Careful, people, this is a long one. I have to post early since I am out tonight. It is long since I will be gone pretty much all day tomorrow. Don't know how much time I have to sit and write.
Speaking of sitting. Even though I used a timer and got up and stretched and did some other work in between writing, my butt is hurting and my eyes are crossing over. I don't know how those of you who work on a computer all day are doing it. 😳
If you happen to live in San Diego and are participating in the NaNoWriMo Madness, here are some places to meet up with fellow writers and get some support and have fun. None of these work for me this week - but maybe next week I will go. If I do, I post pictures here :)
I am also tagging the post as #sandiego - just because I live here. But there is another reason. @ackza started the Sand token that is San Diego specific and I think it would be fun to somehow use it as an incentive for local writing get-togethers. Rewards are always nice!
[Online] Discord Write-In
Monday, Nov 4, 2019, at 7:00 pm on the regional Discord Virtual Write-Ins channel.
[ML-run] Fenton Parkway Starbucks Write-In
Tuesday, Nov 5, 2019, at 5:30 pm
[Wrimo-run] Mira Mesa Souplantation Write-In
Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019, at 11:30 am
[Wrimo-run] UCSD Friday Lunch Write-In
Friday, Nov 8, 2019, at 12:30 pm
[Wrimo-run] Darkstar (UCSD) Write-In
Saturday, Nov 9, 2019, at 1:00 pm
NaNoWriters on Steem
Check out what we are up to at the Freewrite House. This post will be of particular interest to you.
I am planning to write 50,000 + words this month in the spirit of NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. But I am going to ignore the Novel part and write whatever I want to. I am doing a complete stream of consciousness style of writing. It might become a Novel, it might look more like morning pages - basically, word vomit onto the page to empty the brain. Maybe, I get a bunch of good blog posts out of it. I don't know. Feel free to read it - or not. Quality is not ensured! 😂
It is understandable that people want to hide behind, or better yet, under a rock. I have those feelings myself. There are times that I don’t want to know what is going on. It is very easy for me to get lost in my garden and pretend that nothing bad is happening outside my walls. All the while, fires are burning in California - literary, fires are burning and the symbolic fires are burning all over the world.
I remember when we had the big fires in San Diego. In one night, the fire had raced all the way from Ramona, a city a 45 minute drive up a mountain located northeast of San Diego. There is lots of forest land on that mountain and we used to go hiking somewhere along there almost every weekend.
Some houses are sprinkled in between. Some of the land is state-owned, some privately.
The fire started in Ramona and by the next morning, it had arrived at the city of San Diego. The sky was grey all day long form the ashes covering the sun and we were glued to the TV to find out which direction the flames were headed. Many people lost their homes and sadly, many also lost their lives.
The fire had moved so quickly that some just couldn’t make it out and were found in their cars that weren’t able to outrun the fire.
Smoke was in the air and people were shaken to their core. It wasn’t a good idea to walk outside since the air quality was so very bad.
At the time, I had a small corner grocery store. We were open seven days a week for about 14 hours a day. That meant that often, I was working seven days a week for almost that many hours. Partly, it is hard to make enough money with a small store if it is not run as a family business. But that is another story.
The days of the fire, I was tempted to keep the store closed, but I wouldn’t have been able to absorb the loss of income. So, I took my rainbow vacuum cleaner along as an air cleaner. That particular vacuum sucked up everything into a water basin and it works great to remove dust particles from the air by eliminating the vacuum hose and just allowing air to get sucked in. Tons of essential oils in the water at least made the store smell a little better.
I will never forget a young woman walking in with her toddler, smiling and happy, and exclaiming that it was nice to have an overcast day for a change instead of the relentless summer sunshine.
She hadn’t listened to any news - she never did or maybe still does, and in her world, everything was just fine. The fire wasn’t at her house or visible from her house, therefore it didn’t exist.
On one hand, that is fantastic. While the rest of the city was stressed and wary, she had a wonderful day. All the stress the rest of us experienced didn’t help to eliminate the fire. Being vigilant helped those that needed to evacuate and being prepared helped them to save some more of their personal items.
If the fire would have come to our neighborhood, that young woman might not have made it out like some of the people that lived on the mountain and had no warning about what was coming their way.
Of course, that is an extreme and immediate danger.
But this kind of behavior can have other consequences as well.
During one of the fantastic Permaculture Voices Conferences held in San Diego and organized and financed by Diego who is still very visible via his podcast and his YouTube channel, I had the pleasure of attending a session by Starhawk.
She is an amazing woman and speaker and I was so happy to have met her. Some day, I do want to take one of her classes. I have lots of plans and my body better cooperates by staying healthy and letting me live for a while.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Starhawk:
Starhawk is an American writer, teacher and activist. She is known as a theorist of feminist Neopaganism and ecofeminism. She is a columnist for Beliefnet.com and for On Faith, the Newsweek/Washington Post online forum on religion. Her book The Spiral Dance was one of the main inspirations behind the Goddess movement.
She emphasized over and over again how important it is to stay politically aware and active.
In a small town, either where she is living or close by, a lot of Hippy/alternative people had settled. As a matter of fact, the majority of the town folks were into love, happiness, and meditation. None of them wanted to know much about the world outside and all believed that you need to work on yourself first if you want to see change in the world.
While that is true, they neglected to think about that we always live in duality. We have our inner life and indeed, we can achieve much by working on our own self. We can let go of all kinds of misery thinking - and that is a whole big topic for another day.
But we also have a life that happens all around us with us smack in the middle. There is family. And there are friends. Our neighborhood, our town or village, our State, our country, and the rest of earth.
Everything going on there impacts us in one way or another. If we don’t pay attention and do what we can to move things in the direction we want to go, we can wake up with a bad surprise.
That is what happened to the town where our happy Hippies were living their beautiful lives. In that same town was a small group of very conservative people who didn’t like the happy Hippies at all. As a matter in fact, they hated everything they embodied.
That little group decided to become politically active. They all ran for city council or mayor or any of the positions that can only be obtained by being voted into them.
None of the Hippies cared and many were very outspoken against the idea of voting. The arguments ranged from that it doesn’t make a difference to that the act of voting in itself equals a sell-out of the alternative standards or mindset.
The result was that the small, very conservative minority ended up occupying all city leadership positions and happily passed laws that made it almost impossible for the happy Hippies to continue their previous lifestyle.
There are so many things that can be regulated. From what you can do on your land - building, keeping animals, having a garden in the front of your house instead of a lawn, even hanging your laundry - to what industry can come into your town.
How about that polluting factory or mine or whatever it is you really didn’t want to live close by but will bring lots of revenue to the city? Now you got it and there is nothing you can do about it besides running for office and voting next time around.
A very sad and very true story.
(Just to throw this in - I certainly consider myself an alternative - but one that also believes in civic engagement and sometimes hides her head in the sand as well)
What does all of this have to do with plastic in our hair and the state or our wardrobe?
Nothing and everything, really.
Little tiny plastic particles are invisible! We don’t even have to stick our head in the sand like a famous big bird supposedly is doing. I don’t want to name names and get that big bird mad at me. From what I have heard, it can kick butt pretty good and you don’t want to be in its way when it is mad. Still, they stick their heads in the sand.
Hahaha. Just kidding. Ostriches do stick their heads in the sand - but to turn their eggs that are safe and sound in a hole that the parent had dug. They are protecting and nurturing the next generation instead of hiding from danger. Yup. People. We can see things with our own eyes but draw the absolutely wrong conclusions.
Like that it is safe to mess with nature, throw our garbage everywhere and use poison like there is no tomorrow. Actually, if we keep going the way we are, there might be no tomorrow.
Back to the plastic in our hair and our bodies. We can’t see it. As a matter of fact, to even know what is going on we need to dig deep into our pocketbook and order and pay for a test all by our lonesome selves. The health insurance is certainly not going to pay for that test - or for most everything else. And that is a rant for another day…
While doing a little search to maybe, for a change, insert some facts in this otherwise highly opinionated rant springing freely from my brain, I found only this one company that does hair testing for health determination. Here is the link in case you are interested. https://www.hairanalysiskit.com
All the other companies are more concerned about finding out if you were a naughty boy or girl and took some drugs some lawmaker decided to make illegal. Yup, its all about control, baby. If you want a job with us, we want to know what you did in the past 12 months!!
Personally, I don’t drink or do drugs. But as long as alcohol is legal, socially acceptable, advertised all over the place beside the fact that so many death and all-around misery is caused by it, other drugs should be legal too.
“Oh, but drugs are harmful,” you say.
You are so right!! Especially many of the prescription drugs people eat like candy even though many of them are causing some serious harm.
And speaking of candy…
“Stop!!” you scream. “We don’t want to hear your sugar rant again!!”
Okay, I stop for now. But if you keep reading my word vomit, you just might come across a little sugar rant here or there. No promises that I got it out of my system yet.
Back to the theme of plastic. To be more accurate, let’s talk clothing.
We already heard the story of the monk's robe and the evil little plastic particles that are being washed out into the world every time it is washed.
The sad thing is that my robe is not the only culprit. Every single piece of clothing sheds and loses a little bit of itself during every wash and every time it hits the dryer. All of you who have ever used a dryer know that. Every time a load is done, you are rewarded with a nice sheet of - something.
Granted, natural fibers tend to give up more of themselves then the manmade fabrics. But they still shed some.
If you are one of the few that only possess natural fibers (full disclosure of a fact you already know - I am not one of them [see robe]), that leftover in the dryer can be used for good.
The little worms in the worm compost bin you hopefully have and keep fed as a consciences citizen of this planet are only too happy to receive the sheddings.
So are the friendly neighborhood birds. The lint is perfect for lining nests and make it nice and warm and soft for their eggs and young.
But if you have plastic fiber in your wash, it is best to send the harvest from your dryer off to the landfill to be sitting there, patiently waiting for an explorer in the far future to find it and wonder what people were thinking in the 21st century.
What are those plastic fibers we are talking about here?
Let's list them:
To make it a lot more confusing, the above fibers can show up in fabrics with all kinds of names. And - not all manmade fabrics are made from manmade fibers. There are some that are made from natural sources.
Then we have some eco fabrics that are made from manmade materials but they are recycling things like plastic bottles into fabrics. Good idea on one hand, but wouldn’t it be better not to use the plastic bottles to begin with?
“I got it,” you say. “Let’s just buy cotton. That is a nice fabric made from a plant. What could be more natural?”
You smile. You are happy. You found the solution!!
Most cotton that is not labeled organic is actually the cause of an environmental disaster. Cotton is one of the crops that is heaviest sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, is often GMO (not getting into this discussion just yet), harsh on the land and uses tons of water to grow and to manufacture. The wouldn’t be a problem if it was grown in areas that have a lot of water - but usually, it is not.
Also, if you are diving into the history of slavery in the US, you will find out that cotton and sugarcane were big reasons for the plantation owners to want more slaves and certainly not wanting to give them up.
Since this is my little rant and I decided that I can write whatever I want to - and you are reading all of this at your own peril, let me recommend a book to you. And while I am at it, an App as well.
Relax for a bit. No more pounding you over the head with sad facts for the next couple of minutes.
I used to read a lot. And by a lot, I mean like a book a day if I had the time. I read fast and books were my sanity defense. There were times where you just have to lock yourself away for a day or two and just read. Day, night, day again. Who needs sleep if you have a good book.
With kids the fiction reading turned into nonfiction. There is so much to learn. It is so easy to screw up your kids - even if you read all the expert opinions since, as we know, many experts are full of sh..t. Oops, I almost swore. Not that I don’t do that when the subject requires it.
It helped that we didn’t have a television. That was a choice and I still watch TV pretty much only if my husband is around. He grew up with one and loves it, I grew up without one and can take it or leave it.
We homeschooled and I read a lot of good children worthy books out loud. And we explored many subjects. In those days, if you had a question, you went to the encyclopedia and found out what you wanted to know. The follow up was a trip to the library.
Now of course, we have the internet and our phones. Oh, how do I love my phone. Not to talk on. Who does that anymore? But I love to look up what I am curious about, take pictures of anything and everything, and that I can listen to tons of podcasts while I go about my day.
Podcasts are making me happy, but I was missing literature in my life. I was about to take the plunge and subscribe to audible - a service that allows you to listen to a couple of books a month one gets to choose from a large catalog. It also comes with a monthly fee that is not super high but not low either.
I was just about to commit when chirp flattered into my inbox.
No, not one of the chirping birds that surround me all day.
Chirp, the fairly new audiobook service. Their model is that you subscribe to their service (free) and you get an email with offers of books to buy. If you know anything about audiobooks, then you know that they can be quite pricey to add to your collection. Most of the cost well over $ 20.00. Chirp negotiates deals with publishers and authors to offer certain audiobooks for a huge discount. The caveat is that the offer for any book is only good for about 30 days. If you buy it, it is yours forever.
Now get this. Many books are offered for as little as $ 0.99. What a deal!! Less than a dollar and the book is yours for life. Some are more expensive, of course. But the highest offer I have seen so far was $ 6.99 - still a lot less than $ 30.00.
Due to form, I jumped in with both feet and bought everything coming my way that was 99 cents and looked even vaguely interesting. I have to say that I have listened to some awesome books that way, some very weird ones, and some, I started and probably won’t come back to. The majority have been fun!!
Since I got you all excited about it, I am adding a link here - I am not affiliated with the company. Just saying…
Now, on to the book that started it all.
The book is called The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson
It is Written by Nancy Peacock | Narrated by JD Jackson
This is how the book starts
I have been to hangings before, but never my own.
How can you not buy it? And it was worth spending the time listening to it.
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