Archive for the ‘getting through a day’ Category

crawling through the wreckage

I’m taking the view, Gentle Reader, that this past week showed nothing less than my survival of a Zombie Apocalypse.

It wasn’t enough that we saw the guy on TV who’d lived across the road from us- and been a gigantic pain the entire time (Mr. Hummer Ranchero, to be exact-) got 98 years in prison for kidnap and torture.  Warm and fuzzy?  No, it wasn’t enough.  First? A man, who’d either been in a fiery crash or a drug lab explosion and lost his hands, took a plastic bag of dirty clothes out of my basket at the laundromat while I was getting change.  Hair pulling and sanity questioning ensued but the interesting thing was that once I finally calmed down and thought, well, it is what it is, here comes the handless man with my laundry.  So, OK.  But then?

Then! Some heavily tattooed guy in a KIA  t-boned me in the parking lot as I was wending my way to the recycling kiosk having at last washed all my laundry.  Leaps out of his car screaming and suddenly there’s half a dozen large, toothless men surrounding me and my car, yelling they were witnesses and i was a b****, among other things.  THEN two very large women oozed over and I found myself wondering why Ronda Rousey wasn’t anywhere to be seen when I needed her so much.  The interesting thing here was that even though all these rather scary individuals were surrounding me screaming, and the older guy who came up and told them to stop was immediately threatened with potential dismemberment, I managed to stay in a non-violent frame of mind and get through the fiasco (no swearing, even!), with Mr. Tattoo actually lowering his voice at the end and thanking me for cooperating with him.   And, fiasco it was since somehow all those “witnesses” had no problem distorting the situation and I now find myself in a yuck-hole with my insurance company.

Aside from the baseline terror I felt when being confronted by all these large, yelling White people, and the stress of seeing my car crunched and home being miles away, what I came away with was this.  Along with a healthy respect for the fact that witch hunts can be pretty real, the fact is?  If you go outside, sooner or later something will catch up with you.  Nothing personal, just the way it is.  You aren’t being punished, it’s just your day for wearing the bullseye.  And, if you can stay neutral during the fireworks that ensue from such bullseye encounters, everyone else will get calmer too, regardless of the outcome. Maybe that’s really the point of such things.  Non-violence does, indeed, take a long time.  But I saw it worked in this situation because even though TRUTH didn’t prevail, the level of stress and anger was substantially lessened and everyone was able to walk away.  Sometimes that’s the best you can do, I guess.  So, I’m sticking with my Practice, even though I still feel very strongly that I don’t ever want to go outside around here again.  Prayers appreciated that my insurance company doesn’t refuse to fix my elderly car!

in the mystery

So, we’ve had a few pee setbacks and every day requires a troll through the garden for small bits of plastic that might find their way into an enquiring pit bull’s mouth, as well as setting to rights the carnage of the night before in terms of chewed gloves, flower pots, and disappeared small shovels.  We’re at about 60% compliance to coming when called by name.  Last night was a notable failure, when he just simply decided he was staying outside and that was that.  It’s hard to know exactly how to proceed in such a case, not wanting to set a poor precedent but also? Not wanting to create unnecessary Armageddon.  Anyway this morning he was up, in his downstairs dog cave, at his usual dawn hour, and was VERY happy to see us.  All the smoke is making him sneeze but the light bulb went off and I realized that I can wipe his nose with water, the same way I do mine, and it helps with the nose/crud balance.

Otherwise, I’m finding myself wondering how one strikes the balance between what needs to be done, knowing what that truly is for crying out loud, and accepting the things that are not likely to change.  The capitalist model would have you believe that if you don’t have financial success, it’s just simply your fault.  This, of course, is patently false but it can cause a certain amount of wasted time until you bite the bullet and accept it for what it is: propaganda.  Is it better to beat the bushes constantly?  Or simply keep your powder dry and in order for when the time comes?  Given that the current setup has most liquidity tied up at the top, it can be difficult to see what the truth actually is at any given point.  This particular paradigm exists not just about money, of course, but can also flourish in those places where you haven’t exactly understood what you went though before.  Is this all my fault or were there a few partners involved?  Accepting responsibility is important, but should not be a misperception of self to the point of thinking that…well, thinking that you are powerful enough to have caused x or y to happen.  Especially when you ARE powerful but perhaps not in the areas of x or y.  You can, after all, control your mind after working at that task diligently.  But you cannot “make” anyone else “do” anything, or feel anything.  Nor are they responsible for what you want and fulfilling your needs.  It’s up to you at every moment, and perhaps the issue now is that the overall resonance of society and the world is WAAAAAAY out of whack.  It’s spiky and discordant and people are crying a lot.  How do you get in synch with that? and why should you?

So I guess the dog and I are walking this path together, trying to remember our names and put our paws right.  Fortunately for us, the Partner KNOWS his name and is very good at alerting a person to where the deep hole is right in front where if you don’t stop your paw will……the poor man has his work cut out for him right now, is all I can say.  But in mitigation, I can also say I made more tripeless menudo from the bone of a leg of lamb, some hominy, and some chili paste, which is one of the P’s favorite things.   We’re all trying.

la la la lalalala

Well. For the most part it has continued, of late, to be an extra weird mix of sturm AND drang.  I managed to obtain and download a new operating system for my antediluvian laptop, and also downloaded what appears to be a browser that will work.  I only cried about three times during all of that, which I think is pretty impressive, especially given the situation.  My heavy lifting routine consists of imagining a giant paddle with which I swat away all the bothersome thoughts about What Needs To Be Done.  Because I am not there yet, not at the place where Things Can Be Done.  Still a week away from being able to lift anything heavier than a kleenex, and watching the world careen from breathtaking mess to breathtaking mess on top of it.

In the meantime, I have been reading.  Detective novels during that grim period where I was applying ice blocks to my midriff and head, and now?  Two splendid LONG novels.  ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, by Anthony Doerr, which is just wonderful.  Elegant, sinuous language and the visual construction of an amazing world.  The other is WOLF HALL, by Hilary Mantel.  (I have fallen hopelessly in love with Mark Rylance, who has the part of Thomas Cromwell in the current PBS version-it is quite wonderful to populate the novel with the excellently cast actors therefrom, especially him with his ruined face and clear, burning eyes.)  Anyway for such a long book about the Tudors, for heaven’s sake, it is completely riveting.  The action is implied from the characters’ inner processes, and you come away from it with the feeling of having been at an incredible dinner party where you observed everything unfold from a much larger perspective than your usual seat allows you.

Otherwise, it is still all about riding the wave, or the bull, or whatever it is that we get on as humans one way or another and have to stay on til the ride’s over.  This has been an enlightening experience, of course (at the same time as it is completely the opposite) and I have learned a lot about what rises up in us when we’re sick and injured.  All that stuff has to be dealt with for healing to occur and we can see all over the place how hard a time people are having with this particular project.  It takes witnessing and someone who can abide with the difficulties without having opinions about them- which is the work of a lifetime, in itself.  There’s a tremendous quality of breath holding to all this, along with an overwhelming sense of being somehow tested by some perhaps completely crazed inquisitor.  How much of your fear can you leave behind, really?  How clearly can you think about things when all your old “stuff” is forming an ungodly ferment with the new input and foaming all over the place?  How much, really, does any of this matter?  What in the end can any of us do in the face of the enormous suffering on this earth when we can’t keep our own minds in check?  Oh my.  The deep breathing it all takes!

Then again, there’s always the moment where a flash of light comes in and reminds one that since it is a question of perspective and focus, probably mostly a time to rest up and get ready to jump the next time the merry-go-round passes.  I do believe that we are guided, the information we need is available to us, and the thing is to step into the fires that burn in us instead of running away from them.  Easier said than done of course.  Still.  Civility and kindness go a long way and if each of us made perhaps a stronger effort we might see something interesting.  At the moment I’m having a devil of a time with the civility part, but probably because having spent my life being polite, self effacing and helpful, the impulse to even THINK in uncivil terms has been mercilessly suppressed.  There’s a certain amount of outgassing that happens, I guess.

In the meantime, it is clearer to me than ever before that the truth is of paramount importance and we must really all begin to seek it and tell it.  Truth.  Not opinions, and not propaganda.  It’s pretty clear if you choose to look, and the fact that things have gone on on this planet in this ridiculously dysfunctional way for so long seems to indicate that it might just be time for a change.  Not the non-change we see in politics and wars now, but a change to actual right-living.  Everyone working toward the common goals of stewarding resources and providing support to their communities. Setting aside the illusory thing called money, and enterprise, and economies in favor of something that actually matters across the board.   Call me crazy but even notwithstanding the past month, I still believe it can happen.

in which i go outside

So, okay.  Stormy weather and somehow I knew that since our power only went off for a couple of hours and everything was working correctly and we weren’t in the epicenter of howling winds like usual- I knew that there Would Be More.

And, yes.  The road washed out is what happened.  The only way in or out of where we live was, just like that, gone.  The small bridge over a culvert/seasonal stream was not properly constructed to begin with, as you might expect up here.  Then a bear, seeing an appropriate den, moved in for a while.  Then, what with 8 zillion pickup trucks going back and forth every day with their ARs and whatnot, when the storm hit the road went kaput.

The ensuing events once again made my little head explode.  First, the phone rings at night which is weird enough in itself.  Our neighbor (who now detests me because of the summer Hummer Ranchero episode) says the road will be closed until further notice/it gets fixed.  Oh, I said.  But… do we get out?  Answer, you don’t.  The song and dance that followed about just how they managed to get a guy (who, in his normal life, runs the wine department in Trader Joe’s) to head a crew to fix this thing involved gold mining and all sorts of excuses and hems and haws, along with professed total lack of knowledge about just who was doing the work.  And when.  But boy it was really hard to find someone with heavy equipment who could do the job- especially considering that, apparently, all the people up here with back hoes and stuff were not considered suitable for a piece of work such as this.  The first day I lost it, being as how I missed doing a job among other things.  No fed ex.  No groceries.  No email and no way of monitoring the progress of business.  By the third day of confinement I was able to remain calm, say to myself, self? Nothing to be done.  Que sera sera and all that.  Clearly the universe feels you should just sit still.  When I walked down to the site I did almost cry, on that day three, because what had once been a collapse had been turned into a pit that seemed likely to go on forever.  It’s a wet fix, the guy said.  It could be DAYS.  I turned around and started thinking how a potato curry would probably be OK for dinner and thank GOD there was still that bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau in the kitchen.  Beyond that were dragons.  But they’re always there.

Fortunately the thing did finally get wrestled to the ground, and when we did get to at last venture out to pick up a week’s worth of mail and totter into the grocery store, we were rewarded with the sight of intense green swards covering the pastures on the main road, and!  an eagle.  Who was very muddy but nonetheless spectacular and awe inspiring.

In the end it’s hard to know what things mean sometimes.  You THINK you’ve got all this stuff to do, but how important is it?  And if the infrastructure isn’t there, ultimately even the best efforts don’t produce what they might in other, less fettered, conditions.  So there you are, in the perhaps quintessential position of humanity.  Wondering what is to be done? And how you might even get to the point of doing something.   And how important is that anyway?  Goodness but there’s a lot to figure out.  One of my teachers said the fastest way to get nowhere is to follow the crowd.  At this point I think I can say that we, the Partner and I, are firmly out there where the crowd is not.  We’re just not sure where that is, whether or not we’re lost or found.  It’s beautiful, in any event, when we can focus our eyes.

Thank you!

still raining still dreaming

The world is oddly green around here now: Flourescent, almost.  It is incredibly calming, uplifting, and when one thinks about it, confusingly unseasonal.  The oak trees shot out a few new leaves during the week or so of “fall” we had, like emeralds in the midst of a fire, and now that all the brown dead leaves have blown away they linger uncertainly.  It’s hard to know what day it is, in short.

However it is December, this year is drawing to a calendrical close, and I feel oddly both bullet-proof and mangled beyond recognition.  But it is the nature of love that has been revealing itself to me of late.  I realized the other day that being cursed (we were drinking Maudite) and being very close to the divine often amount to the same thing experientially- what sets them apart is knowing that love is real.  When you feel cursed, you doubt and collapse.  When you are just that teensiest bit too close to the divine, the pain is similar but somehow you know it will shift and in the meantime there’s incredible stuff to see.

At long last it dawned on me that acting from love does not mean allowing things you don’t like or want in order to keep another person happy.  What is, is, how you feel is how you feel.  You simply have to develop your own beliefs and live in your own skin, whatever others may say about that.  You might ask, well, what about mad bombers or raging capitalists or…well, all of that worldly mayhem.  To my mind such individuals are living under the curse, believing they can control things and there is no limit to their actions.  Therefore in the long run success will not come from that direction.  It can only come from love. Everything really is an invitation to begin again- the difficulty we humans have is precisely that.  It’s hard for us to put down whatever we’re holding in a death grip and start over.  That start-over really does mean you start completely over.  How can this be made better?  How can this serve everyone involved?

Love really is the answer.  Perhaps acting from love means you refrain from injuring yourself.  Perhaps it means letting things move in their own time and accepting all the myriad realities existing around us without feeling the need to “do” something.  Love may not make you feel better the same way you think you feel better when acting under old patterning- but it does give you a way to turn the lights on and see how spacious things really are.  Love isn’t about changing anything except your own perspective, in a way.  It’s a force like light or wind, I think, which we can learn to flow and fly with.  It is amazingly easier to let people be who they are- but then you have the responsibility for your own actions as the north star.  No resentment, no rage.   Begin again.

In an important neighborhood piglet update: They’re getting slightly bigger and now they’re mostly covered in mud with tiny specks of pink showing through.  The chickens are hogging the heatlamp, and one piglet engages in daily duels with the rooster for a spot in front of the treat dispenser.   The pigs who had staged the daring escape on another part of the hill have now proceeded to being made into sausage, which is the ever present reminder that death and life contain each other all the time, every day.  With that basic reality check going on, things do start to make more sense.  In that general vein, we’re researching chicken raising and seed catalogs are winging their way here.  When you don’t know what to do, do what you know, right?  Green eggs and purple carrots should do the trick.


It’s good when things are clear, don’t you think Gentle Reader?  Even though it can be monstrously unpleasant.

Like now, for example.  Maybe it’s just the ending of a fast but long, hard year.  Maybe it’s the looming anniversary of a friend’s death.  Or, maybe, it’s about the total uncertainty around all the edges of things now.  Whatever it is, this Ferguson thing just got me down with a sort of finality.

The finality of losing the last illusions, perhaps.  Because I really did have alot of ’em, it seems.  I thought we lived in a country that…that what?  That didn’t routinely kill its citizens.  A country that didn’t have a militarized occupation force posing as police.  A country where a person actually had some civil rights and a degree of freedom.  But, no.  It turns out that those are not the facts.  The facts are that is totally OK to kill people (except of course an undeveloped fetus.  That’s a no-can-do.)  Unarmed people.  Especially if those people are “colored” (and isn’t THAT a concept?  I’d go for purple, myself.) or “different”,  or especially all those scary young men who have nothing to do and nowhere to go- except maybe the Army.  We are sold food that poisons us and causes pain, for which we then take drugs that get us addicted.  We live in a society where the only rights enforced seem to be those of property- and then it most definitely depends on whose property we’re talking about.  We live in a country now where bald faced lies come to seem more refreshing and revealing than one more celebrity kiss-up on the news.  We live in a country that seems to celebrate ignorance and mediocrity. We live in a country where all are not even considered to be equal, and if you don’t believe that you clearly haven’t been outside in a while.

It’s odd that this thing was kind of a last straw.  It is not, after all, my first time at the rodeo nor did I just fall off the turnip truck.   I still cling  to the presumption that we are all created equal in the eyes and truth of whatever did that creating. Standards, perhaps, I still harbor a fondness for.  And a belief in the need for a real rule of law- where the values of the community are nourished and upheld and protected.  Not lied about and twisted and manipulated so that everything that gets said can’t even be taken in because on its face it is corruption.

My whole world is, in many ways, gone.  I can accept the results of my own actions with greater or lesser ease and grace depending on the level of horrid debacle, accept the fact that things are deeply different now and time passes, some good and some bad.  But I cannot accept the fact that we now have a country here in the U.S. where it isn’t freedom that rings but bullets and cash registers up top.  Over and over.  This really has to stop.  It may seem too big to stop- too big to fail? But all of our lives are on the line  and not changing course now seems to be incredible folly.  IMHO.  It really, truly, is not hard to do the right thing in life: You just have to be aware of what it is. We might start with that first commandment and move on to something more philosophically expansive.  Like gardening.  You think?

Thank you.

off to the races

I have to say, Gentle Reader, even by MY standards the past few days have been  like a combination of Survivor, Godzilla, and a stampede of bison during a large size hail storm with the gong section of a Chinese Opera Orchestra playing along.

On the positive side:  It was the Partner’s birthday.  I made a cake and arroz con leche and game hens and shrimp cocktail.  And cocktails, of course.  And some really fantastic purple potatoes from the garden.  We actually had a lot of fun AFTER we got past the non-positive sunrise wakeup call from the landlady’s dog.  During which wakeup exercise said dog killed all my chile plants, dug the crap out of one raised bed and our compost heap, and attempted to dig several large and important plants out of their containers.  I almost lost it altogether and may have murmured something about you won’t have to worry about who’s going to kill your dog if this happens again.  Since this was the, oh, say FOURTH TIME.   Each incursion has caused some significant damage and this dog does some very acrobatic things to get into our space.  Apparently there is some mystery about what happens when you let a large, untrained ratting dog out the door at 5 am and don’t bother to go with it or check on it or anything like that.   It’s a dicey proposition to let your dog out like that around here because everyone is fairly heavily armed.   Country living and second amendment rights, after all.   Just Friday night, for example, there was a long, REALLY long, volley of automatic weapons fire.  It may have had something to do with the visit of a sizeable portion of the Sheriff’s Department the prior Friday elsewhere in the neighborhood.  Or it may not have.  Anyway.  It seems, for better or worse, that no dogs were harmed in that incident.

We’ve also been preparing legal documents and digging out tax returns and all kinds of awful stuff like that.  Sometimes I feel as though, really, no more.  NOT ONE MORE THING.  I get over that when I see the little wrens taking baths in the water seeping down into the plants as we water them in the mornings, flipping their wings and sending sprays of water into the air.  We also have a gang of hummingbirds now who have been chasing each other around every morning with incredible feats of derring do, sneak attacks, and nyah nyah nyahs.

But then I see something like the picture of people waiting for food in a Syrian refugee camp.  Thousands of people, as far as you can see, standing between ruined buildings about ten abreast.  Even hummingbirds can’t quite get me past that.   I find I’m at a point now where everything that gets said about what’s going on in the world sounds like a big, fat, lie.  We abandoned the gold standard as the value base for our money, yes, and now use what? OIL.   Yes indeedy.  In fact, the same stuff that seems to be funding the Caliphate Bringers.  Someone explain to me, please, just why it is we don’t have a huge effort moving to get things solar and methane energied, among other things, just to move us along and out of this gigantic sink hole filled with $#!^ that we appear to be jumping right back into the middle of.   Still it is somewhat interesting to see such a funding source being used by opponents in a struggle.  Or whatever it is.  Then there was the young girl on Bill Moyers who spent several minutes saying that it was really OK and a good thing to use selfishness as a reason to be concerned with climate change.  I must say things seem pretty extreme now, the lines are drawn and while there are many people, young and old, trying to do the right thing, there seem to be many, many more doing the wrong thing.  Over and over.  Unthinkingly.  Selfishly.  I find myself feeling real, actual fear about the future, and not just because my own situation is so weird, precarious, and somehow wonderful when I can keep breathing.

It really is important to stay with the awe we feel in life, but sometimes it is so hard to pick oneself up and carry on.  Today’s motivation may just be cake.


Come on now/say you will…..Oh.  Ahem. Firstly: thank you, Gentle Reader, for being there, for reading, for writing.

I’ve been in a period lately where old songs constantly spring into my head with new words related to the moment’s current situation.  Like, “Forced to be Nice” (from the hoary chestnut “Born to be Wild”) the other day when the Partner just would NOT accept a compliment about a diplomatic parking job he did in our local Parking Lot from Hell.  Or, today’s tune, above (which I believe is originally “Say You Will”).

It might have been because I was awake ALL EFFING NIGHT and had just barely found  sleep at about 5 am.  In any event, when I was jolted from my tenuous slumber by a pounding bass line, I was disoriented to say the least.  That sort of sound still gets equated in my mind with cars driving down city streets with handguns pointed out of them with arcs of fire you could see at night; vestiges of Richmond perhaps.  And really, you don’t expect that sort of thing in the literal middle of nowhere- even if you should, as it turns out. In any event, it was 7:30 in the morning, my eyes were stuck shut, and the noise was intense.  Weird, really.  I realized that my prayer for whoever was making that infernal racket to just be lifted off the face of the earth was probably not going to be granted.  By this time the Partner was up and…..well, long story deviation.  With my eyes still largely stuck shut I put on a t-shirt with a picture of a bear on it and tottered over to the source of said noise which turned out to be, charmingly, our landlord.  Who proceeded to have, in essence, a hissy fit, right off the top.  Maybe it was the bear.  But.  It really doesn’t get too much better than that, does it?    Huffily claiming he had work to do I found myself facing our landlord’s retreating back, at which point I assured him I had no wish to interfere in his life other than to insist that he keep his taste in music to himself to a larger extent than heretofore.   I probably shouldn’t say this but I have never been a Def Leppard fan.   Anyway there we are, all before 8 am! Good fun.  I resolutely pushed aside the thought that he’d probably go turn the water off all day now, just because.  All the while, of course, being pretty clueless about just what might have propelled this whole scenario in the first place, and hoping that we’d all feel better…..soon.

Still, however, the lingering gas cloud of WTF!  I felt so despondent about it all, given that if we can’t even keep it together in terms of common courtesy, how the devil are we going to work out all the rest of this mess we find ourselves in now?  Realizing how non-productive that line of thought was, I turned my attention from my coffee tankard to The Rabbit.  This is the little guy who’s been living in the back garden this year, and he’s started playing with the Partner.  They were involved in a bit of hide and seek by this time, The Rabbit being somewhat hampered by his still growing frame, which seems to leap inadvertently from time to time on its own, surprising him greatly.   It didn’t produce any great insight into the issues at hand, except further evidence that this is one really cute bunny.

It seems, though, that we all want to do what we want to do when we want to do it, period.  Consequences or other people’s feelings don’t seem to factor in terribly often.  I’m beginning to think that a good part of this stems from current political and social disarray, certainly in the U.S., which is creating a miasmic atmosphere.  People know, somehow, that things aren’t going well at all, even if they won’t admit that to themselves- I mean, hey! We’re back in Iraq- maybe this time people will stop pronouncing it eye-rack, at least.  Things have really changed- or maybe they actually haven’t but the veneer has worn completely off- and the propaganda and messages stay the same. ( Cognitive dissonance with a bullet.)  The advertising industry, for example, seems to be giving the insurance industry a run for its money in terms of currently sucking ALL the air out of the room, buy this buy that.  I often wonder just where they think all this purchasing power is coming from, given the reality of what wages and jobs are like.  You’d think, watching TV here, that the absolutely most important thing EVER was funeral insurance.  Followed by insurance for your phone.  Followed by health insurance of dizzying variety and monotonously regular non-service. In short, you should expect to be very ill and spend a lot of money on that, then have an expensive funeral.  But you’ll have unlimited talk and data, depending on if you live where there’s service or not. And in the meantime, most of the people around you will be furiously avoiding feeling what they’re feeling.  Then picking fights with each other when they back into themselves while stepping all over you.

It’s puzzling because things seem so intractable and the smallest things can turn into Armageddons before you even blink.  We know, of course, that they aren’t really either of those things, simply by virtue of having been alive for more than twenty minutes and thus seeing that everything moves, all the time.  Things are in the order they’re in, and there is much to be grateful for.  Color, magic, figs, purple potatoes and pico de gallo.  At the moment, though, I feel as though I am constantly addressing brick walls.    I’m really trying not to be one myself.



dominion and caliphate

Jeeeeeez, Gentle Reader.  It’s hard not to wonder which is going to happen first:  Armageddon, Apocalypse, or Return of Common Sense to Small Portions of the Planet Which We Hope Will Continue to Arise and Also? Happen Really Soon.  The common sense, I mean.

We have here what looks to be like the shaping up of another religiously inspired world catastrophe.  The Inquisition, the Crusades, the wars between Shia and Sunni and Catholic vs Protestant- none of those, apparently, have been enough. Not to mention the joy bringing aspects of colonialism and imperialism on older spiritual traditions.  No, ISIL, or ISIS, or whatever they call themselves to distract you from the fact they never show their faces, aim to re-install the Caliphate now.  We’ll be whizzed, in that event, back to the 7th century.   Here in the U.S., the Supreme Court seems to be a sub fusc organization whose only purpose is promoting the Dominion, which is the Caliphate spelled with a Christian syllabary.  Again, whizzed back to the 7th century- if we’re lucky.   It might be even further back than that, given the propensities of the Dominion’s advocates to support positions that were probably felt to be retarded in the stone age.

I have really just about had enough of this crap. Money is not the Ultimate Reality.  Corporations are not people.  Women ARE people. Children and elders are people.  People need food and water that isn’t poisoned simply so someone at the top can make money (research Tyson Foods and Unilever if you think I’m even kidding.) People need work that sustains them.  Capitalist values degrade everything they contact and establish a world view that if you aren’t “rich”, you aren’t successful, it’s all your fault and besides, you’re probably not a good person anyway.  Inequality is the actual name of the game. ( Unfortunately Communism did not cut the mustard at all, and the drawing board seems lost as far as such organizational matters go.)  Religion is about external authority and being told what to do in a maintained posture of fear.  In the 21st century it seems to me that it’s way past time for people to sit up and get their heads out of the paper bag.  Then again, when they do that it’ll probably be just in time to throw up into it.

But on to a more important topic: futbol.  We’re pretty convinced at our house that somebody just might have put a curse on the Brazilian team.  They had been behaving rather badly up to the game with Colombia which was execrably officiated for the most part in Brazil’s favor.  Just at that point, about say, 60 minutes into the match? we’re thinking somebody strangled a black chicken.  Because after that game? Brazil couldn’t do doodly.  Karma is an interesting thing, really.  It would be nice if it could catch up to our  C and D friends mentioned above before they do any more damage.

Here is part of a poem by a woman named Kate Compston, which I read this morning while trying to shove the roaring dinosaur head back outside my brain,  where it belonged:

“… me the movement I must take

toward a wealth not dependent on possessions

toward a wisdom not based on books (Ed note: books are still good things!)

toward a strength not bolstered by might

toward a God not confined to heaven

but scandalously earthed, poor, unrecognized…..

help me to find myself

as I walk in others’ shoes…..”

We live in hope, of course, even when we are out of sorts.

fearless leader

Of all the things I miss, Rocky and Bullwinkle is way up on the list.  Somehow, it was always so calming in its witty way.

When I got up today I REALLYREALLYREALLY wished Rocky and Bullwinkle was on tv.  But it wasn’t.  As often happens as we pull ourselves into daily reality, the Partner offered his morning thoughts, which happened today to be about the invention of watches.  (Yes.  And it is good for me to think about such things before my eyes are fully open.) We figured watches became necessary about the time that capital became the Ruling Thing here on earth.  Seriously.  Why would you need to know what time someone else decided it was when on some level it was simply a way to get you to do what they wanted?  Be here at 8 am, sort of thing.  Work all day for my benefit.  Good fun, and don’t be late.  Anyway, time and watches and clocks have always seemed a bit strange to me, dividing and marking something that is really ineffable and expands and shrinks as it sees fit, and also as a confinement to a tiny scale of what you can know when you look up at the sky.    In any event,  there’s something about my system that kills watches: Battery operated watches stop within 36 hours, routinely, and windup watches- well, it was interesting to see what THEY did.  I had a glittery one once, that was the best watch ever especially since it had no numbers and tiny hands on a face of crystals and it didn’t really matter what time it was.  In any event, not a watch person.

The Partner was marvelling at the logistics of simply making a watch at all in the 1600 or 1700’s.  Shaping and cutting metal, making gears, the optics needed to even see these things.  He said, they knew what this thing looked like inside before they knew how to make it.    It coincided with something I’ve been thinking about this week, oddly, which is this.  Everything we learn in life follows this pattern- we sense it, the shape and size and configuration of whatever it is, long before we know how to make it or maintain it or really understand what it is.

It became absolutely clear recently that, in fact, our thoughts really DO create the biggest part of our reality.  How we think colors what we observe, what we see, how we feel about all those things, what our expectations are (which in turn creates quite a bit of what actually happens).  Healing is about this very process.  What our core beliefs are, our deepest feelings and understandings, these things influence us profoundly and often are inaccessible to our conscious minds.  The work of getting to what a person really thinks and believes is the work of becoming whole.  So often, though, we cling to the very thoughts and conceptions that keep us prisoners and simply wishing things to be otherwise does not do the trick.  Even knowing that by keeping our thoughts in balance we improve our lives doesn’t mean we can really do it all the time.  So in essence, we know what the inside of the watch looks like- we just don’t know how to spark it into being or perhaps even what might happen if we did.

The other element to this is that as long as we are moving according to unconscious habit and motivation, it is hard to see that the successes we have in strengthening our awareness do not make everything different- and in fact, that isn’t necessary at all.  It is as it is; what changes is how we see it.  Our pattern shifts and different connections manifest.  This creates movement and change and elevates, in a sense, everyone’s game.   Once YOU feel better and more integrated, everyone around you finds they can breathe more easily too somehow.  No bossing around required.  Then the next lesson appears which is about letting go.

And what do we need to let go of?  The things that bind and constrict.  Expectations and resentments.  The effort to be something you are not because someone else wants that (watches anyone?).  The seeking outside oneself for answers and vesting our own authority and responsibility in someone else.  Then, of course, we can be upset when things don’t go as we wish and drama ensues, attention happens. But the basic structural defect, if we can call it that, is still there and our vehicle will just go in the same, ever smaller, circle.   Which often ends in a very deep hole.

That small circle serves a purpose, of course- it makes us feel we are not alone, gets some room between us and that existential sucky swamp of fear and dread.  Not in a lasting way, however, as I have found.  The longer you insist on staying in that small circumference, the harder it is going to be when the spring gets sprung and you are catapulted out of the life you knew one way or another.  What you resist persists, and there can be some real inter-brain trench warfare just getting out of the way.

The thing of it turns out to be maintaining a sense of awe, I think.  Those glimpses of understanding, of the movements of nature and time and curiosity and learning, are heady things indeed, and they have an energy and power to them that moves us along if we let it.  We don’t know, really, what’s going on here, or what is going to happen.  Really.  We don’t.  It seems, then, that a sensible open minded observant approach may be the best.   Things happen for good and for bad, and we really don’t have a whole lot of control over anything but our responses.  Paying attention to those responses and developing a respect for them, trusting them to work for us and developing faith (which has nothing to do with religion) that they will- a big challenge but it does get the job done over time.  We may not truly know what our “successes” and “failures” are in this life, and we certainly often don’t know when we’ve done some small thing that makes a big difference.  But these things happen, it’s not necessary to have every last detail, and I think it is true that Creator loves us when we sing.  Fewer watches, more songs- might be a plan.