On Father’s Day 

Perfect night to perfect day. Seventies, clear, clouds like warships marching through the sky. Dad came out, went in on a rant about the curse of the family name, showed a big gash in his head, which he got after a pack of unconscientious gals at the coffee shop got him all riled up and he bumped his head on his car getting in. I don’t like when he says that, that we got bad luck, bad mojo, seems a self-fulfilling prophecy to me. 

Why can’t our genes be associated with victory, success, fortune? I smiled though and listen, even joke in a similar vain, accounting my own similar and recent bad luck, AC went out on Honda, needed new rooters and breaks on the truck. There’s no point, and its negative to fight it. Instead I hijack the genes on my own time, the story in my own mind. We have to accept the darker undertones of the tale, a bastard’s journey to kingship, return of the prodigal son. But what does Promise Land look like? I’ve been forced to consider. 

There’s irony in my Dad’s dark outlook, it’s the other side of over confidence. He was always pretty successful socially, friends, girlfriends. In his high school senior picture he looks like Super Man, Christopher Reeves incarnation. Tall, handsome, full head of hair, stylish white bell bottoms. The caption says he’s helping a younger student. He was class President, Captain of the football team, scholarship offers for wrestling. He idealized those times. His Mom and Dad divorced his senior year. I think this is what got him. Grandpa went a little wild, was an alcoholic. I’m convinced Grandma Gene,  Grandpa Pete’s mom, was a witch, a good one. She made little piles of rocks all through out her yard, stacked up at night under the moon and stars. I feel her in me when I stand in the field at dusk; we are happy, at home. 

Britney cooked huge steaks and veggie packs on the grill. Ran a notable grill, orangey grey charcoal stack. Grandpa played ring-leader with the gang. They teased and provoked, debating how the water balloons would be dished out after lunch. I feel and realize my clone like nature watching it all. How we are the same just slight variations in time and space, even my wife, and how we put up facade of separateness, but it doesn’t mean anything. My Mom had a falling out with her Mom, didn’t talk for years. But I realized later they probably thought about each other more cause of that, obsessively and neurotically probably. 

After lunch we had the water ballon fight and then jumped my rider mower, my Father’s Day miracle. I thought it was done, but we pushed it to my Dad’s car while the boys took turn steering. I could tell the old man had the itch to mow, he’s recently moved from his big yard, but he let me have at it, and went inside with the boys.

I checked in on them later, sat there in a row yucking it up and playing video games. There’s something here that transcends the tawdry, and cheap word “love”, but that’s what it is. It makes my cells ache, yearning to make it permanent, imprint it on the over-soul for eternity. But true success is only when you let go, praise and love, but don’t grasp. I finished my mowing. The farm is looking great. I’m happy like kid. Blessed on a perfect day, so lucky. 

Snippets 104 

Gipsy Fortune Teller
Houdini-Gresham 

Washington, D.C., the nation’s most beautiful city, heart of the democracy, hub of the forty-eight states was in 1926 also the city most infested with palm readers, astrologers, message mediums, slate writers, crystal workers, and “rag head rackets” generally. In the shabbier residential neighborhoods their shingles, showing an upraised palm, were thick; sometimes almost every brownstone house to the block had its prognostication parlor. (264) 

Snippets 103 


Source

Houdini-Gresham 

Vaudeville tempo had changed mightily during the time Houdini was away, selling Liberty Bonds and making motion pictures. The country seemed to be marching to Georgie Cohan’s “Over There.” Autos were faster and roads were better for them to be faster on. Pioneer Station KDKA in Pittsburgh had begun daily broadcasts and America was in the grip of a new mania soon to replace the Ouija board–sitting crouched over crystal sets with earphones clamped to its ears. The big build-it-yourself radio boom was just around the next corner. And to a generation that had gone through the First World War, the sight of a man jumping of a bridge and getting out of handcuffs under water created no hysteria. (227) 

You have nothing to fear!

You have nothing to fear, the worst has already happened. It’s true. I won’t bore you with a list of atrocities, but I’m sure your heart can name a few. More of the worst is sure to come, but you shouldn’t fear that new batch either, because the worst has already happened and passed and come again. It’s probably happening right now, now, now.

I could challenge you to think of the worst fate for a human, and you would not be able to come up with a torture or torment which hasn’t already been accomplished, or one of equal value. My mind can’t think of one, except for exaggerations, like a billion flesh eating fire ants, giant planet destroying meteors, things like that, but of course a short study of the universes, galaxies or whatever will tell you those things probably happen all the time too, like right now, now, now.

So the smallest seemingly trivial aspect of life is a profound accomplishment when it is put in its proper context. Breathing. Calm stream of consciousness. Sip of water. A place to sit. Consequently, most of our worries in this light seem sort of small. Being broke, or single, or overwhelmed by a career or family, is really nothing compared to a planet teeming with life and the possibility of life being annihilated by a giant rock, or nukes, or whatever.

I think most people in life go through this sort of fracturing of self, as bad things happen, until your optimism muscle and sense of self is ruined, and you end up broke, wicked, burned out. That’s why positive people are so special, and usually young, like a raging fire in the blizzard of the cosmos. This truth is why we love Art and Sports, anything that allows us to see passed the true state of things, to a fantasy, for a moment.

But I suggest another way, some days. Stare it in the face. Each moment remember, now, now, now. Each breath, the worst has passed, and you’re still going, and that thing you love is still there. Now. Breathe. Pause. Still there. Now. Breathe. Pause. Still there. Nothing to fear. Now. Breathe. Pause. Still there….

AJM 3:01PM 9-17-16

8-30-16 (Reflections on Dreams, Goals, Executive Function)

My kids are really the coolest thing ever. I don’t brag about them much. Not good when you got a banshee tracking ya. You learn it’s good to be humble. Hell, be down right superstitious. That’s a good word, isn’t it? Knocking on wood, that’s one I got heavy. Can’t make any self-positive prediction of the future without knocking on some real wood. Keep your filthy jokes to yourself.

I don’t want to rant, whine, add to the din as it were. I think that’s why I haven’t posted much here lately, this impulse to go on a rant, and be negative is too strong. I’m tired of it. Tired of talking and analyzing. Tired of thinking. There’s this overgrown path in my front yard. A couple of crazy invasive tree, limb things grew like twenty feet high. The forest of these invasive saplings provided the perfect frame for this crazy beautiful vine thing, so we just let it all go wild. I realized though that maybe it was blocking my afternoon sun, casting a shade on the pepper patch. I liked the privacy it offered, an organic hedge blocking the view of the neighbors, but then I have a hard time keeping tack of my kids in the jungle, and the hedge is just another giant thing they can hid in. Also, I want to reclaim the space for the garden too, so for the last couple days I hacked it up, shoved it into the compost bin. I loved that, just hacking and chopping, thinking minimally, sweating, doing work. That’s how I feel like handling things.

For the last month or longer this vision of selling our city house and going full country became an obsession. The urge to run, to restart, to reclaim a “simpler” life had us hunting properties, and talking to realtors, bankers. When you’re poor everything becomes a numbers game, get the whole feeling of robbing Peter to pay Paul, and that adds to the confusion. We began to realize that our current house is probably our one strong financial asset (as opposed to the crippling student-loan debt) and its didn’t really make sense gambling that on a country life, which would be a crazy amount of work and resources. We have a two year plan to get out of all credit card, and other short term debt. That was always a priority in our mind, but as we got right down to it, as in listing our house, we realized that it just wasn’t smart. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. We have a life right now that works, pretty well. A place of employment that’s close, bills payed, school the boy likes, big enough yard and ability to urban homestead. Another huge point was the fact that staying on our current path allows us to put any extra funds towards fun activities and travel. That became the big final realization, it’s not about things, but about experiences.

Using my “executive function” that’s an idea and phrase I’ve been using frequently in my rants to Britney. Point being that as a parent, a leader of the family you have got to think in this emotionally detached, best outcomes approach. In the familial enterprise it’s not just your dreams or wants that matter. For some that probably reads obvious, but I think being part of the divorced kids generations the problem of egos and values was something I’ve had to give a lot of thought too. Moreover failures in both, are patterns I’m still really working hard to develop out of. Having honor, self-control, dignity, these almost feel like outdated, or even mean words. I think that’s a problem.

I got to stop it there. The force of the rant is just too strong, and the keys make it too easy. I think that’s the problem. The journal format works when you have to push all this drivel out by the force of your own hand. The technology takes the real work and punishment out of it. Thanks technology.

Snippets #66

Ninja: 1,000 Years of the Shadow Warrior-John Man

A young adventurer named Jing Ke is chosen for the task. He is a man with nerves of steel and high intelligence, who likes “to read books and practice swordsmanship”–in brief, the essence of the true ninja. He refuses to quarrel; if offended, he simply walks away. Jing Ke is too smart to agree at once, but his reluctance is overcome when he is made a minister and given a mansion. (11)

7-2-16 (Morning)

9:50 Amazing start to the day. All signs are pointing to the way, the flow. Woke up early, spooned with my lovely. Finally hopped out of bed 7ish, greeted two and three with morning salutations. Out the door to the rainy day farmer’s market. I love rainy days, as I’ve mentioned. It slowed the market down to the perfect speed, cut some of the herd, not that it necessarily needed cut at all. Market folk generally seem to be putting off some friendly cool vibes. I grabbed one of the little ones green frog umbrella and hit the streets.

Was greeted on the walk up, by older black guy, totally enraptured hopping around on his bench, by the jazz he was putting down on the public piano. I see the spirt swirling around him, roaring in its independence, and lust for life. A symbol of the Holy Spirit, humanity unchained, free, and beautiful. He’s playing as I leave too. I hope he sits there all day, a hundred days, until the end of time. He’s not the only musical act on the walk either. There are solo guy and girl singer-guitarists, belting out their best, exceptional.

Greens and cabbages are out, cukes, onions, carrots, potatoes are on. I have to put myself on a budget or I could go crazy. Spent twenty something, got three end of the season cabbages from Grade A, about 3-4 lbs for another batch of kraut, five dollars, some Lions Mane mushrooms from super cool mushroom lady, a bowl for 8, and a bowl each of cukes, potatoes, and red onions, from my new regular stand.

Stop by store for a booze run six pack, bottle of whisky for BBQ sauce and cocktail for dinner tomorrow with friends. Back home got big pot of coffee going, then went and harvested Lemon Balm from garden to make second patch of honey time sleep tea, family loves that stuff!

Now it’s time for words, 10:14, let’s go! The thrilling 1st Draft Conclusion of Nowhere!

Snippets #54

Kingdom of Fear-Hunter S. Thompson

“Our mistake was not killing them instantly,” said a colonel from the U.S. Army. “Summary execution–shot while attempting to escape.” He laughed bitterly, sipping his beer at the Red Crab, a chic roadhouse on the outskirts of town. The mayor of Ft. Lauderdale was at the other end of the bar, whooping it up with a business man from New jersey who was gnawing on the throat of a black woman.

“You people are shameless,” I said to the colonel.

“We are warriors,” he replied, stuffing the bowl of his pipe full of Mixture 79. (210)

Snippets #30

Soren Kierkegaard-The Rotation of Crops

Since boredom advances and boredom is the root of all evil, no wonder, then, that the world goes backwards, that evil spreads. This can be traced back to the very beginning of the world. The gods were bored; therefore they created human beings. Adam was bored because he was alone; therefore Eve was created. Since that moment, boredom entered the world and grew in quantity in exact proportion to the growth of population. Adam was bored alone; then Adam and Eve were bored en famille. After that, the population of the world increased and the nations were bored en masse. To amuse themselves, they hit upon the notion of building a tower so high that it would reach the sky. This notion is just as boring as the tower was high and is a terrible demonstration of how boredom had gained the upper hand.

Link-http://www.sorenkierkegaard.nl/artikelen/Engels/145.%20THE%20ROTATION%20OF%20CROPS.pdf

Snippets #29

Adrian Chen-The Mystery of the Prospect Park Goat Heads

But most germane to my quest: The data indicate that Prospect Park has hosted an unusual number of decapitated goats over the past five years. Out of the 33 reports, nine were goat-related: seven goat heads and two decapitated goat carcasses. And out of those, half — three heads and one carcass — were discovered in Prospect Park. (Another report of an unidentified “large animal” with “whitish fur” discovered sans head in Prospect Park sounded to me like a goat, too.) Many of the reports include speculation that the goat heads related to religious rituals. But if any definitive conclusions have been reached, they are filed away in some other corner of the city’s bureaucracy.

Source:http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/03/mystery-of-the-prospect-park-goat-heads.html?mid=twitter_nymag