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Posts Tagged ‘real life’

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“When I see my life as a tragedy, I become a victim.
When I see my life as a triumph, I become empowered.
When I see my life as an endless stream of interconnected events, linked by compassion, I become Sakyamuni.”
–SR Chalup

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… but sometimes you forget that you already know them.

We fix our own hearts like a lone man building a dam, or repairing a foundation. At some point, engineering principles are left behind, do not scale, and we are left helplessly to say, “this looks like it should go here”, or “let's see if this holds”. Yet the most elaborate and complicated structures can begin as a handful of mud daubed onto an empty space.

SR Chalup, A Walk by the Sea, 10/04/1995

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There’s a continuum along which one can be a traditionalist, an early adopter, a visionary, or simply an idiot, or insane, or both. The reality is that the same person, in the same place, will appear all along that continuum depending on the observer.

Ursula K LeGuin’s classic tale, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” never dealt with the friends and family of Those Who Walk Away. I started walking away over a decade ago, but stayed ‘a moment’ to enjoy someone’s company. Now I’m on the road again, metaphorically speaking, following in the footsteps of Kerouac, Thoreau, O’Keefe, and others.

How many tried to leave Omelas, but were restrained by friends and family ‘for their own good’? Worse, how many were grateful later on for being saved from such a ‘big mistake’?

Or were they really crazy? If so, the ones who left are a tragedy. If only they hadn’t been so naive and idealistic. If only. It may or may not be the only life we’ve got, but we have to live it as if it is, or it doesn’t count.

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I took the train to Seattle. I arrived 5 hours late. I didn’t care– it let me nap, as I had a roomette. I thought I’d stay at a hostel, as we were arriving after 1am, but my friend had decided to take the next day off, and was there at the station to meet me. That felt really good.

<lj-cut text=”…then, I got a job, keeping kids from hanging out in front of the drugstore…”
I didn’t go out and see sights, like I planned. I just mellowed out, helping with some stuff at her house, and beating the heat every couple of hours by (literally!) chilling out in the basement den on a comfy couch with a book. It was great.

I missed my departing train, and got a little stressed about it, but found a nearby coffeeshop and ate lunch and read the local papers. My laptop wifi is broken; I need to put on a new hex crimp connector, or get an external one, so I stayed off the net. It was great. My friend finished her appointments and then rang me up on the cell, so I went back to the station and chatted with her a while, then changed my ticket from Portland to Eugene. I had been going to pick up a rental car in Portland and drive to Eugene, but I’d be getting in after they closed, so I figured I’d get to Eugene at least.

Car rentals in Eugene are pretty expensive, and while the airport ones are open until midnight, they have an extra fee and were also out of economy and compact cars. I’d also not been able to find my tent when packing, so camping at the Country Faire was going to be interesting. A girl with a bike was getting a van-cab at the Amtrak station as I was making phone calls about cars. She was staying at a local youth hostel, Whitaker, and gave me the number. I called and got their last bed for the night, and shared the cab ride, just a couple of dollars. I’m loving talking with folks here; planted some kabocha for them after getting a garden tour from the owner, who said he’d love some.

I’ve been walking around the corner to the bus that goes downtown, and took the free shuttle to the Faire from downtown Saturday and Sunday. At the bus stop, one of the folks had a lot of camping gear, and I asked where he was staying. He didn’t actually have a place yet, and was concerned about that, so I gifted him my reservation at Quiet Campground. He was really happy about that! I ran into him later in the Faire, and he’d found a nice tree and was a Happy Camper. 🙂

I had a great time, though my feet are sore! Met some great folks in the local permaculture and cohousing communities. Gave out lots of kabocha and indian corn seeds, and found out there are several women around the northwest independently promoting seed saving (and sharing!) as a form of eco-activism. I’m thrilled! I feel like I am discovering a community. And yeah, it’s a hippiechick kind of community of witchy fat ladies who garden and wear weird clothes and don’t care what folks think, but as much as I try to fit in elsewhere, it’s more like a me place than many others. Can take the gal out of the country and all.

The summer heat didn’t destroy me, I was actually pretty comfy and danced at Main Stage, drank lots and lots of water. I think summer destruction for me has been about incorrect thyroid and diabetes control– I handled Burning Man just fine this past year, and am comfy at home into the high 70’s and low 80’s as long as I’m in the shade and in shorts and tanktop. I was going to go out to Cougar today, but don’t feel like driving. Might still rent a car and do it tomorrow. I’ve been online for several hours now, and while I’m not caught up, I’m just done with it. Tomorrow it’s supposed to rain, and it might be cool to be in a hotspring under July rain. Mike is driving up Thursday afternoon, and we’re going to have a little vacationy thing, maybe looking at land.

Hugs and Love, folks, back to mellow quiet. Times are a-changing, and who knows how? Maybe not me.

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If you haven’t seen me in person in a while, it doesn’t mean I am avoiding you– time is slipping by me in odd ways, and suddenly another week.. or month.. has passed. I’ve also been skulking a bit, and trying not to make plans that I’d end up breaking due to moodiness or family stuff. We had some stuff going on with both of Mike’s parents for a while, where his mom was in and out of the hospital (she is out now for over 2 weeks) and his dad picked up a hospital bug while visiting her, so then he was in and out of outpatient urgent care. All seems to be well now.

I’m enjoying various reading bits:

  • Norman Crowe, Nature and the Idea of a Man-made World (architecture and evolutions of building designs)
  • ATTRA publications on organic gardening
  • Designing California Native Gardens, Keating & Middlebrook
  • Hands-On PMP (book review for LOPSA)
  • The Machines’ Child, Kage Baker’s new Company novel– squee! I liked it, but (OF COURSE!) it ends on something of a cliff-hanger and now I’m in suspense again, grr.
  • re-reading Sharon Shinn’s ‘angel’ novels of Samaria
  • S.M. Stirling’s Oregon trilogy, ‘Dies the Fire’, ‘The Protector’s War’, ‘A Meeting at Corvallis’; making me want to actually suck it up and learn SCAdian or Marklander fighting; I really like the practical, non-fluffy paganism in the books too
  • new C.M. Kornbluth ‘Eater of Souls’, really enjoyed it (she did ‘Black Sun Rises’ Coldfire trilogy)
  • re-reading Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire books, need to troll used bookstores for them, they’re on the acquisition list nowAphids are getting my corn, but I may be holding them back enough to form ears, we’ll see. The first of the red kuri squash are ripening, stems going tan and getting woody, which is when they’re almost ready to pick. Beans, beans, more beans— have put up several quarts in the freezer, yellow, green, and purple. The latter will turn green when cooked, but are still fun.

    Mike fixed a clogged fuel line on the Bluebird today, and installed a new fuel filter. Last week he got all the batteries charging, after topping them off, and ran the generator. The previous week he took the generator battery out, cleaned it, and charged it here at home. Today he had the engine running long enough to bring it up to the normal 150F operating temp and rolled the bus back and forth a few times in the spot. Birdie is getting ready to ride the roads again– maybe to Burning Man, maybe to Oregon, certainly up to the Montebello Open Space Preserve for 10-meter contesting in the fall. Think biiig hamshack, with its own kitchen, bathroom, heat, air conditioning, roof-mount antennas, and genset. Plus a battery bank that can operate easily for those nice off the grid, off the gennie multipliers.

    See you in the future, whenever that actually gets here. Hugs to all n sundry.

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    If someone had asked me a few hours ago, “What kind of flowers do you like?”, I probably would have said, “I dunno, roses, but only the fragrant ones. Not sure what else… Stargazer lilies, I like those.”

    But that was before I spent the past couple of hours sorting my still-too-humungous seed collection. Even after giving away about 2/3 of my seeds (by volume, at least) I still have, um, a lot. Folks that expressed interest in having me do gardening at them, I’ve got you in mind, no fear. 🙂

    Sorting through the flower seeds, I realized that I have definite favorites, based on combinations of colors, scent, ease of growing, and just plain “I really really like that”. I have so many different kinds of poppies that I had to start an envelope just for poppies, though I tossed the 3 kinds of cosmos in there too. Zinnias, I have scads of kinds of zinnias. There are my buddies the cornflowers, still going from an infinite number of packets from a $5 shoebox jammed with diverse seed packets that Mike brought home one day a couple years ago from a flea market.

    I think “cottage garden” is the unifying theme on the flowers I like. Nasturtiums, gladiolas, zinnias, dahlias, poppies, sweet peas, cosmos, it’s all that kind of thing. I rarely make bouquets, even though I picked most of my flowers (omg, did I just say ‘picked’?! gah!) to be kinds that require cutting or deadheading in order to keep blooming.

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