Photographed this young girl while I was on assignment in Tacoma's Wright Park a couple hours before doctors at Group Health Cooperative told me my congestive heart failure is stable and that if it remains so, I should live as long as genetics and Fate would otherwise have allowed. (Photograph copyright Loren Bliss 2016.)
MY APOLOGY FOR the unprecedentedly long silence, OAN's longest hiatus since I began its publication in 2009 and – or so I surely hope – a silence never to be repeated.
While the above cutline summarizes the good news, the details are (1) – that while the echo cardiogram my previous post said was forthcoming does indeed confirm I have congestive heart failure, it also indicates the condition is of a magnitude controllable by medication, exercise and weight loss; (2) – that despite an excruciatingly painful right knee (the bone-running-on-bone result of my 1978 radical meniscectomy now severely inflamed by osteoarthritis), I am again managing to walk a mile almost every day; and (3) – that with my no-more-than-two-slices-of-bread-per-day diet, which I resumed once the devastation of temporary eviction was behind me, I am again losing weight, so much so I am now comfortably wearing belts with which I had not been able to cinch up my trousers since 2007.
The dark side of weight loss – the dark backside of poverty potentially brightened by a sudden full-moon at emotional midnight – is if I keep losing weight, I will eventually have to buy a new wardrobe, which is unaffordable thanks to the $155 per month Dem/GOP capitalist governance has slashed from my 2016 income. Thus like all of us impoverished folk I am being victimized to Baby Jesus nakedness by the weaponized poverty of Prosperity-Gospel Christianity, Thus too the reference to the full moon: an entirely do-able gesture of bare-assed defiance by anyone reduced to nudity by poverty.
Which, if we reflect on it, elevates nude dancing from its capitalist-proclaimed immorality to the very most moral, ¡no pasaran! form of revolutionary defiance – about which more in a moment.
Meanwhile I have – thanks to a beloved friend who is a genuine Witch, and to her patronesse and Muse who was not just a true Witch but a Laughing Witch brimming with love and humor 500 years ago in what is now Peru, I have a new mantra:
I refuse to be defined by victimization and trauma.
Instead I choose a path of healing and creativity.
I never before believed that sort of recitation of aspirations unto one's self was anything more than a human-potentialist variant of mental masturbation, but now I have discovered it does indeed work, and at long last, no doubt due to its self-hypnosis, I seem to be doing just what the cliche says, “putting behind me” the devastating trauma of my childhood and its vast intensification by the 1983 fire.
Thus it is easy to imagine my Witch ancestors Margaret Blisse and Mary Blisse, comely and successful mother and daughter farmers who were tried for witchcraft in 17th Century Connecticut and beat the rap, are laughing and applauding from their resting places in the Summerlands, unless of course they've been reborn in new bodies. (That they triumphed over envy and malice means they most likely were real Witches, knowledgeable in the clandestinely preserved skill to enchant with Truth, much as the legendary Jack Orion possessed similar skill but as a man – such arts are remnants of the ancient matriarchies – could not do it with presence alone and thus required the aid of an instrument, originally a harp but by the 1600s a fiddle.
Meanwhile my mantra, which keeps changing as I change, has become an eerily appropriate accompaniment to a conversation I had with a young friend and comrade while walking in the park this very morning. She mentioned an Allen Ginsberg poem, Kaddish (italicized rather than enclosed by quotation marks because it is an epic published as a separate book), and our conversation, which was about her own growth process, was also significant enough to my own psychological and political growth I looked up the Ginsberg work when I returned to my (now almost fully reconstructed ) home. (Yes, I met him several times in the City, and yes, I have all his published material.) There near the beginning of Kaddish, which I had not read in many years, I found a line that surely applies to all of us who are working to save our species from capitalism and its otherwise-inevitable extermination of our species and destruction of our planet, whether it does so by World War III or environmental ruin or some combination of both:
“...Dreaming back through life, Your time -- and mine accelerating
Ginsberg's text thus prompted a response with my own words, first my oft-repeated statement that “in such times as these, when the One Percent has weaponized poverty and is using it in place of Zyklon B for our own genocidal removal, survival is a form of revolutionary defiance,” and then this I wrote on a Reader Supported News comment thread two days ago (for which scroll down):
Let us ask ourselves: why would the One Percenters want to ensure World War III?
Because -- precisely as their now-obviously permanent obstruction of effective climate-change amelioration proves beyond a scintilla of doubt -- they believe our species and our planet are already doomed.
Never mind it is obvious socialism could yet save us -- that it is in fact the only economic system capable of doing so.
It is equally obvious the One Percenters themselves -- who are most assuredly not stupid -- recognize socialism as our species' only possible mechanism of survival.
But fanatical capitalists (and therefore moral imbeciles) that they are, they are also suicidally committed to the doctrine of "better dead than Red."
They fear -- quite reasonably -- that after a socialist revolution, they would be the very first criminals to be arrested, tried and probably executed for their innumerable crimes against humanity.
Hence, like doomed serial killers making a suicidal last stand against certain arrest and execution, they want to ensure all the rest of us die with them.
Indeed, per Occam's Razor, this hypothesis explains all the situation's knowns and unknowns, hence is the only rational explanation for the USian Empire's terrifying renewal of thermonuclear war-mongering.
Which brings me back to my new mantra, revised yet again and now useful for anyone of any age or race or gender who is transcending subjugation:
I refuse to be defined by victimization and trauma.
Instead I choose the path of Revolution, within and without.
Hence the greater significance of the little girl smiling her cake-smeared joy at my camera: may my comrades and I ensure by our solidarity her daughter and her granddaughter and all the daughters and sons to follow will know such small but seismic pleasures.
But how then do I resolve the apparent conflict between being a Marxian (and therefore a dialectical materialist) and the apparent contradiction of also being a Gaian Pagan (and a Pagan not by fad or adaptation or mere inclination but as a direct consequence of two undeniable, inexplicable and unquestionably demanding encounters with its Source)?
Preview: in the ultimate sense, I see no conflict at all. In fact I am convinced each is essential to sustain the other.
LB/17 July 2016