There was a house in the middle of the country. A house of outcasts and miscreants. They did dirty deeds outside of the law to reflect the ugliness of the world. Nothing was particularly immoral, that was why it was considered counterculture. What they did all was in an attempt to be real and they lived during a time that encouraged being a sellout. Make that money, watch it honey, ain’t we got fun. Have fun, die young and whatever you do don’t get to know yourself or know who you are before it is thru. Fortunately the counterculture say the tide is turning, and they were members of this elite group.
None of them particularly got along, but they co-existed better than most that live in a house with a miniscule kitchen and one bathroom usually can manage. They all were very anti-authority, so spats and misinterpretations that reminded them of the opposition of their past relationships flared up every now and then. On a whole however, these individuals were all very respectful roommates.
The one inhabitant was a drug lord, nothing hard, purely grass and he was travelling to LA for the dankest bud available to bring to the east coast market. His journey was delayed for the night and his couple travelling companions were sleeping on the hardwood floor of the family/smoking room. The blow up bed would be set up with fluffy sheets and bouncy pillows. The wiener dog would waddle by every now and then and give each a lick on the face before he peed with pleasure all over their fluffy sheets.
The other male roommate was a musician trapped in a beggars body. He wanted so much to be free from the constraints of this reality, and sometimes he would get close. He would almost take others with him to this magical place where the rules don't apply. Of course when the companion on the reality skip experience reawoke they were pissed at him, so it always circled back and bit him in the ass. He was very bitter about it but he didn’t know why. He had just returned from a trip to Denver. He had successful buddies there that it seems treated him like shit. Making a buddy pay at your place and then demanding they shave in the small bathroom versus that spacious one, sounds like an entitled dickhead to me. But he said the vibes were good in the west and he felt freed from his daily constructs to the point where he could be happy again. Life puts on those pressures to the point where you feel you will explode. It is your own mind reliving its fears over and over because life is boring day to day and most of us are trying to pass the time. It’s when you stop doing that to yourself that life gets interesting again, You have to know those things and then release them and then go back to living somewhat normally. Coming out the other end is the part that feels touch and go at times. Maybe we never do. Maybe life is the tunnel.
The third inhabitant would be considered anti-social to the extreme but in reality she did her best to avoid all definition. She wanted variation and diversion and was abhorrently bored when it didn’t come her way. She spent her days drawing and had just begun doing massive installations of graffiti. She was a silent flight risk and everyday I wondered when she would fly the cuckoo's nest. But she never did...at least not yet. She threatened to go off on her bicycle across this vast country, to the desert. The desert was calling her home. All women must visit the desert to understand their true nature. So calm, beautiful and serene seeming, with so much growth and activity happened just out of sight. There is more than meets the eye with both desert and woman. She would bike there one day with all her belongings strapped to her back.
The fourth was a thirty year old trapped in an old woman's body. She fried bacon in the Vegan kitchen and poured scoops of sugar into her coffee. Coke was a staple and she would walk around with one in her hand and her other hand pressed on the small of her back, grunting in pain as she shuffled across the floorboards. She had charm but mostly because of her age it was considered overbearing. A thirty year old can do that, but an old woman “know your place!” Still in her old age she was coming back to life because of the counterculture influence she didn’t quite understand but enjoyed being around no matter how much she huffed about this and that. No one took care of the weiner better than her, and the cat was nearing fifty pounds because of her over attentiveness. The dog thrived under the coddling, the cat just slept, ate, shit and purred with contentment. Every once in a while he would demand a rub with some incessant purring in your direction, but really he just wanted a cozy place to curl up and sleep.
“With all that recycled air someone’s sure to give out.” Yelled the drug lord guy as he told us he missed his flight by 3 minutes because his fat friends had to get water and a pretzel before boarding. Airplane travel is the pits. Without thinking what could be said and finding nothing worthwhile on topic, the anti-social girl spoke up.
“Did you see that huge dead spider over there by the sink? Yeah it huge. I won’t even pick it up dead. It’s just too big.”
“Everything's dead it's winter,” said the musician ferociously. He got up from his chair and headed toward the cat’s litter box. It was his turn to clean it.
“The stench from the cat litter is diabolical. He must have eaten something already dead. God!” He Stormed up the stairs with his godzilla steps.
“You know what’s funny?” The old lady said to no one in particular. “If all of this had been said in French it would have sounded chic instead of angry. I want to make a film that has people saying random French things throughout that have absolutely no reference to the action taking place on screen. What could be more French?” she laughed to herself. No one responded or took any notice.
May 24, 2018
“No one had ever seen anyone like her, she wasn’t beautiful in a way that was standard, but her enigmatic charm was enough to take your breath away. She walked into the room and without intentional thought, people drifted, turned and leaned in closer. She had to be smart, no one could appeal to that quantity of people without understanding human nature itself. Each emotion seemed primed and ready to be accessed at a moment’s notice. She would get in a blinding rage toward her boyfriend with a pronouncing, showstopping slap across his cheek, followed by fits of sobbing and ecstatic happiness. No emotion spared, just a blast of heart-pounding excitement and energy. The excitement stemmed from her volatility, you never knew what you were going to get.
“No one knew anything real about her, just those peak emotions that would shine above the surface, alluding to the glaciers beneath. Maybe they were hidden because she never seemed to be alone. She never got a chance to have a private moment, moments we all need to ourselves. Her boyfriend was a constant presence. He struck me as half bodyguard, half man candy. But then, that was always her type. He smiled at others, he frowned at her.
“Me, that is to say, the best friend. I’m Patricia Wallis. Yes, Marlene Davis has been my best friend my whole life. She always had friends, but that kind that doesn’t call if you’re sick, unless it means she wouldn’t be able to come to the party. Marlene was the entertainment at parties. If you were anyone, you wanted her there. She could just create a feeling of ease for people. As if she was saying, “I’m gonna be real, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t be.” “No apologies,” she always said that to me.”
“And how did you come to find Ms. Davis’ body, Ms. Wallis?” the Chief Inspector queried, taking a sip from his coffee mug, scribbling down notes.
“Oh, well, Marlene and I always had Saturday morning coffee together. It always got interrupted, but the ceremony of the act hasn’t changed for years.”
Patricia was speaking nervously fast, she had never been in a Police Station before. It was not at all like she’d seen in the films. The reality was always a letdown, even Marlene Davis couldn’t defy the rules of this mundane world. Her life ending on the bathroom floor. Some part of Patricia thought she would stand back up, arsenic be damned, proving that people with a larger than life energy do defy death. A silly notion, if one was as enigmatic as Marlene, why would you want to stay here?
“She was on the bed?” verified the Chief.
“No, in the bathroom,” corrected Patricia.
“And did you ever wonder whether she would do something like this to herself?”
“I wondered daily if she would, Inspector, but I never thought she could.”
“What does that mean?”
“She was up and down every day, multiple times a day. It was the beauty and the madness that made her so wonderful to be around.” And destroyed her, thought Patricia to herself. No one gets to be complicated in this world and have it be accepted. Marlene got close but she always had so much inner turmoil about it. It never could be pinpointed by Patricia.
“Well, Ms. Wallis, if that’s all…”
But Patricia interjected, “I just, I will always wonder why. She was so wild, there was no way to ever know what she might do…”
“Yes, well, have a good day Ms. Wallis…” The Chief Inspector said, dismissing her from the room.
Outside on the hot cement street of the late August day, Patricia tried to take a deep breath, but the Police Station still felt to close for comfort, too meddling. She started walking up the radiating sidewalk, feeling flushed and indignant. Thank God that was over. Silly men, in silly hats, investigating things they didn’t understand. Fear of death, how trivial! As if life was so grand when people are made to suffer for no cause. When you see extreme evil plague others and injustices running amok. I mean, he was the policeman, didn’t he know the kind of system they lived in?
“An illusion of freedom with only closed doors.”
Those were the last words of Marlene Davis as she sobbed on the bathroom floor. Remembering it made Patricia walk a little faster. Maybe she was hungry and that was why she felt edgy. She had been in the Police Station for quite a while. There was a coffee shop on the corner. Marlene always said this place had the best overall vibe.
“The coffee is decent but the cushy chairs, that is the true mark of a quality coffee house. The quality is in the chairs.” She would bounce on the chair cushion and laugh like she was twelve, those were the good times.
Patricia honestly didn’t know why Marlene had more trouble than others to keep it together and have a normal life. She just always knew that the fact that Marlene never had any interest in living a normal life was one of the things she had enjoyed most about her. She liked her men and her parties and being the bell of the ball, and then just as swiftly she wouldn’t be seen for weeks on end. When Patricia would ask where she had been she would say, “sleeping.” Patricia wanted to blame the man, most people blame the partner; but they were always revolving through her life. The high and low dance was all her own, in a completely different rhythm than even Marlene could predict. She had been talking so much about escaping, yet she knew that she would never escape from herself, hence the sleeping hiatuses.
“An illusion of freedom with only closed doors.” It became her favorite analogy that last few weeks of her life. Life had become a closed circle to her. Marlene had conquered life really, she was a success and could express herself as freely as she desired, and it still wasn’t enough for her. It was as though Marlene was just passing through and she had had enough. So I gave her some coffee with arsenic and a puff or two from her last cigarette.
What else was there to do? Watch her grow old and maintain her misery? She didn’t want to feel trapped anymore, so I freed her. The cigarette dangled from her limp wrist, and a calm smile played on her still face.
By: Annie Grimaudo
July 14, 2018
He ran into the building with a hacking cough and a hand covering his mouth. His throat burned as he took long breaths to stabilize in the buildings fresh air supply.
In, one, two, three.
Out, four, five, six.
In, out, okay. He glanced down at his watch. Thirty minutes to regain his composure before reporting in. Clean air wasn’t cheap after all. The showers and detox center was busy. Today was a red zone danger day with a rating of 8 out of 10 on the pollution scale. Most people like to clean that off them before they start their day.
He scanned in at 9AM promptly and was stationed down Row 3, Column 7 of the cubicle floor, ready to receive his first report at exactly 9:08AM.
After the 10th phone call the cough came back. He hacked so hard it felt like a fit or attack of the body against itself. It took him a minute before he could fully breathe again from the attack. He had been holding a handkerchief to his mouth which was now covered with black phlegm. He examined it - more than usual. The handkerchief bore brown stains scaring its white folds, from ample past use. His lungs ached from the upheaval. He pulled a small bottle of orange liquid from his desk drawer. Almost empty. He would have to go see the company nurse again. He chugged down the remaining elixir just as his phone rang, demanding the return to his duties.
When it was 5PM, a chime rang out, signalling the end of day. His computer automatically switched off, and the shuffling of beings rising from their chairs and transitioning toward the exit ensued.
This time, he put on his safety mask before returning to the streets for his commute. No one was on the street, his eyes watered as they hit the air. He looked up and down the vacant street - why?
Chancing a glance upward at the sky, past the shadowing skyscrapers, he saw the once iconic blue sky was it's now constantly maintained dull brown-yellow. The brown yellow sky was sadly no surprise, but what did look out of the ordinary was the small brown flecks of...what? They were flying all over the muddy backdrop. It gave him chills looking at the sporadic flecks, there was no way that was good.
Back on the street level he now fastened his safety goggles over his breathing mask. He had never used them before and had thought it was a stupid regulation they had to carry around these apparatuses with them at all times...until now.
His breathing and vision were limited, all covered but they no longer burned; and that was a nice reprieve.
Arriving at his flat, his television turned on right when he walked through the door. A broadcasters professional voice broke the silence as he removed his protective covering.
“A warning from our head of environment branch today that there have been preventative spraying of aluminum dioxide into the atmosphere all day today in an attempt to regulate the steady incline of the temperature of our planet. Unfortunately, this preventative measure adds more pollution to the very thing we are trying to correct. When poised with this question the head of the environment government branch refused to comment saying they are simply doing everything they can.”
He muted the T.V. and watched the woman reporter’s concerned expression for a minute. He felt unmoved from her concern, if he was being honest with himself, he knew she didn’t care. No one of power actually cared, how could they let it get to this point if they did?
He felt the constant throb of pain emanating from his throat, how where they expected to live like this? He couldn’t even remember the last time he had been able to enjoy being outside. An earth as inhospitable as the universe itself. Nowhere felt like home for humans anymore.
To confirm that fact, he coughed a little more black phlegm up. He hadn’t eaten all day - eating was expensive, only greenhouse food was safe anymore. Out of the pantry he pulled a small packet of rice that required ½ cup of water. He glanced at his water stores - one gallon left. With great care he measured out the required amount and put it on the stove burner to heat up.
All the simple pleasures of life were lost. His closet sized apartment had nothing but a T.V., and a bed with one corner for the kitchen and a cubby style bathroom. He didn’t know what he was living for anymore with every simple pleasure callously stripped from existence. He continued to endure out of habit. He supposed that, and an absurd optimism that stayed in his tired soul. He took a deep breath to test if he could. Pain permeated his chest. No, he could not.
The only “things” he had were plants in his apartment. But with his need to ration water, they didn’t look very strong. They were feeble and weak, like the breath that rattled from his fatigued lungs. Breath no longer could even nourish him. What could nourish anymore?
What could give him peace with his reality?
He was met with a blank question mark. Dissatisfaction, they always were saying was normal. But so was so much else he found vastly unacceptable.
Inhospitable to humans. It was unavoidable at every turn of the mind. Carry on in the cloud of dissatisfaction. It was embedded in his soul to do so. Enduring was the only option; with his foolish optimism.
The window was open just enough to let in the cool night air.
It was cramped and there was a harsh light coming from somewhere indistinguishable. When light is bright it shines as though coming from everywhere. The air was thick and there were points during the night when she thought she might not have been breathing for a few minutes. A small fan was working overtime, trying to compensate for the claustrophobic, small space.
It was hard to find a place these days where she wasn’t bothered. So the tight and confined aspects of her car didn’t affect her much. The light was a bit like what she imagined a concentration camp to feel like, but she was not noticeable, and that made the lights seem further away somehow.
A loud grating noise, followed by shouts and beeping began. She lifted her head out from the back of her car to look forward into the dash. Through the front window she saw the shipyard she had parked at, the only place open at 4am on a Thursday. The fishermen and women were moving fast, the ships were all moving. Some of the people were jumping from the shore onto the ships, yelling at one another. 4am and already starting their day. Most people hadn’t even turned off their first alarm, the woman hiding beneath a tent top sleeping in the back of her car thought.
Her whole body felt, hazy. All cognition came slowly, as it can only do when one is drastically sleep deprived. Blurrily, she set her head down and fell back into her warm stupor, as the fan blew lazily on her face…
The sound of a car echoed through the ajar window. She woke with a start. Where was she? The light of the morning was bright. Consulting her phone, it was 8am. Awkwardly, since her car was so small, she shifted her aching body from the back, trunk area where she had been sleeping, to the driver's seat. As she started the car, a quick glance beside her made her notice a black convertible parked beside her that had not been there when she was last awake. She wondered if she startled them by starting the car. They would have thought no one was in there. At least she hoped that is what they had assumed and they had not been watching her sleep or something. Creeped out by her own brain’s musings, she shifted the car into reverse and revved out of there.
The road had nothing. No people, no cars, no houses, just sand dunes and the occasional low flying seagull. The sun felt hot, she started missing that 4am sun that still lacked true heat. She looked back in her rearview mirror, a cop car peaked over the last hill. Her heart fluttered in her chest. She turned to check her speedometer. 45mph, in a 50 zone, she was in the clear. Instead of looking into her mirror she continued to glance at the speedometer, almost forgetting to look out at the road ahead. The cop car was getting closer. She knew she was going slow, but maybe the cop would pass and she would be done with it. A worry, a silly concern of the moment. Written off as ‘paranoia of the moment.’ What a laugh. Yes that would be it, just like all the other times. The car was closer still. In, she guessed 30 seconds, he would be riding her ass, desperate to pass.
30 seconds. On the bumper now.
Please don’t linger there long, she thought. Just go around. Please go around. As though by her thinking it, the action would then take cue, the police car surged around her angrily. With a sign of relief, she watched the car roar into the distance. Able to think again, she glanced down at her phone to see she had 50 miles left until her destination.
About 40 minutes later, with the more intricate driving directions coming up, she decided to stop and get gas. A coffee might not be a bad idea either, she was so groggy. She pulled into a 7-Eleven, filled up her clunker car with premium level gas, and went into the store to pee and get some refreshment. After the bathroom she filled up a cup of coffee and proceeded to the counter. She hastily grabbed a protein bar and a bag of chips along the way.
When she arrived at the counter the young man didn’t even look at her. He rang up her purchases as a perfect imitation of a machine, all monotony and lack of vigor. “$8.03,” he declared in his bored tone. She fished around in her jean pocket for some change. She knew she had some pennies.
“Hey Miss. Maryland.”
The pennies she had located from her pocket fell to the floor and she froze, not daring to pick them up. The voice was haughty and playful; she knew it well though it had been a while. With a chuckle he reached over her to the counter where the robot was watching and flipped a ten dollar bill out.
“I’ll take care of this, keep the change kid.” Without waiting for an answer, the cop directed her out of the store and to the gas pumps.
Looking around she saw that there were no other cars nearby. None but hers and the cop car that had passed her 50 miles ago, when she had laughingly thought she could possibly get away and be safe.
“You’ve been gone awhile. I’m impressed. How long have you been at it?”
She didn’t speak.
“You know how this ends, we might as well be pleasant.” He coxed.
She looked into his eyes and saying nothing started drinking her coffee. He watched and didn’t say anything either. She started on her protein bar and when that was done and the cop was still watching her silently she opened the chip bag and after taking one herself offered the cop the bag. Still staring at her with a furrowed brow he accepted a chip. They kept at it, one chip for her, then one for him, until the entire bag was gone. After crinkling up the bag and sucking down the rest of her coffee he spoke again.
“What was I supposed to do about it Nancy? What could I do?” He had a nervousness in his tone, a need to appeal.
She glared into his eyes, “If you can’t riddle that one out for yourself James, I can’t help you.”
“Where are you going anyway, you didn’t honestly think you would get away with this!”
“Didn’t? Why can’t I?”
“Because I’m going to have to report you!”
“Again? I thought you already did and that was what you were appealing about two seconds ago.”
“Yeah, well. I will have to again, won’t I?”
“If you are asking me I am going to disagree with you James.”
“You would say that! Go on James, it’s not that big a deal, just break the law with me. Come on, it will be fun!”
“I don’t think even you are stupid enough to go for that appeal. I can’t pretend like it’s fun.”
“I can’t let them take you away!” He looked away furiously, then back into her piercing stare. “I can’t...I-I don’t know what I am going to do with you…” he whispered almost to himself.
Still staring straight into his eyes, Nancy approached. She put her hand on James’ shoulder and rubbed his arm affectionately.
“Don’t worry James, you never knew what to do with me when you had me, I’m not going to make that your problem anymore.”
“What does th-?”
Nancy head butted James, making him fall to the ground in a heap. Glancing around there is still no one around. Nancy starts to push James under the belly of his cop car. She gets his chest under first and then quickly adjusts the legs and arms into more comfortable positions. Straightening up, Nancy grabs James’ walkie from the ground were it fell and hurries back to her car. Driving out of the parking lot the walkie begins to whistle.
“Officer Cady do you have the suspect?”
Dead air and heavy breathing permeated the small car as Nancy veered onto the 95 South.
“Officer Cady, is Nancy Nowland currently in custody?”
“No,” Nancy rasped back. “I lost her in the traffic.” She was hoping that the walkie was so static ridden her terrible impersonation of James would go unnoticed.
“Officer Cady, are you telling us you have lost the whereabouts of the known con artist Nancy Nowland, with the full knowledge that if you failed to arrest her, she would be running off with $25 million dollars she stole from Wall Street Brokers?”
The voice did not change in pitch, it delivered the information without variation. Facts were its law.
“Yes, I am aware. And may I retort, how much do these Wall Street Brokers make a year? I bet they can afford the loss.” Nancy bellowed back ferociously.
“Excuse me Officer!?” The voice went up in shock. Very abruptly, the connection cut out. Nancy revved her car to shift to a higher gear.
There would be more officers after her now after that prank. How could they not see the humor of the situation? It’s not like anyone had any sympathy for the Brokers she frauded. Everyone agreed they were not deserving of the wealth that gave them so much obscene control over others. So why did they continue to let the evil power of money control their actions? Why couldn’t everyone just take a break from the bullshit philosophy that wealth meant anything?
Well, she would have to show them herself, how little all this money truly meant. $25 million. It was a lot but to these assholes, it was what they would have paid if they bothered with taxes. She would take it and do some good where money could turn into something real. She would make it real again by doing something that mattered. Not something as abstract and unwhole as the abomination of currency itself. All she had to do was keep driving and avoid the multiplying cops scattering the roads. Between the construction and the cop cars she could never go above 60mph. She was never going to get there. But if she did, if her nerves could hold out to get her to the pier in Savannah, Georgia; then a different path waited. A ship was waiting for her, and then, a future of...who knows. But she sincerely hoped it was different.
It all started in 1886, when a woman was sick of washing her husbands clothes every night before work. Those "white collars" were all that was really dirty. So, she cut off the collar and just washed that. Thus, the birth of disposable cuffs and collars was born so that men could fit the clean status that only a perfectly crisp white shirt could provide.
Decades later we see that the status that came with convenience is still a common thought notion, however those with the true wealth and status are turing to the exact opposite.
Why? Because there is no quality that remains in the conveniences.
Now the more care and time one can take to reuse and eat real food, the more status one has. Status resides where there is a deficit, and only a minority can get a product or service. Empowering oneself to take the time to care for oneself in the less convenient ways actually showcases more clout, knowledge, and status than the flip side conveniences that once were the optimum of social class.
Anyone can go to McDonalds; can anyone make a healthy fresh meal?
This was bound to happen eventually. the creation of the "death date" comapnies made sure that products would prove themselves worthless at a certain date to ensure repeat purchases. Great for business, not great for individuals or this home we call Earth.
The result of this ravenous buying has created a "growing stream of hazardous waste." Millions of tons of hazardous waste, can you imagine? Space on this Earth is limited, even though we endoctrinated to believe the myth that there is an endless frontier to pilage and plunder, it is simply not true. Earth is finite in its deimensions and now it is similar to a beautiful house, chuck full of garbage, unable to prosper if it is not cleaned out.
Americans started this disposible epidemic and it is up to us to end it. It would quite literally change the face of our world.
What you can do>>>EXAMPLE
You are at a store looking at a piece of clothing...
Ask yourself these questions...
1. Where was it made?
2. Do you know anything good or bad about the company you are considering casting your vote for with this purchase?
3. Do you need it?
4. Do you have room for it?
5. How long will it last?
6. What can you do with it once it wears out?
Thinking things thru and not buying for convenience; this is the pattern that will promote change. Not just with products, but with what companies survive in the marketplace and with the treatment of humans in our world. All this is dictated by what you buy. It all has a ripple effect. Together we can undo what we thoughtlessly allowed to have happen to us.
Stay GRIM and aware and things will change.
Today we think of a virgin as a person that is sexually inexperienced. Being labelled a virgin is a source of embarrassment and shame in today's culture.
The word virgin however did not always go by this definition. There was a time when virgin was describing a sexually independent woman. Think of the zodiac sign Virgo, symbolized by the Virgin, or Queen Elizabeth, who was called the Virgin Queen; that is the woman they are referring to. Throughout the course of history we have come to think of the Virgin Mary as synonymous with the term. But the word virgin existed before Mary and yet the term was changed with Mary. The Catholic faith wanted whoever birthed Jesus to be the most pure possible, so they claimed that she was a virgin, and that meant she never had sex before. This changed the course of how this term would thus be thought of, and put women in a tight spot, now housed within a culture that put one in the category of prude or whore. Both considered negative, female empowerment was gone with the change in the definition of one small word.
"The word VIRGIN did not originally mean a women whose vagina was untouched by any penis, but a free woman, one not betrothed, not bound to, not possessed by any man. It meant a female who is sexually, and hence socially her own person. In any version of patriarchy, there are no VIRGINS in this sense."
(Willful Virgin, by Marilyn Frye)
Our knowledge of history and about the facts that have shaped our society are what keep us all informed and in charge of how we proceed with the state of the world. Female freedom from male dominance is on the rise in the current state of the world, but it has a long way to go due to the amount of re-educating that needs to be done. Not just on others, but on how we view ourselves. A society that continuously oppresses the female sex is only able to prosper through limited channels. We are seeing that change is necessary and embracing the feminine is needed to balance the aggression and fear currently widespread.
A "wild woman," or a "willful virgin" is free and answers to no one. Do not be afraid of the word that empowers you as a woman. Do not be afraid to be all the woman you can be!
Each person lives their lives from their experiences, from the information or education that is available to them. We are raised by our parents or elders who follow what they were taught, and the pattern continues on, generation to generation. With each person’s life however, there are opportunities to learn and grow, and adventure down different paths that were not available to them before.
The saying, “question everything,” allows one to open the mind, to withhold judgement and learn for oneself. To make one's own decisions, not the thought and ideals made by others that was taken on as an assumption.
By questioning the world around us, the truth can be discovered. Living a more healthful life requires individuals to be in tune with themselves. To not follow a cookie-cutter regiment that might work for some, but only coincidentally. Each person has unique needs, only through self-exploration, can one know their body and mind requirements for living.
Only through knowing oneself can one then reach out to others. Knowledge is meant to be shared, not to enforce a specific belief, but to create questions and exploration of this great world we live in.
An example>>talking with people about why I don’t use sunblock after they ask me since they observed that I never have any on, and yet never burn. There the opportunity arises to reach out, to educate others about how the sun is actually all beneficial. (Always be smart and know your own body of course.) How most people are so starved for sunlight, and most sunblock is actually toxic for them and the air we all breathe.
I’m not telling them you must change your life, but I am giving them the opportunity to explore a different realm of information that may not have been available to them before. And then, having all sides of the information, they can then make an educated decision based on what is best for them.
So I say to the reader of this blog post, make your own decisions, not the ones you inherited. Ask tons of questions, only through questioning the world can it be more fully understood. Talk to others, reach out with your knowledge, not to lecture but to inform.
Let the life you live be yours and decide what that means for you independently.
Don’t be afraid of differing viewpoints. Being uncomfortable means you are facing something unfamiliar, and good or bad, that allows you to grow.
Grow with your fellow humans, reach out, discuss. Repeat.
You always get the advice, not to "take things personally." That its "not about you."
I however, see the power and awareness that comes with people that activate this power, and the awareness that comes with this seemingly burdensome characteristic. People that activate this power are classified as sensitive, emotional and weak. In reality, taking life personally allows one to see the severity of the worlds issues. Not by being burdened by this awareness, and using these feelings let us notice objectively what is going on in our world. It allows us be active and in tune with our world and each other.
In yoga, this consciousness allows one to be more present and in the moment. Taking the world personally is an indulgence of the moment. It makes it yours to savor, feel and remember. There is greed that comes from the sentiment, "the world is here for us to enjoy;" but not if you share it, taking no more than needed, and indulging in the truth wealth of life; enjoyment of the intangibles. The personal moments, those are what make our lives unique. So, go on, get personal, it's your life. And if your life is not personal, what is it all about?
Only through taking your personal insights to heart can you make clear, unadulterated decisions. Only then, can we be in charge of our decisions. By embracing them, instead of being afraid of them by labeling them as sensitive and throwing those emotions under the rug.
And if sensitivity makes us care more about one another, how can we lose? Creating a world with more loving acts versus hardness/toughness. Again, I am failing to see how this is a bad thing.
People that are more conscious of the earth and all other beings living on it...sign me up for a personal, sensitive world!
A mini history lesson and no greater subject for a Grim Truth!
The Industrial Revolution: the transition to new manufacturing processes in a period from about 1760 to 1820/1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing, iron production, increasing use of steam power, development of machine tools and the rise of the factory system.
As I write down the definition of this era I see all the positives it must have seemed was found with the emergence of invention and mass manufacturing capabilities. One person was no longer responsible for making things for themselves, products could simply be purchased and fit a certain quality or standard already agreed upon. It was an entirely new way of living that created efficiency, and jobs in industrial places (the rise of the city). We had a very similar revolution in this lifetime, the Technology Boom. The parallels are uncanny, an entirely unknown industry that sweeps people off their feet with the allure of the NEW! But with all things, time is the barometer that sheds light on the value, and quality of invention.
Still living in the midst of both revolutions, the byproducts that have come with them can be observed. The competition of products created branding, making tailor-made, one-of-a-kind products outmoded. To this day if buying clothes from box stores is a gambling that the styles and cuts will fit right. (Of course, they usually do not, which caused the backward sensation of trying to fit the clothes instead of them fitting the individual). Factories make massive amounts of quantity, causing both excess product and appalling air-pollution (London fog anyone?)
Sadly, both of these facts are reaching crisis mode for the planet since the surplus of production has only increased hundreds of years later. Imagine, hundreds of years of waste both floating around in our atmosphere and sitting in junk piles...
The earth takes large hits with our revolutions, and so do humans. Jobs may have been created because of the Industrial Revolution, but what kind? Factory working jobs, working in horrible conditions. Instead of people creating their own wears, factories made carbon copies of the same thing; a group of people doing horrible work so the masses could indulge in over-consumption. The work went from equality (carry one's weight) to a more drastic hierarchy system (poor factory workers, rich buyers).
Look at the work and the systems that are still in effect today. Do you work in a store? Collect modest wages, always complaining it is not enough to live the way you wish? You are the modern day factory worker. Sure, we have the best distraction a person could ask for (technology), but take that little phone away, and the drastic class system is just as real. The harsh working conditions may not leave you covered in soot, but the invisible chemicals and conditions in everyday stores will have a similarly drastically negative impact on one's health. All of this because we thought, "how nice to have machines make stuff for us." A simple need is taken too far; and still, riddles nations with the wealthy preying on the poor.
The only way to stop this power of companies is to take from the knowledge of what was before the Industrial Revolution and the Technology Revolution, become self-sufficient. It may not seem like it because we have become so reliant on corporations to take care of us but we can take care of ourselves. We did it for thousands of years, we can make our own clothes, we can build our own homes, we can grow our own food.
To be clear, I am not saying do not buy things; just less stuff and more essentials. Taking back the power in this world for the individual means becoming more self-sufficient. As the truth of the corruption of most companies continues to be revealed; as we see the fact that most care for money more than human life, it is obvious that we can take much better care of ourselves anyway. Why did we let ourselves be disabled by convenience? Why did we choose to believe our lives would be happier if we had more stuff?
History is our record keeper, and for the last few hundred years corporations have controlled the masses with our slavery to their creation of the need for convenience. Today the unrest is steadily reaching a climax however, and there is a demand for more quality of life. The time for the return for the power to the people has come. Companies rely on us, so buying smartly, and giving yourself the power to make and create things for yourself has never been more of a need.
What you can do:
-Support small, local business instead of box stores that support cheap factory work
-Support yourself by exploring what you can make/grow/build on your own
-Support ethical companies, do the research! If you want to buy something name brand, here are some questions to ask yourself: are their factories run off renewable energy? how much do they pay their workers? what are their working conditions?
The choice is yours...the future is yours...
Machines, chemicals, factories, pollution, abounding waste
farms, organic, clean resources, empowerment, uniqueness, being outside in nature, ridding the world of waste
Take some wisdom from today's history lesson, take it with you into the future so that history does not repeat but rather, propels us into a wiser future.
WORK HARD FOR YOUR FREEDOM.
Pictures for thought