I can see the lights of the city from my bedroom window as I type. They feel like my holiday decorations do 3 days after Christmas, right before I take them down for the new year. All that glitter and gold and shine was great at first, but after working in Las Vegas for 4 days, I’m so ready to go home.
Thank God tomorrow I can.
This is a town that has such a superficial quality to it that in the last 24 hours or so, I swear I can’t get enough air in my lungs. I'll suddenly realize I’m holding my breathe, as if waiting to break surface so I can take a huge inhale and breathe again. I’ve taken more and more to the sanctuary of my bedroom, just to get away from the constant barrage of noise, and frenetic energy that permeates the floors of the hotel. I’m feeling worn down…not so much from work (although, thankyouJesus, the conference is over and I can rest now). No. It’s something Else.
I’m heavy with the sights. The young people hustling their next drink, their next hookup, or their next shot at Lady Luck. The streets are filled with kids who should be in school, but instead, they're like gangs of feral dogs, rummaging and barring their teeth. I'm on overload from riding the elevator one too many times with drunken people blindly making their rooms where they'll crash, sure to wake up with empty headaches and empty wallets.
But it’s the Street People that have rendered my heart in two. I watch them. Young, old, male female…they hunker in doorways in their wheelchairs, or amble directionless in worn out shoes and worn out souls. I look into their eyes. I have to. The connection compels me and I do, I see the same dark, empty void peering back at me. I'm not sure some of them even see me.
They’re filthy and ragged, toothless with greasy hair and smoke stained fingers. I watch as they walk by me, mumbling to themselves or talking to people I can’t see. They all look older than their yearsand alien. Its as if they’re from a different planet and some cosmic bus dropped them off here by mistake. Right next to diamond crusted, Gucci clad high rollers. I can’t turn my eyes away from them, although through my dark sunglasses they don’t know that I’m watching. I don’t want to look, really. But my spirit demands it.
And I wonder how they’ve come to this place, in this way. I wonder about their stories, about their families, about their thoughts. I see them, and my heart twists in my chest at the sheer waste of precious human life – knowing full well that most of them are on the streets of Las Vegas through their own actions, and in alignment with their own desires.
That is what bears heaviest on me, I think - That one would choose to live like a wastrel shadow in a town that is ablaze in multicolored neon, having chased some illusive spectre into the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Not many people are awake in the Town that Never Sleeps. Darkness ribbons smoke-like through streets like the plague. I see dead people.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
by Susan Bandura Wrona
If we really understood
the mystery of love
we would not rush in
we would stand before the door
a radiant cup.
in every heart beat
of our waiting open heart
the touch of God.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
I'm writing from Sin City....that jaded Jade in the desert - Las Vegas.
This is one of my favorite cities. NOT because I'm a huge gambler (Sidenote: My speedometer hit 77,777 as I entered the city limits, and from my 11th floor window, I'm looking at a sign which reads "$7.77 Buffet". Three days before I left, I started seeing these little 'vision' thingys of "777"...up and to the left of my awareness like hanging signs. That's just the beginning of the really interesting and totally random 'signs' I've been getting...even had a fortune (from a cookie?) appear out of nowhere on my hotelroom floor. It says, "You will discover an unexpected treasure." I have NO idea where it came from -it literally appeared out of thin air. And I have to say that so far, it's been a very "lucky" trip - and the magic is just beginning!)
So, what's Vegas' appeal? PEOPLE WATCHING. Oh, for someone like me who treats most of life like a giant Science Experiment, I am in HEAVEN. I'm surrounded by hookers, lookers, gamblers and theives. You've got families and couples, singles on the prowl, and marrieds on the prowl as well. Alchies, junkies, gypsies and Queens, the Human Parade here is rich in it's variety, and is definitely one walking lesson after another, in quick succession. You name it, the Streets of Vegas has it.
One of the things I've been thinking about recently are CHOICES. Every moment of the day, I'm engaging in choices that will directly impact my very next moment - and many moments to come. So I've been studying peoples' choices, and have come away with this not-so-startling revelation: You can tell what a person values by the choices they make. You can also see what they are creating for themselves for the future.
I'm not sure if it's the Deeksha I've been receiving or just plain old growing up. But I'm on this new kick. I'm intentionally and purposefully making choices based on my values, and not on my emotions. I mean, I'm actually trying to pause and say to myself: What do you want to receive back on this decision? What kind of karma? What sort of mirror effect from the Universe? What will my ROI be?
On a twist to the 'do unto others' theme, I'm doing unto myself what I want others to do unto me. I'm placing high value on my personal space and energy. I'm creating the future I want by treating myself with respect, kindness and generosity.
(Sidenote No. Two: What ever happened to people conducting themselves with class? Is life just one bit "Girls Gone Wild" video? Why do so many women feel compelled to give it all away - randomly - like their sexuality is just cheap birdseed to be thrown about by the handfulls? LOTS of sexuality here in Vegas....lots of people giving themselves away. (Men, too)...What ever happened to keeping a little mystery in the thing? Why flash all your cards to all the players? I just don't get it, personally. It speaks to me of low self esteem, little self value, and desperate pleas for attention. And trust me...I'm no prude and I'm not into Victorianesque morals. I'm just trying to figure out why more women don't understand that they're always marketing themselves to The World At Large - why be a Walmart Ho when you can be a Bloomingdales Femme Fatale?)
How do I want to invest in my future? Do I make Value based decisions vs. Emotion based decisions? I'm coming to believe that One is a Sure Thing and the other is a Crap shoot.
Which reminds me. I have a date with the 21 Table at the Casino flashing that 777 at me. Gotta go. I'd say wish me luck but I think that Someone already took care of that.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
God has given me this day
to use as I will.
I can waste it
or grow in It's Light
and be of service to others.
But what I do with this day is important,
because I have exchanged
a day of my life for it.
When tomorrow comes
Today will be gone forever.
I hope I will not regret
the price I paid for it.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Well, well, well.
Today is shaping up to be an incredibly psychotic day, politically. As if the Bushwackers aren't wacked enough, here are two (connected, perhaps?) events as of 1:00 p.m. PST.
1. George Bush is going to take one up the rear. Literally. A colonoscopy. He shows no symptoms of any illnesses, but guess who'll be in charge while he's under the dope? Ah, the Phantom of Washington...THE Dick himself, and Puppet Master Extraordinare, Dick Chenny. (hide the children and the heirlooms!)
2. Take a look at this:
Bush Outlaws All War Protest In United States July 19, 2007 - From the White House website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070717-3.html
and this commentary from http://www.whatdoesitmean.com:
In one of his most chilling moves to date against his own citizens, the American War Leader has issued a sweeping order this week outlawing all forms of protest against the Iraq war.
President Bush enacted into US law an ‘Executive Order’ on July 17th titled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq", and which says:
"By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004."
According to Russian legal experts, the greatest concern to the American people are the underlying provisions of this new law, and which, they state, are written ‘so broadly’ as to outlaw all forms of protest against the war. These provisions state:
"(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or
(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section include, but are not limited to, (i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order, and (ii) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
(c) the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.
All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order and, where appropriate, to advise the Secretary of the Treasury in a timely manner of the measures taken."
To the subsection of this new US law, according to these legal experts, that says "...the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit...", the insertion of the word ‘services’ has broad, and catastrophic, consequences for the American people in that any act deemed by their government to be against the Iraqi war is, in fact, supporting the ‘enemy’ and therefore threatens the ‘stabilization of Iraq’.
In an even greater affront to the American people are the provisions of a law called The Patriot Act, and that should they run afoul of this new law they are forbidden to allow anyone to know about it, and as we can read as reported by the Seattle Times News Service:
"The [Patriot] act also expands the use of National Security Letters, which are a kind of warrant that the Justice Department writes for itself, authorizing its agents to seize such things as records of money movements, telephone calls and Internet visits. Recipients of a National Security Letter are not allowed to tell anyone about them, and so cannot contest them."
It is interesting to note, too, that this is not the first time that the United States has unleashed the brutal power of their government against its citizens to further their war aims and stifle domestic dissent, as during the European conflict of World War I they enacted a law called The Sedition Act of 1918 and which "...forbade Americans to use "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" about the United States government, flag, or armed forces during war."
It is curious to note that after the enactment of this new law there has been no protest by any of the other political leaders in the United States, with the exception of the only Muslim member of the United States Congress, Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison, and who compared President Bush to the Nazi War Leader Adolph Hitler by stating the attacks upon the World Trade Center could be likened to the burning of the Reichstag.
Today, as the United States faces an imminent economic collapse, while at the same time its war bill has reached the staggering amount of $648 billion, one of the last freedoms the American people have had to protest their leaders actions against them, and other peoples in the World, has now been taken away from them, the freedom to speak and write in opposition to what is being done to them.
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.", said the great British writer George Orwell, but, and sadly, liberty has been lost to the once free people of the United States who are no longer allowed to tell their leaders, or each other, what they don’t want to hear.
With this being so, the American people should, likewise, contemplate their ‘new’ future, and as, also, stated best by George Orwell, "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."
© July 19, 2007 EU and US all rights reserved.
[Ed. Note: The United States government actively seeks to find, and silence, any and all opinions about the United States except those coming from authorized government and/or affiliated sources, of which we are not one. No interviews are granted and very little personal information is given about our contributors, or their sources, to protect their safety.]
Hold on to your seats, kiddies. We're in for one Hell of a ride - and the Devil is driving. And by the way...if I go missing, well....
Peace out, ya'll. Pray for peace.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Thank you to my friend, Trèe. He said he thought of me when he read this, and I smiled. He knows me pretty well, seeing as how we're friends that just met. I've treasured this piece since I first read the book many years ago. It says everything about me. And explains exactly why I'm here in Blogland. *hugs* Trèe!
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
I want to know if you can
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.