Oldies but Goodies: Relevant advice gained from the Nursing Home Experience

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I will try to add another everyday or so but to start of with I will post the five I had already written: 

Oldie but Goodie the first: When thinking about committing to a serious relationship, don’t go for looks or physical stuff. Look at personality. Cause honestly, people get real ugly when they get old. I’ve seen enough old people to know. And you also never know when something could happen and you are suddenly in a wheel chair. If the love was strong enough then it will endure, but if it was based on physicality…you can kiss your marriage goodbye.

Oldie but Goodie the second: Golden Rule…Follow it. Especially when it comes to parenting. Parents, treat your kids the way you want them to treat you cause sooner than you think they will be taking care of you. Neglect them and they are likely to not visit you in the nursing home. And there is nothing lonelier than no visitors. Kids, if your parents are/were good to you, visit them in the nursing home. There is nothing lonelier than no visitors.

Oldie but Goodie the third: Smile. Get in the habit of smiling. All the time. Why? Because it’s awesome. Walking through the hallway of the nursing home I try to make sure I smile and say hello to all of the residents that I encounter. Why? Cause it makes their day! You can just see their faces light up and they flash back a smile which sometimes can be full of food or missing teeth but is still beautiful. And you know what else is interesting? I can come to work tired, annoyed, depressed, disappointed, lonely etc…and walk down a hallway and leave feeling up lifted. So start smiling!

Oldie but Goodie the fourth:Secret to Staying Young. Basically I don’t wanna grow old. I realize I can’t really alter the physical phenomenon of aging (plastic surgery makes you look gross and super zen techniques are just too much work) but I have a great deal of control on how I age emotionally and mentally. Now, I am not promoting immaturity. But I do think we could all use some youth in the way we act and think. So learn to laugh. Learn to cry. Learn to do both at the same time. Learn to not take life seriously. After all, life is a game. And the winner is the person that has the most fun. And everyone knows…young people are better at games.

Oldie but Goodie the fifth: The most basic human desire is for relevance. We need to matter, to feel as if there is a purpose for our existence. It’s what fuels everything: ambition, love, hate, random acts of kindness, random acts of terrorism. We are trying to make a mark and finally kill that little voice inside that keeps whispering “No one cares about you”. Don’t wait until you are too old to start looking back on your life and trying to decide if you lived it to the best of our ability. Start now!

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I Found Myself

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I strike the first blow and the mirror cracks

A small lie, like a drop of food dye 

the lie coloring the crystal waters of my life

like a stain clouding the waters

I strike back, a counter of self hate 

punishing myself for failing myself 

and hurting myself with the hating of myself

The battle rages and the battle field of my heart 

is splattered with mud and misery and a

choking smoke of confusion hangs like a damp 

curtain coating everything 

I circle myself, my body a mirror wreathed in smoke

baptized in hate and sweating bitter failure

I wield words like a sword master, hacking with a lie

and feinting with an ego booster only to sink my sword deep

and twist with hypocrite. 

Words like machine guns shatter the silence as they shatter

my bones; traitor, pretender, user, manipulator

I try to defend with searching, trying and hoping 

but they are torn away like paper houses in a typhoon

I scream my victory, the blood still pouring from the cuts of

worthless and No one loves you

consumed I stab and stab again with hypocrite

Hypocrite, hypocrite, hypocrite 

the blood fountains from the gaping wounds 

a blood mist consuming the air and leaving nothing

I laughed at myself, hysterically my eyes demonic

the blood pools underneath me and congeals but I 

just won’t die so I laugh, each convulsion shooting red failure 

into the air and coating me

I shake myself and scream at my laughing self

holding the mirror and crying at the eyes crying at me

and carving valleys of shame through the grime 

and falling upwards and splattering my face

I coughed and reached for myself, 

my small fingers reaching for me and hoping for me

my eyes begging, pleading and bleeding for love

needing me to love me and heal me

I look at myself and I see myself in myself 

my eyes are calling for me and I am just so tired

So tired of hating myself and hurting myself because 

I can’t be what they tell me and so I abuse myself 

to make up for not being able to be myself

But I am tired of not Loving myself

So hold myself and whisper to myself words

Healing words that mend the rending 

I whisper Poetry, and Sing and God and Love 

and Journey and Mercy and Live and Be free

and I hold myself and whisper in my ear 

I love You and I accept you and finally I die

and I become myself

Love against the backdrop of Hate

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I believe in hate. I mean, I believe in rage, envy, fear, anxiety, stress, apathy, guilt and lust, but mostly I believe in hate. I believe in this crippling, trans-formative emotion that changes normal, decent people into monsters, base creatures lower than animals. I believe in this dark perversion of all that is good in the world; this blind, misbegotten behemoth that pervades our society, our very psyche and that is entangled with the very cosmic dust of which we are made. 
                I believe in this emotion that caused the deaths of countless Jews through the hands of an innocent nation controlled by the charismatic and compelling voice of an egomaniacal tyrant. I believe in the hate that made the American forefathers, grand men and women all I’m sure, beat stripes into the ebon backs of their brothers. This hate that drove them to stain the oceans crimson, and make an ivory highway that spans the Atlantic.
                I believe in that hate, the one that sweeps nations and blinds all, but I also believe in the hate that is not as far reaching. The one that dwells in our schools today. The hate that causes a group of boys, high school students to corner, beat, and rape their classmate with a pipe and render him brain-dead simply because they do not share sexual preferences. I believe in the silent hate of averted and disdainful eyes and apathetic attitudes that are all some students ever encounter when they walk into a school. Through no fault of their own, for some reason or another they are branded as pariahs and are ignored, rejected or outright bullied by others. I believe in the hate that drives these students to end their lives and take others with them.
                Why? Why do I believe in this beastly emotion so rank with death, defilement and misery? Why do I glory in its existence? Because. Because of hate, we know true love. Because of the cold, dark embrace of hate that holds the world captive, the singular mundane acts of decency and love become beacons of light, of hope and of sustenance. Because of the averted eyes and snide comments, a smile can save a life and because of the brutal shoves, a hug can save a school. Because hate exists, normal people can hope that by virtue of existing, of resisting the urge to hate and tear down, we can transcend humanity and for one bright moment, take upon ourselves a sense of divinity. That by loving in a world full of hate; we can become something more than our flawed selves. In gross darkness, the light shall shine brightest. This I believe.
 
 

I Be Poltergiest

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I be poltergeist. I Am not poltergeist. I be nothing, nothing but emotions. I feel, not think, I be, not am. I be poltergeist. I be anger.

 

It started with death. After dying all the things insubstantial within the body, meaning the mind and soul, went to heaven or nirvana. The emotions had no place to go. The love, hate, grief, joy, anger, and the other emotions remained and wrecked havoc upon the earth. The gods seeing chaos created an astral plane and trapped all the emotions therein. The gods succeeded in throwing them into the astral plane, leaving only the few good emotions. The gods knew that in the act of trapping all emotions in one place they had started a great war, however they had no choice. One by one the emotions were dumped into the astral plane; a flexile area in a different dimension that was easily altered and changed. It was known as Poltergeist.

Hate came first, black as night and a towering monster. Hate was a 3-headed serpent that embodied all that was evil. Its sinuous coils contracted and then expanded as Hate reared it ugly head, its baleful eyes glaring at its surroundings, turning to stone all that it gazed upon. It gave an angry hiss, an evil, reverberating cry that echoed across the land, shriveling all that its poisonous notes touched. Then came Love, at first a gentle mist, smelling like chocolate and roses, it languidly came to rest in the plane. Then as it started to solidify, it became aware of the presence of Hate and mushroomed into a raging wildfire, oblivious to all. It roared, and crackled, and thundered, an inferno that consumed all. The conflagration slowly condensed in the form of an ardent dragon, sheathed in flames. The two behemoths squared off, one a pythonic snake and the other a gargantuan dragon. They tore into each other, so different and yet so similar.

Then Fear arrived. No form did it posses; it was simply an empty robe, billowing in an invisible wind. Doubt also came, chained to Fear by an unbreakable bond, for it was Fear’s hound dog. Doubt stood about the size of an ox, and was a mangy, disease ridden cur, with gleaming red eyes and ropes of corrosive saliva dripping from its formidable jaws. Fear’s nebulous form drifted away from the fighting monsters, knowing full well the price it would pay if it got close. As Fear was withdrawing the Twins appeared. There was a burst of incandescent light as Courage and Faith flew into the scene. There stood Courage, a tall form clothes in irradiant armor and holding in his hand a crystalline diamond sword. At his side floated his sister Faith, clothed in luminous leathers and holding in her hand a glittering bow. At their shoulders, Hope flew, a blazing phoenix clothed flames. And so the battle begun, Fear though seemingly weak and cowardly, once trapped, fought like a tiger. Its insidious mists batted away Faith’s silver arrows and exploded forth, seeking her heart, only to draw back swiftly out of reach from Courage’s slashing sword. Off in the distance, the battle between Love and Hate raged on, mirrored by the battle between Hope and Doubt as they tore into each other. Hope’s golden claws tore at Doubt’s pustule crusted pelt, scrabbling for a hold while Doubt twisted and turned its body seeking Hope’s throat with its gaping, excrementitious jaws. The battle endured, both sides scoring deadly hits but neither backing down. One of Hate’s head lolled to the side, spouting and splattering its poisonous gore over the ground with its every movement, while Love’s wings hung feebly by its side, torn to tatters by Hate’s malignant fangs. On they fought, oblivious to all, laying waste to their surroundings. They were in a state of such propinquity as they fought, that there were moments when they almost seemed to merge and be one and the same.

Then Joy and Grief arrived. They were unlike the others in many ways. They seemed to have no urge to fight and also kept no steady form. Joy was deliriously, insanely drunk in its own happiness, randomly bursting into laughter or song. It sat on a comfortable sofa, with food and other comforts arrayed around it watching the fight from a distance. It would watch the fight for a few moments, and then collapse into helpless jocularity, rolling of the carpeted floor, with tears of joy glistening at the corner of its eyes. It held no form long, swiftly changing, one second a baby gurgling as it plays with its foot; an old woman chortling; a mountain man roaring with mirth. Then it would be a jocund old man dancing a jig, or a merry young girl singing a song. It was the gentle sweeping laughter of a mother; the infectious, rousing cachinnation of a comedian; then the hiccuping, sniggering laugh of a drunk college student. Always, its eyes twinkled and its mouth; be it the toothless mouth of a baby, or the fanged maw of a dog rolling over to be scratched; was always agape, grinning. Some distance away, Grief dwelled in a habitat as different, if not more, from Joy’s as night and day. Where Joy was sitting, there was a constant sunshine, illuminating it.

This was not the case with Grief; it lay on hard spiky ground, with no comfort to be seen. Its only covering was meager, scratchy rags that provided not protection from the biting acidic rain that was a constant inhabitant of Grief’s locale. It like Joy held no steady form. There, however, is where all comparison ceased. Its forms changed gradually, first a sobbing mother clasping her stillborn child to her breast; then an impoverished child on the streets, fighting for scraps; a broken hearted girl sobbing in her bedroom; a father as he hears on the news that his son has died in the war; it changed constantly, each form more heartbreaking than the other. They all shared the same pinched, sunken faces and the sametorpid, dead eyes. Occasionally sounds would come from it; the horrified shrieking of a mother as her son sits on the electric chair; the echoing moans of a father whose daughter committed suicide; the racking sobs of a community as they prepare to die, quarantined so as not to spread their disease to others; the aching sigh of the world at large as a natural disaster strikes and kills thousands upon thousands; last but not least, the howling torment of earth as humans torture and defile it. These sounds rose and melded into a singular eerie entity, bursting forth across the plane, causing all who heard to cry. So sad and sonorous was the sound that all fighting stopped for a brief moment as the quavering echoes died down. The two sat, oblivious of the other, both crying in their own way and fashion. Joy cried the glistening tears of a mother reunited with her lost child; a graduating high school student; a father watching his child take its first step. Joy cried the tears of joy. Grief cried the bloody, bitter tears of agony and betrayal; the tears of a child as he watches his mother drive away, knowing she’s never coming back; the tears of a girl, brutally used and ravaged then tossed aside; the blood red tears of a child, sitting alone in some dark corner raising a razor to his wrist; the tears of a lonely man, despised by the world, preparing to end his life. Yes, Grief cried the tears of grief, and pain unknown. So they existed; both crying, neither caring; one bright rays of sunshine, the other a deluge of acid rain. It was so for a while. Until…

Until Anger transpired, that is. Anger came as a storm of mass proportions, hurling random objects in all directions. A raging bull here, a rampageous herd of wild elephants there, bolts of neon colored lighting everywhere. At the center of the storm was an eye, a large blood shot eyecrisscrossed with pulsating veins. The other emotions, preoccupied, had no chance to raise a defense. Anger seemed to grow angrier by the second, howling snowstorms becoming tempestuous blizzards, gouts of wildfire becoming raging infernos, bolts of lightning becoming a rain of lighting. This went on for a while, the other emotions attempting to gather strength and retaliate, but alas, they were too weak and injured to halt the steadily growing Anger. Then finally after they could fight no longer, Anger seemed to pause. They rallied, thinking to group together and attack Anger at once. All of a sudden, a giant rip appeared in the sky below Anger’s eye, and opened to reveal a gaping maw full of teeth. Sharp diamond edged teeth reached for the emotions, and an impossibly long tongue reached out and snaked around the awe stricken emotions. Then before they recovered, they were gone, swallowed in the infinite darkness that was now Anger. For a moment, Anger seemed to explodeoutwards, filing the astral plane almost to its edge, before slowly condensing into the shape of a man. He stood in clearing, an ugly bestial man. He was large and covered in blood soaked lanky hair. Anger’s body was traced with scars and veins, covered in corded muscle. His long hair crackled with latent, barely constrained energy. He would occasionally roar, bearing his fangs and transforming his visage to that of a beast, and hurl bolts of lightning everywhere. And so it was the Poltergeist became anger.

The gods looked upon this monster and were troubled. So they schemed, plotted and planned, eventually coming up with the perfect plan. They searched earth and gathered together all the good or lesser emotions they had let run rampart and combined them. Emotions or ideals such asrespect, justice, goodwill, calmness, contentment, and freedom to name a few; came together as if they meant to be. They coalesced and Peacewas formed. Peace was as beautiful as Anger was ugly, her body was tall and slender, her long hair a beautiful, ebon cascade. Her eyes were wise and understanding yet also sweet and kind; her nose tapered slightly giving her a queenly air. Her mouth was full and lush, seemingly inviting. As she walked, a sweet calming fragrance followed in her steps. The gods took her and placed her in Poltergeist, which was now anger. Then she started dancing, slowly and then faster, singing all the while. As she moved, flowed rather, from place to place, anger’s presence seemed to draw back and the harsh, hostile climates filled with exploding volcanoes and chilling blizzards unrolled and become warm, tropic climates. Finally after Anger had shrunk back to its form as a man, Peace stopped dancing and looked at Anger. Anger, filled with a burning rage, struck out with its ax, only to find air and feel Peace’s hand wrapped around it. As she held him, she continued dancing, her every step a drum beat and the whisper of the wind carressing her long beautiful hair a hand sturmming a harp.She danced and sang her voice low and high and perfect, first dancing fast till anger couldn’t keep up then as he started staggering exhausted, she dance slow and sang low. A lullaby. And Anger collasped to the ground tired and spent, a mere man now. As he slept, the other emotions found strength and tore out. They all filtered out and into the world, until all that was left was the weakened husk that was Anger. Peace also divided herself and the emotions that made her scattered across the world, spreading calm and good will. The world of poltergeist, the world of emotions, and in the end the world of anger.

The old man’s voice echoed as he told a story old as time herself, and new as a baby. His eyes stung with salty tears as he gazed into the dying embers of the fire. He stared at his captive audience and wondered, what emotion would rule them? He stood slowly, his ancient body protesting and made for the village gate. As he left, the people questioned him

“Who are you?”

He replied “I Be Poltergeist”