Gratitude Sunday: 2018: Year Of The Warrior

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

Quote of the Week – “A warrior takes responsibility for his acts, for the most trivial of acts. An average man acts out his thoughts and never takes responsibility for what he does.” Carlos Castaneda

Sunday Haiku
Fierce cold finally
kills hardy rosebuds despite
their desire to bloom.

Sunday Musings
We are at the last day of 2017. At times the year has seemed to drag, yet now it’s done it feels like it’s whipped by faster than a hurricane. It’s been an interesting and challenging year. Another interesting and challenging year. Of many interesting and challenging years. In looking forward to one more journey around the sun, I am appropriating a word for the upcoming year. A word to apply to myself because I know there will always be a battle lurking down the road somewhere.

Right now I am doing battle with a dead car and car repairs (and the frustrated hubster who was not born with the car-fixing gene, yet he thinks it’s all his responsibility to fix the car), an inexpensive espresso machine currently hissing death throes (no coffee ?!?), a clothes washer that is sounding much louder than it usually does, medicine waiting at the pharmacy that I can’t pick up, and monthly income less than my mortgage payment. And even though I can’t get there because of the broken car, the New Year’s tradition of Chinese food (the one time we eat restaurant food during the year) won’t be happening because the restaurant is in the process of moving to a new location. So much stuff I don’t get to control, the plight of the poor.

I don’t like the term victim, but if you do not get to be in control you are often victimized whether you admit it or not, whether you like the word or not. That is: you can be or are taken advantage of, oppressed, used, un- or under-valued, over-charged, and many times the object of violence to those ends. Nobody wants to admit they are a victim in this society that honors the myth of self-sufficiency. We want to appear strong, capable, independent, defendable, defensible.

I have been victimized by friends and strangers. People who called themselves friends have stolen clothing, cash, jewelry, and my trust. All of these people thought they had less than I did, considered themselves to be “have-nots”. Many of them did not realize had they asked for help I likely would have given freely of what I could spare. Many did not realize they had so much more than I. What is it about stuff anyway, that we like each others’ things and want to possess them whether we earned/paid for them or not? I like my stuff and I like other people’s stuff, but I live with plenty of mine, and have no need of the stuff other people live with that make them happy. It’s just material possessions. Taking other people’s stuff destroys trust, and trust is one of the most important things in society, indeed, more important than stuff. Don’t say “trust me”, however, because those words indicate your untrustworthiness; live your trustworthiness in your actions, don’t bother trying to gaslight me with your words and then turn around and behave poorly.

I have been victimized by the “haves” as well. People who had more than I did who felt they had the right to judge me as not working hard enough (loved those lectures while the employer was watching me wash their toilets), not managing my money well (what there is or isn’t of it), or felt justified in charging me more because I was poor (how does that even make sense?). People who have made up the rules to fit their concept of life and affluence, who cannot believe the true poverty stories we tell of mishap and mayhem, or who have no concept of what it is like to have less, or what it is like to constantly be asking for help, or treat you as if you have made all the “wrong choices” in your life though your available “choices” were completely different from theirs.

I am not any more fond of the appellation “survivor”. It indicates getting through, getting by, taking what comes and succumbing to circumstances, or letting situations affect your life. Yes, I’m still alive, carrying the scars, physical and mental, of what I have survived. The word survivor feels like something that just happened to you, not something you did for yourself.

It wasn’t like I survived by a fluke (though maybe I don’t recognize the fluke). I have had to fight for every “advantage” and opportunity, for every tiny success. I’ve had to argue for and debate my value with people who thought they were superior because of their affluence or education or position, which sometimes was provided through my labor.

I’m not fond of the word fighter as it implies violence. I don’t consider myself a violent person, and physically have employed it rarely to protect myself, though I have done. Whatever the reason, it does not feel good to hit somebody; it hardly feels good to think ugly thoughts about abusers, deserved or not, though the thoughts are harder to tamp down than the fist. One of the challenges of poverty is after years of living on the edge, your brain and body chemistry can change because you are always hyper-vigilant, never able to relax, making one more susceptible to physical and mental health issues. The poor die younger, with or without access to health care.

I want to be around a few more years despite my lack of wealth. To do so I must be alert, assertive, inquisitive, fierce. I have to be a warrior. I stand up for myself because no one does it for me. I stand up for others because they are important too; they might not know how, or have the strength or the words to stand for themselves.

I hereby declare 2018 as the year of Warrior. A warrior can be anybody; there is no gender, no age, no belief system, no appearance or ability that stops you from being a warrior. I need to gather my courage and build my strength. I need to hone my intelligence into wisdom. I need to remain steadfast in my conviction that good will prevail over evil. I am a warrior against oppression and poverty, against unwarranted attitudes, against judgments because of difference. I am a warrior, as I always have been, for my family, for my home, for our safety, and for the same for others. I am a warrior for and will defend the few possessions I have, the property I’m paying for and will continue to lease tax-wise for the rest of my life in this society. I am a warrior for knowledge, and education, and philanthropy, and the arts. I am a warrior for a more perfect union and egalitarianism. It’s mine, it’s part of me. I am fierce. I am tenacious. I am a Warrior. We are all warriors together.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Naked brown branches look fierce against the cold gray winter sky. Creamy white cattail fluff floats in the wind. Green hyacinth crowns promise spring to come soon. Blackberry vines are sometimes evergreen.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} A Bigger Splash (2015, rated R), with Tilda Swinton, whose acting I like. This film is about a rock star recovering from throat surgery in the Mediterranean with her significant other when an ex shows up with a new-found teenage daughter. Chaos ensues with a surprise ending. I know it sounds rather bizarre for an old fat poor woman to be critical of clothes, but Swinton had the ugliest, most shapeless dresses ever. I can only think the clothing was intentional and pertinent to the writer/art director/director/producers, but bleh. (Laughing at myself!) * Season 3 of Gotham (2016, rated TV – MA), nothing like a little fantasy with your Batman story. * Roots (1977, rated TV – 14), the original. I remember how hard it was to sit down all the nights in a row for this ground-breaking miniseries, in the days before VHS and DVD. Compared to the 2016 A & E remake I recently watched, this version had much less graphic violence while still telling the story. I have no problem at all imagining how violent the times really were. I know how cruel people are when they think they are right or think they have the right. If you want the story without being overwhelmed by the blood men seem to think is the way to control other people and producers now think is what sells a story, watch this version. Or read the book by Alex Haley.

Currently ReadingMy Absolute Darling (2017, fiction) by Gabriel Tallent. I am glad to be done with this novel, in fact, I could not finish the ending fast enough. Spoiler alert: though the 14 year old protagonist kills her abuser father, it’s not satisfying in any way. It’s ugly getting there. The set-up of the story was ugly. The resolution wasn’t pretty either. Life is tough, but not tough enough to have to read this book. If this is a love story, it’s ugly love. If you are living a life like the abuse in this novel, God have mercy on you. I should have had a clue: it was highly praised by Stephen King, but it came highly recommended by some literary friends. Read this novel only if you like horror disguised as love. I prefer my love stories not filled with violence, anger and control issues, and twisted emotions. I am no psychologist, and I will forever blame the professor who taught me the course on psycho-biography, but it seems to me if a writer is raised by two mothers and writes a story about an abused girl child who kills her father, there might be some issues there for the author (I have little room to judge as I’m working through my own issues), even if the subject matter is widely pertinent to the quirks of this weird society we call America. I don’t mind a good horror story, but I don’t like being hit upside the head with it, and my nose smashed in it like a dog who has soiled where he is not supposed to. * Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power (2017, sociology) by Noam Chomsky. Still looking for a way out of the political debacle we are in, waiting to see if Chomsky offers ideas for resolutions at the end of the book. Aaaand no resolutions suggested, just a brief how we got here and an overview of what is happening. The search continues.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • No complaints from my guys about the extremely small Christmas we had.
  • The difference ten degrees can make.
  • Young people helping with car repairs even though they couldn’t solve the problem. They tried what they knew. I don’t go out much, but I miss the independence of being able to go when I want.
  • Getting a few Christmas cards in the mail. Still exciting to get personal mail and not bills or advertisements.
  • Spending some time with the littles in my family, and expecting 2 more in 2018!
  • Enjoying the adults my nieces and nephews have become.
  • The book fairy who gifted me a hardbound copy of all the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales I did not already own. Because I love fairy tales. Perfect.
  • The book fairy who gifted me my own copy of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up(2015, home economics) by Marie Kondo, which I’ve already read twice, trying to get inspired to de-clutter. The thing I’ve learned so far from this book is I love lots of my stuff. And I know the stuff will go when I’m ready to let it go.
  • A lovely gift box from another fairy friend, bringing the outdoors in with some infused cedar oil, a woodsy tree-based potpourri, fragrant pine cones, and a few other woodly items to scent my home.
  • My pipes didn’t freeze during a recent cold spell.
  • The crisp cold winter sun teasing us with light and no heat.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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