Sunday, December 15, 2013

Free to be

Out For The Day

The freedom to be. The freedom to roam, to explore, to enjoy, is the oxygen of creativity. Physically and mentally, this need is the dream dimension where newness is born. Like the birth place of the stars, we all need to nurture our nebula. Our intersellar cloud of ideas.

Every once in awhile, life offers a profound link to something special. I recently came across a unique and beautiful person, Katherine Dunne. She wrote a small treasure of a book, Misfits of Love,

about her brood of animals, rescued from different places, and retired to her sanctuary, Apifera Farm. The book is filled with these lovable characters who finally have a safe place to roam, to explore, to be nutured and to nuture in return.  Katherine is one of those miracles that comes along in life and helps reset our reality as to what really matters; that success and richness have nothing to do with status or money, they have to do with empathy, love and kindness.To learn more about Katherine's work and her brood of misfits please follow this link and experience richness which will fill your heart with love, compassion and joy;

Monday, December 9, 2013

Love Heals

Graffiti Buddha
Have you ever had a dream within a dream? You're awake, barely, and you witness a scene and as you're drifting back down into sleep, somewhere a voice, yours I imagine, tells you, you were asleep, dreaming you were awake and for a split moment, you are awake, realizing you woke to a dream within a dream. 
Scientist now believe there are 11 dimensions, going on simultaneously, from the experience above, I felt I was living in three of those dimensions for just a moment.
If you were to ask an animal, "What time is it?" They would answer, "Now." They live in all 11 dimensions, at once. We, humans, somehow have gotten severed from the "moment". 
If you've been reading my recent posts, which I hope you have, you know I am on a journey to find ways to become a more responsible and educated steward. In John Robbins book, No Happy Cows, he listed a resource where you can find truly cage free,fully beaked, happy hens,that lay delicious, healthy, eggs, On this site you will find local farmers and co-ops,  where you can buy healthy, non-toxic food. And become a part of your local farm community.
Here is a link where you can take action. On this page you can urge your local U.S. Representatives and State Senators to cosponsor and support The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments S. 820/H.R. 1731. The page includes the phone numbers of your representatives and senators, a letter you can sign and a script you can use when you call. It's so easy, and yet so powerful, because, one by one, we become many, and many become heard, and action occurs. 

We can speak for those who can not. Through our concern and love, we can heal.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Toothless Tiger

Holy Cow
I don't cry often, but yesterday morning, while reading The Food Revolution, by John Robbins, I could not stop the tears from forming and spilling down my face. A waterfall of sadness and anger.

One of the best things modern animal agriculture has going for it is that most people...haven't a clue how animals are raised and processed...If most urban meat-eaters were to visit an industrial broiler house, to see how the birds are raised, and could see the birds being "harvested" and then processed in a poultry processing plant, some, perhaps many of them, would swear off eating chicken and perhaps all meat. For modern animal agriculture, the less the consumer knows about what's happening before the meat hits the plate, the better.   Peter R. Cheeke, Professor of Animal Science, Oregon State University; Editorial Board Member, Journal of Animal Science.
 Is this how we want to get our nourishment? By the unethical, horrific, completely inhumane treatment of cows, baby cows, chickens, pigs, turkeys, goats, lambs and any other animal we farm for food. 

I read these books and am devastatingly astonished that we allow this behavior. I realize most of the population doesn't know what is going on and the meat and dairy councils want to keep it that way. That's why they show us pleasing pictures of "happy cows" and beautiful people with milk mustaches and warm family scenes of dinner where meat is the main event. If we knew the true horror these animals are subjected to we ALL would never allow another morsel of animal flesh to pass our lips.

Certified organic, humane treatment, grass fed, free range, are meaningless advertising adjectives that are put on the labels to make us "think" what we are about to eat went to its death willingly, peacefully and benignly. In reality, most of the meat in the grocery stores, which were sentient animasl before going to the slaughterhouse, lived in animal concentration camps.

Europe has already outlawed many of the inhumane practices U.S. farm factories practice. Our FDA is a toothless tiger. Influenced by the moneyed lobbyist for the meat and dairy council, they won't pass stricter laws (because it would increase the cost of meat to the consumer, which a pile of cow manure), they don't demand third party auditing for those farms which "swear" they are treating the animals ethically. Most factory farms are self audited.And the laws on the books are weak and almost never enforced.

 Do we really believe putting ammonia in the hamburger (pink sludge) is good for us?
Wonder why we have so many hamburger and chicken recalls?Why so many people are getting sick with salmonella and E.coli? It's because these gentle, beautiful creatures are kept in filthy, dank, highly stressful environments. Our country's food business is killing us, slowly, bite by bite.

We can no longer remain ignorant of what is happening around us. Thankfully there are books like Robbins The Food Revolution
These are hard books to read. They shed a light on a very dark corner of our humanity. But read we must, weep we will, then action and change will happen.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Art Transcends

The Architecture Of The Quilt

A few days ago I was at the home of a  friend who is an art consultant and curator, so her walls are a mosaic of beautiful paintings arcing from representational to surreal and abstract. 

This morning I woke to the image of her home, filled with all that creative energy and it made me think how art transcends.

Next spring I'll be taking an 8-day intensive studies seminar in Taos, NM (magical, I hear). One of the early assignments is to look at art  and begin cataloging what I like and don't like.

This has heightened my awareness of the art around me and one category that inspires me is quilts, especially the Quilts of Gee's Bend.

Gee's Bend, is an isolated area in Alabama, once a cotton plantation, owned by Joseph Gee, where slaves lived and their descendents still live today. Reading about the Quilts of Gees Bend (there are several beautiful books on the subject) I learned how and why quilts became to be. One practical, one artistic.

As part of her wedding trousseau, the soon to be bride was supposed to make a blanket which would keep her and her husband warm. To make their blankets, they used their worn out clothing. Here's where it gets beautiful.

 Slave owners did not allow artistic expression from their slaves. So the slaves used their discarded bits and pieces of cloth to express themselves. And because most slave owners didn't look beyond their blind belief that these people were less than human, they never saw the beauty they were creating.

In the twisted realm of slavery, for a slave owner to justify their treatment of slaves, he/she couldn't allow that person to also have a  spirit capable of creative expression. In fact, in many households, artistic expression was a punishable offense.

One of the most famous folk hymns, Amazing Grace, became the lyrical anthem against slavery. It was written by a former slave runner, English poet and clergyman, John Newton, after he had an epiphany on a ship during a storm, which was carrying slaves.  On the brink of drowning, he realized how inhumanly awful his occupation was. 

The music is haunting and the words are a testament to the creative power of the human soul to transcend darkness and be lifted into the light.

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.