Friday, September 27, 2013

I've been thinking about the sacred nature of relationships. Developed they are beautiful, it is wonderful to have someone who understands in some small way what makes you tick. To make a connection with another soul. It becomes a source of compelling strength; mind, body and spirit. A space where you know just what to expect from someone. As human beings we have the capacity to allow these relationships to be created, but they can be harmed. The tenure of the relationship will then change, no longer be the loving bond created. As a developing person, always reaching towards a better understanding of life, I can see so many areas where I need to improve. One of those areas is the delicate balance between relationships that needs to be created. Nurturing good friendships, weeding out what isn't working. Re-evaluating jealousy, seeing it for what it is, insecurity. There is a fine line to maintain when treading within the heart of another and when they are a part of your own heart. Once that has happened, change cannot come about quickly, lest you damage those bonds and permanence is the result of a temporary feeling.

There is a cycle of birth, rebirth within each soul. Birth and death. When I died, or more accurately as I lay in a state where I felt close to death, it was hard to imagine ever being full of life. It was a faint memory. I lay in tall grasses feeling light, looking towards my home, longing to have a chance to live.

I've been learning about the deep well of intuition in my soul. http://www.examiner.com/article/awakening-the-priestess-archetype 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dreams of Scotland

There's something in my bones that yearns to see Scotland, the ancestral home of my fathers family. It's funny how I seem to have a great affinity for people who's ancestors have also come from Scotland.

It's an aching for some piece of myself that was lost. Aching for tradition, history, passion. I don't know, perhaps it's silly since there's a larger percentage of Norwegian blood in me than Scottish. There's Irish blood in my line as well.

Perhaps I'm just tired of the austerity of the life that I live and I yearn for something greater than the circumstances that I find myself in.

Perhaps that is the very urge that drove my forefathers to leave their homelands, to traverse to this land. That urge to drive away, to seek a land of opportunity, to seek a place of refuge.

Yet I, the product of these many years of reaching towards the great American dream find that I am fettered by chains of poverty.

I'm taking as many steps towards freedom as I can. Learning skills that free me from dependence, financial dependence, health challenges (dependence upon drugs). To learning and striving and teaching my children as much as I can. I'm striving to break the bonds which hold me back from following my own path.

That's the point isn't it? To follow our own path, to find happiness, joy, fulfillment! Yet there are many, many people who never have that chance.

I count myself among one of the blessed to be able to reach, even in a small way, towards the things that bring fulfillment and happiness to my life.

Scotland will always call to me I believe. I will go, answer the call, walk the mysterious unknown pathways that await. As for now...

I am dreaming of that land.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Ramblings

Little Roo and I went up into the mountains with Darrin. We were going to go out and hike at Stewart Falls but halfway up Roo mentioned that she was hungry, opps. So we turned around and went to the little restaurant at Sundance. Roo got a cheese burger that was about as big as her head, I got one Sans bun... Darrin got a regular. I liked the atmosphere of the little restaurant, built like a wood cabin with rough cut wood floors, old fashioned tools hanging from the walls, old fashioned decor. Plus there's a little county store out front with some fairly good jewelry and neat things...

After we ate we strolled around the grounds, listening to the water running in the little stream, over rock bed and water fall. We found a little pond with a beautiful statue of a Native American arms stretched overhead in an act of supplication. There were fish in the pond and Roo was entertained by throwing little bits of bread into the water and letting them snatch at it. We walked around a bit more, Roo and I went up a rocky hill, she collected rocks... :)

After that we went down to Bridal Veil falls and hiked up the short road to the falls so Roo could see the waterfall.

I've gone through my blog, pulling out stuff that I hid, mostly because I feel I've moved past whatever was holding me hostage to not posting my thoughts.

I am feeling happier with my life, I feel that I'm able to make more of the decisions with my life and time. I feel that the puzzle I have been working on that is my life is starting to take shape... there are only little pieces to fill in, here and there.

I wish I had my own house, secluded with woods to explore, a garden to plant, a place to sit and read... for now I have an apartment/duplex, full of stuff, full of kids, full of life. The walls are all painted white, with touches of dirt here and there... well lived in. The carpets are beige downstairs and a hideous orange shag up... there are lots of signs of habitation on them as well. I wish it were cleaner... wish I had the time to really get things clean... but I work, so I don't have time... I have dollars flying here and there through the stores and into the kitchen and sometimes to the garbage... it's annoying when that happens. I have wonderfully mismatched chairs an an eclectic collection of print style paintings from here and there (Wal-Mart and Shopko). I collect cookbooks, which sit on the window sill and collect sunshine.

I'm going to take a couple of days off next week, it will be good... I hope I can get my home a bit cleaner and work on my ever lasting challenges.

I'm happier with life. Less often do I feel the need to "prove" myself... I know who I am.

I hope I can get out to exercise this week, Cross-Fit... hopefully go to a Yoga class as well. Would be nice.

As for now I wish you goodnight.

~SG
Who really knows another person? Really knows them, from their own perspective? I think it is an impossibility, because no matter how well you might think you know someone, the intricate patterns of their mind can shift and change.

How well, for instance, could someone interpret my silence, unless they knew my motivation for being silent. My motivation is often the fact that I don't know what to say at the moment, that thoughts have fled my mind, that I am preserving their ears from my sometimes quick judgments, or that I don't want to say what I should say... because then the closeness that I crave will go away.

I misinterpret just as often, but it is hard to know that you have misinterpreted someone elses words and motives.

Strength


Oh woman

the strength of days past

hope of resurrection

new life

Oh woman

walking the path to renewal

woman

renew

She walks alone

down the path of redemption

she walks with the elements

a flowing ember of life

life

minutely flowing throughout her blossoming body.

How fallow and cursed she feels as

Endless dramatics

fireworks

hot searing pain at the thought

the thought of renewing again

the quiet drama that has played out so many times

Can you feel my resignation, can I cease my trepidation. Can I joy at the thought of preservation?


How can I feel to rejoice?

When my hopes have risen so many times

on the tide of fancy

and been dashed against the stones of disappointment?

How can I feel to rejoice?

When by betrayal I am fed so many times

to the merciless lions

who claw restlessly at my heart

the very blood of life?

I have bled out my heart

time after time

a sorrow so deep and severe

so personally ridiculous

that I must hide

bleed alone

Would that I could cry

stand out in the open

in my insanity

to scream to the heavens

Enough!

It is enough!!

Why torment me so?

All a show of hysteria that is seldom understood

how far off is the mental ward?

Two lines, not one

I am preparing the shroud now

I should be happy, but I cannot be.
I haven't written much lately, I guess it's because my mind is so full of technical details that it is hard to pull myself out of them to focus on anything else.

The kids are growing, all off to school again, it is rather an odd feeling to have my oldest in middle school now. His school is right above the little high school that I went to after I had him. Driving him to school the other day was a surreal experience, I recalled driving with him as a baby, the anxieties that I had back then, the beliefs that I had about myself. It took courage just to show up to school, I was so depressed that it was difficult to pull myself out of bed in the morning. I remember thinking once that I really should do something for my son, wake up and do something, but I couldn't.

That was then,

Now each day is full of doing something for the kids, though I still feel the need to do more.

I think sometimes, that perhaps the past is a subject best dealt with and left alone, yet the past is what makes up the fiber of our being. The experiences that we've had are who we are, plus the choices we continually make, our desires, our likes.

I was philosophizing about life once (I know hard to believe init?) I thought of all of the things that make up our identity, where we live, what car we drive, the clothes that we wear. Can people rightly assume from those factors who you are? I realised that no, not completely, they could see the outward signs of my situation but not who I really am. My hopes, dreams, and potential are hidden.

If I could I would live in a beautiful Victorian style home, with antiques that I collected decorating the rooms; I would buy vintage clothing, just because I thought it was neat; I would have beautiful gardens planted with all sorts of beautiful plants and flowers; I would drive a powder blue VW Bug; I would wear nice clothing, though I wouldn't necessarily have a lot of it.

I can walk with dignity, even when walking in poverty, for I am not poor.
It is in solitude that I find the answers 

I have found you at last, over rivers, mountians, and the dessert vast. You were wandering among the empty hopes of my dreams, seraching for a way to make me see you.
Communication, silence, fraught with emotion both. Whisper to me of the serenity of hope, whisper to me of life and I will live when your arms encircle me, when your lips touch my own. You belong to me, here in my heart, you are a part of me. When you are in the room I can hear your presence as the person of hope and freedom that is waiting upon my life, waiting for me to notice.
What say thee, that trouble is brewing, troubled hearts?
Care thee not for the sorrows lain to rest?
Sorrows fully felt and dealt by the hands of capriciousness.
A heart once that broke, can never fully mend
but through the healing balm of a faithful friend.

The Problem of Too Much

(Ahh, more reflections... ;p)

We live in a day filled with information, information and stuff.

What happens to me, and a lot of people, is that with so much information and so many choices what to do with our time becomes a difficult question.

One of my goals is to get rid of the excess "stuff" hanging around my house. Getting rid of excess stuff is a really easy way to become more focused I think, plus getting rid of excess goals as well. :D

An interesting thing about my Grandparents home was that it was always clean and uncluttered, their house seemed to speak of simple elegance. I think that the main reason for this was my grandpa's unrelenting battle against clutter. He was always getting rid of stuff (to my disappointment though, he got rid of a really neat tee pee that I used to play with).

Of course, there were some area's that had accumulated things that we had to get rid of when they passed away, but on the whole their house was really a pleasure to be in.

In my last contemplative post I eschewed the idea of setting ever more goals, defining and refining them until they became succinct little goals that I could easily accomplish.

What is interesting to me is that people seemed to accomplish a lot more with their time so many years ago with out the "convenience's" of microwave ovens, computers, the Internet, television...

What did people do with their time? They took care of things that needed to be done, and then spent time talking to each other, singing, dancing, (unless you were of some religious sects) and living life.

Of course, I like the Internet, computers, (but not microwaves)... and a lot of the modern convenience's that we have. But I believe they can get in the way a lot of times. Plus they bring so much information into our lives that it can be hard to do anything but answer e-mails and sort out the news.

So what then to I suggest doing? Well I guess we have to be more ruthless in ridding ourselves of excess. Too much stuff, to much information, too many goals, too many expectations. Narrow things down and don't easily let new goals, stuff and expectations in.

It's all about balance isn't it?

:D

Perspective

My 7 year old boy Sione was coloring last night on the floor with Roxie (2 years old). He had laboriously been working on a cute little tree when suddenly Roxie came by and decided to "help" him by coloring a long purple line coming out of the tree.

He immediately started crying about it, "Roxie ruined my picture!" So I had to think fast... "No she didn't, she just added a rope swing," is what I replied.

Sione started laughing as he caught onto the idea "Yay!! Thanks Roxie!!" He shouted gleefully then went back to his picture.

It all depends on how you look at it.

Care

Not caring is a disease. If it runs rampant it can hurt a lot of people, I know someone right now who is making some very selfish choices and letting a lot of people down, I am very sad about it. It's something that affects me indirectly, I used to be very close to this person. This song (Concrete Angel by Martina McBride) reminds me of the situation, though this case is more about indirect abuse, not hitting but just as bad (not caring).

There has actually been a general trend of not caring in the world lately. On television it takes the form of comedy, where everything is mocked and there are no consequences, nobody cares.

Well I for one am trying to buck the trend. Thinking about this has made me even more aware of areas where I need to improve, I know I can in little ways. Like making more of an effort to get up with my children in the morning to make them breakfast, and to pay just a little bit more attention to them when they are talking to me.

I have noticed before that when I put just a little more effort into caring, then everyone is that much happier and my kids listen to me that much more (I think even leaps and bounds above the effort). So I need to do it...


A lot of things can be healed when you care.

Closet Beasties (Everyones Got Them)

Sorry guy's this is a complete family type of post... this is essentially the big drama in my life. I'm writing this mainly for my little sister.

There is a secret in my family, it's surreal, hard to tell and who would guess. Is it that bad? No... it is not that bad.

It has to do with abuse, and it goes back, back, back several generations and who knows where it started or where it will end.

Some of its alcoholism, addiction, leaving it's traces even after the alcohol has dried up and is not in the blood of the current abuser.

Grandpa carried around scars, scars from World War II, scars from his dad (I don't know).

Grandpa was a drinker, I've seen pictures of everyone sitting around drinking alcohol. Down stairs at my parents house (the house my Dad grew up in) is a room with red carpet and a pink elephant (a light switch cover) - a celebration of Spirits. He was also a smoker... he gave these up (as well as coffee) when he joined the LDS church, but the attitude still stayed.

He had a way, of being right. So right that whatever you have done wrong (even things out of your control sometimes) shows your complete lack of a brain, your sheer stupidity.

He had a way of being indifferent to your successes, a depressing attitude that stole your happiness away.

How do I know, because it is a niggling little beastie that lives inside my Dad and it rears its ugly head, right at the apex of some success or happiness that you want to feel good about.

Some of it's betrayal, betrayal that has left its scars and has left its dependant behavior behind.

My Grandpa (My moms Dad) left, he was a trucker and so not there a lot anyway. He left my Grandma with 9 kids and married another lady.

My mom and all of her brothers and sisters still have scars from this. They didn't see him much, but when they did he would line them all up and hit them with a belt... for anything that they "might" have done while he was gone. He too was a drinker, and a smoker.

My mom has not gotten over it. She has talked about all of the terrible things that have happened to her ever since I can remember. It effects her every day, it creates an enabling personality, it just makes me sad.

She's always been depressed, never really there. She's worked since I was about 5 or 6 so I was a latch key kid. She might think I blame her for working... that is not the problem. It was not being there when she was there, constantly reading a book (now listening to a book and she's always exercising).

I don't blame her!! She's a good person and I love her with my whole heart. I just wish that the gaping hole that leaves her vulnerable could somehow be filled so that she could fill our needs, her children.

I wish I could somehow pull out the healing balm of Gilead to fill up her wounds.

It has left a mark on me, as bad as a slap except the mark will not go away. It is lessening with time, as I talk with more positive people, but it is a silent saboteur of self confidence, of happiness. It messes with my mind at the most unexpected moments.

The sad thing is, who do you blame? It is a living entity this monster called abuse and I for one am trying to kill it. I am trying to be happy despite it all, I fight the battles with the self doubt monsters in my mind all the time.

I just wish they could be fought all around... one of the biggest talents in my family is "not" talking.

We can have congenial conversations about ridiculous things (sometimes really fun and a bit strange) but there is no substance to them. We do not deal with things, issues stand as silent gremlins on the table over Sunday dinner and we make jokes about selling cans of air, or nothing in a box.

I had a dream, when I was really little. I walked down the basement stairs at the home I lived in for the first four or so years of my life, the home my mother grew up in and which my aunt lives in now. They are steep stairs, with unfinished drywall sheets hanging for walls.

My Uncle Chip drew a devilish figure on one of the sheets at some point and this particular basement always freaked me out.

So when I got to the bottom of the stairs I found that there was hot lava everywhere, and you had to step on the stone path way to cross over to the other side (out the back door I guess, over to freedom).

This is a game I played with my cousins I suppose since their basement was always dirty with clothing and other things strewn from the bottom of the stairs to the back door, perfect for hopping on.

But in my dream it was literally Hot Lava. I remember trying to lead my family. But my parents went their own way, my older brother listened and went the right way and my younger brother Daniel sat down on a rock and wouldn't move.

No amount of cajoling, no present I offered would get him to move. The lava was closing in around me and I wept as I thought about leaving him behind. Then I woke up, my heart pounding, because I couldn't deal with it...

It freaked me out and I tried really hard, as in my dream to help Daniel. He has gotten the brunt of my Dads abuse over the years, especially our early years. Dad was really down right terrible sometimes, blamed Daniel for everything.

I tried to write Daniel letters, encourage him, poured my heart out to try and heal his wounds. But I gave that roll over to his wife when he got married, but he's ruined that... moved back home messing the family dynamics even more.

Now Dad has a more general spread of negativity. He usually sulks, not saying anything (but somehow conveying his disapproval). I know he's tried to work on it, but sometimes the negative, though usually "right," monster comes out (like I guess it did tonight... I gather from my sisters blog).

I think about this, I think... "it's not up to me to "save" everyone." But that is how I feel sometimes, how I felt in the past.

But I had to let go and move on because the hot lava will scorch me, ruin everything in my life if I stay on that rock.

I am just sad that my little sister (mainly, I guess my little brother Evan as well, though he's in Evan land I don't even know what he's doing most of the time), but my sister... man she's stuck there.

All of this... is what I had to deal with when I made a bad choice at 16, got married had a baby (then another), I put all this stress on my family. So I felt guilty about it, in the past... but I don't anymore, I can see the big picture now.

Even after saying all of this, I must say how much I love my Dad!! I love him!! He helps out other people all of the time, he helps and doesn't ask for anything in return, he is generally a great guy!! Just wish the mean little monster that hangs around with him would go away.

Daddy Dearest


Some of the first memories that I have of my daddy are of him raking leaf piles while I twirled around watching as the brown leaves fell from way up high down on top of my head and into my arms. I remember begging him to let me jump in the pile, then when I did he would dig me out again to tickle me.

Dad took the picture of me in the bucket (seen on my other blog, creatively written). I remember getting the bucket during my bath. I was thinking of the nursery Rhyme, "Rub a Dub, Dub, Three men in a Tub." Since I was taking a bath with my two brothers, I guess I thought I was one of the guy's. I was absolutely sure that the bucket would float in the bathtub, I was surprised when it didn't, Dad captured the moment for all posterity.

Also one of the first memories that I have of my Dad is the day that he broke my little broom stick. I was playing a game with my brothers, standing on a square of the living room floor that had been left uncarpeted, and Daniel (My little brother) was hitting my older brother with my broom stick. I was trying to stop him when Dad lost his temper, broke the broom stick and threw it down the stairs. I held a grudge about that one for a long time, even making him buy me a new broom stick years and years after it happened!!

We all went up with my Dad to Uncle Mo's house one day because Dad was thinking about buying Uncle Mo's big red van. I didn't like Uncle Mo's house too much because his house smelled like smoke.

They had a weird stone floor in part of the house (something like broken pieces of layered shale). Plus they had a plastic runner down their dark front hallway and off to the side of the front hall was a room with plastic covered furniture in it.

I remember that Uncle Mo had one of the first Apple computers, with a mouse even, in his study and Aunt Martha, his wife, had a gumball machine that was pretty neat.

Another weird thing about their house to me, was the circular glass table and round glass chairs in their dining room. Plus they had bar stools at the counter which were hard to climb up on. We would climb up there and huddle, while Aunt Martha tried to make us feel comfortable by offering us candy (only we had learned the lesson about not taking candy from strangers, and I didn't know them at the time, so...).

To get into the house you walk through their weird smelling garage, I still couldn't describe the smell to you, the closest I could come to is "Sickly Sweet."

Then you come to the foyer with the basement leading off to the right and the living room on up ahead. To me the scaryiest part of the house was there basement.

Walking down the linoleum steps into the basement, you decend into a dark gloomyness. The smell of stale smoke and metal is prevalant down there and if you glance into the first room that you come to you would be confronted with a bear head, it's glassy eyes stare at you and the bear seems to snarl at your discomfort. If you looked further you could see all sorts of other taxidermy hanging on the walls, the deer antlers and latter the elk head. All of this interspersed with mounted guns and western themed pictures.

One other thing about Uncle Mo's house was his dog Nipper, we were both fascinated and scared of him. He did live up to his name, yet he was also funny because he would bark at the television screen if it showed any horses. My Uncle called the horses Ol' Rosco, after his horse.

Anyway... Dad bought the old red van from Uncle Mo. Then he fixed it up with bench seats in the back and a table that could be lowered to form a bed. Then the whole kit and caboodle was covered in brown carpeting. This is the van that they used to move us to our new home after Grandma Dorsey died.

Dad has a funny habit, the couch seems to suck him in and he gets stuck there sometimes. Though he is a hard worker, he installs heating and air conditioning units around town (and sometimes out of state).

Dad used to bring us around to his job sites and we would entertain ourselves by walking around picking up screws and nails. It was really fascinating to walk around his job sites, through the framing of the walls, imagining what each room would be. Dad once added the copper plating to the spire of a new church that was being built, don't know how he ended up with the job.

Dad always had random screws and nails, hinges, bolts, and nuts. Odds and ends, bits of wire, pipes and other pieces of metal all a conglomerate of stuff that he kept in the basement and then later the shed that he laid out and built.

Dad was so perfectionistic when he built the shed. He got sand and leveled the whole thing and then laid brick using a level on each one. Then he built the shed with the metal pieces that the land lord sent over and he built shelving into the walls.

Dad liked to save random pieces of wood as well and he saved it behind the shed, thus spawning our imaginative wood working projects.

Dad built a little carpeted cat house, which the cats avoided, out of principle of course. Later on (when I brought one home) he built an interesting multi-level pigeon house, thus spawning a pigeon obsession that carries on today. (He has one lonely little bird and my mom doesn't want him to get more, poor daddy).

Dad would put up the swamp cooler every year and he would have us hold it while he fixed the wood to keep it in place. I remember the smell of the aspen filters as he filled them up with water.

He also likes to garden. I was mad at him when he cut out the grass to start a garden, because I liked the large lawn, but I soon grew to love his gardens. Over the years he competed with the neighbor, who was an Indian and always seemed to have things planted and growing way before dad did.

One year Dad decided that things were going to be different. So he got a large plastic garbage can and I found him outside mixing mud at midnight during the full moon. I went out there to tease him in his efforts as he plunged the shovel up and down in the mud. Yes sirree, that was the year he was going to beat out old Frank Talker. I don't recall if he really did beat him out.

Dad's gardens have been of varying success over the years. They were lined with square pieces of wood and there were about five of them placed strategically around the yard.

Actually there was one more, a little square garden full of mint, and lemon balm and other herbs. The mint and spearmint were the ones that usually dominated it though. That little garden was placed before the hole in the fence that we used to get into the back fields, "The Snake Pit," as we called it back there.

Dad is the one who would always bring up the guitar for our annual family reunion up in a little ghost town/resort town called Ophir. It was a boom town from way back when people went out looking to mine. Called Ophir after something in the bible, it has something to do with gold.

There is a mine shaft that we pass every year, they thought they had found gold, but they ended up being fooled by the fools gold!! There is also a crystal mine a bit further up that we went into one time, before the adults decided that it was too dangerous.

So Dad would always play his guitar, and one of our uncles would play his banjo. Everyone would sing old time songs and they would always try to get me to dance, which I was embarrassed to do, but did every once in a while.

Now for some reason, though Dad still brings his guitar, no one knows any of the old time songs. So it's not fun singing around the camp fire any more.

Dad used to take us fishing and hiking. Some how whenever we go somewhere with Dad we either get lost, or he likes to pretend that we are lost to freak us out.

He likes to do off the wall stuff to freak us out!! When I was about five or so, the lake was flooded almost up to the overpass on center street. Dad drove us over there to look at it, then for some crazy reason he decided to drive into it. The water started coming into the car and my brothers and I started screaming, imagining that fish were going to get in to bite our toes we picked up our feet onto the seat!!

He also likes to tell us stories. When ever we go anywhere with him he always seems to have met someone there, or he knows something about the area we are passing through.

Every memorial day we take the same route down to the cemetery and dad tells us about working at the railroad, loading sheet metal. If we drive to Arizona dad tells us about his LDS mission and living in Needles California.

Dad also likes to make up ridiculous songs out of nowhere. See if you can figure this one out...

"Oh the weather in Nebraski, is colder than Alaski, especially if you wear no clothes!!"

This sung with a sort of serious cowboy drawl. One of the many marvelous bits of insight that he randomly chooses to sing about.

Dad was a little rebellious when he was growing up. He used to ride a motorcycle, and he hung out with the hippies. He used to have his friends over and they would hold dance parties in the basement.

The floor down there is still black tile, with speckled bits of color throughout. He painted neon colors on the walls of his room in the basement and then used a black light to make it all stick out (my little brother does the same thing, he's a lot like Dad). We found a strange looking drawing on the wall when we took off the plaster to remodel, kind of evil looking, Muwahahaha!!

I think that he might have experimented with drugs at one time, though he's never outright said that he did, (maybe he just drank alcohol and smoked). He likes to tell us now about a couple that he knew that got into drugs and who wasted away and ended up dying young. It's a sad thing really.

He also likes to tell us all about his dog Rebel, how crazy he was. Or his dog Blue who would come home with porcupine needles in his nose, or he would get sprayed by skunks.

Dad also tells us about Cousin Eddy all the time, he says it just like that "Cousin Eddy and I..." I believe cousin Eddy was the star of the baseball team, played sports in high school, was a daredevil, I Dad looked up to Cousin Eddy.

Dad grew up in Orem, Orem had one main ditch running through the center of it and everyone up there had orchards and water rights. His parents, well actually Grandparents used to get there water from the ditch. The ditch is in fact still there and I think they run water along parts of it.

The house that my family owns up there used to be an underground house, then it was built upon later with red brick. There is a chute for the coal, and a room still filled with coal. Plus out by the front door is a metal pipe that they would fill with oil for the heater.

My Dad was the favorite uncle because he would do crazy things like taking us out driving, way before we could even get a permit. He would let us tool around in the parking lot of the church, or the stadium. Thus he was really popular with my cousins (for this and many other reasons, being that he is fun to tease).

Sometimes I miss driving places with my Dad, and listening to his funny stories. I miss the way that he would place his forehead on mine and look in my eyes, it always reminded me of a blue eyed owl. Plus he used to blink his eye lashes on mine. It always made me laugh!! Dad also used to run strands of my hair between his fingernails... now my little boy does it once in a while.

I don't miss my Dad's negative attitude, he sometimes brings it out and I hate it when he does it. Its a habit he picked up from Grandpa.

Yet I still love my silly, story telling, singing ol' Dad. (I forgot vitamin taking, he's always taken little packets of vitamins for as long as I can remember, and buy's large quantities of Ice Cream!!)

2006

We drove through the streets of the city, the kids running to put flyers on peoples homes, need concrete work?

We have done this before and it worked, people called, almost immediately. Now no one was calling.

After coming across house after house, with weeds in the yard, with signs "For Sale." The enthusiasm for our project started to wane. We started to send the kids out less... "Oh that one looks like they could use some concrete work..." yet we drive on, and on. Turning into an entire neighborhood of post-modern style homes in various stages of completion, the mood suddenly becomes somber.

As the light fades from the sky...

I tell the kids "this is significant, pay attention." They all become quiet, "do you know what inflation is?" They shake their heads no. "Well, if everyone has ten dollars to do things with and a loaf of bread costs one dollar

Taking responsibility

Why is this country, nay the world, in an economic crises? Why is it that we have so much abundance, yet so much sickness, poverty and suffering?

In general the religious answer is that people need to repent. If you are not generally religious it still makes sense that when people in general act in a dog, eat dog way and make poor choices, in fact the entire country gets to a point where people have no sense of personal responsibility along with a covetous and greedy attitude, it means trouble.

I was thinking about this today as I had two differing experiences. First of all I was in a wholeistic doctors office where the receptionist made a general comment about how enjoyable it was to work there because their clients were happy people. She said, “(you know), those people who take responsibility for their health take responsibility for their lives in other ways…” I tend to agree with that statement, it makes sense to me.

Then ironically, since I am frustrated by this next bit, I went to apply for government assistance with our utility bills.

Sitting in the government agency building where people come to apply for the food bank and utility assistance, the most prevalent sensation is that of grime. I used to bring hand sanitizer with me, when I would go to government offices because they somehow always end up seeming grimy to me. Then there is the prevalent smell of cigarette smoke, and generally the people sitting in government offices applying for assistance are people who have problems, self control problems, mental problems, weight problems, job problems, in the case of the immigrant families problems speaking English and discrimination. So I was thinking about something while looking around at the smokers, the druggies, the large and the small, the immigrants. Each of us had gotten there through the use of decisions and consequences in our lives, and I certainly didn’t feel any inclination to feel like I was above the others because I too was sitting in a government office applying for assistance with my utilities. I too had made decisions that brought me to that point. I too had to live with the consequences.

Am I different? Yes my choices have been different, but I have also failed in big way’s and in small. This world is hard to navigate, it is hard to fully see the consequence of our behavior. I think that it is fair to say that even if there is not a God, though I believe in God, that the things that have traditionally been considered “sins” per say are the very things that lead to the negative consequences that we are dealing with.

Greed, avarice, indulgence, sexual promiscuousness, alcohol, smoking, laziness, idleness (same thing), all of the traditional vices are the logical objects of blame for the situation that we are in. For if people are not willing to take personal responsibility, then there is no way to regulate the effects on other people and for that matter the world.

What gets to me about the attitude of my siblings (older brother excepting) is that they think that nullism is funny, and this is the attitude that is fed our children regularly and generally through the television. I can see the appeal of it, entertainment wise, but it is sending the wrong message. Really what is funny about idiocy, of self indulgence and permissiveness? Not much when it leads to a nation of overweight, self indulgent, people who cannot be trusted to accept responsibility for the decisions that they make. It is not funny, in essence we are making ourselves slaves of convenience, and I argue almost anything that is made for “convenience” sake, i.e. plastic bags, paper plates, fast food, t.v. dinners, self stable milk… it is all going to lead to the un-thoughtful consequence of ruining lives.
It makes me think about the thoughtful peoples of the earth, those people who used to be in charge, who respected themselves and the earth. Like the American Indians, indigenous peoples. They cared, they used everything that they were given, the whole buffalo as it were and they did not disrespect the earth and animals in general. Maybe that is one of the currents that runs through our people and country because now that I think of it there have always been lawless people who would go around killing buffalo, wolves etc. just for the heck of it. I guess that the streak has had its way with us, and now we have the difficult consequences to deal with, everyone does.

What can we do? I guess the only thing is to take a look at what we consider to be funny, what we allow ourselves to do, and gauge how much respect that we have towards ourselves, the earth and others. Then taking action to change and rid ourselves of the vices that have brought us to this point. Responsibility, that’s the answer.

Who is in control?

It is interesting to me as I learn more about real food (why do I even need to do this?) That there are a lot of people out there who theorize that we are being controled. By the Fed, Big Pharma (pharmacutical companies), the Government. If their case is true then who is in control? Who is planning the poor quality of our food (and addictive nature), which in turn leads us to poor health (and the ubiquitous drug commercials), which in turn leads us to apathy, which leads us to ignorance.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that there is not a connection, there definantly is. I grew up in a home filled with American style reasoning, cooking and methods. My mom worked, we ate junk food at all times (I am not refering soley to potato chips and candy which were ubiquitous enough, I am refering to the negligible nutritional quality of cereals, boxed dinners and canned vegetables). The television was on all of the time, and we never sat down and had conversations about the world, politics or things of importance. So I grew up with the idea (and I find this attitude to be everywhere) that there is nothing wrong with our food. If you eat too much you get fat, vegetables are generally good for you but you don't need them if you take a vitamin. Plus if you want to lose weight eating all veggies will do it (and that a vegetarian diet with little to no fat is good for you). I also had the idea that if you got sick it was because germs and viruses had invaded your body and that science just hadn't found the answer yet (ie drug) to end our bouts of illness. (Most people that read this if raised in America will not find the irony in these statements).

It and is such an inorganic, clinical view. Since this view is so pervasive it is easy to write off people with a different opinion as radical.

I have heard it said that all of the great dictatorships and regimes were able to maintain control as long as the people were kept in ignorance. Well I can tell you this, I have recieved a Bachelors Degree in Accounting, yet I still feel very uneducated. I can tell you from experience that I felt more like the teachers wanted me to regurgitate the book or information that they gave me and were not interested in real learning, too bad, life would have been a lot more interesting if my classes had been more like a hands on learning experience then an endless recicitation of abstract facts.

I feel cheated somehow, yet I know that real learning comes from the learners willingness to explore their subject. In fact I learned more in Accounting 1010 then any of the other classes on the subject because I got a copy of an old accounting textbook and read it through.

So now that I am off of my rant on how uneducated I feel, which I am attempting to remedy by reading a lot more, I will get back to my original rant about who is in charge. Like I said historically "the masses" have been and are controled through ignorance. Yet it was relatively easy to point out who was in charge, now it is not quite as easy. Is there some kind of corporate conspiracy, where they get together and decide to introduce addictive substances into our foods, or drugs that control our minds, or who decide who should be the next president? How scary is that idea?

I am inclined to think though that the USA is a product of a general mindset that we have had throughout our history of "New" and more "Innovative" ways of thinking and that we lost the conventional wisdom of our ancestors in the process.

Conspiracy theories are unnerving, they might be right, they might be wrong. I find them not to be very productive.

I would rather work towards a better life, for me and my family by trying to avoid as much as possible the cycle of poor eating, ill health, doctors visits and government dependance.

That's all for now.

~Strawberry Girl