SAVING 135 YEARS OF HISTORY


Hello Readers:

This isn’t one of my reflective, daydreaming thinking, observation posts, it’s more like sharing my bank account which none of us do after we start making money, or in my case when you’ve lost it all. Abasing as it is, I’m posting my video, and for the first time you’ll see me live, well, I don’t appear too lively, but I’m an amateur as you will see.   

I’d love to hear your comments!!  Good, bad, honest.  

Thank you for staying with Adventuresinlivingness.  

                https://www.gofundme.com/manage/save-my-historic-home/edit/story

ADVENTURES IN LIVINGNESS


The throw of the dice this week lands on the tip of the diving board. The pool was serene and powdery blue and I was enticed by the sensual shift of waves and sunlight.   I took a leaping dive off and swam for eight weeks.

Beneath the surface glaze I held my breath and when I opened my eyes there was a man sitting on a rock, posed as The thinker. I asked him what he was thinking and he said, ‘the universe brought me to you.

 

 

https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/Le_penseur_de_la_Porte_de_lEnfer_%28mus%C3%A9e_Rodin%29_%284528252054%29.jpg

I shimmied at this rhetoric of mysticism and then suddenly, he swam towards me and wrapped me around his back. I held on to strong neck and ran my fingers through his mane of hair. We floated away beneath the weight of reality,  beyond limits and caution.  We  swam towards the underbelly of Santa Fe. All kinds of sharks, sweet dolphins, brainy lobsters, wondrous whales  and tasty little shrimps.  We swam with them in a pack and chided their gossip and questions.   Swimming with the underworld fascinated me and I hung on as we passed through darkness and luring beasts of prey.

Soon we were alone again and fondling; almost one  from head to toe. My breath sieged into his and we swam through layers of fantasia.   Suddenly he leaped forward and  couldn’t hold on.  I was dropped off on a rock that splintered my skin. I watched as he soared above me and waited for his return.  I was so cold that my eyes blurred and shut.  When I opened them a lazer like light appeared in the distance and pulled me up to the surface. My arms wrapped around the raft and familiar hands took hold of mine. Friends paddled me to the shore. I can’t see  the Thinker anymore but I see him in the memory; swimming towards  uncertain adventures in livingness.

I S

MAYHEM IN THE MIDDLE EAST


I cannot Mideast_Iraq_Lines_in_Sand_Analysis-0f695overlook the rise of a new terrorist organization, one most of us have not heard about.  The news broke on the day I hosted a party.  The preparation  was surreal; as I switched  from party chores to watch  the television coverage. Breathless journalists, some who  only that day learned of  ISIS,  masked their emotions. The truth was too barbaric even for a seasoned war correspondent.  A week has passed; and the ISIS is not mentioned in conversations that I over- hear. When  I mention the threat I see my listener flick it off, like a flee.  I sense their aversion to terrorism in the Middle East; while I am drawn to it.

This image posted on a Twitter account on June 12 shows militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria removing part of the soil barrier on the Iraq-Syria border and moving through it.  (AP Photo/albaraka_news)

EVERY GENERATION IS TO TURN TURN TURN AND


are destined to change the generation before. I only know from the fifties. When I grew up, socializing in fours and hundreds was part of life. Gatherings from my generation was Woodstock, concerts in the park without violence, impromptu jams and performance The millijoules want an audience in numbers dice-logo.gif ONLINE=money. It is the WAY THEY HAVE BEEN BROUGHT UP.

ADVENTURES ON THE ROAD INSIDE AND OUT


I’m watching the double yellow line between coming and going on interstate 25 from Santa Fe past Albuquerque.   In the rear view mirror I see scaffolding, an airless sprayer, paint tubs, tools, a wardrobe box, and suitcases. It is the same VW Van I used to refuse to ride in because it smelled of wet drywall. Now cushioned in the front seat, the wide windshield to the world saturates the bullet holes of a wrong-way love. It mattered before, the van thing, now it doesn’t. I’m grasping for the road, to burn out the memories, on the other side of the double yellow line.

“ Are you glad you came with me?”

“ So far, but we’re still in New Mexico. Try not to drive me over the edge, okay? I mean with the speaker phone talking Taiwanese to B of A, or.. would you hold the steering wheel with two hands please…see, there’s an accident.”

“ Wow, the car flipped over.”

“ Yea, that kind of thing.”

“ I’m a safe driver.”

“ I know, but only about half of you is here.”

“ Whatta you mean?”

“The other half is glaring into the distance, the mountains, the clouds, the crows, imagining yourself a dinosaur.”

“Not no more.”

“Why? Did she make an adult out of you? I hate her for that. John did the same to me.”

Scenery whizzes by; snow capped mountains, speeding patrol cars, highway signs; it’s barely absorbed before it is gone. Make it like this, easy to forget, like the scenery.  I fell asleep, a dreamless nap, the kind that wakes you displaced but without alarm. Rudy was leaning away from the sun-splashed window, one loose hand on the steering wheel.

“Where are we now?”

“Gallup”

“Someone told me it is the drug capital of the United States. Where is everyone? Maybe they hide indoors so as not get shot.”

“Gallup is also the largest Indian center in the Southwest and the ceremonial capital of Native America. There are many American peoples in the Gallup/Four Corners region. By far the most numerous are the Navajo, who are today widely regarded for their achievements in wool, with original Navajo rugs and blankets (both new and antique) sought by private collectors and museums throughout the world. “Wikipedia

  Five hours later we are sitting by the window of Pesto, in Flagstaff and talking alternately, not in conversation, but in spite of, John, Match.com and the billboard irony of our circumstances. Even though we hadn’t checked into the motel yet, or even knew where it was, the adventure of livingness struck, and I climbed out of myself.

“It’s like it never happened, you know?” I said.

“Oh yea, I know.”

In the middle of the night I woke up screaming at John.  Rudy was in the next bed, and didn’t hear me, so I opened the drapes and stared out the window at the brightest star and listened to the voice of reason that visits me sometimes. What love scars bring to the world is poetry, literature, art, music, theater, gospel, and dance! So where will this take me? I thought about the documentary on Nicholas Ray, and his remark,    “ Without content all you have is composition.”

I wish morning would come.

Starting in 1999, every road trip between NM and CA includes a morning at Macy’s Coffee House. I entered this time without the explosion of zest in previous trips, when my heart was in one piece, and found enough distractions to pull me further out of wrong-way love.

A group of middle-aged men, retired cops or civil servants were my first source of entertainment. At a wooden table, conversing microphone loud about city ordinances was the leader. One Fry boot perched on a chair, and the other on the floor, his belly protruded way beyond a few beers here and there. His pals, all looking up to him, waiting for an injection of his wry humor, and dirty jokes. Rudy is talking about how much he loves Flagstaff, but what I hear is a tide of elation rising up, just resurfacing now, after a good nights rest in the Hampton Inn.

Somewhere between Flagstaff and San Diego, we stopped for Snickers and gas, and I walked around a neglected weed field, kicked rocks, and asked myself when was the last time, I just fell into the moment without that incessant poke of reality; unpublished stories, bills, missing folders, clutter, grocery lists, mail, websites, photo sharing, John’s lunch, John’s phone calls, the news of the world.

“I feel better Rudy, I haven’t cried all day.”

“It’s still early, he chuckled.  I have an idea, let’s take the off roads.”

“How off we talking?”

“Check your map, see if Interstate 8 runs into 10?”

I reached for the Droid, and fussed with the tricky touch pad.

“No, it doesn’t.”

“It does.”

“So why bother with maps.”

“I know–we’ll take 78, through the countryside. It will be pretty. Look, see the sheep?”

The pasture was yellow as corn, hay stacked with sheep, hundreds of them.

“Let’s stop.” I said.

“Even sheep make money. LouLou, there has to be a way for you to capitalize on your writing, and not wait for some jackass to hire you. There has to be. Even I know people pay to click on website ads.”

“It’s pennies.”

“You said you had 165 clicks the other day.”

“That was once! Mostly between 10-50 a day.”

“So! It adds up.”

“Look, the sheep are watching us.”

The sheep rose as soon as the car door opened, but they just strolled along, the babies following the mother’s, and one with a limp, dragging himself behind. Every one slightly different, but all part of a community, a gang, with primitive ancestral traditions and routines.

The highway now was split with white lines, and we were sandwiched between limitless textured scenery; Manzanita trees, orchards, big boulders, a dry creek, and then we were driving along one stretch, my legs curled up under me, and I am grazing on unhurried thoughts, just ripples of ideas and dreams.

“Did you see that?” Rudy blurted out.

“See what?”

“That guy! I just saw a guy walking alongside a weary  looking burro dragging a miniature red covered wagon. I gotta turn around.”

“ Hi folks, how you doing?” He extended a hoof like hand, weathered as paws, “I’m Howard West.” Howard was outdoor fit; sunglasses, hat, boots, and evenly tanned skin.

“Hi, I’m Rudy, and that’s LouLou.”

“Hi LouLou,” he shook like a city man with hardened hard-labor hands.

“ Hi. This is some way of traveling. What are you doing?”

“ I’m on a book tour, The Quicksilver Key Book Tour.

I caught my laughter when I noticed his educated aura; that veil of disguise we think fools everyone.

“It’s about the history, the lost history–the West in particular and how the government accrues the investment of the rancher, and the universe. If you read my books you’ll see….”

I was petting the dog, a friendly furry mixed breed, and Howard was now blending Rudy in his claw, with this rockabilly wisdom that I didn’t understand.

“How far are you going today Howard?” Rudy asked.

“I do about 10 or 12 miles a day. Whenever I feel like stopping, I just pull over. You been down to the Dunes yet?”

“ Where’s that?” Rudy was keenly addressing the wagon, it’s wheels, and accessories, but only I knew that.

“ Down the road. Now, those kids have money. They ride doon-buggies-sell for anywhere from five thousand to seventy five thousand dollars! They took me on a ride.”

“ Wow! Hey do you have any power source?”

“ Sure do. See this–jets up the whole works, laptop,

lights, even my stove.  Let me show you.”

I tinkered with the bell around the donkey, I came to find out was named Blue Pegasus, and watched Howard lead Rudy to the watering hold.

“I have books and disks; the books are $12 and a disk is $5, which one will it be?”

“We’ll take a disk Howard.”

“All righty… and the distinct differentiation of

the classes…..

I was about to interrupt when another car passed by, and Howard was distracted by the prospect of a purchase.

“Howard, you’re the coolest! I love what your doing man–I wish I could do it.” Rudy shook his hand.

“Everyone has a book.”

We drove past the sand dunes, and all that bleached rolling sand smooth as pressed sheets, jolted my mind like a wrench.

“ Howard West probably went to Harvard and has a degree in History.”

“You may be right. Why can’t you do that?”

“I would if I was a man.”

“No, not the road part, just get your writing on a disk and sell it. If you sell them for 10 bucks, and you sell…..

“You mean my columns?”

“Whatever! You’ve been writing since I met you for Christ’s sake.”

“Yea I could do a collection of columns, or even a book.  Why didn’t I think of that?”

“You’ve been too preoccupied with other stuff.”’

“Look, they’re having Superbowl Sunday party’s right here in Brawley.” On either side of highway 78 a campfire gathering of trailers were wedged in a circle, boom boxes blaring, American flags blowing, and a dog tied to a post.

“I took out my phone and scrolled through the numbers until I got to John, and then I deleted it. Maybe it was the dead cats in the road, or the poor teenager back in Anza without any future ahead of her but the donuts, or Howard, or the clarity of a cobalt blue evening sky staring down at me, that got me to move over to the other side of the double yellow line, and let John go.

“ I’m starving, why didn’t I bring any snacks? “

“ We’ll stop up here in Anza.”

“ How do you know Anza.”

“ I just do. You don’t want to know.

“Oh I do… please.. Rudy, I really don’t care.”

“ Can I tell you anyway? She knew antiques, once we saw …

“ Oh Gawd.” I threw my head back and laughed without actually any noise.

“ Stop, there’s the store.”

“ You know what else?”

“ What?”

“ She couldn’t understand why I cared about you so much.”

“That’s a good ending.”

My phone rang, an unknown number, never pick those ones up, could be the guy who said his father killed Ben Siegel.

“Rudy, stop!”

“I can’t stop now. We’re on the freeway nutcase.  Who called?”

“The daughter.”

“Whose daughter?”

“My father’s.”

To be continued.

IN THE GARDEN


Two months ago I bought a crate of flowers to plant. After setting the plant to rest, I had a vivid recollection of Nana; my Mother’s mother.
Nana was a petite woman, with long graying hair she pinned into a perfect French twist, a cute Irish nose, and a giggling smile. When I was growing up she lived with her second husband, we called Poppop, in a spacious California ranch house in Sherman Oaks, also known as San Fernando Valley. We visited her weekly, staying over one or two nights. Nana was always waiting for us to arrive. She greeted us at the door, she had something cooking, fresh candy in crystal dishes, and in the morning, she fried bacon and the aroma woke me and got me running downstairs. She scrambled eggs with lots of butter, and served it with Irish soda bread. It never occurred to me that these weekly trips were the cultural mix-up of my Russian Irish heritage. This was Nana’s only opportunity to spoon-feed us our Irish roots. At home with father, bacon and butter were prohibited, and bread came in the form of a bagel. The food was only one part of the adventure. Nana’s home was filled with antiques, family treasures, and her garden was a masterful collection of east and west coast varieties.
After Nana had all her errands and household chores finished, she changed into slacks, flat shoes, and a straw hat and went outside to the garden. I would follow Nana while my Mother remained indoors; most likely talking on the phone with some degree of privacy. In the garden, Nana would trim, cut, and arrange her flowers. I kneeled down beside her and watched, while she talked. Nana had the gift of gab, and her thoughts poured out without my interruption. Between sentences, she would insert a self-effacing joke, regarding her silly hat, or her short legs. Her hands were swollen from arthritis, and she rubbed them from time to time, but she did not complain. As I planted my garden, these visions of Nana remained and grew more studied and complete. I had a memory of being assigned a school project to plant something in the garden. By this time, my Mother had moved us to an apartment and we didn’t have our own garden. I went to Nana’s and she helped me plant some variety of flowers I cannot recall. Each week I’d return to see how my plant was doing. Some time after the assignment ended and we were walking in the yard, I looked to see how my plant was surviving. It had been replaced. I asked Nana what happened.
“Oh honey I hope you won’t be mad at me, but the little flower died, so I planted a new one. It’s my fault; I didn’t look after it properly.”
Nana taught me the things my mother didn’t have the time to teach; like cooking, cutting flowers and arranging them, making coffee, and setting the table. She made all these chores enjoyable, and I loved to follow her around the house and watch her change the beds, and prop up pillows, and fold the guest towels. It never occurred to me until now, that I adopted her domesticity; the sublime gratification of adorning a home for the comfort of family and friends.
The plants did not blossom, the jasmine, roses, and other varieties all wilted and turned brown, but the parties, soirees, dinners and moments of solitude are bloosoming.