My Posts

Appreciation = the magic

** A re-post, from November 2012. Still as true, in essence, as it was when I first wrote it (links updated).

A dear colleague/friend thanked me extravagantly the other day for who I am & what I do. I’m well aware that I’m a person who is much, much blessed. I have a lot of people in my life who love & appreciate me. I have meaningful work I love – & enjoy so much that I do it without pay!

But you see I am paid: I’m paid in appreciation. The work I’ve done for the past 20+ years (environmental activism & writing) is so engaging to me that I’ve done most of it without a paycheque (& yes, thankfully at times there have also been some paying gigs).

But all along the way, I’ve known that my efforts have always been (still are) much appreciated.

I think some sort of little (or actually big!) miracle happened for me along the way. In the wake of a huge personal life disaster 17 years ago, I took up the gratitude habit (being actively grateful for this, that & the other thing; many postings on this blog about that; many are listed here) – & I am regularly actively grateful for much, much indeed and, I am simultaneously much appreciated.

It’s magic! Or it sure seems that way to me…

None of this has anything whatsoever to do with the official “economy.” It operates outside that realm entirely. And as you can see, it’s a rather magical, circular phenomenon, hmmm?

Unfortunately, I do not have a magic wand at my disposal. I cannot make this work in anyone else’s life. You have to create or invoke it in your own life, yourself. It works from the in-side out, not the out-side in. It’s your own creation.

I don’t think it matters at all who you are, or what kind of work you do. For example, a woman just came by where I am sitting (at a coffee shop in a mall, the sort of place I love to hate) – to sweep up some stuff on the floor. And I thought “Yup. She too can do the gratitude thing, & be appreciated for what she does.” It will work for anyone! (If she had looked my way, she would have seen that I was smiling at her; even a smile can make you feel appreciated!)

The process merely requires sincerity & faithfulness. And practice. Lots of practice. Practice makes perfect!

So while I'm going to have to start earning some money soon (new life phase approacheth), I’ll keep right on being grateful, &, I suspect, feeling appreciated.

I sure do wish this magic for all of us on Planet Earth!!

Janet 

p.s. I've hung around with quite a few teachers in my life. Teachers (in Canada, anyway) are paid a pretty decent salary (well, not compared to bigshots in industry – but let’s face it, some of those dudes are a little overpaid…wouldn’t you say??). I’ve known a couple of teachers really well, & I know they were grateful for their salaries…but also that it felt especially wonderful when a student or colleague let them know they were appreciated. Paycheques are delightful, & they sure do help pay the bills & all that. But they are rather poor at conveying appreciation. We human beings need to feel appreciated. It’s very very important for our mental health!!

p.p.s. & needed. We want, & need, to be needed. At least I am pretty sure this is true...

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Albert Clarke, quoted in Speak Peace in a World of Conflict – What You Say Next Will Change Your World, by Marshall B. Rosenberg. (more quotes & postings about gratitude here.).

Runner-up: “We can no longer have everything we want, but we can be more than we ever imagined.” – Howard Jerome, quoted in Life, Money & Illusion – Living on Earth as if we want to stay, by Mike Nickerson [italics added by me, for emphasis]  

Hospice

<Jan. 10/16> Quite a lot of us, I think, are pretty convinced the HR (human race) is on “its last legs” now. As the saying goes.

That our extinction as a species – “near-term extinction” – is looming.

I’m finding that more & more people I know are also giving voice to this, & are increasingly willing to say these difficult words out loud …

Guy McPherson, who’s written so much about NTE on his blog & in several books (Going Dark among them) says we are ALL in hospice now.

** Hospice, according to Wikipedia: Hospice care is a type of care and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient's pain and symptoms, and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs.

This sure resonates for me. We are in hospice now as a species, not as individuals.

I’ve had a few experiences at the sides of people who were dying, & I’m writing this little essay now to try & distill the lessons I learned on those occasions. For my own sake, mostly. If they turn out to be of benefit to anyone else, bonus!

I’m finding the state of things sooooo bad now – knowing full well this trajectory has only one direction to move in – that I find my heart often hurts, & I mean this literally; I can feel pressure on my heart inside my chest, often. My heart is heavy, as they say.

Grief – a lot of grief & sorrow about the state of the world. (Have written about grief too, most recently here.)

But hospice is what I’m musing about right now. (Although you can’t really separate the 2 topics, can you? They’re bound up together, hospice & grief, just like the earth & the sun are a matched set (well … hmmmmm; we need the sun, of course; the sun does not “need” us. Soup & sandwich, then?? :)  ).

 

Hospice Situations

 

When one is at the bedside of a person who is dying, one becomes very calm. (One is required to slow down & become calm.)

The things that are called for are

  • calm
  • patience
  • gentleness
  • compassion
  • no drama

 

One lets the person who is dying direct the conversation – or the lack thereof. By which I mean, one slows down to become very sensitive to what the dying person (& her/his family/loved ones, assuming they are present) finds congenial to talk about.

Or not. Silence may also (sometimes) be called for.

Humour/laughter are absolutely allowed! If the conversation & situation call them up.

(I wrote an essay called ‘Near Death Experience’ after being with a friend as her partner was dying, at home, of cancer. We had our fair share of laughs – but then, she & I had been close friends for decades, & her partner was probably the funniest man I’ve ever met. Laughter was the air he’d breathed all his life – it was certainly not going to be unwelcome as he died. Thankfully!)

Pushiness is not welcome … but practical helpfulness is.

One slows oneself down in order to carefully gauge & fit with the mood – the feelings of those present (i.e., the dying person & her/his family/loved ones).

 

One does not demand

One allows

Gentleness, as already referenced.

 

When someone is dying, this is not a time (I think) for

  • judgment
  • blame
  • “settling of accounts”

 

(or so it seems to me, in any case; I’m only saying what I think makes sense; let’s face it, I am terrifically far from all-knowing!)

Stephen Jenkinson – so experienced in what tends to happen in the worlds, at the bedsides, of dying people – points out that most people tend to die as they lived.

No need to be expecting your Adolf Hitlers to suddenly morph into Mother Teresa in a sudden deathbed transformation.

People will be as they have been. Mostly. (No doubt there are exceptions to the rule, but according to Jenkinson, who has a very great deal of related experience under his belt, these are very few indeed.)

I came by the book Being with Dying – Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death, by Joan Halifax, when I was spending time with another person (then) living with a terminal cancer diagnosis.

I particularly recall her admonition to “give no fear.”

I think in general that “giving no fear” is good counsel (at pretty much any time!)

*****

These are really challenging times, fellow human.

Deeply, deeply, unprecedentedly challenging times.

I suspect we need to show these qualities of

 

  • gentleness
  • caring
  • compassion
  • patience
  • non-judgment

 

toward ourselves as well as toward others.

 

We will not always be able to pull off Mother Teresa.

There are/will/may be times when we feel angry, impatient – spitting mad, even, perhaps.

(Been there!? The stuff that’s going on in the world????? Yikes. Sheesh Yikes & OMG!!!!!!!!!)

:( :( :( :( :(    to say the very least!?

 

But just as a person’s dying time is not a time for judgment, blame-laying, finger-pointing or lecturing (I think)

Neither is this a time to hector ourselves (or friends/loved ones?) with our/their failures, or our so-called “superior” “knowledge.”

  • Gentle
  • Gentle
  • Gentle

 

Allowing.

I will not hit any of my people who are reluctant to hear “the truth” over the head with my (supposed) knowledge or insights. (I know I need to promise this to myself. I do.

 

I do I do I do I do I do

I will I will I will I will I will

Promise myself, I mean)

 

If something comes up?

If the moment is right

If the openness or willingness to discuss something is there?

 

Fine.

Otherwise

Give no fear.

(Our fears, I think, are likely best kept mostly to ourselves? If we are very-very fortunate, there may be at least one person on the planet with whom we can be upfront about our fears, but for sure, increasing or feeding the fears of other people is not a path I think we really want to go down. Our so-called “leaders” of all stripes – political, religious, medical, corporate – have been showering us all with fear/s for decades, centuries, 1000s of years. & look where all this fear-based living has landed us, hmmm?

Enough of all that, thank you very much!)

& also

Let us remember, please, to be thankful for all we’ve had (& still have).

Most people I happen to know (in my mostly middle-class life) have led (& lead) lives of considerable privilege & plenty. Some of us may even have helped ourselves to a little more than was strictly reasonable or necessary along the way, on the whole simply taking quite a few entitlements rather for granted. (I think most of us have not been overly inclined, perhaps, to give super-close examination to our personal levels of consumption & our “carbon footprints” … hmmm?)

I think we need to recognize & be mindful of (& thankful for) our very great good fortune – our many many many blessings

Especially the sheer brilliant generosity & abundance of this beautiful planet that has always been our only home, & which we have perhaps tended to take somewhat for granted (slight understatement here). Life itself! It’s a huge privilege, essentially. It is!

 

All in all

Let’s be kind to each other

& to ourselves

 

These are challenging, challenging times.

 

Give no fear.

 

Janet

 

p.s. it is also for sure entirely reasonable & to be expected to feel sad. Not just sad – but deeply, deeply heartbroken. There is a great deal about which to feel heartbroken, fellow human. A very very very very very great deal, indeed.

 

p.p.s. some books I’ve found very helpful on the topics of dying & grief

 

p.p.p.s. I’ve been sitting on this little essay for a while. For a couple of reasons. 1. I’m not sure I’m saying anything particularly useful here. (But what the heck, eh?? I’ve never let that stop me before!? :)  ) 2. I know perfectly well that I cannot adequately convey the sheer unprecedentedness of these times … this grief … the situation we are in – & I need to add too that I know following my advice is a good deal harder than it sounds … especially for me! It’s all just a bit … a bit, or rather a lot more than one knows quite how to deal with. You know??

My daily walks sure do help, I have to say. A lot. (Except when I’m too bummed to take one. That happens too. That’s one of those times when I have to be gentle with myself.)

Hard times hard times hard times, humans!!

 

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “I propose assaulting ourselves and others with compassion. I recommend heavy doses of creativity and courage. I advise doing something well beyond the cultural current of the main stream. At this point, what have you got to lose? Indeed, what have we got to lose?” – Guy McPherson in GOING DARK

Longer quote:

“If we’re headed for the exit gate in the near term, the question then arises: What shall I do? How shall I live my life? In other words, now that we have knowledge of the near-term demise of our species, then what? There are more than seven billion responses to the latter questions. Recognizing that birth is lethal and that we have an opportunity to demonstrate our humanity on the way out the door, I’ve chosen an eyes-wide-open, decidedly counter-cultural approach. I’ve opted out of empire to the maximum possible extent, and I practice and promote a gift economy. Beyond my own actions, I suggest individuals take actions they never previously imagined. I promote resistance against the dominant paradigm, even though – especially though – it appears too late to save our species from near-term extinction. I propose assaulting ourselves and others with compassion. I recommend heavy doses of creativity and courage. I advise doing something well beyond the cultural current of the main stream. At this point, what have you got to lose? Indeed, what have we got to lose?” – Guy McPherson in Going Dark

 

** Quite a few decent quotes in the NTE section of the blog

& simply a TON more in the ‘Quotation Central!’ section

 

 

Voices

Got thinking the other day that, in spite of having no faith whatsoever that we humans are going to be around for terribly much longer, I still seem to find the act/habit of using my voice very compelling. & want to advise/harass/hector others to bloody well use theirs too (some/many people’s timidity just makes me a bit cranky, frankly. :(  )

& I was going to dig up a pithy quote about using our voices to put on my Facebook page, went to my Quotations document (it’s 123 pages long these daze) – & found a whole bunch!

So here they are. I’ll add them in on the ‘Quotation Central!’ list page too.

& I am dedicating this posting to my friend Irene, whose birthday it is today (well, it was on the day I originally posted this, & in the ensuing days some complications have happened, & bleah bleah bleah; details not important!)

Happy Birthday, dear wonderful, incomparable soul!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) & most awesome, inspirational role model. :) :) :)

****

The Quotations

“A voice is a human gift. It should be cherished & used. Powerlessness & silence go together.” – Margaret Atwood

Susan Sarandon, when asked for advice to would-be activists: “People single me out for being an activist, but I always say that the impulse is inborn – it just needs to be nurtured. It starts when you’re little, and you see some kids being unkind to another kid on the bus. Maybe you do something. Maybe you don’t. But there was that hint in your brain that something was wrong, that you weren’t comfortable with the situation. Throughout your life, you have the opportunity to learn from that experience, to react to that little voice inside of you that says something has crossed your moral bottom line, to ignore what others are telling you to do and honor your impulse. The very core of your being an activist is being true to yourself.” – from Utne Reader, May/June 2002 issue

“Speak your mind, even when your voice shakes.” – Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Grey Panthers, quoted on a bumper sticker

“What magnifies a voice is its human character, its compassion, honesty, and intelligence, and against the weight of things as they are the best resource is the imaginative labor of trying to tell the truth.” – Lewis Lapham, Harper’s Magazine

“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

“I have become very impatient with my own tendency to put a finger to the political winds and proceed cautiously. The voice of caution whispers persuasively in the ear of every politician, often with good reason. But when caution breeds timidity, a good politician listens to other voices.” ~ Al Gore, ‘Earth in the Balance’

 “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the Quiet Voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” Mary Ann Radmacher

“’Be fair,” say the temporizers, “tell both sides of the story.” But how can you be fair to both sides of a rape? Of a murder? Of a massacre?” – Edward Abbey, “A Voice Crying in the Wilderness”

 “Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them.” – Immanuel Kant

 “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country.” –Hermann Goering, The second in command of the Third Reich

 “Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healings. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.” ~ Starhawk

 A modern prayer of the Onondaga tribe in upstate New York:

O Great Spirit, whose breath gives life to the world and whose voice is heard in the soft breeze...make us wise so that we may understand what you have taught us, help us learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock, make us always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes, so when life fades, as the fading sunset, our spirits may come to you without shame.

 “One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice.” – Mary Oliver

 *** Closely related to using our voices? Telling the truth. Many inspiring quotations here

 

 

 

Spinning

<Dec. 17/15> So, the post from the other day notwithstanding, & in the interest of full disclosure & truthful truth-telling

Let me declare unequivocally here & now that I feel (sometimes) lately as though I am … spinning.

Up & down, back & forth. Like a yo-yo.

Not quite sure from one day to the next what’s really what.

On the one hand I speak often about NTE (near-term extinction) – my belief (one in which I am most assuredly not alone) that we human beans are on our “last legs,” as they say.

Given the state of the air (literally carcinogenic), the water & the soils in which our food is grown – & given the accelerating pace of climate change

(along with sundry other issues of which many readers may be unaware, e.g. thinning ozone layer (yes, no, it is assuredly not “all fixed up”); ubiquitous radioactive fallout/waste in water (rivers, lakes, streams, oceans), air, on land, absolutely all over our beloved Planet Earth; ocean pollution/warming/acidity/sea level rise etc. (ocean issues alone are, sadly, legion :( ); etc. etc.)

 

& then on the other hand, I can be quite Pollyanna-ish & cheerful

(likely due mostly my Aries nature? Living in the moment? Grateful, always, for life & Life (with a capital L) & the beauties & miracles of Nature; this is one amazingly, abundantly stunning planet we have been gifted with, born to & on! :) :) :) Slight understatement…)

 

And, sometimes lately, I find it harder to be cheerful, knowing what I know, feeling, almost viscerally at times, the acceleration of the aforementioned problems, climate change right at the front of this unruly, unpleasant parade we are all marching in, whether we know it or not…

& btw, this day, 8 days before Christmas 2015, on which I am writing this (sitting down by the lake, Lake Ontario that is), is a stunner. :)  We’ve had days & days & days of dreary gloom – rain – horrifically unseasonable weather – but today the sun is REALLY showing off, I have to say – & so is the lake, & the sky is right up there (heh heh) being glorious too.

Whoa. Wow! Stunner. :) :)

 

But back to spinning.

It’s all crazier & crazier by the day.

(I surely cannot be alone in perceiving this.)

& some daze I feel as though I am spinning, & quite frankly, scarcely sure what to do. I’ve had two pretty outstandingly crappy days this week so far – & sometimes (e.g. this morning) I had to basically grab myself by the scruff of the neck & hightail it out for a walk

RIGHT NOW

No email, no Facebook, no Internet, no “news”

Just get the heck out toute suite, or another “dead” day would grab me by the entrails

 

I suspect that meaning is another issue, here, & now.

I’ve never really had trouble in the past, finding or making meaning for myself, in the world, in my own life

(I believe we humans MAKE meaning, are wired to make meaning, & we could go down a (potentially interesting) philosophical path here & talk Viktor Frankl & no doubt many other people & theories)

but let’s just say that right now I feel a little more adrift in the meaning department, than usual

I’m sort of between “assignments” right now, you might say, & not being chained to a gerbil wheel in the fashion of so many of my fellow humans

& being aware of what looks to be looming ahead of us, meaning is … morphing, I guess you could say.

I’m not sure that I want to keep doing what I’ve been doing. It is often rewarding, always challenging, but you know, not to put too fine a point on it, a little soul-sucking, a good deal of the time… :(

 

& I think I might like to detour into things that are of practical help to human beans alive here & now, here & now

& I’ve got an idea or 2 in mind

& in the meantime, I’m determined to (try &) remain calm about this spinning thing

& for sure enjoy THIS day to the max – it really is none too shabby despite its vast & rather off-putting unseasonable-ness

 

& I’m still alive…

& so are you!

So I guess we ought to celebrate ... hmmmm????

Celebrate Everything

Janet

p.s. writing, I suppose, helps me both figure out & impose? meaning on life/my life/Life. Walking helps with that too. :)

p.p.s. what a great day!

p.p.p.s. or as I wrote way back in August 2008, in what later became, I think, the first posting on this blog, “What a mess! It’s great to be alive!

 

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. That's a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

 

Runners-up: “Wake up. Kick ass. Be kind. Repeat.” – Rob Breszny, Dec. 31/14.

“4 Rules for Life

  • Show up.
  • Pay attention.
  • Tell the truth.
  • Don’t be attached to the results.” – Angeles Arrien, U.S. teacher & author (1940 – )

 

“Be joyful, though you have considered the facts.” – Wendell Berry

Be silly honest & kind

Singing in lifeboats!

Nature Therapy

Money

<Oct. 6/15> Money cannot / will not “solve” your problems; sure hope you realize that!

It can only make you more (materially, not emotionally/spiritually) comfortable while you rassle with them.

Or, more likely, fail to rassle with them

 

Since most of us fail to really rassle with all that old shit we really need to rassle with…

 

Hmmmm?

 

'Quote of the day' with this post: “Life is change...Growth is optional...Choose wisely.” – Karen Kaiser Clark

 

“Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.” – Benjamin Franklin, American statesman (1706-90) (more quotes about happiness here

Trumped

I keep hearing this Trump quote: “Our country is in trouble.” & I think, yeah

The US of A is in trouble, alright. It’s been in trouble for a very long time, but maybe Mr. Donald is unaware of

  • the centuries of racism & attempted genocide of indigenous populations
  • the exploitation & oppression of “minorities” yesterday today & tomorrow
  • the scourge of slavery & racism & their horrific ongoing aftermath past present & future
  • the violent ongoing horrific rape of the Earth decimating the air, the water, the very soils our food is grown in, the very bodies of the sweet babies now born into the Earth pre-polluted (babies born pre-polluted!!)

 

& maybe nobody told him about

  • all the guns & the violence & the persistent insistence on maintaining an entire culture that indulges in, encourages, pretty much deifies & certainly glorifies violence
  • exploitation & rape of people & the Earth both at home & abroad
  • decade after decade of sick, secret, violent imperialism
  • century after century of the 1% riding violently unapologetically roughshod over the 99
  • violence guns & war war war?

 

Mr. Trump says there’s a problem with “immigration.”

I guess he thinks brown or black people are to blame? The folks who worship a god a little different from the one we (I am not one of the royal “we) “worship”? (Well, maybe not worship, exactly ... but pay a very great deal of lip service to. Money is the real God in North America. Come on, Donald; everybody knows this, no one better than you!)

I’m betting too maybe nobody told him about the hegemony of the military-industrial complex, either. Which is all about arms & money & power, & it’s all about war, & it always has been. & all our governments being utterly utterly utterly in thrall to the military-industrial complex? Where the tail wags the dog, & has for a very very long time now? Not the other way around?

& maybe someone forgot to tell him also that we’re a few too many on the planet, these daze, & our needs voracious & abiding & bottomless … simply endless – especially those of the 1%, but goodness me we middle-class types are none too shabby either in our habits of consumption, hmmm? Greed & Consumption ‘R Us, pretty much. Privileges & entitlements up the yin-yang for many of us. Poverty, violence & oppression for a million more. Millions more…

 

But sure, Mr. Trump.

The “problem” is people whose skin isn’t the same colour as “ours,” whose “god” is different than “ours.”

Sure, Donald.

Sure sure sure sure sure thing.

 

If you say so.

 

'Quote of the day' with this post: “Energy always flows either toward hope, community, love, generosity, mutual recognition, and spiritual aliveness or it flows toward despair, cynicism, fear that there is not enough, paranoia about the intentions of others, and a desire to control.” ~ Michael Lerner, quoted in The Great Turning – From Empire to Earth Community, by David Korten

Couple spare quotes:

“Government is the Entertainment Division of the military-industrial complex.” – Frank Zappa

“It’s antithetical to the definition of power in this culture that a person might derive power by service rather than control, but that’s the essence of midwifery.” – Elizabeth Davis, Heart & Hands: A Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, quoted in Rob Brezsny’s Pronoia

“Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.” – Benjamin Franklin, American statesman (1706-90) (more quotes about happiness here

 “It is possible to be a great scoundrel without ever doing anything that is forbidden.” – Herman Hesse, German-Swiss author (1877-1962)

Psychopaths & Fairy Tales

Make Me Happy

Once upon a very long time ago now, a key long-term relationship in my life came to an end. Among other things, I was told I did not make the other person happy.

I didn’t know enough then to say

“Well, um, it isn’t actually up to ME to make YOU happy; happiness is an inside job, you see”

& it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, it wouldn’t have made any difference ‘cos the truth is, we were done (completely, 100% or maybe even 300% done, as far as this other person was concerned)

& let’s face it, I had for sure made my fair share of mistakes; let’s just be totally upfront about that

But I sure do wish I had known then some of the things I’ve learned since, eh???

 

Today I was thinking about this, & wondering whether some people still think it’s up to somebody else to “make them happy”

& whether some poor souls have taken on as their life assignment the job of trying to make some other (particular) person happy

(& hey, I know darn well this does still happen; I know some folks like this, & for sure it doesn’t look like any too much fun, from the outside, anyway)

:(

***

Today I sure made myself happy out on my walk by the lake!

My legs simply adore moving, so most days I make darn sure they do.

Yesterday (Monday the 13th) was a “shitty” day & I didn’t have a walk – so I kind of had to make up for “lost” time

& as I was walking I was thinking of a few things that make me happy/feel good

  • walking, period
  • picking up garbage alongside the Boardwalk, plastic stuff mostly (so it doesn’t wind up in the lake, in the critters)
  • counting my blessings
  • watching the sun peek out from the midst of the very dark & ominous-looking clouds over on the other side of the lake & making the lake all shimmery in that spot across the lake
  • taking a break from “devices” of all kinds – cell phones laptops the Internet
  • taking a detour to the library & leaving with an armful of books I’m dying to read
  • enjoying my solitude & silence, enjoying these both sooooo profoundly
  • making a pot of homemade soup
  • running across, by fluke, a couple of old blog postings (one here & the other here) that made me smile & feel glad I keep on writing
  • watching/listening to ‘the great bell chant’ when things just feel like too much & as though I can’t breathe
  • doing something for somebody quick
  • slowing down & doing NOTHING occasionally but maybe sitting on a bench & looking out at the lake, just sitting & breathing & gazing…
  • knowing it’s quite alright to have an occasional “shitty” day & not do very much or achieve very much or feel cheery or energetic or sociable, ‘cos you know?? We are allowed

 

We are!

& it makes me happy that so many “small” things make me feel happy & blessed.

And for sure for sure, I will never ever say to anyone

“You don’t make me happy.”

I make myself happy, dudes.

:)

Janet

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “Be joyful, though you have considered the facts.” – Wendell Berry (farmer, Christian, writer, poet, great thinker)

** whole page of great quotes & links about happiness here; do check it out!

 

Why Me?? (talking NTE)

<Dec. 9/15> [NTE = near-term extinction; NTHE = near-term human extinction]

The question “Why does it have to be ME writing about the looming extinction of the world as we know it (& ourselves) into the bargain?” came into my mind this morning.

Well, okay, not in exactly those words, but you know what I mean.

Why does it always seem to have to be me who does the inconvenient truth-telling, turning over rocks & uncovering the nasty rot underneath?

Why why why??

Not that I am alone, of course, in talking about the reality of what lies ahead or, uh, doesn’t lie ahead, in a manner of speaking. At least one very fine & wise person has been talking about this for years – that would be Guy McPherson (Nature Bats Last). Others now speaking of it publicly are Carolyn Baker, many of those interviewed on The Lifeboat Hour, Paul Kingsnorth, Extinction Radio … & there are many other NTE resources here.

In other words, I’m in pretty fine company. :)

But most of the people I hang out with (friends, relations, fellow activists) won’t/don’t want to talk about it. The high-profile activists we all know (many of whom I respect greatly, most of the time…) won’t let it pass their lips (though what’s in their minds is no doubt quite a different kettle of fish altogether).

Why?

What are we so afraid of?

Are we like the wicked witch of the west from the Wizard of Oz – figuring we’ll dissolve into a puddle if someone throws a bucketful of truth juice on us?

I don’t get it.

I’m also sure some of my friends wonder why I’m always mentioning it in blog postings.

I don’t know! I’m not really sure myself.

Maybe it’s as though I’m living among a family of abusers, & I “just can’t take it anymore.”

 

Geez. It is kind of a big deal … you know??

Maybe for me it’s sort of like being the relative or friend of a person who has terminal cancer – & she or he & everyone around her/him is putting on a bit of an act, pretending what’s happening is not what’s actually happening. Everyone’s doing this “If we just do this one more thing – this one more round of chemo or radiation, this one new trial drug…”

Busily not facing up to what is really coming. (This happens all the time, of course. I’m familiar with the work of Stephen Jenkinson, just recently read his book Die Wise, have watched the film ‘Griefwalker’ several times, attended one of his workshops back in 2008. Jenkinson outlines very clearly & incredibly eloquently what a “death-phobic” culture we live in … & so it is, so it is.)

I always think, wouldn’t it just be better for everyone if we all just told the truth about this stuff? Boggles my mind thinking of the energy we waste with our songs & dances, pretending otherwise.

Wouldn’t it just be better to say those ultimately freeing words of truth

I/we are done?

& then go on from there?

Into

“Okay. So what do we do now?

What’s important now?

In light of this (sure, admittedly hard to accept) truth?”

 

I for sure can’t promise anyone that what lies ahead will be pretty, easy or fun. I kind of doubt it’s liable to be any one of those.

Still, what’s to come is what’s to come. It won’t not come just because we have our heads deeply buried in the sand … agreed?

In Going Dark Guy McPherson advises: “If we’re headed for the exit gate in the near term, the question then arises: What shall I do? How shall I live my life? In other words, now that we have knowledge of the near-term demise of our species, then what? There are more than seven billion responses to the latter questions. Recognizing that birth is legal and that we have an opportunity to demonstrate our humanity on the way out the door, I’ve chosen an eyes-wide-open, decidedly counter-cultural approach. I’ve opted out of empire to the maximum possible extent, and I practice and promote a gift economy. Beyond my own actions, I suggest individuals take actions they never previously imagined. I promote resistance against the dominant paradigm, even though – especially though – it appears too late to save our species from near-term extinction. I propose assaulting ourselves and others with compassion. I recommend heavy doses of creativity and courage. I advise doing something well beyond the cultural current of the main stream. At this point, what have you got to lose? Indeed, what have we got to lose?”

My fellow “doomers” in the near-term human extinction support group always remind ourselves & each other “Only love remains.”

What would life/our lives/Life look like if we tried to live every day, to the best of our ability, as though, truly

Only love remains?

I say, why don’t more of us at least give it a bash?

Janet

p.s. some may quibble about the likelihood of our going extinct soon. I would invite any skeptics on this to read this monster essay on climate change, on the Nature Bats Last site. It's updated frequently. I dare ya...

 

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “This may be the last gasp of life on Earth, and what a great last gasp, if we realize we have fallen in love with each other. If you are really in the moment of experiencing our reality, you don’t say “Oh I won’t experience this because it’s not going to last forever!” You’ve got this moment. It’s true for now. We can have a reasoned concern about what is down the track, without necessarily getting hooked on something having to endure.” ~ Joanna Macy

“Yes, it looks bleak. But you are still alive now. You are alive with all the others, in this present moment. And because the truth is speaking in the work, it unlocks the heart. And there’s such a feeling and experience of adventure. It’s like a trumpet call to a great adventure. In all great adventures there comes a time when the little band of heroes feels totally outnumbered and bleak, like Frodo in Lord of the Rings or Pilgrim in Pilgrim’s Progress. You learn to say ‘It looks bleak. Big deal, it looks bleak.’” ~ Joanna Macy

“I can say that it is time now to play ‘the end of the world’ symphony. I don’t know what instrument you hold, but you need to play it as best as you can, & find your place in the score. You don’t have to play a solo here. But this is our task now.” – Dr. Sandra Steingraber, in an April 2013 interview with Bill Moyers

“Nature is made up of a vast and detailed complex of living beings doing what they do. Our self-consciousness and our needs are part of that complex. But nature doesn’t need us, and extinction as a concept is something that only humans worry about.” – Paul Kingsnorth in this article

Douglas Adams musing on “intelligent design”: “This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.”

“When asked what he would do if the world were to end tomorrow, Martin Luther reportedly answered, I would plant an apple tree today.” ~ “Caring for creation: Vision, Hope and Justice,” A Social Statement from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

 

 

Grief: Conversations

If there is a particular oft-recurring theme to this year, 2015, for me, it’s grief. (** did a posting about it here a few months back)

In the first part of the year I spent weeks or months feeling a literal heaviness in my chest – around my heart. On May 9th I wrote

Grief threatens to overwhelm me

overpower me

it already has overtaken me

 

Grief about my “own” little life

huge grief for the world we share

have ravaged

are ravaging ruthlessly.

 

Lately

my heart hurts.

I mean literally

 

Hurts inside my chest

 

But

 

  • Birds
  • squirrels
  • budding trees
  • children’s voices
  • innocence
  • & smiles

(can) still make me smile

& for that

I am enormously grateful.

 

It seemed to me the grief was mostly about the state of the world (I do believe our species is on its last legs; funny expression, that one, isn’t it??), & it’s a painful thing to be witnessing with eyes & ears wide open (most folks seem to be asleep to it, I’d say. In denial).

But I know some of my own “personal” grief is all mixed up in there too.

In other words, it’s messy.

Conversations

I tried to have a conversation about all this with someone close to me a few months back, & it didn’t seem to go very well. I sensed I wasn’t really heard.

& I wonder if it may have been that this person has his/her own big ocean of grief (possibly even rather closely related to the source of some of mine), & my expressing mine threatened to call up his/hers.

Probably none of us really wants to get overwhelmed by grief – go swimming in it, get engulfed by it – unless we’re darn good & ready … & no doubt this is a sane, sensible & self-preserving mechanism.

So then I wrote this:

Grief: an appeal

I’m not asking you to carry my grief

I’m really not!

 

Heck, I’m not even asking you to understand it

(though your attempting to do so would be lovely)

 

I am definitively not asking you to take responsibility for it

Feel guilty about it

Whatever would be the point of that??

 

I am merely asking you to acknowledge it

Permit me to articulate its existence

(‘though apparently this is very challenging for you)

 

Is the problem that allowing me to own – & articulate – mine

Brings unwelcome attention to your own?

 

Which you are trying so very very carefully

To not acknowledge, own, articulate, for fear of getting lost in?

 

Well?

I don’t know

I simply have no way of knowing for sure.

 

Please do just allow me to speak of my own

not endlessly!

not often

not at great length

 

I believe it is somehow connected with us, as people, who we are now

But I’m not asking you to take it on as your own

 

Just to acknowledge that I am allowed, permitted, my grief.

(as are we all, surely, hmmm?)

That’s all.

***

Meanwhile, all along I keep doing my “work” (anti-nuclear stuff; pretty soul-sucking even on a “good” day, hmmm? :(  :)

& also listening to occasional podcasts of the Lifeboat Hour – loved these 3 especially:

 

& watching Francis Weller

 

& I order books by a couple of these really grief-savvy dudes

 

(both books, btw, utterly, truly awesome, I mean it :):)

 

& then I hear Cheryl Strayed interviewed on CBC Radio's show q (loved her book Wild, have just lately been reading & soooo enjoying Tiny Beautiful Things)

[q being a CBC Radio show; CBC Radio being to many Canadians, or at least many of the people I know, the background soundtrack of our lives – it basically makes us feel like a great big extended family]

& doesn’t Ms. Strayed stray on to grief in the q interview!

It’s like

Whoa! Every time I turn around, up rises the (very alive) ghost of grief!

So, now

I’m still reading The Wild Edge of Sorrow (thank you, thank you, thank you, Carolyn Baker & the Lifeboat Hour for introducing me to Francis Weller), & I want to go out & buy copies of the book for everyone (likewise, Die Wise).

Because who do I know who is not knee-deep in grief, one way or another?

Either about the state of the world, climate change, war & hatred, bombs & gun violence, religious & racial intolerance, childhood wounds, illnesses & sudden deaths, unhappy or lost relationships

&/or all of the above?

Grief is Us, pretty much, no??

Trust me, I’ve been surprised to discover the past few months that every time the conversation turns to grief (well, except for that first one that didn’t go so well), heads nod & the words start to flow, & … blessedly, some heartfelt conversation ensues.

What Next?

I’ll keep reading The Wild Edge of Sorrow & feeling very, very grateful indeed that the NTE (near-term extinction) community talks about these tough topics, along with great & relevant books, speakers, writers, YouTubes, & insights about grief.

& I’ll for sure be recommending that people talk about their grief (as Francis Weller says, being “…mindful to share these vulnerable truths only with people you fully trust”)

& looking at these helpful YouTubes & listening to podcasts

& letting the tears flow...

& I’ll try to keep remembering the amazing, expansive wide open lobby of a hotel I stayed at in Malaysia once upon a time which, as it was explained to me, remained always open to the elements, 24/7/365, because it is ultimately safer to let the storms rage right on through than to shut the doors & try (but fail) to keep them “out”

& the words of Yo-Yo Ma, in yet another lovely q interview, in which, at the end, host/interviewer Shad asked him for a final word of life advice or wisdom, & YYM replied “Stay open.”

Ahhhhhhhhhhh.

This is one glorious, wild, unpredictable, complex grief & joy-filled roller coaster of a life, dear Reader.

Stay open!

 

(& be sure to let the grief out)

 

Janet

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “We are remade in times of grief, broken apart and reassembled. It is hard, painful, and unbidden work.” – Francis Weller in The Wild Edge of Sorrow

 “A broken heart is an open heart.” – Gretel Ehrlich, nature writer, Shambhala Sun (Jan. 2005)

 “The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe.” – Joanna Macy

 “Those who don’t know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either.” – Golda Meir (1898 – 1978), Israeli prime minister

 “It’s one of the secrets of the world. We all have the key to one another’s locks. But until we start to talk, we don’t know it.” – Michael Silverblatt, host of KCRW’s ‘Bookworm’ radio show

“Stay open.” – Yo-Yo Ma in a lovely interview with Shad, in August 2015, on q, here http://www.cbc.ca/radio/q/schedule-for-thursday-september-24-2015-1.3241403/yo-yo-ma-has-crafted-a-soundtrack-for-your-whole-life-1.3241423  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.”'

 

Link Summary:

 

 

Weller on grief:

 

Articles about Grief

Conflict

<Feb. 2014>  

I feel surrounded by conflict

In the “outer world,” obviously

Inside my own self, my own mind

Sometimes, of course.

 

But also in relations

With relations

& sometimes, certain fellow city dwellers.

The people upstairs in my apartment building, say

The noise: the noise noise noise noise

(not that I have said anything to them

Nor will I.

I’m too polite

Too afraid of conflict

With people I do not know

& can’t with any confidence predict).

 

I’ve lost relationships

(More than once)

Over an inability to address conflict.

To communicate … fully, clearly, honestly, peacefully

 

*****

 

Some days it just feels as though

The whole darn thing is going to blow

 

Any time.

 

I want to be as helpful

as possible

as peaceful as possible

Both now

Before it blows

& also,

when it blows.

 

 

Janet

 

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – The Dalai Lama

“Conflict is everywhere: water hitting rock, teachers pushing students to learn, or wolves trying to coexist with ranchers. It is our call to evolve. It challenges us to look beyond our current views to an expanded reality. It is a relentless teacher that asks us to see unity where before we found opposites.” – Deidre Combs, mediation specialist, quoted in Sacred Journey (feb/march 2005) – quoted in Utne Reader May/June 2005

 “Happiness is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.” (source unknown) ** lots of gems on happiness here

“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” – Paulo Freire, Brazilian educator

 “Pain and conflict are, to a large extent, the result of a discrepancy between the way we think others should treat us, react to us, and appreciate us, and the way they actually do. Many of our miseries are thus rooted in self-pity, the most worthless of all human emotions.” – Ann Davies, Qabalist teacher

“THE WORLD NEEDS a new weapon: the estrogen bomb. Imagine: you drop it on an area of violent conflict, and men throw down their guns, hug each other, apologize and say it was all their fault, and then start to clean up the mess.” – from the UTNE Reader -- Original from THE GUERRILLA GIRLS, activist artists

** Many many many fine, inspiring quotations gathered up here!

Messy

Funny, that. I want to write about messiness (the word “messy” has been nagging at me for days), & I want to be “neat” – writing about messiness!

:)

Not sure I’ll be able to pull that off. I do not have a nice neat outline in front of me, nor in my (messy) mind. I’m just going to put it all down (messily, I suspect) – & see where we get to.

To start with, I think some of us think life – our own life – if not the life of the world, exactly – is meant to be neat. Tidy. Organized. “Under control.”

Pretty sure I used to subscribe to this notion.

Ha!

As if!

The messiness of my current personal life (which admittedly did have a surprisingly orderly, tidy phase, once upon a time, many years ago now) is profound.

My relationships are messy.

My apartment is messy, desk is messy; closets & drawers are messy

My thoughts, my mind: ditto. Messy.

 

But you know?

The world is messy. Very very very very very messy indeed.

& that’s putting it excruciatingly politely.

 

Messy, messed-up, & getting ever more so by the day.

 

How could I, or anyone, remain neat & tidy & contained

In a world that is soooooo very very very drunk & disorderly??

***

I just got back from a “messy” walk. I got lost – but then I often get lost on my walks in the woods. So far, at least, I have a 100% rate of getting found, or rather, finding myself, so, you know, whatever….

(When I get “lost” it’s inevitably because I’ve chosen to go off “the path” – but Shoot! My entire life has been a going-off-the-path affair.

& I’m not sure how much we learn when we stay on the straight & narrow, as it were – the predictable route life (or more usually, someone else) has laid out for us.)

** It’s early December as I write this – December 6th, to be precise.

I’ve always found Christmas/December/the whole season to be an emotionally messy time of year.

Shoot!

Not just messy, positively an emotional stew.

Can’t say I enjoy the messy Christmas emotional stew I seem to invariably get into at this time every year

But, oh well

It just is what it is … right?

(I think I’ll re-post my Christmas 101 posting from a few years back – I think it summarized relatively coherently some of my messy thoughts about the emotional roller coaster that is Christmas for some of us here on Planet Earth.)

Well.

Faithful readers of this blog (if such an animal exists, heh heh :) ) know I’m fully 200% convinced the HR (human race) is staring down our very own extinction in the not-likely-so-very-distant future, now.

As a fellow member of a “doomer” Facebook group to which I belong has put it, how could we (any of us) be anything other than a “swirly mess” in the midst of the swirly mess that is human life on Planet Earth at this time?

I mean … really??

We need to have compassion, I think, plenty of compassion – for ourselves, at this uniquely challenging & messy time in human history – & for everyone around us. Here we are, alive at this unprecedented time, for mysterious reasons we may not really quite be able to grasp or understand.

Gotta Be.Here.Now, gotta be grateful, gotta be good to the people we love, & all those we encounter – if at all possible, hmmmm?

Singing in lifeboats!

Janet

p.s. the wonderfully wise & compassionate Buddhist nun, Pema Chödrön, says in my so-loved little “The Pocket Pema Chödrön” (a very fine Christmas stocking item indeed, I’d say, for anyone still into stuffing Christmas stockings), in entry # 18 – No happy ending:

“I don’t know why you came here, but I want to tell you right now that the basis of this whole teaching is that you’re never going to get it all together.”

Whoa! I love it, & I love it every time I read it over again. It’s so irreverent, it’s so shocking, so realistic, so …. true!

Big sigh of relief…

:) :) :)

 

We really cannot rassle our lives into orderliness, dear human.

Not because we have failed.

It’s simply the nature of the beast!

RELAX - nothing is under control

These truly are extraordinary, EXTRAORDINARY times in which to find ourselves alive on Planet Earth.

:) :( :) :(

‘Quote of the day’ with this post, on nothing being what we thought: “The trick is to keep exploring and not bail out, even when we find out that something is not what we thought. That’s what we’re going to discover again and again and again. Nothing is what we thought. I can say that with great confidence. Emptiness is not what we thought. Neither is mindfulness or fear. Compassion – not what we thought. Love. Buddha nature. Courage. These are code words for things we don’t know in our minds, but any of us could experience them. These are words that point to what life really is when we let things fall apart and let ourselves be nailed to the present moment.” – Pema Chödrön in the chapter ‘Intimacy with Fear’ in When Things Fall Apart – Heart Advice for Difficult Times

 

 

 

White-out

<Nov. 25/15.> I’m wondering if some of us feel a little as though maybe somebody somewhere spilled (or tried to spill) a big pail of white-out on us.

Tried to cover us up

Forget about us

Obliterate us?

 

We’re inconvenient

Small

Insignificant

We don’t matter to them

& to Them (with a capital T)

 

Actually, I think we are legion!

I think there must be soooo many of us with white-out all over us

 

Maybe it’s all of us?

But let’s not go overboard here.

 

It is personal

& it is political

very very political

 

but it’s also kinda late in the game, hmmm?

 

I just gave 3 bucks to a guy who probably feels invisible a lot of the time

I was kind

I stopped

listened

dug into my wallet

 

But it’s clear it wasn’t just money he was after

 

He wanted to stop being invisible

For a moment or two

I expect the white-out just about chokes him, most days

 

I’m invisible too

In certain, uh, circumstances

At certain times

 

Not gonna lie, I find this hard

It hurts!

It sucks, really sucks, you know?

 

I know it’s too late now

To rescue a future

For this messy destructive species of ours

 

But we do still have today

We woke up

Got out of bed

 

The sun is shining!

:) :) :) :)

 

We’re still here

 

Let’s not be invisible

Or ask anyone else to be, either

 

No more white-out!

 

 

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “In helping others we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.” – Flora Edwards

 “A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.” – Henrik Ibsen

 “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

 “Nothing is more powerful than an individual acting out of his conscience, thus helping to bring the collective conscience to life.” ~ Norman Cousins

 “What a big gap there is between advice and help.” – Source unknown

 “It is one of the beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely help another without helping himself.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

Surrender / Rage Paradox

<Sept. 24/15> So. Near-term extinction or NTE, about which I write now, often-ish … hmmm? Our own looming extinction as a species. (near-term extinction posts now gathered up, or, well, some of them, in the Collections posting.)

To which I have surrendered – quite a long time ago, in my own case. Surrender comes in stages, though, I guess – just like our reaction to our own coming personal death … or so they say.

I know my own surrender to our looming extinction has taken place over years. Decades, actually. For many years it was way, way up in my head – just an intellectual concept, really.

I think it’s sort of in my bones, now. It’s very very real, very fundamental & yet at times, still quite surreal-feeling.

But then, that’s not so surprising, is it?

When someone we love dies, even though we know it’s coming, & in some cases perhaps even wish for the person’s release (to end her/his suffering), it is still a surprise how our feelings overtake us when it happens. Shock, even – quite as though we had not been expecting the loss … though of course we had.

Well.

Really, I meant to talk about – get immediately onto – the rage part.

Does everyone know the Dylan Thomas poem? Do not go gentle into that good night?

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light”?

I’ve been thinking about it recently – not the whole poem, so much as the

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light” part.

Truth = I find my own behaviour somewhat inexplicable, lately.

 

I am “surrendered” to our extinction. Utterly so. 150%.

& yet, in effect, what I am doing (I guess?)

with my continued anti-nuclear efforts

is raging against the dying of the light.

 

(Plenty of rage involved at some points, trust me!?)

 

On & on I go, fighting this (truly appalling) industry, against which I know I cannot ever really “win.”

Their wastes are strewn all over our lovely planet – every square inch of it, truly.

 

In the air, stubbornly in the earth, the soils

The water – the rivers, streams, lakes, oceans.

 

Nowhere has this sick, evil industry not left its permanent, indelible traces.

 

(Did I say traces???? More like concrete footprints. The size of vast fleets of dump trucks. Ugh. Horrible!)

 

Fallout is forever. In human terms, at any rate. Maybe not in geological terms. But you know, I’m human, & so are you, so … we do think in those terms, hmmm?

 

Do you know how long the reactors located right beside Lake Ontario, east of Toronto (12 creaky old things, 8 at the Pickering Nuclear Waste Generating Station & 4 at the Darlington Nuclear Waste Generating Station) – can be kept “cool” if the power goes out? If the grid goes down? (Uh, I mean WHEN the grid goes down.)

(Reader, the lights WILL go off. The grid WILL go down. No, I don’t know when. No crystal ball here.)

You can count it in days & hours. Not very bloody damn long, thanks very much.

Then the lovely “gifts” of nuclear energy will waft & circulate & wend their way on the winds, poisoning all & sundry – in concert with the gifts of 400+ other nuclear reactor stations all over the globe.

When the power goes off, the grid goes down.

& it will, it will, of course it will.

 

Insanity

Doing the same thing over & over, expecting different results.

Right? (We can quibble over who said this; apparently it was not Einstein, as so many believe … But you know, whatever; my quibbling energy is very low at this particular moment.)

I think almost all of us qualify here. For the insanity designation, I mean.

 

Some of us pretend the climate “problem” can still be “fixed” (as if!) & work toward that end.

Some of us pretend we can still make the world over, in renewable ways (you know, wind & solar & all that lovely, sensible, stuff, & it is lovely & sensible, just decades & decades or maybe even centuries too late) – & work toward that end (bless all of our hearts :) ; there are much worse things we could, of course, be doing...)

Some of us (yours truly among them) behave as though our personal efforts to tame the nuclear Goliath can really bear some kind of meaningful fruit ... (as if)

& work toward that end.

 

Well. Aren’t we all just

“Raging against the dying of the light?”

really?

 

We’re all kind of nutso, don’t you think??

Here we are, lurking & hanging out, leaning over the very cusp/abyss of our own demise as a species (or frankly, half or three-quarters of the way down the slope already)

Denying what we all (surely) know is coming

(yes, no, not the 2nd coming)

 

Can we not all sense it in our very viscera by now??

 

Doing the same things over & over (& over), expecting different results.

 

Sigh.

 

……………………………

Ah well, for now, I’ll keep raging (for now, for now; no guarantees on the time frame here)

(& donating money – ‘cos we can’t take it with us, you know!)

& enjoying strawberries

 

How I DO love strawberries…

:)

 

Janet

 

p.s. & you know? The full title of this post could just as well be Surrender. Rage. Joy. Gratitude. Celebration

'cos believe me, the joy, gratitude & celebration

 are still big in me. Very big, still, oh yes

 I am enjoying the strawberries, still – very much.

(& well, let's be 100% honest here. The grief in me is also very considerable at times...)

 

‘Quote of the day’ with this post:

Zen Poem:

A man travelling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself over the edge.

The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man then saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other.

How sweet it tasted.

 

* Gobs of great quotes here in a whole whack of categories!