City life is interesting. It fills your time while you do nothing. That doesn't sound particularly good, and who is to say if it is or not. In short, I'm enjoying myself while not being terribly busy. I've been especially happy to spend time with my friend Carey, who remains peculiarly noble in this strange city. Lately she's been growing in profound ways, and I can't really articulate how that's helped me, but somehow it does. That's the thing about people you love and with whom you are connected- when they grow, you share the opportunity for growth. Equally, if they stagnate, you share that opportunity as well. I think that's something most of us seem to have trouble with in relationships (friends, lovers, children), sharing the opportunities for growth and transformation. May that be the ultimate goal of all relations in our lives.

This afternoon I spent a very pleasant few hours a little outside of Springfield on one of the only natural organic farms 'round these parts. I've been buying produce from these guys for three years now, odd as that seems to me when quantified. The gal-friend of Mike's brother and I went on out there to weed in exchange for produce, and it was good to talk with the two guys who grow there. They use 2.5 acres within a family's 22 acres, exchanging produce for rent and getting fresh goat and cow milks and cheeses from the family who live there. It's a really awesome set-up, and I'm glad to spend time there helping out. It's shocking how little of this there is going on in the midwest, but it feels great where it's happening.

So, yes, time has been passing with a few hours here and there doing some clean-up work for M's mama, hanging out with friends and generally relaxing, thinking of the future, dreaming of a future that is inclusive of all the beauty and friends here and everywhere.

with my heart,


love, it's who you know

We're having a little Berry Bonus Time the last few days. It's been an interesting week. The boy and I started out last Monday south toward Nantahala National Forest in the more southerly section of western North Carolina. We've been living in the Pisgah where the highest US mountain east of the Mississippi is located, in what's considered the highlands. We wanted to get a better look at the rest of the NC mountains, so down we went south of the Smokies to check out the mountain towns that live in an ocean of protected forest. About two hours into our trip the old '84 Benz wagon started making a terrible sound from the back, and long story short we ended up in Franklin at a lube shop where a very kind lady told us our engine might be cracked. It really helped that she was so visibly distraught about telling us, somehow made it a lot easier to consider the car being wrecked.

In any case, we got a hotel room and put the car in the shop the next morning. They did fix the fuel leak we had, unfortunately they didn't lift the car to notice the rear axle (the Benz is rear-wheel driven) had completely worn out. This was the cause of our horrible sounds. We didn't discover the problem wasn't fixed until just turning into Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, an hour from the repair shop and out of cell range. To wrap this up, we somehow made it back down to Franklin and a 40-year Benz mechanic, stayed a total of three nights in two hotels, had a great time aside from the money spent and the hotel-confinement, and tomorrow the car should be all fixed up and ready to go. Joyce Kilmer was fantastic with huge old-growth poplars and newly dead hemlocks from the adelgid bug, just barely making it through the logging all around them to be purchased by the US gov't at a ridiculously high price. The car stuff was bothersome on the hike, but something about the partridgeberries, harvesting blue cohosh seeds and usnea on fallen trees, stretching a hundred different ways on the walk, and being in the middle of a vast expanse of wilderness was really quite healing.

Illinoise is next, and gosh it's been a while. I'm a little bit excited to be in a different space, just for the refresher, but I can't imagine I'll be too excited by the sound of cars at night or the streetlights for that matter. Those are two pretty big problems in the city, you know? The hotels reminded me.

Just an update for interested parties.

with my love,


I was saved by the fire, it just took a while.

It's funny that every few months Mike and I are mobilized by our brain commanders, simply pushed forward to the next place. So here we go, meandering back up north by way of mountain roads, scoping out land, locations, elevations, waterways, etc etc.

There's a quote from the Secret Teachings of Plants by Thoreau, something like one who simply goes into the woods will never see so much as the one who goes intentionally to see. I'm vibing strongly on those words, feeling especially glad to have come to this place in my life of being able to follow the plants and weeds, to know them at infancy, at middle age, and as they go to seed. I feel very centered and grounded knowing these beings, and it very easily translates in my mind to children, especially as the years pass and the little ones I know and have known grow another year, another year, another year. Time has become a very long-term thing (if anything at all). It's funny to remember so vividly what happened years ago, and it seems to happen more and more as I've become more connected to my surroundings. I can remember all these plants as tiny babies, and here they are so enormous and falling over. Somehow growing the plants causes me to be grown, making me feel so much more capable of relating to others, plant, animal and so many beautiful humans (most every one). My eyes are opened more to the complexity, to the beautifully infinite ways we all inter-act and assist, to the very hallucinogenic property of life in general. My buddy on the couch just now reminded me of something I said about death, roughly that our bodies have many methods of perception, hearing, seeing, touching, etc, and when we die all of those perceivers fall away and return to the earth while our spirit(s) are released from them and are again able to un-realize themselves, to become again what they always are. The land has a way of telling you these things without even needing hallucinogens (though they certainly don't hurt:).

On the agenda for today is rivering at the river, soaking up some sun in the privacy of the mountain stream. Must rack off mead, gather dewberries, tuck up around the cabin, pickle some chard, and delight in the day while the sun is out. We've had visions of fall the last few days with cold-ish nights, moreso than usual, and crispness in the air while the first leaves begin to fall from the maples and all the trees turn yellower and yellower. I feel like we've had maybe 3 weeks of strong summer so far in between all the rain. It's an interesting weather pattern, very moist, very moldy to anything enclosed, very dank. Most of the peaches have brown rot from so much moisture. It's an ideal place for being internal most of the year. I'm not sure I could handle it much into to the winter, when the wind returns.

Well! Time for master chef Mike's banana buckwheat cakes!

and again, as before,
with all my love,