Poem: Nothing


 

Spending time doing nothing

eating a carrot

sitting near the cat

staring off into space

or maybe this is meditating

thinking about what was

and the way it will be

writing a poem

in my head

being quiet

something I’m getting

much

better at

 

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Someday


Today is different for me than most. A day to reflect on the inhumane treatment of animals and the continual sacrifices they must make to feed humans. I hope someday it stops.

And the centuries old disrespect and disregard of Americas Native people. It is one of our truly disgraceful periods in history.

Sure, I have plenty to be thankful about–but on this particular day, I would rather reflect on these two topics since they tie into this ‘holiday’. It has been a hard day for me for many years; today I am saying so.

May the future bring more comfort and peace to lives of those we take for granted.

 

Poem: Choices


Howling thoughts in my head

lying awake in my bed

my soul is filled with silent dread

Walking in the night alone

the trees can’t speak but can only moan

it seems the world is stripped to bone

Figures hide behind every door

and seeing kindness is no more

times of love have turned to lore

Where has all the beauty gone

the lovely eve and blazing dawn

humans now are all just pawns

They had the chance to save the earth

to clean their mess and show their worth

and instead of killing choose re-birth

But time slipped on and they lost their way

most figured it would happen on another day

so in the end sweet home was left to pay

***

In my mind I know this is not yet true

yet slight is the chance to make it new

bring back life to this planet blue

As time is running out for you and me

for every animal, bird and tree

It’s all our jobs to set us free

Poem: Reckless Rhyme


It’s just junk

So I’m in a funk

To wonder why this hunk

Of junk

Is dumped?

We walk by

On the fly

Wondering why?

There are theories to debunk 

The weather is a mess

The earth in distress 

Humans unwilling to confess

What if animals could speak 

Would they think it bleak?

And trees give cheek?

Either way 

I will say

My heart is gray 

We must stop today 

Or they’ll be much to pay 

Like A Dummy


No-one like to feels like a dummy. But I think we all can agree that the first day of any new job can make any of us feel that way. Even if it’s a job that we may have experience doing, but especially if it’s something new or if we’re rusty doing it. Then, it’s easy to feel like we’re back in elementary school when the teacher calls on us and we don’t know the answer.

Today was my first day at my new job! And mind you, I made a conscious decision to get out of healthcare! So I totally understood that I could make myself look silly starting over at something completely different. I simply could not take it any longer in a field that I personally feel is rampant with unhappy, over-worked and often petty employees.

So I began to apply to anything that remotely appealed to me or where I thought I might have a half a chance of getting a job. I had certain criteria of course: Part-time was preferable for the pets; close to home if possible; if it had to be a big corporation again, then hopefully it would be decent or have good benefits with it; and if I was lucky, maybe be something I actually wanted to do! Another dream part of the job, of course, would be if I ended up working with great people….

Well, I’ve ended up in a sweet little position working as a cashier at a local Farm market. The farm itself is huge and specializes in sustainability, organic vegetables and fruit, locally grown also, U-pick on the property, all sorts of local breads and other wonderful items. What a difference working in a place that smells nice! It can’t compare to the smells on the ambulance!

They had a sign on the Cash register that said: Cashier in training, Be Nice! So they even have a sense of humor. As I bumbled along trying to figure out why they considered an avocado a fruit and which items were sold singly and which by the pound, my customers were very patient. And even though I thought I knew my vegetables pretty well having been a vegetarian for 40 years, a rutabaga looks pretty much like a turnip when you’re in a hurry.

A place that has a 21-year-old in charge because he’s been there since he got out of High School (he told me his goal is actually to become a fire fighter/paramedic–imagine that), can’t be all bad. And they even have an AED, so while the boss wants me to save him if he has a cardiac arrest, he wasn’t sure the batteries were working. Yikes. Stick with farming dude!

So while I was nervous and felt like pretty dumb at times, everyone was helpful and assured me at the end of the shift, I wasn’t fired yet. Even though I didn’t do a very good job wrapping the breads that came in either. Maybe it’s just the perfectionist in me? And this place seems to have my most/all of my criteria for jobs too? Time will tell…

But riding home in my car I thought: gee, I used to save lives didn’t I? I guess eventually I’ll get the hang of this won’t I? Of course I’m older now…but like we used to say in the back of the ambulance: just pretend you know what you’re doing and be nice. The customer/patient may not notice it’s not true…..

Back To Work 


Guess the house will be a bit different starting next week because Mom goes back to work. We will have to occupy our time with stuffed mice and resting and such until she gets home. Luckily she’ll only be working part-time this this time so we won’t be left alone as much. 

As you can see my brother is still annoyed about it, but he’ll get over it. It’s a nice little job working for a family run sustainable local farm in the market. Mom will be around all the fresh vegetables and fruits. Since that’s all she eats she seems pretty happy about it, so I’m trying to be happy too.

Who knows, maybe they even  grow organic catnip?

A New Trend??


Today was a day that I was particularly thankful to be a cat and not a turkey or pig or some other animal that humans in this country find especially edible on this day. Luckily my mom never feels that way about any animals so in our house they all would be safe. Of course I don’t necessarily agree with her in certain cases, like when those silly mice feel they can come barging into my space… Well, I may not really eat them but do some serious damage I’m afraid and mom gets pretty annoyed with me. She believes all creatures should be allowed to live in peace.

Maybe so, I know that I live that way along with my brother and sister. We are privileged I suppose and I am not sure why it happened that way. So I will be grateful and try to be better about being inhospitable to any furry visitors from now on…but I can’t promise. Maybe I can start a trend and humans  will be kinder too?

But I doubt it.

Invisible


While I don’t like to admit it, I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older (and have embraced my gray hair) I’ve become invisible. In my younger life, I was never, ever an invisible person. Even when I felt then (unbeknownst to my then introverted self) that the crowds were getting a bit too much for me. Somehow I still stood out shall we say. My personality was somehow bigger than my small frame… even when I didn’t want it to be.

It was my big mouth I suppose: always standing up when I felt injustice was happening, or whispering an irreverence at inopportune moments. Or when I felt someone (preferably someone of authority) said something I felt stupid and needed to be put straight. Yep, I never held back, and usually got in trouble, bringing attention to myself and therefore was definitely not invisible.
Plus I was never, ever a follower. And in fact, usually a leader. Starting a trend maybe, like the first one to wear hot pants in my high school. To me, they were just cool. Or to bring cloth bags to the grocery store 40 years ago when everyone thought I was nuts. Or becoming a vegetarian about the same time because it simply made sense. And being the ‘class clown’ and ‘most inclined to argue’ also put me in the class of calling attention to myself–just like George Carlin so aptly said…Hey, look at me!

Did I need attention? I don’t know? I just know that I was an only child and loved school and my friends and loved to get into it with anyone who would participate in good debate or humor. Or I did some things simply because they made good sense to me and I believed they were right. It never occurred to me that not everyone felt the same way. In fact, it might be better if they didn’t.
So now that I’m 60, and suddenly a senior citizen–it seems so odd to say that because I still feel like a kid–and part of the class of people who most ignore. It feels crazy. Me, the person that most folks used to gather around and laugh with, or got yelled at, or who got sent to the principal’s office because I was so disruptive. Now I can’t even mange to worm my way into a conversation because it’s assumed I have nothing of value to say. It’s utterly amazing to me.

At least this is what I find among the folks where I work. It’s a mixed crowd of both young and middle aged…not too many my age. I’m in the hub where people come and go and I could just be a chair really. When they bring new people around, most times I don’t even get introduced. I find it rude really. The new gal that does my job in the evening is 27, pretty and has far more attention from folks (men and women mind you) fluttering around her in a couple of months than I do in nearly a year there.

Is it because our society doesn’t value age and wisdom? Certainly I have become less in need of the attention I once did. I’m more subdued and quiet and more observant. Maybe I don’t draw the attention any longer.

It’s quite interesting to watch the squabbles, the dances and cruelties. I’m proud to have joined the ranks of the wise ones actually. There’s humor sitting back while seeing those that make fools of themselves as I once did or listen to tales of woe and know how unimportant these things really are in the grand scheme of life.

I only hope I’ve taught my own daughters to treat their elders better than I am treated at work. And I hope I never acted in this way. We can certainly choose moments to be invisible, but no-one should make  someone feel that way. We all have the same rights to be equally colorful, vibrant and brilliantly seen.

Vegan


I just watched the documentary ‘Cowspiracy’. Powerful and moving.

You know, in looking back at my life, most days I feel there isn’t much I’ve done right. Many wrong decisions, paths not taken (or the wrong one) and many people I hurt along the way.

But the best decision I ever made, back when I was 21, was to give up meat–then poultry and seafood. And now, for years, dairy too.

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It was not easy back in those days being a vegetarian, not fashionable or cool. There was never anything on the menu and people were very intolerant of my continual pestering of wait staff or at family meals.

But it was important to me. My turning point came in college, after taking animal industry classes–it was then that I knew I could no longer be a participant in the animal industry. There were many reasons and I won’t bore you with them here.

Now today, my 21 year old instinct seems to have proven correct. And I’m glad that I followed my heart despite ridicule  (which I still sometimes face) and the continued need to justify my choice. Now I can tell anyone to watch this documentary and they can see why I did it!

There isn’t a lot I have to be proud of, or much that I feel that I have contributed as a human being, but these staggering statistics make me glad and grateful that in this one choice at least, I can feel I picked the right path.

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A Thanksgiving Perspective


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As we near Thanksgiving I was ruminating on the President’s speech on immigration last night. I don’t like to get too political here on my blog, but I feel compelled to share a few thoughts.

First, I have to say (and which will possibly surprise or annoy some), Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday. My feelings are based on a few reasons: it bothers me that we pick a ‘day’ to be thankful when it feels to me that so many of us don’t feel thankful much of the time (just listen to people around you); people overeat and stuff themselves on this day when so many in this country and others are starving and we continue to be so wasteful with food in this country–not to mention how unhealthy we are around food in this country; and finally the origins of this holiday seem profoundly hypocritical to me given the suffering of the Native Americans in this country today. These are my feelings, so I often spend it working, alone and/or fasting. Plus as one maitre de at a restaurant once said: Thanksgiving is a rather tragic holiday for a vegetarian. (Now I’m a vegan and gluten-free!! )

So here we are in 2014 with an immigration war raging again. It’s not the first time the politicians have fought this battle, and it’s far from over. But I thought about this war, and I thought about Thanksgiving. And I thought about those Pilgrims and the first steps they took on this land when they emigrated here. How they had hopes and dreams for a better life. How they had suffered dreadful seas and weather and lost friends,  family and left the homes they knew. They did it because they had a glimmer that maybe they could have something new, forge new fields and build a new, freer government.

They were met by strangers when they set down. Those immigrants who put their feet on this land, not their land, but the land of other caretakers who had lived here for centuries and followed the way of earth. They came in droves after and pushed the natives back. Killed the animals and brought theirs. Cut down the trees and planted their crops. Brought disease and alcohol. More immigrants came from other lands and this nation of ours grew and grew. Cities flew up. Pollution filled the skies. Cars filled the streets. The natives were placed on small tracks of lands and were told this was all they had now.

And now generations of those immigrants call themselves Americans. We, the descendants of those immigrants, call this country great. New immigrants want to come because it is a great nation with opportunity, money, jobs, education. Other immigrants, just like those first ones want to come here because they have the same hopes and dreams to make a better life for themselves and their children.  They climb fences, swim rivers, deal with police, get shot…anything to come to our wonderful country and to get away from terrorism, drug dealers, and murderers.

So on Thanksgiving, when people sit around their tables to give thanks–remember your ancestors. Remember where we all came from and why we are here and free. Think about why others might want to be also. Remember we’re not perfect either. We took when we came. Maybe we need to pay it forward now by doing right to some new immigrants because it may certainly be too late to make up for what we’ve done to the Native people who were already here.