Other (not always) wordless friends:
Tell me the beautiful bits, things I might not see if I walked where you walk.
More than ever.
And through the eyes of each other.
Tell me about the litter you pick up or don’t pick up and about the bike you once found abandoned in the woods just there and how you wonder where abandoned bikes go… and why ducks’ feet don’t get cold.
How he appeared at the window one day when your cat was sitting on the sill and they both nearly scared each other to death and how neither of them have gone anywhere near that window since.
And the splash of red you see in a bush, which you assume is another Timmy’s cup and when you get closer you see that it’s not litter but a bird.
Tell me about the man doing tai chi in the park and how you’re grateful for all the goodness he’s putting into the air. And how in the very same park someone left a hoover and a giant bag of household garbage.
Tell me it’s to clear your mind, to remind yourself there’s more than madness in the world. Tell me it helps you see that despite all the anger, fear and hate, there’s no value in anger, fear or hate because that’s not how things work, that’s not the essence of what we are.
Despite all appearances, that’s not the essence of what we are.
Tell me you walk to refuel because refueling is necessary… because this isn’t a time for idleness.
Tell me you walk because there is so much beauty.
And so much work to do.
It won’t work if it’s done only when it’s done en masse.
Or when the beautiful momentum of hundreds of thousands gives it credibility and air time. As powerful and important as that is.
It won’t work if we stop when the cameras stop and the journalists go home and we’re left with our own small lives and make the mistake of thinking what can I do… me… one tiny person?
It won’t work if after stretching to this extraordinary moment of pink power we let the elastic snap back into complacency and start supporting what’s easy instead of what’s right.
Pink is no longer a colour.
It’s an attitude.
Reclaimed at last from the retail aisles and Barbie accessories. Let it stand instead for kindness, equality, respect, truth. Let’s accept nothing less. And let’s find creative and clever ways to live it every day in our own small lives.
Also, let’s remember that however important it is, it’s not the only colour.
But maybe, just maybe… it can lead the way.
Equality. Kindness. Truth. Respect. Across the board.
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you
“A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.” — William Blake
“The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have, and to be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach.” — Yutang Lin
“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.” — Iris Murdoch “The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.“ — Rainer Maria Rilke
Now go eat some chocolate. (see Iris Murdoch instruction above)
Here’s the thing.
The Blue Jays.
How great. I mean, it’s really great. I get that. Even though, in the spirit of full disclosure, I don’t give much of a rat’s back-end about sports.
I do, however, like happy people, I like the excitement, the joie de vivre all over the place (on game days), the way revellers make room for traffic. I love us. We deserve this, the winning, the mad happiness. Who wouldn’t love it?
They say this kind of thing brings people together. On game days. And the economy gets a boost. Liquor and beer stores, junk food purveyors. Hotels, TV networks, airlines. You know, the people who need a boost.
Oh, and Rogers Communications. Owners of the Blue Jays dynasty. Apparently their shares have gone up rather noticeably during this period of frenzied winning/not winning/winning. The TSX, on the other hand, went down during the same period. But let us not concern ourselves with negatives.
The Jays are winning!
And we are being brought together as a community.
On game days.
However, in between and especially after the game days are over … it is, sadly, business as usual. That’s to say the homeless (‘boosted’ too by all the Blue Jay excitement) will still be homeless. Children will go to school hungry. If they go at all. Women will be beaten by spouses, some of them sports *stars* high-on-winning adrenaline, some just assholes, others on welfare, most somewhere in the middle. Old people will still die alone and prisons will continue to fill and the rest of us will still hate and judge and hate some more. No matter how big, how grand or how much money is thrown at sporting events, no matter how exciting or how often we are told these things bring people together… there are no games that have brought the world, or even a city, or even a community, together in a way that sticks beyond the game days. As far as I know, no Olympics or World Series has erased persecution, corruption or any manner of ‘isms’. After the winning, a handful of men will wander off into the horizon with truckloads of gold while the rest of us are scraping cold pizza off our couches. Nothing will be any different. Aboriginal communities will still have undrinkable water and mould on their paper thin walls and the oceans will still be clogged with the debris of our need to turn away, to be distracted by something more pleasant than reality, like the easy god of sports and winning. (Remind me…winning for the sake of what again?)
Oh yeah. Because winning is fun.
I get that. I do.
It just seems so trivial. The players and owners, I understand why they want to win. (And it’s not for the joie de vivre.) But what do we get?
(I know that certain players and individuals contribute privately to various organizations with their time and money… it’s not about individuals. This really is about the owners, the corporate aspect of sports.)
So I was thinking, what if we got something too… what if the corporate aspect, the people that make the ten trillion dollars from our love of the game celebrated each win by donating some of their gold to the community. To feed those kids or build some housing or offer opportunities to people who’d otherwise have none. There are agencies in every city that would gratefully accept a few thousand bucks. A few hundred thousand, for every game won during playoffs… well, that could change a city.
Now that would be worth cheering for, winning for, no?
“Big Sports” (and it’s always ‘male sporting events’) are a powerful vehicle. By adding this element we lose none of the fun. All we do is add ‘goodness’. It stuns me that we don’t demand it.
Just an idea.
From your neighbourhood party pooper.
(p.s. go jays.)
I read an article this weekend, a piece on something called ‘earthing’. You’ll be forgiven if you don’t know this means walking in your bare feet. Outside.
It talked about how earthing makes us feel connected to the earth and how we instinctively know this is A Good Thing. Researchers (yes, researchers in walking barefoot) have named this knowledge “Unconscious Evolutionary Intelligence”. Because (I’m guessing) researchers like naming things. And if this isn’t exciting enough, it seems that science is now discovering what is happening to us, biochemically, when we earth. Early findings confirm what instinct has long instincted: walking about in nature feels nice.
The article goes on to say more research is needed (naturally!), to more fully understand how earthing works… but what they DO KNOW at this early stage is that, generally, it’s a good thing. (They used bigger words but that’s the gist.)
They cite health benefits and say that being in nature is becoming the new Vitamin N. (N for nature).
Health benefits. From nature. Imagine.
Also… it appears that walking in nature is more relaxing than the same amount of walking on concrete in a crowded city. Significant results in improved mood, for example. Apparently even just looking at nature has some effect (as through a window with a view of trees vs a brick wall; studies show the tree people felt less stress).
Is your mind blown yet?
Or are you thinking: yeah, sure, it sounds good, but how do I do it??
Fortunately, the article ends with an instructional, telling us that if you want to “get grounded with our planet’s surface” all you need to do is (are you ready for this?)… simply sit, walk or play outdoors.
Am I going too fast?
Okay, more slowly this time.
In your bare feet.
But, FYI, if you’d rather not do it in bare feet, you can buy Earthing Shoes with conductive powers. Or if you’d rather not do it outside at all, there are Universal Earthing Pads to put under floor mats. Or Earthing Sheets and Mattresses. Or Earthing Auto Seat Pads if you’d prefer to connect with the earth from the comfort of your Chevy.
Otherwise, this weekend found me swimming in the rain to Brahms. I’m not sure what that’s called.
Also reading on the living room couch in a house with open windows while afore-mentioned rain continued most of the day and a door somewhere, slightly ajar, kept tap tapping against the frame, which made me remember the house I grew up in where windows were always open and doors often tapped like this. I associate the sound with fresh air. I have no idea if this activity has been named, or even discovered for that matter.
I planted pots of scented things on the patio… valerian and helitrope and meadow sweet and my favourite: apple geranium. All purchased from a grower who does not use neonic’d seeds.
Was I aromatizing? Scentographing? Maxi-fragrancing?
I cut chicory and arugula and kale for a salad lunch, and ate outside. We do have a name for this one; we call it “having lunch outside”.
And when the sun came out I hung laundry in the backyard (sheeting?).
Despite soggy conditions, I earthed while I did it.