May Day, Beltane, May 1
Still at Eileen’s. Stayed two nights. She is a difficult friend. Take it or leave it. I’ll take it and continue being her friend.
Going into Ventura to stay at Chuck’s this morning. Getting a ride this morning at 7 am to the bus station in Ojai from Cliff (who lives at the Heitz’s old place). Lots to do before trip now that my May money has come in.
Spent money like crazy during the past two days. Had two wonderful meals: a pizza/salad/wine/chocolate cake/port wine/coffee lunch at “Sicily” on Main Street, Ventura. And a dinner last night with Chuck (Hillman) at “Himalaya” (at the shopping center at Main St. and Ventura Avenue. Both SPECTACULAR!
Been camping in Chuck’s big, wild, and wonderfully crazy yard on Wall Street. We’ve been hanging out, and it’s been great. He is a very good person to have as a friend. Today he went out to the desert to a Burner (Moon Tribe) gathering. I’ll stay for two more nights in his yard.
Woman on bus with T-shirt that said: “Rebel Against Society. Love your Enemy.”
I bought tree bus tickets this month:
1.) Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. on May 17/ 2:10 pm (arrive at 5:03 pm)
2.) Vancouver to Fort Nelson, B.C. departs: May 28/ 7:45 am (arrive 5/29 at 1:45 pm)
3.) Fort Nelson to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, departs: May 30/ 4:15 pm (arrive 5/31 at 4:30 am)
NEED WARM CLOTHES!
Many people frown on those women/people like me who purposely (but not maliciously) deviate from tradition. Sometimes people take action against us. They may use gossip or exclusion or spread outright lies (is gossip usually some version of the truth?) or ban us from regular society (ostracism).
Jeramy Meyers’ parents (the dad mostly) ostracized me in Nederland (2011, June) when Meg was pregnant with Archer; Mr. Meyers knew of my transgression when Meg was four years old, and he used this to forbid my presence around the grandchildren (and this included Sam, whom I had helped to raise for his first five years). Pachamama, the Ayahuasca goddess to whom I pray every night, told me (after the Cumana, Venezuela Ayahuasca ceremony) to just “let it go.” So that’s what I’m doing, and I feel very good about this. It feels like the right thing to do now. Later, Sam and Archer will know about all this.
Some of my women “friends” have expressed horror and tried to shame/guilt me when they learned that I don’t put my grandchildren before everything else in my life. I think these women believe that grandmothers actually rule the family (usually, in the US, from the shadows). I bet many people I know feel this same outrage toward me, but they don’t say it to my face; they probably do talk about my shameful ways in private.
In Encore Provence, Peter Mayle writes about “one of the oldest women of the village, whose joy in life it was to denounce every irregularity she saw” (p. 33).
Later, Mayle writes about “The elder village ladies…(who) can perform their function as an unofficial watch committee far more efficiently if they are on duty in the small square at the entrance to the village….(where) everything is within range of their radar…. They have long ago abandoned any pretense that they are simply taking the air…. They are there to observe and comment on everybody’s business.
“In the absence of anything else to titillate their curiosity, the old ladies can always fall back on the drinking habits of the men in the cafe…
“The watch committee is part of the family that you have to be prepared to adopt if you choose to live in a tiny, curious community, and that is one of the drawbacks of village life” (p. 66-67).
The way I raised my kids rankled lots of traditional minded people. We lived in house trucks, trailers, tents, a few nights in the railroad-side camp of my boyfriend, Mark Edwards in Santa Barbara, SLO (single-room occupancy) or “transient” hotels in California, homeless shelters (a few, over the years, each for a couple of days or weeks), and, with Seth in Ojai, sleeping out on the ground and making a “house” in the bushes by Horn Canyon. I lived with about a dozen street guys during the 1970s and 80s; I smoked a lot of pot and did quite a bit of LSD.
Living like this with children drove traditionalists mad. Especially the women. The way I look at it is: most people are passive, polite followers. They don’t question the status quo; they just follow it. Poor them! Being creative and devising my own, unique, perhaps original ways of living brings me–and often brings others–lots of joy and pleasure at discovering and putting into action NEW AND ADVENTUROUS LIFESTYLES.
When folks discuss “Adventure,” they usually mean mountain climbing or biking, going to dangerous or unknown places, and stuff like that. Lots of physical, MAN-STUFF involving physical strength and individual daring. When I talk or write about “Adventure,” I am talking about how I raised my children while I was discovering who I was and creating a life of my own. People love to tear this apart.
I prayed a lot (always have; still do) because my kids and I were often in danger. Trying new things and living on the edge is dangerous. I wanted to learn how to live like that, and I wanted to show my kids how to do that. I couldn’t live in the safe, predictable, middle-class, American bubble (i.e., illusion) anymore. I wanted to set myself free; and I wanted my kids to learn how to do the same. Wild, free, untamed = YES! Over-protected, over-domesticated, tamed = NO!
I love New Orleans people for their quality of unrestrained outrageousness! They are loathed wherever they go because of this! Yea for them!
I posted this on Facebook today: “Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable.” If YOU get too comfortable, I guarantee that I will disturb YOU. If this ever happens, be kind and cut me loose. I don’t need that kind of friendship. Love me when I have lice like you love me when I don’t have lice. No shame. No guilt.
I am at Ventura’s Derby Club, two hours early for the Kentucky Derby. For a couple of month in the 1990s, I came here often to watch races. The vast majority of people here are men, and most of them are serious bettors who come here all the timed. many of them live on their earnings. I paid $2 to get in. The two main screens down here in the Shore Room (cheapest) are BIG. I love watching the horses run. I don’t like to see the jockeys beating them. I would love to be a jockey someday in some other lifetime. A female jockey.
The races being shown are from Woodbine, Tampa Bay, Arlington Park, Pimlico, Hollywood Park, Arlington, Aqueduct, Churchill Downs (where the Derby will be held at 1:00) and other tracks. It’s very exciting to be here; everywhere you look, there are horses and usually horses running or preparing to run.
Maybe play loses some of its divine quality when it becomes competitive (from Daniel Klein’s book Travels With Epicurus [and I agree: it does lose something]), but the horses (while not free and often being whipped) still love to run! My heart just goes out to them! I have a real FEELING for the horses and also, though to a lesser degree, for the jockeys.
Another reason I don’t like betting is that I don’t like the competition between bettors. I just don’t want competition to be part of my experience with horses and, really, I detest competition in any part of my life. I admit to loving TV shows like Sherlock Holmes or movies which involve competition; that must be my vicarious pleasure. Aspies hate confrontation and I see competition as a supreme kind of confrontation. It’s like an IN-YOUR-FACE kind of insult to someone to win when they have lost.
The bettors are really focused on their racing books and all the statistics. Their comparisons are what gives them their picks. My dad, Karl, used to call a bookie and bet on the horses. NO ONE BUT ME is online down here in the Shore Room. That seems strange to me. Maybe upstairs in the more expensive Island View Room they’re online. The smell of popcorn and the availability of beer is also fabulous. No one here is judged by how they look; most of the people down here are just regular people. The richer folks go upstairs.
The bettors don’t seem to have the same interests I do which are: the horses, the ride (for the jockey), the track’s ambiance (the green of the grass, etc., etc.), the grooms, the trainers, the owners, and so forth. I am captured by the romance of the whole racing scene, plus my experiences with horses during my youth. As the Romantic (Enneagram #4) my “wings” are the Bohemian and the Aristocrat.
Perhaps in the future I will try to hang out in places (Kentucky) with really great racetracks and horses. I think I would love that. I am interested in breeding, grooming, training and riding horses. I prefer to see horses running wild and free, but the Gypsies (and others of course) have been in such close contact with horses for so long and I think that, like travelling, is in my blood.
Today has been a really different day for me. I feel unburdened. First, because Pachamama is helping me all night. I invite her in every evening with a sip of water. I wake up thinking: “I am loved.”
Second, today was also the Kentucky Derby. I spent it at the Derby Club. Fun! My favorite, Mylute, didn’t win, place, or show, but that’s OK. (Mylute was my favorite because her jockey is a woman Rosie N.). I sat with the three Filipino men I mentioned earlier; I felt liberated at the Derby Club in the presence of a lot of super-plainly dressed people who were focused on something they love: gambling. I was around horses–well, horses on TV screens. I said whatever I wanted to my table-mates: like, “Move over, I can’t see” and “Stop laughing” and “You are as confused as I am.” I asked them questions loudly and whenever I wanted to. I am coming along nicely in asserting myself and being a confident, liberated woman!
Third, I will go back to Chuck’s yard later this afternoon and just watch some TV on my computer, and then I’ll bed down in the backyard. Chuck, too, makes me feel good; we get along very well. He’s at the Burners thing in the desert now though, and I’m glad I won’t have to talk to anyone (except the cats) at his house. Talking to ANYONE is always a little bit stressful.
Fourth, my Northern Exposure (!) trip plans are coming along well. I have lots of the work done and many things (plane, buses, ferry, couches, etc.) are planned already. And, nicely, a lot of things are going to be spontaneous and left to chance.
And fifth, I feel very free today, like I don’t have to relate to anyone in any uncomfortable, forced or fake ways. I’ve hung out for a few hours today at the Sandbox Coffeehouse in Ventura; it’s nice, and a man who I would guess has Williams Syndrome (very, very friendly and not afraid of people) has been hanging out here ALL DAY. I can say whatever I want to him (like: “OK, that’s enough” when he talks to me too much), and that always makes me feel wonderful!