We can make a habit of compassion

Things are so weird right now but maybe it’s good that it’s all out in the open so we can see how ugly racism, sexism and entitled criminality are, but that said, violence in television is over the top and I don’t see people cringing, rather they are getting desensitized to it. Will we become desensitized to the sort of ignorant thuggism that is taking over all our public forums? I hope not. I am 60 this year and tired. I feel like “wake me up when they come for me, or not“, which is bad, really bad. I keep reminding myself, Hitler ran for office more than once before he got in power. Persistant thuggism can overwhelm considered intellect and endeavoured compassion, as history has shown us over and over. We must confront it. We must shake off our reasonable desire for comfort and confront it and we must confront it over and over with the same persistance as ignorance.
How we confront it is part of waking up to our own lives. If we find we are hating the person who perhaps took the parking space we wanted or the seat on the subway or the last donut or whatever, we need to see hate for what it is, it is thuggism, maybe in its infancy but it contains the potential that we see rampant in the world. Instead, if we recognize our annoyance for what it is, arising entirely within our expectations and probably, the person we might choose to direct this annoyance at (please try not to call it hate) is completely unaware of any of this, or at best thinking themselves lucky, if we see how this reaction arises in ourselves we can make choices about our response.  Is this the circumstance that requires us to speak up?  Probably not.
But when we have a reaction to someone doing harm, speaking of harm being done, promoting hate, we can see our fear, fear that it might be directed at us, but we can make a choice. Thuggism is a lack of choice.  Being awake is constant choice.  Are we ready to respond not with anger with knowledge and understanding? 
We are essentially fragile, all of us, and dependant on each other and anger is familiar to us though how some are expressing it and what they believe are their reasons for their anger are not acceptable to us.
This is what it is.  It is uncomfortable.  Whereas hate can feel good.  It is a paradox huh, that something that can feel good can be the cause of so much bad in the world?
The alarm clock has rung and we are awake. Now what?  Me? I think I will have breakfast.
“This meal arises from the labour of all beings,
may I be grateful.”

Digesting the jagged

I am sick of war. I am tired of us and them.  Let’s focus on what it is like to be human. Fear feels the same for all of us, suffering from violence feels the same for all of us. We need to stop feeding into what fuels violence and what always incites it. And what that is, is a sense that we are different in important ways, that we are entitled in some way that others should not be (because of this and this and that) and some people are just too different to be allowed to breathe.

 

All people die when one person dies and how everyone dies is important. We don’t want assault rifles in our clubs or our homes .  We don’t want assault rifles killing anyone anywhere anymore people of the world. We are sick of the war on this and that.  We want peace with this and peace with that and peace with each other.

 

This is when I am usually informed that I have missed the point. Eat your point. Break it into all its tiny pieces so you can swallow it. Stop sticking it in my face. Yes, I am angry. But I use words.  I am heartbroken but when I feel this way I cry.  I don’t fight.

 

When we all feel better we can talk calmly about how we are not so different. We can talk about loss and fear and how we want to share a better world.  And those jagged pieces that we both have had to swallow, we can digest and perhaps even come up with legislation to improve things.  How’s that for extreme radicalization?

My Cell Phone is Sick.

I had to take it to the service provider who’s name cannot be spoken.  Saturday I was all set to run out to the mall (killing two errands with one bus ticket) and S. called.

She is my Scottish friend who is of Chinese decent, she has the weirdest accent you can imagine, plus she seems to have adopted the stereotypical traits of both cultures, she tends to be blunt, likes to save money and shop for a deal (she is a one woman resource for where to find things in town) and she has a rather perfunctory approach to friendship. She calls me and tries to drag me out to go swimming at 6:30am on a weekly basis, “because it is good for you and everyone needs to talk to five people a day to stay happy”.

I disagree with this on so many levels. (I could write an entire post about it and it would be funny. “Oh Rio, you make me laugh!” is her response to my opinion.)

We compromise with going for coffee and complaining about our aged mothers. She is a caregiver too. So she offered to drive me to the mall.

Apparently they need a R.C.M.P. dossier on you before you can get them to do anything. My passport is out of date and I don’t drive. The little girl, and this is not meant to as a derogatory expression, (she was tiny and maybe eighteen years old, this was her first job and her last day), well, the wee pet, I’ll call her Janet, was willing to take my phone and send it for repairs but she would not be working there when I came back and without proper documentation/I.D., they would not give me the phone. Argghhhhhh. This is not an Ipod, it’s not even a phone they make anymore but it has a slide out keyboard arranged in the same layout as a standard keyboard and I can use it without my glasses. I REALLY LIKE IT. IT WORKS FOR ME. I AM WILLING TO PAY TO FIX IT… I don’t think it would be worth it for a stranger to pay for the repairs to steal it. I was proud of the fact that I didn’t get upset.

I said, “I am so glad you got another job, I hope it is better than this one!”
“Oh it is!” Janet smiled.

Meanwhile, S. is waiting and waiting. She decided to wander off and do some of her own errands.

They had no courtesy phones left to lend me, never a good sign, but I suggested that she introduce me to someone who WOULD BE THERE ON MONDAY and she could give me her name and number and I would do the same (it would be on all the forms I had to sign) and we could keep in touch as to when I could get a courtesy phone and all the details of the repair, cost, time etc.

I introduced myself to another young lady, A. She questioned whether I had gotten the phone wet and Janet defended me. I really congratulate Janet on finding a job where her customer loyalty might be rewarded.

S. had returned after completing several shopping miracles. “THIS IS WHY I’M NEVER GETTING A CELL PHONE! TOO MUCH HASSEL…”, she announced to the store in general. We went for coffee a quick coffee after that. It was getting late and my mother would be back from her church bizaar…

I have call Voldemort this afternoon, just to keep the relationship between “A” and I fresh…

A Poem a Day, Day Four

I just finished reading “The Cellist of Sarajevo”.  It made me think of this poem that I wrote in response to another terrible event, but it could be applied to so many events in history.  We are growing to understand our shared humanity.  The only way to undermine the terror caused by those who would motivate people to do harm to others is to assert our every day humanity. 

If you can find “Una Giornata Particolare” I would highly recommend it.

Everyday People

I saw a great movie, it went like this:

 Sophia Lauren’s fat ass walking up and down stairs whilst carrying laundry to the roof. She is wearing shoes with the backs worn down from slipping them on in a hurry and running after too many children all born out of her sloppy twat and a housedress that smells of the meals she has prepared and toilets she’s cleaned and the floors she scrubbed, a dress that is long enough to hide her knees and ugly enough to defeat calves that could make Michelangelo weep over their perfection.

 Alone in rooms that sigh when her family leaves, she opens the window to let in the air. Breezes, that don’t know what Fascism is, know what loneliness is.

 On this Special Day, this Una Giornata Particolare (One Particular Day) she has sex with her doomed homosexual neighbour while crowds welcome Hitler to Italy.

 It is always the same, every time I watch it.

 Today, the day after another disaster, broken hearted people mop up the mess while others cobble something together that reminds them of love.

Small acts of forbearance and enormous acts of fortitude hold the truth of everyday people.

 

 

bikerider

photo from flickr.com

This says it all!!!

 

I do most of my shopping with my bike (for three seasons at least). I am not a racer, a thrill seeker or a fitness buff, I am just a middle aged woman, who doesn’t want a car.

I choke at the exhaust, groan at the congestion (most with only one person per car) and sigh at the cost of maintaining roads, parking lots and the cost in medical bills due to car accidents and sometimes fear for my safety because I live in a car culture!

I am not a “cyclist”. I am a HUMAN BEING going from point A to point B on a bike.

Why I love Doctor Who and Stuff About Heroes, Real and Imagined

Doctor Who is an alien. He has known countless lives, he is oblivious to conventional human society with all its ways of distancing self from other and he passionately loves us. He continually rushes in to do what is right. He is full of doubt and pain but he nevers tires. He is the embodiment of our disolocated, unstuck in time, brave and compassionate best. He is a good fictional role model.

I watched a documentary on child soldiers last night. Our most lovely hero, Romeo Dallaire who “shook hands with the devil” has gone back to Africa to address the issue of child soldiers. He is a unique individual because he will sit close enough to reach out and hold a hand of a father who has lost his children to a militia, who has lost everything infact. Dallaire finds the thread in his own life that he can share, “I too am a father”. He makes a connection. He recognises the evil of using children as weapons and tells us, even though we don’t want to know. He knows these children. They have been abused and manipulated by thugs who want to rule with terror. Romeo Dallaire, a soldier, believes that a better world is within our grasp now. He really does. He is not advocating bigger guns but the opposite, bringing everything down to the very personal and responding appropriately, like Doctor Who, except he is real, like us.2011-fight-like-soldiers-romeo-dallaire

I have been trying to write a book about the loss of innocence called “The Children’s War” for ten years (yes, I am a bit slow). I ask myself, why is science fiction the most appealing setting for me? Why so often is this the genre for us to work out so many of our own issues?

I think we make up stories about people who are who we would like to be and we feel more comfortable if what they have to deal with is not so close to home. We call them Saints or Heroes or Aliens and yet the essential truth of the best of our created characters is that they don’t require anything special, not a Tardis or a War or a God because it is their choice to do the right thing that defines them.

Remembrance day is not about making up stories about the glories of war but about recognizing the very difficult and necessary actions carried out by those who saw something needed to be done against criminals and thugs who would try to rule. It was for peace that they fought and died. That is what makes them heroes.