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Kali

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Gender: Female
Hometown: Arizona
Home country: US
Current location: Baja Arizona
Member since: Fri Feb 27, 2004, 03:17 PM
Number of posts: 50,277

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Rainer Ptacek










Dia de Los Muertos, a request from MFM, perspective, and some other random thoughts

My sister has been working in Egypt off and on for a number of years. Last fall she brought back some seeds gathered from the garden of the house where she stays. They are marigolds, a new world flower that many in Mexico and perhaps elsewhere use to honor and celebrate the dead. Are you catching the drift here? Egypt, immortality, marigolds, Mexico, connections, death?

Anyway, I started a few of the seeds in a pot months ago and eventually got a couple of bushy plants that never flowered. Along about August or early September something ate most of the leaves off them and I had what looked like several bare branches stuck in some potting soil with just some tufts of leaves at the ends of the twigs. Eventually they grew out a bit and started having some flow buds. They almost look nice now with mixed yellow and orange blossoms.



In July we finally got around to putting my Father's ashes next to my Mother's grave and I have been thinking about taking some of the flowers to the cemetary for Dia de Los Muertos. Of course I forgot them when I went to town earlier today so like usual I will be late and try again tomorrow.

For some odd reason, I was looking through old pms (from DU2!) and found one from MFM telling me that I could repost something as his epitaph. I had forgotten all about it but when I read it the other night I knew all these random thoughts about lost love ones and day of the dead were somehow coming together. This is my lame attempt at an intro to his most excellent thoughts on aging and attitude. I hope you enjoy.


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=105&topic_id=9573986&mesg_id=9574140

I peaked very early in life...

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...when, by the age of 19 as an Army medic, there were half-a-dozen or so people still walking
the face of this planet because I had been there to help.
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I think of Al Bundy (from "Married with Children" who was STUCK in the past -- the only thing
he could look at as an "accomplishment" was a high school football game. He'd done nothing since
then that he could look at with pride.
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As much as I've learned... as much as I've grown... as much as I've contributed... I don't think
I've ever had a time more crucial and vibrant and ALIVE as when I was that 19-year old scared kid.
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BUT, I did learn... I did grow... I did contribute... accepting what I had and who I was and
what I could do at different stages of my life. That's simply what you do -- or you simply die
without knowing that you're already dead -- you become one of the denizens of those cliched
retirement communities, reliving your LONG-past glory days, bitching about how the world's
turned to shit, and comparing meds and surgeries and aches and pains.
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No, thank you.
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MiddleFingerMomDad, jerk though he was, got into photography and bread-baking at the tottering
old age of 65. Won some competitions.
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I talked on the phone with a customer who was 76, and was going to Mongolia in a few weeks as
part of some "American Tourist Ambassador" program started by Jimmy Carter (I believe). Knowing
a little about Mongolia, I teasingly asked her if she rode horses. She surprised me by saying, "Heck,
YES!!!" amd telling me about her trip to North Africa the year before and her first CAMEL ride ("It
was 2-3 hours long and I was sore for two days -- but I do it again in a FLASH!!" 76 YEARS OLD.
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My BIL was pretty much abandoned and shoved off to this older blind woman, who raised him to be
an incredible human being. I met her when she was in her 70's -- and a more ALIVE person, I don't
believe I've ever known. Though frail and GREATLY diminished from who and what she HAD been,
she had a sweetness and an attitude beyond compare -- one of the REAL riotgrrls. "Let's DO this!!"
"Let's do THAT!!!" If we went out to eat, she wanted to try a little bit of what I had ordered, too --
and urged me to try hers. I loved that woman -- she showed me what the human spirit is capable
of. She had overcome her greatest handicap -- NOT her lack of eyesight -- but the aging that
brings ao many people to the state that I'm seeing in this thread.
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My health sucks. My financial situation is pretty dire. My past was much, MUCH better than my
present. But the "present" is what I got. I do what SHOULD be done -- I adapt to what IS -- not
what once was -- and I learn and I grow and I contribute within THAT framework.
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As open-ended and all-encompassing as my youth? Hell. no.
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But lately, I've learned about smoked paprika. I've enjoyed "discovering" the band Portishead. I've
finally started reading Howard Zinn's "People's History of the United States". I've had a friend
tell me that, although I wasn't aware of it at the time, something I had done had kept HER from
doing something drastic and negative.
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Sure, I'd love to be that 19-year-old kid -- BOUNDING out of bed in the morning wondering what
sort of adventure and/or trouble I was going to get myself into today -- "LET'S GO SAVE
SOMEBODY'S FUCKING LIFE!!!!!"
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But I'm not that kid.
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The GOOD news is that neither am I Al Bundy, relying on and reliving my "glory days" at the
expense of what, quite simply... is.
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I've been one step closer to death since the day I was born. FUCK death. I AM immortal.
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At least for now.
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And that's enough.
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