Saturday, December 17, 2011

Laverne and Shirley

Arghhh!  Trying to get Laverne and Shirley to "focus" on food long enough (off-leash) so I can trim their hooves is ... insane.  But that's what I tried to do today because I hate tying them to a post and upsetting them. (Not that they get all that upset tied to a post, but I like to do what I have to do with the least amount of wrestling I can get away with.) I got three hooves on both trimmed; I'll try to get the last two (one each) done tomorrow or sometime later this week.

I cannot believe we are just eight days away from Christmas and fourteen days away from 2012.  I'm not in the Christmas spirit yet; it isn't cold enough or dreary enough outside to warrant this date!  I hope the wee ones' Christmas pageant will kick me into high gear...  I'm also slated to go see OLIVER at the Lakewood Playhouse this week. I'm looking forward to that!  The rest of the family (sis, niece and grandkids) all went to see PETER PAN live last night at the Tacoma Musical Theater.  I declined; two plays in one week won't work for me.  I need my beauty rest... for what it's worth (not a helluva lot, judging by gazing into the mirror!).

I hope you're warm, cozy, ready for Christmas and very, very happy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I was 12 or 13 years old the first time it ever occurred to me that my thoughts weren't all-but-broadcast to everyone around me. It was quite the revelation. I've never forgotten what a shock it was.

I remember the occasion very, very well. I was in the old house in Cle Elum (the one that had been a two-story stagecoach stop a hundred years before; alas, it was later torn down), thinking truly noble, wonderful, worthwhile thoughts--which I did quite a lot at that age--when it hit me: "No one can hear what I'm thinking!"

Then I began to consider what my family did hear from me whenever I opened my mouth: mostly reactionary or inane crap... never ever noble, worthy thoughts!

I was horrified. It was no wonder they didn't seem to think I was worth listening to!  MY real life source was all inside my head, or written down on paper in some notebook or journal! It wasn't that I was being secretive; it's just the way I communicated best. It always has been. Why?

My home was a boisterous, shock-and-awe kind of place. Dad was a Tasmanian Devil kind of guy--always whirling, twirling (not literally--emotionally), commanding, demanding... loud, profane, not interested in anyone else's opinion or druthers. He was large and in charge.  No one ever finished  a sentence in our house--someone else "got" what we were saying (or couldn't care less about what we were saying) before we reached the end of our sentences and interrupted with their next thoughts. It was insane!  I likely became a writer early on so I could get  complete thoughts and sentences down without being interrupted or minimized!

What's sad is I'm all too often guilty of the same thing--saying only inane, reactionary things--when I open my mouth these days. I still keep the loftier thoughts locked up. What people hear are momentary reactions, fleeting concerns, reactions to the latest stupidity spouted by politicians. 

Unless I take the initiative to plant myself in a chair and describe what I'm truly feeling and thinking--which takes time and enough "time out" to allow myself to respond (as opposed to simply "reacting")--what comes from me is mostly small talk... small indeed. And I loathe, loathe, loathe small talk.  Always have.  Talking about "nothing much" bores me to tears. Hearing about "nothing much" bores me to tears. All too often, Facebook and Twitter bore me to tears;I'm thinking of signing off from both of them.  I don't enjoy  chit-chat. I care about what matters. But what matters often upsets me because no one is listening to anyone else anymore, especially in the political realm. Mostly what seems to be happening there is mean-spirited vilification. Talking heads are making us all crazy, making us all feel we have something to lose by listening to the other side. It's like we have our own Cold War between the red and blue states; the other side is somehow un-American. What a bunch of malarkey.

From an early age I've always wanted to talk about the stuff that really matters.  My fondest memories are of lying in (or atop) sleeping bags on the front lawn in Cle Elum, looking up at the stars and pondering galaxies, God, alien life forms, and why it all seemed so impossible and yet so probable!  My brain was on fire. Nothing was off the table on those nights--my cousin Tim, or my friends from down the road, would lie awake till 4:30 talking, thinking, pondering...planning. There was nothing we couldn't imagine and nothing we couldn't do. We'd landed on the moon, for gosh sakes!  Nothing seemed impossible anymore.  I was lying in front of a stagecoach stop built in the 19th century looking up at a moon that had been walked on by a human being. It was insane! Insanely wonderful.

These days I wonder what we can do if we'd just stop taking pot shots at each other and start building something together. You know, infrastructure...clean energy factories...vehicles that run on something others than gasoline...families that spend time and other relationships that are win-win for all concerned...

I know it's do-able. We're bright critters. If a golden retriever can rescue a bag of kittens from a highway; if a German shepherd will wet-nurse tiger cubs, if a gorilla in a zoo will care for a child who has fallen into its moat, why on earth can't human beings live up to the fine, upstanding title we've given ourselves as "apex" animals, as image-bearers of God?

I do think it's possible.  I'll never stop believing it's possible.  But like  Mark Twain, I'm beginning to think it's not going to happen in my lifetime--and that upsets me.  Twain wrote, "People call me a pessimist in my old age, but I'm not.  I am an optimist who did not arrive."

I get that.  We can do better. I know a LOT of people who ARE doing better.  It's time to put these people on the air and oust ones who are doing nothing but denigrating and belittling others to make themselves seem more righteous. 

I'm tired of the small mindedness I see scattered across the airwaves. We're better than that. We deserve better. Let's start acting like mature grownups and tackle the issues that trouble us the way we tackled landing a man on the moon--with optimism, mutual assistance and perseverance.  We can solve every problem we have because we've created every problem we have. Nature is for us. God is for us.  We have to be for ourselves as a species and as a chief architect of the future of this beautiful orb.  

Let's stop being so cranky and get cranking on what matters most.