It occurred to me, today, yet again, that I’ve not posted in awhile, here, though I’ve engaged in logging in and TRYING desperately to not get too far behind on keeping up with the posts of those I follow, responding to comments, commenting on the posts of others, if I have something to say, or wish to share a piece of myself, in hopes to build another conversation, bridge or simply, selfishly, to learn more from those who take the time to answer the question their post sparked from me, or to educate me on why my reply was rather not seeing all the perspectives/their reality.
I have a term for this – in online and offline landscapes –
I ran across this term ages ago – in either agricultural, permaculture or small business, or economic readings.
My memory of the first time I saw the word was attached to the total lack of sustainability/resilience of any system, if the main players in it were only Consumers.
Producers always had to be around to produce the things that were consumed.
Thus, my memory is full of the memory of ‘goosebumps’ on my arms, an explosion of light in my grey-matter, an all consuming peace enveloped my heart –
This term, right there – 8 letters, smashed together from two words to make one – still, to my knowledge, not widely known/used in ANY circle of life I engage in/interact with often, nor has the term along with the definition I embraced, without question, fully, and started to think about on every aspect of my life, no, not even a quick search of online dictionaries shows any cohesion on the ‘definition’ – of what it means.
I Embraced It Fully
Without question, without learning more, without researching (had I researched, right then, like I looked up dictionary terms, just now…to double-check myself…) I would have been appalled and said, “well! now! Not using that term to label myself! Too many folks will get the wrong idea about me….
Why? Here’s the first definition listed from one (of many) current online sources:
Um, yeah, NOT me!
I hold on to my older, slower, less fancy tech stuff and services until it no longer fills the need, or becomes more a liability than an asset.
Can I explain WHY I immediately embraced?
Probably not – to anyone’s satisfaction.
One short word that, in a moment, encapsulated everything I was yearning, searching, striving to learn more about to come up with a ‘life motto for now’ on what my heart, mind and brain were telling me, both when viewing my internal world, the life I built, was engaging in and the external world that felt like it had descended into chaos all around me –
And that little word? Rocked MY World
Without fanfare, without a certificate/proof of expertise, without a national movement, religious leader, self-help guru, popular speaker or celebrity to back it up –
It was simply one passionate soul, writing, sharing, best as they knew how, what they felt they had come to learn more on, see as a root thing to consider, in everyday life and navigating the modern world, and healing old things where folks had messed up, badly –
I Worked the Checklist….
The things I was worried about, the desires I had, the things in my daily life that I thought were important, but few others seemed to share my sentiments or vision – down through history – on this front/that front – disasters….great leaps in understanding – great changes in cultures, society, traditions, norms –
It worked for me to better understand – in all those fronts.
I embraced it so fully, so long ago, and made it a part of daily life, it took another blogger asking me whether I embraced 100% what I learned from my grandfather or if I was adjusting and compromising…..
Took me replying, searching for an example, which turned into a long reply…
(blogging in another’s comments – – ya know! My fatal flaw, overall that I still haven’t overcome because I get so fascinated and invested in someone who actually reads all of it and replies without full condemnation of my errant ways … :D)
…then I searched for one of my fave quotes from Karen Armstrong’s work on the History of God, couldn’t find it, and on page three of scanning, goodreads quotes archive, for Karen, it hit me.
Nope, I’m not 100% following my grandfather’s ways….
I would have to educate him on the term of prosumer….
I play cards, and I smoke, and I drink.
I really bite at playing dominoes well.
But to me? at the core?
Yes, I wade into the modern world I live in with the same root core of things he and his daughter and her husband, instilled into me –
Don’t lie, cheat, steal. Do what must be done to protect your flock that you were called to care for, whether it’s the Sabbath or not and whether others consider it ‘working on Sabbath’ or not.
Learn to rest in the silence of not knowing. Strive to sit and wait for God to show up. You’re on his time, not yours.
You see with your eyes, not his.
Use habit and tradition and ritual to provide the space for you to sit and commune with All that is (God).
Do not limit God with your thoughts about what he wants, is planning for, etc.
Follow the 10 Commandments and you’ll have more opportunities to sit in the silence – free of stress and worry and concern of your little daily life.
My Grandfather died when I was 15
I usually saw him for 1-2 weeks, a year, for all but the last few years.
How much could I have really ‘learned’ from him except through the filters of the stories I know from the rest of the family, my experience of him as a calm in the storm to a small child, with a tender head, and long hair that easily tangled.
I do know this! There are only three people in the world who have ever brushed the snarls out of my hair, that I could sit, relaxed, and let them do their thing –
My two grandpas (one from each side of the family tree) and an young woman, challenged (autistic?) who was striving forth to learn a skill – and was in beauty school, and needed a ‘model’ for her school work. (you can read about her, and her gentle care, here, on why a free haircut can cost you $75,000 or more if you go hog wild, posted 7 years ago)
How much do I TRULY know about His faith?
I only know about it through what he focused on, talked about, admonished me on when I was young but also provided the safe space for me to run to when the rest of the world was harsh, cruel, ugly or admonishing me.
I continue to learn much from my family tree – and they continue to put up with me, here and there – we sometimes disagree in our basic views on religion, politics, world events, personal events, etc., but, in the end, we often, overall, hold the space to not judge before asking – to lend support or an ear when one struggles or falters – –
We widen our horizons in understandings simply through virtue of us each having our own little set of ‘adopted family’ – the church we attend, the political party we support, the community of friends we each built when we went out into the world as adults, the passions we pursue, the education we each receive, the challenges and gifts of the geographical region we live in.
And all of that? Over time?
Changes each of us.
So how close am I to what my grandfather did?
I cannot tell you for you, for certain.
I’m not a theologian, a minister and no one in their right mind would look to me for ‘spiritual’ advice.
But I know this – my grandfather took late night calls for emergency needs – and he sat with dire health, and death, and grief, and all things humans strive so mightily to avoid, and yet end up facing, anyways, whether through their own actions or not.
And, in my own ways?
I do too – one-on-one or further removed – I sit with all of it, and when I get down, depressed, thinking ‘why on earth am I busting my arse on this stuff?”
I hear in my brain the many examples of those who came before me – hear them quoting the bible and many other works, intoning, why I ‘should’ care –
But most of all?
I hear them reminding me, “It’s not, overall, just about you. What you want will have an affect on others – impact others – remember to think carefully – and remember, the moment you react just because it’s not what you want? Just now?
You might, with some quiet time, expansion of your perspective, compassion and empathy, change your mind.
So, for me?
Not certain what grandpa would say if he were here and I had this talk with him, instead of myself and you, via posting –
I’d like to think he would smile and tell me the story of how he walked to find work in the Depression era and noticed the watermelons growing in the ditch, on eminent domain land, and ate because he was hungry and needed to be strong enough to work to send funds back home to the family that was depending upon him – so they could eat.
I’d like to think he would sit and help me pull out the knots and snarls in my thoughts and choices, while I struggle in earning my living and viewing eminent domain, public domain, cyber security, in my world.
Maybe he would, maybe he wouldn’t, but one thing I trust fully, have faith in –
If he were here, he’d listen, even without full understanding.
Just like, as a child, I listened to him….
Just like I listen and try to hear the God he taught me to trust, as I trusted my grandfather, even when I was too young to understand…am still to young to understand…
May never understand in a way that allows me to fully verbalize and explain to another – much like they can’t always make me understand their full embracing of things that are not on my immediate accept/embrace profile.
Just like I listen and struggle to understand on many fronts – both those presented as transcending me and my ego/little world, as well as others in this world that experience a different reality from mine….
That, I guess, in a nutshell, is my Faith – in all of it.