School Pride

Well, I’ve been creating some kind of blog most everyday for about six months now.  It’s been a real treat for me; something I’m actively excited about when I go to bed, which is normally not the case when my alarm is set to 4:55a.  This morning I don’t feel out of ideas, per se, but I feel tired of seeing my own footprints in the sand, and by now there are many.  

You know something I love about fire season and living at fire camps half the year?  I essentially care about everyone’s experience.  I’m just, you know, recognizing that the events of this year have caused certain types of people to emerge for me as antagonists, in America at large, and probably that’s been the case for all of us one way or the other.  It’s so encompassing that it’s almost invisible, but my psychological map of the US is populated by many people I feel fear and loathing towards, because of their volatility and mind games.  And I’m not debating that with myself, I’m just allowing it to be true right in this moment.  But contrastingly, at fire camps, my psychological map is one of basic goodwill and presumed competence, santity, and high likeability.  I was very stationary in my role with the mobile (but mostly stationary) showers, all summer, and people come to us, and we have a lot of fun interacting with them.  But the last couple days I’ve been tasked with providing potable water for the rest of this section of camp, too, and so I’m motoring around in the tractor helping solve other people’s problems, and being out and about a lot more, and it’s enlarged my mental map of wonderful people.  I’d still rather not have two jobs, but I mean the whole operation is just great interaction after great interaction.  

I guess, on the macro, I’m thinking about collective cohesion, the retreating fantasy of it, I suppose.  That’s why I’m so hooked on spiritual perspectives; there, there’s no barrier to feeling the oneness, because everyone’s operating on a dual level, just like me.  The persona and the higher self.  Our higher selves are all having the time of their lives, and not just individually but in strong close connection!  While our personality level selves are letting more or less of that in, having more or less of a good time.  

Socio-politically, it’s a lot more depressing.  I’m like: was it even right that the Union won the Civil War?  Are we ungovernable?  But no, honestly I think that’s horse shit.  Or, it’s like saying, maybe I’m just not good at public speaking, because I had a bad experience public speaking, but it was the night after a raging bender.  That’s probably less about aptitude and more about still being drunk on stage.  I don’t know if we’re governable or not, but it there’s a been an active Deep State since WWII at least, and I think there has been, then it’s just like the problem I had up in North Dakota.  I went up there to work for a company whose manager, my boss, was actively embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund a start up that, guess what, I didn’t work for.  I didn’t understand a lot of the churn that was happening at the time, but it was easy to blame myself and be like, “am I not a good enough driver?” when it was totally about his criminal ass being criminal.  

So on my psycho-social map of America, which is populated by large swaths of dark energy in my mind at least, here’s where my head’s at: obviously we’re all Source energy and then we embody into infinite gradations of individual ego perspective still connected to that collective, but invariably caring about the stuff we each care about.  We cannot reject the individual ego because to do so is — well, first impossible, but second, part of the integral experience of being embodied.  I mean, you wouldn’t wait in line for a roller coaster and then, right when you get strapped in, knock yourself unconscious so you don’t have to experience the roller coaster.  The fact that you’re on the roller coaster implies you anticipated something worthwhile in that experience, so ride it out, get chills and thrills, it doesn’t last forever, and then go do something else.  It’s just as inappropriate to reject the specifics of our embodied ego experience (trying to be too “spiritual”) as to reject the context of our own eternal nature (trying to be too “ego”).  

The ideas of nationalism, patriotism, American exceptionalism (which it was funny to hear Hannah Nicole Jones, the 1619 project lady, “debunk” while also totally missing the point of — it doesn’t mean “America is super-duper”, it means America has an unusual origin story, relative to other countries) ARE, in fact, ideas I resonate with quite a lot.  To me, the presence of a healthy national ego (spiritual context, not narcissism) is as important as the presence of a healthy individual ego, because we must unavoidably function at both those levels, and quite a few others as well.  It’s of great benefit for me to presume I’m blessed, as an individual, as a member of a particular family or tribe, as a resident of whatever state, and certainly as a citizen of whatever nation.  Not even because it’s “true”, necessarily, but because whatever I believe about it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, at each of those levels.  

It’s like the Langmore family, on Ozark, back before I cancelled my Netflix.  “The Langmore Curse.”  Believing that your entire trailer trash family is destined to run drugs, launder money, and die violently at various young ages, is just not healthy.  So yeah, I have no problem with patriotism and positive national self-sentiment because what’s the alternative?  Feeling like you have the Langmore curse?  You certainly can look back through history at all the fuck ups, just like you can look back through your personal history for all the times you blew it, and solidify that chagrin into a limiting belief set moving forward, but why?  You could just as easily look at all the successes, personally, nationally, at whatever level, if that’s what you want to set the stage for more of.  

So people are for some reason super triggered by Trump’s basically unyielding vision of reestablishing America’s international dominance, domestic thriving, manufacturing, military, exiting poorly negotiated alliances from the past and/or renegotiating them to our favor.  No more government contracts to companies that outsource their labor to China, bringing jobs home, bringing troops home, buying American made goods, stimulating our farming industry, returning to greater energy self-sufficiency first and then improving our sustainability pie chart, pumping the brakes on government agencies like the EPA who spend 92 million dollars on chairs, that kind of thing.  Essentially, the resurgence of a strong national ego, without which we can’t be effective any more than a person without a strong individual ego.  

I guess any sentiment of nationalism is misinterpreted, by some, as being reminiscent of like North Korea or Third Reich Germany, where it’s all militarized deep fetish role play.  But the fact that we have such a robust Constitution built in to the HTML of our identity — hence our exceptionalism — makes us, I’m sorry, but exceptional.  And without even getting all fappy about the red white and blue, it’s okay and entirely helpful to have some basic, like, school pride.  I mean, we all know, when we go cheer for a football team, that it’s entirely fucking arbitrary.  It wouldn’t be any fun to sit in the bleachers and yell, “Go home team!  But also go visiting team!  You guys probably have about the same situation as us, except like three towns over, so we respect your almost meaningless differences!  You probably have the same water fountains and concrete floor locker rooms and really old weight equipment as us, so we recognize that there are very few important distinctions between the situation your team is facing versus the situation our team is facing!  It’s all almost identical, in fact, but we just have this mascot of a bulldog with a spiked collar and you guys have a mascot of a rooster or some shit!  Each of our cheerleading teams represent the prettiest and most popular echelon of girls in our high schools, for whatever that’s worth, and they’re kind of awkward out there but they’re trying!”  

Now, our parents didn’t raise us to square off against the challenges in our lives and confirm to one another, “We’re Pralles!  We don’t back down!”  In fact my mom was like, “Sounds like you should back down,” essentially, all the time, often unhelpfully.  And my dad was like, “The monkey mind always likes to tell us things that aren’t true, especially about how important we are.”  They were kind of always cautioning us against the solidification of too much identity, based too exclusively in the ego’s assessment, and I think that’s great because we were also, constantly, offered the consideration of ourselves as valuable eternal beings having an embodied experience, and being loved for who we were (souls with temporary names like “Abe” and “Hannah”), with whatever we chose to do just growing out of that organically.  

That’s not the alternative being offered to American exceptionalism, unfortunately.  The flagellation of ourselves as bad and wrong was NEVER recommended, and never should be.  Seth, the energy perspective channeled by medium Jane Roberts for like 30 straight years, the original transcripts of which reside permanently in the library at Yale, I believe, wrote an entire book called “The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events”, which I just love.  I’m due a re-read on that one, in fact.  I mean, the pull of our individual perspectives represents a micro-climate, and the pull of our collective perspectives represents entire huge weather patterns, as we’re seeing.  We simply don’t have the option of not experiencing life collectively, just like we don’t have the option of not experiencing weather, and the cross section of our collective experience called “national identity” is a necessary and totally okay aspect of that to subscribe to.  Why not — we’re here, channeling our energies.  Go red white and blue!  Are we able to suspect that the other people flying other flags are distinct from us only in terms of surface level differences and as agents of other political HTML software platforms?  Yeah, of course.  Nobody has to get crazy about it.  We’ll all graduate eventually so enjoy the school pride as part of the experience.  Nobody grows good food out of a garden they’ve convinced themselves is bad and wrong and systemically evil.  It’s a fucking garden.  Grow some food.

Aannyywwaayy…it’s heavy, socked-in smoke this morning, which will dissipate because it always does.  We’ve had hot temps and looks like all of next week will be in the hundreds, which I don’t mind but good ole Gene isn’t thrilled about.  We can both retreat to areas of AC, when we need to, so that’s fine.  My CDL friend and new fire trucking trainee, Shay, will be here on Sunday or Monday so I’ll probably get her going on the water hauling op and resume my more traditional laziness, where I go take long walks on the nearby football field.  The fire we’re at is 30% contained.  Having another CDL driver on the team will be great because there’s the potential of her taking the equipment back to Colorado or wherever they want it, while I scoot out for Operation Hawaii.  

We’ve had a setback, which is either small or large and we don’t know which, yet: Milo’s veterinary paperwork from North Carolina is incorrect.  It has to be originals, not emailed, and pretty much the whole point of Nick going back to AZ as early as he did, was to get those Hawaii animal customs forms in the mail, because that’s when the real countdown to moving can actually start.  We had all our important docs mailed to the house, while we were out on fires, because they needed to all be there when we assembled the customs applications.  So the North Carolina vet sending the wrong docs represents a pretty big problem, which Nick is actively resolving.  It’s unclear whether they just sent the wrong docs (booster certificates instead of proofs of vaccine), or whether Milo has in fact not ever received the minimum count of rabies vaccines needed for alllll this other shit to work.  The vet said he had, on the phone, so hopefully it’s just a catastrophic paperwork error and not an actual insoluble problem, setting our timeline back months, and more hundreds of dollars.  

Good thing I’m still here making money so we can fucking blow it all in emergency overnight air fees, smh.  I mean, it has to be minimum two rabies vaccines, so much of a time apart, and then a titer test, and then a chip, and then the results of the titer test no less than 30 days from date of arrival, and if we have to re-do that whole process I’m gonna…well, it’s not worth considering yet.  Hopefully it’s just a matter of lower level damage control and like one more week tacked on to our timeline.  We really don’t have another week, but now we have to.  We might just get my dad on the airplane sooner, so he’s on his way.  

I’m just so worried about so many things, and I know that’s not the right mindset and worrying is planning negatively for the future, but I just feel like they’re gonna spring a “mutation” on us or some shit.  “Oh, a second wave!—” either fake deadly or real deadly, I hardly even care which, “— now it’s lockdown for realsies!”  And of course we gotta ship our guns off with the big box so Nick and I will just be gunless in a devolving dystopian crisis…or maybe nothing will happen and everything is fine.  Yeah, that’s probably it.    

I mean obviously I consider everything to be manufactured and diabolical and not connected to anyone’s best interests or actual safety whatsoever.  You’d have to be crazy to think otherwise.  

So yes, feeling pretty helpless here in that sense, but just doin’ mah job.  Worst case we’ll probably go stay at my totally locked and loaded former guitar teacher’s house.  He has a swimming pool and a shit ton of ammo, and also guitars incidentally.  Aw.  Now I’m almost excited about the civil war.  BUT, yes, hopefully this goddamn endlessly convoluted pet customs issue can be resolved and we can just go be at our avocado tree house and play card games every evening.  That’s plan A.  

We really should have had my dad open the mail as it came and take pics with his cell phone so we knew this was a problem weeks ago.  Why didn’t we do that?  I guess it’s because, when you have a very specific phone conversation with a veterinarian, you just expect the envelope they send to contain the thing you talked about.  You just expect that.  Shame on us.

One good thing is apparently our employers are really happy with how we performed, this season, and happy to have us back next season if we choose, so a new vector of future employment is established.  I like to feel I have a variety of ways to make money, so that’s great news.  Okay, time to wrassle up some breakfast and move on with my day.  It’ll be either semi-good news from Nick, later, or semi-bad news, but we’ll figure it out.                                                

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