The Tree of Forgiveness

John Prine

yrmama’s governor, Kim, is generously allowing gyms and restaurants and malls to reopen in certain counties. She says the counties that have no cases of the Rona, or only a few, shouldn’t be punished for outbreaks in the rest of the state. Kim? This is you punishing us? Sheesh. You barely made us close anything anyway!

Kim also reminds us every day of her belief that “we are all in this together,” which we aren’t. For example, yrmama’s on the front porch, enjoying an exploding meadow of wildflowers between here and the woods. The air smells like flowers. The house is so big that the twelve of us each have our own home offices and don’t even have to see each other unless we want to. Dang, we all have our own porches! None of that shoulder-to-shoulder stuff for us. Short on cash? Head down to the cellar and crack open another treasure chest. I’m not stuck in an apartment with two toddlers and a cat. Donald’s proclamation that the poor folk have to keep working in the meat packing plants no matter what is only an annoying whine, like a mosquito if there were any here. If you have money, baby, it all goes away.

Oh Donald, there’s no going back because time only moves one way. (I know, quantum physics time travel Outlander blah blah blah – hush. That’s not what I’m talking about.) If I ignore the livelihood of individuals for a moment I’m absolutely fine with all the packing plants closing. I don’t even like meat. I don’t need oil. It’s time for the oil industry to be over anyway. We aren’t going back. Everything is different now and that’s good.

Here’s the deal: Human consciousness has to evolve through a few hurdles before Mother Nature stops punishing us with the Rona.

Through your experience of excruciating confinement have you learned yet to forgive yourself for insufficient life accomplishment?`

Have you started to trust yourself?

Have you embraced non-duality yet? Still stuck in your stupid whirring brain?

Have you learned to stop when you start to get tired?

Have you done like John Prine and opened up a bar called The Tree of Forgiveness and invited everyone who ever hurt you? John understood that forgiveness, hard as it is to let that shit go, is really all about getting the upper hand.

Young John

Five Questions

Have you learned yet to live as though love was stronger than death?

Have you developed the discipline to focus on what you are doing without stopping to check wordnik for synonyms of pedestrian words describing “reality”?

Are you able to sit still and let peace wash over you? I find it helps to use “dopamine” as a mantra.

Have you learned to live as though dopamine was stronger than cortisol?

Can you forgive yourself for the relentlessness of having something to prove?

icanhazcheezburger.com

Seven Questions for Your SpiritualQuest

Have you forgiven yourself yet for doing almost nothing lately?

Have you learned to trust yourself yet?

While we’re at it, do you trust anyone?

Is it okay with you that a human life, at its longest, is very short?

Have you forgiven yourself in light of the fact that no matter how hard you work you won’t get everything done in time to die?

Do you trust me?

Have you resolved to say, “fuck it,” and forgive anyone who ever did you wrong? Btdubs, this will give you an upper hand so high I don’t even want to hear about it.

Icanhazcheezburger.com

The Dog Days of COVID

These days, how are your powers of concentration? How about perception and introspection? Discernment? Do you find your insight sharpening? No pressure – I’m just saying if we are going to use this here global upheaval as an impetus for the evolution of human consciousness it is time to get on the stick.

Photo from washingtonpost.com

Or are you one of those ends-timers? In 1999 did you make sure all your important documents were securely in ziplocs before New Years because the pipes probably would burst at midnight when the entire infrastructure of the modern world collapsed? Have you taken them out of the ziplocs yet? Do you find your prepper mentality to be spiritually nourishing?

Have you remembered that actually nothing is real except for the moment that is right in front of your nose? I’m not even kidding. All that exists is some kind of energy and our weird human reality is our experience of that energy in various forms, mediated by our weird human bodies. Blobs of molecules which themselves are blobs of concentrated energy (E=MC2).

Energy in – sound vibrations, light vibrations, touch – some turned into thoughts by the mechanisms of our weird human brains.

Energy out = whatever we make of all that in any given moment. B

Don’t forget. And if nothing is real, in the weird conventional human sense, nothing matters. As Andrew Yang taught us, you can just say, “Whatever, it’s cool,” and you will feel better.

Whatever, it’s cool Just try it.

That Bitch CoCo V v. yrmama

I’m not that sick. And no one can get a test in the state of Iowa unless they are over 60, a health care worker, resident of a nursing home or hospitalized. Our statistics count only those cases. But what would happen to the numbers if anyone who might be sick with COVID 19 were tested? What would happen if there was information gathered on the course of this illness in people who are definitely sick with it but can ride the fucker out at home? Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Helpful.

I had to check the calendar, but I think if today is April 15 (it is, I checked), I’ve been sick enough to stay mostly in my infirmary cell for almost three weeks. I’ve been well enough to say , “Hey! I feel okay! I think I’m 95% better,” and then be all queasy and shivery and headachey again. It seems kind of cyclical, like when I had malaria. With malaria it would disappear for a day, then the fever would lay me out with delirium again. The intervals got shorter. With this presumptive COVID, the cycles are less mechanical and they seem to be losing steam each time around rather than gaining. Yesterday and today the brick in my chest is back and minor exertion makes me huff and puff unflatteringly. My daughter who knows rocket scientists and Ivy League robot engineers (meaning she’s a medical expert) says that the puffing is not because I’ve grown weak and wussy, but because that bitch CoCo V is still compromising my lungs.

JM, who also had it but not so bad, and I hobble around our lair. His arthritic puffy knee hurts so I say helpfully, “maybe you should put that elastic brace on.” He counters with, “hey, that feels good! And while we’re at it you should remember you can use that inhaler.” We are that fun couple everyone wants to party with.

And despite all that, this is perversely exciting, isn’t it? I would never have guessed something might come by that shuts the whole world down like this. It’s a forced quit, a reset. I’m used to being at home a lot and being alone a lot and having everything closed further simplifies my life. I know that’s easy for me to say, as a relatively wealthy person with plenty of space who really likes all her roommates, but like everyone, I’ve got to work with what I have. If I were well enough to roam freely it wouldn’t change much.

I love knowing that everyone is doing this one way or another and resetting. We’re isolated, but a lot of folks are crawling out of the woodwork, talking and writing to all kinds of old friends. Everything is different now and I think it is going to stay different, probably in some very unpredictable ways

Nothing don’t mean nothing, hon, if it ain’t free

Oh my dears – Here we all are, all around the world mostly sitting in the beds we’ve made for ourselves over the years. (In some cases the beds other people’s choices have made for us. Or the beds brought to us by unearned good fortune.) Many of us are growing daaware that our beds are all lashed together too, riding the swells like one gigantic air mattress.

Westmoreland Gazette

Boris Johnson? I’m genuinely sorry you are so poorly and genuinely sorry for all the fun I made of your hair. Mockery is cheap and unflattering.

Kim Reynolds? Please, I know it’s a gamble and you’re backed into a corner and everyone’s yelling at you at once. (FYI, Kim is the Governor of Iowa and is declining to issue a formal stay-at-home order.) Is there some sort of devil’s pact with Jared, where you defend individual freedoms in the face of death in exchange for priority access to emergency medical supplies? You say you don’t want to impose toooo many restrictions on us because you are concerned for our mental health. Thank you for that sentiment, but let’s talk about freedom and liberty.

Freedom starts with the idea that everyone is born free and therefore freedom is an absolute natural right. You get to do whatever you gol darn please. Liberty begins with the concept of most humans being born into a state of bondage. In that plan social order depends on a natural hierarchy in which the more fortunate and superior have the privilege of more liberties. Fighting for freedom means fighting for equality; fighting for our liberties means protecting the pecking order we value. I think most of us believe this country is based on fundamental freedoms. I also think our founding fathers were more into defending their liberties. And they also tended to stay out late at the pub during the summer of 1787 arguing about it very drunkenly.

So, Kim, are you trying to protect Iowan freedoms or Iowan liberties by entreating us to stay home rather than ordering us to stay home? It’s okay if you don’t know. I don’t either! It’s complicated but worthwhile to consider. No one has a fundamental right to kill or sicken someone else by exercising their right to stand in a legal clump of 9 germy people playing cornhole and drinking beer. Likely their mental health has them thinking something like, “shit, that bitch CoCoV is either gonna get me or not so in the meantime let’s party.” Back when yrmama cared about the presidential primaries she observed that we simply want leaders that we trust to take care of us. Which brings us back to the big life raft of beds in the first paragraph: we really can’t go wrong trying to take care of each other.

William Henry Clopton; Pt.2

When we left yrmama’s first cousin eight times removed, William Henry Clopton, in 1862 he was seeking recompense for the seven male slaves who escaped from Selwood plantation to join the Union Army. I first read about the incident below in the Clopton Chronicles, (which contains a wealth of information) but also reads with a distinct editorial point of view. Then I found this article, “Poetic Justice: the Whipping of William H. Clopton, by Leonne M. Hudson, published in the Negro History Bulletin, v. 64, no. 1/4 2001. Of course it has an editorial point of view too, but it’s one yrmama is more comfortable with.

William Clopton had a reputation as the cruelest master in Charles City County, and in 1864 enslaved fifteen people at Selwood. Some of the white neighbors, especially ladies I think, were waiting out the war at a safe distance but William Clopton was at his plantation

Edward Augustus Wild
Gettysburgcompiler.org

On May 5 General Edward Augustus Wild, a zealous abolitionist, landed nearby at Wilson’s Landing with his brigade of black soldiers. One of the first days there they met a civilian while they were out foraging and killed him. A few days later they captured William Clopton and brought him back to camp because he was “actively disloyal.” General Wild ordered soldier William Harris to strip Clopton to the waist, tie him to a tree and flog him with a horsewhip. After a while the whip was passed to three women formerly enslaved by Clopton who Wild had invited for the occasion. The women then took turns whipping their former master. Afterwards, Clopton as taken to Fortress Monroe and held as a prisoner of war.

General Wild was court-martialed for murdering the white civilian and for whipping William Clopton. However, the decision was overturned to avoid the appearance of issuing stricter penalties to black brigades.