“TAKE TWO”: A NON- COMMENTARY – THE FOURTH OF JULY 2020!

How was it? We won’t know who got sick for some days yet. I have reworked some of this post, and decided to reblog it. Not sure I like it, but here goes. Good luck with all of it. Just saying………

JAYSPEAK

This in on my mind.   THE “RIGHT” OF FREEDOM.   THE FOURTH OF JULY.  THE USA.  My friends.  My family.  

Are you one of the people who thinks that you are free  to do what you choose?  That it is your Right to do what you choose?  OR, that the virus will not hit you?  OR, so what if it does?  That you will get over it!!  That you are free to say what you want, do what you want, go where you want, wear a mask if you want, shoot a gun if you want, have sex with whomever you want, run for president if you want?    Yes?  Isn’t that “the American Dream”?  Does freedom come with a price??  Must we all pay it?  Are we all “bottom feeders”?  What?????? 

My mother used to fish in the lake all the time.  She loved to fish.  And, if she got…

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“TAKE TWO”: A NON- COMMENTARY – THE FOURTH OF JULY 2020!

This in on my mind.   THE “RIGHT” OF FREEDOM.   THE FOURTH OF JULY.  THE USA.  My friends.  My family.  

Are you one of the people who thinks that you are free  to do what you choose?  That it is your Right to do what you choose?  OR, that the virus will not hit you?  OR, so what if it does?  That you will get over it!!  That you are free to say what you want, do what you want, go where you want, wear a mask if you want, shoot a gun if you want, have sex with whomever you want, run for president if you want?    Yes?  Isn’t that “the American Dream”?  Does freedom come with a price??  Must we all pay it?  Are we all “bottom feeders”?  What?????? 

My mother used to fish in the lake all the time.  She loved to fish.  And, if she got a “bite”, she would get excited and work to “bring it in”.  But, if she saw it was a “carp”, she would frown in disappointment because carp were large fish that feed on other fish and eat whatever and take advantage of other fish.  She called them “bottom feeders”.  I have been thinking a lot about people who take advantage for sport or maybe for survival.  Bottom Feeders?  All of it so that they can say that they are “free”? 

But, this is the problem.  The Bottom Feeders get to live and swim freely in the lake.  The other fish are at jeopardy.  Oops.  So what does this tell us?  There is NO poetic justice.  Haha.  Well, I knew that.  But, it also says, “Beware!  There are Bottom Feeders EVERYWHERE, swimming around.  Even eating the worms intended for you.  So, they save your life (for a moment) and they take advantage.  Ugh.  I HATE this message.  Well, I am not sure what the point is, but maybe you do.  I will try once more – Life is NOT fair and there is NO poetic justice.  BEWARE of Bottom Feeders.  Just when you have hope you caught something for dinner, you haven’t.  (This is getting more depressing by the minute. Haha).  I guess it all depends on whether you are the fish or the fisherman. Thus it depends on your point of view. Either way, it is not new news or good news.  Maybe this wasn’t a good analogy.  Too late.  Swim at your own risk.  And, sign this waiver not to sue the Lake Owner before going into the water.

“Welcome to the Freedom Cafe! We trust you to make your own choices if you want to wear a face mask. And, in the same spirit of individual liberty, we allow our staff to make their own choices about the safety procedures they prefer to follow as they prepare and serve your food.

We encourage employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom, but understand that some people may be allergic to certain soaps or may simply prefer not to wash their hands. It is not our place to tell them what to do.
We understand that you may be used to chicken that has been cooked to 165 degrees. We do have to respect that some of our cooks may have seen a meme or a YouTube video saying that 100 degrees is sufficient, and we do not want to encroach on their beliefs.

Some of our cooks may prefer to use the same utensils for multiple ingredients, including ingredients some customers are allergic to. That is a cook’s right to do so.

Some servers may wish to touch your food as they serve it. There is no reason that a healthy person with clean hands can’t touch your food. We will take their word for it that they are healthy and clean.

Water temperature and detergent are highly personal choices, and we allow our dishwashing team to decide how they’d prefer to wash the silverware you will put in your mouth.

Some of you may get sick, but almost everyone survives food poisoning. We think you’ll agree that it’s a small price to pay for the sweet freedom of no one ever being told what to do – and especially not for the silly reason of keeping strangers healthy.”

OOPS.  Well, did you not get the MEMO?  Did my mother call you a “bottom feeder” and throw you back into the lake as not worth keeping?  Like “carp”?    What??????   Did anyone tell you that freedom comes with a price?  …that freedom is your “Right”as an American?  Who gave you that Right?  Says who?  

NO COMMENT.

Best, Jay

Donation – Beginning Again in PARIS)

Thanks for helping me afford where I am going AGAIN in Paris. I will do my best! Thanks, Jay

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YEP! THE WOODS ARE ON FIRE!!

Yes, this is somewhat of a repeat with new photographs.  But, I have added to the message.  This is important to me and warrants repeating. This morning, as I was walking in the park, I decided that a smile is our universal language.  Everyone understands a smile.  Sure, we ALL have a story.  Sure, we are ALL damaged in some way.  But, get over it!!  Smile back. Or, smile first. Or don’t smile.  Bah Humbug!!!   

How can a person write a weekly blog without mentioning the news?  I have so many thoughts and opinions about EVERYTHING and hate the current “regime” in the USA.  I think that cruelty is prevalent and each day, gets crueler. I no longer have a country that I am proud of.  What are we getting so terribly wrong???   Revolutionaries of one kind or another are forming a new country.  The dialogue is not healthy.  I have saved a lot of articles for posts but find that I don’t want to use any of them.  My mission for Jayspeak is NOT to write opinion pieces for readers.  And, every day I think that the news cannot get any worse, and it gets worse!!!  This week was especially full of bad news (I think) and crazy rants of one kind or another. 

No, my mission was / is to write about my life in France during my “golden years”.  Well, actually in 2015 when Steve and I left Los Angeles to “do something else”, I was already in “my golden years”.  He was 66, young and sexy.  So, we had a lot of plans.  Dying was NOT one of them.  Yet, he is gone, and I am now living in Paris, France, in my “golden years”.  Haha.  That is not the way it was supposed to work.  He was supposed to take care of me.    How did all of this happen? 

And, now that the USA is a country I barely recognize, I yearn for some semblance of the values that I still have.  AND, France is hardly what I had in mind.  Yet, here I am.  So, I am taking classes to do what I have to do to become a French citizen (duel citizenship and not easy to get), just in case.  Steve got his Italian citizenship before we left LA, but it doesn’t do me any good at this point. (I checked.  He must still be alive.) And, I am unsure of any future at this rate.  I am on my own with the U.S. Embassy in a fallback position that makes sense.    Yikes!!! 

Also, I have realized that there are people I am supposed to love, but don’t find anything loveable about them.  And friends I am supposed to like that I don’t like.  And there are people I love and like even though I don’t know them that well. Now, I know that maybe I am not loveable or likeable, but I am the person I live with.  And, I love me and I like being with me.  So……

Observation – I think you can see through people and know them even though you don’t KNOW them.  I have become more and more aware of this during these turbulent times.   I read people’s posts and instinctively don’t like them.  ONE person said [edited by me], “I believe in freedom.  If someone doesn’t want to wear a mask, that’s his prerogative. He did what he needed to do to feel “free”. Isn’t it great that we all still have freedom?  Another person wrote, “Another person wrote, “God is preparing people for the Rapture. I don’t know when the rapture will take place but I do believe it could be soon. Until the Good Lord calls me away from this world to go home., I must repent to be ready.”

WHAT????  “Freedom is tied to wearing masks so that you won’t kill someone else?”  “Ready for the Rapture?”

“FREEDOM” is a powerful word.  It can mean a lot of things in a lot of different situations. It can mean democracy in government, personal independence, and a right to speak, the power to act individually.  In a general sense freedom means NOT being enslaved.  Most people at some point in time experience some form of enslavement. In the Free World and under democratic governments, for the most part, we don’t corporately face the physical enslavement that some other countries or people experience. For the most part, we as free people in these countries have a voice, a right to speak up and stand up for ourselves and take action from our own ‘free will’. 

WELL, that is the problem.  Apparently, not wearing a mask in the middle of a global pandemic under Donald Trump makes some people feel free. Free to KILL other people.  Give me a break!!!!!   These people need to experience life under Stalin in Soviet Russia and life in Germany under Hitler as a Jew.  “Freedom” deserves more respect than that.  The police don’t have the “freedom” to kill people.  Why should you????   Freedom comes with a price.  And, not wearing a mask in order to breathe in the middle of a global pandemic under Donald Trump is NOT that price.  Human freedom is a social concept that recognizes the dignity of individuals and is the absence of coercive constraint. Because freedom is inherently valuable and plays a role in human progress, it is worth measuring carefully.

This coronavirus is highlighting the difference between reality and a narrative based in ideology. A virus has a rate of increase and a number of deaths either goes up or goes down.  When I was in High School and diving competitively, I had to go on the bus to Atlanta each weekend to work out.  I had a coach.  I was a teenager and did not want to do that.  Mr. Benson (my coach) said competitive diving requires practice.  Either you get better or you get worse.  You DON’T just maintain.  Re this virus, the number of people going to hospitals either goes up or goes down. It’s not subject to debate because the hospital bed is either empty or it’s full, we either bury people or we don’t.  Those are the facts. PERIOD.  There is NO argument.  There is NO ideology.  Only the facts.  In my walking, my legs either get stronger or they dont.  THEY DON’T MAINTAIN according to whether I want to do it or not.

And, “Repenting for sins to be ready for an oncoming Rapture” sounds a lot like Jim Jones before he got everyone to drink the Kool-Aid.  What if there is no such thing as a “Upcoming Rapture”.   What if there is no “home” that you are going to when you die?  Trump has NOT been sent by God so that you can go “home” to everlasting life.  Trump exists.  And, “free” people put him in office with their “Fuck YOU” attitude, of “freedom”.  Give me a break!!!!  

And vice versa.  So, today, I am going to think about what I am thankful for.  My friend Michelle does a post from time to time “Attitude of Gratitude”.  So, I am stealing her idea.  I want to list the things I am grateful for because I have a long list of things that I want to complain about.  Haha.  Yes, I am one of those who think that the grass is greener somewhere else.  So, I am going to go against that grain and tell you what I am grateful for. Get a cup of coffee.  I am going to get one for me, too.  I need the caffeine to help me think and calm down.  Haha. 

  • I am grateful that I am still alive and have made it through this pandemic so far.

(A lot of my friends and family are dead.  Some died too soon, and others lived a long life.  Darrell (my first husband and the father of all of my children) was young (52) when he was either murdered or committed suicide.  We will never know the truth.  It was either a coverup or self-inflicted.  I believe it was a clever murder/cover-up.  Pick your truth.  We will never know what really happened.  And, now, some of my friends have the virus.  I hold my breath for my children and my grandchildren.  I hope they are making good choices.)

  • I am grateful that a friend is letting me rent her apartment in the 6e in Paris, France for a year. It is centrally located and allows me to learn more about the city while I think about where I want to live, once I move.   And the Jardin de Luxembourg is nearby. (I am falling in love with Paris – everything is in disrepair and old.  I love it!  I can feel people from all of the ages that went before me and I am surrounded by the city.)
  • I am grateful for my French class and Audrey, my instructor.
  • I am grateful for the smiles I got from strangers this morning.
  • I am grateful for croissants and fresh orange juice and good coffee.
  • I am grateful for visitors (8,563) on Jayspeak.
  • I am grateful for love of Missy, my cat.
  • And on, and on, and on……. You don’t want to read this. I don’t want to write it.

Since I last wrote (last week), I have had two French classes, studied a LOT, gotten an appointment with the Paris prefecture for July to update my Visa, and taken a LOT of new pictures.  So, I will post some of my favorites.   July is going to be a busy month for me.  And the French class will be over.  Now, I must find a French culture course.  And, there is also a mandatory civics course that I must take.   So, with these pictures, I say “goodbye” to June.  YES!!  What a month!  Hellooooooo, July!!

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These are new photos.  June is on its way out!!  I apologize to anyone I offended.  Or not.

Best, Jay

109+

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A SMILE – THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE

“Smile” (NAT KING COLE singing!)

Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You’ll get by…

If you smile
Through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near

That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

This morning, as I was walking in the park, I decided that a smile is our universal language.  Everyone understands a smile.  Sure, we ALL have a story.  Sure, we are ALL damaged in some way.  But, get over it!!  Smile back. Or, smile first. Or don’t smile.  Bah Humbug!!!   

Now, down to the meat and potatoes.  How can a person write a weekly blog without mentioning the news?  I have so many thoughts and opinions about EVERYTHING and hate the current “regime” in the USA.  I think that cruelty is prevalent and each day, gets crueler. I no longer have a country that I am proud of.  What are we getting so terribly wrong???   Revolutionaries of one kind or another are forming a new country.  The dialogue is not healthy.  I have saved a lot of articles for posts but find that I don’t want to use any of them.  My mission for Jayspeak is NOT to write opinion pieces for readers.  And, every day I think that the news cannot get any worse, and it gets worse!!!  This week was especially full of bad news (I think) and crazy rants of one kind or another. 

No, my mission was / is to write about my life in France during my “golden years”.  Well, actually in 2015 when Steve and I left Los Angeles to “do something else”, I was already in “my golden years”.  He was 66, young and sexy.  So, we had a lot of plans.  Dying was NOT one of them.  Yet, he is gone, and I am now living in Paris, France, in my “golden years”.  Haha.  That is not the way it was supposed to work.  He was supposed to take care of me.    How did all of this happen? 

And, now that the USA is a country I barely recognize, I yearn for some semblance of the values that I still have.  AND, France is hardly what I had in mind.  Yet, here I am.  So, I am taking classes to do what I have to do to become a French citizen (duel citizenship and not easy to get), just in case.  Steve got his Italian citizenship before we left LA, but it doesn’t do me any good at this point. (I checked.  He must still be alive.) And, I am unsure of any future at this rate.  I am on my own with the U.S. Embassy in a fallback position that makes sense.    Yikes!!! 

Also, I have realized that there are people I am supposed to love, but don’t find anything loveable about them.  And friends I am supposed to like that I don’t like.  And there are people I love and like even though I don’t know them that well. Now, I know that maybe I am not loveable or likeable, but I am the person I live with.  And, I love me and I like being with me.  So……

Observation – I think you can see through people and know them even though you don’t KNOW them.  I have become more and more aware of this during these turbulent times.   I read people’s posts and instinctively don’t like them.  ONE person said [edited by me], “I believe in freedom.  If someone doesn’t want to wear a mask, that’s his prerogative. He did what he needed to do to feel “free”. Isn’t it great that we all still have freedom?  Another person wrote, “Another person wrote, “God is preparing people for the Rapture. I don’t know when the rapture will take place but I do believe it could be soon. Until the Good Lord calls me away from this world to go home., I must repent to be ready.”

WHAT????  “Freedom is tied to wearing masks so that you won’t kill someone else?”  “Ready for the Rapture?”

“FREEDOM” is a powerful word.  It can mean a lot of things in a lot of different situations. It can mean democracy in government, personal independence, and a right to speak, the power to act individually.  In a general sense freedom means NOT being enslaved.  Most people at some point in time experience some form of enslavement. In the Free World and under democratic governments, for the most part, we don’t corporately face the physical enslavement that some other countries or people experience. For the most part, we as free people in these countries have a voice, a right to speak up and stand up for ourselves and take action from our own ‘free will’. 

WELL, that is the problem.  Apparently, not wearing a mask in the middle of a global pandemic under Donald Trump makes some people feel free. Free to KILL other people.  Give me a break!!!!!   These people need to experience life under Stalin in Soviet Russia and life in Germany under Hitler as a Jew.  “Freedom” deserves more respect than that.  The police don’t have the “freedom” to kill people.  Why should you????   Freedom comes with a price.  And, not wearing a mask in order to breathe in the middle of a global pandemic under Donald Trump is NOT that price.  Human freedom is a social concept that recognizes the dignity of individuals and is the absence of coercive constraint. Because freedom is inherently valuable and plays a role in human progress, it is worth measuring carefully.  And, “Repenting for sins to be ready for an oncoming Rapture” sounds a lot like Jim Jones before he got everyone to drink the Kool-Aid.  What if there is no such thing as a “Upcoming Rapture”.   What if there is no “home” that you are going to when you die?  Trump has NOT been sent by God so that you can go “home” to everlasting life.  Trump exists.  And, “free” people put him in office with their “Fuck YOU” attitude, of “freedom”.  Give me a break!!!!  

And vice versa.  So, today, I am going to think about what I am thankful for.  My friend Michelle does a post from time to time “Attitude of Gratitude”.  So, I am stealing her idea.  I want to list the things I am grateful for because I have a long list of things that I want to complain about.  Haha.  Yes, I am one of those who think that the grass is greener somewhere else.  So, I am going to go against that grain and tell you what I am grateful for. Get a cup of coffee.  I am going to get one for me, too.  I need the caffeine to help me think and calm down.  Haha. 

  • I am grateful that I am still alive and have made it through this pandemic so far.

(A lot of my friends and family are dead.  Some died too soon, and others lived a long life.  Darrell (my first husband and the father of all of my children) was young (52) when he was either murdered or committed suicide.  We will never know the truth.  It was either a coverup or self-inflicted.  I believe it was a clever murder/cover-up.  Pick your truth.  We will never know what really happened.  And, now, some of my friends have the virus.  I hold my breath for my children and my grandchildren.  I hope they are making good choices.)

  • I am grateful that a friend is letting me rent her apartment in the 6e in Paris, France for a year. It is centrally located and allows me to learn more about the city while I think about where I want to live, once I move.   And the Jardin de Luxembourg is nearby. (I am falling in love with Paris – everything is in disrepair and old.  I love it!  I can feel people from all of the ages that went before me and I am surrounded by the city.)
  • I am grateful for my French class and Audrey, my instructor.
  • I am grateful for the smiles I got from strangers this morning.
  • I am grateful for croissants and fresh orange juice and good coffee.
  • I am grateful for visitors (8,563) on Jayspeak.
  • I am grateful for love of Missy, my cat.
  • And on, and on, and on……. You don’t want to read this. I don’t want to write it.

Since I last wrote (last week), I have had two French classes, studied a LOT, gotten an appointment with the Paris prefecture for July to update my Visa, and taken a LOT of new pictures.  So, I will post some of my favorites.   July is going to be a busy month for me.  And the French class will be over.  Now, I must find a French culture course.  And, there is also a mandatory civics course that I must take.   So, with these pictures, I say “goodbye” to June.  YES!!  What a month!  Hellooooooo, July!!

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My apologies to those I have offended.  Or not.  Just know that my heart is aching for all of it.  But, I am smiling for the camera, anyway…………..

Best, Jay

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PARIS ROSE

I have added some thoughts and a photo or two.. Plus, the roses are very pretty. So, I am re-blogging. Happy Father’s Day, everyone. A special shout-out to my wonderful sons and their families. Best, Jay

JAYSPEAK

Paris Rose, not to be confused with “Tokyo Rose”, is my attempt to put some beauty into this upcoming weekend.  The best thing about the weekend will be Father’s Day.  Otherwise, Juneteenth and the Saturday Trump Tulsa rally, predicted to infect large numbers of Americans, are dreadful.  My heart breaks from the reality  of what happened to George Floyd and the heartlessness that occurred.  And, I am horrified at the cruelty that justifies putting children in cages like dogs and causes them to be separated from their parents because they are with parents wanting to escape dictators and death.  I see the same people who don’t care  posting posts wanting help for stray animals. My heart breaks for those frightened children.  But, I digress…….

  Do you know about WWII?  First, a bit of history, “Tokyo Rose, explained” –

tokyo-rose

“Tokyo Rose” was a name given by Allied troops in the…

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PARIS ROSE

Paris Rose, not to be confused with “Tokyo Rose”, is my attempt to put some beauty into this upcoming weekend.  The best thing about the weekend will be Father’s Day.  Otherwise, Juneteenth and the Saturday Trump Tulsa rally, predicted to infect large numbers of Americans, are dreadful.  My heart breaks from the reality  of what happened to George Floyd and the heartlessness that occurred.  And, I am horrified at the cruelty that justifies putting children in cages like dogs and causes them to be separated from their parents because they are with parents wanting to escape dictators and death.  I see the same people who don’t care  posting posts wanting help for stray animals. My heart breaks for those frightened children.  But, I digress…….

  Do you know about WWII?  First, a bit of history, “Tokyo Rose, explained” –

tokyo-rose

“Tokyo Rose” was a name given by Allied troops in the South Pacific (“Let’s remember Pearl Harbor, as we march to victory…”)  during World War II  to all female English-speaking radio broadcasters of Japanese propaganda. The programs were broadcast in the South Pacific and North America to demoralize Allied forces abroad and their families at home by emphasizing troops’ wartime difficulties and military losses. Several female broadcasters operated under different aliases and in different cities throughout the Empire, including Tokyo, Manila, and Shanghai. The name “Tokyo Rose” was never actually used by any Japanese broadcaster, but it first appeared in U.S. newspapers in the context of these radio programs in 1943. During the war, Tokyo Rose was not any one individual, but rather a group of largely unconnected women working within the same propagandist effort throughout the Japanese Empire. In the years shortly following the war, the figure of “Tokyo Rose” – whom the FBI now avers to be “mythical” – became an important symbol of Japanese villainy for the United States. American cartoons, films,[and propaganda videos between 1945 and 1960 tend to portray her as highly sexualized, manipulative, and deadly to American interests in the South Pacific, particularly by leaking intelligence of American losses in radio broadcasts. and in 1949 the San Francisco Chronicle described Tokyo Rose as the “Mata Hari of radio.'”

Tokyo Rose

For those of us who were alive before most of you were born, we remember Tokyo Rose.  I do.  Along with the Betty Grable  pinups.  Tokyo Rose was the first I knew about propoganda – before the Cold War.  (look it up).  But, now, the rest of you have my PARIS ROSE.

Needless to say, I am NOT the Mata Hari of radio (or television or film) in Paris!!!! Or a pin-up of any kind.  Haha.  But, I do have some pretty photos of roses.  I have explored flower shops and gardens throughout my neighborhood (5e and 6e and fringes of other areas), and the one on my street has the prettiest roses.  The rest have a mish-mash.  As of yet, I don’t think the street markets have opened.  I can probably find pretty roses there once they are back up and running.

Today, as promised, I will post some pretty photos from my neighborhood favorite flower shop Stanislas Draber.  I have been spelling it wrong.  Sorry.  This spelling is correct.  They see me out taking photos and wonder what I am doing.  But they don’t need my free advertising.  They always look busy.

And, a meme or two for commentary.   And, a cartoon or two for a laugh or two.  No deep thinking involved.

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I was going to write about letting go.  1) Life will teach them, …….or not.   or, 2) Well-meaning Caregivers ,……. or not.   e.g., Elder Abuse 3) Does It Fit?  But, I will save for another day.  So, in honor of all of our fathers (we all had one, like him or not) and George Floyd (a father), I post these roses.  Enjoy.

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Stay safe!  And, from the Creative Cave in Paris,

Best, Jay

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P.S. (a post script, e.g. #life at work)

I think this post is a good one. It is an important one for me to write. And, I keep reading it over and over. “Out of the Blue…… it will come……… Stay tuned. Best Jay

JAYSPEAK

After my post “PONDERINGS ABOUT TRUTH”, I now know that most people are aware that a lot of people conceal and lie to “save face” or on a “need to know” basis only. And, it is never wise to name names in a post or in a book.  It only causes more problems with people than it is worth to make a point.  Especially if the people are still alive.  Oops.   I once tried to write a book with fictional names, and I got very confused.  So, this is a dilemma for me. You see, for years, I took classes and went to Journal workshops to help myself “find ME” and it worked.  I definitely changed into the person I am today, and she is definitely different from the little girl growing up in Gainesville, Georgia.  IN MY OPINION.  And, the process is ongoing. 

And, as early as 1971 (49…

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P.S. (a post script, e.g. #life at work)

After my post “PONDERINGS ABOUT TRUTH”, I now know that most people are aware that a lot of people conceal and lie to “save face” or on a “need to know” basis only. And, it is never wise to name names in a post or in a book.  It only causes more problems with people than it is worth to make a point.  Especially if the people are still alive.  Oops.   I once tried to write a book with fictional names, and I got very confused.  So, this is a dilemma for me. You see, for years, I took classes and went to Journal workshops to help myself “find ME” and it worked.  I definitely changed into the person I am today, and she is definitely different from the little girl growing up in Gainesville, Georgia.  IN MY OPINION.  And, the process is ongoing. 

And, as early as 1971 (49 years ago), I felt that my destiny was to help confused, creative searchers like myself to find themselves. (I no longer think that is my destiny.)  At the time, I believed that many of my friends felt “dead” inside.  (I had felt dead inside before my work in the journal).   I KNEW they acted dead inside –  like a bunch of “Stepford Wives” (Look it up), e.g., “dead inside”, and I wanted to help them help themselves.  It involved work in a personal journal.   Oops.  WELL,  I have a problem when people don’t like or understand that kind of work.  Or value it.  I valued it at the beginning.  I could see the value of the work.  Most people can’t, or don’t, or won’t.  Why did I?  Is something wrong with me?  Is something wrong with them?  Is something wrong with that kind of work?  And, I am especially impatient with searchers.  Actually, there is nothing wrong at all.  The problem is that I have difficulty letting go of trying to control them.  AND, a lot of people are NOT searching at all.  I am. And, it is still ongoing. 

I like to do journalistic writing.  That is my writing style.  Especially in these blogs. 

On JANUARY 1, 1972, I wrote these words in my journal (at the age of 35), “Life is one long period of waiting – waiting for someone to come, waiting for something to happen, waiting for happiness, the anticipation of waiting, and then, the waiting for Death. Are these pre-war times?  Like the times of pre-Hitler? Pete Duel shot himself at 31 yesterday. 

My nerves are on edge!  Relax, Janet.  Calm yourself.  Remember the star-cross, the center – one breath, one moment.  I don’t want it to be a moment.  I want it to be forever.  I don’t want to die – that blackness – that ending = that it is over!  I am afraid.  And, anxious!  What is it like, Peter Duel?  What is it like?  I want to cry and cry and cry and cry.

Oh, Ira [Progoff], how wonderful you have been for me!  I would like to shout it to the rooftops.  But I want somebody to hear.  I want somebody to come.  I want my shouting to matter, to be productive and what if it is not?  Then, I will be a failure and deflating success.  The pomp and circumstance will be gone and only I am left with my methods and my procedures and myself to live life as best I can from one staggering moment to the next.   The unknown does not have to be fearful, just expectant.  Something in me is dying.  I am experiencing a death. The pomp and circumstance of my childhood is passing.  I am one of the carrots.  There are lots of flowers but also a few carrots.  It is important to say, to state every time I am in a horrid place – really deal with it and state how it feels and keep saying it, and it will move on and reverse itself. No one will understand.  No one can understand.  A wound will heal IF I first recognize the wound and release the need for an end or a result. Golda said, “Don’t talk about the dogs. Have the patience to wait. Don’t rush toward experiences. Fully experience them.” Think of it as a rose, or an unfolding rose. I am excited about life and the future. Forget guilt and allow experiences to happen.’”  

I fully expect this post to be misunderstood.  This is NOT my thinking today.  But, I am just discovering that we were trained as children to cover up the truth.  And, I think it is important for all of us to be aware of that fact as we continue to cover up the truth.  I know all of this is more than any of you want to know. But I am in the last years of my long, wonderful, fully-lived life.  And, I need to write these things down. 

For the record, I promise to return to photographs and events and memes and cartoons, but I am experiencing a lot of introspection in my “creative cave” here in the 6e in Paris.  If not now, when?

Best Jay093

 

PONDERINGS about TRUTH

JAYSPEAK

Today, I am thinking out loud. On my mind all week have been a lot of thoughts about the “Code of Silence” – that unspoken CODE that is part of police departments throughout the world. Yes, the world. I cannot tell you how many televisions shows – GOOD television shows on the BBC and USA stations ( hardly the world) that I have watched in which people see (cops and bystanders) what happened and don’t tell. Reasons differ but most of all, the common denominator seems to be “fear of reprisal”. Maybe I shouldn’t try to speak for “the world”.

This is not new news for me. In fact, when I was a little girl, I saw things with my own eyes and was either instructed, threatened, or afraid to say anything.

My earliest memory was in the dining room when we were living in the house on Cleveland Road…

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PONDERINGS about TRUTH

Today, I am thinking out loud.  On my mind all week have been a lot of thoughts about the “Code of Silence” – that unspoken CODE that is part of police departments throughout the world.  Yes, the world.  I cannot tell you how many televisions shows – GOOD television shows on the BBC and USA stations ( hardly the world) that I have watched in which people see (cops and bystanders) what happened and don’t tell.  Reasons differ but most of all, the common denominator seems to be “fear of reprisal”. Maybe I shouldn’t try to speak for “the world”.  

This is not new news for me.  In fact, when I was a little girl, I saw things with my own eyes and was either instructed, threatened, or afraid to say anything. 

My earliest memory was in the dining room when we were living in the house on Cleveland Road.  I was standing in the doorway.  I must have been around 4 or 5.  I was supposed to be in bed.  One night, Daddy came home drunk.  Mother was yelling at him.  Daddy was trying to get to the telephone, and Mother hit him on the head with a black skillet frying pan.  I was terrified that something had happened to Daddy and that Mother had killed him while I was watching.  I did not know what to do.  That event was never mentioned again. 

Another memory comes to mind.  Most of my friends’ fathers were drunks.  It was a dry county.  Ray Knickerbocker was a drunk.  My friend was Alice.  Her mother Mary Lydia  was always letting us bake cookies in the kitchen.  We would make a huge mess and mostly eat the chocolate chip dough before cooking the cookies.  She didn’t care.  Ray would come home and disappear.  I could tell he was drunk.  I knew because I saw him.  He was a jolly drunk who would come into the kitchen to say hello. I knew because I could tell when Daddy was drunk.  Johnny Lilly was Daddy’s best friend.  He was a drunk.  Carolyn Lilly was my friend.  She went with us on a lot of vacations.  Cliff Porter was a drunk.  Angela Porter was my friend. Her mother Emily was always working at the “laundry” when women were not entrepreneurs. Cliff was supposed to help her, but he was always drunk.  I knew because I saw him.  Charlie Martin was a drunk.  He stayed in the bed most days in a different bedroom by himself.  I knew because I saw him.  Janice Martin was my best friend.  Nobody talked about any of it.  EVER.  I may get in trouble by writing this because it is not OK to name names.  EVER.  We children pretended and were to pretend like everything at home was fine.  And, why did they all seem to spend a lot of time in the bedrooms when friends were over to play with their children?  Where did they all get their booze?  Not beer, not wine, not moonshine.   Hard liquor.   Daddy was “Jack Daniels” by the case.  And, nothing could be worse than being called a “tattle-tail”, telling “tattletales’.    

Yet, almost EVERYBODY went to church on Sundays.  Either the First Baptist, the First Methodist, or the Presbyterian.  Everyone pretended everything was fine.  Praying and taking communion.  I hated the hypocrisy.  I KNEW everything was NOT fine.    I knew because I had seen it with my own eyes.  I blamed the nagging women and the Elks Club downstairs bar.  Men only. Members only. No ladies allowed.  – in the Club or in the Bar.  But we never said anything about it, yet we could all see what was happening. 

I was molested by Uncle Joe.  For a couple of years.  I never told.  EVER.  At some point, I told Mother before she died.  She never knew. I knew secrets about other family members, a lot of my friends, their friends, their families.  I never mentioned them.  I knew secrets about Mother, Daddy, and their families growing up.  I knew secrets about my sisters.  I never told. 

Where am I going with all of this? We were diligently taught to lie and conceal the truth at a very early age by grown-ups or the church or teachers or friends or family or,……  I used to think this was a Southern trait.  No.  I find it is world-wide.  And, here we are.  In 2020. Wondering why we accept a president who blatantly lies about things we see with our own eyes, think  policemen should report the truth while we lie to friends and family to spare their feelings. 

Most of us don’t want to tell the truth.  It hurts people’s feelings; it is rude; it is not mannerly; it is not acceptable behavior.  Whatever the reason.  Most of us don’t recognize the truth and have no problems with lying.  A lot of times, NONE OF US REALLY KNOWs the truth.  We will never know the truth because we ALL keep a code of silence.  We all hide the truth.  We all tell people what they want to hear.  That is the way to get along with people. 

Movies have been made about this.  “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH”.  (Daniel Kaffee, a US military lawyer, defends two US marines charged with murdering a fellow marine at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. The needle of suspicion, thus, points to a colonel.)  Initial release: December 9, 1992 , A Few Good Men   –  Director: Rob Reiner; Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin

Playwrights have written plays about it. Henrik Ibsen “The Wild Duck”

“The Emperor has new clothes.”

“The Elephant in the Room”.

And, on and on……

But, for the most part, it goes unmentioned.  It is an unaccepted reality of life.  It is a CODE OF SILENCE that exists in all of us and taught to us when we are children.  I am blown away by the thoughts of this reality that may or may not be obvious to all but me.  I knew but now I know better in a different way.  “Me thinks she doth protest too loudly.”  I have gotten into a lot of trouble by trying to tell the truth.  I have lost a lot of friends by telling the truth.  I have lost friends for just saying what I think.  I may be “allowed” to think it but not to say it.  And, I am not talking about Facebook.  Haha.  I told the truth to my children.  They think I am lying.  Truth or lie?  I have found that I can think or say anything I want to.  I can choose.  It is risky to tell the truth.  Few people can face the truth.  Do we even recognize the truth.  To those I have offended, I apologize.  But, it is my blog...

By the way, this has nothing to do with being racists.  That is a topic  for another day.  This is about humanity’s CODE OF SILENCE that is universally pervasive.  We all have it.  Just saying…….  Stay tuned……

Best, Jay

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