So. I was thinking about the whole fairy tale thing.
- wicked witches & monsters
- happily ever after
All that stuff. You know.
I’ve occasionally thought my own life was a bit of a ‘Goldilocks and the 3 Bears’ story.
An endless attempt to find the right bed, chair, or bowl of porridge; the one that was “just right.”
At times, seemed as though I had!
You see, I have been kissed by princes (or, well, you know, guys who seemed pretty prince-like at the time)
& once or twice I thought I’d found my “castle in the clouds”
but then, darn it...
down out of the beanstalk would chase a big ugly monster
knock me right off my glass slippers
(as it were)
& back down I’d go, like Cinderella, back into the hearth, right back down into the ashes.
And of course there ARE monsters in our world, REAL monsters; indeed there are!
… & none of the happily-ever-after stories really last forever
Well. Only in the movies.
Seems to me we’re all like icebergs – crashing around with only about .0001 of ourselves showing above the surface
Since we all carry around “secrets” as individuals, I suppose it stands to reason all our families do, too.
Maybe the reason we all go around crashing into one another like lonely icebergs is we’re so bloody weighted down with all the secrets (family or otherwise), lies & illusions we’re all lugging around with us, hmmmm? (well, all the assumptions & judgments too, I'd say...)
Soooooo little honesty in our lives / the world around us
So much guck, nastiness & horror
So many lies we tell ourselves, day after day after decade…
So many lies we’re simply awash in by now.
All of us soooooo far adrift from the millennia of our evolution as a species when we were intimately tied together – like a flock of birds, or the bees in a hive… or like the trees we now know are connected underground, always acting together, acting like a family, like a tribe.
All for one, one for all
Now there isn’t just a worm in the apple.
The apple is riddled with worms, riddled with poison
& the barrel we store them in is rotten **
Buried (& not-so-buried) Treasure
Well. But. The days are filled with buried treasure, I suppose.
Filled with possibility, really.
You never know what will happen next!
Just now I listened to the cheerful chatter of the birds, as they awoke at daylight.
Saw some sun dappling the branches of the trees across the street, as it came up & hit them just so.
Nice ... very-very nice.
- Solidarity / teamwork
- Libraries! (Toronto’s “Little Libraries” are such a treasure!!)
- Running into a friend on Queen St.
& re-inventing ourselves, hmmm?
Over & over & over again.
These are all like buried treasure.
** the thing of the whole barrel being rotten is lifted from a clip of Dr. David Egilman, who spoke about corrupted science in this episode of Highwire (around 43 minutes in). Dr. Egilman is the author (co-author) of Over a Barrel: Corporate Corruption of Science and Its Effects on Workers and the Environment. BMJ article on this topic: Stronger sanctions needed against companies that suppress data
Quotations that spring to mind
“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” – Kurt Vonnegut in A Man Without a Country (2005)
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the one most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin
“Life is change...Growth is optional...Choose wisely.” – Karen Kaiser Clark
“Tripping [canoe tripping] teaches you responsibility. ...It gives you fitness and strength. But most of all it teaches you about teamwork. Teamwork is everything in life. People who don’t get that I don’t understand.” – Michael Budman quoted in Canoe Country – The Making of Canada, by Roy MacGregor
“Only connect. This is how we make meaning. This is how we learn to think as Nature thinks.” – Gregory Bateson, anthropologist
“You know of the disease in Central Africa called sleeping sickness…. There also exists a sleeping sickness of the soul. Its most dangerous aspect is that one is unaware of its coming. That is why you have to be careful. As soon as you notice the slightest sign of indifference, the moment you become aware of the loss of a certain seriousness, of longing, of enthusiasm and zest, take it as a warning. You should realize your soul suffers if you live superficially.” – Albert Schweitzer
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him think.” – Rebecca Solnit
“Often the voice of conscience whispers / Often we silence it / Always we have to pay.” – Cletus Nelson Nwadike, Nigerian poet, Left Curve (# 28) – Utne Reader, May/June 2005
“You need to claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done, which may take some time, you are fierce with reality.” – Flonda Scott Maxwell (from Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much by Anne Wilson Schaef)
“There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies and that is fighting without them.” – Winston Churchill
“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” – Helen Keller ** more quotes about walking
“There’s way too many chickenshit people out there.” – JB Handley, in this Highwire episode (# 46)
“There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling . . . Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.” – Aldous Huxley, 20th century intellectual & author of Brave New World (said later in his life, apparently, when he regretted having taken himself so seriously in his younger years). *** from a Rob Brezsny newsletter
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” – Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
“Stay open.” – Yo-Yo Ma in a lovely interview with Shad, in August 2015, on q, here. On that page: "At the end of the interview, Shad hit Yo-Yo Ma with this Big Question: “Having meditated on the arc of life through music in the course of making this album, what’s your biggest piece of life advice for the rest of us?” His reply? “Stay open. I think when people are afraid, we close up, we close ranks, we go into a shell, we become intolerant. Because we’re trying to be self-protective.
Having friends, trusting people, collaborating, and being empathetic can lead to ... the scaffolding to get to hope. For me, being open and being generous is huge. It actually can lead to happiness, oddly enough. Happiness, I think, is a by-product of — I didn’t say it, Freud said it —work and love … Hey, you suddenly realize, I’m happy.”