via Daily Prompt: Rube
Rube, bumpkin, hillbilly. How easy it is to teter on the edge of comedy and slur. The Beverly Hillbilles was good for a laugh, and so was Petticoat Junction, and who remembers Ma and Pa Kettle? It’s okay to poke fun at abstract characters and behaviour, but I draw the line at belittling people by labeling them with a put-down or slur. I am probably one of the few who refuse to laugh at the memes depicting Walmart customers as bumkins and morons, my guess is there’s a lot more going on in people’s lives than we can ever know. It’s easy to laugh at others, but it’s worth checking why you’re laughing.
For a delightful challenge to stereotyping it’s worth watching the movie ‘Nell’ with Jodie Foster.
I love Plato’s oft quoted phrase: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
via Daily Prompt: Enroll
I love bush walking and hiking, but I really don’t enjoy rock scrambling. I’ve never had great balance (compounded by a car crash which resulted in a broken jaw some decades ago) and I tend to struggle going across rock. What I do sign up for are challenging walks, simple walks, beautiful trails, but I never really want to tackle rock. Rock is hard work for me, and best left as the road less travelled. Rock also slows me down (on this particular day we took half an hour to clamber over the rocks to get to the gorge, and only over a short distance), I am more tentative, being particularly careful to place my feet and keep my center of gravity, to avoid breaking bones or falling over. A bit like life really, there are the smooth bits, the challenging bits and the difficult bits that require care to navigate lest we become to damaged or fall down.
A senryu –
Over granite rocks
Traversing jagged boulders
Like the Titanic
via Daily Prompt: Creature
Folk singer/songwriter Bill Staines wrote “All God’s Creatures Got a Place in the Choir.” I love the song because it’s theme is a plea to value all living things, all animals, insects, birds, and so on. We all have our place, and we all have purpose, and we all have true value.
The photo is of a Black Cockatoo. Of the five species of Black Cockatoos – Baudins, Carnaby’s, South-Eastern Red, and the Kangaroo Island Glossy, are all on the endagngered list. Only the Yellow Tailed is not endangered. I shouldn’t have to write that anything is on the endangered species list, let alone four of the five species of Black Cockatoo. The main threat to the birds is habitat loss. They nest in the hollows of older trees, and land clearing has deeply affected them. They are long living (50 yrs in the wild), the females lay and nurture one egg, and the chick takes up to three months before taking flight. So they’re not in a hurry nor are they prolific breeders, which makes them vulnerable.
State depts responsible for wildlife are taking action to prevent loss, and the WWF (in conjunction with Birds Australia) are working to educate and prevent loss. So it is not all bleak, but much more needs to be done. They are unique to Australia, and they are beautiful creatures in their own right.
I know the answer, but I find myself often asking “How did we ever let it get to this?” We need to turn the tide everywhere of every endangered species. They’re all in the choir!
A Place In The Choir
via Daily Prompt: Horizon
For me the horizon is an invitation to discovery. What is up around that bend? (queue Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Up Around the Bend’) And the horizon is a metaphor for life. What comes next? It can be engaged immediately, or I can wait and savour the moment, take my time. I don’t want to conquer that bend, I just want to see what it is inviting me to, what gift is offered, and what wil I take from this moment? A little bit like my meditation practice, there is the horizon of stillness, and I wonder what that will bring to my life, what gift will arise? I’ve never been disappointed either way, and there’s always a new horizon.
“There’s a place up ahead and I’m goin’, come along, come along with me.” (John C. Fogerty)
via Photo Challenge: Silence
Can you hear that? No? Exactly, relative silence.
Gordon Hempton and John Crossman published their book ‘One Square Inch of Silence’ back in 2009. It was an attempt to highlight the need for silence for healthy living and for the environemnt in general. It is a noise control project and has had some positive responce from commerce and industry in the US which is where the study was based. The book is a great read, and is really a biography of Hempton’s physical journey to establish if one square inch of silence could be found.
The photo is of Jindalee Breakaway, and there, there was the sound of birds, and wind, and nought else. But the search for outer silence is one thing, and can never trump the search for inner silence. My meditation teacher always said, you should be able to meditate in an airport lounge. And I laughed then, but now I know it to be true.
But the double bonus for me, as some of you know, is to meditate in the bush – this is a literal heaven. There I am nourished and truly flourish and become whole.
via Daily Prompt: Shock
Lake Brown, near Nungarin. It has been there for a milennia, and it has always been a salt lake. For a time the salt has been a food and agriculture source. But when the lake is first encountered it is a shock to the eyes. The vegetation on the shoreline is degraded, salt affected, while the water burns the skin. Our wheat-belt has several of these salt lakes. But the shock of them often leads people to speculate that it is a result of modern farming – the clearing of land and overgrazing. But the reality is that these lakes precede white settlement. In our shock there has been a rush to apportion blame – that’s what we do, find a reason, find someone, to blame. But this salt lake is a natural occurrence, and no one is to blame. While salt lakes are considered in a negative light, they have and continue to be, a positive resource. Ignorance is not bliss, and we must make an effort not to judge in haste.
via Daily Prompt: Agile
Redbank Gorge was worth the short scramble, but I’m not as agile as I once was, although, in my head I’m still in my twenties 😀, but I’m definitely not fragile! As a child my parents took us on country walks. And my friends and I would sneak off for escapades in the surrounding countryside collecting tadpoles or frogs, chasing fish or floating leaves in streams. As I grew older it became more about nature as an interest in itself. And later still, I understood nature to be integral to my spirituality, something our whole family shares to some degree. Whether it is a serious trail hike or a simple bush walk I feel whole and nurtured in the bush, and I do anything to make it happen, agile or not. It’s not about the conquest or possession of nature, it’s about emersion and relationship.