Bogs and Other Murky Things

Pitcher Plant Revised

Pitcher Plant, Volo Bog

My daughter and I went to prowl around the Volo Bog again the other day.  It was a lovely day, cool enough for us to really slow down and look at stuff.  The Pitcher Plants were getting ready to bloom, along with starflowers and a few others.  I’m happy to have this real bog right near my home.

I’ve been pondering things like fantasy, science fiction, sports… I hear people say, with all seriousness, that the human race will need to colonize Mars because this planet will prove unable to support us.  I see people get lost in the worlds of vampires and zombies and identification with their local sports team.  Finally I asked myself why this bothers me so much and this is what I’ve decided: it seems to me that people sense that they are disconnected from their true selves, but aren’t sure what that really is or where to find it.  And so they move, switch jobs, distract themselves with alternate worlds.  In “The Power of Now” Eckhart Tolle writes, “If you saw an angel but mistook it for a stone statue, all you would have to do is adjust your vision and look more closely at the “stone statue,” not start looking somewhere else. You would then find that there never was a stone statue.”   I think that is how it is with everything.  We won’t need to buy more stuff or build bigger houses or consume more substances if we can learn to look deeply within our own selves to find our eternal connection to what is real.  And when we are there, we won’t need to trash this beautiful generous and life -generating planet because we will discover that we already have enough.  We won’t need wars or frightening regimes to control us or tell us what to believe.  We won’t need a new world order because we’ll see that the one we have is well worth taking care of.  I don’t fault entertainments like fantasy or sports, I just feel nervous when I see society go unconscious in the pursuit of it.

By the way, I’m not saying angels are real…although they might be 🙂

Published by melissabluefineart

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38 thoughts on “Bogs and Other Murky Things

  1. “…people sense that they are disconnected from their true selves, but aren’t sure what that really is or where to find it.”

    You hit the nail on the head. Don’t do that when the angels are on the head. I know, they tend to hang out on pin heads. More of them gather on nail heads. Just sayin’.

    I really like the painting.

  2. You’re so right. We pretty much have all we need right here on Earth, if only we could learn how to use and not abuse it. It’s sad that the human race has been around for so long, yet we seem to be intent on quickly destroying not only the resources the Earth gives us–but also ourselves. Nuclear proliferation continues, military intervention seems to be the only action ever considered, and the president speaks about combating climate change merely days after he approves drilling in the Arctic. There is a serious disconnect here.

    1. I agree, Angela.
      But it is very important for those of us who are concerned to not let it affect our own well-being. Have you read anything of Byron Katie’s? She talks about challenging our thoughts, because our thoughts can make us sick. When she challenges her thoughts she has no fear, and so she can act for the good of the environment without letting the magnitude of the issues get to her.
      I hope you are feeling well. I so love the work you do~I’m saving up!

      1. I am very familiar with Byron Katie and her books. I especially love A Thousand Names for Joy. I pull it out often when I need a reality check! I’ve been very, very lazy about writing, but I have been knitting a lot. I love your work as well, so much!

  3. A lovely painting. We had pitcher plants in the garden in Hong Kong and I used to enjoy seeing what was in the bottom of the jug 🙂

    I am becoming increasingly disenchanted with the way the world is being driven by politicians and big business. Both have a role to play but we have gone beyond the tipping point and they are out of control. We can only try to find our individual way back.

    1. I agree, Andrew. That is certainly the case here~is it there, as well? I’m sorry to hear that but then maybe it is a good thing for it forces us to find our individual way back. Otherwise maybe we wouldn’t.
      So glad you like the painting. Pitcher plants are fun, aren’t they? A reminder not to take things too seriously 🙂

  4. I love your painting and I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments, Melissa! I’m concerned for the young people in Western society now as from an early age they are bombarded with electronic entertainment and a life which is so full of artificial things that many never get a chance to just play outside and really notice and discover the natural world. We are teaching them early on to receive instant gratification in the form of fast-paced, rapidly changing entertainment which doesn’t give them time for their own imagination to bloom and to develop the ability to just sit still and relax in thought. They are surrounded by materialism. I’ve been told by a researcher counsellor friend that she’s noticed more and more young people who swing back and forth rapidly between elation and deep sadness. There seems to be an increased inability to be somewhere in between. Our culture may be adding to more mental illness.

    1. That is interesting, Jane, and disturbing. Also, children really can’t be sent out to walk to school each other’s houses to play like we could when we were children. Too many cars, too many dangerous people. And too much building. So really, their lives are greatly circumscribed. Thank you so much for your comments!

  5. Lovely painting and I love Volo Bog! Lucky you to live nearby. I’m about 1 1/4 hrs. away. We try to get there a couple times a year. Always an inspiring place!

  6. Such sweet forest creatures! Thank you for your lovely colours and light. Hmm… I suppose that if humans ever do move to Mars, we would definitely need a really good understanding of biology and some really good imaginations. And hopefully we would have learned to get along a bit better and make better use of our resources. Sport teams kind of baffle me, but maybe it is a good way to channel excess testosterone… though sometimes things go wrong and private property gets burned and smashed to smithereens. Oops!

    1. Yes, we should definitely take better care of this planet. Otherwise, there is no reason to think we would be more successful on another planet, if another planet is in our future.

  7. There is enough, you are right. You may know that we in Christchurch had terrible earthquakes a few years ago.A lot of the city was demolished and sent to landfills. One group decided to work on a project called Wholehouse Reuse. They committed to recycling an entire house. The results are incredible. Just shows how much of our city could have been saved if we had put our minds/hearts to it.
    Love the colours in your pitcher plant.

  8. Thank you, Gallivanta, for this inspiring story. I immediately clicked over to it and watched the video and was so impressed! I’ve shared it on my facebook page. This is the sort of story that needs to be shared!

  9. Many years ago I used to say that what would cure our ills is ritual executions of advertising executives who make us want stuff we don’t need. Well, of course I was not serious…about the executions. The combination of lazy minds, lazy bodies and psychological targeting by advertisements has fogged the appreciation of what is real and supplanted it with the desire for what is not. I am less than optimistic about it changing any time soon. The majority seems oblivious to the damage we are inflicting on ourselves. If there be angles, I hope there are a lot because it will take more than a handful to get through to people.
    Your pitcher plant painting is lovely.

  10. Thank you Steve. Yes, it is daunting, isn’t it. Maybe we could throw all the advertising execs into the bog. And the developers, while we are at it. Sometimes I wish there was an alternative planet for those of us who love it. All the people who think what we do doesn’t matter in one world, the rest of us in the beautiful one we were given. Ah, well.

  11. I smiled at the exchange about angels. It reminded me that, in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, angels have nothing to do with the cute little cupids we drag out during Valentine season, or with the fluffy-winged, pink-cheeked, fragile-as-can-be creatures we top trees with at Christmas. Biblical angels are messengers, usually male, and when they show up, their message may or may not be comforting. More angels, and fewer marketing execs, probably would be a good first step.

    Of course, that stirs another thought: what if there are messengers among us, but they aren’t getting their message across? Are we not hearing them? Ignoring them? Are they being drowned out by some of those things you mention, like sports, apocalyptic fear-mongerers, and simple laziness? Do we not want to listen? I suppose pondering some of those questions might be a good second step.

    I do see little signs of rebellion here and there. I don’t know many parents of young children these days, but among those I do know, there’s more and more impatience with the determination of the “experts” to “protect” children from experience of the real world. We ran barefoot, rode bikes without helmets, and knew only that we had to come home when the street lights came on. Granted, the world was more secure then, but it wasn’t that much more secure, and we survived. Even the classmate who ate spoonsful of dirt for a nickel survived, and went on to become a respected member of society. 🙂

    1. I see it too~signs of people wanting to be sane again. It is encouraging. I just finished rereading Eckhart Tolle’s book, “The Power of Now”, and I believe he is suggesting that the world is what we make of it. I wonder. Has it become a habit with us to sigh over the “problems” of the world? What if we turned our focus to what is right with the world~would that make it so or would that be ignoring real problems? What would it be like if we simply went about our business, neither thinking how we could have more, nor fretting over problems… just responding to the present moment.

      1. I think part of the answer is that, while we can’t always control events around us, we do have the power to control our response to those events. It takes effort and attention, but it surely can be done.

        And, we have the power to reshape our world in many ways. Avoiding truly nasty people, or refusing to be sucked into social media or mindless television watching may not affect “the world,” but they certain affect my world!

  12. I think you nailed it~being attentive to what we give our attention and energy to can affect our own world and, I’m thinking, the wider world.

    I so enjoy reading your posts. I seldom comment because there are usually so many before me that I’m sure I don’t have much to add, but I want you to know that your thoughtful posts bring me deep pleasure.

  13. The ancient Greek word angelos, the source of our angel, meant ‘messenger.’ For the past two millennia that has usually been taken to mean ‘divine messenger,’ but sometimes shades of the original, more neutral meaning, comes through, as when Ben Jonson wrote of “The dear good angel of the Spring, The nightingale.” Shoreacres has already made the same point in more detail.

    One message that you’re bringing in this post it not to get too bogged down in trivial things, but to appreciate the natural wonders that nature brings in a place like the Volo Bog. Since volo in Latin and Italian means ‘I fly,’ let me wish you happy flying on your visits there.

  14. I’m so pleased that my message got through. Often when click “publish” I think, “Oh no, what have I done?!”, afraid I’ve only babbled. Thank you for that, Steve.

  15. Really liked the painting, i just wish looking at it for long and finding happiness in it!

    Humans are never satisfied, blame it on greed. But self-awareness can do good for us, if only we have time to introspect.

  16. I’m sorry I missed this – a wonderful post, the thought and the painting. It feels like you were inspired by the other-worldliness of the pitcher plant’s diet when you created the painting – it’s out there! I love it. I do feel that getting closer to nature could cure so much of the emptiness that seems to propel a lot of craziness…

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