Archive for the ‘wandering’ Category

Darkness and light pollution


Many people are afraid of the dark, and lots of light is considered a crime deterrent.  But lots of light also masks the night sky, taking away part of our heritage, the stars and planets making their way through our sky.  Light pollution is so severe in some places that the only objects visible at night are the moon and, occasionally, Venus, the brightest of the planets.

Some people don’t like to see the stars, because doing so makes them think about where they are, and infinity, and they freak out.  Of course, some people don’t even need the night sky to freak out; a friend told me one time that she didn’t like clear, or fair days, because she was afraid that she would float away.  She didn’t feel that way when it was cloudy, though.

Sometimes, I wish that there would be a massive power failure in my area, so that I, and everyone else in the area, could see what night was like without a lot of artificial light.  As it is, I am fortunate to live in a lightly populated area, with very low population density.  But it is still hard to see the Milky Way anymore, that river of stars stretching across the sky.


Moonlight stroll in the quiet


Just returned from a brief walk in the light of a full moon, enjoying the quiet of early Monday, when most people are asleep.  Sometimes, I believe that I can sense the moods of others, and nighttime is the most stress-free time, it seems.  There is a belief, which I subscribe to, that the moods and thoughts of others can influence our own thinking.  Not drastically, or overpowering in intensity, but discernible.

Looking at the moon made me think of an animation made up of images taken from a space satellite which is between the Earth and the Sun.  The animation   shows the Moon crossing the face of the Earth, and you can see the far side of the Moon.  How would our minds be affected if we were that far away from the rest of humanity for a period of at least a month?  Is the Moon close enough that there would be no difference?  Will we ever find out?  I hope so.

Afraid of what we need


People are expecting many changes in the near future, some are hopeful, some are fearful, and many are hoping that things will go back to the way that they were.  Trying to stop change is fruitless, because change is inevitable, and perpetual.  We can deflect it sometimes, channel it in ways that are beneficial, or slow the change down, so that we can cope with it more easily, but stopping change is impossible.

We must learn to ride the change, as a surfer rides the wave, or a kayaker rides the current.  We can draw power from change, when we direct the change in ways that benefit us.  We are constantly presented with decisions that will allow change, or deny it.  When we repeatedly deny change, our choices dwindle, until we are left with none.  The change will happen without our input, our guidance.  Knowing what is important is critical to guiding change, because we must look ahead and see what is coming.  Without a sense of where we want to go, of what we need, we are lost when suddenly confronted with a choice.

Often, people complain that they are detoured away from their objectives, diverted from their chosen path.  We must understand the difference between plans and goals.  You can plan how to reach a goal, and sacrifice everything trying to do so, or, you can keep your goals while navigating the convoluted, winding path that appears before you.  By holding on to a goal, we have guidance in our riding the flow of change.

The value of people.


Every person has value, an inherent worth, which cannot be calculated or assigned a number, because people are all worth the same.  Each individual, every one of us, is worth exactly the same as any of us.  We are the most complex, advanced, intelligent aspect of the Cosmos we know of.  Every one of us is a miracle, magical energy wrapped in a body which is only temporary.  Simply by being here, we contribute to the group, the community.  An idea, an emotion, laughter, a hug, people bring these to us, share them with us, and we do the same with someone else.  We are each breaking trail for the rest, helping each other merely by being here.

Materialistic society has tried to turn us against each other, by claiming some have more worth than others, or that possessing certain things makes a person more valuable. Yet, strip away the materialistic trappings, and we all are the same.  No matter how much you own, what you own is not a part of you, but something which you hold on to.

A beautiful triangle


Just got back from one of my early Monday morning stumbles, and I wanted to share the wonderful sky I saw.  The Moon was waning from being full a few days ago, and right below it were three bright objects.  When I looked it up on my astronomy program, I discovered that I was seeing Mars, Saturn, and the star Antares.  The triangle was quite striking, and the Moon drew the eye to that part of the sky.

Looking at the night sky is one of my favorite pastimes, especially when it is dark.  There is so much to see, such incredible beauty, and every once in a while a falling star (meteor) makes an appearance, which is even more special.  I live under a major air traffic route, so there are frequently jets going by high overhead, sometimes I can see more than one.  Occasionally, I get to see the Northern Lights, the aurora, which is super special.

I don’t hate me! Really.


All of my life, I have hated myself.  When I was a child, I would go into destructive fits, tearing apart things that were important to me, or that I valued.  I denied myself, believing that no one would be interested in me.  I deny myself, refusing to do things that will make me feel better, or to have fun.  Most of my life, I felt that I was ugly, repulsive even.  People thought that I was aloof and stand-offish, and perhaps I was, but I was avoiding social contacts because they made me feel bad about myself.

All of these traits, these symptoms, are the result, I believe, of not receiving adequate affirmation when I was a child of 3 or 4.  Too many times, I heard “I don’t have time for that right now!” or, “Wait until later.”  For some reason, I began to believe that I was defective, broken, inferior, or even bad.  This value judgement colored every aspect of my existence, a cage I built for myself.

You see, I am convinced that there is a genetic instinct to try to be assimilated by the elders of a group, an urge to be part of the tribe.  As children, we seek behavior that reassures us that we are important, that we belong, that someone cares about us.  When someone gives you a hug, that is a powerful signal.  But when someone will take time to listen to you, or to sing a song with you, or to interact with you in some way, that is a powerful signal too.  That kind of behavior is called affirmation, and it is the signal our genetic inheritance causes us to seek out, because individuals cannot survive.

Being a part of a group is the most important survival strategy there is, the only way we can have any hope that our lives will have meaning.  If I am not part of a group, everything I have learned, everything that I have accomplished, will all disappear when I am gone.  The trail that I made will not be used, and if it is, the identity of the maker will be lost.  Even more importantly, if I am injured, or ill, I have some chance of surviving if I am part of a group.

Group membership was so important, I believe, that we are hardwired to seek out affirmation, the only feedback we can be sure of.  To a child, ‘later’ means ‘never’, because they live in the moment.  To a child, ‘later’ is a rejection, a denial.  All of the making-up done later may have no effect if the child has rejected themselves, as I did.


Obsessed with Access


People are paying large sums of money so that they can have the convenience of the Web in their pockets.  This allows them to be tracked physically by organizations which also know about their browsing habits, who their friends are, and whether or not they own their home. Other people are raking in bank because Americans are so obsessed with access.  Smartphone charges are rapidly becoming one of people’s highest expenses, and sometimes supplements access to the Web via landline at home, so access costs are even higher, in total.  And most of us don’t have to even be carrying a cell phone, we choose to, so that we can be important enough to ‘be in touch’ all the time.  We are sheep being lead to slaughter, willingly forking over huge chunks of our income on stuff that we don’t really need , which  we promise to pay for with money we have not made yet.

And the purpose of the phone is being overridden by the use for Web access.  Phones are getting bigger, and more fragile, especially with touch screen phones.  Carrying a phone on a construction or repair job is a good way to keep up with the latest in phone technology, because you will be buying new ones all the time.  If you don’t kill yourself by looking at your phone.  Sometimes, what we desire the most is what is the worst for us.  And those around us.  Don’t text and drive!  Watch where you are walking!

Lucky to be here.


Walking in the moonlight, looking at the clouds across the Moon, I realized how lucky I am to be where I am, to be here at all.  This is the heaven that we all strive to prepare for, this is the place where we can change the physical realm.  We can make things better for those who come after us, give them a running start, lift them up so that they can see further.  What we do in this life is what will affect what happens next, whether we build upon what has gone before, or let it crumble into dust.

The constellation Aquarius is on the Eastern horizon at dawn this year, a sign that we are entering a new astrological age.  Supposedly, it will be an age of unison, where the duality that we have experienced for thousands of years will end.  Perhaps that is why sexual boundaries and roles are becoming so blurred.  We are all people, we all have needs, and we all have something to share.  Accepting that we have some of the other gender within us is one step toward achieving the unity that this age is supposed to bring.

The sounds of silence


Just returned from a walk, it is 2:30 on a Monday, and the town is very quiet.  I absolutely love the quiet, and can enjoy it so rarely.  This is the quietest time of the week, with each succeeding day getting noisier.  By Saturday morning, Friday isn’t done yet, and there is no stop to the action.  But early on a Monday is usually quiet, except after the Super Bowl, or when the state fair is in town.

Last October, I treated myself to a camping trip at my favorite location, 6,300 feet up in the Cascade Mountains.  I arrived at about 22:30, and it was so beautiful.  The sky was clear, the air was dead still, and utter silence lay across the land.  This was something I have not been able to enjoy for many years, as there is usually wind in the trees, water falling down hill, or traffic.  Utter stillness, that went on, and on…  Until I unpacked my portable stereo, and gave myself a break from outer space.  Standing on that mountain, the stars seemed very close, much closer than they do down in the city.  Which I can see from just a short distance from camp, 5,000 feet below me.  It almost surprises me that I couldn’t hear all the commotion all the way up there, it is so loud down here.

And I also enjoy the darkness, the stars in the sky, the lights across the landscape, the flickering windows of people sleeping in front of the TV.  There are fewer details to distract one, and thoughts can drift easily.  Watching a car half-a-mile away that I have been listening to for 15 seconds is really a trip, seeing as I usually can’t hear anything that far away, because there is too much noise.  Darkness is special, because it is so rare.  People who live in cities never know real darkness, as the light reflects off of the haze, making the sky glow at night.  I spent some time in the desert of Southern California, and the glow that was Los Angeles was clearly visible, over 100 miles away.  Silence and darkness, two things that I love that are getting harder and harder to find.

Alone in a crowd


The other day, (no, not THAT day) I was sitting around with some friends of mine, talking and listening to music.  Okay, I know that makes me strange, but I am an old geezer.  Anyway, there were three people in the room with me, and all of them were looking at their phones.  And I think that two of them were texting each other.  I thought to myself, “What can I do, bring a TV in here?  No, they are immune to TV now, I am sure.  Maybe some pyrotechnics?  A few explosions and bright flashes might get their attention.”

I carry a cell phone, but that is about all that I use it for.  Some people text me, but the phone is really clumsy for texting, so I usually don’t respond.  Used to be, you could turn off the GPS tracking feature on phones, but I guess that you can’t anymore.  Just think of it, people are paying hundreds of dollars a month for smartphone bandwidth so that they can be stalked by companies handling advertising for big companies.  Every mouse click, or whatever constitutes a click with a phone, is being watched carefully, and data is being stored, so that your profile can be enhanced.

Soon, they will know what kind of car you  drive, what your favorite food is, and where you keep your dirty pictures.  (Isn’t the cloud wonderful?)  But don’t worry, they are respecting your privacy.  At least, as far as the agreement that you signed when you got the phone requires them to.  If you are a terrorist, they won’t tell the government on you, they will just try to sell you better weapons.  And you will only have to pay $XXX a month for the privilege of being stalked, I mean tracked.

What I don’t understand is paying so much money so that you can leave the house and still be bored, surfing the web, checking your email, and playing games.  Why not just stay home?  You are probably paying for internet service at home, too, right?  Got to be able to stream movies.  Oh, well, soon the phones will be implanted, so we won’t have to be rude to each other by staring at our phones.  We can just stare off into space.  I do that anyway.