please feed me
the late afternoon
on a plate and
I will devour it all
Is progress and development and ‘growth’ (economic growth is implied) really what we need on this planet?
From the little I’ve come to know about life, if we don’t value what we have right now, then we won’t know how to value the thing we want, once we get it. We all know the course the dominant culture is on is insatiable.
But what do we need?
We need unadulterated food, soil, air, water and love.
We may think we need more golf courses, economic development, low-wage chain stores, and McMansions, a raise, a newer car, etc. (Yeah, I know, in the short-term a raise can be life saving – but I’m talking the Big Picture)
Maybe a community’s desire to be self-sufficient is what we really need. A group of people who live in a geographic region who desire to sustain themselves and their neighbors to the best of their ability by their own hands, not the hands of 14 year olds in Bangladesh, or the credit afforded by the Big Banks to amass more trinkets.
If money is a lien against the Earth’s resources (raw earth resources as well as human/animal labor), why do we in this country and others, continue to live in such a way that the debt we incur will never, and can never, be paid off? Nothing can bring back the hundreds of mountaintops removed for coal in the oldest mountain range in the U.S., for instance.
In the little high-desert town that I live in, there is a strong push these days to get the “economy” going at a faster pace. A push to build more and make more money, and in this currently reigning paradigm that is what is needed. But it’s not a paradigm I subscribe to. What if the people in this town, instead of wanting more new businesses to open to provide more jobs, found ways to turn the needs of those who live here into a business? Creating community kitchens so that those who would like to make a business out of making food for others could do it without having to open a restaurant? One GREAT thing that Flagstaff just did is open a community workshop – THAT’S what I’m talking about!
“63 ways happy people stay happy”
“5 ways to become more mindful”
“83 things to think about other than Breaking Bad”
“3 mantras to help with anxiety” (For only a $1 more you get a free mudra)
“365 days of the “right” food”
“7, 9, or 12 steps to Financial Freedom”
“These 12 Exercises are the only ones you need!”
and on and on and on….
What is one thing that makes all these other “how-to’s” obsolete?
What am I paying attention to today?
I had a camera. It stopped working. Then I got another one, with a light sensor that I didn’t know I hated. Now I am camera-less again, but wanted to share a few pics that I took prior.
We stand helpless before the corporate onslaught. There is no way to vote against corporate power. Citizens have no way to bring about the prosecution of Wall Street bankers and financiers for fraud, military and intelligence officials for torture and war crimes, or security and surveillance officers for human rights abuses.
VIA: Chris Hedges: Rise up or Die – Truthdig.com
Having read Chris Hedges book “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt”, where he and Joe Sacco go to some of the most impoverished parts of the US and report back that yes, what is happening in this country is the same destruction and sickness that we attribute to third world countries, I was happy to see that he is still speaking up and out about our current state of affairs.
What will be the issue(s) that cause you to rise up or die?
Will you wait until your home mortgage is upside down and you have nowhere to go? Or, will you wait to confirm that the cancer you have is definitely caused by GMOs or pesticides, or your shampoo? Will you wait until, like in Greece, the government that is no longer FOR the people nor BY the people, plan to literally take your money from your accounts?
I ask myself these same questions. I have risen up on occasion, but I think that what we all know is coming is a mass rising. That said, I do not feel that the rising has to be an “against” rising. I would love for it to be a “for” rising.
What would you rise for? Are you and I wiling to stand and rise for a sustained period of time or just on the weekends to carry signs in front of passing traffic? What will finally cause us to coalesce into the powerful billions that we are?
What connection does rising up have to householding? It has complete connection. Our planet is our home. We all collectively hold this earth, as it holds us, and have the power to destroy our ability to live on it or to increase, peacefully, our ability to live on it.
As with householding and homemaking, we have choices. Thank the Gods we still have choices! We CAN disengage from the current paradigm in many meaningful ways. These are not easy ways in this world, though. Who wants to disconnect from all the electrical input, for starters? No one. So, how to continue to be connected but not through a controlled system? How can we have control of our own food if we get 98% of it from a manufacturer? How can we even think of doing these things when we don’t have enough money to make any ends meet? I do believe the answers to these questions are individual and collective. We do what we can and then find like-minded, supportive others to learn, grow and celebrate with.
The great news is that people in your community or location have been doing this type of disengagement for a long time. Go find those people and talk to them. Use what you can from what they know and rise up to the occasion of living your life for yourself and the good of your community, not for the profit of a few.
When I said I would help with scenery for the local theater’s next play I did not fully comprehend what I was getting into. Set painting, picking out vases and chairs are some of the tasks that came to mind. What entailed was 4 weeks and 4 days of hard physical work, strategic thinking, and chaotic family schedule…and painting. Lots and lots of painting. What began as 8 X 10 backdrop panels ended up being 12 X 12. And there were four of them.
I painted deciduous trees and pines in two seasons. Now, I am not a landscape painter. Abstract realism is closer to my style. So, they came out more amateurish than I had hoped. I use the excuse that I was painting on cheap drop cloths, using housepaint from Home Depot, with shitty brushes, while backstage folk regaled me with tales of yesteryear, all while working against a seemingly impossible deadline…but that isn’t much of an excuse. Did I mention that I have a chronic pain and fatigue condition? Fibromyalgia is no joke. It may not be well understood, but it is real and often daunting. I told no one at the theater about how I dealt with the pain of working so hard for a month. So. Throw that in the mix.
One week before opening night the Technical Director called in a young college student to help out. I’m grateful for her help because it meant that I finished all four paintings in time
for opening night. She asked to paint some details. I went through many emotional responses and finally I said yes, feeling generous and grateful. I may not have done it the way that she did, but again, I was grateful for the help.
Jump to opening night. I went out with a friend for dinner then we went to see the play. It was the first time I had seen it all the way through. The musicians did a great job, cramped like they were in the hot cave that is the jump on stage right. The singers/actors belted out their songs with gusto. It was a right nice play.
The cast made short announcements at the reception afterwards. They gave small gifts to the Director, some of the technical folks and then…they gave a gift to “the girl that helped with the backdrops, painted trim and lots of other things backstage”. That’s right, the girl that had been around for a week, and added grass-looking slashes to my paintings with her fingers was getting acknowledged for her work on the backdrops. The ones that I labored over for almost 80 hours.
Boy did my ego have a hard time with that.
Did I not work hard enough? Long enough? Was it like my friend said and it was just that the cast didn’t know me (I worked during the days so that I wasn’t interrupting their rehearsals at night). Was I lured into thinking I did something special because I was told numerous times that in 40 years, no one had painted a backdrop for that theater before, much less four of them?
Did I crash at the finish line? No, not really. The paintings were finished before opening night. My ego was bruised at the finish line but I need to remember that it wasn’t my ego that was painting, so the bruising was ultimately self inflicted. I had an attachment to the outcome, rather than realizing the moments spent painting were all the joy I needed.