Thursday, May 27, 2010

My thoughts on oil

I've been asked a lot lately what I think about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and about what I think of oil in general. I hear a lot of talk about people being hypocrites because they speak of wanting to stop suckling at the teat of the great oil mother while at the same time using products that are at least manufactured using the energy off of oil. This is what I have to say on the subject:

There is honestly no way to live completely petroleum free. We can thank the assholes who own the lions share of the production base...what better way to have job security than building (and supporting with a LOT of funding) a system that NEEDS your product. Any headway on renewable energy has been cut off. We could be living entirely on alternative energy sources but a LOT of people would suddenly be broke. Since wealthy people hate giving up the lifestyle, here we are. Oil is a drug and we are all addicted to it. It would be nice to just drop off of the grid but that isn't going to happen because everything uses petroleum at some point...there is always living in the woods in a cave and wiping ones ass with a leaf but I'm sure someone would take exception to that eventually because you'd be trespassing on someones property...then it is off to jail and back into the arms of sweet sweet consumption. Society is win.

We have been groomed to NEED oil...and no one bothered to take exception to it when something could have been done. Now we are reaping what we have sown through decades of inaction. Now all the action in the world short of a violent revolution or a catastrophe is going to change things. Violent revolutions use oil though (and waste a lot of other resources on top of it all) and we are getting closer to a catastrophe each and every day. When all the oil is gone...then people are going to have to think of something else. It makes me sad that the oil is going to last way past my great grandchildren. I would hope though that as the old oil barons die, new ideas will start to prevail over greed and the status quo.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I am a Jackrabbit...

I was doing a lot of thinking today about spirit animals. I've taken a lot of tests online about spirit animals and the one that keeps coming up consistently is the Hare. Hares (The Jackrabbit in particular) have always fascinated me. They are survivors of the harshest climes, peaceful and intuitive. Most people think they are pests but they are a necessary component in the great circle of life, especially in the desert. I identify a lot with jackrabbits. I am kind of a nervous sort around new people, I'm always making sure I don't paint myself into a corner and I can be one place and then in another place in the blink of an eye.

I found this on a spirit animal website:

"Jackrabbit’s message is, always be alert. When walking in a strange neighborhood pay attention to your surroundings . Keep away from your enemies; you know who they are. Change your fears into faith. Learn to "freeze" when you want to avoid detection. Develop clairaudience to hear psychic messages. You are fertile with new ideas and now is the time to act on them."

I try to live my life this way. Until now, I really didn't think that these were qualities associated with the Jackrabbit. Most people when you ask them what their spirit animal is they say something along the lines of the Wolf or the Bear or maybe some type of big cat. Animals that are romanticized and often thought about. I do identify with some aspects of the wolf, and I love the grace and demeanor of the Cat but am I a wolf, am I a cat? The answer is a resounding NO! I have always been a desert creature, a wary creature, a survivor, a jackrabbit. Even some of my mannerisms and way of speech can be considered "rabbit like" . This is something people have told me but I really never believed it until I got introspective about it. The first thing that people usually associate rabbits with is how much they reproduce. They do this for a reason and whether we humans understand the reasoning behind it or not is really irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. I'll admit the reason why I was so resistant to believing that the Jackrabbit was my spirit animal was because of this negative connotation. Now that I think about it, it seems kind of an ignorant reason to be denying a part of my nature.

I am a Jackrabbit, a survivor, nervous around predatory people but friendly once I get to know them and know they aren't going to bite my tail off. I am a creature of peace and a creature of the desert. Now I'm learning to be a Jackrabbit of the forest. It's taking some time, but I think that through instinct and intelligence, I will survive just like I always have.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My cat, my friend

I was thinking a lot today about my cat, Remus. The cat that went from an awkward little ball of striped and spotted fur to a huge bulk of a feline and in the process has worked his way into my heart. Over the years, I've gotten used to having him around, to the point of ignoring him a lot of the time. I think it is easy when you've been around someone (and yes Remus is a someONE, just because he is a cat it doesn't make him any less of a being) for so long to take them for granted. It really makes me wonder how many people do this. I also got to thinking about how much I would miss Remus if something were to happen to him. Does he know how much I appreciate his company? I spend way too much time being upset with him, at least it seems like it. He does what all cats do...gets into things he shouldn't and scratches things he shouldn't scratch. It seems like lately I've been yelling at him more than I've been telling him I love him. I know that I've been way stressed out but I shouldn't take it out on my friend. What if he isn't the only friend I've been abusing? It makes me think about how I've been treating the people around me.
I shouldn't take my stress out on my furry friend. In fact I should be showing him love and affection because in all his annoying catness, that is exactly what he is trying to show to me.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sore Observations

I'm sitting in front of my computer...glad I can finally sit up but still a little sore. I've had an interesting few days. I'll start with my birthday (the 5th). I spent some time outside, got myself a good lunch and reveled in the fact that I was around to enjoy the semi-sunny afternoon that Oregon decided to bless us with. At some point, I got a text from my neighbor. Her car blew a hose and she needed a ride to the auto parts store. Of course, the parts house didn't have a simple piece of plastic...they informed us that Ford was the only one who makes said plastic hose and they wanted over $60 for it. All this part is is a plastic tube with a hose barb at the inlet and two on the outlet. It's simple, it's stupid...but it's expensive. Going to the junkyard would be a far better idea than giving Ford more money (and helping them justify making such a crappy part to begin with). The next day my neighbor needed to get to her mid term so I happily volunteered. I'm glad I did! The drive up to the Lane Community College (hereafter referred to as LCC) is beautiful, especially when it is sunny out. Thursday was such a wonderfully sunny day! The whole landscape seemed alive and vibrant, more so than usual. I got my financial aid paperwork in (I really needed to if I want to get into summer term). Afterwards we got some Taco Bell and sat back and watched a LOT of TV. Mostly police shows and Lets Make a Deal (Wayne Brady, I love you lol). We did go to the junkyard, but it closed right as we pulled in. On the way there and back, I was amazed at the diversity of the cars and trucks around here. You rarely see the same make and model twice. I figure its the huge diversity that makes it so no one notices my car. We got to the junkyard Friday though. I would love to spend more time just checking the place out. I love junkyards, though. I did end up working on Saturday. I walked more in one day than I usually do in a weeks time so I am really sore. I need to work back into walking long distances again although I don't think I'll be able to get back into the shape I was in before because of my bad foot. It makes me feel kind of old but at the same time I have to accept my limitations...and get educated to the point where I can get a job that doesn't involve miles upon miles of walking. At least I have today to relax, which is just what I needed. Happy Mothers day to all moms by the way!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Fourteen Precepts of the Order of Interbeing by Thich Nhat Hanh

A friend of a friend had this note on Facebook. These reminders are from the book, "Peace is Every Step." by Thich Nhat Hanh, A buddhist monk who emphasizes practicing mindfulness. Here are 14 easy steps to help you develop and maintain a legitimate human soul. These really spoke to me, and I encourage everyone to read, share and discuss.

1.Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory or ideology. All systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.

2.Do not think that the knowledge you presently posses is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice non-attachment from views in order to be open to receive others’ viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.

3.Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. However, through compassionate dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness.

4.Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering, by all means, including personal contact and visits, images and sound. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.

5.Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not take as the aim of your life fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure. Live simply and share time, energy and material resources with those who are in need.

6.Do not maintain anger or hatred. Learn to penetrate and transform them while they are still seeds in your consciousness. As soon as anger or hatred arises, turn your attention to your breathing in order to see and understand the nature of the persons who have caused you anger or hatred

7.Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings. Practice mindful breathing in order to come back to what is happening in the present moment. Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing, and healing, both inside and around yourself. Plant the seeds of joy, peace, and understanding in yourself in order to facilitate the work of transformation in the depths of your consciousness.

8.Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.

9.Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people. Do not utter words that cause division and hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain. Do not criticize or condemn things that you are not sure of. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.

10.Do not use the religious community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party. A religious community should, however, take a clear stand against oppression and injustice, and should strive to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts.

11.Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to live. Select a vocation that helps you realize your ideal of compassion.

12.Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and prevent war.

13. Possess nothing that should belong to others. Respect the property of others but prevent others from enriching themselves from human suffering or the suffering of other beings.

14. Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. Do not look on your body as only an instrument. Preserve vital energies for the realization of the Way. Sexual expression should not happen without love and commitment. In sexual relationships, be aware of the future suffering that may be caused. To preserve the happiness of others, respect the rights and commitments of others. Be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world. Meditate on the world into which you are bringing new beings.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The first day of May...

It is the first day of May and surprisingly sunny in my corner of the world. I find myself sitting alone with my thoughts and the thrum of electro house in my ears. I might go outside later if it isn't too cold. I find myself kind of at a loss in many ways, mostly because for the longest time my life was defined by my work schedule and suddenly that is all changing. I will admit that the change is good for my health...working a funky schedule was literally killing me. This is the first time in a while that I can say Ive felt "normal" and actually want to do something other than sit in bed all day. Maybe this respite from my job is exactly what I needed.
My birthday is in four days although I might as well celebrate it now. Whats a day or two on either side? The transition from 27 to 28 isn't exactly profound. Not like the transition from 17 to 18 or 20 to 21. Nothing special happens to me except that I can look at everyone and say "See? I survived another year!" That is something to be proud of I think, especially in this crazy world. My cat agrees with me. *smiles* I think everyone should take the time out of their day to appreciate the fact that they are still alive to experience all the joy and the pain of our world. This existence is but a scratch on the surface of whats out there but we were put here for a reason. Somehow I think we should be enjoying the ride and learning from it, not resenting every step.
So today, listen to some good music, pet a cat or a dog (or whatever critter you prefer) and embrace living. The alternative is misery. :-)