Scream Too

Why didn’t you scream?


If you were really


You would have


For help…

From Pain…

It’s 2023

I want 

To scream,

At the persistence

Of the insistence

Of blaming



While Claiming

To be the one


Of all the ways

To cross


Why didn’t you scream?

Exposes the truth:

Not everyone is

A screamer.

I want 

To scream too

When the dignity

Of human


Is ascribed to

A fetus

And not to

The woman

Or girl

Who is pregnant.


Medical realities,

Much less care

For women and girls

Or really anyone

After being born,

Is inhumane.

The guy 

Who just 

Walks up to


After a tic tac

And kisses


And says

He justs

Grabs them

By the pussy,

Probably did

Not have

A traumatic 


That defined

The rest of


From that

Time in

The dressing 


Women’s experiences

Have too long

Been silenced

Or taught

To be silent.

The courageous



This week

Stepped forward

Not to scream

But to tell

Of the inhumanity

Of being denied

Speaks volumes

About those who

Minimize what women

And girls continue

To endure,

And ensure

That women

And girls

Have little to no


Why don’t

We scream!

Urgent Care

Today this


And yesterday’s


is still 


My tracker




and oxygen,

yet I


each day


am terribly


of threatening



to my 



ranges from

good to



this is accurate


when sleeping.

The data

does not


my being



I can 

see my



at any 


of day.

It races,


could become

a hurdle

in itself. 

I am 


of my 



for air, 

but I cringe

and tense


with news

with open




to be 


I don’t 

really matter

to the news,

but think 

it matters

to me.

Doesn’t it?

I want 

to be


to act

as necessary.

Every day



and filled

with issues

about which

to care.

The aches

and pains

and gasps

from each



are symptoms

of a deep


and loss

of functionality

of humans.

And nature.

What could be

more urgent

than us

and our


that nourishes

our insides?








The combustible


We drive



This dirt





















































A ditch

From which




The vehicle



As this fear


Safer than

























Can work. 

Prepare For Good Luck

I always prepare for good luck. Now, we are all truly preparing for good luck. My fear, aside from loved ones becoming sick with COVID19, and an even more unmanageable situation in hospitals and throughout, is that we begin to fear one another even more than we did. I fear that the virus will be a brand, like HIV-AIDS was. Despite the more ubiquitousness of COVID19, people who are not (yet) sick, may have a false sense not only of security, but of ability.

I fear that people may begin to regard those who are sick and not in the most vulnerable demographics as being worthy of condemnation or suspicion, merely for becoming sick. I fear the original usage of social distancing. I fear our loss of compassion just as we were beginning to find some. 

There is much to fear at this moment, as so much is beyond our control. While attempting to stay informed, I confess that I protect my fragile psyche with not entertaining thoughts about the looming disaster while still doing whatever I can within reason to ensure comfort and endurance, at least for the next couple of weeks at a time. It’s all I can do. (That, and utter gratitude for all that I have.)

I have always felt incredibly lucky. That doesn’t mean that there has never been effort or challenge. Of course there has been plenty, like anyone else, and I know that pain and suffering—physical and mental–are debilitating. Too often I have been fearful, which is its own form of pain and suffering, and exacerbates all conditions. It distorts and diminishes possibility. It infects on top of infections. And when fear arises within me, I feel powerless.

I am not unafraid of the possibilities of bad luck in this time of COVID19, but I am not particularly afraid. That could change at any time, of course, but now I am mostly afraid of fear (thank you, FDR), and what suffering it causes. 

Much has already been acknowledged about how much has been laid bare as we are scrambling to prepare for good luck across the globe, but especially across the USA. The crisis will not be forever, but who knows how long temporary is? The dire prospects are most unsettling, even imagining the aftermath. As we have seen before, the possibility of compassion and responsibility redefining us as we meet this novel virus is upon us. There is also the possibility of being overwhelmed by fear and losing our greatest strength, our compassion.

We are social beings who can’t be social right now. Our social distancing is, ironically, a way to be social while attempting to mitigate exposure to the virus. As we are beginning to meet this challenge and be prepared, prepare to dig deep to mitigate fear. Be compassionate to yourself and others, and prepare for good luck. 


I can’t wait until Sunday night. I have been eagerly anticipating being swept away into another world — looking forward to the past.

Sunday night is the premier of Better Call Saul, the prequel to Breaking Bad. Aside from looking forward to revisiting rich (and hilarious) characters from one of the truly great tv shows, and getting to watch the art that is the combination of great writing, directing and acting, there’s something compelling about a back story.

We love prequels–the stories written after, but that take place before, the stories we already know. Think: Godfather II, Wicked, Gotham, to name a few very successful prequels. These are the backstories of characters whom we originally met as adults in other stories, with qualities that made them distinctive. The prequels give us the stories of circumstances and relationships that gave rise to those distinctive qualities and formed those characters.

When watching or reading a prequel we already know what will happen years later. Many prequels, however, are less satisfying than the works that preceded them. It is a formidable task to re-create all the elements that worked so perfectly in preceding forms. It can also be confusing to talk about later works that are supposed to predate earlier ones, because in real life, we presume that the present includes all the knowledge and wisdom and information possible to make our circumstances the best possible.

In real life, we’ve seen a blowback to those who seem to live in a prequel to 2015. The 2015 outbreak of measles proves that vaccinations have been one of the crowning achievements of science of the 20th century. The measles vaccine has been available, albeit in different forms, for 50 years. Measles and other illnesses that once regularly killed, have been mostly eradicated with the use of vaccinations. But vaccinations only work if everyone uses them. In the 21st century, some have chosen to live a prequel–a recreated fiction that does not include the actual (scientific) knowledge that exists to date, but without considering consequences to others (who live in the present). The current outbreak suggests that those who have not vaccinated their children have actually contributed to this current outbreak of measles.

I understand the fears and questions relating to vaccines and other medical interventions. We have learned from medical mistakes (e.g. thalidomide, among others) and the concerns that we over use antibiotics and other medications and interventions are valid ones. That doesn’t diminish the essential value of antibiotics and vaccinations. They are life saving, and in the 21st century, their use and antiviral use, as well as other immunological interventions will evolve to be more individualized and precise so that they can be more effective.

When we read and watch prequels, we are always aware of what will ultimately happen. We have the most up to date knowledge and wisdom that the characters in the prequel don’t have. I am looking forward to watching the prequel of the character who looked like the ultimate ambulance chaser with his Better Call Saul ads on Breaking Bad. In real life, I am looking forward to the 21st century sequels to 20th century medical breakthroughs, and encourage those who seem to prefer the prequel, (those who have rejected vaccines), to consider their choices in the context of public health and safety. We already know the consequences.


Yesterday, the revelation that over 40 million people may have been hacked at Target over the last few weeks was stunning and terrifying. I suspect that Target wasn’t the only target. I would not be surprised to learn that other stores were also targeted. Certainly the holiday shopping season (the fifth season from Thanksgiving to just after New Year’s) is the perfect time to breach a retailer’s system. Of course, it’s not just the retailer who is ruined. Millions of lives are, at best, disrupted. For some, the impact may be horrific, especially at this time of year.

It is easy to feel paranoid these days. So much seems out of our control. To be up to speed (which is quite fast), one must surrender to more and more channels and networks, further and further removed from an original action, that through incredible technology, allows actions and transactions to occur instantaneously. We tend to forget that because so much of our transactions are instantaneous, that there is actually a network out there–wherever there is. It feels immediate and therefore gives us the sense of interaction. Or maybe we are just more willing to surrender to what seems so much easier than waiting. We feel like we can accomplish so much more than we used to. But, there are daily reminders of nefariousness. It is easy to feel like a target.

Like terrorism, cyber hacking seems to prey on obvious targets through innocent civilians who are merely living their lives. It is cruel and terrifying, and after each incident, we redouble our efforts to create better protection. But the fear and paranoia lingers as we increase safety measures. There is a sense that we are always targets.

When we are able to put aside the threats of terrorism and hacking, we worry that we are being targeted by the NSA, or advertisers, or even by political ideologues. It seems as though we are targeted by anyone and everyone. While some target us for our potential business or donations, others target us as “the other”, and therefore the problem: teachers; unions; single parents; poverty stricken; Wall Streeter; drug addicted; super wealthy; politician; left; right; religious; atheist; ……You are either with us or against us. Marketers seek their target audiences. We target others and get targeted by others all the time.

While it is easy to be concerned about nefarious targeting and the fear of being an innocent victim, I am actually more concerned about the prosaic targeting that is part of our culture and constantly exhibited by individuals regardless of beliefs or station in life. We live in echo chambers. It is tribal. We seem more focused on targeting frustrations at others than on working through problems, integrating different components. Yes, compromising.  The holidays may be a time to reflect upon targets. We like New Year’s resolutions as they redirect our attention toward personal improvement (usually not at the affect of others). When we target others, we diminish them. They become one dimensional. When we include others–even differing opinions and ways–the target shifts toward building; toward more dimensions.

2013 was a year of many difficulties that became compounded by targeting individuals or agencies for blame, rather than acknowledging what (or who) was problematic and  focusing on improvement.  We had plenty of target practice this year, perfecting the aim with our weaponry, literally and figuratively.  We can aim for much better–changing the old targets. There is so much that we can’t control–or rather–there is only so much that we can control. We can choose new targets that do not diminish. The narrow targets, those that are from a single point of view, diminish. This holiday season, when we try to take a break from our troubles and  enjoy our families and some peace, we can redirect and begin a new target practice. Don’t target others. Aim positively. Happy Holidays!

Assisted Living Facility

Living independently is a particularly American ideal. Individualism emphasizes the value of self-reliance and independence. The concept of independence as individualism has progressed toward libertarianism with increasing zeal in more recent years. As a culture, we have developed the attitude that dependence, or needing assistance, is negative. Not only have we as a culture historically looked down upon those needing assistance, but we have also looked down upon care givers. Those who care for others are often regarded as unskilled, perhaps  less intelligent and/or  less educated, or without leadership abilities. They are often considered beneath the “real” workers and leaders. Historically, women have been the care givers, and when women did work outside the home (perhaps before marriage, until feminism kicked in), the jobs were usually seen as extensions of care giving–teaching, secretarial work, nursing. These were so-called “pink collar” jobs, as were other jobs that recruited women, including stewardesses, hostesses, and waitresses. When women began to have greater access to any careers, and some brave men ventured into what was known as “pink collar” jobs, some job titles changed to reflect more gender neutrality.  Stewardesses became flight attendants. Waiters and waitresses are now referred to as servers. Secretaries, usually responsible for correspondence, morphed into administrative assistants. Although secretaries were mostly female pre-feminism, the title “administrative assistant” signified a broadening of the administrative tasks and responsibilities (including project management and other administrative tasks beyond correspondence), but also signified a break from the pre-feminist association with (female) secretaries.

Now, as we forge ahead attempting to balance demands of the workplace with the demands of a home life, and we continue to expand our notions of gender and identities, we continue to wrestle with our cultural notions of independence. We still tend to equate maturity with independence– not with care giving. We still tend to equate ability with independence– not with sharing. A facility for assisted living refers to a place for those whose abilities may be diminished, and support services are available as needed without 24 hour care. We think of assisted living facilities as places designed to provide freedom and dignity for those in need of support for activities of daily living. What about our own internal facilities for assisted living–our own capacities to support one another?

We tend to not only devalue care givers and others in supportive roles, but we have even ascribed blame to them in relation to those who have suffered from addictions and behavior problems. The care givers are blamed as the co-dependents and/or the enablers. That is not to say that negative symbiotic relationships don’t exist. Of course they do,and often when dealing with destructive behaviors and relationships, we must be aware of the potential for co-dependency and enabling. But assisting living, is productive. Some people have a greater capacity for assisting and supporting than others, but like any capacity, we can learn and practice and develop. We can even elevate ourselves and others. Nurture may be part of nature, but it is also honed. We can develop our capacities to assist others, but we must also develop our awareness of the specialness of that capacity.

Living requires assistance and assistants. We delude ourselves into thinking that we are most dignified when we are independent. We are most dignified, when we give of ourselves to others and use our efforts to support others to be their best. We can develop our assisted living facility. This moves us and our culture forward.

Leisure Suits

I was born in 1963, just before Camelot was obliterated. By the time I started grade school, sartorial splendor was becoming a thing of the past.  In the 70s, countering the culture largely meant wearing informal, poorly made, unflattering, and often, just ugly clothes.  Changing one’s appearances was meant to denote changing  one’s attitudes. Relaxed fit clothing (before we called a particular style of jeans “relaxed fit”) was supposed to reflect greater freedom, fewer constraints, undoing structures of culture, and a more casual attitude. Adults were uptight; youths were tuning in, turning on and dropping out, which meant building a new harmonious society. Imagine. Then came those horrific Leisure Suits. Even then, I thought they were hideous and silly. The worst part was that Leisure Suits were for dressing up. They didn’t look comfortable or flattering, and came to represent a cheap, synthetic, and middling culture; a culture that was apathetic and confused, low brow and lazy.

A generation later, our children have grown up with a more robust culture. While access to information and communication has been revolutionized in the last generation, there has also been a renaissance of leisure activities and accoutrements. The leisure business is enormous, and people invest great time and money into leisure activities. This has been a terrific boon over the last generation, not only economically, but culturally. Pursuing a leisure activity such as a sport or art is productive. For years I have cautioned parents about over scheduling their children. Children (and adults) need unscheduled free time, but pursuing a hobby or activity (beyond looking at a screen) on a regular basis can provide skills that may go beyond the activity.

When we find a leisure activity that suits us, we strengthen ourselves and can expand. There are all kinds of attributes to all sorts of sports and arts, but the activities themselves often become metaphors for us. I was a great swimmer as a young child, and enjoyed the competence and strength I felt in the water. Many  years later in college, I swam every morning, as it felt like the only way my thoughts could flow in order to write papers. I hardly go to the pool for a swim these days, but I’m very much a swimmer in other ways, and yes, still a lifeguard of sorts. I tend to dive into whatever I pursue. Somehow, I’ve been able to stay afloat, treading from time to time, but mostly propelling myself forward using all my muscles, along the surface of the tide. I was well suited to swimming, and swimming suits me.

Those who are well suited to their work are often quite successful. It’s not always easy to find work that suits us. We often think of work as effort, and leisure as effortless, but there can be joyful effort in both work and play.  Leisure activities are not only ways to  have fun, unwind and relax, but are often ways in which we can more fully realize ourselves and develop our strengths to use in various capacities.  Leisure suits!


Maria Montessori was the original prep. No, she was not a preppy kind of gal in the sense of one who goes to a school that typically feeds the top colleges and universities and wears boxy clothes and shoes, with distinctive speech, vocabulary and mannerisms. Nor was she of the subculture that emulates the preppy style. Maria Montessori developed a philosophy of education from the concept of the prepared environment. While the Montessori method of pedagogy stems from this notion of creating a structure and order  so that individuals can be free to explore and choose that which best suits his or her needs, the prepared environment fosters independence and responsibility to oneself and to others. Even with individualization we can create social cohesion.

Although Maria Montessori studied young children and developed her philosophy and pedagogy for educating young children, the concept of the prepared environment is useful in other contexts. Currently, we are transitioning toward a new era in health care and education in the U.S. Some people are skeptical; some are fearful; some are hopeful. Regardless of the emotional dispositions people may have, change is upon us, and while there are still many people who resist change (or deny the need or reality of these changes), there are great efforts being made to prepare the citizenry for the soon to be implemented Affordable Care Act and The Common Core.

The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is intended to increase the affordability and rate of health insurance coverage for Americans. It is also intended to streamline and improve the delivery of healthcare outcomes with the additional aim of lowering Medicare spending. As these reforms are new, the new healthcare environment seems rather daunting. Best to be prepared. There will be a barrage of ads and public service announcements soon, so that citizens/consumers/employers will be prepared to choose intelligently. Meanwhile, you can begin to get educated by perusing  https://

And while we are discussing getting educated…..There is a new and potentially exciting educational reform being implemented called The Common Core. While some fear a federal government take over of education, and reflexively call for states to protest to assert their power to maintain their own education standards, the lack of cohesion and the lack of academic rigor that has plagued the nation under the previously scattered state standards has weakened our education system for a generation and created ill prepared young adults. The Common Core is an attempt to create common standards so that no state can dumb down the individual state curriculum or tests to get better results. The Common Core is a coordinated effort among governors and educators, parents and employers, using best practices and evidence from the U.S. and abroad, to create a more rigorous and deeper curriculum that is clear, consistent, and aligned with college and work expectations. The Common Core is more than benchmarks. It calls for a different pedagogy; one that creates deeper learning and application of knowledge that represents higher order thinking skills. Educators are preparing for this new education environment, and you can begin to prepare and educate yourself :

Through the prepared environment, we can more thoughtfully engage while meeting our own requirements and responsibilities. This is the seed of a healthy and educated society and civic culture. Now we are literally getting prepared for a potentially healthier and better educated society. It is possible to create a healthier, more educated civic culture. Prepare for success!