The Blooming

There’s something about flowers that has always intrigued me. Their beauty. Their aroma. The way they are created from basically nothing, serve their gorgeous purpose, and then quietly disappear, only to re-emerge again in their next season. Flowers mark the passage of time on the world’s clock.

That, and their sex organs are proudly, colorfully, elegantly on display. No shame. No excuses. Nothing conservative about the pistil and stamen. When bathed in that scent, designed to do nothing but attract, I am sometimes overwhelmed by the sheer force of nature, the astounding instinct to continue living.

This was the attitude I brought to the glorious blooming of the cherry blossom trees at the University of Washington. I stood in their midst and just inhaled, allowing the pure luxury of being amongst them wash over me.

I wasn’t even bothered by the drone flying overhead, because I knew its footage would be unforgettable, And I was right. Here it is, on Youtube.

Life. What a gift.

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Hive Mind

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired. I’m tired of thinking. I’m tired of trying to figure out what’s true and what’s not. I’m tired of worrying about what I can do to help fix this increasingly broken world of ours.

But the only other option is to let others do the thinking for me. Boy, is that tempting. It would be so easy to maintain a mental radio silence and just let other people handle everything. But I’m fairly certain that that trend is what got us into this mess in the first place.

Too many people have checked out. Or they’ve taken up full time residence in Facebook, the land that facts forgot. They certainly didn’t bother to vote. What could possibly go wrong? This. That’s what.

That, my friends, is called “hive mind”. Turn yourself into a drone. Just do your little job. Maintain your routine. Don’t look at the big picture. Don’t ask questions. Trust that the honey will be there when you need it.

Once you’re attuned to it, you see hive mind everywhere. It’s in paramilitary organizations, such as the police and ICE. We, as individuals, don’t have to have a moral compass when we’re just part of the hive. I’m a law abiding citizen, but it always rattles me to talk to cops. You can look into their eyes and see that they’re in the hive. Because of that, there’s no possible way for them to relate to me as an individual. And that’s scary.

The individuals who make up ICE were told not to let people off a domestic flight until they produced identification. They each knew it was wrong. But they were doing their job. And cops? Take ‘em out of the uniform, and they wouldn’t normally rough someone up, but this is a bad guy, and it’s for the greater good, right?

Lord knows hive mind is the essence of bureaucracies. When’s the last time you got a rational response out of AT&T? Employees in those places are discouraged from going off script, even when the script makes no sense whatsoever.

I hate to say it, but it’s also seen at sporting events. We good. You bad. Me Tarzan. And then we’re shocked when violence erupts. This is why I never got into sports.

Cults, of course, have hive mind down to a science. You are stripped of your individuality, deprived of information, isolated from family, and told what to think. It must feel quite liberating at first, like slipping into a nice warm bath. And then the water gets cold.

I used to lament having been born in the 60’s. It meant I was too young to participate in all the “really good” protests. My generation got to eat the fruit of all that labor without really having to work for it. Well, be careful what you wish for. Now, in my 50’s, I get to participate in activities that make my aching body wish I were 20 again.

I have to admit, though, that it feels like we are all starting to wake up. We may not like it, but you can only hit the snooze button so many times. Maybe Trump is the rock bottom we had to hit before we could rise up again.

Even toxic clouds have silver linings, it seems.

Macro Insects Bees Swarm

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