Saturday, March 24, 2007

Happy Critters

Forward troubles Illinois.
Lock the front door oh boy.

Look at all the happy creatures dancin' on and on.
Bother me tomorrow, today I'll find no sorrow...
~~Credence Clearwater Revival

I love critters.

Most writers have certain words and phrases and concepts they revisit. Those become part of our personal lexicon, and sometimes we bore readers with our repetitiveness. Sometimes they enjoy and welcome those returns to the familiar.

You may have noticed I tend to say, *I* pretty often.

It's because I do. There are so many things in life that I love, and because life is short and we - any of us - may get hit by a truck and die tomorrow, I milk every drop of joy out of my life that I can.

Whyever not?

To live any other way is downright disrespectful.

When I first began reading blogs, I was struck hard by all the anger and hatred expressed in this virtual land. Clearly, people were dumping feelings they were bottling up in their Real Lives. Still and all, realizing how common that need was? It was sad. It still makes me sad.

Last year at the Fossil Farm, our distinguished chef said: --k, you always say, *I love this; or, I love that.* Isn't there anything you hate?--

That question threw me, and I've been pondering it ever since.

I'm a slow thinker, me. The annual Fossil Farm visit is coming up again and I'm still not done thinking about her question.

That question is why you'll see me write: --I hate unkindness.-- If I remember, that was the first answer I gave her, last year.

My wondrous nephew, a young man I love and respect and adore, told me not long ago that he has trouble reconciling two aspects of my character: what he calls the cop and the hippie. He watches me run around being *nonjudgemental,* and trying to pass on kindness when I can. He listens to my tales of Bad Guys getting caught and paying some penalty for their misdeeds - whether his auntie's war stories from her Dead Bank Liquidation work, or the true crime shows she sets the TV to. Then he sees me flagrantly break the law myself, trespassing on defunct nursery land to *rescue* plants before the developer's bulldozers come, or picking *Orphan Oranges* from the groves still scattered around Florida.

I tell him, --I never pretend what I'm doing is Right. When I break the law, or a moral code, I agree beforehand with myself that I'll pay the price, not deny my own misdeeds.--

And truly, I try very hard to live a good, a decent life. I'm surely not perfect. None of us are. But I try to do my best. I try to see things clearly, to understand life and people as they are, not as I think they Should Be.

Our human need to see what we want to see, rather than the truth - often it's to see things appear not just innocent, but good, whether that's true or not - is very close to a moral breach, in my book.

Much of the hatred spewed on the Net is by people who consider themselves The Good Ones. Christians. Other religious writers. People obsessed with politics, and the notion that politics can right certain perceived wrongs.

I don't buy it. If you constantly spend your thoughts and words talking about how horrible everyone else is and how you're going to Heaven and they aren't - well, I know very few religions that say, --Oh! That's right! YOU call the shots. YOU decide you get to go to the Good Place. You, not God. And meanwhile, sure, you go right ahead and rip everyone else a brand new one, because if they disagree with YOUR take on Right and Wrong, then hey. They're fair game.

To me it looks like something entirely different. I see a whole lot of people who feel their lives are not entirely in their control, who get aggravated by vague and inarticulated feelings of anger and betrayal and injustice. They don't really know why, but they sure don't like it.

They want these feelings to go away. But instead of examining them dispassionately enough to arrive at as objective a truth as possible, instead, they start from the position that they've been done wrong, and go from there to venting.

I have absolutely no problem with people venting. It can be a very healthy thing. But there's a world of difference between venting, and seeking the truth. When people confuse the two, they'll fail to make those bad feelings go away.

So they get stuck in endless rounds of ranting, and never feel satisfied or calm or peaceful. Instead, happiness becomes the childish satisfaction of name-calling, of hurting others with words used as weapons.

Over and over, they condemn others for Not Taking Personal Responsibility. And often rightly so.

But they haven't removed the log from their own eye first.

Because when you spend your words and thoughts and time on talking about how wrong everyone else is, and how unfair they've been to you, and how the country's going down the drain because of those other people, and there's really no hope for them but at least you know YOU get to go to Heaven -

when a person pretends these thoughts and actions have anything to do with seeking truth and godliness -

They are NOT taking personal responsibility for their own lives.

If your life is not in your own control, it's because you have chosen to abdicate control of your own life.

If you don't like your life, change it.

Change YOUR life. Not the lives of others.

It's both your right and your responsibility to do so.


I don't hate life and I don't hate humanity and I almost never hate individual people. They'll do things I hate, yes. But I never forget the difference.

Our creator made us all. I won't condemn those creations. Not my job.

I will analyze what behavior is right and wrong, because I want to do the right things, and because I want to protect myself and my loved ones from harm.

Meanwhile, I do my own brand of worship. I do it by loving life, both my own life and the lives of all those others around me. The amount of it, the staggering impact of that force of life, makes me feel religious even when I'm not consciously thinking of it at all. The people, the plants and flowers and animals, the very air we breathe permeated with tiny lives...

It's stunning.

How can anyone not feel and worship this enormous force of love?


Nancy said...

Amen Sister!

k said...

Bless you, dear Nancy. ;-)

Granny J said...

k, you've said it so well! How can anyone not respect the wonder that is life!

Jean said...

Loving life... it is grand.

Richie aka da Pup said...

If what comes around, goes around, then passing on the Beautiful Truths we find in our lives can only bring us more Truths, more Happiness and more Glimpses of Love Enternal. For those that say they cannot see a purpose or choose to not waste their time reporting good things, I feel sad. They still know what brings them pleasure, what provides them a comfortable feeling, what is valuable in the world and who accepts them as they are, yet they choose to walk away from these - the things we all seek. For those that find a greater need to share their grief, I cry for your pain and hope you can still find it in yourself to acknowledge, yes and celebrate Life!

pepektheassassin said...

The Talmud says, every blade of grass has an angel hovering over it who whispers, Grow, grow....

k said...

richie, welcome to my blog! It's great to see you here. And I found your *colors* post fascinating, BTW.

Everyone - I'm glad to see I'm not the only life lover out there. I was wondering if I might come across as more than half a bubble off. Half being my usual and acceptable, of course.

ahhh, miss assassin! That is beautiful.

pepektheassassin said...

There's the Annie Dillard coming out in you again! But that's a good thing.

k said...

I am humbled by that, Miss Assassin.