Artifacts

What are the chances that a couple of thousand years from now someone will stumble on this IPad and proclaim that it’s data and history are the tenets of an ancient religion?  I wouldn’t bet on it. Perhaps it will be viewed as an artifact of a technological era long past. This week, Tyler and I went to the Denver Museum of Natural History to see The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. It was incredible to see the Hebrew writings on bits of papyrus that had survived over two thousand years. Clay jars, carefully placed in caves, preserved some of the writings. The damage to the scrolls as they were reconstructed ( scotch tape!) is the real tragedy. The scrolls contain the early writings that were the basis for the Jewish faith and the Old Testament. My IPad is so pedestrian and my searches for “short hairstyles gray hair” and “constipation” will not change the course of history and neither will my blog posts. 

What will be the artifacts of my life? What traces of my existence will remain?  The piece of fur found during excavation will be determined to be synthetic and man-made, perhaps from a stuffed toy animal. This is Steve Alvin, the stuffed bear that Roger named, and loved to rub against his face as his dementia progressed. They will uncover a small tiled sign with pieces missing and they will translate it to “Dinker”. There will be no explanation for this strange word, but of course this was Rogers nickname for me. A single heavy glass swan will be found and it will be decided this swan was one of a pair. That is how they are manufactured and live, paired for life . The strange wrought iron primitive deer, was this a totem? A shard of beautiful yellow pottery, a single piece that is uncovered two thousand years from now. A paper towel holder?

Here today, gone tomorrow. All of my “artifacts” are meaningful to me and they represent pieces of my life. What will they mean two thousand years from now?  A lot of nothing, I think.  Here today, here I am, today I am here. May 21, 2018. I want my life to mean something, I want it to matter that I lived. What is my legacy? I won’t cure cancer or become President ( maybe?) or write the great American novel, so my legacy won’t be in the headlines. What about a legacy of love? Those people I love will go on to love others and I could be part of the unbroken chain of love. A quiet but powerful thread into the future. Artifacts of love.

Artifacts

The Buck Stops Here

I am horrified (and a tiny bit amused)  at the games of Pass the buck, Hot potato and Telephone being played at the White House. It’s very Stormy!  Personal responsibility, integrity and truth are distant memories. He said, she said, No, I mean yes, that’s the truth until it isn’t, I didn’t do it, that’s not my job, ask Michael, ask Rudy and it’s all up to Sean. A perfect storm of  “I am not responsible!” While I would love to just point fingers at guilty parties in Washington, I must confess that I have a few hot potatoes in my closet, plenty of excuses, and some lies and  blame too.

Let’s define terms:

excuse: something (such as a condition or set of conditions) that explains improper behavior and makes it acceptable

lie: to make an untrue statement with “intent” to deceive

blame: to say or think that a person is responsible for something bad that has happened

Looking at these definitions in black and white is pretty scary isn’t it?  My first reaction is that I am a “better” person than those sleazy people, the liars, blamers and excusers. I have a sneaking suspicion that I “…doth protest too much.” How many times have I used the “I am sick.” lie to get out of work or an unwelcome invitation? Some of my excuses are long winded because I am justifying or explaining. If you ask me, it’s not my fault. So now what?

What happens at the Whitehouse is out of my hands(I vote),  but I am responsible for my own behavior. No excuses! The buck stops with me.  President Truman accepted responsibility for dropping the atomic bomb on Japan so certainly I can own my own behavior.  Not every lie I tell is devious, at times I “misrepresent” my feelings.  When I respond “I’m fine.” and the truth is I am anything but fine, I am lying. I heard recently that “fine” is not a feeling. The lies I tell myself are often motivated by my desire to protect myself. I can lie without saying a word i.e I don’t say anything when a group of people are laughing at a racist joke or I don’t say I feel like Mexican food when my partner says Italian food. One of the beauties of truth is that it is so much simpler, I don’t need to concoct a story or pretend. How will I know if someone loves ME if I don’t show them who I really am?

When we say someone is jaded we usually mean they are not innocent or of good character. Deb E. in the March 2018 issue of The Forum has a perfect acronym for J.A.D.E.:

                         Justifying my actions

                         Arguing my position

                         Defending myself against blame

                         Explaining why I’m right

I turned this into a rap for myself, and it is bad, very bad.  My rap helps me to remember jaded is not an adjective I want used to describe me. 

The Buck Stops Here