Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day ~ Climate Change

Today, October 15, is officially "Blog Action Day", and the topic is "Climate Change".

I don't have a lot to say on the subject. That's not to say I don't feel strongly about it, but I've never written in-depth about it. Why? Where do I start? With those drilling for oil and blowing the tops off of mountains to obtain coal? With factories ignoring loosely-regulated and loophole-ridden tomes of governmental laws?

I think I'll start closer to home than those faceless names, companies, corporations, governments, etc. In fact, let's start at home. What if everyday people stopped buying new things they didn't need? Things they could either do without or could buy in a resale establishment (thrift shops, yard sales, etc.)? What if they stopped driving huge SUVs the half-mile to the store for a gallon of milk that comes from an unknown dairy, salad ingredients from Chile, and a pound of hamburger that was raised on a factory farm 1,500 miles away? What if they consistently used reusable bags to carry home these goods? What if they made a conscious effort not only to reuse things as many times as possible, but possibly repurpose them once these things outlive their natural life?

Our lives are uber convenient due to the torrent of products we buy as a suggestion, subtle or otherwise, of corporate ads by which we're bombarded. You've bought many of the products being long did your happy factor last? Are you reminded of it every time you use that brand new gadget (iPhone with the Happiness app installed excluded)? How many times have we all heard ourselves utter, "It's the simple things that matter."? If we know this, then why are our lives so complicated and cluttered...why are we in debt and envious of those who have more than we do? Why do we feel the need to replace items before they're well and truly obsolete, and why do we behave as sheep, buying into these ad campaigns? What happened to making do because it was the logical thing to do? When did it become okay to be so wasteful? And let's not forget careless! When you buy these new pretty-pretties, where do the old ones go? Do you think about what happens to them after the garbage truck has swallowed and crunched them beyond recognition?

Anyone can write a post with suggestions on how to reduce their carbon footprint. My blog post, ultimately, is just to ask you the hard question, instead. What are you willing to give up for the health of the planet? This applies only to those who believe there is a climate change...I continue to be flabbergasted by those who say it's a made-up phenomenon; that our actions really don't have the consequences claimed by "eco-liberals". Or worse, that these consequences are so far away in the grand scheme of things that it's okay to continue on our path for now. Hogwash.

Climate change? It's all around. Polar bears clinging to vestiges of icebergs who will soon die from drowning because they're too weak to swim to the next iceberg that is too far away. Extreme weather. The disappearance of glaciers. More and more children who suffer from asthma and other environmental health issues. Where will it end?

It won't. Not unless we end it. Ask yourself the hard questions, then look for the right answers. The easy way is rarely the best way...and it often keeps us from the path that offers the roses that we're supposed to stop and smell along the way. Better smell 'em now...they may not grow tomorrow. "Blog Action Day" post, one minute before midnight. I may edit it later. I may not. Namaste'.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A couple of lessons about gratitude from me and my pal, Rumi

I have thrombophlebitis in my arm, which is a very painful, inflamed, swollen blood vein. It's plainly visible by looking at it; the skin is red and blue and purple, and raised, and to touch the skin, it feels as if there's a tiny bungee cord under there, taut and rubbery. And hot. And so painful that even visualizing touching it makes it hurt. Okay, enough with the symptoms, because it sounds pathetic and whiny, and I've had my pity party already and moved on.

Sometimes caused as a result of clotting, sometimes of injuries (not unlike the injuries I sustained on Monday by putting my heavy bicycle on the bus and falling over it whilst loading it into and unloading it from the estranger's van). I would estimate this to to be the fifth time I've had phlebitis in this same place alone, not to mention many single-phlebitis incidents (plebe-itis? *groan*) in a few other spots.

I called to make a doctor's appointment; the fact that I had the embolism in April and am not currently being treated with coumadin because my doctor insisted I see a rheumatologist, a gastroenterologist, and a pulmonolgist before he would continue to treat me with blood-thinners would be cause to see me sooner, I would think, but so far, so good. I understand where he's coming from...I know he would probably feel partially responsible if something beside a clot gets me. But he doesn't seem to understand that I will sign whatever I have to sign to keep him free of liability, completely and of my own free will, because I don't want to be treated for all the other stuff...treated to death. I vowed to treat the clots, but I will not fall down another rabbit hole, chasing empty promises and experiments that have only served to make my body more tired or fighting yet another symptom caused by a medication. I know what mild medications I need. If this doctor won't treat me respecting my wishes, I'll make an appointment to the only other doctor, who practices inb the same building and whom I haven't seen. My doctor plans to retire in the very near future, so this would be inevitable if my doctor doesn't have a replacement. And this could very much be "Cicely, Alaska" as easily as it couldn't be "Mayberry, RFD". We have some quirky residents, and I've experienced an energy in the air that you might expect to watch on "Northern Exposure". And I am practically in Canada, which is almost in Alaska and I can see Russia from there. [pardon me while I get a mint for my fingers; they have a bad taste in their mouth after typing that].

Give me my bicycle and get out of my way or ride along with me. I may not go far, but in the shape I'm in, it doesn't take much to get an aerobic workout, and I have fun watching the moment go by...go by...go by. Eating healthy, being active, having a positive attitude, and making the changes to better the quality of my life...these things will do more to improve my health than the majority of medications prescribed. Add to the mix m
meditation (of all types) and taking natural, trusted, proven remedies for what ails ya whenever possible; the quality of life improves. And it's like discovering Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance all over again; the search for Quality, what exactly is it, and why do we want it so damn badly? Are we chasing something better than what we can even experience outside of this moment, perfect in its abundancy no matter where we are or what economic class we're in? What anchors are we dragging, what decisions are we avoiding, what things, real or imagined, are pulling us from our prospective paths? Compassion enables us to forgive, even if the benefactors are unaware. "The voice inside your head that always tells the truth" (thank you, Late Night with TV's Craig Ferguson for that term; I hope you're reading) tells us that it doesn't matter...things can only matter if we let them. Learning this has bought me time more than once. Indeed, the things I've learned have even reversed some of the effects of the past. Mikki and I were talking about burning karma during his recent visit; I assume I was owning and resolving my past so fully as to negate any further karma I would receive as a result of doing who-knows-what, who-knows-when...but sometimes, you are connected to people who know who and when...and why...just as easily as you see the same in them. That's a mad rush. And that, along with the thing or person or experience that gave me such a gift, are things to which I am eternally grateful, even if they don't last. Perhaps especially because they don't last.

There is no angel so sublime, He whispered. Who can be granted for one moment what is granted you forever. And I hung my head, astounded. ~Rumi

Be grateful for what you've got and take better care of it because you may need it some day. ~Tee