Where our Children go

ben-waardenburgThe monster watched, silently, perched on a thick oak branch in the middle of a cloud filled night. A night as dark, as dank and heavy as the beings own soul, weighed down by acts as grievous as committed by any evil and wayward man. Watched as the light extinguished itself, thinking a singular thought, soon.

**

Mom, Dad, please find me, help me, I don’t know where I’m at. I’m tired, I’m cold, it’s like I’m in a really small cold bathtub with the lights out. I can scream but no one hears, no one comes and now I can’t scream anymore. I’m scared. Whatever happened is bad, I know it’s bad but I don’t know what it is.

**

Oh, it’s cold but the water seems to be thicker and it’s harder to move around, it’s like the bathtub just keeps getting smaller and smaller, and there’s a smell, a bad, god awful smell. My head hurts, not my head, my mind, it hurts to think. Every time I think of you mom, dad, it hurts me in my head. Why is that?

**

I’m not afraid anymore.

The cold clammy crap that I woke up in is a lot warmer now and I just feel a lot better. The thing is, I don’t remember a lot of what was before I came here. I know I had a mom, a dad and a kid sister. I remember their faces but I can’t remember their names. Maybe cuz their names was Mom, was Dad and Sis.

Why can’t I remember that?

I remember Moms’ stew though, don’t know why. Fact is, the crap I’m in keeps reminding me of it, thick and chunky, warm, soothing, stinky just like Moms stew. Stunk of a smell that I could never figure out, but it was a damn awful smell. Me and sis used to joke about it, sly looks, funny faces when Mom served it up, all behind her back of course.

At least I think we did.

See, the thing is, I know nobody’s coming to help me, that I’m stuck in this little place filled with stinky, chunky crap and I’m okay with that. Okay because I’m not scared anymore because I don’t know what I’m supposed to be scared of. I think I did a little bit ago, I think that’s why my throat is sore, because I was yelling, screamin’ for help but like I said, that was a long time ago and no one is coming and I don’t know why they would, ain’t nothing to be scared of, can’t ‘member why I woulda been screaming.

I’m missing Mom’s stew though, not because I’m hungry. I’m not hungry, not hungry because I have all this crap I’m in that just kinda comes into my skin and finds a a way to keep my stomach full. I’m just missing the stew.

I liked stew.

Something else about the stew but can’t remember right now. I think it’s because I’m sleepy. Maybe if I close my eyes for just a little bit, I’ll wake up and think of stuff that I shouldn’t be forgetting.

**

Like a flipboard, images came and went, appearing, lingering than dissolving into the another. A small thin boy standing over home plate with a Christmas bat. Pizza, Birthday cakes, back yards, faces, bicycles. Pictures without a foundation but all with a lingering sense of unknown importance.

**

I’m changing!

I’m larger or the space is smaller, but I think I’ve grown, and grown a lot. I can’t really feel my legs anymore and something is protruding out of my back, right where my shoulder blades are. The thick chunky stuff is thicker than before I fell asleep, it’s harder to mover around in so between the thickness of whatever I’m in and my growing spurt, there’s not a lot of room for movement. That doesn’t bother me, I’m not in pain, my muscles aren’t sore and there’s a sweet smell, a nice, comforting smell that I think makes all the discomfort of being in a small space, disappear.

I really quite like it here.

The only disturbing thoughts are when sleep comes and strange faces and places come and go. I find them bothersome because I feel like I should know something about them, but they are nothing more than dreams. Those dreams do leave a strange, lingering feeling of unease, but I have managed to toss those aside.

I much rather think about what I am, what I am becoming. I’m not sure, but I bet it’s going to be something wonderful.

**

I can barely move, most of whatever water or whatever it was that I have spent my life in, is gone, solidified into a hard shell, like a cocoon. For the first time, I’m able to hear other sounds, outside the shell, sharp, cracking sounds like something priceless being shattered into a thousand pieces. And the light, there’s just a glimmer of light and even though I don’t know where it’s coming from, it’s calling me, as faint as it is, that glimmer is welcoming me.

And I have a strange feeling, a yearning.

No, it’s a hunger.

**

I have to get out of here. My hunger is going to kill me if I don’t. Maybe if I press my body hard enough against the shell, use my head to push on the cocoon, maybe, just maybe.

It hurts to push against the shell but the pain is nothing compared to the agony calling, begging for fulfillment.

Oh, a crack, there in front of me. I’ll work my head against it. It’s getting bigger, a dim, shallow light is pouring in through the hole, I can see out. It’s almost big enough to get my head out, I can get my head out. It’s a struggle, but I can work my whole being out of this place, I can get free, I can feed.

But what is this dim, dark place where I am one of many. Where have my brothers gone, to what distant places have they traveled and left me here alone with those who still sleep in their shells.

Now I see, far above, a small bright light and I spread my wings and realize I am free to feed my hunger as I leave the remnants of those broken shells behind and care for nothing of  those who remain.

**

The monster watched, silently, perched on a thick oak branch in the middle of a cloud filled night. A night as dark, as dank and heavy as the beings own soul, weighed down by acts as grievous as committed by any evil and wayward man. Watched as the light extinguished itself, thinking a singular thought, soon to spread his wings and feed.

It is that Simple.

I am a Liberal.

I am a progressive liberal.

I am this thing that many people hate. I don’t understand that hate. Don’t understand the mistrust.

I believe a human of a different color than I, has the right to respect and dignity. There are those who do not believe that. It is that simple.

I believe in a better world, not perfect, but better. There are those who say that is a nonsensical dream. I say they are afraid to do the hard work to make our world better. It is that simple.

I believe in equality, free speech and the right to be treated with dignity and respect. There are those who deny this belief. It is that simple.

I believe I am a caretaker, who in my lifetime owe my children, and my grandchildren a green earth, clean air, and pure streams for their children’s children to play in. There are those who would trade our pure waters for greed, and power. It is that simple.

I believe in God. My god! I cannot speak to your God, I cannot deny him, nor speak of his existence or of his teachings. There are those who are offended by my God because I do not worship in their house. It is that simple.

I believe in the right to bear arms. I also believe there are those who have forfeited their right to bear those arms, that there are those who would do immense harm with their weapon. There are many who believe that harm is an acceptable risk, it is that simple.

I believe in honest dollar for an honest job done. A dollar that can buy a loaf of bread, that can be invested, can be saved, can be multiplied. There are those who seek my dollar, who at every turn believe they have a right to it. They do not. It is that simple.

I believe in diversity of culture, and race, because the human race is diverse, it is who we are as a species. There are those who deny humanity, and believe other humans are less than they. It is that simple.

I believe I have more in common with those who disagree with me, than not. I believe there are those who would separate your words from mine, and turn my words against you. It is that simple.

I believe in life. Not war, not abortion, not murder, not capital punishment. I understand that choices must be made, for a variety of reasons to end a life. I believe in those choices, your choices, our choices. I believe those choices always come with a cost, a personal cost to both an individual and to a Nation. There are those who use life as nothing more than a dividing line, a line to corruption, greed and power. It is that simple.

I believe in education, in science, in facts. I admit I do not know many things, but I do know humans hunger to better themselves, hunger for a better life for their children. There are those who would keep us fed in order to retain their power over us. It is that simple.

I believe I have an obligation to my fellow human, to feed the hungry, comfort the sick, console those who are in need, and to fight for their right to dignity.

I won’t apologize.

It’s that simple.

President Trump

downloadTwo days after Trumps election, I’m still reeling. While believing his election a possibility, even a probability, I’m still, simply astounded. Unlike a lot of people, I’ve pretty much remained silent in my thoughts. Politically, I’ve been reserved for the last couple of years. I don’t have a reason for being so, other than I just got tired of the insanity, the stupidity of people attacking our setting President.

It’s hard to point out the world is round to someone who can only see as far as the horizon.

I don’t know what Trump is actually going to bring to the table. I don’t know how Republicans are going to heal their divide with him. I don’t know how Democrats are going to deal with their newly found lack of leadership. I do know none of this bodes well for the Nation.

First and foremost, I’m scared the alt-right will have a seat at the Trumps table. They certainly did in his campaign. What I think is going to happen, is that Trump doesn’t truly understand what he has created in legitimizing the alt-right, and he’s going to find out that he’s unleashed a monster that he can’t control. You and I will suffer for that, and so will American civil liberties. I’m not as concerned with repealing Obamacare, it evidently needs some overhauling. The question is, are they going to change the ACA to benefit American citizens, or Insurance and Pharmaceutical
companies. Last, the dream of a Liberal majority on the Supreme Court is dead. Liberals need to frame their activism around that reality. I’d mention Global warming, but everything we’ve done to address it will probably unravel.

There are some bright spots. This is a great time for progressives to rise to leadership positions within the Democratic party. Bernie Sanders proved that people want to hear that message, want a scent of that future, and are willing to fight for it.

Another bright spot is personal for me, and I hope it is for most men. I’ve learned how some men are just flat out creeps when it comes in their associations with women. Trumps own words add a lot of weight to that accusation, and I hope men everywhere reassess their relationships with the women who are in their lives, be that woman their wife, or their bartender. For me, there’s a bit of shame in my past, not that I was horrible, as much just stupid. An apology is never enough.

I don’t know what the world is going to look like two years down the road. I do know this, people who believe that America will have a new wall to equal China’s great wall, will be disappointed. People who believe that American Companies around the globe will pack up, and return home with high paying jobs, will be disappointed. People who are war wearied, and want an end to perpetual wars are going to be extremely disappointed. People who believe their wages are going to skyrocket, are going to be disappointed. People who believe that people of color, people of different cultures, people of different religions will soon know their place, will be sorely disappointed. People who believe Trump will dissolve the National debt will be disappointed, People who believe Trump will decrease Government, and return power to the states, will be disappointed.

Am I wrong, might be, we’ll see. But I’m predicting more taxes, huge taxes, high unemployment, deregulation, erosion of civil liberties, and get this, gun control.

I actually do hope I’m wrong.

But I haven’t been yet!

Maybe it’s time for people to listen.