Every single time I pour out a half drunk cup of cold coffee, I am reminded of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
Each and every time, I become Francie in her belief that this is what rich people do; to waste coffee is a luxurious act of defiance against personal poverty. I didn’t grow up like Francie but I hate waste, so it’s become a conscious act of extravagance.
I first read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn when I was about ten; I had a VERY active imagination combined with an overabundance of empathy and I would take on the persona–I BECAME the character I most identified with–and so I became poor Francie.
Just like I became Laura Ingalls Wilder in Little House on the Prairie or Anne Frank or Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden.
In my case, these multiple personalities weren’t anything more than trying on a new dress or pair of shoes; I always returned to my own authentic self–wolf lover, nature lover, underdog defender, wearer of rose-colored glasses—but it was part of the process of individuation to slip on these other personas and feel as if I was walking in another’s shoes to learn about how other people live and think.
Mom Katie Nolan believes that Francie is entitled to throw her coffee down the drain if she wishes, saying that it’s good for poor people like them to be able to waste something.
“There was a special Nolan idea about the coffee. It was their one great luxury. Mama made a big potful each morning and reheated it for dinner and supper and it got stronger as the day wore on. It was an awful lot of water and very little coffee but mama put a lump of chicory in it which made it taste strong and bitter. Each one was allowed three cups a day with milk. Other times you could help yourself to a cup of black coffee anytime you felt like it. Sometimes when you had nothing at all and it was raining and you were alone in the flat, it was wonderful to know that you could have something even though it was only a cup of black and bitter coffee.
Neeley and Francie loved coffee but seldom drank it. Today, as usual, Neeley let his coffee stand black and ate his condensed milk spread on bread. He sipped a little of the black coffee for the sake of formality. Mama poured out Francie’s coffee and put the milk in it even though she knew that the child wouldn’t drink it.”
“Francie loved the smell of coffee and the way it was hot. As she ate her bread and meat, she kept one hand curved about the cup enjoying its warmth. From time to time, she’d smell the bitter sweetness of it. That was better than drinking it. At the end of the meal, it went down the sink.”
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn–Betty Smith
Did you ever read this classic? What did you like about it?
Is there anyone that doesn’t love balloons? We know they need to be disposed of properly to be good ocean stewards, but balloons are fun and festive, except when they POP. I still scream when I hear the loud explosion of a popped balloon.
Do you think this curly haired little girl in her flannel nightgown might have imagined C.S. Lewis’ quote would come to fruition?
For the present is the point at which time touches eternity.
In the quietest moments, your most challenging thoughts will bubble to the surface. Do not distract yourself from them. Embrace, examine and send them off to The Universe to be transformed. That, my love, is called healing! ~ Creator __________________________________________________________________________
Reblogged from one of my favorite writers, Jennifer Farley, The Creator Writings. She’s a ThetaHealing Practitioner and Instructor.
I originally posted this in 2017 but it seems relevant now more than ever, especially in the aftermath of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s untimely death and what that means to the Supreme Court and our messed up country, so I freshened it up a bit for 2020. When I first posted this, I also posted on another site and received some angry comments so I guess it touched a few nerves, fired up some triggers; oh well. Don’t shoot the messenger.
I had never heard the word– Wetiko— until a couple years ago and now it’s cropping up everywhere since it’s on my radar.
From my Google search:
The term Wetiko is a Cree term (windigo in Ojibway, wintiko in Powhatan) which, to quote Forbes, refers to “an evil person or spirit who terrorizes other creatures by means of terrible evil acts.”[ii] Wetikos are the human instruments for the transpersonal ‘spirit of evil’ to terrorize the world.
There seems to be a collective query rising up from the huddled masses of humanity who search for answers to everything from Trump to climate change, deadly natural disasters to senseless murders, and a pervasive lack of empathy and compassion.
Is there an epidemic of broken, undeveloped frontal lobes, of dysfunctional, maladjusted, deteriorating, and infected amygdalas?
Narcissism and Cluster B psychopathy run rampant in our culture, feeding on those who still have that innate ability to feel empathy and compassion, who possess a real soul and a kind spirit.
Those dark and toxic parasitic Wetiko entities are cannibalistic, predatory, soul-LESS, selfish, and hostile: a cancer of the soul; a shapeshifter.
“Just as viruses or malware infect a computer and program it to self-destruct, Wetiko programs the human biocomputer to think and behave in self-destructive ways.
Covertly operating through the unconscious blind spots in the human psyche, Wetiko renders people oblivious to their own madness, compelling them to act against their own best interests.
People under its thrall can, like someone in the throes of an addiction or in a state of trauma, unwittingly create the very problem they are trying to resolve, clinging desperately to the thing that is torturing and destroying them.
People taken over by Wetiko are suffering from an autoimmune disease of the psyche. In autoimmune deficiency syndrome, the immune system of the organism perversely attacks the very life it is trying to protect. In trying to live, it destroys life, ultimately destroying even itself. In the same way, once Wetiko has insinuated itself into a living entity, it acts like a perverted antibody, treating the wholesome parts of the system as cancerous tumors to be exterminated.
This problem is being collectively acted out on the world stage. Humans are destroying the biosphere of the planet upon which we all depend for our survival.
Wetiko is at the bottom of the seemingly never-ending destruction we are wreaking on this biosphere. One example is the destruction of the Amazonian rainforest, the lungs of the planet. Another example is the terminator seeds that are genetically engineered not to reproduce a second generation, forcing farmers to buy new seeds and making life impossible for many poor farmers. If the planet were seen as an organism, and people seen as cells in this organism, it would be as if these cells had become cancerous or parasitic and had turned on the healthy cells, destroying the very organism of which they themselves were a part.
Our species appears to be enacting a mass ritual suicide on a global scale. Paul Levy “Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil” Quest 102.4 (Fall 2014): pg. 146-151.
Also from Paul Levy…Wetiko disease is an expression of the convincing illusion of the separate self gone wild. Bewitched by the intrinsic projective tendencies of their own mind, full-blown Wetikos are unconsciously doing the very thing they are reacting to while simultaneously accusing other people of doing it.
Projecting the shadow onto others, they will accuse others of projecting the shadow onto them. To use an extreme, but prototypical example, it is like someone screaming that you’re killing them as they kill you.
If their insanity is reflected back to them, they think it is the mirror that is insane. Suffering from a form of psychic blindness that believes itself to be sightedness, full-blown Wetikos project out their own unconscious blindness and imagine that others, instead of themselves, are the ones who are not seeing.
Governed by the insane, self-perpetuating logic of fear and paranoia, those taken over by the disease fear that if they don’t attack and rule over others, they are in danger of being attacked and ruled over themselves.
In their convoluted, upside-down, flawless illogic, Wetikos’ act to their own projections in the world as if they objectively exist and are other than themselves, thinking that they themselves have nothing to do with creating that to which they are reacting.
In Wetiko disease, the psyche takes the ‘terror’ that haunts it from within, and in its attempt to master it, unwittingly becomes taken over by it, thus becoming an instrument of terror in the world.
We have then become the thing we most feared, ‘creatures of the European nightmare world,’ as we psychologically terrorize ourselves, as well as terrorizing the world at large.
Because full-blown Wetikos are soul murderers who continually recreate the ongoing process of killing their own soul, they are reflexively compelled to do this to others; for what the soul does to itself, it can’t help but do to others.
In a perverse inversion of the golden rule, instead of treating others how they would like to be treated, Wetikos do unto others what was done unto them. The Wetiko is simply a living link in a timeless, vampiric lineage of abuse.
Full-blown Wetikos induce and dream up others to experience what it is like to be the part of themselves which they have split off from and denied, and are thus not able to consciously experience – the part of themselves that has been abused and vampirized. In playing this out, Wetikos are transmitting and transferring their own depraved state of inner deadness to others in a perverse form of trying to deal with their own suffering.
Paradoxically, Wetikos both try to destroy others’ light, as it reminds them of what they’ve killed in themselves, while simultaneously trying to appropriate the light for themselves.
The disease itself is now demanding that we pay attention to it, or it will kill us.”
“An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind”. – Ghandi
Native American author and philosopher Jack Forbes further adds:
“This disease, this Wetiko (cannibal) psychosis, is the greatest epidemic sickness known to man.” We, as a species, are in the midst of a massive psychic epidemic, a virulent collective psychosis that has been brewing in the cauldron of humanity’s psyche from the beginning of time.
Like a fractal, Wetiko operates on multiple dimensions simultaneously — intra-personally (within individuals), inter-personally (between ourselves), as well as collectively (as a species). “Cannibalism,” in Forbes’s words, “is the consuming of another’s life for one’s own private purpose or profit.”
I don’t read much science fiction…I’m a chicklit girl, but my research about Wetiko led me to this article about the (deceased) sci-fi author, Phillip K. Dick (you might know him as the author of Bladerunner.)
(inspo = something or someone that serves as inspiration or motivation.)
I’m a forever child, never to grow up, still talking like the perpetual thirteen-year-old that I was/am, and sometimes a fairy princess in an enchanted forest with flowers in my hair surrounded by gentle creatures.
It used to irk my son when I’d repeat key phrases from South Park or Beavis and Butthead that were sooo INAPPROPRIATE, but now he laughs with me. A snarky chuckle, but a laugh nonetheless.
One day when he was in graduate school, we were eating lunch with a few of his friends and he put me on the spot and made me imitate Towlie from South Park. “Wanna get high?” in that Towlie voice. Good sports, we all laughed. I knew they were laughing AT me, but it wasn’t in a mean way. I laughed at myself, too. The jokes on them though, ‘cos whatever I did as a mom inspired my son to become a professor. HAHAHA.
Here’s Towlie in case you didn’t have a teenage son in the 90s…
NEVER GROW UP, that’s my mantra. (A girly Peter Pan without leaving all the narcissistic destruction in my wake.)
Just now at the ATT store I noticed that I was the ONLY one who was enthralled with two little starlings who walked all around me in a circle, not a care in the world with regard to humans and cars, and then I looked up and saw a gigantic White Egret. There was a UPS man parked right next to me and he followed my gaze as I was looking up, so I said, “Look at the beautiful white egret!” Nothing. “It’s a BIRD.” Nothing. “It’s really special!” Nothing. He continued with his stressed and frenzied pace to get those packages delivered and delivered and delivered. He looked at me like I was slightly off center but I wanted to tell him that he’d have a better day if he stopped just for a minute to BREATHE and LOOK UP.
There are miracles all around to be seen and heard. The simple things are the greatest bringers of joy and gratitude. It’s also true a Chanel handbag can bring its own kind of joy, as much as a seashell. Same.
Back to inspo…
What’s MY inspo? Now it’s mostly Theo and Charlotte, and always my original Angel Boy, that’s a given.
I’m putting the finishing touches on Theo’s half birthday gift, another one of my personalized books with photos and beginner words that I write just for him.
Yes, we celebrate half birthdays around here. It’s a tradition started by my mom, the original Charlotte. Hee hee. Not only did I get presents on my dad’s birthday, I received gifts and HALF a cake on my half birthday in November. The same was done for AB and now his kids. I think it’s an awesome tradition.
When my son turned twenty-one, I embarrassed him (yet again) in front of his friends with my speech about my love for every breath he’s ever taken and then gave him a gift of a star that I named for him because he was and will always be my entire universe. Check it out: International Star Registry, Scutum RA18h 47m 46d D-12′ 24′
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Do you like your name, the name you were given–the name on your birth certificate?
I don’t like my name.
For as long as I can remember, every single time I hear someone call me by my name, my very first thought is “that’s not my name”.
Is that weird? Am I weird?
For a nanosecond, I have to remind myself that it’s ME they’re referring to, because not only do I not like my name, I really feel that it’s not actually my name.
“Oh, you’re talking to ME?”
I don’t know what it is, but it’s not the one that’s on my birth certificate.
I remember telling my mom that I didn’t like my name and that I was also curious why my brother had a middle name but I didn’t, and she told me to choose my own middle name and it wouldn’t be legal nor official, but it would be something special just for me.
So I named myself Aurora, because that’s who I identify with. Aurora means dawn, but I chose it because of Sleeping Beauty. Princess Aurora (also known as Briar Rose) is the daughter of King Stefan and Queen Leah. On the day of her christening, Aurora was cursed to die by the evil fairy Maleficent. We all know she’s awakened by the prince’s kiss of true love. My mom read me that story so many times, i memorized it. What she failed to impress upon me was that it was just a fantasy, not real life.
Only one person has ever known that’s my secret name.
Some call me Rose or Rosebud, even Angel Boy refers to me as Princess (which is pretty funny when he does it in public, haha), but none of those are my given name, either.
When I meet new people or I’m introduced and asked what I like to be called, half the time I don’t have an answer or I say it doesn’t matter or I’ve even asked what do they think my name should be? What do I look like?
Additionally, no one can spell my real name right and that’s part of the problem, I think. I’ve spent my entire life correcting the spelling which only contributes to my possibly delusional introspection that I’m a mistake–an aberration; a typographical error.
Maybe I don’t really exist. Maybe I’m a character in a fairy tale minus the fairytale ending.
Being and nothingness. Maybe Sartre had it all figured out–this little existential crisis of mine isn’t even original. (Or NON-existential, in my case.) This existentialist philosophy is a study of the consciousness of being. Or not being, which is tiring my non-existent brain.
Except the one name I always respond to with a smile in my heart is “Grandma”.
This Frank Sinatra tune floated in and out of my head along with the symphony of wind chimes as I took a break from a very hard garden project to sit on the deck and quench my thirst with my favorite (daytime) beverage, cold ginger and peppermint tea.
My view from the deck. Lawn is suffering a bit in this heat.
Like the song, our fickle summer wind blows from the west most of the time; I’m a couple miles from the Pacific Ocean.
Nobody can ever compare to Frank’s lyrical interpretation.
The summer wind came blowin’ in from across the sea
It lingered there, to touch your hair and walk with me
All summer long we sang a song and then we strolled that golden sand
Two sweethearts and the summer wind
Like painted kites, those days and nights they went flyin’ by
The world was new beneath a blue umbrella sky
Then softer than a piper man, one day it called to you
I lost you, I lost you to the summer wind
The autumn wind, and the winter winds they have come and gone
And still the days, those lonely days, they go on and on
And guess who sighs his lullabies through nights that never end
My fickle friend, the summer wind
The summer wind
Warm summer wind
The summer wind
Songwriters: Hans Bradtke / Henry Mayer / Johnny Mercer