Monday, October 05, 2015
People sometimes ask me how I manage to be so busy when I am in such pain, but when you are in the garden weeding or harvesting you aren't thinking about pain and your back, you're thinking about jelly and stews and root cellar designs. You're thinking about all those hops you harvested, estimating how many gallons of ale can be made. You're feeling a direct connection between your stomach and the Fecundity of the Earth. You feel the love of the soil. This is worth a little pain, and sometimes it can be worth a lot of pain.
Sometimes I relate to the garden as a newer Eden, testing my ability to learn from the planet, to find a spiritual meaning in life. The Japanese have gardens of sand which never give forth fruit, and this is where they meditate on life. I have gardens of flowers, fruit, veggies....all vibrant and alive most of the year, inviting and supportive of my life in my pain. My ashes will be scattered in this garden.
My parents are dead, my son is dead, my best friends Teddy and Larry are dead... yet the other day I got an email from a man I had been sure was dead! Seems my information was premature. The thing which intrigues me is the concept that maybe in my previous universe he was dead but when I shifted into a different shadow I found one where he was still living. In an infinite universe this is possible. So the thought comes back instantly, "Where would I have to go to get Teddy and Larry back and how would it impact my current family? What about Jon?" Say you knew you could shift universes and somebody you loved was dead, so you shift and now they are alive, maybe they had a little accident but not fatal. But when you look around you find that somebody assassinated the President or your daughter was still born.... what would you do then, go back? How would you find the right universe? Lots of details to consider. Sometimes it is best to let sleeping Universes lie.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
It's been a little over a year since Jon died and my life has been somehow hollowed out. Margaret and Jess are still there, even more loving and vital as before, but the longing for hope, the reading obtuse articles looking for hope, for names and places to contact because my son, my boy was in there goddam it and somebody had to listen! Now that's all gone and I have certain knowledge that hundreds of men and women are in their beds in contorted, bizarre positions, thinking about Life, thinking about how unfair and how cruel life can be to those who did no harm. They know that those around them have no faith, that they are considered as less than human, yet deserving of casual attention. Sometimes the nurses call them by name, the way you name a favorite house plant.
Does this seem overly cynical and mean? Well, that is what happens when you tear out a chunk of a man and deny the healing process. I don't want Jon to become a distant memory, a sad blessing. I want my anger at those doctors to continue to burn and nag at me, to cause me to look still for stories and solutions for those poor souls trapped inside their own skin. And as I consider this situation, as I regret to inform myself that in America the unFree nothing is free and nothing is done without a profit made. Hulks of flesh who can think cannot earn a lot of profit for the Board, so research into their situation is very low priority, far below the sex life of wild salmon. If anyone should ever suggest making a census-like effort to determine the health of every man, woman and child, not in that order, so that the sick might be healed and the dying made comfortable, the very next statement will involve "money", that invention of the Sumerians for their accountants who had no texts or literacy. 5,000 years later it is the end-all and be-all of Western civilization, which is rapidly becoming the World civilization. But it's a trick, with it you can visualize people, carts of grain, loaves of bread as little wooden or brass counters, like pieces in a game board. In order for this paradigm to work, that of denying health and comfort to the world, you have to consider the pile of tokens to be supreme in order of importance. Dying children can be dismissed by simply moving beads on a loom and reaching a final figure. No profit there.
One of the greatest minds of the century cannot move enough of his body to communicate, but with wires and expensive devices he teaches, writes, and solves problems that the greatest computers cannot envision. In a totally profit driven society, like much of America today, he would have been abandoned in a nursing home to die in a few years of pneumonia followed by heart failure. The people who would shake their profit driven heads as they denied the young man any special attention are incapable themselves of comprehending the tiniest part of his research nor of understanding the value of pure physics in advancing human civilization. They only know little wooden counters stuck in the sand.
So the anger at so many good people being left trapped in their bodies, many will have gone into a state of learned hopelessness from which there is often no way home, is with me, shall be, and I determine to continue to try to initiate some interest in our fellow human beings. It seems like something Jon would like me to do, as it was something that he was doing even as his van struck that truck and began his slow, sad death.
I like to plan, literally plan things. By drawing a picture to scale I can really see it in 3D and I can start breaking things down to their essential parts, put them in order, prioritize and otherwise do things instead of sitting still. Obviously this condition became sharpened and focussed with Jon in the picture. The stakes were beyond high for me regarding Jon. My son was sometimes more me than I was, taking up more thought and energy than me getting up, getting dressed and driving down to Lake Katrine. Now I get up and plan the garden, I think about ramps for wheelchairs because it occurred to us when Jon was getting better that to visit home would be difficult at best. The doorways were too narrow, the steps to every outside door were rather old so getting them out and putting in a ramp made good sense. Now I am thinking about my own back condition, that they call it "degenerative" for a reason, as Doc Izzo used to say. I may very well someday need those wider doors and ramps leading out to the raised bed gardens.
In a way,trying to prepare for Jon has made me more prepared for me, or maybe even Margaret. It could be anyone, anytime and the way things are going politically it is a wise person who does not plan on the government offering any help to someone who cannot turn a profit for them. Already the corporations can vote in blocks, unlike fleshy humans who are restricted to at best, one vote, and that vote is contingent on certain conditions. For instance, generally the rich are much more likely to be able to cast a vote and have it counted than someone who is penniless and on the street, even though both are citizens, on the barn side it reads: "some citizens have greater rights than others". Libtards continue to resist the sloughing off of the red numbers on the tally sheet. No offense, but they just aren't good for business. Random, wild card voters just muddy up the counting. With redistricting a fine, early art form they only have to have a show of hands in the room to determine who gets to play the part of President and so on.
While they play I plan. I'm pretty sure each door can have a pleasant looking ramp and landing which will allow even 95 year old Will a place in the sun. If we can grow our own foods and meds then we should be better than half-way to being inconspicuous. That is always a good way to be. I remember in Haight Ashbury in 1967 being as quiet as a young man can be with a backpack, walking stick and no visible reason to exist. Thus we avoid the fuzz. It did not always work, but then if it did it's job you might not know it happened anyway. The point is to be on your toes, not someone elses.
It does not fill the hole, this gardening of mine, nor does the photography and website because so many are not around to admire or critique my efforts. So many of the folk I admire have gone on to better things, leaving me and Margaret with the dross, at least that's how it feels sometimes, especially when things go wrong as they do I miss the wisdom, the comfort, or even the little secret smiles as the obvious is pointed out, deflating a pout or a tantrum. Like when Larry turned the distributor cap around 180 degrees to start the BMW. Or when Jon grabbed our dinner plates and returned with them to the kitchen where he rearranged and redistributed the parts to serve a delightful, lovely meal out of what I had prepared and then just slopped on the plates. It was great learning from people I love. Margaret tries her best, but she does not understand how much I respect her opinion and a lot of times, bless her heart, she clams up as I screw up and then cleans up with only a slight "I could have told you so". sigh.