Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Get on

 (Grand Bend, 2004)

A thousand ways beckon and forbid.

A thousand long paths diverge.

A few hopeful steps, round the bend. Before me a mountain of climbing. I hesitate.

I look back. Perhaps another way?

This path reveals a chasm.  Down that, a desert looms. Thistles and thorns; formidable passages. Ferocious creatures. Dead ends. 

I retreat.

Each path becomes a journey, each journey asks a lifetime. 

Each misleading sign points vaguely, whispers maybes. Beckons and forbids. No destination promised, just hints.

Each way asks blind commitment to one step, then the next. 

I feel ill-equipped.

Again and again, I return to the crossroads, daunted and uncertain any way is worth the struggle.

I don’t know where I’m going
or why I’m going anywhere at all.

Beneath my feet a warning, earth’s rumbled promise: you cannot stay.

Get on.

I sink to my knees. Will I let the ground crumble, swallow me?

The wind whispers though I can't hear meaning
under the howls.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Occupy Earth

Image from "Your Free Press"
(no affiliation, I just used the picture)

I've been watching the Occupy movement for some time with mixed feelings. And watching my mixed feelings with curiosity.

On the surface, I agree with much of what I've heard coming out of the Movement. I'm so relieved and excited to see people taking notice of the rot that has infiltrated our governments and societies. Yet, I have a nagging sense that they are Occupying the wrong thing. Can I walk you through what I've pieced together so far?

Corporations are NOT Job Creators. They are Wealth Accumulators.

  • Corporations must employ as few people at as low a rate as possible to maximize shareholder value.
  • Corporations are Job Eliminators by nature of their role as Wealth Accumulators.

Private Industry is NOT accountable for creating full employment.

  • Private industry’s primary responsibility is to extract value for shareholders.
  • Corporations are responsible for maximizing their shareholders’ value within the context of the regulations set by Governments
  • Corporations are not responsible to ensure society has enough resources to meet citizen needs. 
  • Corporations are not responsible to ensure full employment for as many humans as society decides to birth and educate.
  • Governments have created few/poor regulatory mechanisms requiring corporations to create employment or protect natural resources

The coincidental convergence between industry needs and available human labour is over. 

  • Agricultural and Industrial Ages required more people and employed them with lower pre-employment requirements
  • Technology trends in automation and robotics indicate that the lines between private sector needs and capable human labour will continue diverging.

Societies must stop relying on the mechanism of full employment as the means by which they ensure citizens are fed and housed.
  • As private industry requires fewer people with increasingly complex skills, fewer people will be eligible to earn in the private sector

Societies allocate too few of our common resources to education to permit a large enough pool of people eligible for private sector employment
  • Private industry requires fewer, but more expensive human capabilities than in the past
  • Education systems were developed to support the Industrial age and have not been adequately revised
  • Industry requires creative thinkers with significant and complex knowledge
  • Our educational systems currently fail to maximize the human potential of most people 
  • Public education produces too few humans eligible for private-sector employment participation and too many not eligible for available private sector needs
  • Producing more humans eligible for private sector work is expensive and requires more individual adult care for each child during the education phase

Private industry would fail without the free labour of care-givers and volunteers, which is not valued in the current economic system
  • Without the unpaid care of children, disabled and elderly people to support families and communities, those who are employed could not focus their time and attention on producing
  • Because most care is not valued in the economic system, most care is done by those who are not fully employed in other ways, with a sub-set of care provided by low-paid workers. 
  • Otherwise productive and employed humans, primarily female, exit the workforce when family pressures require time and attention
  • If society achieves full employment of adults, it does so at the cost to quality of care for young children, the disabled and the elderly within homes, as well as the volunteer work done in schools and communities

Governments are responsible to regulate behaviour within a society in a way that permits fair and peaceful co-existence. 
  • As behaviour regulators, we trust Governments to also be the stewards of our resources
  • As Resource Stewards, we trust Governments to ensure our natural resources, including human labour, are used and paid for in a way that permits fair and peaceful co-existence

Societies currently subsidize private sector profits by selling commonly-held resources too cheaply
  • Governments compete and undercut each other to increase industry participation in their territories
  • Governments use cheap resources (low costs, low taxes, cheap labour rates) to attract industry
  • Governments have failed to recoup for Society an appropriate value in exchange for resources, including labour
  • Governments have not extracted enough societal value to replace the sold resources – they have sold our resources, including human time, too cheaply, and given too much "free reign" to corporations

Fair and peaceful co-existence currently feels threatened.
  • Governments have created regulatory environments in which corporations can amass and hoard wealth at the expense of the common good
  • Governments have created policy environments in which education and care are de-valued and under-valued for their role in economic activity
  • Because governments have failed to regulate our resource allocation and behaviours effectively, more people are living lives of instability and desperation
  • As more people live lives of instability and desperation, our fair and peaceful co-existence is threatened

For societies to survive and evolve, they must re-assess how governments subsidize and regulate private sector use of common resources 
  • Societies must seek ways to use commonly-held resources strategically, maximizing the balance among private-sector employment, public-sector employment and other forms of income stabilization
  • Decision making must apply the context that the “full employment” coincidence is no longer an effective model
  • For societies to mitigate against decreased private sector employment needs, decision making must apply the context of increasing need for societal contribution in the areas of care and education 
  • There is no compelling evidence that governments are seriously undertaking such a re-assessment

Wall Street did what they were permitted to do. Without conscience, pressuring for more and more privilege - yes, morally we can and must question the ethics of these leaders, especially those who went beyond the already-permissive legal framework. And yet, it is governments the world over who have failed both in their responsibility to regulate behavior, and in their role as Resource Stewards. By competing for industry in a selfish and protectionist way, rather than working together, governments have undercut us all.

So, for the Americans at least, why isn't it Occupy Washington? 


This is a closed ecosystem.

One world, one set of resources, 7 billion people. Nothing much comes in or goes out. If I have more, you have less. If one country has more, other countries have less. Until we begin thinking like a species on a planet at the governmental level, this mess will only get worse. Until we decide on a common goal of a fair and peaceful co-existence, we can't even begin to start those conversations, let alone work on achieving it. 


We already do, all of us, together. It's the How that's the kicker.

Monday, November 21, 2011


See Through

What I see
Depends a lot on how I look

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nature is


Nature does not say: It is Spring, there will be only green.
Nature does not say: It is Summer, there will be only sun
Nature does not say: It is Autumn, everything must die
Nature does not say: It is Winter, there will be only snow

When we look closely, we see that Nature cares not about the season
Nature simply is

Monday, November 14, 2011



     why should I?
     why shouldn't I?
     they should
     they shouldn't
     why don't they?
     it's not fair
     they don't deserve
     I deserve
     I want
     I give up   

Hasten the moment duality breaks
Shush away the skittish fears
Soothe and whisper calming questions in my ear

Hasten the moment of shining harsh light
Reveal the They alive in Me
Allow the shame to teach then let it be

Hasten the moment of opening sight
Reveal the Me alive in They
Allow the hurt to teach then flow away

When frantic power yields to compassion
I return to love
I return to me

Friday, November 4, 2011

Seeds fly (Release)

Release (Autumn, 2011)

The flower never knows 
where her seeds blow

do they root in soil?
strangle in weeds?
fly and flourish?

or revert to dust.

The flower only knows 
She must bloom
(and then, release)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mind's Eye

(acrylic on canvas, 2011)
Movement carries potential
Deliberate acts create the unintended
Effect is never quite what's caused
Variables multiply
     faster than definitions

In my mind's eye the colours dance with purpose
Pools trickles tangles smears lines webs
Their play desires my imagination
Each colour pulls my mind's eye past horizon

Where past my understanding, they continue flowing
Where past my comprehension, their song sings to my song
Where past my thoughtful reasons, their need continues through me
Where past my body's surface
     they call me on.

(Are you coming?)
(I'm almost there.)

Getting to know me?

Just Waiting for the Wind (Autumn, 2011)

By chance, I recently met someone who reads this blog. She didn't know it was "my" blog until we met and she recognized me from my picture. It's like a tiny, little taste of fame. This reader observed that I am not like my blog. She said I seem happy and together, but my blog is "heavy." She wasn't complaining, exactly, but noting something I've noted myself - I tend to write here more often when I'm angsty or freaking out than when I'm not.

Which is to say, I only post a couple of times a month, often when I'm most angsty or I'm freaking out.

But reading my blog, not understanding the big spaces of happy, excited and boring between what I write, could lead to some interesting impressions of me as a person. I'd never thought much about it, because I didn't really think anyone was GETTING TO KNOW ME through all this sharing. When I write, it's to explore a theme, to work ideas loose - it's like noodling on a guitar. It's not meant to be an expression of my whole being. I'd never thought of people meeting me and expecting me to be "like" my blog, at all. It kind of freaked me out.

For me, the blog is a space of creative expression, not a journal. The themes I explore are just themes, bits I'm working through in a moment among a million moments that I don't share here.

Somehow, I need to say that now. But I feel kind of...icky about it.

Because I feel that you (that is, YOU) have always understood this about our shared moments when you read. You've gone there with me, not thinking where we went WAS me. We go together knowing what we explore is often hard, and it matters, and it underpins all the other times when we aren't in angst but the reasons for it aren't gone. You know that we are all of us so complex as to be unknowable, even to ourselves. In this way, we are all gods in bodies.

(you do understand, don't you?)