Sitting, wondering, pondering, and dishwashing


Bird Droppings December 10, 2021

Sitting, wondering, pondering, and dishwashing

Several earlier readings on the internet got me thinking and pondering as I do in a roundabout way. So often, we take our technology for granted.  It has been about fourteen years since we moved into this house and a brand-new dishwasher. About six years ago, the dishwasher drain pump went out, and it decided to die on us. We have had only four dishwashers in forty-two years of marriage, not counting rental houses. You might say these dishwashers seem to become a part of the family. We waited on Frigidaire to send a maintenance specialist, we need our dishwasher, and you now have to make appointments, usually several weeks in advance. I recall my trips to various supply and parts places and new numbers of more places to call. They were always eventful, even synchronistic, so to say.

I find interesting people every time I go anywhere, for that matter. After a week or two, we did get a new dishwasher, and after six months, it decided to break down, which was covered by warranty. It took nearly six months of wrangling to get a maintenance specialist out to inform us there was water damage in the switchboard. A dishwasher that uses steam heat as a component does not have a vapor barrier initially installed. While it was fixed and did not cost a penny, you become quickly aware that we depend on simple technology. Key board-lasted six months and went out, and we were told to dry our hands before pressing the sealed keypad. So, we have been safe for three years, hopefully, a few more.  

Thinking back to that first repair and the fellow after a brief computer check of circuits and such and a screen and using his manuals, it seemed to be showing the culprit was the main drive motor. After calculating labor and parts, we would have to spend nearly three hundred dollars to fix our dishwasher, but if we choose to get a new one, we get this visit off our purchase. Essentially it cost sixty-five dollars to tell us our dishwasher was broke

“Where love reigns, there is no will to power, and where the will to power is paramount, love is lacking. The one is but the shadow of the other.” Carl G. Jung

It is often easy for me to pull out Jung’s thoughts and ideas and get motivated for the writing ahead. As I went out to sit and think earlier, this all rolled through my mind. I am amazed at how carefully planned and developed our technology is. No matter how good you take care of or do not take care of, machines last a certain amount of time regardless. The term planned obsolescence is often bantered about. We are a throwaway society.

In an issue of National Geographic a few months back, they were on one of the far-flung Hawaiian Islands cleaning up. Sadly, tons of debris washes in, ranging from fishing nets, trash, TVs, and stuff. Animals get caught up in the muck and often perish. One photo was of the contents of a baby albatross that had starved to death with a full stomach. The baby’s parents fishing in the currents had picked up numerous bits of the trash mixed in with the tiny fish they caught or eaten by the fish. The baby’s stomach was full of plastic pieces that did not pass through, literally full of trash that kept its stomach full, and it would not or could not eat enough to live.

Nearly sixty years ago, Lady Bird Johnson, the first lady at the time, started a cleanup campaign on our roads and highways. There were signs against littering, and signs posted showing the fines for littering, which were imposed, and slowly we started cleaning up. But still, we trash our environment.

But as I thought about it, there is another side, as I spiritually look at this. People who live off the land hold their lands sacred, honoring and revering the world about them do not seem to have this issue—often using each aspect of a given animal or plant harvested for use while we discard so much. I have seen dumpsters in Georgia with deer carcasses, all but the head. A few months back, a deer was dumped at the high school antlers sawn off. At the beginning of the movie “Last of the Mohicans,” there is a scene where Uncus, Nathaniel (Hawkeye), and Chingachgook shoot a deer. They honor the deer with prayers and ask forgiveness for killing the deer and say it will sustain them in the days ahead; no reality cameras were filming and no bragging about eating what they kill. (Granted, it was in a movie)

I watch churches locally in a similar manner. A situation I am very familiar with goes like this. Years ago, from personal experience, members of a particular church were major donors to that church’s growth and support and were often visited by the pastor. As the days went by and age and illness befell these members, and a new pastor came to be, the money was not flowing as it was previously; the family was never even visited. Where the money was, not where the need was, became the calling card of the church. I look a few lines up to Jung’s words of how different love and power are. Who do we look to as great so often in society anymore? Sadly it is those with wealth and power? Wisdom, love, and honor seldom play a part anymore.

“To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed, there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depth of things. And so, the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge. To recognize the significant in the factual is wisdom” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

As a people, we have lost so much. We take as we need from each other and others. So often, we exist only in that world immediately around us. WE ARE focusing only on what we can see, feel, and touch, even in this world of instantaneous news and views. We have made ourselves disposable. How often have you heard the phrase at work or in a workplace, “no one is indispensable”? Essentially, we are all disposable. As I ponder, it used to be we learned a craft through apprenticeship and years of experience, and you became a master craftsman.

Yesterday I was looking on the internet at Native American art. A plains survival kit made by Black Eagle, an Osage medicine man, was selling for $2,200.00. It consisted of several pieces of bone and sinew. Essentially it was a primitive kit for a hunter in the prairies of ancient North America. The various components included several scrapers, needles, and sinew, and they were stored in a fringed elk skin bag. Back in the day, Black Eagle would have given it to you if you needed it. Now it is a collector’s item being sold by an art store. I am wandering today, perhaps caught in the fifty percent off and bought one get one free and the throwaway society we live in. It is so sad we have become spiritually and physically disposable.

One of my favorite disposable sayings is “once saved, always saved,” regardless of what you do after you are saved. Searching for words and meaning in a world so intent on camouflage. I have kids who wear it to school daily, and you can even get camo underwear. Although I haven’t quite figured that one out yet wearing camo underwear, that is. When you go to the store, is it oak tree or standard or tree bark, and that depends on your quarry. We have grown so much in many ways, yet our capacity for others lag.

“The perfection of wisdom and the end of true philosophy is to proportion our wants to our possessions, our ambitions to our capacities; we will then be a happy and a virtuous people.” Mark Twain

Over the years, I have read many quotes, books, and papers. There is a passage from a website on Native American quotes and stories I have thought about many times, and it is so true.

“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents; it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors; we borrow it from our Children. “Ancient Indian Proverb

I happened by a Barnes and Nobles bookstore years back, and as I often do when there have certain shelves, I checked and found a small book in the Native American section. It was a book written in 1984 to work with rekindling the spiritual side of Native youth. I read the book as I sat in the bookstore, and this one passage stuck with me. I was looking for a book to read to my grandchildren, and this little red book was sticking out. I did take it home, so I share a passage from The Sacred Tree.

Respect:

Respect means “to feel or show esteem for someone or something; to consider the well-being of, or to treat someone or something with deference or courtesy.” Showing respect is a basic law of life.

  • Treat every person, from the tiniest child to the oldest elder with respect at all times.
  • Special respect should be given to elders, parents, teachers, and community leaders.
  • No person should be made to feel “put down” by you; avoid hurting others’ hearts as you would avoid a deadly poison.
  • Touch nothing that belongs to someone else (especially sacred objects) without permission or an understanding between you.
  • Respect the privacy of every person. Never intrude on a person’s quiet moments or personal space.
  • Never walk between people who are conversing.
  • Never interrupt people who are conversing.
  • Speak in a soft voice, especially when you are in the presence of elders, strangers, or others whom particular respect is due.
  • Do not speak unless invited to do so at a gathering where elders are present (except to ask what is expected of you, should you be in doubt).
  • Never speak about others in a negative way, whether they are present or not.
  • Treat the earth and all of her aspects as your mother. Show deep respect for the mineral world, plant world, and animal world. Do nothing to pollute the air or soil. If others destroy our other, rise up with wisdom to defend her.
  • Show deep respect for the beliefs and religions of others.
  • Listen with courtesy to what others say, even if you feel that what they say is worthless. Listen with your heart.

The Sacred Tree

Produced by Judith Bopp, Michael Bopp, Lee Brown, and Phil Lane Jr.

Four Worlds International Institute

1984

I wish we could live each of these honestly and openly and remember there will leave a place for those after us. Why not leave the world and people better than we found them. Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and your hearts and peace, my friends, and be sure always to give thanks in your way as I am about to do in a moment, namaste.

My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,

Mitakuye Oyasin

(We are all related)

bird

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