Posted by: tlboehm | May 22, 2015

The Secret Life of Banshees

The day broke early with the plaintive bleating of the neighbors goats as I disentangled myself from the nest of perpetually untucked sheets. I found the younger spawn already engaged in an epic online battle, headset cocked, cat on lap and the world on ignore. If only it were that easy to shut this life out.

I’ve already showered, started the laundry, cursed the incessant squawking parrot and fought back tears. (and it’s only 7:00 am) If I allow myself the luxury of thinking about all that has happened in the past few weeks….my son married (didn’t see that coming) my husband needs ten thousand dollars worth of dental work, and we lost a beloved family dog. Her surviving offspring grieves in the backyard, unmoved even by the neighbors kibble stealing feline. Last weekend we shampooed, ointment lined and powdered the poor canine and still he lays, tick studded and miserable in his dilapidated dog house. Perhaps we’ve done more harm than good. Ticks are marauding bastards and this is just one more battle lost.

I have sufficient reason for refraining from blathering on line like I used to. Since 2009 the days have bled into one another with few moments of relief. While I’m stoked for my elder child, I find myself treading the spider silk line between absolute, gushing adoration for my new daughter in law and the corrective mental jerk in my cranium that screams “keep a polite distance”. Tensile as that line may be, awkward Tam is awkward and at any given moment my flat feet will fail and I will take a header in the middle of my carefully planned day.

And so I spend my minimal spare time and perhaps a few stolen moments sifting through the shaky leaves at Ancestry. I have about 2000 hints to click and seeing the number decline gives me a sense of completion and control. When I am weary I can simply push my chair back and walk away. The dead simply cannot wreak the havoc on your life that the living bring. My memories are mine. My future it would seem, isn’t.

Truth is, I’m tired of getting through the next day, the next audit, the next assignment, the next batch of dirty towels or spiked weeds to pull. I can’t escape the whispered admonition of my spirit telling me I am on the downhill side of time on this planet and perhaps I am past whatever bit was prime. My heart aches from running on autopilot. Survival isn’t living and since 2009 – I’ve been in terminal fight or flight – with only a butter knife and tissue paper wings. I’m scarred and broken and sad and dark chocolate won’t fix me. I run on momentum, too stubborn to stop.

And so it goes, I have myriad productive things to accomplish today because my family deserves a peaceful home and to those whom I’ve given my word, they deserve it kept. There is beauty in a soul that is satisfied by the simple comfort of a safe home and a job well done at the end of a day. Perhaps one day this aging bone cage will house a beautiful simple soul instead of the railing banshee at the back of my throat. Perhaps tomorrow. Or next week. A girl can dream.

Peace.

Posted by: tlboehm | September 5, 2014

Thread the Polar Breeze

A frosted sun rides the western skies
Ice buckles in troubled seas
Death stalks the streets of Arviat
Scent threads the polar breeze

Furtive foxes skitter fences
Ground fouled human host
From Churchill up to Keewatin
The Laurentide glacial ghost

*Tuunbaq Nibipchabaa
Igitchivik anaq
Nanuq qiaruq nibiruq miqjiqtuq

All Hallow’s Eve the children play
Little lights tread snowpacked streets
Tuurngak whispers to the white king
Their flesh is soft the marrow sweet

Nanuk you abdicate your throne
Dance before a greater beast
Trade the cadence on the pack ice
Ones offal another ones feast

Black nose to ice you scavenge
Silent white against the pall
Nanuk now slave to a lesser god
Scattered ash we all will fall

TL Boehm
09/04/14

*Satan, he feeds him garbage pail feces. Nanuk cries, eats child

Last night I watched “Operation Maneater” on PBS – concerning Polar bears and the towns of Churchill Manitoba and Arviat Nunavet – on the Hudson Bay. When bears eat garbage instead of seals, humans and bears have a problem.

The language used is Inupiaq – not Inuit and is a very rough translation.

The Laurentide Ice sheet supposedly melted as the Hudson Bay was formed

Nanuq of course is the King Polar Bear.

Posted by: tlboehm | September 5, 2014

The Watermark

So this is the watermark
The stranding after the deluge
Tidal storms recede
And I am wreckage on your shore
Gulls hover
Strident cries they scrabble
For cast off sparkling trinkets
Dead flesh
Winging requiem for a life unlived
Slip the yellow tape boundary
Drape daisy chains and platitudes
Across my fractured hull

Would you find wild beauty
In weathered wood
Barnacle scars
And the echo of measured surf
Set this longship by the sunstone
Radiant light when skies are heavy
Sullen with winter chill
Would you cleave to the beat
Aegir’s heavy hand on your prow
The moon pull of open water
The tease of salt spray
On full lips whisper my name
One more time
Quiet
Voice across the deep
And I will breathe

Will you simply wreath
My memory
“ see the line of my people back to the beginning
Lo, They do call to me”
Cast the fire and plot the stone ship
Pebbles skipped cross brackish water
My legacy sinks
Little rippled terminus
Wont shred butterfly wings
Or froth the wild tides
To the maelstrom
So this is the watermark
Strand my heart
With one spilled tear
TL Boehm
09/03/2014

Posted by: tlboehm | September 5, 2014

Caught Looking Away

His matriarch set off in the brilliant burn
Pre-monsoon summer skies as she flies
Home to Big Blue and strawberry fields, rolling sand dunes
Studded with peaches and cream stalks full corn ears
Past the gunmetal hulls – Motor City madness
Send that cheap crap back to China
Import ratchet dreams that obsolesce faster than a preteen’s
Boy band crush
We left our polite goodbyes on padded benches in the Sunport
Trekked the cement labyrinthine path back to the car
Sprawled myself out in the backseat
Marinating in my bipolar haze of relief and regret
Two weeks of my soft under parts presented
Respect for the Alpha who never hacked up a rabbit
At the mere sound of my keening cries
Sate the pack tomorrow I’m off the forest floor
In all my ears back, feral, foaming at the fangs glory
Salient thought abandoned on the crest of a stressed induced migraine
And the whelps yipping for pricey coffee with caramel drizzles

She broke my bleary eyed unfocused reverie
Wrangling two carts corralled by bits of ragged twine in the parking lot
As she ferreted through her peculiar tinsel adorned collection
Scraggly plastic wreaths, sad ghosts of Christmas past
And her grizzled locks wound round a red velveteen door decoration
Muted hues against her transient mantle
I caught myself looking away…
A triad of flies buzzed her presence
The dull thrum of something important forgotten
She shuffled to a center table
Arranging dusky floral skirts and kohl layered clothing
With hands caked with cracked black grit
Fingers studded with grimey chunk costume jewelry
Dug at the lid on a generic bulk bowl of noodle soup
While baristas and capri clad patrons skirted her table
As though they were restless waves
Fleeing before the power of God across the Red sea
And me sucking spun fat from the top of an overpriced iced concoction
Without pittance in my pocket
Caught myself staring…
Waiting….
For someone else to do the Christian thing

Is that how a Freak rolls?
Tongue lolling for the opportunity
When crazy plants itself
In the high backed chair in front of you
And pops open a styro container of “stroke in a cup”
Do you flash that cash wrapped round a tract
Put a hand on her weary back and pray
Do you simply look away
Caught up in awkward indecision
Uncomfortable in your urban bubble
This is latte day at Starbee’s for God’s sake
And she never put a hand out for help
Or spoke a single word
As if a bag of Oprah’s cut leaf tea would
Change her world.
Or yours.
Pride goeth before Christmas wreaths, and shopping carts
And pot metal costume jewels

Under the cool blur of my ceiling fan I glance skyward for answers
Offer a smattering of plaintive prayers
For matriarchs
And mavens with dull velveteen bows in their hair
For my children
For release from the pain at the back of my brain
And the constricting grip of entitlement torqueing my brittle heart
God breathes in moments missed
When we simply look away…
TL Boehm
08/21/2014

Posted by: tlboehm | August 9, 2014

I found Jesus…..WHAT?

So yesterday whilst rooting around amongst ancient Roman deceased I found my metaphorical feet skipping down a particularly winding rabbit trail. I’ve been fascinated by British mythology ever since I saw the movie Camelot as a young ‘un (No I was not actually present prior to the Crusades, thankyouverymuch) I’ll even admit to a girly crush on Nigel Terry in the lead role of Excalibur. There I was, ferreting out the lineage of minor Roman prefects to Boudica and suddenly I stumble across Jesus. Whodathunkit? Apparently He’s my uncle. Laugh all you want. I’m on a tangent here.
For the few years I’ve been studying genealogy and its happy companion history I’ve seen that bent we humans share wherein we align ourselves with those of our species we find appealing. Amongst the farmers and shopkeepers and sets of first cousins who married and produced questionable offspring we stud our family trees with presidents and kings and queens and call it grand. I however had a much more mundane goal when I started filling out the bare branches of my tree. I simply wanted to validate my own little existence. In short, I wanted some measurable identification of who I really was. I wanted my dad and I thought I had a fifty fifty shot of proving who he was by flipping those shaky green genealogical coins. Unfortunately, my potential DNA donors all seem to come from one tiny band on the map and as I rode the pedigree train back through the centuries, my mom, my dads and even my boss all share common ancestry. There is no paternal “Lucy” definitive of my identity and so I have learned to enjoy the journey – the mythologies and the histories especially at the points where they meld. And that’s just where I was yesterday – rambling about where Roman History subducts with the mythos of the Druids. Enter Joseph of Arimathea and an entire lineage wound around British nobility, Jesus and the grail protectors. Fascinating stuff. And then I actually paused to think about what I was looking at on my screen. Jesus is my blood relative.
Enter the tangent. Why do we 2000 years removed from the birth of the Christian church find it plausible that Lincoln and Lee are our uncles, that 25% of us white folk are William the Conqueror’s manytimesover great grand pups yet mention the lineage of Jesus and even a born and bred Christian like my dear husband will roll his eyes and flash a smile centered somewhere between “My wife is crazy” and “we’re seriously only spiritual brothers and sisters, don’t you know your theology?” I get it. Jesus, unless you really buy into the Mary Magdelene bent that she and JC were a thing (and there is a dancing plethora of supposition out there to support that excluding of course Biblical text) didn’t have flesh and blood offspring – but he DID have a brother. So it is entirely plausible – at least as acceptable to me that He could be an uncle as it is that Rollo the Viking straddles a fork in my sprawling tree. But now its going to get personal so those of you naysayers and fence riders, you can look away while the rest of us Cheesy Christian types revel in the thing I’m about to drop here on my page.
You see, God is a lot of things to us Bible bangers, us Jesus Freaks, us worshipping types and one of the things God is that speaks the loudest to me is “Father to the Fatherless” When your own parental units are questionable, either because of birth or behavior – God will adopt you. I know I am Captain Obvious for those of you who have always had a relationship with the Big Guy but many of us – we didn’t get it right away. In fact some days when our flesh screams louder than that small voice – we still aren’t sure. But God is. And He will do everything He can (which is everything we can’t) to pursue us, to prove that He is who He is and He is our Father. Even if we have to stumble across it on a pedigree chart and see it in black and white (or green and beige) Our lineage is not only physical but divine. He is the desire of my heart – a part of my family. My daddy. And I am His descendant.
You can dismiss it and that’s your choice. God is a gentleman and He won’t send a lightning bolt to fry you extra crispy in your tracks for thinking this chick is a half bubble off plumb but remember, I wasn’t looking for Jesus on my tree. I was looking for ME. Validation of who I was and what I was worth. And what I am is a leaf on the tree of life – a child of the living God. Hear my heart in this. That little moment yesterday, that was a hug, a “hey kid. I love You. I’m here in the middle of your day and your dreams. I know who you are and what matters to you. I reside in the infinite and in the simple seconds ticking through what you think is too small for me to consider. That’s what it was for me. God meets you where you are.
Rest assured I’ll be geeking out about this for the rest of my life. Pray for my family therefore – they only partially tolerate the history lessons and they find this Holy link seriously suspect. Peace.

Posted by: tlboehm | July 18, 2014

Virtual Reality as I know it.

So I’m sitting here sucking down a boxed pot pie and extracting missed bits of potting soil from my talons. It’s not even 8:00 am yet and already I’ve showered, made coffee, done a sink full of dishes and attempted to rescue some sad flowers from my front yard. In my domain, much like the rest of life it’s either flood or scorch and most things can’t survive the wild pendulum swings. Those that do are usually toxic, prickly and invasive.
It’s been a gnarly couple of weeks, culminating in a girly meltdown yesterday at work, complete with sobbing and apologies for my lapse in self-control. Today I’m paying for it with the inevitable pug face and that perpetual gnaw of self-loathing even though I know I am a human and therefore flawed. When a cohort queried “what else is going on” I refrained and blamed the chaos of the moment. Twenty four hours later and distanced from specific responsibilities I can consider the dancing plethora of “what elses” and obsess over one or two specifically acid producing issues.
I have this dear friend I’ve known since 2006 and although we’ve never actually chatted face to face over coffee, I’ve grown accustomed to her internet presence in my life. I suppose I’ve waxed complacent. So when she did that thing that so many do and proclaimed a modicum of personal control over her very real existence by stepping away from bandwidth drama it didn’t immediately register that I was mixed in with the internet flotsam and jetsam she was dismissing from her daily routine in favor of communing with humans on a tangible level. Oops. All it takes is a nano-second to be emotionally eviscerated when you drop your mental shield.
So here I am, scraping my guts into a shabby pile and attempting to stuff them back into a gaping hole again. Admittedly this war wound is totally expected considering the gargantuan character flaw I carry like a bulls eye emblazoned adjacent to my soft underparts. Because the internet by nature is impersonal, mutable and easily dismissed for better pursuits, those who frequent it take on its characteristics. We develop platforms, personas, identities that we slough off when we return to “real life” as though all this interaction is some giant role play game. Oops part two.
Truth is, I don’t own a persona. I don’t have a platform or a big chalk line between what I do here and what I do there. I am one awkward, generic person face to face or keyboard to keyboard. If I say it on Facebook, I’ll say it to your face. My only real weapon in this fight is a little thing called transparency. I don’t differentiate in my interactions whether I’m chatting with my adopted “son” from India or trading barbs with my first born over a Starbucks in rush hour traffic. I don’t own a cloaking device and those filters between mind and fingers and mouth are intermittent. If I hate cats, I hate them on my couch and on my PC screen. If I adore your smile I adore it on your page and on your face next to me at church. I don’t run and I don’t hide. I don’t shut down and I don’t seem to possess an “off” button. I also lack the capacity to grasp that most of the world doesn’t roll the way this Tammy rolls and therein lies one socially limiting flaw. (I have multitudinous flaws but we’ll stick to this one for the sake of limiting your exposure to skull numbing boredom) And so it often leaves me a bit unhinged when those I care for enforce that boundary between the real life outside their office doors and the fiction of social networking. Suddenly my entire existence is equivalent to text in a book one can close and forget on a shelf. And I thought I was a real girl too….
Whether here in the land of memes and lolcats or in your real world off screen it is always your choice to walk away. And it is always my choice to miss you when you do. Even if you’ve spun your entire existence as one big cyber telenovela – I still found something amidst the ones and zeroes that resonated as relevant. Reciprocity is not required and that is the takeaway here. I have to come to the personal peace that it should never be expected. That is where I am twisted the tightest. I stopped expecting in my interactions “off the screen” and transferred that crave to those writers and friends and cousins with whom I socialize on the bandwidth. Oops number three. That means I’m out.
I don’t do casual. I’m not a stalker – but test the theory and drop out of sight. I’ll seek you out again because you matter. Even if our friendship is “virtual” – you aren’t. I know you’re a real human on the other side of that screen. Even if you’ve lied to me about everything – you still possess a beating heart, firing dendrites and a soul. You therefore deserve and will always receive my transparency because at the end of the day – who I am is really all I have. And as for your persona – as a writer I know that all fiction contains an element of truth – or the reader wouldn’t engage. That is my goal as a human – to fully engage.
Peace. I suppose my own “real life” needs my attention. I have floors to scrub, and laundry to do. And three hundred hints on ancestry.com to check out. Wait. Are deceased relatives not real because they exist as shaky green leaves on the bandwidth? Perhaps I need more coffee and another girly cry. Got tissue?

“Your baby, your problem.” I was a twenty something, semi professional, career gal, attempting to sooth not so malleable progeny number two when those words burrowed their way into my long term memory. Spoken by someone who I truly believed should have rescued me in my moment of parental failure, that friendly fire fueled my ire. There I was, embattled warrior princess, my knight off killing dragons, the heir apparent stricken by childhood malaise and the spare would not cease his earsplitting caterwauling. (Translation: Dave was out of town, five year old Freddy was pukey with chicken pox, I’d worked all day and baby Eric was colicky for the eighth Monday that week.) How dare the insolent villager hand me my scorched hindquarters on a set of tines and advise me to reattach it myself! Oh the horror of responsibility.
Truth is, what we create becomes our responsibility and often our “problem” for the duration of our existence on this nickel cored orb and if we want to survive we learn quickly to temper our passions with perspective, prioritizing that which truly matters and sloughing off the rest as best we can. We have limited time in our skins to facilitate change, yet it seems those of us who are the most brilliant waste that precious allotment afforded them by succumbing to fits of strident public display (oft on social media) disparaging those of us categorized by whatever pigeon hole du jour deemed fitting as villagers with pitchforks – unenlightened, terrified and dangerous to the greater good of the cause of the moment. Yet, while those illumined souls fire off statistical justification and sound bites are they really doing any good or are they simply parroting the skewed misinformation generated by the media machine that is more interested in selling happy pills than offering up undiluted truth because truth is stodgy and sex at seventy sells slots in prime time? This barrage of Technicolor, full throttle, info-bullying, does more to extinguish my specific passions than any bit of daily reality would. Collicky babies eventually outgrow their twisted little gullet outbursts. Knotted up adults, however noble the cause may be, seem to feed on the ire…just like a cancer cell, eventually destroying the very creature that feeds them.
Truth is, I’m a mom. I’m automatically engineered to respond on a cellular level when faced with the plight of a child – any child. The more perceived pain, the more tears and fear, the more graphic imagery, and that hard wiring designed to galvanize me to protect will only carry me a specific distance from the epicenter of chaos. The perpetual onslaught without respite will eventually serve to create a system overload, resulting in that very sea of numb, burned out dull eyed villagers with pitchforks you standard bearing, enlightened types are attempting to incite to indignation which is not the equivalent of action or correction. And indignation without focus will only result in those villagers lobbing stones and flaming balls of manure at your battlements. We can’t fix your babies but we can fix you.
Before you fire off a volley of memes with the intent to elevate the plight of those you have determined yourself as the patron saint/megaphone/posterchild consider this. Is your truth really the homeless doe eyed preteen from war torn Guatemala, is it the rape victim faced with an unwanted pregnancy or are you just a thinly disguised hater who really wants to piss off those of us who already feel with every fiber of our existence that life is precious and we would lay down our own to take the pain from another person. If you are a hater – keep putting up that kitsch because it’s working. But if you really want change – use your fingers for something besides saluting me in traffic and on the bandwidth and DO something. Go down to your local immigration office and volunteer to take on a child. Open up your home, your bank account, your school, your hospital, and your counseling services for the duration of that child’s or your natural existence and give yourself to that child to make his or her life better. Put feet and hands on your passionate discourse and open up a shelter yourself. Give your disposable income to organizations that truly integrate and bless others who are in need. (since its cool to conjoin the prolife schtick with illegal immigrant children – go down to your local clinic and pay for a woman to be relieved of her “problem” hold her hand during the process – and stick around in a year or two or five, when she marries or has her own baby or wonders about what her “Choice” would have been if she’d exercised her legal right in a different manner. Life and the human heart are complex far beyond the simple act of exercising a legally protected choice. Even GOD respects our right to choose – so much so that He allows us to experience the consequences unique to our own hearts.) Try putting up a list of organizations that offer assistance if you are unable or unwilling to do it yourself but do something beyond the incessant visual glut of vitriol you propagate because my only defense mechanism is to become immune to your sickness.
Here’s another truth. Veiled hostility against the government, the right, the left or the rest of us camped in the clueless center can only fix your cause through you indirectly if you won’t do it yourself. Our government is not a benevolent non-profit. It will only use whatever disposable income generated by your tax dollars it has in its coffers. So if you scream loud enough to get your problem fixed – it will only be replaced by another more intimate issue. A government funded solution will manifest itself in higher prices at the store, the gas station, your property tax bill and your interest rates. So if you choose to hand off your baby to a sitter – prepare to pay competitive wages.
I’m not damning anyone’s passions or arguing against anyone’s rights. I am not promoting that my personal position of faith must override the law of my country. I respect my country, its laws and its people. I even respect and will occasionally encourage the right of a soul to vent his or her passionate position on the bandwidth. If I disagree I know that out of respect I can simply choose to ignore the post. There are those however (and we all know someone) who have lost their identity to the toxic position they present. I only admit therefore, that as one human I cannot fix an entire planet of babies. I can only fix my own baby, my own problem. If I choose to adopt another baby – then I assume responsibility for the duration – not to scream when it screams – but to comfort, nurture, protect and grow that baby. Tossing soiled diapers over my neighbor’s fence won’t help my baby. But perhaps pulling weeds in the empty field with my neighbor might give us both a place to take our toddlers to play safely.
All this to say if you want to champion a passionate cause – promote the solution above the problem. Stop tossing it in with all your other issues over which you marinate but don’t really address –stop deferring the problem to some other source to correct – absolving yourself of any responsibility except that of head dung flinger – stop using the horror faced by various groups of humans to spur your own prejudices and take the action available to you. Then take a selfie of you doing something about it and put that up on your favorite social media outlet. I’ll be one of the first to like and share.
By the way, that colicky monster I was forced to foster solo for so many nights has become an amazing, intelligent young man. He is an artist, a musician, a giver who is loving, truthful and fiercely loyal to his friends, his family and God. That “problem” is now a beautiful living legacy who gives me so much more than I ever gave him. There are fixes that turn problems into progress and most of them are simple, quiet steady steps forward that you can take, that I can take if we stop, think and use our ginormous frontal lobes to think beyond the immediate to the infinite.
Peace.
The village idiot.

Posted by: tlboehm | June 21, 2014

Cooling my jets….

Just one more comment before I go off on a totally different girlie tangent as is my gender specific modus operandi: Some peeps get it. Consider my brothers and sisters slightly to the north. Santa Fe, the city different, full of culture and money and funded by the likes of Val Kilmer and Julia Roberts, eclectic, snooty and steeped in history. Recently a Buddhist gentleman was told by his local home owners association to take down his prayer flags (which had been up for two years) 

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/santa-fe-man-with-tibetan-roots-wins-right-to-fly/article_6ddc51cf-398f-5e44-9640-a2cf56213fab.html

He was given a variance to fly them and stated:  “For me, being in a free country, if I can’t do something really simple like this, it would be really shameful for me,”

I bring this up because I want to stress the fact that my last post was not a volley against people of faith other than my own. It was about the impingement of our legally protected rights as citizens of a free country during the course of our misguided attempt to elevate political correctness above the personal freedoms under which we live.  You know what? I posted my little rant yesterday and someone on Facebook unfriended me. Could have been timing. Maybe I’m a drag. And I shouldn’t care what someone else chooses to do. But I get it more than you realize. I truly want everyone to like me. I want to be everyone’s friend, and it really disturbs me at my core when someone walks away. I’m not nearly as crusty and antisocial as I appear. It’s a front people. It’s a coping mechanism forged by 49 years of being awkward, untalented, unpretty – and so many other undesirable things. Unless you’re a plate of nachos, I am no threat. I’d rather make you smile than piss you off but at the end of the day I cannot control your response to me. I can only try to keep my fires burning without jumping the breaker you just dug. Sometimes, because I am human – I will fail and you will walk away and you will never tell me why. And I will stew in my own bitter juices over it. Truth is though, I am on fire for many things. And sometimes – that flame is fed and ionization happens. I apologize for offending, but not for the fire itself.

On second thought, I won’t divulge the mundane aspect of my daily life (that was the pending girlie tangent.) Perhaps the bandwidth would be better served if I simply went back to cataloguing the deceased on Ancestry. Shaky leaves, here I come.

I’m not angry. It just occurs to me that this was probably why I tabled the blogging a few years back. It tends to irk people just a bit too much more than suits my comfort zone. And all joking aside, I don’t enjoy disappointing people.

I’ll be back when I have a bit of non-incendiary fluff to share.  I’m sure I can think of something benign by tomorrow or the next day.

Peace.  

Posted by: tlboehm | June 20, 2014

Warning: This Blog May Be Offensive…Really?

The cool thing about blogging these days is that so few people actually read, I can pretty much say anything I please. Toss in two or three consecutive blogs where I mention the words “church” “Christian” and “Jesus” in close proximity and Viola! Reader Hanta Virus. They seize up and disappear in droves. Which leaves me with one or two who are too bored or feel too much pity for me to abandon ship. This blog therefore is for you.

So let me tell you about the day thus far. Dawning as it did with the resignation that I had to put on acceptable street clothes, lacquer the trim and be civilized for a meeting which was unfortunately held on my usual every other Friday off – thus blowing any opportunity for personal time, sanity or leg shaving totally out of the water. I’m still seething but authority is authority and I didn’t have permission to buck it, foaming as my soft mouth was at the application of such a gnarly bit.

I stopped at Blake’s to grab a couple of burritos as I am blessed with both spawn this week (elder spawn having had intimacy occur between a sharp object and a phalange at his employment – garnering him eight stitches and a surprise vacay) and I loathe cooking, then I attempted to at least rearrange the soap scum in the bathroom before my spawn and I went out for a movie (I think it’s the second time that’s ever happened. The Tamster doesn’t get out much for entertainment. It’s that whole acceptable clothing, lacquering up and being civilized on a day off thing.) On the way home in the car I attempted to get that damnable iridescent slick of “whythehellcantiseethroughthese” off my glasses and oh joy of joys, I am now down one nose piece. Yee ha. If I wasn’t already awkward, now my glasses hang even more crooked on my face. (And there are about 30,000 reasons why I really needed my glasses to last for about 16 more months)

So while the spawn were prepping for a promised nacho feast I decided to waste a few minutes trolling around on ye ole Facebook when what do I stumble upon? Some chatter about a Muslim in Texas who was offended by a neighbor’s display of the American Flag because it was threatening to Muslims. Oh the HORROR of seeing stars and stripes – on a cloth – and all of it was FLAPPING. I was flapped at once. I’m in therapy now. Are you kidding me? No wait. Are. You. Kidding.  Four generations ago most of my family came from half way across the planet with nothing but a change of clothes. They didn’t have friends or family here. They didn’t have a scholarship or protected status. They didn’t have organizations to hold their snotty tissues and walk them through the cafeteria. They learned the language, adopted the laws and culture and became successful, law abidin’, tax payin, grateful Americans. Or they went back across the pond. Or they died in the process. Later some of them signed up and died for people they never knew in a war they didn’t choose. Some of them even LIED about their ages so they could go serve. Let me just ask this? Why are you even here in this country, benefiting from everything it has to offer if you are offended by the simple symbol of it displayed by one of its citizens as is that citizen’s right. It’s not like someone broke in – hog tied the person and tattoed a big ole stars and stripes on his soft underparts. That would be a threat.   I certainly don’t want to offend anyone intentionally but this is no more stupid than if I were to go across the street and tell my Catholic Latino neighbor that his Mary of Guadalupe statue in his front yard is offensive and I feel threatened by it because I am a white female protestant who moved here 20 years after he paid for his property and put up his small reminder of his personal faith in his own yard. I am so threatened by that bit of plaster and paint. My entire way of life is in jeopardy.

I understand it may appear that my rant borders on some form of discrimination but consider the ramifications of this bit of what we might pass off as stupidity. It starts subtly enough. No displays of national pride. No flags. No stickers. Don’t offend anyone. And certainly for Christians – we are taught to turn the other cheek when we’re offended. We can still wear patriotic underwear. No one will know, right? So it’s only a little thing if we can’t pray in school because we can still do it silently. And why pledge allegiance to the Flag (oh and the republic for which it stands because who wants liberty and justice for all when the flag is so heinously offensive) Lets just chip away at any form of identity or ideology because you know what? If no one argues we all get along and that’s peace, huh. Sure. Only if you plan on scheduling that lobotomy because where we’re all headed you don’t need a frontal lobe.

I say: BRING IT ON. I’m gonna go put my flag out. I’m gonna fly it every day. I am grateful for my rights and I am going to use them and keep using them because if I don’t, I forfeit them. Come on people. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. Old saying but still relevant. All things being equal means most of us loose what is precious to us to the raucous and verbose minority that is threatened or inconvenienced by anything that holds them to a standard. I’m going to come to your house, demand that you change your lifestyle to please me and you have no say. When we cave to the inane-ness of taking down our own flag in our own country because it is offensive – this is what we are allowing. Eventually we will give up all our rights in order to keep “peace” which isn’t peace at all but the total absence of free will. I for one, I am not going there without a fight. And unfortunately – we all may have that opportunity to fight for our freedoms if we continue to allow guests in our home to make the rules for us, for our children, for our future generations.

Peace.   

Posted by: tlboehm | June 19, 2014

Barking at Sheep

If you’ve read me more than once you are probably painfully aware there are more than a few things that tend to chap my pale hide. Since I’ve been on a “God,wut?” tangent over the past couple of posts, I may as well continue. Sheep can get complacent, muzzle down in the pasture. Sometimes a dog like me needs to sneak up behind one…and bark. So here’s the list in no particular order.

  1.  “I’ll pray for you.” Yeah, that little phrase isn’t worth the exhalation of Co2 it takes to say it if isn’t followed up with immediate action. Its right up there with the dreaded “How are you” greeting (the conjoined churchy twin of the “blessed and highly favored” response.  For the love of corn flakes if we can’t be honest in church with each other, where then can we be? As if the Big guy doesn’t know your whole existence is circling the toilet as you speak.) If you’re going to pray – grab that person in front of you by the hand and actually do it. Agree with them right there for whatever it is – from heat rash to total devastation. If you’re not gonna do it, don’t say it.
  2. Any cutesy talk about angels, from “God took your child because he needed another”, to “Here is an angel to protect you.”  Like anyone’s life and death deliverance was facilitated by some ringlet coiffed, suspiciously large domed, lute strumming, diaper or cloth draped toddler with gnat wings. War isn’t cute. If you’re invoking the power of something mighty created by the Almighty then represent the truth truthfully. Otherwise, you’re just about as effective as a Facebook meme. “What kind of angel do you need? Oh a sparkly one. That’ll fix the mess I’m in. Oh yay. Click, share.
  3. Defending your position with gore. In the age of graphic prime time fodder like “Bones” “The Walking Dead” and let’s not forget “Fox News” your dismembered, High Def horror is, no matter how personally wrenching and true, but mundane fare for the masses, especially if it’s already dead. Starving, mangled and or otherwise seriously compromised by this thing called planet earth roulette isn’t much better. I know that sounds harsh but most of your audience probably takes in multiple murders, crime reports, and stories of nature’s brutality in the 22 minute span it takes them to slurp a boxed dinner and stare sallow eyed at the nightly news report. Peppered and mixed as that report is with commercials for class action law suits against pharmaceutical companies, and sex/mood/life enhancing products pedaled by other pharmaceutical companies. Death without the promise of life is hopeless and your efforts, though well intended only promote hopeless. It will take more effort and you won’t get as many little likes on your interweb post but show the victory. Better yet, get out there yourself and feed the hungry, clothe the naked and offer real help to parents and children who face fear you cannot imagine. While you’re working, if you must share your Instagram moment – try doing so without including a selfie. It isn’t about YOU anyway. It’s about them.
  4. “I don’t need church, church people are hypocrites. I just need nature. That’s my church.” Hello. You’re a human. If you were perfect, you probably wouldn’t be sitting under that tree somewhere because you’d be making billions of dollars, curing cancer, and coming up with classroom desks that repel gum because you are perfect. Since you aren’t doing that, and you are sitting under that tree, you obviously didn’t pay much attention to the Creator that created the creation you’re using to avoid the creatures the Creator created you to buddy up with. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying creation and finding evidence of God in it but faith is multifaceted.  Submission to others, assembling with believers, forgiving etc. is all part of it. We are all hypocrites and we all are commanded to forgive and to love everyone. Even the church folk you’re trying to avoid by sitting under that tree. Make the effort, find a body of believers, be teachable and be usable. Otherwise you can sit under that happy tree and all you will be is fertilizer.
  5. Fighting a social firestorm phenomenon with peashooter scripture tidbits. Yes, the Word of God on the tongue of His people is one of the most powerful weapons of mass destruction in the universe but wielded at a nonbeliever can be as effective as swatting a wasp nest with your Tinkerbell wand. If you are so consumed with passion that you MUST engage the minions with your defense of all that is good and true – go for the kill shot with a weapon they can’t block. Don’t take on De Grasse Tyson’s number one fan with your stock excerpt from Genesis. Do your homework. Find an expert. There is a dancing plethora of really smart Christians out there in every field from neurobiology to quantum physics. Educators and thesis brandishing peeps with doctorates. Scientists who love science and love God and can articulate a truth without flame wars or financial support from Kirk Cameron. Find one of them. Post a link. Walk away. You’d better serve creation by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and comforting the comfortless than by vehemently pontificating your position on creation, anyway.
  6. Misrepresentation of God’s people by random acts of stupidity and or sheer ignorance. This includes those of you Taitboys bumping, ichthys flaunting, stick family sporting holy highway rollers who drive like you’re three laps back in the Indie 500. I bump Taitboys too. Often. I also pay attention in traffic. God gave you a big ole frontal lobe. Use it. This category also includes passionate peeps who suffer from all manner of lapses in things like proper spelling, wild swings in position “Oh glory I just love Jesus I am so blessed yada yada yada to I am just a miserable worm undeserving of existence.” Don’t ride the fence. Don’t be lukewarm and don’t be afraid to rejoice but wow. If your written skills are abysmal – stick to warm fuzzy memes, ok? Lolcatese is only cute-ish if plastered under the furry visage of some domestic feline. Paired with a human speaking of the most high God? No. God uses real people for real action and so does the enemy but sometimes we face plant all by our little selves because we don’t watch where we put our big flat feet. Unless you like the taste of toenails – you must employ smarter tactics than your adversary or at least engage your audience if that is your only goal.

Rest assured I’ve engaged in pretty much every lapse of reason, inadvertent display of character flaws and flat out stupidity induced myopia listed above and more. I’ve judged, I’ve ridiculed and I misrepresent – often. That’s why I come to you now – friend Christian. Take it from a girl who has “Epic fail” written in India ink on her forehead most days. Talking the talk is a waste of breath if you aren’t living the life. God is a gentleman. He won’t call you names. He won’t even send a sheep dog to nip your woolly errant hide. I do that of my own volition because I love you and I want you to succeed. You can’t be perfect – but we all can be better.

Peace.     

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