Did I Miss the Memo?

Sometimes I have to ask myself why I care about particular issues when there is so much to be concerned with right now. The issues I find myself latching onto the most at the moment really don’t impact me. And that, oddly enough, is why I care about them.

I worry a great deal about the environment. On a normal day in a normal year under a normal presidency, the environment would be my primary concern. But in my mind, when I try to prioritize my concerns (because there are so many now), I tell myself that the environment impacts all of us. Scientists are fighting for this. The whole world (except the U.S.) is fighting for this. Most of us know we have to fight for this. My hope is that there are enough people fighting for this that if I’m focusing somewhere else for a little while, we’re still covered.

And I’m all about equal rights for everyone. Women, LGBT, African Americans, – everyone. That’s the basis of our country. It’s fundamental. But, again, there are whole movements behind these efforts. Needed movements. Strong movements. My hope is that they stay strong while at the moment I’m focused elsewhere.

Immigration doesn’t impact me much — not directly. It doesn’t impact a lot of us who were born here. That’s where my concern comes in. I worry that there is, in my opinion, a very important part of our society being overlooked. Forgotten.

I’m not sure immigrants have a movement behind them. They have support, especially when there is a blatant move like the travel ban. But when it’s not making the headlines every day, is there much concern around it? I don’t know.

For me, the immigration challenges we’re facing right now are a part of the bigger hate issue. Immigrants of all nationalities, but particularly Mexico and other Latin American countries, are seeing a lot of intolerance right now. And do they have a movement to support them? I don’t know. Maybe. I hope so, but I don’t see it.

And before anyone reprimands me for this, I don’t mean to stereotype immigrants as servers and cooks or minimum-wage earners. My company is filled with developers, engineers, brilliant people from all over the world. We have a diversified, immigrant-heavy team. It’s one of the things I like about my company.

But it’s the minimum-wage immigrants that I worry about. The ones who do the jobs we don’t even notice — until someone isn’t doing that job any more. The ones whose first language is not English and who speak in their native language when talking with family and friends rather than “our language.” The ones who don’t have a lot of voice in our society, especially not now.

I worry about the Hispanic woman who cleans the restrooms at my office. Or the cafeteria cooks who make a mean BLT for me at lunch. Or the Asian ladies who ring up my BLT. These people who serve me with a friggin’ smile that I don’t get at many other places. I worry that no one is standing up for them. That they are forgotten in this mess of a political climate.

I worry that they go home and see the news and wonder if something will happen to them or someone in their families. I hope they don’t. I hope they are able to enjoy their lives despite the environment Trump has created. And I hope that my worry is unsubstantiated.

But that’s why I find myself caring so much about immigration, and especially immigration from south of the border. Mexico is our neighbor. They’re a good neighbor. And what are we doing? Building a wall. Pardoning someone who was basically guilty of hate crimes against Latinos. Rounding up students and calling them gang members. It’s ridiculous.

People just want a better life. That’s all. It’s not a great conspiracy. It’s not a threat. They’re not looking to steal jobs. They just want to be happy. The pursuit of happiness — isn’t that what we’re all about here? Did I miss the memo about that not being our motto any more?

What about working class whites? That’s the question that comes up when you talk about immigration. Well, I come from working class whites. I was a working class white and paid my way through college to become a salaried employee. And at my first few jobs, my salary was barely over minimum wage. If you counted the longer hours I worked, I’m not sure I was even making minimum wage.

So, I know working class whites. It’s what I am and it’s where I came from. And what I know is that few to no working class whites are willing to clean bathrooms in an office building. Or run the register in a cafeteria. Or, even if they are, they’re not willing to drive into the city where these jobs are located. And they aren’t willing to live in a tiny, low-rent apartment to make ends meet on minimum wages.

I can say this because I’m not sure I’m willing to do those things any more — not while I have a choice. I’ve also spoken with white working class folks who aren’t willing to do these things — not for minimum wage.

Now, if I was forced to choose to do those things or be dependent on government subsidies (or some similar means of existence), then yes, I would likely be willing to do this work and live in a low-rent apartment. Ultimately, I know I would have a choice to make. I might not like that choice, but I would make it. And that’s where we are in America. And where the working white class finds itself at the moment.

It appears to me that working class whites aren’t taking responsibility for their own lives. It sounds cold, but it’s true. We have more opportunities than someone coming to this country as an immigrant. It’s much easier for us to get into training and schools to improve our skills. We can easily get driver’s license that allow us to travel for a job.

Times are changing. Jobs are changing. More jobs are located in the cities than in rural America and that’s not going to change. And that has nothing to do with politics or immigration. Companies locate plants where they have accessibility to a qualified workforce within a certain distance of drive time. That’s how plant decisions are made. There are too few workers in rural America. And they often aren’t willing to learn new skills for the more modern types of jobs that are available.

When the world is changing around you, you can’t expect that the government is going to fix all of your problems for you. Are we at a point where the government should look at helping with this situation? Yes, probably so. But that will take time.

In the meantime, you can’t expect that magically things will just resolve themselves. You have to be willing to make some effort. Make some changes. You have to move. Drive a little further. Learn new skills. Work in a different type of work. You have to take responsibility for your life.

You have to pursue your own happiness. Happiness doesn’t just come to you. Immigrants are willing to move to another country, where they have to learn to some degree another language and risk intolerance. That’s a lot of sacrifice for a minimum wage job, but yet they do it.

I’m not picking on working class whites. I’m being realistic. When I first got out of college, I didn’t plan on moving to the city. I thought I would live in my hometown and work nearby. But I couldn’t. There were no jobs. I had to move or not work … and quite honestly, my parents made not working a non-option. So, I know it’s not easy. I know it’s a little scary. I know you may have to make decisions that you don’t want to make. But you either have to make those decisions or live with the consequences. Right now the white working class is living with consequences.

But working class whites can’t blame immigration for their troubles. And they can’t hate another human being for taking a job they most likely don’t want. And they can’t hate someone for wanting the exact same things they want — a better life for themselves and their families. And I hope they don’t hate me, who was once one of them, for telling them that they have to change if they want their situation to change.




The Great Distractor

That should be Trump’s nickname. The Great Distractor. He and his team have it down to an art form. Why do I say that? Let’s take a look.

The news is showing a rolling screen of all the crazy things that have happened over the past 4 weeks. What are they not discussing? Russia. What was gaining influence over his base? Russia. So, what has he done? Incited hate to pull our eyes in the other direction.

Don’t look over here. This doesn’t matter. Look, I’m dropping a big ol’ bomb over here. Or, I’m supporting the Nazis over here. They both happened at the same time. They both distracted. One just got more coverage than the other, and so that’s what he held onto. Has anyone else noticed that the North Korean news just died as soon as the racist stuff started? They, Trump and his team, knew one would work to distract. And it did. So they stuck with it and are riding it out as long as they can.

Is he racist? Yeah, he is. Read the Village Voice articles from the 1970-80s about his law suits with his father’s company. The ones about unethical leasing policies. Labeling people’s applications and declining them based on race and ethnicity. He’s a racist. And he hired the biggest racist with any clout as his strategist … until he conveniently let him go this week. Is it really official? I’m not sure.

Has anyone else noticed that the racist crap going down is going down in Steve Bannon’s home state? The same state where he started the Tea Party? Where he grew up and went to college? Does everyone think that’s a coincidence or am I the only who thinks he’s partially behind instigating the marches in Charlottesville and the ongoing racist turmoil there? That this whole scenario was dreamed up and executed by a reality tv star president and “filmmaker” strategist who thinks himself the modern-day Riefenstahl? Call me crazy. I don’t care. These people are messed up. They’ll do anything. And I rather be paranoid and crazy than to be silent and watch this shit just play out.

They have an agenda. What it is exactly, I’m not sure. But distraction is the only way they are going to carry it out. A civil war, if they can accomplish it, will be the greatest distraction. And it will give them the authority to cite Martial Law. The ultimate power for a crazed, power hungry leader.

They’re convincing people that both sides were violent. Further instigating. Now they’re letting the people play out their plan. One side drove a car into a crowd. One side showed up with guns and other weapons strapped to their bodies. They were there to pick a fight. They weren’t there to protest. Protestors carry signs, not guns. They were instigating. They were bullying. They were manipulating. And we let it happen.

And it’s all to distract. To get everyone to focus on something other than the president and the White House. To distract from the Russia investigation. To distract from his breaking down of our democracy. His destruction of our values. His gradual usurping of power.

I’m not sure if he wants to become a dictator. It feels that way to me. But whatever it is, there is a bigger goal. And all of the crazy is a distraction. The firings. The stupid speeches about beautiful Confederate statues. North Korea. He’s manipulating. He’s distracting. He’s inciting us to destroy ourselves. And we’re falling in line like a bunch of fucking sheep.

Sorry for the foul language in this post, but foul times call for foul language. That’s just the way it is.

We’re letting them manipulate us. Distract us. Turn us into blithering idiots. I think the man is dumb as a box of rocks, but he’s power hungry. And when one is desperate for whatever fix it is they need, they get crafty. And someone like Trump, with no conscious, will get pretty fucking crafty. One way or another – Korea, civil war or at least civil upheaval, or some other crazy – he’s going to give himself power. Ultimate power. In my opinion, that’s his goal. I could be wrong. Maybe he’s just trying to stay in office and this is how he’s attempting to do it. I think it’s bigger than that, though.

And people talk about Ivanka. That woman is as power hungry and manipulative as he is. Please don’t put your faith in that one. She was honed to look angelic while taking people’s money. Read about all the sham condo deals she and dear ol’ daddy worked on together. The ones where she served her boobs on a platter to get people’s money and then the two of them left people without a condo or their money. The apples didn’t fall far from the tree in that family. That’s for damn sure.

This whole week has driven me over the edge. I’m all about balance and meditation and shit, but this shit ain’t right. Sometimes you have to put the mindfulness aside and fucking fight. They’re pushing me too far. I’m ready for a goddamn fight.

No, see, damn it. That’s what I’m talking about it. Trump – the fucking instigator. I’m against Trump. I want to fight Trump. I want him out of office. Out. Out. Out.

Is there hate in this country? Yes. But he’s stirring it up to the point that he’s inciting people like me to fight against people like him and his far right supporters. And it takes a fucking lot to incite me. But my fight, oddly enough, is with him. Not with the Nazis. The Nazis will go back into their holes when their king is gone. I’m not worried about them. I’m worried about him. If he’s able to stick around long enough and incite enough people, then it’s going down. And we’re going down with it. Trump is the problem. And the Facebook bubble. Facebook, fucking fix your algorithm – or have the Russians promised you the next election. Regardless, Trump needs to be removed from office and not allowed within 100 miles of the White House.  Get him out. Now.

Like Alcohol to an Alcoholic (Or Politics under the Influence)

You know I try to stay positive as best I can. It’s not always possible. But I try. There are times, however, when things just aren’t positive. You find yourself in a bad situation. And no matter how much effort you put into it or how much you meditate or pray or whatever you do to find your inner peace, the situation just doesn’t get better. It may be a bad personal relationship, a bad work relationship – whatever it is, it just doesn’t fit.

Trump and America is a bad situation. His values and most of America’s values don’t sync up. Some people saw change and opportunity in him. They were looking for more US jobs, for things to go back to the way they were economically. That’s what I’m telling myself. That’s what I want to believe until I can’t believe it any more.

I don’t think most of them saw it as the change that he’s trying to bring. A few did, but I don’t believe they are in the majority.

And I preach love and forgiveness. I try to live it myself. I’m not perfect, but still I try. But just like in relationships, you come across people who can’t love you or who can’t love at all. Some wiring in their brain got crossed. Trump’s wires are crossed. He can’t love. He can’t relate. He can only manipulate. Agitate. Aggravate and berate. He’s a void that can only be filled with power and fame and even those things don’t sustain him.

I feel defeated saying that. I like to believe everyone can love. Learn from their mistakes. Eventually choose to do the right things. But there are some folks out there who cannot. They just cannot. And I’m a fixer. That’s hard for me to admit. But some things, some people, some situations you cannot fix. Trump cannot be fixed.

America’s in a bad relationship. And like any bad relationship, the only way to resolve that is to walk away. To break up. To remove that person from your life. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had to walk away from someone or some thing.

It’s time to walk away from Trump. He’s destroying us. Our self-esteem as a country is shattered. We are not who we are at our core any more. We’ve lost sight of ourselves. Our ability to love is gone.

He’s been in office 8 months, and things aren’t becoming “great.” Things are getting worse – much, much worse. And perhaps some think it gets darkest before the dawn. How dark are we willing to go? That’s up to us. Not him. Not unless we give him that power. Do we want to be that country again? Do we want to hate people for the color of their skin? Hate people for their religion? Their accent? Is that what we want to make America again?

We’re not a country that follows blindly. We never have been. We don’t need to start that now. We’re not a country that is on the wrong side of humanity – not any more. We learned that lesson. Let’s not forget it.

Trump is a bad influence on us. Like alcohol to an alcoholic. Drugs to an addict. Love to a fixer in a bad relationship. It brings out the worst in us. Emphasizes our weaknesses. Breaks us down. Changes who we are. And we always regret it. Always. Let’s fix this before we regret it.

This Ain’t America, Baby

The rich are still getting richer
The poor still getting poorer
We’re painting the same ol’ picture
Re-living the same ol’ horrors
The change you want ain’t coming
And the change that’s coming ain’t right
Engines of hate are humming
They’re racing toward a fight

Are we gonna wake up
Can’t we see the light
This ain’t America, baby
We need to make it right

Are you looking for a showdown
Or just another job
Let me give you the lowdown
They’re gathering up a mob
Their agenda ain’t in line with yours
But they’ll say it’s all the same
They want to even out some scores
And you’re the one they’ll maim

Are we gonna wake up
Can’t we see the light
This ain’t America, baby
We need to make it right

They’ve pointed us toward destruction
Their waiting for us to collide
They’re covering their own corruption
And then blaming the other side
They’re selling hate as a solution
And we’re buying it by the pounds
We have to end this delusion
Or hear the warning bells sound

Are we gonna wake up
Can’t we see the light
This ain’t America, baby
We need to make it right

March for Love: America as It Should Be (The Truth Is Ignited)

I have this vision, a picture in my mind, that I would love to see come to pass. It’s too tricky for some, which I understand, but it would be such a beautiful view. Such a wonderful feeling. The opposite of what we felt yesterday.

This vision is a march for love. White, black, brown, red and any other color that wants to join in, alongside native born, foreign born, citizen or not, man, woman, or somewhere in between – millions of those mistreated and abused by the current administration. A sea of humanity walking side by side, hand in hand, arm in arm, in peace, in love toward a better future.

I don’t want to focus on the hate. Only signs of love and respect. A vision of why America is actually already great, not something it needs to become.

Hate does not register here. Hate will not win. My imaginary march is about love. One human being helping and caring for the another – despite their differences. Or maybe because of them.

This would be a beautiful display of America at its best. America at is purest. America as it should be.

The Truth Is Ignited

I can say take the high road
I can say march in peace
But I pass their color code
As a native, I walk with ease
But I will march beside you
If you will have me there
You are America too
As a fellow human, I care

We will march for love
Together we’re united
We will rise above
The truth is ignited

I can say don’t worry
In time this will pass
But lines are getting blurry
There are cracks in the glass
But love conquers all
In this I believe
We won’t let America fall
Our dream can be retrieved

We will march for love
Together we’re united
We will rise above
The truth is ignited

A Temporary Darkness

There are days when politics and societal upheavals will impact you. Usually not in a positive way. Today is one of those days. We must fight for fairness and equality for all humans. Everyone should be treated the same and have the same rights and opportunities.

But we must be careful. We cannot devolve into violence. Today’s violence in Charlottesville was a one-sided attack from the white supremacist. But please do not be tempted to stoop to their level. Violence is never the answer. We can’t let the stupidity of today’s attack set us back 60 years. We cannot hate at that level again. We will fight this darkness in our country. And we can win the battle peacefully.

Listen to the Whisper (The Eclipse Poem)

The sun slides behind the moon
But darkness has been here for days
Time is singing a worn out tune
Peace slipping beneath the waves
We’re falling in the shadow
But we still see the light
Let’s calm the water’s flow
Let’s get our vision right

Listen to the whisper
Reminds us of our grace
Find it in the stillness
Love can heal this space

Hate confuses us; it’s easy to get lost
But shadows never win this fight
And victims can’t pay the cost
Stand in peace — ride out the night
We’ll beat this bout of darkness
We’ll break through the other side
A greater love we will harness

Listen to the whisper
Reminds us of our grace
Find it in the stillness
Love can heal this space

Reviving the American Spirit

Nostalgia is a tricky thing. You have to be careful with it. It’s easy to look back at your youth and remember the good times. It’s comforting.

But when you remove the warm, fuzzy filter of it, you  also remember that there were good times mixed with bad.

I’ve found myself on this blog remembering the American melting pot from School House Rock. That’s an American value I still stand behind. But, when I revisit that time in my life, without the nostalgic blinders, I remember being threatened by a couple of old schoolmates for sharing a soft drink with an African American classmate. I didn’t notice it so much then, but now I know women were making pennies on the dollar compared to male coworkers. And the LGBT community was so hidden away that large parts of the population didn’t even  know there was a closet.

So, yes, nostalgia can be a tricky thing. It blinds the mind to all that was negative. It makes you long for an ideal past that probably wasn’t so ideal after all.

And nostalgia in some ways is the antithesis of what this country is all about. Nostalgia always looks backwards. America has always looked forward. Always. We have always strived to be a leader. To make progress. We started this country to create a new kind of government. To have freedom for all — no taxation without representation. We strive to lead the way in intellectual areas. We fought to be the first in space. We strive to find cures for diseases. We strive to find solutions to the ills of our societies.

I have always viewed us as the big brother of the planet. The one the rest of our sibling countries around the world look up to. Yes, we struggle. Yes, we make mistakes. But we always move forward. Find our way. And the rest of the world sees that and wants to be like that. Or wants to come here because of that.

Now, of course, I know not everyone likes America. Not everyone wants to be us, but that is how I see our place in the world. Or at least that’s what we’ve always been in my mind until now.

In my lifetime, we have come such a long way. We have made great progress. Equality for everyone has come much closer to reality than it ever has before. Be it African Americans, the LGBT community, women – whoever. We’re not 100 percent there, but we’re a lot closer than we were 40 years ago.

So, even though I look back from time to time, it isn’t because I want to return to some previous time. We’re not about going back. We’re about progress. Improving. Being better for everyone. We build upon what have done – allowing more and more people to grow and prosper. That is who America is.

Nostalgia. It is tricky. I don’t want to go back. I want to revive those values that created America. Revive progress. Revive leadership and equality. Revive the idea that others are welcome here. That we’re the place to create a better life for yourself and your family. I want us to be that light for the rest of the world. That imperfect but always improving beacon of hope that we have always been.

Inspiration is not backwards focused. I want America to inspire again.


Let Us Begin

America, do not dare to retire
Let us rise to inspire
Do not let us fade into night
Let us be that guiding light
Let the world follow us
Let us keep our rebelliousness
Let us welcome one and all
Let us protect both big and small
Let us fight for equality
Let us overcome our frailties
Let us lead a brand new age
Let us shed our hatred and rage
Let us not allow the divide
Let us be equal side by side
Let us progress once again
Let us start now – let us begin

The Third Party Is a Silent One

Job Growth. Politicians always tout it, but in reality, they have very little to do with it. The ones who make it happen are Corporate America. And if we base our political decisions about who runs this country solely on job growth then we’re letting big business run the country.

I used to work in economic development so I probably had to watch what companies were doing more than the average person. I had to watch who was expanding, who wasn’t, who could be expanding but was holding out. That’s what you do in economic development. You chase jobs to try to bring them to your communities.

After watching the Sunday morning political shows, I just wanted to share what others probably didn’t see because they didn’t work in economic development. During the last four years of Obama’s presidency, American business had some of the highest profits ever. Highest in the history of their business. Highest in the history of our country.

There was article after article about how profits and cash reserves of companies were the highest they had ever been and yet salaries were down and so were jobs. Why is that? Well, one way to make more money, like they did back in the days of old, was to work employees to death, pay them nothing and boost the production and sales. Oh, and they didn’t have to provide insurance back in the day either. Strange how that’s coming back in style, isn’t it?

So companies were making huge profits from right after the housing bubble (2007-2009-ish) until January 2016, just as the presidential election was heating up. Is that a coincidence? Are there any coincidences? In politics, not so much.

During Obama’s last term, companies weren’t hiring, not at a pace to catch up to earlier levels, although our job rates still showed an increase. Companies were making money hand over fist. They wore people out. I know. I’ve been on the receiving end of that. I’m one of those people that a company kept on staff after making cuts but kept adding more and more work onto my plate. I can tell you, that’s not a fun place to be. It sucks.

And all those jobs that disappeared, that put people out of work … they kept those jobs. They just located them somewhere else to boost their profits. And if they cut jobs, they didn’t cut the workload. They just piled it onto one of the suckers who they kept on staff.

You can’t blame politics for that. You can only blame the business decision makers. They value money over providing quality of life for their communities and their employees.

If we want to change politics and the ills of our country, we need to focus on fixing business and their place in our lives. We’re such a consumer economy. We buy and buy and buy.

I’m not any different. I’m not accusing any one of any thing that I’m not guilty of myself. I want the latest gadgets a lot of times or that one thing that’s going to my skin glow like a newborn baby. It never does, but I buy it anyway.

Hope. It gets you every time.

But buying and buying and buying only benefits business. Some things help us, but not everything. Maybe even most things we buy don’t help us. They’re just things. Things that boost profits.

Let’s think about this for a second. We are gradually getting rid of public libraries (and the old bookmobile system that I loved) but the book-selling industry is doing quite well. Something we once got for free, we’re now paying for it. Just saying. Something to think about.

But back to my point. Companies were getting rich and workers (and to some degree our country) suffered. Then as the election heated up, everything dropped. Jobs. Profits. Everything. Come January 2016. Just as the Republican party was hammering it out. Just as Trump was making a climb. Trump, the epitome of American industrialism, right? Convenient, right?

Now, after 6 years of crazy profits and not adding jobs under a Democratic president, suddenly the job market is booming. The stock market is booming. Regulations have been slashed for companies — by a president who has put Corporate American business leaders in every high-ranking position possible.

Does anyone else see a correlation here or is it just me? We have a third party in this country. But it’s a silent one. It doesn’t run for office. It just supports one candidate over another. For all those folks who are looking at politicians for their economic woes, they’re looking in the wrong direction. Well, perhaps, those politicians who can be bought and sold like candy or who may personally benefit financially from lax business regulations have something to do with it.

Evolution (A Brand New Day)

Evolution (A Brand New Day)

On a quest for a new solution
Ain’t exactly a revolution
More a philosophical evolution
There is no them against us
We all ride the same blue bus
So set aside all that fuss
Let’s just love one another
Share our light with our brother
Take care of the Mother
Let’s start a brand new day

If we give a little reflection
We’ll see our grand connection
Make a move in the right direction
Let’s clean this home we all share
Put an end to the wear and tear
Treat her right, she’ll treat us fair
Then plant a seed in our minds
A simple focus on being kind
Watch our troubles all unwind
Let’s start a brand new day

Goodbye, Ol’ Friend

When I tell people I’m going back home to see my family and they ask me where home is, I always say, “The Georgia mountains.” And they always have a similar response, “That’s God’s country.”

In a way, it is. Yeah, sure, most people may say that about their hometowns. But the Georgia mountains are uniquely beautiful, in my humble opinion.

Growing up there I developed a deep appreciation for nature, the weather, everything earthly. People there are very connected to the earth. They plant gardens in the summer and raise their own chickens. They eat what they grow. You bush hog your fields in the fall. There’s apple-picking season in October and blackberry winter in the early spring. You make jams and jellies and can your own vegetables. It’s how life is there.

It’s that experience, the connection to the earth you develop living in a place like that, that worries me so about our current climate policies. The entire attitude toward climate change really. It’s troubling for me.

I spent almost my entire childhood in the woods, watching animals live their lives, trying to figure out if something was an oak or hickory tree, playing in creeks on hot summer days. I gathered nuts and piled them up for squirrels because I thought they needed help. That part of my childhood, I wouldn’t change for the world.

But I also saw the effects logging can have on the environment. It happened around our place for a while. It stopped eventually, but it wasn’t good. Just red clay everywhere – nothing green. And I could (and still can actually) feel the house shake when they mined for the marble on the other side of the mountain, putting God knows what in the water table.

I mentioned this in a previous post, but I keep seeing trees falling over for no apparent reason other than a light wind or drizzle of rain. Giant, old trees that should have deep roots. But they can’t withstand anything any more.

Or someone cuts a tree out of their yard, and you notice as it’s coming down that it’s completely hollow on the inside. It’s just a shell of a tree. What’s causing all the trees to hollow out? I have no idea. But I’ve seen far too many of them like that to know it’s not just a fluke.

Bees are dying out everywhere, and if you eat as much honey as I do, you know how upsetting that is. I’ve been told squirrels are disappearing back home. Insects are out of control where I grew up because it never gets cold enough in the winter to kill them off like it used to. That was the purpose of cold winter days for us — to control the insect population — naturally, without chemicals. But we stayed near 70 this entire winter.

Our planet is changing, and it’s doing so quickly. I’m afraid the world I knew. The one I loved and still love. The woods that gave me peace and sanctuary as a child. I’m afraid that will go away in my lifetime. I don’t want to lose that.

The truth is that we can’t lose that. Without that, there’s no us. There’s no air. There’s no food. Just nothing. I hope people recognize that. And I hope they do so before it’s too late.

Here’s a little poem or maybe a walking meditation to the world outside that I cherish with all my heart.


Goodbye, Ol’ Friend

i went to see
my ol’ friend
late in the
i wanted to stay
’til dark
i needed to see
enjoy his company
one last time
fearing he might
leave soon

my ol’ friend
the woods i grew
up in
sometimes he was
my only friend
my playmate
as a child

the sun was
still up
I strolled at a
slow pace
like a late-night

trees in every

leaves covered
acorns dropped
from above
the sun danced
upon the ground

i scared some
birds hidden
in the bush

they flew off
in different

squirrels chased
each other across
the branches
the wind rustled
the leaves
a dragonfly
circled my head

there it was
behind a log
the old tree i
used to play in
four huge trunks
joined together
the perfect hiding

i crawled in the

just like i used to
plenty of room
between the
you could see the
entire forest
but it couldn’t see
above you
you had your own
of sky
a striped lizard
with a tail bluer
than the
ran up the trunk
beside me

i stroked the
like it was my pet
in a way
it was

dusk rolled in
shadows grew
crickets sang
their tune
fireflies floated
between the trees

the evening star
in the

ah, look at that
a deer up
she looked me
directly in the eye
my ol’ friend
never disappointed
always gave me
a special gift
every time

i made my way
back to the edge
of the woods
i always hated
i stepped into
the field
the place where
i entered the
i turned back
for one last

goodbye, ol’ friend
in case i don’t
see you again

The Karma of Politics

If you’ve ever seen karma play itself out in real time, you know sometimes it’s best to just stand back and watch it happen. That’s what I’ve been doing with this blog. I’ve been quiet on here lately, because I believe that karma is playing out as we speak in terms of our nation’s leadership.

Trump, in my opinion, is dealing with some very heavy karma right now. Whether he believes all of the hate that comes out of his mouth (or should I say from his fingertips) or not, I do not know. Maybe he just says whatever is necessary to get elected and then to keep his base fired up. I’m not sure.

Either way, he’s in the mix of some payback right now. And when people are experiencing karmic payback, it can get ugly. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen people who will do whatever it takes to climb the corporate ladder slide right back down to the bottom. It happened at my first real job out of college. I was passed over several times (as was another woman on our staff) because the person in charge “wanted a man in that role.” Those were his exact words to the other woman on staff. I went on to get a higher role at another company and, meanwhile, he was demoted twice and eventually let go from the company.

You don’t necessarily take pleasure in seeing the karmic payback, and sometimes, perhaps, it causes some damage in the process. It is nice, however, to know that taking the higher road is a better path. Most of us know that. Others learn it the hard way.

Trump has divided this country. Now given, it was divided prior to his election, but he used that division as a resource for more power rather than a motivation to make a change. And, like I said, I’m not sure where he stands on the various issues. To be honest, I don’t think he cares one way or the other about any of it except for helping Corporate America make more money with less restrictions. I honestly believe that is the only issue he cares about and that’s why his family is running the country instead of him.

But he has not taken the high road at any given point in time. He has been on the low road from day 1. And now, it is starting to show. Of course, I’m not sure how much of it is a show for publicity’s sake because beyond helping the rich get richer, I believe that the only other thing Trump cares about is fame.

I feel sorry for his base. I truly do. For whatever reason (and I cannot understand it for the life of me), they believe every word he says. Now some of that is the social media bubble manipulation tactic, where, by the way, he has started his own news outlet. Yes, he has a Facebook news series to further expand his idiocy. I’m not linking to it here because I just don’t want to promote it.

But his base are the ones he’s actually targeting, and not in a positive way, with all of his efforts. And they don’t see it. They just don’t see it. And if you try to show them anything, they will have nothing of it. I believe most of his base is innocent. They’ve been manipulated. But, if they continue to follow someone on the low road and they don’t try to look at the world from their own perspective vs. the one that is being fed to them, then karma may be coming their way just the same. Ignorance is no excuse even when it comes to karma.