Friday, March 18, 2011

We went by their house with milk, this family we've known for some years now, I don't know how many, but mostly peripherally. We have some things in common (interest in healthy food and in growing things), and some things not in common (religion). I always expect friends to be more than this somehow. But when Pat died, suddenly and unexpectedly, it really hit close to home. The milk was all we knew to do for them -- their church & family would do the rest.

But I feel so much for them, for their loss. We stood on the porch talking. She told us how it had happened. She said she was comforted by her faith but she was stomping her foot at God about it anyway. I do not share her belief system and yet somehow I know her God can take her foot stomping. It made us both smile.

And I had the most amazing feeling. Sometimes there is no "other", it is all same-same, there is no separation.

I am not one who believes that we all really deep down believe the same thing. I don't actually have a problem with someone thinking I'm going to hell; I really don't feel the need to convince them otherwise. We believe (whether this is religious/spiritually or the things we believe about people or about how the world works or ought to work) very different things. And these different things lead to different actions which lead to different results. It isn't all the same just like a Twinkie isn't the same as a carrot.

Standing there on that porch, holding her hand, with a gulf of different spiritual beliefs between us, we were still same-same. I still love her, and I feel like she still loved me, without any need to make me smaller or less for our differences. And I am glad she has her beliefs and is comforted by them.

The funeral is Saturday. I don't like funerals, mostly for their religious content. But I wouldn't not stand up for him.

I also think our goat is going to die. That has nothing to do with this and yet everything. Work is less joyful because I feel betrayed by my boss. The road is badly washed out. The roof leaks when it rains hard. Is the new old van going to quit too? It is just one of those times. But I look at Pat and Deb and I know they struggled just to find a piece of land, to put roots to a dream. We could pull back to this farm, to only this farm, and I am happy here with these people and have plenty to do and plenty I am interested in . . . but I don't want to give up horses again. How close was I to dying a few weeks ago when I couldn't breathe. Does anything matter? Does it matter if it doesn't matter?

My family matters. My farm matters. Beyond that, I am lost.

The goat is ancient, like 12 or 13 years old. She is the daughter of our first milk goat. I'd always dreamed that we'd always keep her line going and yet, she's still the only one we have of her. We've sold some, we've eaten some, all boys. Of the girls, the bear ate some, and one died from some neurological something in December. I was a bit surprised that she had conceived again. I think she has a kid lying transverse. If the kid is transverse, and if I can't get in and fix that, she's dead. A vet could section the baby and have some chance to save her but this would cost more than a young, pregnant nanny. It doesn't make sense to do it and so we won't. I may not ever actually know what was wrong with her, but I think she's dying.

This reminds me of when the dogs came and killed all the geese. I felt like an irresponsible goose person, like I'd let them down. I feel that way toward this goat, and her line. I've done all I know to do, and I haven't violated my ethical system, but it sure makes you want to violate it. Like having the car break down yet again makes you want to violate it, even when you know a "new car" is no guarantee of it not breaking down. What I get for my ethical system is to be with my family, to know this earth, to not run from my spirit, so many things really.

But what I feel right at this moment is entirely not good enough.

So I'm going to go trim the horse and donkey and other goat hooves. If I don't get all the dishes and floors done, so be it.

(yes, the goat did die, peacefully, this afternoon -- an era has passed -- but the trim work and the house work all felt good)

(I hope some day one of the girls can write about our journey through the woods to the goat today, and trying to help her, and then knowing we couldn't. I think the best of me was there.)


Alcyone said...

I'm very sad about the goat but two things; 1. I'm very happy to have met the goat and 2. I'm very happy to be focused on said goat this morning than other things significantly less important in a bigger picture, not even remotely grounded in a real world and entirely eating me up at the moment (my job, not the poor goat).

Alcyone said...

and I'm sorry about your neighbor. here I am thinking about a goat...

Madcap said...

I've been thinking a lot about friendship lately too, what it is, and what it isn't, and how it looks so different than I would have defined it 10 years ago. And I'm purposefully looking at my community through different eyes, seeing if my revised definition of "friend" is closer than I think. So your post means a lot to me. I'm sorry about the loss. It must be so hard for his family, and it's a loss to the community too, when someone with real skills goes.

And I'm sorry about the goat, too. I wish things had worked out differently, but it'll be interesting to see how it'll come together in future.

Take good care.

WV - dermy. This means you should moisturize?

CG said...

well, I don't know about "friends" at all MC. You know that! LOL! And I'm totally lost on the last comment?

Kali appeared in last night's movie (outsourced -- which was quite charming) so sometimes things have to change, one cycle ends so another can begin. I don't cycle easily and that is fine with me. I don't move furniture, I don't trade in husbands for the latest model, stuff.

But I do think contrast is how you can see things -- otherwise it is all camouflage. And it was a great heartbreaking moment to stick my arm inside that goat and know there was nothing to be done, and it is only with a broken heart that you can love and only love can break your heart.

Also in the movie was a great cultural contrast when the Indian executive asks the American why in the world he doesn't live with his parents if he is single! Our culture that throws everyone out on his ear at 18 (or 21) is simply not the only choice, and likely not the best one.

Madcap said...

I left a long reply last night, and then Blogger had a seizure and ate my comment!

I don't really have the oomph for repeating myself this morning, but re dermy... my mind skipped to "dermatological", and then to dry winter skin, and then to face cream. Sorry I didn't give notice that I was having a free-association moment!

CG said...

free associate away!