Stand Up


I’m realistically optimistic. This post won’t have millions of readers, it won’t have thousands and it probably won’t even have hundreds of readers. Of the one hundred or so people who subscribe to my blog in various ways, half will probably delete the link without opening. Of the fifty people who might read this, half of them won’t be moved by what I have to say and it will end up in the trash anyway. Of the couple dozen readers left, about half of you are my heroes or teachers or both and because this post will be similar to the choir preaching to the preacher I’m including you in the group I won’t be reaching.

In my realistic optimism, perhaps wild imagination, I write this post to the ten readers I have left.

I’ve waited until the last-minute because good intentions in June, July or August often turn out to be just that, good intentions or inaction when September rolls around. I say this because I know. I’m you. Today, I find a tiny part of myself working feverishly to find an excuse for me not to, even as I write this post asking you to take action.

In a few days, on Sunday, September 21st, in New York City, the People’s Climate March has mobilized millions of us to rally ahead of the United Nations summit on the climate crisis which begins September 23rd.

I live near by, going to the rally is relatively easy for me. I’d love to have you join me in New York City, but there are thousands of People’s Climate March actions planned worldwide, join your neighbors closer to home.

For those of you still reading, you can take action at the Corner of West Street and Route 7 or at the South End of Beach House Gardens, at Lower Plenty Scout Hall or the State Library of Victoria or Treasury Garden’s Pond, at Meyer’s Pier or Parc de la Mairie or Willingdon South Gravel Lot, in Goulmima or Marrakesh, at Marion Square or Piedmont Park, in Zadar or Zagreb, at Dáil Éireann or St. Stephen’s Green, in Columbia or St. Louis, at Praça da Matriz or Monumento dos Pescadores, in New Orléans or Miami, at Free Speech Wall or Vance Monument, in Ivybridge or Knaresborough, at Nathan Phillips Square or Whalley Park and in Sacramento or San José.

You get the idea. What a message we would send to those I’m sure are watching if hundreds of millions of us across the globe stand up on Sunday. Please, bring a friend or two and join us.

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I’m honored to share the words of a friend…


I’m honored to share the words of a friend who is caught in the collateral damage of alcohol abuse.

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There’s an Alien in My Basement

Shhhh! Don’t wake him. There’s an alien in my basement. He sleeps most days and parties most nights. He drinks too much and can’t hold down a job. But he’s in the basement. That’s where he will stay. It’s my little secret, only I can’t keep it quiet any longer so I thought I’d let you in, to the real true fiction of my life. He’s been down there twenty days, and it will likely take two hundred more before he decides to put down the bottle, before I decide to unbolt the door. He’s not a prisoner, just can’t come upstairs, he has all he needs in the basement down there. Refrigerator, microwave, couch and tv, bed to sleep in clothes to wear, a place to shower off the smelly stale beer, an office, his phone and computer, a desk. A pillow, blanket, sheets, for when he decides to rest. The washer and the dryer, my two most prized possessions, those we have to compromise on, that’s a difficult lesson.

I’m upstairs with three kids, playing single mom. I get up at 5am and go to bed just as dawn breaks forth the sky. It’s a crazy, whirlwind life of that I will not lie. The alien in my basement, I don’t know if he’ll survive. To really be quite honest, I’m past caring if he does. I even forgot how to miss him, or what his eyes quite look like. I know it sounds callous, and I hope you won’t judge me. But I’d rather he stay down there if he’s going to keep on drinking. There’s nothing safe about a man who drinks his life away, nothing right about a man who cusses people every day. Nothing loving about a man who hurts the ones he says he needs in his life, so the alien in my basement, well I wrote him out of mine. The kids don’t even ask for him, and he never asks for them. It’s sad to be quite real, that he doesn’t even consider them. He’s squandered a decade- from young maiden to old maid- left my heart in pieces, and I’m the one to blame. I put up too long, with things that shouldn’t be. The only person I can change, is the person I am to be.

So please don’t wake the alien. He’s quite a grouch these days. I am living freedom, up above his cave.

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The Polarization of Polar Vortex


Can any human have an idea that isn’t biased by a lifetime of accumulated experience?

When I read the comment thread of an article by Mark Fischetti trying to explain polar vortex in Scientific American this morning I got a sense of the lenses through which each writer saw their world. A sense, nothing specific, I in no way know any individual’s motivation but religion, education, economics build a lifetime of experiences any one of which seen from alternating perspective could weaken or reinforce any notion our brains contrive.

Climate change or global warming driven by human interaction with our planet seems perfectly reasonable to me but I don’t really care whether it is or isn’t because I see the issue of burning carbon through my eyes.

This energy that we’ve primarily used to fuel the change in our lifestyle over the past two-hundred or so years is our exploitation of a finite resource. Profit takers and those of us addicted to this inexpensive and relatively short-term form of energy show no regard and no remorse for the damage we’ve done to our own health and that of untold thousands of species that share this planet with us.

Water for three-hundred-thousand humans in West Virginia and the habitat of countless other organisms poisoned because we can’t process the coal we burn without a dangerous chemical that we can’t store properly because doing so would undermine profit taken by and increase the cost of our addiction to this form of energy is simply the most recent of thousands upon thousands of examples.

In my opinion burning carbon is only an example of human ego, laziness and selfishness. If not, and the eyes I’ve used to see this issue through my lifetime and to read that thread today certainly could be mistaken, why haven’t we all erred on the side of humility in our discussions of this issue for the past fifty years?

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What it means to me…


I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Because many of my friends keep other holidays this time of year, substitute any greeting you choose. Every culture has some sort of winter solstice celebration that acknowledges the yearly planning and preparation for difficult times ahead or the obvious symbol of rebirth as the days begin to increase in length. For thousands of years we’ve known how to survive on this planet, it’s in our hearts. Today and every day I pledge to keep that spirit of life and community alive.

 

It’s inside… faith.
It’s not about today… hope.
It’s everywhere… joy.

 

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I am; because of you


I’m aware of the power of words, yet I’m often struck by the force.

“In a more collective society we realize, from the inside, that our own well-being is deeply tied to the well-being of others; danger is shared, pain is shared, joy is shared, achievement is shared, houses are shared, food is shared.  Ubuntu asks us to open our hearts and share.  Boyd Varty

‘Ubuntu’
I am; because of you.

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Spirituality Has No Gender


Eliminate every tag but one, member.  Tree frog, amoeba, lion, stardust, everything that fights for life and everything else has a sacred place at the table.  We have the ability to create life in a test tube and if we haven’t already it’s coming soon in nanotechnology but the cosmos doesn’t care about human vs. hydrogen atom.  All are voting members.

I’m too proud, too clever.  Training, education, experience… I’m marvelous… just ask me I’ll tell you.

A little humility would do us all a universe of good.  We are nothing more than tiny little specs on a tiny little planet orbiting a tiny little star in a tiny little backwater of a tiny little galaxy that rockets through a vastness so grand and so full of other galaxies it defies imagination and the total of all our generations barely registers as an infinitesimal fraction of tick on spirituality’s stop watch.

We matter, though.  We’ve built something.  Every action we take and choice we make is supremely important to this experiment.  I think we should decide to make all of our tiny little steps towards compassion, consideration and inclusion because if we do, even if the universe doesn’t notice before it all goes up in a glorious supernova, we’ve accomplished something that will stand the tests of time and space.

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My take on appreciating various groups with diverse attributes…


My curiosity would love to believe that our entire existence is nothing more than one particle of a god being’s breath exhaled into infinity or that every human thought creates new realities.  In either explanation, when my spirit has finished exploring this reality there will be an unending menu of other verses for me to wander through.

The need for diversity seems to be a part of the stuff that builds us; we should be hard-wired to embrace it… instead we try to tame.  I understand that, I think… it’s the same principle that keeps putting the heart on the left side our chests; a bit of stability helps prevent havoc, but all is nothing worth mentioning without some chaos.  Life is a delicate balancing act.

If anyone believes their tiny spark on one speck of one of the god being’s breath molecules is the chosen, so be it… rejoice and be at peace in that wonderful bit of tupperware logic.  What I can’t understand, appreciate or approve of in any way, is that so many of those same people reject diversity in others when it is some element of their own that led them to that place.

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