29 November 2005

In Wonderland

So often when I'm with you, our home (stead) appears like this to me.

Seasons Change


Some Christians think that Jesus was born in a howling blizzard beneath a pine tree covered with lights. That the Easter bunny was with Jesus when he was resurrected on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox and brought everyone eggs...that Jesus dressed up in his shroud of Turin after the autumn's harvest and fed the masses with carved pumpkins and candy. That the North American Indians taught Jesus how to plant a fish with corn seeds, squash and beans to make the holy trinity grow for the turkeys to eat. (Not that these last two 'holidays' have anything to do with Christianity...just adding to the irony) *** "Spirit of Spirit, if it be your will, give me over to immortal birth so that I may be born again - and the sacred spirit may breathe in me." (A Prayer to Mithras) Mithraism and Judaism merged and became Christianity. Yeshua or "Jesus", son of the Hebrew sky God, and Mithras, son of Ormuzd are both the same myth. The rituals of Christianity coincide with the earlier rituals of Mithraism, including the Eucharist and the Communion in great detail. The language used by Mithraism was the language used by Christians. Paul as the first "Christian" bears much of the responsibility for merging the two in his preaching and teaching, and also comes from Tarsus, a major Mithraist center. The idea of a sacrificed saviour is Mithraist, so is the symbolism of bulls, rams, sheep, the blood of a transformed saviour washing away sins and granting eternal life, the 7 sacraments, the banishing of an evil host from heaven, apocalyptic end of time when God/Ormuzd sends the wicked to hell and establishes peace. Roman Emperors, Mithraist then Christian, mixed the rituals and laws of both religions into one. Emperor Constantine established 25th of Dec, the birthdate of Mithras, to be the birthdate of Jesus too. The principal day of worship of the Jews, The Sabbath, was replaced by the Mithraistic Sun Day as the Christian holy day. The Catholic Church, based in Rome and founded on top of the most venerated Mithraist temple, wiped out all competing son-of-god religions within the Roman Empire, giving us modern literalist Christianity, which is a Paulist doctrine. *** Look, no matter what is Truth (with a capital T)...it isn't for us to know until we complete our journey. For now, while we're all existing on this planet...at least for the time of the (dare I say it?) Holiday Season...let's just be nice, wish each other well, keep our end clean, and pick up after ourselves. It's darned easy to do...smile and love. That was Yeshua's message, wasn't it? Happy Holidays...Season's Greetings... That covers everyone...so get over yourself.

28 November 2005

We Share the Land

This past year, Shakespeare, my friend the barred owl, found a mate and fledged a 'parliament' of young. I was there when the young first took wing. This summer I was walking one of our forest trails and noticed I was following something. The wind was loud and strong, coming toward me from ahead. Long tail, black tip, tawny brown. Not a bobcat with that long tail, nor a lynx. Too small for a cougar....wait, that's it...it's an adolescent cougar kit. I paced it for 100 meters or so. I was twenty paces behind. As it turned past some brush, I slowed. I crept up and just as I came around the bend, there it was...looking up at me, perhaps 5 meters away. Full face to full face. Only for a moment, because it bolted away in a hurry. It was feasting on one of the beavers that had been damming our stream. Within a week I saw no sign of any beaver, nor have I since then.
I long to be on the sea...

The Bird Flu Pandemic and Now This

From: DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX SUN NOV 27 2005 17:05:23 ET NETWORKS PLAN 'END OF AMERICA' SHOWS The TV networks are getting edgier in their '06 pilot plans. The nets have filled their development slates with a bevy of brave ideas and bold format experiments, VARIETY reports on Monday, including shows about THE END OF AMERICA! ABC alone has at least two would-be shows set in post-apocalyptic America ("Resistance" and "Red & Blue") while Gavin Polone and Bruce Wagner are teaming for the comfy-sounding plague drama "Four Horsemen" at CBS (which also is developing "Jericho," about life in a small town after America is destroyed). Says Fox exec VP Craig Erwich: "The creative community appears to be really inspired this year," he says. "It was an exciting time to be buying. I came away pretty encouraged about network TV." ***** Do you think They are trying to get us prepared?

26 November 2005

Household Energy Conservation

I lived in a volkswagen camper when I first bought the land that is now our homestead. I spent a couple of years in it, as a matter of fact. When I built my place I thought, what can I have now that will make life more convenient than my vw bus? A handpump and well, so I wouldn't have to fill my 5 gallon container from here and there anymore...yay! An outhouse, so I wouldn't have to dig a cathole everytime I took my "morning constitutional"...yay! A solar shower for summer and a sauna for winter...yay! I can bathe with ease. A woodstove that will heat the sauna and, by extension, the house. yay! Trying to stay warm with a sleeping bag, and waking to frozen water...a thing of the past.A garden, some stability. A forest to gather firewood of my own. A solar panel to create some electricity. A pantry/root cellar to store some food, more than the gallon of rolled oats, a gallon of rice, a gallon of dried beans, a gallon of lentils that I had room for in the bus...a battery that could keep a light going for me to read, a 12 volt music machine. If the light goes dim, or the music stops...I don't have to worry about the bus not starting...having to find someone to jumpstart me, or push it to start...nope, the panel will charge the battery in the house...and besides, I've got a home...I don't need to go anywhere.My point? I looked at what I could have that was more convenient than camping or being semi-homeless. As time went by (this story culminated in the building of our home 21 years ago) we added something we deemed a convenience...a propane refrigerator at first...which was replaced in 1999 with a SunFrost 12 volt refrigerator and a couple of more panels...but we've maintained the simple concepts of our place. We have more solar electric potential now, an inverter and some 120 volt things...but we view all of those as luxuries that we can do without...and feel grateful when we have ample sunlight to airpop our popcorn some evening and watch a dvd...or to make toast some mornings, knowing that it's going to be a sunny day.I reckon that's the way we'll just continue doing things in our life together.

17 November 2005

Appearances are deceiving, I suppose...

I have a fabulously frightening story about being pulled over in my VW camper. The year was 1985, it was April fools day...returning from a winter's sojourn in Mexico. Was cutting across the mountains of NewMexico and passed through the town of Quemado (which means burnt in Spanish...should have taken a hint)...A sheriff's deputy began tailing me. Fourteen miles later he pulled me over. My license tabs were March and it was April 1st. Took him that long to find something to get me for. I explained that I was returning to MN and that the state had a 10 day grace period for license tabs. He said, "This isn't MN, and we'll have to confiscate your VW". I said, "It's my house." We "discussed" it for awhile, he said that I could follow him back to Quemado and see the judge. I was traveling with a woman and her 9 year old son at the time. We were all 'hippied out'...guatemalan fabrics, long hair, incense...medicine pouches. Got to Quemado and they literally set up a court. Two sawhorses with a piece of plywood was the table. The "judge" was trying me, when the sheriff entered the room. He was a big dude with cowboy hat/boots and a slash scar across his face. I knew that I was going to be thrown in jail and found a few days later, a suicide victim...hung by my guatemalan pouch strap. The woman I was with was chanting. The boy was freaking out. It was like a bad novel. The judge fined me 120 bucks. I told him that I couldn't pay it, that I only had 50 bucks left and had to buy gas to return to MN. He said, "20 bucks now, and 100 when you return to MN...we have reciprocity with MN so if you don't pay we'll issue a warrant"...He tapped the gavel to signify the end of court. The sheriff then said, "We still have to confiscate the vw...it isn't legal to drive without tabs."...Then the sheriff asked his deputy if the bus had been thoroughly searched. The deputy said yes. We were on the wooden porch by now, standing by the vw. The sheriff said, "What about that pouch hanging from the rearview mirror?" The deputy said he missed that. Sheriff asked me what was in it. I said, "My medicine"...he said he'd like to see "my medicine"...so I opened the pouch and showed him the tooth of my faithful dog from years before, my daughter's umbilical cord, a lock of my mom's hair...like that. He said, "What? Are you into voodoo?" I put things back into the pouch and said, "no...these are just things that connect my life to my spirit"...He was shaking his head. He said, "Boy...how'd you ever get out of the draft...did you go to Canada?"...I said, "I was in the Army...as a matter of fact I spent 23 months in VietNam as an advisor/liaison to the VietNamese Army...which is partially why I live my life the way I do."..."Do you want to see some pictures of my house?" Then I showed him my photos. "This is my underground house...kind of a 'bunker'.." He looked into my eyes for the first time. Then he cast his eyes down toward the ground. He didn't look at me again but said, "You can go"...the deputy was listening as had the judge, who said..."Come here, I'll show you which roads to take...there's a roadblock in the next county and they'll pull you over and harrass you...so head north on this dirt road, go through the reservation and then east over here"...He pointed to a map on the wall inside the doorway. We left, and they all kind of waved.

12 November 2005

I wrote this on...

Veterans' Day, 2004 ...As the assault on Fallujah goes 'full-scale'...18 American troops killed, over a hundred wounded and sent to Germany...the official estimates are 600 insurgents killed...no civilian casualties estimated. It's like squeezing jello. For every one 'insurgent' killed 25 first and second cousins become angered, and willing to defend their homeland...the clans rise up. Symbolically...Arafat died, and was refused burial at his desired resting spot...John Ashcroft resigns, and Gonzales, who called the Geneva Convention, 'quaint' is nominated by Bush to take his place...add to that the old man in a wheel chair, the former head of Hamas, rocketed. You've made a feud with the families...you have to pay the blood money. The new commander of the troops at Fallujah has no understanding of the Arab world. Civilians protest the garrisoning of American troops in their city...so the Americans open fire and kill the protesters. Is this the way to celebrate Veterans' Day? Is this the way to quell resistance? My brother-in-law, a man of good intentions, called and thanked me for my 'veteran-ness'...I protest the day's woes...why are we creating more? He said, 'right or wrong, we thank you for being a veteran'...well, sorry...thanks anyway, and I understand you mean it in all honesty...but 'right or wrong?' I don't think that way. If a person feels the war is 'moral', then they probably don't lose much sleep over death and mayhem....but if the war is immoral (as I found VietNam), then sleep is lost, tears are shed, screams are wailed. I speak out...I cry...I try and try to teach other people what I've learned...but they don't wish to see. It's like an earthquake. If you are to have your beliefs challenged, the earth moves beneath your feet, the chandelier sways, the good china falls off the top shelf...the world falls apart. Comfort is nowhere to be found. Everything needs to be safe and tucked away....

11 November 2005

The absurdity of war...the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month

The River upstream from white sand beaches are hamlets, paddies and canyons bombshells unexploded cratered land cratered faces mangled extremities defective births... the villages have memories nightmares and visions the countryside still echoes we returned to the comfort of our politics and rhetoric leaving a legacy of disfigurement... scarring persons and landscape poisoned food chain poisoned minds blackened hearts... a righteous nation hands over hearts reciting the pledge still preaching to the world hands over ears and eyes still speaking the lies making the guilt safe and tucked away in hospitals and dead-end jobs in parades and sunday services in vfw and legion halls in broken homes in shattered illusions in battered women's shelters in cemeteries rather than learning from our mistakes we adopt a new battle cry... "next time we'll only fight if they'll let us win"... as if that excuses our interventions ***** I wrote this while in Nicaragua in 1988...remembrances from two decades before that... Amen

As the world burns

Vietnam: As an advisor and liaison I lead native troops but nonetheless was looked upon as the "supreme local power", way too muc...