In the afternoon, I looked out to see where the donkeys were in the meadow. Jack and Jenny were playing chase. They took turns. Jenny chased Jack, then Jack chased Jenny. Eventually, the game of chase got Jack charged up and he jumped onto Jenny's back. She stood still and allowed it. He stepped down and they both went back to grazing. Playing chase and the game turning to serious business, Jenny put her head down and her ears back anticipating Jack biting down on her neck. He followed close by her side, but never made a gesture toward biting her. I am leaving them to work out their relationship without human interference. Every day it is a new feeling between them. I took some sweet grain and some carrots to them a little later. Jack came to me first, braying, wanting to smell my hand to check sight and sound with scent. Jenny walked up for a treat. Jack grunted his growl sound and turned his back end to her. Jenny stopped and stood still. Every time she would attempt to approach me for a bite of carrot, Jack growled at her and she backed off. He kept his rear end pointed at her. His ears were laid back. All the time he was eating carrot and grain, his eye was on Jenny. His muscles were taut. He did not like her approaching me. I threw half a carrot to her and she picked it up off the ground. She couldn't get close enough for me to give her a handful of grain. I poured some grain on the ground for her and some for Jack. Tight tension between them today, mostly coming from Jack. He was wound up, grunting his growl at Jenny every time she came too close to him. He wanted the human to himself today.
I was looking at a couple of big books of color photographs by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher, African Ceremonies. I found some donkeys in a photograph somewhere in Mali. The donkeys were Bethlehem Cross donkeys like Jack and Jenny. I made the mistake of mentioning to a fundamentalist I know that I'd seen someplace they say Jesus rode into Jerusalem on one of these donkeys and forever after, this breed of donkey had a cross on its back. She said it is so, that Jesus riding it put the cross there. All I could say was, "Genetics doesn't work like that." Of course, it didn't mean anything to her, Jesus performed miracles. She told me about the dogwood flower with the petals that have red around the hole at the end of each petal representing holes in his hands. She said he was crucified on a dogwood tree. I couldn't pursue the subject any further. Explaining anything would have glazed her eyes and she'd have balked mentally. I didn't want to go with this, so I changed the subject. That's easy to do in today's America. Span of attention is nonexistent after more than half a century of television, and now cell phone computers. I've found it impossible to keep a conversation going on a given subject for more than a few sentences before an interruption of some sort breaks what little concentration there is. It's become so bad I have lost interest in conversation. Mid-sentence, somebody says, "Hi! How are you!" Jabber, jabber. Gone. Back to the conversation. Forget it. Neither one of us has any recollection.
I've come to the place that when I'm interrupted I do not allow myself to remember what I was saying that was interrupted. I will not waste mentation trying to hold a conversation together once it has been broken. I refuse to go back to the subject before. Everything has changed. Start talking again, then here comes somebody else. In America it is Rule #1 that we are duty bound to interrupt any two people seen talking. The only way a conversation can be carried on in America is for two people to be isolated from everyone else, no cell phone, relaxed conversation. I despise it in restaurants when I'm in conversation with the other at the table when the waiter says, "Is everything all right?" We have to stop what we're talking about and answer. Every time, I want to pull a Chris Rock on the waiter and say, "Shut the fuck up!" But this is America. We interrupt anecdotes with anecdotes unconsciously. We operate in unconsciousness. The waiters know the etiquette: see two people talking, interrupt them. I go into a restaurant with a friend to have a face-to-face visit, talk about what's important to us at the moment, not to be interrupted repeatedly during conversation. Though it annoys me every time, I'm used to it. Interrupted, I let the last sentence go without any attempt to hang onto it. I refuse to struggle against this cultural trend of unconsciousness. It's the nature of my place and time in the world, so I let it have its way. When the other says, What were we talking about? I answer, I don't remember. Even if I do. Why bother? A new subject of conversation gets started and it will soon be interrupted by the first person to see us talking.
I tend not to talk much of the time, because I dislike being interrupted so much. I've learned to ride the wave of interruptions and take it as the American form of conversation. To an outsider, a television non viewer, I have seen over years the dwindling of the American attention span. It is down to nothing by now. In the 1970s I was seeing the attention span around me about that of a cat's. By now, a cat is a deep thinker compared to an American. It's no wonder our politics has gone off the deep end into unconsciousness to all but money, the American mind. What we have now for government is the result of money being the only. Nothing matters but money. Recalling a statement from a man I know of that mind, "If you're not making money, you're going backwards." The Reagan Revolution created a couple of generations of college graduates unable to make money. Revolutions start in the middle class. We evidently have a revolution of some sort on the horizon. There is so much talk about it, just the talk itself may make it happen. White man is backed into a corner. Democracy was ok as long as white men were the majority. Though still controlling the military, white men are anxious seeing the hold on democracy slipping away. Hence the trend in red states to make laws restricting voting by college students, women, Latins, black people. Doing it out in the open on the evening news and nobody says anything about it of substance. It's like a good idea. The republican collective mind has become so moronic, I've lost respect for everyone I know who is republican. I used to give them the benefit of the doubt. I've learned, give them the benefit of the doubt and watch out.
I came to the mountains to live a solitary life, though not necessarily solitude. I need the presence of others, friends, people I can count on who can count on me. I need social interactions. I need to talk about subjects of interest with others. I need to hear what others are thinking. I'm drawn to people who like to talk, because I like to listen, though am bored by chatter and can't take much of it. When I'm in conversation with somebody and a chatterer interrupts, taking the stage, I tune out and have even gone so far as to turn my back and start talking with someone else. I understand the impulse to curmudgeon. It's a word that defines me fairly accurately. I don't see any hope for humans to solve any problems created by humans. It's getting close to time for Divine intervention if we are going to make it through this time. I'm curious to see how Divine intervention manifests. It will pass unnoticed by the ones waiting for Jesus to come down from the clouds to wave his magic wand and fix us, heal us of our minds focused on nothingness in the form of numbers, driven by greed for more. We are seeing now that greed built into Capitalism turns out to be the cancer within that grows and destroys the living form. What's next? We will wait and see. Now that Capitalism is challenging Democracy, it might be that a hornet's nest has been disturbed. A whole generation of college graduates with student loan debt and slim resources, seeing their basic American rights eroded unto gone, will not be so easy to dismiss as the working class.