Gratitude Sunday: Nag, Nag, Nag

Gratitude * Sunday

Quote of the Week – “If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.” Anita Roddick

Sunday Haiku
First nip of crisp air,
chrysanthemums bloom fiercely
against autumn’s threats.

Sunday Musings
Whatever happened to taking care of yourself first so you can take care of others while you are at your best? Many of us as individuals have internalized this concept because of the myth of self-sufficiency and we do the best we can to take care of ourselves and those we are responsible for because it feels good to work hard and take care of ourselves. As a country, however, America has failed to take care of itself and in many cases has dumped its problems on other nations. As a nation we even butt in and create other messes under the guise of helping, and it’s usually about an uglier thing called greed. Nobody’s perfect, but nationally we could use a little work.

Please note:****When I talk about America or Americans I am talking about residents of the United States of America. Certainly there are three full continents of Americas, geographically designated by physical position as we agree on the global concept of north, south, east, west, thusly named North, Central, and South, but no Canadian calls themselves American, nor do Guatemalans, Mexicans, or Brazilians call themselves Americans. I have never in my life heard anybody refer to a United States resident as a United Stater or Statian or Statan.****

Talking with an acquaintance recently about recycling, she said our garbage problem is because China won’t accept our plastic. Hwell. No. Why should China clean up America’s plastic? Do they make something out of the recycled plastics they can profit from? I’m sure we pay them to take our garbage, but they only have so much land just like us. It’s their right to say no. Why has America not worked to: A) make bio-degradable plastics (already possible with hemp oils); B) package fewer products in plastic (even worse, how many times have I found two or three layers of plastic around something?); or C) figure out ways to turn those discarded plastics into something else usable? I could learn more about plastics, and innovative re-uses of the material, and why those innovations aren’t being applied.

See what I did in that paragraph? I love punctuation so much I made a sentence with a question mark, an end parentheses, and a semicolon one right after the other in the middle of the sentence. I claim punctuation mistress; yes, gendered.

I digress.

America’s plastics are not China’s responsibilities.

Through incompetent American leadership, American farmers are losing their overseas agricultural markets. Ready for my tough questions? When did America become responsible for feeding the world and/or why are they dependent on foreign markets? Why are our main markets not right here in America? How many people in America are hungry or food insecure? Why are we trying to convince ourselves Big Agriculture is the solution, with their use of petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides that poison our earth and air and water, and trucking produce and products far from where they are produced resulting in greater fossil fuel consumption, instead of encouraging small farms that can feed their entire local community through sustainable agriculture? I probably need to study more about economics, marketing, and global trade. So much to learn, so much time.

When half of South America is on fire and weather world-wide is affected (one planet, one atmosphere) does America step up and help put the fire out? No, that’s when we discover we have insane leaders all over the world who are happy to interfere with each other’s governments and politics in the name of greed, and who would rather let our world burn and us with it. Do the billionaires who brag about their philanthropy step up and help put the fires out? No, that’s when we discover their money is more precious to them than having a safe and livable world for their great-grandchildren.

To get my mind off all the crazy stuff we do and don’t do, politically, globally, culturally, I try to focus my attention on personal projects, because my dwelling upon these thoughts makes me feel a little dizzy, a little crazy, or maybe that’s just part of aging. Between my five minute work windows and brain digression and simple distraction (oh, that’s shiny, where did I get that? Does it still fit? Fifteen layers later…) I can barely get a task done. I have been looking for a couple things I want to lay my hands on I know are here; there is only so many square feet and I know I’ve seen it in this house before, but I seem to find everything else. Then I have to make a decision about the everything else.

I remind myself there is at least one advantage to all this. I am never bored. There is simply too much to do, too much to think about, too much to organize, too much abundance, and not just in my own home. I have some control at home; I can choose to embrace my abundance or I can reduce or increase it. I am absolutely not in the increasing mode or mood right now, which makes these days of dizzying news cycles with insane twitter rants from the most ignorant uncaring person I’ve ever seen or heard and the persons who support and enable him all the more troubling.

I’ve lived through 11 presidents and 27 homes. I don’t ever want to move again, but I’m hoping I get to live through several more presidents after we get through this ugly blip in history. Nationally America might not ever be not crazy, but this particular level of crazy is unsustainable.

Enough of this week’s blather. I have my home, I have my abundance, I have quite comfortable natural air conditioning, I have mosquitoes, I have noisy neighbor children, and I get to call a little corner of the world mine despite my concerns for all of it. I’m grateful for all of it but I’d be more grateful for the mosquitoes if they didn’t like me.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – I don’t know this flower but I love its scarlet color and the bug visitor. I don’t know this flower either and I love the pointed leaves with the fluffy, creamy golden-centered blossoms. I don’t know bees, but this bee knows this echinacea flower. A pale lavender hosting another bee I don’t know. I know sunflowers are bright yellow lovely.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Picnic at Hanging Rock (2018, rated TV – 14), a six-part limited series with Natalie Dormer of Game of Thrones fame. This series and the 1975 movie before it are based on a true story from 1900 in Australia when four women went missing during a picnic to a landmark rock formation. Filmed on location, there are some lovely landscape views. I was particularly mesmerized by their use of camera work to indicate perception breaks, those strange foggy moments when reality doesn’t quite seem real, and this presentation is worth viewing merely for that element. * A Ghost Story (2017, rated R) is an odd excuse for a ghost story. I think it was meant to be arty, but the ghost is a man in a white sheet who relives his ghosty-life in a (to me) slow and tedious manner. And kudos to anybody who produces art of any kind, but I had to speed it up to time-and-a-half-speed so I wouldn’t fall asleep. Meh. * Ethel (2012, not rated), a documentary about Ethel Kennedy, widow of Robert F. Kennedy, produced by daughter Rory, the child who was born after Bob’s death. An insider’s view of such important history and worth every minute of viewing.

Currently ReadingThe Tattooist of Auschwitz (2018, a novelized version from a true story) by Heather Morris. I have been privileged to hear two other Holocaust survivors speak. I’ve touched them, seen their tattoos, held them in forever hugs after asking permission to touch; their stories are chilling. There were a couple points in this novelized version I had a tough time believing, but the oral history came from the mouth of an old man and I wasn’t there, either at the actual event nor at the re-telling. I tend to believe old people because I’m getting older, and I have some wacky stories to tell. The author’s skill was simplistic and occasionally hard to follow the timeline, but it was quickly endured, and I’m glad this story was told nonetheless. * Tidy the F*ck Up: The American Art of Organizing Your Sh*t (2019, home economics) by Messie Condo (pseudonym), a parody version from the dump your stuff camp. Part of the discard mantra includes the question “can the item be easily replaced?”. For people of poverty that answer is probably not, because there is no disposable income; instead we save stuff to have things when we need them because we are already paying for that space to store stuff. Some of us like our stuff, and some of us are messier than others.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • My abundance of stuff.
  • Discarding a big bag of stuff that didn’t make me happy anymore, that I will not use again ever, and don’t need to replace.
  • The ease of finding information and resources via internet, all hours day and night.
  • Random research.
  • Thinking.
  • Having the wit to do a little research on why my dishwasher is failing before I give up on it. It’s not like it’s 15 years old or anything.
  • The sound of kids playing outside (outside!) in the late summer evenings, getting in those last hours before school starts again. And how soothing the sound of crickets when dark falls.
  • A bright half moon surprising me, rising over my shoulder several nights this week as I write late at night, its tilted grin leering through my open door.
  • Some tasteless corn from the farmers market, one vendor down, so many others.
  • Some extremely ripe donut peaches with a handful of blackberries in a little cream. Oh, the flavors of summer!
  • A delightful box of mixed small tomatoes: red pear, orange and yellow sungolds, all so sweetly ripe I understand why they are fruits rather than veggies.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Politics, Work and Labor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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