August 27th, 2007

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Gonzales resigns as Attorney General!  Finally!    What wonderful news to read first thing in the morning.  I am up, showered, ready for the dentist, and I come to that as my first outside news of the day.  His appointment was a travesty.  He has seen nothing wrong with torture and now he is gone and we can return this country to true moral standards and perhaps regain the integrity, honesty and unity in freedom of expression this country once stood for.   I am exultation!!
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torture -

Our leaders set the example of behavior.  This administration has said we don't have to follow the rules of the Geneva Convention.  We can torture people and treat them as they want.  This behavior is now seen on our television sets in the form of  "reality television."  

Read Jon Carroll on this subject.

He requests that people not buy anything advertised on "Kid Nation" so the TV show will go away before it begins.  I don't watch this kind of television, so don't know what will be advertised on it, but my sense now is that it probably won't be anything I buy anyway.

Riane Eisler spoke at the conference on Writing for Change on the Hierarchy of Domination which we have vs. the Hierarchy of Actualization which it is time to create.   Plumbers make upwards to $100.00 an hour.  The people who take care of our children don't make anything close to that.  Plumbers are trained.  Early child care people are not necessarily trained.  We spend more on maintenance of our pipes than we do on care for our children.  She said we see the Hierarchy of Domination in our sitcoms.  We have dominator humor, the laugh comes when someone is humiliated.

Philip Zimbardo spoke of how we are influenced by what others are doing.  That is why it is important for each of us to get a handle on our "heroic imagination" and set the example others can follow.  Don't get sucked in to being an ass.  Lead the parade triumphantly to clarity, compassion, kindness, care, and love. 

Riane Eisler had great difficulty getting The Chalice and the Blade published.  It didn't fit into any one category.  That seems to challenge the publishing community.  The book Breast Stroke doesn't fit into a category.  It is uplifting, though dealing with what might be seen as a depressing subject.  One thing I learned at the conference was that memoir or narrative non-fiction needs to be written with the "me" being the reader.  I am curious now what was interesting about my experience, why it did intrigue.  It seems publishers are shocked that the book The Glass Castle is a success.  All indicators showed people were tired of depressing subjects.  I think people want intensity, truth, and keys to navigating what comes.  We all have bumps in the road.  How do we meet them?  Seeing how other people handle what happens to them can help us handle our own lives.  Navigate on hope.

The fog is a thick blanket today.  Unless it clears I won't see the lunar eclipse tonight, and I will know it is there.

May today fulfill for us all!!

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This is easy -

We don't have to find the cure for cancer to make a difference to the world.  We only have to share our lives with other people.

-Rabbi Harold Kushner
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Rachel Naomi Remen -

I want to present some of what Rachel Naomi Remen said at the Writing for Change conference.  It is best to see her vibrant spirit in person, but I share with you a few of her words and thoughts as I remember and as I heard them.

She says that change happens because of stories, not because of facts.  Stories touch people's hearts.  Stories help us live.  They are like a compass, pointing to something that is true.   They make a difference by freeing us from beliefs.  We have a chance to change our own story of who we are and what we are here to do.  We can collaborate with our dreams.  She says we each should commit to nurture and see and hear the hidden wholeness.

Most of us live too small.  Most of us function below our wholeness and potential.  She says that violence is thwarted potential, violence toward ourselves or others.  We change when we witness ourselves, when we listen to our own potential.

When she was fourteen, she saw grass growing up through the cement in New York City, through the cement, not through a crack in the cement.  That showed her the power of life force.

She says the web of connection is only seen with the heart.  We can weave the broken web by telling stories.  They open the heart.

She says we are good enough as we are, and we have all made a greater difference than we realize.

We cannot waste potential now.  We all are needed.  Choose to make a difference.  The seeds of needed change are already present.  The future depends on us remembering the wholeness of the world.   The wholeness of the world can only be restored one heart at a time.

She works with medical students so that they create a personal Hippocratic oath, a personal dream of service.  She read what one young man wrote.  We all sat wet with tears.
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Evening -

The stars are out though the fog waits like a predatory animal upon the hill. 

The moon is up awaiting its eclipse.

Oscar Wilde said:  Be yourself.  Everyone else is taken.

When Susan Harrow spoke at the conference, she suggesting asking yourself:

            What kind of dog are you?

I see myself as friendly, a golden retriever, perhaps.  How about you?