Friday, April 20, 2012
Nine Steps for Pagans
1. We came to feel enslaved by excessive behaviors which were harmful to us, throwing our health and relationships out of balance through addictions, compulsions or both.
2. We realized that resources were available to help us win our freedom if we were willing to use them.
3. We became willing to reach out for help, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
4. We sought help from our Deities, fellow humans, healers, clergy, groups or whatever source necessary to aid us toward freedom and health.
5. We established a pattern of life-affirming behaviors, avoiding the sorts of isolation that would make us vulnerable to relapses, creating a foundation of supports which could help us recover from whatever lapses we might have.
6. We considered, acknowledged and took full responsibility for the harm we had done to others and ourselves in our time of slavery.
7. We considered and discussed, with a neutral adult, the harm we had done and how we might make restitution or otherwise restore balance, facing the fact that in some situations no direct redress was possible.
8. Where possible, and using whatever support necessary, we endeavored to restore balance in those situations and relationships previously harmed by our servitude to our addiction or compulsion.
9. Remaining constructively vigilant in our self-regard, we continued to grow strong in health and freedom, eventually becoming a source of support for others seeking to bring their own life into balance.
I like these steps a lot. They are balanced and practical and I especially like that the physical aspect is considered as well as the concept of remaining vigilant in our own self-regard. There's no feeling of the Christian sin and redemption concept and no implication that we are any more defective in character than other human beings who struggle with other problems.
And of course the most important thing is that they are another option for people attempting to recover from addiction. Lack of choice is always limiting, never growth-oriented, and leads to less freedom, not more.
Thank you for visiting Eclectic Recovery.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
The Physical Component
Part of my recovery work will be researching this and learning how to support the body in recovering from alcohol and drug abuse.
Personally, I won't feel my recovery is complete until I give up the cigarettes and probably the coffee.
I ordered a book today about just this thing and I'll be writing about that as well.
Thanks for visiting Eclectic Recovery.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Doing Whatever It Takes
I've put all my misgivings about AA behind me and am using it as one of my primary recovery tools. I'm still participating in my on-line secular recovery group as well and I'm revisiting Charlotte Kasl's 16 steps to empowerment. Being pagan at heart, Addiction Alchemy is also a recovery model that speaks to me of hope, recovery and wellness
In the weeks ahead I'll be looking at the first 3 steps of AA and Charlotte's empowerment steps as well as the Addiction Alchemy approach.
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
1. We admit we were out of control with our addiction, but have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security.
2. We come to believe that God/Goddess/Universe/Great Spirit/Higher Power awakens the healing wisdom within us when we open ourselves to that power.
3. We make a decision to become our authentic Selves and trust in the healing power of the truth.
East Points: Awareness, Realization, Surrender
Intention: I come into full awareness that suffering is due to attachments (addictions) which ultimately form as a result of the denial of my interconnectedness of all that is and my rightful place in the Universe.
Affirmation: I have come to the realization through personal experience that the intelligence of mankind is not the only intelligence at work in the Universe.
Result: I am committed to seek the truth in all things in order to restore my connection with my Center and to reconnect my Will with that of my highest purpose.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Now, I know what to do after prayer: follow it up with action, disconnect from the outcome, and trust.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
There are a couple of mental tricks I play on myself to convince myself it's okay to drink. One is that I tell myself that it will just be one time, that I will drink for one night and then return right to my sober life. Only I never do because one night of drinking sets up the craving and then my twisted mind says if I "got away" with it one night I can "get away" with it another, and another. And then I'm off to the races with all their attendant shame, guilt, humiliation, depression and yes, pure insanity.
Another idea that sets me up to relapse is thinking that I have to get some relief from my daily life. After a few months, usually about 4, I begin to feel the pressures of being a responsible adult and I tell myself I just can't take it. And it really does feel that way; there are times I feel I will just explode if I don't get some relief. Then I usually do explode, into drinking, and while I may get a few moments of respite, I also get all the aforementioned pain to follow it, which is always worse than the pain that precedes it.
As far as alcoholics go, I've been especially lucky. I've had my serious consequences to be sure, but overall I haven't paid the price that many have. I know luck doesn't last forever and I've pushed mine far past the point where it should've already run out. But it's not just that. I want to be a sober person because the sober alcoholics and addicts I know in my life are the people I admire the most. They move forward with their lives (usually) and get out of the endless cycle of pain and despair that is the drinking life.
Approaching 50 is sobering in itself, but despite everything I don't feel old. If there is anything I could do in my life that would help me reach its end in a state of peace and acceptance, it's to stay sober.
So here I am again.
Thanks for visiting Eclectic Recovery.
Monday, December 20, 2010
I've enjoyed writing here and the people I've gotten to know through blogging. I believe it's a very special medium and I'm glad I've been part of it.
I'm going to leave this up for about a week and then take it down. My warmest wishes for a happy holiday season.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Tending the Fire
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
We went fishing, quite unsuccessfully, along the Flathead River one day and picnicked in Glacier National Park another. The weather never broke (that sun I'm blocking in the picture was oh so brief) and dad left a day earlier than planned, but as far as I'm concerned, it was a perfect visit.
My dad's presence is comforting, calm, borne of living in a house with four women for 18 years and a spirit that embraces growth no matter how difficult.
Dad and Brent get along well and they're both great debators in their own ways. We had gotten into some philosophical discussion over the morning news, and the evening news, and any news we ran across, and Brent was asking, "How do you know what's real? How does one know what to believe anymore?" My dad said, "This is real. this right here, here and now." Well, hello, Buddha Dad.
You are always welcome here and next time you have to drag that wild crazy mother of mine with you.
Much love to all my family!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Thanks, Drew! For all your hard work and commitment. You are not alone.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Unbelievable to me that Drew continues to find oil like this and it's not being reported anyplace where it could actually make a difference. It's obvious that BP has no interest in mitigating the environmental disaster caused by their spill and all the average American seems to want is a return to "normal". A return I'm afraid will not be forthcoming. I'm going to let you in on a little secret: oil does not disappear - especially not that amount of oil.
I continue to ask myself, daily: "What can I do?" I have a real averson to facebook and haven't even given twitter a twit. I did recently rejoin facebook so I can see pictures of my nieces and nephew and keep up with my cousins in South Carolina. I'm thinking this information may get more attention there, so even though I don't like the medium, I'm going to employ it for the cause. As soon as I can figure out how.There are moments while looking at Drew's work that my rage can hardly be contained. I jump up from the computer and pace the floor, my heart racing with anger. I do some deep breathing and before I can even respond to the rage it's replaced by despair. A sinking feeling so deep you never get that final relieving thunk - it seems to go on, and on. Then I shrug it off and start looking around me to see what I can do - starting right here with my own personal environmental disaster. That's how I'm seeing my alcoholism now - as my own personal environmental disaster. For most of my life, for reasons known and not, I've responded to the polluting of my own system by my own hand about the same way BP is responding to the oil spill. Ignore it, cover it up, do everything right except stop the poison leak. Was it stupidity? Was it powerlessness in the face of a force stronger than my own will? Was it a deep desire to not wake up to reality?
Whatever it was, it's been relieved for the moment. That brings on a depth of gratitude which is the perfect remedy to the rage and despair that's bound to visit unheeded when you watch blogs like the American Birding Association's, when you stop to ponder just how and why we find ourselves where we are today: a nation that seems to not care. I don't believe that's who we are. And when I stop and ponder? Oftentimes, all I can come up with is the cowboy's favorite phrase: Fuck oh dear.
Fuck oh dear. Indeed. I remember that by all rights I probably shouldn't even still be here. I remember that joy is a choice away and the pain doesn't preclude the joy, it accompanies it. Always.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
More Than One Kind of Oil
I've begun writing to people who might be able to get the word out on the true story in the Gulf. In the meantime, there are things that provide me comfort. I hope no one thinks that I walk around living my life in a state of doom and gloom. True, I feel deeply the pain that goes with the kinds of issues we face, but it doesn't define or rule my life. I rarely speak of collapse with anyone but Brent, who is of a same mind.
Once acceptance is reached, every little thing becomes a blessing. Fresh food. Clean water. Relationships with family and friends. The ability to connect on-line. I have it better than most. I live in a state that has roughly a million people and takes a day to cross. I see eagles, osprey, white-tail and turkeys on a daily basis. Right now, there is abundant food to fish and hunt if you're willing to do that and I became willing some time ago. Actually I feel learning to hunt was an initiation that is helping me deal with things now, helping me to feel more empowered and capable of stepping up to the plate, whatever it holds.
I know my little blog is not doing much in the big picture, but it provides me some sense of participation and is a kind of launching pad for the activist I'm becoming.
I request, once again, that you please join me in sharing this vital information. Thank you.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
News from the Gulf
Friday, July 30, 2010
A Jolly Good Time
Thursday, July 29, 2010
News You Probably Won't See on CBS
Also in the mouth of the bay (Fort Pickens, FL) was a large barge that was actively decontaminating oiled equipment. The chemical they were using, along with the oil and dispersant was being aerosolized by the act of pressure washing, and the odor was pretty offensive and probably quite toxic. Gregg felt sick when we got to the car.
We have really no idea what's going on down there.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Possible Responses to Current Reality
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Rolling the Dice
Aside from the public relations boon from low balling the flow, BP has a financial incentive: U.S.-government-imposed fines are based on quantity of oil released.
While state and federal agencies have been testing gulf seafood for oil, no one is conducting chemical testing for the presence of dispersants.
In the first month of the spill, Nalco stock spiked, and estimated sales of Corexit garnered $40 million. Next quarter sales will be released on July 27. Watching with envy, other dispersant manufacturers have cried foul, and linked the exclusive use of Corexit to Nalco's close relationship to BP, rather than to the products' superiority.
Nalco board member Rodney F. Chase, is a nearly four-decade veteran of BP, most recently as a managing director and deputy group chief executive. (A former Exxon Mobil Corp. president is also on Nalco's board of directors.)
"It's a chemical that the oil industry makes to sell to itself, basically," Richard Charter, a senior policy adviser for Defenders of Wildlife, was quoted in a May 13 Greenwire blog.
Friday, July 16, 2010
It Really Does Take a Village, or Two
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Big Box Stores - An Industrial Dilemma
I don’t want to support W with what little money I now make. I do want to eat. I will eat healthy. There’s no way I can afford food shares from a local CSA and W has beautiful produce with an organic selection that someone on such a limited budget simply can’t pass up.
The food I bought at W would’ve cost me over twice as much at my local grocery; close to three times as much at my local health food store, both of which I would much rather support. I would boycott W if I could. But for our household I have to make decisions and obtain the best food at the best price that I possibly can. So I’m presented with a major ongoing dilemma.
Last year I joined a club store so I could afford to purchase items like wild salmon, nuts, bulk olive oil and a peach mango salsa that I became addicted to. Then I worked at that store for two days. I didn’t work for that store because I worked for the contractor that handles the flowers sold there – or rather the contractor that the contractor that handles the flowers hired to maintain the flower display. My first day after a 6-hour training 4 weeks earlier was Mother’s Day weekend, the second largest floral holiday of the year. I arrived at 7:00 on Saturday morning and met up with 10 pallets of flowers to be stocked, restocked, maintained, displayed and sold on my first day of work. Nice. Workers are hired through a system whereby the employee is completely dispensable unless they're part of “corporate.” At the end of the day, all the flowers that weren’t sold and were showing the slightest bit of age were required to be thrown in the dump with a club store employee present. And that’s just the beginning. Air miles, ground miles and despicable waste is being produced to get those stupid flowers into that stupid display so stupid people can buy them at the least cost. Only people aren’t necessarily stupid – just very uninformed, dulled by the promise of more of the best and always for less no matter what – no matter the cost to our planet and millions of people in third-world countries who can’t afford not to produce the food for the conglomerates. Now it’s time to re-up with the store and while I hate it, I will probably do it because otherwise I will not be eating those items, only one of which I consider a complete luxury.
On the positive side, my permaculture campaign with the cowboy is slowly but surely making progress. I hope that by next summer we will at least have a goat, some chickens, a worm farm and share a garden like I’m doing this year. We’ve also decided to store some dry items like rice, beans, salt and grains. Following the links will show you how each one of these things is not only fairly simple, but healthier for humans and the planet. I believe that for the planet to heal, food production needs to go as absolutely local as possible: like your back yard. Don't forget good dirt: an acre of organic cropland can take approximately 7,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere each year.
Meanwhile summer just can’t quite get here this year. We built a fire for warmth on the 5th of July. But last Saturday it was 80 degrees and we kayaked McDonald Lake in the Mission Mountains. That's where the picture above was taken. I'm so fortunate to live in a place that still retains remnants of wildness.
Friday, July 9, 2010
What Can I Do?
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Even though she’s no longer with us, Chani remains a source of inspiration and courage for me.
From Chani’s blog, September 30, 2006
I have found that giving up materialism and consumerism has brought me to a higher respect for all life around me, the things around me and a consciousness of the way I view others. This culture teaches that human value is determined by participation in the economy. A lawyer has more value than a customer service representative, as an example. This culture diminishes the disabled, the elderly and the poor. It diminishes extended family. It places the individual above the common good. It diminishes primary relationships, turning them into utilitarian contracts. I am very aware of how much this has crept into my thinking and I have always been socially conscious, so I thought. Now, I deliberately watch for this and change it. It's very subtle and pops out in the most unexpected places. (Just today, I read a rather vile post on one of my Buddhism mailing lists in which a member ran down homeless people. Two years ago, I wouldn't have challenged it. Today, I did.) It has increased my compassion.
I believe Chani was way ahead of most of us in her level of awareness about the reality of the culture we have created. In the quote above she expresses the imbalance with which we live in a few succinct sentences, and brilliantly. Also, in one small paragraph she shares with us ways she had found to be the change she wished to see in the world.
As my own awareness expands to include more painful realities to be faced, I’m humbled by Chani’s fierce spirit. She undertook the responsibility to change her reality from the inside out, despite a world that never offered her much in the way of support. The more of us who become willing to follow her lead, the easier the transition will be as global civilization continues to crumble.
Chani successfully dealt with her own addictions and like anyone who has addiction, she knew that more than anything addiction is about loss. Not only loss of material things, but deeper more important losses: dignity, self-respect, relationships, the simple ability to feel your feelings no matter how uncomfortable to you or anyone else they are. It takes great skill and creativity to understand the insanity of this world and still work to gain the resources needed to live your life. Chani had the imagination and she developed the skills to drop every notion of what Western culture taught her was “normal” and to forge a fulfilling life.
I don’t think many of our general population has any idea how to get up day after day, when the losses seem too great and the disease too far progressed and still brush their teeth, still get dressed and still find meaning within daily life no matter how diminished life may seem at the moment. No idea how to navigate a world where compassion, kindness and value for all of life have taken a backseat to greed, self-aggrandizement and hate.
We have lived within the illusion that our way of life was right. We’ve turned a blind eye to the way we’ve abused our own resources and a lot of the rest of the worlds as well. As long as we could still get a fix from a new toy (gas-powered of course) or the right brand name t-shirt, shoot-up with our own sense of superiority over those less fortunate and cop-out on our responsibility to our fellow earthlings (animal and human alike) we could maintain the illusion.
But as soon as the things we count on to keep us transfixed start falling away the illusion fades. And then what’re we gonna do?
Currently I’m doing a good job of detaching from the shared hallucination. I have let go the American Dream and man what a relief. I was lucky, though. The illusion never worked very well for me in the first place so I’ve had experience with breaking free from it, but only recently have I been able to maintain the disconnect. I find that as I continue to watch from a safe distance, my personal equanimity finds its place again.
I believe part of the illusion in my own case was getting caught in the Western dream of recovery from addiction. If one just follows these steps, reads this book, does these exercises, takes this medication and prays daily to a patriarchal god, one can become “free.” Sometimes what we think is our salvation is just another trap, another rabbit hole, another place to hide.
I don’t mean to sound flippant about my past year’s of alcoholism when I write about getting drunk one night on a family vacation and interrupting a perfectly good trip with my problem. But there comes a point when one has to consciously choose to leave that shame and guilt behind, realizing that it’s all internal and that sobriety will surely not be had while lugging it around. There comes a point when one realizes that the more attention one gives to addiction, whether it’s living in it or “recovering” from it, one is still feeding the beast. I’m finding that when I stop feeding him – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, he just slinks off to a dark, damp corner and lies in wait – one eye open, cold and wet and hungry. I imagine his one eye becomes heavy with sleep and pretty soon he’s just a snoring hunk of junk, harmful only to those who fear him still, only to those who have to keep living a collective nightmare.
I don’t freakin’ think so.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Memories of the Gulf and other assorted debris
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I began to read. I took in ideas the way a thirsty person takes in fresh water. I was hungry for ideas beyond my immediate reach, for things that would link me somehow to this odd world which I perceived as being so unreachable. Where were others like me, others who had a non-aggressive, non-competitive approach to life? Where were those for whom western culture was little more than soul-sucking? Where could I go that wasn't reduced to a glorified marketplace? The religions I investigated wanted to either pick my pocket or force me into a box that wouldn't fit. Inevitably, parts of me would begin falling out the sides and I would lose my new community.
I'm still working at the ranch store. I moved from being a cashier in the main store to the clothing department. I don't get as many hours but the job is doable without creating the intense anxiety that leads to panic attacks, emotional meltdowns and generally feeling like total shit. It was hard for me to ride the whole thing out; it was questionable whether I would continue working there and I was humiliated and embarrased by the panic attacks. But now that I've moved departments, I'm glad I hung in there and stayed humble and willing. I don't believe this mental state will last forever. I'm working my way out of it since I went to treatment, but it's slow.
After much consideration and discussion with my mental health doc, I decided to discontinue the anti-d I had been taking since Feb/09 when I was hospitalized. I have decided to use St. John's Wort for depression and valerian for anxiety while working on a cleaner, healthier lifestyle in general. Healthy food, exercise and sunshine are hard to beat. I became allergic to wheat this past winter and have notched up what was already a pretty healthy diet. I've begun making my own body care and home-cleaning products in moving towards a goal of getting off petroleum-based living. Peggy and I are harvesting mixed greens and herbs while we await the carrots, tomatoes, squash, strawberries, peas, beets and spuds. I'm eating pansies, nastursiums and dandelion greens. I've come to think of the way Brent and I eat as "rustic." Whole foods, good ingredients, lots of garlic, onion and pepper, herbs and spices, olive oil. It occurs to me I've developed a lot of skills learning to live well on much, much less. It occurs to me we're all going to have to learn those skills. It isn't easy, but it can be done.
Yeah, I still believe civilization is collapsing and I believe things are going to go from bad to worse. But I've stopped bargaining and raging and started accepting. Of course I know I will bargain and rage again. The good thing is I no longer think that response is pathological. I think it's pathological to refuse to see and accept reality, but that's what addiction is all about really. We're all addicted to oil-based living and we're all going to get to go cold-turkey, detox and hopefully come out the other side a bit better for it. Two books helped me a lot with moving into acceptance: Sacred Demise: Walking the Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's Collapse by Carolyn Baker, Ph.D. and The Little Book of Letting Go by Hugh Prather.
I promise you and myself one thing as I resume blogging: no censorship. It may be hard for some people to believe that I've censored myself in my writing here, but I have. I won't anymore.
It's good to be back.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Collapse - Up Close and Personal
It becomes more and more difficult for me to function within society. I overestimated my readiness to return to the workforce and took on 3 new jobs in one week. It was a costly overestimation. I'm now down to one job 35 hrs/wk and having difficulty maintaining it. I've only heard one description for the type of anxiety I'm experiencing - PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Last Thursday, 3 hours into my shift, I had a major panic attack followed by an emotional meltdown from which I'm still reeling. I could not regain my equilibrium that day and had to leave work early.
The first thing to be affected by an attack is my breath. Suddenly the air will not move beyond the top of my chest and the more I try to force it, the worse it gets. The panic rises with each shallow breath, I feel the sweat break out on my face, noises become unbearable: the ding of the cash register, the jolt of static from the radios, the hard light, the hard people. Sights and sounds begin to merge until nothing feels solid anymore. Reality is a full-steam ahead freight train headed straight your way. Logical thinking disappears and pure instinct is all that remains. My language and actions are hard to control and the only option that seems practical is to GET THE HELL OUT!! As soon as possible!!
The job is a cashier position at a local home and ranch store. The rate of pay is a new low for me, but I like the store and it's grand central for gardeners in the area. This was my 2nd meltdown in the three weeks since I started, but the first happened at the end of a shift and I was able to regain my footing, however tenuous, until Thursday. For the following 18 hours I just cried, a lot.
I've spoken with my parents, always loving and supportive, and my mental health therapist with whom I have an appointment on Monday. I also spoke with my manager at the store and he wants me back next week. Sometimes kindness makes me cry more for awhile although I've learned to be leery of it as well. It often comes with a high price-tag, although I don't sense an underlying agenda here. That's one skill I've been steadily improving.
When the oil disaster in the gulf began, everything I've leanred over the past few months became more ominous. I think it's impossible to become really aware of the state of the earth and her inhabitants and not be affected by it. Media news would be laughable if it weren't so sad, and bad I might add.
Did you know that GM and an american electric conglomorate are buying large swaths of Brazilian rainforest?
They say they're acquiring "carbon credits", business as usual only they seem to know the commodoties are going to be oxygen, clean water and farmable land. Big Auto, Big Oil and the government show no signs of remorse or responsibility. If you still think anyone whoever ends up in the White House is not a puppet already, I feel sorry for you. I had high hopes for Obama. Now I have none.
Did you know that Henry Ford gave his wife the electric car he designed because it was so much cleaner, more efficient and easier to maintain?
There is one thing I don't think the big guys are counting on: not only is it not nice to fool Mother Nature, it's impossible. We are part of Mother Nature and when we abuse her we abuse ourselves. If she dies, we die. Even if they counted on disastrous climate change, they must realize it's a total toss of the dice who will make it and who won't. All the carbon credits in the world won't save them from our fate.
Despite working through a lot of my own denial about civilization's collapse, and even more importantly, the extent to which we as a nation are complicit, I was still shocked to see BP officials and the Coast Guard working together to cover-up what's happening with the "spill". I wonder who asked the locals if they thought it was a good idea to pour toxic dispersants over an already over-heated Gulf of Mexico. Might as well call it the Gulf of Texaco now. Trust me, the gulf is not a "big ocean" as that asshole from BP would have you believe.
As the earth warms and warms, my blood runs cold and I despair. I can't tell if the PTSD is post or pre. The only safe place is the present and I find it increasingly difficult to stay here. I'm practicing DBT skills in earnest: tactile information. What do you see, feel, hear, right here, right now. Touch something. Hold ice in your hand. Breathe if you can. Ground. Small ritual helps a lot. I add to my compost pile. I help Peggy in her garden. Every bite of fresh food is sacred, clean water a blessing beyond belief, the warmth of the body next to me comforting. I call that prayer.
Mom says we just can't think about these things and I know she's right - we can't dwell on them. But I am unable to not think about it. I could go back into one of my addictions or bury my head in the sand some other way, but I won't. It would never feel right to me. If all I can do is be a witness at this point, I'm goddam well going to be an awake one. I may be herded into the inferno along with everyone else, but I'm going with awareness and hopefully a little courage and a whole lotta grace. By the way, if I thought I could distract myself from what's coming, I probably would. My distractions are currently all used up.
So I gather dandelion greens. I watch the hummingbirds, the red-tail, osprey and eagle. The sky is still blue even if the Gulf of Mexico is black. Right here, right now, I have what I need and I am grateful.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Alive and Well
Much much love to all.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Chani's ideas tended toward the radical, which is where ideas go when the truth is not only sought, but found. Chani sought community and I think she finally found some form of it through her writing and blogging and her sober support group. It was mostly web-based I'm afraid. Chani had recently found herself in another situation where she was doing all the work, providing all the emotional spine and I'm sure more than her fair-share of back-breaking work. Was she appreciated for it? Only by her "virtual" friends, many of whom now find themselves thinking of Chani with a bittersweet regret that we weren't able to know her better.
She was heading off to a better life; a life she had looked forward to creating for herself through many a lean and hard year. She really deserved that life. I'm so sorry she's no longer with us and I'm going to miss her a lot. If it weren't for Chani, I wouldn't be where I am in my sobriety or in my unflinching refusal to accept where American finds herself as a nation and the world as a community. Waking up is hard to do. Chani knew that. She also knew it was the only thing left to do. For until we awaken, we keep running the capitalist, consumer-driven rat-race that is quickly coming to an end. Chani could've helped a lot of people deal with the upcoming changes. Actually, I'm pretty sure she's doing that anyway. Good luck and happy trails, sweet lady. The candle is lit. The incense is burning and the seeds are sprouting.
Friday, April 16, 2010
It was critter central at Blacktail yesterday. The sun came out for the first time in a week and the afternoon warmed to a gentle air-bath. The chipmunks and chickadees were feasting on the seed I put out; the robins were fat with their red puffed-out chests and then we got a very special visitor. Brent and I were sitting on the deck taking a few minutes to enjoy the sun before he got back to framing in the entrance and I got back to filing for bankruptcy. (FREQUENT breaks are required for that particular process!) Anyway, one of the largest red-tail hawks I've ever seen came flying our way (which they do often enough on the mountain), but this one really put on a show. He was playing on some thermals that were apparently right over our heads and he swooped, dipped, dropped and soared for at least 10 minutes. He was so close the patterns in his underwing were fully visible and lit from behind by the afternoon sun. He was gorgeous. We were blessed.
This afternoon it's expected to reach 70 degrees and we're going to take the kayaks out on their inaugural voyage. Tomorrow, too. One of my goals for next week is to get some of my pictures on a network I can access at the library so I can put photos up. I finally end up on a little piece of Montana heaven and haven't put any pictures on my blog! Crazy.
I'm doing a trememdous amount of reading on collapse, energy descent, peak oil, climate change, permaculture, responses and solutions. I'm not just fascinated; I'm compelled. Of course, some people will insist on calling it obsessed, but again I say: so what? Also next week I'll put up a list of what I'm reading and fill you in on ways I'm figuring out to compromise on what I 'd like to do (have a garden, chickens, root cellar, rain-catcher, compost, and a goat) and still make a difference. Of course, the campaign continues with Brent. I thought I had him talked into two chickens but he talked himself back out of it just as quickly. But we're doing great. This morning he told me I'm the perfect woman to be here with him. A lot of times I don't like the ways in which Brent is right. But I agree with him on this one.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
The irony of my possibly taking a job that is the icon of all that I've come to loathe about our society: false image, profit/profit/profit, youth unending, did not escape me I'll tell you. It actually stressed me out even considering taking the position and sent my anxiety back through the roof when it had at least settled into a rocking chair for awhile. Ever since I learned I didn't get the job I'm breathing a bit easier again although the pressure to get back to work is obviously mounting as my financial situation worsens. I am altering my search accordingly.
In my last post I posed the question of what it would look like for society to come out of denial about the state of our world, the dire straits we're in and how far along the road toward energy descent, climate change and I hate to use the word, but catastrophe, we are. My good friend, Kelly, answered with her usual optimistic sweetness and said that people would begin living more simply, learning more about their food security, etc. That's a great answer and it would be good if that's what happens when people come out of denial, but what happens first are the emotions. Shock, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance. Yes, the same ones a person goes through with grief. If you're not experiencing some of these you're not coming out of denial. Which is fine. Not everyone will. Not everyone can. Why? Because we're in recovery don't you know?
Now, I have another question. What if full recovery is never possible? And yes, I'm posing the question as it relates to addiction and collapse. What if partial recovery is the absolute best we can do? What if we have to learn to live with less; what if we begin to realize that we'll be damned lucky to live through it? I've been living in partial recovery for years. All the while society says, well, if you're not fully in recovery you're not in recovery at all. Not so, say I. It takes skill to recover at all.