Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

It’s Free

Posted: August 4, 2014 in Life, Mexico, Nature
Tags: , , , , , ,

Lately, I’ve been experiencing some weather-incited nostalgic thinking. I find it odd because it’s as humid as the tropics and I live in Los Angeles.

It isn’t that I’ve never experienced humidity in my hometown, but the norm is dry heat. Southern California is in fact a desert.

Anyway, back to the nostalgia. I lived in Torreon Coahuila , Mexico for one year as a teenager. Flash floods were common on my grandparents street. Is was major boulevard with a hospital across the street.

The humidity was annoying, but the mosquitos were the worse. They ate me up alive even after I used ‘la bomba’ on my bedroom. This was my ineffective weapon.

La Bomba

Still, I loved the smell of an impending storm. I would hang out in the blue white tile courtyard. It boasted a productive lime tree.

The old fashioned washing machine (complete with a ringer) was underneath a corrugated metal roof. I loved the sound of the roof as the rain came down.

All my senses were in different realms or dimensions when it rained in Torreon. And when the rain left me I faced a dry, plain reality.

Before I met my husband I lived in a Pasadena house with roommates. We had a concrete slab porch. I used it to smoke my cigarettes on the coveted porch. Porch, smokes and a crazy humid thunderstorm was sheer joy to me.

Today I’m free of smokes and mosquitos, yet part of me stays in those places. I, of course, got into the rain to drench myself. I think everyone should succumb to the elements for a while. It’s free.

 

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As a young girl growing up the poverty-stricken neighborhoods of L.A. I dreamt of travel to interesting places. I was sure that I would never see my fantasy locations given my background.

Nonetheless, I sought out photos of New York and the Hawaiian islands. I interrogated anyone that every went there and the typical oohs and aahs followed.  

As I immersed myself in books (encyclopedias) I found my list expanding to Australia, Egypt, Cuba, UK and France. The world in general became more real to me at a young age.

So I sought out libraries, museums and gardens. My mother took me to the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA http://www.huntington.org/. They had a Japanese garden that transported my mind to beautiful classic Japan.

I actually developed a crush on King Tut and the very fictional Aladdin. It’s funny how a child’s mind works. I wonder if kids ever think this way.

When I met my husband in 1999 he took me to New York to meet his parents. I was an 8 years-old in a 39 year-old’s body for a few days. Less than a year later we were on our honeymoon in Maui.

I got to see the twin towers from the top of the Empire State building before the horror of 9/11. I got to touch a banyan tree that was living like a forest. A few years ago, we went to the island of Kauai and saw the Pacific’s mini Grand Canyon and took a boat ride on Hawaii’s only navigable river.

The 8 year-old me could never fathom such treasures in the world. I hope there are kids of all ages that feel the way I do. This way of thinking fosters wonderment, tolerance, joy and concern for the world. We all need that to avoid living in a self-imposed jail. 

 

 

 

 

Yes, I’m in that mood.  Chuckle, chuckle! I hope people laugh. Not really. I laughed already. Hee, hee.

Hey, Texas. The Inquisition called. They want their toys and humanity back.

Hey GOP. The Black (Bubonic yes, it’s a science word) Plague called. It’ll see you soon!

Hey, V. Putin. 80s Communism called. It wants you to stop pretending its the 80’s!

Hey, Democrats. The jellyfish called. They said not having a spine is no excuse for being utterly pathetic!

Hey, Obamacare. Republican voters called using a voice-changing device. They want you around … forever!

Hey, Michelle Bachmann. Hoover called. They want the vacuum in your head back.

Hey, MySpace. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn called. They said get off the net or they’re going to put you in a hurt locker!

Hey, Gas guzzling old ass cars. Green America called. It said it will destroy you by any means necessary. So drive at your own risk!

Hey, snotty American tourists. Europe repeatedly called. They want their continent back and free from dirty American immigrants!

 

 

 

 

Last night, I watched the show Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey with Neil de Grasse Tyson. It reminded me of my childlike awe about the world and space.

Prior to seeing Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, I came to a theory on the nature of the entirety of all that we are and all that we see.

As a very young girl, I use to go to the beach. I looked at the grains of sand and concluded that it was impossible to count them all on that beach. Then I thought of all the other beaches and the ocean floor.

I surmised that there are worlds that man can never see or calibrate. It didn’t scare me, but it let me know where I stood in the world and universe.

It wasn’t long before I looked up in the night sky and realized that it has no borders. I knew I couldn’t see everything and again, it humbled me.

It’s easy to call powerful men of politics and wealth ‘masters of the universe’ . The truth is they and everyone else, are tiny specks in the grand scheme of things.

I think that people forget or ignore this basic fact. As wondrous as mankind’s accomplishments are, we will never be  ‘masters of the universe’ .

Mankind is far too petty, scared, closed-minded and selfish to be masters of anything. I guess that is just our nature . We tend to lose as quickly as we gain.

How I wish that powerful men could pick up a grain of sand and realize that they’re looking at themselves. I think we all occasionally need that perspective.

Lately, I’ve been internalizing a lot of the wrong that occurs in the world. This isn’t good since I can’t fix the world. My disgust is rather pointless. Plus, it’s harmful to me.

So, I’m going to reflect on the wonderful things I’ve witnessed in my life. Even now, I am astonished at how or why I was able to experience such beauty.  My start in life was poverty and it stayed that way for most of my life.

That said, anything that was free and beautiful in Los Angeles was experienced by me. My mother made sure of that. I went to museums, rose gardens, Japanese gardens, tide pools on the beach and lovely parks.

My first real opera was Georges Bizet’s Carmen. I was in awe of Carmen, of course. After the opera, the actors/singers joined the patrons.

Without even thinking, I rushed up to the lead mezzo-soprano who played Carmen and told her she was beautiful and amazing. My mother came behind me and apologized for my rudeness.

My opera goddess gave me a hug and a kiss. Then she proceeded to introduce me to the cast. I was dizzy with sensory overload. I was between 8 and 10 years old when this glorious event occurred.

I have been to several museums in my life and most have truly humbled me. Still, there is just one painting at The Getty Center in Los Angeles at connects with me deeply.

Portrait of Leonilla, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn by Franz Winterhalter is a bold and brazen portrait of a woman in charge. Sadly, the Getty won’t let me publicize it. So click to the link below.

http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=910

I have always loved history, preferably world history. My childish mental time travel reached back to medieval Europe and ancient Egypt, Rome and Greek.

I saw museum artifacts as physical bits of history. The thought of objects surviving hundreds of years amazes me to this day. Man can create wonderful things and just as easily destroy it.

Thankfully, there are places in the world that live on genuine kindness, joy and peace. I have been to places in Mexico, Hawaii and elsewhere that reaffirm my faith in humanity. I think that is worth more than all the museums combined.

 

 

 

Now that the government shutdown is over, perhaps there are a few programs that could probably be cut. This one’s for the Grover Norquist disciples of America.

Abandon Infant program – this also pays for HIV/AIDS training for the foster care system too. Just give the dead already kids  some Robitussen, have them watch TV and call it a Life, right?  As far as the rejected infants, they’re better off in heaven, right?

There are over 20 federal programs that fund child nutrition, welfare, education, health, safety and parental training. Since many pro-lifer are also Tea party gunmen, what should these women and children do?

Homeland Security – GW Bush’s birth child. It’s an elephant in the budget jungle. Screw it! We’ve got militias, NRA and beer guzzling hunters to protect us.

Center For Disease Control And Prevention – OMG, it’s the science freaks trying to scare us. If I can’t see it, it can’t hurt me! Besides, God loves His people and will protect them. Period.

Coal Miner’s Workers’ Compensation and Coal Miner’s Respiratory Impairment Treatment Clinic – Who wants to cut this one? They knew the job was dangerous when they took it, right?

Veterans Administration and Disabled Veterans Outreach Program – Cut these? I DARE YOU! I don’t care what race they are, what God they pray to or what sexual orientation applies to them. They voluntarily put on the uniform and resolved to take a bullet or bomb for our country!

911, senior housing and assisted living, homeless shelter, FEMA, drug abuse, child abuse, runaways, fish and wildlife and our beloved Social Security / MEDICARE  all suckle from the same teat.

It is impossible to live in America without using a government sponsored program. The road you drive on and the clean air you breath is there because of Washington.  Mr. Norquist’s famous line is, my goal is to cut government in half  in 25 years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in a bathtub. So grab your scissors and make the government small enough to drown, right?

Kauai

Kauai

Nearly every day, to go to my Bing search engine to research random stuff. Without fail, Bing puts out stunning photos of our planet’s natural sacred grounds.

It’s common for me to be burdened with some type of fog that forces me to gloss over meaningful things. Yes, Bing images are meaningful to me.

Life is meaningful and nature is Life. Photographers are time, breath and emotion catchers. I have much respect for their craft.

I am not a seeker of just beautiful or awe-inspiring images either. In publications or otherwise, I seek relevance, cohesion and the key to my self-imposed mental jail.

I love the messiness of me, my world and this battling planet. Everyone fights. Even the earth beneath our feet rages on. Nothing ever stands still for us or anything.

With all this kinetic energy, it’s easy to move waywardly with or without intent. See how easily I go off on a tangent?!  Just one of my bipolar quirks.

I need to look for urban and rural magnificence and silliness. I need to show love in my demeanor, words, deeds and spirit. It makes me and those around me happy, for a while at least.

Clearly, this (like most) post is very self-indulgent. I guess what I’m saying is that I am guilty. I’m guilty of throwing away a handful of oohs and aahs. But I did find my slice of Kauai. Enjoy the view.