The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day Six--Underground Freeway/Notes from the Underground

Notes from the Underground
Underground Freeway–Day Six, May 27, 2009
By Pi Kielty

Day Six, a Wednesday, started later than the past few mornings. I arrived in Stone Mtn. on Tuesday, almost evening. I surprised Lucky when she opened the door. She knew nothing of my getting on the road last week. As will be known later, my unannounced visit has a steep relation to things present, things past. She, B., and their daughter and son, stand among my closest friends of two decades running, and I spend so little time with them the last eight years, seeing them this week for the second time since 2001. They overwhelm me with their welcomeness to this traveler losing his way, always, and lost getting into town but taking two blind turns into nowhere and landing on their doorstep. Like other things on this journey, it seems I arrived with some sort of timeliness that gives some positive reason to hope things will be alright.

I tent in the backyard so I don’t impose. B. stayed up late with me to watch an existential hero movie. This day, the sixth since leaving, started late, as said. In the morning I visited with Lucky until she left for her afternoon job. Discussing with her the reasons for coming unannounced but not unwanted, Lucky understands me because we have been like twin siblings though apart by a year. She was my “lucky broom” that swept up the mess behind me at one time. I visit now so she and I can intervene on the way trends go, to reverse the damage in my life before it all unravels past return. Lucky saved me from insanity once. She holds many of the keys closing the door to the day-mares that I open on tough occasions.

Day Six continued the drear-gray overcast of rain intermittent, and I wore sweaters under my rain smock as I sat outside. After Lucky left and before B. came home from work, I took my camera and, because of the mist-drizzle, filmed from the car.

Seeing many of them in the round about lost way I found Lucky and B.’s house, I retraced my route getting here yesterday to get footage of the churches in the country I passed on the way to town. They become the mini-theme within the theme of my tour of “Questions.”

In the parking lot of the first one, looking through the pullout view screen of my crappy 8 mm camcorder, the image I framed showed the handy work and craft of men, and some women, no doubt, in the set masonry of light, tan-brown brick. Each brick for a place, each place for a brick, the line formed on the solid square of the foundation corners, the sky grayish mortar holding the small structure on an empty, rolling driftless plain on a parcel acre of the four way road intersection. A flock dwells here brought, like all churches of the faith, together by a Shepard on Sundays and other days as required by the followers of Johnny Prophet. Atop the steeple so protest-tant in its simplicity, an ungilded off-white cross proclaimed itself for its country mile in the lowland view. Nothing of this church betrayed ostentation in presentation. The building itself possessed an austerity of small, frugal but very solid and formed for a simple function, but to endure long past the lives of its true living testament: the people’s lives in their faith to its tenets. It could not hold a gymnasium audience within it. I’m sure coffee, cake, and fellowship came from a large electric pot, a home’s kitchen, and those who knew when one got lost in their ways. No espresso or gourmet or “smiling blind” here, I like to think. Does plainlessness and simplicity betray something like a small congregation, or a poverty in pocketbooks? This sect everywhere I’ve been are noted for their for rigorous faith, among the many different “fans” of the god there exist. I shall not judged them by their building, but it had a richness of a pauper traveler’s stable. Let them believe in what they want or need to believe.

Up the road, for the other country mile past the hill behind the first church, I viewed a church so large that not even its unaesthetic architecture would disabuse a thought on its deceiving to poverty. Stone Mtn. is a Norse town, and many of its descendants would ultimate their faith by protesting faith in the alternative mainstream of the Midwest. The building set less square on its sides in a box than an elongated section upon section of angles, parallelograms, that precise masons laid for its expensive-in-detail patterned-speckled dark brown bricks, unplain the closer one examined them. The ostentation came in proportion to its size. Even if of median income, the proportion was large by possible numbers of Nordic churchgoers in a Northman town. Plain vanilla could be priced high from a calf that milks the golden cream. The structure deceived my own sense at first. It looked like any compromise of accounting: A bigger bang for the buck, but lots of bucks means one thing: MORE bangs. One wonders about the danger any faith can do to people if it is as lukewarm as Midwestern “hotdish.”

The final church I filmed was located in town, on the main street just a two or three blocks from the real downtown business district. It did not look functional for a church of mass belief, yet it possessed that universal church quality, despite the small size. A town with a demography of protestors might not settle many members upon its pews. The quality of faith, once again, does not depend on the numbers who believe it–only that those who believe, however few, do believe. In terms of the pocketbook, the church carried the quality of quality. The architecture more classic and refined, hearkened to the late 19th and early 20th Century style of Victorian design. The brick was deep red. The colors crimsoned almost as the crucifixion itself. The plaque read, “1904-2004 Dedicated to the greater glory of God.” Mosaic stained glass I imagined the high arched windows, but they in reality showed clear glass with white trimmings holding different rectangular or pined shapes. The tower on the front corner of the intersection (again on the prime intersection of four corners) rose to a prominent peak. The bells might still chime on Sunday’s massing, still, after 105 years. Yet the churches richness bespoke what measure and style of worship in this sect universal.

Perhaps some faith requires a money market or a mutual fund. Faith in something is, after all, the greatest insurance policy known, if we live in fear. Contrition does the accounting of my mind. However, I just do not see how giving pennies for penance as an indulgence adds to my balance sheet ledger of life. A poor person best forgive his fellows, or his weight in gold puts the price of peace of mind into the debt obligation he must default in the end. One may bribe a believer with a promise of reprieve, and in the pardon comes the larceny of stealing my spirit for an estate.

“Question:” “Why do we need to by to buy a brick House for god in order to worship?”

I would hope my praise speaks loudest by the silence of Judgement for those who have faith different than mine. As a critic and pauper, I will only judge the use and function of architecture. I can hope my anonymous good acts, whatever they might be, when done allow me to get closer to my god. The only real estate I really need to worship is the patch of earth upon which I stand, as long as I allow fellow humanity to stand on their own in their thoughts and words. I am, furthermore, grateful to occupy my foothold, with a heartbeat today.

Money and faith mix as bad as money and politics. Either a priest, prophets, politicians or police find ways to corrupt them. If and when my god needs my money, his oil, her body, or up to our souls, I think it would just take it without needing to ask: They belong to the god already, we simply borrow on far larger credit than a mortgage.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day Five--Underground Freeway/Notes from the Underground

Notes from the Underground
Underground Freeway–Day Five, Tuesday, May 26, 2009
By Pi Kielty

I packed my camp at the public grounds in Dark Water Falling at 10:30 AM. I drove into the little city’s center that led from the interstate freeway, past the fast foods, gas stations, and superstore.

I parked Lil’ Casino on the main street when I saw an open parking spot near a sign with arrows, one of them pointing to a side street to the left with the words “Post Office,” the real mainstay of any place that is “official” in the eyes of Midwest American civilization. I needed to buy three stamps, one to mail the letter written in sorrow to my parents the rainy night previous on my writing table in my tent.

The cloudy gray morning showered a cold, wet spring rain that landed in rapping cacophonies on my thick woodland waterproof smock. The downtown of this city harked back to the red and brown brick buildings, and some of white granite, from 60 or 70 years ago, looking sharp and “historic” after the state-wide main street restoration movement rebuilt the rustic memories into the new functioning antiques. This is how people say, “The way things used to be, in times [erroneously] simple to understand.” The window trimmings painted in sharp red, white or kelly green matched the clarity and detailing of the window painted letterings and hanging signs saying “we do this,” “we do that” and “we are this,” and “café,” “tavern,” “library,” “barber,” “bakery,” and “hardware.” The city’s downtown district looked full of commerce, and the cars driving and parked, and the people walking around, gave Dark Water Falling the human life bustle that defines a small, isolated mid-state city.

The deception of times grew greater in my city walk this morning. On a dark day like today, the store fronts Potemkin-ized, lacking depth beyond the wall, an illusion of a soul in a body. I observed too much of me looking into the glass, and did not see the plain view in my sight. Near noon on a Tuesday morning, too many buildings emanated no light. Out of that grimmer illusion, the same signs protruded attractive red and white and blue colors of an advertisement from the same “Hometown and Patriotic Real Estate Co.” What they do is sell, and so many buildings and their businesses empty of light, they were for sale because they failed. On the walk, I saw the white paper signs in the window of a corner bar, “Closed until further notice. Sorry for any inconvenience.”

I wondered how what transpires here in the downtown could have meaning for others like it. Does this foreshadow the sign of these rhymes in a requiem metered for all communities losing the soul in the life of their land and people? Twenty years ago, scholars debated the end of history, as dictatorships and police super-states fell apart. It meant the value of a vote for all, democracies everywhere. Free commerce and prosperity of plenty with no one short of food, shelter and clothing in due time, for the entire world. Freedom of speech, of worship; from fear and want. America achieving the ultimate destiny of an imperium ruling the world in the best altruistic interest for the benefit of peace and stability. NO MORE WARS of aggression, conquest, extermination, for scarcity. The end of history foretold good things in our future. The Clash of Cultures delayed, and overlooked, not thought about, nor did anyone care. The enfranchisement of decision-making power and universal wealth would prevent the conflicts of politics, the prosperity bringing a new order of peace, in excess of any foreseeable needs.

Dark Water Falling looks fine, but without the life of people and their commerce, it heads into the future, past the end of history–into the Post-History–uncertain. Fashionable, trendy, apocryphal architecture in plenty will only degenerate into ruble without the life of people to maintain them, to sustain the community. Hopefully, Dark Water Falling avoids this fate, as I hope my own community does as well. The emptiness before, in darker days of other desperate states of mind and commerce, took the patience and work to revive and rebirth. Historians call that the Great Depression. How many intervals in 80 years since brought down what built itself up before? What interventions did it require to become what now seems complete logical bankruptcy of reasonable ideas?

The “politikhans,” like governments and industry Mongol and Moghul rulers of power and wealth in history, paint sunny pictures over wrecked masterpiece canvasses of sound living, frugal society, in the contemporary wreckage of the 21st century Crisis. “Green shoots of optimism,” “recovery on its way,” “we are digging our way out of this hole,” etc., etc. etc. Do people really believe that a bottom up problem, the problem that begins with each of us, actually has a top-to-down solution? Fools are fools, but unquestioning followers always stand out more foolish.

The end of history? What comes next for people without jobs? For if no business exist, no one is hired, and no incomes made, and no money to buy things to make business profitable. The purpose of business is profit. The purpose of government is to increase, not decrease, the range of liberty to do better for ourselves. With money’s face value less than the worth of the paper, and less valuable than the metal weight o f its coin, “better off and happier” becomes more, not less, the delusion of those who believe in the ghost of the dollar goddess.

The end of history starts with make believe store fronts, make believe money, make believe busy. The dark windows of a lightless store on a heavy gray day glares back the uncertainty of our own future and spirit in a reflecting abyss of memory or dream, our lost failures. How will we wake up from a possible nightmare in the making if we do not see the reason, or take the action ourselves?

What happens to a small city, itself its own self-defined community, if business draws no life? One wonders who are the real ignorant and actual apathetic: Leaders or led; and to what degree? The end of history was in the past. The Post-History in the present invites us to the challenge to avoid a fate inevitable unless we care, unless we act, all on our own . The bad choices become now–you’re liberty exchanged for your security. You’re freedom in trade for some food. Your enslavement to the owner to get steady work.

Would people trade for fascism to be free of worry and want?

Communities of people tend the land and water their tree of life by living, and living life full to its potential. Questioning things, like political barking dog-bytes, brings more sunlight to the tree of life. Sunlight exposing the errors or lies gives the tree strength to grow the boundless fruit of liberty, the plentiful food enough for everyone.

Therefore, the “Question” for day five: “What can you and I do to be a positive good for our own life that helps all in the community of our neighbors ?”

All these questions, just to mail an honest letter of my fears to parents at home.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day Four--Underground Freeway--Notes from the Underground

Notes from the Underground
Underground Freeway–Day Four, May 25, 2009
By Pi Kielty

Day Four started at 5 AM. I slept well on Sir Thom’s couch and took the morning with vigor, a little uncertain about the “real” post-dramatic trip beginning this day. I sat on the front step adoring the cool morning wrapped in my fleece blanket waiting for the sun to extend over the hill due east on the apartment house’s road. I did morning things, reading, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. On occasion I walked back upstairs to the second floor to check email and post the day three note.

At 9 AM, Sir Thom woke, since this day the Memorial, was a holiday. Memorial Day, as it progressed transformed into the theme itself for Day Four of the Underground Freeway. When clean and I dressed for the day, in blue T-shirt under a long-sleeve lime green cotton T, jeans and slip on shoes, Sir Thom drove us to the City of Falling Waters’ Riverine Park. With the camera out the passenger window, the unextended tripod snug under my arm, I filmed the drive over the several blocks. Near the main entrance, just before The Brewery, we hit a traffic backup of big trucks and mid-range cars flowing in to the gate. Sir Thom dodged around the block-long line trying to turn left, and up the hill we climbed in the golden minivan to the high, smaller entrance. In the park, we drove further onward and we noticed one of our spirit sisters, Alice, pushing her 2 year-old son’s stroller. Sir Thom honked and we parked in the nearest lot. While the other three visited, I walked and rambled with the cam-corder. Within an amphitheater of a half-circle embankment, groving on it a cluster of trees, a crowd of families listened before a ceremony of honor, spoken from a white pillared gazebo under a circle roof of red clay tiles. Honoring the brave protectors of our values and our virtues, who died in their service, or lived longer to die with their secrets, today the roster rang the call of those passed away in the last year.

The solemn recitation told of recent old soldiers now joined with their comrades and their enemies no longer in heavenly fields of peace. The wars of youth spoke of history: World War II and Korea; and of more recent flanders of springs unrequited: Vietnam, Persian Gulf and Persian Gulf again. The honored included the peacetime sacrificers to defend, preventing other wars from the sickeling unripe blossoms of human wheat.

No poet, not Shakespeare himself, could verse such ironclad image or prosaic lyric than the simple power of cemetery interred, names of the brave unconquered and their war they survived in body and remain epic endurance in spirit after death. Today, we memorial them.

The drive back to Sir Thom’s took us roundabout, as I grabbed more footage. The thought came as Sir Thom and I prepared for parting. Servicemen and women serve, because the world makes it unavoidable. There can be only honor for that sacrifice of youth, time, family, and innocence. This draws us out to the question of why does the world, its people, its leaders of states make men and women of arms necessary? Some malice tries to possess the brother and sister under the god in slavery; steal their lands; thieve their goods and trade. Arms in woman and men demands protection, and proves right to save those within God, family and country from the evil that others do. But what malice does this bad damage the good of the human spirit? We birth as children of the god and the Nature through which it works, do we not?

Governments make wars, not people. The rich and highly educated give the orders of nations. The poor convicted fight and die. Defending oneself, and their loved ones, friends, neighbors and countryfellows, carries no blame, no dishonor, no shaming by us who do not understand. The Nature proves it right that humanity defends its own survival, by means measured in response to an aggressor. Either way, it still calculates lives weighed like so much commodity of chattel, so many ounces of silver paid for the kiss to crucify. At least one side, but never both or more sides in war, possess righteous justice for their cause. Sometimes, all sides fight in the wrong. The problem of war pervades all recorded history. No re-ordering from the top by leaders of government will change that. Only people as people, in community to community across the earth, can refuse to fight the unjust cause. People need only unite and rebel against the rich man’s wars; the wars never righteous.

We hold this demi-truth to not be so self-evident, that wars come by a vain mix of the powerful or the many holding fear as a shield, envy (as in greed) for the spear. And the powerful convince the ignorant and apathetic to build the lie to fight for the leadership’s reasons; for the young, the dispossessed, or the drafted, or drugged, to execute the “national” will.

Sir Thom and I formed the most significant “Question” on the tour’s Day Four. We do not at all mean disgrace to anyone, but in honor of those who fought so others may live long enough to achieve peace. Sir Thom hopes one day the world may get an answer to the “Question” in honor of those servicemen and women who fought wars not of their choosing, and followed orders unto heaven’s calm. For they might want us to ask for what we are all accountable to Nature in the end; for serving our brothers and sisters in the god’s world: “Why is it alright to kill anyone else if our government says its okay?”

I left Sir Thom’s twenty minutes before schedule, at 12:40 PM. I stopped on the connection highway back south to D. City to photo the largest flag I ever viewed, as big as a pole barn roof, on a pole at least 100 feet high. I pictured it from a ½ mile away, and it loomed as big. It flapped snapped in the strong May east wind to full expansion, a star-spangled red, white and blue sail on a white mainmast taller than any ship ever plied the oceans. The flag could not be set half-mast, as I could tell, from the engineering to keep it secured at all. I like to think as the Optimist that if possible, the owner of the factory before which the flag flew would have put it in the honor position if possible–in honor of those who fought and died, or fought and lived to die–on Memorial Day 2009.

I stopped in town on the way to the day’s destination, a by way town, an O-ville. I found the Central Park, which set, well, in the center of town, next to the village hall and police station, all overshadowed by the water tower–and a flag as big as a small, humble home, snap flapping a gentle, subtle taps to the emptiness of the park and town on the “extra day off” holiday.

Picnicking under the shade of a tree, and lone witness to the flag’s loud music of solitude, I questioned politely, “Do we serve our flag, its country, our heroes, or do we only take their service and better our lives with a ‘free’ holiday?”

I drove to the Orange bull, further down the interstate. I found a ready emptying campground, with a nice private site. I passed the day filming the setting of my camp, reading, writing, walking, and in thought. Nothing more of consequence could have happened after the Memorial Day I possessed, or the thoughts of peace in humanity for humanity, in a war-heavy era of our lives. The only exception to the comment was that I drafted a letter to my parents on the writing desk in my tent, and told them I loved them.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Underground Freeway--Day Three

Notes from the Underground
Underground Freeway–Day Three
May 24, 2009
By Pi Kielty

Day Three started at 8 AM. Again, I slept well and long. The night air dropped below forty degrees fahrenheit, although I slept comfortable in my cocoon of warmth in the usual camping bed clothes, wrapped in a thick fleece blanket inside my nylon mummy bag. When I walked into the farm house, I woke Johann, who normally gets up and stays up at 5 AM. While the water boiled in the kettle for the coffee contraption, a forty or fifty year old three section metal tower, I packed camp over by the barn. Ursula woke at 9 AM as Johann and I drank coffee under the outside table canopy, on a fine spring morning, as the sun peaked through the high trees that grew around and up over the two story home, a slight as feathers coolish northeast wind not at all discomforting. When I pronounced Lil’ Casino packed and fit to leave, Ursula threatened me with her own hurt feelings if she and Johann and the dogs could not follow me up to fifty miles on my day’s journey to buy me breakfast. Not ever wanting to hurt her kind regards, and knowing my good friends’ sincere love for me, I accepted. Johann proclaimed her measure pure emotional “blackmail.”

Johann grabbed a map and they asked me to choose a morning direction. I chose the City of Falling Water, then I followed their Honda sport vehicle up here to a city-centered family breakfast restaurant, good and not “modern” like Saturday’s breakfast: The menu showed breakfast served all day, and listed no asparagus omelette. Instead, Johann and Ursula ordered fitting potato pancakes and I had french toast and ham.

When asked their “Question” to chronicle, Johann stuck to the theme of his Friday reminiscence of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I listened to his recap that night as I last heard the book on tape 18 years ago. Johann just wanted to chronicle: “What is six times seven?”

Ursula’s “Question,” which may prove a greater epiphany later in this journey or after, came out simply: “Will you spend the day in [the City of Falling Water]?” That seemed like her only concern about life in general this morning.

When time to leave, they gave me hugs and invited me back–tonight even–if it would convenience. They drove one way and I drove another. I placed a call and met Sir Thom and his 1 year-old son after their church service. Back at Sir Thom’s apartment, five blocks straight up from the breakfast place, I told him about my trip and the goal. He replied to stay as long as I needed and I said I accepted and would only stay one night. He has no yard for the tent, so the sofa will do just fine. When Sir Thom returned his child to the mother after Young Thom’s two day weekly visit, I took the camera, walked downtown and took footage on the way back up the hill. When I got back to my car parked across from Sir Thom’s four-plex, the guy on the front porch direct to my left asked, “What the hell you doing with the camera?” I told him, and I asked him if he had a “Question.”

“No,” he replied smiling, understanding my road trip. “I just was wondering what the camera was for.” The man, Brent, smiled again and decline to let me record what will be chronicled as his “Question.”

Mid-afternoon, Sir Thom and I invited over another of our spiritual path brothers. Deckard arrived about 5 PM on his way to his evening spiritual destination, as Sir Thom and I sat out on the front step waiting to go to ours. Sir Thom left and Deckard and I visited more until he dropped off where Sir Thom went. After the congrating up the hill, Sir Thom and I shopped for some dinner, and I added a few more things for the journey. For $19.18, I bought the following:

• Table onions (1 pack)
• Olive oil (1 bottle)
• Pork chops (2)
• Pears (2)
• Apples (2)
• Peanut Butter (1)
• Leaf lettuce (1)
• Green pepper (1)
• Potato salad (1 small tub)

(Note: From Friday mornings shopping, I forgot to add Coffee (1 small can), and a couple more pieces of fruit already listed; and another bag of tuna).

Before heading back to the apartment, Sir Thom drove me through the free zoo a couple blocks away. I made Sir Thom the dinner of pork chops, beans, potato salad, and over-saladed us by tossing a lettuce salad with chopped onions, and sliced green peppers and pears, served with ranch dressing. Later, Deckard came back from his congregating in My First Place, and the three of us laughed, visited, and had fellowship.

I asked Deckard what he wanted for his “Question.” He repeated what he said hours earlier, “There are a million questions to ask. Which one do you ask first?” Sir Thom, when I asked my friends if I could grab both their snapshots with the still camera, turned out in his computer chair, and laughing hard, inadvertently used up his “Question”: “Pi, this isn’t some shit when you’re going to do all this, with the cameras and computers, and stuff, and then go and blow your head off?”

Deckard and I laughed back as I reassured Sir Thom, “NO, no, this isn’t what its all about.”

Before leaving the property with Johann and Ursula this morning, Johann let me place a call to my parents, as I promised Mom and Dad that I would stay in touch. Getting the answering machine, they probably went to Mass, no doubt praying for me, since the word coming to me by email all says that they misunderstood my trip and why I left. That might also cause me to question my own “Question” when the final conclusion-time arrives. Later, in the early afternoon as I arrived here with Sir Thom and Young Thom, several emails awaited me on my laptop, wirelessed into Sir Thom’s network. My sister in Norway wrote me, asking me to call Mom and Dad, which I had done earlier, but also saying that she in a way understood what I was doing, and why, but not approving it except in an indirect manner. Lelia did tell me that no one knows the type of “torment” people with crossed- and re-wired brains like my kind endure. She told me to look for the answer where I already do. “None of us have ever walked in your shoes,” she said, referring to all my siblings. I find no satisfaction and no cause to gloat over my sister’s words. They humble me more than anything.

As a final part of this Day Three Underground Freeway note, my mentor/advisor, Sensii, who I thought would write a vocal, written ass-chewing, only said to take care of myself, and, like everyone else, call my parents. May be, as I begin to suspect, Day Three’s note review holds more clues to final “Question” I want to know. . .so I get a good enough answer.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Underground Freeway--Day Two

Notes from the Underground
Underground Freeway–Day Two
May 23, 2009
by Pi Kielty

People emailed me their worry, their anger, their fear. I share those feelings–about what I did and what I do. In my life, from experience, when I possess over-confidence, and arrogant pride (also called, hubris), and say things are FINE is when things go awry. I rarely use the word “FINE,” except in capitalized letters. It means, in one sense: F-d up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional). I think loved ones should remain calm until something does go awry-wire.

After I wrote Day One of these Underground Freeway notes, on Friday night, at around 9:30 PM, my friends arrived home. They had gone to dinner with cousins and not camping for the weekend, like I believed. As expected, they were honestly pleased to see me, and even welcomed my tent already put up by the barn. We sat in candlelight at the round outdoor table. I explained my purpose in coming and going, what I escaped and for what I search, to return home alive and a better person. Johann and Ursala shared with me the updates of their children, their children my old college friends through whom I met Johann and Ursala originally. As they related what has happened to their family in the last two years since I last visited, I snacked a late dinner of pulled bread and tuna. Not needing to mention it, but I reassured Johann and Ursala that I did not mean to impose, that I planned to stay a night or two, talk and enjoy the company, draw a little water from the outdoor tap, and then move on to the next place. They reassured me that I was not imposing, that I was always welcome, and have been welcome for 20 years.

After I went to bed at 11 PM, an unusually early time for me, I slept deep and well for 8 hours. I could have slept 8 hours more. In the morning, with Ursala at work, Johann and I drank coffee. Despite trying to fob-off and decline, Johann insisted on treating me to breakfast at “modern” family diner in the next town, closer to The City. He and I both had the special omelette, the asparagus omelette. After we left the restaurant, he drove us in his red pick-up truck to a wholesale natural foods warehouse, owned by people of a religious community, in the next town further away from The City.

Back at the house and barn, I piddle with stuff and gear and read more Emerson. When Ursula arrived home from work I drove to The City to see my friend at her store. After a stop at the shop to go on-line, posting my note and checking my messages, and a sit a spell in the park by the river, Iarrived back at the barn and house at 5 PM.

Johann and Ursula attended a picnic, inviting me to light the twigs in the fire ring. An hour and a half before sunset, I filled the stove with white gas, and I boiled rice and cabbage for dinner. To figure out how the United States lost its several wars in Southeast Asia, one need only eat boiled rice and cabbage as their sole main meal of the day. It is filling, somewhat nutritious, but it is nonetheless a poor man’s fare. When a person has practically nothing, and nothing left but rice and cabbage, of course he and his entire people will fight toward death to keep at least what remains of their dignity and liberty from those who seek to take it away from them. For my meal, I had no spice or salt. Pump up Charlie on hot fish sauce for his rice and cabbage, and an entire invading army has one fed, very pissed off, and glad to die enemy, I’m sure.

This trip causes many questions, to be asked now, at present, and in the future upon my return–whenever that return happens. I hate myself in part for causing the anger, fear, doubt and guilt. On the contrary, I posses no ill feelings toward anyone or anything. I know and accept the anger, or hate, at me. I do understand that they have to feel what they feel, and act on it at the time and place. I committed deception, not betrayal. If it cost anyone their own money for their plans, all will be compensated–by me. I stole nothing, but disappointing trust and goodwill is an selfishism, and I accept all responsibility. My existing contract obligations remain intact, in trust, until they are settled or fulfilled, which was my sole aim for them. I took only myself away, and I made provisions to do so. All debts of honor will be repaid, as will the loan I contracted to go.

One thing should be known. Whether or not I stayed, or if I left on someone else’s journey, my spirit months ago broke– broke complete in the last two days at home–my body disintegrated, my emotions vacant. I took these things with me, to re-aborn them, and return better in all ways. However, I left my heart of love to family and friends in St. Croix Valley. I must return to it to form again whole.

People believe my object was to lose myself permanently to them, to cut my hair to spite their eyes, to indeed die “out there” alone. I intend no such thing. Why did I leave? I left not to go insane where I WAS, and to find that refill of life, with that objective look at everything away from THERE. Things can go wrong. Accidents do happen. Let all of us hope nothing bad happens, that the truly positive purpose of this adventure brings good luck.

I witnessed too much death in recent years from suffering sick to want to punish Nature and my loved ones by the supreme selfish act. Once, as a blameless bystander, a young innocent man died in my hands–expired as I touched his hand in comfort. A senseless, violent, and criminal act by a third stranger, killed him.

Selfishness may be a flaw, not entirely correctable. Sickness might possibly get cured or arrested, or put latent. I feel death, even by choice of drink or other reasons absent reason, remains far too serious and important to be decided by any individual, or a collective humanity, whether judge, jury, politician, OR scientist. The god and Nature alone weld wisdom to determine the final fates. People need to let the god alone and his power, Nature, to decide. Humanity, playing god, play as toddlers with scissors and matches. People must not dwell in the heavens, and stay in the places we can reach safe.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Notes from the Underground: Freeway Day One

Notes from the Underground
On the Freeway Underground
Day One-May 22, 2009
by Pi Kielty

The Polk County Underground has gone Wisconsin, on the freeway of ideas, commerce, labor and culture. I travel to new territory, while I traverse some old to get there, to see and meet, and greet and exchange a value of my Spirit of ideal liberty for a mutually profitable transfer with others. Only by doing this will the Nature of all, I pray, replenish my song, my voice, my optimistic soul–my inner Muse.

The venture came to a rash mind, heavy from exhausted, endless struggle. At the moment I left, the bright-eyed poetry of my worship had died, existent no longer, and it was as rotted as a carrion horse the morning after its honored murder in the last battle of my own internal civil war. The steed, powerful like a Bukephelus, trust worthy like a Traveler, was my one-horse engine that kept me moving. It had noble strength, phlegmatacy; a pique, and positive pony. The last cannonade kicked it once in the forelock mane for a full, undoable measure, and I retreated to the sanctuary of a cave. That conflict ended. I start anew an insurgency of a free idea to swim as a little fish among the sea of oppressed peoples, left marooned by leaders on an inner-island in my middle-Middle America. I teach a revolution of peace, for community, by means of a simple idea–the Spirit of ideal liberty–acted on by a simple trade: My respect and friendship for yours. The war inwards ends. Long live the Revolution for Peace & Liberty!

On the Underground Freeway, I am on Day One, still. I left my last regular haunt south of home late last evening at midnight. I journeyed My First Place. I bought the following foods for $20.11

• French bread (1)
• Box cake rolls(1)
• Bag of tuna (1)
• Bag of rice (1)
• Apples (2)
• Pasta meals (2)
• Peaches (2)
• Oranges (2)
• Cabbage (2)

I slept for 7 hours on a couch at an Underground safe-house, re-packed the gear I hastily loaded an hour before my escape. The Underground housekeeper, Merle, bought me lunch of a burger, fries, and soda. I showered, loaded, and having spent exactly 12 hours in My First Place, I rambled here in Lil’ Casino, to Wisconsin’s D.C. I visited my friend at her work, and then I drove out here out of the city to a barn where I know my leave is welcome for two nights.

As I write, I drink a cup of coffee cooked in a saucepan on a white gas, single burner stove. The place is empty of a soul, as my friends must have gone for the weekend. I am alone but nearer to my peace of mind than I had been in months, or possibly years. I pitched my tent by my car. The sun canopy recedes westward. Night’s dark-lit veil of sparkling diamonds in the sky soon will be cover all.

A full inventory of what I bring with me must await more time. Like the fool I am, in sorting gear today, I realized I forgot three things I would need: mess kit, silverware, and a camping hatchet. Merle provided me a saucepan and hatchet. I can eat with twigs shaved into chop sticks. There are many sticks in the property fire-pit, a budding fire which shall remain unlit for the dryness of the month.

I do not mean to spoil my story, as indeed I possess no idea the length the journey may take, whether it will take me, or what might or might not happen. I have brought my cameras, my computer a bag of books, and a load of paper and envelopes. I left family and friends behind at home to visit other friends , and family elsewhere. I wish to meet new people, make new friends, of course, and, the god-willing–approach foul or foulness from no one nor nowhere.

More remains to write, to chronicle in the Underground Freeway notes. I should at least explain the reasons I took to the road, to sum up the causes, purpose and theme of this journey. However, I go underground with great remorse for what I reluctantly said to others to deceive the world so I start my escape from the sub-reality of life back home. I may own enough courage to leave all and everything behind, except what those things I own and carry in Lil’ Casino. Furthermore, I may be stupid enough to gamble these stakes to find a lifeful Spirit still inside me, so I can live once more, happy, loving, positive and optimistic. And I know there are knowns and unknowns I must confront, experience, or avoid, flee.
Despite a foolish bravery for these things, I confront cowardice because I fail to tell my loved ones what I feel, what I fear, and what I can and cannot do for them. I pushed myself beyond limits, but I don’t know, “WHY?”. I failed to live up to their highest happy expectations of me. I could not be who they wanted. I leave with law and my property on my side. I commit no crime in going, I have performed no sin but erred in obligation I offered. In sum, no one owns this one-man Corps of Discovery but I.

Why did I leave then? Most men who run do so for a woman. That is only part of my problem, yet not an ounce measured for the ton of justifications to go. I left no romance behind. I did, though, leave for a deep shame, shame before friends and family. It is a shame we all should share in common, whether or not almost everyone denies it in their lives. As spirits undergoing a human experience, we think we search for answers. In discussion yesterday with my very own Wizened Yoda, a discussion concerning what I feel like I must do on this journey, he told me not to seek an answer, for it only lies within. Instead, Yoda continued, “Go elsewhere so that when you return you know the Question.”

The “WHAT?” of my life is found in the answer itself: To be helpful to others. Unless I know the “WHY?”, am I really doing it for the right reasons? If not, I lived a Spirit being half formed by the god and the Nature through which it works. Everyone wants answers. We must find those on our own. Now, on Day One, it does really make sense. What is the Question for which we need the answers. “WHY?”

In this Underground Freeway voyage, I call it the search for the “Question.” I asked my friend at her work today, “What is the Question for which you want an answer?” Of course, as I believe will prove common, she answered, “Where does everyone go when they die?”

I intend to return home when appropriate. Perhaps I can stop carrying the burden of shame for humanity as an altruistic martyr by then. Return I must; return to a sick and dying friend, and to concerned others.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Joke’s On Us: Batman The Dark Knight and the Anti-Virtues of Existential Heroism

The 2008 release of The Dark Knight with Christian Bale in the starring role brings a newer, more brutal DC comic book hero into modern context. The story-line, gadgets, and realistic setting in both 2005's Batman Begins and the 2008 movie even form a slightly plausible “movie magic” that says to movie audiences, “Yeah, I buy it for the two plus hours. I’m in this world.” Beside a fantastically entertaining filming along the old film noir crime drama’s of 60 or 70 years ago, in color but very dark in cinematography, these two installments of Batman lore by director Christopher Nolan combine the “alternative realism” with some deeper philosophy of great relevance to our 21st Century society.
For a brief view of alternative realism, The Dark Knight presents a normative setting in a real looking megalopolis in modern urban lore, the city of Gotham. Indeed, the name “Gotham” itself is synonymous with dark forces of crime–social moral decay. But for the second key aspect of alternative realism, The Dark Knight presents ordinary people in most respects in twists of extraordinary circumstances, almost unreal but for the very real feel, taste, feel, sight and sounds. In short, in the time, space, theme, and people, the melting of the real and the suprareal create not surreal experiences we associate with Kafkaism, but of a subreal where people’s dreams and nightmares define them. The Batmobile, the Batsuit, the Batgadgets (sorry, there is no Bat-Shark-Repellant in either of these movies) look plausible. Yet, as with everything in these two movies, the baseline of real seems not so extraordinary.
To understand The Dark Knight, one must refer to Batman Begins. As most people know, Bruce Wayne’s parents are murdered in a senseless act of petty violence. Bruce Wayne later as an adult escapes to Asia to become a criminal in order to understand their motivation, yes, but also as an anonymous rebellion to the privilege, wealth, and expectations under which he was raised. Caught in the act of theft, Wayne is released from prison and finds a breadcrumb path to a Ninja temple high in the snowy Himalayas. Trained in the martial arts of The League of Shadows, a Ninja-monastic order dedicated to wiping out all of societies corruptions via a French Revolution-style of purification of murder in the form of a Cult of private virtue, Wayne escapes the league once he is asked to perform an execution.
Presumed dead for seven years, Wayne returns to Gotham to reclaim his trust fund and family mantle. But instead of becoming the benign wealthy benefactor of Gotham, Wayne will use his skills under the symbol of what he fears the most, bats, in order to fight the moral corruption. As billionaire bad boy, Wayne protects his secret of caped crusader. As man, he can be destroyed. As a symbol of hidden identity, Batman does whatever is necessary in order to implement his private morality as the public virtue, Gotham notably lacking any virtues in its present state. In short, Batman exists to inspire others to take action in saving, restoring or creating the public morality via their private virtue of service. The private virtue of service is the generational endowment of the Wayne family Wayne hopes to restore, in order that someday Batman is no longer necessary. (It’s easy for a Ninja-trained smart guy to be Batman with Bruce Wayne’s money). Wayne creates the existence of Batman because one is needed.
The supporting cast of the film is outstanding, particularly Michael Caine, the venerable Alfried, Morgan Freeman and the always underrated Gary Oldman. The story line in The Dark Knight, however, revolves around Harvey Dent and Rachel Dawes, the latter Wayne’s boyhood romance privy to Batman’s true identity, withAaron Eckhart and Maggie Gyllenhaal playing these roles. Harvey Dent, the romantic interest of Dawes, is the “white knight” that Dawes wants for herself and Wayne wants to replace Batman. Dent is just as brave, strong and confident as Wayne/Batman, but Dent is the private virtue for public morality that Wayne needs to replace Batman, and get Dawes back in his life in the process.
Enter chaos, in the star stealing performance of the late Heath Ledger as The Joker. The Joker is part of our real world which is not talked about, only feared and best put away from society: That of the criminally insane. The criminally insane possess the faculty of logic, reason, rationale, and even genius, but operate devoid of any redeeming virtue with only an un-moral self-defined. The Joker gives an evil reason for virtue like Batman to exist. In pure form, Ledger portrays the subreal and surreal fear we all have of coming real and dominating the superreal: A dark spiritual “Concentrated” evil as protagonist, out to cause nothing but pain, suffering, disorder, and death to the world.
In this movie, the underlying theme runs along what or who is the Dark Knight and why and how is he or she necessary, the answer only revealed in the last 60 seconds of the film. In trying to understand The Joker’s motivation in order for the Wayne/Batman antagonist to stop him, Alfried explains that The Joker might have no motivation, he might want nothing, there is no mission for which he works, and no objective to be denied. Wayne cannot, and really does not, win this battle, as he would have to become The Joker himself in order to prevail. Batman would have to give up his private and public morality and public and private virtue, demeaning himself into the evil he fights–the sole reason for Batman’s existence. What happens? Watch Batman Begins, if you have not seen it, and then The Dark Knight. How does this all get resolved? And why is the existence of a Dark Knight necessary? In sum, we want to believe in Batman. We don’t want people like The Joker to exist, on film or in real life. But in tolerating the conditions that made The Joker possible, the apathetic citizens of Gotham made Batman necessary. But in tolerating the need for someone else to restore public morality through a private, self-defined virtue, the people of Gotham force Batman to become what they don’t understand. A lack of understanding anyone or the things, for good or evil, that motivate them, is the true source of all our fears.

Cepia Trade Bazaar!!! And the Renaissance of Markets

 Cepia Trade Bazaar has moved!! Now located in St. Croix Falls, WI (the city straddles US Hwy 8, WI State Hwys 35 & 87).  Cepia Trade Bazaar is within the Planet Supply beneath the US Post Office, on the main downtown drag). A separate entity from The Cepia Club LLC-proper, Cepia Trade Bazaar sells a mixed-media of “awareness & activism” items as well as general merchandise for everyday use or simple luxury. From books and other literature, dvds and cds of “globalocal” artists, to apparel, accessories, finer foods, and more, from the many diverse things, a free-and-fair market emerges, for the public and customers to shop. Cepia Trade Bazaar specializes in home trade, fair trade, and local made offered world-wide at a competitive market price. The bazaar also carries other mainstream items.

The trade bazaar format fits into the unique “community within a community” that is Planet Supply.  At the bazaar, the connections form between buyers and sellers. Members and vendors of The Cepia Club LLC-proper share their listings, and their wares as well. But public participation in the “bazaar”-market will eventually make the “meeting of the free-minds with their free-markets.”
Want something? Have something? Looking for workers? Looking for jobs? The bazaar will start slow, from where it was at in Centuria, WI, in 2008, yet what could to grow into a real brouse, or an agora, in the style of a community market that connects globalocally. Variety, diversity, sustainable and efficient–these are the bedrock principles of the Post-Historical community market.

Cepia Trade Bazaar is not a flea market. It is sort of a commodity, an exchange place, a depository for the  trade of equal value of the most valuable resources–what the land and people offer together or desire for the community.  The bazaar is a place to check out, just in case. In the small space at the Planet Supply, a true underground railroad to the future of economic freedom is developing.

Cepia Trade Bazaar’s official opening at Planet Supply will take place during the Sunday, April 19th concert at Planet Supply.

Don’t miss it then or after throughout the following months

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Grand Theft Auto

In the Obama Administration's plan to reorganize the automobile companies, GM and Chrysler, workers and their unions will receive majority or plurality ownership and the Federal government takes a significant minority stake.

This poses an interesting question: Is the government confiscating a big, private business, and handing a gift of ownership to the worker's not a creeping Marxism dawning alive and strong in the United States?

In this whole mess, workers getting a “sweet deal,” and taxpayers allowing their government to commit theft against the private property of investors, who is getting what, how much, and when in this political redistribution of wealth?