On the USS Hornet on Saturday I wore a wool coat all day and still my teeth chattered. I'm sitting here now looking out at incredible beauty, rain, flowers, green, and mist on the hill. I think of Asian landscapes, and wonder why Japanese and Chinese paintings come to mind when I see the hills veiled in mist. Perhaps American paintings and landscapes are viewed as sunnier, which brings me to Kali, the Hindu goddess associated with eternal energy. The name means "she who destroys". Do we honor "she who destroys" in a world where we like to pretend the sun always shines, that we are always on the side of "good"?
The Keynote Speaker for the Toastmasters District Conference was Waldo. You can get a taste of him here. That taste may appeal to you, or not. Some were offended. Others inspired. He understood there might be a difference of opinion around him, and pointed out that the important thing is to support those who are there for us, and I agree.
The conference began with blaring music and I felt like I was in Top Gun. After all, I was on an aircraft carrier. Waldo overcame claustrophobia and a fear of heights to fly 65 missions in an F-16. That takes discipline and perseverance. His message is that nobody flies solo.
I saw Daniel Ellsberg speak yesterday. He pointed out that for fifty years the US and Russia have had the capability to destroy the world many times over. We are the only species that kills and tortures. Animals kill for food. They kill if their territory is invaded. Chimps, our nearest relative, may gather together and attack one lone animal, but no species is like us when it comes to murder, rape, and torture. We have weapons, weapons, weapons. We bombed SE Asia when we knew there was no point to it, no gain, no aim. We are bombing now. I read the following and want to throw up.
What is the threat? Why the fear? Meanwhile our children need schools and parks and roads to get to those schools and parks. Bridges need repair.
Ellsberg says we have to stop saying "we" and "them". He suggests we take a lesson from the military and apply their use of discipline and comradeship to peaceful causes, peaceful organization. He said we would remember his talk for three months but when I walked out I could hear people saying that he was asking the impossible, because even if "we" did it, "they" wouldn't.
I can only shake my head. He also pointed out that religions that advocate war are immoral. That did not go over well with everyone either and yet how do we not see it? He had no answers, except to encourage us to take risks and to live as though the world is as we wish. I set intention once again to meet my moments with as much awareness as possible as I acknowledge the energy of Kali, and use my passion and energy with love in the way I interpret it, and care.