The last couple days have been peculiar in such a way I suspect an arrangement of the planets. Here at home, quiet, staying out of other peoples' issues, an email invited me to participate in a civic project I questioned seriously for three days and said ok. A couple weeks later the one who emailed me before, announced she has other things to do and I'm to call so and so and tell him what I want to do. I see no reason to call. There's nothing I want to do. I was asked to do something I hesitate to get involved in and now am told to ask permission to do what I don't want to do. The end. I'm not going past this. Something that starts crazy stays crazy all the way through and ends crazy. It's a natural law. I did like the frog that was dropped into boiling water. Gone. Then I learn one of my friends has pulled some undermining shit on another of my friends. I wasn't even disappointed, it was so in character. Today I saw two women I know hate each other playing like best friends, sweet and happy. No more working on projects that are not my own and no more civic anything. I had my learning years ago. I jump into what I already know is there, get burnt, jump back and laugh at self for not paying attention to self. Told to ask permission to do what I was asked to do pushed me over the edge. It's what I call a Sparta Experience. The part that blew me away, I didn't even have to leave home to have a Sparta experience. It came to me out of the blue. This was the very thing I was wary of that made me hesitate three days to answer. I don't want to do it anyway, and I sure don't want to do it told to ask permission. I saw another friend today throw away a really good and good-paying job out of neurotic fear having to do with self-esteem, unaware yet the job is gone.
I want to stay home, yet it finds me. Last week a form letter in the mail telling me to report for jury duty in Statesville, an hour and fifteen minutes interstate run, each way. It gives me the willies to think about driving on the interstate, bumper-to-bumper, side-to-side at 75 mph in packs like in a nascar race. I'm not in that much of a hurry anymore and don't care that much anymore. Fortunately, I'm in the age zone excused if requested. Requested right away. The form went out in the mail same day it arrived. Notice came yesterday I am excused. Thank you with all my heart court system of North Carolina. This jury duty form letter came at a time in the life when I don't want involvement in other people's business. It's the freedom that goes with being outside the circle of "making money." Like this craziness that flew in out of nowhere. Other people's mental energy zoomed in on me makes me crazy. It's one of those come-here-I-love-you-get-back-I-hate-you gestures. It's not a matter of being mad. I'm not mad. I've just learned, well enough to get it. Back in 1983, after I'd been here seven years, thought I'd check out the arts council, see if there was anything going on. Preacher Millard Pruitt, whose church I was going to at the time, said, when I told him I'd connected with the arts council, "That'll last about a year." My back went up. I took it for a smart-mouthed thing to say, chose to ignore it. The arts council turned out to be a High Meadows country club women's club. After a year of dreary meetings I committed to involvement in something participatory and egos exploded in my face. Had I not left of my own will, I'd have been invited to leave.
I told Millard Pruitt what happened and asked, "How did you know it would be one year?" He said, "I know Sparta and I know you." He had worked in the Dr Grabow pipe factory, managed an Esso gas station that is now the Exxon, drove a mail route, kept a farm and was active in the county Republican party. Politically, he thought Jesse Helms was too moderate. He wanted to nuke Iran and blow up the world with Reagan the Great pushing the buttons. He had a brilliant mind outside politics. In politics he was a cement head. He was the embodiment of the Groucho Marx song, Whatever it is, I'm against it. He was everything Yankees like to point the finger at the South about. He was all the words that freak out young liberals, bigot, racist, used the enword, anti-women's rights, a John Bircher Baptist, the Republican party today. Going by what I've learned by now in my own experience, who I am now would say the same thing to who I was then, it'll last about a year. And my reasoning would be the same, I know Sparta and I know you. Then, Sparta and I were mysteries to each other. Now, Sparta and I know each other fairly well. They're glad to see me stay home and I want to be at home. I always see people I am glad to see in Sparta. This is the aspect of Sparta I appreciate most. It's where I see people I know. I like Food Lion because I always see someone I know to speak with for a few minutes. Drug store, hardware stores, bank, gas station, and I head home. Town people and country people are two different cultures. I like people of both town and country. And I like the people I know from Away.
It sounds like I'm coming from a love/hate thing for Sparta. No. I don't have a hate thing for Sparta in any degree. Only a love thing for Sparta. I accept Sparta's personality as I accept the personality of any of my friends. It is a place to see people I'm glad to know, glad to live among, glad to be in their world. Driving to and from town today, I saw familiar houses of people I know and don't know, and fields, seeing familiar mountain landscape in foreground and background. Everything I see is home. My life before the mountains I hardly ever remember anything from. Still have friends from before the mountain experience, just a few. I don't keep in touch with relatives. We live in such different worlds, we don't have a lot to talk about anymore. They think I live in the toilet of the world and that's where I think they live. They don't want to come here and I don't want to go there, so we don't see each other. I've lost touch with all my cousins. They don't mind and I don't mind. I left everything that went before in my life when I settled into the mountains. I set out to be a solitary, though the necessity of working to generate income took awhile to transcend. I have come into my solitary time and love it, keeping a good flow in motion that isn't too fast. I've worked consciously with my own psychology such that mind is quiet by now. It rattles my flow when a Sparta Experience drops in at home. I apply the rigor learned along the way: if you don't want it started, don't start it. I have a choice.
vada and found art