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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

The Robot vs. the trees

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C550866538/E20090208122531

Adventures in humanity

I went tree hugging last week.

Not literally "tree hugging," but I went to the Kaibab National Forest. It's near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, although the Rim itself is closed this time of year.

Most people who see the Grand Canyon only see the South Rim. That's where the heavy traffic is.

The North Rim is about a thousand feet higher with a pine, spruce and fir forest that comes up right to the edge of the Canyon. Scattered through the conifers are great swaths of aspen trees. The Kaibab Plateau is one of Arizona's secret treasures. I've been going there since I was a child.

In the fall, it's something to see with ribbons and folds of red and gold aspen leaves set among the green and blue-green of the other trees. In the winter, the stark white aspen trunks reach skyward, bare and naked, surrounded by evergreen.

It's been a mild winter, so there were only a little snow. Enough to make tramping fun and challenging.

This wasn't much more than a car camping trip. Just an overnight to see the trees and the stars. I saw some bobcat tracks and some coyote tracks and I think I caught a glimpse of some deer off in the distance.

I've made a real effort to keep this version of Technopagan Yearnings out of the "poor little me" category. That's not fun to read, and it's not particularly healthy for either me or you.

When I write about letting the Robot go through the motions of life, I speak from experience.

There aren't too many things that can pull me out of full-blown Robot mode. Pain, sex, driving real fast. It's a peak experience, yes, but it has to be an out-of-the-ordinary peak experience. Something unusual and with enough "oomph" to upset the Robot's programming. Since I am not such a hot driver and the pain thing isn't really an option right now, there aren't too many alternatives. Nature with a capital "N" is one of those things. So every once in a while I have to crawl out of my "hermit cave" and go find a tree.

Depression can make someone self-centered, and what fellow-feeling I have isn't exactly natural to my make up. It's funny, even with companionship, my "cave" is still a hermit cave. When I go through the motions instead of enjoying the company, it's time to go away for a while. It's time to remember who I am.

For me, that stab of passion is what gets me out of the Robot and back into myself. It's not the only thing that can do that, but it's usually the best choice.

I'm polytheistic, that's one reason I'm Pagan. But almost as important is that connection to the World and the universe. As long as that tangy green cord is still there and still thrumming with life, I can't crawl so far inside myself that I can't get back. That would leave the Robot as the only part of me in this world, I promised a certain Goddess Lady God that I wouldn't let that happen.

So when I got back Friday afternoon, I hit the post office (no home delivery in this burg). I ran into one of my old fifth grade teachers. Obviously I've known her for a while. About twenty years ago, I helped with a Sunship Earth program for the fifth grade classes, and I got to know her again then as an adult. "Good folk" as my grandfather would say.

Saturday I crashed and slept.

The Robot can't handle forests, I'm not around them enough. If I lived in the forest, I'd have to find something else.

Posted: Sun - February 8, 2009 at 12:25 PM

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A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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