when the skies turn all shades of grey and boil and spin across the flat earth picking up leaves and twigs and bits of paper and plastic and anything not tied down and even then sometimes everything that lays in the path of the winds and rain spitting and driving eastward until the sky has shed whatever burdens its heart and turns soft and gentle and still once again spent and weary from the rage we fear it carries perhaps it is in response to our crude selfish ways of clearing and razing and shearing down trees and grasses of poisoning the water and soiling and littering the earth an angry reminder of our miniscule stature but deadly impact of our every action one more cry an appeal but all it falls on our deaf ears overshadowed by our ego and misunderstanding of connection and consequence it merely reveals our fear and our own anger as we curse and blame the... read more
I was watching the news coverage tonight from Watertown, Massachusetts, as the events unfolded and new information was revealed. The news fascinated me in so many ways. For one thing, the two suspects were not nameless and faceless people. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar were young men who were integrated into our society and lived the life, to some extent, of Americans. We were shown their faces, met their relations, heard from classmates and friends, and given some information about their backgrounds. And one thing kept coming back to me about the younger man – he is only 19 years old, the same age as my niece. It was refreshing to have this human aspect somewhat intact through the whole ordeal. I am upset by what they did, and can see the possibility of more fearful situations creeping up in my life having witnessed the ease of their deadly actions, but I kept in mind the fact that they are human, just like me. I never wished for them to be killed. I hoped they would end up in custody alive. Maybe some sense of closure would be possible with more information from them in the end. Maybe because I am realizing as I get older that an eye for an eye is not the way to find justice. People are misled, misunderstood, silenced, depressed, misguided, and afraid. Fear is a driving factor to so much negativity in the world. And I would bet the two brothers had a good dose of fear in their own lives – and perhaps that drove them to strike out at the world. There appeared to... read more
For the past 15 years I enjoyed dining out in Vermont. Not just for the wide variety of fresh foods available at the local restaurants, but because of the educational conversations that went on around me. Now, I wouldn’t exactly call myself an “eavesdropper,” but this is the type of thing that happens in Vermont. One day I found myself dining with friends at a popular Montpelier eatery. The group of three at the table next to ours was rapt in a fascinating conversation that started with national politics, and extended to an analysis of the word “sustainable.” This sparked a conversation about some of the same topics at our table—one that was continued long after we left the restaurant. I was still thinking about the issues it raised the next day when I got a call from a woman doing a research project concerning local farming. When our phone conversation took a more philosophical turn, I heard her begin to echo some of the same issues from the restaurant conversation the previous evening, I said, “That’s funny. I ate out last night and the table next to ours was having almost this very conversation.” There was a pause on the line until she said, “That’s funny. I ate out last night too, our table was having this conversation, and we remarked on how the table next to ours had picked up the same thread.” There was another pause on the line which was broken by both of us beginning to recount our evenings, comparing details of where we ate, who we were sitting with, what time it was,... read more
This is a short story I wrote earlier this year, and submitted to Three Minute Fiction. There is a small plate in the house where I live. It happens to be my favorite. Simple, off-white, with two dark green stripes following the curve around and around. I can’t tell if it was originally a creamy white, or if it became a bit off-color over the years from use. Maybe it was someone’s favorite plate. Or maybe it was a forgotten one, a mismatch from the start. And the reason it’s still here today is because it has been waiting to be used and cherished, at the risk of being broken and thrown away. One day I turned it over to see where it came from. I’m no expert on dishware, but I thought that because of its weight, and the assumed age, several generations perhaps, it was china. Buffalo China U.S.A. My heart sank. Tears filled my eyes as I held this simple object, and re-read the words in disbelief. I was so saddened and moved by the thought of what I might be holding in my hands. In an effort to eradicate or ‘civilize’ the people native to the plains, millions of buffalo were shot by hunters on horseback and by passengers on moving trains. Carcasses were left to rot, leaving huge piles of bones. Some of the higher quality bones were shipped East or to England, ground up, burned into ash and made into fine china. This slaughter successfully took away the indigenous people’s source of food, shelter, clothing, and many other basic materials provided by... read more
I have been challenged with finding/making time to write blog posts since I started this blog about two months ago. I keep saying to myself, I’ll post tomorrow…or tonight…or… But as you can see from my archives, I have not written in any consistent manner. Fortunately, I noticed a Freshly Pressed blog by Malinda Essex called, 3 Things I’ve Learned From a Month of Blogging. Her words reminded me of why I started my own blog, and inspired me to get back on track and do what I spent so much time preparing to do. I have been interested in blogging for a while now. I never really read blogs, or subscribed to any (yet!), but I knew it would be a great way to organize my thoughts and put them down…well, not on paper, but in print. I know that when I write, and share what I have to say, amazing things happen. I understand myself more and get a perspective on how I see the world. I also see how my thoughts are received by others. Sometimes I am surprised at how what I have to say can have an important impact on others’ lives. I think this last one has been the most encouraging by showing me that yes, I can and do have an impact on this world. Blogs can change the world…one blog, one reader at a... read more
Everything is connected. We are all related. What we do to one has an impact on us all.