I come in a 20th century box. This blog for example. I’m my only follower, I think. I was starting this wordpress blog and following prompt after prompt, uploading photos here and there, and accidentally became my one and only subscriber. Cool!
This must be what you call self-respect. I wish more politicians had it. It means you believe what you say and do what you believe is right. And it isn’t easy because there aren’t many examples of self-respect. Certainly a person with 100% self-respect is rare. If you have 100% self-respect, the wisdom goes, you’re missing significant humility.
But this world respects the middle-dweller; the person who accepts his or her own flaws, forgives him or herself, and asks forgiveness of others, and asks to continue on his or her path, with thanks.
What to do or say when one has found respite? Tonight is such a night. I delivered a nice salad to Rose, and she was tucked into bed watching Netflix, comfy. Why should I be satisfied when my kid is watching the boob-tube? Because it means she can relax. If The Best Years of Our Lives was on Netflix I’d be curled up in bed watching it tonight, but since it isn’t a book will suffice.
I have a home, fortunately. Some people, a lot of people, don’t. Yesterday I stood on the grass in front of the Humboldt County Courthouse and held up a little sign that said, “Today is Homeless Eviction Day.” It referred to the policy the City of Eureka came up with to get rid of the encampment that formed after they evicted the encampment in the Palco Marsh. Now these houseless folks have nowhere safe to go, and they face arrest for existing. I learned yesterday, while demonstrating, that Attorney Peter Martin has taken the City of Eureka to Federal Court over this, and expects to win, because the City of Eureka is in the habit of robbing its citizens of their constitutional rights, and has done so in the case of the Palco Marsh eviction.
I went to the Eureka City Council meeting the evening of the Palco Marsh eviction, on May 2. May was Mental Health Awareness Month. If we didn’t know it beforehand, one of the council members reminded us, smartly placing an apple-green thermos next to her name plate, declaring that her thermos conformed to the color of Mental Health Awareness Month, which was lime green. When a government employee tells me apple green is lime green I know other misperceptions are likely. Indeed, this same council member, a moment later, assured us there was no stigma attached to mental illness.
Now I know this isn’t true. Any mental patient will tell you that. In fact, the minute you admit to being mentally ill (that includes being mentally injured), you know you’re going to be treated differently, as if you are weaker, stupider, less deserving of respectful treatment, less deserving of housing. Mental illness and homelessness go together like poverty and criminality, and they all wind up ostracized, scapegoated, branded.
The ones who don’t admit to being mentally ill are running for president, staffing the Board of Supervisors, Congress, the Armed Forces, the Eureka City Council, most non-profits, most corporations, hospitals, universities, newspapers, and so on.
The message: Don’t admit you have mental health problems or you will wind up like the miserable people on the street tonight, sleeping in a cardboard box.
This morning I harvested the two ginko nuts on the tree nearest to the paved path leading toward my apartment from the sidewalk. I’ve been watching them for a few weeks, wondering if the tree would drop them. Once, not long after I moved here five years ago, a large, male human being accosted the tree, whose branches strayed across the paved path. This large individual, apparently enraged, tore the branch from the tree, and other small branches.
I don’t know why I decided he was the culprit, because I didn’t see him do it, but he was still on the premises when I saw the damage, and the largest in his crowd, so I walked up to him, looked up, and asked him if he beat up the tree. He was at least 250 pounds and 6’4”, but not very old, perhaps still a teenager. He looked surprised, then nodded.
“That’s a ginko!” I told him. “They survived Nagasaki. That’s nuclear!” I said. I forcefully explained that I needed him to stop assaulting the tree, because it was sacred. Then I left him and his friends lingering a few feet outside my door. I’d often seen these kids, and others, congregating around the entrance to the apartment complex. They bought drugs regularly from the family — mother, father, and son — in the apartment nearest to the street. The son’s teen-age friends could be observed regularly in the area, smoking cigarettes or pot, strewing wrappers, swearing, and generally degrading the place.
The large kid was still hanging around when I got back from the store about 30 minutes later. I thanked him for leaving the tree alone.
The drug-selling family eventually left the apartment. The father died and the kid was evicted after he became an adult. The mother moved to another apartment.
The demographics have changed in this complex with the economics in the community. Now there are more low-income families, as the single, elderly disabled residents are passing into the spirit world, and violent and/or drug peddling tenants are being evicted. The neighborhood in general is cleaning itself up as the housing market is becoming pricier. There have been a number of defaulted mortgages in the streets surrounding my home, and dilapidated houses are being upgraded and renovated for the new homeowners.
The crab apple tree just outside my apartment declared itself this year. I can’t remember any year it put out blossoms, except in 2016, because I didn’t have time to notice it or was on Cape Cod for the spring. I know this is the first year it put out apples though, a bumper crop.
The Methodist parsonage on Main Street in Wellfleet had a crab apple tree. I tasted them and they were inedible. These crab apples in Arcata, however, are good. Some of them are crisp and sweet. The tree was loaded this year, which I took as a good sign.
Last spring, when I thought I was dying, I awoke from a vivid dream, exclaiming, “Apples!” Since the fall of 2007, when I journeyed west to work Southern Humboldt for a few weeks, I’ve had apples on the brain. I had had a dream that Dave and I settled back in Arcata, and there were apples everywhere. When I kissed him goodbye and left him with the kids, I inscribed a card, with apples on the face of it, to him, which I intended to mail from the airport, but never sent.
I’m grateful for the apples outside my door, and for the ones in the yards of neighbors. I pick them from the ground, not the tree. These apples made the best applesauce I’ve ever had. I doubt anyone else has the time to glean the apples and cook with them, but it’s part of my recovery from PTSD.
Sometimes I collect an armful and take them to the small cow in the pasture near the organic farm at the end of my street. She has a calf. And horns. The sheep want the apples but they don’t compete with her for them. She always hails me when she sees me coming. I notice that someone has clipped her hooves, which last year looked like elf shoes, and I’m glad I said something to one of the farm hands about it.
Rose has been pestering me to get a waffle iron and make waffles for breakfast. Once I had the best waffle iron, inherited from my brother Patrick. He made waffles for himself and his friends in the National Hotel on Market Street in the early 1980s. You could take out the irons and clean them. It was small and round, classic size.
I got another one from a Eureka thrift store yesterday, a Cuisinart, but you can’t remove the irons. I need to get a better one some day, but you probably couldn’t get a better one for two dollars, and it did make terrific waffles this morning. Rose was skeptical that I would have them ready in time because she had an early class, but she got her waffles, with maple syrup (donated), strawberries and whipped cream.
The maple syrup came from a friend in San Francisco with whom I stayed this past weekend. It was an important trip. I had to see about retaining a lawyer to defend the eviction Humboldt Housing thinks needs to happen. They think I need to be homeless, apparently, because since March 25, 2016 they have been insisting I need to leave. They are falsely claiming a lease violation. Homelessness is all the rage in America today.
Management at Humboldt Housing made a mistake targeting me for homelessness, but like many people who make mistakes, they’d rather die than admit it. This describes a condition prevalent in earth culture.
I borrowed a book from my San Francisco friend about Irish history. It describes the horrific behavior of the English. I once thought Nazi Germany invented depravity, but I was wrong. They adopted it from a long genocidal tradition among humans, including the English, whose genocidal philosophy sailed westward across the Atlantic ocean and wiped out the indigenous people of Turtle Island.
There’s an excellent piece in the North Coast Journal this week about the genocide of the California Indians. And this book I borrowed, The Story of the Irish Race, by Seumas MacManus, published almost 100 years ago, is excellent. I like the way he writes because, while he loads sentences with facts, he also writes creatively. For example, on page 500:
“Other people had felt long before this that the so-called ‘Independence’ which Ireland had won from England in 1782, was not the genuine article, and that the ‘Independent’ Irish Parliament was a libel on the name of free institutions. But until [Theobald Wolfe] Tone presented a true diagnosis, these others, like unskilled physicians, went on applying remedies to the symptoms, and neglecting the root cause of the malady which laid waste the Irish Nation in sight of all men’s eyes. And that root cause was the connection with England.”
Another book I noticed at my San Francisco friend’s house was Mutant Message Downunder, written in the early 1990s by an American physician who spent a lot of time in the Australian outback with native peoples, by their invitation. She, like all “civilized” individuals, was considered a “mutant” by these Australian aboriginal people, while they considered themselves “Real People”. Real People believe they are real because their connection with the planet is thoroughly un-severed. They communicate telepathically with each other, the animals, the plants, the mineral kingdom and the rest of their universe.
I wanted to borrow this book as well, but it didn’t belong to my friend; it was his friend’s book. I’d read a lot of it during my stay and thought I got the gist of it anyway. Yesterday lingered at the thrift store in Eureka, after loading up on the best books, and a hot plate, and the waffle iron, and a few serving trays, and my eye fell on a book inside a milk crate near the cash register. It was Mutant Message Downunder, by Marlo Morgan. Just now I am searching the topic online. Apparently Marlo Morgan is like Lynn Andrews — a fake — and the indigenous people of Australia were furious about the book and demanded an apology from her, which she gave, explaining she didn’t mean any harm.
Dave always said “Intention is everything.” In magical circumstances, of course, intention is everything. But on earth, we have to contend with thick materialism, where magic burrows the minutest channels into human consciousness, and there stalls much more often than not. Such intention needs to consider conflicting intention, which on earth is not only possible, but highly probable. I think people can’t stand admitting when they are wrong because they think it puts them at a disadvantage. In a world of conflict, I suppose you could say that’s worse than death.
I never got to say goodbye. Never saw the body. My child asked me not to look.The remains were at sea for several days, providing nutrition for fish and perhaps mammals. I asked if he was in one piece. I don’t know why it mattered to me. Possibly because Isis had to go to the ends of the earth to find 14 pieces of her husband. She found 13.
She had to fashion the 14th to put him whole again.
So I undertake the same, in the underworld, to where he’s gone.
He told me we would be closer than ever some day. They say true love never dies.
The Dog Star resonates with me now. When others say, “Are you serious?” they are wondering if I’m sincere or ernest, but it sounds to me like they are asking if I’m Sirius.
When you get older, the stars assert themselves, reminding you of your eventual return to interstellar space.
Speaking of John Coltrane, he is good medicine for now.
I’ve been listening to Dave’s music, when I can stand it. I feel him constantly.
They say you find the most precious things when you’re not looking. I found everything I wasn’t looking for: Christmas, Easter, Ground Hog’s Day/Brigid, Santa Lucia, All Hallow’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, a roll in the hay at 3 a.m. (midnight California time) on New Year’s, a wedding on the first day of spring. I felt the death of the Sun King each August, and each October the chilly skies in windswept Noe Valley blew in the pagan new year.
I met a time traveler who has traveled on. He blessed a great many people, and he eclipsed me. His precious body is a memory, but his soul abides. I’m glad I can love him, but rebuke myself daily for not making more inquiries, for being worn down by it all. I would have given anything to keep him here, but sometimes a soul feels trapped, alone, exhausted, afraid and worthless. I saw Dave as free, well-attended, energetic, fearless and confident. If his wife saw him as that, how could he end up the opposite? I have such a hard time believing he didn’t share or cherish my opinion of him. He revealed my weaknesses and evoked my strengths, exactly as God does. I worshipped him.
The goal for everyone is to attain enlightenment. Is a genius not closer to enlightenment than a dullard? Many think the genius is an enlightener. The egoist genius results when a genius is patronized, and this is the ruination of artistry.
To require patronization for any art is an abomination. Art should be folded into life’s necessities, not regarded as a bonus. Folk art and high art are not two sorts of art except that one requires more money than necessary to make its point. If we are all swept away anyway, what need to hew something in stone?
The human heart is longer lasting. Love is forever. Better to celebrate love and nurture living relationships than to pay someone to describe their inspiration for all time. Give me utopia over any pretty city. Give me a culture of kindness that makes art out of food and plates to put it on, baskets to carry the day’s harvest and other necessary items.
I’ll make art out of my clothes, movement, speech, relationships, prayers, and if I’m successful, I will change the world to folk art, with everyone serving everyone, singing their joy in communion with Mother Earth, Sun of God, Harmony of the Spheres, the Compassionate One conceiving all in perfect time.
That said, I’m sure glad for Stonehenge. Its design rewards study. It was clearly made by genii. It’s obvious that whomever made this stone device anticipated the need to hew important information in stone, as humans were about to get very stupid, and when they got smart again they would need to understand Stonehenge’s information in order to get out of the unbelievable mess they will be in.
We are about to get very smart as necessity will demand us to pledge, once again, the types of pledges Americans made to one another in dire times: to care for one another’s interests as one would one’s own. Selflessness and trust are the basis of community because everyone must both contribute and sacrifice in turn for the greater good. These truths we hold to be self-evident; that to claim the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, one has to grant that right to all.
Why should one abandon equality? My guess is that many people believe a selfish world is “human nature.” I think it’s the opposite. I think human nature is fundamentally selfless, with a tender heart and sterling character. For a rebuttal on my assessment of human nature, read Mark Twain’s Letters From the Earth, a book so scandalously hilarious it could only be published 50 years after his death.
Some time ago my husband Dave Myers and I were discussing, again, what we should name our band. We’d been singing together for at least a year when we settled on Church of the Subtle. We both loved John Coltrane and were taken by the fact that devotees of Coltrane founded a church around his music, and gathered every Sunday in a Christian fashion to play his songs.
Dave and I both appreciated subtlety, particularly with respect to music. We were both radio people, so understood the power of invisible forces. We wanted our life together to represent subtlety, and we wanted our work to testify to the marriage of our vibrations.
The Earth and Her subtle agencies garlanded us with rewards, leading to overconsumption, poor judgment, predation. Art lost. The children paid, and paid.
Defeated, casting my eyes heavenward, I discovered goodness, and sipped it through a straw.
I heard a voice and hummed what I heard. It was Aloysius Proud, who wrapped himself in a summer’s day and explained himself away. I took notes, unfortunately.
My service dog, Lucky, was attacked while I was away, burying the dead, the long dead, the castaway. He was bitten in the neck by the same shark who took his master’s voice. It circled for seven years, and went for the juggler, but the juggler took him and cast him in the sea. She was not a sailor, but was driven.
I must bring him back piece by piece, and remind myself he was subtle, he worshipped the subtle, he was a child of rock and roll and therefore must never grow old.
The obituary mentions me as one of the “other relatives.” Church of the Subtle isn’t mentioned, though we made two albums together and sang together for 14 years, mostly Dave’s compositions, and him doing most of the playing and singing. I had the babies and massaged his body and worshipped at his feet and assumed he deserved all the credit.
We gave each other nothing for Christmas, after giving everything we had to others. Those were our happiest times.
When you love someone and kids are involved, you have to put your love first and remember why you had kids together. It’s not up for debate. I married an artist. I married in a realm above it all, and invited others to witness. Whoever made it to Sutro Park in San Francisco on the first day of spring in 1997 heard me say I would love him even when he was tormented and needed understanding.
Perhaps only the sea heard me.
Now the underworld is overhead and the ocean’s harbor is my bed.
Yesterday was Anne Frank’s birthday. I wrote a short tribute and posted it on my FB page.
The previous evening I reflected on her, as I often do, because I identified the asteroid Anne Frank in my astrology chart and saw some curious aspects causing me to grab the book she wrote and kiss her picture on the cover. Anne was 15 when she died and I have a 15-year-old daughter. I looked up Anne’s birthday and discovered it was the next day.
A mirror broke in my daughter’s room the day before, and she posted it on FB with the caption, “Broken mirror, missing wallet, clogged toilet. Well, at least it’s entertaining.”
I assumed she’d been hazed while away at her ballet intensive; so did others when she didn’t answer her phone. After her father, grandmother, and the director of the school were notified she returned my call, so I sent an “all-clear” email, after speaking to her about social media wording.
What I noticed about Anne Frank and other artists is this: when they recognized their true vocations and got to it, everything else became secondary.
I just did a synastry chart with my daughter’s birth chart and the chart of the moment the mirror broke.
Being subtle work, divination requires not taking heaven by storm, unless you’re Anne Frank. It’s not surprising the broken mirror would relate to a rambunctious kid like her. The DC was conjunct her asteroid in Aries on natal Juno, and the AC was on Juno in Libra.
Retrograde Pluto in Sagittarius is exactly trine the North Node in Leo.