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Monday, November 23, 2009

TURNING POINT



Drove to town today to see TarBaby and go to grocery store. He was glad to see me. He wasn't possessive like he wanted me to stay. He went back to his cage of his own volition this time. I suspect the women working there love him up pretty good. He has an attractive charm like Jr had that charmed nurses every time he was in the hospital. Nurses loved him. The nurses at animal hospital are drawn to TarBaby in a similar way. It's good for me to see TarBaby too. It keeps us in touch. TarBaby is a big part of my life. I want him well.

In the front of my mind all day has been finding some chrome wheels for Jr's car. It has 14" wheels. No place makes chrome wheels that small. I might have found one place that does. I had no idea the wheels have been getting bigger and bigger, up to 18" wheels, 19". The tires are flatter, thinner. 14" is obsolete. I remember when 14" were new, they were so stylish. My first car, a 49 Ford, had 16" wheels. Old fashioned. It's too much to think about. Thin ties, wide ties, in between ties. I chose no tie.

Sometimes I feel like my friend Swami Yogeshananda, an American who spent his adult life in Hindu monasteries. He came out of monasteries after 35 years to start a Vedanta center in Atlanta. Vedanta is to Hinduism something like what Zen is to Buddhism. He came back like in a time machine. Everything had changed. I told him he left the world in the Age of Ozzie and Harriet and returned to the world in the Age of Beavis and Butthead. He missed everything in between. He has left Atlanta now, turning his center over to another Swami to carry on, and has taken refuge in a monastery in hills of Southern California, Trabuco if I remember correctly.

In my heart, I left the world when I came to the mountains. I get a lot of bad press for arrogance because I don't participate in all the rigmarole I left the city to get away from. I didn't come to the mountains to do a lesser version of the same thing. As time has gone by, I've drifted further and further away from the world of pop culture, while being plugged in nonetheless. I like living outside the influence of tv commercials and 100 channels of inanity. I like a good story, so I read good writers who tell really good stories. I see artful films because they tell good stories very well. Sometimes I like to see a dvd of an Aerosmith concert, or Lucinda Williams or Lou Reed or Steve Earle in concert.

After living my entire adult life without television except at other people's houses, I still live under the influence of television. Television is the culture that I live in. I miss out on the subtleties of the culture I live in, sometimes making for awkward moments. Like after I'd been in the mountains a year and a half or so, I was visiting at Isle of Palms, off the coast of Charleston. I stopped at a convenience store to get something to eat. I saw a display of posters that were a picture of a foxy babe and had Farrah written across the bottom. I figured Farrah must be from television.

I asked the boy at the register, who looked like about 18, who was Farrah. He lit up and said, that's Farrah Majors, wife of Lee Majors on Charlie's Angels. All of it was from another world, another belief system to me. I'd not heard of any of those names. The kid looked at me the way people looked at Brother From Another Planet. The where-you-been look. It would have taken too long to explain, there was no reason to explain, and he wouldn't have got it anyway. I paid up and left, glad I didn't know any of those names.

Now I am happy to say I don't know the name of a single sports star, except for Tiger Woods. He's like Michael Jackson. Everybody's heard of him. I've indrawn into the people I know. The people I know are my world. That's it. What's going on in LA and NY and NO are of no interest except as landscapes for movies. I'm happy to let the people who want to be in those places have at it. Go the whole hog. Just leave me out of it. What's going on in WS is of no interest. Alleghany In Motion is the only way I can go to WS any more. City driving is something in the past.

I came to the mountains believing I was going for a degree of solitude. I found it was a little early. I wasn't ready. I needed to work to meet expenses. Gradually got involved in one thing and another, but after the store experience I feel like it's time to burrow in at home and draw inward in whatever form that takes. Starting up with a clean slate, more or less, after Jr. The house was asleep, need to bring TarBaby back, get the car restoration done and get some kind of groove going that includes painting. What? I don't know yet. When it happens I'll know. When is neither here nor there right now.

In a way, I feel something like when I discovered that God indeed is, like I can't go on as before. I don't mean like "in sin." Rather it was like everything changed and I needed some time and space to get acquainted with my new way of seeing that made everything outside myself so different, more beautiful. I moved into the Air Bellows schoolhouse. I felt like this is where I get my spiritual education. It continues. Tom Pruitt was the first teacher I was sent to. Jr the last.

Curiously, the barn across the road, which is now on my land, was built by Tom and the wood was sawmilled by Jr. Jr was working for Glen Richardson at the time. Tom paid Richardson to saw the boards and Jr worked the saw.

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