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shadowknows69's Journal
Posted by shadowknows69 in General Discussion
Sat Aug 13th 2011, 12:51 PM
"Wow. I was a prolific son-of-a-bitch when I had nothing better to do."
-shadowknows69

Let me tell you a story of a lost soul. One lost to shadow and malaise and all the general nastiness that occurs when idle hands allows the devil to play. Let me tell you of an awakening and an exodus. Even, should you lend me your ear in the coming days, weeks or months, a story of how fire was stolen from the Gods and poor Prometheus had his liver torn out while chained to a rock for all his troubles. Let me tell you a tale of true love, at least as it should be according to the fairy tales. Let me tell you of freedom from addiction and how that is the true freedom that isn't free because you must pay the cost of daily diligence to maintain it. Finally, let me tell you of dreams. A tale of focusing on making the world better one person at a time instead of raging against imponderables and unconquerables and actually attempting to be that change. Starting with the self.

I am shadowknows69 and I used to hang round these parts for a spell. If you wish to know the lives I've lived since then. Let me know. I've a tale or two to tell. I doubt my political passion will please you fine people as it might have in the past. Instead I wish to make a name again, a monument if you will. A testament to last.

Ask me anything or ask me nothing or look in my journal to see where I've been. I'm different now and yet the same. It's time to begin again.

So out from the underground I emerged and the sun on my skin felt quite fine. So I believe I'll stay and bask here a while. Come along with me if you have the time.
-S
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Posted by shadowknows69 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Feb 10th 2010, 11:05 AM
To those who fret, I am stronger than you know
Fire within me burning
Finally beginning to grow
A need to regain control
Of self, identity and purpose
Though the road be long and slow

Not in this land, so cursed and empty for me
Back to the path of the scholar
If that’s what the fates will for me.

Back busted but will of stone
Through penance of good works
I will, for past sins, atone.

Heart broken, but resolve unwavering
The only answers are in a distant space
Of mind, environment and spirits
To again know others
I must first relearn my own face

Mind broken, but focused on the now
With eyes to goals, the truth and the sky
I’ll not let this gloom have me one more day
Respect, trust and support my journeys
Or simply get out of my way

If no one else I have my faith.
Wind and spirits at my back
If the Gods don’t call me to death
You shall see the mark I make
Healer, teacher, writer, or leader
Underestimate me at your shame.
-S
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Posted by shadowknows69 in The DU Lounge
Tue Feb 09th 2010, 11:24 AM
New moon; silent; unseen
Deconstruct the past and open us
Refill us as you wax to full
Beginning a fresh cycle
As it is with all things
As above, so below.
Make room for positive energies to grow.
Not a time of woe
But necessary change for renewal

Bring us a moon of strength and love
Faith in ourselves
Wings to rise above
Wisdom to learn the truth
Truth as wind at our backs
Pushing to new horizons
Both dim and radiant
With a determined, but thoughtful shove

Bring us a mad moon
The hunt, the smell of night
Fleeing the imminent light
A reason to howl and feast
Or go a little mad ourselves at least

Give us a comforting moon
To ease light left behind
Illuminate us again in your glow
Showing us all the proper road
Repaying the return of light to the night
By learning what we need to know

New moon in dark and silent sky
Short and lonely your time on high
Darkness soon to be split by light
By a gleaming crescent
The beginning of a circle
The time to rebuild
Goddess be our guide
From Earth to Heaven’s ears and eyes
We ask your New moon to be kind
And start us on the road ahead
And the paths we need to find.
-S
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Posted by shadowknows69 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Jan 30th 2010, 02:39 PM
Really like to know how DU breaks down on this one.

ETA: Thank you Scarletwoman. To clarify when I say "Use" I meant to imply as a first strike weapon or a deterrent. The existing "propaganda" is that they intend to use it. It was too ambiguous and not enough space in the header to write it that way.
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Posted by shadowknows69 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Jan 23rd 2010, 07:20 PM
Obsidian hearts
Born of rock and fire
What tracks do you leave?
By following your desires?

Flames fanned from ages unknown
Forged in the passion
Gaia tends the flames
Speaking to her children
By words like smoky whispers
If you listen she may call your name

Smoldering signals unseen or plainly viewed
Embers blown by the winds
Some burn away; others still float lost
Those that travel true find new fuel
And the fires light anew

Let the smoke rise to the spirits
Obsidian hearts are burning
Dark in appearance and cold to the mundane
But holding reactions barely contained
Explosive souls only stable together
Connections deeper than forever

The heat melts the world around
Obsidian hearts erupting
Gaia’s sacred glow grows, enveloping all
Laying waste to reason
And yet lighting the way
To destinies unachieved
And dreams never before believed

To bring fire to the frozen
To find the fuel for the flame
Prometheus had one
Obsidian hearts
Not often wanted by the owners
But it’s often by fate they are chosen
-S
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Posted by shadowknows69 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Jan 17th 2010, 09:34 AM
My home is nothing but blood and rubble
Streets strewn with madness and sorrow
Wandering souls amid living rabble
Survivors left with doubtful tomorrows

“Where were you from my brother?
Weren’t you from just down the road?
I see Lady Earth has also claimed your daughter
Wish you a companion as you two go?”

“Join me my brother,
Good company we’ll be.
Though our path I can’t yet see.”

“Perhaps to market we should wander?”
Said another soul as she approached.
“My daddy has been that way” said the child
“A lot of folks are there, but no more sellers”

Another group approached and confirmed,
“Yes, only the ones who look through us now
They all seem so sad, in pain and looking
But not for what we are, I think, somehow.”

“Then join us my friends” said the father to the rest
“Perhaps we can find our way together.
Perhaps to the sea”
He looked to a smoky horizon
“There seems to be something tugging at me”

The wandering souls plodded on
Gathering thousands on their way
Some confused, many angry, many accepting
Toward old homes and family they would roam
Finding the same each time it was done

The world was destroyed.
All they ever knew.
But the road was becoming lighter
With every stray man, woman and child
And every trip to things now left behind

The wandering souls walked with heavy hearts
As they realized why their party grew
The ones who looked through them mourned their loss
Not knowing they were with friends
The wandering souls had the easy part.

Many know each other from before
And some will find loved ones waiting on the shore
When they finally reach the peaceful waters
Of a luminous sea at the end of their paths
However long the journey may take
Pray they need to wander it no more.
-S
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Posted by shadowknows69 in The DU Lounge
Tue Jan 12th 2010, 10:53 AM
Frankly my only hope is a program called VESID-Vocational/Educational Services for Individuals With Disabilities, and I have an appointment today to find out more about them.
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Posted by shadowknows69 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Jan 08th 2010, 12:36 AM
Hearken to me children if your ears take the dare
Gather and listen to the Prophecies of Asu.
That is my name and my tale now begins;
Please, take a chair.


I bring you no tale of happy new years
Instead a story to bring about fear
Freedom’s perilous dance now a pirouette
Dangerous cycles continue, no change as of yet

Government all but usurped by greed
Feeding the Lords’ never sated needs
Walking on bones beneath their golden feet
Those who fought for their wealth broken
Sleeping homeless on miserable streets

The Kings of Freedom have merged
Unholy alliances made. No ticket to the club
Unless you can buy, kill or cheat your way in
There’s the rub

The rest will be left to fight for scraps
My children will eat each other to live
Survival of the fittest between the least fit
And Kings sitting on high with everything to give

But the downtrodden will arise.
When there’s no hate left for themselves
Eyes will turn to shining castles
And other palaces the Kings may dwell

Three choices will befall us on that day
Stand, be slaves or die
When left no other choice or way
People will find their own flag to fly

Wiser heads can still prevail
Or, I fear, only blood and fire
If they learn that all wealth will pale
Compared to a desperate people’s ire

When Freedom looks like feudalism my end is near
The monarchy expelled by patriots has returned
Not just a single Lord writing our fate
But a conglomerate of Kings
Buying our loyalty with deceit and fear
You, the people, heed these lessons you’ve learned
Or, I fear, for Freedom, the years are growing late

I am Asu; I tell only what I see
A possible future or one that will never be.
-Asu
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Posted by shadowknows69 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Jan 04th 2010, 07:08 PM
Just go see them.

"We can be heroes. Just for one day"
-David Bowie

I’ve had a fairly ridiculous amount of people I know die or come damn close to it in my forty year lifespan. Surely nothing rivaling the soldier at war or the police officer, EMT, doctor et al. who may have to bury colleagues and neighbors alike, but there have been too many younger than me, and too many I never got to see soon enough before it happened.

I just returned from seeing my ninety eight year old paternal grandmother, who I ashamedly haven’t seen since my wedding ten years ago due to distance, time and finances. She’s been in ill health for some time and severe dementia has begun to set in, but the woman is simply an iron horse who keeps snapping back as much as she can and usually more than expected. She took a worse turn in recent months and my mother and I decided we needed to see her as soon as possible. It may be the last time I see her, I know that, but that’s for higher powers than me or man to decide at this point.

More

<http://journals.democraticunderground.com/... >
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Posted by shadowknows69 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Dec 31st 2009, 12:50 PM
"Well my telephone was ringing
And they told me it was Chairman Mao
You can tell him anything
'Cause I just don't wanna talk to him now

I've got the apolitical blues
And that's the meanest blues of all
I don't care if it's John Wayne
I just don't wanna talk to him now"
-“A Apolitical Blues”, Lowell George


I, shadowknows69, of fractured mind and ailing body, do hereby quit this shit. I resign my post as a watchman of “The Powers That Be” that no longer listen to me. Of course I have no money or power so that could be the problem you see.

I shall remain a registered Democrat and vote religiously every primary and election assuming there are candidates that hold the ideals I think Democrats should fight for. No friends, I won’t quit the exercise of our Democracy, though I’m not sure how strong that particular institution is these days. I’m still an ardent believer in the words our forefathers wrote to birth this country. I just don’t have much faith left that we’ll ever get back to those core ideals in my lifetime.

So I’ve decided to stop raging on about it and look inward and work on repairing my spirit, which the bleakness of this world causes significant damage. I no longer feel connected to this silly civilization we’ve built and I think it is overwhelming us. We have created the Monster that we can no long control, like Frankenstein’s “experiment”. A country built to be a perfect union, heart twisted into a greedy and hatred filled thing due to the corrupt influence of its stewards throughout the years.

And “So it goes” if I may borrow a line from the late great Mr. Vonnegut; our government cares for us less than it’s imperialistic pursuits, money for warfare, but not the welfare of the “Homeland” despite thunderous claims to the contrary, particularly around election time.

As we’ve learned recently from Rachel Maddow and Richard Engel, the timeline that President Obama has set for the training of the Afghani Army is a farce and underestimated by years. The wars aren’t meant to end. We will always occupy permanently whatever country we invade from this point on and I just can’t watch it happen anymore.

This puppet show about the health care reform continues to disgust me as I know there will be no meaningful help for people like my family who have fallen through the cracks all these years. We will be made to feed the insurance companies or our national treasury through fines when we can’t afford what someone in an office somewhere decides that we could. We will be gouged on meds and care as we’re being done now by paying our own cash. We are already being fined for not having health insurance, but to decree it by law is unconscionable.

I can’t square with the fact that the former war criminals that further tarnished this country’s reputation for decades to come are still walking free. What a joke we must be to much of the world, and considered nothing less than a rogue nation that has no more respect for international law than the “terrorists” we are fighting. The GLBT community will continue to be second class citizens as long as “God” infests our government as it does, as will intolerance of anyone who is “different” or questions the will of the Great God of Abraham. The divisions in this country will increase, not improve with our allegedly diplomatic President, as he should know better than most that civil rights should never be up for compromise, but has failed to take a strong enough stand on it.

The “Change” we could have seen, nay needed to see, in this country will not happen quickly enough. We needed a “sea change” and we got a babbling brook, albeit a very charismatic and intelligent one. I’m not saying President Obama wasn’t a man of great principle when we went out for the office, but he didn’t use his political capital well enough once at the job. In the speeches I saw of candidate Obama, I saw a passionate man of great vision. Whether he campaigned from the middle or not, you got a sense that this man knew what had to be done to fix our ills and that started with standing up to the status quo. I hear our President speak now and I’m saddened to say I hear a man reading a tired old script. “Same as it ever was”.

Thus, I have no faith in our country anymore. In the people that lead us. They aren’t us and stop being so the minute they cross the threshold of their Washington office. Obviously there are exceptions to this, but too few and too intentionally marginalized.

I have no faith in even humanity anymore. I didn’t ask to be part of this silly self destructive species and frankly I’d rather be a dog. At least I’d be put down before my suffering gets too bad. This world affords the downtrodden no such luxury, save by their own hand or the quick death of war. We hurtle toward potentially catastrophic climate change, worldwide overpopulation and eventual civil breakdown and the ruling class don’t seem to be in any hurry to demand that industry help us do anything about it. They are protected. Being “blessed” with money and power buys them safety, or at least ignorance apparently, because they need to realize that the shit storm eventually finds their doors too.

So, I’m turning in my “I give a shit” card. I’m looking inward and going numb for the sake of my own sanity. My outrage is harming me physically and psychically and all I can do is steel myself and try to be a light in the gloom to come. People like to make predictions about an upcoming year. My only one is this. Things will get much, much worse. Someone wake me from my hibernation when the revolution is televised. Then I’ll pitchfork up and turn the TV back on.
-S
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Posted by shadowknows69 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Dec 22nd 2009, 03:08 PM
As far as friends and family and family or friends of friends. He filled his quota this year for sure. Just to keep it straight in my own head here goes.

-J, long time friend of my wife and me died in a car accident
-One of my best friend's uncles died far too young.
-The wife of a long time neighbor of my best friend fell down the stairs on T-giving and died
-Two daughters, one recently married and pregnant, of my wife's co-worker killed in car accident.
-An old radio colleague of mine and my wife died of lung cancer.
-My friend "Jack" committed suicide the day before thanksgiving.
-A friend of the wife of my best friend up list died two days ago of suicide
-Another co-worker of my wife's died today after a long painful battle with cancer.
-My wife's brother's best friend was murdered in cold blood two weeks ago.
-The ex-husband of an old friend of my wife died a few months ago. He was in his late forties early fifties at most.
-An old fan of my radio show and occasional drinking buddy died in his sleep.

That's all I can come up with off the top of my head. Trying to keep track because it's getting too ridiculous to keep track of.

Oh, and did I mention all the troops that died for two pointless wars. Two of them were neighbors of my mother.

Hope your lists aren't as long. I hope death has had her fill for a while and maybe we can start 2010 with some hope.
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Posted by shadowknows69 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Dec 14th 2009, 03:01 PM
At least if I don't make it that long my wife still gets the money. Thanks in advance for any responses, but I doubt I have it together enough right now to reply. Need to go watch a movie or something or I'm going to break. FYI, the Judge ruled against me despite the same evaluator for the Social Security Association declaring me disabled twice, and corroborating what my own counselor's diagnosis was. Anyone who can find any justice in that I'd sure like to hear it. Talk me down.
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Posted by shadowknows69 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Dec 03rd 2009, 11:05 AM
“What makes a man can also be what breaks a man.”
-Anonymous

Up until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving of 2009 I had a friend named Jack. Jack is not his real name, but it will suffice to protect his identity out of respect for family and friends who may by happenstance see this essay. It is a shame, if necessary, to do this; he deserves to have his story told with his own name. He was a good man who simply found he couldn’t face another day faced with the poker hand that fate threw his way.

I grew up with Jack in the same home town as far back as kindergarten if memory serves. We were a small village, one of many scattered about the metro area and everyone went to the same school or church together at one point or another.

Jack was in the Cub Scout troop that my mother ran and like many friends of mine around town my mother became more than just Shadow’s mom, but a surrogate parent to them as well. Jack wasn’t exactly in my main circle of buddies; three other “Musketeers” that will also remain anonymous, but he was a home town kid and in our day at least that made you a friend by default.

Not that there wasn’t scads of things to like about Jack, and we did stay pretty tight all through school. That’s what makes this tragedy so much harder to take. People’s lives after school invariably drift away from some of the people they grew up with, even if they still live in the same town. New circles of friends are formed, usually from jobs, marriages and kids in school and our paths diverged in this way.

Jack was someone that never forgot that “spirit of the hood” and whenever you’d see him he would make you feel like not a day passed since graduation and we did see each other and shared a drink, smoke or laugh many a time. I’m proud to say he also attended my wedding. I never got the chance to attend either of his.

To my eternal shame the last time I saw Jack alive was in November of 2007 when I rode with him to our twenty year high school reunion. As usual we shared many memories of our days in chorus and theater together, old girlfriends or crushes we had in common, and all the wonderful reminiscing that goes on.

Jack had an incredible singing voice and nailed the lead in the school play every time. I was usually relegated to the chorus or a “character actor” part, but there was never any snobbery, and to those of you who think all us chorus and band people were dweebs then clearly you’ve never been to a high school musical cast party.

He continued his music after school singing with a number of local groups; barbershop quartet, choral groups and he sure loved the ragtime. At my wedding Jack had already split with his first wife if memory serves and I seem to remember a diatribe about never doing it again. He was the proud daddy though, his first daughter being very young at the time and he talked about nearly nothing else. I begged him to stay in touch as I have every time I’ve seen him over the years, but I could have just as easily called him and Jack wouldn’t be capable of refusing an old buddy some time if I’d asked. I’ll carry a significant amount of guilt for that for some while I suspect. Could I have stopped the inevitable sad ending to this story? It’s an answer I’ll never know and never stop asking myself.

We fell out of close touch again, but still meeting randomly over the years. He actually saw my wife more in recent years as a company he worked for sold product to a grocery store she worked for. She made the reunion connection for me as he asked her if I was going and wanted a ride, because he didn’t really drink anymore and knew I probably would.

In the “lost” years since my wedding Jack got married again and had two more beautiful children and was secure in his job. Still doing music, he was an avid outdoorsman and hunter and gave his oldest a love of fishing she retains to this day. Again at the reunion quick with the pictures, that massive smile lighting up the entire room as it always did and his wit still razor sharp.

Jack had attained the American dream and no one deserved it more or worked harder for it. He always worked, always provided, always loved his children and his wives, and despite having a horrible childhood that my mother probably knows more about through his confessions to her, he even reconciled with his father, apparently. His mother passed a couple years ago. I don’t know if he ever made his peace with her or if she even earned it. I was lucky to have a lot of friends like Jack as a kid and the reason I had so many is because my mom is who troubled kids would run to when their home wasn’t treating them well. My mother was a teacher to most of my friends later in school as well and there are very few that don’t refer to her directly as “mom”. My heart broke when I saw her come out of Jack’s calling hours weeping. Sadly she was one of very few of his teachers that showed up.

It was the Friday after Thanksgiving that I found out. Coincidently another friend of ours from the home town was visiting that night when my wife called from work and asked if I’d looked at the local news pages because they were posting an obituary for someone with my friend’s name and the same age. To look up Jack’s real name in a phone book you’d find probably hundreds of listings and even dozens around here. It’s that common, so we didn’t even really know if it was our friend at first. I called mom to see if she could find anything out from local neighbors. There was no mention of anything but calling hours in the initial obit and no mention of survivors.

After about an hour my wife called back after consulting with our considerable grapevine network and got confirmation that it was my friend and it appeared he had taken his own life. The lack of information in the obit suggested this, but I was praying it was some accident we had missed seeing the story on or anything less inconceivable than this happy man succumbing to something I have successfully fought every day for twenty odd years.

Information filtered in the next few days that Jack had recently lost his job, divorced and apparently lost custody of at least two of his kids. We also found out about a week and a half before he had an accident with his truck, which could have been a first attempt or just another shit sandwich that may have contributed to breaking him. Not knowing more details about how and when all this misery started happening to my friend is what hurts the most.

So the day before Thanksgiving, possibly his first one without his family together, I don’t know, Jack drove out to his favorite hunting spot and shot himself to death with his own gun.

I have lived with depression for much of my life and maybe Jack did too, but like another friend of mine who took his own life over fifteen years ago I don’t think you would ever see it. The mask was too well fixed. He was literally one of those people you could never conceive getting to that low of a point.

I have a theory now that those of us who know we are depressed are actually in less danger of killing ourselves because we know we’re on that ledge every day. Our guns are always cocked and pointed at ourselves. We know how close we are and maybe it’s easier to step back from the abyss when you’re always looking into it.

But take away a man’s (or woman’s) things that define them, when the world generally has been fairly fair to them for much of their life and dump it on them all at once and sometimes the camel’s back just breaks.

Jack had to work hard as Hell to attain what he did in his life. He was born with amazing talent and he had many skills to offer prospective employers and plenty of charm, intelligence and love to offer an intimate partner. He also had it hard at home and rose above amazing adversity to make it though high school, not the least of which was a major spine surgery in his junior year. Mostly though, Jack was just friendliness personified, someone who could make you laugh. Someone who would, if asked, probably do anything for you, whether he knew you or not.

The world is a much darker place without my friend Jack in it. He played by the rules, worked hard and was rewarded with unemployment, tried to love a second time and was rewarded with divorce, tried to love his children and saw them taken from him and simply must have seen the possibility of getting back to where “society” expects him to be just too long of a trip to take again.

I’m actually feeling a strange survivor’s guilt about it all. It’s supposed to be people like me who kill themselves not Jack. My label in our country is: “Mentally ill, not able to work, a burden on society.” Jack’s was “Normal, incredibly talented singer/musician; hard working, loving husband, father and good friend.” It make no sense to me how I’ve been strong enough to fight this demon called depression so long and see a stronger friend be taken by it so quickly.

I can’t pretend I really know the reason Jack pulled the trigger that fateful day, but I can’t help think that the United States of Expectations made him feel he just didn’t have a place in it anymore. I love you my old friend. Good journey and may your spirit find peace.
-S
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Posted by shadowknows69 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Dec 02nd 2009, 08:54 PM
Men in cloistered halls they cry
Rally the men! Rally the men!
Hear the eagle’s song and fly
Rally the men!

Follow the bugle calls and die
Rally the men! Rally the men!
In cloistered halls on hills on high
Rally the men!
The eagle’s moral ground is the sky

In cloistered halls ordering the attack
Rally the troops! Rally the troops!
Moving forward by trying to go back
Rally the troops!
Approval numbers still on track
Rally the troops!

Finishing the job, cleaning the mess
USA! USA!
But the Camera is on someone’s dress
USA! USA!
The Empire must continue for the blessed
U S A!
A whole country under duress
USA! USA!
By a war machine that never rests.

Men in cloistered halls they cry
Rally the men! Rally the men!
Today is your “good” day to die
Rally the troops!
To the fields of Afghanistan
USA! USA!
But we can’t give you reasons why.
-S
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Posted by shadowknows69 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Nov 19th 2009, 06:50 PM
At about 9:45 AM tomorrow I'm having my appeal hearing for SSI/Disability. If I win, on the grounds I'm unable to work because of some mental health issues, I can finally get further testing that I need to start to properly heal. Both mentally and a considerable amount of physically.

"The worst that can happen" my lawyer informed me in a less than enthusiastic pep talk today, was that we could appeal again if we lose. Which basically means it would be another two years until my next hearing. Essentially a death sentence in all probability for a number of reasons. At the very least the probable death of my marriage.

Long story short any and all prayers, vibes, magick and general well wishes directed my way about 10-ish tomorrow would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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