Posts Tagged 'Freedom'

“I’m Dappled and Drowsy And Ready For Sleep”

Between work and homework and a late-wake-up-morning, and allergies (just shoot me) it’s been a long day.  But not in all a bad day; namely a tiring one.  But there is always, always a silver lining.

This morning, whilst looking for my “photo of the day,” I found myself at a loss and turned once again to knick-knacks, of which I have many.  I closed in on the image you see above.  It’s a tree, with the branches made of wire and the leaves made from stones.  There used to be more of it, but I cut off one of the branches and gave it to a friend when I was younger.  I won this knick-knack in a raffle in sixth grade, and I saved up tickets for it for months.  I wanted it so very badly.  I was bidding for it against a friend, whom I liked, but not enough to just surrender.  In this end, obviously, I got it, and I cut off one of the branches and gave it to her.  My sixth grade teacher said she brought it from Brazil (where she had lived, briefly) and I think that the idea of owning something from a different continent allured me more than anything else, though the tree is truly lovely.  As you can see in the image, it has amassed a lot of dust over the last nine years, but it’s still one of my favourite knick-knacks.  Thinking about it and it’s simplistic beauty and middle school this morning made me happy.

This evening, I looked out the window at work shortly before sunset, and the sky was marvellous.  There were huge cumulus clouds perched in the sky, and they were tinted not just one colour, but a rainbow of colours.  The upper tips of the clouds were gold, and that faded down to a soft pink.  In front of them, there were splashes of darker cirrus clouds.  It was really beautiful, and they looked that was for nearly an hour.  I wanted to kick myself for not having my camera with me.  I wonder if anyone else noticed them?

The last few minutes of a night often present themselves with the greatest challenges.  After dealing with a few people who I’d rather punch than smile at, I was able to leave and I stepped, flustered, into the sticky, humid night.  My summer coolant is the driver’s side window rolled down (something’s wonky about the passenger’s side), so I impressed upon that and tried to position myself so the headlights of the impatient driver behind me weren’t in my eyes.  Even though the humidity and the bright lights bothered me, I was comforted by the music.  Usually, I don’t have a lot of faith in my Zen’s shuffle feature (it likes to play the same few songs every two or three songs) but tonight, it was great.  It started with “Echo Park” by Ryan Cabrera, a song that reminds me of the image of standing on a ledge by the ocean and feeling the wind in my hair.  Second was “To Life” from Fiddler on the Roof.  That song has many memories attache to it, all good.  Third was “Kodachrome” by Simon and Garfunkel.  The first line of that song always makes me grin: “when I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.”  I sometimes feel that way about life in general.  Fourth, also Simon and Garfunkel, was “Feelin’ Groovy”.  The title of this entry comes from that song, as well as the telling line “slow down, you move to fast”.  A good reminder.  And as I pulled into my driveway, “Curve of the Earth” by Matt Nathanson, one of my top five favourite songs, came on.  So, after a long, flustered day… Zen- thank you for the music.

I had a peculiar dream last night that has been haunting me all day.  See, I never have recurring dreams, but I have a few very vivid recurring places and faces.  Last night’s dream was a recurring place and face.  I guess I’ve taken too many psychology classes, or maybe Inception still has me thinking about dreams… but I can’t get the images out of my head.  I can only remember glimpses, in bright, beautiful colour, and feelings.  Very few words, and definitely no “plot”.  I really enjoy dreaming because it gives me a beautiful world to escape into and harp on all day.  And, thank goodness, I rarely have nightmares.

Tonight, I hope that same dream visits me again; which it’s sunshiney neighborhood and the big grey house, the tall man with brown hair, and the fields of blueberry bushes.  In my dreams, I feel like a queen, and there’s nothing to bring me down or hold me back.  I am completely free.

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“Nobody Here But Us Trees.”

Middle School lunch with Jon and Andy

“Always the innocent are the first victims…. So it has been for ages past, so it is now.” ~ J.K. Rowling in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could hide away from the world, and have it dismiss you?  Have it say, “oh, that’s okay, I guess you’re really not here.”  The title of the blog entry comes from the movie Bunny Picnic.  Another Jim Henson masterpiece, I grew up on that movie.  It was mine and my brother’s Easter movie (though we were firmly reminded that Easter had nothing to do with bunnies, that was the Roman’s bright idea).  Bunny picnic is about a colony of rabbits preparing for the biggest holiday of their year.  You follow the character Bean, a ragamuffin brown rabbit who is always breaking things.  Purposefully, the other rabbits keep sending him somewhere else- they don’t want his help, he’ll break something!  Eventually what ends up happening, is a dog ends up at the Bunny Picnic!  Everyone is terrified of the dog, and they’re all hiding, and he’s going to not only ruin their holiday, but eat them all!  Om, nom, nom!  They need to make the dog go away, so a lot of the rabbits hide in the trees, and when the dog asks if there are rabbits there, Bean and the other tree-ridden rabbits respond “Nobody here but us trees.” and the silly dog believes them.  Wouldn’t it be nice if life was just that simple?

Only the sad fact is, life isn’t that simple.  Everybody wants something of us.  One of my managers usually spends Sunday running around complaining that everyone she talks to wants something from her.  I can’t really argue with her- it’s absolutely true.  We really don’t have our own lives.  It’s funny, the idea of independence is incredibly ironic, because in order to become independent from our families and go out into the world on our own, we have to heap on a bunch of responsibility.  Suddenly we have rent to pay, car payments, insurance payments, groceries, utilities, things like that.  Those are financial commitments, and by the time that we’re done paying off things, we have measly pennies left to ourselves.  And what of time commitments?  Working forty hours a week, if you’re lucky.  If you’re like most people, you have a second job because the first doesn’t pay enough or the hours are inconsistent.  Usually you work between forty and sixty hours a week between the two jobs, just trying to make ends meet.  When you get home, you’re too exhausted for anything.  Or, if you’re like me, you try to pursue your passions in the little free time you have.  Maybe you’re part of community theatre.  Maybe you volunteer somewhere.  One way or the other, your calendar is full.  It’s to the point where spending time with friends is just another time commitment, and there’s no end in sight.  Whatever happened to recess?  Summer vacation?

Childhood is where it’s at.  It was an age of innocence and joy.  Mum and dad fed you and clothed you, and the worst thing you had to worry about was bullies.  Your world was the playground.  When you were on those swings, you pumped as hard as you could until you reached the top and you felt your swing bounce just a little and you knew if you went much higher, you’d flip over and get hurt.  But it was the rush of the wind that made it all worthwhile.  You go through your school work because there was the promise of recess, of weekend, of summer vacation on the other side.  That made it worthwhile.  Elementary and middle school were dream worlds.  Oh yes, I said middle school.

Middle school is what you make of it.  It could be the awkward pimply hormonal stage of life, or it can be magnificent.  You wouldn’t have to pay me to go back and relive my middle school years.  I loved them.

Sixth grade I ended up with what I anticipated was going to be the worst teacher ever, and ended up to be one of my favourite teachers ever.  I ended up with none of my friends in that class, but I was at an age when I had no issues making new friends, and I ended up with Caitlyn, who to this day (goose, ten years later) is still very dear to me.  From her, I gained Jon and Andy.  And others.  In sixth grade, we were the most popular people in school.  I can’t even begin to describe all the memories.  Shutting Jon’s finger in the window (oops, teehee), listening to Andy sing the Beach Boys all the time (he’ll deny that now), signing things to Caitlyn in class one letter at a time (to this day, I still don’t know anything more than letters in Sign Language).  That’s just the tip of the ice berg.  I could honestly keep going forever, and just about sixth grade.

Seventh grade was just as good.  Some crazy person put all of us in the same homeroom (thanks Ms. Cass and Mrs. Gitchell!!!!) and I couldn’t’ve been happier.  There were always the lonely moments (I still have a grudge against my parents for letting me go to neither Nature’s Classroom nor Sergeant Camp, but I understand now that we really just couldn’t afford it).  But there was also yard-stick battles before school started, and Groovy!  The Musical, and all the little moments.  Superrally was fun, even with our vagabond group of friends.  In seventh grade I went to see the Attack of the Clones primere at 2am, and went to school for testing the next day (I’m stubborn).  I remember walking into the classroom and Jon looking up from his test and mouthing “how was it?”.  Teehee.  And of course the marriage project.  Oh, that may have been eighth grade.  Either way, it was funny.

In eighth grade someone remedied our sixth grade teachers’ kindness and put the four of us in different homerooms.  There was orienteering, which is probably the highlight of eighth grade for me.  The looming prospect of high school.  High school changes the innocent things.  I’d still rather redo high school than be in college, but nonetheless… it made everything separate.  Everyone put up walls.  We didn’t like each other- we tolerated each other.  It could have been the beginning of the end.  If we let it.  I think that I let it.

One of the rules of high school is that you start over.  It’s a bad rule.  It should be changed.  Friends in high school are sewn together by deceit and desperation.  In middle school and high school, it’s because of commonalities and genuine interest.  After you graduate high school, you laugh and reminisce about your middle school friends, but you kindly avoid and secretly dislike your high school friends.  At least, that was the case with me.  Of the few friends I made in high school, I tolerate them.  I don’t dislike all of them, but they all feel awkward.  Like a shirt that’s just a little bit too tight.  I’m much more inclined to want to reconnect with my middle school friends.

Then again, I’ve always been one to hold on to the past.  I like my concept of innocence.  I like freedom of mind and heart.  If I could get it back, I would, but the funny thing about innocence is that it’s exclusive to children.  I can be silly all I want, watch Disney movies, hang out with people younger than me.  Those things are fun and I enjoy doing them, but they won’t give me innocence back.

The Human as a Machine

Playing video games in a pizza parlour in Plymouth.

“I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

I live in the United States and I am fortunate. I’ve always had a home, enough food to survive, warmth in the winter, and clothing. I’ve had all my essentials and more.  I am aware of the state of living in places like Bangladesh and it is not my intention to belittle their suffering.  I only speak from my own experiences.  My experiences are from the point of view of someone living in the low class of a first world country, and I am certain that the experiences of others in a different country are much difference and most likely worse than mine.

I work in corporate retail.  Where doesn’t matter.  We’re doing a little “reorganising” in my department and I was harshly warned by my manager today that even a pen out of place would warrant a write-up.  Anyone not working for themselves knows that a write-up means trouble.  It could be as little as a stern talking to, to getting you fired.  One way or another, if they add up, you will get fired, and you won’t have a friendly reference.  I just cannot help but replay my manager’s warning in my head and feel how ridiculous it sounds.

We as humans are all different creatures.  At the most basic level, we can talk about right-brained and left-brained.  Organised and artistic.  What I hear beneath the words of the warning is that I am going to be “trained” to be efficient, in someone else’s opinion of the word.  I am a fairly organised person, so such rules will effect me far less than other people in my department.  Nonetheless, we are going to be “whipped into shape” or we are going to be without jobs.  Perhaps that sounds a little overdramatic.  But, at the same time, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was completely true.

I have a friend who is ambidextrous now because when she was in kindergarten, she was “whipped into shape” and taught to use her right hand.  And some things never change.

The people with the money and the power get to make the decisions, create the rules.  Yes.  We underlings to have a choice.  We can break away from the rules, get a different job… maybe.  Or, maybe we can go to unemployment, because no where is hiring.  We have a choice.  Adapt and survive, or live free and die.

Humans are machines to those who have the power, and power comes with money.  If you don’t have either, your opinion, values, beliefs… you self has no use.  Conform and survive.  Otherwise you (and I) are of no use.

Step back and think about it.  How does it make you feel that other people get to decide who and what you’re going to be?  You can work hard, so hard that every day, at the end of it all, you hardly have enough energy to swallow a mouthful of bread before collapsing for four hours before going back to work.  How does it make you feel that you can give your all to someone, and still it’s not enough?  That someone else wants to mold you into something they like better?

How does it feel to be a machine?

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Weather ReportWeather Report: It’s as muggy as a rainforest.  One of my Facebook friends said “Welcome to the jungle” to me today in response to my status, and I can’t get that out of my head.  Humidity is so very jungle-like.  The temperature is a lot better today than yesterday, and that makes the humidity more bearable.  I just felt a cool breeze waft in through my window, so I think it’s going to cool down a bit out there.  Got down-poured on earlier.  I loved it for the first five minutes and suffered the last five minutes back to my car.  Some people, you just can’t make happy.

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Health ReportHealth Report: I’ve only had one piece of gum and five Lindor Truffles to eat.  Finished off both of them, so they won’t be a temptation in the future.  I almost went to Rick’s to get a milkshake and stopped myself, which I’m glad I did now.  Looked in the cupboards and didn’t see anything exciting to eat, but I’m tired on my feet.  Feel like I’ve been running around non-stop for four days.  Good exercise, but it’s doing nothing for my stress management.  Especially because my associate review is coming up in a couple weeks.  If I’m stressed, I eat a lot, so I’m worried I’m going to put those five pounds back on.  It took way too long to take them off.

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Financi-SmashFinanci-Smash:  I hit up Turn It Up! today, which is one of my favorite stores.  Scored eight movies (1776, Back to the Future Trilogy, Ned Kelly, Kate & Leopold, Jumanji, Master of Disguise, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Godzilla) and a Frank Sinatra cd.  Coulda kept going, but I cut myself off.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that I’m now down $50.  That leaves me at $20 until Friday.  I need to work on my spending habits.  Should be making good money next week, and won’t go back to Turn It Up!  for a month or so, which is good.  No need to spend anything more this week anyway.

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Social LifeSocial Life: Tomorrow with Sean.  God knows I need some cheering up.  Some stress relief, and Sean’s great for that.  He’s got no worries, no cares.  Then ActingOut tomorrow night.  Let’s hope it’s really stress relief.  I don’t need anymore stress.


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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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