Saturday, November 19, 2016

Monsters By The Light Of Day

"People often believed they were safer in the light,
 thinking monsters only came out at night."

~C.J. Roberts
Captives In The Dark

While we were on vacation, I spotted this wall sconce at restaurant we stopped at for a meal. I have my camera with me at all times, so of course I snapped off a photo and it sat in that file for a couple weeks or so, until I came across it last night, while putting my photo files in order. The sconce is beautiful, a little large for the walls in my home mind you, but perfect for the large walls of the restaurant I spotted it in. Perfect decor. Restaurants tend to put a lot of thought into what will make their customers feel at home. 

Welcome. Appreciated. 

So why has so much hate been going on at restaurants and coffee shops recently? Chili's has lost my business for good, because of the way they recently treated an American veteran on Veterans Day. You can read about the incident here. And then twice this week there have been incidents at Starbucks where Trump supporters have decided to use their new bully empowerment, handed to them by Donald Trump, to intimidate baristas and customers by demanding the Trump put on the cup be TRUMP instead of their real name, because Starbucks CEO endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

The childish vote finally has a hero.
And the hero is a coward.
Donald J. Trump.

How is it his fault you ask? He has said he wants to be the president for all people, and in the last week he has done nothing but surround himself with white supremacists, Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions and Retired General Michael Flynn. His appointments of folks that have lead the charge in hatred is long standing. He says he wants to be a president for all the people, yet he continues to fill positions in the government and has as his official and unofficial advisors that don't just raise eyebrows, but indeed cause genuine worry that America is about to head into it's arguably it's darkest time. 

Why do Ivanka, Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump need top national security clearances? And why was Ivanka at the meeting between Trump and the Prime Minister of Japan? The children of the president aren't allowed to work in the White House. There are nepotism laws about this! So why was she there? Will we ever know the answer to that? Probably not! And what else is going on without our knowledge? Trump has sufficiently scared the media... all of the media... by simply discarding them at will. Lies? What lies? He lies about lying, and the media, for the most part says..."oh... okay." I know why it worries me, but why doesn't it concern the people who voted for him?

Blind trust in their candidate is fine with Trump supporters, as long as they have Trump's permission to treat others with any disdain they choose because after all, "political correctness has gone too far." Treating others the way you want to be treated is overrated. Do what you want. Turn on your neighbor. Cut in line. Burn churches. Call any woman you disagree with cunts. Spray paint racist graffiti at will. Bully. Bring out every part of the darkest side of your being, and be damn proud for doing so. But remember, when Leslie Stahl, of 60 Minutes, asked about this behavior by Trump supporters, President Elect Donald J. Trump looked into the camera and said...

Stop It!

Don't get too comfortable ladies and gentlemen, 
monsters come out in the light of day as well, 
and they are the most dangerous ones of all.

Donald Trump Interview 
60 Minutes (Nov 13th, 2016)
Leaf Of The Day
November 19th 2016

Mood: Quiet



Friday, November 18, 2016

Three Seasons Away

"It was a beautiful bright autumn day, 
with air like cider and a shy so blue you could drown in it."

~Diana Gabaldon

Sometimes, when I see a part of California that I have never been to before, I wonder about how it all must have been before it was developed to death. Progress is a good thing, but seeing a beautiful hillside filled with colorful trees, or an untouched stream just flowing along, with every color possible framing the banks, I just feel alive and happy, almost like I am a part of the land itself! My trip to Yosemite last week had a true and profound affect on me. I want to see it in all the seasons now, but I just know that seeing it in autumn will always feel like I am coming home, because that was the season I was in when I saw it the first for the first time! 

Next autumn seems like a very long time away.
And it is I suppose.
I always wonder if I will make it to see one more autumn.
I sure hope I do.
But one never knows what life has in store us. 
Next autumn is 3 seasons away.

 Leaf Of The Day
November 18th 2016

Mood: Quiet


Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Consequence Of Your Illusions

"The consequence of your illusions is your reality."

~Steven Redhead
Life Is Simply A Game

I didn't realize, when I photographed this red crayon, that it cast a bit of an illusion. It seems to be floating! It isn't of course, but it's sort of fun, so I thought I would post it here as a metaphor for the national election we all just experienced!

Donald Trump, and his campaign, has just as much as admitted that they didn't think he would win on election night... then he did! Now what? Well, if you have been paying attention, it seems the transition is, well, unorganized at best, in total chaos more than likely!

I don't know for sure how I would feel if I were a Trump supporter, and I found out that he had such little faith in his own campaign that not only did he think he would lose, but that he hadn't even considered how his transition would work. It seems like something that would be at least sketched out after the nomination was clinched. At least in some basic way. But they didn't! So...

 You are now the leader of the free world!
 Shit just got real! 

What promises did you make to your supporters, that you now need to keep? Are you going to lock up Hillary Clinton? Are you going to go after ISIS on your first day in office and completely stamp them out? Are you going to completely repeal the Affordable Care Act? Donald Trump said he would do a lot of things, but it doesn't seem likely he will do any of them. Actually, I take that back somewhat. He will futz around with the tax code, mostly to his benefit, but as for infrastructure... forget about it! Job creation cannot be guaranteed, and neither can building that wall.

I wonder what it will feel like, to be a Trump supporter, a year from now? Will they be happy with what the new president manages to accomplish? Will they have a strong sense of buyers remorse? Who knows? Right now they are still on the childlike or childish high of watching the red crayon float just above the table! It's all an illusion, and deep down they knows that's true, but sometimes folks just want to be lied to, and in that I feel bad for them! I really do! Nothing hurts worse that finding out you have been played for a fool, and deep down you knew it, but you just couldn't bring yourself turn away from the lie.

The fact that one day Trump supporters realize that they have been sold an illusion, a lie, is small comfort. It's no comfort all really. When the truth becomes painfully aware to all, it will already be too late. Trump is completely unqualified for the presidency, and therefore he will make big mistakes. Mistakes with consequences. Deadly ones I fear. And it will be too late for "I'm sorry" and "I told you so." It will be too late. Too late. 

Just focus on the floating red crayon, and get lost in the illusion.

Leaf Of The Day
November 17th 2016

Mood: Quiet



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Baby It's Cold And Very Dark Outside

"When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon, or you will be taught to fly."

~Patrick Overton
The Leaning Tree (Poems)

Things are mighty dark at the moment, but you don't need me to tell you that. With each passing day, I get a little more frightened of what will come out of the Donald Trump presidency. Right now, a week after the election, there is talk of deep infighting behind the scenes, and flagrant betrayal of some who supported Trump from day one! ( cough... Chris Christie ). Christie has an approval rating of just 2% in New Jersey, because, I expect, he became a Trump supporter, almost from day one, and lets not forget that bridge scandal (Bridgegate) which just sent some of his closest staffers to prison!

 As if the whole situation wasn't seedy enough, there is the request of unprecedented power for the grown children of Trump, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Kushner seems to be running things behind the scenes, and there is NO love lost between he and Christie, as it was Christie who sent his father away for political corruption. Now, if that's not enough, throw in some awkward use of Donald Trump's political standing for the promotion of their own merchandise, and it's a full blown circus! It's tacky. It's unethical and it's wrong, but there you are ladies and gentlemen! American's ignorantly wanted to shake things up, well done, mission accomplished! 

Baby, it's cold... and very dark... outside. 

For the first time, in a very long time, when I try to look into the future, and see what my life might be like a year from now, I don't see anything. It's just darkness. I don't see next autumn like I usually do. I don't see my birthday or the summer months that I love to complain about. I don't see swimming in the pool. I don't see anything. I just see darkness. I can't picture it. Not at all. If it's depression causing this, it's a different kind of depression than I have ever had before. I have suffered from deep bouts of hopelessness in the past, and eventually maneuvered through, but this feels different somehow. The future is just a cold, dark, silent place. All I can see is tomorrow, but next week isn't there. 

Right now its just...
 one dark day at a time.

For now, each day is about finding the solid ground.

Leaf Of The Day
November 16th 2016

Mood: Quiet


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Rhetorical Questions

"It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are
 or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. 
It is what you think about it."

~Dale Carnegie
How To Win Friends And Influence People

If the past week has taught me one thing, it would be that I felt better, inside and out, when I was able to get out with the camera and do some photography. That's the great thing about vacations, they give you a chance to break away from the things that hold you back, or cause you stress. Those things are very different for Alan and I. For him, it meant taking a break from his job. He got to stay up late, sleep in, and watch a ton of TV! He played video games and read. He listened to music, and me bitch about politics! He doesn't mind my complaining, and screaming at the TV, in fact he usually either laughs or joins in!

The vacation for me meant a break from cooking every day. Not that I mind cooking, I don't, in fact I rather enjoy it, but with the relaxed schedule it was nice to sometimes go out for a meal together. I also got to stay up late, and sleep in late. NICE! But the biggest benefit was being able to do a ton of photography and see some new places, such as Half Dome, on our car ride to Yosemite. 

We both feel better, so I guess the vacation was a success! Now comes the difficult part, keeping, even just to a small degree, the elements of our time off that did us the most good, the rest of the year! It's 11 months until vacation rolls around again, and that time will either go by really fast, and mostly uneventful, or it will drag on, and on, and on. With Trump set to be officially sworn in this coming January, I have no idea what the future holds. Who knows?


That question was rhetorical by the way! If you do know, don't tell me. I don't want to know! Lets all be surprised... shall we?

 Leaf Of The Day
November 15th 2016

Mood: Quiet



Monday, November 14, 2016

It Was The Sweetest Time!

"That's the problem with memories, you can visit them, but you can't live in them."

~Shaun David Hutchinson
We Are The Ants

Last month, when Alan and I were visiting Apple Hill, we stopped into one of our favorite farms, Bolster's Hilltop Ranch, to pick up a bottle of our favorite Apple Hill apple cider. Most of the farms produce fresh cider, but theirs has always been our very favorite! While we were there, we decided to browse their craft items for sale, when we came across this plate. It immediately caught my eye, because I used to own the full set of dishes in this pattern! I bought them just after Alan and I got married, because he wasn't fond of the clear set that we had been given as a wedding gift. 

We loved that set of dishes! The plates were large, and the bowls a bit wider and deep than most dishes. I didn't pay a lot for the full set, which was also nice, because we were still paying off the wedding when I purchased them. We used them for about 8 years, when we needed to move suddenly, and they went into storage temporarily. During that move, thieves broke into our storage unit and stole nearly everything we owned, including our set of cute country dishes.

I thought about that set over the years. I tried to find the pattern again, but I never did. Once they sold out, that was that! I had another set of dishes, that were done in a lovely impressionist pattern, with a French Cafe design. Also stolen. Both sets were very special to me, for different reasons. Those two sets of dinnerware were only a couple examples of the things we lost, and it was a sad time, but at the end of the day, it was just stuff! The items themselves simply represented memories. 

I have been thinking about the memories that were associated with the losses Alan and I have experienced in our marriage. Sometimes I can climb so deep into the memories of our first apartment that it feels like I am right there. I close my eyes, and I think to myself... if I just try hard enough... I will be right back there! It will be 1990, and nothing bad has happened, it's just a couple of newlyweds, amazingly happy, in a 3rd floor walk-up apartment in the San Francisco East Bay. Sometimes I can almost smell all the restaurants we lived near, and hear the traffic from the street below.

But that deep thought or daydream can only last a minute or less, and suddenly I am back to 2016. Today in 2016. The world is so different now. Yes, times change, but in all honesty, I don't know how things could have changed this much! We just went though a brutal time as Americans, and instead of the pain being over, it's all just beginning. The Trump presidency is going to be one of America's darkest chapters. Personally, I don't know if I will survive it! I guess I don't have a choice but to hang on, and pray we all make it through, but to be honest, I feel so hopeless right now.

How will it be when the deportation police tear families apart, at Trump's command? When will the next school shooting take place, as he does away with laws regarding guns at schools? Bullies and tormentors will have their day, so when will I be assaulted, for driving too slow, or for simply being a "woman driver?" Will Alan's job be safe in Trump's fantasy driven economic world? Is my health care about to end? Will the EPA exist a year from now? Will we face nuclear annihilation, from North Korea, or some other hostile government, because Donald Trump pisses off a world leader in the middle of the night, via his Twitter account?

It's strange how bad it can hurt when someone steals your things. Just because you like your possessions, doesn't mean you are necessarily materialistic. The items we fill up our life with are associated with memories sometimes. Like making dinner for your new husband, on pretty but inexpensive little dishes you picked out together. But when someone threatens not just the little everyday things in your life, but the lives of your families, friends, neighbors, and even strangers, it's a whole different thing entirely. What happens next?

I bought the little plate in Apple Hill last month, when I still had hope for the future. When I was anticipating a Hillary Clinton win. I planned to get a little plate stand, and put it on display in my home office. It was going to be a reminder of a gentle time in our lives. A time before our lives changed that awful day in 1999. The day I don't talk about. But now, I might just put it in with the rest of my odds and ends plates and dishes and use it once in a while so I can close my eyes, and just for a moment, pretend I am back in a different time, when life was a lot more fair. It was the sweetest time. Back when life was kind, and the world wasn't quite as cold as it had been, because America had encouraged the world to tear down a walls, and not build them.

It was the sweetest time! 
 It really was!
 Funny how we tend to take the best days and leaves for granted!
Days are like leaves, they only last a little while. 
And no two are ever the same. 
And once they are gone neither are we!
 Leaf Of The Day
November 14th 2016

Mood: Quiet


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Old Nonsense

Leaf Of The Day
November 13th 2016 

"Finish each day and be done with it.
 You have done what you could. 
Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in;
 forget them as soon as you can. 
Tomorrow is a new day. 
You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit
 to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Just the Leaf Of The Day for today's post, as this is the last post of my vacation. Tomorrow (Monday) not only begins the work week, but also a return to a real schedule, for the first time in a month. Frankly, I am ready. While this vacation was the best one we had in several years, it was also filled with extreme high and low moments. I am ready to face a real schedule again, which I think will help me process what has just happened, and what is likely to happen in the future. One day at a time... right? One day at a time.

Mood: Quiet

~Me :)