anitalorrainemoore

Musician devoted to Justice, Creativity, and Courage


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TuesDay NewsDay Vol 3, Issue 4 – March 17, 2020

Hey yall, It’s Tuesday.  The Earth turned into the Sun again today.  The clouds parted so that we may feel the warmth of that Sun too.  For those things and more, I am hella grateful.  Please see the passage below.  I am re-reading this little book called Practicing Peace and it speaks to every ounce of what is happening in the world right now and how we can all choose to evolve through these times.  Pema on Racial Injustice

Dedication: To everyone. All the people. All the animals. All the plants. All the Spirits.

Quote:  Practicing Peace by Pema Chödrön.  “War begins when we harden our hearts, and we harden them easily— in minor ways and then in quite serious, major ways, such as hatred and prejudice—whenever we feel uncomfortable. It’s so sad, really, because our motivation in hardening our hearts is to find some kind of ease, some kind of freedom from the distress that we’re feeling. Someone once gave me a poem with a line in it that offers a good definition of peace: “softening what is rigid in our hearts.” We can talk about ending war and we can march for ending war, we can do everything in our power, but war is never going to end as long as our hearts are hardened against each other.

What happens is a chain reaction, and I’d be surprised if you didn’t know what I’m talking about. Something occurs—it can be as small as a mosquito buzzing—and you tighten. If it’s more than a mosquito—or maybe a mosquito is enough for you—something starts to shut down in you, and the next thing you know, imperceptibly the chain reaction of misery begins: we begin to fan the grievance with our thoughts. These  thoughts become the fuel that ignites war. War could be that you smash that little teensy-weensy mosquito. But I’m also talking about war within the family, war at the office, war on the streets, and also war between nations, war in the world.

We often complain about other people’s fundamentalism. But whenever we harden our hearts, what is going on with us? There’s an uneasiness and then a tightening, a shutting down, and then the next thing we know, the chain reaction begins and we become very righteous about our right to kill the mosquito or yell at the person in the car or whatever it might be. We ourselves become fundamentalists, which is to say we become very self-righteous about our personal point of view.

…The next time you get angry, check out your righteous indignation, check out your fundamentalism that supports your hatred of this person, because this one really is bad—this politician, that leader, those heads of big companies. Or maybe it’s rage at an individual who has harmed you personally or harmed your loved ones. A fundamentalist mind is a mind that has become rigid. First the heart closes, then the mind becomes hardened into a view, then you can justify your hatred of another human being because of what they represent and what they say and do.

…If you look back at history or you look at any place in the world where  religious groups or ethnic groups or racial groups or political groups are killing each other, or families have been feuding for years and years, you can see—because you’re not particularly invested in that particular argument— that there will never be peace until somebody softens what is rigid in their heart. So it’s necessary to take a big perspective on your own righteousness and your own fundamentalism when it begins to kick in and you think your own aggression and prejudice are reasonable.

I try to practice what I preach; I’m not always that good at it but I really do try. The other night, I was getting hard-hearted, closed-minded, and fundamentalist about somebody else, and I remembered this expression that you can never hate somebody if you stand in their shoes. I was angry at him because he was holding such a rigid view. In that instant I was able to put myself in his shoes and I realized, “I’m just as riled up and self-righteous and closed minded about this as he is. We’re in exactly the same place!” And I saw that the more I held on to my view, the more polarized we would become, and the more we’d be just mirror images of one another—two people with closed minds and hard hearts who both think they’re right, screaming at each other. It changed for me when I saw it from his side, and I was able to see my own aggression and ridiculousness.

Image result for pema chodronIf you could have a bird’s-eye perspective on the Earth and could look down at all the conflicts that are happening, all you’d see are two sides of a story where both sides think they’re right. So the solutions have to come from a change of heart, from softening what is rigid in our hearts and minds.”

Practicing Peace Mini-Book PDF

 

Song: I Want To Be Here – by Neko Case, here’s the video Bruce and I played for today with this song, recorded by my awesome roommate, Andrea. InstaVideoSongPost

Dear Humans,

The excerpt from above means a lot to me.  I wish I could somehow transfer this sentiment of softening our hearts to every human on this planet.  Some people know this already, but some people don’t and would never agree… so we’d have to sneak it in while they were sleeping.  We could send a little whisper of Love into their ears via magic fairy dust or something they couldn’t successfully shake out or wash off in the morning.  I don’t have much to say that Pema didn’t already about all that’s happening out there in the world.  I wish everyone rest and a calm heartbeat.  I wish everyone food in their bellies and enough resources to provide for what they need.  I wish for marginalized people to have some peace of mind and heart.  I wish those in power would use it for the betterment of society instead of to its detriment.  I wish for people’s hearts to soften and to feel what it is that could truly save this world, Love.  (and 6 feet of temporary personal space…)  Goodnight y’all.

 

 


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July 1st… Journal today and Khalil Gibran

Monday… July 1st

Today, right now, I feel peaceful. I am sitting on the couch with my coffee, grey cashmere sweater score from the thrift store, tons of reading material and my ankle propped up on ice. This whole process of surgery and healing has taught me so much I never really understood – how important the pause really is. The caring for your body in a way that reflects that you ACTUALLY care about what happens to it and how it functions. It’s unbelievable to me that I went so long without really taking care of this ankle, or thinking about this at all… the life of childhood sexual abuse survivors perhaps – but I’ll only speak of my own experience. I think back and see so many unspoken, unseen barriers to recognizing the problem. I never want to be that distracted and oblivious again in my life. Therapy, Al-Anon, music, and most of all that Divine resilience spark from somewhere within me (and us all, right?) has put me in this place of submission. I know I’ll be taken care of. What a privileged feeling?

Right now, my mind goes to the families on the border of our country, the refugees trying to find a safe place, a home, the war-torn families of people across this world who truly DON’T know that they’ll be taken care of. Sitting here, I truly don’t know what to do about that. Is there something to be done? Is there nothing to be done? I can’t take on the weight of the world alone. How is it that my conscience (I’m teaching about conscience and morality in my Critical Thinking class this week.) is so heavy from the knowledge of what is happening around me but also the feeling of being incapable of doing anything about it. Is that not the essence of trauma? Am I wrong that everything will be taken care of? Is this a false sense of security in some unseen force? When I have been abused in the past, I didn’t know what to do so I froze and allowed it to happen until is was over and I could escape. Some don’t escape. My escape was in my mind, as my body was being invaded. What of right now? Is my escape the comfort of my mind since there is this seemingly limited amount of impact I can make on the atrocities of this world? (I made 74.50 Friday night performing to send to the Border relief organizations sending lawyers and food/water/proper care to those families.). It seems like so little… I curiously don’t feel shame. That I am proud of, however there is guilt – the healthy spark to do something to rectify wrong-doings comes from guilt. I didn’t create the system in which we live, yet as I live and breath, I benefit and continue to perpetuate its eventuality.

Are we all going through trauma right now, on a cellular and spiritual level right now, if not physical (since it’s all connected)? The world feels to me to be chaotic and mean, and while I sit here with my coffee, it’s hard not to think of all those who are unsafe and literally grasping for their lives.

From therapy, I learned that many truths can be simultaneously existent – the ever-present paradox – the both/and – not simply the limiting either/or. Literally, I believe this is the only mindset which can release me from my own rambling, concerned yet paralyzed state. Also, it’s the only perspective which can shed light on numerous co-existing perspectives of abundance which are hard to see while thinking about the suffering of this world. I never just think about the suffering, I FEEL it. Everyone can. It is impossible not to (even if you are unconscious of it, it impacts you. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)) – it is all recognizable and at times, insidiously invisible. So why is it that the joys and the love and the light is so hard to absorb and hold? Again, that shift in lens is the antidote for the tunnel vision. A trusting that somehow, those positivities are truly out there in and amongst the negativities. …and if you venture out to the furthest reaches, perhaps those challenges (in hindsight) give us the tools we need to survive.

In an attempt at gross summation and perhaps even over-simplification – maybe we can cradle in our palms these painful knowings and trust that they are providing insights about how to better live, how much more aware I can be to not only see and recognize, but to act upon those recognitions to create a more just world in one fluid, unnoticeable and perpetual movement with the intention of good?

“On Good and Evil” – Kahlil Gibran (I find deep feeling insights every time I open The Prophet.)

“And one of the elders of the city said, Speak to us of Good and Evil. And he answered:

Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil.

For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?

Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.

You are good when you are one with yourself.

Yet when you are not one with yourself, you are not evil.

For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house.

And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sing not to the bottom.

You are good when you strive to give of yourself.

Yet you are not evil when you seek to gain for yourself.

For when you strive to gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast.

Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, “Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance.”

For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.

You are good when you are fully awake in your speech,

Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers without purpose.

And even in the stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue.

You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps.

Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping.

Even those who limp go not backward.

But you who are strong and swift, see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming it kindness.

You are good in countless ways, and yo are not evil when you are not good,

You are only loitering and sluggard.

Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles.

In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness: and that longing is in all of you. [I am brought to tears at this moment reading this line again.]

But in some of you that longing is a torrent rushing with might to the sea, carrying the secrets of the hillsides and the songs of the forest.

And in others it is a flat stream that loses itself in angles and bends and lingers before it reaches the shore.

But let not him who longs much say to him who longs little, “Wherefore are you slow and halting?”

For the truly good ask not the naked, “Where is your garment.” Nor the house less, “Where has befallen your house?”

Another memory I heard singing in my ears while typing this, “I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch, he said to me, “You must not ask for so much.” I saw a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door, she cried to me, “Hey, why not ask for more? Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir …I have tried, in my way, to be free.”

– Bird on a Wire, by Leonard Cohen.

Nothing is left unresolved, only momentary feigns of understanding…


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You can’t just throw money at the problem of money in politics

You Can’t just throw money at the problem of Money in politics

We’ve all heard the old saying, “You have to work for what you have,” and this is true, for some.  In the fight to restore democracy in this country, a representative republic for which all people have a voice and don’t have to have millions in the bank to be represented by politicians, we are now seeing a trend of money being poured into a conundrum where money is the problem in the first place!

On the ground, discussions are not about money in politics, they are about the impending threat of terrorism, ebola, health care (or lack thereof), marriage equality, Obama and his perceived failures, student loan debt increasingly growing, lack of funding for public schools, the cost of milk.  These subjects do not lie in the realm of money in politics or in Supreme Court decisions, yet all of them are directly affected by this legalized corruption we have for an election system.  Our populations’ discussions are also highly influenced by corporately controlled media who decides what subjects are discussed (or not discussed) at the dinner table.

If we want to get money out of politics, and 96% of us want it badly, we must start on the ground, with teams of people making this the discussion amongst neighbors and friends, church-goers and teammates.  Teachers and auto-workers, librarians and McDonalds line cooks all need to be talking about how corruption has cut our ties with the very representatives whom we elect into office (if we vote at all!)  North Carolina’s Forward Together movement is a great example of mobilizing and turning out citizens who realize that we are all in this together – money in politics is the issue that lies at the heart of our problems.

To return to working for what you have, I must say that if the strategy continues on the path of say, the Mayday PAC and others, we will not win this cause to get money out of politics and restoring our democracy by throwing more money into a corrupt system.  That money could be used to build a groundswell of people, college students and grandmothers, farmers and lawyers, restaurant owners and county commissioners, all of these people are the ones who need to be tapped for their disdain of a bought and sold government  These are the people who could benefit from millions of dollars being spent to organize and mobilize a national discussion.  Throwing more money into this situation, and ignoring the means to which people power is harnessed (grassroots organizing) creates an elitist opposition to an elitist right-wing monopoly of our elections.  We’re in need of a social movement from the ground up to get money out of politics, this tactic of pouring money into a broken system couldn’t be farther from what this country needs right now.

Realize that while our heads may be filled with the problem of money in politics, as we work within the realm of education to make this change, we must understand that we are nowhere near the national level of awareness to create a change in 2016.  If we poured and pooled our resources into organizing people on the ground, young and old, we could encourage people to start at their city level in making the change we so badly want to see – a democracy not bought by money, but represented by people who care.


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10:39 AM 2/12/13 Something to Think About

Today, in 1809 Abraham Lincoln was born.  He is celebrated in this country because of his efforts as a president to: emancipate slavery and, among other things, officially dub Thanksgiving day the last Sunday of November.  He also gave the Gettysburg address during the Civil War, at the turning point when the North began to win over the South.  I remember learning about ole Honest Abe in school, how awesome he was.  After having read People’s History by Howard Zinn, I gained another perspective of Lincoln.lincoln-beard

Provided by Zinn, here are quotes from the politician, Abraham Lincoln: http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinnslaem10.html

Zinn says, “In his 1858 campaign in Illinois for the Senate against Stephen Douglas, Lincoln spoke differently depending on the views of his listeners (and also perhaps depending on how close it was to the election). Speaking in northern Illinois in July (in Chicago), he said:

Let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man, this race and that race and the other race being inferior, and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal.

Two months later in Charleston, in southern Illinois, Lincoln told his audience:

I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races (applause); that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people.. 
And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

What I have gained from this information is this:  History is written by the victor.   This not to say that all history is a bogus concoction of rhetoric meant to defy the faith of the learner (not always..)  but to say that if someday we are going to challenge this oppressive system we are living in, and it IS oppressive no matter how many TV channels you have, we MUST find a different history to use as our tool to a new future.  We MUST create for ourselves a community of skeptic citizens who yearn for a different version of what truth we have been given, to dig deeper.  What we’re taught in school isn’t adequate to inform us about what is and has been really going on in the world. I think that Abe Lincoln was a person, just as Barack Obama, just as Nixon and Gengrich, as Clinton and Romney: they are all in a long line of people who have brought up and continued a system which at is heart is exploitative and hurtful to “the people”.  They say what they need to say to us to be elected. Here’s the Gettysburg Address: Read this as you would any politician who wants to be elected:

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

PS – Disclaimer: People take others’ opinions personally if they differ from own.  Please don’t do this, it makes for difficult discussion.

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On a different note, today in 1947 For Sentimental Reasons, by Nat King Cole topped the charts.  I love that song. Here is a link to a beautiful live version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs8wKxezNn8 I wonder what Nat King Cole thought about Abe Lincoln.