Is burial best?

Something disturbs me about burial.  It isn’t the idea that my body will be in a coffin and then under several feet of dirt (six isn’t the norm, by the way).  I won’t need it anymore.

Why bury?  So someone can visit me? I’m not there – not the part that matters anyway.  What if they don’t, however?  There is something so sad about abandoned graveyards.

 

In theory, when you buy a grave site, some of the money is put into a trust for the perpetual upkeep of the grounds.  But who oversees that?  What happens if it doesn’t happen?  Who notices?

And then there is the idea of flooding.  Sometimes this happens.

grave4

This was in 1994 in Georgia.  Officials had a bear of a time figuring out who was who to rebury them correctly.

And then there is archaeology.  They call it science when they dig up somebody and show him or her off in the name of education. This is Genghis Khan’s grave.

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So how is this not desecration?  How is this not violation?  So much for “rest in peace”.  This wasn’t the intent when he was buried – to be dug up and shown off.  This is rude.

And then there is what the Catholic church does to saints.  A “first degree relic” is the entire body – or a piece – of a holy person.  Rather than hoard up all that saintly goodness in one place, it is common to divvy them up.  A finger here, a toe there, a head there… This is in complete violation of their policy that members cannot scatter the ashes of their loved ones.

Graves aren’t permanent.  Bodies can be dug up, and have been.  One reason for the modern “grave liner” or “vault” is that it deters people from digging up a body.  Why would they?  One never knows the reasons for the strange things people do – but it has happened enough that there is a need to protect against it.  Sure, my body isn’t being used by me anymore, but I’d hate to think of someone doing something perverse with it after I’ve vacated it.

Then there is veneration.  This is Jim Morrison’s grave in Paris.

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This does not seem respectful.  Look at all the graffiti on all the nearby graves.

The Tibetans practice “air burial”.  A person cuts up the body to make it easier for the animals to eat it. The dead body feeds living beings.  Every part of the body is useful and benefits others.  While to Western sensibilities this seems disrespectful, it is far more generous and giving than putting the body in the ground to rot.  No coffin is used, no grave is dug.  It is much less expensive on the family.  Also, there is no chance that someone will idolize the dead body by returning to the grave.  The person isn’t there anymore.

 

 

Apologize! (?) – we are being distracted.

My two cents on the “Hamilton” hullabaloo. He should lead by example. How about he apologizes to the veterans with PTSD who he said were “weak”? Or perhaps the women he said were fat and ugly? Or those he sexually assaulted? Or the people who are disabled? Or basically everyone who isn’t a white male? He should apologize first, to show us how it is done. This is what leaders do.

But – here’s the important part. We are being distracted and divided again. He’s leading the dance. We are all puppets when we get distracted like we are on such little things. This is what he wants – to divide and distract us.  Don’t be fooled.

Stay focused. Be alert. Take care of yourself and those around you.  Take care of marginalized people in your community. If we each take the time to re-direct our energy, we’ll get through this. No longer can we count on the government to take care of us.  We’ve given away our power for too long anyway.  It is time for the American people to take care of each other.  We must.  We will be stronger for it.

Re Vision (art/poem)

re-vision

How is it possible
to see between,
to know Truth as it is
rather than
as others suppose,
as others propose

It is when one chooses
alone, a nation of one
to see alone, as one,
to look, personally, as if
an explorer, discovering
for the first time
a Land, previously unseen.

———
Small art journal page – cardstock, Distress Inks, gravity, rubber stamp, red gel pen.

Color lines

I think the problem a lot of white people have with immigrants in the US is that deep down, unconsciously, they are terrified that the immigrants will behave exactly as the white’s ancestors did and displace them. That it won’t be a melting pot of peaceful coexistence but a radical and forced overturning of power.

The whites moved to America for a better life, free from religious oppression, and ended up using their religion to oppress those people who were already living here. Deep down, those who are opposed to immigration are afraid that they will become the new Native Americans and will be force marched on a new Trail of Tears to new reservations. They know karma is a bitch.

This doesn’t have to be. We can live together and work well together, but it takes a lot of work.

together

(“Together” art journal piece I made 11/16/16 – cardstock, Distress inks and stains, stamp, gold pastel, scissors, weaving) I like making art that shows how different colors work against each other to show each other off to make each other be their brightest.

The Horse, Hunter, and Stag

I was working on an art journal page recently and started digging through my paper collection.  I have some ephemera of my own, but I also have a stack that I’ve bought from a lady who meant to use the items for her own art. She soon realized that she had more ephemera than time for art. It turns out she has a great eye for things that spark creativity.  One of the pieces was a page from a book of fables – stories designed to teach us something.  I think this one is remarkably appropriate for what we are experiencing now.  The entire wording is contained between the lines below.  My comments will follow.

————–

A quarrel had arisen between the Horse and the Stag, so the Horse came to a Hunter to ask his help to take revenge on the Stag. The Hunter agreed, but said: “If you desire to conquer the Stag, you must permit me to place this piece of iron between your jaws, so that I may guide you with these reins, and allow this saddle to be placed upon your back so that I may keep steady upon you as we follow after the enemy.” The Horse agreed to the conditions, and the Hunter soon saddled and bridled him. Then with the aid of the Hunter the Horse soon overcame the Stag, and said to the Hunter: “Now, get off, and remove those things from my mouth and back.”

“Not so fast, friend,” said the Hunter. “I have now got you under bit and spur, and prefer to keep you as you are at present.”

If you allow men to use you for your own purposes, they will use you for theirs.

—————

It is now time to be aware and awake to our divisiveness. Our lack of unity with each other and within ourselves allows us to be led astray by others.  It renders us passive and not active members of life, of community.

It is not time to worry or complain about those who seek to divide us – to put us into “us” and “them” categories, who want to bait us like fighting dogs.

To be against those who seek to use us for their own gain is to further be drawn into the spiral.  It is to become that which we are trying to be aware of.

 

The goal is to be aware of every time you are distracted.

Notice when you are being baited, being told that “they” – whoever “they” are – are the reason that you are down.

“They” aren’t the reason for why you feel the way you do.  “They” are the same as you.  They are struggling too.

It is easy for people to pick on those who are seen as weaker.  It is easy to scapegoat.  Don’t do it.  Rise above. Don’t be drawn into that game.  Turn it upside down.  Notice who you are being told to be afraid of, to hate and instead make friends with them.  Learn everything you can about them.  Join up with them for your common cause of working together.

Remember the old phrase – “United we stand, divided we fall.”

Remember the motto on the back of the US dollar bill – “E pluribus unum”.  It means “Out of many, one.”  It means we are stronger together.

It is time to stop being scattered and divided.  We allow others to use us when we are like that.

Peanut butter and jelly JAM

Two waffles (I used Eggo)
A handful of mixed fruit (I used frozen)
a spoonful of jelly (grape is fine)
butter
peanut butter

In a small saute pan, heat up the fruit on medium heat. Once the juices are running out, add a spoonful of jelly. Use a flat wooden spatula to mix it together as well as to cut up any fruit that is large (like strawberries).

While that is heating, toast the waffles. I put mine through the toaster twice to make them extra crispy.

Once the waffles are heated, put them on a plate and quickly put butter on one waffle. Then put the other waffle on top to melt the butter. Wait a minute.

Open the waffles back up. Put peanut butter on the un-buttered waffle. Leave the other as is.

Pour the heated fruit / jelly mix on the waffle with the peanut butter.

Cut up both waffles and enjoy!