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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

This is the second time I am attempting to post this. It is really very annoying to lose a post all the time.

I've not been blogging at all, at all. I've been reading. Mostly "Earth medicine" by Kenneth Meadows. It's about the third or fourth time around. I'm seriously thinking of doing the exercises, they are so psychologically correct (my opinion, you don't have to agree, this is not knowledge, it's belief), and at this point of my life, where I am all about taking action, they sound very, very attractive.

I came to become interested in the medicine Way because one day that I was trawling at Barnes & Noble, I came across those cute little astrology books on a shelf, and discovered that the Amerindians had a system of astrology that pretty well parallels the Western Sun signs, where I am a Sagittarius and, in the Earth signs, I am an Owl. I do, for the most part, recognize myself as a Sag, particularly where they say how we are loath to give up our freedom and "get hitched" (when people ask my opinion on the subject which is exercising the world right now, gay marriages, I have to laugh and demur that as a heterosexual female who never wanted to get married, I hardly qualify as an authority on the subject), but the Amerindians have totally got my number in the classic description of the Owl.

When I find a hook, it's only a matter of time before I make some kind of landfall, so one fine day I was in the basement of the Strand bookstore in New York, squished into a very narrow space looking for anything that could give me a general overview of the Amerindian Earth signs.

I may have mentioned before in this blog how I live a charmed life. There was a young couple squished into the same narrow space, on their own search (this was a shelf loosely labelled "Native Americans"). The young woman was Spanish, as in Spanish from Spain, very bubbly and extroverted, and she engaged me very quickly. Her boyfriend looked dark and silent, he gave me a piercing look that raked the bottom of my soul before turning away and continuing his search. The wymyn babbled on, as wymyn do (getting their seratonin levels up, as wymyn need to do). The young man looked like an Irish tinker to me (I had met some in Ireland, in 1959). He sounded like one, too. At some point, our search had brought us closer together, we needed to switch places in the tight aisle.

"Tell him what you are looking for," the young woman whispered loudly to me, "He can help you, he's an American Indian."

"Really?"

I didn't need any more enouragement. I went straight to him and asked for his help. He knelt down, and with one swift hand reached to the bottom shelf near the floor, and handed me the one copy that was there of Earth medicine by Kenneth Meadows.

"This is what you are looking for," he said with finality.

In my very own British way, I considered this to be a formal introduction, permitting me to ask him about himself. He told me he was a full blood Modoc from California. I told him I would have sworn he was 100% Irish, he looked and sounded Irish. He told he how small his tribe was, how it was mainly contained in its reservation, how he had left years ago because his feeling was that the best way to understand something was to distance yourself from it; how he had travelled to Europe, and yes, he had been to Ireland, and yes, he had lived a little like a tinker, and finally he had lived twelve years, repeat twelve years, in Provence, in France, as an illegal vagabond, doing odd jobs here and there, and yes, he was absolutely fluent in French, with the sunshine accent of Provence (I tested him).

That is how I got my first book. At the time, and still now, the greater gift I got from the universe that morning was the jewel of meeting the young Modoc and his Spanish girl.

* * * * *

Well, there was an interruption at this particular point, and I am picking up without feeling the need to express more about Earth signs.

It is hard not to become distracted when one is so persistently tempted by entertaining news. Recently there was the mainland China entrepreneur, launching a disposable "nappie" product, "Pampers" to us Amurkans, and it was announced he was going to call them "Bushis", as in "Baby Bushes", because, he said, the word "Bushi" sounded very like the words that mean "not wet" in his particular Chinese dialect. Will Big Brother allow him to register his trademark? Will they be stocked at Wal-Mart? I mean, Amurka and China are now most favored nation trading buddies, I don't think "Bushis" are exactly prestigious, high-end, promotional material.

The other night, I woke up in the dark hours to a BBC interview of a farmer's wife in New Zealand. Little New Zealand down under is a little paradise, an island Switzerland of lush pastures and volcanic activity. It's about as peaceful and dull in its perfection as Switzerland, and the reason we don't notice is that whenever we meet a New Zealander, he turns out to be a rebellious misfit, full of vim and vigor, with an outrageous sense of un, and he is likely to be the black sheep of his family.

Back home everyone else is placid and calm, they fall asleep easily at night, because they have been counting sheep all day and tending to their cows.

It's summer time right now, down under, and they have been experiencing "global warming" storms of unusual violence, high winds coupled with torrential rains, floods galore from prehistoric times.

This farmer's wife had got out of bed really, really early this particular morning, because the storms had taken down the electric grid and the prospect of milking her 300 plus cows manually was too daunting to allow her to stay in bed one single minute longer. She dressed in her best storm gear and when she reached her barn discovered she was standing in flood water up to her knees.

"This is not good," she said to herself, "I'd better take my cows to higher ground or they might get swept into the river."

Which she proceeded to try and do. Notice, no cursing, no crying for help.

It steadily got worse. She found herself in water up to her waist, then eventually she and her 300 plus cows were swimming in uncontrollable flood waters whipped into a frenzy by the gale, which none of them could swim against, and it looked for a while as if the whole lot of them would be carried away into the nearby river and out to sea.

At this point, the farmer's wife touched the top of a fence with her rubber boots, and realized she and her cows were swimming in some flood water more than two meters deep.

"This is not good at all," she repeated, "I didn't even say goodbye to the kids."

There were some trees on a little hill nearby, she attempted to direct her swimming cows towards it, when one of them suddenly rolled over onto her and dunked her.

This took the breath, the metaphorical stuffing, out of her, she could not even comment any more, just kept thinking silently. "This is not good, at all, at all"

She removed her rubber boots to lighten up somewhat, she would have taken the rest of her clothes off too but the current was too strong and she could not maneuver and keep her head above water at the same time. Then, as one of her cows swam by, she threw her arm around her neck and was carried to safety. To firm ground, that is. There was still an unholy mess to deal with. It was daylight, but she had lost fifteen cows. She still had to milk the lot, and they were all up in the hills, away from the convenience of buckets, urns, etc. Still, all in all, things were much, much better.

What can I say?

All I can do is pray for the happiness and peace of the whole world, the safety of its peoples, its animals, its lands and seas. No exceptions.

Not even for the little devils in their little red coats with a hole for their cute little tails. Just please give it a rest for a while, will you, and let us catch our breath. Thank you.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Woke up, wide awake and wired, around 3 a.m. All alert and anxious, something terrible must have happened.

Sure enough. Death at the Hajj due to overcrowding. People are tired and dehydrated from traipsing back and forth from ceremony to ceremony. Just the noise must be exhausting. I hope the old guy is safe, that he may live out his natural lifespan and enjoy his achievement back home in his village before moving on peacefully.

The chicken 'flu has now achieved successful cross-species contamination, two children who caught it from their brother are the proof in the East. It's probably headed West as I speak.

The revenge of the chicken. Millions of chicken kamikazes bent on teaching us the lesson: we all share just one life, you can't harm a part without affecting the whole.

Isn't it ironic how we never get the message until it becomes really loud and angry?

So, did I find anything fun, in the bleary uncaffeinated moment of anxiety before daybreak? Yup, you betcha.

Kasparov is starting a campaign to attempt to keep Putin more democratic. It appears the country is filled with so-called "silovikis", the nostalgic old timers (from the political police and army) who are larded throughout all the present-day ministries, and who have one thing in common, they hate the oligarchs, they are true blue patriots. Putin's generation may be hedonistic, they may just want to rest by the roadside and enjoy a little skiing in the winter, a little swimming, sailing and sunbathing in the summer, but the old ways are hard to leave behind and that is the mystical attraction Putin has over the masses.

One significant detail, however, is that Putin's support is almost unconditional with the Russian wymin and there are an awful lot of widders in Old Mother Russia, most of whom consider Putin the ideal husband, someone who will always take care of them. So apart from being mystical, Putin's power base is also in part what you might call "politico-erotic".

Putin is a master at communications. His strength is that he acts as a mirror for everyone he meets. Just watch his body language with all the heads of state he visits. Even Bush was under the spell: "I looked into the man's eyes and..." blablabla. Without giving away anything of his personal characteristics, listening more than he ever speaks, he leaves everyone with the impression that he is their intimate friend.

In this context, it is not surprising there is an increasing personality cult around Putin in Russia. His popularity is such that they even have his effigy on chocolate boxes.

They also have a meatloaf special, layered in such a way that every slice reveals the message: "Glory to Putin".

Yum!

Tonight, during the commercials as we watch Alias, I plan to submit this political analysis of mine to Janna. It should be worth a few fireworks.

Oh, and another thing: Berlusconi got himself a face lift. He likes what he sees in the mirror now, and he thinks everyone else likes what they see too. He said his wife made him do it, and he says this is just the beginning.

Meanwhile Juppe in France has been condemned for dodgy campaign financing. This could only happen in France, it would never happen over here. Hehehe! Chirac is still safe because he benefits from immunity while he is in power. I would think he is feeling a little hot under the collar, despite the success of the "China comes to Paris" hoopla.

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