Working Together

"We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again..."

Excerpt from "Working Together" © David Whyte
in The House of Belonging

Many Rivers Press

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Where Weight Goes

I am writing this on the summer solstice, I am determined to stop time from marching all over my best intentions to post. My house is an absolute mess, the garden neglected; no less than three home maintenance projects have been started just this morning and abandoned mid task so I can sit here and write about my word of the year, courage, from the apex of the year.

What have I learned about courage? That is the question.  I read over my other entries on my word and I am feeling that my journey with this is not going to take me anywhere near what I expected. Originally, it escaped me that I would actually feel different six months into weight loss. I think I may have imagined that my ego would puff up with some kind of new self esteem like a balloon or something. I thought I would be able to leap tall buildings with a single bounce but it is not at all like that. Perhaps because of the intimacy of the task that I have undertaken in the process of losing the pounds by doing it step by step a few ounces at a time. It is not an inflated experience at all.  It is quite the opposite.  I feel more solid.  I feel strong and able bodied with the exercise and discipline.  My sense is that the unencumbered state of me, as I wrest myself from my cocoon of padding, is causing me to carry myself differently and it is influencing me from the inside out. I have definition and a new set of reactions to the world. I didn't expect that.

I am also remembering the joy of exercising and competing with myself.  I was athletic and a musician and singer before puberty when all the wretched bits were let loose in me.  I enjoyed sports in gym class and, later, dancing was my bailiwick.  I completely forgot how physical I was!  It seems funny now that I'm used to getting up every morning and walking and going to the pool regularly that I didn't even consider this as an option before. So I guess you could say I am recalling a self long buried and I think she is braver than I.

The courage of conviction.

One of the things that has happened since I last wrote is that I was seized by a small mention from a friend that a local department store that I frequent, Fred Meyer, was now selling hand guns and ammo in their sporting goods department. I sat in dumb silence as I tried to imagine pushing my grocery cart past a gun display.  There had recently been yet another shooting in a public place by someone who should not have been eligible to purchase a gun but could do so easily. These two incidences came together in me and culminated in my making a stand regarding the open display of handguns in high profile thoroughfares in the store where families push their children by in carts and strollers. Even though it was not MY store where the gun display was being installed (somehow I think they wouldn't dare try there, knowing better) but just north a few miles, it still seemed like an irresponsible thing to do and, frankly, I think the Kroeger Corporation should rethink their policies regarding the profile of these displays.  They can put electronics in a cordoned off area to protect their investments; why not an area for sporting goods so people can decide whether they want little Joey to slather over a semi-automatic pistol displayed proudly in a glass case two feet from the floor while pop looks over the tent options for the camping trip.  When does this corporate person-hood show some corporate cajones and step up and do something responsible and stop turning a blind eye to the reality that many of the people they are selling guns and ammo to are not responsible individuals equipped for the trip?

As stated in their response to me, they comply with all the laws regarding sales.  Well that is small comfort for those of us who know that the rules are made to support the NRA not the reality of what is happening in our neighborhoods.  No one is saying they cannot sell guns and ammunition but why can they not be proactive and treat them with the respect that arms designed and built specifically for human harm deserve? It is not the guns I find to be the problem but the romance of gun culture and the swaggering shoot from the hip problem solving that blossoms under this ideology.  This concept puts stores into a bit of a paradoxical mess with their marketing, their arms merchants and pleasing their demographic, no doubt. I did not get a straight answer from Kroeger. I got the form response saying, essentially, that they will run it up the flagpole at the next meeting. I dropped the issue and found the courage to change. I broke up with Fred.

This seems like the logical step for me beyond the gun issue. My dieting has revealed I'm buying too much food and my politics want me to buy more locally and utilize small business anyway.  I guess you could say corporate consumption handed me a gun and I opted out of playing and turned towards the sun; a more responsible consuming pattern for myself.  They may not believe that they have a choice but I do.

I attribute this new courage of conviction to my new physical strength and a clarity given to me by having more movement in my life.  It is more me than I'm used to handling of late, but I also think it is good; its time and I'm happy to meet my renewed self half way.



video credit Oono Daisuke 
photo credit Happy Healthy Vibrant

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