I’ve woken up a few mornings lately with Joni Mitchell’s song “If” running through my head.  Feeling somewhat flattened by just about everything it was nice to have that note of Positive appear.

Sometimes I think I should switch to writing fiction.  That way I could just use everything that happens around here with some name changes, because frankly? On every level things are just terribly surreal.  Also, of course, I’m confusing myself with too many facts.  Planetwaves.net and Commondreams.org both supply interesting commentary about the condition we find ourselves in.  For example, I didn’t know that Clarence Thomas was formerly an attorney for none other than MONSANTO.  Talk about evil empires.  Or that the food production in this country is controlled by four corporate entities,  managed by four corporate boards with about 200 people overall making the decisions for the whole shebang .  (Which includes farming (” “), let’s say agribusiness instead, operations that are found to be holding their labor force in conditions of slavery.  Ever wonder about where your tomatoes come from?  Or if they’re even really tomatoes?)  Or that 20% or so of the children in this country live in poverty.  Or that, by our calculations, close to 40% of the population here is out of commission, being either in prison or unemployed.  Meanwhile people are having the usual personal upheavals, eye wateringly horrid reversals and just downright weird shite rain down like monsoons.

So, as I pondered my own most recent personal philosophical quandary, I realized that the personal is, indeed, political, and of course vice versa.  I always believed that opposing viewpoints could come together and reach accord, but now I realize that belief is fading from my view.  While you do have to be the change you want to see in the world, at times others in your life don’t want to see that same change.  Then you have to decide how to proceed, what to do.  It gets complicated when the people on the other side, shall we say, are close to you, and you find they hold views perilously and diametrically opposed to yours.  At one point last week I actually figured out logically that non-violence really is the only way- sadly, I didn’t write that brilliant realization down, and now I can’t remember a thing.  So for now, the two opposing things in my chest are a deep sense of the connection everything on this earth has to every other thing, and the awareness that I am finally unwilling to live in fear any more and pretend I don’t see what I see.  It is to be hoped that these two things will intertwine and show me some light on the way.  Because something has to be done to shift the direction this country, and the world, is headed in and time seems so short.  It seems so overwhelming for anyone to hope to accomplish anything that serves the larger good in any meaningful way.  However, everything starts with a single step, right?  The Dalai Lama once said, when asked what people could do to make things better: Smile.  We’ll begin there.

3 responses to this post.

  1. This is why everyone should shop at their local farmers market whenever possible if they have one. Or better yet, try to grow their own produce.

    You know, as corny as this is going to sound, I’m oddly reminded of a quote from the movie, Matrix Reloaded.

    “Choice is an illusion created between those with power and those without.”

    Also, it’s pretty hard to accomplish anything when we begin with “we shall overcome” only to end in “ooh, shiny object!”

    The biggest hurdle is that most people, and by extension most politicians, are simpletons. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, provided they aren’t stubborn simpletons or evil simpletons, though in most cases, they are. This coupled with a very un-simpleton corporate elite with the morals of a female praying mantis, that had just finished mating, is quite the rock and hard place indeed for the community at large.

    I sincerely hope that people will start waking up to the horrors of their own design because more often than not, the politicians get the blame for our mistakes at the ballot box and our own lax attiudes on issues that “didn’t matter” to us at the time.

    Knowing this country’s dim tolerance for oppression (in all forms), I fear if paper fails, some will switch to lead.

    The good news is that it isn’t a total loss, at least not yet, and while seemingly overwhelming, it is still possible bring about meaningful change.

    The real key to fixing all this is to reduce the number of future simpletons by means of a better education and better sorting of our priorities. Bill cosby’s Pound Cake speech, while targetting mainly the African American community, has a lot of lessons that we can all learn from. The man got criticized, I think, only for making people uncomfortable about failings in their community and for hitting too close to home.

    Introspection is often a learned ability. As is empathy, in most cases. If we can teach these at least to the younger generations, then maybe we can finally start seeing eye to eye on what needs to be done and, for the pete’s sake, actually get it bloody done!


  2. Thank you. And, indeed, gardening is often one’s primary saving grace! I think you are right about introspection and empathy being learned…..and compassion, as I read yesterday in something the Dalai Lama wrote, actually really helps YOU more than others, since you reap the benefit of the calm and balance yourself and the object of your compassion has an..er…unknown variable of a response. So teaching these skills to everyone is more important perhaps than ever. Plus gardening of course. Lead is always an unsatisfactory, if tempting at times, response after all.


  3. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed now.


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