Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Gene Therapy

Tonight was the first time my man has ever seen Singing In The Rain. I must admit, I did not hold out a lot of hope that he would love it but I did hope he would have a good time.

Half way through, I realized that I sat there with a big smile on my face. Each song better than the next. Then Moses Supposes comes on and I want nothing more than to get up and dance. I just adore that darn movie. I recognize that it is not high art but it is wonderful fun and great music and.......Gene Kelly, for goodness sake.

All said and done he seem to like it too and I got to watch one of my very favorite movies once again. A pretty good time of social distancing. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Strength Within

We recently finished an old book titled The Power of One. It was a lovely book that, in the beginning, I expected to not like. I asked the Boy Scout, “Is this a boxing book?”, with a feeling disgruntlement. He looked at me incredulously, like I had highly insulted him, and shook his head. And then we began.

I loved it. There was boxing woven in but the story was rich and beautiful. One part that touched me, though there were many, was at the point where he loses a close friend that chose his time and way of death. As the protagonist questions why his friend chose to die without him, he says....

But secretly I knew I couldn’t have done it. I would have clung to the last thread of life in him. I also knew that he would have known this. But it didn’t help the numbness. It didn’t take away the need, the dull permanent ache under my heart on the exact spot where you work on another boxer till he runs out of steam.  That was it precisely: the bell had gone, but I couldn’t find the strength and the will to come out for the next round on my own.

The boxing analogy worked perfectly even though I never boxed a day in my life. Most of us, at one point or another, have heard the bell and wondered where the strength to move forward would come from. But humans are more resilient than they ever know and, somehow, we find it, even when we often can't see it in ourselves. 

Monday, March 30, 2020

Back Off Buddy

Yesterday we had a dinner party with our neighbors. We each set up our own tables in the two of our front yards, we each brought our own food and drink, and we communed in a special way in this unusual time. A true social distance party.

It was chilly but oh so sweet. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

She is........

She goes to the beach to find some quiet. Not quiet from the outside but to somehow quiet her brain, that at times, is not her friend. Ironically, she really doesn't love the beach. But from the sanctuary of her car, she is not cold, the wind does not dry her lips and tangle her hair.

So what does she find there? She finds her God, the one that reminds her that she gets to choose how she takes things and whether on not to be grateful. There is good and bad everywhere, and she can focus on lack of work and the drop in her retirement fund, OR she can look at the fact that there are wonderful people in this world who are amazing and loving and who share their love in inspiring and unique ways.

It's gray and overcast. There are droplets on the windshield that are blurring the view in a way that reminds her of childhood rides in the car. Not the bad ones, but the times when she felt like a little girl, more concerned with paper dolls and her poodle than the chaos that was her family.

She is ready to start a new day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Day by Day

Good morning from Ventura my friends.  I’m social distancing at the beach (sitting in my car) and having some quiet time. Hope you are well. 

Monday, March 16, 2020

Call Me A Lefty...That’s Ok

For those who think that they can easily define what a liberal means, and broad-brush liberals as a single minded entity that wants our country to become a socialist state. For those of you who refuse to recognize that there is a difference between a Socialism and Democratic Socialism. I urge you to open your mind just a bit. I did not write this but I do agree, for the most part, with what it has to say.......
1. I believe a country should take care of its weakest members. A country cannot call itself civilized when its children, disabled, sick, and elderly are neglected. Period.
2. I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Somehow that's interpreted as "I believe Obamacare is the end-all, be-all." This is not the case. I'm fully aware that the ACA has problems, that a national healthcare system would require everyone to chip in, and that it's impossible to create one that is devoid of flaws, but I have yet to hear an argument against it that makes "let people die because they can't afford healthcare" a better alternative. I believe healthcare should be far cheaper than it is, and that everyone should have access to it. And no, I'm not opposed to paying higher taxes in the name of making that happen.
3. I believe education should be affordable and accessible to everyone. It doesn't necessarily have to be free (though it works in other countries so I'm mystified as to why it can't work in the US), but at the end of the day, there is no excuse for students graduating college saddled with five- or six-figure debt. 
4. I don't believe your money should be taken from you and given to people who don't want to work. I have literally never encountered anyone who believes this. Ever. I just have a massive moral problem with a society where a handful of people can possess the majority of the wealth while there are people literally starving to death, freezing to death, or dying because they can't afford to go to the doctor. Fair wages, lower housing costs, universal healthcare, affordable education, and the wealthy actually paying their share would go a long way toward alleviating this. Somehow believing that makes me a communist.
5. I don't throw around "I'm willing to pay higher taxes" lightly. I'm self-employed, so I already pay a shitload of taxes. If I'm suggesting something that involves paying more, that means increasing my already eye-watering tax bill. I'm fine with paying my share as long as it's actually going to something besides lining corporate pockets or bombing other countries while Americans die without healthcare.
6. I believe companies should be required to pay their employees a decent, livable wage. Somehow this is always interpreted as me wanting burger flippers to be able to afford a penthouse apartment and a Mercedes. What it actually means is that no one should have to work three full-time jobs just to keep their head above water. Restaurant servers should not have to rely on tips, multibillion dollar companies should not have employees on food stamps, workers shouldn't have to work themselves into the ground just to barely make ends meet, and minimum wage should be enough for someone to work 40 hours and live.
7. I am not anti-Christian. I have no desire to stop Christians from being Christians, to close churches, to ban the Bible, to forbid prayer in school, etc. (BTW, prayer in school is NOT illegal; *compulsory* prayer in school is - and should be - illegal) All I ask is that Christians recognize *my* right to live according to *my* beliefs. When I get pissed off that a politician is trying to legislate Scripture into law, I'm not "offended by Christianity" -- I'm offended that you're trying to force me to live by your religion's rules. You know how you get really upset at the thought of Muslims imposing Sharia on you? That's how I feel about Christians trying to impose biblical law on me. Be a Christian. Do your thing. Just don't force it on me or mine.
8. I don't believe LGBT people should have more rights than you. I just believe we should have the *same* rights as you.
9. I don't believe illegal immigrants should come to America and have the world at their feet, especially since THIS ISN'T WHAT THEY DO (spoiler: undocumented immigrants are ineligible for all those programs they're supposed to be abusing, and if they're "stealing" your job it's because your employer is hiring illegally.). I'm not opposed to deporting people who are here illegally, but I believe there are far more humane ways to handle undocumented immigration than our current practices (i.e., detaining children, splitting up families, ending DACA, etc). 
10. I believe we should take in refugees, or at the very least not turn them away without due consideration. Turning thousands of people away because a terrorist might slip through is inhumane, especially when we consider what has happened historically to refugees who were turned away (see: MS St. Louis). If we're so opposed to taking in refugees, maybe we should consider not causing them to become refugees in the first place. Because we're fooling ourselves if we think that somewhere in the chain of events leading to these people becoming refugees, there isn't a line describing something the US did. 
11. I don't believe the government should regulate everything, but since greed is such a driving force in our country, we NEED regulations to prevent cut corners, environmental destruction, tainted food/water, unsafe materials in consumable goods or medical equipment, etc. It's not that I want the government's hands in everything -- I just don't trust people trying to make money to ensure that their products/practices/etc are actually SAFE. Is the government devoid of shadiness? Of course not. But with those regulations in place, consumers have recourse if they're harmed and companies are liable for medical bills, environmental cleanup, etc. Just kind of seems like common sense when the alternative to government regulation is letting companies bring their bottom line into the equation.
12. I believe our current administration is fascist. Not because I dislike them or because I'm butthurt over an election, but because I've spent too many years reading and learning about the Third Reich to miss the similarities. Not because any administration I dislike must be Nazis, but because things are actually mirroring authoritarian and fascist regimes of the past. 
13. I believe the systemic racism and misogyny in our society is much worse than many people think, and desperately needs to be addressed. Which means those with privilege -- white, straight, male, economic, etc -- need to start listening, even if you don't like what you're hearing, so we can start dismantling everything that's causing people to be marginalized. 
14. I believe in so-called political correctness. Not because everyone is a delicate snowflake, but because as Maya Angelou put it, when we know better, we do better. When someone tells you that a term or phrase is more accurate/less hurtful than the one you're using, you now know better. So why not do better? How does it hurt you to NOT hurt another person? Your refusal to adjust your vocabulary in the name of not being an asshole kind of makes YOU the snowflake.
15. I believe in funding sustainable energy, including offering education to people currently working in coal or oil so they can change jobs. There are too many sustainable options available for us to continue with coal and oil. Sorry, billionaires. Maybe try investing in something else.
I think that about covers it. Bottom line is that I'm a liberal because I think we should take care of each other. That doesn't mean you should work 80 hours a week so your lazy neighbor can get all your money. It just means I don't believe there is any scenario in which preventable suffering is an acceptable outcome as long as money is saved.
So, I'm a liberal.
(c) 2018 Lori Gallagher Witt. Feel free to share, but please give me credit, and if you add or change anything, please note accordingly.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Fun Times To Be Had By All

I desire so much more than mere survival. Deep friendships, unconditional love, spiritual growth, healing of the soul and daily evidence of human kindness is a good start. Today is gray and in the low 50°’s but my heart is full and I am practicing self love and kindness.

I just watched a dad with his young daughter going for a walk. They are bundled because it is cold (well, for us Californians it is).  He’s walking and talking and, suddenly, his eyes light up, he squeezes her hand and urges her little toddlers legs to hurry over to a great big puddle. They begin to splash and jump. It didn’t last long but it was lovely to watch.

I want to remember to be that person for myself. Reminding me to take the opportunity to have fun and let go. That’s not my nature. I’ve taken life too seriously up till now. Society hasn’t helped much. So often “fun” for adults goes hand and hand with alcohol. For me that can be problematic and anxiety inducing.

Im going try to let go a bit. I’m going to try hard to foster that little girl who, so very long ago, forgot how to have fun.