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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Friday, May 30, 2008

In Memoriam - Justine Saylors

Justine Saylors passed away 24 May 2008. She suffered terribly over the loss of her son, Lance Gilbert Kowalski who succumbed to juvenile Neuroblastoma on 23 October 2003. In the end, it was simply too much for her to bear and she took her life. Lance would have been eighteen this year and Justine was 46.

Her Memorial service is set for today. I wish I could be there. Unfortunately, I found out about her passing a few minutes ago. I live in New Mexico. I wish I was there. However, since I cannot be there, this is what I humbly offer up:

Regardless of what anyone feels about suicide, we all must realize it is a choice available to each of us. I do not stand in judgment over Justine's final decision regarding her existence because I too have known such dark times that it seemed the only option for me as well.

To my advantage, I have been spared the experience of losing someone so precious to me that my will to live is eclipsed by the void left by the death of someone whom I gave life to. Ironically, this is why I have such a deep regard for Justine for it was she who crystallized in my mind just how precious life is and how appreciative I am to have my children. They are my world. It is because of Justine that every morning when I wake up that I thank God I am alive to appreciate everything in my life. I appreciate the aches, the challenges, the pains and the many clues that my creator places before me as a means of revealing just how much I am loved.

These words do not come easily because for nearly ten years I battled with the idea of taking my own life. I was in a situation where I daily faced the prospect of dying a debilitating, painfully humiliating death.

In retrospect, I recall it as being in a pitch dark room no - so dark that I had no ability to see beyond my hand - and before me were so many doors. Each representing a decision and and a choice for me to walk through. The one door knob never far from my hand for ten years was the option of suicide and the temptation to walk through that door was immense.

However, I was also cognizant that there were other doors even though I had no way of knowing what was behind those decisions or the consequences of choosing to walk through any of them, I kept my options open and decided not to decide - at times on an daily basis if not even on an hourly basis - about not walking through the door which appealed so much as it held a definite and final answer; the door called, 'suicide.'

The door I eventually chose was life and that choice turned out to be the one that was right for me because I could not see into the future and while that was scary, I could not see any 'future' in the prospect of taking my own life. As it turned out, the one who has no name and who cannot be seen had something else planned for me, something magnificent, a life filled with awe, wonder and appreciation.

These days, I move through life with more deliberateness, conscientiousness and aware that every day is a gift, every ache is a gift and when my eyes close for the last time, I will no longer appreciate the gift of life - at least in this realm. Since the average Human being's life time is so limited and it can quite literally be over just one heartbeat from the present, I choose life. I choose to watch hummingbirds and take time to enjoy the simple things like smiles and flowers. I live every moment in the moment and I appreciate everything that is precious to me. I revel in the mysteries of life and I speak out when I see injustice and unnecessary suffering. I work daily at being mindful of all creation and never take anything for granted. Thus, words like, 'I love you' roll of my tongue with ease - there will come a time when that will no longer be possible. That time comes far too early in my estimation.

I do not fault Justine for her choosing to walk through the door of suicide because I respect her Humanity and her decisions are ultimately her own - that is as it should be. These days, so many people are into regulating other's lives with laws, morality and their own custom-made religious spins that they do so without regard for what is most sacred to the creator;


While such a concept was central to the founding of this great nation, everyone seems bent on making everyone else bend to their particularly valued religious and ideological wills. To me that is the ultimate sin; when we seek to impose our way on others because we are so convinced that we must be right.

Humans have the unique capacity to reason and this double-edged sword has been abused by the coalition-types who seek to impose order through their religion, morality and need to place an otherwise chaotic world in their own order. I am not of that ilk. I so value freedom to live that I would never seek to judge someone else's decisions regardless of how much they might conflict with mine.

That said, Justine Saylors lived her life and died according to her own plan. She reacted to life's events in a way only she could fathom and when death visited her through her son, it affected her in a way none of us can fathom. I respect her decision and I thank heaven she was a part of my life. I learned from her and I felt her pain. I met her son through her and I developed a deeper appreciation for life.

I love her and I wish I had known her better because when our correspondences trailed off - I knew she was going dark but I neither had the time nor the ability to reach out to her as she groped in the darkness for the right door to walk through.

It is my sincere hope that this nebulous void we call the internet reaches out to other people as the internet has reached out to me - if only to let the world know 'I exist' and moreover, we share a connectedness and a Humanity that supersedes our smallness in such a great big universe.

May she finally rest in peace, reunited with her beloved son. I wish had known her beyond the few correspondences I was lucky enough to share with her.

Tonight I cry for Justine. I cry for Lance. I cry for the suffering souls on this big blue ball who walk through it wounded and broken. Tomorrow I will fill the hummingbird feeders, I will water my plants and feed my animals before I eat. I do this routine every day out of appreciation to my creator for blessing me with life. I will make certain that everyone around me knows how valued and loved they are and I will think of Justine. It won't be difficult to keep both her's and Lance's memory alive because that automatically happens with every act of kindness, every act of compassion and every realization that theirs and every other soul's memory is kept alive by simply walking through life with an abiding appreciation for that which is most fleeting; mindfulness, love and Humanity.

They remain alive with every embrace, every kind word, every revelation of appreciation. They walked this earth and it has been made a better place because of it.

My heart goes out to Justine's family and all those whose lives she touched. I pray that someday we have all the answers which seem so terribly elusive as this tragic loss has visited upon us all.

God bless you Justine Saylors.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Moonflower - Carlos Santana

Moonflower - Carlos Santana


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Amor de Madre - Aventura

This song is the story of a mother who, when abandoned does what she has to in order to make a better life for her son who foolishly squanders the opportunity she sacrificed to give him.

While this particular song is tragic and tells an account of a woman whose life choice was questionable at best, the troubling
lyrics attest to the fierce loyalty a mother feels for her child.

They tell how a mother wouldn't hesitate going through hell if that is the only means available for her baby to survive.

Thankfully, none of the women in my life have ever had to resort to such desperate measures. Nonetheless, they do share the same steadfast dedication, devotion and love for their babies - and that is all I have ever known of the significant women in my life.

The song says,
"A mother's love is infinite. A child is the fruit of her womb it is a gift from God"

To my mother, the mother of my children, my daughter, my sisters and my niece;

Feliz dia Mama

Happy Mother's day Mama, Jeannine, Kristin, Cynthia, Rachel, Praga, Eva and Evelyn and every child's mother around the world.

Amor de Madre

13 de Diciembre del año 80 las 3:24 A.M.
Nace un niño blanco con ojos azules cabello castaño
La madre con mucho orgullo despues de tanto tiempo por al sorie De emocion
llorava inquietamente la enfermera pregunta cual es la razon
Pues el padre con solo 6 meses de aquel embaraso los abandono
No dejo ni motivos ni huellas una mañanita se fue y no volvio
Y la madre no olvida ese dia que aquel hombre ingrato le fallo

El niño con 8 meses se parece a su padre y ya dice “mama”
Ya los conflictos comiensan el welfare ya no alcansa y nadie quiere ayudar
Solo le importa entender que su hijo neccesita comer
Y la renta le falta dos meses la plata que entra no alcansa pa’ nada
Desiciones tomo aquella madre la prostitucion la llevo a progressar
Y aguel niño nunca se dio cuenta de lo que hacia su madre, por el nada ma

Iban pasando los años el niño lindo de mami, vive como un rey
Nada se lo nego, si en todo se consintio
Creido y presumido el joven se a vuelto,y se cree mejor
Por el sudor de su madre tiene carro del año y viste de Armani no mas
Solo un amigo de infansia y muchos enemigos por su personalidad
Cuando llegues a grande yo queiro que seas abogado o un gran militar
No te olvides que no tienes padre y la novia que elijas te tiene que amar
Soy tu madre, tu padre, y tu amiga fueron las palabras de aquella mama

Este es la historia de una madre insasiable
Que Criando a su hijo cometia un error
No oyo consejos y oyo sus sentimientos
Y aunque vendio su cuerpo por su hijo lucho
Amor de madre es un amor infinito
Ese fruto en el vientre
Es Su regalo de Dios
Algunas veces cometemos errores
Y esa pobre mujer no tuvo otra opcion.

Diciembre 16 del ano 2003, ya no es un niño, ya tiene 23
La madre llorando, su hijo a cambiado tiene mal amistad asia hasta drogas tambien
Consejos le dio y nunca a su madre escucho
Un dia tocaron la puerta los officials buscando a un assesino con su description
La madre no lo creia y llorando decia “mi hijo a nadie mato”
Y la madre llorando de pena gritava en llanto”ten piedad mi Dios”
Le importaba un comino las puebras su hijo era innocente en su corazon
Mientras el hijo sufria en la carcel, mas sufrio su madre y murio
El hijo realiza lo bueno que fue su madre y nunca la lloro
Se hecha toda la culpa y recordar como fue, es su castigo de Dios

Este es la historia de una madre insasiable
Que Criando a su hijo cometia un error
No oyo consejos y oyo sus sentimientos
Y aunque vendio su cuerpo por su hijo lucho
Amor de madre es un amor infinito
Ese fruto en el vientre
Es Su regalo de Dios
Algunas veces cometemos errores
Y esa pobre mujer no tuvo otra opcion. 2x

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Mission Accomplished - Fifth Anniversary

Five years ago on this day, you stridently proclaimed victory under the banner, 'Mission accomplished' on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Arriving on your pilot's costume, you had the world by the balls.


Fuel prices through the roof.

Iran is openly defiant.
Osama has not been caught.
Iraq is in utter chaos.
Our economy is in the toilet.

Your mission to destroy America's standing in the world indeed has been accomplished.

Thank you Mr. President.

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