Demolition Derby (& Possibility)

<Sept. 4/11.>

So, I worked at the beer tent at the annual local Labour Day fair (yes, I do some funny odds & ends of jobs now & then to earn a buck or two), & there I was, listening to the bizarre sounds of a “demolition derby” (old beat-up cars deliberately crashing into each other; yes!) taking place on the other side of the fence. I couldn’t actually see it from where I was sitting, which was fine with me. I’d never been to one of these events, I guess ‘cos I’ve never had any desire to!

& I listened to the noise & the maybe inevitable thought came to environmental activist me that our planet is currently home to a gigantic demolition derby.

You know??

& most of its occupants appear pretty much oblivious to this hard (& to me unavoidable) truth.

Bang! Crash! Burn up those fossil fuels like they’re going out of style! (Hmmm. They are, they are!!). Fill all the water bodies with toxic gunge – & the air, don’t forget to poison the air!

Ah. It’s a pretty tough spectacle to be having to watch. Especially when, as I was saying to a friend the other day, one is not really permitted to discuss this in “polite company.” (That’s OK. I’ll go right on discussing it in “impolite” company!)

So, I finished my shift at the beer tent – agog for hours at the ferocious quantities of beer being consumed by the (mostly fairly young) people there in droves – & also at the copious amounts of bare female flesh on display, & took myself home for a good night’s sleep.

& woke up the next morning to a completely different theme – the one that presents itself to me most mornings, pretty much.

Possibility.

(I never really thought much about possibility before my Landmark Forum experience. LMF is controversial & my own experience with it somewhat ambivalent. Key elements emphasized are transformation, authenticity, integrity, & possibility. I definitely found the experience inspiring & even a little life-changing. I wrote about it here.)

Focusing on possibility – rather than limitations – is, in my view (& not just mine!) a great way to blow your socks off on a regular basis (in a good way!). Call it possibility, or call it potential, either way, the truth is we human beings are capable of truly amazing feats – provided we don’t box ourselves in like crazy all the time (which we definitely have a tendency to do… See the post here for some interesting comments by a very interesting man about people & boxes in this culture of ours).

Well. So. On Saturday night I felt despondent. The demolition derby gave me the willies, & the demolition derby we are conducting on this planet is wildly sobering & even despair & crazy-making, if you’re that way inclined.

Mostly, I am not that way inclined.

I’d rather dance with possibility than wrestle with despair.

So, yeah, here we humans are, very definitely conducting a very large-scale demolition derby.

I’ll keep right on doing my thing – being a Mom, environmental activist & writer – espousing action (since, although hope has more or less left the building, we have to continue to occupy ourselves in worthwhile fashion with our lives & what remains….do we not?).

Janet

p.s. All kinds of things get me feeling opened up to possibility: walking, singing, great conversations with people, “protests” (to me protests are really celebrations), writing, books… Sure, I’m a “weirdo.” But I am never, ever, ever bored, & I do have a lot of fun, & I do meet the most utterly wonderful people!!

p.p.s. 2 more postings about possibility, here & here 

‘Quote of the day’: “What lies behind us and what lies ahead are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Runners-up for Q of the day: “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” – Jackson Brown, Jr., writer

“The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by sceptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men [people??] who can dream of things that never were.” – John F. Kennedy

“The future belongs to those who understand that doing more with less is compassionate, prosperous, and enduring, and thus more intelligent, even competitive.” – Paul Hawken

“Never be discouraged from being an activist because people tell you that you will not succeed. You have already succeeded if you’re out there representing truth or justice or compassion or fairness or love.” – Doris Haddock (Granny D), who walked across America at the age of 89, to highlight the need for campaign finance reform

“The message, so firmly, is – don’t give up. Don’t hang with the cynics, the angry-hearted, the whiners, the blamers, the negative minded. Hang with those who believe in love, hope, and beauty – and then work with them to make this a reality. This is our planet. This is our time. This is our call to action.” ~ Guy Dauncey, author of The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming