Opinion

Sunday in the Park with Brian: Therapy Session #43 (The “20 Random Thoughts I’m Having Right Now” Version)


1. I really shouldn’t have had that ginormous Cobb Salad this afternoon. I enjoyed the hell out of it, but the ensuing personal propulsion, so to speak, is knocking me off balance and I can’t walk from room to room with any degree of grace. Damn you, fiber!

2. I am beyond tired of some people around me whining about insignificant little snafus in their lives, minor bumps in the road that will be forgotten within days, yet the people of Ukraine are dealing with bombs raining from the skies every day. Get some perspective.

3. I am currently obsessed with playing every release in the “Assassin’s Creed” video game series, doing so on my beloved XBOX One that has brought me more joy over the years than anything I ever did in my 30 years at Verizon. Some days I feel the full weight of my 57 birthdays. Other days I’m 12 years old again and I just want to get lost in 15th century Italy and right the wrongs in a fleeting, vaporous, means-nothing-in-the end journey of temporary validation.

4. The blatant and despicable racism and misogyny of certain Republican Senators during the ongoing Supreme-Court confirmation of more-than-qualified Ketanji Brown Jackson is reprehensible and disgusting. In a just world, we would never hear from these Senators again. Sadly, they will be in the news tomorrow, slamming somebody else they’ve been taught to hate.

5. Attention Pop-Tart afficionados: There are two new flavors on the market, “Eggo” and “Lemon Crème Pie”. They are delicious, and there is no reason why you should still be sitting at your computer and reading more of this post instead of jumping in your car, intent on a search-and-seizure mission. Go!

6. Bring back the libel and slander laws which used to be sacred in this country, and let’s actually enforce them. Fox News would be off the air overnight, along with all the other diabolical, venomous propaganda machines of the Right Wing.

7. I never met a Chinese Buffet that I didn’t appreciate in some way. I have needs, people.

8. Climate Change is real and if we don’t do something about it, pronto, we’re screwed. If you still don’t believe that at this point, you’re an idiot.

9. We’re in the midst of binge-watching Season 10 of “American Horror Story”. So far, it’s twisted and weird and not entirely satisfying (as has been the case for several years now), but there are great moments, and we keep tuning in, hoping that the producers get us back to where we once belonged. The first three seasons of this show were phenomenal, and I miss that.

10. Joe Biden does not have the best advisors around him (did you possibly hear about that Afghanistan mess?), but at least he is trying to do the right thing, which is far more than Trump ever even considered during his four years of autocracy and Putin worship. Quit nitpicking and support hope.

11. It’s springtime in Texas, which means that tornadoes are racing across the land, intent on malevolence. Why am I still here? I clearly didn’t pay any attention to my high-school guidance counselor when she tried to explain life-responsibility to me. But I have SO many books, and it would take 3 years to pack them all up, so here I sit, still.

12. The worst thing you can ever do is to stop caring about your fellow man, pretending that his life isn’t somehow your own.

13. Three stray cats have given birth on our property over the last few months. The hundreds of offspring are really cute, but since we feel compelled to help feed them, I can no longer afford moving to Spain for my golden years. Life is tricky, eh?

14. The minefield art of balancing a yearning to maintain a good relationship with certain family members whilst realizing that their toxic and hate-filled political leanings are abominable can be straining on your soul. At what point do you say enough is enough? I struggle with this daily, and it rips me, hard. What happened to you that didn’t happen to me, even though we were once tight? Because I don’t get it.

15. When all else fails, listen to an Elton John song from the early 70s. And then do it again.

16. So, now we have all these red states shoving through legislation that tramples on the rights of gay and transgender folks. It’s thoughtless and vicious. Then again, the Republican party can’t exist unless they have someone to hate. Find an innocent “enemy”, make that the theme of the year, and rile up the ignorant and clueless base of your party. You’ll suffer the consequences of this, eventually, but not soon enough for me.

17. The time I most cherish, in any given day, is the middle of the night when I’m writing these words and everyone around me is asleep, even the stray kitties in the backyard who don’t care about social media and never will, bless the beasts and the children of such, intent on their innocent pursuit of a simple life, where a falling leaf is a marvel to behold.

18. At what point will we awaken the decency in us all and finally stop the madness of Putin and Kim Jong-un and Viktor Orban and Donald J. Trump and, well, there’s a stunningly-long list at the moment. Stop pretending that those tyrants don’t affect you directly. There is no excuse that can justify your complacency. No one is safe if everyone is not safe from the madness of madmen.

19. The one thing I will always do is sing along to the songs that spoke to me in quiet ways during my quiet years when I was still figuring out how not to be quiet.

20. We’ll get there, someday, that place of good and right. And I always hope that one little word in the many that I scribble, late at night, will contribute in some small way to the path that we have yet to find.

Peace.


31 replies »

  1. Oh, I so agree with you. With every single thought … sometimes one just wants to scream out loud and pull one’s hair out of frustration, the horrors, stupidity and unfairness surrounding us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you muchly. To be honest, I initially meant for this to be a lighthearted post, but it quickly went in a different direction as I assessed what I was truly thinking about at the moment. And I think you picked the perfect trio of phrases to sum up my thoughts: Horror, stupidity and unfairness. Somehow, we must find a way to move beyond…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Chinese buffets are still verboten up here, and I feel their loss deeply.
    Toxic relatives abound and it’s probably a good thing we still don’t participate in large meal gatherings because I’d definitely stab someone with a fork.
    I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve never seen a single episode of American Horror Story. Though I just finished binging Mrs. Maisel and The Morning Show so I do have a slot open.
    Climate change. At this point I’m not sure what it will take for the human race to agree it’s an issue. Icebergs are melting, oceans are rising, more hurricanes, more wildfires, we haven’t had a real Maine winter in years and are summers are hot as hell. Wake up people. At this point it doesn’t even matter what caused it, it’s here. The only bright side I can see is the possibility Ron DeSantis might be in Miami when it slips into the sea.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I must have Chinese buffets in my life. Must.

      The toxic family-member thing is wretched, and there doesn’t seem to be any way of getting through to them, despite many years of trying.

      “American Horror Story” used to be very satisfying, but it’s been several years since that was the case. You’re not really missing anything these days.

      Sadly, I sense that we will not be able to come to any agreement, as a society, on what to do about climate change until it’s too late. There are far too many climate-change deniers out there who cannot be moved, even if Florida slips into the sea….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Brian, this is perhaps my most favorite of your posts – and that’s quite a compliment since I love them all.
    Each number you listed contained “magnet worthy” insights. I can’t pick favorites!
    Onward, my friend. We’ll get there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Sheila. I love doing this type of post, where I kick things off with no real goal in mind, other than some itches in my brain that need scratching. They don’t always succeed, with the randomness not coalescing, but other times, the serendipitous times, things click and it’s a good writing session. I’m sure you know the feeling.

      Onward, always…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, Brian. I love your straightforward, no-nonsense politics. Hear, hear to all those current thoughts. I share them daily and think, at times, that I’m going to lose my mind. And yes, why are you living in Gilead?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you muchly. And yes, I also question my sanity when I see all the wretched behavior of so many in a supposedly-civilized society. (How did those people get so heartless? What am I missing, what do I not understand? Is it ME?)

      As for the Gilead angle, I’m still here since Partner has not yet retired like I have. Once that mess is over, we’re going somewhere not here. Or at least I am… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think the horrible bad behavior has been “purposely” cultivated since the 80s. Fear is a primal and incredibly powerful emotion. People can’t be in their amygdalas and in their prefrontal cortexes at the same time. So, make people afraid and they lose their ability to think rationally. Fox “news” is a perfect example of “Be afraid, be very afraid.” Ugh. It’s depressing.

        I hope you do get out of Gilead into a much kinder, rational, and open-minded state when the times comes. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Life is a mystery, just when you think you’re getting somewhere you find yourself knee deep in kitty litter or something similar. All we can do is keep stepping up every day.
    On one other note, I’m going GOP and learning to hate people of a different hue. Well, only one really, but who couldn’t- shouldn’t- hate MT Greene?
    Family divisions? Only way is to try not to engage. It’s not satisfying but people can- rarely- change their minds, but we can’t change our kin. Stuck with ’em; the good, the bad and the completely buggy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m rather fond of your kitty-litter symbolism. It’s a nice way to say that we’re all in the midst of something we don’t find very appealing. Especially when the bits get stuck in your claws and you are stymied in your efforts at moral cleanliness…

      MT Greene is the perfect example of everything that can go wrong with a human being.

      But those toxic family members? We’re not necessarily stuck with ’em. Yes, there’s a great urge to remain simpatico, but at some point peace of mind should overrule outdated concepts of family obligations…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve thought about your last point. I have fewer members of the old fambily above ground than below, so it does tend to leave me with the last word. Wether mine is the right word would be open to debate, but… All I can say is cross talk is better than no talk.
        (On second thoughts, dinner at Mother’s could end up with us picking over the bones in a cold bitter and frosty atmosphere. Oh, the iniquities my poor put-upon-not-good-’nuff-for-my-son wife had to put up with.)
        We do what we must and I know you have a far larger family than I. (Did.) I also had my family move half a world away. God knows I’m not a religious man, but that became one hell of a blessing at our table for two on a Sunday.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Brian for sharing such a poignant, thought provoking post.
    I agree wholeheartedly with all your points especially number 12.
    I am not fully up to speed with some of the happenings in U.S.A. but I get the jist about racism & homophopia etc etc.
    Ah, those 🐱 cats!
    PEACE to you & yours & 🌎 🌍

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Margaret. I’m sure you understand what a struggle it can be to insist on decency, no matter what you personal belief system might be. And really, it’s not necessary to keep up with USA happenings, as the fight for the right thing to do applies to everyone. Decent people want decency, everywhere. We just have to rid the path to such of annoying obstacles, somehow.

      Peace to you and yours, as well. And to everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes Brian, I agree but didn’t have the time to scroll back to find the examples you gave:
        Point 4 – Supreme Court confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson.
        Point 9- Season 10 ‘American Horror Story’.
        Have you seen the film ‘The Imitation Game’? about Alan Turing to see what society is capable of doing to human beings?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Well said, Brian. Although buffets aren’t open in most places here (covid, of course) and since I’m a mostly vegetarian (I do eat a good steak or other meaty thing occasionally) who consumes a lot of fibre, I still agree with your list. Cheers. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Lynette. Since this is Texas, the buffets closed briefly during the Covid Crisis. (Something like 18 hours? Then our wretched Governor threatened to sue any business that didn’t defy reasonable Covid procedures issued by the CDC, because he’s a Trumpian acolyte. There’s nothing quite like a politician letting people die just so they can get an invite to Mar-a-Lago. I think the wrong people are dying in this situation, harsh as that might seem.)

      As for the vegetarian angle, I’d like to go that route as well. But as you mention, there’s the fiber angle. I could handle it at one point in my life, but I’m not sure I can do it now. (A simple gas bubble can feel like a heart attack, and that’s not a fun place to be.) We shall see…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Fabulous, as always. I loved the way you spoke about quiet songs that you listened to when you were learning how not to be quiet. I also loved how you talked about kittens who don’t care about social media and never will. It put things in perspective for me.

    I’m raising a glass to you and your three-years-to-pack books. I’m in the same boat, my friend. I went through my books last week, to see if I could donate any to the library book sale. I donated a measly two books, and the librarians had to pry them out of my hands.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you muchly. This is one of those pieces that came out of nowhere, scribbled feverishly, following a road I didn’t mean to follow until I found myself doing so. Personally, my “no goal in mind but let’s see what happens” stories are generally my favorites…

      I am VERY possessive of my hardcover books, even those “I never actually read this and it might be a piece of crap” volumes tucked hither and yon. I guess it comes from my many lean years in my younger days, when I couldn’t afford to buy and could only borrow from the library. (And I was in those libraries constantly.) There’s just something about all those treasures, whispering to me, hinting of adventures to revisit or yet to come…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I do it all the time. I sit down with the intention of scribbling about one thing, then suddenly it’s an hour later and I’ve gone somewhere else entirely. But, for me, that’s the greatest joy of writing. Have a goal in mind, sure, but let your words lead the way and see where you end up…

      Thanks for stopping by Bonnywood and taking the time to make a comment!

      Like

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