Well folks, we are 1/3 of the way done with NaNoWriMo. I am really having fun with just following every brainfart here and there. The only problem is that I am not such a. fast typer and am sitting way too much on my butt. My body does not like that and is letting me know that fact in no uncertain terms.
Hot damn - that is a load of topics for today!
can we own plants and their products?
When I say red, what do you imagine?
What is a good book?
Paul Wheaton’s ecoscale
Prisoners fighting fires.
Follow rules and rebel
Diving into childhood imprinting
Bad things do happen
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 , 2019, at 7:00 pm on the regional Discord Virtual Write-Ins channel.
[ML-run] Fenton Parkway Starbucks Write-In
Tuesday, Nov , 2019, at 5:30 pm
[Wrimo-run] Mira Mesa Souplantation Write-In
Wednesday, Nov , 2019, at 11:30 am
[Wrimo-run] UCSD Friday Lunch Write-In
Friday, Nov , 2019, at 12:30 pm
[Wrimo-run] Darkstar (UCSD) Write-In
Saturday, Nov , 2019, at 1:00 pm
I didn't get any more updates - but am pretty sure those are weekly events.
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 day ten of this little writing adventure and the crows are either cheering me on or are laughing because they are cracking another one of my pecans open on my neighbor's chimney. It is funny, I look at the pecans as mine. And I do resent the crows just a little bit for taking so much.
On the other hand, I am watching the hummingbird drinking nectar out of my flowers with great joy. And there is the mine word again. I guess they are mine because I planted them and take care of them. But they participated by growing. And let me tell you, not everything does grow.
Now, I have to figure out how I feel about the little birds that just landed on the Milo I kind of want to feed my chickens, but the birds seem quite happy to eat it all before I get to harvest it.
Hmm, I am sitting in my robe, the one we already talked about a few days ago, out here in the yard. Everybody seems to be having breakfast. At least all the birds around here. Maybe that is a clue for me?
It is a cold morning and my robe is more than necessary to keep me warm - shh, you Canada and cold weather people, cold is a relative term. Like so many things are relative.
If I say red, what do you see? Is it crimson, or firehouse red? Burgundy or blood red? Magenta or cherry? And the list goes on. I do have a point here but I need to do a little sidetrack really fast, I promise.
A while back, I was listening to an audiobook that at the time, and still to today, I can’t decide if I liked it or not. There were times when I was listening I was completely grossed out - but, I still think about it and remember the whole thing which is not always the case after reading or listening to a book. It touched me, made me think, be mad at the writer, mad at what the story was all about or maybe rather sad.
I am thinking about the book because there was a person having to catalog lipsticks in their inventory and the narrator actually read out the names of all the different lipstick colors. That went on for several minutes and was, in itself, a statement. How many freaking lipstick colors do we need? Lots of them so everyone thinks that the next new one is what is going to make them most beautiful. It worked! Another purchase secured!
Back to the musing about what is a good book, or blog article. One that evokes emotions and stays with you or one that is enjoyable to read at the time, but quickly forgotten. I guess both of them are good, necessary, of purpose, or whatever other judgement word we want to insert here. What was that thing called balance? Oops, does not apply to me. Obviously, since I am setting out to write 50,000 words in one month and at least 3000 today.
That little trip down memory lane still touched on a theme that is on my mind and already has shown up on this pages.
Let’s call it sustainability - whatever that means to you.
Be assured, the rant about plastic will continue and is part of my own personal view on what we need to do as a society and maybe on what we can do as an individual to achieve the goal of being sustainable.
Like there are so many different colors that all fall under the simple moniker red, there are so many different ways of being sustainable and thinking we are.
I want to bring Paul Wheaton into the story now.
Let me share his theory on how we perceive others.
He has a chart or article that identifies the different stages of sustainability. It starts with a big zero. That is the person who doesn’t care, uses all the resources they can without even thinking about any of the consequences. The person whose lights are on all the time, so are all the devices, who buys everything in sight, has the heater running and the windows open, drives a gas-guzzling car, has an overflowing trashcan every week, and - you get the picture, I hope.
The stage one person might recycle cans, paper, and glass and go to Earth day Festivals.
The stage ten person uses no inputs from outside and takes care of all their outputs in a regenerative way. What a simple little sentence that being described might blow peoples mind. Most already raise their eyebrows hearing that the stage ten people create humanure - that is compost from their poop. Given that in the last hundred years or so we have developed a hate relationship with many of our body functions, the idea of processing your own poop is enough to send some people to call the authorities to lock that person up. Forever! Throw the key away! That dude or dudess must be crazy!
Paul’s theory is that we can only relate to people that are one to tow stages removed from us. We might even adore a person who is two stages ahead of us and want to emulate them. But watch out if they are three stages ahead. What they are ding looks pretty insane!
Now, the person that is at a zero or one stage can’t even wrap their mind around a stage ten person. They look most dangerous and the zero, one, and two folks will make darn sure that they make up some laws and regulations to make everything the stage ten person as illegal as possible. If they can’t get them committed to an insane asylum, at least lock them up.
Lock them up is such a popular thing to do in the US! It is a deliciously profitable business opportunity! So much money is made in our prison industry! Money, money, money, makes the world turn around, the world turn around, the world turn around.
Money is made and money is saved. Did you know that prisoners play a vital part in fighting the fires we facing in California? Yup. People can volunteer to be firefighters. They get paid a whooping $ 2 per day instead the $ 1 a prisoner usually makes for their work. And every day fighting a fire counts as two days served of their sentence.
Firefighting is a dangerous job! Many do perish every year. Many others get hurt badly.
“Well,” you say, “at least they are getting a skill they can use later when their prison time is up.”
Wouldn’t that be nice. To be able to finish a prison term and have more skills than before and easily slip back into society outside of the four walls.
Oh, how could you be so wrong!!
If you have served a prison sentence, you will never ever be hired on by a fire department. I don’t even think you can join a volunteer station.
Yup, we make it so easy to integrate back into society!
Now, back to Paul Wheaton.
If you don’t know who he is - he is the self-proclaimed Duke of Permaculture.
You don’t know what permaculture is? Well, then there is no hope for you!!
Now back to being sustainable or not and to what Paul Wheaton had to say.
I am going to quote a bit from his original article that made huge sense to me then - and as I am digging back into the subject, I realize that I forgot a few of the take aways. For example, on of the points is to not share with people the level you are at if it is far beyond their understanding!
They think that you are crazy and they might want to shoot you.
I certainly have lived with that - yes, the word that popped up in my mind is the one I need to use - fear.
Fear that others might misinterpret what you are doing and it might have negative results.
Oh boy, now, that is taking me on a side trip as well. People, if you are hanging out with me, get used to not following the straight line from point A to point B. There is just way too much to see and explore along the way and it would be a shame to just pass it by.
That is how I love to travel and have not found a travel companion yet who either has the time, the inclination, or both to stop along the way at everything that looks even a little bit interesting. If that is you, please let me know and let’s make plans!!
Before I am going to jump with both feet into fear - well, the subject, not the feeling - I am dropping the link to Paul’s ecoscale here. https://permies.com/t/scale
I will come back to it, I promise. But if you can’t wait and want to see the much better version than I will present to you, go ahead, skip the fear and see where you are on the scale.
Fear of being different. Or caused by being different.
Let me put on my self- therapy hat and take you on a journey way, way back in time. Back to the time when our major fucked upness often has its beginning. Yes, back to the early childhood we go, we go (- insert the music to the dwarfs in Snow White going off too work here.)
I happened to be born in a country which at the time of my birth was still struggling with coming to terms with having collectively committed an incredible crime. I am referring to Germany and the Second World War. Mea culpa and tremendous guilt was part of my upbringing. Now, I was born many years after the war at a time when things slowly started to look up again, but the guilt and the pointing at the self as being responsible is still somewhat part of the German psyche. And full disclosure here - I haven’t lived there in the past 40 years and only have impressions from visits and from people I know. A very small sample indeed.
Let’s get back to what I know.
I grew up in a country that believes in following rules and at the same time, emphasized that we need to watch the government. That each individual is responsible for what is going on.
Partly, of course, that thinking was a result of the Nuernberg trials where individuals that followed orders were made responsible for their actions.
I also happened to be the 4th child in our family and had older brothers that were 10 and 8 years older than I. While I technically do not belong to the revolutionary 60th generation, I was exposed to a lot of the thinking of the time.
We had Pardon and other political magazines in the house courtesy of my brothers. And did I mention that politics was spoken from morning to evening. We, as a family, had all of our meals together. Something almost unheard of today. People don’t close stores for lunch anymore and school seems to be in session all day long. But that is a topic for another day and another rant as well.
My father was a committed Social Democrat and was fighting for equality and justice as long as I can remember. He was a city council member and later, a full time mayor in our town.
Breakfast was served with three newspapers to be shared around. Two local papers and one covering the whole state.
The point is, I grew up with politics, the feeling that we are responsible for our fellow man, the indoctrination to follow rules and to question them at the same time. That is enough to drive you crazy.
Add to that the certainty that your State can do wrong. Very, very wrong. The atrocities perpetrated during the Nazi time and the many that have happened all over the world since should be enough for us to get a clue.
One thing that seems to be a theme is that nobody thought it could get that bad. The Jewish, Roma, gay, and otherwise “different” people in Germany might have been able to flee, but many couldn’t imagine in their wildest dreams that what became reality could ever happen.
Neither did the Tutsi in Rwanda think that their Hutu neighbors their kids played with could come for them in the middle of the night.
Yup, going down deep into misery and sadness. But, we are exploring fear. Reasonable fear.
Back to the sixties. The drugs, sex, and rock n’roll movement of the happy Hippies took a different turn in Germany.
There, we ended up with a couple of Terrorist groups that did what their name promised. They terrorized the nation. They were known as the Bader-Meinhof group and the name Red Army comes up in connection with them. If you don’t know about that part of history - and chances are that if you grew up in the US, you don’t - just saying, not judging - here is a link that includes the basic information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Army_Faction
What it doesn’t include is what it felt like when you heard on the news or read in the paper about their latest attack and to be out and about and run into a road block by the police. You also must know that guns are not in the hand of ordinary citizens ever. Very few people are allowed to won a gun. Mostly, it is the military, police, and hunters that are licensed by the Government.
Seeing guns freely on display always invoked fear - even more so for somebody like me who grew up very close to the border to East Germany and the minefields, barbed wire fences, and watchtowers populated with soldiers with the order to kill if someone dared to try to escape East Germany.
Guns always had a negative connotation.
Also, the police could search your place anytime they wanted if they suspected an involvement with a terrorist group.
A little thing like having a boyfriend who wasn’t a German national but came from a country considered part of the East was enough to trigger such a visit.
How do I know that? Personal experience - and that is all I want to say about that topic.
At the same time, I fully subscribed to the idea that we need change - not by violence, I want to add here. I liked the love idea much better.
My point - lots of indoctrination and such to create a certain amount of fear of and simultaneously contempt of authority.
Phew - that took a lot of words to explain that bit.
Now bringing it back to experiences that relate more to what Paul Wheaton has to say.
When I found myself pregnant in the US, I started to hear all kinds of horror stories about awful birth experiences in hospitals. I was shocked and scared at the same time!
Luckily, at the same time, I found out about the option to have a home birth and met some people who had their babies at home and all was fine.
Soon, I was connected to a midwife (illegal to be assisting a birth - called practicing medicine without a license.)
I loved her. For sure a Hippie married to a former musician husband. I ended up giving birth at here assistance’s house and had a beautiful experience.
I mention the assistant here because of the sentence above in parenthesis . She later became a midwife in her own practice and ended up going to jail for a few years. There is so much I want to say about that, but just giving you the facts right now.
Just in case you never had a baby, let me tell you what that is like.
You end up with the most precious, delicate, mysterious little thing you can imagine and all you want to do is to protect and nurture and love it.
Especially, if you are having your first baby, it is a great mystery to read all the signs correctly. Is the baby still alive? You might find yourself checking on the sleeping little person every 10 minutes or so — the time when you really should be sleeping since you just went through the biggest workout of your lifetime. Believe you me, a marathon is nothing compared to giving birth. I have done both - I know.
When the baby doesn’t sleep, it often cries. And that is equally disturbing as having to check every second if the sleeping beauty is still breathing.
Now, you shove your huge, engorged breasts into the baby’s mouth. Is there milk coming out? Too much? Is it chocking? Not enough? Is it starving!
And you sit up to nurse the little one. Then, it peed. Do I change it now or am I a bad mother if I'll wait a little?
Oh, it is all so complicated!!!
The best advice my midwife gave me was this.
Relax, take the baby to bed with you and sleep when the baby sleeps.
That was on day 5 of my son’s life and probably at day 5 of me not sleeping at all.
New moms and zombies have a lot in common.
The advice saved me, but it made us a family with a family bed — something a lot of people this day and age are not familiar and comfortable with. Many are outright uncomfortable with the idea, or worse, have a certain amount of outrage about it since it falls outside of their norms.
I also got involved in La Leche League and prolonged breastfeeding made a lot of sense as well.
Arghh!! The idea of a little boy on a boob that is older than 6-month, or a year, or two years… Shocking, people!! Shocking!
Tomorrow, I will tell the story of the burned baby.
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