Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful today for a friend who drove me somewhere then hung around to help me straighten out a messed up sewing project! Also thankful to Ann for making out her life insurance policy to me, as I had to her. She is helping to insure that I can live in a house with Heat! I've lived in places Without it Before. I can remember having to go to bed when the sun went down, not because it was dark, no problem. But because it was So Cold!

Toni Morrison wrote a book called I think, "One Blue Eye" (I am happy to accept correction if that title isn't right, it has ben many years since I read it. It was a very Painful book about an abused African American girl and her belief tat she Must have blue eyes.

One of the mood setters for the book was a description of trying to keep warm under a quilt in Winter. And as usual, she Got it Perfectly. You don't dare move one square inch, even if your cramped from laying in the same position all night. Because if you do, you know the pain of the numbing cold from the bed where no body heat has warmed it will be terrible and you will be too miserable to sleep until you have warmed That square inch, if you can. Of course, Toni Morrison said it much better than I can.

It is finally beginning to get cold here, possible flurries by morning, and every Winter I am Thankful to have Heat! I've slept in a bedroom where ice glazed the inside of the window next to my bed. And in a house where it was so cold my fingers hurt too bad to keep reading Braille atop the covers. Reading Braille Under the covers isn't easy and it can get too cold to be worth the discomfort. Each time you turn a page of paper thick enough to hold Braille dots, you either do the book damage, (unthinkable to me) or you have to raise the covers up a bit, letting in More cold air.

I am thankful to have this computer from Rehab. Services for the Blind, and for the instructors who taught me how to use it.

There is a Buddhist technique for helping us remember that we are all interdependent and interconnected, whether we think we are, or want to be, or not. I think of it as "tracing down the roots" of a thing. I truly Enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning and consider it a luxury. So I tried one day to figure out how many people and other beings had given me my treat. There was the Earth, the rain, the sun, the climate where the coffee was grown. Without these things, land, light, warmth of sun, water, we'd all be dead. Then there are the people who grew the coffee, making sure on a regular basis that it got what it needed to survive. There were the native species of plants displaced by a coffee plantation or small holding. There were people picking the coffee, roasting the coffee after it was dry, packaging the coffee, loading it onto vehicles to take it to the U.S. That is a lot of people! But there were also unknown factory workers somewhere making bags to hold the coffee, or jars or cans, and for bags some factory workers had to make those coated wire devices to hold the bags closed. Most of these people are going to be poorer than I am, they Deserve my gratitude. Someone has to seal each coffee container.

Trucks and truckers may take the coffee to boats, can you imagine the number of humans who made all of the truck components? And trucks run on diesel, which has to come from oil which comes from Earth. Then the oil must be Refined by More people.

Dock workers unload my coffee, truckers or freight trains or maybe even planes take it to my part of the country. It is driven by people to stores and working people unload it, stock shelves, and check me out when I buy it at the store. Someone/s made the store or shop, Built it, made the shelves in more factories, lit it, invented fluorescent lights, cash registers, and grocery bags. And some humans made my cup and others manufactured the pan or coffee pot I use and still More people brought me the Gift of indoor running water. After about 45 minutes of Thank Yous, this exercise drove me nuts and the coffee, which I still enjoyed was cold. But I got the fact that Nothing I have came to me Except from the Earth and Sky and the human labor and creativity of other people.

I cannot take complete credit for any thing temporarily in my possession. All of it is temporary. Even if I create something, the materials I use came from Earth (or their inventor did) and human work. I am a very fortunate person and am thankful to all of those people whom I will never know for the life I have right now, as I experience it.

That is one Buddhist way of realizing interdependence with all life and with fellow humans. Everybody says "The Earth is our Mother". But it's True. Without the Earth, Sun, Rain, and Wind, we'd all be dead. It is really just that simple and that profound.

I find the Earth too big to comprehend. I wouldn't be here or enjoy what I enjoy without Earth. But "natural phenomena" kill also. Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, and mud slides. Part of this is caused by our own human foolishness, building homes (when there is a choice) in the midst of wild fire country, or on the sides of steep mountains where mudslides and/or avalanches are likely, building nuclear power plants on or near known fault lines. And there is climate change. But some of these things are Not avoidable and never Have been. So I am thankful when I can be and when I cannot I try not to afflict others with my moods or if it is due to natural disaster, I try to help people who need it.

Lots of rambling, but I thought the Buddhist technique of teaching interdependence was interesting and I Feel good today for almost the First time since this "holiday season" (beginning with Halloween) began. Feeling come and go, but it's been a Long Slog, this Fall and through the beginning of Winter. I am thankful to all the people (including the musicians whose music I enjoyed) who have helped make this day a Happy feeling one!

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