the beginning of the book lays the groundwork for Allen's thoughts about Feeling at Home. So he begins talking about Emotions and Feelings.
"Neurologist Antonio Demasio suggests that the simplist animals are best thought of as having reflexes, rather than emotions, but that animals with only a small and rudimentary brain, such as fruit flies or sea slugs, show evidence of having emotions. What these very simple animals might not have are feelings: an ability to internally experience emotions.
The fear we feel when confronted with danger, the anger at encountering an obstacle, the joy of gaining a valued object, the sadness at loosing one, the disgust after consuming or viewing something unpalatable, and the surprise that stops us in our tracks when something unexpected happens....these are just some of the major emotions that make behavioral flexibility possible. For us, conscious humans, these emotions are not simply acted upon, but experienced and remembered and contextualized as feelings.
Today there is not doubt in modern cognitive science that emotions are "real" and universal psychological, neurobiological, and psychophysiological phenomena, and that while culture is seen as providing the context in which emotions are expressed, culture is not their ultimate source.
[Psychologist Paul Ekman] identifies the following as being basic emotions: amusement, anger, awe, contempt, contentment, disgust, embarrassment, excitement, fear, guilt, interest, pride in accomplishment, relief, sadness, satisfaction, sensory pleasure and shame."
I can't rewrite the whole book here, but the above quotes along with so much more preface Allen's thoughts about "feeling at home". What IS it, to feel at home.
so many things have risen up for me, one that i have to admit that the most constant thread or story line of my dream life is the effort to "feel at home". And the second today... how all the months, years, really, in the Old Cowboy's Final Time, how they were predicated upon his thinking he wanted to die in his own home. Verbalizing this over and over and over. But when the time to die came, home became unclear. Home often would blur into the ranch in Colorado. And as he processed his final days of life, neither place was Home. He did not feel at Home. He felt adrift.
I am so loving * this book but/and my guess is that it will help me formulate and understand things so far unarticulated (in myself) about "feeling at home". What that means for me. *and i note that .......Love is not mentioned......
From yesterday, that i couldn't access, so found the originals...
Double click. Emotions/Feelings
Upon seeing this article, these photographs in that old Natural History publication, i instantly related to this monkey....i "was at home" with her....i "knew" her. So much so, i cut one of the photographs out and framed it and it has been with me ever since, more than 20 years, i see myself in her. So, i see this in some way as a self portrait.
and i have had this photograph, or a copy of it, for even longer. What it meant to me, when i left a nice two story frame home in a nice neighborhood in a nice college town to live in a 1972 Ford Econoline Van. Swearing i would never own a home ever ever again.
and then jumping ahead, home to me being a Place to keep our "stuff"
our stuff, being things that help us live. Here, Tay's art now also with Chinche's death pouch that Mo sent.
and this small Cloth of Holy that Nancy Krampf sent accompanying the seeds. I doubt that she knew but she did "know" that the stone on it is a Petoskey stone, from the northern shores of my birth state, Michigan, from those north shores where i would go to "feel at home" in those early times, before i left home.
so, i am Full of thoughts about Home. Maybe a place where you can define your own particular and peculiar sense of things...of Resting...away from demands and expectations of others...
and the sense of love i feel when looking at this blurry print out. Diorama. Always Diorama. Like i saw in that glass case in the Museum of Natural History in Detroit when i was maybe 4 years old. Diorama. and i somehow held it inside me as symbol of home and recreated it over and over and over and probably will once again. So i need to know about this, this "feeling at home".
i read a little in the morning.
John S. Allen, a neuroanthropologist and research scientist at the Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center and the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California.
and it feels as if Things that i don't even know are coalescing by the moment. Right in the beginning, he talks of Emotions and Feelings. Differentiating. And i was reminded of those pages i had torn out of some Natural History publication years and years ago when my home then was in a very simple wooden workshop with a wood stove. The place where my mattress was on the floor and the Goat, a strong young Nubian Goat, EBie, slept with me in there, on the floor. Next to the mattress. Her eyes slitted half shut half open, chewing her cud. So i went to the belov~ed Picasa Mess to look for those pages...
and i found them. I found a Lot. and in this moment, i went over to Picasa to upload some of what i found. But for the same unknown reason that has stopped me before, it's stopping me again. I wanted to show you pics of those pages from the Natural History publication. and then somehow important, i wanted to show you a pic of my maternal grandmother. But i find that i cannot access them. So...ok. I accept this. ok.
and then it was finally a warm enough day to spend a large part of it OutSide and i did. Just wandering. Tay and I. How we can wander SoFar is such a small space, really,
and i came in to do this
stitched the face onto a piece of cloth to send with a Thank You to Nancy Krampf for an incredible package of wildharvested flower seeds from her canyon in Kanab Utah. The drawing i'd done a while ago, it's been in that basket on the altar and today i saw it as a Protector Spirit of Canyons. Just stitching two pieces of cloth together gave such deep pleasure. What she might do with it, i have no clue. It's almost nothing. But it's Something. And the simplicity of it was very appealing. Very.
Enough that i drew another face
and stitched it to two other scraps of cloth. The faces are fast...as if they are just there. These are small, this one just a little larger, larger than a 3X5 index card. What Are They? I don't know, but i like them a LOT. I thought of the word Mudra. You can google that. Gesture. Gesture of the Hand. So they are cloth Mudras. Small gestures of the hand. Feel good.
And because i am going to need to be OutSide a LOT as these days warm toward Spring, they are perfect to fill the need to Make.
Reading some in that book
Home How Habitat Made Us Human by John S. Allen
more to come about this. Probably a LOT more.
And because i have a home with a Wall, in a room for Cloth,
This can happen. What a LUXURY. I can look over in the early morning and SEE things. This morning because the light was Just So, i saw something on the Cloth that i hadn't before. It is visible somewhat in this pic but not as it was in person at that moment...but i will look again tomorrow morning. As the day goes along, the light changing, what i saw becomes invisible. Maybe it needs to stay that way?, this Cloth being about the Invisibles....
the Stick House
small additions but that took a lot of time Being With.
and this evening, as i was washing dishes with the over head kitchen light on and the still light from the Evening coming In,
this one that i needed to move to this small piece of wall where Patricia's fragments usually are, needed to move so i could look at the Cloth of the Invisibles, ..... Look. Look how certain parts caught the Light...just beauty Full. Again...this is a Deb Lacativa cloth...always always BeautyFull.
a LOT of very very small very very invisible stitches. But Everything is Here. and it now has that "hand". That feel of a cohesive Cloth. I think i do NOT want to continue with making a "path" with the black and white thread stitches. There are SO many almost invisible marks on the cloth itself...and really, more how it is here, in this landscape of the Invisibles, just marks...i think they are enough and right.
the Earth of the Habitat, or whatever it is...a piece of Deb Lacativa's cloth, of course, and i love how it went when stitched
the small, and i mean small, fragment, dark with the blue dots and beneath it, the first of the marks of the Language.
And so, a day. How Good it feels. This day.
GOAT NOTE: Gideon was lying down when i took the evening feed. Between the wall of the Albatros and the feed bowl. He didn't get up. But lie/lay there and just ate. Little Jack Flash got the whole rest of the bowl to choose from so was happy. Nogal and TenZen had a completely peaceful day, start to finish. This batch of grass hay is more loose and finer. A lot of waste. Cinderella has acquired a way of walking that accomodates a long left rear hoof. NEEDS to be trimmed.
How i can spend a whole day just looking, making the most minute adjustments, re ~adjusting, looking, imagining, standing back, moving close, .....a whole day of it and be totally absorbed and come out at the end of it still so totally not knowing anything much at all about What It Is. Where its "going". And feeling really happy about it all. really Happy.
and this is Good. What IS it? well, it doesn't matter. Its a shape, a thinness, almost like a mirage but it's just very good and OK here. Just enough above and just enough curved. I sigh.
Dee, on her blog asked the question: what we might want to do before we die. And i thought, while i was feeding Goats, cleaning up the kitchen, stoking the fire. And in this moment what came was i would like to have a conversation, as long as it took, maybe days....with my kids. My original two and their kids and their kids. Maybe all of us in one place. Yes. All of us. together. And i would like to tell them how much i loved them and Why i loved each one of them...what it's given me, their mother, their Nana, their Old Nana ....While Staying My Self. I would like it if they could ask any questions and i would like to answer those questions Well. I would like this "early on", like not on my death bed.
The second thing would be to feel that i had done Well with my meditation practice, which i guess we can call my Spiritual Practice. Gone as far with it as I was able. Having really worked. Done my best.
and in the moment, i guess that's it. And in this meantime, to live each day fully. Just going. Doing the best i can. Being in Response to the moments as they come. Yes. I think this is it.
And i am going to leave a Goat Note sometimes at the end of the Day. This is the year that i hope to come to some conclusions about Us Here, whatever that means, so at the end of the days. Anything that will help.
GOAT NOTE: it was Monday that Nogal was crazy. It got me up in the middle of the night with worry about What To Do. And instead of trying to avoid it, as in quiet the thought, the anxiety it brought, i instead decided to let it run on, however it ran on. And in a short while, like 20 minutes in the dark, the Night Mind pointed out that it was just how Goats ARE. It was anxiety provoking to ME, but for Nogal and TenZen, it was complete Goatness, with no emotional/intellectual baggage. They were simply expressing themselves honestly. Buck goats are driven completely by their hormones. It's all that really means anything to them beyond the age of three. If they could, they would spend each and every day breeding. All day. Begin Again in the morning. THIS and only THIS would make them content.
I "knew" this, intellectually, but had not absorbed it on a level of day to day. I need to. Nothing will save me from it. They are here. Being themselves. I am here, being myself. I need to surrender. So yesterday, it did not escalate or even continue. There was some Display before evening feed but very little in comparison.
Today, day 3 was relatively quiet. They moved around together as they usually do. Some Dominance at feeding time, but half hearted. So, a reprieve for this time. But i am on notice that things are changing.
And Why was it like it was on Monday? Maybe the WIND which affects everyone, human and animal. Maybe it was Onday and her intensity and the does response to that. Maybe both. Maybe neither. But the important thing is that it Changed already. And will Change again.
not so much as yesterday, but continuing. WIND. so much like the ocean, that constant Roll, and to me so much like labor in childbirth, that expanding/contraction, as we go into it, no stopping it...it is what it needs to be. Transition, but with WIND here, can go for days.
What was supposed to be a short trip into town turned into quite the opposite. No point to detail but the day was eaten up. What there was of it to salvage
spent with a lot of looking. a lot of just sitting. sitting quiet. looking. Feeling it.
and this fragment rose up from a basket. So fragile. Like a piece of Kleenex, but so much more fragile. It wants to be on this Cloth. But where????
i tweaked the color so All can be seen. Not how it is "in person",,, but still, in person, all these incredible marks are very much there and each is stunning in it's own right....how can i work with a piece of Cloth with these natural markings and
anything, any thing at all to it????? This is what i am wondering. How?
Work away and then.
Just when you start describing how things ARE, they suddenly begin to be Something Else. I mentioned the commotion yesterday with Onday looking for trouble. This seems to have energized the does. When i got back home, there was all manner of things going on. Just Going and Celia, the youngest and most docile positions in the herd were totally Into it. Much chasing and rearing up and headbutting. Their mother, Lucky Star moving near and for whatever reason, the Triumvirate feeling the need to make their own Point in it all. So that. And then, as the day wore on between totally cloudy and brilliantly sunny, Stuff began over in the buck yard with Nogal and Tenzen. As i'd thought, Nogal's Threeness is coming into play. He was all over the place, running like a buckling, pirouetting , flinging his legs sideways....UP onto the roof of the buck hut, spinning off into mid air and landing to begin again. Half baby, half buck man. TenZen just standing, watching. Then it came time to feed and Nogal ran the long distance between both feed bowls, not letting TenZen eat.
SIGH. Now what. Quiet till tomorrow. Then, we'll see.
Printer out of ink. the new one, since granddaughter was here. Don't know how to work it so a call in for Tech Support from her and while figuring it out, we talk of the kids coming in the summer, of how she had said those words,, , in the course of a conversation when she was here, ...."i want them to know you"...and how that marked my heart, like a tattoo and how i do NOT want to go live in California and how i think there are other ways and how why not they come for a good Chunk of time in the summer???? How i imagine that we can build that shade house and even a pond Out There, where the Raft is????? Tho i don't have television and stuff, we could occupy a good chunk of time building these???? They will be 7 and 8 years old. Perfect. So we talk of that.
and then, maybe there will be the chooks by then. They can be in charge of collecting eggs.
Tay working to clean the pan of stuck on refried beans.
Cloth on the Wall that Michelle saw and thought we live in the same place....it IS like August, which is at her House now, but this one..a Face that i sometimes need....
and all the while a part of my mind is with the Cloth that's happening now and how if you can see them, the small very small dark stitches of marks are the language that i am looking for with this Cloth, not english.
yesterday it was 70 degrees, today 65 and all this coming week in the 40's. Snow tomorrow..just a little. and WIND warnings. Language....warm/cold/wet/Wind....a kind of language, yes? Earth language?
goodbye warm evenings, speaking in the language of light
and Marti emailed her Pleasure of watching Angelique Kidjo on Austin City Limits which sent me back to UTube, not really hoping, but well, could just look, and Lo and Behold, it is THERE...her song Adouma, which Jude was good enough to put on my side bar for me because i still can't figure out how to do that, but it's THERE and i can click it any time i need it now, even if "They" decide to disappear it again.....from when she was much younger than now, and even now, she is magnificant but compared to Adouma days, almost matronly.....and i love it because it reminds me of my Other Self, my young and Fierce self and well, just really feels good to me. And how i love that i don't know the meaning to the words, they are sounds. I love the Sounds. I would trade sounds for meaning anyday.
and Onday was On it today, making these awful gutteral sounds directed to everyone and particularly to the buck pen. She is Very in heat and everyone was trying to ignore her as she cruised the middle pen looking for trouble...that she met late in the afternoon in Arctica and they pushed and shoved each other Hard against the fences, ...... language, again. Double click the pic
and this Cloth. Speaking a certain Language that is not literal. Stitching thing down lightly...it might change?, because i don't know the Language?
Nina has been kind enough to respond to my comments of her Farm Journal, ruitfarm.wordpress.com. the one that Nanette linked me to. She is in Maine and has Goats that do all the Real things that Goats do and she does not hesitate to Tell All. Today, there was a bloody exchange between the new young buck Reddog and her other buck Oreo. i read with baited (sp) breath. This is important to me because my only other "real" source of mentoring is Jan the dog trainer here. But Jan only has 3 does and does not and WILL NOT keep a buck. So there's a Lot that doesn't happen at her Place. Stuff happens at Nina's. In the not too distant future her Goats will kid and i will be right there, watching and reading. This will help in this spring when we begin their 4th year here, what to do. How it all can go. so...some time OutSide this evening...it should have been Morning when the light is better for taking pics, but...
in the foreground, Oona, the third of the original of the Triumvirate, to the right, behind her, Arctica. The only doe here with natural horns. Her doe.
Arctica, the horned one, who will be 4 this year and is only now allowing me to touch her. She loves Alyssia the granddaughter and when A was here, after so long, she remembered and came to her.
you will need to double click. Caroline and her daughter Karma
Onday, second in the Triumvirate. Maybe the one i love the most.
Ginger and Lucky Star
Ginger. Cinderella and Just Going
Snowbunny, the Grandmother on the way left and Celia on the right
good pic of Karma and Just Going in the middle, Ginger on the right.
little Grace who i call Wendy
Caroline and her beauty Full beard
DON'T FORGET TO DOUBLE CLICK
the Old Man Buck, Gideon, assuming the position, chin scratching....
the most FINE and Glorious Buck ever born. He is Ten years old.
Jumpin Jack Flash a little wether son of TenZen...a breeding with Jan the dog trainer's doe Joey last year, Jumpin Jack Flash came when Gideon's son, SunnyRay , who had been being merciless with his old and crippled father, treating him like a doe, when Sunny Ray went to stay at dog trainer Jan's to breed her does, but now maybe not,....the longer story i told a few days ago, but anyway, this is Flash
Nogal. Spanish for Walnut. Nogal is the son of Buckwheat. Who is Arctica's brother. That doe here with full horns?...Buckwheat was a very intentional and very desired breeding daughter arranged with a buck called Intrigue and the doe here, Oona. Buckwheat also had full horns. and very full testicles. He was beyond BeautyFull, a tri colored buck with identically marked leggings. But he was crazy with Lust. He would run, full force, the length of his small buck yard and smash his horns into the corrigated metal of the Albatros. Slam. Slam. Slam. over and over. His lust and craziness broke my heart and i sent him off to be herd sire in Los Cruces. Before he left, i bred him with two does here, so daughter might see what he sired. This is Nogal. Not at all so showy as Buckwheat but also not so crazy either. So far. We'll see. He will be 3 yrs. this spring....the Telling Year, it seems.
He lives right now with TenZen. Named after the Dalai Lama. Who daughter had flown here as a very young buckling from Boston area...Dragonfly Farm, TenZen the sort of most gentle and peaceful buck on the planet until this last fall when he suddenly became an idiot. Standing atop the shelter thing, he blabbered and stuck his tongue and shot jiz until i could barely stand it. Until the BIG SNOW, when no one could get on top of the buck hut and now....
right now it's ok. They chase eachother around the pen, quietly blathering their love talk, practicing, but it's my guess that as Nogal moves into his Threeness, things might change. Maybe not. But i have learned. Stuff with Goats changes. Always. Always changes.
So...here we are Nina. I am watching Ruit Farm. Taking heart and just going.