THREE TREES

THREE TREES
The horse's pasture to the East...

Thursday, October 22, 2020

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING


 “What a beautiful morning! It’s going to be a perfect day. “ My mantra every single day, 365 days a year, no matter what the weather is like or what is going on ... this is my mantra. I say it to myself when the wind is blowing at 50 MPH and it’s raining sideways. I sing it when it’s snowing or so hot it feels like someone just threw a wet, wool blanket over me and every step is an effort. I say it when my joints ache, when someone I love has died, when the bills have to be paid or when there’s a pile of fresh, hot, chocolate chip cookies waiting in the kitchen for me. “ What a beautiful morning! It’s going to be a perfect day. “

Something I’ve discovered this year and knew in every practical sense of the word in years past is that the only person I can change is me. I can love the people around me, and for the most part I do. Or I can watch them with interest while they melt down because I won’t follow their edicts. 

I am not responsible for other people’s choices. I can like them the way they are or walk away because I’m not interested in spending my time with them. All I have to do is take care of myself, stick to my ideals and let  the rest of the world have theirs. 


I love my life. I always have. my family has always been my first and most absolute priority. As much as I love being an artist, it doesn’t come close to being a wife and best friend to my husband, John. As much as I’ve worked on and attained by being a designer it can’t compare to the love I have for my adult children and amazing grandchildren. I could care less about a pretty living room unless someone has paid me to help them. And truth be told, I don’t really care much anymore about that either.

Our society has an odd attachment to money. Don’t get me wrong. I like paying my bills on time and having good food on the table. But putting money ahead of family? NO. I don’t care about status. I don’t care about power. I discovered, early on in my life, what that kind of fixation does to a family. I’ve learned that I can nearly always find a creative solution to most of my problems without big gobs of money. I like my quiet, simple life.


2020 has been a year of revelations. I’ve learned about the definition of true friendship. Friends are the people and animals who like me the way I am without censorship. It’s the way I’ve felt about the friends I have for all these years. Unfortunately that isn’t always reciprocated. At first I cried, actually grieved, for the loss of those friendships. I connect deeply to people and animals. And, at first, I asked questions about why their feelings towards me would change so quickly. Then I accepted them, truly accepted them exactly the way they were and felt and I let go.

True love means you are willing to let go and let be and enjoy the good memories. 

I admit there is some part of me that wants to make snarky comments here, but I’ve learned to let that go too. As much fun as it is to flay people with words, it isn’t productive or kind. I’m not interested in falling to their level. 


The world feels broken to me. It’s gone down a dark path, a place that feels like self destruction. I am sorry for that, but not because I am responsible for it in any way. All I can do is take care of myself, love my family and friends, in fact celebrate them as exactly who they are and take care of the souls dressed in feathers and fur, who live here with us. 

My pledge to myself : I will help the people who need and want me to help. I will keep my environment as clean, chemical and trash free as possible. I will feed my family and souls with what I grow and preserve and what I can afford to buy. And I will end every single day by saying, “ What a lovely day it’s been. I am so lucky! What a beautiful night sky. Tomorrow I get to try again. I am happy. “


Words are true power and so are your actions. I am closing circles this year and letting the rest go, starting new circles. And I will stand my ground when it comes to my beliefs. And if I find irrefutable information that changes my mind, I WILL CHANGE MY MIND and not because it is the fashionable thing to do or because society or the media dictates that change to me. 

My body, my life, my path, my space, my choice. 


What a beautiful morning! It’s a perfect day. I am so happy to be here exactly as I am. I love you World, exactly as you are! Too bad I can’t make a giant pile of chocolate chip cookies and give them away to all of you, just to make you smile.....

I am, as always, Nancy, smiling....



Monday, October 19, 2020

THE UPSIDE OF DOWN AND THE DOWN SIDE OF UP


 2020 has been odd, to say the least. Here we are, eight months later, past the original ‘lock down’ suggestions. It started with a request for us to stay home. Since we had no information on what was happening, we complied for two weeks. One of my questions, from the beginning, was “ What about grocery stores? What about gas stations? What about the electricity, water and propane or natural gas companies? What about the trucking industry? Who would move supplies from point A to point B? What about doctor’s and dentist’s offices, Vet’s offices? What about farm supplies? What about churches and schools? WHO would be there to run them and why were they expected to when this so-called novel disease ran through the population? “

None of it added up. It still doesn’t. But we were compliant for two weeks. That seemed to be a sensible choice, give it two weeks. If this is as terrible as the authorities are telling us (and I say “authorities” with a sense of humor here) then there will be funeral cort├Ęge, refrigerated trucks full of bodies, long lists of dead people in the news. And nothing happened.

And then the bizarre ‘symptoms’ became headlines. You’ve all read them. I know I did and got a good laugh out of it every time. We were definitely moving in to “ Be afraid, be very afraid. “ time. I’d read the next stupid story about the next bizarre symptom and then I asked the same questions about the same people ; the dispensable people who were supposed to be out there risking their lives so the rest could have running utilities, groceries and so on and so on and scooby dooby do on. Didn’t anyone have a conscience anymore? It was all so deceitful   and manipulative.

I did what I always do when watching political speeches, I turned off the sound and watched body language. DAAAMMMNNN! These people were lying and they knew it. I’m a trained observer, an artist with an education in drawing, painting, design and a minor in psychology. I could see it in their faces, eyes, the way they looked down or away and their faces tensed up. Most of the ‘talking heads’ were ignorant. They read what was on the monitors and acted their parts, but the so-called experts knew exactly what they were doing. 

Things were not what they seemed. The people reading the news, watching the news, were being lied to. The next question became, “ WHY? “. I began by going back to the beginning. (Great line, don’t you think?) Let’s learn some basics about viruses, what their nature is, the time line on viruses, the history as we know it. 

First seen as poisons, then as life-forms, then biological chemicals, viruses today are thought of as being in a gray area between living and nonliving: they cannot replicate on their own but can do so in truly living cells and can also affect the behavior of their hosts profoundly. The categorization of viruses as nonliving during much of the modern era of biological science has had an unintended consequence: it has led most researchers to ignore viruses in the study of evolution. Finally, however, scientists are beginning to appreciate viruses as fundamental players in the history of life.  (Quote from Scientific American , ARE VIRUSES ALIVE?, August, 2008)

In an amateur’s nutshell, we evolved with viruses. We are immersed in a sea of viruses. COVID was not going away. It is here, may in fact have always been here, and will not end as long as there are hosts. Because a virus needs a living host and because the vast majority of us have immune systems exposed to corona viruses from birth, we were not going to find an effective way to avoid a virus nor would it kill us, except for those people with other physical problems, such as old age. It was either live in a constant state of fear with face diapers on at all times and no contact at all with any other human at all including family members or face it head on. 

I decided to live my life the way I always have, without anything to prevent exposure. I went against the tide, became a heretic. I refused to be part of the crowd and, instead, chose to walk my own path. Ah, the recriminations. People that I had been friends or acquaintances with for forty or more years called me names, yelled at me, threatened me. My family was threatened. People yelled at me in person. People wrote reprehensible things to me, death threats in fact (all of which I took screen shots of in case someone decided to actively pursue their threats). Our mail box was bashed and more threats came, telling me it would be worse next time. 

I never replied. I did not engage, and believe me, that was hard. Even my former MD yelled at me. We had been friends. I was there when they lost someone they deeply loved, held space and helped in every way I could. All of that was forgotten by that person and all of the others, including artists who’s careers I had given a boost to without taking any money for myself. The list goes on and on. I was, very effectively, banished. How very fifth century of them. 


I became an outcast. Not so many years ago, in geological terms, that would probably have killed me. This time it didn’t. I cried for a while, got angry, and worked. My way of dealing with fear, anger and pain is to work harder. I got busy. I cleaned and organized, pulled weeds, worked with my horses, learned new skills, read and did research. And then I found a little book I’ve had since the late seventies, THE FOUR AGREEMENTS, by Don Miguel Ruiz. I reread it from cover to cover and made notes, went back to meditating, exercising, and refocused my energy. I let it all go. 


Do you see the second agreement, “ DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY”? That was very important while I reasoned my way through the behaviors I was seeing in people. It wasn’t my set of issues or beliefs they were yelling at me about. It was their’s. It didn’t stop the pain that quickly, but it did begin to help. 

A store clerk at a store we shopped at because they had not incriminated us or said anything derogatory to us for having naked faces, lost her shit with us. She yelled at us on the loud speakers when we came in to the store. I said, “ No thank you. We don’t need masks. “ and smiled at her, the way I always do because I like people. She was so angry she was shaking, in fact crying. She was terrified. She honestly thought we were going to kill her with our naked faces. How interesting. ( One of my all time favorite phrases I learned while working with horses. )

When we came up to check out, she was the only clerk available. So we put our groceries on the conveyor belt and watched her push them through so violently that she broke jars, crushed bread, knocked things off on to the floor. Then she ran away from us, down an aisle and had a melt down. Whew. Again, how interesting. 

Neither of us said anything. We bagged up what was usable, left the rest of the mess and left the store. We haven’t gone back. When I called the manager the next day to see if she was OK, he yelled at me on the phone. How interesting. I guess they won’t miss the money we payed for our expensive organic products or the times we helped people, who were older, bag up and carry groceries or the lady who melted down because she hadn’t been able to find TP. 

ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST, the fourth agreement. I decided to just keep trying to do my best, be as nice as possible. Help when I can, at least smile at people. Heavens knows no one sees smiles anymore because their faces are covered. How interesting. 

BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD for me means be honest with myself, be who I am. When it gets uncomfortable, be even more of who I am. I have never been any good at walking the line that others propose. If my inner voice tells me to stop, ask questions, get clear answers before preceding, I do. 

DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS is about finding the courage to keep asking questions until I understand the answers. That takes longer for me now since I am in the elder category . But I will keep doing that, trying to get a better idea of what is going on behind the scenes.

I’m tired now. I don’t understand this bizarre self destruct scenario the world seems to be caught in. I’m watching it with a kind of horrified fascination. And my questions have still not been answered clearly. How interesting. 

Both of us have watched while cities burned, businesses were looted, people were injured and killed by angry, lost and often psychotic people that no one stopped. In fact they were encouraged to behave in ways that are, blatantly, against the law. And in one of those blinding flashes of the obvious, it became clear. This was about politics, about a power grab that we have never seen at this level in written world history. It was a scam of magnificent proportions that was destroying the lives, damaging the lives of decent people in the billions. 

How do I stop that? I can’t. It was time to step back and let better minds than mine change the tide. All I could do was live according to my own moral code. I chose not to enable a system that was rancid, corrupted. I am living exactly the way I always have. I will be myself. 


                                                        “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” 
                                                         ― Oscar Wilde

TRLXXPLSACMain articleExodus 20:1–17Deuteronomy 5:4–21
1(1)1I am the Lord thy God2[30]6[30]
21111111Thou shalt have no other gods before me3[31]7[31]
22221111Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image4–6[32]8–10[32]
33332222Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain7[33]11[33]
44443333Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy8–11[34]12–15[35]
55554444Honour thy father and thy mother12[36]16[37]
66675555Thou shalt not murder13[38]17[38]
77766666Thou shalt not commit adultery14[39]18[40]
88887777Thou shalt not steal15[41]19[42]
99998888Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour16[43]20[44]
10101010991010Thou shalt not covet (neighbour's house)17a[45]21b[46]
1010101010999Thou shalt not covet (neighbour's wife)17b[47]21a[48]
101010101091010Thou shalt not covet (neighbour's slaves, animals, or anything else)

 

There are 12 principles a Scout lives by which is actually considered the Scout Law. "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent."

I’m going to do my best, I really am. I made these promises many years ago. BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD. 

There’s more. The story never ends and I do have more to say, but that can wait. For now, I promise to be myself exactly as I am. 

I am, as always, yours, Nancy, smiling at the way things go.