by j-a

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June 2008

Peaceful Coincidence


Yesterday, at the shopping center, I felt confused. Not any more than usual, except that I was more aware of it; that is, I was as scattered as I've always been, head in the clouds, mind-wandering as I went about my business in a routine manner, except that I knew how I was behaving, I understood in the moment how I could, at any moment, disconnect with the everyday nature of events and end up absentmindedly making a mistake that could have a potential for dire consequences (such as the time I left my wallet lying on the store counter). Ordinarily, I wouldn't realize this state until later, if ever. Ordinarily, I wonder at what had ensued while my mind was off somewhere else, eventuating in the consequences I later knew to have happened (usually indicated by some absence of some thing--or more often, idea--I should later have, but am missing).

I don't like this feeling of detachment; or, more accurately, I don't like my awareness of the feeling. (When I'm detached, I'm oblivious to the real world aspects of the feeling.) On the other hand, being aware and dedicating myself as well as I am able to maintaining a here-and-now focus, despite the additional energy and effort it takes, is, I think, a good thing. Otherwise, I might have made another "mistake." This is what I did today, forced myself to focus, all the while feeling the step-by-step burden of task-accomplishment.

At one point, in a store and waiting for a clerk to sort her money drawer so that she could make change, I felt like I wanted to apologize to her for having handed her a disorganized handful of dollars and change, which I had been trying to sort out while I was in line, burdened with items I was juggling between arms and hands while extracting the money from my pockets and wallet. I wanted to say to her, "Look. I have this problem. Sometimes, when I'm out in society, I get confused and disoriented. Please be patient with me."

On the other hand, I felt that her own fumbling with her cash drawer was a symptom similar to mine and that, maybe, she should apologize to me, for the time it took her--although I understood completely and didn't at all require it. Now, I think that maybe I was then psychologically contagious, that she picked up on my attitude and unwittingly mimicked it. Maybe. Or, maybe, she was doing it on purpose, to direct my attention toward her and keep it on her, to keep me in her presence just a bit longer; because I imagine she's attracted to me. But, then, I always imagine that women to whom I am attracted are also attracted to me. But she did give me a final long eye contact as she thanked me. But, then, they're all trained to do that, aren't they, cashiers? And women in general.

The idea that my mind wanted to follow off into the aether while I was out shopping was "I've got to get psyched," by which I meant (mean) 'motivated' (because they're are other ways to get psyched). But, by the time I got back home, I was too stressed and distracted to follow up on it. I took my stash of candy that I bought at the dollar store and I went to bed, sugared up, and fell asleep for a few hours.

I'm in a grocery store shortly before it's scheduled to close (recurrent) and, just before I go to the checkout, I realize I forgot my wallet; but I go to the checkout anyway, because I'm hungry, hoping to get by without paying. This is one of those dual-thread dreams where I realize I don't have my wallet just before checking out, but at the same time, while I'm shopping, I don't get everything I want and even put some things back because (illogically) I'm aware that I'm not going to be able to pay for them. (Maybe I thought I that, if I took less without paying for them, it wouldn't be so much of a crime.) When I get to the checkout, I'm the only customer left in the store, and I'm pleasantly surprised to see that the cashier is Janet Kidder (who doesn't seem to know who she is and that she's acting in the role of a lowly grocery clerk). I'm worried and a bit "rattled" about what will happen when I "discover" that I've forgotten my wallet, how I will handle the transaction, like will she let me take the food and come back later to pay (which I doubt) or can I leave the food, rush home, get my wallet, and return to pay, while they wait to close the store (which I also doubt)? But, when I get to the counter, Janet behaves in the same scattered way that I am as she's "checking me out," and she rings up the purchase, packages the food, and puts it into the cart; and, desiring to be as helpful and ingratiating toward me as possible, she rolls the cart out into the parking lot, intent upon helping me load it into my car, meanwhile forgetting to charge me for the food. In the lot, she goes the wrong way, and I have to redirect her. I'm intent upon getting out of there before she realizes I didn't pay. When we get to my car, a huge old boat with faded and peeling maroon paint [recurrent], I feel ashamed to let her see it; and I feel guilty that I'm sneaking off without paying. I resolve to return immediately with the money, whereupon (I imagine) her manager, having discovered her mistake and in the process of reprimanding her, will praise me for my honesty. (I've completely forgotten about the fact that the store is closing and that, when I return, no one will be there.)

In the dream, Janet's distracted behavior is a mirror of my own, a contagious process that I often imagine I observe in my "real" life, just like I imagined happened earlier at the store. Usually, the contagion seems to spread from myself to others; but, occasionally, the reverse seems to be the case. At its most extreme, role identity and even psychic identity become confused:

This could be one of the strangest dreams I ever had: I am two people, myself and Cindy. [No, not that Cindy, the little, adorable druggy; and not the tougher one either, although I do have a very brief moment of lucidity early on where I relate these two to the dream I'm having.] I'm lesbian Cindy, as tall and thin as I myself am, almost a mirror image of myself, I think. I, as Cindy, enter my house (which is where it is now, except that it is a geodesic dome which is where she lives in reality) and entice myself (the real me, as if that can ever be known) back into the bedroom, where my (Cindy's) playful sexual attitude changes into one of domination and I force myself down onto the bed face first and, with my arm locked behind my back, begin to apply increasing pressure to my shoulders and upper back, causing as much pain as I can bear with it becoming so excruciating that it would hurt even "Cindy" to apply it; that is, Cindy feels the pain too and, although she is determined to continue to apply it, she knows how much to apply because she too feels it and so cannot overdo it (although I think she would be willing to if it wasn't so painful for her). Through each episode of applied pain, "Cindy" coerces a promise from "me" that I will _____ (The content of the promise is never actually elucidated, although, for the purposes of the dream story, it's as if it has been.) After this pattern is repeated several times, Cindy next pulls down my Levis and rapes me, with eminem having showed up in the bedroom, rapping as he watches the scene, as if it is an S&M stage performance. (I was reading Kathy Acker's Eurydice in the Underworld just before I fell asleep.) She rapes me forcibly, but with the same "care" so as not to cause herself too much pain. There is a profound confusion as to whose genitals belong to whom and how the actual "rape" is effected; but it is not altogether a painful or violent experience. During moments of relief between the bouts of exquisite pain, I complain about eminem's "poetry." I tell him that anyone can rhyme, a lot of people even cleverly; but it takes, for lack of a better word, "showmanship" to become a successful entertainer, which he has, but which he has totally misdirected. (I always thought that he could have done a whole lot better, that his talents are wasted in rap. I realize this is my age and race bias showing through the veneer of sophistication I attempt to cultivate, a chink in the armor of my cool.)

When I awaken, I'm lying on my stomach and the chronic ache in my back from having slept in this position is what I felt as Cindy's violence in the dream. As I had fallen into sleep, as I will often do, I had been lying on my stomach testing the limits of my endurance while trying to realign my vertebrae so as to keep my spine straight and prevent the disease from causing it to grow me into a permanently bent-over position. I do this during times when the inflammation flares, which is when the calcification process is in full operation; but, as often is the case, I fall asleep while I'm doing it (because lying on my stomach is so physically and psychologically comforting) and the unconscious relaxation puts more stress on the vertebrae causing pain that I do not feel (being asleep--unless I happen to dream the pain) until I awaken. And then I have no choice but to take painkillers to alleviate my suffering.

So, awake and despite the pain, I am entertained by the dream; but I feel more confused than previously. I feel like days have passed, maybe even months. This is a feeling that I often enjoy as much as I dislike, almost like an alternate state of consciousness. My mind races, ideas mixing with the dream images and demanding that I get up immediately and begin to write it all out before I lose it. Ideas that I had weeks ago but failed for whatever reason to document come at me from everywhere and intermix with the remnants of the dreams. I begin to make notes on my mini-clipboard as I make my way, groggy, out to the desktop because I don't want to stay in bed and work on the laptop. I always feel imprisoned in the bedroom during the summer months. I start to work even before I make a cup of coffee. As I work, I check my email, which only adds more fuel to the fire. I make brief notes, just detailed enough to remember the content so that I can fill it out later on. What follows is the later filled out version:1

I do not possess the prevalent point of view nor even the mentality to be considered acceptable in this day and age, though I can see inklings of myself coming into socio-cultural being. I am, maybe, a prototype; but it's a long time coming and a far way off and I am getting older by the minute. By the time the culture has caught up with me, I'll be long gone.

The other day I dreamed a Bukoski-like "short story." (I was reading some of his stories at the time.) It started out as if I had previously written the story and was reading it to some unknown, unseen person:

Annie (which is not her real name; we called her Annie because it's short for anorexic, which maybe she was or maybe she was not, but she looked like she was because she was so skinny)--Annie had a free spirit.

I know people throw that phrase away a lot, saying it of people who seem to be a bit freer than the ordinary citizen, but Annie's spirit was truly free and only her body remained behind trapped back here.

This story went on to document Annie's life and her seamy relationship with the author-dreamer, who was not quite me, but an older man, remembering. (Maybe me much later in my life.) [Most detail since forgotten.]

If this was a future me remembering a past that has not yet occurred, then I have forgotten things that have not happened yet. How can that be? Dreams are funny that way. But what a loss. I wish I could remember.

It had something to do with how Annie would incite arguments between me and other men by flirting and playing us against each other; and how I, being smart enough to know better, would refuse to fight.

I could never before accept, nor even understand, why men got mad at other men, even to the point of murder and mayhem, for "stealing" their women. It always seemed to me that men got it backwards. It's the women toward whom they should be directing their hostilities. They're the ones who orchestrate the infidelity; otherwise the crime is not theft, but rape.

But, from the paternalistic male point of view, I guess it's understandable, when men consider their women as chattel. Men, and women, still act in this way despite the advance of society because we are all still saddled with the instincts of our evolution (though, seemingly, not me; and I wonder why. Do I represent a step forward on the evolutionary chain?) Men still want to blame other men for the misbehavior of their women; and women are happy to leave it that way, if only because it's safer.

But women tend to act as blindly as men in this regard. They act as if their man has, not only the right, but the duty to defend their "honor" when another man "seduces" them. I now understand this behavior; but I still cannot accept it. Let's get evolved, people. Time's a-wastin'.

I fall into a state of mind where I think I can never be loved. Women, I think, despite evidence to the contrary, find me unappealing. I hate myself for the extra ten pounds of fat around my middle. So I project my self-hatred onto you, you big, fat hog. (Yeah, you know who you are. So don't be pretending to ignorance.) At least I'm still thin and not yet so disgusting (in that fat way). I hate myself because each year I get a few pounds heavier. So you look all that more unappealing to the worst of what I am: Being fat is the least of my problems; projection is the worst; or maybe mental illness. I worry that I am not normal in this way. But, this is silly, this is crazy talk (which brings me full circle)....

Mental illness is a myth created by neurotypical people to maintain their power to define reality. No matter how deviant from the norm your mental behavior is, it is only a disease if normal people say it is. And they, in their desperation to appear to be even more normal than they are (or maybe they aren't and are just trying to pass), deny the inklings they have within their psyches that would inform them of their true inner conditions and project them onto those people among us who can't or don't care to guard their outwardly directed behavior so as to appear to be normal:


I am you, but you don't know it.
You think I am something, apart
from all that you are, difference,
incapable coexistence.

The one thing, of which I am sure,
our mutual identity,
we are, together, despite all
appearance, inseparable.

It's like the government. (It always is. We have met the government, and it is us.) Some of us, who call ourselves patriots, believe in it so wholeheartedly that we defend it even when it (i.e., the people who run it) acts in ways counter to our own best interests, because we allow our "patriotism" to overrule what passes for our intelligence. But when you defend your government's right to invade your privacy on the grounds that you have nothing to hide, you abrade our constitutional right to liberty. Instead, you should be worrying, not about what you have to hide, but what you have to protect; and not what's inside your home to protect, but what's inside your country's constitution. (Again, you know who you are.)

People are always so ready to look at only one side of an issue, when the truth, if such an animal ever exists, always lies somewhere in between. We usually choose one side over another because we're made that way. We're divisive (genetically), most of us. (Those of us who aren't are labeled 'autistic' and separated out so as to accentuate our difference, when, otherwise, if not for the natural feelings of threat developed for having been since early childhood treated as different and in need of change, we would be more universal beings who might bridge the gaps that divide us as a species.) We're incapable of healing the schizoid split of the human condition, so we make silly pronouncements that pass for wisdom because most people do not look beyond the surface:

When you do something that nobody else does, you are, by definition, the very best at it.
Thomas Goldstein
Yeah, that's true. But you're also the very worst.

This is how I fight the confusion when it starts to escalate, not only by listing out the ideas that threaten to overwhelm me, but to search for the gaps and build bridges between them so as to make them appear to be one continuous flow instead of the diverse packets of quanta that assail my brain. Sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn't.

I never, of course, manage to list anywhere near the total number of ideas that fill my head. That would be an impossible task. It's the act of expression, not the content, that diminishes the fog of confusion. Like fog itself, it's a mysterious process. Scientists know how both work, but the explanation doesn't dispell the mystery.

Of course, the best way to dispel this kind of confusion would be, not to list out the ideas, but to write them into a linearly logical work with proper transitions, a unifying theme, and a consistent story line. But, not only is that practice, at this time, a discipline that is just a step or two too difficult, but also it would less accurately reflect my currently addled state of mind.

I could work this way, go to all of the extra trouble to straighten out my mind and self in words. I've done it before. But, why bother? I just don't seem to have the motivation to put it all together like I used to. Maybe it's the summer, maybe I'd just rather ride the wave. Maybe in the winter I'll get back to the way I used to be. Maybe. Or maybe I've permanently changed. Hey, it could happen! Always remember, sparky: It's not really an English ale or a German lager if it's brewed in America. (A good beer, despite its nationality, always helps at times like these.)


I spend a lot of time sometimes trying to figure out how I am going to find the motivation to do everything I need or want to do, and a lot more time trying to find the motivation to actually do it; but it's been occurring to me lately that the problem is not important, even that it's not a problem at all.

When it's time to do...whatever, whatever it is you have to or want to do, you know it, you feel it, it feels right. It's then that you recognize that, at all of those other earlier times that you felt like you had to or should do whatever, you were wrong, it wasn't yet the right time, the people who were asking, even demanding that you do...whatever, were wrong; or you were wrong for having internalized the idea, the demanding spirit, that drove you to think that you had to do...whatever at whatever specific time.

Meanwhile, in order to defuse the situation my internal demander, I have another beer and think about something far less important, like tv:

Okay. So The Ting Tings were on Jimmy Kimmel the other night, and they're pretty good and all, especially for a two-piece band whose guitarist uses her instrument as not much more than a rhythmic strummer--although she does it well. But, wait a minute. Who's playing that bass that's giving their song all that oomph? Rip-off! What we're getting is not what we're seeing. Isn't this (sort of) what ruined Milli Vanilli's career? Put all your musicians onstage, even if they are only members of the house band. Stop trying to deceive us into believing that the two of you are creating all of that magnificent sound.

Or else, if mental gymnastics bore or fail to distract you, when all else fails, try actually going outside and doing some actual physical work; except that this is not such a good idea when it's so goddam hot.

When it's ninety degrees outside, I feel guilty when I forego yard and garden work and hide away inside and mope around. But when it's ninety-seven... I mean, there a limit, people. I'm not quite sure what it is, but I'm certain it's below ninety-seven.

I turn the air conditioner on in the bedroom as high as it will go, and when I start to feel cold, instead of turning it down, I go out into the heat, which is actually a relief (for a short while). In that way, I get a few things done before I have to retreat back into the cold to ruminate:

An idea that's been roiling for several months now in that strange organ I like, perhaps inaccurately, to call my brain: People do not, generally, become famous for what they do as much as for who they are. There are obvious exceptions, of course; but they prove the rule.

There's a lot of talent out there, and most of it is unknown; because, in order to become known and stay known, you've got to (know how to and be readily willing to) call attention to yourself, you've got to perform, you've got to work at it, doing it in continuing way.

People who have the knack for this kind of thing are the ones who get famous, by and large. To this end, I want to change my personality (in a temporary sort of way). But I don't want to be(come) gregarious or anything, or even pretend to be that kind of person.

I don't even want to (be seen as trying to) win friends and influence people. I just want to experiment with being "outgoing," and not in order to make a lot of friends and/or money (which would require that I give people what they want, personality-wise at least).

I want to make known who and what I actually am. It's an "expression" experiment. I don't want to entertain people, but rather I'm going to reveal myself. I do this now only via writing. I want to expand myself so that my revelation takes place in the moment.

I used to do this when I was younger, before I became aware of what it was that I was doing, when I didn't know that people understood far more about me than I understood about myself. After I discovered the truth, I retreated into myself and began to keep my distance.

And, over a long period of time, I increased that distance until I got so far out that no one knew where I was, which was exactly the way I wanted it to be. But now, I want to come back, not to join in, but to contribute my difference, to thwart the monoculture.

Why do I do it? Why do I want to do anything? All of the things I do that, when I'm committed to them and in the middle of doing them, cause me eventually to wonder why I bother to go to all the work and trouble, when I could instead lie around in a state of ennui with hardly a care in the world except to worry about how I don't care.

Why do I do it? Because I can. Because I have to do something, don't I? Because if I don't do something, then I will lie around in a state of ennui; and that is not so good for me. And because, after I'm done, I'm so happy to have done it, whatever it was: making beer, growing elaborate food gardens, revealing myself in some hair-brained social experiment.

Once upon a time I was a writer who, when I was seriously working on a project that seemed like it had some kind of import (whether it actually did or not), when I would work for three or four or five hours or more on any given day, especially if that work were ongoing over a number of days, I would finish up for the day feeling good about myself, satisfied that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing; and, whatever else happened, however else the rest of the day went, however else the previous days may have been going that might have otherwise put me off my stride, the house could be falling down around me, I could be wallowing in clutter and filth, it didn't matter, because I was doing what I was supposed to be doing and all that other stuff was the incidental crap that wasn't really what my life was all about.

Those were the good old days, when I was at the peak of my skills and dedication. Now, I seem to have lost ny focus, scattered myself out over many projects that are fulfilling enough in the long run, but are peripheral to the core of my existence. Growing food and making beer and wine and all of the other things I want to do are, when you come right down to it, pretty boring in their day to day detail. And, although the actual work is much the same (re occupying my time, if not my interest), the daily outcome lacks that sense of satisfaction that writing provides. I miss the writing. I miss the developing project's sense of excitement and hope. And, very especially, I miss the idea that nothing else matters as long as I get to do the written work. I want this phenomenon back, I want to be a dedicated writer once again. All of that other stuff is just so much preoccupation.

dream reality

And talking about preoccupation: Some people make squares. Some make magic boxes. I make rectangular magic boxes filled with letter codes instead of numbers. (Sudoku fanatics pretend they are normal by turning their obsession into a puzzle, much like crossword fanatics, who also pretend they are normal.) I (attempt to) control my life with my rectangular magic boxes with letter codes that represent daily tasks I tell myself I have to do. [But I really don't control my life so much as I control my mentality; although there is a sense in which you could call my mentality my life.] I call it my schedule system. Daily tasks are the devices I use to maintain my pretense of normality; but, as likely as not, I don't do them, but rather only maintain the system that keeps track of (not) doing them.

As an example of what I'm writing about here, one of the squares in the box is labeled 'whp', which stands for 'water, harvest, preserve'. This happens to be one of the items that I actually do accomplish on an almost daily basis. This is the most important of my gardening tasks, far more important than 'a', which is an imperative to trim, the weeds and prune the vegetation of one 'area' of twenty that I have defined around my yards, and far more important than 'c', which stands for 'create' (in order to coordinate it with parallel winter activities when I am stuck indoors creating art) and means, planting, rooting of cuttings, layering of plant branches, transplanting, etc. (i.e., the generation and nurturance of life); because, if I don't water the plants and harvest and preserve the produce, the food that I take so much trouble to grow dies or ripens and rots. 'h' & 'p' is the whole point of growing plants for food. Why do all that work if you're going to let the food you grow rot? So, among magic box items, this is one of my top priorities.

The rectangular magic boxes device {which I summarize into a computer spreadsheet so that I don't have a lot of (metaphorical) rectangular magic boxes lying around cluttering up my already overly cluttered place [it's going to be cluttered anyway, but not with ideas; that is, the house is a symbol system for my mind, and the magical boxes and their computerized summary of (non-)activity serve to divorce that system from the actual reality of the physical clutter by better organizing my mind than the house is organized]} is one of the few areas of my life where I manage to maintain an ongoing sense of organization. Rectangular thinking is counterpoint to the ordinary everyday run-on thought process that goes on confusingly forever into the ether of what I seem to believe without actually thinking about it is my actual reality when without attempting to reorganize my thoughts I become overwhelmed with their incessant and insistent nature that will not let me be alone with myself as ideas after ideas flood through me fusing past present future into an amalgam of doubts worries anxieties peppered with happy thoughts that further confuse the issues.

It goes on and on until I manage to make it stop by falling into a deep sleep out of which after a while the dreams of similar nature take over with even less control:

I'm in a cafeteria, as if this is both a work area and a place to eat lunch, a place I've never been in, but which is supposed to be my last place of employment. This is also like a classroom in the way that the tables are arranged in rows, as desks would be. I'm sitting at the back of the room at a table, the last one in a row, with Rita and Cindy [not the kinky Cindy from the previous dream, but the little, cute, druggy one]. I'm talking to Cindy about going somewhere, across the country on a sort of vacation; that is, she's planning this trip, which also includes, perhaps, Europe. I'm writing on a piece of paper, as if I'm writing out an itinerary; or else I'm tracing her proposed route(s) out on a map we have before us, a travel route across the U.S., mid-country, from south to north, which disappears when Steve walks up to us. I become aware as he approaches us that he has been watching us, and he comes over in his inimitable, seemingly plebeian way (consciously designed not to intimidate, but which nevertheless does because you can't escape noticing the air of superiority he exudes, it's been bred into him). He talks to us as if he's our friend, but his message is one of authority as he gleans that we are not working, but rather "goofing off," or "socializing", as he might have put it, as if that were a bad thing that has no place or function during working hours. So I begin to put up a smoke screen designed to imply that we are in fact working on a work project. I pretend to be "interviewing" Cindy for some kind of work project, which is what my scribblings on the paper are then supposed to be. [This is all done without words; that is, ostensibly we are speaking to each other, but in fact, as I dream it, it is only my attitude (of paranoia and anti-authoritarian passive aggression) that is providing the content.] He "chastises" us, in his usual "kind" way (which is not, in fact, kind at all, but only orchestrated to appear to be) about how we should be working and, when it appears that I am going to continue to try to justify our behavior with the pretense that it is work, he, despite reservations, feels he has no recourse but to fire me. Through all of this, Rita has been sitting quietly, not wanting to get herself in trouble. Cindy, however, feels no need at all to pretend to be doing anything except what it she's actually doing. Her attitude (as it was in real life) is that, if she is fired, so be it. She'll just go out and get another job, because one shit job is as good as another.

I awaken embued with fond memories of Cindy, most of which are dream-generated. I entertain (frequently) the superstitious idea that, somehow, in some as yet unexplained way, dreams not only reveal aspects of reality with which we are typically unaware, but they also determine it, that what happens in dreams is as real as what we label 'reality' since what we label 'reality' is not so real either, given the nature of sub-nuclear "particles" and how we who have inadequate perceptual equipment are incapable of resolving phsyical details below a certain critical level. So, our perception of reality (consensual as it is, which is merely an additional layer of illusion) is itself a system of superstition. Therefore, if I am inextricably caught up (except during brief insightful logical episodes like this one) in an ongoing maze of layers and layers of superstitious behaviors, perceptions, and attitudes anyway, I might as well add dreams to that maze; because they're a lot more interesting than the ordinary, consensual, mundane, lowest-common-denominator world that we are conditioned into believing is our non-dream world reality.

I want to create a methodology I can use to separate out fact from fiction, to dispell the illusion of supertsition; but I'm not quite sure how to go about it and, in any case, I inuit that it would require a great deal of disciplined hard work, which I never any more seem to want to become involved in. Life's too short. Nevertheless, I try, in every way I can, at any instance where I become aware of it, to avoid superstition, both within my own system of belief and in society, retreating from it out there whenever possible, because, superstition within yourself can be maintained so as to prevent self-harm (which is not necessarily always the case; you have to be vigilant to ascertain that superstitious behavior is not foot-shooting), but superstition in society can be deadly (such as, for example, when you're running around burning witches or worshipping a different god who wants you to hi-jack planes and crash them into buildings).

So, given my distain (to put the affect mildly) of all things that go bump in the night, I have to force myself to laugh at all these idiots who run around saying things like, "Be careful, it's Friday the thirteenth!" Because, if I were to decide that I wanted to be superstitious, I wouldn't choose the day that a bunch of crazy, though very practical, "real-world" oriented, antiquarian knights were rounded up and executed. I'd choose something more modern, like the pseudo-scientific claptrap of alien visitation or alternate dimensional experience or something else that wouldn't be so easily dismissed via fact and logic.

But the way I would most likely (want to) be superstitious would come in the form of dreams, which, by their very nature, silently scream of otherworldliness. And, even when they are more or less normal, there's something about them that just reeks of difference.

I'm in the front room of my house, looking out at the street. People are talking and shouting at each other in a friendly, party-like manner. (I'm sleeping in the early evening and there's an outdoor party going on two houses down the street.) Someone is in the yard next door talking to someone who is sitting on my porch and kids are playing in the yard. I want to go out and chase them all away, but I think I might as well let them be since they don't seem to be hurting anything and the kids are right there around the adults where they are being watched. I walk into the back of the house where I see a woman talking on the phone, apparently soliciting interviews for her business, which has something to do with media news. I think, This is too much, and I walk back and tell her she has to leave, that she can't be doing that here. She agrees and makes a sincere effort to wind up her activities; but she's having a hard time ending. The house has morphed into an unknown residence, with the kitchen in the back. (I've been here before in dreams, but I don't know if it exists in the real world.) The woman is in the kitchen cooking something on the stove and it's this activity that she is trying to bring to an end so that she can leave. Either she or I accidentally cause something (the cooking food?) to drop to the floor and spill. As she, in a distracted way, continues to try to get ready to leave, I begin to clean up the mess on the floor. She says something like, "Oh, you don't have to do that," and I think to answer, "Yes. I do, it's my house" (awakening slightly, I think that maybe it's actually her house, that maybe I'm invading her space via dream contact and she, being outwardly "professional," but inwardly, a bit lacking in self-confidence, she is intimidated by my presence); and, not only that, I think, but I want to do it, I want to act "nobly" toward her, to help her out, because she's obviously having a tough time with her life, despite the earlier way that she exhibited "professionalism" in the way she went about her "interviewing" business. Continuing her effort to leave, we go into the front room; but her attempt is unsuccessful and we end up instead, though fully clothed, in the shower (which is off to the south, with the kitchen to the west). Although the water is running over us, we are not getting wet. We stand face to face and, attracted to each other, we close the distance and embrace. But she turns her head away and has a look on her face (I see her as if I am an observer behind us, almost as if this is a movie of us I am watching) that indicates doubt or tolerance or something, though I'm not quite sure of its motivation. I think that, maybe, she wants to be with me, wants to stay here in the house, but is put off by my demand for her to leave. [This is the same conflicted attitude that I had toward the partying people earlier: I want them to leave, but I want also to be tolerant, which is a more generalized version of wanting to live with a woman, but understanding how a permanent domestic relationship is just too demanding (re expectation) of a situation for me.] Though she seems a bit undecided about our embrace, we nevertheless press our genitals against each other, an activity sort of preliminary to dry humping (cf., not getting wet). [Sex with a woman is desirable, but domesticity is just too much of a bother; but sex under these conditions is...what? Sterile? No future in it? Thus the doubt about proceeding.]

real reality

[Approximated text reconstructed from memory, and probably enhanced a bit to make me seem to possess a bit more bravado than I actually possess in the presence of authority figures.]

"Do you know why I stopped you?"

"Because you're trying to discourage me from subverting the stranglehold that the oil companies have over the social fabric of this country."

"You're creating a safety hazard by riding on this busy roadway."

"I have a legal right to ride my bike on any roadway in this state as long as I obey the traffic laws."

"You also have to consider how narrow roads like this one make it dangerous for you and for people in cars."

"Where does it say that in the laws?"

"I'm sure I can find something in there if I have to."

"I'm sure you can, because it's you're job to bend the law to benefit your corporate masters."

[Aside, to himself.] "Another conspiracy nut."

"Just because I'm a conspiracy nut doesn't mean there isn't a conspiracy."

"And what is that conspiracy?"

"Among a lot of other things, the price of gas. My immediate problem is being unable to afford gas."

"Look. I understand how you feel about the economy, but I can't allow you to ride on this road."

"Oh, sure, you think you're sympathetic, you think you understand how tough it is for some us out here in the world; but you don't understand, really. You don't understand how it's your job to justify and maintain the status quo that the corporations establish, you don't see how, in order to do your job, you have to act as another pawn in their game."

He ended up just warning me to be careful. And, to be fair, he was somewhat entertained by my effrontery.


If they don't want me riding on the roadways (despite my legal right to do so), they should construct bike paths (because it is illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalks).

The pertinacious attitude of the corporate capitalist mentality is preventing people from exercising (heh!) their right to live effectively in the face of rising prices and falling wages. The minions who promote this agenda (without even knowing it) advance the elitist conspiracy to gain total control over the money supply.

I went through the same mental turmoil when I began to walk several years ago. I fought the prevailing attitude (both in others and within me, internalized) that I should not be walking, but rather driving a car. In fact, not only do I have the legal right to ride my bike on any roadway, I have the right to act in any way not prohibited by law, despite how odd others may believe my behavior to be.

(If you do think that my behavior is odd, then just maybe it's not I, but you who has a problem--with rigidity of thought or with a brainwashed mentality. Just maybe your perception is projection and you are the odd one, because you accept without any critical thought all of the bullshit that your society tells you is normal behavior.)


As prices rise, people begin to look for ways to economize; that is, some people do. Others, being less effectual, dig themselves deep(er) into the hole they're in; and then they begin to complain, because it's all that they know how to do. (And, often, it works; so that they get positive feedback of the variable interval/ratio variety, the kind that is hardest to extinguish.) But, really. Oh, boo-fucking-hoo. So gas prices are above $4/gal. So what? I'm tired of hearing all the whining from all of the sheeple who have to divert their cash from their purchase of the products designed for an affluence lifestyle or from junk food (or even fine dining; lose some weight, you fat pigs) in order to buy gasoline. If you're so bothered by economic events, stop complaining and do something about it.

What is it that you're doing right now (even in a mere token manner, thereby setting an example) to try to stop the shenanigans? You don't know what to do? You helpless peons! It's simple. Stop buying gas! You think you can't do it, you think you're dependent on "the system" to enable your survival? I thought so too. But I did it, not so much out of necessity as out of a perception that I was being screwed over by the corporate machine that wanted increasing amounts of my money. Yeah, it took a while for me to get where I am today; but I did it. And so can you. I planned it out and edged carefully toward my present lifestyle. So, instead of acting similarly, go ahead and whine about the high cost of living and how you don't get the value for your dollar that you used to, you ineffectual wimps. (Wake up. The system is geared against you via the corporo-government's controlled inflation policies.)

On the other hand, why should you (or I) have to tighten our belts and sacrifice our comforts to the gods of corporate management while a small elitist percentage of the population continue to live in wealth and splendor? I do it for my own esthetic reasons, knowing I need not, having the resources at my disposal that I could "waste" in splurges of decadence if I so chose; but, instead, for my own spiritual and psychological development, I bit the bullet, tightened my belt, and did it. And so can you. Of course, you will have to give up your disgusting American mainstream lifestyle. But, hey, that could be a good thing. You say you don't want to do that, nor why should you have to? Fine.

Oh, yeah, while I'm on the subject of whining [which is actually what I'm doing now; and, at the risk of negating my above complaints about "you," whining is one often effective way that ordinary citizens influence the processes of a representative government in their favor--if you whine loudly enough, your representatives begin to become concerned about their possible defeat in the next election--and, anyway, you can do something about it by acting in concert to boycott a specific oil company (or any company against whom there is widespread discontent) until they bring their prices down; if a company is sitting on excess inventory because millions of people are not buying their products, they will lower their prices, and their competitors will be forced to follow; and the internet is the perfect vehicle to orchestrate such a cause], all you Midwesterners who are flooded out of your homes, will you please just shut the fuck up and stop crying about your plight on the national news. What the fuck did you think was going to happen when you moved into the bottomland next to a river? Did you expect that it would never again flood its banks? That's what rivers do. Sooner or later, if you live near a river, you're going to get flooded out. So boo-fucking-hoo to you all too. Move to higher ground, you idiots. Or else, if you're so determined to live where you do because you like the immediate availablity to the water, or the ambiance, or whatever, then accept the fact that you're going to have the additional maintenance costs associated with flooding and stop relying on the government to bail you out.


Because he's alone, a sailor's always telling himself who he is:


"We'll chose [sic] the tortures," lots of voices said, "but first we have to invent the crimes..."


Loneliness rather than sex has become the last vestige of capitalism. Loneliness is both a disease and a cause of personal strength.

Kathy Acker, Eurydice in the Underworld
I never feel lonely because I have a whole society inside my head. Thus, I have the best of both worlds: strength without disease. All of my life I've had to go out when I didn't (really) want to. I had to go to grade school, to high school, to college (classes; I didn't really mind going away to college), and to work at all of the various jobs I've held, when all along, most of the time, I would rather have stayed at home and occupied myself with whatever happened to be going on in my head at the time. Now, I can do just that. Now, my life is organized around the principle that I do what I want to do, when I want to do it (except for the things I do that require a scheduled time. But those things are of my own choosing. I can stop doing them if I so desire.)

We've become a society that demands to be distracted, from the essential matters that confront us, both personal and as a species. For example, we prefer television shows that lie to us (which are ironically called "reality" shows) over fictive dramas and sitcoms (which often present more, though not so much, truth); we prefer these latter kinds of shows over hard news programs (soft news shows, the kind that lie to us, sporting the biased and opinionated talking-headed pundits who pretend to be reporters, are okay, at least the ones who spew our preferred polemics); and we prefer, most of all, mindless sports, the details of which we believe to be highly significant and qualify as news itself.

It's the height of the year. All across the world, Wiccans are out dancing in the fields under the full moon (which is a happy coincidence this year). Me, I'm without much success at trying to catch up on my sleep after getting up a three a.m. to drive my brother and his family to the airport for their annual excursion to their Kissimee condo and then dropping their van off at the auto repair place.

On the darker side, as I'm driving home from the airport with nothing to do but keep the van between the white lines while occupying myself in thought, I come up with the idea (at least ten years too late) that in these latter days you have to assume that, no matter where you are, someone is watching and/or listening to you. I think this because I wonder if my brother has a listening device in his van.

Sure, I'm paranoid. But, hey, anything's possible these days in this regard. I think this because I'm singing aloud stupid little ditties to keep myself awake (after having had only three hours of sleep). But, more generally, anyone could be, for any reason, listening to me with a planted bug or watching me through high-powered scopes or onboard cameras. The technology gets cheaper every year.

I'm going to have to start to be more guarded (than I already am). Either that or I'm going to have do a huey and give up caring how I am perceived. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. My whole life has been a big attempt to preserve my privacy by hiding away from (what I perceive to be) a prying society. And there was a time when, psychologically at least, that felt important.

But need I care any more? Or can I now use my aging wisdom and developed imposing appearance to get away with any kind of (socially questionable, though legal) behavior that I might, without thinking too much about it, care to engage in? In other words, can I now afford to allow myself to be a freer, more socially expressive person? Or will I, like I've done in the past, step in it?

I used to go to a lot of trouble planning my social interactions so that people would think I was "normal," hiding myself away (an unconscious agenda). But now, it seems, I just don't give so much of a shit. Sometimes, out of habit, I still try to do this; but its execution is haphazard and its effect lame, like it used to be when I was young, before I started to plan out my social behavior.

In a way, I think of my life as a kind of torture that society inflicts on me, unknown voices (in my head, social sanctions internalized and generalized) threatening me to remain on the straight and narrow, or else. And crimes I might commit seem to be more arbitrarily than rationally based. In other words, when they see me acting to my own purpose, they decide they will get me, somehow.

I can't be allowed to wander around acting freely, disregarding their Mickey Mouse agenda(s). I'm pretty much irrelevant, except if others see what I'm up to and maybe decide that they can act similarly. Bad influence and all that. Watch that guy. He's trouble. Sooner or later the opportunity will arise to invent the crimes that they'll use to threaten to curtail my activities. It's just a matter of time.

Driving to the airport and then dropping off the van at the repair shop and having to deal with mechanic-minded men wore me out. The entire ordeal took only a total of about two hours; but, after only three hours sleep, the net result was an edgy world-weariness that I haven't felt in years. (It used to be my typical state of mind.) I don't like it, and I can't seem to reestablish my laid-back, laisez-faire self. I guess that the only way I'm going to "normalize" myself is to take a large dose of melatonin and painkillers and crash for about twelve hours.

People are just too much for me to bear. I've known this for a long time, but I'm not sure I've ever felt it to be the case so short term before. Over the long haul, I need ample breaks from people; but I would have thought that I could take them in short spurts. It could be that this is a new "adaptation," that I'm changing; or it could be that I've always been this way but never noticed it because I could always manage to summon the higher energy level necessary to endure short spurts--which amounts to saying that I'm changing, in that my summonable energy level is far lower than it used to be. Makes sense to me.

Most of my time, alone, I'm fine, off in my head doing what I want to or feel I must do, apart from all pressure except that which is generated internally. Stuff doesn't bother me. Even the stuff that does bother me (that which I see on tv, for example) doesn't bother me so much, because it's removed from my daily life; because it doesn't involve direct interaction with people.

Interaction is what drives up the need for additional energy. I have to go into overdrive to deal with people directly (or even on the telephone, and sometimes even via forums or email). Too much of this kind of thing and the ramped up anxiety I experience heads me toward a crash of withdrawal and "depression," which is actually my "cure" because, alone, within my own mind, I distract myself with my diversity of pet projects that do not involve interaction. It's odd that I do not feel this way so much when the people I interact with are of a less conventional mindset. When the people are more "ordinary," it seems that they challenge my sense of self worth as I subconsciously recognize that I do not embrace their definition of normality. It's better then, I think (subconsciously), that I am off alone somewhere, out of their way, before they discover what I really am and act to censure me--or worse. And this dynamic is far more pronounced when the people are more than one or two. Groups, especially conventional groups, highly disturb me. If I must interact, let it be with only one person at a time.

days of grace

...I looked forward to arriving at a period of grace in my life, and my late forties might be a good place to start. What I meant by grace was a more realistic approach to the process of living to arrive at perhaps some tranquility and to place a little more distance between the frustrations and agonies in my life, which are so often of my own creation.
Richard Brautigan, An Unfortunate Woman
I'm so tired even after eleven hours sleep I can't/don't want to move around, or even just stand up. The plants in the containers out at the edge of the deck sing to me in the sunlight: tomatoes, onions, dwarf strawberry, cherry, fig, tangerine, and lemon trees; and closer in, a guava plant, two peppers, and a privet hedge I found growing from one of last year's cuttings that had fallen into the strawberry patch and rooted there unnoticed, so I dug it up and planted it in a large clay pot, intending to plant it up in back where it will help to shield my otherwise productive gardens from the ravages of the deer. But all of that is of little concern right now, because I am so tired I don't want to do the gardening and I'm afraid the yards will get like they did last year when I hurt my back and could barely manage to get out of bed, let alone weed and trim and cultivate.

I'm averaging less than seven hours sleep a night over the past month. Usually, I manage to get seven and three quarters. (I keep track of it on a spreadsheet, along with other pertinent lifestyle information.) That slight edge makes all the difference. (And, when I manage to get more than eight, I'm the epitome of energy.) [The plants just keep on singing their low, whining sitar music, with the birds responding to their steady, unending call like an Indian raga. No one I ever tell this to can hear them and they think I'm crazy. More's the pity.] I took a sleeping pill last night (melatonin) and two naproxen to guarantee that the back pain did not awaken me mid-night; that's why I slept through until mid-morning. Now, on the porch with my laptop, I struggle to regain a semblance of my normal, low-state, energy.

So I guess that this time right now is the period of grace that I've looked forward to, though I hardly thought to use that label at the time. If I had thought of it at all, I probably would have called it "peace and calm," because that is what I've always wanted; and it's what I've got now, I guess, when you subtract out all of the intermittent angst and dread, which can still predominate periodically, although it's far better than living your entire waking existence and half of your dreams that way, which is the way I was when I was out working for a living; and, at that, so keyed up and driven that I hardly noticed it for lack of any significant periods of contrasting affect. It was always there, if not out front where it functioned (sort of) consciously, then certainly just below the surface where it characterized the mental state that droned on and on, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. It's much better being me in these latter days of grace.

And yet I still (try to) drive myself. [This is apart from the episodes of anxiety, which I am happily free of right now (it's summer); although I occasionally feel, way in the back of my being, a hint that the anxiety is just waiting for something to happen so that it can spring forth and latch onto it] Right now, I'm fighting my desire--my goal, my garden "vision"--to have an orderly mini-estate that produces much of its own food. I want to do other things, work on other projects, and I have to keep reminding myself that this is what I do in the summer, this is my purpose. And today I realize that the perspective I've been missing recently is that what I'm doing here is working for free food. I (want to, automatically) think of this in the same way as I think of the free water I get by capturing the rain in barrels, but it's a bit different in that it takes minutes per rain storm to achieve that goal, whereas it takes hours and hours per day to grow, harvest, and preserve free food.

When I began this endeavor (actually, in one way or another, I've been doing this most of my life; but now I'm doing it seriously and pretty much full time), I devoted a great deal of time to setting it all up: re-landscaping the yards to accommodate beds and mini-orchards, planting perennials that would eventually, except for pruning, take care of themselves, etc. But I failed to notice that much of the work would be repetitive each year (I hate repetitive tasks); and I especially failed to take into account the amount of time that harvesting and preserving would consume. But, the free food insight I now have justifies my work. Of course, I'm going to have to put in the time when I'd rather be doing other things; but this is free food, for Christ's sake! It's the same thing as free water, or the free transportation I get by walking--or biking (still to be effected)--around the township, or the free expression I get from writing. Okay, that last one's a little bit different, I admit; but it's the same idea--it's free.

But, really, peace (and calm) for me means pretty much doing nothing at all. It can mean more than that, such as when no one will disturb me in what I am doing; but, basically, it means that I am free to sit and not so much do whatever I want as do nothing, and enjoy it. A lot of the time I sit doing nothing but am disturbed in my mind as to what to do, looking for some way to occupy my time. But when I can manage to pull myself free from that preoccupation, I can manage to enjoy existence for exactly what it is--motivelessness.

We humans supply the motives for existence. Animals, it's true, have motives, but they're such simple ones, basically eating and sleeping and seeking out the most comfortable temperature range to dwell in, that they don't really play into what I am talking about here. For the most part, animals steer clear of humans. They have their own (sense of) peace. If, on the rare occasion, they seek to eat one of us, it's usually when we dare to go where we do not belong, such as into the ocean where we risk becoming shark food. Animals know how to perceive and enjoy peace when they find it. Humans seem always to have to be doing something when they are out and about. Sleep is about the only state of true peace we seem to enjoy spontaneously, and even then we interrupt it with dreams.

I seem to be having a hard time zeroing back in on the brief insight of peace that I had when I was out on the back porch sitting in the sun. Peace is, a state of appreciation of the present, Now existence.

coincidences and garden notes

Scholars set date for Odysseus' bloody homecoming
Mon, 23 Jun 2008 05:09 pm PDT AP - Using clues from star and sun positions mentioned by the ancient Greek poet Homer, scholars think they have determined the date when King Odysseus returned from the Trojan War and slaughtered a group of suitors who had been pressing his wife to marry one of them.
Yahoo News
One basic characteristic of the Now state is that it is devoid of coincidences, because, when everything exists within the now, you can't compare it to what has happened at other times to draw coinicdent conclusions. But coincidence has an alternate meaning: instead of implying causal connection or being caused by an event outside of the coincident ones, as in the oft-heard statement "What a coincidcence!" (actually, that is the alternate meaning), it can mean, simply, occurring at the same time, without causal connection.

Shortly after I read the above article, I go out onto the front porch and continue to read Richard Brautigan's An Unfortunate Woman, picking up where I left off yesterday, and I discover this:

Maybe Euripides woke up in the morning with a hangover while he was writing Iphigeia in Aulis. Perhaps funny, frustrating, totally-without-reason things happened to Euripides while Iphegenia journeyed on toward her sacrifice so the wind would come and take the Greek fleet to Troy where Ulysses picked it up from there and all the way to, years later, Ulysses returning to Ithaca and his friendly encounter with Penelope's suitors.

I had no idea that this was coming, and there is no subcontext that I can find that presages it, no unconscious hints sneakily imparted by the author into my subconscious.

Next, a few hours later, I hear about Sgt. X, who returned from Iraq to discover that his Sgt. Major, who was exempted from being deployed with his Guard unit, had been trying to convince X's wife to leave X and marry him. So X beat him to death.

Then I come across this article after having wondered yesterday if gene therapy could ever permanently alter a person's genetic makeup, or if it would be required to continually receive genetic material (ingested, injected, or whatever) that created a shorter-term change:

Human genome changes with age
Tue, 24 Jun 2008 01:16 pm PDT
AFP - Individual human genomes change throughout a person's life influenced by environmental or nutritional factors which may explain why illnesses such as cancer come with age, a study said Tuesday.

Yahoo News
Guess that answers that question. These experiences come and go in sets. I'll run across a rash of them and then for months they'll dry up. (Or maybe they're available all the time and my attention to my surroundings/information stream peaks and wanes.) Are these kinds of experiences all coincidence? Found opportunities? Or something else.

Generally, I am not the most objective observer--consciously, that is; unconsciously, I am much better. Thanks to my genetic make-up, I tend to block aspects of experience in the moment; but later I can recall them with far more accuracy. That's why I think that something more may be going on re "coincidence" than what I want to (with my scientifically trained mind) attribute to it. To my "objective" mind, coincidence is just that: occurring together, no causal relationship necessary or implied. But to my subjective mind (i.e., that part of it that lies below the surface), alternate possibilities abound. This is not a normal way of (not) looking at things:

Typically, when we (in our very human nature) "miss" things in the present moment, it's because we apply filters to our experience so as to see things the way we want or expect them to be. Although I do this sometimes, I think I do it far less than the average neurotypical person. Instead of running (psychological) software that prompts me to disregard what's right there in front of me, I'm hardwired to miss things. It's a fine line, I realize; but it's an important distinction. (The metaphor may be fraying a little around the edges.)

In any case, my experiences tend to be recorded for later perusal, whereas in the neurotypical brain, I suspect the opposite to be true, the software determining more of the unconscious content storage. Another way of saying this (to try to make it clearer) might be to say that my brain is far less influenced by the software code because its mechanics (genetics) processes the experience first and obviates the software processing. Thus, the information gets through and is stored; whereas in the neuortypical brain, the software alters the content before it is stored.

So, because I tend to be more unconsciously objective, I have to give at least some credence to the possibility that what we call coincidence is often something a bit more than mere... well...coincidence. I'm not quite sure why I feel that this is true. I just do.

When mysteries like this begin to proliferate, I tend to look elsewhere for enlightenment, because the mechanism of the mind, rational or otherwise, can get just a little bit too confusing:

Every spring, I always seem to end up with one or two small planters that get filled with fresh topsoil but never get anything planted in them. But weeds grow, and I begin to care for them as if they were productive plants. I water them when I water the rest of the plants and I prune them and weed them when they begin to get too crowded, keeping the most "presentable" species and removing things like crabgrass, dandelions, and anything that threatens to grow too big and ruin the esthetic quality of the planter. And if I should forget to water for a while and the good plants suffer, these weeds survive the drought far better; and if they should wither, they come right back with the least little bit of water. I appreciate them most of all for this reason: They are tenacious.

Also tenacious are the wild grape vines that dominate our local woods and creep into untended sections of our yards. I have one of them well established between the low wall that defines the walkway between the front and back of the house and the hedges that border that wall on the side away from the house. I have cut this vine down every year for the last twenty years, but still it returns. Several times each season I violently yank out new growth when I notice that it has gotten three or four feet long and has twisted itself up inside the hedges. This persistent weed would be welcome if only it would produce grapes; but every year in late spring, it drops its fruit when they are still tiny--as do all of the wild vines in the area.

Nevertheless, in honor of this extant being's determination to survive, today I bestowed upon it permanent status and cut it back to one main shoot, three feet high, which I supported with the hedge behind it. I'm going to train it and keep it small, a mini-vine, a token of the wild things that will overtake us if we let our guards down. The house next door has been vacant since January and the grape vine that grows wild inside the tall landscape privacy pines at the edge of the porch has spread out across the small gap to the house and crawled up its side to and over the roof and out the electric lines toward the street. It has loads of tiny grape clusters that seem larger than the ones it dropped in previous years.

So, today, I sprayed those clusters with homemade organic pesticide, hoping to encourage it to allow them to develop. I figure that if I can succeed in bringing at least some of them to maturity, I might learn something about how to care for them, thereby holding out a hope that all the rest of the wild things can similarly be made to be "productive" and may therefore be encouraged to exist among us instead of being ripped up by the roots to satisfy our American need for weed-free lawns. My lawn is all but gone, replaced over the last three years with crops. By example, I hope to change suburbia into a haven of crops both wild and domestic. I'm sure there are valuable uses for nearly every weed. We need but find them.

I've been sitting on the porch writing this on my laptop, but it begins to rain, so I retreat inside:

A long time ago I read a story by Ray Bradbury, I forget the title, about some guy on a planet where it seldom stopped raining. So, in order to provide shelter for the planet's inhabitants while they were out wandering through the wilderness, they (whoever they were) built, every few miles, small, cozy little refuges--domes, I think they were--where souls in the process of being driven mad by the incessant rain could get away from it for a while.

I think of this now because I think the rain is driving me crazy this month. June is supposed to be a sunny time of year. It's this goddam global warming. It's turning the weather upside down. May this year was the most beautiful summer-like month, when usually it is a bit colder with some rain. For some reason, I don't know why, I feel like this means we're going to have a cold winter. As I examine this thought logically, I think that it should mean the opposite, that the winter should be warm. But I'm sticking with my original intuition. (I'm beginning to feel any more that logic is way over-rated.) In any case, whichever will occur, I'm certain it will be a coincidence.

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1. In case anyone should go to the trouble of checking out the source code and discover that the date codes indicate a wide range of dates over which this material was written, this is because, having not written in my raw journal for a long time, I'm in the process of backtracking and filling in the blanks so that no days are left empty. I do this a lot, my obsession with completion dominating my need for literal-time accuracy. (Time means so little, in any case.) In this case, however, I can perhaps be forgiven for my time inaccuracy because much of this material is reconstructed from memories over the past few weeks, stuff that I intended to write about but earlier lacked the motive to do so.