Monday, March 21, 2011

Gratuitous daffodil shot

Another sign of Spring in some places. This was taken in the wilds of Connecticut last year.

Garlic should be worshipped by some cult

One of the signs of Spring.

This photo is from last year. In the background you can see, from right to left, the old corn crib we used as a packing shed, the 77 RV I lived in for several months, and the machine shed that featured, among other things, a fairly large half-pipe that attracted skaters from all over.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's a blessing and a curse

The season is coming. Almost seventy here the other day. It's like waking up.

I sit here, earbuds in, succumbing to the music. Which is about as good as it gets to me. There is nothing better than good music. And really, there's no explanation for it. It might as well be some bleeps and boops, strums, pounds, knocks. Which is what it is. But for the life of us, we have no real explanation for why music brings us pure joy. I'm as close to a rational dickhead as you can get, but I still accept things on faith. Music for one. It's a spiritual (fuckin' a, you read that right) experience for me, and I don't need an arguable reason. Same with being outdoors, exploring, immersing myself in whatever it is. I don't really care what "whatever" is; I think that's when I'm at my best. The rest--self-identifying as rational, trying too hard to feel the unexplainable, rebelling in some small way--is all bullshit. I could probably be a really good Buddhist or Taoist if things were different. Good thing or bad? Who knows.

I really wasn't meant for this time and place, I tell myself. But, being honest, maybe I wasn't meant for any of the times and places. I like to think I could be John Muir swaying in the treetops. Or Aldo Leopold observing the land. Or Montaigne questioning everything. Or Kurt Cobain killing myself.

Don't fret over the last, I have enough self-esteem and appreciation for being alive. But I can relate to the feeling. I always could. I like extreme feelings, though/because I can't express them properly in my everyday life.

So, tomorrow I plan on going to some karaoke in the city, where, no doubt, the music will be middling to terrible, but the beer will be cheap. And friends will be there--along with other people I don't know much or at all.

And we'll have fun.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bees leaving the hive

Just a couple pics from last season. It kind of freaked me out a little, even though I know better on a rational level.

They swarmed, found a spot to hang out for a moment, sent out some scouts, and a few minutes later the whole pile took off in a giant cloud toward the creek. Pretty amazing to see up close.

You thought I was gone!

Ha! And so did I. For a little bit.

But. I'm back. For maybe a little bit. Or a while. Who knows. But I'll try.

Quick summary for any stragglers: farmed again, just south of Chicago, with great folks (updated links coming soon). Lived in an RV with no water, no stove, and some electricity. Learned more about building, composting, manure management. Cut and planted and dug sooooo many potatoes, but I still love them. Summer squash can kiss my ass. I'm a new fan of the wheel hoe. Bees are fuckin crazy (when they swarm like three times in a single season, and they're right by the packing shed, right?). The Earthway "precision" seeder can still kiss my ass (but I can empathize with it a little more). I like soil blocks for seed starting. Kale might be my favorite crop to grow for sale (but come on America, when will you learn to love the kale?). Maybe this coming summer won't be as hot. This past fall and winter were something I might need about 12 beers and a half a pack of cigarettes to write about. Maybe I'll just skip the blog and go right to the novel for that one.

So guess what? I'm farming again this year. In the outskirts of the western Chicago suburbs. My long journey away from the suburban wasteland has brought me full circle. I still don't know how I feel about this situation, but I'm trying to embrace it. This is life. Or a life.

More later.