My neighbor walking a friend’s dog lost 43 pounds. I used to walk every morning, before not wearing a mask made me a criminal, before getting Covid left its strange symptoms like a dogpile in the front hall…can’t get past the forever smell. Shall I make this my defining event? Someone else can do what I said I would do & did not? Who’s more disappointed – my laboring heart or my shell-shocked brain?

Of course the disappointments I’ve caused myself are the most damning. I pass thru the same sin-detector every day: shoulda, coulda, woulda, if . . . the Four Horsemen of the English Language.

I understand why forgiveness is difficult – of course it is! I have often struck out across the Sahara of blame with no water & a too-short walking stick. I mutter & murmur & remind myself that without masks & lots of cameras on “record” & the fact I’m moving my mouth while talking to myself all remarks can be brought right back to those flapping lips.

I am inordinately fed up with the lack of civility, along with so many other losses in the society of my youth. We may have been brainwashed, narrow-minded, preoccupied with great guilt Catholics, but we said “thanks” when it was due even when grudged. We sat at the kitchen table whining, “Bur what should I say?” when told it was time to write bread & butter notes. Moms were enforcers as well as cooks & Mom’s standards were much higher, even if limited to one ethnic, cultural track. Why? She wanted me to be better than she, have more, define myself by enlarging, allowing standards.

I am an allowing person but I no longer deal with inefficiency, stupidity & downright prejudice. As a senior, I’m accustomed to keeping certain reactions muffled (except when muttering.) My brain is screaming like a siren a block away at times, but I can usually exempt myself from situations before it blows up & leaks out my ears. It used to be a validation to say something did not belong to me as I’d never do that…whatever it was. Now it sounds like a denial of guilt. How does the “innocent before proven guilty” assumption function here? Didn’t that used to be the standard?

I guess I didn’t consider I’d experience such societal devolution – the ability to drone people with accusations & misinterpretations from a world away. I don’t want to be bothered with trying to make the best of the situation – I just want it to be a good situation because it is, as it is.

I never thought to see blatant & rampant stupidity in print: men can get periods! men want to be women! What happened to the ultimate masculine insult: “you act like a girl!” Women, in turn, want to blare their denial of brave mortality on civil rights, wanting to be powerful, wanting to be the guy next door. I’ve no need to assume the lesser, baser qualities of either sex thinking it brings me power. Why can’t it be this simple? That we allow children to be children, babies to be born & beloved, men to open a door for us, ladies to be beautiful just as they are, men to be responsive & considerate. Instead I am looking at pics where I need to read the story just to see the teller – to figure out if they “identify as” man, woman, mineral or vegetable. Or animal.

If a guy came in the ladies room at school when I was a kid, it would have been about as horrifying as a monster movie from the first row… & the nuns would have marched them out to the flogging field behind the convent. But then guys I knew & grew up around would not have been caught on the feminine products aisle unless it was a hazing incident involving being blindfolded. I knew not one fella who’d march proudly down that aisle, snatching the last box of Tampons to brandish at check-out.

Well, I can’t tell you what happens next. I don’t think it will involve keeping my mouth still, so just point the camera somewhere else – maybe at the unicorn in the corner since the impossible is on 24/7 livestream, all news all the time, not so much reporting as attempting justification.

Never thought I’d be the last one in my family tho we were never close before we started dying off, so what’s the difference? Never thought so many things that every day is a journey into the macabre, victimized by spell-check. Guess I won’t be shutting up anytime soon tho selectivity of topics is narrowing more with passing time.

Letting go of victim mentality is something to bang your shoe on the table about.

Doing no harm is a potency to continue to cling to for recharge & new ideas to talk about.

Where’s love today? Time to pick up that journey-staff & go walkabout. I’ll keep you up on what I find, ok?