Where Are the Children of Light?

“. . . history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Our generation will have to repent not only for the acts and words of the children of darkness but also for the fears and apathy of the children of light.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I drove north on Hwy 101 not surprised to see a small gathering in the parking lot of the Newport Armory. Hand drawn signs covered a jeep pleading “protect your guns.” I shook my head and scowled disapproval at the woman waving at me from that scene as I drove by. Why didn’t I stop and let them know, on no uncertain terms, that there is at least one person in their midst who opposes their “clamor”?

“The clamor of the bad people” – who are the bad people? I suppose, like me, these folks are speaking to represent those they perceive as a compliant majority of like-minded protectors of a civil right (though not the same right I would select above the others to concentrate my energies upon). Would they really defend all of the policy choices of this gangster-in-chief? While I don’t really know if most people are good, I can hope that we are. Misguided, frightened, not evolved – these are words I’ve used to describe, for my own comfort, these extreme right-wing responders. I live among them and communicate civilly as I do with any stranger. What is civility in the face of barbaric behavior like imprisoning children? Is that good manners or just fear?

I am not apathetic regarding what is going on in this country. I am not apathetic about the current federal administration policies that separate families and put children in cages. The racist, sexist, thuggish bullying tendencies of this American President that seem to have overthrown the minds of a segment of the American population and belittled American values based in humanitarian morality is breaking my heart. What is this slimy ideology that is creeping into our lives? Should we be expecting the mind-police at our doors soon?

The familiar chant of the 1960s echoes in my mind: “Love it or leave it.” Leaving it has crossed my mind lately, but, the thought is quickly followed by the self-accusation of “Coward!” I have loved Oregon, being born here, surrounded by the stature and incomparable beauty of every part of our state. There have always been our right-wing thinkers, but, as evidenced by Oregon’s status as a politically “blue” state, most of us are not of that lot. We have all lived together like family – sometimes in disagreement – usually with respect. What changed?

Our so-called leadership in Washington DC is calling to the dark nature of a small segment of our citizens. The strength of the response seems to be growing if reports are to be believed, but, I think we are all being manipulated into thinking this “trend” is inevitable. I cannot believe that we have no option but to fall into this pit of hell and despair! What set of reasonable answers do we have from which to chose that will solve this distressing equation?

I am just a lonely voice screaming from my broken heart and it seems to be all I can do from here right now. When opportunity for real and effective action presents itself I hope others will join me. This situation we are being given is a problem to solve and quickly – lives and the futures of very young children who cannot act for themselves are being held hostage along with the true soul of our nation.

Please speak up as a Child of Light.


The Eye of Sauron

Let’s begin by saying, “I got let go by my recent employer.” Sour grapes, most certainly, but not how you’d think. It took me 30 seconds to gather my things and get out the door with my final pay. I nearly jumped for joy in the parking lot getting to my car! I’ve been giggling for two days now and I don’t foresee the end to my found-again lightness of heart.

Am I crazy? Well, that’s a subject for a different treatise. I am liberated. The corporate world has rejected me. The evil eye of Sauron scanned my soul and found me wanting. I could not be happier. It is March 8, 2014; let’s see how time treats this . . .

I’m going to be 60 in about a month and I had other plans for myself.

Sauron revisited – and it still feels good. It’s nearly August and I’m still a little pissed off about getting “let go” for being “not a good fit.” I know that times are different, but when I was younger, “not a good fit” would have been a very chickenshit way of telling someone that you just don’t like them. My new “boss” did not like me. Well, I hope he liked those 25 radios I sent into Motorola for repair the week before that would be coming back all at once with attending paperwork and he with no office administrator to receive them. My own private little giggle (tee hee).

I’m not a bit conflicted even though I’m still feeling the giddy sensation of freedom and the slow burn of anger over the event. How is it that businesses will train a person to do a job that is quite beyond the understanding of the person who is supposed to manage the person’s performance on said job?

I began sensing that part of my job was to make the manager feel like he was never wrong or incompetent (even though he was, frequently, regarding my job as office administrator abbreviated as OA) and find a way to do my work correctly and efficiently in spite of his incorrect inputs and unreasonable directives. As time went on, I learned that it was never okay to question the manager; nor was it acceptable to “vent” to other office administrators (not even the one who trained me) about this absolutely unbelievable phenomenon. Day Wireless Systems, a company spanning Oregon, Washington, and California when I was there, hired predominately males as managers and females as office administrators. A chapter of “Mad Men” perhaps, definitely stuck in the 50’s.

Yeah, I’m really glad to not be there. What a crazy circus! But, now, how can I see any corporate job as a potential for me? Has the world shifted so much that Day Wireless Systems is the norm. It seems I’ve escaped the nightmare only to find there is no other option. I am 60 years old and I remember working for corporate banking and the federal government (maybe the largest corporation of all) – stuff made sense, always. Is my inability to make sense of the practices of Day Wireless Systems based on my age and experience or have things really changed in corporate structures that much?

I’m pretty sure that even if I had the desire to re-enter the corporate fray (a presumptuous thought, I probably would not be in the top 20 candidate pool for corporate employment at my age), the same thing would happen. I can’t (at 60, maybe that should read “refuse to”) make people who do not have my professional admiration or respect feel like gods.

Time to do other things.

Cruel Day for Ravens

Ravens, Corvus corax, are large sleek, black shiny, and extremely smart. A raven will assess a problem, figure out a tool and make the tool with another tool if needed to meet a challenge head-on. A trait I admire. Resourceful, clever, undaunted.

In Oregon, on the Central Oregon Coast, the Northern Raven inhabits the open and forested places.

Native people of the Pacific Northwest regard the raven as an incurable trickster, bringing fire to people by stealing it from the sun, and stealing salmon only to drop them in rivers all over the world. 1

Anecdotal evidence – isn’t that what you call it when someone tells you what they saw? – reveals that ravens can get a little rowdy and destructive when, in the autumn, berries ferment on the vine. Ravens eat them, as do other birds. But, when ravens eat fermenting berries which are, in fact, wine, the ravens get drunk and rowdy. They have been seen stumbling about the parking lot at Cape Perpetua looking around and spoiling for a fight. Normally the picture of pride and decorum admired and loved, the Cape Perpetua raven pair get berry drunk and attack inanimate objects that, in their state of drunkenness, are an annoyance or threat. For example, cars.

It has been observed, scientifically, that ravens form nesting pairs that stay together all year long. The pair then spends much energy defending what they view as their place in the world from all intruders. When a pair of ravens is berry drunk, even that raven in the side mirror must be repelled – beaten to a bloody pulp. Ravens can cause some damage. At Cape Perpetua, the resident raven pair caused damages to vehicles in the thousands of visitor dollars.

A simple observer, I only see the fine and noble raven. I smile at the male, he bows to acknowledge me (or so I would like to believe about his nod). He feels large, an imposing presence – a middle-aged raven maybe 5 – 7 years old – standing in the evergreen tree just a bit away from the door of the Cape Perpetua visitor center. Turning to lock the door behind me, I feel safe – like walking with a street-wise boyfriend on the mean streets – when I see the raven nearby.

But, you can’t hit and run in a blur of Autumnal drunkenness and get away with it every year, not even if you’re a clever and noble bird, not even if you’re a clever and noble bird who has been there longer than most of the people, not when dollars are involved.

This morning, October 31, 2013, a Forest Service employee raised a gun fitted with a silencer (so none of the nature lovers visiting the area would be disturbed) and killed the raven pair.

And, my co-worker aged 42 with wife and three children at home and a mortgage he can barely cover was fired from his job today, October 31, 2013. Fired from his job of 16 and ½ years.

It’s always about dollars. Tears, like mine, only prove one thing regarding ravens and co-workers – I was made for some other place.

1 The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Copping a Squat

Taking a Break

The Girls

Rex the Beautiful

Rex the Beautiful

My girls (not those girls) have been relegated to a more confined area. It’s time to let my yard get back to green, tidy up the decks, and plant a garden. All of these things are of small moment to a chicken, or, in my case, a bunch of chickens.

I call them my little velociraptors. Spell check is telling me that’s not a word. But, it explains the attitude and behavior of my girls perfectly. They are single-minded in purpose, kinda cute but watch your ankles, and very hard to catch if they know you are trying.

Rex is my eldest, the last one of the original batch from 2009. Chickens have a natural life span of 7 – 8 years according to some sources; but, all of Rex’s kindred have been long gone. I suspect programmed obsolescence.

I know that the poor species has been mangled genetically to please the eating preferences of humans here in the west. I’ve seen the results in truckloads of small cages, barely room to move, certainly not to stand up (if they could with all that front heavy breast meat) going to slaughter. Both I and my husband cried for those poor creatures in the other lane driving through Salem toward I-5.

We love our girls – even when they are tearing up our yard in the winter, even when they attack our legs for what ever chicken thought is rattling around in their tiny minds. They are beautiful and colorful roaming the tall grass at the edge of our property; they can be sweet and funny especially riding the shovel as I dig up a few worms for their treat, and they give us the most lovely, rich-yolked eggs.

Rex is the statistical outlier. She is the queen of the roost and when she goes there will be more tears. She is having a good life and, even when she stops laying eggs, she will be fed and loved for herself. I wish all of our chickens had her genes. But, the chick industry would go bust. What ever they do to mangle chicken genetics so that the girls will drop dead for no good reason in less than 2 years to keep the dollars rolling in is shameful and evil. No surprise I guess. So, at this house, we will save as many as we have room for and allow them the opportunity to have a good life – however long it might be.

Like I Was Never There . . .(huh)

Not really surprised. Been closed out at fb for a week and no emails. This only goes to show that fb does not make one visible and certainly doesn’t make one part of a group; it’s just a way to get ones feelings hurt repeatedly in the constant lack of validation of ones individuality, mindless invitations at the simple push of a button, inane babble, wait . . . yes, fb “friends” are part of a group ==>> a group of many suckers being marketed for the benefit of a few. Not in that group anymore. Feels gooooood.