Monday, April 28, 2008
I think that the doctor took out my funny bone and my ability to focus. Happiness and concentration are distant memories.
And I have been having frustration with this arm that doesn't want to cooperate.
But, other than that, things are just dandy! Buddha still follows me everywhere. The owl babies are growing. The tulips are tulipping. And the peas are peaing. Hmmmm...
This past Saturday, we seriously considered canceling our Women in Black vigil. The wind early that morning was enough to blow us to Kansas, but it died down before vigil time. Then the SNOW began. But it's easier to stand in snow than it is to figure out how to weigh ourselves down against the gales.
As we stood that day, a man who works for a local radio station walked up to us. He was impressed with the fact that we stand in a very conservative area, so he wants to interview a couple of us on his radio show. That will happen on May 15th. I'll let you know more details as the time gets closer. Our interview will be recorded, so you will be able to hear it at some point. Very exciting!
Maybe I will find my old self before the interview.
Or maybe not!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I lived in Arkansas for two years when I was in my early twenties. At one point, the cutest black and white hound dog came into my life. He was about six months old and had HUGE paws and the most juicy jowls of any dog I'd met. I named him Jethro, because, well, he WAS a Jethro. I wish that I had one of my old photos of him scanned so that I could post it here.
Jethro and I were best buds. He could read my thoughts, so verbal communication was not necessary.
We had no fence and Jethro would hang out inside or our "around" the house. He never went far. But he must have done some neighborly visiting, because we accumulated a fine collection of socks, boots and dolls that he brought home from somewhere...
This sweet, sweet hound was a fine gentleman and took good care of the women in the neighborhood. The neighbor who lived behind us told us that when she left our house to go home, Jethro would walk her to her fence, then turn around and go back home. Another neighbor - an elderly woman - told us that when she walked to the grocery store down the street, Jethro would walk her there, wait for her, and walk her home.
Jethro left us for the big doggy heaven over 20 years ago.
God, I loved that dog (I write with tears running down my cheeks).
He's waiting for my friend and me, because he won't go anywhere if either Mr. CarolForPeace or I lag behind.
So, of course, we brought him home where he belonged and named him Buddha. He IS a Buddha after all.
Now this elder wise dog reads my thoughts so no verbal communication is necessary. He is my hiking buddy. He is my shadow, following me EVERYWHERE I go. He will do anything to please me. He teaches me to let go of things and to be in the moment. He is deep in my heart. Every morning, he sits right in front of me with a very serious look and expects his neck massage, which I very willingly give him for as long as he wants.
God, I love this dog (I write with tears running down my cheeks.)
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Obama in 30 Seconds
After viewing his video, you can watch and rate other ads in the contest.
Good luck, Robert!
Monday, April 21, 2008
I was raised watching television. My dad owned a television and radio store/repair shop. I spent many hours during after-school time and summers in front of big, mahogany console televisions that were waiting to be adopted by loving families. We were the first on our block to own a color television. (And to anyone under 30, yes we did have indoor plumbing.)
Now, the only television in this house is a hand-me-down (or hand-me-up? over?) from my 29 year-old daughter. She gave it to us because the remote no longer worked. We don't care. We only turn it on when we want to watch videos a few times a month. It's a dinky little TV, but it works pretty well.
Most likely, the television in this house wouldn't get turned on this week anyway.
But back to TV Turnoff Week, I think it's a good idea to bring awareness to the fact that there are many things to do besides watching TV. Maybe a family who participates in this exercise will spend the week doing something together. Or they might read some books. Or have a CONVERSATION!
If I were king, I'd outlaw all television and decree every weekend and every Wednesday to be Computer Turnoff Days. Maybe then, all the people in the land would go outside and interact with each other and the rest of the life on the planet.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood
They don't even know what they're missing.
And I'm not telling...
A short way down the trail from the Owl family, the Hawk family resides. The Hawks live in a high rise, so it is hard for peeping Carols like me to get a look at the kids. Today, though, mom and dad gave an incredible show. We were watching as one parent was in the nest and the other flew in.
While I watch these magnificent creatures, I forget that I exist. I am more than myself. There is only one-ness.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Just Say No
April 17, 2008 | 75-year-old craftsman Masahisa Tsujitani lathes an iron ball at his workshop in Fujimi, Japan. Tsujitani has made the shot-put iron balls for the past three Olympics, but is boycotting the Beijing Olympic Games to protest the situation in Tibet. (Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP) From Truthout.org
I admire people who are willing to sacrifice in order to live with integrity with their values.
When is She Going to Quit Talking About Owls?
But I won't just write about owls for the next month, I promise.
This owlcam that I mentioned before... If you haven't checked it out, just for the sake of a smile, you might want to now. Mom is leaving the nest more often and the babies sit there looking as cute as possible.
I was worried yesterday when mom was gone for most of the day. It was a cold, snowy day and the little guys just huddled up together. For hours, I suffered through anthropomorphic thoughts:
"Oh, where is mom? It's so cold. We're all alone. This is a cold, cruel, lonely world."
Watching those two little balls of fluff all nestled up against each other, I figured they had to be bonding through adversity.
My day was way harder and more worrisome than theirs, I'm sure. They were just doing what owls do and I was creating human suffering in a place where it wasn't.
But they made it through the wintry (still is - and it's getting old) day and the cold, dark night, so now I know that owls know exactly what they're doing and don't need my worry or advice.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
pondering the meaning of life
and not coming up with many good answers,
suddenly, through closed doors and hallways
from out in the kitchen
I hear Bob Dylan singing,
channeled through MrCarolForPeace.
Life suddenly got lighter.
Then I remembered the Chinese proverb:
"A bird does not sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song."
What is my song today?
What is YOURS?
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Happy Birthday, Curan!
I'm hoping to get to meet Curan in a week or so as he makes it through Colorado.
Here is a little news report about him after he left Wichita. You can see him riding backwards in the video. There are some errors in the report, but at least he got press.
Curan began his journey in California last August. He rode to D.C., down to Florida, and now he's making his way back west, bringing awareness to the issues of homelessness, HIV/AIDS, and the need for national legislation on medical marijuana.
You go, Curan!
Labels: Biking Backwards
Monday, April 14, 2008
At the bottom of the nest, you can see the little eyes and beaks of two babies - one on the far left and one on the right. Momma's head is on the right, above one young'un.
Gotta get a more powerful camera lens...
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Lessons From A Pea
So I dug down into the soil. There they were. Doing what they were supposed to be doing. In their own time. Just like they're supposed to do. Little roots and shoots that just aren't quite big enough to burst through the ground above their heads.
You would think that, with so many opportunities to learn it, all humans on this earth would be masters at patience!
On Tuesday, it will be three weeks since my shoulder surgery. Thinking that I am now a normal person, with a not so normal arm yet, I went to see the owls yesterday, then stood for 1/2 hour with Women in Black, and later rode the recumbent bike at the gym for 22 minutes. By 9:00 last night, I was falling asleep in the chair. I have never fallen asleep upright. I need to be horizontal in order to sleep. But I was POOPED!
It took less than an hour for them to cut my shoulder, but three weeks later, I'm still working to regain the motion and strength that I had going into the operating room.
We have been destroying Iraq for over five years and killing off species of wildlife for even longer. If and when we ever stop, how long will it take to heal all of that?
It seems that a peace seed, a pea seed, an arm repair, or any other thing planted won't just pop up as soon as we sow our intention. It takes a lot of nurturing (maybe some physical therapy and exercise) and TIME.
So this is what the wise pea said to me today when I pulled the dirt away from her, exposing her to sunlight before she was ready. Besides, Leave me the hell alone! I've got business to do!, she told me to support and nurture her and to be patient and notice the beauty in the process.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Camouflaged Owls & Women Who Stand Out
It was 28 degrees, cloudy and windy when we went to visit the Owls early this morning. We didn't see Dad, which I hope is a good thing. Up until today, we have always seen Dad sitting in his tree a few yards away from the nest. I had started wondering if he was doing a good job of hunting and feeding his family, since he seemed to be planted in one place. Hopefully today he is out getting them a big juicy rabbit. Oh...
The first time we visited, we saw a little baby movement for a moment. A week ago, my friend saw a set of baby eyes peaking out. But this morning, I think it was too cold for a little ball of down to want to come out from under Mom's warm belly.
I'm wondering if there is only one baby. Usually we see two or three. Stay tuned. The roving Owl reporter will keep you updated as events unfold.
Back to Black...
Hooray! I've missed my Saturday standing over the past couple of weeks. I just got back from standing for part of our vigil. It was SO GOOD to be back among the powerful Women in Black. Even though I enjoy the women, admire their dedication, and find it entertaining to watch the people in rolling metal go by, I am OK if violence retreats into kindness and caring for all. I promise. I'll find something else to do and another excuse to visit my friends. Until then... you'll know where to find me on Saturdays.
Friday, April 11, 2008
An irrigation ditch runs along one side of our property. Water that results from snow-melt in the mountains is carried through a big ditch system in this area and any water that makes it out to the plains is used for farm irrigation. Some of us along the way have ditch rights allowing us to pull out some water for our lawns. I never use this water for my vegetable garden, because I'm sure that people along the route have dumped things into the ditch that I don't want in my food. Hmmmm... makes me wonder about the food we buy that comes from the farmers downstream...
Anyway, because of the ditch, a pair of mallards comes every spring. Today, I saw them for the first time this year. I have tried to find out how long mallards live, barring murder by foxes, humans, etc., but I haven't found that information. So, I don't know if this is the same pair we've seen for years, or if these are great-great-great-great-grandchildren.
I love them...
(BTW, did you know that, according to Wikipedia, "Mallards also have rates of male-male sexual activity that are unusually high for birds. In some cases, as many as 19% of pairs in a Mallard population are male-male homosexual."? A "chosen" lifestyle???)
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Harold and Maude
Oh, I guess there are those of us who do just that. And make a lot of money doing it.
Well, if you're into peeping, click here to view this fine feathered family.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
One of Recreate 68's goals is to work with the city so that a repeat of Boston's convention won't happen here this August when Denver hosts the Democratic Convention. If you remember, in 2004, protesters at the Democratic Convention in Boston were put into cages called "Free Speech Zones" (in our democracy you can only practice free speech in a designated cage?).
Organizers of Recreate 68 entered the lottery to reserve parks for specified times during the convention. They won a lot of good venues, but didn't get Civic Center Park on the Sunday before the convention - a place and time that they feel is important. It looks like they're planning to just gather there anyway on that day.
There will be protests each day of the convention to address these themes: End All Occupations at Home and Abroad; Human Rights/Free All Political Prisoners; No Borders; No Warming; No Racism/Imperialism.
I have kind of wandered away from most actions of activism (and I've been meaning to talk to the brains behind this blog to get the "social activist" words removed). Not saying that I might not, at some point, be found in the streets again instead of just standing at my Saturday corner.
I understand why the creators of R68 are doing the work they're doing. If I were in the shoes of many of them, I would probably be doing exactly what they are doing.
But for me, right now, I'm clearing out the weeds inside so that I can work for peace from a place of peace. I can't see how I can do it any other way at this moment.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Sixteen days ago, we planted peas right here. The package says they will show their little heads in five to ten days.
It was all I could do today to keep myself from digging to find out just what is happening in the underworld of the pea garden.
We never planted violets in the grass, but a few years back, this part of the yard started turning purple in springtime. And each year the patch just gets bigger and bigger. Who am I to argue with a free splash of color?
Monday, April 07, 2008
A Stroke of Insight
"Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another."
This video is a little over 18 minutes long. I found it to be POWERFUL and worth every minute. If, when clicking on the video below, you find that you have time to clean the house, run to the store and fix dinner before the video begins, you can save time by clicking here.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Update on the Owl Family
Isn't he just magnificent??? I could just stand there looking at him all day. These are great-horned owls. We have found nests many years over the last ten or so years. This year's was found by my sister-in-owlness, Darla.
I also found a hawk nest the weekend before my surgery, but it's so high that we won't be able to see the babies in it until they're pretty big.
Yesterday, we saw that the Owls have remodeled and now it is impossible to get a good look into the nest, so it's also going to be challenging to see owl youngsters. Yesterday, all I could see was Mrs. Owl's eyes and ears poking up over a thatch of sticks.
This is a very wise family. As we watched and Mr. CarolForPeace photographed, a few people hiked right on by, not noticing the miracles around them (we do people look-out and when someone comes, we act interested in anything other than the owls). Mrs. Owl, in her newly camouflaged nest, blends in very well. And Mr. Owl silently sits up high in his tree-matching brown feathers and watches rodents running and people walking. If someone isn't looking for huge feathered creatures, none will be noticed.
In some ways I feel bad about not sharing. This wildlife feeds my soul and it just might feed the souls of others.
But out of respect for this beloved family, I've decided that if passersby don't see them on their own, I'm not talking. I don't know if everyone else will treat my fine feathered friends with the dignity that they are due.
And a family can only take so much gawking.
Photograph courtesy (again) of Mr. CarolForPeace. In 2 months, I plan on being able to use my camera again.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Did I Say MONSTER?
Some things never leave ya!
(Could you make it through the whole video?)
Gratitudes and Attitudes
First, before my humble acceptance speech, I want to tell you about San. She is a gifted artist and writer. I want to visit her gallery the next time I head south. I wish I had her creative eye and could see home furnishings in the disguise of rusty, discarded car doors. My medicine cabinets are 1950's cheap, standard issue, un-memorable, utilitarian things on the wall. San's medicine cabinet is art.
San woke up yesterday feeling good with gratitude in her heart. Maybe it's because she can see art in all things. I don't. I don't usually wake up feeling good and I don't see art in all things. I have more attitude than gratitude.
Nothing comes without a good opportunity either blatantly wrapped around it or quietly lodged deep inside. San's award was stunning to me, because I have not been real happy the past few days. How awful can it be to be given an award from a smiley happy person when I feel like a frowning furry monster?
And it's springtime, for God's sake!
When I was on retreat, there were twelve other two-legged friends in cabins of their own. I could choose to see them a couple of hours every morning for teachings if I wanted, or I could stay at my place and enjoy the four-legged friends that stopped by. I did a little of both. I would've been happy to have stayed alone the entire time, but I happened to read a book I found on a shelf that was titled Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer. It was a good book. Since I was spending time not only looking out from these eyes at the beauty around me, but also into these eyes to find out who is in here, I checked out the area in me labeled "Gratefulness" and found the room very sparsely furnished.
Something had to be done about that.
I began to think of the other participants, and haiku poems for each of them flowed from my hand onto old pieces of wood I found scattered around my wood-pile. After I had written a few of those, I got all excited to go to the next day's teachings so that I could hand out my offerings.
Yesterday after receiving San's award, I started writing thank you notes for all the food and flowers that my friends have given me during my recovery.
I do better calling this love. And I think that it comes naturally for me outdoors. It's just everywhere, infiltrating every atom. Indoors, I have to work on it a little. I have to reach out. Not too natural for me, but that's OK.
If you have read this far and want to accept this award for yourself, grab it. Make it yours. Let its opportunity wrap around you or go deep inside, if you'd like.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
40 Years Ago
Snow can still play with us for a few more months. There have been times that we walked through three feet of snow about this time of year. A few years ago, on Mother's Day, a couple of feet of snow weighing down already leafed-out branches caused one of our fifty foot tall cottonwoods to send a spear right through a skylight.
But snows this season, so far, have come frequently but ineffectively. Constipated skies. A big promise without an adequate follow-up.
Kind of like my surgery.
NOTHING that the doctor said before I was lying on the gurney ready to go into surgery indicated that we would do no less than repair a tendon tear. I prepared for the big one. The three-foot snow. I'm not disappointed about the fact that my pain is less than it would've been if el doctor had cut even more. I'm very happy that I'm not all immobilized in a honkin' big sling for a month followed by much more P.T. than I'll have now. But, just maybe, if I had known that MRI's can lie, maybe I would've opted out of this $14,000 (and counting) surgery.
It was big for me to trust western medicine enough to go through this. And you know what I think of MRI's now??? It may be a colder day than this before I will buy into that again.
Sounds like I'm in a pissy mood today, but I'm not (oh boy - bet you can't wait to see what a pissy Carol looks like). I think it's just that I got the first bill yesterday, which doesn't include the anesthesiologist's charges, the P.T. bills that are starting to accumulate, the price of breathing in their space, and any other bills that they can think of, and I'm blown away.
Guilt sits on my left shoulder and wants me to submit. These two shoulders have now probably cost more than $30,000. I'm as proud of that as I am of what we're doing to Iraq. That $30,000 could be used for so much more. Why are these middle-aged shoulders worth more than a starving child's life???
Maybe I'm going through buyer's remorse.
I'm in the phase where I feel worse than before the surgery and I have not yet seen how thankful I will be when my arm is pain-free and moving anywhere I want it.
If I believed that guilt would help this situation, I'd dive into it whole hog (where did THAT phrase come from?).
Wow! Who needs movies for entertainment when a mind can be so fascinating to watch? Years of endless drama right here. No charge, no effort.
Onward and upward! I am here and can't change a thing. I think I'll go do my exercises. This afternoon is my post-op appointment, and me and le docteur have some things to talk about.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
I was six when I saw that everything was God, and my hair stood up, and all," Teddy said. "It was on a Sunday, I remember. My sister was a tiny child then, and she was drinking her milk, and all of a sudden I saw that she was God and the milk was God. I mean, all she was doing was pouring God into God, if you know what I mean." J.D. Salinger, Teddy
I read this in the mid-70's and have never forgotten it.
Do you think this was just made up in order to create a great read? Or did Salinger see something that I try to see, but fail at more times than not?
Labels: J.D. Salinger
The Tides Have Turned
This is what I've done during some of my conscious hours (besides staring at the walls and out the windows) over the past few days:
1. Listened to Peter Fenner CDs on non-duality. This is my first introduction to Mr. Fenner and he's quite good. His voice is very soothing, though, and I visited la-la land easily while listening to him, which is kind of funny considering the title of the CD set is "Radiant Mind". Guess it didn't work for me. But I'm sure that his words seeped into my consciousness somehow.
2. Read Farewell My Subaru - an easy read about Doug Fine's adventures in trying to live with as small of a carbon footprint as possible.
Book review: "Fine survives drought, biblical floods, and crackpot UN-hating neighbors as he gradually becomes "solarized"... along the way readers will root for this dry sharp wit and his rosy green dream. Fine's funny struggle to become a better world citizen will entertain both the eco-aware, and those who doze peacefully in their home's formaldehyde fumes." - BookpageMaybe it's not really the drugs that have melted my mind. Maybe it's the formaldehyde around here.
3. Watched movies:
Once - Awesome, awesome. One of the best movies I've seen in a long time. I will not ruin it by telling you what I liked so much about it.
Stranger Than Fiction - I didn't buy into this one too deeply for awhile, but grew to enjoy it. Ending up really liking it.
Monsieur Ibrahim - Sweet. Simple. Omar Sharif.
Across the Universe - Oh, I did not like this movie at all. My eyes still hurt from rolling them so much - as in "Can you be more predictable and trite?". Maybe the formaldehyde caused me to miss something. I have heard from many people whose tastes I usually respect that they actually LIKE this movie.
Rivers and Tides - About artist Andy Goldsworthy. A very slow, quiet, beautiful movie about a man and his nature art. He sees the flow in all. It would be nice if we all would slow down and see what he sees.
Ten Canoes - um, no.
Have you seen any of these films? What did you think about them?