power or headache?

Knowledge, I mean, Gentle Reader.  Knowledge IS power, of course, which is why it is so zealously protected from us in school.  But I foolishly looked up yet another word from my recent medical record and it turns out that not only did my fine doctors make my heart stop, they also made a lung collapse.  NO WONDER I COULDN’T BREATHE FOR SIX WEEKS.  It certainly would have helped if they’d told me about this but then again, CYA is the order of the day, and medical records are at times written by spin doctors.

In any event I am finally feeling a great deal better and resorting to my own devices, more or less.

In other important news, a skink has moved in to the yurt and we still have an ever growing resident frog who has chosen a bag of almonds as command central.  We haven’t made much progress in the garden because it’s been over 100 degrees F every day for a while, but perhaps tomorrow.  All the seedlings are HUGE now.   I flirted with a tremendously handsome German Shepherd yesterday- an ex-military dog who was vigilantly ignoring me (Can’t you see I AM WORKING woman???)  until he and his human left the store we were in, and the dog sneaked a glance and a smile at me.

Still there is the perennial dilemma- the more chaotic things get the more one must slow down and concentrate.  Take yesterday, for example.  We went up to town to get groceries, it being really too hot to do anything else.  It was 107, the power went out in town and half my errands got cancelled as a result.  Some were important, but in a world where everything is controlled by computers? No power, no door opens, no cash register works.  Things grind to a halt.  So, okay.  Perhaps what I think is important really isn’t, I thought.  We got home barely in time to get indoors with, thankfully, groceries, before a torrential rainstorm with thunder and lightening happened.  *I* thought it was a stroke of good luck that our power was still on and the Partner put it squarely in the dodged a bullet category.

That, I think, is the essential question around here most of the time, and has a bit to do with how level the playing field is.  The fewer resources you have, the more you have to actually contend with what happens around you, because YOU have to do it and you can’t just go shopping or get someone else to do it.  It’s all well and good to be resourceful and live simply- more people should be doing that.  At the same time it can be exhausting and hard to get a bead on.  Is the universe telling you to give up right this instant when for all your effort you still can’t quite get over the jump?  Is it sheer good luck you’ve made it this far or is fate just diddling you around til you get to the actual pit with the stakes and the live tiger to fall into? On the BBC news last night there was a segment on refugees from Africa who are being held in Libya, I think, having failed to launch a seaworthy escape.  These were all men- evidently the lagging European sympathies for such struggles extend very slightly to women and children, but not to men.  All these men seemed to be able to fluently speak more than one language, be astonishingly poised given the circumstance, and have a snowball’s chance in Hell of improving their lot.  A roomful of young able men, wanting to do the right thing and escape a life of being press-ganged into paramilitary service.  Or worse.  One man from Nigeria, when asked the intensely silly question of whether he’d try to do it again, took a deep breath, closed his eyes, then looked at the interviewer and said quite calmly that if he found the same thing there that made him leave his house before, yes he would do it again.

And that is true: yes, one WOULD do it again.  And then have the jump off into God knows what if the effort is successful, or the horrendous fall into the pit if it isn’t.  How can this be right?  Feeling lucky or dodging bullets is not good enough for a long term action plan.  But luck and bullets are determined by those in power for the most part, whatever propaganda one is inundated with to the contrary.  If luck is out of the question for you, then what?  I do firmly believe in what we might call the Great Mystery, and I know that death walks with us all the time, nothing is certain, blah blah BLAH.  I believe that things work out as they should whether we know what that is or not, and that something over and above human action makes things move along.  But riding such a tidal wave of insufficiency in this world makes you wonder.  And sometimes that can make you afraid.  Perhaps the thing of it in these times is to simply stay with the fact that you are alive, and something can be done in whatever circumstance you find yourself in, however small and even if it is only maintaining equilibrium of a sort in your own mind.  It is important to do what you have to do, and as Bruce Lee rightly said, we should pray for the strength to be able to just do that.  But in times where it seems the roar of implosion of everything you ever knew is all you can hear?  It can be a challenge to stay in that place inside.   At least I am finding it to be so, even as I feel ever more sure that all the people in this world who are moving toward something better and freer and kinder, however they can, must surely succeed.  Let it be so, please, and thank you.

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