Araqis

So we have met Araqis (or Archus, if badly translated), a nineteen-year-old(?) descendant of the “Star Seed” or “Lights”.  His/her diary is more of a journal at the moment, an assignment give to him/her by his/her teachers. We start at a time in earth’s history where the planet has been around for at least 1,000 years (by scientific calculation) and the civilization that flourishes has been around for at least as long. I am, as a writer, taking creative license enough to assume that the Earth is quite a bit older than we believe and that the age we have picked is merely the very beginning of life here.

As far as I know, I have not yet identified whether Araqis is a boy or a girl, and for this project, it really doesn’t matter. You will notice no date other than the year. days and months have yet to be named and hours, minutes, and seconds have yet to become important. All that matters in the world that Araqis represents is that a day is from sunup to sundown, humanity is huge compared to modern man, and viruses and harmful bacteria have yet to introduce themselves.

I am playing with the idea of splitting the narrative among more than just my Earthbound Araqis, after all, our narrator has mentioned the colonization of Mars, Venus and the moons orbiting nearly all planets in this system. I believe that it might be interesting to see how things go for all-whether they evolve with their planets/moons, or whether they die out before the modern age of man. Or whether they come to Earth or leave the system altogether.

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Why Are People Afraid of Visionaries?

As I sit here pondering my next book, I can’t help but notice how much time I have put into trying to get other things done. I have been sending messages, seeking help on many non literary projects, and trying to get the ball rolling on change. But it seems that too many people, even those who advocate for change, are afraid of change.

It is almost as if they are afraid of the visionaries and innovators who step forward to answer the call. I have asked for help from educators and education associations. I have asked for help from as many sources, including state government agencies, that I could think of. No answer.

I have an education bill proposal I would like help on. It isn’t the only proposal I have been working on, but it is one of the more important ones. You see, to me, quality education is an important part of being able to function as an individual in the world. An educated individual, after all, will make an informed judgment on every level including when they go to vote. Knowing, as opposed to accepting what one is told, is the key.

But, here I sit. No one has answered my queries. No one seems the least bit interested. Are they afraid? Or are they having trouble believing that a average citizen would actually be educated enough to realize what needs to be done?

The Alarming Problem With Americans

As an American, I am growing ever more worried about my own countrymen. So many are adamant about their “gun rights”, but refuse to actually educate themselves (because they have been brainwashed to believe that it isn’t necessary) about the true reason for the Second Amendment. As all here know, I am big on knowing background on everything. Back when I was helping Kelly with her government class, I had to research both the Federalist and Antifederalist Papers. For those who do not know the difference, The Federalist Papers were written By Hamilton, Jay, and Madison in support for the Second Amendment to the Constitution while it was being debated–during the process of writing the Constitution. All of these Papers are about building a Federal army as well as state militias to defend the newly formed country. Nowhere in the papers is there a single mention of individual rights beyond the responsibility of being armed to serve in the militias/military. There was no mention of the right to bear arms being without this singular purpose.

Today, however, we have “gun rights” lobbyists and organizations who have distorted the Second Amendment to be individual freedom without a price. many people have been misled to believe that the “right” has no responsibility and that others will have to pry their guns out of their cold, dead hands. They refuse to talk reasonably about reform or restrictions. They believe that they are at war, to some extent, with the federal government and need their guns to wage their war.

 

This, my friends, is what mental illness looks like. An unreasoning obsession with a singular object, almost to the point of fanatical worship. This is why we have the problems we do. Too much propaganda and not enough common sense to go around. Yes, my friends, America suffers from a mental illness, gun mania. It is characterized by paranoia, obsession with guns and gun rights, unreasonable reactions to possible restrictions or reform, and the undying belief that the NRA always tells the truth.

It often leads to threats of violence against those who disagree and results in meaningless violence because nothing can get done to curtail the violence. They blame the violence on mental illness, but refuse to accept that their chosen officials are why there is so many mentally ill on the streets instead of getting proper treatment. Their memories seem conveniently short so that they cannot remember who legislated away mental health treatment, who made it easier for the mentally ill to obtain weapons, and who has removed the coverage needed for the mentally ill to pay for medication.

They conveniently blame the opposition for the messes their side has made. Odd, isn’t it, how convenient mental illness is for them to blame? Doesn’t it make you wonder if they even know that they exhibit many of the signs of mental illness as well?

Living With Tinnitus

Imagine hearing a low hum constantly. Even in an empty room where there is complete silence.  This is the lower end of the tinnitus spectrum. A constant, almost unnoticeable hum. That never goes away.

Now imagine what I can only describe as having a jet engine’s high pitched whine in one, the other, or both ears. Or, maybe, a tornado. Although this is not an accurate description, it is as close as I can get.

Now imagine going through this on a daily basis at varying degrees. Most days could be at the low end of the spectrum, but the high end could strike at any moment, caused by any sound…or just the wind blowing in your ear. Or nothing at all. Onset can be heralded by a sudden case of vertigo or even a sudden loss of balance for no apparent reason.

Tinnitus, by definition, is the excessive vibration in the inner ear, causing a buzzing or humming sound that can only be heard by the sufferer. Even definitions cannot define or describe the attacks accurately. These minimally descriptive definitions mislead the majority of people into believing that tinnitus and its effects are “imagined” by the sufferer, even though it is very real and very devastating and debilitating to the one who suffers from it.

Side effects include vertigo, migraines, and temporary (sometimes for hours) deafness. Of course, all of this depends on the severity of the attack.  At the very least, someone speaking to a person suffering from an attack will seem muffled. At the very worst, the person will not be heard. Some attacks can make the sufferer physically ill or double over in pain. One famous sufferer, Vincent Van Gogh,  even cut off his ear and eventually went insane.

Upon hearing that one of my heroes, Eric Clapton, has come forward and admitted that he also suffers from it and is going deaf has caused me to reflect back on my own experience with this maddening problem. It also reminds me what can cause the problem. Yet, mine was not caused by fantastically loud guitars and concerts. Mine was caused by something much more mundane and yet, much more abusive.

When I was five, I had to have fluid drained from my middle ear. When it was through, I had extremely acute hearing. The doctor did warn my parents that I would probably have occasional bouts of tinnitus, but he thought it would clear up after my ears got used to not being full of fluid.He also warned them that there should be no loud noises or there could be the possibility that there could be nerve damage or permanent tinnitus.

So acute that I could hear a mousetrap being dropped five rooms away! My father, thinking himself clever, delighted in waiting until I was nearby, then dropping a mousetrap just to watch me jump because of the loud noise. And, as the doc had warned, I began suffering tinnitus. At first, it was the low  hum. But as my dad continued to persecute me with the traps, the tinnitus began to rise in pitch and severity.

It reached a peak when I was in my teens. I did not know when it would hit or at what decibel I would be enjoying my next bout.  People thought it was weird that I would lose my balance for what they thought was absolutely no reason (one of the reasons I never went pro as a boxer) or would have to stop and wait for “the colors” to go away so I could see. Some couldn’t even understand the connection between my migraines and my “inner ear problem”.

Over nearly 40 years (I am only three years short of the 40 year mark), I have staggered, lost balance, nearly fallen down stairs, winced in pain, had to cover my ears, had to stop for no apparent reason, or sit down for a few minutes simply because I was hit by a sudden barrage of sound that no one else can hear. I have gotten sick to my stomach, had to go lay down, had to brace myself, and had to suffer through migraines that caused me to vomit. I have had more times than I care to count where I had to embarrass myself and ask someone to repeat themselves because the tinnitus had started up and I did not hear a thing they had said.

I can attest that, at its worst, tinnitus is enough to make the one who suffers from it want to commit suicide. And yes, the thought had crossed my mind a few times about chopping off my ear just to find a little quiet. Both were never truly options to me, though. A buzz is bearable enough to stagger through life with and I can handle having that 747 take off in my ear from time to time as well. And though I don’t feel comfortable with asking people to repeat themselves, I will patiently do so as long as they are as patient with me as I am with them.

I was lucky enough for three and a half years, to be relatively free of much of the worst of my tinnitus. While Kelly was alive, my tinnitus had died down to a barely noticeable hum. The migraines and vertigo were almost nonexistent. I had stability and someone who understood my problems and was patient with me.

Now, my tinnitus is back with a vengeance. And I have nothing. No way to keep it at a minimum. If you remember, I told you at the beginning that tinnitus does not need a trigger. silent rooms can shriek louder than noisy ones. The irony is, with tinnitus, one learns that the old adage “silence is deafening” is very true because in silence, the plague that is that infernal hum of tinnitus can grow to a deafening roar.

RTZ…Or Not to RTZ

OK, so I returned to the original title. Seems to be a better fit. Take Me Back seemed to fit better as the episode title….Since we are going back in time only to walk forward 80 years through the whole series.  We are now exploring the year 1920. Next up, after this episode, is 1921. Like The Morrow Family Saga, We are covering a huge period of history year by year, rather the daily grind. May actually do a historical fiction series as a daily thing if this takes off. Don’t know yet.

So How did we like the end of the last “scene”? OK, I admit. I am being a very naughty boy. But I have never shied away from sexual content. Ever. I even have a flair for including food in my stories (and plays) for a reason. Food and sex are the two ways to a man’s heart. At least that is what I have been told. Not that I would know. I am one of those men who also knows that food and sex also helps win other hearts…at times.

Pain

I sit here with a migraine, knowing that I have work to do. Pain. My constant companion. It has been there since my childhood. It has been there through my first two marriages. And now, it has returned to haunt me now that my reasons for not focusing on it is gone.

While Kelly was alive, I had been migraine free. I had been nearly pain free. Sure I had a few stomach issues, but those could be tolerated. Sure, I’d had a month of stress pains and panic attacks brought on by a college financial aid department, but I had gotten past that.

But now, the pain, all of it, has returned. With a vengeance.

Happy Holidays

I will try not to be too preachy. I promise. Oh, fuck it. The truth always sounds preachy, especially at a time like this.

As Christmas Eve approaches, I am reminded how blind “Christians” have become. They think a war is being waged against a holiday that has never really had much to do with Christ, except as an attempt to draw Pagans into the faith through creating a fake holiday “to celebrate Christ” even though it was simply a thinly disguised version of the original holiday it was meant to replace.  Modern “Christians” have perceived imagined oppression and persecution as well.

Let me set things straight. The only war against Christianity is one being waged from within. Fake “Gospels”, false teachers, a moving away from Christ by those who claim to follow Him, and a rejection of the true fundamentals of Christianity through the insistence upon the returning to the oppression of the Old Testament–this is the real war against Christianity, not the neglect of “Merry Christmas” when being wished a happy holiday season.

It took me twenty years to realize the true war. It wasn’t until I began waking up from the spiritual stupor I had been in that I was able to see what was really going on. Politics, money, health, and all things physical have replaced spiritual rewards in the hearts of Christians. They have also replaced Christ and God as a center. “For whatever is in your heart, that is your god.”

So, this Christmas season, Let’s stop hating each other and start personifying the pure unconditional love that was Christ. Let’s drop our prejudices and begin trying to understand with an open mind and open heart. Let’s turn away from our selfish pursuits and return to the true fundamentals of Christianity: the words and example of Christ, not Peter, Paul, Moses, John, or James.

Most of all, let’s remember that a real Christian is never offended by anything. They see each and every person who crosses their path as a messenger of what should be fixed in their own hearts, not the hearts of the person before them. Let’s remember that the greatest mission in our lives is not those around us, but rather our own heart and soul.

Let’s remember our true calling: to follow Christ and love all unconditionally. This means that we expect nothing in return for the love we give. I guarantee you that if you love unconditionally, your rewards-in the end-will be far greater.

Let’s stop judging and condemning each other. Let’s quit waving around our Bibles and start actually Reading and understanding them again…and come to realize that the Bible is a guide for the individual believer, not a tool to be used to justify our biases or our hate (hate is anti-christian, not Christian). Let us begin to work on the planks in our own eyes before we look at the motes in the eyes of our brothers. Let’s remember that the measure we use is the measure we will receive when we stand before God and Christ in the end. Our words will either uplift or bind us, bless us or curse us, save us or condemn us.

Finally. let us resolve to begin the year to come in a new walk. Let us turn again to the true fundamentals of that which we profess to believe and cast away the popular worldly  “Gospels” of health, wealth, and happiness not to mention the popular un-Christian desire to return to the Old Testament, which was fulfilled by the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ. Let us resolve to understand that though the information held within the Bible is good and, to a certain extent, right, we must also understand the dynamics and history of the times that everything was written. The epistles were written to answer specific questions that are not relevant today. They were written to churches that were facing unique and-at that time-common problems which we no longer face. Now, the greatest problems we face are from within our own from people who would seek to mislead and destroy…and even to create a world religion that is so distorted that it doesn’t resemble the belief that it derives its name from.

So now, I take my leave and wish you Bonne Noel, Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas…and to my non-Christian reader, Happy Holidays/Holy Days.