I’m at Mill Creek in a little cabin with faucets running (to prevent broken pipes.) There is no TV or wifi or frills but it was nice to know I didn’t have to return to Chico tonight and that the people here knew and cared about Michael. What is ironic is that Northstate Rendering, our competitor for veggie oil now picks up their oil. This little loop, between here, the restaurant in Mineral and Child’s Meadows was our most reliable source of veggie oil. (There is a new resort up here, sucking what life there was from the Child’s Meadow business. It’s right across the street and the parking lot is packed. I’m sure the renderers could smell them from Chico. I will never, ever go there.)

Speaking of my never, evers: I am bored with my clothes. I haven’t bought anything new since the Bangladesh fire, three years ago. Since then it’s been thrift stores for me and at size 18 there is little that fits and looks nice. I was putting wrist bands on people as they came into the KZFR concert the other night (part of my volunteer responsibilities,) and noticed how tiny the wrists were of the women. (I never notice that when I’m doing exams which is strange… some part of my body image thinks I am the same size as other women… I’m not.) My big Nordic wrists are more like the men. Actually, that whole Nina Gerber and Chris Brown concert was part of why I needed a reset. I was bored to the basement of my being despite their lovely personalities and excellent musicianship. During the break I didn’t move. People were visiting, talking and laughing and I felt like Kafka. It was like watching aliens from an alienation bubble with a clock that was not moving on the wall.

On the other hand, Safe Space (our local temporary winter shelter run by volunteers,) never ceases to keep me interested. The guests are so variable. Some have such dignity with the crammed conditions and being thrown in with the more unstable. Others are just such characters, others so flawed and broken, others such obvious users and movers—the high and helpful. Some just weigh on me with worry about them. However they got in the fix they are in they seem so blameless in the midst of being at the effect of the disability they now suffer. I will really miss Safe Space when it ends with February. I think quite a few of us have made it the center of our social existences.

Where was I? (DRIP< DRIP etc) Riparia is beautiful and every day I feel restless. What am I supposed to be doing? I am doing a lot but still not organizing my stuff, getting rid of M’s stuff nor facing all that Power of Attorney paperwork that a responsible adult needs to complete. I putter outside and enjoy whatever pruning, weeding, mulching, transplanting I’m doing but just do that a chunk daily so there will always be a ready supply of dirt work to grace every day. I love the late winter and the quince, pussy willow, grass explosion. I see beauty and am taken by the light on things with the same old awe but nothing keeps me satisfied. I hate the evenings when I try to find things to watch on TV or the Roku because I’m too tired to do other things but it’s too early for bed.

Today we went up to Wilson Lake, Selk and I. It’s about a three mile ski in. About 5 snow mobiles were in play on the road while we did our long way up into the lake and back out (their whining and stink a great unfortunate sacrilege.) Michael and I had skied into that lake and camped along it about half a dozen times. I have indelible memories of a heavy smoke visit, ethereal mists, moonrises, geese calling, traversing the iced over lake behind him when I didn’t think it was safe. The lake that is mostly meadow and wandering rivulets. Today I sat for a long time and just watched the play of pure light and shadow on the snow before skiing back the entire meadow before getting back on the road that parallels it. On the way down the meadow I called out the OOO OOO that we used to call between us when we had gotten separated and wanted to find each other… my strong solo voice came back off the hillside facing. The reset I needed though happened between two creeks… it stopped me and played me back into aliveness again. Simple harmonics of the joyful play of life without meaning or marking time.

Tomorrow I’ll snowshoe down to the Mill Creek trail and see what goes there. I’ll miss a meditation in the morning for lack of phone signal but will continue that connectedness that found me today that has me at such peace now. . (As it turned out I left my cell phone down there and can’t access any of my Wilson Lake photos… so here is one Selfie of Selkie from upper Bidwell park last week.)




4 thoughts on “Reset

  1. ruby perry says:

    “Simple harmonics of the joyful play of life without meaning or marking time.” This is beautiful Chris. It is just so odd to me to discover that there is no BIG meaning to be discovered – at first disconcerting, but now becoming a liberation, even a joy as you’ve described! Love, Ruby


  2. HI Chris. I can relate to your feelings of restlessness. And more often than not, I feel Kafka-like too, especially in big crowds of people – even people that I like a lot. This Thurs. I’ve organized a group of my neighbors to do the Safe Space dinner. And, believe or not, my doing so has caused a big ruckus in our neighborhood. Everything becomes “political,” even feeding those who are less privileged than us. I would really like to talk to you, in person about such matters.
    Lastly, your are a beautiful (I mean this literally) and courageous person. I’ve always thought your hair is gorgeous!
    In solidarity,
    Karen 🙂


  3. OK, Let’s meet up soon Karen. I might be scarce this weekend but I’ll be around. Sorry Safe Space is an issue. I wonder if there was a problem when folks were at First Christian…? Thank you for the complements and the reassurance that you also feel alienated sometimes.


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