My daughter came home from the gym and said, “I saw a truck with a large Confederate flag and Trump signs all over it. Why do we have to live here? Why did you move us from San Francisco?”
I chuckled. “Actually, Mesa, AZ is more like most of the country than not. In San Francisco, we lived in a bubble. And even that place has changed a ton in the past 15 years.”
“I want to live in a bubble!” She whined.
I get it.
It reminded me of the time I came home crying after a particularly grueling day of racial taunts in elementary school. As a 100% ethnically Korean-American girl growing up in Davenport, Iowa in the 70s, life could be challenging. Each day, someone called me chink or told me to go back where I came from.
My father reacted sternly to my tears: “Caroline, life is going to show you much harder times. Don’t be weak and cry.” His jaw grew hard and his face turned red.
“Go. Wash your face.”
And we never spoke of racism again.
And I’ve yet to find the answer to the question I had: “How do you convert racists into kind human beings?”
Found this guy in our pool. The tarantula hawk wasp
These wasps require a tarantula to serve as a host or ‘meal” for their larvae. The female wasp will look for a burrow that contains a tarantula and then disturb the webbing around the burrow to coax the tarantula to come out. She stings the tarantula on its underside paralyzing it and drags it down into a burrow. She lays one egg on the paralyzed spider and seals the opening to the burrow. When the egg hatches it eats the still living spider.
They have the most painful (but not fatal) sting of all animals in the world. Still, I helped him out of the pool.
“When you look closely at the nature of human suffering you will find that an essential ingredient in most kinds of suffering is a diminishment of one’s sense of self.
In reality, of course, what feels like a diminishment or loss of your sense of self is the crumbling of an image of who you are held in the mind. What dissolves is identification with thought forms that had given you your sense of self. But that sense of self is ultimately false, is ultimately a mental fiction. “
“In the proximity of death, there is always that grace hiding underneath the seemingly negative event. Death in our civilization is seen as entirely negative, as if it shouldn’t be happening. Because it’s denied, people are so shocked when somebody dies – as if it’s not possible. We don’t live with the familiarity of death, as some more ancient cultures still do. The familiarity of death isn’t there. Everything is hidden, the dead body is hidden. ”
We were walking behind our lovely Airbnb off Route 66 in Parks, AZ (to get away from three-digit temperatures)…
in a National forest…when Ava I noticed something hopping about.
This lovely creature is the Arizona Treefrog!
According to reptilesofaz.org, this is their call (audio file). We think it sounds like a bunch of muppets.
The Arizona Treefrog grows to 1.5 inches. They breed in mostly temporary waters, which I find strange because they look like they need a lot of water.
“In Arizona, Arizona Treefrogs have been found to feed on beetles, spiders, earthworms, flies, and bark beetles. They likely feed on a variety of other small invertebrates, as well.”
This finding was a lucky one as they are nocturnal animals. However, it appears that their skin is toxic and holding them is not the best idea. Oops. Well, I didn’t feel any after effects. My family is doing a collective eye roll as I tell them this because I once caught this in a jar:
“The pain is so debilitating and excruciating that the victim is at risk of further injury by tripping in a hole or over an object in the path and then falling onto a cactus or into a barbed-wire fence.”
Aren’t you glad I passed this on to you? Now you’ll be extra careful when you try to catch one.
This painting is highly imperfect. The face seems to be floating around, detached. The fur is stiff and square. Painting it was not as fun as painting the hedgehog and it shows. The process reminded me of this quote:
Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.
Mary Tyler Moore
Some pieces will be better than others. I love watching August Wren (Creativebug.com) paint because she talks out loud and often laughs at her mistakes.