The world we live in is one of wonder. Sometimes it is difficult to see that through the haze of hatred, anger and despair.
He rode the trails
For days untold
He slept beneath the stars
His pony and his saddle
With justice on his hip
Men were hard
And women true
It was so long ago
The law was in the barrel
A bullet the execution
Was it better then?
Now the cowboy has a pen
Justice slow but true
The pony now is stationery
Tucked into a desk
The stars are hidden
Far from sight
The days are foggy too
Justice now is talked about
And sometimes meted out
But times are slow
And opinions matter
Does Fairness have a chance?
The power of the pen they say
Is swift and it is blunt
But time goes on
And pens run dry
Is it better now?
I live in Canada. It is a first world country. It is large, it is diverse and it is home. When I complain about anything it’s usually about the weather (we have lots of it here!) or perhaps I have a hangnail, maybe a bad night’s sleep where I was up all night watching television. I don’t complain about lack of food or water. I don’t worry about armed thugs breaking down my door and dragging me away to prison. I have a government that protects me and that I respect. It’s not like that everywhere.
I wish I had the ability to protect every child from the horrors that exist throughout the world. I wish I had the power to eliminate wars, famine and abuse. I do not. What I do have is the will to be a part of the solution. There may not be much I can do physically but I can donate to the agencies that are trying to help. I can ensure that my politicians act responsibly to guarantee that we are a country that helps.
We must never lose sight of the need to remember. One of the reasons that history is taught to our children is to ensure that atrocities are never forgotten and that the goodness that has existed in the past is remembered as well. We are not all bad. Some days it’s difficult. I listen to the news and I am appalled. But I have that righteous indignation from a safe place and that makes me sad.
I wonder if I have the right to pass judgment on the atrocities I see on the news. Do I have the right to judge anyone? The news tells us part of the story but I’m convinced that we don’t hear it all. Perhaps there are reasons not made clear that would explain why people do what they do. Would I understand? Perhaps, perhaps not.
I have always lived a privileged life. I have never been wealthy. But I live in a wealthy country. We are by no means perfect but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I have experienced the outdoors first hand through pristine wilderness, clear water and a night sky unblemished by light pollution. I have traveled in my own country and witnessed the incredible diversity of its people and of it’s land. I haven’t seen it all but I know it’s there. I hope it stays intact for the next generation and the one after that and the one after that . . .
Did you know that within the boundaries of Canada there are more freshwater lakes then in the rest of the world combined? If a dome were placed over Canada with nothing getting in or out, our lifestyle would not change significantly. We have it all. But we are not greedy, fortunately. As a people we are known for our kindness and for our sharing. That makes me happy. There are many good people throughout this entire world but sometimes it’s hard to believe it. But I believe. I have faith. We are all in this together and no one gets out alive.
Sorry if this post is a little melancholy but that is how I have been feeling the last few days. See, I wanted to share . . .
Are where it all began
Ideas fester and congeal
It’s really not a plan
Careful planning, some would say
Makes this world go round
Well I am here to say not true
Another way is sound
Someone else has had a thought
A healthy one at that
Give it time to coalesce
And pass the bureaucrat
Do not dismiss a thought not yours
We all can work as one
All it takes is will and heart
Together we’ll have won
People who know me, know that I love words. I love to write them. I love to speak them. And to a lesser degree, I love to hear them. I have also been known to spend my days waffling through tangents galore. But I digress.
I was recently commenting on a blog using the words “whale piss”. Yes, it was a humorous reaction to a comment on his blog that was hilarious. The entire exchange can be found at: http://www.thewhelkwordpress.com.
It actually made me start to wonder about how aquatic animals urinate. With the billions of creatures in the oceans and the fact that much of it is connected, leaves an odd feeling in my stomach. I have swum in the ocean. And I have tasted it’s salty water. Oh my god it’s a urinal! It is! It is! They poop there too! How can they ever get clean?
When birds poop it usually lands on the ground. Occasionally it ends up on someone’s head. Animals in the forest poop on the leaves. And fish in the streams . . . Well you get the drift. Humans aren’t much better. We are civilized though and we use containers to hold our excrement. And then we flush it away . . . to our lakes and oceans. Doesn’t it make you want to rethink the whole idea of taking a swim!
Now you might also want to rethink the food you’re putting in your mouth. Do you know what the best fertilizer is? Okay I don’t know if it’s the best but there are so many uses for it in the real world that it is mind-boggling. Poop. Dried elephant poop makes a great fire starter. Bat guano (poop) is highly prized in some parts of the world. It gives a whole new understanding to the phrase “shooting the shit”.
When you take your oh so sanctimonious walk in the park think very carefully about what is landing on you. There are trillions upon trillions of teeny, tiny terminators that reside in the bodies of bugs. If it goes in, it has to come out. Their teeny tiny dung is in the air my friends. We are breathing it in!
The next time you hear someone talking about how our world is a cesspool you can agree. Problem is they’re speaking metaphorically and you’re thinking literally. From lowly shit a mighty world did grow.
And so it begins
It’s starting once more
We need to remember
What we’re fighting for
Time is a factor
Together we’ll make it
We know what to do
This planet is ours
We must treat it with care
For future decisions
We just need to share
The future is ours
To shape to our cause
We must then be certain
And accept all the flaws
As I sit here in front of my compute I am thinking back over the previous 12 months. It has been exciting and exasperating, wondrous and terrifying. I can now look back over half a century and I’m amazed that we made it.
Seriously people, think about it. We poison the air, we poison the water, we poison the food. We fight to the death for reasons that don’t make sense to the rest of the world. We are greedy and selfish and even when we are told that what we are doing will kill us, we keep doing it.
Do we deserve it? Do we deserve a future?
I am an unrepentant optimist. There is good out there. There are masses of people working desperately to save us. I don’t understand the evil but unfortunately I do understand the apathy.
The one thing evil needs to thrive is for good people to do nothing. And to our great shame that is exactly what is happening. I weep for the children who know only hunger and war. I weep for the disenfranchised, the dismissed and the disavowed. We are better than this. But there’re always excuses. “We should take care of our own first.” “I can’t afford it!” Or my personal favourite: “It’s not my job.” These are actual statements that I have heard people say.
Well, it is our job. We need to take care of everyone, here and abroad. That super latte half foam decaf you have every morning could fund so much if you would just rethink your priorities. And that’s just it. Our priorities. Those who have don’t want to share and those who don’t have are desperate to share.
I have loved ‘Star Trek’ since the very first episode of the very first series. The world they showed was one of peace and inclusion. People were labeled by what they did, not who they were. People were judged for exactly the same reasons. It was the 1960s and I believed in the ideal. I still do. My dreams are a little tarnished around the edges but I still believe. I believe that there is good in people. I believe that we are one people and I wished we all acted that way. I want there to be a future that includes everyone. No exceptions. Evil exists because apathy exists. One can negate the other. People, we’ve got work to do!
What you ask, is a Nester? Well, in the parlance of a baby boomer, I like to stay put. In my 20s and 30s I enjoyed travel. I’ve been whale watching off the east coast of Canada and I took a cruise to Alaska from the western coast of my country. I have flown overseas to England and Northern Ireland. I’ve been south of the Canadian border into the United States. I loved every minute of it. Or at least I have fond memories of it all.
I have lived at my present address for more than 20 years. I intend to live here for another 20, give or take. I’m now in my 50s and the thought of getting on a plane leaves me cold. I used to love the preparations for a trip. When I went on a weeklong canoe trip into the wilds of the Canadian North I knew I had to carry all my gear so I packed accordingly. I never for a moment skimped on my comfort but I was judicial with my choices. It was the same when I flew overseas. Hours on a plane do not have to be horrid even in coach! Of course my flying was all done pre-9/11. I’m pretty sure the spritz bottle of water I used to hydrate on a long flight is no longer allowed. Too bad, it was really refreshing.
I still fantasize about a trip to New Zealand or some unexplored island in the middle of the ocean. But the reality is that I would rather do it vicariously. I like my home. I like staying put. I am lazy. Yes I’m putting that in print, I am lazy and I like my creature comforts. I like my tea. I like my pillow. I like my bathroom.
I love travel shows on TV. I love reading about other people’s experiences. I once went to New Zealand via the Internet. I planned it right down to the correct flight numbers and hotel rooms. I even got pictures through Google Earth of the different activities I “experienced”. I checked with the weather network in New Zealand. I wrote it as a diary in real-time. It was a blast. An armchair vacation.
Actual traveling now would require a whole new set of variables. There is the wheelchair, an attendant and lots of other non-comfortable items that go with my disease. Yech! But in my mind I am able-bodied and eager for an adventure. Now that is the way to travel! I really should be planning my next armchair vacation . . . the Azores perhaps?