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All of mankind’s stories are variations or combinations on seven archetypal themes. One of these is “Rebirth”. In this tale, a person or persons transforms into something else.

Out of the seven, it attracts me the most; I am fascinated with transformation. Nearly all my favorite movies and stories have someone changing into someone or something else. This i usually done by magic or assistance of the gods.  Rebirth or Metamorphosis is about turning into something more advanced, or more conscious. Sometimes there is apotheosis, viz. the evolution into the divine.  Most (all?) Rebirth stories are about love. There is union of opposites or compliments, which evokes a wholeness more than the sum of the parts.

Sometimes when I want cheering up, I will pull out a favorite movie or book, and read/see the parts with transformation, for Rebirth is a powerfully charged matter.

Rebirth is at the heart of Jungian developmental psychology. A person’s Life-Journey is a transformation from unconsciousness to Self consciousness. This goes ultimately to the greatest of transformations, death. Dying as a means to becoming something else (and something better) predominates many religions and stories.

Behind my fascination is my longing to become something better, something wonderful. One of the reasons for writing my blog is to assist me in my own metamorphosis.  I don’t meet too many people wanting this. They are content with what they are. But a choice few realize they are asleep, and wish to wake.

It is my hope Spo-Reflections attracts those with a similar longing for Rebirth.

I  am in a cross mood.  Most of this is the big bad ‘fall melancholia’ which hits me at this time of year.  It feel like Eeyore has taken over my mind. I know from experience this too shall pass. Meanwhile, I feel the usual combination of apathy, hopelessness, irritability, and personal guilt.  No fun in that.

Some of my mood is environmental viz. work is a bitch. I don’t seem to be good enough for anyone. My focus, never long, is pooping out by 2PM. Trouble is, there are hundreds of ‘them’ and only one of me. It feels many of the patients have ganged up to demand the impossible be delivered yesterday.

Facebook has me down. I haven’t had time to figure out the new format or to sort through the rumors about its sinister intents. Apparently if I post or comment anything the whole world will know about it. I’m intimidated to the point of posting no more than the banal.  Perhaps it is time to pull the plug on the nasty thing. I am enjoying eliminating all the ads with negative comments they are misleading, uninteresting, or offensive. It is a mild revenge that doesn’t give much satisfaction.

I’ve stopped reading the news. Deaths, crashes, bad weather – I have enough news in me for a lifetime.  Politics is the worst. I am beginning to think Bachman should be president; she is just what this country deserves. Besides, her spouse would make one hell of a first lady.

When I am ‘in mood’, I often clear out as much crud and knickknacks as I can, as who needs them. The parish is having a rummage sale. I am sorely tempted to deliver onto them most of my possessions yeah verily. I wonder if they take leather goods. Last weekend I stayed up to 2AM cleaning out a closet of old photos, board games nobody plays (remember trivial pursuit?) cassette tapes, and anything not tied down.  For days afterwards Someone complained he couldn’t find anything.

Last weekend’s input on the traveling Spo-Shirt was touching. I appreciate the tour remains of interest to people. Off it goes to Europe, then to NZ/Australia, before the finale here in the States.  Keeping it traveling means more $  towards my four charity causes.

This week I am thinking a lot about “Causes”, for next weekend is the annual AIDS walk. Someone will run in it, and I will walk. Last year I did it wearing green foam moose antlers, at the request of boy whose uncle had died of AIDS. This year we may bring Harper (with or without the antlers).  I worry AIDS causes will slack in time, what with people worn out by attrition or boredom.  This is one of many reasons why one of the Spo-shirt charities is an AIDS clinic in Chicago, where I volunteered.

 

 

 

Another Spo-shirt cause is prostate cancer.  I learned last weekend an uncle on my mother’s side has been recently confirmed having such.  My father had his prostate cancer at 59. So, if I dodge dying from cardiovascular disease, I will be at risk to develop my own. In next month’s appointment with my doctor, I will review this with him and ask him to be frequent and aggressive in my efforts towards prevention and early detection.  Some day I want to write an entry on prostate cancer, especially on what you can do about it. Meanwhile, the gents are politely asked to eat your damn fruits and vegetables – especially the red ones!!!

The Humane Society is where we got Harper, so this one is self-explanatory. The treatment of animals is a very intense emotional issue for me.

Finally, I like the notion of Doctors without Borders, for it appeals to our ideal physicians help people regardless.

 

Them’s my causes.

What’s yours?

It’s the birthday of children’s author and illustrator Shel Silverstein (books by this author), born Sheldon Allen Silverstein in Chicago (1930). As a youngster himself, he wanted to play baseball or be popular with girls, Silverstein once said, but he couldn’t play ball and he couldn’t dance. So he wrote and drew to occupy himself, developing a signature style and wit that would delight children all over the world.

It was never his intention. He began his career as a cartoonist while serving in the Korean War, publishing in the military’s daily paper; when he returned from duty, he got a job as a staff cartoonist for Playboy magazine, where he also contributed several poems. It wasn’t until a fellow illustrator who was finding success publishing for kids put Silverstein in touch with his editor that he was convinced to try writing for children. The blend of witty and wistful that would later become his trademark was initially off-putting to some, who told him his work was too mature for kids, but not enough so for adults. He proved them wrong by publishing four children’s books in two years, including his most enduring — and category-defying — The Giving Tree.

Silverstein’s playful rhymes and dark humor achieved success for him in another arena too: songwriting. Of his many songs, his most popular may be “A Boy Named Sue.” About a man whose deadbeat dad named him “Sue” before he skipped town, the song was quintessential Silverstein: both silly and sad. When Johnny Cash sang it at his famous San Quentin State Prison concert, he was so unsure about whether people would like it he hadn’t even bothered to memorize the lyrics. The convicts went wild for the song, as did Cash fans all over the world. It remains pretty popular with kids too.

Silverstein avoided press, refused to go on book tours, and even requested that his publisher not release biographical information about him. As he said in a rare interview with Publisher’s Weekly, “I’m free to … go wherever I please, do whatever I want; I believe everyone should live like that. Don’t be dependent on anyone else — man, woman, child or dog.” Silverstein died of a heart attack in 1999 in his home in Key West, Florida.

 

Bear In There by Shel Silverstein

There’s a Polar Bear

In our Frigidaire–

He likes it ’cause it’s cold in there.

With his seat in the meat

And his face in the fish

And his big hairy paws

In the buttery dish,

He’s nibbling the noodles,

He’s munching the rice,

He’s slurping the soda,

He’s licking the ice.

And he lets out a roar

If you open the door.

And it gives me a scare

To know he’s in there–

That Polary Bear

In our Fridgitydaire.

 

While tidying up around my blog, I realized it has been over a year since I launched The Spo Shirt Charity Tour.  I thought at the time it would circulate among a dozen bloggers and be back in a month’s time.  Little did I know.

At last count it is going its 30th participant (Anne Marie, the dear!). It has raised money for several charities. The photos of the participants are on the page “Spo Shirt Charity Tour”. I hope I haven’t missed any one’s photo.

I admit I haven’t done a good job keeping tabs of its whereabouts or poking it along. I also haven’t well with ‘who is next’. It has been a sort of a make-this-up-as-we-go-along. It floats along like a message in a bottle, or “Paddle to the sea.”

With that said, I would like to bring its close.

I’ve decided for not to have it go abroad. I know some Spo-fans will be disappointed. This is based on financial concerns: I don’t want anyone to feel obliged to pay for overseas postage.

Addendum – This decision is as popular as the latest rendition to Facebook! It will go overseas! We will find a way! 

At the conclusion of its odyssey the shirt goes to Cubby, as a souvenier of his brainchild. He gets to roll around in it feeling the vibes of 30-40 people; I get the folder. Spo-fans recall the shirt travels with a spiral notebook, in which people write whatever they fancy. I am looking forward to that.

What a journey this has been. It ranks as one of my most marvelous adventures.

SO…

If there is anyone left who wants his or her turn, please please please speak up and I will compose a list and get it moving. I want this shirt there in time for Christmas with Cubby.

Bless me for I have strayed – I am drinking coffee.

I am consuming the devil’s brew purely for medicinal purposes. I am having troubles staying awake, and tea doesn’t touch it. Not even real Irish tea, the kind in which I can stand up a spoon.

I suppose I could  drink a Red Bull or a Monster. The bonus is I would feel 20 years old. Or I could try one of those nasty 5 hour energy bottles you see at the gas station register counter.

So far the frequency of Joe is not often.  I have one or two cups at a time, once or twice a week.  This is ~ 4 cups a week.  This may sound like nothing to you, but for me it seems ready for rehab.

Coffee has lots of anti-oxidants in it, so it is not too unwholesome. And, a few cups of Java are correlated to helping prevent diabetes.**

No, I am not giving up tea.  I drink tea (proper tea, no rubbish) iced or hot, every day. Tea remains my DOC (drink of choice).

But I confess, coffee pick and wakes me up when I most need it.  I just hope this doesn’t turn into a habit.

Where I work they are building a Dunkin Donuts. My father swears by their coffee.  It is another conspiracy of further turning me into my father.

 

**Careful here. The health benefits of coffee are limited to 1-2 ‘real cups’ not Starbucks size cups. And this is plain coffee, no sugar or cream etc. which wipes out any health benefits.  And this doesn’t address the caffeine’s effects on nervous sorts of Spos.

In yesterday’s entry I mentioned I am left-handed. A Spo-fan responded he finds lefties sexy. Well! This is the first time I’ve heard this as a turn-on. What do you call those attracted to southpaws? Port-queens?

I am the only lefty in my family. No one tried to force me to be right-handed. Living in a right handed world has its challenges. I’ve learned to do right handed out of necessity, like using scissors or unzipping a fly.  Like a lot of lefties, I can use my right hand in lieu of my left. I learned to sign with my R hand, which allows me to sign and write at the same time.

I suspect my propensity towards a lack of coordination is based on my general confusion which side do I use. To this day I am unable to throw a ball.  Father gave up trying to teach me guitar and Uncle couldn’t teach me golf. The music teacher scolded me for picking up the French Horn ‘the wrong way’.  I’ve given up on all these activities three.

Someone is right handed. I always take the left side of things, such as hotel room drawers, or closet space. In restaurants I scout location towards the sitting arrangements. This allows us both free use of our dominant hands.

I’ve heard tell lefties have a higher number of geniuses than right-handers.  I have also heard there are also more left-handed psychopaths.

Is there a link between left handedness and being gay? I don’t know.  I am curious if lefties also have larger L testicles to their R, and does the L hang lower than its fellow? While I are down there, does one’s John Thomas list to port?

Are any of you Spo-fans left-handed?

How ‘left’ are you, or are you like me who does some activities left, some right?

Was anyone forced to be ‘right’?

At this moment life doesn’t feel very interesting. My ‘fall melancholia’ is active, so nothing feels exciting. I’ve had enough experience with this to know I only need to wait it out. It feels rotten, but it passes – like influenza.  I tried to brighten up the workday by moving the furniture around in the office I use on Tuesday and Thursdays. It was the nurse’s until she left one month ago. I made the place more ‘left handed friendly. It doesn’t compensate for its bareness. There is nothing in the room but a sofa, a desk and two chairs. It is rather bleak. At least now I can sit and write and look at patients. I used to have them behind me.

Sometimes I am rather petty about blogging. There are several blogs I read and comment upon regularly, yet they don’t reciprocate. Perhaps they read me, but never leave comment. Most of the time this doesn’t bother me, but with my moods rather raw, it rankles.

I started ‘virtual work outs’ via the TPT who sends me e-mail instructions.  Working out my myself is a bit lonely; I miss his company. Without direct supervision I don’t trust myself to exercise properly. I will give it a try. I am the fellow continually rechecking an index card.

Someone made it home safe and sound. He immediately went to sleep, so I did not hear about his trip until this evening.  It sounds like he had a nice time.

I got my new glasses, which are ‘progressives‘. When I look at a my laptop screen it becomes a sort of trapezoid. It wiggles back and forth like a jello mold.  I don’t care much for this effect. Is it supposed to act this way? I have no reference.

I am taking a course titled “Stress and Your Body”. It is a 20 hour lecture series, profusely detailed and there isn’t a dull minute to it. I’ve just completed Stress and the Reproductive System (female and male); I am now listening to Stress and the Immune System.  The fancy term for this is Psychoneuroimmunology.

 

I’ll save you the trouble of having to listen to the lecture series yourself. In summary – stress is not good. It blights just about everything and if you are not more careful it will grind you down into dust. It is like curry powder: a little is OK, but too much of a constant thing is unpleasant.  Most diseases, mental and physical, are aggravated if not brought on by stress.

 

Stress used to be quite simple – predators attacking us, and we either fought or ran or died. Our bodies are designed to handle this. Alas, we apply the same stress responses to traffic, work, the mortgage, and doing our job.

 

People in the 21st century face all sorts of new stresses never thought of before. And it all comes at us nonstop and at a speed we were not designed to handle.  Now more than ever we have to find ways of handling stress.

I spend a lot of time trying to get my patients to do common sense simple things like time out, stretching, making sleep a priority, doing less, and for goodness sake turn off the TV/internet/cellphone etc.

When were you last in a quiet place? Really!  Quiet used to be the norm; noise is now the rule.  And get regular exercise. Our bodies are designed to move.

Regular exercise may be as simple as 30 minute walk, preferably with another.

Get touched. We are social creatures, and touch directly deals with stress. Get regular hugs, rubs.  If I had my druthers, everyone would get regular massages.

While I am on the topic – avoid excessive caffeine, don’t eat junk food, and get laid – regularly if possible.

Yesterday I picked up four pairs of shoes from the shoe repair store.  I had them polished. The shoes were shiny black as if new, each wrapped in its own paper and given to me with great curtesy and thanks for my business.  Lovely.

What style of shoes you ask? Black, black, black, and black. One pair has laces and another looks “dressy”. Another one has buckles, and the 3rd is ‘just plain’. I happen to know the 4th is called a ‘penny loafer’. I have no cha-cha heels.

According to “Legally Blonde” I should be able to recognize last season’s Pradas, but I can’t. I am not a ‘shoe person”.

Yesterday I went to 2-3 stores trying to find a replacement for worn out pair. I tend to replace a worn out pair with its duplicate. I was unsuccessful; I will wait for Someone.

Someone likes shoes. He has twice as many. Most of them I have never seen worn, or I am clueless when he does. He likes having them. When we are out shopping, he wants to see the shoes. This is bewildering as most times he doesn’t plan on buying any.   “Are you going to buy those?” No, he merely wanted to try them on. Amazing!

Despite the cliche, it seems most gay men don’t know shoes (exception: boots). Women seem more conscious of shoes than men. My 16yo niece regularly announces she has nothing to wear, when in fact she has a closet full of shoes. “But they are soooo last year!”

Sometimes I tell a younger male patient who want dating advice they should wear well-polished shoes; their date will notice this and will be impressed.

With all that said, I prefer to walk around the house sans shoes. This is somewhat a hazard as the tile makes my feet ache. I have to be continuously vigilent for hazards such as scorpions and Harper’s toys.  In colder months I wear think wooly socks.

Tomorrow I will wear one of the newly polished pair to work. I am curious to see or hear if anyone notices.

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