from an e-mail to my Tennessee cousins Pete & Laurie:
p.s. mite should check in with a bit of what's been up in my life.
went on a spur of the moment 6-day meditation retreat at the Thich Naht Hanh ashram in Batesville, Miss. called Magnolia Grove Monastery, with 2 stunning elders at The Farm (TF). got home yesterday morning, exhausted from meditating! silent meals, walking meditation, ... all forms of life meditation, ... and a max of 7 hrs a nite of sleep [my usual average, even with my miserable discipline, is 10 or 11]. they even the last day offered to any of us who wished, to stay up to a nother week if we liked! i had to take a nap to even think of that one. did, and decided i wasn't tough enough and wanted to go home and rest. though i was really tempted!
before that, my old friend from Saint Croix, Rita Gates, who's lived and taught in northern Georgia for the past 15 years, came to The Farm for a 24-hour weekend visit, my second overnite visitor here ever. a big event for me, and i may visit her somewhere along here again, too—such as on a side trip from visiting my 2 other Southern cousins, in Alabama & Florida. Rita lived on a satellite Farm in rural New York state before i met her around 1979 or so, ... the only one i ever knew with any connection to The Farm before i at last came to visit it May 2014, with your graces, Pete, from the Greyhound. (thank you!)
before that, i moved in to my third rental home in this year of residency status. i am now in one end of a trailer, with 2 wee bedrooms and my own bath, plus a large common area, kitchen/living/diningroom i share with the owner/member, Ummsalaamah, an African American midwife who spends most of her time in Atlanta helping raise her two great-granddaughters with her granddaughter who works for Delta (each of whom she delivered, as midwife, at birth). Ummsalaamah reminds me of more than one dear old friend of mine on Saint Croix.
and she is my first landlady that i am not warned heavily about as hard to get along and/or reason with. plus i feel a real resonant friendship with her since we did a permaculture design for her of her home plot, trailer and all, as our "thesis" project last October at the Ecovillage Training Center (ETC), completing my apprenticeship there. the location of her trailer is literally to the left when you go right for ETC at the Prancing Poet sign, right across Schoolhouse Road from ETC.
i haven't even really anywhere near wholly moved in yet, since the Sept 1 move, since my last nite at the previous place i discovered and drowned 30 or 40 fleas! i mentioned this to you at some point there. i still have what i call my garbage bag sculpture installation (about 8 large bags) across the road from my trailer home—sealed tight, and full of all my belongings, in attempt to starve to death any remaining members of the fleas' life cycles, with no host for blood (2 or 3 weeks). trying to avoid using poisons in any way possible. so far so good. no fleas at my new place. just chiggers everywhere with long grass or low brush on The Farm ... still near drivin me crazy.
havin a bathroom all to myself may make it easier for me to shower every night, something i've never done in my life, but the surest non-toxic deterence to both chiggers and ticks.
well, that's a chapter on my life at The Farm, catchin you up on what you've missed out on. maybe i should copy and post this on my marty-blog. my June road trip to Lawrence MA and back with old friend originally from Chicago now in Santa Cruz CA, José Antonio Torres, was wonderful, including 4 day-hikes in the Shenandoah & Smokey Mts, and a week back at The Farm.
i love having visitors, and continue looking forward to you and family maybe comin down some time, to the original cooler summer retreat area for Nashville, Summertown TN. anahow, yer all invited, any time, in any combination.
—i extend this invitation to you, and anyone reading my blog. with all love and blessings of the All Highest. marty, still comin out of meditation (or still IN) bless us all!