Art and the philosophy of life

Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Stay safe?

Top view of modern mobile phone with pale pink screen and STAY SAFE inscription placed on open magazine with black page and white letters during COVID 19 pandemic

What does this mean?  Stay safe from…?  How does one stay safe?

There are just too many things to even discuss.

Photo:  ready made

From: Candy



man in white shirt and blue denim jeans floating on water

This photo is what being born must be like.  Dropped into an ocean of noise and light.  Plopped down into a place where breathing is different…where everything is different.  And then, once we land, we might think, “Oh, no, not again.”  Or maybe that’s just me.  Maybe everyone else is excited and gurgles, “Oh goodie, I’m back.”

It seems to me that if you’re on your ten thousandth life, you might be sick of learning how to do everything all over AGAIN.  I mean really, how many times can a being, or whatever we are, learn to stand up or cut teeth.

Think about it.  Our brains shut off the memories we have from our past lives, so we don’t just sit on the floor and wonder what’s WRONG with us.  Once our memories have been put into another room in our brain/consciousness, and the door tightly sealed, we are able to play peek-a-boo for the millionth time, because we have lost the ability to understand that we don’t actually DISAPPEAR when we cover our eyes with our hands.

I think we should ask our babies why they came back and how we can help them do what they came here to do, so their lives will be a lot easier.  Seems stupid to keep inventing the wheel, right?  Just tell them that we’ll do whatever we can to get them through it with as few scars as possible, and to let us know what they need, so they don’t have to come back and do it again, unless they really want to.  Of course, they’ll tell us to mind our own business because it’s THEIR life and they’ll live it their own way. I know that to be true, because that’s what I said to my mother.  No one listens to anyone else, and the only way to learn is to jump into the fire yourself.  After they say that, we can tell them that we’ll feed them, take them to the doctor for shots, give them clothes, and never put them in flame retardant pajamas.  As for the rest, we can tell them they’re on their own,  good luck, and we will all have a good laugh about this stuff, when we see each other on the other side…AGAIN!

Here’s what upsets me personally.  What if I was French in a hundred different lives?  I can’t speak French today, so I might have spent all those years learning to speak French, only to forget it over and over and over AGAIN.

Look, we are always trying to streamline things, at least in America.  We have people in companies who walk around with stopwatches in their hands, wondering if they can cut a second off of some worker’s movements.  When people go on vacation, they don’t have to relearn how to do what they did before they left.  When we wake up in the morning, we don’t have to relearn ANYTHING.  But when we die and return, THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT WE HAVE TO DO.  We have to start all over AGAIN.  We never stop starting over.  That seems like a waste of resources, energy and time.  It makes me tired to even think about it.

Because of THE GREAT FORGETTING, we have to swim our way to the top, where air exists above the water, so we can breathe.  Then it’s an immediate leap into growing, because we all know that no one wants to stay an infant any longer than they have to.  Everyone wants to get to the good stuff, whatever you personally think the good stuff might be.  Like being able to feed yourself, or turn over.

It is possible that while we are shoving applesauce into the open mouths of babies, they are screaming, “I JUST WANT A PIZZA AND A HALF GALLON OF VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM.”  They might also be wondering what happened to them, and why they have to sit in a weird chair that’s higher than everyone else’s.  Then comes the horrifying realization that they will be forced to wait YEARS before they will be able to  get a pizza by themselves.  It is possible that a child might have colic.  It’s also possible that all the screaming is because the baby truly knows what’s going on and understand that they’re trapped.  A brain surgeon one day, a thumb sucker the next.

So, when our memories are erased, or packed away, we fool ourselves into believing that this is the first time for everything.  Right from the start, we lie to ourselves. Those are the rules of the game. Supposedly, it’s for our own good.  Why would we want to be able to speak every language and know how much math and triangles have meant to us through our many incarnations?  Yes, yes, having nine million parents living in our heads could be problematic, but maybe we could have selective memory blackouts.  You know, just get rid of the things that would make us crazier than we already are, while leaving our memories of how to ride a horse, recognize poison ivy, drive a car, fly a plane, swim, dance and have fun, intact.

Just think about it.


Photo:  Patrick Jansen



Okay, so unicorns…

Animal, Creature, Equine, Fantasy

My daughter loved unicorns when she was young.  I mean who doesn’t, right?   She collected them.  Cards, statues, everything.  I kind of collected a few myself.  But the differences between our unicorns were obvious from the start.

Her unicorns were all white, with flowers in their manes.  Beautiful, delicate, and graceful unicorns.

My unicorns were black, or dark blue, with thick ankles and big hoofs, their wild manes thrashing in the wind, against a black and navy blue sky.  Mine were furious, ready for war.

The other day, when we were shopping, she came up to me in Barnes and Nobles and handed me a black unicorn.  She held up a white one, with flowers in her mane.  It was a sweet gesture, taking us back many years.

We are yin and yang.  She’s gentle and lives in a garden.  I’m furious and I live in a war zone.  Neither of us has changed.  We love our unicorns still, and like them, we are who we are.   I made her life difficult.  I can’t even see the garden…I just see the bodies.

okay, so…

Last night Debbie texted, “watch Rebel on hulu.  It’s you.”  I thought it would be a comedy but nope, it was about a loud, aggressive, in your face activist, whose kids never wanted to be activists, but were forced into it by their mom.  Sigh.

Okay, so I dragged my daughter on buses and planes, took her everywhere, to march, demonstrate, defend clinics, animals, and all the rest.

We didn’t do the mother daughter thing, the way a lot of other mother’s and daughter’s did.  My daughter was handing out leaflets, picketing Northwestern’s Animal Labs, furriers, marching in Washington, Springfield, going to International Feminist Conventions, and meetings, working for the ERA, doing voter registration and pretty much everything else, including letter writing, phone calls, coming to most of my lectures, and boycotting.  That was her childhood.

I adore her. She’s an amazing, professional, intelligent, strong, funny, LOYAL, woman, who is much nicer than I am, or ever could be.  I’m aggressive.  She doesn’t go for someone’s throat, until she’s tried other ways.  I give whatever it is about three minutes, and then I’m finished being nice.  So, when she said the character Rebel,on the program, and I were alike, she wasn’t kidding.  She said she kept saying, “There’s my mom,” while she was watching the program.  I have to ask her if that was a good, or bad thing.  Mmmm, probably bad, right? 

My daughter’s like a warm summer breeze and I’m more like a nasty tornado, but we work amazingly well together.  We have each other’s back…always.  I think she’s so perfect because she’s like her father.  He was perfect too.  Our son, well, he was more like me.  Enough said.

Anyway, her nickname for me is, The Shredder.  I tell her I’m not that bad.  She tells me that I am.  We can both be right…or wrong.

We are who we are.

The beginning and end of the human species…I think we’re currently 3rd or 4th from the bottom and working our way down.

Used Matchsticks on White Background

Photo:  Ferbugs


Goose, Bird, Flight, Flying

as far as we know
a goose
doesn’t think
about flying
she just flies
is what she does
it’s as natural to her
as breathing
we can’t know for sure
but I doubt she thinks about
not being able to fly
about having to walk
or crawl everywhere
it doesn’t seem as if she would
compare herself to other beings
and wonder why they were always
on the ground
and not in the air
I think our species is the only one
that thinks about what others
can and cannot do
the only one
that thinks of never ending destruction
and deadly weapons
that could end all life on the planet
I think we’re the only broken ones here
I think every other species
just lives
and does’t worship death
I don’t think a goose hates
or wants more than she needs
I think a goose is balanced
and in harmony with nature
she isn’t other
but part of
we are the ones who are
out of place
we don’t belong here
we are the enemy
to every
living thing

Okay, so…

Flapper Dance, Man And Woman, 1920

I was looking at vintage pictures of Paris in the 20’s and thought, in a hundred years, we will look as out of touch to future generations, as they do to us.  Unless, of course, people are living in caves, if there are any people left at all.

Humans…a poem

man with orange mask

we have painted our faces
since the beginning
to create fear
to be beautiful
to gather power
to become
other than we are
we wear ink
and feathers
to get the attention
of the old ones
the four-legged ones
the winged ones
let’s face it
we haven’t come as far
as we think we have



Photo:  Joshua Rondeau

The passing of knowledge and experience…

Photo of Women Reading a Book

How often do we see photographs like this one?  I mean in magazines, or anywhere else, for that matter?  Older people become invisible in our culture.  Instead of drawing on their knowledge and experience, we ignore them, as if they don’t know anything.

When I see something like this I feel that a bond is being passed from one generation to another.  Whether they are related or not, the adult is passing something important to the child.  To me, it’s a beautiful thing that we rarely ever see.  It seems as if images such as these, would go a long way to help people reach each other.  Create a bridge between children and their elders.  It might even teach respect.

My grandmother was magic.  She gave me everything and taught me to fly.  I was so very lucky to have her.

We might want to think about listening to the stories and advice of Native Americans and the elders of all races.  To the animals and to the earth itself, if we are not only to survive, but in order to be whole.


Photo: Andrea Piacquadio

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