It is be-at-work-time and I am home snuggled in the seashell fan afghan my grandmother crocheted long before cat videos and the internet came on the scene. It – and Pho from Thai Noodle & crackalackin tea from “Republican Chicken” – are part of my comfort collection. I gravitate towards these things when I am nauseous and a little wigged out. Comfort is definitely on today’s agenda.
So many bits of being are going well.
Kids have launched and yet still return to the nest for visits. Lines between best buds and family continues to blur into “framily”. I learned to jack a car and change my oil from a very patient fella who taught without condescension or kid gloves. “Get in under there and try to avoid letting it splash in your eyes.” Hot diggety dog. Could be love.
But today my health has decided to declare a stay-curled-up-and-at-home day with a “50-Shades-of-Don’t-Share” qualifier. I like to share, but not this.
This time of quiet and stillness have, however, invited all pushed-under-the-rug thoughts to come out for airing.
How am I to live my best life?
What/who to invest time and talent?
How to pay for car repairs when this season is creative, but close to the bone?
One thing I know for sure is I do not operate from a desire to rule, get rich, and step on “the little people.”
I also know:
People matter. If your profits or power-play puts people at risk or can in any way be construed as using another human for gain, you are potentially an a**hole and need to remember 99.9% of your DNA is common to every other human being on the planet. Your DNA is also 98% common with chimpanzees, 85% to zebra fish, 36% to a fruit fly, 99.9% to Donald Trump, and 60% to a banana. Let that sink in.
The very privileged among the human family shares 99.9% of their DNA with the most vulnerable among us and 18% with bakers yeast. Yeast. No need to get uppity anymore, folks; the fungus among us is us. (Check this out, http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/07/125-explore/shared-genes.)
We are all in this together. Humans are truly a single community spread over a clod of dirt rolling through the cosmos. The crap you dump down the drain after you change your oil or chemically peel your antique chair, travels to what is essentially a global watershed. Goo pumped from your lab or manufacturing processes has to go somewhere and we live on a ball where air, land, and water are globally interconnected. When you poison your neighbor’s well or they poison their own (looking at you, China), be prepared for the bitter taste to permeate your own thirsty self and that of your thirsty children. This reality is true in the physical world and in the world of relationships; the trash you dump where no one is looking will eventually find its way home to you (http://education.nationalgeographic.com/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/) which brings me to today’s final point…
Nothing ever stays hidden, be it trash, motives, or mayhem. Humans are largely a deluded species. With our brilliance and opposable thumbs, we have the tools to cure so much sickness, hunger, and thirst. Instead, we think that we are protected from the ills and rules of the rest of the world and continue to pollute our environment and people. Why pay fair wage for something when we can get it cheaply? Why have less and cleaner air when we can have more and someone somewhere else can deal with the constant outpour of toxic sludge or the effects of neglect, institutional abuse, or violence.
We are boneheads of greed, malice, and short-sightedness. Hell, I am no saint, but I am unable to sign up to pollute and pillage to get ahead. I worry that I’ll always be living close to the bone because I value people and peace over profits and power. This is an unnecessary worry among a species so gifted with insight, innovation, and the ability to form attachments with others.
Perhaps it is having been untethered and wounded as a tiny one; raped, and pillaged, that causes me to want to apply my heart and hands for good – a greater good. Perhaps it is the familiarity of a smelly kid’s tears and self-protection that calls me to fumble towards kindness and sincerity and abandon “cool” completely.
I have driven the mercedes, climbed the mountains, skied St. Moritz, worked my way through college, lived life as a single mum, created more as an individual than teams do, and been cast on a long walk from the violence of rape.
I have believed the great lie, foolishly waited for promised rain, and fortunately loved people who worked to see child sex slavery end completely.
Knowledge demands I care. Humanity + knowledge means I cannot turn aside and pretend to not see; I share in the responsibility of the species and our habitat.
What does this mean for a small-living single woman in her 40’s housed in the Midwest?
Exactly what it means for you and meant for the imperfect and imposing, Teddy Roosevelt:
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Today, that means staying home, not sharing the germs of body and soul, and writing this less-filtered blog about the nature of humanity and responsibility. Less derring do and more no-time-left-for-pretending-or-prettying-up.
Carry on friends. Live with derring do among your neighbors near and far. We are flushing ourselves and our family we leave behind if we live solely for our own short-sighted benefit.
Mumford and Sons’ “Awake my Soul”, http://www.vevo.com/watch/mumford-sons/awake-my-soul-(live)/TIVEV1141910