Starfish

No Safe Place 3

Attachment

Last night between midnight and one am a Starfish

The last

crept through my dream of a beach in Maine. It was pale and

faded. I couldn’t feel it. Because the starfish is losing

its ability to function normally, dreams may have to

be revised.

 Starfish are Echinoderms, belonging to the class Asteroidea,

soon there will be

starfish only in certain tide pools located in certain

cool climates with freeflowing water. The starfish may not

exist in dreams.

The starfish

will not know what happened to her.

Passports will be unavailable

for marine invertabrates.

Yesterday I spoke with another single

person about the numbness that happenes

with detachment and I thought of the starfish,

unable to attach, their tube feet operated by a hydraulic

system which is now obsolete just as human connection.

The Northern Pacific Sea Star is considered one of the 100

worst invasive species. Very comparable to what the

Human is and has done to our oceans and

all the other starfish.

Water

 

No Safe Place 2

Water      

 

Water,

wet, moist ,damp, soggy,

only a lost commodity .

When I first tasted your skin

it was covered in water.

Remember water?

It was hard to describe but it was free.

Lakes are craters now.

A child asks “Who pulled the drain plug?” as

you drive by the empty, barren memory of a

lake. T

There is deep sadness in the retreating

water leaving a reluctant

path of tears sinking into the dust,

searching for an oasis to nourish, water

looks down

and sees it’s vanishing.

Cries out to the lone red bird

perched on a burnt tree,

cries out to the cactus who needs no one,

cries out to

you and me who have forgotten water

already.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despair

 

This summer the windows in the house steam up like they used to when there were teenagers inside.

All that glorious passion every morning.

This summer everything is slightly off:

The gaits of the horses, the timing of the stoplights, the phases of the moon, the beat of people’s hearts.

Reports keep coming of various things the vaccine does and continues to do yet they are always coupled with remarks saying of course you should have the vaccine.

Yesterday a newscaster reported that a disease which causes paralysis of the face is a side effect of one of the vaccines.

Tomorrow maybe it will be paralysis of the tongue.

In California there is no water and will not be water for a very long time. Sharing is not common among the western states.

Fires are burning and the police departments are passing out placard’s which state “evacuated” to put on your front gate when you leave.

More people died of a drug overdose in the past year than ever before. Suicide rates are up and the ages of those who kill them selves gets lower and lower.

People wonder if it’s best to keep all of this quiet. The sale of hearing aids has gone down. The news is quieter and quieter as people are turning down their television sets.

The optimists are fading and are becoming almost transparent like the colors in a bubble a child blows.

For a moment the fragrance of summer can blow across your face if you let it. Better make haste. Memories of fragrance are so fleeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

 

 

Craters in the moon

When I was eight years old my father brought home home a long, rectangular cardboard box which he opened after dinner carefully

outside our front door. It was a clear night and warm as I recall and he removed from the box like a surgeon removing a baby from the belly of an unconscious woman during a cesarean section a long metal object with legs like a strange frozen spider, an arachnid made of metal.

 

Astonishingly to me, he set up this apparatus in front of our house on the brick patio still warm from the June sun in Connecticut.

I had no idea my father had the skill to produce a box of such wonder and then open it and set up an apparatus which apparently was designed to look at other planets and other worlds yet unknown to us six children.

 

It was dark and my mother Hubbeled for a while but then slipped into the house and we were left on the front patio with my father and the apparatus and the warm June night which made anything believable.

 

My brother turned to me and said “ Look through the telescope and you will see the moon. The craters in the moon are caused by ricochets from bullets in the second world war.”

I remember thinking then that war did tremendous damage.

 It never occurred to me that he wouldn’t tell me the truth just as it never occurs to me now that people lie.

 

Looking back, the awe and magic that moment inspired In me was something

 I thought of for a long time.

 

If guns could cause damage to things that could only be seen from telescopes produced from cardboard boxes our fathers brought home, why did they exist?

 

Ferguson

So today on Facebook I posted a piece written by a black woman who was raised by white parents which Gloria Steinem had originally posted. It’s been up for a few hours and there’s only one comment. No likes. A friend of mine “unliked” it saying it was biased. I think it’s right on. The writer describes what it’s like to be black in a world where racial profiling is a part of our national profile. It’s a very moving and passionate piece expressing what the writer feels in her own life and asking us, the white people of the world, to do something. She says that prejudice can only be changed by the people who are prejudiced. We are all prejudiced. We can’t help it. No matter what the reality was of the shooting incident in Ferguson, the cops there would probably have hesitated if the guy had been white. Yes, he may have robbed a convenience store prior to the incident, but that mean he should be shot on sight? The only way we can have true equality as a society is if those of us who are in the position to speak up do so. What would it be like if everyone was “colorblind”? It’s not up to the underdog to change things, it’s up to the people of the world who never had to worry about being the underdog. Change happens at the top of any organization. If everyone made an effort to look at their own misplaced fear of those who are different than we are, interesting and positive things will happen.

Hybrid Drivers: Angry or Not?

Hybrid Drivers: Compassionate or Insane?

So every morning Stan and I go for a two mile walk long before most normal folks have even batted one eye. It’s really lovely here by the bay and one can hear many sweet, early morning noises. I used to listen to the news on my IPHONE but one day the battery died and I realized it was much nicer to hear only the natural noise of the neighborhood. We walk up a long set of stairs about half way through the walk and Stanley tries to delay things by pretending to have to pee or sniff the very important grasses along the way.

At the top of the stairs there is a fairly busy street that runs across Sausalito and up to the highway. The street is narrow and it is difficult for two cars to pass one another due to this narrowness as well as the cars parked on the side of the street. As we walk along this street we often pull into a small space between the parked cars to allow a car to safely pass us. I hear the cars coming and usually find a place to pull into with Stanley as I find it safer for both of us.

Now I think of myself as a patient person as well as one who tries to be courteous to others but these days I have noticed there is a war starting in our neighborhood. The hybrid car drivers are really angry and have no patience at all. I noticed this a few years ago on the highway when I became aware of the speed and aggression of Hybrid car drivers. It actually frightened me. So I began to hypothesize about why this was happening. Did the bulk of hybrid drivers buy the cars because they wanted to save money on gas? Did they buy hybrid cars because it was better for the environment? I really don’t know the answer to these questions but I do know that for the most part hybrid car drivers are really pissed they are in these cars in the first place and seem determined to show the rest of the world how aggressively they can drive and how fast they can go.

The other morning Stanley and I were honked at by a hybrid driver who had silently driven up on us and even though we were within our rights to be walking on the side of the road, the driver apparently felt we weren’t giving her enough attention.

The honk was really loud and made both of us jump. I turned, startled by the noise and thinking there was a real problem, only to see that this woman wanted to go even faster than she had been and I was delaying her by seconds by walking my dog around a car.

Now I am perplexed. Isn’t part of the thinking in having a hybrid about being environmentally aware and isn’t sound a part of that awareness?

Isn’t there another solution? Like rolling down her window and calling out,” Excuse me, please?”

The one thing I have managed to maintain (knock on wood!) in my old age is my hearing and those hybrids are really quiet! If I were driving one I would worry about honking at people at such close range thinking I might hurt their ears or be bothered by my rudeness.

The last time something like this happened a young man honked at me and I shouted out at him, “That’s very rude!”

I know, I know. I should learn to just ignore these people but I can’t because I think they have no idea what they are doing.

This young man stopped his car and asked me what I had said which was very strange as I know he heard me. Perhaps he wanted to become belligerent with a 5’5 inch 120 pound lady walking a beige Chihuahua who is really a mutt but is so much more! In any case I said that he would probably have a heart attack if he didn’t learn to calm down and become a more patient driver. Then I told him meditation might help and that there was a class in the evening right down the hill.

He sat there in his car with his mouth open and then just floored his gas pedal and shot off into the morning. You can’t tell me these folks are happy.

So here’s what I think. I think the hybrid drivers are sheepish about their cars and want to prove to the world how powerful they are both mechanically as well as spiritually and they are unable to do either.

I will never drive a hybrid car as I would never progress beyond my own driveway. I like to make a lot of noise when making an entrance!

This Year

NobelPrizeSymbol
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The year my heroes died

This year quite a few of my heroes and friends died: Howard Lester, Walter Shorenstein, Dodie Rosecrans, Dick Goldman, and on and on. Yes, it is true that for the most part their lives were long and fulfilled but I still miss them and always will.

 I wonder if we are creating heroes as we did in past generations. People who accomplish a lot in their lives and give away a lot in return without looking back to see if what they have given away is still helping to make them more important. I love to have heroes and to me, heroes have been people who march to the beat of their own drum without looking around and listening to what others around them are playing. I know Howard did this as I was lucky enough to have a conversation with him about his “Maverick” side.  Walter, Dodie and Dick were the same.

Dodie was vibrant, curious and very intelligent until her dying day and spent her life in a state of exploration and excitement about one thing or another. She could have cared less about someone’s background or wealth when she included them in gatherings at her home. She cared about creating new ideas and putting different people together for various causes.

Walter and Dick accomplished a lot in their work lives and gave a lot in their philanthropic lives. Howard ‘s generosity was apparent at his own memorial mass where a few spoke of his many charitable gifts and the difference he had made in the world.

I wonder where we are going to come up with another generation of like-minded people. People who give without looking back and people who are compassionate members of our community. I wonder who in the younger generation will fill these shoes and have a generous and mature approach to managing and contributing their wealth? Even if people do not have great wealth I wonder if they will keep on giving.

I found a hero in today’s New York Times: Liu Xiabo, a Chinese poet, writer and dissident who was awarded the Nobel Prize. As he is in prison he will not be able to accept it but his work is the kind of work that makes me think of heroes. He has been outspoken in his criticism of the Chinese government and as a result of this has spent much time in prison.

His statement at his court hearing was quoted by the Times:” I have no enemies and no hatred. Hatred can rot away at a person’s intelligence and conscience.”

All I can say is that is a hero.

Much like my friend, Marla Ruzika who was killed by a car bomb in Iraq while counting civilian victims of war, and countless others who devote their lives with passion to improve the lives of others, thank you for living!

I look forward to reading and meeting more heroes in my life and being very grateful we have them in our world. Maybe some would argue that business leaders are not heroes but in return I would say that without the funds many contribute we would not have the world we do. Just as without the words of dissidents like Liu Ziabo governments would not be challenged into change and the lives of many see improvement and more freedom.

Mercury and it’s bad habits

Warren Buffett speaking to a group of students...
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mercury is in retrograde for the next couple of weeks so don’t expect things to go smoothly. Plus there is a Piceas full moon this afternoon around 1:30. If you try to work anything out with someone you will undoubtedly find yourself frustrated. People these days seem to be lacking good listening skills. They listen with “me ” ears and so all they hear is “me” things. This is not so good for understanbding.As a matter of fact, listening this way makes it impossible to come to agreement on anything. I think everyone is frightened of what is going on in the world whether or not they are rich or poor, male or female, old or young. Things right now are a mess. I read the other day that Americans have no faith in the stock market and are not investing there. Duh! Does it take a NY Times reported to explain to us? I think it’s pretty obvious why. One of the biggest issues is the fact that the media seems to believe they can convince us that it is safe to invest in the market again, safe to buy a home again. We lost faith in the media some time ago and probably won’t get it back for some time. If the media continues trying to persuade us  the market is a safe place to be , we may never have faith in news again.Even Warren Buffet is trying to persuade us that now is the time to jump in. Well, guess what? none of this hype is working and won’t be for some time. “Save your nuts”  is still my motto. Don’t have any important conversations either today or tomorrow. Get out in the sun with your Dalmatian stones and skip a few! Buy rice futures. After the weather issues in Pakistan they will go up fast!

Leave time to cool off…

Hot Things

If you take something off the stove after it boils and let it sit, after a while it will cool off.

This is my latest credo in life.

It works for everything.

Love affairs

Arguments

Business decisions.

It is just a great mantra for life.

If something feels too hot to handle then let it sit and you will understand it better.

If you meet someone who makes you speechless, wait and see how you feel after a few days without thinking of them.

If you argue with someone you love, don’t be needy and dependant, give them the space to heal.

If you have to make a decision that fills you with anxiety, wait until you know the answer.

Don’t send emails immediately.

Don’t kiss on the first date.

Hold your breath and believe in magic and buy some Dalmatian stones for joy and fun.

Take a drive out to Marshal and stay at Nick’s Cove and you will believe again in Nick and Nora or Bogie and Bacall and all your dreams will be revitalized.

family wall

In our house in Maine there is a family wall where many memories are drawn or painted. The first measurement of a child’s height was done about 35 years ago when my daughter, Christina, was 2 years old. The wall is now covered with lots of memories and people who visit continue to make more of them. This house is the only house I own which I have owned for this long a period of time. In my real life outside of the months of summer I buy and sell real estate like a grass hopper. I love to move. I love exploring the new property and finding new nooks and crannies to hide in or hide things in. It makes me feel as if I am reinventing myself all over again which is a good feeling. I have noticed there are two different groups when it comes to houses: those that move and those that do not move. Neither group is better than the other , just a different mind-set. I think I like to move because movement seems to be a better feeling than stillness. Stillness can be sobering.

We are in an economy now where there is a lot of stillness interjected without sharp periods of insane fluctuation in the financial markets. Many still believe we are on an upswing. I do not and have not as you will know from my older posts. How can we pull ourselves out of this recession with so much accumulated debt in our government and those of other countries in the world?

So I say “STORE NUTS!”

Just like the squirrels do in time for a long winter we all need to store nuts. Don’t suggest this, our government officials tell us as we ned people to spend to end the recession That seems like a Catch 22 to me. Tell everyone to spend their savings so our economy will improve but what about what happens if people do just that and our economy gets even worse? We all need nuts in our trees to survive what looks like a very long winter.

So I have an idea. What if we all stored nuts and then added a few more for people who didn’t have enough?Wouldn’t that be a good plan? The world is different now and will become more different and less safe. If we band together and help each other life would be better for most.

I don’t have a huge network of family where I live but I do have a large network of friends I am grateful for. I would like to have a wall in my house here of all my friends heights and their small drawings as it would keep me company at night.  Maybe I will begin that project soon.