An open letter to Jimmy Carter

I wish a falling star
would light that perfect candle.
Its wick would consume the darkness
and its fragrance perfume the night.

Faith does not regret its weakness
because its firm foundation is hope.
Our horizons are lighted by its joy
and its love glows all around us.

Each war must end one day
despite their evil power.
If rulers bare their steely eyes,
let our light blind their stare.

The swords of love and faith
can cut them from the story.
They should have no page to find
when history’s book is seen.

We have the tools to light that candle.
We have the pens to write the story.
We have love.
We have faith.
We have joy.
We have hope.

Dear Jimmy Carter,

Although the world loves its money and power, I believe the prayers of a child are a better guide. When they sing, they have no fear. When they hope, how can we explain the hate?

The boy from Cyprus can love a girl from Bogota. The child in Zanzibar could kiss the elders of Harbin.

To find a new world is all they ask: A world where children cry out of love and compassion and not sorrow or fear. It is a world that we can give them. Let no one take it away.

May God bless you this day!

Holy week is unique in 2018

On April 1, 2010 I had a cardiac arrest at work. I was able to survive, but have been disabled since them. Despite my best efforts, I haven’t been able to work and the biggest long term accomplishment is that I’ve lived independently since then. Considering the length of time I was on CPR before my heart rhythm was restored, that’s no small matter, although I tend to take it for granted.

In addition, I was never in a coma and woke up the next day which was Good Friday. I had no broken ribs from the CPR and had no coronary artery disease when they did the heart catheterization.

This year, the 8th anniversary of the crisis, April 1 is Easter. That’s hard not to notice and it has a symbolic significance, if nothing else. Some of my friends with special dates such as the date of a death in the family, getting off drugs and alcohol or a divorce, the period leading up to the anniversary can be difficult.

This month I had a psychiatric crisis and was in the hospital for 10 days. Although it was triggered by a medication change, the day before my admission, my computers were doing impossible things. For example, one spontaneously started playing a recording of an learning day event I had recorded from a couple years ago. I do not even know where the files are and the tablet playing them had never had the audio files on them. One computer had the icons in the task bar counting in binary and there were other peculiar things as well. It was more than I could handle at the time and I haven’t looked very closely at it either–I don’t need to freak out again thinking dark agencies were at work against me. There were more than 8 files identified as being corrupted with viruses on my laptop and it was too much. However, I didn’t fold, throw down the cards and run.

It freaked me out extremely. As the last day unfolded, I became unable to do even some basic tasks like organize my medication tray. I discovered when I got home that some medications were causing bad effects when I took them.

This years, the weeks leading up to Easter are turning out to be difficult. Despite my decreased level of functioning (Now it *is* an accomplishment to be living independently), I’m hopeful that I can begin working again. No one has told me that it is not realistic, but they don’t want to dash my hopes. As a result, I haven’t got feedback how it’s unlikely that I’ll succeed, but I notice that unlikely and impossible are not the same.

I’m really thin emotionally and get sad and weepy really easily. I also have a lot more empathic understanding and am really good a recognizing other people’s challenges and try to help them as much as I can in a kind manner when I can.

I’ve made it through difficult times in the past and never given up trying to reach a fulfilling life. I have a lot of strengths, but putting it all together isn’t possible (today). I don’t have to run from my painful experiences and have faith that they are leading me forward. Easter is a celebration of rebirth and new beginnings.

I hope that I have a similar experience.

Snow angels

With all of the heavy awful news, I thought I’d give you something light and funny. I got a lot of jokes in this past day.

It had a really pretty snow this morning. I was talking to my roommate and remarked that I was definitely not going out to make a snow angel. I was thinking of the song “Alienation” by Morning Parade.

The song alienation was it’s own paradox. Is is one of my favorite songs. It’s title “Alienation” reflected my feeling at the time of being alienated. I promised something lite thought so enough of that.

So make angels in the snow, love a little more
Live with no regrets, for everything you do
Because although the lights are on, there is no one home
And everything you are, everything you were
Everything you’ve been’s not everything you’ll be
We’re really all the stars that bust in the universe
Of our alienation

What do you call two twins who live together.

Wombmates ba dum dum

I’ve got lots of stage and pen names. Here’s the (very long) abbreviated list
B.S. – rapper
Bill D. – vocal artist
W. Wayne B. – poet
smilingy – deviantart
Smiling Y – purported business that has made virtually no money… ever…

A logo I commissioned for Smiling Y


BWS/WBS – artist (They have two different themes; can’t remember what)
sesquized – email
emu-bark.com – a domain that is supposed to be private… I give it to all of the potentially annoying business, charities and politicians.
Bill W. – anonymous. don’t tell any one. hear hear
I’ve got a Korg Poly 800 ii keyboard. Haven’t got a name for him
… I’ve run out of ideas (a couple times over)

Lite only can go so long. Have a great St. Patrick’s Day. I’m speaking at Anthony Wayne Toastmasters at Ivy Tech on Coliseum in Fort Wayne. We start at 6:30. Another stage name that week too: ‘Bill O’Smith’ (I didn’t make that one up, blame Berniece and Dave Wilkins.)

My home is a mess. a big mess. Not that I’m complaining. It proves I don’t have OCD. Hopefully it doesn’t look like I’m a hoarder… no shame in that.

lite lite lit li t

18 Large Eggs

Profile of a shopping cartThursday was pretty cool. Really cool actually. I was really comfortable with myself and felt like a (passably) normal person. I wasn’t feeling awkward or a fish out of water and am really grateful for that!

I went to Toastmasters. (Anthony Wayne Toastmasters Club 521 founded in 1947) One of the prominent members and his wife were unable to come. There were four of us there and we visited for about a half hour since we didn’t have any speakers. We saw projects that Leon made that were really awesome… elegant wooden steering wheels that had clocks in the center. He said that he’d given many of them to friends. He also described how he made them.

We got on the subject of 3-D printers. Leon did a better job of explaining them than I could. He had been a member at the makerspace TekVenture in Fort Wayne in the past and so had I. We made an expedition across town to see the facility. We got a really nice tour.

Tekventure was pretty cool. On the stage, some were practicing a play. I saw a lot of people working in the ceramics section of the workshop. I also learned a little about CNC milling machines. My guide explained that experience with a manual milling machine is a helpful background before one starts making CNC programs. I got a liability release form and indicated that I wanted to join. I need to pick the right day to pay online so that I have something to do right away.

After leaving TekVenture, I went to Kroger to buy some groceries. I was looking at the Jumbo, Extra Large and Medium eggs to compare prices and decide which would be right to buy. (I chose the medium. They were 30% cheaper than the jumbo.)

While I was there, a woman came next to me and was looking at a coupon for large eggs. I tried to help her and noticed on the coupon that it said 18 large eggs. I had only wanted 12, so I didn’t look for the 18s. She hadn’t noticed the 18 count citation on the coupon. Once I showed which she needed, she picked the package that she wanted and went to the rest of the store. She apologized for bothering me, but I said it was ok.

I was having trouble finding nail polish remover. I asked a woman at the pharmacy and she went out and was very helpful too. Overall, it was one of the most pleasant shopping experiences. (Actually the whole day was pleasant, so it was a nice way for it to wind down.)

Then, on my way to the checkout, I realized that I had left _my_ coupons behind in the car. I spoke to one of the cashiers and she commented that she had her eyes on my cart. I got the coupons and came back. I thought of a couple more things to buy and went back to the same cashier’s line.

The woman I helped earlier was immediately in front of me and before her was a very tall man. I wasn’t listening to their conversation real closely, but I did learn that he was 6′ 9″, had played basketball in college and was looking to become a basketball coach.

The woman wasn’t sure about whether her coupons matched what she had bought, but they did. Her balance was $0.00. It took the cashier a minute to figure out how to cash out a $0.00 balance, but she must have been experienced and figured it out.

The cashier, woman and I talked briefly. We were laughing and I learned a little about her late husband and mother. I was smiling all the way to my car. I did not have as good of coupons as the awesome woman who I saw near the eggs.

An Honest Smile

It’s easy for me to look at myself and find one way or another that I’m off kilter. My latest “trick” happens when I try to jump in with someone who monopolizes conversations. Basically I stutter the first word I want to say. I don’t think it’s a “real” stutter–it never happens anywhere else. Really, I’m just getting to practice jumping in so I can get better.

I have this horrible solitaire head game that I play. “What’s wrong with Bill?” It try to identify a disease label for any of my personality features, feelings or quirks. If there’s more than one label, all the better. Uck! Why do I put myself through that?

I’ve started a new game: “What’s right with Bill?” Kind of an opposite-to-emotion action to weaken that negative game.

One what’s right with Bill is that I have an honest smile. When I see someone, I smile broadly and am not faking it. It’s rarely wrong to smile at someone. I like to see people in the grocery store smile back at me. It’s almost a reflex for people to smile back.

I love to laugh. Having a momentary silent conversation with someone as we smile at each other is wonderful.

Smile! It will make you feel a tiny bit better.