I feel like Ive gone through so much in this past week in the Texas bardo.
Where do we start to make this crazy confused world better? Clean the house you are in now.
So that’s how I’ve spent the better part of today.
At one point I was wiping down the kitchen window just in front of the sink. As I was contemplating mindful object placement,
putting back 3 stalks of bamboo in a fusia opaque plastic looking vase,
a small artificial plant bouquet in a stubby v-neck glass vase with fake water made from rubber jelly,
a small intricately carved fragile glass piano,
a small rectangular Tupperware bottom holding what looked to be several months worth of dried lemon seeds,
and 2 aquamarine colored tiles with large shells on them, (the type you would expect to see hanging in a bathroom in a dated 1980’s beach condo)
all leaning up against the blinds, I thought how fortunate I was to do ROTA at SMC.
ROTA is a community chores system we used at SMC. It stands for Remarkable Opportunity for Transcendent Action. It mostly entails the community and dish washing. If we could figure out a harmonious ROTA system, I believe enlightened society will have manifested at SMC. The ROTA system is riddled with all kinds of inefficiencies and bias, including seniority favoritism and lacking a system of consequences for those not performing their community chores appropriately.
I feel like ROTA was one of my favorite parts of SMC actually. It normally manages to bring some kind of intensity out of people.
It really is what it says it is.
Sometimes when I was going crazy with sadness, irritation, or some form of intoxicant induced delusion, and didn’t know what to do with myself, I would go wash community dishes. It was a good grounding rock for my mind.
The first weekend I arrived here, my dad took me to South Padre Island aka “the island”, to see my brother.
We went fishing. It was good. We didn’t catch anything. The whole situation really stirred the muck of food politics, particularly the way we treat our food or our would be food.
At one point, I expressed hesitation to sticking a hook through a live shrimp. My dad told me to “not be a pussy” and that was really like a slap in the face. It was like offending my views on animal cruelty, food, women, and sexual orientation in one short phrase. The next day I told him we needed to talk, then he proceeded to kind of apologize in a kind of annoyed frustrated intonation and that topic ended there.
Since the weekend, I’ve been staying at my mom’s place in the Rio Grande Valley, aka “the valley”. I don’t know why people call it “the valley,” the nearest mountains are 160 miles away in Mexico.
“The valley” is like the perineum of the states, largely ignored. Most people don’t know where it is. Change eventually trickles down here. Its pretty conservative in a Mexican, patriarchal, dogmatic, gender-role template kind of way. All of my high school friends, save 1, left the valley after graduation and didn’t come back. Its an isolated area between Mexico and San Antonio.
Actually, I feel like I have a calling to come back here to work on establishing enlightened society in this desperate place. I just need a lot of time to figure out where to start and to stop procrastinating what seems like the dark bitter sweet inevitable.
My mom’s 2 dogs, cinnabun and puff, have been keeping me company.
My mom taught them to kill flies. Its weird.
Also, I just got my store up! Let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome your feedback!
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