DAVID

 

Well, they don’t make men like David anymore, beautiful, every aspect perfect, from his curly hair to his marble toes, always young, frozen in time with a sensual mouth, ivory ear and unseeing eye. A person to admire, two and a half times as tall as an average man. This copy lies broken on the meeting table.

Maybe there are men like David, too many really, fragmented, chopped in pieces each part admirable but separate. A lack of integration the psychologists would label him.

What has happened to the men of the world as the women fight for equality? Have women chopped their complementary yang into pieces? Are our lovers and sons, the good men, fragmented like the pieces of David on this table? Are they now objects to deride?

The shops now have tee shirts for young girls that read “Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them.”  When my daughter, who has two girls of her own, objected the store owner said, “Well, we’ve sold out.”

Discernment is an unknown word. Ridicule is the basis for TV shows. If women want equality and respect, they must give it. We need to pick up the pieces of David and use our nurturing power to make him whole again.

On Good Example

Barbara Bush has left us. I loved that woman. I wish I could have known her personally. She had a “smart mouth” and a great sense of humor and of family. Even with their wealth, her life was hard. Anyone who has lost a child knows this better than I. George was gone much of their marriage. She moved so many times to join him, but even then he wasn’t in the house. Six pregnancies and 6 births isn’t easy. Raising so many is even harder. She did a stellar job.

I love her sense of self. Her gray hair and her comfort in her own body were examples that we don’t see in our x-ray woman society. She knew that a healthy society begins in the home and tried to teach the rest of us.

She was a real partner to George, she walked next to him, not behind him. I don’t think he would have it any other way. She gave us smiles and that rare, rare thing an example to look up to. Rest in Peace Mrs. Bush. We will miss you.

Spring & Such

Yesterday there was a road runner in the front garden. It looked like a juvenile and scared. She flew up onto the fence and looked a bit bedraggled. The last time I saw such a bird was in the back garden maybe 20 years ago. He was tall as the 3 foot fence and had a lizard in his beak. I always think of road runners as desert creatures, but actually So. California is desert. Irrigation fools people. Why is it so thrilling to see a wild thing in the garden. With all the building going on we are getting more congested, more traffic, more pushy people and less water. There is still a canyon nearby and the bay. Do people realize the wonder contained in these places? I would love to see the quail come up from the canyon and visit the garden. Now and then we see a bobcat sauntering across the patio. We keep our little dog inside for that reason, but it’s the bobcat’s territory and as far as I’m concerned I yield to him. We used to hear the coyotes at night, now they must slink into neighborhoods to find food. We took their hills and arroyos and built too damn many houses with no gardens or space between. I wonder if we as a species will ever learn what is important. Will we ever learn to share this beautiful earth? I hope the road runner hangs around awhile..Beep beep.

Blessings, Bubbles

Whose Idea Was This?

Little girls are trained to be nice. Don’t talk back, be a “lady,”

whatever the heck that means. We read about women who allow their personal boundaries to be cut to the ground. Why? Are they so unsure of their talents and worth? Do they need to demean themselves for fame or to keep a job? I am sure that the lower income single moms are more vulnerable but the fear belongs to many women.

No is a complete sentence. I will not, is just a bit longer.  Little girls are sassy. Little boys stand up for their rights.  A female athlete is seldom seen photographed in her sport. More often she is posed, like a cosmetic or clothes model. Nearly every society has moral rules for the girls and “boys will be boys” for the men. Dignity is everyone’s right. To be treated with contempt is wrong but to accept it is unconscionable. Why do women acquiesce  to rude and vulgar treatment? In my view and my book “Virgin-Martyr” it is because we are sent to the boot camp of self-deprecation very young. Many women accept that attitude and the self-effacing manner that comes with it.

When I was raising my children I tried to have the same standards for the girls and the boys. Yes, raising them was different, but each child is different.

My mother and grandmothers worked the fields, did the cooking and canning, made the clothes and birthed and tended the children. My mother told me she worked harder than any man. It was not a lack of respect for the hardworking farmers. It was an awareness of their own strength and what they did and could do. They were true partners.

Girls need to learn that they are worthy of respect. Perhaps then, they will not need to demand it.

Blessings, Bubbles

The California Pear Flag

It began on the morning of 14 June 1846 when thirty-three  heavily-armed  American-born settlers — led by Captain Jebediah Bartlett and his two lieutenants, Albert Bosc and Emmanuel d’Anjou — approached the home of General Mariano G. Vallejo, the Mexican comandante-general of California, they  demanded he surrender the Sonoma Plaza fortress to them. Even though he was a Mexican citizen, Vallejo, an advocate of the American annexation of California , told the intruders he was sympathetic to their cause. They arrested him and sent him off to incarceration at Sutter’s Fort.

They proclaimed the Republic of California and decided that they needed a flag to fly over Sonoma. They gave the new flag a red stripe and a star like the new Republic of Texas. Bartlett wanted the flag to be an emblem of the agricultural aspect of California. He was the largest pear grower in the state. Since he was a forceful man he decided  a pear would be just the thing.

They drew the new flag on a piece of brown fabric and sent it to a flag maker. The flag maker happened to be the nephew of Abe Lincoln’s wife. Which is just a note and aside. At any rate, when the fabric arrived with the desired design, either the handwriting was poor or the ink had run. Pear looked like bear or perhaps he didn’t like pears or Bartlett. So we have our California Bear, which is a good thing for Cal and UCLA. Instead of the Bears and the Bruins they could be the Anjous and the Bosc or perhaps the Bartletts, hard to make into a fight song.

1st flag of the California Republic
California Pear Flag

MARCH MADNESS

It’s always fun to fill the brackets and see who picks the winners. It’s inspirational to see the young people work together as a team. Many of them are hoping for the dream of big money and fame in the NBA. The truth is they have more chance of being hit by a meteor than playing pro. The average time of a player in that league used to be 3 years. I don’t know what it is now, but it’s not a lifetime.

Along the way I hope they have attended class and earned a degree. I hope they have learned how to live. I hope they have learned self respect, enough to carry them so they don’t feel like a failure if college is the ultimate game. I hope they don’t recreate the last great game for the rest of their lives, at 40, 50, 60. Thinking that was the last time they were alive or important.

I hope they didn’t learn how to cheat from an unscrupulous coach. I hope they didn’t have fake classes like North Carolina lined up for its’ players. I hope they don’t rate themselves by wins and losses.

These athletes are promised and education. Instead the college sports scene and even high school have become places of modern day slavery. If a player is hurt or doesn’t bring the coach his wins he is finished. Coaches who provide women and liquor to these young men are abusers. They are teaching them to disrespect women and disrespect themselves. The higher the level the more pressure to win at all costs. University coaches make an obscene amount of money. Why? To entertain with kids they use like trash.

I know coaches from high school, community college, university and the NBA.       I listened to two coaches one evening lament the death of a young man who attended school and when he was hurt, essentially dumped. No more scholarship, no possibility of an education. He died in a drug deal.

One of those coaches I listened to was a former assistant to a prominent coach who left every school on probation. He cheated until he was caught, then moved on, hired by another school…He told my friend, “Andy, you will never be a big time coach because you won’t cheat.”  He was right. Andy loved the kids and his first goal was to get them an education. When the other coach, retired, 40 of his former players came back to say “Thank you.” None were playing in the NBA, all are upright men. They got an education and knew they had been given the greatest kind of coaching, good example.

Blessings, Bubbles

 

I miss Winston Churchill

We watched “The Darkest Hour,” the other evening. What a breath of fresh air compared to all the f word movies.  In England the Germans were threatening invasion. Most of the parliament was against another war, many wanted peace talks. Churchill was nearly alone in wanting to stand and fight. The last line in the film is wonderful. Lord Halifax, after listening to Churchill”s speech says. “He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.”  It was so moving to hear the speeches Churchill gave. Even his daily speech was eloquent.

Churchill was intelligent and well educated. He could quote Homer, Augustine and the newer poets. He didn’t need to repeat the same words over and over.He knew the power of words, their beauty and meaning.  He had his faults, drank too much, was difficult. He suffered from depression, which he called the “black dog” when it hit him.  He also knew the power of good example and led the British with optimism  and class. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill said and he was an optimist. Even in the darkest hours and days, he knew the wisdom of keeping the nation united. He was humble, often doubting himself. He died in 1965 before the present leaders could watch and listen to a person who knew what words to use. Would that we had someone like him now.

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/winston_churchill

Blessings, Bubbles

 

And the Rain Came Down

I love the rain. I made a big pot of chicken-noodle soup Friday to go with the rain. Rain gives us time to “hole up” and have some quiet time indoors. It seems that in So. California we are on the go too much. The weather is part of it. The Mediterranean climate too temperate. Nature too benign.

The rain has stopped. The air is soft now and smells so fresh.  The green of the trees and bushes are etched against the blue sky. Runners, bikers, walkers, swimmers all out and moving. I know that’s good for us, but so is some time to reflect, time to organize a closet, time to read and think. I would like it to rain every Monday or Tuesday just to start the week on a clean slate. After the rain the sun is lovely. It is no wonder the ancient people worshiped the sun. It’s not so special if we get too much of it. We need the life giving water, the cleansing, the sound of the rain.

Blessings, Bubbles

 

Who and Why

“We must be concerned about not merely who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.”  If Martin Luther King, Jr. was  alive today, he could say this every other week. Guns, mental illness, bad parenting, one or all of these things surely contribute to the violence in our country.  Each of us must look in mirror. We are the producers.

Divisive language, mean put downs, an inability for rational discussions, name calling, lying, blaming others, violence in the films and on television are contributors. The attitude of “it’s my right, to hell with you.” is killing our children. There is a lack of understanding of the common good. We are all part of it.

Where is respect for the other persons view point? We each must be right, totally right with no attempt to understand another side. Why are we so afraid? Why is it that everything seems to be at the extremes with no room for compromise in the middle.

Congress votes totally on party lines. My sister says before anyone goes to Washington they should be made to watch the old Jimmy Stewart movie, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Perhaps they would begin to get an inkling of the principles and ethics of our Constitution. Perhaps they would remember whom they are working for.

I would like to send the lot of them a back brace, since they are for the most part spineless. They need to stop with the thoughts and prayers and pass some laws that protect our children and our country.  We need to demand it.

Until then, we are the murderers.

THE HARDEST THING YOU’LL EVER DO

The Hardest thing you’ll ever do…When she was 75 years old my Aunt Alma, a real Auntie Mame type, told me that the most difficult thing I would ever do is grow old gracefully.  I instantly recognized that this was true. I wasn’t young gracefully, so to be gracefully old would be really heroic.

A young man who had just completed his PHD in counseling was working with incarcerated felons.  When questioned about how could he relate to his patients, particularly the violent ones.  He replied that it is  kind of fun to work with people who think you are an asshole.  I told him I understood completely because I raised five children. Not real graceful there either, but we all survived.

In another country, Ireland, in the same era, 1950’s, I would have been in Magdalene House, a reform type school for girls that MIGHT get into trouble. I wasn’t delinquent, my teachers, the nuns, but especially, the priests, didn’t like my attitude…what they objected to mostly  was the look on my face and my levity.  The trouble with the look on my face was and is, my utter failure of  being able to separate the expression on my face and my opinion of the person to whom I am listening. I always laughed. Not good.

I always felt like the kid at the Emperor’s New Clothes Parade. I wanted to believe people. I thought that people were good, but often body language gives them away. I had/have a hard time with the way many women erase themselves for others. I visualize them laying down like Sir Walter’s cape in the mud to show their self sacrificing value. But these women have been trained from birth to take a slap and take another, for their kids, their parents, their jobs.

And the women that put up with the Hollywood boys, Darlin’,there are other jobs where you don’t have to look at Harvey nude or watch a weirdo ruin a plant. This is not an image I want to sustain in my mind. I wish these imbeciles would have run into my late friend, Carol. We were walking in downtown Los Angeles, when a man exposed himself to us. I was speechless, but Carol looked, and without a beat, said, “Looks like a penis. Only smaller.”

Men who do and say these things, look like men. Only they are very very small.

Whew! Blessings, Bubbles

 

Why Is the Child Crying?

Years ago I read a book that asked this question. The character in the book said that if you ask this question, you will find out what is wrong with the village, the State, The Country. Our children are crying because they are afraid and lonely.

They do not feel safe at school, or walking on the streets. Too many are not safe in their own homes. Parents are too busy to listen, our President shows how to bully and name call.  Kindness is seen as weak and differences are settled on TV and in the movies and too often in life by violence.

When I was in 8th grade we had a teacher who mobilized the so called “leaders” of the class. She had us read portions of the Bible, (this was a Catholic School) we were to read, observe how Christ acted, and discuss how we could put this into action in our small lives. One action was to sit and eat with a child that seemed alone. The result was magic. The quiet, sometimes bullied child turned out to be fun and interesting. The class became close and those of us “doing a good thing” received much more in return. We came to understand that it rewarded us ten fold to get to know someone we would have ignored.

Twenty years ago, a group in this area began “Project Self-Esteem.” I was one of the teachers. Self-Esteem class didn’t teach the kids that they were better than others and could do no wrong. The idea is that every one is different and that’s O.K.  It taught the kids to respect each other and talk about differences, to actually enjoy those differences. The teachers could see the effect on the kids behavior. They were kinder to each other and there wasn’t so much dissension on the playground.

Some parents thought we were brain washing the kids. Some complained that we took time from academics. The program was scuttled. Now people see what happens when differences isolate children, when they don’t learn that we are all different in some way and that may be a good thing.

The young people who kill may be academically genius’, they are different and isolated, and often bullied. They are crying. We do not ask why.

On Language and Society

When we write, or paint we need to think sometimes of all creative people; young people, people of color, people of different gender preferences, even pale older women like me. We need to come to the point where there is no “other,” no “them” or “they.” For you know we are all really the same soul. The creative soul.

We bequeath our culture to the world, handing down family traditions, or creating our own celebrations and rituals. In TS Eliot’s “Notes Towards the Definition of Culture,” he saw the prospect of “centuries of barbarism,” related to the coming dominance of technology. A degraded society.

Eliot sees the core of the problem in the corruption of language, the basis of thought, which is in turn the basis of integrity. His target was those who use words for base purposes, for their emotional effect upon themselves, or on an audience which suffers passions, but does not think. Therefore, our own ability, not merely to express, but even to feel any but the crudest emotions will soon degenerate.

Eliot said that the poet and writer is the bastion against this abuse. Without the preservation and renovation of the language, civilization will decline. I believe this is true and that it is happening.

I am not asking for censorship, or to limit us in how to tell our story. AN EXAMPLE: I was told by a publisher not to use the word malevolent in a poem because it is too hard to pronounce. Well, I like to roll that one around, Mal ev o lent. If you read Virginia Woolf, it pays to keep a dictionary close by. Isn’t it great to find a new word tha will express exactly the thing you want to say?

As I view film and read novels, poems, etc., it seems language is being reduced to the level of recess in the 3rd grade. One syllable, four letters. Who are these writers? Where is the creativity? So when we are tempted to speak or write like they do in prisons, films, politics, or 150 Shades of Puce, I challenge all of us to remember that when language in schools, business and the home degrades, so do we all.

But, I’m told, that is real life. MAYBE. As film critic, Rex Reed said, So is diarrhea, but who wants to watch it for 3 hours?

Be careful with your words, they are powerful. Keep in mind the vision of an embracing, creative world, step up, reach out you hand to me and invite me in. I will do the same for another person, and she for another.

Together we can use language to be a truly, creative force.

Blessings, Bubbles