Two sides to every story

Thoughts on Political Process, Social Media, and Polarization of the Masses… and about Fear of Change.     This has been boiling up inside as I read more about both “sides” of both the #noDPL Standing Rock protests against the oil pipeline as well as the occupation of the #Malheur wildlife refuge in Oregon by the Bundy family and militia. Although I still don’t agree with the occupation of the Malheur wildlife refuge by the Bundys, reading some of the stories about the trial and things that have been said have made me a little more understanding than I used to be. It reminds me once again that the truth is often somewhere between the extremes we hear. I’m also blown away by the incompetence of the Oregon prosecutors who blew the case, regardless of my opinion on whether they’re guilty or not. It seems like the whole crazy experience does a lot to confirm some of the Bundys primary complaints of incompetent government. I personally think there’s a lot to learn from this whole situation. 

       I know I have many friends who will just immediately lash out that what the Bundys did was horrible and wrong and I have other friends who will immediately defend the Bundys regardless of their methods. That seems to be pretty much the mood of the country right now, lash out without thinking or reading or learning more. Lash out to defend what you wish to believe, because you don’t want things to be any different than what you’ve always believed. It’s uncomfortable to see things any differently than what you’re used to. There is actually a lot of fear involved, fear that maybe you weren’t as justifiably angry as you thought. Fear of change; of governmental control; of militia taking over the country. Fear that someone’s going to see you with egg on your face and then that makes you terribly angry.  

     20 or 100 years from now people will be studying what happened at this time., And they will be amazed at how quickly things got out of control and how bullheaded people were.   

    So, before you cry out with your explanations of why it was obviously one way or the other, stop and think. Facebook and social media have become so incredibly overreactive to what is in front of us. People have been encouraged to make quick short passionate comments, or derisive comments. The way Facebook operates is to reinforce what ever your apparent belief is based on the things you like and share. They stop showing you the other side of the coin. This process causes more and greater division and less common sense. This becomes incredibly apparent during a political process of any sort. 

     The other side of the coin here is that Facebook also allows us to show what’s really happening during events and anywhere in the country with our live videos and observations and photos; to show things the media never shows anymore because they’re owned by big corporations and have vested interests. So Facebook can also be a grassroots tool of great impact. News used to be non biased, with journalists searching out the truth. Now it is an entertainment circus aimed at increasing ratings. Levelheaded people on Social media have the ability to get real information out there to the world in ways that have never before possible. However that falls apart when all people do is attack each other. 

   So in the words of the immortal Youngbloods song, “Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together try to love one another right now”

As The Days Shorten

My goodness here it is 8:18 AM and barely a hint of distant morning light yet outside here in Anchor Point, Alaska. The days are getting shorter so fast now, and the sun barely times the distant trees at noon. There is a gentle misty rain today, and it has warmed up to 37° already.  Here are a few fun details to make you smile on a rainy day. It’s too dark to take these now, I actually took them yesterday when there was a little bit of sunlight. 

Compassion for “Mormon and Gays”

This is a very emotionally charged subject for so many people. I have many well loved friends and family who are gay or lesbian, openly or in the closet so to speak. I also have many friends and maybe some family who are very close minded on the subject and feel very strongly against it. This has caused so much heartbreak and division for so many that I know. I grew up in the LDS church (The original one by the way, based in Salt Lake, not one of the reformed versions of the LDS Church). During a lot of adventurous crazy years of my life I left the church behind and explored many versions of spirituality. Back in 2000, after a great deal of heartbreak, I moved back home to help my mother and came back to the church. I found it comforting again. That rekindled faith was given a blow last year when the church announced its new policy regarding children of gay couples. I felt so divided. I had family on both sides of this issue hammering in my ear and splitting me into little shards in my mind. It broke my heart. I just always want people to love one another and get along and I get so stressed when they don’t. I never have been able to handle people arguing and fighting around me. Over the last year I have found more peace and feel comforted by the teachings from the Scriptures. I also feel comforted by the peace and beauty in nature. To me standing under the Aurora for example is a spiritual experience.  I am filled with Awe and Gratefulness at such times.  


  I’ve seldom publicly defined myself as specifically a Christian, or for that matter a pagan, a Buddhist, a Sufi, or Native American church member. And yet I’ve been a part of all of those at different points in my life and have learned so much along the way. These Faiths are all a part of who I am. I simply love people and I love spirit. I have felt loved ones leave their body behind with the rush of joy at the end of lives both short and long. I have seen them later, in far too brief visits from the spirit world, sharing that joy with me. I feel the spirit within nature around me, in every living thing including the oceans, rocks and mountains. 
     So what, do you ask, does this all have to do with gays and lesbians? I myself find it interesting that I wandered this way from that subject. 

This all started with a link I wanted to share from CNN regarding a website the Mormon church has developed called “Mormon and gay”. 

I see it as a baby step in a positive direction allowing the beginning of communication and shared stories on the subject that have been so painful for so many.  There are no easy fixes or quick answers, and hearing the stories from people’s experiences can teach us a lot about how we interact. This all comes back around to seeing the beauty in others, and loving one another from the heart and the way that Christ and Buddha and others have loved others. Agape. The love a parent has for a child, the love that is not tied by bonds of need or sexuality. Pure Compassion, with no judgment. None of us has room to judge another.   We do not know the steps another person walks unless we walk in those footprints ourselves. 

Alaska, Brilliant and Serene

Alaska, land of wildness and hardy people. Volcano country with innumerable small quakes so common they are seldom noticed. Skies so big you can get lost in them, with auroras that make you fall over backwards trying to take it all in. 

Deep Creek Beach aurora


Aurora seen from beside the trailer i am staying in for a few weeks


Visiting here on the southern Kenai Peninsula has expanded all the spaces of my soul, and fed my hungry heart.  Air so fresh and crisp my lungs ask for more, and grand vistas that my eyes drink in thirstily. 

Tern Lake Reflections Panorama

Sunset behind Mount Illiamna across Cook Inlet from Happy Valley

Twilight and Mount Douglas, with a pinch of Aurora. Ninilchik, Alaska


Even the wildlife here are grand, and although i have not yet seen bear, i have gotten photos of moose and caribou. Hmmm, i will save those for another post. 

Kasilof Special use area, Sunset Gold on Cook Inlet

Large jellyfish on the beach near Kasilof river mouth.

September frost on autumn leaves

Sunset over Mount Douglas and Cook Inlet


I hope you enjoyed the show!  There will be more in a few days. 

Thanks to all who stop and visit, and i will be making prints available of many of these images!

With love

Darlisa

Help my Willow see a Vet

Willow when he first returned from the wilds

UPDATE:  Willow has now seen the vet, and is eating like a hungry bear in spring. Thank you to those who helped!!


Original Facebook post about Willow coming back:   “It’s a miracle!!! My missing cat Willow, who came to Alaska with me but disappeared about a month ago, showed up at about 3:15 am! I had woken up and open the window to feel the fresh air, and there was a sad loud meow. When I opened the door, in jumped my very starved and skinny cat. He probably ate a full can of cat food and part of a bowl of dry food. I fell to my knees in a prayer of thankfulness and tears while he ate, and then I held him close for a long long time in my arms. now we are cuddled up on the bed and I’ll say good night with a happy heart. #myheartishappy #thankyougod #mycatisback

After being gone for a month in the wilds of Alaska Bush, he is now skin and bones and starving 😿🤒😭but I’m getting him fed and warm and he’s purring in my arms. ❤️❤️He’s maybe half his original weight from a month ago. He will be staying inside now while we’re still in Alaska 😀❤️💕😍. 

However I am very concerned about his fragile body right now and I think he needs to go to the vet possibly for rehydration and other check up.    I’m staying with friends in Alaska for another month and have no income. My friends helped me a lot but they’ve already done so much.  Many of you have followed this saga of missing Willow and were thrilled as I was that he showed up. If any of you feel like donating to a vet fund it would be an incredible gift. 

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There are two easy ways to donate through PayPal. One is on this blog using the tip jar donation button in the sidebar menu. On mobile it’s a little tricky to find. Click on the menu tab, scroll down through menu and several posts and you will eventually run into tip jar donation.   You can use a debit or credit card and do not have to be a paypal member. 

Or if you are easily Pay Pal conversant you can send money to:  darlisa.may@gmail.com

Anything is greatly appreciated right now. 

>>>UPDATE<<<

10/13/16  I have spoken to the vets office who suggest since he is eating a little and keeping it down that I just watch him for a couple days and see if he starts getting stronger on his own. I have used donation money to get him special foods and ensure, and he has been eating more today and moving around more. I will still take him into the vet to get a check up but they advised it might be to Traumatic to go right away after just getting home in such a mess.  So I’m making him very comfortable and petting him a lot. 

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Here he is as i write. Thank you for any help you can give. 

Willow after returning home all skin and bones

Previous photos of Willow. He has been my little buddy since he was 8 weeks old

Discovering Alaska (from last month. )

The rest of these pictures are taken over the last several years. Willow is about 12 years old

Fossilized Teeth, unknown

I am working at a local museum now, the Gorge Heritage Museum in Bingen, Washington. Today I had a local visitor and his mother who brought 3 fossilized teeth in to show me.  They are hoping to identify what the teeth may be.  I am guessing Bovine style from the looks, but presumably much older than cows.  They are also quite large.  Fascinating!   I really enjoyed looking at them and holding their heavy smooth weight in my hands.  Here are photos in case anyone has a lead for me!