19 October 2010

“Celibate in The City” - When Abstinence Becomes Celibacy…and You’re Not Clergy

Part Twenty-Four

They tell you as a writer to write what you know. It’s not that I set out on a path of vaginal cobwebs---it just happened that way---by choosing emotionally retarded or sexually deviant men over the years, paralleled with idealistic notions of love and romance portrayed in 1940’s films. My travails into premature spinsterhood was emphasized by broken promises, disappointments and misunderstandings. Compounded by my own emotional vocabulary comparable to the board game level of four letters (Scrabble). My trust issues percolated just below the surface with fear of intimacy and abandonment.

Since my late teens I went from abusive relationships with men 10 to 20 years my senior to intoxicated sex with the rare gay male friend, parlayed into fantasy relationships in my early 30’s upon moving to New York City. Which at the height of AIDS graduated to abstinence and later celibacy. My last casual relationship was with an impotent man (unless silicone was omni present) who still lived at home (fully aroused when watching the Playboy channel). When I caught him one day masturbating to their televised, artificially enhanced, shiny naked bodies---our fragile year long relationship ended, and so did my self-esteem as it was marred in cellulite. That finale edged me towards abstinence and into fantasy relationships.

My aptitude for fantasy affairs was born when I was 5 years old twirling around a silver clothes line pole holding the imaginary hand of my “man.” We'd end the dance with a kiss---my innocent tongue reached out to lick the salty, cold metal, as my blue plastic Cat glasses clanked the pipe. Immediately, my notions of men became eschewed as they took on an air of an inanimate, lifeless object. [photo above at six years old]

Likened to a romance novel unfolding, my imaginary ideal of love resurrected itself a quarter of a century later with a handful of fantasy relationships. They were rich with sexual gratification (in my own mind). Literally carrying on a romantic conversation with my latest conquest that escalated to sexual encounters. They were fueled by suppressed longings and an inability to communicate my attraction in real life (unleashing imaginary escapades).

The last fantasy relationship I had was with Ken, a young George Clooney type who worked at World Gym in Lincoln Center. In time, the disinterest and endless rejection from my object of affection, would eventually slap me back to reality. That is after I realized my lovely wasn't able to wake-up and smell the obsession. The hope of my affections being returned would ultimately go unfulfilled and the heartwrenching discovery became apparent, that once again, I latched onto unrequited love.

Ken interest wasn’t in me---but rather a heavily painted, faux bronzed gym tart with implants. I wasn’t dissuaded. To me he was strong and solid like a rock---unmovable. But unknowingly, internally, he was shaking in his Nike’s. His silent strength emerged when he was still, quietly listening to me, and for the first time I felt understood and accepted. I thought during those seven months we had a special, equal, honest connection. Unfortunately, I was so excited by it, (becoming an exuberant puppy with men I’m attracted to) I couldn't contain myself and wanted to share with him every aspect of my life (without peeing on his foot). And in turn he became overwhelmed.

I felt that I had so much to offer and searched years for a man that could handle it, that my unexpressed emotions poured into him. The only way for me to stop the overflow was to step-back and give him and myself---space. Only a few days after we stopped talking did I realize that I appeared "needy." Maybe I was needing to be heard by someone familiar who would just listen. To be understood, accepted, and liked for who I was---by a man.

But a week later the abandonment set in and I crumbled. In an attempt to cloak my emotional collapse, I grappled with small talk, but Ken was swiftly doing sets, and the more he pretended I was invisible, the more desperate I became. I couldn’t bare the hurricane swirling within and it being Easter weekend---searched for the nearest church.

Barely able to contain my psychological and emotional convergence, I scurried down Ninth Avenue and leapt up the stairs of a church at 55th Street. I found myself weeping at the foot of another man----a priest, begging him for clarification. With sorrow spilling from my heart, I cried uncontrollably and in between heaves and puffs of breath asked, “Father, every time I find a man it’s unrequited love---no man ever loves me?” With a halo of candles burning behind him, he replied matter-of-factly, “You have to love yourself first.”

Those detached words of wisdom didn’t bring comfort or understanding, and I staggered drunk with sorrow to the M11 bus home (where I would rekindle a late night rendezvous with a Trinitron sized David Letterman).

Except, Ken’s rejection was so severe, it sent me to the cold white tiles of my bathroom floor. Symbolically, the bathroom where one cleanses, the primal pain of lovelessness throughout my lifetime surfaced as I sat hunched on the floor in the shadows of a night light. Trying to muffle my howls (from the other tenants), I cradled myself behind the closed door. The portal of pain became uncontrollable sucking me into a trance of one question to God, “Why doesn’t anyone love me?” That mantra reverberated through me as I rocked myself looking desperately for answers.

The emotional breaks of past loves (post abusers); Stephen, Michael, George, Marcello, Leonard, and imagined ones; Roy, Blaire and Ken---had ruptured. Looking at pictures of myself in a variety of ages and stages spanning my life---no longer a young, taunt filly. I realized I spent my youth wildly---and wept for the girl I used to be.

Is that me? Such a beautiful, young creature. Why didn't I see it then and love her more. Have I lost my youth? I didn't know what it looked like when I had it. Now I see--it was me. How could I have wasted so many years wondering what's wrong with me?

Believing I was too fat, too homely, too crooked, too loud. Now I see her as thinner, prettier, and all the crooked lines have disappeared. What a fool I was to spend her so recklessly.

While laying in the hammock of my loneliness I cried uncontrollably for quiet some time. I reached for my journal to write what was unearthing. I wrote about the loneliness I felt. It was then I observed my own mind, it wasn't cluttered with the obsessive thoughts of a man. The fantasy obsessions were for many years a distraction for the lack of a man----the void of love in my life. Without the daily pining over a man whom didn't want me, my dejected spirit, negative feelings of self-worth and unattractiveness became intertwined. I was finally alone with the emptiness of my own heart and mind. The more I scribed and reflected, I began to put the pieces of my emotional and psychological puzzle together.

I had many fictional relationships begin and end in my mind. Each ending was as traumatic as in real life. Aware of my regrets and mistakes, with each termination learning more about myself. I'd jest with my siblings that I was the only person to have a relationship, and cause infliction upon myself without ever touching or involving the other person. The fantasies protected me from a partner with unsuspecting sexual dysfunction's or diseases, feared pregnancy or the dreaded, awkward confrontation of clearing out your clothes or his (and asking for the return of apartment keys). It was less messy. Only one partner was hurt. One side of the story (literally). And after I woke from my hypnotic obsession, I'd wonder what I ever saw in him anyway.

As a writer I found the paper helped clear the dead wood hanging around the attic of my heart and mind. An emotional eruption gained momentum with each memory unleashed and re-lived. In order to write about it I had to re-experience it. During a moment of being stuck in a deep fog of emotional pain from the past. I came to realize while walking through the fire---that somewhere along the way I stopped needing people. The endings of important relationships, the loss, the deaths stacked upon one another until I closed my heart and stopped needing and loving others. In the interim it was safer to fantasize relationships. Ending a fictional relationship was still hurtful for my young heart, but less permanent. The obsession was created as a need to not feel any more pain or loss---I was already filled to capacity and needed to empty.

The vessel I searched my lifetime for, to pour my love and adoration into, wasn't a man after all. I mislead my heart in a continual quest for "the one" who could handle such powerful love and devotion. The prose tumbled around my soul while I waited for him. I had so much to share with this creature, where was he?

The years of suppressed emotions saddled with the inability to communicate laid dormant no longer. As I hovered over my laptop rewriting the past, the sorrow and pain surfaced. A cluster of tears dripped from my eyes and through them I found my way clearly. All the experiences and words I absorbed until that point imploded onto the page. The paper morphed into my vessel. I poured all the love, sorrow, regrets and heartache into those pages; strong enough to handle the abundance of painful words. In its silence---effortlessly absorbing the overflow of what I could no longer contain. Unconditionally accepting everything I offered.

But the more I wrote….the more detached I became from men and relationships---as the work became my lover---the memories and experiences became my muse. The reams of white cotton 24 lb. Strathmore paper parlayed my way to celibacy.

Trying to quell my sexual desires the first year of abstinence was the most difficult. The second, somewhat challenging but fulfilled by conjuring up liaisons. Years three to five were satisfied by porno….

And what I notice now after living without the warmth of a mans hand, is that the more I’m in my head as a writer---the less I feel my body below. A disconnect emerged. The less physical touch I experience---the less time I invest in (presumed) dysfunctional friendships or relationships, it severs my connection with other humans. I’m not sure if there’s a way of going back. As I still sense the trappings of inadequacies, the older I become, the more beautiful younger women appear (affirming that without enhanced procedures my days are numbered).

So instead my thoughts drift off to prayer and God (the ultimate in imaginary figures), imagining a better life, and what I want to accomplish. I ponder how iconic religious figures, whether Jesus, the Pope, Dalai Lama or Buddha dealt with the lack of intimacy that comes with celibacy. In 2007, new Mother Teresa journals surfaced, one inscription read, “….I am told God loves me — and yet the reality of darkness, coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. (If I am) The Child of Your Love….you have thrown (me) away as unwanted — unloved. I call, I cling, I want — and there is no one to answer — no one on whom I can cling — no one. — Alone…”

Is it harder to walk this life alone, independent, and seemingly self-contained---then committing to the pain and sorrow brought by exploring and loving another? Or will we as humans always crave the love and closeness of another, whether we are celibate or not.

© COPYRIGHT May 14, 2009, R. B. STUART. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction of this Blog in any form.

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21 July 2010

“Loving The Alien: But What If They’re Illegal”

MEXICO: The Mayan Ruins

Part Twenty-Three

Living in an International atmosphere like New York City you are exposed to the United Nations of culture, daily. I welcome and enjoy the diversity of a city that epitomizes a multitude of ethnicities from food, music, clothes and the arts. It’s common place to be saturated in foreign languages, styles and traditions. And when it comes to a lover….a foreigner is always best, even after a few Red Stripes then washing down the sex with a burrito and nachos. To possess a few coveted items across the pond, I’d consider renting my womb to own an Italian Villa. Would likely have no qualms donating my teeth to an orthodontic school for dentures if it meant a red Hermes Birkin bag in return. And with a penchant for foreign motorcars, there’s nothing like driving 120 MPH on the Autobahn with a Chanel loafer underfoot.

But with all things foreign, as an American I have less acceptance with illegal aliens who intentionally exploit our legal loopholes and our leniency by fraudulently making a home in our country by producing “anchor babies.” It guarantees their right to citizenship because they have procreated on our soil, and not just one child, but many children, solidifying there claim to not be sent home, therefore anchoring them in the U.S. To me being able to get knocked-up in America doesn’t constitute a reason for entitlement whether government assistance money, food, housing or medical care.

Being an American and immigrating to “the land of opportunity” should include a list of expectations, one being to speak English, to respect our environment and not litter or pollute, to not undercut our workforce by accepting our jobs at lower wages [gratis of Clinton’s NAFTA], and refrain from criminal activity. The latter we have enough American made criminals spanning from street drug traffickers, petty thieves, to the upscale robbers of Wall Street. If you want to contribute to our society then be a productive member----since we’re already filled to the brim with psycho’s, scammers, environmental slayers and financial rapists.

The issue is with illegal immigrants, not those immigrating here with a heart of hope, a skill, pre-born children, and a basket of good intentions. As many did three and four centuries ago through Ellis Island. My Italian grandparents immigrated here three generations ago, and my Scottish grandfather was sent to New England seven generations ago against his will as a POW. A soldier, Duncan Stewart was one of 2,000 Scot slaves captured after King Charles’ II, Battle of Worcester in 1651. Some not only lost their lives…but lost the right to their homeland. They were sent by ship to the U. S. in the port of Massachusetts. They reincarnated their birthplace by naming the Western Massachusetts towns Worcester, Leominster and Sterling, the namesakes of their abandoned beloved Scottish Highlands.

They worked hard, eventually bought up land, cultivated farms and contributed to the American way of life. They infused into their children a respect for the earth, how to care for animals, and be self-sufficient. Even if they were poor, with dirt floors, an out-house in lieu of plumbing using a nearby tree leaf to wipe, and at nighttime wrapping hot bricks in newspaper and placed at the foot of the bed to keep you warm through the night. These humble means built character and built Americans. Without sending home their U.S. wages weekly, they contributed to this economy.

No doubt there are still poor American’s living in the United States….but to an outsider looking in, the perception is askew. I’ve met natives from Mexico, Jamaica and Nigeria who believe “all Americans” are rich, and it is that notion that foreigners pack their suitcases and head for our shores----hoping that the preconceived riches will be theirs too. They board boats in the blinding night heading towards Florida where they are met with the law of a “wet foot or dry foot policy.” If they are caught in the water they are deported back to their country, but if their foot touches U.S. soil, they are sent to Crown Detention Center in Miami where they are detained and allowed the opportunity to enter the U.S. legally.

In Mexico with meager or no possessions they run with their life towards our boarders for the promise of the American dream. They scale walls, crawl on their bellies, hide in brush or are transported illegally by a carrier. Their network of families and friends already here house and guide them along the way. But why leave the poppy fields of Oz for a land of crusty, old whities who only want your cheap labor and homemade salsa.

The Mexican aliens work hard for miniscule pay in all areas where English isn’t necessary. They may bring a tireless work ethic, but they also bring the environmental disrespect they have learned in their own country. The dirty water, lack of sanitation and poor living conditions in Mexico are translated when they arrive in the U. S. as they begin “trashing” our country.

Dawn Nita, American born, formerly lived in Papua New Guinea where she spent a year like the natives living off the land. She’s lived in Southern Florida for 15 years and has witnessed a decline in her community. “Living in South Florida is a great cultural experience and I love it here. Over the years I have noticed not only does the influence of the South American cultures impact us in a positive way with the uniqueness of their culture, but if you will, I have also noticed an increase in their “cultural garbage.”

She explains, “As these cultures spread-out over south Florida up from Miami so has the amount of litter that lines the sides of the highways, roads, and parking lots. It has increased significantly even in the communities where I do now, and have lived. When I walk my dog I see fast food bags, bottles, cans and even household items that are thrown without a second thought out of car windows or as people walk down the street.”

“Seeing this brings me back to the days growing up in America and the education and habits that were instilled in us as children.” Nita vividly remembers the PSA’s, “Don’t Be A Litterbug,” “Give a Hoot---Don’t Pollute,” to a single tear rolling down the cheek of an American Indian who witnesses our carelessness with mother nature, as a bag of fast food trash is thrown at his feet. As well as the street signs that started appearing warning of fines for littering. “These messages were ingrained into my generation resulting in as adults we are conscious of recycling and not littering.”

“Now that there has been an influx of Third World immigrants---they haven’t learned the respect of what it means to live here with our standards of living. The cultures that now populate our towns and cities didn’t have the same influence to “Keep American Clean.” They find it natural to throw their trash anywhere they please, even if the garbage can is only a few feet away. It saddens me to see this, and I witness it every day. Leaving their waste for someone else like myself to collect and properly discard,” Nita expressed. “I consider myself a keeper of the planet, but without fail the next day more trash has replaced what was removed.”

“It would serve America well if we made an effort to re-run the PSA’s in many languages teaching our new residents and citizens the same respect we were taught growing up in this beautiful land of America,” she ended.

Those striking images and messages at a young age impresses upon us to care for our environment by not polluting our air or littering our water, and land. But those public messages aren’t developed nor brought with those illegal Third World aliens. Without that initial respect for the land, sea and air, their ignorance smacks us everyday as we contend with their abuse.

Strewn plastic water bottles, broken glass beer bottles are the gifts from our new “grateful” residents, who with their thoughtlessness have made America truly feel like home. By disposing of their refuse in the streets, beaches and parks, maybe intentionally out of defiance, in retribution for low wages and for the U. S. not being all they’d expected---turning our environment into theirs. As we become the minority in our own land with bed bugs crawling under our covers, garbage lodged in between the daffodils, and where the McDonalds French fries and waxed paper are a seagulls delight, while pigeon’s peck in a frenzy at the shiny glass soaked pavement---we have been stamped with the escalating appearance of a Third-World.

So if Arizona believes the many years of illegal Mexican infiltration and cultural garbage has crippled their quality of life---then it’s our way or the highway, and let them enter legally and respectfully---learning the rules of the land and what it takes to actually “be” an American.

But what if we are the intruders of their land? Gary Frank, an American and twenty-year resident of Los Angeles admits the Mexican’s do the work Californian’s won’t do, but we are the aliens. “Essentially, we [American’s] stole the land from the Mexican’s like we did to the Indians. Originally back in the 1600 to 1800’s California, Arizona, New Mexico and the boarder of Texas were all part of Mexico. They are just taking back what is rightfully theirs.”

The Mexican/American wars of those era’s were depicted as a “murderous plunder” only benefiting the U. S. The bloodbath feuds over the centuries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia have been steeped in religious conflict between Christians, Jews, Muslims, Catholic and Protestants, but here in the U. S. our acts of violence, oppression and slavery have taken on a different tone, one of skin color, beginning with the American Indian, then Mexican and Blacks. During our history religion had less to do with our prejudice---but if you were darker than white and owned some land, particularly mineral rich land with natural resources---we took pride in our need to dominate, control, and without conscience take anything you had of value, especially if you were of a darker pigment.

“I find racism deplorable,” Frank underlines. “But each State has its right to do as they please...after all we were not founded as a democracy but Republic for and by the People. This being said...California has many, many lovely Mexican National legal and illegal residents.”

But Frank wonders if we grant them citizenship does it solve the problem? “Why are there no Jobs in Mexico…surely the Gulf Disaster can use some day laborers to clean up for the next 30 years.”

“Living in L.A. we also have general overpopulation with gang and drug issues, including homelessness and destitute people of all races to contend with---so it’s far from the “California Dreamin” fame of the 60's.” Frank’s personal concern about immigration is the crime. “People who reside on Arizona's border have a right to protect themselves and property. There are the safety issues from the have not's robbing the haves which resulted in L.A. and San Diego putting bars on many home windows. Because of the drug trade helicopters hover above all neighborhoods at all hours, and shootings occur at random restaurants.”

“Compounded by our State crying broke to provide social services, there is much work to be done in America,” he concludes. “We were founded on caring for the huddled masses yearning for freedom...now there are so many people our freedoms are dissolving into history one by one.”

If the Mexican people want to leave the home in which they grew up in and migrate to the land that was once theirs, a place where the new American owners have painstakingly developed and beautified over the centuries transforming it into the oasis they sought. Then they should respect the country we have built and partake in making it even better by contributing environmentally and economically, by not sending their resources back to a country that has long ago self-destructed, with the inability to accommodate their basic needs, and failed to become the Eden in which they hoped.

© COPYRIGHT 2010, R. B. STUART. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction of this Blog in any form.

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15 May 2010

“DIVORCE: Reality Style”

Part Twenty-Two

Since the consumption of Reality TV in 2000, a genre that at times is forgettable, America’s fascination is quenched by the dirty laundry and beatification of the average couple next door---all dressed in professional make-up, designer clothes and lights. They may be anointed celebrities because of their media exposure and real-life drama----but they don’t have the staying power and public adoration of the Hollywood made television or film star’s that have, or will become, legends in the entertainment industry for not only their natural glamour, but gift of craft. [Unrelated to Divorce or Reality TV are two Hollywood stars pictured herein, the multi talented since a mere babe, Brooke Shields, and newcomer Mandy Moore.]

Lasting notoriety, celebrity and stardom is earned, not donned like a badge on a Girl Scout uniform. And maybe that’s the culprit why so many of the reality show couples, who started out on the small screen in a loving marriage---become hostile and combative with one another, ultimately ending in divorce. The final act is punishment by The God’s for selling out on something sacred, pure and honest---the love and partnership of another---in exchange for money and [fleeting] fame.

With the exception of the already famous Celeb’s who signed on for reality shows and eventually settled in divorce court upon wrapping their series: “Being Bobby Brown” with rapper Bobby Brown and iconic songstress Whitney Houston, “Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica” with popster Jessica Simpson and boy band husband Nick Lachey, “Hogan Knows Best” with pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and stay at home bombshell mom, Linda, “The Osbourne’s” with metal head banger Ozzy Osbourne and wife turned reality judge, Sharon.

Others who attained infamy and termination of marriage; “The Real Housewives of New York” [Countess once removed] LuAnn and extra marital affair European hubby, Count Alex de Lesseps, “John & Kate Plus Eight” with [another double dipper] John and Kate Gosselin, and as of late “Housewives of Orange County” Tamra and controlling but faithful spouse, Simon Barney.

The non-performer and ordinary reality Mom, Kate Gosselin depicted just how painful it is to watch a non-professional in a professional role, as in “Dancing With The Stars.” Her Frankenstein dance steps and inability to “turn on” that extroverted aspect of her personality who craves the camera lights and applause---shows the stark contrast of real actors/celebrity’s capability to effortlessly call on the performer within to entertain.

If we asked Dr. Drew Pinsky, the celebrity psychotherapist with his own VH1 reality show that addresses celebrity drug addiction “Celebrity Rehab.” These married couples who’ve acquired immediate false stardom through a reality show, by putting each argument and neurosis under the magnification of a camera lense, eventually exposing themselves to public scrutiny. How does that “celebrity” effect their relationship?

Why does marriage become more fragile when public scrutiny is thrown n the mix? After seeing the inner-workings of the marriage on television---how does seeing oneself 360 degrees effect who we are? And that self-awareness and observations of the spouse is so severe it’s capable of breaking a committed relationship?

Is it because they are able to witness for themselves their own shortcomings, or their partners flaws---their differences too painfully apparent when seen on television. With a focus so intense it replicates an experiment, a case study in ones home, who’s subjects have gone awry. Was the relationship doomed from the start?

Since the veil of ignorance was lifted on their own and their partners behaviors, as well as them as a unit, then is the reality check of a divorce the only recourse---as they can’t go back to who they once were---and now that the conflicts and differences have surfaced, are they too apparent to ignore, too great to work on, too ill matched to continue a relationship?

Because reality show couples are foreign to celebrity and unaware how detrimental it can be to their privacy. They make the grave mistake of taking “the show on the road.” Whereas celebrity that has been achieved and warranted through years of hard work and success from the craft of an actor whether television or film---they are familiar with the pitfalls of fame and its attempt to snake itself into personal aspects of their private life and relationships, making them more capable of maintaining boundaries and savvy at side stepping [if desired] journalists and paparazzi.

So without having the experience of the media, as an accredited actor does, and allowing the world into your marriage, and being seduced by, and ill-prepared to handle all the instant trappings of the faux TV land fame. Than it has the ability of contaminating your relationship.

It is that decade or longer learning curve of show-biz steps one acquires being a professional in the entertainment industry before the taste of celebrity ever kisses their lips. And it is that preparation that reality show marriages are devoid of and the reason for the dissolution of their union.

COPYRIGHT 2010, R. B. STUART. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction of this Blog in any form.

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12 April 2010

"The Flooding: Is the Moon’s Feud with NASA”

Part Twenty-One

In February NASA came forward, not to discuss their erroneous decision to lob a Centaur rocket at the moon on October 9, 2009---but to share their probe into ice on Saturn. In October, in search of water, the mega ton missile blasted a hole in the moons lunar surface at twice the speed of a bullet.

Now I don’t know who else isn’t paying attention, but their hair-brain idea to attack the moon has caused a weather calamity on earth. Within one week after their mission of “boring a hole in the moon looking for water,” snow fell on New Jersey---and it wasn’t even Halloween yet.

Since then no officials have stepped forward with the findings that what they have done, is alter the moons natural rhythms in association with water i.e. the tides umm.....floods. I believe NASA is to blame for the enormous changes we've seen with flooding throughout the U. S. since their test last fall. They have downplayed their moon-water venture by stating the moon can handle their assault, adding it was infitessimal in the grand scheme of outer space explosions.

If the moon was able to handle her timing being "off" by the manipulation of an unnatural collision of a man-made weapon on her surface. Then why has the water NASA was searching for on the moon, all of a sudden fallen to earth 100 fold in the form of snow or rain? And in behemoth proportions.

But the U.S. isn’t the only obnoxious super power to challenge the ball of light in the nights sky, as Japan’s Kaguya impacters collided with the moon in June 2009 seeking aqua. And Hello Kitty---the tit for tat for that crash---has impacted Toyota worldwide.

The evidence of NASA’s nonsensical actions is record high snowfalls and floods in areas that don’t normally experience snow i.e. Texas. Thus far, for the U. S. 1,180 snowfall records have been broken across 49 of the 50 states. Even in Washington, D.C. where Mother Nature’s offenders reside at NASA Headquarters, they’ve been pummeled with 54.9 inches this winter breaking their 1898 record.

Philadelphia admitted they haven’t seen this much snow in 14 years at 65.5 inches in one winter. This season has surpassed that number by five inches----and it’s still snowing here in NYC as I pen this.

The sideway falling snow on Thursday caused such havoc in New York City that a 42 year old-man was killed when walking through Central Park when a snow laden tree toppled onto him. Just strolling through the park---is like the NY lottery of death, ‘hey’ you never know.’ Throughout the city trees were bending, breaking and being uprooted by the maddening storm. In a city that’s withstood the raping by Wall St., the westward angle of the rapidly falling-frozen-white-flakes---caused the Big Apple to buckle under the strain of yet another, snowy concrete landscape.

The heck with El NiƱo---it’s more like the El’ Ninny’s at NASA for believing they can interfere with piercing the moon with a fuel soaked, school bus sized titanium rocket, and not expect her wrath and retribution for searching her private crevices for water. It is arrogant, egotistical and self-indulgent---and mostly unnecessary since we have an abundance of water here---that the earth has provided for free. Oh yes, but it needs care and cleaning-up after the centuries of corporate exploitation and industry abuse---so I guess it’s more economical and easier to search for clean water on a planet suspended in space light miles away.

No matter how minor they claim the assault of the moon was---it is apparent the slightest interference in its surface has most certainly affected its role in regulating not only the oceans ebb and flow throughout the earth, but its precipitation; whether rain, snow, sleet or hail.

When will the “powers that be” realize that Mother Nature is fragile and wields more power than any nuclear weapon, any money printer at the Federal Reserve, any White House Presidential seat, or any Deregulation to the laws of the moon, the earth….and with one fell swoop she can cause a catastrophe in one fragment of a country called Haiti, send in waves to wash away people on a California beach, or bury us in 70 feet of snow. This extreme weather is a mere smack in the face since with one backhand, she can slap us into extinction, and will ultimately have the last word….you don’t mess with Mother Nature.

COPYRIGHT February 2010, R. B. STUART. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction of this Blog in any form.

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12 March 2010

“Her Irish Eyes Are Smilin’ ”


Now I know why Mum used to sit in the yard watching us play,
Because she knew time was slowly slipping away.
Now that I’m older---
Life without her has grown colder.

My yearn to leave her to explore the world,
Brought me right back with tales of my journey and trinkets of foreign pearls.
She’d listen captivated by the stories from distant shores---
Her eyes would widen so she could drink in more.

But now she’s gone, no longer sitting and watching us from home,
Her face, her smile, her laugh, her love---
Now hangs suspended from the heavens above.

Her words, her gaze---
From the days we watched her…..as we played,
Brings me back to the time I was born---
And the loving clutch of a young, mothers arm.
She has left this earth far too soon---
Now I sit and watch her sing and dance, ‘round the moon.

Patricia T. Stuart 28 July 28 ~ 12 March 02

Copyright March 2010 R. B. STUART. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction of this Blog in any form.

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13 February 2010

“Bill Gates and The Number 8”

images provided by The NewsMarket/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Part Twenty

In November, CNBC’s program BIOGRAPHY highlighted gazzilionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. William H. III has become the official gate to the buffet of money left behind by his partner in wealth, equally as lucky, rabbits foot up the wazoo, four leaf clover ingrained in the palm of his hand---Warren. So selfless are these two magical moneymen….that they can’t bare to leave any of it to their children [well not really any dough…just pittance compared to their amassed wealth], and are donating the majority to their beloved charities.

Was it simply luck of the draw in the sperm bank of life when these two men where conceived---or will the trio of Gates offspring be just as gifted in ideas made of green----as is their royal-flush holding papa. Either way I had hoped by watching the televised special on the life of Gates…that maybe somehow the divine universe would send a little-Buddha-belly-rubbing my way. But it’s been three months now and I’m still a pauper---the only green thing coming my way is chlorine-bleached hair and mold.

So I’ll press on in my fascination with his life story and explore the coincidences of the number eight that surfaced.

William H. Gates: the letter H is the 8th letter of the alphabet

Born: October 28, 1955

On his SAT’s math test he scored: 800

His first computer model: Altair 8800

Early on he merged his Altair with a company in New Mexico: address 819 Two Park Central Tower

His business relationship ended in N. M and he moved to Seattle: in 1978

The CEO of IBM wanted his operating system for a P. C.: in 1980

Gates’ revenue was up and his employee’s increased from: 1978 to 1981

Microsoft was used throughout the world: by 1983

His partner Paul Allen was diagnosed with an illness: at age 28

Gates’ face graced the cover of Time Magazine: in 1984

Windows Software was debuted in Apple: in 1986

Gates took the company public: in 1986

Future wife and staffer Melinda French: was 28 when they met

Her birthday: in August / 8th month

The senate charged Microsoft with a monopoly pursuing an antitrust trail: in 1998

Bill Gates left Microsoft to work full time at their Gates Foundation: in 2008

Since the recent release of Microsoft 7.0: next version is 8.0

In 2013: Bill will be 58 years old, and maybe he’ll release Microsoft 8.0

In numerology, the Tarot version, the number eight represents JUSTICE. Its attributes, similar to his, follow.

Number 8: You are inspiring, result-oriented, powerful, ambitious, visionary, generous, perseverant, forgiving, broad-minded, money-conscious and self-disciplined. You have the potential for enormous success and the possibility to accumulate great wealth. You are also a good judge of character a natural leader and a survivor.

Career choices:
Manager, investor, entrepreneur, business person, scientist, politician, financial expert, real estate, politician, athlete.

Weaknesses: Stubborn, intolerant, impatient, stressed, materialistic, impatient with people, arrogant and reckless. You have the power to accumulate great wealth, but you also susceptible to loosing everything. You are a gambler, you have a strong desire for luxuries and you can fall for corruption. You have to find a balance between the spiritual and the material world. Learn to use your power for benefit of mankind.

And that he has……

COPYRIGHT 2010, R. B. STUART. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction of this Blog in any form.

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04 January 2010

“The Furry Paws of God”

Part Nineteen

When my sister [above with my dog Sunday], Fran E. Stuart transferred from the Navy [below] to the Army in 2001 she hadn’t know that within months she’d be deployed to Iraq in 2003. As an Army Chaplain Captain on the heels of a war with Iraq she was deployed from Ft. Campbell, Ky. Enroute to Baghdad with the rest of the 101st Airborne battalion in a C130 Military Aircraft. Unaware by March 2006, she would be diagnosed with a rare Stage IV Dysgerminoma Cancer two years post her tour in Iraq.

In the year while Fran was stationed in Mosul, Iraq, within six months she built for her battalion the first ever 101st Airborne Army library, her Colonel named it “Camp Performance.” Aiding her with donations from The New York Public Library, Penguin Putnam Books, Blockbuster and others packed the shelves with religious works, collections of books, music and movies. The library was to serve as a recreation center, a place where soldiers could gather hope, and occupy their minds with something other than war.

Besides her daily prayer services and Sunday worships that accommodated all denominations and ethnic faiths [above monistary Iraq], Fran also created a Commitment Ceremony for the married soldiers to re-strengthen their bond to the spouses back home. While other soldiers she took on field trips to the sacred sites of mosques built in the desert centuries ago. Visiting the holy lands only seen by the Iraqi's themselves---until now.

Fran’s makeshift office was in an abandoned Iraqi Army Officers Base and became the center of her mission. Surrounded by protective talismans; some sent by family, others she brought. The religious artifacts, angels and saints rested on her desk, clung to the walls, hung around her neck and laid in her pockets. They were constant reminders that God was present and all would be well. Amidst the heat, gun blats, and waves of sand storms, she would continue to care for the soldiers and press on.

Fran often wondered if she’d escape the war without damage---besides the fear of her safety and psychological impact of the noise---she did. Except two years post Iraq, she was deployed to Germany for three years where she would undergo hostility from several civilian co-workers. The daily strife caused so much angst and discontent Fran knew she couldn’t cope there the three year term. Nearing the end of the first year she began praying to God, begging him, to somehow get her out of there and back home to the United States closer to her five siblings. And unknowingly---God heard every word. Her wishes were fulfilled---and prayers granted. In March 2006, at 40 years-old Fran was diagnosed with stage IV Ovarian cancer, later re-diagnosed to Dysgerminoma, a rare aggressive Germ Cell Cancer. She was instructed to get her affairs in order--for she--was going home.

The Army made arrangements to medEvac her to Walter Reed Army Medical Center [WRAMC] in D. C. Fran telephoned me in NY from Germany to tell me her worst fears. Whaling the results into my ear, she cried out, “I'm only 40 years-old, I’m too young to meet my maker. I'll be 41 on Wednesday. I need more memories. I don't have enough yet,” she bawled in horror. I could only weep, “I'm sorry honey, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.” Ironically, it was almost three years to the day since she was first deployed to Iraq.

How could a young woman who had held the hands of wounded soldiers, comforted the spouses of soldiers killed in a cross fire, cradled babies dying of Leukemia and give the last rights to those in their final days….be herself on the other side of the bed? And be at war with the Cancer raging within. I asked myself, “Why her?” And then thought, “Why not her?” Fran said she asked herself, “Why me?” A voice repeated, “Why not me?” We both had unknowingly heard the same answer.

The day before Fran’s 41st birthday, March 14th, the medEvac originating in Germany laden with 30 plus soldiers from Iraq, all in need of medical attention in the U.S., headed for D.C. and Andrews Airforce Base. They carried her in a stretcher across the tarmac to the plane, she heard music blaring from the cockpit, the Rolling Stones song, Beast of Burden. The tears began to slide down the sides of her temples as she knew she was finally going home to see her family, but I didn't expect this way. The song reminded her of me, I used to sing it when we were younger. Fran loves music and has always had a special song for each of her family members.

A different person was emerging, one who shared her secrets, her joys, her pains. The Cancer was unveiling her Soul, the sorrow was opening her heart.

On St. Patrick’s Day 2006 Fran was wheeled into the WRAMC O.R. where she gave birth to a Volleyball size tumor that grew in my belly. And later, the eventual loss of her creative organs, as well as her red locques of hair. Conjoined would be the loss of faith and hope in God, as she asked why he would give her Cancer, as she was doing his work.

Months before the Cancer diagnosis she remembered envisioning a white, short haired kitty with piercing green eyes sitting on her belly. She whispered to me, “Its paws stretched out grabbing lightly at my chest. I’d stroke it with both hands and it would purr. It made me feel good when I’d see it.” Being a cat lover—I told her it was a guardian angel.

After six months and 30 rounds of chemo, the loss of who she was brought with it a fear of the future and an abandonment of hope. The family watched their baby sister revert to an infant, at the same time intertwine with the fragility and sadness of an old woman. Through the carving away of self through surgeries, unable to recognize herself anymore and finding more in common with a monster---produced a betrayal of her body as it had relinquished her life force to Cancer. The violation by another’s hands inside of your sacred body, splitting your armor apart and dissecting deep into your soul…..as they attempt to remold what God himself created, and in the process lifting the veil of boundaries of the sacred self, marred by the spoils of war.

We heard the echoes of her silent cries and inner torment as Cancer spread itself through the entire family, changing the core of who we were, as we try to balance between life and death, health and sickness, love and loss. The anger penetrates her dreams and dissolves her thirst for life as it becomes too arduous to live…and death is just a slip away.

In September 2006, for two weeks in between treatments as a way of revitalizing her, I picked Fran up at WRAMC and brought her home with me to New York. While visiting, a four-year-old male nurse appeared draped in Poodle fur, his name was Sunday. Never experiencing the sight of a bald human, nor the scent of Cancer, he steadfastly stayed by Fran’s side forfeiting his daily walks, food and water for days on end. His gaze affixed upon her, his small furry body glued to the calf of her leg. He wasn’t aware his patient was of rank, a Captain, and a higharchy of the cloth, a Chaplain. All he knew was that he must stay with her every move.

Sunday became entranced with his mission to care and bring comfort. And although Sunday was naturally a timid pup---he became a Dingo. Like a mother protecting a newborn, he turned on his owner---me. I stayed away, as he became her nurse. As she leapt from the couch to the bathroom to vomit he was by my side, head cocked as this strange odor spewed from her mouth. Fran became his master, as he listened to her every command. In turn, I became invisible.

Since I couldn’t get near him without him showing his teeth, daily Fran would clip the leash to his collar so that I could drag him off the bed and out of the house to urinate. As I tugged him towards the door, he resisted and barked in protest as if to say, “Don’t move! Don’t get up. I’m being taken away. But I’ll be back!”

Once outside he’d scamper down the stairs of the deck to the backyard, and urgently go to the bathroom next to the last step. Without thought of me---he’d race back to scratch and bark at the glass door, notifying Fran he was coming back into the house. I’d unclip him from the leash and he’d dash to the bedroom and jump onto the bed to inspect his patient; sniff her mouth, push the pajama leg up with the tip of his nose and lick the skin of her calf. He insisted she keep the skin of her legs bare at all times, besides cleaning her legs, he’d rest his head on Fran’s shin, to detect any movement or change in body odor. A possible signal to him she was in distress.

Determined to nourish him, after he shadowed her to the bathroom she quickly shut the bedroom door so that I could attempt to feed him. He scratched at the wooden door, while I laid the plate down next to him. Without taking his eyes off the door he realized how hungry he was---and in rapid speed scoffed a few bites down. In between chews he’d pick up his head to listen for movement in the room and make sure the door didn’t open. Hesitantly focusing on the food, jerking his body back to the door I could see his apprehension as he tried to do two things at once. He was caught between guarding the door and eating as fast as possible. Normally a picky eater---now within minutes he was done. I opened the door and back he went to inspect his patient, canvassing her entire body with his eyes and nose before finally laying at her feet.

I’d never seen such behavior in him. And didn’t want to interfere with what he was doing---but knew whatever it was it was important to him, and it brought comfort to Fran and waves of pleasure and laughter, as this strange creature would sacrifice, his food, water, sleep and walks---to tend to her. The ultimate sacrifice of God – Dog.

It was time to return to WRAMC and Sunday would head off to N. H. for a month. I would drive Fran back to D. C. and care for her through the final five rounds of Chemo and exploratory surgery. The darkness of the womb was calling her home, and at the same time her heart was beating stronger towards the light, towards the love cradling her back to health. The strings of her memories, the melody to her songs awakened the eye of hope, and courage was born. The goodwill and faith of others pulled her back into life as she turned a corner onto a different path. The wheel no longer in her hands, she proceeded with caution and edging herself out of the tunnel of fear, towards the rebirth of the woman she has become.

By November 2006, after 35 rounds of Chemo, and three surgeries, Fran was deemed in clinical remission. The sun returned to nourish her sprouting red locks and sparked the wisdom beaming from her eyes. As she shed the infant; the innocence no longer paints her face. And shrugged off the spine of an old woman as she walked into the future---holding the hand---of hope. The death sentence is lifted, the words remission propel her back into life as she’s once again, Fit for Duty.

God is omni present, taking Fran’s hand and walking her back to the soldiers returning from war---like her. With conviction in tact, she dons her Army uniform---black and gold crosses on her lapel, and once again, Fran the Chaplain returns to the path of comforting the military men and woman---with the furry paws of God.

Copyright August 2007, R. B. STUART. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction of this Blog in any form.

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