Last night I had dinner with dear friends and (finally!) met their 2 1/2 yr old son. What a joy. Earlier yesterday I was with dear friends celebrating life and the sacredness of all.
So many gifts.
Life is always changing so it’s obvious to say that this time in my life is unique, but I’m saying it anyway. I’m approaching my 50th birthday in a few months. That’s a trip. I’m living a very slow paced non-frenetic life, working on projects I believe in.
I notice that my sphere of awareness has changed. I am much more in touch with what’s happening in friends’ lives than I am in the world. In the past I’ve maintained a larger awareness. I’ve focused on the world, the suffering, the politics, the environmental changes. I answered the call to Gaia and consciously spent time focused on the whole. Now I am shrinking my sphere of awareness, and it’s good.
Earlier this month I attended a meeting of a homicide survivor’s support group. Thanks to a friend I realized I wanted and needed to do that, and found this group just in time to attend one of their quarterly gatherings. I was a little apprehensive at first, but the people were open and honest about what they were dealing with, and that made a space for me to acknowledge how I have been changed by the experience of my mother’s murder.
When it happened I grieved hard, but I also experienced an elation, a sense of release. I knew at the time that there was a manic quality to what I was experiencing, but I went with it; selling my house, getting rid of most of my stuff, closing my therapy practice, and then traveling for 4 years. Upon reflection, from this angle, I see how wise that was. I knew at the time that I had to do it, but in retrospect I see that, had I not propelled myself forward with that manic energy I would most likely have disintegrated into who knows what.
Now, with 5 years between me and Rita’s death, I have enough of a buffer to proceed with acknowledging the trauma of it all for me. I’m examining the ways in which my relationship with “the world” was changed, and how to deal with that.
Those years were spent both in solitude and in the company of many many people. I met people who I recognized as family, who I still feel close to. I participated in actions out of principle and conviction, going way beyond my comfort zone at times. I’m grateful for those experiences, for having had the energy to extend myself so far, for so much love and learning.
At the end of 2009 I find myself reeling in, shrinking that sphere of awareness, happily more concerned with those around me.
This week is especially great simply because I had some great bodywork and got a new cervical collar. That combination, along with judicious use of ibuprofen has resulted in a huge reduction in neck pain, halleluja! The last year has been pretty painful, since I split that cord of wood in Montana last December (never again!) and this week is the best relief I’ve had since then.
I am definitely no longer manic. My feelings are all pretty accessible; sadness, anger, joy and fear. Healing is happening within me.
24 December 2009
Last night I had dinner with dear friends and (finally!) met their 2 1/2 yr old son. What a joy. Earlier yesterday I was with dear friends celebrating life and the sacredness of all.
08 December 2009
I capitalize the word nowadays, as I do the word Earth.
Both words represent something worthy of reverence.
On December 20 my radio show Paradigms will be focused on visions of Peace. Each of us has our own visions of a peaceful world.
Except that recently I have come to the understanding that not everyone knows how to envision Peace. Some people, for a variety of reasons, either cannot or do not believe they can (which amounts to the same thing) imagine Peace.
The mission of the December 20 Paradigms is to offer the visions of a variety of people from different places on Earth to prime the pump for listeners. It seems to me that the more people envision Peace, the more peaceful the world will become.
When was the last time you, dear reader, told someone of your visions of Peace, or listened while someone else shared theirs?
There are still spaces in the December 20 show for people who would like to contribute one of their visions of Peace. If you'd like one of those spaces, email me!
Posted by Baruch at 9:57 AM
20 November 2009
Recently I wrote an Op-ed which I sent to the Burlington Free Press. I was very surprised when they printed it. Here's a link.
One of the comments posted by readiers in the online edition referred to me as being anti-war, but they used the term as if it were a bad thing to be. That's so crazy to me.
This morning I feel inspired to put together an episode of Paradigms approaching the topic of Peace by interviewing people from different spiritual backgrounds and traditions. I am looking for people who would be willing to be interviewed. If you are interested please email me. If you know someone who you think may be interested, please share my contact information with them. If you have a suggestion for me of someone to contact, please email me.
The episode will air on December 20 so it would be good to get these interviews in motion. Thank you!
Posted by Baruch at 11:00 AM
08 November 2009
Today is sunny and warm. The trees are almost bare. There is the smell of wood smoke in the air (alas from the homes of others, here we heat with oil).
In conversations with friends I hear something similar to what I am experiencing. Life is very much one day at a time. While people have plans for the future, there is less emphasis on plans and more on what is happening right now. It's like, the dysfunctions in the world are pushing people towards a more zen approach to life. I find that interesting.
This week my back did a tweak, but what's really cool is it didn't freak me out (it hurt!) and I did some postures which can help and they did! After 5 or 6 days I can stand straight and walk with no problems. I am sore, but that's no big deal. Yay!
My thoughts this week have been somewhat focused on an idea I have, which I have shared with friends and which I am assured is not possible right now, but I will share it here anyway.
The idea is, what if everyone took a day off from being hostile? Or even an hour? What if we all agreed to refrain from any hostile behavior for 5 minutes, at the same time, around the world? It seems so obvious to me that we could do this, but my astrologer friend tells me that the Pisces in my chart gives me this facility with imagination, and a therapist friend tells me that there are still lots of people, out of the nearly 7 billion of us, who still need to act out their aggression, who are damaged in ways that make that still a part of their character.
They are both right. I do have a very vivid and expansive imagination, I always have. And it's clearly true, there are people who don't seem to have the ability to not act out.
But but but...just 5 minutes? Could we have 5 minutes on Earth where by agreement no one hits or bombs or shoots or cuts or screams at anyone?
I make myself laugh sometimes.
Posted by Baruch at 10:34 AM
17 October 2009
It is a beautiful sunny Saturday in Vermont. It's warmish, the leaves are falling, the garden is now only providing kale and mustard greens. I brought in the butternut squash this week...some of them more than 2 feet long!
I am finishing up the fourth week of my news fast. I visited a couple of sites today, and found the information to be so toxic I didn't read a lot. My mood continues to be better. No news really IS good news!
I am focused on this; all of the stuff we've been saying is unsustainable IS unsustainable. It is falling apart. We don't need to tear apart the bogus economy, the war machine, corrupt government. It is all in the process of self-destructing. We, or at least I, am better off building ways to live that do not depend on the capitalistic paradigm. What a relief! I don't have to be in a fight against the empire, the empire is killing itself. I think, instead, I will just keep living a magical life, loving Earth and life, seeing friends, doing work I believe in, and all that good stuff.
What about you? What are the weighty things that drag you down, can some of them be released? What do you WANT to focus on?
P.S. Tomorrow night's Paradigms is amazing! If you love Jazz or wish you loved Jazz, tune in!!
Posted by Baruch at 10:01 AM
01 October 2009
A couple of entries ago I took Vermonter Peter Galbraith to task for continuing to support the war in Afghanistan, and specifically for supporting the proposed troop increase. I was pretty pointed about it and alliterated to spitting on him.
This week Peter Galbraith was officially fired from the UN for publicly stating his belief that the elections in Afghanistan were not clean. He also came out in opposition to the proposed troop increase.
I am very glad Mr. Galbraith has publicly stated his position, and I retract my literary spittle. What I don't understand is why he supported the war and the troop increase publicly a week or so ago and now has made a 180 degree turn.
It is extremely problematic when people working in government spout the party line. How can anyone trust government when it's public voices are dishonest? You can't have a "party line" and have honest government at the same time. People need to be able to express what they really think. How else can there be reasoned critical thinking in government?
So Mr. Galbraith I apologize for my rudeness in as much as your newly revealed position is not that of a warmonger. I just wish you'd spoken up sooner in your official capacity. Lives might have been saved.
Posted by Baruch at 8:44 PM
Sometimes my own process amazes me. I identified my lack of future vision in my last entry. I seem to have worked that through because I am now into house drawings and site plans, town regulations and looking for free stuff on Craig's list.
The act of naming what is in the way often serves to move me forward through the obstacle. Naming the blockage helps me to digest it and get past it, not by avoiding it but by integrating it.
I am into my second week of news fasting. It's not a 100% fast, more like 95%, but not reading all that depressing information certainly has improved my mood!
The next thing I want to have happen is for some wonderful progressive business to become enamored of my radio show and become a sponsor. Hold that vision for me folks!
Posted by Baruch at 6:38 AM
20 September 2009
I just read an article in the Burlington Free Press, a pretty horrible Gannet newspaper here in Vermont. It’s about Vermonter Peter Galbraith, who works for the UN and is one of the warmongers encouraging continued war in Afghanistan. What a disgusting example of a human being, justifying all this killing with all these ideological lies. Pah. I spit in your face Peter Galbraith. Your willingness to support the imperial US war machine makes you a disgusting corrupt lying warmonger.
I start out each morning fresh and quickly remember the lying and killing and destroying that is going on. I am enraged, and either I just feel that rage or I tamp it down and end up depressed. I need to channel the rage in a different way. I’m working on it.
Seeking a home, wanting a home, needing a home, and yet struggling with the whole idea of tomorrow. I am able to design and build a hybrid earth ship/straw bale home in Vermont. I have a place, with good people, on gorgeous land. I have the design in my head, I just need to get it on paper. It is doable. And yet I feel blocked because I am having a hard time believing in tomorrow. I can manifest anything but I have to believe in it, and right now I am acknowledging how hard it is for me to see much of a future. I’m working my way through this, I will keep you all posted.
Posted by Baruch at 9:33 AM
14 September 2009
Last night's radio show was a lot of fun, and yet another example of ways to respond to societal insanity with love.
With all of the racist anti-Obama "stuff" floating to the surface lately (note: I do not think all opposition or criticism of Obama is race related, there are plenty of really good reasons to criticize and hold his feet to the fire) the level of discourse in the US is sinking to a new low for my lifetime. People marched in Washington DC this weekend because they don't want to extend health care to the poorest among us, while saying nothing about trillions spent on war and "bailing out" financial institutions. the blindness in all that is astounding.
I do get it that people are scared and are reacting from their fear, but they are being pumped full of that fear by the extremist right wing pundits. It's ugly. I also get it that Obama is, primarily, another corporate player doing mostly all the wrong things. I think he's doing a terrible job of bringing the change he was elected to bring. That being said I am disgusted by the racist ranting and demagoguery aimed at him and his family, and de facto at every other "non-white" person in the country.
So last night when the PMP Band showed up to play I was really thinking about how to somehow address these issues during the radio show. I talked about it with a couple of the band members. We didn't come to any conclusions, but they played great music including some songs that hit right on the topic of people getting along. More than that, PMP embodies the kind of inter-racial harmony that we know is possible. The band members vary in skin tone, and it's not an issue. It's almost silly to even write about it because it IS a non-issue, as it should be.
The music was tight and hot and loving, and definitely moved me literally and figuratively. The show is available to download, and PMP just put some videos up on YouTube so those are available too. Go to Paradigms and check out the September 13 show.
Posted by Baruch at 8:16 AM
29 August 2009
It's a rainy cool day in Vermont. It's also four years since hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans changing countless lives, including this one that I am living.
My awareness is overflowing these days. It has been for some time now, and it seems to always be increasing. I sense the sticky web of human manufacture which is how we have organized ourselves thus far. We have filled our lives with meaningless tasks, busy-work, complicated tortuous bureaucratic pathways which one must navigate to live in this context. Work, money, bills, debts, politics; large entities we call governments and corporations are standing like giants with their feet right on the throats of the populace. We've poisoned the earth and set in motion, or added to the natural momentum, changes in the biosphere which result in the daily loss of species, changes in the atmosphere,in the water cycles, toxins daily being put into the food supply...the list goes on and on. You know. The lack of humanity amongst humans is more than ever, as there are more humans than there ever have been. [Tangent: I propose that the reason for this many humans is that the universe needs to experience as many perspectives as it can, AND that in order for humans to deliberately evolve we need a lot of momentum; the momentum of many many people.]
I've been very in touch with my anger about all this. I feel a lot of anger about the fact that I was/we were born into a system of enslavement to that sticky web, which is manipulated by the least evolved among us, the power hungry. The disease of greed infects each of us in our own way. I overeat. That's my gluttony. We all have our places of excess, especially in, but limited to, the privileged US of A.
I have come to disagree with those who say that anger can only be destructive. There is such a thing as constructive anger. It's different from acting out angrily. Constructive anger provides heat, fuel, for heartfelt intuitively guided intelligently conceived action. Acting out angrily is a kind of tantrum. The two are very different, and each has their place. I prefer to have my tantrums by myself or with friends for whom listening to me rant is not distressing. Luckily I have such friends. But action, to be effective, requires energy. Altruism provides a certain amount, sometimes a lot, of energy. Altruism has faith and hope as two of it's main ingredients, as well as idealism. These days I find altruism to be inadequate for the tasks at hand. I find myself accessing my rage, and wanting it to inform me in heartfelt intuitively guided intelligently conceived actions. My radio show is one manifestation. Anger based in love is different than anger based in fear or hate.
Friends die, new ones are born, and are quickly assimilated into the constructs we've accepted; by trauma, family problems, circumcision, environment, school...we see how the beautiful kids are enrolled into "the system" and how it gradually changes them, just as it changed us.
I think to myself, there must be better ways to live.
Posted by Baruch at 10:40 AM
16 August 2009
Death brings a certain clarity. Being in the space of grieving is different than "regular" time. For me it is a time of reflection. With Lasky's death I have been feeling the immense richness and variety of experiences I have had. I've felt a lot, seen a lot, heard a lot, lived many different ways with lots of different people from all over the world. I've had deep amazing relationships with people and animals and plants and rocks and clouds and ...everything. Huge gratitude.
Posted by Baruch at 9:40 AM
13 August 2009
Grieving is a process of change. Someone dies. Everything is changed.
Grief rolls off me in waves. I metamorphose into someone else, someone who exists without that lost loved one.
It takes time. Weeping is the shedding of molecules which have been intricately woven into who I am; molecules of connection with my friend who is now gone.
Posted by Baruch at 7:15 AM
05 August 2009
I recently discovered an amazing film called "Home" and I hope you'll watch it!
It is free, an offering from it's makers. It is also an amazing beautifully made journey through Earth's beginnings to the present. This is the film "Inconvenient Truth" wishes it could be.
Please watch it, share it, talk about it.
Posted by Baruch at 10:16 AM
02 August 2009
Just in from tonight's radio show. Good stuff...good music, good interview, good friend hanging out in the studio. That all got my creative juices flowing a bit. On the drive home I had some thoughts I will share.
Today I celebrated Lammas with friends. We made little vegetable people and creatures and put them out in the garden. It was sweet. One of my friends offered to me the thought that with every difficult thing about the world that I share in company, maybe I could share something I am appreciating. Great idea. I struggle daily with finding balance in my emotional relationship with the "ills of the world" as it were. I practice daily, deliberately, turning away from the endless grief I can feel about what's happening on Earth. Some days I do it more effectively than others.
Reflecting on that I thought, hmm, what if countries made a point of celebrating the aspects of each other's cultures that they find appreciable. Back a step. Every culture, every country, does some particular things well, beautifully even. Perhaps, together, we are all the pieces of a puzzle. In order to put the puzzle together and find a sense of wholeness for our species, which I think we need in order to change our relationship with Earth, we need to identify the aspects of each other's cultures that we can love, honor, appreciate, celebrate. There will always be the differences which we don't feel loving about, but so what. We've been focusing on those already for a long time. Each country could select another country, maybe one they have an especially difficult relationship with, and celebrate them. We could have Iran Appreciation month, and learn about the aspects of Iranian culture and history that we can appreciate.
The other thing I was thinking about is the shooting that happened in Tel Aviv in a gay youth center. I hope Israeli's take this opportunity to re-evaluate the amount of power that is held by extremists in the country, religious and otherwise. A minority of Israeli's wield a disproportionate amount of power due to the religious nature of Israel's self-concept as manifest by the government in persons and in deeds. Israel functions as a theocracy in some critical ways, most if not all of which actually diminish Israel and Judaism, just as the extremist Christians in the US exemplify the opposite of what their deity taught by behaving hatefully, just as some of the applications of extremist Islam has made the world fear Muslims. Events like this, the murder of Dr. Tiller, the murder of Matthew Shepard, all acts committed by religious extremists, are a wake up call to all of our societies. Religious extremism is not healthy. In the throes of a fundamentalist religious ideological fervor, people do terrible things. This has been demonstrated over and over through history in every society. It's time to "get it." Religious fanaticism is a sign of an unhealthy society, and is itself unhealthy for society.
I am all for spirituality and awareness and people practicing whatever they want, but when people cross the line from choosing for themselves to choosing for others, no. That cannot be tolerated in a civil society.
My heart goes out to the family of the two teenagers killed in Tel Aviv, and to the families and friends of all the people who have lost loved ones to violence. That's a lot of people in this world.
Posted by Baruch at 8:29 PM
01 August 2009
Heat and humidity, sunshine and torrential rainstorms; New England summers are glorious and extreme. So much water, so much green, and in the yard in front of this house so much zuchini and mustard greens and beans (almost ready!).
My life, right now, is pretty low key. I stay home most of the time working on interviews for the radio show, or teaching classes online. Much of my focus is on providing a stable calm home for Lasky the dog, who is nearly 17 years old. She's gradually becoming less steady on her feet, and she spaces out a lot, but she's still her very sweet self. I promised her that I would see her through to the end of her days in that body, and I am keeping that promise. It may seem silly to some, but making sure Lasky is happy is one of my jobs at this point in my life. Chloe the cat too, but she is not approaching the end of her life as far as I can tell. At nearly 17 she has another 5 to 10 years to go.
Something happened on last week's radio show...well a lot happened, but there was a moment when I acknowledged, on the air, the shadow side of the show's theme. The theme is to explore visions of a viable future for life on Earth including humans. The shadow is, of course, the form which says there is no viable future for life on Earth including humans. By acknowledging the shadow on the air I seem to have freed something up within myself, or around me. In any case I feel less constrained by the theme, freer to explore with less structure in the interviews. I interviewed three very interesting people this week; Coleen Rowley, Antor Ndep, and Medea Benjamin. The interviews will air on upcoming episodes of Paradigms.
And now it is August, Lammas, Lughnasad, the festival between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox. The gardens are ripening, the harvests are starting, the sun is still hot in the sky but the promises of autumn and winter are already dawning. I love feeling the wheel of the year as it turns. The older I get the faster the years go by, and yet the older I get the more I slow down and enjoy it all.
Posted by Baruch at 10:56 AM
26 July 2009
This is a week to be especially mindful and aware. Pay attention. If you see people being rounded up, quietly disappear. If someone comes to your door and wants to inoculate you, tell them to hold on a minute...and disappear, or take whatever measures you deem appropriate to protect yourself and your family. This is no joke.
These events are coinciding. Check out each link. As crazy as this may sound, this is actually happening.
US prepares major terrorism readiness exercise
Mandatory Swine Flu Vaccine Alert
What You Can Do to Prevent Forced Mandatory Swine Flu Vaccinations. Demand Your Right to Self-Shield!
And if all that weren't bad enough, here to add insult to injury is Dick Cheney:
Dick Cheney's connection with the Tamiflu vaccine
Posted by Baruch at 11:17 AM
24 July 2009
20 July 2009
Last night I was in the presence of two musicians who played beautifully. Charlie Messing on guitar and vocals and Ben Littenberg playing stand-up bass; they graced the wbkm studio for Paradigms.
That was the good part.
Somehow, I am not sure how, the show did not get recorded. I could swear I clicked on "Record" but when I went to prepare the podcast of the show there was no file to work with. Since the software works I can only conclude that somehow I screwed up. How embarrassing, and disappointing because the music Charlie and Ben played was really wonderful. Luckily they have agreed to be on the show again, and this time I will get the recording done properly!
I had a visit with a friend yesterday; someone I've know for 25 years or so. We are both at times in our lives where, let us say, the gilt is off. Both in our 6th decades, not partnered, living lives that are not particularly part of the status quo, both of us are observers and people who are in service to the greater whole. I was talking about needing to be less susceptible to feeling the distress around me, her response was that perhaps my skin is too thin. It's true. I have always been an empath but I used to have better shielding. At least I think I did. Lately I have found that my shielding is not always so great. So I tend to not go out into "the world" so much because I just don't want to deal with the distress I witness. I also find dealing with the human bureaucratic systems to be frustrating, pointless, and just plain stupid.
Each in our own ways we struggle with or face similar stuff, even though the forms are different, our stories have their own unique content and qualities.
This question I work with on Paradigms, "What are our visions of a viable future for life on Earth that includes humans?" has added a dimension to my personal journey. By working that question I keep having to face it's shadow, which is something like "There is no viable future for humanity." I haven't said that on the air, but that statement is IN the air during each interview, and each broadcast. Who, that is paying attention, isn't thinking that at least some of the time, or wondering about it? I know I'm not the only one. I've thought that in a way Paradigms is a radio program to watch the end of the world by. I don't want to feed that idea, the hopelessness, but it's there and I can't ignore it.
In the interview with Marc Sapir MD that aired on last night's Paradigms, Marc said something to the effect of "some day the sun will explode, and life on Earth will end..." and of course he's right.
The answer I get from within me when I visit these ideas is...focus on the now. Feel the aliveness. Cherish the moments. Witness the beauty, and add to it when and where possible.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
This morning, just past midnight, I went outside to feel the starlight during the dark moon. I love doing that. I called the quarters, I gave my thanks and made my wishes for a thicker skin with an open heart, more joy and clearer thinking (like remembering to hit "record" during a radio show!).
It is my observation that we really are all in this together, whether we know it consciously or not. The deeper the numbness perhaps the further that awareness is from consciousness, nevertheless it is true. We are all in this together.
Posted by Baruch at 10:25 AM
18 July 2009
The Cosmos Is.
Earth is circling one of infinite stars.
Life on Earth is diverse, changing, fermenting. It has been so for as long as it has been.
We are crouching monkeys who have evolved physically and mentally. There is the possibility of developing an essence, a spirit if you will, that transcends the monkeys we’ve been. We are each at some point in the process of becoming part of that essence, of awakening. We are growing our divine selves, reaching out to connect with each other and the creative force of the Cosmos.
And the paradox of the Cosmos is that light and time do not travel in straight lines, but radiate outwards and come back upon themselves, so in the life of the Cosmos this human awakening has already happened. We in this Now are just experiencing this moment of it.
Posted by Baruch at 1:01 PM
17 July 2009
Money. More learning about money.
Years ago I learned to decouple my self esteem from my financial situation. I lost a lawsuit in which my bankruptcy-discharged student loans were un-discharged, along with 6 years worth of interest (the time the lawsuit took) and had essentially doubled. When I got this news I became suicidal, literally. I suddenly owed $32,000! I did have the wherewithall to observe myself during this experience and realized that I had to unhook my self esteem and my financial status. So I did.
My worth as a person has nothing to do with my material or financial status. I really get that.
Here we are years later (the outcome of the student loan situation is another story but suffice to say I believe the student loan business is highly unethical and at this point exists primarily to create huge masses of indentured servants in the US) and my relationship with money has continued to evolve. I now see money as essentially meaningless, a symbol to be used for the exchange of energy. I choose to live on a small amount of money, and to own a small amount of stuff. I like this much better than when I made thousands of money a week.
Now, however, I find myself working on another shift regarding money. I have been waiting for some funds which are coming my way. These funds are nearly here. In the meantime I have borrowed some small amounts from friends to get by. If I am going to drive then I need gas money. If I am going to eat then I need money for food. If I am going to hang out with a friend and get a cup of coffee, I need money for that. Now, I can survive without driving. Friends will feed me, and I don't need that cup of coffee at a café. However, having no money is inconvenient.
I noticed, when a friend loaned me some money so I could get a new windshield for my car, how my emotional state shifted. I felt more relaxed, more ebullient, with money in my pocket. That's not surprising, but when I stop to really think about it, it's screwed up. Why should having money in my pocket effect my emotional state? Why should my day suddenly seem to be going better when there is money in my pocket? How completely weird is that?
So now I am working on decoupling my emotional state from my financial status. I'll let you know how it goes!
Posted by Baruch at 8:25 AM
01 July 2009
26 June 2009
The image is the circus performer twirling plates on sticks, except in the circus those plates are sometimes attached to the sticks and their precarious balance is an illusion.
Sometimes, though, the plates are really being balanced on the ends of the sticks.
Do you ever feel like you're watching a bad movie about the collapse of civilization, while doing your best to hold visions of viability and creative possibility? There is so much about the governing corporate bodies that essentially rule the world that is corrupt. We can see that their game is rigged. The plates are attached to the sticks. There is no balance, no real brilliance, just illusion.
Outside of the circus ring, however, real people are balancing plates on sticks everyday. We all know places where we are pulling off the challenging, maybe even the seemingly impossible. We know others doing the same.
The possibility for continued human viability, for a while anyway, lies in our resilience and our ability to do the seemingly impossible, or even just the very difficult.
Posted by Baruch at 11:44 AM
22 June 2009
Yesterday both before and after the radio show I experienced such a feeling of well-being. One of my key practices is awareness; holding many disparate, similar, geographically and through time realities simultaneously. As I get older my capacity for holding this awareness, or residing within it, grows. The value, as I see it, is that I continue to gradually see more of the hologram that is this universe. I see more the micro/macro patterns more dispassionately, and with greater appreciation for them. Maybe it was the combination of solstice and new moon, and the rain storms that were passing through the region all day. Good stuff.
The latest edition of Paradigms is now archived and ready for downloading. More good stuff!
Posted by Baruch at 9:02 AM
10 June 2009
Wow, 10 days goes by fast! The radio show has aired twice now, third one will be this Sunday with a live band and some great interviews. I am about to call Dr. Helen Caldicott in Australia and interview her. It's pretty exciting. Paradigms is definitely gaining momentum!
Personally I am experiencing some health issues which I don't fully understand, but I think the remedy is to spend time walking the land at Neruda Community, so that's what I'm going to do.
Posted by Baruch at 1:56 PM
31 May 2009
Tonight is the first episode of my new radio show Paradigms. I've been working on it for over a month. I've got interviews and music, and am lining up more interviews and live music for future shows. paradigms airs every Sunday at 8 PM ET on wbkm.org The show is based on the theme question, what are our visions of a viable future for life on Earth that includes humans? It's an optimistic question, and the interviews are really fun and interesting.
I am the kind of person who has to feel everything. I score at twice the average for empathy. In order for me to put my heart into a question about a viable future I have to go through all these feelings that the question brings up. There are so many reasons NOT to see a viable future for humans. The things that humans are doing right now on earth, the cruelty and injustice, the corruption, the deep deep depravity of our so-called leaders, the profit over life mentality of business; I weep.
I know myself well enough, at nearly 50 years old, to know that I have to go through this emotional discharging to make space for the optimism and creativity which allow me to visualize a viable future for humanity. In fact, it is my ability and willingness to feel that makes it possible for me not to live in despair. I wish for, and offer, the idea that to feel the sadness and anger is a gift. If we are willing to feel and to let those feelings pass through us, we can heal and learn and be free.
Posted by Baruch at 11:16 AM
19 May 2009
I had a great day today in Burlington seeing friends, making some arrangements for the new radio show at wbkm.org with Eric and Tony. I learned about something which actually I have heard about but not become particularly educated about. That is the issue of a chemical which is in the water supply for the Champlain Valley Water District serving some 68,000 people in Chittenden County, Vermont. The chemical is called chloramine and is the result of treating the water with both ammonia sulfate and chlorine. The reaction creates chloramine which is toxic. Allowing this toxic chemical in the water supply is a real smack in the face to Vermont’s green image. Unfortunately, since the incidence of illness falls below the statistical radar of the people in charge of the decision to have chloramine in the water, no legislators or government officials seem to be willing to champion the cause of safe drinking water for the Champlain Valley Water District. I wonder what kind of economic pressure such as consumer, tax revolt, or adverse effects on tourism, might get the attention of the folks in charge.
I also had a very clear thought on my drive home, it is this.
If we look at the world and see who is making the most trouble, it is the Abrahamics. Jews, Christians and Muslims, all in the name of Yahweh, or Jehova, or Allah, are savaging much of the world. Their religions have become corporate gangs and armies fighting over resources, control, and ideology.
This has got to stop.
Now, not all Abrahamics are engaged in war. It is the extremists, the fundamentalists, the orthodox. It is the groups that cling most strongly to their traditions, many of which are simply outdated for the challenges we face as a world.
Newsflash! It’s time to move forward rather than be controlled by the past.
It’s time for human beings to grow and behave like responsible adults. Everyone’s simply got to learn to accept difference. We don’t have to like everyone and not everyone’s going to like us but we all exist here together and either we get it together or we perish. And no wealth or military might is going to ultimately protect anyone.
I think that about says it.
Posted by Baruch at 4:34 PM
15 May 2009
"Paradigms" is my new radio show launching mid May on WBKM.org. I've been doing Stories from the Road on WBKM for nearly a year and since I am no longer on the road, the show is being expanded into a live 1.5 hour weekly show to be aired Sundays at 8 PM ET.
• Paradigms is about exploring the theme through live and pre-recorded interviews with all kinds of people, some well known, some not, as well as live and pre-recorded music.
• The theme is the main question for all of the interviews, "What visions do you have of a viable future for life on Earth, including humans?" The idea is to cross pollinate people's visions globally.
WBKM is an internet radio station with listenership around the world. My current show has 2500 - 3500 listeners each episode, from at least half a dozen countries, and the listenership is growing each week.
I'm recording phone interviews with all kinds of people, or perhaps you would record an answer to the theme question, going wherever you want to take it, feel free to ramble. I can edit for length without changing the message and will happily run my edit by you before airing.
I believe that humans need each other's visions now and I want to gather as many as possible and broadcast them as an audio quilt.
I hope you’re interested, and if you know others who'd be interested that would also be fantastic.
respectfully and with enthusiasm,
WBKM, The Heart of Burlington, Burlington's kinda music
Posted by Baruch at 10:51 AM
07 May 2009
I find myself in a state of depression. I am exhausted all the time. It is a lot of work to get myself to do anything. I crave solitude but am happiest when I'm with friends.
Whenever I have an emotional spike it brings thoughts and feelings about my mother's murder. I can't shake it.
I am so fortunate that friends have given me a place to live, that the state has granted me $200 a month in foodstamps. Occasionally something else brings in some cash, but other than those resources I am down to zero.
I went traveling for 4 years, in part to rediscover my own life's trajectory. Now I am back where I started and it's as if I never did any of those things, had the experiences of the last 4 years.
I don't think I deferred grieving. I certainly have grieved.
Maybe it's the fact that the crime is unresolved, thanks to the government and police of Nevis.
Maybe being in Vermont again, I have to go through this to make a new life here.
I'm not even sure why I'm putting this out in such a public place as my blog. Maybe just to say, some things one can never get over.
Posted by Baruch at 2:32 PM
28 April 2009
Something is happening which I have long foreseen, and now it is here. I have run out of money, and have none coming to me in the immediate future. I actually have $17. Deep breath. I have seen this coming and wanted it and feared it. I am so fortunate to have landed in a pretty soft place as I explore this transition into a much less monied life. Big gratitude to the folks who have invited and welcomed me to be in their space, P & E. (I almost never use names in this blog because I don't wish to make public anyone else's identity, location, or other information.) $17 you say...and how will I live? I did just receive a foodstamp grant which is great. I have a full tank in the car...in Vermont it's easy to go through a lot of gas between Burlington and Marshfield and Montpelier and Northfield...so I am mostly staying put.
I'm working on the new radio show "Paradigms" which is exciting and challenging! I need to really get guests lined up, recorded interview stuff together, sponsorship so that the show will pay me something and kick something into running the station; there are multiple technological issues to resolve like recording phone and skype interviews, finding musicians, recording the live shows so they can be made available for download and archived...I can't think of anything else at the moment.
The concept of the show, the way I see it working, is really exciting to me. It will be 2 hours live in the studio with me talking and dj'ing some pre-recorded music, but there will also be taped 1 to 3 minutes snippets of people from around the world sharing some of their vision, live guests in the studio, musical and other. It's a big step up for me to take, to make, to step.
I have a request to make of you, the people reading my blog. If you're willing, figure out how to record yourself on your computer (it's easy if you have quicktime and I'm sure PC and Linux must have this capability) and record yourself responding to this question: What visions do you have of a viable future for life on earth including humanity? Wherever it takes you...ramble on...I can edit for time without changing what you're saying so feel free to stop and think. If you send me the recording I may be able to use it on "Paradigms" ! I am hoping to hear from many people of all ages.
My other request is with regards to the search for sponsorship. If you know of an organization, a business, a person, who you think might want to support this effort by becoming a sponsor, please either let me know about them or let them know about me or both. email@example.com
I struggle to maintain visions of a viable future for life on earth including humanity. I am doing this as much for myself as I am for everyone else. If we can build momentum by sharing ideas and plans and what we're doing now, I think we increase our odds of making the changes we need to make, and weathering the changes we have no control over.
If this works and we can get enough sponsors this can be an ongoing project that is available globally on wbkm.org. Enough sponsors...ultimately if "Paradigms" could bring in $1000 a month, which would be split between me and the radio station, it would be really great.
Posted by Baruch at 9:16 AM
25 April 2009
“Stories from the Road” is changing in May 2009!
Announcing "Paradigms" a new kind of radio show!
The new show will be “Paradigms” Two hours of Live Radio interviewing artists, activists, and more with music and dialogue.
The intention of “Paradigms” is to relate, inspire, and encourage visions of a viable future for life on Earth, including humanity.
Tune in Sunday, May 17 at 8 PM (Eastern US) for our premier!
Posted by Baruch at 11:26 AM
24 April 2009
"In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan snuck into John Lennon's hotel room in Toronto and convinced him to do an interview. 38 years later, Levitan, director Josh Raskin and illustrator James Braithwaite have collaborated to create an animated short film using the original interview recording as the soundtrack. A spellbinding vessel for Lennon's boundless wit and timeless message, I Met the Walrus was nominated for the 2008 Academy Award for Animated Short."
I met the Walrus
Posted by Baruch at 6:49 PM
13 April 2009
It is the end of the day, my 49th birthday. I am listening to a demo of Suzanne Sterling's new CD Blue Fire Soul...if you have never listened to any of her music there is a song on the archive page of my radio show, check it out. She is truly amazing in so many ways, as a person, a priestess, a musician...all together. Thank you Suzanne!
As I begin my 50th year I have been feeling a sense of goodness about my life. It came to me a couple of days ago; I could die anytime and I would die knowing I leave behind goodness. I feel good about what I've done with my life. Going forward from here I have a sense of calm. There isn't the urgency I used to experience. It's a good feeling.
Starting my 50th year, starting my 8th body, planning a new home with lots of participation from friends and family, growing my radio show, planning a food forest...there is a lot in front of me. I felt overwhelmed a few days ago, then I took 4 days to not drive, to relax and be, and the overwhelm settled into a sense of possibility and...in a way it doesn't matter if I "get things done" what matters is how I proceed.
On my birthday I send love out to all my family, friends, fellow travelers, co-workers, all of us sharing this time on Earth.
Posted by Baruch at 6:48 PM
10 April 2009
Today, talking with a friend after uploading my most recent radio show, I realized something. I'm feeling sad watching Barack Obama become yet another bloodstained president of the US. I know he's a player or he would never have run for office, but I do think Obama's humanity is at least somewhat developed, certainly far more than that other guy...W...but by presiding over the death for profit business of the US, and by commanding the murders in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama is drenched in blood. What toll does that take on him? Will he become a sociopath? Has he already become one? Was he already a sociopath? I don't think he was, but now...
Our entire paradigm is so deeply flawed. It is designed to bring out the worst in us, from the "leaders" to the "followers" because leading and following are things we need to evolve beyond...and soon! Any paradigm which ends up exalting money over life, where death for profit is the business of a nation, of nations, is a paradigm which needs to be dismantled and replaced.
Posted by Baruch at 1:56 PM
03 April 2009
I just received this in an email from Amnesty International:
"New information obtained by Amnesty researchers this week confirmed a massive shipment of U.S. weapons was delivered to Israel on March 22nd.
The administration allowed the delivery, despite clear evidence of Israeli human rights violations, some amounting to war crimes, including the controversial use of U.S. made white phosphorous munitions over densely populated areas. That's the white phosphorous that sticks to flesh and sears it until completely deprived of oxygen."
You can contact AI and take action at their website http://www.amnesty.org/
This is exactly what I have been saying! It is the U.S. weapons industry that is maintaining the war in Israel! If there is to be peace in Israel then THE U.S. HAS TO STOP PROVIDING WEAPONS.
From Obama on down...every member of Congress, every greedy CEO; these people will keep selling death unless WE STOP THEM.
Groups See US Troop Surge Harming Afghan Civilians
G-20 Protesters Break Into Royal Bank Of Scotland In London
So what are we Americans going to do? Our country has created this economic environmental disaster as much and more than any other. It's a hard fact but there it is. We have allowed greedy sociopaths to put profit before life and to export this sickness around the world in the form of consumerism and war.
Obama keeps talking about change...well?
I just uploaded episode 41 of "Stories from the Road."
Posted by Baruch at 11:44 AM
28 March 2009
Vermont is, once again, dealing with legislative matters pertaining to the civil rights of it's citizens, this time in the form of gay/lesbian marriage. Once again the powermongers in the republican party are going the route of "divide and conquer" by accusing gay people of being fascists. Talk about projection! Check out this article. It's been an effective tactic for thousands of years and it still seems to work. By appealing to fear and anger people can be manipulated. It's such a tiresome cycle.
I had a great evening a few days ago. I met a couple who live in an amazing place near Owls Head mountain, a place I spent meaningful time in the late 1970's. They have invited me to proceed, with them, towards a future where I am living on that land with them, and with others. My job there will be to organize and manage the shared food garden. Am I excited?? It's my lifelong dream coming true. This week I will go back and spend some more time just walking around the place, and sitting.
I've been able to go at a reasonable pace this last week. I did have stuff to do, people to see, everyday, but I didn't run myself ragged. I am gradually seeing my peeps. I have been saying that I needed to come back to Vermont and make the kind of life that is really good for me, not fit myself into the american box, and it is happening. As things take form I will undoubtedly report them here.
Posted by Baruch at 10:39 AM
20 March 2009
Today I produced and uploaded episode 39 of the "Stories from the Road" program. I'm listening to it as I type. Ella Fitzgerald!
I'm back in Vermont settling in. I didn't realize until I had this comfortable place just how much I need to rest and decompress. I felt myself decompressing when I left Montana, but now having space to be comfortable in I really feel it. I'm moving at a pretty slow pace, in part because I want to but really, it's because I have to. I can't rush around. Next week is already booked with one thing every day; all good things, but I do need to pace myself.
I have a good feeling about the coming projects. Nothing is set yet but there are some exciting and interesting possibilities presenting themselves.
Posted by Baruch at 9:00 PM
15 March 2009
Upstate New York; it sure feels like "back east." Tomorrow Chloe, Lasky and me head to Vermont. Honestly I am so sick of driving, it will be great to land and take a few days to recover.
Two things of note, one is shocking information I heard for the first time tonight. There are commercial dog and cat foods that contain euthanized dogs and cats. Here's an article about it.
The true horrors of pet food revealed: Prepare to be shocked by what goes into dog food and cat food
Also, the latest episode of my radio show "Stories from the Road" is available.
Posted by Baruch at 9:24 PM
14 March 2009
Sad news today. The military industrial complex claims yet another victim in Israel. The following is quoted from http://palsolidarity.org/2009/03/5324
13th Friday 2009, Ni’lin Village: An American citizen has been critically injured in the village of Ni’lin after Israeli forces shot him in the head with a tear-gas canister.
Tristan Anderson from California USA, 37 years old, has been taken to Israeli hospital Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. Anderson is unconscious and has been bleeding heavily from the nose and mouth. He sustained a large hole in his forehead where he was struck by the canister. He is currently being operated on.
"Tristan was shot by the new tear-gas canisters that can be shot up to 500m. I ran over as I saw someone had been shot, while the Israeli forces continued to fire tear-gas at us. When an ambulance came, the Israeli soldiers refused to allow the ambulance through the checkpoint just outside the village. After 5 minutes of arguing with the soldiers, the ambulance passed."
– Teah Lunqvist (Sweden) - International Solidarity Movement
The Israeli army began using to use a high velocity tear gas canister in December 2008. The black canister, labeled in Hebrew as “40mm bullet special/long range,” can shoot over 400 meters. The gas canister does not make a noise when fired or emit a smoke tail. A combination of the canister’s high velocity and silence is extremely dangerous and has caused numerous injuries, including a Palestinian male whose leg was broken in January 2009.
Adam Taylor (English), ISM Media Office +972 8503948
Sasha Solanas (English), ISM Media Office - +972 549032981
Woody Berch (English), at Tel Hashomer hospital +972 548053082
Tristan Anderson was shot as Israeli forces attacked a demonstration against the construction of the annexation wall through the village of Ni’lin’s land. Another resident from Ni’lin was shot in the leg with live ammunition.
Four Ni’lin residents have been killed during demonstrations against the confiscation of their land.
Ahmed Mousa (10) was shot in the forehead with live ammunition on 29th July 2008. The following day, Yousef Amira (17) was shot twice with rubber-coated steel bullets, leaving him brain dead. He died a week later on 4 August 2008. Arafat Rateb Khawaje (22), was the third Ni’lin resident to be killed by Israeli forces. He was shot in the back with live ammunition on 28 December 2008. That same day, Mohammed Khawaje (20), was shot in the head with live ammunition, leaving him brain dead. He died three days in a Ramallah hospital.
Residents in the village of Ni’lin have been demonstrating against the construction of the Apartheid Wall, deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004. Ni’lin will lose approximately 2500 dunums of agricultural land when the construction of the Wall is completed. Ni’lin was 57,000 dunums in 1948, reduced to 33,000 dunums in 1967, currently is 10,000 dunums and will be 7,500 dunums after the construction of the Wall.
Orly Levi, a spokeswoman at the Tel Hashomer hospital, tells Ha’aretz:
He’s in critical condition, anesthetized and on a ventilator and undergoing imaging tests,” She described Anderson’s condition as life-threatening.
Israeli activist Jonathan Pollack told Ynet:
"… the firing incident took place inside the village and not next to the fence. There were clashes in the earlier hours, but he wasn’t part of them. He didn’t throw stones and wasn’t standing next to the stone throwers."
"There was really no reason to fire at them. The Dutch girl standing next to him was not hurt. It only injured him, like a bullet."
Update 11:50pm March 13: Tristan is sedated and in surgery, being seen by an ophthalmologist, and will likely be in surgery for some time.
Posted by Baruch at 6:36 AM
08 March 2009
Driving across North Dakota today was amazing. The ground was white with snow, and the sky was the same color. It looked to be snowing always in the distance, but never where I was. Driving through valleys, past buttes and rivers, I thought about the people who used to live here, who trekked through the snow with their bands of other humans, and animals. Wow!
Episode #37 of "Stories from the Road" is now available for download!
Posted by Baruch at 8:12 PM
03 March 2009
Today held a lot of amazingness for me. I slept late, always nice, but shortly after waking up I received a call from the group home where I’ve been working. I am on call three days this week, and the call was to ask me to come in today. The group home provides a full time home for 5 residents, and there are 3 crisis stabilization beds as well.
The amazingness comes into play in the interactions I had with the two persons who are currently occupying crisis beds. I felt so much respect for both of them, and was able to do some good listening and some good sharing with both of them. It’s really amazing to me how my life has provided me with experiences that, through sharing, can offer valuable perspective to others. I know part of the value is in how I share, and it is very pleasing to me to see how much I’ve learned in that context. I left the group home tonight feeling really good about the people I’d spent time with today and about how I handled myself. It’s nice to feel good about one’s work...and by work I do not mean “job” work but the work of one’s life. It's also powerful to learn about people's lives, what they've gone through, and how they are digesting their life experiences.
Posted by Baruch at 8:10 PM
23 February 2009
I just gave notice at my job. I plan to head east by March 13 or so at the latest.
Now that I've made the decision I feel some relief, and still some disappointment over what happened with the person here who I thought was a friend. I also feel excited. This just isn't the place for me to settle long term, which I knew, and since the main project I came to work on has fallen through, I'm going to redirect my energies into other projects elsewhere.
Packing and shipping are now the name of the game.
Posted by Baruch at 8:35 AM
20 February 2009
Today I am working through my anger and frustration over the shift in my living situation here in Montana. Options are appearing both here and in other places, however, and some of them are very interesting to me. I'm sure to land on my feet.
One of my challenges in life has to do with being flexible in the face of unexpected inconvenience. I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles with that at times. My experience is that once I get over the moments of surprise and my emotional reaction to that, I'm pretty adaptable.
This week's radio show pertains to these issues. Check it out.
Posted by Baruch at 1:18 PM
18 February 2009
The universe seems to have different plans for me than I had for me! The person who I rent from here, whose cabin I spent 160 hours fixing up, has told me to leave. She feels her privacy being impinged upon by my use of the bathroom in the house, and she wants to be alone. OK.
I can go anywhere I want, and Vermont does seem like the next place to go, to return home. I have no money saved, so I can only make the trip when I get my teaching paycheck at the end of March. I am looking for somewhere to go until then, or if funds arrived before then maybe I would just up and go.
I feel a little shaken up. I’m not surprised, but still it feels lousy. I have done this before, allowed myself to count on people who aren’t really there for me, and I have stayed too long in those situations before, so it’s good that this one is being cut short.
Ahhh, deep breath, everything will work itself out. It’s just sad and frustrating and stressful to be in this situation.
So the fund raising starts for the move. I will get $1500 at the end of March for a teaching gig. If someone were willing to advance that to me I could make the move asap and pay you back at the end of March.
The stress and upset of this is hitting me.
Posted by Baruch at 3:58 PM
11 February 2009
It's becoming clearer all the time...the time for me to move back to Vermont is approaching. Here is what I'm looking for/inviting to manifest in my life:
A place in Vermont, probably in the northern half, out of town but not too far, some land for a garden, chickens, my dog and cat, a house with 2 or 3 or 4 bedrooms...I'm up for a group house...low cost, willing to do some work trade for rent. I'd like a space where I can do healing work with people. It'd be great if there were an outbuilding or two, or it would be ok to build one. Solar, wind, hydro power...all good...also happy to share my expertise in installing these systems.
If you or someone you know comes across the right place and it says "Baruch!" in your mind, please drop me an email. Thank you!
Posted by Baruch at 12:35 PM
09 February 2009
I came to Montana to practice my profession. The licensing process contains a number of redundancies which slow it down. I am almost there but until then I am making $12.48 an hour, good wages for this area, working 10 to 20 hours a week.
I have a student loan which is at $38k, all interest (I have paid off at least 3x what I originally borrowed but since I haven't been working the last few years the loan has been in forbearance collecting interest). They want $269 a month from me starting in March. This month I will earn under $700. If I don't make those payments they will suspend my professional and driver's licenses, which will of course make it impossible for me to practice my profession. Crazy eh? The US Congress passed that measure in 2005. This creates a catch-22. If you can't pay, you lose your ability to make a living, then you can't pay for food or housing either. Can debtors prison be far off?
When I was traveling and not employed I had more money in my pockets and less money stress than I do working and living somewhere. I feel like the message is getting clearer for me...drop out entirely, let the US and it's economic slavery go fuck itself.
So I am saying these things, and compared to many I have it easy! I don't have the responsibility for a bunch of kids, a mortgage, etc. There are millions of people in this country who are sinking fast.
And to top it off, the system which created this, and which stole the wealth of the nation and gave it to a few CEOs and politicians, is also responsible for killing, starving, poisoning, torturing, and basically brutalizing more hundreds of millions around the world.
Gee, great country we live in!
Posted by Baruch at 12:22 PM
05 February 2009
I am very happy to report that my neck is no longer hurting, the nerve pain down my arm is gone along with the tingling and numbness. Yay!! It's amazing how much energy it takes for me to cope with constant pain, and when the pain is gone all that energy becomes available for other things, like feeling good and being creative.
It is overcast here in the Bitterroot Valley today, and in the mid 40's F. I have this feeling of springtime, though I know it is really months away. The smell of the thawed earth, the warmth in the sunshine (when it's sunny) and the surge of energy from not being in pain all fill me with excitement.
I have been following the news some. Lots of really bad decisions being made by Obama regarding expanding faith based government funded ventures, poor choices for cabinet posts, continued US war mongering and brutality, continued squeeze on civil liberties. As the economy continues to sink into the abyss, the proposed stimulus package is looking less and less reasonable to me. If instead of bailing out corporations the government just sent everyone $50k most people would be able to pay off a lot if not all of their debt which would make the banks solvent, get people out of debt and allow for a revitalization of the economy. There would have to be wage and price freeze along with the payout to prevent inflation from running amok. But what we seem to be getting is more bailout for corporations, and some needed infrastructure and education repair.
We shall see what we shall see, eh?
Some friends are here working on their travelling permaculture demonstration schoolbus/home. Check out permibus.org it's pretty interesting. The website is not finished but we're all working on it.
Posted by Baruch at 3:51 PM
28 January 2009
I've been experiencing another bad bout with my neck since early December when it was - 20 F (that's -29 C) and I had to split a cord of wood by hand. If I spend more than 15 minutes to an hour in a vertical position, the weight of my head puts pressure on the nerves coming out of my neck and going into my right arm. This is happening because I had a compression fracture in my C5 vertebra in 1977, along with disk damage, and now there is arthritis, stenosis, and disk inflammation all aggravating the aforementioned nerves. Ouch. The sensations range from 0 to 8 on the 1 - 10 pain scale, usually hovering in the 2 to 6 range.
I have been through this before. This pain in my neck has lasted for years in the past. There is one practitioner who treated me with 100% success...nearly no pain for over 3 years until I split that wood. She is in Salem, Oregon and I am planning a trip there this coming month.
Pain is just a sensation, and I can relegate it thus at times, but it also wears on my emotional and physical stamina. When this is going on I don't have as much patience as I usually do, and learning to be patient has been part of my life anyway. I become irritable more easily, and I feel useless and wrung out.
Now, I am aware that I just became employed in a "job" job for the first time in a long time, and while there are things I like about it, and I am glad to use my skills both because they are useful and it feels good, I am also aware that I resent having a job. I don't work a ton of hours and I make about $700 a month for about 60 hours, which is just barely not enough for me to live on, and yet I don't feel up to or desirous of working more than 20 hours a week. Money stress has been a theme in my life...the scale may change from tens of thousands to tens of dollars, but it's still a factor.
I'm living in a place that I chose, which I like, and where I have met good people, and right now in the cold of winter with pain in my body I feel more like cocooning than like seeing people.
Anyone reading this who's known me for a while recognizes my pattern...just goes to show you, wherever you go, there you are.
Traveling affords a sense of pattern interrupt which is part of why I like it. Being in one place you have to deal with patterns within oneself and in relating with the outside world of people, Earth, life, etc.
So here I am, a week 'till payday, propane tank is empty, not a lot of food left, freakin' bills to pay...passing the nights by feeding the fire and watching movies on the computer...
I'm also watching what Obama is doing and liking some of it. I am very disappointed, however, in the things he is not addressing. People are really poor out here in the hinterlands, with no help in sight. The stimulus package he is proposing has some really good stuff re: infrastructure, education, energy, but it doesn't address the immediate need for health care, food, shelter. He is also not addressing the civil liberties issues that exist in the US. Maybe he is working on these things behind the scenes but I'm not seeing much about it in the media. he is also not condemning Israel for their horrific invasion and subsequent slaughter in Gaza, nor has he stopped the drone assassination flights into Pakistan. He has not pulled back on the missiles in Poland. There is a long list and I know his administration is super busy settling in and getting things in motion, these are just some priorities I'd like to see immediate action on.
My wish to you all reading this is that you are well and surrounded by people you love who love you.
Posted by Baruch at 11:38 AM
22 January 2009
I see a lot of sour grapes coming from the right in commentaries, in Congress...hey you folks, it's time to put aside your ideology and get with doing what's right for the people. Bush had 8 years during which he wreaked havoc on the world, on our economy, on the Constitution. You all had your turn and you fucked things up royally. Now bow your heads, have some humility, and do the right thing for a change.
I have also seen signs that the Dems in Congress may do some holding out for their corporate neocon fascist masters. "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have made it clear -- it's not their job to answer to Obama." Really, fuck them. They sure have been kowtowing to Bush for years. How dare they stand in the way of real progress!
Now that there is someone decent in the white house it is critical that Congress be pressured like mad to give up their allegiance to greed and power. Since most of the members are too craven to do this they must simply be replaced ASAP. As far as I'm concerned people like Pelosi and Reid should stand trial in The Hague just as much as Bush and Cheney should.
Posted by Baruch at 1:16 PM
21 January 2009
Here are some of my thoughts during and after the inauguration of Barack Obama to the Presidency.
There was much to appreciate in the President's speech, in the song and poetry that surrounded the inauguration. From the anxiety over whether it would even happen to the substance of everything that happened during and after he was sworn in...wow! I liked his speech a lot...even though he had to make his token defense statements he didn't dwell on it...and his blatant utter repudiation of Bush was so satisfying to hear. George, with his tepid little round of applause...everyone's glad to see him go and he is skulking a bit...maybe he has some sense that he is leaving with his tail between his legs. I was heartened by Obama's repudiation of Bush in his speech, by the beautiful stirring and real poem that was read.
Rick Warren has been a practitioner of bigotry his speech indicated that perhaps he sees the value of becoming less ideological, but he asks for forgiveness when he treats life without respect, instead of saying he will do his best not to do those things. That’s not right. I think maybe Obama picked Rick warren, a big fat white bigoted evangelist, because it exposes Warren’s bigotry to such a large audience that it weakens it.
Reverend Lowry's benediction was just fantastic. Amen! All the christian stuff is somehow easier for me to take coming from a black civil rights hero Reverend like Joseph Lowry. I know there is usually more behind what’s being said, but it was good to hear Rev. Lowry’s little rap balancing things out. I recently read about his position on gay marriage...I actually appreciate the way he expresses himself in this exchange...
Abrahamic ideology and defense posturing aside I support our new President who is not an ancestrally wealthy elitist, but someone who has ideas, vision, and is one of the people, though I do find all the Abrahamic dogma tiresome. If you’re not a christian, muslim, jew, or hindu, you’re a nonbeliever. Hmph.
Congratulations to the Obama's and to all of us. If President Obama (I love saying that) is true to his words then we can actually hope for a significant and healthy change in direction on many levels. I amnot blindly following, or messianic, about Obama, but I do have hope. Friends tell me “hope is a demon bitch” and that may be true at times, but hope can also be part of inspiration. I’d rather be inspired than afraid.
I love Aretha!
Posted by Baruch at 3:42 PM