Sunday, 4 September 2011


WITH INTEREST:  In a nutshell, that is the challenge of freedom:  Vast landscapes of days that must be filled-----by intention or inattention (the default setting).  Here is a fairly typical day of mine---so filled with events that two blog entries will be needed to cover the highlights.

After coffee, I go for a walk with 4 of my friends, one of which is Luke. It has rained and the mud cakes up on his paws.  He stops and raises the affected limb----fully expecting "mamma" to fix the problem.  And she does ---dependably ---It's touching to see such trusting confidence. 
This desert toad surprised us, leaping right out of the ground where he had been buried indefinitely waiting for a rain such as last night.  He or she will hurriedly mate, eat, lay eggs and rebury itself in the mud.

We engage these friendly ladies, drying their bed wear. They are part of a  singing group specializing in Latvian songs.  I ask for a sample----and they provide it---a strange but lovely song.  We applauded heartily.  I love to stimulate moments like this.

After breakfast we assemble at cliffside to watch our friend Brad make a 50 ft leap into the lake. He swam out unharmed.
Then, on a whim, a companion and I decide to tour the nearby Indian reservation.  It's just across this dry lake bed.

They are meticulous in marking their territory.
Delapidated ruins always attract me.  I marvel that a family would settle in so remote a location. We walk the area and surmise it was a ranch house crushed by snow.
Long ago, someone looked out this window at their slice of heaven.
We search around, locating the well, septic, etc---piecing the story together.
Further in, we see this deceased oil well.

And go deeper into Indian country---speeding across muddy spots like this.

We're struck by this genetic anomaly---an all black cow with an all white calf.  Surely a result of bovine miscegenation.

Then we find a better road and follow it----for many miles---seeing no one.  AND THEN-----AND THEN---We saw someone and something very interesting.  Which I will report tomorrow.  This is long enough for a single blog entry.  I leave you with one of my poems giving a very good reason to leave the familiar.

Walk a New Street

Walk a street that’s new to you;
Notice what happens in your head.
Pulses of pleasure are released
Like bubbles in rising bread.

Now some scientist has proven what
RVers knew was true:
Travelers feel a surge of joy
Experiencing something new.

Endorphins are released, it seems,
When we see novelty,
Natural pleasure chemicals
In the brain of you and me.

So now we know how to make ourselves happy:
Go do something new.
To generate fun just walk some “un”
Familiar avenue.

Thanks to the research of James Austin
(Zen and the Brain,
MIT Press, Cambridge, 1998, p. 219)

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