Saturday Night -- Late
We're at Mara and Phil's house now in Grass Valley. We'll be here for a couple of days, staying with them before we leave for Burning Man on Monday. We're in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and it's beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. So beautiful that I want to buy some land, build a log cabin, gather up the pets, Beau, Scott, my Mom, a few of our friends, and move here. I'm serious. What the hell am I doing living on that postage stamp sized piece of land not more than half a block away from one of the busiest freeways in the world, when I could sell my house for two million dollars and buy thirteen acres up here with a house, two ponds, two streams, and have a horse barn, goats, and llamas? I don't go anywhere at home anyway. I just stay at home most of the time. Oh if only I had some say in what I could do with the money and property I've inherited. I don't want to wait until my Mother goes to heaven, I want to make a better life for all of us now, while we still can. We could all live together up here, (Oh I know Scott is shuddering at this), she could have her own house on the same property. Robby, (Beau's Father), never even manages to see him anyway, at least not more than about five or six times a year. He'd probably try to see him more if we moved away.
But the art we love is there in LA. God Damnit if I don't get off my ass and stop complaining about how everyone I ever knew is making a living doing the thing I am just as good at, (if not better), and should be doing, then there is just no reason for me to keep living there. With the exception of super cool shopping, (another thing I rarely do any more), and first run early releases of movies, everything is pretty much within reach from any place you could ever want to move to. I can see the opportunities slipping through my grasp here. The land that we could have bought a year ago for three hundred thousand is now four hundred and seventy-five thousand and going up. All of Mara's neighbors have either died or sold and moved on and yuppies have moved in, put up huge luxury structures, and built up walls and fences. Soon there won't be any wild natural lands left.
Mara and Phil bought this place shortly after they visited us at our vacation house in Palm Desert last year. It's wonderful. There are pine trees all around us and the stars at night hang thick and low. There are animals and bugs, creatures everywhere, the sweet smell of sage, and the sound of running water. Their water comes from their own well and tastes so pure and sweet. The man who lived here until he dies was a miner and their property is littered with colorful rock specimens and crystals. He hand set stones all around the base of the house, it's soooo cool.
Here's Mara's garden. She only planted it a few months ago and already she's eating fresh vegetables that have grown in it.
There is a basement he dug out himself that's cold and clean, where he had a little room for tools and wine storage. Phil has taken this over and made it into a kind of primitive teenager's haven. Tucked away in a corner against dirt, wood framing, and piles of rocks, he has his server and a sixty-five inch TV he picked up at a garage sale for sixty-five bucks. Funny number coincidences -- Mara even bought her very groovy sixty-seven Mercedes from a local dealer here for only fifteen hundred dollars, and the mileage on the car is 67,000 miles. Yeah, I like number coincidences, and I don't even have to be high to find these kinds of things interesting. I think we're all made of math anyway. I think the secret to the Universe, to life, to everything, can be found in math -- even though I suck at it. It's all rhythm, numbers, and particles.
I had a really good time taking a tour of their property and the area around here with Mara yesterday. I thought I would be too tired to do anything other than lay down, (I hear my Mother's voice in my head, "Chicken lay eggs, we lie down."), in the back of the RV and pass out from exhaustion, but I had to be friendly, they had been waiting so long for us to get here, and Beau ran off to play, so I sat with Mara, we talked for a while and then she took me out to see her garden. In the short time she's been here she's built this beautiful flourishing garden. We picked and ate fresh tomatoes, plums, and a round yellow cucumber, right from the ground. This is rare for me. I watched her dig up some potatoes, something I'd only read about and never seen before, and we picked squash, shiny purple eggplants, and radishes.
We visited with the wild mustangs that live behind her property. They were rescued and brought here -- poor, poor things -- when people were killing them in the wild. But these beautiful animals who need to run free have to spend their lives living in what to them must seem like a very small enclosure, it's actually quite big, but too small for their spirits. God, they're pretty. I'll try to take some pictures for you today. They'll be here if I manage it. They live with a donkey pal and like carrots.
While Mara and I were finishing up burning the paper trash tonight that Beau and Phil had started and then wandered away from, drifting away to more interesting things like teenagers do, totally unaware of the danger they'd left behind, typical, the kids found a big hissing beetle in Phil's room and brought it out to show me. Beau knows that I love pretty much anything living, bugs, lizards, rats, whatever, so if he finds anything, he'll generally try to catch it to bring it to share with me. It was soooo cool -- really big, with beetle horns, but the poor thing was so scared. I put it on the ground by Mara's chair so it could get away, but I couldn't resist petting it's back and it made this little hissing squealy sound like a high pitched shrieking noise, and then it lifted one of it's back legs and held it up close to it's body shaking. Poor, poor, thing, it was so obviously terrified, I felt terrible that I had scared it so we turned off all of our flashlights and headlamps, (the kids have been playing with the headlamps we get to wear at Burning Man, they strap on your head so you can see pretty far in the dark), and let him be.
I just asked Beau if I could show him some of the sweet, cool, natural things I saw around here today, like the natural springs, and the ponds Mara showed me, and he said, "No!" I asked him why and he said, "Because it's scary. The deers are going to jump at me and go, Jack-a-lope-paw!" Then he made this funny, little, prancey dear hoof movement thing with his hands. God, he's funny. But it's sad that we live so disconnected from nature that this little touch of it here in the foothills of the Sierra's would seem threatening to him. Last night when we drove through Fresno he was surprised to see the freeway sound reducing walls that we have back in LA. His vision of the world is so myopic that he said, "Look Mom, they have these here too. I thought we only had them in Los Angeles."
This trip to Burning Man is as much a part of the experience as the event itself -- the journey, the pilgrimage, is half the battle, half the joy. I'm still in that last minute, what-will-I-be-sorry-I-forgot-to-bring-w
I wish I'd arranged to get my hair done the way I always do, with dread extensions, but my hair stylist, Ashley, talked me out of it -- said I'd ruin my hair, so now I've ended up doing more damage to it by dying it pink, purple and fuschia, permanently. Wishing I could find Manic Panic in the colors I love, I ended up buying a lot of Fudge for it in colors that were a bit too subtle for my taste, and in the end, after all of the work, it came out looking too light and Easter-eggy, so I ended up throwing the rest of an old jar of Pillar Box Red, (anyone who has ever dyed their hair wild red through the years will know exactly what I'm talking about here), over everything but the roots that I'm trying to keep blonde so they'll match my blonde dread falls. I bought some Toyokolon, (as opposed to Kanekelon sp?) hair falls and tried to make my own dreads for the first time last night at Mara's and it was a mess. The hairs all tangle together when you try to pull a few from each piece to blend the colors and well, frankly, it's not as easy, by far, as it had looked when Sonia did it, sigh. People who are really good at doing something usually make it look easy and effortless. I may give it another try today, but chances are I'll end up throwing all of this plastic hair in a bag and stuffing it in one of the storage compartments under the RV, or maybe I can donate it to someone. I wonder if there are any hair decorating camps at Burning Man, I know there are necklace making camps. I just have to find them.
Well, there are stars to gaze at and the sounds of the forest filled night want to lull me to sleep. I'll try to write again tomorrow before we leave.
I'm here in the motor home with Beau, on our last night before we leave for Burning Man. I was finally able to tune in Art Bell on Coast to Coast tonight as I was going to bed, and was just floored to learn that there is ANOTHER hurricane, a category four to five, and that NEW ORLEANS HAS BEEN EVACUATED! I'm so sorry. I feel so sad and concerned for everyone who has been forced to leave their homes. What is going on with our weather? Not that all of my prickly conspiracy theory itching nerves aren't thinking this is in some way related to the fact that it's headed for major oil refineries and the price of gas is bound to soar. If you think I'm nuts, I probably am, but you can Google the High Atmosphere Auroral Project or HARP for short and then tell me our government isn't attempting to control our weather.
I can't even conceive of what it would be like to evacuate a city of this size. And New Orleans, beautiful, history filled New Orleans, and to hear that people have died from the stress and fear of having to be evacuated, and people are holed up in the Superdome. Oh God it's just the worst news. I feel like crying and I want to find a TV so I can see the coverage of this. I heard there was some sort of fight on CNN about barometric pressure readings. Oh Mary, your beautiful new home, I so hope you're home in Los Angeles instead of there, and that your home will be safe. I've been praying, I even asked Beau to pray.
Obviously anything I write beyond this will seem small and unimportant in light of this news. But I can't sleep, at first it was a little like the feeling you have on the night before Christmas, when you're dying for the night to be over so you can get up and see what Santa has brought and put under the tree, but then I found the radio station and heard this. I don't know what else to do. I can't make myself turn off the radio, so in the meantime I guess I'll write.
I took a few pictures of Mara's house for you today; the wild caught mustangs, the burro, and the gardens, but they get their Internets, (I'm sorry but that Bushism is just never gonna get old for me), via satellite up here and it isn't working, all of the computers are down. So maybe there are drawbacks to living far away from the bigger cities. Anyway I had wanted to share last night's entry along with these photos but there was no way to do it. I've been told that our computers may work at Burning Man, but if it's anything like last year, I sure won't be able to get any pictures out to you, there will be too many pornsters uploading their stuff and crowding out the little journal writers like me.
We spent the day battening down the hatches and picking up a few last minute goods for the week. We've got water, and Beau's beloved Propel, stashed under every couch, bed, cushion, shower, nook, and cranny of this RV. The shower is filled almost to the top with all of the toys we've bought to give out to the kids in Kidsville. We've got squishy light up balls, blinking wands on lanyards that you can twirl, hand held mini-fans that have led lights that spin on them, colorful mini flashlight keychains, squishy flashing light bulb necklaces, fairy wings and wands for the little girls, and healthy pure fruit rolls and real candy for the kids who can eat sugar.
Mara took us into town -- it takes a loooong time to get to town -- so I could buy stamps, veggie burgers, condoms, and a few other things. She took us to the dollar store which was a great idea because there were so many things there that are perfect to pass out as gifts. That's where we found all of the little fairy wings and wands.
We saw lots of llamas, horses, and cows on our way into town. Then when we got back from our shopping I asked Mara to drive down the street to show Beau this amazing log cabin estate that has ponds and streams and when we passed through the gate there was a man standing outside with a hose, watering, so I rolled down the window and asked him if he wouldn't mind our looking around. He was gracious and welcoming and we drove around a bit looking at this amazing property this man has, and then as we were leaving I looked over at the teeny goats we had seen yesterday and there was a little baby goat who sure wasn't there yesterday, so I made Mara stopped and we all got out of the car and went over to see it. The man who had been watering came over and told us that the baby goat was born not more than a half hour before we arrived, and it was standing on wobbly baby legs and crying out to it's mama -- so, so cute. She was nuzzling and cleaning the baby, and the baby was alternately maaa-aaaa-aaaa-ing at her, and then going back to nursing. What luck for us that we just happened to drive by!
Here's the baby goat and her Mama -- so cute!
Later, when I was trying to make these pink dreads for my dread falls, Beau came running in and told me to hurry up and come outside to see something. I knew it had to be an animal, something he'd know I'd be excited about, and it turned out to be a little light green preying mantis who had landed on our cooler. We had fun watching him creep around for a while.
I learned a little bit more about the mustangs and the burro that live behind Mara's house. Apparently the Bureau of Land Management round up and sell a certain number of these poor horses every year
I wish I could sleep or watch the weather channel or CNN.
My back has been acting up and I just hope I can get to Gerlach before it goes out completely, then I can crash for a short while before setting up camp.
Big loving hugs and prayers for all of you,