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August 2009 - Posts

The hills are alive, with the sound of...

There are times I wish I hadn't submitted my resume online, it's been nothing but chaos ever since. So many doors presented themselves to me, I had no idea how many there could be. Trying to choose from amongst them was, is, a bit much. More than anything it's forced me to decide what I want to do in life, how I want to live it. Do I stay safe, do what I know, forever and ever, or do I become a tad bit daring and do what my heart wants. But what does my heart want, it's not talking! It's so silent. So I feel I must go where it is, in the silence.

I haven't much had the desire to meditate before, not even when I've tried in the past. But now, it feels like I have to. The current of life has brought me into an area where I must choose. It's funny how life works, after the challenges of the past are overcome you become strong enough to tackle yet greater challenges. And so now, all my contemplations about how nothing is ever really bad, every decision can be seen in a positive light gets tested. Do I believe that, do I really? "Show me", life says, "show me what you have learned."

A test not unlike the ones I took Friday. The ones I apparently did so well on yet more opportunities presented themselves to me. In all honesty I'm happy. One of my stated desires of obtaining a position at a software development firm has presented itself to me. What I wanted I seem to be getting. Well, to a degree, heh. Making dreams into reality can be a tricky business, you really have to know what you want. The details of the dream need to be explored in finer and finer degrees until you have what you want. (You want monkey paw?) And so I've continuously had to visit and re-visit my heart, in its silence, and discover what is it dreaming.

I'm grateful for the people I know and have talked to. Some are firmly in the leave category, some are cautious but otherwise favor moving forward, some are yet more cautious still and advise of the wisdom of staying. All, and more, are very much appreciated. Everything gets incorporated. Caution manifests as more questions asked, legalese more thoroughly read. But what does my heart want. Sometimes the song it sings is sung so quietly. But yet it sings, it always sings, I know this much. For those with the ears to listen, the creation sings. Where I find the song is where I'll dance, there and only there.

Posted: Sun, Aug 30 2009 12:53 AM by Humpty
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An open letter on the need for universal health care

I'm writing this to express my support for universal health care. I formerly was against this as I didn't want to support the health care costs of someone who, in my opinion, led an unhealthy lifestyle and thus incurred avoidable health expenses. But as I've been listening to arguments both for and against a universal health care system of some form I've decided universal health care is the way to go.

Financially I think such a system would work better than the patchwork system we have in place now. Administrative costs could be greater lowered by centralizing this function under one, or few, entities. The prime goal of insurance, to mitigate the costs of a product by spreading it over a large population, could be better met with a universal system.

Admittedly much could be done to lower health costs without going to universal health care: increasing the number of doctors in the country, lowering prescription drug prices by relaxing regulation somewhat allowing generics to be even cheaper, focus more on prevention so the greater cost of treating a problem can be avoided. I also have to wonder how much cheaper it would be to do business in this country if employers weren't burdened with providing for their employees' healthcare. Freed of this responsibility entrepreneurs would be able to take greater risks in starting a business, and businesses of all kinds could afford to pay their workers more. Health related insurance is the only one that is so commonly tied to an employer, neither home nor automobile insurance ends when a person changes jobs, why should health?

More philosophically I think a private for-profit system is antithetical to the goal of providing health care cheaply. If it were not for the experience of people in this country with this system I might think otherwise. But stories abound of people being denied insurance coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions, of being denied a particular treatment because the insurance company deems it not necessary (though the doctor does), or a person having their insurance flatly revoked because they're utilizing its services too much. What is the point of having health insurance if the insurer will not honor their end of the bargain? Unfortunately the existence of a profit motive has shown itself to create a pernicious incentive for health insurers to deny care.

It seems many in this country do not like the idea of a public health care system, or said another way a government health care system since government is the public. I've seen arguments where they state it's not the role of government to provide health care, that it's not a right, that's it's not a delineated power of the U.S. Constitution. I counter by saying there are many social institutions that the Constitution has not precisely defined but over the years America has decided should be a public service. Services such as the protection of dwellings from fire, providing a minimum education to children, establishing a financial safety net for those retired from working. This fear of socialist institutions is unfounded given the many socialist institutions that are currently in place.

The time for excessive and continuous debate is nigh over. People are going bankrupt over high medical costs now. People are going without their healthcare problems being treated because of high cost now. The time is now to enact healthcare reform, and it's my hope and belief that reform takes the form of universal health care, supported by America for America.

The Silence

I don't think I've ever quite felt the way I've been feeling the past few days. It's a feeling kinda like wanting to go to sleep yet it's not sleep I want, not physical sleep anyway. But it definitely feels like a rest is needed, is craved. The same way your body makes you sleepy when it's tired, I've been feeling like that, like I'm called to rest, to calm.

Given my somewhat recent reading about entering the silence I immediately knew that's what the feeling was. Contemplation was emphatically not going to do the trick this time, I had to still myself. It's kind of exciting and weird at the same time since it's a new feeling for me. I think it's related to my pondering on what to do about my job. As much as I keep saying and thinking I want to quit I can't quite shake the feeling I'm doing something wrong. Sigh. Sometimes I hate trying to be authentic to my feelings rather than convention. :P

(You ever move about your environment and feel like you're in a dream? That you have a tenuous, yet instant, connection to your body? It moves, when you want it, but your attention is not entirely on it?

"Sleepy much?"

Ha...ha.... *At some point one must choose.*)

I'll have to make entering the silence more routine. All these "guys" keep talking about it like it's the greatest thing. It's calling me, that's for sure.

Posted: Tue, Aug 11 2009 11:14 PM by Humpty
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Infinite change

The one thing I've been learning the most the past couple of days is how much things change. My job is the same after 9 years, other friends are married and make way more, I'm as old as the mom in my memory, the 13 year old I passed on the way from getting my mail reminds me of 13 year olds I knew when I was 13. Life, it's just a big old cycle, and we're cute furry-less hamsters running around it 'til we can't run no more. I can barely see the stars up above me, lack of glasses notwithstanding. In the 20 or so years since I first became enamored by them more cities have sprung up on the planet, so even at night the sky has a dim glow to it. Sigh.

Sometimes I miss who I was. Nearly every experience was full of possibilities and adventure, nearly everything was new to me. It's not that I miss so much but the euphoria it engendered. The lack of knowledge created a feeling not unlike the first few months of dating someone, everything so new and full of possibilities.

There's not really a point to this post like I usually try to weave into a posting. No, just a passing gust of wind that's grabbed some thoughts from my head so I don't forget the gust existed. (Haha, that's funny, and will probably create a breeze someday, hehe.) I thought about not even posting it but then I thought and pondered over the fact that my heart wished it. But "no one will read it", I said back to my heart, "no one will care". My heart replied, "So, it's what I want to do." Demanding little minx this heart is. But I've been falling in love with it, and who can refuse a lover.

I still can't see the stars, but I can smell the Lilac Breeze fabric softener from some anonymous person's laundry wafting in the air. Smells as sweet and euphoric as it did 20 years ago. Aah, the joys of civilization...

Posted: Fri, Aug 7 2009 11:56 AM by Humpty
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