Thoughts, observations, sea stories and ideas from a former sailor and lifelong rancher
Monday, June 15, 2020
Yesterday was a down day. I actually got quite a bit accomplished on my major cross-fencing project but I didn't work very hard.
When I was checking cows I kicked up a coyote. I tried hard to get some good video but the camera was certain I was filming the barbed wire fence and not the coyote. There was too much wind noise anyway, so I hope you don't feel bad. I got some crap stills though...
Also got a pic of a big ear prickly pear which is strongly considering brightening the landscape with some flowers. These are different than our more common plains prickly pear which is smaller by a good margin.
My mention of a loved one suffering from the effects of active alcoholism prompted an interesting offline comment. There appeared to be some significant concern that I had special secret knowledge about the condition of a family member who has been struggling with the disease, and there appeared to be significant suspicion that I was hiding such vital knowledge.
Actually I was referring to a different loved one, a person who is not a certified member of the family.
The thing about how I approach this blog is that when I'm talking about such things I'm probably not going to dish out all the sordid and delicious details. This isn't the place for that. If I think it's worth sharing details in an effort to teach or help my readers understand I'll do so in such a way as to protect the person I'm writing about. I mention such things here from time to time in an effort to inform and educate as well as in an effort to vent, to let the 50-person world this blog touches know that I am hurting and why.
As it turns out, it wouldn't take someone really smart like algore to be able to do the simple arithmetic and arrive at the obvious answer that I'm the least likely person in the universe to have special secret knowledge of the family member. That person is 300 miles away and hasn't talked to me in years. Every single person in the immediate family is closer to that person than I am. Ergo, the likelihood that I have and am withholding special secret knowledge is absurd on stilts. I do understand that the tee-vee says otherwise; that a person is either a victim or a victimizer, and since I'm not a victim I must be the other thing. Clearly it's expected of the victimizer to do bad stuff like withhold vital information and then whisper darkly about it in a blog. It makes perfect sense according to the dictates of the tee-vee.
The problem with this notion is that in addition to refusing to be a victim, I also refuse to be in the tee-vee. I choose to live in reality, so I don't follow the dictates of the tee-vee. Which rather proves my status as a bold and awful victimizer, at least by tee-vee standards. Catch-22.
Curiously, it's also a known fact that I'm not really up to actual complete human standards. I'm far too dumb, and I haven't followed the proper path and checked the proper boxes to exist as a real human being.
It's all very confusing. But that's the lot of the simpleton who can't even see the emperor's beautiful new clothes.
The different loved one is very close to me. Her plight is extremely difficult for me to witness, and that's precisely because I would do anything to ease her pain and suffering and put her on the path to recovery. I love her a great deal more than I love myself. I know that sounds strange, and for those who live in the tee-vee it's obvious nonsense and bullshit and I can't possibly know what I'm feeling. So be it. Nevertheless, in my world that's the way it works. God is first, others are second, and I am third. Any other approach has the capacity to kill my soul and turn me into a zombie, wandering the planet in a living death, a living hell. So my approach is very non tee-vee.
If it would do the magic and make her become recovered from her alcoholism I would gladly and without hesitation sacrifice myself. I'm nearing the end of my days after all, and she's barely passed the beginning of hers. It doesn't work that way though. All I can do is trust God, pray, and love her without condition. So this is what I do.
Because I walk a spiritual path I am safe and protected from joining the living dead. That doesn't mean I'm safe and protected from hurt though. This thing is terribly painful. It's leaving a significant mark. It hurts a lot and it's very hard. But God doesn't allow it to hurt too much or to be too hard. It's bearable and doable. It's right where I'm supposed to be. I'm not victimized by this, I am enriched. This reality and this path is not something the tee-vee teaches. It's available to everyone who chooses to walk the path. I feel bad for those who choose the tee-vee, but like everyone else on the planet, it's a personal choice and it's not my place to judge, approve, or disapprove. I observe, compare and contrast, understand, and love.
Like any human on the planet I'm imperfect and I'm not always at the top of my game. Yet my spiritual path is so much better than the alternative that I'll simply continue my journey and do the best I can, which is pretty much all I got.
Blast from the past -- got a sore on my chest at the site of former trauma a couple of days ago. When it was all said and done 13.5 centimeters of 4.0 nylon suture material came out. It was a pursestring suture when it went in and for various reasons we left it in, never really believing it would come out. But it did. Guess it wasn't happy and wanted to go its own way. It was a bit like that scene from Alien. Or maybe Spaceballs.
Thirteen lined ground squirrel.
Cheeks full of food.
And on to fencing. Training and education? Or perhaps a manifestation of my enormous ego?
Let's launch with a full internal bag.
A brief and incomplete history of t-posts and other stuff...
More steel post larnin'...
Why I hang wire the way I do and some perspective on fourth generation ranch existence.
The hills are still steep and rocky but I have special advantages that my forebears did not...
More interesting prairie fencing stuff. Grass is tough!
In case I forgot to mention it, I am blessed beyond measure. Not everyone is so blessed. Life is hard and ends gravely. I spent a lot of time existing rather than living my life. Given that, I am still blessed beyond measure. Some lost souls only ever exist. I believe that God's promise is ever available. In the immortal words of Major Kong, "that goes for ever' last one of ya regardless of yer race, color, or yer creed."
Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.
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My prayers are said for the sufferers of the disease of which you've written.ReplyDelete
They have to want to get sober and that "want to" is difficult at best and damn near impossible otherwise.
I imagine building... or rebuilding fence gives one lots of time for reflection.
Thanks Skip. Your prayers make a difference. They have to want to and find a way to become willing to do the work, including finding a way to become willing to take a spiritual path.Delete
There's something magical about working outside, using brain and body. It does provide plenty of time for reflection, and the combination of brain work and body work tends to flush a lot of garbage from the mind and muscles.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
Learned a lot about fences, thanks. I guess I could supervise, but it looks like far too much work for me to seek it out.ReplyDelete
Do the coyotes pose any problem preying on cattle, or do they stick to smaller critters?
It's fun to share some of the details. Too often I get caught up in the job and forget to video. My lessons I fear are of the "hey, squirrel!" variety and probably wouldn't help much if one tried to use them to build a fence, but perhaps the entertainment value takes the edge off the pasture productions quality.Delete
As with many things in my life I greatly enjoy the physical challenge. It's good to be an old fart who can still get it done. Which in a way proves the size of my ego. I don't need no rockin' chair!
I will someday though, if I live long enough for my body to reach that point.
The coyotes exclusively predate small mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. They are superb scavengers and will clean up carcasses when they can. Where there are large numbers of coyotes and food is scarce they will pack up and attempt to predate some livestock like sheep and goats and even small calves. However, cattle represent a serious danger to them and injury means death by starvation, so they are pretty cautious. We don't have large numbers of coyotes and there is more than enough for them to eat so we don't have a problem.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting John!
You walk the path as needed. I think you do it well. Empathy for others is important, love is the way.ReplyDelete
Life is hard at times. Be well brother, you bear a lot on your shoulders.
Thanks Sarge. Life is hard and that's a fact, but it's not too hard. To paraphrase my Grandpa, endure the hard parts and embrace the blessings (one of which is navigating the "hard" stuff).Delete
Empathy is a vital tool for me. Sympathy seems to always be about me; when I can empathize I am out of self and honestly trying my best to understand my fellow ape-lizard. When I understand, even a little bet, I can't help but love.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting!