Sunday, July 21, 2013

Who goes there?

Who goes there? hankering, gross, mystical, nude;
How is it I extract strength from the beef I eat?
What is a man anyhow? what am I? what are you?
All I mark as my own you shall offset it with your own,
Else it were time lost listening to me.
I do not snivel that snivel the world over,
That months are vacuums and the ground but wallow and filth.
Whimpering and truckling fold with powders for invalids,
     conformity goes to the fourth-remov'd,
I wear my hat as I please indoors or out.
Why should I pray? why should I venerate and be ceremonious?
Having pried through the strata, analyzed to a hair, counsel'd
     with doctors and calculated close,
I find no sweeter fat than sticks to my own bones.
In all people I see myself, none more and not one a barley-corn less,
And the good or bad I say of myself I say of them.
I know I am solid and sound,
To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow,
All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means.
I know I am deathless,
I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by a carpenter's compass,
I know I shall not pass like a child's carlacue cut with a burnt
     stick at night.
I know I am august,
I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood,
I see that the elementary laws never apologize,
(I reckon I behave no prouder than the level I plant my house
     by, after all.)
I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.
One world is aware and by far the largest to me, and that is
     myself,
And whether I come to my own to-day or in ten thousand or
     ten million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can
     wait.
My foothold is tenon'd and mortis'd in granite,
I laugh at what you call dissolution,
And I know the amplitude of time.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Diseases and Cars

Ahh death.  Our bodies are fickle things that succumb to a variety of ailments.  Worldwide, of the top 20 causes of death for all humans, only one is not categorized as a disease.  Road Traffic Accidents.  2.09% of the world dies because humans operate machines that kill, and unlike all the other diseases that cause death, this is the only one that gets funding that helps to encourage the problem, not address it.  You don't see 5k runs that aim to raise money to stop road traffic deaths from happening.  You don't see doctors doing research about how to cure us from road traffic accidents.  Instead, you see commercials for bigger, faster cars with little computers in the dash that you can play with instead of paying attention.  States build new roads to help ensure that road traffic deaths remain near the top of the list for worldwide deaths.  People cry about guns, people fear the "terrorists", but nobody blinks an eye when they get in a car and have to slow down when they pass another road traffic death.  I could get into the fact that suicide is near the top 20 and not a disease, or rather is and is caused form industrial society and globalization, but this is a rant about vehicles.  When humans operate motor vehicles, 146,300,000 people are killed every year.  Go us.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Rise Up

















Such is the way of the world
You can never know
Just where to put all your faith
And how will it grow?
Gonna rise up 
Burning black holes in dark memories
Gonna rise up
Turning mistakes into gold...

Such is the passage of time
Too fast to fold
Suddenly swallowed by signs
Lo and behold
Gonna rise up
Find my direction magnetically
Gonna rise up
Throw down my ace in the hole

Friday, May 3, 2013

We fight the good fight

I'm not a Roman, but I imagine during the time of the Roman Empire, the typical Roman might not have viewed the government they were controlled by as an empire, only pushing across the world to supports its ideology, monetary wishes, religious choices, etc.  Yet we define them as an empire.   So it makes sense to possibly, just possibly, think of this most amazing, democracy, freedom loving place called America as an empire.  It also stems from this that it's #1 goal, as is the #1 goal of everything on the planet including the planet itself, is self-preservation.  To meet this end, one of the tools of this empire is to quash any and all rhetoric and activities that call into question the American empire and its activities   Hence, the word terrorism.  Acts of wanton violence are of course not good.  Also not good is preventable heart disease, deaths by car accidents, deaths from falling, drowning, suicide, airplane crashes, and even deaths form excessive colds.  All of these, ALL, cause more deaths annually then "terrorism".  Yet interestingly, the amount of money spent combating terrorism versus combating the major causes of death for American citizens  is staggeringly disproportionate.

 
or another way of looking at it:


Why?  What is the purpose of the government using fear to force our military, press, and its citizens to living in a state of perpetual questioning of terrorism and its deadliness while ignoring the actual casuses of death to the citizens of the country?  Who, or what, could benefit from this sort of institution?  Who, or what, seems to benefit from EVERY established institution in this country and who, or what, seems to consistently be at the short of the stick by these institutions?  

When you question  they call you a terrorist.  And they have a pretty big budget to stop people from questioning.  http://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/anti-terrorism-spending-disproportionate-to-threat/   

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Buses, Trains and Automobiles

Melissa in front of her shop
Seems lately then whenever I travel its been by all means of travel except for the bicycle. I've taken buses and trains, and even driven cars to get to some of the places go.  Like my most recent trip to Virginia and West Virginia, Charlottesville and Rock Creek to be specific.
New River, one of the oldest rivers on Earth

My good friend owns and operates the newest consignment sensation to take over Virginia, ReThreads. Naturally, I had to head down to check out this store as I love shopping for clothes.  The man only lets me out of the slave cell for so long, so while a bike ride from NYC to Charlottesville would have been the preferred method of travel, I instead opted for a cheap bus ride to Washington, DC followed by a train ride to Cville.  This takes all day, which seems like a long time but really isn't since I traveled many hundreds of miles in a matter of hours.

After some food and beer and precursory tour of the UVA campus, the next day I went to work while on my little vacation.  I pretty much ran the store from open until I left.  Having an extensive background in women's fashion certainly helped me when the ladies came in asking about what the current rage is.  Purple wind breakers was always my answer.

Later that day we saw some good local/non-local music with the big act being Yarn.  They were a folky americana kinda band and they were pretty darn tootin good.  I felt like a college kid staying out till 1am, and then like a non college kid when I woke up at 7am the next morning.  being that I was already down south, I took a side trip Friday and Saturday to the heart of Appalachia  southern West Virginia to visit a friend who volunteers at the Coal River Mountain Watch.

Located in Rock Creek, West Virginia the good people at Coal River Mountain Watch are fighting the impossibly hard fight against the evil Coal Industry that has plagued the region for nearly 150 years.  Some of the highlights of the coal industries time in Appalachia include: Paint Creek miner strike which the coal industry had a little train come by with machine guns and blast the striking miners and their families in their tents, the Blair Mountain uprising in which striking miners revolted against the coal industry and for days battled with police and coal henchmen and even had army planes attack them.  and of course, ever since the coal industry has been around, they have been destroying the environment and killing the people.  Ahh, thanks coal.
Joe and Cat

Paint Creek

I got to go up and see some mountain top removal, speak with the volunteers, see coal smoot covered miners and of course the pro coal stickers and shirts where everywhere.  There is also an excess of beauty in the region, from the people to the landscape.  I did a small hike with my friend Joe, and also spent the better part of a day chasing a dream along the Paint Creek.  With my time done in Appalachia, I headed back to Cville as Melissa said she didnt know how she had run the store without me before, but now she needed a man to be in charge.  I sighed, knowing that once again i would be a river to my people.
Paint Creek

Sunday was a droopy eyed morning of yard sales and soft carpets, followed by a ungodly amount of indian food followed by a few hours of working at ReThreads and training the newest part time employee, the He/She drinking bird.  Sunday was capped off with a visit to the local carnival where we went on every ride twice, ate cotton candy, funnel cake and butt fries.  Yes, butt fries.

So there you have it, buses, trains and automobiles swooshed me around for a few days and brought me back to NYC.  I of course hope to return to Cville soon, but I also hope to do more traveling by bicycle as the days grow warmer.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's where we hide

I've tried camping through a typhoon.  It destroyed my tent, tore the roof off a shed, and was one of the most amazing nights I've had.  I've been soaking wet and covered in dirt and slept on the cold concrete of a Michigan playground.  Two days later, the sun set over lake Michigan and I only looked forward.  I have found myself in difficult, trying situations often.  And each time, how I choose to deal with the situation got me through and on the other side, there was always light, new wisdom and the gentle nodding of the universe urging me forward.

Seems this orb we call home, for me, has gone around the sun one more time marking yet another orbit in my life.  As the oceans, the tides of life come and go, but the constants is that they never stop.  I could strain my eyes looking back at the trodden path I have walked down, or I could squint ahead to see what is coming around the next curve.  But what I prefer, is to look down, look up, look within and see all that is around me now, where my feet are planted at this moment.

And in this moment, always this moment, I want to find the things that I, we, have hidden between us, in the cracks and shadows.  The fear and anger we flash at each other are masks that need to fade away so that we can support and ground each other.  I want to reaffirm my commitment to developing the compassion to see the light in all, human and non-human, to fully treat others as I would them unto me.  To speak my heart and quiet my mind.  To find my peace in the midst of New York City.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Old Post never Posted

Turns out I wrote about this bike ride I did and never actually published it.  Well, while we can read about the past, be mindful of how you are in the present.  

-----

In New York City, its easy to forget that you live within walking distance of the ocean, of protected salt marshes, of woodlands.  That a day spent noodling around on your bike can take you to vastly different environments all under the NYC umbrella.  I was under the umbrella on Sunday when I spent a day marshaling for the Transportation Alternatives NYC Century Ride. 

It started at 6am.  Normally, I would have been up for hours having done my daily calisthenics and orphanage volunteer work, but this Sunday strangely found me in bed, and I awoke to a slight started at the rambunctious alarm.  Sushing Emily back to sleep, i slipped silently out of the apartment clad in my bike shorts and classic bike touring tank top. 

The air was crisp, my first sweet taste of autumn.  I cycled a few miles to Prospect park, where the ride would start (there was a bigger start over in that other park, Central something or other).  I donned my offical Marshal orange vest, and saddled up for the 106 mile ride through 4 NYC boroughs, beginning in Brooklyn.

There seemed to be over a hundred riders just in the centruy ride alone, and we all left the park in a mass, though the cat 6 Freds soon enough took off to leave us in thier expesnive dust.  We went down towardss Bay Ridge and went under the Verazanno Bridge, towards Coney Island and over the water to the far Rockaways.  Zipping along on the still quite streets, we headed back to the main island main land of Long Island passing through the Jamaca Wildlife Refuge.  From there, well, we sorta meandered in the run down outter waters of Brooklyn, slowly it seemed heading north and east towards what smelled like Queens.

After our first rest stop, with bagels and hummus and tabulou, I was refueled for the next 30 miles to get into Queens.  I knew we were in Queens when I saw a huge globe out in the distance as the old world fair's fairgorunds popped into view.  However, I barely knew i was in Queens, let alone NYC much afterwards.  We rode along bike paths through dense woods, with narey a sound but the insects and far off cries of monkey's and tigers, or thigns that sounded like that.  It was a wilderness, a seeming wilderness at least which in NYC is still pretty good.  We would be in the forest for a while, emerge into some street with houses and lawns and then reneter the forbidden landscape once again.

Eventually, Shea Stadium came into view and we made our way out of Flushing and towards the sound, hugging the salt licked shoreline towards Laguardia airport and into Astoria, for another rest stop.  75 miles deep into the ride, with the sun having shined all day, I was feeling good and little tired, but with only a few more miles to go, it was looking like I'd have this thing wrapped up in no time and still have time to catch an afternoon football game.

But then, the Tri Boro Bridge came.  With many steps up and many steps down, and many bikers, this equaled a slow event with everyone picking up their bikes and walking them up, and eventually down, and in the middle a slow single file ride across the bridge to Randall's Island.  It seems to take forever to make it into the Bronx,  and equally long to bike through and out of the Bronx.  It seemed on every corner there was a traffic inducing festival going on, either Latin or religious or something else themed.  I don't know how anyone gets anything done over there. 

Eventually, after some hills and cheers, we crossed into Manhattan near it's tip and crossed our way over to the East Side Greenway as we zigged and zagged down towards Harlem and made our way, hours after Astoria, to Central Park where the big finish was located.  I was pretty beat at this point but appreciated the effort to have a parade in my honor celebrating the heroic, inspiring deed I just accomplished. 

ReDirect

A major part of Binglism is giving back to the community that supports the Bingle.  And so, it is with this in heart and mind that I redirect your minds to someone else's blog where she is talking up a storm about a major new community hub she is creating via ReThread's.  Check out the amazing work Melissa has been doing to realize her passion (her blog is http://9adventures.wordpress.com).

We move forward and backwards with ease through our mind, but we can only LIVE in one place, this exact moment.  This moment, this right now, is the most amazing thing that can ever be.  Live Now, Be now. Be free.