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Saturday, January 24, 2015

WALKING THE DONKEYS HOME

the road

Woke up in the morning, looked out the window and saw white spots on the ground. Went to the door, opened it and saw sleet all over the ground, rocks wet, rhododendron leaves hanging down covered with ice. The Cosmos was telling me the trip is off to Charlotte to see Daniel Biggins' band, The Seduction, play at the Milestone with three other bands, a CD release party. I knew the ice would not be a factor from the place I was scheduled to meet Daniel in Cherry Lane, though between here and the meeting point would be more ice than I care to address. Driving home at 4am in unknown conditions, more than likely worse, convinced me this is not a good time to go. The Cosmos knows. Much as I'd love to be there at this moment, a few hours into the show, it's not a problem. The future is open. I'll hear the band again. This coming week I'll find Daniel to buy some copies of the band's new self-produced CD from him. I already know it will be a good one. I wanted to hear the other bands too, Viajando, in particular. The two bands play together fairly often. Maybe I'll get to see them with DSR (Dirty South Revolutionaries), who, by the way, are playing in Atlanta this weekend, a Charlotte band. My feeling about the Cosmos shutting me out of this event tells me another show is coming up soon even more to my liking. Since my first show at the Milestone, I've been wanting to go back. I like the vibe there. I like the people there. My mother saw a video of Daniel's band last week I put up on facebook. She wrote in comments: "Did you get out of there alive?" I wrote her back, "They are wonderful, friendly people, nobody gets hurt" The people I'm among in there give me a good feeling about the future. I see the people in the bands artists. They explore new compositions of their own. Talented songwriters among them as well as guitar players and drummers. I see talent galore. And I hear talent. They rock the way I like it.   

dsr

Looking out the window at the weather, I saw the donkeys in their new meadow, heads hanging down, the precipitation sticking to their backs, walking to a sheltered place. They looked so forlorn I decided carrot time would be the best time to put my new hypothesis to the test, walk them from one fence to the other, leading them. I went to the gate with carrots. They were visibly glad to see me. I stepped inside and gave them each a carrot, relaxed, tuning in to them. Jenny stepped through the opening. Jack stood beside the gate and wouldn't move. OK. I followed Jenny and Jack stepped around to the opening and joined us where Jenny was making the decision not to step onto the road looking like ice with a small stream of water was running down the road. I walked by Jenny and around the car, Jack following me and Jenny following Jack. I walked them by the house and to the gate into the meadow. Jack walked in behind me. Jenny found some fresh hay on the ground beside the fence where I roll hay bales down the hill. She followed the trail of hay up to the side of the road, found nothing there of interest. I picked up some hay to carry into the meadow and she followed me through the gate. Nothing big deal about it. We went for a walk. I wanted to keep this sojourn as volunteer on their parts as possible. I never directed either one. I walked from gate to gate and they followed entirely of their own volition. I feel like they will learn the walk from gate to gate better by walking it out of curiosity than being directed. To them, this side of the fence is my world. They see me in it every day. I'm glad they found a chance to check it out relaxed, following their curiosity, Walking them to the other gate in summer would be another matter. We would need to make the walk before the jewelweed gets past seedlings. The donkeys love jewelweed. I give them each a jewelweed plant in summer for dessert when carrots are gone. They would not pass the jewelweed patch until it was all eaten.  

jack and jenny wait for me to help them find their way home

Another bridge for another time. I don't believe we'd get very far in summer volunteer walking. It could happen, but Jenny has a curious eye and a will of her own. They don't eat only grass. I see what they eat from what grows up where I spread their biscuits for fertilizer. They appear to like daisies. Jenny's name before she became Donkey Jen was Daisy. I was inclined to go on calling her Daisy. I don't like to change a pet's name. Talking with Justin about it, he said, "I'm gonna call her Jenny. You can call her anything you like. She'll always be Jenny to me." I was good with calling them by what they are. Male donkeys are Jacks and female donkeys are Jennys. They're probably the most common donkey names. Good. I didn't want to call them cool made up names like Jellyroll and Tulip. Jack and Jenny are good names. Little Richard sang her song. Jack is a name I associate with a friend of my parents when I was a kid. Jack and DeLouris. I loved Jack and DeLouris. I wanted to know them grown up, but Jack died of cancer before I could know him as an adult. DeLouris is gone too. DeLouris was Billy Graham's first cousin and would not allow it to be mentioned. My mother thought it was the coolest thing there ever was, but DeLouris did not. I mentioned it to her once and she said we're not going to talk about that. Jack and DeLouris took me to see Elvis Presley's first movie, Love Me Tender, 1956, seventh grade. It was billed, "Mr Rock n roll in the story he was born to play!" To a teenage kid getting caught up in the new stars of pop culture, it was gloriously sentimental. Elvis died at the end, sob, sob. And then he came back in Hollywood swimming pool movies surrounded by babes in bathing suits and high heels. He died and came back in a martyr's heaven. The name Jack has its own happy association. I don't think about the other Jack when I'm with Donkey Jack, same as I don't think about Little Richard with Jenny. They're just name associations. 

elvis the pelvis

It felt good this morning to walk the donkeys back to their home meadow after a night out. The precipitation set me in motion, wanting them in their home meadow before much more of the ice was on the ground. I wanted to get them to their shelter, knowing they were uneasy, especially after sleeping outside their den all night. Gone camping. They were safe and Jack knew where they were. I imagine they slept wherever he slept. It turned out to be a good experience for all concerned. I felt like the whole experience was for the three of us to share. I didn't go nuts and scare them out of their wits. They walked to the other gate, I thought it would be a good time to introduce them to the meadow the other side of the creek, and a whole lot easier than trying to get them back to the gate they came out of while they were in full exploration mode. Gave them an acre to run in and memories for Jack. This morning they were ready to go home. I took it for a success in how my philosophy plays out in the world. I felt a twinge of alarm when I saw Jenny walk by and Jack close behind her. There would be no turning them around. I put the hay down and entered their flow. It's the three of us out for a walk, not me in charge. I know better than to think I can take charge of a donkey. I relaxed into their flow. They went to the other gate out of curiosity. I've a confidence now that were they to get out and wander someplace before I know they're gone, I'll be able to walk them home simply by joining them on their walkabout. No need to round them up with a switch and holler and cuss, get in there you jackass bitch. About the time somebody talks to Jenny in such manner, she will be alienated from that moment on. Jenny is a proud woman. I'm happy with my relationship with the donkeys. Jenny has a brilliant mind and her own will. I like both characteristics in her. I want to allow her her own mind. The journey worked out successfully both ways allowing Jenny her curiosity, joining her in it, flowing with donkey mind instead of against it.  

donkeys at home


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