Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘hope

Multiple Pies

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The new oven plays a cute little tune when it reaches the temperature setting. I heard that song a lot yesterday, between the pies and gramma Betty buns Cyndie baked for customers and family members who are on her planned delivery route this morning.

Apple pies, pecan pies, and pumpkin pies (not shown) were options that customers of the White Pine Berry Farm could pre-order for Thanksgiving. Of course, Cyndie chose to make extra in order to have one of each for us to cut into for “testing purposes.”

Based on the results, testing probably wasn’t necessary. They were perfectly delicious.

She caught me in a happy mindset, so I was easy to please. Investors seemed pretty giddy yesterday after the Biden announcement of his cabinet picks, pushing the Dow past 30,000 for the first time ever. I heard some interviews with appointees and the President-Elect himself and witnessed level headed informative assessments of current realities that were completely free of conspiracy theories and hyperbolic rhetoric.

It was awe-inspiring for its complete lack of bombast.

Even as the pandemic spreads like wild around us, there is a growing measure of hope for a new normal that will be devoid of mockery and bullying from the highest offices of the new administration, where staff will no longer be required to parrot the company line or be shown the door.

It’s the honeymoon period. There’ll be time soon enough to call the next administration on their failures to live up to promises. For now, I am enjoying the breath of fresh air.

Have they promised a pie for everyone’s kitchen counter yet? They should.

I know someone who is pretty good at baking them.

(Oy. Think of how much test tasting that would involve…)

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Written by johnwhays

November 25, 2020 at 7:00 am

Virus Mania

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It’s as if there is some sort of pandemic or something. The coronavirus is everywhere. That invisible little bug that half the people think is being way over-hyped while over a million others are dead from and hospitals are being stretched beyond capacity is not magically disappearing in the way some hoped.

Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.

Radio on-the-street interviews capture a scary number of people who complain they are tired of the pandemic and frustrated with officials who are struggling to mandate protocols that can limit the spread. Not the proudest moment for the human race.

Staying home all the time is too hard. Really? How hard is it?

What if we had to practice avoiding others for a whole year? I don’t know. Maybe try imagining how hostages who are held for four times that long muster the ability to cope.

We have the promise of vaccines to look forward to, so the beginning of the resolution of the pandemic is within sight. It would be nice if people could rise to the occasion of not making things any worse than they already are while we work through the process of vaccine distribution on the way to achieving herd immunity.

Try pretending that it isn’t a hoax. Play along with us for a little while, for the good of the rest of the world population.

After it’s all over, maybe all the people who have lost jobs and businesses can be retrained to become firefighters or search and rescue EMTs to deal with the increasing wildfires and flooding hurricanes that global warming has continued to exacerbate while we have been distracted.

Just call me little miss sunshine this morning.

Forgive me. I’m just reacting sideways to the unending reports of GOP and White House lunacy stinking up the remnants of our democratic election here in the U.S.

I trust there is hope for a better day hiding out there somewhere. [Insert joke about expecting to find a pony in here someplace.]

I’ll keep digging. And staying home as much as possible.

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Written by johnwhays

November 20, 2020 at 7:00 am

My Reaction

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Relief. Thinking about the rest of the world seeing we had chosen someone other than Donald Trump. Imagining the possibility of not being bombarded every single day with some new outrageous thing the President had said or done. A television analyst commented about the prospect of having headspace freed from the daily barrage.

That would be a relief.

There remains a fair amount of trepidation over the fact that 70 million people voted for four more years of what we just endured. Whatever portion of those voters were actual believers of the ruse pushed forth, they don’t just disappear. How many of them will be open to being deprogrammed by actual verifiable facts?

The celebrations that spontaneously erupted after multiple sources called the election for Biden are a natural reaction to everything that the world has endured since the GOP chose the course of their candidate for 2016. For everything that has happened since, is happening now, or will transpire in the days ahead, I believe we see evidence that “you reap what you sow.”

Our beliefs and actions have consequences.

Those who became emboldened to spout unsavory opinions and blatantly espouse racist ideologies should not be surprised to find a backlash against their actions.

In the aftermath of the style of governing of the last four years, all the supporters who now want to distance themselves from responsibility for what transpired are saddled by the fact of being guilty by association. All the members of the Republican party who remained silent while outrageous and unethical words or deeds were unleashed are culpable.

My philosophy is that we need to love them all, but my love for them does not allow for unsupported false accusations to which they may choose to cling.

May truth prevail.

May reality triumph over fantasy.

May wisdom overrule idiocy.

May we survive the interim period between the November election and the January inauguration during this global pandemic.

May things get no worse before they begin to finally get better.

No more mocking. No more bullying. No more hidden tax returns.

I am hoping for some ember of possibility the two political parties will work together to help the people of this country under the new President. Will it be possible to pass meaningful legislation? It will take cooperation.

I love cooperation. I’m hoping for unprecedented amounts of it in the near future and beyond.

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Written by johnwhays

November 8, 2020 at 10:53 am

Figuring Out

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The human race has made it this far. Maybe things will change for the better if enough people overcome fear, selfish greed, and exclusionary dogma to embrace love for all others equally. Think about it.

In the meantime, rational thinking must tolerate the rampant distribution of disinformation and innumerable groups of gullible people who allow themselves to believe any narrative that aligns with their versions of reality.

Long ago I became disturbed by ever-increasing reports of atrocities enacted by individuals who had themselves been abused. It was very obvious that those who had been harmed were eventually becoming offenders. Generations of this pattern were creating an expanding pyramid of misery.

This led me to visualize inverting that pyramid of dysfunction by breaking the patterns in some who could raise healthier children. With each generation, there would be fewer abusers and from the top down, the cone of an inverted dysfunction pyramid would be getting smaller with time. A reverse-pyramid scheme.

Of course, the opposite of that is the wonderful perspective of a pyramid of healthy loving people expanding with every generation.

I sought to break the chain of depression that I had inherited from my family tree and provide the knowledge and support for my children to recognize depression in themselves and those they love.

With the innovations of a world-wide internet and social media applications, the less rational portions of the human population have found a method to consolidate their numbers in frightening ways. I’m finding myself stumped for ideas to invert the pyramid of fear-based philosophies.

How much of my loving them will influence a change of thought? Why doesn’t rational logic override conspiratorial fears? How will non-religious spirituality ever compete with entrenched dogma of so many rival sects?

Will our dog and our cat ever figure out how to peaceably get along?

From history, we know that civilizations collapse. There is no assurance that there will come a day when all people eventually come together into a healthy, compassionate, inclusive, and loving society. Maybe if robots are programmed to take over our governance. Although, I saw a curious report that an AI (artificial intelligence) controlled camera mistook a referee’s bald head for a soccer ball and followed it for the remainder of a match.

Based on the last four years of backlash to the US having elected a person of color to the highest office for the eight years previous, our democracy doesn’t appear to be the beacon of hope it was once purported to be. Capitalism doesn’t deserve very high marks either, given the insane disparity of wealth distribution and environmental destruction it has achieved.

If the US survives the outcome of our election on Tuesday, we will have a lot of work ahead of us to overcome animosities and nurture more love for others than ever before. Freedom may ring, but the world will be a much better place if it rings with due respect for all others.

Let’s expand love to more people in the world than any generation before us ever achieved.

Amen.

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Wandering Ponders

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There are times when putting on music that inspires my personal tastes, music which soars to the greatest depths of my vibrational energy and reaches the core of my being, brings on a rush like a drug.

I love that.

I have come to understand the belief that we make our own luck. Both good and bad. I also believe there are powers beyond our knowing that seek to cheer us on and want the best for us. I believe this more than I think there are powers that work against us.

There are enough circumstances, and our own shortsightedness, to balance that scale against our ultimate success.

I am dismayed over a sensation about the human race too often falling victim to the selfish greed and power worship of our nature. Despite the incredible number of people striving to do good for others, seeking true justice, full equality, better futures, a greater understanding of complex thought exercises that could lead to problem-solving advances, it too often appears as productive as pissing into the wind.

Even if one were to hold the key to fixing some current calamity, it would run smack dab into a wall of resistance and litigation to squash the solution in its infancy.

We have met the enemy. It is us.

By Ruth Bader Ginsberg achieving all that she did, we know what is possible. She didn’t do so invisibly. Obviously, she climbed to new heights on the shoulders of impressive women who came before her. It stands to reason to expect there are others currently striving to build on her legacy.

They are toiling this very minute. May they waste nary a second to launch together in pairs, in study groups, by the dozens, hundreds even, rising up to be heard, to grab positions of power, to lead in ways that would make The Notorious RBG vibrate with glee.

Something is tragically wrong when the police in a democracy get permission to barge into a home in the middle of the night without warning, triggering a defensive response that allows them to use deadly force with abandon and when citizens protest our objections, the perpetrators are held at fault only for the bullets that went astray of the innocent resident in her bed.

So many brilliant people have expressed the dysfunction of allowing corporations to call the shots. It is obvious that excessive salaries for top executives combined with insufficient pay for most everyone beneath them is an untenable situation.

Seems too obvious to deny or defend. As does doing harm to the environment. As does killing others for religious or ideological reasons.

It was said, “Never again.”

I wish.

I love when the good side triumphs. I can’t wait until we all can read about women who have achieved twice what RBG did.

I hope none of them delay for one day their rightful claims to places in history.

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Written by johnwhays

September 26, 2020 at 9:15 am

Always Hope

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It is a time of speeches for democracy in the US this week and hearing the intelligent oration of our previous (44th) President last night was incredibly refreshing. After enduring years of the undoing of countless protections to our environment, the destruction of our country’s reputation across the globe, disrespecting our allies and coddling our adversaries, and repeatedly trashing our precious freedom of the press, the campaign for an alternative is finally stirring hope for a better future.

I sure hope our youngest eligible voters will show up like never before to exercise their right to have a say in who our lawmakers and policymakers and leaders will be for the next term, all the way down the ballot.

If our chickens could vote, I think the twelve young ones would choose to have the net removed so they could take over the whole coop.

The three adult hens might not be ready to accept the kids yet, though. Tuesday night, I think they thought the kids had locked them out of the house. When I arrived to close the chicken door for the night, to my surprise, the hens came running to meet me.

“What are you guys doing up still?!” I asked in amazement. “You’re supposed to be in bed already!”

Then I noticed their access door was already closed. Poor things couldn’t get in.

It was as if they were running toward me to tell me all about their dilemma.

When Cyndie got home later in the evening, I asked if she knew any reason why the door might have been closed. The realization flashed and she moaned in woe. She had closed it earlier in the day, in case any of the young ones hopped over a barrier while she was pulling out the poop board to clean it, and forgot to slide the door back open.

The young chicks have quickly gained full confidence for climbing to the big roosts and will make big leaps and flap wings to reach places we’d rather they didn’t, like the slanted surface above the nest boxes.

But their confidence and aggressiveness give me hope they will be up to every challenge that lies ahead while maturing into adulthood.

It feels good to experience a little boost in hope. For our chicks, yes, but more importantly, for our country.

It’s been a really long stretch of little to none in the hope department.

This serves to remind me to always hope, regardless of how gloomy the prospects might ever appear.

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Written by johnwhays

August 20, 2020 at 6:00 am

Mixed Mind

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It’s a battle to maintain a positive, hopeful outlook amid a pandemic that our government has failed to effectively manage, which has our economy teetering on the brink of collapse. Meanwhile, Cyndie’s garden extravaganza can be described as nothing but a bountiful success and our new brood of rambunctious chicks inspire visions of a wonderful future.

My mood of the moment has been swinging wildly between hope and despair.

Federal secret police snatching protesters in Portland? The White House disrupting coronavirus reporting to the CDC? What is our government up to and why does there seem to be no way to enact checks and balances that once protected our democracy? Why is it that the current President has been allowed to keep his financial interests secret all this time?

Last night we lucked out once again in the stormy weather lottery. We were spared even a hint of destructive wind in the moments after warnings and radar images indicated a tornado was headed in our direction. We have yet to hear any reports of whether the vicinity around us was impacted negatively.

I can report the lightning bolts flashing dramatically in the clouds overhead were more frequent and numerous than I have ever witnessed before in my life. The constant rumble of distant thunder never once appeared to match the immediate flashes occurring directly above our location which baffled my understanding of the way things work.

I cannot fathom what actual energy was at play to generate such a dazzling display of countless electrical arcing bolts without the usual accompanying impacts of typical thunder. Just one night prior, we suffered two BOOM!s of thunder that scared me into a clench of inadvertent reaction that lasted three times as long as the explosion of thunder itself. The worst of those incidents surely was one that struck somewhere close enough that light and sound were simultaneous.

I can’t say for sure because I was attempting to be asleep at the time.

The warming of our planet assuredly is unleashing greater intensity of local storms, but each time we escape unscathed I feel a moment of hope that our destruction is not imminent. Tornadoes can be devastating, but they can also be relatively precise as to the areas of impact.

That is a little like deciding to raise free-range chickens in an area that includes foxes, coyotes, possums, skunks, feral cats, occasional passing mountain lions, neighboring dogs, and marauding raccoons.

It mixes my mind.

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Written by johnwhays

July 19, 2020 at 9:57 am

Flowing Again

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Problem solved. A full day in operation and the water level is holding. It was indeed the orientation of the waterfall that was contributing to the surprising loss of water every day.

The peaceful meditations of splashing water have returned to grace our idyllic surroundings once again.

Pretty good timing, given the visceral angst boiling over in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers in the middle of a global pandemic that had seriously derailed the economy while killing vulnerable people with abandon.

With such a wallop of bad vibes unceasingly resonating far and wide, people understandingly are reacting with a protective perspective of wondering what more awful situation could be around the next corner. If we expect the worst, maybe it won’t hurt so much when it arrives. I remember that mindset from my years of depression.

Thinking like that may come across as protective on the surface, but it doesn’t actually work as well as the alternative. We can hold space for best possibilities.

Neither method can entirely control outcomes, but it is hard to argue that they don’t have some influence. Consider how strongly people feel about the power of prayer.

I no longer brace myself for the next possible calamity to befall us. I have grown more inclined to visualize the best possible outcome humankind can achieve. It is easier for me now that I have narrowed my focus to the power of love. Love is the answer. Love can heal all wounds.

It is time to get love flowing again, equally among all races, all income levels, all orientations.

Let the love flow and splash down over everything and everyone.

Amen.

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I Hope

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Yesterday afternoon, it occurred to me that I don’t have the same skills for conjuring up “hope” out of nowhere like I do for manifesting “love” by way of a basic mental exercise of simply doing so. Could that be a remnant from a life-long propensity for a dysthymic depressiveness?

The violent clashes between protestors and police forces seem to be getting worse around the country, while things have calmed down dramatically in the Twin Cities. Part of me fears the local rabble-rousers will become re-enthused by the expanding uproar and want to get back in the game.

Another part of me fears the possibility all this turmoil will be for naught, like too many times before. In a year or two, or five, a white police officer will kill a person of color and we’ll still be questioning how this could have happened again.

Cyndie is working a different program. Hopefully, she will prove to be more successful than me at mentally growing neural networks of hope by reducing thoughts focused on the angst of violence, looting, and arson and the racist hatred and inflammatory rhetoric fueling it all and replacing them with visions of the world as a place of equal love and acceptance for everyone.

If we can imagine it, we can build it. If we build it, they will come?

Let there be hope.

All you need is hope. Hope is all you need.

We hope you, yeah, yeah, yeah.

With a hope like that, you know you should be glad.

I Hope

Dixie Chicks¬† – Writer(s): Martha Maguire, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison, Keb’mo’

Sunday morning, I heard the preacher say
Thou shall not kill
I don’t wanna hear nothing else about killing
And that it’s God’s will

‘Cause our children are watching us
They put their trust in us
They’re gonna be like us
So let’s learn from our history
And do it differently

I hope, for more love, more joy and laughter
I hope, you’ll have more than you’ll ever need
I hope, you’ll have more happy ever after
I hope, we can live more fearlessly
And we can lose all the pain and misery
I hope, I hope

Oh, Rosie, her man he gets too rough
That’s all she can say, he’s a good man
He don’t mean no harm
He was brought up that way

But our children are watching us
They put their trust in us
They’re gonna be like us
It’s okay for us to disagree
We can work it out lovingly

I hope, for more love, more joy and laughter
I hope, you’ll have more than you’ll ever need
I hope, you’ll have more happy ever after
I hope, you can live more fearlessly
And you can lose all the pain and misery
I hope, I hope

There must be a way to change what’s going on
No I don’t have all the answers

I hope, for more love, more joy and laughter
I hope, you’ll have more than you’ll ever need
I hope, you’ll have more happy ever after
I hope, we can all live more fearlessly
And we can lose all the pain and misery
I hope, I hope

I hope, I hope, I hope

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Written by johnwhays

June 3, 2020 at 6:00 am

Not Knowing

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If only we knew. Have I been infected? Do I have antibodies? Will illness strike someone I know? Will the economic depression last very long? Will the food supply chain normalize? Will hospitals near me become overrun? When I get the virus will I have no symptoms, or will I need to be hospitalized? Will there be a second wave?

Thus far, the COVID-19 pandemic has barely impacted my life. I could avoid contributing to the oversaturation of media information on the topic and only write about home projects and the weather as if there is no life-altering virus outbreak disrupting the world all the while. I’d prefer that, actually. But the reality is, there is an undulating ripple that is disturbing the universal foundation of how everything used to work, which makes pretending there isn’t seem conspicuously disingenuous.

Of greater distress to me than not knowing the answers to all the questions in my first paragraph is the growing reality that I no longer have plans on the calendar for going out with friends or family for dinner to celebrate events, or for going to see live music performances, or to go to the lake this summer, or take a week off work to go biking and camping with friends.

We don’t know what we are going to be doing next week, next month, all summer, or next year. That puts a real crimp in the realm of feeling hopeful and inspired.

It’s just not very sexy to replace that kind of hope with the more realistic desires of hoping we all get through this alive and with some semblance of our incomes, assets, and health still intact.

I struggle with a little guilt over feeling like I would prefer to just get the virus and be forced to stay home and do nothing for two weeks just so I could have a few days of certainty and also a little justification for allowing myself to lay in bed until I honestly didn’t want to anymore.

I’m tired. I don’t want to simply appreciate the sunlight shining on the newly blossoming flowers. Dewdrops on the grass. Pond frogs starting to sing again.

I don’t want to meditate on the zen of not knowing.

Well, maybe I do want a little of that meditation, especially in place of hearing one more government briefing about how they are going to ramp up testing or whether or not it is wise to speculate about injecting disinfectant that works on hard surfaces into human bodies.

Is it possible to inhale UV light? That might work.

I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be sarcastic.

I feel for those who suffer every day with the fear of getting infected and for the people who are already suffering significant financial disruptions. As well, for those who are needing to work long hours for days and weeks on end at higher risk of infection to care for seriously ill patients.

Here’s to achieving the art of finding peace with not always knowing.

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Written by johnwhays

April 28, 2020 at 6:00 am