Saturday, January 20, 2018

Contemplating the Four Seasons

                      "If I knew then, what I know now"--a phrase that looks back at the past like we were

really ignorant or without the wisdom that we claim to have now.  Like Monday morning quarterbacking

or I knew that was what would be the final outcome of the presidential race of 2016, or I knew I was going 

to have a bad day.  The prognostications of Nostradamus or the Fatima papers, the Book of Mormon,  

Darwin, Rasputin, Marx, Gandhi...  All prophets predicting the future; not saying they can change the past

predicting  the future looking into their crystal ball.

                      The difference  between a person who would have changed the past from his now all-knowing

present and the prophet who has a vision of the future is obvious.  There is a third group of people.  They

live on memory lane.  They are the nostalgists.  They live in the golden age of radio, or when trains were as

romantic as the Orient Express,  or when I caught the winning touchdown pass in the state triple-A finals

game,  or when I could bench press 190 pounds, or when I didn't have a wrinkle, or when I was a little more

svelte, or when I didn't make the scales read 182 but it was with my shoes on.  The last few descriptions are

not the musings of a true nostalgist.   A true nostalgic person remembers only the wonderful things and

events of a past life.  He/she forgets the exam they flunked,  or the time they wrecked their dad's new car,

or the person they are ashamed they bullied, or any bad trip memory.  The past is painted golden.  Pollyanna

chooses the wonderful memories.

                     When people wax poetic about their high school years, or their college years as being the best

years of their life, I am saddened.  What happened to the last 40 years.  Were they just filler?  Where the

appendix is four times longer than the story?  So their is a fourth type of person.  This person that is

grounded in the present.  He/she says this is the best season of their life.  When I hear myself saying this,

I'm not sure this is a bald-faced lie. How can one say that I can't do half of the things I used to do or if  I

can it takes twice the time.  How can you still spout "the this is the best time of my life" b.s.?

                      The bible Psalms and the Byrd's sing of  "there is a season."  There are 4 seasons and each

one should be embraced.  One can certainly love the past--dis or dat happening but to be in the present

and love it sometimes is a hard thing to do.  Still accepting fate is the secret of  happiness.  Another Byrd's

phrase from a song:  "Never hit bottom but just keep falling through just relaxed".  The idea of flowing with

the moment.  The idea of how we relate to something can make it good or bad.  When M had cancer was

one of the best times of our 33 years waxing nostalgic.  How you say?  One was the attitude we could fight

this together.  Two, we dropped all of the extraneous unimportant stuff like the dishes had to be done

immediately after b/l or dinner, the laundry had to be folded at once, the bed had to be made right when

you got up--you get the idea.  We just loved each`day to the max and were present for each other.  So even

bad things can be turned into lemonade.  There are some things that happen that are just BAD and no sense

can be made of them.  The gods are cruel.  There is no explanation--only acceptance can bring sunshine

to a rainy season
                         The fourth type of people have a subset.  These are the ones that are still building in the

present and making their dreams a reality.  Or perhaps that there are no impediments to their dreams.

If they have a spouse/ partner/ lover; they are supported in their dreams.  I think of friends that start

a family in these sunset years.  I think of the person that builds their dream house on the country property

they have owned for years.  I know the person who had a dream in his spring and is now set that goal

to sail.  To make one more deal.  Mieke and I-- The continuing gestalt  of  our garden.  It is never too late to

 build in the present.

                       These are the 4 types of people and how they relate to the 4 seasons.  They are not good

or bad types.  They just are relating to the 4 seasons in their own vision of existence.  Existence is a

wonderful thing.  To be or not to be.

Time is a wheel of the seasons

                             Forever Circle                                                                21.

I saw a leaf fall


A whole flood of sobbing is coming

I do not rue the waterfall of colors

Happy I will rest for a short while

Possessed once again in a sowing madness

No time for depression

The oak leaves will be chartreuse mouse ears

Time to seed the corn patch


The hangman noose will be placed around my neck

A torrent of sadness

Now its ecstasy

Who can stop the tears

Who can stop the laughter

Who can stop the trees

Who can stop the seasons

                   The leaves come back then fall again.  Again, the circle of life

                              The Loving Grieving Circle II

The north face charges

Yellows reds oranges purples too

Tired flowers bent over wrinkled people

Begging for you not to fall into the equatorial sky

Fall autumn whatever you are called

Why ever do you leave in such splendor

To give death to your fruit and light

You leave us hope with fat bulbs sleeping in ground

    Different young  rainbow colors

These fresh promises we love and sing

Blinding us to your eventual return

Wishing believing our fantasy of forever spring

Swept away in tsunami rage

Fall autumn whoever you are

Why do you tease us  with gold sunflowers

Why can you not stay on Sacred Ground

Why must we pray for your pagan parousia



Saturday, December 2, 2017

Yin/Yang/Proofs of God and friendship

Are we to believe in something we are not able to touch or reason or explain on paper?  When I see the
aftermath of mad love, I know that there was someone created just for me, my other half.  The part that was

missing.  To think of these random floating atoms; bouncing around like some giant cosmic  pinball game;

and you are one of those atoms  looking to find the next level of awareness and those atoms configure

to  find the yang of your yin--then there is a piece, a tranquility.  Oh yes, there is always some troubles in

paradise.  But you can live in Almost Paradise.  A place that becomes Sacred Ground.  No words describe.

Feelings, shifts in the outer reaches of what can be barely touched momentarily seem to be real but one is not

really sure you were touched in such an incredible way.  So you go back to revisit what was there and that

feeling of tremors comes again.  The earth moves.  How do you predict an earthquake a tsunami. Science

says it's getting closer to prognosticating  the "big one."   How do you describe that you were part of another

 being for moments.  That you were joined in mind to another and became a gift to them and they became a

 gift to you that superseded self; or two egos became one--spirits welded together in time.  Now,  how can

you explain that. It is the best explanation for the holy trinity.  Father and Son and there relationship creates a

third entity the holy spirit. Is it like the trinity theologians talk about? How did I get to trinity talk discussing
                                                           Yin and Yang?

I'm kind of an agnostic sort of guy, but I have a very strong sense that evil is a reality.  So if you accept evil as a reality, it sort of means there is an opposite force.  Now that just of confuses me.  The patriarchal judeo-christian capitol g God concept just doesn't do it for me.  It seems to me like that particular god concept evolved out of tribal dominance with layers and layers of trappings applied in an effort to nail down political power.  When I think about the universe, the world we perceive out there in its unimaginable infinity, it is pretty hard to see where good and evil fits.  I love the Leonard Cohen line: "He was starving in some great mystery, like a man who knows what is true"  I sometimes think about how easy and comfortable it would be to accept a belief system like Buddhism or Christianity.  Just sign up and leave you mind at the door.

Jesus, how as a recovering catholic, Marieke says that I cannot escape the barrage of conditioning that has

formed my thought patterns.  My old mate and friend another recovering Jesuit educated wrote the above

big print.  We all were so messed in the head in religion class.  I don't call it brain-washing, exactly. Anyone

that suffered Catholic or similar conditioning  knows what "recovering Catholic" means.  How two beings

 join; and the conjunction produces the spirit of the two.  Is that why the moments after this commingling

people gasp, "Oh my god!" I believe this to be the ultimate proof of god--more proof than any watch/watch

 maker syllogism (a watch must have a watchmaker).  So philosophers and theologians can pile word upon

word to create books about god/ Love--but the un-understandable is still a mystery.  "Oh my god!"  This

is why people get married--or should be why they get married.  This is why the pope wants to change

annulments :  marriage participants were not truly committed when they said their " I do's."Seeking an eternal

love. A love that is like being an lo, and finding a ve and alone they are just two sequences of letters in the

alphabet; but put together they create the word love.  How do you define this word love?  Time.  It is like

defining the word friend.  First there is what people call a "clicking" or in tune harmony.   This happening        
time and time again is the true test.  And so I have tried to explain to myself what cannot be explained. I

only know what time has revealed to me.  The mystery of yin and yang is a mystery I love to contemplate.

Two spirits entwined in the continuum of time.  Aging together, sharing wrinkles in added birthdays--like

four old friends re-unioning  together on Lake Crescent-- taking off right from where they left off a decade

ago.  Maybe yin/yang is another example of spiritual friendship cemented in time.  Maybe there is a God.

There are always friends, thank God.  Oops, I did it again. I am definitely not an atheist--I am not an

agnostic because I believe there is a god but that he/she is not knowable.  So many religions cry out I

am the one true religion and I will kill you if you do not believe what I believe.  This war on god beliefs has

happened before recorded time. I don't want any of those pantheon of religions So I say I believe in god.

I believe he/she would be on the side of good and that our acts of evil must be asked for forgiveness in the

confessional of ourselves and our friends.  I believe it is our duty to create this god's heaven on earth.  I

believe there is a great war going on between good and evil but there are still people that believe in the age

of Aquarius or in point omega.  Will we win friends?

Why I am not to keen on religion; but am not a strict agnostic which means you do not know god yes god no.  I do believe in god, but who or where is he.

                                   I saw the burning bush

                                    Thank you Jesus

                                    Thank you Allah

                        ``          Sweet enticement

                                    To believe to be

                                    One dandelion seed

                                    Whipped up into a tornado

                                    The briefest time in Oz

                                    Almost as good as   a sneeze

                                    Pleasure come and vanished

                                    Promises promises
                                    Mansions Franklins virgins

                                    I dont think so

                                    What I portend

                                    Hope to share

                                    Ecstasy forever

                                    Who could refuse

                                    A home with checks for free

                                    I dont think so

                                    I could fall for total joy

                                    A dandelion seed is just a thought 

                                    Taken by the storm

                                    Blown to Kansas City

Even schisms happen and can be healed.  Scary how we can choose evil and hold onto it

                   After Reading Under the Volcano/Confessions Reconciliation

                                    The impenetrable lost in dead end canyons

                                    Wanting a map to reach out

                                    To be found again

                                    Slapping ones own extending hand back

                                    Almost touched

                                    To revel in the bloody wounds

                                    Wallowing bloated blowflies

                                    A twelve course gourmet dinner of pain

                                    The wind is such a roving meteor wolf

                                    Bouncing around pinballs of memories

                                    Black bear stumbles into old hunting grounds

                                    Hunter finding old sign

                                    Bump stocks go off

                                    Ricochet madness

                                    Thousands of bounces a million cuts

                                    God how he missed her

                                    Warming hands holding both cheeks

                                    Some things should not be eaten twice

                                    Self-mutilation, self-abuse, cutting

                                    Mortal sins can be forgiven

                                    Confession before communion

                                    Cramped in his monks dungeon cell

                                    Flagellating whip sounds on naked backs

                                    The apple rotten not far from the tree the pear is mush

                                    The diesel engine is stuck

                                    Trailing derailed cars must be abandoned

                                    Words of a lover reverberating over and over

                                    Lets get back on track

                                    Brush off old mud smudges

                                    You and me volcanized once more to we

                                    Wiping blood off the tracks

                                    Getting drunk again on communion wine

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Snowed in Ag*in

Every time someone says I read your blog--when is your next?  I am glad someone did.  Hey, you didn't have to like it--at least you read it Eric.  If you are like so many in the no longer NorthWet but NorthWhite came out of the skies and for our north face a little less than one thousand feet (add time to boiling stuff); Mieki and I are snowed in again.


Previously, we were snowed in from January 1 through the 10th.  Easy to count--10 days.  On the 10th day of 2017 we headed down our half mile lane.  We were getting a little anxious--out of living essentials:  Butter, Hempler's bacon and eggs/flour, wine and vodka.  This sojourn to civilization was interrupted by 6 fir trees the oldest being about 60 years old by ring count not babies.across our road next to our east neighbors clear cut.  The clear cut was the culprit for all of these downed trees.  The firs, sadly beaten down by a nasty east wind were always sheltered by near by friends.  Exposed naked with no buffering trees, they became victims bingo bango downo a game of giant pickup sticks.  I wonder how we would fare without our forest of friends in east wind adversity.  Would we all fall down?

Firs are shallow rooted but spread their feet wide.  When they fall their root ball will be standing 10-15 feet vertically like the log used to stand  60' tall to the sky.  The first time I cut up a windfall similar to these; I was shocked, astounded, surprised at the speed of how the root ball snapped back to it's horizontal state.  Thank God no one was resting their back eating their lunch against the vertical root ball.  I later told this to one of my bmf best male friends there are so many abbreviations now that it's a good thing there's google.  Old Jack my age God rest his soul was a true red-neck with a heart. He had logged on and off his whole life and told me more than one murder victim was never found because a root ball snapped back into place.

Back to our encounter with trees over the road.  We had no choice.  I popped it in low 4 wheel drive and we headed east still snowy and uphill a bit and started in my black Dodge dodging stumps in the clear cut. Ooo we were lucky--keep it gunned and try not to bottom out we made it to the road.  Double lucky because if we would have got stuck, my best friend, M, might have been inclined to say I told you so.  We called our best ever neighbor Paul Hero all around Great Person (find pictures of fir falls blocking our lane on ""Peculiar Ambitions" blog/facebook).  I said I would help when we got back from Costco and Freddies--though I wasn't sure how much help I would be with my bum shoulder.  By the time we got back he was doing the last tree and of course I was watching and his saw got pinched--first time whole cutting clearing the lane time.  I got it out while he jockied the logs--and then I went I touched his saw and I'll catch his flu--wow he was doing all of this while he had the flu.  New tv series:  "Better Call Paul."
Well hey, it looks like we are snowed in until this Tuesday. That will make it another 7 days.  Lots of time to surf (I wish I was on Maui with Bob & Sherry doing the real thing).  I'm talking the Internet and I see an offer of $100 K to stay at a cabin in the woods without any amenities of civilization--esp all things related to the Internet, tv, phones....  M and I are ready.  Where do we sign?  We could do it--being snowed in twice for a total of almost 14+ days--I know we could--throw in the essentials and cards with a cribbage board especially if it is January as this is the only month we keep track of wins and there are some bloody games and accusations and extreme stress and high anxiety.  Right now I am 5 games up and I don't want to admit that M has become an almost equal.  I hope she doesn't read this--M is a nasty winner.  If you have followed my meanderings thus far, you will see the point of this loquaciousness is being snowed in twice for an excess of a week is a test of love, compatibility and friendship and to pat on the back those couples who have stayed through the snow years of their relationships and to those contemplating marriage ask yourself who could I get snowed in with or take a sail boat trip across the ocean with or get trapped in a cave-in with.  Those of us who have weathered storms; who have come out the other side as friends and lovers--good on us!

And now for a few poems as this snowed in has offered me lots of time and have kept my sanity through writing and working in the greenhouse.

Why do I end up with rocks after I dug them all out of the garden last time.  They just keep percolating up from the mantle we live on.  Picture of them :

                                    Pursued by rocks in all of my gardens

                                    Round ones where the glacier stopped/99th st

                                    Now irregulars of all sizes ghosting up

                                    Where there was none the loaves and the fishes

                                    How do miracles happen

                                    Why do they hound me

                                    He never found a rock in his garden

                                    Why do I love my dirt

                                    Ever-present rocks can there still be love

                                    What lesson can be learned from my soil

                                    Your love is always there

                                    Steady constant always

                                    Chasing my well-being and love

                                    You are the rocks solid

                                    Loving me more than I love myself

                                    We are igneously fused

                                    Id rather have rocks

                                   Too bad never found a rock in your garden


Yes, I have now read Gary Snyder's new book of poems thanks to a gift from Vince and Jenny.  This Present Moment  is powerful and thought provoking and mundane.  His poem about his dying wife is testimony to what a mate's duty is--to always be there.  This poem is a take-off from one of his fun poems.
I have always reveled in botanical names but as they slip away in old age not that old one comes to see the essence of things and not their names.  Gardeners tend to be snobs always wanting the rarest coolest when right before their eyes is such a common beautiful thing.

                                      Jenny and the Montmorency Cherry

                                    How you read Gary Snyder

                                    Standing on the mighty Columbia bank

                                    Teaching us and the city behind you

                                    Garys methodology of bird identification

                                    A fine way to learn feathered friends

                                    To know is to know

                                    Flowers are the same

                                    When you have grown beauty

                                    Knew what grew such delight

                                    Reveled and rolled in such rainbows

                                    The name is not on the tip of my tongue

                                    I dont need latin

                                    I need seeds

My orders for seed are in the mail--another thing that kept me from going bat***t during this time.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Without friends

                                               Without friends where would we be
                                               Cast adrift on a lonely anonymous sea

          This blog is dedicated to all of my friends (you know who you are you are like the flowers I grow and love) but especially to a friend for 50 years who shamed me into re-entering the world of ideas.  Have you read Gary Snyder's new book? (I should maybe I will could you loan me a copy that's really cool he is still alive and does he still love the trees and all of the things we loved and rapped about when we were young and I know you still do and I am married to those ideas like I am married to M)--I am so far out--(remember that saying "far out") of typing words in virtual reality; that using my fingers to do anything but play in the dirt like a simple child seems foreign.  But here we go.

          I wonder if old Gary (had to google his age 86) is still creating, talking of love of his conifer forests and wanting us all to care for our mother earth that sustains us all--I bet he doesn't whine I bet he still sings the glory of mountains of pristine white not red snow.  What a lesson for us youngsters to stay young and continue to work at what we believe and  love.

          Before I go on, I would like you to know that henceforth I will not use parentheses if I don't want to or use many of the structures of writing that I learned as a student of such discipline as I have forgot them it could be the Gabapentin I might explain later what this miracle drug does for me though I'm not certain it helps all the time except to erase memory or it could be I am saying I rebel to the rules and confines of proper English structure I still have a sophomore streak in me as in my poetry I do not use any standards of punctuation because without a comma or an exclamation point lines can often have more than one meaning and I thought I was so cool and original but found out this was vogue with some poets years past; there are no new ideas, they are all in the shared consciousness of man's gene pool.  So we go on seeking new ideas is that antonymous--cool show off scrabble word--to me saying there are no new ideas.

          More than anything besides being of the earth, I am of the seasons.  This is the winter but not of my discontent.  It is the winter this moment the polar vortex December 14th 2016 of howling east winds down our east fork of the Lewis river that are making our fir trees see how close they can limbo low and the wind is chilling the temperature to 25 degrees and we have a healthy stack of wood in the living room to keep our wood stove cherry red so we don't have to go out to the wood shed and watch our breath and feel my butt freeze.  This same weather brought me in from the relatively warm 40 degree temperature of the greenhouse where I was propagating and potting to write this blog.  You see, you cannot use excuses like the greenhouse or the garden or splitting winter wood or making time to see a friend or painting a picture or throwing a pot or writing a blog or trying a new home-cooked recipe or exercising or or or.  I hate that saying but just doing it is what must be done.  While were at truism sayings that I hate is going through the day without hearing :  It is what it is.  Quit saying that:  is what it is.  Now Life is good is a helpful saying.  I never get tired of hearing it. It is a helpful reminder even when I am low to remember to count our blessings and then repeat the mantra:  Life is good.

          Blogedy blogedy blaw blaw blaw.  For the future I will try to make some commitment to think and share my thoughts and poems; rather than just to be/exist--like being snowed in with your best friend--you still have time to share ideas and walk in the snow to visit neighbors.  I am not good at keeping resolutions but I will try to sit down at the key board and stay in touch with you.  For so many of us this is Autumn.  We have had the Spring and the Summer and they have been good and some not so good; the good old days that were not always that good;  but we have lived them hopefully to the fullest.  M says that these poems are gloomy and pessimistic--they are not.  These songs are facing our Autumn and how we need to continue to live, love, and accept what Autumn brings--good or bad-- how we can embrace future life gracefully.

               Autumnal Life

What the Heaven what the hell

If this season is rehearsal

For laying down a carpet of muddy brown macrophyllum leaves

So be it... But

Let me keep practicing

The art of  leafing not yet wanting green gone on my arterial branches

Wondering if every seed and tender bulb

Will be saved survive and bloom in pregnant deliverance

Dress rehearsal a play with ever changing actors

Leaves fall like the curtain

Before who is behind only the roadies know

Perhaps Sartre blackness and no one

I do not care to know just yet

Steps in a spiral to Nirvanas circles

Once in a while a glimpse  behind the curtain

Good seats at our grey season may soon be open

Continuing to rake and clean your always something

Still have not got it right

Keep plodding you are inevitably a ticket holder

Do not be waiting for something to happen

Just flow like the sky in October

The fall streams that start again racing to the sea

          It's funny how we are amalgamations of our past.  The above poem echoes Shakespeare though I did not intend it or was even conscious:  "All the world's a stage" and all our philosophic anhie.  This next poem is about one of my teachers, don't we all have them, and how I want to be and am like Rufus.
                      Ruffie and Me

Blinded by butterfly flashing rainbows

Begonia flowers each a shiny copper penny 

Fort Knox vaults beyond told

Not dull heavy yellow gold weighing down

Some yellows but more picotee everything

White pinks oranges reds with rims of gold

Bold bold bold solid flying frilly splashes

Daily fires to put out always the many chores

Imagine to never hear see

Singing out chorus lines of corn basil beans and cleome

Intoxications poor fools endure

The spine is being strangled

Broken c5 c6 begs for advil

Old Arthur creeping into every skeletal bone

Still like old Red Beards gone to snow

Deep down it is our souls need

To till and try to pull every weed

Throngs of Attila wait outside the gate

Always the uprooted interlopers

Hopelessly fighting them on rickety knees

Crawl on it is our only choice

Hoe hoe  hoers of  the dirt 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Reflections on the lateness of being

Facing the ebb of life as you know it.  What life do you know?  I know I love the forest and flowers and

especially you.  Who will take it away?  Time maybe.  When joints are not able to be commandeered to do

what you command them to do.  I think of my groin tear.  Unable to walk.  Unable to hoe my garden or

cut wood to keep us warm for winter.  Oh, get a heat pump--not.  Unless I can't do all of the above, you say

that is not enough to cry about--I say it is enough to grieve deeply as a life loved was life lost.   I sat on the

couch; looked out into the forest and flowers and cried.  Big crocodile tears!  I'm no baby--physical pain

does not make me cry; although this groin injury did.   Normally, I cry like my dad did in the movie Old

 Yeller when I found out that roaring lion, my dad,  was really a softy pussy cat or when he saw me

  graduate  from high school.  A happy crier.  But this couch cry was grief.  Wet tears I could not see a

  future through.  Grieving for what I  thought I could no longer do.  Go sailing to Alaska with Aurelia Eco

Tour charters.  Luckily my old classmate said he could accommodate my handicapped state.  No cry there.

I am now better 2 months later but the doctor tells me it will be a while until I am back to full range of motion

in exercising.  Still, mortality raised its rattlesnake warning rattle.  Today I wait for our good friend, father-

like-friend, neighbor of some 30 years, principled, stubborn friend, to let go of his earthly spirit.  For some of

 us it is a battle to let go of what we called ownership of our life.  But then I write this to try and place myself

on my own death bed.  How will I react?  You cannot own what has been a gift.  You can be thankful for a

gift. But a gift is a gift.  Grace is free.  I am brought to another person's dying.  All of the possessions he has

amassed, the fat bank account, the  big Chrysler 300, the antique guns, cannot be held in his withering

spindle arms.  Lost control.  Clutching his stuff--no longer able.  That is his life story.  What will his obituary

say?  How will mine read.  A-hole finally dead--God, I hope not.  66 and 6 months.  Nooooo!  The

mystery unlocked.  How brave will I be?

                                    Dont weep for me
                                    Ive already cried a sea
                                    Looked into a crystal ball
                                    Seen everything in the future
                                    This is a preview
                                    I heard about old man Caldwell
                                    13 strokes crying on the porch
                                    In his rocking chair they carried him off
                                    Used up by the trees and farm
                                    Said he withered up in the city
                                    I hope I will be brave
                                    I hope my darling wont let them carry me off
                                    Cant I die here
                                    In the shady cathedral of fir and cedar
                                    Pile the Dido pyre wide and towering
                                    Let me take one last look from on high
                                    And as the smoke rises
                                    Carrying me through the boughs to the tree tops
                                    Let the needles feed on the CO2
                                    So that I may eternally
                                    Live on Sacred Ground

           Reflections was written after a conversation I had with Allen while his beautiful little girl,Una, was flitting around.  The epitome of genius & athlete gone; waiting for his fragile health & mind to be totally gone.  My hope for him is that he lives long.  I hope we all do.                                           

                                Reflections on the Lateness of Being

The body in the bathroom mirror

Looked a little like me

Thank God it was fogged a bit

I recognized the person sort of

Like an old high school friend changed

Conversations with frontal lobe impaired Allen

We heard together ticking ticking ticking

Better get the house in order

The inevitable visit is coming

Could be any day

Could be years we both hope

100 not looking to good

Who knows when

Perhaps I hope with him not today

                                    I know Im always late

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ah, but I do protesteth

                                                  Ah, but I do protesteth

A recent visit to the Kayaktivists media splash, (see shell arctic drilling protests Seattle) gave me reasons for opposing the Shell drilling in the arctic north.  They have won me over to their side.  As I grow older, I have adopted a cynical old man’s world view. 
That it is hopeless to try and change the world.  I offer proof:  presidential underdogs that wanted to change the system that I supported in the primaries or general election:  Anderson, McGovern, Perot, Nader, Kerry, Paul and now Sanders snow ball in hell chance.  All underdogs I supported that were thrown under the wheels of the bus.

That a person, (Me specifically) is much happier to concentrate on the small world that I touch each day.  To make Sacred Ground a more beautiful place and follow Voltaire’s advice to Candide,”cultivate your own garden,” my mantra for so long, perhaps is to misanthropic; adding feelings of hopelessness for change to a world upside down with hate and religious wars.  To add credit to my small-world philosophy before I rant on the protest at hand; I offer several proofs.  I watched Marieke recreate an autumn wreath into a summer wreath that was given to her by one of her best buddies, AnnAlee.  As I watched, Marieke said to me that I probably thought she was wasting time.  Au contraire!  I felt and said that I thought these “making of wreaths” are what constitute the rich garden of our life that is certainly not measured in green dollars as they are woefully shy as a crop. (any donations made over 10 thousand dollars will be used for partying with the Clintons)  Creating those decadent pork chops from the Hanlin’s pig was a culinary masterpiece that nourishes our hunger for life.  A once in a while cholesterol packing is health-wise tolerable.   For me, the jewels that I plant are food for my soul, too.  My sore back is lessened when I look out our living room windows and see Erythroniums, or Bletilla, or Cypripediums join us on the couch.  I have had as many failures as watching the Cypripediums come back again and again.  I guess I can’t classify myself as truly pessimistic about the world.  I am that gardener that has failed with one plant, and failed with it again miserably, but this third and last time I am trying to grow it, I’m sure I know what I was doing wrong.  The joy driving into Sacred Ground makes my tired legs less weary.  Art for arts sake flies us up on a plane far above the animal world.  Do the pleasures of beauty  exceed the pain.  I’ll try chopping my ear off to find out.  I can’t say yes, but I keep on planting.  Sort of like that old hippy saying “Keep on truckin” but in this case it’s “keep on plantin.”   Working man’s pain deadened—my dad knew and I have learned the saying “feelin no pain.”  Enough medication, alcohol or whatever and you can extract a back or shoulder hurt; and say, “feelin no pain.”

My darling wife always poses a very pertinent question:  What will we do when we can’t keep the blackberries from forcing their way through the shingles into our bedroom?”  --Like some Richard Brautigan novel.  Was it Trout Fishing in America or in Water Melon Sugar or maybe you can tell me the novel in which blackberries were devouring a house.  Good question Mieki!  I envision the only use of my secateurs at that blackberry swallowing time, then a feeble old man that can barely squeeze the blade (and bladder) to anvil; cutting vining thorns from our lintel so we may enter our home.  Answer to my darling, “Who cares if the vines are inside?  Easy picking.  Blackberry fermentation—velvet on the palate desert wine.  There’s more.  Being loved is a humbling experience.  It gives up all robes of artifice.  There is only you, naked and vulnerable and still you are loved.  Is this a miracle like a seed?  Bare all bulges, blemishes visible, and still you are loved.  True love is very hard to find  

But hey, I was reminiscing with the kids, Ty and Kristin about how my stay at Stanford got shortened (Vietnam/CO).  I went up to Golden Gate Park with friends and added our number to the 400,000 plus Vietnam War protesters.  All 400 K became linked together like a single organism’s mind, filled with love and peace.  We did change the world.  We said enough is enough.  The powers of conspiracy listened.  So when you have kids to talk to and grand kids, you must look to an optimistic future.  They blew my cynicism, you might say, into the water with the Kayaktivists. 

Back to Black.  I don’t want to go to rehab so I return to the main reason for this blog: 
S-Hell no explorations for oil in the arctic.  At first I was sardonic about the protesters. 
Wow, they came riding into town in their gross gas-guzzling Mercedes SUSteeds; paddled their kayaks made of petroleum base and got their pictures on the 5 o’clock news in protest of Shell’s plans.  WooHoo!  How is that for ridiculing their protest?  But then I talked with my friend Vince, who was the spill and safety coordinator for the city of Valdez.  Remember the Exxon-Valdez?  How human error—actually the captain was snockered caused so much environmental damage.  Vince said the disaster is still there but out of sight.  There would be no way to clean up a bigger disaster spill in the north.  Look to the Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Scientists say it is still a disaster present despite clean up efforts.  So is the estimated 90 billion barrels of crude worth an irrevocable, inevitable debacle?  That is a lot of wealth.  The power of greed (the same greedy people who brought you the great recession in 2008)!  No wonder most Alaskans want it.  I bet Sarah wants it.  I’m disappointed Obama supported it.  I know American security and society benefit if the oil is tapped.  I need my gas tank filled.  Screw the Eskimos and polar bears and Salmon and Orca and all the species that have evolved since the beginning of time.  I’m willing to throw the dice and add 90 billion barrels for more global climate change.  Sea levels rising no worry.  I live at 800’ elevation—it’s a while before we have ocean front property.  Weather has always changed since biblical times.  Read your bible:  the bible says there will be 7 years of drought and 7 years of rain.  It’s god’s fault. Then there are advantages to this crisis.  It’s been the dream of sea-farers to save time and money to sail through the Northwest passage.  Let the roulette wheel spin. Am I being facetious?  Yes, I guess that is why I am opposed to nuclear energy too.  How can one drunken mistake or one I didn’t put the safety valve in correctly or one 3 mile island or one Chernobyl be worth our children’s children’s future to the 7th  generation.  I don’t think the gamble is worth our grandchildren’s future.                                                                                                                                                      

 Are you a gambler?

                        The idea
                        The very idea

                        When fortune strikes

                        Like a tree-snapping wind storm in November

                        Misses you totally in December

                        Was it because you couldnt even find a flashlight 11/12

                        Was it because you even had water for coffee and a flush on 12/4


                        Oh but poor fortune

                        Sang time and time again

                        Happening time time time and again

                        A neighbors well is dry

                        Your garden is a straight flush of abundance

                        Fate Fata always one side of the coin

                        What humor is needed

                        Laughter helps to cure

                        Only that fat Buddha  jelly belly shaking

                        I believe in fairy tales

                        That dont always come true

A wish for our children’s planet                       
                                                                Getting In Sync

                                                Can you hear the heart beat of Gaia

                                                Thump thumps in deep tuba tones

                                                Look out what do you see

                                                Mirror mirror of yourself

                                                Sitting on an empty shelf

                                                Look what is reflecting beyond

                                                What is all the clutter in the picture besides your face

                                                Just the world you are connected to

                                                Can you join in all the noise around you

                                                Harmonize with all that is found old-new

90 billion barrels of wildflowers

                                                        Quo Vadis

                                                Tell me where is Nirvana

                                                Do not tell me

                                                It is where the big leaves have gone

                                                Being part of something so big

                                                Or so small

                                                What does it mean

                                                Where will you go

                                                Rich food for your friends

                                                Or nothing at all

                                                What is better

                                                To pile up gold in your hours

                                                Or lay in a meadow with your lover

                                                Rolling in the wild flowers