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May 14, 2019

Thoughts & Prayers: Navigating in a Sea of Zombies

 By Susie Duncan Sexton

 

"Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better."ThoughtsPrayers519.jpg

  

"The technology available for film-making now is incredible, but I am a big believer that it's all in the story."

  

"It's an honor putting art above politics. Politics can be seductive in terms of things reductive to the soul." ~ Robert Redford

  

Linked In, Shut Out, Cell Phone Mania, Faux Networking, Prayer Chains and Warriors, all the way from affable to contentious Face to Flat-Face-booking Social NetworkBon Voyage...Have a nice day!  Who cares these days?  Grin and bear it, and enjoy the divisiveness and the avoidance of real issues that matter to all of us, such as inclusiveness, civil discourse, achieving understanding hearts, and seeking peace -- the entirety of which seem so otherworldly during these days of hustling and bustling and looking out for number one.

  

Where is/are a viable Erma Bombeck or a Doctor Seuss, or a Mort Sahlor a Kurt Vonnegut, or Jon Stewart, or Lenny Bruce, or an Amy Schumer when we need them and their acid-humor spiced with grim reality of acknowledging failed communications with one another?  I miss them all. 

  

As a demographically endorsed "senior", I am feeling and thinking dark thoughts of "Does anybody anywhere really give a damn about soothing souls down deep rather than extending a cursory nod while rushing the other direction to pursue the egocentrical lifestyle of an ostrich burying its plumed head in the sands of a sought after vanity-beach-vacation?"

  

On the industrialized and profit-oriented trail of doctors' crocodile tears myself, obscene bills accumulate, and patients without patience become frightened bookkeepers betting on tired horse races while battling paperwork and phone-tag numbers issued from a conglomerate of dead-eyed often robotic humans who may be deciding or blowing off the fate of their addled and worried customers.  Networking is a sick joke..."WE have the drugs; now YOU do all the work, Mister or Missus so and so!"  "Put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up.  Then call me in the morning!"  (Thanks, Harry Nilsson.)

  

Side effects far worse than the imagined or possibly looming plethora of diseases and illnesses scaring the bejesus out of most all of us, regardless of our life's labels from youth to old age, create an opioid crisis of Armageddon/ Apocalyptic proportions.  I have thought these thoughts for nearly half a dozen years (or more) while seated at my kitchen table all alone, and the fruition of my fears has come home to roost.  We all must confront a final very big deal rife with accompanying problems prior to traveling off to vacation spots or purchasing big ticket items we cannot actually afford to serve as quick but lingering installment plan panaceas. Best of luck, survivors!  Enjoy settling the estate!

  

I wish to laugh again and never complain nor fret but... behind the closed doors of one's mind, life seems to have ceased being genuinely fun or compassionate or conversational or hopeful.  Environmental concerns both at home and abroad, as well as globally and universally, matter.  All forms of life matter.  I miss the pets who recently got blown off the face of my own earth even though veterinarian services and pharmaceuticals and repetitive appointments are somewhat readily available for a steep price, and I lament doors carelessly closed at home or at the office.  I miss family connections which actually require the collective group efforts of tender loving care and grace in order to survive and thrive.  I die a little from hurtful comments and stereotyping and mud puddles splashed by passing vehicles sometimes carrying passengers who do not mean well.

  

Old photographs capture ghosts in immobilized positions, and we mostly recall those "where the lost things go" ghosts with fondness when time stands scrapbook frozen as we gaze and search to rekindle that long-ago love and those nurturing, encouraging, sunlit pastimes IF that IS the way it WAS.  THE WAY WE WERE, indeed!  Young actor Robert Redford repetitiously stumbled as a "bad boy" juvenile fugitive with sweat on his brow throughout black and white television episodes during the golden age of television when the tiny screen and so-called "boob tube" offered stories of substance.  I followed his show business career through to BAREFOOT IN THE PARKTHE ELECTRIC HORSEMANALLTHE PRESIDENT'S MEN and as the Sundance Kid himself who bought a ski resort and encouraged others blessed with creativity to tell ever more stories of substance and redemption.  His latest cinematic offering and perhaps his swan song THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN seems an appropriate book-end(-ing) to the start of his very responsible, inspirational lifetime of contributions to humanity.  Not just a pretty face but an environmentalist and a nurturer and a motivator and a story-teller with no need for a gun.  [Also highly recommend, believe it or not, (especially to hunters) the 2016 PETE'S DRAGON directed by the same young Sundance alum Independent filmmaker David Lowery.]

 

 

Not to whine too much, but not unlike many other humans I have endured more than my share of being dumped on, shoved aside, dismissiveness and abandonment, gaslighting, verbal abuse, cattiness, misplaced and misinformed nasty appraisals, nuisance robo-AND-cat-calls, and sporadically peculiar physical torment while only landing in the hospital exactly three times...to be born, to give birth and an eerie ambulance trip to the emergency room itself.  My heartbeat is irregular these days but continues pumping, questioning, and responding to the ups and downs of life; my knees miss any remnants of cartilage; my breathing is labored; I faint sometimes; my thyroid gland is in need of serious observation; and I am frightened about the remaining years in a world of uncanny chaos everywhere one looks. I wait eagerly for marijuana to get legalized in spite of my prudishness about the world of drugs. My greatest concern, though, revolves around lack of meaningful communication around the globe and at home and just how can that sadness be addressed, if at all.  And I know what ails me...I know deep in my irregularly palpitating heartbeat every second of every night and day.  So, physician, I say, heal thyself.  Heal thyself.  Ain't nobody can do necessary repair for us but ourselves, and "ain't nobody's business if we do" goes the song!  I may be a quack, but I am sticking to my own instinctive diagnosis and visiting as few hospitals, veterinarians, dentists and nursing homes as might be humanly possible.  Keep on keeping on, and never give up!  In my inevitably pending wheelchair or while leaning on my cane, I shall be wearing a t-shirt proudly advertising FDR's famous philosophy, "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself!"

  

Dorothy Parker > Quotes > Quotable Quote

 

"Résumé
Razors pain you,
Rivers are damp,
Acids stain you,
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful,
Nooses give,
Gas smells awful.
You might as well live."

 

AN ODD VARIATION OF THIS SENTIMENT OF MS. PARKER APPEARS IN MY FATHER'S HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH BOOK...HE MUST HAVE IDENTIFIED AND COPIED IT ON THE FIRST BLANK PAGE OF HIS TEXTBOOK IN HIS ALWAYS GLORIOUS CURSIVE HAND WRITING...AND HE ADDED A PHRASE TO DOROTHY'S POEM...that being, "AW, HELL!"   He was only 14 at the time. I cherish that book wherever it has gotten to and hoping I can ever locate it again.  I pray for just one thing...that I can be as strong and kind, no matter what else befalls, as my daddy was!  Everything else will take care of itself!  I'll be punching it up and taming it down which will be the name of my garage band rock group some day!  A-men.

  

Postscript:  I wish to thank the following neat Parkview People who are fun and never scare me...nurses Sonja and Shannon whom I quote, "Take your medicine, and don't get ahead of yourself!" and the emergency room nurse for whom I have no name due to my panic attack at being in emergency mode once so far and doctors Valcarcel, Wynder and Hardin who are not only nice and calm but handsome also.  I COULD get used to my new hobby and become a raging hypochondriac!  I think I love the aforementioned humans and a few other phone answerers and receptionists who love to laugh and to be kind!  Yes, I think I love you!  And niece Kelly Bailey who laughs with me and not at me...thank God for that girl!

  

My fabulous niece Kelly helped me move my book collection 33 years ago via a moving van...now, we need a train!

  

"In some cultures, laughter and talking guarantee longer lifetimes."~ Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the series CHASING LIFE

"If I knew I was going to live so long, I would have taken better care of myself!" ~ Charles Eugene "MAC" McBride (Indiana University football player, soldier, MP and chef! and my brother-in-law for over 100 years and holding!) quoting James Herbert ("Eubie") Blake

 

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Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in Susie's book Secrets of an Old Typewriter and its follow-up Misunderstood Gargoyles and Overrated Angels - print and ebook versions of both are available on Amazon (click the title). The books are also carried by these fine retailers: Ann Arbor's Bookbound and Common Language; Columbia City's Whitley County Historical Museum; and Fort Wayne's The Bookmark. And you can download from iTunes. Read her blog here, and meet other like-minded souls at her facebook fan page. Visit her author website at www.susieduncansexton.com.  Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or Won't. Roy's blog ReelRoyReviews can be found here.