Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Trio of Tough Taureans

Ahhhh, how the soothing temperature shifts and how the bird songs of May have been washing over all of us in beautiful springtime Vermont! As I sat on our deck the other evening, I watched the neighbors actively feeding a fire that they had built in their fire pit. The smell of smoke was heavenly as various tendrils of hickory lifted off into the cooling night breezes. Our neighbors were gathered around a newborn and a multitude of generations intermingled as the fire was fed. In the distance you could hear the sounds of nocturnal birds crying in the distance. All in all I would call this a perfect Taurean moment. A simple enjoyment of the season and the outside world is important to the Taurus native. The typical Taurean scene of a bull lazily chewing in a verdantly green meadow communicates this same feeling of earthy contentment. What else could the month of May possibly be about?

For this month’s column, I would like to explore three Taurean figures all of who exemplify the solidity of this sun sign. These three figures are male, so sorry ladies not to include you in on this one, but the point that I am driving home in this instance involves three long-lived males of societal prominence in American life. And these 3 gentlemen have certainly lived life to the fullest!

The first figure who I would like to mention is Pete Seeger who recently turned an amazing ninety! This man of song and social activism exemplifies the very best of Taurean qualities. Pete’s solid approach to living rests in his values of social justice and achieving peace and equality for all peoples. At his ninetieth birthday party celebration in New York fellow Venutian Bruce Springsteen said of Pete Seeger that: “At ninety, he remains a stealth dagger through the heart of our country’s illusions about itself.” This phrase truly exemplifies what a morally strong Taurean can accomplish! The Taurean super citizen is grounded enough to teach others by example no matter how dysfunctional or compromised others around them appear to be. The fixed sign of Taurus can teach others how to “live right” in this complicated world. I have always loved the phrase that appears on Pete Seeger’s banjo: “This instrument surrounds hatred and causes it to surrender.” No more beautiful life credo has ever been written on any instrument.

Recently deceased Studs Terkel also is a prime example of the “super world citizen”. His life work of bringing the history of the common person out into the front of American privileged life is extraordinary. Terkel possessed an unparalleled enjoyment of hearing people’s personal stories and recording them for history, but I also believe for his own individual enjoyment. Indeed, there is no stronger device for the study of history, than simple oral tradition. Terkel was as tireless and as solid as they come and within his examination of people’s lives within the pages of his books, it is easy to see how American social policy was eventually steered towards the light through his efforts.

Finally, I would like to raise another figure up to the light as a Taurean dynamo and that would be good old Willie Nelson. In the tradition of Seeger and Terkel, Willie has stubbornly stayed on the road playing that extremely beat up nylon string and connecting with causes such as Farm Aid. Willie has not changed his image or his music to match the times, yet old and new fans coming under his spell are instantly transported to a place of the best that the heartland offers to Americans of all faiths and cultures. His music and persona exemplify a belief in the land itself. Also a noteworthy Taurean quality of Willie’s is his love of marijuana; Taureans love their earthly pleasures, right?! British studies have recently linked a decrease in Alzheimer numbers among men forty and older who moderately smoke marijuana (conversely men under forty who smoke are putting themselves at risk for prostrate and respiratory diseases!). Older gentlemen, then, especially Taureans should be able to enjoy their earthly pleasures without the guilt!

Learn to be grounded by spending time listening to Pete, Studs, and Willie telling their stories.

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