Friday, June 22, 2007

Thanks Steve. I'd love to be your...spleen.

I'm glad you think I don't complain too much. that said, more complaints.....

I'm not a feminist. I don't feel the need to bash, ridicule or berate men for the mere fact that they exist, as many loud feminists do.

i am however, perturbed at the stereotyping our culture has placed on both sexes, to which history of course contributes.

The reason I complain, while complicated - is I find that many of the problems I face in myself are due to viewing things from a more "male" perspective. Male meaning a more driving, more rigid, less forgiving point of view. I am not a girly girl. that should be obvious. In fact I am happy that I am evenly balanced as I am - I get along better with guys than girls as a rule. I tend to favor men with more feminine qualities and women with more masculine qualities - because these people are well balanced.

I have noticed my overbalancing towards the more male end of the spectrum though - it's something that has been forming over time for many years, and i'm currently trying to reconcile my differences with being female and what "feminine" really means. I'm in fact, working on a collage/mixed media piece to express the true qualities of what feminine is- and in doing research I'm finding just how much our culture (and others) throughout history has slapped stereotypes on both sexes, and overbalanced in the favor of the "masculine" way of doing things.

I would quote from my erich fromm book if it wasn't on loan at the moment, but suffice it to say that historically, man started out with the worship and reverence for the female (who does anyone know first in their life? mom) then progressed onto a reverence for what is male.(pleasing dad) What has not happened fully is the further evolution from the state we are in to a state of balance and respect for BOTH male and female, and the fact that the duality exists to balance itself.

People who rant that we exist in a patriarchal society are not incorrect. Churches, governments, working styles, attitudes, primarily reflect this. it's all go-go-go. Make your country proud. prove yourself to me. Do badly and I'll reprimand you. It's better to give than receive. Force, will, etc.

The masculine spirit is one of ideas, motion, drive, force, projection, giving, doing. it's all outward motion. This, is itself is not bad. But one force must be balanced with another.

The feminine spirit is one of creation, rest, reflection, reception, being, knowing.

we are too far overbalanced in the masculine direction- want proof? Look at the way so many people are burnt out, tired, sick, not able to sleep, having emotional problems. Why? Because our lifestyle does not permit the proper time to REST and be COMPASSIONATE with ourselves. We sacrfice sleep, time alone and relaxation because these activities are seen as passive. They don't make our do anything useful or profitable, so they are not worth as much as doing something.

I used to, and still sometimes snicker at "goddess" worshippers, and I know some religious people get in a tizzy about people holding Mary in higher standing than they think she should be. While I don't advocate swinging back so radically to the other pole, I do indentify with their innate notice of the lack in balance. Our culture will not progress in its evolution spiritually, mentally, emotionally or physically unless we realize how we need to "grow up" concerning this issue of "GENDER".

If you look in the thesaurus for masculine and feminine, you can see what kind of problems the misunderstanding about gender has caused, and how stereotypes have been formed.

Anything male tends to have a more powerful, positive tone. Strong, virile, macho, etc. The female synonyms, while some are positive, have a far morewords with a negative stroke to them. Along with Empress, matron and lady, you can also find vixen, weak, and witch.

The female gender somehow always winds up holding the short end of the stick.

There's the old arguement that goes back to the Bible where because Eve was a women, she messed everything up, that she was just Adam's rib anyhow, and therefore, this justifies women as being lesser. For one - that's a very incorrect interpretation and for something that ridiculous to be used as an excuse to mistreat other people is proof of how lacking in knowledge humanity we really are. Don't even go near the "women are unclean" references. once again, full of shit and so ignorant that such nonsense doesn't even deserve my attention.

Growing up as female in this culture is no picnic, even without corsets, foot binding, and witchburnings because they've been replaced with more up to date tortures like diet clincs, cosmo magazine, and eyebrow tweezing.

At an early age, I decided not to go through puberty because women had nothing but pain, insecurity, and emotional trauma to look forward to. All they did was shave everything, and worry about bleeding and odors and then going to people who would prod you with cold metal implements - then you were supposed to grow up and want to do some icky dirty thing with some guy, swell up and find yourself screaming in a hospital bed months later, and be imprisoned at home with a small human who was going to demonstrate every bodily function known to man to you in alphabetical order.

My plan...didn't go too well.

needless to say, my view of being female as per our society teaches, has been less than a party. I have not enjoyed most of it as I should. it's a very scary thing, and aside from all the physical mess there's this psychological stuff that gets pushed on you that you don't even know how to deal with. never mind that you're already overwhelmed.

My point is, that our culture has lost large portions of what being female really is, and horribly distorted others. Why? I don't know. fear? Power? Both?

I must say I am mildly concerned about some of my younger relatives who have unknowingly been swept into the culture of princesses and pink and are slowly being indoctrinated into an image of femininity that does nothing but limit who they could be.

I wanted to know where the idea comes from that women are all weak creatures, subject to the whim of every emotion, unable to make decisions besides how to cook dinner or how to raise kids, that women are all soft and pink and love delicate things....did the victorians do this to us?

In my research, and as i have been fond of mysticism and alchemy and other esoteric things that would probably get me burnt at the stake - the above views are not really part of what the feminine gender truly is.

While "sex" is physical, "gender" is more a spirit of sorts - how else can men and women exhibit both qualities in one body?

talking about it in terms of Yin and Yang makes more sense of it.
Yin, being feminine, is what is hidden, subtle, dark. Yin is receptive, yin listens. Other qualities such as "changeable" have been given a negative spin as "unpredictable", which is not to say that unpredictable is's the way it had been used that is regretable. Change is the only constant. in that statement, there is both balance of male and female- (male being the fixed or constant energy) If nothing changed, damn. the boredom would kill me.

Feminine energy, like male energy has a soft and hard side. While it can be delicate, loving and compassionate, it can also be formidable like a stern mother or perhaps almost scary like Kali - the devourer of old dead forms.

The idea(which I've mentioned before) that women are weak because they are emotional is completely distorted. HUMANS are emotional. Women are more in touch with their emotions, and are not afraid to express their vulnerabilities. this lack of fear, makes them stronger and more honest then the men who hide their feelings.

Feminine is figurative, male is literal. Feminine is night, male is day. Subconscious and Conscious, Moon and Sun, Earth and Air, Fire and Water, blah blah blah you get my point.

There's a balance in these ideas which humanity is lacking in practice. We have gone so far over to the masculine energy that what was once drive is now burnout and we're paying for it on every level.

what needs to happen is a reconciliation of the two - not dominance by one or the other. it's like the world is a stressed out husband, convinced that he must work himself to death to prove himself worthy, and so afraid of failing that he doesn't even notice his wife being compassionate enough to say "Honey, sit down, relax and eat dinner". he's so afraid that if he listens, he'll lose his power, and he doesn't realize the power is supposed to be shared - he doesn't have to feel this way.

the feminine is subtle, as i've learned. it's always there, even behind all the loud brash male energy that gets thrown around. even when brazen feminists scream their battlecry of mysogeny, they are missing the point. if they knew how to look, they would see quite clearly that the energy was never gone, they just forgot how to see. A lot of feminists are trying to correct the problem of their oppression by men with male energy and tactics. how silly.

As someone who can neither identify with the incorrect "soft, weak, princess stereotype of the feminine, nor the "I want to tote a gun and wear ugly pants and beat the shit out of you" polar opposite of women, it's a difficult journey to try and reclaim what you weren't even sure you had to begin with.

More than anything, I just want to be ok with who I am. I know I'm more than just a person with a female body, I would just like to be able to live with it and what comes with it without hating, fearing, or devaluing myself for false reasons that were forced on me by outside influences.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

In response to Steve's comment on how ones funeral unfolds, I can offer you guys this. if I get knocked off the planet by a bolt of lightning, or pudding, or a big shovel, then here's the Do's and don'ts of my death.

DO Cry if you want, but likely, if you knew me well enough, you'll be laughing your ass off at half the stuff I did, or complaining that I complained too much in my blog. Either way, you won't be crying for long, cause HEY! I'm dead and I'm happy. What's wrong with all you weepy bastards down there?

DO NOT USE TRITE PHRASES TO CONSOLE MY REMAINING SURVIVORS. None of this "oh, she's flying with the angels (or angles,), or everyone who knew her will miss her (lame and captain obvious) or any bible phrases about hills and help and being strong and looking to God, heard it all already. If you're going to console my survivors, tell stupid stories about me doing stupid stuff so they laugh.

WEAR WHATEVER COLOR YOU WANT TO THE CEREMONIES. Except beige. I'll haunt you personally if you wear beige.

Do not talk to the sky or write me on a computer after I die. There is no need for DSL in heaven and I will not being sitting on a cloud. those things are cold. Also, I will not be dropping pennies from heaven for you. Please do not write me or my survivors pathetic poetry about tears and hearts and foo foo poo poo angely ya ya hoody crap. You may write 1 haiku a piece. If you can't make it tasteful, intelligent or funny then make it offensive to corporations.

Please don't keep a picture of me next to your bed and kiss it every night. That's creepy.

Don't get all codependent and say oh boo hoo, I can't go on, she's not here. I'll still be there, but it'll be far harder to see me making faces and hand gestures in the spirit world - which makes it all that much more fun for me!!!

Don't feel bad that you didn't eat snails with me or take me to some godawful movie or sporting event, or feel guilty about what you didn't say. I'll already know what you wanted and/or felt and I'll just continue to make ethereal hand gestures and shadow puppets behind your back.

Don't worry about my eternal soul. God and I, we chat over tea. we're all good.

DO Serve tiramisu at the afterparty.

Don't let the morticians put unnatural makeup on me that you wouldn't see me wearing. I don't wear peach lipstick folks.

If you're going to play music and be sad, then for God's sake play VNV or something, then lighten it up with some techno and gradually move into some Weird Al.

I will not talk to you from the afterlife from a board or some moron psychis asking for me. Instead i'll harass you in your dreams, coerce your pets to act funny, and if I'm really good, make strange coincidences happen like...goldfish in your glove compartment. ok, so that's not a coincidence, it's just weird. You get my point.

Whoever writes the obituary, don't sum up my life with labels like GOTH, ARTIST, GIRL, whatever. Talk about what I liked to eat, my petnames and my pets names, describe the weird sounds I used to make at random. If I inspired you, great. If I freaked you out, even better. if i did both at the same time, points for me.

If you must grieve, then grieve. If you want to remember me, visit new orleans and stuff yourself, pet cute things that squeak, get excited about happy sparkly shiny stuff, and rant about stupid people. it'sll be like I'm right there. And I will be. Look! I can make a shadow bunny!

Monday, June 18, 2007

I should rename this blog the complaint file. It'd be more honest.

This is just some random drivel I want out of my skull, as I've had a day and I'm doing some mental housecleaning. Most of this has been brought on by what I read at work, because I read the same sentiment so very often and see the same opinions over and over.

Before I comment on those things, I must add that my job, while in the comfort of my home, is a difficult one, moreso than most other stay at home jobs because of the nature of what I do. I would be lying if I didn't say it does affect me on a daily basis, seemingly more still than I've even chosen to realize, so there's a balance to be kept if I am to retain my sanity. I've noted that since the doldrums of winter, which consequently is when they stepped up my position, that I'd been having all sorts of troubles aside from physical illness including anxiety, insomnia, fear, loneliness, etc. I'm only just now really feeling better- far better than I have. Granted, I chose this time to also clean out emotional baggage, and boy, what rot there has been.

It takes a certain kind of person to do what I do - like it takes a certain kind of person to be a mortician. You have to have this balance between compassion and hardness, so you can not be as inhuman as to get annoyed with everything you have to read, but at the same time, not take it all to heart. Doing the upper level queues have given me access to more information about the deceased and their families, which means I have to figure out what kind of issues may be going on, or see what the person died of. Knowing this does not cause less anxiety.

I know people die everyday, it happens. I'm not afraid of death, although i really really really wish i could have more than a string of two day where I didn't have to hear about it. It's the living who make death unbearable. it's the grief, the anger, the sorrow plus the knowledge of how these people died that settles in when i'm not looking and without proper escape or release, things start to go wrong. I worry more about cancer, accidents, and odd mishaps than I should. Maybe I'm nuts, but like at a cemetery, there is a "residue" left on some of these posts that gets hard to shake. The emotions put into the writing reach to the other side and start draining me, the reader. Keep in mind that I read thousands of entries. that's a lot of damage.

I've been keeping up a routine of jogging, meditating, and getting out of the house on a regular basis for walks in the evening or adventures in the afternoon. I really need to leave the house more after work, as just being at the computer sometimes can trigger this unnameable restlessness and anxiety. Staying in the house until evening has caused emotional upset also. thusly, I need to get away as much as possible. I was spiritual already. I don't talk about it much, cause i don't think many people really get where I'm at and I know it's not a subject for casual comment, but lets just say that considering my work, I've been getting more spiritual. I kinda have to to combat the feelings.

I have been lately able to more clearly see the positives in my day, I've been taking pleasure in whatever small activities I can - even if that is doing nothing. And i try to make time for small periods of nothing to clear my head. I've needed large injections of joy, and I'm determined to get my fix.

Anyhow, onto the items that during my work get repeated ad nauseum that bug me in some way.

People really aren't very original, for one.
everyone says "uncle flabbo will surely be missed by everyone who knew him"
DUH. He's gone. when someone is not there, you miss them.
"Time heals all wounds"
But time does not heal hackneyed sayings, unfortunately.

I know there's a lot of people who are fond of bible verse, but I'm finding those sayings to be THE most trite and overused. They are so impersonal, so rote and empty. I won't even repeat all of them because there are too many. And the worst part is, they just seem so obvious in message half the time. it's like...yeah, I already knew that. why are we still saying this?

Now, i don't really mean to be putting down the beliefs of others, or saying that I am superior in one way or another, but....

There's all this religious stuff that has because it is so hackneyed, it becomes a kind of literal symbol that people believe, and it's really not the way things work. There's stuff about people sitting at Jesus's feet, or dancing around God's throne, or walking on streets of gold, or living up in the clouds. And the authors either believe or at the very least make it sound like that's what goes on in heaven all day. Even Jesus would get bored of people saying YAY! JESUS! all day long, but I swear to you, that what some people believe. it's like the whole wings and harps things. Yawn. Never mind that that's not how it works. God is not an old man with a beard and sandals, saying "Well done my faithful servant" everytime someone pops in. God is more creative than that. Give the infinite entity some credit.

I also have trouble with the idea that there are casinos, bingo parlors, fishing lakes, dirty kitchens to clean, factories, businesses, food, beds, daycare centers, etc. in heaven either. If there were, heaven would be a little too much like earth, and God knows after dealing with that crap for a lifetime, who wants to go back to it again? geez! it's a little more advanced than that folks.

Oh yeah, and apparently the angels aren't too bright because they get taught card games, dances, and cooking skills by the people who have ascended.


Then there's the people who say STAY STRONG for everyone. Most of the time, this staying strong means not showing emotion, even if you want or need to. This idea, is bullshit. If you're grieving, then grieve really messily because holding it in or pretending like you're ok just to keep the family from being sad is the worst thing you can do. What staying strong really is, is showing the emotions you do have, no matter what they are, talking to your relatives about them and their emotions, and not pretending like you're hurt that someone you love is no longer physically here.

The whole "stay strong" thing comes from the crappy male conditioning that says "real men don't cry, only babies cry." Emotions are not a sign of weakness. This is where some people got the stupid idea in the past that women are weak because they show so much emotion. No, they are actually stronger than Mr. Macho Titanium Nuts over there, who doesn't even know what he feels because he has been taught that something natural is an abomination to his irrelevant physical gender. the key is to not get carried away and drowned in the emotions you do have. Express them, channel them, use them in a constructive manner.

There are people who really trouble me because they are begging their loved one to return to earth. these are heartbreaking, but also not understanding that their loved ones are at peace and wouldn't want to come back here. they cannot grasp the concept that there is no real separation from their deceased loved ones, and are so attached to the physical indentity of them that they can't see the forest for the trees. I see a lot of codependence also - some of it incredibly unhealthy. Husbands who are lonely and write their wife the same message over and over written in different ways for months or years. Mothers (oh god...) who are SO UNABLE to let go of a deceased child- even if that child was an adult and had their own life that they are completely incapable of having any peace or happiness for themselves. there's this idea that suffering means love, that when someone dies, having unenjoyable holidays because Bobbie JO isn't there anymore or not celebrating at all should be the protocol.

it's the because you died ny life is meaningless tactic. And that, is truly sad and depressing, more so than any death ever is. People devalue their own existence and put their loved ones up on a pedestal. I know some people think it might be a reflection of Christ suffering and therefore act as such, but it's not healthy and not right. Death does not revolve around suffering. Death is a change and a release from physical form. I have a lot of problems with Christianity sometimes with the emphasis that is continually put on suffering, and I see how detrimental this thinking is when i have to read all this stuff. Sorry folks, we werem't put here to suffer either, not that everyday is a party, but please put down the damn kleenex at some point. it doesn't make you holy or better or secure you a better place in heaven's casinos.

people love labels. I have grown to hate them and not use them. yeah, I live in america, but I'm not really going to wedge myself into a single word to describe me. People love to describe themselves as Americans, Patriots, and Christians. Last I checked, I was a spirit first, a human second, than then all those other things are just sorta parts of me. I don't really identify with any one of them any more than another. However, people love to wear their merit badges. You know if someone's on your team if their wearing the Christian badge. you know who to sneer at if their not. Never mind that using terms like that to describe yourself are limiting, elitist and cause even more separation among humanity, which can't seem to come to terms with itself in its unity. Not that anyone is doing a whole lot for unity these least they're not loud enough about it.

I would rather my obituary not read like an ingredient list or a trophy log. Since when can anyone sum up their whole life by a list of family names and random hobbies anyhow?

So there you have it, more reasons why people need to get a grip.

On a positive note, I found out about an interesting person through work when someone quoted him. There's a bunch of nice and very spiritual/peaceful uplifting thoughts written by the guy who founded Aikido. The sayings are from the Art of Peace. Definitely worth a read.
Dear Fedex,
To say that I am disappointed with your service would be a blatant understatement. The words vexed, annoyed and inflamed would be more appropriate. I don't use your service very often, which of course will make losing a customer like me matter even less to you, but I have needed to use it every few months to send important documents and the occasional gift to my parents who have retired outside of this country. I have been subjected to your lack of service at two different fedex-kinkos locations. The first incident involved the driver not putting through my credit card payment when they were the one responsible, as I had dropped off the package right at the pickup time. This caused confusion later when I recieved letters that I had not paid. It was not me who had failed to pay, it was one of your employees who had failed to complete their task. The second violation had occurred a couple weekes ago, when I was attempting to send documents my parents need for verification to Mexico so they can continue to live there. We dropped off the package at a fedex kinkos later in the evening. It was estimated to arrive in Mexico last Friday and never got there. My parents, my husband and I have spent countless hours explaining this situation to various associates at your company, who, while they have been pretending to do something about the situation, have mostly been giving us the runaround. The conclusion they keep coming to is that the package NEVER LEFT THE STORE. I also, once again, have not been billed, (thankfully, as I as don't like to pay for frustration) which furthers the theory that your employees are not doing their assigned jobs - which is to DELIVER PACKAGES IN A TIMELY MANNER. I'm assuming that your employees are perfectly capable of lifting a .15LB envelope, so I can not assume that lack of strength had anything to do with this dearth of concern for customer service. I myself could have likely walked to Mexico myself and hand delivered the documents, thus skirting the issue of your company's incompetence and getting some exercise while doing so instead of sitting on a phone for hours being fed incomplete or misleading information. Since I'm gathering that your bureacracy will be too busy tangling itself in its own mess to either rectify this situation or acknowledge my email, we are going to take our business to your competitors instead, such as DHL. Because, if their ads are to be believed, they actually DELIVER PACKAGES. This incident has taught me much about your company- that your employees are not trained properly,that you have to restructure some portions of the delivery process, and that you have little protocol for correcting a situation as small as mine. I shudder to think what your larger customers have to deal with. If it is not already apparent to you, the above mentioned events are very, very bad business. I'm assuming that you at least care about your revenue, since your customers are of little priority. I will not recommend Fedex to anyone who actually wants a job done. Have a nice Day. :)