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Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
- Pueblo Blessing

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Friday, Dec. 05, 2003 - 3:32 a.m.

Cost of the War in Iraq
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When I was a Little Girl

When I was a little girl, I made believe that I was in a world that had been hit by a disaster. I would invent something that everyone needed, and it would become a cultural thing, like vietnamese straw rain hats. I went to Sweden and got clogs. I could run in them. I made believe that I had invented these perfect shoes that were easy to slip on, that were waterproof, and good as summer or winter shoes. I used to wrap blankets around my body, like Ancient Greek clothing and wear my clogs, and walk around the snowy neighborhood, pretending that I was able to face the world with only these clothes. I felt very heroic. I was sort of a strange Luddite idealist socialist survivalist.

When I was a little girl I would walk with my rubber boots through the spring melt. The puddles. I would wade through slowly, feeling out how deep the water was in various spots, imagining that I was mapping a huge lake, instead of the road where the sewers were blocked. Sometimes I made dams out of clean snow and used them to block the greasy water that flowed towards the sewer grate. I imagined that I was cleaning the environment, as the rainbow scum built up behind my dams. I was sort of a strange earthworks, environmentally friendly explorer and geographic planner.

When I was a little girl I would imagine that I was the leader of a roaming group of children. There was no one over the age of twelve. At thirteen the kids had to go and join the adults and learn to be an adult. The children were like the buffalo, or the Masaii, and were self-sufficient in all things, and lived off of the land, travelling travelling. We didn't need adults who were boring souls concerned with drab details and insisted on settling down, obsessed by finances and schedules and being sexy. I drew whole societies of orphans, and made up clothing and dwellings that they would create with their own hands. Independence and autonomy within a group were our social ideals. I was a sort of heroic, primitive child-power tribal leader.

When I was a little girl, I imagined all the time that I was doing an ad for a superb product. I would wash the bottom of the electric skillet (painfully blackened on) with a Jets, for the better part of an hour, and imagine the whole time that I was doing a demo for the excellent product. I was a demonstrator, a salesperson, a glowing example of honest enterprise and fantastic products that were worth your attention and money. The products I pushed were the best.

Little wench and dolly, copyright 2003 H Otto
When I was a little girl, mostly all my dolls were nonwhite, or I pretended they were lost in jungles like Bomba Jungle Boy. I didn't like coloring in white people in coloring books cuz the skin color was pukey. I had many brown crayons so I made them brown. I liked making clothes for my dolls out of material left over from my mother's sewing projects. I often used pins to hold scraps of clothes on, like something Greeks or Romans or Neanderthal man would wear. I liked drawing invented native peoples, complete with their habitat, domestic animals, and resultant clothing and houses. I made up stories about them. I drew a lot of primitive people too... like something Leakey would discover bone fossil records of.

When I was a little girl I adulated American Indians, people who travelled the world and wrote up their stories in National Geographic, pioneers, people who lived close to nature, girls and boys who lived long ago, such as Victorian times, and wore pinafores and knee-britches, and also my Grandmother. I loved nonfiction about animals, other cultures, sad stories of Indigenous peoples, and poor people, and stories of magic in the cracks of the real world. I read Farley Mowat, and Life magazine, National Geographic, Edward Eager and CS Lewis.

At twelve I devoted my life to saving the wolves of the north. I ranted at people about the evils of hunting. I wanted to do winter camping, live with the wolves and eat mice in the north, join Greenpeace. I hated cars and modern man.

I wonder how much I have changed since then.

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009

 

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