Saturday, September 22, 2007


After Morning Offering, Mick and Gary set out on an abbreviated Friday’s work- shortened because not much grass grows when it is so draughty. Jim reports only the crabgrass thrives under these desert-like conditions. So he mowed grass for those few who water their lawns and those others who enjoy the meadow effect and therefore have lots of crabgrass. The other customers got a touch-up, and the guys got home in time for lunch!

I spent the morning working through 12 pages of my second talk at Mackinac Island. I like what I said so far, except for an aside on the Episcopal Church’s virtues that did not have a huge amount to do with 2012, the subject of the speech. Shame on me! I am a passionate advocate for the excellence of my church and that's OK. But I should choose my times to express that better!

Melissa came to town and I took her to Applebee’s, NOT for steak, as my previous steak there was tough enough to make a shoe sole, but for burgers and a planning meeting on Avalon. I learned that Russell Crow is a Leghorn rooster. Of our five hens, we have a Plymouth Rock named Dusty Rose and four Golden Comets. Melissa has made them into a girl-group, “Dusty Rose and the Comets”.

They are all thriving. Russell is a gentleman who never abuses his hens but rather finds food for them and then lets them eat first. All the hens are laying happily. She is feeding them layer's mash and they apparently love it! Melissa brought 2 dozen huge eggs with her down to Camelot.

We eat a lot of eggs around here anyway, and I have a feeling we will eat lots more. Mel said she is contemplating going into the egg-selling business next spring, when she is more organized on other, more basic matters like mastering the tractor, catching up paperwork and doing road maintenance. But for now, we will eat the eggs ourselves and offer them for $3.00 per dozen to meditation group members.

We had a great lunch and talk and then Mel took the afternoon to do town chores and watch a movie. I hung out with an unusually mellow Mick for an hour or so, working more Sunday puzzles from the New York Times while Mick caught up on the media news. I was impressed that they covered the massive march in Jena, Louisiana. As the beautiful, sad and true old song says,

“Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away.
They're tryin' to wash us away.
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away.
They're tryin' to wash us away.”

The saddest part is that,in this case,it is the “good old boys” of Louisiana, themselves, who are flooding the state with hate and prejudice. Amy Goodman, later in the day, gave us more information on the march and on the events that triggered it.

Apparently, there was a big old tree in the schoolyard at the high school in Jena. White students tended to collect there at recess. A black student asked if he could sit under its shade also. He did so. Several of his friends sat with him.

The next day, there were nooses hanging from the tree. Lots of nooses. This led to a schoolyard scuffle and some of the boys, white and black, got hurt. The white parents banded together and got six black students arrested. One has been tried and sentenced, for attempted murder. The others have trials pending. No white student has even been taken in for questioning. No action was taken on the boys responsible for hanging the nooses, either.

I am glad to see people becoming indignant over this. Between forty and sixty thousand people marched on Jena, a town of 3,000. I hope they brought their own food! The Reverend Al Sharpton spoke well of the unfairness and injustice of this chain of events.

It was interesting to hear that they have chopped down the magnificent old tree, as if the tree were responsible for sprouting nooses. I mourn that tree. You know, there may be a UPI article in that! I will think about it.

I worked for a while on Chapter 8, but I confess to being totally inadequate to finding a way to make the middle of the chapter flow. So I gave it up for the day and instead caught up on my mail, a whole folder of dozens of letters from people who have written in to comment on my UPI articles.

I would have expected at least a few discouraging words, but not one did I see. Instead there was such an outpouring of love, affection, gratitude and fellow feeling that my heart just soared. Tomorrow I shall respond to them – Saturday is my day to catch up e-mail.

Mick and I so relish our Friday evenings! TGIF! We watched World Music, then Democracy Now, after our bath, and then came back downstairs for CSI and supper. I offered the prayer at the end of the Gaia Meditation. And we capped the evening off in our usual way, patting kitties and watching TV in a desultory fashion while sharing conversation, dreaming, planning and just soaking up the good feelings of being together.

I love to see the TV screen when Chloe has finished saluting me. There is a pair of shelves at the end of my bed, which hold sweaters and other items. Chloe sits on the shelf nearest the window, right in my line of sight for the TV, and so I see a screen the bottom of which, instead of being a straight line, has two ears and the curve of a kitty-cat back. Of such sweet sights are contentment made.

We said good night at midnight, staying up late because we can sleep late tomorrow. Ah, Fridays!