Thursday, June 23, 2011

When The Myth Explodes

I received, this morning, a very interesting and poignant comment on my old post, "What Anti-Adoption Means," posted 9/09/2009. It was from a woman, here in Florida, who adopted a sibling group and has learned, the hard way, about the mythology of adoption. She was terribly disappointed when her vision of family was disrupted by the truth. She wrote:

"You know what? I totally agree with you, and I am the adoptive mother of 5 children (a sibling group) The two older ones are now adults, and the day they turned 18 they left us, found their birthmom on Facebook, and have never loooked back. We were lied to by the state of Florida, told the kids had no other options, that we were the last chance. In reality, it turns out we were the "last chance" the state had to pawn the kids off on someone that didn't need a subsidy or financial help. There were relatives willing to take the kids, but they were poor, so the state of Florida found it cheaper to give them to us, than to their own family members. Now I have to deal every day with the heartache of having raised the two older ones only to have them leave me for their biological family. I live in constant fear that the same thing will happen with my 3 little ones that are still with me. I DO NOT BLAME THE CHILDREN! Adoption is a horrible lie, it not only hurts the children, it hurts the adoptive parents."

I answered:

"Erin, you left someone out...someone that most adopters don't want to even consider. In the MAJORITY of cases, the natural mother suffers unrelenting grief and pain. MOST of us, especially from the BSE/EMS era, were not given a choice. Today, many SW's and agencies are coercive or, as you point out, don't consider the natural family if they can find people with more money. That is government-sponsored social engineering.

Rather than "living in fear," why don't you try being honest with the three you have now? Acknowledge their need to know, their primal grief and help them connect with their natural families. There is always more than enough love to go around.

You can't buy or assume motherhood regardless of what that piece of paper says. But you can earn your children's love and respect by realizing that they are not possessions but their own people. You can also realize that "as if born to" is only legal-speak and not a reality. You will always know that your children were born to other women.

You might also want to ask yourself why your older kids "never looked back." Did you place emotional demands and conditions on them about their relationship with their natural families? You have a chance to do things differently with the young ones. Face your issues and work with your old mistakes. Good Luck."

I can't help but be amazed that this woman sees herself as more of a victim than the natural family. These children were placed by the state for all the wrong reasons and now this woman is having to deal with the fact that the blood bond is stronger than adopters wants to think it is. I assume this was a foster situation in the beginning and those oldest children probably had complete memories of their natural family. The fact that they have a natural family that wanted them but were denied custody, primarily because the state of Florida is big on the social-engineering thing, had to have been a major factor in the "defection" of the two oldest.

But I would love it if just one adopter could be educated to the realities of adoption rather than the ephemeral promises made by the adoption mythology. There is the assumption of ownership of the child. Natural parents don't usually see it this way. We see it as our job to give the child love and nurture and prepare them to face life on their own terms. We don't own them in any way. They belong to themselves and they form other bonds where their primary loyalty is to a partner/spouse rather than to us. Letting go is part of love. And loving them, regardless of the choices they make is part of being a parent.

Adoption is the only arrangement where a person is never allowed to legally grow up, where the existence of a natural mother and natural family is literally ignored (and some wish would disappear) and where a fantasy is legally entered on the books via "as if born to" decrees and amended birth certificates.

No, don't blame the "children" (including the adult ones) and don't blame the natural family, either. Poverty is not a good reason to break up a family or take children from a mother. Have some compassion for those children in a situation that was not of their choosing and without their own kith and kin near to them. Have compassion for the mother that lost her children, many times through no fault of her own, and the family that lost their kin because they were poor and needed assistance. The adopter's disappointment, I opine, pales beside the grief of the coerced mother who has a child or children taken for adoption and the pain and frustration of the adoptee.

I was told by a woman who adopted during the BSE that I was a representative of her "worst nightmare." No matter how much adopters would like to ignore the natural parents and family (and how large those people loom in the minds and emotions of the children they adopt) they know we are out there. They know enough to, if they are smart, enable them to take a realistic look at adoption and learn to share and care.

There's that old thing about Butterflies and how you have to let go...I wonder if the reason these adoptees "never looked back" comes from being held too tightly? I wonder if holding on too tightly happens because we also loom large in the back of the mind of the adopter. Everyone tries to make a monster of the mother/natural family.

But we are all just ordinary people who either got caught up in extraordinary circumstances, got swept into the web of the state or agencies, or fell for a myth and acted out of panic. We are families who are sad when one of own becomes a prisoner of their bad choices and we want to take care of the children of our own but are not allowed to if the state gets there first. Nope, no monsters here.

Perhaps the expectations of those who adopt should be scrutinized. It doesn't help that the Industry, including the state, pander to those wants and expectations. The court presumes to do something that only nature can accomplish with that "as if born to" nonsense. That is the arrogance of humanity and social engineering.

And that myth can often blow up, right in their astonished faces.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

All About Dad

Father's Day isn't the best day in the world for me. My own father, now deceased, was not exactly the picture of the ideal Dad. Father definitely did NOT know best in our home.

I was abandoned and lied about by the father of my oldest child and raped and abandoned by the father of my second. The first was poor judgement on my part in loving someone too immature to hold up his end of the relationship. The second was just being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person.

While our marriage wasn't the best, my ex-husband was and is an excellent father to our two. My current husband is a wonderful step-father and was a very loving Dad to the only child he had of his own, now deceased. Father's day is rough for him.

My own father was a narcissistic, pathological liar, bigamist and serial adulterer. The last few years of his life were, unfortunately, the best for us. He had retreated into a fantasy of being a good man who never hurt anyone and slowly ate himself to death. He died of congestive heart failure complicated by extreme Type II diabetes at age 72.

For nine years, from age five to age fourteen, I wondered about him and why he left. When he came back, I would soon come to believe it would have been better had he stayed gone. My mother and extended family were my sanity and comfort...well, at least until I "went and got MYSELF pregnant."

I have seen many adoptees becoming the champions of the natural fathers, but they weren't the ones who were in the relationships with these guys that led to their conception. For every girl who "got pregnant, deliberately, to trap a man," I can show you ten who just loved a guy too much to realize that he was not going to hang in for the duration. For every girl who "didn't tell the father because she was mad at him," I can show you twenty who, when they told their beloved the news, were coughing from the dust of his hasty departure. There are two sides to every story and Mom is NOT always the villain.

To me, the kind of father that deserves the accolades on Father's Day are the ones who took the responsibility for their actions and stood fast to give their child a name and the ability to stay within the family of origin. I would have been OK with a quickie marriage and divorce, even with that odious animal who inseminated me against my will, for the ability to keep my child. That's what it was all about, back then. No husband, no Mrs. in front of your name, no right to your own child. Illogical but then this society has never been real good with that logic thing, in my opinion.

I think the two hardest pills to swallow were learning the true nature of my own father, and being abandoned by the father of my first born and mistreated by him. I truly loved both these guys, the first with the innocent love of a child and the second with the first intense love of a young woman, and they both gave me a major kick in the gut. You know what's funny? My first love couldn't stand my father. I think he saw himself in my old man's philandering ways.

So excuse me if all I do for Father's Day is give my husband the loving support he needs and thank my ex-husband for being a good Dad. The rest is up to everyone else to do as they see fit. I don't think I feel much like celebrating.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Rights: Deleted

I get so frustrated with the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and even Planned Parenthood (PP). All are supposedly committed to the protection of an oppressed gender, including reproductive rights and the upholding of the rights of the minorities. And they are producing major suckage at both.

NOW is top-heavy with adopters and they won't even consider the violation of the reproductive rights of the BSE/EMS mother as a valid issue. The ACLU is so intent on covering the hides of some mysterious beemommies hiding under rocks, somewhere, that they are campaigning against the rights of another minority, the BSE adoptee whose records and identity are closed to them. What is wrong with this picture?

This is all so ass-backwards that I have to wonder what they have been smoking. You would think that millions of young women, coerced into the loss of their infants would definitely be a woman's issue. Mais Non! NOW and PP is protecting the "rights" of young women to "choose adoption." Is that on a "whether we really want to or not, fully-uninformed" basis, PP and NOW?

There is an entire industry that is laughing at these people all the way to the bank. "Hey Fat!" "What is it, Cat?" "These breeders can't even get their own gender to take up for them! Har Har Har!" Yuck it up, boys. We're still here and still talking.

As for the ACLU, they are NOT protecting me from anything. What about the rights of adoptees to know their true beginnings, to be able to get a passport and other documents that most of us can get with no problem? What about the rights of a group of people that this entire, benighted nation treats like eternal children? They are too busy protecting a tiny group of cowards who have the right to say "no." I wonder if that is because there are so many attorneys in the ACLU?

Or are they really protecting anyone? How far into these organizations has the Industry been able to reach? Who is greasing whose palms? What ancient book of social psychology are they being fed as the ultimate word on the subject? And why, why don't they ask us? Mothers and adoptees are definitely more qualified to speak to what is needed than a bunch of lawyers and adopters. OUR experience is important too.

Justice NEEDS to take a look. We refuse to remain forever non-mothers and our children refuse to remain forever infants. It is almost a hoot that the very groups that are supposed to see to our rights are among the most active in attempting to deny them. It's sort of like the idealistic social worker of the mid-20th century who thought they were doing something noble when they "created families" by destroying one. This nation has taken so many wrong turns in the past century that we are running in circles.
Mothers and adopted adults are so sick of the curb, the underside of the bus, the well of secrets and the "who cares?" attitude toward our issues of our governing bodies. I, for one, am tired of dirty bills, riders, 60+ page proposed legislations that give to some and not to others and others trying to speak for us who have no right to do you hear that, Mr. Pertman, Mr. Johnson (or "Chuckie" as we like to call him) ? Who decided that we did not have the ability to speak for ourselves? Do you, like many adopters and facilitators, still persist in seeing the Natural Mother as unwashed, semi-literate trash and our children as still in diapers? Guess again, fella!

Until the powers-that-be stop listening to self-appointed "experts" with special interests in keeping the Industry going and start listening to the real experts who have lived this unique cluster f*** of secrets, lies, grief and loss, I fear we are going to keep moving at a snail's pace. Not cool..not cool at all.

Warning...many of us have dealt with our issues and all that is left behind is the righteous indignation of the injustice done. I invite Lady Justice to take a peek.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

From The Horses' Mouths

It takes a lot to make me jump in the air and click my callused heels, but Bastardette's blog from yesterday about the the things many adopters say and think, "Busted: Adoptive Parents Speak," definitely had me catching some air time. I say many adopters, but my personal experiences with those who adopt has ME saying MOST adopters. I read this one and let out with a loud "YES" which had one of my dogs barking, wondering where the intruder was.

Another mother and I were talking and we noted that people we knew before they decided to adopt were very different after that. They went through some kind of obsessive metamorphosis that didn't do a whole lot for their fairness and compassion factors. I know of one, whom I once thought of as the soul of tolerance, who began to utter disparaging remarks about "slutty, teenage whores." If she thought so little of the mother, why would she want that girl's child? And if the adopted child hears his/her natural mother spoken of in that way, how must it make that child feel about him/herself?

Here is one such quote from a blog entitled, 'Adoptive Parents Speak,' from which Bastardette culled the best bits for her excellent post.

"Holy Crap
The adoption option–

The baby’s mother– An immature irresponsible young women most likely from a Jerry Springer Show type of family. She will be extremly emotionally attached to her baby and is too immature to fully understand and cope with the boundaries of an open adoption relationship. Infant adoption is a catch 22. Mothers of good genetic stock aren’t screwed up enough to give thier newborn babies away to strangers…..If a mother is unfit enough to give away her baby she is unfortunatly not only unfit enough to parent but is also unfit where she shouldn’t be breeding and spreading her inferior genes. She is most likely a failure in school with a low IQ. I have read on adoption forums that if an adoptive couple checks off that they don’t want a baby from a birthmother who has smoked during her pregnancy that they will be on the waiting list for a long time….Birthmothers tend to come from families with drug abuse and alcholism. I have seen birthmother blogs and I have never seen an attractive birthmother. Most of them look like the trailer park white trash that they are. Ugly squirrely faces, buck teeth, obese etc. Birthmothers are deadbeat moms. Why would adoptive parents pay 30 grand for some loser’s baby?
(spelling left intact)"

This one was among the more offensive that I read and I have to thank Bastardette for the post and the link. The Industry and the adopters themselves have created a monster of a person with little thought for anyone but themselves and an avarice that allows them to discount the humanity and dignity of the mother of the child they covet. They are intent on keeping the stigma of the "slutty, unwed mother" alive and treat the children they so avidly desire as horses at a livestock sale. Let's see...check hoofs, teeth, back and whithers...OK, this one'll do, pardner.

Perhaps the only way they can live with themselves is to dehumanize both the product and the producer. Their derisive attitude towards the mother is tinged with the envy they must feel for her fertility. Sorry, but this is 2011 and no one can tell me that all these wannabe mommies went to their marriage bed with hymen intact. I have to ask, since along with delayed childbirth, STDs are the foremost common causes of infertility, just what right any of these women have to judge the mothers whose babies they covet so fiercely? What if everyone started saying that adopters do so because they spread their legs and got a case of the clap? That kind of stereotype is what is laid on Natural Mothers to this, supposedly, enlightened day.

We mothers, mostly in private support groups, have been sharing our experiences and disappointments with the people who adopted our children for years. We can't express that to our adult children because they are, for the most part, very defensive of their adopters and that's understandable. But when we reunite with a seriously damaged individual whose ideas about motherhood, family, and relationships is badly skewed, and whose personal life is in shambles, it is hard not to be angry at both the adopters and those social workers who promised us the moon, adopter-wise. Ward and June were unavailable so our kids got whatever was behind door number 2.

We Natural Mothers from the BSE/EMS were, for the most part, coerced into surrendering our parental rights and responsibilities. But NO ONE could make us surrender our motherhood, our right to eventually know our child and our concern and caring for that child. And that scares the fetid feces out of the adopters. Deep down, they know this. They know we are torn and grieving.

So they attack our morals, our values, our worth as human beings as a way to justify their greed. They find the few who fit their description and label the majority by the picture of that tiny minority. I still wonder why that woman quoted above would want the child of the women she describes. It boggles the logical mind.

I hope that every woman with an unplanned pregnancy that is considering surrender will read that blog. They need to know into what kind of environment they are sending their innocent babies. I hope that informative blog stays up and adopters and PAPs keep adding their venom and arrogance to it.

Then if anyone wonders where the potential beemommy got the idea to change her mind about surrender, we can say, "she got her information from the horses' mouths!"

Monday, June 13, 2011

Wheel's Turnin' Round and Round

Have you ever crawled into bed at night, so tired and sleepy that you can't wait to hit the pillow only to lie there, wide awake, while your brain goes into overdrive? I had one of those nights not too long ago. It seems that the more I tried to stifle the inept problem-solver between my ears, the harder the wheels turn.

It's not an uncommon phenomenon. My hubby is the world's worst at being unable to sleep in. Once he wakes up, no matter how early, his active brain won't let him go back to sleep. That is why I find him asleep in his recliner so often. All those thing he felt MUST be done, that wouldn't let him stay in bed, don't get done. It's a vicious cycle.

But I digress. I started thinking of all the things that I had discovered about surrender, society, adoption, reunion, closed records and the memories of my time in the Unwed Mother Hot Seat. I started playing "what if" and imagining what I would have done differently and how. I flashed back to April 30, 1993 and my first reunion (I had two that year...WHEW!) and what I might have done and said had I known then what I know now.

I remember that contentious phone conversation with the woman who adopted my daughter and I went through a litany of other things I might have said. When she told me to "cease" the "nonsense" of reunion, I just replied that I was leaving that up to my daughter. I came up with quite a few much better responses 18 years too late.

One of them was a keeper, though. It was a point we Mothers have discussed among ourselves on many occasions. Say it takes 18 to 22 years to raise a child to productive adulthood. Once our children have reached that point, they become responsible, in every way, if we did a decent job, for themselves. But, even though my daughter was in her 30's at the time of reunion, divorced with two children she was raising, the woman who adopted her still seemed to think of her as a eternal child. I wish I had said, "She belongs to neither of us. She is her own person, an adult. We have no control over what she needs, wants or does. Live with it!"

If we do our jobs well, and forge bonds of love with the children we raise, then there will be a relationship after they have left the nest. But their decisions, their relationships and their lives are their own. No one "owns" them but themselves. It is a natural part of life that children grow and go, form partnerships and start their own cycle. It is natural but it seems that, in adoption, there is an "eternal child" clause. Someone once likened it to slavery and it does have its likenesses.

There are many Mothers who have had an adopter tell her that she was their worst nightmare. That is the insecurity that goes with adopting. The one thing that the courts of this land cannot create with their almighty decrees, contracts, agreements and judicial signatures is that blood bond. That has to be what the adopters can't face. The fear of losing the child they raised to the Mother who bore that child tends to interfere with a fully healthy relationship. If they have done their job well, then that shouldn't be a problem. And it wasn't for my daughter. Her love for those she calls her parents never wavered. But their fear still invaded what could have been a wonderful reunion.

I understand the fear, but I don't condone holding an adult hostage to it. My daughter was threatened with having herself and her children cut out of the will. What should have been parental love became conditional. I felt sad for all of us. While I respect my daughter's feeling where the people who raised her are concerned, I found that I had little feeling for them one way or the other once I worked through the anger. It wasn't about them...reunion was about US.

All that should be a moot point by now, since both of them passed away within a couple of years of each other a few years back. I have neither resentment nor any other feelings for them. They were not and are not a part of my life.

Yet, in my daughter's life, their ghosts loom large. Though several years have passed, she can tell you the exact date of their death without having to refer to any paperwork. She still mourns and I wonder if it is them or the idea of the dream of the "ideal" life and family she had that she mourns.

My mother passed away 43 years ago. The only reason that I can remember the date is because she died at Christmas. I can't tell you the date of my father's death. I remember them on Mother's Day and Father's Day and sometimes will have a memory that makes me smile. I miss them but know that this is the cycle of life. I do NOT post paeans of praise and love to them on the anniversary of their deaths, nor have I held my grief to me like Linus held his blanket. Grief is a process with a beginning and an end and reaching acceptance and peace is the goal.

That's when I realized what was keeping me awake. I was trying to free my daughter with my mind. No can do! The only one who can release her into a full and happy life is HER. I can toss, turn, suggest, obsess and you name it and it won't do a lick of good. I needed to let go and let IT go. "What if" is a dangerous game to play when you need sleep.

I finally nodded off and slept late the next morning...if you call 8:00 AM, sleeping late. The problem was solved by my recognition of the fact that I can't solve the problem. I had a chuckle at my own expense, talked about it with my friend, and, for the most part, am letting it lie. I took a mental health day, yesterday. I didn't watch a minute of news, chatted a bit online with some friends of like mind, and took an afternoon nap with hubby and pooches.

It felt so good, I just might do it more often. And I slept so well, last night.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Too Much Life Going On....

I was perusing the web looking for images of women juggling all the aspects of life. Most of the pictures were of women juggling home, children, mate and work or even items in a recipe. That's not really where most of us are, right now. The world is changing into a strange and scary place.

Most women are NOT singly focused on home and hearth or even jobs. We have our philosophies and our causes. These days, it's more like we are juggling chainsaws on a tightrope.

In every area of life, including the area of natural disasters, we are all cringing while waiting to see what comes next. The political scene, alone, is enough to make a grown woman cry. Like my friend said, there is more ugly stuff going on in the world other than adoption and some of it is worse.

That is not to denigrate the pain of those still working through the impact that having a child taken for adoption or being adopted has on one's life. It's just that if I had to pick a trauma, there are others that are a lot more crippling. I listed some of them in a previous blog. It seems we have a culture of victimology. "Get over it," is a bit harsh, but "recover and live" is workable.

I went through rape crisis counseling. One of the counselors said that, for her, it was about going through stages. First came the victim, then the struggler, then the fighter and, finally, the survivor. Funny, but she never referred to "victim" as a bad word. Also notable is the fact that many Mothers refer to ourselves, as a group, as survivors.

It was also important, in our recovery from being victims of rape to being survivors, to place the blame where it belonged. One woman wanted to blame her mother who was so insistent that she be "popular" that she encouraged her to date the guy who raped her. Many of us blamed ourselves for poor judgement of character or for choosing the wrong ride home, etc. ad infinitum. The fact is that we were afraid to narrow our focus on the person who was the real villain..the rapist. It was another way to avoid facing our fears and memories.

20th century psychiatry made blaming one's parents, chiefly the mother, for one's pain a popular concept. Many took that and ran with it. It gave them an excuse not to take responsibility for their own actions. It is always easier to blame than to examine who might be the real malefactor in adoption. It is especially difficult to blame a faceless Industry, a long-forgotten social worker and deceased parents. It is harder, still, for adoptees, to see the role of the adopter in the mix.

But once victimized doesn't mean forever a victim. There comes a point when it's not important how the jackass got into the ditch but how we can work together to get it out of there. As adults, we are responsible for our own survival, our own actions and words and how we respond to those in our arena of adoption activism. In every case where I have sought healing, I have found the tools were with me all along...inside me. So, if we looked inward for healing, perhaps we could look outward enough to work with each other and pull that damn donkey out of the ravine.

This issue is not 24/7 for me. As the title says, there is too much life going in. In the areas of financial stability, women's reproductive rights, the direction of our government, climate change and world-wide unrest, we are very busy keeping those chainsaws in the air. Our energies are being spread across a wider spectrum of causes and crisis. For OCD perfectionists like me, it is overwhelming. That is why the sniping, name-calling, carping, whining and otherwise making everything all about you in the adoption arena is trying my patience.

I am taking some mental health or two a week. I'm retired, so that is no problem. Those are days when I don't worry about anything, turn off the news, step outside and know that the Universe is rolling along without the benefit of my august worry. While much of what goes on might somewhat affect me, not much of it is all about me...not even what happens within my own family.

Life today is frustrating. We are all survivors and we have earned a bit of serenity. There is no reason why we should allow our lives to be chaotic on a constant basis. Put down the chainsaws. Get off the tightrope. Now, breathe!

Doesn't that feel better?

Friday, June 03, 2011

Call Me Crazy, But......

I've been less prolific on this blog for a while, here lately. I've not been withdrawn so much as...quiet. I've posted on Facebook, made political statements, chatted with friends and family, but I've not had much to say on this blog on a daily basis. The thought occurred to me that I might have said all there is to say about being a Natural Mother, adoption, reunion and the duplicity of agencies, governments and religions. From here on in, it's just repetition.

But the world is still with us and a friend noted, the other day, that there are more things in the world, today, than just adoption that are f***ed up. She's so right. Sometimes I hate to get out of bed. Every morning, I wake to a different world, with some small piece moved, removed, replaced or a new piece added. Change is a constant. And the ocean waves can be gentle or stormy. If I can't ride the waves, I shouldn't be in the ocean.

This is life. You either ride the waves or you sink. And we ALL get thrown in when we emerge from the womb and are set on our voyage with no choices as to how it begins. In the long run, it is what it is and what we make of it. I am finding that it is never too late to glean wisdom from other sources. I have watched people I love undergo positive and healthy changes. I have watched people I love continue to do the same thing, over and over again, and never get the results they want. I have watched people I love die, get ill, fight for their lives, succeed and be happy, be sad, and give up.

My son marched in a Gay Pride Parade in his small, southern home city. He isn't gay but he was strongly in support of his GLBT brothers and sisters and marched with the Young Democrats group. Some might wonder at the wisdom of him becoming involved in such a controversial issue in the middle of the redneck bible belt. I'm proud of him. And, as a wise father told his only child, a daughter, not too long ago.."stand for something or fall for anything." That got me to thinking. For what do I stand?

I stand for justice for the millions of young women treated like delinquents and trash during an era of hypocrisy and bias for the simple fact that they had sex (some coerced into it and some, even, against their will and most, out of love) and were fertile. I stand for the concept of giving due value and consideration to women, young and old, and their children. I stand for the civil and human rights of these mothers and their children.

I stand for the continued preservation of the right to choose for women and the right to birth control. My choice. There is something enraging about a bunch of self-righteous men and their Stepford women telling us what we can and cannot do with our own reproductive lives.

I stand for the swift return of our armed forces from the dangerous and unpredictable places where our government has sent them.

I stand for the idea that any man or woman who chooses to present him/herself as one who represents us all, should have a complete understanding of that which he/she says he/she represents. Personality cults don't make for good representation. Intelligence, knowledge and acumen do. Integrity would certainly help.

I stand for a government who can combine enterprise with compassion, fiscal responsibility with a social conscience. I stand for the right of anyone to believe in and practice their their own homes and places of worship...but not to enforce their creed on us through our government. I stand for an end to fear as a vote-getting tactic.

I stand for an end to lies and corporate manipulation of our government. I stand for the kind of government we were taught about many years ago in school...OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people.

I stand for the right of all Americans to have a good education, a way to earn a living and a way to live and have a quality of life into their old age. I stand for the preservation of Medicare, Social Security and programs that aid the less fortunate. I stand for a cessation of the elderly having to choose between food and medicine. I object to outrageously, falsely inflated drug and medical care prices.

I stand for a responsible stewardship of our planet and its resources. I stand for alternatives that will help decrease this rape of the Earth. I stand for a world that is a fit place for our children's children's children to inhabit.

Yeah, most would say. Good luck with all THAT. You're right. All of that is a persistent but idealized dream that has been with me through all my quiet time. But if I stop dreaming, I might as well die. If I can't ride the waves, then I'll drown. So I sail on, getting wet, getting salt in my eyes, but still afloat.

This has been a hard and harsh time for our nation and our world and I don't see it getting measurably better in the very near future. That laundry list of stances I just posted is a big order for a civilization, much less an individual. If any of those things can be done, they will be done in small increments.

So that's what has been buzzing around in this old, gray pate of mine. As my ocular vision grows fuzzy, my social and spiritual and philosophical vision gets clearer and clearer,at least to me. Some might say that I over-simplify, but haven't we, our government and our society, over-complicated things to a ridiculous extent? I mourn what has been done to our nation, to our world. I cannot and will not accept that it can't be repaired.

It's just going to take a lot of time....something I don't have.