Those who represent us.

When we elect someone to represents us, that person elected should have the character of the very best person in the group he or she is representing, defending or negotiating for.  If not, then what right do they have to speak for anyone in that group who's character is better? They don't, and they can't and they shouldn't.  It seems to be common sense that if a negotiator has less in the way of standards, values, morals, integrity, or character than the people he or she is representing, then the representative will not be able to negotiate with the best interest of his total constituency in mind. The representative will only represent the principles of the peoples that are lesser in character than that of the representative. The constituency who has the higher principles and character will not be represented and will be cheated from fair representation. The whole constituency will suffer consequently, for they will be perceived to have the same or lesser moral character as their representative. And that will result in a failed negotiation when the negotiation is of principle or about virtue.

This is why it is so important to have honest and forthright representation in our elected officials. There is only one man running for the presidential office currently that owns the moral integrity to be this nations leader and negotiator. That man is Ron Paul.

Abraham Lincoln said, "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it".

We don't need better laws, we need better law makers. We need representatives that have the intestinal fortitude to wield the shield of virtue and the sword of truth selflessly. We don't need people that can't manage their drinking and drug habits, or people that can't manage their finances, we don't need people that beat their spouses, or can't keep a family together.. we don't need shoplifters or people that have been arrested for fraud or people that have done time for assault. We don't need people to represent us that do not have the best interest of the US in their hearts.  We don't need a circus of lazy people that are making a living from the special favors from special interest groups who could care less about us and our communities. We don't need people that take advantage of the system to represent us. We need people that will preserve the constitution. Simply, we just need good honest people who represent the good honest people in this country.  We need the best to accurately represent the best we have in this nation.

 Every day I see good law abiding people everywhere around us, we have no shortage of decent folks. We just need those people in office. I would go on to say that it is hard to find people that don't have compassion and empathy. But somehow of the ones that are the bad seeds, a great many of them are controlling our lives with little regard to the outcome of their decisions and with little or no accountability. We have to take the megalomaniacs, the criminals, the traitors and the spies out of control of our lives. And these greedy selfish individuals and groups need to relinquish their stranglehold on this nation. If we can't pry their grip off with a vote, then it's high time we started to apply some real force to loosen their grip.

There have been some good results from our protesting in the streets and on line. It is s good way to make others aware and to force change through awareness. But it also may be time to seriously look at our government problems through the same glass as our founders.


Gotta Have TV Part 1

North Texas has some of the most extreme weather on the planet. Texas reports the hottest droughts and the worst freezing rain and ice storms one can imagine. In a large part this is what gives Texans some of their grit. The most surprising part of all is just how quick these meteorological conditions can occur, and just as quickly dissipate.
*News Years Eve - late 70’s. *
I have been called out of bed shortly after midnight because of a system wide television outage due to the weather. I was employed as a technical engineer for a cable television provider in a small community in north Texas. I happened to draw service duty that particular night.
I kissed my wife goodbye and headed out into the storm. As I went from the mobile home I was renting to the service bucket truck, I was brought to full attention by the quick-stings of the blowing hail. The marble sized pellets made a terrible racket. I was amazed that no windows were getting broken, or my eye -glasses for that matter.
Since the outage was system wide, I had an idea that the problem was going to be at what we call the “head-in”. The head-in is where the actual signals or broadcast for any given system is/are collected from different source via microwaves, satellite or antennas and distributed over cable to your TV set. The head-in is sometimes a small building next to the tower that houses equipment to collect and convert signals and give the technicians a means to monitor the activities. It will usually have a gas or diesel generator close by.
After about half an hour of driving on very slick paved roads, I turned onto a gravel and dirt path that led to the head-in. Sure enough. The building was pitch black and the 700 foot antenna tower was dead as well. Not even a small lamp was lit anywhere on the property. This meant that not only was the power company  down but so was our back-up generator. It is vital that the tower lights stay on so aircraft don't crash into them. Television cable companies at that time were considered a utility and the utility commission mandated that all outages were corrected withing 24 hours maximum and no more than one hour response time.
It was a long, cold ten minutes but I finally got the frozen locks open to the gate and the head-in.
The dispatcher at the office had told me that people at the TP&L (Texas Power and Light) Company had major problems with the storm, and had no idea when the power was going to come back on.
There was a small generator in one of the bays of my truck. My plan was to hook the leads from the small generator up to where the leads for the building generator were located. Then climb up and change the connector leads to the generator from the TP&L system. Come back down, restart everything and all would be good to go. I thought.

Gotta Have TV part 2

This particular tower is over 700 feet tall. One of the tallest in north Texas. Usually when a person climbs a tower this tall, it is best done on a calm morning just before sun-up. Before the breeze starts that is created by the cool night air meeting the sun warmed air of the morning.

The swaying if the tower can be a little scary for most people. Usually I am not bothered by heights. But then again usually one is tied off to the winch with a harness that keeps one safe from falling. This time was different. I had no winch to drag me up the tower, so the ladder was the option. The ice had collected on the half inch round steel ladder rungs and it seemed like one foot or another slipped off every other step as I made my way up. Trying to hang on to the icy steel ladder in blowing wind and hail was challenging to say the least. My gloves were getting soaked through. By the time I made the 100 foot mark my hands were so cold I had to make double sure I was grabbing the ladder. By 200 feet my legs were burning. I found I could hang on to the ladder with one hand if I hooked my arm in at the elbow. This allowed me to try and knock some ice off the ladder. Every so often I would tie off and let my arms rest.
I was so thankful I was in good shape from climbing towers and telephone poles every day. I was also glad it was dark, and my glasses were covered with various states of water from liquid to solid. Sometime we just don’t need to see how bad the situation we’re in. I can’t help but think that in todays standards of work ethics, I would not have felt the pressure to make that climb. Back then your word meant everything.

There I was tied off at 500 feet up in the dark. The tower was swaying 5 feet or more back and forth from the wind. The hail was pounding hard, and brother it was cold. Real cold. This had been a challenging climb. Usually there is a wench to hoist you up but it runs on electricity.

I had disconnected the leads from TP&L and was in the process of moving them to the side when I felt the surge start. It got real hot, real fast, then sparks. I woke up dazed, not knowing where I was and seeing nothing but white bright light.

The most apparent thing I remember was the fear. The fear that I had lot my eyesight forever.

I could not blink or rub away the brilliant white terror. How long was this going to last? Could anyone do anything about this? How was I going to survive? Why did I survive ? What was the point? This was so cruel I remember screaming in my heart.

I had hung up there from around 1:30 AM until 7:AM when the fire department rescued me and brought me down. I understand that I was found at about 5: AM by my supervisor. He and the fire department used ropes to lower me. I had been burnt and had some brain loss resulting in my vision loss. However if I had not been wet I would have been hurt far more seriously. The water help dissipate the current.

The next several weeks were an emotional and drug induced blur. In and out of consciousness.

But there was one very clear day that would change my life forever.

Gotta Have TV part 3

My mother was taking me from a hospital in north Texas to a hospital in Dallas to see a my neurologist. We stopped at a Jack In The Box, and my deaf elderly mother, was leading me by my hand. Her grip on my hand was firm as she led me into the restaurant from the parking lot. Since she was not able to hear herself she was more than adequately loud to warn me of the curbs and obstacles in our path. She had a mission and by golly she was going to accomplish it in only the determined way a mother can do. She sat me down in a booth while she went to order our food.

Shortly after I sat down, I felt this hand on my shoulder and this man began to speak. It probably should have startled me but it didn’t as I recall. His voice was pleasant, but heavy. He didn’t ask, he just sat down, scooting me over in the booth with his thigh. Without taking his hand off my shoulder he told me I had a calling to teach about the virtues of Jesus Christ Our Saviour. And I was going to teach these virtues through illustration. I had just been blinded, I thought “This makes no sense”. He went on to explain that if I didn’t succumb to this calling I would be miserable. Moreover I would get more miserable the longer I postponed answering this calling. He told me I had been given a certain “glow” (whatever that meant) and people recognized it. When I spoke, people would listen. He went on to say, that if I would only trust and have faith, all I ever needed would be provided for me. I just needed to answer my calling, and quit running from Jesus. The man repeated the story several times, several different ways as he sat there always keeping his hand on my shoulder.

At one point I heard my mother ask me if I was all right and before I could sign back that I was, he answered her. To my surprise she understood him. I heard relief in her voice as she confirmed his answer. My vision was starting to get blurry, there was definition and detail, light and dark starting to appear in my sight. The feeling was that of the fog lifting. I could make out the shape of the windows and some people in front of them. It didn’t take much longer and my sight had been restored.

I turned to look at him. He was slender in his thirties in a dark green leisure suite. He looked nothing like he sounded.

He went over the calling a few more times, never taking his hand off of my shoulder. Then suddenly he stood up and walked out the door. He turned right and went in front of a brick partition between large windows. I waited to see him walk by the window. He never did. He never came in front of the window he was headed for.

He disappeared. Just like that. Puzzled, I got up to see if I could find him.

Gotta Have TV part 4

Mother was nervous, but not near as much as she normally would have been after these kinds of things. By that I mean she didn’t trust strangers. Being handicapped makes one easy targets. And I guess the one thing that was predominate in my childhood was the fact that I always felt the need to look out after my mother. People always laughed at her and made fun of her behind her back. There was always those who thought because she couldn’t hear, it meant she couldn’t see either so they often tried to steal from her. Having my vision back made it possible for me to look out for her again.

After the exam by my neurologist, he became excited and edgy. He went on to explain that the exam as well as the x rays that had just been taken showed none of the damage to my brain that had been recorded right after the accident. He had no explanation. My mother looked very concerned. So much so it worried me. At that moment I became very nervous and I felt as if mom and I should leave straight away. We left the doctors and on the way back to the hospital I was having this urgent feeling that we had to go somewhere. I didn’t know where we were going but I knew how to get there and I guided my mother who was driving accordingly. She was getting scared because my emotional state was becoming more excited. She had no clue what had come over me. I didn’t either but I knew it was out of my control. But I also felt we were going to be okay.

We wound up at a public library in a small town between Dallas and our destination. I grabbed the steering wheel from my mom as we were driving along the road and made her turn into the grass that was in front of this library. I jumped out of the car and ran into the building and to the back of the library. On a table opened and printed side down was a book by Billy Graham. On the page that was open, it described that had I looked up I would have seen that Angel when he left the fast food place.

Obviously this incident profoundly affected me. It affected everyone in my life at the time.

Some people have left, never wanting anything to do with me again. As a matter of fact none of the people that were in my life at that time are in my life today.

I ran from that calling. In part because when I counseled about it I got a lot of resentment from clergy who were quick to tell me that didn’t happen. I sensed envy on their behalf. I struggled with it for a number of years and finally a man who has a metaphysical church in north Texas finally heard me out and helped me come to some terms with the event. Or more to the point, the aftermath of the event.

Gotta Have TV “Teaching Through Illustration.”

“Teaching Through Illustration.”

That’s what the man said. He said I would be teaching the virtues of Jesus Christ through illustration.

I’m thinking “How boring is this going to be?” doing book illustrations, maybe bible stories for children. Something akin to torture. I strongly doubted I was going to let that happen. I was determined it wouldn’t. I ran hard from this calling. Every time I had gotten involved with God on an intimate level I wind up hurting hard. I wound up loosing people I loved and I became despondent, irritable and aggravated and usually broke if not flat out broken. I have never found peace in God up to this point. All I found was hard times and bunch of folks who I felt were mean and took advantage of me.

At least that’s what I kept telling myself. But whatever it was I know I didn’t want anything to do with teaching, preaching or promoting Jesus in any way what-so-ever.

So I did what any self respecting denier of Jesus would do, I headed back to the streets.
Not having any desire to take any of this life very seriously, and having some artistic talent and more talent convincing others I had talent. After a crazy apprenticeship under a rat crap crazy shop owner, I began tattooing people for a living.

I wound up owning my own tattoo and piercing shops for the better part of thirty years.

But something happened in the process. At some point I began to realize that when people came into the tattoo shops they were coming in because they thought what God had given them was not good enough, and they wanted me to fix it. Of course it was impossible. I knew all I could do was make them worse. I felt guilty for trying. But if I didn’t do it, I knew that someone that could care less about them as one of God’s creatures would tattoo them and that would compound their problem even more. It made me angry that I felt responsible for them. “Why was their condition any of my concern”, was my question and my resentment. However I couldn’t deny what I felt for them. I saw every disappointment in their face and brow and heard every heartache they ever had in their voice. I still do.
They were hurting to the point they couldn’t feel emotionally anymore. Feelings and some way to deal with them had to be brought up in a new form. That was what they were really buying from me. Relief. It may have been the tattoo. It may also have been the way I talked to them. With love, compassion, empathy and respect. They may have felt the way I cared in my touch. Who knows for sure? Somehow I made differences in their lives. I not only tattooed the flesh, I tattooed the soul.

When a person gets a tattoo or some other kind of body modification there is this period of “acquisition” if you will. It is a period in which each person goes through an adjustment of how they are going to accept the modification be it a tattoo or whatever. In “most” case that individual will begin a process of negative and destructive thinking that grows existentially about themselves. This in part is why tattoos are said to be addictive. It is the perpetuation of the destructive self esteem. I became deeply saddened by the emotional pain of so many people. So desperate to get relief from emotional pain, they were willing to scar themselves for the rest of their lives. In some cases horribly, even beyond recognition. Not to mention the risk of infection and disease.

I have always stated that each life was so very precious. That each one of us was someone’s baby boy or baby girl. I want to treat you the same way I would want someone to treat my child.

That is the way I treated people when they came into my shops. Getting a piercing or a tattoo in my shop was not automatic. I made it difficult as a rule. I did this so that I could have time to change your mind, more to the point to change your heart, and convince you that there may be another way.

If all else failed and it was obvious that you were hell bent and determined to get a tattoo then I would do it. And in that time I would take the opportunity to explain to you how precious, how special and unique you are. I would go on to try my best to make you feel strong and important. I would do everything I could think of to make you feel like you mattered. Because you do.

I tried to tattoo someone with these things in my heart, moral wholesomeness, tasteful moderation, determination to do a good job for you. I took my time I did it with as gently as possible. I tried to stay humble.

People never forget their experience when they get a tattoo. And I used that time to teach people about the virtues of Jesus Christ through illustration.

Messenger In The Storm

I had slept late into the afternoon, and awoke feeling mellow and rested. There was no reason to go anywhere for there was a big lightning storm headed our way. Like many people I love to watch the light show that storms bring. So I grabbed a bite to eat, put on some soft blues, turned out the lights, and perched myself on the big yellow dental chair located in my workstation. The “Banana” chair is on a 8 foot by 8 foot pedestal one foot high adjacent to the tattoo parlor, separated by a dividing wall in which there is a large window opening. This opening faces the front of my shop. There I have a great view of the storm as well as my parking lot, and the street. In the past people had come to the window and I could see them peeking in, but I don’t think they could see me. I couldn’t see in when I went outside and looked, which I did from time to time.

The storm was just beautiful, the rain was extra heavy, torrential at times and the thunder was deafening as it shook the ground and my whole building would tremble. It was wonderful. This went on for hours. The open window in my work area allowed me to smell the rain as it cleaned the air a fierce wind howling between the buildings.

Time passes quickly when we are in awe. Before I knew it the clock said it was 1:30AM and no sign of the storm letting up. The lightning made shadows that danced all over the inside of my building and over the concrete slab that was in front of my glass door. I saw a shadow that looked like a person flash on the parking lot, and as I looked harder I saw him. He was headed towards the front door.

Oh man, this is not what I want right now. Don’t come here, don’t come here. Please, please go away”. I thought to myself. But in spite of my wishes, he walked up to the glass and started knocking. I could see his hands cup his face as he tried to look in. He knocked harder as if he could see me, or somehow knew I was there. I sat still determined not to move. Hoping that he would leave and allow me to get back to watching God’s show. But that wasn’t going to happen.

He put his hands back around his face, pressed up to the glass and I knew this time he and I had made eye contact. It seemed like eternity, as we stared at each other. He motioned for me to open the door. I sat rabbit still. He shrugged his shoulders and flashed a peculiar smile. What happened next has taken me several years to come to terms with. As a matter of fact, I am not sure I have completely come to terms with it.

He walked in, not through an unlocked door. The door was locked. Rather through the glass window right into the parlor room. He didn’t break the glass, or the aluminum he just walked through it. Like it wasn’t even there. He proceeded until he got to the partition that separated my work space from the parlor. All the time holding my eyes. My jaw felt like it was in my lap, my eyebrows had to be scraping the ceiling tiles. I could not believe what was happening. My thoughts as well as my heart were racing. Fight or flight? My trusty 9MM pistol was near, I wanted to reach for it but couldn’t. So I sat, trembling. But I still couldn’t move. he moved around the partition into my work area.

He didn’t look like a local. He was middle eastern in appearance. Dark skin, dark eyes. Curly hair and beard. Stocky and solid. Maybe 5 and a half feet tall. His clothes were of a different time. Biblical is how I would describe them. He smelled like incense. It was pleasant, strangely calming.

He turned around as if to check out the surroundings. Then looked back at me as if he was disgusted. Like I had disappointed him in some way.

Not that he was threatening necessarily. I mean any more than anyone else that walks in uninvited would be. There was no real aggression that I could discern in his body language, or his expression for that matter. But there was a real sense of concerning discontent in his gaze towards me.

I have come to give you a warning” he said. I couldn’t respond, so I just listened.

You have gone against your calling. You have locked me out and refused to let me in more times than just tonight. I have sent you messengers and angels, I have given you sign after sign, and you have not listened. I have promised you that if you would come to your calling, I would provide for you well. I also promised that if you shunned your calling you would suffer, and that you would be miserable. You have made decisions that I wish you had not made, and for those decisions you are cursed with those that want you dead, or at the very least imprisoned. You have made yourself sick and weak in your body, and your spirit, you have become feeble minded. You have made many powerful enemies. Not the least of which is yourself.

You should leave this area as soon as you can. No one will succeed in killing you, but you. However if you stay here you will have to apply all of your instincts and knowledge to keep from losing your freedom. You’re not wanted here. Walk away and don’t turn back, is my advice. If you stay, as I know you will, because you haven’t listen up to now, you will be brought to your knees, and you will lose everything you lustfully cherish. This battle will take it’s toll on you. I want you to come to me and use the gifts you have been given for their rightful purpose. You will be faced with another choice soon.”

He left the same way he came in. Through the glass and into the storm.

I sat in the dark slowly slowly collecting myself, still sweaty and still shaking. The blues played on and it was now raining, softly, quietly. The oder of incense lingering. I watched the sun come up.

A few weeks later I was faced with another opportunity to answer my calling.
I ran from it too.

Eventually I did lose everything. I wound up homeless, very sick, and was investigated by every law enforcement agency known to man. Had several people try to sue me. No one succeeded and I still have my freedom. But it was a long hard scary fight.

*(note - I have come to realize that our reality is not what we know or even what we believe. Rather what we feel. On that stormy night I felt open, exposed, vulnerable and out of control, even though I had done everything I thought I could do to control my environment.

Was this an hallucination, an aberration, or was it simply a dream? I don’t know.

I don’t recall having to wake up after that experience, I just simply watched the sun rise. Then I got on with my day. I know what I felt. And what I felt was intense, to say the least. I have had several of these experiences in my life, and one occasion my mother was present. She never understood it either.

A year or so later I was looking at a Popular Mechanics magazine, where some forensic Pathologist had put together a clay bust, of what they believed Jesus may have looked like based on local DNA and some other findings. That person that walked into my shop that night looked like the pictures in that article.

As I started on the graphics for this story, the smell of that incense began to fill my nose very strongly, and I could taste it too.

Winter in Chicago, Autumn in the Belly of the Whale

Autumn is very pretty and colorful. Autumn can be sharp and crisp. Autumn reminds me of beautiful pasts. Autumn inspires one to gaze forward in hopes of things to come. I am thankful for the fruits that Autumn has brought into this world by way of her children. Autumn, by the way is my favorite niece.

Isn’t it strange how names fit some people?

Autumn’s precious daddy passed away when Autumn was barely a toddler. Autumn grew up in a very harsh environment with a troubled and confused mother. Then, a couple of years ago her mother, my sister, passed away at a young 47 years. The circumstances surrounding the death were questionable to say the least. That was also the end of Autumn’s immediate family. There was no one left to guide her, or to help her through life’s challenges, but I. Albeit, she has her children, and they are very dear to her of course, and of much comfort. The children enforce responsible decisions. But they can’t comfort her through logical or spiritual discussion. From time to time the father of her children are part of their lives, that can be touch and go however.
For the most part she relies on me as the stabilizing rail in her decision making.

We discuss many things. We have talked about Winter in Chicago, Summer in Texas. We love to talk about business strategies, of which she is very good at by the way. At times Autumn and I discuss politics, current events, her feelings and sometimes even religion. Autumn questions and doubts the existence of God. And frankly I don’t blame her, she has seen the most ungodly side of life. She is no stranger to violence, emotional abuse and blackmail. She has lived through a house fire where her and her mother lost everything. The list of heartaches for Autumn goes on and on.

When we talk, I don’t tell her she must have God in her life. I only try and tell her why I do. I don’t try and make sense of the questions she poses about suffering, and war, or any of the rest of seemingly hypocritical atrocities that happen on earth. I only acknowledge that they indeed happen. I can’t explain the pain and I can’t take it away, as bad as I want too. I can’t answer her when she ask me where her parents and grandparents are. I don’t know if they are in heaven or in hell. But I do say that I believe they are in heaven. I do say that I hope one day all of those that we love and long for, will be united together with us. With her and I. And that hope gives gives me happiness. That happiness gives me faith. That faith I happen to find in the words of Jesus Christ. I then go on to explain that maybe, just maybe there is no God. Maybe Autumn is right. Maybe her questions are valid. Why should she believe the ascension of the apostles is true, what supports her believing of the resurrection of Christ. Her only indication is none of it’s true. I simply don’t know for sure. However I tell her that there is nothing to lose by hoping. There is nothing to lose by having the faith that it could be. However if that is what it takes for me to see mom, dad, and my sisters, and my brothers, and our other loved ones again then why in the world would I choose not too have that faith, in my deist sort of way? ” Why in the world would I not want to see you again after I pass”? I ask Autumn. To me, the choice is clear. I will grasp that belief with my heart, and I will hang on to that belief until my last breath and hopefully, faithfully, beyond my last gasp. I will leave here anxious and excited to see my loved ones. I will cry at the hopeful joy that it may possibly be. I want it so. That is why I try religiously to act in accordance with the values of my chosen faith. My hopeful faith. Not because I am afraid to burn, although I am afraid. Moreover I want to extinguish this burning in my heart of longing and loneliness. I have hope through my faith, and because of my belief in Jesus. I don’t have facts. I don’t have concrete evidence. I have love.

Autumn is strong . Autumn is courages. Autumn is a survivor. And I love Autumn, it’s my favorite time of the year.


Style or Class

Class, elegance in dress or behavior. Style, distinct and consistent characteristic.

As I ramble through life and come across people, places and things, I find those that have class and those that have style. And yes I do see a distinct difference in the two. The ones with class are bland and unexciting as a rule. Boring in a word. However those with style are usually anything but boring. As a matter of fact I find myself curious in an exciting way to see what I will experience next.

I have made choices in my life to be around people places and things that have style over class. Style seems more enjoyable to me. More real, more tangible, more interactive, more in the way of feeling the moment. And like I always say, “reality is not what we know or believe, rather what we feel.” So style creates a certain reality for me where class does not. I feel as if I should not touch anything with class for it may break easily. Class does not project a welcome feeling of involvement, rather it denotes a warning to stay away because it is fragile and weak.

So if I find style in something over class, I feel as if I am living it more. It is more appealing. It is more unforgettable, it makes a deeper impression on my psyche. Style changes me forever. Where class has no affect. It's just there, like left over food on a plate. But style is the plate and food when it comes from the kitchen. Decorated, garnished. Full of morsels beckoning you to experience, taste and try all that is in front of you. Style has texture, it has substance, it has life.

Different cultures have style and many cultures have little if any class. But the real treat of experiencing a culture is not in it's class, rather it is in it's style. More often than not when one tries to combine class and style they will inevitably make a train wreck of both style and class.

Style can support it's self without class, however class can not support it's self without style.


A slight odor of Satan

As usual it was out of the blue that "things" started to add up. Again, I had decided that I was going to try and live my life for Jesus Christ and this time I decided that I wasn't going to be so easy to allow myself to be sidetracked. In the past there was always some temptation that has beat me out of my convictions. I was beginning to have little to no confidence in my own character.

The single fact that God does not rule the world, but rather the world is ruled by Satan was the most important thing I forgot. When I finally got this through my thick head and started to look at the world in this light (or more to the point, in this dark) a zillion things seemed to rush into my mind at once. Of course! It came back to me. All of a sudden there was the part of a sermon that I used to give that said "Energy takes the path of least resistance. Human behavior is a form of energy ( thought = mental energy) and it will also take the path of least resistance. Albert Einstein said that "God is the total sum of all the physical laws in the universe. The physical laws of the universe will all ways be consistent and never vary. What varies is our understanding of those laws. In my mind this equates to the fact that God never varies.

One other thing that I would like to preface all this with is that fifty years ago the biggest part of the populace would never dream that we would have the technology that we have today. If the folks back then would have been able to witness the technology that we have today the biggest part of them would've said that it was some sort of magic or sorcery. Well as you and I both know, the technology that we do witness today is built around physical laws = Gods laws, that we've come to know and understand.

This however does by no means excuse the fact that we still have an untold amount of volumes to be filled about the understanding of all of the physical laws. In the past 50 years of my life there has been so much that I have had the good and bad fortune to experience that at the time seemed like some sort of surreal trip into the paranormal. I would like to share with you one of my many battles in this world war, our third world war, of good and evil. The Omega War.

( I have an online newspaper, The Omegawar Lowdown )

Sometime ago, in the neighborhood of three or four years back, I started getting disturbing phone calls and later visits from a friend of mine, I'll refer to him as Gan.
Gan was telling me about how he was hearing voices and that the voices would tell him many things. Some of the voices would warn him as to what the people that were around Gan were thinking and other voices would tell Gan what was in store for the near future.
Gan begin immediately to think that he was loosing his mind. However the voices, Gan soon learned were correct and then he started to get even more worried as the voices were now telling him that there was something extremely evil coming after him and his son, Regan who was five years old at the time. The voices also warned Gan that his parents and his older sister as well as his wife were not to be trusted as they were already possessed by this evil entity. in the case of Gan's parents, they have been possessed all of Gan's life

Gan shared with me some of the truly horrible memories that were coming back to him from his childhood, things that had been buried from so long ago and so painful that it was obvious that there had been an auto protection mechanism at work in Gan's mind.

Still not absolutely convinced that Gan was on the level with me I would just sit patiently and let him talk it out. To be quit honest I did at first think that Gan was in bad shape mentally and emotionally. Then one sunny afternoon as Gan was talking to me from the other side of my coffee table in my living room I saw it! There was something around Gan, he was glowing! Some might call it an aura but it was more like the streams from a plasma lamp. I realized then that Gan was one of us. He was one of the few that were here to fight the Omega war. I started to listen to Gan with a new ear and what I took before as crazy ramblings now made perfect sense. I could see what Gan had been saying was the solemn truth. I don't know how I knew it was the truth I just knew. From there Gan and I would strategize on how he was to defend Regan and himself from the attacks that came from the people that up until now had been so close to him. People that he trusted with all his heart, soul, and mind.

Then my troubles started, Gan went home one day from one of our strategy meetings and made a comment to his wife about where he had been and what we had talked about. His wife then stated that I would soon learn the wrath of the dark side and I best be watching out for my own self.

The devil appears as an angel of light:

Soon after, I was informed that a friend of mines mother needed blood and was asked if I would contribute. I had decided to give a pint or two of blood to my friends mom.
In a couple of weeks after the blood donation I was notified that I had contracted a blood and liver disease and that I needed to go to my regular doctor and get this confirmed. So I did, and it was confirmed that I did indeed have the disease.

I told my significant other of four years what the doctor had said and two days later she walked out of my life. This was really strange in the fact that she had come to me through a prayer and I believed with all my heart that she was an angel that was sent especially for me. (That is another story that I will tell at another time. A few days before Gan had told me this would happen. The voices had warned him.

Three weeks later, and after many conversations with Gan, comparing similarities in the events that would happen to us in each of our own respective environments a most peculiar incident happened. It was about 2:15 A.M. and my dog Ginger wanted to outside to take a whiz. As usual I get up and throw on some clothes and out the door we go to the back yard from the front door and around the house. There happened to be a bright beautiful moon out that night and I decided to take Ginger a little further up the ally. A little further than we usually go. While I was standing there switching my gaze back and forth from Ginger to the moon, Ginger came hurriedly over to my left side and with her shoulder right next to and touching my left knee she started to growl at something then almost immediately she started to backup and while circling me as if to be watching something surrounding us. The hair on my neck was standing up and I was overwhelmed by that feeling of having to fight for survival. I remember the odor. The only way I can describe it is, that it was a slight odor of Satan. Nasty and repulsive. Like the smell of death, but more penetrating.

Ginger then lunged forward at something that I couldn't see at first. Then, they started to come into focus, there were probably 12 to 15 of them all about the size of Ginger. Ginger is a 50 pound Golden Retriever. They creatures that I saw were lacking a definite shape and also lack opacity. It was easy to sense that they were focused on Ginger and I. With the strong light from the full moon it was possible to see through them to the ground beneath where they were creeping carefully up to us, ready to attack. Simultaneously as if we were one being, Ginger lunged into one of the creatures and I kicked with all my might, it jumped clear of our offensive attack. Ginger and I then started running and hurdled a couple of these creatures and headed for the house.

As Ginger and I were scrambling to get into the house at about 2:40 A.M the phone was ringing.
Out of breath I answered the phone the person on the other end was Gan. Gan said" J, I have a problem and I need some help. I replied" What's the problem Gan?" Gan then notified me that he was stuck in the car in his driveway and he was surrounded by some sort of creatures and that he was afraid to get out of the car because they were lunging at the car as if to try and get to Gan. When I asked him what they looked like he described exactly what Ginger and I had just been confronted with in our alley.
There was no way to get to Gan's that evening, I had no transportation. But I did make it to his house the next day. The interior of Gan's car was torn and shredded in places. He was still in fear. The smell, that horrible odor was strong on Gan's property.

Oddly enough, Gan's neighbor was a clergyman and he had come over to assist Gan the morning of the incident. A few days later Gan's neighbor died. Following his death his house burnt down and there were a series of unfortunate events that happened to the clergyman's daughter.

It has been a while since I have heard from Gan. The last time I talked to him I was waiting for a top secret clearance to go through, and I kept the conversation very short incase my phone was being tapped. I did learn that Gan wound up being committed to a mental institution and did spend time in jail for the attempted murder of his wife. He caught her with several different lovers and was even suspicious of his own father. Over time, at least a part of his story panned out. He now has his child, Regan in his custody and they seem to be doing well.
Gan's wife has become a drug addict, consequently she has put herself in some very precarious situations. And Gan's family is still a part of his life, but still he's convinced they are evil. And still fears for Regan's welfare and safety.

Being A Creative

Is to be the kind of person where the feelings of being "free in love" come to reality. To possess the idea that nothing of true value in this world is out of reach. To have the optimism, faith and confidence that inherently accompanies the beginning of a creative binge. To be passionate about the universe as I perceive it. To never take anything for granted. Anticipating the sensitivity of adoring all that God has created in a feeble attempt to emulate.

There are times when loneliness becomes all too comfortable, even desirable. Yet I have a burning and craving to intimately know everything around me , an instinctual need to care that when not fulfilled will certainly bring the reality of all hope lost. And although I know that "they say" it's not politically correct or psychologically healthy to put ones identity in another person, place or thing, it escapes me how if creating is in the equation that putting at least a part of ones self into people, places or things is not inevitable so long as they can inspire. But the moment they kill my inspiration, they in fact murder my affection.

For many years I have made my living as a true creative, an artist in many mediums, a dreamer, it is all I have ever known. And I have the moods and temperament of such. Manic? Maybe, or maybe just extremely passionate--what I feel runs clean to my core. I am expressive to the point of aggravation or elation…

I have fought and continue to fight diligently to stay away from the shackles of mentality and ignorance that kill inspiration. Inspiration to create not only represents my essence, it is what makes life worth living for me. I must dream, a dreamer in every sense of the word, moreover I love to mold my dreams into visual focus.

I'm the proverbial starving artist. Though I am wealthier than men with mountains of gold.
I truly possess what I have and will never be robbed of it be that I give it away or use it for trade.

Liberals think of me as conservative, the conservatives label me liberal, pseudo intellects think I'm crazy and fools think I'm a saint. Sharp as a razer with and catch details that are not important to any others. Arrogant pompous? I don't mean to be but have been called them many times. My mind runs through my heart. I can only be what I am.

I love to laugh and am driven to create laughter when there is none. I hate to cry but can create sadness at the drop of a hat. Or from one of a billion memories.

I am honest, my palms forever skyward. And so sensitive that I have gotten in trouble on more than one occasion trying to protect feeling of others except through my arts.

I received the desire to be adventurous and eager to learn and explore about everything. Learning is the ambulation for my creativity...the more I learn the better I render.


Eagle Way

The Eagle Way

I can tell you, that as a kid I saw more than a few things that I never could explain in the mountains and valleys of the reservation around Gallup New Mexico. No one else could explain them either for that matter. So I guess it was experiences like those that kept me open to such things as I became older. And as I became older, I came to be grateful for what I suppose is a gift.

Too few people have appreciation for the spirit world now days.  I've been more fortunate than some to live in cultures where spiritual presence was not only recognized but celebrated as well.  And maybe what my dad said was true, that I really do have an odd connection with the other side.  However, I have heard others say it was a hyperactive imagination. I see and or feel the presence of spirits from the "other side" everywhere I go, always have, I still do. Sometimes it paralyzes me however.

In the high desert, on a cold night, tons of stars poke holes through the cobalt blue and purple sky, and the moon reflecting off the snow lights up the whole valley.

The sandstone mesa I’m on rises out of the reservation prairie. Up here it's cold. The winds blows so loud you can’t hear yourself scream.  My camp fire is contained in a hole in the mesa top. The warm orange  flames dance quickly to avoid being stepped on by the winds as they howl and stomp around the mesa tops. It seems desolate here.  However, it’s the safest place in the universe and a perfect vantage point for me, an eight year old boy. So I wait, watch and listen.

In good weather, it's a one days hike for me over the high dessert in northern New Mexico to reach this mesa from Gallup. Then another two or three hours to climb to the top. I will be gathering sage brush for fire wood and generally goofing off as I ascend the mesa.

The mesa changed into a million colors as I walked to her from town.  Every different angle of the sun painted her a bright new shade from the rainbow. That tells me she is happy I’m coming to stay with her and the spirits that live within her. It's cold from the elements but her glowing spirits are warming and inviting.

Late, late at night when the winds finally rest and quiet down, the smoke from the fire becomes lazy and gets caught in the small whirlwinds that form at the top of the mesas. As I’m laying on my sleeping bag staring into the fire and smoke, the stories of the past start to come to life and take shape. Eagle Dancers begin to appear and surround me as they chant and dance around the edge of this mesa top. Hey ya ya ya hey ya hey ya ya I hear it and see it before me as if I was living 3 hundred years ago. The fire throws a glow of red, yellow and orange on to the bodies and feathers of their mighty eagle dancers against the night sky. Their power is great.  I feel their dancing stomps vibrating through the mesa and through my bones and into my teeth. The bells around their leggings clang sharply through the winds, cha-chinka cha-chinka cha-chinka... in perfect harmony with “The Beauty Way”.   I am witnessing the Earth being pulled back into balance. I feel like part of it.

In a hypnotic state, and like the smoke from the fire I begin to rise towards the sky leaving my body laying on the mesa.   My skin glowing orange and glistening like it's covered in oil.  Looking down from my suspension  the Eagle Dancers are casting shadows, like black dancing spokes turning on the glowing surface of the mesa,  and stretching off the edge and out into space.

These experiences are gifts from the spirit world to help me face rites of passages that are coming. As I come out of my deep warm sleep I smell of sage brush from the fire that has burned all night mixed with the smell of bacon that I cooked for supper. But I also smell of other plants and herbs that I know I did not burn or pick or bring with me. I taste them. And feel them penetrating my skin, when the morning sun heats my torso.  Standing,  naked, extending my arms out to the side receiving what Mother Earth and Father Sun want me to feel.   I feel "The Beauty Way".

Pulling my clothes out from under my sleeping bag I began to roll it up. As I tie it off to my backpack I notice a large white tail feather floats to the ground. I look up and see an eagle circling overhead. I feel him staring at me. He’ll be with me all the way home today. Today I will be "The Eagle Way" 

Some mesa tops have been sacred for hundreds of years. Today one can visit the spirits of  the elders if you humbly open your heart. You will be a changed person if you’re willing to camp out on the mesa and watch silently while the smoke dances when the wind gets quiet. Listen to mother earth and believe what she wants you to see.

The gifts of
“The Beauty Way”.
I have beauty to the east,
I have beauty to the west,
I have beauty to the north,
I have beauty to the south,
I have beauty above me,
I have beauty below me.
I have the beauty way. Today I need to be like an eagle, Today I will be “the eagle way.” -

A Navajo prayer, usually said first thing in the morning.-

My heritage is French, Irish, Bohemian, English and mostly American Indian, from the Eastern Cherokee Nation.  My great great great Grandmother, walked the Trail Of Tears to Oklahoma. I was born on the Navajo reservation outside of Gallup New Mexico. In the 13th county of the state (McKinley) on the intersection of what was once US66 and State Highway 666.

My Dad and Mom were on the Navajo reservation when mother's labor started. We never made to the hospital, and state highway patrolman helped deliver me in the back of my dad's car at that intersection 66 and 666 on the way to Gallup.


Why am I here in Louisiana you ask?
Well I am sure I am captive here as payment........ for my wages and sins. But....there are some great things about Louisiana. For example...... every so often there is a woodpecker that knocks at my window in the early morning. Not just any old woodpecker...... but an ivory-billed woodpecker...Campephilus principalis.. It is the most rare bird in the world and widely believed to be extinct. There are other legendary, wonderful and even weird examples of natures gifts here in this swampy soup of life so abundant.

This swamp that has become my home. A home of people and culture that I have truly come to love.

It has it’s dangers, for example,

With deer season underway here in the land-o-bayou, it's generally a good idea to stay out of the woods. So for six weeks or so I've avoided my mail box in up in Tioga in fear of becoming a hunting statistic. We got to get there by poling my ole pirogue a few miles through the swampy bayou water. So today my dog Ginger, half golden retriever and half chow, and I loaded up and set off towards the Post Office.
A beautiful morning it was too, cool and crisp. The fog was pretty thick at first and we were navigating blind for a while, but the fog lifted pretty good by 7:30 A.M. or so. The gators were still slow because of the cool water from the night, we slipped right by them and they never seemed to notice us.

It seemed like the earth was still cept for Ginger and I and a family of playful nutria rats taking turns chasing after one another off the banks. What few snakes we saw were still hanging from the limbs of the cypress trees along with the spanish moss. Sometimes one or two snakes will fall in the pirogue and Ginger gets a snack if she times it just right.

After a couple of hours Ginger and I gets up to the dock and ties off and as we go inside the little Post Office on stilts, the old post master tells me that the coons kept trying to dig at my mail and he had to put a package of mine in the metal fire box. So he throws me a stuffed envelop, and it's from a yankee friend up north!. Qui c'est sa? (What's that?) the old man asked. Jerky! I told him. C'est fait ici! (It's homemade) I From the way the post master was looking at me and that envelope I realized that I should probably open it up in front of him and let him see for himself that it wasn't marijuana or some such. Raccoons and old cajun post masters also have a particular weakness for that funny herb. So I pulled out a piece of dried meat and stuffed it all in my mouth and in doing so handed one over to the old man, "Tchein, prend lait" (here take it)I told him, and Ginger and I headed out the door.
When I looked back I seen that smile on his face as he’s trying to gum that good old home-made beef jerky.
The poling home was extra special that day. It’s nice to have friends think of you.
Ginger and I had a couple of small wrestling matches over who owns the jerky. And a lot of time victory is determined by how you look at the battle.


Preparing The Canvas (Art and Sex)

First make sure your canvas is ready and prepared to receive the brush. Depending on what medium you plan to create with, this preparation may take more time on some surfaces than others.

We need a composition, and that composition must have rhythm, harmony and balance. Also we will decide the mood of this composition. Will it be cold and harsh, or hot and temperate, maybe even clammy? Or will it be lighthearted and fun? Maybe heavy and painful, whatever mood you like to play in at this time. This is part of deciding what message we want to convey for our audience. For this example lets say we are painting with oil as a medium, or something similar that flows easily.

After we have an idea of the composition in our mind, we then begin to make sure that the canvas is wet and slippery so the pigment will blend well and there are no obvious signs of interruption from one stage to the other.
We now need to cover the background with a color, and that will be done with a wash of some sort. Licking the whole canvas with whatever you may use to apply the wash. Some parts of the canvas may need a more thorough washing than others. This is the beginning of the attention to detail. It is important to have some idea in your minds eye where you are going at all times.. so you can prepare for the next layer of color seamlessly. This will help you predict what brush you need as well as what technique your piece will command.
Often this will call for using something other than just the tip of the brush, I.E. the ferrule or the shaft or maybe even the butt of the brush. You may even find that other tools are helpful as well. And as you can imagine the mood of the composition as well as the willingness of the canvas to receive the pigment, will determine the power of which the stokes are made. This process will be repeated many times over as we go through the color ranges, and the different subjects in our composition. Remember to take time and pay close attention to all the details. Your goal is to make your audience feel the most that they can feel. Your duty as an artist is to bring out emotion. After a while and through what hopefully is a fun precess, your composition should begin to resemble what you had in mind ...or at least close to it. It is now time to add the highlights. The highlights are the part of the work that make it come to life. Often highlights (the whites) should be painted with absolutely no restraint or restriction. Keep stroking until the highlights have all been exhausted. After the climax of the whole composition... assuming that you felt good about your project... you may feel exhausted. But soon you will be inspired to paint the canvas over or maybe go on to the next canvas depending on what kind of showing you are having.

Thanks for reading...
Happy Art.


Life, Death, and Suicide

Some Thoughts About It.

It is my strong personal belief that life is extremely rare and precious. And the odds against life in this universe, taking all the things that science knows into consideration are overwhelmingly high. It is much nearer to impossible than possible for life to exist in this universe as we understand it. So why have we been blessed with it? The only answer that I can find is that we possess life simply because God ( or whatever you have) decided that against all the odds, somehow for some reason  just deserve it. Yes, we are so special in the eyes of God that he decided to bless us with this so very fragile precious rare and special gift of life. No different than any blade of grass or any bug or any creature in the sea, we all share the common blessing of a deserved life and we are part of the web of collective consciousness.

Why then,  if life is so special does it become so painful and so hard to live? Even though we have been given this life, it is up to us to maintain it. In order to maintain it we need a balance of health in body, mind and spirit. All of which need to be exercised on some regular basis. But the key word is balance.

All in all most life on this planet goes on as expected. The big fish eat the little fish and on and on. If we do good things we get good things and sometimes bad things happen to good lives. But for the most part, life goes on as it should taking the laws of physics, the laws of God into account. Sometimes life is exceptionally  hard because it is out of balance. The more out of balance you get the harder it becomes. There are whole regions of this planet that are out of balance. They pay a price. There is a whole generation getting out of balance and it too will pay a price. The price is hardship and toil. The bible calls them curses.  But even with that, there is plenty of good in this world.

Every now and again a life comes along that is disfigured. This life has a difficult time in it's environment and it will probably die if it can not adapt to it's immediate environment. We can see this when it happens physically, but we can't see it easily when it happens mentally or emotionally. We become perplexed and we wonder why such a life dies when we see no obvious reason.

There are emotional and mental deformities that are as severe and crippling as physical deformities, making the ability to exist nearly, if not impossible. A deformed life may well survive but be crippled and disadvantage and never fend for it's self very well. Generally to die sooner than it's siblings or peers. This is understood in the adage "culling the heard" where the less adapted get eaten by the more adapted or get killed by the forces of nature. This "law of the jungle" doesn't usually come to mind when we're talking about humans with emotional or mental issues.
Sometimes people are born with mental and emotional deformities ( from moron to super genius) that prevent them from ever adapting to the social environment that they were born into to. Consequently winding up with a very poor quality of life and eventually an early death for any number of reasons. As a rule when we try and step in and repair a deformation we usually do little if any good and often make the situations worse. Mental and emotional deformities can be difficult to see or diagnose much less fix.

Some with deformities know or feel they have them and can still have an instinctual abilities to survive. However there are others that also know they are different and know they have an instinctual desire to die. 

Some physical deformities leave the body, brain or maybe the nervous system exposed or too vulnerable making them too sensitive to survive. Emotional deformities or even mental deformities can't be just as debilitating.

If a person is not born crippled they can become so in the course of their life. It is possible to receive so much stimulation that eventually it breaks the psychy or mind and death is the most humane option. When the decision to die has been reached from one that has been permanently emotionally crippled I believe this should be considered a natural decision. A decision that benefits all concerned especially the afflicted.

There are always those that can come up with some theoretical or ideological way to solve every problem that someone else has. Most of the time they are not enough. And sometimes suicide is just simply the most humane option Our society in general works on this principle.  For instance, I am liver disease patient and a lung patient and because I have no family or permanent support system the powers that be have decided that I do not qualify for either transplant. But I wouldn't want it any other way because the quality of life is really what it's about anyway.

I really try hard to look at both sides of the suicide issue and I just don't see how anyone can come out with any other conclusion, than emotional pain is as crippling as physical pain. And may be in reality even more disabling.  And at times is too much to live with.

Our life is not for others though, it is for ourselves and when we live in harmony with others we find harmony in self. And if someone finds themselves out of harmony and wants to pass this life and go on to the next one, then that is their choice. This choice is a God given unalienable right they deserve no criticism for their choice. The ones that want to die and leave this material world do not try and save you from living. For you deserve to have that choice without interference or interruption. If one feels a need to communicate about their choice to get on that bus (commit suicide) then let them do so in peace without fear of ridicule, or arrest or incarceration, or restraint of any kind. It simply is not your place to interrupt someone's death anymore than it would be someone else's place to interrupt you in your living or contemplation of your living. To interrupt is to assume that person's feelings and thoughts have no validity. Just because one is feeling suicidal in no way means that they can't or shouldn't think and feel for themselves. This is critical: An interruption of the natural thought and feeling process of that person at that time will in all probability result in frustration and their inability to think things through, consequently winding up with fragmented thoughts and feelings that are impossible to reassemble in a coherent order that could have otherwise created a solution. Now left with no hope because of the chain of events created by the interruption or intervention. Now that person has little choice but to end their life. All that can be been done for certain is the postponement of the suicide. Had the person been allowed to think and feel it out, the suicide may very well have been prevented. But nothing is crueler than forcing one to suffer by stopping them from going through a natural thought process to weigh their options.

When a person gets to the point they want to die they are not losers, nor are they weak nor wrong and they are not stupid. They are hurting and they are feeling many different and scary things some of which they can't identify, yet strong enough to bare what others may not even know exist and in most cases can not imagine it.

Each suicide has something unique about it -as each life has something unique about it. Your life is yours and your death is also going to be yours. Sometimes it is possible that your life may not be yours, but it is not possible that your death may not be yours. Life can be anonymous. If you live with others, you can compromise too much, you can imitate -but death is always unique because death is alone. You die alone. There is no society. They don't exist in your death. The crowd, the mass is there when you are alive, but when you die you die absolutely alone, utterly alone. Death has a quality. So sometimes it happens that a man may commit suicide because he has become tired of the anonymous existence. He has become tired of all the compromises that one has to make in order to live. That's why Van Gogh committed suicide - he was a rare man, one of the greatest painters ever. But he had to make compromises every moment of his life. He got tired of those compromises; he could no longer tolerate being part of the crowd mind. He killed himself in order to be himself. If he had been in the East there would have been another alternative: suicide or sannyas. These are the two alternatives which every man who has some sense of life, of individuality, has to choose between at some point. In the West nothing like sannyas has been in existence. If you become a Christian monk that is again a compromise; you still remain part of the society. Even if you go out of the society you remain part of it. The society goes on controlling you -it has a remote control system. It does not allow you to really go out of it. You remain a Christian, you remain a Catholic, even when you have moved to a monastery. It does not make much difference. In the East, sannyas has a totally different flavor. The moment you become sannyasin you are no longer a Hindu, you are no longer a Mohammedan, you are no longer a Christian. The moment you become a sannyasin, you drop out of all collectivities. You become yourself. You will be surprised to know that in the East people don't commit suicide as much as in the West. And the difference is big -too big to be just accidental. In the East they have created a creative kind of suicide, that is sannyas. You can still live, but you can live in your own way. Then the need for suicide disappears, or becomes very much less. In the West it always has happened that the unique individuals have to commit suicide. The mediocre go on living, the unique have to commit suicide. A Van Gogh, a Hemingway, a Mayakovski, a Nijinsky -these are unique individuals. Either they have to commit suicide or they have to go mad -the society drives them mad. The society puts so much pressure on them that either they have to yield to the society and become just anonymous, or they have to go mad, or they have to commit suicide. And all are destructive alternatives. Nietzsche went mad; that was his way of committing suicide. Nijinsky had the same quality as Buddha. Had he been in the East he would have become a Buddha, but the west does not give any alternative at all. He had to go mad. Van Gogh had a unique quality of tremendous intelligence, creativity. He could have moved on the path of sannyas and samadhi, but there was no door open. He got tired; just going on living a compromise was hurting too much. It was not worth it. One day he completed his painting -the painting that he had always wanted to do -and that day he felt, "Now there is no need to make any compromise with anybody for any reason. I have done my painting, I have done my best. It is time to disappear". He had always wanted to paint a sunrise. He had painted sunrises for years, but still something was missing and lacking and he would paint again and again. The day his painting was complete and he was fulfilled and satisfied and contented that it had happened -that very moment is was absolutely clear to him that now there was no need-"I was only waiting for this painting, I am fulfilled in it, I have bloomed. Now why make compromises? For what? He committed suicide. He was not mad, he was simply not mediocre. His suicide was not a crime, his suicide was simply a condemnation of your so-called society which asks for so many compromises. Mediocre people are ready to compromise; the have nothing to lose. In fact they feel good being part of a crowd, of a mob, because in the crowd they need not think about themselves as mediocre; all are just like them. They can lose themselves in the crowd. They can lose themselves and forget themselves in the mass mind, and in the mass mind they have no responsibility. They need not bother whether they are asleep or awakened. But a man who has some soul in him, will find it continuously heavy to go on degrading himself, to go on compromising for small ordinary trivia, meaningless things -for bread and butter, for a house, a shelter, for clothes.....

But each suicide will have a different quality to it. You ask why Hemingway committed suicide. Hemingway's suicide has another flavor, different from Van Gogh's. Hemingway's whole search was the search for freedom. Birth happened; it was not your choice. You were thrown into it, it was not your choice. Nobody ever asked you whether you wanted to be born or not. So birth is not freedom. It has already happened. The next most important thing is love, but that is also not possible to do. When it happens, it happens; you cannot manage it, you cannot will it. If you want to love a person just through will, it is impossible. It happens when it happens -suddenly you are in love. That's why we use the phrase "falling in love". You ''fall" into it. But you cannot will it; it comes from the unknown. It is just like birth. It is as if God manages that you fall in love with this person; it is as if the decision comes from the blue. You are not the decisive factor, you are more like a victim. You cannot do anything against it. If it happens you have to go into it; if it does not happen you can do whatsoever you want and it will not happen. Nobody can produce love on order. And the most important three things in life are birth, love, death.

Death is the only thing that you can do something about -you can commit suicide. Hemingway's search was for freedom. He wanted to do something that he had not done. He had not managed birth, he had not managed love, now there was only death. There was only one thing which if you wanted to do, you could do. It would be your act, an individual act, done by you. Death has a mysterious quality about it; it is a very strange paradox. If you are standing by the side of a small baby, just born, and if somebody asks you to say something absolutely certain about the baby -the baby is in his crib, asleep, relaxing -what can you say absolutely certainly? You can say only one thing; that he will die.

That is a very strange thing to say. Anything else is uncertain. He may love, he may not love. He may succeed, he may fail. He may be a sinner, he may be a saint. All are "maybe's", there is nothing certain about anything. It is not possible to predict anything. There is only one thing you can say -and it looks very absurd at the side of a baby who has just been born -only one thing is absolutely certain: that he will die. This prediction can be made, and your prediction is never going to be wrong.

So death has a certain quality of certainty about it -it is going to happen. And at the same time is has something absolutely uncertain about it too. One never knows when it is going to happen. There is certainty that it is going to happen. Both this certainty and uncertainty about death make it a mystery, a paradox. If you go living, it will happen -but then again it will come from out of the blue. You will not be the decisive factor. Birth happened, love happened -was death also to happen? That made Hemingway uneasy. He wanted to do at least one thing in life to which he could have his own signature, about which he could say "This I did". That's why he committed suicide. Suicide was an exercise in freedom.

You cannot know anything about death unless you go into it. Hemingway's attitude was that if it is going to happen then why be dragged into it? Why not go into it on your own? It is going to happen. His whole life's concern was death, that's why he become so interested in bull fights. Death was very close. He was constantly attracted by the theme of death -what it was. But you cannot know. Even if somebody is dying in front of you, you don't know anything about death. You simply know that the breathing has disappeared, that this man's eyes won't open again, that this man will never speak again, that his heart is no longer beating -that's all. But this is nothing. How can you know about death from these things? The mystery remains a mystery, you have not even touched it. You can know it only by going into it. But if you are dragged into it there are more possibilities of your becoming unconscious -because you are being dragged into it. Almost always people die unconsciously. Before death happens they become so afraid, so very afraid, that a kind of coma surrounds them and protects them. It is a natural anesthetic. When you go for an operation, you need an anesthetic -and death is the greatest operation there is: the soul and body will be torn apart. So nature has some built-in mechanism -before you start dying you go into a coma; all consciousness disappears. In the first place your consciousness was not very much. Even while you were alive, it was just a tiny flicker. When the wind of death comes, that flicker is gone- there is complete darkness. Hemingway wanted to go into death fully conscious. It was a conscious exercise in dying. But that is possible only through suicide or through samadhi. These are the only two possibilities. You can die consciously in only two ways. You can commit suicide; you can manage your own death. You can have your revolver ready, contemplate it, put it on your chest or your head, pull the trigger yourself consciously, see the explosion and see death. This is one possibility. It is a very destructive possibility. Another possibility is to go more and more into meditation, to attain to a state of awareness that cannot be drowned by death. Then there is no need to commit suicide. then whenever death comes, let it come. You will be dying fully alert, aware, watchful. So it is suicide or sannyas or samadhi. I'm not talking about all suicides -but you asked about these two. And there are as many as people commit suicide. But these two are very rare. These two are very potential. If Vincent van Gogh or Hemingway had been in the East or had had the eastern attitude, they would have flowered as great sannyasins.

Below this is directed to ASHers, however it applies to anyone.

Suicide is a viable solution to some.

There are many many things one needs consider before finally deciding to take their own life. That of course is contingent on the complexity of said life. It more than likely took years to come to the conclusion to commit suicide and will probably take years to wade through the process of finally making the decision to do so. I suppose that there is in fact no choice to live or die, you see some of us are already dead or dying in our spirit, that is why we are here. We are existing in limbo, a purgatory, a place a lot closer to hell than many might imagine. I will concede that more than likely but not always, whatever brought us here was brought on by our own actions but the consequences or out of our control and we want finale say for where we sit. It appears that most suicidal people are accountable for their situation. One gets the idea that trolls don't or can't imagine that there are others that may have good minds in most cases and perfectly capable of thinking for themselves about this issue of suicide.
Granted there are some that come to the bus stop for a short time and have temporary problems that at the time seem overwhelming but do in fact fix themselves through the vicissitudes of life. Those will go on to live.
Often the suicide hot lines and counselors will take credit for saving one when in reality they've done nothing and possibly made it worse.  After all they need to justify their paycheck.
But there are some of us that will only find peace in death. I guess the old adage about walking a mile in ones shoes may apply.

Sitting on this fence or waiting for this bus or any other analogy that fits is just a place to contemplate, examine our lives thus far and get some thoughts together. Kind of like that first smoke and cup of coffee in the morning while trying to decide what will happen the rest of the day.
Maybe I am afraid to die, but I know and more importantly I feel as if I should get on that bus soon. Not that I want to I actually love living, however I do understand things in this world well enough to see that I have nothing to contribute or to build a meaningful existence, and staying here is doing nothing more than wasting precious resources. And that fills me with guilt.

It is hard to believe that when one reads some of the post on Alt. Suicide. Holiday that they can't be compassionate to the the immense pain and suffering going on in the hearts of many. How is this any different than physical suffering? Sure it can be covered with drugs but hell that is worse than death. I know because I have probably tried every concoction of street drug that is known to man in order to cover the pain of sickness and guilt and memories and disappointments and no drug has made me feel worse than the first morning after my first paxil, save a force injection of haldoll or thorazine. Many in the ASH group have experienced the same thing.

Maybe it was the way a business went bad or a marriage or a lover, maybe it was the loss of a chance to fulfill a dream. Maybe it was something they did that they can't or don't feel they can live with any longer. Maybe it was all of the above and more. Who knows, who knows what brings an individual here to ASH. The thing is, their here. They are hurting and they have a solution. It may not be from the same set of values and standards as most of the population and the ASHers obviously have tried to segregate themselves by creating a place for themselves in our news group. When people that do not have that particular set of standards and values come in here they will indeed read things that they do not understand and will get their feelings ruffled up a bit. They will try to intervene and in the process insult and do far more damage than they do good. Like any suicide prevention counselor does on any given day. Not that any one side is right or any one side is wrong it is just a matter of standards and values. Besides, since when does one person have the right to tell another how to feel or to negate the feelings of another? I have personally never met a counselor or shrink who didn't leave me with the taste of holier than thou water...

It appears to me as well that the difference in standards and values with the people around us has a lot to do with the overall happiness and quality of our lives. One can only get let down so often before the critical threshold is reached and we quit trying. This is again different for each of us and again it is contingent on standards and values. There is no way ever to blend the sides in a peaceful harmony, that is until one feels the need or at least the desire to commit suicide. Then, the ASH philosophy begins to make some sense.

I would find it rather shocking if ever there was one person that wanted to die from birth. It took a while and many things to deteriorate the will to survive (probably the strongest intuitive desire we have is the instinct of survival.) and the love for life. As I write this, out the window I hear a young girl maybe six or so. She is yelling to her Dad as they are walking to school "I love you bucko!" There is so much love and trust in her precious voice and I have to wonder if the day will come when she will have lost that particular love for life. That excitement and passion to go on. What in the world got us from that to here? Whatever it was, it sure had to be damned painful to kill that precious spirit. Yet it happens everyday and has happened to many of us.

ASH is a good place, it is indeed, and it is needed. That is evident by the fact that people come here. I believe too that the spirit of ASH is extremely valuable. It helps those that want to die understand their feelings and it helps those that are truly on the fence make a decision. I would venture to bet that ASH saves a lot of lives, if by nothing more than giving us a place to vent in an atmosphere that should not be hostile. In ASH spirit anyway.Many of you that offer advice to the suicidal are extremely tough people. Some have had more in your life than most and you have been given a tremendous ability to handle the toughest that this life can deal out. And you have made life better for yourselves. Your trials and tribulations have given you the fuel and the drive to be better and you have succeeded. But not everybody is as resilient and as tough as you are. And most gained a lot of wisdom in your trek through your life. But that does not mean that suicidal people are lesser for their abilities or lack of them. It just means that they are different and have a different set of strengths and weaknesses. And you might consider the fact that many have had great success at some point in their lives and they have overcome many trials and heartaches that life has put before them. There is that proverbial straw for some of us and it has broken the camels back and with that our desire to exist. How do you know what we have lost or what we have gone through? Where does it say that our lives have to be just like yours?Maybe at this time all we can do is nothing. When each of us is ready an action will be made. Until then being and ASHer is a good thing to do.

I have been intimately involved with suicidal people over the years,  and I do not agree that the families nor anyone else left behind are the victims. I believe the families and so called friends and or acquaintances in many cases are the reason why people choose suicide.  The family members feel guilty, because they are guilty.  They are guilty of abuse, guilty of neglect of compassion, empathy on who knows how many different levels. They weren't there with empathy, compassion or any type of understanding when the real victim.(the one that is dead) needed them. They are guilty of emotional abandonment.  Pure and simple they dropped the ball and could not muster the ability to be a friend or even a decent care taker.  But they are very quick to cry that they are the real victims...well that's just preposterous.  They are no more the victim than Charley Manson was the victim. 

Moreover it is apparent when you talk to one of these so called victims that they know their part in the suicide.  They did have a choice to care or not care, to love or not love, to be there or not to be there, to keep trying or not, and they gave up. The proof is in the coffin. I don't have sympathy for a person who watches another human being's hope dissipate and does nothing to encourage any further hope. Instead most so called victims or (god I hate this word...survivor) of a suicidal are judgmental and selfish as to think they can in some way tell another human what to think and more importantly what to feel, then treat them in the way that brings forth the opposite feelings.

And I believe there is a lot of money in these so called suicide survivor/victim organizations and that is why they even exist. To even have a board for an organization like that, suggest criminal conspiracy. Emotional blackmail of sorts. You pay us and you can come here and talk about your crime of neglect.   What good could they possibly do?  They don't prevent suicide, we know that is impossible because once a person decides it's a done deal. The question is when.   It's  murderers who used emotional torture as a weapon sitting around comparing notes on how they feel? What's the point? They did their job. They can paint another icon of the door of their car and go back to what ever they were doing when the person that needed them was suffering and crying for help.

"I didn't get the life I wanted and I can't live the life I got." SCP RIP