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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Star Light, Star Bright, What's For Dessert Tonight?

I was well into my 40's before I discovered the star that was the persistent light across all the years of my life. I somehow took it for granted, distracted person that I can be, until one evening I found myself sitting across an elegant restaurant table from a friend who is a food critic for a magazine. Our meal together that night would cost nearly as much as my car payment! I munched on my amuse bouche and wondered how I had come to be so fortunate as to be her frequent dinner guest at fine restaurants I could never have afforded to go to on my own. The answer came in a flash. I have the food star.

I've always had good luck with food. It started at my Mom's kitchen, where there was always delicious food, and at each meal there was a stack of hand-made, fresh flour tortillas. Our meals were nothing fancy, but were always prepared for our family by our mom, Pepa Cuellar, with the utmost care and love, the most important ingredient for good food.

Other people I have known have had stars. My friend, Diana has the friendship star. She has always had a loyal following of woman friends-- strewn across two countries-- who would follow her blindly wherever she led them. Another friend has the money star. She had been born wealthy, then saw her family business fail. A few years later oil was discovered at her family's ranch. She then saw the wells dry up, but soon after had the good fortune to have a philanthropist invest in a business she started. Her money star flashed on and off, but overall, it was a hard worker!
What star do you have? It's an important question to consider. Discovering your star(s) can be fun and surprising. It can also help remind you of patterns that run like a quiet current beneath the surface, always a part of our lives.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

After the Austin IRS Building Strike

I always thought the apocalypse would be sudden.
The great shifting of weather, masses of people dying like in the movies (Red Sky At Dawn, A Boy and His Dog)
A windy lonesomeness across the earth
Only rabbits left like in On the Beach
But now I wonder if it could be more subtle than sudden.
Less The Road and more Ordinary People.
The software engineer who blew up his home and flew his plane into the IRS building
Anthrax after 9-11 the work of another pissed off American.
Who are most the terrorists, the dudes in the caves plotting to kill us
or the radio monsters making a career of it behind their masks of patriotism?
Finally, what will we tell the children?
What sense will the young people make of their inheriting this arcade game of power, words, technology, blistering revenge and cancerous rage?
I say, it's a nautilus. We inside the They. Inside the Other. Wrapped around the us versus them. That old, spent rhythm of hate that used to be balanced by long distances, lack of funds or traction. It is now armed and ubiquitous, dispiriting and finally contrary to our need to marshall our resources and ingenuity in the service of optimism and peace.