seeds in the mix / rotting slabs / snake house / woodchucks I have known / who's who / something small and precise ate the flowers / coin flip / fuck cats / someone's happy / moose video via greg / links
No good news from me this week except maybe that there are purple flowers growing in the weird area next to my house. No one planted them there, they just drifted in among the trash. We went in there the other day and moved the big trash into a less-central pile and put the smaller trash in the bin, not trying to terraform the area into a production facility, just trying to move some trash out of the sun and throw some more flower seeds into the mix. Lifting up slabs of rotting acoustic tiling revealed a heaven for worms, that's always good to see. There was a big pile of sticks in the middle of the lot, we didn't touch that, it's a known snake house.
Somewhere in Weird Area there's a woodchuck house, or anyway that's where it runs to when we see it in the garden and yell HEY, wiggling it's chubby little butt through a hole in the fence. When I lived in a spooky barn on the pastoral edge of town there was a woodchuck in the garden that everyone hated (and fought), but when I lived in the mills behind the abandoned supermarket (also spooky FWIW) there was a whole family of them (Guy, Lisette, and their son Pac Man Jr.) and the mood was "if you can find a way to live out here, God bless". The current woodchuck has a mixed feeling-- yes, he's eating radishes that we intended to eat, but the landscape is almost as messed up as the mill environs, so I gotta give him a hustler's respect. Sakiko threw some radish seeds into weird area for him, I hope the seeds take off. I hope the flowers grow. I hope the snakes enjoyed the dead mouse I threw in there, and barring that, I hope mushrooms and bacteria are helping the mouse get absorbed into the landscape. The empty bags of Doritos I picked up, I hope those Doritos hit the spot, and the empty nips of Fireball, I hope those offered some surcease of sorrow. We didn't clean up too much, just a light trash pick-up. I might not love a big pile of sticks but I respect the snakes that do.
As for the flowers we put them where the biggest trash was, because everywhere else already had something growing. And we mixed the seeds up before sowing them, with the idea that some might like to grow in one place more than another, and we don't know who needs what. Also with the seeds mixed there's a greater anticipation-- not knowing who's who until a flower blooms.
There are flowers in the backyard garden too, but something small and precise came through last week and ate a bunch of them. That's perverse but I understand the impulse-- if I had to choose between being a small precise flower-eater and being me, a large soft coffee-drinker, I think I would just flip a coin. It was a huge bummmer to go out and see just some shitty stalks where before there were these ambient fireworks, but that was last week and now more shoots are coming out of the stalks-- the damage may have multiplied the blossoms. Less of a lesson comes from the cats that have been shitting in the sunflowers out front-- I can't see that spinning into a net positive, that just sucks.
Regarding the animals, Pac Man Jr is probably a grandpa by now, I hope he's rich in chucklings and they're rich in river eels or knotweed or whatever the hell a young woodchuck wants. Guy and Lisette are almost certainly in the land beyond. As for the barn, I checked it out last summer and took a walk down to the garden. Most of my posters are still up in the barn but the garden is just tall weeds. The woodchuck's bounty is much diminished but I bet someone's happy in there.
Greg sent me a video a while ago that he said he watches when he feels overwhelmed, of a moose walking around a neighborhood. He didn't know it but it's the neighborhood I grew up in, age 7(ish) to 19 (I think). It's possible the moose is headed right for my old house, though I'd be long gone by the timestamp on the video (2015). I don't watch this when I feel overwhelmed, but I watch it at other times, just every now and then, with unknown impulse. I can't really imagine being there when the moose gets home, but I can imagine being the moose. I've only walked that road about a hundred million times.
links / misc
Ramsey Orta welcome home fund - the man who documented the police murder of Eric Garner was arrested and is out now, there's a welcome home fund here to support him in what I'm sure will be ongoing police harrassement and intimidation [gofundme]
Members of Congress have introduced a new bill called the EARN IT Act that will give the Trump Administration the power to destroy essential encryption services, putting us all at risk of surveillance, censorship, human rights abuses, and other serious threats. Here's a petition with more info on how to stop it: [link]
There's been a lot of talk about prison abolition in the past two weeks, putting what has been a long and growing campaign into the public eye. There have also been a few high-profile police reform solutions, but like, police reform has been tried for a hundred years, it always works out bad for the people and great for the police. for more info on abolition, check out 8 To Abolition, a clear and easy to understand site you could send to, for instance, your parents. [link]
Also on the prison abolition tip, I just read this incredible and inspiring thing and Massachusetts' Walpole Prison Uprising of 1973, I never heard this before: [wikipedia]
All the links from last week are still very valid, and from now on I think we need to just get in the habit of freeing up money that we might spend on bullshit and channelling it into anti-bullshit resources. [fujichia]
Moose video via Greg: [youtube]
Don't forget you can sign up to get these posts in your email inbox, via the substack sign-up on the contact page: [link]. Each post-by-email includes the full text of the post but also starts with a link back to the castle, so you can just treat it as a reminder, if you'd rather read them in the original formatting, with wavy lines intact. I didn't think it would be so pleasant to see names roll in on the email sign up but it is, it's nice to know people are out there. And if you want to drop a line I'd love to hear from you, either hit up the contact page: [link] or send me an email. :)