Don Quixote

Rain shot me awake, soaked, from a heavy sleep. Selkie then started panting like she does sometimes, a rapid staccato panting that makes me think she can’t sustain herself. After letting her out, throwing off my nightgown and trying with that wide-awake trying to go back to sleep, I got up and made myself tea and toast and decided to catch up.


How can I though really? Time is pulling me further and further from Michael. He seems hollow or maybe I do but I’ve been squeezing every second from time and not letting memory steal over me.


Last night was our Peace and Justice Center dinner. I wasn’t in on the planning but I threw myself into helping and spent five and a half hours in the dizzy pace of server/dishwasher with just time to inhale my food and listen to our keynote speaker. I’d interviewed Dr. Rivers earlier in the day when I hosted the Peace and Justice radio show and had been won over by his slow thoughtful way of speaking. The hour and a half show had tired me though. So much preparation both mental and an emotional “leaning in” to the topic and the effort to communicate go into the radio shows but still there is very little to show for the words once they have passed into the air. So yesterday was one very full day.


I’m also preparing for a workshop with an author named Rivera Sun on Sunday. I will host her here at my very humble home and more acutely will have people who conference with her in to use my bathroom which, like me, is worse for wear, devoid of niceties and completely utilitarian. We will have the workshop in the new barn where there still isn’t water, nor a functioning stove. I need to pull together refreshments, anticipate seating (without RSVPs) and consider parking and the unknowns of all that might go wrong or awkwardly. Frankly, I’m nervous about it but I like this woman and the way she expresses herself. She makes me feel hopeful and I loved her book, the Dandelion Insurrection. It may have been a mistake to try to bring her here just on my own determination but I have. It is a follow on to the Campaign Nonviolence that Cathy Webster and I started after the conference in New Mexico in August. My new emphasis will be on (trying to) build rather than going action to action as this activist always does. I like the idea of “connecting the dots,” demonstrating to people how much work is already being done and letting them know they are not alone but part of something that can move into a vast movement that will push the money grabbers aside and build a sustainable life for all of us, not just those who are still wobbling on our middle class roots and the “casino capitalists” as Bernie Sanders calls them. The wars and the homelessness and the mass incarceration of the poor and people of color have to go. I am one instrument of sweeping the way forward.

In the quiet, with a sweet little scent of clarity, I know it may not come to pass but who inspires me more than Don Quixote? If all the Don Quixotes went forward maybe then? What harm in delusion for what really is the reality but delusion? I’m just glad for the ones I know and can count on to follow up on things and follow through on things when I’m missing on some of my cylinders, which I always seem to be, a bit.


Caroline came over and we painted the porch with stain and started on the deep green I want to paint the house… starting with the rammed earth. The house now looks like Christmas with the heavily spider-webbed aspect of Halloween.

I’m grateful to the long dark mornings for more time to read, not so much with the long evenings when I tend to succumb to television surfing.


Earlier in the week I went up into the higher country and along with visiting Madre Tierra visited a friend who lost her husband a month ago. She is staying with her understanding mom.  She ended up with horrible medical bills she will never be able to pay plus she has her home, filled with his stuff, waiting for her in Chico. He was also her best friend and they were inseparable too. To say I don’t envy her is to put it mildly. It is just the worst. The fact that we survive such loss is a tribute to something innately enduring in our mammalian brains and I’m still amazed at my own clumsy and slow survival.


But now this hollowness and distance from the man of Michael, the flesh and blood energetic personality and gestalt of him filling my life, is dry and pulling it up means throwing down a lengthening rope into that well of memory. Now nothing impedes me from my own foibles and windmill tilting.

Sept arrest at Beale AFB                Minnesota 033
(I head for court next week in Nevada for my drone road blocking die-in last spring but the photo above is from my last arrest at Beale Sept. 29th in commemoration of the anniversary of Michael’s death..)

What remains of his ashes sits nearly forgotten for long periods with a lasso of marigolds around the cobalt cookie jar cylinder and I realize that it is time to release them… perhaps on this Day of the Dead (?)

Right now there seems to be nothing but me pecking in the night with little else to say about anything except that it has finally rained for a few lovely moments and I am grateful.


2 thoughts on “Don Quixote

  1. Dearest Chris. Once again you’ve touched my heart. Tears well up.
    The rain woke me up too. I heard the longed for sound of tick, tick, tick – WATER! running in the roof gutters and down the downspout. I even got up and went outside.

    I’m not a believer in an after-life or reincarnation. I believe the only way we live again after we die is in the hearts and minds of those who knew us when we were alive. The question is, how do we want to be remembered? I remember Michael as a really interesting, good and kind person, a person who loved the Earth and tried to stop our government from killing innocent people around the world.

    I’m grateful for the rain, for Caroline, for you and for Michael.


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