a word about the car

Two days ago Mike and I were driven to South Carolina by our golden town-mate/friend in order to view and purchase a car. Don't panic, it was very cheap and in good condition and big enough to hold most if not everything we own. It's a Mercedes Benz station wagon from 1984. It is older than I am, and somehow that's comforting. The couple we purchased it from used it to transport their babies who liked to eat cheez-its and drink chocolate milk in the backseat. We took it to a party the other night with Mike's brother, his lady friend, and our mf'n shipmates. Two of our group sat looking out of the backwindow from the third-row fold-out seat.

We picked up peaches from the farm along the way back from the deep-south of Charlotte. They're ripening up quick to this stage of peach ambrosia where every bite is followed by several seconds of sucking in order not to make a huge sticky drool pile. I enjoy mine bent over the kitchen sink checking out the trees along the river and the ridge beyond them. Summer is inexplicably good and hot. I can't believe it. Today I drank more ginger-garlic-turmeric-clove tea, and Jesus H, if it doesn't get the blood moving.

Drifting along toward Hindu spiritualism and along the path of stretching one's muscles, moving them, allowing them to flow so that your spirit can flow more smoothly and undisturbed... I can think of nothing more important than freeing your spirit to move more toward growth and love. The unbound heart is the most powerful tool in the struggle against destruction of our world, and it's in that vein that I find myself seriously attempting to heal my body, to bring it in line with the cosmic constant within which it is. One interesting path I've encountered on this waltz through so many traditions is an ayurvedic principle regarding the three main body constitutions. Most people fit within one, two and sometimes all three of the constitutions, or doshas. I most particularly have a kapha constitution, the type most closely related to water and earth. This puts me in the position of being generally cold, or with sluggish circulation. The water slows digestive fire, and tends to bloat the organs at times. Water and earth constribute to a deep receptiveness, a calm and patience, and also an ability to sink into deep fear. So these are interesting things to learn, and they affect how I consider what steps I need to take for better health. For this particular dosha, it's wise to restrict dairy consumption, to limit sugar only to not super sweet fruits (no bananas, but peaches, plums, cherries, etc), and to consume lots of pungent herbs and spices. In general, spices are helpful to digestion, and they move the blood around which can become stagnant and somewhat toxic/acidic like water in a pond. This brings me back around to the ginger-garlic-clove-turmeric tea. The kapha dosha is the only one of the three that needs stimulation in some respect, even to the extent that caffeine and coffee are considered occasionally healthful for this type. I'd consider the best sort of stimulation to be physical, whether stretching, working or riding a bike, swimming, whatever. However, foods that heat you up are also very stimulating and, as I said, purifying to the blood without adding more toxins (as with coffee). Our livers, as kapha type individuals, need attention and love. Mine, in particular, calls to me with yellow. I am highly attracted to yellow, it feeds my spirit. I feel calmer, kinder, more receptive, vulnerable and open, grateful, and free when encountering any shade that falls within the carrot-lemon spectrum. It was suggested by a clairvoyent in Guatemala and the psychic from Berkeley that radiant yellow is the color I should go toward. I find it interesting as someone so highly interested in plants that I should grow toward the color of the sun, just like so many others on this planet.

So my mind is working more in a healing capacity of late. I can't think of anything quite so satisfying to my spiritual, emotional, physical, and intellectual selves than figuring how best these all live together within us. When one is ignored, neglected or abused, we suffer, and it's as simple as can be. Heal yourself, and you're free. Live freely, and your health spreads.

with love,


liver lover

So I ate smoked trout from relatively nearby (nothing's too close in the mountains) last night in sushi. Wow. I have no interest in eating sushi in a restaurant, but it's damned good homemade, especially with pickled ginger and daikon and plum vinegar. Gosh, I didn't know. We had some with cream cheese and shiitakes fried in butter. Woah.

Plant illustrations are quite interesting to me, and I've been really considering where the interest lies. It struck me today, looking at this image of a dandelion on botanical.com (where they have most if not all of Maude Grieve's A Modern Herbal for perusal), that they represent a most complete plant, in fact a beautiful and unblemished version of a plant all by itself and in its entirety. Something in me is fascinated by getting so much information at one time about a plant in visual format. No words. Past a general understanding of plant actions, generally gained by a moderate ability to cook with foods that are not much processed past their living state, I think all you need do is to be with a plant for an understanding of how you can be of assistance to each other. Giving attention or awareness to anything, whether our body, our family, our friends, plants, trees, animals, any living being, elicits a response and inter-action. Moving right along with this concept, here is a beautiful essay on Anarcho-Herbalism by Laurel Luddite on the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine website. Read it and weep. Actually, I also want to say that she is so right on, and I've thought of this regularly- even here, in the highlands of the eastern US, in a tiny but vastly rich biosphere protected by law, where lights don't even show up on satellite imagery, we are still losing the struggle to keep our ecosystem thriving.

We live in one of the last remaining temperate rain forests on the planet. This is excrutiating for me to consider, thinking of the vast virgin forests that connected the south to Canada and on over to the prairie of the midwest that's nowhere to be seen today, despite being destroyed more recently than the forests. It reminds me of the largest remaining reserve of the long-leaf pine, the trees that held dominion in the south from coastal North Carolina down deep into FL and over to Texas, a deeply complex and rich ecosystem that today is alive only on Eglin Air Force base and is also one of the last in the entire world. But, in the style of our mothers who tend to absorb anything we might do to hurt or offend them or ourselves, the earth keeps pumping its love and abundance out towards us. That's a deeply calming image and reality that I experience each and every day. I don't know how anyone stays sane without it.

I just noticed the first flower on the Rose of Sharon bush.

It's raining. I put on my swim top this morning on waking, blinking at the sunshine that graced us momentarily, and now I'm simply more flabbergasted at the precipitation. My housemate is kindly playing some Moondog, after even more kindly making me tea with garlic, ginger, clove and fresh turmeric. I suggest you, whosoever you is, check out Moondog. Think oboes, think orchestra, think homeless. You're on the right track, now.

Today is a day for tincturing! On the agenda, reishi mushroom (adaptogen; broad-spectrum tonic), fresh dandelion from first-year plants (nourishes the liver, allowing it to function better eliminating toxins, which is what it does), and astragalus (strengthening, especially for young people; immune system tonic).

with my heart on this misty afternoon,
(sending some cool air on down from the highland to any of y'all suffering from the heat),
thinking more clearly after drinking too much gingergarlicturmericclove tea,

ps- Let me know if my wonder woman color scheme is alarming or otherwise bothersome.


revisiting music

Hey, has anyone heard any music? It's awesome. I'm re-visiting my high school PJ Harvey fixation. The cover of Rid of Me, she's all flinging her hair and those eyebrows! Anyway...

I've been listening to Antony and the Johnsons, which is sort of making me explode with joy if only for the simple fact that here is an incredible transgendered musician playing with other incredible musicians. I've had this one song by Antony for two years with no idea who this guy was, so then I remembered someone telling me who it was in Guatemala. It was stuck in my head with Andrew Bird, also frequently on the media player these last three days.

It has been a media-filled few days, for sure. I've been watching Twin Peaks, I don't know if I've mentioned, and it's sort of occupying my thoughts from time to time. David Lynch is such a good weirdo.

All right, that is all.


ps- Micachu is a sweet, smart little punky girl. Blueberry Boat is a great Fiery Furnaces album, and Devendra Banhart's Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon is just sweet. In case anyone shares my taste in music.