When Men Don Dresses

I’ve long been amused that, when things get serious, men put on dresses. Just think about judges in the courtroom, academics at graduation, monks, most clergy – and of course
the Pope and his colorful retinue. It’s as if men need to dress like women, put on the robes of the Goddess, to feel Her sacred power, to move and act with real authority. Assuming the loving, generous and generative aspects of the feminine requires dressing for the part.

In traditions Continue reading When Men Don Dresses

MythLines 3: This world, the Otherworld, and the anima mundi

Let’s step away from this everyday world for another perspective,

The Art of Enchantment

Continuing on with republishing my series of ‘MythLines’ columns from EarthLines Magazine … here is my offering (slightly expanded for this blog) from Issue 16, in November 2016.

(Featured image by Martin Stranka)

I’ve spent a lot of years studying the psychology of myth. My personal perspectives can be reduced to this, in a slightly oversimplified nutshell: Sigmund Freud’s theories on anything – inevitably, interminably, explaining everything in sexual terms – rarely interest me much at all; Carl Jung is marvelous (an inexhaustible, treasure-filled, deep well) but often a little too human-centred for my tastes; archetypal psychologist James Hillman takes psychology and mythology out of our heads and back into the world again, and so is always to be revered.

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What can we bank on?

Not long ago, banks and banking were yawn-inducing synonyms for grey flannel boring. Then came the orgy of reckless greed that precipitated the global financial meltdown. Now banking is back in the news in surprising ways: Continue reading What can we bank on?

What I’ve Learned about Single Payer Heath Care

We’re probably going to be hearing a lot about Single Payer Health Care, since ours is one of the world’s most expensive system — providing results that rank up there with Slovenia.

I’ll never forget describing our so-called system with a Canadian. “But America likes to think of itself as a caring country. How can it treat its citizens so cruelly?” I’m still stumped for an answer to her question.

But instead of revisiting that terrain, let me share some of my experiences the year I lived in Australia.

One morning while I was staying at my brother’s house, he woke up in pain. When his aching back didn’t respond to his usual routine of stretches, he needed to choose: Did he want to go to the doctor? The hospital? Or see a chiropractor?

He decided on the chiropractor, called his office and made an appointment for later that day and I went along for the ride. He felt better after his treatment, wrote the doctor a check, and got a receipt. On the way back home, he stopped at a small office in a little strip mall, presented his receipt and was instantly reimbursed.

I was in shock.

How simple! He decided on the treatment that felt right to him, chose his provider, made the appointment and kept it, all in a morning’s time. No getting an okay from anyone else – no primary care provider. No insurance company. No paperwork hassle. No rigmarole..

“Do you always get reimbursed that fast?” I asked.

“Sure, if I stop by the office. Or I could wait until the end of the month and send in my receipts.”

All his medical care is covered by the income tax he pays.

“Does national health care pay for everything?” I asked my English friend Ronnie. Like my brother, she had also immigrated to Australia, lived in Denmark, both countries with national healthcare.

“Yes, Most everything is covered, but there are limits. They’ll pay for my glasses, if I’m happy choosing one of the dozen or so frames they offer, but if I wanted fancier frames, I’d have to pay for those.” She smiled and tilted her head for me to admire her glasses.

“Wow, eye care and glasses are covered?”

“But not dentists. Don’t know exactly why, since it seems to me that both your eyes and your teeth  tend to wear out as you age.”

When Ronnie and I went on a trip to the outback together, I had a chance to experience their healthcare system firsthand when I was suddenly hit with a nausea-inducing migraine and couldn’t stop vomiting—a real impediment to a motor trip. I was quickly taken to the emergency room in a small local hospital and instantly swept into a treatment room. After an injection ond an ice pack for my pounding head, I was good to go. I asked about paying.

“Oh, you’re not covered by national health?” said the startled nurse.  “Well, that happens so seldom that I’m not sure what to charge.” I asked if they could send me a bill to where I was staying once they figured it out – and I was on my way.

More than a month later, I received the hospital’s bill along with an apology. They were so sorry, but since I wasn’t covered by national health, they had to charge me the full rate. My Emergency Room visit, treatment and all, cost $50.

No need for national teeth-gnashing or partisan stand-offs about health care. A single payer system works beautifully. Maybe we could adopt one like all the members of Congress enjoyed?

Say What??

“Post-truth” has been named the Oxford Dictionaries’ 2016 international word of the year, says the New York Times. Its report that the use of “post-truth” surged after the Brexit vote and again after Donald Trump secured the Republican presidential nomination sent a chill down my spine. Noting it was first used in a 1992 Nation essay citing the Iran-contra scandal and the Persian Gulf War didn’t much help me feel better, either.

Maybe there’s some comfort in knowing Continue reading Say What??

Learning from my own history

It was 1962 when I moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, never having lived south of the Mason-Dixon line, and unaware that I’d inadvertently enrolled in a total immersion course in white privilege and Continue reading Learning from my own history