Saturday, January 19, 2019

Of Guerrillas, Monks and Comparing

Spinning the Web of Life in Sacred Circles Called Mandalas ...

Ever caught yourself thinking you know something for sure then finding out you’re entirely wrong about that thing?  A perfect example of this was when I was a kid and heard on the evening news that “Guerrilla Attacks Leave 7 Dead in Western Overthereia.”  I'm totally not kidding you when I tell you I imagined a Planet of the Apes-style attack on humans in some far off and very dangerous country.  I’m not sure why I imagined Planet of Apes instead of King Kong.  Maybe because the King Kong scenario just didn’t make sense.  Like the Planet of the Apes scenario did?  Anyway, it was a while before I realized “guerrillas” were not “gorillas” and I had to rethink everything I thought I knew about Overthereia.  Shit just keeps happening to me.

I thought buddhist monks did those sand mandalas freehand.  I’m not sure why I thought this, I just did.  Monks are very spiritual, I suppose, and it would be very spiritual if the monks made the mandalas freehand.  That would be almost magical surpassing spiritual when I really think about it.  It would be totally magical if they took two handfuls of multi-colored sand and gave it a little toss into the air over a light colored marble floor and all the sand falls into place forming an intricate mandala - magic.  In my mind, it is (was) a sign of advanced spirituality that the monks make these elaborate, detailed, multi-colored mandalas grain by grain from colored sand freehand.  That takes some deep spirituality just one step shy of magic.  (If you don’t know what a mandala is,  go rewatch Episode 7, Season 3 of House of Cards.  If you haven’t watched House of Cards,  I’m not really sure I even want you reading my blog to be perfectly honest.)

A truly enlightened monk could make a mandala from memory with lines straight as the dharma and right angles as true as truth itself - freehand.

Imagine my surprise as I  watched a video recently of monks making a mandala, and they were using rulers and tape to mark out the design.  Whaw, whaw, whawww.  Total disappointment.  Okay, it’s still spiritual, but I really thought they just sat down and made the mandalas without any mechanical aids.  I admit I’m sloppy sometimes when it comes to thinking things all the way thru.

Buddhist monks share 'real gift' in sand painting meant to ...

I also thought the metal pen-type instruments the monks work with were some kind of file that wore the sand off a block grain by grain and it fell perfectly into their freehand mandalas.  Sloppy thinking on my part again.  The pen-type things are pre-filled with grains of colored sand and the rubbing of the ridge does not create the sand particles but just shakes them enough so they slide down the pen to fill in the place they are supposed to be.  It’s really just paint-by-numbers.  Still spiritual I suppose but not as spiritual as rubbing a colored rock over a blank surface and ending up with a mandala.  Half gallon tubs of colored sand occupied the outside ring of the workspace in the video.

Some of the monks in the video wore surgical masks I guessed to keep them from breathing on the sand and blowing it all over the place.  They did not all have them.  The heavier mouth breathers are probably much less spiritual than the monks that don’t need a mask.  Some of the monks are probably so spiritual they simply absorb the life force thru their skin without breathing at all.  Or maybe, they have such control over their bodily systems that they down regulate to 2 breaths a minute or something nearly as magical.  I wonder which kind I would be?  Would I need a mask as a heavy mouth breather or not?  What’s with the comparing?  Would I need a mask?  Would I not need a mask?  I bet I could do only 1 respiration per minute!  Would I be a better than monk than Billy?  Or Tracy?  It probably depends on the day.  (I will ignore the comment of my friend who suggested at coffee this morning that the dyes that make the sand a certain color are probably toxic so the monks are just trying to protect themselves from toxic chemicals by wearing the masks.  This could be true I suppose if one ignores that fact that monks have super spiritual immune systems that defy the laws of chemistry and biology allowing them not to get sick from breathing in toxic chemicals.  I swear, I don’t know where some people get their information about monks to remain perfectly honest with you.)

Some days I am much more spiritual than others.  Some days I could use my own eyelash to paint a watercolor whooping crane with my rainbow tinted tears.  Other days, I couldn’t even make a mess by slinging my own poo against the bathroom mirror.  I’m inconsistent you see.  Are you inconsistent?  Please tell me you are inconsistent.

I compare.  Just as I assume the monks draw mandalas freehand with freshly ground sand without blowing it away due to their perfectly controlled breath, I assume you are always in a much better state of mental fitness than I am.  I assume I have fallen behind or I will never catch up or I got a bad hard drive at the factory or I had a dizzy spell last night.  I stubbornly believe these comparisons to my detriment.

When I compare my insides to your outsides, your outsides usually win even if you have dirty toenails.  Why is that?  I don’t know.  Do you do that to yourself?  If you do, please stop.  You’re insides are fine I’m sure.  Especially if you’re vegan.  The insides of vegans are certainly better than my insides.  Full disclosure - I ate some hamburger last week.  Please don’t judge.  I’m hard enough on myself without you piling on.

Why all this comparing?  Oh, I don’t know, maybe because it’s what I’ve seen done and have done to myself since birth.  I weighed 27 pounds at birth putting me in the 99.9th percentile.  I was special from the start.  I walked at 5 weeks, again by comparison against less mobile cohorts, placing me very high on the mobility scale.  Always worrying about my place on the scale.  How about a scale that just says one thing.  How about a scale that always reads “just right.”

“How are you today?”
“I’m just right.”
“How tall are you?  How smart are you?  How do you feel?  How’s your cold?  How’s school?  How’s work?  How’s that thing?  How’s you’re wife/husband/partner/SO/boyfriend/girlfriend/special friend/friend with benefits?  How’s the weather?”
“Just right.”

Will this disallow some relief from what I’ve been told is the lowest form of gratitude but still gratitude nonetheless?  I’m speaking of the gratitude that comes in meeting or hearing about someone who’s worse off than you.  You stubbed your toe?  Get over it !  I know a guy with only 9 toes because he cut one off with a lawnmower.  You should be glad you’re not that guy.  I guess I’m glad I’m not that guy but do I really need that comparison to feel okay with my current state of being.  Is the 9 toed guy more or less spiritual than me?  More or less spiritual than the mouth-breathing monks?  It is a race right?  There are winners and losers right?  The winners get warm fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and the losers get raisins.  (I do now consider raisins a viable snack option but c’mon they are not even in the same galaxy as chocolate chip cookies.)

BraveTart: Best Case Scenario

I’m also in the 99.9 th percentile when it comes to overthinking and possibly oversharing, but there you go.  It’s okay to go to the zoo, because guerrillas are not killing people there. The monks disappointed me, but I guess they are still just right.  Don’t let my outsides fool you, and please, let’s stop comparing.  Let’s all just be just right.  I’ll bet I’ll be one of the best at not comparing.  Probably in the 99.9 percentile of non-comparers.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

First False Spring

Rabbit Ramblings: Cartoon - A Bunny Classic

January 7th and I’m sitting at Happy Hour in the Milkweed Mercantile nursing a root beer and making shadow puppets over the fireplace.  Which little detail is most remarkable to you?  To me, the most remarkable detail is that I’m making shadow puppets, because it is so sunny outside.  I would love to learn how to make a shadow rabbit and think I got close a couple times but just not quite there. I have a profound respect for all you accomplished shadow puppeteers out there.  As a group, I don’t think you here that enough, so, good job.  I say, “Good job,” shadow puppeteers.

The thermometer is showing 57 degrees at 4pm so I’m going to say, rounding up maybe, it was 60 degrees here in garden zone 5 of North America today.  I realize this is not unprecedented, but it sure feels good!  In years past, I’d take my motorcycle out on days like today if I thought the salt and sand didn’t make things too risky.  Instead of a motorcycle ride, my new little food coop ate our lunch outside at the picnic table.

We still don’t have a name for our food coop, but we had lunch outside today.  Did I mention it was 60 degrees and we had lunch outside today?  I’m giddy.  I might have a touch of sunburn or heat rash or some such a thing.  It was 60 degrees outside today.  During our outside lunch, one friend  was hula hooping and blowing milkweed seeds around.  Another visitor from next door was sporting sunglasses and went for swim in their pond this morning without hacking thru the ice.  There was no ice, because it was 60 degrees today.

Why does anyone hack thru ice to swim?  I’m terrified I’m going to feel some kind of journalistic responsibility to go take a polar plunge and write about it for you dear reader.  Please talk me out of it.  Please.  Now.

While sitting on the porch swing sunning myself in the 60 degree sunshine after lunch, I was invited to rendezvous at the trampoline to watch some trampolining.  I am not a partaker in trampolining no matter what the temperature, but I was keen to watch.  Alas, I missed it but I made my way down to our pond to see how a 60 degree January day looked down there.  It looked good.  It was warm.  I moved a lawn chair out on the dock and just sat in the sun.  It felt like 61 degrees in the direct sun on the dock.  It was so bright I had to squint.  Through the squinting I saw those floating amoebas moving about in my eyeballs no doubt invigorated by the 60 degree day.  Rainbows adorned the squint as well.  Rainbow amoebas on a 60 degree January day.

I didn’t even keep the fireplace going today at The Mercantile.  Why?


We had a snow back in early November which seems like a year ago.

I left the pond and strolled over to check on all the little lettuces in the greenhouse.  They were loving life today!  It was about 80 degrees in the greenhouse.  My head started sweating almost immediately after going in.  Nothing like a good January greenhouse sweat.  Some of the little lettuces got a tad freezer burned awhile back but they are still tasty.  And abundant.  There are a couple 3 foot wide rows about 30 feet long with a lettuce carpet growing.  The soil was double drenched as the seeds were planted back in October and that moisture will be expected to keep things growing all winter.  There is a mix of red, green, oak, and arugula lettuces.  I’ve cut a couple pounds worth so far that my food coop has enjoyed.

I did get out into the garden and cut down another 30 red mulberry saplings.  This was in addition to the the 50 I had already cut.  Red mulberry is an ambitious little tree.  I checked out the fence around our garden.  It needs some work.  By “our garden” I mean our new food coop.  Our unofficial working name has been “Podatoh” and then “Sweet Podatoh” and then since we are in SkyHouse we have referred to ourselves as SkyKitchen or SkyPeople.  Put it all together we’re currently the Beloved Sky Kitchen Sweet Podatoh Kitchen Coop.

Almost forgot, we ordered some seeds after lunch today.  Seed catalogs started showing up here at Dancing Rabbit about a week ago.  Someone commented “the plant porn” is here.  How indelicate.  Indelicate or not, a few more catalogs showed up in quick succession and I’ve flipped through the pages dreaming of bumper crops of tomato, basil, kale, and the list goes on.

If it seems to you I’m a bit manic, I am.  Nothing like the first false spring of January to get me all worked up.  I know it won’t last.  6 inches of snow is forecast this weekend, but as I put my longjohns back on and wear my Elmer Fudd hat outside to feed the fire, I will have the seed of hope in my soul’s warm center promising that it will get warm again.  Seeds will sprout, I’ll jump in the pond, and I’ll be proud of having a farmer’s tan again.

(And just so you know, it snowed a foot in the last 24 hours and I've totally forgotten about how awesome and warm it was just a few days ago)

Sunday, January 6, 2019


I went to visit Grandma Matthews last week.  She did not come over to my parents’ place for a belated Christmas celebration because she was sick.  She gets sick every year about this time.  We agreed it was due to holiday stress and lots of germs in the air.

I wanted to make time to go see Grandma while I was in the area.  Melissa, my sister, and her sons Cole and Clayton stopped by Grandma’s the day before I did.  Grandma had snacks for them I’m sure.  When my parents go visit Grandma they always try and talk Grandma out of cooking anything.  Grandma is always serving up food when we visit.

 I don’t even try and stop her anymore.  Grandma is 91 years old and has earned the right to do whatever the hell she wants.  Why fight it?  Even when I try and limit her efforts to feed me, it is futile.  Grandma will make food.  Grandma will be in the kitchen after her own funeral making sandwiches.  I’m sure of this.

Here’s how it all went down last week -

Me:  Hi Grandma, how are you?  You sound sick.
Grandma:  Oh I’m okay.  I’m a little hoarse.
Me:  I’ve been sick too.  Day 10 for me, but I’m not too bad.  Can I come over and visit?
Grandma:  Sure!  What do you want to eat?
Me:  I just ate so I don’t need anything thanks.
Grandma:  How about a ham sandwich?
Me:  Okay.  A ham sandwich would be great.
Grandma:  Is that all you want?
Me:  Yup.  A ham sandwich will be great.  Can I bring you anything?
Grandma:  No, I’m fine.

I drive into town to visit Grandma bringing a bottle of wine from Dancing Rabbit, a coffee cake left over from all the stuff Mom had for my visit which we never ate and a container of leftover chicken fettuccine.

I arrive at Grandma’s in town-

Me:  Hi Grandma!
Grandma:  Hi Troy.  It’s so good to see you.
Me:  Good to see you too.  Sorry you’re sick.
Grandma:  Oh well.  You know.  Seems like I get this every year.  I’ll make you a sandwich.  And there are some peaches if you like.  And some chips.  Do you like chips?  How about some chicken noodle soup?  What’s this you brought?  Would you like some of that?  Let me heat that up.  I love this coffee cake.  You want some coffee cake, don’t you?

I surrendered.

Over the next hour, on an already full stomach, I ate 2 ham sandwiches with Miracle Whip and mustard on white bread, a bowl of chicken noodle soup, a big glass of milk, a slab of coffee cake, a bowl of peaches, some peanut butter filled pretzels, and half a bag of potato chips.  To my credit, I fended off another sandwich and bowl of soup, chicken alfredo, a milk refill, a slice of cheese, coffee, pork and beans, and a gift box filled with coffee, a mug, and cookies.

To my chagrin, I did leave with a candy cane, an individually wrapped piece of dark chocolate, and a partially eaten chocolate covered pretzel stick.  These items collect in a tin on Grandma’s kitchen table.

I put up a good fight, but Grandma always wins.

We had a nice visit and covered the usual topics; card parties, eating out, football, doctors, her friend David, and things she doesn’t really care for and has told people about.

Grandma plays cards with a group of friends a couple times a week.  She has cut down on her driving so only plays every other week in Concordia about 6 miles away from her house.  She enjoys the 7 Days a Week Diner especially when she gets offered a discount by the owner at the register.  Unfortunately the owner has not been there lately and his daughter does not offer the discount.  The Kansas City Chiefs football team has been good this season but lost the last two games.  We agree they will win their next game.  Her doctor talked her out of taking an antibiotic right away after Grandma got sick on Christmas but prescribed one just in case Grandma did not start feeling better.  Well, she hadn’t started feeling better and wishes she had taken the pills right away.  Grandma’s friend David will turn 90 in April and Grandma has noticed, “He’s slipping a little bit.”  Grandma will be 92 this year.

After collecting cats for several decades, live and manufactured, she has turned her attention to elephants; elephants of only the manufactured variety.  She offered me “the whole lot,” but I explained I’m paring down my collectibles.  I was relieved to hear that she is saving a scarf I gave her many years ago and has never worn it but knows “it will mean a lot to you someday so I’m holding onto it so you can have it.”  Phew.  I can imagine Grandma wrapping a sandwich in the scarf in case I “need a little snack.”

Thanks Grandma.  Love you.  As always, thanks for the sandwich.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

442 Miles Saved - About

Image result for save gas

In case you’re in a hurry, I will cut to the chase.  Kurt and I ran 21 errands at 13 places in 3 hours last Thursday saving 442 car miles, and it was easy.

Kurt usually goes to Memphis, Missouri about 11 miles from Dancing Rabbit on Thursdays to run various errands.  I decided to tag along today so I could… I don’t know, just tag along.  All the other Rabbits know Kurt runs errands on Thursdays so they leave stuff in The Mercantile for him to take care of for them; bank deposits, an order for 50 lbs of dog food, an order for two boxes of wine, recycling in the car trunk, and all sorts of stuff.

Let’s see if I can remember all the places we went:

Meat processor
Computer repair shop
Animal feed store
Post office
Coffee shop
Another bank
Liquor store
Grocery store

Nailed it - 13 places.

The beautifully “eco” thing about this is that it saved 21 different people from making the 22 mile round trip to Memphis.  Instead, Kurt and I did it in about 30 miles of driving.  Kurt made it extra efficient by setting the cruise control on 45 mph so as not to have to hit the brakes on the curves and 45 mph happens to be a very, very efficient mph especially in a diesel Volkswagen Passat.  I bet were were getting at least 40 MPG.  Way to go Kurt.  And shame on you to the people that passed us against a double-center line.  Where are you in a hurry to get to anyway?  Rutledge?

By the way, did you think about all the time Kurt and I saved the other people who did not have to run the errands?  Of course you did.  If you’re reading my blog, it means you are smart and sophisticated and unselfish so of course you already thought of all the time other people were saving by not going to get their own boxed wine and pickled jalapenos.  They were being productive building goat barns, Facebooking, and putting off other important things.

But did you think about how nice it must have been for Kurt and I to get to spend some personal time together because we shared the ride?  Of course you did, especially those of you that already know Kurt and understand how special it would be to run 21 errands at 13 places over 3 hours with him.  One of my favorite moments was when I left Kurt waiting at the barber shop and went across the street to Country Chic and get a Shiplatte (a fancy coffee), and when I walked back into the barber shop Kurt was finally in the chair, and I bemoaned the fact that, “You don’t look any better than when I left Kurt,” and the barber mutters something about doing the best he could with what he has to work with.

Sometimes living in an ecovillage can start to feel like living anywhere else with all the daily chores of living until another little reminder like I got today reinvigorates me about what we are doing here at DR.  Dancing Rabbit is special and worthwhile and it does make a difference.

Next week I want to shoot for a new record with at least 22 errands and 14 places visited.  It should be easy because Kurt and I didn’t even go to the hardware store, or Keith’s Cafe, or the courthouse for anything.  Are you listening Rabbits?

Monday, December 24, 2018

That's Preposterous !

Image result for preposterous definition

I want to give preposterously.  I want to give outrageously.  I want to give immoderately.  I want to give lavishly.  I want to give fully.  I want to give generously and wisely.  I want to give exorbitantly.

Do I want to give sacrificially?  Yes.  I want to give sacrificially.  I want to give privately and anonymously.  For every time I get caught giving, I want to get away with it in secret another time.  What is it to give a $20 bill fresh from the ATM on a whim when all I have to do is go to the next ATM which is never more than 50 feet away and get more.  I want to give my sandwich, my last sandwich, to someone who has no sandwich.  I want to go all the way.

But I’m scared.  I’m always scared.  But I’m practical.  I’m always practical.  But I have a backup plan.  I always have a backup plan.  But I’ll do it later.  I’ll always do it later.  But others are counting on me.  I always blame it on the others.  Why don’t I show the others how to do it?  What if they don’t follow?  Does it matter?  My soul hangs in the balance.  My giving is in question.

The camel stands at the eye of the needle.

I’m the one who is compelled to give exorbitantly.  I don’t know your path.  Maybe you are learning to receive? Can I receive?  Can I ask?  How will I know if I am never in need?

I know why the rich, young man walked away sad.  I’ve assumed my whole life he didn’t sell all he had to give to the poor.  Upon a re-reading, it just says he walked away sad.  It doesn’t say he didn’t do it.  Actually, just because I haven’t done it yet doesn’t mean I won’t.  Here’s the process; sell, give, follow, enter.  Sell,  Give.  Follow.  Enter.  Enter the Kingdom.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Rabbit Holiday Traditions

The Milkweed Mercantile

As I approach my first holiday season here at Dancing Rabbit, I started to wonder how holidays here are different for me and fellow Rabbits from the holidays we grew up with or left behind in our lives before DR.

My family celebrates Christmas.  As a little kid, that meant a trip to Grandma and Grandpas or Bonnie and Bill’s for a couple days with all the relatives.  We almost always attended a Christmas Eve church service singing traditional songs and hymns like Hark The Herald Angels Sing and Little Drummer Boy while hearing the Christmas story read from the Bible.  I was eager to get up Christmas morning and get into the presents.  Grandma and Grandpa made sure to give each grandkid the same number of presents, usually two, to keep everything even.  We had a huge meal; turkey, homemade mashed potatoes and bread, corn, green beans, sweet cinnamon rice, jello salad, and pumpkin pie.  It always seemed like I had barely swallowed the last piece of pie when Grandma was already offering turkey sandwiches for a snack.

After we moved to Florida when I was 15 years old, Christmas changed.  I’ve actually been to the beach on Christmas.  We still went to church and still opened presents, but instead of being with family, we were with my dad’s business partner and his family.  Just before moving to Dancing Rabbit, I had been back in Kansas City for many years celebrating Christmas with family again in much the same way we did when I was growing up.  But what about this year?  How will things be different?  We’ll see.  I’m not going to see my family until the weekend after Christmas.  This will be my first Christmas at Dancing Rabbit.

I asked some of my fellow Rabbits how their holidays have changed over time; childhood, adulthood before Dancing  Rabbit, and adulthood after moving to Dancing Rabbit.  Their responses were wide-ranging and made for a nice conversation allowing us to get to know each other better.

One of our newer residents, Cat, had this to say.  “As a kid in Fort Lauderdale, I remember going caroling.  Some families even went to the beach, but we didn’t.  As an adult living in California, I started my baking the day after Thanksgiving.  I made cookies and fudge for all my neighbors.”  I wish I lived in California where Cat was baking, but I do have hope that maybe she’ll bring that tradition with her here to Dancing Rabbit this first holiday season.  She plans on attending our potluck and would be interested in some caroling.  White flocked Christmas trees were also a tradition in Cat’s family with generational variations in decorations.  Cat’s grandmother had blue lights and ornaments while her mother had pink.  Cat’s ornaments were strings of popcorn and paper chains on the traditional white flocked tree.

My friend Dorothy reminisced about Christmas traditions growing up in her German Mennonite community in central Kansas.  She remembered, “On Christmas eve, we would always go to church where the children put on the Christmas program; a re-enactment of the Christmas story and singing of traditional hymns.  The children got sacks filled with peanuts, candy, and an apple or orange.  Christmas day before going back to church, my family celebrated Christmas at home, and then after church, we all went to my grandparents’ house.”  As an adult with children of her own, Dorothy shared some of the things she cooked.  She made spinach quiche for breakfast and walnut streusel coffee cake.  She taught her granddaughter how to make the coffee cake to carry on the tradition.  Peppernuts were also a tradition.  For years, Dorothy made Famous Candy Bars to send to family.  The recipe included cornflakes, peanut butter, sugar of course, and melted chocolate on top.  This year will be notable as the first year Dorothy will not be sending out the Famous Candy Bars.  (I’m hoping maybe she’ll make some for us locals at least!)

Christmas cookies are the theme of the holidays for Andrea.  As a kid in Virginia, Andrea made hundreds of sugar cookies with all the cutouts at her grandparents’ house along with her many cousins.  With a smile, she said, “It was like arts and crafts meets baking.”  The cookie baking tradition has continued into her adult life with her own children, and she already has a day planned for cookie baking here at Dancing Rabbit.  I can’t wait personally!  Andrea also remembers Christmas mass where her grandmother would place Bibles on two rows of pews at church to save them for all her family joining her at the service.  Another tradition Andrea has continued with her kids from her own childhood is stuffing stockings with olives and an orange.  That was a new one to me.  Another thing Andrea commented on was how Christmas has often felt intimidating or overwhelming “keeping up and giving the kids enough.”  Maybe that pressure will let up a little bit here at Dancing Rabbit.

Alline said she feels less pressured around Christmas here at Dancing Rabbit.  The Mercantile will host the annual Christmas Morning Potluck Brunch.  (Noteworthy that a Secret Santa gift exchange plan was hatched by Alline during all this Christmas tradition talk.)

Rabbit Dan has spent many holidays in Cleveland with his family.  The family traditionally goes to the Westside Market and buys exotic things like squid and falafel.  Dan has never stayed here at Dancing Rabbit for Christmas.

Long term Rabbit Cob shared an intriguing family tradition.  His family members would disguise their gifts with wrapping and packaging suggestive of something other than what the gift actually contained.  Cob went so far as to empty a box of chocolate covered cherries, replace them with a necktie, and have the box shrink wrapped again.  His father didn’t realize the gift switcharoo until two years later when he opened the box hoping for a snack.

As a kid, Cob remembers he and his siblings chomping at the bit upstairs while his parents set up lights and a camera to film the happy event downstairs.  The problem was sometimes his parents did not get the video they wanted on the first take so the family would do multiple takes to get it just right.  “Christmas morning - take 3.  C’mon Mom!  We just want to open presents.”  As an adult with children in upstate New York, Cob stressed out trying to get to three different places to “do Christmas.”  He felt there was a lot of pressure to have a day long “Kodak moment” which was exhausting and impossible to achieve.  He appreciates a more relaxed approach now at Dancing Rabbit.  Everybody doesn’t have to get the same number of presents or have the same amount of money spent on those presents.  Pillowcases, socks, and sheets have sufficed in place of bows, boxes, and wrapping paper for the gifts.  Often gifts are hand made.  I don’t know about you, but my shoulders just dropped a little, and I’m taking a little deeper breaths just realizing it is possible not to get so frazzled by the holidays.

And that is my hope for you this holiday season.  May you relax into your holiday traditions old and new wherever you are.  I know a place with a great Christmas Morning Potluck Breakfast if you’re looking for a cozy fire and friendly people!  Happy holidays from Dancing Rabbit.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

I Went to Writer's Group

A writer’s group that has been going for over a year?  Who says writers are flaky and non-committal?  I attended my first Writer’s Group Wednesday after dodging it for a while.  I knew I would go eventually, but I was just waiting for the right day; the right day is the day I want to go and not just the day I agreed to go or felt pressured to go or felt I should go.  The right day is the day I want to go.  That day was Wednesday.

It’s intimidating - writing in front of others.  They get to hear my first draft?  Nobody ever reads my first draft.  I can’t hardly stand to read my first drafts.  First drafts are born to be euthanized.  First drafts are like the first time a rabbit shits and then eats it and then shits again.  Give me at least two shits before I let you read it.  That’s only civilized. 

There’s a word for rabbits eating their own shit you know.  Benji will have to remind me of it.  Oh yea, “coprophagy.”  Who knows this kind of stuff - rabbits eat their own droppings?  Rabbits and Dancing Rabbits know this kind of stuff apparently.  3 of the 6 scribes in Writer’s Group were like, “Yea, I knew rabbits did that.  My mom had a rabbit.” 

I need to get out more.  Wait a minute, I am out.  I got out.  I got out of my comfort zone and into the Twilight Zone.  Soul-fracking as it may be, I know this is good for me.  I didn’t know I was in for an education on rabbit coprophagy, (Cop-ro-Fay-jee) but I knew I was in for something.  And it’s something, let me tell you.

My new food co-op requires members to be engaged in “deep work”, whatever the hell that is, in order to remain in the co-op.  Getting up in the morning here at DR, lighting a fire, figuring out how to feed myself, not saying, “You guys,” and learning about poop-eating rabbits is about all the deep work I can handle at this point.  Starting a new life here at DR is “deep work.” 

Every single day I feel like my life is a continuous first draft that will never get to be edited.  It’s just flapping out there in the breeze for the whole village to see.  That’s okay.  Nobody has asked me to leave yet, and there’s hot cider, an orange fire, and clacking keyboards here at Writer’s Group in The Mercantile.  This is Writer’s Heaven.  No wonder it’s been going over a year.

Sorry for typing so loud, by the way.  It’s my first draft.  I’ll eat it later.