Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bumper Stickers, Messages, and the Quality of “Wild” –

Today I saw a truck in the shopping center parking lot that was loaded (as is mine, though at the opposite side of the spectrum) with bumper stickers. I did not want to stick around until the truck’s owner showed up – to see his/her face and eyes and countenance.

The messages were pregnant with blatant and bold hate and intolerance. The one that hit me first and hardest was "Liberals are terrorists". Others included a little rhyme, "I won’t hide my white pride", "Seal our borders", and a message that was nastily directed (in a racial sense) at those who voted for President Obama. It saddened me to read them, so I made a conscious effort to re-direct my attention and thoughts to the quest for positive and longed-for solutions to this kind of blind hatred and intolerance. What a wonderful world we could have if we were to replace all hatred with compassion. Picture it!

Bumper stickers are the one way we can and do "advertise" what matters to us, what we believe, the way we think, where our spirit resides. Bumper stickers do affect people who see them. How often have you giggled when you found yourself waiting in traffic in back of a vehicle with humorous bumper stickers? Or shifted your thinking while viewing profoundly inspiring bumper stickers? Seen any political bumper stickers that were either to your liking or kind of got your hackles up?

Most of my bumper stickers are about kindness to animals, compassion in general, love, and beauty. One of them has an inviting message about Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. Another of them (one of my oldest and original bumper stickers that I’ve had to shellac to help preserve it from the elements) says "Wild Women Don’t Get The Blues" (though I assure you they definitely do get the blues). Women tend to like that bumper sticker and view it with humor, sort of in a way that is equal to a wink. During the first couple of years my truck wore the message, I had two incidents involving gentlemen who were incensed by it. One shouted to me in traffic on the Kingston Pike, "You will burn in hell!" The other said something equally harsh about damnation. Another time, in front of the post office on Sutherland, a young man asked, in a very sincere tone, "Is it true that wild women don’t get the blues?" I replied, "It’s not true". He responded in a thoughtful tone and with downcast eyes, "I didn’t think so...wild men get the blues, too". Poor kid, I thought – he must be going through something.

Those zealots of judgement (I like the "e" in the word "judgement") among us who see things totally in polarized black and white – superior and inferior – bad and good – those who put disparaging labels on others for the sake of elevating themselves, apparently equate the word "wild" with "immoral" or "wicked". No! "Wild" means wild – untamed, free, natural, able to make one’s own decisions and travel on one’s own path, able to respect, honor and be at one with nature, able to be humane and human, able to recognize one’s interconnectedness with the rest of creation, able to err and forgive oneself (and others). I will strive to live out my days as a wild woman in all those ways.

Mattresses –

A year or so ago when Jerry bought himself a new mattress, I figured I’d keep up with the Joneses and get one for myself, too. Never mind that my ten or so year-old pink Jamison mattress still was fine. That decision? Bad, bad, bad. I was bad. I bought myself what was touted as a real deal, mattressly speaking. I won’t tell you where it was bought, but the initials BB do come to mind. The delivery men brought in the new sleep pad and carried away my faithful pink Jamison. I promptly had to go to Home Depot and have a thick piece of plywood cut to measurements to fit my bed, under the new mattress (the previous mattress had not needed one).

Today I went to one of the three furniture stores in the area that carry the Jamison brand, blissfully tried out the dozen or so of the samples there, and put in my order for a nice new Jamison. It is is no longer available. Anyway, it is scheduled to arrive next Saturday. Yippee! So, wherever you are, pink 1990s Jamison, I'm sorry I sent you away. Today I tried to set that right.

Our Economy, Ourselves –

Recently, while talking with a friend about the economy, job situation, and such, one of us mentioned that people may now begin (as they did in the "olden" days) to repair and maintain what they have, rather than throwing it away and buying a new one (of anything, but specifically vehicles). My truck is a 1991, which he already knew. As the conversation continued, I ventured that maybe some people snicker about my truck’s age, though not in my presence (because I’m so fiercely in love with my truck, Lance, about whom some of my earlier posts speak). "Well", I said, "we could say that’s how I walk my talk, or in this case, drive my talk". (I'm not shy about airing my disapproval of discarding things instead of maintaining them, of buying a new vehicle every couple of years, of manufacturing gazillions of new cars every year and filling up landfills with cast-offs.) Also, what I was referring to were the twin realities of our population growing exponentially (here in the U.S. as well as in what we think of as third-world countries) and our being among the most insatiable users of resources and a major influence in getting the people of other nations to follow our example as users. All facets of our economy have, over the years, become driven by blatant materialism and keeping the market glutted with products. So now we are seeing that train coming to a screeching halt, even jumping off the track. I often think in terms of imaging and that is the picture our predicament brings to my mind. I believe it will take a major shift in the way we view things and the way we do things ... and setting things in a direction that is more congruent with sincere bipartisan efforts to bridge the chasm between rich and poor.

House Concerts –

I’m getting word out in whatever ways I can that I’m wanting to do house concerts; you could say I’m soliciting them, because I am :) I’m eager to begin doing music performances again – at events, classy venues, people’s homes.

The Tragedy In Australia –

So sad that the people and animals in Victoria State, Australia have been devastated by recent wildfires. Following what must have been a truly hellish scene, the coming together, interaction, and compassion among people and between species, is the one precious and beautiful positive to surface in the aftermath.