I saw the sun yesterday afternoon. Tears welled up in my smoke-irritated eyes. It seems like weeks since I saw blue skies and breathed fresh air. I am fortunate to live in the one of most beautiful places in the world; The Pacific Northwest, unfortunately at the moment we have the worst air quality in the world. Fires have been raging along the states of the west coast. My state of Oregon is one of them.We are literally on fire here. There is a big one called the Riverside Fire, it is the closest to us. Clackamas county only a half a mile south of us was and is currently under some sort of evacuation notice and for a time I was scared that we might have to evacuate ourselves. So far so good but we are not out of the woods yet. Ugh. Bad joke.
It has been quite a year for everyone and I am ready for some boring times because I am very tired of the interesting ones.I sit here by the window watching our backyard squirrels busy getting ready for the changing season. They are acting much the same out there in the smokey air. My indoor cat is a bit perturbed at me for curtailing our walks. And our resident hummingbird seems to be filling up its gas tank readying itself for migration. I have a feeling I may have to migrate someday. We all may face some more interesting times in the future but right now at this moment I am grateful to sit here by the window and gaze out at the green trees through the haze. I notice the sky has brightened a smidgen. I know there are brave people that have come from all over the world to help and they are out there fighting for us. I am grateful. My heart breaks for all the destruction and deaths, the human ones and all the animals who have nowhere to evacuate to. I feel a special kinship with the animals of the forest. I even feel like one of them at times. My protectors, my heart and soul; the trees are burning and I feel so damn helpless.
We can only do what we can and spread our little bits of good around whenever and wherever we are able. I am off to clean out and refill the water containers I have outside for our furry friends. Its the least I can do.
Stay safe, take care out there, wherever you may be.
The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time.
Terry Tempest Williams
And here we are, it is 2020 and the world seems to be teetering on a precipice hovering over oblivion. Do we continue our slide down or can we save ourselves?
Our bad habits are catching up with us. It’s time to fess up and pay up and work together to solve our collective problems. We do not have the time to entertain the self-serving and the idiots they control. Some deny that the house is burning but we are surrounded by smoke and others are sneaking out the back door with whatever they can get and leaving everyone else to burn.
Hopefully we have finally reached the bottom of this pit that we have dug for ourselves and now we can begin the climb out.
I pray there is not another bottom farther down we cannot fathom.
I have seen an ugliness in my fellow human that in my ignorance I hadn’t realized before. An ugliness I could never have imagined.
These revelations come on like waves, one right after another after another. It difficult not to give in to despair.
There is no time for despair.
We are seeing history in the making and our collective future depends on what is happening now.
There is a disconnect. Those who are in power are very adept at dividing us; we the people of the world. We need to band together and see beyond what years of manipulation and lies have done to us.
We can save ourselves because we must, we have no choice. What is the alternative?
Whatever collective ugliness we harbor pales in comparison to what could be our glorious potential.
Am I too optimistic , or too pessimistic to be realistic?
I have a feeling the eyes of the future will be judgmental. History will not look kindly on us, on our collective malaise, on our willingness to go along with the status quo. Leaving our collective mess for future generations will not be viewed lightly. For as much as our ancestors sacrificed for us, it seems we cannot do the same for future generations. They will curse us I am afraid.
I cannot avoid the feeling of guilt. The feeling of helplessness and the fear of a very scary and very possible future but I have hope.
I have hope and I’m not the only one.
I have hope the eyes of the future will able to see with a wisdom we relics of the past seemingly cannot.
I hope they will overlook our frailties and see that indeed hindsight is 20/20.
I hope they will see an awakening, a willingness to shed our past ways and embrace a kinder, more sustainable existence for us all.
I hope they will see us band together and work towards a common goal: our very existence.
These are the times that try us. We can be broken. We can fall down. We can walk down a path of darkness but that does not mean we will never see the light. That doesn’t mean we will never walk in the sun again.
To be hopeful in bad times is not stupid or futile or simply in vain. To be hopeful in bad times is essential. This is our foundation. This is the beginning.
We have been taken on quite a ride lately. Our “normally” crazy world is insane. Our society is sick and we are running a fever.
I am a mix of emotions in regard to our current situation in the United States and the world. I am passionate in my belief in equality and kindness, in peace and understanding and inclusiveness.
I like many others believe our country is going to hell in a hand-basket. The words “fascist” and “dictator” are floating around paired with “dangerous”. People are angry and sad…and scared. I have wondered what it would have been like to be a German citizen during the rise and rule of Hitler. Watching the changes, living with the results…
I also am very conscious of the fact that the status quo has much to be desired. The deck has been stacked against we the people for quite some time.
I will not mention his name, never, in any of my writings; in my blog, on Facebook or on Twitter. He is not my president, that damn and damned orange menace.
Never before have I seen such division and hostility. Our dear leader is showing us how to conduct ourselves and it is downright nasty. It is not who we are. I refuse and I resist.
We are the descendants of immigrants and revolutionaries. Right or wrong, our country was built on revolution, sacrifice and blood, sweat and bitter tears. It was also built with certain ideals, ideals we have lost to greed, vanity and indifference.
These ideals are etched in our hearts and minds. It is our diversity paired with a belief in equality and fairness that makes us strong. We are united in our common love for life, our families and humanity. We are the strongest when we are united and united behind a common cause.
I believe we have our cause…
It has been said one needs to hit rock bottom before one sees the light. I believe we are waking up. It has taken a shaking but I believe, hope anyway, that we are sufficiently shaken for the magic to take effect.
The common enemy; I don’t mean that orange menace exactly. Our true enemy is our collective selves. We have allowed this to occur; this what some would call a coup, a misstep or a stupid and dangerous mistake. Somehow we have someone in office who most of us didn’t want doing things that most of us do not like, do not like at all.
Lots of people have marched and ranted. Some have destroyed. Some people I suppose must be glad if they paid attention and believe and wanted what he promised, he is dong those things; as fast as he can. An agenda that obviously been planned. He is checking them off one by one.
Every day a new outrage.
And everyday more and more stories of unity. Maybe if we can unite behind a common enemy we can unite behind other issues.
Perhaps we had to hot rock bottom to finally ‘get it”. I know from experience that in order to have a different world a shaking up in the status quo must occur and seldom is this easy or peaceful.
Yes, to be hopeful in bad times is essential and this time is no different. I have hope because people on a whole do care and I do believe they are good at heart.
This is a time to dig deep and not turn a blind eye and just go along. What this means; listen to your heart, to your soul, it knows the way…it knows the truth, we all do.
For now I am holding on to hope, trying to be calm and kind and more understanding and to keep a smile….
…time to write something funny for the next one…
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…
“You can present the material, but you can’t make me care.” ― Bill Watterson
Just another winter’s day, just another icy commute in the dark. You can hear the shuffling of footsteps on the frozen ground. No one speaks, no one smiles, we all just keep moving..
People waking to and fro, many in a hurry, most of them with the same look; that same glazed over gaze which extends beyond the person right next to them as if the other person, the fellow human is not there at all. It is a tunnel vision of sorts, it could be more of a selective vision. It is an acquired ability. We are not born with it; this talent for ignoring the obvious.
It comes out of necessity and takes practice. In this rapidly changing world, many of us are getting a lot of practice. If you live in a large urban area you probably know what I mean…
I know you’ve seen them: Their swelling number are almost impossible to ignore. The tents and blue tarps under bridges, the huddled sleeping figures in crowded doorways. It’s not just in my city or yours, it’s everywhere.
And it scares the hell out of me. And I shiver. From the cold or that icy fear or both I don’t know.
Last night in my city of Portland, Oregon a newborn baby died possibly from exposure, sitting in its homeless mothers arms. This would be the 5th person to die from the cold in the last 2 weeks here.
What kind of people are we? We forsake our most vulnerable citizens. It is a sickness I think this indifference. One of ills of our society and one that just seems to be growing.
We are told those less unfortunate deserve their fate. It is easy to want to believe that. That means if I work hard and toe the line and do what I am told. I too won’t be one of those less unfortunate ones, it is tempting to want to believe this; it feels safer.
At least I think it does…
I think of all the people in the US who have just lost their health insurance. Again I could be indifferent here, I have mine. To me, seeing a doctor is not a luxury…yet.
I have a warm home and enough food to eat.
Why should I worry about these strangers? Many of them are probably drug addled or mentally ill. They probably want to be out here. They like living on the fringes of society. No bills , no responsibilities. Not my problem… Right?
The man at the bus stop with the unkempt beard and the wild eyes. He is hard not to notice; wrapped in a tattered blanket he is shouting obscenities at the sky. My pulse quickens; I am scared and I tiptoe past him hoping he doesn’t notice me, I walk down to the next stop.
Nothing is all black or white. But we are all human from the innocent babe to the wild man at the bus stop. We are all part of the same human family. I admit it is easier to care about the pretty, the untarnished, the salvageable.
I imagine the man with the wild eyes was that too once; pretty, untarnished, salvageable. Now he is just part of the wreckage left behind to lurk in the shadows, in the cold doorways, watching everyone look away…
Something to ponder on…
“The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent, but if we can come to terms with this indifference, then our existence as a species can have genuine meaning. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.”
― Stanley Kubrick
We live in interesting times with one foot dragging behind mired in the memory of a gilded past and the other poised to go off the edge into a dark unknown abyss. It’s preferable to focus on the comfortable illusion of sameness, ignoring the obvious signs of change especially if the change is not so good.
Our planet is in trouble and so is our spirit and our collective soul. In a world with a swelling population and dwindling resources it’s easy to zone out on the meaningless and glaze over that gnawing feeling with yet another distraction and there ate plenty distractions to keep us occupied.
We are bombarded with messages everyday, bits of information, much of it totally useless that invade our minds on constant basis. Most of us are used to this constant stream of stimuli. Some of us thrive on it, and depend on it.
These messages are unimportant useless fluff that disguise themselves are dire. They cover up what is truly important. They lull us into complacency, we are not required to think, they do that for us.
They provide our heroes. the dreams and the ideals that we as responsible consumers should aspire to.They also tell us who to point the finger at and there are endless sources of blame to go around.
They give us our scapegoats. They prey upon our fears which they too have cleverly crafted.
We are managed and manipulated by a system that has become rigged against most of us to benefit a privileged very few. Our lovely planet that belongs to all of us is becoming more and more privatized and profitized used to feed an bulging worldwide economy with a hearty appetite that never stops being hungry.
We are told we must have endless war. That we are not safe.
We are told that the worthiness of a human life is measured by one’s assets. We are told a lot of things.
They distract us. They divide us. We are told what and who to fear. They are very good at this because they have been doing it for so long. They provide the illusion of choice.
Treated like children we are presented with limited choices, usually two. This team or that team? Coke or Pepsi? Red or Blue? Republican or Democrat? Left wing or Right? When in reality it’s the same damn bird. They who control what we see and and hear they would let us believe these are the only choices but they are not, far from it. We do have real choice and we can make the world a better place for us all.
There are forces that would polarizes us. They divide us with their illusion of choice.
They want to keep us from finding common ground. Pitting one side against another, distracting us from our common enemy. Because as drastic as that sounds there is an enemy and it those who pull the crooked strings, those in the shadows, the ones that have the game rigged.
They manipulate everything they can. There is no pie they haven’t already eaten most of and they are still very hungry. We are being forced to share what little is left. They distract us with this and that. They divide us. And they are very good at it.
Most of us exist on the bottom of a great pyramid where those very few on the top live on the backs of those on the ever widening bottom. The very top depends on this arrangement and pretty much always has, we the people are waking up to that illusion of choice; that our much touted and much admired democracy is an outright and blatant lie and has been for a long time.
Together we are powerful. A force to be reckoned with. And we can remake the world into what we want it to be. We can heal our planet and ourselves. We can take back what rightfully belongs to ourselves and future generations. We can refuse to play, to go along with the idiocy of the day.
We need to focus on what we agree with not what do not, this separates us. We need each other; divided we fall but united we stand strong.
We can get back to basics. Turn off the damn TV. Go outside. Go for a walk and leave your car behind. Talk to your neighbors. Grow some tomatoes. Don’t buy anything you don’t really need. Open your mind. Open your heart. Question what you are being told. Speak up and speak up for others who cannot.
Topple their false idols and render their marketplace a ghost town.
Perhaps we can break out of the illusion and make our own choices. I do think we do have a choice and despite what one may hear about rigged elections and the like, I know for a fact that money talks. Don’t buy what you are being sold. Question what you are being told. Listen to what your inner voice tells you.
Encourage free thought. Listen to those who may have a different view that you. Seldom if ever is one side 100% right or 100% wrong for that matter. Listen to those who may be supporting a different presidential candidate than you. Many of us have friends and family members who fit that category and it is easy to be confused at their choice or their lack of choice at all but there can be found nuggets of universal truths and wisdom everywhere and in everyone, seek that out. Let us not be separated from each other at a time when we need each other the most. In reality we are all on the same side. No matter who is elected to any public anywhere. It is we the people who matter and it we the people can make a difference.
“Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.”
I wake to the sound of songbirds and the fluttering of sunlight tiptoing across my sleeping eyes.
I hear the geese
Never fails. Every time. Every year. The smallest sign of Spring approaches me and I bubble over in anticipation like a sparkling strawberry soda, all frothy, fruity and effervescent. I get giddy and happy and laughy. Seriously.
To me Spring is like a drug and I am totally under the influence. any sign will set me off no matter how small and/or strange. I spied a spider in the bathtub. A fuzzy gentleman or lady who I sang to as I scooped up and put it outside. It’s getting warm out there after all. The crocus are crocusing and the daffodils are doing their daffodilling. I saw a squirrel chase another up a tall pine.
“It’s Spring!“It’s Spring!” At least that what it seems the geese are saying as they fly overhead.
According to the calendar Spring begins Sunday, March 20 but to me and the Robin out there on the lawn who just slurped up a big fat worm, that glorious season has already arrived!
Spring is magical and I feel that magic down deep inside me, ready to spring forth as does all the greenery outside. Spring is hopeful. It is the season of light and whimsy. It is delicate and white at first. You can hold it in your hand, like a tiny seed. It embeds itself and begins to grow. It bursts out of the earth; vigorous and green with the exuberance of life, capable of taking on the world.
And I feel this and I feel hope. I feel good things are just waiting to bloom and spring up in my path. I will seize those tiny serendipities as they come and enjoy the hell out of them. Spring makes me believe all this can happen. Spring is like that; It’s sunny and happy. It cheers me on and fills me with gladness. I just can’t help it.
I know I’m not alone in this. I know that you too have a thing for Spring. So let’s do this…right here, right now. Why wait any longer? Let’s empower ourselves today and declare that Spring has sprung! And what better way to celebrate than with quotes about Spring.
Spring will come and so will happiness. Hold on. Life will get warmer.
Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!
All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.
It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
The spring came suddenly, bursting upon the world as a child bursts into a room, with a laugh and a shout and hands full of flowers.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.
~Harriet Ann Jacobs
I want to do to you what spring does with the cherry trees.
In the Springtime love is carried on the breeze . Watch out or flying passion or kisses whizzing by your head.
~Emma Racine Defleur
On soft Spring nights I’ll stand in the yard under the stars – Something good will come out of all things yet – And it will be golden and eternal just like that – There’s no need to say another word.” ― Jack Kerouac
“You can present the material, but you can’t make me care.” ― Bill Watterson
Some say the world will end with not with a bang but a whimper. I say ours may end with the dull and empty thud of indifference.
A blatant apathy lies thick like a hazy cloud over our populist culture. It’s cool not to care. Johnny doesn’t give a damn and the indifferent world doesn’t bat an eyelash.
From the time we are children, society teaches us not to care too much or at least pretend we don’t. To act in such a manner is a sign of childish insecurity, it’s not only foolhardy but too trusting and stupid. We are encouraged to develop a sense of skepticism and mistrust especially when it comes to people we don’t know.
The world is a scary place. I could write a thesis on how frightening it is. I think we shut off a little of ourselves bit by bit as the inevitable blows of life hit us. By the time we are grown adults we have lost so much of that beautiful trust, that loving nature and natural compassion children feel and openly express. We are taught to see differences in each other and these differences are not good. This polarizes us.
I think people tend to wrap themselves in a protective cloak of apathy. It’s not only easier not to care, it also hurts a lot less. When we care we are vulnerable. It makes perfect sense to want to close off a wee bit and tone down those emotions.
Distractions come easy and going along with the stampeding crowd is understandable given the alternatives. It’s better to conform. In many ways it’s essential if we want to live in a civilized society.
It is easier just to go along. Right?
This world is sick and we all know it. My eyes glaze over when I watch the nightly news which I admittingly cannot watch much anymore. I see pics of starving children and burning forests and war. Our brains can only take in so much information. Our hearts can only take so much pain. We become desensitized, it’s a survival mechanism. I think that’s why on a collective whole we seemingly don’t care, or we care more about stupid meaningless distractions. I think we’ve reached a saturation point. It’s all too much and if I don’t notice maybe it doesn’t exist and I won’t have to do anything about it.
Why should I care? Why should you? Why should anyone? We know life is not fair. It’s a hard lesson that still stings. We are savvy enough to realize that fairy tales typically don’t come true and that life is not only not fair it’s a bitch too.
I can see how people especially the ones who get the short stick may get a little angry with the world and society in general. I can see how easy it could be not to care for someone who doesn’t care about you. I can see how one could get caught up in inevitable feelings of futility; why should we care about a world that doesn’t care about us? I ask again why should I care? I know that I am but one small voice in a sea of millions so I better shout it out:
I care because someone has to care, dammit!!
If there is to be any meaning in my insignificant scant-of-a-minute life it’s this: that I made a difference however small on the side of good and that I took whatever sad, nasty or indifferent thing that came my way and turned it into something wonderful, however small. I cannot expect anything more or less. I want to leave this world a little better than how I found it.
I want to live in a world where people care about one another and I want my children…I want all the children and their children to grow up in such a world. There is too much ugliness, too much to tolerate. I suppose the way I cope with it is by not only ranting about it, but living up to the ideals I’m ranting about.
Kindness begets kindness and if more people gave a damn more people would give a damn. We all could use a little more kindness And so there it is: My spiel for the day. You can only do what you can do….
“The earth was overwhelmed with beauty and indifferent to it, and I went with a heart ready to crack for its unbearable loveliness.” ― Josephine Winslow Johnson
“Sit, be still, and listen, because you’re drunk and we’re at the edge of the roof.” ― Rumi
Dear Status Quo,
We both know this can’t go on, not they way it’s been going…so you’ve got to go. We can’t take you anymore. You have outstayed your welcome and you must leave immediately.
I know you’ve been here a long time and some people are counting on you to stay but nothing is forever and frankly there are so many more of us who want you gone. We are quite adamant about it…in fact we demand it!
The way you carry on is unsustainable.
You said you’d change and we believed you only to be let down again.
The truth is we can no longer afford your frivolous ways and outlandish and wasteful behavior. You’ve damn near wrecked our home and now it’s our future selves and our children who’ll be cleaning up the mess that you’ll leave behind.
Put down that drink and wake up! Do you ever listen?
Hey YOU!!! Do we need to yell?
Get out now! Never come back….
As a witness to 45 years of history I am thinking thoughts I never would have imagined years ago when at first I began to pay conscious attention to what’s was going on around me.
It’s funny how history can rewrite itself before one’s very eyes and yes indeed the victors do write and rewrite history over and over again….
It’s so easy to ignore it all…It’s hard to take. But as time goes on and events play out I am forced to concede that everything is not what it pretends to be and no matter how crazy I tell myself THAT is…I can’t help but begin to believe it.
It’s not that I don’t have hope. I am loaded with it and it is not just blind faith. I go on evidence. I see people waking up and realizing that if we don’t open our eyes and have the courage to say what we really think and how we really feel about what is going on, one day it will be too late. No one will come and save us. We have to save ourselves.
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
I sit here tap tapping on my happy laptop. Stopping occasionally to take a sip of nice strong coffee and to gaze out the window. The house is toasty warm and filled with the comforting and enticing aroma of roasting turkey and dressing and yummy apple pie.
I am content. The house is quiet for the moment, only the faint sounds of traffic outside and the occasion caw from a crow. I am glad to be able to take advantage of this lull before “the storm”
I admit I’m a tad bit apprehensive, anyone would be in my shoes. But mostly I am excited. Not the “oh I get to go to Disneyland” kind of excited or the “ooooh I have a dove bar” sort but more of the type you get when you are about to go on a trip to someplace exotic and far away, like the Twilight Zone or Never Never Land.
My newest foray into retail has given me the opportunity to experience my first Black Friday starting Thursday evening. Instead of being a crazed shopper I will be a crazed worker; manning a cash register with a scanner and smile at the ready.
I know what you are thinking: Does she have adequate footwear? I’m not sure on that, but regardless I am ready. Ready to face the stampede of maniac shoppers and gawkers of all shapes and sizes. I liken this to going into battle. It will be rough. It will test me and stretch me in ways I’ve never before experienced and by the time my shift is over and it’s time to leave I will have left stronger and wiser than when I entered.
If I survive….
This night will separate the big girls from the little ones, the cats from the kittens and the serious hardcore bargain hunters from the mildly interested window watchers.
Have no doubt my comrades will be able to count on me to lead the charge! I am not afraid! I will take that hill (whatever the hell that means) and I will charge up it! Come on lads and ladies and follow me!
I expect to get a battlefield promotion on this one. The whole store will throw me a parade in which I will be the grand marshal and the president of the company will fly down from headquarters and present me with a medal for bravery and a coupon good for half off any designer fragrance. The mayor will attend and give me the key to the city and all kinds of cool junk too.
Everyone will cheer and I will be a hero. Tales of my deeds will be told for a long time, days at least. In many of the departments: Menswear, shoes maybe even intimate apparel. Oo la-la…
It is destiny my friends, there is nothing I can do to change it. You can say you knew me when. (wink-wink)
It is like I have been preparing for this my whole life…
I will say now that I have never ever attended a Black Friday or Thursday shopping holiday free-for-all mob festival. I tend to seek peace and quiet and generally shun over-the-top consumerist events with large crowds of people. It is ironic my first exposure will be as a worker not shopper. I am however well versed in patience and stamina. I have been a mom for almost 20 years, this gives me special powers as any mother worth her salt can attest to. I am unflappable and unstoppable. I have a will of iron with a peaceful core as soft as a feather bed but with nerves of steel.
Who am I kidding?
I have all the exits planned out and marked in my head. I know of a supply closet I can hide in. I’m no fool. I am bringing a thermos of coffee, ummmm Colombian…and a you guessed it, a turkey sandwich.. I will be bringing my “serenity now!” kit complete with a book of nature poetry , sandalwood incense and a portable miniature babbling brook.
Ha-ha…really, I don’t mind working on Black Friday and Thursday too. There are advantages to the whole thing. It’s an adventure. I’m a writer and I need to do that sort of thing, seldom does adventure come to me. I will have lots to write about after this. Expect the book, then soon after the screenplay.
Instead of spending money I don’t have I will be making money I can spend later on frivolities like food and fun stuff like mortgage payments and utility bills. Most importantly this gives me the excuse to have Thanksgiving dinner a day early with my wonderful family inour warm home with turkey and stuffing and pie and everything else. We will all be together spending a glorious and very meaningful day creating new memories and savoring the old ones. We will be thankful for all of this and what does it matter what the calendar says?
Yummy…yum, yum I’m starving...
So if I see you out there among the throng of shoppers wave a hello across the crowd, maybe we can exchange wisecracks or share a supply closet during a stampede. Just be sure to bring your visa card or at least a warm up on that coffee and if I don’t see you before the holiday…
Have a wonderful, meaningful and blessed Thanksgiving.
It’s difficult to believe that it’s in everyone’s best interests to support a system that bestows elite status only to a privileged few on the backs of the underprivileged many. Do we think it’s alright because we hope to someday become one of these lucky few; those one percent?
Could it be that the deck is stacked against us poor huddled masses? Could it be The American Dream is only for those who have the greenbacks to pay for it ? And if you have to ask how much…you can’t afford it.
I suppose it is unfair of me to say that we the people support such a system per se. I mean if we all had a chance to have our say we may find some of our citizens are fed up with all this damn economic inequality that is deepening by the day. Some may dare to suggest, shudder the thought, that some reshuffling may be in order.
You heard it right; I am suggesting that perhaps the all-mighty capitalistic society where markets regulate themselves and corporations are people too, may not be all that it is cracked up to be. It is a system that rewards avarice. It promotes those who can take, take, take for themselves. It favors unhealthy and unjust competition and creates an atmosphere of dissatisfaction and mistrust. How can we love thy neighbor if we are continually competing with them? In this kind of game there must be many losers for one winner. And for the most part the winners are chosen not solely by merit but by luck of birth. We do have a Monarchy in this country, in the world. Money is king and those one percent aim to widen the gap between those that have it and those that don’t.
It’s hard to blame anyone; it is the system after all. I think people should be entitled to what they have worked hard for. Industry should be rewarded. I don’t blame people for wanting to hold on to what they have. It seems that the more money some people have the more they worry about losing it. Our society has driven in that fear of poverty and homelessness.
Many of our community governments and police have adapted ordinances and laws that unfairly punish those who can least afford it. It seems as though they are waging an undeclared war on poor people.
Where are we going with this? What is happening to our humanity?
We all know this. There’s no surprise here. The question is what to do? What can we do? We cannot simply tax the rich to the hilt and expect to save ourselves. Our problems go way beyond that. It sounds great; Make the rich pay for everything. This causes people to want to hang on tighter to what they have and that makes it all the worse. And really it’s not very fair or practical. I’d like to offer an answer or at least part of one. The problems are so massive. It’s hard to know where to begin. I do know it cannot go on this way forever. The world is changing regardless of what anyone wants. The sun shines and sets on us all alike. Nothing is forever. This cannot go on. And the ones on top; those one percent…they can’t believe it can last. Can they?
This wild ride we are on is not the least bit sustainable. It is expensive, messy and just plain stupid how we exploit our dwindling resources. Our value system is wonky. We tend to miss what is truly important. We glorify the empty and the greedy. The perfect smile and the right sound bite being sold to us night after night…and we the people lap it up. The great economic machine feeds on us, then spits us out when it’s through. It asks for our children too and doesn’t give a damn about anything but the bottom line.
We are products of our environment. It can be difficult enough to see someone else’s point of view, but to actually feel how they do; to truly understand…that requires a special insight that is hard to acquire in a life insulated from want, from unsightliness, unpleasantness and misfortune. An extreme hardship for one person may be a mere annoyance for another. I think some of the more fortunate have no idea how difficult it really is to be poor. It is easier to blame the victim of circumstance rather than the circumstance itself; that the poor somehow deserve their fate. Otherwise that would mean that bad things happen to good people who try really hard and that we are more at the mercy of the fickle finger of fate than we would like to comfortably acknowledge.
The rain falls on us all and sometimes a gut of wind can take your umbrella and you are left to get wet. Fate is a funny thing. Who would have thought? I feel as though we are living in a bad Science Fiction movie with a horrible ending. What sort of world are we leaving our children?
Something must be done. A lot of somethings must be done….by us all. We cannot afford to wait for it all to trickle down.
Our priorities are skewed but they do not have to remain that way. I think we need a new way of thinking about what success means; what it means to be rich. Perhaps in the future the measure of wealth will be not be what one has but what one is able to give…and we will need more givers in the future if we are going to make it. We are all going to have to work together–all 100% of us.
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
― Nelson Mandela
Dirt has a bad name. We assign it to foul, perverted things. Icky nasty things we do not touch lest it taint us, infect us. We are a society bent on cleanliness; antiseptic-ness. We pride ourselves in our civilized approach to dirt. Filth is what animals live in not we who are above such things.
That dirt which lies beneath our feet, it is alive, that soil; a mosaic of organic-ness which makes up much of our planet. We don’t think much of it but it’s there. We walk on it, build our homes on it, plant our food in it. It’s what holds it all together and it’s more important than people realize.
Throughout history, civilizations have prospered or declined as a result of the availability and productivity of their soils. Soil resources are critical to the environment as well as food production.
Soil is defined as a natural body consisting of layers that are primarily composed of minerals, mixed with organic matter. It is the loose covering of fine rock particles that covers the surface of the earth and is the end product of the influence of the climate, organisms, minerals and the passage of time.
When used in agriculture, it serves as the anchor and primary nutrient base for plants and soil resources that are crucial to the environment. It absorbs rainwater and releases it later, helping to prevent floods and drought. It cleans the water acting like a sponge as the water percolates through it.
Soil is the most abundant ecosystem on Earth and is home to countless lifeforms; invertebrates, bacteria, fungi and algae. It supports and plays a crucial role in all life on this planet.
Good soil should contain a healthy mixture of soil-based organisms. These are the naturally occurring micro-organisms that release powerful enzymes responsible for keeping it free of molds, yeasts, fungi and other parasites which would otherwise make normal plant growth impossible. These organisms fix nitrogen from the atmosphere into the soil and decompose organic compounds, including manure, plant residue, and pesticides; helping to prevent them from entering waterways and becoming pollutants.
The primary home of the vast soil food web is the topsoil. It’s the top layer of soil and contains most of the available nutrients. It’s where most of the biological activity takes place.
Scientists believe that 24 billion tons of topsoil are lost every year to erosion by wind, water and other causes including the way we feed the planet. Conventional agriculture encourages the depletion of topsoil because the soil must be plowed and replanted each year. Many experts believe that our chemical dependencies are stripping the soil of its life-giving properties and turning it into unproductive, thus, lifeless dirt. One inch of topsoil can take 500 years to form naturally. According to current trends, the world has about 60 years of topsoil left.
Topsoil erosion occurs when the topsoil layer is blown or washed away. Without topsoil, little plant life is possible. This is a phenomenon known as the Aeolian processes. This has happened before notably during the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s when a period of severe dust storms greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the US and Canadian prairies.
On a dry grassland, the grass rooted into the soil can be the only thing keeping the soil stable. If too many animals are allowed to graze for too long, the grass can be stripped away and the soil will lose its anchoring roots. The area can become a desert. This is called desertification. Desertification and soil loss is a worldwide problem.
“According to the United Nations desertification is a creeping catastrophe. Already creating millions of environmental refugees worldwide every year, one third of the earth’s surface and the livelihoods of at least one billion people are threatened.”
This problem only deepens through time. As our global population continues to swell and demand for food increases, our ability to feed the world will become more difficult and in time perhaps impossible. Once land is lost it’s hard to gain it back. I know dirt isn’t exciting, most of us don’t think of it beyond a few scientists and the odd nut like me, but we all can do something about it. It is our planet and we have to right to our existence because it’s down to that. We need responsible and sustainable land stewardship not just here and there but everywhere.
A great place to start is at home, in our own yards. The website Wikihow features an excellent article; How to Prevent Soil Erosion . It is focused on what the average person can do about soil erosion at home and in the community. It is on the small scale but a good start.
Beyond that I think we the people need to raise awareness about this problem and through societal and monetary pressure persuade the movers and shakers in this world that we care about our topsoil and the future of the food supply. And that steps must be taken to prevent further loss and to reverse bad farming and land management practices. We need to adapt sustainable farming practices that encourage the development of a healthy topsoil by rewarding those who regenerate the environment and produce food that supports a healthier society. Most importantly we need to change the way we think about soil and how we use it. We must treasure it as the precious natural resource it is.
Future generations are counting on us…
Have a fruitful day,
“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.” ― Wendell Berry
“Someone called me “Irish” like it was something bad…something to be ashamed of. He meant it as a dig in reference to my so called stubbornness, my pride. my willingness to see the truth for what it is and call it. He called it haughty, he called it “Irish” and I wore it like a badge of honor.”
I R I S H P R I D E
It is not boastful pride or a belief that one person is better than another. It’s a pride in oneself and one’s heritage. It is honor and affection for loved ones, friends and comrades. It is standing up tall and looking everyone you meet straight in the eye and saying; this is who I am and I am proud. I don’t care if I am perfect, nor would I be if I could. It is rising in the face of adversity and succeeding. It’s staring down a sea of troubles and having a good laugh.
It is sticking up for oneself and standing for what you believe in…even if you are the only one. It is seeing life through the eyes of a hopeful child; no matter what has happened in the past– tomorrow is a new day and one’s luck can change in a flash of an instant. It is believing in magic and that dreams can come true but in order for that to happen one must work at them too.
It’s that spirit I think of when I think of the Irish.
I think of heart, soul and family and the wide green world around us. Ireland doesn’t have the monopoly on green or spirit. That is within us all….that is the human spirit. Today we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Today we are all Irish. Everyday we are human with thoughts and dreams and ambitions. Don’t ever let anyone tell you can’t do anything, for there isn’t anything you cannot do.
When I think of the Irish I think of my father who was 100% Irish and damned proud of that too. He always had a smile for everyone he met and a “wee crack” to tell down at the bar to his friends. He was a good man who took care of his family and never had an unkind word for anyone. He always brought me a green carnation every St. Paddies day. He is gone from this earth now but his memory lives on in me and my brothers and sister and our families. Every time I smell the scent of carnation I am reminded of him and how much he loved this day.
Sometimes a day can be like that; gaining meaning over the course of your life and how something as insignificant as a green carnation can hold so much.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day
Lá Shona Fhéile Pádraig
“Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.”
― Oscar Wilde
“We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English.”
“In Ireland, you go to someone’s house, and she asks you if you want a cup of tea. You say no, thank you, you’re really just fine. She asks if you’re sure. You say of course you’re sure, really, you don’t need a thing. Except they pronounce it ting. You don’t need a ting. Well, she says then, I was going to get myself some anyway, so it would be no trouble. Ah, you say, well, if you were going to get yourself some, I wouldn’t mind a spot of tea, at that, so long as it’s no trouble and I can give you a hand in the kitchen. Then you go through the whole thing all over again until you both end up in the kitchen drinking tea and chatting.
In America, someone asks you if you want a cup of tea, you say no, and then you don’t get any damned tea.
I liked the Irish way better.”
― C.E. Murphy
“Beware of people who dislike cats.”
― Irish Proverb
Be they kings, or poet, or farmers, they’re a people of great worth. They keep company with the angels. And bring a bit of heaven here to Earth.
“May the road rise up to meet you May the wind be always at your back May the sun shine warm upon your face And the rain fall soft upon your fields And until we meet again May God hold you in the palm of his hand”
― Irish Blessings
“Ireland is a land of poets and legends, of dreamers and rebels. All of these have music woven through and around them. Tunes for dancing or for weeping, for battle or for love.”
― Nora Roberts
This day tends to sneak up on me: this last day of the year. I suppose the twinkling lights of Christmas and the dizzying realities of it’s aftermath will leave me in a bit of a daze. Typically I will retire to my bed for a couple days to repose and reflect. In actuality I will eat Christmas cookies and dark chocolate, watch old movies and sleep. By the time I come to my senses it’s already December 30th. In my younger days before I achieved “mommyhood” I used to get all dolled up and go out to some club or bar on New Year’s Eve. Now I tend to spend the evening trying to distract myself with creative endeavors all the while watching that clock tick, tick, tick towards midnight.
It is a strange phenomenon; the countdown, all the fuss and ado leads up to this one moment. This one moment that is so important we must all together count down the last 10 seconds to make sure we all have it right. And it’s Happy New Year! And then it’s all downhill from there, everyone cheers and then kinda looks around and goes back to whatever they were doing. It’s a climax to nothing like a bridge to nowhere.
These last few moments of the year are no more important than any other moments of the year. If any moment holds significance over the others, it is “Now”. Now is really all we have.
I celebrated the last day of 2012 with a group that suggested we write down on a piece of paper all the worries and problems that were weighing us down and keeping us a prisoner of our own fears. 2012 was horrid to me and I had no problem filling the page. We then got up and one by one silently put each piece of paper into the fire. This simple act was so cleansing. I really didn’t give it much thought over the year but I do think as “interesting” as 2o13 was, I handled myself pretty well, considering. (haha)
I am excited by the new year. I am eager to take it on. Life is changing so fast around us. I am looking forward to being a positive part of that change.
I have no resolutions except to eat healthier, exercise more, laugh as much as I can, try as hard as I can and love as much as I can. I grow restless and seek to spread a little peace, love and understanding in my little part of the universe.
I want to thank you my friends for making this whole blogging thing worthwhile. I appreciate your intelligent and thoughtful comments. I am enriched by your visits as a writer and as a person. I look forward to what we will learn from each other in the coming year.
Happy New Year! May 2014 bring you whatever you seek.
“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
― Alfred Tennyson