"God must love you very much to make you suffer so."
There's a true story from World War II of a rabbi beginning to sing out loud and little by little his distressed and debilitated fellow prisoners joined in, at first softly and then with more gusto, as they were hauled in a large cart from a German concentration camp to their mass deaths and from there to reabsorption with so many other of the Chosen People into the mystery of the inscrutable God of Israel, whose name cannot be said but is termed Jahweh (ιδεδ) in the Old Testament.
From severe mental and physical disabilities and depressions, I learned: that the body will fight to live on long after the conscious will to do so has gone; that a higher power leads, instructs, informs and guides us when logic and reason, care, concern and law have apparently disappeared from the planetary scene; that to struggle on alone and ungendered past the point of exhaustion is possible and worthwhile; and that real unconditional love is the greatest source of healing, and creativity, God gives us.
As of the end of May, I still have some residual memory and linguistic (e.g. spelling, but never grammar) loss, laggard comprehension, and physical weakness/fragility. On the other hand, I'm on my way to sixty-four years old, healthier than many in that decade, and grateful to feel as well as I do most days. I have yet to retrieve major personal possessions from Virginia but, in most important details of life and soul, I am very well-supplied, sustained, and satisfied.
Apparently, I was targeted mercilessly with multiple crimes originating from the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia -- including absolute abrogation of my Constitutional guarantees to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and civil liberties meant to protect me and my property, and subjected additionally to intimidation, terror and brainwashing techniques -- as part of the war against politically liberal philosophy, expression and activism and as part of the worldwide war against women, most particularly to silence them, their viewpoints, experience and aptitudes, in the process also attempting very publicly to discourage others of the same persuasions and inspirations from exercising their rights as citizens of the United States of America. This is a totally hopeless and destitute destination for humanity, as that slightly over fifty percent of the population provides balance and balast in its intelligence, talents, insights, perceptions, abilities, and spiritualities. Women, females, are every bit as much a beloved creation of God as men, males, and are the ones in whom Divinity instilled qualities necessary for conception, birthing and usually raising of species, not an undertaking to be ignored or overlooked in its importance, unless one wishes an end to humankind completely.
I remember myself and others too, back in 1996 and 1997, all full of promise and positivity, creativity and caring, enthusiasm and energy, healing and helping, sure of the protection and values of my country and countrymen. It never would have occurred to me in a million years what happened there to me, and others, and property subsequently. It just was not in my ken or any foreseeable horizon of my seeing or knowing or encountering previously. Unprecedented in its blatant and really suicidal, self-destructive criminality and insanity, the criminally inane of the once powerful and romantically mystical Shenandoah Valley, Daughter of the Stars, with its native spirits beckoning everywhere. How well I knew it and loved it dearly, before it smeared me with mud and ruin to its own disadvantage, really, its own ruin. It doesn't exist anymore, except in some people's memories. A lovely place with good neighborly values of pitching in to help during calamities like floods and blizzards and ice storms. All torn apart now in a useless and wasteful reenactment of the Civil War, won nearly 200 years ago by the Union and Union values, under the ever-acclaimed leadership of legendary Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant, with the loss of a still-staggering 610,000 brave and noble male lives in addition to much very valuable land and other property, the Confederacy led by reknowned and well-regarded gentlemen and scholars like Robert E. Lee with the military genius of "Stonewall" Jackson.
It's a sad place that goes to war physically against a lone relatively small in size, middle-aged, mid-menopausal woman -- pitiful, pathetic, ungalant and dishonorable, a disgrace I wouldn't think any real man would want to claim, never mind brag about being a party to. And, in the end, it loses anyway, just like it did previously. Winner take all, as they say. All the real winners are here in the gorgeously fabulous Mountain Empire, where ACR has been incorporated for these past months and has always been supported by government, courts, attorneys, universities, organizations and citizenry with real, true friendship and warm welcoming, as well as fighting when necessary for what's real and right. So, goodnight Shenandoah Valley to your criminalities and misguided Confederate sympathizing. You lose everything, including yourselves, and any grip on honor or prestige, beneficence or mercy, justice or sanity. All you have is Hell on earth and permanently for doing things like that to human beings, fully-enfranchised and deserving citizens of The United States of America in the late 20th and early 21st centuries A.D., meaning "After David," since the appearance of Jesus -- believed to be the Messiah prophesied in the Jewish Old Testament and Savior of the world -- in the Christian Era, supposedly, of saved humanity, who exhorted us, reiterating Old Testament Judaic law, to "Love your neighbor as yourself" and "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I wholeheartedly agree with, recommend and endorse with belief and experience those two instructional commandments as resolutions to problems personal and planetary.
OSCR began with my wanting to have a little fun and interesting site for partial retirement income and celebrating my delight in my Senedo home, then became ACR with coverage spread to all of Appalachia, as well as the world, and even more superb material, including inspirational values and explications of faith, and finally a site of self-and-other healing with continuing inspirational messaging. I have no idea why the Valley had such a terrible problem with any and all of that. To me, it's absolutely non-sensical, to say nothing of harmful and patently evil. No purpose to it at all really. Just what it's lost in commercial revenues (receipts from OSCR and its employees, and commerce for area tourism and craft businesses from positive exposure to potential consumers worldwide), taxes (since my A-frame now is seldom occupied or visited), expenditures for Court appearances, Court-appointed attorneys, jailings, deputies, institutions, transportations, medications and therapies (altogether around $100,000 or so of wasted taxpayer expenditure monies), to say nothing of forever abandoned and blown-away worldwide honor and prestige, in arguing for an end of Constitutional guarantees to United States citizens and their properties leaves me breathless and incredulous. But I'm where I chose and choose to be by my own free will, something not allowed to me in my own house on my own property there. This is a beautiful and pleasing, woman-friendly place. Why would I, or anybody to my mind, really want to be enveloped in the Valley's disturbing, distressing, upsetting, depleting, enervating criminal air? I just don't get what it's offering to anybody.
These are not behaviors and attitudes for which my ancestors, men and women, struggled and died in expanding civilization and culture, high principles and ideals, with courage and hard work, intelligence and innovation, and unwavering dedication to and faith in God. Their spirits are very dissatisfied and I wouldn't be surprised if the wrath of Divinity has not been roused. I pray for this country, and the peoples of the world, individually and collectively, very often that devils be converted or disappear, and that liberty, justice for all, under God, prevail, here and everywhere.
It has certainly been a rough road personally, but I'm incredibly rich now in everything that really matters to me, materially and otherwise, including excellent, talented and good, steadfast and helpful, supportive friends from all walks of life, for whom I am forever and actively thankful. I need to add a special blessing to the very well-equipped and helpfully-staffed libraries of Johnson City, East Tennessee State University, and Jonesborough (of which I'm a delightedly active member of the Friends of the Library) whose computers I've used for the past nine months, along with that of my dearest friend here, because mine has been stuck in another state in an unusually reactionary period of the 19th century.
To me, Appalachia with its plethora of natural beauty and resources, and the strength and resilience of its people historically, is the best of what's left of America, with the Mountain Empire the most visible vestige of that, even if it is occasionally wobbly from attack by the forces of destruction assailing republican democracy and populist capitalism. It was never predominantly a slave-holding region and parts of it, in profound disinterest, actually tried to secede from both sides of the conflict during the years of the Civil War. So distant is it from Confederate sympathies that the Daughters of the American Revolution have active local chapters in the area.
During the time between regaining possession of my Shenandoah Valley house and the day I moved permanently to my little Jonesborough apartment, as I was packing and giving things away, I developed an overwhelming need for a hug. My whole body cried out for one. Here, where demonstrations of affection through body language are accepted and common, I received them multiply. My New England heritage was of expression, primarily, of love and friendship through presents and frequently poetic language alone. The South in my experience is generally more demonstrative, and that's very healthy. Psychological studies have shown over and over again that touching someone is a healing affirmation of existence and care. So, hug somebody today!
Well-documented observations over the years have shown that individuals are capable of super-human strength in saving someone -- usually a loved one, an infant -- from harm or death. We all need that now in saving ourselves, families, communities, country, and world from degradation and annihilation by the forces of the night trying to prevail here and elsewhere. With the help of God, we can do that if we try. So, get involved! Activate. Communicate. Organize. Help a neighbor, adult or child. Kiss a baby. Vote. Volunteer for a civic organization or charity. Go sailing. Politicize. Start a business. Laugh. Appear on radio or t.v. Say "hello" when you pass someone by. Gallery hop. Give away what you don't use. Cry. Donate money where it's needed. Sanctify. Have sex with someone you really love. Plant a tree. Envigorate. Celebrate. Shop for bargains. Applaud. Meditate. Rejuvenate. Learn to play an instrument and perform in the town square. Make or buy a piece of art. Educate. Experiment. Sew a quilt. Pray. Smile, and mean it. Salute and wave the star-spangled flag. Help someone when and as they ask for it. Consecrate. Identify. Sow a seed. Decorate. Connect. Exercise. Illuminate. Live. Testify. Talk with a stranger. Enjoy. Be glad to be alive. Read a book or magazine. Innovate. Empathize. Join a choir. Rejuvenate. Learn a new trade or skill. Create. Take a nap. Attend a festival or concert. Decorate. Water a flower. Sing. Get to know somebody new. Dance at home and in the streets and fields. We're the citizens of the greatest nation on earth, the leaders of The Free World historically. The people of the United States, a wealthy empire, are blessed by God and beloved around the world despite actions of our government and conglomerate corporations sometimes. We made it through The Great Depression and World War II, among many other challenges since our founding and expansion. We're the champions. We've done it before, and we can do it again.
And here's another idea: engage in art crafts as a healthily humbling and humorous experience. For myself, I've been making collages and decorations. Glue sticks to the tips of my fingers and then to things I don't want at all. Putting the last finishing touch on a gorgeously perfect ornament, the wet glue from an edge catches another piece and knocks the whole design askew. Forgetting one isn't dry, I pick it up for admiration and nearly all the pretty little dried items fall off. In exasperation, I get up to walk toward the sink to clean up my fingers, trip over a heavy wooden three-sided ruler, lose my balance and slide a bit on a pile of categorized vegetable photos for a later collage, scattering them across the rug. I stop to be grateful that the apartment manager's wife is an artist so chaos doesn't perturb him very much. And it all reminds me of Hank telling a story years ago about trying to set up electrical equipment for an Independence Day celebration "Fifth Avenue" band performance and all the speakers and lights blow on the very first song. It's good for us. It's fun and it puts things in perspective. Of course, it helps to have a sympathetic crowd, too.
One more enjoyable diversion is a game called Hot Pursuit where you aim at toy ducks until they all stop quacking. It's really a good time, and everyone can play. It's available every day, and you don't have to pay. Shooting them is like participating in one of those historic Appalachian festivals or celebrations that have been held so frequently over the years past and present and planned for the future too. Try it, if you can. You'll love it. You'll be blown away!
Along with others, including Hank, I've been subjected to a seemingly-endless, relentless and merciless, humiliatingly and embarassingly abusive, totally amoral and Godless, temporarily successful and harassingly criminal "smear" campaign to destroy my reputation, identity and existence with lies and malicious innuendo by opponents of women's rights and liberation, democratic political persuasion and activities, free artistic and technological expression, independent small business and responsible, educated and participatory citizenship, as well as true religion and servanthood, and lovingly consensual adult sexuality. Chameleon exists partly as an experiential guide on how to survive and ultimately thrive through that kind of viciousness and brutality to mind body spirit soul heart property credit work finances living environment. In my case, I removed myself, finally and desperately, with some possessions geographically from the source of contamination into a healthy and enlivening place. Not everyone can do that.
We all need to pray actively for those still enmeshed in harms and horrors everywhere. Prayer is powerful. God listens to honest requests for deliverance and assistance, and their effect multiplies and spreads. I know that's true, and I've proved it with God's help and agreement. "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen." We can all save the world, the people in it, if we really want to and solemnly try. And miracles happen, also. There's a long tradition of that throughout the ages, including Jesus and the saints healing the sick and raising the dead. I'm living proof, too, of miracles in our world.
I don't know why some spirits are put on Earth, except maybe to drive the rest of us, exhausted and grateful, into the arms of God and all His celestial host for instruction through trust and increased empathy and identification with suffering humanity, or to complete and final reunion with Divinity. Our hope meanwhile is always that, if we didn't get it right, following generations for whom we try to set a good example, as well as we can within parameters of degradation and destruction, will.
So, pray now. Pray today. And don't forget to thank God for blessings along the way. Make it Christmas in your life and for others every day. "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." The true Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament, recounting ascendance and travails of what became the twelve tribes of Israel, about Jewish Kings and Queens, prophets and peoples, is a warrior who wins and rules, bringing peace and goodness throughout the ages to follow. Real followers of and fighters for Jesus, a Jew in the tradition of the Old Testament, can make prophesy come true. "Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven."
Personally, I'm planning to have an Alive And Well In America BYOLGW (Bring Your Own Leafy Greens and Wine) party -- assorted and exotic dressings and long-stemmed glasses, great company, music (e.g. live and CDs including Mahalia Jackson Queen of Gospel, The Royal Philharmonic Plays Queen, The King And I original musical soundtrack, Gloria Estafan Destiny, Eric Clapton Unplugged, Andrea Bocelli Sogno, An International Christmas Favorite Carols From Many Nations, Celine Dion Let's Talk About Love, Kenny G The Moment, Eternal Spirit Waves of Instrumental Energy, Alan Ross Scottish Influence, Tyler Collins Tyler and Linda Ronstadt with Aaron Neville Cry Like A Rainstorm -- Howl Like The Wind), colorfully crowded-with-decorations Christmas tree with stuffed animals -- a green porcupine, white chick, purple-patterned rabbit holding baby in her lap, wild patterned-and-spiraled sheep, goose hen in a lacy, white wedding dress and bonnet, tri-green snake with a long red tongue hanging out, two-toned gray anteater, and a very large brown dog with droopy ears hanging over his eyes -- in a loose semi-circle around it waiting to open their presents, and gallery provided, along with sixteen non-Spanish angels, five clowns, and two aliens wanting to go home.
Addendum (July 11, 2008): "The best and the brightest" on Earth, and in America particularly, have been sidelined repeatedly in influence and ability to act by a wide array of battle techniques including job loss,
resource depletion, illness, threats and intimidation, psychological torture, imprisonments, medications, death, general miseducation and misdirection, subtle inducements and propagandizing distortions of advertising, and subversion of democratic processes. Armies of the night, meanwhile, have continued increasingly, amidst diminished and silenced opposition, to destroy planet and people for their temporary financial benefit and material acquisition exclusively. More intelligent and power-embued creations of an all-seeing and all-powerful Divinity will help us, though, in saving our precious planet Earth with all its real splendor and wonder. Saddened by the nightmare existence here has become and sympathetic to anguished species and God, their enlightened assistance, superior fighting capabilities, and instructional guidance will lead us, in concert with our directed energies and activities, to a brighter day for everything and everyone as we continue to believe and pray in humility and concern for life and its continuance here on the 4.54-billion-year-old third planet called Earth, with a surface area of 197 million square miles, from our Solar System sun [a star of spectral class G2 and luminosity class V (main sequence), i.e. a G2V star], 26,000 light-years from the center of a spiral galaxy, on the edge of what we call the 13.6-billion-year-old Milky Way -- a speck really in the awesomely diverse and vast mystery of our universe (maps of the Universe,
Seb Chevrel Map of the Known Universe,
New Scientist Space,
Sloan Digital Sky Survey,
John A. Gowan's Spacetime Map of the Universe (Cornell),
BBC Science & Nature Space Map,
Ask An Astronomer (Cornell),
Ecology Global Network),
much of it as yet still undiscovered and unmapped by our astonomers and astronauts. In other words, help is on the way, is here, and more coming. All we have to do is keep on keeping on, and stay tuned.
Around five decades ago Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, warning of extinctions from chemical sprays and other activities detrimental and dangerous to planet and species. Since then we've kept repeating the same old patterns and losing ground all along the way -- very obviously, precipitously, and really, really frighteningly now. We even throw our garbage out into space from the stations and crafts going up and back. It's orbiting us now as I write this, a symbolically accurate picture of earthlings in the past century or so at least. Direction: "Look for the planet with the orbiting garbage dump; it's probably the only one out there like that in the glimmering, shimmering, spiraling and swimming universe; help, Help, HELP; we need huge spaceage trash trucks and suction machines, NOW; and you can take all the disbeings* away with you, too; find them a deserted planet somewhere in a very, very far corner of the universe, maybe a trillion or so light-years away from Earth and enlightened species here like homo luminous, and ducks."
Christmas 2008: In addition to my grandmother's paintings from beautiful (flowers) to interesting (boats and scenery), plus a few by her friends including the semi-famous Edwin Dawes and Roger White, I had lost through Valley and Virginia negligence and illegalities many other sentimental and valuable artifacts like family letters and photographs, antique furniture, and household items, all of which are irreplaceable. A few have been destroyed completely but most, to my knowledge, are still intact. Valuing one's own unique heritage in every way, including the material, is a near-universal trait and aspiration. It is typical of aggressive conquest historically, however, to wipe that out as well as possible. Africans were deprived similarly when brought to this country by white traders as slaves and were even given different and inappropriate Anglo-Saxon names, as if they had been adopted by their owners. Those who could kept some of their history alive through oral storytelling. The same is true of many other native peoples, including Hawaiians, those in this country originally who called themselves, in translation, "the human beings," and Jews and other out-of-favor ethniticities, nationalities, and orders during the Nazi holocaust. All have fought to re-establish remnants of their cultural traditions and recover whatever might be remaining of their properties. Since, in my case, those reflect the history of this nation, and in some aspects the world, it appears that the Valley and Virginia meant to annihilate it as a reality and remembrance. With the help of God and good people, fortunately, they did not in the end succeed. My personal possessions have been replaced somewhat miraculously with others of equal to greater value and even more diverse historical interest and beauty. Additionally, I'm blessed to live now in a region of general civility, rich cultural innovation, expansion and celebration, and widely wondrous natural magnificence. My health is restored and the nation has reclaimed its treasure: democracy. Recently I read again my favorite and chosen simple epitaph for an obituary of a local woman in the Johnson City Press. It reads: "I have fought the good fight. Now my course is done. I have kept the faith." I'm very satisfied with and proud of that, as much as anything else I've ever accomplished or acquired or done.
I wish you strength, love, and peace with friends in paradise.
World without end.