Archive for the ‘Frustration’ Category

oh, dear.

The Partner has been striding around the yurt lately uttering the phrase, “white man speaks with forked tongue.” Declaiming, more like it.  He has the first nations bloodline to back this up, so we allow it.  I always kind of abjured the phrase, thinking it was a bit insulting to snakes.  Just like calling a person a “pig” is usually an insult to the pig. Looking it up just now, I learned that hummingbirds also have a split tongue and for heaven sakes- hummingbirds, while pugnacious, are pretty straightforward so I still don’t quite get it.  The meaning, however, is clear.  The possessor of the forked tongue is a liar.  Often a murderer and pretty much always a cheat.  Not a ringing endorsement.

So, here I am, having already been declaimed at this morning, on general principle, when two things intruded themselves into my consciousness, much like a Buick plunging through a picture window.  I’d just come in from the garden so I was hot, and a bit woozy but still.  First, there’s the news from Dixie, where someone has already been killed at a white supremacist rally concerning the removal of a Confederate War Hero Statue.  It always makes me wonder, this flaunting of the losing side’s icons for over a hundred years.  If this weren’t so totally awful I might be able to find amusement in the oxy(contin?)MORONIC aspect of a white supremacist rally.  But I really can’t.  Then, in what turned out to be a mindfuck channel surf, the Partner happened on the movie “Red Dawn”.  The description of which, provided by the TV network (Fox, so get ready), was “When North Koreans viciously attack a small town…” the plucky residents blahblahblah.

The movie is about Russians, as it happens.  But the Giant Forked Tongue that has taken over a high level U.S. office  (through- interestingly? a mechanism introduced after the civil war by…well.  Look that up and see) has somehow, so quickly one might have missed it, inserted the very forked tongue of which we speak deep into the heart of this country.  It must not be tolerated, Gentle Reader.  Fearmongering propaganda must be called what it is.  When tv stations start misdescribing movies in this highly politicized way, we have a big problem.  Time to wake up and say something.

 

for God’s sake (possible diatribe alert)

While it is quite true, Gentle Reader, that my own little life has completely blown apart lately, it is also true that it is coming back together again, however Walter Mitty-like the repairs may be at the moment.  Fountain pens only go so far…….

But.

I just have to say: the Loser of the Popular Vote is indeed a total loser.  He is a reprehensible example of human form and in one short week? He’s managed to spew evil sauce over the world- oh, except the parts where he has investments.  This bullshit about refugees and immigrants and Muslims, taxes, health care, abortion, and that infernal wall!  Has to stop now.  If you call yourself a Christian? ASK YOURSELF WHAT JESUS WOULD DO.  Oh, and btw? You might remember who Jesus was, ethnically and geographically speaking.  And what it was HE actually  espoused.  Not a bunch of men who wrote a book hundreds of years later to reinforce their supposed right to authority over that most of evanescent of things, a human soul. You might stop and think about just exactly where your own family came from.  Because in checking the historical record?  This hemisphere was not inhabited by White people and Europeans to begin with. ( Or even Black people- they got to get here the really fun way, after all.) So, for your perusal, today’s word is immigration.  And today is when we should all step up and disentangle the concept of immigration from the concept of genocide- which has been used as an enforcement mechanism on both sides of the issue.  You may think that is an overstatement but I suggest a little cogitation on the subject. Unless you want to adopt immigration as a thing for Whites and dominant paradigm upholders only and continue to pretend that nobody is ever there before YOU arrive.  I suspect this would exclude women altogether, just as an aside.  Unless they’re approved emigre attachments.  Like the wife of the loser of the popular vote.

Every policy ” ” (and I use that word VERY loosely) he espouses is built on hate, exclusion, selfishness and fear mongering.   Stupidity sandwich.   If we do not all stand up now, right now, and make this stop? If only some of us stand and make the attempt in good faith and love? Those who do not stand up will have an awful lot of shit on their hands.  And they will deserve it.

I know violence does not work.  Anger is a dangerous knife.  But so is inattention and inaction.  This may well be the natural way of things in the unfolding of cosmic history.  But.  Given that we do not, and most likely cannot?, know that? We have an obligation as human beings to do unto others- and that means all others- as we would have them do unto us.  And yes, I know that means, literally, love thine enemy.  I can’t quite get to love at this point but I can get to deeply breathed tolerance of those who trample the light and the good under their feet.  Tolerance may build bridges, and bridges link things and progress can be made.  I’m struggling with Martin Luther King Jr’s essay, from the ’50’s, on the experiment of love in effecting change.  But I attempt to draw on the wisdom there in my daily life.  And tolerance does not mean not resisting.

Luddite that I am, I haven’t been able to do a reblog, but terriermandotcom.blogspot.com was right on today- I’m With Her.  A brilliant friend also suggested that we all observe the Islamic five daily times of prayer, wherever we are out in the world, by stopping for a moment, stepping aside if we’re in a line or something somewhere? and gently, concisely, explaining what we’re doing and why.  I’m in.  How about you?

Blessings and thanks.

a long walk

And, it hasn’t been in the park, Gentle Reader.  This year has been a doozy all the way around.  Things I thought were “solid” disappeared like a drop of water on a hot stove.  The reality of reality has come into total question, but! in spite of how it appears, progress may still be made.

The election here has, of course, pretty much turned things ass over teakettle, with More to Come.  It’s an absolutely terrifying prospect but it is real- even if it is based  on lies and untruths and unkindness, and marketing.

Someone asked me recently if  I had any way of detaching from  the ego when things get heated in the process of trying to figure out if our fellow beings are actually Being Asshats on Purpose or By Accident.  And really.  What DO you do when someone next to you says and does things that seem not just out of character but actually dangerous for the well being of all?

I confess I stayed in my pajamas for a while this go round.  I hid, let’s just be honest.  Then, I baked, which always helps.  And I thought about what actually transpires when Things Go Sideways Between People, along with politically and philosophically streaking over the edge so fast you may forget what you were looking at.  It is, I think, that we become affixed to our ATTITUDES and EMOTIONS to the point that we think they are us.  At this point nothing can really be accomplished and it would be nice if there were some giant bell that rang and made us go back to our stools in the corner.  The thing of it is, then, to install that bell yourself.   You feel your temperature rising to a certain level, along with the sensation of whatever you’re dealing with being impossibly stupid and wrong.  Before you know it, you may find yourself doing something like…yelling.  Using profanity.  Etc.  THAT’S when you ring that bell, take a breath, and STOP.  What is it you really want here?   Vanquishing your “opponent” and being proved right? Usually not the most possible of options.  Besides which, then what?  So.  What you want is more than likely not to feel the discomfort you’re feeling about whatever it is.  A wish that is more than likely shared by the person you’re encountering.  Not to feel the fear and sense of being ignored.  Not, in an even bigger sense like say Standing Rock, to feel that the literal ground beneath your feet and the air you breathe is about to be rendered unrecognizable in its destruction.

Weirdly, or not, the answer is pretty consistently this.  After you STOP and BREATHE, you turn your focus to what would bring balance to the situation at hand in the now.  Detaching from the emotions is critical, especially since in heated situations, emotions tend to run together between people like molten lava and everyone is feeling all of it. This is not capitulation to something you believe is wrong, but a stance of allowing vision.  You may, in fact, not prevail.  You may even die depending on the circumstances.  However, without accepting abuse from someone, you can still rise above whatever emotional turmoil there is, and see what the middle way  of the moment may be.  This is in the direction of Positive Good.  Generally this involves seeing what everyone involved actually WANTS.   This is obviously difficult in a large setting but it isn’t impossible.  When concensus cannot be reached, it is important to remember that YOU can bring peace to a situation by your OWN peace, and you can work with the others you find on the edges of things to effect larger shift.  Yes, this can take a long time- but the more one can stay grounded in breathing and as much clarity as possible the more actual positive stuff can occur. On a personal level, I’ve found lately that looking someone in the eye, asking calmly what they’re FEELING and what they really want overall can be really helpful in moments where fisticuffs seem imminent.  It hasn’t changed my feeling of being surrounded by lizards in human suits altogether but it is allowing me to, at least, go outside.  I mean, I realize now that in many cases it’s just like pouring water on a rock.  The rock gets wet but nothing penetrates.  No communication, period.  It’s scary but allowing oneself to be overcome by fear and loathing makes it worse.  I’ve developed an almost reverse tactic of smiling at everyone now and it is a very interesting practice since, seemingly all of a sudden, a lot of people DO smile back, but many more do not and look downright suspicious: unauthorized smiling! What’s next?!?!

It turns out at this point that the “perennial wisdom” is still perennially wise.  In a world where greed seems to rule supreme, where narcissism is the order of the day and no crappy thing is left undone, it is still a good course to remember that one is not the absolute center of everything and many things have to be investigated and learned in order to have any kind of sensible concept of anything.  Feelings pass and what counts is what we do every day to improve our lives and those of our fellow beings by listening and doing what we all KNOW is the right thing: truly doing no harm.  Just because every thing and everybody else seems to have devolved doesn’t mean you have to as well- you can still tell the truth about how you feel and what you think, and lend your help to those who need it. Not overlooking the truth, but facing it.  Then things begin to rise.  Kind of like baking, when you think about it.  Thank you, Friends, as always.

moving curses, falling axes

Well.

First.  Of course the basic nature of reality hasn’t changed, and love is still the way.

But.

I had no idea the curse on the Cubs would move directly to the White House.  As we watched snatches of the election coverage I found myself nauseous, unable to breathe, and? terrified.  It’s taken me until today to remember the one other time I was possessed by such an overwhelming feeling.  Losing my job and realizing I’d not be able to get another one came close, yes.  Being stalked and attacked by a (real) rapist on my doorstep was another time.  So it’s a festive panoply of experience, yes?  But this is what I finally remembered.

When I was in college, there were demonstrations and “riots”. ( Of course we know now that a riot is often simply a bunch of people who start out with a different opinion than yours, and don’t respond well to being shoved.)  This was during the Viet Nam war, and Reagan was Governor of California. (And no, dinosaurs were not roaming the earth.)  We heard him say that he didn’t care if it took a bloodbath to take care of “the students”.  We then saw the National Guard in battle dress and armored trucks driving through our University area with very large guns pointed at us.  There were curfews and things were pretty rough, so I invited some friends over to have dinner and study and just try and keep our spirits up.  I made dinner (including broccoli.  Got to keep your strength up after all.) and as night fell, we heard gunfire and yelling.  People were running toward the building we were in, being followed by National Guard on foot and in trucks.  There was the sound of gunfire and also, extra fun, gas.  They used the same stuff on us as they used on the Viet Cong at the time- CS/CN gas, which made you vomit and have diarrhea simultaneously, among other things.  So.  We were all down on the floor, with wet rags over our faces for the gas, when?  Someone running by the building called out my name.  A split second later the entire front of the apartment, which was glass, shattered as bullets came through.  Doors on the first floor were kicked in and let’s just say hilarity did not ensue.  But that feeling of inexorable, unavoidable terror was there.  And I felt the same thing Tuesday night.

The situation we find ourselves in now is not a joke, it’s not nothing.  It’s NOT OK. It matters.  No miracle is going to swoop down on us and make the ice caps stop melting and the air breatheable and the oceans not acid and full of plastic garbage, and restore at least a modicum of common, basic respect from person to person along with the option to actually live a life, however simple.  Deregulation, lack of social services and rights have been literally promised and guaranteed.  We now have a President elect who had people at his “rallies” carrying signs saying things like: “Rope.  Journalist.  Tree.  Some assembly required.”  We have a President elect who actually mocked a disabled person during a speech.  We know how he feels about Mexicans and Muslims.  And women.  We know he evaded serving his country in Viet Nam even though he attended West Point.  We know he hasn’t paid taxes- and can’t you just imagine what a powerful incentive that will be to the corporate world to pay even the pittances they have been up to now?  We know he’s been prosecuted for civil rights violations.  So, really?  This is the person who’s going to be the President?   A liar and a cheat, who’s filed SIX count’em business bankruptcies, is going to be on some level in charge of how the country spends its money?

The metaphysical approach, the long view, all are necessary  to our thinking now.  Of course we must work together and extend our hands, more than ever- and not as fists.  But it is simply not OK to say, oh, it’s happened before, it’ll happen again, we need change and this might do it.  White Supremacists have carried this day.  This is a great leap backward, and I wonder if the ISIS guys are laughing their heads off, seeing as how we’re about to get Sharia type law before they do.  After all, more than once the PE stated that women should be punished for having abortions. Not to mention the ridiculous calls for his opponent in the race to be put in prison or in a more roundabout way, shot.  Mass expulsions and jailings of “immigrants”.  I do think he’s right about the wall on the Mexican border though: THEY are going to put it up, and pronto.  They need to protect themselves from US.

As always, blessings and thanks, and sorry about the diatribe.

picking up the pieces

Good lord, Gentle Reader.  I completely lost it last night after seeing, yet again, a shameless, depraved, pointless and nasty execution on the evening news.  For a minute I thought I might be “getting used to” this stuff, but.  NO.  NO.  It is time, Gentle Readers, to stand up and say absolutely not, no more, get your heads out of the paper bags and think.  Living as we do in a place where people snarf around about second amendment rights and how “law abiding citizens are being turned into criminals” with “background checks required!”, it never goes too well when I ask what about your basic right to life?  What about your basic right not to get shot dead by someone just because they can?  The out of control emotion in the voices of the shooting officers sounds to me as though they are too unbalanced to be performing their duties.  What about that? Those who protect and serve all too often ignore and ravage and aren’t even as mentally well adjusted as the perps they arrest.  What has happened to people?  I walked into the garden and just stood there last night.  Wondering what I can do about all this.

So, today when an Adele song came on the radio as I was driving home from a lengthy waste of time cum frustrating ritual public humiliation (Medical tests needed.  Medical tests not paid for by my “insurance”. No medical tests for you, in that case, so bye bye.  All of it happening in full view of a dozen or so people.) it seemed not unreasonable to burst into tears in the privacy of the Trusty Subaru.  And, bursting into tears can be quite therapeutic- it gets the static out of your wavelength, and then you can, from a calmer state of being, approach whatever it is that’s making you cry.  At least that’s what I tell myself.  So it’s just pretty strange, because while I KNOW that it is all energy and all moving in the direction it is intended to move, and that knowing gives me a degree of peace…at the same time? It just seems to all be blowing up as we speak and it’s indeed hard to keep the faith.  Of course that just makes it more necessary.  So I’ll do what I always do in these drastic moments: cook.  And say some prayers for all of those grieving for their loved ones, everywhere. My hope is we can all put down our anger, and pick up Love wherever it was last seen.

Thank you.

pain in my heart

Things coalesced today to remind me that in fact, for all intents and purposes, we ARE in the dumper.

While I realize ever more clearly that we are all in the midst of a pretty volcanic shift, and for the most part I can navigate that with relative success, at the same time there are moments when it all crashes into my forehead and I wonder how much longer I can go on living in this world.  The Dog and the Garden make a big difference, of course and I’m hoping that this weekend’s “cooldown” (to 87 instead of 107) will allow me to at last plant our burgeoning seedlings.  Plus bake some requested cookies for a friend in need- one hopes that 87 will allow the making of buttercream to proceed without incident.   The Dog had a moment of doggie disobedience earlier today and tempers flared; now they’re just at a simmer.  I’ve been handing out strawberries and ice cubes to the parties involved.

Still.  The election on top of everything else pretty much fried my circuits.  People were actually speaking in raised voices in the polling place about things that froze my blood- you know- The Wall with Mexico.  Muslims.  Everyone who either didn’t look white or had a Spanish surname (me) got extra grilling before their ballots were handed over.  I’ve been voting for a long time now and this year? They showed me as having no party preference and thus eligible for only a provisional ballot.  Which may, or may not, get counted. HOW GROOVY IS THAT?  I finally, using my best I come in peace but let’s get serious act, got things horsed around, voted, and then? This county has an electronic ballot counter which, excitingly, puts the name of whoever you vote for up on a video screen that anyone standing nearby can read.   My screen said Bernie Sanders, and it felt as though I barely escaped with my life and a tootsie roll, slamming the door on name calling behind me.

Then, glutton for punishment that I am, we went to the post office.  Where I was greeted by two things: 1) A new bill from my insurance company that was astronomically higher than it was before and 2) A man wearing a tshirt that said “Hillary for prison in 2016” who gave me a wolfish grin and said, funny, ain’t it?  Luckily he accepted silence as an answer. (Later, getting propane, I saw one that said “I refuse to learn a foreign language to accommodate the illegal immigrants coming into MY country” on yet another elderly white man who refused to believe the sidewalk was for anyone other than him .)  Just to add to my joy, I found that essentially now nobody will insure me for anything except my current company, for the aforementioned fortune.  I live in a place with a lot of fires, and my car is old.  It’s kind of like the internet around here: You gotta have it but nobody will provide it to you.  So net, net: the fat white man who crashed into me continues to cause trouble.  I’m betting he voted for turd with teeth, too.

There is of course more, although the good news appears to be the cartels are out of our neighborhood this season.  I constantly remind myself that it’s all a call for kindness, for love and compassion, for rectification of disharmony.  Perched on the high, pointy spot of my current life, it seems dicey but I do it anyway.  And on days when I’m inundated by the effing effontery of life, I do wonder if there is any point at all to what I do. It certainly at times looks like an entire geological age of catastrophe, my little existence.  At the same time it is so clear that there IS intrinsic goodness in our universe, and we can’t wait for results to do what is right and caring.  In that vein I’m going to give the Dog another ice cube, and say bless you to all.

 

shaken AND baked

The Dog is taking the triple digit heat in a Sensible Doggy Way.  He’s snoring on his bed, coming out periodically for ice cubes and the odd chicken dog sausage.

I’m sitting in a heat induced stupor with spinning wheels, for the most part.    The one year I am totally on top of starting my seeds, it’s too damned hot to plant the seedlings.  My Looming Project, re-doing the website, is acting like a wayward foxtail in a sock and making me the teensiest bit anxious and procrastinatey.  Partly it’s because I read an old blog about when I did it the first time, so long ago.  I forgot how much screaming was involved and the over the top frustration level (oh, you mean this browser DOESN’T SUPPORT THIS ACTIVITY? AND YOU SAY NOTHING IN THE INSTRUCTIONS?), and the daily tide of you can’t keep a thought in your head for two seconds is not abating around here.  I realized I was fretting over a shopping cart button, in short, while I was looking for remnants of a thyme plant.

Deciding to abandon that for the present in order to wipe the sweat out of my eyes, I’ve been trying to also not focus on the fact that Donald Trump is making an appearance in this podunk place today, at the Redding Airport. Waving to the Folks from his Personal Plane.  Suddenly we exist here, it seems.  Bernie came to Chico, which makes some sense as he actually has a brain and some ideas.  But Trump is the LAST thing anybody up here needs since they’re mostly 98% fully crazed and well armed to begin with.  A conservative hotbed where until quite recently I could count the number of black people I’d seen on one hand, and men in the post office make jokes about how the only “Allah” they like is “ala carte”.  Haw haw and all that.  They’re probably lapping his antics up like seals getting fish in a circus, right this minute.

That may not, in fact, sound very “nice”.  And there’s always the thing of not letting the other person’s Stuff poison you.  But there’s also such a thing as kowtowing to the fuckery and I for one am struggling with balancing the overt perfidy of people with the truth of our oneness and the absolute necessity of honoring that through love.  I’m tired of acting like this whole thing is working.  I read recently a good analysis of anger and resentment, which we see manifesting on every news program and interview.  Anger happens when you learn something you didn’t know (in this case it might be something like: There will never be a decent job for you, so sorry), and resentment is doing something you don’t want to do.  Which in this case seems to mean behaving cooperatively and as though one is not the entirety of the universe.  The hangdog, uninformed victimization one so often sees is very disturbing indeed, since it leads to so many problems down the road.  People believe things they must on some level know are not true- but hey, they saw it on the internet.  Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees are coming into the country.  If so, where are they?  Not here, since they’re not coming.  The Egyptair flight that went down- Trump brayed out that it was a terrorist bombing.  At present that doesn’t seem the most likely cause.  Will he ever acknowledge he shot his mouth off without knowing what he was talking about?  Given that the answer to that is a no doubt resounding NO, is this the sort of person you really want wielding power?  I’m not saying I’m happy with the other part of the spectrum which seems to be in favor of supporting the noxious status quo.  Still, it seems a sounder choice than someone who behaves as though being a crude embarrassment to the human race is a good thing.

The bigger problem with this is, of course, that people gravitate to such negativity, such bullying, and such straight-up disrespect for intellect and cooperation and each other.  Not to mention plants and animals.  Sometimes I think we’ve been so saturated with TV, computer, media images- where everything is split second, truncated, and meanings are fluid- that it has changed the very ability to pay attention.  There doesn’t seem to be much of that going around.  It’s like everyone is following the breadcrumb trail left by the evil empire, not caring if they’re going over a cliff or not.

Knowing as we do that this sort of thing has gone on for all time, just like people forgetting to put everything back in their picnic basket after lunch and then criticizing each other when the spoons seem to have disappeared, it still seems a challenging thing to resolve.  I do believe that things will shift and change, and that more and more human beings are rising to just that occasion- being real human beings.  This is a matter of joy to me whenever I encounter someone who is actually Living their Life.  Maybe that’s the thing.  So many of us are trying to run away from ourselves, our feelings.  So many people don’t even cook their own food.  So many don’t understand that they have abdicated their ability to think for themselves, and as a result will say things like “all the prices went up right after the minimum wage was raised and it just made things worse”.  No ability to look and see, or see what you’re looking at, or that hoary chestnut, consider the source.

When I did my herb farm apprenticeship, one of our teachers said we should remember that one day soon, planting your own food and medicine would probably be a crime.  At the time I thought it was a bit hyperbolic.  Now I’m not so sure.  But I’m certainly going to keep doing it.  (As we all should.)  And remember that loving kindness is worth more than almost anything- except perhaps water.  And air.  And Earth.  And ice cubes, if you’re a dog.