Why I Live an Un-regulated Life

In truth, if you came here to find out how not  to live a regulated life, by which I mean one not bound by routines and self-made Rules with a capital R, I may disappoint in what follows.  Why? Because while I trust that my life, lacking as it is in almost all  “regulated structure”, has a “mind of its own” and in that sense as much purpose as any other, I confess that this free-spirit eschewing of everything and anything routine is less by choice than by temperament.

Not that I have not tried, mightily, to instill in myself the values of routine, attempting to establish even one single habit that might tame a few of these impulses to spontaneity that don’t in fact help me.  Okay, phoebe, be specific, name one! Well, in point of fact, i do not eat, sleep or even brush my teeth on any routine or scheduled or regulated basis….This is not troubling to me in terms of the first two: i live alone and have no intimate relationship, so when and where I sleep or eat is really nobody else’s concern. But my mouth is full of dental work that cost a mint, so the fact that I do not brush my teeth…period, let alone on a regular or scheduled basis could be seen as a problem. If it were not for frequent dental visits and a family who at least saw to it that my teeth were taken care of, I might be lacking them altogether.

But if my title above enticed you, you did not come here to read about my lack of dental hygiene or the drawbacks to living as I do, free of routines. One might see me as either free-spirited or run-amock, depending on how you perceive my life-style of spontaneously going with the flow and hoping for or anticipating the best outcome. As I said, this is not entirely by choice, as I seem to thrive (mostly) on doing things on a “what do I feel like doing now?” basis, rather than according to any schedule. Temperament? Most likely…though I can say that I was not always this way, or so comfortable with being and living the spontaneous life. As a child I was known as the Neatnik, the one whose room was meticulous all the time, and who knew where everything was placed or kept, down to the toothpicks in my antiqued-in-6th-grade-secretary-desk, lower left hand drawer, upper right quadrant, in a handmade box, next to the pen nibs in another box…(you see what I mean?)

if i used to be neat to an extreme and thrived on order, what the heck happened? I shake my head, wondering about the transformation myself…it may be that I was wrongly “typed” as the stoic, neatnik child, when my true nature was much more free wheeling. I know my parents had to pigeonhole each of us, their children, in order to “make sense of us” but did so on the basis of what they wanted to see not on what was there by nature. But maybe, too, there was a change as I grew up, either temperamentally  or as a kind of rebellion, and assertion of who I really am.

Most or many people I know could not live as I do, and would neither want to or find it comfortable. I cannot seem to live any other way. But I will also say that if you are comfortable with routines and schedules, go for it. Find out who you really are and not who your parents decided you were, way back when. You can’t do more than survive, which is to say, you can only THRIVE when you know and are true to yourself and to what your needs and feelings are.

Sometime I will write about Nonviolent Communication and how it changed my life. Talk about not being spontaneous! This is a system and a tool for resolving interpersonal conflicts as well as developing a better self-rapport, and while you can learn to use it spontaneously , at first it feels rigid and constricting and even artificial. (But so what? I mean, baking bread is artificial, and so is using any electricity or a boat to ferry you across a river…what isn’t?).  But those skilled in NVC are also some of the most accepting, tolerant and loving people I have ever met…so even if I do it on more or less spontaneous basis, i aim for such a state of being.

My Country ‘Tis of thee?

Shoot me, Trump! Go ahead…You can do whatever you want to!

No, I’m not suicidal. I’m just outraged that the DOJ claims the president is completely above the law and cannot be charged or even investigated (at least not by congress) for corruption . If this is true, or has become the facts in this matter, I figured, Okay let me be the test case for whether the DOJ will even investigate the Trumpster  for, yeah, you got it… murder.

But I want to ask, as someone surely should:

 HAVE YOU, REPUBLICAN SENATORS, NO SHAME?!

It is in your power to stop this abortion of justice! But you cowardly scum just want to get as much for your own pocketbooks as you possibly can. You dont represent the so-called moral majority but the venal and crass immorality of the tiniest minority…

Not only have you no shame, you have no honor.

I AM ASHAMED  TO CALL MYSELF AN AMERICAN!

My country, you disgust me. ..

 

signed

phoebe sparrow wagner

 

If You Use Make-Up Could You Be Committing Suicide?

Do you wear make-up or sunscreen? Do you know what is in it? Nanoparticules are smaller than many of the molecules that make up your body tissues . There is NO research showing their safety.

Nanoparticles may often be present in processed food and cosmetic products such as creams and lotions.

From an NIH (national institute of health) publication:

“It has been found out from different surveys that almost all the major cosmetic manufacturers use nanotechnology in their various products. Cosmetics giant Estee Lauder entered the NanoMarket in 2006 with a range of products containing “NanoParticles”. L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics company, is devoting about $600 million dollars, of its $17 billion dollar revenues, to Nano patents, and has patented the use of dozens of “nanosome particles”. ..

“In sunscreen products, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, in the size range of 20 nm, are used….

“Some manufacturers are already producing underarm deodorants with claims that the silver in the product will provide up to 24-hour antibacterial protection. Nano-sized gold, like nanosilver, is claimed to be highly effective in disinfecting the bacteria in the mouth and has also been added to toothpaste….

“Because of their size, these nanoparticles can easily gain access to the blood stream via skin or inhalation and from there they will be transported to the various organs. The high dose and long residence time of the nanoparticles in the vital organs can lead to their dysfunction.[30,31] Carbon nanotubes have been shown to cause the death of kidney cells and to inhibit further cell growth.[32] Whereas 500 nm titanium dioxide particles have only a small ability to cause DNA strand breakage, 20 nm particles of titanium dioxide are capable of causing complete destruction of super-coiled DNA, even at low doses and in the absence of exposure to UV.[33] In another study, it was found that mice which were subacutely exposed to 2–5 nm TiO2 nanoparticles showed a significant but moderate inflammatory response….

“Scientific studies have shown that nanoparticles can penetrate skin, especially if skin is flexed.[37] Broken skin is a direct route for the penetration of particles even up to a size of 7000 nm. The presence of acne, eczema and wounds may enhance the absorption of nanoparticles into the blood stream and may lead to further complications…

“zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles used in sunscreens can damage or kill the stem cells in the brains of mice.

“One of the major problems is that there is no much evidence about how much or what type of safety assessments are done by the various cosmetic manufacturers on their products.

Though there are increasing number of cosmetics and personal care products containing nanomaterials in the market, there are no specific regulations regarding their safety assessment. In Australia, the National Industry Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) regulates the safety of ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regulates sunscreens. However these regulators fail to distinguish between nanoparticles and larger sized particles….

“But all these nanocosmetics have raised a great concern regarding their safety for humans and environment. In order to ensure the safety and efficacy of such products, the European Union has incorporated a new amendment in its Cosmetics Directive which will become active from 2012 onwards. This new regulation will allow only the safer nanocosmetic products to enter into the market, safeguarding the beauty and health of the consumers. »

————————————-

Note that the American govt is not mentioned here as taking measures even to investigate the safety or dangerousness of nano cosmetics. Also note that women are the targets for these products. Sound familiar? Now I  am not a make-up user nor someone who has ever believed sunscreens are safe but I have long had concerns about this insertion of sub-molecular particles into what are essentially vanity products. My fear, and I dont think it is baseless,  is that these ingredients are far more dangerous than we have any inkling about . 

Whether or not you use cosmetics or sunscreen is up to you but I just wanted to post this because we are not being warned and the appropriate research is NOT being done .

Mothers Day poem

PHONE CALL TO MY MOTHER AT SIXTY

 

I have not thought of you all day.

A March wind rattles the wires,

wishing you a belated happy birthday.

You are sixty, my grandfather ninety

my younger sister thirty,

but if there is significance in that,

a syzygy, some conjunction in the heavens

I have yet to figure it out.

Your husband answers, my father,

aligned against me north-north,

between us implacable silence.

So we sidestep confidences,

suspecting he is listening in

until in the distance the line clicks

like a playing card in the spokes.

But even so, how carefully we speak,

expelling words of fragile allegiance

each of us pretending not to know

what the other is thinking.

Suddenly you confide, you feel old:

the baby is thirty, you don’t like

your new job, you miss teaching,

the exuberant children, their bright

and lazy charm. There is so much to do,

so little time. Before it is too late

you want to captain a boat to the Azores,

learn cabinet-making — you have the tools,

a lathe, a power saw, inherited from your deaf father

who never heard you speak

but built you a fabulous dollhouse

and taught you, at ten, to sink the eight ball.

Could I ever confide that I, too, feel old? At thirty-five

you had a husband, four children,

a career in the wings.  I rent

a single room and have no prospects

beyond the next day’s waking.

Instead I carefully quote Joseph Campbell’s

advice: follow your bliss.

And I remind you Aquarians always step

to a different drum’s thunder.

You like these clichés,

and laugh, repeating them, then you say

with a sudden spontaneous sincerity

that moves me how good it is to talk with me.

I think of all the times we have not spoken,

how at sixty it would be nice

to have a daughter to talk with

instead of friends wakened in the night,

reaching over husbands or wives,

to answer the phone, “Hello? Hello?”

their wary voices expecting

death or disaster.

You are tired, you say now,

you have an early appointment.

We promise each other a date for lunch.

But I will not call for a long time.

Or perhaps I will call the next day.

Before you hang up, you let slip

it’s your wedding anniversary, one

marked by some mundane substance —

stone, carbon, foil, rope.

Should I congratulate you, I wonder,

or console you? Finally, we say good-bye.

Across the wires I think I hear

your voice crack, but it could be the wind

or a bad connection.

 

 

By phoebe sparrow wagner (1990?)

Poème en Français (and translated)

I have not shared here how utterly in love with the French language I  have become. Last July, and I do not even remember exactly what happened but something did…last July I fell head over heels in love with French and all things Français. Like my other full blown long-term passions — field botany was the first, then poetry, then ——, then art, and now French — the transformation from someone who a few minutes before had no use for whatever it was — French in this case — into someone wildly passionate and devoted to the object of her desires happened in the space of moments. It was as usual truly like a religious “conversion experience”, no other expression adequately expresses this sort of Road to Damascus lightning strike experience. One minute I was just going along, doing art of course, and passionate about it, but having zilch interest in French…then with a nearly audible WHOMP! everything changes, as it changed last July and I literally transformed from someone who was at best lukewarm towards French, and France, to someone passionately in love!

 

i will write more about such experiences another time. (And never fear, my passion for art remains. ) but for now I wanted to share this poem, originally written in English for my book, LEARNING TO SEE IN THREE DIMENSIONS, but which last night I was moved to try to translate. If you perhaps are francophone and even a native speaker, I would LOVE any criticism or critique you might provide for how the French actually sounds to someone who knows it well.

 

Be that as it may, the translation in English, that is to say, the original version, is also below.

 

AU LECTEUR

qui pourrait être assis, comme moi,

dans un fauteuil vert, un thé à la main

regardant à travers de la porche

jusqu’au lampadaire  sans lumière au dehors du restaurant,

livre sur les genoux, le mien j’espérerais,

le seul livre que je dois évoquer

si j’évoque aucun livre dans un poème,

au lecteur, le méticuleux,

qui pourrait être se demandant pourquoi

sur la page 47 il y a deux « et »

l’un après l’autre, et à qui est la faute,

et au lecteur qui est peut-être fatigué

après un long trajet en bus chez lui

après un repas qui ne valait rien,

un lecteur qui ramasse mon livre, mais s’endort

avant de l’ouvrir, à tous je dis : Pardonnez-moi

je ne suis qu’une écrivaine, assise

dans un fauteuil vert, un thé à la main,

je ne peux pas expliquer ces deux « et »

ni le lampadaire mystérieux

ni réchauffer les pieds d’un lecteur fatigué

dans son lit. Je ne peux que mettre la musique

et raconter histoires

pour que des films tournent dans la tête,

pour le réveiller avec la compréhension soudaine

que c’est la poésie qui peut faire achever la vie,

eh bien, il peut faire achever ma vie au moins,

et peut être la sienne, et peut-être la vie

d’un méticuleux, et votre vie aussi,

tous ici assis, regardant à travers de la porche

jusqu’au lampadaire  sans lumière,

là où ce qui se passe si mystérieusement

est de la poésie –

et la nuit entière est enveloppée

dans les mots dits par deux étrangers

qui là se rencontrent,

ou peut-être les mots non-dits,

ce qui est de la poésie aussi,

et tous qui écoutent, nous attendons

la musique de ce qui se passera.

—————————-

 

TO THE reader

who may be sitting as I am

in a green recliner with a cup of tea

staring out through the porch

to a darkened streetlamp outside the diner,

with a book in her lap, mine, I hope

the only one I feel I should have to mention

if I mention a book in a poem I write;

to the reader, the nitpicker, the one

who may be wondering why

on p. 47 there are two ands, one

right after another, and whose fault that is;

and to the reader, who may be tired

after a long ride home on the bus

after dark and a meal not worth mentioning

who picks up my book but finds his eyes

closing before he has opened the cover,

I say: Forgive me

I am only a writer sitting in a green recliner

with a cup of tea, I can’t explain

those two ands or the mysterious

streetlamp or warm the feet of a tired

reader in his bed. I can only put music on

and tell him stories to make movies

turn in his head, to let him wake

with the sudden understanding that poetry

may be all it takes to make a life—

well, my life at any rate, and maybe his,

and maybe the nitpicker’s and yours, too,

staring through the porch to the streetlamp

where what happens so mysteriously ispoetry—

and the whole night is wrapped

in the words spoken by two strangers

meeting there, or not spoken, which is poetry too,

and all of us who listen are waiting

for the music of what is to happen.

M.