I'm gonna write ya what I know (or, the yoga of Gratitude)

Perhaps it is breathing through these cramps, leaning into the acceptance of them, and perhaps also slightly the Ani Difranco I haven't heard since high school, and maybe even the simple yoga positions I find help the pain. My heart feels ten times bigger than usual, an exponential expanding muscle, an obviously all-encompassing pal of mine. I'm thinking of my beautiful family and friends, their incredible faces and hands and stories. How I should be blessed with such beauty is a continual wonder of mine.

I'm set-up here on my older sister's little living room floor in her perfect apartment. She has decorated these walls with her love's paintings (including husband, daughter, herself). My lovely sister, my mommy-friend, the lady who dragged me out to look in dumpsters and introduced me to our oldest living female relative. She resides in my heart. I include her in my acknowledgement of self. I'm staring at my clothes piled high against my backpack on the other side of the room, mixed up with Mike's piled high against his. We have been wandering like hungry ghosts, like hobos trying to get home. My little heart and me, like stray kittens, really, accepting gifts of food and affection from strangers. We're residents in love, or so I'm told.

One of my older brothers, the last in the sibling line before me (and eight years apart), he's going through a rough time, has been for many years, I suppose. I'm formulating a prayer for him, and that's all I can say about my beautiful, intense and wonderful brother who cared for me so kindly when I needed it very much. May he simply know before he travels on how firmly he is held tucked in my heart.

It occurs to me I have prayers to offer up. Please be well. and be in joy.


commercial break

What if there were something that made every flavor taste better, more intensely that flavor? What if it were filled with minerals and tiny creatures and small green plants? What if it was also medicine, long-used medicine, that is a near-panacea? And what if 99% of people could absorb and make use of it for all these purposes without adverse reaction? That would be great, but it would be better if you could find it commonly for sale. Well, you can! It's Celtic Sea Salt, or any ocean harvested salt. On top of all those other things, it is sustainably harvested from ocean water, hand-picked and sun dried. Salt is quite an ally.

My birthday is tomorrow. We're heading to the Florida Keys, I think Big Pine Key in particular. We're going with our friend Katie who is great. After that is on to plant a garden with my mom in her front yard, maybe visiting a Mountain Gardens intern on the way up to Joe's to drop off Mike's jewelry equipment and garden-sit for a week or two, go to Organic Grower's one-day school where Joe is teaching south of ASheville on March 8, maybe see Badger if he's still in Cincinnati on our way back to Illinois for a few weeks. And then back to Joe's in western North Carolina. Mike plans to build tensegrity structures using Buckminster Fuller's concepts and perhaps start an earthship foundation for a greenhouse/living quarters. I kind of want to take over the kitchen. :/ I can't wait to have very little power again and the built in exercise of mountain climbing the driveway.

Also, we went to see Susun Weed talk on Valentine's Day, and of course it was wonderful. She talked about the huge difference between men's and women's heart attcks and heart disease. She discussed the many benefits of chocolate like it's an anti-inflammatory, increases blood flow to brain (helps women think), regulates blood pressure, controls heart disease, is Packed with antioxidants that fight free radicals that we get from eating seed oils (vegetable oil, soybean oil, flax seed oil) and processed foods (cereal, milk, veggie burgers, cheese, soda, ketchup, bread, etc), and due to its anti-inflammatory nature allows the parts of us that are supposed to become inflamed to more easily become engorged. :) I am a food advertiser today. I wish I were getting paid in food.

Went yesterday to meet my almost 90 year old great aunt on my dad's dad's side down in Sarasota, south of Tampa. She loves fruit trees and gardening. She has a starfruit tree, two avocados, two tangerine,s two grapefruits, a few oranges, a ponderosa lemon, a smaller variety of lemon, and her front fence is covered in jasmine. She's near blind, but gets around just fine, gardening and raking and hauling bags most days. She has arthritis in her thumb sometimes. We also visited the Ringling Estate where we visited the Circus Museum and his lavish estate. My dad's dad's dad was the Ringling's yacht captain until the boat was wrecked in the Gulf of Mexico. Afterward he was made the groundskeeper for the 60+ acre estate. After Ringling died, the family (including my aunt Alta and grandpa Nick), lived on the estate during the depression while the house was in litigation. Ringling died penniless, and it's pretty easy to see why when walking through the HUGE art museum on the property with famous painter's names everywhere and an entire room devoted to pottery and statues from 500BC Cyprus. Apparently what's on display is only a third of his collection. This is where my dad played as a child. Ringling gave my great grandpa two buildings, one a four apartment complex, and another wooden building. Grandpa just had to move them. My dad's parents lived in the complex after they were married. Most of this is new information for me. Life is so funny sometimes.

recent books: The Revolution Will Not be Microwaved, On The Banks of Plum Creek, How to Grow More Vegetables (John Jeavons), Craig gave us a copy of Wild Fermentation
recent foods: salad of first spring lettuce, radish sprouts and turnip sprouts in Citra, chickweed/ cleaver/ magenta lamb's quarters/ garlic chives pesto over pasta and steamed garden broccoli, tangerine juice!, watching my sister try to be patient as she waits for the curds to separate from the whey in her goat milk


The Black Earth

Mike's birthday was the other day. He's 29, which my sister says is the return of Saturn to the place it was when you are born. Year of note. Year of re-direction? I made him a German chocolate cake, and it's good. For a second I thought it might be ridiculous to give Mike something he wouldn't be able to control himself around, but fuck. When else do you get to eat straight-up sugar, butter and chocolate? I stole him a pink candle from a partially opened package, and it was beautiful.

I have spent time thinking about pattern, a good deal. I find myself using the information I have access to as a sort of back-up for a time when the access is more limited. In effect, I have enforced a policy of intense learning to be done using my hands and brain and all the information I can get at the library, through netflix, through the internet. Information networks being patterned themselves into net-like webs, I find myself very integrated in these patterns. I'm delighted to read about old ways practiced over long, long periods of time. It's fascinating to discover a recognizable and repeated journey of woman and man in general. It's easier to imagine a soul journey, a destiny or purpose, or a conscious underlying pulse when you can see yourself as a person throughout history and time, connected to your mother and father and on backward. We share a very common thread with each other, and those threads manifest to me in discovering a common method of clothes washing by women before this most recent era of oil. That is deeply re-connective to me, and healing.