hardship

1 Dec 2017 – the “special” card today speaks directly to America.

The drawings that came up, especially the one with Vladimir Putin dressed in the colors of our flag, political parties and surrounded in “Cheeto Orange” comes with messages that resonated with me with the recent indictment of Michael Flynn. The messages, “They all play in this game” and “Takes many sheep to make a lamb” were what came forth after the poor drawing of Putin. In my perception, it’s not fair to just go after one person when so many are probably involved with this whole thing.  I think it’s important for transparency in this whole issue and to focus on how to make these wrongs right instead of just tearing more people and this country apart.   Sometimes looking at or hearing the news headlines in this country seems like what it may have been for the Romans in their Colosseums!  Just watching people being shredded alive!  Only in our day an age it isn’t flesh being ripped apart by lions, it’s their characters…their very souls. 

1 Dec 2017 – this poor rendering of Vladimir Putin dressed in red white blue and surrounded by Cheeto orange and the messages that came are about how it seems a lamb is chosen to take the fall for everyone and no one ultimately benefits from this. Everyone involved should be held in account!

1 Dec 2017 – my dream has always been a unified earth. Enemies we all share Greed Hate and Fear, Fear being the worst in my feeling. This is me ruminating about the plethora of sexual misconduct allegations we are seeing that are destroying people’s lives. We have to be careful about this tactic.

The other messages pertains to what is going on with people, mostly men, being ripped apart and their legacies laid waste with sexual misconduct allegations. It came to me, as someone who has experienced sexual misconduct many times in my life, that bringing such things to light out of a heartspace of spite does no one any good. It’s just pouring more gasoline on a fire. We don’t heal as a nation and a people by attacking each other out of spite and vengeance.

http://variety.com/2017/politics/news/michael-flynn-guilty-charged-russia-probe-1202627430/ – use link for complete article

Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI in Russia Probe

WASHINGTON — Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, plead guilty to one count to lying to the FBI as part of an agreement reached with Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mueller charged Flynn with “willfully and knowingly” making false statements to the FBI regarding his conversations with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

 

I told Kyle this morning that in a way, despite how ugly this whole year has been in this country, I am becoming almost grateful for it.  I am seeing it has been the sort of humbling experience this country has needed for a very long time.  We can learn from what is happening in this literal and figurative dismantling of America.  We can come together as a nation and instead of rebuilding other countries as we’ve done in the past after wars….begin to rebuild ours in peaceful cooperation with the rest of this world.   

 

1 Dec 2017 – this was the last drawing and looking at it after talking to our neighbor about the tragic loss of his sister makes me wonder if this was for her.

30 Nov 2017 The Star

Hello to you. How are you doing in this moment? Hopefully well. Today has been good here. Beautiful weather and surprises. My friend Rhonda called me this afternoon with news she had bought two tickets to see Lindsey Stirling and wanted me to go with her. At first I was flustered and joked with her, “Damn you for popping me out of my comfort zone! Kyle and I always talk each other out of doing stuff like this!” She says, “It’s my job!” Rhonda is the kind of friend that is about pushing you out of your comfy zone and I love her for it. She’s the one who convinced Kyle and I we should just say fuck it and buy the tickets for the Final Fantasy Distant Worlds Concert last year. So glad we did!

So she plans to dress up in her best Steampunk attire and I will put something together so I’m presentable lol.

12-nov-2016-rhonda-martin-and-jackie-wygant-at-steampunk-november-venus-tx

We had seen Lindsey on America’s Got Talent and kind of forgot about her. Then Kyle’s brother Drew reintroduced us to her, loudly in his car with this song Crystallize. So if you have never heard of Lindsey Stirling, check this out!

Crystallize – Lindsey Stirling (Dubstep Violin Original Song)

Elements (Orchestral Version) – Lindsey Stirling – Dracula

What’s fun about all this is earlier in the day, when I did my outside stuff, the special card was “The Star.”

30 Nov 2017 1006 am Jackie Wygant outdoor meditation The Star card later Rhonda Martin invite me to see Lindsey Sterling Alvarado TX

30 Nov 2017 243pm Picture of my hand-drawn Star Tarot card.

Upright Star Tarot Card Meanings. The Star Tarot card brings renewed hope and faith and a sense that you are truly blessed by the Universe at this time. Courage, fulfilment, and inspiration are in your life. … The Star card is therefore an important card for personal transformation.

Star Tarot Card Meanings | Biddy Tarot

https://www.biddytarot.com/tarot-card-meanings/major-arcana/star/

This evening we tried to watch the Season 5 premiere of Vikings online via the History Channel. About 28 minutes in, our internet started to run even crappier than normal to include the loss of sound!  This meant restarting the entire episode because I don’t have a profile with the History Channel and that meant wading through a whole bunch more commercials and I just didn’t have the patience for it.  I was disappointed as I had been waiting to see Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Bishop Heahmund and from what I saw of this episode, he did a fantastic job!  So we will back-burner watching the show until I can get a more enjoyable, stable way to watch it!

7-jan-2017-jonathan-rhys-meyers-as-heahmund-saxon-saxon-bishop-the-history-channel-show-vikings

http://www.history.com/shows/vikings

Our internet provider, AT&T, has been running horrible ever since we had the new neighborhood built and people have moved in. We’ve noticed a change in our online gaming (FFXIV), You Tube videos and a bunch of other things we normally were able to watch with few problems are starting to run like crap. Lots of lag and excess time for loading. Guess this is the new age of the internet for people like us who live in small towns with fewer internet provider choices.  We have been able to, until recently, keep up with things without cable or other “micro-transaction” media services. Entertainment is so overly fragmented now….all these same companies all vying for the same “pie” and our most precious commodity – not money, but time.   I’m not going to pay for cable and I’m not paying for individual channels just so I can watch particular shows. This may ultimately mean that Kyle and I miss a lot of things….it is what it is.

When, not if, Net Neutrality is repealed (which will ultimately be regretted by all involved) we fully expect to be even more fucked out of things. Hopefully I’ll still have enough bandwidth to pay my bills online!

In my opinion, the internet should be categorized and regulated like any other utility. To me the internet is like paying for electricity, access to city water, sewage and garbage services. In our day and age, going without the internet is not really an option.

28 Nov 2017 The backhanded compliment or asteism

Source is internet: When I saw what happened at the White House, I thought of Legendary Navajo Code Talker Joe Kellwood who walked on at age 95 last year.

Hello to you. How are you doing in your today? I’m doing pretty good just reallllllyyyy sore lol! We did the tree trimming yesterday in the front and back yard and then there was the dismembering of the severed limbs without a mulcher!  I really wish our town had a lending closet for things like mulchers and other mechanisms you need to maintain a house but only need like once a year. Anyhew…..the trees look much better. I noticed that there were limbs we took from the Pecan that had suspicious white patches that weren’t just bird poop on them. Hopefully she’ll be healthier for the trimming. I think we did a better job than the people we had hired a couple of years ago who did just about nothing and too $300 from us!

The dream realm was much quieter last night. The only one I slightly remember had to do with London making room for India.

The topic today, the backhanded compliment, comes from me seeing people in highly visible places seemingly trying to do something nice and then in the midst of doing that, throw out an ill-timed racial slur or insult. I’ve noticed this happening on a repeated occasions for one person in particular and it’s really rather sad.  It is a recurring event and the people that are supposed to be helping prevent such faux pas are failing miserably.  More distractions from that Russian probe, the FCC net neutrality repeal and tax bill they are trying to work on.   Kyle’s visual for this sort of thing is using a kitchen plate and holding it in front of a raised middle finger and saying….”look at the plate.”

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/11/27/trump-calls-elizabeth-warren-pocahontas-while-hosting-native-american-war-heroes-event/898815001/ – “President Trump couldn’t resist using his old nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren – “Pocahontas” – even at an event honoring Native American war heroes.”

This said, I have been guilty through the course of my life of the backhanded compliment or asteism (new word I learned today).  So what exactly is a backhanded compliment?

A backhanded compliment, also known as a left-handed compliment or asteism, is an insult that is disguised as a compliment. Sometimes, a backhanded compliment may be inadvertent. However, the term usually connotes an intent to belittle or condescend.

Insult – Wikipedia

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backhanded_compliment

I didn’t know what an asteism was. When I tried to find out what it meant, I kept getting the word asterism which is a cluster of stars in the night sky – which is far from an insult lol!

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/asteism

Noun[edit]

asteism (plural asteisms)

Polite irony; a genteel and ingenious manner of deriding another.

Here is an article I found with some really great examples:

http://www.literallydarling.com/blog/2014/06/10/compliments-actually-flatter-one/

Backhanded Compliments That Actually Don’t Flatter Anyone

June 10, 2014 by Ella

“Ella actually wrote a good article.”

Perfect example of a backhanded compliment! Anything with “actually” in the sentence is, actually, instantly less flattering. And don’t even get me started with so-called compliments that end with, “for a (insert an offensive noun—i.e., girl, guy, any and every race)”.

I asked my friends for the worst compliments they’ve ever received. I’m going to break this down into a few categories: race, sex (gender and more), heavy topics, appearance, and intelligence. These are my personal favorites, even though these comments are anything but favorable.

Race:

“You have nice hair for a black girl.”

“You’re really cute for a dark-skinned/black girl.”

But really, this applies for any and every race. As someone who’s Filipino, I constantly have gotten: “You’re really cute for an Asian.” and, “You have really big eyes for an Asian.”

The “for a (insert an offensive noun)” seems to go hand-in-hand with race.

Oh, and if you’re even remotely “exotic-/foreign-” looking, “You look like a Kardashian.” (Since when were they their own ethnicity?)

Sex (gender and then some):

“I like you because I’m not intimidated by you. Well, not that I think men should be intimidated by women anyway.”

“Out of all my friends with whom I could have said I had the worst sex in the world last night, I’m glad it was you.”

“You don’t look like that much of a boy with your hair that short.”

Heavy Topics:

“The extra curve actually works on you.” (in regards to the Freshmen 15)

“I’m glad you’re not one of those girls that thinks she needs to lose weight. You don’t want to be skinny anyway.”

“You’re really pretty for a big girl.”

“You’re the whole package! You’re funny, talented, smart… I mean, if you were only skinnier you’d be absolutely perfect.”

“You’re not like obese, you’re like… skinny-fat.”

“This dress is way too big on me, so I think it will look really great on you!”

“You can dance really well for a fat girl.”

“Wow, you really get pretty when you lose weight!”

“Hey, let me know if you ever want help losing weight!” (Note that her father said this to her.)

“You’d look healthier if you lost 20 pounds.”

Appearance beyond weight (no pun intended):

“You should dye your hair brunette. Your blonde hair really doesn’t make you look as intelligent as you actually are.”

“Well, you look really pretty when you put on some mascara and dress nice…”

On Tinder a woman displayed her multiple hair colors and one guy asked, “What color is your hair now?” She said blonde, and he responded, “Well if you were my gf maybe for my birthday you could die it brunette, it looked super sexy. (sic)” He got blocked after the spelling and creepiness. Conversely, she also had a boyfriend try to convince her to dye her hair platinum.

“You’re much better looking in person than in pictures.”

“You grew into your head.”

“You got prettier in college.”

“Your hair looks way better straight!” (to a person with naturally curly hair)

“This isn’t really yours, is it? Thank God you blossomed…you should get your picture retaken.” (said by a cop about my friend’s ID on her birthday)

“You’re still pretty even though you have a big nose.”

“It must be so nice to have such small boobs.” (Spoiler: it forever makes you unable to be the “hot” girl; you’re always the “cute” one.)

“You kind of look like you’re 13. But that’ll come in handy when you’re old!”

Intelligence:

“You’re very detail-oriented but since you have issues with flexibility you’ll need a job where you basically do the same thing every day.”

“You’re a lot smarter than I thought!” (said to a sorority woman)

“You’re so cool. If you looked like (insert random girl’s name) you would be perfect!”

“It must be great to be an only child. You’re so used to being alone.”

“I wish I could be more like you and not have any feelings.”

“You’re so much nicer and smarter than what people say about you.”

“You’re talented? But you’re in a sorority!”

OK, granted, no one intends to give a backhanded compliment—at least I can only hope not. However, I couldn’t help but notice how much more backhanded compliments were related to weight and intelligence.

Perception is everything. We perceive things without even realizing we’re perceiving them. For instance: When you first see someone, naturally the first thing you perceive is their gender. It’s no wonder that gender was a common theme as well.

I’ll admit, these backhanded compliments, while anything but flattering, are pretty funny from an outside perspective. But it made me realize something. (Wait, a sorority girl who actually thinks?! Sorry, I had to go there): How easy it is to come off ignorant and stereotypical. This especially hit home when I thought about the race comments. As someone who has been called a “cute Asian,” here’s a thought: can I just be a cute person? Just a thought! And the weight comments being one of the most popular themes, next to intelligence… I’m sorry, but why is being skinny, and especially being intelligent something of such a rarity that it’s worth commenting on?

I just can’t help but think that the people who are saying these backhanded compliments are the ones who we should be more concerned with… not the people who are receiving the backhanded compliments.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fortunate for any compliment that comes my way. But for future reference, if you’re going to say a compliment, let’s make sure to articulate and tailor it in a way that’s actually flattering. (Oops, there it is again, the “actually” comment.

Well, I might be one of the biggest hypocrites… but at least I’m smart enough to write for Literally, Darling!

_________________

I concur with Ella’s post and it’s very resonant to the rising tide of racism, sexism and all the other nasty “isms” of our times.  GET OVER THE SUITES!  Our bodies are like that movie Cocoon to me….just a covering for a light being.

 

26 Nov 2017 – we are beings of light in flesh.

Cocoon | #TBT Trailer | 20th Century FOX

 

 

 

27 Nov 2017 “Come and See Me” (dreams)

Hello to you.  How are you doing in your present?  It’s 7:52 am on this Monday morning as I begin to write to you.  Can’t spend too much time here as we have chores today….tree trimming…yeah….can you hear my enthusiasm lol?

So lots of dreams this morning, starting about 1:42 am on.  I can tell that I recently spent time with children and yesterday during my adventures in FFXIV my character Aurora flew with a lost character Minfilia (http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Minfilia_Warde):

17 Nov 2017 – my FFXIV avatar Aurora in new duds!

Final Fantasy XIV: HeavenswardEdit

FFXIV Minfilia Returns<img src=”https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/finalfantasy/images/c/cb/FFXIV_Minfilia_Returns.png/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/180?cb=20160212102614″ alt=”FFXIV Minfilia Returns” class=”thumbimage ” data-image-key=”FFXIV_Minfilia_Returns.png” data-image-name=”FFXIV Minfilia Returns.png” width=”180″ height=”101″ >

Minfilia’s body being used by Hydaelyn.

We speak now with one Voice. One Will. One Word. Unto thee we bequeath the most precious of gifts: the truth which lieth at the heart of this world.

—The Word of the Mother to the adventurer

After the adventurer defeats Archbishop Thordan VII and reunites with Y’shtola and Thancred, the Scions are joined by Minfilia’s close friend, Krile. With her help, the Scions discover the truth of Minfilia’s fate in Ul’dah, and attempt to find her with whatever knowledge of the Aetherial Sea they can obtain from the Antitower.

The adventurer is transported to the Mother Crystal’s realm and learns of Minfilia’s new existence as “The Word of the Mother.” She reveals the existence of Zodiark and urges the adventurer to stop the Ascians. Seemingly using the remainder of her strength in the encounter, Minfilia dissipates before returning the adventurer to Eorzea.

FFXIV Minfilia's Death<img src=”https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/finalfantasy/images/e/e8/FFXIV_Minfilia%27s_Death.png/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/180?cb=20160819064005″ alt=”FFXIV Minfilia's Death” class=”thumbimage ” data-image-key=”FFXIV_Minfilia%27s_Death.png” data-image-name=”FFXIV Minfilia's Death.png” width=”180″ height=”101″ >

Minfilia, moments before dissipating into the aether.

Though disheartened to learn of Minfilia’s apparent demise, the Scions promise to fulfill her wishes and defeat the Ascians once and for all. They choose to keep the truth of Minfilia’s fate a secret known to only the leadership of the Scions, telling the remainder of their allies, including F’lhaminn, merely that their efforts to locate her have reached a dead end.

Some time later, Urianger manipulates both the Warriors of Darkness and the Scions into a confrontation. During the conflict, the power of the crystals held by the Warriors of Darkness combines with that of the Adventurer, transporting everyone present into the Mother Crystal’s realm, and reconstituting Minfilia. Urianger reveals that this was his goal, and apologizes for his apparent betrayal. Minfilia agrees to travel to the Warriors of Darkness’ world as Hydaelyn’s avatar in order to save it from the flood of light that threatens to destroy it, despite knowing that she will likely never be able to return to Eorzea. She bids farewell to her friends, and thanks F’lhaminn for everything she did for her, before leaving with the Warriors of Darkness.

The dreams:

1:42 am

Very clear message in dream — blue background with white letters that said, “Come and see me”  But who would I be going to see?!  Very unclear that part!

3:30 am

Children trapped in the stairwell of a school.  I can remember the railing was like a lime green color.  I helped them find a way out but going the opposite direction from where they were standing with a man who seemed to be trying to figure out how to help.  One child was “featured” in this dream kind of like one might be in a newspaper.  He had short blonde hair and blue eyes and was expressing gratitude about life.

4:59 am

This dream was about being able to fly, it was a snowy place.  I met family there who could too but then I was in a place, like a nursing home or children’s home or something – a place for sick people.  I remember trying to write down last wishes but then it was “time to go” and I left without saying good-bye.  I remember sneaking out of this place and turning a white painted door knob.  The world was green and alive and I was flying again.  I got to a clearing in a grassy field with tall grass and then I woke up.

6:32 am

In this last dream there was a little boy showing me a bookshelf and a chair that could be moved to make a place to read.  There were blankets stacked on a small couch and before I woke up from this dream, he was on the floor hugging a small purple teddy bear that seemed familiar.  I remember saying something about sneaking it back home, like I had donated it to where the boy was.

Drawings from yesterday:

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