Posts Tagged ‘Love’

cooperation

E.O. Wilson wrote that cooperation works for groups and he’s certainly right about that.  Last year a quail couple allowed a solitary male to join their small family. In a striking show of cooperation, he joined the two adult quail and their three chicks, and stood watching over them while they ate, feeling useful and important (or anyway it looked like that).

This year?  Holy cow.  There’s the biggest passel of quail either one of us has ever seen.  Several mother quail, two males (one ENORMOUS), and nineteen babies.  NINETEEN.  It was hilarious and transfixing to watch them taking dirt baths in the slightly moist and cool compost pile, sliding down the side and stepping all over each other.  Later on they all sacked out on the back garden path and went to sleep for a few minutes.  It was almost weird looking at all those inert little bodies; but after they’d rested they went on to demolish the sowbugs in our front garden bed.  Plus some strawberries, but the sowbugs were well worth it.  It was also quite interesting to see that quail moms are just like any other moms.  In the crowd of kids and adults they looked a whole lot more alert and focused, not to say just the teensiest bit stressed, and although no sounds were heard, when the inevitable quail baby went the opposite and wrong direction as at least one always does, the mom’s shoulders were tense, her eyes were bright, and one can only imagine what message the baby got as it abruptly scrambled into line, completely chastened.

We also have our annual frog, and this time a skink too, living in the yurt.  The frog has been a marvel of cooperation.  Although he initially wanted to stay on my bag of almonds, being disturbed at all was just more than he could tolerate and he’s figured out a place to hang out between meals that is out of our way.  Unlike the last couple of years where everyone wanted to live in the muffin tins and that was that, this guy pays attention, and obviously does Not Want To Be Disturbed.  He makes a lot of noise all night long, hopping around and ponging on the inside of the zinc tub, but seems to be responsive when we ask him to be quiet.  Either that or we’ve both gone crazy, thinking we can talk to frogs.

Which of course brings us, Gentle Reader, to my more frequent and normal train of thought which is, in fact, all about crazy.  What IS crazy, after all?  I realize now that being different allows people to apply that label, and conflate things that don’t really go together at all but can have a lasting and damaging effect on a person.  (Or, I suppose, a frog)  The danger is that when you’re a child, you cannot really differentiate the judgments people make, understand that they’re probably just off balance, and make a decision about whether or not to accept them.  You just take them in and bingo! You either think you’re OK or you think you’re really NOT OK.  Then you toddle off into the world.

Of course, in my experience it’s usually the people who ARE technically crazy who believe they are not- and really, who’s to say?  Hearing voices isn’t a helpful thing when one is looking for a job but they are still real to some extent and therefore, as real as anything else.  None of which is actually real in the sense we all want to think it is.  The truth about reality? It’s not stationary, humans are not the hottest thing since sliced bread, everything is dependent on everything else.  Nonetheless, it has also been my experience that if you are different from those around you, they will treat you as though you have some affliction along the lines of hearing voices, and that can really put a cramp in things.

So, what to do? (As always.)  We find ourselves in a world where, for example, FIFA is so rife with corruption it truly stinks and then they make women play a world cup on artificial turf.  Just a little of that old time punishment for being different? You have to wonder how they believe they can get away with the totality of their misfeasance, financial and social, but they seem to be doing it.  Then? Some person who really WAS crazy shot a bunch of people in a church because they were the wrong color in his opinion.  Where did the poison he was filled with come from?  Perhaps, and this is what I’m thinking, the “power elite” (we’ll call them that for convenience) are the crazy ones?  A person who looks like them and behaves in a crazy way that they understand- violently- gets a pass.  A person who doesn’t look like them?  Fuggedaboudit.  There’s a kind of insanity that seems to be almost institutionalized at this point.  I realized, for example, that the fact that my long time physician told me that everything going on in my body was in my head (and I believed her having had a lifetime of being told just that) led to the physical problems I didn’t interpret correctly, and further to the hospital experience that came close to ending my life.  But I’M the one who’s depicted as being crazy in that particular paradigm.  A black person can be told from now until the cows come home that we’re “post racial” and racism doesn’t exist.  I saw a white man from Idaho say just that last night on the news: No racism in this country at all, according to him.  Placing that against the daily reality of seemingly invincible racism must make a person feel…well, crazy.  You do come to expect your place at the end of the line but that doesn’t make it right.

I believe with Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr and HH the Dalai Lama that non-violence is the way, however long it takes.  But I finally realized what you have to do to make that work.  You have to truly be yourself, no matter what ANYONE says, and be the best you possible.  As fearlessly as possible- so, no pressure, right? (And. Obviously the best you possible is not the you that cheats and steals and lies and hurts others as a matter of course.) This makes connections manifest and action possible.  It’s hard to do, of course, and you won’t find a whole lot of help in the endeavor but sooner or later you will find cooperation.  However small it may be in the beginning I am convinced that this is what will eventually make the difference and allow us all to move forward.  However afraid I am that the people *I* think are crazy and who are currently running things will win out?  In my heart I know they cannot.  Because they don’t cooperate.  Things can only be accomplished through love, not through power, and the true craziness of the world today is that people seem to think the reverse is true.  Fortunately we have quail and frogs to show us otherwise.

always learning

And yes, we are, Gentle Reader.  First, the animal report.  The pigs we’ve been watching grow are so big they collapsed their little shelter on top of them.  Now they’re sprawled over it whilst hammering out z’s.  The continuing dialogue between citizenry and police (cows and cow dogs in this case) continues, with outstanding stare downs and dogs slightly on the minus side in terms of Imposing Their Will on The Cows.  And, speaking of cows, a brand new crop of babies are suddenly, delicately, on their hooves in between being nestled in the still green grass like little pieces of obsidian, and having long philosophical discussions with their mothers.  Add to that the smoke trees blooming by the river? and it’s perfect.

So as usual,  the things of the earth are resplendent and wonderful.  Even while we’ve got solar activity pelting us all to the point of feeling like our heads may explode from the pressure, and while Nestle continues to bottle water here in California where they say we’ll run out all together in about a year.   It is sad to think that a company involved with chocolate, the food of the gods for mercy’s sake, is just so completely…well, evil.  Let’s us make a lot of money selling these poor fools their very own water back while they can’t flush their toilets for lack thereof.

But at the same time, it is spring, I just had a restorative visit with dearly beloved friends, it’s almost my birthday again (made it through another year! award time!), and although the amount of weed pulling before me is beyond daunting and our basic position vis a vis the World seems to be on a razor’s edge, I’ve learned something that will keep me going for a while.

To wit: It really IS about how you respond to things.  Especially now, when things just look so completely grim and hopeless all over the place- at the same time people are doing wonderful work and the light is made to shine in unexpected places.  We all do want to be happy.  Recognizing this just puts you on a, metaphorically, level playing field with everyone else.  We all want the same things, but the challenge arises in the manner in which we pursue these things.  Often people go after experiences and things  in an effort to find this happiness, but the problem arises when they haven’t figured out what really gives meaning to their lives.  Willy nilly, rushing around in pursuit of the external, perspective gets lost in the quest for gratification of whatever sort.  Everything really is connected- the business of a butterfly affecting things on the other side of the globe is quite literally true.  The fact that we can’t always SEE the ramifications of what we do in the moment, and the corollary that many aren’t even at the point of caring about those ramifications for various, numerous reasons, brings us to the world we have today.  Which is in truth a mess filled with human created obstacles and congestions and blockages.  A mess because of US.  Not “God” or space aliens or anything else.  Just us.

I think the basis for all of this is fear.  Fear is the big stick that keeps us coloring inside the lines even if we hate the drawing and crayon color.   The reality is there is so much more going on all the time than we can possibly take in that we should find relief in that fact, and focus on paying attention to what we truly see before us instead of confabulating stories about what we are told might be out there.  In time we can get to a place where we actually SEE what is there, and if one has the ability to tread lightly with that awareness, all sorts of things unfold.

Love is the motive force, but love is not an ego based deal.  Love is what happens when you unlock the gates in yourself and let everything go in and out.  It isn’t about “results” or outcome driven processes or anything like that.  It is like a huge beam of light that moves through everything and allows even the darkest, worst moments to shine with meaning and potential.  Love doesn’t mean you’re even going to “like” everyone you come in contact with; but you don’t actually have to worry about that.  Cleaving, as it were, to what really is true- and basically that is that we all want to be happy in an existence full of change and often of pain- what happens?

What happens is you can smile.  This is what I learned this week.  I found myself uncontrollably smiling at people (except, it must be said, the two idiots on the interstate who just about killed me by, respectively, tail gating behind and slamming brakes on in front while everyone’s going 85 mph- sadly I succumbed to non-equanimity and flipped them the bird) and my gosh.  Everyone put their shoulders down and smiled back.  If I can keep doing that until my time on this planet is complete?  I’ll have gotten something accomplished.  Now, on to the Great American Novel, and birthday cake selection, and continuing to behave as if ALL life matters- because it does.

at the sea’s shore

I used to think, when we first came here, that not being by the ocean would be the thing I really couldn’t handle.  Sometimes I wanted to see water so badly it was shocking.  It was also interesting because a trip to the river usually pulled me together.

It made me start thinking about what water represents:  Life, sustenance, feelings and emotions.  There were clearly oceans to be navigated right between my eyes, and it was those oceans clamoring to be seen.   I used to have dreams  about being taken down to the bottom of the ocean by a huge animal, whale like (but of course also like a bear).  I could see it all in the dream and the feeling of being conveyed to the surface, breathing again and feeling full of light still stays with me.  Later on I’d dream about walking on the surface of the ocean, on a net, with large dark shapes moving beneath me, walking and walking toward the horizon.

I think, if anyone asked me which of course they have not, probably the most important thing you can do in life for your own sanity is keep your psychic housekeeping up to date.  Let go of things that don’t serve you, and don’t gloss over situations that give you problems and seem without resolution.   Don’t be afraid to feel what you feel.  Reason being?  If you put it off, it just gets bigger and more unwieldy, possibly poisonous.  Be here now, be clear now, and even though in the moment it may be challenging, in the long run it pays huge dividends in calm and focus.  I only know this because I DIDN’T do that, exactly.  The tools gained in the search have certainly helped and now at least I know that the things I’m feeling are akin to an archeological discovery  of a rather peculiar civilization.  I’m learning to appreciate all that old architecture and pottery in spite of the dust, darkness, and sharp spots.  I think, actually, we are here to enjoy life. I didn’t always think that, but I do now.  If we do that, in truth, it makes it better for everyone.  Real joy is unmistakable and anyone can have it- but you do have to be willing to feel what you feel, when you feel it, and act according to the highest value you can reach at any given time.   It may not make everyone happy, but that isn’t really our job, is it?  We have to be happy ourselves, and that is an inner condition.  And that inner condition can be either fed or mutilated by what we do or don’t allow for ourselves.  It’s simple.  It’s complicated.  It takes time.  It happens in a heart beat.

SO.  As a simple, complicated, flawed and sometimes whole individual, I thank you for reading and being there, and wish you the joy that most certainly is there, beyond all the appearances.  That’s the building block for the new world we really have got to get round to setting up now.  Joy.  Just wait till you feel it!

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.

hasty resurrections

Sometimes that’s what it feels like: Like you’ve been dug up, had your face swiped, and been propped up on a ladder.  Weird, but a better view than you had while buried.  Sort of a cosmic, sorry about that but you know it was necessary, part of the process.  Urg, I say.

The oaks are ready to drop their leaves, it looks like all at once.  They’re an almost eery gold flame color, and against the moving gray of the rain the whole landscape is luminescent.  There is also a new fawn on the bluff, some baby hummingbirds, and a LOT of bluebirds.  And it’s COLD out there, so we wonder where they all sleep.  The garden is now at that point where I say to myself: Self! Pull the weeds now! Get rid of overwintering bugs! Prune the roses! and myself says: HAWHAWHAWzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  I’m figuring on giving myself a ten day window for this labor of Hercules although it will no doubt freeze or snow before then- which would mean I’d just leave it all for later and that wouldn’t be fatal.

Which has been something of a preoccupation during this most recent excavation experience- what really and exactly do we need to do?   Having had what I now perceive to be a sequence of wake up interactions, I think I get it.  But at long last, now that I’m up and wobbling around, I think I can say that really? Nobody needs to put up with disrespect, disregard, and opinionating.  There is so much putting forth of opinion as fact and that is not a good basis for action.  Actually it seems to function more as a tool for people to get their own way than anything else.  So I’m starting a new program of standing up for myself.   It’s been exhilarating, for all of the day it’s been happening, to realize I can just say, no, no thank you, to ANYTHING I WANT TO.   And as a corollary, I can say YES to what *I* want.

And as usual, this leads to thinking about the world around me.  As in, how can I make my own personal integration productive for the whole?  It came to me that all you can do, really, is keep breathing and give your best effort to whatever is in front of you.  It sounds deceptively simple, yes?  But when things happen that tip you over in either direction, that middle way is what you want.  Sometimes it resides in silence.  It always resides in love.  The first step maybe is to take your self out of the center place in the picture and realize that really you’re all over that picture, and the best way to look at it is with a wide view.  That wide view contains how others feel and are motivated, and that wide view is where you can truly say yes or no.   So.  I’m busily polishing my glasses, let’s just say.

And? aside from putting a little too much cayenne in the pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving went pretty well and I didn’t even get any kitchen injuries, which is a real first.

dare we say it?

Probably best not to draw too much attention to the fact that nothing appears to have gone deeply sideways, personally,  for a day or so.  I hardly know what to do with myself.

I had a long and ultimately unsettling talk with a friend over the weekend. On the positive side, I was able to see that my feeling of distress was caused by my not taking action on my own behalf, by my not saying, I just can’t do this right now.  Which has been a life long habit, a sort of black belt co-dependent stance.  It was quite an interesting thing to realize I really don’t live like that any more, or not as much, which is to say at least things were Noted and responsibility taken.  It was also interesting to see just how drained the episode left me, and to see how much of our daily lives can get taken up by this sort of thing.

We’re awash in consequences, intended and otherwise.  The consequence of not doing what we know to be right is malaise, even if a temporary consequence of doing what we know to be right may be some sort of distress.  The malaise extends out and creates all those unintended consequences, like human and  environmental degradation.   Often the right thing to do is nothing, at this point, in terms of social existence.  Proceeding in the same manner is clearly not going to work and this gruesome realization is making a lot of people unconsciously tense.  (This was part of the conversational stress, actually, because things revolved around this tension but no insight occurred, no problem solving and essentially, no dialogue or felt balance.)  Sitting still turns out to be pretty hard work, too.   That urge to push through, to DO something, keep running- what is that?  I think it is fear more often than not.  If you have all those plates twirling above your head, there isn’t much time to think about anything else.  This seems pretty reasonable at the outset, but as time goes on those twirling plates show themselves to be nothing more than constructions of our own minds and not particularly useful in actual movement through real life.   At this point it becomes fairly clear that there is indeed a path.  But there is no map.  Those twirling plates look appealing, there may be nostalgia even…..but they must be stopped and laid down.    Silence has to have a place to live.

We’re engaging in a sort of experiment, the Partner and I.  The more extraneous tic-like behaviors we each eliminate, the closer we get to a state of being that is quite different from anything that came before.  It often doesn’t seem as though it’s very important, this thing we’re doing, but at the same time I notice that there is, in fact, an influence and an energy that comes from dispensing with wastes of time- and it has legs.  I don’t know much about all this, never having been here before but one thing seems clear.  If we don’t do what there is, right in front of us, to be done, we will not really do anything.   We may be busy, for sure, but we won’t be accomplishing anything, in fact.  It is this dedication of attention to all the small things that in the end produces results.  It’s hard to do, in a way, and clearly the whole idea daunts us as humans.  But somehow the practice of looking at things as they are, without adding opinions, and becoming used to not knowing, gives a whole different meaning to things- or maybe more correctly, starts allowing that meaning to emerge at last.  Simple.  Complicated. Beautiful.

Thank you very much for reading.

 

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.

the search for equanimity

At the end of a rather long, sticky, malaise-ish day, I found myself watching an ancient temple being blown up in Iraq by the Caliphate Installation Crew.  This made me think that perhaps the tide is about to turn.  The people, who have endured unspeakable, unnameable, unthinkable awfulnesses all over that part of the world for so long- those people may finally be at a point of saying, LOOK HERE PILGRIM.  YOU’RE FINISHED.  YOU GOT TWO SECONDS TO GET YOUR RAGGEDY ASS OUT OF TOWN.  Or words to that effect.   Finally it gets to be simply too much.

I’ve had this (what I think of as a bit of a) fantasy for a while.  It involves the sheer weight of the evil in the world toppling itself over and crumbling, from its own rottenness.  Even though the Partner looks at me when I say things like this in a, poor soft headed thing let’s get her a HAT sort of way, *I* think it’s kind of like a martial art where you use the energy and strength of your opponent against him without overly exerting yourself.   It has been so easy to leap to judgment, have opinions about all this stuff, because after all.  Evil is recognizable.  The situation in Palestine is beyond travesty, and just like so much of that part of the world, stems from the business/corporate/political lines that got drawn after the World Wars by the “winners”.    The War Against Terror?  The whatever-it-was in Viet Nam?  The apotheosis, if you will, of petroleum?  It is really too easy to afix blame and add yet more anger and intemperance to the mix.

So there we were yesterday, sweltering and covering our faces because of all the smoke from the fires, just pondering all this.  A moment of sliding downhill, thinking about groundlessness and in that particular moment, that thinking having a rather “why bother?” cast to it.  If indeed there is nothing to hold on to, no comfort, no overt “reward”, why do we practice?  Because.  Once you start, you have to continue.  This is true of meditation, life, gardening, keeping your nails trimmed, everything.  The headlong plunges we all take into unproductive thought patterns are just signs to pay a bit more attention.  The difficulty I was having, in part and as always, had to do with just what does one do to shift things in a more positive direction?  Living in the United States one automatically is inundated with propaganda about (among other things of course) religion, which includes the apparent diktat that Israel can do no wrong.  Yet I observe Israel pretty much doing unto others that which was done unto them.  Easy to place blame there.  At the same time, all that oppression and corruption on the other side?  Doesn’t leave them in a sparklingly spotless place either.  I live in a country that really does, in fact, do a lot of very incredibly rotten things.  So there we all are, yes?  Is this about pointing fingers about whose hands are dirtiest?

No.  It’s about realizing that we all feel  and want the same things.  Period.  This is the only real immutable truth- we really are one.  Even those at the tip of the social pyramid who seem to think only of destroying everything in their paths.  Things in nature are good as they are without manipulation and technological “advances”.  Time, as I decided yet again this morning, to put the stick down and lift up the heart.   When things look awful outside of you, they’re probably a reflection of how you feel inside.  Simplistic but true, even insofar as it extends to things like dust-rhinos under the table, and definitely as it extends to wanting to shoot someone.  The pressure of this time, which is intense, is all about things needing to get on a balanced footing before we all tumble irretrievably to destruction.  I have a hard time believing that the human race really is this stupid- that humans cannot look at what is pulling their strings and refuse to cooperate in the perfidy any more.  Then you get to the fun part where you get to do the cooperation joyfully.  More on that, I suspect, to come.  But perhaps the simple thing of putting a smile on one’s face and feeling it is a good start.   The next big thing is about how Doing Nothing isn’t as easy as it seems.  I’m sure it all fits together though.  Somehow.

do unto others

It seems simple enough, really.  But it turns out that doing unto others as you would have them do unto you doesn’t always work seamlessly.  Sometimes the others don’t seem to be paying attention, and sometimes our own motives aren’t as clear to us as they should be.  It’s not so easy to know why you’re here and what you’re supposed to be doing.  Just because YOU use your turn signal, right? doesn’t mean that the idiot in front of you even knows they have one.

But, as Sherlock Holmes said, once you remove the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, is your solution.  So, the fact that the world and my little existence both appear to be tottering on a sharp and ragged edge isn’t coincidence.  The fact that it can take years to understand things enough to perceive patterns and move forward properly is not a deterrent to development.   The hugeness of what is before us just IS; our job is to work on recognizing that.

In that vein, one thing that has been requiring practice is understanding what it is I “do”.  It doesn’t fit in to the mold, really, and it is evidently really easy for people to dismiss.  Not to mention where it sits on the economic totem pole.  But that may be the actual salient feature.  Right now it looks to me as though people who do things that actually help move things forward (thinkers  and problem solvers of all sorts) don’t always get the financial rewards. Investment bankers get the rewards at the same time as they bestow the kiss of death through over-production.  But you do these thinkings and solvings because you must; it is what you are, what speaks to you no matter what and makes you act.   Somehow, that is always enough to live on.  The other day I understood something about my work that had been a mystery to me for several years.  A pattern about how energy moves through the body and what variations of it produce revealed itself just like that (well, not “just” like that), and a knotty problem seemed amenable to resolution.  It was striking, not least because I actually remembered it later and it made sense. It made me think that really, it IS enough to do one’s work consciously.  It’s like you’re working on your own part of the thread that goes through everything, making sure it is bright and beautiful and untangled, knowing that the design or form of it is beyond, perhaps, your understanding, but that it does exist and you have a responsibility to it.   There’s no recognition perhaps, no comfort in it all really, but there is a kind of exaltation- of knowing you are actually really alive and however unyielding the circumstance, you are in a dance with it.  That dance is what matters, how you do it and whether or not you step on a lot of toes, jab your elbow into people, or move in time to the music and let it be the guide.

Panic is a pervasive feeling right now, many things are changing and not working in their accustomed ways.  Panic, though, is an invitation to slow down and look.  In some illnesses, for example, nights are terrible times.  The breathing becomes almost impossible, the air and the darkness blend into a sort of fire, and a person can become terribly frightened.  And panicky.   At just such times it is really imperative to, essentially, sit yourself down and shake yourself off.  There are always things you can do to restore enough balance to stop creating an ever deeper hole- physically there are points on the forehead that when pressed, remove blockage and pressure in not too long a time.  Getting to a point where you can see what you’re looking at means everything, even if that everything is as evanescent as a bubble.   It’s a question of motivation, perhaps, and at this time we all need to come from that deeper place of love and understanding in order to reach a proper enough motivation- a lever, you might say- so that we can indeed move the world.  We continue to work on it here.

 

useless forearms

I often feel a bit like a T.Rex in a Gary Larson cartoon: having useless forearms with which I attempt to pass bowls of potatoes.  My glasses even look sort of like the Lady Rex’s now that I think about it.

There’s been a good bit of failed potato passing lately.  As far as the Parrot Affair goes, the airport has definitely burst into flames again.  Unable to find that train with a bar car, I had to resort to retrieving a xanax from my emergency only stash to keep my eyes from behaving like a couple of grapes about to be squeezed and popped out of their skins prior to being crushed in mid air while a bandsaw plowed across the forehead area.  Yet and still, we survived to pass more potatoes.

It is this survival that is interesting, I think.  Because really, no matter how bad things get (and they can get pretty bad) somehow that sense of rhythm, day/night/day, life/death/life, ultimately kicks in and allows one to say to one’s quivering pulp of a self, self? it’s all going to work out  fine, especially if you can just stay CALM FOR TWO EFFING SECONDS.  Because then there’s two more seconds and then two more and eventually enough time passes for there to be distance between you and the dropped potatoes and you can say, and believe it, that all things an be dealt with and in fact?  This thing here really doesn’t require any action beyond ramping it all down enough to be able to think.

Then, applying that day/night/day thing, you realize that really it is all a huge flow and everything is bound to happen sooner or later and there really is simply the matter of, once again, feeling what you’re feeling and then proceeding from that.   This is not to say everything is happyhappyjoyjoy- but simply that no matter what your situation, you can use your spirit and mind to keep yourself in some kind of equilibrium which allows for the potential of forward movement.  This is, of course, much harder to do when you’re homeless or in a war zone than it is when you have basic needs met and can, say, go on a vacation.

I often wonder why it is that life seems so difficult.  One day everything’s fine and the next? Who knows.  Admittedly we are in a period of change in the world unlike what anyone has seen for quite some time, and the wrong headedness of what has been done through history becomes more apparent every day.  But I think of the people I know who are confronting really terrible difficulties (cancer, prison, homelessness, among others) with the accompanying pains and fears.  Certainly we all make choices that…er…could’ve been better.  So many choices are already made for us, though, and it is perhaps our lack of understanding and acceptance of that fact that creates even more challenges.   It is both a hard and a good thing to see the strength within the resignation in people’s eyes, and I can’t help but think that if there could be a bit more honesty about what really IS possible, we all wouldn’t waste so much time.   Like, we’d wake up and know there is absolutely no American Dream, not really, for one thing.  Also nobody is “better” than anybody else.  So then we’d think more about cooperating and growing food and all that stuff I harp on, yes I know, instead of thinking we can change things like plants and animals into something they’re not and get a patent on it for good measure, and have a workforce that’s more like a mass of lemmings running over the edge of something than people working to keep themselves and their communities intact and functional.  This, then, might make it easier for a man and a woman, or any form of partnership between any form of beings, to work  together smoothly.  We might then be able to actually problem solve instead of chopping each other to bits.  Then, maybe everybody could feel that joy that comes from working through things, creating and achieving results that are tangible through happiness and not calculated on an abstraction.  We do, The Partner and I, always, sooner or later, and it is this that gives me hope even in those T. Rex interludes.