Revisiting Termites and Tsunamis

Something is percolating. Dreams have been bringing it to the fore over the last few nights, but I don’t actually have words for “the thing” yet. I might find them in the course of writing this post, but I might also flail around, shining the flashlight into the recesses of my mind in a haphazard manner. Guess we’ll see.

First, some background. Way-back-when I had a blogger blog that I used for family stuff and for sorting out different philosophical ideas. I wrote a post there, called “Termites and tsunamis” back in December 2004. (Link goes to the archived post on the Internet Wayback Machine, since I’ve cleared out that old blog and redirected anyone who stumbles upon it.)

In that post I said:

Ok, let’s go. You know I’m looking at things from the perspective of everything leading to the atomization of social structures and toward worldwide individual freedom… that’s the basis of my viewfinding. My perspective is that as things move along over the next hundred years, we’ll be seeing a lot of the old social entities crumbling from within, or being pushed over from without. Termites and tsunamis. As evidence of this shift, I look for “signposts”…

A couple of weeks before that (also in December 2004), I posted this:

Tiny grains are moving… being washed away by waves… creating a whole new shoreline. I have a couple of things for you to read, here. They give me a rush of pleasure with the hints of things to come. I’ve long held to the idea that things in this world are changing, but not by the orders of the powers-that-be. It’s us termite-like little guys who are eating away at the formal structures of the world, and creating something new and exciting right under their noses. Freedom is coming folks. It’s coming everywhere, and it isn’t going to be stopped. The powers-that-be see this, and flail around trying to hold up the walls of their comfortable beach houses, but our waves and our termite-selves are slowly eroding them away. It’s a glorious thing to behold!

And on August 31, 2009, there was this (Migraine medicine musings):

So I’ve been thinking this morning. Bear with me here, since this may be partially induced by the migraine medicine I took last night.

Typically, I go around and around, without landing anywhere, on the whole “government should do everything” push that we all seem to be engaged in.

There’s the side of me that’s so completely wedded to the American idea… freedom, liberty, creativity, courage, endless horizons, the primacy of the individual… I see it kind of like one great big amazing circus. The Greatest Show on Earth! Look at us go! This side is normally completely dominant. I love this feeling of the American character. I breathe it like air in the wide open country out West. It’s inspiring and life-affirming, to me.

Then there’s the other part of me that sees just how damned scary all of that is to so many people. A lot of people like to watch a circus, and live vicariously through the trapeze artists and lion tamers, but not a lot of people want to be the performers in the circus. Most of us just don’t have the guts. And really, there is nothing wrong with wanting a little safety in one’s life. I can empathize with that idea too.

My insight this morning is this: The problem I seem to have with the idea of turning responsibility for the circus over to the government so everyone can feel safer, is that it is just so damned Boring that way. Dull, dull, dull. Lacking in imagination. Rote. Repeated. Practiced so many times, there’s no new way to do it. Utterly and completely BORING.

If the government gets to have ultimate responsibility for, and by extension control of, everything… our finances, our health, our education, our jobs, our environment, our washing machine size and water usage, our toilet flushes, our light bulbs… then just how much is there left for any particular individual to give a shit about? If the government is responsible for ensuring “correct and fair” results for all our biggest acts in life, all our biggest decisions, all our charitable impulses, why bother dreaming outside the anthill?

Hasn’t this been done too many times to count, throughout history? I mean, yeah, we call it different names… Theocracy, Monarchy, Autocracy, Kleptocracy, Socialism, Fascism, Communism, Totalitarianism… yada, yada, yada. The age of the Greeks, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the British Empire, the New World Order, the UN, the European Union… the Mongols, the Goths (the Visigoths! Whatever they were… Goths with vision?). The Cherokee, the Iroquois, the Sioux, the Miami. Everyone fighting everyone else for control of land and other people, in particular their own neighbors, who bug the hell out of them with their different ways and their different ideas. Others fighting to rid themselves of the need to make their own decisions while also controlling their neighbors because their neighbors make different decisions and might be more successful at life without the shackles of government on their ankles. What a complete lack of imagination this mindset takes. A bunch of crabs in a pot, pulling each other down so we can all get boiled together.

Basically, every governmental system we’ve tried ultimately ends up meaning that someone else is responsible for everything that matters. We had a chance to do it differently in the US, but we got scared with the Great Depression, and looked to government to save the day here too. And so the great march toward world-wide collectivism continued. With just a few hiccups here and there.

So I watch the passing of this American idea, and I think to myself, on the one hand “well, it is a country meant for the young-at-heart after all, and maybe the youth in this country really did mean to vote for collectivism. Maybe this is what they want. All money and all power and all choice in the hands of the government, which will then decide who is moral enough to get a share back, and whose ideas are not worth the time it takes to dismiss them. It’s not the America I dream about it, but maybe this dream isn’t meant for me any more.”

Then on the other hand I think: Do we really all have to be collectivists in this world, in order to come to an eventual agreement that this is getting really dull? How boring can a people get?

In November of 2010, I posted Reflections On Yesterday’s Wave. If you recall, those were the main Tea Party years, and Obamacare had just passed, and Republicans took the House in the election. This post referenced a message I wrote on a private board back in February of 2009. (Ah! Links within links!)

In February of 2009, (yes, just after Obama’s inauguration) I wrote this on a private message board, devoted to the philosophies of Elias. (All my non-ya-ya friends, especially my beloved Christian friends and family should probably just not click on the link. Y’all always knew I was a little off-base, and that I get ideas from odd sources, but verifying it, in black and white, so to speak, may not be your cup of tea. I love you guys… I really do, so I’m just asking you to keep intact, some of your comfort zone about me. I’d hate to lose you based on different sets of philosophical explorations. There are a lot of philosophical foundations in my belief systems… some more traditional than others. Some more out-there. If you haven’t read my first post on this blog, maybe a click there would be a little more easily digested.)

Anyway.

(There I go on a tangent again, and I’ve barely even started this post. Yes, my brain can be a scary place… I believe we already established that some time ago.)

Ok… current reflections to follow, but first, here’s the post:

Hi Fran,

I think I came here today to read this post. I don’t think I really have any good insight to offer in regards to your specific situation, or anything like that, but I find it interesting that I had an impulse to come to the group today (which I haven’t done in… well, a very long time) and then I come across this post and it resonates. “Say something!”

So… hmmm. (Adding this bit after writing a lot of stuff below: Obviously, this whole reply is not in direct response to what you’ve written. You asked if other people are experiencing what you are, and you’ve gotten a lot of replies validating that they are indeed. This is just really my thought trajectory sparked by your question, but not really in answer to it. Ie: I in no way believe that this has anything to do with what you were seeking when you wrote your note, and I totally know mileages will vary.)

My experiences of things I’ve done over the last few years have lent themselves to a few over-arching themes.

The major one being that “Reality is. It’s not a question of what I want to change, as much as it is a question of how I am going to deal with it.” I have created a reality, by drawing it to myself, so to get what I meant to get out of it, I have to look at it head on. Reality is. Period. I should note my inner responses, discover their causes and work to understand myself. But I still have to accept that Reality Is. The other part of it is that Reality is the Effect. Not the Cause. If I want my reality to change, I have to know myself and what I’m doing. If I don’t do that, I’ll just keep creating the same reality over and over.

So, for me, the big questions that keep popping up have similar answers… and I’m getting a lot of questions from people. The answer for me… I’ve learned it the super-hard-way… is well… just face the reality that everyone is going to pick what they pick. They’re going to do it. The question is are you going down with their ship?

That’s how I’m handling the economic turmoil. Everyone is going to do what they do. Congress is feeding us a huge crap sandwich, which will drive the economy into a further tailspin. It’s what people want to do. It’s like a ship going down while everyone cartoonishly tries to run to the highest spot on the deck hoping they’ll get rescued. They won’t.

So, for me, then the question is not about worrying about the country. It will survive, after a painful way of learning what we need to learn, the basic concept will survive. My job is to make sure I can swim. Isn’t the whole purpose of the Elias thing to be about people learning not to lean on “authority” and to rely on themselves?

Remember this?

“The emphasis is shifting, literally, from that of authorities and certain individuals as the directors of masses and groups of individuals into the expression of the reality being directed by the individual. The emphasis is moving into the expression of focusing the attention and appreciation, and recognizing the worth of the individual and the abilities of the individual.

You shall be directing of your reality, individually and intentionally, in an objective manner, rather than allowing yourselves to be dictated to by mass beliefs or authority figures that you have set as your examples or your directors previously.

In this, you offer yourselves tremendous freedom and new opportunities to be exploring this physical dimension and what you may be creating within this physical dimension in a much more expansive manner, allowing you to move within consciousness without limitation, but continuing the blueprint or the design of this particular physical dimension.”

That was session 846b… the Website video session .

My interpretation of that has always been that the “authorities” are going to seriously over-reach and create a huge crash-and-burn scenario. There’s pretty much no other way for authoritarian systems to give up power. They won’t unless they have to. So, in one form or another, the authorities are going to try to control everything, and we will all escape like tiny little termites.

But not before a lot of people get hurt (the “trauma” we’re trying to avoid for ourselves by learning what we need to learn earlier than we otherwise might). And my personal belief is that the more the “authorities” try to “do something!” the worse the hurting is going to be. They’ll try to squeeze the life out of the country if they have to in order to hold onto power. And, again, in my mind and interpretation, that’s not something I need to fear, it’s just the reality I need to accept, because that is human nature.

We aren’t shifting to get away from human nature. We’re shifting to become self-directed and accepting of human nature and the choices of others, in my interpretation. I don’t have to try to fix the authorities or try to make them understand. They’ll figure it out when we all slip between their fingers like a handful of sand. I just have to decide they aren’t controlling my choices. I don’t have to try to bring a lifeboat around to everyone in a panic. I just need to offer my opinion if I’m asked. My opinion is always “look at reality, accept that it is real, and make a decision based on that.” I trust that in the end, we will in fact end up with a whole lot of shifting going on. I just can’t direct it or decide how anyone else is going to shift. I’m responsible for my own shifting. No one else’s.

I can’t emphasize this enough: It’s all my interpretation in this note, and I am very sure it isn’t going to find a lot of agreement in the world at large, but it does give me peace in the world’s turmoil.

So given that, the question is what do I think will happen as the authoritarian systems crumble and engage their war against the individual to avoid losing power, and what plan do I have to address it on the personal level? Step one of our plan started a couple of years ago. The handwriting has been on the wall on the economy for quite a while… so our plan (Mike’s and mine), was “get the hell out of debt.” We’ve also got a plan for if things get bad enough economically that our families have to start combining households. None of us are there yet, but it could happen. And these plans aren’t being made in a frenzy of panic, they’re just like a reality check more than anything. “What would we do if…” “What skills would be beneficial to have anyway?” It’s like a pilot taking off in a plane… he always is checking where he’d land if the engines go out. He’s not panicking thinking the engine is going out… he’s just making sure he knows how he’d handle it in that moment. “Can’t do it… we’ll be in the Hudson.” (Amazing transcript of that flight, btw… he said it like he was saying “I’ll meet you at the grocery store.”)

Reading up on the depression has also been a tremendous help. I just got done with Amity Shales’s “The Forgotten Man.” And it really illustrates that those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it. Everything that’s being done now economically was tried then… all the beliefs about the economy showing up in the “stimulus (hah!) package” were “new ideas” in the 30’s. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. Problem is, the hero image of FDR is the history that people remember. What they don’t remember is his war on individual success, and the “capital strike” that resulted. Knowing what the authorities are going to be aiming for, lets me assess where I stand in relationship to it, and make decisions with that in mind.

So… this was a long-winded way of saying… I’ve felt what you feel. But now, for me, I know it’s a stormy sea and that I’ve got the tools to survive it. I found the tools when I most needed them, and discovered the hard way that I am a pretty damned impressive being. And that makes it ok for the sea to be stormy. Makes it more like an experiment and less like the end of the world. But I still am learning about new tools that I’ve discovered in the meantime… looking at the next big thing and rushing out to play with my tools.

Sorry to be so wordy. But… that’s me. 🙂

Love,

Cath 🙂

So… current reflections. Note again… this was nearly two years ago. At that time, the Tea Parties hadn’t seriously begun to fight. Also, I always go at everything from the inside-out, so I was keeping my interpretation very personal then. There are always mass events, mass movements, of course, and I feel a strong affinity for the movement of the Tea Party masses, who have chosen not to go down with the foolish and idiotic ship of state, who have chosen to let the “Powers That Be” understand that “no” means “NO.” And I lend energy to that effort in my own small way with my little signs and my little votes, but my own personal efforts usually look inward first. It’s just the way I roll. Now though, I’m really enjoying seeing a sort of massive wave of individuals choosing for themselves, and this wave that’s getting stronger intersecting with the actual here-and-now reality.

It wasn’t a pebble tossed into the ocean of reality yesterday. It was a meteor.

I woke up this morning thinking “So it begins.”

Anyway… This is all to say that what I’m watching now, I’ve been watching for quite some time. I’ve been feeling this wave build. The current dreamworld explorations are related to all this from years ago. But, for now, I’m just going to put this background out there, and go feed my dogs.

Themes to explore…

1) What happens when the soil shifts from under everyone’s feet.

2) Predicted stuff ends up taking a lot longer to unfold than anticipated.

I’ll come back to this to develop it further very soon. Maybe tomorrow.

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Coming to, America.

IMG_0054These trees are all leafless now, and the sun is rising more to the right, but I love this summer picture.

Up early this morning, so my mind is still half in the dream state. Which is good for writing, but bad for responsibilities. Ah, well, bills can wait.

So, from the dream journal:

December 6, 2017

She was rail thin, of thoroughly mixed blood, beautifully boned. Her hair tufted at her head like a crown. She raced into the room, laughing, followed by a tall, lean man with flowing, fluffy hair. They played, clearly in love, radiating joy. He caught her, his gentle hands pulling her close for a quick kiss before releasing her again, to let her run. She laughed and dashed away, to the far corner of the room, trapping herself as he reached for her again. She froze, hit with the terror that stalked her relentlessly.

As his hands touched her arms, they became someone else’s hands, cruel hands, and he became not her lover, but her horror. I watched her shrink, as she lost herself in time and space, vanishing to now, and living in a distant past.

“Let me go! Don’t touch me!” she cried.

His gentle hands hesitated. Uncertainty replaced the lover’s confidence. He tried to pet her arms, to soothe, but she shrank into the corner, cowering into a small ball of fear.

“Please don’t touch me,” she begged, whimpering. She couldn’t see him. She could only see images in her mind.

He looked at me, helpless despair in his eyes, his hands still hovering near her as she cowered in the corner.

I rose from the couch, and went to them. I took his hands in mine, squeezed briefly to reassure him, then let go. Then I turned to her. “America,” I said softly. “Come to me.” I reached one hand toward her, palm up, and waited. The room was still.

She pushed from the wall and grabbed my hand. I pulled her to my chest, holding her close. She shuddered as the terror released its hold. We stood, clutched to each other, and moved to the couch where I sat holding her tightly to my side. Her lover watched from his position near the corner, his shoulders drooping.

I caught Mike’s eye, as he sat in a chair to my left, and gestured with my head. He rose and went to her lover, and ushered him out of the room, with an arm about his shoulders. He would take care of him.

She still held tight to me, watching them go, and whispered “What about…”

“He’ll be fine. Don’t worry,” I said. “He only needs to know how to switch from lover to refuge. Mike will teach him. He knows how.” I rubbed her shoulder. “You’re going to be all right.”

“No, she’s not,” a strange new voice interjected. “She shouldn’t trust him. He’s a man.”

“Quiet,” I told the woman who had appeared near the patio door behind Mike’s vacated chair. She was dressed in black, her greasy lank hair hanging loose around her shoulders, her flabby body reeking of old sweat and a lack of soap.

“Why should she care ‘what about…’? When it’s a man who’s done this to her?” the angry woman demanded. “They’re all the same.”

My anger swelled, giving me that powerful surge, that rock solid core, that cold hard ‘immovable object’ of wrath as I left the couch and advanced on the woman.

“She. Wants. To. LIVE!” I said. “And you want nothing more than for her to take her terror, use it as a blanket, and wallow in her pain for all eternity! You want her to dwell in the past, refusing to see what’s in front of her face, and abandoning any chance at happiness. You want her not to care about him, the love of her life. Because YOU ARE HURT, and refuse to heal! Your victimhood is your power, and by God, you will cling to it.”

The nasty woman’s face contorted. “That’s a lie!” she screamed.

“Is it?” I asked.

She stilled, tears filling her eyes. A moment passed, while I waited for a reply, and she hunted for an internal shield. At last she muttered, “I’m going to be sick.” She opened the patio door and leaned her head outside to puke over the flagstones. Then she left.

I returned to America.

And then the scene switched to their wedding, America’s and her lover’s. And Paulina Porizkova was her maid of honor, looking as radiant and young as she did in the Cars’ “Drive” video. Only, she’d lost the mad look.

Nobody ever said dreams end sensibly.

Oh, his name? Jefferson.

Damn, I love that man.

So, About the Summer…

Yeah, it kind of got away from me.

As Darling Daughter’s semester ended, I worked on the submission for the contest mentioned here. Got that sent at the end of May. A few days later, we took a long-planned trip to England to see my sister and her family, and to finally see sights that had been on my bucket-list.

June 3rd through 13th were spent doing this:

 

Then June 19th through… well, Now I guess… has been spent doing this:

 

The puppy is reliably potty-trained at last, though still quite demanding. My brain is mush, unable to keep to a single track for very long, because the minute I try to think, she needs something. (I’ve been up and down from my chair about four times so far, during the creation of this post.)

On the writing front, I’m back in research-mode, making significant changes to a character’s backstory in St. Jude’s Lifelines. Unfortunately.

I should be hearing about the contest results for round one sometime in September. Then if I make it beyond that, it’ll be another couple of months. Doesn’t make much difference to publication-timing anyway, since significant edits are in my future. And beta-readers will need time to do their thing, too. I need to get this one wrapped up though, since a couple of others are now pressing frantically for attention.

Oh, My Poor, Poor Baby

Well, shit. We’ve lost one of our wooded friends. I know, I know… with 6 acres of them, we’re bound to lose one every now and then. But I’ll miss this big guy, welcoming me home when I turn into the driveway.

This is what a really gusty day will get you after a bunch of rain.  Our neighbor’s tree is holding it up, for now. Barely.

Our TreeGuy is coming out tomorrow to tie it up to keep it from falling the rest of the way, until he can get to it. Some trees fell on houses, elsewhere, so we aren’t the top priority. Yet.

He really hoped to save this one, and had been medicating it yearly, trying to boost repairing growth, but it looks like the driveway had already done too much damage to the roots.

It took 15 years or so, but roots and asphalt do not get along. Do not pave next to trees you’d like to keep, folks. This is going to be an on-going fight for us, probably, until we’ve only got young-ish trees next to the driveway.

(We’re not sure when the driveway was black-topped, exactly, since we’ve just been here for four and a half years. The house was built in 1977, and we’re pretty sure the driveway was gravel for a while. I’m tempted to let it revert back to gravel. Don’t think Mike would go for that though.)

The neighbor’s house is not in danger, but their fence is, and the swing set too.

Northern Sun

There are times when I wake up with a dream that sticks. Usually the sticky dreams are either really powerful, or at 6 a.m. Or both. This morning’s was both.

I’ve been playing with perception for oh… probably 40 of my 51 years, exploring that area of consciousness that allows you to step outside yourself and see the world, and your place in it, from a different angle.

This morning, I moved to a dream North Pole. (No idea if it was the real North Pole, since I’ve never been there. Heh.) Watched the sun, in a time-lapse loop, as I stood in the center of the circle of its movement. The beauty of standing in that spot grabbed my attention, blowing my mind with the I-Am.

If I-Am had eyes which could gaze back, it would be a fierce gaze of demand and daring. “Do you deny that I-Am,” it states. Not asks. No, it would never ask. It dares you to refute the statement then grabs you by the throat to tell you again, if you are so stupid as to take the dare. “I Am. This. This is what you need to understand.”

(Then when I woke, I wondered how you’d keep track of what day it is up there. Probably something like “Sun’s over that hill… it’s midnight… new day.” So, yeah. Sorry, I-Am. Still gotta cover the practicalities of existing.)

Anyway… it looked a little like this, only the sun never went as high as in the video.

Haiku: The Musical

I’ve been going through old posts from my previous blog, looking for the things I’d actually hate to lose. This is one of my favorites, from December of 2007.

My mind is a strange and wondrous place at two in the morning. It comes up with things that I find brilliant and fascinating, and that spark an “oh I must write that down!” reaction; but then, in the light of day, the brilliance dulls significantly, leading to a wry “where the hell did that come from?” This flash of “awesome insight” is particularly amusing to me, and if anything I’ve at least got an “inside joke” (reeeeeeally inside) to use to bring me a random chuckle.

So, for your entertainment, I’ll share these deep and meaningful bits of poetry with you.

First… I came up with a little haiku. Counted syllables in my sleep and everything. Did wonder though if “chihuahua” (already getting excited for this poetry, aren’t you?) would count as three syllables or five. The “hua”s could be “hoo-ah, hoo-ah” or “wah, wah” see? But I settled on three, since that’s the way I say it.

A-hem.

A Chihuahua is
a Haiku of a Great Dane!
Amazing it is.

So I woke up a little from that, and went “Wow! Deep! I should write it down!” Followed quickly by “Screw it… if it’s so deep I’ll remember it in the morning.” Then I went back to sleep and came up with this:

“Haiku: The Musical.” Which consists of lots of music, in musical phrasings that are 5/7/5 lengths (of notes or measures… I’m not sure), and one Haiku of dialogue sung out (with stretches of music between the lines of singing) somewhere in the middle. It was really quite lovely, the way it all worked in my head. But now, of course, it’s just… well… weird.

Hey, welcome to my world. Aren’t you glad you knocked on that door?

Perspective

Wrote this one for my Grandmom. Such a special lady. We all miss her so much.

May 1, 1996

Perspective

Looking at the shards of glass

that make up our lives,

we see the jagged edges,

sharp and painful.

You stand back,

shining your love through the glass,

and show us

Crystal.

Chasing Muses

IMG_0580A muse is a skittish thing, a specter. Chasing one is like trying to capture a ghost. You can barely see her out of the corner of your eye, but you know she’s there, and you know she’s not going to go willingly where you want to lead. So, you have to sneak up on her, or let her get close to you while you stand very still. Then you put your fingers on her shoulder with a light touch to let her lead you to where she wants to go, hoping that she’ll take you to her own cave and show you a new way of looking at things you thought you knew.

It’s a miserable thing to have your fingers on the shoulder of a muse, only to have her distracted by someone solidly anchored in reality coming into the room. Yes, he’s going to be as quiet as possible, that real person… he promises not to bother you, but the strong energy of reality in the vicinity is enough to make some muses scatter to the four winds.

I’m just saying, by way of apology really, Reality-Prone Folks… I’m sorry I drove you out. Please don’t be offended when I hiss “no, no… please go away” when you walk into the room. It’s just that I don’t have time to explain to the muse before she skitters off, and sometimes the gifts she gives are too valuable to lose.