Global Warming (an acrostic poem)

Glacial movement on a worldwide scale

Letting loose fears and hatred

Obliterating the facts on local perceptions

Blaming anyone and everyone else

All should look at it objectively

Listening to the data presented

 

We instead focus on the economic finger pointing

Alarms of false science on the scale used against Darwin

Relying on beliefs that stand upon sandy shores

Much of that sand being eroded away by the rising waters

Isolating those beliefs on a shrinking island

Now is the time to work on the problem

Giving our future a chance

 

Image:  blueturn.earth/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/BlueMarble.jpg

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Flowing Through Time

When you are young you run with reckless abandon everywhere.  There is always something new to see and experience.  The world is so huge, and you have so much energy that you want to explode to spread yourself across everything.  You are more energetic than the time that surrounds you.  Time moves so slowly that you wonder if you are ever going to get to a point where you can do what you want, when you want to.  It’s like you found a spring on a hot day, and you play in the spurting cool water of time.  It isn’t enough water to satisfy you; to cool you completely.  You just wish there was more time to allow you to be immersed.

You reach your twenties and thirties, and you have the energy to do those things and just enough experience to try to get the most for the energy you expend.  Satisfaction from each new encounter provides positive feedback, sending you to the next one.  You wade through a stream of time.  The water pools and runs around your legs, pulling you lightly along, but you are still master of your travel.  Time can tickle you, but your energy allows you to be in the moment, and time doesn’t sweep you past it before you let it.

Now you get older and your energy level begins to decrease more.  This is a gradual decrease, so you don’t notice it at first.  Life begins to pile things up on you.  Now not everything can get done in a day, week, or year.  Family, career, and me time cry for attention, but there isn’t enough energy left to buck time.  Time begins to grow faster, picking you out of the calm part of the river and edging you towards the middle.  You hear rapids approaching.  Do you swim for shore?  Do you try to find an eddy in time that you can float in to catch your breath?  Do you try to shoot the rapids?  Time is moving faster and faster, and soon you are ditching things overboard like goals and aspirations, bucket lists, people and places that are special to you just to keep afloat and not smashed upon the rocks of midlife crisis.

You make to retirement.  You manage to ride the river to the ocean and the waves crash you in towards shore.  You realize that time has won.  It was always going to.  Your acceptance of that allows you to just enjoy floating there, bobbing on each passing wave.  It becomes fun again to frolic in time, but you know one day you’re going to be stranded on that beach at the end of life, out of time and energy.  Time will still surge in and out, but your time to ride will be over.

Moving On

I’ve been helping move friends of mine the past couple of days, and it reminds me of two important things.

The first is you can take it with you, but do you really want to?  We have only so much space in our lives and living spaces for stuff.  Some of us have a higher tolerance than others for what things need to stay, but we get ready to move every item is held in your hand with the same question poised, “Do we really need that?”  So many of our things and memories are linked to what we have and where we are.  We can afford to keep ten of X or have three extra Y.  When we have to move our residence we realize what was folly, what was overindulgence, and what had just overstayed its welcome yet found a place in our space such as not to impinge too much.  Moving shakes this paradigm and lets the chips fall where they may.

The second one is of spatial reasoning.  It is always amazing how much more stuff can be stuffed into a smaller space as one uses their well honed Tetris skills in space time manipulation.  You can take a 2000 square foot house and compact it into a 27 foot long trailer.  This is amazing, but not as amazing as the time it takes to do all of it.  What you think should only take a couple of hours takes most of a day.  Part of that are the trips down memory lane with each new discovery from the previous point.  It was nice helping someone else get ready since every time I have moved, except for the first time out of my parent’s house, was done under time duress.  Every box we took out of the house took us one step closer, but at the same time the time eaten put more pressure on getting it because we had to be out the next day or two.  My friends are under a time crunch, but not that hard, so it was nice to be more deliberate, but at the same time they have other stresses such as most of their stuff is now in a Tetris puzzle in a 27 foot trailer and the house they currently are living in is now an echo chamber for the last week of them living there.  I’m sure time will seem to fly by, but also last forever as they eat on folding chairs and a card table.

As I contemplate my own move that will happen hopefully within the next year I wonder how me and my family will figure out solutions to these two things.  I have ducked the problem by commuting for the past six years, but too many nights not coming home to the family has grown old.  Taking a peek into what then future might hold grounds me and allows me to start thinking about the future.  Still, first I need to create a test for Wednesday, so if you’ll excuse me, I must be moving on.

What Matters?

I walked around the museum today looking at the fine art.  It moved me so much I had to sit down and just think.  I was trying to figure out why the different pieces of art affected me in different ways.   I looked at composition and time period.  I looked at subject and artist.  I looked for what was common about all the different pieces, what made them important to me.

That was when I saw those looking at the same art pieces around me.  Not a one of them were the same.  I tried to find the commonalities that linked us, besides the art.  The African American, what about his composition and subject?  Well, his pigment placed his lineage coming from Africa.  The Asian woman standing in front of the Picasso had relatives from a different part of the world, but her ancestors came also from Africa.  My own pale skin, a product of Northern Europe breeding, also originated at one point in Africa.  This revelation showed me we are all African at some point, so black lives matter should be a rallying cry for us and our brothers and sisters, not a wall of separation for both sides.  After all, it’s all in the family.

A Mile In My Shoes

Paris lifted Barney’s shoes off her desk with two fingers as if the offending footwear was diseased.  She twisted her hand to look at Barney’s shoes from all sides.  They were a deep mahogany colored loafer that had seen far better days.  The heel of the right foot was worn and some of the padded insert could be seen poking through right above the rubber sole.  The left shoe had its rubber sole worn quite unevenly.

Paris looked back up to Barney.  “So why again was I supposed to look at these?” she asked as she dropped the shoes to the floor of her office.

Barney padded over in his socks and picked them up.  “You can tell a lot about a man by looking at his shoes,” he said.  “You told me I don’t know what I was talking about in my essay.  You gave me an F.  Well you don’t know where I come from.  So put my shoes on.”  He paused for dramatic effect before continuing.  “You can tell even more by walking a mile in them then any essay Dr. Pritchard.”  Barney put on his biggest cheesy grin and displayed his shoes to emphasize his point.  “You see, to me they say I drive a lot and have a limp.  Want to try to walk in them and feel a bit of what I go through?”

Paris shook her head.  “Put them back on Mr. Winthrop,” she said.  “If you want to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, read a book.”

Barney jabbed one of his shoes at her.  “What do you mean by that?” he asked.

Paris reached over to her bookshelf where she kept the good stuff.  She picked up a slightly worn copy of Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.  She flipped through the pages while breathing in.  It was like hugging a good friend you hadn’t seen in a while.  The scent of that particular book always brought back the summer of 78 when she had read it for the first time.

Paris held the book out to Barney.  “You want to know about African American struggles in the 1920s and 30s, you read this book.  It will give you insights you can’t get by just watching a TV,” she said and then pointed at Barney’s loafers, “or walking in someone else’s shoes.  You see you don’t get the inner emotions doing any of that other stuff, just the outside view of how the tread is uneven.  What about how you feel when you need to walk?  Can I get that from wearing your shoes?  Will I know the struggle of not wanting to go buy a new pair of shoes because money is tight?”

“I’ve got plenty of money,” Barney said.  “I just hate shopping for shoes.”

Paris smiled and slapped her desk.  “Exactly Mr. Winthrop.  I can’t get that from really walking in your shoes.  I can only get that if you tell me, or if I read it in a great work of literature.”

Barney slumped down in the chair beside Paris’ desk.  He put his shoes on and took the book out of her hand.  He looked at it, trying to comprehend the importance of such a tome.  Finally his eyes went from the book and back to hers.  “But why have me read about a black person in the 1920s?” he asked.

Paris shook her head then leaned forward to look Barney in the eyes.  “Because you were supposed to write a story about this book, not the Hitchcock film.”

Circular Logic

The world is rocking me to sleep with the cold monotonous drone of negativity used to sell views of their ads.  Of course if I believe those ads, just by consuming their product the proverbial greener grass is just $9.99 away, and they’ll even throw in a second amount of happiness for free, you only have to pay separate processing and handling.  I would try to do the processing of all this myself, but I don’t have the energy for it.  If I did I am sure I would be a major contributor to global warming, but maybe the warming would thaw the cold negativity and that is rocking me to sleep.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz