A SMOKIN HOT SEASON.

1 09 2009

marie-ann 038 At summers end.

Hello Dear World. Are you still out there or have you given up on me for such a lengthy lapse of communication and whisked off to some hotter link with the turbulent planet?It is the 17th of August. The days are shortening  and I have been insanely busy harvesting cherries from my orchard, planted to satisfy the tax assessment people that my property was indeed a farm— as though surviving at this altitude for so many years on so little money wasn’t proof enough that I properly harvested the land, and should be allowed to continue without being roped into the taxation round-up and unduly milked so that my contribution to the ‘trickle-down’ effect of the economy could continue it’s ceaseless ‘up-squirt’ into the  bank accounts of the financial sector’s light fingered kleptocracy. (God  damm their souls). Well it was my mistake and rather  than giving me a little more time to be a good writer it has backfired and taken my time away in the process of turning me into a rotten farmer. So assisted only by the bear and the birds I have been picking cherries dawn to dusk and bottling them, drying them, and preserving them in every imaginable manner. And of course it was a glut year and the prices in the markets of all kinds plunged. And still the government wasn’t happy, and is ignorant, as usual, of the fact that it is not merely command economies like Communism that are ineffective, but that all government is toxic to some degree and should always  assign power of action only as a last resort. Financial reaping should begin in the fields where the crops of money grow thickest—that is, the pockets of the rich. Bernard Madson (?) has been sent to jail for operating an investment Ponzi scheme. But isn’t ALL capitalism—the entire boiling mess of globalism—one vast Ponzi scheme? One that relies for its continued functioning on the recruitment of more and more humans into the ranks of time-ordered employment.  That way  The Larcenous Nibblers can enrich themselves from their wages as they flow through banks and credit unions and  financial institutions of every description. But there, but there! I am not an economist and all this must be considered another of my rants—my pathetic reaction to the results of my scrabbling  about in the ranks of world order in order to discover some—order. And finding none. Enough! No more babbling lefties.They don’t mix with the champagne and caviar and they give ‘Better People’ indigestion!

I began this around the 17th.I had been feeling pressured by government and by not  being able to find enough time to clean my house let alone sell copies of my two latest books—all eight hundred of them. And so when the daylight duties were closed down by night I went to my wood-workshop where I am , between other things, making little display boxes to put into the shops for my  books . I worked happily until midnight. The workshop is a lovely mindless place of gratifying action. Then I set out to go home to sleep if possible. I closed the shop and stepped out into the Stygian immensity of the night and stopped dead. A fingernail of Astarte – Moon Goddess-was lying on its back sulking for not  having being given it’s own light.  The darkness was thick, impenetrable, and the narrow winding pathways back to my home utterly invisible. A lone satellite wove serenely across the panorama of a billion billion eternities of eternities and I , an atom, somehow endowed with some of the energy that illuminated this breathtaking lightshow, stood mute and awed by the realization that God-talk,Buddha-talk, Vishnu-talk, Jesus-talk were the unimaginative squeaks of jostling atoms; and that there was ORDER out there amongst those stars, of a nature and magnitude far, far greater than the minds that were searching to comprehend it. But, Holy Shit it  was dark! I stumbled a few steps falling into shrubbery and feeling suddenly how wounded and appetizing I must appear to a waiting cougar. And feeling very naked, I returned  my few paces to the work-shop and armed myself with my long half inch wood-chisel and set out again, blundering into the bushes at every fifth tentative step; an old man, dusty and dangerous beyond description, and utterly unafraid— who ME? Ho-ho! Well nothing ate me and here I am at the ending of summer loving the morning freshness of impending fall, the vireos and fly-catchers frisking the linden tree, still covered in blossom, and seething with food for the birds. And I love the blue sky, the warm sun. On days like this no company is neccessary unless they were to be of such a sensitive nature that they would lapse into silence at the beauty of it all. I have no wording adequate for the Loving that fills me, as Dylan Thomas said, ‘like a lovebird’s egg’; merely thanks. But as I puttered through my busyness interspersed with punitive boogieing—music festivals and parties of every ilk- the great somber wheel of time turned leaving me surprised that another  summer has surreptitiously rolled past. Not that I wasn’t appraised every day, every hour,  of its passage, for one of the deepest of the wonders of Canada is the difference of every day from the  one previous. And if you know how to interpret  the signs— a dying flower there , a new blooming one here, a returning bird here a departing species there, you can see our planets exotic dance and every hour’s fresh choreography. There is none of the warm dreaming of the tropics where a lifetime can pass in a day on the beach and only the mirror’s insulting daily confrontation informs you that you appear to be changing, though the sun, the sea, the sand all appear to be the same. And for awhile Canada is tropical. The music scene is sans pareil . The music festivals simply superb and the B.C bud passes freely and no one seems too concerned that it is supposed to be illegal. It is just a ‘smokin special time in a smokin special place.’

But now it’s six a.m. A morning breeze has sprung up. The country’s serenity has been shattered by wild fires that followed a spectacular lightning storm and now the sky is filled with the loud and sonorous drones of propeller planes and choppers busily fighting them. There is smoke everywhere and people are anxious.But not the hawk-owl sitting on a post of my orchard. He, serene as a supreme court judge, surveys the grass beneath  him. He has been there  an hour already patiently scanning from side to side. But soon breakfast will scurry from burrow to burrow and then, silent as a cloud shadow, he will drop and the rodent’s day will be quite spoiled. Sic transit gloria vita. Is there something watching US, I wonder? Death?Divinity?

For the last two weeks the wild fires have raged uncomfortable near my home and overshadowed everything with a patina of anxiety. A large fire to the East of me at Pritchard  moved from a forty hectare fire  to one of one thousand three hundred and seventy seven hectares in the matter of a day and night. Distance is no comfort. A fresh wind can turn a smouldering stump into a raging inferno while one sleeps. Meanwhile everywhere is smoky. The mountains are no longer visible and at night, as the sun goes down shining weakly through the blue haze it attains the brilliant orange of a Japanese flag. But cooler weather is on the way and already there are yellow patches in the trees and I wonder if it was the incredible rapidity of climate change, the novelty of each day, that persuaded the inuit not to move south  with the animals, all those years ago. But for now I must away to make all the preparations for winter.I leave you with a shot of the nearby fire.Fare thee well, Sweet World.turtlevalley mountin fire

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3 responses

3 09 2009
Rhianna

Hi, Laurie, Ive been thinking of you lots lately and sending prayers your way in hopes that the fires bypass you altogether. Your home is a priceless work of art that could not be replaced. I ask the angels to put a ring of protection around your property. Love always , Rhianna

26 09 2009
nanshe

Hi Laurie… this is Mike, friend of Ashley’s… living upcountry Thailand, but have met you more than a few times in Bangkok…. Just checking in on your blog’s latest – will you be back in Thailand soon? Any copies of your (latest?) book still available? I’m currently in the States, in Portland OR, and will be back to Thailand in Oct… hope to run into you!

Mike

25 11 2009
lauriepayne

Hello Mike, Yes I will be back in Thailand arriving the 7th Dec, inch allah . I will stay in Thailand – or asia- until around March 6th and then back here in B.C.But if you are not returning to Thailand until Oct we will not meet over there. Regarding my books– yes I have some copies of Child of the River ( Memoir) and Shawandasse (Novel ) and if you are very swift I might be able to mail you one ($15 or both $30 plus postage.) I am not sure how much postage is to Portland. Canadian mail is expensive I think–it cost me $15 to send one internally but it might have been a few bucks cheaper but I think I can get two books into the priority post envelope. But it is still quite cheap because I am doing my own distribution etc and an equivalent 400page book is $us 24 to $26 so its almost two for the price of one. Hope you are well. I will be leaving here in the mountains in six days and then stay in Vancouver until the 6th — fly out. What are you doing in Portland ? I will be in Bkk for a week maybe and then Kanchanaburi maybe three weeks and then Mae Hong Son for an indeterminate time’ I like it there and it might be a good place to do some writing. I am getting some good feedback from both books which is gratifying, I will be at Taewez dining on SomTum just after dark. My favourite munchies. Hugs and peace, Laurie

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