For Love of Animals and Trees…

 

Professor X: [voiceover] Either way, it is a historical fact: Sharing the world has never been humanity’s defining attribute. (X-Men 2)

As I get older (officially middle-aged, though it feels a lot older), I am plagued with this odd sort of remembrance. I am remembering a lot of things about my girl self that got shoved aside in hopes of becoming somebody loved, worthwhile, hire-able, successful, popular, pretty, rich–all of which, of course, never happened (yet, anyway). So I put away a lot of stuff that made me, me, because society taught me to be ashamed of who I was (and I believed them). Though it was always still sorta there, and it would escape from time to time, as I got involved in environmental causes and animal rights causes and human rights causes. I even majored in environmental science, once upon a time, even though I really wanted to be a marine biologist, but the school I ended up at didn’t offer it. But, math didn’t really come naturally to me, so I let that dissuade me from a career in science.

I was that girl who hated to see animals hurt, even in movies, where they (purportedly) said that the animals weren’t really hurt–it was all for show. I didn’t even like to kill bugs, and tried to fight against the use of pesticides even in my small world of the family home. Even though it was “Nature’s way”, I still had a hard time seeing animals hurt or eaten by other animals. I still feel guilty over the high school dissections I performed in the 80s. I try not to even kill bugs, and feel terrible if I accidentally kill bugs, or fall back into a certain callousness to insects just because I’m tired and it’s been a long day of struggling with too-vivid dreams and depression and anxiety and worry and stress and allergies and workplace hell and I just want to make dinner and go to bed.

The point is; I am realizing what’s really important to me, after all these years. I don’t want to live in a world without animals and trees and wildness in nature. It kills me that the price of having a comfortable life as a human is yet another species going extinct or getting on the endangered list. Animals losing their homes. Trees being murdered. Rampant, unchecked, local-politician-supported-against-all-protective-laws destroying my beloved swamps and ecosystems in my home state of Florida (for example). That the trafficking of endangered species is more widespread than I could even imagine. Just to end up on a dinner plate, for vanity (decoration) or to spend life in captivity as someone’s trophy pet.

https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/illegal-wildlife-trade

https://www.fws.gov/international/wildlife-trafficking/

So, maybe it’s partial selfishness as I enter into this transition #437–trying to figure out who I am and what kind of life I want to lead going forward. Sometimes it feels frustratingly slow, especially for someone as proactive as I am, coupled with seeing the clock run down for so many non-human lifeforms that we share (or not share) this planet with. It kills me that I’m just sitting here while non-human lifeforms are suffering and dying all around the world, because of us humans.

The takeaway? Who wants to live on a world stripped of trees and plants and birds and snakes and bugs and all the other wonderful diversity of life? Do we really want that on our conscience that we were part of an entire world destruction just because we want our Starbucks coffee and our designer clothes and diamonds and furs so that we know we are loved. What about loving other lifeforms, instead? What about appreciating and protecting the beauty that we already have? Who cares how beautiful we look in the mirror if we live in an ugly, desolate, plastic-bubble, sterile world?

 

So, take steps today. Make choices for the planet and not just for ourselves. Give up meat, even dairy. Buy organic and non-GMO foods. Start an urban garden. Adopt animals from a shelter instead of buying (inbred/puppy mill) breed animals. have your pets spayed/and neutered and keep cats indoor-only. Have yourself (the human equivalent) of spay/neuter–the world has plenty of adoptable children who need homes, too, right here on U.S. soil. Don’t wear fur or leather. Volunteer for animal rights causes. Stop using harmful pesticides and Round-up–learn about xeriscaping instead. Downsize your possessions. Reduce your carbon footprint. Don’t buy new–shop at thrift stores and purchase/remodel an older home rather than a brand-new (cheaply built) home/residence (do you really need six bedrooms and five bathrooms?).

I know I don’t want an entire planetary destruction on my conscience. So, my life going forward will be finding more ways to save the planet, outside of my usual armchair activist activities. Because I don’t want to be alone with just other humans for company. Even though I’m just one person, I want to change. And make change happen.

 

 

 

Reprising a Nocturne

 

Reprising a Nocturne

How would I play it this time?

As you hint at a second chance

At least, in my imagination,

or composed in last night’s dream.

Again, the wolf howls for the raven

to return.

Again, we dream each other close,

sleeping safe in amber.

Again, I awake with your echo in my heart

and on my skin.

Again, I promise you something real.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, Ordinary Sunday…

Sunday is my least favourite day. It just seems worse than Mondays, because Mondays, at least, are a fresh start. A do-over. Poor Sunday. It just seems to epitomize that droning-meeting-white-noise bored feeling.

But the real issue is that I’m sick. Allergy sick. I got allergy tested (Thank you, Medicaid), and discovered that not only am I allergic to the grasses that make up those dumb turf lawns that are so popular back in my home state, but also a fair bit of trees, certain  kinds of mold, hay, dust, and feathers, of all things. Guess I won’t be going out and hugging any more trees anytime soon. *laugh*

So, when I was cleaning out the art supply closet at work, I got sick. Like almost instantly sick. Within in a few hours, I started to get a sore throat. It wasn’t until a few days later that I found out there was mold growing on some stuff in the closet. By then I was really sick. Lost my voice and everything, but at least it supported the results of the allergy test. But, do you know how BLOODY hard it is to supervise a whole passel of overly excited little munchkins when you can’t even talk? Luckily, the kids are some of the most amazingly sweet kids I’ve ever met, so I was spared a Lord of the Flies reenactment. *laugh*

This morning, I even dreamed I was cleaning out and organizing an artist’s studio. Which would have been really annoying in that I was dreaming about something I’d been doing all week. Except that the studio was an open air one, surrounded by a low stone wall, and real green grass growing everywhere. And it was warm,  but not too hot, the sky was a soft blue with clouds, and there was that wonderful kind of breeze that comes off the ocean–playful and mysterious and reminding you that nature is a conscious, vibrant entity.

And then I got a sense of my muse being present. Not really in person, just a feeling they were watching me (from afar) enjoy the wind blowing all my bad feelings away and tangling my hair. It was too poignant, and too simple to even exploit for a poem, but I just wanted to acknowledge them in some way, in case they are out there reading this blog from an alternate dimension. Even though I know perfectly well they are just my creative mind speaking to me, I haven’t been able to make that connection to the part of my brain/soul that’s epitomized by said muse. But, still, I’ve been missing you, my Muse/figment of my imagination.

And now I have to go clean my own house on this prosaic, ordinary Sunday. While dreaming of an ideal day that was shared over at a blog called “Scotland with the Wee White Dug”. Rain, a quirky museum, and scotch? Honestly, what could be more fabulous?

https://theweewhitedug.com/2017/02/18/hooray-for-rainy-days-in-edinburgh/

The Skeptic’s Horoscope

The Skeptic’s Horoscope

Like Mulder,

I want to believe.

But my brain reads like Scully’s.

And so I ignore the red roses

pierced with Cupid’s arrows

or the cheap bottle of wine

(that I’d rather was a bottle of scotch).

Ironic that all these February horoscopes

promise you the Valentine’s love beat down.

Yet, I still dreamt of you

as the snow moon got weekend drunk.

For fuck’s sake, I cursed in my sleep,

feeling candy-heart cliché.

But you surprised me, as you always do,

looking all too real with your

goofy grin and childish hope in your eyes.

Love, I thought, from across the room.

I love you, you idiot.

I knew your hand would be sweaty when I held it.

I knew you would smell of warm dirt and apples.

I knew you would be still there when I woke up.

I knew that everything would be rainbows and daisies and

breakfasts in bed.

I knew we would always be strangers.

I knew I would sit next to you in painful silence.

I knew I would know regret.

I knew I would wake up alone.

.

End of a Very Long Week…

 

I planned to write something on Wednesday, but my usual muse-in-my-dreams hasn’t been making an appearance lately. And, truthfully, I’ve been a little too weary and introspective to cultivate contact. (I miss you, my talisman…)

Tuesday: I kept getting a little shock that it was only Tuesday. It felt like days and days had gone by. And it was not even Hump Day.

But, Groundhog Day!!! It’s one of my fav holidays, after Halloween. It’s on my bucket list to go here (Damn you, Andie McDowell and Bill Murray! LOL)

I got called into school a lot for work, which was awesome! I’m dreading the upcoming bills with their resultant sticker shock, due to some unexpected expenses, but hopefully I get enough sub jobs to cover it.

I’m still trying to work out the details of my poetry book for publication. Been going back and forth between publishing with CreateSpace and bookbaby. Think I’m falling on the bookbaby side. Seems a lot less complex and more straightforward, especially since it’s “just” a book of poetry.

Still working out the cover art deal.

A WONDERFUL physics/science teacher at the schools I sub at was nice enough to give me feedback on the physics terms I’m using to set the theme of my poems. Here’s a shout out to you, even though I can’t list you by name for confidentiality reasons. Hopefully things will work out so I can give you credit in my poetry book when it gets published. A big thanks from the Chaos Realm!

I was very excited to receive permission within a day or two of submitting my permission request from the wonderful staffer over at the University of Chicago Press to use their definitions from the Glossary of Astronomy and Astrophysics in my poetry book.  I’ve always loved the University of Chicago Press’ publications, but now I’m officially a fan!

Thursday: I had to go to the dreaded dentist. But, since I have the best, most patient, and gentle dentist(s) in the whole world, it was a survivable experience. No cavities! Yay for me!

Still hoping for some exciting new opportunities on the job front.

Oh, and *drum roll* I FOUND JEANS THAT FIT. They do not gap at the waist, and they don’t reveal my Wonder Woman underroos/butt crack when I’m trying to look my age on the outside. (Well, actually, I knew about them already, but they were on sale and they fit my little-waist-but-junk-in-the-trunk body.) Whee!

Check them out via the J. Peterman company here.

I still haven’t done my edits for my mystery novel. Bad writer.

Oh, and for Valentine’s Day, why not consider giving love to a shelter animal in need of a home? Petfinder makes it easy to search for pets in your area!

 

 

 

Cat Among the…Fleas?

Katzenworld

I, personally, believe that all life on this planet is sacred, and go out of my way to share my livespace and its surrounding nature with all creatures that choose to inhabit it–be it spiders, ants, mice, skunks and the like. So, I tend to eschew toxic cleaners and pesticides/insecticides, and spend an inordinate amount of time rescuing bugs, insects, injured wildlife, and stray animals (or, people’s free-roaming pets, in actuality *laugh*).

My cat Cricket, however, gets flea allergy dermatitis very badly. Which usually isn’t a problem, as my cats are kept strictly indoors (for their health and safety, as well as that of the local wildlife and birds). But, I had to move into a place where my roommates let their cats in and out during the day. Naturally, a flea population had migrated indoors with the cats.

flea-treatment

Usually the fleas are pretty manageable by conventional methods (Advantage and other…

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It’s been a long way down…

Or maybe we never really rose up.

Maybe I’ve been watching too many bleak television shows. (But, that’s not an apology, mind you.)

Coming off of watching The Killing, and now wrapping up the last of Torchwood.

Really hitting me about having to be human, especially looking around at the world.

I never really realised how I always felt like an outsider, but my awareness about being human has shifted over the past month or so. Or maybe just remembering how my awareness used to be when I was a kid.

Trees were amazingly vibrant friends.

Plants sang to me.

To recycle a phrase that’s probably grown cliche (or a borrowed quote from some other human somewhere), I felt their pain with all the “intensity of a thousand knives” hitting me all at once. When trees were being cut down, that pain that I felt was excruciating and unbearable. I wanted to scream with the agony I felt. Sure, you could probably chalk it up to just being an imaginative and sensitive kid, but it didn’t erase how I felt. Especially when I had to be the plant murderer (i.e. mow the grass, trim plants, etc. *wry laugh*). I would be standing there with a pair of hedge clippers just sobbing my little kid heart out. (Yep, I was a weird one!)

I tried. I tried to adopt that normal human insensitivity to non-human life forms. For a while, I succeeded in turning it off. In building up a fortress of protection. But the older I get, the more that fortress crumbles. And I’m back in a morass of emotion, and conflict. It’s like being a teenager, but even worse in some ways.

Animals look at me with souls of the ancients…tolerant, loving, inscrutable, and, sometimes, (rightfully!) angry and/or scared of me as a human that’s come bumbling into their midst. And I love them for it. Because they should be scared and angry.

Yesterday, I saw the article about the whales beaching themselves in Florida. And it was so unemotional. “Why,” I screamed. “How?” “What the f*ck are we doing about it?” And, the answer is nothing. There’s no change we can implement soon enough. Even if we did (and do) care, it’s not enough. There’s nothing we can do.

Because we are human.

And I have never been more ashamed of that fact than right now.

I don’t want to live on a planet without bees and birds and animals and trees and plants and water and oceans and fish and whales and everything else that is a non-human life form.

Akin my (faulty?) memory of Medea (from when I was in middle school), when she talks about being underwater and the fish eating the flesh from her bones until she is pure and white, that’s what I feel sometimes.

Like I want to strip off my human skin and transform into an animal. Or a bird. Or even the air, or an unknown fantastical elemental. Anything but a creature that’s linked biologically to the human race. Enough with cell phones and social media and television and money and stuffy stuff and banal work and being hated and being insulted and put down and being ignored and losing…everything.

And, yes, I know that’s not possible.

But that’s what I wish. have wished since I was a child. And that I could fix things. Help make people around me understand. Help make sure that evil doesn’t win. Like so many kids, maybe, I wanted to be a hero.

But now I just feel helpless.

I am a coward.

I am weak.

I am so very tired.