December 2004 - Peace On Earth?
RayzRealm (c) December, 2004

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Friday December 3

I neglected to end the November journal since my life always seems to get more complicated toward the end of each year, and not due to the overwhelming social obligations most people face around the holidays. Year end brings a lot of tight year end deadlines that I have to meet at work, bills, bills, doctor appointments, etc, etc. The holiday season has become a time for introspection.

I had an unexpected surprise as a friend I encountered online invited me to spend Thanksgiving week at his place in Provincetown. I hemmed and hawed about leaving the hermitage for a week, but after he broke my arm, I gave in to his gracious offer. Looking back am glad I flew the coop for a week, and what better place to escape reality than P-Town.

Despite all the yuppification and commercialism, Provincetown is still a magical place, probably listed in the world's most unique spiritual energy centers and vortexes. I made a point of spending at least 2 weeks in P-Town every Summer, throughout the 70's and 80's, and only discovered the best time to visit is off season, before and after the unwashed "a-list" masses have arrived during the 90's.

I was able to totally escape from life's pain, trials and George Bush's Amerika for one blessed week, with a friend who is truly the salt of the earth. It was a week that also got me back in touch with the deep inner me, that as self deprecating as I can be, I am one unique and gifted person, which may be (as my host stated) one reason most people shy away from me.

P-Town is about 160 miles from Boston, and it takes from 2.5 to 4 hours to drive there depending on traffic, but since this was off season and mid week, I made it in just under 2.5 hours.Once you break away from the Braintree split, heading out beyond, Weymouth, Marshfield and other outlying South Shore towns, route 3 turns into a 2 lane sandy shouldered divided highway, boxed in by scrub pines. It's a long boring ride, past Plymouth and on to the Sagamore and Bourne bridges, then onward through Hyannis, for another what seems another never ending stretch until you reach the Orleans rotary. This is where I begin hearing the Siren's song of the lower Cape calling, my spirits lift and I feel more alive. I relax my grip on the steering wheel and crank up the same tape full of 80's dance and rock that always seems to play on the last leg of my journey.

My friend Rob lives on the outskirts of town, where the sign reads "Provincetown Next 3 Exits". The week was filled with laughter, good food and company, lively conversation, shopping and people watching and just plain relaxing. I used to be a dancing fool 15-30 years ago, but have not danced since 1991. I managed to get on the dance floor at the A-House on Thanksgiving night, the music was just too hot to stand around and do nothing. I guess it's like riding a bicycle, it does come back.

Some of the joy I had lost also came back that week. It had been years since I just relaxed and had a good time with one of the best people I've had the privilege of knowing. I hated to leave on Sunday morning, but headed back to reality in the early afternoon. It has happened every time I vacationed in P-Town, as I headed up route 6, my heart always felt a bit more heavy, but this time, a tear was in my eye as I rounded the Orleans rotary, headed back to Boston in the pouring rain.

Rob has invited me, along with a couple of other friends, to spend Christmas with him. Unless sickness, war or one of New England's legendary Nor'easters hits, I'll be on the road again to recharge my batteries on the Cape.

Some back to work articles for your reading angst.

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Wednesday December 15

Caressing the Tiger

I have not felt much like writing in here as there's too much going on inside my head right now to make much sense (not hat I ever did make any sense in here). My chance meeting in cyber space with the Darth Vader to my Luke Skywalker has opened a lot of doors that I thought were closed and locked many years ago. The trip to P-Town definitely triggered tremors and after shocks. A trip to the Cape can do this to me all by itself, but this time the earth moved and I began taking a deep look inside myself. As much as people have discounted me throughout my life, I am somebody, and an old playful me that I thought had been suffocated with a pillow has re-emerged. I find myself asking, "what do you really want to be when you grow up?" which is sort of late in the game for a 57 year old to be asking himself

Here's a list of pretties for you to read on a cold Winter night

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Tuesday December 21

A Killing Frost

The feelings keep growing every day, that America and the world is on the cusp of something really big and nasty, and the vast masses of sheep are totally deaf and blind to the tempest that's on it's way, courtesy of the neocon, far right Christian gestapo and new world order. Call me nuts but remember, I told you so.

Last night we had almost record breaking cold. It was close to 20 below here in the Boston burbs with the wind chill factor, and Winter is just beginning.

I'll be blowing into P-Town again on an ill wind on Thursday for the holiday weekend to visit my friend and partner in crime Rob. At times I still have reservations about becoming a member of an online lunatic asylum, but it has paid off in a couple of ways, reestablishing contact with long lost cronies and meeting new ones.  

Rob came up to visit during the weekend of the 11th, and we do seem to make a pretty good online tag team having some mischievous fun in the process. The last time I encountered anyone I clicked with was my friend Doug from Chicago, who's now in Thailand and last I heard in India.

Hmmm, it seems strange that since I've been on broadband, I have probably turned on the TV once a week, if that. I've swapped staring into one screen for staring into another, but at least it's far less pasive (more interactive) than slouching in my easy chair all night with the remote in my lap (shades of Al Bundy from Married With Children).

I'm just plain looking forward to one of the first enjoyable Christmas holidays in years, in one of the most astounding energy centers on the planet, with some people almost as off the wall as I've been accused of being.

Lastly in the "why do these weird things always seem to happen to me?" department. Last Thursady night I was online and talking on the phone with Rob when the door bell rang at about 6PM. I asked him to hold, probably Mormons, Greenpeace or kids selling magazines,

When I opened the door was greeted by a cop, fireman and guy from the electric company.

"Sorry to bother you sir, but are you the owner of that Toyota Corolla", looking at my car seeing it's surrounded by yellow plastic police type and orange traffic cones.

"Ahh yes officer, what seems to be the problem?"

"There's been an incident. You car is parked under a transformer that ruptured and the oil leaked down all over your car. We are waiting for a hasmat team to arrive to decontaminate the area." (PCB's) You'd think there had been a nuke plant meltdown from all the emergency vehicles on the street and they were cordoning off the street. "we'll need the keys to your car to move it to a safe area." I handed my keys to a guy dressed like he was entering a level 4 containment area. He moved my car, returning the keys. I went back upstairs, and the doorbell rang again

"The power will be going out in about 5 minutes, while the tranformer is being replaced."

I walked back upstairs, grabbing a flash light and candles, then resumed talking with Rob after powering down my PC.

At around 8 and 9PM the doorbell rang again to let me know they were still working and the hasmat crew was not here yet and that after they clean my car I should get it washed ASAP, as whatever chemicals they were going to treat it with would eat the paint right off it and were toxic.

I kept talking with Rob, who could not believe that this little fiasco was happening to me, and I assured him that this sort of thing is an almost everyday occurance in my life.

We got off the phone shortly after 10PM. The hasmat team arrives with a humongous truck and they were dumping chemicals and digging up dirt around the utility pole.

It was almost 11:30PM when my doorbell rang again and it was a guy from the electric company saying it was ok to move my car in the driveway now, but urged I take it to a car wash right this minute, "now where am I going to find a car wash at 11:30PM that's open?"

He handed me a business card and told me to call the claims office if I wanted to file for any damages. It was pitch dark out so the car didn't look that bad, until the next morning when I arrived at work and the sun was just coming up. HOLY SHIT, it looked like vandals had smeared the car with crisco that had frozen then dumped bags of flour on it.

I asked a co worker if there were any car washes locally and she said there was one at the end of the industrial park where my employer is located.

It all ends happily though, after two passes through the car wash, my ageing Corolla doesn't look any the worse for wear.

To the 2.7 regular visitors to RayzRealm, have a happy, safe and sane holiday. Here's a short shopping list of articles for the week in advance. This may or may not be the last entry for December.....but I'll be back after New Years.

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Wednesday December 29

Stars all seem to weep

Last Thursday morning I headed to PTown for the Christmas holiday weekend, a holiday filled with warmth, love, good fellowship and lots of laughs with Rob and another friend of his Mike, who drove down from Maine. Rob has all sorts of surprises planned. On Christmas eve Rob, said that I might be making one more entry in my December journal, but this is not what I had intended. I had an entry planned before the following late breaking issue arose.

While I was there got stranded on the Cape for an extra day by the biggest surprise Nor'easter of the season. The Cape lost power for over 24 hours in some parts, and in PTown power was out for 6 1/2 hours. This would normally not be much of a problem except there were high winds with wind chill of 15-20 below zero. We found temporary shelter at the A-House little bar which had a generator and fireplace, then headed off to Bayside Betsy's, the only restaurant that was open (also had emergency generator). Provincetown is a very eery place, when Commercial Street is in total darkness. During dinner power was restored, sparing us having to seek a bunk in one of the makeshift shelters.

I headed back to Boston on Tuesday, since I had a doctor appointment to go over some lab work and a biopsy a specialist took as a follow up to cancer surgery I had a little over a year ago. The specialist said it was probably nothing, but one area looked suspicious. I had to make a pit stop on the way back home and noticed that I was peeing dark rust colored. When I got there my doctor took a sample. I also found out I have "no" testosterone, which might account for my lap dog passiveness, which he said was highly irregular, along with blood in semen.

I totally forgot to ask about biopsy results and called his office this morning, leaving a message for his nurse. An hour or so later the nurse called me at work on my cell phone, to tell me, after a long pause, that the biopsy came back highly malignant, and that I should plan on scheduling a meeting with the same surgeon who performed last year's surgery. I had a brief cry

I was out for a holiday lunch with my boss and a co worker today when the second call came in from my doctor. I excused myself and stepped out into a quiet corner. He said to go off all my meds now, since there was blood and white cells in urine sample. I asked if this was related to malignant biopsy results, and all he could say, "I don't know, it could be the meds or it could be something else, but if things don't return to normal in a week to call and they'd have me go to the hospital for further tests"....I looked around to make sure no one was there and had a quiet cry for myself. I've felt like crying ever since. For every bright spot that comes into my life, a dozen earthquakes happen.

Noel and I were chatting on the phone yesterday about strange prophetic dreams. He has been having repetitive dreams about tsunamis for weeks before the one that struck in the Indian ocean. He and I have had a number of conversations about how some of us seemed to be tuned into one of the faint signals of the collective subconscious (lucky us). All people probably possess the talent for intuition, precognition, sixth sense or whatever you want to call it. It's one of those abilities, like some of the hidden utility programs that only power users and techno-geeks know how to locate and use that are part of the Windoze O/S. Too many people today fill their every waking moment with noise and distractions, fearing the silence and solitude, drowning out the faint background signals and silent voices within. Perhaps the curse, or as I sometimes call it "the mark or pain", is a gift in disguise. In my experience marginalized people seem to develop a heightened sensitivity; those who are survivors (still living) of abuse, cancer, HIV and other life threatening conditions, people in recovery, African Americans, some gays, etc. For those who chose not to drown out the pain of their own existance, another reality that most in the mainstream cannot, or are afraid to embrace, emerges. As lonely as this existance can be, those os us with eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to feel, can peek behind the curtain and understand how it all works. Having the ability to tune in to the hidden sub carrier signals is difficult to explain, let alone to live with at times.

I was having precognitive dreams about 9-11 months before it happened, but could not put 2+2 together. On the morning of 9-11, I had to pull off the road twice on the way to work, feeling a strong feeling of vertigo, mixed with a deep free floating fear that something "major" was about to happen "today". I was not sure what the event would be, maybe the sun rising momentarily in the West, followed by shock and heat blast.

I have an inner thought voice (no I do not hear voices), and have a clean bill of mental health. The inner voice has steered me away from way too many potential disasters (people,places and events) just in the nick of time for it to be mere coincidence. I had written a rather long journal on this subject a long time ago for Usenet that I no longer have on disk files.

I'm scheduled to go to Vancouver for a week long business trip in January, and for the past couple of months, the nagging (and that's what it is nagging) voice keeps repeating, "if you go to Vancouver you will die." I could write it off as anxiety about traveling, not because of terrorism, but that I've gotten so settled into my Yankee homebody ways and prefer to stay close to home. Hell, making the 2.5 hour trip to Provincetown is a major adventure, let alone trekking throughout Asia, as my friend Doug is currently doing. God bless ya Doug, stay safe! I'm following each installment of your travel blog, and look forward to seeing you when you return to the US.

"Stars All Seem to Weep", is a song by Beth Orton I kept hearing in every cafe and shop when I was last in PTown 4.5 years ago, shortly after my closest friend and compadre, Paul passed away from kidney cancer.

Rob is supposed to come up this weekend, we had a lot of fun filled things planned to see the new year in, but right now I feel like getting in my car and driving, driving, driving til I can't drive any more, leaving everything I know behind.

This ends the December journal, this probably ends a lot of things. Hopefully as doors close behind me, windows will open. One small window has opened this Fall, letting in a shaft of light and fresh air. I only hope it stays open, with others to follow.

I'll end 2004 with a thought. We never know how long our tenure will be on the planet, nor the duration and endurance of our personal relationships. Most of my life has been spent being used, abused and betrayed by many of the people I trusted and loved. Trust has not come easy to me, especially during the past 20 years. I have retreated far back into a cave of the soul over the past 5 years, where I have felt safe, but then I have not felt much else either. Many people have told me over the years that I wore my heart on my sleeve, and offered a kind hand to rabid dogs. A child like playfulness has reemerged over the past few months, tempered by caution. The few friends I have left have all commented on the bounce in my step and  return of my off the wall sense of humor. Right now "the old me" is like a tiny sapling trying to reach toward the sun, with any luck it won't get bulldozed under.

Joy, good friendship, love and all the other warm fuzzy things that help make us human are like addictive drugs. When you're with this people, in almost any setting, it's like being in the eternal now, there is no beginning or end, and you never want it to end. I have a number of major medical issues that are attempting to rob me of the joy and carefree way I once was. Life is much more difficult for a lot of us since the Reagan years. Actually life under Ronny's reign was like a walk in the park compared to the giggling murderer.

A happy and safe New Years to all who visit RayzRealm, and I'll probably resume writing after the first of the year.


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Shalom, Ray