Archive for the ‘Talking Self Down Off Ledge’ Category

eat the strawberry

I’ve always been impressed by the Buddhist story about a man, running from pursuers, who finds himself going over the edge of a cliff, at the bottom of which are a passel of slavering tigers just waiting for him.  His fall is caught by a protruding ledge.  On that ledge are growing wild strawberries, and he eats one.  End of story.

At first I was overly concerned with, well, yeah, but what about after he eats the berry? What then? Among other silly questions.  Of course now I know that this story pretty much describes life, in a nutshell.  At least it describes MY life, and I think I can finally report, Gentle Reader, that I have indeed learned to eat that strawberry.  Having narrowly avoided electrocution in the laundromat ( a pipe burst, whole place flooded with a few inches of water on the floor, I’m standing next to a bank of dryers set to HOT!! all full of wet, flopping clothes), I went on to surmount monstrously high triple digit temperatures AND tempers, and find yet another internet home (at least for a while).  This new spot involves the constant fending off of cats but I suppose things could be worse.

This business of being alive is strange and gets stranger by the moment if you pay any attention at all.  But I think the strawberry in the story may represent faith, in a way.  The truth is, there is always a strawberry somewhere, even if in one’s darkest moments one may be thinking that strawberries are extinct, or a figment of one’s fevered imagination.   They do exist, however, and another thing about them is you cannot live in expectation of finding them or making them appear or anything of the sort.  They just ARE, along with all that other stuff, but somehow understanding that allows a person to get through many experiences and ultimately makes it all, somehow, easier.  So.  When you see joy or beauty, engage with it.  It will probably save you and at least you will be in a slightly better frame of mind when encountering the snakes, dragons, and tigers that always await.

Horse Kisses

That Copper.  He always knows when I need some bucking up, so to speak.  He’s a horse who knows a Day From Hell when he sees it, in short.  So today (which shall remain largely undescribed except to say: It’s the worst one in a while which as usual is saying quite a bit) (think: Greenhouse = Smithereens) (think: freezing night temperatures and BWAHAHAHAHAHA 40 mile an hour winds all day)(think: Partner is sick), after paying the rent I stopped by the corral and admired the new winter coats Copper and Sierra are sporting.  Obviously they needed carrots so I went and got some.  They twined their necks around and kissed each other and then Copper reached his head over the fence and got my head…exactly…where…. he wanted it….then smothered me with horse kisses, rubbing his stubbly nose and mouth all over my cheek with that warm, eternal breath and a good deal of Horse Thought Forms, which are quite sensible as it turns out.  Pretty awesome.  I decided not to shoot myself after all.

Conflicted Hour

Usually, of course, it’s Happy Hour.  I KNOW THAT.  Still, with the extra load of (self inflicted, I admit it) pain and injury and having once again looked at the news, it’s more of an alligator wrestle with the mind to get it to sit down and focus on the important things, like…dinner?

Speaking of which, last night we did indeed have chilis.  In a sauce that eventually required more heat than originally included.  So I put a small piece of habanero in, from an already cut specimen on the counter.  I always test them with my finger to see what to expect.  I touched the end of the chili, but being a bit dried it revealed nothing.  So, I, Genius, got my finger wet, touched the chili, put the finger in my mouth.  Then, in an extraordinary display, even for me, I put that same finger ( I’d rinsed it off by then while screaming) in my eye.  Yes.  There’s also a third degree burn on one hand and an injured thumb on the other.

So then.  This morning I learn that the Oakland P.D. shot an unarmed and nonviolent #occupy oakland protester.  In the head.  They haven’t commented, the OPD.  Why should they?  The video footage makes you want to scream.  Two IVAW and Veterans for Peace members are standing at the perimeter of the “protesters”, in front of the barriers behind which stand the Darth Vader’d Out aforementioned OPD.  These two men, one of whom is in a Navy uniform, the other of whom is in a camo jacket and booney hat, both well worn and obviously by him for a long time, are standing quietly and peacefully between the OPD and the crowd.  Suddenly you see a projectile and sparks and the man in the camo jacket, Scott Olsen, is on the ground.  People from the crowd quickly rush up to help him- remember this is in front of the barricade behind which stand people..uh, sworn to protect and serve and who see this man fall to the ground with a head wound (which I am pretty sure they witnessed as it happened.  Unless they were napping at the time.).  And then? Then the OPD contingent fires a tear gas/ flame thingy RIGHT NEXT TO OLSENS’ HEAD.  While he’s on the ground.  Filling the area with smoke so no one can see or do anything.  Except the Navy guy who had, after calling for help at first injury,  immediately walked right over to the OPD line, faced them, and presented the Vets for Peace flag: At Arms.  So, to continue getting this straight, this man lying on the ground bleeding from the head  in front of the OPD line has served, at age 24, two tours in Iraq. ( Which for OPD? is probably more often than not pronounced EYE RACK.)   No injuries or wounds except the ones you can’t see.  Until now, when he is exercising his supposed First Amendment rights, peacefully and non violently and documentedly to boot.  (oh, dear…) When he gets shot by civilian police.  With a tear gas cannister to the head.  For extra fun he gets to go to Highland Hospital, about which I have written before.  Because, see? The Partner is FROM Oakland, and I have lived in and around it for the bulk of my adult life.  Until we Came To The Yurt.  So we already know OPD.  This seems pretty raw even for them.   And they are renowned for raw.

It makes me think that back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and the Black Panthers were a presence in the community, and people in East Oakland often took shots at the OPD helicopters buzzing their neighborhoods with bright lights at all hours of the night (ever had that happen? It is quite something, and a real test of your commitment to non violence)- maybe they weren’t wrong to do that, take that shot, say You Can’t Do This In My Neighborhood.  It’s just that it never gets anywhere, that sort of action.  Which seems to be something Mr. Olsen understood and felt strongly enough about ( perhaps naively but what the hell- he earned the right) to attempt to express the awareness that peace IS the way,  in a setting where it might be of service, the best way he could see at the time.  Perhaps, if this senseless act provokes some communication it will be of immeasurable service.  But I think about his mom and his friends.  And him.  And it took me a long time to stop crying today and although I still don’t know how to deal with all this? One thing is for sure.

I’m a person who has always voted, has always felt it was profoundly important.  Now I see we have a completely corruptible system, we know voting has been a sham and twisted to the purposes of those who meant to win no matter what. The people who are running for and in office are despicable more often than not, and also more like something straight out of the Psychiatric Diagnostic Manual than is even palatable to think about.  It is very largely about how much money they can raise.  So I decided to register to vote up here- I hadn’t yet, being so disgusted and confused about it all- only to enter NONE OF THE ABOVE.  Some how, some way, Gentle Reader, fellow beings, we have to turn this thing around.  We are here on earth now, and really.  We need to remember that.  We have to have an alternative so that we can all move forward for the good of all, not just the few.

Eagle, Owl, Knife Wound

My thumb got the worst of an interaction with a paring knife, which has put me out of commission to a certain extent where typing is concerned.  Meanwhile, of course, things go on apace, whether or not my digits are hanging by threads.

We saw an eagle the other day.  Apparently there is a nesting site next to the creek where every year new eagles come into the world.  I was thrilled.  The propane guy, who was in an unusually humane incarnation this week when we got our tanks filled, told me how his “friend” used to shoot eagles because they were killing his lambs.  He’s full of fun stuff like that, actually.  It interested me to hear that he attributed the human motives of viciousness and blood lust to the eagles’ taking of lambs.  Like there was a gang of Crips in the sky or something.  Completely missing the point of Hunting So There Is Food.  People are quite amazing.  I was just happy he didn’t leak propane all over the tanks while cursing environmentalists this time, as he usually does.   No, this time? He went on to bemoan the fact that wolves, mountain lions, and bears are ALL “out of control”.  We spent 200 years getting rid of ’em, he said.  Now they’re back…and yes, those damned environmentalists.  I kept my mouth shut, which I’m learning to do around these parts, friend.  Took heart in the fact that we have some of those out of control critters behind the yurt instead. Unfortunately I did burst out laughing inopportunely, seeing an image in my head of all the aforementioned creatures pushing their ways to the front of the line at stores and NASCAR events, sunglasses pushed atop their heads.  It can’t be helped, really.

Then, deep in the night, we heard an OWL.  Again, I was thrilled.  No sighting yet but, still!  Lots of large hawks, and the flowering wild fruit trees glimmering in the woods, illuminating thickets.  The local beavers appear to have been temporarily stopped- an irrigation culvert ringed by willows and whatnot was providing a splendid damming site.  Then, one week, the Cal Fire crews ablaze in their orange suits were out there, hacking and burning.  It was funny really, to think- it took a crew of half a dozen men about three days to undo what one beaver had done, basically, overnight.  My money’s on the beaver for this one.

Meanwhile, of course, it takes all the force one can muster to get through the days and all the things that are happening all over.  People walk up to me in the post office talking about, literally, how the end is not just near, it’s here.  And do I have anything for that?  It’s hard not to feel some level of fear and anxiety, (along with sparks of hope at the developments in Wisconsin and in Egypt).  Not to mention anger at the stupid greed and selfishness that has brought us to this pass.  What a colossal waste, when you think about it.  Human beings can do a lot better than this, I think.  The question is how to dislodge all the power stuck at the top, wedged in with all that money and dishonesty.  And covered with a lack of love and a disrespect for Nature.   You gotta wonder what those people are thinking.

 

we found it

At the very last minute, almost 11:59:59, we have found a place to relocate Rancho Boozilla.  In the country.  We’re building a yurt in April.  Pictures to follow.   Phew, sort of.

Living The Dream

Seriously.  We’re pretty much speechless here at Rancho Boozilla but I am sure this will make some kind of good story in the end.  Meanwhile, the house hunt continues apace and unsuccessfully and let me just say? YE GODS.  If I have a nervous system left after this I will be grateful.

Anyway.  Just checking in, Gentle Readers.

OK

We’ve regained our usual bounce and joie de vivre here, in case you, G.R., were wondering.  I was reminded today how incredibly mysteriously the Universe works, how powerfully, and how really? Besides -Om Grow Up Swaha-, a favorite from Pema Chodron’s writings, it is  -Get Out of Your Own Way-.  We’re trying.  It just takes a bit of horsing about (a week, to be exact) to get from sheer eye watering horror and panic to just paying attention and moving along.  Worth, however, the effort.  So.  I decided that since I can’t stay home, I’m gonna come out big.  Please stay tuned and fasten your seatbelts.   Boozilla is excited about the whole enterprise, which helps.

Um, One More Thing

OK.  Now we’re reading about small business defaults and problems.  This makes me crazier than baseball.

As an attempted small business owner, when I read that Bank of America is having a problem because out of the billions they got, 2 million in SBA loans have not been recoverable…I turn red.  SBA loans for small businesses in places like, say, Biloxi and New Orleans where the funds are desperately needed and unlikely to be repaid in five years…why don’t THEY get terms restructured? Give those people a goddam break.  The credit card companies and Banks certainly get to restructure terms whenever they feel like it.  They got billions of dollars which will never be accounted for in all likelihood.  But if you, the individual, can’t pull money out of the air for a quick repayment, you can’t get a loan.  Which if you could you wouldn’t be borrowing money, would you?  If, as statistics show, small businesses account for a very large percentage of jobs in this country, wouldn’t you think some sensible structuring of funding would be a Good Idea?  Like, here’s a startup loan with a ten year repayment plan given the deep hole we’re all in?  Get a freaking grip. Grrrr.

Well.  Remember to smile.  Really.

TGIF

Really.  I made it, once again.  Or almost.  The day’s not over, let’s be honest.  But we live in hope. One of my clients has another acronym I like: So Happy It’s Thursday. That was quite apropos yesterday when I Did Battle With A Bank.  Of course they won, but to directly experience  the way things are getting done now is completely mind boggling. Just another element in this week that kept it feeling like a cross between being dragged behind the bumper of a speeding car and finally Seeing the Light.

The fun part of the week was deciding to be ordained through the Universal Life Church.  You may now refer to me as Reverend Boozilla Mom, Gentle Reader.   I can’t really explain why I did this, except that a big part of what I do is, in fact, about the life of the spirit, I am Decidedly Non-Denominational (as in not particularly one thing or another but some of all perhaps), and it (uh…see below) Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time.  So far, it appears to have increased my patience quota by a tad.  So, that’s good.    A news flash just coming in, adding to the fun part of the week, is that We Have Tomatoes in our garden.   THAT really IS good news.

The not fun part of the week was, of course, the Banking Part.  Net net, I attempted to do some post towel-throw-in (see below) refinancing.  A minor sort of refinancing, in truth, but something that would help Team Boozilla make it through these “financially challenging times.”  Did not get what I asked for.  Did not get what I wanted.  Did not receive any communication from The Bank in Question about my application.  Received, in fact, bupkiss from them.  That is, until what to my wondering eyes should appear on my online banking statement but a strange transaction that could only be related to the Attempted Refinance. I think I did very well on the phone call, really.  Especially seeing as how I know the JERK  individual I finished the interlude on the phone with was probably making a higher hourly wage than I ever did as Slave Girl of the Divorce Court.   I know this how? I know someone who just got a job with a bailed out bank and is making a quite astonishingly goodly and high hourly wage, is how.  So, after smarmily telling me that yes, it WOULD be nice if the bank communicated with me about my application and told me what the —- they were doing, and that SHOULD be what they do,nono, just,  no, that isn’t what they do.  And of course they couldn’t give me what I asked for.   Oh, please.  Pretend you’re in front of the big library in Manhattan, the one with the lions? And the charming young man with a card table and three cups with dice under them?  And besides, what are banks for AFTER ALL.  Get.A.Grip.  So, net net again, there is a very tiny overall improvement with this new situation, with which I am trying to remain calm in the knowledge..uh…thereof.  I very much enjoyed the portion of our chat where I asked if I was going to have to pay for the call.  Well, yes, usually you have to “pay for the call when you talk to a human.”  Not, however, apparently this time.  Which just confirmed my overall sense of where the whole thing was going.  I think you know where that is.

Meanwhile, we are going to have a garage sale this weekend.  More like an earring sale, actually.  So it was odd going through all those old earrings and inadvertently reliving the occasions when I wore them.  I think it is best to just keep going in life, and not dwell on the past.  I’m hoping my collection will make its way out into the world and bring others the enjoyment it brought me.  There will also be some Sasha of London shoes, if you’re in the neighborhood!  Beaded high heeled boots, people.  Indeed, I was not always as you see me now.  The tomatoes help, though, in those tough moments when I think about the shoes I used to know.