You are your own comeuppance.
You become your own message. - Leonard Peltier
Every man is in his own person the whole human race, with not a detail lacking. - Mark Twain
Been doing more ruminating and focusing on where I am than I have been blogging lately. In terms of pattern behavior, this isn't anything unusual. I will, in the right company, blather on for hours. When it comes to blogging, though, I find much more sound that substance; which is to say, just because someone has space to blather, doesn't mean they ought to. I'm all for a free and unrestrained internet, but I do think that if some people spent more time ruminating and living where they are rather than spouting mental minutia to the wind, this non-extistant space would be a much more enjoyable place.
(Not that the internet ever was or really is free; but it feels good to mention, in the same way it's far more satisfying to piss outside than on a clear autumn night than it is to not risk frightening the neighbors by using the indoor toilet.)
Henry Miller pointed out that some of his most productive writing time was spent strolling through the streets of Paris; and I have found this to be the case for me as well. Journaling, plotting, and planning continue down deep, though the top the of the waters have been still. So, Dear Readers -- those of you who remain -- never fear. Re:visioning and avoiding avoidance culture continues.
I was able to take a short road trip up to Mount Carroll (aka Paint City) for the long weekend. The Travel Angel and I rented a car, loaded it down with camping gear, homebrewed mead, and homemade pickled eggs and hummus, and set off for the rolling prairie lands of Northwest Illinois. Memorial Day Weekend up in those parts means a few things:
- Flying flags and Veteran Ceremonies;
- to all my friends, family, and former students have who have or still wear a military uniform: I recognize and respect your sacrifice in spite of not being able to support the cause for which your lives are put on the line. (If you think the armed forces are fighting for DEMOCRACY, Dear Readers, you're not paying attention. Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200.) For those who are still in uniform, I want you to come home. For those who are no longer in uniform, I'm glad you made it back. For those who did not make it back -- I remember and honor you the best way I know how.
- Mayfest: a wonderful public event that is continually fun in spite of the interference of that most ineffective of organizations, the Chamber of Commerce. Now, I'm not singling out the Mount Carroll Chamber; that would be unfair. ALL Chambers of Commerce are cultural blights and community viruses. The Mount Carroll Chamber of Commerce has done more to hold back the development of the town than any other institution known to modern man -- and that includes the Church of God. The good news: my friends Marques Morel (Dirt Simple) and Bruce Kort (and The Infarctions) both played their music as part of the line up of entertainment. They live in the area, and are wonderful musicians. The bad news: the steering committee brought in yet another abominable tribute band. This time, it was an 80's tribute band. No one who grew up in the 80's should be subjected to that much reshashed hair air rock and techno-crap. Sister Christian is a old hooker in New Jersey. 80's nostalgia and historical revision will not change the fact there was very little good about decade that saw the decline of unions and the steel industry, the squeezing of small farmers, Iran-Contra, the aborted afterbirth of Operation Condor, and the extension of Pax Americana.
- DAVEFEST: The weekend long celebration of my dear friend Dave's birth. A raging bonfire, cold beer, music, and the company of friends. This was Amanda's first exposure to Mount Carroll. I promised to introduce her to some of my detractors on the next trip, for proper balance.
Back in River City, we've been brewing mead, planting raised gardens, and pondering chickens. This, as I see it, is as instrumental to avoiding an avoidance culture as being on the road.
|gardens; boxes built by an Amish carpenter, plants and dirt by the Tenny Ave Contingent|
|mead, the oldest known fermented beverage|
[CHICKENS: PERHAPS FORTHCOMING]
This time next week I'll be in Virginia, trying to squeeze time in with The Kid as she prepares to graduate High School. Proud as hell of that one. She's an amazing person who I would like even if I wasn't related to her.
And after that: WILLISTON, NORTH DAKOTA to check out the tar-sands. In order to earn the Eden I want in River City, it's necessary to go forth into the world and do something worthwhile. I hope to go to Williston and talk to people, hear the stories, see how progress is hitting a place that was, it seems, pretty quiet prior. Still looking for cheap/free accommodations. Couchsurfing and camping are thus far my avenues of exploration.
I still have chapbooks available for donations to the travel fund. Shortly I'll be unveiling a new project. Stay tuned, Dear Readers. The ride can't stay smooth forever.