I always come to the Ojai Library and get online. Everyday, I recharge my computer, cell phone and iPod here. Today the WiFi is running EXTRA slow (it’s usually very slow). So frustrating!
My social defenses: have my iPod connected to my earphones; plead “shyness” and be mellow (peaceful, relaxed); less ego and don’t seek acknowledgement or applause.
Excess ego, rather than actually helping a person, is a terrible burden. For most of my life, I have avoided bolstering up others’ egos (especially men’s egos). I think I was angry and jealous. I wanted MY ego to get more validation. Now, I can leg go of all that since I recognize the negative personal toll of having a too-big ego.
I have about $5 left for the next few days (the end of April). Today I bought tea at Rainbow Bridge ($1.25), picked an orange off a tree while walking and hitching into town and I found another nice orange on the ground. A stand outside someone’s house had huge, ripe avocados. No payment wanted apparently (no jar, no sign): I took one. The Earth is good to us.
I pasted this on Facebook and sent it to Seth today:
“We are visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.” ~~Australian Aboriginal Proverb
In Daniel Klein’s book (TRAVELS WITH EPICURUS), he quoted someone (Sophocles?) who said play has something of the divine in it, but competitive play loses that divine connection. The Ojai Tennis Tournament is on now. I was a linesman at The Ojai long ago (probably in the early ’70s).
Local “Gypsies” who travel from town-to-town: Been there, done that. I’d be tempted to hang out with these young people, but I’ve done that (years on-the-streets [not homeless though] in Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara, California in the 1970s and ’80s). I had so many boyfriends from that scene: Danny (Berkeley), Paul Field and Richard Ray Stalker (Santa Cruz), Mark Edwards (Santa Barbara) and others.
This morning I hitched a ride from the East End into downtown Ojai (c. 5 miles) from “Dawn” who is a director and writer. I asked her how she got so far (considering the discrimination against women in the film and TV industry). She said Oprah Winfrey hired her for a project years ago, and that gave her lots of status. I told her about my life. A good ride!
I moved camp this morning! Always exciting. I have been in that spot, pestering and amusing the local rats, birds, ants and others, since April 1. Time to go.
It took about three minutes to take down my wonderful Big Agnes tent. It packs up real easily (getting it into bag is simple), and it’s small and light (under 3 lbs.). Wonderful!
I left everything (tent, sleeping bags, mat, and all my other stuff [most of which I will give away before leaving May 11] at Cliff’s Airstream trailer [at the Heitz’s place on Casa de Paz]). Today I will have dinner with Eileen (she picked me up hitching yesterday, and we have renewed our friendship). Then I’ll go get tent and put it up down at the beginning of the trail (near Thacher School and on their property, I believe). Wednesday, May 1, I will go camp at Chuck’s in Ventura for a few days: easier to get my Ventura business done from his base, and a good change. Plus, I love Chuck–my new, adopted nephew–and he’s maximum fun to be around.
Things are starting to go fast now. I said goodbye to my camp and all my neighbors. I am glad they can have the place to themselves now. I stopped smoking pot: I was getting so used to it that it hardly affected me anymore (but I know it’s not too good for my lungs). I’m getting all my couches lined up. Figuring out buses, etc. I even have a couch up in Inuvik near the Arctic Circle in the Northwest Territories. Yea!
I have a sudden, unexpected awareness (discovery) of myself as a really GOOD person. It’s strange. It’s as if I have finally given up everything except my spiritual evolution. And I long to meet really GOOD people. I have only met a few in my life, and that’s because I wasn’t a really good person yet (or I hadn’t sought to be one).
Maybe this is the first time I have been aware of wanting to be a really good person. I feel like that quest is enough; it’s a good goal, and it can stand alone as the main goal of my life. Curiously (perhaps), my “mission” of a.) choosing a life of hedonism, b.) putting Me First, and c.) taking the easy way, do not in any way conflict (in my own mind [the only place it really counts]) with this solitary goal of being a really GOOD person.
Today I hitched a ride into town from “Chris” whose six-year-old son has always loved Japan and things Japanese (like sushi). “He must have been Japanese in his former life,” said Chris. Wow!
In a previous life (my last one as a human?), I was a Gypsy. I have memories and long for those happy days. It is possible that the happy times I remember were followed by unhappy times of persecution (even WW II concentration camp incarceration).
Reading a wonderful book, edited by Jean Gould, Season of Adventure: Traveling Tales and Outdoor Journeys of Women Over 50 (1996). Here are a few quotes from it:
(p. 99) “Bette Jane of large heart and spirit was bound for adventure; bound and determined. Had she been a child of the privileged class, perhaps she wouldn’t have found the strength or courage to take on such a challenge virtually alone, but she was not. Self-reliant and well tested by life, she was a woman who accepted no obstacle once her mind was clearly set on a goal, something worth doing.” (Bette Jane was the captain of a 38-foot sailboat “crewed by her two kids, a neighbor’s son and a cat,” and they were off on a long cruise.) ~~from “Captain Mom’s Caribbean Joy Ride” by Jean Hand Triol
(p. xi) “Or is it true that women, older women, define themselves primarily by human relationship, as psychologists hypothesize? I wonder. That may be one way of defining the self. Today, I think we are also what we do and have grown less willing to be shaped by others for their use. We have new relationships with our bodies and have learned or are learning to value them for how they work, as well as how they may appear to others. The truth is that as we map new territory outdoors and indoors, most of us accommodate, sometimes even honor, the aging process.” ~~ from the introduction by Jean Gould
(p. 41) “A child of protective middle-aged parents, I was raised more timid than gutsy. I took school work seriously enough to become a good–though not great–student. It never occurred to me to sign up for sports, and I looked forward to trips to the Cape* with my mother for nothing more strenuous than shopping and beaching.” ~~ “Learning the Ropes” by Betsy Aldrich Garland (*My family and I also went to Cape Cod every summer. We’d rent a cottage,. Sometimes Dad would return to the City for the week and go to work, and it would just be Mom and me at the beach.)
(p. 47-48) “In mastering the high ropes, I knew, perhaps for the first time, that I could do whatever I needed to do to be true to my deepest self. Perhaps I had strayed outside the norm by being one of the first clergy wives to file for divorce, but I had not understood the significance of what I had done then. I could buy flowers for myself, whenever I wanted them.
“I learned then that I have a deep well of personal strength from which I can draw living water when needed.
“Life, in all its fullness, has tested me many times since.
“But over the years, I have learned to do what needs to be done, to focus on where I am going, to drink deeply. My experience in the air has helped me to become grounded, knowing how and when to hold on tightly, take one step at a time, trust the people around me, stay alert, do my best.
“I have stepped out onto another high wire. I am both excited and afraid: security seems an almost insurmountable distance away.
“Yet I trust that I will arrive safely. I also believe that overlooked opportunities will surface and that my life, while changing, will be more freeing and fulfilling than ever. I believe in myself and my visions of new challenges and high achievements.
“I am ready for almost everything. I have learned the ropes.” ~~ also from Garland’s essay (she completed the high ropes course at a camp where she was a middle-aged counselor for high school students)
My new computer teacher, Janice, has been helping me a lot at the Ojai Library.
I was down to about $20 for the last two weeks of this month. I budgeted it out, and these last few days, I have been just eating very little (yesterday: a few oranges, avocados, and green tea with milk and honey). I find this amount of food very satisfactory and satisfying.
I pick the oranges (free) on my walks toward town (before/while hitching) every day. And the other day, I found some big, delicious, RIPE avocados being sold (3 for $1) in front of a house on Grand Avenue (I walk past there every morning). I didn’t leave any money for the avocados, but the people who own that house won’t notice or care (they seem to be well off). Today I didn’t take an avocado (didn’t want to pay, and had already taken two during the last two days); then, at Rainbow Bridge this morning, Dale (new acquaintance: Suza Francina recently introduced us) offered me half an avocado. And yesterday, Eileen asked me to have dinner with her this afternoon.
When camping, I usually don’t eat after 3 pm. Suits me fine; I don’t get hungry, and I don’t have to get up so often during the night to pee.
I raised my kids in trailers, hotels, and tents; we moved as often as possible. We always had tarot cards around, and I read tarot cards on the street in Santa Cruz, California for a while. I was very into astrology. I was a Gypsy-Hippie mother.