Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Thoughts for Earth Day and Beyond

I wanted a place to put my poetry and stories, but I didn't want to crowd this blog with them as it has a purpose all its own. So when I got the google page maker invite in my email, I decided that would be a good use for it. Ursine Logic, the Poetry and Prose Page> Please do take a look and check back frequently, because like this blog, it is a work that grows and changes and becomes as I grow and change and become.

So far there are only a couple poems on there because I want to do with it what I have done with this site --combining my words and my art into its own shape. There's too many realities to consider lately, too many layers of life that keep unfolding, that just art or just words becomes limiting for what I want to express.

And I have a lot to express. For the last year it seems as if I have been in some kind of accelerated growth spurt mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

The mental part of it is easy to understand--the world has become so simple-minded, so jingoistic and annoying, that my mind is starved for more. It feasts and feasts and feasts on everything. I want to know everything. I want to study everything. I want to do everything. This is my rebellion against the stunted growth of thinking ability that is becoming a universal illness.

The emotional growth is also simple to understand if you measure it against the years I've been on the planet and what I chose to do with them. More and more I realize that maturity has nothing to do with age, but with the quality of experience. I have this strange sort of confidence in myself lately that would have served me well when I was younger. It would have opened my eyes quicker to those who could wound, and it would have directed my heart more toward those who had something to give instead of an unrelenting hunger to take.

But the old argument creeps in as always that without the pain, the bastards, the love defectives, the users, abusers, creeps and crawlies, I'd be someone else and probably not someone who writes and draws and survives by her own wits and skills and abilities.

The spiritual part of it is strange to me. By no stretch of any crazed imagination does it mean I am tending toward religion or any kind of imaginary playmate. What it does mean is the more disconnected people around me become as a result of their struggles to find meaning in god and religion, the more I go toward my literal and metaphysical nature roots. There's nothing more holy to me than the cathedral formed by the majestic embrace of an old growth forest. This is where I find wholeness. This is where I am completed.

Is it any wonder these morons running the country want to chop down every one of my cathedrals and turn them into financial gain? They took one look, let a little bit of the majesty enter their greedy and cynical souls and saw there was serious competition for their empty, mean, cruel, intolerant brand of spirituality. They knew if people had a choice, that their ugly buildings with their evil intermediaries would rot away from disuse.

The forest is their enemy. But it is my church. And it was here first.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Scaring The Sheep Into Submission

People live in fear of an enemy they can never completely escape--each other. Everywhere they look, someone or something really scary lurks that wants to do them harm.

They know this as surely as they know those steel-helmeted talking hairdos dressed up as news commentators are the ultimate and final authority on everything from car chases to scary person of the week.

They know this because those superficial and empty people tell them so, those people whose hair never moves and whose faces have that putty colored orange cast of wrinkle filler, or worse...that pallid and that pasty pale look of a spackled wall. Those pitiful and empty bags of human skin and fetid hot air are the people they trust to never lie, to never exaggerate, to never cover a real story as long as there is a car chase, a missing white woman, or some hate to monger here and there.

The tragic thing is that these news-actors are merely puppets reading from a script designed to keep anyone from thinking too hard about who the real enemy might be. The easiest way to do this is to talk the prisoner (i.e. me and you...the ones who are still walking around outside the cage...) into not only building his or her own prison, but to also surround it with very large walls, throw up some heavy-duty metal bars on all the doors and windows, and pay someone with a uniform to stand at the entrance and look mean. This is called "being safe."

But the average idiot isn't all that easily fooled. They ask how can they feel safe when every time they venture out of their little Stepford Kennels, the monsters jump out at them and scream "Give me your car! I want to be on the evening news just like OJ!"

Or their daughters decide to go vacation somewhere really scary where the real enemy is not the dark stranger lurking in the shadows, but that nice, white rich boy who gets away with killing people because everyone knows only poor people would do such a thing. And his house is surrounded by walls and fences and bars and he carries around a whole bunch of keys.

He must be safe. And did they mention, rich? Doesn't money cleanse all sins and make the bearer of it squeaky clean safe? So they trust him the same way they trust the news-actors because he lives inside the kennel with them, just as they do, just as frightened little rabbit people do all over the world. They obediently built their prisons, moved in and kept out all the monsters outside the gate.

And now they feel so safe, so protected, so secure in the knowledge that anyone coming looking for them will get lost in the warren of perfectly manicured landscaping and houses that are so similar, even they get lost sometimes. They laugh about it. Ha ha. I got lost in my own neighborhood. Ha ha ha.

But this nice young rich boy offered to help them find their way home. What is there not to trust? Of course they let him show them the way home. He had such a nice smile, and did we mention that he was rich?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Art of Color

I've been working with color lately on the designs at my store, Ursine Logic . Like a lot of people, I was very amused and disturbed by Bush's remark about "human-animal cloning." I saw this as one of those design opportunities just screaming to be transformed into a t-shirt. However, I ran into a problem whenever I started to work on a design.

The problem was not a shortage of ideas, but that I tend to avoid the political in my shop. So much of what I read every day and talk about has to do with politics of some kind. I am a junkie for stuff like that. I want to know what crazy thing people are swallowing, what distraction they are buying to avoid hearing whatever truth is being buried in the news media's primetime backyards. Politics is the ultimate ant farm with ants who compete to tell the biggest lie, fight the light of day to cover up the biggest secrets, and run around in the dark pretending to believe whatever will allow them to steal the most. I can't stop watching in appalled fascination.

But my shop is my break from all that. It is a place where I can focus on my love of dogs and cats, where I can appreciate the frail beauty of flowers, and where I can try and capture in images the ever expanding search for personal individuality, the many layers of spirituality that grows from nature and from within. It is my therapy in a world where others rely on antidepressants, recreational drugs, and alcohol. My strange art calms me in the way pills calm others. It gives me a solid center in a chaotic world.

Usually my art stayed pretty close to the line I learned to draw from for web graphics. I didn't get risky with colors. I didn't stray into the realm of the "true artist" as I perceived those mystical beings who could pick up a paint brush, a piece of chalk, a pencil, and create so easily what I could only do on a computer.

But it has been gray here in the Northwest. It has rained a lot. It has been cold. Color is my rebellion against the continual onslaught of one idea. I am like that. If you give me constant instead of variable, I rebel.

I am afraid of only one thing in life, really, and that is stagnation of the species. Without change, we rot badly. We go to our end without dignity, without honor, without any purpose but the willful annihilation of a species that spent a lifetime being led by the nose to feed on government crap.

Color is my voice against that distressing eventuality.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Pity The Emotional Cowards Before They Eat Us Too

I am always astonished at people's unwillingness to think about anything difficult. By difficult I mean anything that will require them to set aside what they already believe for the possibility of believing something else. In other words, to admit that maybe, just maybe, what they've spent a lifetime putting together is wrong.

Most people feel it took so much time to accumulate those bits and pieces of experience, much as some savage creature puts together a pile of debris left over from various kills, that they have nothing left to start over. They might as well say their brain is full, that nothing else can be shoved in there. They might as well say that the heart has reached its limit and never again can it feel the foolish empowerment of love. They might as well say they are only half alive and waiting for something to fall from the skies and put them out of misery forever.

They can say all that, but yet, they cannot see the truth of what they believe: if it can no longer be eaten with a wild and savage hunger, if it no longer feeds you heart and soul, if it no longer makes you stop in the middle of what you were doing and say huhhhh...then maybe it is of no more value than that pile of wild animal debris.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Why We Need the Furred Species

I am probably one of the most optimistic people I know. This is not to say I don't have my moments of sadness or depression or just plain old disgust with the human species. But on average I tend to see the world in a more positive light.

I still have hope. I still believe that humans are basically good except for those nasty, bad influences and training that neglected the human side of being alive. I believe in altruism and compassion and the power of love. I believe in myself instead of something outside myself.

And the one thing all these beliefs have in common is that they were shaped by my lifelong relationship with dogs, cats, bunnies, anything that could be held and cuddled and loved to abundance. My pets saved me from the dismal realities of life and showed me there was at least something good about living.

It is no accident that so many of us share our lives with a furry bundle of love and amusement. I think that the uglier the world becomes, the more we retreat into this innocent love that doesn't expect us to be anything other than we are. A dog accepts us a member of the tribe, a cat accepts us as a member of the pride.

In the middle of our busy lives and crazy existence, the one constant is our dog or our cat and the pure love we share for each other. This is something we can count on day after day. Our dog will love us even if we are evil and lazy and will never amount to anything. In our dog's eyes, none of that matters. They love us and we love them.

A cat doesn't care what you do with your day. When you come home, you are inseparable realities. The trust of having a purring bundle of fur in your lap erases anything awful that happened during the day. As you pet that vibrating little creature, the bad things in the world melt away and become one soft moment spent with a creature who knows all that matters is love, touch, food, a shared sofa and bed, and maybe a bit of string now and then.

How lonely and empty are those who do not understand this. If only they went to the shelter and adopted a companion, their world would lose some of its ugliness and it would take on moments of sheer beauty. And in the same way that seeds spread their wings upon the wind, so would our love. The world would blossom at last.