Oh good, the rain has begun. The green world is ready. A couple weeks have gone by without rain, but for a welcome shower one night. I went to Carpenter's house earlier to water a young mountain laurel I'd transplanted from the woods a couple weeks ago. They are hardy. I'm watering it every other day to keep it wet, give it a liquid diet while it grows new root hairs. The leaves are perked up and happy. The Dutch irises transplanted a couple weeks ago stand straight up like green rapiers, telling me they're happy. The large patch of wild violet leaves, out the window, flutter in random patterns, make a dance, bring to mind Philip Glass music. It's a visualization of his music, like the continuous flow lines in the films he scored, Koyaanisqatsi and the unspellable others. I heard him in a radio interview a few days ago, the occasion of his new memoir's release. I actually allowed self to spend $45 on the cd collection of Einstein On The Beach. That was when $45 was $45. Never regretted it. Haven't yet gone to amazon to see about his book. If it is under 500 pages, I may look into it. I'm still stuck in the middle of a thousand page Van Gogh biography, taking a diversion after 500 pages, like gimme a break. I feel like I'm creeping up on getting back into it, but facing 500 more pages is like, Lord have mercy. I've read six books during the respite from Van Gogh, and may yet read a few more.
While looking within at the trails of destiny leading to today, I have a note on the desk to my right written on a piece of pocket-sized nobebook paper, "to see what you believe, see how you live." It has been here for a few weeks. I look at it fairly often, awareness it's there. I have never been able to answer the question, what do I beleive. NPR used to have people write in their stories of what they believe. Every time I'd hear them start, I'd wonder what I'd say, and couldn't put what I believed into a capsule form of one thing that makes a good story. Where do you start, and where do you end? I believe that if I cross the yellow lines in front of an oncoming car I'll have a problem. Haven't tested the hypothesis, but believe it. It's a belief I've gained by noting other people's experience. It's part of what I like about reading. I like reading someone else's story, seeing through someone else's point of view, good practice in awareness that others do, indeed, have a point of view particular to their own experience. Somebody I used to have lunch with regularly was convinced, by a belief about his point of view, that his was the only one valid---he's right, everybody else is wrong. A time came I was unable to put self through the torment again of my own volition, to take the first step toward the door. The people I know who read are comfortable with a point a view besides their own. Someone else's point of view tells me I share this world with others of very interesting points of view, if I can put my own out of the way enough to allow the other.
How I live will tell what I believe. On the obvious level, when you walk in the door you see clutter. My workshop is the footstool to the chair I read in, watch movies in and listen to music in. A piece of plywood on the footstool is the workbench. Parts for things I'm putting together lie around in stacks, boxes filled with jars and tubes of paint, finished objects, magazines, books on shelves, books in stacks, a variety of pictures and African masks around the walls. Two of them are the real deal, three of them made for tourists. I don't care if they're all made for tourists. Some people are afraid of them. I believe they're good medicine. One has pointed teeth. It looks frightful to a Westerner. I've looked closely at the person it was modeled on in the mask itself and see a striking likeness. It's just a human face. The feeling I get from it is balance, so I think of it as balance. It is the image on the wall daily reminder of balance. I think the masks are beautiful, the purpose for having them. Pictures of Meher Baba on each wall. Asked, Don't you think you have enough pictures of Baba? I say, No. He has a great deal to do with my destiny. set me on the path to being able to find my destiny within, my path itself within. My work along the way has been to keep bills paid and basic needs taken care of. The way I'm living now is the way I wanted to live in my youth, but wasn't ready.
By here, I mean the place I see from, gazing out the window at the donkey meadow, green, the fence, a fly exploring the pane of glass looking for a hole in the invisible wall. He can see where he wants to go, but can't find a hole. I live simply. It doesn't mean self-sufficient. That's too much work, requires too much focus of attention, more than I'm willing to pay for something I can buy at the grocery store for so little. Growing it costs more than buying it. I know, better for ya, but if eating like I eat is deadly, because I didn't grow it, why am I not dead yet? I know the answer to why I'm not dead yet: science. Praise the Scientific Method! I live below the poverty line by choice. Don't have much to offer the world of money flow. The boycott of one says no to a belief system I don't share. Because I don't want to participate in the System, does not imply resistance. My form of resistance is nonparticipation. Be like water, flow around it. I believe television has wrecked American life, but can't struggle against something so big. I lose before it starts. I go around it and stay out of television, I don't like to infect my head with the mystery of the obvious, preferring a life where everyday life is not so obvious. The subliminal application of graduate-school Psychology is not guiding an ongoing effort to seduce my attention when I'm not watching tv. None of the books in the house are spun by the propaganda fear machine, nor is the music. No Tom Clancy novels. No commercials here. No pop radio. Only NPR for absence of commercials.
photos by tj worthington