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Thursday, July 22, 2010



It's that time of year, turkscap lilies are opening up around in the mountains. Mid July, the green world is at the turning point where you might say it's "over the hill," growth is winding down to an end, holes appear in leaves from caterpillars of a wide variety, a few leaves turn yellow, Queen Anne's lace in full flower, black eyed susans also in full flower. Grass stems stand tall in the light, a tan haze over the green meadow, gone to seed.

Remarkably new feeling about what I'm up to and where I belong. As long as the people of Whitehead will have me, this is where I belong. No more do I carry belief that where I am is never as good as where I'm not. I've an idea I was raised that way, a kind of cultural belief in the land of television that it's always better someplace else. It evidently goes way back, the saying, the grass is greener on the other side, illustrates a characteristic of humanity, of animals, probably even butterflies. It relates to everyone in the same manner as parables about sheep have meaning in a time when all we know about sheep is lamb chops and children's cartoons. It must be, then, that I've possibly broke through, at least a little bit, that motivation for a great deal of our behavior.

It's like a sudden shift, I don't want to be anywhere else. It's been closing in on me over the last several years, not wanting to cross the county line unless I'll be back home to sleep. I've zoomed in to the place that I don't want to go to Sparta for any reason. I don't want to leave my mountain for any reason. The car is my home pod that transports me hither and yon. As long as I'm in it, I'm at home. A fun irony, the song Home Sweet Home I thought sentimentally insipid. Not any more. I often wondered what it was about the song Jr liked so much that it was the song he was known for, his fiddlers convention winning tune. When he walked in the house with his walker after escaping from the Sparta nursing home, crossing the threshold while I held the storm door open, he said, "Home Sweet Home."

I've always felt when I was at home I needed to be someplace else for reasons I didn't know, just an ongoing compulsion. I think I can look back from this far away and see easily that in the early years of life I wanted to be anyplace but home. From there, wherever I lived I wasn't satisfied, like I belonged someplace else, but didn't know where. When I came here, I didn't believe this was it either. I came here to do some outdoor work that comes under labor, believing 5 years of labor would work the foolishness out of me. It took a lot longer than that. It's still going on, the foolishness, that is, but less than before. It seems like that voice that was not a voice calling me to someplace else has changed its location and is now calling me home. It's like this is where I want to be every minute. It's as strong a draw as a magnet to a refrigerator door.

I have another way of looking at it that settles it for me fairly well. Wanting. Evidently, my own wanting, wanting experience, wanting objects, the ongoing wanting that makes the familiar never good enough. There's always something missing, something I don't have, something somewhere else, love, whathaveyou, ideals, fantasies, an endless list. When I get one, like a book of Andy Warhol's art, that's just one checked off the list that goes on forever. The satisfaction is minuscule. It just switched over to the category of something I don't want any more. I look at it once every how many years, it takes up space, it cost a fair amount, I can't throw it away, can't sell it. There it is. As Malissie Pruitt would say, another dust catcher. I can google his name right now, click on images and see everything that's in the book. My house is full of stuff I once wanted, but don't want anymore, because I have it. It's hard to throw things out, because everything is something I once wanted, like a Velvet Underground cd I've not listened to in several years, but am satisfied that I have it. Don't need to listen to it when I have it.

Complexity and confusion in abundance. I'm thinking it's wanting, itself, that went away. I don't mean the totally of it, but a big leap like in the children's game, May I. There's nothing I can think of I want, that is in such a way to leave me with a need to get it or go there or whatever. I'm seeing that what I want is right here at home. I want to paint. This is where I paint. I want to watch movies and read. This is where it's done. This is where I listen to the music from my lifetime's collection. The museum of things I've wanted all along the way. It needs a curator, bad. I'm wondering if the couple years sleeping on the floor at Jr's and my only possessions with me the clothes I'm wearing and the book I'm reading. The monastic nature of those years, little of my attention on myself, all attention given to keeping Jr comfortable as possible. It was a kind of meditation. Now the abbot is gone. It's like the mantle he left me was freedom from wanting. I accept. Thank you.

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