uses for curtains in London

I wrote a while ago about Fergie and her shame and it was interesting to read what people thought. Some were sad about it as I was and  some thought it was unimportant in light of what was going on in the world. I agree with both sides of the coin. When I saw the tape in which she was caught accepting a bribe I felt very sad for her and ashamed as well.I think, to me, it was a bleak example of what life is reduced to today for some people.I can’t explain it beyond that. It was more than salacious gossip, and more than frivolity in light of the world. It was a vision of what the world had done to a woman who had once had so much and now had nothing. No money, no self-esteem, no place in the world, and now she will be lost forever like so many others. We live in a time where many of us have lost a lot: some are living simpler lives and finding they enjoy it more and some have not felt any pinch at all. This last group is in the extreme minority, obviously but what feels different to me now is those that still maintain arrogance and lack in compassion are falling off the edge of the earth. In our world now we either look at what is happening with compassion or with fear. If we can use the lense of compassion I believe we will be able to help others who need help. If we use the lense of fear we will slowly drown pulling down others around us.

It’s like the dinner hour in some houses where the children all look to see who has more on their plate or Christmas Day when presents are counted in piles with names on them.

I will always remember the look of hopelessness in Fergie’s eyes. It is the same look many of us have. Sure I don’t spend much time thinking about her, but viewing that tape made me feel what it is like to be desperate.

What did you hear today?

I heard from a banker that he agreed with me on the market outlook, saying the “blip” in the market was a terrorist attempt to see if the stock market could be manipulated. Isn’t that interesting? There is a definite shift happening. I wonder almost hourly what my role should be in all of this. What can I do to help people? I think there are a lot of us wondering this which is a wonderful thing! If more people begin to wonder how they can help the world, the world will be helped. I am thinking about collaborative effort and had lunch today with a man who is working on a project with the Dali Llama. They are creating a program throughout universities for nonviolent negotiation skills: how great is that? The Dali Llama is magic. I didn’t learn collaborative skills in my childhood and am working on learning them now. It doesn’t involve using my intelligence only giving up my pride and letting go of any self-defense I am clinging to.

Don’t buy stocks now…

Something new in the universe..

Mercury is out of retrograde

But we still stand a chance of tipping off our axis.

If you think there are too many things that are off in the world you are right. The environmental issues are bad enough but the presence of nuclear weapons will be what destroys us. If only each country could decide to not be afraid of losing what they have and to give up weaponry, we might be safe. Without a universal decision to abandon the use of nuclear weapons on this planet we will eventually destroy it. It seems strange to me that the world cannot grasp this consequence. It’s like a smoker who keeps on smoking thinking they will avoid any health consequence. There is no other possible outcome than eventual disaster.

That is my thought for the day. That, along with a warning not to buy more stocks. Though most analysts are stating we have a recovery in progress, it is my bet that the European economy will fail in their attempt to bail out Greece and that failure will result in a bigger failure in our markets. Spread out your net worth as much as you can choosing bonds and hard assets. We are in for a time when money will be meaningless and arrogance, a thing of the past.

Square red planter

There is something very inspiring about an empty planter. Sometimes I leave planters unfilled for an entire season. This is disturbing to many and inspiring to others.I like the looks of this empty red planter because it looks as if it has been empty for a long time. This morning in the Times there is an article about the economy which suggests  the stock market can be turned around by a national mental condition  of positive thinking. That is, if a larger group of investors believes the market is on an upswing, it will be on one. I can understand this theory as it seems logical to me. However, I do not believe we should count on this theory to save our necks in todays economy. I do believe we are all still frightened about what is going on. We have never seen an unemployment rate as high as ours which is frightening. We have also never seen such a high rate of debt. I have no idea where to invest in the future nor in the present. Some say we should be investing at least 40% of our net worth outside the country. I believe that may be true but still have no idea where we should invest. Is China a good bet? Shall we bet on the future of Brasil or is India the place to look ? Scandinavia is also looking good to some. So back to the theory of stock market swings and the emotional state of investors. What if the emotional state of americans is positively affecting the market and causing the Dow to rise as it has over the past 6 months?Now it is winter and in winter the truth always comes out. There are still many foreclosures and in some state the rate is rising not falling.  People are filling the malls and buying things they don’t need for holiday gifts. Credit card debt is rising rapidly. A friend of mine recently lost her line of credit as the issuing bank canceled it claiming she had not paid the monthly fee on time. She claimed she had and protested the decision but to no avail. In the paper this morning there is also an article about a bank that changed its billing envelope to one without any markings. It was thrown out by many customers and the bank then collected late fees for balances due that were not paid. What is going on now? Is there a kind of game happening in the world of banks and credit card companies where the point is to trick the consumer out of their money so you win more money? This is a really paranoid way to think but what if it is true? What role would the government play in such a game?

I am disturbed about the way things are going and worried about our country. I think many people want to recession to be over because they have no attention span for deprivation. It is much more fun to spend what you want on things you really don’t need. It is easier and faster to go out and buy things rather than to look inside yourself and discover what fills the void without spending money. That’s my task for today. I am heading out to the paths in our neighborhood to find beauty and serenity and see if it makes me happy. I am hoping glances at the beauty of California will make me deeply satisfied with my Sunday. I hope it works as I am no better than anyone else. A visit to Nordstroms  is better than vanilla ice cream.

 

Why I hate Musical Chairs…and will I be loved if I am poor?

What a weird time we are living in! It’s really not a lot of fun to watch the economy and wonder what will happen to us in our small worlds. Each of us has a different way of responding  to the stress of  knowing there is really no safe place to put  money. If I hadn’t just bought a new bed I would seriously consider making a long slit in my mattress and hiding some there. At least I could sleep on it and feel safe.  I might have rich dreams! O. K. I did buy a mattress. So I can’t be destitute yet. That is certainly true. I remember playing musical chairs as a kid and an adult. The part I really hated was when there is only one chair left and two players. I wanted to just keep sitting on the chair. I have actually done this to the huge annoyance of the other player. The music starts and then you just sit there. not a great strategy! That’s how I feel now. Scared to  move out of my chair. Hovering on the edge of it while hoping the music will begin again. Recently, I have been thinking about how much of my identity is tied up in having money. It makes me feel comfortable and safe in the world. I feel more powerful and less afraid as I think I can take care of myself and don’t need anyone else. I think about all the money I have given away and that makes me happy, not scared. This is a weird thing as giving away money is the same as losing it in the market. It is simply gone from your life. If you chose to give it away then it becomes a gesture of control and somehow powerful. If you hold onto money very tightly you feel constantly afraid. Now I am struggling with the concept of not having money and not being known for the one who always buys dinner. Initially, I felt embarrassed by this possible outcome. Now I am toying with the idea of living a life where I have the same amount of money as most of my friends and I feel differently about myself. Almost as if I have become more real and more lovable. The thing I am beginning to like is dependency. I like letting others know I need them. Before this seemed to terrify me as I thought no one would like being depended upon and I would lose my friends.It seems fun to be cleaning my own house and making dinner for people. They may not think it is fun to eat the dinner but I am a big fan of alcohol before meals.I know this piece of writing sounds spoiled to some and incomprehensible to others but it is the truth to me. There are many advantages to having the ball for a long time and running the length of the field for an easy goal. There must be other advantages to finding  oneself on the ground and covered with mud. Tackled by the economy and rendered helpless. It certainly wouldn’t be my choice but then again maybe it would if I have the chance to believe in my own strength and my ability to survive.