“I can explain it to to you, but I can’t make you Understand.

The way to appreciate the arrival of a cold front is not to listen to the report, not to look at maps and graphs and charts, running lines and making pies. You have no idea until you look out and be able to see the wind from the north, see the lines in perfect plumb moving and stinging the leaves into a limp dead wilt. White looking lines of crystal sleet, moving with the force to push masses of air out of its way, forming a river chasm. Streaming sideways around the north of the globe, when you live here in Northern Vermont, you have to want to learn to have a relationship with cold, you really have no choice, either you are here, or you are not. My emotional relationship is thus ;  I would prefer to be like the vegetation, or at least have that choice, to shed off my metabolism, draw into my roots, and become dormant, albeit aging in the process.

But today I am being grown up about it, and realize it behooves my own strength to get on with the relationship. I am a martial person on the enneagram,( a Jungian contraption in which you can put yourself in to. ). Which means that I process through physicality and experience. Cold is not pleasant to me, and less so as I rest from aging disease in my  bones.If I do “too much” my bones develop bones as they grind each other down. I can write about the cold if the martial tendency needs to be abandoned, and move towards Saturn. the Saturn influence lends an observing eye, always arguing against judgement, and it is cold, it’s eye can be cold because it is aware of time.

I lay in my room and I have this wonderfully large window that looks across at some woods. I have called them “Messiers Woods” for a long time now, although they only go in about 100 feet, there are 3 old Beech trees, yellow and white birch, maples of different type, and spruce and fir getting just enough light to set a foot hold. The light coming from Messiers Woods is pewter, all the hardwood trees are bare, orange sepia leaves remain on some branches, but not many, and they quiver as the trees do the wind dance, back and forth back and forth, sometimes barely, near their crowns, sometimes bending over swaying wildly, frenzied. Yesterday and today they danced like that. Mid Autumn up near the Canadian border has taken over, and it is no time to lay around.

But today hollers for procrastination , for more dormancy than activity, however, there is still good chard and kale and carrots that must be pulled. It’s times like these that I remember one of the good things I enjoyed about whiskey. Today I will put the burden on tea to provide the warmth afterward. You see, I managed to stay in bed while typing this, a few paragraphs about the reluctance to step out into 30 degree weather in the wind to bend over to get the last bits of food out there. “Surely going to the co op or Price Chopper makes more sense, I mean, there’s only about 8 meals those bits could be used for!”

That is the segue-way, I can explain to you why growing the food that I can here, provides me with cleaner nutrition, has a flavor that cannot be bought, adds beauty and bees through the summer months,  but I can’t make you understand why making it yield and be successful in this place is so important to me. I understand that, but either there are not enough words to explain it ,  or it would come out in some bad Dickonsonian (as in Emily of Amherst)  “poetry”.  This ground was sand and clay, rocks big and small, thick with balsam and spruce choking each other out. I managed to carve out several hundred feet and nourished it, gently cleared and harvested only what I had to. I made soil where there was none, and then the growing in that soil, I only get 140 days, 4 and a half months. The rest of the time, the cold is either coming or going. And I get to challenge myself and my life against it. Me, and my companion, my constant companion in this contest, the presence of God in all creation, and that is the wind too, the crystal sleet, the magnetic direction, the circling, the spinning, the endless clockwork. Those are explaining words, I was called to understand the cold, to live cozy inside it, even if it not my favorite subject, it’s a big part of the whole. I wish for a beautiful winter of creative expression and education. Cooked meals and deep thought that walks the ridgeline, but never plummets until it has wings.

cleanest water I will ever live around, even compared to the ocean. I’ve never crossed over the ocean, or been very far out. I did see the Gulf Stream, you can actually see it, the huge global current is a different color.Deep Indigo in a sea of green. It meant a lot to me to see that, obviously because I was 15 when I did and I brighten at the memory every time. I was thrown into witnessing the very most wonderful thing about being alive, to see such a thing, and a month before, just barely, I came home to find that my mother did not think living was all that. She chose death. I would still love to be able to ask her why and get a chance to speak with her about it. But of course the answer is still that she was “out of her mind”.

I just dont get it though. Even the most basic things about life, if you have the basics, water, air, earth, sun, (fire), that is more than enough to keep a person in awe for as long as they could be.

Right now its January 23 2018, and it is raining and above freezing.There is not much snow cover because it rained last week too. And the water rushing over the ice in the road and the ditch and the side of the road, is the cleanest water.Of course it has sand and dirt and bits in it, but you know what I mean.It’s coming from the sky and it’s coming from the melt off the top of the mountain just up the road and left of my house. I would watch it melt off and stream away down towards the river at the bottom of the hill.I would watch it for hours, as all the twigs and pine needles and pebbles of delightful patterns and white quartz become free of the ice and snow .

 

Water is one good god damn reason to stay alive.Maybe that’s why they baptize with it. The element itself, eventually does surrender, but it’s sustainability and longevity and tenure is eternal enough for my lifetime. But it is not infinite, non of the elements are. It seems the natural state of the Universe in comparison, or at least the other spheres of mass and carbon and rock, are dead. Dead as the surface of Mars, which I’ve seen red colored pictures of, and Dead as the Moon, all chalky and dusty and boring af.

There are beliefs that the Arabian Desert covers earth that was rich with growth and soil, that it was green and fertile. Eden? Someone had a collective memory spun into myth about that Garden. Guarded by an arch Angel, Michael, with a flaming sword. No one gets in.

Is that Paradise? It is referred to  as such. Eden, a place that was, or a place that is, IF you are dimensionally prepared for it. Your final destination, pre sand Egypt, a parallel “place” that your conscious soul goes to. “I will be in Paradise with you later today, bro”.

Right now, it’s raining on snow and ice and it is foggy and cold. Too cold to go out and listen to the water moving down down down to the River. There’s no desert here. No need to go seeking gardens under centuries of sand and wind.

Ocean of Joy or Jejune Moon bright on a dark night? I like to think that Karma is dimensional, and in many of those dimensions, there are the familiar elements, enough to go around, for everyone.

What would be the karma of the men who kicked the barrels and bottles of Aqua over, in the desert. What would be the karma of the people who bring the water and put it there, for people willing to escape whatever it is they are escaping, to come to a place where they are at the same time, welcome, and demonized. Who gets to live in the desert next go around? Who gets to sit on the moon and look at us, acting like life isn’t worth having an easy passion for?

 

far rockaway christmas

far rockaway christmas

this holiday comes in a harsh month.the east coast is cold, the hardwood trees are dormant and safely wrapped in their bark. in copses and shallow wooded areas around cities, their roots seek purchase in the rubble soil of landfill. The sparse urban parks placed by city planners on what was a swampy wet land, matted and webbed ,with salt water refreshing it twice daily.  Occupied with the sound of gulls and scurrying crustacean creatures. when I stood waiting for the infrequent bus, on holiday schedule, I could know this. I saw the pavement and asphalt concrete boulevard as the thinnest crust. I knew the swamp was there. Just walk two big blocks at the end of Queens, and there was the ocean, it hung over the streets and in the air and the miles and miles of traffic lights glowing hazy.Yes the air is salty.

to this day if there are buses in my dreams, they are not calming or adventourous. buses are anxiety vehicles in my dreams. they seldom come before you get cold or harrassed on weekends and holidays, at night. for those of us who work nights, the holidays are the worst for public transportation. Out in Far Rockaway, the city stretches for miles . Miles of empty buildings, blocks of developements, half public housing and half older residents. The mechanics shops, one aging supermarket, the public school, the waterworks dept building, all empty. Occasional cars go by, someone comes out of the door in an apartment building, I watch everything, and wait and wait for that bus, that ferry, that air boat over the swamp. They have a sway to them, the buses. You see them approaching, bumping over potholes and crevices in the asphalt, and they rock, like a rectangular boat would.

I never wear a watch, I don’t like having bands , either leather or metal, around my thin wrists, but I got off duty at 11pm and have been standing on this sidewalk for less than 15 minutes and more than 10. My feet are cold but I try to remember I am standing on sand, standing in the reeds, that somewhere layers under my feet, is the memory of the wetlands , and that all that scurrying and squirming in the mud generates warmth, that motion is energy and that energy heats. I stomp my feet and bounce my legs, flap my arms, try to stay warm. If I light a ciggerette, the bus will come, and I can take it to the subway, and take the subway into lower Manhattan, and possibly meet some friends and celebrate the holiday one more year.If only the bus would come, I could lift a glass and hang out with the girls, and tell them I had to take an air boat to get there, and they would laugh.

 

 

 

It’s Different for me, dear neighbors. And there was a time it was different for you, too.

My age comes up when I want to write, because I am dealing with it as a vantage point now. It is long enough to measure , and the instrument to measure with is not cake, or party, or bottles or landmark.

Where I came from, there was never such a thing as a good guy with a gun. There were western movies, they had guns, but they never looked good to me. The guys I mean. They would interupt criminal activity, but they were not very appealing in any way. I mean any way for real because I am a dyke and I was then too. But if there was portrait of the type of man that I would pay money to not sit next to on a train, he would look similiar to the characters in an american western. So, no, from where I come from, there were no good guys with guns. I don’t think anyone in my family hunted, even extended family. Fishing, yes, many of us enjoyed fishing, that cold and scaled form of killing.

On to the 60’s and guns were still not okay, I was extremely shy of the idea of violent revolution involving weapons such as guns. The thought of knife fights among gangs was disturbing enough. Cops had guns, Soldiers had guns, Gangsters had guns, Hillbillies had guns, Dangerous people had guns.

It was not until my eyes were opened by the Black Power movement, that I saw that, yes, sometimes good guys had to have guns to protect themselves. Yes, if the oppressed had a weapon of equal destruction, maybe some harrasment and abuse would back off.

Of course that did not succeed. Oppression did not stop, it just went undercover to rise again in the murder of civilians, particularly Black civilians, by a different kind of cop. A cop raised not on westerns but on constant war and violent media, and a new kind of glory attached to it.

And guns, oh my the guns!

I will tell you that terrorism of this kind works, because somewhere inside I am terrified, and getting old and slow and frail does not help.

I never knew a hero with a gun. I have seen guns up close only rarely. I have lived my life without them, or the need for them. I shot one off, about 4 times I think. I hated it in my hand and I hated what came out of it, and my eardrums were probably harmed. I was disgusted when I realized that it was a machine made for just one thing.

Am I a liberal? No, no I don’t think so. I am a Marxist. I do not believe in a Welfare State, but it has to be so until things get right. I do think the gun violence in Chicago is carnage that is not brought up in the media enough. I do believe in regulating guns, and to hell with the 2nd amendment. But I also know that the people who would ship me to Cuba for my statements, are many and they are organized, and, they have guns. They believe we live in a Godless society and that they are ordained by GOd to defend their faith. Which is ridiculous except that they are convinced their faith is under attack, (thus the right to bear arms). This is not some Black Panther defense, these people are not being attacked, but there are folks (politicians) and business people, who tell them that they are.

Somewhere inside I am terrified.

Makes a person want to stay right inside. Deer season starts this weekend I think. There are people with guns all around where I live. No, it’s not criminal. Most of the men up around here work in contracting, some own businesses,  a few loggers , and they have guns and they go and shoot animals when the season allows. I am not afraid of them, but the fact that they are weaponized would give me pause if they needed a dressing down.

Why the need for such a thing? Such a life and death piece of equipment that you wear, like an accessory?  Who is going to hurt you, baby boy? What are you afraid of? Should I blame your parents? Should I blame the life you were born into that was life and death from the start? I have compassion, but the ground needs to be levelled here, justice,  fair, safe, unarmed.

It is not fair to me , as a citizen, to have you walk among us, with your nuerosis and fear and triggered testosterone, wanting to go bang bang.

You can say that it is a cultural thing, fine, but I don’t think it is. This shit started when Janet Reno was Attorney General and the Waco tragedy happened. There were always wackos, but the anti government wackos organized around the civil rights movement, and then got their strength with the Waco thing and then the internet. Southern Crackers allied with Northern Bushmen, Survivor types and sometimes I think meth heads, and here we are.

I’m going to pray for myself, and try to think of other ways we can fight this gun madness with other things than votes. Those of us who live in a rural state like Vermont ,be aware that the 2nd amendment radicals are many.

I think we have to stay away from the words gun control and start looking and feeling and using the word public safety. We have to insist that authorities label these mass murders as terrorism. We should refuse to go to any venue, or to check in any hotel, that does not scan for weapons or ask that long guns be locked in a safe.

Once upon a time long ago in NYC, in the seventies, early seventies, I had rode my bike from Brooklyn to Mid town, to meet a woman for dinner. She worked somewhere near there, and so I sat by the Time Life fountain, after riding around and smoking a joint. So I was looking, people watching, it was getting near 5pm and it was crazy busy, and loud, and polluted. The weed was good sativa, so I was alert and thoughtful. Right there and then I knew I had to leave, get out of the city and make my plan and path in that direction. I don’t mean that night, I meant that was my goal. This was decided on by the realization that a crowd of masked asleep people scurrying around like insects, could be mown down by a terrorist attack.

That is my confession of where my fear of random violence came from. After these past years, it seems I can’t blame it on the weed.

I do not think living in an unarmed society will make Hitler happen again, or Mao, or anything like that. I think Americans are too savvy for that, too mixed and diverse for that. But we sure are scared, aren’t we?

Frost on Pentacost

First frost October 1st.I sadly see the Zinnias gorgeous deep red.A warm color, a hot color, did not save it from the after midnight cold. The pumpkin leaves wilt, so did the young kale plants, my 68th Autumn has arrived, and I am apprehensive about time and aging. I do not like feeling this way. I would like to think that I am deep enough to not be bothered by it, but it is the disability since late last winter and all Spring and summer that has left me stunned. Becoming unable to work, which somehow I thought was a gaurentee till I was close to 80, is terrifying. I mistook my willingenss and joy of difficult work as immunity. That willingness and attitude has housed and fed and clothed me for most of my life, there was never anyone willing to do that, instead, I was the provider. I was the one you could depend on for a roof and a meal and warmth. I can see why people my age cash in and either live in one room or something on wheels. I am not bitter, just frightened.

I love my small plot and the dirt that grows dinner and beauty. No one here loves it as I do. And that is one of the loneliest feelings. I was useless to keep the Zinnia going longer than she was able, with the seasons change. Humbling.