Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

things that look alike

It’s the little things, Gentle Reader.   I was watching the movie Barbarella on tv,  up to the part where she has the long black and white tail? Having congratulated myself on not getting into a feminist snit at all the tumescent activity and fantastical costuming, I wandered outside, where the Partner and I saw,  a few minutes later, a looooong black and white SNAKE.   My first California king. Snake, that is.  It looked at first glance to be about the size of Godzilla but of course THAT WAS RIDICULOUS.  Snakes rustle something primal in our brains- just like the huge black shadows that move over the ground when the buzzards hit the thermals just right overhead and you jump and shiver and then realize it’s Just A Buzzard.  And it’s not coming for you yet so what’s the big deal.  Anyway the snake really did look quite a bit like Barbarella’s tail.

It’s amazing to watch the human mind at work, in any event.  We sat there transfixed as this creature moved through the yard.  The real issue is the lizards and frogs and little birds, of course, and while we were happy it wasn’t a rattlesnake (yet) and happier that it was a snake that EATS rattlesnakes, still the ecology comes into question.   King snakes eat all the little denizens of the garden, upon whom we rely for marvelous bug control.  The lizards often look up expectantly at us, waiting for grasshoppers to waft down to their level.  Our impulse is of course to protect them- but how do we do that without doing something else that isn’t helpful?  If we move the snake it’ll just return; catching and selling it is an atrocity; killing it is wrong.

So, another quandary, another set of decisions.  The Partner, being a sensible sort, chased it out of the garden and took a wait and see approach.   It has worked with the rabbit, after all (to whom we now refer as “our” rabbit as we attempt to pick him out of the crew that traverses the driveway daily).  The frog is back in the kitchen and the lizards are racing around the cucumbers so things appear to be relatively in balance.   It made me think this morning about how a lot of what we experience as discomfort in our daily lives may be largely this ongoing process of adjustment.

Things change all the time as it is; if you have additional changes on top of the regular serving it can be a bit much.  So maybe it really IS like thinking, ok, perhaps this snake will find enough in the huge wild around us to leave the garden ungobbled and I therefore do not have to intrude on the pattern just yet.  And finding the beauty and balance in simply paying attention and letting things BE.  Just as when things change hugely in life,  and stuff that was always there just is not, and will not be, there.  You have to let go of the panic and what-to-do-ness, let go of the inner critic who is letting you know in no uncertain terms that you’ve made another gargantuan cockup of things.  You have to trust yourself.  This takes time and of course we never know, do we? just whether we did the right thing or not.  Everything radiates out and has influences and results we don’t see or dream of, possibly.  But doing no harm seems to be the right place to start- and it includes doing no harm to yourself.   The lesson now seems to be unravelling what exactly that means.

Almost cut my hair……

Time flies, Gentle Reader.  We’ve been…well, heck.  A pop up window just covered the earth here on laptop screen world, telling me that the Adobe something or other whatever it is that I downloaded so that I could use the label design program offered by the company I now buy my labels from has been Determined By Firefox To Cause Instability.  SO THAT’S WHAT IT WAS.  I should have  known.  And I’m not talking about the labels, either.  They have been, let’s just say, a powerful teacher and I’m still stacking and unstacking mounds of rocks, metaphorically speaking.

Anyway, before I was so rudely interrupted by the Modern World, I was About To Say.  We found baby scorpions again.  The cool thing is they were in pretty much the same area as they were the first time.  Which means at least that they haven’t decided to colonize the entire yurt interior. That first time I was attempting to unpack dishes (boxes still adjacent to doorway at that point which for the most part has been blocked from memory due to excessive hideousness) for a birthday party and oh boy.  There was a tiny sucker of a scorpion, flailing its tail around.  I apologized, told it things were over, and flushed it down the toilet.  I wondered if we’d brought it from Oakland, but of course.  It came from HERE.  The new one was found during an intense bout of spring cleaning, and was right by where we keep our shoes.  So that’s really special when you think about it.  On so many levels. ( We’re a scorpion nursery!  There was just a full moon in Scorpio, too, adding to our joy….) They say that whatever is outside in the country comes in your house.   I’m trying to remain calm knowing that the ticks, SCORPIONS, recluse spiders, rattle and other assorted snakes, ungodly grasshoppers and renegade mantids are, indeed outside.  Which means…well, it means you really have to check your shoes, is what it means.

It is also summer here now for reals.  Which means we had to bite the bullet and get something that may work and keep us from dying of heatstroke this year, for sure. The fact that you can boil eggs outside the front door isn’t amusing enough any more to keep us going.   A large swamp cooler is waiting to be installed this afternoon, outside the yurt.  It wasn’t fun going to Home Depot and spending all that virtual money, but we did it.   Then of course The Partner has to figure out how to do the undoable, since yurts have neither windows nor roofs such as those described in the instruction manuals for swamp coolers.  So there’s been that.  (A research exploration on the web revealed that many people in yurts actually just install things, like 18,000 btu air conditioners, in their yurts.  To me that kind of defeats the purpose of living in a more simple and earth friendly way.  You’re just recreating the same problem all over again.  Then you can pretend you’re a “Pioneer”, apparently, however.) There was also the final, at long last, Ultimate Cleanup and x number of bags of  final moving and construction detritus and recycling and everything got Taken Away.  Plus uncovering of garden and massive trimming and weeding.  So there has been a great deal of manual labor, with more to come.  The garden still needs to be planted and this year’s adventure will be watermelons.  So that’s exciting.

Anyway, all that work and other matters requiring Urgent Attention kept me away from the blog for a few days.  Plus I was thinking- a challenging if not downright dangerous activity.  It’s very easy to get so wrapped up in blogging, writing, stats, success, all that stuff.  It becomes anxiety provoking and, frankly, we don’t need more of that particular commodity around here.  What IS success? Does it matter if anyone reads what you (I, sigh) write? Out of the vast numbers of readers in the world, the almost uncountable numbers of words, the whizzing connections and ostensible paths to becoming Known?  I am a firm believer in fate, except I also know that so much is unknown, unwritten, emerging based on moment to moment developments in one’s mind and soul.  If what you do is meant to be Found, it will be.  I reckon.  But as someone who is attempting to stay afloat and viable in this particular country at this particular time by, essentially, Wit Alone, it can be something to ponder.  I always come back to more or less the same point, mercifully, after going up hill and down dale mood-wise, which is basically, do the work, and let it go.  I’m happier that way, and things are in better resonance with each other.  It doesn’t make it easier, or more comprehensible, or make American Express nicer, or anything like that.  But somehow getting back to the discipline of pay full attention, do the task, bless it and send it on its way at least gets me through a day and Things Get Done.

Because:  I’m still mulling over how diagnosis and assessment work in a universe where time and space are moving in and out of each other constantly, there’s a stream of beings and information flowing around us, there are so many levels of things and yet life indeed does go on all around us, every death is a rebirth, every difficulty is in its way a meditation and a teacher.   The question seems to be what one uses as one’s motive power.  Operating out of love, which is to say, operating out of one’s humanity, operating out of the ground of oneness of being- even when you want to strangle someone- seems to always bring the best results.  But it seems to be the hardest thing to do, also.  Things that need to be healed develop over time, too, and it can take a good deal of time to even figure out what it is that needs to be helped along.  The conversation has to be taken up, in a way, by the concerned individual’s inner self.  The outer treatment, the healer or doctor or whatever you want to call the person, connects with that other inner self and movement can begin.  So then, what do you do about all the ills of the flesh that get brought to you?  Sometimes I get a glimmer of understanding.  Sometimes, not.

We watched two movies yesterday, TAKE SHELTER and CARNAGE.  Both of them were actually pretty interesting commentaries on how we are as people, now.  Roman Polanski directed CARNAGE, and it’s worth noting what a checkered, brilliant, and devastating past he’s had.  No way of knowing at the time Charles Manson showed up that years later, Polanski would still be making good movies and have an acute eye for how people are, and interesting perspective on it all as well-as in, things always do work out.  TAKE SHELTER is thought provoking although it might be easily dismissed by some.  It presents a harrowing and accurate picture of what it is like to be, and live with, a person who is experiencing a dissolution of personality.  In this case, the action of love comes forth very powerfully.  In Polanski’s film, it seems to be more the movement of the universe that keeps things moving forward.  In any event, both films spoke to me, anyway, about how it is that things actually work for us here on earth, how hard it is for us to see and act on that, and how oddly protected we can be at times.   And again, how does all this intersect with the work of helping people feel better?

In between pondering my Economic and Creative Fate, working like a dog, and having some of the above treatment issues rattling around my brain, I heard the ever wonderful Harry Shearer yesterday, and his excerpt from a speech by Andrew Haldane (I think..) of the Bank of England put things in perspective, if not a happy one.  We’d been talking about Exxon Mobil, and how their 40 year out oil supply plan seems to be insanely short given…well, given the nature of time and resources.  A friend said, well in terms of the markets, that’s an eternity.  And I thought, well, I guess that works if you think the markets are a good way to have everything run.   Which does not seem to be borne out by the facts.  Mr. Haldane’s speech limned this nicely.  He said that a “mirage of liquidity” was created at the time of the economic blow ups of 2007- on.  What a great phrase!  And this mirage was created by the fact that, with the internet and stuff, trades can be done in milliseconds instead of in hours as they were Back In The Day.  And out of every one trade that is completed, there might be at least 60 more, in any given femtosecond, that got cancelled.  So the bandwidth was completely taken up by those who were creating and benefiting from the Mirage of Liquidity.  Which “mirage evaporated at speed”, Mr. H. said, as the externality set in.  Externality being someone else bearing the consequences of, say, your actions.  Or Exxon Mobil’s.  Or mortgage brokers or drug lords or gun runners.  I think you can get his drift, can’t you?  I tried on this concept in terms of blogging and page views and stuff like that and…well, it made me a bit downcast.  But since I’m already the recipient of a barrage of externality, I decided that really? WHO CARES?  It’s all going to work out one way or the other, and knowing the larger system is corrupt, and also knowing in the smaller system I don’t put pictures in my blog and do things the way you’re supposed to if you want to Get Known, I went back to my original philosophy of life, from Winnie the Pooh.  If I don’t get any fatter, it doesn’t really matter, what I do.  The way things are going, we’re definitely not going to get any fatter.


Some Days….

One just cannot get oriented, right side up, calibrated, none of it.  Today is shaping up to be one of those days.  The laundry, for example, has morphed into something monstrous.  I’m staring at it but the synapse that fires and says, pick this up and go do it is AWOL.  I’m trying to write a business plan, too. Ha, ha.  This is quite the endeavor, gentle readers.  Quite the endeavor.  I look at sample plans and they’re all, we expect to make X jillion $s by year two, and the demand for this service is yadda yadda.   While I think it is a worthwhile thing to write this Ostensible Plan, at the same time I see how far out of the mainstream we are here at the Rancho de Boo.  I happen to think the mainstream at this point is corrupt, to put it mildly, and I don’t WANT to be part of it.  However, back to the infrastructure issues which the Business Plan might address….oh, dear.  So, I’m waiting for inspiration.   Again.

We went to the movies yesterday, which was really quite exciting.  A matinee! during the week! Like a day game in baseball season or a trip to the track on Thursday, a lovely thing.  We saw AVATAR.  Which, moving beyond the quibble of how depictions of indigenous populations are often “idealized” (after their extermination, of course), and beyond the fact that the entities that bring us movies and films are often the self same groups that are exterminating the indigenes, as it were…it was really a great movie. IMHO.  Visually stunning, of course.  Sweeping movement and conscious content.  And, of course! Food for thought.  What does non-violent resistance really mean?  I suppose there is a point where one must physically defend one’s principles.  But fighting never accomplishes anything much except temporary population reduction.   Armed conflict is a tragedy for all involved.  But when an outside force is trying to crush you, literally, what do you do?  The eternal standoff between good and evil.  We all want to be on the side of the “good”, and so often are not, due to circumstances of birth, residence, space and time.  Good is, I think, a neutral concept in a way.  Good supports harmony and balance, but that support can involve things we don’t like, like death and disruption.  Evil, on the other hand, can appear to be good.  Over expansion, moving too fast, thinking only of one small thing instead of the balance of all.  Pretending that things don’t constantly change.  OH, DEAR.  The lengths I will go to to avoid laundry! Who’d’a thunk…….