Don’t judge me until you know the whole story. If you knew the whole story, you wouldn’t judge me.
On life and beauty, I know shit you don’t. Chronic physical pain permits perspective you lack (Ankylosing Spondylitis is a life sentence – incurable, unyielding). As does having survived myriad childhood traumas the extremes of which you’d register and file as fiction (as any citizen would when presented with the unfathomable – I never had that option). If I peddled my pedigree, there’d be pity from thee. But the pity is mine to have – these experiences have indeed burdened me with awareness, an almost supernatural ability to see through pretense, view people and situations the way they really are.
I see hypocrisy crisply, catch calumny with crystal clarity, denote denial dexterously, spot sorrow instinctively. But I also see and appreciate beauty in a way civilians do not – can not.
See, I am a small sliver of the pie – a paltry contingent of the populace witnessed combat before being able to spell CAT. Tiny eyes took in dad committing atrocities some soldiers never see. No, you couldn’t imagine – the worst nightmare you ever had doesn’t compare to my reality (I also know violence doesn’t happen in cinematic slo-mo; it happens as if sped up – a fraction of a millisecond, and one’s life, and the lives of all involved, as well as the lives of all those who are or will later become involved with those who were involved, are altered for all time).
Don’t judge me until you know the whole story. If you knew the whole story, you wouldn’t judge me.
The lessons:
Cut through pretense. Cultivate beauty. Discourage denial. Protect and nurture the children around and inside you. Be kind and generous and gentle and loving. Expect nothing in return. Don’t shop at Walmart, eat McDonald’s, or watch ‘the news’. Speak out when witnessing injustice. Social media is not enough. The political is the personal. Politeness is for privileged white people at cocktail parties. We’re here to live, not to be polite. See the bigger picture. Spread truth. Use every venue to do so, from fakebook to courtroom to street corner. Silence absolutely equals suffering and death, and is not part of the problem, but The Problem Itself. See the bigger picture. There is always a bigger picture. Intimacy is everything. Intimacy is everything. Intimacy is everything. Keep awake. Keep awake.
Biggest lesson: See the bigger picture – keep the widest perspective. With that, the rest falls into place.
Make this your smelling salt.
I could go on, but it would be to myself – 99.99% of you moved on to the next newsfeed item before reading the third sentence. Those of you still here, text me hello, and tell me how you’re feeling.


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