Changing Seasons

You know I am just realizing how much I’ve changed in the last five years. It happened without my knowing it but I am sure others around me have been aware. Its humbling when age begins to dull the blade on skills that have served me so well my whole life. I am talking about changes in the way my brain works.

I am 68. The way my brain processes now may be due to the priorities of the developmental period – a time when relationships become much more important and the details of daily affairs less so. Emotional nuances become my preoccupations; observations about the interactions among my peers and colleagues, my family members; appreciation of the difficulties younger people have in making decisions about how to live; how blindly we go as youth but feel so self-assured. I find humor in a lot of it and can’t get too excited about some of the typical “dramas” that seem to have an eternal life in human affairs.

This new found wisdom can be seen as lack of drive or determination, but when you’ve seen certain types of individuals cause an array of problems over a lengthy period of time and in numerous kinds of situations, one becomes philosophical about it. Now, I am less inclined to try to “fix it”. At the same time I don’t want to be around it.

While these changes in me can cause problems in a work environment which does not understand nor appreciate and respect this kind of maturity, I rather like it and feel more at home in the world than in any other time of my life, except perhaps when I was very young and too inexperienced to worry about the way things are on this lovely, stressed out planet.

There may be a significant decision coming up for me. I would like to apply what I know to a big problem. This site may be a good resource for me.


Rising Son

While reviewing authors who will be presenting at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville this coming weekend, I came across Charles Scott new book, Rising Son: A Father and Son’s Bike Adventure Across Japan. 

Charles Scott puts his corporate job on the line to ride connected bicycles 2,500 miles across Japan with his eight-year-old son, Sho, raising money for a global tree-planting campaign.

Pulse of the Planet

Go to NASA’s Vital Signs of the Planet for Key Indicators of the Planet’s health and function.

Go to Coyote Clan, Terry Tempest Williams’ personal website, to understand the planet’s soul and our relationship with land, water, sky, and wilderness.

Go to Living on Earth to learn how to bridge Faith and Reason.

Go to Moyers and Company for the words and wisdom, poetry of Wendell Berry.

Through these portals you will understand the Pulse of the Planet in 2013. We never hear these voices on daily radio and TV shows; rather we hear or watch the avarice in our halls of leadership. I just wanted to bring you this menu of thinkers, lovers, and human beings who truly have the pulse of our planet. Through them and others thinking and working in similar ways we can take heart that there is hope for democracy, for life on earth, and for our children. Perhaps you have knowledge of other similar “tribes”. Please share them here for other readers and for me! Namaste.

Hunger for Justice

25thAnnPosterIn 1981 I was invited to help my church develop a fundraiser for hunger relief. My family and I belonged to the United Methodist church. I really did not know much about the root causes of hunger when I proposed a run against hunger to my close women friends with whom I ran cross-country around Croton-on–Hudson, N.Y. Naturally these women thought a run to raise money to relieve hunger and to raise awareness was perfect for our community.

Asbury Methodist Church in Croton-on-Hudson has now sponsored the Harry Chapin Memorial Run Against Hunger for the last 33 years! A generation has come and gone but the race continues.

Back then I read many of the classic texts illuminating the root causes of hunger (Diet for a Small Planet, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, World Hunger: Ten Myths and Small is Beautiful). These four books opened my eyes to what creates hunger and poverty: unequal access to land and means of production through industrialization of agriculture.  I also began to connect environmental degradation to the problems created by large scale operations. (Living on Earth)

I realized that my personal life was part of the problem or at least hitched to it. My husband and I lived a cushy life in a suburb of NYC. The money that supported our lifestyle emanated from a corporate world that keeps these inequities in place by concentrating power from wealth in fewer and fewer hands.

This caused a moral crisis in my life and set my life’s journey to discover the truth about my country’s incongruities between its ideals and actions.

The authors of these four books blew open the prejudicial beliefs about the “poor” – who are mostly working adults and white. Yet, now, just decades later, a small but vocal minority of citizens and legislators have paralyzed America into thinking there is something wrong about righting inequities and “floating everyone’s boat”. More kids are hungry, more families have no access to health care, and the middle class is poorer by $4,000 than in 1997. For all our wealth what good are we if we lose confidence in each other and a basic trust in the good acts of a democratic government on behalf of all its people?

Even the word entitlement has been corrupted, making seniors like me, who have worked hard all their lives, feel guilty about Social Security! The Baby Boomers are portrayed as a bolus of individuals born after WWII who are sucking the system of its wealth. These same Baby Boomers were the dreamers who moved the social justice agenda ahead during their 20’s and 30’s, and who gave their lives in Vietnam and who helped establish the environmental protection laws that now guard the last vestiges of our natural wealth.

These advances in the social experiment of democracy – the right of all persons to the equal opportunities to pursue happiness – these are now under assault by a contracted version of America which returns to survival of the fittest as its credo. If we sit back, it might become the law of the land.