Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bee, Being, and California

Tucson, Arizona. In his quest to unseat incumbent Gabrielle Giffords for AZ CD-8, Tim Bee has started to upgrade his presence in the media. Blake Morlock had a Citizen piece about him yesterday, and Bee has a thirty second piece, "Grounded", running during local and evening cable news shows. Bee recently had sympathetic appearances in the local news, perhaps about the state budget. So far all content I have seen remains positive and free of hits. That will change.

Regarding matters presidential, the RNCC has started hit pieces against Obama during cable sports programs (baseball, NASCAR, etc.) that don’t even mention McCain. One of the future prospects they tie to Obama, "No lower gas prices."

That sure got my pro-McCain juices flowing. Of course, how anyone supports just about any GOP candidate in 2008 defies the reality that plays on my view screen. A better blogger would provide links to various articles and op-ed pieces articulating the ontological malaise afflicting the GOP (translation: inability to answer, "Who are we? What is our vision?"). Bee's Being in this race for this seat suffers the same ontological vacancy, and his choice to run is a mistake. He will lose.

The astute who devote energy to the subject would note ontological angst with the current blogger since a visit to California. Prolificity has fallen and a certain doubt has emerged. Influence rankings fell so fast I wondered if the BNN guys had psychics. Since California I don’t even think this place has made the list.

Above is the very deck where I shared a particularly special moment with another human being. The photographer (to my considerable chagrin) missed a photograph of the woman, but he did catch of photograph of her daughter, starting at Stanford as a freshman this fall.

In addition to the woman I met an elder who sat with me, an extremely successful man who made his first ten million before the age of thirty, and he stated, “I had everything, and I was miserable. I employed illegals, dozens of them, and I remember one night up in the Arizona mountains. There was still snow in the areas that had shade during the day, and these people kept from freezing to death by walking all night. They had scraps for clothes and not two nickels to rub together, but that night they sat around a campfire, singing, and happy to have work in Arizona and be alive. They were singing, and they were happy, really happy. There I stood, worth millions, the business owner, and they were happy, and I was not. At that moment I realized I knew F about life."

I have a friend I’ve know for three decades who is slowly dying of an incurable disease that robs its victims of energy. Imagine being exhausted all the time. On the phone yesterday she cried about how in the last couple weeks she grasped the extent to which she had lived life in the undistinguished context of considering herself redundant, because as a child her know it all father had always replied, "I already know that" to everything she had ever said. As a growing girl to every enthusiastic discovery, every insight, every learned or newly seen idea she had shared with daddy, she had heard, "Oh I know all that."

(In California) Unconsciously she organized a life of one who is redundant and matters not, one who has nothing to add. Despondent, she asked on the phone, "Is there anything encouraging you can offer me? Can you say something supportive that might help, maybe an angle or an approach that offers some hope or a better way to think?"

I am well trained in this notion of creating possibility, and I completely locked up. Everything that came to mind seemed inane and idiotic, something that would put her in the position of having to be generous by pretending what I had said had value when it did not. I could not do that to her, so I froze, too choked up to speak and feeling completely bankrupt. I sobbed after hanging up the phone, experiencing Failure as never before.

I don't profess to understand what someone meant when he said, "It is harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven," but I am clear the speaker was not talking about money or knowledge or fame or power. Something Else has to be surrendered. I only speculate, but I sense that the answer to such considerations defies many limitations in simplicity, elegance, and difficulty.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

X4MR,

I don't understand what changes you go through when going through your experience in California, I've never followed the path or shared those experiences. That being said, as I read your writing in this piece you honestly sound like one of my fellow soldiers coming back from war.
When I came back I had a new view on life, priorities, and the world in general. I looked out and, regarding my country, the flaws were glaring. So much so that you become angry with the fact that others are not able to see it in the same light. As I stated previously I may be way off base but your writings scream the same mindset of many of us returning from war. Life is precious, time feels short, and the apathy and false concern of the rest of society hurts to your core.

7/11/2008 2:18 AM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

Anon,
That is really interesting. I read this post yesterday and found it too intense for me to respond right away. I don't think x4mr has experienced combat in the traditional sense, but I am confident he has experienced extreme trauma.

I don't think you are not "off base" at all, and if you are a vet back from Iraq/Afghanistan, then I wish you my best in sorting things out.

You wrote, "scream the same mindset" which is powerful language. In my opinion, part of what you hear is courage. I think California is part literal and part metaphor. X4mr can sometimes say three things in one sentence.

Life is precious, time feels short, and the apathy and false concern of the rest of society hurts to your core.

DAMNED STRAIGHT, Anon.

If you search the blog archives, you will find he has material about returning vets.

Although not about a vet, based on your comment, I think you might find the following x4mr blog post worth reading. It is deeply moving, and I still go back and read it from time to time.

A Day in the Life.

7/11/2008 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anon2 said...

To the anon above, I second Navigator's best wishes. I have read this blog for some time and don't think you are "off base" at all.

I know several vets of the gulf war and I think they would agree with you, and even though I hate the war in Iraq, I thank you for putting your life on the line. Hopefully x4mr will respond to your remarks.

X4mr was written several stories about vets, so I will use Navigator's idea and list a few. If you like George W. Bush, you are not likely to like what he writes.

Here is one about Travis Patriquin.

Two others are:

Nightmare Unfolding
Ninety Minutes

He also reviews Home of the Brave. I am sure there are others stories he has written as well.

7/11/2008 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear X4MR
I am not a member of your party, I am not voting for Giffords but Tim Bee. All that aside I find your waxing poetic quite inspiring. You are obvioulsy a man a great depth and I am truly impressed. Keep 'em coming just do not assume all Repubicans are vacuous non thinkers and we will get along just fine...
From your newest fan

7/11/2008 11:18 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Thanks and you are most welcome here anytime. Leaving the discussion of Bee and Giffords alone for now, I am compelled to invite you to examine what has happened to the treatment of veterans under the current administration, and you won't have to find anti-war or democrat affiliated groups as sources of the information.

I hope you continue to read the site on occasion and your views will always be respected. I look forward to further conversation regarding veteran's affairs and issues as they relate to the candidates in the upcoming months.

No one knows what is happening to the veterans better than the veterans themselves and their families.

7/12/2008 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Concupiscence said...

I come to this site often, BECAUSE, I am a combat veteran. I find the soul talk to be refreshing,and a reminder that the world is not dummed down...yet! Many of our nations finest writers saw combat and wrote from that core experience the rest of their lives. Orwell(Eric Blair),Vonegut, Norman Mailer,William Manchester. This site lends hope to the T.S. Elliot line,"how much reality can human kind handle"

7/16/2008 2:07 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Thanks, con, and others to whom it applies. It's nice to know some out there get it.

Some do not. Word got to me about a particular blogger who criticized the place using the standards that apply to something like RRR. They have no idea what this place is about.

I hope you continue to find the content worthwhile.

7/17/2008 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

many of us find the content worthwhile. Keep your spirits up x4,,, we are your loyal followers. And by the way the 3 P.I's are still on the job. There is a constant call for vigilance when it comes to our Downtown cabalalists.

7/17/2008 11:02 PM  

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