Last Post for '22
I've started and discarded several posts over the last couple of weeks. I start writing about the stone, but the weather has been rainy and cold, and most of the work has been stalled at the 'sit-and-stare' stage. I haven't made much progress. I'd include musings from the Suburban Hermitage, but not very much of note has happened around here. That is a good thing. I'm not going to make any comment looking back at the past year, or forward to the new one. I am grateful for what there is to be grateful for. I grieve the loss of what has been lost. I pray for the wisdom to perceive God's will unfolding in each given day.
We held our Christmas open house the weekend before Christmas. Going into the event felt like getting down to business, not play. I wasn't really enthusiastic about the whole thing. It felt like we were doing it because we didn't want to not do it, and it seemed like a strained effort as much as a celebration.
But the gathering was quite successful, despite my low spirits. Mary goes all out for these things, and she has a real gift for creating a festive household. We had a small tree, tinsel, lights, and Mary fixed a huge pot of chili for the party. My friends John, and Mike came over, and Jeff drove all the way up here from Hemet. Mary had guests from Tai Chi, SGI (Buddhist), and her Jungian discussion group, along with our regular guests, Linda, Andrea, Harriett, Bob, and Holly. Many of these folks had not been here before, but everyone mixed well. Several of the guests were impressed with our house.
It's easy to forget that we do live an odd sort of lifestyle, and this home is unique. There is no media here: no cable, no TV, no stereo. Unless Holly plays guitar, there's no music. We depend on conversation, and storytelling. There is artwork all over the place, and it's all original stuff- no prints, or posters. No food comes from a can, or a mix.
Being host, you circulate, sort of play the room, and keep your spider sense tuned in to the vibe. The vibe was good, and the afternoon to evening gathering was relaxed. Mary's chili was a hit. Everyone seemed to find a good conversation somewhere. My artwork got a ton of attention, way more than I was ready for. Of course, it feels good to receive praise for the work, but it's also unsettling in some strange way. All in all the evening was a success, and it left me feeling more in the Christmas spirit.
It's been cold, and overcast all day, and the rain started about an hour ago. Too dreary to work. I walked a couple or three miles this morning, got back to the house, and checked the computer. I was out of the chair, and away from the desktop within ten minutes. Lacking other media, the computer has been my portal into the world outside the homestead for years, now, but I've become just plain sick of it.
Read another essay. No.
Check up on the latest outrage. No.
Catch a glimpse of the toxic insanity, the sad sick mess our world has become. No. No more.
I'm just hating it. And I'm not the only one. I talk with my few friends, and they're feeling it too. I end up making the same speech over and over: we can not change the mess, or stop the madness. So we have to play defense, stay focused on the immediate good we can accomplish with what resources we have to accomplish it. I preach about disengaging from the mess, but it's not easy to do so. Disengaging is taking a long view of things, and we live life hour to hour not age to age. On the day-to-day level it just gets depressing as hell. I used to spend three hours or more every morning going through the bookmarks, reading opinion and news, going though the comments sections, and jumping in here and there if I think I have something on-topic to say. No more. Of course, I still visit American Digest several times a day, and I'm following several serials over at the Arkhaven page. Maybe I'll maybe check the headlines at Ace of Spades, but I'm no longer clicking through to the articles.
Here's what's up with the stone.
I started with this:
I turned it up vertical, cut a base, and knocked out some rotten rock:
Now the problem is dealing with a flat face, and two very uneven sides:
I did not plan on this being a major project. I figured I could find some simple form in this splinter of rock, and finish it up in a few weeks. I figured wrong. Sometimes the sitting and staring part yields nothing more than more sitting and staring.
Until this started happening:
This may turn out pretty cool.
Maybe. We'll see.