<![CDATA[Mental Illumination - Where the Heart Goes (The Soapbox)]]>Sat, 06 Feb 2016 18:05:04 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[The Rights of Man and Mouse´╗┐]]>Thu, 04 Feb 2016 18:16:41 GMThttp://mentalillumination.weebly.com/where-the-heart-goes-the-soapbox/the-rights-of-man-and-mouseFreedom of speech is one of the basic rights of humanity, but is it a right? The balancing act that exists in each life seems to have been forgotten amongst the masses. Individuals go about spouting that he or she can say whatever pops into the mind because they are covered by the freedom of speech.  Such individuals are forgetting something.

As children, one would hope anyway, each person is taught that each privilege gained also carries equal responsibilities. Freedom, yes, but with that privilege comes great responsibility. This responsibility is to all others that may be in hearing, texting, tweeting, or posting distance of the words/statements made by one's self.  

Our society has become a walking, spewing enigma in the scheme of the universe. On one hand, there are powers saying, "must be politically correct", which is an oxymoron to begin with in my mind (fore there is nothing correct about politics).  This ideal states that one must not use derogatory, hateful, or insulting language to describe or address another living being.   

On the other side, at this moment, there is not only individuals going against that stipulation, but going out of his or her way to insult, whine, and degrade any person, sex, race, religion, or sect that doesn't fit a preconceived notion existing only within the minds of such individuals like some invisible measuring stick that only he or she can see standing next to each person.  What makes it even worse is that not only does such behavior exist in an adult form, but a supposed such adult is even attempting to gain the highest office in the United States government.  Worse yet, is that there are people who not only find this behavior acceptable, but are willing to back such a person.  The thought is not only frightening, but repulsive.  

I am thinking about future generations now. What does such behavior, and the acceptance of it, teach those to come.  Do we actually want to teach them that whoever has the most money or toys can do whatever he or she likes and no one can do anything to stand up to them? Do we want to teach that it is fine to spew hateful rhetoric that strives to dehumanize any individual who may be different in anyway is not only fine, but a good thing? Have we learned nothing from history? Wake up! Smell the coffee, or cola! 

This is not okay! Do we truly want a "Yes man" for the close-minded, fear mongering, power-hungry anywhere, let alone in the office of President of the United States?  I say NO!  This is the mentality that creates such horrific historic events as the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, The near extinction of Native Americans; The Holocaust, and the internment of Asian Americans (on American soil no less). Make no mistakes, there are other examples, but I would have nothing more than a list of torture, murder, and death if I continued.  We must rise above the idea that whatever is different or difficult to understood, must be destroyed.  Fear of the unknown has been the base cause of every horrific deed in history. Add to that fear, an individual pointing figures to give that fear a name, and greed fanning the fire, and history is once again the scene of  horrific bloodshed and hate, in short, many lives lost. This simply cannot happen yet again. We cannot allow it to happen again. 

"We the people, in order to form a more perfect union..." These are the words of our fore fathers. "Perfect union," as in coming together. Ponder this, how can there be any type of union if the individual at the power head, and those like him or her, is going out of the way to divide and separate every one and thing that is different from this "union"? ​ Think about it. ]]>
<![CDATA[The "C" Word´╗┐]]>Wed, 13 Jan 2016 17:43:19 GMThttp://mentalillumination.weebly.com/where-the-heart-goes-the-soapbox/the-c-wordThe utterance of the word Cancer sends individuals into all sorts of directions and tail-spins. No matter how ready a body seems to be, how prepared for the possibilities one is, the effect of hearing that word is profound. Some attempt to pretend it has no effect on her or his daily life. Others fall into a massive depression, which assuredly creates more issues than it ever helped, if it helps at all in any circumstance. Still others find a mind ground between these two extremes or flipflop between them.

As for myself, acted like I had no time for it. I went to my appointments, did what needed to be done, but when I walked out of that office door, no one knew anything was different except my immediate family members. I wanted it that way. I didn't want to give credence to this intruder on my life. I felt that showing fear would only give it more power over my life and my body. I realize this may should far-fetched to most, but it seemed perfectly logical to me.  I wanted to believe nothing would change, if I just dealt with it on a logical and unemotional level, it would take the power out of the hands of this invader and back into my own.  

For a while, I thought I was pulling it off. I was sure my attitude toward the trespasser was helping me keep it together and not allowing it to have an effect on me...I was wrong! Under all this bravado there was a silent storm brewing. It wasn't the emotional breakdown one might expect, but a storm none the less. I was diving head first into the family genealogy and could not stop. I knew that unlike most people, there were huge and unfillable holes in mine. Still yet, I was ravenous about it, I was attached to my computer as much as physically possible. I even made a bit of headway. Oh, not filling the holes. No one could do that except those involved, most of which are passed-on. No, I just did everything I could to define a clear path of lineage for our children and grandchildren.

It is important  to know from where one comes. I say this speaking as a person who never truly did. It was as though something in the back of my mind was saying if I could just accomplish this task, I would defeat the cancer and get my life and senses back.  Months and months later, I had done all I could, and yet, still could not grab hold of that gold ring.  

After surgery, and complications that extended healing for months, more follow-up visits and tests, the medical professionals hope all the cells were removed. However, my subconscious, amongst other attributes, still have an aching feeling that nags at the back of my mind and at times creates a stiffness as those hairs stand up on the back of my neck once more.  

This is not to say that everyone reacts like I did. Quite simply, many others do not and will not. Everyone reacts differently. I just felt it was time I shared my experience. This is also not to say that I have given-up. I still carry my sword and intend to fight till the next great adventure begins. Cancer has taken more family members than I care to count, which adds to the underlying fear, but it will not take anymore time away from myself and the people and things I love. I just keep listening to that little voice in my head, (which appropriately belongs to Dori from Finding Nemo), "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...what to we do...we swim, swim, swim..." ]]>
<![CDATA[Those Who Wander are Not Always Lost]]>Fri, 08 Jan 2016 18:35:51 GMThttp://mentalillumination.weebly.com/where-the-heart-goes-the-soapbox/those-who-wander-are-not-always-lostAfter looking at the dates on my earlier posts, I must apologize for being missing from this blog for so long.  Life happens as they say, and for some, life happens more readily than others.

It is to this I address plans to update and move forward with this blog and my literary services business. Those who know me well, know that at the end of 2014 / beginning of 2015 I was hit with the realization that even I am simply one of the mortal masses and needed to face that fact. This realization came in the form of being told I had Uterine Cancer and must have surgery to remove what they hoped would be all effected tissue.

At this time, our family was already facing losing our home, thanks to a shady mortgage company, and my husband losing his job because he had to take time off work to move us because I was not allowed to lift anything and could barely move. After all this, I dealt with complications from the surgery that kept me from healing for a lot longer than normal.

Needless to say, I was in a tailspin and so was my family. I want to speak later about my experience with hearing the word Cancer, but for now I just wanted to catch everyone up on why I've been missing for so long and apologize. I struggled long and hard about discussing this, but I felt it was the correct thing to do at this point. Please bare with me while I get back into action, and to my friends and family, I want to say thank you for all your help and support. ]]>
<![CDATA[Politica Stigmatica]]>Wed, 31 Oct 2012 02:24:18 GMThttp://mentalillumination.weebly.com/where-the-heart-goes-the-soapbox/politica-stigmaticaThe time is upon us when voters in the United States will have to put up or shut up...well, now that I think of it, there is a great deal of put up and very little shut up.  No matter where one looks there are political ads being shoved down the throats of the collective populous.  Picking a candidate has become a crapshoot no matter which group one favors.  The truth of the matter is that no one likes a bully, but the only way to get anything done is Washington is to be a bully.  Thus, nothing is being done.

Politicians are full of promises.  It is what each does to sway the multitudes to their party's favor.  I am not saying that all politicians are liars; that is a stereotype that has been around for ages.  There are both good and bad in every line of work.  What I am saying is that whether lying or not, each candidate says what each must to get the higher number of votes.  The major problem with bills and laws passing and not passing is that the system is corrupt.  Lobbyists roam Washington campaigning for private interests to which each attaches to a faceless group of voters, which nine times out of ten are the
higher echelon of a huge corporation.  These "interests" now have a Senator or Representative attach their "list of demands" or "wish list" to whatever bill is floating through the House or Senate at the time.  This little added bit is accompanied by a ton of other bits, and pretty soon, the bill is so bogged down with bits that there is something for which everyone to object.  This is why nothing gets done folks. 
Quite honestly, I say ban the lobbyists unless each can provide proof of the section of public each represents, such as a list of names and where each works to be verified. 
The IRS has the information anyway, and so does the Social Security Department, which are both governmental agencies.  Of course, some are not flowing with moral fiber, so perhaps it would be more prudent to just ban lobbying and have the Representatives, and Senators bring information from voters in each area. That should clear up some of the congestive heart failure that is ailing the system.  

The United States government was created "by the people for the people".  My question would be "what people"?  Might is be the one to five percent (depending on to whom one speaks) that are the millionaire sect?  If so, that group is not the average American.  The average American is in a whirl with worry now. If the bills can even be paid, there is no money for groceries.  If one makes sure the family is fed, then the bill collectors call until the phone and other bills are shut off.  These are the worries of "the people".   I have said it before, businesses are not people, and News Flash for those corporations out there with the millions in profit that is never enough: if the "little people" have no money, your money will lose all its worth, because sooner of or later, people will go back to the barter and/or trade system just as the trend is shifting back to home schooling because the school system no longer works.  The populous is getting back to the thought that if one wants something done right, each must do it for him or herself.   
To the candidates, I say: "Each of you is in place to work for the best interest of the people, all the people; not just corporations and/or "big business".  The price of
living is causing the other 95 to 99% of the population to fall into the depression that the economy still faces. Time for pointing fingers is over gentlemen.  It is time to act for everyone's best interest.  
To the masses, I say:  "Vote.  I know it seems that no matter whom one votes for the US keeps diving further into a mess, but if one does not exercise the right to vote, there is no room to complain about the one's circumstances.  It may be a crapshoot, but slim odds are better than no odds. All I ask is that each votes for what he or she knows to be truth.  This is not a small chore.  I am not talking about rhetoric that some parrot like it is his or her own thoughts.  I am speaking of that truth which each person has deep within one's being.  Stop bothering to place blame and listening to the endless flow of rhetoric.  Listen to neighbors and family.  Look outside the convenient windows that frame typical thinking.  Really look at the situations of others.

I am in great hopes that those who voted early have already instinctively done this.  Be
assured that I intend to follow my own advice.  In the meantime, I wish the best to one and all.  

<![CDATA[Assaults on the Individual Feminine]]>Thu, 23 Aug 2012 03:10:30 GMThttp://mentalillumination.weebly.com/where-the-heart-goes-the-soapbox/assaults-on-the-individual-femininePicture
Recent news coverage of comments made by
particular individuals in the Republican Party brings to light a twisted and ill-informed bank of information pertaining to the victims of sexual assault, and women in particular.  It is not enough that the legal system tends to favor the perpetrator, not the victim in such cases, but now, Representative Todd Akin has moved a step further when discussing pregnancies that stem from sexual assault.  Akin commented, when asked about abortion and rape that, "from what I understand from doctors, if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down." 

While others in the Republican Party were quick to distance themselves from Akin and his comments, even asking him to resign from the race for the Senate, their actions do not expunge his comments from public record, or the minds of women everywhere. 
Coupled by this ill-informed comment is the news that Mitt Romney's choice for Vice President, Paul Ryan, has adjusted his views on abortion, from totally against it, to fit Mr. Romney’s, which are that abortions should be restricted for cases of "forcible rape" and/or incest. Some may take consolation in this information, but as for me, I do not.  
The idea that a bill, law, or an inlet of governmental perception in general, can logically and/or morally use a phrase such as "forcible rape" leaves me shivering, not only from fear for the future, but anger and frustration as well.  The word "rape" denotes force in and of itself.  There are no dividing lines when it comes to rape.  A "rape" is the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse,   
any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person, and an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse. (Dictionary.com) Using a dictionary may seem to give a tight definition, but all the definitions found will refer to "force" in some way shape of form, and that includes the definition of "rape" in the minds of most individuals.  

Others will make up his or her own mind about politics, and for reasons known only to them; but I, for one, do not want individuals within our government  that do not know the difference between consensual sexual relations and rape, let alone thinking a person's body can physically prevent a pregnancy that results from sexual assault.   I want women and girls to know that if sexually assaulted, it is not your fault. Whether the rape happens by being jumped by a stranger, or on a date, or by a family member; the fault does not belong to the victim.  If a pregnancy stems from the rape, it could not have magically been stopped by the body just because one wishes to stop the conception.  I would not want anyone I know to torture him or herself over a sexual assault, and I sure as hell don't want a government that does it for them either.

<![CDATA[Snobbery Amongst the Ranks]]>Thu, 24 May 2012 21:05:01 GMThttp://mentalillumination.weebly.com/where-the-heart-goes-the-soapbox/snobbery-amongst-the-ranks  While it has long since been a tradition of academia to be looked upon as something "above" the masses, or that  which contained those with "loftier  goals", that premise is simply not the case in many instances.  One can easily point out the resent publicized fiascos of instructors taking advantage of their status with students, but while despicable and completely
lacking in morals, I'm not talking about those instances.  Such happenings have been hashed, and re-hashed, and there comes a time when mentioning it again only serves to give publicity to those who do not need it.

I am talking about those in academia who place themselves above others in related fields in an attempt to immerse in self-importance, and secretly hope to catch a moment in the sun by downplaying others' work. This is nothing new in the academic/literary world, but it does show a closed mind, and  holier-than-thou disposition. A number seem to gain a PhD and lose their  ability to relate to humanity. An elevated degree does not give one the right to cast eyes and temperament down on others. One would think that morality  dictates instead that those in such a position aid others with the skills  acquired.

Literature has been studied by academia for ages, and thusly  so, yet over the years an odious pattern has formed, where by at least one genre or form of literature is placed in exile and judged as an unworthy form. One of  he forms being berated these days is Children’s' Literature. Anyone who writes for this genre can inform academia what stringent thought goes on before a  project actually goes in to development. Those that write for more than one
genre can further exemplify that the process is the same for a Children’s' book as it is for any other work, with the possible exception of working with an  illustrator for more than cover art.

One of the things that bothers me the most is the flippant disregard for a colleague's work. Now, everyone knows that I write in many different genres, Children’s' included, and I, like most, have favorite authors in most of them; but it is incomprehensible to me that anyone, me included, would stand up just to knock colleagues that find merit in the study of a work from Children’s' Literature.  I am thinking of one case in particular where a work, or rather series of works, was studied by a group of professors due to the large acceptance of the work,
and the fact that it crossed generational boundaries. This group was later under the scrutiny of a colleague for studying the series.

It is important to place things into perspective.  The academic community is in a position of gaining knowledge in order to pass said knowledge on to future generations. This said, it would seem detrimental to that  purpose to disallow a genre of literature that helps form the love of literature in young minds and imaginations.  I  believe it was stated by the person in question that the series would not have  been studied at all if not for the mass consumption by the populous. If no one  has already done so, I would like to be the first to remind my learned colleague  that he would not be publically turning his nose down at his fellow colleagues for studying the series, and gaining publicity in the process, were it not for the same reason!  Attempt giving that a swallow my friend.

<![CDATA[Update on Writing and a Sincere Thanks]]>Fri, 30 Mar 2012 02:44:41 GMThttp://mentalillumination.weebly.com/where-the-heart-goes-the-soapbox/update-on-writing-and-a-sincere-thanksAs of this week I have three Childrens' books written, and a fourth in the works.  I had an idea for a fifth earlier today, but the notion escapes me at the moment; so, I am placing that on the back burner until my brain decides to shine a light on it once again. 

To all those who downloaded my Poetry eBook, It's Only Natural, thank you.  Your patronage is most welcome and I do appreciate your confidence in my writing. I am in hopes that its only appeal was not the fact that it was free during the promotional campagn.  ;~D

<![CDATA[In For a Penny, In For a Pound]]>Tue, 14 Feb 2012 02:46:52 GMThttp://mentalillumination.weebly.com/where-the-heart-goes-the-soapbox/in-for-a-penny-in-for-a-poundWith an upcoming election in November, and political ads and temperaments plastered all over the television, internet, and any place else one might attempt to go, it is easy to become irritated by the continual barrage invading one’s life and senses.  There is an easy, albeit drastic solution to the invasions...turn the media off! Yes, one must stay abreast of the information to make informed decisions, and yes, knowledge is power; but the truth is that with all the pounding on one’s senses by the over-paid children in Washington, it is near
impossible to gather one’s thoughts to make a decision anyway. 
Point of fact, as far as unnecessary information goes, there is a plethora of unwanted, and unneeded so-called “information” clogging up the airwaves.  For instance...was anyone surprised that the Republicans are having tantrums over the President’s budget plans?  Let me just say now that if you or anyone you know was caught off guard by that news, there must be
a cozy residence under a rock somewhere that the individual inhabits.  Who would not expect the fluently wealthy to have fits over a president wanting to raise his or her taxes and make
it so that each of them has to pay the same taxes that the average American pays?  That was completely surplus information.  
There is a wondrous array of information at the fingertips of the masses in today’s world, yet, more and more those masses are weighed-under by loads of hogwash that shouldn’t even pass for news.  It would seem that if Washington’s rival “gangs”acted like adults for once, and actually communicated for the better of “all”,instead of his or her own pocketbooks; and some poor celebrity didn’t shuffle off their mortal coil, the media would have nothing to discuss, and a hush would befall the world over. 
Is all this surplus information doing anyone any good? Or is it doing more harm than good? Is it really a grand idea to give a murdering maniac a book and/or movie deal?  One would think it would occur to someone that this type of incentive would breed a world of murderous
maniacs.  Young people are murdering others to “see what it feels like.”  I would say these teens need to ask those who have lived through wars and came home not being able to get the
pictures and horrors out of their minds.  Oh yes, it was such a great thrill that the flashbacks haunt everyday of their lives. So, these kids should be offered a chance at stardom? I think not. 

Individualistic moral compasses have not just been lost, morality has been set ablaze! There are politically correct terms for everything now, but media coverage goes to the Republican/Democrat comedy hour (vaudeville was more entertaining), and every problem society has, but no one wants to cover any information on solutions. Teen pregnancy is an issue, so don’t give these girls a television show, teach them to think more of themselves before the fact.  Having children and/or marriage is not “playing house”.  Some screeching type A is verbally abusing a bunch of kids placed in her class for some lessons, arrest her for child abuse, but don’t put her up as a television icon.  
It is every person’s responsibility to carry a sense of morality and good sense, so why should we hold our media to anything less.  Stop the madness and do some real reporting on issues that need attention. Society needs information, not sensationalizing. ]]>
<![CDATA[Who Am I]]>Tue, 24 Jan 2012 02:37:39 GMThttp://mentalillumination.weebly.com/where-the-heart-goes-the-soapbox/who-am-iHumans are very intricate beings that cannot be totally classified, or defined; therefore, I am uncertain as how to adequately express who I am to another person since I am unable to completely understand who I am within my own being. People are essentially to one another,
if only for a short time, who their counterpart perceives them to be at that given moment. This set thought of one another is what I believe causes conflict.  The human mind tends to look for black and white answers in a “shades of gray” world. People have common interests and
somewhat similar thoughts and beliefs which unite them on a certain level, yet a person must remain an individual to remain true to himself or herself as well as those around him or her.  Without individuality, the world would be a boring, dismal place. Without everyday
adversities and differences which challenge us to remain us but bend to realize the countless possibilities of the beings around us and trying to understand where the other person is coming from in order to respect his or her individuality.  Who am I is a question that has puzzled generation upon generation of man. Scientists have argued over it, Philosophers have theorized it, and  Artists and Poets have experimented and tried to capture it.  An executive may say that she just does her job, therefore she uses her career to define her being and ignores any deeper personification.  A parent may say that her children make-up their entire world, but then if this is true, are they in essence saying that her children took their
identity? If this thought was based in actuality, then who is the student and who is the teacher of such a relationship?
There are many attributes that make an individual who he or she is.  No one person is the same; therefore, every person contributes to the world around him in a unique manner. 
This is as true of myself as it is with any individual.  I do not believe that a person simply is or is not defined by what he or she does or feels at any given point in time.  One of the most essential factors in the survival of the human race has been adaptation. As a person adapts to his or her unique set of life experiences,  he or she is not exactly the same person as before. 
The world has an endless cycle of change and new experiences that alter the human psyche. 
My children and husband are forever etched in my heart, and not only is being a mother and wife a large part of who I am, it is also a looming cloud of “old world” voices in the back of my mind that push and prod me to feel huge waves of guilt if I do not spend every waking moment catering to their every whim. Although I have four children, plus various non-blood children to whom I play mother, sometimes I feel as though I have five children living with me, but my husband, Steven, has spent our life together trying to change the limited and
lowly view of myself that I was given by family as a child.  My children come to my life each day bearing gifts. Some days the gift is pride, others it is joy, still other packages hold tears, guilt or fears; but no matter what the days bring, above all, I love my children.
I am made up of a veritable spectrum of nuances in reality and fantasy.  I am a never-ending
student of life. I feel that it is imperative to continue to learn throughout one’s life.  If  knowledge is expanded, then so are dreams and the power to make them a reality.   My endless quest for new ideas, ideals, approaches and experiences have lead to theoretical and analytical views of different cultures, religions and in general, the world around me.  
As a child, I wondered at butterflies and how something as beautifully delicate and gentle as they could hold so easily the power to fly when I could not. After going through times in
my adolescent and pre-adult life that were more like nightmares than dreams, I learned to allow my mind take flight and feel wonder at the world around me once again.  I have learned that I am tougher than I ever thought and hurt more simply than I ever wanted to accept.

My ideas and ideals are a collage of bits and pieces that I have collected throughout my life, while I was busy building the person that I am. Neither I nor any other individual can be confined to a simple definition of his or her being because there are no walls in an open mind, heart or spirit.  I am a mother and wife, a student and teacher, a dreamer/philosopher and analyst, a diplomat and instigator, a poet/writer and yet unable to express my feelings, a believer and skeptic and so much more.  I am every feeling I ever experienced and those that I have not experienced because of the space within my life that those experiences have not yet filled.
The world is made up of many drops of water in the eternal pond; I am but one of those drops, and every time another drop enters the pond, the waters are never the same again.  I have
already made the contribution to life’s waters with my mere existence; I am only
hoping to lead a life that leaves my impression, not only on the pond, but on my
fellow drops as well.  

<![CDATA[The Truth As It Exists]]>Fri, 06 Jan 2012 05:59:22 GMThttp://mentalillumination.weebly.com/where-the-heart-goes-the-soapbox/the-truth-as-it-existsTruth is not universal. It is an individual perception that lends itself to menacing abuses of the free speech.  The only real truth is that there are as many perceptions of truth as there are stars in the sky.  To know one's inner self as a constantly changing being, and therefore, having parts of one's changing spirit pulled out and judged is an unfortunate fact of
existence within a closed-minded world.  This does not mean that less harm will be focused upon a person who does not speak the truths of their inner self, as he or she knows them at a given point in time. It is a given fact that no one person within existence can make a decision without affecting the whole of the rest of such an existence.  Like ripples in a pond, the center of an action moves out and affects the calm of the waters around it. 

It is wise to observe the world as it exists and hold silence in those times of observation; but it is just as wise to be true to the inner self that dwells with each individual, and speak openly about its experiences and feelings.  If all the beats created by different drummers throughout history had kept, or been kept silent, humans civilization would have been robbed of all the great philosophers and thinkers of all the centuries passed.  Let words call to the world, and if it is answered by ridicule from one, or many; at least the words came from a place of peace and well-wishes, instead of some fabricated mask that exists only to please the masses who condemn those who think differently than they.