Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I'm glad I remembered, even though late....

Something in the back of my brain had been muddling around, bumping into other things in the back of my brain. (I must confess that I probably have more stuff rattling around in the back of my brain than are accessible to me on a moment to moment basis. I would blame age, but it's always been that way, it seems to me. I have a very active storage room of a brain and not much up front neatly lined up on shelves.)

Anyway, I kept half-thinking (which isn't as good as thinking but a bit better than not thinking--I had a poster once with a picture of a chair and the words "Sometimes, I sits and thinks. And sometimes, I just sits."--though 'not thinking may be close to meditation and Zen and stuff....) I kept half-thinking I should go into my blog and notice when I wrote the first one. Since I'm lost in linear time, I did not think "It might have been March, 2009". I could not, for the life of me, have given a month or even a year to that first blog. But I checked and I'm only a couple of weeks late.

I'm glad I did that because today, checking the statistics of my blog space (I may be an anti-nerd but I've figured out how to do a few things by luck) I realized that for the first time ever, over 100 people viewed my blog yesterday. I'm kinda amazed since I'm not sure who would want to read the stuff I write here, but I'm also humbled that over a hundred people read something I wrote yesterday.

If you were one of them and had any positive feelings about what you read--if it made you ponder or laugh or think--I'd be very appreciative if you'd email or text or tell friends of you to check it out. I love doing it and I don't think it's bad, I think it's pretty good and since I'm writing it anyway, no matter if anyone reads it, I'd like to have it shared.

I think ("think" only being an anti-nerd) that someone could access it by googling it at Or just googling "under the castor oil tree" and some link might come up. This is tearing me apart, asking for you to risk recommending people check out my blog. But once I saw over a hundred people viewed it yesterday, I got greedy!

I guess it's like the book, The Hundredth Monkey by Ken Keyes, Jr. He tells the story of the Japanese monkeys, Macacuca fuscata, that were on an island called Koshima in 1952. Scientists had been providing the monkeys with sweet potatoes since Koshima was still devastated by WW II and natural plants were not available to them. The monkeys liked the taste but the dirt where they were dropped was unpleasant.

An 18 month old female the scientists called Imo, discovered she could wash the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught her mother and friends to do this. The scientists watched between 1952 and 1958 as all the young monkeys learned to wash the sweet potatoes. "Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes."

In the fall of 1958, "a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes--the exact number is not known. Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning, there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes. Let us further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes. THEN IT  HAPPENED! By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them. The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!"

Keyes' book is a great book. It is not copyrighted on purpose so my sharing it with you is what Ken Keyes wanted.

There is, I believe, 'a critical mass' that shifts the paradigm of our lives. It happened painfully and over a long time and not completely in the Civil Rights movement. It happened, again painfully and over a long time and not completely in the Women's movement. But the hundredth monkey of the movement for GLBT rights has moved, as painfully, but a little faster and is not completed.

It's just that I saw my hundredth viewer in one day for the first time and began to imagine the whole tribe might begin to shift.

I apologize for asking. But, if you would, let people know about Under the Castor Oil Tree. Just invite them to wash their sweet potatoe.

I'll be watching the statistics to see if this works.....

And I thank you for considering the possibility of sharing this blog with others--with humility and gratefulness.


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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.