Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I do not look like my Mother.
I don't act like her, talk like her or dream like her. 
I certainly don't live like her.
We don't share.  Anything.
In trying not to be like her the only thing I do is fight like her.
And this is a problem.
But don't tell me I look like my Mother.  I look like her sister, or any one of my Father's.
Just not her.

Monday, March 29, 2010

On a slow Sunday afternoon I realize some women will catch up on t.v. reruns.  The sophisticated of us may meet friends for brunch or skinny lattes.  Others will hit the mall for a little shopping retail.
None of these are me.  I collect a few bic pens, chocolate, and my car keys.
When I was very small I remember my parents taking me out for drives.  Well watching the telephone wires from the backseat I decided this was a pointless concept.  Muted adult voices drifting back, mixed with now vintage soft rock.
Once in my teens I overheard a theory that boys use driving as an experience well girls use it as a tool.  As a generalization I must admit this makes sense.  I also once overheard a slightly bitter woman saying that men tend to prefer driving standard because they're simply power hungry.
I drive standard, partly because I've grown to love the experience that is driving.  Such as drizzly Sunday afternoons, downshifting on twisty mountain roads.  Playing overused albums by Dido or Natalie Imbruglia.  Parking at the end of backroads where no one will find me and I can scribble endlessly on scrap paper with cheap ballpoint, sprawling across my passanger seat.
I can haunt my childhood neighborhood and window shop.  Just to imagine.  Looking for a sign on the ideal half acre.  A plot with a veiw or a little place to fix up.  As long as I'm here my restlessness will take some form. 
I realize, as I skid around gravel corners, that I'll undo all the summer pedalling I've done, laying claim to climate awareness.  Even in my efficient little Civic.  As summer comes I'll be driving along the lake with the windows down.  Listening, this time, to Aerosmith or Our Lady Peace.  I'll be speeding alongside fields with the smell of sunshine and an eye out for cops.
But I can't help it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Remember my challenge to treat my hometown as somewhere new and exciting?  My interpretation?  Free swing dance class.
I was, oddly, a touch nervous as I walked into the hall.  Visions played in my head of old women in leopard-print skirts and men in tight sport jackets.  This was only very partially correct.  The class was extremely small and I was certainly the youngest.  Imagine my glee at finding I'd arrived in time for the last class of the series.  I'd meant to attend the week before, but had abandoned in favour of hockey.
We learned basic lindy-hop.  My fears of looking like a complete eejit faded as my college-age mind and my judo-trained reflexes stepped up.  The one male in the class made good spirited jokes about his beer belly and failed to absorb any concepts along with his wife, an attractive blond who moved like a ballerina as she missed steps on her attempted swivle.
Fortunently the instructor, Beth made an excellent lead, for a girl, and she had time to work with me.  I remembered the country swing bar I atteneded recently.  Suave cowboys moving me around the floor.  If there was one thing I learned there it's that a strong lead can work wonders.  Among the top disadvantages of being single is not having an automatic dance partner.
I love to dance.  I always have, pouring over books of Angelina Ballerina when I was five.  That is one complaint I do have in this town of aging rednecks.  Apart from my living room, boxers and music collection very few opportunities exist.  At 18 my girlfriends and I would waltz or line dance on my front deck.  I'm sure the neighbors assumed we'd gone postal.  And, being the tomboy farm girl then, I developed a really strong lead ability.  A definite problem when it came to future boyfriends.
But... I had a lot of fun at this swing dance class!  Beth grinned across from me as I picked up on the steps.  She is young, new to town, and milks cows for a living.  Which is something I just happen to know about.  She invited me to a swing conference coming up admitting that I'm a beginner, but encouraging me by telling me I'm good.  I will probably have to work, but if not I may try go.  Why wouldn't I be up for a challenge, a roadtrip, a new friend, and a chance to swing all weekend?
Next idea.  Touring a local brewery and winery.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Don't let denotation fool you into believing it didn't matter.  I am a girl.  Believe that too.  It mattered.
I told you, screaming it subtly.  A million messages everyday.  A hundred thousand ways to let you know, bar one.  The one where I look you in the eyes and say something, out loud, in words you'll understand.
Why won't I?  It changes everything, and yet means nothing.  I cry for honesty and communication.  The kind, apparently, where you react the way I'm asking for to things I won't say.
So, yes.  It mattered.  But don't worry, please.  I'll consider it alone.  My pen moving across paper, today a jagged dance.  An angry slash as you sit there.  Maybe you'll learn as I fall asleep.  You, peacefully elsewhere as my fists clench beneath the sheets.
There will be a next time, this time.  I'll learn not to confuse strength with frustration.  Or you'll learn to know.  For now I'll leave it here in words I don't say.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I think I read about it in Lonely Planet first.  Those books were like lifelines to us.  All truly cool travelers abstained, but not us.  When deciding to choose a new destination you would find us fugitively flipping through our copies.  When we moved on we'd trade them up at little bookstands that were thrilled to get their own country in stock.
India was overwhelming at first.  After months in countries that could be largly transversed in a day having two months in a country this size was almost too much.  Being India, culture shock was almost unavoidable.  Even though we considered ourselves seasoned by now.
I read about Kanha.  All I really noticed is that it was the place to see a tiger in the wild, and I knew I wanted to go.  I've had a fascination with these beautiful cats for many years.  The opportunity seemed too good to pass up. 
We took a sleeper bus to Jabalpur.  Old double bunks stacked on top of each other.  We stayed in one of the cheapest hotels of our stay, and it showed.  Mosquitos came through the cracks and bell boys knocked on our door muttering in Hindi.  The next day's bus was one of the least comfortable of our trip.  The two of us crammed on a stair step, and tried to be courteous the the constant flow of Indians falling onto us.  The ride lasted for many jarring hours.
We arrived in the heat of the Indian jungle.  At the end of the line we checked in with our first hotel.  We could scarcily believe the prices they were quoting us.  When I say thirty dollars each a night it may seem low.  In India, with packs on backs it sounded ridiculous, even if it did include a morning safari and free meals.  Several hours of hiking around we returned, as the receptionist had promised we would.
Now we found out the drivers were on strike.  A little Indian guide took pains to describe to us that the tiger count in the park had been falling drastically.  A tiger retails to China for $3000 U.S.  A fortune if you're an Indian villager.  Or a park manager.  But for the drivers these animals are directly linked to their income.  In a country so desperately overcrowded the animals are of less concern then maintaining your family's ability to survive.
Two guys moved into the room next to ours.  Josh and Henric.  Well waiting for the strike to end we took long hikes in Rudyard Kipling's jungle.  This particular park is one of two that lays claim to Jungle Book.  Climbing the rickety tower we would watch the sun set and pose for pictures with rich Indians on vacation.
Our last of two mornings there we did get to go on Safari.  The four of us in an open top jeep with a driver and a useless guide.  His main concern was that we take pictures of every animal we came across. 
Chances were 1 in 3 that we see a tiger.  Had we known that this entire trek out into Kanha would've probably been nixed. 
We were lucky.  Twenty minutes into our drive we saw a cluster of three other jeeps.  Driving up we could see the 500 pounds of muscle lounging by the road.  An adult male.  I can't say that observing this animal was all I'd expected, but I can't deny it's beauty.  It stretched, strolled down the road and across.  I was stunned by this enormous cat.  It's vivid stripes blending in with the terrain.
It laid down, again, between our road and another. 
Other jeeps streamed in from no where.  By time we left Meg and I counted over thirty.  I'll always be glad we were among the first.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yesterday I was leaving a little later then I'd hope for what was, essentially, my second day of work.  Now, leaving a little bit later is no big deal since I make a definite habit of being ten minutes early.  I'd just affixed brand-new plates to my car, having walked in from town that morning.  I was pretty excited to have a ride again.
My car took half a minute to turn over and warm up, which was fine considering it's been parked for three months over winter.  The real problems started when I went to drive it.  It simply didn't want to move.  With a little extra persistence I managed to get it onto the driveway, but was certain, by now, that it wasn't going to drive.
Turns out the rear wheel was dragging.  Apparently the e-brake had seized on.
Ok.  Now, I drive Honda Civics which are amazingly reliable cars.  Still, there's been a number of repairs (considering the first was older then me), which I've always done myself.  What I mean by that is I always bring my car to my Dad and he sorts things out well I'm the go-for.  This car, until yesterday, only needed some body rust touch-up, which my brothers helped me with.
I have tried to create an interest in mechanics.  I really wish it came naturally to me, but apart from the fact that I acknowledge these skills as extremely useful I have absolutely no desire to learn.  Where as I wish I was more like this...
when it comes to fixing vehicles I feel more like the kind of woman that makes mechanics see dollar signs.  I probably don't actually come across as that, but mostly without my Dad or brothers I'd be entirely lost.
Working on my car always makes me feel kinda tough, which is probably not a good sign to start with.
I've learned the basics.  But I wish I knew much more.  Maybe I've just set my standards a little high comparing myself to my brothers who rebuild all their own stuff and the one who does incredible airbrush body work.
I've ground through the e-brake cable, now, and it still doesn't feel right.  I may be biking to work today.  If my Dad doesn't fix it on his lunch hour.

Friday, March 19, 2010

She was crazy.  Not the kind of crazy that your best friend is when you roadtrip on the weekend.    Real crazy, but she was good at it.  Crazy was her forte.
It was hard to tell, sometimes.  We sat on her deck drinking blender margaritas and overlooking the parking lot.  Back then you could blame it on alcohol.  Her stories grew with her confidence as you commented politely on what she'd just said.  Why not have this outside friendship?  Crazy stories, her cigarettes and booze.  Always booze.  She was never really sober. 
Then you could blame the drugs.  Of course, you could never be sure what she'd actually done.  Something fucked her up.  She wanted to get stoned with me and build snowmen.  Prescription bottles littering her apartment.
Her parents, dead.  Although eventually you came to question even that.  A year later, when she'd finally left, her Dad came into the restaurant.  The same one who'd committed suicide.  She told me she was going to kill herself on Christmas and she hated my boyfriend.  I started avoiding her calls, and loathing the shifts we shared.  I knew she was taking my tips.
She was 24.  She was doing a convict in the kitchen, guys from out of town she met on the internet, and old men who came into the restaurant and called you Sweetie if they thought they could.
Sometimes I'd get phone calls late at night.  Slurred disillusions.  Once she'd been shot, and sewed herself up with dental floss.  I tried to call the cops on that one, but she made me promise not to.  She had four names that I knew of, and excuses for all of them.  A pathological liar.  And definitely good at it except for when she got carried away.
Eventually she knew I'd caught on.  She needed help, but there wasn't much I could do about it. She started to hang out with the other twenty-one year old waitress.  Stacy was naive and desperate for friends.   
She talked herself out of the hospital when she finally got called.  Talent.  A sad broken alcoholic.  We learned, among other things, that she was also twenty-one with numerous fake IDs.  My age.  That shocked even me, and I recall saying that she was just a kid.  I was just a kid.  We were both too young.  I never figured out if she knew her age, or had fooled even herself.  She never admitted.
The late night calls came again.  This time she threatened me and I hung up. 
When I see a puffy faced chubby girl I think of her.  She had good hair, at least.  Thick and deep burnette. When I walk past a group at night and hear a female slurring profanities, she comes to mind.  To this day I'm not comfortable with the fact that she knows where I live.  Maybe mild post-traumatic stress.   I think I have a right, after 2:00 AM phone threats.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Condensed version of a friend and I chatting online.  Unnecessary bits removed:
"What else has been happing?"  Inquired friend
"Not much.  Trying to get excited about staying here now that I know I am."
(Have I mentioned that I got a job.  This is an important bit of info.  It is also sufficiently freaking me out.  But I'm like that.)
Friend and I have similar backgrounds and very different personalities.  We're both the oldest of big families who were homeschooled and raised in this little town.  We both made a point of getting out of here, went and did a lot of (not at all related) things, and are now back.  This is where the similarities end.  But it was enough to put us in the same social circle.
"Oh yeah.  How's that going?"  Asked friend.
"Depends on the moment," said I, "sometimes I pull it of.  Mostly it's going to need a lot work."
"I dunno, but this thought just popped into my head.  What if we went and did exciting stuff here that we've never done before.  What if we treated this town like we weren't from here."
Now this, this is a crazy thought.  One that requires a entirely new approach.
"I'm intrigued!  What would happen If nobody here had any preconceived ideas.  Oh, and ps, I didn't have any preconceived ideas."
Let me explain.  I went on shift today.  I knew probably a third of people I was introduced to, and everyone is acquainted with at least two family members of mine.  I don't really know, but can you appreciate the implications of something like this?
"Well," Friend replied, "it would be hard to do because, in reality, those ideas exist.  But I'll leave us with that thought, it's time for me to go to bed."
I think this is a very interesting challenge, and I'm not quite sure how to start.  It'll take a little imagination.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ah, the luck o' the Irish.  That's right.  I'm doing a St. Patty's day post.  At least, sort of...
Mostly I just don't really get it.  I mean, ok, they have shamrocks and leprechauns.  There's always Guinness,  kissing, pots of gold, and other great stuff.  And I guess they're pretty lucky and Good ol' St. Patrick decided to drive all the snakes of the island.  But let's take a short look at the history of Ireland.
5000 BC- Basic settlements exist on the island which is accessed by land bridge.  Or something like this.  They start like any other civilization.  This isn't unfortunate, but it's not exactly lucky either.  The Inuit did the same thing.
500-600 AD- Christianity and  St Patrick influence this Celtic region.  Christianity becomes the prevalent religion.  The Irish find religion.  Sure, this is great.  For now...
800 AD- A century of viking invasions begin to wreck havoc.  Good times.
1169- The beginning of outside (originally Norman) involvement in Ireland.  In 1534 English military campaigns begin and settlers begin to flow into the region.
Early 1600s- It is clear Gaelic Ireland is defeated.  Religious conflict becomes a integrated part of their history and society.  They are also thrilled, or course, at English domination.  The Anglican church is installed, and bloody conflicts are carried out as the Irish are subdued in a "re-conquest" and Catholics are discrimiated against.
1641 and 1689- Both the beginnings of civil war.  The first is started with an uprising killing thousands of protestant settlers.  By the end almost of third of Irish population is killed or exiled.  Catholic land is redistributed.  Parliament is rearranged and James (a Catholic) goes up against William the Orange for the second war in order to reclaim property.  What luck!  No, wait, James loses.
1740- The Great Irish Famine.  Potato blight.  Hundreds of thousands of Irish die.  Another 150,000 leave.
1798- The Irish rebellion is held by the Society of United Irishmen.  It is violently suppressed, and self governing done away with 1801.  Ireland is now officially part of England.  Maybe they were a little short on four-leafed clover.
1845- The second great famine.  Population drops by millions.  Gaelic begins to become obsolete.
1916-1921- Political distress, violence and guerrilla warfare (or, war of independence).  Oh, and WW1.  England has bigger fish to fry and in1919 sovereignty is declared.  In1921 N. Ireland is differentiated and chooses to remain with the UK.
1922 and 1923- Another bloody civil war.  Who saw that one coming?
1949- After remaining quite neutral through WW2 Ireland leaves the British common wealth.  throughout these years Catholics dominated the political scene, and protestants are discriminated (except in N. Ireland which encounters violent upheaval in the 1960s).  Unfortunately, the Catholic Church makes a lot of inhumane decisions in the running of the Irish.
1970s- Economic stagnation.  Continued trouble in N. Ireland.
1990s- Tribunals set up to investigate severe scandals through the church and political positions.  This is, not lucky, but a good thing as it faces some major problems plaguing Ireland.  By now people are becoming less bound to religious following, and religious freedom is granted to a greater extent.
 1996- Angela's Ashes published.  a memoir which documents extreme poverty, religious and political discrimination, and alcoholism within the Irish setting.  Other true-life accounts emerge showing the horrors of religious sex scandal, ect.
Modern Ireland- They finally have their act together.  More or less.  Catholicism has lost much of it's control, the economy has taken it's place as a power.  There is still tension between the north and south.  Also a continuing presence of the UK.  Overall stable.  But I don't think it's in the last 20 years that Ireland has been considered lucky.  
Maybe that's it, ultimately though.  A long history of bloodshed, and they're still drinking pints in their pubs and proud that they're Irish. (note, referenced almost exclusively through Wikipedia)
Who knows?  They host a pretty good holiday.
so Happy Saint Patty's day, anyway.  
May you be luckier then the Irish!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

First things first.  I got an award today!  It came from 25 before 25 (who has, btw, a worthwhile blog) So, many thanks for that!
These awards seem much like chain letters to me, with the way they are usually passed on to at least three other recipients.  But it's fun to have you own blog recognized, and also fun to suggest some of your favourites.

Now, because this is an award post I will share some of my favourite other blogs worth reading (they are, in this case, restricted to females.  Because this is one very pink award.)
No Day but Today
My Quarter-life Crisis
Apartment 513 (who has a large # of followers already, but a very pretty blog)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Top Reasons I Could be Considered Boring

I adore interesting.  It's one of the biggest compliments I could think to bestow on anything.  So, last night I was falling asleep thinking of all the things that make me that way.  When it struck me.  Maybe I'm actually boring.  Maybe I should just admit it.  So I present you with a list of top reasons you may think I'm a boring person.

1. I've never been in trouble with the law.
That's right.  Other then a speeding ticket and a "put a back window in your car" ticket where I somehow managed to convince the cop that he should just approve clear plastic and duct tape.

2.  I both enjoy and respect my family.
Oh, certainly, we fight.  I was the stubborn kid.  But I like them, and I actually identify with them.  And some of my best friends over the years have been cousins.

3.    I am currently single.
I am always surprised by the number of people who dedicate entire blogs to dating/sex, and the number of people who read them.  I am even quite happily single at the moment, and that is even more dull.

4.  I don't get throughly wasted/smashed/hammered/stoned.
I just don't.  When I was told, "kids, don't do drugs," I listened.

5. I have yet to attend university.
This means I've done a lot of work in farming and service industries.  Not that these jobs are boring, mind you.  They make for some great stories.

6.  I happily read Psychology Today, Reader's Digest and, occasionally, Oprah.
Among others.  And I enjoy them all, thank-you.  I also believe the public library is a grand institution of the civilized world.

7. I (again currently) live in my hometown.
I actually own a place here.  Although I'm living with my parents at the moment.  This part of it I am actually ashamed to admit, although it is a temporary measure, and we are attempting to remedy it.

Ok, I think I'm being a little too convincing.  But there you go.  My honest and possibly boring traits.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I happen to be Grandmasitting at the moment.  I am always surprised at how much I enjoy the company of seniors.  Short term, that is.  Seeing as I have to adopt different mannerisms and sense of humour, I do end up craving younger interaction after a while.
And I'm not permanently drawn to this work at all, although I spent three months as recreation facilitator at a home.  It is monotonous in many ways.  But depressing, in that you realize most of these people will never improve.  I originally took the job to face the challenges of interacting with the older generation.  And it had it's positive sides as well.
First of all, seniors really are funny.  They simply do and say funny things.  As they age their characters get more and more pronounced.  And for the most part you can laugh at them, and they don't mind!  They'll probably laugh with you.  Not that you don't occasionally get the grumpy old person who can never cheer up, but in my experience they are actually the minority.  This also surprises me, because I'm pretty sure if I had care givers constantly feeding me healthy little sandwiches I didn't like, or being stuck in a chair and considered a nuisance and not being able to read because of my eyesight I doubt I would be even tempered about it.
One of the most amusing old ladies I ever worked with was a British girl with advanced dementia.  The best way to calm her down was to give her a cup of tea.  She was always up for this, being English and all, and considering the fact that she never remembered if she'd just had one.
One day I was going around getting lists of nail varnish colours for all the ladies so I could have a spa day.  Upon being asked, and having the process explained, this British lady looked at her hands for a minute or so considering the question.  She then turned to me and stated, "I think green would be nice."
I looked at my list, comprised of shades of red and pink, burst into laughter.
The greatest part, though, is the stories, and what you can get them to share.  I loved going into their rooms at looking at old black and white photos.  They were almost always captured in a wedding picture, looking young, radiant and full of hope.  Sometimes you would see a military shot, a beach or holiday scene, or, in one case, a young fellow sitting behind a drum set. 
We have no one left in this country from the first world war.  In ten years those with memories of the second or the great depression will be fading away.  There are personal stories that rival any fiction, and with a little work they will almost always be shared.
So, although the days are long, I love my Grandma.  And this week is probably one of the closest times I'll spend with her (she has almost 30 grandkids) .  I'll laugh with her at her crazy quirks (eating planter dirt in the middle of the night, mistaking it for the next days lunch), and I'll learn some of her story.  After all, if it's hers then it's also a little bit mine.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Not that I've been shying away from it, but I'll admit it here.  I like skinny jeans.
In fact, I always have.  Even in the nineties when my friends were wearing those ugly black bell bottoms.  Even when everyone would sit and say how they hated tight leg jeans.  I never wore them, simply because it wasn't socially acceptable.  Although I would admit a secret crush on them, and people would act like I was something of a freak.
I think it goes back to the fact that I remember when they were standard wear in the early nineties.  I remember dreaming up my ideal outfit which comprised of a particular t-shirt of mine with a pair of leggings.  I was about eight.  Needless to say, I was also happy when tights were acceptable again.
And, I think they look pretty good on me.  And I'm not a wispy slender build, btw.  I'm not fat but I am what I would describe as athletic and probably quite hourglass.  Read: I've got hips. I know girls who are probably more petite then I am who swear that tapered jeans look terrible on them.  I get enough compliments on mine, though.  maybe it's because my legs are a little too long for my body.
having said all that, I keep it age a little age appropriate.  This is a town viciously short of twenty-somethings, where the oldest skinny jeans walking down mainstreet are on a highschooler.  So I don't wear any with prints.  And I also think leggins with denim pattern and fake stitching are terrible and can only be attempted by gangly fourteen year olds.
I also hate them on guys.  Unless they're stunt bikers who can't wear wide legs, or really young skaters with very cool sneakers.
In short, and maybe I should have said this first so you could skip the rest of the post, I like the way they layer.  I love the way they look good with flats, converse, hikers or heels.  And I like the way they slide into my boots.  They look good cuffed, and even better scrunched.
I still like boot cuts.  I love the "boyfriend jean".  But I hope skinny jeans are here to stay.  at least for a decade, or so.

Friday, March 12, 2010

So lately I've been dipping my cyber-toe into a bigger wider world of blogging.  I'm pretty much a veteran if you count only time span.  However, the fact that most of those posts were read mainly by two sisters in Saskatchewan, a life long friend I no longer talk to, an ex who was trying to impress me at the time, and a missionary kid, I'm not to sure how much cred that actually gets me.  My domain name was cherrytomboy.  Need I say more?
Online blogger sites are my new hobby.  it's not even about blogging, any more.  It's about screwing around with my template, getting on feeds, reading what would be stacks of random blogs that I have discovered I can have limitless access too and trying to master the art of following.  I've always enjoyed these glimpses into stranger's lives.  Even back when I was seventeen, 20sb bloggers didn't exist, and scanning meant clicking "next blog" and seeing what came up.  Even if it was a business site in Mandarin. 
Ultimately, though, I'm blogging for myself.  The mini-community I was part of originally have all moved on from the blogosphere.  Can you believe I was nominated for featured blogger once?
Now I like looking back for glimpses of my own life.  Remembering the posts that I was particularly proud of, although all my comments were on Haloscan and, consequently, lost. 
I'm working on the rust.  A wire brush is in order.  Hopefully with a little practice I can return to enjoying my own blog as much as I enjoy other people's.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lately I have been resisting the temptation to sign out library books in an attempt to motivate myself to study/excercize/enrich my life in general.  The main result has been that I have picked up my Mom's choice in library book, and have been reading this.
Sharon Astyk is a wife who shares over a decade of education between herself and her husband.  She's also a blogger ( although I haven't actually spent much time on her site.  What defines her, as you may already have deduced, is that she's chosen to live much as my parents do.  Part of a family of five, she largely homeschools and raises as much of their own food as she can.  A lifestyle known to it's participants as "self sustainable". 
Now, she is more extreme in many cases.  She makes a valid argument for population control.  My Dad has been known to say that everyone in the world could own and acre of land in Saskatchewan.  Her main purpose of argument stem from peak oil and climate change.  My parents are fond of stating their pet reasons why climate change is a conspiracy theory.  However, for their own purposes they've both been relatively successful in returning to a more sustainable form of living.
Sharon's case is that in the face of impeding disaster we're focusing on trying to find solutions that allow us to maintain our current standards of living, and this will become and impossibility.  Interesting, and the first part is certainly true.  We would prefer to ignore possible demise then actually forfeit some of our current comforts or conveniences.
Is life better because of these things now then, say, 100 years ago?  Most would say yes.  But it could use a little considering.
I don't necessarily agree with Sharon.  I do, however, think that this planet wasn't meant to bear what it currently is.  Because of political or environmental instability I do concur that we will be hard pressed to maintain the level of consumption we currently hold in the developed world.
Now, any steps are better then none.  I am especially a firm believer in reducing and reusing.  I'm thrilled at the move towards local and organic eating.  Many of my favourite clothes come from thrift shops.  I ride my bike when possible, and shower outside in the summer and recycle cereal boxes.  I have the luxury of being able to make these decisions.  More of them need to be made. 
The thought of "returning to the land" is so traditional it's almost novel.  And I grew up immersed, more then most, in this mindset.  Maybe it requires a little more thought.

Friday, March 05, 2010

At night the stars seemed to pierce the entire sky. More then a little upset, I was there without my sister. My now very married cousin was having her ceremony, and I remained halfway around the world. Instead I stayed up nights talking to a dreadlocked Jewish stoner. I chopped pallets for wood and walked into town to buy oatmeal and bread, asking for "shtay kabbalot". Two reciepts. Still the extent of my Hebrew. I walked to the edge of Mtizpe Ramon's canyon-like crater and marvelled as the sun came up. I learned poi from, and made American hashbrowns for, a vegetarian hippi who camped with us.
I would wander outside the palm frond fence and sit on the old car seat.  Paco, who looksed like he should be pulling a sled through the tundra, would bark around my feet.  The landscape almost was tundra-like.  Long rolling stretches of bare land sprinkled with stone.  I rarely wore shoes around the camp. 
It wasn't my first experience with desert.  Arizona, Texas, Mexico roadtrips has left them one of my lesser favourite forms or terrain.  There was something different here.  Maybe it was slowing down that had the calming effect, but I think it was sleeping outside at night.  During the day I laughed at everything.  I wasn't high, but everything was funny.  All I had to worry about was that there was enough wood for the fire and that the bathroom sink was clean enough in case any guests showed up.  At night, wrapped in a thick sweater we would talk.  Myself and Sason and any guests staying.  Memorable characters who's names I can still recall.  Andy, the other Canadian, Mark the British preacher, the lesbian couple.
Sason was my best friend for four weeks.  I can't pronounce his last name, and I have no idea where he is now.  But for that month we talked about everything.  Maybe it's because we knew we'd never see each other again.
A left healed in so many ways I'd been waiting for.  Ready to see the rest of the world.
It was something about the desert.  Something so calming.  Something in that dry barren waste land and the raw elements.  The candle light and that wide open sky.
This concept cemented itself for me over the next month.  Eating Magoobla with Bedouin, a philosophical Phillipino American and an underage Belgian in a stunning Jordan desert.  Long desert walks where we managed not to get lost.  Smoking nargilah before the four of use would fall asleep around the fire, full of sweet Bedouin tea.  Watching the early venus sink towards the horizon.
Camping in the Egyptian white desert.  The Jeep ride out.  Arab drum beats into the dark.  Jumping off the pure white drifts to get captrued in the sunset.  A polite Japanese with infinitely cool hair and a crazy middle aged Swiss lady who was strung-out on something.  She sobered up eventually, but never quite got sane.
I love the desert now.  I'm still a Rocky Mountain girl at heart.  Home is a river, a lake, a field surrounded by white peaks.  But the idea of sleeping on sand beneath a stretched canvas of stars calms my soul like nothing else.