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Each of us has our own unique GPS system... Truth-telling is the most thorough navigation tool.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


No wonder I’ve got a headache. The 605 freeway is shut down in both directions. Yesterday, the 710 freeway was shut down for five hours. My folks are going to brave the wet freeway tomorrow to get to the Pond for freebies and a speech by the new CEO, Robert Iger, with other Disney stockholders. Not to mention Disney stocks are down, FEMA spent nine million on vacant tractor homes that sink into the mud, the Saudis know Bush no longer has control of his party, the government or the people of the United States. Why shouldn’t the muscles be tightening around my brain?

Thinking that billions of dollars are being ineffectively siphoned out of the Iraqi Recovery Projects by corrupt and greedy profiteers with no concern or compassion for humanity. North Dakota and more than nine other states are actively maneuvering to dismantle Rowe vs Wade, just as the religious right has been praying. We keep paying taxes yet have borders unguarded and nuclear stations insecure. Plus, I had an intuitive hit about an alcoholic neurologist and one was arrested this afternoon in Oakland.

Some days I feel my upper most appendage almost throbbing like an ultra thick rubber band being stretched around Suzanne Somers’ opening and closing thighs. I try to sit quietly and not push myself to achieve something. I stay away from my desk’s books and papers. I try not to read something and keep my eyes focused and my mind processing. Instead I watch the tube six feet down from my feet. Just wanting to be entertained, I seek escape from encircling problems.

I know the Taliban is heavily recruiting again. I understand there is a banking scandal that is stealing millions under debit card holder’s noses. Only recently did I start watching the news. In the late 80’s I didn’t watch much. I was living in sight of the beach, rushing off to a job every morning, on the freeways daily, sleeping with someone I wasn’t supposed to be with because I was avoiding other people I was supposed to be with...

I honestly never caught the Seinfeld craze. I started watching television after my brother died. I guess that’s how my hopelessness played out. Losing the closest person to me that had unconditional regard for me... losing the man who could see right through all barricades to the intricately conceived jigsaw puzzle of my heart.

I remember driving him from Laguna to Los Angeles on March 11th, 1993. Remembering these last few hours with him, I can still feel the tightness in my chest as I sit in traffic with the six-footer cramped into the passenger’s seat of my little gold Mazda. I smell gas fumes. It’s one of those moments when I can’t make small talk, not that I've ever needed to do so with this brother.
At that time, I was torn between two lovers, not meaning to be trite or use a cliche. I was heavily pressured to move in with the older of the two. He had a time line. I had a heart and it was shaking simultaneously with fear and rage.

I yelled at my brother, “You don’t know what it is to be a woman.” I don’t know what he said that calmed me down... but I was better after taking that ride with him. His depth, his kindness, his sensitivity helped me feel better. My problems didn't miraculously disappear, but they seemed more distant.

I don’t remember even asking him if he had any problems that day. No sentences of his professed doubt circle my data banks now. I was so self obsessed back then. Wait a minute. That’s right. That was the day he said, “You’re lucky. You don’t have to think of providing for those you’ll leave behind.”

Today I think of how these troubles on this terrorized planet personally affect me. Not too many of those earlier listed problems change how I’m sitting here, in this minute, at this desk, next to this candle. Having studied political science at Berkeley, having studied power consistently in this life, I feel responsible for all that is going wrong in the world. No wonder I have a headache.

Now what did that beloved brother of mine say that enabled me to put the problems farther out in front of me, so they no longer choke me and limit my breath?

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