I woke up this morning to the cry of a screech owl. They have such a distinct, baffling call. It was dark out, and a mist covers the morning, so when I hear the whinnying, yes, a shrill whinny coming from the trees, I picture a miniature flying horse. He’s been my alarm clock a number of days this summer, making all kinds of racket before the sun comes up. I don’t have a rooster, I have a screech owl. It’s not a terrible way to greet the morning. The bird flies off and the crickets take over, chirping and strumming their little legs like cellos and banjos.
Before waking up, I dreamt of a house full of people. Everyone was working. It went from work to a meeting. I kept getting critiqued for my DIY style and non-professionalism, but it wasn’t harsh or lasting. I think the critics realized that’s exactly what gives my work character. I split with the gathering, and walked with a couple co-workers along a concrete pier into a large expanse of earth and nowhere. The scenery, quite fantastic & Dalian, distracted us. After turning a corner into a completely different dream, I fell into a creek. I thought it must have been a mirage, this new dream, but when I looked back to see where I came from, the old dream was gone. The only thing that looked familiar was right where I stood. All around me, a beautiful ever-changing scattering of matrices.
I rolled off my couch where I often sleep, and stretched and breathed under the burn of incense. My grandfather always poked fun at my sleeping habits. Whenever I slept at his house, I chose the couch instead of a bed. He thought this was ludicrous. He always gave me a little kick too whenever I fell asleep on his floor. He grew up in a generation when naps were lazy. What can I say, I’m a cat.
As I sit and breathe and continue to wake up, memories from Planned Parenthood start rising up. The first time I went into one was in Center City. I was re-hanging the poster art, calendars, and medical charts after a paint job and doing touch up work on the walls. I remember the place was so drab and clinical. Machines and swivel chairs, white walls and desks. It was so normal. It made no sense to me this was a place for health.
It occurred to me, what a sharp contrast it was to my own view of life and well-being. From the time I smoked my first bowl, my body started rejecting things like fast food and meat. It wasn’t out of angry rebellion, I simply didn’t want it. I didn’t want to work in an office, I didn’t want to find myself in mechanistic, tiny boxes. I didn’t like white walls. I found it all boring, gross, and full of poison. As I grew older, I started seeing my health in terms of spirit. I always imagined a good doctor’s office would be a shaman’s hut, filled with bones and feathers and dried herbs, crafted leather and carved sticks. Spirit materials found around the house or gifted by nature and life. That’s how I imagine it.
Now, just to clear things up, I understand the chemical implications of the physical world, how it is part and parcel to our well-being. I am not rejecting the reality of human sciences. In fact, I find it fascinating what vitamins, exercise, herbs, and food can do for the inner-workings of the mind and body. Furthermore, I understand that Planned Parenthood provides very real life services for people. I’m not about to ask their facilities to go through a burning transformation into the world of witch doctors. What I am interested in, is what Planned Parenthood would look like if it expanded itself from where it is now. In other words, I’m curious what it would look like if they linked up with, let’s say, the marijuana field, all the research that is going on there, all the money that is being generated by that business, all the boost marijuana gives to the imagination. How would our health change? Like I said, it’s a stretch, and really just an exercise in brainstorming, but the thing is, Planned Parenthood has been put in a position where creativity may be necessary, whether it be through striking and protesting, or finding other sources of funding.
What’s more, and I’ll say it time and again, the government needs to quit behaving in such an authoritarian way. Your job should not be self-stylized with concern to religion and belief. Just because you made it to Congress, doesn’t make you all that much different than Kim Davis. You are a civil servant. Do your job. Workers of the government have a duty to serve people, all people, not just the ones who fall within their realm of fantasy.