I am not a victim; I am a survivor. I am also: autistic, adopted, adopted by a hated group (Germans in the US in 1946 [when I was adopted] and on), former victim of sexual assault (Seth was with me)/domestic abuse.
Effects on me of autism: slow to change my focus; highly organized; sensitive emotionally; perceive all as living; words and numbers have a sensory aspect to them; not sure how to make friends.
Effects on me of adoption: feeling of distance and a cozy detachment (a Buddhist type of detachment). (Friends sometimes commented on the fact that I was adopted and didn’t know my “real” family.)
Effect on me of being adopted into an outcast group: feeling of being a social outsider, an outcast. (Friends sometimes commented on my German-born and raised Dad’s demeanor. They hated and derided him for it.)
Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves, talks about her adoptive families in the introduction to (and elsewhere in, too, I think) her book.
I moved my camp up farther into Horn Canyon. A big (5′ X 3′) stick-nest is about 45′ up in a tall tree near me. I am near the trail (too close, really) and you cross the creek and go up a little hill; then, there’s a tiny pocket where I put up my new 1-person tent. Awesome! One cactus, a sage patch, lots of wild flowers, and a wood rat’s nest are near me.
A new place gets scary at dusk. But I was careful: I’m not camped on an animal trail, it’s not easily accessible (lots of brush and bushes all around it). If anything big did come near, I’d hear it because of all the dry leaves and branches all over the ground. (Whatever good it would do me to hear a big animal approaching, I’m not sure. I did have two stout sticks ready to bap that mountain lion on the head.
It was very quiet all night, no bears around. And if there was a mountain lion, I wouldn’t hear it (unless it was chasing something and ran right by my tent, as a lion did at my old camp by Thacher, last fall).
Lizard in a tree, watching me in the late afternoon yesterday. Hummingbirds. About two hundred big-ish ants drowned in the pee in my cut-down, water-jug, pee pot. Strange. How did they even get in there? It’s a slippery, big, water container. The smell and the dryness of the Valley must have gotten to them, and they just all run up in there.
People who were born and raised in cities (didn’t grow up around woods, nature) rarely go out in the woods. They can’t relate to it. It’s not part of their “world.”
I saw a fat rattlesnake in the bushes yesterday about 3′ from where I was fishing under a bush for a stash I had there. It rattled at me (c. 4″ of rattles), then it stopped when I just stood still. I crept away.
I am choosing to be brave and unafraid. It’s a choice, a decision. At the beginning of my camping experiences, I was afraid a man or men would find and assault me. Now, I am afraid of wild animals (rattlers, mountain lions, bears: Horn Canyon and Ojai in general).
My main friends here in Ventura County are Chuck Hillman, Premila Swami, and Suza Francina.
This spring/summer/fall, I want to camp out around other travellers. There aren’t many here in Ojai. Used to be lots. Still many immigrants (Mexican, etc.),so that’s good for my comfort level.
Earthlings come in two types:
1.) Domesticated, tamed, in chains, comfortable
2.) Wild, free, untamed, undomesticated
Gogol Bordello sings: Do you think the birds are free on the sidewalks of the sky? They also say: “Revolution is internal.”
None of us are always totally free or totally comfortable. That’s in the nature of life-0n-earth. It’s temporary, and it’s like a school or a stage. We learn.
Seth, Anya, and Megan = (first letters of their names make) SAM
Sam, Archer, and Myles = (first letters) SAM
a.) ~~tent, of course. With bag of stuff (toiletries, etc.), big tarp.
b.) ~~at first creek crossing on Horn Canyon trail: skin cream, lavender oil, by big tree at creek, right before climbing little hill to my camp.
c.) ~~my boots (a little past first creek-crossing, on the left behind bush, at Y)
d.) ~~hair conditioner: behind second bush on right as you leave the gym (Bryant St.).
e.) ~~extra (old) tent in Airstream trailer at Cliff’s (Larry and True Heitz’ place) on Casa de Paz (street).
I spent a night and had breakfast at Krishnamurti Foundation’s Pepper Tree Retreat up on McAndrew Road the night before last. A new friend (met at Java and Joe’s) took me there: Katie, from Tennessee. She had just done Byron Katie’s 28-day school. Katie is originally from Willetts, Alaska. She’s going back in June; she has SO much to teach me about Alaska! I want to be there when she’s there.
I told some of the devoted (read: obsessive) K-Foundation people at the Pepper Tree breakfast table that, from raising kids for so long, I knew things Krishnamurti didn’t know. They did NOT appreciate that! I said, “I love Krishnamurti, but he’s not all there is.” Should be obvious.
I also have another new “safe place” up in the Thacher/McAndrew area: Cliff (whom I met when he and Vanessa Hatoum were together). He has been living on the Heitz property on the road(off McAndrew Road) that we used to call “Casa de Paz.” (It’s actually the name of the house where True and Larry used to live on that little road that connects McAndrew Rd. with the entrance to Horn Canyon.) Cliff said I can put my extra tent and sleeping bag (etc.) in the Airstream trailer on the property. He even said I can sleep in the trailer if ever I need to. (I have updated the “My Stashes” section above to show this.) Very nice! Now I feel much more secure up in the Canyon.
I have read/found some very encouraging things on Facebook in the last few days. Here are a few of them:
~~Don’t just keep the peace… Raise your voice! Blaze a path!
~~Don’t fear the new; don’t fear change.
~~Women who do wild, unexpected things and don’t follow the crowd…
~~Staying out in nature, living with the silence.
From a dream at the Pepper Tree Retreat (where I put freshly picked Mugwort under my pillow, for dreams): Go where the Gypsies are.
I will never die. My consciousness (soul, spirit, Self, I) is eternal. My body will die; my consciousness will just go on. The less afraid I am of physical death, the more continuous my consciousness will be. I mean, if I’m unafraid when my physical body dies, I’ll remain conscious and just sail on into another incarnation. If I am afraid when I die, I’ll just lose some time trying to figure out where I am and what’s happening. NOTHING is happening! Ha ha. I’m just changing.
I feel right now like I’m really changing. My hair is falling out a lot. I used to have a thick, unruly head of hair; now I have a thin head of hair. My energy is less; I am slowing down. I may have cancer on my arm (skin cancer), or it could just be dry skin. My knees are giving me some trouble. I am direction-less. I am just roosting here in Ojai, just nesting. Content for the moment. Resting. Relaxing. People my age are starting to die, and it’s just because of “old age.” My generation is getting old. I am getting old physically, but my spirit is the same! Everyone’s is!
I think that when old people live near or with their families, they live THROUGH their families. This is OK for disabled (eg. Alzheimers, ill, etc.) people, but not for me. I want to live my own, inimitable life, my way! I want to “blaze a path,” and “raise my voice.” Only I can do this in my own way; no one else can contribute to the world what I can (of course, this is true of everyone). No one else can learn for me the lessons I want to learn. No one else can experience pleasure, love, freedom for me.
I get so caught, stuck here in Ojai. Fear gets the best of me here. But I am outgrowing that. Today I booked a flight to Seattle for May 14. I had the credit for the ticket ($89) already from a flight I cancelled with JetBlue last November. Yea! Then, from there, up to Alaska for the summer!