Tucked away somewhere in Florida, there’s a place called Venus. In particular, it’s the Venus Project created by Jacque Fresco. Dreams live there.
And, the homes do too.
They’re domes and at first glance they look like igloos, but in Florida that would be a paradox to say the least. I found out about these futuristic homes when my sister last visited because she and her boyfriend were trekking over to see the Venus Project first hand.
When she first showed me a picture of the homes I shunned them and thought, I like my box. But the more I read and learned about the ideas that Jacque proposed, the more I like the idea of domes.
The global vision that he created with the Venus Project condones living in harmony with earth by embracing technology. It quite literally creates your own little world for you. The homes mean less environmental damage and also more safety. It’s hard for a tornado to pick up a dome and domes clean themselves. Leaves float off. Life flows.
When I look at my children, I think, where will I live when I grow old? I don’t want to burden them. I don’t want to burden anyone, not even the Earth. I also think, I want to have a sanctuary, a place to live, a place of my own.
The way our Earth holds us, the dome cradles us. I dream of domes with anticipation in a future where, well, we aren’t cruel or greedy, where the news isn’t all about hate, death, damage.
They broke into my sea of problems rushing through my brain as I cleaned the house. There was a slow pounding to them as if sorrow was leaving the body and finding it’s own center.
I hadn’t heard any music, at least not from the piano for two months.
A half-smile split my thoughts apart.
My daughter finally played it.
Her piano teacher and mentor left for New York City a couple of months ago. She was the opposite of Daisy, my daughter. She smiled all the time and laughed a lot too. Most people who do this too much make me very nervous because I feel like they’re trying to cover something up.
But, Daisy who normally carries a serious demeanor found her teacher refreshing and inspiring. I did too. Then she left.
Since then, Daisy has avoided the piano, which she used to play every day. She abandoned it in a sort of mourning process because she really loved this teacher.
Even though her school has a piano teacher, we’d leave school at four and drive a half hour through heavy traffic to another school, a school where rich kids played tennis and housed a special piano teacher.
In a second-floor room, they sat and played. I took my shoes off and lay on the floor in a desperate attempt to fix my aching back. Between the hard floor and the therapeutic drop of each piano key, I was a new person at the end of each session.
More importantly, Daisy smiled and pushed back her shoulders that normally curled inward out of insecurity.
After two years of lessons, I realized, watching and listening to them together, that this very young woman wasn’t just her teacher. She was her mentor.
She was her mentor because she held Daisy to a standard above which desire met talent. She was an artist.
This mentor wasn’t just teaching piano. She was a pianist and a singer. So, the respect Daisy felt for her flourished on a level beyond teacher and student.
When she left, well, she took Daisy’s soul.
So, when the notes spilled into our house this last week, I smiled the smile of an artist who knows heartbreak.
The undercurrent of dreading the inevitable percolates beneath our heavy layer of cheap perfume. We fear becoming sick then losing our jobs or the other way around. It doesn’t matter because if one happens so will the other. Then, we’ll also lose healthcare. We fear so much that we accept too much.
I look at other mothers and fathers, men and women, and we nod, we smile, a resigned not yet angry smile. Occupy Wall Street hit an impressive nerve. Secretly, in those quiet corners after work ended, we smirked, vindicated for our silent sufferings.
But now, when I look back at Occupy Wall Street, I look back even further.
The Great Depression plunged Americans into a surprise hell where a response left them mute then violent. Today you can view the violent protests on YouTube.
My great grandfather, whom I had the pleasure of knowing for a whole two years before his death, owned a bakery in Chicago, Illinois. He hired as many people as he could invent jobs but still couldn’t help the majority of the people who’d been abandoned by their employers. He fed people free bread on a daily basis. He made sure he sent word to anyone he knew that there was a good man or woman ready to work. He did all this with a push and a shove from my great grandmother who never let anybody she met go hungry.
Even so, they couldn’t help everyone. In fact, the amount of people they could help was simply too small. The circumstances had cut too deep, the wound unable to heal. So the masses had to speak up.
Like the Occupiers, they mustered the strength and anger to do something, anything about their situation. Whether born from desperation or frustration, it really didn’t matter because that’s more than many people could or would do.
My great grandfather watched his all-American, capitalist ideals drop from the tears in his eyes as he handed men and women their dignity in the form of bread.
In the 1920s, there were those who misspent their money on extravagant delights. It was a time of overindulgence and rebellion that set Americans up for failure.
Protests are cries for help, shouts of the guttural kind, when people just can’t stay quiet any longer. Riots happen when no one listens.
Right now, many of us still have our stuff. But, we’re struggling—our eyes show it.
We, the workers, we’re tired.
But, whom do we blame? Them? Do we blame the credit-crazy monsters of the 80s and 90s? Do we blame the people who bought into the idea that you can live a luxurious life and still pay your bills? Sure, why not. Maybe we can even say, “Look what you did. Take responsibility for it.”
Then what? Do we dig a hole for them and say, “Jump in,” pushing them if they won’t go, covering them in dirt, suffocating them?
Or, do we offer them a hand, a piece of bread in the form of dignity.
It was suddenly too quiet. The loud clank of my dryer, reminding me that there would be clothes to fold, had stopped. I only knew because I wasn’t even aware of that whir and clank anymore. It was like a friend who hummed and clicked a song throughout the day. So, when it stopped, it sounded like an alarm clock of silence.
I walked to the dryer and pushed the button. Nothing.
I turned the dial. Nothing.
I began to panic as I looked at all the laundry left to do, knowing the guy who fixes my dryer would say he couldn’t be here until later, maybe even next week.
The panic arose from the sick feeling that I might have to enter and remain in a Laundromat. The TVs, the screaming kids, the inevitable heat, the creepy guy who doesn’t seem to have any laundry, and the memories of it all laughed at me. But, WordPress got in the way.
An Even Bigger Challenge
Caught between the daily post and this BraveSmartBold blog, I was faced with an even bigger challenge.
Do I panic for real? Or, can I be brave, smart, and bold by fixing my problem with a grace and wisdom that eludes us when faced with difficult dilemmas.
I chose the latter, which didn’t seem that difficult as I was throwing all the dirty clothes into garbage bags. I grabbed my computer and triumphantly found a simple solution to what could’ve been a freak-out session, complete with yelling at my husband for buying a cheap dryer and handling it like the Hulk’s victims.
Inside the Coin Laundry, however, my triumph fizzled. The familiar sound of my whirring, clackety dryer sounded instead like an old train with a loud, Spanish conductor. The Spanish show blaring overhead screamed a game show complete with dancers. And, there was the guy except he had a load of laundry, I think.
I felt like a mouse in a maze with the enormous silver and blue washers stacked in blocked patterns with no room to walk except in scattered rows, signposts explaining which was what. A bright-blue counter with chipped red paint grinned at me. A heavy-set woman handed me a tattered business card that said Herbal Club on it and she pointed to a back room with a sheet for a curtain.
I had already begun to sweat.
“You knew this would happen,” my BraveSmartBold voice told me.
“Just load the laundry and write a post,” the WordPress voice told me.