Peace

Sometimes I just need to get up in the mountains – Wolf Mountains. Just need to release and seek peace at the 4H Pond.1429568106484So, I sit relax – I don’t even fish! and just bask in the beauty! I am thinking I should climb up to the Lookout Tower and then walk the trail to the point – I was going to write “hike” instead of walk but that sounded arduous.

1429568047411I walk out and this is my view! Chloe is all happy and running around and I look down and find a big ole bag a weed! I guess someone else had the same idea!

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I take a minute for a stupid selfie – and remember the text I sent my best bro Woody before I left ” if I am not back in a week, come looking”

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Yep, jinxed myself – jump in to start for home and dead – nothing – and I climb out and smile and push start the old FJ60 to life – dirt roads rattled a small starter wire loose. I guess I need to be more careful with my thoughts!

 

 

Hooters

When I first moved to Lodge Grass, Montana, I kept hearing about Hooters_logothe “Hoot” Colony that was my closest neighbor to the south. Visions of retired Hooters girls danced in my head! I figured it was a ” retirement colony” for all those beautiful (exploited-lol) girls. Last night, I had the privilege of a visit from the Hoots! Sorry guys, this is a Hutterite Colony of 30 folks that live in a communal retreat here in Montana. They were (I believe) originally from the AnaBaptist Sect that left Germany to flourish in the religious tolerance of our great country. ( http://www.hutterites.org/ )

Religious Tolerance and satire were alive and well in France till this last week when senseless slaughter of bright satirical minds led this writer to think of the two most important elements of our freedom and what guarantees them!

While our local Hoots are pacifist, they are protected by Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech – all guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment.  I can satirically write about them and we can all laugh with visions of Hooters girls dancing in our heads!

Pope Francis yesterday condemned religious fundamentalism as a “deviant form of religion”  that “eliminates God by turning Him into a mere ideological pretext,”  I love this Pope – he does not play with words!

So, while I wrote on Facebook – ” Hmmmm, France has strict anti-gun laws…now how is that working out for ya?” I am thankful for our religious freedoms and our laws that allow us to carry a weapon if we choose. (not that I ever would)… Thankful I live in Montana surrounded by Native Crow people and beauty and yes…Hoots that personify a simpler time!

Now for all the guys that clicked the link because it said “HOOTERS”

l.austin

 

“Only so much do I know, as I have lived.”

Emerson, American Scholar

“Only so much do I know, as I have lived.”10259802_10152582181902087_2228442843188133528_n 10846136_10152582181932087_6806308941407873464_n 10850182_10152588250837087_7787030850111554043_n 150807_10151370709057087_550720539_n 10407357_10152596030252087_6984153064158757387_n

This has been the theme of my life – I am by no means rich in the way people measure riches today. I am rich in experience, rich in former students friendship, rich in friends,  rich in the knowing of the marrow of life. Sometimes, I look back today and wonder if I made the right choice – the choice to follow as Frost so aptly put it –

from: The Road Not Taken – Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. I rest happy in my choice -an old truck, a good dog, horses, Blessed!

 

Men in Black – what do you fear?

When I was four years old, two men in black suits came to our home in Concord, Ohio and tested me. My parents claim this never happened but I remember it clear as day. I remember they took me into a room and did a series of test – cards with forms and shapes on them and then they talked with my mother and left. How can I have such a clear memory of this event and yet be told it never happened. When I was five I wrote a letter to President Nixon asking him to help “my people” Indians in the west. His Secretary of the Interior, Walter J. Hickel wrote back and told me that he was working to help the native people. Sitting in a meeting with a medicine man and asked to relay my clans I state Hungarian and German and….later the medicine man takes me aside and says you have another Clan Northern Cree.6291

I can remember my nightmares as a child falling. Being on a large ship and then plummeting back to earth.

Abstract thoughts that play over in my mind – the why of each.

I started to title this post To Fear or Not to Fear because growing up I was always afraid. I remember building these scenarios in my mind to get to sleep at night because I knew someone was going to “get me”. Abduction played over and over in my young mind. Christian school for thirteen years did not help matters. They instilled the fear of Johnathan Edwards “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”; your hair is touching your ear therefore you are going to hell legalism. I was whipped and rebelled, whipped more and began to escape into books and nature. I learned to ignore but the fear remained.

No one ever gave me options. I fumbled along through college and then through life directionless.

The one thing in life I have wanted to do – I have never done.

There is so much good I could do – yet I stand motionless – without ego – wondering, thinking, “IF”

Fear? It is amazing what one can live through!

It always goes back to 4th grade, Mrs Spurrier – Memorize Rudyard Kipling “IF” ! and then 7th grade Mrs Spurrier being hauled into the hallway and asked to rat on another student and not saying anything while she berated me and tried to trick me and say that “he said – she said” routine…I stood solid and never flinched and she finally smiled and told me I was okay – she hated rats! I took the whipping for David Smetters in fourth grade, took the whipping in fifth grade for Jimmy Venman, I can still feel the muscle memory of being whipped to this day. I think that is a good thing because it got me through my fear. Through one of the toughest times – “Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,” Lies ruined my life but set me free and they still circulate and I smile thankful.

I met a cashier at the local IGA who was being questioned by the FEDS. She was shaken up – dire fear – and asked for advice – no, I did not quote Rudyard Kipling – I simply told her to keep her mouth shut. Don’t talk to friends, relatives, e-mail, text, anything!

I think often of Edward Snowden who gave his life for our country and I wonder about his fear. I know the media is a mass manipulation of lies. Our politicians sold to the highest bidder.

Life is the energy you surround yourself with –

 

 If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

 

Thanks be to God who giveth to all men liberally –

This is dedicated to my old friend David Smetters – thanks for the brick in the wall!

Two Dead Robins

Home on the ranch in Lodge Grass, Montana and around 10pm I get up from my leather chair to check outside. You know how you have one of those “get up and look outside’ feelings? I look out toward the two other houses on the ranch – no one lives in them – and my heart goes thump thump thump…the lights are going on and off in the one house. I figure maybe the owner had some friends coming down for Easter weekend and I try to call him – no answer. I grab my shotgun and my flashlight and head on out. It is not like TV where I rack my shotgun to be cool – I am always loaded and I click the safety off.IMG_20140418_094857505~2

I walk down the driveway and clearly see something in the house. Obscured by trees, I really can not make out who it is. I figure it is local kids screwing around. I get to the inner door and it is locked. Holding my shotgun in my right hand finger on the trigger I unlock the door and swing it open calling out “HEY” in my best deep macho voice – (it probably sounded like some gay dude at the door) – I walk in and clear the house = nothing! Check closets, shower, each bedroom, = nothing! There is one door in and all the windows are shut? My adrenaline spiked and I am calm and cool…happy with how I handled the situation. (You always wonder how you would do in a high stress “gun” situation – I recite Rudyard Kipling “IF” )

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting

(thank you Mrs. Spurrier 4th grade for making me memorize this)

This morning I go down to check the house again, two dead robins are on the front porch. I now wonder what was in the house last night?

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Confessional – he is a liar, he is a thief, he is a drunk, druggie….Confessional

I wrote the following on my Facebook page and had a plethora of comments and likes…figure I would share more!

I have been called all of the above – liar, drunk, druggie, thief…and worse…a whole lot worse.

“Today I have been really thankful for friends – at Christmas I got the best present from my poorest friend – he always gives. People look down on him because he does not have the best truck, the best clothes, tons of $$ – I even had a local farmer tell me to watch him…(I watch the local farmer – trust him less) But, it just really hit me who gives back! Look into your “friends” and see who really gives and burn cedar for them and their children!”155771_10151856192777087_1097438307_n

October, and I am alone on the ranch here in Montana. I am really happy because life is peaceful and positive. Having weathered the storm of the century, I could finally write in peace. What actually happened was I went outside and enjoyed the ranch!

The beaver were eating tree after tree and the ranch owner was not happy – not my problem because I am not the caretaker (I do wanna be caretaker but that is another story) so…all good. One of the local mountain men was talking about beaver and the ranch owner wanted the beaver trapped so I asked him to trap. I know his children and his wife and I thought he was a good guy! (I still do) He came in December to trap and brought along his sons and we all learned from the expert. The local farmer saw him trapping and told me he was a thief and no good. (Funny, most people I know say that about the farmer) The farmer told me to run him off – Well, I do not let anyone choose my friends, politics, or religion…so I kept trapping with the guy.

I mentioned to mountain man that the former caretaker had stolen the ranch air hose (the mountain man had a flat) – he said – I have an extra one let me bring it over – and did! I moved from the lower older house to the former caretakers house and who was there to help me move…well not the farmer. Then we only moved the washer and sent the dryer to the dump – the mountain man asked if we needed a dryer – yep the day after Christmas an old sturdy Kenmore shows up in the back of his Toyota.

The mountain man is married to an Indian which makes him a squaw man. (Yes, people still think that way to this day.) I do not care! I do not care if he is white, Indian, a farmer, a mountain man – he is now what I call a friend. I have few friends.

Listen and take a chance, don’t listen to the wealthy farmer, lawyer, preacher, whomever – listen to your gut because had I not listened, I would have lost out.

My bottom line: many times the persons’ judgmental lie is the truth about themselves – next time someone says “he is a liar” – “he is a thief” – “he is no good” – he is he is he is – just figure it is a confession!

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Our Schools and the Matrix

Matrix 2.0 graphics for an upcoming blog piece
Matrix 2.0 graphics for an upcoming blog piece (Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn)

A Matrix is described as something (such as a situation or a set of conditions) in which something else develops or forms. Like Neo in the Matrix, children have to choose the red pill or the blue pill. The red pill and its opposite, the blue pill, represent the choice between embracing the sometimes painful truth of reality or hard work of learning (red) and the blissful ignorance of illusion and laziness (blue). The teacher is Morpheus as he explains to Neo (the students) – “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill- the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill- you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I’m offering is the truth- nothing more”

The message received by Neo
The message received by Neo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)