12 Steps to Living with the Election Results

Dear readers: I have started several posts since last week’s election results and haven’t decided which impassioned essays will live or die. In the mean time, I come bearing gifts, this one from Nicholas Kristof of the (notoriously liberal) NY Times. 

Link to complete original article

The Rocket’s Red Glare

As I enjoy the long, fun weekend that celebrates American independence, I find myself trying to console my inconsolable dog who is terrified of loud sounds like thunder, fireworks and gunshots.

worriedDog
Not Lily, but a similarly worried dog

She hasn’t always been like this but a few years ago at a big holiday picnic, someone lit off a few firecrackers right next to us, and it has affected her deeply.

I don’t enjoy fireworks anymore, either.  Not since October 7th, 2001 when my country began bombing the largely undeveloped country of Afghanistan with 21st century weaponry.

I hold a soul-deep conviction that this was wrong.  That night I was awakened by the sound of a nearby garbage dumpster clanging to the ground.  I tried to dive under the bed, believing we were being bombed.

Our national anthem romanticizes the ‘bombs bursting in air’ yet the bombs that rained on Afghanistan burst more than just air- they burned the flesh of people who had no understanding of what was happening to them.

I understand the counter arguments. I realize there were terrorists hiding amid the tribes in the mountains. But we used a cannon to try to destroy a termite, apparently without considering the consequences of the ‘collateral,’ and cultural damage.

I believe in kharma – that our choices yield real consequences and that we will eventually be held accountable them.  And as a nation we have a great deal to answer for.  And some of those things could have been avoided.

 

 

Today the Sun Stands Still

Midsummer Bonfire in Finland
Midsummer Bonfire in Finland

Summer Solstice

Today is the day all these giddy glorious spring days have been leading up to, the Longest Day. It’s the day all those bird-serenaded dawns that lured you from your bed at a ridiculous hour have been heralding. Longest day, and shortest night.

And so begins the lengthening nights, at first just seconds longer, but now we count the days toward winter. I know that often non-Pagans find this attention to the cycle cruel, a downer, focusing on the Dark Side. Well, yes. Not evil or the devil, just the Night that follows Day, the dark that follows light. The contrast that makes the world spin. The op-ed Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark from Akiko Busch in the New York Times says it more eloquently than I:

reblogged from the New York Times

IN mid-June, the twilight seems to go on forever, the sky awash with translucent shades of rose, pearl, gray. These are evenings of enchantment — but also of apprehension. The moment the sun reaches its farthest point north of the Equator today is the moment the light starts to fade, waning more each day for the following six months. If the summer solstice doesn’t signal the arrival of winter, surely it heralds the gradual lessening of light, and with that, often, an incremental decline in disposition.

It is easy to associate sundown with melancholy, to believe that temper can be so closely tied to degrees of illumination. The more floodlit our nights, the more we seem to believe that a well-lit world is part of our well-being. But equating the setting of the sun with that of the spirit may be misguided, at variance with some essential need humans have for darkness and shadow.

In his book, “The End of Night,” Paul Bogard notes that two-thirds of Americans no longer experience real night. “Most of us go into the dark armed not only with ‘a light,’ ” he writes, “but with so much light that we never know that the dark, too, blooms and sings.”

read more…

and blessings for MidSummer!!