An Editorial on the Current State of Affairs, by Bea Garth, copyright 2009
Here it is right after September 11–eight years since the attack on the twin towers in NYC. It is good to see that some people are using this as a time to heal, plant gardens and respect the dead. I agree, all this needs to be done, should be done.
However I believe what really needs healing is our hearts and our focus as a country. We need to put aside vengeance. It serves no one except for those who would pervert and use the driving spirit of our country for their own gain. Instead real issues like global warming and encouraging a real economy should be addressed–instead of being sidelined as they are now once again (wow kids, we will eliminate 17% of new vehicle gas emissions by 2020!!).
The World Environmental Clock is ticking. Will humanity step up and deal with our mistakes before calamity strikes–or will it take a good whipping by Mother Nature to put us back in line? (Methinks the latter is in the offing somehow…). Even a current Newsweek editorial suggests that capitalism is caught in the narrow pursuit of money and thus cannot resolve the global warming issue. Instead of using governmental resources to deal with climate change or focusing on creating a more responsibly run economy (rather than just propping up the banks that got us into this mess to begin with) — our government has chosen to use its increasingly limited resources to get re-involved in Afghanistan — that small rugged country the U.S. bombed back into even further primitivity eight years ago.
It certainly didn’t win America any friends to then shoot the war over to Iraq, while the war in Afghanistan continued to smolder. Going back to hit Afghanistan hard again hardly addresses the issue of the need to stimulate real jobs and investments that are actually of constructive use. For instance we could be using that money to correct many of our environmental woes, not to speak of giving Middle America the loans it needs to get their businesses and jobs to stay afloat. But no, the old tried and true formula is brought out again like the old tired floozie it is. Is anyone really interested in pursuing war in Afghanistan again except the military industrial complex?
From bad to worse to bad again — while meanwhile the American government (with Bush and now Obama) seems incapable of actually dealing with the real issues: rampant, unadulterated greed wreaking our economy — now bolstered up by a whole lot of manufactured paper money which then is likely to pull the plug hole on the dollar; and of course the state of the world climate and ecology going down another hole. Which undertow will be worse? Is anyone taking any bets?
This reminds me of the books by Huxley and Orwell: Brave New World and the infamous 1984. Like Brave New World, everyone seems plugged in to their pleasure devices–now called I-pods and infinite DVD selections while so many Americans have fastidiously forgotten how to live their own lives — or, as in 1984, we let our collective anger at our increasingly limited economic and intellectual options as a people be diverted by yet another war.
While meanwhile on the Hill, America’s “fearless” (new) “leader” is taking us on another diversionary nose dive. With what you might ask? Of course. How could anyone miss it? The whole Universal Health Care Coverage issue is being prepared to not only preserve but to bolster the interests of the Insurance Companies. Wow, how impressive! The poor insurance companies really need help since so many people now “don’t bother” to get health insurance given how expensive it is–as if most have a choice! Now, if all goes according to plan, Americans will have to get Health Insurance whether they can afford it or not. Say, how does that work? (Not to mention that the whole issue of Prevention being entirely avoided…) And what was that bit about health care being too expensive due to the excesses of the insurance companies in cahoots with the big corporate hospitals and pharmaceuticals?
I hear even Mexico has a better universal health care system than what is being pushed onto us by Mr. Obama and co. I sincerely doubt Mr. Obama is ever going to get real. Honestly to me it seems like it is at least a semi-tragedy since so many people put their hopes and dreams on the line for him. All I can say is that both the New Age and the Left better wake up and realize they have to take care of business for themselves since “Our Hero” isn’t likely to change his spots anytime soon…
Like Clinton, Obama calls himself a New Democrat, folks!! Apart from his inspiring rhetoric and charmingly elegant demeanor, Obama’s actions broadcast that while he may seem to talk Left he acts Right. Bottom line, he seems unwilling to go to battle against the Right in almost every issue that has come up thus far, including his beloved Universal Health Care Plan. He is all too quick to compromise the guts out of it. It is clear that with that attitude there will be no single payer system for health insurance in America under the Obama administration. Instead it will be Universal Insurance For The Insurance Companies!!–at a time when the U.S. economy can least afford it.
Give it another two or three years and the people of this country will come face to face with the reality that the American dollar won’t be worth using for toilet paper. There is only so much puffing up that can be done before a spark makes it explode! Ditto with the karmic “appreciation” of other countries for their demonization and maltreatment at the hands of Uncle Sam.
Americans seem like a herd of buffalo headed for a cliff. Once over, let’s hope enough of the herd survives to make a few positive, grounded changes wherein the old ways of greed and ignorant egotism will no longer do. It is my strong belief that Americans and all World Citizens need to embrace the earth and their humanity while at the same time honoring their individuality and the fruits of their ingenuity and labor. How difficult is that? We either change or become extinct like the Wild Ox!
Meanwhile, all I can say is, keep up all the good work Obama and co.!! The Bushies are no doubt chortling on the sidelines while America thunders towards its Destiny!
Do any of us want to look and see what is starting to happen overseas to the dollar?? Ouch! It seems several countries just met in Yekaterinburg: Russia, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrghyzstan and Uzbekistan, with observer status for Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia for trade discussions. The so-called BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China – may no longer want to play. The hegemony of the U.S. dollar is now extremely vulnerable due to the interplay of the bond market and increasing reluctance of foreign central banks to accumulate more dollar reserves.
This is a big deal. U.S. bonds replaced the gold standard since the early seventies. The U.S. is used to dominating the economic plate without having to tighten our belt like the IMF has insisted others do. Now those others want some of their own back. They are starting to plan to create their own trade with each other with local rather than US dollars–behind closed doors (i.e., no U.S. financial representatives or IMF types allowed).
It seems the BRIC nations are worried that the U.S. doesn’t have the resources to back all those trillions of dollars that are being furiously printed to back our bank etc. bailouts and expensive war economy. They don’t want to be forced to keep backing what are becoming increasingly less valued U.S. bonds!
While the above story has largely been ignored, the general press has instead focused on the frenzied electoral situation in Iran.
Whereas much of the press and various governmental officials have lead us to believe the Iranian presidential election was rigged, I read elsewhere that this is likely false. Two award winning independent pollsters who were in Iran collecting information just before the election indicated the Iranian election would turn out just as it did. Its one thing to not like Mr. Ahmadinejad and its another to say his re-election was illegitimate. And certainly up through the election a majority of Iranians did seem to like him.
Middle East pollsters, Ken Ballen of the nonprofit Center for Public Opinion and Patrick Doherty of the nonprofit New America Foundation, describe their poll of the Iranian election in an op ed piece in the June 15 Washington Post:
“Many experts are claiming that the margin of victory of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the result of fraud or manipulation, but our nationwide public opinion survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin — greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday’s election…”
The poll, conducted in Farsi, was funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Ballen and Doherty often work for ABC News and the BBC in the Middle East.
Black Ops scare me; like many I would like to think our government is not still up to its dirty tricks. However part of me can’t help but agree with those that think some branch of the US government is likely to have had a hand in creating electoral distress in Iran — as well as helping to manipulate the news in America and Britain.
Nevertheless officially at least the Obama administration seems to be trying to stay neutral while the political situation in Iran is spiraling beyond anyone’s control. Now its a question of appropriate human response as that country reels from governmental violence perpetrated against the protestors. Whether they won the election or not, the protestors are winning the hearts of their fellow Iranians who, as the above pollsters Ballen and Doherty found, want free elections and a free media as a priority whether they supported one candidate or the other.
The danger is the US making use of this situation to create fodder for intervention, thus furthering the old Bush agenda. Of course reason says that the one thing our economy doesn’t need is yet another arena for war. But when has reason shifted the powers that be to do the right thing?
Fortunately so far the Obama administration does appear to be unwilling to take sides in this developing situation in Iran. Though with Bush’s cronies still running much of the war effort in neighboring Iraq (now spread more fully into Afghanistan plus Pakistan), it gives one pause.
Meanwhile the drive to continue funding the spiraling war at the cost of trillions of dollars while the fabric of our real economy languishes sorrowfully does not encourage me to think the best of our current administration. Greed left over from the Bush era and a desire not to rock the boat in the Obama camp seem to be heading us towards a dismal economic future. For those who thought Obama might by himself do more to bypass it, think again. He might want to, however he doesn’t seem to know how. He seems to want to please too many people to be able to do it effectively. Further it is my observation that his Achilles heal is that he may be too easily deceived by whomever he surrounds himself with.
To make real progress radical changes to our system would have to be made; and radical does not seem to be where the Obama administration is at. It may well boil down to historical forces making “we the people” take action, despite our collective reluctance so far to do so. The change train seems inevitably coming towards us whether we want it or not. No one leader is going to save us.
Already those forces of change may be inspiring the struggle in Iran. Something beyond who actually won that election seems to be bursting forth. The question of freedom and respect and right action towards the electorate seems to be on the plate in one of the oldest and most authoritarian countries in the world.
Meanwhile as said before, the forces of change are making countries like China and Brazil think about going off the dollar when trading with each other simply to protect their own interests; a maneuver more of us may eventually have to take — much as some communities are doing in hard hit areas of America’s North-East.
As more countries and communities do this, of course, the change train will come barreling in even faster. But what choice do any of us really have but to flow with the needs of the times? War mongerers will continue to try to stave off those changes, but it is a dying absurdist act against the inevitable.
It is a truism that times of great change bring great suffering; it seems it can’t be avoided — however unfortunately. Nevertheless with spirit, humility, self awareness and a desire to help each other we can learn to use these difficult times as an opportunity to transform and co-create a more intelligent and beautiful stewardship of the world.
Posted in blog commentary by Bea Garth, social and political commentary by Bea Garth | Tagged art and poetry, economy, editorial essay, election in Iran, notes from the editor, social and political commentary by Bea Garth, Thursday Gig | 4 Comments
There was a video that circulated a couple of years ago — Robert Newman’s History of Oil, which claimed that in 1971, OPEC decreed that oil anywhere in the world could only be bought or sold in U.S. Dollars. In 2000, Iraq announced it would start trading oil in Euros instead of dollars, and Iran, North Korea and Venezuela offered to follow through. It has been said this is the real reason for the war in Iraq, to punish them for even thinking this. But, as it happened, America may have only forestalled the inevitable, breaking our bank in war spending before the BRIC currency transition totally wipes us out.
So, Bea, there have been other voices out there saying what you’re saying. But how is it that the US Press doesn’t whisper a word of this?
When I watched the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, among my many observations was that America had become a profoundly bi-polar society. Like the Morlocks and the Elois in the distant future of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, America has separated into a class of Warriors dedicated to protecting us, and a class of Artists dedicated to enriching us. A meta-contract has been made; you provide Beauty and Vision for us, and we make it safe for you. Only now when suddenly the protective barrier around America was breached, the Artistic Eloi class suddenly confronted a hyped-up and exaggerated global nihilism that scared the shit right out of our little tushies. So we ran to the Morlock Warrior class, not noticing that somehow they had allowed the breach to happen in the first place, and we BEGGED them to make us safe again.
Bea, you’re the astrologer, not me, but I read a long time ago, maybe in the Mountain Astrologer, that America born under the sign of Cancer the Crab on the Fourth of Joo-lye, embodies that potential split between the Warriors and the Artists: the crab is soft and juicy on the inside, and protected by a tough exoskeleton on the outside. Is it true, that Cancer contains the potential of polarizing its creative and protective elements? Because it sure seems to me that that is exactly what America has done. And where I made an inner pledge, on watching the WTC building burn on NHK news, to integrate and de-polarize the Creative with the Martial, most Americans have gone the other way, it seems to me, betraying the creative and spiritual for the sake of American security.
So I agree with the prophets of EOS. The delicate balance of the American Crab has been sundered. The impervious exoskeleton has been breached, and its a long way down. But this is an opportunity for us to reintegrate ourselves, for each of us to take the pledge and become both warriors and artists, and become something new, something that was only a potential since the days of our founding; to be a nation of Warrior-Artist Crabs.
here’s the URL for Robert Newman’s History of Oil. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5267640865741878159
Hmm–Hi Erik! looks like I really need to hook up my sound system again to appreciate the video link–will do when I have a moment!!
I can’t comment on HG Wells’ vision though certainly there is some correspondence between the so called artistic class and say the common person which, as Graeme Jones calls it, is representative the Inner Self and the warrior class or the elite owning class, also as GJ calls it, representative of the Egoic Self.. GJ says looks at Marx and Jung and even Schiller for a clearer view.
The US has a Sun in Cancer square Saturn in Libra. Thus we as a nation can be all sentimental on the one hand and royal alienated assholes on the other; but interesting assholes since we are constantly remaking ourselves in a continuing quest of trying to figure out who we really are. The thing is, we have to decide if that quest will go towards the light or towards destruction, confusion and darkness.
The gist of it as I see it is that an economic and political meltdown is inevitable. Obama can only do so much and seems to not have that actually in reality be much despite his fine speeches. He is in the words of his own staff a “raging minimalist” who talks big but actually acts and asks for too little. This might be OK in a different time situation but now we need acting big since our problems as a nation and as part of the world economy and stewards of planetary health etc. are huge. A president now must be willing to piss some people off, especially the powers that be, but that is not something Obama seems to know how to do. Look at the recent Harpers magazine article on Obama as Hoover for more illumination.
Ironically I think the meltdown actually might save our asses in the long run. It may be the only way to get people off their collective asses for instance. Thing is to not let the “powers that be” become so totally fascist we can’t organize and learn to help one another. But it will be a close call. Thus what links we can make now with each other really do count. Being human in a good way is really IT as far as I see it despite all our individual imperfections.
I agree with you that interior work is essential. One needs to deal with one’s demons so one can deal with the eventual probability of having to deal with outside demonic forces. I say this without being a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or whatever denominational faith though I do believe in a higher power of which we all are a part.
In my view I agree with Graeme (and the daunting Astrological aspects for the next 15 plus years) that this upcoming period of time will likely be hard but not impossible. We will be challenged big time but we can as a race (called Humanity) do it if we have the will.
This will be in many ways like just before the French Revolution eventually, so gird your loins! and do deal with those inner demons to make yourself strong. And, if you can, learn to become more and more gracefully and effectively interconnected with ourselves and each other and what it is that makes us human rather than just money and meaningless work machines.
I just read in Salon.com that there’s a whole sub-culture of Christian conspiracy theorists who have been saying that a “One-World Currency” is a prerequisite for the End of Days. I’m sure I’d read about this years ago in “The Late Great Planet Earth.” A lot of that book’s ideas of the Anti-Christ’s One-World Order were pretty bogus– it attacked John Lennon for his song “Imagine” (about the only writer who ever did!) as a blueprint for the One-World Order. And I think this book was pretty much the basis for the Right’s antipathy to the United Nations. But the Christian fundies never complained about the WTO or GAFF or NAFTA or any other global conglomerate that has more power than nations. I never understood that.
Anyway the Christian Conspiracy Theorists (CCT?) are apparently equating BRIC with the Anti Christ. They’re also aligned with 9/11 Truth. I can’t take it!
Read: The Craziest Thing You’ll Ever Read! by Alex Koppleman, http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2009/07/06/speidi_jones/index.html
Yeah well, Erik, we already have a one world currency–the dollar! The problem is that the dollar may drop as a result of a whole variety of reasons, including and especially greed creating a host of problems for its future (as in over-inflating very few real assets as was done with the housing market) . The very likely hood is that the dollar will drop in value in any kind of real whole world sense.
The fundamentalist Christian theorists/promoters you mention really don’t seem to understand much of anything about politics and economics very clearly in my opinion. Its like going under-water on some kind of drug trip, for the most part everything seems sideways and askew.
These fundamentalists seem to be very conservative at core, so its no wonder they won’t take a crack at anything that benefits making big money by the corporates. They seem to want to preserve their chance at the money game too. So much for spirituality or objectivity, eh? Unfortunately too many of them also go on a fear trip, though they aren’t the only ones.
I am pretty certain that if Christ were alive today he would take a very different view of our current economic and political situation–and probably would be thrown out of many churches these days–esp. Christian fundamentalist ones.
by Bea Garth, copyright 2008
Just thought I’d put in my two cents today. Saw this brief report on PBS. Apparently there is a New York Times article that has revealed that the Bush administration has made a policy of manufacturing the news by handpicking ex generals and such to feed us whatever line the administration deems appropriate. This is supposed to be against various anti-propaganda laws first set up in the 1920’s.
Of course PBS only barely covered the story; although they could say they did report it unlike the other major news outlets on TV. However, the McNeil/Lehrer Report on PBS implied the government was just doing its job; they didn’t seem interested in looking at the dark side of all this and kept interrupting the reporter from the New York Times. However it was clear to the New York Times reporter (as well as to the observant viewer) that without creating and orchestrating propaganda as the Bush administration did with its hand picked so-called “objective expert commentators” falsely influencing public opinion its unlikely we would have gone to war in Iraq.
This in turn gets me to thinking about how exactly do we create public opinion these days? It seems we as a people have allowed ourselves to be overly influenced by the so called experts trotted out on our news programs. But who are they?
The days of independent journalism seems to have passed. Managed corporate news has taken its place. In my observation the news folks and the so called government experts have been in cahoots to not present us with the real news since the first Gulf War in the early 1990’s. I remember back then it being up for debate as to whether it was OK or not to have this more “managed news” that in effect was like propaganda. It was decided back then that it was OK–so instead of pictures of the war we had briefings. The implication was that if they freely reported the news as they did back in the Vietnam era there would be more protests of government policy — which was deemed both “bad” and avoidable. This is not the old USSR folks! I believe this was right around the old “fall of communism” period of time by the way.
Since then the public has not demanded a change. We have accepted this sanitized version of the news as some kind of “reality” instead of realizing we have actually co-opted Reality.
Reagan had already helped give the final boot by raising the postal rate for small journals. Now in addition we have fewer and fewer independent radio stations not to speak of newspapers and television stations. All large conglomerate or monopoly owned.
Our country was after all founded by its tradition of an informed public by its free press. Its right there in the Constitution for a reason folks. Thankfully the Internet Blog forum is starting to take the place of the now mostly defunct independent journals that flourished until twenty or thirty years ago depending on how you look at it. And certainly the various blogs have made a difference. Though again is it too little too late or not? More has to be done to make it more contextual and real. I certainly hope that this idea of true political change will sweep in in a positive way. With that too we need that change to extend into our news organs. Somehow we need to reinvent ourselves into being a more discerning people again or some could say for the first time.
It is in my opinion also our job as artists, writers, healers and thinkers to help create this change too. We cannot ignore what is going on in the world around us. We after all help create the interior space where the need for change is reflected first in this and all cultures throughout time. We have a connection with our wisdom body that others may lack through our more direct connection with the emotional body, the earth and the soul. At times the responsibility of this can seem overwhelming; but if we take it on one bit at a time it does it does help make a difference — by creating more space in “inner space.” Plus keeping a close eye on what all is going on!
Posted in social and political commentary by Bea Garth | 1 Comment
For me, I can’t live with the pure negative feelings of it all. I recommend finding your political heroes, showing your support for them to others, simultaneously instilling a sense of hope in that “inner space”.
by Bea Garth, copyright 2008
I was just listening to Charlie Rose. He had T.R. Reid on who has written an important book about health care. He has examined health care systems in other developed countries and compared their systems to that in America.
As he tells it, despite our health care system being one of the most expensive in the world it is also one of the least accessible (i.e. not affordable) to the public. In France, England, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and even Canada etc. no one goes bankrupt due to financial losses from hospital costs etc. In many cases one isn’t even charged. Paying for good health care in other developed countries has become a non-issue.
We often get the impression that our doctors are better, however it apparently isn’t true. They just get paid better, as do the insurance companies — at our expense.
I personally think that fear of what might happen to one when one is old and sick or if one might have a freak accident or disease, motivates many Americans to be more conservative and fearful of rocking the boat than they might otherwise be. I believe our health care system as it is, is one more factor that erodes our basic freedoms as a people. It often makes us duck our heads and just attend to our own business since many of us are afraid, if we don’t, we might endanger our jobs and thus our ability to pay for health care — not to speak of food, clothing, transportation and shelter. This in the “land of the free”!
The whole health care fiasco in this country reminds me of what happened in California when the public utilities were privatized. We were promised how much more efficient and motivated the producers of energy would be and thus how through the market we would end up with lower energy costs. Instead what we got was a cartel of businesses in effect — where we the consumers got shafted and the producers charged whatever they felt they could get away with.
Now we have a medical system that charges whatever it feels like it can get away with. Thus far we the poor public are at their mercy since health is such a basic need for everyone–and yet our government has no system that watches the costs of the doctors, drug suppliers or the insurance companies.
I saw a segment on the popular television program 60 Minutes roughly a month ago about a charity medical association called Remote Area Medical (R.A.M). The were originally were designed to go into remote areas like the Amazon Jungle. But now 60% of their time is spent going to various cities and rural areas here in America since the need here is so great. At this one stop in Knoxville, Tenn., they treated 970 people, but had to turn 400 more away since R.A.M. only had so much time and resources to give. They operate on a shoestring budget of $250,000 a year. Amazingly, last year they treated 17,000 patients despite their low budget.
Some potential clients at the Knoxville site had driven two or more hours to get medical attention — and faced being turned away. This crisis we now have with our medical system would never be tolerated in other developed countries! It would be considered a high scandal rather than just another regrettable but interesting incident about “life in America” reported on 60 Minutes.
I certainly hope that our new president, whomever he or she will be, can finally get us on the road to a better health care system like what they have in Europe, Japan or Canada.
Given everything else going down, I just hope it is not too little too late!
by Bea Garth
It’s hot. This morning it was still hot. Yesterday it was over 103 degrees here in the generally cool Los Gatos Hills not to speak of 101 degrees in San Jose.
I stopped at the cul-de-sac I manage in San Jose and Olivia told me this evening there is going to be a neighborhood street fair with a movie of Marilyn Monroe’s called “Some Like It Hot.” I may go there with a friend tonight if I am not still working on my ceramic sculpture and its not too unbearably hot.
I made sure I cooled off the studio last night. It was like an oven despite it being under trees and near a creek at the bottom of a hill. I opened a couple of windows and ran the fan all night and closed the windows this morning. And yes thankfully it had cooled down. I walked up the hill from the studio to the house and it seemed like it was at least 2:00 PM despite it being only 10:00 AM. I came up and closed the garage door and all the windows in my apartment and upstairs in my mother’s house. Fortunately I remembered to water the new garden last night before going out.
I plan to go for a swim pretty soon in our rustic pool. Just yesterday my 93 year old mother put in more pool shock. It was part of my campaign to get her to do something since otherwise she just sits even though she actually is very strong. We only had one bag left. I hope it was enough. The water was starting to turn green.
Heat. My brain fries. Yesterday I could hardly think. My head hurt and everything was miserable and blurry.
My eldest sister has a fever. I am letting her stay in my extra bedroom since she did not get along with our mother upstairs. I figured she needed a quiet place to heal with no stress and no trace glutens. She keeps drinking water like a parched fish. Her blood has an infection the doctors have as yet to determine what. She won’t take antibiotics until she knows. She is even more sensitive to drugs and foods than I am; this is my “marsy” sister that should have been an army sergeant. She has a heat rash over her whole body. She is so uncomfortable she wears no clothes. I bought bag balm to rub on her skin since she is allergic to everything else.
I remain considerate in spite of her hot, acerbic personality. Nevertheless I make a point of standing up for myself. This is my space after all. She is my guest and I make sure she behaves, like not bake her chicken in the middle of the day like she did yesterday ignoring the 103 degree weather!!
Nevertheless we somehow get along. Both of us want to not suffer needlessly. We have similar health concerns and have both transformed ourselves for the better overall despite the family trance that suggests its better to ignore our extreme celiac (i.e., no gluten) needs and other allergens and instead fit in with the conventional world. It helps to have an ally in her — and she thanks me for cluing her in on what all was actually going on concerning the celiac since her doctors did not help. I just have to get her to see that paying attention to emotions is important too if you want to get along. As it is, both of her (now adult) children have become further estranged from her plus she has difficulty doing business with others without alienating them with her frequent caustic comments.
Today despite the continued heat I feel OK. I just learned tomorrow may cool off. The heat reminds me nevertheless that I liked living in the desert. Just takes three days usually to really make the adjustment. I was born in the desert after all up in Walla Walla, Washington near the Columbia River.
Nothing seems regular or normal weather-wise here in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are having the beginning of a drought. Everything is overly dry. The woods here are one big tinderbox. I worry about all those dead Oak trees adding to the fuel. We need to do some drastic trimming back before its too late. But it is hard since there are over twenty acres and much benign neglect. Last year Lexington reservoir was down to being just mud practically. This year it should be even worse since once again we had very little rain this past winter.
Already there have been several fires in the Santa Cruz area (over the low mountains half an hour away). Smokey skies are becoming a way of life. Thankfully I have my air purifier.
I drove by a fire just last week on my way in to San Jose from Los Gatos. The flames were at least ten feet high if not higher next to the freeway near the Camden exit on Highway 17. Fortunately it was along a green strip with the Los Gatos Creek stopping it from crossing over to the homes on the other side. The sky quickly became filled with soot and the fading sun was bright orange through the hazy gray air.
Extremes abound even though here it is not as bad as elsewhere. In the Midwest there are all those floods and storms. The fiasco called Katrina seems not to be just some fluke. Some say that all this extreme weather is part of “Global Warming.” I don’t doubt it. The world is out of balance. It is our job to rectify it in our own lives as well as influence public policy.
On further reading of the news I discover that McCain wants to put in roughly 46 new atomic reactors in the U.S.A. as a way to stop increased Global warming. It would be pretty funny if it weren’t so tragic. The irony of his wanting to attack Iran for doing one fiftieth of this sort of activity cannot escape the discerning eye. I notice Bush is trying to make an ally of Russia to further his position against Iran. I pray we don’t have another meaningless war.
It makes me recall the infamous Green Run and how the US government experimented on the local population up in Eastern Washington by doing several releases or radioactive materials into the atmosphere from Hanford Nuclear Power Plant just to see what would happen to us back in the early 1950’s. This happened to me and my family since we were living in Walla Walla at the time. We didn’t move away to Bothell near Seattle until the end of the summer in 1952. I refuse to believe that nuclear reactors are safe and have no impact on our environment.
The sun itself of course is like a humongous reactor—one we get life from or become parched by or cooled off too much if our atmosphere becomes blocked from the sun’s rays — like what happened in the old Ice Age. Recently they discovered why—it was due to a titanic volcanic eruption in Indonesia that was so large its ash caused the weather to drop globally by at least 10 degrees for several hundred years. Many species died. Nature at this scale continues to amaze me. We are so intertwined in balance (or out of balance) with everything else. It stands in fact as a warning.
Our bodies themselves are formed by so much water carried about in our bag-like skin stretched over the armature of our skeleton. Its no wonder it takes a lot to adjust to heat and that we are so sensitive to it. Or that heat (or the absence of it) is so much a part of our mythology. We need to make good use of its signs. If we pay attention, it can become a forge in which we can purify our souls as we learn how to heal the planet. Taking heed of the signs and taking action is a much better plan than doing nothing like the poor dinosaurs who were unable to adjust to changing conditions except for a few lizards and birds who were tiny enough to survive.
Meanwhile my sister’s fever has finally gone down. It has been nearly a week. Maybe she won’t need antibiotics after all! I hear her moaning in the bathroom from the shock of entering a cool bath. Its hot today, but somehow we will survive.
Here it is spring at long last. The beginning of May; the reminder of promise. So many things seem more possible now despite it having been muggy and over-caste with no shadows earlier today (or should I say yesterday?).
The weather has been yo yo-ing around. Hot/cold, hot/cold. This after a very warm day on Thursday helping to clear excess live and scrub oak and elderberry branches from around my mother’s rustic pool here in the woods above Los Gatos, CA. My body spoke today; do nothing! I was so tired. Despite the fact there were at least two events I really wanted to go to with friends I wanted to see. Am hoping tomorrow on Saturday I will be on “go” again and still have time to apologize to a couple of friends as well as focus on my sculpture.
As it was today (Friday) and tonight instead of going out I vegged and poked around and made myself an interesting new dish — a pizza using “sotta” as a base — a bread made from chickpea flour. Worked out pretty well actually. But then I ate too much of course since it was so good and I just had me, the computer and some sci fi on TV to entertain myself with. I was not energetic enough to do the dishes not to mention be creative. Now hours later I just had some papaya with nonfat yogurt and feel better–especially after a talk with an old poet friend late tonight.
He was telling me how he is going to quit poetry and start skateboarding again at age sixty one. Ha! I say. No way is he quitting; he is just reinventing himself, allowing himself to breathe without attachment. Its great though that finally he wants to be more active. Just hope he doesn’t hurt himself. He has made his little house into a kind of prison it seems at times. Mind you a prison filled with beautiful poetry and music but still a prison since he rarely gets out except to go to work. This is never good for great lengths of time and plain dangerous as one ages.
For myself I am hopeful this spring. Life is getting better overall despite having been ill February and March. Despite it also taking a while to gather my energy in April, I now have three new sculptures I am working on — a large diptych plaque wall piece and a couple of paintings in the works–as well as a slab sculptural piece I am perfecting and will dry out slowly very shortly.
I think of my friend and see what he is doing. Perhaps for me it is somewhat similar. I am not ready to commit to anything or anyone right now but my art plus finishing a remodel of a cottage I am in charge of. This is new for me since in the past it seems I was always WITH some guy. And now I realize it may be causing some chagrin with my friend since I am pretty certain he’d like me to commit to him. But that really isn’t possible. I do love him but not as a partner–just as a friend and comrade. Our personal habits are just too dissimilar. It would take about a week (if that) and we’d be through.
In some ways I too feel like a young adult rather than someone approaching sixty. I am trying out my individuality after all. Part of it is rough since I really am used to being with someone. The loneliness can be daunting and sometimes rather mind numbing. But now I am learning that is what friends are for–to reach out to. But then with friends I am not bound to them by some unwindable thread as I was with my Special Someone I always had even if that someone changed from time to time through the years. I am now tired of the drama and the judgments and the coddling of temperments getting in the way of my creative time. Life is difficult enough after all.
Meanwhile too by dating and visiting or chatting on the phone rather than committing it seems I am learning more about people as well as about myself than I did in the past. It really is very interesting actually. I have no idea how long this will last but here it is for now–a breath of fresh air to explore this new springtime of my life where soon I will be fifty-nine.
Note: image above is called “Girl Under the Tree” by Bea Garth, copyright 2005