Sunday, October 09, 2005

Darkness, and Light

I was, as everyone, stunned and dismayed at the news of the earthquake in Southeast Asia. and I’m sure, like others, cried as I read the stories. I always have an awareness of suffering, stupidity and injustice. Those never go away. I counter that frustration by giving as much as I can to causes I believe in, by speaking out when I can, and by teaching my children to be responsible people. It’s these big disasters that can trip us up though, leave us feeling helpless, pointless, and scared. After all, we think, I’m powerless to do anything, what I do means little at a time like this and if it happened there, it could happen here, to me and the people I love.
We cannot afford to think like this. Thinking like this is what puppets do. We are not puppets. On the other hand, we can’t ignore what happens around us.. Ignoring is what sheep do. We are not sheep. So, what then?
I don’t know, honestly. But I don’t enjoy feeling helpless, or miserable, or pointless. I’m pretty sure that feeling that way doesn’t do anything to help. So, I’m thinking I’ll not live in fear, but will be as prepared as I can be and for everything else, I’ll appreciate what I’ve got and do what I can for others.

Which reminds me, speaking of appreciation, if I haven’t thanked you lately for stopping in and adding your thoughts, thanks. You guys are very cool indeed.

The rats have left the building. Thank, you, thank you very much. All the little rats are on their ways to wherever they were supposed to go.

Ben handled the sale just fine, after all. He went to Hawaii.

Now I turn a bit of attention to the yard rat. Thanks for your comments! Okay then. We shall have a rat building day. I’ll let you know exactly when. I was originally going to build something temporary for this Halloween thing. You know, a Grim Reaper made of black trash bags or something like that. But…I have this dream.
I’ve had this dream for a long time, but now (sheesh) it’s time to promote it to Plan. I want to createthe kind of place that will sort of embarrass my children but will enchant theirs. We’re already headed in that direction, but I’m thinking big , as I usually do… a place that looks ordinary enough outside but where inside, kids just walk around with their mouths open saying ‘wow”. And “can I live here?” Okay, adults too. Maybe it’s a silly dream, but it’s mine and I’m sticking to it.
So I’ll make a creature that will last. It’s a start.

We had our niece, who is five, over this weekend. She’s moving miles away very soon, and we will miss her terribly. I’m always so grateful when they let her come on Saturdays. I’m always thinking when she’s picked up, that she might not get to come back. I’m sure that if I’m ever lucky enough to have grandkids, I’ll be even ‘worse’ with them, if that’s possible. Pete’s family is nice. They are tolerant of me and what I do, and appreciate the hard work I put into it, but are (whispered) not like us. Honestly I’ll never understand how Pete came to be, well, Pete. When Orion visits them, he comes home just as he was before the visit. When kids visit here, they tend to go home a bit dirty, full of all sorts of stories and ideas and likely as not, dressed as Batman.

So, yes, it’s a silly dream. But it’s mine and, in a hard world, it’s what I can do.


K said...

Here's tae us!
Wha's like us?
De'il the ane!

(Traditional Scottish toast).

Hooray for not being a puppet.

As regards the fear of never seeing people again when they go away - I don't really know how that feels, but I certainly see a lot of it. As the kid who is (still) most at home, I've been witnessing my mother (otherwise not like you at all) being a sad person recently, because my sister is away. Mum's a worrier and when any of us goes away, she feels just like that - as if they will never come back.

"I’m thinking I’ll not live in fear, but will be as prepared as I can be and for everything else, I’ll appreciate what I’ve got and do what I can for others." That is something I can really get behind. It's painful to see someone consumed by worry about disasters that may never happen. There is enough trouble actually happening right now, without agonising over the trouble that might happen someday and that you can't predict.

Looking forward to the Yard Rat!

jordan's mom said...

In 1975 I had the opportunity to speak for while with Lee Griffiths, who was one of the most "activist" types when it came to protesting Vietnam and other government atrocities. He had recently been arrested (again), this time for chaining himself to the Pentagon, after pouring a container of blood (his own) on the door.

I asked him the question that had been troubling me about all this, which was, "What does it mean? What does it accomplish?" Or, more simply, "How can any one person's actions have any effect against the crushing weight of Evil (Darkness, Stupidity, etc") in the world?"

His response has stuck with me all my life.

"When we are faced with something as huge, as overwhelming, as unstoppable, as 'Absurd' as this, as an individual, sometimes, the only viable response is one that is equally as Absurd."

His actions, personal, intensely private, full of significance only, really, to him.....made me think. Made me troubled, thoughtful, aware. Ultimately, it made me more actively involved in the world and, I hope, a bit more Absurd.

You go, girl.

Carl V. said...

I'm really, really bad about keeping up with world events. Perhaps I'm too busy, more likely I lack the courage to deal with news on a daily basis, but I find myself spending my time doing other things. I hear about things like the recent earthquake if I catch it on the radio or stumble across it on the news portion of my browser homepage. I am always saddened when events beyond our control take the lives of others, whether the event is cataclysmic or if it just affects one life.

On a different note, I am looking forward to seeing your yard-rat-in-progress. I liked what you had to say about creating a space that will enchant children. One of the things that is really important to me is to work to create traditions and memories for my child that she will cherish, like I do the memories I have of holidays when I was young. I think that is a wonderful thing to expend energy on. What seems like a little thing can truly create lasting memories that shape and direct our lives.

Really_Rather_Not_Nice said...

It's funny(not in the laugh-out-loud but rather in the shake your head in disbelief way) but the first I'd heard about the earthquake was here in Lisa's post. Then suddenly it was mentioned on my local news and radio, and the knowledge was there...

Is it wrong that I know more about what is happening in Lisa Snelling's studio and yard than I do about World Events?

Actually, that is probably the only reason I'm still able to pretend I'm sane.

vandaluna said...

Around here the words "rat" and "right" are both pronounced "rat".

So Alchemy said today that Lisa Snellings should do the Alabama Right.


K said...

Re RRNN's comment - back in 2003, I didn't know a thing about the Moscow theatre siege until it was over, and it was a sign that my life had turned unhealthily in on itself. I was unhappy at the time for a variety of reasons, and shutting the world out (even shutting the bad stuff out) didn't help in the end.

I don't want to sound like a Pollyanna. Obviously bad things happening to other people should never be a reason for us to feel smug, but it can help to engender a bit of perspective.

And if it's something that can be changed, then it helps to know what you're up against.

Here's an excellent short post I saw today, on not assuming you are powerless - read the comments too. It gives me hope that sometimes the voice of reason is heard, sometimes the stupid thing doesn't happen.

Really_Rather_Not_Nice said...

I should also point out that Bob Podrasky over at just had a baby yesterday.

So congratulations to him!

There's a tiny story for sure!