Studio Journal 4-19-12: I’m Fixing A Hole

big hole in ceiling

"I’m Fixing A Hole where the rain get's in"

It is just over five months since I made a journal entry. Though I have written entries twice, once at New Years and again February 1st, I never got them to the point of posting. Without internet access, it was more difficult. But the simple truth is that there was no time and no reason to post. I was not doing anything that interesting, and I was doing it as fast as I could so I could finish the responsibilities I'd taken on settling ma's estate and return to my own life. Yet it was also a time of profound and intense changes and thoughts and feelings. So I wrote more about that play of energies beneath the surface, the world that is really impotant to me, that is often lost beneath the dynamic of all the wild things I normally do. This was of time of quiet, deep intensity, where what was going on was simple on the surface, but a deep as it gets below the surface.

me at memorial service

As I finally take up the narrative again, in perspective, so many months later, it is such a fog of endless, tedious work and sleep deprivation that I rely on my calendar, which I fill out like a journal, to remind me just what happened, good, bad, and in between. It was a crazy time, certainly, perhaps better that it is a fog, all told.

me at marias wake

But I will plug this gap, using what I wrote before, and add some more, and then a second entry to bring this journal up to the present. I expect it will still be a rocky restart once I get going. First, I am about to dive back into the work at the house, and heading cross country, and then am heading back to Alaska to return to the wilderness for an extended retreat. I’ll finally stop, there, to reflect on this experience and put it behind me, and take all the general dreaming and planning I have done in late night snatches or over morning coffee and turn them into a plan, and head out in the Fall to start a new road, a new great circle, different from one I have ever done before as so much has changed. As always, I won't be able to do much with the internet till I get back. But it should be a lot going on the next couple months, so I’ll try to make an entry as to what happens before I head into the wild. It is hard to believe that if I manage to process the videos I was making when I had to stop, they will be from the summer before last summer, a year and a half ago and the last video ends as I was heading out to the wilderness, almost two years ago.

folksinger card

But it is still good, maybe very good. I am getting back to my real life, the life I have lived for decades, to the music, from which the last few years was just a temporary distraction. I did the right thing, spending time with my parents while I could. I made the right decision, not without regrets, not without a lot of pain and stress, but I am glad I did it, and glad that it is done, though not glad they are gone. I have that time I chose t spend with them now that they are gone, and it is precious stuff. Another of the things I value in my life that money can't buy, not now.


But they are gone, and I face foward, more tired and stressed out than I can express, but with a weary relif, some small hope. I am too tired, and there is still so much to be done, to feel relief or any great, light-hearted enthusiasm, but I am turning the corner. There is a lot of work ahead, but it is getting my house in order, and starting to do all the things that I loved and built my life from, despite the hardship and pain, following the music, living the life, in moments of terrible beauty. I long to see that beauty again, and I know I will. Like finally turning onto a dusty, rocky road under a beating sun that I know leads to cool green mountains, though I am weary and the road is hard, I know where it leads and another year I will be in a much better place, and all this, and all I have been through the last couple years, will be far behind me. So I walk on.

But I said I would fill this gap, keep to my goal to maintain this narrative of the life of a Folksinger, like I have kept my notebook journals, and taken the documentary video footage, and made a web journal before the word "blog" existed and made video tour journals for the net when no one would host them, saying "people wouldn't want to watch video on the web." Seems I've always been ahead of my time, then left behind in the rush. I wonder and doubt that anyone will read this, but it needs to be done anyway. So it goes. I can’t worry about it. An artist, and a journalist, has do just do it, not think about the results.

Nope. I just need to stop writing and start at the beginning, with the entry I wrote for January 1st, New Year's 2012.

A Folksinger's Journal, 1/15/12

I'm trying to keep posting, and it is the new Year, which is usually an important entry. But there is only so much I can do. My life is still not anywhere near back to my own yet. I haven't even had time for the personal reflection and planning that I usually do this time of year. So it goes.

xmass tree

Part One: The Tree is Dead, Long Live the Tree

My year really is marked by the Solstices, as I live by the seasons, which are inevetable, undeniable, but hard to pin down to an exact date and time. The Soltices and Equinoxes are just that, cosmic clockwork. Though, I am not chained to exactitude. And living in this world, I have to deal with their calendar, not just my perception. So for me, New Years is always a period of weeks, which included many events, starting after mid-December and running into mid-January, including all the mid-winter celebrations of everyone, Solstice to 12th Night. I usually get the tree down again by the end of January, more or less.

It is a time of memories, a annual event that had been a pillar in a relatively variable life. When I was on the road, a decade ago, I would finish up the Arizona Fairs in December, then head for the East coast, maybe visiting my brother in Austin or stopping to play somewhere along the way. I'd get here and start cleaning and getting ready to raise the tree for the Solstice. Then some time in Mid to late January, I would take the tree down and pack everything away again, clean up, pack up, and head for Florida and the rest of the Winter season.

xmass tree

This year I wondered if would even raise a tree, with ma gone, and I'm not expecting that anyone will coming here, so there's no one to see it. The tree has always been a great, wonderful, magical event, a great work of art and magic. It is part of my personal tradition and practice, a ritual event, though not in the modern tradition.

I've already done a great video of raising the tree here in 2000, which you can fnd in the catalogue here, and on youtube, and in the accompanying journal entry I talk about the tree an what it is at length. And the video journal entries frm almost any new years will have video of the tree, always changing, always the same. So no need here.

It is still what it is, as any magic thing, a focus of energy, significant, indicative, a way to manifest and reveal the play of energies at a certain moment, like the cards, sticks, stones and bones, the flip of a coin. A simple physical act that causes potential energies to manifest, or invisible forces to become visible through their action upon it, like using smoke to reveal the motion of air.

But I am still overwhelmed with demands on my time, more troubles piling on even as I struggle through what I have to do. Not a good time. And then it is time for the tree. It has always been a major effort to do it again, like any regular event, sometimes a great pleasure, sometimes including the desire to just skip it, a common experience with many things in the clockwork of life, when you get up and do it again. How many many trees there has been, and that very continuity is part of it's importance, because continuity is important, and tradition, in balance and harmony with the new.

Practicaly, I don't even have a vehicle I can depend on to make the trip to get a tree. I have just gotten the van running, untested, and the Toyota is barely limping along, as well as just running very poorly, a differential seal is leaking now, hopefully rebuilding the carburator and resetting the valves will make it run, since an ingition tune-up didn't work, and I've ordered a new seal, though don't know about the bearings. Still, I've had to wait for the van to be done before I can work on the Toyota, as I have to have some working vehicle. And the van is almost done, though still some days of minor reassembly and checking and cleaning to be road-test ready.

xmass tree

But back to the tree, and all the underlying magic that is the foundation of my life, which is too significant to ignore. Though I did it for ma, and the family, I recognize it is still something I would do on my own, I think, though I never have. The very few times I was not here, I didn't do a tree, because I did not have the ornaments and all, and the fact was, the tree did exist, was being raised, even though I was not there to do it. That is tradition. And an awareness transcending distances, expanding so that I am aware of the parts of me that are in places seperated from my body by thousands of miles, yet still part of me. Even if I did not do a tree here, there would be many trees in many places, part of a much larger manifestation of energy, even if most do not see it as I do, at least consciously. The Tree is dead, long live the Tree!

Finally, on the Solstice, the manifestation was spontainious and obvious, as these things sometimes are. Though it had crossed my mind, it actually happened almost unconsciously, dancing in a dream, without volition, abandoning myself to the flow of events, actions, energy manifesting, like playing a song, aware and intent, but unfocused and without consciously willing actions, just doing it without thinking. A state of mind and being which I struggled to achieve once, and remains at the core of my way of life.

xmass tree

I began transplanting plants around the yard, one of the common chores of this time of year, always, though I have resisted as I am not sure what the future will bring, working on the yard may just be an unnescessary distraction from leaving this place. Though I hope to take some plats with me when I go. Not knowing if I am staying or leaving is still an basic conflict in my life. Since I have created great bird habitat here, their droppings cause many plants to sprout up everywhere. So even as I wondered why, perhaps an act of rebellion, I began transplanting laurel-like evergreens to places to block the line of sight to the new mansions going up around here, and dividing and transplanting the exposed tulips I dug up along with the shrubs that had sprouted among them. I've also been moving junipers to a corner of the yeard where they will eventually form a grove, great bird habitat and another natural evergreen barrier. The last one was the largest, almost for feet tall, growing by the road dangerously blocking sight down the road leaving the driveway. Instead of replanting it, I placed it in a large flowerpot and brought it inside for the Tree.

The simple truth in this story I've been telling, is what is essential about magic, and art, and energy, is not size, but that it is, that the connection is made, the energy is really manifest. The smallest action or object can embody true art, and the biggest and brightest display can be an empty shell, meaningless, even ostentatious, garish and tacky, or just sad and pathetic, in its empty imitation of real art and magic. As happens so often the human world, where ideas mean so much, the form, the shell, is mistaken for the content, for the energy it is simply a channel for. So that the most expensive and extensive display can be useless pretention, and the simplest, crudest attempt can end up absolutely real and true.

A connection does not depend upon the size of the wire, only that the connection is made. Or is not. In these essential reality beneath the surface manifestation, something either is or is not.

So I raised this little Juniper tree for the Solstice. Come Xmass eve, I pulled out a couple strands of small lights and garlands to drape it with. I picked through the boxes of ornaments to find some significant ones to weight it down with, and blew on some tinsel and plugged it it in as the sun set. Long Live the Tree. Then I went off to the Tauxemont neighborhood xmass party, keeping tradition, the 51st annual at the Mclellands.

cleared bedroom

Part Two: Changing The Energy Structures

Changing The Energy Sculptures

stacked boxes

It is still a time of profound changes. Before I finally raised a tree, even was sure I would, I used it as a reason to move significantly forward, finally moving out the bookshelves I'd cleared off, changing the entire arrangement of the room. This is the major step since I last wrote, with the finances done, I began clearing the house, touching and moving all the personal possesions of ma's that had remained fairly untouched all this time. I began by emptying shelves of books and videos, emptying out the furniture so it was ready to move. Sometimes I only moved things to the permanent shelves to deal with later, but that is part of the underlying process of sorting and cataloging everything for the rest of the family. As this month passes, and I entered a new year, I experience this huge shift. I have begun moving everything in the house. I have cleared out her room, untouched since I made it ready for her expected return from the hospital. Now it is clean and bare, just a bedframe and mattress left. I've emptied all her filecabinets, and the boxed up books, clothes, appliances, and files, and filled another empty bedroom with them, and cleared furniture stacks up in the livingroom by the door.

art piece galleonart piece marrionette
For me, living in a world of energy, it is the most powerful change, finally disturbing and really, dispersing the energy that made this place the place it was. I see objects as the energy they manifest, and though it is the energy that matters, the object is essential as the channel for it. And I surround myself with many significant objects, powerful or minor, and as obvious as the dulcimer to as innocious as small rocks picked up significantly, along the way. Again, significance itself is not a matter of size, of measure, but that is really is. And the Way is a life surrounded by significance, sculpted of energy, a mosaic, a pattern, a song, where the whole is as important a thing as any individual part. The closest common practice to what I have lived might be oriental Feng Shu, but like many of the traditional oriental practices, they are to me, the earlier, simpler practices built upon the same recognition of energy, as are many traditions, from medicine to physics, science and religion, that while havng percieved essential truths, have always incorporated unnescessary or even incorrect information, extrapolation, and superstition to fill in the gaps or knit it into the personal or cultural fabric of the time and place.

1213 backyard

For me, it is simply that every object has an energy, and has also been gradually placed and moved, till the whole house and even yard is a great moasaic of energy, a certain place, energetically, just as bricks, wood, or stone create a building not only by their nature, but even more by their placement, architecture, shaping the energy manifest in and through it and the people who experience it. There is such energy in buildings, created objects can manifest great art, great magic, or be empty shells, which still manifest even that energy, a powerful radio station carrying only faint static white noise. From the greatest to the simplest, from a utilitarian shelter to a palace, a cathdral to a simple standing stone. A great part of humanities significance comes from actions that manifest patterns beyond nature as it is, potentially in harmony, often in dissonance and opposition. This is a great and possibly unique power in nature, since we are a manifestation of nature, natural, even though we can act against it, break the pattern we are part of, unlike perhaps any other animal. We can do wrong.

art piece flying geeseart piece wooden mask

This place is a home, representing those who lived there and slowly arranged it, mostly my mom, and like a person, in some ways unchanging through the years, yet also continually changing, evolving, with a constantly shifting surface pattern, or routines, dances played out within the stage set. In a short period, I have moved everything, disturbing the dust of years, and I experience it like a great kaliadescope of muted and brilliant colors, so many small yet individual pieces, not collapsing into chaos, since I am moving with intent, but that kaliadescopic shifting of pattern to pattern to pattern as I act upon it.

It is much more obvious than all the long work of the finances. I went through a similiar experience as I packed my own stuff, handling all this things from ma's life, pictures and papers, books and odd treasures. We were very similiar, it is true. I try to sort through it all without getting carried away by it, losing time getting lost in experiencing her things, reading all the old books, looking at pictures. Wondering what will become of it all, if there are things I particularly care about, in and of themselves. Though for me, it is enough they were hers, since sentiment has value to me, and simple respect for what she cared about.

I have to handle every piece, as I photograph it and inventory it and pack it away. So many neat things. Ma and I had similiar tastes I guess, or even liked gathering odd things, and some go back to my grandparents, or maybe farther. It is an intense experience, that only builds as I handle piece after piece, things on display and things hidden away in cabinets, things from the attic, things on walls on counters and shelves, most are beautiful to me, even in and of themselves, and the house is a sculpture, like my on set of shelves, where I placed the few things I brought back from my trips and travels. That is my small sculpture, and the top of the piano. I clear that too. I think my shelves will be the last thing I clear, the significant action that I am withdrawing my presence from the house.

cleared off piano

Part Three: And The Road Ahead:

Though maybe more significant, I know I am taking the next big step and I am that much closer to final resolution, and the very significant fork in the road, where I either keep the house or leave it behind. While I have tried for a pattern and plans that will remain the same no matter the outcome, I can't avoid it making major differences as well. Yet, I know everything is heading inexorably to some conclusion, whether I know what it is or not, time and tides do not wait. I always keep working, which means I will get it done, eventually.

It is unfortunately still not clear to me what is the right thing to do, or even what I want. I have seldom thought of what I wanted and have little skill in knowing, or perhaps more, in wanting, or caring what I want. I have lived to be free of wanting, of selfish wants at least, or what if anything I have to gain or lose. I feel desire, am passion emotionaly, withough expectation, without attachment, without allowing that to focus into wanting anything for myself. I only want to do what is Right. I want to live with honor, true nobility, integrity, sincerity, compassion, judgement, consequentiality. I want justice without hate, anger, or vindictiveness or malice. I want the truth. I want people everywhere to wake up and become conscious, aware, enlightened beings. These are things I desire, that I want. And I want to face what I lack, the empty places in my life, the pain of being, with stoicicm and acceptance, rather than frustration and wanting, rather than hating this life.

matterhorn topo wallhanging

Practically, I find myself unable to have a clear view of what I want. I find myself randomly switching back and forth. One day I'm ready to follow through, planning the jobs I need to do, getting it done. Then I want to leave it all behind, simply because it would be easier, less work, less worry, no distraction. But that doesn't make it the right thing to do. I understand the simple child in me, the desire to rest, the desire to avoid such a hard job, and responsibilty, and the potential for all sorts of complications.

I long to just chuck it all and return to a simple life, again, in the wild and on the street, needing little, owning little, though such a life is very limited, all too true. I could live out of a backpack, if I gave up the dulcimer, which would not be Right. It is an old story for me. Still, I am content to just sing, and talk, and hope people listen, and if they listen, do what little I can to make them see.Though I have little hope or expectations that my efforts have much significance, there are many others with more recognition and reputation than I, yet they are mostly ignored as well, and ignorance and denial are still the status quo. So I stand sad witness while the ship I'm not allowed to steer hits the rocks and sink.

In the end, I may not have a choice, as well, if I am denied financing. So I must also be ready to follow that path without delay, if it turns out that way. Or ready to start the big job or rennovating and getting in renters or room mates ASAP. It is like holding something in the air, straining to be ready to throw, once I know which direction. And I cannot relax, since it might be any day. I am tired of it. Which is dangerous, of course, since it is not a good reason to give up.

In addition to this, and adding to my stress, there are new and troublesome developments, complications, in a couple of the significant chunks of my life, the boat in Florida and the dig in Alaska, though both are really critically significant parts of much larger pieces, that are critical and significant chunks of the entire pattern of my life, a pattern I am trying to get stabilized into a new pattern, a new picture I can plan on, I need to plan on. So these extra complications are a significant disruption, the boat as a practical and immediate problem, and Alaska as a longer term practical one, but also a personally disturbing right now. No time for the details now, I'll get to that as the story unfolds, as it will soon enough.

Part Four: Florida, my sailboat, and the latest attack in the war on Cruisers and people of the water:

my sailboat

I emailed the studio about setting up recording dates, then almost immediately after learned I may have to go down and deal with the boat immediately, as they've passed a new law to try and force sailors like me out, like previous anti-liveaboard laws, it may end up challenged and possibly overturned, like the last anti-anchoring ordinance case in Stuart Fl, but that may take years. Or this law may even be well intentioned, since there are derelict vessels certainly that need to be removed, though it could be abused easily as a tool for harrassment of people storing their boats anchored out, another attempt to force them into rental moorings or slips, or just make them leave so the waterfront property owners can take ythe space or just not have to look at us, own the public water, excert power over the peasants. My only option is to move on, at least into Federal waters again, perhaps out of the State of Florida, eventually out of this country, I expect. Though I need to do some work first, whether I keep this boat or sell it and get another. Though I could just get another used outboard, raise the jury rig again, scape off the barnacles and go. Though I specifically moved the boat to Green Cove Springs for the boatyard there. I'd almost rather move to a different state, or country, that welcomes cruisers, and spend my money there. But I barely made it to where I am at, sailing in on that jury rig made with half of my broken mast. I would like to do repairs before I have to try and sail on again, if I can, or I can raise and rig the replacement mast I salvaged and try to find someplace else to leave the boat for the summer. I did it once and I can do it again.

I will get it done, somehow, one way or another. I always do. I planned on repairing the boat before, and was planning on it still. Now that Dad and Ma are gone, getting the boat, both boats, all my boats, or some boat, ready to cruise again is a top priority, along with shiftng my base west and making a major trip to Alaska. But I'm trying to juggle a lot of important things, responsibilities and demands from so many people, trying to make it all work out, a carefully planned dance. And still, I work as hard as I can, harder than I should, breaking myself down doing more than is healthy, not sleeping enough.

I don't need to suddenly be pressured with vague threats and flawed, indefinite, ill-concieved, untried, possibly intentionall abusive and probably unconstitutional new laws, granting capricious, undefined, and unrestrained authority to possibly biased or corrupt local police, without experience of jurisdiction under maritime law. Though the Green Cove officers have always been ok to deal with, and I have nothing but respect for those who don;t abuse their power or become corrupt tools of special interests. It is sad politicians, special interests, and criminals have a vested interest in corrupting and controlling the police, the law, and perverting "justice" into a toll for exploitation and oppression. This has been the history of the world, like dictatorship and oligarchies, and America was suposed to be different, with liberty and justice for all, equal before the law. But facism and tyranny didn't just give up and go away, but has constantly sought to undermine and reconquer this republic, this great experiment, this great hope for freedom and liberty for the common people. It is simply depressing, in a long litany of injustice and hypocrisy that has so overwhelmed the dream of America. Though there has also been the on-going strength and struggle of the American people to keep demanding their rights, their freedom and liberty, real justice, fighting the revolution again and again, against the new masters that try to take power and rule, to act above the law, like the aristocrats and dictators through the ages. I try to have hope, but I have lived in dark times. Though it eases my pain to see people in the streets. I do believe in the true American dream, that we shall overcome, one day, and achieve the freedom and justice our founding citizens fought for so long ago. But it is a promise long deferred, and a struggle far from over.

The whole boating scene in Florida is a big mess I have no time to deal with, only have to cope with to get away. I'll try to find someplace where freedom isn't a crime. Where the water isn't full of arrogant and/or clueless idiots with boats and no knowledge of the sea or maritime law or real boats, just their polluting powertoys. Sigh, like too many places, where I can't win against them, they are the American staus quo majority, while the responsible, true sailors are a small minority. They simply make me angry and disgusted, negative emotions, when I come to the sea to excape from their ugly evil world. That's why it is better to just leave, try to find a new place, than try to stay, just like all the places I've left behind. They couldn't force me to leave, but they could make it a place I shouldn't waste my life living in. The energy moves, and I must follow it, follow nature, follow the other true cruisers and sailors to the new anchorages where we can wait out hurricane season, safely leave our boats while we work to pay for them somewhere else, or just travel. And not be forced to pay for "services" we neither want nor need, just to satisfy someone else's greed. I have no problem someone offering goods or services to whoever wants to pay for them, but not trying to pervert the law by forcing anyone to buy what they don't want, to profit private interests. If the law requires something, it should be provided at cost by a government non-profit service, is my belief. Otherwise, it is simply criminal extortion of money to private individuals by coersion, since you cannot refuse to buy, no matter what the cost or quality of the product, and there is no motive to provide better products or services.

It is an old story in my life as a cruising sailor, and a major issue in the whole cruising world for decades. Even more,this persecution of those outside the staus quo has been a basic part of my life, as a member of the counter-culture, a gypsy, and a folksinger, as someone who has actually tried to live free, to test the promise of liberty, unfortunately finding it to be mostly patriotic hypocrisy. But that, too, is another story.

Part Four: Solidarity Forever

The final story is the simplest, an old friend asked me to accept a house-guest. Yet it is perhaps most significant story, as it tugs at a thread, social action, that is woven deep in the fabric of my life, but I have not been able to really manifest in over a decade, which troubles me deeply. I have sporadic and subtle manifestations, but nothing I can treally get into and push. One of the questions I ask myself constantly, when I have time to ask deeper questions, is what am I going to do? The realities of responsibility have kept pushing it back off the burner again and again, like some strange supernatural conspiracy set against me. When I take a break and play the guitar and the dulcimer, though I have tried to focus on the originals I plan to record, I am drawn to play the songs of the struggle that I have played so long. There is a burning fire there, smouldering and hidden at times, but never anywhere near going out.. it is the fire that drives me.

There is such rage and frustration in me, and long ago I realized it was dangerous, too powerful in me, or just too powerful like all my emotions. So I chose to focus on building the new world rather than tearing down the old, to focus on the solutions, on the answers, rather than protest the wrongs, to be a healer rather than a destroyer. I thought I would be too dangerous as a destroyer, I have too much rage and anger to want to feed it, and my own anger is not good for me. There is that in me that only wants an enemy that I could take down in flames, glad to destroy my self with my own fire. if I could take them with me. But there is no simple enemy like that. People only embody the evil in them, and even if they are destroyed it lives on.. ignorance, hate, bigotry, injustice, heartless, cruelty, selfishness, war, and more. Few people are consciously evil, they are misquided, decieved, ignorant, and there are none so dangerous as the righteous, and justice can too easily be perverted into becoming simply retribution, revenge, and vendetta. So, thugh both are needed, I consciously decided to go against my nature and focus my life on the positive, on planting and growing, not cutting down and rooting out, on the positive vibrations, not negative ones, on art, The simplest expression has been "If war is not the answer, then what is?" So I dedicated my life to what to "consciousness raising", as in deep meditation I saw the essential problem in the world was the lack of consciousness at the root of all evil. So I became a folksinger. Of course, "consciousness raising" is not near so clear an action as protest, always the problem, what to do.

The Arab uprising meant more to me than I can say. Though it was none of my doing, and I had no part in it, though I dreamed of being there, of being somehow part of it, of somehow giving them support. In the studio, I began working on videos for them, rather than what I needed to do for my own plans. I’m singing "Find The Cost Of Freedom". Though I know it is their moment, their struggle, not mine. I wish I could claim to be a part, have taken a part. But I am locked into this work I am doing, and barely managing as it is. I have felt a direct connection always, an absolute solidarity, with them and all the people of the world struggling for freedom and justice, as we still struggle here. I see it as one struggle, going on for centuries, against the explioter and oppressors, the dictators and demigogues. A struggle that reaches from multinational revolutions like the "Arab Spring" to what is going on with my boat, and all the petty tyrants that seek to impose their will upon others, down to that very struggle within ourselves, to practice tolerance as the true test and price of liberty and freedom, to have compassion and understanding, even in opposition, even when demanding justice, and not descend into malice or hate. We must only hate what is in people, not the people themselves, even as we demand justice and consequentiality, it must be justice, not revenge, consequentiality, not retribution. Justice msay require forcible restraint, even execution, but should not be used as punishment, as a justification for cruelty, simple sadistic retribution. This does nothing to fix what is wrong or heal the wounds, only compounds the evil.

This is always the issue. I have dedicated my life to this strugge, yet it is a geat one, with so many battles, and so much rebuilding, and each must chose their part to play. I am what I am, with the gifts I have been given. I chose my part to play, and yet is so difficult to see all the issues and not be able to take one on. To depend on others to do their jobs, investigative journalists to dig for and expose the truth, the leaders and speakers to stand before the crowds, the protesters and occupiers to man the lines, the citizen-soldiers who lay down their lives at the barricades. I struggle not to feel inadequate, ineffective, isolated. Especially in these years when responsibilites have kept me from even doing my work as a folksinger. Even though I am doing what is Right. It is only more frustrating that I should have worked so hard during the dark years when nobody was protesting much, the wave was at an ebb, and now that it rises again, I am caught up in working so hard in such isolation, without anything but the radio. I stopped listening to that even during the debt ceiling fiasco as I was struggling emotionally with the situation I was in, and didn;t need news that made me angry, disgusted, and frustrated with the state of America. So I didn't even know the Occupy movement was happening till November, and even still, I have responsibilities here I can't excape. I wont be free till this is resolved, and ant distraction, even writing this, puts off the day I am free again to do my work.

So. Yes, it is deep, and touches on many issues, both in my life, and as to what happens with the house. My guest is an activist focused on the Citizen's United debacle. It is even a clear illustration of the reality of the movement, where here is a man who finally reached his limit, and this was it, and so chose this issue to focus on, amid the many issues that all need to be addressed. And he and his brother walked across America together, to raise awareness, the basic theatre of activism, culminating in a rally here in DC on the aniversary of the decision. I am happy to give him and the other main organizer a place to stay for the event. I always saw that as a possible justification for keeping the house. I find it hard to justify keeping the house just for financial reasons, that has never beena motivation in my life. But I have always felt the usefulness of the location if I was involved somehow in politics, but I am not. Yet, like being a folksinger, perhaps I could use this space to facilitate others who are involved in direct activism or politics, even the alternative of using the audio/video studio as a tool for activism, rather than art. And like renting out rooms to other artist might draw me into a larger social network, as a singer and musician, renting to activists would connect me to a gretaer social network as a folksinger and activist, which is really more important to me than the music. In the beginning, I played music because ti was the most effective tool I had for consciousness raising, and but the motivation was social action, first, not the desire to play. Music was always a part of me, but I had decided long before I didn't want to focus my life on it (silly me). Renting to activists, and providing lodging and a working base to visiting activists as well, is a dream, but not that unreal. Though the reality is I can't keep the house without help, without renting out rooms, or the whole thing. I had always thought of possibly renting to activists, instead of artists, and now I am experiences a shadow of that by having these guests. And a painful reminder of my frustration at being able to do so little right now, as history is being made.

So that was my New Year's entry. I guess even when nothing is happening a lot happens. I usually try to reflect more, but with such big gaps, it is enough to go forward. In this case, to an entry I started February 1st.

cleared out cabinets


Keep on Keepin On

This is the reality of life. I wrote a New Year's entry, but never had a chance to post it. I added to the post mid-month as events continued. Now it is February and I have worked without stop and not posted, not really even accessed email. I photgraph, inventory, and pack, piece after piece, hour after hour, day after day, week after week. But it is getting done. I leave the livingromm livable, but otherwise I am clearing it all. I am in a strange isolation where I do not notice time passing, cut off from the world, while the task I set myself finally comes to close and I focus on that. I have started listening to the radio, try to catch the news, but just as often I get disgusted and turn it off. It is just too pathetically stupid or insipidly perky and meaningless. I just can't stand it. Though I suppose I am oversensitive, and tired, and more than a bit stressed by both the months and the recent events, and the approaching deadline of a decision on the house. I am without a definitive reason still, swinging back and forth between the two options of keeping the house or leaving it behind, yet with clear visions for either path. I await some sign, or a decision from my siblings, but none comes. So I just keep doing what has to be done, clearing the house.

bluechina teacup

It would be so much easier and simpler to leave it behind, but I have never chosen the easier path simply because it was easy. I did what was Right, though I might seek the easiest and simplest path that was Right, what was Right was seldom the path of least resistance. Somehow feel quite lost, confused, too often on one side then the other to know which side I am on. Though keeping the house seems more and more difficult as I run into the scheduling conflicts of my need to go to Florida and see to family matters and my boat there, and I have to return to Alaska for the summer, which will be here all too soon. My only solace is I feel like I can make it work whatever I do, I am extremely capable, and either option seems a good one. Which does nothing towards making a choice. Even circumstance doesn't seem to help.

spanish pottery

I am tired, in body, spirit, and mind. And I know it. Which also doesn't give me confidence in my decision making ability. I am stressed out as well, and long to just get away and leave eveything behind. But is that Right? No, even if it is right to leave this place behind, it can't because just because I am tired, stressed-out and depressed.

My brother just came to visit for a couple days while attending a national conference here in DC. Not much time to talk, but we went and applied for financing for the house, see if we qualify, and for how much. I am trying to move the situation forward, while trying not to pressure anyone. In talking with David, I decide to make a fair offer for the house, give my sister's a choice to decide on. Though I don't expect much financing, it includes getting a professional appraisal done, which will help with gauging what a fair offer is.

spanish serving plate

Strange days, on a positive note, I get an email from the Sheriff in Florida saying my boat has been removed from the "at risk" list and is no longer under threat of action under their new law. Thanks to me mailing down a new anchorlight and my inflatable kayak to my brother in Florida and him driving over and lashing it on. Just like he did once before. So I have breathing room again there at least, though only that, it is still a job remaining to be done. One I have been waiting to do, wanting to do. Not only the much delayed work, but even more, just getting back on the water and the sea, living the life, and yes, getting the boat back in shape, even though it is a big job now.

I continue my correspondence and discussion with my two olest friends in Seattle on buying land together when I relocate west. Whatever happens with the house, I am relocating west, with Seattle as my major urban base. My plan was always to find a small piece of land for a base in the PNW, though circumstances led me to buy the land in Alaska first. Once it was paid off, I started looking at the next piece, either in the PNW or possibly SW, or even central America, for my next footprint.

This time circumstance point to the PNW, with one of my old friends there ready to go in on property, so I'll have compatable neighbors, like in Alaska. But my situation is that I am committed to buying land in the PNW, really as soon as I can since I need a place to store the stuff I have to take away from 1213. But the situation will be very different if I keep the house, and csan continue to store suff here, and need to focus my resources on rennovating and getting it rented before I can see what I have left to invest out west.spanish crockery It will make a big difference in my finances, but practically, I only want a small footprint, so don't expect to spend that much more on land out west whatever happens, though I won't have money to build immediately, like in Alaska, getting the land is my priority, not building on it. But eventually I will build a house, or several houses, where I can put all the cool things from the 1213 someday. So I keep packing them away, day by day.

As I draw up possible plans and timelines, sketch mind maps or daydream scenarios in my spare time, I am looking at international travel more, and really, focusing on the music wherever it takes me. Though I’d like to return to Spain, where I was a child, as I pack up things I know we brought from there. I think of fixing the boat, or getting a bigger one, and just cruising full time for a few years, do that part of my life, then come back to build on my properties and settle into a more base-centered touring style.

black bean soup on woodstove

I keep the fire going as winter continues, managing to keep the furnace from going on, though I have it set for 50 degree. It is ok sitting in the room by the woodstove, and the rest of the time I am working. I am used to living outside. I am lucky to both have local folk offer me wood, and keep finding small piles by the road, enough to keep going, though frugally, and I have to dry wet wood on the stove before I can burn it. I cook black bean soup on the stove, the way I like it, cooking it down for a few days. Then I pack it in quarts and freeze it to pull out and use as needed. I do the same thing making pasta sauce, and rice-vegetable stew, trying to live as cheap as I can, trying to make it through the winter and this job, till I can get back to work again.

pasta sauce on stove

They have started working on the McMansion next door, and instead of hooking the electric back up, they run a generator 12 hours a day. It is driving me crazy, till I am working inside the house with hearing protectors on, or playing the radio loud just to break up the relentless drone of the generator that makes my ears ring, and serves as a constant irritant. No peace.

As I told people often enough, one day off a week and I would be a month or two behind where I am now at this point. So I ignored everything and focused on getting through it, so I could put it behind me, as quick as possible. I stopped worrying about getting some resolution, or progress, and instead, well, I bought a tarp and spread it over the roof to stop the leaking, though it won't stop the progress of the rot, but it is all I can do right now. I don't know if they unconsciously want the house to rot, or just can't deal with the decision to do something yet, but I have to do something, and do what I can, and move on. It has been a long struggle, to conquer the frustration, to stop caring, and accept that I'll just have to deal with whatever happens, and leave it all behind and focus on what I need to do, even if in the end I come back and rennovate the house. I have to be big enough to do it all, believe I can, and keep getting it done, but leave the house for now. I have to let them do whatever they need to, and just take the consequences, whatever they are, and handle them. More and more, I expect I’ll just leave it all behind, return to my world, and never be back. I have a path to follow, as I did before, and it doesn't have much in common with my relatives. I chose a different world, and I only came back to be with my parents, and now it is time to return to my world again.

guitar repair

I had a major shock when I bumped my guitar in passing, and it fell, struck a chair, and the headstock shattered into four pieces. It was an incredibly difficult expererience, the shock and then the aftermath, because it was on top of everything else. I am pretty well stressed to the max, over a long period of time, without a break. I experienced an intense metabolic wave I had to just take. So many thoughts went ripping through my mind as I stood there, dazed and overwhelmed by the sudden shock. I have never been able to find a guitar to match it, though I bought and have a replacement, it isn't as comfortable and the sound isn't as deep and rich. And we have been through so much, and its been a much needed relief during this whole trial.
guitar repair
Then, as the wave passed, I pulled myself together and told myself it was just another job to do, to fix it, like I've raised and repaired boats, and patched the guitar many times. I can do this too, one way or another, though I've fixed nothing on the guitar so major before. I could always add more wood, something to reinforce it, crude but effective, and make it work. So I searched and dug out the epoxy and tools buried in the pile on the porch, then got to work and did it then and there. The next day I was able to place it in the sun to harden up, and then re-drill the screw holes, re-mount the machines, and string it back up. It has been a few days and seems to be holding. It is even hard to tell it was broken, without the pictures. And it sits back on the couch, my friend in need is still with me, and I am so very, very grateful.

guitar repairguitar repairrose

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