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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, August 20, 2016

On death, dying and be continued

The reason I’m here instead of We’moon and womyn’s land is because I have to have a procedure on Monday – 2 procedures actually. I’ve been having reoccurring yet intermittent side pain that I decided the last time it almost debilitated me for 4 days that I need to prioritize it and get to the bottom.

I was hoping I could go to we’moon plus do the procedure next week but it didn’t work that way so here I am at Mendocino National Forest and the Red Bluff Sycamore Grove Campground. When Tessie was little, we often went to Mendocino National Forest but by Lake Pillsbury – it was one of my most favorite camping places, close enough to the Bay to get to quickly and isolated, up steep inclines with no drinking water so it eliminated RV’s – the scourge of camping in the day – and other wooses who couldn’t be so independent. Not me and Tess though!

There was also a state (I think) campground just before taking the for Pillsbury by yet another lake – but this one was more expensive and more policed or rangered.

This Sycamore Grove is probably the farthest north of the forest – and also the most developed – it has flushing toilets, showers, and electrical hookups – most things not found in the national forest.

I’m needing both a colonoscopy and an endonoscopy or something like that – where my doc will take a camera and look up my butt (bottom, as she says) and also go thru my mouth into my stomach and look around. She say that often side pain is associated with the stomach, which most people don’t know, so she’ll be looking for ulcers, polyps and the like.

Of course, I’m worried about cancer, there being sooooooo much cancer in my biological family. I’m finished with the breast cancer fear, I’ve passed that hump now that I’m 66, and moved on to the colon cancer fear. I believe my great-grandmother (my mother’s grandmother) had colon cancer. She was one that never made it out of Germany, so she was one that was never talked about, but my grandmother did tell me once that her mother had colon cancer the same time as hitler was in power because she said she wouldn’t wish the pain on anyone, not even hitler.

Death dying and living: I’ve been so fortunate, I’ve never been afraid of dying, even after my ‘near death’ experiences. I’ve been afraid of suffering –with cancer, with torture, with awareness – but dying itself doesn’t scare me, at least I don’t think it does.

The times when I’ve been in situations where I’ve thought “this could kill me or end up with me dead” I’ve ploughed forward, keeping my eye on the goal and not caring if it cost my life.

My grandson has been talking with me about dying. He is afraid of death & I’m trying to reassure him that death is not all that scary. I think living a life that is not the one you want, or that is meaningless to you, or makes you miserable is a much worse fate than dying.

He’s really worried about me dying. He often asks me how long I think I’ll live for, how old will he be when I die. When I tell him no one knows when they’ll die and I certainly don’t know when I’ll die, he asks me well, how long do I want to live for.

I can answer that: I tell him as long as I am healthy and independent. But he’s not accepting this. He lets me know that if I get sick, he will take me to the hospital and they will make me better. I tell him, to his utter shock and sadness, hospitals can’t always make you better.

...just shooting the bad guys...

Camping again – this time Mendocino National Forest at Red Bluff – my first time here. I decide to drive straight to the campground, even tho I’ll be getting there around midnite – I usually wait until the next day, staying at a rest stop or along side of the road, so I don’t have to pay for half a nite…but this time when I arrive, there’s a locked gate in front of the campground entrance, 10pm to 6am, which I failed to notice when I decided to come here…grrrr

So I spend a few hours at the rest stop about 4 miles north of here and then proceed to the campground at 6am when the gates are open.

It is an interesting campground, close to Red Bluff & Redding, alongside the Sacramento River, and not totally full – of course it is summer with temperatures hitting 100+ this time of year. Several of the spaces appear to be occupied by homeless and poor people, although I could be mistaken. It is definitely not the campground/ers that I found at Pinnacles.

The space that I want that is supposed to be open (according to the internet) has several bundles of stuff and people but no vehicle, even tho it is an rv site. I’m bummed I still need to ‘plug in’ as I have yet to replace my solar batteries.

The moon is full and stunning, as she tends to be. I’m so pleased to be able to be traveling under her and look forward to a few dayz in her glow.

The folks in ‘my’ site, slowly stir and begin to pack up their things – dumping a heavy, huge plastic bag into the dumpster and piling a few others at the edge of the next campsite (who also appear if not homeless, disabled and poverty-struck).  I wonder if they believe they’ll be back tonite. I consider offering to share the space with them until they pull out cigarettes and light up.

When I see their backs as they retreat out the campground, I pull into the space, plug in, begin setting up my camper, and prepare to spend the next two glorious nites here.

I check out the visitor center and have a brief conversation with the volunteer, a white, trim, middle-aged (as in 50+) womon who has been staffing the center for 7 years. She tells me about the food they are growing for homeless people and ask about the campground. The campground is NOT for homeless people, she firmly asserts. It is my cue to talk about Cuba and how everyone is given land to live on, build on, raise their children on.

There are two gardens here, outside the visitor center: one has California natives that are drought resistant; the other is surrounded by a plastic mesh fence and has many vegetables thriving within the boundaries. I am told deer are not a problem, people are – but then I’m assured that if it is homeless people taking the vegetables and fruit, it’s okay.

The white womon who is the head gardener tells me she supports war, and she supports god. When I respond with “wow, one erases the other, doesn’t it?” she shores up her contradictory beliefs with how god wouldn’t allow people to make guns if he didn’t believe in war.

Hmmmm. I’m already treading on thin ice with my “Black Womyn’s Lives Matter: White Silence Is Violence” among this group of majority poor whites, so I REALLY try hard to hear her and hold up a mirror to her beliefs. She rages on about her upbringing: in the woods, on land, with rifles and fishing poles, self-sufficient and well-trained in the ‘art’ of killing.

She claims her father would punish the kids if they ever dared to aim a gun at each other, even a toy gun that she grew up with. I ask her, puzzled, why were punished when they pointed toy guns at each other - after all, guns are made to kill people. She assures me as children they knew they were not allowed to shoot people, but targets and animals for eating as well as playing games.

Then of course I have to ask her what the hell they played with toy guns, and she said, oh the usual, cowboys and Indians, police and bank robbers, good guys and bad guys. When I ask her to confirm that then they were pointing guns at each other, she doesn’t spell the “un-human” exception out but looks puzzled and says they were just shooting the bad guys.

We’d already covered the Viet Nam war, veteran suicide, pesticides and aphids (she’s tried dawn…grrrr…but not cayenne or neem), ‘choosing’ to be homeless, etc. I table any other discussion for a later time, tell her she has a wonderful garden, which it is, and to enjoy the day.

It is beginning to get REALLY hot – 85 at 9:30am…. I return to my camper and turn on all the fans, lower the skylight covers so the sun’s rays don’t shine directly into the camper, and begin to write and then read. I will explore and exercise later, when the sun is in the western sky.