Rising from the ashes

From the ashes we rise up anew.  The Phoenix – a mythological bird that dies in a show of flames and combustion but then through the ashes is reborn – has been a fitting metaphor for the 2016 election. The election is over and many of us are feeling big emotions. The challenge is to be able to honor these feelings, be with them, and then grow from them.

Drawing Parallels From The Firebird Suite

I’ve watched a lot of Fantasia 2000 as of late. It’s my kid’s favorite movie and I’m grateful that it is classical music. However, watch something over a hundred times and you can look past the original story line and draw metaphors and analogies to your own life. The Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky has been helping me frame this volatile election cycle.

If you’re a little rusty on your Fantasia 2000, here’s a quick refresher of the story:

In the dormancy of winter, a beautiful elk walked in to a cave and summoned Mother Nature to awaken spring. And she did. She created wildflowers, flowering trees, green meadows, until she encountered a volcano. The Phoenix awoke from her gentle touch. Images of death and suffering were visible in the billowing smoke. Magma oozed over the once vibrant spring landscape. Mother Nature was aghast. The Phoenix destroyed everything she loved.

The elk survived and surveyed the destruction. Stunned but with steady footsteps, he walked forward. Like before he called on Mother Nature. She was not as vibrant as she once was. Now smaller and weaker, she wanted to give up hope. The elk’s gaze summoned up the strength for her to lean on him.  She cried when the elk galloped to take her to a place she once loved. New growth shot up when the tears touched the scorched soil. Seeing the new growth, Mother Nature brought the rain and then the redwoods, meadows, and wildflowers.

And Now The Gif Version Of The Firebird Suite:





Fantasia 2000 lava scene from The Firebird Suite


giphy (12).gif

The analogy, as I see it, is Mother Nature is the United States and we are the elk and this election was that Phoenix. The election is over but there are still glowing embers. It is difficult to see past the destruction and suffering.  The United States has some grieving and some healing to do. I believe that we will need to find the elk’s steadfastness within ourselves and give the US her strength to raise up.

Inaction And Passivity Can No Longer Be Tolerated

Also known as “Thanks, Obama!”

You see, there’s this narrative that I like to tell myself: I’m just too busy.  Additionally, I recognize in myself a passivity that comes from an attitude of somebody else will take care of it.  And, in my mind’s eye, that onus fell on President Obama. I think he’s done some great work and I’m glad that I put my trust in him. However, I made it too easy for myself  to believe that I didn’t need to take any action of my own.

So, yeah, Thanks Obama. giphy (13).gif

I did the token amount of what was required to perform my civic duty. I will gladly serve on a jury (and I have), I vote, and I’ll fill out an online petition here and there. However, that was the extent of my actions to help my community. Until now.

A Call To Action

Let’s rise up from the ashes and find our inner strength to do what is right. To be kindness and help others, our communities, and this earth. Let us make this country a home for love and acceptance for all persons.

We cannot watch idly and believe that others will take action on our behalf. Let us be our own advocates and each other’s allies.

26 Ways To Make A Difference

This was a rapid fire list to get us started. Please share your ideas on ways we can positively make a difference in our communities and each other’s lives.

  1. Smile at someone
  2. Offer a genuine compliment
  3. Participate in a drive (food, school, pet supplies)
  4. Write a thank you card or a letter
  5. Buy locally
  6. Play Sneaky Cards
  7. Do a favor and don’t expect anything in return
  8. Plant trees
  9. Plant wildflowers
  10. Be vegetarian for a day
  11. Practice water conservatism
  12. Start a garden
  13. Compost
  14. Recycle
  15. Bring your own grocery bags
  16. Go for a walk and pick up any litter you see
  17. Wear a safety pin or don’t – more importantly, be an ally
  18. Speak up if you see bullying, racism, sexism, or any form of discrimination
  19. Find volunteer opportunities in your hometown with VolunteerMatch.org
  20. Donate to any (or all of these) pro-women, pro-immigrant, pro-earth and anti-bigotry organizations
  21. Visit Charity Navigator to find a local non-profit that needs your support
  22. Write to your Congressman or Congresswoman
  23. Vote
  24. Serve on a jury
  25. Find the good in people
  26. Bring out the good in people (show them how)


Thank you for reading this post. Thank you for giving some thought to trying out a couple of these suggestions out. I hope when you do any of these acts that you feel good, right down to your core. Thank you for being a part of a rippling positive force in your community.

It is through changing ourselves that we can begin to change the world. 


With love and kindness,

Martita signature


Lewis Black & Gardening In Arizona

More Time, Please Just A Little More

The weekend is a beautiful, and at the same time, cruel invention. The end of the week. Two days of rest. Why must it be just two days? Two days that go flying by.

I mustn’t complain too loudly as I did have a momentous time away from the work week. But I guess I’m selfish. I could sure use another day.

My Favorite Angry Comic, Lewis Black, Came To Phoenix

Let’s start things off with a visit down to Phoenix to see my favorite angry comic, Lewis Black.  It might be dark in the theater but we can still get gussied up.

Date night!

The Orpheum Theater is a little piece of Phoenix history, which is a bit refreshing as the Valley has been known to tear down buildings after a couple of decades.  Built in 1929. the Orpheum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a link back to Vaudeville and was restored in 1997 for $14 million dollars.

English: The restored interior of Orpheum Thea...
The restored interior of Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, AZ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some folks have bucket lists of things to do before dying or hitting  a certain  age. The hubbs and I have a comedian bucket list. Comics we would love to see. Comedians like Lewis Black. He was very much at the top of that list, and for good reason.

The man does all the things I wish I could.   He is aware of our political and societal failings and with a witty mind and sharp tongue, he articulates shouts and rants and it feels good.  Cheeks-hurt-from-laughing feels good, if you get my meaning.  Then there are his mannerisms. How he waves his hand in the air, flippantly. I don’t care, they same to say. Then he jabs his pointer fingers into the air so violently you subconsciously rub your collar bone.  It’s good stuff.

Lewis Black and Littlest Martha

Return To Nature

The juxtaposition of a visit to the city of Phoenix to see an angry comic and then tilling the earth for vegetables the next day was not lost to me.  A return to nature after being reminded of humanity’s misgivings, even if it was in jest, seemed like the perfect counterbalance.  That, and the weather was divine.

We got hit with a little bit of that wet stuff. I think in past memories the word used was “rain.” Well, we got a lot of it this weekend. Some neighborhoods were flooded.  Our neglected garden was muddy and that was A-OK. It made weeding substantially easier.  And up until today we were only dirt and weed farmers. Oh, and the occasional carrot.

Yes, among the weeds and crabgrass that had rooted in our plot, we found 10 carrots that had started to grow.  What a surprise!


After weeding, loosening up the soil again, and adding some fresh top soil, we needed to trust our carefully and detailed plan of what plant goes where.  Sure, you may look at our sketch and think: “What detail?” However, there was a lot of research, planning and preparation behind that sketch. Did you know that some plants cannot be next to others? For example, beans and onions don’t really mix. Or that some other plants really like to grow next to other plants.  Carrots and onions, on the other hand: peas in a pod.

Unfortunately, a lot of the vegetables we mapped out we couldn’t find at Home Depot and had a lot space for audibles. So, let’s see what actually sprouts from that dirt.



Maybe it’s cheating, maybe it’s not, but we got some plants that have already started to sprout.  Like herbs. Aromatic beauties that when we placed them in the ground their leaves gave off a refreshing and familiar aroma: basil, lavender,  peppermint and spearmint. The sight and smell of them were good for morale. Like we had half a chance of growing something and keeping it alive if it was already partially grown.

Oh sweet basil

Bring on the plants

It is not just the weekends that go fast. It’s the weeks too. The trick now will be to make sure we visit our garden at least once a week. Sooner than we realize it will be time to harvest and the Chef In My Kitchen will make some masterful meal.  Oh, I can’t wait!

Stay tuned for more misadventures!

Martita signature

Enhanced by Zemanta