Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's a small world

This beautiful sunny morning in Bellingham began with me meeting the Fairhaven walkers for a nice brisk (almost chilly) six-mile trek through the Western Washington University campus. Then I headed over to the Farmers' Market to pick up some vegetables, and these flowers just took my breath away. You can see some veggies on the periphery of this picture, which I also checked out. My favorite vendor, Rabbit Field Farms, already had a dozen people lined up waiting for the bell to ring so they could purchase their own bounty for the week.
Aren't vegetables beautiful in their amazing variety? I bought some collards and kale and brought the goods home to Smart Guy, who has already steamed them up and put them in the fridge in separate containers, with my greens a little bit more done than his. We'll each take a bit when piling up our plates with the rest of our dinner and stick them in the 'wave to reheat. They don't last long, since they are so tasty I often have them twice a day, for lunch AND dinner, until they're gone and we start over again.
From Climate Prediction Center
Then I got on the Internet to read the news of the day. The Climate Prediction Center just put out a new set of probability maps covering the next two weeks. This one shows that the heat in the east will continue (maybe not quite as hot, let's hope), while we in the Pacific Northwest will remain below normal, temperature wise. However, it's a relative thing: now that the sun is shining and the rain has stopped, I'm certainly not minding the temperatures heading upwards of 70 degrees F (20 C). Right now, at almost 2:00 pm on Saturday, it's 71 out there, making me feel like we're in the middle of a heat wave. But of course we're not: it is not even cooling down at night over most of the country to our daily high temperatures.

And then there's Norway. I read about the perpetrator of all of yesterday's violence in Oslo and at the youth camp on the island of Utoya. Apparently the SWAT Team had difficulty reaching the island, and the gunman mowed down child after child for one and a half hours. I was chilled to the bone when I read about it on KOMO News here. The world is such a small place now; I felt their pain and cried for their parents and the surviving students. Norway is a place with so little gun violence that most police don't even carry weapons. Somehow I think all that might change after this.

Nobody knows his motivation. Is it just me or is the world beginning to come apart at the seams? Although twenty or thirty years ago, days would go by before all the details would be available to the rest of the world. Now, something that happens in Oslo is front page news on my news reader. People are sending each other messages on Twitter which race around the world in less time that it takes for me to catch my breath. My Facebook friends will be sending me to pictures and links that they think relevant.

So maybe it's not coming apart but coming together at the speed of light. Maybe because of the Internet we are more connected than ever, and that is the change I feel. Right now I grieve and am unwilling to read any more news, for fear of becoming overwhelmed by it all and allowing hopelessness to have the upper hand. On a beautiful sunny day, at that.


  1. Fabulous flowers and veggies. That's a nice, happy thought. When I hear of recent disasters created by humans, I think they must be high on drugs, mentally ill, or have brain tumors. I can't conceive of anyone in their right mind doing something so senseless.

  2. I'm just having a hell of a time with this news. It seems the world is going mad. Yet, I cannot give up hope. I'm almost physically ill from carrying this around and yet I can't seem to put it down.

    Yes, the veggies are so beautiful.

    How do we reconcile these two things? I have to go in and find peace no matter what. The alternatives are unacceptable.

    Thank you for this post.

  3. What beautiful veggies, all those different colors and textures.
    Not to slight the flowers, they made me smile just looking at them.
    I'm shaking my head at the senseless and horrific events in Oslo, the world's good and bad are right there in our lives by the click of a mouse.
    My thoughts and prayers are surely with the families.

    Enjoy your weekend, and your veggies !

  4. I'm with everyone else. I find the ugliness of what happened in Oslo almost incomprehensible beside the beauty of this world which you showed us.

  5. You eat more veggies than I do. Wow! Maybe I should do the same.

    Recently, I decided not to read bad news. If the headline points out violence in the article, I read no further -- just for my own peace of mind. I don't need to clutter my mind with ugliness. Only love and beauty, please!

  6. it is so sad the violence that one disturbed mind can create...i grieve for the families...

    lovely colors on the flowers and veggies!

  7. DJan,
    You're so fortunate to have such beautiful surroundings to walk around in. Jessica always jokes that the campus is all uphill, and it does seem that way, doesn't it? Beautiful veggie and flower photos!

    I think you hit on at least part of the heartbreak we all feel in the aftermath of Oslo. It does seem like the world is coming apart at the seams, but just as real that we're so quickly connected that there is almost no breathing space.
    It's to the point where we almost know too much. It's just too much to grasp and impossible to make sense of.
    Let's hope the news gives us a break for awhile.

  8. Those flowers are breathtaking! And the veggies look scrumptious! :)

    Looks like you are going to continue to be cooler and we'll continue to be hotter. I'm on the edge of the third heat level--others will have it worse. Just seems to be stuck in this pattern lately. Your weather sounds lovely! ;)

    That is such awful news about Norway. I seldom watch the news anymore, but couldn't avoid hearing about this. Sounds like an individual crazy person...again. We sure have had enough of them. Hardest to hear when it is children. Remember the one who walked in and shot Amish children in school? We've always had terrible things happen on this earth. Humans have always done horrendous things to each other--and continue to do so.

    I think you are absolutely correct. The difference is that we hear about it and see it for ourselves right away now. There is not the kind of emotional distance of finding out weeks later in a written article in the back of the newspaper--or never hearing about it at all, you know?

    The world is becoming smaller. That's a good thing in a lot of ways. It is harder for people or even countries to get away with murder and abuses and lies like they used to. We may hear about it more, but I believe having those things revealed and brought out into the light of the world is a good thing on the whole. Maybe if people see and hear what the effects of hate and violence truly are it will cause them to reevaluate the prejudices and fears that are needlessly spread about so lightly.

    My heart goes out to all those people. All these type of events are just proof to me that the world needs more love--more and more love and forgiveness.
    *prayers and hugs*

  9. Helpless heart goes out to the survivors and the parents and families of those gunned down.

    The world is not such a great place sometimes.

    The flowers at the Market are beautiful:)

  10. I agree! The flowers are really stunning, as well as with those colorful vegetables.

    Internet is one of the most important thing that people should take into consider, people are communicating and united even though some of us really hadn't met each other...I think it's the sense kinship that we should all hold on to, to keep us updated with all what is happening in our part of the world.

  11. What can one say when confronted with such a senseless act of cruelty?

  12. The fact the young man was a right wing Christian should cause Americans to pause and think. Could it be that extremist Christians and Muslims have much in common?

  13. Of course there's always beauty.. and always ugly situations. I think you're right about our being privy to news as it happens. It's a heart-breaker... all those little children.

    Your photos are lovely. Those flowers must have just made you gasp when you saw them.. they're amazing.

  14. The flowers are beautiful and the veggies look delicious. i haven't bought any collards in awhile, I'll have to look for some next week at the market.

    We got up to 89 today but usually by now we are nearing the triple digits, not that I'm complaining.

    So much tragedy in the world right now, this mornings headlines were quite shocking. Bad things have always happened in our world but now we hear about them almost instantly, sometimes while they are still unfolding.

  15. My heart is broken for all those people, all those families. I guess what's on everybody's mind is Why? I've just heard that because the Norwegian justice system is unprepared for this horrific a crime, the most that man could get is 20 years in jail.

  16. Beautiful pics...I adore Farmers Markets.
    Bellingham is a beautiful place.

  17. The vege and flowers wonderful. I love markets like this just for the look of them!
    I like your conclusion, that the world is not coming apart, but coming together through technology. And now we all feel each other's pain. Sometimes it is time to just stop reading the news and just enjoy a sunny day.

  18. Is it wrong to follow the news in such a minimal way as I do? I certainly manage to get the gist of these top stories, but I also know keeping them in front of my eyes and ears -- any more than I already do -- would dampen my spirit (to say the least). When it comes to my mental well-being, the news can be like malware, so I have to keep my firewall up. It's not that I don't care about all the suffering (and the falling apart at the seams); it's just that I'm not likely to contribute even a small amount of meaningful influence if I consciously allow myself (and my time) to be pulled down into the bottomless abyss that is the news.

  19. I had to come back: I really like what Buz has said here. I wholeheartedly agree. Sometimes, I forget and let it suck me in and then I realize all it does is agitate my thought and deplete my energy for good. Thanks to Buz (your brother, I believe?) for this good reminder of where I want to be.

  20. Yes, Teresa, Buz is my brother. I am so proud of my siblings, they are all great people, but he's my favorite brother! (And my only one, I might add. All the rest are sisters.):-)

  21. What a wonderful market and gorgeous photos. The horror in Oslo: it does seem the world is coming apart at the seams. We live in uncertain times. And that's what makes excursions like your hikes and your visits to the farmer's market a respite for everyone!

  22. Those pictures are just heavenly. I always say a prayer of thanks and gratitude when I see something like that. Can you imagine how wonderfully fortunate you are to have produce like that? :-)

    As for Norway - I just cannot imagine someone so evil. Where do they come from? Killing children for 1.5 hours???

  23. Farmer's markets are really selling some great foods. I wasa in the hot weather in the east. Chicago was around 100 most days we were there. Had to plan our tour around outside and airconditioned buildings.

  24. Interesting contrasts in this post: the incredible and beautiful bounty of the market, and the weird weather, and the stark horror of what happened in Sweden. Yet somehow we hold it all, maybe because we don't try to hold it alone. A really thoughtful and insightful post.


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