Monday, October 31, 2016

Truth? Opinions?

The truth lies so far from what we can see through the lenses of media, interactions and experience. Our opinions mean little because they are based primarily on ideas and data we're fed. Fundamental trust in our news sources has failed us. We can't know the whole of any situation. Our natural biases and the algorithms of the world will filter and nudge us to see evidence we agree with, and to be more blind to, or questioning of, evidence we don't like. How can anyone proclaim any opinion with certainty and dedication in such an uncertain and contradictory environment? And is that really the most useful way to use our discernment? Yet, if we don't believe in something we believe in nothing, a condition that breeds apathy. So perhaps we choose to believe in a future of peaceful co-existence with equal access and respect for all life, and let that belief guide us as we do our best with what we have, every day. Opinions only matter when they translate into actions.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Election in the Merry Old Land

It seems America is channeling the archetypes of the Wizard of Oz, asked to choose between the selfish, lying Wizard and the complicated Wicked Witch. Now people are speculating that Bernie is the good witch who will take them home - well, I don't see it, but anything's possible. In the meantime, my American friends, click your heels together and say it with me: there's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home." Then open your eyes, realize you're still in Oz, and vote. Pick your lesser of two evils, and then spend the next four years facing yourself about what those choices mean to your sense of who you are and who you are becoming. I think that doing that, and encouraging each other to do that, is the only clear, tangible, achievable action to take in the face of all the madness of living in an unsustainable, out-of-control power-corrupted system.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Standing in Fear

I stand today in fear. Many days, in fact. I stand in fear, and I take in my surroundings. Feeling ground solid beneath my feet, the energy of life tethering me through the soles of my feet and up through my legs, I review over what I know and what I’ve learned, and the learnings that contradict each other. I try not to look at the vast chasm of what I don’t know, what I haven’t learned, because I will fall in there and waste my energy climbing out.

I breathe. I feel panic tighten the back of my neck, my jaw, my throat, so I breath deeper still, slower still, focused on keeping those pathways open. I feel a roaring behind my eyes, tears threaten; I close my eyes and focus on a point of light in the centre of my forehead. I see the eye of eternity in the shadows of my eyelids.

Closing my eyes becomes opening them to the reality beyond sight; I see the awesome climb before me and I stand, watching, looking for a passage through to the base, some way around. I push possibilities down imaginary paths as far as my imagination can take them, but always the actual climb lies beyond a bramble-patch so thick that I know, in my bones, I no longer have the reserves and energy to make it through and still climb strongly.

I feel afraid. Not because the mountain is unscalable, but because I worry that, if the only way to the base is through brambles, I can't trust myself to make it. My health, my energy, my focus. Mothering, Wife-ing, Friending, Citizening and Household Managing remain demanding commitments. Realistically, I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. The places from which I always took my reserves – my own energy, health, and well-being - are no longer options.

To get me here, my body and I made a deal: my health and energy to pursue what matters, in exchange for taking proper care of her – rest, good food, exercise, joy, love & cuddle time, time in nature, sex, time creating, entertainment. She holds me to it every day, every hour. Not only am I barred from stealing time from myself, but taking care of Me requires more space than it ever has. I have no choice. If I deviate, my body takes me down, with swift and decisive moves for which I have no counter. She simply inflicts whole-body pain and removes my energy - zap. Done. No work for you. Or she catches a virus bug and uses it to slow me down. Often she does both. I don't dare cross her.

Fear doesn’t mean I don’t feel excited, or that I don’t believe in the work, or that I will stop moving forward. If I can’t find a clearer option, I’ll pick a hard bramble-patch and try to break through it. I’ll use what I have and bring what I know, the tools I’ve collected that make sense for the job. Maybe I’ll clear a path to the base of the mountain that others can use, so they can just start there, so they can just start the climb I long to make. I can hope I'll still have the capacity to survive and climb after fighting my way through.

But I can’t help thinking that there is a path I’m missing, a clearer way, and so I  hesitate, I don’t turn my mind and hands to bramble-hacking. I push a certain distance down potential pathways, hoping they will bypass the worst of the blockages. I haven’t found a clear path, yet. Time is almost up.

So I stand, in fear, and take in my surroundings. Next I will decide what to do next, and then next. Right now, I stand.