A seeker's journey to cross a continent, visit ecovillages, learn living techniques which foster life on the planet, and forge inter-tribal connections.

Core Purpose:


Plundering The Tombs - Part 1

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Location: Athens

Music: Incus

Thursday morning, after riding into Athens with a car-enabled Wisterian who I had met during morning yoga last week, I decided the time to manifest had come. I set my intention clearly: If such a thing could be found at a reasonable price on mega-short notice, I would aquire a laptop. New or used, I didn't care. I just wanted to get back online, have the ability to check my email at wireless access points, connect with friends without constantly having to bum hardware off of others, and write blog entries without being limited to public library time limits and other such constraints.

After parking the car, my new friend gave me a quick tour of downtown while I walked with him to the office, pointing out various possible points of interest along the way. The small locally owned computer repair shop looked like a promising spot for decent used hardware, but when I stopped in to ask about laptops, the guy said he had absolutely no laptops to sell, new or used. (There had been one, but he was holding it behind the counter for someone who had already called in to reserve it.)

I asked if he had any recommendations regarding other places where a laptop might be found. The only suggestions he could offer were Staples and WalMart, both located out in the part of town where all the other big box stores would be. Just like every other place in America.

For lunch, rather than doing my usual foraging, I decided to splurge, and spend a little cash at a business worth supporting: Casa Nueva, a worker-owned mexican restaurant which endeavors to make use of locally grown ingredients produced in an ethical manner. The place had been pointed out to me earlier during the downtown tour by my guide. I found their "seasonal burrito" amusing (with the text "current market value" printed in the price column), and so set out to order one.

I knew what I was getting ready to do, so I felt the need to balance my karma. If Sam Walden's rotting tomb ended up being the only place with a laptop I could afford, I knew that on this day, a bargain with the devil would be inevitable, so I needed to balance my karma.

I asked the waitress (who was just beginning her first day on the job) what the current market price of a seasonal burrito would be. She guestimated that it would be within the same price range as the other fixed rate burritos (between $7-$9), so I agreed to order one, not yet knowing exactly how much I would be billed.

Moments later, she returned to correct herself with new data. The current market price of a seasonal burrito was $11. So be it. I did not change my order, and prepared to absorb the fire essence of the habanero salsa that would be on the burrito. This magic would need to be powerful.

I amused myself by reading commentaries in the local paper while waiting for the food. I hadn't been around the news in a while, and hearing about it from the perspective of the non-corporate press in this locale was interesting. I found it encouraging to read that tens of thousands of students in Arizona were committing the unprecented act of publicly challenging the government to arrest and deport them en masse. Their logic: If their classmates were going to be punished for the so-called "crimes" of their parents (i.e. existing in this physical space without having been declared a citizen by descendents of the invaders who crossed the continent a couple hundred years ago), then so should they all.

Nothing like the news to get the emotions all riled up. Anger is a gift.

After inhaling the fire-infused earth essence, I weighed the energy pattens, and felt good about giving this particular establishment, and those in it who had fed me, a single token marked "20", knowing that none of its symbolic value would be siphoned away to the far-away hoarders on "Wall" Street, whose so-called "labors" consist of begging the Bush, Obama, et al for free emergency funds, which they can then loan back to the populace at interest. Was I really ready to stick my own hand in this pie again?

[To be continued...]


Bitscape: Suffering at a far away WalMart.

Brings to mind a memory of when I was working at a Good Food Store. During my lunch break one day, while I was off the clock, I almost lost it with a man who harshly grabbed his poor crying kid by the elbow, and yanked the little toddler out of the chair by one arm. Working in a daycare long long ago, I learned that you NEVER grab a child by the limbs. Period. It can dislocate their fragile shoulders with a quick snap. So anyway.... I sympathize, and the situation described in the reddit post sounds far more drastic. On certain days, I really do a wish that all the child abusers in the world would do everyone else (including their own kids) a favor, and just go crawl in a hole in die. Is that wrong of me?
(July 04)
Bitscape: Anyway, to finish that little side story... This man did not look friendly, or kind, and I had no desire to start a fight at my workplace. So...

I sat silently for a moment, then just stared at him with what must have been a look of utter rage on my face. He wasn't looking at me though.

I got up from my chair (this was in the outdoor seating area), headed for the door into the deli, and as I passed him, I muttered under my breath, "Fucker."

He heard that, loud and clear. He looked at me. "What did you just say?"

I wasn't going to repeat myself. "You heard me." Barely contained, I uttered one more sentence, knowing anything further would lead to an ugly situation quickly. "No decent person EVER treats a child like that."

With that, I opened the door and went back into the store before he could react or respond any further. I sat down at one of the stools near the deli.

He followed me into the store, and walked past, but now I was sitting still, knowing that if he attmepted to direct his violent sickness at me, I would be surrounded by help of all sorts within seconds. He went back outside, returning to his unfortunate offspring.

Within moments, one of the managers on duty walked over to me, and asked if everything was ok. I nodded, but I was still fuming. She could tell, but she accepted my answer, and returned to her post.

A few minutes later, I went over to the manager's desk and described how the man had not only grabbed the kid by the arm, but then afterwards slammed him back down hard on the chair outside.

I knew that legally speaking, I had no case. No blood had been drawn, and as far as the eye could tell, the child was uninjured. And in this country, people are more or less free to raise their children as they choose.

Then again, I hadn't really done anything to this dispicable man either. Just an ugly word or two. Freedom of speech, which I exercised.

I was neither reprimanded nor complimented, but I could see that underneath, this coworker respected what I had done.

I went back to the rear part of the store, clocked back in, and returned to work.
(July 04)
Raven Dig: Your posts are beautiful -- your writing is superb. I feel drawn right into the anecdotes as they are recited -- Cheers, Brother! And thanks for the updates (July 06)