Monday, March 1, 2010

Marching in, like, a line, you know?

Yesterday I tossed a handful of bread and hundreds of gulls appeared, some hovering around me, others on the ground looking up at me; I tossed more manna into the air, lost in a white whirlwind. I felt happier and more connected than when in the company of the driving rats.

I watched a perched red-tailed hawk being harassed by a blue jay until she became sick of it, and my presence as well, I suppose, and flew to the other side of the river. The bikeway I walk is a rare above-water land beside the wider faster river, with water now on both sides, tall trees rooted in a couple feet of water, a side trail which led to land now disappears in water, raging white where humans tried to control it, channel it. I sat on a bench eating my lunch, watching geese and ducks fly just above the surface, a watery side street become an interstate, ever more geese, always more ducks, fly faster, faster, get in formation.

A couple days of nonstop rain flooded the area of the monastery land I had expected would flood, and more as well. One trail was a dead end, taken out by water, deep and wide. I looked in vain for skunk cabbage poking through. I've seen a couple chipmunks in recent days, a respite from the grey squirrels, tinier tracks in the morning snow, following a rabbit down the hole.

Today, or soon, will be my last day of the monastic life. I've been living in my grandfather's increasingly empty house for the three weeks since his death, through the repaintings and the disposals, shifting from room to room, bunking in chairs, on floors, sometimes both in the same night. Having shared the last six weeks of his life in that house, the end of almost sixty years there for him, it has felt like a quick destruction of his life to me. All those items precious to us don't long outlast us. It's now time for me to move out, meaning I won't be able to explore those two nature areas as much as I'd hoped.

Time to start preparing for my next stage. My first laptop will ship this week, I'll be seeking camera recommendations to go along with Consumer Reports ratings, looking for required work shoes and new hiking boots in case Allan honors me with 1 of his 365. Time to update the eyes and mouth before heading into the hills. Big hills, a mile and a half high. I'll have to make an altitude adjustment, something many "normal" people have long said I needed. Oh, wait, that was attitude. Well, kiss my Alps.

It's been a good month for me in the free Amazon Vine books aspect of life. I just finished an advance copy of Twelve by Twelve by William Powers which at times I loved, and at times felt annoyed by. It's less about actually living in a 12" X 12" cabin (where he's just a summer subletter, not the more interesting actual resident) than about the shape of the world we want to live in--flat or round. I still have to write a review so perhaps I'll have more to say another time. And Bill McKibben's newest, the similarly themed Eaarth:Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, is on the way to me, along with Cha Dao: The Way of Tea.

I've done some spring cleaning on the blog, separating the blogs from the websites and the blogs which don't feed my roll correctly. All of the animal sanctuary and wildlife rehab sites are still there, but are spread out now. Some of the new additions include the Duluth Canal Cam for another Superior sunrise, a few sites of opportunities to work on organic farms for room, board, and or cash (perhaps my next adventure), and a couple more on the collapsing industrialism theme. How high's the water, Mama?


Allan Stellar said...


I look forward to your review of Mckibben's book. And I do peruse your choices of blogs--often finding some interesting stuff there.

Looking forward to your dispatches from Yellowstone.


greentangle said...

I just posted my review of Twelve by Twelve at Amazon. I liked it; still waiting for McKibben's to arrive from CA.

And as is often the way of such things, a few hours after complaining that I hadn't found skunk cabbage, I found some yesterday. Went back and checked this morning . . . yep, still there. Makes leaving somewhat easier.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Greentangle,
Enjoyed the walk. You so rightly point the very possessions we hold so dear become so meaningless when we leave. I am becoming less and less attached to things. Except for my tramping gear, which is idle anyway, and a small collection of books and music. Even that stuff will fade fast upon my demise. Glad to read you are heading for some hill country. Breathe deep the mountain air. Kia kaha.