Aspects of Life on the Turkey Farm
….I didn't bargain for the magnitude of my missing her.
She was like a wee flower, carefully unfolding almost for the second time. I was so careful. I was oh so careful. I was so careful not to tamper, not to bruise, not to put her in a place in my mind where she mightn't want to be, not to interfere unless it was to say, "The world isn't going to change. All that will change is your attitude to it."
And she was so shocked, so offended so much of the time by some of the more abhorrent indications of human frailty that surrounded her that she often felt she couldn't face getting straight. She couldn't see the point if everything was such a struggle. But I wasn't saying, "No dear, that's not so, things are actually very all right unless you have a pessimistic mind." I was saying, "Yeah, that's the way it is. Isn't it fascinating?"
But she couldn't really make the jump between her two year sleep and today without some kind of sedative. I tried to keep enough good smoke around to help but I never really had enough money. But because I got off on her so much physically as well our lovemaking became a sort of sedative, a sort of getting straight chemical to ease her into the modern reality. And I became like the administrator of the drug without, I don't think, getting caught out on an egotistical excursion, and for a while we were both really flying along together on the same drug. But gradually she began to get straight, she began to be more awake than asleep and more comfortable with it and she began to get more curious about her immediate surroundings, one aspect of which was me. Who was this administrator of the drug, what made him tick, how could he, on the face of it, be honest in a world so full of abhorrent frailty.
But she wasn't getting enough information from me and her curiosity was compounded by the insistent telephone presence of my former girlfriend who, completely and totally without reserve or scruple, was still trying to re-establish old love. So she (the wee flower) began to turn to those around us, my friends and acquaintances, and, unknown to me, began to quiz them, to extract rambling insights from them because (she claims) she was becoming afraid of ending up like the insistent ex-girlfriend. I suppose that I had assumed that, because they loved me and knew that my intentions generally speaking were humane and caring and that because they knew I cared for her because I had actually been telling them so (completely out of character), they would assure her, should any discussion of me arise, that I was basically an all-right person and, though subject to human frailty like everyone else, thoroughly dependable and usually kind.
To my eventual horror, I suddenly realised that I was not getting this backup from my friends. They were telling her to be careful, to watch her step, to watch out for my sudden unreasoning rages. (One of these people had been present when, well and truly beyond the end of my tether, I was subjected to yet another surprise visit from this gratingly determined ex-girlfriend and I flipped out, raging, not just at the accumulation of such incidents and not just at the current invasion, but also and more particularly at the prospect of a bleak unwavering future with no end in sight to such incredible tenacity, such incredible force of demented will.)
So she (the wee flower) began to observe me for signs and, sure enough, eventually, as happens when you look for things, she began to find them (I can still see her facial expression as she observed) and began to present me with her findings. To me it simply seemed like the eerie extension of the ex-girlfriend's demented will, and this, coupled with the shock of realising what my friends had been revealing about my "true character" led me into a kind of spiritual decline wherein I became the angered and spiteful person they were all waiting for. Even as I was getting into this decline I realised I was losing my self-control with regard to the careful nurturing and non-interference of the flower's slow re-awakening.
But I began to feel as though she should be able to handle it and as though I myself, under attack and harassment for a similar period of two years, was beginning to crack at the seams and could expect a little help and support from someone I had cared so much about. Instead, she responded with more suspicion and broadened her circle of enquiry to include her own friends and acquaintances most of whom had never even met me and who, presumably responding to her descriptions of the situation, took also to warning her of the grim dangers if she remained much longer with me.
Instead, in response to much advice from you bunch of turkeys, she ran away.
What were your motives? I know that a lot of people, including many women and some men you wouldn't normally expect to be interested, simply entertain the hope of hopping into bed with her. There's no doubt about it, she conveys that quality, that attraction, in some indefinable way. I even think that this was part of the problem with regard to the negative feedback she was getting from some of my friends. They were mildly entertaining that hope and slagging me was a step towards this end. (There is, as it happens, fairly concrete evidence for this train of thought.) So I suppose it's not surprising that some of you, particularly those of you who don't know me, took the same steps. In a way, that she is, time after time, subjected to this process of alienation-through-advice is more a reflection on her own inability to differentiate between valid and invalid advice or, more to the point, her ability to get people to rationalise conclusions she's already reached herself by selecting the information with which she provides them. (More about this later.)
But what of those of you who weren't entertaining such a hope? I've heard it said that I was bad for her; that my "negativity" brought her down; that I was "warping" her mind with my idiosyncratic social perspective. But my message in this respect was simple. It was that there are varying degrees of privilege on this planet, very little, if any, of it merited, and that there are people throughout this spectrum of privilege too ignorant or too stupid to recognise that:
a) these differences exist and are causing unnecessary suffering, and
b) most contemporary social institutions (educational, judicial, retributive, financial, legislative) are geared and biased towards the preservation of this system of privilege simply because the people who run them are at or near the top of the spectrum, like it there, and gear and bias as part of their unmerited entitlement to privilege in order to remain there.
I think it is extraordinarily naïve to say that this is either a warped or an idiosyncratic perspective. "Negative"? Perhaps, but no more so than observing that all time and velocity relationships are relative and that there don't appear to be any absolutes. Or that there doesn't seem to be any verifiable indication that there is an afterlife. Very disturbing stuff, but simply conclusions drawn from observations. But even if you disagree with this perspective, what have you achieved? So she's back in the swing of things, leading a "normal" zingy life, hanging around with exciting people, chemically inducing energy and intensity, having exciting talks about chemicals and music, gay and carefree, bounding down the road that once before took her to exciting Chelsea, exciting Paris, and exciting Israel, the places where, of course, she picked up her habit in the first place. Maybe it was inevitable, but why did you feel you had to hasten it?
I've heard it said that I'm a "womaniser". Where in the name of Jesus to you get your information? What do your idle minds get up to in the run of a day? For the record, in the time that I undertook a proper relationship with her, I committed one "indiscretion" and this was in the trough of what I've called my spiritual decline and is associated with enough history and extenuating circumstance to convince anybody but an idle collector of images and distorted facts* that I wasn't acting totally thoughtlessly.
I've heard it said that she was unhappy. Maybe so, and I suppose this is the most valid basis for a motive if it were true, but unhappiness, like happiness, comes and goes. An opportunist will always be able to find a time in which to act if he is awaiting signs of unhappiness, but what's the point? What's particularly painful for me is that in the time of her awakening I knew she was fixing on me to a certain extent and even as she was, I knew I could never live up to her expectations for very long. I knew a realisation of my limitations had to come for her because I knew my limitations. I could see where I stopped. But suddenly, as she was making the inevitable realisations, all these people started popping up out of the woodwork and joining in a sort of cacophonous chorus of denunciation. I didn't even get a chance to fight back as it was all happening elsewhere. But by then I was exhausted anyway and was prepared to accept whatever transpired fairly stoically.
But, I didn't bargain for the magnitude of my missing her. I didn't realise how far into me she'd grown. I didn't expect not to be able to get by as always. And I was doing just that, getting by as always, until she suddenly appeared out of the dark at the fair. I sensed someone on my right. I turned. She had her back to me. Her hair was cut so I wasn't sure. I said, "Susie?" She turned toward me, smiling nervously, and a yawning hole blossomed in the pit of my stomach and seems to have remained ever since.
So okay. Life goes on and I walk around with this emptiness in my midsection. No doubt I'll get used to it, adapt, lose myself in other activities as they say. But I just wanted you to know that you might have done a very dumb thing.
The final dimension, which I haven't yet but touched upon, (warning: mushroom enhancement) is the wee flower's own role in all this, the role of her wakened mind in her wakened wee head. She is like a tiny sailor wot drifts; like a tiny rosebud wot stands waving in the wind. Carlos Castenada says: "A complete woman is dangerous in her completeness, more so than a man. She is unreliable, moody, nervous, but also capable of great changes. Women like that can pick themselves up and go anywhere. They'll do nothing there, but that's because they had nothing going to begin with. Empty people, on the other hand, can't jump like that any more, but they're more reliable. Don Juan said that empty people are like worms that look around before moving a bit and then they back up and then they move a little bit again. Complete people always jump, somersault, and always land on their heads, but it doesn't matter to them." (P. 118, The Second Ring of Power) Well that's my Susie, a complete nutter, but at the same time so fucking together that it takes some wisdom to see it. Something I'm very much afraid you lot haven't a hope in hell of achieving.
I guess I'm surprised at the weight of it. I guess the knowledge and its inherent contradictions (only some of which I've tried to examine here) hit me a little harder than expected. This might, for whatever reasons, give some of you grim satisfaction. If so, then I give it freely, with this letter, a present, the writing of which has already done me a world of good.
....warning: mushroom enhancement
(Aspects of Life was a form letter I sent to friends and relatives of a young woman who had come to live with me. This young woman was in the throes of overcoming a two year heroin addiction. She'd already been through the withdrawals, but the real struggle seems to come later, when questions of purpose and purposelessness keep coming up. These friends and relatives of hers were, as you may have gathered, trying very industriously to get her to leave me. Some, in their ignorance, were set on institutionalising her. I, like a warrior walking the face of the earth, did whatever I felt I had to do, and lost her. I've no doubt that I failed her and, in a sense, deserved to lose her, but, besides what I felt from her sheer gone-ness, a bitterness towards these people remained just the same. The bitterness almost disappeared with the writing and the sending of the letter, but not quite. The letter actually continues, but I couldn't generate enough good will towards these people (all extremely well off financially, high in the privilege spectrum, but too self-indulgent to admit or even appreciate it) to include the rest. So what follows is what I couldn't give them. I'm giving it instead to the Common Understanding in the hope that it may have its uses. I apologise for the disjointedness, but, apart from the mushroom enhancement, the paper kept getting wet, there were long pauses between paragraphs, and my pen can never keep up with my mind even at the best of times.)
I guess I'm surprised at the weight of it, and I guess there must be something more involved than just Susie and I guess she, in her unconscious togetherness, sensed this as well. I'm trying to define what "this" is. I'm sitting in the field, cross legged, sobbing, groaning, tears pouring down my face, intermittently laughing very hard as a tidal wave of thought released by my preoccupation with Susie floods out. I need to make loud sounds. They're trying to come through my chest, but I can't let them out. It might disturb the neighbours (this is England). How could I ever face them afterwards. It's like an animal or spirit trying to get out of my body. My body gets wracked by very real physical spasms, but my mind is still curiously detached and I keep taking notes even though the spasms and all the water make writing difficult.
Heaven, to me, is not a place. It's an explanation.
I've always felt I had to bring people with me, to wait for them, to watch them learn the same things and reach the same conclusions. I've always felt the important people in my life have done this for me. But I guess I have to be more selective. Not everyone is going to pick up on the same things in the same way. So I have to start saying, "Forget about it", to waive explanations. You can only indulge in these things a short while. You don't really have all that much time. Instead of looking at all the humans as potentially like-mindeds, I have to recognise the time-bound limitations of each and how they either synchronise or don't synchronise with my own time-bound limitations. I have to start looking for true colleagues among them. Or else I have to forget about them altogether and settle for hermithood.
I've sometimes encountered a dream scenario in which I'm demonstrating special powers like flight, levitation, control of objects, and what have you, and then laughing heartily at everyone's seriousness and awe and saying, "It's here, it's all around us. We can all do it." And it is. And we can.
Dear Wol, This is another cosmic convergence spot that I'm sitting in. The geese already knew about it. Some of their footpaths come together here. But I think these spots keep changing.
Besides just looking at the sunlit beauty, the delicate webs, the waving fronds, the heaving green earth, the impeccable intricacies of light and moisture, plant and sky, there's also your contribution to be made. Just like the bees and the butterflies, you have to get off your butt and make your contribution. But unlike the bees and the butterflies, we've been blessed with the ability to stop and take it in. But this can't mean stopping altogether, can it.
There's a kind of knowledge associated with the tension between soaking up the beauty of this plane of reality and acting within it (remember "I am the Fisherman"?).* The knowledge brings with it a terrible kind of loneliness, a terrible kind of grim jawed determination to carry on regardless of the impossibility of ever knowing why. It also brings strange euphorias, hysterical recognitions of the all encompassing ridiculousness of this colossal joke, rapturous realisations of the way in which the completeness of the joke manifests itself in some of the tiniest, most insignificant seeming details of life and consciousness. Jane knows. Dick and Marion know. Wol knows. Poor old Michael C knows. Jerome sometimes knows, and Didier. Many others of you know, at least fleetingly. (Some of you get freaked out by it and pretend you don't know.) Even if people are unconscious of knowing it, you can sometimes see they do just by watching them. But it can never be acted upon. All we can ever do is say, "Hello there" and keep on keeping on.* We see each other; we recognise each other, but our life forces just push us by. We just have the fleeting satisfaction of having seen and maybe recognised each other.
I've brought you all here today to say, Why aren't you loving me? What's the hold up? I've been loving you, and continue to, but you haven't been responding. Well, not enough anyway.
Jane keeps saying, Why haven't you written another book, and I suddenly realise she's saying, We haven't heard from you in a while. And I'm so vain, I think, yeah well I can do that any time, but of course I can't. I actually need the love.
The sun alters my moods. When it's out, it glints off the cobwebs and the leaves. It emphasises the stunning colour variations. The textures stand out. The ground moves. The water that keeps coming out of my eyes dries. (My nose keeps running too. What's going on here?) When it's in my expansiveness contracts, my ability to reflect warmth diminishes.
I need the sun. Perhaps not all the time, but more than I've been getting it. Am I a sun in your life? Well, you see, if I am, I have no way of knowing.
The most hurtful thing is the passing of time.
There goes that nut Trudy on that nut of a horse of hers. If you ever wanted to see a love/hate relationship in action, you should catch a glimpse of those two.
Margaret's just arrived. She's eating all this stuff that was so beautiful. She just came up and started to eat the fronds and the webs. Then she started to eat my writing. You should have seen me jump. Really startled me. You should have seen me hustle to save my papers. Looks as if she's trying to remind me of something. Maybe she thinks I take myself too seriously or something subtle like that. Goats have great sensitivity.
The turkeys just think I'm weird.
You can't explain anything
to the turkeys.
Is it idiosyncratic to think that there are varying degrees of privilege on this planet, very little, if any, of it merited, as discussed above?
© 2013 Deacon Martin