Archive for October, 2010

Local Versus National Elections – by Jesse Wolf Hardin

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Local Versus National Elections

…And Why I’d Vote For a Grandmother

by Jesse Wolf Hardin
Anima Lifeways & Herbal School

County and state elections never seem to generate the interest or turnout that the presidential elections do, which doesn’t make a lick of sense to me!  No matter which candidate gets into the top slot, we will still end up with the same one-world corporate banking cartel calling all the shots.  This is true regardless of whether it is a Republican or Democrat that is president, and all the arguable differences in policy actually serve as a smoke screen blinding us to the true puppet masters.  Both presidents and senators answer to the same privileged few and their financial interests, the 5% who control 85% of our wealth, and their elite counterparts in Europe and Asia.  Their work is often secretive or inscrutable, they are influenced not by their constituents so much as by lobbyists, and are largely unapproachable.

On the other hand, the not always just or honest machinations of state representatives are likely to be more visible and their intentions more evident.  While they too are besieged by special interests, they are more directly accountable to their state electorate, protecting us from burdensome regulation.  We tend to really know who they are, identify their skeletons and recognize their contradictions, readily feel the effects of their choices and legislation, and more quickly turn them out when they fail us.

County elections are in many ways even more crucial, and in all ways are easier for us to influence or impact.  County officials can do little to affect national policy, but neither can we count on so called leaders in Washington DC to do the right thing.  What county officials can do, is to guard the freedoms, rights and values of distinct communities, while administering something close to justice in matters of land use and law.  We know them best of all, and thereby have the best chance of electing someone we can count on to represent our needs and address our concerns.

It is in this spirit that I want to encourage less national distraction and more regional focus… and do hereby tender my generalized endorsements:

In local county commission races, I’d always like to see winners demonstrating strong resistance to big government and tacky illuminated billboards, homogenization and control.  I’d like folks that value keeping the West wild… by which I mean wide open spaces and personal liberties over comfort, convenience or profit, kids who know how to climb trees and not just play video games, wilderness where we can encounter our true selves, and architecture that celebrates history and landscape.  I’d root for the success of any school board candidate that put the real feelings, needs and dreams of the students ahead of national dictates and increasing conformity, bureaucratic regulation or the security of their own jobs.  And as for any mayor’s post, it should always be filled by the one who truly cares about their city or town the most.

A sheriff can’t stop every evil or unpleasant act without stomping on the precious few constitutional rights remaining to us common citizens of the Republic… and so I have to support any past, present or future badge wearer who responds whenever they are needed, without trying to over manage the lives of what are meant to be free citizens.  I’m all for those who stop the true evil doers whenever they can, while allowing everyone else their unique ways and proud hearts, those who understand we’re in greater danger of losing our freedom to future governments than being hurt or killed by any thugs they’ve yet to catch.

And when it does come time for the electing of national figures and presidential hopefuls, I think I’ll be withholding my endorsement until some big-hipped, big-hearted old grandmothers run.  Grannies know how to be tough when they have to be, breaking up fights between the boys, standing up to bullies, and making sure that Grandpa’s S.S. check comes on time.  When globalized corporate bosses start squeezing the working American, she takes a stick to them.

And whenever not busy kicking ass, a granny would likely impress us with us her caring side: Rolling up her sleeves and doing any work she’s able, all to keep food on the American table.  Making the best of any situation, and loving all of creation.  Opening her heart and listening to every woman, man, girl or boy… sensing their pain and sharing their joy.  Providing a comforting lap to any lost or wayward child, and teaching hardheads like me to be just a lil’ more meek and mild.  She’d care not just so much about financial growth as the personal satisfaction of her people, their health and freedom to help treat each other and themselves, how everyone’s garden is growing and how clear the skies, about the fate of abused children and the dieback of monarch butterflies, legislative threats to what’s left of our Constitutional rights and the fate of unique lifestyles.

Until then, we just might be better off giving our attention to the more local elections… and to what are our allies and neighbors, with the right predilections!

(Written for Wolf’s upcoming book tentatively titled “The Town That Waves”.  Forward and Post Freely)


(Post and Forward Freely)

Likeness: The Art of Gifting, The Gifting of Art

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Likeness: The Art of Gifting, The Gifting of Art

By Jesse Wolf Hardin


Those who even remotely know me, know of my love for art in all its forms, and especially my appreciation for and support of those in whom art is something integral and essential, erupting like Spring flowers in jewelry and on canvas, splashed into reality with wet ink or delved into with digital dexterity.  Most who attended the Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference made life and healing into art, but recognized too were the visual artists who came like Kristine and Linda. While they may hope for some income from their efforts, their drawings are essentially gifts to nature loving youth and heart centered, fairy tale believing adults.

Everything we make more beautiful or meaningful is a gift, whenever viewed by or affecting someone, a gift to the one doing the creating first of all, then a gift whenever opened to and received.  With that in mind, I try to make my every act – even my most painful mistakes or glaring omissions – into intentional, message filled art that can in any way enrich, inform, awaken or heal.

That said, there really is nothing like actually creating art work when it comes to soothing and sating this thinking beast.  More than my essays, poems, photographs or even the most transportive rhythms on my drum, the swirl of the pen, brush or stylus is what frees me from mechanical sensibility and reinserts me into the sense-full.  I will make use of any of a number of reasons to take a break for the lettered keyboard and wordlessly bring about form in carbon shadings, earth toned paints or digital bytes: illustrating the conference book and poster, illustrative business or school logos for herbalists and others that we care about… and at times, feeling drawn to surprise someone with a special sketch or portrait.  This gifting of art, is for me an aspect of the art of gifting… not only pleasing others with expressions of recognition, lessons or love, but also doing it when least expected and potentially most effective.

Today I drew a picture for a wild child named Isabelle, to surprise her with a mirror of herself that will hopefully remind her always of her connection to not only the natural world and to the vital state of wonder, but to her intrinsic value and the value of a heartful path.  As little affirmation and influence and as I have been able to be to my blood children, it is all the more valuable to me to be able to encourage the offspring of others.  These musings are written in honor of my once “little ones”, for my dear Rhiannon, and for my every reader.  But Isabelle, this portrait is for you

(Forward and Post Freely….Anima Lifeways and Herbal School)