I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Less than two weeks now

Whatcom Falls after three days of rain
Yesterday on our walk, we ladies got drenched. It amazes me that fifteen of us showed up anyway and bravely soldiered on in the light rain. Sometimes it wasn't quite so light. It's been three days since we've seen the sun here in Bellingham. Usually the rain comes and goes, but a warm front moved in and brought with it lots and lots of precipitation. We are hardy Pacific Northwesterners, after all. But I'm glad to see that the next few days to a week will be mostly dry.

I am beginning to pack for my trip to Turkey. I have both suitcases in the living room, and as I think of things I don't want to forget, I put them on top and will at some point begin to put stuff inside them. Every day when I wake, I think of how long I have left before the big day. At this time in two weeks, I'll be finishing the third leg of the journey on my way to Antalya. Three airplanes, a full day of travel. The good part is that I'll have one day to recover before I will need to function in the conference environment. I hope it will be enough.

On Friday I went to see the naturopath I mentioned last week. He is a very inspiring guy, around my age, very fit and listened to me and my concerns carefully. We talked about supplements and vitamins that I already take, and he gave me a prescription that I will begin today. He has increased the amount of Vitamins A and D that I take to what seems to me to be large amounts and has suggested increasing the amount of lysine to what seems to be a huge amount starting in another week. I'm to take a probiotic beginning three days before the trip and continuing for a week after my return. It is a soil-based probiotic and doesn't need to be refrigerated. He didn't sell any of these items to me but told me they are cheaper at the the local co-op where I shop.

Yesterday I checked and there was the probiotic he suggested, Saccharomyces boulardii. In fact, I was surprised to see an entire shelf of different probiotics of every description. I only once took any probiotics, after a series of antibiotics that killed off all the good bacteria in my system as well as the bad ones. All of this is to boost my immune system and help me to fight off the effects of air travel as well as lack of sleep. We'll see if it works.

The bottom line is that he did indeed make me feel as though I can manage to get through all this without illness, and he inspired me with a sense of optimism. As I said last week, I know that my state of mind is essential, and now I feel that I am armed with what I need to have a good chance of staying healthy. I know that I often brag about how healthy I am, but I know my limits, and they will be tested during this upcoming period.

With all that said, I have also been getting a little bit excited about the adventure ahead. The entire country of Turkey has an amazing history, which I've found is readily available on the internet. As usual, I first headed to Wikipedia for the History of Turkey. What a wealth of information!

Interestingly enough, I was able to get my visa for entry into Turkey off the internet. I've printed it out and hope that it's all I will need, along with my passport. When I traveled during my working days, my passport was filled with stamps for different countries on almost every page. In 2012 I received a new one, and it's never been used. This trip will be its maiden voyage, and probably its only one, too. Frankly, I will be glad when I'm back home after all this travel, with plenty of pictures and memories of a hopefully wonderful and memorable time.

What else is going on in my life? Well, Judy and I have been making our way through the Oscar-nominated pictures, and today we'll go see the final one on my list: American Sniper. Frankly, this is not one I am looking forward to. That link goes to an article on Salon about the controversy generated by this movie. Apparently (I haven't seen it yet) it glorifies war and disparages Muslims. Not the kind of movie that I want to support, but I'll give Clint Eastwood the benefit of the doubt until I've actually seen it myself.

This brings me to a topic that I find hard to write about: the increasing militarism of my country. When I was a young woman, during the days of Eisenhower and after World War II, it seems that we were the good guys in the world, and now I'm not so sure. The world changed, the entire world, after 9/11. It was a horrible, horrific event, and it seemed to bolster the warmongers among us to take revenge, which is still going on today, many years later. I would never have believed that my country would take hundreds of men and lock them up without trial as we have done in Guantanamo, for more than a decade now. I can hardly bear to think about it. How has this led to a safer, more stable world? It gives the jihadis plenty of reason to hate us.

One thing I have tried very hard to do is to keep politics off my blogs. There are so many people who are looking for someone to target, to hate, and I don't want to put myself in the line of fire. By simply writing the previous paragraph, I may be forced to monitor the comments and possibly even have to shut down the entire operation. I've seen it happen to other bloggers who express their opinion openly, but I'm going to see what happens now. Maybe nothing, as I hope. My small readership may be enough to protect me from serious repercussions.

It's always easy to read between the lines of my blogging friends and intuit the political leanings of each, and you probably already knew more about me than I have told you in words. I am a pacifist. There, I said it out loud. I believe that war is unjust, and that if we could all just get along we would be better for it. And I know that as long as there have been people, there have been wars. That doesn't mean that sometime in the future we might not find a better way. It won't happen in my lifetime but I am hopeful that the spirit of humanity can accomplish anything.

I am sitting here in the dark, again, tea finished, and partner already stirring. It's almost 7:00am on a Sunday morning and this blog went in a direction I never anticipated, but it's done now, and I can begin my day. Hopefully I'll see the sun, so I can raise my face to the warming rays and give thanks for all that is good and beautiful and true. Blessings from my house to yours.


Anonymous said...

"Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."

That used to be my favorite song during the 1960s when I was an anti-war activist.

Meryl Baer said...

Your trip to Turkey sounds wonderful, and you are smart preparing for it so well. I have not been there, but it is on my bucket list.

Cynthia said...

I will never give up the hope for peace in the world, but it does seem to be getting worse and worse.
I hope your trip turns out to be nothing but pleasant and rewarding. You have planned well for it.

Arkansas Patti said...

I am excited for you and can't wait to hear the details of that country few of us know anything about except they use to be our allies. Today, who knows.
I totally agree on the passive, non-violent approach to settling differences. Sometimes I think if women ruled the world, war would be just a three letter word no longer used except in sports. One can hope.

Linda Reeder said...

The sun is shining. I hope it is warming your spirit. We had a fun adventure sending off the Seahawks this morning and we are about to head out for a garden lecture and some walking around the Bellevue botanical Garden. In the sun shine!
After seeing Selma yesterday, I am disturbed too by my countrymen and the need to have a hated enemy. I am turned off by the glorification of war and the belief that some seem to hold that any soldier is a hero. Some are, some aren't, and there are also heroes who never wear a uniform.

Elephant's Child said...

I am excited for you - and hope that my excitement and yours are met, fulfilled and exceeding.
Yes on the war front. I remember a bumper sticker which made me smile... 'Fighting for peace is like f***ing for virginity'. Not always true - but something to consider.

Red said...

I'm also looking forward to your trip to see all the stuff you saw. I hope you get a chance to see a few things. The sad part about all the war is that there are very few people who are causing the trouble. They seem to like us to react and then they can get their followers to react. We've (Canadians)wasted an awful lot of time resources an people.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I had to laugh out loud at Elephant's Childs remark!!
I do think most Soldiers are heros...they are special and where would we be without them?
War is hell...I don't like war anymore than the next person but many members of my family have fought. I think they are all heros.
I am excited for your trip to begin, I hope your new Doctors advice works for you!! :)

Sally Wessely said...

Your trip sounds so exciting! It is great that you are taking such a proactive approach towards your health.

Our freedoms and liberties have been hard come by, and yet, we've not always granted these same liberties to others in our country. It is the reality of our history. War is something I have always been against. I doubt I'll change. I also know that injustice is evident everywhere we look. It makes one sad to know so little has changed. We live in a broken world.

Rita said...

I don't talk about politics on my blog, either, but I think it's pretty obvious that I am an old flower child--and still a tree-hugging, liberal, crunchy pacifist. I have hope that humanity can learn a better way to get along peacefully one day, too. I am not sure I want to see that movie. Be interested to know what you think of it.

Have a safe, healthy trip. I think you are on the right track with the supplements. :)

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I'd like to think that we are all working towards a world where everyone has an equal chance to thrive , where we respect each other's beliefs and support one another .
Then war might lose its appeal .

June said...

I was having the same thoughts about the pendulum swinging vis a vis war fervor in this country. So long as there are old egotistical men and young testosterone-filled men, there will be war, I fear. It's the nature of the human beast.
But it sucks.

A part of my email message sent yesterday to my Yemeni friend: "I hope no one you know is suffering in all that mess in Sana'a. As always, I don't really understand what's going on, or who's the good guy and who's the bad guy, or whose side the US is supposed to be on, or anything about it. I just hope nobody I know is suffering because of it."
Maybe if we all knew more about each other...?

John's Island said...

Good Monday Morning DJan, Yesterday I was out of my regular routine and did very little blogging. That most unusual warm, dry afternoon kept me outside too! :-) So, today, when I sat down at the computer here, I thought I should see what I missed yesterday starting with Eye on the Edge. As always, I found an interesting read. We are almost always in agreement about the weather, and yes, I know how you feel and hope you enjoyed yesterday and relieved some of that "too many days of rain" feeling. Now, I just want to commend you for stating your views on a politically charged subject. Like you, I make a special effort to avoid politics on John's Island. Usually there is just too much controversy involved. In this particular case I'm on the same side with you, so no worries, I'm not abandoning Eye on the Edge. :-) Well, for one thing, I'm excited about your journey and can't wait to hear the whole story. Do you expect to publish at least one post while you are in Turkey? I'm assuming you'll take along some kind of mobile device that will allow you to stay in touch, but even so there may not be time for blogging while on that journey ... I would certain understand that. I tend to take a lot of photos and then blog it all later after my return. Thanks for the update on the Doc's recommendations to get and stay healthy. I'm just now starting to add some vitamin D3 to my routine ... I've just read too much about it to ignore it any longer. Thanks, as always, for sharing your blog. A special thanks too for trying to figure out the shorthand on that postcard on my blog. Wishing you a fine week ahead, John

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

I suspect your upcoming trip will be filled with surprises and synchros!

- From one pacifist to another

amanda said...

One of our sons (17 now, they can get into these movies) saw American Sniper over the weekend.
I don't talk much about politics either. I know people who do, and usually they have very extreme beliefs. I'm more of a middle-grounder, a look-at-it-from all sides type. While I've never thought about it, I'm probably a pacifist, too.
Last night I finished reading my first book of 2015, And the Mountains Echoed by Kahled Husseini. I'm still processing my thoughts on it, but ultimately I like his writing because it advocates for the innocent victims in war and violence.

Interesting information on the vitamins and probiotics. My excitement for your trip is growing with yours!

R. J. said...

Will you have an opportunity to see Cappadocia in Turkey? I would love to see that site. I look forward to reading about your trip.

Folkways Note Book said...

From one pacifist to another -- excellent thoughts.