Archive for American Dream

Mania, Depression or Pristine Balance?……..WINTER!

Posted in Feelings with tags , , , , , on March 4, 2011 by matthewstruth

 

 

Winter.

What does this word mean to you? How do you feel when you say it and experience it?

Where I live, winter has been thrilling us for four months now and there is absolutely no end to the snow’s beauty bathing us in splendor. We’ve been living on snow and will be for at least two more months. My delight with this reality hasn’t been with me every winter though. And the other day it dawned on me that this experience of breathtaking beauty and complete snow cover is actually quite rare. Being within it for this long, I forget that this isn’t the case for most.

Where we live can have a tremendous influence upon how we view winter. Spending a dozen or so winters on the coast of Maine felt brutal at times, while arriving in Denver and bellowing out, “there’s no winter here, it’s 50 and sunny most of the time” felt great in that moment. Seattle’s winter seemed absurd to me and, well, Crested Butte’s—oh my god, glorious.

But does the weather really dictate my state of euphoria or normality or even depression? What other factors play a part in this?

Being a gardener and food grower brought me in close relationship to the seasons. In the regions where I have predominately resided, winter was a time of going within, resting, moving slower, going to bed earlier, getting up later—generally using the suns energy to dictate the pace of living. A time of greater reflection, stillness and conserving of personal resources. Lots of soups, root vegetables and potlucks. And yes, sometimes it was so darn cold, bleak and grey that depression certainly showed its face. But even this usually was a marker for not being in the actual flow of reality, and wishing for it to be different, instead of allowing what was, to just be. The standard US way of living does not take the “inner” possibilities of winter into account. For most unfortunatelyit is still, go, go, go regardless of the fact that the Earth’s nature is moving through cycles, why aren’t we?

And here, in Colorado, in a small resort ski town? Many years ago upon arriving here it became apparent that people living and visiting here actually chose to be here. Snow, cold, altitude, all of it. And what a difference this makes, the consciously choosing part. Seemingly happy people basking in the glory of it all. What a contrast from northeastern coastal regions where what snow comes is usually immediately followed by rain, which allowed the snow to quickly become ice, and therefore wasn’t recreationally fun anymore, and generally a hindrance.

So while a ski town on the surface appears to be the real deal of winter, it actually possesses some attributes that the populace isn’t as adept at navigating—slowing down, going within, refueling personal reserves. There is a level of mania present that is heightened by endorphins, the altitude, and can also be drug enhanced, whether that’s alcohol, caffeine, sugar or even the big ones. The excitement level is so high that alternately burnout and euphoria replace deep personal contact for many, whether with each other or the greater non-snow based cosmos. The idea of basking within winter without that go, recreate, go mentality doesn’t seem to be highly regarded.

It is certainly evident that operating counter to any given predominant cultural paradigm is fraught with challenges. How pervasive is the idea of the American dream after all— or not adjusting the workday to the actuality of the seasons—or just not going within at all for some? Bucking any trend takes a toll, but it’s worth it by developing a stronger, healthier core that can then traverse many obstacles.

Can we truly relate to the winter of our chosen region? And shouldn’t this relating look radically different depending upon latitude or altitude—thereby influencing attitude?

What is winter like in your locale? How do you relate to this season of darkness and then the growing light?

 

 

 

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Letter to the President

Posted in Desires, Not your normal letter to the editor with tags , , , , on January 30, 2011 by matthewstruth

 

Mr. President,

In balancing and recognizing the complexities of what you inherited as you came into office, with my feelings of gratitude for you, and probably more succinctly, the symbol of what you represent, I have given you the benefit of the doubt often.

But sir, I am less certain that your visions as stated in “Winning the Future” from 22 January 2011 are the right ones for these times. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see anyone else’s political visions as being up to the task at hand either, at least in this country.

To speak of “winning”, or “out-building, out-innovating, out-educating”, these terms are from an era, or a paradigm that no longer exists. These terms might appeal to segments of our populace that still think the American Dream and American dominance are valid and ethical points of view. But they are merely entitlements of an ideology that has been putting the whole world at great risk. And they are by no means ethical or fair. I find these terms and the energy behind them when uttered by those in power to be exactly what is wrong with so-called leadership today.

Leadership entails and implies, a vocalization of a new way, a new path, a sane, moral, balanced and visionary idea for the future, and showing citizens what people really are for. We are not here to gobble up the worlds resources. Our interests can no longer be attained at the expense of the worlds people who are not from this nation.

Mr. President I am deeply saddened to hear you advocating essentially for the status quo. I am certain that you must be aware of the breakdown of all old structures. With this we have such an opportunity as humans to create a whole new way of living, gathering, sharing and communing. Please sir, why aren’t you taking us further? You are so much more than the president of the United States. You are a leader amongst world leaders. Please lead. Do not keep recreating the same old story.

Yes, we must all work together. But we must do so very much more. We must see ourselves as part of the whole human family, regardless of religion, nation, gender, profession, or whatever label divides us. You sir are the embodiment of this melding of culture. You must see the great power that this allows you to help heal all of the atrocities made manifest in continuing to pursue an American Dream. It certainly is a dream all right, in fact it is a nightmare for the majority of the worlds people. We can not continue to, in a best case scenario buy, at worst, steal or go to war for, another nations resources.

Sir, real leadership is so very much needed during these critical junctures. Please go further within to give voice and power to a thoroughly new way of being. Our planet is filled with such visionaries that can be of assistance-they are teaching, and educating and sharing literally everywhere. We are writing and communicating with people from nations all over the world. These voices are needed in government, not more bankers. And the new story of what is emerging in science and spirituality needs to be heard, needs to be shared with the citizenry. Not more “we can out-compete” rhetoric. And we the people are out-growing government. Please get on board with us. The platform of POTUS is potentially so potent. We would like so very much more from you. And we are ready.