Tag Archives: politics

Equinox

Image
equinox-2194645_1920

Equinox by Comfreak via Pixabay

Last Friday was the autumn equinox. Summer has officially changed to fall, my favorite season of the year. Lots of great things happen that give me so much joy every fall. Anniversaries, birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving. Harvest, changing leaves, crisp air and pumpkins. The change begins in September. For me while I was raising my children and now as an advisor working in academia, September has always been the beginning of the new year, not January. Getting ready for fall means new school supplies, new clothes, a fresh start. A new beginning. The equinox signals the change.

tree-of-change-1-1351100-639x852

Tree of Change via Pixabay

This fall feels different. This September the world has seen three major hurricanes, two considered the largest in a century. Islands have changed, coastlines have changed, lives have changed beyond repair. This September has had two devastating earthquakes, hundreds killed and displaced. Monsoons and tornadoes. Flooding. Massive forest fires that burned for months clouded the air in September. This equinox it is clear that Mother Earth is pissed.  She made the required change from summer to fall but her fury seems slow to abate. The same can be said for human anger. Swords are rattling and there is great division as politics permeates every facet of life and not in a good way.

We live near major military bases, Air Force, Navy, Army and submarine. There has been a lot of activity these past few months, a sense of preparation. One night a loud hum that turned into something dark and ominous passed over my home. Something massive moved low and slow overhead, a feat of engineering, a sound that generated fear and unease, a disturbance in the force. Is this how our parents felt in the years before the great war? The uncertainty in the air, the rhetoric, the falseness of promises. The taunts of tyrants, the drums of war. There are major policy changes and vehement disagreements at every level and definitely a few steps backward. The constant deflection of attention by our leaders is giving me whiplash. There is a love of chaos and the blurring of lines. Sometimes it feels like a fight for the very soul of this country.

George Harrison famously sang “All things must pass” and if anything can save us, that sentiment surely will. I play my music loud to try to drown out the dissent. The equinox signals the seasons have transitioned and we are now on the other side of the next step. But how have we changed in the process? Webster’s dictionary defines equinox as the time of year when daytime and nighttime are equal in length. It certainly feels like that right now. There is such polarization that life in this country feels very black and white. For or against. Good or evil. Night or day.

So, yes, it has been a unique September. It is the first September we did not have our Mom here to celebrate her birthday. This September has dark things coming out of the shadows and discourse seems alive wherever one looks. Yet there is the other side, that equal balance of the equinox. This September has shone a light on heroes and heroines of many colors, genders, backgrounds and creeds. There has been thousands willing to stand, to kneel or to lay down in the face of injustice. There is hope and strength and so much courage. There is the opportunity to change the narrative, a chance to do something different now that the sun has crossed the equator.

Despite the dark days and the muted nights, life marches on. The college started classes this week, a whole new group of students with hopes and dreams and new clothes and school supplies beginning their education to explore and fulfill their life’s purpose. The devastating natural disasters have paradoxically brought out the best of humanity. In the face of that fury there is no color, creed or gender. There’s just people in need of each other. Why does it take these extreme measures to make us realize how alike we all really are? How fragile we are? How strong we are? That our blood is the exact same color and texture. That all of our brain matter is grey. That our lungs move in and out in harmony. That we all laugh and cry and love and struggle. We all have hopes and dreams. Life is not black or white. It’s a rainbow created by the sun shining through raindrops. Out of the mud comes the lotus. This too shall pass just as the equinox slowly changes the balance of the sun’s trajectory.  The equinox has made the transition and we are on the other side. Which road will we take into autumn?

silhouettes-1186996_1920

Silhouette by Geralt via Pixabay

Confessions of a Baby Boomer Mom – Gratitude

Image

20160712_184240

It was my birthday yesterday. To say that I am grateful to be celebrating yet another one is an understatement considering ten years ago I was fighting a life threatening disease. And yet each day is a blessing. Nothing is ever guaranteed, no one can count on seeing another morning. This past week has been a difficult one for my country, my friends and my family. There is so much uncertainty and fear. The unknown always holds fear, there is no doubt. Yet I take this blessing of another day to be grateful for the things I do have and to count those as well.

Next week we celebrate Thanksgiving. I have felt saddened these past years that the significance of this celebration has become muddled with the great opportunity for businesses to sell lots and lots of products in one fell swoop in preparation of Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving holds the ominous title of Black Friday. Black Friday encroaches more and more into Thanksgiving each year to the point where stores open for business the evening of Thanksgiving Day. This has made me very sad. This day has been set aside for us to reflect and be thankful for all that we have in this very prosperous country. Instead many are focused on the what they can buy for the cheapest prices.

And yet that in itself  is what many consider a blessing. And who I am to negate another person’s gratitude? But for me to really feel that this country has not taken, to paraphrase the infamous words of Bugs Bunny, a wrong turn at Albuquerque, I feel I must dig deep to remind myself of all that I am thankful for. Gratitude comes in stages. It comes in baby steps and in great leaps. In the silence and in the noise too. It is an attitude. One just never knows when it will appear and you have to feel grateful that it did at all.

I am grateful for life and grateful for time. For touch, feel and sight. For love and friendship even those lost ones. Life is a roller coaster. Childhood than high school then college then life, not necessarily in that order. Sometimes I was trying to navigate without a compass. Some things went so right and some so wrong. So grateful I got through safely to the age I am now with only a few scars. Oh baby it is a wild world indeed.

I am grateful for the joy and pain of parenting. Of bringing children into the world whom I could love and nurture and hover over and let go of and worry about and laugh with. Grateful for a husband and friend and partner for 34 years. Through hard times and good times and some bad times too. A lifetime and yet only a moment together. Fumbling through life holding onto each other. Grateful for his strength and love. I am grateful for the company of a cat for 15 years. His grace and beauty, his defiance. His heavy body draped across my lap for many moments of rest.

I am grateful for elders who have lived into their 90’s so that I could still feel like a beloved child when I was with them. Grateful for my tribe, for my brothers and sisters and cousins and friends. We are all in this together. For my children with their never ending lessons. For every sunrise and every sunset.  For the chance to bake some cookies. And the tools to do so.

So grateful this horrible election is over even though it left a hole in my heart where my faith in humanity had been. Grateful for the time and the chance to heal that hole and find hope again. Grateful for the right to vote. For the time to heal wounds.

There are endless things I am grateful for, many which I will keep pressed between the pages of my secret heart. Despite all, I am grateful to enjoy the full advantages of the modern world to the point where I can stay tucked up warm in my bed the day after Thanksgiving while others choose to go out in the dark to get the weekend deals in their favorite stores. We all have a choice here while many around the world cannot choose what their day may hold. And so I send that out into the world and state that we all have a responsibility to uphold our brothers and sisters here at home and around the world and pray they are granted a good life too. I am grateful for all of my blessings even those in disguise. And I light another candle for myself today.

20161016_104804

Confessions of a Baby Boomer Mom – Politico

Image

public-speaking-1313614-1600x1200

Things are getting ugly. As much as I have resisted the desire to be sucked into the political race of the American people, it’s hard to stay neutral. It feels like the lines have been drawn although at times they seem more blurry than ever. Like all of the evil thoughts and deeds that had been held at bay for so long have slithered to the surface. That creepy, underbelly of the human condition has been poked and prodded and all of this nastiness has risen to the top. It’s in the attitudes of people, it’s in the looks at those who are different, it’s in the reactions from those on the street, it’s in the grocery store, it’s in the media. It’s hard to know which way to look or how to feel anything but fear and loathing.

The rhetoric from the top down has been brutal. Respect and decency have been ignored in the name of transparency. I want to cover my son’s ears. I want to cover my daughter’s eyes. Is this America? I have never been much of a protester. I have never marched or carried a sign to a rally. I have always been more of the armchair type of critic. Maybe because it is so safe. But I remember the time my son told me that it’s good to scare ourselves sometimes. I get his point. Sometimes you have to push out of the comfort zone.

Despite the unbelievable information coming to light, we justify so much. We justify in the name of democracy. In the name of justice. In the name of God. In the name of the law. Where does it stop or hit rock bottom? Comedian John Oliver stated that we have sunk so low, it will be a relief when the earth’s magma swallows us whole and puts us out of our misery! Human decency and respect has fallen by the wayside. The gloves are off.

I have never lived through such a spectacle. I feel so much shame for the behaviors exhibited on the world stage. I believed in a different kind of country when I came here. All immigrants did. I raised my children with a different kind of mindset. I feel pushed decades back. Like I am sporting a 60’s pillbox hat. A 50’s kitchen apron. A 40’s dress with shoulder pads. Which is ironic in the decade where a tenacious glass ceiling has been finally been shattered.

It’s hard to know what or who to listen to. After a while it just sounds like scary noise. Todo es mentira. All are lies. I don’t want to believe that but how to know? They tell me my vote matters. My tiny little paper cut in the fight against the opposition will make a difference. Does it? Will it? We are all so tired. My friends and neighbors, my family, my coworkers. Yet we can’t tear our eyes away from the train wreck that is this presidential campaign. Many strong honorable people have spoken out against the ugliness that has come forth but many more have brushed it off. The effects of this will linger long after November 8th. Long, long after. Pandora learned that when she peeked inside that tempting box.

We have less than a month to know if this country will find an even keel in these hurricane waters. Something very primal is telling me I cannot sit this one out. I use this forum for my voice and it would be a disservice not to use it for what I hope is good. There are many good voices out there. Strong, decent, indignant voices. I am not alone. I have hope. I hope the anger and hate that has been stirred will settle and we can get back to the business of living. The tenor of this race insults the good, decent, hard working Americans just trying to carve out a happy life, raise a family, live in peace and harmony. That’s a universal desire among all people. Once the dust settles, I fervently hope that’s what will be finally achieved.

treasure-chest-1421839