Photos for January Stones and April PAD 2012 property of M J Dills (exception 1/16)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Let's Not Kiss, Shall We?

A few years ago while I watched my nephew tightly gripping his Game Boy about six inches from his face, completely oblivious to his surroundings, I was alarmed by what looked to me like a sure method of de-socializing a child. Television and the Nintendo had taken on a new, much more intense contender.

This was long before one could golf, bowl, kick a soccer ball, surf, skateboard and participate in several other sports, just by standing in front of a television, at home….alone. Wii was to be the shocking wave of the future.

Telephone texting has robbed people of real conversation and even developed “predictive” mode to increase the speed one can talk.

As much as I have found these activities annoying, I will confess that beyond the irritation, I am profoundly alarmed.

We don’t see as much of this behavior in Mexico, perhaps due to a less materialistic approach to living and lower economic levels all across the board.

I’ll be returning to the US soon, where I'll need to adjust to the lack of good manners, of which I've become accustomed. Strangers greet one another on the street, with few exceptions. Sneeze in the grocery aisle and you are likely to be saluted with a blessing to your health by someone hidden by a row of cereal boxes. Children and babies are touched, patted and fondled by waiters, grocery clerks, bankers, receptionists, and countless other unfamiliar persons. Kissing upon greeting is not just acceptable, but expected. Hand shaking is an art form.
Last night, a friend returning from the states exclaimed how people no longer are hugging, shaking hands or kissing. The air kiss/hug/hand shake is being promoted on the six o’ clock news, in schools, offices and even homes, amongst relatives, as well as acquaintances. This, due to the swine flu.

Soon we can simply stay at home, have food delivered, sit in front of the computer or stand in front of the television screen. We can eliminate all human contact by texting; webcamming; playing Wii sports; chess, dominoes, Scrabble, etc online. We can do away with touching, hugging, kissing.
Eventually we will have little or no need for one another. Even babies can be made in a petri dish.
Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Satisfied Mind Thanks to Bobby Dylan

I’m supposed to be at a Bobby Dylan concert tonight in Seattle. I won tickets from KPLU, my favorite radio station in the NW, when I was there this summer. It was painful to realize I would need to leave the US, returning to Mexico and miss seeing live, at this later stage of both Dylan’s and my life, my teenage idol. The guy who told us to lend a hand or get out of the way, ‘cause the times were changing.
How prophetic, as I listen to, via internet, an interview with Rosanne Cash, singing her father’s List , hearing her talk about Johnny, Dylan, American folk music and singing songs that I love. I’m lucky to have Terry Gross to entertain me tonight, keeping my mind off the thrill I would’ve experienced at the WaMu Theater this evening.
My times are changing right now and there are wistful, melancholy feelings along with the excitement of knowing that I am opening a new chapter in my life. I listen to 500 Miles and North Country Girl, sung with a beautiful voice; not Dylan…but a woman who has gone through so many changes in her own life.
Imagine how I feel listening to "Motherless children have a hard time when the mother is gone." These lyrics strike so many chords.
I am making choices during this time as I have all my life. Making decisions and uprooting myself and sometimes my very own children to follow one dream or another. I am going back to Seattle to live with one child, be close to another who has seen far too little of me in the past decade and spend time with my 88 year old mother (who as spry as she is, is after all, eighty-eight). In that process I will leave behind my eldest daughter, her husband and my two youngest grandchildren, who followed me here to Mexico almost exactly two years ago.
Things we sacrifice, things we desire, things we face, conquer and win or lose…this is life. If life were not about change, it would be stagnant, close and so very meaningless. I tried to make light of missing seeing Dylan live. Aw, that it could have been Leonard Cohen that I had won tickets to see, I lamented.
I truly knew my loss, my chagrin, my tiny sorrow. Now that I am actually making this move and have sold all my furniture and dig through my collection of possessions (wondering why, over the past 13 years, I brought this or that), tossing, packing, storing, selling, I feel certain burdens lift and sense an anticipation regarding my immediate future. There will also be sadness, real grief and anxieties about making this change.
I’m going to wonder if he will sing this song tonight, an obscure one. But if I were there, and could write a little note, make a request and put a dollar in the tip jar, I would ask for this:

A Satisfied Mind.

How many times have you heard someone say
If I had his money I'd do things my way
Hmm, but little they know
Hmm, it's so hard to find
One rich man in ten with a satisfied mind.
Hmm, once I was wading in fortune and fame
Everything that I dreamed of to get a start in life’s game
But suddenly it happened
Hmm, I lost every dime
But I'm richer by far with a satisfied mind.
Hmm, when my life is over and my time has run out
My friends and my love ones
I'll leave there ain't no doubt
But one thing for certain
When it comes my time
I'll leave this old world
With a satisfied mind

Thanks for reading.