Saturday, September 29, 2007

Northwest Light

The sunlight in Washington State is like a rare jewel when it arrives, sparkling clean and pure on the evergreen trees, shimmering a luminescent blue with streaks of gold on the Dungeness spit as the sun slowly falls behind the horizon.

A spit is a long stretch of skinny land that juts out into the ocean water. It doesn't have a very romantic sound--and when you look at it on a map knowing its name it does kind of look like a long thread of spit that some giant standing on the mainland let fly.

But actually standing on the sand of the spit you are in a landscape of mist that huddles up next to you,then moves back to reveal in the near distance a boat, a tree, a heron, before sliding on again to reshape itself and the landscape.

This is not San Francisco coastside fog, with its harsh and often incessant wind. This is something far more delicate--it paints the landscape around you with a misty brush, shifting and changing, like a Japanese watercolor.

Evergreens shrouded in wise silence, punctuated by persistently conversational ravens. Long and cool narrow beaches scattered with white clam shells resembling the small hard wings of angels.

The angels may not always be visible, but they have left us, in this physical world, with tokens, reminders, evidence of their presence.

I walk the beach collecting these hard white wings in my hands,following the fluctuating presence of light. At the end of my walk, I let them fall again, emptying my hands for whatever is next.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Shopping for George Bush Terrorism and other Deals

I just love the creative ways my computer has come up with to get me to buy things. When I googled for information related to my last post, here's what it came up with:

Shopping for George Bush Torture Terrorism 2007?

Find George Bush Torture Terrorism 2007 any many other great deals at MonsterMarketplace!

Wow, sign me up.

But seriously folks, I've realized I need to do a serious about face about George Bush. Instead of constantly maligning him as many of us lefties have been doing for the past eight years, I need to thank him.

Yes, thank him. For showing me the shadow side of my own country, and of myself. For galvanizing a lot of us into creating better alternatives. For our country, ourselves, and our world.

So, GW, my dear sweet enemy-teacher, thank you.

Now would you please leave?

frog in the boiling water

If you throw a frog into the boiling water, it will feel the pain of the water. If you put the frog in the water and then slowly turn up the heat, the frog gets accustomed to it, doesn't feel the pain, and doesn't notice the water is boiling.

This story has come up several times for me in my travels back and forth to the U.S, as I jump in and out of the water.
Every time I return it seems the water has been turned up a bit more, and no one is noticing. A few years ago, when it surfaced that the U.S. may have been using torture for terrorism suspects, there was a lot of press and discussion. Some relatively low level folks were arrested. There was outrage. Now it just seems to be part of the common knowledge: yeah folks, that 's just the way it is.

Then there's the domestic spying, on peace activists, journalists, etc. It was good in a way to read media validation of what most of us already suspected. But what's being done about it now?

The other news that caught my attention is an article about the epidemic of obesity in this country, primarily among poor people, folks that live in Mississippi and Washington DC. And of course many of us in this country are carrying a few extra pounds.

What it all amounts to, INHP,is a kind of collective bloatedness, which is physically made manifest in certain communities and individuals. As if the layers of flesh on our bodies were a metaphor for the layer of numbness we seem to need to survive here. We consume a lot, yes, but what are we consuming? In the case of the poor diabetic folks in Mississippi, a most likely a lot of junk. Poison.

We should probably ask ourselves, with so many people gaining so much weight, what are we hungry for?

I also notice more desperation, more obsession with security. Has it always been this way and I haven't noticed, or is this a change? We are so highly trained in our individualism that we have forgotten how to find security in one another.

Okay, I'm on my soapbox ranting again. Forgive me. These are just my froggy observations.

At the same time that I am noticing all this, I have to also say that I am seeing increasing pockets of change and inspiration, like new plant growth sprouting up in a decaying sidewalk.

And our collective head and heart turning towards the wounding of the planet may be a sign of our own healing.