Saturday, February 27, 2010

a strange and lovely barber shop experience

today, i went to a real barber at a barber shop for the first time. All my adult life I've had my sister cut my hair or have sheered it myself or with the help of friends. But today, well today was damn different.

my strange hawk-mullet had begun to feel cumbersome and tangled.

we were out scoring some chicken feed and pine shavings at the feed store in chelsea (a small town in michigan and the home of all things jiffy-that's the blue boxed instant/add and egg or some milk products) and then we happened upon a barber shop that was open and we went on in.

k happened to know one of the men--the one who ended up cutting my hair--from high school. His uncle owns the place, and we got to take advantage of the family business they had going on.

I cannot express how much i enjoyed the crass, political and down-to-earth conversation we all had--that's me, k, the old classmate of k's, and the old classmate's uncle. Cuss words carried from our lips; we were totally out and even congratulated about our recent unnuptials; I was encouraged by the uncle that I would look just splendid with all of my curly locks trimmed down to a nice side-swiped do; and we tlked long and hard about mi craft beers. Most interesting of all, we got into an in-depth conversation about the problem of prison growth in Michigan and the problems that happen inside. the uncle was outright outraged that we cage human beings up in prison and even pointed out very articulately how only a small, small number of people really need to be kept away from the rest of society and how the remainder of the people are often folks on the fringe who live in the gray area and are marginalized and demonized and then locked away cause of the fringe place they inhabit either by force or by choice.

I gave him my work email and told him to drop me a line so we could talk about it all some more. It felt good to walk into a place that is mostly frequented by all kinds of men, from all walks of life and instead of having a conversation that is surfacey or totally on the brink of inappropriate, we talked about real social problems and human rights issues and i met a stranger--a person from the public--a tax-payer--who believes something is deeply, deeply wrong with the criminal justice system and we need to do something now to stop more people from going to prison.

Now my hair is bristly short and it feels light and amazing and my heart feels a little fuller today, because every once in while you stumble upon good hearted people who let it all hang out.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

a quickie

life is so full--a balloon with lovely, dense, and weightier than weightless air filling it up. almost to bursting. almost too much.

we got unmarried, not in the pray eat drink (or whatever it is called) oprah ordained book of the month club way. we had an unwedding ceremony as in the 364 days of us loving and needing and supporting and caring and longing and then singling out one of those many unwedding days (the 365th) and having a party day.

We made up a beautiful ritual and we stood in the cold for a long time and people who love both of us stood there in the cold with us and recognized our love and cried with us and sang with us and got all mooshy good feelinged with us.

It was altogether stunning.

it was a testament to love and to loving people through differences and finding connection and support at the end of the struggle. it was all about the legacy of healing that can bubble up from the residue of hurt (i say this about family of origin struggle and tension that has come a long way to real acceptance--no tolerance here buddies--real acceptance saturated our surroundings the day of our unwedding).

Friday, February 5, 2010

the simple death of raggedty ass

The unwedding keeps getting planned.
I keep being swamped at work.
my mind is so full that I am almost paralyzed. I can't think too straight. Of course, I never really think straight, but you know what I mean...

This week marked our bloody, but not too bloody, baptism into urban farming. We slaughtered raggedty ass on Monday night. I called her raggedty (with a t for the teeee)

A, K and me are a great team.

We set up a log with a relatively flat surface in the back yard. K pulled my hatchet out from our camping supplies. We turned on the mag light, pulled on some warm clothes poured shots of buillet, took sips off those shots, and headed out to the coop.

It was around 8:30 in the evening so the ladies were getting ready for bed. A scooped up raggedty and brought her to the chopping log. She pinned her down with her hands and I grabbed her neck and then I swung.

One chop.
She fluttered.
Regripping of the wings and her neck.
Swing two.
Fluttering subsiding.
Chop three.
It is finished.

We placed her in the a bucket lined with a trash bag and she twitched and twitched some more.

K checked her to make sure she was no longer breathing, cause I could not have handled a prolonged death due to my poor chopping skills.

Raggedty was still.

A and K made it clear that I was not allowed to save her corpse for burial or burning. I've been saving our other dead chicken (Number 6. she fell over dead in early winter, but the ground was already frozen and I could not dig her a grave.) for burial. But, instead, I will soon burn her along with many pieces of paper containing private information of all of the candidates for the new hire at work.

So, poor raggedty ass went out in the trash...

Raggedty had been plenty ill--her ass had frozen chunks of shit and soft egg and dirt and snow hanging from it and her thirst was unquenchable. The rest of the flock ostracized her. She had to be killed and because we did not know what was ailing her we could not eat her...

We came in from the slaughter, and I lit sage and said a blessing for the dear chicken who may or may not have been giving us eggs. We finished the bourbon and went on with our business.

Any which way, she is dead now. I killed her with my own two hands and the help of A's. It went smoothly and I felt so much better knowing she was no longer suffering from enormous ice ass.