Wilderness — A Meditation

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Us vs. Them

Guess I have to admit that this is how I divide up the world and just recently I have been faulted for my divisiveness.  Not quite sure how to respond.  Have to admit who I am.  Not sure I want to change.  I don't see the world in black and white, but I do see the world from the point of view of those who are willing to take part in community, to put the good of the whole before the needs of the one.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I don't expect you to go without food or shelter so that another can have both.  I don't expect you to give up your bed or your last warm jacket on a cold night.  But, I do expect each of us to give what we can, not to hold onto undue amounts of goods at the expense of others who have none.

I do believe that those who by wit or inheritance or hard work have accumulated a living circumstance that is far and away above those of another who has been less wise, less lucky in parentage, or inability or inclination to work as hard ought to share a bit of their wealth so that all may live, perhaps meagerly, but live with less hardship.

I think of the jews who actively in Concentration Camps worked with the Nazii comanders to prey on the lives of other jews who could not care for themselves.  What kind of individuals are those folks?  I don't understand their inclination for survival that they would destroy others who like themselves are discriminated against in order to live a bit longer, eat an extra piece of bread, or pull a cover over their bodies in the midst of winter.

I do understand the intrinsic desire to survive, but I wonder about those of us who survive at the expense of others.  I am surely confused about the human condition in these terms. 

I think those who prey are wrong.  I think those who use others to further their own prospects are evil. I have no desire to pretend that life is a 'fair' or 'even' battle. That another's position on this issue is acceptable. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Climate Reality Science

 Excellent video concerning the propaganda concerning the issue of Climate Change

Remember the lives of billions are at stake!  Check it out and insist that your legislator deal with the crux of the issues.

Link below

VOTE - Heide Heitcamp - - - - - -North Dakota's Best for the Senate

Heidi Heitcamp has been labeled the underdog since the beginning of her campaign for the Senate. 

Her opponent was so 'cock' sure of winning that he didn't even begin to campaign until the last week or so and what a smear job it's been.  Lies come in my mail everyday.  I don't mean in my e-mail.  I mean in my post office box.  Ugly, hateful, untruthful flyers on glossy black paper sit atop my otherwise expected mail.

The people of North Dakota have surprised me in the past and I'm sure hoping they will once again surprise the national pundits who have pulled millions of dollars into this race in an attempt to keep their phoney balooney fella in Washington.  This guy voted every time in support of the Tea Party agenda.  Didn't matter who else was affected, his vote went with the folks who pay less taxes than the rest  of us.

I am so hoping that just as they saw through the Koch brothers attempt to outlaw property taxes so that their corporations could pay less and less and less to do business in North Dakota that the voters here will see through the storm and druum of this latest campaign and vote for Heidi.

She's intelligent, compassionate, energetic, a woman who balances her work in such a way as to do the very best for the very largest number of us here in North Dakota.

VOTE out the wormy wrich..VOTE in the intelligent problem solver...Heidi Heitcamp

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Winter Slips Across the Border Just Ahead of All Hallows Day

Autumn is slipping into the background.  Cold breezes slide across the Canadian border to chill our enthusiasm for all things outdoors.  The Australian continues his schedule.  Today he pressure washed the second side of the Memorial Hall roof  in preparation for reslurrying the surface.  He does all this in the midst of sprinkles of snow and less than 40 degrees of fahrenheit temperatures.  The man has an internal heater beyond my imagination.

At the same time, I find myself recovering from my second bout with flu and snotty sinuses...but both are on the better side of improvement.  I actually slept almost all last night in a reclining position, impossible for the previous six nights.  Hooray for recovery.

There is much to do to prepare for the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting tomorrow night.  However, the hard stuff is completed.  Talked with the City Attorney this afternoon.  He is ready to read our work to determine if it is legally accurate.

The snow birds are packing up and heading south. Some geese visit the slough, a few mallards remain, but generally the feathered flock is missing from the view of my upstairs window.  Hopefully moose season has come to an end.  Deer will be next - lovely fawn eyes will soon be more careful about where they take their daytime naps.

And we, we are busy preparing soups and bread pudding to sustain us on the shorter and shorter days and longer and longer nights.

I am feeling positive, pleased that our community is supporting action that will keep us on the track to growth.  More and more folks are becoming involved, each with an agenda, most of which are thoughtful and positive.  Looks like we may weather this 'oil boom' in the 'patch' and come out the other side happier with the results than any of us thought we would be.  Listening to dissenting voices sharing their points of view is one of the perks of volunteering.  We are blessed.

It is with sadness that I report that early this morning it was discovered that we lost the wisdom of Marlowe Koster.  May he meet his beloved wife quickly in the place upon which I am sure they agreed I will miss him and only wish that I had known her.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

You Want Something Exciting?

Good luck cause I'm not so sure that I have exciting tonight.  Spent the afternoon repainting three walls of our house Manhatten Mist - that's a super pale blue/white. Actually, I was just trying to cover the insect poop that scoured the beautiful cedar boards of the house. 

I kept trying to remember the last time I had painted the house and seems to me it was three years ago. The gusty winds, sleet, and winter temperatures take a huge toll on the 100 year old cedar even though we had scraped it entirely before priming and repainting it the first time. 

It does look lovely though - it's the kind of lovely that others won't understand.  I mean, from the street you can't tell that I did anything, but up close and personal, like standing at the front door with hand raised to ring the bell, you'd notice that the cobwebs and insect poop no longer decorate like Christmas Wreaths.

The real results though have to do with my very tired upper body - you know the muscles we use to paint - over and over and over again..My neck knows it has had a work out.  Sleep will be much appreciated eager to hit the flannels for a change.

Hope you are well..we expect snow and sleet on Monday with more on Tuesday and Thursday.  Winter is upon the border.  Last wind dried sheets have been washed and dried in the breeze and returned to the beds this late arvo...Fragrance to die for will sooth our tired muscles and woo us into blissful sleep..May your either be the same or may you have awakened from such lovely sleeping accommodations.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Christianity - One More Extremist Point of View

"I believe it to be a great mistake to present Christianity as something charming and popular with no offense.... We cannot blink at the fact that gentle Jesus meek and mild was so stiff in his opinions and so inflammatory in his language that he was thrown out of church, stoned, hunted from place to place, and finally gibbeted as a firebrand and a public danger. Whatever his peace was, it was not the peace of an amiable indifference." - Dorothy Sayers

Monday, October 15, 2012


Been busy, sorry to have missed you all week.  Happens that way every now and again.  Story is too complex to tell right now, but laters I will attempt to share the turmoil of life in small town prairie America...complete with avatars to protect the innocent and destroy the evil perpetrators.

But the point of this post is to alert you to the fact that I intend to begin an ezine to promote my latest writing, maybe all my writing.  I'm not at all sure of how to do this; I suspect I'll have to begin with some personal stuff.  A dozen poems or something like that, but maybe just a comment or five about complexity will work.

After all, I've been an English teacher for so long I've actually forgotten how not to be.  That's a start, methinks.  Just methunk that, by the way.

Any ideas you have of how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.

I suspect that first of all I need a catchy title. Something like Annie on Art.  You don't like that one?  Sigh..well how do you like the most recent title of my most important work - The Veteran Abecedarian, An Ironic Tale?

That could be the title, Abecedarian, and it would be a real reflection of just how new this whole idea is to me.  I may give it a go and then I may not.  Gheese..hard to make up my mind.

In the meantime, we may be changing residences sooner than we anticipated and then again we may not.  We'll know for sure on Monday night.  Tune in.  I'll try to post the outcome.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

A Letter to the Editor

Dave Caldwell
Lifestyle Editor
Minot Daily News
301 4th Street SE
Minot, ND 58702

Dear Dave,
I'm aware that folks in northwestern North Dakota quilt.  And after a visit to Bernina Plus on Main Street in Minot I have a much better understanding of why those quilters choose  this well stocked shop.

On Saturday afternoon I stopped in because my beautiful $500 nylon/goose down winter jacket sprang a leak as I stepped out of Menards at the other end of town.  Down sprang from the tear in the breast of my jacket and danced in the wind. 

I pulled the jacket off, wrapped it into a ball and stuck it behind the passenger seat of my SUV just before I headed downtown to the Gourmet Chef shop for three pounds of the best espresso beans  in town for my coffee maker.

I headed for my car, shivering without my warm downy jacket. There I was standing before Bernina Plus, a shop I hadn't noticed previously. As I entered, it appeared no one was home.  I wandered down the narrow hallway decorated with appealing, colorful quiltsas a smiling fellow stepped out of the office and offered assistance.

I explained my dilemma.  He suggested I check out the black fabric in room #2. I explained I had not brought my jacket into the shop because the flighty down would have covered his merchandise.

He urged me to bring in the jacket after I selected a quarter yard of fabric at a cost of sixty cents,
sprayed it with fabric adhesive, and on his Bernina sewing machine hemmed a slice of my just purchased fabric and then sewed the patch onto my jacket.

Gary Pickett, sewing machine repairman extraordinaire and North Country Express's steel guitar player not only saved me $500- the cost of a new North Face Down Jacket, he made a fast friend and a loyal customer.  His kind consideration, charming sense of humor, and excellent problem solving are certainly the stuff of North Dakota merchants. 

I applaud his business acumen and his skill as a human being.  May the shop prosper.  You ought to stop in next time you have a fabric problem that needs solution. In the meantime, I hope you will include my letter in the Lifestyles section of the paper.  These folks deserve a vote of approval in this election season.

Sincerely, Annielaural


Puffy whites are surfing the vast blue above my window this morning.  Temps are warm by October prairie standards - at least this year.

Rain peppered the blue spruce last night, just enough to break the long autumn drought.  The lilacs are still green despite an almost killing frost a few days back.

All the potted plants including the tomatoes that still have fragile yellow blossoms on board are slurping up the filtered sunshine slipping between clouds through my cathedral windows.  Only issue is dragging the water up from the reverse osmosis machine in the kitchen to make sure everyone is fully wet.

Life is good.  No complaints.  Lots to consider as tonight is the Planning and Zoning meeting.  Preparations are under way to take a long look at what 'single family residental' areas ought to look like.

Hope your world is as comfy and lovely as ours. Be well

Monday, October 08, 2012

Letter to Dorothy Ann

Friday I attended a workshop on therapy for trauma in Tioga, North Dakota.  For me it became an opportunity to deal with the current effects of a difficult childhood.  At seventy-two (almost) I am still harboring strong abandonment issues.  Seems like I ought to be 'over it' by now, but it also appears that what we are learning about the brain suggests that there is a timeless element to our memories, especially those associated with trauma that has occurred at any time in our life.

At the instruction of our facilitator, Dale, I jotted a paragraph or so about an event from my childhood that was the first memory I have of experiencing the emotions attendant on abandonment and over eating. 

Let me digress for a moment and explain that I was born just as WW2 was fomenting. When I was one year old, my father enlisted in the army and subsequently travelled to England and France as a supply sergeant with the Allied forces.  My mother enlisted as well - as Rosie the Riveter.  She worked on a B-52 assembly line located in a factory seventy-five miles from my home.  I was boarded with a family  who cared for me for the next four years.

When I turned six, I was allowed to rejoin my birth family.

When I was seven we moved to a new home that was under construction.  One spring afternoon, returning from school, I climbed down the bus steps and found myself alone at home.  No parents nor sister manifested as I searched the house.

Here is where I believe my 'eating' disorder - my current chronic condition- first manifested.  Frightened that I had once again been 'left behind', I pulled a loaf of bread off the counter, pulled a chair over to the cupboard, pried open a jar of homemade strawberry jam (which still today I really don't like) and slathered the bread with red stuff.  I then reached for the sugar bowl and heaped a tablespoon or four of white sugar onto the mess.  Climbing down, I smushed the two pieces of white bread together, licked my fingers and headed for the crawl space beneath the unfinished portion of our house.  There I sat for a long time consuming the mess I had just concocted to squelch the emotional rampage that attacked my psyche.

Then, I didn't realize what I was doing, but I do recall calming down as I licked the last bits of jam off my fingertips.

I have no memory of the return of my mother and sister to our home that day.  I suspect I was so full or so high on sugar that nothing else quite mattered.

To this day, when emotional turmoil attacks - especially the kind associated with a sense of being abandoned - over eating is my default reaction.

With that background, I now wish to share the next step in the process presented by our facilitator. He asked me to write a note to the 'inner child' who suffered in this moment of my past life and offer compassion and succor and proctection.  I did so.

After re-reading my 'adult' letter to my 'inner child', the third step was to move the pen or pencil to the non-dominant hand and ask the 'inner child' to respond. 

Tears manifested.  Lots of tears.  Nonetheless, it was a satisfying opportunity.  I am so glad my friend, the Tioga chiropractor Sharon Kreiger, invited me to attend this meaningful workshop.

Much good has occurred.  Much more good will occur as I continue to write to my 'inner child' and offer her the compassion and protection of my 'older' self.

 You may wish to try the process out yourself.  Hopefully, it will open an avenue for you, as well.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

The 545...

  • 545 vs. 300,000,000 People
    -By Charlie Reese

    Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

    Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

    Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

    You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.

    You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

    You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

    You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

    You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

    One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

    I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

    I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

    Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

    What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

    The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

    It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

    If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

    If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

    If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ...

    If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

    There are no insoluble government problems.

    Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators,
    to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.
    Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

    Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

    They, and they alone, have the power.

    They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

    Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees...

    We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

    Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.