(Morning) Yesterday, talked about suffering on the way to see my Grandma, she just turned 86. Brit said the line, about dying being positive, in the sense that a person’s suffering is finally over. I let it rest for a moment. Sit in its truth. Then I said, well isn’t all existence suffering. She had to agree to that too. What does it add up too then? Maybe you say all existence is suffering isn’t true. Try to go a day without eating, or drinking. Doesn’t the alarm clock torture, the traffic, the monotony, the ticking clock of mortality, potential for loss, unresolved desires, etc.?
My Grammy is dying. She doesn’t like it. She kept at it hard for eighty years, but then she busted her hip and everything seemed to go to hell. She was real bad there for a period, had to go do assisted living type thing. I remember visiting her there at lunch. With all the other sick and old people. A younger-older man, late forties, bleached old with death, smiling, a simmering ball of anger and hurt underneath. Smiling at me, at my life, how good that looks from that angle, children, a head of hair. She was bad then, hard to even talk to. I wanted to roll her back to her room, but its sort of like a jail visitation, you know the person’s a ward of the facility, smiling nurse aids. Thank you for coming, for caring.
She made it home though, a miracle, but now she always feels it, chasing her, stopping her. She complains about how she used to just get up and go, how it sucks it isn’t like that anymore. Talks about how she needs a haircut, and that when she goes out she grabs her teeth, those came a year or two ago. Her teeth had rotted with jarrring rapidity. She stopped eating. Everyone was mad at her about that, not eating. She’d drink those lil canned drinks, Insure, Ensure, Censure, I don’t know exactly what. But also it was being on all that dope. Tragedy that, Grandma getting a dope education in the eighties. And now she has that burned out quality, wide eyes, confused. Like a child.
Can’t explain it really can you? An other’s experience. Experiences that haven’t been experienced yet. We’ve decided to anesthetize ourselves to the Greater Mysteries, birth and death. They stab the women in the lower back, numbing the base chakra, the birth canal. Of course this also leads to them having to slice the abdomen open and rip the life from the belly, then it has to be whisked away, so Mom can be sutured, baby transported for measurement and catalogue. Death they’ve damage the body, and dulled the spirit in life itself, the door cannot be traversed, soberly or naturally. We’re ripped back from the brink, forced back into the material realm, the hospital bed, counterfeit dope occulting the predestined cerebral cornucopia of DMT and dopamine. How will we traverse the trans mortal-plane? And not float down to the floor of limbo?
Great Gma Gene, the one who danced with butcher knives in the moonlight, was do not resuscitate. And when the devious white coat ignored the order, he was met with an admonishing Lazarus, let me go! She went right afterwards that. I would like to face it like that. Full in the face. I want the time to savor it, to feel the soft carpet under my foot, run my hand along the drywall, as I walk down that dark hallway. Not ripped like my Aunt was, run down by a semi on an interstate exit ramp. A snap of the finger, a screech of metal and rubber, then nothing, but warm nothing, then real nothing, maybe.
I’m not so sure about it all, to be honest. The way people spit in the face of it, ignore it. Recently in my area, a family of three was killed by a fucker passing on a tight country highway. Mom, kid, Grandma snuffed out in flash, because some piece of shit had to pass on the two lane, to do what? Not be late to work? Get home to scratch his ass? Get to his bar stool before Henry stole it? The fucker was still in the hospital, people working frantically to save him. Something rolls in me, a dark spirit, it yearns for a simpler justice, a simpler morality…
Later, after 9PM, homestead is in full effect. Neighbor invited us to the rest of their apples, amounted to quite the haul, 60-70lbs, so for the last few days we’ve been making apple sauce and apple butter, canning it in the water bath. We have a noteworthy canned stash of tomatoes and applesauce, one jar of pickles, a bunch of jalapeño jelly. There’s something magical about this last year, the wins, the losses. I planted two more hazelnut tree this previous week. I’m rooting for them, but the cold is coming on, and the winds been blowing like its pissed. I buried them in a nice pile of hay though, and I take the water from the canner the night before and give them a drink, waking them up in the morning. We canned a bunch of little jars of apple-butter for gifts for the approaching holidays.
My Dad came over tonight for a Birthday dinner. Britney made beef stew and homemade biscuits, along with our usual three loaves of wild yeast sourdough bread for the week. For a treat we had pumpkin bars, made from delicious pie pumpkins we scored from a noteworthy farm in the area. Had twenty or more different kinds of squash and pumpkins. Everything is like that, infinite number of varieties, manifesting an infinity of different characteristics. Just got to take notice. The pie pumpkin is smaller then your stereotypical pumpkins. You roasted them in the oven, after saving the seeds for your own next year, of course. You’ll be surprised how much pumpkin stuff you get from one. Use it and you’ll realize you can’t go back to that canned stuff. Doesn’t quite taste right anymore.