Americaphiles

The Story Of My Fucking Life

One

Posted by ilbebe on December 15, 2008

1. At the age of twenty-seven, I realized that one of the bedrock components of my character was that I was an Americaphile; a person in love with a foreign country that happened to be the country I was born in, a country I had been instilled with a fierce love of in my childhood, a love that had faded away and nearly died as my country let me down time after time. The Major League Baseball Strike of 1994. The fact that I didn’t hear that Mother Theresa had died until the first anniversary of her death because the US media had concentrated so much on the concurrent death of Princess Diana to the point of near-total exclusion of the other, more significant news.

A saint died and I didn’t hear about it for a year. In that year, I considered killing myself a couple of times. What if I had heard that Mother Theresa had passed on from the Holy woman herself, when we met in ethereal realms?

It took me years to realize that I was passionately in love with not an era, but a different country, and country that had been becoming increasingly foreign to me ever since Ronald Reagan had been sworn in for the first time, forty-seven days before I was born. I longed for my youth in New Hampshire, when I could eat apples from the trees in the fall and go sledding in the winter. I would sit with my mother in a Methodist church in Warner while we waited for her WIC coupons and I was bored to tears. I only came to understand years later that we had to wait for that WIC support, because without it, my three sisters, or my parents, or myself, would have gone hungry.

I hit four home runs in the baseball season that occurred during the spring of my fourth-grade year, the same year that I first had a teacher, Mrs. Ritscher, that truly made me feel like I was special, and could achieve anything I put my mind to. My best friend lived a half-mile away and we would play in the creek behind his house and exasperate our parents by hiding when it was time for one of us to go home. I was ecstatic when my Dad quit his job or got laid off, because that meant he would be home more often and we could play, and he still loved my mother.

My parents were still in love. Do you realize how much that means?

We moved to California in the summer of 1991. I haven’t hit a home run since. In February of 2007, I thought I wanted to kill myself and spent a night under 5150 observation in a mental hospital in Fremont, California. It got that bad before the angels came around and I realized that natural law will not tolerate defiance of the covenant. We will never know what has hit us if we reach the point of no return with our mother earth. If the sun rises in the morning, it is evidence that we are not out of time to make right with each other. Fellow Americans, all people and all things the world over; the animals, the plant life, the rocks and the water, the sky and the bones of our ancestors. I recalled the principle of Tikkun Olam, the Hebrew ideal that the purpose of our lives is to participate in the rehabilitation of the Earth.

There is no Old Man in the Sky, and there is no heaven nor hell except those we create in our hearts and minds when we defy our obligations to ourselves and others to move towards peace and understanding and a greater love. There is no reason to keep feeling ashamed and guilty of our American birthright. There is time, all the time that yet exists.

It starts now-

Now…

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