Sunday, August 9, 2009

On the frontier

Martha Jane Cannary-Burke

Yesterday I was feeling just about as low as a gal can go. A being like me with a mind that thinks deep and feels even deeper has a challenge when it comes to dealing with grief. No one can really stop from grieving, and when you lose an earthly connection (no matter how transformed and spiritually satisfied you are) as close as the one I am grieving ... the feelings are acute. I've been crying for days, and don't see the end of it at least for a while yet. So, for a bit of a break I jumped in my trusted Scout the Subaru, and drove into town where I could make a cellphone call to my therapist. Yup, this old dear has a therapist and an astrologer! I've had 'graduation ceremonies' from therapy and when the ride gets too much for me, I check in and spill my guts and let this trusted guide read the oracles in my intestines. Sounds funny to describe it this way, but it was precisely the way it was for me. It was a gut-wrenching Saturday. I had to leave a message on K's phone, she was out ... we didn't have a scheduled appointment, I was just shooting from the hip with this call. "I'll be in the park for about a half hour before heading back to the woods. If you get this call give me a call back." With the message left, I bundled up (it's back to cool and windy in the Northwest) and had just locked the car. Looking up I caught the eye of an 'old-timer' on a hog ... a nice bike. He had long-ish hair and a good size belly. "Nice place to make cellphone calls," I said. I had seen him on his phone earlier as I was inside the car crying my eyes shut. We both live up the hill from this park and near the higher pass lakes. Neither of us can make cellphone calls from where we live. Anyway, the 'old-timer' is of course, my age, a long-time sailor who worked most his life in the Alaska frontier, "made my money on the pipeline (Alaska oil pipeline) in the sixties and brought it back." We chitchatted back and forth for a good piece of the while and ended up talking about global warming, four feet of snow where there was no more than a foot in 'normal times of the past 30 years.' Yak, yak, yak, blah, blah.

My cellphone rang and I had to excuse myself, "Sorry, this is the call I was waiting for." The old-timer tipped his head, pulled on his super duper helmet and I answered the call it was K. The point of this rambling tale has to do with the frontier that I find myself exploring 24/7. This life from VardoForTwo is as unpredictable as any frontierswoman has ever experienced. The reality of life as two 60-somethings during a time of Earthly shifts that will go down in record as 'something big' makes me think of characters from another era. I don't know that the role model pictured with this article is what I had in mind ... it was her nickname that just popped into my imagination as I began to think, "Post time." In many ways Pete and I blaze new trails and hope to just keep our tails covered when a decision we made under duress needs to be re-done after the fog cleared. We're spending our last shackles and dollars on rehabing the old `66 Dodge truck, riding out the predicable and unpredictable triggers of toxins and toxic offense, and trying to make choices that will align with the universe. We take our best shots so to speak. Some where along the trail our tokens of trust must be exchanged for the unpredictable nature of the wild, wild whirl. That's what we do. I take my dose of therapy, accept the objectivity of those who I believe I can trust, and keep riding.

That gal pictured in this article was born with this name: Martha Jane Cannary-Burke. She too was a frontierswoman who cooked, smoked cigars and welded a shot gun better than most men in her surrounding. A heroine to me? I don't know ... one thing for sure I can sure relate to her other name ... Calamity Jane. Now there's a good name for a "Can(n)ary!!"

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