Saturday, June 30, 2012

Worthy to live?

     On my Facebook page, I have posted numerous links regarding animal cruelty which is rampant and to find such cruelty within a block of my home only makes the awareness of decisions local officials have made to destroy innocent creatures more horrific. (The intent, unless I'm already too late, is to exterminate beautiful geese so they are not in the flight pattern of the local airport.) It brings to mind an image of the Holocaust of WWII when people were exterminated because they didn't fit in and even that statement is a severe simplification of the dreadful dynamics in play at the time. Relocate them. Make them live in squalor. Don't give them what they need. Humiliate their very dignity. Create a raging hell for them. Keep them off guard. They're targets, but they don't need to know it.

What made such okay? 
Who says it's okay? 
Well, it's NOT okay. 

     Such takes me to Ted, my pup of whom many of you are aware. He is still paralyzed from the waist down and I still have to express his bladder so he can urinate. Yes, he has his struggles and so will I as I care for him, but I don't count him part of our throw away society. He isn't a creature of convenience or a toy that can be found on a recall list; he is a dignified, incredible little guy, a creature who brings light, laughter, joy and unconditional love to my life and the lives of others. People tell me he is spoiled. You better believe he is, and that is exactly how he will stay! Spoiled rotten. His quality of life is my priority.

     "This doesn't work, so pitch it, and get another." "This is not in fashion, so pitch it and buy the latest." We used to have things repaired, or mended; socks were darned; shoes were half soled and polished; cars were okay as long as they got us where we were going; leftovers weren't a choice - they were the next meal and usually tasted better the next day anyway.

     Momma wore the same "winter coat" for forty years; it was her best and it kept the chill off, even it was out of style with it's big oatmeal cookie sized buttons, three-quarter sleeves, beige cashmere fabric with a copper colored, shiny inner lining, all topped off with a white fur collar - smack dab out of 1955. It was the coat that meant things were good in our family's world; it's the coat I snuggled up to as a kid so I could be close to her, smelling her perfume and feeling the luxury of cashmere. Lucille Ball would have been proud to wear it.  

     If we're going to be fully human, it does take sacrifice and putting other people and creatures first. "ME" has become the supreme idol I fear; convenience and wealth are primary goals, and by the way, I want "IT" now, damn it. No waiting please; I'll stand in line for hours and when the next version of whatever it is comes out, I want that too because if I have it, then I ........well, I don't know what that makes a person have or be. And whatever it makes us, how long will that last? A day? Week? Month? Year? Minutes?

     A lady used to sing in my choir. Entering her kitchen one day, there was an old, well worn and somewhat beaten up white kettle on the stove. It was white enamel with bits of paint missing. "This is where I make tea," she said. How many years did she make tea in that kettle? What kind of tea? Did the kettle have an aroma of Earl Gray or Jasmine or the local store's generic black tea? How many memories were attached, reminding her of friends who had shared tea with her from a mug or a china cup along with her incredible home made shortbread? That kettle was a constant. It looked old and loved and used and worse for wear. It was endearing like an old friend, one that couldn't speak in words, but in memory. Sweet. It wasn't perfect, gleaming stainless or oddly shaped to be trendy. It was real - used, tough, substantial, appreciated and had worth, regardless how it looked or how old it was.

     As I said only yesterday to a dear friend in regard to smart phones and the like - sure, they're cool and technology has its place. But, when I bought my first phone in 1982, I bought a desk phone, black with rotary dial. I insisted on it to the lady at South Central Bell, before phones were purchased just anywhere. I can still recall the sales lady really pushing a slim line, push button phone -  how sleek; it's the latest, blah, blah, blah. The black desk phone to me was a classic; it was enough for $25.00 at the time, added dollar by dollar to my $20 monthly bill. It did the job and certainly kept boundaries in place for me, so people could not find me anywhere at anytime like they can today on my Go Phone (no contract please).

     What makes a person, an animal, an object have worth? When and who decides and by what permission does that someone decide such worth is now worth-less? Worth has been deleted, denied, diminished or destroyed. Being fully human and in relation with the earth and its amazing creatures, deeming worth, being worthy. Worth thinking about.

     Thanks for reading.

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