Arriving downtown San Francisco on Bart is concrete, metal and glass.
Below was taken across the street from the TransAmerica building from the sidewalk; glass, fabric and human effort on display.
I went away and came back
No one cared.
Someone missed me,
But no one cared.
I ate, washed my bowl
It took the shørter man two rounds of lights to get across the street and the taller man blocked the traffic so that he could have enough time to get across. The guy in the green and white truck was not pleased with the situation resulting in his having to wait two rounds of lights to get through the intersection. San Francisco Tenderloin district, November, 2015.
it was on a December 9th, the snow was falling, Darma sat, neither waiting nor not waiting, Hui’ko stood outside neither patient nor impatient. Finally the snow reached his knees and Darma sat neither waiting nor not waiting—for him there was no difference between the two
Hui’ko became impatient and cut off his arm.
Daruma asked“What is it you want?”
Hui’ko said “My mind is so confused and unfocused.”
Daruma said “Show me this confused, unfocused mind.”
Hui’ko said “I cannot separate it from who I am.”
Daruma said “mind-no mind is discrimination.”
Following her operation and eight weeks of rehab Mom moved into the second memory care residence and for 18 months, our lives were routine, uneventful and busy. We saw her everyday for lunch, Sunday eat out and excursions, doctor’s appointments and a couple of trips to the ER, visits to our house and walks, etc., during which time mom seemed to be both physically and emotionally stable, sometimes happy, sometimes angry, Of course keep in mind that a memory care resident is a person who no longer has cognitive ability and legally cannot make important decisions. Mom had memory loss from a stroke, suffered expressive aphasia and did not always understand how things were related nor could she be verbally articulate. Often it was difficult to understand her talking, words she used may sound non existent or if the words sounded right they did not make sense in the sentence. And, sometimes she would talk about things that did not happen as if they happened.
She wakes in the morning, someone helps here get washed and dressed, goes out to eat, eats, goes back to room, lies on bed, gets up and walks around, perhaps staff come and get her out for an activity, lunch either my wife or I were there, a walk, or sit and talk, and on and on.
This is not what we believe makes up a “life Well Lived.” When we appreciate this person cannot have this “life Well Lived” and part of that is they have lost the ability to control their behavior and to us their life seems pointless. They cannot leave the building, have no say in what, or when, they eat— cannot have a desire and act on it. Rise in the morning, eat, walk around or sit or sleep or perhaps interact with the staff and on and on.
Its an existentialist perspective—What is the meaning of human existence,? and the individual must (be able to) create value by affirming it and living it. If you are unable to do this you cannot experience a “life well lived” and in the case of dementia. there is nothing you or anyone else can do to change that you will live in this condition until you die. If you cannot affirm and live your own life what is purpose of being alive? One is just passing existence dong the same things over and over until death.
Could not we spend this money for those with a life to live who need medical care help? I am sure there are plenty of arguments for even more noble causes than an elder person suffering dementia just because they were fortunate to live beyond their ability to function in a manner which is a “life Well Lived .” It seems like “Waiting for Godot.”
We do have laws clearly defining behavior as regards this matter and quite frankly I am glad we have these laws because its a deep philosophical question with no answer and they serve as a dead end/turn around street sign where I do not have conundrum of nor the responsibility for making the decision.
Doesn’t just being able to see, smell, touch, taste, hear with our body qualify one to a Life Well Lived? Or is the functioning ability to make decisions and affirm one’s life necessary?
Concerning mom, we just had faith that what we were doing was the best we could do for her and it was good for her because it met our standards and we had faith in the quality of our standards. We were never looking to “cure her,” nor show her the best time of her life, but rather to be there on a regular basis, doing everyday things on a regular schedule. Personally every day I tried to have one experience which we could share the same meaning together. Looking at her photograph albums, seeing flowers on a walk at Shin Farm,window shopping at a jewelry store, eating California crepes, sharing an orange sent by my sister or being a guest at dinner party with our with our friends.
There are always important questions with no answer and not finding an answer is not a reason for not trying to do something.
I don’t usually put someone else’s work up here, perhaps its stealing? or violating © law, but I am not making money from this nor pretending its mine, I just found this very profound in the darkness of self righteous ”political activists” and a thoughtful reflection on their place and their “accomplishments” in history. When growing up I used to read Pogo, Peanuts and the single box comic Out Our Way. Later I read For Better or Worse, although I stopped when they a started repeating the earlier strips. Now I read Luann.
I don”t know why. except here it seems to me to be a insightful statement about how people see the present and how the future sees chart same past. Personally and with my Sociology I tend to see changes in society and people’s intentional behavior as unrelated and pretty mush I agree with Marx that changes in societies are more a result of changes in the material world and the responses of people rather than the well intentions of a small group of “moral elites,” otherwise known as “activists.”
If global warming is real and has a strong negative effect, in 100 years from now there will be a groups who vilify automobiles makers, and there will be a list of the names of people deemed “evil” based on state automobile registration records and their descendants will be denounced as causing the problem and be held financially responsible by the “self righteous politically correct.”
My own (visual) thought today—more light misconverswayshuns with my dark side…an self image of my shadow with camera on the hood of a car.