There are beautiful people in this world. Really? Yes.
These people see you. Really see you. They see me.
You can live with someone who never sees you. They think they see you. They like to convince you (and themselves) that they see you (though not in so many words because this is language they do not use). But you know in your heart of hearts, despite politeness and resignation on your part, that they don't really. They really don't.
Neither do they see what you do.
But thankfully the hole can be filled. Well, at least partly. And that "partly" is important to those of us who long to be seen. That gaping hole in the heart that longs for connection, commendation, recognition, validation, affirmation, endorsement, acceptance - every now and again that longing is seen. And reciprocated. Ironically by those who also have that hole. They know, they see.
Why am I saying all this?
This week people beyond these four walls affirmed me. They've come out of the woodwork and appreciated my music, my art, my gaming, my thoughts, my doubts, my fears. They saw. They saw enough to say. And the saying is so very enough.
For around 3 years now I have been collecting clichés said by Christians and those attending church; of course I also said most of these. I was born into a Christian family and was active and involved in church life for 40 years until the cult I was in dissolved because of adultery in the upper echelons of leadership. I have not capitalised the words "lord", "god" "jesus", partly because of the fiddle of using caps on a tablet and partly because, well, only humans decided the words needed respect. Why should I follow course?
Then there is the discrepancy with meaning: "Have you found jesus yet?". What? Is he lost? "Lead you to the lord" - led? How? With a dog collar and lead? "Ask jesus into your heart." My heart? How does he get in? Into a physical heart? And then there are the new clichés that have become viral since I left in 1991.
And then "he touched me". Now, there's one for the books!
The main issue I have with these clichés is: how do non-Christians (a very divisive word!) understand this stuff? How are people to know what the meaning of these words are when they're being preached to in an attempt to "save" them? Save from what?
+ the harness of the lord
+ holding the head
+ a word from the lord
+ have you sought the lord (about it)
+ god is moving
+ the dealings of the lord
+ I reject that in the name of jesus
+ god is stretching you
+ we are being stretched
+ follow the platform
+ the move of god
+ the move of god that touched the whole world
+ saving people for the lord
+ lead you to the lord
+ have you found jesus yet?
+ I came to know jesus when ...
+ when jesus came into my heart
+ i found jesus when i...
+ tithing to god
+ I found the lord
+ god never gives you more than you can handle
+ my walk with god
+ ask jesus into your heart
+ what would jesus do
+ you can't outgive god
+ do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together
+ god said it. I believe it. That settles it.
+ i'll pray about it
+ god will provide
+ i'm praying for you
+ i'll be praying for you
+ he touched me
+ i hear from god
+ i heard from god
+ i am under attack
+ he will wash your sins away
+ the power of god
+ the body of christ
+ man after god's own heart
+ become a new person in christ
+ whiter than snow
+ bear much fruit, bring forth fruit
+ a clean heart
+ head knowledge
+ the enemy
+ rooted firmly in his word
+ come under authority
+ go round the mountain
+ god has something better for you
+ god has a plan for your life
+ demonic warfare
+ called by god
+ my calling
+ god is calling you
+ god is calling you to ...
+ walking with god
+ operating in the flesh
+ under the law
+ the burden of the lord to reach the lost
+ he came to save the lost
+ she has a heart for god
+ stepping out for god
+ the fruit, fruitful
+ the hand of god was in it
+ stepping out in trust
+ so others will be drawn to jesus
+ god has ordained it
+ help me be a good witness for christ
+ stand in the gap
+ step in the breach
+ i come against you in jesus' name (the devil)
+ bind the strong man
+ binding the strong man
+ speak into people's lives
+ where are you with god?
+ god will open the door
+ open the door to god
+ lord, I come to you today (and pray that...)
+ break our heart for the things that break your heart
+ a scripture that spoke to me
+ crying out to the lord
+ the glory of god
+ to the glory of god
+ led many people to christ
+ we are keeping you in our prayers
+ you've got to be in tune with the lord
+ a child of god
+ god has his hand on you
+ rest on his promise
+ lift up the name of jesus
+ grow in the lord
+ hunger and thirst for god
+ seek the face of the lord
+ the lord was encouraging me to
+ catch the fire
+ catch the rain
+ it's beginning to rain
+ manifest his glory
+ miracle working power
+ god quickened me
+ he went home to be with the lord
+ in tune with god
+ spend time alone with the lord
+ accept him as saviour and lord
+ people that have spoken into my life
+ scriptures we can stand on
+ standing on the promises of god
+ I'm believing the lord for....
+ i spoke at church today
+ as I feel led
+ i was led to...
+ that verse really spoke to me
+ get right with god
+ may god use you
+ may god bless you
+ it's not of god
+ worshiping the lord
+ god will never give you more than you can handle
+ let go and let god
+ god is in control
+ all things work together for good
+ washed in the blood
+ god has you in the palm of his hand
+ I'll pray about it
+ i feel led
+ i don't feel led
+ everything happens for a reason
+ I'm saved
+ quiet time
+ it was the lord’s will
+ i don't want to judge
+ used by god
+ sow into that
I thought I'd take a look at the getting old and getting older hashtags on Instagram. You know, as you do. Because, well, I'm getting old and thought I might like some company. As you do. Or no.
Not a single photo of an old person. All young people posing and curvy and muscley (never did care for muscley), complaining about turning 40 or 30 or whatever. Putting themselves onto nonsensical hashtags just to get views. Quite frankly I was disappointed by the parade. Most looked, well, not themselves. Face-lifted actually.
I can remember reading Seventeen magazine as a teen and it all going over my head; putting on my checked woollen skirt (mum insisted on wool for the winter, she was a quality lady, I had two checked skirts) and thinking how big it made me look. A terrible (understatement) inferiority complex. Never looked anything though like these "oldies" online, all trying to get a look-see from the opposite (and these days same) gender.
I'm glad I'm over all that. Getting old is NOT for the fainthearted but I'm so glad I didn't have Instagram to prop me up in the 1960s. At my age it's fun, not a competition.
A girl of the LOVE generation? Hardly. But I sort of like to think so.
We are doing a collab. My piano audio file returns via email with her accompanying viola. I double click the file. I'm done for.
I sit in front of my computer monitor. My head goes down in my hands and the tears flow. I bury my head in woven arms. My face is wet with tears, I'm keening, sobbing. I can't stop. I play the piece again and again. I can't get enough.
It's the viola. Beautifully, hauntingly played, mesmerising. The notes reach down inside my soul, my body, my spirit, my entire humanness and pull at the guts of me. It soars, swoops, dives; dives to the very depths, its dark night chords pulling and pushing; it goes up an entire key from the depths and reaches for the sky. I'm flying and dipping with it.
And my piano, haunting and triumphant it carries the viola and the viola carries me. I am carried away. Hurting, loving, crying, abandoned, restored, lifted, dropped.
Later in bed I plug in earphones and listen again. Put my tablet away and sleep on a bed of notes.
"Stuff that seems to come out of nowhere bam can be so confronting, yet means so much."
I said to her.
Following is the best video about this out there. I have watched many many videos on this topic over the last 4 days and researched in-browser as well plus read the many thousands of comments on the FTC website that youtube channels have written in via the petition to stop this BS. I won't repeat what's going on, there are plenty of videos you can watch to update yourself on this fiasco. Please watch this video, posted on the UpperEchelonGamers channel. It shows what a manual review of a video by a youtube employee can do to a channel which was set to "Not Made For Kids" by the owner, the channel owner complying with all rules SET BY YOUTUBE!
We are so glib (inside) when there is nothing wrong with us. When things start falling apart we are a shivering mass of jelly. When we are not aware of our bodies it's bliss, but that is forever changed when we encounter accident, illness. From then on we are more wary, suspicious, paranoid (or so everyone says) and self-aware. The world feels a more dangerous place.
My family (all over 70) have had a bunch of accidents (3 busted feet already this year). I broke my arm falling on concrete 3 years ago, range of movement will never return. Facing a failing body is facing our mortality.
Social media has easy answers. Those "answers" don't work for the aging. They usually involve having/setting goals, making lists, going places, being positive, communicating, loving, caring for others. All good things but for someone with dementia or waylaid by breaks etc, this doesn't always work. Memes especially are the rage.
What has set me thinking about this more than usual is the neglect in nursing homes. It's on the news and it's escalating and it's scary. I spoke with a close friend about this yesterday and we both decided it wasn't for us. But what can we do about it if it comes to others making decisions for us because we can't, our children deciding it's time to move mum on, on to a home that's not hers.
Like the Bible says, "When you were young you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."
I'm definitely digging my heels in.
I wonder how many elderly like being looked after?
Many need to be. Fair enough. Of course.
But what is going on inside their heads? When they are woken at the crack of dawn for a shower, for medication, for getting dressed? They say nothing but are they missing their previous life? Do carers even believe they could be thinking this way? Do carers even know anything about them at all?
We as independent individuals should prize our lie-ins, that we can do whatever we like when we like if we like because we like. This includes those of us like myself, retired, nearing 70, not needing to work anymore, married but definitely not the type to jump up whenever husband needs something.
We don't have to deal with being shipped off to different hospitals and institutions, suddenly separated from our friends, suffering dementia, uprooted, saddened and deflated because of the temporariness of life. Yet. All because of a pay dispute in said nursing home. Like last month, in Australia. Insufferable jerks.
Aging is not for the fainthearted, as is quoted. Since my fall in 2015 I am not the same. I am not looking forward to further aging. The alternative is death as my mother would say, but I'm not looking forward. Period. I don't want to know. But I know. I have researched. I have even researched my own mind because there's a lot in there that doesn't have to be told, taught, touched, tampered with. It's truth, to me. I know what's ahead.
But I'm glad I know, that I've looked into it, looked into my mind and seen. That I've always, since young, known what's down there, in there, faced the darkness. I don't run away from it for more projects, more earning, more of the newest, like some I know. No, I stand and face.
Maybe I will still be standing and facing in 20 years.
Maybe standing and facing will help me when my carer says stand, time for a shower, face me face the wall.
I write stuff.