From a series of French fauna voicing their opinions on hydrofracking.
Below, a story from a book having nothing to do with the painting above. I would sell Cookbook For The Poor if someone would buy it. I think there is some Puritan witches’ hex put on any creative output from a Throop until the end of time and space.
Stated in terms of practical, everyday life, wabi is to be satisfied with a little hut, a room of two or three tatami mats, like the log cabin of Thoreau, and with a dish of vegetables picked in the neighboring fields, and perhaps to be listening to the pattering of a gentle spring rainfall. It is in truth the worshiping of poverty.
Every once in a great while, after I get exhausted from the speaking and writing rubbish, I start to dream about the truth. Of course, not everyone’s truth—that would prove our universal similarity, and we’ll have none of that here! What I am supposed to have is an opinion, because America is a land of individuals and for individuals, opinions rate high. The truth is a low place, and not for everyone, (sometimes I wonder if it’s for anyone). Each man is his own sun. Each man to himself. Every man and woman alone, frightened, small, and making sense of their existence with a thousand bogus opinions. Once in a while I get sick to my stomach thinking of the impermanence of things. Some mornings I wake up almost hating myself for spending so much time forgoing feeling for fact, love for time, truth for opinion. Eventually I have to laugh, or else succumb to a rapidly growing self-resentment. I have to laugh, or form another opinion to keep from hating enough to kill. It’s funny to have an opinion of how a man should stand, walk, and behave with a dog in the park—especially when the man’s face is covered in snot, and the reason he is outside in the cold morning is to make sure the feces gets put into the bag. That’s funny, right? I mean after that, some opinions will have to vacate your brain. Humbling oneself is a glimpse at truth. But when the man jerks the dog’s neck, to get him to go his way, then all the old opinions return—to occupy more space in the brain—and he walks back to the house without a revelation.
Vicious circles. We do not allow ourselves enough time to see the truth. Our opinions are stronger. They are what we live on. They are how we get up in the morning, feed ourselves, and act the rest of the day and night. They don’t get along with truth. They have ousted truth from our minds.
An opinion got us our jobs, our homes, and in most instances, our spouses and children. The truth is a very simple place, and to see the simple today takes a very exhaustive battle with opinion. The truth is very simple. It doesn’t give us anything more than itself. It is, and we live in it. Once, long ago, the truth was man’s sole opinion. Not today. Today a snot-faced bore is going to tell the truth. It’s a scary world to be in—alone. That is why he must tell it to you, because he needs neighbors. He needs friends. He needs to show the universal truth that will give us the right to be human again. Human like a dog is a dog, a cat is a cat, and a tree is a tree. It is not a going back in time he desires—it’s a going towards something new. We cannot go back. Back to what? A traditional society? Can your wife spin wool and make soap? Can your husband spend a night alone in the forest without something plastic beside him? Can any man or woman just sit still for five minutes?
There are no traditional societies. The Indian Nation is meeting with lawyers in Fort Meyers, Florida today to discuss a land claim dispute. No longer traditional. The tribal chief is an opinionated old sun-baked American. Ft. Meyers, Florida! An opinion is keeping him alive. He flies to the sandy beach in an opinion, holding an opinion, protecting an opinion. He eats opinionated food, and throws the wrapper in a garbage can. An opinion takes his garbage to the dump that grows higher and higher until clumping his claim up in refuse and waste. Got to have an opinion to kick those evil white old ladies out of their homes. Got to have an opinion to settle the score with a two hundred year old contract and two billion dollar profit. Opinions are useful to the American Indian chief. However, the truth wants to split open his skull with a sharp stone. That’s why he stays far away from the truth.
No, we have got to go forward. Yesterday the Indian chief was a man. Today he is an opinion. It took a hundred years to start playing the white man’s game—wait…
Dammit, there are no white men! This is a perfect example of opinion—of words being more real to men than reality. Stop using words. Stop trying to articulate your measly little, incredibly small and insignificant thoughts. The truth is there has never been a white man. It does not exist. It would scare the hell out me to see it. Too scary even for the circus. There is no black man. He does not exist. The truth is you are not able to articulate the color of your own face without sorting through a box of Crayola Crayons—and you won’t find it there most times, either. There is no red man. No yellow man. We are not primary colors. Nor white or black. Not good and evil. Turn off the words, and wake up! You’re an opinionated idiot a million miles from the truth, even when you’re standing in a thick, gooey pile of it.
Words do not exist. History is a lie. A spiteful lie. Every word you utter is arbitrary. Arbitrary is a word you made up. Erase it! Do you know how much confusion increases with the use of words? Feel! Stop walking past the door just to open your mouth. Feel! The next time you see a human being, name his color. You cannot. That’s it! You just don’t know, so you string sentences together and call that truth. Articulate. Speak clearly. Prove a point. Stop using words to explain. Stop explaining. Just do.
You want your land back, you burnt sienna, poor excuse for a representation of an ancient culture that had the right idea and practiced it? You want your trees, your woodchucks, your boundaries? Then shut up and do what you used to do. Take a band of your silent, colorful brothers and set the village on fire. You wouldn’t think of it. Oh the horror! Give up your toothbrush, bifocals, digital camera, department store shotgun, your pipe and tobacco bought at the mall, your outrageously silly Jeep Cherokee? Not on your life!
No, you’ll have your fat-faced lawyer, with skin the color of cedar shavings solve your land claim problem with words and money.
So much for the past. The truth says there is no history. I focus on the chief because not long ago he was the closest thing to the truth that this land and people ever knew. Close to the kind of truth a flying insect knows. Now he talks like the rest of us. He writes. He talks. He speaks the language of the pale face. He doesn’t know what a tree is anymore. How can anyone who steps into an airplane care about a tree? This includes you my little environmentalist hypocrites. More word-users. Hypocrisy is opinion. Truth is truth. Do you want to save a whale? Then shoot a whaler. Murder. Kill anything as long as it isn’t human. Pile your dictionary-worshiping colleagues into a blow-up rubber raft, pack some sandwiches in plastic wrap, prop an outboard over the side, and zoom out to the tuna boats. You know they are killing dolphins. You know that you’re killing everything with your touch. Midas with the touch of death. More words. Write them down on a piece of paper. It’s arbor day! Kill a tree, plant a tree. It doesn’t matter. Place the aluminum can in a clear plastic bag and be proud of yourself for recycling. Get dressed in cotton clothing that was a forest torn down, stumps pulled, and land cleared to make room for the seeds of more cotton clothing. You wake up and kill. Form any opinion you want to, but the truth is, you’re one of earth’s serial killers.
It’ll make your head dizzy, the truth. It’ll whip you around in madness, unless you can cover it up in opinions. Just listen, understand and act. The truth will prevail. Don’t speak. Stop talking in your head! Turn it off and feel. I want to write down the truth now. This is what our new world must come to be. You have to start here to get to the truth. If you are not interested in knowing without speaking, then stop reading. Go back to another story which gives details, hard facts and cold opinions on the white and black of the world. It’s full of nasty little no-nothing opinions, self trivia, and more diabolical words like diabolical. The rest of this essay might contradict your opinions or put a temporary block on your miserable path of death in life, but it won’t be the truth—so you’ll most certainly be able to understand me.
First of all, truth is poetry. Remember that. Keep that in mind. Words are not poetry, but they can pretend to be. Poetry is our chief walking into the Fort Meyer’s meeting room, pissing on the floor, and scalping his dirty word-picking lawyer.
Second, truth is anything not human, or more precisely, what human has come to be over time. We are human. So truth is anything we are not.
Hmm. Pretty glum thing, this truth. Not necessarily. We need to live. I mean, I’m sure we still want to live, correct? Are you still reading this, you opinionated grumpy old fart? Get out! The following is for anyone seeking the truth.
Take. But take only for your loved ones. Don’t kill. Just take. Cars are being made? There are roads? Take a car. If that’s what you want, take it. But leave a poem. Write it to the woman you touch at night. Write it to your daughter whom you love more than any opinion (or truth even). Or write nothing at all, take a sledge hammer, and smash up the car you just took.
Take, but give poetry. Live poetry. When a woman or a man can speak, write, or act poetry, the so many things begin to wash away. Opinions dissolve. Truth is revealed more often. When a certain amount of truth is seen, you begin to crave more. When you leave truth, a tremendous loss is felt, the like that has never been felt before, even when you were an opinionated lonely cuss with nothing to show for life besides words and confusion. That loss brings you back, but separates you further since you are following the path of abandoning human things. Other humans don’t like that. They form a poor opinion of you. Then you get lonely, very lonely, and want to give back all that you took. Poetry again. Give them poetry. Take, but give poetry.
Keep radio and TV—take them, but give back poetry. When you hear on the news that a gunman open-fired on a children’s playroom in McDonald’s, turn off the radio and think up a poem for dinner. When your TV anchor-woman reports that a thousand people drowned in a Mozambique flood, and shows a picture of a flood victim giving birth in a tree, pick your nose and smear it on the screen. It is words and opinions that caused the flooding in Mozambique. It’s words that are statistics and opinions that are certain death.
Poetry and un-human things are what you need to live with the truth.
I am going to make it simple. The answer is a constant cabin-in-the-woods thought in your mind. Pack what you think you need. Bring the Internet, if you must. The truth for tomorrow can include a lot of new things. A few strenuous trips to the water hole and the Internet becomes as useful as a hole in your head. That’s what it will start to feel like with a cabin-in-the-woods thought in your mind. Bring the television. But it will take two years to build the hydroelectric power plant in your stream, so television and electricity are no longer practical. Good thing, because the truth doesn’t allow them anyway. Who’s the President? Who the hell cares? We’re living poetry now, remember? It takes a full day to think about dinner, and even then you have to leave the cabin-in-the-woods thought and embarrass yourself searching for a machine slaughtered, semi-hairless supermarket chicken, tightly wrapped and stacked in the cooler case for the timid scan-and-gab hunter to pounce upon.
A wooden chair and one window is all that you need for the truth of things. Who cares about humanity after you run out of gas and made a wood shed out of the car? What kind of opinion can you articulate while searching for a big enough leaf to wipe your ass with? In the-cabin-in-the-woods you look silly having anything to do with something not from here. That’s a maple tree. That’s it. Take it. But leave poetry. That means build a chair and you’ve killed four birds with one stone. You got a chair. You left a poem. You murdered one more opinion about nothing that matters anyway. And, you took the human away and found truth.
Time to make it even more simple. Time to be direct. You must live in poverty. You must choose poverty. You need the cabin-in-the-woods mentality even if you aren’t rich enough yet to make it a reality. Poverty reduced to its lowest terms is nakedness. That’s the truth. Naked is yourself taken to the lowest terms. A humbling of our monstrous arrogance is what each of us needs to get back to truth—so easy to do after voluntary poverty. What opinions do you have when you want for nothing besides life? What opinion matters except survival? I am sure you’re still reading this, you opinionated grump—so tell me, what are your opinions worth if they do not contribute to survival? What does it matter what you think? It’s just words again. In poverty you’re isolated. Wonderful! No more words! No more logical thinking! No more proving a god damn thing! No more opening of the ear canal to allow opinion’s long history of prejudice, suspicion, illusion, and despair free passage. You are poor now and must spend your energy searching for dinner. Race relations? Abortion? Oil prices? Tensions in the Middle East? Telephone Bill? Gun control? Gasket leak? Asthma? Snow removal? Computer upgrade? What the hell are you talking about? All of this is a complete waste of time! In fact, all this talk is giving me the creeps. Stay away from me. Stay far away from me you opinionated monster. I got to go find dinner.
Choose poverty and isolation opens up a myriad of opportunities. Truth is not a stagnant pond. It rushes forth with powerful force, and splits off in every direction. It is the earth of everything un-human. That’s quite a lot of stuff! Earth and truth have a hundred uses for the acorn, but only one for the automobile. Reality is truth is earth is poverty. Everything alive is as close to nakedness as un-humanly possible. Everything on land and water—every living and dead thing is naked except for human beings. That has got to remind even the most helpless opinionated tool that we are all wrong.
But it does not. Some how it goads most of us to a continuation of misery, which is opinion—which is everything human. Clear thinking, logical monsters… Do you want truth or opinion? I could care less which one you pick. I have made my decision, and to stick around here waiting to hear what you have to say about it would be truth suicide.
100 square feet of soil
1 cup corn seed
According to local planting schedule (ask an old person) plant seeds one inch deep, evenly spaced one foot in five rows, two feet apart.
Water twice a week or let rain fall an inch per week in lucky
Harvest when cobs look edible.
Steam in pot with enough water not to evaporate, but not too much to boil. Cook until you think kernels are ready.
Cut butter into big clean bowl. Add hot corn. Toss with salt and pepper until butter is melted.