Anxietization of the Population

I do a lot of research into the historic European rural settlement of one particular District in Ontario, Canada. I am aware of the lifespan of a lot of people, who lived lives without indoor plumbing, central heating, or easily accessed medical care. After spending more than twenty years exploring their lives, I believe that they lived as long as any of us do today, so long as they survived their childhood. Childhood is a dangerous time in a human’s life span, particularly the first year of life.

What I notice most about this population, who enjoyed for the most part long and happy lives, is: 1. that they formed supportive communities and 2. everyone worked at physical labour their whole life through. In the District of my research it is a given that they created adequate, if not extravagant, food and clothing and shelter.

They did not spend very much of their time fussing over their weight, their hair, their muscles, their vehicles, their home decor, or other superfluous accoutrements of life. Their time was spent surviving the harsh environment and the hubris of powerful men (e.g. World War 1, the Great Depression).

The people and communities were not perfect. Some people did bad things, the community responded to maintain its integrity. The Churches and Schools were central points in these communities, and later organizations such as the Women’s Institute contributed to the richness and stability of life.

This is my heritage, the communities that supported the lives that brought me into this world.

Now to the point of my simple thesis. The population today seems unable to coalesce into small supportive communities, which are the backbone of sustainable human social structures. What I see around me are people focusing not on survival and support, but on bits of mimicry made appealing by those who seek a profit at any cost. The social environment is bombarded with messages of competition and “success”, messages of magic bullets that will provide happiness and comfort, images of communities that are appealing and vacuous.

Real communities form from within as a result of function. Dysfunctional communities form from without, and are almost invariably unidimensional. The dysfunctional community seldom coalesces in a geographically confined space. Instead it forms around wealth, status, personal interests (e.g. Weight Loss, Wine Tasting), and a myriad of other single-focus points, which create unidimensional groupings of people with intermittent contact and very limited social support.

And this is getting more extreme as time goes by, more controlled by big business. I take as an example Facebook, which now can demand proof of identity for membership. One cannot participate in many online discussions without a Facebook account. We all know how easy it is to eradicate a voice in an online social setting, block, ban, delete… all of it invisible to other people. This is not a supportive or socially functional human environment, it does not create healthy communities, in my opinion.

I find myself living in a social world that is endlessly anxious; anxious to purchase the next great item that will make them happy; anxious to answer that ever present cell phone call or text message; anxious to measure every step taken on their FitBit, so that they can be counted up for success or failure at the end of the day, or week, or month; anxious to look young, or thin, or affluent, or, well the list is long.

In my opinion human social structures have devolved to the point where the majority of people no longer know what constitutes a healthy community, perhaps devolved to the point where people no longer know that there is such a thing as a healthy community.

There are pockets though, where small healthy social structures are flourishing, like weeds in a concrete jungle. They are invisible to those who are addicted to modern anxieties. They are ignored by business, who cannot accumulate wealth at their expense. As long as the earth supports human life, I think these small healthy communities will continue to create themselves. Trees can grow in Brooklyn.

Wednesday mornings can be intense!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 AM EST Wednesday 20 January 2016
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -12.8°C
Dewpoint: -15.9°C
Humidity: 78%
Wind: WNW 17 km/h
Wind Chill: -21


“Who wants to die? Everything struggles to live. Look at that tree growing up there out of that grating. It gets no sun, and water only when it rains. It’s growing out of sour earth. And it’s strong because its hard struggle to live is making it strong. My children will be strong that way.” A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Betty Smith
1896 – 1972

Take Two

I just deleted a very, very lengthy entry! After taking a break from it I decided that nothing I was writing about needed to be said or read, delete!

Last week Attila had his flue shot at a public health clinic. I go to the family physician to ensure the non-medicinal ingredients do not include my allergen. So far, so good. One never knows when things will change. My appointment was onf Friday and while I was at the family physician’s I also received my first pneumonia inoculation. The tiredness and soreness in my arm remain, but I can easily live with this slight discomfort. I did find though that over the weekend I felt cranky from time to time, and I was aware of it. I hope I kept that well away from other people, I think I succeeded, with the exception of one little terse conversation with Attila, who wasn’t being all sugar and honey himself at the time.

We made a whirlwind trip to our little house in the city. On Saturday we arrived, cooked and ate a box of Kraft Dinner (poorly planned that one!) and headed out to Terra and Lares new house. They moved on Saturday and by the time we arrived all the lifting and toting had been done. Their house was full of jolly people, all of whom had helped with the move, except us of course.

The house does need a lot of work. What an adventure it will be, slowly nursing this century home back into good health. It is large and beautiful; well worth the effort to bring it back.

Luna and Janus travelled a long distance to help with the move, and the whole family came, Imp and Elf and Tink. Well almost the whole family, the dogs Benny and Bim were left with the in-laws and Soot the cat was left in peace at home.

It was wonderful to see the Grandbabies. They have grown a lot and are such characters. They are all so different from one another and we enjoy and love each personality. They spent a lot of time playing in the “exercise room”, an office in a separate building which was carpeted. They played happily in there for hours and we could see them through the window and could keep an eye on them.

Since we could not help with the actual move, we contributed otherwise. Attila build two extremely strong saw horses for Lares, and I prepared breakfast for the crowd that stayed overnight till Sunday, after the hectic Saturday move. My first priority was to prepare toast and peanut butter for the Grandbabies. After they had all they wanted to eat, I prepared toast and sausages and eggs for the rest. I also kept a sink full of dishwater and washed and dried the dirty dishes as they were piled by the sink. By the time everyone had eaten the dishes were done and the kitchen cleaned up; ready for the sanding and painting job which is next on Terra’s list.

Then it was back to the little house to wash up the dishes there and get things shut down and locked up until the next visit.

The drive home was beautiful. So much colour, even without autumn leaves! Bright sunshine is a balm.

Today I am making more applesauce for freezing and baking a cranberry-apple crisp for breakfast and snacks later in the week. I’ve been offered a few more hours work in the coming weeks, so I will be busy.

Standing at the window this afternoon I spotted what could be a lone coyote trotting down the road in front of the house, head lowered, glancing back over its shoulder. A little later I saw him running out our driveway, he had obviously been in our back yard. The tail seemed a little too long for a coyote, but it was very large and certainly did not resemble any of the Red Foxes that I have seen trotting by in the past. I have my camera out and ready now in case it passes this way again, then perhaps the species can be identified with a photograph.

Worldly Distractions


7 °C
Date: 3:00 PM EST Monday 19 November 2012
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 6.7°C
Dewpoint: 1.4°C
Humidity: 69 %


“It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.”
Mark Twain
1835 – 1910
Long live the imprudent, say I!!!