February 1st, 2007

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In the night -

I fell early into a deep sleep and am now awake with the nearly full moon.   The landscape is alive with shadow and light.  I lit a candle to augment.  I feel stirring inside.  

Elaine gave me a beautiful piece of driftwood she found on the beach and felt was for me.  I have it here and it is quite a presence.  It seems a story I am meant to unravel.  It is on the kitchen table for now and I am waiting for it to tell me where it wants to sit.  

Yesterday was a day of sharing the pain of others.  It seems there is much to consider and I know life is a ball we balance, and I am sitting with how we each handle what comes.  A friend of mine sent me the blog of her daughter who just went through breast cancer treatment and had a mastectomy and now reconstructive surgery.  I found it brutal to read her experience.  It seems so much worst than mine.   I am awake with new movement within and without.  I think my body is beginning to let go of the firm line it held to get through this.  I am feeling some softening and new waves are waking to peer around and align.

This is the time of year of huge waves at Maverick's.  I feel the same need to rise.
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Good Morning!!

Fog and/or clouds anchor the morning.   The birds are visible against the gray.   Two turkey vultures circle on the ridge.   The flu bug that was attempting to enter last night has blown on through.   How wonderful sleep and dreams, both day and night.

I note that Tiger and Bella rise each morning, eat, go outside, come back in, then take a nap.  They have no guilt on that.  Both are curled up near me, asleep.  I try and imagine life as a cat, and can't, and I am glad they are here with me to point out the many ways to be.

"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."

- Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849)

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Molly Ivins -

She wrote and stayed involved until the end.   What an inspiration she is!!

  Enough is Enough
    By Molly Ivins
    The Texas Observer

    Friday 26 January 2007

    Stop it. Now.

    The purpose of this old-fashioned newspaper crusade to stop the war is not to make George W. Bush look like the dumbest president ever. People have done dumber things. What were they thinking when they bought into the Bay of Pigs fiasco? How dumb was the Suez war? How massively stupid was the entire war in Vietnam? Even at that, the challenge with this misbegotten adventure is that WE simply cannot let it continue.

    It is not a matter of whether we are losing or will lose. We have lost. Gen. John P. Abizaid, until recently the senior commander in the Middle East, insists that the answer to our problems there is not military. "You have to internationalize the problem. You have to attack it diplomatically, geostrategically," he says.

    His assessment is supported by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the senior American commander in Iraq, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who recommend sending more forces only if there is a clear definition of their goals.

    Bush's call for a "surge" also goes against the Iraq Study Group. Talk is that the White House has planned to do anything but what the group suggested after months of investigation based on much broader strategic implications.

    About the only politician out there besides Bush calling for a surge is Sen. John McCain. In a recent opinion piece, he wrote: "The presence of additional coalition forces would allow the Iraqi government to do what it cannot accomplish today on its own-impose its rule throughout the country ... By surging troops and bringing security to Baghdad and other areas, we will give the Iraqis the best possible chance to succeed." With all due respect to the senator from Arizona, that ship has long since sailed.

    A surge is not acceptable to the people in this country - we have voted overwhelmingly against this war at the polls and in the polls. (About 80 percent of the public is against escalation, and a recent Military Times poll shows only 38 percent of active military want more troops sent.) We know this is wrong. The people understand, the people have the right to make this decision, and the people have the obligation to make sure our will is implemented.

    Congress must work for the people in the resolution of this fiasco. Sen. Ted Kennedy's proposal to control the money and tighten oversight is a welcome first step. If Republicans want to continue to rubber-stamp this administration's idiotic "plans" and go against the will of the people, they should be thrown out as soon as possible, to join their recently departed colleagues.

    Anyone who wants to talk knowledgeably about our Iraq misadventure should pick up Rajiv Chandrasekaran's Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone. It's like reading a horror novel. You just want to put your face down and moan: How could we have let this happen? How could we have been so stupid?

    As The Washington Post's review notes, Chandrasekaran's book "methodically documents the baffling ineptitude that dominated U.S. attempts to influence Iraq's fiendish politics, rebuild the electrical grid, privatize the economy, run the oil industry, recruit expert staff or instill a modicum of normalcy to the lives of Iraqis."

    We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we're for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush's proposed surge. If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, "Stop it, now!"


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Outdoors -

There is an article in Time Magazine by John Cloud on how children are flourishing despite their busy schedules.   That is good news though it seems there is also a downside to their lives.   "Not all the news is good.  Young people have much higher rates of sexually transmitted disease than adults.  And kids spend less time outdoors these days (only 25 minutes a week for the average 6-12-year old) and more time with Wiis and iPods."  

I pause at that second statement wondering at such a generalization and how one would come to it.   For one thing, it seems to me that just getting from transportation to buildings, most of us are outdoors 25 minutes a week.   Surely there are other times children are outdoors, or are they dropped from garage to front door?  Also, is that an average for the year?  Surely children in summer are outdoors more than 25 minutes a week, so what does that say for winter?   I'm not sure how one would average out kids across the country in different seasons and climates and come to this conclusion, but no matter what, it is sobering that children in that age group spend so much less time outside than we did.  I'm glad I grew up when I did.

Contrast less than four minutes a day outside to a life like this as described by Anna Quindlen. 

So here’s what I wanted to tell you today: get a life. Get a real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you’d care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast? Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over Seaside Heights, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water gap or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a Cheerio with her thumb and first finger. Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you.

I found one of my best teachers on the boardwalk at Coney Island maybe 15 years ago. It was December, and I was doing a story about how the homeless survive in the winter months. He and I sat on the edge of the wooden supports, dangling our feet over the side, and he told me about his schedule, panhandling the boulevard when the summer crowds were gone, sleeping in a church when the temperature went below freezing, hiding from the police amidst the Tilt a Wirl and the Cyclone, and some of the other seasonal rides. But he told me that most of the time he stayed on the boardwalk, facing the water, just the way we were sitting now even when it got cold and he had to wear his newspapers after he read them. And I asked him why. Why didn't he go to one of the shelters? Why didn’t he check himself into the hospital for detox? And he just stared out at the ocean and said, “Look at the view, young lady. Look at the view.”

And everyday, in some little way, I try to do what he said. I try to look at the view. And that is the last thing I have to tell you today, words of wisdom from a man with not a dime in his pocket, no place to go, nowhere to be. Look at the view. You’ll never be disappointed.

Anna Quindlen, from her commencement address at
Villanova University, February 8, 1999

Excerpted from the Heron Dance Book of Love and Gratitude


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from Sojourners -

"Why were you elected? If you want a safe job, go sell shoes."

- Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), crticizing Republicans on the Foreign Relations Committee who oppose the president's war plan, but aren't willing to vote against it. (Source: Crunchy Con )