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Why I Don’t Really Complain About The Weather

As a Stoic, if only of only a few years, I realise complaining about the weather is a pointless and decidedly ‘unStoical’ thing to do. if I can’t change it, and it wasn’t anybodies fault, who could a person complain to, anyway?

If person is religious, I supposed one might complain to their God, if for instance they’d prayed for a particular kind of weather to happen, and it didn’t …

God’s fault? More the ‘fault’ of Nature, or really, possibly the fault of mankind, some of it, these days … If you want rain, plant trees fifty years ago, is how the story goes …

We have rain happening at the moment. It’s cold outside, the wind has a biting chill to it. And sure, I’m commenting about it here, on this blog, but that’s what I said it is, a comment. I’m not complaining as such.

I accept that it is winter in my country, and in winter, it often rains. If it wasn’t raining at all, that would be more of a problem, for some of the people around where I live.

I live in the country, and there are paddocks around the place here, that have had seed sown in them, and the rain is good for the seeds, to grow. And sunshine as well of course, but rain help a lot.

And while I’m not a farmer, I have plants that need water, and if Nature is going to do the watering for me, wow, that’s great!

Being a Stoic is a liberating thing for me – the finding of fault becomes simpler, and knowing I am not responsible for many things, means they are burden I don’t need to take on.

I do see many people who don’t understand this, and I am so sorry for them. At a recent meeting I was at, I mentioned Guilt, which is something I’m considering writing a book about, and ‘Catholic Guilt’ was mentioned, and laughed about.

I smiled along with those laughing, but as a non-religious person, brought up by parents not actively involved in Christianity, though believers in it, to some extent, I certainly don’t feel such guilt myself.

I’ve taken my parental non-believing further, and name myself an Atheist, and am content with that attitude. And if it turns out I was wrong, I hope my life will be seen as a good one, with little sin, and some good deeds done for others.

I believe in Nature/Science, and Good, and who needs to believe more than that?I sure don’t, my needs are well served and I live a good life.

On Watching That Stoic Ant

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

The ant I saw is not the same type of Ant as this one. But to be honest, I don’t know what type of Ant the one above, nor the one I saw actually are. There are a great many different types of Ants in the world, with many different kinds, colours, and sizes of ants even in Australia, the country where I life.

I find these creatures fascinating to watch, as they stoically go about their day’s duties, traipsing out into the world, to find something good to eat, to deliver it back to their nest, only to traipse back to their next good find to then deliver for another Ant possible Ant larva, ie a baby Ant, to eat

I don’t know an awful lot about these creatures, but I have to confess, I get a kick out of watching them! I’ve always loved to watch experts going about their duties, whatever those duties are.

And with Ants, one of their important duties is to bring food back to there home, to feed the larvae back at the nest where they live, when they’re not working. Of course, they’re working for most of the day, every day, as far as I know.

So I am in awe of the Stoic Ant, all thousands of different species of them, but I certainly wouldn’t want to be an Ant. I’m far too keen on my resting moments for that!

This website gave me some information, and I happily read my way through some scholarly, but interesting nuggets of information. The website confirmed for me that the Ants use their mandibles to carry food, but it went further to talk about the multitude of other things an Ant may use its mandibles for as well … Have a read of that article to find out more, if you, like me, are interested in Ants!

We have lots of Ants around our place, we live in the country and have a very good sized back yard, and other areas of our property. Wherever there is dirt, almost, there are Ants … And as long as the Ants stay outside, I love being able to see these creatures …

And here is a poem I wrote some years ago, regarding the subject that began this article:

Carrying Carrion
In these trying times, I’ve stepped back
out of my usual travels, into back yard
and further, to the dog run, holding within
not dogs, but ants. Ant nests in fact, where
I can cause riots of rushing ants, just by
standing close, and stamping one foot.

standing close, and stamping one foot.

Hordes of ants pour out of their home
ready to attack the intruder, attack me.
I’ve done that a couple of times, my boots
keeping off any ants that try, and fail,
to ascend my leg. Slippery rubber boots,
ant-proof boots – weapons of destruction …

But increased understanding is my goal
not destruction. The ants carrying carrion,
perhaps insect victims of mine, possibly 
ants even, sadly, in the wrong place, at
the wrong time. Thinking these things
has shown the error of my care-less ways.

Now, I delight in seeing ants, selflessly 
carrying carrion, bigger than themselves, 
dragging larger items still, after asking 
others to help. Transport options limited –
Do it yourself, ask for help, or go without.
Grim choice, alone, but with help, success!

Sometimes It’s The Smallest Of Things …

Yes, sometimes the small things in our lives can give us the chance to consider some of the biggest things. I had an opportunity to save the life of a creature today, and so that is what I did. I saved the life of a mouse that had fallen into our swimming pool, and couldn’t get out.

I know what would have happened to that mouse, if I hadn’t seen it, and saved it – It would have got tired from having to swim to save itself, and eventually drown. But I saw it there, and saved it.

Then I had a think about it all, because it felt important. You see, we set traps in our kitchen and other places inside our house, so we don’t get overrun by mice, and suffer from getting them into our food, potentially causing food poisoning.

And that little mouse in the swimming pool, had a sweet little face, just the same as the mice that get caught and killed in our mousetraps … I wrote a bit about it on one of my other blogs, here: https://carolyncordonwriter.wordpress.com/2022/01/09/from-mouses-in-the-house-to-fool-in-the-pool/

Life and death, and Nature, big things in life for sure, and I know I am not God, so what right do I have to take the life of another creature? A fine question, and one I thought about when I decided to grab that little mouse swimming in the pool by the tail, and take it out of the water, then set it free.

I did so, hoping it scurries off well away from both the pool, and our house. But knowing that a tiny mouse could well be taken by one of the predator birds around our place, or one of the cats that prowl around our property … This little mouse has had a chance to live a little longer, and not die a long and painful death, constantly swimming, as it gets more and more tired, and finally drowning.

A quick death from a Crow, or Magpie would be a kinder death, and the mouse may actually go on to mate and bring children into the world, because I saved its life. Or it may get into our house and die in a mouse trap. Such is life, and such is death …

I feel I have given that mouse due care, and my heart and mind are at ease with my actions today. A life saved and considered in some depth, when there are so many people dying at the moment from Covid. I can mask up, get vaccinated, and wash my hands to make things as safe as possible for myself and others, and that is the most I can do to help prevent those deaths, that’s all.

But I had the chance to save a creature, and I did it. As I wrote in that other blog post about it, I am at peace with myself about this. It felt like the best course of action to choose.

A small thing, but bigger things actually … Life and Death.

Pondering Life, Wondering About Things

If humans are here to simply live our lives, and pass on our genes, why do we go on living well beyond our child bearing days? I’m talking women here, obviously, men may help create babies, but that don’t carry them inside their bodies, until the time for that child to come out into the world …

Men might and do, go one having sex well beyond the length of time required for their genes to be sufficiently around, to keep them in the gene pool, and proactive … Women though often remain around their family, providing some support in the raising of the next generation, and even the next, thus doing good work as gene protectors.

Men on the other hand are sometimes destroyers of their offspring, which seems a counter intuitive thing to do for sure. Sometimes, such men may not actually be biological fathers of such children, which makes a macabre kind of sense, for sure – killing off the children of another male, rather than raising them, at a financial cost you don’t wish to pay – yeah, tick to that one.

But of course there is far more to living a life, than simply procreation. There is doing good for yourself, and others, including your community, big or small. Working, paid or unpaid, to make things, or do things other people need and will pay for, of be thankful for, Good things happening there, for sure.

One of the Eucalyptus trees at our place. (writer’s photograph)

Planting trees to provide shade for others many years after you have died? A very good thing to do! We didn’t plant that particular tree, but we have planted some, for sure, since moving here. Tress help provide good things – fuel for burning, if needed, habitat for creatures, including birds, inspiration, even for those of a creative bent. If I was a painter, I’d paint some of the trees around my place for sure!

And trees help bring more oxygen into the world, which is a fine thing, in my opinion! Trees give, and give, and give, while humans take, and take, and take … in some ways it definitely seems unfair, the way a human may casually chop down a tree, or many trees, to make room for a road, a building, a home, a crop …

Humans sometimes don’t seem to even consider the good they are removing from our world, when they go about their tree chopping. Is there anything I can do to halt this? Or will it be an end time, when humans finally realise the error of our ways, when the oxygen begins to deplete, and we have nothing left to breathe?

Destroying Nature has been going on for a great many years, and doesn’t look like stopping soon. Humans are so greedy, they want everything, and never, or only rarely, put any thought into what they can give … My somewhat odd hope is that Nature manages to stay safe, enough of it anyway, before mankind manages to destroy Nature …

A vain hope? I fear it may be, but hope to be wrong about that. May the young people set to take over the world when these current destroyers die off, not take on misdeeds of those who came before them.

That’s enough for now, time to get back to life, now that I am no longer the only human in the house! I hope to be back here soon, and not leave it so long, before leaving another piece on this blog.

I must confess, I’ve been spending much more time at my newest online writing ‘thing’ Medium.com here: https://kittycordo.medium.com/ and while this site is giving me many new readers than my blogs do (and a tiny bit of money as well), my blogs are my own thing and I don’t actually need any money from my online interactions anyway.

My life is good, and I hope to help others have good lives too, with my words, or my presence.

Poetic Response To Well Known Book

Meditations, some poetic thoughts on Stoicism.

Thank You Marcus!
Mindfully consider your actions,
Embrace life, think on the power of
Doing good for others, & yourself.
Initiate community actions, & 
Take on tasks as & when you can.
Adopt better ways of being, &
Tread a signposted path of good –
Imagine what, how, who, & why
Often & if you see a job, do it!
Notice others sometimes will help
Sometimes not, but do it anyway!

This is a new poem, it seems today is a bit of a ‘new poem’ day for me, this is the second one I have posted to one of my blogs … The other one was a response to something I read on another blog, one I visit sometimes, where there are many poetic things happening.

The other poem I posted was in the same poetic form, the Acrostic poem, as this one is. The other poem was written using the word NATURE, with the letters of the word forming the first letter of every line in the poem, as the poem above was written using the words MEDITATIONS, which of course was written by my hero in Stoicism, Marcus Aurelius.

Poetry and deeper thinking can go together well, where you have to consider, and reconsider every word, to write a good poem, worth sharing. I feel this one is a good poem, and worth sharing, and of course I hope others agree. And if they don’t, so be it, life is for living, not regretting!

What Would Marcus Do?

OK, so Marcus Aurelius isn’t Jesus, as the phrase usually refers to, but as an Atheist with a keen interest in following Stoic thought, the question makes much more sense to me. Others may feel differently, and that is fine. We are all entitled to our own thoughts and ideas, as long as following them hurts no-one.

The idea of actually asking either of these men is impossible of course, but it is possible to read at least some of what the Roman Emperor thought, because there are books of his thoughts available for us all to read, if we so wish. So that is what I do, I have one of those books, “Meditations”, from which I have found much wisdom. There are no books written by Jesus, so I can’t read them. There are only many words in the bible, about Jesus, rather than actually many words written by Jesus …

So when faced with a quandary in life, I will ask myself ‘What would Marcus do?”, and explore my good book – “Meditations”. Between my own thoughts and ideas, and Marcus Aurelius’s, I feel I come up with good results. Having a trusted book to refer to is a fine thing for us all, or if not a book, an actual living person whose wisdom you trust may suit you.

Have a wise ‘other’, in your life is useful, I feel. I’d be interested in how others feel about these ideas of mine. FEel free to leave a comment, and we can discuss it!

Feeling Triggered, Seeking Peace …

In my life I have had various things happen to me, and I am sure, if added together, these things would or could add up to a diagnosis of PTSD. Childhood sexual abuse, the same as a teen, and then as a young adult. Sudden death by accident of my best teenage friend, unexpected death of my older brother, when a new mother (my babe only two months old).

I have written about some of these things, and published a poetry collection ‘damaged children, Precious Gems’, which contains some of my relevant poetry. It is a fine book, and I have copies available here Feel free to go there and we can get a book organised for you!

Anyway, I have had a week of hearing and reading about sexual abuse, it is all over the media at the moment, and I have been almost unable to stop watching and listening to it all, and I could feel it was affecting me. Then I decided I’d better take some actions to stop myself from feeling even worse, and was happy to have an event to attend, where I caught up with friends, and had an enjoyable time, chatting, and listening to the great speakers at the event.

In times of stress, which is obviously what I’ve been feeling, finding pleasurable ways to spend time, is good for a person. Exercise is also good, being ‘at one with Nature’ is good too. And for a Stoic, which I am endeavouring to be, doing what is the virtuous thing, as best as is in my power to do. Stressing about things, focusing on the bad things that occurred many many years ago, even if the after effects are still impacting on me, well stepping away form that an being in the now, not the past, that is the think I can do, the past is gone.

I can find better thoughts, those of peace, and away from strife, by looking at the good things in my life, the flowers and birds, the lovely blue sky. I can exercise more, which is good for me as it helps me deal better with the disease that may or may not be implicated with my earlier sexual abuse issues. So looking at my life now, and aiming at doing things to make this current life as good as it can be, this is going to aid me in becoming the most virtuous person I can be. Sitting on my bottom bemoaning what has happened a long time ago won’t do anything good for me at all.

Thinking about these things, and writing about them, may bring good results, following along on Social Media and sooking about it, without actually doing a thing, that will only make me feel worse. I’ve had a fairly stressful week, but yesterday and today, I’ve realise a few truths of it all, and am now going to concentrate on myself, making my body stronger, by exercising more (a thing I neglect to do far too often).

The exercise will be walking, briskly, and I know this is good, because I know how it always makes me feel, tired, yes, but filled with feel good chemicals that naturally come when a person exercises – yay to the Endorphins! Free drugs, delivered within my body, easily! So yes, I am now going to finish this post, and go walkies! Inside, and outside, recording the steps, and putting down the details my phone pedometer device tells me, to further inspire more exercises tomorrow!

This is what I am capable of doing, and what is is best for me to do, both physically, emotionally, and mentally, so goodbye, catch up again some other time!

Doing Good Deeds

I did a good deed today – I saw something that needed to be done, and I did it. I don’t want a reward, or public thanks, so I won’t detail what I did, which wasn’t a big thing anyway. The important thing is that I saay something that needed to be done, or at least it’s a thing that is better for having been done, and I did that thing.

If everybody who sees things that need to be done, and just does them, no hoohaa, just gets on and does needed things, as a matter of course, how much better our world may become. And further to that, what if we saw things that shouldn’t be done, and did our best to prevent them from happening, could we do that too?

I know about free speech and how we can often do whatever we want, in this country, anyway (Australia), but doing things that are not advantageous for other people, is that where a line could, or should be drawn? There are rules, regulations, and laws, some of which are followed, others routinely ignored and broken. What is the role of the ordinary person if or when they see these things happen?

Go to community things, join a group, help out when you can! Adelaide Plains Council Mayor Mark Wasley speaks at event at Mallala Oval

I’d like to think I would do what I could to help prevent bad things happening, but I would be careful about not getting involved in anything where I may get hurt … I am conscious of always putting my own care to the fore, because that means I will be able to more, good things sometimes for sure, but other things in my life too, the things that make life worth living.

Doing the best I can, when I can, this is the maxim I try to hold to. I don’t get it right every time, because I am human, and can fail at times, as we all can. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t even try. If we all decided to try to be better people than we’ve been, doing the good thing, when we can see it needs to be done, and not doing bad things, that kind of thing can actually made a difference in the world.

I’m willing to do, how about you?

Minimalist Challenge, Can I Do It?

I read an email about a challenge to wear only 33 items in 3 months as a challenge in minimalism. There are rules, about what items are included and what aren’t and when I thought about my own life, what I wear, every day, I really think I’m already doing that.

There is a list of items not included in the not included items, such as rings and other jewellery never taken off, and underwear, exercise items aren’t included, if worn for exercise, or for lounging around the home. Sleepwear is also not included.

I’d initially been a bit excited about this idea, but then I thought about it, and realised I already probably did that. I tend to wear a quite limited range of clothes, don’t “bling up” very much, and don’t go out that often.

Of course, as a writer, with a very select range of “things” I go out to do, I don’t really need that many different clothes. Most of my days are spent at home in comfortable clothes, and I tend to wear small selection of clothing items, a few T-shirts, a couple of pairs of pants, my favourite pair of jeans, a couple of pairs of shoes, maybe three.

My slippers are for wearing at home only, lounging around the house, and my rubber boots may not be included, but I certainly don’t wear them when going “out”. Looking at all of this, I can see this challenge is not aimed at me, but more at people who work 9-5, five days a week.

So it seems my life is already quite a minimalist life, and I’m more than happy with that! I have what I need, do what I want, but my wants are restrained not my outside things, so much as just because that’s the way I like things to be. Life for me is not a competition, to see who as the best and latest things. Life is to live the best life possible for self, and others.

This Covid crisis has certainly taught people lessons in how to get by with less, and I’ve see and heard about people discovering the delights of their garden, and beginning to “Grow Their Own. Finding the simple delights in it. Home grown really does taste better, whatever it is.

Fruit can be picked at exactly the right time, strawberries for instance, there is nothing better, surely, than a sun ripened strawberry, picked and eaten as soon as picked, delicious.

There are delights too, in listening to the birds cheeping and chirping outside, and experiencing all of the weathers that Nature can offer. Slight cool breezes to hellish strong winds and everything in between, all can bring fascinating insights. Watching it all is better than anything on the TV!

Do It Now!

Whether it’s crochet, knitting, gardening, painting, writing, sewing, whatever it is, grasp the good that comes from the hours spent in the making, and be proud for every moment spent! Such moments and their rewards are priceless!

Living a good life, that is what life is all about, or it should be. Because if we think about it, we are all on a ride, from birth to death, but no-one knows when or where that ride might end. There are people dying every single moment, all across the world, and while some of those deaths were expected, many weren’t.

If you leave things “for later”, you may never have the time to get them done, and you’ll be gone, never having completed one of those masterpieces of art or craft, you told yourself you’d do later, when you had the time. Make the time, and make it right now!

If something is important enough for you to consider doing, surely it deserves being done now, or as close to now as is possible. Putting things off, will never get them done, because other things will crop up, that in the moment seem more important than that creative thing you really want to do.

My creative thing is writing, poetry mostly, but other things too. I like to spend times out in the garden, where light pruning, and harvesting are my pleasant chores.

And certainly, with gardening, knowing the right moment is very important, whether it’s watering, replanting, pruning, or harvesting, if you don’t do it with Nature says it must be done, you may lose out! We have strawberries growing in hanging pots at the moment, and we have lots of birds in our garden too. These two things meant that if we didn’t do something about keep the birds away from any ripe strawberries, the birds would get them, not us!

So my husband and I bought some bird netting. And we left that netting in the back yard, and left it, and left it. Until the other day I had a moment to spare and I went outside with scissors and some rubber bands, snipped the lengths of bird netting for the hanging pots the strawberry plants are in, and covered the strawberries safely with the netting, done, safe from any hungry birds!

I can see the strawberries growing, safe behind the bird netting, and I’m glad I took that moment and got it done; I love home grown strawberries! I’m writing a novel at the moment too, and even though I’m not churning out thousands of new words a day, I’m doing at least 500 new words every day. A friend challenged me to send her 500 words from my novel every day in January, and I said yes, so that’s what I’m doing. I’ve missed out on a couple of days only, and will make up the missed words, by sending more than 500 words, on some days.

And once January is over, my friend and I will look at where the novel is, what needs to be done still, what isn’t working (perhaps), what stage the story is at, and so on. I could have said no, when my friend mentioned her idea, but I took the opportunity handed to me, and so my novel is moving along far quicker than it had been moving.

So a lesson learnt, if something needs to be done, don’t leave it for another time, which may never come, do it now! As Seneca once said, ‘To be born is to begin dying’. So yes, do it now, while you’re still here to do it!