Saturday, December 6, 2008

The West... women... war... and just random thinking...

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"Kids. They're not easy. But there has to be some penalty for sex."

~ Bill Maher
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I'm so proud... I received my first official rejection for a story idea submitted to a national, popular publication! Gosh...

But that step of submitting a pitch is exhilirating. And I'm going to have to do it again. The challenge has been made.

I mean I was thinking about it last night. About my life here in the west. I truly love the west, I believe I live and have grown up in what is still a truly wild wild west.



We still have cowboys (buckaroos!), Indians and struggles over land, water and law. And I thought about those people I have met, the people who represent so many different aspects of belief, of profession and outspoken passionate activism that have inspired so much in me, for me. People whose touch upon my life has brought personal change and growth. People who are public figures, and people who remain very private citizens, yet have definite effect upon this wide open landscape that I see as the place "where I'm from."



I've roamed a lot of this vast expanse, from oceanside to the Rocky Mountains and meandered through many parts of the broad western desert. I've roamed from the southern border to the northern, from Texas to Idaho, California to Colorado...



I've found myself in the midst of battles both epic and insignificant. And to experience them, not just as events to view, but in which I participate as an active advocate for one side or the other, is for me a treasure. I would not exchange any of my adventures for a life of middle class, suburban comfort. I cringe at the thought of myself as someone who did the family, 9 to 5 job, TV watching middle-American thing. While I find nothing wrong with that -- heaven forbid! some of my best friends have spent their lives doing just that -- I know for me it would have been a kind of submission and rejection of spirit. And submissive I'm not. I'm Scandinavian. Hard-headed. Sometimes I feel like the descendant of a long line of Vikings and nomadic Reindeer herders who is just trying to get back home after a long, long journey to a strange, faraway land. I love my freedom and room to roam...



I give thanks to the gods that be for a rich lifetime, even tho' I've been a poor man monetarily most of that time. I've been able to love (and be loved by) beautiful, wild women. I've been friend with cowboy, Indian, cop and robber. I've broken bread with Muslim and Jew, Buddhist, Christian and Pagan. And (to paraphrase Edward Abbey) while I've never been lost, I've sure been a mite confused at times. I've failed and succeeded and have grown as a man. I know where I live and have a pretty good idea about those with whom I share this earth. Sometimes I can easily curse humanity and wish a pox upon its collective head and sometimes... sometimes we are as regal as any life form in the universe and I am so glad to have this form and this life. Sometimes we radiate in truly vibrant glory and sometimes we grovel in depths dark and dismal. I suppose therein lies one of the great gifts of friendship, the necessity and the reward of being loved, and loving...



I've come a long way... and find, still, my life is just beginning.
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OK... I'm going to venture onto dangerous ground here. In a move that endangers the very fabric of reality I havta speak out on a subject that has affected me every day of my life. I'm going to talk a bit about women.

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... no bolts of lightning...

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... no bricks thru my window...

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Ok... I think its safe. But I'm not actually worried, I like women. My mother was one. My sister too.

Every girlfriend I have had has been one. My ex-wife is one. Heck, I'll bet Santa's wife is one...

Besides the obviousness of being born from woman I'm sure glad for all the good women I've known. Kinda fond of some of the bad women I've known too... but seriously...

As I think about this I'm not really sure where to start. I guess a big "Thanks!" would be appropriate about now, so ladies, "Thanks!" I know you have collectively put up with a lot of shit from a lot of men for a lot of years. See... this is what an education gets me. I know that hundreds of thousands if not millions of women in Europe died during that continent's "rise to civilization." That is the cost of to a matrilineal, agricultural collective type society when it runs into a patriarchy willing to rule by extremely heavy hand. Violence is the hallmark of such men. But truly? Those who would (and have, and do) rule by brutal decree, are a pox among men. There are those among us who have no problem beating women and children. There are those of us men who are terrible, terrible people. And in that regard, we men have failed to control and remove this particular vermon from our communities. But I do believe that -- if it is not too late already -- there may be that pivotal shift in men's collective thinking that says we have reached that point of "enough."

I know how women's history has gone and it is a sad legacy that says far more about men than it does women. But the heroic woman archetype is as real as that of man's. We share that legacy... that both our genders have produced true heroes and too often made the ultimate sacrifice putting forth the proposition that life is sacred and that we will stand up to anyone in defense of home, family and community.

to be continued...
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My nomination for picture of the millenium:



That image just blows my mind. Thanks to brother Marty for showing me the Nat'l Geographic magazine that had the story. From Mexico's Cave of Crystal Giants...

In the same edition is this great shot of the Tarahumara in Mexico:



A People Apart
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According to a new survey, women say they feel more comfortable undressing in front of men than they do undressing in front of other women. They say that women are too judgmental, where, of course, men are just grateful.

~ Robert De Niro

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