HypnoBirthing

On November 10, I gave birth to my   beautiful baby boy Daniel using the HypnoBirthing technique. I wrote about it in my column Family Time that runs biweekly in Glen Falls newspaper  The Chronicle, but wanted to share an interview with our HypnoBirthing instructor, Suzanne Fremon, for some further information about the technique.

Here are Suzanne’s answers to my questions:

1. How long have you been teaching HypnoBirthing?

Since 2001, but particularly in the last 10 years

2. What brought you to this technique?

I was suffering from burn-out as a labor support doula. I realized that my clients weren’t nearly prepared enough for their upcoming births. They all went to childbirth prep classes, where they were shown how to relax, but not encouraged really to learn the techniques. So, under the pressure of unexpected events, things don’t work out as they should, and the laboring woman gives up her hopes.

3. What is your background as a doula/instructor?

In the mid-90s, I was trained as a DONA-certified labor support doula. I attended around 100 births at various hospitals in New York City and surrounding areas. Then, after mounting frustration over (in my opinion) unnecessary medical interventions and C-sections, I heard about the use of hypnosis in childbirth. (I think it was a feature on DateLine). That made sense so I tracked down Marie Mongan and became trained and certified as a HypnoBirthing practitioner.

4. What are some of the most memorable HypnoBirthing experiences you’ve witnessed?

There are many, but one that I seen happened at Beth Israel Hospital in NYC. The anesthesiologist visited my client describing the epidural process to her. She said “Thanks but no thanks”. He’d heard that before so wasn’t perturbed. Later, when she was at about 8 cm dilated, surges going very strong, he poked his head into the room. The doctor was sitting nearby, watching as her patient remained completely calm. She jumped up to shoo the anesthesiologist away. They were all a-twitter at the nurses station because they could see from the monitor how strong the surges were, and she wasn’t using medication. I know that she had really learned the relaxation techniques and used them brilliantly.

5. What are the basics that everyone needs to know about HypnoBirthing?

It’s really simple. It involves deep relaxation and deep breathing. These are things that everyone knows are good ideas. However, to do it right, it’s helpful to start at the beginning of the 3rd trimester and learn through practice how to do these techniques reliably. Then they’ll kick in when needed.

6. Can you describe the origins of HypnoBirthing?

Marie Mongan had the first 3 of her 5 children back when it was standard practice to put laboring women completely under. She thought there had to be a better way than completely missing the birth, as she had. Over some years, she developed the program that became HypnoBirthing. Along the way, she trained as a hypnotherapist, among other things.

7. What makes it better than other techniques?

There are many good methods to make childbirth easier. Most of them have to do with relaxing, breathing and visualizations. There’s nothing unique about these ideas but most programs that I’m familiar with don’t insist on having people really learn and practice them. I do – I’m a real pain in the neck about that. But it works.

8. What else do you want people to know?

Hypnosis has a funny reputation. There’s a parlor-game version that most people are familiar with – Jump up and down and quack like a duck, that kind of thing. Using hypnosis therapeutically is an altogether different matter. It features relaxation and affirmations and uses the subconscious level of the brain – like meditation, prayer or the alpha state you hear athletes talk about. Also, the father/birth partner take an active part and are included in the classes.

9. How can one sign up for your class?

Call me (518)532-0305; email me at hypnodoula@gmail.com. Check out my website at www.northcountryhypnobirthing.com. Classes take place at the Snuggery at Glens Falls Hospital usually on Wednesday evenings. The course consists of 5 sessions, spread out over a 10-week period, preferably, so expectant parents have time to learn and practice the skills.

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Why full-time motherhood's not for me

I had some feedback on my superwoman post that hinted about Henry’s days being too much for a two-year-old. So today, a “Mommy-Henry” Sunday (Cory’s working 12-hour day shifts this weekend), we just stayed in and hung out.

It reminded me of why I like to get out and about with him. Staying in should feel refreshing; a chance to spend some lazy time together and catch up on what needs to be done at home. As it turns out, I really don’t like doing what needs to be done at home. I’d rather be working.

I mopped the floors. I’m ashamed to admit this, but it’s a super rare thing that our floors ever get mopped. Cory’s obsessive with the vacuum and we take our shoes off when we come inside so it seems all right, but it has definitely been a long, long while since the last mopping in the Austin-Avon household.

Well, that was an ordeal. In my head, it would go a lot like the scene from the Pippi Longstocking movie where everyone’s having a blast.

I gave Henry a spray bottle with water and vinegar and told him he could spray the floors as much as he wanted. Of course, he sprayed the carpeted stairs, the wall, and just about everything but the floor and quickly lost interest. The floors were mopped anyway, not that they look any better for it, and we moved on.

I made fudge for a friend, which seemed like a good idea until I was stuck at the oven stirring for the better part of an hour and the only thing that seemed to hold Henry’s interest was playing in the sink.

I told myself that all the water we save by being vegans (On average, a vegan, a person who doesn’t eat meat or dairy, indirectly consumes nearly 600 gallons of water per day less than a person who eats the average American diet. — National Geographic) is at least somewhat offsetting all the water that is wasted when Henry demands some sink play time.

It was difficult not knowing what demanded more immediate action, stirring the fudge so it didn’t boil over and coat the entire stovetop in a sticky mess, or Henry dumping water everywhere and being precariously balanced on a chair to do so. I wish I had extra hands.

The hilarious quips that should be the stuff of family legends for years to come just spout from him so quickly that I can’t write everything down, much less remember it to write down. We visited BobbyDeeDee a couple of times throughout the day and Mimi and Poppy came to say hello on their way to Florida.

He fell asleep in my arms at nap time, and I held him for a good twenty minutes just taking it all in, remembering that time is fleeting, and we are never promised any kind of tomorrow that will be exactly like today. I kissed his cheek over and over. He’s still so baby soft. (I also licked my thumb to scrub off some gunk on his face and flicked boogers out of his nose. It’s hard to fawn over your baby when they have a booger staring you square in the face.)

I found myself constantly wandering back in time, missing my little baby. Kissing his soft hair; the softest, sleekest dark stuff he had when he was born, before the light hair he has now grew in. The way he would rest his head against my chest and I could hold his whole body in my arms. But then I try to shake it off.

Because I’m not so far in that I shouldn’t be in the moment — toddlerhood is going to be fleeting too, just as his short time as a baby was. So I tried to take a mental snapshot of his tousled hair, his baby teeth, the way he murmured “Song,” a command to sing him to sleep, right before he drifted off. I had just read him “The Giving Tree.” He likes when I have a happy kind of cry.

Already he’s saying his words more precisely. He can say “Jingle Bells” instead of “Dingle Bells,” “Oh what fun” instead of “Oh what bun,” and has started to say I instead of Henry, as in “I’m stuck!” instead of “Henry stuck” and even “That’s MINE.” But still, there’s the way he says sea anenanenome, and omanent. Every time I teach him proper pronunciation, I mourn the loss of his adorable Henryspeak.

Back to my original topic, though. I came downstairs to a living room full of blocks on the floor, lunch not yet cleaned up, remembering that there’s laundry in the dryer and so much to do that hasn’t been done. The immediate tasks are tedious, but it’s the other stuff that overwhelms me.

Mopping the floor this morning opened a can of worms. Suddenly I notice the pictures I haven’t framed, the broken glass in the other picture frame, the desk I need to get rid of that’s been in our living room for months now, and I think about the fans that should be dusted and the fridge that should be cleaned out and my stuff all over my dresser that needs a home and how my closet’s full of clothes just thrown around and I just want to quit.

The other day I felt a sore spot brushing my teeth and when I shone my iPhone’s flashlight in my mouth I was horrified. My teeth look like the sink that hasn’t been scrubbed in a long time. I brush and floss, but these things are just getting old and worn out. Whenever I catch a glimpse of my face in the mirror and look for longer than it takes to swipe on eyeliner or squeeze something, I have the same impression of myself. I’m so far from being new and it’s so hard to fix what’s wrong.

I have romantic thoughts about an au pair or personal assistant who will just take care of all the things that aren’t being taken care of. Repot the plants, vacuum the insides of closets, go and cash that old savings bond I’ve been carrying around and do something with it. Form an LLC for Advokate, figure out how to do the woman-owned-business certification, figure out why my checking account never balances and give my desk a good wipe down. Do something about my bushy eyebrows, exercise, drink more water, get more sleep. But it’s really me that needs to do all that.

It’s just overwhelming. Right in the middle of picking up blocks, I came and wrote this instead of doing it. I’m just not cut out for housewifery. I’d rather be chipping away at a tangible task list that I know is going to pay off instead of trying to weigh out what’s important on the homefront.

It really comes down to this: I’m so much better at triage with urgent things than with non-urgent things. The non-urgent things freak me out because there are way too many of them. I don’t actually even know what to do with down time.

Now, when I finish writing this, I know that I need to fold laundry, pick up blocks and do the dishes from lunch. Urgent things. Then… do I wash the sheets, mop the kitchen floor, take a shower (with Henry all day it’s not easy to find a minute), clean the upstairs bathroom, deal with the pile of mail on the kitchen counter, go through my closet and straighten things up and get rid of stuff, make dinner, make future dinners to put in the freezer, brush the cats, tidy my dresser, go through my 15-year-old makeup in the drawer, find the plant food and give the plants a pick-me-up?

I could refill the pellet stove, or see about a more thorough shoveling or salting of the walkway, or dust some surfaces. I should look up what to do about lint in your dryer, we’ve been cleaning the screen but I think we need some kind of a bottlebrush thing to clean it out better so it doesn’t catch fire. And I think I have gift certificates I should use but I can’t remember what they are. I could call a friend to see what they’re doing, but Cory will be home at 7 and probably just want to eat dinner and get Henry to bed so there’s not really time. I could paint my toenails, or do something with the eight inches of hair I cut off in August that’s just been in our bedroom lurking around, or figure out what I’m doing with that Adirondack chair I said I’d paint, or figure out what to do for the Small Works show or for the show I have in July. I could draw, I haven’t drawn anything in a long time. But I really should clean up the desktop on the computer and figure out why it’s running slow.

The possibilities are endless. And this tiny bit of down time has me incredibly overwhelmed just thinking about all the things that I’ve never done that I should have done and that are probably too far gone now, or just the sheer number of things there are to get to when I have down time. There’s no way to do it all.

Maybe I’ll just go see if Henry’s up yet. Or I’ll get a little work done, maybe.

My good date

Tonight Henry hammed it up for the Shirt Factory Tenants Association holiday party.

He served himself a carrot with hummus from the table and then got me one and dipped one for Dolores Thomson. He pulled up a chair to sit at the table and eat snacks and then brought a chair over for me.

He gave Bev Saunders and Betty O’Brien candies. He raced down the hall with Larry. He did his monster walk. And he picked up all the chairs! Every last one. He kicked Dolores and Bev off theirs so he could clean up. It was adorable.

We came home and had popcorn and a movie and FaceTimed Erika Austinand Teri Austin and Marion Austin and Poppy. Before bath time he noticed Daddy’s new towel and wanted a new towel so we got the frog one fromCharlene Gainer DeDell out. No more baby towel!

Good teeth brush with a new toothbrush and I told him a story about the sewer system and how we are lucky to have running water and where trash goes and how we can make less trash and we sang Jingle Bells and Jingle Bell Rock.

Henry is a good date.

Snapshot of the day

6:00 a.m.
Woke up and had coffee in bed thanks to my wonderful husband. Henry was the perfect boy and read books in his crib while I showered and got ready in my businesslady outfit and darker lipstick than made sense in daylight. Then I brought him to his grandparents BobbyDeeDee in his jammies for breakfast. They were kind enough to get him ready and drop him off at daycare for the day.

6:45 a.m.
Leave in plenty of time to get to my speaking engagement and set up.

7:00 a.m.
Realize I actually have no idea where the thing is and GPS it. I was at the wrong exit.

Photo credit Pam Fisher of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce
Photo credit Pam Fisher of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce

7:05 a.m.
Arrive and set up, despite some technical glitches.

7:30 a.m.
Awkwardly “network” by clinging to the people I know at the networking event preceding my presentation on branding. Eat dry toast and fruit because I don’t want to be a vegan pain in the a.

8:05 a.m.
Branding presentation. I think it went well. People had nice things to say and I had some good conversations. Pam Fisher from the Chamber is awesome. I have nice friends (Janet Nolin and Shari Olson, while I’m naming names.)

9:30 a.m.
Arrive at the Advokate office. Check email, talk up Matt Funiciello for Congress on Facebook, futz around tidying up.

10:00 a.m.
Artists drop off their work for the shop. Check email and get a few work things done. Appointment with Amity Farm Batik in which we work together creating graphics from her batik to make into scarves.

2:00 p.m.

The Advokate Boutique, now open Tuesday to Friday, 12-5 p.m.
The Advokate Boutique, now open Tuesday to Friday, 12-5 p.m.

Realize I can’t stand it any more and rearrange the shop. Hang shelves, arrange things in baskets, dust, arrange things in different baskets. Put jewelry here. Put jewelry there.

3:30 p.m.
More work. Fast, now. Time’s running out. Work on the Vegan Outdoor Adventures business card and website, and Glens Falls Arts’ November Arts Bulletin, and answer emails.

5:05 p.m.
Pick Henry up. He runs to me with a big smile on his face. It’s the best part of my day, seeing him do his thing in the daycare environment and then have that bright flash of recognition spread over his face like sunshine. I love when he runs to me.

5:15 p.m.
Vote. I teach Henry in the car to say “Vote Green! Vote Matt!” He says it to folks on our way out. While we’re there I bump into Patree, who I used to work with at The Chronicle. She says she just proofed my next article about trying to get pregnant and I ask her what she thinks. She says it will be interesting to people who have had similar experiences, which is my hope.

5:30 p.m.
Henry and I, side by side, make vegan chili and cornbread. He takes a break to poop on the big potty and (after washing his hands) he adds spices, stirs, throws the veggies into measuring cups, pours in all the cornbread ingredients and pours. He helps me do the dishes, too (by pouring water from measuring cup to measuring cup). I put beans in the fridge to soak overnight.

6:30 p.m.

A toast to Matt Funiciello!
A toast to Matt Funiciello!

He decides he is done with dishes and ready to eat dinner and goes and sits in his own chair. I remember that we have Skirts practice tonight and text that I’ll be late. Henry and I raise a Pane Bello toast (because the cornbread is not finished cooking yet) to Matt Funiciello. The chili is really good.

7:10 p.m.
Cory arrives home after voting and we kiss and Henry decides he wants to come to Skirts so we hop in the car and drive. I warm up by singing on the way. Henry just looks at the moon. It glowed tonight.

7:20 p.m.
Chatting in Laura Lightfoote’s kitchen with her and Stefanie O’Brien and Janelle Hammond. I have a Sierra Nevada.

7:30 p.m.
We move downstairs to practice. We’re working on Holding Out For A Hero, which I try not to get too excited about. I’m really excited about it. Henry plays with Laura’s son Mason, who is the same age. They’re adorable. Henry’s a good boy. Henry dumps his snacks in their play kitchen’s sink. It’s funny because Bobby DeeDee started that — they used to keep his snacks in his play kitchen’s sink, and we then followed their habit.

8:30 p.m.
Henry looks at the moon on the way home. We talk about it. I tell him the moon loves him.

8:50 p.m. 
We skip bath tonight because it’s so late and go straight to books and bub. I read Henry a book of poems from the library and he falls asleep on my lap. I can tell it’s coming and intentionally quiet my voice and make the poems into a quiet chant to lull him to sleep. He goes heavy in my arms. I ask if he wants me to finish reading and he says yes through his sleep so I do. It’s precious.

9:00 p.m.
I decide to write my day down while Cory reads The Chronicle and listens to NCPR about the results for the NY-21 Congressional Race. We sit on the couch together.

We are so far away from where we're supposed to be

I had something like a panic attack in the grocery store just now.

Let me back up. I went to the Glens Falls Farmer’s Market on Saturday for, embarrassingly, the first time in a long while.

My problem is that I can’t get my act together early enough on a Saturday, so most of the time I miss it. From my gut, honestly and truly, I feel the Farmer’s Market is the place we should all do our shopping. But I rarely make it.

Henry and I picked out his first foods, straight from the person who grew them. Butternut squash and sweet potato. I saw so many people I knew there. I had the feeling in the room that it was a really wonderful thing for Glens Falls and it made me glad that it exists here, and that I am a part of it (having done some design for the Farmer’s Market Association).

But also horribly embarrassed for not going regularly.

Then I read this article about spending $20 at farmer’s markets every week. Good thought. Good plan. A better way to think about it. Easier to bite off than all-or-nothing thinking about buying local or organic. Less guilt, more action.

So then today we went to Toys R Us to pick up a purple shirt for Henry for Marchival, the holiday we made up. And then we went to the dollar store for crepe paper. And the dollar store smelled like poison; like PVC gases and plastic. And to Jo-Ann’s for pins for Marchival prizes we’re making. And then to Price Chopper.

And that’s where it hit me, as it sometimes does when I’m in a big box store in Queensbury, how wrong it all feels.

So I’ll freely admit that that I love shopping – it’s something my mom loves and she passed it to me. I’ll go down every aisle and I love finding a deal. I like to browse.

I’ll also admit that I’m not a morning person and would make a shoddy farmer. And that I have a low tolerance for squicky things or scary things and honestly the outdoors kind of freaks me out when we go camping.

But when I see a documentary comparing how babies are raised in Africa versus how they are here, or watching shows about the planet, or when I’d go spend time in the woods by myself as a kid, or reading books about people who live outside, or when I talked to the rastafarian who gave a mini-class on our Jamaican vacation, I get this feeling of how things are supposed to be.

Somewhere in Africa

And it’s jarring to me how far away we are.

Checkout lines bring the point home, especially.

A few weeks ago, Cory and I were in a Babies R Us in Albany, standing in line to buy something I can’t even remember. We both got the feeling. It’s claustrophobic. Cold. Frightening. Like if you’ve ever been in a hospital bed alone.

The music was piped in, this crappy electronic pop echoing. Fluorescent lights overhead cast a numbingly artificial glow. Ahead of us, a mother was buying her kid some plastic crap he was excited about. The teenaged checkout clerk looked sick, and miserable to be there. Beep. Beep. Beep. Nobody needs this shit. A few feet away, three aisles radiated pink. Because if you have a vagina, you’re supposed to buy pink plastic garbage.

Cory and I looked at each other and I knew we were both having that same itch that got worse with every second that passed in the line. It passed when we left the store, but that’s what happened to me today in Price Chopper.

Every single thing I picked up was something I could easily talk myself out of.

Bananas weren’t grown here. How long were they on a ship and then a truck to get here? How many fossil fuels were burned just in their transport? Hummus, I could make myself. I have chickpeas at home, even. But I don’t have time because the chickpeas need to be soaked and then boiled. They come in a plastic tub. Who knows what added ingredients there are. Cereal, who even knows what cereal is? They sell it to us as kids. It’s mashed up nothing with a bunch of vitamins added, shaped into little O’s and baked and put in plastic bags and THEN in a cardboard box. Where’s the farm that cereal comes from?

Then we get into the convenience foods. I’m often working through lunch and don’t have much time to spare. It’s easy to throw an organic Amy’s pot pie in the microwave. At least when I have those in the freezer I actually eat lunch. But they’re not ultra cheap. And they come in packaging, of course. And you microwave them, and who knows about microwaves. Other days I look through the cupboards and end up with crummy bagged pretzel twists for lunch because I don’t have time.

Plastic is everywhere.

Everything in the grocery store is covered in styrofoam and plastic. EVERYTHING! It’s covered in styrofoam, plastic, pesticides, MORE plastic, and also plastic and plastic and plastic. We buy it and we throw it away. And it never rots.

We make it and it never rots! NEVER! There’s plastic everywhere. That slapped me in the face and made me want to buy nothing. The same way, one day in high school, I realized in the grocery store’s meat aisle that I WAS SURROUNDED BY PLASTIC-COVERED BODY PARTS. Shudder. It’s horror movie stuff, if you let your mind realize the truth for a second.

I looked down at my baby and had that boxed-in feeling I had when we went to Babies R Us and were standing in the line. Henry looked back up at me. And even the carseat/stroller, his cute guitar pajamas, it all felt so wrong. We should be sitting on a tree stump somewhere warm, with him swaddled in cotton or just completely naked, breathing in the fresh air. Not bundled up in some plastic contraption, a zipper and flame retardants and seatbelt straps preventing him from playing with his toes.

What am I going to tell him about the way we live?

Ugh. The worst.

We walked by the fish section. What drove it all home was the lobster tank. Those lobsters belong in the ocean. There is no truly justifiable reason to have them crammed together in a dirty little tank in upstate New York. Our one job is to take care of the animals and the planet. We are not doing our job. We are just being absolutely horrible, instead. We’ve taken our gifts and destroyed everything we can.

I’m guilty, too. How do I tell Henry that I know this, but I still choose to live this way?

I know I sound like a crazy. And I am sure that I’m glamorizing life in an African tribe. I don’t want to die before I’m 35, I enjoy the perks of modern medicine and modern technology. I know I have it easy and I should really keep my mouth shut because it’s a convenient first world problem to complain about. I’m lucky.

But I really feel like it’s crazy to live the way we do, in our boxes (houses) eating our pellets (food, cereal, etc.) when we have such big brains and so much knowledge. We trade our time (work) for happiness. We work harder at our jobs to earn vacation time, and we work harder at our jobs to earn enough money to do stuff on our vacations. We’re all miserable, really. We all know there’s something wrong.

But we keep distracted.

I’ll say it: I’m addicted to my iPhone, my email, Facebook, my computer. Like, really badly. I don’t make time to breathe, to meditate, to eat, to live, to maintain eye contact with my own son.

This is beautiful. And so real.

It’s wrong and I know it’s wrong. It’s hard to change.

I don’t know how to fix things. I mean, for a while now I’ve tried to shop greener. But I realize now that the solution isn’t to shop greener, it’s to stop shopping. Stop buying crap you don’t need. Stop working so hard because you don’t need that shit that you think you do.

Time with family and time with nature and time with yourself – real time, offline time – is what’s important.

It’s hard to change, though. It’s really hard to change.

What do you think? How do you cope with the mind-bogglingness of our lifestyle and how it affects the planet and the other creatures on it?

Veganism, the Apocalypse and the Meaning of Life

I had read about how background reading aloud is good for a child’s developing brain in the opposite way that background TV is bad for him, so I picked a wordy book off the shelf to read to Henry today while he played on the floor with Daddy: Catherine Marshall’s Story Bible.

Catherine Marshall’s Story Bible

I had this book as a kid, and a lot of my Bible knowledge stems from it. Of course, it’s way simplified and not all the stories are there, but it has a good synopsis of the main points, and illustrations by kids.

My religious stance is that I made up my own religion, Katethysianism, which is my own plate from the ideological buffet. I like to describe the tenets of Kathethysianism as, “Whatever I feel like believing in at the time.” It’s a mix of this story bible, new-age spirituality, and other things I’ve picked up from books like Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael and the like.

I think the Bible is just fine and dandy, but it needs to be interpreted – run through the translator – and not taken literally. I’m not so into organized religion because I like that I have my own pick-and-choose interpretation that doesn’t quite fit in with the package deal, but sometimes I do like to go to church for the familiar and holy-feeling routine of it, and as a place to remember about your spirituality. The same way sometimes I like to go for a hike, or to sit in a tree. I want to pass that on to Henry; that beliefs don’t have to be a package deal, and that he can opt to compile his own plate from the buffet.

So anyway, I’m reading this story and right in the first few pages there it is: The meaning of life.

Wowza! It ain’t some big secret, folks. I’ll tell you what it is.

The Story Bible says: “Now another kind of creature was needed to enjoy all this beauty and to take care of it.” A little later it also says, “God was making Man so wondrously that he would be able to understand Who had made the animals and the amazing world around him. Understanding that, Man could then know and enjoy his God… Thus God would never again be lonely.”

That’s our job, simple as that. The meaning of life. (Of our lives as people, that is.) To enjoy the world, to take care of it, and to appreciate the mysterious ways it came into existence, and be glad it did happen.

After reading that, a sad thought occurred to me: We are NOT doing our job.

We are not taking care of nature and the world’s animals. We are destroying their natural habitats, mass murdering the world’s amazing creatures for food, clothing and other unnecessary reasons, dumping our trash all over the place, torturing via animal testing and on and on.

And we don’t appreciate it, either.

We whine, complain, are generally mopey and sad. It’s rare that we just look at a sunset or a tiger or the inside of a starfruit and muse on how incredible and unlikely it is that any of it exists, much less how incredible and unlikely it is that we would actually be aware of the incredibility and unlikeliness of it all.

IMG_7655Then, reading the story of Noah, it occurred to me that 2013 isn’t the first time we didn’t do our job.

Climate change is our own self-imposed apocalypse.

Landfill in Poland, from Wikipedia

We screw up and we wipe ourselves out, except for a few who catch on early and escape it. Call it God’s wrath or call it a bed we made and need to lie in, it’s headed this way and it’s dang scary.

I can’t figure out the translation of the rainbow, though, because in the Bible, God says he’ll never do that to us again. And the whole Jesus thing was supposed to be about forgiveness. I suppose we will get there later, though – right now I’m just up to Noah.

Anyway, I do think there are lessons to be learned from reading the Bible. Not literal lessons about avoiding women on their periods and hating on gays, but lessons about being nice to each other and caring for animals and the environment.

Part of me wants to toss the book aside and get back to Facebooking on my iPhone, watching videos of cats doing cute things and buying mozzarella sticks to eat during the super bowl… and part of me wants to sell the house, donate the money to charity and live in the African outback in a hut, away from plastics and factory farms, living a vegan lifestyle and preaching my own interpretation of the end times and how we should all just get along.

I guess I’ll have to find an acceptable compromise.

But I want to do my job, and to help others — especially Henry — to do theirs.

I think we’d all be happier.