until you don’t

Also, the Real Problem with Fried Chicken.

Recently I was in the Land of Fun known as the laundromat, and a story came on the radio about how people were found to be happier later in life than in their twenties.  Whoa.  Newsflash!!! Anyway it went on to say that as people got older and went through more adversity they were better able to cope and stay in balance.  The owner of the laundromat was there, swishing a mop around and suddenly that mop went ballistic.  UNTIL YOU DON’T! he yelled.  YOU’RE NOT BETTER ABLE TO COPE!! and so forth.  He turned a bit pink and I reminded him to breathe and lower his shoulders.  I happen to know that he’s had a pretty large adversity serving the past few years, and I said: True.  You cope til you don’t.  Then you have a massive snap fest, wind up face down on broken glass, struggle to get up and wait til the cuts heal.  He actually laughed, looked at me, and said that somehow he knew I’d get it.  I was, after all, the one who was there the day the Big Washer Broke and the entire laundromat was two feet deep in water in about 15 minutes.  A man wearing a t-shirt saying he’d given himself to Jesus made a call to the posted emergency number that was so astonishingly inchoate it made me glad Jesus accepted the poor lamb. I may have mentioned all this at the time.  Anyway, I called the number, rustled up some help and soothed the jangled nerves of the person on the other end of the phone who was still assimilating the incoherent prior call.  IN the meantime, before help arrived suddenly the water? was up to the washer bottoms and sizzling noises were beginning to happen.  I was in rubber shoes, too.  What to do? All the dryers were running and the washers were starting to sound ominous.  With help from a handsome young man (where’d HE come from???) I found the water turn off on the original, offending washer, opened the doors to the laundromat and whooshed water out.  Given we’re in a drought the resident birds were delirious with joy, taking baths and drinking in the now torrential flow.  The cavalry arrived shortly and all was more or less well.  In any event the laundromat owner thinks I’m a good person.  I’ll take it.

Perhaps this is what they’re talking about, in saying that you’re happier as you get older.  What I think it is? Is you just know at long last that not only is there no time to waste, there is DEFINITELY no time to freak out.  I suppose that can give a person a sense of calm mastery from time to time.  While they’re picking broken glass out of their face.  After an until you don’t moment.

So.  After another more recent day during which tempers flared, milk spilled, and I indulged in some blubbing while cleaning up and sorting yet again through the boxes in my storage shed known that day as MY RUINED LIFE, I thought actually about the laundromat flood and ensuing kafuffle.  Thought about how really having to be right about things is missing the point (re flaring tempers and just who Jesus will save), and how spilled things are just spilled things and you do the best you can with the Whole thing.  In the spirit of snap fest past, I decided to do something I’d never done before.  Which is make fried chicken.

My mother was, I think now, pathologically concerned with me not being overweight.  I became well acquainted with cottage cheese and Ry Krisp.  And thank God, not fat.  In any event we didn’t have fried chicken much and I thought: too hard to make.  Too messy.  FATTENING.  See where this is going? Another thing I thought I couldn’t do.  And now I’m getting a message that my draft isn’t being saved so we’ll see if I can even do THIS.

Anyway, the real truth about fried chicken is this.  It is as easy to make as falling off a log.  Easy, we may say, peasy.  The problem then becomes you can have it WHENEVER YOU WANT.  It doesn’t even have to be unhealthy if you use the right oils and keep temperature.  That still doesn’t make it something you should have every day or even every week.  It’s something you have to hold in regard and have once in a while.  It is, thus, one of those things in life that’s like a tiny party you can have for yourself when you’re picking the broken glass out of your face yet again.  And this, I thought, was quite a wonderful revelation.

It seems to me that if we all remembered that we can step forward in adversity, and there are rewards and joys no matter what happens, especially if we put the other person’s feelings and well being at least on a par with our own (I was actually worried about the laundromat guy’s water bill that day- almost as much as I worried about my own imminent electrocution)(the Partner had been mooning around about fried chicken, so even though I was Mightily Peeved with him at the time…..), we might even survive this ghastly election.  Anyway, we need to and to do that, getting back to basics seems to be in order.  In that vein I feel happy to be the one to tell you you can in fact make your own celebratory fried chicken in the event you can find a decent chicken.  You can coordinate with people you don’t agree with, might not like even a tiny bit.  It all moves things forward in a positive way.  Instead of a fear based, anger mongering, stupidity exacerbating way which seems to be disturbingly pervasive.   Onward, then.  And as Jacques Pepin says, happy cooking- which covers a LOT of ground.

Thank you!


at rest, if lengthily

The Partner’s most common remark to me is that I should do less and relax more.  Usually this rest happens after I’ve had a really busy day and the next day I am completely immobile. Which, while not being actually what he’s suggesting, is better than nothing. Today is slightly such a day.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and we all know! Gentle Reader! how EXHAUSTING that is.  My aim has been to deal with the enormous amount of anxiety and dismay I’ve been feeling, both endogenously and exogenously.  Where does this come from and how can I get it to go away, sort of thing.

What I realized was that the whole thing can, in fact, be dealt with and for the most part? DISPENSED WITH.  I felt quite bucked up by that thought, right up to when I got another head-exploding pile of Important, Official Mail and had to take a day or two to remind myself that all of these things can be dealt with and forgotten about. ( The day I’ve picked for all that is tomorrow.  Seriously. ) It boils down to the question of self doubt, feelings of separation and the usual stale stew of rotting matched sets of emotional baggage.  You simply can’t function like that and ultimately, the good news is, you get tired of it and that baggage gets recycled permanently.  Of course there’s always the odd piece you’ve missed that rises up and trips you.  But once you really realize that none of this material is usable, it gave its all and now it is time to experiment, it gets easier.  Of course, this is on the personal level.

The larger level requires a similar process.  We see ourselves in a world that now appears to be at a ghastly culmination point.  A culmination point of thousands of years of selfishness, non-cooperation, and greed, not to put too fine a point on it.  This culmination point has, in the U.S., returned us almost back to our original point in time when the genocide and capitalistic rapacity all began (you know, Founding Fathers and Pilgrims and All That).  Where the despised of Europe came to “make their way”, and now seem to feel as though their forebears weren’t immigrants after all, nobody else was here to begin with,  and that they have somehow made that impossible transformation from pig’s ear to silk purse.  I’m sure you know what I’m talking about here, Gentle Reader.  And looking at it all, just as it appears now, is beyond terrifying.  It’s downright unbelievable.

So I made the perhaps tenuous leaping connection between these personal and public dysfunctional ways of thinking and being.  And realized that in fact none of us really has to truly partake in them.  We can begin, or it is to be hoped, continue, to think and fend for ourselves.  To realize that everything around us IS us so we’d do better being conscious.  What someone told you was real before must be investigated before being accepted as truth.  Stones must start to be turned and the penny has finally got to drop that since you’re only seeing about 3% of what’s actually in front of you it might be best not to act like you Know It All.  It’s actually not rocket science at all and also? It’s not as hard as you think.  Making the effort to regain curiosity and interest is a simple first step.  How DO things work, after all, including you?

Thus, progress has been seen here when, for example, one is overcome with Dread and Nausea regarding the Upcoming Electional Event.  None of it will be anything you can jump up and down about in joy.  And if parts of it are so horrible they simply can’t be,  there will be a way to engage with it and move forward.  That way will involve THINKING and INTERACTING WITH PEOPLE and BEING POLITE, but there will be- there IS- a way.  You just have to set aside the residues of whatever sludge has adhered to you on your many trips around the sun, and remember that the old Magician’s instruction about obstacles still holds.  When something blocks you, you either move it aside,  conquer it or go around it.  The conquering part isn’t necessarily about a fight, either.  It’s usually about a more ongoing argument in one’s own self that precludes clear sight and thus clear action. And, the going around it part isn’t about avoidance or ignoring.  It’s about going in peace.  Moving aside is generally something best done politely and reasonably gently.

As a result of all this Intense Cogitation I was finally able to make some progress surrounding my “personal” setting, or work (who’da thunk?).  When I got to the place where my practice became my “employment”, it was a traumatic thing, as in, OMG.  There’s no money!  So I did what was said to be best practice in my situation, and a big part of that was behaving as though the things I made were ….. a PRODUCT.   Things went actually far better than I could have imagined.  But there’s a wall that gets hit in the Product world early on, and it was clear it wasn’t going to cut it overall- not financially and not mentally for yrs truly.  I make concrete remedies, yes, but they are not products and they are never the same- which is true of any recipe, when you think about it.  Even the same formula will have different concentrations for different individuals.  So I had to figure this out- balance the necessity for income with being truthful about the thing itself.  And this meant? I had to accept and believe in myself.  And hahahaha- it was an uphill slog! Until finally the daily curiosities I set for myself and the quiet observings and the continual vigilance about loose luggage began to come together.  To wit:


We got a small glass essential oil still! This is something I’ve dreamed about for years and years.  I decided, with the Partner’s stern admonishment to just do it already!, to make a small investment in myself, and indeed, in US and our garden and our life.  It’s a joyous undertaking (lemon balm above) and is already transforming many of the things I make.   And the Dog approves, so, no brainer, right?  It’s really not just OK to do what you love- it’s mandatory.  This is also why there is always hope- because somewhere, love is ALWAYS present and it can be found.  Thank you for reading!


following the nose

In keeping with the spirit of the times we’ve been shifting and changing and tilting and whirling.  The Partner’s birthday came and went and on the whole? it was a success.  Roast chicken with herb butter, Popovers,  Mexican chocolate cake with coconut cream caramel frosting.  Yes.  If I say so myself.  The Dog got his current favorite treat, a Whimzees Vegetable Ear, and he also got some chicken breast wrapped in a bit of popover.

There was more to it, of course.  While The Dog zonked out in a blissful full stomach stupor, an injury the Partner had inflicted on himself a day or so before (to wit, whacking his knee with the wood maul) worked its way through his system and resulted in a seemingly strange symptom- lung congestion and the cough from infernal regions.  So we were up all night long and I wrestled, for the most part, with Dread and Powerlessness about once again entering the fray and trying to secure a doctor appointment while wondering what in the world to do NOW. ( This appointment business means dedicating a day to calling various and sundry official places and going through various and sundry assumptions of the position.) (A few days later I DID actually get this wrestled to the ground.)  I managed to get myself to a neutral position about it all, remembered to say the Cosmic Please and Thank you, and asked for some insight about this new and unwanted development.

In about an hour I opened my eyes but before that happened I saw a picture of what had possibly happened to the Partner’s lungs.  Reviewing my text book (because my brain is a literal sieve) I saw what had happened.  And, it had to do with the flow of energy through the body, as it goes through various meridians and organs.  The whack on the knee initially involved the movement of liver energy, which passes through the knee and ends where the lung energies begin to flow.  So we had an impingement on one flow that wasn’t usually problematic, but which went directly into one that has been a lifelong project, thereby creating a temporary blockage.  Adding to that the fact that the injury itself occurred at a time where another bodily energy was moving  which is not the strongest element in the P’s constitution, and? You have a disruption of the lung energy as it begins its circuit through the body.  And the infernal coughing began at the time the lung energies begin to move, and ended at the time they move into the next thing.  I was even able to explain this understandably.

The big thing about it though, over and above the fact that I finally, reflexively understood something I’ve been doing for a long time, was that the fear and anxiety level for both us was immediately gone.  We both understood what was going on, and what would be of assistance, and sure enough in another day or so, everything was fine.  And really there wasn’t anything “to do” except be kind to the affected areas, lessen inflammation and keep a good fluid intake going.

So of course I thought about it all.  Things that seem so intimidating, so complex at the outset really do open up with simple Attention.  When I initially began studying all these things, the plants and botany and anatomy and sidereal time and all the rest of it, I thought I must’ve been nuts to think I’d ever “get” it.  But something prevailed against that residual lack of confidence and now? Cake and understanding a cough in the same day? There’s hope, and it can be brought to life by just Letting It Be each time you think something is impossible or whatever word you use for OMGletmeoutofhere sorts of things.

Not to mention the other big thing which is the very imperative current necessity to disregard what seems like “truth” coming from what seems like “authority”.  The sense that you cannot handle whatever it is that is in front of you, and some larger “thing” is going to have to “do it” for you.  Or to you, or over you, or whatever.  As in, oh dear, we have to see a doctor and there are no doctors and this is going to be AWFUL. Or whatever the case may be.  “Things” seem so overwhelming it’s easy to let everything you see in a day bleed into everything else.  You know- terrorterrorterror, or whatever other fear inducing message is being murmured about.  In fact? Not so much.

SO.  It may have been the Partner’s birthday, but I feel like I’m the one who got the present.  Love and Understanding.  Not to mention dog kisses.

When Dogs Dream Big

The Dog is a prolific dreamer.  In his sleep, he RUNS, sometimes he SINGS, sometimes he TALKS. At length.  The most amazing, however, is when he wags his tail.  I kid you not, Gentle Reader, he actually wags his tail for extended periods during dreams.  We’re quite cheered by this sign of happiness although it is a bit startling in the middle of the night, especially if the tail turns out to be close to your head.  It’s also pretty amazing that he is so vocal, too, because he didn’t utter peep one for close to five months after he came.  Clearly, he tried not to cry, or cry out, and his little mouth would be set in stern effort, eyes squeezed shut.  We assumed he was working on the memories of how he came to be here in the first place.   (I gave him flower drops for all thatbabyatsunset– 5 Flower Formula, Snapdragon, and Peach, respectively-  and he got through it quite well and quickly, actually .) The only thing he’s done since the very first minute? is snore.  We fed him on the deck that first night, and after eating, he promptly flopped down, went to sleep, and snored.  At our feet.  We were hooked. When he started smiling, we were of course ecstatic although we did at times curse the unfair advantage Total Cuteness has.  And then he realized he could bark.  Fortunately he is not a compulsive barker and the first few times he did bark, he was quite surprised by it.  Now, when there are strange noises, he strides around huffing and puffing, and sounds EXACTLY like the Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune.  I picture him saying things like, “don’t make me kill again!” and the foundational “brace up!”. The high level hound-like piercing barks are of course saved for the times when I drop things, or trip, or have one of my daily multitudinous flambe situations.   Otherwise he is quite sparing with his comments, although he does seem to always have the last word/bark. We finally got him a small blue wading pool.  When his bright green round toy is in it and the water is shimmering above it,  it almost looks like a portal to another world.  He puts his head under the water and blows bubbles, which to me is further sign of wonderfulness.

So, between that and the fact that I saw 25 wild turkeys in a pasture this week, the challenges of the outside world although Big, were not Overwhelming.  Until today when numerous Lingering Fiascoes decided to coalesce into early morning  over thinking. SIGH.  But! I think we’re continuing to move forward.  I finally actually tackled one of my biggest long standing DUMB THINGS I DO.  Which is to water fruitless trees.

When I started training in Jin Shin Jyutsu, the teachers always told us not to water fruitless trees.  Being a past master at that I didn’t understand what they meant.  But I do now.  And what it means? is that giving and taking have to be in balance.  Respect has to be present.  And when something doesn’t come to life? Let it go.  In terms of healing, it means that the person who doesn’t really want to face the changes of getting well should start at another point, get ready, and THEN come to you. Kind of like writer’s block.  You take a walk and clear your head so that what’s in there can come out in some orderly fashion.  In terms of any relationships, it means that accepting the down position all the time, giving all the time and not receiving, is not good for anyone.  Period.  If people don’t appreciate what you offer, or want to take it with scarce acknowledgement, then you should move on.  Not in a negative way, just in the sense that life IS, and stuck ISN’T.  When Lady Bountiful steps toward you, it is often best to plead a prior engagement.  Hoping that something will turn into something totally different from what it really is, is not a good thing.  In fact, it is probably floating on that river in Egypt. Anyway? if it IS going to turn into something else, it’ll do it in its own good time so you need not waste your time trying to pull on the grass in order to make it grow faster.

So I made a decision in this vein.  It was surprisingly hard, and of course I didn’t exactly feel like a Brain Trust for having had it take this long.  But after a while, a big tight weight in my chest went away.  The hole it left was what occupied me this morning, and I realized that the ache from that is something that accompanies all healing, and it’s always scary since we think it means something’s amiss.  Instead it means things are very well, actually.  That, plus turkeys, plus dog bubbles? Is enough.  And also we are beginning embarkation on a long dreamed of project.  More on that to come!  Meanwhile, thank you.

success with pineapple

In all the excitement around here of late, I may have omitted proper treatment of one of my bigger accomplishments, Gentle Reader.

Which was the replication of an acceptable al pastor, for tacos.  Al pastor is one of those things I love deeply, sometimes even more than carnitas or rajas.  Naturally I was deterred from making it at home because you always see it being grilled on a rotisserie-like thing.  Which I don’t have.  So I thought, oh dearie me, too hard.

Well, not so much.  Turns out? all you really need is a good basic adobo recipe and PINEAPPLE.  It’s nice if you have the canned chiles en adobo but since I didn’t find mine until after I made the recipe, I can say it isn’t crucial.  You just then have to use a mix of roasted dried chiles and herbs and stuff, and the crucial pineapple, and whoosh it together…..and then you have a marinade to put on protein of your choice (I mean, in theory, you could use tofu- and tofu actually is not bad in rajas….) and……suddenly you find that you have accomplished something that seems huge.  And it’s basically just a recognition of what the elements of a thing actually are, and the relative sizes of them and you, and proceeding accordingly.

Bucked up by that glorious achievement, I have tried to approach the various and sundry things that seem to be hell bent on making me lose what little mind I have with what I am now calling The School of Pastor Approach.

In practice it’s kind of like stop, drop and roll in a fire.  Something happens, you pay attention to it, remain calm, and get out of harm’s way.  This means not losing even a tiny bit of composure which is always the part I struggle with: the inner Donald Duck.  In any case, the other day something happened which actually was pretty big.  I was taken aback by how quickly I went from zero to sixty on the Completely Upset Track.  (“I can’t do this” sort of thing.)

While the situation, had it been as bad as it might’ve been, was definitively not wonderful, it was also not as world ending as my feelings toward it indicated.  I realized that it was my attitude about it which was causing at least half of my distress.  Again.  This allowed me to calm down enough to not make things worse by untimely displays of inchoate emotion and yelling.  And to realize? that it was my expectation about what a given thing meant and thus should do that caused a relative inability to function.  Kind of like not being able to make pastor without a rotisserie.  Not, actually, the point.  What does this thing consist of, and how should it be approached?  How do I get on the right level here? In terms of pastor, the crucial thing is not the equipment, it’s the ingredients.  I suppose you could say the same thing of The Situation- it was the ingredients- the thinking- that made it seem impossible to navigate.  In the case of pastor, it was an addition (the sweet).  In the case of the Situation, it was a subtraction (the prickly bits- so pineapple still works as a metaphor!).  The thinking was the same, though, really.  I’m hoping this means progress has been made; over and above, that is,  the sheer joy of now being able to pretty much have pastor whenever I want.

Thank you!

crime and punishment

One thing about having read a lot is that one goes through periods where one book or another seems to be leaping into view, and refusing to sit down.   Lately it’s been Dostoyevsky.  Which, really? I can hardly believe I had the concentration to read his novels, much less retain the information.  I continue to be cowed by Moby Dick, but The Idiot and Crime and Punishment are lodged, forever, in my brain.  Weird.

So we were talking the other day about prison, and crime, and private prisons, and how it’s all kind of a tailor made situation, when you think about it,  for a) getting people deemed “undesirable” into confinement and out of general circulation b)which means some people make a lot of money running that confinement scenario, and the confinees find themselves in a condition similar to enslavement and c) there’s a place to funnel lots of people from the military into jobs overseeing the Other Confinees.  All the uncontrollable individuals are handled in one swell foop, with monetization to boot. An obvious oversimplification but then again.  There’s method to this madness.  As a place to put individuals whose “service” to their country has left them profoundly injured even while they still have to make a living, prison employment presents an option.  An out of sight, out of mind option, at that.  Then, there’s this. An overwhelming number of Americans are in prison.  An overwhelming number of those people are in prison for drug issues. ( It could be argued that aside from the burglary and robbery part, who really gets hurt by drugs?  The user.  And those who love that user.  Not something you’d think would call for imprisonment.) An overwhelming number of those people are not white.  An overwhelming number of laws differentiate between things that white people are likely to get arrested for (powder cocaine, let’s say) and black people are likely to get arrested for (crack, let’s say)- and which one has stiffer penalties I will leave to you to divine.  So there’s a mind numbing level of unfairness just built in to the whole system, not to mention the fact that people are being incarcerated for things that are not crimes but reactions to specific sets of circumstances, like poverty and joblessness and all the stuff that gets mentioned in passing as some sort of aberration, for which people are at fault.  Crimes, for which they must be Punished.

How Raskolnikov got jumbled into all this I can’t really say, but suddenly it all made a horrible sense.  Society as it has existed for the past couple of thousand years apparently has to have crime, and police, and lawyers and prisons and judges.  It seems at times that this is because the irrationality of the system itself is what has to be protected and concealed, because really maintaining function and order in society might well not involve incarceration and misery for so many.  The craziness at the top has to be disguised, at the least.  I mean, after all.  If you actually REALIZED the truth about it all, the reality that the controlling powers in the world not only do not have your best interests at heart but actually have nothing but their own hegemony and bank balances in mind, and your annihilation may fit nicely into that, how would that make you feel about the fact that you can’t find work to do?  In truth, your job has been moved away, condensed, disappeared, whatever it takes for profits to increase- it isn’t because “competition”, or because anything other than the greed and self interest of those “in charge”.  The fact that we’re swamped with “information” that is used as a paralyzing pacifier rather than an empowering tool, and part of that information seems to be that these age old paradigms must be maintained no matter what…..it really did make me think of the desperate Raskolnikov- looking for a feeling, an answer, some sense of his own existence and being.  And all he could come up with to do was, basically, take the breath away from someone else to make that happen.  But it didn’t really provide him with any information he could use, in the end.  It seems just like..right Now.

Then, yesterday as I was going to town, a ground squirrel darted in front of the car.  I didn’t want to hit it.  Simultaneously, a woman in a pickup came zooming up the road on the wrong side.  There I was, trying not to squish a squirrel nor get squished myself.  (This made me unaccountably think of Prince Myshkin.) Fortunately all was well, the brainless squirrel lived to dart again, and I managed to restrain myself from any rude gesturing at the other driver.  Which felt like massive progress.

It made me think, though, about how close we all are at every moment to complete and utter change, the unexpected, to death.  Or to grace and goodness, to joy.  It’s kind of, though, about dealing with all of that experience, tumult, whatever it is, without punishment, judgment, imprisonment, denial. It starts on a small, individual level and radiates into the whole of humanity.   It’s about changing the automatic, default setting on yourself to OBSERVE and LEARN from FEAR and REACT.  If I can keep myself from flipping someone off in traffic when they of course so richly deserve it, it’s possible to shift other unproductive actions as well.  A gradual standing up straight, opening of the hand and heart.  The more we hide things away, put people away, refuse to look, the more we are all in prison.  Perhaps it is that quality of vicious, entrapping circle that makes me think of Dostoyevsky’s novels- and the meeting of that quality with Heart and Soul which he did so wonderfully.


two bees. or not to be’s.

I’ve been finding myself lately pondering writing as though it were like getting up on a high dive board at the Olympics.  Have I mentioned my fear of heights, Gentle Reader?

One thing that happens is so much time is spent on reading everything I think I “need” to read and writing stuff I think I “need” to write,  that by the time it comes to putting paw to “creative” keyboard, there’s no time or I’m mentally drained.  This is a lot what happens in today’s world in general, really.  Everyone’s glued to their screen, whatever it is, and time gets taken up, resources are expended, and what actually happens?  Not much.  But you’ve been busy, right? Without accomplishing anything productive or harmonious or dynamic.  This is starting to seem like it is actually the point- we are “guided” by “society” to function in ways that seem to create nothing but entropy for us, if we are really honest. Consume, react, repeat. And for HEAVEN’S SAKE!!! Do NOT confuse yourself with actual facts.  Mercy.  Don’t stop and ponder the fact that perhaps those extra pounds everyone’s so worried about could be handled by simple label reading and not purchasing things where the ingredients are largely corn and corn syrup related.  And why are so many in this country so overweight even though an unduly large percentage of us live in poverty and hunger? Not to mention the rest of the world. Why, in fact, is so much of the food we eat here not even really FOOD?  And definitely do not let yourself think too long about the fact that actual flat out blatant lies are being told as the truth, all day long, about things that have a direct impact on people’s lives.  A good recent example is the DEA saying that it will continue to classify cannabis as a drug on a par with heroin.  No research, they said, no demonstration of medical use.  This is simply not true and it doesn’t take an investigative genius to find that out.  As a result people are suffering needlessly. This will only end, of course, when the Big Boys figure out how to get all the money from this product, and not until then.  Oh, and then there’s the little problem of  opiate addiction (where they DO get all the money)- amazing what a visit to the dentist can do to you. But God Almighty, you can’t have cannabis for that.  You’ll get addicted to THAT.  And, of course.  Do not even consider focusing on just what it would take for everyone to have a decent life: cooperation.  Respect.  Having a value based on something other than personal aggrandizement.  We do, after all, have to make America……what, exactly?

What I decided at long last is it’s just another invitation to start again, to re-think, and the most fun of all, exercise some self discipline.  The temptation to go along with the flow, the tide, the crowd, the truth as you are expected to believe it is great.  Now, one could dissolve into a quivering puddle of horrified yuck at any moment, or into a twirling helix of anger- just by going out to the store, or watching the news.   This is the same kind of inanition I’ve been experiencing lately.  It’s all so overwhelming.  But then I realized something.  (For the umptieth time- when will it stick?) Being paralyzed by things is not going to cut the mustard.  And the rehash…..well. Enough, already, of that.

It will be fun to see if I can actually make sense of this for you, GR.  But today I read a really good description of Mercury retrograde.  (Bear with me, here.)  We’re accustomed to the warnings about not signing agreements and how our appliances and cars will appear to go temporarily insane during these periods that occur relatively frequently, and Mercury goes, in our view, backward.  But Eric Frances, in Planet Waves (I have a link!) wrote about it being something that exposes what has gone before- shakes the tree, as he put it.  So, then, this means? that if you haven’t paid attention, have glossed over things, or functioned as a case of Walking Entropy, problems and consequences will arise with which you will have to deal.

So, OK.  Instead of having a feeling of dread about Mercury retrograde, perhaps a more sensible thing is to say, now we’ll see where I didn’t pay attention, where I lacked clarity.  The cosmos in effect gives you a way to clean up your act, a few times a year.  If we see these times as periods where we shouldn’t do much because Things Will Go Wrong, we’re missing the point altogether.  Instead, this is a frequent flyer marvelous opportunity.  Most of the things we consider to be intractable problems are really areas where we are not paying proper attention, or willing to do the right thing.  Like, say, eat right, or keep your elected officials accountable for their actions.  These are every day actions.  Small things in a way.  Eat real food and cook it yourself, let your “representatives” know you are watching what they do.  Spend your resources consciously.  This means things like, for us anyway, not buying any more Limonata which we both adore- because why? Because Pellegrino is owned by Nestle, and Nestle is contributing to water problems on the planet in a macro way- by for example, getting water from here in California for cents on the gallon and reselling it to you, the consumer, and us from whom it was essentially taken without consent, for a large profit. And for extra fun putting it in plastic bottles which end up in the ocean.  This is real stuff, Gentle Reader, not propaganda.  Using your grocery money with awareness is an example of a  very small thing you as an individual can do that ultimately has an impact on the entire planet (where we all do live).  Especially if enough of us stop fearing Mercury retrograde and actually attend to what we’re doing.

Then I thought about what might happen if enough people on earth start doing these small things.  Evidence suggests this is happening, however slowly. There’s an energy and a power there, and what with all the worldly and political glitches coming to view, it might be possible to do what isn’t, really, rocket science.  Which is: CHANGE THINGS.  Because I personally don’t want to see one more image of one more bloodstained child or mangled man or blasted building or beaten woman in the name of what it really is all done for: Money.  Or one more parent who can’t get treatment for their sick child.  Or themselves.  Or afford it even if they CAN get it.  We seem now to live in a stupor so that the top sector of the world can live in its chosen cocoon.  We keep our eyes shut and are exhausted because it seems too tiring to do anything else.  It is not going to work- and really? it hasn’t.  So we got a BIG Mercury retrograde thing going on whether we like it or not.

When, however,  you open your eyes you see the world.  And it is beautiful. It is always new. Each step you take, each piece of trash you pick up, each person you treat with respect, wakes you up.  It’s tempting to stay in the old habits and patterns- but it is also constricting and suffocating and ultimately not even possible (uhm, thank you Mercury?).  Walking through the world with open eyes is when you can begin to claim your true inheritance as a human being- inclusion, not exclusion.  Love.  Not fear or hate.  Healing, not making yourself sick.  Worth a try.

And, for extra motivation:


thank you!!!!!