Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Wind-up Toy

Not of the naturally dull variety
Not one of shabbiness, uselessness, or sameness
Ordinariness of the simple utilitarian sort!
That's what I seek
A falling into the rhythm of ordinary living
Ordinary breathing, nothing fancy and yogic
Ordinary eating, no keto no nothing
Ordinary sleeping, no dreaming, no power-napping
That's what the doctor ordered
The world will pull you this way and that way
Yank your hand back and let out an expletive
You should have your very useful ordinariness
Tossed after you as you walk away

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Monday, October 28, 2019


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· October 25 

Rotten things that were meant to tempt you
But you caught a whiff of the odor before you could reach for a bite
And stopped
Have a way of freezing over like Hell freezes over
Except it doesn't
All you have left is a cold memory tangible enough and yet unreal
These are gifts from Mother Earth and Father Time

                                                                                                      - SDG

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


       Mama had noticed this thing about her daughter, she was restless and then listless unless she was doing something she deemed interesting. It was usually painting, or dancing, or playing with her friends that brought a special light to her eyes. With preschool giving her four whole days away from school she was lost between two worlds. Mama found it harder each week to keep her fully engaged all day in things that had pleased her well enough earlier, simple childhood things like sidewalk chalk and soap bubbles. She needed more entertainment or edutainment than just that. The neighbor’s kids had just started ballet and wore their cute little tutus even to play in the yard. It looked like they really loved ballet lessons and Mama enrolled Ankita in the same dance school hoping she’d enjoy the experience. And thus began a journey into a world of music and movement and storytelling that opened up a whole new dimension of life to a little girl who had been happy enough with her dolls and blocks and rhinestone hair clasps, but intuitively knew there was more to life than just that much.
That summer cousins from Ohio had come to spend a few weeks at their home and had brought her a present – the awesomest present that Ankita had ever received – a skateboard, a shiny pink skateboard you could do tricks with on the curb, send Mama into a tizzy and then leave her awestruck. Ankita was a natural. The cul de sac was where she and her cousins spent most of their summer vacation. There were evenings they would drive to the park and try to find a little track they could skate on where the big bad skaters were.
Rollerblades were the next thing to do and a life path segued into a skating rink nearby. There a mother waiting for her children handed Mama a phone number that belonged to an ice skating camp the last week of summer break. And on that thin thread began a chapter in the life of our protagonist that shaped much of her life.

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Miss Decryption
Greek & Egyptian
Multilingual stele
She's a rock star
She is Rosetta Stone

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019


 Mama was about to drive away after having dropped Ankita off at the skating rink for the day when Mrs. Coach flagged her down, asking if she could possibly stay at the front office and play receptionist and accountant for the day as both had had family emergencies and they had found no replacements yet, “Pleeeeease.”
            “Sure, “said Mama, mentally canceling her hair appointment to cover gray roots a month old, turned around and parked. There really wasn’t much to do. She tidied up her sari some, put a bindi on from the packet of maroon bindis she always kept in the glove compartment for just such emergencies and decided she didn’t look too shabby. A couple of kids came in to get drinks at the soda machine, one needed a band-aid, one had to call her mother, one had lost a baby tooth and asked for a zip lock bag so the tooth fairy could see it. The phone rang perhaps twice. Mama got comfortable in her new role by midday, made herself a pot of coffee, got on the internet to check her email, and even put her feet up. There were notes from family, friends, the usual junk mail to delete, the dentist’s reminder, a newsletter, some chain mail, the usual stuff, and a picture of an exotic pet her new book club friend always sent. This was something that irked Mama even more than chain mail. She had, over the years, met many a decent soul who wanted to make friends by sending her pictures of cute but wild and exotic animals in Santa hats, on treadmills, in swimming pools, and so on. It always cut through the many layers of civil tolerance and made it to the fresh raw core of her being and IRRITATED her. This was perhaps the first time she was able to look past the inartful use of the internet and look into the heart of the person sending out these cute and fuzzy photos of pandas and tigers to see a fellow human being. She replied. They planned to meet for lunch.
            A family walked in. Mama thought a section of a Las Vegas convention of celebrity look-alikes had wandered in. The father was a dead ringer for Evander Holyfield with a Midwestern accent, the mother looked like Oksana Baiul and didn’t say a thing, and the daughter was a little Surya Bonaly. Mama said hello and asked how she might help, in her best imitation of a receptionist doing a great job. The father said he had called earlier in the week to meet Anya (Mrs. Coach) and set up a schedule for his daughter who had been skating now for three years in Minnesota. They had just moved here with a job transfer and he was thrilled to find out they taught figure skating the old fashioned way. His wife seemed very enthusiastic but didn’t speak. In the meantime Mama had surveyed both of ‘Evander’s‘ earlobes and determined he most definitely was a look-alike and not the genuine article, the real deal, sashaying about town using an alias. She got up and went looking for Mrs. Coach.
            Mama entered the room after Mrs. Coach. Mrs. Coach was rooted to the spot and blocked her way. The father was speaking rapid-fire Russian. The room tilted on its axis. Eventually, they got the paperwork done, Mama brought them coffee and juice, following which they left for a tour of the premises, Mrs. Coach speaking animatedly.
            Later that day Mrs. Coach explained it was the mother who had called her a few days earlier to pick a day to meet her. She said she was from Belarus. And that had been the content of that conversation. Today she told the rest of her story. She had met her husband in Belarus when he was studying Russian and practicing weight lifting, fifteen years ago. Meeting her husband in school was her first time meeting a real American, and over the five years together he had won her heart and her whole family over. They, of course, thought he was the exception to the rule. It was all those Russian lessons and the discipline acquired from years of weight lifting that had made him un-American and almost Russian, for he played the accordion too, and learned to sing along with Raj Kapoor in Awaara like the rest of them. They had moved to the USA three years ago, to Minnesota at first because it was cold enough there to feel like home. Over the years she had become used to the summer heat spending Augusts in Iowa, so when his office made him an offer he couldn’t refuse they moved. Since she was a stay at home mom and they spoke Russian at home and watched Russian T.V. via satellite her English was still shaky. It helped to be able to get the basics of grocery shopping and skating taken care of in Russian. She could hardly believe the town actually had a Russian store and two Russian restaurants. Growing up she had been under the impression that America was very different from what it really is. “People here are so warm and gentle, not the bloodthirsty crooks she had imagined they were”, she had remarked.
            Mama thought about the time she had been to Kenya before Ankita was born on a safari vacation with Papa and everywhere they went people addressed them as Mr. and Mrs. Patel. Or that time she had ordered pork fried rice at the mall and two or three people around her keeled over dead. Or the time her niece had sung Lee Ann Rimes’ ‘Blue’ at the talent show at school and nobody clapped at first when she finished. Three seconds later there was much clapping and cheering and a second-place trophy. And that time her cousin who lived on a farm in Montana was visiting with her three-year-old, and they had all gone out for dosas to this large Indian restaurant packed with customers. The little one had dropped the abbronzato bomb in a loud voice,” What are all these peanut butter people doing over here?” completely overlooking the fact he was as brown as the rest of the room. Growing up in the relative isolation of rural Montana he had never seen another brown person outside of family. And maybe he never really looked in the mirror poor baby.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

It's The Spirit of The Enterprise

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Why do we romanticize hunters, and not butchers, nor taxidermists?
Fishermen too, especially the loners who catch the biggest fish?
What is it that our primitive brains recognize as skill and courage
That a butcher cannot deliver?
I guess it's akin to the adulation we profess for a Prithviraj or a Lochinvar
As opposed to a pimp, no matter how vast his brothel

Robber barons, for all their wealth, are seldom invited to share their wisdom
In public places and in places of learning or worship
They need extreme machinations to get their word out if they ever do
Over time, I guess, they realize no one cares actually what they think or feel
People instinctually guess their motives are simple and primitive
And so must be their minds, so why bother seeking them out for their knowledge

It is a rare human being who perhaps started out a Cain
Sees within himself his brother and knows he is his brother's keeper
He plunges into the deepest darkest waters of his subconscious
A minesweeper and sweeps away everything that prevents him
From being a wholesome person, an Akbar when he found the Buddha
And finds there's room at the table for a prodigal son

Sunday, June 23, 2019

THE BLACK PILL or The GNAB GIB theory #Love, Mom #1

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That's existential darkness coalescing into a single point of stillness, The Black Pill

This started out as a letter to my favorite millennials

*{Uh-oh, somebody beat me to the title BLACK PILL, and it's bleak. This is a message of hope. I hope my concept of THE BLACK PILL gains traction over the incel version, which is a bleak version of the RED PILL. 
Or I'll think of something unique to name this concept. Would totally appreciate a little help from you. I'm a little stuck on this one, so I'm having trouble renaming it. 
The GNAB GIB theory is my best so far.}


Since 50% of America's youth is labeled "depressed" researchers got into the nitty-gritty of it wondering how that happened right under their noses.

One of the findings is that natural feelings of existential angst, loss of childhood freedoms and comforting beliefs, a growing awareness of what's wrong with the world ......  all have become labeled as depression.

The bigger discovery is that pessimism and resultant depression are superpowers. Highly intelligent people can see problems a mile and a half away, so they worry and get upset. They are a gift to society and industry because they are forewarned by their natural ability to see problems. Those who are proactive prevent disasters and find workarounds.

Millennials are super smart, creatures of a world the older generation does not fully understand. Don't worry about trying to be happy all of the time. Own that shit, make it your b*+(h, use it to uncover problematic issues, solve problems. Happiness is overrated and underreported. If seeing a firefly or eating ice cream makes you happy, you can be happy any day. If you are waiting to be happy after you've walked on water you're likely going to be unhappy for a while, and even when you feel happiness the euphoria will last 15 minutes and fade over the next 6 months. Choose more things, simple, free stuff, to find joy in.

Here's my solution to owning the darkness generated by life. Know that everything is energy. Swallow the energy of it all. Once you allow your personal energy to work on it, solutions that are suited to you materialize out of nowhere.

Yes, I know, it feels like you have an ocean full of dark energy to swallow.

Remember the Big Bang theory. Make that work for you in reverse. Let the darkness shrink back to a single point of darkness. Swallow that with your morning coffee. Go enjoy your day. You'll digest that energy instead of having the energy feel like a load of lead bricks you have to carry around through life.