My thoughts about racism in the USA

I have been an advocate for world equality my entire life. I was raised to think of myself as a citizen of the world and a protector of the earth. I have extreme aversion to all forms of sexism, racism, ageism, and other means of judging others by their outside appearance. Please spend some time talking to me before you decide what I think about anything.

I am not your negro

But on the topic of racism in my country, I wish all Americans could see the film: I am NOT your Negro, released this spring, and then have a national discussion of where we come from and where we hope to go.

In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project called “Remember This House.” The book was to be an honest and deeply personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. This film is a product of filmmaker Raoul Peck’s creative vision of the book James Baldwin never finished.

For me, as a European-American raised in Kansas, and one who has followed the civil rights movement for decades, this film was a powerful eye-opener. So many may think they comprehend the black experience in the USA. If you think so, please watch this film. Even African-Americans could benefit from seeing this film. This is a powerful critique of racism, the kind that is found everywhere, and unconsciously continues to this day.

Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King knew that they would probably die at the hands of assassins, but this did not deter them from walking the talk everyday. And, as the film points out, not one of them lived to be 40 years old. How many of you would risk your life for a cause? African-American leaders of every generation have not survived their generation.

And for those of you with the “I can’t get a hold of this film” excuse. I got a copy from a public library that serves a town of 800 residents. Interlibrary loan is alive and well nationally!

So many sources of STRESS, and our responses

charlottesville-riot August 12 2017Everyone who hasn’t felt any stress this past week, please raise your hand. To avoid stress you would first have to totally avoid all news sources. We have had a virtual smorgasbord of hate and violence both nationally and internationally this week. Take your pick.

cure for insomnia

For some this can lead to difficulties sleeping, like Carol Cassara. She says, Can’t sleep? Don’t want to pop a pill? This super easy remedy works every time for Carol Cassara over at Heart Mind Soul.

wake me in 2020For others, like Meryl Baer, it can lead to thoughts about our next election: Politics and the Presidency is everywhere these days. Speculation has already begun about who the 2020 candidates might be. Will the current President be the standard bearer? If not, who will be the Republican nominee? What about the Democrats? Meryl Baer of Six Decades and Counting throws in her two cents on the topic in Countdown to the 2020 Presidential election.

Boomer Blogger Tom Sightings has been plenty busy lately, what with moving into a new home in a new state. He has found his new friends to be curious — and a little puzzled — about his blogging efforts. So in an effort to explain the compulsion to send out random thoughts into the Internet, he offers the Top 10 reasons for blogging in his article  Why Do We Blog?  Read on for a few more reasons offered by readers in the comment section of the post.

On The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide, Rita R. Robison, consumer journalist, is helping people reduce stress by offering back-to-school shopping tips. See Robison’s suggestions on what not to buy early and what shoppers need to know about outlet malls.

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As you must all know by now, my solution is avoidance, partially because of a few difficult health issues. I’m not particularly proud of my attempts at escapism, but I think I earned some time off. I spend my time enjoying photography, reading, movie watching, gardening, yoga, visits to town for fun festivals, friends coming by to visit, and that funny skunk weed, recently made legal here.

My goal? To continue to find new ways to enjoy the beauty and majestic splendor of life. To assist me in this effort, Mike bought me the ultimate nature-watching gift this week…

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One picture is worth a thousand words, right Rasta?

A Magical Mix of Love and Gardening!

This beautiful fantastic filmSpeaking of gardening, I love this tiny gem of a film with just the right mix of magic, love and gardening. By chance I noticed “This Beautiful Fantastic” from 2016 and got a copy at my local library. Here is the story, full of love and transformation!

Beautiful, eccentric Bella Brown is portrayed as insular and solitary, so of course she gets a job at the local library. Her boss, the librarian, is a mean, nasty, OCD type of woman. I have had it with that tired, old stereotype of librarians…when will it end?

The story is that of how Bella blossoms into a marvelous new life, as she learns from a couple of caring new friends how to garden. Somehow she evolves from a “horticultural terrorist” with a fear of flora, into the author of her own “beautifully ordered chaos” in the garden and in her own life.

Of course we have the frustrated librarian who wants to become an author, the mystery of why her equally-eccentric love interest abandons her at the park, a wonderful performance by Tom Wilkinson as the grumpy old neighbor…

garden in this-beautiful-fantastic-movie

…and the amazing garden which blossoms mysteriously overnight.

All of the ingredients are here for a lovely, fun, thoroughly British fantasy of friendship, love and gardening! Don’t miss it! I watched it twice. BRILLIANT!

Bella’s definition of LOVE: He makes me feel like I can fly!

How to Believe in Love Again!BTW, I also love writing about love and how to keep believing in it at any age! I found true love at 49 and I’m so glad I did. But first I needed to spend some time considering why I hadn’t found it yet. I soon saw that I had lost my faith in the importance of love in my life. I had “learned to pretend there’s more than love that matters.” (Indigo Girls)
Want to know more about how to believe in love again? Send me an e-mail and I’ll hook you up with a copy of: How To Believe in Love Again: Opening to Forgiveness, Trust, and Your Own Inner Wisdom.                             E-mail: MidlifeCrisisQueen@gmail.com

The Healing Power of Gardening

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Beauty is the garden where hope grows…

I began gardening after I lost my job/career as a librarian in the spring of 2004. I found it stimulating and calming all at the same time. First I spent some time learning about drought tolerant plants in my area, picked out a few at a local nursery, and I was off.  What a marvelous pastime!

I find gardening and philosophy go well together, providing life lessons and metaphors everywhere. Here’s a bit of gardening wisdom from a piece I wrote ages ago:

Eggplant Seed Wisdom (2005)

Today I was trying to decide whether to even attempt to grow a few eggplant plants from a packet of free seeds I was given. Then it suddenly struck me, what a silly question! Just put them out there and see what happens. It’s such a tiny investment of time and energy, and who knows, I might even get an eggplant or two out of it.

eggplant on the vineThis is true of so many small decisions I make everyday of my life. I worry too long about whether to throw them out there and see if they take root. Why agonize over it? Just put the silly seeds in the ground.  What have I lost if nothing comes up? This has evolved into my philosophy of “do what’s right in front of you, and stop worrying so much about every little thing.” This all has to do with trusting in the universe and following my intuition.

The universe put these seeds in my hand. I did not go out seeking after them. They are here and they certainly won’t turn into plants sitting in their neat little package on my living room table. I am the vehicle these tiny seeds have chosen to give them life.  Whether I like it or not, I’m in charge.

After I planted the seeds and dutifully started watering them every few hours, I sat and thought about how many decisions in my life could be dispatched just as quickly and easily.  No muss, no fuss.

My interest in gardening has led to only good things [and people] in my life. This summer I discovered a very cool nursery out in the country near Rye, CO.

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Perennial Favorites is a wonderful place to visit. I love talking to the ladies there about plants that do well above 7,000 feet elevation. This is one of my favorite places on earth.

I’m constantly on alert as I drive around this area, for new wildflowers. Last week I saw a flower I’m certain I’ve never seen before near the railroad tracks in La Veta.

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Isn’t the flower beautiful?

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This plant stands about three feet tall on a thick stalk and the flowers shoot out like this. I found it among a bunch of sunflowers right along the tracks.

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Would someone please tell me what this is? I’ll send you a free copy of any one of my books if you can identify this for me! Thanks!

 

Fog lifting off the Spanish Peaks this morning

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This morning I woke up to a dense fog surrounding our home, so rare around here! We received almost half an inch of rain last night.

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Only minutes later, the sun worked its way through the clouds, and the Spanish Peaks began to emerge…

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Looking west, Mount Mestas suddenly appeared with a big fat gollop of clouds on top.

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LOVE the cloud and sun show in this part of the country!

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Home Sweet Home

 

A mid-summer trip to Pueblo

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My favorite time here in the southern Colorado foothills is the morning. I wake up to such a marvelous array of natural sounds. I love to hear the birds greeting the new day.

IMGP6401Then I go out to my garden and appreciate it all!

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Yesterday we took a trip up to Pueblo to visit a farm east of there to buy fresh produce. I love buying  directly from the farmers and the prices are quite good!

Yang's

Then we drove into Pueblo to visit Yang’s Gifts in the Pueblo Mall. Why? Because I won a FREE gift from there! What fun going through the store choosing something just for me and for free! I love this store, but then I have always appreciated jewelry, fans, and beautiful clothes from Asia.

One thing Mike and I now disagree on. I enjoy occasionally driving into Pueblo or Trinidad to shop. He gets quiet in the city and his joy level visibly increases when we leave town.

cropped-sangre-de-cristos-in-spring1.jpgHe gets happier and happier as we get closer to home.

How to NOT get “Lost in America”

Lost in America the movie 1985

I just read a new review of the Criterion re-release of the 1985 Albert Brooks film “Lost in America” in The Atlantic.  This film is a satire about two upper-middle-class Californians who decide to quit their great corporate jobs, and go “find themselves” by traveling our country in a Winnebago.

I couldn’t help thinking, as I read this review, how pessimistic their viewpoint is. Perhaps these Californians failed at their goal simply because they didn’t have a good plan from the beginning. It’s one thing to quit your “boring, predictable existence earning a solid wage” with no real plan at all. It can be an entirely different experience to spend the time to find out where you most want to live ahead of time, and then create a sustainable lifestyle in that place.

Like so many of us from the Boomer generation, the main characters in “Lost in America” achieved financial success and yet could derive no pleasure from that success. What I have learned from decades of living is that financial success provides no pleasure, unless it also provides personal freedom.

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Our greatest success in choosing this new, rural lifestyle has been the freedom we now enjoy. Many would find our lifestyle boring. If you have no interest in weather, wildlife, sunrises, and an ever increasing appreciation of the natural world, you would probably run back to the city after only a few weeks, if not days.

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The silence here can be deafening, unless this is the kind of silence you’ve been seeking your entire life.