Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wisdom of the ages

"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.

What do you think? Can democracy ever be imposed?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

To Know the Divine

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.

(The Church of Lower Lake)

The great poet of the North, Robert Service, asked:

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.

I'm Back

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.

Wishing you nothing but goodness.