Okay, so where was I? I feel like I have to write faster, as the feelings are already converting into the intangible. The memories becoming soft, malleable, and elusive. Like smoke, when I try to grab at it, it dissolves and scatters. I’m sad today, and I must prepare myself for all the work that is ahead of me. But for now, I’m going to allow myself to languish in my memoirs just a little bit longer.
Did I mention that when we were sitting on those flat stones by the river and hot springs, that every time a piece of sand or mud got on my legs, this guy would scoop up some of the cool river with his hands, and so very carefully trickle water over my chunky gams to clean me off? At first I was embarrassed. I get a little uneasy when people get very close to me. Just an example of one of the stored goods I keep in my social anxiety cupboard. I also haven’t shaved my legs (or anything else) for quite a few months now, and even though this is quite natural in many places domestic and abroad, in LA it is pretty much taboo. As much as I fight against the internalization of this stupid societal norm, I still get nervous when someone actually notices my legs.
Ya and I returned to my campsite at seven, two hours before dark. I opened up the cooler that my mom insisted on packing for me. She said that if I let her do this, it would relieve her anxiety about me going camping alone. In the cooler were a dozen eggs, ten boiled potatoes, ten pre-cooked chicken tenders, two bunches of bananas, a package of bacon, cans and cans of beans of every kind, a gallon of orange juice, a pitcher of homemade ice tea, tortillas, a Tupperware full of precooked rice, a steak, chips, home-made garlic salsa, saki, chocolate…I had enough food for a month, and I was only camping for two nights. She also packed me a really cool retractable knife, pepper spray, an axe, and a swiss army knife. She told me not to hike by myself. I agreed just to make her feel better. She also told me to wear extra underwear when swimming in the river, lake, or hot pools so that little fish and worms (ew!) wouldn’t be able to swim up my vagina. I told her that I didn’t think they had those there. She told me not to be so sure because on her island in the Philippines, there is a tiny fish that swims up men’s urethras. Gotta love my mom.
I built a fire and lay down for a bit in my car/tent. Suddenly I heard a whistle and I looked out to see Doug, the camp host standing at what could be considered the entrance to my campsite. Doug was thin, maybe in his sixties, with grey dread locks that went every which way.
“Come on in!” I beckoned.
He wanted to find out if I was leaving the campsite like the other folks. Oh wait. I totally forgot to mention this part. The precipitation up in the high sierra’s this year has been 200% more than what they have had in any wet season for the past 5 or so years. Because of this, water has to be regularly released out of some of the lakes. The company in charge of all this is Edison. Apparently by noon the next day, my campsite was going to be underwater. He said I could find another one but since I was planning on leaving the next day anyway, I just agreed to be out of the site by 10 in the morning. I was glad he was there because my stash was low and the guy I met earlier…oh I might as well tell you his name. Harboring it doesn’t make it any more extraordinary. It’s Michael. Michael told me that Doug was the man to talk to.
“Hey Doug, while you’re here, um, I’m a medical marijuana patient and I’m looking to find some medicine. Think you can help me out?” I don’t even know why I said it like that but I did. He told me he would be back in ten minutes and he was. He handed me an old jam jar with pictures of fruit on the tin lid. There had to be over an eighth in there. “I would love to contribute, Doug, how much can I give you for that?”
“Oh no,” he shook his head, “I don’t want anything, people give it to me all the time so I wouldn’t think of selling it. Just bring some up to share next time you come here.”
“Then please sit down and share a bowl with me.”
He agreed to that and sat down. He told me that he is the only person that stays in Mono Hot Springs year round, because the road becomes impassable from November to April. It only took a little nudging to get him to spill his story. Although he was raised in Oceanside California, he had spent half of his life sleeping on the ground in the mountains. What a people-less paradise it is in the winter! Blanketed in white, the hot pools melt the snow and remain always. He told me about how the bears played by his window because they liked his music. He straps on snowshoes and explores the forest, talks to the trees. He told me that when you live in the now, magick unfurls itself all around you and you can’t help but be in awe, you can’t help but have happiness. He didn’t want to define the Divine, but he said whatever it is, it’s his best friend. He talks to this indefinable divinity, asking it to please share some of the goodness with other people. That is his only sadness, that other people can’t experience it. When I asked him if he ever writes down any of his experiences he emphatically shook his head and told me that he quit reading and writing, and that he hasn’t picked up a book or newspaper in over ten years.
We had sat and talked for so long that it was only a few minutes after Doug left that Mike showed up. For a trip that was about becoming closer to Goddess and Self, there sure were a lot of men at my hearth. Aphrodite is trying to show me some of her sons, I think. I keep seeing the playful Pan archetype. Undomesticated, ungroomed, uneducated, rough and without a drop of elegance. No bling, no bullshit, no games. Spontaneous enjoyment and the ability to be fully present in a conversation. No ego. No need to dominate or objectify, just a childlike curiosity to lightly rub one soul against another. These are the qualities that most men I come across lack.
She was giving me a breath of fresh air. Making sure I’m not using biology to close up my mind. This is an example of how different Aphrodite’s teachings are from Morrighan’s. M comes from more of a …pick yourself up off the fucking ground, realize your own power and kick their fucking asses like you know you can.. school of thought. Rage is after all, a cure for depression. And when put to good use can fuel great change. Not to say that Morrighan’s arms aren’t nurturing and loving. Celtic warriors prayed to Her to embrace their souls when they died in battle, and carry them to the afterlife. It is for Her that we reach in our most vulnerable and miserable moments.
I’m trying to keep these posts at about 1000 words so I will rest here for the moment…