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Thursday, August 11, 2011


accidental snapshot

I'm feeling back at home on the mountain. Spent much of the day sleeping. Needed it. Justin came by to put out corn and apples for deer in the woods across the road. I went with him and he checked his two wildlife digital cameras to see what had been there. No bears this time, just deer. Those outdoor cameras strapped to a tree get some good pictures of whatever animals are nibbling the corn and apples. Going out there in the woods I know as home, helping carry buckets of apples, fussing over the cameras, looking at what has been through there in the last day and night, talking with Justin, I felt like I was back home after being away for about a week. Having my city friends here took me there. Every year I drift farther away from city thinking, until by now my city friends are from an altogether different culture. I still have that culture in me, but it's more in the background in this time in my life after 35 years of living in the country.

Inside myself, I've tapped into that culture I came from (Flatland culture) for several days, without objection---these are my friends. I tell them a little about the cultural differences to help them understand why certain things they take for granted don't compute with me. They are comfortable with airports. I've not been in an airport in so long, and everything about airports has changed since then, it's a foreign world for me, especially being an American and seeing cops everyplace like in a 3rd world country in a dictatorship. Everybody is in agreement it's necessary, except me. I have to give it to them, it probably is necessary. Considering how complex a society we've had since we've become international, it's like Yeats said in his poem The Second Coming, "the center doesn't hold." The trend in music over the last 40 or more years has been fusion everywhere in the world, mixing every kind of thing together. Like Abigail Washburn playing Chinese music with an old-time banjo so it sounds like American old-time and Chinese both.

I'd hate to spend money on a ticket, then at the airport find out I'm on the no fly list like Senator Ted Kennedy and a lot of other people not republicans. It's difficult for me to live in a period of time under the American right wing taking power to themselves like in the 3rd World. We've been 30 years with the right controlling Washington DC power. Years ago I heard someone say American political influence swings on a pendulum that spans 40 years. The Roosevelt influence from around 1940 lasted until 1980 when the Reagan political machine systematically started weeding out social programs that helped the American people who needed help. Since 1980 all legislation has turned against the people to corporate money. Looks like 10 more years of the right wing in power. I don't know if the Constitution or Democracy can handle 10 more years of republican dismantling.

I heard talk on an NPR talk show about London preparing their advertising for the 2012 Olympics that apparently will be in or near London. They had planned to use the Clash's song London's Burning, one of the most popular rock songs of the punk era in London. Seems odd, because it's such a rebel song. Now on the news every time I listen, I hear about London and cities in northern England burning. First thing I thought upon hearing that news was this sort of thing can spread really fast. I've wondered how urban rebellion can work considering the sophisticated surveillance that spots any political gathering of people that could threaten government. Spontaneous flare-ups of rebellion-minded people scattered everywhere, people who are left out and boiling inside. When something takes off in one part of a city, copy-cat fires get started in another part of the city, and it can go on and on. If it catches on like kids killing kids in school did for several years, it could force full-fledged popular police state. Insurance corporations don't like destruction of property.

It's good to be back at home in my mind. For reasons I never thought about, I slept through most of the day and got up around 6. Sleeping on and off, an hour or two at a time. Wake up and turn over to go back to sleep. Been on the go for a week. In town several hours yesterday. Talked a couple hours with fiddler Gary Joines. I'd had a few 8x10 copies made of a business card size b&w photo made in what seems like it might be the late 50s, around 1960, of Cleve Andrews playing fiddle and Jr Maxwell playing banjo. I took him one of the prints and we talked about Cleve and the music without pause. Busy I've been, but it has all been to my liking. Sitting with the old boy on Tuesday mornings as a hospice volunteer, socializing at Selma's coffee shop afterward, which is always enjoyable, grocery store, drug store, gas station, money flying out of my hands, keeping it in motion.

Shirdi Sai Baba, master in India in the time of the early 20th Century recommended to his followers to let money flow through their fingers. I took that for sound counsel. I did that anyway, never made enough to do any better than get by, so all my money coming in flows back out into the economy stream. I have thought at length what he might have meant by that. He's saying don't get attached to it thinking you've got something of value. His teaching was that the spirit is the only value. Attachments are like tethers that hold a hot-air balloon in place on the ground, keep it from soaring free fulfilling its purpose. I'm glad to be able to say in this time of the life that I value Caterpillar the highest of anything I call mine, like books, cds, paintings, car. If the house were to catch on fire, I'd pick up Caterpillar before going out the door. The house isn't going to catch on fire and I don't need what I value tested, because I have a pretty fair understanding of what I value, the reason I value. And my friends. I value my friends like I value Caterpillar with what I think the Chinese call filial love.


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