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.

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.

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.

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.

Thank you.

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.

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.