Tuesday, March 31, 2009

...without the wind

I read something recently that just did not sit well with me. I am no scholar, psychologist, scientist- nor do I have much education to credit any kind of specific philosophy. What I have learned, what knowledge I have gained usually came from experiences. I have read and researched with the best of them, though I don't believe in dedicating my unique life/gift to the thoughts or beliefs of another. Many teachings though, have expanded my own horizons. But somewhere, somehow- I began to explore not only translations, but the vertical leaps, the transformation from moments of clear insight, that perhaps were graces given to me, that I might offer up a perception that might glean others a more vertical view. To do this, many mountains had to be moved. Many tears had to fall, many uncomfortable moments had to be endured, and one specific event exchanged all I believed. In short, all the layers of varnish that have been applied over the years had to be stripped away. I don't believe anything essential can be stripped away, what is ingrained in one's soul cannot be removed. Many speak of life's circumstances, a person's upbringing, education, lack of opportunities, physical ailments, etc. cause a person to become ingrained with a life pattern, making people act a certain way. That's the word that disturbed me- ingrained. As if what one was born to be may not occur because of the restrictions, the indelible marks caused by misfortunes and even fortunes. I don't buy this. I feel that as the layers are stripped away, the varnish- one begins to see that true grain, running completely through them. What life has done, shellacked for lack of a better word- has only left scratches that are not indelible, there are scars yes, deep sometimes- absolute ravines- but below those marks, is where our true grain lies. When I wrote-

Strip your layers

Find your grain...

I was dealing with a devastating life blow. For a time, I shellacked the hell out of my physical, spiritual, mental self. I drank like a fish, I smoked till I could only feel neutrality- I could not bear for the longest time, anything remotely akin to who I truly was, because who I truly was...became shattered, shredded, in deep and dark turmoil and pain. My well of inspiration had run completely dry, not only could I not help myself, I could not even begin to help another, even my own children. This feeling finally offered a bit of awakening-"Hey! This is not me, this is a performance- I am acting out of pain and fear, I am afraid of more of the same. But my children, my kids...I see this same kind of performance." And thus, my journey began.

I write these things because I feel that some may think more of me than they do of themselves. Brother, I tell you- the best I can offer you is a hand as I climb too. But if I can offer the same grace that was offered to me, if it helps you out along the way, so be it. My reasoning here today- if you find yourself completely hidden by life's misfortunes, strip a layer or two. It is a frightening process, it is painful, and mean and a terribly, terribly vulnerable thing to do. But it is a process, meaning- not permanent, temporary...the first step, the first layer to be removed is often the most difficult. We are not ingrained permanently by misfortune, though I do believe we are stripped, layer upon layer- until we see the grain of who we are.

"...open up to love and pain,
Hand in hand- they always go,
Sorrow's end is where we grow"

The pain does translate deep lessons but the love...and there is much love everywhere, I hope you can at the very least take some hope from me here- will transform you.

Pretty deep stuff here today, perhaps the climb has started for me again...I have come to believe that none of us ascends truly, unless we all do. None of us fly so high without the wind. None of us can set the sail until the ocean beckons. And none of us, not one of us- can do it alone.

"...if any little word of ours
can make one life the brighter,
if any little song of ours-
can make one heart the lighter...
God help me speak that little word
And take our bit of singing,
And drop it in some lonely vale,
To set the echoes ringing."

Please if you will, what has been of service to you in your life, helping you to see more clearly- what you were made to see, acknowledge, create?

Yes dear readers, I am asking you to expose a vulnerability and the healing that took place after...

Consider too, what virtue there is in your progress- it may just shine quite the bright light for another.

Thanks...take care-

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

True Grit kind of John Wayne woman

Oh phenomenal March! So much to do, so much to think about doing...grab all the receipts, get the taxes done, keep the house up, go to work...don't forget the chronic pea planting...and the tractor, still in the shed, limping.
And what have I been up to? Why no voice to the blog for a whole week? Well, here goes the saga...the boulder story, the shifting of the sands...

Good old grandma, or young grandma- since she recently exposed a little secret to me- she took a four wheeler ride. Oh that woman! Let's see, my dad is almost 70, his older brother is 70 something so that makes Grandma Mocko (we like to call her- )well, I won't expose her age...you do the math, but don't tell her I led the equation. That makes her a respectable dear lady, but sometimes a bit on the people pleasing side- she was cajoled into riding on the back of a mudding device, says she's awful sore, but didn't feel right saying no. So while she's off doing God knows what...I took my day off to clean up her yard, prune all the bushes, rake all the leaves, clean the house "of a million nick-knacks" and install her new dryer. I didn't actually install it, but I did tell them where to put it and removed doors so they could get through...anyway- you get the picture. While all this hoopla is going on, the neighbors-(and they just don't make fences tall enough, or sound proof enough for these people) took to beating on one another and screaming profanities. The police came and went...go figure. Oh, they did ask me if I heard anything-

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure the soldiers in Iraq heard it too, mister. I've never heard such language coming from a mother to her daughter!"

"Oh no, that's the grandma...."

"Great....anyway, yes it seems the young girl's belongings were thrown out the back door and then she was forced out too, crying and begging."

"That girl is trouble..."

"Excuse me? That girl is in trouble. How could you just leave her there? I don't care what she's done...that's just not right. I'm telling you, the girl was pleading as she was being verbally assaulted. To my ears, she had done nothing to warrant that extreme hurt."

"Did you see any physical assault?"

"Well no, but I heard slapping. And grandma there didn't have any red marks, but the poor kid did. Aren't you going to do anything?"

"We're aware ma'am...goes on all the time there...Have a good day."

Geez, I couldn't believe it, a hayseed like me- see I thought you were suppose to be loving and speak lovingly to your kids. I didn't know that the law turns a blind eye to slapping and horrible, dirty name calling- by a grandma no less!
So anyway- the fun finally subsided, I went back to my work wondering if this is always the toxic environment elders have to put up with. I mean, my sweet old girl loves to sit out in her chair, under the maple shade tree and just be. I'm beginning to wonder when was the last time she did...no wonder she wanted me to take back the cedar glider I got her for Mother's Day. I feel so bad that she has to tolerate that environment...but I feel even worse for that poor girl.

I seethed, told myself to mind my own business- stick to the job at hand. Maybe this was just a really heated argument, maybe things weren't what they seemed- maybe ugly meant love to those folks. As I began the final raking of the final leaves, I heard a truck roar into the drive. The next thing I know- screaming, slapping, more screaming, double teaming- and words of a mother to her child that should never be uttered, no matter, no how. Words that made me cringe, from a woman's standpoint- we don't utter such disrespectul disgraces. Now I'm no prude, I say the big one every now and then...(when fishing, tractor fixing...) damn, and shit sometimes slip past my lips before my brain engages- though sometimes those words are perfectly apt. I did not, could not understand this language- this was hate. I don't speak it. I found myself totally aghast, I mean -the police weren't going to do anything, I couldn't very well knock on the door and say,
"Excuse me sister, why don't you pick on someone your own size? If you're so angry you've got to bring your kid down, how about me? I can take it..." while I dragged her out of the house. Guess who'd they'd lock in jail then?! I was beside myself. And don't think I'm nosy- to each his own, ain't no business of mine...BUT, this was a child, this was abuse, this was completely unacceptable...and I couldn't do a damn thing about it but seethe. And seethe I did, and raked a little harder and teared up for that child. Somewhere between my disbeleif and my anger, I must have said a little prayer...because I found myself doing something really crazy.

All I could think of was how this woman was not speaking any language I could possibly understand, and had I dragged her out of the house, she probably wouldn't have understood my lingo either. But then I thought about singing, loud. So...I did. At the top of my lungs, over the screaming and the raking, into those open windows- I sang my heart out. It felt crazy. It looked crazy, I'm sure...but I didn't know what else to do. The only language everyone understands, every one wants to understand, every one needs-

"All you need is love, bah dah dah dah, All you need is love, bah, dah, dah, dah, All you need is love! Love! Love is all you need...." (and all the in between lyrics, every word.)

I did this for what felt like an hour, over and over- the louder they got, the louder I sang. When I couldn't bear to sing another chorus- I went on with Amazing Grace...again, top of my lungs, though still in tune mind you.

The screaming stopped, but I did not. On and on, I sang. Like a village idiot, only- like I said, in key. I did not stop singing until the last leaf was dispelled. People gathered in the street, I kept singing. Frank, the other neighbor wondered what the hell I was doing. I smiled. And sang.

At one point, I did get a little bit afraid, I mean- I was disturbing the peace, kind of in a way- I wondered if that loud mouthed poor substitute for a mother was going to come out and waylay me. But she didn't. Maybe she heard...maybe she thought...maybe, just maybe- for one moment she understood my language. And I did in the end, understand hers- deep pain, deep fear, possibly deep scars from the same kind of abuse from her family.

Anyway, I was going to tell you all about the boulder and the shifting of the sands...kidney stones. I thought sore back, found out different. I was trying to pass a boulder, excuse me please...while the tiny miniscule sandy stuff shifted out of my kidneys. Needless to say...I'd rather pass a linebacker kid than a kidney stone, matter of fact- I'd rather not ever , no never- go through that again. It hurt. I almost cried. If my Big Fish would have been here, I probably would have. But alas...no one to wash away my tears or hold my hand. They did put up a kidney fund for me at work though...that was kind of nice. I couldn't even sit up for two days...and I thought I was pretty tough, I found out I was pretty gritty, but not the True Grit kind of John Wayne woman I always dreamed about being. Nah...I'm just a lousy patient who happens to love the Beatles (especially that song.)

Take care-

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

nary a green bean

I have a desperate secret...I am a chronic pea planter.

Yesterday, the wind got hold of me, the sunshine dragged me by the ears while the wheel hoe flirted with my desires. All sources combined strategies and set my body in motion to plant too early, too much and for no good reason really! I'm selling. Can't take the garden with me! But by golly, can't take the gardener out of me either...what's a girl to do? Plant peas, of course. I mean- the still perfectly good fences are up from last year, I rotated the crop to the opposite side...and stuck little seeds in the ground and covered them by kicking the soil over them (lazy farmer method), is there no help for me at all?

It's really the lettuce's fault. Had it not grown, had it just remained in seed form, never germinating- the nursery is nice yes- but! I innocently started the whole shebang in February- no reason to think it would really grow...but, alas- not much thought goes into my planting. I pretty much just hope and hope and hope some more!

One more tiny confession...I worked the ground between the fences and added...more lettuce seeds! Someone stop me please- before it's too late, before I end up selling a farm with a huge market garden to boot! The zeal I feel from my planting escapades is getting out of hand truly, though I vow not to plant a single solitary tomato...or pepper...or nary a green bean. That would just be silly...but oh my! The dill that will surely volunteer again would go so well with green beans, and the basil I accidentally scattered in the raised bed by the summer kitchen- how lonely it might become if their were no tomatoes about...

It is a very good thing my children don't take to laundry chores, they might find the cosmos, zinnias and marigold seed packets in my pockets(I scattered minuscule amounts amid the pea beds...) and verify me unhinged and unreliable when it comes to leaving the soil alone.

Thank goodness and all that is holy in my broken down Betsy Ferguson, that'd be my little ol' tractor- she is unable at this time to turn the soil. (Although I did buy the parts to fix her leaky radiator hose...and I'm fixen to travel to local farm store for the hydraulic fluid needed to replace the old juice.) I am only fixing the old Ferguson to brush hog. Period. No, I mean it...only to mow and keep this place looking top level best. I will not drag the plow behind her, never- not once. And if you believe that...could you please come and make a believer out of me too?! Or perhaps you might be in the market for a certain Golden Gate bridge?

Please pray for me if you will, because already just this morning- I caught sight of the little Edelweiss flowers waving to me, throwing off their sweet scent, enticing me to work the soil around them so that the hostas coming through might have a bit more leg room. And the darned phlox just about tripped me with it's urgent message of "Look here! Bare soil! How about some pansies just in case we can't cover it all?!"

Oh Great Spirit, give me rest
lay aside this dirty test-
In my soul I feel a need
to plant, and plant and plant the seed.
Take the hoe from my hand
deliver me from this lusty land
Where everything my thumb doth touch
turns to greenish green and is lush too much.
Give me wine and let me drink-
(tis much better than when I think)
of planting the seeds and dragging the plow-
Thank goodness the tractor is crippled for now...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

God I hope there are thousands

I urge you to consider the following article and act accordingly if you are concerned about food, it's unsafe additives and the future of food safety...and truly folks, this concerns each and every one of us.

Tell the USDA to strengthen the rules for GE food to ensure safety for eaters and farmers!
"Right now you have a chance to protect your right to choose food free from genetically engineered (GE) crops and to stand up for family farmers' right to GE-free production. Genetically engineered crops have not been thoroughly tested for safety and often cannot be controlled from spreading to other fields or into the wild. This is especially scary considering the practice of growing industrial chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs in GE crops.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) promised consumers and farmers stricter oversight of GE crops. In 2004, they initiated a process to produce an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a document that would provide the public and policy-makers with a critical assessment of GE production, risk and regulation. Yet, instead of releasing the EIS to the public and working to tighten controls to protect the safety of our food and the contamination of our fields, the USDA did the opposite by releasing a proposed rule that would significantly weaken the already loop-hole ridden regulation of GE crops.
The good news is that the USDA is currently accepting your comments on the issue until Tuesday, March 17! We urge you to seize this opportunity and ask the new Administration to reject the proposed rule and take a fresh look at how GE crops are regulated."
Click on this link to comment, query or question- it does not matter...at the very least, let your feelings be known. If you think this is not an issue that concerns you, your family, your community- then speak your mind about that too.
From my heart to yours though, I will state my very strong feelings on Genetically Engineered Seeds, Food and Food additives:
It is a crime.
It is imperative that we, the public, the common man, the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers- speak up now.
The future of humanity depends on safe food sources, on seeds that will germinate, on crops that can reproduce.
It is not the oil field owners and fuel moguls that will rule the world- thank goodness that renewable energy is an option.
When the very seeds are manipulated in such a way that they cannot reproduce as nature intended-
I ask you, what are our options then?
Every human being on this planet has a common bond with their brothers and sisters, be they black, purple, white or brown- we must eat. That common ground that we all stand upon is very shaky should Genetically engineered crops get a fast hold on our food supply.
We all live down wind.
As observant a farmer, human being as I diligently try to be- I cannot detect nor defend my food crops from what is casually blowing in the wind, carried by the bees and insects, the birds and pollen particles breezing by.
There is no defense against such an intrusive, invisible invasion. None.
When seeds become sterile-
So do I. So do you. So do we...
If you think this is an alarming post, you are damned right. If you think this telling displays an unhinged fool's folly, well you may be right again...but my research, my reading, my own observations, yes- my absolute personal view is this-
Rendering seeds barren, infiltrating the environment with an absolute unknown process of sterility, allowing this course of action without the public's full knowledge by disclosure from one of the top Government Agencies- the USDA, is a crime against the whole of humanity.
Perhaps the reason I was put on this earth was to build fires under people..consider it done. If this speaks to your very core, then I plead...take notice. Decide for your self. Then act.
I also request that you spread this fire around...not to instill fear in people, but to invoke change. To be aware, to defend one's very livelihood is not anti anything...it is the right thing to do for all concerned.
It is for the love of life and it's infinite ways, that I speak. If I do startle some with words of fire, so be it.
I thank you for your deep consideration to look within...and hopefully your refusal by letting the USDA know that partial disclosure will not cut it this time- that you will not align with any group, be it government or goody two shoes- without full disclosure on GE products and additives.
(And please, there is no need to comment here- go to the linked site, Farm Aid will collect all comments, and God I hope there are thousands...and forward them to the USDA.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Springtime Tantrum

"Some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm."

-Willa Cather

Getting ugly...

Slightly sharpened to show the dark low area over tree line...head to the basement, the horn of plenty disaster reaches down...

Back of storm...calming down.

The lacy remnants of Mother Nature's attire after her springtime tantrum.

Friday, March 6, 2009

March then, drink!

Spring has sprung in a mighty little way...the lettuce and radish seeds planted in manic cold February- have germinated.

This is not headline news, no more than a ghaspy whisper was uttered when I came upon life coming to life- there in the tiny fragile stems supporting the first minute leaves of what is to be nourishment by Easter time- comes a hopeful sign.

This is no silent spring, pray we never know that kind of solitude- the birds have gathered to join in the chorus-

"The seeds have sprouted, life goes on!"

Everywhere and under there, come the signs, the songs, the assurance of hopeful days, stacked up-one after another, of newness and freshness and alive- be alive. And the poet in me awakens, refreshed- "March then, drink!" I say.

From the humble beginnings of a straw bale nursery comes life, in a green minor way-the struggle is over for those tiny seeds- see now how life bursts forth!

Hear the chirps -a liquid language of the feathered things, feel the lightness of sunlit rays, smell the scent of rot and decay made new in the black dirt's soily perfume. Look there in the last light of this new day, how beautiful it is to behold, how wonderful to acknowledge-

all is well...

For too long I have felt parched by winter's fast- a great thirst finally quenched by the champagne of spring, bubbling up and over the thawing brim of earth-

Is this not the tonic of life?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pure Magic

Good morning, I'm a little late in the coming here... much to tell about our musical venue Sunday, with Mr. Danny Schmidt. So much to say about that, but I do no want to take anything away from the pure magic of the experience with too many words,so- my overall impression was this:

I am so proud of my community. Folks turned out and into a little cafe that they had never heard of before to see a musical storyteller that they hadn't known much about and gathered in such a way that standing room only, pressed up against folks they had never been entwined with before- meant still a comfortable place completely out of perceived comfort zones


Heck if I know, I only know it all came together in such a beautiful way led by a bright spirit who soothed the aches and tickled the fancy of each soul there in that little eatery.

And I got to watch it all unfold.

But the best part of the whole deal? My children were there, fully and observant, supportive and encouraging in a way I had never seen before. Folk music is not the four letter word they had envisioned, no... they were mesmerized, harmonized and completely mystified.

Emma did mass quantities of dishes...just because, and then joked all through the greasy entanglements. My my my how her light shined! Mathew, big old brutish, sweet beautiful boy/man- was charming, was introspective, was tender, was full of questions...and Miss Lily, grace flowing under pressure- smiles, and sweetness and pure Lily.

At intermission, Jill Manning and Jaigh Lauder blew us all away with their music, (and their music just has to be experienced)...Jill, cafe owner, brilliant songstress- can I just say how proud I am of this woman? She rocks the boat. She swells with spirit and doles it out like the great and wonderful cook she is- in heaping helpings of...well- soul, big soul. Jaigh's guitar melodies ring out from the plucks of nimble fingers that your eyes don't actually see moving...it's as if he tells the guitar, before the music ever starts- "Say something." And it speaks through his strums.

I was part of something big and intimate all at the same time, I knew it to be remarkable...it could not have been any better. How often does one get to realize such things? I'm still scratching my head...and ever so thankful.

Be well, take care-