650. The Memory of A Woman I Never Knew

From BBC Future I noticed a special story in the article “A frozen graveyard: The sad tales of Antarctica’s deaths”. About the oldest human remains found in Antarctica.

It was a young woman – a native of Southern Chile. She got to Antarctica and died there only a few years after the first explorers had set foot on the continent.

So what happened? Who was she? How did she die?

There is a great resonance in stories about forgotten deaths, for me. In a sense we are all in risk of dying lonely and forgotten, whether in some hospital in between a few relatives’ visits or as a drunkard or beggar in a back alley somewhere.

Not dramatic stuff, like going down with a plane over the Atlantic and disappearing, just … normal ways to die. But still ways who are forgotten, largely. They are nothing special. We may even be a lone.

Maybe only a few people knew us. In life.

But still we had a life.

A whole little universe of a life.

As did this young woman.

Who collapsed on a frozen beach somewhere after having escaped the whalers who kidnapped her?

Or was abandoned? After she had … fulfilled her purpose.

Or beaten down and left unconscious and then she woke up and was all alone in the loneliest place on Earth?

Who knows …

But she was found, over 150 years later, and left for us to wonder.

About her, and all others who are forgotten. In life or death.

649. The Trick

Whenever I feel like getting depressed, it usually helps to look at pictures of the world – of people – nature – everything.

Pictures that remind me of beauty. Like … Unsplash. But really, there are lots of places on the ‘net.

And in the world.

The trick is to remember that you need to look for them, whenever you feel that shadow coming into your heart.

648. A Reflection

Love-stories like these may be seriously old-fashioned, in so many ways:

A World War II fighter pilot is shot down. His wife of just a few months, is only told what happened a long time later – that her husband is missing in action.

And that means dead.

And then many decades later she finds out about what happened, and we are told that she chose never to marry again.

Yeah, that sounds old-fashioned and kind of silly from a modern perspective. But such a story is special to me even so. I like to think that there is something so powerful in some love-stories that they are a reflection of what might be … on the other side, so to speak. If you believe, of course, there is a side to life – after this life. That’s the only way I can interpret such a story. That’s the only way I really want to interpret it, and I feel quite comfortable admitting that.

So yeah, some might say this is just daydreaming and that people who lose a loved one in war or other situations should ‘get on with it’.

I actually feel that Peggy in the story below did ‘get on with it’, meaning … she did get on with life in general. She likely lived a full and good life in many respects. I do believe that. But that did not include getting married again. There could be many reasons for that, too, but I like to take her on her word:

“Billie was married to me all of his life, and I choose to be married to him all of my life.”

Thanks to Ron Current of Still Current for posting this story, as one of  “Three Stories of Heroes of Normandy” … 

I like stories that move, and I intend that this be not the last one featured here on The Blog. After all, what is life but stories … ?

647. Memory Keeping – A Holy Endeavor

I have often thought about what simple, yet empowering ways there are to relate to loved ones who have Alzheimer’s, if faith alone is not enough to keep hope and light in one’s awareness at such a critical time of the life journey together. I would say this post on just gave the answer:

“We, The Memory Keepers”

646. It Is Not Necessary Always to Speak of Weighty Matters

It is not necessary always to speak of weighty matters. Sometimes there is more value to be had in a conversation that centers on pointless trivia. It seems to me, from reflecting on these anecdotes about Dr. Johnson, that it is better for our well-being to seek out associates who have something pleasant and constructive to say for themselves, rather than spend our time with those who are branded with perpetual scowls. There is no need to pass judgment on all things, or pronounce a verdict on every question. There is wisdom in levity, and longevity in lightheartedness. Cant has its uses; so let us use it in good health.

Quintus Curtius, “On Idle Or Trifling Speech”

645. The Art of Tabling Opinion (Good for Relationships!)

From “Most of Our Arguments are about Two People Fighting to be Heard” at Peace Hacks:

99% of the time, our anger is merely a symptom of the hurt that’s going on inside. Angry at your spouse? Is it an ongoing anger that seems to hover over you all day long? If I were to coach you through it, I’d skip over the angry parts and look for the places you’re feeling hurt. And I’d bet there would be a mountain of them.

I’d also bet that during your arguments you’re not getting listened to.

One of the deepest ways we hurt each other is to refuse to give our spouses/friends/kids/parents/significant others a voice. When we ignore their point of view, we send a subtle, very powerful message that we don’t give a rat’s ass about them. We don’t just send the message that their opinion sucks, we send the message that they suck

We don’t intend to send that message, and we certainly don’t feel that way about them, but that’s how we come across when we refuse to listen, especially in the sensitive, deeply personal, emotionally heated moments that characterize most arguments.

I’ve started trying to listen more, not just because my wife is super smart and usually has something I need to listen to, but because she needs to know how much I care. She needs to have a voice in these arguments and I’m the only one that can give it to her.

I’ve also begun to learn the art of tabling my opinion for later. At times I can muster the maturity to listen, repeat back what she’s said to make sure I’ve understood her, then think about things for a bit. I ask myself – do I need to push my agenda? Do I need to talk to some people about this first; get some other perspectives?

There’s nothing forcing me to push my point of view in the heated moments. I can honor my own perspective while tabling it for a bit. But for so many of our married years I saw it as a grave injustice if I didn’t voice my concerns as quickly as possible.

Our emotions get under control, real quick, when my wife feels listened to, and vice versa. Our fights don’t last nearly as long as they used to, mainly because we’re not hurting each other during our fights like we used to.

641. Chore and Privilege

While I am not a stay-at-home dad, I suppose, I’m a semi-stay-at-home-dad.

I have a small webdesign business which I supplement with temp work, but Char is the one who earns the money. So I bring and pick up and take care of Jay, many an evening, morning and in-between.

It is tiresome and I do feel trapped at times, but for a lot of reasons that’s how things came to be. At this point in our lives. In some years, they might be different.

And while I feel bad often enough about not being able to go 100 percent in work-mode, or sometimes at all … I also love the damn job. At home …

It is a chore and a privilege at the same time. I wonder if it can ever be different to be a parent?

640. Still No Proof (of Acceptance)

I read Dean Radin’s first book (The Conscious Universe) back in 1997 and sadly nothing much has changed, it seems – neither in the scientific world, nor in the mass media or public consciousness at large in the western world since that time.

There doesn’t appear to have been any significant acceptance of the existing scientific proof of psi, as Radin calls it, or thought about its consequences.

(Psi: You know … clairvoyance, telekinesis and that kind of stuff. Which you probably thought was superstition.)

Anyway – most such debates still take place in niches around the Internet, academic or otherwise, and have little or no connection to … well, everything else, it seems.

I believe that usual forces of inertia are still at play and doing quite well: ideology and vested beliefs, institutional and financial stakes in the materialist worldview and, of course, not enough profitable opportunities …

I have given a lot of thought over the years of whether or not this lack of (acceptance of) knowledge was a problem (not knowledge as in ‘psi is fact’ but knowledge as in ‘whoo boy – there’ a lot more going on here than I thought’. I have come to a conclusion firstly that …

… it is no more, or no less, a problem than any other lack we face in our earthly existence – from war, poverty, ignorance, greed and so on. We live in world where these forces reign and are allowed to. Same with ignorance or denial of “magic”. And change does not seem to be imminent in the case of a broader acceptance of the psi research results of Radin and others.

So why do the gods (or whatever higher powers one believes in) allow all of this – including the ignorance of psi/magic? Big philosophical question. But the second part of my conclusion is

… that I have to have, well, faith that there is a good reason. I have a few theories and experience that seem to give a powerful reason, but at the end of the day I admit I know as little as the next guy. And I totally understand anyone who would like to Ockham’s Razor any psi or magic out of their world view, as in: ‘Ignorance of magic is allowed, because it does not exist!’

But I must conclude from experience that many people with such opinions have not actually read the scientific research which is there, not even in the form of Radin’s summaries.

639. What If Peace Was Right Now?

What if I did not seek to escape work anymore which was not fully my passion? What if I kept building my webdesign business so it was sustainable and then profitable, paid off debt and saved for the future with those funds?

What if I over the years invested diligent time in a more passionate type of work, which could be something like my Distant Mirror-project and then at least gave it a chance to supplant wholly or partially my income streams from other sources?

What if I accepted that this may never happen, if nothing else then because I don’t have time to invest in this serious, time-consuming project – to make it something in less than 10-20 years or more?

What if I stopped looking for the quick way out?

What if I accepted that it is okay that some parts of life aren’t so fun as other parts of life, esp. when it comes to making money?

What if I began to appreciate more that my other sources of money – webdesign and other types of work – have their advantages, too? Like interaction with real people – for whom you make a real difference? Maybe creeps as well sometimes, yes, but mostly good people – even if they don’t have a website or business that interest you. But want something good – to make something good?

What if I stopped paying people who promised a way out – easy or not – if only I followed their program?

What if I stopped paying people so they could have their passion business (which is about teaching others to have a passion business) and then paid more attention to making ALL of my life as passionate as possible, in every situation, in every moment?

Wouldn’t that give me what I seek right away?

A change of mind. A courage to be very normal and not spectacular.

A break with the crowd. No, not that crowd – the other crowd. The crowd that thinks it is better than the crowd.

What if?

Why not?

637. The Situation Selects the Man

” … Weapons and provisions are illusions, and do not make a man or a people strong:  only strong character can do this.  Yet hardship has a way of raising up men of good character to leadership positions.  During times of peace and quiescence, men of great character and leadership ability are often passed over or hidden away.  Their talents and abilities are rarely appreciated by those who know only comfort and security.  When we neglect men of talent, character, and masculine virtue, and exalt the incapable, the corrupt, the venal, and the incompetent, we put our very security at risk.  But in times of crisis, everything can change.  The situation selects the man; and the man masters the situation through force of will.”

– Quintus Curtius