Testing Congress

It’s happening! I am degenerating!

Right before mine and everyone else’s eyes. Bit by bit, piece by piece… slowly but surely falling apart. I thought there was time left to be a degenerate. There isn’t! Whatever time I have left is only for degeneration.

Am I blue?  You betcha.

Yesterday I had an MRI. Having an MRI is not about regeneration. It is about degeneration.

It’s amazing what I put myself through only to be told I am falling apart. Sliding into a metal tube that emits sounds that can be used in any horror film. You definitely don’t want to hear those sounds when your plane is taking off. No one would need to be ejected. We’d all be running for the exit.

What was I thinking as the MRI machined hummed and belched and screamed and roared its way up and down my spine?

I’ll tell you…

Get those recalcitrant Senators and Congressmen and women… you know the ones I mean.  The ones who support power, and their next re-election and party loyalty over justice and fairness and slide them one by one into one of those machines.  Yes, it would take a while but since we have 4 more years (oh, say it isn’t so) it would be worth it.

First, I would place them all on their back in the machine.  Right there, we have a great alternative news story…

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Then, I would set up a movie camera that would play back to back Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes To Washington and Meet John Doe.

Hey, someone has to remember what it was supposed to be like. It’s not as if we haven’t had congresses that played only by their own party rules…of course we did. But there was always someone who would listen… someone you could talk to… someone you could have a dialogue with. And not by digging up dirt or threatening to reveal secrets.  Someone or someones who would break the log jam of ego and party bigotry.

Hello!  This applies to both parties.  Please get out of your own selfish way to make room for a better world.

Oh, how the mind doth progress and regress… I began this by writing about my degeneration… in short, known as aging.  Well, I think my aging, my degeneration, my being blue is being helped by this Congress’s lack of responsibility to the citizens of this country.

No matter what my party affiliation is, I do not see anyone of either party moving towards (here comes the dirty word) compromise or meeting to work out solutions instead of creating more problems.

I do not expect this reconciliation to come from an executive with the lack of experience and comprehension that exists in his administration. After all, his entire career is based on creating conflict.  His name and reputation were made because he shouted and… Oh, yes, almost sounding like the sounds of the MRI.

I don’t know how I did it.  But I am ending this blog how I began it  with my journey to get an MRI…

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Sense or nonsense!  I’m glad I am still here to try and make a difference.

Love, Sally-Jane

ANTIDOTE FOR THE BLUES

Lately I have noticed a “blue” state of mind.  I have always known I was susceptible.  Hey, I even cry at supermarket openings.

I know much of what causes me to be blue are all the electronics… for the most part the computer and the cell.  Land lines are almost obsolete so I don’t count them.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I can’t turn any of them on without being bombarded by explosive negativity.  Words and phrases like EMERGENCY, URGENT, DISASTER, IT’S OVER, WE ARE FINISHED… pound my susceptible nature and I find myself thinking about building a bomb shelter like they did in the ‘50’s.  The worst thing about this happening is  that I don’t even recognize how profoundly I am being affected by all this negativity.  So, how did I discover that I was depressed, blue, anxious and negatively affected?

I went to a high school music concert.

All right, I shall admit it wasn’t an ordinary high school.  It was the Interlochen Arts Academy in the woods of Interlochen, Michigan.  A school well known for its music program, as well as for its dance, drama and art programs.
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The siren call for me was my granddaughter, Kiri.  Kiri is a fine French Horn player and she is graduating the high school this May and this past weekend was a weekend of final concerts.  I had to puddle hop to get there, which if I was only a little depressed before getting on those tin cans called planes sunk me even lower.

The first concert was Friday night and I watched and heard over an hundred young musicians play some very difficult music and fill the concert hall with such a gift of passion and talent…straight from the Bible my friends it was a “…joyful noise.”

After the concert I noticed a spring in my step that wasn’t there before.

The six horns she plays and studies with gave their concert Saturday afternoon.  One after the other played their solos and some horn concertos.  The spring in my step was by now almost a leap.  Who says Nanas can’t  jump!
Sunday was the piece de resistence.  Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.  Combining the Traverse City Symphony with the Interlochen Choir, 100 musicians and 100 choristers. Climaxing with the last movement of the Symphony, Ode To Joy, the rafters of the concert hall shook not just from the instruments and the chorus but from the emotions the music provoked from the audience as we followed every note in rapture, leading to a thousand people standing and screaming bravo, stamping their feet.  And suddenly the classical music hall morphed into a rock concert with music by Beethoven.

IMG_5066Now I didn’t spring, I didn’t leap, I didn’t jump, I flew out of the hall.  And that’s when I discovered I had been depressed.  And I wasn’t anymore.

And that lift came from high school students disciplined and enthralled by what they do .

OK SJ, get with the program.  Yes, I can either go back to my electronic mood swinging instruments (computer, cell) which carries with it so much negativity or I can find my own Ode To Joy.

Hey, guys, if 14 to 18  year olds can give such joy and pleasure and here is the most important word, HOPE, then THIS is my antidote for the blues.

Love ~ SJ

No ZOMBIES, please!

OK…I  need help.  And I am not ashamed to ask for it.

HEEEELLLLLPPPP!

Since last November, I have been trying to put a hopeful grass roots spin on events, attempting to find my way through the disappointments, disapprovals, and just plain disbeliefs that have occurred daily since the election.

I thought I was succeeding. And then came what I now call Black Thursday.

Let’s start with the little things

  • A water delivery that wasn’t delivered.
  • An express mail package that expressly said no signature required that needed to have a signature before it could be delivered.
  • A pre-arranged appointment to buy and align four new tires and the tires were delivered to the wrong garage.
  • A print-out from my computer of my bills and purchased tickets that was ordered from a copy and print shop that could not be found.

All minor, right?  All one right after the other, right?  That’s when minor begins to feel major. And then we come to the biggie…

I  am a supporter of the arts…in many different ways.  But for years I have my favorites and for years I receive my yearly phone call and chat from the development person of one of my favorites updating me with what is going on and concluding with my donation.

On Black Thursday, when I answered the call, someone from the development office… dare I say first day on the job… any job, anywhere, ever… said “Hello!”  Reading from a badly written script, proceeded to remind me it was time to renew my membership.

Having never been approached for money for an artistic endeavor as if it was a renewal to a fitness center membership, I balked.

I did the Lily Tomlin thing and asked to speak to her supervisor.

The supervisor was smart enough to read from a different script. Not better, just different.  One that is probably titled: READ THIS AFTER THEY ASK TO SPEAK TO THE SUPERVISOR.

We all receive these phone calls where placating the irate customer is reduced to repetitions. There is no response to what you are saying.  They cannot and do not deviate from the script. That would actually involve listening to what you are saying and thinking about what you are saying and then responding to what you are saying.

Not happening!

So after a restless night, I have come to a sad conclusion.  My Black Thursday is a symptom of the times we are living in. Of course, you can put it down to the ongoing electronic communication take over that is wiping out personal… whether on the telephone or in person… interaction. That is certainly a factor. But I am going further.

I think the country and the people in this country are suffering.  I don’t care who you voted for or didn’t vote for…we are all suffering from Battered Voters Syndrome.

We are being bombarded by the vitriol of all sides and people are doing the one thing they cannot do… they mustn’t do!  They are turning off.

And so we get a Black Thursday or a Muddy Monday or whatever dooms-like day where it just gets to be too much.  We begin to disconnect and no one hears anyone, even those of us on the same side like my development person.

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No ZOMBIES, please.

Even if we don’t agree, stay with me, hear me and  I shall listen to you, I promise. I need my people fix! We are nothing without each other.

Wanna meet for coffee??????

Love, Sally-Jane

Repetition is the Human Condition

Maria Popova’s blog, Brain Pickings, continues to open my world to the many artists who commit themselves to the fight to preserve freedom and other precious awarenesses. We forget, but she reminds us in her article, “Rachel Carson’s Brave and Prescient 1953 Letter Against the Government’s Assault on Science and Nature that new administrations have previously attempted to destroy the free world for their own agendas and profit.  I am reminded of the Voltaire quote that I use in my show,

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To understand that we have a commitment, too and that we can and will make a difference is very important right now.  We don’t have much in the way of assurance.  We need to know that what we are going through is extreme, but also that we have overcome things like this before and will do so again.  It’s just that we live in a tech world that has taken us speedily and in shorthand to another dimension.  Too fast. Too quickly.  Too across the board.

I know it is against the modern ethos of society, but it really makes a difference when you can stop and think and think and pause and sometimes just STOP.  Not give up, but realign our thoughts to make the difference we all want to make to correct what appears to be an apocalyptic trajectory.

Love (the greatest power of all) – Sally-Jane

BEING SILENT IS AN ALTERNATIVE FACT

All you need to do to lose your freedom is to be silent.  It is no longer possible to remain inactive.  Not after the airport debacle.  And, personally, I can no longer turn the other cheek.

HE KNOWS NOT WHAT HE DOES…bull shit!  He knows!

What is truly most discouraging and, yes, heartbreaking… HIS supporters do not see anything wrong with what HE is doing.  It is not our job to change their minds.  Most of THEIR reactions are defensive.  After years of being low man on the totem pole, you can almost hear it coming from the kindergarten playground, “NA, NA, NA-NA,NA!”

But enough about THEM.

Following this post is all the information you need to get it up, get it out, and shout your freedom, as long as you still have it.

Make no mistake, this is not ye olde Drama Queen, Sally-Jane, sounding the clarion call.

If I could ride a horse holding the reins in one hand and a lantern in the other I would proclaim as I rode:  “THEY are coming, THEY are coming”.

Like I said, being Silent isn’t an alternative  for any true American who believes in

FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.

Love ~ Sally-Jane

 

Please click the link below to get connected to this group, begun by a bunch of former Congressional staffers who, after Trump was elected put together this “Indivisible Guide”.  See their to-do actions for the week.

A Woman’s Place…

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“Not My President”, Santa Fe

My Friends,

Yesterday it was clear that a woman’s place is wherever she chooses to place herself and around the world she chose to be seen, to be heard, to be counted.

Count yourself in and if you’re like me, who can’t figure out how to continue to be seen, to be heard, to be counted, here is exactly what you can do:

Love, SJ

My Friends and Family Yesterday

What Goes Around Comes Around

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History doesn’t repeat itself, people do…

It is 1867.  Andrew Johnson, being Vice President under Abraham Lincoln who was just assassinated, is now president. A war that claimed 620,000 lives, north and south, is over.  But is it?

The legacy of Lincoln’s life and death, the emancipation proclamation, and other laws and legislation, is under threat.  His vice president is a conservative southerner.  Yes, Lincoln played political football, too.

He placed a southerner on his ticket to help his election at a time when he thought it might lead the south away from a secessionist movement.  It didn’t.  And now, Johnson has become the darling of the conservative southerners. He is dismantling Lincoln’s legacy brick by brick and he is now, as president, doing something that will make at least the death of any union soldier superfluous.  He is refusing to give the black man the vote. He is blocking the process and progress of the reconstruction of the south.

That’s all the background you are going to get.  For details go Googling.

The point I am making… yeah, yeah, I know, come on already… what is my point?

Politics is confusing.  Believe me, politics is meant to be, if nothing else, confusing.  In confusion there is opportunity to tell a story that has little to do with fact or truth.

Those of us who fear that the hard won changes we have achieved over the last years will be wiped out by the grandstand grab of wealthy white men, please take note.Use your brain to descramble the confusion and the tricks.

Look, I started this blog with the given, “What goes around comes around.”  However, I think when it goes around to come around, it can get a little better, even if Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof would have said, “Of course, it can also get a little worse.”

Hey, that’s Life!

Wait a minute! I have a great idea! You want to stop feeling lost and alienated and hopeless?  This Saturday, January 21 get on a bus to Washington, D.C. or go to your town square and stand up and be counted.  I promise you’ll feel better!

I know I’m right! Right?
Of course, RIGHT!!

Love, SJ