On Christmas Eve, we have finally seen the passage of a bill that has pried open the previously locked down room of recognizing public health care as a human right.  It was done without the support of one single vote from the right.

To me, that is not nearly so much a reflection on politics per se but on what we have become as a nation.  What was a slow boil of cynicism and the drying up of compassion for nearly thirty years reached a head under the Bush administration.  Why there should have been any debate at all over ensuring proper health care for EVERYONE in this country when there has been little to no debate over the blank checks written for two illegal wars is beyond me.

Ahead of his time, Thomas Paine recognized from the beginning of this country that a social safety net was absolutely essential for a humane society.

But what is it that has allowed so many people to turn their back on others, to deny them food when they are hungry, shelter when they are homeless, medical care when they are sick, comfort when they are full of despair?

I have always believed that it is the moral imperative of the strong to protect and provide for the vulnerable in a society, whether they have four legs or two.  Each of us is inescapably responsible for the lives around us when they become lives in need.  Yet those who are the strongest seem driven with some pathological blindness to perpetuate suffering for no other reason than to amass such enormous wealth  that their lifestyles would shame royalty.

Sometimes all it takes to ease the suffering of another is a kind word, companionship, raking the leaves in a yard, a bowl of food for a desperate, hungry animal.  When we have strength that another can use, we must share it.  When we refuse, we have put a wall between what it is that makes us truly human and the outside world.  When we refuse, we can never know the best part of ourselves, or receive the gift of seeing a smile replace tears on the face of another.

This may be the “Christmas season,”  but we should strive to maintain the spirit of selfless giving EVERY day of the year.   This started out to be a column about some of the most forgotten among us, namely the homeless animals who will spend yet another lonely day in a cage, but there are many people who will also spend a lonely day on the street, hiding in an alley, just as hungry and unhappy as their four footed counterparts.  We can learn much from our animal friends, and if we are smart, we have enough decency to let their natural capacity for love and forgiveness humble us with its overwhelming strength.  Inside each one of them beats a loving heart, that loves without pretense, and forgives without strings.    Yet millions of those loving hearts are stopped deliberately each year, because they don’t find the right people to appreciate them in time.

Strength doesn’t come from money or external trappings of power.  It comes from a place we all have, but often seem too afraid to access within us.   This next year, I hope more of us will learn to look for it, to understand that we are a community no matter where we come from, what our house looks like, what spiritual beliefs we hold, and most of all, to understand that we can live that way EVERY day, not just one day a year.

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KhiradEmerald1943KQµårk 死神ChernynkayaScheherazade Recent comment authors
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I will do what I have to do to stay online and in touch here. I have no idea when I could find myself without a home and without internet. Chernykanya, PK, Kesmarn …you lift me. I’m still terrified of losing the roof over my head and I just know that if I can find shelter and a little fucking time to catch my breath and rebuild…I’ll be okay. There’s no way of knowing how this will all turn out. Walking ‘through’ this time…yes…I understand that. I only want to be safe…don’t want to be rich…don’t want fame…I just need to be safe…and secure. I no longer want relationships…apparently I am far too bad at at them to endure any more. I give too much of myself and my heart for my own good. So tired of loss.

I’d like to post a few poems, Adlib and need to know the best forum for these. I do not want to wear out my welcome here, too.

This is Fall Away…

fall away now
fall away into the shadows…
stand as a memory
forget all the days

a scent on the breeze
a thought never voiced
time is a highwayman
stand and deliver

beauty yields its treasure
to a familiar mirror
ghosts gather to you
in the long hours

shadows fall away
fall away each one
wind down the hands
to the end of the days


Thank you, TRP, for that beautiful poem!!!!! As long as you write, you will thrive, I just know it. And I think we can post poems in either the Speakers’ Corner or in the Arts section, maybe. I for one, would welcome them.



You are not alone, you are not alone. Most of us have been or, at the very least, come close to where you are at this very moment in time.

I, for one, am not only concerned about your well-being, but also your state of mind (is that an oxymoron?). Nevertheless, you know how to reach many of us outside of PPOV. If nothing else, please contact any of the Admins., please? This is not a time to suck it up and take it on the chin, not! You have many sources available to you — use them; don’t throw in the towel. Please don’t.


It would seem we both write poems with similar themes. 😉


TRP. Please keep writing. It’s how so many of us “process” our experience…and communicate with others who are going through the same things.
How arrogant of me to presume to give any advice! But I just have to say that I think there’s wisdom coming from deep inside yourself that is telling you–as you said–a couple of important things:
1. I need to get myself to a safe place.
2. I don’t want to be in a relationship right now.
I think those are probably very true instincts. You really do need a place where you can take time to think, and talk things through with someone you can trust. And launching into a relationship right now could very well be such an energy-draining distraction that things could get even messier instead of better. I know this is a total cliche, but now is a time to focus on you. And on getting healed.
Everything else–risk taking, new adventures and relationships–can wait.
Try to take care of yourself. Try to get rest and decent food and fresh air. Try to avoid the easy ways to feel good–booze, drugs people who aren’t good for you…well, you know… You don’t need any lectures! Just friends. And you’ve got ’em here. Don’t forget that!


Dear TRP, one moment, one second at a time. That’s all we have. There have been days when I have sat at my kitchen table, terrified of what would happen. The past is gone, the future is not here, and there is only this moment. I told myself–right this second, I am safe. And then in this second I am safe. And in this second. And again. I would eat, and it was my last meal. I sat there and told myself, this moment is OK– nothing bad has happened. And then another. And the day was safe. The panic and despair faded in those moments.

And there were other days, when it felt as though I knew the future held only disgrace and I didn’t see the point. But I had a point, and his name is Josh, my son. You have too have a point–your girls.


Good mornin’, peacekiten!

I always thought you were brilliant when I came to “know” you over at HP. I would always agree with your comments. It seemed like we are on the same page about most things.

This article you posted is some of the most poignant I have read. This one is certainly worth saving and I intend to do so.

One thing strikes me from all the comments as well as several articles posted over this holiday…that none of us are immune from pain and suffering. We ALL have our share. There is Scheherazade’s ignorant brother-in-law that makes her Christmas miserable with his bigotry, TRP’s loss that shatters him, and even my sister’s illness and fight for life that is gut-wrenching to the entire family. None can escape the randomness that causes complications and pain in our lives. But the best part of us is the compassion that these “slings and arrows” bring to the surface in us. Those of us who are hurting seem to have an unlimited supply of it for others less fortunate, either two or four-legged. In some strange way, our suffering makes us better people. That seems, as I re-read it, rather trite, but it does ring true.

There is no doubt in my mind about you, lady! You’re one of the best and I am so glad to see you here at the Planet! Keep writing! I cannot wait to read your next post!

Love to you!


Merry Christmas, peacekitten! That was one beautiful piece of writing. It should be required reading for anyone who needs to be reminded of why we all are here. (And I mean, on Earth!)

KQµårk 死神

PK this is one of the best humanistic pieces I’ve read in a while.

Watching about a dozen different versions of “A Christmas Carol” around Christmas I just don’t understand how people don’t get the message. Greed is the biggest evil in our society yet most Americans still worship money.


Hey K! I hope you are home and feeling better! Hospitals are not very nice places to hang out, especially during the holidays. Get well soon! I’m sending some positive energy in your direction! 🙂


Peacekitten, that was a post so beautiful and touching that none could doubt it came from the heart. 🙂 Well done my friend!

Allow me to add: co sign! 🙂


Great post, Peacekitten! We built the world wrong, that’s the only way to look at. Collective humanity is wearing a suit that just plain doesn’t fit it. It’s tight and cumbersome in some places, threadbare in others. The left pant leg is designed so that it scrapes against and causes calluses on the right as it brushes past it. Somehow, we need to just throw off this nightmarish outfit we’re wearing, return to our naked, real self, our Tao, perhaps, look upon all the places we went wrong, and start to live as human beings again, or perhaps for the first time.


Excellent post, PeaceKitten!

There does seem to be an almost corporate personality invading human beings, the idea of self-gratification, greed is good, disregard for the loves and difficulties of others…this is blowback from the corporate mentality and consumerism having become pervasive throughout the media and society.

Add to that, the justifiable cynicism of people who see crooks at banks just get wealthier, righteous politicians prove themselves hypocrites and deception as the norm.

There is a way out, through setting an example for what we can and should be. It’s our responsibility now, it’s up to us to change things. And electing Obama was a good start…but it’s just the beginning.


peacekitten: another great article. Just with regard to your words about treatment of animals, I will just quote from my bio at hp if that’s ok:

“The abuse of a harmless thing is the essence of sin.”
(A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)

“The question is not: can they reason? Nor: can they talk? But: can they suffer?”
(Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

I can’t really add much to the above, for me it says it all.


Hello peacekitten. Thanks for your post. It felt perfect for this Christmas eve. There is nothing more courageous than staying soft in a hard world.


Well, what is there to say? After losing everything in my life this year, this is the 1st Christmas I have ever spent alone. I miss my daughters more than words can express. My heart is just shattered and recovery may never happen for me. I am trying so very hard to keep my shit together and stand strong, but jesus…the holidays are rough.
I simply popped in to tell all of you how much you all mean to me even though we’ve never met. I have bad days and worse days and weird days. Yet, I can count on all of you for intellectual stimulation, a kind word and great Friday night music. You all mean a lot to me. Please hug your family and live in the beautiful moments. I will be thinking of all of you….Happy Holidays



I’m so sorry, and I truly feel your pain. It’s difficult, emotional, sad, and any other emotion one has the capacity to feel. I know this will sound trite, but you must, must hang in there, you must — for your girls.

Each of us has had or are having issues. The worst is thinking you’re alone; it’s a major kick in the ass. Well, regardless of how your behind feels, you’re not alone. We’re here and I know you have some of our e-mail addresses.


Thanks boomer,…really.




Hey TRP, there are indeed real people on the other end of each post or comment here. You can see from the responses, you have genuine friends here who care that you’re having to go through such a difficult time.

I hope it helps at a time like this, to know that people are thinking about you, wishing good things for you and looking forward to seeing you here and chatting with you.

Things change, sometimes it seems glacial but they do.

All the best to you!


Hey, TRP, I feel for you and of course have no answers except to say what I try to tell myself when I’ve been broken — “This too shall pass.” (It always did). Holidays really can be rough for sure. Hang in there! Sending {{hugs}} and good thoughts your way.


Someone is out there willing to give to you. Someone is out there willing to extend a hand to you. Someone is out there willing to open their heart to you. Forget your circumstance. It is times like this when your soul opens up and the spirit flies free. It will happen. They will come


Hi TRP, it’s 3 a.m. where I am. Just got home from dropping off family after midnight mass. The bishop of our area gave the homily tonight, to a packed house. He reminded us that this Christmas there are people who are losing their homes, their jobs, their health coverage and/or their families and they’re filled with confusion and anxiety. He seemed to be painfully aware of how many people there are out there, who are going through just what you’re experiencing. It was almost as though he was directing his words to your condition. There were hundreds of people in that big, gorgeous cathedral and they all offered prayers for “you” in the sense of all the people (and there are so many) who are having such a rough Christmas this year. So, if it’s any consolation, I and my family (well, except for the littlest one who slept through the whole Mass)
and a whole bunch of other people put in a big plug for you with the Big Guy…you know, the one who Tweets to AdLib on a regular basis. Hope things get better very soon.


TRP, The holidays are the hardest, I know. We are in the darkest period of the year– you, the darkest period of your life. My heart goes out to you, as does anyone’s who has ever been in such a time. Having been there myself, I know that there are no words of cheer, nothing one can say that will give you the courage you may need to believe that the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train. (It’s NOT!)

The last time I was in a place like yours, I had a very dear friend who used to come over to my house with books of poetry. She did nothing more than sit with me as we read together. We thumbed through the books, randomly picking poems we liked.

Since I can’t be there with you, here’s one of my favorites, by Billy Collins:


You are the bread and the knife,
The crystal
goblet and the wine…
-Jacques Crickillon

You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general’s head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman’s tea cup.
But don’t worry, I’m not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and–somehow–the wine.

Anonymous submission.


Good morning, TRP! Your post actually brought me to tears. There is much deep feeling between those lines you wrote. When we suffer a great loss, there are no words that anyone can say to make things better. All we can do is to give moral support.

The day before Christmas, my sister was dying in an ICU many miles away from me. I was devastated and miserable, unable to go to her and unable to do anything to help. The moral support and wonderful words of encouragement from the people here at PPOV meant the world to me. These people, and I don’t even know their names, have been with me over the past several days with an unlimited supply of compassion and support that has been invaluable in my getting through a holiday that is not easy for many of us under normal circumstances.

We are there for you, if only from our keyboards. You are definitely among friends! Lean on us and hang in there!


Everyone. As I’ve mentioned so many times before, you all have helped me see things from other perspectives and from knowing, understanding eyes. I do want so very much to think that I have some purpose left in my life…I just can’t see it. I struggle for clarity, direction and hope by the hour. I can think of nothing but my girls. I know that if I can just find work somewhere in these times to afford a place to live, I think I could begin to piece the 2nd half of my life together. Jesus, I feel like the biggest loser on earth. How did I get here? The worst part is feeling as though there is no place for me in the future. I feel like the world has passed me by. There are long stretches where it truly feels like I am dead, yet I keep going through the motions of the living. Empty.
All of your words rattle in my head and I love you all for them. I have lived a very strange, wonderful life until now. I’ve lived more, seen more, loved harder and have filled my soul with lifetimes of incredible moments that few ever have the chance to experience in 3 lives. All of this I know and am so very thankful for. I’ve always been able to see the way ahead even if the skies were dark and murky…this time I see nothing. At the end of everything I am just a photographer and a poet…not much call for my kind anymore. I’m a ghost in time. You all are my tether to this place and what little hope I have. You all are my greatest gift. Knowing you are out there in the ether sending me best wishes helps me find some direction.


TRP.please keep doing what you did today. Please keep logging on, staying in contact, reporting how you’re doing. Even if you’re tempted to drop out or pull away, don’t do it. (Do you know how many people here will freak if you vanish from our cyber-radar screens? I hope that fact in itself is comforting.)
Keep reminding yourself that the way to get your girls back is to simply, consistently stay in this world for them and to work your way through this dark hour. A friend once told me that there are some situations that can only be “gotten past” by walking right through them. There’s no way over, under or around them. “The only was past it, is through it.”

What you describe seems to be what some have called a “desert experience” or “dark night of the soul.” Hard as it is to believe, what often seems to follow is a period of tremendous growth and insight. But all that’s apparent now is confusion, self-doubt and a sort of loss of equilibrium. Everything that seemed certain and even comforting before is suddenly in question. Nothing is left but endless questions and the painful process of having to find all new answers for them. It’s a process (I can tell you from experience) that is at times actually worse than enduring physical pain.
And it’s hard to believe that it’s going to pass and you’ll have survived it. Amazingly, it does and you will. You’ll emerge from all this a different person. A better person, if you are open to letting this process work on you. (Unfortunately, the process seems to feel like being worked on with a hammer and chisel!)
But I’m running on and on…
The bottom line is: stay with the Planet, please. Focus on the new year. 2010 is on its way in; the dreadful (for many) 2009 is on the wane. Celebrate the beginning of the rest of your life with friends.


That was just perfect, Kes. I have nothing more to say–just perfect, for me anyway. Thank you.


Cher, to you and PK and e’cat, my thanks in return. You’re part of the circle of community here…such an important part.


Well said, Kes.


TRP, please take Kesmarn’s words to heart! He speaks for all of us here!

These wonderful people just gave me encouragement to get through my own “dark night” when facing the loss of my sister on Christmas. I felt their love and caring and it has been immeasurable comfort to me. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like this in the many years I’ve been on line.

You’re a poet? How about posting some of your work? I know that others would love to read it. Also your photographs.

And I would take issue with you about there not being a need for your art anymore. Quite to the contrary, my friend! Our poets are our most important chroniclers of our times. Please consider posting some of your poems! I would be willing to bet that there is more than one PlanetPerson who would love it too!

Consider it, won’t you?


TRP– Write!



Welcome to the Planet! This is really fun…so many familiar folks popping in with special posts. Merry, merry and happy, happy. You are another favorite of mine from “across the street.”



Nice and thoughtful post, peacekitten.
Something that I noticed today, there has not been a peep about the Senate voting to raise the debt ceiling for the government. The vote was that “magical” number 60 to 39! Can anyone imagine what devastation it would be if the U.S defaulted on it’s debts? Talk about a world wide depression!!! Yet, the Rethugs, every last one, voted against it. These “people” have less sense and compassion as a toad stool. More than 35% wold be out of a job and on the streets. What is the sense in this? This may be a bit O/T, but I can’t figure this out. How many homeless do they want?


In short, we need knights of virtue to police the land.

Seriously, ultimate power corrupts ultimately. At this point, we are so corrupt we can’t even see how we are eating ourselves alive. Only a cleansing can cure this disease. How that will manifest itself…who knows. Most likely a massive environmental disaster.

I wish I had optimism, but history shows that any optimism is poorly placed when it comes to large civilizations. Only a cleansing can do what needs to be done.

All of this technology and we still have the Roman senate. How sad.


What a wonderful post PK. I hope you have a merry healthy day tomorrow!