Archive for August, 2012

Speaking of cosmic jokes…

"Moth" by Christian Meyn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image “Moth” courtesy of Christian Meyn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

OK, so two things to know about me: one, I’m a control-freak who cries, and two, I’m terrified of moths…

Seriously.

Seriously. Stop laughing.

Not even joking, I do believe that moths are out to get me. When I was seven one landed on my hand that was holding the flashlight my cousin made me hold. Now you could be thinking, “Sure, flashlight, moth, of course it flew to you.” Yeah, alright, fine, but why then did it continue to drag its furry body all over my hand after I turned off the light and flailed around like a cartoon character??? Yeuch.

Then, when I was 21, and driving with the windows down (because, seriously, air conditioning bugs me), and a giant moth flew in the window and struck me in the face. Now, I thought it continued out the window, but no, it fell into the seatwell and started to climb up the inside of my pant leg – the leg that operates the accelerator and brakes, yeah, that leg. I almost crashed my car. And if you scoff at the word giant, let me tell you, no exaggeration, that thing was bigger than my two hands with the thumbs and first fingertips pressed together.

Also, we had a moth infestation a few years later and one flew into my iced cream sandwich as I was walking along, while my friend’s cone was totally left alone. Plus, there’s a myriad of other times where they will fly at my face – in my mouth – or into my hamper – or out of a cupboard when I open the door…

And that brings us to today. I was having a fight with my boyfriend while on my way to work. We were fighting because, well, that’s a much longer story and I’m so jumbled up right now that I can’t even begin at the very beginning… Suffice it to say I’m a control freak with crying issues, and he’s sensitive and takes things personally.

Anyway, he stops the car to get some kleenex because I’m practically having a full-out panic attack and what else can the man do but try to prevent my snozzing all over his new carseats – and because he’s nice, I know, shut up! So while he’s inside, I’m sitting in the passenger seat facing out the door I’ve just opened to try to let some early morning air penetrate my lungs as I hyperventilate, and a moth flies not only at me, but down the top of my dress.

Which just proves that someone out there still finds me amusing… Lord knows on this day, that person’s probably not my boyfriend.

It takes a…

OK, so this blogging thing is all kinds of new to me, but I’d like to begin with the idea which has been circling ’round my head enough to start this whole blogging thing.

It takes a village to raise a child.

But what if you don’t have a village? What if you’re a child that’s “done been raised?” Does that mean you’re no longer in need of a village? Or that you should already be firmly installed in “your” village?

It’s so easy when you’re in school to find where you fit in, or perhaps more impactfully, where you don’t, but what about those mid-to-late twenty somethingers, not to mention the newly married, newly divorced, and the newly retired?

How in this world of fast-food, constant commuting, and technologically driven communication does one build or evolve a community?

Am I crazy in thinking that we need interaction to live and grow? And that it’s really difficult to find and maintain??

Now I am in no way a biology or environmental science expert, but I do have some idea tickling the back of my brain that ecosystems are incredibly important to survival. And taken less literally, ecosystems are an excellent metaphor for living versus surviving.

An ecosystem is defined as:
“[A] system in nature contain[ing] living things (including people), their physical environment (land, water, climate) and the life processes that enables the system to sustain itself and evolve.”

Now, let’s get the literal implication over first. We, as a species, seem to have a bizarre need for “bigger and better”, which usually translates to easier and more convenient. Which causes our farmlands and forests (ecosystems!) to be destroyed for suburbs, or “development,” a totally different (and not independently sustainable) kind of ecosystem. Now quite honestly, I’m not so naive to think that my talking about this is going to stop people from making money off of the destruction of beautiful landscapes, and, actually, I’m not so ardent a tree-hugger to start petitions or chain myself to redwoods, but the point does need to be made that “country living” is darn near impossible these days, unless you are independently wealthy, in retirement with a fabulous nest egg, or willing to commute an hour and a half each way.

Now let’s get to the metaphor. The living components (things that aren’t air, or soil, or water) in an ecosystem breakdown in a simplified fashion thus:

Givers/Producers: create food for themselves and others (like plants).

Takers/Eaters: vegetarian or omnivore, people gotta eat.

Cleaners/Decomposers: take all the garbage and turn it into nutrients for the producers to use…

The ciiiircle of life…

So the metaphor goes like this: Everyone knows at least one person who is constantly giving. They’re just that generous. They have that much energy, they get everyone going. They’re motivators. They’re the Givers.

Then you have the people who just take. They use all that energy and good vibes and material gifts that the Givers have provided them, and they use it. They get jobs done, and leave someone else to clean up the crap. They’re the Takers.

Then there are the people who are constantly cleaning up the crap. They manage to turn junk into useful items again. They pick you up and show you how that giant obstacle, is actually a giant opportunity. They help you clean house, and start fresh. They’re the Cleaners.

Now each of us should play each of these roles in different scenarios, different relationships, and different times. Ideally. But there’s probably one that each of us identifies with predominantly. My theory, is that we should surround ourselves with complimentary people – if I’m a Taker, I’m gonna need a Giver and a Cleaner, right? And if I’m stuck constantly Cleaning, I want someone to Give me the motivation to move on to helping others or (gasp!) Taking for myself once in a while.

So what happens when you feel yourself to be a tiny little island?

Student living and me.

Just life. But through the eyes of a Blue-eyed History student.

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