as i drove home after dropping hubby off with a buddy for a night of frivolity (aka having a beer or two downtown), i started smelling summer. it's funny how very much memory is made up of smells- but i am very in tune with odors so i guess that's why many of my memories are triggered by smells. freshly mowed yards; fragrant flowers; the heat rising up off the asphalt into the night air- and the sounds of crickets. in the morning, it's birds- but in the evening- crickets. and for a moment, in spite of myself, i enjoyed the moment.
reality has an ugly way of creeping into life's lovely moments- and it brings me around to what i am trying to teach myself- the four noble truths. which, of course, led me around to the dalai lama's visit here in the states:
"Things are not black and white. Things are relative. Things are interdependent. When we look at a situation we have to consider all the factors. ... "You cannot look in one direction. In order to see reality, (you) have to see in three or four or seven dimensions" and that this applies in the economical field, political field and international relations."
which of course led me to al gore's speech and on and on....
which was only part of this post. we are all interconnected. and i think many are feeling this but not realizing it. i believe it is why bush still has a 28% approval rating and congress a 9%. most of the people of america listen to what al gore has to say- and they watch the ice melt and the oceans die- and they see the prices at the pump-- and they know it's wrong; terribly wrong. but they don't know what to do.
i recently read the terrific book 'creating true peace' by thich nhat hanh (thanks to bz at intrepid flame for turning me on to that) and it is a simple book with a simple message- peace starts within. we have to be the change we seek. engaged buddhism is simply that- engaging with fellow human beings regardless of politics, race, religion, etc. on a basic human level. yeah. there's always a catch :) he told me in the book- that i cannot isolate myself but must engage with the community at large- because we are all interdependent on each other as part of the human species. yep. no divisions as human beings. that's tough for me. he explains it's tough for westerners because of our culture of division and exclusion. so, i am living in the moment. life is in a state of flux and life is suffering. but we can overcome that and work together in peace to make the planet a better place for everyone. not just the haves.
not exactly the divisive message that the hard right christians and jews are preaching as they seek to divide and conquer the middle east. and there's no hidden agenda like getting to heaven because life doesn't really end. and that makes sense to me because i know matter doesn't die. and that's comforting to me as face my parents' mortality and the end of my country as i knew it. life constantly changes- nothing is permanent and much of our suffering comes from our attachment to things- whether they be ideas, people, material stuff, power, etc. the attachment to my mom is a tough one. but she, herself, has told my sister and i that we must let her go when she goes as she will be at peace.
so, the smells and sounds and textures of summer brought many thoughts to my mind.
i know i haven't given up on politics per se. i don't believe that we can afford to at this time in history. i just can't approach it in the same way anymore. i don't believe in the system. i don't believe in this current world government nor america's. i don't believe in any of the candidates for president and i cannot justify voting for someone i don't believe has the right view for the direction our country needs to head in. as barack obama heads for the center- he is already too far away from it. he needed to stand up for democracy and for changing the way we do things in america. would he have won? i can't say but i can say that i won't vote for him. i can't. he is just as much a part of the system as hillary clinton and just as disinterested in changing the status quo. al gore forcefully spoke about change. it has to happen. it will happen whether we like it or not. i just wish america would have led the way.
letting go and opening up are concepts that do not come easily for me but i need to find inner peace. i need to find a better way. and i think this buddha guy has something here. :)