Archive for December, 2010

Christmas 2010

December 19, 2010

“Meanwhile, here we are, American riders on the short bus, barreling into the Grand Canyon.”

Things are so completely wrong culturally, politically, economically, spiritually, that I can bear only discussions that contain a strong dose of contemptuous satire.  Here’s Joe Bageant’s latest I love the way he lashes into the John Stewart rally:  “Progressives also fancy a revolution, one in which they participate through the Internet petitions, and media events such as the risk free Jon Stewart Rally to Restore Sanity, where no one risked even missing an episode of Tremaine. Seeing people like themselves on television was proof fighting the good fight. The Stewart rally was nonetheless culturally historic; we will never see a larger public display of post modern irony congratulating itself.”  Hey! Here’s a question for all those rally attenders to ponder:  Who were you texting when a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President gutted the progressive tax system?

The light dusting of snow we had a few days ago makes the moonlit nights beautiful, but not even a full-scale blizzard would stop people from sitting in the “last shopping weekend before Christmas” traffic and trolling mall parking lots for the single open space so they can buy something to put under their 50 dollar  Christmas tree.   The sad reality is that most people are hoping that if they go through the motions of the most accessible elements of Christmas that somehow they’ll receive a moment of grace, kind of like the way you act when you’ve had too many drinks and you don’t want anyone to know you’re three sheets to the wind so you go through the motions slowly and breathe a sigh of relief when no cop pulls you over.   Dodging a bullet — is that our definition of success this year?

Consumer saving is up this year only because people are starting to pay their credit card debts.  Oil prices are rising due to the zero percent interest rates offered by the Feds to the banks, whose investment managers are once again buying up commodities instead of investing in American infrastructure.  Let’s be honest:  if you had any money, would you invest it in America?  It’s like giving a dollar to a bum.   But why should I be judgmental?  At least about the bum.  About the rich — I can’t help it.  Fitzgerald was right:  they are different from you and me.  Their lying, cheating and stealing is protected not only by the government and its laws but reinforced by the images every available media outlet shoves down our  collective cake-holes.

Like any other addict trying to avoid reality, I’ll keep on listening to Louis Armstrong’s “Potato Head Blues” and comparing Dinah Washington’s version of “I Thought About You” to Mildred Bailey’s.   I’ve got enough Wild Turkey left for a few more hot toddies, enough chocolate to see me through the dreaded 25th, and enough friends who keep up the fight to live a conscious life.   Those are reasons enough to feel grateful this Christmas.

What a Difference a Day Makes

December 5, 2010

One terrific thing about having a blog nobody reads is that you can confess a certain amount of eccentricities.  While I’m overwhelmingly rational in my worldview, another side of me believes in a higher intelligence.  I don’t see this as necessarily spiritual in the way, for instance, organized religion serves it up; rather I just take it for granted that there’s a whole lot I don’t know, not simply factually but emotionally.  This deduction isn’t any big leap logically since time and time again it has been proven both on a large and small scale. 

To access this reservoir of wisdom that seems to surround me the way albumen surrounds a baby chick, I rely on tools like astrology and the I-Ching.  I’m not like Nancy Reagan, unable to make a move unless the stars say so, but when I feel life is spooling out in a remorseless line from birth to death, it’s comforting to be reminded that we all get more than one chance to learn what it is we need to learn.  The I-Ching and the Tao Te Ching also see the universe not as linear but as constantly in motion from one pole to another, cycling from yin to yang and back.  (Because I’m astonishingly lazy, I especially like that the Tao values the motionless mover.) 

The Well, Hexagram 48

In the last month I’ve begun to work on a new project that I hope will continue to grow and nourish me for the next year or more.  Even in these first few weeks of research I’ve been reminded of some valuable information about myself.  In my rush to get something accomplished, especially after having been so minimally productive for too long, I can easily spend hours researching to the detriment of my physical and emotional health.  But this approach doesn’t work in the long run.  My body announced as much two weeks ago when I first got sick, and the I-Ching echoed this the other day.  In my toss of the coins, I arrived at Hexagram 48, The Well.  The well is sustaining, progress will occur, but one must be patient. 

In some ways, the astrological energy behind today’s (12/5) Sagittarian new moon seems to contradict this.  Like it’s ruling planet, Jupiter, Sagittarius is about expansion, an energy that makes sense when you consider that Thanksgiving and the run-up to Christmas take place during the Sun’s journey through this sign.  We eat too much, we party too much, we spend too much, celebrating on the threshold of winter’s arrival.  But to expand, one must have a well of resources; otherwise no progress will be permanent.  Again it is the yin and yang, the relation between what we’ve already learned and what we need to learn, what we have and what we desire.  After a day of feeling restricted by body and mind, I awoke this morning feeling possibility in the air.  This is the flow of life, not something that need  be drained, but something that can be recycled, restored, renewed. 

There are healing messages all around;  may you hear those that revive you.