April 22, 2013

April 20

My rituals (autistic) are: doodling with my fingernails; praying/talking to my spirit guides and Pachamama; mornings at cafes for tea or coffee.

I am working on emotional control.

The public me is the Chicken: Year of the Chicken. The private me is the Dragon: Day of the Dragon.

Nature is magical, mystical. It’s a totally different world than the “downtown” world of humans. I feel I may have a mentor now, but I don’t know if s/he is a spirit or a human or an animal…

Yesterday I bought some raw seafood mix (octopus, mussels, etc.). I soaked them in lime juice overnight, and this morning, they were great!

Spring! Everyday it gets warmer.

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April 21

Taurus begins. Myles will be born soon.

Do you know your local Gypsies? This is a good question for many people. The local homeless people–often youngsters in their teens or twenties (some runaways)–are usually shunned by the local “citizens.” They see them as unruly, disobedient outsiders. People who have left the status quo and the rules of polite society behind. And that is exactly who they are. Just like us Travelling Gypsies.

Ride from Jim Churchill this morning on Grand Avenue. I have known him casually since the 1970s. He’s from a wealthy family on Thacher Rd. Mother’s Jewish/father’s the Churchill. Jim’s a local rancher: Pixie oranges. he asked me about my recent trip, and we talked for a minute about Haiti. My sympathies are always with the poor and any people who are persecuted and abused by more privileged people: like the Haitians. Jim almost (?) seemed to say it was their own fault (because of their “generations” of poverty and no education). Did I read him wrong on this? Do the rich people (especially those who have always been rich) really have no opportunity to understand the poor? Are they actually so totally shut down and isolated that they never even get to know poor people? So many of theses people pass me by when I am hitchhiking on Grand Avenue. One of their own said, in response to my complaints about the excess of money in the Ojai Valley during the past few decades, these wealthy emigrants (eg. from Los Angles) are closed down, shut down. They certainly can’t or don’t want to respond to a person who needs help. I stood hitching the other day–it was dark and chilly, after days of rain–for at least 20 minutes while the expensive cars of the rich passed me by, many without a look.

My practice now it to let it all go: I learned to hate the rich (with rather good reason, on the face of it) from Dad. But looking at the bigger, more “spiritual” picture, I see that everyone is on a difficult path and deserves compassion and forgiveness. I am putting down this burden that I have been carrying for much of my life.

Another burden I am dropping is something I just became aware of yesterday. I have been carrying on a conversation with myself and ascribing the “answering” (i.e., not me) role to Others. It’s all been me. The recognized Me side of the conversation has been something like this: “I am a wonderful person. I am the equal of anyone.” The Other (supposedly Not Me) side has gone like this: “You are less than me because you are poor (or some other ridiculous reason people do in fact often give for being supposedly superior to others). I don’t know why I have so relentlessly pursued and been faithful to this inner dialogue. But now that I have identified it as ALL ME (I am BOTH voices: the loyal-to-self and the critical), I can drop this ridiculous grumbling and fighting. I am free of it!

I think many/most of us take on these “righteous” causes that our parents instill in us. I superficially had many gripes against Dad; he could be a perfect beast. But Dad also had many wonderful qualities, and he was very good to me. So, of course I adopted some–or at least very flagrantly one: the protest against the rich–of his favorite causes.

I felt very sorry for Dad, even if at the time, I didn’t recognize it as such. He was hated for being “the enemy”–a German in America post-WW II. He had only an eighth-grade education. But Dad could work the socks off anyone in our middle class neighborhood. Overall, a good man who became bitter. He held the usual prejudices of his social/economic class: hatred of many people (including Jews). Ugh! I can’t tell you how this rankled me. It seemed to justify the hatred of his American contemporaries. But prejudice of any kind is not justified by anything done by the object of the prejudice.

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The role of strong Gypsy men (like my immigrant–not Gypsy–adoptive father, Karl John) is to protect women WITHOUT PUTTING WOMEN IN LIMITED ROLES OR RESTRICTING THEIR FREEDOM. Women must have the opportunities to do whatever they want, including having their own money, an education, and time and space to BE THEMSELVES, as individuals (and not just servants of the males and the family).

Good Gypsy men fully support women in their pursuits (of the above and other freedoms) and give them full protection and support when in dangerous or threatening situations (especially when these situations involve other men, whether these men are Gypsies or gadje [outsiders]).

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April 22

Old Boggie shows up on Llamas Eve in England. The upper classes don’t believe in these things anymore, but the lower classes do.

We are getting too used to comfort here in the US (and in many other countries/places). In The Wild Places (2007) by Robert MacFarlane, the author writes about “greed for profit on the part of the landowners” in Scotland years ago (pg. 91). They cleared people and trees off the land in order to graze sheep.

On pg. 123, MacFarlane urges “caution against romanticism and blitheness” when we deal with the land and its wildness. On pg. 92, he writes: “The wood and the wild are connected, too, because as the forest has decline, so too has the world’s wildness.”

On pg. 98, MacFarlane says, ” Woods have always been places of inbetweenness, somewhere one might slip from one world to another, or one time to a former….”

And (same page), “There is no mystery in this association of woods and otherworlds, for as anyone who has walked in woods knows, they are places of correspondence, of call and answer.”

Pg. 99: “Stories of how Chinese woodsmen of the T’ang and S’ung dynasties–in obedience to the Taoist philosophy of a continuity of nature between human and other species–would bow to the trees which they felled, and offer a promise tat the trees would be used well, in buildings that would dignify the wood once it had become timber.”

Auden (MacFarlane tells us) wrote in 1953, “A culture is no better than its woods.” And MacFarlane quotes the Scottish novelist and poet Nan Shepherd:

No one knows the mountain completely who has not slept on it. As one slips over into sleep, the mind grows limpid; the body melts; perception alone remains. These moments of quiescent perceptiveness before sleep are among the most rewarding of the day. I am emptied of preoccupation, there is nothing between me and the earth and sky.

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On pg. 146 of The Wild Places, MacFarlane writes about “some selfish love of asperity*… my inner Scot” he says, “was telling me I should leave the cottage and spend the night out in the sea storm.”

*Here is one meaning of Asperity (the one he meant):

Roughness or harshness, as of surface, sound, or climate: the asperity of northern winters.
Severity; rigor.
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I certainly have that “inner Scot” and the love of asperity.
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I took a quiz yesterday to see just how much Asperger Syndrome I have. One question was about sci-fi and fantasy (eg. “do you love…?”). I said NO! Later, I realized that my strong, vibrant sense of magic, mysticism and spirituality is what some people would call “sci-fi and fantasy”! Weird.
Another question on the quiz had to do with seeing the details vs. seeing the big picture. I said I usually see the whole or big picture, but I suspect that I am at first glance at a scene overwhelmed by millions of details (as is Sherlock Holmes). It takes me a long time (if I stay in a place, it could be months) to notice many of these details; they appear slowly, one by one. I think that I TRY to see the whole picture because from the very beginning of life, this was expected of me; pressure was on to appear “normal” and “smart” which meant seeing the big picture. As an Aspie in an NT world, I tried to conform, and I tried to affirm my perception of the whole. But I don’t think that is actually what is naturally going on in my brain. I think I see details.
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MacFarlane (pg. 9-10), in a criticism of Britain’s lack of wild places, writes about all the millions of cars on the roads there. “The roads,” he says, “have become new mobile civilisations in themselves: during rush-hours, the car-borne population across Britain and Ireland is estimated to exceed the resident population of central London.”
“Wildness…is an expression of independence from human direction, and wild land can be said to be self-willed land. Land that proceeds according to its own laws and principles, land whose habits–the growth of its trees, the movements of its creatures, the free descent of its streams through its rocks–are of its own devising and own execution. Land that, as the contemporary definition of wild continues, ‘acts or moves freely without restraint; is unconfined, unrestricted.’ ” (pg. 30)
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The rhythm of my Ojai days: wake up. leave tent. walk down Horn Canyon trail, down McAndrew Rd. to Grand Ave. or down Thacher Rd. hitchhike into town. go get tea or coffee at a cafe. get online at cafe or at library (opens at 10 am most days). eat. go to the trolley stop near Diaz Bakery (Panaderia). take trolley ($.25) up to Grand Av. and Gridley Rd. hitchhike up to Thacher School. walk to camp. watch something (Jeeves and Wooster) on my computer. go into tent before dusk. sleep after dark.
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Aspie girls are pretenders, fakes. We (and the male Aspies) HAVE to do this in order to appear to fit into NT society. It’s so easy to overlook Aspie women as anything other than “normal” because ALL or most women (in my society at any rate) pretend. It’s how we get things done. Sometimes, we have to pretend and be devious (it’s a male-dominated society, after all). Sometimes, it’s just playing a little, fun game, being cute and funny.
Aspie girls–like me–only truly “come out” at meetings with other Aspies. That’s when my truest self is able to shine through.
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Ego is the worst of my “sins.” And the hardest to eradicate. But I’m working on it.
Truly bad (dare I say evil?) people are largely invisible. They also hide, but for a totally different reason than Aspie girls or people trying to overcome their sins (like ego). They hide in order to do bad things.
The real danger with bad people is the danger they pose when they form groups (cults) for the purpose of doing evil. These people are only one–but the worst–part of the “criminal classes.” Dad knew of these classes; he was undoubtedly exposed to them throughout his life, perhaps as a poor child (out on the street, selling newspapers in Berlin), as a hated immigrant, perhaps as a gay man (was Dad gay?), and later as a very hated German (post-WW II).
We hitchhikers are often exposed to bad people. I have fortunately not been seriously hurt by them.
I know I am a good person. And so I know that my Soulmate, my True Love, must also be a good person.
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