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6Sep/170

Anger and Shame.

Posted by Nate

Tweetler.

An impostor.

Trump Land, it was called America once.

Seems like a long time ago.

Land of the free. Beacon of the world.

People have dreamed about this land, the land where they would not be afraid to speak, to walk, to live; the land where one can start a new life, fulfill a dream; the land that accepted, welcomed the oppressed, the hungry; the land for the dreamers; the land that has been loved and respected around the world.

America - hope for humanity; America - the leader of the free world.

This land, this America, that accepted, welcomed those looking for a new beginning.

This America is no more.

I feel anger, anger and shame. How come the land of the free elected this man - a pathological liar, a con man, an impostor, a man totally devoid of human virtues, of all that makes us human.

Sometimes I try to imagine how it feels being Trump, how our so-called President sees the world. No compassion, no understanding, no knowledge of the world, no desire to help your fellow human.

How does it feel to not have any friends, real friends? How does it feel to live in a world it which the only reality is TV ratings and money? How does it feel when your world conforms to your lies, to your reality? How does it feel to live without a rudimentary understanding, a knowledge of how this world functions?

Trump has no morals. He is not a Nazi, or a member of the KKK. He is not a fascist or a communist. But he can be any of these. He approves of anybody who supports him.

That is why Trump will not condemn those who support him. He will love Nazis, communists, alt-right, alt-left. All that matters to this mentally impoverished person is who supports him, him - the Trump - the greatest, the smartest - Trump - the beautiful. Whatever, whoever, as long as they improve his “rating”.

DACA

Now what?

This caricature of a human being is now in the Oval Office, pretending to be the President. Just pretending. He will never become one, because everything is about him, for him, for his benefit. And, if not, he will stab you in the back, no matter who you are.

And this person, a phony, an empty shell of a human, has the power to decide the fate of millions.

I am trying to express what I felt when I read that Trump wants to end DACA, the Dreamers Act.

The Dreamers. What could be better, more noble then these young people, who were brought here. Yes, their parents came illegally. But for their children, America is the only country they've ever known and love.

And a cruel, heartless force decides to throw these young people out of their country, to send them to a place they never knew, to exile them, through no fault of their own.

Forget for now the economic impact on this country (which will be significant), but the ability, human ability of fairness, compassion - where is it? My heart breaks when I imagine these kids being devastated, their lives, their dreams shattered by an evil, merciless man, the man who by an unlikely set of circumstance is occupying the Oval Office.

Now imagine what the world thinks about our beacon of the free world, that destroys the lives of millions of innocent kids.

I feel anger and shame. My dreams are gone.

Trump supporters

Trump army.

27May/172

The Loop Part 3

Posted by Nate

Alternate realities.

Dreams and realities.

And then an idea came to him: to try to write about his experiences, his dreams and fantasies about these dreams – dreams about different worlds, other realities. Different worlds but closely related at the same time. First, he called these worlds parallel universes, but later he decided on alternate realities that interact with each other.

Parallel universes would be susceptible to “butterfly effects” and could not closely resemble each other as his alternate realities would.

So, he started writing without much concern about the scientific value of his theories. Thinking and writing about all that weirdness helped ease the anxiety of these persistent thoughts and feelings of the unreality of the world around him, the strangeness in his life.

So, he continued to theorize about all this. He actually enjoyed trying to construct the world, the reasons that might be at play here.

He thought that this terrible accident (was it an accident?) that happened to him pushed him, showed him what might be happening...made it easier to think about life's secrets. He tried to sort out in his writing his experiences in the hospital and after, whether real or imagined...about realities and entanglement.

Different realities are somehow connected, entangled. When realities are branching out, when one makes a decision in one reality, it remains entangled so that changes in one reality affect other realities.

So why do realities interfere with each other, and not remain separate?

The universe is nothing more than information, he thought. We know that computers can run several programs simultaneously. Asian philosophers claim that the universe, everything in the universe, is just vibrations. Different frequencies result in different “planes” or forms of existence.

So maybe all these realities are just planes of slightly different frequencies?

Or maybe time itself is digital and different realities are occupying different time slots and that is why some kind of abrupt shift pushed him into another reality.

All his adult life he was trying to understand, to imagine what it is, our universe? What is “reality” and what is “illusion”? And if there is an ultimate reality - what is it?

And if all this is an illusion – what is an illusion? And does it make any difference?

He remembered the movie, Matrix, and he thought that maybe there is no city of Zion.

And then a disturbing thought. Am I the same person, is it really me, the same guy that lived before the cardiac arrest? So, if I am in another reality now, who am I?

How do I know? Or anybody else? My wife – how would she know if this person, her husband, is really him, the person she loves, the person she married and had children with?

So, this thought distracted him, led him, his thoughts to branch in different directions.

But even without the cardiac arrest, am I the same person I was 40 years ago?

Just because my name is the same? My body is totally different, every cell in my body is not the cell from a few years ago, my memories are changing and I forgot a lot from my younger years.

Are we becoming a different person constantly during our lives?

And if the answer is yes, then what difference does it makes what reality I am from?

* * * * * * *

He was enjoying the afternoon sun while sitting on the deck. Surrounded by trees, flowers of all shapes, colors and fragrances, the singing of the birds and bees buzzing. Without thinking about anything in particular, not concerned with the past or future. He felt as a part of the world, a part of these sights, smells, music of life.

His wife was doing something with flowers in the garden. She loved her garden and was proud of it. And he smiled inside – she is here, with him.

He half closed his eyes and absorbed it all, he was expanding, becoming one with this symphony of life, of reality. The play of bright patches of light and shade between the leaves, the smells and sounds – it became him.

Life was a wonderful thing. He was in the moment...enjoying it.

And that was the reality he accepted.

27May/170

The Loop Part 2

Posted by Nate

Alternate realities.

What is a dream and what is reality?

He was laying in this hospital bed pondering, thinking about what was going on. He vaguely remembered his life, was it a dream maybe? The botanic garden, the colors, sunshine, flowers. Was it just a dream? What is our life, our reality? Reality? What is that - our reality? Who knows. To him now, it all seemed not that real, maybe a product of his wishful imagination.

He was laying in this room and that was his reality now - this little world, the 4 walls, his bed surrounded by some blinking clicking stuff, his wife...

Maybe this is just a bad dream and he will wake up at home, in his bed, or on the couch just dreaming. Bright day outside, wife working in the garden, birds singing, Luke his dog sleeping and probably dreaming of being young and chasing rabbits.

He liked this thought. He was scared of this dark room, of being sick, of not knowing whether he was awake or dreaming.

What is wrong about dreaming, being deep inside your mind, not seeing all this scary stuff?

He glanced at the TV - some show that he did not know, nor cared to know. Why is it in black and white? Is something wrong with his eyes? Or is the stupid TV broken?

He looked around with more attention. The things around him - they looked different, not the way he remembered from last time. Was it in his dream or was it real last time in this room? This room? He wasn't sure anymore. He wasn't sure of his memory.

Fear crept in. What is wrong with his head? He decided to try to sleep. It will be better in the morning, all will clear up.

On and off he drifted to sleep - lucid dreams, hearing noises, nurses coming and doing something with him and the equipment. Eventually, finally, it was getting lighter outside. He could see buildings, cars moving in silence. Something strange about these buildings, the cars. What was it? He tried to analyze what was bothering him about this picture?

He now could see the room. Again, something was not quite right. What was it? Colors or the lack of colors?

The picture on TV was still black and white - maybe the TV was broken. But other stuff - people, voices, even the air felt strange. Holy shit, I must be losing my mind...he panicked.

His wife woke up, moved around, turned to him.

It was her all right. Same women he loved. And yet... He could not quite put his finger on the strangeness, some nuances.

Suddenly he felt lost. He remembered being lost in his dreams, many times. The strange and desperate feeling when you recognize the place – kind of – but at the same time you are lost, have no idea where you are. In his dreams, he was waiting for his wife to find him. But now here she was and yet he felt lost.

Maybe because of this anxiety or maybe because of the medications, but his mind was working feverishly building explanations. Of course, the first and easiest one was that he was losing it, his mind, his touch with the real world.

Real world - what is it?

There are many theories about our reality, our universe. Multiverse, an infinite number of realities. The theory that everything that happened, or could happen, is already there and one's every choice moves you to a certain reality. Realities are constantly crossing – meeting and separating again. That is why the butterfly effect is negligible between realities.

But, he thought, maybe some extreme circumstances cause not a smooth transition, but a jump between realities, creating a ripple, a detectable jump.

Maybe his cardiac arrest caused the jump and he is able to detect it.

One thing he knew - no matter what he said trying to describe his feelings, his observations, no one will take it seriously. Most likely he will get more medications.

* * * * * * * *

Do some of these people see anything different, strange about him? If yes, do they just dismiss it as not real? Are they wondering or blaming their imagination for this “nonsense”?

He was getting better. Strong enough to walk with a nurse. He talked to nurses during these walks and noticed some strange unfamiliar words and expressions. He kept this to himself. They noticed it too in me, he was sure of this, but he knew nurses would attribute it to him being an immigrant or not well yet.

In a way, it has been exciting to imagine or maybe to know that he actually travels between realities. An adventure. I don't care if this is happening just in my head. For him it was real, it was his secret, even from his wife.

* * * * * * *

The nurse looked at this strange patient, still in a coma. He was delivered to the E.R. after cardiac arrest and doctors managed to revive him and he has been improving.

His breath was deep and even. All vital signs were decent. And yet, he was still in a coma.

If there are an infinite number of possible realities, he thought, then I died in some of them. That was an unsettling idea. How would this jumping between realities work? You are sick and this is a stupid idea, he decided, you shouldn't think about it anymore.

But he couldn't stop thinking about it. Are these realities subjective and exist for each person? If I die in one reality does that mean this reality ceases to exist?

* * * * * * *

The nurse could not understand what was happening to this patient and why.

His breathing was getting shallow, vital signs were slowing down. He was dying peacefully, in deep sleep.

The nurse called the doctor. They looked at each other. The doctor was at a loss. There was no reason for this. And yet, they were losing this patient.

Finally he was strong enough and was released from the hospital. He was sick of this place but he could not complain about service which had been excellent.

He hoped that once he was home and back to normal, all these strange things would go away. All this nuanced strangeness would disappear, these dreams mixed with reality, all unfamiliar and yet very familiar – would not be so scary and strange anymore.

Little by little life returned to normal at home. He slept better, strange dreams that were so real almost disappeared. He enjoyed the company of his wife, kids and grandkids.

And yet, sometimes these strange thoughts, weird feelings would come back, and he felt strangely lost. He would push this strangeness away.

13Apr/170

The Loop

Posted by Nate

The loop

He tried to look around. Small, dimly lit room. Clicking noises, something humming. Flickering. His bed – metal, like a hospital bed. Hospital? What the hell? Window to his right. It was dark outside. He saw his wife looking at him. Where am I, what is going on? Why? Why are we here, not at home? She just looked at him. “You got sick.” Let's go home he said and started to get up, turned to put his feet on the floor. And he noted some tubes inserted in his body. "What happened to me?" he finally asked. "You got sick and will have to stay here in the hospital for a while."

But he had a hard time concentrating, keeping his thoughts together. He felt dizzy and thoughts were coming and going in no particular order. He couldn't remember his questions and her answers.

So he kept trying to get up and she softly would explain again where he was.

The door was open on the left and the light was coming into the room. He saw a TV on the opposite wall in front of him - it was on but no sound. Some show he did not recognize but it made no difference. It was all foggy and unreal - the room, the light, the TV, him being here.

He would fall asleep, wake up and sleep again. Somebody came through the door - the nurse. She did something with his body, looked at some displays and left.

His wife was unfolding the couch and laid down on it.

Little by little the darkness outside retreated and he could see the buildings, the street, cars moving. He did not hear any sound through the windows and all this looked like a silent movie. He did not recognize the street.

He tried to get up and go to the toilet several times but again his wife softly stopped him trying to explain that he had a catheter. In a few minutes he tried again and was stopped with a smile and a patient explanation.

Little by little the world came into focus and his mind started working. But still the whole thing - hospital, being sick, nurses coming and going.

Faces of friends, relatives and his kids and grandkids were like a blur. Surreal.

Days went by. Time was stretching and flying by his semiconscious mind poisoned by medications.

He dosed off during the day, woke, ate and looked at TV without really watching it. The world outside was getting dark and lighting up in rapid succession.

He knew that he did not like any of this. His wife always by his side was his anchor, his connection to the world. He felt the need to be near her at all times, he felt lost when she was not near him.

The doctor allowed him to get up and walk with the nurse and that helped his body and mind to get stronger. His wife told him what happened. Cardiac arrest - his heart stopped while they were in the bedroom. She saved his life.

He thought about it, wondering about his miraculous survival and wondering if what he was seeing and experiencing now was real. He remembered science fiction stories and parallel universes. His imagination was playing out different versions. What if he was really in the other universe and just didn't know, did not see the subtle differences?

Finally the doctors allowed him to go home. His kids came to help. They all walked to the car helping and supporting him on the way. As they drove he was looking at the buildings, the streets, trying to notice if there was anything different, strange about what he was seeing. He could not see any differences from what he remembered but he still was not sure. He thought that memory loss would prevent him from noticing anything different.

It took him a while to get used to normal life again. Some things were hard. Especially at night. He could not sleep normally in bed and in the dark room.

Panic and anxiety were choking him. He would get up and walk, try to sleep in his chair, on the couch. Drink some tea. Trying to calm himself. He could not sleep close to his wife or hug her in bed - he did not have enough air. He would sit in his chair and count hours, waiting for the morning to come.

Pills helped some but he had a hard time getting up in the morning. He felt better during the day.

And all this time since he woke up, there was a nagging feeling, almost subconscious, about being in a coma, still laying in a hospital bed, about the reality of this world. What if all his life after cardiac arrest, life after death, is just his dream? And if it is true, what difference does it really make? After all, we don't really know what reality is.

But as time passed he was getting used to the daily routine. Company of friends, spending time with kids and grandkids. And his wife, his life companion, always by his side. Almost back to normal. But he still has a hard time planning ahead.

When THIS happened he did not feel, he did not know what happened to him Until he woke up 3 days later in the hospital. What if he had not woken up? He wouldn't even know that he lived and died.

But... How does he know he is really alive? How do we know what “really” being conscious is? Do we realize that in deep sleep a dream is not “real”?

The spring came. Birds, the sun, the flowers. Thunderstorms and winds - he lives in Chicago after all.

All this can end without warning, in the blink of an eye. And that scared him. But he tried to push away the thought.

The weather was great. The Botanic Garden was waking up from winter slumber. It is a different atmosphere in such places, maybe because a certain type of people go there. Bright blue sky and, emerging fragile and yet unstoppable, the awakening of all kinds of plants. It soothes the soul. He was just wandering around with his wife with nothing in particular on his mind.

He tried to look around. Small dim lit room. Clicking noises, something humming. Flickering. His bed – metal, like a hospital bed. Hospital? What the hell? Window to his right. It was dark outside. He saw his wife looking at him. "Where am I, what is going on? Why?"

Often we do not remember our deep sleep dreams. Maybe there is a reason why.   

13Apr/170

This World Is Ours

Posted by Nate

The world is ours
I am going about daily business as if nothing changed, nothing is wrong.
But I feel uneasy.
The storm is coming and I feel empty and heavy at the same time.
The uncertainty, it creeps in my heart.
This anticipation, expectation of something,
Something awful.
Maybe it is just paranoia?
The world is disintegrating around me.
Ignorance, hate and fear are rising like poisonous fog, creeping, enveloping all.
And I am unable to be just an impartial observer. It is not who I am.
And it shows, my friends can see it in me.
Take it easy they keep telling me. Everything will be fine. Eventually.
Eventually is not good enough.
I think many now can feel this dark primal fear around.
Fear is the companion of hate.
Ignorance feeds fear and fear breeds hate.
 
Only we humans are capable of hate, blood thirsty hate toward our fellow humans.
Is hate a trait of intelligence? Of reason?
Animals do not have the ability to reason and maybe that is why animals don't know hate.
Why is it happening now?
Why is all that is bad about humans condensing, getting heavier and stronger, floating to the surface?
Why, in spite of human accomplishments in science, art, music, and technology, is ignorance spreading around our world?
In all of human history, have humans changed at all?
Millennia have passed by and we remain what we were in the ice age.
 
This thirst for power.
It still drives humanity. This insanity leads to wars and suffering of innocents.
Pulls humanity toward extinction.
And some use these lethal traits for their benefit.
Throughout millennia rulers and despots needed ignorance of their subjects to control them.
Nothing changed.
Ignorance fear and hate kill reason.
Fear and hate poison people, rob free will.
Now It has come to America.
No. It always been here.
Hiding, waiting.
Waiting patiently for the opportune time.
 
And it came. Trump Presidency.
Ignorance is contagious. It spreads given the chance.
Ignorance created Trump for self preservation.
Trump gave voice to hate. Fear and hate.
Trump legitimized ignorance and normalized racism.
 
 
In disbelief and desperation we are watching our country being destroyed from the inside.
All that makes America America.
Acceptance, free thinking, sense of fairness, tolerance, appreciation of arts and science.
Compassion and desire to help others.
Being dismantled, destroyed by a crude amoral caricature of a human being.
Whom Americans chose to be President of the United States of America.
 
Americans. Are they?
Are these people really Americans?
Are these ignorant, hateful and full of fear humans really Americans?
Just because they happen to be born here?
Does that make them what we and the world knows as Americans?
These people, by electing Trump, disregarded all moral, human values.
They sacrificed the integrity that they think they have.
They ignored logic and basic decency.
Why?
For what?
 
This election shook my faith in humanity and human values.
It forced me to write this.
Where do we go from here? What do we do?
And who are “we”?
Do we the people still matter?
Can thinking people, especially younger generations, change anything?
Should we give up? Can we give up?
Please look in the mirror.
Listen to your conscience, to your heart.
Can we afford to give up?
Can we allow the haters to have their way?
I am clinging to hope.
Looking for a silver lining.
What does not kill us makes us stronger.
Will America survive?
 
It is up to you. Up to us.
25Mar/170

Democracy?

Posted by Nate

Trump presidency

American democracy

Country that elected Trump is not fit for Democracy.

23Feb/171

Our Choices

Posted by Nate

Rise of Fascism in the USA.

American President?

I am trying to describe what I feel now.

Now that this man was elected President.

President of our country

Our new country, America.

This wonderful young country, but mature Democracy, the experiment.

America the magnet, hope for people around the world.

We came here for a new beginning.

My wife, our little daughter and myself.

We decided to leave the Soviet Union when we realized finally that there was no future for us there.

We Jews always felt like second-class, unwanted people. It was not our country.

We were young and determined to do better for ourselves and our children.

We came to America.

And also it took some time to adapt, but we were home, at last.

Life was not easy in our new country. The job, the language, money, life and politics - all was new, unfamiliar.

But here we felt more at home than during our lives in the Soviet Union.

It takes time and effort to fully understand, appreciate Freedom. We know it now.

Freedom is not an empty word or a slogan for us.

We could breathe. It is a feeling of the world becoming wide open for us. We were happy.

To live without fear, without disgust for the life around us.

Disgust, helplessness, fear and apathy - that's what we felt in our old country.

We literally got taller. It is a liberating feeling.

And then Trump was elected President.

And fear came back. And anxiety. And anger.

And old memories came back. And finally determination.

We will not be silent, not again,

We will not be silent.

Sometimes desperation creeps in. And fear about the future.

The future of our country, our future.

There is a crisis in America, in the free world.

The struggle between the future and the past.

The struggle between ignorance, fear and hate wanting to divide us and to hide behind the walls of suspicion and intolerance and a new, hopeful and accepting future.

This man, Donald Trump

He was brought up by all these dark forces that are pulling the world into an abyss.

This man. A phony, a crook, a total narcissist, a nobody.

An empty populist. He is just a mirror.

A reflection of all that had been hiding and now Trump gave them a voice.

All these ignorant hateful forces that are pulling us into the dark alley of fascism.

Trump lifted the lowest common denominator in humanity and was handed the power to destroy.

Crisis is upon us

And despite this sinking feeling

This feeling of despair and hopelessness

We have to prevail. I have to.

We have no other choice.

Now that I know how freedom feels I am not going back.

Because I remember. The old country.

Where I could not breathe.

I am not going back to fear, suspicion and lies.

We have to fight.

To fight so this country and the world will not turn into a terrifying dystopia.

I want to, I have to believe that progress is unstoppable, that light will win.

There are setbacks, there are defeats.

But the future, the best in all of us, will always prevail.

And the future needs us to succeed.

Defeat Trump

Resistance is growing

19Jan/170

End of the Road

Posted by Nate

As I get older I think of the end of the road.

Not because I want to get there but because I know I will.

I am not rushing but Time is pulling me. Faster and faster into the abyss

I am not alone. My friends, relatives are around me, getting older

The thought crosses my mind from time to time. Who will be first?

I push it away. It is natural but I don't want to think about death.

Not their death. But I am thinking of mine.

When my turn comes, my family, my friends so dear to me...

They will grieve. But time will move them away, away through the turbulence of life

As days, weeks and years carry them along, the pain subsides. Life takes over. Memories fade.

I hope. I want my loved ones to keep going, to live, to enjoy the ups and downs of this crazy ride - life

As my life in this world ends, will it be the end? I wonder.

The end? Some say our souls are immortal. At least from a human perspective.

I don't believe in immortality. What was the beginning necessarily will end.

But instinctively we do not want to simply vanish forever. It is hard to accept forever.

Our world, our human world. It is in turmoil.

Hate and ignorance, wars and famine, suffering that we brought upon ourselves

Greed and self-importance are poisoning people. Sometimes I feel I am ready for the end, my end.

Why? Why are people doing this to themselves? Are we here to hurt one another?

We are just little sparks, blips on the surface of the immense ocean, this mysterious, scary and beautiful Universe.

We know nothing about it. We do not understand it. But arrogance is our trait.

I wonder if we are even noticed by this living, moving and magical something. We call it the Universe, God for some.

Rich and poor, black and white...we are all the same. Children of our planet. Unwanted children perhaps.

Our Earth is just a little speck at the edge of our very ordinary Galaxy, the Milky Way.

One of billions and billions of galaxies. And yet we are full of self-importance, as if the Universe rotates around us.

But we are defenseless against Time. All of us. Rich and poor. Black and white.

And as the years go by I wonder. Why bother? Are we here for the Universe?

What difference does any of our activities matter?

That some of us will get better coffins or headstones?

Death is a great equalizer. In a few years all the coffins will rot. Cheap and fancy alike.

Headstones remain but the chain of generations breaks easily and memories melt away.

But through all the doubt and anxiety, through the hopelessness and despair,

I hope

I hope there is a Reason. Some higher reason, higher Reality

I hope for all of us, for this extraordinary creation that is the Universe

I hope for this breed of life, this species, humanity, also still barbarian and violent

I hope we humans will survive in spite of ourselves,  survive and mature.

Survive and join the universal consciousness. And will become one with God

My God - the Universe.

I do not know the Reason. This is the eternal question.

Why are we here? What is Here? Maybe we are not supposed to know. Maybe we are not ready to know? Not yet?

I am reading my scribbles now trying to finish my thoughts, to finish what I started. It has been awhile.

Before I had a cardiac arrest. One moment I was fine and then I woke up in the hospital three days later not having any idea of what had happened.

Against all odds I am back. Thanks to the people who saved my life.

Some consider it a miracle. My guardian angel saved me, they say.

There must be a reason, a purpose for me still being here, they say.

I don't know. What is my purpose in this life? Is there a purpose, a task I need to complete?

My loved ones are happy I am alive and well. They are not concerned about the reason, the purpose.

And I will do my best to keep them happy.

And I appreciate this life more and will try to live in the moment while trying to comprehend what happened...

If the doctors had not been able to bring me back, I might never have known that I had existed...and died.

Think about that!

Time and mortality.

Chronos.

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