Saturday, September 30, 2006

Arcata, Cali

I'm in Arcata, Cali right now.

If i blogged more often, each entry wouldn't be so verbose. But I'm covering lots of ground over the past month when i get to computers. Also, book writers are verbose. So just think of this as a book online that's for free, since i don't want to publish for money. Okay, paper books are nicer than computer screens. Maybe that'll change.

Huck Finnin'

Lots have been happening since i last wrote here. It turns out i set up a camp on a deserted island in the Willamette River in Portland weeks ago. The island is very wild & pristine, for being surrounded by the chaos of Portland. It's full of deer, beaver, nutrea, otters (i think), blue heron, and bald eagle! And the insects make a haunting, perfectly syncronized, rhythmic hum through the night. There are huge trees & thick foliage, including tons of blackberries, everywhere. At first I was swimming to the island. But the river is kinda sketchy - i mean polluted. And the weather was getting colder; so one night i wasn't feeling too good about having set up camp there. I didn't even want to dip in that water again to swim back, because the water looked particularly scuzzy at that time. And my idea of building a raft was turning out to not be so easy. I had brought a saw to cut huge logs, but it was too small. But then i remembered that it had felt so totally right coming to that island, & that i hadn't come this far to lose faith now. So my mind went from worry to rest in the perfect Random future.

The next morning was glorious, and the sunlight was sparkling on the still Willamette. The river was way low - so low there was a land bridge over to Ross island. I'd never seen it that low, though the river fluctuates like tides every day. I'm still not sure if it's tide changes (this far inland?) or maybe dam-levee adjustments. Whatever, i decided to walk over to Ross island to explore. There are lots of abandoned camps, in plane view on Ross island's beaches. I walked quite a ways on the west beach. I then felt like making a bee-line into the forest & thick foliage, and stumbled upon an old, broken kayak paddle. I could use it for my potential raft, i thought. I left the paddle and walked further down the beach until i saw a strange black thing washed up on the shore. I went to investigate and found it was 8 plastic buoy-like things linked together like a jig-saw puzzle. They had maple leaves on them, so i figured it was something from a Canadian ship. I pushed it into the water & hopped on. It totally floated! So i ran back, got that old paddle, and paddled that raft into the river! I started paddling it back to my island, and just when i was feeling intense gratitude, a bald eagle flew from my left directly across my path.

So i had floaty transpo now. I made a temporary tee-pee type shelter with old lumber & tarps. I've been having visions of making a clay cob structure. But October is when the rainy season starts, and i'm still debating weather or not to stay on the island then.

I Finally Decided to Use a $20 Bill... But I Still Didn't Use Money!

One day when i was exploring Ross island, i stumbled upon a $20 bill on the beach. My custom, since i started to live moneyless 6 years ago, has been to get rid of any money i find or am given by sunrise the next morning. But this time i had planned on staying on the island for a few nights. I thought about floating to the river shore & leaving it someplace random for some random humanoid, & then come right back to the island. But then i realized i was being to bound by the idea of money. The idea is to see things for what they are. The bill was not money. Money was in my head. Money was my belief about the $20 bill, not the $20 bill itself! So i looked at the bill. It was actually quite beautiful, a work of art. That's what it IS! I could evolve its beauty by cutting it up and making it into a collage! So i cut it into pieces. It would be a useful collage, because it would upset people's belief. It would upset the money religion, and maybe jolt some folks back into the Present.

So, are you upset that i cut up a $20 bill? Are you saying, "you could have given it to the poor." If this upsets you, you are a Judas. Remember the story of Judas in the Bible? I want you to recognize that all people who believe in Money are Judases. Now don't judge a Judas as good or bad, just recognize yourself as Judas. Judas is in me, too. Yeah, Judas is also part of the Plan - isn't that what scripture says? When the woman (Mary Magdeline?) took the "costly" ointment in the alabaster box and broke it, pouring it over Jesus' head & feet, Judas was apalled, saying, "This could have been sold and given to the poor!" I believe they say it was a month's wages. In one gospel version, all Jesus' disciples were apalled. Mary Magdeline, though, had the eyes of a child, the Divine Eye, and saw the ointment & the box for what they were, not blinded by Money Religion. All she knew was they were beautiful now. Do you get it? Is your mind simple enough to understand? Is your mind the Buddha mind?

Do you understand that the only way the world can come into balance is to see everything as it IS, not what it coulda woulda shoulda been? Can you stop trying to save the world and simply BE, thus saving the entire Universe? By you I mean me. I'm asking these questions to myself.

"The poor you have with you always", Jesus responded to Judas. This, too, baffles the Money Mind. "Poor" means "bad" to the Money Mind. But have you forgotten that Jesus said, "Blessed are you Poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God". Happy are you Poor. There is no better news than "the poor you have with you always." The Money Mind just doesn't get it. The Buddha Mind is the Poor Mind, the Empty Mind, the Christ Mind, the Child Mind. The infant and the raven and the lilly are Poor, are Blessed.

Bay Area

I had in mind staying & playing on the island & doing Food Not Bombs & other stuff. But Satya asked if i'd go with him to the Bay area where he was taking Indian flute lessons. So off we went. We train-hopped out of Portland in a luxurious engine. We got booted out Klamath Falls. Then we hitched to San Fran. We stayed at the "Chicken House", a kind of co-op house full of young folks. A young woman named Becky there was immediately drawn to Satya and I and took us to a couple of her cool hang-out spots in San Fran, like "Station 40" and "The Commune" and introduced us to her friends. She made us feel right at home.

Then Satya & I parted ways. I went up to Fort Knolls in Marine County to visit my friend Saskia. Saskia is a Dutch woman who devotes her life to animal activism. She often goes to sea with Sea Shepherd to stop illegal whaling, fishing that endangers dolphins, and fur seal hunting. She also has about 8 dogs on her land she rescued from hurricane Katrina aftershock.

After a few days at Saskia's i hooked up with my cousin Lauren, who had just come into the Bay area from Texas to possibly relocate. Lauren wanted to drive a ways to northern Cali to explore and took me to Ukiah. From Ukiah I hitched here to Arcata. I think I'm heading north to Portand again, but plans might be changing.

Ah, the life of Random! Random is the Divine Mind, Natural Selection, that evolved us and continues to do evolve us. Can we give up our worrisome Mind Selection and trust in Natural Selection? I'm still learning to trust, even though Natural Selection keeps proving Grace to me over and over.

So much to talk about, but i've been on this public computer way too long.