I arrived home, the other night, at the beginning of a concert. The players were just warming up, gathering, tuning their instruments, figuring out where they could play to best advantage. I was sitting in my car, in the driveway, when I felt like I should walk around the house. When I arrived at the front of the house, my headlamp picked out eyeshine, in the dark between the clothesline and the big Cork Oak. Probably seven individuals, glowing eyes bobbing and weaving as they checked me out, then they disappeared toward my neighbors’ place. I circled back around, encountering them again on the little road that runs up the hill, still checking me out. Then the concert began, Coyotes bursting into full voice.
If you’ve never experienced being near Coyotes howling in large numbers, it is something. I’d only been close to it a couple of times, before moving onto this land. My first Coyote song was scary to me, actually. I couldn’t figure out what it was, and the alien, not-Dog-ness of it had me jumpy. It didn’t help that I was one of two Humans designated to scout the Dark and figure out what on Earth that sound was… The second close experience had me right in the middle of a howling pack. I still don’t know how they felt, having me there, but I was close enough to feel the compression waves as their voices hit the air between us, and it took my breath away.
The current concert seemed to involve three packs, or three sizeable subsets of the same pack. The music swirled around, for awhile, then moved down the driveway and across the hill. I was right in the middle of it for around…awhile…which was probably shorter than it felt…
The first time I heard a Coyote, I couldn’t sleep through the night for worrying about what it might be. On a recent campout, I apparently slept right through a great chorus. I usually find it soothing, for reasons contemplated in the Transition Café archives. Not that I’m advocating for standing in the Dark, in the middle of a pack of howling omnivores…do be safe out there…
It’s funny, living in the Age of Convenience. We think nothing of traveling great distances to see things we can’t see around these parts, visit relatives who live far away, but so close via powered vehicles, order stuff from all over the globe. So much I will miss about this, when it all goes away, not least of which being the access to books, tools, and seeds I haven’t heard of. And it will, of course. I love being able to “easily” visit my sister in the North Bay, friends in the East Bay, places I love, like Mendocino, Ashland, Corvallis…things which will be so much farther away, when the cheap oil disappears. So many things we take for granted, that won’t be available anymore, at least not at a price most of us can afford. Mostly I probably miss the innocent ignorance of the early and mid-era.
It does give me to appreciate the things close to home all the more, though. Chickadees, Titmice, Towhees, Juncos, Sparrows, Quail, Deer, Oaks, Bunchgrass, Wildflowers, Foxes, Coyotes…Humans…
An exercise we do in Transition Town gatherings, sometimes, is to remember what we like about living in the Age of Oil, the Age of Convenience, and all of the things we will miss when it goes away. That was also going to be the focus of this Friday’s conversation, but in writing this, it turned around and started writing itself, so…we’ll talk about what we’ll miss, this Friday, but also the things we may learn to appreciate, as our focus turns to the local, the New Convenient.
Nostalgia for Oil?…at Red Rock Coffee, this Friday, 20 April, from ~6:10-7:45pm. We often go to dinner afterwards, maybe we will this week, too.
As much as we try to schedule when Red Rock’s upstairs is open, sometimes we cross up with another event which has the upstairs closed to us. Thank you for your flexibility in working with those evenings!
Apparently, some e-mail programs cut this announcement off in the middle of the Guidelines, with the rest of the e-mail appearing as code. I have no idea what to do about this, especially as when you respond to tell me about it, my whole e-mail is often visible in your response. Maybe hit “respond”, and then scroll down in that draft? Let me know what works…
The Guidelines are below. Read ’em, learn ’em, bring a copy if you think yer gonna forget ’em.
Venue information is below the Guidelines, and check out the random and useful other stuff below the notes section. Feel free to forward this widely.
Transition Café Guidelines:
– Whoever shows up are the right people
– Whenever it starts is the right time
– Speak when you are moved to speak
– The conversation gets to go where it wants to go
– Pauses in conversation are good, they allow information to sink in, thoughts to happen, and quieter people to have a chance to speak
– Silent listening is fine, you do not need to speak if you do not wish to
– The “Law of Mobility”: if you feel like you are neither learning nor contributing, you may use your mobility to find a place in which you are doing so
– Bring friends, if we overpopulate the venue, we’ll figure something else out
– If you are able, please buy stuff from the venues. We’re trying to support local businesses!
– Anyone can host a Café! All you need is an hour or two, an independent
café you like, this list of guidelines, and a starting subject. Bring something to read while you wait for folks to show up (see the first guideline).
Please note venue changes:
This week, we will be meeting on Friday, 20 April, from ~6:10-7:45pm, at Red Rock Coffee, in Mountain View.
Thanks to everyone who has been supporting the venues by buying stuff while we’re there!
See you at the Café,
US bombing Syria
Will Republicans take action?
What about when Rosenstein and Mueller fall to Trump?
The Electric Universe
-electromagnetics & plasma rule the Universe
-Comets-“dirty iceballs” or planetary fragments?
Can a Universe exist in a Multiverse?
What is a “Verse”, and what does it mean to live in one, either Uni- or Multi-?
Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy exist?
Did Dark Matter & Dark Energy begin as a “fudge factor”, to explain things we didn’t understand, acting as a place holder until we do?
No such thing as a Scientific Fact?
-generate hypotheses & theories, then test them, trying to disprove them
Wholeness and the Implicate Order-Bohm
Our perception, or belief, that we are separate, informs the way we take in information
What happens to us when we leave our bodies behind, temporarily or not?
What is the root of superstition?
Random and Useful Other Stuff:
Toby Hemenway’s (author of Gaia’s Garden)
Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land, by Gary Paul Nabhan
Thinking in Systems, a primer, by Donella H. Meadows
Masterminds and Wingmen, Rosalind Wiseman
Queen Bees and Wannabees, Rosalind Wiseman
I’ll post other links and readings in this space, as they occur to me.
Please join us on tpa_cafe, or tpa_chat, you can join at http://www.transitionpaloalto.org./