Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Estate

Awoke at 9:00, refreshed.

Shortly thereafter, Jeff called from Ottawa. “Did I wake you?” Almost.

I noticed on his book shelf a copy of Be Here Now by Ram Dass. Published in 1971. I don’t recall "my teacher", Robert ever mentioning the book, but the teachings clearly drew from the same roots. Was Ram Dass a source of Robert’s teaching? Or was Alex Horn’s teaching a root for both? Or was it just a "Kairos time", as Robert suggested? I perused the now-amateurish looking book, noting the many familiar quotations of Peter Ouspensky, George Gurdjieff, Maurice Nicoll, Rodney Collin, Jesus, the Tao, etc.

Of course, it prompts me to reflect on my own search for truth. And what is it I am doing out here on the East Coast? What am I seeking? The answers, as usual, seem hidden.


Cold! 55 degrees in the house this morning. A warm shower helps (as does running up and down the stairs a few times.)

Visited Matt next door, enjoying the warm sun out on his front porch.

Over to "Capitol Grounds" in Montpelier. Their internet connection sucked. Photos of Deal’s Gap from the day I was there riding "The Dragon" are now posted on-line at "Killboy's" site. There are some good ones that I'll probably order.

Still, my main mission was the blog, and having "invested" (in my view) $11.75 for coffee, a bagel, a cookie, parking, etc. (plus gas!) and showing little for the "effort and expense" was frustrating.

Reluctantly drove out to Worcester. Took Minister Brook out to the end, missing the turn onto Hampshire Hill Road. I'm not sure why, but I had to overcome some ambivalence about visiting "my" property. I was uncomfortable going there. As I pulled in, the neighbor's dog immediately started barking and "Julia" came out to see what was up. She just this morning mowed around the camp.

I parked the motorcycle and wandered up the mountain. On the trail, I met John and Sandra ("Sandy") Denner. They had been hiking up in the State Park adjoining the property.

“Are you the new owner of this land?”

I have to admit that it feels very strange to be regarded an "owner", especially as financially insecure as I am.

I learned that they’re the cross-country skiers who, in the sales contract, were given rights to cross the property. We chatted for fifteen minutes, mostly about the hydrology of the land. (John works for the USGS - actually in the same Montpelier Federal Building where Jeff works, though he says they've never met.)

They’ve lived here since 1978, and say the climate’s definitely changing. The last three years they haven’t had the early chill that gives the brilliant autumn colors.

John said this land is former Lake Winooski lake bed. "Water-soaked muds." There is a slow flow of groundwater, but it "always replenishes".

They continued down the mountain, while I walked up to a marker demarcating the property line, then continued beyond. The forest is opened up by an old logging road which makes it easy to navigate up the mountain. Fading light caused me to turn around. I Wish I knew more about what’s growing here. Birches and maples, I recognize, but not much else. I wonder what it was they logged here? Most trees on the property are very small in diameter, and, I would guess, 30 to 40 years old.

There are lots of boggy patches. So, it seems there's plenty of water. The little cabin on the property is livable, but crude.

After wandering for a while, I can admit of just a trace of the sense of ownership – “this is my land!” But, indeed, we are only temporary caretakers.

Left the "estate" and checked out my new hometown of Worcester, filling up at the local mini-market (interestingly run by South Asians).

Returned to Montpelier, about ten minutes down the road, and went to the "Royal Orchid Thai" restaurant for dinner. Good food. And expensive, as most Thai restaurants are: including two beers, $30 in total!

Back in Waterbury, I felt like being around others, so I walked over to the "Alchemist". They were busy, the bar crowded with mostly 20- and 30-somethings. Ordered a beer. This one, a brown, was too hoppy (actually, all their beers are too hoppy for my tastes.)

Back at the house I watched a couple of films from Jeff's library: Jeremiah Johnson and Touching the Void. The former had been one of my favorites when it first showed in (I think) 1972. The latter is an amazing story. But because of the personalities involved - two "moving types" who don't express much emotion - it is difficult to empathize. They’re unable to let down their guard and so the viewer is kept at a distance. It's as much a study of psychology as of adventure.

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