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.