I saw a little bit of the Olympics on tv yesterday visiting friends. The downhill men, the ski jump men, the snowboard women and cross country women. Enjoyed them all. Snowboard fascinates me. Not that I aim to attempt to stand up on one. It's funny to see the American corporate network's absence of humility make the event into commentary on how backward Russia is compared to USA. I can't help but think of the obvious decline of America. We're passing Russia on its way up as we're on our way down. I've seen it for so long, it doesn't bother me anymore. The arrogance coming through the television disturbed me. I remind myself it is corporate press, corporate image making, sophisticated mind-control. I look around at what it is like to be in the American working class and look at what the tv is telling us about ourselves. The confusion becomes so complex it shuts down thinking about it. I see my friends, both working, skimming the surface of poverty. Seeing television puts me into this kind of thinking. I see such a contrast in television to what I see happening around me. I don't mean corruption. I mean the working class has been in Depression the last thirty plus years. Government doesn't acknowledge it, television doesn't acknowledge it. Corporate self interest has bled the working class unto the living dead. Why do you think zombie and vampire entertainment is connecting with the American working class? The tv is overrun with commercials for images of destruction and the death of everybody, but they don't quite die, they just keep on. It's the best ever! I saw something a few days ago of some CEO from the ruling class saying the one percent work harder. My first thought: try working in a West Virginia coal mine for the rest of your life if you're so proud of hard labor. He'd rather kill himself.
It brings to mind the word declared the most annoying word of 2013: Whatever. Just whatever. I keep on a-keepin on just like everybody around me. Miss one paycheck and bankruptcy looms, except the corporations have made the laws so only corporations can declare bankruptcy. What happened to corporations are people? I guess it means except when they don't want any of the plebeian responsibilities, like paying taxes. I don't even want to be writing this. I set out not to, thought mentioning the Olympics could divert my mind away from this thinking, but it took me straight into where I did not want to go. I'm ill of this thinking, but it's all I see anymore of the greater world I inhabit, what the corporate takeover of our democracy has done to the American people. This is why I remind myself every day to keep my mind out of that toilet bowl. I can't change it. I can only take care of my own interest in my own space and time. I'd like to see less mean-spirited politicians. They make it too obvious they regard we the people the enemy. I look out the window and see Donkey Jack looking at me. I took a break and went out to feed the donkeys and calf. Jack brayed. Jenny knows I keep carrot chunks in the two pockets of my outdoor shirt. She pokes at the pockets with her nose when the carrots run out. I hold my hands open to show her what I mean by "no more." She's in a friendly, though assertive mood this morning. She was pushing me a little bit. She stood in front of the gate. I pushed it gently until I was able to get through. She just stared at me like to say, I don't want to move. Vada was in the same mood yesterday. I don't know how many times I heard her say, I don't want to. Jenny put her nose into the hay I was carrying and gave it a push like she wanted to push it out of my hands for the fun of it. She wasn't menacing. It was like she just wanted to give me a hard time for not having another carrot. She wasn't rough. She followed me into the meadow, ears back tight, gaze backward at Jack and the calf, ears telling them not to crowd in. Alpha donkey is first.
In the front of my mind at the beginning above, I wanted to tell y'all about the blog's purpose that keeps me going day after day since May 1, 2009, closing in on 5 years. I set out to make myself write something every day that might be worth reading. It is an exercise with intent to improve my writing. The only agenda is to write every day. The blog is a subjective account of one individual's experience in one place in one time. In this case, I am the individual, Air Bellows is the place and today is the time. In my own way of seeing reality, subjective experience is closer to "reality" than objective experience. Consciousness is subjective. Therefore, I write in first person personal experience, mental, physical and emotional. The blog was conceived in conversation with my friend Lizabeth. I was telling her about some old-timers I know and she said, "Have you thought about writing a blog?" I said, "What's a blog?" She explained briefly and gave me the web address for BlogSpot. I looked it up and it stayed in the front of my mind overnight and into the next day. I thought I'd give it a go. I'd been wanting to do some writing in a journal, but journaling attempts in the past would end after second or third day. I don't write to myself very well, tend to make notes. I thought if I put it online, made it an open journal, I'd have maybe somebody on the other end reading, someone to write to. One, two or three readers would do, just somebody to write to. Years ago, I knew a man who had been a well known writer in the writing time of his life. I was just starting out, freshman year in college. I mentioned, "I write for myself." He assured me nobody writes for himself. The act of writing automatically means it is for somebody to read. Not many years ago talking with someone I knew at lunch, he said he wrote for himself. I brought this up that the act of writing implies a reader. I was the subject of a brief lecture on naïvete. Whatever.
So far, I've written 1,466 entries. If I'd set out to do that many, it would not have got past fifty. I'd have been worn out by the thought of writing that many. Each day I make myself write. Most of the time I have a blank mind, nothing to say. So I start wherever I feel like starting and let it evolve of its own. Before long I have a theme begun and then follow it to see where it goes. Almost never do I start with a theme in mind. I like this free flowing way of writing. I think of it as "organic," using organic the way poet Denise Levertov defined it, letting the writing grow from inside itself. By the way, her collected poems has recently been published. Like today, I set out with a mind toward telling you about the process of writing these entries and their purpose. The purpose is to write. What happens from there is whatever happens. Keeping it decent is about my only rule of thumb. I give myself the freedom not to write any given day if I don't feel like it. Probably average something like 25 a month. It's all about feel. As I feel what I write about, I allow the feeling of not wanting to or not finding time in the day for writing. I believe my favorite part of the process is writing when I have a blank mind with nothing I want to explore. I'll write a sentence, then another, then another and find it starts flowing, subject revealed, next sentence, next and next. Even better than that, I like it when every sentence takes a long time to write. I push it and push. I make myself go. It wears me out so much that when it's finished I post it and go to bed, exhausted. On the way to sleep, I regret posting it, thinking it the worst thing I've written, shouldn't even have let anybody see it. Get up in the morning, look at it to see what a horrible mess I ruined whatever credibility the blog might have had with. An email or two saying it's one of the best. I read it over and am shocked at what I'd written. It really was one of the best. I laugh at myself again. It's a friendly laughing at self. The point is that it doesn't matter if they're good or bad. I like to make them the best I can, but want the freedom to allow the whole range of possibilities. It seems like willingness to allow the worst with the best frees inner blockage. Freedom from holding myself to an artificial standard really does allow creative expression. Writing these daily entries has freed up the storyteller within.
old-time string band
the crooked road ramblers