Thank you, John R. Lewis—1940-2020

(couldn’t find this video without ads…sorry! worth watching though!)

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/john-r-lewis-front-line-civil-rights-leader-and-eminence-of-capitol-hill-dies-at-80/ar-BB16T4CP?ocid=msedgdhp

 

 

VJ’s Weekly Challenge #103: Theme Song 7/10/2020

VJ says, “Let’s have a little fun this week, discovering our current theme song.”

OK.

I am so boring.

I have a current favorite them song, but those who read my blog regularly are probably tired of this one.

It’s just that it still fits so perfectly for me…for these treacherous health times, for this political chaos, and for this long-needed, though painful racial upheaval.

So once again, pump up your volume and enjoy the music, the beautiful video and the message!

 

 

I am resilient
I trust the movement
I negate the chaos
Uplift the negative
I’ll show up at the table, again and again and again
I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen

[Hook]
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh

Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh

[Verse 1]
These times are poignant
The winds have shifted
It’s all we can do
To stay uplifted
Pipelines through backyards
Wolves howlin’ out front
Yeah, I got my crew but truth is what I want

Realigned and on point
Power to the peaceful
Prayers to the waters
Women at the center
All vessels open to give and receive
Let’s see the system brought down to its knees

[Hook]
Whoa, whoa
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh

Ooh, oo-ooh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh

Ooh, oo-oo-oo-ooh
Ooh, oo-oo-oo-ooh
Ooh, oo-oo-oo-ooh

[Verse 2]
I’m made of thunder
I’m made of lightning
I’m made of dirt, yeah
Made of the fine things
My father taught me that I’m a speck of dust
And this world was made for me
So let’s go and try our luck

[Bridge]
I got my roots down, down, down, down, down
Down, down, down, down deep

I got my roots down, down, down
Down, down, down, down
Down, down, down, down deep

I got my roots down (I got my roots down)
Down (I got my roots down)
Down deep (I got my roots down)

I got my roots down (I got my roots down)
Down (I got my roots down)
Down deep (I got my roots down)

[Verse 3]
So what are we doing here? What has been done?
What are you gonna do about it when the world comes undone?
My voice feels tiny and I’m sure so does yours
But put us all together, make a mighty roar
Roar

[Refrain]
I am resilient
I trust the movement
I negate the chaos
Uplift the negative
I’ll show up at the table, again and again and again
I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen

 

Directors- Chloe Smith and Leah Song Cinematographer/Editor- Alex Allaux Movement Director- Justin Conte

https://www.risingappalachia.com/resilient-1

 

 

 

 

https://onewomansquest.org/2020/07/06/vjs-weekly-challenge-103-theme-song/VJ’s

Bird Weekly Challenge–7/3/2020 Ducks and Geese

Oh I am so excited to find this “challenge”! BIRDS!!! One of my favorite topics!

And just yesterday, I found some old photographs (remember the paper kind?) that took me way back to my very first pet, Fluffy, the House Duck. I wrote out the story of Fluffy when I was about 10 years old and won an elementary school creative writing contest. I was so embarrassed (and proud!)

You can read the “adult version” here:

https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/10030

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That’s me in the middle with my sweet duck!

But for this week’s challenge, here are a variety of more recent photos. To me it’s no surprise I have so many pictures as ducks and geese are favorites of mine, given my early water fowl imprinting with Fluffy and all. (Just don’t tell my Crows and Hummers, as they get so jealous…)

First, even though I live in a very country-ish suburban neighborhood, a duck sighting here is unheard of. But this one year (2002), for some reason, I had a visitation.

Then, on a trip to the Deep South a couple of years ago, at the New Orleans airport, I was visited again!

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Next, very recently, this guy just dropped by to say hello. He spent the afternoon hanging out in my side yard. He seemed quite tame and very amenable to a photography session. His colors were so beautiful and I kept imagining that I was seeing a flash of bright blue along his side…

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See the tiny Blue spot?

Turns out a neighbor on the next street over has a large pond on their property and these ducks return to every year. That probably explains the 2002 visit also.

 

And not to neglect geese…on a regular trail we travel several times a year, from home to the San Juan Islands, if we are lucky, we see this! These are shots taken in the not-yet-blooming Tulip fields by La Conner, Washington, a favorite stopping place for migrating Canadian Snow Geese. The pictures are not great but you get the idea.

I just wish I could share the sound with you. It’s like nothing else. When these geese are having lunch, it kind of sounds like an audience sitting in a Concert Hall, right before the show begins…low conversations, muffled chattering.

Then when they take flight, BOOM, it’s like the explosive standing ovation, crowd clapping and cheering, when Bonnie Raitt finally walks out on the stage!!

 

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Craig's list stuff 115

All in all, Ducks and Geese figure bigly in my life!

Thanks for a wonderful challenge!

 

Now off to play a favorite childhood game…Wonder if we can do it and stayed Socially Distanced??

Duck, Duck, GOOSE!!

 

 

 

Bird Weekly Challenge

#BirdWeekly Badge for the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge. Add it to your post when participating.

Essay on Power (Warning: Political Content) 5/31/2020

(This post is dedicated to my beloved Warriors for Justice, who, of course, went down to Seattle to join in an important protest, or supported those who went by staying in contact all day. Many of the things in this post came from them, even during the chaos of the day.)

Unusual for me to be speaking out like this…I tend to steer clear of politics on my Blog (and actually in my life) but I am a 60’s Flower Child-Peacenik, currently living in the Seattle area so the last two nights of protesting the horrific death of George Floyd, have been rough.

Then seeing that too familiar evolution, from protesting into rioting, well, it all has me flashing back to my youth.

Even back then, during countess Vietnam war protests, and passionate civil rights work in the deep South, I rarely approached things politically. Instead, these were Spiritual events and times in my life.

I find the same is true for me now. Earlier in the week, when I heard the awful news story about George Floyd, the content of the video they showed, on TV and online, shocked and dismayed me. Somehow I selfishly related most closely to this one woman on the sidelines, screaming repeatedly, while she had to see that policeman commit that murder. Her panicked and desperate plea, rising above the crowd noise, was something like “He’s trying to talk to you. He’s trying to tell you something.”

I feel like I have been that woman my whole adult life…just trying to advocate…as loudly and as effectively as I possibly can. In a way, I’ve done it for my living. It is my life’s work.

Probably more than any other teacher, I have tried to live the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., so this morning, I am spiritually crumpled…just crushed to have to see where we are right now, as a people. So much tragic, senseless, horrendous violence…

They are trying to tell us something.

THEY ARE TRYING TO TELL US SOMETHING!!!

IMG-20200530-WA0007

 

I don’t however believe, like some, that all the work we all did back in the 1960’s was a waste, or was not successful. As the Dalai Lama says, “If the goal is noble, whether or not it is realized within our lifetime is largely irrelevant”.

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I woke up this morning wondering if it was time to get out the poster board and paints, and find those old marching shoes? Or if it was time to think about how to pass on this baton I have held onto, mostly fiercely, for my whole adult life.

I’m still not sure but here’s how I am deciding.

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I pay very close attention to things that cross my path, no matter their form. If something is in my face, I believe I can learn from it. A song, a dream, a comment from a friend, an event, the squirrel on the bird feeder…again…anything can carry an important message. So when I woke up this morning with the movie (and book) Absolute Power, by David Baldacci on my mind, it stopped me…though it took some work to get at why. If you don’t know the story (spoiler alert) it is about who actually has absolute power over whom? The US President, over everyone? A black mailer over the President? Or a daughter over her father.

Huh? Yeah, that’s what I said too. What does this have to do with right now? What the heck is the lesson here?

But then I remembered my experience of the previous night.

Here’s how it went for me.

I am in our extremely remote Mountain Retreat, 300 miles from our home which is outside Seattle. I am alone here because James is gone, jamming with the guys tonight, some 50 minutes away from here. I know there are protests happening back in Seattle because several wonderful friends (the previously mentioned Warriors) are texting from the rally in downtown. I turn on the TV (we only get one live channel over here) to do my once-a-day check in on the virus, but am instead greeted with Breaking News interrupting the regular news programming.

Between the TV and my friends texting and sending live videos from Seattle, I now see the shit is hitting the fan all over the country. This is upsetting, and I no longer care about the stupid virus at all.

Then, interrupting the “Breaking News” about rioting, which has superseded the regular news, comes an Emergency Broadcast System Weather Warning, “crawling” across my screen, voice drowning out the riot newscaster’s.

I suddenly care a lot less about tear gas, rubber bullets and shots fired 292 miles away. I now have to gather up the cats, and prepare the house and cars for a huge thunder storm with 70 mile an hour winds, hail the size baseballs, oh, and probable TORNADOES, headed my way in a way shorter amount of time than it would take James to get home!

So the shift for me, of absolute power, went from one form of life and death, that is most likely to be present for the coming years, Covid 19 (unless we want to try drinking Lysol)

…to another, that will undoubtedly last at least until the election (“looting will lead to shooting” threatens our president?? “Our most vicious dogs will be sicced on protesters???”)

…and then finally, shifting once again to the most urgent absolute power of all…

Mother Nature.

No contest! Mother Nature (some might even call her God) wins hands down.

She’s just plain bigger and louder!

With her awesome weapons of hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, earthquakes, she wins every time!

So here’s what I’ve decided; I’m in too many high risk health categories to protest in a crowd these days, masks or not. I can’t even walk far enough to get in a good March but I am still with it enough to continue my spiritual journey. And I can still write my thoughts and beliefs and still look for things to inspire those younger (and healthier) than me.

I can pass on the baton but still wear this mantle for a while longer.

 

Here is some inspiration, and even ammunition, for the current battle for Power in our country.

Please listen and watch and do let me know if it is useful. I so want to be contributing!!

 

And an older, Jackson Browne, get-off-my-butt to fight song, that is still frighteningly true!!

 

All of our protesting in the 1960’s may not have made visible, permanent changes, that we get to actually see “in our lifetime”, but I would not trade a single minute of the deep, passion and purpose-filled, spiritual life I have been blessed to live.

And, with that wreath of flowers in my hair,  I still believe we will find our way…

 

 

PS Two more things about Seattle…1) you know you are there when the Police Force is riding their bikes, decked out in their shorts, and RIOT GEAR, and 2) the day after a riot you see this:

 

IMG-20200531-WA0000
Volunteers in Seattle, cleaning up after the riots the night before…

Spirit Lifters; Day 85 of being “grounded” 5/29/2020

To find the Spirit Lifter in this post may require some work.

Dig deep. You’ll see it.

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Being falsely accused of something has been one of the most painful experiences of my entire life. Countless little accusations, misunderstandings that were never quite cleared up.

But there were a couple of huge ones, life changing ones that, had I not heeded my father’s early teaching about having the ability to choose how I look at things, well, those condemnations would have been the end of me.

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And somewhere along the line in my 72 years, I realized there is always, ALWAYS something beautiful to balance out, or even counter-act, life’s repeated icky, dark, mystifying tragedies.

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Of course, retrospect is my best friend, and when I search for light and fail to find it, if I can just wait long enough, it will eventually show up…often reminding me that it was there all along.

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We are all in the middle of the dark right now, but in small, seemingly insignificant ways, if we keep our senses open and awake, we can gather up pieces of light every single day. These discoveries have a cumulative effect, and can eventually outweigh the heaviness of these dark days.

Often, it is not until later that we can see the obvious gifts we have received, in spite of the catastrophe or heartbreak. And sometimes they are miracles that simply could not have happened without that dark time.

20200518_115528

 

I wrote this on my friend Karuna’s comment section this morning.

Touched My Heart

I just watched and can’t stop crying. Here’s a big thank you, Karuna. I have been teary all morning, because of what’s happening in Minnesota and across the country, after George Floyd was killed. This incident was highlighted for me, following a powerful connection just last week with Milton Grimes, Rodney King’s attorney. And then 2 nights ago, we just happened to watch Rocket Man…

I had been searching desperately for other “perspectives” to choose from today and then I see your post. Thank you so much!

If it’s OK with you, I’m going to write about this today on my blog.

 

Worth the whole watch…

 

I can’t light no more of your darkness
All my pictures seem to fade to black and white
I’m growing tired and time stands still before me
Frozen here on the ladder of my life
It’s much too late to save myself from falling
I took a chance and changed your way of life
But you misread my meaning when I met you
Closed the door and left me blinded by the light
Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
But losing everything is like the sun going down on me
I can’t find
Oh, the right romantic line
But see me once and see the way feel
Don’t discard me baby don’t
Just because you think I mean you harm
Just because you think I mean you harm, oh
But these cuts I have, cuts I have
They need love
They need love, they need love to help them heal
Oh, don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
Cause’ losing everything is like the sun going down on me
Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I that see, yeah
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free baby, oh
‘Cause’ losing everything is like the sun going down on me

Spirit Lifters; Day 72 of being “grounded” 5/16/2020

I’ve been kinda distracted by life lately…nothing catastrophic or even Virus related, just regular life. Granted, it has been New Normal life stuff but it was a nice break from thinking about the reality that I have only left my home twice since March 6th, and both of those times were hit and run medical trips…once for the parking lot, giant-cutip-up-the-nose, Covid 19 test on March 26th (false alarm..cleaning products overdose) and once last week for a quick blood test.

I haven’t been as focused on finding Spirit Lifters like before. Time to get back to that

One of my favorites is still Some Good News from John Krasinski, and episode 5 is no exception. I LOVED this one and sent it out to all my “Foodie” friends.

 

 

Then I went to another favorite place.

This weekly magazine was a wonderful resource anyway and they have really been great during the pandemic. This week’s articles are so supportive and helpful, especially the one on finding purpose and connection during this time. A great, inspiring read!

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_im_finding_purpose_and_connection_in_a_pandemic?utm_source=Greater+Good+Science+Center&utm_campaign=852a0c2414-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_GG_Newsletter_May_14_2020&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5ae73e326e-852a0c2414-74625275

There are still so many local stories happening that are inspirational, like this one.

https://www.newsbreak.com/washington/seattle/lifestyle/0OzedBAG/air-force-to-perform-flyover-in-seattle-area-to-thank-healthcare-workers

I was reminded of it while sitting outside yesterday, enjoying the sun, and these flew right over me, amazingly low in the sky!!

 

 

And personally, I have so many things to be grateful for in my life every day…no, not the whole “daily gratitude can change your life..blah, blah, blah…” But seriously wonderful things that I take for granted...until I remember not to.

I am so blessed to be able to get out and walk in Nature (granted, suburban Nature). I see miracles every single day!

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The old rhododendron in my front yard has never been more beautiful!

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And see the red ones on the left above? One of them is growing right out of what’s left of an old Madrona!

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When I leave my own, rustic, and mostly unattended to yard to walk up my street, I find treasures all along the way.

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Can’t wait to see this guy blossom!!!

I feel so badly that my best friends (both athletes), who live in an apartment in Madrid, are unable to get out and go these days. They were just telling us yesterday, all their daily routines are completely stalled…no outdoor exercise allowed, so they run up and down the stairs in their old apartment building. None of the places they sit and write every day (Cafe’s, restaurants, the Plaza) are open and the cops come and send them home if they are caught outside without a very specific purpose. Oh, and the worst for them, they can’t walk together, even to the little market for food…no hand holding, nothing.

 

Apparently, I am more easily entertained than most. It is a highlight for me to walk out my door to see what profound or coded or artistic message the local slug population has left me each day.

(Maybe you’d have to live in the Seattle area to understand this one…🤣)

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And I know how absolutely lucky I am to have a Master Gardener living basically right in my back yard. The Rhubarb is already huge so I knew Mimi would start creating in the kitchen!

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I was a lucky recipient!!!

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Mimi’s Rhubarb jam and cream cheese on a toasted gluten free bagel!!! YUM!!!

 

And if that’s not enough to lift my spirits, there is always one or two of the reliable, dependable furry family members!

 

Let me know how your spirits are in the Comment Section!!

Day 60 of being “grounded”– 5/4/2020 Lessons Solidified Part Four- Chosen Perspectives

This is the last of a four part series on lessons revisited and solidified during the pandemic.

The first 3 posts on Scarcity, Three Human Hungers and Structuring Time, are issues that for me, have definitely floated to the surface during my confinement.

And here is the fourth.

I started seriously considering the possibility of the existence of Dual Realities way back in the 1980’s. I found my Psychotherapy practice filled with those who were diagnosed as “Borderline Personality Disorder”, an unfortunate label. I mostly didn’t use the suggested DSM whatever-number-it-was back then. I didn’t want to stick my clients with a reputation that might limit them in some way. So when I got a referral called Borderline, I started switching it to Borderline Personality Organization. I also encouraged my therapy community, especially my trainees, to adopt this different perspective.

I bring this up because the clients with this “diagnosis” were most therapists’ worst nightmare. No one wanted to work with them back then, and tried to limit their practices to one Borderline at a time. No surprise. A person whose personality worked that way, could frustrate the most experienced of practitioners! A “Borderline” tended to be quick, smart, combative, testing, and successful at what they do (healthy or not). Typically, they were extremely creative…but mostly at proving their own strongly held mistaken belief that they were unlovable, and that you too, would eventually abandon them….another thing they were successful at…getting a therapist to give up on them.

I never felt that way. I absolutely loved the ingenious ways they could get all of us therapists to fight over them, to disagree about them, to “split” over them. It reminded me of me and my sisters growing up.

Talk about immersing one’s self all the way into a pre-decided reality…all or nothing, black and white, no gray. Brilliant. And a lot of therapists bought right into the reality, compelled to choose a side, or a singular definition of right or wrong.

 (imagine a photo of the yin/yang thingy here)

But see, I was raised by my Dad, a brilliant, but covert, Master Teacher, who from day one, taught me that one thing, two things, even three could be completely true at the very same time.

He had three daughters and out of necessity I suppose, quietly negotiated, and mediated, and helped us see things from each others’ perspectives.

Bessey Girls

It may have been easiest for me though. Not because I was his oldest, but because, though he was my Dad, he was not my father. (He married my mother when I was two-ish.) It took me until well into adolescence to straighten out that conflicting statement.

“You’re my Dad but you’re not my dad? Huh??”

I had lived the proof throughout childhood, that two seemingly opposing things could both be true. I had enough experience with it in other parts of my life, that when I started getting calls from frantic therapists, throwing up their hands wanting to refer a Borderline (remember, labeled with affection by me), that’s what I set out to teach my new clients…exactly what my Dad had taught me…

“You’re Mother left you. AND Your Mother loved you.”

 

The real anchoring for me of the concept of Dual Realities came right after 9-11-2001.

 

9-11 Twin Towers

Immediately following the attacks, in my search for understanding I stumbled across a PBS Special. The program was interviewing religious leaders, teachers and philosophers from all over the world who, in my opinion, were valiantly trying to prevent the next world war…trying to get us to consider the event from other perspectives.

One of my very first Blog posts was about this experience. https://chosenperspectives.com/2015/11/19/absolutely-nothing-is-absolute/

Anyway, what grew for me out of those experiences was an idea…my version of a primary theory, like my mentor’s all-encompassing idea about Scarcity forty years ago.

What if there really is only one single task for every human being to accomplish during their time on the planet? I now believe there is.

We need to learn how to be separate and connected at the very same time.

Talk about conflicting states, or dual realities! How can both of those be true simultaneously?

This is not new. We have each been dealing with this exact issue since our very conception. Think about it…even as we were growing our separate little bodies inside our mother’s womb, we cannot, and will not, ever be any more connected to another human being than that!

baby pushing out from inside belly

It may also be the oldest existential discussion of all. We are whole entities, completely unique, and separate from all others. No one can ever fully be in our shoes, and on our death beds, we will all take that final breath completely alone.

But at the same time, we are completely connected to everyone else. (Hey, all those people at Woodstock would tell you they were ONE with each other!)

Wide-angle overall of huge crowd facing

We are certainly connected as a species, and some would say we are linked, attached, and related to ALL living things on the planet.

Well, as if we needed a reminder of these facts, in case we needed to learn this lesson experientially, along comes Covid 19, throwing us all into the ongoing, daily circumstance of being separate and connected at the same time.

We have had to literally separate ourselves, to socially distance, to hunker down and isolate in order to slow down or stop this virus.

But what is also true is that we are all in this together, finding creative methods for proving and anchoring our connections, all while frantically searching for the way to save our entire species.

In every single moment of our lives, based on our individual and collective stories, we are choosing a perspective, a way of seeing, defining or experiencing the world.

I never thought I would be quoting one of Mr. Trump’s staff, but his Dr. Birx said the following, actually as I was writing this:

“We need to protect each other at the same time we’re voicing our discontent,”

And an even more surprising resource for me to share is about the video made by former President Bush:

In a three-minute video shared on Twitter on Saturday, Bush urged Americans to remember “how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat.”

“In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants. We are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of god,” Bush said. “We rise or fall together, and we are determined to rise.”

 

What the virus is teaching us, shoving in our faces really, is that we have to find a perspective that includes both being separate and connected at the very same time….

And we have to find it soon.

Coronavirus separate but connected

 

As always, I’d love comments. Helps me feel connected even if you disagree with me…

🧡💛💚💙💜💗