Humpty Trumpy

They said write a story about JEALOUSY in under 500 words. My brain stumbled over itself, thought only of Humpty Dumpty and I gave up. When there’s a blockage in the plumbing, forcing more rubbish down the pipe never helps! I needed, as usual, to let the emptiness vacuum it clean.

This is not a technique that has come easily for I’ve always felt the need to take action, to do stuff, to undo stuff. I’ve never considered not-doing stuff or doing not-stuff. It just never occurred to me.

A Course in Miracles undid that for me when, among other things, it talked of the two choices we have:

  1. Doing it (anything) in my own power, or
  2. Giving over to that which is bigger than I am, whatever I want to call it.

I’d always done things in my own power and look where that got me … powerless and stuck in the plumbing of life … and keeping that greater power impotent and on holiday.

The kak in the pipes does not flush itself out; it needs something beyond its own filth. When I’m the blockage, more of me doesn’t help! So I attempt to stop thinking.

Less of me – or less of my thinking – gives permission for the Big Plumber to thrust their brush down my pipes and allow the resulting vacuum to draw in fecundity of spirit and creativity of mind.

I empty myself but not by not thinking. Our minds, busy little sods that they are, cannot not think. Asking a mind to not think is like asking a fish not to swim. Thinking is what minds must do if they’re to continue existing.

We cannot empty our minds by not-thinking thoughts, by thinking not-thoughts or by not thinking. We can only continue by entertaining other-thinking-thoughts and the blockage – writers block – is sucked clean and shining new.

So I change my thoughts away from what I’m “supposed” to be writing, away from JEALOUSY, away from writing and anything else related. But Humpty Dumpty stayed there, lodge in the U-bend of my pipes while the rest of the gunk dissolved and washed away. Humpty Dumpty was unmoved by my holiday plans, disgust at management behaviour at work or the tragedy of the Australian fires. After two days of not-writing-thinking, Mr Dumpty was still staring in at me through my windscreen, whatever way I steered and swerved.

So I gave in, started writing the old Humpty Dumpty rhyme, aware that it had nothing to do with JEALOUSY and I didn’t care. I just kept writing.

Well, by the end of the second line, I noticed my pen deviating, clunking onto another track. The third line was a small deviation and, from there, the old rhyme was left far behind. This is what came out:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

Crash bang that’s all

Oops, not the end a’tall

T’was the Mexican wall of Senor Trump

From which Humpty boy went thump

See, Mr Humpty’s a drug boss, CSI moaned

Investigators left no turn unstoned

Was no accident, t’was Donald’s pusher

They kept the secret, quieter than husher

Humpy was suspected of lotsa’, lotsa’ stuff

Got Trumpy in a wild old huff

Like who Melania was amorously courted

Humpy had her naked, got her sorted

Civilian planes, no one knew who shootin’

Was no other than Vladimir Putin

But Trumpy, see, he got the blame

For starting World War III, he wanted no fame

But others smarter than the president chookie

Were setting him up, playing him hookie

And jealousy’s a cruel, twisted master

His anger got his heart beating faster

Someone must pay for back-stabbing games

Save humiliation, stop feeling the shames

Thrashing about, any target will do

When you’re fuming, stuck in a stew

Donald had suspicions, who’s loving his wife

So they’re firing-line first, pay with their life

Then Humpty’s up the wall, carrying Mexican drugs

Sticks his head up, easy shot for Donald’s thugs

So now he’s scrambled, cracked and broke

But Donald chose the wrong, wrong bloke

Of the many, many innocent folk

Wasn’t the one hiding a yolk

But the egg smell turned Trump’s mind to mess

Was, in fact, Australian egg boy, no less

So, when your dander’s up and jealousy’s ripe

Check your facts, not your nose … and not the hype!

See, it wasn’t very profound and, honestly, it’s a bit silly. But I feel better and there’s now space for something bigger to pop in, thanks to the Big Plumber.

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Looking Beyond The Fire-Finger

When we point at a stick we’ve thrown for a dog, does the dog look at the stick? No, it frustratingly looks at our finger! We are no brighter than the dog, focussing on the fires and not what they’re pointing at.

Some of the videos of the Australian fires show us these are not natural fires. Not natural at all. These fires are crazy, mad-man bizarre, fires beyond anything normal. They’re racing through tree-tops at 80 kph, leaping into the air like wild banshees, creating their own inflamed climate, feeding on themselves. Beyond normal, they’re either generated by a military-style technology – as many have suggested – or there’s a supernatural force within; a desperately insane pyrotechnic plea that we can’t ignore.

But we are ignoring it.

We turn our backs and close our ears as we apportion blame, make up stories and proffer solutions with the quiet voices of sanity drowned out by the clanging cacophy of ignorance.

Of the many stories, two are prominent: firstly, of a deliberate burn in order to clear land of vegetation and creatures for the planned rail line and, secondly, an excuse to selectively log (95% of the trees) in the national parks to profit from timber sales. More stories will be thrown to us salivating dogs but most are too close to the ground. A higher, bigger perspective is required.

Those we call leaders have lost their way, their humanity and our respect. Yet we continue to hold these incompetents up as if expecting infants to do an adult job. While we uphold their insanity, we uphold our own, preferring blame and diversion to the honest introspection and self-responsibility required of adults.

We are all children while we allow toddlers to run the playground. Our Mother (Earth) has been yelling and screaming for us to come home; to leave the sand-pit and to take our rightful place in the adult world. To date, however, we have chosen to play and complain in the microcosm while the macrocosm burns.

“It is time,” our Mother says, “to take your place at the grown-up table, to face each other with hearts akimbo and ears open.”

When we stop to listen to the beating of our fire-red hearts we will hear that quiet, still voice that counsels oneness and peace.

The Age of Pisces – fish swimming in water the opposite, contrary directions – is over and we are now asked to swim in the same together, helping each other in the new current.

Our Mother is set on burning all that should not be. This, the Age of Fire, will continue till we stop looking at her finger and look beyond. There have been fires in Brazil, New Zealand, California, Australia and elsewhere. The fires of war on the Iranians and Iraqis*, the deliberate sale of billions of litres of water in NZ, USA, Australia and many other places have added to the heat we’re feeling.

* Some say that the agreement to allow Israelis to live in Palestine is nearly up and USA is now “conditioning” (weakening) Iran/Iraq to allow an exodus east from Palestine. Who knows? Yet another diversionary story, perhaps.

Our current form of government is in its last, insane thrashing death-throes and everything that represents it is being burnt with it. It will not last much longer but we will if we listen.

The planet will continue to dry up, to burn up, until we take individual responsibility for managing our lives and give due credence to a new type of governance: one from the still, quiet voice inside – the voice that quietly drips with fecundity, with the healing rain of peace and oneness … mercy falling as the gentle rain from heaven, as Shakespeare said.

We have the choice: to blame those who will not hear or to step aside from the system and govern ourselves.

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Nature So Senseless

Nature hears not the crackle of microphones nor the static they produce

It hears but the crackle of burning trees and the fire in our hearts

Nature is blind to pictures we paint in numbers and words

It sees not if it’s a suit, sari or school uniform that plants trees and tends to growth

Nature feels not the anger and injustice as we trade insults, fairy tales and need to be right

It feels, rather, the harmony of caring, the beauty in hearts and the result of straight action

Nature smells not the stench of deceit nor the odour of obfuscation

It smells only the spade in earth, the hand-held hose and the smile of gathered people

Nature cannot taste the barren dust of a sponsored lie nor the salty phlegm of a guilt-thrown promise

It tastes but the soft-sweet balm of community action, the tongue-tingling smile of unfettered love

We have no lies to tell Nature for they but bounce and echo in our cavernous guts

They harden our veins, divide our trust and steal our spirit

To Nature there is but straight action, grass-roots community and the flourishing love of growth

All else, two leggeds, is clouds of empty ash floating by verdant streams and forests

You may crackle your microphones and bend your rotting throats, vainly imagining It believes you

You may stomp and wail your pretty proofs, you’re I’m-right-and-they’re-wrong protestations

Nature, though, takes no heed of speeches nor hopes, white coats nor suits

It heeds but hand-held spades, watering hoses and the scorch of straight-hearted action

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Kick the L out of Lonely

I’m not sure if I actually feel lonely or if Loneliness is whispering her voice to my ear, just for now. Just not sure.

See, yesterday, I was going to spend the day with my friend, Laureen – we call each other friends without benefits, which is what friends used to mean – but she couldn’t make it. I went to a 6.30 am meditation, bouncing with irrepressible joy, meditated and had breakfast with the lovely band of others. Then returned home with nothing to do but change sheets, wash clothes, cook next week’s lunches and start my new business. Actually, lots to do and just doing it alone, then.

Of course, Facebook tells me that everyone out there – absolutely everyone, without exception – is meeting with friends and having a very unlonely time. I was, it seems, the only person on the planet without other bodies around him, yesterday.

Then, today, I cycle into the city to enjoy the exercise, the city markets and a coffee while I write this. Along the way I’m observing, counting, analysing … in a non-analytically vague sort of way. Yes, there are small groups of cyclists and walkers but most are alone. I peer inside passing cars and most are inhabited by one person. There are four patrons at this café – all men, all alone. I chat to a couple of them and, like me, are enjoying the aloneness time … time to think our own thoughts or no thoughts at all. Time to just be, unfettered by others’ expectations and needs.

Now, I’m the weirdo who says a cheery hello to everyone he passes. What I notice[1] is that most people – particularly those alone – look up with surprise and then an astonished joy washes over their faces … people alone and thirsty for and basking in an unexpected and momentary flash of connection with this cherry other. Many, many of these astonished joys are on the faces of those with other faces beside them. I wonder if many who are not alone are lonely, as if being next to another body – or many other bodies – is not enough to stave off that ever-present loneliness.

[1] Do I notice because it’s happening or because I want it to happen; expectation creating reality and all that? Who knows? I sure don’t!

Sadghru says that if we’re bored with ourselves, we’re in bad company. If we’re lonely and unhappy with ourselves, we’re in bad company. Being with other bodies won’t shift the feeling we have when we’re alone with our sad, bad, mad company.

So, yes, we’re always thirsty for connection and, because we rely on the outside world to make us happy, we continually search for other bodies to fill the void. But they cannot. No body can create the real connection we’re thirsting for.

Loneliness will never be sloughed off with tribes of friends or family around for we’ve all known loneliness in a crowd, in a happy, supportive group.

There is another connection that does fulfil and we’re never taught to honour or grow it. It’s our connection with God, the universe, Yahweh, Great Spirit, Christ, Buddha or whatever we call that which is greater than all of this. It’s that connection with Self and, just as we need to go to the gym regularly, we need to return to the One Self regularly to honour and grow it. When we do this, lonely has no chance – we kick the L out of it and lonely becomes One-ly.

With our connection to the Big One that we are, we become better company to ourselves and to any other bodies we find ourselves next to.

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Fearless Village

This message was written in Kurdish and then slavishly translated into English. The English version was hand delivered by two horse riders to the U.S. command post in Kabul:

Dear Sirs,

Our village is not your village, not your home. This is where we do what we do and no one else needs to know those things. We do not need to tell anyone. Also, we do not need to know what you do in yours.

We can tell you some things, however:

Firstly, we do not celebrate what you call Easter for we revere life, not death. We are not afraid of death, you understand, but our deaths are on our terms. We celebrate peoples’ lives at the funeral but we to not find uplifting the celebration for a group of people killing one man.

Your village does this and we have no need to make you change – we respect our ways and, therefore, we respect all ways.

Secondly, our village has no celebrations around wars starting or ending for none of our people have gone to war. Your village makes a distinction; that private murderers are murderers and government-employed murderers are soldiers or heroes. We cannot make that distinction. That is not our way. All are murderers, whoever pays them.

Some of our men have been taken and punished for not fighting in the war against you. We understand that these people are fearful and insecure in their beliefs and so must trample on others to bring them a tainted peace. Yes, a tainted peace but a peace of sorts. Their fear cannot deliver them a true peace.

However, please understand that the security and peace we feel around our beliefs is so strong, it is the greatest security you can have – we can never pass them on or “taint” you, as you sometimes say.

We do not need to explain our beliefs and we do not need anyone to understand them. We just ask that you please respect our activities and our beliefs.

Upon delivery, the two riders were imprisoned for two days then shot. A single drop from a B15 bomber rendered a village, high in the Kurd mountains, extinct. The 2,000-year occupation of a verdant valley ended abruptly with the press of a fearful thumb on a red button.

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The National Sport Of Offendy

The national sport for many nations is no longer on the sports field. For many, it is now Offendy.

This started in the USA where the national sport was Suendy – sueing people to make money and to avoid having to think for oneself.

This has spread – without the legal intervention – far and wide to people with a grudge against themselves, cheaply passing it on to others … Offendy.

As part of a local writing group, I contributed several stories and helped to publish a book of our short stories. Six months later someone chose to be offended by four of the 70,000 words in the book. Despite the hundreds who have enjoyed these stories, some members want to discuss this because one person chooses to be offended, when a character describes someone as not the full quid, a common phrase.

I don’t know why we’re even discussing it and this is why I need to say that:

Several years ago, as a regular columnist for a national, monthly magazine, I wrote an article about men being abused by their spouses. I ran a men’s group at the time and I used true stories in the article, names changed, of course.

The magazine received three letters to the editor, offended and complaining that we should not be discussing this topic. Two weeks later I received a phone call from a man who was too afraid to speak publicly (letter, email etc.), telling me that, two weeks earlier, he was about to commit suicide as a result of abuse from his wife. However, he happened to read my article that day and it gave him both hope and a new perspective; he decided not to kill himself.

Now, forget the writer and the topic: the same article offended three people and saved the life of another.

As writers, it is impossible to know how readers will react to our words. Readers get to choose their reactions. We don’t.

If we think we have any control over reader reactions, we’re deluding ourselves.

If we try to dumb down our writing to avoid offence, it ceases to be art with integrity and becomes a contrivance.

Yes, we must respect our art and our stories. We must respect our readers. If we write to offend, we’re in politics, not art.

And, yes, some art is designed to provoke, to stir our little grey cells, to challenge current paradigms and to encourage change. However, deliberately provoking offence is not honest art and nor will it provoke constructive change.

So, if we have not the desire to offend, we’re free to write authentic stories with authentic characters who speak and behave authentically. If one among many chooses to be offended when others are not, what should be changed … the writing or the Offendy player’s choice of reaction?

Methinks the answer is very clear.

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Climate Change Caring Will Not Back Down

These climate change protests have nothing to do with science or logic. They’re about caring.

Statistics, as you know, are a group of numbers looking for a fight. As soon as someone parades a number or a fact, there’s a posse after him, riding it into the dust. Numbers don’t have a chance. They always back down.

 Despite the fact that large groups of scientists agree that we’re in dire straits, there’s an equally vocal group telling us not to worry. Many are paid mouthpieces of corporate or political greed, many are afraid to break ranks of an insular academic conclave and many are just stupid and lazy, unable or unwilling to undertake their own independent research.

So, here we are, stuck in the middle with confusion and a desire to express our caring. The truth is that we cannot trust scientists. We cannot trust science which looks at a diversely beautiful and interconnected world through the narrow lens of dissection and separation.

I’d rather ask a drought-stricken farmer, a dispossessed Amazonian villager or a polar bear on a shrinking iceberg than a scientist. These three see what is, without the distortion of funded research, peer pressure and selective blindness.

I don’t know any farmers, Amazonians or bears so I must return to my internal knowing, the seat of quiet, eternal Truth. That is all I can trust. That is all any of us can trust. However, we consistently forget the Truth we hold within – or we denigrate and dismiss it – as we flail about trying to untangle the web of lies tossed like a weed-encrusted net, thrown to capture a lone wolf. The wolf is in there somewhere, snarling for release, but we see only the dirty, tangled net and wonder where Truth went.

We know the earth is in trouble. We know this.

We don’t know how bad the situation is; how many years the ailing patient has to live. We don’t know what caused it; a natural cycle or human abuse? We don’t know the best solution; will the earth shrug off our stupidity or does it need our help? We know we don’t know any of the answers. All we know is that we’re a part of the problem and maybe we could be a part of the solution.

We don’t know the science or the facts – not really – but we do know that we care. Our caring is beyond analysis, beyond calculation, beyond refute. We simply care and that caring is beyond any petty bickering over numbers that back down.

Our caring stands on an unshakeable pedestal, looking down on all the numbers, scattered as confetti on a sad and wailing earth.

Caring cannot argue. It simply knows.

So, in the face of bickering gods-of-greed, we know that we don’t know but know that we must do something … anything. We beseech politicians and corporates who choose deafness, hearing nothing but the folding of a dollar bill. None are listening but our caring continues to call and a need for action arises from that. It will not back down.

So, we march in the streets, write our songs, meet and discuss, pen our missives and blogs and our caring – as big as the Mother – carries us to the next action.

Politicians frantically erect their petty laws, banning us from meeting, from protesting, from thinking … all the while too noisy to realise that they need only listen to their own Truth, howling in their stinking nets. They could stop, cuts the nets of obfuscation and deceit and they’d find the howling Wolf of Truth would stop snarling. As it is released they’d see it goes quiet and rubs itself against their legs in gratitude for freedom. The perceived foe of Truth is our greatest friend and snarls no more. It simply walks off, guiding us to our simple solution.

We cannot see our reflection in boiling water. Only when it is still and cool can we see who we really are.

Meanwhile, we care so much. And caring takes us to action, knowing that any particular action may not help, but at least we are in the act of caring. It is easier to steer a moving ship than a stationary one. Once we are moving, Truth and Caring will show us the next step … and the next and the next.

Sitting on our bums, in acquiescence to the gods-of-greed, we have no steerage.

However, out of our chairs, on the streets … only then can Caring give us the next step … and the next … and the next.

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