Are you having weird dreams because staying inside a lot with all the nervous energy of your similarly cloistered neighbors messes with your sleep? And then, because you don’t have to get up with the dawn’s early light there’s a lot more time to stay under the blankets and remember things from dreamland? Say, a giant spider that rains building-smashing balloons down on the world, but is then beaten by the last bearded heart throb firefighter of the apocalypse, Lou Ferrigno, who seems like a swell savior until he pulls his hairy fireman face off to reveal a stern skull who warns you not to sit on your mask or use it as a pillow?
If you’re among that number of people for whom a troubling dream carries over into the time that you are awake, a cool thing to exorcise the waking impact of a nightmare is to write it down. Also, if you are having and recalling good dreams, a way to preserve and strengthen the imaginative part of your mind that processes your life when you’re not sleeping is to write it down. No need to wait for a global health crisis, writing and remembering and using all the tools available to you to make sense of life are good choices any time.
there’s one thing that will get us through this crisis.
and the next one.
and the next one.
and for the several that are already in the works for next year.
it isn’t panic buying, hoarding, or target practice.
it is simply the enormous capacity for human kindness.
start in your own neighborhood, and figure out how to listen and share what needs sharing. now’s the time to figure out how to balance keeping yourself safe and organizing help for others. it won’t be done for us. when the current health scare ends, maybe you’ll have good habits ready for the next global disease scare, natural disaster, or election.
You are magic.
At a cellular level, the practice of magic has a lot in common with the fundament of most religious ideology. An individual is made greater with acknowledgement, respect, and vocal invitation to be a vessel for a power greater than one’s self. This power is often thought of as residing vaguely skyward, but is simultaneously everywhere and present in all things and persons. The more people that think the way that you do and cast spells–or pray, meditate, or sing, perform acts of public service or create a work of art, etc.– the more powerful that spell becomes. The more repetitions of a spell, the more likely it is that its intended results become real, spreading the idea of itself farther out geographically from its point of origin, and into the future.
There are organizations that use magic to their advantage all the time. If you have ever made a decision on what sports beverage to drink, what movie to watch, or who to vote for, it is likely that repetition of that product’s symbolism and it’s implied positive impact on you will have influenced that decision. An idea that came from nowhere but a powerful individual’s imagination and will to change your perception and how you spend pops up in your life and has its intended effect, without you ever having to meet that individual.
Magic can also be used to heal, to make one’s head or immediate physical surroundings a place where life and ideas can calmly flourish, and to ensure that no one has to invoke the same spirits or symbols as their neighbor to live safely in the same neighborhood.
Rod Serling once summed it up like this: “If in any quest for magic, in any search for sorcery, witchery, legerdemain, first check the human spirit.”
I offer this reminder to you with the hope that in the coming days, you don’t forget where the magical power to change your life and the whole world lives, and how to wield it. It is everywhere, in all things and persons, requires only your belief in it and acknowledgement that it is in you. That it is you.
The word “suffrage” means the right to vote.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Ammendment of the U.S. Constitution, I wanted to draw what many #suffragists adopted as a symbol of their movement, the suffrage cat. A tiger seems fitting to reflect how wild and tough the people involved in ensuring the right to vote for women had to be.
The cat was also used as a propaganda image by anti-suffragists, often small silly cartoon kittens who were too ridiculous to be taken seriously. However, advocates of women’s right to vote were mocked, harassed by the media and police, imprisoned, beaten, and killed for having the courage to say that everyone should be able to participate in the process of our nation’s democracy. They organized, took to the streets, worked to educate and empower each other over the course of generations, knowing that the goal of just having the right that many of us take for granted today would likely not be met in their lifetimes, or their children’s lifetimes.
Sojourner Truth once said:
“If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down, these women together ought to be able to turn it right again.”
It is easy to be scared and depressed over the everything that is our world right now. Should you need a reminder that people are also capable of doing brave and beautiful things, do yourself a favor and check out the National Park Service ‘s amazing resources on the history of the 19th Amendment (www.nps.gov) and the many women involved in helping it be law. Buy art from people who are alive. Take the suffrage you have now, and use it.
it’s a good day to be good to yourself.
A growing number of us, whether we live with depression or not, are waiting for the next life crisis that does us in. We pray against the card declining at the grocery store, or next medical bill, or the next oblivious action of someone operating a vehicle with other things on their mind while we’re just trying to cross the street. The what ifs pile up and at some point, the best solution can seem to be to wade into the water, and turn into everything a live dolphin isn’t.
Sometimes we just need a reminder while we’re all wandering around bumping into things that it’s the only game in town, and it’s worth playing. If you can spare a kind word for a friend, hold an elevator door for a stranger, donate useful things or your time to an organization that puts useful things in needy hands, you might just be the reminder that someone needs to keep going.
George Orwell wrote that “We say a man’s dead when his heart stops, and not before… Perhaps a man really dies when his brain stops, when he loses the power to take in a new idea.”
Here’s to trying new things, and taking in new ideas. Maybe you want to get on a unicycle like the Unipiper, or read up on some world events happening more than 6 miles away from where you live, or carefully listen to someone who disagrees with you on something and discuss the series of life events that lead the both of you to think in different ways about the same thing. While you have the ability to do so, take your brain for a spin and see where you end up.