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Archive for March, 2008

In the final two Harry Potter books, the concept of “horcruxes” is introduced.  Voldermort, the evil wizard who lost power upon trying to kill Harry, has split his soul into several pieces by creating what are called horcruxes.  In this way, he becomes immortal as long as his horcruxes are intact.  In order to create a horcrux, one must kill someone.  One consequence of a horcrux is the soul is irrevocably damaged by doing something so heinous as murder.  The soul is no longer whole.

This is how I feel.

Chris’ suicide is like a huge ache on my soul.  It saps my energy; it diminishes my capacity, even my very ability, to be fully alive.  It is as if I have created a horcrux and am dealing with the consequences of that action.  Like the creation of a horcrux, Chris’ suicide is an irreversible, irrevocable act; it cannot be undone.

But unlike Voldemort’s soul, salvation for me will come from continually honoring Chris life and the few years he shared with us.  And possibly from…love.

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A few months back I wrote that Barack Obama would never step foot in the White House as President of the United States.  In “No Go for Barack Obama” the main idea I presented would be that if Obama was to win the Democratic nomination, he would be destroyed by the right wing and if that did not do the job, he would be assassinated near election day.  At the time, Obama was giving speeches on raised platforms and did not have the security detail he now has.  Although, I do not believe the Secret Service can keep him safe, I now believe it is time to give Obama a second look.

And so, I begin this new blog format “5grafs” with revisiting the Obama candidacy.

1
Can Obama win?
Barack Obama can definitely win the Democratic nomination.  He is on a roll of momentum and energy unseen in recent years.  The energy of his personality and the power of his words and ideals and his very campaign channels the energy, emotion, and power of the Kennedys.  Even Caroline Kennedy came out and voiced this.  After a hard fought campaign that may last until the convention, Obama will become the nominee of the Democratic Party.  And he can win the White House as well.  Despite recent polls suggesting McCain would be victorious in a national campaign, Obama will win.  He will win once all the efforts of the Democratic Party are focused on the general election.  McCain has negatives that will arise including his wrongheaded Iraq war policy, his ignorance about the economy, and his willingness to continue many of the disastrous policies of the Bush administration.

2
Will he survive?
This becomes the crucial question.  My heart pulls me to want to say yes.  My head cautions me against becoming too hopeful.  Obviously, this is a question that cannot be answered and time will tell.

3
Hope
Barack Obama’s candidacy and the success seen so far (he’s leading in delegates, popular votes, contests won, and is gaining in superdelegates each week) is about hope.  The thought of an intellectual black man winning the highest office in our nation and having that level of influence on the world is about hope.  Think of the respect our nation would gain in the world, the moment Obama takes the oath of office.  The message would be:  the oppressed can succeed.  What a change that would be from the Bush administration which has done so much to increase resentment and hatred of our nation.  Obama brings hope to the world and to this nation that we can be a better nation and that the hostilities and tensions in the world can be resolved.

4
Words
Despite Hillary Clinton’s comment about “change you can Xerox,” and Obama using his own words, words are powerful, in and of, themselves.  Words are how we communicate a message.  The words in the United States Declaration of Independence led to the birth of this nation.  The words in Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation led to the freeing of the slaves.  The words of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960’s inspired the actions that brought about the changes of the Civil Rights Movement.  Words are powerful.   Obama is a deep thinker and eloquent speaker.  His words are needed in these turbulent times.

5
Why Not Hillary?
I voted for Bill Clinton twice.  I believe he was a great president and accomplished many positive things in his time in office including balancing the budget and providing a budget surplus by 2000.  But Bill Clinton is not running for office.  I find Hillary an intriguing candidate, but at the same time, I believe the time of the Clintons has passed.  On a more practical level, her baggage and negatives would galvanize Republicans and bring them to the polls, even for the likes of John McCain.  I do not dislike Clinton in any tangible way, but she is not electable and the Democrats desperately need to take back the White House.  With Al Gore obviously not entering the race, Obama is the best chance for the Democrats.

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Walking Backwards

I woke up in the middle of the night a few weeks back and wrote this in my notebook:  “Time to face up to my problems.  That’s why I’ve been walking backwards all the way.”

Does anyone know what it could mean?

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bpart.jpgIn August, I read It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh which presented an interesting take on clutter and how to reduce it.  The book suggested that one problem with clutter is not about the stuff, rather it is about the relationship people have with their stuff.  I found two things really useful about this concept:  1. Stuff has memories attached to it and people think that if they throw the stuff out, they are trashing the memories.  Not true.  2. If something is not adding value to one’s life, it is junk and should be trashed or given away.

I kept thinking of my one box of stuff that I have had for several years.  It contains my high school track ribbons and medals and many letters from a high school friend I have since lost contact with.  It contains other stuff too, like mementos from traveling abroad and ticket stubs and playbills from events I attended in high school and college.  It even holds the printed program from my former step brother’s graduation.

Some people throw that stuff out even soon after getting it.  I have never been one of those people.  I have always saved all of that stuff.

As I read It’s All Too Much, I did stop and wonder why many times.  Why save that stuff?  Will it ever be useful?  I surely doubt it.  I am totally different than I was in high school and so much has happened in my life since that time. I do not use the stuff.  I do not display the ribbons and medals, nor do I read over the letters for any purpose.  It just sits there in the basement.  It just takes up space.  Granted, it does not take up much physical space.  Regardless, I ask again:  Why keep the stuff?

The same night that I was reading the book, I watched the movie “The Peaceful Warrior” based on Dan Millman’s “Way of the Peaceful Warrior” and there were scenes where Dan had to escape from his former self; the one clinging to his dreams. The point being that all that truly exists is this moment and that thinking about the past and the future clouds one’s mind.  I connected that concept to my box of stuff and how it serves no purpose and is like thinking of the past.

Well that night passed, the next day, and the rest of August (and now all the months to March) and I still have not tossed my box of stuff.  Perhaps I will tomorrow.

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