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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Saturday, July 03, 2004

The barnacle and the owl

I have a delivery in the boondocks of Wisconsin – north and a little west of Chicago. It is quite beautiful, very wooded and dark green, what I can see of it. It is getting late, the sun is setting and I’m losing another hour so won’t arrive at my customer’s until 11:30p.m. instead of 10:30 as I had promised them. They live in a small, country town twenty miles northwest of Madison. Mapquest sends me thru the center of town and I pick up an angry red tow-truck on my tail. First I thought he was just reading my messages. Then he passes me, scowling in my direction but doesn’t make any overt signs. He slows down forcing me to pass him, continues behind me for awhile, then revs up and races past me again. He continues with this little game a couple more times so I pointedly pull out my cell phone, put earplugs in under the street lights and begin talking to myself: “yeah, an idiot, yeah, he’s in a big red tow truck, yeah he’s a white boy, no he’s about 45 or 50, yeah he’s by himself.” I get a whole chapter spoken to myself, and this lad still hasn’t tired of tailing and passing me. Mapquest is like sending me thru this maze of turns and twists that I know no other sane person would be traveling, especially not one that knows this town. Plus I make a couple of wrong turns and have to u-turn to return to the route.
My intrusive barnacle doesn’t drop off. I begin to worry a little as we head down some very dark, very quiet, very desolate country roads. My truck is definitely taller than his but I’m sure his is more than a 4 cylinder! I wonder if he’s going to follow me right down the driveway of my customer. I wished I would have stopped at a well lit gas station to talk w/him and find out his intentions. At least there would be other folks around but that can be even scarier than dealing w/just one asshole – other folks can seemingly easily totally ignore altercations especially of the racist, sexist, oppressive types, thereby supporting the attacker –making me feel like I’m fighting a whole slew of folks, and not just one enraged fellow.
As I get within the last .6 of an asphalted mile before turning down the .9 of a dirt road that leads to their house, I figure I better call them to warn them I have a tail. I actually turn too soon and pull into the wrong dirt road so I hastily make a u-turn. The fellow continues down the road I just turned off of so I proceed relieved to the next lane when I’m totally sure he’s given up.
They live in a house built in the early 1900’s deep in the woods. When I’m leaving the dirt road, returning onto the little 2 lane highway I can now notice awesome trees so heavy and thick I can’t see the stars in the black sky. A huge bird, wings each at least 3’ long suddenly glides so close to the front of my truck I think I hear the whoosh of her wings. I’m incredulous she can fly with such a huge wingspan without injuring herself so close to the ground and in such dense foliage, under the thick drooping branches of the trees. She lands on a branch at the side of the road about ten feet up – so I’m about eye-level w/her toes – and I see she’s a huge owl. Unfuckinbelievable! I’m glad it is nite time. I think when you see an owl during the day it portends death coming to someone close – I immediately think of my granny, of course, but I don’t need a sighting of an owl to tell me her time is near. I do calculate the time at my daughter’s and decide not to call her. She wouldn’t appreciate me asking how she’s feeling at 2:30 a.m. on a work nite!
I feel blessed to have shared space with such a magnificent creature and marvel at how she has swept me clean of any lingering distaste from the red tow truck driver!
I drive on thru Illinois, Chicago mostly, all nite and don’t stop until I get to Indiana – I do NOT want to be in Chicago when most folks are up – that is a nitemare traffic scene. Even in the dark, I discern 13 yeah’s and peace signs – and one little f.u.!