Sunday, July 3, 2011
Every so often my body reminds me that I am not super human- and certainly not immortal- by retaliating via a variety of neurological mayhem which includes migraines, muscle spasms and the ever popular though not-too-subtle degenerative discs in my back. There are seven, if we are counting or any of you care to know, none of which are not harmoniously communicating with the rest of my body...like when I'm trying to slide my ass, which suddenly weighs a thousand pounds... to the edge of the bed to sit up. Standing up is even more of a feat of engineering and was nearly impossible to do yesterday. Friday disappeared from the calendar this week...it was a lost day. I'm getting the feeling that today will be a repeat of yesterday. I am only still in front of the computer right now because I cannot summon the strength- or desire to endure the pain- to get up out of the chair and walk to the bedroom which is a only dozen feet away.
Okay, I'm finished whining...maybe. After a quarter century of responding to the physical faux pas and other uh ohs that people do to themselves through the EMS system, you'd think I would be a bit more aware of the fragility of the human body...especially when someone does a grand FDGB (fall down-go boom) like I did Thursday...Except I didn't fall all the way down, I 'caught' myself half way, tensed up, and wracked up my back again. Automatic response, but sometimes I wish I would just fall down and get it over with...on the other hand, the last time I did, I fractured two vertebrae in the middle of my spine. ( Note to self: flip flops and wet floors do not mix!) Yeah, I'm one of those who can't walk and chew gum at the same time...now. I wasn't always that way...I used to teach backpacking and take groups out for Outward Bound and Scouts. I used to rock climb and hike, and I used to enjoy it. I still do, I just have had to come to the realization that shit happens to change your life...and you have to change with it. I haven't gone easily into that dark night, and there are some days when I feel good enough that I forget what my X-rays and MRIs look like. Yeah, I'm stupid that way. Human beings have short memories-especially when they're in denial.
The thing I find really interesting about this behavior is that it spills over to cover everything we do. It's that ingrained. The singular idea is a difficult one to shake.
And this, my friends, has lead me to a conclusion about why the Pagan Community in general is in the upheaval it's in right now: No body's handing out cheese.
I'm not joking. Change as an innovation must be seen as producing a significant improvement over the current situation for it to be adopted. The benefit must be personal to be worth the change, and I suspect there are a a lot of folk on whom this is lost because they limit seeing the change to personal gain...we're suddenly back to ' looking for my cheese'. We don't expand our thinking to include others, it is all about us. Well, fellow rats, it's not all about us as individuals, it's about us as a community...and it's about creating the future NOW. The sad fact has been proven time and again in other groups and societies- if we don't become active and take off our shoes ( and egos ) at the door, then someone else- or something other that is not in our control- is going to define who we are and control our future. It's happening now, and it will continue to do so if we don't step up to the challenge, leave our personal shit at home, and come to the table ready to work.
I have a few ideas why we haven't been able to do this, one of which is that it's going to take a boatload of effort. People are not enthusiastic about implementing ideas that are difficult to understand. We are experts at shooting ourselves in the foot, at making it ( whatever it is) so complicated the original idea is lost, so first and foremost, let's be clear about what we want. What do we want to accomplish as a community? What are our needs? (Try to think beyond the individual tribe and picture all of us together.)
Second, whatever we decide, it will only happen if it can be introduced easily. People are going to run like rabbits if it sounds like it going to be a lengthy, complicated process.( I can see your eyes beginning to glaze over now.) New things can be introduced a little at a time to try them out and incorporate them-and in the same way, what doesn't work can just as easily be discarded. It helps us to not feel overwhelmed if things are tried in stages with the understand nothing is written in stone. That can be accomplished by simultaneously developing a form of measuring the benefits in a manner meaningful to the community. ( Not easy, but simpler than it sounds.)
It will take healing and time...just like my back. The results won't be immediate, it's not going to happen right now, but it will happen with a concentrated and focused effort.
I may limp a little, but at least I'll be walking.
Posted by Ameth Jera at 4:33 AM