Baby Animals

So far, they’re the best thing going on lately.  There’s a baby llama, baby goats, tee tiny lambs, and goofball calves.  The others all stick close to mommy but the calves- they get into twosomes and wander up down and sideways, then trundle around til they find the rest of the group and arrive looking a bit wild eyed and exhausted, with lots of stories to tell.  The colors on some of their coats are simply astonishing- some of the older calves from last year look almost air brushed, with gradations of charcoal dusting over their flanks.  The newest goats are an incredible white and deep coppery chestnut.  There are a few black lambs!  The miniature donkeys have also been out in force, with their diminutive stature and amazing gravitas, with soft and velvety cream colored noses.

So, yes, that’s the fun part.  Also I overcame my high level of resistance and intimidation and cleaned up my hard drive, then downloaded tax forms.  Although it is, little by little, Getting Better in the Bigger Scheme of Things, nonetheless living in a neighborhood where one neighbor is a self described pagan shaman running what appears to be a rooster farm, and the next closest ones are in an offshoot religious group of the National Apostolic Reformation and thus believe that the Statue of Liberty is possessed by evil spirits, WHEN ACCOMPANIED by any review no matter how brief of the news (who benefits from the New Mortgage Rules? if you guessed the banks, give yourself a point- for extra points clarify how although the Administration says it is not emphasizing enforcement in the now-infamous “War on Drugs” the budget for prisons, policing, arrest and trial has increased.  Guess the current number in federal prison in the US and you can go on to the next level!  That’s the part where you get to figure out how consumption alone can keep us all going ad infinitum….) balance remains elusive.

Anyway, Rome wasn’t built in a day, Gentle Reader.  When I ponder the magnitude of what we did in moving here, it seems as though we are making not unreasonable progress, even though the level of difficulty is mindboggling, time consuming and seemingly never ending in its escalation.   It does pretty much keep you in the now.  We had, however, to go down to the bay area last week and as always it left me awash in ambivalence.  It’s a beautiful place.  Both of us were born there and lived there for the most part of our lives so far.  Now, though?  The cacophony of Things and Stuff and Buy This and look out for that car pulling right into you and the general level of emissions energetic, carbon, vocal and otherwise- the energy is overwhelming.  It feels like a steam roller pushing everyone in a direction that, if they thought about it, they might not wish to go and certainly not in a flattened form.   There are fewer homeless people on the street in Oakland, but everyone who IS out there looks like they’ve been living pretty rough.  I don’t actually miss living there, which seems strange, and I’m not actually “used” to living here yet either.  But I notice that as we drive home and get onto the freeway heading directly north, and there are fewer cars, more sky, more nature….both of us visibly relax.  I look forward to coming home in fact, and the contrast between how we live now here and how our friends live now there- more like how we used to live, I suppose- doesn’t seem like a problem but rather a big positive.

As always, though, one is left looking at all of it, sifting and feeling it through.  This move we made- to greater simplicity on one level anyway- was really a conscious choice as I now realize.   Although it was immediately precipitated by our landlord’s belief in the Real Estate Bubble and Tax Breaks for Him, and all the rest of what the consuming class thinks is standard operating procedure (since this is how things seem to work at the present time), and certainly it felt almost indescribably awful- still it was a journey out toward what we wanted, as the humans we are, and also are trying to be.  There is, from time to time, enormous space to think here.  Enormous room for the heart to loosen and open, for the intuition to sharpen, for creation to be possible.  This isn’t bucolic, not a bit of it- but at times there is an astounding serenity and overarching Sense of Things as they truly are- ineffable, indestructible, grounded in beauty.  Maybe you really do have to walk through fire and die to the old ways before you can move forward.  I always thought that might be a bit dramatic but now? Really not sure.   Clearly there are some lacks handed out and attached to rural areas- bookstores, cultural diversity, high speed internet- and it’s interesting to look at that, since people in rural areas as it happens are not all morons who don’t pay any attention to the outside world, despite the image that may be held of them.  There really should be more of a happy medium, to my mind, because there are people who refuse to think EVERYWHERE as well as those who hunger for truth.  But all of us are trying to live, better ourselves, be happy and it seems more and more as though we are being carried in a giant current toward..who knows what?  Some seem totally unaware of the rocks ahead, others seek them out. There’s a disconnect, a dissonance, a strangeness to it all that may well be simply the way that opportunity, shift and change present themselves now.  It’s a bit hard to tell from here.

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