- Parents are our bedrock
- Money muddles things
- Men are team players
- Don’t fight forces, use them
- What are we doing to our children?
It’s odd, sometimes, being a writer. (I suppose it’s odd being me, too, but after all these years, I’m rather used to that!)
Sometimes a phrase or idea pops into my mind & stays lodged there pretty insistently. Sometimes I wake up with a phrase running through my head, & nothing will do but that I pursue it. I usually have no idea what’s going to come off the pen as I sit down to write, but once it gets moving, away it goes!
So, that little list up top is a small collection of recent insistent ideas, & I’m going to write about them & see if I manage to come up with anything coherent.
- Parents are our bedrock. This is something a character said in the very enjoyable novel Rise and Shine (by Anna Quindlan) that I read recently. It’s really stuck with me. It seems important, it seems … true. True for better or for worse, hmmm? I think a lot of us are not doing such a red-hot job as parents lately, as it happens. I am frequently sobered & saddened by my own mistakes & lapses as a mother (my “children” are now adults), & I see plenty of evidence of similar or even much worse mistakes being made all around me. Parents as bedrock, eh? How does that work in the frequently heartbreaking aftermath of horrendous family dysfunction &/or gutwrenching divorce? Fractured bedrock. (Of course too, we humans often look to our governments/leaders as some sort of parental substitute. We want to (be able to) trust them. We want them to “look after us.” Oh dear. There’s an awful lot of really, really fractured & messed-up bedrock around us, isn’t there??) And, there is so very, very much more one could say about all this, hmmm????
- Money muddles things. Money. Eeek. I think an awful lot of us on the planet think money (more money) will “solve” things. Everything. Our dilemmas, our problems, our lives. Hah! I think it usually muddles things way more than it “solves” them. I could go on & on & on about money…& I probably have, elsewhere. I just think it would be useful to shine a little light on our fascination with money. Wrestle with our obsession…our hoarding…our greed. Even just to muse on how often money complicates rather than solves things. & be really brutally honest about it.
- Men are team players. This phrase was on my mind one morning recently when I awoke. Now, I am of the view that we humans really only wandered out of those old caves yesterday afternoon, geological-time-speaking. We evolved to be tribal creatures, & to conduct our lives in the context of small, tightly-woven communities. Back in the old days, men were hunters. They did this as a team. Men still do a lot of things in team fashion, I’d say. Not all of it pretty. Not all of it good for the planet, exactly, hmmm? (I do a lot of anti-nuclear work, & I notice a very strong team ethic among the predominantly male members of the nuclear industry. They hold one another up, even when maybe this is not the very best thing, exactly, for the world they are supposedly serving.) It’s just something to bear in mind, this men/team spirit dynamic. (I’ve written elsewhere about a few other things I think I “get” about men. Here)
- “Don’t fight forces, use them.” This is a pearl of wisdom from Buckminster Fuller that I woke up with on another recent morning. Just a useful quotation & thought to keep in one’s back pocket, hmmm? & finally,
- What are we doing to our children? This is a thought uttered by the main character in the novel The Fifth Woman by Henning Mankell. (Reading “light” novels helps me maintain my sanity in this oh-so-challenging life/world. Some folks watch TV. I read.) When I read this line, I thought, “Yeah, what are we doing to our children indeed??” With 22 years of environmental work under my belt, I’m not so sure most of it is pretty. It’s enough to break a person’s heart, really.
& thus have I come full circle, as it were, from the first item about children & parents & bedrock, to the concluding one, also about children & parenthood.
Motherhood has always been/will always be of utmost importance to me. I’ve been at it for 30 years now, & it’s still as central to me as it was 30 years ago – if not the full-time occupation it once was. I’d venture to say that motherhood/parenthood/nurturing have “spilled over” into other areas of my life, & I think that has not been a bad thing.
(Important note: Amma Chi said “The essence of motherhood is not restricted to women who have given birth; it is a principle inherent in both women and men. It is an attitude of the mind. It is love – and that love is the very breath of life. No one would say, ‘I will breathe only when I am with my family and friends; I won’t breathe in front of my enemies.’ Similarly, for those in whom motherhood has awakened, love and compassion for everyone are as much a part of their being as breathing.” – Amma Chi, also known as Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.)
These are strange, strange times for those of us who think & care deeply about mothering/parenting/nurturing/people/Life/Planet Earth.
They really, really are.
Thus endeth this latest, no doubt rather weird little series of bloggable (I hope!?) thoughts from me.
Blessings on us all!
** ‘Words Are Important’ was the name of a workbook on spelling/vocabulary/word use that I was utterly captivated by as a child. A school workbook I delighted in. Words really are important, aren’t they??
p.s. One more phrase: Hook, line & sinker. I wonder, what things have we all (or an awful lot of us, in this odd rapacious, suicidal culture of ours) fallen for hook, line & sinker, as the expression goes?
p.p.s. Lovely articulate, brilliant writer for our times, on motherhood & the whole environmental/life ball of wax - Dr. Sandra Steingraber. Check her out! I’m a big fan of Ms. Steingraber. Her book Raising Elijah is awesome; I really can’t recommend it highly enough. Blogged about it here
‘Quote of the Day’ with this post: “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” – Voltaire (quoted in the memoir Hiroshima in the Morning, by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, a book I am currently reading).