Ageing, At Seventy, And Counting

…. having read Lynne Segal’s Making Trouble: Life and Politics, A Political Memoir (2007)

Threescore and ten I can remember well:
Within the volume of which time I have seen
Hours dreadful and things strange; but this sore night
Hath trifled former knowings.
Shakespeare: Macbeth (1605)

The days of our years are threescore years and ten;
and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years,
yet is their strength labor and sorrow;
for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Psalms, 90

It’s scarey, being seventy.
Anything could happen.
It always could have but didn’t.
Now there’s simply more likelihood of more things
Going Badly Wrong.

Well, fingers crossed
And minding my manners
With the gods
But maybe She’s Watching Over Me
The Big Lady Beyond Them All.

Of course, my mother was cool
Even in her early nineties
Something started happening strangely
She said, when she was out walking one day.
She held out to ninety-six.

That’s fourscore and sixteen:
We’ll see what happens, eh?
People don’t appear to take me for seventy
But maybe they’re just being polite
But why bother? Anyway it’s nice.

When Mom got really old
She got extra character
Added to a strong character already
It was pretty amazing, being out
And about with her, People Noticed.

I wonder if I need to be like her
Or maybe it just happens anyway
Whatever, it’s a funny old life, eh?
You never know what’s around the corner,
Might even be a jaguar.

Meantime, I’m counting on it
Continuing being fun.
Maybe I’m lucky
I still have most of my own teeth.
Mom didn’t. During the war
They took them all out.

I’ve only lost one brother
But I’ve gained a younger sister
Thanks to my sailor dad
Loving more than one woman well.
She’s fantastic, I’ve two sisters now.

I’ve got a good guy in my life
Nine years younger
It’s the best way to plan it
Although I didn’t
Consciously.

I have wonderful friends
Dotted all over the planet
Who keep in touch every which way,
It’s like a stream of consciousness
Heavy duty far out groovy man.

My black cat with bright yellow eyes
Keeps an eye on me
And just now the big full moon
Came through the clouds
In the dark of night falling: Artemis Diana Diktynna

Bloody Hell, what a Sign
Heaven is on Earth, eh?
And one of my best things
Is having a Daughter
Who is wise, gentle and radically inclined.

I’ve just redone my will
And added in a few pals
As a kind of memento for after
But they don’t have to take what I’ve left them,
It’s the thought that counts, eh?

I do miss the land of my birth more
As I get older,
Maybe you can guess where it is
But lots of my ancestors came from
Britain so I am home here as well, right?

Getting older things get different:
I miss people who’ve gone more
I sorta feel them waiting for me
Even though that’s unlikely
But I did die in India and there’s something to it

But I came back, right, in 1975
So maybe I’m not three score and ten at all,
More like one score and eighteen.
Jesus Mary and Joseph
It explains a lot, eh?

Could be I’m a confused mixture
Of Old and Young
Let’s split it, somewhere between 38 & 70
Maybe The Elohim have their beady gaze upon me
Trying to decide what to do.

Fingers crossed.

Making Peanut Butter Cookies Whilst the World….

…whatever…

Syrians tortured by their dynastic overlords, Israel and Palestine continue in mutual other-self-hatreds, USA heads to the polls to elect another sort of overlord (but Lord save us all from their worst option and another Cold-Hot War Era), my country of birth still in the hands of corporate mad-men (multi-answer riddle, eh?), evil seed-lords battling against small farmers round the world to take control of our food-sourcing, a dead pedophile celebrity being brought to public justice in UK, surprise, surprise under the noses of ‘Auntie BBC’…

…the list is finite, I suppose, but it feels infinite, living, watching, feeling it…

…but who said the recipe for life should be apple-pie or peanut-butter cookie, even gluten-free option, easy..no one, not imaginary gods let alone scientists…

…one supposes in my dot-dot world-view, that our ancestors expected life to be hard, difficult, nay, bloody nasty…even if you were born with a silver spoon in your sweet mouth like 16th century English aristocrat Frances Howard, found guilty of murder and soon dead of breast cancer,  or her beheaded descendant William Russell, unfortunate friend of early constitutional liberty–Big Ta to Who Do You Think You Are program that!…but at least they had a few NICE years…not so the other 99%…

…whilst bombs fall the world-round, whilst evil things are done world-round, women like me bake peanut cookies, bake bread, fry tacos, fill falafels…we hope for the best for our family and friends…it’s the way of the world…

 

Seeing Beyond Syria’s Bleeding Spring to A Summer of Hope

I’ve been stuck in Syria’s bloodbath with all Syrians, at a comfortable distance in one of the old empires who helped create The Whole Problem–stuck in their unfinished uprising even as Egypt goes to the presidential polls without a clear mandate as to what A President can accomplish (or is allowed to by The Military Generals)…meantime back at the Euro-Ranch, the Greeks lead the way into The Newest Great Unknown, a life without euros (the anti- euro camp must be enjoying this).

Life as seen through television media, even with an enlightened channel like Al Jazeera is conveyed as very complex and yet so simple. Meantime the BBC falls rapidly behind in its world coverage as government and conservative forces bend it to its will via budget constraints and fear of reprisal for being too truthful (out there). Sometimes the best channel to watch is the Euronews with its relatively objective, straightforward, unemotional factual style approach. Newspapers convey more complexity though in the main, I read English which is limiting…

Hidden behind all this is of course, the REALLY SERIOUS news, global warming and environmental disasters stacking up, as we grind toward the inevitable tipping point that we have (probably) already passed. Oh well, all this OTHER NEWS cloaks that much scarier news, as it’s consciously and unconsciously designed to do. You can be sure the 1%, the wealthiest classes, KNOW the truth and thus are accumulating wealth (and influence) at an even greater pace to ensure their survival whilst the 99% drop away in famine, poverty, related warfare, etcetera.They will/are/have build/ing/t their fortresses and warlord style paramilitary security-armies to protect themselves and their few descendants. All failing they’ll launch them into space and have them return when the worst is over (but of course they will have to live in deep underground places, nouveau-cave-people) as most life on the surface will be very hard indeed. Perhaps the surviving wild animals (apart from humanity) will finally get their Great Revenge, those that are left…not gone extinct (because of us in some way).

So as we head into summer I am looking for reasons to hope. I find them, little and big. First, my garden still grows. Some say it was too hot in March, too rainy in April and now it’s balancing out with some cold and serious warmth in late May. Some plants are okay, they just get on with it. Others are slow, some resentful! But the Beauty of Blossom is still there, for which I am so grateful….there is such a blissfulness in the experiencing of nature just getting on with it.

Ah, and there’s the rub, the people in the garden, Earth’s Garden, what we might like to imagine was once Eden. Of course, it’s still Eden, we just made a mess of it and then we made stories up about falling from grace to excuse our misdemeanours. If only. If only human nature was different, it might all be different. Of course, we can be different. I know we can. I lived for about ten years at a famous garden community called The Findhorn Community in Northeast Scotland (started in 1962, I arrived in 1975). Certainly, the Human Mirrors revealed that WE are the problem, but FOREGIVENESS (on all fronts) was rife and we also got on with it, many of us truly believing that if we cooperated with nature, we might have hope, have a chance at righting previous wrong behaviour. The Community is still going. People still complain. The Mirror Trip is still working–as in the ‘outside world’ but just more obvious ‘in world’. I still love the place, still have good friends there and still go up to join in on a regular basis. ‘We’/the Community will be 50 years old in November (on our birthday, 17th November, a very auspicious date esoterically, predictably, eh?). We’re (jointly, so to speak) throwing a Big Party, a Jubilee of Our Own, timed especially nicely to the Queen’s Jubilee Year and the Olympic Games, but politely, not to upstage anyone, after those are over…

My hope is bolstered by all my Findhorn Pals round the world, as we come home to our better selves–a number of us keep touch online anyway… A majority of us left the community many years ago,  took their ‘love, light and wisdom’ into the ‘outside world’, turning it into an inside world in a great manner. One went high up in Apple Command UK, several are serious first class conservationists and gardeners, a good number are stunning artists and artisans, one is a Tai Chi cum Comedian Master, several are very good teachers, and of course, city planners and administrators..the list could go on to include any number of professions and lifestyles. And that’s not even counting the many thousands of wonderful guests whose lives have been irrevocably happily altered and thus altering (the wider world). The Ripple Effect. My hope lies in their spiritual beauty, in their children and families, whose lives they have helped fill with  ‘Light’ (truth & beauty). This is one cadre of people working along so many others to create a better world, despite the odds stacked against us. Some of these people are locked away in jails, are persecuted, are murdered by enemies, or are lost in some way …they live in all parts of the world, including in Syria, and of course in Greece, and yes, absolutely in Iran. They come out in the coldest weather to demonstrate as in Russia, or the hottest weather as in Egypt; they are you and me; of course, We Are One, We have Hope. I have hope, I own that. Even if the Sky falls down, I will have hope, because it’s programmed into Us, The Home of The Selfish Gene, which clever Mr Dawkins wishes hadn’t been taken to mean exactly the opposite of what he meant.

All said and done, let’s hope that Summer will bring peace and democracy to Syria (and an end to dictatorship), a happy denouement to the Greek Drama (maybe it’s the drachma) and sanity to Israel with statehood for Palestine (I can dream. anyway).

The devil’s in the detail, eh what?

Occupy

The OCCUPY Movement is a positive virus running rampant…fingers crossed that it can dislodge outworn modes, let alone Patriarchal Capitalism…

As a dawning realization emerges across the world that POSSIBLY there are OTHER modes of human behavior than  crime-petitive capitalism, as enunciated for years by linguist and philosopher Genevieve Vaughan and Her Good Work with The Gift Economy, and more lately by relative newcomers (younger that is…), Charles Eisenstein and his Sacred Economics, we dare to have a glimmer of HOPE.

Meantime, one expects the ENEMY to start employing yet more dastardly lawyers, (m)ad men and corrupt politicians to attempt to stave off what could UNDO their negative viral attempts, ages old and whatever the style and area of the world, at CONTROLLING planetary wealth, which of course includes the FOOD we need to live. The recent downing of tools in the Good Old USA of SOPA and PIPA as per Internet Control Attempts seems like a VICTORY on ‘OUR SIDE’…as well as the cancellation of the Sand Tars Pipeline by President Obama (on a technicality we are warned by our Good Websites) but one imagines that The Other Side will be working hard to offset any losses and probably were prepared for this (long ago).

I suppose we must become Just Better At It All.

I don’t worry or wonder about who reads my Wee BLOG but Whomsoever You Might Be, I suppose that you are On Our Side, The Angels, I guess…I am so glad you are out there, working with me and The Others, to TRY to MAKE OUR WORLD A BETTER PLACE TO OCCUPY.

 

In Our Time

December 17, 2010

Mohamed Bouazizi triggers The Jasmine Revolution, The Arab Spring— but long before, in many places, others had planted seeds

 

A year on

Protestors occupy Haymarket Square in nearby Norwich,

Occupy London stands by Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning.

 

Tomorrow

They go to court with The Bank of Ideas to defend the Right to Protest.

Prosaic footsteps to found real democracy

On the doorstep of the Mother of Parliaments

 

This morning

The Czech poet-politician Vaclav Havel died.

The Velvet Revolution softens his fall.

 

January 1919

William Butler Yeats writes his Second Coming:

‘Turning and turning in the widening gyre’

What a man of his times he was

With the War to End All Wars at his back

‘Surely some revelation is at hand’

Knowing more was yet to come

 

Meantime

Occupy Wall Street will not go away

As Americans of all ages get to grip with

Lawrence Lessig’s Lost Republic

 

Now

Is the time, our time, we are

The Ones We Waited For

We were always here

Steve Jobs just made it easier

For us to call upon one another

We bit the apple at our first beginnings

Now we eat it all as wisdom seeps

Out and seeds sprout new trees of Knowledge

We are all part of Life

We can do it

There is a hippy genius in each one of us

All the other animals are just waiting for us to catch up

 

As soon as possible

Before it’s too late for us anyway

Time is just a concept

We invented to make sense

 

Of the passage of infinity

18 December 2011

Black on Red

Blackbirds cluster on crabapples

The black cat watches with yellow eyes

The garden sighs softly as winter drops

 

In nearby Norwich the protestors occupy

Haymarket Square; we drop in for a cuppa,

Mandy and me. They are Us, Reborn,

 

Ready for action. An old pal passes away.

I miss my Cousin Gary too. The older

We get, the more we lose. Mortality

 

Creeps into everything.

We must sing

Freedom, Justice, Beauty

 

As the days die, as we weep

And turn in our sleep

Deep

 

Meaning jumps out at me

Everywhere I meet myself

I shall place a mirror in my garden

 

To remind me of Alice

Of a wonderland that always

Never was will be evermore

 

One by one the birds eat the berry apples

They saved them for just now

They are shy friends but wise

 

Come rejoice with me about Life

As the earth turns and the sun does rise

After all. Remember

 

To remember. Pass on what you can

That is of value. Tell me true

And I will love you, treasure you well

 

By Leona Graham-Elen, for you all

Remembering Mum

Two years ago yesterday

You leapt into other dimensions

True to your philosophical bent

You chose when and how

Just as the angel image of you returned

Your white haloed hair you so kindly passed to me

Striking full force into my awakened dream state

We greeted one another as of old

Full of the joy of life

You live in my heart’s mind

What a woman you remain, not a lady you’d always say

A woman in full power

How we miss you

Thank go(o)d(d)ess for dreams and memory

I remember you, honour you, owe my life to you

Blessed Be.

As Syria Bleeds

Once again but always different

As the fountains of Damascus flow red, as The People of Homs say

No

Once And For All

To dictatorship, corrupt elites, military might of the few, evil incarnate

Yes

To self-determination, hope for better rule, sadly but necessarily the use of guns, goodness pending

The Assad Regime and those who benefit from The Misery of the Many for the Riches of the Few

Must no longer sleep easily in their palaces as their dungeons stink to High Heaven

As every day more military defect, unwilling to abide killing their own

Lebanon teeters on the edge, the message from Yemen unlinked from Its People, merely a token from a drooping dictator

The Arab League finding its feet, drawing a line in the desert

As the old centre cannot hold, a new centre will emerge

Prosaic, this attempt to describe what is happening

The People sing and dance in deed as they die on the streets, as they mourn their dead

Once again, the fear of fear is dissipating across Their Land

We can only watch

As Syria bleeds

The Day After the Day Before, The Very Day That Dictator Died

The day after the day before, the very day

That dictator died

The world watched, we hope the other dictators wake up and walk away

From such a destiny, a miracle in deed, spare their families and friends a worse fate

We wonder about revolutions and worry about The Egyptian One

Even as Tunisia goes to the polls

We The People, the 99% We May Call Ourselves as they tent out on Wall Street & Beyond,

We have hope. Dictators come in many forms, disguised as lambs

Whilst good wolves are persecuted by nasty gun toting two-leggeds.

We in the West still suffer fools too gladly, we have not reached No Fear

Yet. Give us time, we are working on it.

Thank you, Freedom Fighters for Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Palestine & Beyond.