For better or worse, I stay quiet. A quick glance at any facebook or blog posts I have written/cited would probably point to my “liberal” nature, but for the most part, I try not to partake on the perverse political headbashing that seems to occur everyday on my newsfeed. Although, I have to admit that some of the recent posts I have seen have made me angry enough to administer a good few whops.
Instead, I try and sometimes fail to keep my politics on the side. In conversations with my parents, who are I’m sure quite sick of my constant jibes. In jokes or 3am panic sessions with my friends. In personal examination of the views I supposedly hold. But I approach all of these with the same realization, that none of it really matters. There will never be one specific way to address a problem, and when you begin to deal with things in the realm of belief, it sometimes is better to let ambiguity lie because really “who the eff knows?” And even if I’m sure about something, it is not my job to shove that subjective surety down someone else’s throat. In the end, I still have to eat Thanksgiving dinner with my conservative grandparents, and despite what I think of their fiscal and social views, I still want a grab at their ice-cream sugar cookies.
I know this is vague and is not actually saying anything political, but I’m writing to say that the problem with our system right now is that we’ve lost respect for our fellow human being. We forget that our opponent poops, cries, and loves in our search to destroy him/her through demonization or debasement, and we start living fractured existences in communities that will never fulfill us. When my sister’s own close friends (friends she would call family) are sending her semi-hateful mail for her own political opinions, I know we live in a fracture right now. And I’ll tell you something, spit and vitriole does not make very sturdy casts.
And yes, these fractures have come from a diversity and plurality in our society which is incredibly precious and valuable, but it should not be divisive. And yes, there will always be people not worth saving, who will hold ridiculous and irrational views until they die. But most people aren’t them. So instead of stating how bad a person is for a particular view they hold or how the country was saved/condemned by these last elections, think how you would tell your best friend that their new significant other significantly sucks. Chances are you probably wouldn’t start by calling them a depraved ignoramus or a baby-killer. You start by educating them, making contact across the abyss of your differing opinion to give them evidence of how stupid you think they are. At the end, you’d probably still have to deal with tears and animosity, and maybe they’d walk away. But, you at least would know that you did your best, and you approached the conversation with love and respect for your opponent.
And that’s what we need. Communities of difference and plurality that cast their fractures in respectful discourse and education. That way, you don’t keep walking on fragile bones. You get healed. And not gonna lie, some healin’ sounds pretty darn good right now.
A few days ago, I left DC. A few days from now, I’ll leave the United States. And though I’ve left dozens of places and life stages by now, each time it feels like I am undergoing a minor exorcism. The exorcists are clocks and calendars telling me its time to go, and the demons are the wisps of memories, both good and bad, that have shaped who I presently am. Sometimes, the exorcism is drawn out over weeks and months during which I imperceptibly draw back and close myself off, and other times, it takes place over the course of five minutes, forced to begin when a cab’s automated reminder call orders me to get my ass out to the curb immediately. But somehow no matter how far in advance it starts, the suddenness of it leaves me paralyzed and seizing from the shock.
Paralyzed, I realize that my interests, my friends, and my hates will never be the same as they were in that moment, in those moments. Other countless conversations with countless other people will slowly shape my puddy-like thoughts, and like a piece of chocolate left in the soon, I’ll be returned to those in my past, warped in form but essentially tasting the same. But it will never be the same, and I will spend my time with forgotten friends trying to apply my original wrappers to misshapen sweets.
I spent the last week coping with this fact, but when the shuttle came and I scrambled to get my cumbersome luggage out to the van, I was still unprepared to accept a final moment of stillness with friends who will necessarily change. So I gave cursory hugs to everyone and shouted clipped goodbyes as I closed the door. Before closing the iron gate to our house, my roommate in her signature grey v-neck shirt quickly turned around and gave a final wave, and I started bawling. Tears rushed out, tracing the paths of quickly fleeing memories, and my eyes reddened as I strained to see into a future filled with other profound and trivial moments that wouldn’t involve her or my other DC friends. My eyes widened in horror at the thought of speaking to ones I once cared for and loved in hollow tones and phrases. After keeping it together, the exorcist had slashed me open, letting my former self ooze out the seams.
As painful as it was though, I needed the exorcism. I needed it to rip out the self-centered breakdowns, obsessive thoughts, and complacency I had felt in stasis. Bedside books, CDs, and bulbs, I left my weariness, anxiety and callousness on the street, letting strangers pick through them and take them on at will. And soon, I’ll be in another country, picking through the rubble that others left behind.
A part of me thinks this willingness to take on others’ refuse and depart from your own is essential to change and growth. Because when you leave, you acknowledge others’ impact on your life and you show a willingness to feel pain. For me, this willingness, this acknowledgement are signs of hope that fatigue, apathy, and selfishness are not the only descriptors of our generation. And while the ceremonies around departing can feel stale and contrived at times, they offer a glimpse into the fragmented but life-altering communities that form around individuals who are largely isolated in the modern world. Change happens all the time, but in the process of leaving, we don’t let it go by. We take time to notice those changes and the fear, sadness, and hope that accompanies them.
So as I come out the exorcism, face and limbs still bruised and scarred from my final thrashing moments, I wake up overwhelmed by the sensations that the possession of patterns has tuned out. In those brief moments, I am blind and deaf and blank. And in that blank, I find hope. A hope that the loves you leave behind are necessary preparations for the loves to come. Change is valuable, but this hope is necessary. Without it, you end up drinking from stagnant streams your entire life without ever being refreshed. I might have left a worn out body on the side of Corcoran street, a body that will decompose under the sweltering sun of past memories, but in leaving and hope, I start to mold another body that is if not better than at least cleansed and alive.
STROKE: Remember The 1st Three Letters… S.T..R …
My friend sent this to me and encouraged me to post it and spread the word. I agree. If everyone can remember something this simple, we could save some folks.
During a party, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine and just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. (they offered to call ambulance)
They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food - while she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Ingrid’s husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00pm , Ingrid passed away.)
She had suffered a stroke at the party . Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today.
Some don’t die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this…
A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke…totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.
RECOGNIZING A STROKE
Remember the ‘3’ steps, STR . Read and Learn!
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster.
The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions :
S * Ask the individual to SMILE ..
T * = TALK. Ask the person to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (eg ‘It is sunny out today’).
R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS .
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call the ambulance and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
NOTE : Another ‘sign’ of a stroke is
1. Ask the person to ‘stick’ out their tongue.
2. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke.
A prominent cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved.
And it could be your own.
First reblog post that actually saves a fucking life.
This is a life-saving post.
the more you know
yeah don’t think that this can’t happen to you or someone you know if they’re young. my cousin’s wife is 33 and she had a stroke last year
I’ve had a stroke. It happens to people, and the more you know about this kind of stuff, the better.Because it could be important to know.
This is my friend Pierce Crowley. He went missing on friday May 25th near the white plains train station in new york. On twitter we are trying to make him a trending topic. I would really appreciate it if you could take 2 seconds out of your time to reblog this. We will find out Pierce if its the last thing we do <3. #FindPierce
DO NOT KEEP SCROLLING PAST THIS PHOTO. IF YOU SEE THIS PICTURE PLEASE REBLOG IT BECAUSE IT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR HIM TO BE FOUND. HIS FRIENDS AND FAMILY MISS HIM AND NEED HIM HOME. IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HIM PLEASE MESSAGE ME OR CALL THE POLICE OR ANYTHING. WE NEED TO FIND HIM. #FindPierce
How much people sleep on average – the bell-shape distribution of our natural sleep duration, from Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired
This is what it looks like to live “off the grid” in the United States
How far would you be willing to go to minimize your impact on the planet?
Photographer Eric Valli has assembled an absolutely stunning series of images, documenting the lives of people who have decided to live out their lives “Off the Grid.” Valli says he spent a number of years living with four different groups, each one living at a different degree of separation from society.
There are growing number of people
who have decided to live light on the earth
to not be a part of problem anymore
I spent the last few years with four of them
striving for harmony with nature
in the most pristine corners of United States.
“Ahead of Greek election, fringe parties” find support by Michael Birbaum
The Golden Dawn party in Greece is terrifying. They are feeding upon Greece’s political and economic turmoil to kindle xenophobic and anti-Semitic fears.