Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the great island of Nantucket! Thank you for being with me on this cool, gorgeous day here in Osterville, the tiny, tiny outpost on little old Cape Cod, where the sun is always bright, the snow always flies and the nor’easter’s never fail to arrive. However, on this spring day, the first flowers are beginning to emerge and the sentiment of ‘hope springs eternal’ once again makes it’s way into all of our collective hearts–I pray that is the case for you and yours on this ninth day of April, 2011. The government shutdown did, in fact, as predicted right here on seacapecod.net, although I, of course, take no credit for that prediction, was averted, and it was sad how it came to that resolution, but a resolution none the less. At stake–blocking it with a cultural sticking point in the way of a ryder attached to what was supposed to be a FISCAL bill–was the federal funding, or the desire of the republican party to defund the very important program of Planned Parenthood, a program that served over 11.5 million medical procedures in last year alone, procedures for American women, and some men, that saved many of their lives, with an annual budget of only 363 million dollars, or .008 percent of the overall national national budget. But, boy, does that money go far and to good use, more than we can say for other government programs. As I was traveling up to Boston to the WBZ studios, next to Harvard’s football stadium, Soldier’s Field, around 10 p.m. EDT, also home to CBS television and radio, to meet with the venerable talk show host, gracious as the day is long, Jordan Rich, of the “Jordan Rich Show”, broadcasting in over 38 states across this great land, as well as several countries abroad, the looming government shutdown was t-minus three hours away from becoming a reality–even though the numbers, the final number, being 38 billion dollars cut from discretionary spending forced by the tea party, was not really the sticking point at all–it was the original 67 ryders, social and cultural ryders, that proved to be the stumbling block that almost led this country into a shutdown of vital public services that could have damaged an already damaged economy, barely recovering from at least three decades of corruption by our “leaders” in D.C. Only 3 percent of what Planned Parenthood does revolves around abortion services, none of which come from federal funding, via the Hyde amendment passed years ago, which prohibits federal funding for abortions, while the remaining 97 percent is spent going towards women’s health services such as mammograms, breast cancer screenings, blood pressure checks, birth control and basic human kindness, a commodity rare in this day and age of “show me the money!” Helping poor and needy women who have no where else to go, with one woman saying these good people at Planned Parenthood are the only doctors and nurses she sees for years at a time, helping those poor women with cancer screenings, mostly in the form of cervical cancer and STD’s, that again, have nothing to do with what some in Washington D.C., for political ends would have you believe, with one Senator, John Kyle (R-AZ), of Arizona stated a whopper lately spouting that 90 percent of what goes on in those “Planned Parenthood” places involves abortion, when the polar opposite is the case. Tom Shadyac, a brilliant filmmaker, will be airing his new documentary called “I am”, which deals with a traumatic head injury that perhaps woke him up as well as to what is really important in this thing called LIFE. And as I arrived at my first interview, a late night one, 1 a.m. to 2 a.m., I knew that I was in some pretty heavy company. We spoke about my upcoming book, “Taking Fog to Nantucket”, hopefully, knock on wood, coming out in May or June at the latest, where we spoke of the ‘incident’ that occurred to me personally on one of my favorite places on planet earth–Nantucket Island. We spoke of the brutality of one police officer in particular on that otherwise, I’m sure, very fine police force, one in particular. However, I did not have it in my heart to reveal his name, his superior, or trash the department in general. We spoke about the horrors of PTSD, or ‘post traumatic stress disorder’, a silent, invisible disease or disability, where it renders one paralyzed in a constant state of fear, living in a constant state of vigilance, something I had never experienced before, and felt as it something was really quite wrong with me, a fear that to some degree or another, all of us must feel to one degree or another. We spoke to the ‘flight or fight’ syndrome that grips the victim, as I left New England, once again, ‘running’ from an invisible ‘enemy’, all the way back to Denver in 2003, where I subsequently went on a journey to Salt Lake City, Utah, only to end up at the Sundance Film Festival in February of 2004, competely out of it, suffering from the pure hell that any veteran coming home from Iraq or Afghanistan can truly understand, for if you don’t suffer from PTSD, you cannot even begin to fathom the depths of the very profound and seemingly very real threat, mostly in one’s mind, all around you–like the veteran still ‘dreaming of the fight’, as one song writer wrote and sang about so many moons ago, (Neil Young?), or was that some other great artist, sorry, I am going on only a few hours of sleep, as Boston is a long way from my little home here in Osterville, mid-cape. We spoke of what it was like to be homeless in the streets of Boston, Denver, Boulder, Salt Lake, Park City, and Cape Cod itself, right up until 2005, two full years of being without “home”, when someone actually took the time to listen to my horrific story, of that giant fall from grace, and onto the cold, hard streets of Boston and the Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter in Boston’s China town district…, not a a pretty sight. I was not diagnosed with PTSD, severe delayed onset, until I began writing my book, “Taking Fog to Nantucket”, in the year of 2007, and it has taken much in the way of work, mostly on my part, via books, therapy, music in a choir, and the love of the family here in Osterville, that brought me back from the depths of hell, a hell I would not wish on anyone. I believe that the only way out of this condition is to face it head on, look squarely in the eyes of the beast and bring with you the spirit that is still you, although clouded in a fog of fear that sometimes is so profound and deep, it would take a team of scientists, much more qualified than myself, to unravel. That is partially why I wrote this book, for it helped me, as in the sentiment of the great author, E.M. Forrester, when he said, “why is it that the words we write for ourselves, are so much better than those we write for others?” The final “product” if you will, “Taking Fog to Nantucket”, had another purpose however, as I had no idea that it would become a book, let alone launch this website that is dedicated to helping–as best I can, in my flawed and sometimes crude and rude ways–the world understand itself a little better, and, as in the book, help people who struggle with alcohol or addiction at large, but moreover, veterans or ordinary citizens who suffer from the same paralyzing fear that PTSD represents, something I am in the process of “getting over”, while knowing that in helping others, you, truly do HELP one another. A sentiment stated a long time ago by a man who walked this earth over 2000 years ago–“Love one another as I have loved you.” I want to thank all of the people who have written comments to me regarding this daily “blog”, for it is not born out of my ego, nor is it sponsored by any commercial enterprise, in fact, I write it, again, for myself first, as it has helped me find my way out of that fog bank of fear that I was in, see the sunlight again, even if for brief moments during the day, and perhaps, help someone else along the path they may be struggling on, throwing back one star fish into the ocean at a time, after a brutal a devastating storm–especially the men and women in uniform who have no place to go, with many of them living under bridges, homeless, feeling shunned by a country that sent them into wars that not only made no sense, but were never about the soldier to begin with, rather the ‘agenda’s” of the “powers that be”. I want to again thank Jordan Rich for his hospitality, his kindness and his LOVE, for it came across loud and clear and as I drove back south to Osterville at 3 a.m., down that lonely road, this time of year anyway, of route 3 heading for the Sagamore bridge that takes one over to the little sand bar created 11,500 years ago by the Last Great Ice Age, I was reminded of one thing, and one thing only–my eternal GRATITUDE that I am alive, I am loved and I am still human–with a new pair of glasses to see how I can empathize, no, better yet, HELP those in need with solutions that I learned, painfully, as it was all an internal job, through the workings of some of the books I read along the way, books such as Michael Brown’s “The Presence Process”, or Eckhart Tolley’s many books, notably “The Power of NOW”, and “A New Earth“, not to mention Deepak Chopra’s work that helped break down this typical Americana corporate shell that was disguising a pretty good guy underneath all of the hullabaloo. My blessings and peace be with you and your family Jordan and thank you again, you have an open invitation to my home in Osterville, any time you care to come on down, for, again, “We’ll leave the LIGHT on for ya!” May God continue to be with the good people of Japan and the good people of this country who are struggling with a very tumultuous and sometimes cruel world–there is HOPE out there, trust me, I am living proof of that. Have a wonderful week end! PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS! Peace~M
April 9, 2011
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