Monday, September 12, 2016

Personal Strength

Yesterday was 9/11. There were thoughts of pain, death, strength, power, terrorism, reflection on who we are as a nation, as a people. Life, is more complicated that most of us can handle. We tend to buffer it with emotions, drama, even lies. Some of us use conspiracies as a buffer. It takes strength, more than we have sometimes, to handle reality.

Life is far more complex than we can typically see. But that is on a larger scale basis. I tried to pull it down to the micro level, to the individual level. To the level of two people, of one person. About how we perceive strength, what it is, when it should be used, how it relates to our lives.

In order to evoke thought on this 9/11 and its fifteen year anniversary, just another attempt at pointing out a few of the dangers to America today, not in order of import (or contempt):

-Religious fundamentalism with a death slant to it.
-Conspiracy theorists who mostly don't know what they are talking about and have based theory on conjecture and agenda based partisan politics.
-Nation building as we have been attempting it.
-Attempting to spread democracy in tribal nations without a cohesive nation.
-Using military power where any other power would work better.
-Putin and Putin's view of Russia.
-Kim Jong Un, and his and his military handler's view of North Korea and its relation to the world.
-China's fear of North Korea and it's lack of acting.
-Donald Trump, his lies, immaturity, self important narcissism and ignorance.
-Hillary, IF she doesn't change up our direction and continues to use old paradigms in world and national politics.
-Political and extreme Conservatives and Evangelicals.
-Unclear understanding of reality in national and personal considerations.
-Old paradigm views on running America and its interactions with the world at large.
-Maintaining wars to allow otherwise unallowable issues to play out.
-Military, industrial, corporate complexes to rule over the needs of people.
-Poor education.
-Cyberterrorist by international gangs like ISIS and cyberwarfare attacks by nation states like Russia and China and maybe if not probably also, NK. But really, wouldn't it make more sense for Russia to lay blame on NK, while China would not for obvious reasons?
-Poor infrastructure.
-Ignorance. Ignorance supported as intellect and occult knowledge of what is unknowable.
-Giving a voice to those ignorants and old paradigm thinkers (including racists, misogynists and bigots) who should not have one on a national basis and have quite simply not kept up with the world in our psychological, sociological and technological advances.
-Forcing others to continually have to prove negatives on a national basis.

I'm pretty open minded. I accepted people voting for Mitt Romney, and even miniBush.

But supporting Donald Trump simply makes a travesty of our election process and you really need to face up to that if you support him.

Hillary, is no reason, no excuse to vote instead for Trump. It just exhibits your ignorance more grandly.

Voting for Trump puts one in a similar category with words like grandiose, delusional and self important.

IF you can't vote for Hillary, I do get that. Though you're probably wrong there too but that's another topic. I mean, you may be right in not voting for Hillary but from what I've seen, it's probably for the wrong reasons and the incorrect priorities.

However, if you can't vote for Hillary and you can somehow come to your senses, though if you vote republican I really don't have high hopes anyway, then simply do not vote.
Cast your vote as many do in casting for a third party.

Vote your conscience. If you can't vote Hillary, then do not vote.

Someone just made that clear this past week.

That some people simply should not vote. We shouldn't force people, pushing them into voting. If they don't know what they are doing or if they think they do and yet they don't; if they are smart enough to know not to vote, perhaps they know what they are doing, perhaps we should leave them alone.

For all the rest of us, vote sane, at the very least.

You know, the original intent of the Founding Fathers was NOT to allow everyone to vote anyway. Just those who could vote intelligently, with informed consideration, with a standing for and with the needs of the country and not simply for needs for themselves, but with a true and honest consideration for themselves and therefore...all of us.

I'd like to move beyond 9/11 today though. I want to move closer to home to each of us. From an international, from an national, to a personal level. From world or national strength, to interpersonal and personal strength and what that really is.

I realized something about strength today.

I was watching Woody Allen's film, Manhattan. There a scene, after he was with Mary after he had been with Tracy, after Mary had been with Yale, while he was married to Connie, after the divorce of Isaac (Allen) who was now with, as I said, Mary. Yale calls her, in the next room from Isaac.

Life can be in reality, hidden behind the scenes, out of our sight, complicated. It's one of the things Allen basis his films on, pokes fun at, brings up in various lights and tries to make us realize, life is not black and white. We tend to categorize things as good or bad but in reality, it is a very grey kind of thing. You see something bad, but in shifting focus sometimes, just a little, it becomes humorous, or understanding, even... noble.

Yes, some things are just bad, just pure evil. However much of what we label as such, simply isn't due to ignorance or a lack of understanding, if not simply of maturity.

It occurs to me, and I'm single now, but a while back I was married, married to someone I thought to be a very attractive woman. Attractive overall, not only in looks. Before I had met her, I was trying to get another job. After a divorce. And I found one. But the woman who interviewed me for the job, an attractive woman in her early 30s, from the beginning was extremely attracted to me.

I got the job. Eighteen months later I quit that job, at that point, with a new wife, the attractive woman I mentioned. I then contracted for some years (as a Senior Technical Writer). I ended up eventually at the company I've been now working at for twenty years.

During that first year or so, the women who had previously hired me elsewhere (the UW), was working then for a contract employment agency. We had both left the University of Washington where I had worked for seven and a half years, the final eighteen months for the department the woman had hired me for.

I was going through more than one contract agency and so wanted to give her my business as we had been friends and coworkers. Kind of like, we were family. When I had heard what she was doing, that she also had left the US, I looked her up. Then after talking with her, I signed up with her at her new agency.

See, I had accepted a job (where I still work for twenty-one years now at this point) because I had to, in the hope that I wouldn't work again for a large company. The new company was a thirty person company, but a subsidiary of a much larger company, which I had wanted to avoid after working for US West Technologies, a thirteen state company at that time in the 1990s.

The potential that I might find exactly what I wanted, was alluring. To exemplify my worry, I said I'd accept the job at the thirty person company as long as they guaranteed I would never work for the larger company, and because I had been out of work for five and a half months and we really needed the money. I had a family to support, a wife and two kids.

One day this woman called me to ask me to lunch. Nothing unusual there, I was used to agents taking me to lunch to woo me to a new job or consideration, and them picking up the tab. And she was female and attractive. I was married then and was not looking for anything outside of my marriage, but would you rather go to lunch with an ugly person who was interesting and funny, or an attractive woman who was? So I went, innocently.

We went to a nice restaurant near to my work at Von's ("Best martinis in town"). We had lunch. It was tasty, as usual. Then she hit me with it, taking me totally by surprise. Her husband was a real hot mess. He had gotten into drugs, he had robbed a store, gotten caught, ended up in prison for a couple of years or so.

She had her needs, she had her fantasy about me all these years and she had her proposal. We could have an affair while her husband was gone. I could have her. It would never affect my marriage, she wanted no more, just compassion, a friend with benefits, a friend. Someone to help her through those next two years. Would I consider, she wanted to know, that kind of a situation. I was still at that point in my marriage where I was completely satisfied at home.

Something that changed radically only a few years later as I entered into a nightmare of a marriage. One where only a decade or so later I realized there were serious surreptitious mental and emotional problems on my wife's side, potential for her having had affairs while she was away for weeks on her job. One beyond most people's imaginings. One that could easily make a MOW, a "Movie of the Week" type of heart wrenching type of a film.

What I realized today, while watching the film, Manhattan, was this... I should have turned her down as I did. But perhaps I should have had the strength to give her a good, deep kiss and then, let her go, forever. To release her from her fantasy about me, but give her that taste of what the imagination had been desiring so that from then on she'd have had a feel for the reality and thus, somewhat temper her imagination and desires. At very least, she'd have something based upon what could have been.

Considering after that day that I never saw nor heard from her again, I now feel some regret. Though at the time I would have felt betrayal to my wife whom I loved and lusted after very much, Lust appropriately place. I now feel if I were as strong an individual as I believed I always have been, then I should have said goodbye, given her that final gift, that present from one friend to another, on our parting forever, between two who could have been, and yet, never will be.

That is what I realized today when I paused the film, Manhattan, and thought about all this, realizing, I needed to write it all down and share it.

Still, I had to consider it all first.

What IF I had kissed her and after all, why DIDN'T I?

It's obvious, I suppose.

Was I THAT strong in denying her? Was I just immature? Would I have gone off with her, to have had an affair as she desired?

You know in hindsight, the affair would have been okay, possibly. Sometimes in doing what is wrong, you speed up the demise of something that will die, you save everyone pain, you save yourself grief, but you may also cause yourself the pain of knowing to thine own self not true.

My marriage in the end didn't work out. I have reason now to see how much I deserved al lot more compassion and affection than I got through much of that final marriage in my life to date. Perhaps I was the only strong one in denying another an affair with me. I was true to myself though, in not having that affair.

Had I not been married, had she not, I would most surely have had a relationship with that woman. No doubt in my mind. But I had a rule not to involve myself with those who were attached to others. Or when I was attached. I have higher standards than that. There are so many single people why would you ever get involved with someone with a potential for excessive drama?

Still, that's all not the point here.

The point is... reality. Just what IS, reality?

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