Presidential Quality


I don’t need the nicest person, I want the most able to stop the bleeding and mend the wounds in our domestic and international relationships. I don’t want the Oval Office held hostage to someone’s temper. There have been enough tantrums. I want a president who is an adult, who expresses opinions and position without bloviating or hysterics.

I don’t want a revolution in all our systems, I want restoration of the middle-class and a true leveling of the field, for health care and education and entrepreneurship to be accessible for all who want them. I want options on how we can have these things, because we are not all alike in our goals, priorities, or perspectives.

I want billionaires to be more grateful for the country that made their fortunes possible, and to give back for the country’s well-being, not just their own. I want someone who can help them see this need, or, if they will not, to rewrite the rules they operate by.

I want true separation of religion and government, because combining them has always been disastrous. Religion is for spiritual health, Government is for temporal, material well-being. Religion works by faith and belief; Government works with science and by established physical understandings. Neither one can replace the other, and should never try.

I care about integrity, about willingness to learn, to listen, and to change positions if new information changes situations. I don’t care who’s gay, I don’t care who’s what gender, I don’t care who is of what religious background or skin color.

I want a peace-maker, a mediator, rather than a belligerant who looks for ways to dominate by military strength when other strategies will do what’s needed.

I want to see the Rule of Law and the distinctions of the branches of our government all back in their own boxes. I want the checks and balances restored. I want someone who can take on the thug in the White House, and make him available to civil and criminal law.

 I want a President who will champion the American people, and strive in the best interests of a community that is encouraged to share and create and celebrate their cultural origins. I want a President who is unafraid of the rest of the world. I want a President who is compassionate, who restores this nation as a refuge to people seeking freedom from oppression and fear.

I know these are great dreams, that no one is going to bring all these ideal qualities to the Presidency in the next election. But America has always supposed to have been about having hopes, dreaming dreams and striving to make them realities.

Power


Nature’s idea of justice is ‘natural selection.

So the Delusionary in the White House is willing to go with that. Which makes him pretty much a throw-back to his not-yet-human ancestors. The Rich Come First is the lowest kind of humanity. It is short-sighted, inward-looking, childish. “Good” is all about “Good/comfortable For Me Right Now.” Truth and Reality are obscured by wishful magical-thinking. His greatest delusion is that because he has the use of great sums of money, he is powerful, and because he is powerful, everything is his to command. 

Bullies equate fear with power, they weaponize your fears against you.
Their own lives are all about fear.

Having at the helm someone who has no concept of the long game, of how dominoes are lined up and what happens next, is a catastrophe for not just his own country, but the world, as the rock thrown into this pond will make global waves for years to come. His entire administration is infected with his own delusions about power and money, deliberately put in place to increase the flow of money to his allies and the people he wishes would like him and welcome him into their circles. He has no other priorities beyond his own interest, and so has been, by calculated mismanagement, dismantling all the superstructure and internal structure that holds up his pyramid of privilege.

Life is gonna be different for the next generations. C-19 is a thing, but so are water shortages, frackquakes, intensified storms, extreme heat waves, higher sea levels… situations we can live with, can adapt to, but can’t ignore. It’s crazy, even stupid to pretend otherwise, to not make preparations, to not design solutions we can live with.

Reality is that which, when you ignore it, doesn’t go away.

With forethought and action, the transitions that are coming can be made easier instead of all about panic and reaction. We can start now to move away from threatened shorelines, to design and build housing and infrastructure than can stand up to wild winds and floods.

The selfish, the frightened, the power- and money-hungry, like the poor, will always be with us. They are the children, the beginners in the great school of Life. But we can work towards a better balance between the savage and venal, and the humane. We can strive to be the adults, to take on the mantle of responsibility for those unable to rise to the need, even as we also continue to learn and rise.

True power is in acceptance of responsibility. 

From the Rocking Chair


For us old broads and geezers: We remember a time when the Gun War was not the norm, when evenings were lit by sunsets to dazzle eyes and hearts, not by the tiny flickers of vigil/protest candles clustering in the streets, when tears blur the lights and hearts are broken. We are still shocked by violence, never taking it for granted. We remember times of quiet, of contemplation, of attention free of cell phones, of constant connection, interruption, demand… We remember when conversations were spoken instead of typed, and when the rudiments of grammar, spelling, and punctuation were known and applied when we did indulge in the sensory gratification of the actual writing of an actual letter… We remember and sometimes miss things the Millennials have never known, really known, were ever a thing. And that’s why they think we are crazy: irrelevent out of step, out of the flow. They know only the rapids of life, never the quiet, meandering flow or the peace of the river moving along straight and quiet.

You foolish children, we are not crazy old broads and geezers: We are your Elders, and we know things. We don’t know your things, maybe, but we know things you will be needing as you make your way to this same old place, things you don’t yet imagine you need to know. We have the stories of where you began, where you came from. We have the memories of when we were not afraid of the things you fear now: We had other things to fear, but we also have the memories of surviving those things, out-lasting them, of out-lasting the fear. We remember when leaders led, and when law-makers compromised and knew something of respect for each other and for us whom they serve. We know values and beauties that are not of your world, not lately, not for a while, and maybe not for some time to come.

So, here we sit in our rockers in the shade, and we knit sweaters you will be embarrassed to wear, and we hold the wealth of our worlds, and we wait for the young who are wise enough to come and ask, to be quiet, to listen…

July 2016

Suffer the little children…


I’ve just watched something currently available on Amazon Prime:
THE WINDERMERE CHILDREN, and its companion documentary : THE WINDERMERE CHILDREN: IN THEIR OWN WORDS. The first is a dramatized account, the second is a documentary produced around the elderly survivors of the Nazi camps, who shared the Windermere experience.

In 1945, 300 children and youths who had recently been liberated from the Nazi extermination camps were brought to an estate on Lake Windermere in the Lakes District of England. They were brought to begin their recovery from the terrible conditions of their imprisonment. They had four months to make what healing they could.

Now, to our national disgrace, there are camps where immigrant children seized from their parents are being held in squalid, vicious and punishing conditions. Even when freed, some will never find their families again. Some will have no place to go. Some–most, it is safe and sad to say–will suffer PTSD and Complex PTSD the rest of their lives. But there is also hope for them, once they are liberated, because not all the world is cruel, mean-spirited, and insane with selfishness, and many will care about and contribute to their recovery. 

I encourage the watching of this, especially the young people who have no idea of the horror of the Nazi regime in Germany. The educational system in the US has terribly failed our children, to leave them so ignorant of history, so programmed by myths and obfuscations to believe in our national rightness, goodness and integrity. That’s what a lot of the fury in the US is about now, as we realize how cheated we’ve been by our own Authorities.

I likewise encourage you to take a hard and truthful look at how children are affected by political and social attitudes and assumptions in your nation. Take a long look at what kind of people are being molded into the adults of 10-20 years from now. Is ignorance, complacency and/or apathy the modern day foot-binding of your society’s children, the crippling of your society’s future? Would you have your own children treated in such ways?

MID SUMMER DREAMING


I have and remember the best dreams that come just before waking. 

This morning, I dreamed of planting a spiralling grove of ginkgo trees… starting at the center and spiralling outwards, adding a new sapling every year. I got to thinking how far apart they should go to have room to grow, though eventually, to grow side by side so close, they’d make a wall around a center. In the center, there would be a pond, spring-fed, and a place to sit in comfort. 

It would all be set in a low place among hills, protected from winds and lightnings. It would be a work of lifetimes, ever growing outward… From a distance, it would appear perhaps, a low mountain in the midst of the surrounding land.

Next time I sit to meditate, I will close my eyes, and go there.

I’ll walk the ginkgo spiral, however long it is,
leaving behind the commotion

and complaining of the world at large,
replacing uproar with the rustle of the leaves
stirred by warm and easy breezes,
and smell the dusty scent of the leaves…

At the center, finally, after however long a walk I need,
the ginkgos growing taller, closer pace by pace,
first a fence, then finally at the center a wall…
I will hear the gently moving waters in the pool…
feel the warmth of the air as I sit quietly,
and listen to the birds in the trees… no doubt doves!
And every now and then, a tui’s peculiar bubbling call… 

What would be your own quiet inner place? How does it feel? What scents and sounds are in it?

STAY ANGRY


Stay angry!
Not riotously,
weeping, screaming hate angry–
but soul-cleansing angry:
Keep burning with the inner fires
that burn away
the blockages and incursions
into your soul that living
in these Dysfunctional States of America
have enabled.
Stay angry,
stay determined,
stay encouraged!
Keep insisting
that what we have gotten used to as ‘normal’
is actually mortal disease
and pretty bandaids.

Blame us all for living
as we have lived,
not just them–
they are victims, too,
mistaught, mislead,
lied to all their lives.
Not yourself,
for tolerating the intolerable
for choosing uneasy peace
over open war.
Forgive us all,
we only wanted to live!

Let anger today
be cleansing, refining,
healing and redefining–
Let anger be love for truth,
love for the suffering,
love for your children’s better world
and for your Self,
turning your courage
to live in this world as it is,
into courage to challenge,
to change!

STAY ANGRY!

Death of The Myth


What’s happening in the US these days is the breakdown of the body of American myths– about where we came from, how we made our lives here, what we did and didn’t do to form this nation. Truth finally is being revealed and acknowledged.

Some have always known these truths, but most of America, brought up on myths and lies that made us look better than we ever were, were nested comfortably in the school-taught beliefs that we were the Good Guys, the Nice Guys.

This process of dissolution of the myths embedded in our belief-systems and minds is the first step to real and positive change. It is true for an individual, it is true for a community: Reality has to be recognized, has to be accepted for a person or a community to actually see the need for change and to inspire the will to change.

This season of challenges, from dealing with an administration that lies and manipulates beyond anything we’ve ever seen in this country, to pandemic, to the war against people of color by white supremacists breaking out of the shadows… We are finally coming to understand in greater and greater numbers that a nation built on myths is unsustainable: Reality is that which, when it’s ignored, does not go away. Reality is the iceberg in the path of the Titanic, it is the coal fire in the hold that no one knows about. We have been working without enough information, with mistaken beliefs, taking those stories we learned in school to be all we needed to know.

Reality is staring us down, forcing us to face the deep roots of how and why we came to where we are today.

I believe in America. I believe in the essential good will of normal Americans. I believe that intelligence and compassion and an innate sense of justice is stronger in most of us, than the need to find false comfort within the lies. Our sense of getting right with nature and each other and the divine, whatever we conceive that to be, is stronger than our fears.

We–the everyday Americans–have been tolerating the stresses and strains of trying to shape Reality to our fantasies, and we are waking to how life, our communities, our nation can be, if only we stop tolerating and own our power to create the world we actually want. We have reached the limits of tolerance of injustice because finally, we are understanding that what happens to others is also happening to us. What our community loses when some of its people are not given justice diminishes all of us.

The Powers That Be are finding that lies can only support illusory power. The High and Mighty are having to remember whose labor holds them up at the top of the pyramid.

This, of course, is not just true of the United States. It is true of every nation led by dictators who want to be gods, creating myths of reality for everyone within their grasp. There are too many of those in the world today.

The Cleansing Storm


 Change comes slowly, sometimes takes a couple of generations for a society to let go of an old and obsolete tradition. It takes time to get it that what was once a solution has become a problem. The stream of time flows placidly because we like it that way, undisturbed and undisturbing.

But sometimes a storm comes and stirs the waters, and floods the banks, and it is an opportunity for the old and settled to be stirred up and cleared of muck. For a while, the water runs clearer and only the weightiest of stones and the most deeply rooted plants remain.

We’re in the storm now, and some real things are clearer than ever, and the need for working with what’s real becomes not just necessary, but possible.

The Third Wish


I woke this morning from a dream in which I had been granted three wishes. 

The first was not too hard to come up with: perfect health! No more neuropathy, no more gout, no more weird-sightedness, no more diabetes! A body full of wellness, all the energy to go and do and dance!  And perfectly-balanced brain chemistry, too, so no more depression, no more dysthymic never-quite-happiness! Of course  there is also the ‘time to enjoy it’ codicil: I don’t want to live forever, but I don’t want to die as a means of escaping ill-health, either.  Yep, the first one was easy, though I am still working on the wording of it. 

The second wish… That would be my super-power wish. Once upon a time, it would be the ability to fly. Now, though, I would go for the ability to understand and speak all languages. Not just human languages–all means of communication used by birds and whales and elephants and… everything. For flying, with that perfectly healthy body, I could always get a jet-pack or something. 

The third wish…  I spent the rest of the dream trying to decide what that would be. Perpetual financial security? Or something about being welcomed, being liked and appreciated, being cherished…  But I wanted it to be something for or about other people. Then I thought about wishing for the ability to diminish fear.  But none of this could be wishing to infringe anyone else’s free will or free thinking or feeling. It could not be about taking away the karmic lessons someone else is here to learn from. Perhaps it should be the ability to give someone exactly the energies they need to deal with their own stuff. Actually, that sounds pretty good. Yes, I might go with that.

The problem with the three-wishes thing is that djinns and faeries and their ilk who offer such gifts–Well, they are tricksy! You have to ask very, very carefully to get what you want, because if you aren’t careful, those little agents of chaos will twist your request into something you really, really didn’t mean to ask for!  But your asking left the door a-jar…

So, what would your three wishes be? And how would you word them?

A SUMMER AFTERNOON


Heavy as hot wet flannel, every breath…
I hate to sit or move against
this August afternoon.
Sticky-damp, clothes cling,
a drag against ambition.

Birds, lethargic, dull,
sing only if they must,
fly ghostlike if at all 
through dusty drooping trees.
Cicadas ratchet on and on–
maddeningly constant;
mosquitoes whine
or strike unheard, the devils!

Roses overblown and bright,
relishing this tropic season,
exude aromas heavy and too sweet.
I languish, scowling, discontent 
and longing for the night–
for sleeping cool and waking
to a morning softly lit, a little chill–
a tease dispelled by ten o’clock.

A distant rolling grumble… Ah!
The thick and heavy air is stirring–
Ozone sharply breaks the roses’ hold
upon the atmosphere–
the light is strange and green and darkening,
and thunder rolls and rolls and rolls again,
bolder, growling ever nearer now…!
A little wraith pops up
where a raindrop slaps the dust
and lightning cracks!
across the canopy of cloud–
and down the deluge comes
drowning wraiths and dust,
silencing cicadas in mid-song,
washing mosquitoes from the air…
I stir, I go down from the house
with gratitude
to greet the storm and lift my face
to the blessing rain.

In half an hour, it is done:
birds exulting, flicker through
the clean and gleaming trees,
they lose the dust that dulled them
drink on the wing
and refresh their song;
cicadas scrape out again their noise;
the roses, freshened, lift their heads and buds,
bejeweled in crystal beads;
A beam of sunlight shoots from west to east
and mists rising, catch the glow…
The heat retires before
the evening coming on…

copyright August 2006, revised June 2020 by CLRedding




copyright August 2006, revised June 2020 by CLRedding