Friday, December 23, 2005

I'm standing on the road over the culvert that allows water to run from the uplands of Corinth mountain to the Snook Kill, where they say trout run. It's night and my eyes are closed. I hear the rain coming down, striking the pool of water that drains to the south, the pool which I tried so hard to make a pond, but the drop is not enough, nor the supply of water great enough. By now I am glad to have a pool. I'm listening to the sound of rain hitting the pool in the dark moonless night.

I can 'see' the drop striking the surface of the pool, itself swirling and moving slowly towards the south, towards a break in the stone wall which drains to my neighbor's land. I wish I had more of that water, but it always drains the easiest path and so all I get is a pool, but with it I can view the moon or wade in to my chest to float in cold solitude on some hot August evening. It's a good pool that the rain drop is striking, that I hear as I stand, eyes closed on the edge of the road above the culvert. I hear the rain hitting the pool, but what is happening to me? Why do I stand, hearing? What is happening to me? I see the drop, that strange mix of oxygen and hydrogen, two thin wisps of molecules, falling towards an unseen earth's core. Two molecules of electrons and positrons and mesons, both wave and particle... magnetic polarized somethings, falling towards the pool, that pool of swirling water.

So 'things' are happening. Particles/wavefronts are moving towards and through nearly identical regions of being, decided upon by the observer to be air, with rain falling through. We see the rain drop swirling and tumbling as it goes into the region of water at the end of the ride. Oh, it momentarily is intact and falling, but soon the pool overwhelms it and it becomes one with the pool. It waves and reverberates and I hear sometime later the sound of the drop hitting the water. Air moves against my ear drum which moves three small bones to break a circuit, a stream of electrons occurs, and I know that there is a drop of water falling, having fallen, fell to the pool below me and it is no more, just a part of the pool, part of the stream of beings heading for the ocean.

How is it that the air did not support the drop of water so that it never encountered the pool? How is it that upon entering the region of space that the pool occupied, the drop moved both air and water to enter the pool, thus setting in motion a wave of air that would tell me of this encounter? What a busy drop! Why did the air not diffuse itself before the falling water, maybe making it bubble, and not send out that wave of 'sound' to my ear? It could have, I am sure. Yet that drop budged aside some air and that bit of air budged back in all directions until some 30 feet away or so, I knew a drop of water had become a part of the pool headed for the ocean. I was changed by this. I had memories and dreams and thoughts created, I got busy, too. That air that came in a wave like a tsunami affecting all the areas of wave/particles around it in that 3 dimensional collection of causes that we call home showed me a cresting regular impulse, or collective concept that all the air agreed to. Air would move aside from water and when my ear got in the way, I knew about the drop.

This collective, complex agreement, this movement, if you will, like Islamic fundamentalism or democracy or socialism... this movement budged me. It made me stand up and take notice, it made me move.

Then it was over.

I am standing in the rain above a culvert which empties into a small pool a few feet across. Years ago I dug out the pool trying to make a pond, but it was so shallow that it silted down into a pool. I watch sometimes the full moon reflected in this pool and even once watched a comet in this pool. The rain strikes my hat, my shoulders, my hands and my boots and then it seems to climb down to the pool and smack it one with tiny fingers, just a few drips of sound that dilutes my pool but also enhances it. On it's way to the ocean, over the falls with that deep carpet of moss and limestone slabs, the water swirls and babbles and bubbles. Like a new thing it travels away from me to the ocean where salt and sweet mix and forms are fluid.

If I breathe just right and hold my head: so... I can breathe in the sound of the rain hitting the pool and as I smell the rain and the snow below me I and the drop become briefly one. And why not? We come from the same Creatrix and fall to the same fate.

My brother/sister may play in the pool for several minutes/days before traveling on. Not unlike myself it may never stop moving until someday another being wonders at something I've done, even if at the time it was just something I did and then moved one, swirling towards the ocean and budging aside the air.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The other morning I had a moment where I felt a certain kind of tightening of the gut, a tensioning of all the muscles in a fight or flee response. I was listening to the President of the United States say, in his own words, apparently it was supposed to be a scripted press conference, but the Shrub wanted to get something off his chest. Now I recall when Jon was a pre-teen how he would sometimes get caught in some fabrication of the truth, there was a way that he circled around the lie, building up a case for something approaching what he was going to say and make sure he was explaining all the reasons why this direction was not circuitous, but straight and trustworthy, backed by all the facts any human could detect. And then he'd lie. And when he lied he would open his eyes and stare at me unblinking, because he was young and thought "open" and "he blinked" meant you weren't supposed to blink if you were telling the truth. And when he looked at me that way and said what was obviously a whole-cloth fabrication or some twisting of the space time continuoum. And George looked and sounded that way that morning. I thought he was announcing martial law, and in a way he was, because he was making the case that as we were in a war, authorized by Congress and conducted by himself, George Bush, President, that the Constitution and the Law said he could do this thing and not only DID he do it in the past, he was gonna keepa doin' it tuh keep Amurika FREE...

They keep lists, these people. They always keep lists. Not the list where you write your daily to-do's... these are lists of names of people who aren't part of the New Solution. What happens when things slide out of control is that sometimes new names get added to the lists by, oh, ex-husbands, girlfriends, co-workers, neighbors, people with the power, the motive and plenty of opportunities to get back at someone who has wronged them, or potentially might wrong them in the case of the Bush family, it seems. In Florida you can carry a gun and if you see someone who looks like they are threatening your life, you have the right to gun them down. George's brother seems to think that is a good way for people to live. I get a little nervous. I just know somebody out there might want to put my name on a list and sometimes what happens is that you may not be sentenced to some punishment, your loved ones might. These people, these people who keep lists, they can be very angry at times, like when Condi is defending her Man, and she trembles and twitches on her face come and go, she may spit a bit.... they get angry. And the thing is, when people who feel they have God-delivered absolute power over everyone everywhere at any time of the day or night, well that kind of responsibility weighs heavy and they dollop it out on those close to them, giving them portions of absolute power. This is the basis of this New Solution, and I suppose the reason I get nervous is the deja-vu feling, having been a student of world history in a deletante kind of a way. I just could almost take my finger to the book and page wherein people with absolute power give large chunks of it to people who tremble with fury and spit at people before them. I just get a bad feeling about this one.

So, some of the more psychotic add-ons might be savy enough to build search engines, or even to Google, and they could make lists, and merge lists and soon the whole thing becomes a vast list, a complicated database which cannot really have an answer or a New Solution, it just ends up acting like one of the old ones, one of the ones that didn't work before because it flies in the face of things like Reality and Law. I suppose anyone who ever said things in a blog that might offend someone else... gosh... might feel nervous. Beyond that first tightening of the gut, that first deja-vu feeling, I don't feel as nervous so much as determined. If you go on heightened observation, into a more meerkat kind of consciousness, I think you can go about your business without too much trouble. But you should know you're on a list and you should notice men in grey suits and dark glasses, especially if someone takes your picture. Trouble is, now everybody is James Bond, everybody with a cell phone. In a way, that's good for our side. We can email pics of funny people to our accounts and cross check them with pics we sent from other days. That way we can se if that guy really is following us, or if we need to talk about our feelings more. Trouble is, to live like that is really more of a rodent kind of life, a mouse in the woodpile kind of life. But as a pagan I certainly can see where a smaller form, a lessening of the target might be a real rational kind of way to be. Getting off the grid is okay and a good start, but to build a compound and send out leaflets is cross-purposing. I like the idea of growing beans and tomatoes and herbs and oninons and just keeping a low profile. Of course there is the matter of dharma and karma and even free will to consider, but that's a long debate and maybe with too many voices.

So with winter before me, winter beside me, winter above and behind me, I take hope that the Lady below me will get done sucking her pomegranate seeds and get back up to the surface. There's always an exit strategy, there's always a door into summer. That was the story of Pandora the explora too. She found there was always hope. I don't see hope as a tiny little Tinkerbell kind of fairy, no, I see it as my sculpture Persephone with thunder-thighs and big forearms, pushing through the crowd to confront the sun full tilt. Then we get Spring, then the snow will melt. All the mulch I put down will be worm food and the worms will be busy this spring, for sure. There's a lot of work to be done in the garden, and if the roots are not severed the garden will prosper. Yup, that's about it.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

It's hard to be a democracy, messy and hard. In China recently they killed a few protestors because they started throwing firecrackers at the police. Seems the villagers were upset over corrupt officials who were seizing land for great profit and not compensating the owners. The officials want to build a power plant, no doubt thinking that the good of the people is more important than the lives of the people. Curiously, here we recently had a Supreme Court ruling that it was okay for local officials to seize land from people for the greater good and then sell the land to private contractors so they can build profitable enterprises. Not a hell of a lot of difference except here in America either the people don't have the balls to protest, or the 'liberal' media refuses to cover their protests. Likewise in China they arrested the official who ordered the shooting and here in America they would have appointed them to a better paying position, or given a job as a consultant.

It's nearing Solstice, bonfire time. The Christians and semi-Christians are putting out the Goddess-as-Tree and setting out the offerings for Her. It always makes me uncomfortable to use cross-symbols for such an important event. By that, of course, I mean using Goddess symbols for a male Gods story. The true story of Solstice deals with Persephone and her descent to the underground to become the Queen of that Afterlife. She is hung on the wall and stripped of her flesh in order to die and become one of them. A little harsh immigration rules, nes pa? But we know that the Great Circle demands she return and we will have spring again, as all the circle symbols this time of year affirm. I like the circles, but the Tree makes me a tad uncomfortable, because it relates too strongly to the other Tree, upon which the Son of God was hung. Oddly, that part of the story is probably an example of deliberate cross-symbolizing. I believe the Romans crucified exactly because of the Persephone story. Then the Christians took the symbols and modified them for their own resurection story, borrowing both from the Greeks and the Egyptians. Sometimes I wonder if the real Joshua bin Joseph was rather stoned to death. Now as nice a tale, though. We'd have piles of rocks on a table maybe and eat pressed duck.

Pretty soon I will drive down to see Jon. Not today, as I have to get this house arranged for the 'holidays' and my sweety-pie will wipe herself out doing it by herself if I don't help. Can't have that... she already stresses enough these days. Monday I need to get the brakes fixed on Inga, the '89 Volvo. She's a good old car, with a girder for a bumper and broken parts all over, but not enough to fail inspection. Not unlike myself. So maybe by Wednesday or Thursday I can break loose and go down. He's been sick off and on with fevers, not high ones, not the kind that bring seizures. Just enough to send him to the hospital for observation. What do you bring a man who is in that state of being, that drifting in and out but never enough to move the body, never enough to speak a word, or moan, or smile at my face? He's like a lava lamp with that mind of his floating around so slowly. Not a lot to do with him but wait and tell him we love him. If I say it often enough I hope he hears. I hope he hears and understands that there's nothing I can do for him any more. I'll probably buy music and some clothes for him, some nice warm things and some hot music. The words in the music may provide him with dreams, so I want to buy happy, getting-laid, getting-high kind of stuff. Something that if it caused a dream would be the kind of experience he'd look for if he could walk out of there.

I've decided to relate to the Xmas season as a form of American potlatch. Otherwise all the presents piss me off when there are so many people we know of who are dying in the cold of the mountains of Pakistan, or the plains of Iraq, the cities of Philadelphia and Washington, DC.... Seems so wasteful, but using the potlatch as a launch point you can understand all the frenzied gift-giving and it makes sense to buy everybody some little something. Certainly has nothing to do with an ancient dead rabbi who promoted poverty and public service. The soup kitchens would be stocked to the nth if we used the story as it was intended. But a potlatch, where you give til it hurts, that makes sense. It's even an American story and since it happens without reference to a specific date it's okay to celebrate the birth of a man 6 months removed from his likely birthdate. So Jill Sweet, my comparative religion teacher, would be happy to know that her lectures on potlatch enabled an old pagan to accept Xmas and even celebrate the giving. I hope she's okay and celebrating Xmas with her happy family.

Here's a story of unselfish giving. I was hitching up the Coast road, PCH-1 and had reached a point in Oregon or upper California, maybe near the Russian River. I had my pack and my stick and my thumb stuck out when a pickup truck stopped for me. It was a Mexican family traveling down to the fields to work. The father put me in the back with all their furniture and packs and kids. As we traveled I came to know that the kids spoke no American and the only Mexican I knew was a handful of serious swear words curtesy of my Dad, totally inappropriate for this situation unless one of the kids pulled a knife on me. A little girl with big brown eyes and dark brown hair was staring at me, eating slices of bread from a bag. I smiled at her and she smiled back, offering me a slice of bread. I took it and ate it, not having eaten in a couple of days. She offered me another and I took that. When that was done she offered me another, still smiling, but I could see she had only a couple more slices left in the bag so I declined. She kept trying to give me her last bread but I refused and tried to tell her that she should eat the bread, that I was stuffed. I weighed in at about 120 then and looked like a bag of bones. The truck stopped and I got out and smiled at the girl who offered me her last slice of bread, grinning at me. I refused, grinning back at her. The rest stop had a cafe so I went inside and ordered two cups of hot water and from my pack I took a cube of bullion and a tea bag. There were packages of crackers and a catsup bottle on the counter, so it was going to be a good meal. The waitress came with my water and I put in my tea bag and bullion cube and she watched me. I asked her if there was a charge for the water, because I had no money. She asked me how old I was and I told her 18, which was close enough. Then she handed me a menu and told me to pick a lunch. I repeated that I had no money and she told me that her son was about my age and she wouldn't want him to go hungry on the road. I got a hamburger with fries and a glass of milk. It was a great meal and I shared some of my poems with her, then I left to travel some more and write some more, but most of all to experience more.

So the man gave me a ride, the daughter gave me a slice of her bread and the waitress gave me a lunch. Together they gave me a slice of American life, a look at the rich American heart. That was back when we didn't think strangers were dangers, when kids on the road were kids and like our sons and daughters deserved a meal and some kind words. Since then I've fed a few roadbound strangers and thought often of that little girl. She'd be in her 40's now and maybe tells the story of a skinny white kid she once fed a slice of bread to when her family was traveling between jobs. Taken individually we Americans can be pretty human. Even Bin Laden says so. He just has decided that as a group we should be bombed and shot and sliced. I think before you decide to have a jihad against an entire people, the way our President does, you should hitchhike around and meet a few of your chosen victims. Maybe then you'd decide that rather than kill them you might want to sit down to a meal and discuss Life, the Universe and Everything. Or at least discuss how a great meal with people you have just met can be a life-affirming, life-giving chance at being human. You can take that to the bank, but you can never spend it. Thanks for the bread, kiddo, thanks for the ride. I told my Mom about that waitress and she told me that when she and Dad had a bar and grill she had fed many a hobo. "It's what you do, son...."

Time for coffee and toast and digging out the lights for the Xmas tree.

Friday, December 02, 2005

I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, but the sympathetic vibrations would set in a harmonic resonance in the tectonic plates, leading to tidal waves, earthquakes and volcano eruption. The cacaphony of noise would cause the entire world to vibrate and shake until the fabric of space-time itself was warped and distended and when the smoke finally cleared there would be a dusty blur where the earth used to be. The hole in the gravity matrix of the solar system would pull Mars and Venus towards each other, only to be split apart by the wildly wheeling antics of the Earth's baby, Luna. Things would never be the same. Which might be a good thing.

The American dream used to be to leave an oppressed life, come to America and then, regardless of background, if you worked hard and dealt with people fair and square, you could be successful. The New American dream is to obtain as much wealth as possible by doing the least amount of work, to crush as many people as possible along the way and never have to pay for the harm you do to others. Like the gorilla in the living room, few people in power to change this situation are willing to mention or combat this new emerging American culture of sheer greed and pyschotic behavior. If you scrape away the protestations and pull the veil of denial away from your eyes, if you look at the trends and the patterns this is what you see. America the latest Fascist state, out of control and led by sociopaths and psychotics. Greed is the pasword and the masses demand more blood on the entertainment boxes, more sex in the 'newspapers' and more money to be won simply by guessing four numbers in a row... but even the guessing is too much work, so we cheer even louder when someone wins by selecting 'random' for their guess.

No, it's not an angry old man complaining that things have changed and 'it's not like when I was a boy!' although it certainly is not. But like most Aries personalities, I enjoy a good logic puzzle. You strip away the emotional baggage, you remove the symbolism, and you deal with the bricks in the wall, then step back from the wall and see what has happened. And what has happened is this: there is no more to the American dream, there is only the old dreams of despots and fools that led to the Crusades, the Burning Times, the Sea to Shining Sea Genocides. We're looking for more place to burn and more people to kill. It makes us feel powerful when the rest of the world appears to be getting more powerful than us. Like an old dog snapping at the local curs we send in our troops to kill, torture and rape and to spread fear and hatred. It's an Old Testament America.

We have a President who honestly and openly says God (Yaweh) sent him to "bring democracy to the Middle East and peace to the world". But of course, as a Republican the President has a different idea of democracy. It's not his fault per se at this time, he never did well in school and history was never his best subject. He has confused 'capitalism' for 'democracy' and his version of peace is when all our enemies are dead or subjugated... just like Joshua being sent out by God to burn the cities, rape the women, kill the men and sell the children. You can't mind the bits of reality like the number of American dead, or the tens of thousands uncounted non-American dead when God has told you that you will bring this peace to the world. The sad thing is that as in all the other similar declines of great nations, the citizens of this nation refuse to read the patterns.

The way it works is in fact a trickle down. The psychotic President and sociopathic ministers and advisors set up the conditions that encourage people to value greed over generosity, violence over discussion. We have a national policy of pre-emptive nuclear strikes on nations which we suspect of thinking about possibly attacking us sometime in the future. We have laws in the President's home state of Texas which allows people to travel with concealed wepons. His brother has signed laws which allow one to kill another if you sincerely believe that at some point they may attack you. This will make you safer. I suspect George was attacked by his brother when he was younger and has never been able to trust anyone since, except perhaps his girlfriend, Condi, and his advisors keep them apart as much as possible so as to avoid the pictures in the tabloids of them walking in the Rose Garden holding hands and sitting face to face under the rudy moon. Cheating and lying got him to the top. Killing and raping and torture are acceptable to him. Truth is something you create to allow the things you want to happen, to create the proper atmosphere for your plans. Thus we are set up for the greatest meltdown of a nation since the Roman Empire.

The good news is that the world is round and money is an easily burned piece of paper with numbers written on it. We don't have to allow this. This bastardization of the Great Experiment could be stopped by people simply refusing to listen, by refusing to use money, by shrinking down their interests to their families and their friends. If everyone agreed that this crazy set of people cannot be trusted and are not safe to be around, the government of this nation would be powerless to hurt the world. If people refused to kill other people, if they refused to buy lottery tickets, if they refused to speak badly of others, or to covet their spouses or lovers. If we refused to get concerned over who kissed whom, or what some actress did on the beach, we would be free of those invisible chains this nightmarish administration has shackled us with.

But to do this we must be strong and no adict is strong. No stoned out, drunken stumbling bum ever stood up on the street corner and said "God is Love, we must no kill or harm our sisters and brothers!". It takes a sober mind to consider turning away from drink. No abusive husband ever stopped in mid swing and thought, "This is unfair and hurtful, I should stop now."

So if history is any guide.... and it surely is... this nation is about to crumble or evolve or both. The evolution of a democracy into a republic, into a despotic war machine is recorded a thousand times in history and the good news is that some of the farmers get away with some of their herds and seeds. Young people are strong enough to swim the river under machine gun fire to the shores of freedom and the potential of democracy. We just have to make it to the river.

In the meantime the roof does not leak into my bedroom, the new kitten does not appear to have cancer and no one died over the last few weeks whose name I know. Greedy for good news, I report a bit of the continued friendly advances of the new kitten. She rubs against my leg and only runs a few feet when I try to pet her. She no longer hides for days, coming out at night to raid her food dish. She has emerged from her dark times to a new life of love and warmth.

This can be taken as a symbol, like Persephone emerging from her dark times into the light. I haven't hit the bottom yet, and my family and I are well protected from much of the turmoil in the world. We are no immediate threat to anyone, so I guess the Others will leave us alone, and if we can pay back the bills, keep the house from buring up and be healthy, we can navigate the stream and find our way to something less offensive. Magicians and witches are seting up rituals to heal the psychic shell around the earth and are full of piss and vinegar and shit. The problem with their rituals is that they have mistaken symbols for facts. The rituals of Magick are supposed to be for curing individuals, especially the Magicians themselves. I was recently asked to join such a Circle, to participate in the gathering of power and help heal the psychic wound people like Rumsfeld and Cheney have inflicted on us. But in the middle of the letter was a caveat. "The price for this is $85"


Trickle down is pervasive. If Magical Circles now charge the participants to heal the earth from greed and obsession with money, then the only people capable of actually creating such a ritual are the solitary workers of magic, the shamans and sorcerors, and typically they don't involve themselves in such work, knowing that the tectonics of culture asure us of success if we simply take into the formula the fact that we are all of us mortal and eventually we all become peaceful as dust. Nations eventually get sucked down below the mantle and become silica, carbon and energy. Patience is the best spell, as it requires little risk and affirms the basic tenent of modern Magick: "an it hurt none, do what you will". So you must be sure of harming none.

Jainism may be the best way out for Amerika.

Jesus and his brother James and their cousin John were working the lines at the local soup kitchen. Jesus talked to the people at the tables, inquiring about their situations and familes and John followed, taking notes and giving them cards with addresses of safe houses and nearby clinics. James was in the kitchen fixing up fish soup with lots of garlic and dill and plenty of warm grains. Mary Magdelene was in the back room counselling young women and handing out condoms. There was not a priest nor rabbi to be seen, other than the brothers, and they were too busy to preach. There was work to be done.

Mary and Jesus sometimes ate together at the tables, along with their children. They all slept at the shelter, having no home, no car, no bank account. Jesus worked bagging groceries or mowing lawns or shovelling sidewalks and Mary gave out herbal remedies to those sick patrons with no funds for doctors. None of her patients had to visit the ER late at night, Mary was always ready to help. More than once the kids slept on the floor while some sick lady of the night hid in their beds while Mary tended her wounds and John and James visited her pimp to work out a deal to free her. Sometimes they were rebuffed, but mostly the people on the street knew that it was better overall to go along with the strange bunch of hippies who lived in the darkest part of town.

The two kids, Adam and Moses, sometimes played Old Maid with me in a back corner. By candlelight we played, sipping our glasses of diluted wine and muching on day old bread. Moses never cheated but often had more cards than the deck and we had to start over. I asked him how in the world did he get all those cards? "Beats me!" he grinned, and I ruffled his hair and said, "Well, be more careful. You have to discard each turn!" But it was hard to be angry under his glowing smile. Adam slipped off the chair to get more wine for us from Mary, who was sitting at the desk talking on the phone to a troubled neighbor. She absentmindly stroked her son's dark hair while he waited to ask for the wine. When the call was completed another crisis was over and she handed the bottle and the corkscrew to the child and closed her eyes and sighed. Jesus was there, holding her hand and gazing at her face. He never grew tired of watching her. All these years she never strayed far from his side, no matter where he went or how tough it got she remained his and only his. Most of the Lady's women were more open in their giving, more generous with their love, but Mary had made a choice years ago to stay with this serious young man who cared so much for those in need. The Lady had plenty of servants and there were no rules to break, no Papal Bulls to jump. Life was good for them here. In the corner I once again counted the cards in Moses's hand and sighed in disbelief. "Twenty-seven cards is way too many.... you know this!" But the laughter and the bright eyes made me smile and start over. Mary and Jesus had left the room. I could see the moon rising over the abandoned factory across the street.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Sometimes coming to the computer after a long absence can feel like coming to an old girlfriend after a long time away, like when you didn't know what to say to get past that first step. I got my computers mostly up and running the other day and developed some ideas as to what to do with the left over parts. I'm going to build a no-stress computer. I'm going to start with an Amiga, so it'll be easy on the user. I'll take the motherboard and fit it into an old radio cabinet and wire the power supply to the original on-off switch. Then I'll get a relatively cheap LCD screen... or even one of the old multisynchs I have laying around here and put it into a wooden frame, ala Maxfield Parish era. Set it to look all in all like something out of an art deco sci-fi movie. It'd be fun! and then sell the thing on ebay and buy a nice laptop for Margaret.

A good winter project. Hopefully the recent run of spasms in my back don't indicate a bad winter. I'd like to think I can get at least three seasons of work out of me. It's not winter yet, so I should be able to pile 4x4s top make raised beds in the garden, or plant some of those $2 plants I got from Hewett's. I'd like spring to be all planty and wonderful. Winter might be tough. I'm also getting concerned about some muscle spasm I've been geting in my hands. It's funny, but they twitch suddenly for no good reason and once or twice I've almost dropped my sandwich or cup of tea. Also makes typing problematic... one tends to spell excessively. But the roof doesn't leak. The houses's roof, not mine. And the doors close and the new windows mostly work so we'll all be warm. Margaret with her various woes and me with mine. Winter is good, like a crock pot, in cooking down woes, into a thick, rich, and flavorful stoup of little things that didn't quite make it the first time but now they're ready.

I bet I have a dozen plans for the "new" garden by March, and if I get the plotter running I might do entire plan sets of the yard and gardens, just to get something to look at. Margaret wants to go get a plane to fly us over the house and surrounding topo. She wants to follow the streams towards the river. That might take awhile, there's a hell of a lot of streams, but we'll see.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The circle of Life, the Great Circle, refers to the idea that what goes around, comes around. Thus do we celebrate the Circle of Time. And tomorrow will be the 31st anniversary of the birth of my son. It isn't actually very far, by today's standards, to the place where my boy lives. But in terms of emotional impact, and emotional pain, well.... ya can't beat a birthday to bring a guy down. I know that if I was 55, which I am, and my son was 31, which he is.. I'd be a bit depressed. This concept of Time as a bringer of death and such can be a real bummer. Time, in so many other circles, is quite benevolent. Time brings us compost, which is about death and about life... The metaphors can go on for eons. November is a difficult month. It's my father's birth month, my son's birth month, my best friend's death month, and by now most of the colrs are depleted in the leaves in the woods where I might go to work thru the blues. So I find that I listen more to the blues now, in the car, in the house, sometimes in the studio if the radio reception is good. The beer I drink is a form of composting, with a specific construct of flavors, odors and color in mind. Maybe. Or it's just some strange tea that got lucky when the honey was full of just the right yeasts and we got beer. What a great idea, the idea that beer is the creation of chaos.

The thing is, chaos is like the lesbian father you never had. It's hard to look at, but still somehow interesting. We get confused when we speak of chaos and randomness gets in there. That's not the same as chaos, mostly, because randomness somehow never spells the first three books of the Old Testament, even though chaos says it someday should. Why is it that the one time when all them monkeys finally type out the complete works of Shakespeare is always conveniently sometime in the far flung future? Why not TODAY? And they can't give you an answer. Miracles are always 'someday'. So it's not random. It's chaotic.

The idea that an intelligent design is responsible for the universe and the conditions which made life possible all like dancing angels on the point of a pin means that selective evolution needs to sit in the back of the bus just jerks my chain. Breathe a minute. In your experience, what has seemed intelligent to you? Every time you think something or someone made sense, it was because it cut thru the crap. It made it simpler, easier to look at and easier to think about. Intelligence is making complex things simpler until they become one tiny little truth and you disappear. Not blow up, no collaterol damage, just things get simpler. Ultimately they become so simple it's just black and white, like that button in the hippie shop. and then maybe a form of grey.

But when there is only one there can be no time because time is a measure relating two things, generally something moving or becoming at a constant rate. Like a pendulum swinging, maybe in London. The thing is that movement defines and develops the sense of time. But thanks to entropy we can be sure that for this particular set of parts, time winds down. It's been a rough year, and time has wound rather down for so many who could have wisely used just a bit more time. Then I look around and see a garden where once was sand and a new roof over my bed and I wonder why I feel just a little blue when all I have to do is think about all my lost loves for the next couple of days. It's a choice, I could just think about how neat it is to have a non-leaking roof, but for some reason I find myself thinking about non-functional, non corporal forms. Like any farmer, I know that from a pile of shit can come a nice crop of squash, even if you never planted squash ever in the vast expanse of time, yet there it is, that giant vine, all droopy and dripping and hanging. That vine got one fruit, one strange fruit of pale skin and green stripes and nothing else. Well, a few flowers, but for all its vast expanse it only got one fruit. Life is funny sometime. Now the real trick is to plant the seed from this strange fruit and see what comes up next year.

Living in the country sure can play tricks on a man, tricks I say! But it wasn't a trick. No, it was me own sweet Jessie, calling to find out if some mail had come. So I got that going for me. And tomorrow I'll be thinking about Dad, and Larry and Jon and all the rest of them... Bernice and Shiela and now Mom's in the hospital with pneumonia and pleurisy... ye gods, doesn't the fun never stop? Well, we knew the job was dangerous when we took it.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Many people have some idea of chaos theory. Lots of movies and TV shows have mentioned it and various characters have expounded on it's implications, but I think that most people have a very slim idea of what it means. I will not try to explain it because it has many meanings and many implications. The one thing I want to try to make clear is that chaos is not anarchy, nor does it mean randomness. It has a mathematical basis just like pi and other very, very long numbers. In fact, let's discuss pi.


It just keeps going, and going, and going. But, even though the numbers are the same size on the printed page or monitor display imagine that the big numbers, those close to, say, a million are brighter red in color and bigger in pixel size. Now pi looks different, doesn't it? Say that the number 3 at the begining is a foot tall, a third of a meter more or less. Now imagine that the 1 just to the right of the decimal is 1/10th the size of the 3. Ah! Now, of course, let the 4 after the 1 be 1/10th the size of the 1 and so forth. Now the number gives you an idea of what it is. It is a 3 mostly with a very slightly fuzzy edge. It's a bit more than another 3, but nowhere near a 4. You see it as if you had a bit of a film on your cornea making it different. That fuzz never gets clear, no matter how you shake your head or rub your eyelid it stays fuzzy. You can't tell where it begins and the rest of the numbers leave off and that is more or less what chaos does.

Just as a dollar represents a fraction of work so numbers represent a fraction of quantity and quantity is fuzzy. The edge of our solar system is fuzzy. We recently located a bit of stone and ice way out past Pluto spinning around the sun nevertheless and we named it. There are lots of things spinning around our sun and we may never name them all because our solar system is fuzzy. It has no real beginning nor end. Work has no beginning or end. I crawled around the rooftop trying to restore a tarp to prevent the celing from caving in and the ceiling then caved in. We put the tarp back up and added boards and staples and today I woke up to look up and see the plastic/insulation ceiling was wet, as was the insulation that the hired worker had added in the walls to replace the wet, spoiled insulation from our last leak. Next week we plan to remove the roof that leaks and replace it with a dormer that doesn't. But someday it too will leak and someday it too will have oxidized under the solar wind into a grey colored dust which will be pulled along the tectonic plate until it is ground under another plate and turned into magma. It never stops, but the edges are fuzzy. Thus we can say work, like all things is a fuzzy, chaotic thing.

All things are of the universe and the universe is fuzzy and chaotic. But it has an equation, just like pi equals the circumference divided by the diameter of a circle. But if we observe a circle from the side and it is a variable line segment and if we observe the variable line segment from a slightly different universal stance we see a point. A point that fluctuates in color and density, like a star seen through the air surrounding this constantly moving, crawling, melting and burning ball of dirt and water and complex organic molecules. Pile up a few billion of those molecules in the right stack and you get me, observing the universe through a fuzzy eye. So the equation of the universe may be a chaotic equation, like the one for the value of pi or the one for the value of me. Might even be quite short, like e=mcsquared.

The opposite of chaos is order, in most people's minds and order implies stability, or unchangability (stay=unchange) Since, however, the mass we are regarding is of the universe, we must understand that it, too, is chaotic and therefor constantly changing. Solar winds blast it, positrons and quarks fly thru it, knocking off odd bits of electrons and so forth. All of the things being knocked off are energy, which is vibration and that never changes in that it is always changing. So Einstein's fancy little equation assumes there is a constant weight to be measured or a constant mass to be measured or something is constant. But of course it is not. By changing my perspective I can turn a circle into a point that throbs and vibrates. So long as I and the circle are not one and the same I can measure it with time as a factor, so I can say that at a certain point in time the energy contained in a bit of mass is sooooo big that a city filled with little girls and boys dreaming happy thoughts about peach orchards can be brought into a screaming mass of electrons, ultraviolet and infrared radiation, and small chaotic bits of complex organic molecules.

So the universe is unknowable because it never stops. This must mean that the All is ignorant of the universe, but perhaps has an equation which enables it to catch small pictures of it from time to time. The trick, of course, is that we may not always be in that picture. Harry Truman was a nice enough guy, a father and husband who attended church and unlike the man he wanted to murder had not directly been responsible for many deaths. When he ordered the evaporation of that 3 year old Japanese girl who dreamed of peach blossoms and dolls that looked like Shirley Temple with slanted eyes he had never held that little girl on his lap and heard her sing that little song about peaches. Had he done so he might not have been able to vaporize her and her family. That is chaos. With his filmy eyes and certain perspective he was able to look at that girl and see instead happy Marines walking onto the beaches with no bullets firing at them and little American girls hugging their daddy. Harry liked little girls to hug their daddy and smile and play with their Shirley Temple dolls, except not of course those dolls with slanted eyes. The term "little girl" was slightly fuzzy to his vison of things and so out on the edge of things little girls had their skin burnt off and their brain boiled in a fraction of time which we could not easily measure.

Now in this uncertain future we look at those fuzzy events and see the little girls and boys on both sides of the big pond, so much alike and so different in outcomes. We see that there is no order to things, no true equations. Good and evil are chaotic terms and war is a fuzzy event. Good people don't torture young men and women, evil people kill innocent bystanders. Wars have a begining and end. We know this because we took history class and in history we learn that all of life can be measured as the spaces between wars, kings and asassination plots. But life is movement through time and time is the relationship between moving objects and objects are fuzzy bits of regions of probability collapse so by measuring time we collapse the probability to a single equation that's easy to understand and memorize and write down as the answer to question 5 on the first page of our history test. But by the time all that is done the event has moved on and the easy answer is always the wrong answer for this current moment in time. So it is that we learn that Japanese had tried more than once to surrender and cease fighting, but we rejected their appeals and vaporized their children and then we agreed to the terms of their surrender. We did all this both because they were evil and also because we wanted to see if the bombs worked. Oddly enough there were those experts who helped create the bombs who thought there was a slight chance that the equation which described the results carried with it a slightly chaotic quality which could be understood to mean the earth's athmosphere would catch fire and we would all of us be vaporized. Harry took the risk, but so did we all, even though the vast majority of us did not know we did. You can see here that the universe is chaotic, not ironic, because it did not vaporize the air and only a few thousand children had their lungs burnt to a cinder so they could not call out for those mothers whose ashes went whirling into the air to fall as slightly dirty rain on the lawns of California. Trickster was not involved, War was.

You wonder what would have happened if when a President is about to order the deaths of many thousands of people he had to sit quietly as they walked by him and as each small face looked up at him(or her) he was required to say, "Burn her (or him)" and the child would be led off to return to their homes and wait for the sound of the B-52 flying over their village. This is exactly what the despots of our unenlightened history used to love to do. Those evil geniuses like the Khan or Caligula or some random Incan king. They would sit and smile as the chests were ripped open and the small beating heart was fed to the Central Power That Is. What if Harry had to confirm the airstrike by eating the raw heart of a representative Japanese girl? You'd have to have some real balls to do that! I bet Georgey Boy is glad he doesn't have to face any of the families he's ordered vaporized. No little girls on his lap, his babies are drunk and happy and all-powerful, as daughters of absolute monarchs frequently are. At least for a few more years.

The difference between chaos and order is that chaos is the underlying theme of the universe and order is a construct of a limited intellect. Chaos is not cruel, nor random. It sits as the one consistancy in an inconsistant inconsistancy. Order is always inaccurate because it trims off the fuzz at the edges, so it is always not quite what it says it is. If the fuzz that is trimmed off is important, then you have less than what you need to understand. Imagine trimming the fuzz off a peach and then handing it to a person and asking them what they held. They might say it was a nectarine or even an apple. This is because that fuzz helps us understand the peachness of the peach. Those things on the edge of the equation, those little uninvolved details which hold the whole thing up are important to understanding. We want to kill men who want to kill us but they are trying to kill us because our bombs are dropping on their little girls and we want to kill them because their bombs kill our little girls. Back in the day, we used to trade children in order to avoid war. It was understood that war killed little girls and if we had a litle girl on our lap, calling us Uncle Harry we would be less likely to pick up the phone and say "Burn them all."

If George had to look at the little children whose parents were unable to feed them and know that it was his order that stopped the food from coming, or stopped the meds that kept Grandpa alive, would he be less likely to sign that paper or make that phone call? Or, like Caligula would he lean forward and grin and say "Grandpa won't be home when I let you go because he was old and sick and I want to give that money to my rich friends. Your Grandpa was just in the way, an incidental fuzz on the peach of my strategy."? I rather think he would lean in. I've watched him on TV as he leans in to explain to those otherwise stupid and drooling reporters that war is peace and love is indifference and death is life. Like some evangelical minister explaining that the poor will always be with us and anybody who thinks otherwise is unclean and should be burned alive. Or drowned. Sometimes we save money by pretending to build dikes around cities and a house filled with old people gets drowned in the storm. Oh, and so do the old folks. Grandpa won't be there when we get home, Shirley. He drowned while tied to his bed where we left him.

Suppose a country was created where the Supreme Authority, the One who wages war was forced to open the casket of every dead soldier and kiss them on their forehead goodbye? Each fallen warrior was sent to the earth with the blessing of those who ordered their death. The Secretary of War and Peace was filmed on live TV kissing each body goodbye, and then was sent back to their office to write up new plans for the next war. How solemn would War be, how so much pain for all those involved. Instead we see the happy grining face of a man with an IQ of a roadkill squirrel, insulated from all visions of death and violence, all voices of dissent, all concepts of the fuzzy nature of war. Instead he hears how there are good and evil men and he is good and so he can order the vaporization of the evil ones. All the while not understanding that evil is as evil does. If the Christ had taken up the sword and killed the soldier come for him, he would have become a soldier and a bringer of death. We would have lost a voice for peace. If a man who did not know much of the world save the region around the city in which he was born can see the nature of war and the nature of man, then why is it so important to have as our leader a man who thinks vaporizing children makes him a good man? How could we be so unseeing?

It all depends on where you stand and where you look. If a point in time can be understood to be a circle of time from a different viewpoint, then it can be understood that we cannot always see the end of a number or the edges of a world or the point of a sword. We should walk carefully and quietly and whenever possible we should allow small children a good night's sleep.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

I may not know a lot of things about a lot of things, but one thing I'm pretty good on is recognizing patterns. Seems like most people ignore obvious patterns, preferring instead to pay attention to preconceived notions about the probable outcome. They also have bought into the crazy notion of probabilities. For instance you are always hearing someone say, "What's the chance of something like that happening?" when the event has already happened. Obviously the chances were 100% that it would happen. The whole freaking universe spent an infinite amount of time making it happen. Or it could not have happened. There are two possibilities for any event: 0% and 100%. If you want to get mathematical then call it 50/50. It either will or won't happen. Simple. All this crap about a 1 in 5 chance or a 1 in a million is just words flapping in the breeze. It either will happen or it won't. There are an infinite number of things that have to be in place for it to happen a certain way, but since that holds true for it not happening a certain way, given the nature of infinity, all you need to know is the pattern of the immediate universe and you can see which way it's headed. So you need to be able to understand patterns to see the way the universe is going.

And you need to understand that words are math based. The early Jews had this way of writing on multiple levels, assigning numbers to letters and making math problems out of paragraphs and the resulting equations created new words giving them new knowledge. Is that not a cool way to use your time as you sit in a stinking desert surrounded by herds of sheep and goats and sexy daughters climbing into your bed to give you that son you always wanted? Assuming it wasn't a drunk daddy climbing into the sexy daughter's bed and then later writing that it was the other way around. After all, given the number of patriarchs in the Old Testament, what's the chances one of them is a child molester who like math and writes in his journal? About 100%.

And then there's the Tetragrammaton. YHWH is the best they can offer as a name for the deity who gave them the okay to have sex with their daughters and slit their son's throats while planning to go into the next city and burn the buildings, kill the men and have sex with their sexy wives while selling their children into slavery. Sometimes when days were long you'd find sons selling younger sons into slavery. Nice group of folks, the early Jews. Funny thing, they thought so too. They wrote about it, bragged about it and spawned a couple thousand sects of variations on the theme. What's the chance two of those variants would still be around today feeding the same deity with that funny unpronounceable name? About 100%.

YHWH is the equation of introduction to the entity that they created to approve of their midnight drunken wanderings and subsequent burning, raping and looting. I just can't get over the similarities to Charlie Mansion and his crowd. I often wonder what's the chance Charlie got the equation right and opened up a channel to the One True God who then told him to burn, rape and kill and all the souls he took down would be his slaves in the afterlife. Because that's pretty much what both Osama and Billy Graham have said to their followers. Well, maybe Pat Robertson. I think Billy mostly said "Bring me gold". What's the chance of the Old Testament God coming back into full steam and giving us that old time religion all over again? yup. 100%

Now, when George said we were going into the old hometown, the Mideast, and kill, rape and torture he didn't say that exactly, but he certainly left it obvious. He covered it up with a shawl or decency, by American standards. Patriotism, pre-emptive self-defense, get them before they get us and all that. But essentially we are doing what the Old Testament said true believers should do. And in exchange you get to rape their women, take their gold.... after sending a cut of it to Pat Robertson.... and sell their children into slavery. We don't call it slavery now; we call it welfare or even workfare.

What about the sacrifices, the slitting of the boy's throats stuff? Possibly you don't get the Internet, newspapers or TV, but there's a fair amount of decapitation going on out there. There's also the simple expediency of dropping a 500-lb. bomb on a wedding party, knowing that there's a 50/50 chance somebody will lose their head in the explosion. And there will be lots of blood. So He is getting His blood sacrifices. Oddly enough, the Pres keeps using the term 'sacrifice' and nobody seems to notice that the Pres says we need more sacrifices, that we all have to sacrifice and in the End (of times) everything will be worth it. He says we need to sacrifice more because we have sacrificed so much already, we need bodies heaped on bodies. Gee, it's starting to sound like maybe YHWH is also the God of the Aztecs, ain't it? What's the chances a near-infinite deity could have landed in several points around the planet demanding human sacrifices and rewarding the faithful with lots of sexy boys and girls and gold? 100%

This is starting to read like a shampoo bottle.

Now, yesterday Morgan Freeman was being interviewed by Tavis Smiley and he mentioned a couple of things that struck me as odd, in that they rang true and corresponded to the patterns I have been seeing. So they must be true. People like me would pick up on this right away, but it's odd to hear an actor repeating it. He did couch it in vague terms, like a duck in a prayer shawl, but it still quacked. He alluded to the areas of the flood and their history in a magical context. For centuries New Orleans areas have been the sites of magical operations. Voodoo in de swamp, boss. Plenty bad jew-jew here.

Anybody with a history of magic will have tapped into the forces that like to swirl around the deltas of big rivers. It's a heck of a heap of power there. That fertile delta corresponds to the pubic region of the Body Magical. It's why the Egyptians did so well, like the Babylonians and many others. We like to hang out near Her crotch, except when we are told by the Father to go out and kill something. Most magic in Voodoo calls for complex symbolic gatherings, like Black Cat oil and Goofer dust. Black Cat oil is obviously part of the Bastet sect and I suggest that the term "Goofer dust" may be a twisted version of another Egyptian sect's magic, If we knew how to spell it we could plug it into our Jewish decoder ring and figure out which deity was involved. But I digress.

There was always magic in the delta and as such there was always a lot of ways to contact the Deity you wanted. The bad old gods liked blood, like YHWH loved that sweet smell of burning flesh. You knew he used to be a volcano god, didn't you? Fire and brimstone, screaming minions crying out loud and beating their breasts. So in deltas you either get to see a fertility god, a planting god, a water god or some other kind of fertile arena. Then you have the hurricanes and that's also a water god, like Neptune. Neptune features big on the New Orleans Mardi Gras. He floats on by throwing out fake gold and silver while the menions get drunk and have sex in dark alleys or cheap hotels. All of which has recently gotten flooded and knocked down by high winds.
What's the possibility that two or more deities could have a tiff in an area of strong magical power and the resulting fight would bring up incredible winds and fires and knocked down houses, floods and dying critters, including humans?

So the Pres calls for more sacrifice, doesn't care who goes down, who dies, who bleeds... as long as there is plenty of it. He says out loud we need more sacrifices and when the storm breaks over the heads of the children in New Orleans.... by the thousands they die. And the Pres gets to feed his God a rich full meal while knocking down and flooding certain locations of strong magical power. It's exactly what would happen if a group of people who were raised as demi-gods by their rich parents, learned about certain rituals while growing up and attending schools with neat clubs like the Skull and Crossbones, calling on the forces connected by blood sacrifice to attain great power and wealth, wanted to make that God even more powerful. They would call for more sacrifice, they would lie with every breath, they would arrange for real crappy responses to calamities to ensure lots of human sacrifices and they would appear to be acting on another set of rules. Why else would you put the roommate of an old friend with no experience in catastrophe management in charge of FEMA? To make sure people died. For years they have been avoiding making the city safe. They let the levees wear down, they have studies done to make sure they understood exactly how to make the city safe and then do the opposite. They repeatedly call out the name of their God while the blood flows and the children wail. More sacrifices. The WTC wasn't enough, apparently. It was sloppy and small. Besides, what's the chance that a fuel-filled jetliner would take out two of the biggest buildings in the world, killing everybody onboard and inside?

So what we have here, according to the patterns I see, is a two tiered (at least) event. On one level you have the sacrificing of animals, people and cities, and on another level you have forces resembling the Goddess engaged in combat with forces of the God and the near total destruction of a city, several cities, in fact, but the Big Easy is more important because it was the site of much involved with the Goddess.

Back in the day when Mom was big, in the Mideast which was called back then "the World", they had these places with big trees, priestess who gave out sex as therapy and magical ritual feeding the Great Mother. There was music in the air and good food and no real boundaries except to try not to hurt anyone. You got happy feet. YHWH got upset, because in part He had this Great Idea that He was the one true God (in spite of his lying) and so His wife should have sex with only Him. When he wasn't screwing his daughters and sons. So they fought. History has records of many of these fights. The Greeks were lousy with stories of Gods fighting their wives and lovers and Goddesses rewarding young men and women with great powers and great responsibilities. Maybe She told the God that He had to take responsibility for His actions and that's when the fight started. That's when He wiped out 99% of Her temples and trees and Her Ladies in Waiting. That's when we had to worship Him or get our town wiped out and our women raped and our children sold off to slavery. Like when our children are going to be paying off a multi-trillion dollar debt we incurred by dropping many, many bombs on another Goddess rich arena. Crushing debt was often the path to slavery. Here in America we called it indentured servitude. Now we call it Chapter 13 or deficit spending.

So all those sites had floodwaters poured over them and silt and sand and corpses floating past. And the Pres says to Michael Brown, "Yer doin' a great job, Brownie." A brownie is a treat you eat. Michael means, "Who is like God". And the sacrifice is something Michael did recently by taking the first bullet and leaving his well paid public position to take on another well paid situation equally beyond his pitiful abilities.

Oddly enough, "George" means "earthworker", or even "farmer". Go Figure.

During the celestial combat "Dick" Cheney, the two time failure in college and mastermind of the Cheney-Bush regime, was vacationing, coming out of his temple only long enough to run down to the flood and gaze at the bodies floating in the tainted waters of the delta. Curiously enough, Richard means: "brave power", derived from the Germanic elements ric "power, rule" and hard "brave, hardy".

So we have a President whose name means farmer or earthworker, a seedy mysterious Vice-President whose name means brave power and ya gotta wonder why nobody sees a pattern there..... all those calls for additional sacrifices, all those messy bodies in Baghdad and New Orleans.... all that pious posturing, that born-again attitude that screams for a face slap. No, I don't think they worship a dead radical rabbi. It's pretty obvious who and what they hold dear and it's an old time religion for sure.

There is a way, though. There's always a Way. Once you know the general name and situation around a God, you can counter Him. You don't do it with strength and destruction when the deity is a God of destruction and sacrifice. You do it with distraction. You crawl into their beds at night and seduce them and 'corrupt' their priests. You fuck em to death if you have to. Like Bill Clinton, whose name means: wil "will, desire" and helm "helmet, protection" and you could say there is an implication there that old William Clinton desires head. or protection. Maybe a nice textured latex condom.

The Free Love movement had a lot to do with the last big war we had as well as the plague of AIDS. Point-counter point, tit for tat. So calling on the Goddess works, but you need to be careful that the counter to your calling is not so obvious. All you need to do is Call on Her in Her three-faced mode. That's a good circle of power to tap into and it covers youngsters, whores and wives, and Death. She's the one we need to stop this killing, and She's the one who can do it. I figure there's a 100% chance it can be done this Way.

Friday, September 09, 2005

All the sounds in my life

I stand against the house on the kitchen porch, standing really still as before me finches, nuthatches, woodpeckers and hummingbirds buzz back and forth. Buzzing in my ears and a breeze on my cheek as the chickadees ignore me in their flight path, as if I were a statue and for the moment I am. The flitting and buzzing and the hum of the bees nearby occupy my ALL for a brief eternity. That's what an epiphany is: a brief eternity. What you bring back from the trip is more or less up to you.

And all this noise as I crunch across the sand in the kitchen on the floor near the boots and it crunches all over the damn floor. Why don't I stop getting distracted and vacuum the floor and damp mop it? oh sigh. The distant drone of commercial TVland like when I was sleeping on Mom and Dad's couch. Dad listening to another rerun of Leave it to Beaver and me listening to him breathe. No oxygen again, he says it makes him weak or sick or something. I think it's just him dying but it's not going to hurt him that much, I'm thinking, while he's just sleeping. The cucuclocks start going off one by one, you program the room that way so you can hear each one, but by now you don't hear them, they're just background noise, like your breathing.

The sound of water splashing often takes me back to when you tossed me into the Colorado to teach me to swim. You figuring that since I liked to walk along the water's edge I should swim. You were a great swimmer, you used to give me rides in the public pool down in Yuma. I loved those rides, because I couldn't float and this was the only way I could move fast in the water. Otherwise I'd spend so much energy trying to stay afloat that I'd give myself an asthma attack and start in sinking. I knew from cartoons that if you went under 3 times, you'd die. It was like a watery curse. I counted 2 many a time. As it turned out, Dad got in to hold me up and try to teach me how to do various strokes. Kinda nice, no doubt, but also kinda wasted time because all the strokes assumed you were floating, or capable of floating. I tried them all and it was like a thin, pinkish-white torpedo lurching thru the water as the power in the props gave out and it settles down to the ocean depths, an arch of frustration. I knew where I had to start out to try these strokes so that I wasn't so far under the water that I couldn't still reach up and grab the edge and pull myself up.
The sound of Dad in the water, laughing, Dad by the ocean, digging for clams, laughing.

Me on the phone telling you about all the birds, all the colors and sounds. Dad tells me again that he had brought home a roadrunner once and that was why he called his business "Roadrunner Land Surveying". I always thought it was because a roadrunner once killed a rattler that I was about to pet because I was 3 and it was wagging it's tail at me. The roadrunner rushed in like a whisper, grabbed the snake and beat it on a rock and then ran off why it. Mom came out in time to see the roadrunner but I'm not sure I could have made her understand what had just happened, so probably Dad's story is the right one. He liked mine, though, made him laugh.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

I was standing in the living room, looking out across the lowlands, at all the trees gently swaying, the pines towering behind like green rocky mountains.... and being an artist, I began to pick out the patterns of color, denoting different stands of trees by species. They looked distantly like a latch-hook rug I'd seen once, maybe in my living room. That made me think of that living room and the parties I'd had when all my friends would come and have fun in my living room... and, of course I was still in a living room, if one included the trees, like my friends. Well, truth be told, I think of the trees as my friends, and now all my friends have children and their children and so forth and go forth.

So there's all these families out there, each doing their thing. There's a new kid, a weeping willow by the culvert, and he's getting big for his age. I kept trying to get one started on the other side nearest the house, but they never took. Probably the runoff from the road.

All those families just outside, each doing things and tossing off kids, all breathing in some way or another, and I hear sending out chemical patterns which could be communication. They were complex enough to carry as much information as a dolphin's sqeal. It could be a cacapohy of chemical, and maybe positional, communications, like the birds when the sun comes up. That's the best time of the day, when the dew is rising and the birds are just chattering away. But I digress.

It's the sight of all these faces, all these families, dependent upon one another for so much, and me, just over the rise, spreading my trash their direction. I have a leach field, which has got to gross.. or not. It may seem like a great vein of vitamen ore... vitamen O. Oh, I don't know.
But still, all those faces, like the faces of the people down in that city with bodies floating past and young men staying to save a pupy, sending his children ahead with his sweetheart.

Lately I have been finding myself introducing myself to various parts of my yard, carefully leaving behind evidence of my having been there in the form of breath, body heat, and vibration. If one was a true pagan working under the assuption of a Mother of Life, then I'm surrounded by siblings. There's a distinct possiblity of my proteins residing in the cells of those faces, like old photos of Belle Starr looking like my Dad in sepia skirts. "Yo, Bro! Nice, looking petals! Very nice." and so forth, and go forth.

So maybe waste going through the body of the Mother of Life Herself becomes Life for my brothers, sisters and others? Amazing, like shit flowing downhill will eventually become compost. Just don't eat the mushrooms. But there you see it, in both reality and symbol: Nawlins the great is dead. Anything coming after will be a pale, sickly, addled version of itelf. But the soil of the flesh of our mother is like the tides, ruled by the same forces and given to the same rages... things change, and they never can be what they were, but they will always be what they were, that's been done. Now we'll see if something can be done with the ripples.

Gee, if I hadn't been reading the Kyballion and watching the Pirates of the Caribbean, I woulda missed it. There's this scene where the gold coin of the Aztecs hits the water and a big "whooom" goes off, they show the wave going out thru the water and, apparently thru the air, it made me think of the 3 dimensional nature of the wave and the fact that I could Hear the wave, See the wave, in both waterous and airborne forms, but I could never see all the dimensions of the wave, because my Knowlege depends on my ability to Understand. Ya gotta think for knowlege to make sense. I guess that's why I keep thinking about it, and the idea that my grand dad Tate died from pneumonia he got after helping out in the flood of the Ohio.

And Dad gathering up the bodies in India, the boiled and torn bodies floating in the bay. And Nawlins got hit so hard all at once that there weren't even enough people to kill to satisfy the wind. So the Earth coughed up her dead again and now there newly dead are floating alongside the long dead, and just to show you that times have gotten worse, the long dead have nicer clothes! And a boat.

So my hands shake and I have to think but not think and not try to put myself in all those shoes, but...
looking out at all those families I wonder, I knew that when the flood came, the little valley would flood, but not my house. But all those familes would get drowned and uprooted. And they already have, all over the earth. It's call multi-dimensional transmigration and don't you worry about a thing! It's the natural Order of Things under the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Yup, the same Law which disproves evolution and by disproving evolution, things can only get worse from here and the dead shall walk again. Or just float by in a nice suit in a nice box. I am sure that in the long run it will be all sepia toned like an old photo of a family gathering. The last before the flood came or the turn of the century, or the turn of the screw...

There's a cricket in the basment, like a loudmouth Archie or not maybe he's saying something very significant, something in ascii and I've gone to gui. Gone to gooey. I get that when I wash too many dishes all at once. It's good to know when to stop.

Friday, September 02, 2005

(Entropy): It is impossible to obtain a process that, operating in cycle, produces no other effect than the subtraction of a positive amount of heat from a reservoir and the production of an equal amount of work.

This is the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. I put it up there so I could get into a very curious bit of 'logical thinking' I have stumbled upon. Quite some time ago I got into the habit of reading online news from around the planet, just to get a broad perspective. Well I looked at an Islamic site to see what they were saying about the world and there was this article which 'proved' that evolution was impossible by using established science. The concept was that scientific Law discredited the 'theory' of evolution. They were crowing about how ignorant we were regarding our own science and in their statements was the one that went something like "The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics clearly states that chaos comes from order, whereas evolutionary theory states that life came from chaos and then became ordered." Brilliant. Like many ignorant people they take a concept from one branch of science and try to apply it to another. This is why people cannot figure out so many things about physics when they move from Newtonian physics to Relativity physics. Different set of rules.

Now, in my opinion evolution never said anything about order/disorder/chaos. What I understand evolution to present is that living things change, usually from environmental changes, and when those changes promote survival and cause changes in the DNA, those new changes may be passed on to their offspring. Thus it is entirely possible for a complex living organism to simplify itself under the correct environmental changes. For instance, if we declare a human being to be a complex living organism, then we can see that when society collapses, as in New Orleans after the hurricane, many people began to act more like cro-magnon man, swinging clubs, snorting after rotted food and raping various women. Or even if you look at death you see that the symbiotic relationship between the various living components of the human break down into their basic parts and crawl off into the soil to do their thing as bacteria and raw chemicals. That is very much like entropy, and entropy is part of the 2nd Law, so people get the idea that living things are primarily governed by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

It's so disturbing to see such 3rd century thinking in an otherwise 21st century culture. But then these are people who believe that when a woman is raped she has committed sex outside of marriage, which is adultry and is punished by stoning to death. These are the people who show mercy towards the rapee by forcing her to marry her rapist. So it's disturbing but not unexpected.

Last weekend I was at a birthday party for a friend's little girl. Her uncle was there, an old friend I used to visit with and play Runequest with. Somehow we got to talking about Islamist extremists and I brought up this crazy idea they were promoting that the 2nd Law cancelled out evolution. The man sat there with a thoughtful look and said, "That makes sense to me. Things go from order to chaos, entropy.... and evolution states that simple forms of life become complex forms and that's the opposite or entropy... so yeah I can see that." This is a man with a 21st century job programming shows for the Fox station in town.

Okay, what happens when you mix chemistry with biology, or biology with nuclear physics, or apples and oranges? It all depends. If you are talking about fruit, then apples and oranges and even tomatoes can be grouped together. They have similar properties. So do the berries from a Dolls-eye plant, but if you say "Fruit are healthy for you to eat every day," and you include Dolls-eyes as fruit.... which they certainly are.... you will die a painful death. So it's important to remember context. It is possible to use chaos theory to describe the movements of people in a crowd.... for certain things, but if you think that you can deal with your neighbor by using chaos theory, you will get nowhere!

In one context I am sitting here typing with my fingers making communication with somebody else. In another context there is a complex set of energies interacting in a chaotic manner according to the laws of relativity. If I stand on a moving train car and project something out ahead of me, it's speed is that of the train plus however much speed I put on it, allowing for air resistance, gravity, and other forces acting on it. But if the thing I project is a beam of light, it's speed is constant, right? Wrong. I once answered a question in science class correctly and got it marked wrong. The question was "What is the speed of light?" and I answered, "It depends." During the argument I showed the teacher that the speed of light is usually stated as 186,000 mps in a vacuum, but it varies as it is modified by it's environment, such as moving through a piece of glass or a mile of sea water. I failed the test, but I feel I made the point. It all depends on the environment.

If you wanted to prove that I was touching a brick wall you could argue that since I was leaning at a 45 degree angle against the wall, I must be touching it. But to PROVE it you would have to define what you meant by 'touching', what you meant by 'wall' and what you meant by 'me'. Seriously, I am a set of energy fields with no real boundries, and so is the wall. In theory I should be able to pass through the wall. In fact there are those who would argue that this question cannot be answered if by touching you mean coming in contact with the wall, since the wall is mostly a vacuum holding energy fields and I might merge slightly with the general region which we refer to as 'wall' and never would a single electron of mine smash into a single electron of the wall. There are others who might say that my perception of the wall and my perception of my body is what prevents me from passing through the wall. It's all relative.

So here's a guy with a reasonably good education who thinks that evolution is proven false by the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, and creationism must be taught alongside evolution in a science class to which the future movers and shakers of this country will attend. He stopped talking to me when I disagreed with him on these points. He considers me to be an ignorant person who can't think clearly... so sad, such a waste.

There are a lot of ways to phrase various Laws of physics and biology and even the term 'Law' changes depending on it's context. Since we cannot 'prove' anything beyond our own mind, we really can't prove evolution or the General Relativity Theory. But I am not an one celled living organism floating in a primordial ooze, and the nuclear weapon which vaporized Nagasaki worked just fine. I just can't wrap my head around why people want to be so pig headedly stupid and cherry-pick their terms in what they claim is a logical process establishing a point they already believed. They don't test their theory or try to understand an opposing one. They tell you to shut up and return to watching baseball on Fox.

I know I shouldn't expect people to want to debate rather than argue, but I know a doctor, a devout Muslim, and he delights in debating and testing ideas. He says it is part of his culture. After all, didn't Arabs give the world zero and algebra? They are deep thinkers. What about Osama? "He's an idiot defaming the name of Islam in order to reach out and grab power for himself!" Sounds logical to me. Our beloved Bush is an idiot defaming the name of Jesus in order to grab power for himself...

Evolution also has the concept that when a living organism cannot change in the face of a changing environment that organism will most likely die. Trouble is that in the case of the aforementioned Osama and Bush, they will take many thousands of people with them. That's evolution though, and as Rumsfeld would say if he understood enough about the subject to make a comment, "Evolution is messy business and sometimes innocent people get hurt."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

There's a jar hanging from a towel rack in my kitchen. It's one of those ball jars, not one of those bell jars, like in Edward Gorey's books... the little tailed lizard-thing stuffed and mounted under a bell jar. So, with a nylon stocking stretched over the top and held with a rubber band, there's this ball jar hanging around the kitchen. It's got a bunch of slightly wilted wild carrot leaves and a very nice caterpiller. We've been watching this caterpiller eat leaves and poop. That's all it's been doing. I hung it from the towel rack so it wouldn't get jostled by me washing dishes.

Well now it's not even doing that. It's getting shorter and much, much slower. It's becoming something extremely different, in all the various categories you'd want to bring up. At first you get the idea that it's just sitting there, but if you sit there with it, thinking about the wilted leaves and the poop below, why you'd have to start thinking about Life, the Universe and maybe why the Buddah is like a bag of poop. Or you might start writing Zen poetry like some kind of crazy enlightened Ferlinghetti... be it as it may, it would be a very busy or un-busy time for a soul to be swimming in. So think about this short, green guy hanging on to what he knows, thinking about how if you could just Think about Yourself a different Way, you could Transform Yourself, without losing Your Self.

The thing that's important to recall is that We know it to be True, because it's happening in a ball jar hanging from my towel rack. I have seen it happen before. The Old Man doesn't wake up and a beautiful butterfly remains. A beautiful winged version of itself will rise up, embrace the suns rays and fly away, to some other transformation.

My quiet, powerful sisiter in law is , or may have been, rising from a form to another as we speak. She, too, grew slower and shorter. I think she grew more thoughtful, but unable to speak her growing thoughts. Like that caterpiller, I could not understand what she felt inside, but I know it changed her because I have seen it before. The Old Man doesn't wake up and they close His House. But somewhere there is a new shape flying. We may not even be able to see it's colors or form with our unchanged eyes, but if our hearts are changed by that other transformation, then we can imagine.

In my universe change means Life and Life without Change is something more like poop. It wilts the leaves.

When I first came to this area from the desert, it was in early Autumn, a time of year sacred to the sense of plenty. There were plenty of colors and everything smelled of change. It was somehow very envigorating to see those leaves, and yet had I visited in January I'm not sure that it would have been envigorating per se, but certainly exciting. But never sad, never regretful per se. There is always the "what-ifs" like a game I played when I was 3 or 4. I played it rather a lot and it started to piss off my sisters, because whatever they answered I would produce another question of "What would you do if...?" Now think about an infinite brother and sister going at it over an infinite time and you get a sense of the energies and potential for envigorating a region of Change can be. If Change becomes a Transformation, then a more beautiful, more transcendent Presence is Understood, is Perceived. In a stable infinte universe all elements, all presences, must be equally perceived. But stability is an anathma to Life, so in a Living Infinite Universe there must be Transformation as well as Change. So the butterfly at first may be thinking mostly about controlling those huge freaking wings, especially in a wind.

We go from creating great art and great literature, to being transformed into a flippant thing thinking always about itself. So there is a form of balence made manifest. And a certain kind of energy is seen descending. Or perceived as descending. Like those penny whistles you pulled the rod and the tone went down and in cartoons they used this noise to indicate something descending. There is a parallel Tone going up and if you think about how your heart skips a beat when you watch a butterfly poised for its first flight... how it was so beautiful flitting away to the next leaf, that energy you felt envigorating you was creative energy being released.

I mean, it's hard to think of those flight maneuvers being somehow coded into the wingstems so it could continue to write Beat poetry....undisturbed by flying. What would be the Point to that? All that Change without Transformation somehow envigorates you in a different Way.

And some thought has to be given to the Shell that the Butterfly leaves Behind. It, too, is beautiful and fragile and eventually changes into the Earth. We all of us change into the earth. In the mean time I suppose I will flit from leaf to leaf and try to control those wings of thought that propell me forward, to use a metaphor.

Sometimes the flitting is imposed on from outside, like those settlers in Gaza. Or like a colony of MRSA, passed on from patient to nurse to patient to doctor, to lots of folks. It reminds me of a film I saw in first grade about how cold germs passed from football to people as white X's. Still, those MRSA colonies are made of living things who have gone through all kinds of near extinctions by the best antibiotics we could devise. A thousand plagues were rained down from above and below at these guys and still they raise their kids and still they grow and have a dream, maybe several. They are survivors, yet they are moved from patient to nurse to patient without a way of remaining somewhere, of finding a home. They know the universe is after them because they have their History, and every generation is given this knowlege, how to survive, how to grow, and maybe even how to die.

We spend a lot of time sometimes on imposing changes instead of understanding transformation. I suspect that may be why there are so many ways we have devised to deal with the shells we leave behind.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Well, it's been an interesting couple of weeks. My sister in law died last Friday after struggling with the damage that smoking can do. She was in about the same shape as Dad: trashed heart, broken lungs, mind starting to drift away... Nice lady, but she never tried to save her own life by not smoking. dad had it thrust on him when they opened his chest and rebuilt his heart a couple of times. My sister in law kept smoking while she was dragging a tank of oxygen around. Her son in law helped out by giving her ciggies. Now he's yelling about sueing the hospital and I find it hard to believe he's concerned about his mother in law so much as how much money the lawyer says he'll get. He has no concept that bankrupting a good hospital might be bad for the community. Sometimes I think he had planned this all along, feeding her habit and getting things set up for a lawsuit when she passed. Obviously I don't think highly about the guy. He likes to come up for holidays and smoke dope in the bathroom with the shower goins. Then after they leave I have to wash all the towels and scrub the walls so we don't smell like a 1967 VW van.

I was reading some stuff that John Edwards put up in his effort to run for President next times. It's so sad. All the old lines, all the old slogans... "we can do it"..." now more than ever..." all bullshit. He doesn't have a thought about changing the system, he just wants to be head of it. Maybe that's what's wrong with American politics. People can become head of something and have power and wealth. Maybe if it cost money to remain in power, like you had to pay 80% of your net worth to the Treasury Department, live in the poorest neighborhoods and your kids had to serve in the military... maybe then the only people who would run for the White House would be those people who really want to make positive changes for the poorest of us all.

Well sometime in the next few hours they will lower the casket into the earth and return the mortal remains to the Immortal Earth. Since her illness was caused by chemicals in the brain it would seem to me that she is now sane, or as sane as a mind can get. Curious concept, sanity. Few would argue that the BTK slayer was insane because he caused so many deaths, yet our Secretary of War is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and few would call him insane. People will pray over the casket today and speak of God and rewards and so forth, yet in the long run maybe the idea of a reward for having lived any kind of a life misses the point of mortality. Maybe mortality is a reward for the hardship of being immortal, like a dip in a cool pond during a heat wave, especially if the heat wave never stops. It's easy to be smart and creative if you are immortal and omnipotent. Struggling with a body and a finite length of time and still managing to be smart, talented or just mostly sane takes a lot out of you. Obviously that jerk in Kansas didn't have what it took and that jerk in Washington doesn't have what it took. Yet my poor sister-in-law managed, even with mental illness tugging at her mind day and night, to be mostly sane, mostly caring, even motherly. Trapped in a ghetto most of her life with few ways out, she raised a daughter who became a mother. She had her pride and a certain dignity by meeting life's hardships with her head held high. When her heart finally stopped and her tattered lungs stopped working she could say she had done it all, pretty much. Her sisters have cried for her, her daughter and grand daughter will miss her terribly. I will remember her smiles and her little voice, always thankful for a kindness and always thinking of ways to be kind to others. She gave bad gifts with an open heart and appreciated any kind of gift or act of kindness in return. The last time I saw her she was in bed with a little smile on her face, waving goodbye to me, her teddy bear nearby. I'm gonna miss her, but not the confusion and turmoil she brought with her. Family memories, old wounds, old times.... she brought them with her for the holidays, along with her daughter and her son-in-law. Still, those problems were minor and soon forgotten. In their place we have the photos of her holding the baby, smiling at the hope of the next generation. There's a whole lot of folks out there who have given the world far less of themselves and with less goodwill.
When it happens to me it will be easier on those I leave behind, I hope. No caskets, no flowers or deadlines to meet. Hand out the parts, let the blind see, let those who need kidneys or marrow, or whatever I'm done with and haven't trashed take what they need and burn the rest. Scatter the ashes or work into a nice ash glaze and put me on a pot and then on holidays you can stick some flowers in that pot and tell me how good I look. Why not? If I was a pothead when I lived, let me be a pot in death. Wouldn't it be interesting if the person seeing with my corneas someday saw the person who is seeing with Larry's corneas? Would we recognize one another? "Something in the eyes..."

Be good to yourself while you yet live
Give of yourself while you can yet give
Life is a song with chorus and rhyme
We sing to the stars in 8 bar time
And once we are done we pour us a beer
Chug it on down and "Another round over here!"
No hangover, no headache, no embarassing gaffes
Just a beer over here and a belly of laughs

Monday, August 01, 2005

Bob's stuck Posted by Picasa
Neighbor Bob is moving dirt. Out in the darkness, except for a couple of shoplights, Bob is moving dirt with a front end loader that he bought pretty much for this exact usage. So there's Bob out moving dirt from a huge pile of dirt that overlaps my property line to the space just under his new porch on his new house. Bob's old house burnt up. Or burnt down. It's gone now, just some debris buried in a hole in the yard. I made the call to 911 when I saw brown smoke pouring out of the attic. Too early for a dinner barbecue and too brown for anything I'd like to eat. In the end they saved mostly nothing, just some photos and a few paperback books. Not the ones I loaned them, ironically enough, just some old books that had been in the right place at the right time.

Above the fridge there was a cabinet and nothing was burned in there. Next to that cabinet was another cabinet and in that cabinet was a box of saran wrap. Next to the box were a few plastic bowls. The bowls were melted into one big glob dripping down the cabinet and onto the burnt floor. The box of saran wrap was slightly soiled. Oddly enough, Bob saved from the fire a few books and box of slightly soiled plastic wrap. This is a lesson in karma.

Upstairs, in the living room that Bob had created from a space above what had been a two car garage, a space that became a lovely carpetted room with a big TV and a big leather couch, a kitten was sleeping in a box in a corner. The upstairs didn't burn, but the smoke from the kitchen below and the dining room below and the box of saran wrap wafted up into the living room and into the lungs of the kitten sleeping and the kitten never woke up. Bob's wife cried when they brought out the box with the kitten in it. She and the children all cried when the towel was pulled away and the kitten was in the box, not sleeping but just as still.

I buried the kitten out back near the other small graves from previous kittens and previous dogs and maybe a goldfish or something like that. I did a ritual and said some words and let the kids say goodbye to a kitten they never got to know very well.

This was a year ago.

Bob is moving dirt around his great new house, his neo-Victorian house with it's movie theatre in the basement and the 20' tall ceiling in the dining nook and the master bedroom on the first floor instead of the second floor in the neat tower with three big windows because Bob's wife has bad knees and can't climb stairs very well. Bob's house has radiant heat in the floor and R-52 walls made of concrete-asphalt shingles that can't burn. It has a computer in the wall to control the hot water that runs thru the maze of tubing under the floor. It has an oak door to the back yard that is twice as carved and twice as expensive as the front door I have on my house. It has a bar/dancefloor in the basement, and a gym/bedroom next to that. It has a secret room that doesn't have a door because they have to wait for the inspectors to get through with their inspections.

But it doesn't have a kitten sleeping in a box near the bedrooms.

They did try, but the kitten ran out into the street and got hit by a car, so they decided not to have another kitten for awhile. Instead, they have a wrap-around porch, fiber optic cables in the walls, three bathrooms, five bedrooms, a formal dining room, a family room, a dining nook and at the moment a couple of big piles of dirt from digging the basement out. Bob set the project back a bit when he buried the steam shovel in the slurry he created when he struck water digging the hole for the basement. But it made a good picture.

I think when the dirt is all spread out and the border plants have grown and the grass has set in and the hydrangea is back to it's old self, that Bob is going to get a kitten and make a box near the bed where he and his wife sleep. Bob likes kittens and cats and enjoys it when mine come to visit, when he has stopped digging and moving dirt. My cats seemed to enjoy his company, too. Oona rarely came over, but Ghetti did quite often and watched Bob work on his cars.

Now Oona and Ghetti are sleeping the Long Sleep out back where I buried them, with rituals, tears and grey skies. Something about kitten and cats just makes a guy feel like it's a home. I've always had one around even when I was longing for a dog that didn't dig up my flowers. Maybe the followers of Bast have been reborn here in Wilton and are conducting their rituals and burying their dead just like before, except they don't remember being in Egypt.

There's so much I don't remember. There's so much I have forgotten. I can't remember the name of that kitten that died in the smoke filled room next door. That troubles me a bit, that I would bury a cat with such dignity and ceremony and then forget it's name. I suppose a name is just a label that falls off in the wash water like the mayo jar I clean before tossing in the recycling barrel. Was it Hellman's, or the generic brand? I suppose as long as we feel satisfied with the end result, it's all the same.

Bob has stopped digging in the dirt and the lights are out. It's time for me to go to bed and dream of kittens.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

the old man Posted by Hello
Sunday morning we got a call from my sister. Daddy didn't wake up. Mom woke up and dad was cold, passed in his sleep next to his sweetheart, a quiet, reasonable way to go. Not really in character if you think about it. Now we have to reorganize and figure out how to make sure mom has a place to live and enough money to feed herself and such. Odd that in a Superpower nation a middle class woman has to count her pennies.

Daddy was a pilot and he flew into the storms, face first and joyous. He flew by the seat of his pants, by instruments, by guess and by golly. His middle name was Byrd and he flew like one whenever he got the chance. He took my friends up in a Cessna and tried to make them pass out, doing loop-de-loops and lazy eights. He flew into thunderheads, drunk and crazy, slamming into the side of the mountain, breaking the plane and his nose and sobering him up but not enough to stop him from trying it again. Even after his vision left him, even after his hands started shaking and his breath came in a tube, he wanted to fly.
"Bill, I honestly think, no, I KNOW it that if you could just guide me to the seat and get me onboard, I could fly again. See, when you fly in those storms you can't see anything anyway. I was flying by 'feel' most of the time and I can still FEEL, even if I can't see!"
He told me time after time how he just needed a chance to sweet-talk a pilot into letting him try those controls one more time.... He could have done it, too. He might not have landed well, but I know he could fly blind if we just had given him the chance.

Daddy had great eyes before. He could spot a hawk up in a tree a zillion feet away. He'd home in with the transit and let me watch the redtail swoop down and take a jackrabbit. Some summer nights dad would get out the transit and we'd look at the moon, and at Mars. I think I saw the rings of Saturn once, but that's not probable. With dad, it was possible. In the last couple of years I was always finding great books on planes and think how dad would like to look at this one... only dad couldn't see anymore.

Now dad can see as far as he wants. He can see those rings of Saturn, he can see the sparkling ice on Titan. Dad knows now what he argued and debated about all those years. He was a devout atheist with nothing but disdain for religions. I suppose my pagan faith disturbed him. He was used to argueing about Jesus, but he didn't know enough about Isis to form a good arguement. You could see he was disappointed in me, but still he figured I'd come around. We'll have to talk about it when I see him next.

Dad's physical form is in a morgue now, waiting to go to a hospital where medical students can cut him open, marvel at the shape of his lungs and heart and wonder how a man so torn up and rebuilt could have lasted 83 years! He lasted because he was solid steel and full of piss and vinegar. Dad flew like an eagle and walked the earth like a proud stallion. He was weak at times and had his flaws, many bad times, but he lived them all and took the hits.

I'm proud to be his son.