No spills or falls early yesterday, though I did have an adventure . . .
But first, what I went for, at 9:30 AM, that first workshop hour, “Zone Zero in the Garden,” turned out to be Zone Zero in the Body. Which I very much appreciated. Can’t remember the woman’s full name, but Jeannie has been working with “how we move,” both functionally and dysfunctionally, all her life. She showed us many ways to exercise various parts of the body to bring them back to neutral. And recommended the youtube videos of Ron Jones, aka “TheLean Berets” — with a warning: “He’s very opinionated . . . But I like his opinions!”
Then I went straight to the booth where I had purchased the bracelet yesterday and exchanged it for something less dangly, and hardly noticeable on my wrist, since I already do want to wear it all the time. Not sure about the tremor yet, but last night’s sleep was profound, and though I did wake up once to pee, fell right back;, slept 7 hours altogether, and haven’t felt this refreshed in years.
And then . . . after exchanging bracelets, I started wandering. Soon I found myself in the community kitchen area, and then all of a sudden, out of the blue thundered “ANN!” It was Jordan, one of the two elven gals from Day One who have been together five years and live in a remote Humbolt county cabin. Remember them? Check yesterday’s post.
I found out more. Jordan and Tiffany are both from Louisiana, met there and started traveling together. They spent the first four years on the road, living most of that time in a mini-van, visiting friends. Today, Jordan is smoking a joint. As are many others around here, there’s even a dispensary on the grounds. It’s utterly strange to be in a place where smoking weed is normal, no big deal. But as she said, “When we first got here, we were weed workers, and didn’t get much done that first year.” Says it’s typical. “The first year people don’t get much done. But after that it becomes normal to be stoned! I do go off it for a few days once in awhile, just to reset.”
Of course I took a toke. And then another, and another, and another. Haven’t been royally stoned in decades, so yes, it did affect me greatly. More on that. meanwhile, I took her picture again, this time with her T-shirt, “Don’t kill my vibe,” and the tiny triangle near the armpit of her left arm which, she says, stands for the three counties of Mendocino, Humbolt, and Sonoma,
which constitute the heartland of organic weed growing. Wow! Had no idea, though I did know that there were clandestine patches growing illegally near Mendocino, way back when I lived there for a few months in the early ’70s.
How did the tokes affect me? Well, mostly, I “felt my age,” not in that I felt old and weary, but that I felt the immensity of the decades of wide, deep, and integrated experience that separates someone like me, old, and growing older consciously, with the fresh, bold world-view and attitude of young daring Jordan and her cohorts. It’s as if the old hippie age has been resurrected, but now multidimensionally, and spreading with intense vigor and aliveness. This convergence is alive, fully alive, despite its location bordering Highway 101. (Or is it because of this location? Do we require such drastic contrast to fully appreciate what we are doing?) Indeed, that first workshop with Jeannie on Bodily Zone Zero, was held adjacent to the highway, right there, on a wooded grassy strip right next to speeding trucks. Sometimes she resorted to a microphone.
So those decades of experiences stood between me and this nirvana-ish environment while I was stoned for those few hours. Instead of trying to do anything, I lay down, in three different places, for between 20 minutes and one hour each, getting some Kombucha at some point to help me process, and just chilling, as they say, checking out the sky, the way I used to as a kid. Intensely interesting! I give you, as time crawled by in large flooding rushes, four photos in the order that I took them, while lying there, on the grass, oblivious to what was going on around me.
At some point, during my travels while prone on the grass, three people sat down next to me and proceeded to engage in an intense conversation, every word of which I heard, and they didn’t give a hoot. They just ignored/ accepted my presence. Loved that. Is this what “stoned” culture feels like?
Anyway, I eventually hauled myself back up and went to the place that I had been drawn to the day before, the stage that features panel discussions. This time, I stayed for three in a row. The first two were about Regenerative Agriculture, with the first panel on “Practices and Stories” from experiences with the land, weather, government, developer pressure, and so on.
I came during the Q&A. In the next photo, the man who is speaking owns and operates a long-standing and much loved flower farm, is up to his gills in debt, faces development pressure, and needs a miracle of some kind to continue. The woman behind him in line, who has never been to a permaculture convergence before, lives in a ghetto area of central California and wants to figure out how to get real food into her community.
The second panel, “Regenerative Technologies Revealed,” was introduced by “Betty Biodiesel,” here being hugged by Farmer Dave, who had just jokingly proposed marriage to her.
I was in awe of both the life stories and the dedication of all three men on this panel. The first, on the left, in yellow shirt, David Blume, “Farmer Dave,” has been a permaculturist and ecosystem designer, traveling the globe — “I take advantage of nature’s ways to create efficiencies” — for so long that he actually has the website called “permaculture.com”! Check it out. He’s now working with alcohol as a fuel. “Do you know what the biggest cause of deforestation is? Third world cooking food inside with wood fires. And breathing in so much smoke can lead to death.” Solution? “Use alcohol stoves instead, by growing crops whose heat creates sugar which fermenting creates alcohol.” ALCOHOL CAN BE A GAS! (his book and his company).
The guy on the other end, the one in the only suit at the convergence, Roland Gregg, used to be a corporate marketing director and turned into a clean tech incubator after a mid-life crisis. Here’s one of the small appropriate technologies his firm has been developing, the “vortex resonance coil,” which “follows the natural spiral flow of all things.”
And the guy in the middle, Kevin Fretz, started out by getting nerve damage from poison while working on a farm in Canada. That led him to his lifelong quest, to heal both himself and others, including nature. He has done all sorts of things, followed through with lots of visions, his latest being “Cammies and Canines,” which both helps homeless vets and saves dogs from kill-shelters, and, along the way, gives them jobs in composting for his company, Green Earthology.
I’m getting bogged down here, so won’t go on to talk about the third panel, called “Disaster Collectivism.” I.e., how people really do come together when a collective disaster strikes. Another amazing group of people who even as individuals, have moved mountains. Especailly impressed with the story of how the owner and workers at Farmacopia, an herbal store in Santa Rosa, stepped up to the plate to help firemen and women, plus those stranded and out of their homes, during the massive fires this year, by distributing herbal teas and tinctures made with “adaptogens,” the class of herbs that does exactly that, help us adapt to changing conditions.
Just then I got the expected text on my phone. It’s Tony! Otherwise known as Anthony on this blog, a prolific commentator whom I regularly learn from. He and I had agreed to meet in person, with him driving up here from Sacramento, where he works as a bacteriologist (he calls it “innerpermaculture,” to distinguish from exopermaculture . . .) and is deeply red-pilled in innumerable areas. As soon as we met he handed me his astro chart, called it his “ID.” Loved it! Oh wow, this is another one like my own kids, born in the Uranus/Pluto in Virgo generation, and in his case, the Sun itself is sandwiched between Uranus and Pluto. “No wonder,” I told him. “You have been a maverick all your life, both drawn to and repelled by power.” Something like that. A difficult configuration for a soul to choose. He must be an old old old old soul!
Here he is!
I showed him around the Solar Living Institute grounds: we stopped in to the booth where I got the wrist bands — he ended up getting one himself — and then we went on to find the turtle, because I wanted to take second day pictures of the progress of this sculpture, whose chief creators, happened, it turned out, to be just then lying beside it.
Today will bring even more progress, with all the areas around the turtle to be filled with plants. BTW: they tell me that the flowers on the turtle’s back are made from children’s underpants!
Tony and I then ate dinner, and were talking intensely — until we looked up to find that Starhawk was about to do an Equinox Ceremony near us with a Spiral Dance — Yes, on the Equinox! So we joined the 40 or so people who had gathered there, to participate in one of probably thousands of spiral dances Starhawk has conducted since the publication of her now classic “The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess.”
What a way to end an enchanted day!
Tony and I walked back under Highway 101 to the far lot where we were both parked, and before he left he gave me yet another book: Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection: The Secret History of the World, Book 3. which, he says, focuses on the electric universe.