31 December 2011

To my grandson...

Remember when everyone celebrates the ball coming down in Times Square that they are all cheering that you were born 15 years ago and they're celebrating what a fine man you are becoming...thank you for entering all of our lives. You are loved, very much.

Thanks for being you.


Cooking pozole on my season's gift...thanks!!

Posted by Picasa

25 December 2011



Orion reigns the winter sky

Dogs at his scorpion stung heel

pursuing the hare to the Po River

While Orion's scabbard directs

my way


Taurus protects the sisters

15 December 2011

Is "Working Within The System" viable, or just a sign of insanity?

Why Do We Feel We Can't Escape A System That We Created?

Especially when they're not working, why do we maintain the status quo, whether it be health systems, social systems or political and government systems? Why do we resist change even when the system is failing, corrupt or unjust? A new article in Current Directions in Psychological Science, illuminates the conditions under which we’re motivated to defend our systems--a process called “system justification.”
System justification isn’t the same as acquiescence, explains Aaron C. Kay, a psychologist at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, who co-authored the paper with University of Waterloo graduate student Justin Friesen. “It’s pro-active. When someone comes to justify the status quo, they also come to see it as what should be.”

In this lapse of values like equality and fairness, no one can now stay behind personally comfortable walls with people like ourselves and ask someone else - politicians and other "leaders" - to solve the problems that we all let fester, thinking we were immune to catastrophes that only affected others. The cooperation and compromises we need for change will not happen until "we the people" demonstrate that it can be done in our local communities. Wherever we live, we must model it before we demand it of others.

Only private citizens can develop a new consensus about the future role of our nations in the world and its collective responsibility for the use of our common heritage to benefit all Americans and the world at large. All of us must learn again that when a singular government becomes the central orchestrator of a complex society and distorts its laws to benefit the few, it will kill "the goose that lays the golden eggs."

Reviewing laboratory and cross-national studies, Kay's paper illuminates four situations that foster system justification: system threat, system dependence, system inescapability, and low personal control.
When we’re threatened we defend ourselves--and our systems. Before 9/11, for instance, President George W. Bush was sinking in the polls. But as soon as the planes hit the World Trade Center, the president’s approval ratings soared. So did support for Congress and the police. During Hurricane Katrina, America witnessed FEMA’s spectacular failure to rescue the hurricane’s victims. Yet many people blamed those victims for their fate rather than admitting the agency flunked and supporting ideas for fixing it. In times of crisis, say the authors, we want to believe the system works.
We also defend systems we rely on. In one experiment, students made to feel dependent on their university defended a school funding policy--but disapproved of the same policy if it came from the government, which they didn’t perceive as affecting them closely. However, if they felt dependent on the government, they liked the policy originating from it, but not from the school.

When it comes to health, we largely depend on conventional and regulatory systems that we feel assist in maintaining or advancing mechanisms that help control our health. The problem is, we have created self-perpetuating institutions that do the opposite. The FDA, USDA, NIAID, NIH CDC nationally and the WHO internationally are just a few examples of agencies whose implicit purpose is to support corporate entities such as pharmaceutical conglomerates that destroy rather than advance our health. They spread their octopus-like arms as mechanisms to convert and re-allocate large percentages of the nation's common resources (its human labor, nature's riches, and citizens' creativity) to a small percentage of U.S. citizens and international corporations. This process includes not only the transfer of general tax revenue. Even more important is the use (or non-use) of regulatory power to economically favor certain groups, particularly the largely amoral financial and corporate sectors.
When we feel we can’t escape a system, we adapt. That includes feeling okay about things we might otherwise consider undesirable. The authors note one study in which participants were told that men’s salaries in their country are 20% higher than women’s. Rather than implicate an unfair system, those who felt they couldn’t emigrate chalked up the wage gap to innate differences between the sexes. “You’d think that when people are stuck with a system, they’d want to change it more,” says Kay. But in fact, the more stuck they are, the more likely are they to explain away its shortcomings. Finally, a related phenomenon: The less control people feel over their own lives, the more they endorse systems and leaders that offer a sense of order.
The research on system justification can enlighten those who are frustrated when people don’t rise up in what would seem their own best interests. Says Kay: “If you want to understand how to get social change to happen, you need to understand the conditions that make people resist change and what makes them open to acknowledging that change might be a necessity.”



The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Not a trap...just a lure

Posted by Picasa

14 December 2011

An excerpt from Patricia Monaghan's Season of the Witch

From winter, one can remember spring, summer, fall, can see all their patterns This is the time when all seems clear.
And all seems complete. There is not yet a call to begin again, for beginnings will come soon enough. This is the fallow time. This is the time of rest.
This is also the time of visions. For as the world sleeps, as the woman's energies withdraw into a coiled serpent at the base of her spine, the inner eye widens. There is so much to see beyond the world of appearances! Wisdom bestows its miraculous kaleidoscope. Spirits call from beyond time. What had been a glass wall between mind and world dissolves into a shimmering veil that blows open--often, then more often--to reveal new powers.
There is magic in all seasons, but winter's magic is most concise, most dense, most crystalline. It is diamond magic, cool and brilliant, not the fiery magic of coal. It is laser fineness, precise direction.

Finding my way home.

My GPS has four directions--metaphor, paradox, dream, parallel universe. As above so below--the fifth and sixth directions that make my GPS play spin the bottle. (there's even an app for the irony deficient)

08 December 2011

Globally, the average temperature is rising...which melts glaciers and polar ice caps, which throws fresh water into sea waters, impeding the flow of the two great heat pumps of the world...The Japanese Current and The Gulf of Mexico current...which creates more volatility and colder temperatures in northern latitudes, especially near those currents.

Global warming is true, but because newscasters portray snowy winters or cold conditions as a repudiation...(not understanding the science)...more people are using the term Global Climate Change.

More than 70 percent of the world's population lives on coastal plains, and 11 of the world's 15 largest cities are on the coastal estuaries. Over the 20th century sea levels rose between 10 and 20 centimetres (4-8 inches).

It's worth keeping in mind that changes in sea level do not occur uniformly around the globe. There is actually a fair amount of difference in sea level rise in different parts of the world due to ocean circulation and wind pressure patterns. The effects of storm surges and spring tides need to also be kept in mind when evaluating sea level rise impacts.

Between the Greenland ice sheet and the Western Antarctic ice sheet the world could well be facing a 13 metre (43 foot) rise in sea level if we do not drastically curb our greenhouse gas emissions.

Rising oceans will contaminate both surface and underground fresh water supplies. - worsening the world's existing fresh water shortage. Underground water sources in Thailand, Israel, China, Vietnam and some island states are already experiencing salt water contamination.

Rural populations and farmland (especially rice) on some coasts will be wiped out. For example, according to the UK Royal Society a one metre sea level rise could flood 17 percent of Bangladesh, one of the world's poorest countries, displacing tens of millions of people and reducing its rice-farming land by 50 percent.
True story.

When I was camping on my land three decades ago, planning and building my homb (a combination of home and womb)...I was visited by an angry 'neighbor' who lived across the stream from me, on 640 acres. He was also a bit inebriated. I invited him in for tea...he asked what it was that I'd built on his land by the water. I was puzzled but realized he was referencing some willow branches pulled into a dome, covered with blankets...my sweat lodge by the swimming hole which I used for rejuvenation, meditation and bathing. I was certain it was on my land, but that was a bit nebulous...rather than argue I just explained the nature of the 'beast'. He was so interested...and looked around. "This is what I always wanted to do, take an axe into the wilderness and carve out a home". He left after a bit, much calmer. I got back to working. A couple of hours later he showed up again. This time with tapioca pudding he'd made himself, while drunk. We enjoyed it together.

A couple of years later he and his wife split ways, he actually did move to Alaska and carved out a log cabin with only an axe. Now perhaps I am to be blamed for splitting up his family...or complimented for helping a fellow find his way to his true path.

As the world burns

Vietnam: As an advisor and liaison I lead native troops but nonetheless was looked upon as the "supreme local power", way too muc...