This is the first time in my life I won’t be reporting any 10-40, W-4 or 1099 income to the government on my tax filings from last year. All the money I’ve made through random writing work and odd jobs has been in cash - and meager, sub-taxable quantities at that. I’m not proud of this - AT ALL - but I need to be accountable, and I feel like by writing it here, admitting it, I am incorporating a fact into my reality so I will be forced to deal with myself.
Frankly, I’m terrified. Badly bent, but not broken. And not beaten.
This will have to be the year for core strength and resourcefulness. "One hopes that I’ll get out of this mess," said The Liar. The truth, I believe, is that we can’t live to escape the messes; we’ll only fall into bigger messes. BUT by being resourceful and developing core strength people can transform a seeming mess into an engine that works for you. And by you, I guess I mean me. By core I’m not just talking stomachs, but core of one’s being: what is vital to you? I want to get to mine, and make it strong so that I can look and investigate in any direction and still come back to myself. If you’re curious, or a dreamer, it’s hard not to get distracted (by the world and its power for generating ideas, by those ideas themselves…) right? but I want to begin dreaming with focus and a heavier follow through. It might be impossible to change,
but then again, it might not. After all, Kenneth Rexroth wrote this poem:
Needless to say, it will take strength and resourcefulness: one developing from focused work and the other from a sharper eye for raw material.
Needing to ground myself I went out walking along the earthquake epicenter from the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, where a slip in the San Andreas Fault Line plates re-arranged Mt. Loma Prieta and devastated parts of the city. I like going for a hike if I’m feeling precious, trapped, depressed or whatever because Nature is a force of change, and to get in touch with it is to understand Change itself. Nature isn’t precious because its timeline is eternity. My timeline for living in San Francisco feels iffy/dwindling because of my busted financial situation vs. the insane rental rates here, and I feel precious to take advantage of everything because I love this part of the country so much.
I’m not Nature. I’m just human. I would make a shitty Nature.
This area of the Santa Cruz Mountain Range edges the border of the Monte Bello Open Preserve, which is about 15 miles of looping trails up Indian Creek to Black Mountain or down through a massive canyon that is split by the winding Stephen’s Creek.
Hard to tell from this pic on my crappy phone, but the creek’s run almost completely dry from the drought that’s been killing California this year. It’s January 25th; usually at this time the creek is a heavy flowing stream and not just a dry throat of dirt, rocks and felled trees where I stopped to eat an orange. The dry creek is now the nature. The starving animals dying are now the landscape. I don’t like it, but just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not true.
Why is one tree naked and one tree clothed?
Trees wooled with moss, brunt-headed buffalo
watching. Heavy wind rustles everything I imagine
mammoth creatures charge…