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On Winter and Journeys

This winter has not been kind to my poor car. If I don't keep 1/2 a tank of gas in it, I get fuel line freeze up. When I was coming back from the train station Sunday night, a big chunk of ice came off another car and hit my front spoiler, taking a big chunk out of it and cracking a support piece. That should be fun to replace. I guess the purpose of having a front spoiler is so things like that don't take out more important things but still. Then two night ago, I tapped my brakes and ended up sliding sideways down a sheet of ice formerly known as my street. Luckily there were no other cars for me to hit. Unluckily, I hit a curb with my right front wheel and took a chunk out of the rim making it unbalanced so now when I go above 70 mph I have a definite shimmy.

I started going to a new dentist last Saturday. I really like this guy. First thing he says to me, my chart in hand, is I see you avoid dentists and barbers, referring to my pony tail reaching to my lower back. I told him about the other local dentist I went to in the Fall because I was starting to taste the amalgam from my old silver fillings. They took preliminary Xrays and right away said I needed 3 root canals for which I would have to pay in excess of $1200 out of pocket after insurance. So I never went back. The new guy says well obviously you didn't need 3 root canals or you'd have been in unbearable pain long before this. He took a look with this really cool mini-digital mouth cam and showed me what was wrong. I've got an old silver filling that is coming loose. Problem is the tooth has more filling than tooth so he's going to drill it all out and give me a new porcelain crown and then we will talk about what to do with my other silver fillings that are just as old. He said my gums were receded a bit along my molars and that could be because of the amalgam leaking out of the fillings. But he gave me this antibiotic mouth rinse I'm supposed to use for 2 weeks until I go back for the crown. I can tell this stuff is working too. Teeth and gums are much less sensitive now.

Saturday night I took the train down to go to the farm. On a lark, I called Gwen to see if she was going to be in Macomb when I got in on the train. She was enroute just as I was getting in. So I met her at the Dog Pound for a couple drinks. When it became evident that both she and the girl she was with were both wasted, I stopped drinking at 1 beer and told her I'd drive her home in her truck if she gave me a ride back in the morning to pick up mine. She agreed and I was out warming up her truck for several minutes when she came out to tell me she and her friend were going to stay in town with a couple guys she knew from the bar. This made me a little sad because it meant she wasn't going home to her husband. At least she didn't ask me to lie for herand at least she wasn't going to be driving. She told me at the bar that she wasn't seeing anyone yet. Of course her and Rob haven't signed divorce papers either. Last time I was with Rob, I got an earful about how nothing was going his way with the marriage, she wanted a divorce and he didn't...blah, blah, blah, The ironic thing is he is no longer friends with another friend of mine because that friend did nothing but bitch about his marriage when it was breaking up. In the winter, he seems to just want to sit around and watch TV if it's not hunting season. I don't want to get sucked into that. Winter is depressing enough. So I don't see him that much in the Winter. So I guess I don't have to worry about lying for Gwen or not. She says they are still living together right now because neither has the money. Having been there myself I can say that's a cop out. Neither of them hates the other enough yet to move out. But it will come to that. I just hope they don't want to come live with me. Also, Rob is a good fishing buddy and we are all on the fireworks team together. I hope those things don't get messed up but it could be a rocky Spring.

My 75 year old cousin stopped by Sunday morning. He does that pretty often now. Through a strange family quirk, he and I are the same generation of the family. It is because my grandmother was the youngest, born in 1906 and his grandfather was one of the oldest, born in the 1880's and having children early while my grandmother didn't have my father until she was 32. Pretty old for back then. So anyway, he stops by to chat with me and I was telling him about going to the Spring Council Meeting on March 21. He's wanting to join the Nation so I told him he could go with me. He jumped at the chance. He takes care of his 92 year old mother who is pretty much deaf and blind now and he said he deserved a vacation. Not sure I can take country music from Illinois to North Carolina but he might make a good traveling companion. He was a bush pilot in Alaska for several year and has lots of stories to tell. Even if he does sound like Goober Pyle when he talks.

Sunday afternoon, I went to the woods. I hadn't been in my woods since the Death Ritual last Fall. The snow and cold has been too much this winter. Another shaman emailed me last week to see if I can find him any crow feathers. He needs them for a Native ritual he's been invited to attend in AZ. I do have tons of crows. I was also hoping to find some deer antlers. I know they have dropped them now because I'm seeing skinny antlerless deer everywhere now that the weather seems to have warmed a few degrees. The winter has been hard for them and they are out browsing on any bare patch of ground they can find. It took a block of salt back to my ceremonial circle and left it near the edge for them. I'll take some apples out this weekend. I went to the center of my circle and made my offerings of sage smoke and a deep yellow piece of copal.

What took place after that was a wild crow chase.They led me all over hell and gone with no feathers found.
I could see the feathers in my mind like seeing a pot of gold but whenever I got to where the crows led,
there was nothing. I did find scores of acorns all over the place which the other shaman was needing a
couple months back. It seemed I could never take the easy path, even when it was
apparent. When going down hill or on level ground, I had to go through brambles and briar
patches. I now have quite a collection of scars on my legs and hands. And a nice puncture wound from a thorn that got infected on my hand. Otherwise
everything was hard uphill climbs. At least I could grab onto young trees to help me up.
The dead ones I grabbed all broke and left me slipping backwards. I fell backwards once
and slid 10 feet or so on my ass. A chorus of laughter from a bunch of squirrels was my
rewards for that.

There always has to be one in the crowd who can't let the joke drop. Even after the others stopped laughing he kept on. So after I dusted myself off of mud and snow, I looked up at him and said, "OK buddy, one of these days, you are going to slip and fall out of your tree and when you do, I'm going to be there and I'm going to laugh my ass off!" That shut him up for the most part though I did detect little snickers every now and then.

The crows themselves never actually appeared. They would just be calling from a hilltop
in the trees saying "Find our feathers up here! Climb Higher, higher!" But when I would
get to the top, I would find nothing and the crows would be calling from some other
hillside. Finally the journey came full circle literally and I was back where I started,
dirty, scratched and bruised and with no reward except for the knowledge that I tried oh and a pocketful of acorns.

A spirit was telling me this was pattern of the tests/journey to come but there was a more
than vague feeling that this test/journey was not for me alone. A difficult journey with many pitfalls. An uphill battle where people laugh at and scorn you. And a reward that is not what you were looking for but Maybe something you were needing.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 29th, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC)
I wasn't going to comment, but with the impending storm heading our way as soon as it gets dark here, I just had to. WINTER SUCKS!!!
Feb. 29th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
This winter especially. Thanks for the 4 leaf clover!

Feb. 29th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Wander aka StoneBear
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