Weather/ Climate

Well, it finally happened. We’re talking about the weather. When I was growing up people used to say, “you can always talk about the weather but you can’t do anything about it!” It was a way of exposing our basic need to connect, to say something to each other and, not knowing what else to say or how to connect, we could depend on the weather to give us something to talk about. Talking about the weather today has become controversial, disquieting,  something to avoid, certainly for politicians.

Weather exposes our insecurity as individuals to have control over not just our future but the future of our next generations. Like looking into a void we don’t have a reference for. It feels really far away and we don’t have a dependable cultural mechanism to talk about the future. “Seventh generation” is a model some of us give lip service to but we don’t have a cultural basis for. Are we really thinking of the coming generations when we decide not to fund what we blithely call “infrastructure” – tiresome word – are we really thinking about our great great great great grandchildren when we cast a vote, think a thought that is applicable only to ourself and our immediate need? When we get bent out of shape because the stock market went up or down a few points is that thinking about future generations? That’s weather.

Climate is what we pass on. Climate is like who we are at our soul’s level, weather is how we are today. Weather is the exam I just blew, the fight I just lost or won but our ability to be equanimous – or not – our love and compassion for all creatures, friends, lovers, exes of each category; that’s climate. It’s our climate, who we are and who we’ll be when all we know of ourselves is no longer here now.

Looking into the future is scary for all of us. Who will we be, how will we live, how we will care or be cared for? These are questions we all face unless we have a cultural/emotional community of trust to rely on. The main thrust of science in my lifetime has been to get things under control. We need not experience what is going on outside – we have climate control in our homes, cars, places of work and play. We have insurance and all manner of products to keep us stable in this chaotic world. We’ve got everything we need to be comfortable except knowing how to adapt, to respond to what is here now. We’re learning that. I think we’ll “get it” for the next generations, I think we’ll learn how to adapt – we already know – but we’ll have to act and talk about it while we wait and see.

 

 

Parasite Rex

A while ago I wrote about how parasites, viruses, and bacteria all contribute to who we are and how we relate to each other. I referenced the book, Parasite Rex, which talks about our interaction with our environment – in this case, very small creatures.

On Sunday in a NY Times opinion column, i.e., not necessarily endorsed by the paper, Moises Velasquez-Manoff discusses autism as possibly a function of the lack of parasites whose presence is known to suppress inflammation.

I don’t want to get into an argument about this – what I think is so important is that our interaction with our world, macro and micro, is so significant.

Maybe it’s because i was horrified when I was introduced to Rene Descartes in college. I haven’t gotten over it. How could someone leave out most of the body’s attributes and focus in on a single aspect! (no question mark here, this is rhetorical)

It’s so human of us to isolate one person, idea, phylum and have it support one huge idea. The most obvious to me at the moment are the religious views that would have us be evil or incompetent or superior depending which side is talking.

I know it is often hard for me to feel my connection to the universe in a palpable way. I allow the concept of the universe in me and I in the universe to penetrate my consciousness, I seek it, I believe it. Until I get in a pinch, then it’s really easy to separate.

When I read the article on Autism – and I am drawn to them thanks to my godson Jacob and his teachings – I think of all the places I’ve seen where people live, their relative health and happiness. With my Western mind it is hard for me to fathom how they can live at all. No flush toilets or Saran Wrap, no Betadine or Hydrogen Peroxide. How do they do it? And then I think how I just had the opportunity to walk around in Retail Land for four hours on Saturday and Sunday as Chandrika took a required course for the DMV in preparation for her driver’s license. We don’t look so healthy here. No, not at all. Happiness is a bit of a stretch too. And I think to my time in Nepal and India, many months spent fending off all the disease and dirt and allowing in the smiles, the happiness, the easy and available color, the simplicity within the cacophony of life.

I’m not winding to a Conclusion except to say that I eat organic food because it has withstood the onslaughts of bugs, thereby making the plant stronger and hopefully giving me some of that benefit and I’ll take my answer off the air but I think having a bit of the universe in me in the form of a little dirt wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Mystery

My horse loves me and I love my horse. His name is Sanne which means Lilly in the section of Holland called Friesland. yes, he’s a Fresian. One of those beautiful black horses who shows up as the equine heartthrob in lots of movies. He is a heartthrob. He’s all heart. And he has a good mind and a will as well as a willingness. Here we are

and here he is with his trainer – we are both the loves of his life, he has chosen us and we believe in him

well, you can’t see Brandi so well, but you can see DeAnna, one of his favorite dancers.

He loves to dance, to perform, to piaffe and passage and be the beautiful horse he is.

when I first saw him as a three year old, he looked out of his stall – I wasn’t looking for a horse – and gave me the impression that I had to get him. As a young horse not sure of himself he was happy to canter in the woods under my direction, spend time hanging out. But then this Portuguese Dressage trainer from Sardinia came to our barn and wanted to ride him. I said sure and watched my young horse turn into a master performer before our eyes – other women in the barn were swooning!
J.P. wanted to take him in training – I said no, but from that day forward Sanne and I were not happy in the woods – and what I had to tell him was not enough. He wanted a master, he wanted to be told what to do and he wanted Dressage.

The mystery of it all is – How would I know? I followed my gut which led me to him, I’ve always done the best I can and he has too, but I never could have conceived of him as he is now. And I only got here by listening to him, and to me. I wanted nothing of dressage, it was so clear to me although it took time and when I met Brandi and took a lesson I knew this was not for me, it was for him. I got off, she got on and we’re both in love with Sanne who returns every favor. That’s not the mystery. The Mystery is who each one of us is and how do we uncover ourselves in our present so we can live our future.

Today is a good day to look at what is. This is the Start Here Now section of your life!

Here’s An Opportunity

Research has shown that people tend to go along with the majority view, even if that view is incorrect. A study targeting neurons in the brain shows that when people hold an opinion differing from others in their immediate group, their brains produce an error signal. The “group” could be a jury, a classroom, a board meeting, any meeting, or a party. In other words, in any human gathering a person with a “different” idea or perception will feel “wrong” or “too different.”

This study that I just read about on CNN brings to mind how amazing it is when someone like Harvey Milk – the movie is a must see – consistently goes against the flow of opinion. We can thank Harvey, Martin Luther King whose birthday we celebrate, Barney Frank and all the thousands of people historic and among us who change our lives everyday because they are able to override their feelings of needing to be with the pack.

Those independent thinkers and doers among us who blow the whistle, who stop an act of aggression, who see a need and step in are our most valued citizens.

There are independent thinkers, entrepreneurs, some we know in our lives and some we read about. People who make a difference, who have a focus of adding to the good in the world, who override their need to be quiet when they see injustice make a lasting impression. You can do that anywhere. No job or task is too insignificant to be a platform for just action. We can all participate.

I got a video e-mail from Michelle Obama this week asking all of us to participate in volunteering next Monday, doing something of benefit to others. Today is Martin’s actual birthday, January 15, but we celebrate the holiday next Monday.

For me to know that president-elect Obama and Michelle will be reaching out and focusing on problems other than their own is a long-dreamed of hope to have such effective role models in leadership.

May the Force be with each one of us as we step into our lives, our roles, our hopes and dreams. We can all be role models, we can start by looking up to ourselves.