The means to an end.

So far this year has been one of re-invention, and accepting who I am in the moment I experience myself. Finding that means to a brighter end has its ups and downs.

Saturday morning, after a sleepless night, deep feelings of disappointment, futility and sadness veiled my soul. Throughout the morning, my surface enthusiasm smiled with the ease of social acceptability. I usually control superfluous relations, but underneath — behind my closed feelings, I concertedly work through the invisible sheath of despair. My efforts these past couple of months bore no deep holes that broke through to release the poisonous fumes at the base of my being. Although, my NEH Philosophy seminar this past month did allow me to make some concerted ground, I still woke this past Saturday feeling the weight of fear.

Our move back to the city, now 10 months ago, tried my expectations. My work throughout the spring became uninteresting, and I labored over completing too many tasks. I let go of old relationships, and started new ones. I made the choice to write as a new mode of expression, while struggling to find the time. My daydreams reminisced about the choices not taken, rather than staying ‘in the solution of’ today’s problems. Although feeling financially and professionally stuck, my self-determination stayed the course. I put one foot in front of the other — looking forward. When those self-deprecating moments seemed to elude progress, I worked hard to feel gratitude.

I’m healthier today than when times were flush — all diseases remain in stage 1. Most cannot truly wrap their thinking around what it means to be a celiac sprue patient. Although I still struggle with eating the wrong foods, or buying the wrong lotion, I persevere. Often people’s desires to put me at ease only frustrate me. Every day reminds me that my health defines who I am.

This week I set goals for myself — clean the house — sort the papers — write the recommendations for my student’s college letters. I accomplished nothing — no task seemed pressing. I walked through moments detached. Materialism began to preoccupy my thinking in cunning and insidious ways, as the city worked its wiles on me.

While walking the NYC streets on my way downtown, my gazes only registered what I didn’t have. I saw fancy cars, designer shoes, new clothes, and apartments for sale that were once within reach, but now an impossibility. I felt like my brain was not fast and nimble enough. I tore apart my teaching and parenting abilities, and castigated my lacking desire to achieve. Shallow consumerism glaringly overtook, and led me to anger and resentment of everything I had become. The delusions overwhelmed me.

The Powerball Lottery provided a momentary escape. While driving from here to there I fantasized about winning, and what I would do with the millions of dollars – I dreamed a life of money property and prestige, supported by my benevolence, prudence and compassion. This delusion obsessed that such a future was possible. It puffed me up – supported me to walk taller and feel special. I lifted myself so high in this dream that the fall back to reality was crushing. Today, the bill collector called. I could not get out of bed.

It is when I put these feelings to paper, and retreat to this page, that I find my way back. The gift of being human is our ability to reflect, and to make decisions. If I give fear a constructive platform outside of my head, the negatives dissipate. Through the editing process, I drank water; made sure I had plenty of sleep, and went for a 3 mile walk and aligned with right breathe.

Exposing resentments to the light of writing opens a door to new possibilities. The story becomes the means to an end.

Votings Rights Act Violation

With the recent Supreme Court decision that declares the 1964 Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, the question of fair treatment rises as a central concern of our polity. The appearances of normalcy – equal treatment – are illusions in our society. The concerted efforts by conservative groups in the last presidential election reveals that America is still highly divided, yet we all do not see our division easily.

What masks this division, which history shows us, is the nation’s growing materialism – if all citizens have full access to goods and services, their responsibility is to rise up and utilize those opportunities through self-motivating forces. Simple psychology reveals that defacto racism, sexism and classism are not easily distinguished by laws. So believing that numbers designate a defacto change in psycho-social behavior becomes too clearly a tool for monied conservatives to mask their gross intentions to prohibit the “opposition” protection from laws that could easily constrain equal access.

About 10 years ago a young woman of 24 told me that if women feel they are ill treated or are singled out through discriminatory practices they are deluded. In her zealous youth she failed to understand that efforts of women to equalize the playing field through pay check equality, sexual rights and job opportunities had still not been reached. In 2002, women still earned 25% less than men, and only 1% of the top decision making positions in business were occupied by women. Although women have made incredible gains, it has come through the sacrifice of women to lay themselves down on the gauntlet and fight for those rights. Women’s rights are not self evident in patriarchal minds. Minority rights are not self evident with defacto racism. Sexual rights are not self evident in homophobic maternalist thinking.

Throughout history, laws for broadening the rights of citizenship have only come from bloodshed in some form or other. The failed application of the 14th amendment by the United States government in every state of the union throughout the 19th century was only rectified by brave men and women who had the courage to stand up and put their lives on the line to challenge the wrong. Although they experienced many defeats, they kept going forward – they leaned forward – they passed their message from generation to generation. It is our current generation that seems to feel paralyzed from not only understanding the impacts of the conservative laws, but stymied by the increasing feeling that as long as one’s basic needs are met, all is well. All is not well, as our society moves back to Gilded Age economics, and its psycho-social underpinnings.

In America, money represents the key to freedom – the relationship is inherent in the constitution’s very way that it was constructed – a coup of the financial elites over the notion of populism. The elites never believed the people were educated enough to make civic decisions, so they constructed a system by which the majority of peoples in the republic could not vote to change or make the laws of the state. Those laws were changed only when the power elites needed those votes to maintain their hegemony. Throughout our democractic experiment, money always begot power. However, power corrupts, and the economic debacles of the last decade confirm it so.

The interpretation of the powerful court all too easily becomes the byway of partisan power, constructed through the financial power of a silent minority (the 1%), who’s position is threatened by democratic thinking – allowing populism to dictate any norms of the market. Conservatism is the minority, but they hold the majority of wealth and political power. Since we are a nation built on democratic capitalism, our first thought is that if I or the nation are financially sound, than the system is sound. With that thinking, the fight for equal rights, equal access of the financial and political disenfranchised, cannot come about until we see ourselves as disenfranchised.