“EARTH’S SUN IS WARMING…”

sun

If you are a creative thinker you might consider my title to mean that our sun bestows its rays to warm all humankind equally; with intention. However, in the realm of physics, my title would read more like this: the sun rises on cue because the earth spins in a regular manner. And by the way, it is now known that our Sun is in fact warming. But the workings of our universe are all-encompassing and too broad for my blog to address.

So I thought I’d bring it down to Mother Earth in the form of politics—currently entitled “Global Warming.” NO, I do not take sides on this issue because I know only what one side believes immediately countered by what the other side believes. I might be more interested to actually find out if We the People were told the truth about anything.

Whether or not the term Global Warming is a metaphor implying that our sun is actually heating up and over TIME may look like uninhabitable Venus; sometimes called Earth’s twin because they are almost the same size and have about the same mass.

But in the here and now maybe Earth’s Humankind should quit warring over everything! Instead—as I heard recently—find a way to move Mother Earth further away from its Sun. Yes, I know. Everything depends on our compassion for those yet to be born.

Universe – Time without End

“IT’S EVERYBODY’S LOSS…”

Janet's project 1 copyI know loss because growing up I attended the funerals of those who came before me. I touched their ice-cold hands, remembering how they felt to hold when warm. Women wept openly into their silk-thread hankies. Men stood close by to catch those faint of heart. And the true-life of the deceased became visible to each mourner that stood overlooking the coffin. “Pete, do you remember when she…” “Thelma, I remember him saying…”  “Did you know she raised those kids…” “He knew how to tell a joke, better than…” “She never said much, so quiet…” “He is in a better place…” “The little tot just didn’t have…”

Death Then—regardless of the reason—was a coming together to acknowledge a future devoid of the essence of our loved one.  

Death Today is shape-shifting to resentment and prejudice and religion and mistrust and illegal drugs and refugees and drunk drivers and ideologies and women’s rights and politics and greed and technology and all countries who kill their own and those who steal everything. 

Mother Earth has experienced centuries of wars in the names of religion and greed so maybe I should not be so saddened by the shape-shifting we SEE now. However, I am because this war is to kill humankind without any rules of engagement.

So I ask: “Who will be left to touch that ice-cold hand  

 of yesterday’s remembering?”

“IT’S EVERYBODY’S LOSS…”

 

“THE IMMIGRANT PORCH…”

immigrants

The Ship Hector Ledger, 1773

Inevitably, spring arrived and the warmth of the sun brought forth new life. As people worked together, communities formed and began to prosper, creating new opportunities for the future generations to come.

Stories—lived or told—of yesterday’s immigrant porches are of generational gathering places where the past and the present were inseparable: an assembled sense of place.

My mind’s eye recollects a childhood in Corazon de Trinidad (Heart of Trinidad) where Italian and English emigrants gathered on our concrete porch. The elders rocked in wooden chairs and talked quietly (not always) in their native tongue. The women, in turn, exited a squeaky screen door near the kitchen: a warning to every wayward child that the guards were on duty. The men—their hands stained yellow with nicotine—leaned against the two red brick pillars that supported the porch or sat on the four crumbling concrete stairs that led to the front door. It was here they verbally wrestled one another—sometimes all at once—over the politics at the coal fields where they worked.  

Me… Well at seven I finally left the security of those red pillars wearing new tap shoes that clicked and clacked as I danced down the four concrete stairs and onto the red brick that lined our streets. My mother had determined: “Tap lessons might just cure your shyness.”

Today, black-and-white photographs suspend my immigrant family in time without end. And yet, to this day, I measure my sovereignty by the immigrant voices on our porch.

So I ask: “Might we, in some way, find our Immigrant Porch once again in the integration of family and values somehow lost as we all tapped away from our past?”

“ALBUM 359 & HUMANKIND…”

albumIt—Album 359th Infantry 90th Division—dedicates its 264 picture pages to the men who won the war: The Doughboys of World War II.

It reads in part: “When the blood, sweat and dirt of war are but a remembrance, who will recollect the little things that GI Joe did to make war just ‘a memory?’ We will in the pictures taken by GI Joe himself on the battlefields of war. The pictures illustrate things as they were at the time we helped make history.”  

THE picture words in my great uncle’s copy of this album lay dormant; well until now. Major General Herbert Earnest is the first picture then Brigadier General Tully then Colonel Bell and the Doughboys. There are pictures of training camps, submarines, couriers and assault boats as they leave their mother ships.

THE picture words of shifting sands and clutching wire; rubble; twisted metal; country folk; nameless faces and places; gliders; battle wounded; infantry; prisoners; grotesque death; crumbling buildings; front lines; wooden crosses; mortars; desolation; booby traps;  Czechs & Yanks; bomb craters; The Brenner Pass, and The Town Hall in Munich.

Two-hundred and sixty-four pictures of warfare that play out in our memory or on our televisions or our smart phones or computer games or coup d’états or politics or next door or in our home. Humankind Album #359: how many more are yet to come?

“THE MAYA…”

typewriter_legswtypewriter_sample_img_2We, all of us, just entered 2013 with Mayan foreboding. But, the end did not appear to happen so like the magician pulls a rabbit from a hat, we all applauded the hoax. But, my sisters and brothers, the Maya Peoples are correct; just look and see into every corner of your understanding of what America, and Earth for that matter, used to be.

Oh there’s greed and political infighting where NO American wins because it isn’t about us any longer. I used to watch the “news” where each media paints a different picture based solely on spin. So, I’ve learned to distrust all but what I, the individual, actually experience moment-by-moment in MY life.

I’d love to bore you with the details of MY life, but really that would only be my spin. So maybe it is enough to ask you to consider that the Maya had it soul-right… 2013 begins the uncovering of what it is to be humankind in the Milky Way that has no solid ground beneath it.

FALL FROM GRACE

“FALL FROM GRACE” is a well-known term used to define something we really cannot articulate in any other way. The definition for Fall: collapse (meaning to come to nothing). The definition for Grace: elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion or action. There is an extensive litany on the expression: To Fall From Grace that I needn’t repeat here.

What I do want to say is that the underpinning of what I thought was the United States and the world for that matter, has FALLEN FROM GRACE. The fall continues to come in many forms: despots being toppled; the interconnectedness of monetary systems exposed to their core; self-indulgence at the expense of a future for our children and grandchildren; centuries of abuse of women and children; loathing because we honor God in different ways; hidden secrets exposed inside religious and secular institutions; the destruction of peoples in poverty; the destruction of America’s middleclass; politicians (worldwide) who forgot or never cared to represent the peoples who elected them; polarization of a singular way of thinking that ignores the median of life, and very disturbing to me, the American Congress I find more interested in winning than serving—not re-election…power!

All of these issues are at the core of the heart of the peoples of the world and yet it seems our voices have Fallen From Grace.

The American Dream

 
Is it still possible to achieve that elusive American Dream?
Article first published as The American Dream on Technorati

James Truslow Adams coined the term American Dream in his 1931 book: The Epic of America. “…That dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. …It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are…”

Ah… The American Dream!  It’s been around quite a while; certainly earlier than Adams’ 1931 interpretation. It arrived on our shores in the hearts and minds of millions of immigrants looking for those elusive streets of gold.

These days we hear the American Dream tossed about by: we who pursue instant wealth in lieu of thrift and hard work; we who no longer believe in its premise; we who exploit it; terrorism that begrudge us its assurance; educational systems that debate or debunk it; immigration policies that don’t address it; politicians who guarantee it; religions that give no voice to it, and those quiet fears spoken in America’s neighborhoods that warn “…it is dying.”

At the core of the American Dream are its immigrants, our forefathers and mothers who wanted to escape religious, racial and political persecution, or seek relief from a lack of economic opportunity or famine. In the beginning contract labor agreements offered by recruiting agents drew immigrants to fill a need for workers in coal mines, steel plants and all trades: America’s Melting Pot. I grew up in a large family of English and Italian immigrants, all coal miners. My grandparents informed me; more than once, “…We work hard to make a better life. This is our legacy to you.” Each of us shares in this generational legacy begun by hardworking immigrants who for centuries  carved out their place in the American Dream.

Maybe, instead of our political system of two opposite elements that like tungsten when it reaches its highest melting point, no one dares to touch it. Not unlike politics really, rhetoric and promises heat up but consensus is never reached… And another election cycle begins. Ah, if only there were something called the American Dream, you know the one: the one that comes down on the side of the people.

Or, perhaps like our other dreams, upon waking we no longer hear the voices of our immigrant ancestors who ask: “What happened?”