Diary of a Mad Blogger: The Second Attempt

It has been nine months since I published my first post and joined this wonderful world of the real and the surreal: The Blogosphere. The experience has changed me quite profoundly.  My family has commented on this and with a little trepidation. I suppose it is because they are somewhat concerned with my mental health.

In fact they think me quite mad. They say I’m obsessed with blogging. They say I’ve lost my mind. 

Is this the eye of madness?

Am I mad?  You decide…..

  • I carry my camera wherever I go.  I will whip it out abruptly and snap pictures often of mundane things at strange angles. I will do what it takes to the right shot even crawling around on all fours, getting in someone’s bushes or just lying flat on my back on a neighbor’s lawn to get some sky shots.  I have developed no shame in these circumstances and luckily no one has yelled at me for sprawling out in their yard.
  • I look at the sky and wonder if it would make a good background.
  • “I can write about that” is sometimes the only thing that gets me out of the house.
  • I have 18 spiral notebooks each mostly filled with outlines, notes, quotes and half-baked ideas.

  • I feel strange if I don’t “check in” to my site for over 24 hours.
  • I have been wearing the same yellow shirt that makes me resemble the female Jack Hanna for the last 9 months.
  • I fantasize of being “liked”  by Matt Mullenweg.
  • I chat online with a fantastic assortment of highly artistic animals, people and objects with odd pseudonyms. I myself am called strawberryindigo.  I do get a bit of eye rolling around the house for that one.
  • I strut around like a newspaper tycoon; shouting out orders to the cat, keeping the print department up all night with last-minute changes and totally harassing my editor to the point where he won’t speak to me anymore.
  • I am considering having “Strawberryindigo.” cards made.
  • I am frequently found typing and laughing and swearing under my breath while consuming endless cups of hot caffeine.
  • I sometimes dream in WordPress and that my life is an endless post written in bold italics with accompanying pictures.
  • I will at times during the night wake up and start spontaneously giggling at an especially funny blog post I read earlier in the day.
  •  Two words: “The Forums”
  •  Fretting over the “Publishing Accident” earlier and looking like a complete idiot to 125 subscribers.
  • Doing all of the above and having a blast!

“There is a pleasure sure in being mad, which none but madmen know!”

**John Dryden**

Have a fun day!  :)

Strawberryindigo.

Confessions of a Liberal Activist

Part One: The Confession

I must confess that at times I can have quite the idealised version of life, events and people. I freely admit this. It can be embarrassing, mostly it goes unnoticed but this last week it took me to places I have never been to before.

I noticed an ad in the newspaper. The back cover of a questionable kind of weekly that one can pick up for free around town. It was in bold print and in large letters:

Liberal activists needed”  I could not believe my eyes. This was one of those moments where you just know the hand of destiny is involved reaching out to guide you. I knew it instantly that this was for me.

I must confess again I am a political junkie nut, at least I was in my idealistic youth. I have since gone to pasture and seed in my garden, I have grown slow and complacent, this I admit. My flowers and flowery words have softened me.

I have longed to get back into the mix of things and shake off some of these middle-aged mom doldrums.

Women Voters Frisco - Registering shop girls &...

Women voters Registering shop girls & clerks (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

I am a sucker for that democracy thing. I admit that too. I am a rebel at heart and I believe in the power of the people. I imagined my life as a future liberal activist.

Working for a good cause with a good bunch of people, activists like me.  Maybe I’d be advocating for the environment or children or the elderly. Maybe I could make a small difference and earn a little extra money while I’m at it.  How perfect is that?!    I was so excited. It seemed so right. So damn democratic.  My red, white and blueness was swelling with a new-found pride.  Sure, the system isn’t perfect, but we need to change from within and all this noble gobbledygook ran through my Pollyanna-ish and earnest imagination.

Part Two:  The Dream Sequence

President Barack Obama discusses the situation...

President Barack Obama discusses strawberryindigo with actor George Clooney during a meeting outside the Oval Office. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I imagined hobnobbing with local politicians, meeting and conferring with political pundits and strategists, heads of state, dignitaries and great minds from around the world. Gaining valuable insight.  Impressing my new-found important friends with my brilliant political mind. Soon I’d attract the attention of higher-ups, who knows, maybe someday….

I showed up for my interview two days later, bright-eyed and ready for action. My pockets were full of black bic pens and a cool new pink phone and breath mints.  My hopes were high.

I do have to say I was surprised. I imagined something quite different when I saw the office. I thought the democrats were loaded. This place was humble for sure and disorganized. I smiled and thought maybe I could help here too.
Everyone was stressed and a bit off.

Of course this was the hand of destiny again. They needed my help. I knew it. It was the easiest job interview I have ever been to. I was made for this and I couldn’t wait to show my new employer just what an active activist I would be. My head was swimming with ambition.

Part Three: Cold Reality

I'm not angry, just me messin' around on a col...

I'm an angry man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And now for something completely different as I find myself  on a soggy street corner in the pouring rain in an overpriced ritzy part of town with a clipboard wearing an old tie-dye, a smile and loads of enthusiasm.

I look for my people, my fellow concerned citizens, fellow taxpayers and democratic cohorts, where are they?  I scan the silent streets, all I hear is rain. Drip, drip, drip all over my glossy photos and donkey propaganda.

Was this the hand of fate again? perhaps. Stupidity on my part? Yes. Stupidity on the Democrats part? For sure.  But the truth of the matter it seemed was that despite all my idealism and earnestness, I couldn’t make someone care who doesn’t and that some people can be downright mean and nobody likes anyone with a clipboard and a cause in the rain no matter how enthusiastic that person pretends to be.

So I am swimming again this time in reality, finally understanding why this job was so easy to get…..I yearn for warmth and caffeine with whipped milk…. for a smiling face, for easy listening music and overpriced coffee cake…yes, that’s it!  Starbucks!

I look around..and believe it or not, and this fact is difficult to believe but there is not a Starbucks on every street like it seems.  To get to the promised land I would have to leave my assigned area and forge out to the great unknown to find what I needed so badly: A Chai Latte and some sanity…

Walnut cinnamon coffee cake with chai latte

Walnut cinnamon coffee cake with chai latte (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dare to Dream

So I embark, clipboard in tow and with my mood improving. I scan the streets for my heart’s desire……and there…. he is!   No, not my heart’s desire, but the man who saved me that day. There he was pouring his heart out on the street corner, his cute little pointed hat stood proudly on his tiny head. His face clenched with concentration and fear mixed with pure ecstasy. His violin sputtered and creaked a painful sounding “Somewhere over the rainbow.” I stopped and listened, I almost started to cry.

There he was putting himself out there, following a dream perhaps or maybe just trying to make a fast buck on the side. Whatever it was his obvious lack of any musical talent or ability whatsoever didn’t get in the way of his soul. I could hear it. It was beautiful and it buoyed my spirits.

Judy Garland Over the Rainbow 2.jpg

I saw it as a sign. I gave the little man a dollar and with that act, my luck seemed to change and rather abruptly. The sun broke through the clouds.

I could hear Judy Garland, urging me on….telling me….”Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue And the dreams that you dare to dream, Really do come true.” 

After that there was no stopping me…. Enhanced Rainbow

 Stay tuned as my adventure continues…..

Strawberryindigo.

Musical landscapes

MUSICAL LANDSCAPES

Oh what a gift is music. It is but a simple thing, these sounds we call music.

Music is color.  It paints pictures in my mind, sweeping vistas and tragic landscapes, rolling hills of green.  Tender dewdrops on a petal soft rose, the rush of a thousand rivers to the silent sparkle of newly fallen snow.

Lush, electric and alive. Intoxicating,  liberating and primal.  It is emotion. Raw and simple, plain and beautiful.

Music wraps itself in fond memory and instantly transports me back in time. Music can stimulate. It forces yet gently prods to emotional highs and bittersweet lows.

Music is powerful. It is bold and commanding yet subtle with soft whispers and gentle kisses promising the foreverness of love and the joy of life. It is uplifting. It is strong, brave and true.

It is a necessity and my life would be hollow without it.

Strawberryindigo.

What landscapes do these songs create in your mind?

Vivaldi‘s “Storm”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N00XKtROddc&feature=related

The Venture’sSleepwalk”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZHBg6Y3vyc

Pink Floyd’sOne of these days”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gewiBN5kdls

Beethoven’s  “Moonlight Sonata”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT7_IZPHHb0

Led Zeppelin‘s “The Rain Song”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4v-_p5dU34

Naturalness

I dug in the dirt today. It was nice to get back into the soil after a long winter. I feel a profound connectedness to the natural world and it is in this sort of work that emphasizes that to me. I feel the pulsating energy of life bursting out in all directions. It is a comforting presence this wild sentience of the natural world.

It is an ancient wisdom this knowledge of the land. Our ancestor’s once relied on this essential knowledge of the earth.  Progress of modern civilization has left most people especially city dwellers unnaturally detached from the natural world.

Exposure to the nature was once so commonplace, but times have changed and we’ve changed with them.

Are we losing our naturalness?

In his book “The Nature Principle’  Richard Louv calls it Nature Deficit Disorder. Louv defines nature deficit disorder as an atrophied awareness and a diminished ability to find meaning in the life that surrounds us.

The author explains and quite passionately that “The traditional ways that humans have experienced nature are vanishing.” which greatly affects our health and well-being. He evokes The Nature Principle which states “that a reconnection to the natural world is fundamental to human health, well-being and survival.”

Louv sites example after example of scientific studies backing up his well thought out claim.  He brings up the validity of green exercise and it’s proven enhancement of mood and self-esteem while reducing feelings of anger and depression.

Louv refers to a study which found that humans living in landscapes that lack trees or other natural features undergo patterns of social, psychological and physical breakdowns that are similar to those observed in animals that have been deprived of their natural habitat.

This should be of no surprise to any animal of the human variety reading this.

I remember growing up in the Seventies and Eighties.  I remember being outside, if the weather was nice, we’d be outside all day. The streets and yards and parks were full of kids running and playing.  These days it seems that all the kids are inside, tapping on one screen or another. With all the good that the digital age has brought, we have paid for it; this pixel existence we call progress.

We are losing our natural intelligence; knowing the signs of nature.  Nature is becoming quite unnatural for many of us, myself included.

Where once our ancestors roamed the wild land, living as one with the planet in an equitable balance with natural world, modern humans set out to conquer and conquer we have.   We control our physical surroundings to the point to where we can bring day to night and water and life to where none exists.

Humans have progressed out beyond the Earth. We can harness the power of the microscopic and the macroscopic.  We have cured diseases and built bridges and dams and power plants….We are a powerful race with much to accomplish, and much to lose.

We have polluted ourselves and our world, always in a constant battle of who will control: humankind or nature.  Now nature is fighting back and I can only wonder and hope for the best.

And I do hope for the best and I do have hope for the future.  I see it in the eyes of a child fascinated with a ladybug in the backyard, a teenager taking water samples at a local restoration project. I see it in the experienced hands of the citizen gardener, the urban naturalist and the amateur botanist. There are success stories, more and more everyday.

We all share this love for nature and it’s up to us, each one of us to get back what we have lost, restore our naturalness and teach our children how to coexist with technology and nature together.  These concepts do not have to be mutually exclusive.

I recommend reading this excellent book “the Nature Principle” by Richard Louv and  then get moving, even if it’s a five-minute walk in the neighborhood, it’s a start and all it takes is that first step to get going…. better yet bring a friend and save our naturalness one step and one friend at a time.

Have a wild day!

Strawberryindigo.

 

Strawberryindigo: The beginning

Out of the Shadows part two.

When I started this blog back in August of last year I had no idea what a rich community of people I would be meeting and getting to know through blogs and communications. I have found myself looking forward to chatting it up with some of my newly found blog buddies. Many of you have shared of yourself. Some of you quite a lot. I have found your stories to be funny and creative, inspiring and insightful, and sometimes quite sad but always hopeful. I have seen myself in some of your words and I have been bettered by them.

I have also been inspired by you all to share something of myself.

What follows is a post I did way back last September. At the time I think I really needed to write it but I wasn’t ready to share with anyone. Soon after I posted, I buried this deep in a sea of bad navigation and a flurry of others. I don’t think anyone saw it.  At the time I was relieved. Now I have reconsidered.

Those who know me by my blog alias; Strawberryindigo, may be surprised by the following post and then again maybe not, but for those who know me by Nancy, the following may explain much……

Out of the shadows