Rewiring the System

Is Respect Under Your Hat?

Posted in Uncategorized by rewiringangel on January 3, 2009

Friday late 2 into dawn 3 Jan 09

I moved to Berkeley because I always wanted to live here in the Jewel by the Bay. From the first time I visited in 1971 the idea planted itself in my heart to live in this area. The visuals and scents still are available to my mind as I see things have changed into what they are today. Then and Now are both better here than anywhere in the world.

The Co-op is now an overpriced dishonest grocery store, which has a habit of having different prices at the register than is listed on the shelf. Therefore, in a much-uprooted way the residents have become a herd, preferring not to see what is right there in their daily lives. The store is less cooperative than just a short time ago. Community takes work by the very members of the community that we all serve. Not self-serving but self supporting, saying, Yes, I am my brother’s keeper.

Being an individual was expected and revered then when you had to ‘work’ at the co-op in order to get the members prices. Involvement for the greater common good had a living beat on Shattuck Street. Now it is more and more like anywhere else and all the people are expected to conform to some mold cut by ‘group think’.

I have a wonderful hat made by the Seminole Indians of Florida, which I bought on their reservation some many years ago in the glamorous everglades, when my daughter was in grammar school. It is a beautifully pieced together geometric pattern of converging triangles with a gathered top and a thin black self-fabric bow tie on top. It has not ever failed that when I wear this sun hat as it was designed to be used to ward off the heat and light of the sun, I get a comment. I get the same sentence from a variety of different people coming from different walks of life. They say, ‘Only you could carry off wearing that hat’ or ‘what a wonderful hat, I could never own it, or would never have the courage to wear it’. It is just a sun hat and it service to the sun should not be ecru and blend in with the cement.

For heaven’s sake, let us talk about Ladies and their Hats! Collette had her pearls alarmingly always around her alabaster neck. A creative thought, emotion and expression or simply a man or other, was represented on the strand. The pearls lingered as beautifully as perfection always lingers, one after the other, each opalescent bead not remembering the sand particle, irritated to build the pearlescent bead, and did she use them for all the feminine attractions possible. In the bath or in the bed and walking along a boulevard she was never without her pearls.

I walk through life with one or another of my many delightful hats.

My dearest friend called me on the New Year to share her stories and ask me about mine. She was remembering the first time she saw me walking with my then fourth grader daughter to her first swim meet in our new hometown.

We moved from New Jersey to enroll in school in Kimberton Pa. It is an original critical thinking program that taught the whole child from the point of view of growing a complete human being. The Kimberton Waldorf School had a farm as well as all the qualities needed to be a repository of human knowledge to preserve this knowledge in the student to hold in care for all humanity. It was a wonderful place. I know that this Waldorf School, more so than others, builds leaders with the skills to serve the greater good.

There in the bovine rolling hills of the posh part of Chester County, where all you could hear was the grass growing and an occasional songbird caught by a red tail hawk is a great primary school. I was befriended by a magnificent Individual, Bud Stone, who almost single handedly got the land and built a wonderful school. He did this to save the world one child at a time. He told me many of his grand stories of his life and Anthroposophical family in Hawaii. The wonderful time Bud had as a ‘study buddy’ who went on to be the light of thinking political conservatives. Glorious stories every Saturday Morning for three hours built in my mental and emotional construction, a deep understanding of simplicity and joy in every aspect of life.

I arrived in Kimberton/ Phoenixville with a joyful élan overflowing from my wellspring of natural grace and pleasure in being this particular human within the human family.

I found that standing on your own as a creative individual made people both uncomfortable and scared about what I would do next. Fear directed at me as a person was very obstructionist. I was emotionally crushed by the wide whacking 2 by 4 broadsides used as a marginalization and forced me into what became my projected wall of loneliness. I seemed surrounded with separation. No living walking death could be quieter within the gaiety of banal communication. Did I know that people were talking about me rather than talking to me? Did my spouse work to keep me out of social circulation? Into that stage I walked with my darling daughter, the true love of my life on whom I doted from afar to support her interests with all the space she needed.

This rant is about the effects of people’s derision of a creative being.

I should be counting my blessings and yes I did have blessings. However, I can feel the nerves in my heartbreak. I bought a medical book about the effects in the body of a broken heart and spent hours with tears streaming down my cheeks. Ahh, the cleansing work tears do for the chemistry of emotion as they float away the dross in the form of salty tears. Yes, I allowed the emotions to have their real place in time and space for just so long then moved forward into the sun.

The Kimberton Hat!

One day out shopping in one of the neighboring small towns, I bought a sturdy hat at a farm stand. I bought the sort of sturdy straw that could withstand daily hard use for years and not show wear and tear. I went to a craft store and bought a small gauge hot glue gun, a bag of stray flowers that caught my attention. All the big white daises, white roses, and sunny sprigs of star jasmine with their individual leaves to surround the entire circumference of a wide white grosgrain ribbon, which tied the whole confection securely under my chin. I felt a certain delight wearing my creation and especially the beauty of the blossoms I had chosen. I felt wonderful and well protected from the hot summer sun. It was a great field hat for keeping the sun off my face and shoulders, a winning combination. I wore this hat in the pool as I did the sidestroke or breast stroke then get out for the walk to the car or to the swim practice as well as to swimming meets. This was not a hat for the Australian crawl!

In the general swim pool, Serena and I were diving and splashing encouraging one another to just kick and splash and have fun under the tall trees gently moving their millions of bright green leaves of different shapes in the sultry breezes.

I walked from our relaxing splashing together to the lap pool lineup for the first swimming instruction for new swim team of the Phoenixville YMCA. Swimming has been a great pleasure for me since I was three years old. Swimming would become a real pleasure for my daughter that she continues to enjoy to this day. My friend, who called just two days ago, to remind me of how she remembers me the very first time, as I strode in my bathing suit and a bright sarong wrapped at the waist with straw three-inch high wedge mules. I walked right into her life. She had political beliefs that I did not share and we did not agree on a few things but none of this ever got in our way. We have a relationship based on mutual respect for the delights of each being different yet in the same human family. This is what Family Values means to me. Family Values is a big part of my being constructed from the inside out to live long and prosper. Am I built to last, what are my Sleep Habits, how do I feed myself working on Nutrition, am I am Optimist? Do I eat enough fish or am I going to push up daisies before I am ready to leave this world for the other side of the form threshold?

Shakespeare certainly had a great way to get this point across with humor and irony.

Cymbeline the funeral song of Act IV, Scene 2,


Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o’ the great;
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning flash,

Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;

Fear not slander, censure rash;

Thou hast finish’d joy and moan:

All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

No exorciser harm thee!

Nor no witchcraft charm thee!

Ghost unlaid forbear thee!

Nothing ill come near thee!

Quiet consummation have;
And renowned be thy grave!

We have done our obsequies: come, lay him down.

Here’s a few flowers; but ’bout midnight, more:
The herbs that have on them cold dew o’ the night
Are strewings fitt’st for graves. Upon their faces.
You were as flowers, now wither’d: even so
These herblets shall, which we upon you strew.
Come on, away: apart upon our knees.
The ground that gave them first has them again:
Their pleasures here are past, so is their pain.


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