According to legend, a yokai named Amabie appeared and told the people, “draw a picture of me and show it to everyone” as a way to stop epidemics.
Here is my version of Amabie. Colored pencil and pen.
Be Well. Blessedbe.
According to legend, a yokai named Amabie appeared and told the people, “draw a picture of me and show it to everyone” as a way to stop epidemics.
Here is my version of Amabie. Colored pencil and pen.
Be Well. Blessedbe.
I am pagan. Specifically a Solitary Ecletic Neo-Pagan Witch and if you need that spelled out for you, you can find it here. I have no ill-will towards any living being. I believe deeply in The Law of Three, however you wish to call it. If everyone who claims to believe in that simple law which is part of almost every belief system in the world one way or another, and took the time to think before they act this would be a different world.
For most of my lifetime there have been people sounding the alarm about the growth in human population, and about the abuse of the Earth and her plants, her resources, her children. However, because that would cause them to have to think, or to sacrifice material goods or cash or a lifestyle they desire, the vast majority of human beings have chosen to ignore this advice, which is based on well grounded scientific facts (as well as Native beliefs). Some humans do make occasional small token efforts to live with the earth in harmony, but they are few and far between and often the efforts are far less than equal to their consumption of resources.
In our defense, modern life deluges us with information and advertising to create desires based on what will make the most money for people who already have more money than they could spend in a dozen life times. Most of us live our life at a pace that does not allow time for quiet reflection or deep thinking.
Our Lady loves us. We are her children just as much as the tigers or elephants or mosquitos are all her children. However, the human race has become that one unruly child who considers their own desires and needs to be more important than those of our brothers and sisters, let alone stop to consider our parents. Babies come into the world focused solely on their own needs for survivals sake. Children have to be taught empathy.
Perhaps because in the Western world we have decided that elders are worthless parasites, rather than repositories of wisdom and knowledge, we have lost that link that teaches children as they grow to also grow their circle of empathy from themselves, to their family, to their community, and to the world. To include plants and animals and the earth herself in that circle.
The Lady provides enough for all. No living being need go hungry, thirsty, or without shelter. But because of the fear and the resulting greed of a few who mistakenly believe that with enough money they will find safety and security there is a distribution problem. There are people vying over who has the biggest yacht while others are desperately hoping they get to eat today. This creates a situation where those who have much can dangle cash in front of those who have little and get them to act against their own interest and in a way that only enriches those who already have more than they need.
Human beings with their intelligence and technology have the ability to dominate nature. Human beings who are impoverished have the need to use up all of their available resources in an effort to survive. This leads to the burning of forests, and the steady push out into the few truly wild places left on Earth. The need to eat forces the poorest human beings to forage in the wild places and to come into contact with animals that carry diseases that have never met humankind before.
Hundreds of years ago, European people created an overcrowded human grouping that lived in close contact with their domesticated animals. Because of that they were exposed to diseases carried by those animals and in time developed immunities. When they made contact with the First People of the Americas – who lived in harmony with their surroundings and kept few if any domestic animals – those diseases found humans with no immunity.
The effects were devastating.
Through scientific research the COVID-19 pandemic has been traced to a single wildlife market in China. It resided most likely in an animal that was in the market to be sold for food. There is no evidence that the virus is passed by eating, so probably the animal was simply live, in a cage, sneezing on hundreds of people as they walked by. (The study information is linked here)
Our medical establishment over the last few decades has followed protocols that destroy the human immune system in the name of curing certain prevalent diseases such as auto-immune disease and cancer. Other treatments severely impair that same system, such as dialysis. Many elements of our current lifestyle also impair or damage our immune systems. I believe that there are other, more natural treatments and lifestyle changes we could make that would prevent or treat disease by working with our natural body defenses rather than by destroying them. But that’s an article for another day. This is where we are now. This situation creates a pool of human beings with little or no immune defenses for a new virus. Kind of like the First People, in a way.
We have overpopulated, outgrown our territories, invaded wild spaces, stripped the Earth of her resources and damaged her ability to provide for all of us. She has struggled to carry on for decades, maybe centuries, as we infected her like a plague. This is not the first epidemic or pandemic that our own actions have brought upon us. It is the most severe, and it’s the first to really impact the Western world – so we’re acting like this is something novel and amazing.
This is the Lady, in desperation, asking us to learn some self control. To slow down. To think about what we are doing. In fact, the only way to protect yourself and your family and your community is to be mindful of your actions. To think about it before you buy the last loaf of bread on the shelf. To think about it before you get in the car and drive, or hop on an airplane, or cruise ship that is fueled with the earths resources and returns only pollution to her. To be mindful of where you have been and who and what you have been in contact with and to clean your hands, your clothes, and your surroundings.
To stay home.
There is a new software to search movies that has literally billions of movies in their databases. Modern life and a certain level of wealth provides us with ample distractions. It’s really built that way so that we don’t ever stop and think about what we are doing to the Earth.
But at some point in time, you will have to stop and face yourself. You may find you have time to think. To use the marvelous human gift of reason and intelligence and the wisdom of the ages, the ability to read – and write – to share thoughts with those who lived hundreds of years ago or today. To use our unique human abilities to learn from the past, even the past of those you never met, to gain knowledge from those who know more about a certain subject – like epidemiology and microbiology – and natural healing, diet, creating good health and caring for ourselves. To stop and think about our actions and their effect on the Earth.
Or we can let the media drive us like the First Nations people drove panicked buffalo over cliffs to die.
Are you a frightened prey animal? Or a reasoning, intelligent human being? Your choice affects you, and thousands more. The time has come for us to slow down. To be mindful.
I know, it hurts.
The Lady never wanted to hurt us. She has tried to cope for decades. But we insisted on pushing further and further, to having every last resource for human beings only. She isn’t so much fighting back, as having a nice shower to get the fleas off. Any bird outdoors having a dust bath is doing the same.
You would know that, if you stopped and took time to watch birds outdoors and to think.
Tis the season for round-up posts. You know, what I watched of the winter season, how I liked it and even what I’m looking forward to this spring.
This is sort of a difficult thing for me, since I prefer to binge anime over watching simulcasts. Some seasons I don’t watch anything simulcast. I may even decide I like something SO MUCH I do not want to have to wait a week for the next episode and set it aside so I can binge it later.
But as it happens I did watch simulcast of two animes here in Winter 2020 season.
Somali and the Forest Spirit captured my eyes and heart from the very first episode. Better reviewers than I have done far more insightful and in depth reviews (pointing at Irina of I Drink and Watch Anime and 100 Word Anime) that are well worth your time to read. I’ll settle for saying the artwork was so beautiful that I am willing to forgive the somewhat uneven story telling. There were some things about the overarching story that I did not like, but I am nurturing a hope that a second season may smooth them out. Meanwhile, the anime gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling that I love. I would recommend it to someone, and I would watch a second season if it comes out.
IN/Spectre started out interesting and smart with a pleasing combination of two of my favorite things; mystery and yokai. Sadly from there it went steadily downhill to the point that I nearly didn’t bother with the last two episodes. I had reached a saturation point with the convoluted explanations from Iwanaga, and watching Kuro die in ever increasingly gory ways. The last episode made up for it a little bit with some very sweet moments between the two and left me wishing I knew more about the missing space between their meeting and this full grown rather sweet relationship. I might recommend it, with a caveat that there is some gore and boredom involved. I might watch a second season if it promised to reveal those missing years.
Meanwhile, I also binged all of the Morose Mononokean. Something about innocent young men and yokai interacting gets me every time. (There are three words that are sure to make me at least give an anime a try; yokai, kaiju, mecha) But how innocent is Hanae Ashiya? He apparently has some powers to see yokai, and possibly to control or even kill them. There is a mystery around his father, who seems to have left his family when Hanae was quite young – and also to have left quite a legacy among yokai as someone who is dangerous. Hanae seems to have found a truthworthy, if reluctant, mentor in Hasuitski Abeno. Over two seasons Hanae slowly charms the aloof Abeno – and me, too. The art is lovely and I am really hoping for another season so we can learn what really happened to Hanae’s father and what Hanae’s future holds.
Speaking of almost ridiculously innocent young men and yokai, I also binged Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs. It actually took me two tries to finish this show as my initial impression was it was too silly for words and was nothing more than an excuse for lots of upskirt and boobs and other stuff that just isn’t my thing. However, on the second try I did finish the whole thing and the story did eventually reel me in once I gave it a chance.
Room Camp was another binge finished in two days during bus rides. It’s that short, sweet, and harmless.
I also binged No.6. I really loved this scifi and I guess rather bishounen anime. The story was really good and very much “my style” of speculative type science fiction. I gulped it down in three nights running and am considering a rewatch for details I probably missed the first time.
See, there’s reasons I don’t think of myself as an anime reviewer!
As far as Spring 2020, the main thing I am looking forward to is the return of Fruits Basket. The original Fruits Basket was my entry drug to anime, and I have never read the manga. I’m looking forward to getting “the rest of the story” hinted around at in the first series. I’m fairly sure I’ll be simulcasting this one.
As for the rest, I’ll do what I usually do. Wait for them to come out, watch a few episodes, put some in the never ending queue to binge later and perhaps, just maybe, be tempted into simulcasting a couple more.
Meanwhile, I’m bingeing SSSS. Gridman (kaiju AND mecha – oh my!), No Guns Life, and Astra Lost In Space.
Now let me admit that I am too lazy to go through the gymnastics of getting my own screencaps today, too careful to just go grab something from Google Image search, and much too lazy to contribute some fan art even for my own blog. Today. I hold that out as a tempting possibility.
I have two laptop computers that I use. This one I write on and it has my good graphics tinkering programs. However, it will not open or run anime on VRV. I have another laptop that does nothing but let me watch VRV and play games, but it doesn’t have my writing and graphics programs installed, nor do I like to try to write or draw on that computer. (It’s an old laptop of my hubby’s cobbled into doing a FEW things after a major crash.) So good screen caps involve both computers (both of whom have rather iffy records of cooperation and crashes), Google Drive, emailing myself and well, gymnastics that could end up making this post show up just in time for the Summer 2020 roundup.
Stay safe, be well, blessedbe
I’m actually going to make some attempt at organization as this blog reblooms. One thing I plan to blog about is games. The plan is to have an overarching game tag, as well as tags for particular games which will likely get more in depth posts. You know, the games I am clearly and completely addicted to. Those games include, but certainly are not limited to; Neko Atsume, CreatureQuest, Horse Haven, Castle Cats, Zen Koi 1 and 2, and last but hardly least Hungry Shark Evolution and World. These are all games I play on a daily basis. Hey, I’m retired. I may even get all fancy and figure out how to record my game play like those YouTubers do.
As this is a sort of introduction post, let me just summarize where I am and what I’m doing on each of my daily games in the order that I generally get around to them.
Neko Atsume is a very simple little collector game. It saves on the specific device, so if you switch devices you have to start over. For once, I don’t much mind this. I had practically everything you could get on my old phone, so I got to start over when I got my new phone. If you follow me over on Facebook, now and then you get a photo of a new cat or better yet a new memento. There aren’t really rules or goals or penalties if you miss a day. I just feel bad because I forgot to feed the cats. For me, it harkens back to great memories when I actually had upwards of 10 cats living with me at all times with rescues and homing and raising baby kittens going on all the time. I don’t have the facilities or income to do that any more, but I have my Neko Atsume kitties.
CreatureQuest is a strategy role playing game. It’s my next stop because once you run out of energy and money you have to wait around to build it back up. I’ve been playing it on the phone and Nox for about three months. I’m Level 92 and my best creature at the moment is a Frost Giant Besieger who is a 5 star L73. I can reach Level 33 in the Battle Tower, and I’m Prince or Lord level on most quests. But my favorite creature is:
Horse Haven is an addiction. I have a very long standing love/hate relationship with this sim game that has spanned Facebook and a number of devices, lost games, and frustration. And yet I always come back. With my current game – which I have hopes will now go with me if I change devices – I’m Level 55 and I have or have had all but seven of the current breeds in the game. They recently had a good update and the new graphics of the horses look great. I’m trying to think of which horse really looks best for a screencap and photo for this post and I can’t decide. How about a view of the Montana Grand Stable.
Castle Cats is an idle hero game that grabbed me from the very beginning. When I switched from an Amazon Kindle Fire to an Android tablet, saving my then level 91 game with purchased heros was a major nightmare, but I finally have it working again – and my old game – and saving – on Nox. Excuse me while I go do a happy dance. There are so many things that delight me about this game that I see many many posts under this tag in the future, from the graphics to the stories to the game play and events. And then there’s this, too:
These last 3 games I’ve been playing for many years. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ve seen many, many pictures of lovely dragons of Zen Koi 1 and the minute it came out, Zen Koi 2. Zen Koi is a lovely, peaceful relaxing collecting game that has kindly followed me from device to device for years. There aren’t levels, exactly, but in Zen Koi 1 I have 541 Dragon Points, and in Zen Koi 2 I have 318 Dragon Points.
Hungry Shark Evolution was probably one of the very first games I put on my Amazon Kindle and I’ve never stopped playing it. I hate to think how many years that might be. I don’t play daily anymore, but it is still a much beloved go-to game. It makes me laugh. And laugh. And laugh. Especially on the days when I feel like there are people who really do need to be eaten by a giant shark. And then they gave me a Godzilla inspired shark. I do play Hungry Shark World, but not as much. I’ve never quite liked it and it doesn’t play very well on my phone. I have to admit I haven’t got a single screenshot to share. Some times the electronics defeat me completely.
This doesn’t include VNs or games I play casually or only when I have time, or games that actually have a finish line. For some reason, I never seem to get hooked on a game I can finish. Well, not usually. I might have one to talk about next time I feel like talking about games… and for those I’ll just set up a tag of…what, other games, Miscellaneous games, casual games. Hmmm… all other games. Oh, and I did give Visual Novels a tag, too.
Stay home. Stay safe. Play lots of games 😀
At the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States I noticed some talking heads repeating over and over the phrase “9/11 like atmosphere”. It made me cringe and my stomach turn over.
9/11 was 19 years ago, so some of you may not remember or may have been young children during that time. There is the common story of how America all pulled together blah blah blah and then there is the real story. Some of us had a little different experience of 9/11.
9/11 scared Americans. Really scared us, deeply, for the first time ever in our history. We like to pretend, especially online, that we are all kind, compassionate, caring people. The truth is not as rosy, I’m sorry to say. There is a significant section of the American people who – when they get scared – they strike out. They look for someone to blame and they act out aggressively.
My husband is a Native American. His skin is brown, and his eyes and hair are black. The day after 9/11 he was literally cornered at his work place and questioned about his religion and his place of birth. And this is in Tulsa, Oklahoma – where there are many people of Native American ancestry. This harassment continued for him throughout the next several years. It was very scary. Especially since stories circulated about brown people being physically assaulted on the street.
We are Americans. We were scared. We were scared OF OTHER AMERICANS.
Those Americans now have a leader – someone who is calling this virus the “Chinese virus” and the “Wuhan virus”. Someone who is all about whipping up hatred and violence and pointing at “the other” for us so we know who to hate.
The most vulnerable population to this virus are the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. Many of us are also on Social Security or Disability. There are people who consider us parasites on the American people (as though we did not also work and pay into SSI or SSD when we could) who will literally CHEER if great swaths of elderly or infirm people die. Those people who gripe when the bus pauses to lower the ramp for us or complain if they have to make some minor accomodation for someone who is somehow differently abled. My favorite, the ones who mutter “he doesn’t look that sick” when my husband uses his disabled pass on the bus or my new favorite, the ones who straight out openly BLAME dialysis patients for their condition. (“They deserve it, they didn’t take care of their health, we ought to let them die”) Don’t make that face at me – deep in your heart you know damn well it is true. I warned you this was the No Bullshit area. I’m not making this up – I’m describing what we have experienced on a good day in America.
You cannot argue with these people. Because their nastiness is not based on fact – not at all. It is a self defense mechanism. It is “I am not like them. I won’t be homeless because I work hard.” and “I am not like them. I will never be old, sick or disabled because I am too smart and I take care of myself. So it won’t happen to me”. This is a self defense reaction to fear. Fear that most of us are one paycheck from homelessness, and one accident or illness from disability.
And speaking of one paycheck from homelessness – Las Vegas went into lockdown today. All non-essential businesses are ordered to close. There goes that paycheck. And what do some people do when they are faced with a fear they have no control over? They lash out. They lash out at the ones they blame. They will lash out at the elderly, the immunocompromised, and I hear they are already beating up “Asian looking” people in parts of this country.
This post is two things. It is a plea to NOT act in this way. To be calm. To be compassionate. To be kind. To be the people we claim that we are.
But it is also a warning. That there are people who will react in this way. Just like the people right now who are ignoring the self quarintine protocols and go laughing to the movies, or as one person on a facebook post yesterday said openly that the people who will die from Covid-19 “do not matter” because they’re just old and sick anyway. These are also self defense mechanisms against fear. You can’t reason with it.
I ask you to be calm, and compassionate and understanding of those who lash out, be it verbally, on the Internet, or in the media, or physically. Since we’re all supposed to be staying home, we should be pretty safe physically. Unless that person is in your home. But please keep in mind they are afraid. They need reassurance, not you lashing back at them which will only escalate the problem.
Really, the best thing we can do is step away and send them love from our heart. Just quietly think “love” at them, for love is the only antidote to fear. Don’t engage them. Again, remember you cannot reason with them, because this is not reasoning – it is emotion driven by fear and encouraged by the media and their leaders.
Let’s transform. Let’s raise ourselves UP into love and out of the media lashed fear and negativity.
Blessedbe. Be Well.
It was 1990 and the Gulf War had begun. In a repeat of the Vietnam War, the media was there in force to share images and words of fighting and death striking fear into our hearts for some of us, and inciting anger in others.
The Internet had not been available to the general public for very long at that time. It was still a wonderland full of personal websites about personal passions and a place where people who had less popular views in their area could find and join with people like themselves. Which is why all us Pagans and various other New agers kind of knew each other, had a sense of community and conversation. This made it possible for the first time for many of us, perhaps thousands, maybe more there’s no way to know, to come together and to agree to pray, meditate, light candles and perform our own rituals in accordance with our own beliefs but with a common purpose to shorten the war. I was one of many participants.
At the time the U.S. government was telling the media it would be short. We’d take over Iraq, whip some democrazy on them and it would all be over with in a flash. At the same time I spoke with acquaintances in the military who said the military was preparing for a lengthy siege with many casualties. I know who I believe, but you make your own decision.
What happened was one of the shortest wars the U.S. has ever been involved in. I believe it was because there were so many people all over the world not just saying “oh I hope this blows over soon” but praying, lighting candles, meditating, performing rituals with one purpose – to end that war.
The coronavirus transformation isn’t a war. But it is a time when our world is going through a major transformation – and changes can be hard. Changes can also be for the better, or for the worse. I’d like to say we all hope the changes will be for the better, but what is better to one and what is better to another is different, of course. Sad to say, but there are people out there who think it would be great if old those sick, old parasites on Social Security and Medicare would die. Let alone people who are of another religion or country or color. I’ve been thinking, meditating, and sleeping on a desire to create a prayer, a meditation, a ritual I can perform that would encompass the desire to make these coming changes be for the better.
At last, during meditation this morning this prayer came to me. Call it a prayer, meditation, affirmation or whatever works best for you. Use it as you wish. If you wish. But for the good of all my relations, here I share this prayer.
I begin it with “Beloved Goddess” but you may certainly use whatever words you chose.
So Mote it Be (or words you prefer)
In perfect love and perfect trust I share this with you.
I notice many people and the media are using “these troubled times” or “these changing times” to refer to what others might call “the coronavirus crises”. Semantics, words, do matter. Today’s media is certainly aware of that and uses it on us constantly. In this case, I happen to agree that changing times, challenging times, or troubled times is much better than coronavirus (which points to the virus as the source) and crises or any related words. Because the many changes that are happening right this minute in the world are/were/have been initiated by the coronavirus, but the virus itself certainly isn’t causing them. All the virus causes is a lung infection – quite impartially making use of our animal body as a cozy little home. Everything else is the result of human reaction to that impartial virus.
When I began thinking about a title for this post I couldn’t quite find the word. I went looking in an online thesaurus and of the alternatives they offered I quite like “transformation”. There is no doubt this is going to change the world we live in right now – and for many years to come. Perhaps less than we think, in the long run.
This, too, shall pass.
Transformation points to a change that is for the better. From caterpillar to butterfly. From school girl to magical girl. From chaos and ego to harmony and love. That’s what I am hoping for anyway.
The reason I wanted a good title I could live with is that I am going to use it as a tag. I have a number of things I want to talk about related to these changes going on and although it is all interrelated, I feel that some of my thoughts would do better cut away into smaller bits for focus and analysis. I’m not writing a book of 50,000 words, but a series of blog posts that I’d like to be readable in a few minutes so that you can go off and think about it for a while if you like. Or comment and converse. That would be awesome.
It’s likely that I will return and edit this post as well with links to all of the later posts on the subject just to make reading them all, or selections, a bit easier. Consider this to be sort of a “main header”.
As such, I’ll be posting another entry today.
The more I think of it, the more I like the butterfly analogy. There’s a caterpillar going along with his/her life which consists entirely of thinking of oneself and stuffing all the food it can find into it’s gut. All about self, ego, and consuming. Then it builds itself a safe little home and holes up inside for a while. During that time it doesn’t seem to be doing much, but in fact, it is completely reinventing itself. And then it emerges, beautiful and able to fly. It’s life consists of visiting pretty flowers, helping them to reproduce and seeking connection. A mate, someone to love however briefly. Meanwhile, it’s very presence brings joy to those around it who admire it’s beauty.
That’s what I want this world to do with this opportunity to transform that the coronavirus has given us. Yes, let’s turn this thinking completely around. It isn’t a horrible, frightening disease – but an opportunity to change our thinking, and our way of life to something more harmonious with the world we live in.
No, I’m not so crazy that I think OH BOY a deadly virus! After all, my dearest beloved and I are very much in the most likely to die category according to the medical authorities. But I do have a turn of mind that makes me always want to look for the good in something, to find the good in every event, to look for the teaching and learning opportunity in every event. I won’t apologize for that.
And here we are, sitting at home, surfing the internet and/or sitting and thinking and learning so we may as well do just that.
Blessedbe. Be Well.