Sunday, 3 June 2018

America is an idea

America is an idea; an ideal, a challenge to our humanity.

As perverted and abused as the USA is, it is an ideal worthy of striving for. It challenges us to be better than what we are now.

Despite what it is now, and even how it started, it dreams of a better 'here and now' that we can and must live up to.

Jay

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Statistics, damn statistics

I attended a workshop on mental health first aid recently. I'm not good at dealing with intense emotions but I am glad I went. I came in with a certain amount of trepidation but a lot of the stuff that were discussed are things that I've already come across at some point in my career as an instructor.

One thing that left me with some bad taste in my mouth was (and always) is how statistics on suicide are presented: 30 times more than, this group is more likely...etc.

This got me thinking how utterly useless the current statistical approaches are to the actual discourse of suicide prevention. I know a few statisticians and how much they love (actually 'love') their datasets and how intertwined they become to their own analyses rather than the actual subject of study. All good and well, I suppose.

But, none of it is new news. There is an almost complete absence of original insight to be gotten in examining events that have already happened simply because what is likely to happen is never addressed. Useless, as I said.

I think what needs to happen is to examine how many households have had family member(s) commit suicide; what are the income levels of these households; what are the rates of bullying in any given school in relation to communities where suicide rates are high; what levels of follow-up occur when individuals come out of the health and criminal systems; etc. etc.

Rather than demographic cohorts, I think we should expect statistics to look at actionable aspects of these sad numbers (I mean, policy- and program-wise): quality of life, for individuals and communities. I mean, start with things that policy/program planners and local and territorial gov'ts can act upon strategically.

Jay

Thursday, 29 March 2018

there be the love of my life...

arnakuluk. She and I run down prey with the wolf pack in the arctic tundra and the hills of flowing white.

Kina una? I ask.

-Suuq. Una uvanga? she replies.

Jay

and that tomorrow will come

...

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

when the darkness of the dawning winter's light

weighs heavily upon my soul what sustains me from succumbing to its palpable repression is that I know that I'm loved.

Monday, 5 March 2018

full disclosure

I'm sure I'll never stop loving any of my children, including the one who called me by my name.

Actually, I've always been proud of all three (including my bud). Always knew that they're all remarkable, bright and full of potential since I held them in my arms for the first time. They all had (have) the same spark in their eyes, all brilliant in their ways. All three (including my bud) prone to using my t-shirt as a snot rag as they clung close to me, holding my arm tightly. Pure heaven to me.

I'm a jealous dad but not really a jealous person.

It really hurt when my youngest called me by my name.

After so many years of physical absence, radio silence when my love-love finally contacted me and addressed me as a common stranger, all I could think about was she calls that dullard her 'dad' (sorry but all people look the same to me 'til they talk). That oaf reminds me of the opening theme to Weeds:

little boxes on the hillside, little boxes of ticky tacky. little boxes on the hillside, little boxes all the same. there's a green one and a pink one and a blue one and a yellow one...and they all look the same.


I concede that that dullness probably feels as I do about his child...only lifeless and without imagination...probably never been stoned, never been authentic.

Jay

Thursday, 22 February 2018

a distillation

We all like to be acknowledged and appreciated. We all like to know we count.
-Frances Cole Jones

I think self-help gurus as Frances are full of crock as the Buddhist monk that I just saw being cutely cryptic on TV saying that 'enlightenment' cannot be taught and that when he points out the moon for us that we should not be distracted by his pointing finger. -what is enlightenment anyway?

But I really believe in the quote above. I think deep down when we see beyond ourselves (to look at ourselves), when all attachments, ambitions, and expectations fall away from focus we do realize that 'we all like to be acknowledged and appreciated' - just as the Christ said, plain and simple - no four-fold, eight-fold, umpteen-fold path, no 12 step program.

I've been force-feeding myself all the ugliness I see on the news everyday, not really knowing why and what for. Then, I came across the quote above this morning and it kind of stuck to me because I recently experienced (in my mind) its absence personally (if only for a moment): I literally lost my mind.

Jay

Ps: two very important persons in my life (whom I tried to drive away) reached out and snatched me from my madness despite myself.