I fall asleep to the sound of water, napping on the sunporch in the afternoon, in the dark cool bedroom at night, waking to the sound as the sun shines in the window by my head at dawn. There is something soothing about this constant sound, something quite unlike the constant hum of traffic, and electricity and sirens and the exclamation of the occasional gunshot that is city living. Creek water lullaby, better than the hum of my own mind, the noise it makes inside my head.
And there is something else here, in this vacation designed as a way to make art, but instead I see the light of other things entering into my consciousness. Things I am afraid to speak of, for fear of the corruption of corporate education latching on to my intellectual rebellion, and finding salvo in my words. I am quietly absorbing words like Waldorf School, Coyote Education, Unschooling, Homeschooling, Earth Arts, Creative Pursuits, and a distinct absence of dependence on the trappings of modern culture, things like commercials, television, DEET, Twinkies, Common Core and Facebook sound foreign coming from my mouth, and my mind is tonguing the taste of something of my youthful idealism; how exactly did I move away from food cooperatives, medicinal herbs, naturalism, and environmentalism? Where did I turn wrong, and now that I see it like an anti billboard how can I look away from it. This hellacious year did its number on my psyche, and I am rebelling in the only way I know how, trying to find a five year plan that gets me out of it, because I suspect it will otherwise eject me from it, vomiting me out or tossing me in the trash with my archaic notion of learning for the joy rather than the pedagogy, of making art for the pleasure instead of some measurable objective tethered mercilessly to the common core. Teaching children to think for themselves is an expense that cannot be afforded in the era of consumer capitalism, people who think for themselves will not buy into eat this and you will be thin, buy this and you will be rich, wear this and you will be beautiful, play this and you will be popular, the sponsors of our cultural solicitude cannot bear the outsider.
My friend grows herbs and makes medicinal salves and ointments, and today, I gathered blue starred borage flowers, lemon yellow mullein flowers and fragrant lavender flowers for her, and laid them on a screen in the upstairs bedroom to dry. We took the mullein flowers and put them in a double boiler with olive oil to make an ear ache medicine. Then we put pre-prepared calendula oil, sitting on the shelf for 2 months and shaved beeswax stirring frequently until the beeswax melted and then added a few drops of lavender essential oil and poured it into small jars. I took notes and enjoyed the exploration of the garden and learning about various uses of these specific herbs.
We apply the finished salve, A. to her post surgical foot, me to bug bites and an odd abrasion on my ankle that is not healing particularly well, specifically because it seems to be a magnet for the toe of my other shoe to kick, regularly, and quite unexpectedly, for no apparent reason. I have removed band aids which only seem to keep the wound open further, salve on. Tomorrow morning I shall report the results!