clearskies, bluewater

Insights, reflections and creative imaginings for our awakening world


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WTF is going on?!?

Clearly there is a whole lot of chaos happening in our world at the moment. For whatever reasons (you can come to your own conclusions), the shock and awe value of our current moment in history cannot be overestimated. But. Today I received an email that I simply must share with whoever might be reading this blog post (see https://popularresistance.org/blog/):

“As you know from what we have been writing and posting recently, the United States has been escalating its aggression towards North Korea. This week, President Trump has taken serious steps towards an attack on North Korea and we are very concerned that it will happen unless we intervene now. Today he had lunch with members of the United Nations Security Council where he urged stronger sanctions against North Korea. This Wednesday, he is bringing all one hundred senators, without their staff, to meet with generals at the White House. The USS Vinson, a nuclear-armed aircraft carrier, is on its way to North Korea with a strike force and two Japanese destroyers.
We urge you to take action now to tell your Senators to oppose an attack on North Korea:
Click here to sign an email petition to your senators.

  • Use the Capitol Switchboard at 202 224 3121 to call your senators today and tell them that we want peace with North Korea. Negotiate with President Kim Jong-un. Stop US military exercises on the North Korean border.
  • Join us to protest at the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, April 26 at 2 pm while the senators are there. Click here for more information. 3.
  • If you can’t make it to Washington, DC, please organize an action at your senate offices this week and let us know about it so we can share the details. Contact info@popularresistance.org.
  • President Trump has already demonstrated through the Tomahawk Missile attack on Syria and the bomb dropped in Afghanistan that he is more than willing to use force. His recent rhetoric towards North Korea has been very inflammatory, calling it a problem that has to be dealt with. And it is possible that the war hawks want to create instability in the Koreas prior to the May election in South Korea to replace the recently-impeached President who was a close ally of the US. The current front runner in South Korea is less supportive of the US’ missile defense system (THAAD) that we are building against the people’s will. The President of North Korea has been acting in response to US military exercises on its border that simulate nuclear attacks and assassination campaigns. President Kim Jong-un has said that he is willing to stop testing missiles if the US stops its military exercises. We urge the US and North Korea to negotiate, not escalate. Take action now. ”

Dear Readers, I am sure I am not alone in feeling the strain of the past months since the United States government changed leadership, that is proving more dangerous and disastrous than we could have imagined. The assaults on citizens’ rights, human services, the environment, science itself and ultimately Humanity worldwide, have left many of us dumbfounded and outraged. I seriously wonder if a greater lunatic has ever been unleashed upon the planet than is happening right now (although he has had some serious competition for the title, I will admit).

Another World

How far is too far? Will we collectively allow this lunatic-sociopath and his cohorts to commit nuclear war on our Earth, after we have already learned those horrific lessons 72 years ago? Are we so collectively brainwashed and amnesiafied that we cannot raise our voices loudly enough to get through to the power elite to STOP THIS MADNESS NOW?

I am trying, truly I am, to stay calm and to breathe through each day’s concerning, troubling, and increasingly worrisome news. I am doing everything in my power to add love and peace into the energy quotient of our sleepy and distracted world. But the news of the past couple of weeks, and now this imminent threat to not only the civilians of North Korea, but to the world itself, is simply too much. This lunatic must be stopped. Reason must be restored. Love and compassion must become the standards by which political action is judged. It is high time for some serious consciousness-raising, worldwide.

So please, everyone, speak up!! Call your senators and your congresspeople. Add your name to petitions, carry signs and march in the rain, talk about what is going on in the United States with your friends, your family, your neighbors, your co-workers. We can no longer afford the luxury of being uninvolved in creating peace on Earth. Yes, be loving, be kind, be joyful, meditate and hug trees. AND, speak up about the issues. Let your voice be loud and wide. If ever there was a time to take action, Now is it.

 


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Change, awe, disgust and disillusionment

(Warning: this post will be a rant, so if you are feeling light and happy and wish to stay that way, don’t bother reading this one. Thanks for your understanding, Leigh)

In the space of the past twelve hours, my emotional soulstate has run the gamut from peaceful, strong and grounded, to disappointed, bored, anxious, resentful, sad, angry, doubtful, curious, frustrated, and even nauseated, and now simply grounded and resigned. Quite a boatload for one day in the life. Are you feeling alright?

If I had a magic wand or superpowers to change this world, I would not hesitate. Everybody would be in for quite a surprise after my rework of this third dimensional world was complete. The first thing I would do, I think, is to obliterate television and all the industry that feeds it while being fed by it. What a disgusting monster it is. It works to portray the absolute basest and worst of human nature while also drawing people into its poison trap. But no, that is only a small sidebar of what I need to rant on tonight, dear Readers.

Paramahansa Yogananda, the great Indian guru who came to the United States during the early 20th century to help raise human consciousness, once said (I am paraphrasing), “This world is like a terrible horror movie. All the people sitting in the audience don’t know that it is only a movie, and so as they watch it they are believing it is real. But the best thing to do is to get to the beam. Get to the light, for it is only a play. What is Real is the light of God.” His words are absolutely true, and more important than ever.

What is real, and where is the beam in 2016? Nearly everywhere I look I see disillusionment, despair, disappointment, disaster and people trying in various ways to cope. Self medication is popular through the use of tobacco, recreational drugs and alcohol, gluttony, and caffeine. Many use electronic devices to distract. There are hundreds and thousands of ways to check out of this world for a minute or a lifetime. Yet for most of us, sooner or later we once again must come back to the basic nature of our life, and we find what? One of the great mysteries, ourselves.

It takes real audacity to live on this planet now, and to do it well, yes, superpowers. I mean this not metaphorically as much as literally. To stay sane and sober in the middle of it all takes creating some super powerful energy from within to develop ways to cope and smile and be compassionate.

Four weeks into my job as a cheese clerk at my local supermarket and I can barely stomach being there. It’s a Great American supermarket, full of just about every kind of food imaginable that’s available in this country. It’s bright, shiny, colorful and packed with foods and merchandise of every description. And it’s all on offer, every single day and night for one’s shopping convenience. All you need is money, honey.

Each shift that I work provides me with yet another opportunity to see how much food gets thrown out for the flimsiest of reasons. To be fair, my store donates a considerable amount of unsellable food to the food pantries, and so helps people to get a myriad of free groceries when they go for their allotment. But. So much more perfectly good food gets tossed into the garbage compactor or industrial compost bin even as people are sleeping on the streets of this town, cold, hungry and about as low as one can get in their station in life. Why can’t any of this food be given to the homeless?

As I am sure many of you know, Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is gathering a lot of momentum now. Following the trail on facebook each day, it is obvious that the Occupy Wall Street movement has devoted itself to getting Bernie into the White House this autumn. He is the Everyman’s Hero, a regular guy who is honest, cannot be bought, has been playing the game of Washington politics for a very long time, and he’s rallying the troops big time. He’s calling out Wall Street and the “billionaire class” for their crimes against humanity, he’s taking names and he’s intent upon dealing with the criminals in the way that so many of us would like: throwing them the hell out of their cushy seats of power and sending them to jail with no bond. Bernie is making all kinds of promises about what he will do to right all the wrongs done to Americans by those evil billionaires when elected. And it sounds so good, and I want to believe it could happen so very much.

Then I catch myself. Our American political system is at the point of being so corrupted, so full of arrogance, greed, self-interest, blasphemy and idiocy, that I honestly do not know how it can really be fixed. It really needs a complete and real dismantling and starting over again. Ben Franklin said it: About every 200 years, governments need a revolution and a new plan. That is where we are now.

Thomas Jefferson engraving after painting by Rembrandt Peale.

Today I saw a video made by a couple of scientists who were in the Arctic in November and filmed a gigantic chunk of glacier ice calving, or splitting apart and crashing into the sea. They said the size of the piece that broke off was around the size of lower Manhattan, except the walls of ice were more than twice as high as the skyscrapers. Watching the short clip was utterly awe-inspiring. Before my eyes, the ice that has made up the top of our earth for thousands of years was deconstructing itself. I do not doubt that it won’t be too much longer before all of the Arctic has melted completely. Then our world will look considerably different than it does today.

http://www.upworthy.com/the-longest-and-probably-largest-proof-of-our-current-climate-catastrophe-ever-caught-on-camera

The buds on some of the big trees in the park near my home are getting fat. It is the last day of January, I am writing from Denver, Colorado. What we used to think was normal, for example, trees budding in late April and blooming beginning of May, is quickly becoming a history lesson for the young. So much of nature is having to adapt to new patterns of growth and decay, or else will probably not make it into the earth’s future. Animals and humans as well. I envision a future where it will be virtually impossible to tell if the creature next to you on the street or in the commuter train is natural or a human constructed android of some kind or other. The science fiction authors are closer to the truth than we can really know.

I admit it freely: this future is not one that I want to live in. Not At All. I know I am an old-fashioned person with peculiar ideas, but living on a world that no longer differentiates between what is natural (meaning not messed with by man) and what has been created in a laboratory somewhere, where no one understands much of anything about the substances they ingest, including what passes for food, and where people are so disconnected from each other and themselves that they can no longer acknowledge another’s presence, is a world that I refuse to be a part of any longer. Sorry, but the game is over for me at that point. And it seems like it is fast approaching, already here.

Send me the map, give me the plan, help me to find the way. The way out of this madness that passes for our world, our common life, and into some nice bubble world where the people are kind, where society doesn’t undermine one’s efforts to simply live in peace, and where things are still Real. Does such a place exist in time and space? I don’t know the answer to that. But I surely want to believe that it does. Over the rainbow, perhaps. On another world. Maybe in another universe even. Tonight, I am ready to have them beam me aboard.

Here’s a quote I found by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Thanks for the encouragement! Pinkola_Estes_discouragequote

 


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Tell It Like It Is

At the start of this new year, 2016, the world is looking messier and more chaotic than ever before.

In nearly every arena, from political to economic to cultural to environmental, people are behaving badly, with cruel and barbaric actions the norm for far too many humans on Earth. How much longer will we collectively tolerate such inhumanity on this planet? Why do we keep allowing it to play out this way? What can we do to turn this boat around, if anything?

As I look around at the industrialized world (both in the larger world via various internet sites and my own small, personal world), a few things feel crystal clear. One, the vast majority of people remain committed first and foremost to their own small world of themselves, their families, friends, pets, and work. This accounts for (I am guessing) about 90% of their thoughts, feelings and actions in the world. The other 9% seems to be divided into leisure activities such as drinking and eating, sex, shopping, and entertainment. For those few humans who have 1% of their thoughts, feelings and time free, the ideas of charity, do-gooding and saving the world belong here. Hence the state of our planet currently.

Perhaps this completely unscientific analysis seems rather harsh or unfair to you, dear Readers. After all, the people who read this blog are those few and rare individuals who probably spend considerably more than the average person’s amount of time and resources on doing good in and for this world. For that, I can only simply say, Thank You. But tonight, after seeing too much news, mainstream television (about 5 minutes is too much for me), and listening to ‘regular folks’ talking during the past week at my new job (as cheesemonger for my local grocery store), this is what I have surmised: few, if any, care about anything other than themselves and their own lives.

This is not the first time I have felt discouraged about the state of humanity, obviously. But at this moment at the beginning of this new year, this knowledge saddens me more than I can express. Even the simplest actions, such as recycling metal cans or glass bottles, fails to register as even mildly possible to do for far, far too many people. Sometimes I feel pretty hopeful about the future of this planet and its humans, even contemplating the idea that one fine day we will wake up as a collective and realize that killing each other and destroying our home, Gaia, is senseless and an utter waste, and we will stop it. Then I remember. People can’t even figure out how to set a can in a recycle bin, how are they possibly going to find out how to live with each other and the planet in a non-harmful way?

My big fascination right now is following all the folks who are grassroots organizing for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. In the past month, thousands of people across the United States have sprung into action to help get him the Democratic nomination. It has been very inspiring for me to see what seems like many people actually rally around this humble man, as he bravely and tirelessly tells us all where it is really at in this country, and why it seriously needs changing. The word he and his followers is using is one that is at the heart of what the United States was founded upon: REVOLUTION. It is a word that some people (the ones who have had an iron grip on this country for far too long) are deathly afraid of, and will probably stop at nothing to prevent from happening. And yet:

Stop it they cannot, for the time has come, things have coalesced to the point in time and space where The People (at least some of them) are standing up and shouting, with Bernie Sanders as their leader: NO MORE BULLSHIT. WE WANT CHANGE IN OUR GOVERNMENT THIS YEAR. EQUALITY. LIBERTY. JUSTICE. INTEGRITY. HONESTY. WE WANT OUR ELECTED GOVERNMENT TO WORK FOR US, HERE AND NOW. WE ARE MAD AS HELL AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE.

SANDERS_Bostonrally

Americans are pinning their hopes on Bernie for president in this year’s election.

Words and rants similar to these were used during the American Revolutionary War. Those were also some dark and painful days in the history of the United States, and hope seemed dim against huge, nearly insurmountable odds. Yet the Americans eventually won that war against the English king and government. Some of the most beautiful words ever written were used as the foundation of the new constitution. And now, 240 years later, it is time to declare them again, just as vehemently: Give Us Liberty or Give Us Death!

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, Bernie-WEderiving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” The United States Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

 


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Beyond unbelievably bad news for Earth

It is nearly the middle of the year 2015. In fact, today’s number date, written in European style, is 15-05-15. An auspicious date. In a telling year, in the early years of the 21st century, planet Earth.

The news across the world is bad. There seems to be no other way to express it: the news is bad and getting worse by the day. For anyone who is even vaguely following the reports about the environment, things really seem to be going from one unbelievably bad idea to the next. Today I read this article, regarding plans for a giganticly huge coal mining operation to begin in Queensland, Australia in 2017. The article, which ran in the Guardian, states,

“Massive mining operations are looking to plunder a gigantic new coal frontier in the Galilee Basin. There are 247,000 sq km (95,400 sq miles) of coal: a land mass the size of Britain….if the complex is fully developed, greenhouse gas emissions from the burned coal would top 700m tonnes a year, bringing irreversible climate change ever closer.

Were the Galilee Basin a country, it would be the seventh largest contributor of carbon dioxide in the world, just behind Germany.

“”This level of mining would devastate this land beyond recognition. It would destroy any sense of connection to the land. We are afraid of being wiped out completely.” Adrian Burragubba (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2015/may/15/carbon-bomb-australia-the-new-coal-frontier)

And this story is just the latest in a huge series of connected stories from around the planet; connected in their common denominator of yet more, huger, uglier and more devastating environmental pillage. The Obama administration approved Shell Oil’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic this summer, with utter disregard for the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of human beings’ absolute opposition to this atrocity. Tonight I barely have words to describe the degree of incredulousness I feel regarding what is happening to our precious home, Earth. It is inconceivable that human beings living here could be so very eager and willing to destroy our planet. Completely. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, once these plans by the fossil fuel companies are in full swing, will simply destroy life on Earth, and probably sooner than later.

 

How can we, The People of Earth, allow this to happen? I ask myself this question frequently. And yet. Looking around me on any given day, anywhere that people are gathered, (say on the bus or at the botanic gardens or walking downtown, or sitting in a restaurant, or…) I get the distinct impression that the vast majority of humans in modern, urban society simply do not really even consider what is actually happening to their world, nor, sadly, do most of them care enough to do most anything to stop it. Many people more eloquent than me have written extensively on this subject, and the reasons why people seemingly do not care. This is from a short article from The Guardian, where the writer states,

“They seem to think there is some critical mass that, through the weight of belief alone, will get us where we want to go. As if when the numbers aren’t high enough, we can’t achieve anything. As if when the numbers are high enough, beautiful transformation will magically happen all by itself or people will vote for wonderful politicians who do the right thing. Too many of us seem far too fond of narratives of our powerlessness, maybe because powerlessness lets us off the hook. As we head into that most dismal of situations, another unbearably long electoral cycle, many who care about climate change will say that we need an elected official who will represent us or a great majority who agree with us. But we don’t need everyone on board; we don’t need one magic person in office; we need ourselves. To act.” –Rebecca Solnit, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/15/one-magical-politician-wont-stop-climate-change-its-up-us?CMP=share_btn_fb
Act-Now-Guardian-15may2015

I remember distinctly how I felt after I watched, with horror and fascination, Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth in the movie theatre years ago. The movie ended, and all of us in the audience filed out silently, in shock and awe at what we had just seen: Gore had essentially spelled out for all of us non-scientist citizens, what would be occuring during the years ahead if we stayed collectively asleep and did nothing to stop global warming. That was in 2007. Now it is eight years later, and it is coming to pass. Sadly, most of us are still doing very little or less to affect any positive change, i.e., raising our voices as often and loudly as possible to anyone and everyone who might hear.

Honestly, I just feel so incredibly SAD about the fact that the humans of the not-very-distant future (people like our children and their children) are going to have problems we cannot even fathom, to deal with on a daily basis. Right now we are shaking our heads at the crazy weather this spring, or feeling sorry for the people of Nepal….. then getting into our gasoline-burning cars and forgetting about it. People think they are just one little person, and their actions don’t matter so much to the whole…. but that is the whole point!!! Each little individual person, combined into a city, a region, a state, a country, adds up exponentially into a power, a HUGE power for good, positive change, or else for stagnation, decay, entropy and eventually destruction. The choice is ALWAYS ours, each one of us, every minute of every day. Not choosing to change or to speak up or to act is also a choice, it’s a choice to condemn the Earth to devastation.

Guilty-of-complicity

Dear Readers, I know you are each just one small human in a huge ocean of billiions of humans. But you matter, your voice matters, what you think about in a day MATTERS, and especially who you talk to and what you talk about, matters. We can choose to deliberately and consciously think about what is actually going on in our world, learn as much as possible so we are educated on the issues, and then speak about these things with people we know and people we don’t yet know, thereby educating them. Sometimes I fantasize about standing up in the middle of the commuter bus in the morning, and just yelling, “Hey, Denver!! Wake Up!! Do you know that Shell Oil is about to ruin the most pristine and fragile place on Earth this summer? And here’s why you should care.” I would probably get carted off to the city jail if I were to become so bold. But the way things are going, that may not be such a bad thing in the long run.

 


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Don’t Look Away

Maybe we do look – really look – but then, inevitably, we seem to forget. Remember and then forget again. Climate change is like that; it’s hard to keep it in your head for very long. We engage in this odd form of on-again-off-again ecological amnesia for perfectly rational reasons.We deny because we fear that letting in the full reality of this crisis will change everything. And we are right.

We know that if we continue on our current path of allowing emissions to rise year after year, climate change will change everything about our world. Major cities will very likely drown, ancient cultures will be swallowed by the seas, and there is a very high chance that our children will spend a great deal of their lives fleeing and recovering from vicious storms and extreme droughts. And we don’t have to do anything to bring about this future. All we have to do is nothing. Just continue to do what we are doing now, whether it’s counting on a techno-fix or tending to our gardens or telling ourselves we’re unfortunately too busy to deal with it.

All we have to do is not react as if this is a full-blown crisis. All we have to do is keep on denying how frightened we actually are. And then, bit by bit, we will have arrived at the place we most fear, the thing from which we have been averting our eyes. No additional effort required.

But before any of these changes can happen – before we can believe that climate change can change us – we first have to stop looking away.

Climate change has become an existential crisis for the human species. The only historical precedent for a crisis of this depth and scale was the Cold War fear that we were heading toward nuclear holocaust, which would have made much of the planet uninhabitable. But that was (and remains) a threat; a slim possibility, should geopolitics spiral out of control. The vast majority of nuclear scientists never told us that we were almost certainly going to put our civilisation in peril if we kept going about our daily lives as usual, doing exactly what we were already doing, which is what the climate scientists have been telling us for years.

Why then are climatologists speaking out about the dangers of global warming? The answer is that virtually all of us are now convinced that global warming poses a clear and present danger to civilisation.

It doesn’t get much clearer than that. And yet rather than responding with alarm and doing everything in our power to change course, large parts of humanity are, quite consciously, continuing down the same road…. What is wrong with us? – Naomi Klein, excerpt from This Changes Everything

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/06/dont-look-away-now-the-climate-crisis-needs-you

Reclaimpower
In the introduction to her new book, This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein asks the Big Question to Humanity: What is wrong with us? And gives us a clue to the answer as she states that we must, collectively, stop looking away. Anyone who is even slightly awake on planet Earth today has to see that we are in a dangerous situation that is growing ever more so, soon to the point of no return. (Some would argue that we are most certainly there already.) Meaning that humanity has by now created an unprecedented environmental catastrophe without end into the far future. And yet we continue, day after day, to simply look away, avert our gaze, throwing up our hands, asking, What can be done? And then go about our daily lives, hoping that somehow, someone or something will come to our rescue and save the humans, nature and the planet.

Of course there are those who are so sick and tired of humans and their ceaseless greed and stupidity, that they are actively cheering for the armageddon to arrive and wipe the slate clean. Get rid of the idiots, let the Earth recover by herself, on her own huge planetary timeline and start over, perhaps with a different, more clever species at the reigns. Honestly, would that scenario really be so bad?

AUSTRALIA-G20-ENVIRONMENT-CLIMATE-PROTEST-BONDI-OFFBEAT

We can no longer afford to bury our heads in the sand on climate change!

We need to speak our truth now, with clarity. To have courage is to live the way of the heart. To be fearless, to live without fear of retribution or having terrible repercussions if we speak the truth to the world. You cannot be truthful or loving if you are not courageous. The truth of our (meaning collective humanity and all life upon Earth) precarious situation can simply no longer be denied or ignored by the majority of us. Temperatures on Earth are rising, is the simple fact that, according to Naomi Klein and so many others, Changes Everything. It is no longer somebody else’s problem, it is yours and mine and every other human’s that you meet in a day. As long as we are too afraid or zoned or distracted by the thousand other things, we are missing the point entirely.

Call your appointed government leaders, letClimate Change Activists Demonstrate On Wall Street them hear from you about fracking, tar sands, mining the seas, the depths, destroying all that is left of wilderness and pristine areas of the world. Tell them to stop being in bed with the Big Oil companies and get a spine and do the Right Thing. Stop supporting any and all corporations that place Greed and Profits as their gods and reason for existence. Tell Starbucks that they ought to be only buying and serving Fair Trade coffee. Tell Walmart that it isn’t right that their family members and top people make more dollars  in one hour than their employees make in twenty years. Tell Shell Oil to get out and stay out of the Arctic forever, and all of their cronies too. Tell it to your friends, your families, to strangers, to co-workers, to the people in the queue in the grocery store. Tell the store managers you want to be served by actual humans, not their robots at the self-serve stations. The list goes on and on and on…….

Dear Readers, I have been silent now for some time, but I have not been sleeping. For the past year and more, since being back in the United States, I have been observing, listening, and watching. I’ve been reading and pondering and thinking and feeling into the current state of our world. It is quite obvious to me, as it no doubt must to be to you, that our world is deteriorating rapidly. What passes for “progress and development” is in actuality a game of passing off cheap technology and a whitewashed, flimsy excuse for the latest, greatest (fill in the blank here) to the People in order to pacify and placate them as the ones (are they human?) behind the curtain, just like the Great Oz himself, run completely amok, destroying, pillaging, warmongering, raping, and taking whatever they can, squashing whoever may be standing in the way, without even a single thought of morality or ethicality or responsibility towards the rest of HUMANITY, NATURE AND THE EARTH ITSELF.

capitalismisntworking

As the bumper sticker states, If you are not outraged, you are NOT paying attention!! Yes, you must keep working on your own soul and spirit, yes of course you have to keep to what is highest, bringing in Love and Light at every opportunity. But to think for a moment that by doing these things alone, without getting very real about the gravity of the situation on this planet, will make the problems magically resolve themselves is foolhardy at best and a death sentence at worst.

Ourchildrensfuture

What kind of a world are we leaving for our children to inherit?

Naomi Klein’s new book isn’t even on the library shelves yet, and here in Denver there are already fifty people waiting in line to read it. Find it, buy it, or borrow it, then read it, and take it as a rallying cry to raise awareness of the real issues we are facing. There is no time to waste.


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Pushing through phantom walls of rock

You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you. —
Rainer Maria Rilke

Talk about pushing through what feels like solid rock. On this blustery Saint Patrick’s day, the winds of change are blowing through my soul and I feel like roaring. To all the demons whirling round my head, laughing, jeering, pointing out all the faults, imperfections, and reasons why things are supposedly impossible and cannot be done: I roar, as loudly as I can, FUCK YOU!! (apologies for offending some of my more sensitive readers.) There are simply no other words that seem quite as appropriate at this moment, dear Readers. It takes the strongest energy embodied in those oh-so-american words to send those mocking brutes back from whence they came. Anger, today. It takes anger.

What weapons do you use to fight these guys?

What weapons do you use to fight these guys?

My demons have been more than just brutal, they have been full of guile and subtle trickery. All this winter I have been fighting in the shadowlands of the psyche, sometimes in full armour, sometimes with tatters and bare feet, but I have been fighting. I don’t even know how many days I have wanted to raise the white flag and beg them to stop this cruel and unfair attack. I try to understand why they so wish to destroy me, why won’t they just let me be. It does not matter why, what matters most is simply that I prevail, not them. This is an existential battle of the soul, dear Readers, of epic proportions. The humans embody all their various roles, but the play is one of cosmic proportions.

On the street today, I passed a man whom I have spoken with before. He sells a newspaper, The Voice, that deals with homelessness and its manifestations in Denver. When I asked him how it was going, he shook his head. ‘Don’t ask me that today, man,” he replied. “Today is a terrible day.” Then he went on with his rant for awhile, how it was just one bad news after another. Then he threw down his phone, then his jacket and his papers, and just said, “I am just tired of it. All of it. I can’t do it anymore.” I looked at him, then told him, “I know just how you feel. But the sun is still shining on us. Tomorrow will be a better day, we have to keep believing that.” But he just shook his head. It was an existential moment and I knew exactly how he felt.

When life squeezes you so hard that you feel you don’t have any juice left, that you are as dried up and sour as an old used up lemon that someone forgot to throw in the garbage, what then? How do we make any sense out of any of this senselessness? How can I infuse my life with meaning when I am on my knees from the struggle of existence? Over the weekend I went to a catholic mass on Saturday evening. It was in a beautiful old church where the Holy Mother reigns supreme. There was not a sculpture of Jesus suffering on the cross at the pinnacle of the altar, but a large, beautiful statue of Mother Mary, Queen of Heaven. I am not a catholic, yet I adore the Divine Feminine, which Mary embodies. The priest gave a powerful sermon in his royal purple robe, reminding us that as long as we are living for ‘me and me alone, or me and mine” we are not living in the spirit of Christ. To live in and for Christ means to give of ourselves in the most loving ways we know how, not in words only, but every day from our deepest hearts. He basically called us on our bullshit in a really direct way.

It takes the right weapon to wield inner power.

It takes the right weapon to wield inner power.

Salvation and redemption are not one-time deals. They are not just Christian concepts. The work of saving one’s soul, of redeeming one’s faults and failures and being made new in the sight of God or Creator of the Continuum or the Void or whatever terms you want to put on it, is the work of humanity now. IT is our collective work. If I fall and no one comes to pick me up off the ground, we all stay down. If I see someone hurt and fallen, and I do nothing to help save that person, we all lose. Your salvation is my salvation. We are all in this ride together, aren’t we?

A very real part of this ride is to call people out on their crap, just as the priest did at Saturday’s mass. Someone who meant a lot to me gave me some crap today, and I called them on it. I did become angry because their words hurt me. I let them know it. Just as those who love me will tell me when I have hurt them, so I can know it. We have to know when we are falling short, or else we cannot change and do better. Anger is sometimes the medicine we need, the fire that lights up the psyche so we can pick up the sword and battle anew. I know I am not done fighting my demons, as much as I would like to be. But as long as I stay passively stuck in fear, incapacitated and unable to push through it, they keep winning. Rilke demands of his god, Break in! Come into my stuck place between rock and rock and feel what it is like. Then your transforming will happen to me. Then my grief cry will happen to you. Then we will become one, human and God, united being. And that, I believe, is the whole point.


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Relics, artifacts and books

A new phenomenon has arrived on street corners here and there in the United States and England. You may have seen small, sometimes cleverly decorated boxes, much like an old-fashioned postbox, with a sign offering “Free Books, take one or leave one.” When I first discovered these in England last summer, I was sincerely charmed. What a gracious, lovely idea, to freely share books among the populace. By now, however, I have realized a darker (more sinister?) side to this free book giveaway.

Are book giveaways as innocent as they seem?

Are book giveaways as innocent as they seem?

Perhaps it is obvious to some of you already, dear Readers, that one probable reason for all these free book giveaways is, there are simply millions of books floating around in the hemisphere, and not enough people reading them. Books are starting to enter the classification of relics, artifacts from a time fast disappearing, when people loved and enjoyed them, carried them around, re-read them, passed them on to family and friends.

The age of technology has its merits and its drawbacks. In an extraordinarily short span of human time, computers have entrenched themselves in our collective psyche like a virus infecting a body, deeply and somehow irreversibly. The powers-that-make-technology in our world are working hard to make sure that everyone alive is signed up on the plan. That means every man, woman and child, no matter how young or old, is to be inextricably hooked into the beast of technology forever more. They are pushing to make sure babies are weaned from the breast to the computer screen, that no hand goes without a computerized phone-internet-camera-toaster-oven-what-have-you device, and the list just goes on ad infinitum and ad nauseam.

The death of bound books is nearly inevitable in our lifetimes, I lament. Not only is it a sad commentary on the state of our society, but just a sad thought altogether. When all the written words are available only on virtual screens or in your eyeglasses or whatever, how will that affect us as a people; our thinking, our motor skills, our ideas about life? The implications are truly enormous if one ponders them. What will become of libraries, our esteemed repository of the worlds’ wisdom, literature and knowledge? What will become of us?

The digital age we find ourselves in today has vast implications for our world. One of the most maddening is the inevitable loss of sensory perception and basic motor skills. Young children who most need to develop these skills as their bodies are growing and changing the most are at risk of not learning them, and that affects their brain development and basically their whole physiognomy. Using a keyboard or touch screen does not do the same job for developing bodies and minds as making sure a child can pick up a pencil or scissors and use them effectively. I shudder to think of how tomorrow’s children will manage in the physical world of which they are still a part. What will humans do when they have lost the ability to use their hands, their fingers, their bodies?

Will children in the future still know how to read bound books?

Will children in the future still know how to read bound books?

The world is changing so fast right now, society itself is spinning ever faster on its axis. I am watching it happen, even as I am turning into a relic of the past, along with bound books and dead philosophers. I admit that I do not wish to live in a world without books, sensory stimulus, physicality. I was born into physicality and I will remain within it for the rest of this lifetime. Probably I sound hideously old-fashioned, like those parents who frowned disapprovingly upon early rock and roll music and its proponents. And yet. This new technology age is profoundly disturbing. It seems we have been sold a bill of goods, yet what have we really purchased– if not the death of our souls?


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Inspiration at the crossroads

Happy September, Dear Readers! There is just something about the thought of September, a combination of longing and desire, that deserves recognition. The summer is past, the winter still a distance away, but September signifies change…. wind…. colors…… beautiful light…. a turning point.

Where do you find inspiration, dear Readers? Perhaps you are one of the lucky humans who can find it the moment you step outside the door– or even within your own home. Or even within your own soul. But, if you are like me, it might take something a bit unusual, new or strange, to transport you to a place of feeling inspired. This summer was inspiring for me. I traveled in southern England for over five weeks, working on organic farms, experiencing the English people, countryside, history and natural beauty of that oddly familiar land for the first time in this life. The English charmed me through and through with their lovely voices, wonderful English expressions and mastery of my native language. To the English, things are ‘luvely’ ‘brilliant’ and they say ‘cheers’ a lot. They smile and love to laugh often, at themselves, each other and life in general. They aren’t afraid to wear bright, colorful clothing and smile at strangers. England may not be perfect, but it was perfectly wonderful to me as a first time visitor. I learned about the different English accents depending on what part of the country one comes from, and loved them all. The weather cooperated amazingly and unusually well, gracing me with hot days and warm evenings, so I really embraced the heat for the first time in a few years.

There are some incredibly ancient and wonderful trees in southern England.

There are some incredibly ancient and wonderful trees in southern England.

England was a blessing and very inspiring to me on many levels. Now I feel at a crossroads, both personally and collectively. It feels there are some big choices to be made directly ahead of us, even during this month of September. Depending on the direction we take, we will determine our future for years, and even centuries, to come. What kind of world do we wish to create, dear Readers? Words are easy enough to say, and to come up with catch phrases: Love, peace and happiness, and all of that. But. What do those words actually mean to each one of us?

How can my image of peace and happiness join with yours? Does it even need to? We throw words around unthinkingly every day. The reality of trying to make the people of the world get along with each other in a non-harmful way is something utterly HUGE in magnitude. How can we meet in the middle, at the core of our humanity? These are big questions which deserve our attention and deep consideration. Can we heal what is broken in our world if we are not healed ourselves from our own brokenness? Or can the broken parts of us act as a mechanism to break us OPEN to the heart of the world?

I was reading something recently where the author talked about finding one’s ‘edges’ in relation to healing. He explained that the edge is the place where the action is, where healing can take place, where change occurs. Looking at the news these days, it is undeniable that humanity stands at the edges of itself, at the limits of what we can stand for and what is life-giving or life-destroying. Yes we have been here before, but right now feels different in important ways. Look at England, for example. Cameron, the prime minister, was ready to say yes to going along with the United States and France’s wishes to begin an air bombing campaign in Syria. But. He changed his mind suddenly, and the reason he gave was ‘public opinion and outcry.’ In other words, The People spoke out loudly enough and said No More War, concerning this latest proposed atrocity, and the amazing part is, he listened. To me, that signifies a big change in the western world, away from Business As Usual and towards something else, something new, something having to do with Life and freedom. If Britain can make a momentous decision like this, after all the years, no, centuries, of propagating war and imperialism around the globe, then there is Hope for the rest of us: (read: the United States of America.) There IS another way to live in this world, and we who are reading these blogs and writing them and thinking about these things know it. We all KNOW things are changing. It is simply a question of time.

Ripple_effect_on_waterSince coming back to Denmark a few weeks ago, I have been unsure of how to continue with this blog. When I started it in January of 2012, my intention was to practice writing, and give voice to my thoughts, frustrations and inspirations of the world I found myself (in Denmark as a foreigner) and try to make sense of the craziness known as Life. Over the months, I have written about various subjects, and also shared articles I found interesting and that I thought you might also enjoy reading. Some of you have been following my blog quite devotedly for some time, and I am very happy and grateful to those of you who have done so. Still, this blog and my words are reaching a very small and limited group of humans, and considering the vast amount of bloggers alone currently writing and sharing their ideas and inspirations, my contribution feels like the tiniest pebble in a vast ocean.

Therefore, dear Readers, I will be taking time during the coming weeks to focus on just what it is that I wish to do with this blog, with my creative life, and also with the big changes I feel are just around the bend. I do not know if I will be posting much, if anything, for the next little while as I try to sort things out. As always, I encourage you all to hold to what is Good, True and Beautiful in your lives, in the world, and in each other, while all the time working to be courageous, to speak out from your hearts, to open up to people, to move beyond fear and aversion and anger, into the Light. It is here and available to us in every moment. All we ever need do is to reconnect.

With many blessings for your upcoming changing season, Leigh


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Singing to the choir, crying in the wilderness

Hello again dear Readers. Today’s post is my personal rant on ‘things as they stand now,’ concerning the world and people’s consciousness. Make of it what you will. Or skip it if you are in a really upbeat mood.

Shortly said, I am pretty discouraged and disgusted about now. For all that I read about humanity’s collective ascension into a higher consciousness (i.e., 5th dimensionality and beyond), as I look out upon the world at large, to be honest, I see only a small fraction of folk who are even interested in raising themselves higher than basic survival, higher than hero and villain, us and them, fear and fearlessness.

Politics aside, I will take a small but significant example: popular literature, especially geared for younger readers. Today I received an email from Amazon, with their ‘best picks of 2013 so far” list I randomly selected a few to find out what they considered “best.” Here is one of their choices, The Fifth Wave  by Rick Yancey.

“After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.”

The reviewers wrote,

Yancey’s heartfelt, violent, paranoid epic, filled with big heroics and bigger surprises, is part War of the Worlds, part Starship Troopers, part Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and part The Stand . . a sure thing for reviewers and readers alike.”

“Breathtakingly fast-paced and original, The 5th Wave is a reading tsunami that grabs hold and won’t let go. A postapocalyptic alien invasion story with a smart, vulnerable heroine.”

 (note: as I was posting this blog, there were 10 different blog posts about this novel, so far. ahem….)

Vulnerable heroines are all well and fine, but what gets to me about this kind of fiction is the push to sell novels on the recommendation that it is a ‘violent and paranoid postapocalyptic alien invasion story.’ I suppose I am a naïve human in many ways, but it is truly beyond me as to what is charming about envisioning this kind of world to live in. Are people really so bored with their regular lives that they feel the need to fill their free time with visions of horror, violence, greed, and fascist supremacist dictators controlling the poor, wretched last humans to survive on the wasted earth? I mean, is that really fun reading? If yes, I want to understand WHY.

Today was my last day with my class of Danish 8th graders before the summer holidays begin. At the request of one of them, we watched the film The Hunger Games together. For those of you who don’t know the story, it takes place in a not-too-distant future where the United States had an uprising, and the result was that it became split into twelve districts. The rebellion was squashed, and as a kind of punishment (forever more, apparently) there are yearly ‘games’ held with one teenager from each district, in a survival of the fittest style, where they kill one another until there is one sole survivor, who ‘wins.’ Yeah, nice story line. To me it was a strange, surrealistic combination of The Olympics, Roman gladiator games and reality TV show with a futuristic slant. Yes, it had good suspense, and it held their attention. The question for me is, why do the kids accept these super-depressing futuristic world stories so easily, and enjoy watching people finding clever ways to kill each other, while working to survive themselves? We talked a little about the film after they watched it. None of them seemed very affected by it, and it was obvious that none felt it could ever be real.

big+brother+watching+you

When I was in high school, one of the novels that was required reading in English literature class was, of course, 1984 by George Orwell. I remember that I did not enjoy reading that book, and how depressing was the world he had created. We joked with each other, even then, that ‘Big Brother is watching YOU!” Well, Orwell might have gotten the date wrong, but not the premise. The latest news bomb about the United States’ NSA spying on, well, anyone and everyone, brings it home very clearly. It makes a good case for ‘creating one’s own reality’ in a mass consciousness way. It is not a very far leap to the next level of this, where the earth becomes a real apocalyptic atrocity. Again I ask you all, WHY would the collective humanity WANT to create this kind of a reality? I am not speaking about the evil cabal, those shadowy rulers who are behind the scenes, running the show. No, I am referring to ALL of us, all those who are spending their cash on this form of ‘entertainment’ and thereby perpetuating it. Don’t people understand that the law of creation is pretty simple: you get what you focus on. Focus on death, destruction, fascist dictatorships, death games long enough, and presto: our brave new world.

No thanks. Dear Readers, those of you who have followed my blog and thoughts and heart for some time now know that I would like to live in a world that is the polar opposite of an apocalyptic hell, and have tried in various ways, to bring you all stories of hope, upliftment and inspiration. But today, I feel I am just singing to the choir. To the handful of you who faithfully read these words, I am very grateful for your virtual friendship and especially for your agreement that we must not give up our efforts to build a world based on Peace, Love, Beauty, Truth, Goodness and Freedom. I will always believe in these as the goal of humanity, until my dying breath. But taking a realistic look around, I can also see that we seem to be not much more than a candle in the wind at this point in time.

Why can't the 'others' be benevolent and good, instead of malicious and evil?

Why can’t the ‘others’ be benevolent and good, instead of malicious and evil?

As to the whole question of Aliens, I simply ask, why must it only be entertaining or interesting to imagine that they exist as malevolent creatures bent on our destruction? When actually, the total opposite is much more likely to be the truth: that there are Beings from other worlds who are utterly and benignly helping us lowly humans to wake up and find out who we actually are: beings of light and love, just like they are, and capable of miracles far greater than we can conceive of at this moment in our evolution. And what if, instead of being afraid and ready to use all of our puny human-made weapons to destroy them once they arrive to our world, we welcomed them with open arms, and felt glad that someone had come to help us out of this self-created mess of a world we now find ourselves in…. why won’t someone write a best-selling novel about that for a change? Why does fear sell so many books and movies and games, instead of love? Dear Readers, have you any theories about this phenomenon? Your ideas are always welcome here.

Related articles

http://www.malaysian-ghost-research.org/paranormal-library-and-references/articles/unlocking-the-mystery-of-parallel-universes.html#.Ucmnv9j_GVo


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Musings, shocks and obscenities

Hello again Dear Readers! Here it is, a double whammy weekend, with the summer solstice and June’s full moon as bookends, along with Saint Johns Day (Sankt Hans, here in Denmark), otherwise known as Midsummer’s eve. High summer, call it what you will, the fact remains that for us north of the equator, it is the apex of the year, the longest days, and the light is unfathomably bright.

Guess that’s why one of the blogs I read today spoke of possible ‘shocks to the heart’ around these days. I realize that I have hardly been blogging at all lately, and when I do it has not usually been about anything very personal. It isn’t because I am not aware of the immense changes happening, both within and without, but more perhaps because of all this energy… it is nearly more than I can handle, at least in a way to be able to write about.

The darkness that we humans have been living with and under for all these long eons of time simply has nowhere left to hide, in a manner of speaking. It’s all coming out in the open, collectively and personally.

Because I am so interested in the evolution of the soul, including my own, I have a strong desire to evolve, ascend to a higher level of being, and finally and truly realize my own divine nature as one with all-that-is. But, as all of you who are on a similar path already know, this path is fraught with difficulties, all stemming from our long-held belief in the illusion of being separate from our source.

In order to strip away that illusion, we must do the work. This work involves every level of being, from the physical to the emotional, mind, soul and spiritual. No wonder I am tired so often these days!

One such shock to my operating system came in the form of a roundabout conversation between my husband and I this evening. We were speaking about Art, Beauty and the Erotic, which went along fine for a while, and we were both feeling well about what was being shared. But then something shifted in the dialog, and it ended up with him telling me about some news articles he had read in one of the Danish newspapers, concerning pornography and young people. So he felt the need to inform me that the vast majority of the youth in Denmark find out about sex by watching hard-core, American pornography. He mentioned one or two particulars concerning this topic, until I had to ask him to simply stop. This little news item gave me a most unpleasant shock to my whole system, and as I am writing this blog tonight I am actually making an effort to work through what this is actually about.

One thing is obvious: I am quite naïve about what is happening in the mainstream world, by choice. The thought that young teenagers (and probably even children, who knows how old) are learning about sexuality by seeing professional ‘actors’ performing the most lewd and often degrading sexual acts in this part of the world (and I suppose in much of the western world) makes me really, really sad. And it shows me again, just how much the darkness of human nature continues to unfold and unfurl, and be exposed to the light. Of course, it has to be exposed, out in the open in order to become transparent, before it can be transformed into the light, into something higher, into a more loving way of being human. It seems to me, hardcore pornography has nothing whatsoever to do with love, and in fact is quite the opposite. One can ask, does sexuality have to be connected to love? Obviously the answer is no, at least that is how it has played out in the world for eons. And, consequently, sex has been misused, misunderstood, and become something both taboo and flaunted in the west, to this day.

when does erotic become pornographic?

when does erotic become pornographic?

Just type in, well nearly anything, into Google images, and if your filters are off, sexual images, mostly of women in various stages of undress but also of men, will undoubtedly come up. Breasts are especially popular. We seem to be fascinated with nude bodies, especially women. Given our society’s huge fascination with sexuality, we still don’t really know all that much about it, past basic mechanics. What makes one image pornographic, and another sacred? It is a question worth pondering, dear Readers.

During the time I have lived here in Denmark, I have come to see that in this part of the world, sexuality and nudity are much more accepted as a natural part of being a human being, that people here have no sense of shame about their bodies or the sexual act. During the late 1960s, when the sexual revolution came here, it came to stay, apparently. Never in my life have I seen so many news articles, in the ordinary, mainstream papers and magazines, about sexuality. Age makes no difference– there was a magazine article this past year about older couples and sexuality, where they had interviewed, and photographed, several nude older couples. Not your ordinary fare in a comparable American magazine!

We're never too old for love and sex

We’re never too old for love and sex

Yes, I know it is 2013, for goodness’ sake. By now ought we not be beyond guilt and shame concerning the human form, and for liking, wanting, and thinking about sexuality? The answer is, yes and no. Yes! To going beyond guilt and shame. But No, to simply saying, Everything goes, everything is permitted, at basically any age. What kind of society are we building, by allowing very young adolescents to see people treating each other like a commodity, something to be used and thrown away, or worse, to be abused, hurt, exploited, and all the behaviours that stem from what is NOT loving? You can see the result of that the world over, the sex slave trade is alive and well in many areas of the world, especially the poorer countries. Yes, in 2013.

Honestly, dear Readers, as I write this tonight I feel more and more that I have real reason to feel appalled by this news. Exploitation of one human by another is NOT the way to build a better world and future. Of course we are moving forward and cannot go back to forbidding behaviours: that is what the extremists in all the world religions are still doing, and we can see the disastrous results thereof. It is important to work for greater understanding of human sexuality; not to repress or deny it, but also not to use it for commercial gain by making it seem attractive when in reality it is terribly degrading and worse than animalistic. I realize this is a big topic, not easy to approach in a short blog post. Still, I make the effort this evening because I feel that sexuality is one of the Biggies that we need to bring into the open and discuss and work on in our world. We need to heal our collective sexual wound, one could say, before we can live on a higher level. As always, your thoughts are welcome here.

(photo credit: http://gwynethcolleenphotography.blogspot.dk/)