Poem: Throughout the ages, the darkest of times


Throughout the ages, the darkest of times

horrors and horrors, agonies of lives,

moments of terror, fright and despair,

nobody’s listening, nobody hears.


It’s all a big gathering of inflated lies,

Showing off the shiny side, to the looking eyes,

turn this way, turn that way, show it all off,

maybe they won’t notice the other side at all.


If they see the sparkly glitter, they won’t see the glue

the sticky fragile dots scattered all over you,

holding it all together, the broken bits and pieces,

the shattered existence, sharp edges never decreases.


You may think the underside can never be exposed

yet the mosaic of color is not all that they know,

Your pottery is brown, the earth from whence you come

the being, your essence, has now come undone.


So distant are you from your cloak now,

you see yourself no longer,

So far away is your body casing,

Your feelings wandered, you are wasting.


There from afar, you see their piercing gaze

they check to see you through the filth, the haze

they wonder if that is you, or only the shadow left behind,

they realize you are gone, you have lost your mind.


What is left is only your mark, your imprint, your design,

the only investment in the life and your time,

without you there, they are free to see it on its face,

ponder, to question, or simply erase.


Just let it be, let them do, let them work,

it is of no relevance to you for sure,

They are only from the world that once was,

you are in a better place, time for applause.

The System of Developmental Aging as a Non-Continuum

What if we have been calculating years incorrectly all this time, and we aren’t really aging as predictably as we thought we were? My latest wonder is about time as a continuum of a system that is not defined by predictable timespaces. Meadows claims that “there’s not much we can do about it, because four-year-olds become five-year-olds, and sixty-four-year-olds become sixty-five-year olds predictably and unstoppably” (p. 151)

Yes, we all ‘know’ that years are only a measure of trips around the sun. But what if the gravitational pull of one’s household dysfunction alters their trip around their own developmental sun? What if a person’s brain is their sun, and their family life is where they spend their time circling around their sun? What if hurdles and gifts in our life path are the “fluctuations or expansions that strain” like bottlenecks for a river stream? (p. 151) What if these stock-and-flow structures define the capacity of our physical time in years as leverage points in our system?

Yet self-organization “requires freedom and experimentation, and a certain amount of disorder” (p. 80). So then, are these leverage points in our development a predictable need for our trip around our developmental sun? But, if “system leverage points are points of power” (p. 145) to the right or wrong directions, then how can we grow up in these punishing circumstances and find a balance?


Meadows, D. H. (2008). Thinking in systems: A primer. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Company.

Classically Trained Robots

I am very disturbed by a Facebook ad that popped up on my page:

Lucy Moses School – Do you want your kid to play a musical instrument? Come Discover them all on W 67th St!

I am so disturbed by this. What do you mean, “want your kid to play a musical instrument”… Music has nothing to do with kids who are forced to play because their parents want to show off. Music is about expression. Bring the instruments home, and encourage your children to convey a message through their music. Formal instruction creates tonal robots.

Of course, classical training liberates you in a way where you then know how to rise to new levels. However, if you remain in that sctrict environment for too long, you will lose your inspiration for free improvisation. Do you want your children to grow up sounding like rigid robotic music machines, or do you want them to be able to sit with a group of people who bring their voices and their instruments together, and have no expectations? Those are the most beautiful and inspirational moments in a person’s life. Just ask any improv artist.

Music is a primary language. Don’t take that away.

Here’s a track of totally unscripted, unplanned improv, where I sat down to the piano and had no expectations.

Notice how everyone just came together to express pure soul, without any talking, winking, nodding, or ‘what key is  that in’.  Now, that’s what I call music! Enjoy this track, and please feel free to post comments below. I’d love to embrace your opinion, if you can justify it.

Violin credit: Todd Rogers

Cello credit: Jeffrey Mehr

Perfect Pitch – Pros & Cons

Singing in chorus with perfect pitch, is like doing a paint-by-number, where only you can see the lines. People watch you and exclaim, “wow”, but you can’t understand what the wow is about. However, trying to read sheet music while playing it on the piano at the same time, is like reading Japanese with your eyes, but speaking the translation in English, out loud, on the fly. Without practice. However, if you fumble at first and go back to the beginning to do it again, you find yourself not looking at the Japanese words really, but reciting the English version from memory.

Some people are just not meant to be molded into the rigors of an antiquated teaching system. Those with perfect pitch are usually the ones who come to that realization after falling through the cracks.

Don’t teach me. I’m done trying to learn your way. Stop telling the blind man to “try harder, you can learn to see better”.

Here’s my Youtube channel of my piano playing. 
Good-bye sheet music!

Pondering Existence

I don’t question the existence
of an omnipotent God, I don’t.
I believe there is a higher force
that has created us, me.
Has created the essence of life,
and the surroundings of the world
to serve the human existence.
I believe.

However, I question if God’s essence
is to create,
rather than micromanage.

Is there a gap
between creation and judgment?

Is all that happens in between,
a mere force of nature?
Self determination?

Does God plunk us down here
and wait for us to pass through,
and then judge us
on our temporary trip through His world?

If yes, is this a cruel joke?
Or does it have a higher purpose?

Are we dropped onto this chess board
from high up above,
where God has
a birds-eye view?
That’s not fair,
because He can see the whole picture!

We can only see the playing pieces around us.
So are we, mortal humans,
merely supposed to pick up
where He left us off,
and blindly pick our next step?

Well, I am not going to take this lying down.

There has to be a direction.

So, then, all the pretty things on this world
are to serve as reminders of something
so beautiful and immense,
to remind us that we should reach higher
to see wider?

But when it is each to itself,
it is hard.
It is difficult.
Who is supposed to raise me on their shoulders, high,
so I can see past the horizon?

Who is there as a liaison, between top, and bottom.
It’s not a human.

It’s Music.
Because it is the language of the
wiser, older, and previous souls.
It transcends.
It can make us float when the song carries us.
We can see.
We can feel.
But do we connect?
Can it last after the crescendo,
after the final note?
It doesn’t.
So must we shut it all out
and drown ourselves
in the neverness
and nothingness
and alwaysness
of eternal song?

Can the world tolerate that?
They seek to distract us
with the dirty, the secular, the ugly.
Work. Labor.
Continuity of human life, they say.
But that does pull one away from life.
What a contradiction.

How is a balance formed?
Can there even be a balance?
Can ugly paycheck jobs and dead end marriages
be a balance with uplifting beauty,
to bridge the gap
between the mundane and the eternal?
I doubt it.

I think that the humans just pretend.
A widespread fanatic belief,
training their minds to believe in what they want to believe in.
Because it is convenient
It works for most.
It answers their immediates.

Can they foresee more?
They can’t,
or it would be evident in their ways.

They would live a life as a tourist,
taking it all in.
While it lasts.
Learning the history,
dissecting and treasuring the details.

Because those are clues.
Clues for the future.
Everything that will be
has taken root in the past.
So strive to understand it.
Don’t just walk through it
like a stranded villager
trudging through the muck

to get to dry land.

That is not your purpose in this temporary passageway of this life.

Raw Unfiltered Agony

The desperation, the pain, the humiliation, the guilt
The agony, the loneliness. The fears.
It’s a filthy faded ruined ambrosia
of once-colorful, now rotten.

Tampered, tarnished.
Spoils of war.
I look at my children.
It’s like picking through the carcass
after an attack of a giant predator
hunting for meat on their bones
for some life left in their souls.

There is nothing
there is emptiness.
It’s programmed robots
wandering. Lifeless. Hopeless.
They no longer have the energy
to extend a finger, to reach out
to hope. To pray, to wish, to dream.
Operating on empty
shattered dreams.

Oh to set one’s guilt free
to tell the world of the misery
to share the details of this all time low
to sink into a pit, and feel okay there.
Not to worry about what the grapevine will hear
the terror of wondering, if they will even care.

How can you recoup the losses of this life
if over 30 years were spent full of strife
how does one elevate their thoughts
into positive directions, in this emotional drought.
This cesspool of irrational, of corruption
humans behaving like ignorant primates
alpha males domineering, even if they are females
controlling, power hungry, flesh eating horrors.

Abusive, button-pushers who stop at nothing
won’t yield if their dignity is at stake
will not be squeamish at the sight of your blood boiling.

For it is your blood, and not theirs.
It only validates how effective they have been,
and use it as a measure on how to continue.
Reactions only cause more pain, more earned hate.
Why bother, if silence treats you so well.

Don’t share, don’t care, don’t.
So that they won’t.
So they know not how to prepare
how to arm themselves against you
and use your ills in the highest level of warfare.

Simmer, then turn down the flame.
Throw away the key, let them hate.
They will hate anyway
dammed if you do… and if you don’t.
Don’t bother. It’s human noise, wipe it out.
They are the strangers in this foreign land.
They will never, can never. Understand.

They will never lend a hand
they never have.
They only hurt, because that is their language
they do not speak compassion. That to them, is strange.
They do not understand gentle kindness
tender pathways to emotions.
They do not understand that feelings have a sweet song
a visual to accompany it, oh so strong.
If only they can see it synthesise, without explanation
if only they can feel it, without me bringing a delegation.

It does not exist. Must not hope any longer.
Must not reveal.
For it gets logged, compartmentalized, only to be pulled back
taught, like the arrow on a bow.
To be shot back at you,
boomeranged with a scientific force
a science that I will never master.
With intensity, like they will never master me.
To bridge this divide is no longer possible.
I know. Because I’ve tried.

Most days I wonder, if I succeeded too well
if I tried too hard
and freaked them out with my learned skill
my acquired knowledge.
The guts I shouldn’t have adorned myself with.
And that they feel squeamish.
And that’s how they then behave.

Maybe. Maybe I will be the loneliest discarded piece of pie
that every existed in this messed up world.

Autism-Vaccine Link

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Autism-Vaccine Link

Written on 25 September 2010, for:
The International Center For Autism Research and Education

The autism-vaccine debate has triggered a national following from a highly emotional group of people around the globe. These are parents of children diagnosed with autism. All of these parents are dead set to prove that their children’s autism was caused, triggered, or exacerbated by a combination of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine plus other shots, usually given at around 18 months of age.

But science is out to prove them wrong.  Science years ago reached the conclusion that there’s no connection, but on August 26, 2010 the Federal Appeals Court threw out the claim, saying that no link has been scientifically proven.  More than 5,500 families sought compensation through the government’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, leading to disappointments and frustration as a result of this ruling.

As a mother of two children already diagnosed with Autism, I have been sharing my story with people, hoping to help science reach a conclusion. The first child was vaccinated, the second child wasn’t. There, now you have a case study right in my family.

I do strongly believe though that because of the brain-gut connection, these children have a weakened digestive system which impacts their autoimmune response to chemicals and even food. Add vaccines on the typically recommended schedule by the CDC and yes, you will get a response from a child with an underlying condition. But autism is there from birth, you will simply see it popping out following the vaccines.

Worry about a vaccine link first arose in 1998 when a British physician, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, published a medical journal article linking a particular type of autism and bowel disease to the measles vaccine. The study was soon discredited, and British medical authorities now are investigating professional misconduct charges against Wakefield.

Then came questions about thimerosal, a preservative that manufacturers began removing from all vaccines given to infants in 2001. Today it is present only in certain formulations of the flu shot.

Immunizing on an alternative schedule or delaying vaccinations until a child is closer to school age is still highly recommended for those with concerns.  Federal law requires doctors to discuss the benefits and risks of any immunization before administering it, so your doctor should be willing to address your questions.

Currently, formerly eradicated diseases are returning to haunt us and a whole new generation of unvaccinated children are entering the school systems. It is still highly recommended to vaccinate children.  A modified or “spaced out” schedule offers peace of mind for those who are worried about shocking the system with a load of vaccines.

Recommended Reading:

  1. A Parents’ Guide to Managing Vaccinations: What to do if You Don’t Want Your Child to Get 8 Vaccines at Once? Written by Ricky Goldstein
  2. Making the Connection: Autism and Immunology Written by Sonia Mehta

Notes & Neurons

Is our response to music hard-wired or culturally determined? Is the reaction to rhythm and melody universal or influenced by environment? Join host John Schaefer, scientist Daniel Levitin and musical artist Bobby McFerrin for live performances and cross cultural demonstrations to illustrate musics note-worthy interaction with the brain and our emotions.

This segment features an impressive display of improvisational harmony from Bobby McFerrin.

This event took place on June 12, 2009 in the Gerald Lynch Theater at the City University of New York. This is the first of ten segments.