The Eyes of the Future

The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time.

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.

I have hope for that.

❤SBI

Free the Marijuana

There has been some backlash to a recent complaint made by the newest member of our apartment dwellers association. The complaint was regarding the sweet but pungent smell of marijuana that has at times lingered around our community and the wide availability of said and I may note legal marijuana products in our city of Potland, I mean Portland.
This has made “the mean looking guy upstairs” enemy number one in certain circles and a protest protesting the persecution and harassment of natural medicine enthusiasts, patients and supporters will be held today in the amphitheater.

I will be selling my homemade brownies to the participants to make some extra cash, stop by and pick some up while they last.

Update****

It began peacefully enough but when the protesters starting shouting “Free the Weed!”, “Free the Weed!” the amphitheater became swamped with crazed people looking for the free weed. FREE WEED!!

At first I was afraid. I was petrified as the crowd swelled to massive size! Quick thinking saved the day. I told them the marijuana was in the brownies and they cleaned me out of all 5 dozen in an instant, most of them tipped and handsomely too as stoned people are known to do. I walked away from the maddening but happy crowd with a few bucks to buy me some new kicks.

😀

**Seriously, marijuana can be medicine and its consumption, medical and recreational is legal where I live and becoming legal in more and more places. Below are links to some interesting sites regarding the subject. **

Medical Marijuana By Harvard Medical School blog

Medical Cannabis by MedicineNet.com

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis (2020 Update)

and now a quote from...

DR. SANJAY GUPTA:

“I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have ‘no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.’

They didn’t have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn’t have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works…

We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.”

Aug. 8, 2013, “Why I Changed My Mind on Weed,” CNN.com

Serendipities in the Rough

 

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.
—Arthur Golden

 

Life random, it is constant and ever moving.  It leaves no chance to go back and try again. Our journey in this what we call existence is wrought with surprise. We can never know what is just around the bend. Our experiences are accidental. We can cross our fingers and hope for the best. We can rely on a steady hand to guide the way, we can watch out for rocks but common pitfalls will befall us and so will other things too…

Einstein once said that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

 

Those words stared at me, written in my own hand. Stuck up on my computer at work. I stared at those words on that day a few weeks ago before I crumpled up the paper and dropped it silently into the trash. Our entire department was being downsized or outsized…whatever. I was out of a job. 

We were being paid for the day. It was ten o’c lock Monday morning and I was “free to go.”

A first for me; A layoff and fresh into my new independence in my new apartment. A fear rose up in me. A dread. A panic. I went home and cried.

I would like to say at this point I straightened up and used this setback as an opportunity to take on a newer and better adventure. I’d like to say I conquered hardship and myself but really I fell into another job without really trying. And now two weeks in I am finding the hidden “dangers” in taking the safe route. And I wonder if I have taken full advantage of my situation…

 

 

It is how we look at it all which makes the most impact on our lives. There can be hidden gems in rough serendipities. And something that may for the quick moment seem to be a setback could in reality be a spring forward.

 

 

Nature makes way for the new. An emptiness must be created in order to fill it. A tree sheds it’s leaves in the Autumn. They fall to the ground; becoming one with the earth, helping provide nourishment to the tree to grow its new leaves in the spring. Nature is constantly giving birth to itself. And we as part of nature are constantly being reborn. Every day we are alive this happens. With every experience we become a newer version of ourselves.

 

Every flower must grow through dirt. —Proverb

Life is like that. All our experiences; good and bad make us who and what we are. We can glean wisdom from this. Scars heal and can make us stronger. We can look back at our very survival as proof of that.

 

Kintsugi, The Japanese Art of Fixing Broken Pottery With Gold.

 

There are many who are “broken” in this world of ours. We are legion. Seldom, if ever, can anyone escape unscathed. Some say that a dose of hard times in one’s life makes one more sympathetic to the plight of others and more grateful too.  I think this is true to a great extent.

Tragedy is tragic and unfair as it is, we must salvage what we can from it. If only in order to save ourselves and others.

There are many forms of tragedy that exist. Much of it out of our control. I don’t have to tell anyone how troubled this world is. It’s easy for me to say that good can possibily ever come from bad.  I have lived a relatively fortunate life. I have not truly suffered like many have. But I do know something of hope and often it is born out of a human heart and spirit and nothing else.

There are going to be low days.  It’s inevitable. but it is those low days that prepare us for the high ones, these are inevitable too. I think this when I’m having a bad day; that I’m somehow paying my dues or paying it forward for later. I feel that in the law of averages my “bad luck” will turn to “good luck” Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But this has a magic all its own.

 

Nothing is perfect. My new job isn’t either but it does afford me more time to spend with a very important person to me who makes me feel wonderful and in that maybe it is all for the best…perhaps I will seek some rough and very soft serendipities there for a time…

~nlm

 

Related Articles

 

 

 

Whatever does not kill us: cumulative lifetime adversity, vulnerability, and resilience.

Out in the cold

snow-falling-gif

 

“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…

homeless-cold-person-snow

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.

 

homeless-child-mother-snow

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?

funny-sign-man-hookers

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.

homeless-man-face

 

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…

 

 

~nlm

 

winter-snow-nature-animated-gif-22

“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

 

 

Related Articles

WHY YOU SHOULD GIVE A DAMN (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

A Baby is Dead After Being Found With His Homeless Mother at a Portland Bus Stop

The Song of the Universe

tumart art psych

Music effects me like nothing else; pure sound melts into my body and fills my every pore. It travels down deep through my veins and capillaries straight to the heart then to the soul where it lingers a while, resonating like a fine wine. I am intoxicated.    Even amid what may seem like chaos one can feel those fine melodic tones pushing through to the surface. They cover me like a soft blanket of warm sand. They scintillate and tickle me, tantalizing my arm’s and legs.  I feel a rush of joy like a child in the sun. I am warmed and revived. Music does that to me. Good music, harmonious music.

I carry this with me, in snippets of memory; in songs that get stuck in my mind and play as a soundtrack to accompany parts of my day. This inner soundtrack lifts my mood and encourages me. It  strengthens my spirit and resolve. It calms me, makes me happy but also allows me to feel a million moods from sunny yellow to deep stone black. Through music I hear the song of the singer. I feel their thoughts and hear their dreams, even experience their heartbreak in a small way.  I hear their soul singing out and I hear a hundred million others.

Music is that powerful.

 

 

guitar moon col

 

According to string theory, absolutely everything in the universe, all of the particles that make up matter and forces, including you and I and my cat Mario are comprised of tiny vibrating  strings. Because of this some have likened the universe to a symphony. 

Michio Kaku the famous Physicist once said ” We are nothing but melodies. We are nothing but cosmic music played out on vibrating strings and membranes. Obeying the laws of physics, which is nothing but the laws of harmony of vibrating strings.” 

Playing the song of the cosmos I suppose…

 

This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows Sh 2-106, or S106 for short. This is a compact star forming region in the constellation Cygnus (The Swan). A newly-formed star called S106 IR is shrouded in dust at the centre of the image, and is responsible for the the surrounding gas cloudÕs hourglass-like shape and the turbulence visible within. Light from glowing hydrogen is coloured blue in this image.

 

I think that is how we are connected and why music holds a universal appeal with us. It’s something we can all share. It is a ancient connection that’s been wired into us since the beginning. It is the ultimate in communication.

I’ve had musicians tell me that playing with others in concert operates on a very intimate level and that doesn’t surprise me.  I have felt similar feelings when engaged in a slow dance with a partner. I think most of us possess the ability to connect with others through music and with music itself.

This makes me think how life on earth is like a orchestra and we are all members of that orchestra.  We hum along, creating our own music in everything we do, think and feel.    I can see how imbalances could cause the music to distort and become unpleasant. Only when harmony is restored are we whole and playing beautifully once again.

I believe we on the planet are in a state of extreme disharmony. There are too many voices that sing songs of hate and exclusion,  inequality, indifference and greed. Songs that disrespect and pillage our planet, songs that kill the soul and lull desire.  We need to sing together for the common good; for peace and love, for kindness and understanding in concert with the earth and with the universe itself. 

African Children's Choir spreads peace.
African Children’s Choir spreads peace.

 

Most of us go about our lives encased in a hard shell that we have developed from our own personal experiences of being alive and living in the world we do.  Many of us hide our true thoughts and feelings from each other and to an extent I think we rarely realize, we are all connected by circumstance, by fate and by our very atoms themselves, down to those tiny vibrating strings but we act like strangers to each other. I think society teaches us this; that we should be wary of the different, have disdain for the unusual and mistrust the independent minded. Our mutual fear of each other causes misunderstanding and disharmony.   Children have a natural affinity for other beings. They don’t see what adults have been trained by society to see. We share so much and yes we are capable of singing a beautiful song in harmony  made up of beautiful voices, of varied colors and hues of thoughts and ideas.

 

Together we are the song of the universe.

 

And as I go about my week I am going to keep this in mind and try to remember that we are all connected, even those that may disagree with me. We all share the same needs, wants and fears.  We can attune ourselves to the same frequency if we listen and find some common chords.

 

~NLM

 

“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”
― Alan W. Watts

 

 

Related sounds of the universe

 

Lady Gaga sings America’s National Anthem/The Star-Spangled Banner at Super Bowl 50

Fiona Apple – “Across The Universe

.

Our beautiful planet Earth naturally resonates at a frequency of 7.83 Hz. Many believe we can tap into this “heartbeat of the Earth”

Schumann Meditation 7.83 Hz 

unnamed-6 meditate art fantasy color
The above link connects to music that contains isochronic tones of Schumann Resonance or 7.83 Hz. Often it is referred as “Earth’s pulse”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schumann…. Research that have been done with experienced meditators (Zen meditators) show that it is a significant frequency. Its benefits are: Stress minimization, Healing acceleration, Muscle rejuvenation, Learning skills enhancement and mental well-being.

 

 

Fresh Quotes: 7 Deadly Sins

 

 

 

In the interest of gritty and honest hard-hitting journalism I am out to sin and not just once but seven times!  You guessed that right my friends, I am out to commit the Seven Deadly Sins and no one can stop me!

 

Theda Bara as the star of Cleopatra
Theda Bara as the star of Cleopatra

Just to clarify; the seven deadly sins are something the Catholics came up with, along with other lists as well.  I’m not going to get into all that but suffice to say these particular sins seem tame as sins go. They are not so deadly; no killing or maiming or any bloodshed at all. They can’t be all that bad I’m reasoning to myself. Not enough to get struck down by lightning or anything drastic. Maybe some light finger-wagging by the guy upstairs??   And really what better time to go out and conquer sin?  I’ve spent the great part of the last 20 years lost in some sort of June Clever-ish world, immersed in a certain domestic passivity that has separated me from anything even vaguely resembling sin.  That being said, I think that it’s high time to embark on a wondrous journey of mild debauchery.

But then again…

 

The truth is that I am too lazy to go out and commit SIN
The truth is that I am too lazy to go out and commit SIN

It is wintertime and the downtown area of Portland where I was planning to sin gets mighty cold this time of year.  Perhaps I will wait for the summer when it is HOT.

I will just have to get by with some light preliminary sinning from the comfort of my home.  My favorite chocolate chocolate ice cream with chocolate and whipped cream sounds like a great start.  I think I’ve got the sloth and gluttony down!  RIGHT ON!!

…and while I think of other ways I can mildly sin from home let’s explore the world of THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS through the following quotes and images:

 

~NLM

vintage rebel women black-and-white-dance-nature-pegan-vintage-witches-favim-com-46861

 

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”

~Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

*

~ ♦ ♦   The 7   ♦ ♦ ~


.

Pride

 

tarot card the fool

 

Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools.

~Alexander Pope

 

 

vintage women fun laugh

“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”

~Charlotte Brontë

ENVY

GeorgeClooney coffee

coffe cup kiss

 

“I envy
the cup of coffee
that gets
to kiss
your sleepy lips
awake
every cold and
bitter morning.”

~Sade Andria Zabala

Rare-photos-of-Marilyn- marilyn monroe sad

Success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn’t that way. It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you.”

~Marilyn Monroe

GLUTTONY

pooh anticipation gif eating honey w

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”

~A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

heart -hearts chocolate love

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”

~George Bernard Shaw

 


SLOTH

sloth-baby gif

“You know, sloth is a sin,” he says softly.
“I prefer to think of it as an adorable animal.”

~Ella James

*

sin lazy dog walking funny

“Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.”

~Robert A. Heinlein

WRATH

slow-to wrath quote

mindful meditate shadow beach water person sit

“The peace of God is with them whose mind and soul are in harmony, who are free from desire and wrath, who know their own soul.”

~Anonymous, The Bhagavad Gita

GREED

 Cree Indian Prophecy
Cree Indian Prophecy

*

“Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed.”

~Albert Einstein

*

'The Last Supper' by Art Young (January 1,1920)
‘The Last Supper’ by Art Young (January 1,1920)

 

Look at the orators in our republics; as long as they are poor, both state and people can only praise their uprightness; but once they are fattened on the public funds, they conceive a hatred for justice, plan intrigues against the people and attack the democracy.”

~Aristophanes

LUST

osho-wake-up-dangerous-love fire flame

 

Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves”

~Laura Esquivel

 

love lust

“Desire is the kind of thing that
eats you
and
leaves you starving.”
~Nayyirah Waheed

 

lovers kiss neck vintage

*

“Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense.”

~Robert A. Heinlein

****

In Roman Catholicism, the Seven Deadly Sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, are a list of the worst vices that cut a person off from God’s grace. In Latin and English, the Seven Deadly Sins are: superbia (pride), avaritia (greed), luxuria (extravagance, later lust), invidia (envy), gula (gluttony), ira (wrath), and acedia (sloth). Each of the Seven Deadly Sins corresponds to one of the Seven Holy Virtues (see below), and together these lists were the moral standards and tests of the early Catholic Church.

 

The Roman Catholic Church recognizes the seven virtues as opposites to the seven sins:

Sin Virtue
Lust (undesired love) Chastity (purity)
Gluttony (overindulgence) Moderation/Temperance (self-restraint)
Greed (avarice) Generosity (vigilance)
Sloth (laziness) Zeal (integrity)
Wrath (anger) Meekness (composure)
Envy (jealousy) Charity (giving)
Pride (vanity) Humility (humbleness)

 

Why You Should Give a Damn

“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.

 

observer tv baby

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.

no one is born racist people together

 

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?

Traumatized and shellshocked children in the village of Aitaroun. Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez.
Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez.

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.

 

apathy i dont care
“The world doesn’t end in revolt and revolution…it ends in apathy.” ― Nick Shamhart

 

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….

 

~NLM

 

 “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

Related Articles

Passenger - Scare Away The Dark

The War on the Poor

 

POVERTY-AMERICA- poor homeless

 

 

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.

Homeless spikes under-bridge in China  Photo:  Daily Mail
Homeless spikes under-bridge in China Photo: Daily Mail

 

 

Where are we going with this? What is happening to our humanity?

 

St. Louis City street sign
St. Louis, Missouri. USA

 

anti homeless bench
Orlando, Florida. USA

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?

 

 

“Our economy is based on spending billions to persuade people that happiness is buying things, and then insisting that the only way to have a viable economy is to make things for people to buy so they’ll have jobs and get enough money to buy things.”  ― Philip Slater
“Our economy is based on spending billions to persuade people that happiness is buying things, and then insisting that the only way to have a viable economy is to make things for people to buy so they’ll have jobs and get enough money to buy things.”
― Philip Slater

 

“A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things. ”  ― Herman Melville
“A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things. ”
― Herman Melville

 

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.

 

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”  ― Mahatma Gandhi
“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

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.

 

 

 

~Nancy

.

“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

  save the world postive children kids happy

 

***References and Related Articles***

John Lennon – Working Class Hero (YouTube)

Woody Guthrie- This Land Is Your Land  (YouTube)

**

The Koch Brothers and the Danger of American Plutocracy (billmoyers.com) 
America’s wealth gap ‘unsustainable,’ warns Harvard study that finds corporations are growing richer as workers grow poorer (Financialpost.com) 
The Republican War on the Poor (Huffingtonpost.com)
Homeless Spikes Popping Up All Over the World — Oligarchs Rejoice
GALLERY: WHAT INEQUALITY LOOKS LIKE   (Ted.com)

Trick or Treat Me

I am at the grocery store and no one knows I’m here. I am about to confess my secret shame; I’m here to buy replacement Halloween candy. Somehow the bags of candy I bought for the trick-or-treaters has disappeared.

The bored woman at the cash register gives me and my purchases a knowing glance. I know she knows and she knows I know she knows but doesn’t care that I do know.  I grab my bags and get out of there.  I’m not proud of myself but…

Who can stand up to all this candy temptation at this time of year? Every time I go shopping lately to get “healthy” food for my family I am bombarded, bombarded I say, by store aisles all overflowing with bag upon bag of delightful Halloween candy–fetchingly decorated in the festive brown, black and orange of the season. I can’t be the only one who has found this whole situation a tad bit tempting, well…a lot tempting!

I suppose I could go out and buy all the bags of candy I wanted and eat it all in the parking lot of the store before I get home–as fun as that sounds–it wouldn’t be the same.

Okay.  I admit it. I am jealous of the whole thing. I am a big kid and I miss being one especially on this, my most favorite day of the year.  I love the whole idea of Halloween. I love the scariness about it, the ghosts and the vampires and monsters. I love the drama, the dressing up, the festiveness and most of all I love the candy!

I wish I could and I have yearnings to dress up in some wildly colorful costume,  definitely something with wings and cruise the neighborhood going door to door just like the other kiddies on Halloween night scoring free goodies and treats; delightful little bite sized bits of sweetness.  Why should the fact that I am a 44-year-old woman stop me really?

You never know,  I still look young…perhaps if I wore a mask and walked slumped over…I might pull it off? Why just the other day a drunk guy mistook me for a high school student…from about 50 feet away (it’s my shoes)

I wonder what people’s reactions would be to seeing a chocolate-crazed middle-aged woman in a fairy costume trying to pass herself off as a child to get candy on Halloween? Would they say “go home old woman”?  Would they laugh? Would they call the police?  More importantly would they give me candy?  And if so, how much and what kind?

I mean, so what?  So I want to get dressed up in some ridiculous get-up and go to strange people’s doors and get candy. I want to do this on Halloween; on this Halloween and all the other holidays for that matter.  Whew…I said it. Now you know.

I told you I wasn’t proud.  But it is what it is. I never really grew up and I really like Halloween. Of course, I’ve had my fantasies about this very thing while being a mom taking my kids out for years, having to stand at the foot of my neighbor’s front steps with a flashlight looking pathetic in the dark waiting to be asked if I want some candy too.  Or offered shots of Espresso and homemade donuts in some nice person’s warm and homey kitchen.

What about the adults on Halloween, what happens to them?  I know that many spend this fantastic holiday at various parties in skimpy costumes getting wasted.  I’ve done that, but these days throwing on a pair of butterfly wings and donning a purple wig while I gorge myself till I’m sick on candy really appeals to me–Right on!!!

Who wants to join me? The more the merrier….I know most of you do not live in my city but wouldn’t it be worth the trip?  Seeing me and weird Portland all while getting free candy…I’d let you treat me to a Chai Latte afterward.

Well that’s the way I roll friends. Will I really take the plunge and risk making a total fool of myself for some cheap thrills and candy? Or will I chicken out and return to the store for more bags of Recess Cups? Only time will tell…

 

Strawberryindigo.

Me in years past
Me in years past

I think if human beings had genuine courage, they’d wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween. Wouldn’t life be more interesting that way? And now that I think about it, why the heck don’t they? Who made the rule that everybody has to dress like sheep 364 days of the year? Think of all the people you’d meet if they were in costume every day. People would be so much easier to talk to – like talking to dogs. ”
― Douglas Coupland

 

halloween candy pile

Musings on TIME and other savory things

“How did it get so late so soon?”

― Dr. Seuss

 

We are beholden to time.  It gives whatever fate has determined for us to be a fair measure. It is always there.  It is quiet. It sits like a spider in its web, waiting in a seldom used corner of a dark room…

It can be patient, this time.  At other times, it is as quick as lightning. It can be a soft trickle of water that slowly cuts through rock and stone or the tidal rush of mad ocean that can fill a mighty canyon in minutes.

I see the lines that time has left in my face; places where smiles have once been, crinkles around my eyes, the inevitable forehead furrow that comes from deep thinking. I suppose I have earned these, although knowing that doesn’t take away the feeling I get. It still surprises me when I look into the mirror and a 40-year-old looks back at me when when I still expect that 20-year-old to.  I  look like me but different. I know a hell of a lot more than the 20-year-old did. The sparkle in my eyes are the same–maybe even brighter than when I was younger. I have found one doesn’t have to be under 30 to have a spring in one’s step.

I have been on this planet long enough to witness some time pass. One can see a lot in 44 years of life. It is not nearly enough in my opinion. To me it seems my life is just beginning.  There is so much to do, to experience. I think I am finally starting to catch on.

And while one is figuring it all out..it just sits there dispassionately and ticks.

Ouch. You can’t reason with time. You can’t sweet talk it. It is incorruptible. It stands firm, no negotiating. It goes on and that is that…

…and it demands we deal with our own mortality. Damn that time.

black hole of my imagination

A human lifetime is but a mere blink compared to the age of this planet…or age of the universe for that matter. To think in those spans of time requires one to walk among cold things, unblinking things…things we will never know or understand.

Even I don’t want to know everything.

It is much better to feel everything. Experience everything we can.  Every single damn moment can be an eternity if we enjoy it enough.

coffee

And I am off to enjoy those moments…
and savor them slowly.
Like a warm cup of dark coffee on a hopeful sunlit morning
smooth and rich, uplifting…happy.
enjoying each moment fully and then letting go.
Moments like chocolate and hazelnuts
Sweet and inviting. ..alive

🙂

Wishing you happiness my friends,

Strawberryindigo.

Girl-Holding-the-Sun-Sunrise__32633-480x320

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

― Mother Teresa

.

***OTHER STUFF***

TIME by Pink Floyd  (YouTube)

Time Travel; Theories, Paradoxes and Possibilities (space.com)

Shine on you Crazy Diamond

Six Savory Shortbread Recipes to Pair with Soup this Fall (thekitchn.com)

Musings on time. (broganknight.wordpress.com)

The Great and Powerful Hubris

HUBRIS

Extreme pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence, accomplishments or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power. It is often associated with a lack of humility, though not always with the lack of knowledge.

hubris gorilla-fight

Behold the mighty hubris. See how it stands; Proud and defiant. The very image of strength and determination. It matters not to this magnificent creature whether it stands for truth, justice or common sense. It just matters that it stands.

Look, if you dare, at it’s mighty muscles. Watch it flex. See and believe. That is all that is required…for now.

Hear it roar. Listen to it defy all reason.  Proud it stands, full of hot air so much so it could heat up the globe for 1000 years.  Do you hear the call to arms; the march to war?  Do you hear it justify it’s existence?  It is the great and powerful hubris in action.

Do not question. Do not think for yourself. This powerful one frowns upon that. See how shiny it is and strong. It must know everything that is needed to be known.  There is no need to think. It will think for you. All that is needed is awe…and obedience.

Obey me it bellows.

hubris war by ivy-mike2

“And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains.
Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
― Percy Bysshe ShelleyOzymandias

hubris clearcut

We have seen much of this. Too much and it is not just the one inflicted who suffers from its fallout, it’s all of us. The whole world. We are connected and ever more so as our world becomes smaller due to our electronic communications. I myself have been communicating with others from all over the world. The internet has made this possible.

The internet has also made it more difficult to cover over and hide the horrible results of this infliction called hubris. Some of us may be being watched by our governments but this is a two-way street. We have eyes, we have ears and it’s not just the hauteur which has a roar. As does The People and We The People are tired of living in the fallout of mighty pride, arrogance and conceit.

Humility, respect and honesty have power too. As does love, compassion and understanding. Humanity is capable of much greatness. It just needs to be harnessed for the greater good of all instead for the temporary gain of small groups.  We are living at a time of fantastic change. Let us use our mutual talents for the positive. Let us include instead of exclude. There are no enemies, no borders or dividing lines. What affects our neighbors affects us too. We are all the same inside. Let us work with nature instead of against it. Let us be the generation that says stop all the madness!

Thanks for listening,

Strawberrryindigo.

 

world-peace

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.” 

― William Faulkner

people happy-boy-face-close-up_w725_h544

Scilla Elworthy: Fighting with non-violence (TED Talks)
30 Dolphins Stranded … Share what happens next! (facebook.com)
Real Life Heroes (YouTube)
Restoring Faith in Humanity (YouTube)

Stand up for Peace

world peace in public domain

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”

―    William Faulkner

The following is a rant….it is my little way of speaking out…speaking my mind right or wrong. What follows is no assertion of fact; it is only the opinion of one person: me: SBI.

We the people of this planet have the right to live peaceful lives. So much is lost due to the ravages of war; natural resources and precious lives. This world belongs to us; the people of this planet. We have rights dammit, and damn anyone or anything who tries to deny us our simple peaceful existence.

We the people don’t want war. It is those entities in seats of power; governments and corporations who profit from war. WE the people of this planet only lose out, again and again. This has played out through the centuries.

Those in power want us to believe that there is nothing we can do. They need us to think we are powerless. They know better and use whatever smoke and mirrors to trick us into believing whatever they want/need us to believe..

Don’t believe them. Together we ARE powerful. Together we can make a difference. Together we can change the world! YES we can!

This I believe, this I must believe. What we need is a spark, a spark in the dark that lights a candle, one candle can light countless others. We need to give hope to each other. We need to have faith in each other.

We must learn to see beyond the racial, cultural and religious differences that keep us apart. We are more alike than some may lead us to believe. I have met many special and beautiful people in my life. Stand-out individuals of all colors, creeds and faiths. Our diversity can strengthen us. We need each other, all of humanity is connected and we have so much in common. One of these aspects we share is the need to be loved and to be respected; the need to live a peaceful existence.

To do this we must fight, we must fight their ideas; the ones they cram down our throats. The ideas that say we must to this or do that. The idea that tells us that we must think of our fellow humans as the enemy.

The powers-that-be rule over us by fear. It is a time proven tactic. It has been used many times and it works. Fear leads to misunderstandings. Fear lead to hate and hate leads to war.

War has become big business in this world. To some a human life is insignificant. We cannot tolerate this. We cannot and we must speak out. We must stand up, tall and proud and say NO MORE!

unity earth from moon

We hold the power. We the people of this planet. 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all that is happening in the world…. and it’s unfortunate that our world is ruled by the all-mighty dollar.  The haves are distracting the have-nots with trivial bipartisan  nonsense.  This angers people who are frustrated and time and time again, these people lash out…Whether it is a person acting alone, a group or a nation. The world is becoming more dangerous and all we can seem to do is fight-fight-fight. We are proving our unworthiness to exist and our planet is turning us; we are turning on us. This needs to stop.  We as a society need to come together. This is easily said but not easily done. Our governments and media sets the tone.  Big business pulls the strings and calls the shots. We the consumers feed them. On a grassroots level, little by little we need to change this. We need to learn to become less reliant on a system that is not sustainable. This cannot happen overnight but in time we can change our ways.

This greed, this hunger for power and land and resources is the creature that drives this hungry machine. We can no longer depend on a system that created THIS; what we have now….this inflated monster that’s about to pop. It is overstuffed. We have fed it too much… given this machine of commerce too much control over not only our lives but the lives of everyone on this planet…and the planet itself.

Turn off the TV. Don’t BUY it..at least for today. The people have all the real power. LOVE each other. Spread compassion.

Strawberryindigo.

Peace-Signs-Solid-Preview-Full

“Peace has to be created, in order to be maintained. It will never be achieved by  passivity and quietism.”

Dorothy Thompson

.

This has been a post inspired by BLOGGERS FOR PEACE. An online movement made up of caring individuals who believe that together we can make a difference! Please join us!  To join just click on the badge below…

bloggers forpeace6

IMAGINE by John Lennon (youtube)

Teaching Peace to Children (stevesthinkingspace.wordpress.com)

The Art of Peace (bodhisattvaintraining.wordpress.com)

The Sea of Humanity (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

The Ascending Spiral of Love (spiritualworldtravelerblog.com)

Power to Change the World (donettas.wordpress.com)

Meditation to achieve global peace on Independence Day 2013 (8485 people needed!) (planet.infowars.com)

5 Solutions to Change the World (saunsea.wordpress.com)

Inner Peace is World Peace (southweb.org)

Nobel winners to discuss peace (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)

A Love You Can Bank On

bank heart_filled_with_love

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” ~ Henry Ford~

.

It is late November, soon after Thanksgiving, a woman with a fake smile plastered to her face opens the door and welcomes me inside. The sweet inviting smell of gingerbread wafts out like a meandering tendril of affection pulling me in closer and closer. A giant stuffed pony sits at the ready, seemingly waiting for giant hugs…I must say that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas; I can almost hear the carolers now but all I hear is “Welcome to Wells Fargo!”

I have been frequenting this bank for the last twenty years or so and I have never seen it quite like this: Ever since Occupy Portland staged a bank protest day the people at the bank have become seemingly friendlier and friendlier. To the banks this may seem like good public relations but it seems too artificial and it is unnerving to me.

I look for the cookies to no avail and I feel stupid for doing that…of course they must be practicing the popular trend of piping in the intoxicating aroma to lull us poor unsuspecting customers into a false sense of security… Trust perhaps?

bankster-trust-me-im-a-banker by teamster nation

Banks are big on trust. It seems those with the money and the power are desperate to get us little guys to trust them. I have a piece of advice on that: never trust anyone who keeps bringing up the issue of trust: who says “trust me” or really anyone at all for that matter (except for your family and me–you must trust me)

I see the poor nervous ones in the corner, waiting uncomfortably in comfy plush chairs arranged in a circle in a vague semblance of someone’s living room. They are waiting their turn to see a personal banker. (aka purse string holder)  These are the people who help you apply for a loan or help modify your mortgage.  Every one of these poor waiting people look sick.  One in particular, an elderly man in a frayed jacket with paint stains is visually shaken. I’ve been in that spot before; I feel sorry for them and relieved that I am not among their ranks–today.

banks make-money-public-domain

It is a strange event when banks won’t take cash from you…Yes cash, that funny green paper we mortals keep passing around, the dirty stuff you must wash your hands after using. We had an envelope of cash–around $300, not much to some but a lot to me.  MM hands them the wrong bankcard from another institution of banking and larceny. He receives a disappointed look, like he has been caught cheating. I add to the insult by writing the wrong number on the deposit slip. the teller who resembles Timothy Geithner asks for his ID. He hands it to Timmy but Timmy now squints and gazes at him sideways; MM looks different from the picture with his newish beard and that was that–Timmy refuses to accept the money, seriously. He tells us with utter contempt to return with the correct information. In the past no one has questioned us for such an offense, in my experience banks will always take cash but not today… we are perplexed.

Timmy Geithner

I say to MM:  ” I should write about this.” He gives me that “Oh no, not again” look but quickly tries to cover it with a placating smile.  I don’t know how he can put up with me sometimes and as the afternoon goes on I ask him and a few others if they have ever heard of any interesting stories about banks in the news lately…especially nice ones as I want to get all angles of this story–Happy bankers, heartwarming tidbits of gleeful giving, perfect for the upcoming Holiday season…I ask this with a straight face. I really want the banks to be able to redeem themselves in my eyes, really, I mean it! …I know what you’re thinking and everyone I talked to thought along similar lines and so all I get are the same placating smiles and polite “No’s”.

The internet knows all Kittycat

I then turn to all that’s fit to print: The internet. The Internet knows all, so when I ask it the very same question, it too gives me the same look and this time a very stern “NO!”

And this gets me thinking…

I felt like the long-suffering wife in a bad marriage; unloved and unappreciated.  I looked at myself hard in the mirror, I studied all the newly formed worry lines on my face. I took  way too long showers and cried myself to sleep. I binged on chocolate ice cream and listened to love songs and cried even more…well…no, not really but I did have some ice cream and I did do one other thing–for real:  I quit that bank. I realised that it really  “wasn’t that into me and I withdrew my little sum of money and marched straight to the arms of another love–The local credit union!

money on my purple lap

“Corporations have no souls but they can love one another.”

~Henry Demarest Lloyd~

money bags

 Related articles

Credit Unions VS Banks, the pros and cons (www.huffingtonpost.com)

Goldman Sachs’ Long History Of ‘Money And Power  (npr.org)

Occupy Portland: N17 Protestors move into downtown, go from bank to bank, police make some arrests    (oregonlive.com)

50 ways to leave your lover by Paul Simon (www.youtube.com)

How Traditional Banking Practices Can Make You Poor (wisebread.com)

Banks… 😐 (muddiedwater.wordpress.com)

%d bloggers like this: