A Leaf Keeps Moving

I am just a leaf in a stream. 

I must keep moving. 

To where? You ask. 

I don’t know where. 

I don’t ask where; nobody tells me where. 

Upstream_2

Upstream

The rock is my friend, but only for a moment.

He is strong. He is stationary. He is dependable. 

He is only there so that I can take a break. 

But I must keep moving.

The Rock

The Rock

The pool of cool water is my refuge.

She keeps me afloat when I might sink. 

But I must keep moving. 

Afloat

Afloat in a Pool

I don’t know where I’m going.

Nobody tells me where to go.

I am just a leaf. 

Location: Lost Trail, Bull Creek District Park in Austin, TX

© 2010-2018 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

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Tales of the Trail

Location: Tejas Trail in Georgetown TX

This is dedicated to every one of you who did not have the awesome weather that we had here in Hill Country Texas; and to those who could not, did not, or otherwise missed nature.

Strong breeze keeping the heat and the clouds at bay.

Water lapping at the shore providing the beat to the natural ensemble. Tall dry grasses answer back.

Birds waft the currents in the sky.

And the open trail.

Need I say more?

 

© 2010-2018 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Thoughts for the Days

~ “Scared of what’s behind and scared of what’s in front.
Live with what you have now and make the best of what’s to come.” ~ from Tell Me a Story by Phillip Phillips

~ ‘White’ is a race too. If you won’t share a meme about another ‘race’ because it would be perceived as racist – why, I wonder – would you think it’s acceptable to share a meme about ‘white’ people.

~ The redbuds are blooming…the redbuds are blooming

~ “What we think, we become. The ancestor of every action is a thought.” ~ from Bhagavad-gita

~ “It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” ~ Voltaire

~ To keep America great, we have to try our best to buy American products

~ “If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change.” ~ from Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson

© 2010-2018 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

A Cavern Escape

All he wanted was time away.

For peace. For a moment. A chance to muffle the yapping dog, to turn his back on the demanding brats, and the hovering girlfriend, the consumption of adult responsibilities.

As he dumped himself into the mini-van, he let out a great breath of air that he must have been holding onto. Just waiting to escape.  He glanced around her car. He hated driving her car. She never cleaned it. It owned an ever-present layer of cookie wrappers, cracker crumbs, crushed juice pouches, chewed straws, and “what is that smell”. His dank, dark cavern escape couldn’t come quickly enough.

He tried not to take the corner too fast on his way to the freeway.

Pulling into the parking lot, he felt a quick jolt of adrenaline at the first glance. His plan might not work well for him today. Kids piled out of multiple cars, followed by parents and grandparents. These people weren’t seeking solitude, or connection, or peace. They were seeking entertainment, perhaps a way to pass time, to play, to redirect the focus from themselves on this final day of a long holiday. In a way, it was not dissimilar to his goal.

Tour guide ultimately attempted to corral the group as the parents in the group attempted to corral their children.

“There are only two rules”, she said. “Stay with the group and don’t touch the rocks. But, the most important rule is don’t touch the rocks.”

A brief explanation of why ensued and then our descent began.

At the first few stops along the descent, a man of grandfather-age wobbled for a second. To steady himself, he leaned against the rocks. Hand first. Had he not heard the tour guide and understood the golden rule? The children seemed to follow the rule. Did he think the rule did not apply to him? Maybe he didn’t understand English. No one corrected him. The tour guide did not correct him, nor even appear to notice. What’s the point of the rules if they are not enforced? Halfway down, another discussion by the tour guide with the children about why we don’t touch the rocks, and the grandfather quit leaning on the rocks. At each stop after, he wobbled and would seek out handrails to lean on. About time.  Next time grandpa, bring a cane, or a walker.

The air was heavier the further they descended. Damper, laden with a mineral halo. It smelled of earth, and water. Breathing it in deeply, he knew instinctively that is was a healthy damp.

The temperature increased degree by degree as they descended.  He took his sweatshirt off. During the summer, the effect would reverse.

The formations of the stalagmites and stalagtites succeeded in making him smile, as they always did. He repeated in his head – “stalagMites because they Might reach the ceiling” – to remember the difference between what is a stalagmite and what is a stalactite.

In the end, they all just look like large penises.

At the deepest part of the tour, they stopped.

The tour guide wondered aloud how many had ever been in complete darkness. A few said yes; and they had seen ghosts there too.

“I bet you have never been in a dark cave. There is no sunlight down here. It’s too far down so the sun can’t reach.” Then she said, “If I turn out the lights now, do you think you would be able to see anything?”

Silence.

“OK, I’m going to turn out the lights now. Stay close to the group.”

One…

Two…

Three.

Lights out.

True ink black cavern darkness. What would it be like if no one else was there? Would it be frightening? Even in the very dark, you could “see” your hand if you placed it in front of your face, almost like you just know it is there. More likely because there is enough ambient light for you to actually see it. Even that was impossible to see here. Closing his eyes, not even the usual pinpoints of light and grey patch appeared. True dark.

With that few moments of complete visual emptiness, the tour guide flipped the switch and the cave was lit again.

Ascending up the winding stone path, he was not at the peace he wanted but grateful for the peace he got.

Making his way back home, back to his personal chaos, he plotted his next escape.

© 2010-2018 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Money Talks The Loudest

If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Now there’s a novel concept!

As the outrage over the civil disobedience of top paid athletes continues, we again find ourselves – as a society – muddling through the murk and sludge of perceptions and individual beliefs. What will we tolerate, and what will we not – as individuals, and as a society.

The issue du jour appears simple initially: privileged players in most sports leagues are choosing to not stand for the National Anthem. In civil disobedience, they are kneeling to show their disdain for our country.

Undoubtedly, the National Anthem is a powerful part of the “Americana” on which our country has historically been based. Its lyrics represent war and division, yet it was ensconced into the sports arena as an iconic beginning to every game from the early 1900s.

It is a ritual that everyone expects.

  • The person who will sing the anthem is introduced at the opening of the game
  • Everyone stands
  • Military personnel and service are praised
  • Hats come off
  • Hands go to the breast
  • Anthem begins
  • Tears flow

Afterward, we are complete, we are united – as a society, as sports lovers, as patriots of our country. We are ready for football.

Of late, many highly paid athletes across many professional leagues, cloaked in the growing pallor of the First Amendment, have thrown us all into the grip of yet another cultural quagmire.

Here is what you might be seeing and hearing in the media and from people you know:

  • President Trump is causing this to spiral
  • President Trump broke the law and caused further division by voicing his opinion
  • The players have the right to express their beliefs in the public arena
  • The National Anthem doesn’t matter anymore
  • Civil disobedience, for its own sake, is acceptable
  • Anyone who doesn’t agree is a white supremacist
  • Anyone who doesn’t agree is not American
  • The owners of the teams have no influence over what the players do

Here are the facts:

  • In other parts of the world, as well as in the US, people are still suffering and dying from the onslaught of Mother Nature
  • Millions of Americans have died and continue to suffer as a direct result of their service to our country. They deserve our respect.
  • The National Anthem is irrefutably a symbolic form of respect and appreciation for the service of millions of military and law enforcement men and women who contribute to making our country free and safe.
  • A NFL standard contract looks like this: “A player who doesn’t ‘conduct himself on and off the field with appropriate recognition of the fact that the success of professional football depends largely on public respect for and approval of those associated with the game,’ or who ‘has engaged in personal conduct reasonably judged by Club to adversely affect or reflect on Club,’ is subject to being fired.”
  • Other leagues have different guidelines
  • While this debate rages, and is argued in the arena of public opinion, these privileged players are still earning millions of dollars every game, every day
  • Politics has been brought into one of the last standing bastions of our lives, where it should not tread

My opinion, based on the facts and my gut, is that these players who are choosing to not stand during the National Anthem are invoking their right.

Do they have the right to their non-violent free speech? Absolutely.

Should they be allowed to do it on my dime, on yours? I don’t believe they should – but that is a judgement call.

They, just like Hollywood actors and actresses who also spout their political opinion from the pedestal of their privilege, are paid to entertain us. Their opinion when they are doing their job is irrelevant.

Bottom line: if you don’t like that the players do not stand for the National Anthem, don’t spend your money on them.

Don’t go to games.

Don’t watch games on TV.

Don’t buy their stuff.

Money talks way louder than words, or tears, or stamping of feet, or ranting.

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

 

Thoughts for the Days

~ “At the precipice, we all change.”  ~ paraphrase from The Day The Earth Stood Still

~ Who needs free speech anyhow?

~ Re-read Ayn Rand, Leo Tolstoy, George Orwell. That appears to be where America is heading.

~”If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” ~ Romans 12:18

~ Hatred is a choice, no matter what direction it is pointed and regardless of the cause. Groups don’t make choices; individuals make choices. Check yourself!

~ Just because you can, does it mean you should…and why would you want to do that anyhow?

~ “Just because there are things you haven’t heard about doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.” ~ Unknown

~ “Find a penny; pick it up.”

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Healthcare for All: A Fallacy

Many believe that single payer healthcare is the cure to all of this country’s healthcare ills. And, it may very well be.

But the newest version of the Medicare For All Act of 2017 is not it.

For one, I do not believe that healthcare is a right. Neither God, nor man, has granted that. And man has only struggled with a way to provide “free” healthcare in recent history. If it were a right, ordained by God or not, we would not be in the predicament that we are now. A predicament we as the human race has struggled with since beginning of time.

That said, I do believe that good healthcare for all has a place in any civilized society. Members of society who are healthy probably produce more and contribute to moving things forward. Those of poor health probably do exactly the opposite.

I would not object to a plan that would better provide affordable healthcare to all, even if the government ends up paying for it. And, we all know that the government can only pay for it because we – the tax-paying citizens of the US – pay for it. Let’s make that clear.

But, even then, I am ok with it. As long as it is fair to all.

The healthcare industry – in fact the entire structure – is corrupt from top to bottom. In my humble opinion, that is the problem. Corruption.

I have several problems with the current version of Medicare for All Act of 2017.

  1. Why does it cover “individuals residing in the US and US territories”? I believe it should be “citizens”. Citizens pay for it with taxes; citizens should be the only benefactors.
  2. Why do they keep referring to it as “free healthcare”? As established above, it is most definitely not free. We, the citizens of the US, will pay dearly every paycheck.
  3. Why can “only public or non-profit institutions participate”? Has anyone done any analysis at all on the havoc that will wreak on the economy as a whole? The jobs lost, the networks upended, the systems and processes that rely on certain institutions that may not be public nor non-profit?
  4. Why are “financial incentives between HMOs and physicians based on utilization prohibited”? That is one of the agreements that keeps costs to the insured low.
  5. Has anyone determined the effect of using only public or non-profit providers on the quality of the care? That won’t work well with the top surgeons and doctors that citizens from other countries seek when their countries can’t or won’t treat them.
  6. “The program is funded….by instituting a progressive excise tax on payroll and self-employment income.” Really? What might that be and what is the full definition and details of “progressive”? Who? How much?
  7. And, this is probably the best one of all…wait for it…“the program must give employment transition benefits and first priority in retraining and job placement to individuals whose jobs are eliminated due to reduced clerical and administrative work under the bill.” The creators of the bill know this will wreak havoc on a huge industry. But, I wonder how they will help to re-employ those people when they can’t even keep employment statistics positive as it is. If you are in the healthcare industry, you should be very afraid of this aspect alone.
  8. Scary…doctors will no longer be in charge of a ill person’s prognosis or treatment plan. “The bill establishes a National Board of Universal Quality and Access”. Basically, that means that your treatment will be ranked – by committee and bureaucracy – against treatment, cost, and prognosis of everyone else in the system…and no money will allow you to buy anything better. Hearing me…your money, if you have it, will not be able to save you.

While a universal healthcare system is likely where we are headed…this is definitely not the way to do it.

The kind-hearted liberals who believe in this plan are just that – kind-hearted. Bless their cotton socks. But, unfortunately, I don’t believe that they are all thinking of it as how it will affect their personal situation. Maybe that is the problem. Maybe they think they will be immune, saved because of their current social or financial status.

And, the politicians are in a whole different arena. We all know that they will most likely vote themselves out of anything that they vote in for the public.

Guaranteed.

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.