Don Bauder 4:30 p.m., Dec. 4
Bus 35... Old Town Trolley Station... El Cajon Transit Center... And then Bus 888 to Jacumba... Yah man, I'd done the weather check. Rain, snow, 30 mph plus wind, and the hard to swallow word 'whiteout' came up... Susie, a psychic and a crystals-rock shop owner in OB had merely made a suggestion. It affected me.
Rodge, my Starbucks opening buddy, the 'Mansion-Sitter' for Deepak's agent of authorship living up in La Jolla passed me a folded Union Tribune highlighting the stormy details for the next six days.
"Still going," he asked?
He just shook his head like he'd missed a short putt for par and slipped out the door, slipped back into his routine saying,
"You call me if you need any help..."
Shooting for par meant average. Average tragically translated into normalcy. Normalcy was the psychopathology of the average... Normalcy was tax paying, voting, jobs, television and rationality. On the 888, their were four of us. A 50ish man with a small light blue backpack and precious little patience for another older fellow, who I'd later find out was 84. The ancient one slowly tugged a large leopard skin sack of typewriters aboard, six of them. He was holding us up. At least that was what the impatient fellow figured as he motioned wildly with his faded jean jacket arm and said,
"Get outta the way Sheilman!"
He snatched the sack from out of the old one's hands and heaved the yester-half century old keys of letter into a crevice beneath a row of seats. We all heard a shift-return-bell ring as the bus hissed away like a serpent. They all knew each other by name. The typewriter collector, the village idiot, shuffled away silently.
Susan was sitting across the aisle adjacent to me. She shook her head... She rolled her eyes...
"Well you're going to have to watch yourself. The Indians ain'tta nice, especially after drinking the firewater and then there are those rattlesnakes. Of course now it might be getting too cold for them but we got mountain lions too. The border patrol hassles everybody. If this guy named Tony tries to give you some work don'tta you do it. He never pays wanderers like you and he's trouble. Haven't you heard the weather reports, were ah gettin snow!"
"Yah... So Suz, what's the good news?"
Seeing that I didn't scare easily she smiled,
"The good news... I have been shopping. Do you like pie? I love these little blueberry ones but they were ah all out of em. I have pecan or apple?"
Suz and I chatted. She told me not to worry about the police.
"They don'tta do nuthing."
She told me about the 'bushman' who'd lived in the woods for the past eight years across from a Mexican restraunt called Sausalito's. She told me about their two and three dollar tacos. Susan lived in Boulevard, a teeny town, eight miles from the teenier town of Jacumba. This sweet ol stranger was giving it all to me. The local stuff, the lie of the green, her proximity's rules to the game of Existence, but these rules, Susan's caddying and All were quickly changing.
In all actuality, it was the Light Dance, 2012 was already happening. An angel had once asked me as I awoke in cow pasture up in Julian a couple summers back,
"What is the place of your confidence?"
It took me some meditating or rather, some meditating took me, almost all day until I got it. How much was I really willing to trust the Light? Well the Light was guiding me big time now. The Cosmos Sun, Thee Great Mystery, God, whatever you felt like calling It. It was beginning to rise in a parallel Universe within our minds. A mindrise... A mindset, this was all that was necessary as these dark days closed out 2008.
The 84 year old man sat silently in the last seat at the end of the dark bus. The impatient fellow got off in Morena. The full moon glowed through dirty glass windows. We climbed higher into elevation and further from OB.
As we twisted through turns and up mountains the moon played hide n seek, disappearing, before reappearing above worldly concerns, having beheld nothing but moving skeletons in a cemetery on wheels. Would there be any joy in these graveyard towns we passed?
Before Susan got off the bus I had another small round pie, apple this time and her phone number.
"You call me if you get into any trouble now ya hear. I'm always giving away food, money or work if their is any when you guys pass thru. I don't understand what it is your doing but I don't understand much these days. You take care now and God bless ya..."
"Thank you Suz... And bless you my friend..."
The bus driver let me and the old man off in what he said was the middle of town. It was pure desert surrounded by mountains. Tumbleweed blew across the old Highway 80 and I was Lost yet again. Mission Accomplished...
One building, one faint light, the Jacumba Hot Mineral Springs Lodge separated I from Everything and Nothing. I walked past it and looked for the rest of my life in the cold darkness. After a half a mile or so and then a small blue sign pointed right, Library. Always... Almost Always, the library, either behind them, around them, under their roofed entrances or above, on top the roof and over the entrances. I had almost 30 library cards, all of them west of the Mississippi. A former intellectual still calling the House of Books home.
I followed the dusty road and peeked at the tangled bushes littering the desert's floor like branchy extra-terrestrials or westernesque X-girlfriends. Which one would hold me for a night? Which one could offer her cover and protection and allow me to snuggle up, use her for awhile, with no regrets or expectations?
As I slept the wind howled and plucked me out of the Astral, like a twister spinning a home out of Kansas. Driven aimlessly by those same winds, the coyote howls put me back to sleep as red, orange, and brown leaves fell from trees and into lonely spaces. I awoke under a flock of squak. Birds rousted from their perchs and drawing feathered carriages throughout the air. Distracted by their own attachments, but nonetheless, having to let go and just go with it. My eyes blinked and bowed gratefully for the latest gain of freedom from the misery of Conditioned Existence. Not disillusioned by desires I rose in the joy of my own alien solitude, rolled my sleeping bag up and then walked over to the lodge.
I meditated beneath a banner of flapping Tecate flags for awhile until the lodge opened for breakfast. A long red haired woman named Sonya, the owner for the past 20 years poured me a cup of coffee. I took one sip and Sheilman, the village idiot, the typewriter afficiando seated himself at my table. We stared at each other a moment. His eyes reminded I of the past night's moon and he spoke,
"As we move closer to Consciously Awakening in the 4th Dimension their are those who will ascend and those, of deceived minds, who have established points of view that will obscure the real meaning Here. They will perish in the fires of an Ultimate Truth."
Well... Good Morning God... Good, Good, Morning O Glorious One... This Is Exactly how it all went down my friends. So I sat still, held the energy with him and continued staring into Sheilman's Ukrainian eyes, absorbing a phenomena that if it did not truly exist than there would be no attainment of awakening to practice for. I listened attentively, not only for the Cosmic content but because he spoke 9 other languages and all of them with a thick Ukrainian accent.
"Now what have we got here,"
he asked as he reached across the table and picked my book off of the top of my small notebook. He read the title outloud to himself but couldn't pronounce the longest word.
"Bodhisattva," I offered.
"OOO... It isn't easy doing that alone these days is it? What is your practice? Whom do you follow?"
I slid my small notebook in front of me, opened it and wrote the words: Bhudda, Sufi, Tao, Krishna, Jesus Christ, Hindu, Tantric... I did this in a circular way and drew a line around them and said,
"All of them... I follow whatever feels loose and natural to me. Whatever promises a letting go of and dispels the belief that I need improved upon."
"How has this gone for you?"
This time I drew peaks and valleys. They appeared just as the ones surrounding us and I wrote the words, 'God' and 'Saint' over the top of the peaks and 'devil' and 'hell' below the imaginary valleys.
'You can't really Be until you've been both,"
Outside a decades old motel the banner of Tecate flags flapped louder and reminded me of a worn out playing card clothe-pinned to the spoke of a childs bicycle that used to get pedaled to destinations with no purpose before being tricked into growing up.
Now a funeral procession of large dark clouds floated along in a foggy theater of grayness. I was in the Eye of the biggest winter storm of the year quite possibly and out in the middle of nowhere. Sheilman, which sounded like 'shaman' after he'd pronounced it guided the notebook over in front of himself. He looked at my peaks and valleys awhile, as if they were Akashic records, then smiled,
"So what are you doing all the way out here?"
"I'm doing this... This..."
I smiled back and gestured to him with my hand.
"What is your full name?"
After I told him this he wrote it down and starting putting numbers beside the letters, calculating the mathematics. Then he drew a small but fairly good likeness resembling my face. This all took him just a few moments and I looked down into the mirror of notebook as he spoke,
"Some of us here, are holding the Light in these dark, dark times. You'll write about this Light... You just keep writing about this Light. The numbers for you are very favorable."
I'd never told the ancient one that I wrote. I nodded my head as Red Sonya leveled our coffee cups and I slid the notebook back over in front of me. This time I wrote, 'Trust God'. I paid Red Sonya, adding 15 more dollars for the all day use of the Finnish sauna and hot mineral springs. I had the mystical jacuzzi to myself for 3 hours as I rotated between meditating, sweating and then plunging into the bubbling 98 degree sulfur waters to cool down.
I'd spent the past summerfollowing a very similiar routine up at Stewart Mineral Springs in Weed, just a few miles from the magical Mt Shasta. After stepping off a bus there I had got a Virgoan ride up the mountain from a dude sharing the same September 7 birhtday as I. Now here in Jacumba and Sheilman's was on the 9th. Was something Virgo going on here? I don't know my friends, I just wander, cosmically witnessing all as it comes and then later try to put it in words. I try to tell experiences about my love affair with the loose and natural. I try to tell experiences about 'them' teaching us that uncertainity is something to avoid but finding, because I've forced myself into the moment that this is when I am most alive.
So I visited the Jacumba library, refrained from adding to an already ironic collection and moved on. It seemed I'd gotten whatever it was I was supposed to receive here or give. One never really knows when two feet are loosely planted in parallel universes at the same or seemingly same time. I'd packed for a forever, a month or a day. This time it appeared as if I would be a daytripper but no bus would be coming to the rescue until Monday. It was Saturday and as the rain began blowing sideways over a desolate two laned highway I simply decided to walk. The wind threatened and teased to slowly lift me up, up, up and away. I waved as two men stacked piles of brush and enjoyed their normal day surroundings. They waved back like old friends and yelled,
"Where you going?"
I shrugged my shoulders saying,
"Don't know, but outta here."
They laughed, as if they understood, unlike Rodge, maybe they knew that I wasn't playing for par. This course was simply too Infinite to play it safe. When you are living on the outskirts, on the edge of All, Being, takes on its own Reality. Sheilman was the latest blessing for behaving Otherly. The Light that he had told me to continue writing about was the same message that a Harley biking redneck Bhuddist monk named Lambert had spoke off. Lambert lived in an old school bus out in the middle of the woods below Mt. Shasta.
Less than a mile into my latest moment and a border patrol officer picked me up. Her name was Diane and she was pretty.
"Normally I don't pick drifters up but nobody should be out in this weather. Where are you going?"
I said, "Boulevard... Sausalito's...," because I didn't no what else to say.
"Great restaurant... They've got the best tacos..."
A few minutes later, another destination realized, another thank you, another goodbye, and then I walked into a warmth that forced me to feel the cold dampness of my jeans on my legs. Outside it was pouring buckets now and after the nice woman seated me at a corner table, without thinking, I wheeled around and said outloud to anyone who'd listen,
"Anyone heading toward San Diego..."?
Their were two guys dressed in muddy motorcross gear and sitting at the table nearest me. The blonde haired man answered,
"Yea, we are... I can take you as far as El Cajon. No one should be out in this weather."
Ahhh...The echo, the wisdom continuosly being fortified and then it was simply another trolley transit trail, another 'rebel hike' back into the population. A little over three hours passed and poof, like magic, and I'm once again standing on a corner of Newport Ave, OB. Ocean Beach... Home sweet home... Jedi Knight trips like the one I've just taken have whisked me away much farther and for much longer chunks of time. Since putting the soul stick down and with it the international travel for surfable waveage I now only carry the Light in my Heart with an ever surfable glide through consciousness.
However, this time, as I stood on that corner of OB I felt a novel nostalgia. Gone for alittle over a day and I was back where it seemed I should be. I saw the beautiful schizophrenic woman who lives in her small RV walk by talking to herself. I wanted to run over and hug her. I wanted to tell her, thank goodness you're alienated with the things happening around you everyday. I saw Ross the Groper running across the street to compress a girl into a hug. I saw a familiar assortment of 'street people', but also Divine Essences pitching quarters up against the wall of the Newport Farms Liquor store. It took less than 4 minutes before three cop cruisers converged on them like the winter flu.
I felt so served and protected as I watched them do their JOBS. I witnessed all of this and I wait, loose and naturally, for His call to again arrive. I write these as 'blogs' but their really my own journal entries about the Light and the merit of walking the pathless path. I'm out here for all of you, my friends. I tell you now that your lives of habit and routine are like baby pacifiers. Keep sucking for the security that painfully and clearly does not exist in these dark stormy days and you will continue suffering. Yes I realize that reading my stuff threatens the basis for your entire existence, but with your own glimpses of a much larger Reality you could understand. It has only just begun and if you are not waking up now and seeing the landscape of your realities shifting than you are not awake. In other words, you should seriously be tripping right now. Because if you are not, well then, you are seriously tripping and I'm not talking news, tv, or personal drama here. I'm talking about Who WE Really Are...
So take a rebel hike to No Where... You and I really have Nothing to lose... You are already out of your minds... And your bodies? Well, observe them, observe how your days are spent with them.... Ask yourselves if their even yours?