"American ideas of freedom and government are the result of slow growth in the hearts of people. It takes decades and centuries. They cannot be imposed by words, no matter how eloquent. They cannot be imposed by force. They cannot be imposed upon nations by treaties any more than they can be imposed by battle." - Herbert Hoover 1941
As part of my strange "day" job, I spend hours combing over old speeches and documents relating to the history of the United States. I am so often struck by the themes that repeat themselves in our history. I get frustrated when our current leaders don't heed the wisdom of our past leaders, don't learn the lessons from our own history.
When I happened upon this speech by Herbert Hoover, I had to share. As we continue to battle in Iraq and Afghanistan to convert them to our ideals of representative democracy, I wonder about the wisdom of that choice. If these ideals haven't been growing in the heart of the people, can we ever really be successful?
Don't get me wrong. I think democracy is a pretty groovy thing, but I don't know if it is a gift you can give to an unwilling or unprepared recipient.
I will have to mull this over a bit - it has given me more food for thought.
I know a lot of stuff. I really do. I am an uber-nerd, so my brain is filled with all sorts of facts that are pretty much useless in everyday life. If I had time and money, I would spend the rest of my life going to universities to learn even more not-so-useful stuff. I'm just sick that way.
So, when I Jamie Ridler asked "What do you wish to know?" I had to really stop and think. I want to know physics and astronomy and Asian history and how to knit. However, the gift of the internet is that I could learn those things whenever I want, so I don't think they are quite wish worthy.
Of course, I always want to get to know myself better. That is a constant work in progress, but I feel pretty good about my progress in that regard. After months and months of working with my morning pages, I feel like I have a pretty clear picture of what is important to me, and I'm learning more and more about what triggers certain responses and all that wonderful crap. Since I'm making progress there, I'm not sure that is quite wish worthy ever.
The one place I feel stuck, what I don't know anymore, is the Divine. Now I've had a pretty rocky relationship with organized religion, but I have always believed in the Divine. Years ago, she and I had a pretty good relationship. I used to hike to this lake every morning - I used to call it the Church of Lower Lake - and I would feel her presence in every fiber of my being. I could be still and know, and not just know intellectually, but instinctively and physically.
Have you seen God in his splendor heard the text that nature renders? (You'll never hear it in the family pew.)
I saw, I heard, I felt, and I knew. I had faith and I trusted.
Then I someone I loved died in a way that no one should ever die. He took with him my peace and my connection to the Divine. I still know she exists in my head, and I still have faith in her. I even talk to her from time to time, but I haven't felt her presence in almost eight years. I miss her. I want to know, to really know, to be still and KNOW that she is.
So what do I wish to know? I wish to know how to mend my tenuous relationship with the Divine, to know how to reconnect with her through spirit, to know how to be still again. I wish to know to hear her again. I think that is wish worthy.
So, what do you wish to know?
I wish you nothing but goodness as you learn life's lessons.
So I took a little sabbatical from posting. It was just supposed to be a couple weeks while I worked out a few things in my life, but you know how it goes. Weeks turn into months, and before you know it, entire seasons have passed and you're asking yourself, Where the hell did all that time go?
Then that whole internal dialogue starts:
You should really post something. You need to get back in the habit. Writers write, you know.
I know; I've just been busy.
Everyone is busy.
I know, but now it has been so long that I'm just embarrassed. I wouldn't know how to start back.
You just start.
I know, but I've been reading all these other kick ass blogs . . .
See, you haven't been that busy.
OK, but I just can't seem to find my "blogging groove." I suck.
You won't find your groove if you aren't looking for it.
And on and on it goes. These internal arguments can get quite loud - there's a lot going on in my head. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I have stayed away. Too much chaos in my head and in my life. Still, as always, that Bad Ass voice in my head is always right. So here I am. I still feel like I'm muddling through my life and my writing, but I'm here.And I'm glad. It is a new season, a new beginning, and all is well.
Well, here we are. Two days before Christmas. If you are anything like me, you are spinning around like a whirling dervish trying to finish shopping, wrapping presents, baking all those yummy things that you only make this time of year, and stuffing all of your crap in various closets or even appliances so that your visiting friends and family will not think you a total failure when it comes to housework. (You can hide a lot of crap in the washing machine.) It is the most wonderful time of the year.
When I read the Wishcasting question today, I was once again amazed at Wish Mistress Jamie Ridler's ability to ask just the right question at just the right time. Always deceptively simple, her questions always seem to get to the heart of the matter. Today she asks, "What do you wish for this holiday season?"
Stillness. I wish for stillness. I wish to stop rushing about trying to meet deadlines, clean the house, do the shopping and the cooking, trying to make those happy holiday memories come hell or high water - rush, rush, rush! Don't burn the cookies, don't forget the whipping cream, don't forget to pick something up for your great aunt Sarah who is making a surprise appearance this year, don't forget to finish that project so you can get paid so you can pay the mortgage next month, don't forget to take the time to look at Christmas lights with your kids . . . Enough already!
I wish to be still inside and out - to quiet my body and my fears and anxiety. I wish to be still and know, to be still and create space for the Divine, to be still and feel the energy of millions of souls celebrating all that is love and holiness. I wish to be still so that I can feel the magic of a child who believes in miracles. Be still.
Wishing you all a few moments of stillness during the craziness of the holidays.
We hear a lot about spirit this time of the year - the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of giving and such. Yet, how many of us take the time to think about our own spirit? Today, Wish-mistress Jamie Ridler asks us to reflect on our spirit by asking, "What is your spirit wishing for?"
Hmm. I have been mulling over this for a few hours, which tells me that I am woefully out of touch with my spirit. Finally, I just asked her, "What do you want?"
Here is her response:
I want to be set free. I am tired of being kept like a prized possession locked away in a box and taken out only on special occasions when you reflect on who you used to be.
I wish to be released from the prison you've created for me. I am tired of hiding so that you can pretend that you are satisfied with what we used to have. Don't you wonder what we could once again be?
I want you to open my cage and liberate me. I want to howl at the moon and dance naked around a fire. I want to be the fire and the music and the wind in the trees. I wish for you to give me the freedom to let me be me.
Wow. What might happen if you let your spirit free? What does your spirit wish today?
It's the most wonderful time of the year, or at least we hope it will be. Somehow we seem to find ourselves overwhelmed with the busyness of the season. We rush around trying to get all the shopping and baking done, trying to make sure we fit in time for all of the in-laws and out-laws in the family, making the rounds to all of the holiday parties, sending Christmas cards to people we haven't seen in ten years and will probably never see again, and don't forget all the Christmas pageants and Christmas concerts. All too often we find ourselves relating a little too much to Ellen Griswold in Christmas Vacationwhen she states, "It's Christmas, Audrey. We're all in misery."
Today, Wishmistress Jamie Ridler asks us to make a winter wish.
My wish is rather simple. I wish to slow the hell down this winter. I wish to take the time to revel in every moment of this season with my Angelgirl. I wish to spend time honoring the traditions in my family that are important to me, and I wish to create new traditions with my daughter that have nothing to do with the over-commercialization and over-complication of a very simple holiday. I wish to remember and honor a "hooker hugging hippie" who valued love and compassion above all else and to teach my daughter to do the same. I wish to strip away all that holds no importance to me so that I can focus on all that does. I wish to rest in the silence of winter and prepare for rebirth in spring. I wish to avoid the chaos and craziness and revel in the peace of the season. I wish for a winter wonderland filled with the wonder of love and laughter.