Sunday, September 4, 2016

Salt Lake Dissident Vol. 1

81 days since I lost Shar and gained JJ

In 2009 Shar and I lived up by the University of Utah and she had the fun, creative and memorable idea to start an underground newspaper. We would write it ourselves and sneakily make copies at our jobs and then distribute them in City Weekly bins mixed throughout the other papers. Her pseudonym was R. Cory and mine was J. Greenman. It was a blast and we have don’t have a clue if a single paper was ever even read but I like to think that our idealistic and passionate articles reached a few eyes. I wanted to share a few of my faves that Shar had written. The images (not of us) were originally used in our paper as well. I’ll break them up into a few different posts and do some light annotating.
33 weeks pregnant up Little Cottonwood Canyon

The Salt Lake Dissident
November 2009
“The Imminent Threat of Distraction”
By R. Cory

The world’s impending apocalypse is presented in every form of media from the nightly news’ description of catastrophic tsunamis, to the internet reports on raging Iranians, to the plethora of films that depict the end of civilization (i.e. 2010, Independence Day, Wall-e, The Day After Tomorrow, I am Legend, Armageddon, just to name a few). With such doomsday reports it’s hard to focus on the possibilities of youth, change, hope, charity, or kindness. Obviously nearly seven years later this is still very much still the case

Rather than face modern fears, young people spend their time merely distracted by electronic devices, passing personal conflicts, and internet images. Face it, we’ve all been at an event where everyone was texting, or a concert where everyone was too busy snapping photos to listen to the music. At the heart of the issue, we have a large group of young people who are ultimately slipping through the cracks of technology and avoiding the harshness of reality. Of course we can all relate to this. We are all guilty of being lost in technology The funny thing is, the more we ignore the terrible world around us, the more it ultimately comes crashing down on us. What an amazing insight from a 23 year old To ignore pain, death, and fear is to live a lie. Ignorance strips us of our opportunity to help others, to give charity, to turn the other cheek, and the show love in response to terror, violence, and hatred. Truth. How could you not love this woman!?

As the great Siddhartha Gautama taught, life is suffering, impermanence, change, stress, and dissatisfaction. The incredible aspect of this truth is that after recognition, there is the remarkable opportunity to take action. Since we are in this major motion picture together, we may as well share the popcorn and make the experience as enjoyable for those around us as possible. Opportunities to help others are limitless: smile, talk to someone you would otherwise avoid, show genuine concern for others problems, host a benefit concert, make blankets for sick children, volunteer at your local care and share, make a charitable donation, or regularly visit an elderly care center. Ignorance is not bliss or a solution to tragedy and heartache, rather understanding prepares us to overcome.

The Salt Lake Dissident
January 2010
“When the Hard Rain Falls”
By R. Cory

Many college students and young people have little backup when catastrophe strikes. Not only is the entire country in conflict over wars in the Middle East, health care reform, and government bailouts but young people are often left over worked, medically uninsured, driving rusted old cars that constantly break down, tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and holding graduate school rejection letters. Emotional confidence has long since been extinguished by midterm papers, biology labs, and report cards and many students are left depressed and lost. Trust me, I have been in this unhappy place and it is not easy to find a way out.

The future can appear entirely overwhelming with the job force shrinking and the American Dream appearing as a mere glimmer on the horizon. On the other hand, sometimes it takes a hard taste of reality to focus on the things that truly matter. This unsettling place, also referred to as “rock bottom” is summed up eloquently by the musician/lyricist Kris Kristofferson (performed by Janis Joplin) “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose, And nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free.”

When things are already terrible, it’s hard to get much worse. Perhaps this new low is a chance to embark on some new adventure, a chance you would otherwise never have risked with a house, car, family, or job on the line. Sometimes being left with nothing is the only way to push beyond what is expected and find something great. The newscaster David Brinkley said it this way, “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” Basically, take what you learn from your predicament and rebuild. Take that risk that you’ve always dreamed of, send your novel off to publishers, start a new business, travel the United States in a Volkswagen bus, ask out your dream girl, live off the land, start performing at open mic night, change your major to graphic design. Whatever your dream is, follow it. You’ve got “nothing left to lose” and therefore you are “free.”
Powerful words for me now in my life. I have definitely hit “rock bottom”, so from the words of my lost love I know I must go up and look for opportunities to find adventure, goodness and light once more. I just miss her so damn bad. One day at a time.

1 comment:

  1. Of course you do! Trust me, it will get better. I lost my husband after only 5 years of knowing him. I raised two children on my own. Now, they are grown happy productive adults and I am a grandmother of 12!

    Be patient with yourself and grieve as long and as much as you need to.

    Daphne and two R.E.A.D. Dogs