Sunday, October 02, 2005

Satisfied Mind or Rock and Roll Will Never Die

How many times have you heard one man say
If I had his money I could do things my way
But little they know it is so hard to find
One rich man in ten with a Satisfied Mind
For money can’t buy your youth when you’re old
Or a friend when you’re lonely or a love that’s grown cold
The wealthiest person is a pauper at times
Compared to the man with the Satisfied Mind

We’ve been living with strict water rationing for, oh, at least the last six weeks, maybe more. It is rare around here -- usually water is abundant. But twice now in all the years we’ve lived here we’ve had very little water for an extended period, and in response do things differently. Like bathe in the creek. The very cold creek.

But of course we have wonderful friends and neighbors, bless their hearts, and one and all have offered their facilities & their water to us. Last night I took several loads of laundry and my dirty self to a neighbor’s home. They are gone and left a key with us so we could do this. I started the laundry, watched a movie, enjoyed the quiet (since I went by myself, a very unusual thing).

And I took a shower.

Even when we have plentiful water, we don’t have a shower. Yet. We have the hardware to put a shower in our antique footed bathtub, but putting it in has never gotten off the very bottom of the back of the priority list.

When we first moved up here, we moved into an ancient and teeny trailer that had a five gallon water heater. That wasn’t its tidal capacity but its total capacity. When we improved our circumstances, we never lost our appreciation for having more than five gallons of hot water. We still sometime marvel at hot water’s availability.

So I was in the neighbor’s shower, hot water raining down on my parched, stinking, dirty body. I found myself taking a shower the way a starving man might eat a plate of his favorite food that suddenly appeared before him. I showered the way a parched fevered body would drink water in the middle of a desert. I showered the way Freddie Mercury used to sing.

A little hunger is really a delicious thing. In our obese culture, hunger is viewed as a bad thing. But pretty well all religious traditions advise some fasting as a spiritual practice. Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason. A little gnawing in the pit of the stomach with the knowledge that a home cooked supper is yours in a couple of hours feels wonderful. It is a joy to the body and the mind. A little hunger (of whatever variety) brings a gusto, an enthusiasm, a purity, a passion, an abandon, rocket-fueled by need and want and lust that cannot be denied and that comes to a denouement, a climax, a satisfaction.

Aaahhhh. Whew. Sigh.

Better to burn out than to rust.

ha ha ho ho hee hee


Jim said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jim said...

Contrary Goddess-
Having lived several times without hot running water myself, I too enjoyed brisk icy dips in cold pools and waterfalls, but my favorite bath of all time was in an old clawfoot tub perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean in Big Sur.
I had repaired a washed out cistern on a small stream and connected the tub to it by hose.
I then built a fire under the tub till the water was good & hot, and after dousing the fire to let tub bottom cool, soaked up my first hot bath in months, as I watched the sun set into the orange marshmallow clouds laying atop the Pacific Ocean far below.
The days work was done, and off to the north of the property I heard the rhythmic strumming of a friends guitar, while from the opposite direction, the melodic notes of a wooden flute playing to the guitar.
There I sat 40 years ago enjoying a simply sublime bath that I would remember for the rest of my life.
This entry about your pleasureful day yesterday refreshed that memory and I thought I'd share it.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Jim, gosh, it is just so nice to know that somewhere someone (that would be YOU) gets it: that it isn't all about stuff and appearances but real and lasting pleasure and loving-kindness that isn't surface and that doing without isn't really doing without. And more stuff like that. And also, a gusto, a Keroac "you can't fall off a mountain" thing, a freedom, an embracing. Thanks! I loved hearing your memory.

Dan Trabue said...

Beautiful, poetic comments. And life.


And a clawfoot tub on a cliff overlooking the ocean? Woah! How nifty!

Dramaw said...

A hot shower!! You don't know how much you miss it until you don't have it. We went camping recently (in a pop up camper) and the campground we went to had "showers under the stars" which consisted of about 8 showers with plastic wall which sat on top of a wooden deck. When I first saw them my first words were "oh my" but after a day of heat and dirt that was the best feeling shower I ever took. It was cool looking up an seeing the sky too.

I wish rain for you! The kids at school last year were told to go to sleep with the pjs on inside out and backwards and to do a little snow dance before they went to bed and they were sure to conjure up some snow. You need a backwards pj rain dance!

the Contrary Goddess said...

Dramaw! So glad to see you! Hooray! I'll link soon! Now if ke and Ish would get blogs! My friend Laura has a new post today!

For the rain, we have gotten *some* recently, not huge amounts but it was the first in 6 weeks. And they say more tomorrow. Our cistern is almost full again but we'll remain on conservation. At least hopefully the pastures can recover before it gets cold.