12-2-17 (The World, Hunters, Homesteading, Remodeling, Family, Photos)

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The World. Two dogs about to fight, while the pack swarms around them, riled with the spirit of it. Except, they’re not really dogs at all. Screaming steel eagles, with Easter eggs, for hell’s pleasure, tucked in under the wings. They screech through space, saying much simply; we are here.

 

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Hunter stopped by, napped a good one. Young buck, right through the heart. Helped me drag it to the back of the pick-up, requested the antlers, told me to spray it out, pack it out with a 10lb bag of ice.

Hands stunk after, and you couldn’t help but smell them. Stare at it. I had to flip it around in the truck to wash it out. Through out the day, bits of blood and spit coagulated on the bumper.

Was told the butcher was a religious man, would only be open for a couple hours in the evening. Call up there to see when. Four to six, a pleasant sounding woman said on the recording, shotgun season. It laid there packed with ice, under my tree, while I finished applying polyurethane to the trim pieces,  intended for the coagulating living room.

Unusually warm, maybe sixty in the sun, a last whisper from Fall. Reflection is the spirit. It’s been over a year, since we’ve had that living room space, couch, table, TV. A place to just sit around and relax. It’s all still surreal, someone’s life I have stolen, or rather a role I’ve snuck into somehow. I walk around the house, can’t imagine all the work I’ve done, and there’s still so much to do, but there’s that light, a new normal, new nest in front of us.

 

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All day, I was sort of nervous about taking the deer to the butcher. Nervous at the newness, I guess. Never hunted. Never washed out a giant deer carcass. Never ran down a highway going sixty with hooves dangling. Figured it would be a spectacle and it was. Whole town filled with trucks, loaded up with deer. Anxious, focused masculine energy. Guy behind me critiqued that they should just have a stack of forms to hand out, make a faster line. Speed it up. It was fine though, lady was nice enough, eighty bucks to be boned and bagged. I plan to process the rest, stews, jerky, etc. Excited for that, spending a winter smoking meat, and doing sunflower shoots inside. Spring feels right around the corner.

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Britney cooks tortillas below me. They make an extra pleasant smell in the cast iron skillet. Ended up with a propane stove out here. Something about that real heat, it’s special, and cooks so much better. Hunters might bring us another deer, that and the pig we got, will almost fill our freezer. Including all our canned stuff, we hold a solid six months worth of food on hand, and really more like a year’s worth. And what’s extra cool, is there’s a lot of food processing in all that, which is expanding our homesteading skills, like learning how to make sausage.

Watched a video on how to butcher a deer today. Didn’t seems so hard. Neighbor said I was welcome to hunt his land. Said just go right over the hill there. Help yourself. Go in the morning. Set up before 6AM, when they come in to bed for the day. Don’t smell like nothing fancy, and be quiet. Aim for the heart. You want a younger, smaller animal for quality of meat. And make the shot clean, so the animal feels no unnecessary fear or suffering. Fear ruins it.

 

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11-9-17 Nighttime Digestion (On The Paradox Of Being a Good Cook But Sick of Food, Learning to Play Guitar But Being Scared to Sing, And An Unshakeable Routine Which Must Be Questioned)

Got a weird energy, seems too early to be cabin fever, but think it’s something like that. Outdoor homestead activities are shutting down, and I’m feeling sort of cooped up. Feeling stuck in a routine of stay-at-home parenting, domestic leadershiping. I always describe my life as sort of building the parachute as the fall the is taking place sort of thing.

I’ve gotten sick of food, maybe sick of eating is a better way to put it. But when you got great cooking skills and you got to cook for a family, you sort of can’t escape it. It’s also part of our larger plans and goals, being frugal, healthy, etc. And I recognize the need for balance, and we’re not scared to grab take-out if that’s what it comes to, but I guess I have trouble finding that balance before it becomes a problem. And the food is so delicious! I’ve been putting on pounds, all that sour-dough bread! And then Halloween candy ruined me. And the Holidays approach, all about food and eating!

Today I made kids favorite spaghetti and meatballs. I used a frozen bag of tomatoes, that was previously roasted with onions and basil. I sauteed shame shallots and then put the frozen block of tomatoes in, waited til it was melted some added the garlic. It smelled delicious. Sauteed the meatballs in our new cast iron skillets, tossed them in the oven, and poured a couple ladles of sauce on top. My soon to be 3 year old said the were delicious, in the most twisted up, yet understandable way possible. The polysyllabic toddler babble always makes the writer dad proud.

Speaking of that, my seven year old has put the pressure on about the book buy through the school. Want exactly 16 bucks for his bucks. Told him about how he blew his recent birthday money stash on cheap toys, and wouldn’t it be nice to have those funds now. And how holidays are right around the corner, so we’ll get a bunch of new stuff then. And really Chay-Bobby, these damn school sales are a scam! Think about that yo-yo that you bought a month ago, you don’t even play with it. Yes, I do! Okay, still all these school sales, they  just nickle and dime you to death. Dad, gosh, you know I like to read!…So it goes…

I think the energy I got is primeval. Felt it today strumming the guitar as I took my time to self this evening. So much fun to bang on those strings. And I’ve gotten good enough I can play basic versions of a lot of my favorite songs. Love Potion #9 pooped up in the YouTube feed, and Nirvana Come As You Are was up next. Played through both,  and after the Nirvana, I had the urge to smash the guitar, but settled on tossing it on the bed, and flicking the pick. Wisdom, frugality, such precious things, but they can become excuses for not pushing forward, not challenging. I’m trying to learn to sing as I play, and I can feel it there holding me back, being embarrassed to sing, to let it out. And embarrassed about what? My wife hearing me? The kids? Or just sucking in general?

But what I know is it feels good to let go, to use that body and brain while they’re still there. While I still got the breath and spirit to get out.

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The Man with the Golden Gun-Ian Fleming

Sir James Molony had said that his memory would be sluggish for a while. The ECT treatment at The Park, a discreet so-called ‘convalescent home’ in a vast mansion in Kent, had been fierce. Twenty-four bashes at his brain from the black box in thirty days. After it was over, Sir James had confessed that, if he had been practising in America, he wouldn’t have been allowed to administer more than eighteen. At first, Bond had been terrified at the sight of the box and of the two cathodes that would be cupped to each temple. He had heard that people undergoing shock treatment had to be strapped down, that their jerking, twitching bodies, impelled by the volts, often hurtled off the operating-table. But that, it seemed, was old hat. Now there was the longed-for needle with the pentothol, and Sir James said there was no movement of the body when the current flashed through except a slight twitching of the eyelids. (044)

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This Side of Paradise-F. Scott Fitzgerald

“No, its isn’t silly. It’s quite plausible. If you’d gone to college you’d have been struck by the fact that the men there would work twice s hard for any one of a hundred petty honors as those other men did who were earning their way through.”
“Kids–child’s play!” scoffed his antagonist.
“Not by a darned sight–unless we’re all children. Did you ever see a grown man when he’s trying for a secret society–or a rising family whose name is up at some club? They’ll jump when they hear the sound of the word. The idea that to make a man work you’ve got to hold gold in front of his eyes is a growth, not an axiom. We’ve done that for so long that we’ve forgotten there’s any other way. We’ve made a world where that’s necessary. Let me tell you”–Amory became empathic–“if there were ten men insured against either wealth or starvation, and offered a green ribbon for five hours’ work a day and a blue ribbon for ten hours’ work a day, nine out of ten of them would be trying for the blue ribbon. That competitive instinct only wants a badge. If the side of their house is the badge they’ll sweat their heads off for that. If it’s only a blue ribbon, I damn near believe they’ll work just as hard. They have in other ages.”
“I don’t agree with you.”
“I know it,” said Amory nodding sadly. “It doesn’t matter any more though. I think these people are going to come and take what they want pretty soon.”(312)

11-5-17 Morning Briefing

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After the bear ate the Honda, we sat and thought about what to do with its remnants, roughly 7k dollars. The obvious choice to some, would be roll it into a similar vehicle, maybe something a little nicer, and go on about your business. Our ideas ranged from thousands of dollars worth of berry and tree plants, to quitting employment, to eventually paying off a high interest credit card and buying a 1996 Honda Odyssey for a thousand bucks. Old thing had less then a thousands miles, and decent gas mileage, it was fun, gambling. And things have mostly worked out. Took it to the mechanic and he said there wasn’t anything worth fixing right now, put some miles on it. Good enough.
That all to say last night, I noticed the interior light was on. Asked the wife about that, she said oh yes, been on all day. I stood out there for fifteen minutes messing with it, trying to get it turned off, pressing the door censors, trying to pull the fuse, nothing would work. Wife took the plate off, got the bulb out, no problem. I checked it this morning, started it up to make sure it hadn’t been drained, put the bulb back in, fidgeted with it and go it to work normal, so I’m guessing something is wrong in the dome outlet itself.

Then I feed the chickens. Neighbors had stopped by with the remnants of their garden, watermelon, fatty kohlrabi, tons of gourds . Lifted the stinking trash barrel with body breaking hulk strength, a plentiful offering to the gals. We continue to feel beyond blessed with how well the homestead has developed. We’ve spent the last month scrapping the main living room of several layers wallpaper. We got one little corner left to scrap clear, which I plan on finishing today. Then its some of plaster work, and time for a paint job. After about a year now, we might have a living room, with a couch. The deep question, do we need one or want one?

After breakfast, I set the gang to cleaning beans. They love it, smashing open the pods, getting the shiny beans all piled up. We talk about the whole process, what we’ll do next. The different kinds, how we’re eating some and setting some aside to plant next year.

I got garlic planted a couple weeks ago, planting next year food now. I also built a couple more raise beds before winter, they are halfway filled with composted chicken manure, wood-chips and a heavy layer hay, just waiting perfect for next early springs planting of radishes, cabbages, and onions.

A Neighbor supplied us with a hay bail, and sold us a pig, which we got this week. Another use of the bear check, was a new deep freeze. Same neighbor is offering to bag a deer for us as well, so I look forward to make jerky with that this winter.

For breakfast, Britney made fresh biscuits, and we had egg and bacon sandwiches. Somewhere in the year, she’s become an expert baker. I had gotten into starting sourdough cultures, but she came in out of nowhere and became the expert on it all, bread, cakes, tortillas, rolls. Its great eating, and more and more, the idea of food sustainability, eating off our own land, becomes a real achievable goal. A guiding principal in all this has congealed in my mind, the 1800s mindset.

Now this isn’t a dogma, or any sort of strict rule, but before I make a decision I like to think, what would a 1800s homesteader do in this situation. How would they approach it and look at it? So for instance with the car. Thinking 1800s told me I’m not planning on traveling too far on a daily basis, that any transportation I do have has to serve multiple purposes, and that ultimately I couldn’t spend that much, and definitely wouldn’t have or be comfortable with easily accessible and expensive debt. We giggled one night, thinking about how horses would be ideal, get a buggy like the Amish, to haul the gang. Is there anyway they could stop us?

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That’s how it feels mostly. Like I’ve snuck of the reservation and made it to clear land. A place to be and do what I want. Land. Big plans are brewing for the future, and the beauty is it begins and depends on simple things. Fresh eggs and biscuits, the moon when it makes the sky glow, the froth of the Milky Way, little hands moving with archaic deftness separating the beans…

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This Side of Paradise-F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Well, my first point is that through a mixture of conditions of which the family is the first, there are these two sorts of brains. One sort takes human nature as it finds it, uses its its timidity, its weakness, and its strength for its own ends. Opposed is the man who, being spiritually unmarried, continually seeks for new systems that will control or counteract human nature. His problem is harder. It is not life that’s complicated, it’s the struggle to guide and control life. That is his struggle. He is a part of progress–the spiritually married man is not.”
The big man produced three big cigars, and proffered them on his huge palm. The little man took one, Amory shook his head and reached for a cigarette.
“Go on talking,” said the big man. “I’ve been wanting to hear one of you fellows.” (310)

11-3-17 Deep Space Meditations on The Shift, Bring a Flotation Device (On Temporal-Spatial Distortions, The Mandela Effects, The Meaner Universe, Magical Thinking)

 

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It was approximately a year ago, that I got the first palpable flood of intuitive confirmation of The Shift. More specifically it was the “new” Zapruder film which to me was mind blowing evidence of a theory I had been researching, the so-called Mandela Effect. It’s called Mandela Effect because a number of people have a distinct memory of the Africa Civil Right leader Nelson Mandela having died in prison. I did not have that memory. I had read his autobiography Long Walk To Freedom, which title alone had told me, he made it out.

Forgive the digression, but I got an amusing personal anecdote on a Mandela book. During college I had tried to find a job that was more in line with my life goals, I had actually just recently read Long Walk to Freedom, and I decided to try to find some sort of political employment. This lead me to a group called Iowan Citizen Action Network, ICAN for short, punchy use. I had never worked in a call center before this, or since. But the basic deal was they give you a script, and a roll of numbers to dial, some of those number are from people who donated in the past, some are just numbers of people registered somewhere, sometime. New assholes are given crappy numbers to call, and the inside group gets the good numbers to call. I don’t think I made it through two shifts.

I have zero tolerance for that type of nonsense. Harassing old people for their social security, for supposed, necessary changes in government laws and regulations, that have what ultimate overall effect, who knows? I recall we were calling about a particular bill which would put limits on Predatory Loans, like Check Into Cash places. The thing was though the specific legislation had already been passed on, this was just openly admitted.  A dead line, so now we were just using it for a front issue.

But there was something just so fundamentally awful, sitting there like that, calling up, saying the script. One guy effectively argued that he didn’t give a damn about dummies getting exploited by modern day loan sharks, and I couldn’t really tell him why his free choice perspective was necessarily wrong.

Anyway, like some many times before,  I just sat down on it for a moment. Took the headset off. The Head Ponytail guy came to me, told me to keep calling, had to keep calling, dialing,  that was thing. That was the job, phone ringing in the ear all the time, no matter what.

Some dusty, wrinkled foot scrapping across the carpet hoping its one of their Grand babies, but nope its me asking for a couple bucks. Guy tells me to get back on the shovel, I say no thanks I’ve had enough. Please come to the office. Great.

In office, now he’s trying to resell me. Asks why I wanted THIS job, probably looking to promote me, now that I’ve shown a bit of grit, I give some rap about wanting to be involved, thinking things are messed up, wanting a change. He asks me about inspiration, or a figure that I respect or whatever, and I had just read that book Long Walk to Freedom, so that’s what came up. And I remember him looking at me like duh, see fella, you proved my point perfectly. Nelson had to go thru the shit, so shouldn’t I go thru the shit, right now?

I told him yeah sure, but there’s different types of shit, and I don’t think Nelson would be into this sort of thing. He looked at me like I was dumb, and I probably am. Simple and stubborn. Yessir. I walked out after that meeting. Remember the rest of the workers following me out somehow, Ponytail must have let them have a break, but several of them wanted to exchange information with me, mentioned other groups I could get involved with. Sure, sure, I said, but that was it for me. Wasn’t my type of work at all, then and now, I would rather do something real, with my hands, something actually produced, then any sort of begging, though I am a Stay-At-Home Parent, so a certain amount of begging is perquisite in the end, i.e. the stone that the builder refuses, PSALM 118:22.

None the less, Mandela Effect examples have become dis-comfortingly plentiful. Several of the ones that make my skin crawl are, Queen’s We Are The Champions, doesn’t end with lovingly resolving “Of the World”, but now just sort of trails off, the Famous Line from Sleeping Beauty is not “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest…” but is “Magic Mirror on the wall…”, in the Bible, Isaiah 11:6 now says “the wolf shall lay with lamb” when previously it had always been “the Lion shall lay down with the Lamb”, or the Sally Field shift from her gushing, “You like me, you really like me” to the now stunted “Right now, you like me, you really really like me”, or the famous line from Starwars “Luke, I am you’re Father” is never said and then the Zapruder film.

Now any number of these can be written off as remembering failures, but the ones I have listed gave me extra pause, because there is for me that distinct certainty of remembering all these the previous way. The Sally Fields one was a prehistoric meme, parodied on countless shows like Saturday Night Live, In Living Color and MadTV. The Wolf and Lamb, I recall the visual iconography I’ve grown up around, always depicting a kingly lion’s mane with a velvety kneed lamb. Queen! I would bet my life the song always trailed off, dat dat dat, of the world. But then the Zapruder film, I can go right back to that day a year ago, watching it at the Boyd St house. Everything else that was going on with the crazy election, Trump and Clinton, and my own percolating major decision and change, all that existential cross-roads anxiety, like two parallel future hung in the balance. And I hit that thread that said the Zapruder film had changed, and watched the new clip,  the whole universe vibrated on its ontological axis.

 

The Zapruder film is a well-known historical document, a visual recording of the assassination of President Kennedy, shot by one Russian Jewish immigrant, garment worker from Manhattan, Dallas transplanted, 33 degree Scottish Rite Free-Mason, Abraham Zapruder. The film as it currently exists shocks me. I can’t believe what I am seeing. If you would have asked me to describe the film before. I would have told you it was black and white, shot on an old 8millimeter camera, shaky, spotty, the dustiness of the old film, it showed four people in the long coffin-like white? convertible, traveling down the road in Dallas, out of crowd filled walkways of Dealey Plaza. The Kennedys are in the back, Govenor Conally sits shotgun, in front of JFK and there’s a driver. It’s a shorter, an enhanced brevity, because of its subject, a moment gone by in a flash. A murder in the public square, history and reality on the crucible.

My first encounter with it was probably through the JFK film by Oliver Stone which came out in 1991. Later as my interest in these things grew, and with the resource of the internet, I’ve taken in all sort of media and information on the subject. Objectively, I have probably spent time more researching all this stuff then the average person. And, if I had been on a game show and was asked how many people were in JFKs car when he was assassinated, I would have taken a sigh of relief and answered without thinking, four. I can remember Kevin Costner so vividly, chopping up that grainy black and white Zapruder film, back and to the left, back and to the left, over and over.

What is the Zapruder film today? First, its in stunning, vivid technicolor. I couldn’t believe that, watching it a year ago. Had to be enhanced, updated, nope, high definition glossy resolution. It doesn’t make sense. Why does it look so clean? And then what? Six people in the black car? A whole middle seat and partition? But that doesn’t make sense? What about the magic bullet and all that? And then the terrifying moment, somehow more vulgar, and graphic then before, it’s like watching a whole new imagined version of the scene, maybe set for the big-screen. I can’t make sense of what I’m watching. This isn’t what happened. I remember I sent a bunch of texts that day, wife, mom, best buddy, hey no big deal, random question, but if you have to say gut level quick response, how many people rode with Kennedy that day in Dallas total, what would you guess? Fours, all around.

Now what do you do. That’s the look I get from my wife at this moment. I spent some time on the Mandela Effect, studying what others were saying, which is a lot suprisingly. It’s not a bunch of cranks speculating about it either. Its all wrapped up with CERN and other advanced technologies, computers, artificial intelligence, the internet itself. The flexibility, relativity of time, apparently, an infant source of quantum energy and intelligence sitting there on the other side waiting. A bunch of Science Fiction type sounding nonsense that is impossible to understand or believe, yet seems to smack of the truth. What the hell are they doing smashing atoms, and trying to surpass the speed of light and what ups with the funky rituals and symbols, and it was “of the world” goddammit!

 

 

I recognize and understand terms like confirmation bias, the idea that once you have a theory you’ll start subconsciously selecting information which supports your theory and ignore data that contradicts it. Rest assured, I read both sides of the issue, believers and debunkers. Last year though there was so much going on, and it was all very real. Now, the rest of this is even harder to articulate, but I started seeing a shift in the Goodness of the world itself, like slowly it feels like things are getting harder, meaner, darker.

Ugly, evil behavior has always been going on, but things have gotten sort of horror movie level as of late. For a decade plus, I have been an enthusiastic information gatherer, and I think this gives me an informed opinion on the subject, and things are much darker now then they were in the past. And its not just the ugliness of the news stories, its the reactions and acceptance of the general people, the fact that they’re used to it. And many would argue, and I would agree, that a lot of this is just the world itself, that things have gotten kind of mean and dark, with time. But I would argue, there’s an extra element in it, an abrupt shift to a meaner world.

 

 

I hate to keep using fictional examples, but they work if you’re following. I had gotten hooked on this TV series Fringe, which is a rare thing for me. I can’t usually get into television series. But this one had sort a spooky, SCI-FI vibe and story lines, and I was blown away by the parallels to our own world, or rather how the show seemed to be written by the same people, that were exploring the possibilities in the real world. Not to say they are the same, obviously not, but that everyone must be sipping from the same pool, material or otherwise. And I suspect its goes that deep, into what they call the collective unconscious, the ripples in the history emerge from the subconscious, and powers-that-be seek to manipulate and anticipate these matters, but to what level of efficacy, I have no idea.

There was something going on the last year, one of those fork in the road moments. I felt so much anxiety, with the election and the world. How to me everyone was being played, duped, manipulated. The self-censoring everyone has to do in this hot political climate. It was part of the reason for the move, a huge part. This Noah, prophetic like intuition that it was time to flee a sinking ship, time to zag. And I know this sounds crazy, magical thinking, and narcissistic, but I felt our decision to move averted some impending apocalypse, personal or worldly, I can quite distinguish, and its hard to disprove something like that, something so sollipistic, because Trump won and the world did keep moving as its apt to do. But as the year went on, it seemed to get meaner. I’ve felt this dynamic at play in my life, this feeling that personally, in my own space I could be happy, satisfied with the world, but that danger, pitfalls were waiting on the shadowing fringes of the world. No, not just waiting, hunting me, us.

And there has been some sort of uptick in the evil in the last year, I would argue. The city I left had a string of violent murders. Numerous national stories of violence and barbarity that just seemed to have an extra little something that just made me sick to my stomach. I won’t list them here, though I could, but the truth is I know you could probably make the list yourself, and its sort of beyond the point. Either you see it or you don’t.

I think it all gets twisted up with this theme, ideas that only get flushed out in Science Fiction. Specifically I’m thinking of Issac Asimov’s book The End of Eternity, and it applies to so much of human imagination and invention, the idea that if it can be done, it has been done. (BTW Field of Dreams is not “If you build it, they will come,” its “if you build it, HE will come,” which doesn’t really make sense because its a whole team of ball players, and the community show up.  Even more, note how all the Mandela Effects are slight degenerations.) Specifically, with Time Travel, that if it is possible, then it is already done, because the persons in the future who discovered it, would be moving through time already, and that this would have produced these butterfly Mandela effects, small ripples and distortion in the whole thing, the great chain of being. And that as we advance towards this moment, we will accelerate in our resonance with it, speeding up the process, like one great Marco Polo game through time. And this is what that whole Age of Aquarius moment is about, this great pouring out of time, the dissolution of meaning and certainty. These are the terms we use today more frequently today to capture the ethic, truth of thing, all watery terms, flow, progress, fluidity.

Years ago I started an essay titled “The Thin Line Between Fact & Fiction”, the general idea was that we had reached a cultural, societal, tipping point where people spent more time in artificial/fictional realities then the “real world”, and that with this change, truth itself would become quite slippery, that Art and the Myth was now in control, so holy shit, watch out. I think that remains my point today. No one is concerned with “how the sausage” is made, yet more and more there is the inclination to make it yourself.  In George Orwell’s 1984 the main character works at a job where he scripts the news, clipping and changing the details. The language and propaganda programs are effective at shaping the narrative, to the point where they can say anything is true or false.  And no one can tell the truth. And though the material of this change is now digital, the realization of it back then makes Orwell prophetic, or inspired. Truth has become editable.

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This Side of Paradise-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Never before in his life had Amory considered poor people. He thought cynically how completely he was lacking all human sympathy. O. Henry had found in these people romance, pathos, love, hate–Amory saw only coarseness, physical filth, and stupidity. He made no self-accusation: never any more did he reproach himself for feelings that were natural and sincere. He accepted all his reactions as a part of him, unchangeable, unmoral. This problem of poverty transformed, magnified, attached to some grander, more dignified attitude might some day even be his problem; at present it roused only his profound distaste. (292)

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F.Scott Fitzgerald-This Side of Paradise

He paused only to get his breath.

“And that is why I have sworn not to put pen to paper until my ideas either clarify or depart entirely; I have quite enough sins on my soul without putting dangerous, shallow epigrams into people’s heads; I might cause a poor, inoffensive capitalist to have a vulgar liaison with a bomb, or get some innocent little Bolshevik tangled up with a machine-gun bullet–”

Tom was growing restless under this lampooning of his connection with The New Democracy.

“What’s all this got to do with your being bored?”

Amory considered that it had much to do with it. (244)

10-29-17 Ramblings from the homestead…

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(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.

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