Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Poem

Drought Resistance

California is bound to become
A water battleground
A fluid prism prison where the wealthy
And the corporate “persons” starve
The non-corporate people into being
Non-corporeal victims of the greed
Wars over water.
Where golf triumphs over gardens.
--Catt Foy, 2014


Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta, California has loomed in my mind as a long-yearned-for sacred place since the 1980s.  One of my first bookstores was the Golden Bough in Mt. Shasta.  Missie Gillespie was the manager or owner, I can't remember which, but she has stayed in my mind all these years.  I never met her, only talked to her on the phone.  In fact, she was one of the last orders I filled for Psycards before my divorce in 1991 and in the end I sent her the last decks I had when I had to move to a small apartment, and US Games had taken over the Psycards business.  A sad time in my life during which I lost everything that had defined my life. 

After 25 years of yearning, I was on my way to Mount Shasta and I began to feel her presence even before I could see her. I felt her strong Mother Energy, her otherworldy connections and I felt as though I was on a pilgrimage to the Sacred Mountain.

It began with tiny glimpses of white on the horizon--is that a cloud or a mountain?  No, it's a mountain, definitely a mountain.  Is that Mount Shasta?  It has to be, I determined as I consulted my maps.

At last we were in the presence of the Mother Mountain.  I could feel other energy connections to this place--as if it were a hub from which other energy lines radiated to other mystical places.  It felt very strongly like it linked back in time, too, back in time and to the West, to the ancient Lemurians, perhaps, to the star people, to some lost place of human history.

We stayed a the KOA campground there, at the base of the mountain for a day or so, until finances dictated that we move again if we wanted to get to our destination of Oregon.

Camping at KOA.

View of the mountain from KOA.

Another view from KOA.
I spent quite a bit of time walking in the woods and meditating in the aura of Mount Shasta over the next couple of days.  But I also had the feeling that there was the spectre of decline haunting the town itself.  It felt like a town that might one day soon be nearly empty or abandoned.  Later, I heard reports from the townspeople about the drought and its impact on the local economy--no snow means no skiing, no skiing means no tourism in the winter, their biggest season.  Local businesses are barely staying afloat.

The Mountain doesn't care about such things--she has much bigger things to contemplate.  She felt as though she was humming with some sort of internal activity that made us little grasping humans seem irrelevant, unless we were there to worship in some way.

After having our brakes fail and nearly running through a plate glass window--fortunately a steel sign post stopped us!--we were forced to borrow money for repairs and get on the road as quickly as possible to find a home spot.  So worried and feeling urgent, we pushed forward toward Eugene.

San Francisco and Beyond

Pacifica beach at dawn.

We spent two very stressful days visiting the bookstores in the San Fransciso area.  Traffic was tortuous and the streets were very challenging. 

I had heard stories about SF's hills--getting stuck at a  stop sign at the top of a hill in a standard transmission and trying not to roll backward into the car behind you!  Well, you guessed, that is exactly what happened to us.  A stop sign just below the top of the hill on a street with something between a 20% and 30% grade!  Revving the engine so high you think it will explode, praying for the clutch to catch before you catch the front bumper of the guy behind you, praying when it does that it doesn't stall (it does!), then re-starting the car and trying all over again, knowing somewhere in one of the houses with a view of the intersection is someone laughing his ass off at the out-of-towners from Iowa! Quite nerve-wracking.

But it is something to say that I have now been to the Bay area.  Would NOT want to live there with its congestion and high cost of everything.  I'm sure it is a lovely place to visit when you have the resources, and rich with history.  Of course, the cultural depth and the beauty of the land are also attractions. 

Other than one sale (30 days net) we didn't do very well in the SF area, so on it was to Sacramento and the I-5 north to Oregon.

Colorful Haight-Ashbury district.
San Francisco Skyline

San Francisco gridlock.
The old SF Bay Bridge.  Remember the collapsed part from the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake?

The new Bay Bridge--old bridge is to the right. 

Two bridges.
A foggy view of the Golden Gate.  We did not visit because of traffic and budgetary restraints.
I'm a little sorry I didn't get to visit Golden Gate Park.  An old friend and I, in 1975, had made a pact to meet one another there on New Year's Eve of 2000.  Needless to say, neither one of us made it, but just being there made me think of her.

Another glimpse.

After leaving Pacifica, we went to Oakland and bookstores in that area, then on toward Sacramento.
There we found camping at CalExpo fairgrounds, and the following day we were able to drop by two more stores in Sacramento. 
Camping at Cal Expo.

Sacramento seemed like a nice enough town, especially the old town part.  I love historic districts--lots of spirits to sense and history to feel. 

The original Wells Fargo in Sacramento.

Wells Fargo, now a museum.  Surprisingly, there isn't even a Wells Fargo ATM on the property.
After the bookstore visits, we rested a couple of days in Sacramento and planned our next steps.  I was nervous, worried because everything was so expensive and we had many days in California where we had no idea where the next gallon of gas was going to come from.

Spring in Sacramento

Somehow we made it through and when we left Sacramento, I was happy to be heading north, away from the crazy energy of California's big cities.  Out across a big open grassy plain, we headed north on I-5. 

We had only gone a few miles when we suddenly had people honking their horns at us and waving.  We pulled over to see what was the matter.  Apparently we had a blowout on the Ford Ranger in tow and had been spraying sparks all over the interstate as we dragged it along on the metal rim!

Thank heavens for AAA--again!  Well worth the investment for the tows we have had to use along this trip. 

Waiting for the tow truck.
So a portion of our gas money went to fixing the tire.  Fortunately we had the cash, and the repair shop was very reasonable and helpful.  Better late than never, we headed back on the road three or so hours later.

Our next destination: Mount Shasta.