31 December 2008

1st sentence of the month Meme 2008
This idea comes via Angela Magara via Donald Engstrom from Copper Stewart. Interesting perspective!

January 08
I’m back in CA student teaching EAT.

February 08
It's cold and partly cloudy in the Bitterroot Valley tonight.

March 08
Here we go! Early tomorrow morning we climb into the truck and start heading east.

April 08
Wow. I am in Italy in a stone house on a hill facing a valley of steep cliffs and ancient terraced herb and tree gardens.

May 08
Today it is a bit cloudy and cool, windy even. The house has been a bustle of activity in preparations for the wedding Saturday of the two people who live here.

June 08
I read this in today’s Guardian:
Polar bear shot dead after 200-mile swim
This is a perfect example of human stupidity. This beautiful creature’s life wasn’t worth the effort of saving. I weep for the polar bear, and I weep for us.

July 08
Watching the modern film Beowulf and reading some of it again gives rise to these thoughts.

The story symbolizes the death of the old, the dragon, and the rise of the modern patriarchal mechanized world, but not without a cost to that new world, for it is born out of violence and the gradual disconnection from the spirits of Earth and the rise of monotheism.

August 08
Chloe and I are settled in at a friend's in Den Dolder, near Utrecht. The train ride from Italy was quite an adventure in small ways, and exhausting.

September 08
I am focusing in this entry on events in Minneapolis where people gathering to protest the criminal actions of the Republican controlled/manipulated government at the Republican National Convention. Houses are being raided, people are being detained and otherwise hassled and intimidated by the police.

October 08
It rained last night here in the Bitterroot valley, western Montana. It's a beautiful sunny morning, Lasky is asleep on the floor. We arrived here on Monday after 6 days of driving.

November 08
It's election day...finally! I voted at the local High School at around 10:30 AM. The place was packed. There were no parking spaces left in the huge parking lot, I had to park on the grass. This is a small town and yet there had to be 200 people in the gym with me, along with dozens of local folks serving as election officials. I voted, then drove 5 miles to someone's house to do a massage.

December 08
We have a home, Chloe the cat, Lasky the dog, and me! I've been spending most of my time during the last three weeks fixing up an old log cabin behind my friend's house in Hamilton, Montana. It's coming along just fine! I've been told we can stay as long as we want. The rent is low, the view's are great, and the cabin itself is really cool.

24 December 2008

The cabin is toasty warm. Granted it is in the mid twenties outside, but today I did a big chunk of insulating. I've strayed somewhat from the true permaculture path by using bubble foil; bubble pack with foil on both sides. It is, however, made from recycled materials, which is cool. I covered the west gable end and one bay of the roof, and discovered that by cutting this stuff into strips it makes great chinking material. I filled all the gaps I could find. The kitchen is still cooler than the other parts of the cabin but it's comfy. The staple gun is my friend.

I had a great visit with my nephew who left this morning. I work tomorrow in the group home, which I am looking forward to. I have 2 cords of wood outside; red fir, split but needing more splitting for my stove. That's cool. I broke my axe handle so I got a new one which is a pleasure to use.

My body hurts in a lot of places, some of which is just muscle soreness from work and some is the old injuries making themselves known. I plan to take it easy for a bit, now that I can be warm and have money for food.

17 December 2008

I realized when I was a teenager that a big part of my life was and would be as a witness. People came to me with their problems to talk, and I found it challenging. I wanted to be heard too. It came to me, though, that this role of witness was a sacred calling and so I embraced it. The witness not only listens but he observes and notices what's happening inside and out, and sees the web connecting it all.
Sitting in the cabin (it is warmer today, single digits, so in here it's quite comfy) watching and tending the fire, the animals, my body, gives rise to much reflection. As much as I have strong emotional ties to many people and situations, I also observe myself observing more than participating. Granted, most of those people and situations are geographically removed, but even so...I am witnessing.

16 December 2008

Heading into the bottom of the year, Solstice is in less than a week. Here in my cave-like bedroom in the cabin, with the fire burning and temperatures in the single digits above and below zero F, I have time to contemplate. I have my distractions which are also pleasures; music, food, internet, and of course the critters to care for and be with. Distractions, though, are in a way intended to change the now, which of course one can never do, because the now is always exactly what it is. Everyone is having their moment, their now, in some way. They are all different but aggregated that is humanity, that is the experience of the human morphogenetic field.
The contradiction of humanity; the timelessness of the moment, and the fragility of the body which can only live within a very narrow set of parameters. It's a wondrous experience. If this is all there is, it's amazing. And if this is one of many forms we move through, it is also amazing. I don't think it matters much to know, and we can't be truly certain until we cross through the final veil of this life, but to feel the enormity of the mystery, of possibilities, is inspiring.

15 December 2008

It is COLD here right now. Last night was around -20 F. The cabin is not tight, so keeping the fire going and huddling in my bed were the order of the night. Chloe cat stays warm under the covers and Lasky likes the cold.
I have been on a weird 1980's music kick, downloading old pop songs. I am also very drawn to music on German and Italian right now. Traveling in Europe was so good for me, challenges and joys. The fact that I can listen to music in languages other than english and even understand a word or a phrase here and there is comforting somehow.
So, staying warm...3 to 4 months of this are tolerable. Heck, I'm from Vermont! I will be doing additional insulating this week, getting more wood, blah blah and will be fine. I can always grab the critters and go into the house 150 feet away which has central heating. I like being the long haired smokey smelling guy in the cabin...and laugh at being in this neighborhood living as if it were 100 years ago.
I find that, being so occupied with my own physical survival, I rarely read news or anything political. After the obsessive election experience this is a relief. I wonder how long it will last?

10 December 2008

Everything's progressing. I got a cord of wood day before yesterday and spent much of yesterday splitting wood with a maul. I am sore today! There is super cold weather coming so tomorrow will be all about chinking the cabin.
I have noticed, now that I am employed and living somewhere, I am poorer than I was when i was homeless and unemployed. That's screwy eh? No wonder people in this country are doing so badly. The system (this is not news to me or you by the way, just a rant) is designed to keep the poor poor. Tomorrow I go apply for food stamps.

06 December 2008

We have a home, Chloe the cat, Lasky the dog, and me! I've been spending most of my time during the last three weeks fixing up an old log cabin behind my friend's house in Hamilton, Montana. It's coming along just fine! I've been told we can stay as long as we want. The rent is low, the view's are great, and the cabin itself is really cool.