A letter to my sister | preciousness of life | Carl Sagan: freedom through scientific skepticism | Le Petit Prince

I was looking over my blog stats and saw someone read this, posted several years ago. I decided to post it again, since it’s relevant, from a moral and political standpoint – uh, yes, at one time I believe, the two were part of the same fabric. uh, now wait a minute, maybe morality and political leadership have rarely been paired, and that it is an exception! I mean, as long as royal leaders, and tyrants, and corporations have the reins, morality has little to do with the people who wish to maintain their power, control and profits.

Here’s the letter:
I am certainly happy to hear from you. Naturally I think about you every time that I enter the room to look at the lovely paper lanterns you hung for Mother’s birthday party and the teepee you constructed in the yard – which I‘m still raking! Memories of things people share and artifacts that they leave behind imbue all of these things with the spirit of the person. I am sorry that we had difficulties communicating at times. I have not been ‘above’ reacting emotionally to someone’s emotional reactions towards me. However, that doesn’t mean that I can not attempt to move beyond my reactions to reach out with more compassion and understanding.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author, Le Petit Prince, The Little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of Le Petit Prince
The Little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupery was a pilot, and author of the remarkable children’s book, for adults, Le Petit Prince/ The Little Prince. There appear to be exceptions to this formidable quote, if the person happens to be morally repugnant and arrogant!

Le Petit Prince, Antoine Saint-Exupery, the Phenomenon

Le Petit Prince, written by Antoine Saint-Exupery
the Phenomenon

I went out with a family friend last night and afterwards, realized that he knows even more profoundly how precious life is, as he has lost both of his parents. Certainly, if we all had an acute awareness of death (sitting on our shoulders) – Carlos Castaneda style i.e. “the Teachings of Don Juan” – in each response to every moment, we would never be anything but kind to all people and creatures, at all times.

That sounds like a pretty heavy way to live. The context is not, to be continually fearful, but rather, continually present with the fact that every moment of life is precious. People need to accept the rights of others to be and perceive as they will. It is a rather large task, to put differences and competitiveness, jealousy, envy and judgments … aside. Yet it’s the only way for everyone to get along. (I just read in Salon dot com a rather scathing article about the writer Carlos Castaneda, saying that Don Juan was not only an astounding hoax, but that Castaneda went on to form a bizarre cult.) He nevertheless had strong poetic and spiritual points to emphasize in his writings.

It’s pretty much a life-long task, given the fact that all humans have a tendency to subjectively interpret and judge other peoples’ actions. I do it, we all do it, from personal complaints, grievances, expectations, disappointments on up to community and cultural, political and religious differences of interpretation, that result in the worst cases to prolonged wars and strife between ethnic groups and neighboring countries.

This appears to be one of the biggest challenges and aspirations for humankind; to look beyond differences and strive for understanding, compassion and kindness. The ‘tree-hugger/environmental activist side of me’ is kicking out judgements every time I see people’s actions or material opulence (not to mention hearing about plans for more gas drilling in the arctic etc.) which I perceive as offensive. I put them into a box I label offender/perpetrator; a personal judgement which is my own way of playing in the ‘us against them’ scenario. So, I’m as guilty as anyone. The obvious extreme is the fact that people are blowing each other up in the Middle East …. and that wars and conflicts and ominous actions of manipulation continue to proliferate worldwide, despite the fact that most humans have access to rather extraordinary tools.

We are technologically light years ahead of where we are emotionally!

As Carl Sagan mentions in this interview “A Way of Thinking” in which he delivers insights into the dangers in our present culture; based on the fact that we’re a science and technology-based culture, the inner workings of which few comprehend. That puts us in a position in which we are in danger of being more easily manipulated.

Sagan points out that science is a way of skeptically interrogating the universe. And that it’s dramatically important for each of us to ask skeptical questions about everything, particularly to those in authority; otherwise we are up for grabs by the next charlatan, political or religious, that comes along. He mentions that Thomas Jefferson said that people need to be educated in order to practice their skepticism, otherwise ‘we don’t run the government, the government runs us’.

Carol Keiter the blogger

Carol Keiter the blogger

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

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Red Maple Brilliance October 8th, Autumn 2018

I started doing this series of Faber-Castell watercolor pencils paintings a few years ago in the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico. At the time, I was living in a cabin adjacent to Bill Light’s home which he built for his daughter. I stayed there a few months, absolutely gorgeous woods. I’d go hiking with Luna, Bill’s dog, who’s not so large but very capable. I loved going on walks with Luna, and she loved going on walks with me. Beautiful pristine forest. Luna encountered bears a number of times….and she barked them up a tree each time. A very brave, confident dog, even though she was aging.

Carol Keiter paintings Santa Fe National Forest New Mexico

Here are several paintings, showing the progression from the first sitting and then completed in the next. Below is a flickr link to paintings done with (watercolor) colored-pencils 1,000 feet above Santa Fe, New Mexico elevation 7,198 feet, in the National Forest – where I’ve gone on walks with Luna, the owner’s dog

Luna, companion, dog, Santa Fe National Forest

Luna my former companion on my walks to the woods

red maple signed

red maple signed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the latest Faber-Castell watercolor pencil painting! That’s a mouth full. Red Maple in Autumn BrillianceRoger Willams Park, Providence, RI
Oct. 8th

Red Maple painting, Autumn Brilliance

Red Maple Autumn Brilliance

the red maple subject

the red maple subject

I went out Sunday deciding to bicycle to Roger Williams park for a change (I’d been going to the cemetery close to where I live). Well I saw this fantastically brilliant Maple as I was coming in the one entrance…cycled around to other places…and wound up coming back to this cuz no other tree matched its brilliance at this time. I then couldn’t wait to return, I couldn’t get it completed that day as the dusk crept in. Then I had to carry it on my back in my pack while I danced for hours, running into the night time shows under the bridge of all these marching bands for the Pronk Fest, which was just fantastic. There were colored lights illuminating the bridge, and crowds cheering the bands, and the final band, final song was one which had a lovely and simple tune, so that many people there in this echo chamber sang this over and over (me included). A very lovely heart felt song archipello, and everyone after numerous repetitions, all magically stopped and cheered at exactly the same time. Singing this was one of those life’s special moments.

Happy World Animal Day | Car-a-holics in Northern Hemisphere Affect Global Disasters

Today is World Animal Day. In fact, with the climate collapse induced by human actions, mostly in the Northern Hemisphere of the Globe and among the wealthier nations, many of the populations (certainly not all) oblivious to how their energy habits are triggering these worldwide weather extremes and just basically destroying so many habitats of creatures.

Happy World Animal Day

Happy World Animal Day

Share a Happy World Animal Day

Share a Happy World Animal Day

 

world animal day october 4th

 

#worldanimalday

Donggala epicenter of the quake, Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

Donggala at the epicenter of the quake and Palu just south in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

 

 

I am very sorry, that once again the archipelago of Indonesia has been struck a week ago with another tremendous earthquake and tsunami, causing devastation among the populations of many towns. My heart goes out to the people and families who have lost people, animals and treasures that they love.

Global Solutions New thinking on the most pressing issues facing people and the planet.

Sumatran Rhino Rescue, National Geographic

Sumatran Rhino Rescue National Geographic

 

The transportation sector makes the highest hit presently. I’m about to write to Senator Whitehouse of Rhode Island, whom a passer by whom I asked if he ‘believed in global warming, human induced global warming’ responded saying that this Senator is aware and supportive of this issue. That’s after to my bafflement, I dined among two white American men who each DID NOT. This circa 85 year old man I intercepted as he walked with mail in his hand towards a mail box said, yes indeed. I mentioned I had written to both the RI mayor and governor regarding the atrocious number of people I find of all walks of life, ages and race, sitting in their cars nonchalantly with the engines idling. This man said, well, that’s part of it, but it really is the entire oil industry and these dirty industries…which is when he mentioned that this Senator Whitehouse is actually not blindly blithely ignoring the issue because of being in the pocket of dirty industries.

A Yale study revealing What the World Thinks About Climate Change emphasizes, “Limiting climate change will involve major shifts in public policy and individual behavior regarding energy, transportation, consumption, and more, note the researchers. Likewise, they said, preparing for and adapting to climate change impacts will require changes in current practices, and governments will need public support for and engagement in climate change solutions. This new research suggests that gaining public engagement will vary from country to country, depending on local culture, economy, education and other factors, said the researchers.”

Well, if people would just figure out a way to find alternative energies, putting some solar on your house, opting to ride a bicycle more, walk more, drive less and interact with the beauty of nature and recognize that when it comes down to it, most people go ‘on vacation’ to go be around nature. It’s the most lovely and formidably delightful thing you can do > to be among trees and animals and birds and immerse yourself in nature >for your physical, emotional and spiritual health. Spiritual health? What’s that? It’s recognizing with AWE how beautiful this planet is and in fact, you can’t purchase anything that will come close to intelligence, beauty and diversity and spectacularly fascinating creatures that are all around us.

What? You have to get out of your car? Your machine? What? You have walk without looking down at your phone? Look up from your phone and take your headphones off? What? You can do it? Try it for a block? Then two, and try for a real challenge to actually start conversing with the people around you.

Audubon Birds and Climate Change Report

Audubon Birds and Climate Change Report

Now having lived in Europe several times, I can say, now that I’m in New England of the USA, that the BIGGEST difference, is how disconnected people are with one another and nature. In Montpellier, Nice, and Paris France, in Rome, Italy, in Berlin, Germany certainly in the Netherlands and Scandinavia….

p e o p l e    w a l k   a r o u n d        they promenade, they hang out in public places that are designed with beauty to attract people to hang out. they promenade. That’s why promenade is a noun and a verb, a street and the act of casually walking, with not necessarily a specific destination in mind…people lingering in cafes on narrow streets into the sidewalks.

I told people last evening who actually were by two benches, that the walkways and area by the water, if it were in Europe, would be packed, all of the time, just as the WaterFire festival brings. All summer long, and believe me, I traversed the area by the water…and yes, there were gondola rides, and Providence does have a lot of summer outdoor concerts and festivals, but typically this riverside area, is eerily e m p t y. what? why?

Americans are car-a-holics. They are comfort-a-holics, energy hogs….and guess who is suffering the most? Every other person and creature on the planet, both two feet away from your idling exhaust pipe and insistence on driving everywhere along with the lack of walking infrastructure (thank you automobile and oil industry). And most of the local animals habitats and pathways are being paved by the minute – gotta have those highways, more roads, more building, more pavement. And the fires on every continent and radical storms and recent tsunami are without a doubt, due to the dirty industries feeding this demand for comfort. People become indignant with the thought of having to consider losing some of the efficiency and comfort that they have. Actually, the cool way would be to invest (your homes, your actions and your lifestyles) to let a few other creatures and cultures around the globe live, who are getting hit the hardest.

Oh yeah, so it’s world animal day. It just so happens that if people don’t have the time, or patience or are two self important to adjust their lifestyles or switch to supporting cleaner, sustainable energies, transportation, eating habits and purchasing practices, then when you go on vacation and there are no more animals or birds….whaddya gonna do, go into virtual reality to ‘pretend’?

regenerative cultures, Wendell Berry

regenerative cultures Wendell Berry learn what is good for the world

We have to do this together, we have to acknowledge that EVERYTHING has to change. The entire way I was raised in a little town in Pennsylvania in the USA was comfort, driving, eating meat, buying new clothes each new school season, keeping up with the Kardashians…WTF? You can be decked out in the fanciest clothing and stepping into your oversized car, but if you are overweight from bad habits, too exhausted to even want to read or pursue new information about the wonders of this world, but would rather take out, drive, dismiss, ignore, pop a pill and not be in the present moment, moment after moment of appreciating life and all of the life that also shares this planet, then what exactly are you living for?

Gosh, I think that this planet, and interacting and meeting new people and observing the incredible nature of which we are a part, is the most spectacular thing. It can’t get any better.

Please think about how your choices are affecting your immediate environment and the most biodiverse habitats on the other side of the globe. Human over population and indulgence has to slow down.

Natural Capital Project : Our Relationship with Nature

It just so happens to be the World Animal Day today, and because I love and appreciate all creatures, tiny and humongous as adorable and with the right to live, I just had to let off steam writing this. I hope it triggers a twitch of a thought to change an action.

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

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I bicycled en train de faires mes affaires partout, I road all over town and to the next state circa 20 mi. greeting people with the info of this special day.

Faber-Castell Watercolor Eastern Hemlock vor Sugar Maple

These Eastern Hemlock leaves dangling before a Sugar Maple was done with Faber-Castell watercolor pencils in two sittings – sketching it out and adding water the first day, then adding some more texture and dimension today, September 30th, 2018 in Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, Rhode Island.

Eastern Hemlock, Sugar Maple, Autumn Arriving, Providence, RI, Swan Point Cemetery, September 39th, 2018

Eastern Hemlock vor Sugar Maple PaintingProg

Eastern Hemlock Art Progression, Faber Castell watercolor pencils, Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, RI, September 2018, Carol Keiter

the beginning of the Eastern Hemlock Art Progression

Eastern Hemlock Art Progression, Faber Castell watercolor pencils, Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, RI, September 2018, Carol Keiter

the beginning of the Eastern Hemlock Art Progression

Eastern Hemlock Art Progression, Faber Castell watercolor pencils, Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, RI, September 2018, Carol Keiter

progress of the Eastern Hemlock Art Progression

And the final signed photographs of the watercolor Eastern Hemlock Autumn Arriving

Autumn, colors, Faber-Castell watercolor pencils

Eastern Hemlock vor Sugar Maple Swan Point Cemetery

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