Category Archives: Conservation

Regeneration and Rejuvenation in Three Parts

PART I

Our lap pond no longer leaks. It hardly even evaporates. And I am determined to swim every day because this is not a four season pool and the season is fast coming to a close. The last two days, the water was 68 degrees and the air a bracing 47. Nippy. Almost too but still beareable. Delicious and there is a part of me that needs to be in that pool with the frogs and water bugs. When swimming between two mountains in that very cold water, I am filled with a sense of gratitude and convergence. As if all that has happened in my lifetime actually makes sense. That being here at Darwin’s View is exactly where I am meant to be. After these last seven years of bewilderment, that’s refreshing.

How get into the water? Once decided to do it (no, yes, no, yes, no, yes), I ask leave of the resident leopard frog. He dives off into the darkness, to safety. I step onto the first step to follow him, and the next, and the next. I can’t spend time considering the chill of the water. I know that if I hesitate for too long, my toes will be numb before I am fully submerged, and the swim will be a euphemism for a mere wetting. Splash! I’m in and fully awake, swimming from a pinked-by-the-sunrise Mount Monadnock toward Pac Monadnock. Clouds rest on its shoulder like a blanket of snow. As I come up for breath, I note the plants of the pool’s stone bed regeneration system. Below me, water bugs do the breast stroke. Snails on the side of the pool. A dragonfly birthed from its cocoon. Skin chilling, I feel the shape of my body, where it ends and the water begins. My awareness of my feet, legs, torso is vivid. The water livens me. It heals me. It is me. Being. I am in the moment, for once, because the moment, this one in the pool, is absolutely perfect.

Only three laps. Four. Five. I could swim forever, and want to, but the cold sinks into my blood. My toes cramp. Unlike the frogs, I am not cold-blooded. Yet, even as I step out of the pool, I regret that sensation of breathless cold against my skin. That feeling of aliveness. Of I exist. Of I am. And I know the unutterable importance of that beingness. Has anyone else felt it? It is without boundaries. It is the sensation of oneness. That we are all bound up in a whorl of energy that has no beginning or end.

PART II

An example of a lack of boundaries: Our free-range, a.k.a. feral, chickens. They have no discretion as proven by the peeps, who are now adolescents. They have taken over the handicapped-accessible walkway to the porch. It is dotted with their poo. Mo, in particular, likes to hang out there as the enclosure gives echo to his crow.

Yes, once again, we have hims. Mo and Muff. Mo is the top dude and chasing the older hens who are, needless to say, pissed that their peace and quiet is once again being broken by some upstart trying to mount them in adolescent fashion: no foreplay whatsoever. Mo is more concerned with his own needs than the hens’ which, if you are paying attention at all, you will note is pervasive in the world today. Too few are willing to take the time to consider the other side.

PART III

Balance. Life requires balance. In our demo-n-capitalist society, balance has been gerrymandered away. Energy, in the form of money, has been used to upend democracy, creating an unnatural chaos, a seemingly bottomless vortex of anger and hate that masks a deep and unexplored fear. Unbearable sadness. The pain of rejected love and lost connection. We will have to face that pain, if we are to heal it. It is very ugly. Evil. As terrifying as it is terrified. But here we are at a confluence of tides: hate meeting compassion. Words meet action. Words are so much easier. After all, here I am on my little hill taking a dip in my piece of heaven, a regenerative lap pond. Easy for me to say march in peace, be. I am white. I’ve never known poverty. My present moment isn’t dangerous.

Granted, one never knows. There is a gun club near us here. People practicing their aim on human forms.

Would Jesus do that?

Mohammed?

Buddha?

We know that Gandhi didn’t shoot guns, and I have wondered: in real life, as opposed to fiction, does good win over evil? Compassion and love over hate. There does seem to be a shift going on. We are in the midst of a nightmare but look how many people now are involved and active  against intolerance and hate who would not have been otherwise. The question being, will it be enough? Like so many totalitarian regimes, our current head of government doesn’t listen. Doesn’t care. He rolls forward unheeding, like an army tank over living beings. Individuals sacrifice for something bigger than any one person. Life snuffed. Is there still hope?

Rather like the eclipse. It was only a partial eclipse at Darwin’s View. Even so, it was unsettling to watch. Through the welder glasses that friends of ours brought, the sun was green. Had I been a youth, I would have announced, “It’s not the moon that is made of blue cheese but the sun!”

A bite in the sun, getting bigger and bigger, and mini eclipses scattered on the ground through the dappled light of trees.

We know the science of it, the physics, but what of its magic? The energy of so many people coming together to watch the power of Mother Nature. The moon calmly, steadily, inevitably covering the sun. Only for two hours. And then the sun came back . . . perhaps changed. I like to think so. I like to think that maybe the patriarchal norms that have ruled this society shifted, influenced by the moon’s energy and all the women who have been galvanized by the current situation. I like to think that maybe, just maybe, instead of destruction, we will begin to rebuild, using our humanity, not our greed and fear, as the foundation. I have to believe this because the alternative is as dark as if the sun had not come back.

Last week the eclipse.  Next week, a full moon. The tides rise. Especially in Texas.

The Stoner Dudes and Solar Eclipse

I’d like to introduce the Stone Dudes, Mo and Muff. Like their sisters—Squeaky, Sparrow, Black-Gold and Gold-Black—they were supposed to be girls. Enter reality.

The old hens—Ping, CooLots, Chickadee, Brownie and Apricot—look askance at the adolescents. Do these gawky, skitterish dudes really think . . . anything?

Before I get too far into the chicken kerfuffles up here at Darwin’s View, I’d like to say this: Welcome back! To me, too. I haven’t been here in a while. And recognize, too, that I have attempted to reset this blog a few times in the last three years. Today, though, is different. Today is special. On so many levels.

The Personal: As of yesterday, Carl and I are entirely moved out of Providence. The sale of the house there is pending . . . and all our stuff is here. Bulging at the seams. We have doubles of everything, and back ups of more. Our near future looks to be full of culling and letting go inside the house even as we weed and clear and plant outside. There will be no more looking back to Providence. We will focus on here, with intention!

We can hope, right?

The Societal: Interesting times, in a Chinese curse way, aren’t these? Having been an East European History major in college, I always thought it was odd that Russian touted itself as the communist thang under the pseudonym “The Soviet Union” when it made so much more sense for the United State of American, the true (sic) capitalist society to step up to the plate. After all, we had the real middle class, a working class that could be downtrodden and destroyed by the rich. And here we are! We’re a bit late to the game but we have our .01% of the rich having more wealth than the rest of the population combined, and pushing and clawing for more. Education has been removed in favor of fake news and social media that with a snap of a button can be shut down, thereby creating chaos which is what revolutions thrive on. Something is brewing out there.

The question being, will it be a revolution for, of and by the People, or a take-over by the oligarchy that currently runs things, known at this blog site as Demo-n-capitalist Bastards?

The World: To harken back to those naive days when I claimed to be at war against climate change, here we are! Admit it or not, climate change is happening. We humans destroyed the old world, decimating countless species, poisoning the skies and waters . . . but no need to go down that path. Let’s look on the bright side: we now live in the Anthropocene age, where nature is no longer part of the picture. These are human created times. Everything around us has been touched by us. Humans have infected—for lack of a better word—the world and to go forward in our existence on this planet, we now must figure out a way to survive as a species in this new world.

Does it matter if we don’t?

The Universe: Oh, sigh. Couldn’t it, we, be better? Couldn’t we, as a species, shift to a new way of being? One not based on destruction? Thinking of the billions of beavers killed for a hat, I wonder if there isn’t a way to co-exist with those little bastard groundhogs who eat our gardens, and wild horses who persist on eating the grasses reserved by us for our cattle. Is it necessary to kill off all the natural environment?

Of course! We have to feed ourselves. But it seems we aren’t doing a very good job of that. Millions of people are in the process of losing their homes as the oceans rise. Others as their soils turn to dust.

I know. It isn’t economic to save everyone. It might be an idea to educate them, though. A dirty little secret: If we educated women, in particular, they’d have fewer babies. In one generation, we could half the population. Which is currently burgeoning to unsustainable levels. And if we gave the poorer populations food and not bullets, there’s be less cause for war. If we cooperated and recognized that without each other, without nature’s web to sustain us . . .

It sounds touchy feely, doesn’t it? New agey to talk about cooperation and compassion and love, thereby ignoring the existence of hate and racism and greed.

But why not? We have to start somewhere. We are in the midst of a crisis that the opioid crisis manifests. We have a civil war fomenting in our selves and on all levels of self.  How heal? When?

Today there will be a solar eclipse. The moon will shade the sun, giving it a well deserved break. Being the sun–and oh so masculine–must be fraught. I will be watching our chickens for their reaction. And the cats, too. Where we live it will only be a partial eclipse but I’m still holding to the possibility that maybe  this brief, mid-day dusk will herald a dawning.

It will. For me, anyway. Have you noted? I haven’t given up yet. I am back, again, and again hitting the reset button in hopes of starting, for me if no one else, a new age of beingness, compassion and creation. I believe that, however vile humans might appear to be, yet we have an even greater capacity to love. So long as we try. Again and again. We cannot give up. If we do, it would cost us our humanity.

I’m gonna be like this Stoner Dude. Mo has been practicing his crow for a couple of weeks now. He’s getting better. Granted, he’ll never be Big Red. Just as the world will never be what it once was, with Dodo birds and Giant Sloths. But it might be something else. Something quite beautiful, if intangible: a world in which humans are their better selves, entirely conscious, aware of the great beauty around them, and caring for it, tending it, being.

HOW YOU MIGHT SAVE THE WORLD!

IMG_4328It’s been too long. Like Nick, I’ve been in a box called Writer’s Block. But I just finished draft 5 of my next book, and now have time to restart my blog . . .  with this message, a tag on to my war against Anthropogenic Climate Disruption, previously referred to as Climate Change and Global Warming, all of which are currently present in this Primary Season.

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No, not our ducks. But someday. . . ?

Have you heard the joke about the guy who wanted to win the lottery? Every week, he’d pray to win. Not only that, but he explained to his god why he should win. It was not just for himself, after all, that he wanted the money. No! After he paid off his mortgage and paid off his kids’ college loan debts, he planned to start a life of philanthropy. He’d give away all the money he won so that others could have education, food and shelter, fresh water.

He prayed so hard. Purely. Selflessly. Weeks and months went by. He could hardly believe how fervently a person could pray and yet not get what he hoped for. Finally, he said as much to God. He said, “God, why won’t you let me win?”

A tremendous BANG! Flashes of lightening. And God’s fiery voice.

“I’d let you win but you have to buy a damned lottery ticket!”

A winning lottery is remarkably like voting. If you don’t buy the lottery ticket, or vote, the likelihood of things working out the way you hope is nonexistent. You’re leaving it to everyone else to take up the flag, to remember all the women, the blacks, the principled who suffered and fought for the right to vote in this country. They knew what life was like without that right. In fact, they knew it was worth dying for.

Republicans and the Righteous Right know this joke. They know that, in fact, their vote matters because when people vote, things can change. For the better or worse, depending on your beliefs. Thus they come out in droves, even through rain and snow, to exercise their right to vote.

Democrats seem to think like the guy in the joke. They think that good things will just happen. Things will work out.

Or why bother. My vote doesn’t signify.

Really?

I would suggest that if you think your vote doesn’t matter, you might try to make it matter. If you think the elections are rigged, get out and protest and/or call your representatives. And if you think it’s too late? Almost, but not quite.

This election has the potential to be a debacle (Drumpf), more of the same (Clinton) or a triumph (Sanders). I believe it will usher in the end of democracy—and thereby the world as we know it—or a new beginning.

IF we vote in the primaries. IF we vote in our Local and National elections. IF even after the elections, we stay involved at a local level and begin to pay attention and support the change we have voted for. Only then do we have a hope for a better, fairer world, and a chance against Anthropogenic Climate Disruption.

In short, Democrats, you have a choice: get out and vote. Or stay home, eat bonbons, and pray.

And if you want to hear why I support Sanders, not Hillary, drop me a line. I’m happy to discuss it.

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Pipelines, Book Tour and Twits. I mean Tweets.

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View of Darwin’s View from the top of Mt. Monadnock. Can you see us?

You will be happy to know that I deleted a two page rant on Spectra Energy. If you want to know what set me off, go to EcoRI.org and read “Little Notice and Low Turnout at Pipeline Meeting” by Tim Faulkner/ecoRI News staff.

The low down? If we don’t get more informed and outraged, in about two years, Spectra Energy will most likely get the okay to put a gas pipeline from Weymouth, MA., through Burrillville, RI all the way to New Jersey.  It will run through Tiverton and Little Compton. And under the Sakonnet River to Middletown. . ..

But don’t get me started. EcoRI.org. Excellent website. “Little Notice and Low Turnout at Pipeline Meeting” by Tim Faulkner/ecoRI News staff.

imagesSpeaking of trains–which I wasn’t but let’s go with trains of thought and then real trains, which have replaced my chicken obsession–my Cross-Country Whistle Stop Book Tour with Flash Readings is planned! And I finished the first (aka sh**ty) rough draft of my next book–Darwin’s View One Breath After Midnight. TOOT! TOOT!

Do you see how they tie together?

Continue reading Pipelines, Book Tour and Twits. I mean Tweets.

Cheeks, NH Rebels, and Writing

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NOTE: I will be reading at Bank Square Books in Mystic, CT a week from today: Wednesday, July 23. It’s a luncheon. 12-1:30. If you want lunch, you can call the bookstore to make reservations. Later that day, at 5PM, Carl and I will be at the Westerly Beach where Carl will be playing with NRBQ. If you can’t make it to the bookstore, I’ll be happy to sign books on the beach!

 

And then we climbed Mount Monadnock!

Happy sigh.

Until I remember that I have missed two postings.

How dare I be so neglectful of my reading public? Clearly, the goals and intentions that I wrote about in my last post have fallen by the wayside before they had become a habit, which takes anywhere from 66 days to 500 plus days to develop.

I have been writing for
over thirty years. That is habit.

But it is only this year that I can finally call myself an author a.k.a. published. Thus, I don’t think I can be accused of writing for fame or fortune. That’s not my goal. But I have to admit, two months into the process of having a book out, I’m needing to think through why I published because I’m feeling kind of sad. I wasn’t expecting thousands of my books to be sold. But I had hoped for more readings and interaction. Connections not via the web.

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There really is a raft/wood pallet in those weeds. . .

Apparently, that’s where people go now. Continue reading Cheeks, NH Rebels, and Writing