Aliens inside us

 

There are aliens inside us…hidden deep inside us…restless ones who move about changing shape and creating quite a stir…subtly effecting us in ways we cannot imagine…slowly taking over our minds…driving us insane…

 

This is the dramatic version I like to entertain myself with. The one that suggests a nerdy sci-fi thriller mixed with a slick medical docudrama. This may not be too far off. ..

So just what am I jabbering on about you ask?

 

Mitochondria!

(Play dramatic music here)

that’s right. Mitochondria.

 

 

mitochondrion 1
Mitochondria

As we all know from Science class , mitochondria are adorable microscopic rod-shaped organelles. They live inside our cells, they give us our get up and go, our va va va voom and our very breath.

 

Really far out and groovy scientists hypothesize that millions of years ago a microscopic  free-living single-celled organism met up with another larger microscopic free-living single-celled organism and the two dug each other so much they reached some sort of agreement to develop a symbiotic relationship. And so they did;  shacking up together like bohemian live-in lovers, one not being able to live without the other, each complimenting each other perfectly. Eventually, the larger organism developed into a cell, the eukaryotic cell to be exact and the smaller organism developed into the mitochondrion we know today.   But how much do we know about mitochondria anyway?

 

Cultures cell stained for mitochondria (red), microtubules (blue), and the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1 (green)
Cultures cell stained for mitochondria (red), microtubules (blue), and the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1 (green)

Although they live inside us, mitochondrion do not share our DNA, they have their own.  They are quite the powerhouses of energy. They can change shape rapidly and are quite restless moving about ours cells almost constantly.

Mitochondria may not be literally the air that we breathe but it is they who convert the oxygen we breathe into energy in a process called aerobic respiration. Without mitochondria higher animals such as you and I and even my cat Mario are not likely to exist…

Ever since I heard of mitochondria and this arrangement made millions of years ago I have been fascinated.

 

 

I myself have entered into what most would consider a symbiotic relationships with another human and I don’t have to tell anyone that sometimes these relationships just don’t turn out. Sometimes they end badly and by the time you realize this,  it’s already too late and you have been driven insane.  It happens all the time. But imagine if you had literally absorbed this partner into your body and now it’s DNA is in your nucleus!  How can you undo this?  Argument, logic or idle threats cannot separate you. You are stuck with this mistake forever and there’s no amount of clever legalese or high priced lawyers that can save you.  OMG! Yikes!!

 

Mammalian mitochondria
Mammalian mitochondria

Really?  Can your Mitochondria make you crazy and if I ever do go crazy can I use this as an excuse?

I have been catching up on my technical journals and ran into articles citing evidence that there is a correlation between mutated mitochondrion and mental illness. This is no surprise.

This aspect is what intrigues me about the whole subject.  I mean could these little buggers be influencing us on a more subtle level, and if I screw up or do something stupid can I blame them?

Would anyone buy this?

This is what I ponder as I look out the window into the great wide world outside. I watch two crows fly high in the sky which leads to more pondering.  Yes, there are times when symbiosis goes horribly wrong but what happens when it goes wonderfully right?  Apart from some craziness, are we not the product of a successful symbiosis?  I try to imagine a time before the merging of the two single-celled organisms that created life as we know it here on earth.  In our narrow human point of view not a lot had happened before this chance meeting.  It was a spark that set off a whole heaping helping of a lot, dammit…

…has all of this been good ? That I will ponder another day…

I feel restless…

..the sun is out and I think I will go for walk

 

~NLM

art fractal gif 6

 

 

References and Related Articles

Entangled Particles and the Certainty of Love
The Air that I Breathe - The Hollies 


High Intensity Exercise Makes Muscle Mitochondria Happy

Psychiatric symptoms of patients with primary mitochondrial DNA disorders


Mitochondria (What is Mitochondria?)


The Ascent and Descent of Man

 

 From our earliest beginnings we as a species have striven to become more than what we are. It is  inborn within us and it is more than the simple will to live but to thrive and dominate. This is us; what we come from.  It is by no mistake that we Homo Sapiens rule the world and all life upon it. And it is by no peaceful means either. We fought hard, tooth and claw, to get on top of the food chain. Our mutual family history is littered with war upon war, conquest upon conquest. We have erected (what we deem) civilization  built on a culture of want, propelled by the rampant machine of consumerism and paid for by we the people and our children.
  It’s easy to be judgmental. Pessimistic even about the human race and it’s future. I have heard a rumbling dislike for our own species from some. I do not echo that feeling. I cannot hate my own kind which would include myself, my children, my family and friends and basically everyone. This is defeatist and makes no sense to me.  We are all in this together.
If we are to be judged, are we to be judged not only by our faults but by our graces as well? We are an amalgam of the worst and the best of us.
Earth_Day_Another_Earth sunrise
And so we begin at the dawn of man.  We Homo Sapiens were not the first humanoid.  That honor belongs to  Australopithecus Afarensis and there have been many. The exact number has not been agreed upon.  Here is a link to a list.
We alone survived. Our last competitors, the ultra-hardy Neanderthals died out about 40,000 years ago. We scaled that evolutionary ladder higher and embraced “civilization” instead of living a marginal existence by the whim of cruel nature. We overcame it and become masters of our fate.
We strove to succeed in this way and progress; onward and upward. Nothing stood in our way. We were out to conquer nature and each other and we have done so and most infamously.
20080321033750!Explosion
It is one thing to be clever and another to be wise~George R.R. Martin
Whether what we have put together constitutes a civilization I am not convinced.  I look at the world at large and the small goings-on in the microcosm that surrounds me  and I have my doubts. It seems that we are losing ground as well on a whole and as time goes by and resources grow scarcer if we are not careful we will stray even further from the path of true civilization.
Civilization is the stage of human social development and organization that is considered most advanced.

When I read Webster’s

Simple Definition of civilization

  1. The condition that exists when people have developed effective ways of organizing a society and care about art, science, etc.
  2. A particular well-organized and developed society.

I realize just how not civilized we are. This brings to mind Gandhi’s famous reply to being asked the question of what he thought of  Western civilization.

I think it would be a very good idea. Said Gandhi and so do I.

I've got the whole world in my hands

We are like a clever child. We have harnessed great power, we have made great strides, and cured many diseases. We have extinguished much suffering in the world, but we have also caused much of it too.  We do not yet possess the wisdom required to wield great power. We have squandered a lot of resources. We have raped and pillaged the planet and now we stand on a precipice staring into an abyss and instead of jumping over the cliff , we need to walk away from the edge and get to the business of saving ourselves; that is what our business should be. Like any child who has a messy room, we need to clean it up but there is no adult around to make sure we do it.  It’s time for us to grow up and become that adult. We have remained a child far too long.
 It’s time for us to stop finding reasons to divide each other and look for ones that unite us.
We need to work together and stop the destructiveness, the pettiness, the greed.
That is being civilized.
We who can harness the atom are in the process of shaping our world; the world we’ll leave to the future.
 What will we leave?
china air pollution
“Our civilization is flinging itself to pieces. Stand back from the centrifuge.― Ray Bradbury
One of our many brilliant strengths as a species is our ability to adapt. Events play out in a fluid motion; constantly swirling and changing. Nothing is forever, and we have not only kept up with the changes, we have thrived on and benefited from them. Our rise would not have been possible without the downfall of the previous rulers of this planet. The Dinosaurs dominated for more than 180 million years.
 No matter how terrible that “Terrible Lizard” was, it had it’s day and we are having ours.
 
dinosaurs Scientist Says Dark Matter May Have Caused Dinosaur Die Off
Nothing is permanent, but change. – Heraclitus
 
The dinosaurs couldn’t adapt, but we can. We have it within ourselves if we can take our collective human cleverness and temper it with some good common sense and painfully acquired wisdom that we can glean from our current challenges. Circumstance forces us to act not in our time but it’s own.
That time is coming I’m afraid, we all know it.
We can be our own worst enemy but we are also our own greatest hope.
Of course change is not new and every generation faces it’s own challenges, some more than others. Climate change is our challenge but that is only part of the picture. We must change ourselves and put aside our childish ways because the way we’ve been doing things just isn’t cutting it.
We can’t stop the planet from changing. We have no choice but to adapt but we will grow stronger and wiser because of it and perhaps one day we will be truly civilized.  I am but one faint voice, there have been many before me and there will be many after me, this I believe. This is the one constant.
~NLM
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Graffiti Artist Banksy
Graffiti Artist Banksy
“The challenge remains. On the other side are formidable forces: money, political power, the major media. On our side are the people of the world and a power greater than money or weapons: the truth.
Truth has a power of its own. Art has a power of its own. That age-old lesson – that everything we do matters – is the meaning of the people’s struggle here in the United States and everywhere. A poem can inspire a movement. A pamphlet can spark a revolution. Civil disobedience can arouse people and provoke us to think, when we organize with one another, when we get involved, when we stand up and speak out together, we can create a power no government can suppress. We live in a beautiful country. But people who have no respect for human life, freedom, or justice have taken it over. It is now up to all of us to take it back.”
Howard Zinn

Of Cats and Men

A wee tidbit from the other blog…pure silliness with some interesting “facts” mixed with the stuff I just blatantly made up. Enjoy!

Serendipity 13

old man with cat on leashTo me nothing is sexier than a man with a cat. Yes, you heard that right; I like guys who like cats.  These men are not afraid to show their kinder and gentler side. These are masculine men, rugged men, intelligent men with big muscles and facial hair. These brave men ignore the taunts and teases from other men, men who say that “real men” only have tough kick-ass pets like Pit Bulls, Snakes and Roosters with attitudes but not cute and cuddly cats, but these men, these “cat men” know the truth. That any real man worth his salt is compassionate and loving and likes a good petting every once in a while. So without any further ado I give you.

Of Cats and Men

vintage marlon brando and cat

Marlon Brando with His Cat at Home

The cat was an outstanding poet but lacked the fingers to type. Marlon provided those fingers and…

View original post 331 more words

The Making of MAGIC

 

 

There’s much to be said for the way we look at things. Our vision is tempered by what we expect to see. Look for ugliness and you’ll find it, the same goes for beauty for both can be found in everything. It is the way we look at things which control what we see and how we see it.

We create our own reality. I know how that sounds; like some metaphysical mumbo~jumbo that seems profound and  wise but an idea that some of us may find difficult to grasp, myself included. Real life is the reality we live with every day. It can be cold and hard and can smack one right in the face.

If I had control of all reality…seriously…I would eradicate war, hunger and poverty, mean people and bad hair days too..all that stuff. Most of us would but that does not make it so. We can see the state of the world.  Who wants that? It’s so overwhelming and beyond anyone’s power and control but we can control some things.

And that is where the magic comes in…

 

Zenith_by_MescalineBanana art psych
“Zenith” By MescalineBanana

Yes…back on the magic. I realize you are sophisticated and have a certain sense of the world that is pretty much on target. I like to think of myself as an open-minded sort who is tempered with a fair amount of skepticism. I want to believe in Santa Claus and in unicorns and elves and giant talking trees. Do I really, truly believe? Perhaps not, but am I certain? Can I be 100%certain of anything?

 

unicorn random

 Any 

.

Any minute now my knight in shining armor will pop up riding a unicorn and whisk me away from my life of drudgery.

😀

Not likely…but I do contend there is magic. This I know for sure.

Magic exists! I know for I have seen it. It is all around us.

gratitude-zen-life-coaching hands magic

“It’s all a matter of paying attention, being awake in the present moment, and not expecting a huge payoff. The magic in this world seems to work in whispers and small kindnesses.”
Charles de Lint

 ♥

 LOVE is magic…so is gratitude.

Attitude is everything: We choose how we feel; happiness is a choice and so is dissatisfaction. Pretty much we are as happy as we make up our minds to be.  I have found this to be true after much trial and error.  There was a point in my life a few years back when I very much needed this to be true…

..and so on blind faith born of desperation I believed. I willed myself to believe and I didn’t stop despite all my wishes not coming true.  I learned that my happiness cannot be based on outside forces. I had to stop reacting to life and start acting. My challenges gave me an insight I wouldn’t have had before; an appreciation for perseverance. A willingness to go the extra mile without a promise of reward, the strength to carry on despite it all….and through all this I believed.

 

gold sunset ocean sea light glitter

 

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and MAGIC in it.
W. H. Murray

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I am learning that the most direct way we create our own reality is by our own actions.  Action powers everything we do, everything we create, we are responsible for the kind of world we live in–all of us.

We can have a world where magic exists, we just need to create it.

 

art psych girl bubbles universe

I found happiness in gratitude and in taking pleasure in tiny things. Oh what a joy this has given me! It is a gift granted to me by circumstance.

 

 hands and moon

 

We can embrace these wonderfully human and magical traits like love and compassion, generosity, altruism and understanding. We can reach out to each other in friendship, our minds and hearts open. We need to stop paying attention to what we are told to think and believe and learn to trust in our own hearts and our own souls again.

These are natural inclinations.  Bring these into your life and miracles happen…

Magic happens…and it’s contagious.

Have a magical day!

 ♥

Nancy

 

 

web-of-lifeA-550 fantasy art

“When you’re touched by magic, nothing’s ever quite the same again. What really makes me sad is all those people who never have the chance to know that touch. They’re too busy, or they just don’t hold with make-believe, so they shut the door without really knowing it was there to be opened in the first place.”
Charles de Lint

 

 

Magical Related Articles

You Create Your Own Reality: Here’s How

Somewhere Over the Rainbow – The Wizard of Oz by Judy Garland

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole

 

Balloon flights in Turkey optimism sunrise happy sky

Dig it

 

 

The day smells fresh and new. It is sunny and warm for mid February and I have already stripped off my coat and sweater and I’m down to my Captain America T-Shirt.  The wind is brisk and invigorating. It drowns out the sound of all else.  I am working in the garden for the first time this year; turning the dirt over in what was and will be again  my vegetable patch.

This is got to be one of my most favorite activities; digging in the dirt out in the sun on a lovely day such as this. I am grinning like an idiot. I can’t help it.

 

Odin-cat-garden-quote-digging-iris

 

This feels so right. so symbolic. If I could create my own start of the new year it would be right now; the time that I first turn the dirt over. It is so hopeful; this whole thing. As I dig my mind drifts along so peacefully, so merrily. My thoughts wander to and fro, from this to that in a steady stream of thoughts that lead to a big quiet pool of lucid nothingness. I float there, mindlessly…mindfully.  I feel connected to everything and all seems right with the world.  I feel more myself than I have all winter. I have missed this I think, more than I first realized.

It has been an unusual winter. It’s been one of major growth for me. I am still working at my “seasonal”retail job. They have yet to kick me out. Who knows? I may stay awhile. Never before have I been so confident in myself.  I am a happy, confident, positive, bright and beaming person and it has taken my whole life to get this way.  I feel blessed to have a family that loves me and a roof over my head and a garden to work in.

I feel like I’m standing on the precipice of something wonderful; a something not far beyond my grasp and if I just reach and stretch a little more, I’ll get there.

~Nancy

 

 “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
Louisa May Alcott

 

tiny seedling plant

 

The Beatles – Dig A Pony

 

FEAR

 

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”
― Frederick Buechner

 

Fear is insidious. It undulates and creeps around like a viper.  It whispers in our ears like the winds; howling and shaking and crying out. It demands our attention. It assumes control and commands there shall be no other gods before it.

Fear makes us think the unthinkable. It calls us to action at times and paralyzes us at others. It seizes all common sense and hijacks the imagination, forcing it to succumb to it’s will.  Fear is irrational. It claims to be all-knowing, all-seeing. It promises to share it’s insight for it insists it knows the future. It will take care of you. It will provide you with thoughts to think, things to do, and people to hate. It offers so much but leaves only emptiness in it’s wake.

Fear grows rampant in this crazy world. It’s no wonder since it has been used as a means of control since the very beginning.  Nothing motivates like fear and nothing can feed that mob mentality quite like it.

Throughout history there has never been a shortage of boogeymen. We have been taught to be afraid from the very beginning. Some of that fear has been benefical. Our early ancestors lived a life fraught with real life dangers, it paid off to be able to perceive threats and respond  quickly and efficiently. The physical effects of fear itself such as a quick dose of Adrenalin gives us quicker reflexes to be able to try to outrun that Saber-tooth Tiger or fight it off.

saber tooth tiger brave face the tiger

Not all fear is bad. Some of it is fun. We can get a vicarious thrill by watching scary movies. Haunted houses are popular at Halloween which is a major holiday in The United States. People go to amusements parks for that same thrill. Facing danger without truly facing it can be quite exhilarating. Science has proven our brains really don’t know the difference between a real and not so real threat. 

dracula pics-qDtU

There are forces in this world which feed off our fears. They distract us and manipulate our thinking. We don’t need them but they need us. It’s a new threat played out on TV, the internet, and in advertising and print media…everywhere. It is fed to us and it’s difficult to know who or what to believe. In times of doubt and uncertainty we tend to believe the authority figures we are trained to obey. Governments, the media, religion and even your 5th grade teacher and dear old mom have used the tactics of fear on us at one time or another. But we are all grown up now and ready to face the truth, whatever that may be, not what someone tells us it is.

Fear of disappointment
Fear of disappointment

  The only thing we have to fear….

Fear causes us to miss out on what is truly important to focus on the improbable. Most likely it will not be the object of our fears which will “get us” but something that hits from left field. If we have taken reasonable precautions in life there is nothing much more we can do to prevent that great unknown menace except for having a positive attitude.   There is no logical reason to worry. At this point any concern is counter-productive.

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That often quoted quote by FDR still rings true today maybe even more so.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Fear-Mongering

Fear can hurt you literally. Fear effects our physical and mental well-being. The most common physical reactions are a rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, sharpened or redirected senses and dilation of the pupils. Muscles tighten up and are primed with oxygen, in preparation for a physical fight-or-flight response.

Most of what we fear in this modern age we cannot fight or run away from. Many of us live with a certain amount of chronic fear, real or imagined. This weakens our immune system and can cause heart damage and gastrointestinal problems. Fear impairs the formation of long-term memories and causes damage to parts of the brain. This can make the impact so much worse because we lose the ability to regulate fear by rational thought.  We are more susceptible to intense emotions and impulsive reactions and our decision making processes are altered in negative ways.We are anxious, depressed, tired and old before our time.

 “Is it useful to feel fear, because it prepares you for nasty events, or is it useless, because nasty events will occur whether you are frightened or not?”

― Lemony Snicket

AK4253-006.jpg

Of course there are valid dangers in this world, much too many. It is within the realms of possibility, albeit a very slim possibility, I could walk out my front door and get hit by a meteorite. It is much more likely that I will proceed to my destination unharmed.  Most of our fears are the meteorite-type ones; dramatic dangers, hideous and terrible with the infinitesimal odds of ever happening. 

Credit: Jack Ohman
Credit: Jack Ohman

Most of us lead relatively uneventful lives and deaths. What are the chances of your typical average Josephine such as myself or you or anyone being killed in a terrorist attack, or from getting the “plague du jour”?  Not likely, but it seems the dramatics of the very possibility can supersede reason.

Being a person who has been afraid of most everything for most of my life I can testify to the needlessness of fear and how it can control you and keep you from living life to it’s fullest.  I can also say that it can be overcome. I know most have never been afraid to the extent of myself but I do know I can’t be the only one who has experienced this intense emotion. Any fear is valid because it feels that way to the one experiencing it and it’s difficult to step outside of an accustomed way of thinking. Face the dragon and the dragon will dissolve before your eyes. We are more powerful than we believe.

 Have a fearless day,

Nancy

dragon_slaying____by_pixelcharlie-d3in4jm

 

Warning!!

You are about to enter SBI’s Gallery of FEAR!

Enter at your own risk…

 

adam eve eden snake
Evil knowledge

 

el diablo devil vintage creepy
Scary Evil Dude. Boo!

 

1957---invasion-of-the-saucer-men movie fear vintage
Aliens!!

 

Cold-War-Ads-and-Propaganda-Main fear
Bad Communists

 

vintage fear invasion
Invasion!

 

Bad drugged out zombie people
Bad drugged out zombie people
Fear mongering: Probably the best-known example in American politics is the Daisy television commercial, a famous campaign television advertisement.
Fear mongering: Probably the best-known example in American politics is the Daisy television commercial, a famous campaign television advertisement.

 

islamophobia fear
Islamophobia

 

 References and related articles

 

Impact of Fear and Anxiety

Viral Outbreak – Fear – Chaos as Means of Control

The Bogeyman (Wikipedia)   Bogeyman-like beings are almost universal, common to the folklore of many countries.

How to Spot a Communist

“Daisy Girl” Rare 1964 Lyndon Johnson Political Ad -aired only once- 9/7/64 

Duck And Cover (1951) Bert The Turtle Civil Defense Film

Three Little Birds and One Fat Squirrel

 

 

The air is clear and slightly cold, just chill enough to notice.  A layer of glittery dew covers the grass. I stand on the back porch my eyes closed, face to the rising October sun. I feel a slight warmth on my eyelids and this makes me smile.

The birds are in riotous glory; I listen to their songs intently; trying to make out as many distinct songs as I can. I recognize the song of the chickadees accompanied by the expectant cluck of the chickens next door.   I hear the caws of the crows in the distance; calling to each other from neighboring trees. At once they all take flight, flying high into the deep blue sky circling the tall pines and calling out to each other.  I can feel their hurried energy as I do the squirrel’s. I think I hear one rustling in the large bush in the back, or at least what I presume is a squirrel. My imagination comes up with ” interesting scenarios” as to the identity of this “mysterious” creature when Jay, the Scrub Jay, bursts out of the very same bush and scares the zen-like serenity right out of me.  He lets out a distinctive SQUAWK, swoops down across the yard in perfect form and lands right on top of the roof.

 

scrub jay flying blue bird
SCRUB JAY in Flight–Credit: DianeVarner.com

 

A-ha! He then spots the peanuts “some kind human” has set out. I watch with delight as he goes from the roof down to the top of the fence. He  picks up a nut in his beak, tips his head back, the nut rolls into place and then he’s off with his prize…off to one of a half-a-dozen stash places located in the surrounding tree canopy. Every time he dives down he squawks and this sound reverberates all over.  I watch as he checks the ground for any missing nuts. He lets out one last flurry of distinctive calls then takes off somewhere beyond the neighbors Maple tree.

 

scrub jay blue bird nut

 

My listening has not ended as I try to make out as many sounds as I can; city intertwined with nature. The purr of lawn mower and the edgy beep beep of traffic noise and mixes with the sweet innocence of  birds. I hear the other neighbors goat, yes goat. A child’s laugh is drowned out by the roar of a  jet engine high in the sky, leaving a white trail behind it.

I am distracted once again, this time by a real squirrel. It has come to the fence and found the nuts gone. Again, taken by that dashing blue bandit. The squirrel scolds me; staring at me and barking. Its fluffy tail adding to the drama, twitching and and going in circular motions.   I laugh knowing it will soon be checking the bird feeder out front and gorging itself on mixed seeds.  All the while eyeing me out of the corner of its eye.

I can’t help but smile.

 

 

Jerome the squirrel, resident bird feeder raider and scolder.
Jerome the squirrel, resident bird feeder raider and scold.

 

 

 

Mario is obviously fascinated.
Mario is obviously fascinated.

This is a spectacular time of the year. The exquisiteness of the season deepens with every passing day. I feel intoxicated with the thrill of life as I live from moment to moment each changing from one to another like the seasons, deepening and becoming more and more beautiful.

Life is good!

 

 

♥  Nancy

 

The ground we walk on, the plants and creatures, the clouds above constantly dissolving into new formations – each gift of nature possessing its own radiant energy, bound together by cosmic harmony.

~Ruth Bernhard
bird gif hop

 

*

BOB MARLEY THREE LITTLE BIRDS

 

All The Things You Are – Helen Forrest & Artie Shaw

Fresh Quotes: REBEL

gif flapper dance women vintage
REBELS with Bobs—Flappers’ behavior was considered outlandish at the time and redefined women’s roles.

Rebellion does not have to be violent or messy or loud; there can be quiet rebellion. a shift, a change. An insistent force of good can overcome the dark.  To love can be an act of rebellion, to care about each other in a world that does not care for itself.  To think for yourself in this world; that is an act of rebellion.

Lead me into darkness, I will not follow. Show me the light and I will embrace it. Shine your light and together we shine like the sun.

 

 

 FIGHT the Power and have a nice day!

~Nancy

 

 

 

Johnny Cash “The Rebel
Ann Margret does Freedom Road
Ann Margret does Freedom Road

Rebellion is the only thing that keeps you alive!

~Marianne Faithfull
Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
Graffiti Artist Banksy
Banksy is a pseudonymous United Kingdom-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humor with graffiti executed in a distinctive stencilling technique.

The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.

~Albert Camus
Ron Finley is a man who will not sit still and watch a problem take root. Having grown up in the South Los Angeles food desert, Ron is familiar with the area’s lack of fresh produce. He knew what it’s like to drive 45 minutes just to get a fresh tomato.In 2010, he set out to fix the problem. Outside his front door, that is. Ron planted vegetables in the curbside dirt strip next to his home. And quietly, carefully, tenderly started a revolution.
Ron Finley is a man who will not sit still and watch a problem take root. Having grown up in the South Los Angeles food desert, Ron is familiar with the area’s lack of fresh produce. He knew what it’s like to drive 45 minutes just to get a fresh tomato.In 2010, he set out to fix the problem. Outside his front door, that is. Ron planted vegetables in the curbside dirt strip next to his home. And quietly, carefully, tenderly started a revolution.

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THE EARTH NEEDS REBELS!

~David Icke
Martin Luther King Jr. — March on Washington
Martin Luther King Jr. — March on Washington

It doesn’t take a majority to make a rebellion; it takes only a few determined leaders and a sound cause.

~H. L. Mencken
~Frederick Douglas

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.”
― Barbara Ehrenreich

 

 

revolution peace is patriotic

The Sounds of Rebellion 

 Johnny Cash “The Rebel” 

Duane Eddy – Rebel Rouser

Irish Rebel Song – Come out and Fight

Aspire to Inspire

ASPIRE:  To seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal.

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle Frenchaspirer, from Latin aspirare, literally, to breathe upon, fromad- + spirare to breathe.

To aspire is to dare. To dare to want more. 

Aspire is the desire to propel oneself skyward. It is born in the heart like a flame that burns hot with the passion of want. Dreams fuel aspiration. Passion drives it and hard work makes it so.  With care and feeding  aspirations can grow wings and set flight to all points amazing…

 

Mount-Haleakala-Hawaii

 

We are what we aspire to. Our dreams define us.

I have a dream; one I never knew I had until fairly recently. I found it huddled under a pile of forgotten hopes that I had neglected to remember I’d left it in the back of my closet.  I could exaggerate and press upon you this jive about a noble truth that propels me. I might confess a deficiency I have and this need to make up for what I’ve felt I have lacked in my life. The truth is I did not purposely seek this road.  In the beginning all I sought was my own salvation.

I had walked in darkness for many years and yearned to find my way back into the light. I knew fulfillment and happiness lives there but in the dark it’s difficult to see.  It’s lonely out there, at least it seems so…but I learned something important. I realized I wasn’t alone and there are others out there in the dark reaching for the light just the same as I… and not knowing where to find it. This simple truth eluded me for years. It is my truth but not mine alone….

By helping others we help ourselves.

It is tempting to take credit; to say that my stirrings to inspire are purely unselfish but the truth is; I aspire to inspire because it feels so damn good..besides I really don’t know any other way.

I have found that people who have struggled, who have fought something bigger than themselves…who have had life hurt them have a yearning to light the way for others, to say: “I’ve been where you are now and there is a light at the end of the tunnel…I know because I can see it.” 

peace friendship-63743_640

 

We all need help from time to time…

I believe greatness abounds. There is greatness in you and there is greatness in me but the greatest greatness lies in we. Our fullest potential is alive and well and it is just within our grasp. Sometimes all we need is a pat on the back, a smile and a reassuring voice.  Everybody needs this..no one is above it. It is basic. It is human and it is beautiful.

 

We are the content creators; the writers, the artists, the dreamers. We are a unique breed who yearn to inspirit and inflame others with that magic spark that burns so bright in our hearts and souls.

 

quote happy women

 

This wonderful planet of ours is teeming with inspiration. One just needs to know where to look and one need not look far. I have found much inspiration in the words of many of you in this wonderful creative community of ours.  Through your posts and comments I have learned so much!  Time and time again I’ve experienced firsthand that no matter how different we may seem on the outside, we are alike on the inside. We all need insight and inspiration from time to time and I have surely gotten this from you. Thank you for sharing your world with me.

 

 

Wishing you an inspired day

Nancy

woman sitting on rock sunset shadow contemplation

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” 
― Louisa May Alcott

I AM Catwoman

 

 

A while back in a previous post I touched briefly on my uncanny almost supernatural power over cats;  it is a part of me that I am just now officially sharing with the world. Since bringing it up in “I Speak for the Cats” I have been inundated with endless queries as to the specifics of this power. I don’t know why I’ve been reluctant about sharing the story about this “gift’ I have.  I am quite proud of it. I mean…

 

selfie2 funny cat face

 

…it IS about cats.

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Ever since I remember cats have had a thing about me and I have had a thing about them… And I’ve always had a cat, or should I say the cat had me. They’ve always been there and can I let you in on a little secret?

I’m their favorite human of all the humans–I hate to break it to you but yes, it’s me!

I know what you are thinking…

 

vintage gif woman cat
Cat Power GRRRRR!

How did I get this fantastic power and and where can you get it?

I know how you feel and I wish I knew. It seems I was born this way. Of course I am pleased by this; to be adored by such an adoring animal is one of the best feelings in the world!

It could be that I speak their language. It was difficult to learn. Did you know there are 34 different mews for the word “nap”?

I do understand them and I really like them. I am an obedient human in many ways; I keep the Friskies coming with a few treats on the side. I can give a good chin rub but beyond all that I am not anything special. Honestly, I don’t know why cats like me so much. I wish I could take credit for it but really, it is just dumb luck.

Ebony the cat and Butterfly Bush by N.L McKinley
Ebony the cat and Butterfly Bush by N.L McKinley

 

My yard, of course is the hip hangout for all the popular and “with it” cats of the neighborhood.  They like to nap in the back bushes or follow me around while I work in the garden.  It was strange at first but I enjoy the company. And my cat Mario seems okay with it all..in fact he seems quite proud.

What are you trying to tell me Spotsy?
What are you trying to tell me Spotsy?

But there is something else… I have heard the talk of late; the whispered purrs and silent meows….their ringleader…the one they call Spotsy,  often looks in my window.  I get the feeling he wants something….it’s the same look I get from MM around dinnertime but even more so…

I do want to mention despite how strange and wonderful this whole thing sounds it is not all fun and laughs and signing autographs. Some of these cats can get quite insistent and a way only cats can.  I sometimes find them inside my house, having snuck in the backdoor.  They wander around and then leave. We have gotten used to this including my son who has woken up a few times with a strange cat in his room just staring at him.

 

vintage odd cat woman funny

I often take walks through my neighborhood.  I like to walk. I like it so much that I take walks in other neighborhoods too. No matter where I am cats will come out of nowhere running to me and in most cases mewing up a storm. Some roll onto their backs, others purr…all want to be petted and I am careful not to encourage them too much lest they follow me home.

I used to think this sort of thing happened to everyone but over the years I have seen some surprised reactions.  I was once accused of  “hiding tuna in my pocket to excite cats just to freak everyone out”. 

Honestly, if I were to hide any sort of foodstuff in my pocket it would be chocolate. Anyone who knows me knows that.

And anyone with a cat who knows me  knows that their cat likes me better. This happens time and time again whenever I go over to someone’s house and meet their cat. It’s  just like that and it is embarrassing for all.  Cats can be overwhelmingly affectionate especially the ones whose owners have deemed unfriendly. It’s these sorts of cats that are the most love-starved. Whatever the case, it is known immediately that the cat prefers me and that is made clear in no uncertain terms.

cat mouse funny cute pair

 

 

I once was presented with a live mouse at a dinner party of a co-worker whose cat thought it a loving tribute.

I did too….and it was delicious.  The dinner I mean. The mouse? I don’t know what the mouse thought, the cat took off with it out the back door after it’s mistress screamed at the poor thing.

Well…I confess I made up the part about the mouse but the rest of it is true.   Ask MM. He has witnessed my power over cats many times. Whenever it happens he shakes his head and doesn’t say a word.  It’s a good thing he puts up with me and all my eccentricities.

Me and my endless ideas that don’t make a dime;  I am thinking of starting a group. A performing  acrobatic troupe comprised of…you guessed it, cats.

 

cat jump gif

We would train very hard, the cats and I. Then months from now…you will be watching a well-known cable variety program and you’ll see us and you will say “Wow!  How did she get this wonderful troupe of performing cats and where can I get one?

 

I  know what you are really thinking… This poor fool is primed to become one of those cat ladies who live with like 50 cats…the ones that you see on the news from time to time….

I want to assure you while I am Cat Woman I am not a cat lady. The cats of course will live in their own homes and I will pay them for their performances.  Whatever the going rate is for cats.  I may be nuts but I am not crazy…

And so I hope this answers some of the questions about my power of cats. Yes, it is a great responsibility but the rewards are well worth it….

I am Catwoman!
I am Catwoman!

 

Have a purrfectly wonderful day!

Nancy 

 

kitten gif cute 33

 

 

 

 

I Speak for the Cats (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

YouTube

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PURRKOUR     

 (Didga is an amazing cat!  

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China Cat Sunflower by The Grateful Dead

Al Stewart – Year of the Cat 

Fresh Quotes: Pablo Neruda

He was a poet, diplomat, bohemian and political activist.    He was born Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto but borrowed his pen name from another poet; Jan Neruda.  He was a controversial character. A diplomat and senator from Chile he embraced communism and wrote poetry in tribute to Stalin and Castro. You don’t have to agree with his politics to appreciate the sincerity  in his work. The man was an artist; a heartfelt poet who won the Nobel Prize in literature.

 Words are words no matter who wrote them and some messages are bigger than the messenger.  As a writer there are times I feel I am only a conduit for something else. A something that whispers ever so softly in my ear.  I only write what is given to me; words.  And it’s the words of Neruda that I celebrate today.  The dark dreamy words that evoke images of a hothouse world; a lush tropical jungle where love scintillates along the cool breeze of the night.   He brought to his poetry a sense of quiet longing, of sadness and regret but with a spirit that burned… fiery passion and darkness; wanton and thirsty.

When I read his words I am transported to this world….I become a hothouse flower sipping in the cool night air, gazing up at the midnight stars that dare shine through the gaps between the leaves of the trees.  Themes of  bittersweet longing; of lust and love and all in between. Neruda puts his heart out there with brushstrokes of raw emotion tinged with the fragility of love that weaves itself between the lines of this beautiful poetry.

Fantastic writing.

😀

Have a nice day and enjoy the Neruda. 

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Nancy

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FRESH QUOTES:  PABLO NERUDA

The words of Pablo Neruda

 

my-little-panther-sleeping cat

 

“I should like to sleep like a cat,
with all the fur of time,
with a tongue rough as flint,
with the dry sex of fire;
and after speaking to no one,
stretch myself over the world,
over roofs and landscapes,
with a passionate desire
to hunt the rats in my dreams.”

night-sky-in-cities-if-lights-out- san francisco neruda

“And one by one the nights between our separated cities are joined to the night that unites us.”

milky way space glass stars

“And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
void,
likeness, image of
mystery,
I felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.”

love hugs couple sleep

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”

 

two trees intertwined

“At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain.”

 

 

day in the life cherry blossom and blue sky

 

“I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.”

 

martin_stranka_04 under water woman

“I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.”

love-quotes-pablo-neruda-136

 

shadow woman waiting dark

So I wait for you like a lonely house
till you will see me again and live in me.
Till then my windows ache.”


 

 

pablo-neruda-psychedelic

Pablo Neruda July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet, diplomat and politician Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after the Czech poet Jan Neruda. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

 

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Inspired tunes

 


Francisco Tarrega – Capricho Arabe by Andrés Segovia

BOLERO-RAVEL

 

References and related articles

 

Pablo Neruda (wikipedia.org )

Pablo Neruda Bio (infoplease.com)

Passiflora vitiflora, the red passion flower
Passiflora vitiflora, the red passion flower, is like a scarlet beacon in the dim rainforest understory. These large flowers are pollinated by hermit hummingbirds. While searching for nectar

Selfie Me

“From where I’m sitting, I AM the centre of the Universe!”

― Sebastyne Young

 

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Andy Warhol was famous for saying that in the future we will all have our 15 minutes of fame. Well my friends the future is now and many people are already famous inside their own heads.

I am talking about that phenomena that’s sweeping the globe:

The Selfie.

selfie gif

A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone, digital camera or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.

I see more and more people doing this… MM calls it “selfing”.

And not just adorable little blondes with cutesy pink phones…people from all walks of life, actors, artists, men on the street, ladies of the evening, cats, babies and even presidents and leaders of people.

How did we get so obsessed with our own image?

The first selfies; born out of “necessity” for most of us.  Since the advent of social media and as more and more of us are becoming social online we need a profile pic.  It’s not something anyone really planned, it sort of just happened. We could blame Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook who thought of the world as one big yearbook with a sea of faces with which one could compare against each other and judge.  The selfie does predate Facebook and MySpace, where the term was first generally used.  Taking a photograph of oneself started with the invention of photography. It has only been lately that it has become an obsession for some, a joke to others. Whatever it is–it has become a part of our social landscape and our common global culture.

I am mysterious and sily
I am mysterious and silly and my table is messy.

Speaking for myself; I took my first one in the Autumn of 2012. I “needed” an updated Gravatar for this very same blog.  I was hesitant to ask anyone to take my picture because it sounded so weird and self-indulgent. ( Of course I am not one of those people.)  I snapped a few shots myself with my webcam, it was so easy. We are humans and social media is a place of social interaction between us.  Our faces convey so much to each other, so much emotion, feeling.  Many of our electronic communications are littered with emoticons.   Mere words cannot give the entire picture.

I am human
I am human

We have a need for each other.  A need to meet others to express thoughts and ideas. To be understood. To reach out and make that connection. To share ourselves with others.  Running the gambit of emotions; happiness to sadness and back again… from the amazing to the mundane.  We have a need to belong and to be looked upon favorably by our peers.   Selfies can be fun.  Some are very inventive and creative.  I don’t think they are necessarily a bad thing or a sign of the moral decay of our civilization and subsequent doom. I think they can be empowering for people and a way to boost self esteem.  There are  groups that embrace the idea of the selfie and encourage people to submit their own self portraits 365 days a year.  I have explored some of the submitted images. Some of it is quite artistic; there are talented photographers out there snapping pics of themselves every day.

Whoo-hoo!
Whoo-hoo!

The internet has put so much of our lives on display for one another. This puts the viewer of such display in the judges seat. It is tempting for anyone to judge given some of what we see and it’s easy to assume some find themselves on the short end of the comparison.  People’s opinions of each other unfortunately are swayed by appearance; the appearance of wealth, youth and good looks…the appearance of happiness….no one wants to look like a loser, or old or fat or bald or whatever.   Simply put, we care what other think about us and this very human truism is being played out on a grand scale throughout the digital world.

We call them selfies, we take them of ourselves but do they truly reflect our real selves?  I have seen quite a few of them and rarely are they realistic.

 

I Work out!

The selfie is a way for many to become the self they have always wanted to be.  I googled “selfie fails” and found a plethora of examples of Photoshop gone wrong. Men and women with obviously unrealistic bodies and faces, freakishly thin waists, bulging chests and completely unlined faces.   The pull is strong to want to doctor ones photos. I myself I am guilty of erasing a line or two here and there.  Who doesn’t want to be younger; to look 25 again? Who doesn’t want the perfect body and the perfect life?  We see them all the time…these people with the perfect everything.

The perfection hype we buy into is sold to us by the media.  The Joneses we are struggling to keeping up with don’t even exist.

The perfect job, mate and kids, the perfect parties and friends. These people go on exciting and exotic vacations with all the other beautiful people living perfect lives. We know this because we see it in their selfies. The ones they are nice enough to share with us so we can “like” them and comment; tell them how wonderful they are and how young they really do look. All accompanied by smiley faces and hearts.

o-WOMAN-SELFIE-570
LOVE ME!!!

 

Isn’t life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?

Andy Warhol
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And we like them every time they put up a new one, every week even if it’s every day. Some people change theirs constantly; living a life in front of the tiny screen. Every minor event documented and accompanied by the same needy almost pleading stare. Just like anything else selfies can be addictive and perhaps that in itself is a sign of trouble–a cry for help.

sexy- selfie  -fails-chocolate-sauce
Watch out ladies it’s “Hot” Chocolate!

I also saw some other types of selfies on my googling adventure into this odd and narcissistic world. There were the funny ones, the amazing ones, the clever and cute ones, the silly duck faces and the ones with the bizarre backgrounds. But there were some sad ones as well. I was stricken by the number of photos taken by women, apparently mothers in bathrooms and other places with big mirrors posing for suggestive selfies in front of their small children.

...help
…help

I am a bit naive but this shocked me. It came off as desperate, so sad and lonely. And then I began to look at all the selfies in a different  light. Maybe they are not  just a sign of our collective narcissism and self-obsession, maybe there is something deeper; an underlying anxiety of separation, a feeling we are losing ourselves, the dissolution of the family unit. We are spending longer hours in the office, on the road, increasingly we are spending more and more time apart from each other.

Like me!
Like me!

We need to be accepted and understood. We need to be connected and have others think well of us.  Unfortunately this need to be liked and accepted maybe envied or idolized has become an obsession for some.

And maybe…just maybe, if we can have the perfect selfie we can get a little piece of that perfect life too…

As with everything else; nothing is all black or white…

…points to ponder…

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 Have yourself a wonderful day!

Nancy

 

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 “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”

~Marilyn Monroe

Norma Jean Baker in 1946, photographed by Andre de Dienes.
Norma Jean Baker in 1946, photographed by Andre de Dienes.
Related articles and items of interest

 

365 Days The Challenge: Take one self portrait each day for a year.   (Fickr group)

 

The selfie  (wikipedia.org)

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THE SELFIE SYNDROME (feeldesain.com)

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 Scientists link selfies to narcissism, addiction and mental illness  (trueactivist.com)

Life is Art

There is beauty in the mundane. It is real. It is alive and it is in your face, yet sometimes we miss it all together. It’s easy to overlook the small and the so called insignificant; those everyday things we see all the time. The big picture can be looking us right in the eye, obscuring our vision as to the seemingly unimportant details. And it is in those details; intrinsic little flourishes that sit undetected in the plain open. It is that we must endeavor to see which makes the best art. 

Optimistic Sunflower and Bee. Credit N.L McKinley
Optimistic Sunflower and Bee. Credit N.L McKinley

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This art that is life. It is all around us.

 

 

 

 

Free Spirit Sara By N.L Mckinley
Free Spirit Sara By N.L McKinley

 

 

Whatever we seek in our hearts our eyes will find. Generally the experiences we have in life live up to our expectations. Life is beautiful when we can see beauty in it. Each moment is a masterpiece unto itself. A wondrous snapshot framed by time passing from the all powerful now into into the fondness of  memory.

 

 

Sky Pictures by N.L McKinley
Sky Pictures by N.L McKinley

Art engages the senses. It interests, it entertains, it delights and at times makes us think. It teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. Art makes us feel.  Art is life and life is art. It is anywhere and everywhere one looks for it. I have seen it in a flower that dare sprout in a crack in the sidewalk  and in the way the shadows of the maple leaves dance across my bedroom wall.  Art is contained  in the laughter of a friend, the optimism of a child and the smile of a stranger.

Art  dwells in the caws of the crows on a Sunday morning in May. It is the way the light shines in through the front window and straight into my eyes in the morning and just how good a cup of black coffee smells and tastes.  It’s “Ventura Highway” blaring on my neighbors radio outside and  Mario the cat sitting in the windowsill taking it all in stride.

There he is!  Mario my famous cat in all his glory.
There he is! Mario my famous cat in all his glory.

 

 

Art is the perfect toasted cheese sandwich, a cold glass of milk with a shiny red apple. Art is saying “I Love You” for the one millionth time and meaning it all the more.

It is out there just waiting to be appreciated…to be felt…to be acknowledged and embraced…to be lived.

 

Nancy

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free spirit woman colorful paint
Credit: Public Domain

 

 “Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your sonnets.”

~Oscar Wilde

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 Artistic Sounds ala YouTube

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Norah Jones – If I were a painter

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Starry Starry Night-Don Mclean
My Colorful Imagination. in Colored pencil by N.L McKinley
My Colorful Imagination. in Colored pencil by N.L McKinley