Thursday, October 29, 2009

Late October

There's something about a grey late October day filled with rain and mud that really tweaks my moods. The way the daylight shrinks, that blizzard of leaves and the rustling wind blowing the last skeletons of my garden around, the sound of the tarp covering our nightmare motor home project flapping in the wind, (and I swear, I can hear that pile of shit yearning to start rotting again where I've repaired it...) all of it brings up a sense of bleak frustration and a low grade numbing of the soul.

It starts to remind me of my seven winters in Seattle cleaning toilets and watching mold grow on everything, pampering the egos of rich old ladies and cleaning toilets for lawyers and Microsoft geeks. Feeling like my brain was about to jump out of my skull and start scampering around the walls leaving streaks of blood and grey matter.
Living in a city still sometimes feels weird. Growing up in the north woods with a caretaker family meant that fall was a time of closing down the summer camp, tending to the herd of horses we kept of trail rides, stacking wood and the yearly ritual of butchering deer and all the bustling of deer hunters, taking out the piers and propping the roofs up to keep the snow from caving in the old buildings like the chapel and dining hall.
These days, living in Madison, getting ready for winter just means putting plastic over the windows and buying a few tubes of salt. No rituals, no hard outdoor work besides raking leaves, nothing to make you feel connected to the place you live.

I miss those fall rituals, although in all the years I went hunting with the family, I never put bullets in the Winchester after I had one misfire while unloading it. I realized that I had no interest in actually killing a deer, just in being outdoors and connected.
The world's changed a lot since my youth. We push buttons to warm up the house, buy meat from the grocery store that tastes like shrink wrapped misery and chemicals, and even in these times of financial disaster dine on stuff flown from the other side of the world.
We stopped making clothes, fixing our cars, buy most things premade and traded a connection with where we were for a facebook account where we post pointless shit to stay connected to people who we left behind long ago, usually ignoring the fact that things in the past were left there for a reason.

It bugs me, although there's a shitload of things about life now that are a hell of a lot better, and I have no desire to go back or spend time bitching about how everything's no damn good these days.

Everybody works too hard at things that leave them exhausted, stressed out and too often, worn out from sitting in front of glowing boxes. I feel like we lost our sense of balance, that we've been sold a bill of goods that says it's more important to own a house than have a home, to have a nuclear family than a tribe, and that we've lost something when everybody's more worried about having a job than a life. Things weren't as crazy that way 30 years ago. Somewhere along the line it seems most folks started reacting instead of acting on their lives, and we started letting corporations and marketing do our thinking for us.

Our society sure seems bent into something weird to me.

1 comment:

miriam said...

Yes and yes.

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson