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Tag Archives: Games

Ellen Lattz, "unbound" 2017.png

Sometimes I have something specific that  I want to say, but when I look at the blank sheet in front of me, my mind gets just as wiped clean.  Nothing comes to the surface of my thoughts.  All the important, fun stuff I was going  to say remains buried in the murky depths of the thought scape.

Today, I thought I would try to reverse the process.  I begin with no particular thought in mind.  I write with no fixed destination.  The hope is, that the view will become interesting, that an intriguing scene will spring into being suddenly blooming into a fertile vista that will stretch to the horizon, dragging my eager fingers with it on the keyboard.

It’s been raining for a couple of days reminding me of the children’s tale, “The Cat In The Hat.”  I wonder if Dr. Seuss began his story as a result of being cooped up with his pets by rain.   Perhaps he consoled himself with this tale after having to clean up after dogs and children that needed to go outside occasionally, and also needed to be let back in, mud and all.

We are forecast to have more storms moving in from the west.  It is snowing out there.  Will it get colder here?  Will the water stay on the ground, instead of running off into the already full creek?  I’m reminded of Queensland’s recent inundation.  500,000 cattle were drowned in the flooding.  along with everything else that couldn’t make it out of the area in time.  I don’t anticipate there being that much water here, but them again, Queensland didn’t anticipate that much water either.

We take for granted that we will have time to do things in the future. A future that isn’t guaranteed to happen, and if it does happen, not necessarily in the way we were planning. I have children I was planning on spending more time with, and Grandchildren I wanted to get to know. We don’t always get what we want.

If I had the time to do the things I wanted to do, one of the things would be to build interesting things with them.  To discover their passions, and help them realize even more capabilities.  I’d like to engage with them in creative things they never thought of doing.  To watch them find delight in the work of their hands, and satisfaction in completing a task and watching the results.

I’d like to garden with them, build homes with them, paint with them, and watch their joy.  I’d  teach them to throw pots, make bricks, and make useful, sometimes beautiful items to enrich their lives, and the lives of others. I’d build kilns with them, glaze pots, and fire them into glorious life.  I’d teach them about printing presses, typeset, and telling stories in both pictures and font. Maybe some of these things will get to happen. Maybe this rain won’t destroy the possibilities.  Maybe this rain will inspire me, and them, instead.

If we have time together, I want to hear about what they love, and what they hope to be able to pursue in the future.  I hope that their current experiences don’t lead them to anger, resentment, and destruction.  There is enough of that already in our world.  We are drowning in the results of piled on finger pointing.

We’ve been very carefully taught to play the blame game through our social and educational settings. This attitude is destroying our better creative urges. You can’t make wonderful things while you are engaged in the radical overthrow of everything around you. The two activities don’t compliment each other. I hope we have time to talk about these things. I hope we can re-direct all this pent-up energy back into constructive dialogue, and increased understanding.

We do need a radical overhaul, not necessarily of the physical reality, but mostly of our collective thinking. We need a radical change of heart; a national repentance from where we’ve been, and what we’ve been engaged in.  We all got too comfortable and dis-engaged from duties and responsibilities. We allowed those to fall to others while we pursued petty vanities.

We worked to keep up with the Jones’s and Kardashian’s instead of staying involved in civic planning.  We let people frighten us into giving up not only our freedoms, but also the best of our independence.  We gave up our personal livestock and gardens. We allowed others to dictate what the definition of poverty was.

Instead of a plethora of skills and abilities, which comes with farming and animal husbandry, we fell for the images of wealth, ease, and affluence displayed by those who used the work of our hands to get that.  Our gardens, chickens, pigs and cows were not what held us back. Those are the very things which kept us from positions of begging, of want, and of servitude.

Eventually, we allowed our leadership to trade off our manufacturing jobs, albeit we didn’t understand that was what would happen. We believed the leadership had our best interests at heart.  We weren’t paying attention to history, to what had just happened to others who did the same things, even within our own lifetimes. We allowed ourselves to be distracted by easy entertainment, and rah, rah, chants for teams that played games.  We were lulled by the soothing  sound of “people don’t think that way” and “nobody would do that”, even though we have seen many places where they most certainly Did do that.

If we are fortunate. we will get those jobs back.  If we are dutiful, we can take back control of our civic zoning laws. We can kick out those who wish to frighten us with their tales of health risks, and get back the real health that comes with home grown garden vegetables and clean fertilizer from our own farm animals. Our own chickens will go back to being our natural pesticide squad, and our own cow’s raw milk will be the source of our strength.  Our livestock will once again be the source of our butter and egg money.  Our earned extra.  Our surplus that we use to save and trade for those things we don’t grow or make ourselves.

If we are given the time, if the Good Lord is willing, and the creeks don’t rise, we will rebuild that which was lost. We will improve on what went on before by being more cooperative with each other. We can learn to diversify the works of our hands, while specializing in those things we have a knack for.

Imagine a block of homes, where the open areas are gardened and farmed in a collective effort. Where we put the land under our feet to good use for our health, instead of poisoning it into only growing skinny, short grasses.

Imagine learning to grow edible flower gardens as once was done; where we remember that Passion flowers make good fruit and jelly, and aren’t for just looking at.  The knowledge of these things hasn’t yet been destroyed. It is in our libraries and on the internet. Some of it resides in the memories of our Grandparents, who actually used to do some of the things we’ve lost, or who watched their Grandparents do the things we only see in pictures now.  Our elderly may not have the physical strength they once had, but they have the memories we can learn from. They are a valuable resource, if we will only remember to honor them and allow them to instruct us in a few things once more.

If we can learn to merge the use of the new things, with the activities of the old things, we will be twice as rich, twice as capable, twice as safe, and twice as secure.  We will have the advantages of new creations, with the security of the old skills. We can engage in new pursuits while keeping the ability to do for ourselves, and provide for our own security.  Independence requires work. Work provides dignity and self-respect.  Self-respect is a component of happiness.  The pursuit of happiness isn’t found in too much ease; it’s found while engaged in worthwhile labor.

I hope I live to see my children and grandchildren able to implement these activities. I hope they will have the opportunity to build a better world, a more cooperative world, a more diverse in activities world, a healthier world. We had a world like that once. it was depicted in the 70’s T.V. show “The Waltons.” I hope my Grandchildren live to build it again, and improve on it.

 

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