Today we woke up early and went to the Oregon coast to see a few clearcuts. Acres of ancient forests cut down and completely devastated. The girl who has been my guide on this journey, Polly, started to cry when we saw it. I had more of an intellectual response and just started brainstorming about what could actually be done about this craziness. The pacific northwest has less than 5% of its ancient trees left now. they take hundreds of years to grow. So there is no chance of them growing back in our lifetime even if they were to stop all cutting from this point on. It would still take four hundred years to get the forests back. and all these logging companies don’t care. In January George bush came to Eugene for one night for a fundraiser. He was given a campaign check for one million dollars from the logging industry. A few months later they had carte blanche to cut down as many large trees as they wanted to in the name of ‘preventing forest fires.’ crazy.
[I will say this about George w. Bush though, and I’ve said it before, lots of people do. he may be one of the worst things going in the history of mankind, but he doesn’t try to hide it. and remarkably he is rather forthright about it. as awful as he was in the debates, and he was truly awful in a remarkable way, as only he can be, he was very honest in his answers about things. when asked about the environment he never claimed to really care too much about it. he admits, not quite readily but damn close to it, that he is more in favor and concerned for business and jobs and the economy than he is about the environment. You gotta hand it to the guy, and everyone who was working for him at that time [most of them have now quit since his re-election – we can only guess why. God knows what insanity we are in for if his whole dame cabinet is quitting before his new term even begins.] He could have easily balked on the issue of the environment, but he didn’t. he told it as he sees it. he thinks that environmentalists are extremists and that its just not that big of a deal. As much as I disagree with him and others like him, I like him for that.
He acted the same way when asked about America losing all of its jobs overseas. Unlike the democrats who tried to act like they were going to save the jobs and bring them all back home, Bush never once caved in. he looked right into the camera and told those people that their jobs were history and that he was going to try to help them get educated to get different jobs, that America needed to move on and keep up with globalization. Again, he never tried to pretend to people that he was going to try to help them keep their jobs from going overseas. The answers that were written for him in the debates were brilliant in how they managed to deliver a lot of the bad news of the republican agenda to the American people in a semi-digestible manner.
Same thing with his answers on same sex marriage. The justification for an idea as abominable as a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage on the grounds that it threatens family values or the ideal of marriage in any country in this day and age is ridiculous. And any thinking person can see that and knows it. You bring it up in any circle of semi-intelligent company anywhere in the world and it gets people laughing. This is a very clearly more a matter of evolution. Evolved citizens of the world versus minds just not as evolved yet. but again, what I loved about Bush and his administration’s answers during the debates and throughout his campaign was his willingness to put himself out there and tell it as he saw it. you have to be a complete loony to even come up with an idea as asinine as that one, but you have to have real courage and conviction as well. And I admire that.
As for the trees and forests of our country, we may be fucked on this one since W got re-elected. One of the things that I learned on this trip that was most shocking is that they are actually logging now in our national forests. The same national forests that teddy Roosevelt put away for us over a hundred years ago to protect them forever so we would always have big old five hundred year old trees in ancient forests. The government is now auctioning hundreds of acres a day to the highest bidders and the trees are getting chopped down and sold overseas, mostly to Asia. That is a fucking unbelievably heinous action. Is actually quite unbelievable but I saw it with my own eyes. I cannot even imagine what the actual loggers – the men who actually drive into the national forests, passing right by the big green signs that read “national forest’ must be thinking as they are taking chainsaws to the big five hundred year old trees. I just couldn’t imagine doing it myself. But again, this is a money thing. and when it comes to money I think most people would do just about anything, big old trees or not.
Anyway, say what you will about Bush, and God knows everyone does and will have ample opportunity to over the next four years, but the guy tells it like he sees it about a lot of things. the good news that many people point out is that the next four years will end up getting so fucking out of hand and freaky for most Americans, even the ones who did vote for him – I mean, lets face it, eight members of his highest cabinet quit within two weeks of his reelection; if that’s not a sign that something terrifying is in store for us that they know about but we just don’t yet, I don’t know what is — that was their way of saying ‘we don’t want to have anything to do with the next four years,’ so chances are we have no idea what’s in store for us – but either way, I think it’ll swing so far out of control that the country will have no choice if it has a chance of survival than to swing back the other way. that’s the balance of power that the country was founded on. So we’re just going to have to do our best to hang on and enjoy the ride and try to prevent and protect whatever we can.
And to all those eager emailers out there who love to send in all those lovely hate mails that I cherish so dearly, allow me to add that I am in no way implying that Clinton was any better or that we would be any better off during a democratic presidency. I wasn’t blogging publicly during those years, but if you have ever seen the underground documentary entitled the Clinton chronicles then you know how I feel about him. I’m just as scared of Hillary as I am of Bush. My green minded liberal friends are quick to point out how wonderful our thriving economy was during the Clinton years, but lets be real. That had a lot less to do with Bill and a lot more to do with Microsoft, yahoo, oracle, Intel, eBay, and the rest of the companies leading the technological revolution. We could have had anybody in the white house at the time. Bush was right and fair minded in his assertion that he inherited a country in the midst of a bursting economic bubble. And as far as lost jobs go, it was Clinton who switched gears right after he became president and started embracing and promoting America’s full involvement in globalization after promising workers that he was completely against it and would do his best to try to save their jobs.]
Same day or a different day, not sure.
I am in phoenix now. downtime. No work for a while. at least not a lot of it I hope. I will do my best to try to relax and reflect and celebrate the season of family and renewal during my brief stay here. how each year I look forward more and more to spending time with family; to no cell phone and no email and no talk of business.
I thought of Juliet. Cannot erase the feeling of her from inside of me. I dare I say I have not stopped dreaming of her, or with her, for months now. almost every night since I can remember this year she occupies some scene or two in my dreaming state while I am asleep. She is just there. her presence. Like a warrior or a guardian. Standing with me.
There is much that I will not write publicly nor privately. Out of respect. feelings are fleeting indeed and though I am loyal and committed to this project of keeping the diaries as real and as honest as can possibly be for as long as I can, I am also aware that not all thoughts and feelings need to be expressed publicly. After all, they are only feelings, and from what I can tell, can change overnight or vanish like the wind.
As I sat tonight watching a DVD of old jack Paar shows with mom, I thought about how clear I feel now. how easy. how soft and manageable, as funny as that may sound. Our meeting once again in our lives had this effect of clearing away a lot of old debris that I had collected over the years about girls. In Juliet there is much to be fancied. She is as true as anyone in the world would desire. When you think back to days gone by when men would refer to their ladies as being ‘fair,’ Juliet is the embodiment of that. something ancient and mythical about her spirit. In how true it is.
Her boyfriend is very lucky and I found myself feeling very happy for him and for Juliet as well. I saw her as she really is and discovered that she is a real person, with a real life, a real boyfriend, a real child, and a real job. Not just a fantasy or a character in my imagination. But a real person. so if for no other reason than that my trip was a healthy and beneficial one for both of us. even so, after my first night in her presence I whispered to God as I was falling asleep to reveal to me the message in the connection, the deeper meaning to all the synchronistic and coincidental events that transpired regarding her this year and in the years prior to this one. I heard a voice whisper back to me, ‘perhaps that is not the right question. Perhaps the right question is ‘have you ever thought of what you have meant to Juliet? What your message to her was/is?’ I must admit that I had not. I was too absorbed in my own life and in my own concerns. But I found real comfort in this idea. and I smiled as I drifted off to sleep.
In the shower the next two days I found myself more and more reflecting on what I mean to others rather than only what they mean to me. the message I have for them rather than what they might hold for me. I must admit rather humbly that the idea was a novel one to me. as enlightened as I try to be, I am still relatively self obsessed and self centered I find. Like a good Buddhist disciple I do not judge this but simply giggle at it. life is funny after all and we are all clowns. Better to laugh at ourselves than to waste our time in judgment. But in the mornings I spend time now thinking of everyone in my life and try to visualize what message or meaning I might possibly be able to offer each of them. and that’s a good thing. it is a new way of looking at things for me. it is good way to humble one’s self and to feel more in service to others.
Tonight Naomi came up in conversation and I felt almost nothing at all. very neutral. Which is very refreshing. I realized that through getting to know Juliet more that a new archetype was formed in my heart and in my mind about what a woman could be; more, what a person could be. it is almost as if just by rediscovering her in the world that I was washed clean of my prior conceptions about girls. I must admit for the record that Juliet is the first girl I have met in three and half years that I would feel comfortable bringing into the inner circle of my family. And this is by no means a reflection of the degree of love or respect I have for all the other girls I have known over the years. for they have all been wonderful and beautiful in their own rights. But in Juliet, whether true or imagined – is there ever a way to qualify that? – I just happen to find many endearing qualities and not very many objectionable ones. So a new archetype was formed, a new idea of how much deeper and truer and purer a person can be. And that very well could be the meaning for me personally. And that is enough.
As for her, I hope that my attempt at coming to grips with the whole crazy thing by tackling it head on held an equal measure of benefit and new found revelations about life and love and all that is holy in the universe for her as it has seemed to for me. I feel washed clean by the experience. Fresh and new in my perceptions of what I want and what is possible. and more, I left there feeling very optimistic and joyful at the thought of her carrying on with her current boyfriend for all time and living a happy peaceful life together with him. if that is what she so desires. It is an uncanny unconditional love I have for her, much like how I feel for Madelynne or Little Tree or the Artisan. Just pure love. Like one would feel for a sister. When I dream of her it is as if I am dreaming with a guardian or an old friend from many lifetimes who cares for me deeply and unconditionally, and vice versa. I dare say this but I will just to get clearer about my deepest feelings, but I feel that getting beyond my preconceptions and wonderings about all the coincidental occurrences that have transpired surrounding Juliet as far as her being a potential lover or life mate will enable us to experience a friendship very deep and satisfying to us that could last a lifetime or more. something just as rewarding and satisfying as marriage, but in a purely platonic way. the reward for me was that great. And I have no idea why. it just was. I hope that it was for her as well. we have not spoken since we last saw one another and I feel no desire to email or call her. don’t know why. I just think that maybe there are no words to express how I feel or how much gratitude I feel towards the experience.
Like Mr. Darcy in the scene where he is fencing in ‘pride and prejudice,’ I feel this maddening perplexity about it still sometimes of course, and feel a real need to resolve it entirely at times. But as each day passes I succumb to the unknowing a little bit more comfortably and cherish the mystery a little bit more. for if there is anything absolute about life as we know it, it is that most of it is pure mystery to us still. and for now I am o.k. with that. I feel as though I can go on now starting anew with a fresh perspective on things. still wondering? Sure. Who wouldn’t be. But not obsessed with it anymore.
The thing that struck me was how in all the other cases where I have bonded deeply with the girls in my life that I am lucky to call my best friends there was always this strong sexual or romantic attraction to them where at first we just had this really strong desire to consummate our little obsessions with one another. We would make love a few times and then move on to being just friends. Sort of a getting it out of the way kind of thing perhaps. And now many of these girls are some of my closest confidents and most cherished life-friends. But with Juliet that is not there. I would actually sit there and try to think about it while looking at her or talking with her. but that would not be there. it wasn’t about that. but more just a strong desire to connect with her as deeply as we could in the few moments we had together. much like you would with a new guy friend. honoring and cherishing the connection without the undying need to consummate it as girl and boy or man and woman. for me that is rare. I almost always want to make love to any girl I know. its just always there underneath the surface until you do it a few times and then you can move on. But with Juliet I think the respect factor might just be so high that I could feel that the thought was off limits, out of bounds so to speak, and so I just didn’t go there out of respect. even in my own mind or imagination.
Last screening: Made. could have been better. A lot better. Didn’t dig it, despite digging Jon.