A rock flower and song

Bird Droppings April 28, 2022
A rock flower and song

A journey begins with a step, and apathy begins with turning your back and saying I don’t care. Before we left school for the virus last year, I had my last IEP. I recall my laptop was acting weirder than usual, and all of my school emails jumped to my email account and then disappeared. After several months of writing, my entire address book went into computer limbo. I came home still the same on my home account, and my email for school was not there and went back to school, logged on again, and everything came up. Something simple was not working; my password was wrong according to my computer, then I checked, and the caps lock was on; a simple fix.

Then suddenly, as if by magic, my account was gone again, which was very frustrating not understanding electronics and computers. It seems they were doing server work at school unbeknownst to those of us using it.

“A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.” Benjamin Franklin

It is so easy to get caught up in oneself and our minor troubles, just as I did this morning. The following are the words to a song sent to me many years back by the mother of a teenage daughter. I remember the song from many years ago. My friend said her mother enjoyed this song recorded by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmy Lou Harris, among many others, to use the words. I wonder how many folks will remember them or the song as I sit here.

By Dolly Parton

The hills were alive with wildflowers
And I was as wild as, even wilder than they
For at least I could run; they just died in the sun
And I refused to just wither in place
Just a wild mountain rose, needing freedom to grow
So I ran, fearing not where I’d go
When a flower grows wild, it can always survive
Wildflowers don’t care where they grow

And the flowers I knew in the fields where I grew
Were content to be lost in the crowd
They were common and close; I had no room for growth
I wanted so much to branch out

I uprooted myself from home ground and left
Took my dreams, and I took to the road
When a flower grows wild, it can always survive
Wildflowers don’t care where they grow

I grew up fast and wild, and I never felt right
In a garden so different from me
I just never belonged; I just longed to be gone
So the garden, one day, set me free

Hitched a ride with the wind, and since he was my friend
I just let him decide where we’d go
When a flower grows wild, it can always survive
Wildflowers don’t care where they grow

So often, poetry and songs have meaning hidden in words, it might be in the way they play out, and many times in a song, the melody adds to the feeling and attitude portrayed by the words. Watching one of the American Idol contestants sing a song made famous by Garth Brooks, several commented on excellent songwriting. Keith Urban, a singer-songwriter, offered that the actual songwriter Tony Arata from Nashville. However, Tony went to Georgia Southern by chance and often showed up in small venues in Statesboro. Tony was my brother in laws college roommate. I throw out another song while I am on Tony Arata it is The Dance words are powerful, as is Garth’s delivery of the song.

Back to business, as I was reading this morning, so many teenagers feel as did this wildflower desiring to be or wanting to be free. Yet as I read the words to the song, an image of a wild rose growing in a sidewalk crack in New York popped into my mind and a line from another song made famous in the early 1970s.

“You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. They took paradise and put up a parking lot.” Joni Mitchell

In the past months, I have addressed apathy, and a recently dear friend in a teacher meeting in Conyers was discussing apathy with teachers and how we can combat it. I thought about that all night; first, apathy is like a virus; it replicates rapidly and soon overwhelms. Soon it takes over, but what does apathy look like and feel like. There are keywords and phrases, such as whatever, because, no reason, I’m passing, I’ll do it tomorrow, everybody else is doing it, it’s not mine, and a good one, let me copy your homework. The list goes on and on apathy, procrastination, and not caring can be rampant.

I am reading again a book, Neither Wolf nor Dog, written by Kent Nerburn about Native American Spirituality. The Introduction to the book is a few pages long, telling of a motorcycle ride into the plains and of a large rock considered sacred to the Sioux. It is called the buffalo rock. A relatively simple large boulder situated in the migration path of the buffalo looked somewhat like a buffalo. Today it has a plague on it telling its historical significance and an iron fence around it to protect it. Nerburn writes of how he was taken to tears looking at this ancient symbol caged as he wrote and as he walked around pondering the thousands of years of people who would touch the rock for luck in the hunt or honor and respect as they rode by this rock in the plains of America. As he walked about sitting on top of the rock, he carefully placed a crumpled cigarette not snuffed out by a careless tourist crumpled, and the tobacco spilled out onto the rock’s surface. Tobacco is sacred to the plains Indians, and someone had carefully honored the rock and memories. Someone still cared.

I look at schools and the concept or possible illness of lack of apathy. I wondered if someone was caring enough to seek a cure. Second, could it be possible to weed out teachers who teach and lecture apathetically, which then causes apathy in students? It is not just a school thing for many students learn apathy at home. Many years ago, I remembered a professor who would walk in never address the class, go to his podium, start reading the book, and when the bell would ring, stop and leave the room. In a semester, he never addressed a student’s question, an issue was never brought up, he gave a final, and who knows if anyone passed. Was it his class, or was it his classes that were apathetic? Most assuredly, he had some symptoms, and from there, the degree of apathy can vary, although I would say it was severe with him.

Apathy is much like a vacuum; however, once the seal is broken, it fills rapidly once learning is allowed in. Curing apathy, however, often requires others to lend a hand. Begin a new day with a new thought reach for the stars like last night with a clear crescent moon and stars. If you can see more than eleven stars in the constellation Orion, you have a clear night; I saw twenty-eight earlier this morning. Seek out something new, wonderful, and engaging. Apathy breeds within itself and upon itself. It is thinking and learning that keep apathy away. Another fantastic day for each of us; please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and hearts and always give thanks namaste. I will end with one of my favorite quotes borrowing from the Governor of California, “I’ll be back.” Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and your hearts and give thanks namaste.

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

Mitakuye Oyasin

(We are all related)


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