Friday, January 12, 2018


     Signs and symptoms. In terms of healing and an etiology of dis-ease. How it presents. A puffy red raised warm to touch area, painful, uncertain, scary. discomfort. Bacharis glutinous (salicfolia) seep willow. 

... as a girl of thirteen she was visiting her mother's family in Sonora for the first time alone apart from the rest of her family. During the night she had been bit on the right lower forearm by an insect, maybe a spider. She wasn't sure. When she woke she was worried and afraid because she was visiting her grandfather's and had planned on staying a week and her Mom would come to take her back to Tucson. The ranch was a long way from everything. They had good food, water, horses but no telephone. Everything was different at the ranch. Time moved slower. She was happy. Now this. Her wrist was achy, warm, red and swollen. 

        When looking at a map it is important to find, you are here, where you are on the map. Then you can pick out a route, a path. Then the map makes sense. Plants at their most fundamental element are memories of place. She showed her arm to her grandfather and told him she was sad because she was making problems and would have to leave and go back to the city to see a doctor. Her grandfather was Yaqui with knowledge of healing plants. They walked together to the little stream to the horse coral. He showed her a plant growing there, and told her not to worry. He would make her better, with batamote. He showed her how to gather batamote, a plant growing near the wash at the side of their house where the horses watered. He placed the fresh leaves of batamote on the painful red swollen arm. Holding them in place with a piece of cotton cloth wrapped loosely so the skin could breathe. Plants link us and pull us in to a place saying to us, "This is where you are." "You are here." 
          Batamote, Baccharis glutiosa, is a southwest abundant perennial woody stem plant growing where water is close to the surface. A desert-riparian plant, desert riparian being used in the sense of an intermittent dry/wet stream usually dry. That may have cottonwoods, bottonbrush, Dodenaea, sycamores, mesquite, palo Verde, cat claw and an assortment of long thin lancelot leafed waxy aromatic plants. As such batamote initiates healing movement when applied to the surface of skin. It is a well tolerated and a useful medicine box plant. It's important when moving on a journey to have a map and orient yourself on the map. i am here. It furthers to have somewhere to go. 

     En el siglo XVI, Francisco Hernández refiere: "resuelve admirablemente los tumores que han penetrado en las articulaciones o en los nervios y calma cuales quiere dolores quitando su causa. Las raíces machacadas, extraen lo que se ha clavado en la carne, provocan notablemente la orina y limpian su conducto, alivian a los que sufren cólicos, quitan las manchas en la cara, curan la erupción de la cabeza de los niños y la de todo el cuerpo, quitan las fiebres provocando sudor, reducen el bazo y mitigan el dolor; quitan la flatulencia, curan el empacho y resuelven los tumores.     


       In the sixteenth century, Francisco Hernández wrote, "it resolves admirably the congestion that has penetrated the joints or nerves and calms pain by removing its cause. The roots crushed, extract what has been stuck in the flesh. It encourages urination and cleanses the kidney.  It relieves those who suffer colic and empacho. With infants it can cure the red rash of the children's head and the whole body. It helps the body with productive fever by causing sweat. It reduces an enlarged spleen.  Remove the gas, flatulence and bloating of the stomach in empacho, curing the discomfort of the hard ball"   -translation by Paul Manski

       " Empacho is a term used in the south west and refers to stomach distress, Empacho is when food gets stuck in the intestines or accumulates around the stomach. It often manifests with a blocking in the epigastric area.

    There is a special type of emapacho that occurs with nursing mothers and their babies. Women and girls are often nursing, feeding babies and both their state of mind and what they are doing influences their milk. This can create colic in the baby drinking the mommas milk. Therefore fruits that are "cold" like oranges and watermelons, should not be consumed by pregnant women whose nature at that time is "hot". Likewise they should avoid windy places because the wind can enter the milk. In this sense, the ingestion of "cold" or "hot" food in the nursing mother can cause milk "curds" and harm the infant, just as if being in the sun too much she in excess or suffers a "cooling off" when wash or take a bath. Consequence of this is the "enlechamiento"  a variety of 'colic' that occurs when the child eats breast milk under the conditions listed, or mom offers her milk too frequently, too much,  or Mom nurses her baby after suffering a surprise event (shock) or a stressful event. In all cases, the milk is in lumps, and produces colic in the baby. The baby will be filled with gas and crying, if it progresses the baby will lose sleep and lose weight.
     If the Mom is frightened, or mistreated by her husband, if there is a lot of yelling in the house, this can spoil the milk. If the woman is angry or jealous she may spill bile into the milk, creating empacho in the baby. Empacho can also be caused by older women beyond child bearing years who is jealous of the Mom with her baby. Jealous of her youth and beauty, she may intentionally or unintentionally stare at the Mom or kiss the baby and create a special type of empacho which can be helped by this remedio, but it may require a cleansing by someone able to do so."      

        Batamote drew out the poison, soothed the pain and within a few hours swelling and redness was decreased. There was improvement. Things were manageable, coming back into balance. She continued to apply fresh batamote leaf directly to her skin, covering it with cotton to hold the leaves in place, just as her grandfather showed her. She liked that she was able to take care of herself. She decided that day that she wanted to help other people get better. She wanted to be like her grandfather. She walked down to the water and picked a few small branches and stripped the leaves placing them in bag.

    She showed me a small mark on her arm where she was bitten. To be honest i didn't see anything. She saw it though and remembered. It was still visible to her 50 years later. The wound, her grandfather, the ranch with horses, the cool water, the batamote and the healing plants.

   Batamote is a plant with many uses, it draws out poison from insect stings applied topical as a poultice. It is anti-inflammatory. It grows along seasonal desert riparian zones creeks and washes. It's leaves are lacerate, like a lance or blade, pointed, soft with fine serrations along the edges. willow like, sometimes called a seep willow, though not a Salix or willow. An Asteracea, sunflower family member. As a hair rinse/wash it is said to increase hair growth and make the hair shiny. It helps women maintain a full head of hair and stimulates the hair follicle. Another topical use is the dried leaves powdered and applied to the toes for fungal infection, also washing the toes in batomote.
    Internally batamote addresses empacho much like poleo, Nebada, Poleo,  Menta de Lobo and Hinojo. It also acts on the stomach to re-regulate appropriate stomach acid and aid healing in GI ulcers similar to Conyza canadensis, by nourishing the delicate mucosa of the GI tract damaged by overactive colitis and chrohn's disease. Addresses the issue of leaky gut and restoring homeostasis. 

How it presents. What it feels like. Plants are graceful, grace abiding and compassionate. Often illness produces a "where am i?", uncertainty. What is going on?  'Lost but now i'm found'- plants then become amazing grace. Needing to go nowhere else. Meeting a disease process. Able to stay where you are.


Hernández, F. 1959 (1571-1576); Martínez, M. 1969 (1934); Sociedad Farmacéutica de México. 1952
El Empacho Remedio: Nebada, Poleo, Hinojo, Menta de Lobo and Hinojo, by Paul Manski

Oral Field Notes John Slattery Tucson, AZ 

Medicinal Plants of the American Southwest
Charles W Kane Lincoln Town Press 2016

Oral Field Notes Michael Cottingham Siver City, NM

Oral Field Notes Amy Garcia Tucson, AZ

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Fouquieria splendens bloom

Fouquieria splendens ....not an ocotillo but a heartdream factory.

         you threw me, to the ground. i woke, unconscious for how long? So i ask cloud sheets, pillow cases, blankets of blue rippling hanging on a clothesline across the sky, "How long?"  "Just be glad you are who you are." This one yesterday in flower was unusual, like they all are, each time the days stretch. The days always stretch the nights shrink after the Quadrantids. When we become beautiful victims, flowers of fire. ...Sparkly, some one asked for this. There are many here among us, keepers of fire. Fighting off car sickness flu maybe for an instant.                                    

       Vibrant life is contrary against pale ryolite. Ocotillo stand above the unsteady ground, crumbling granite. Who knew where flower idols lead? Beneath the ground movement like coral beans flabelliformis or the flickering of flames of aspen with coyote rocks barking. Only one seen yesterday walking during day long plant study. You can clap your hands and dance around.

    Most often bloom is an infectious ecosystem wide fertility carnival. Most often is a construct, a box inside which are further empty boxes. It's a meat market pairing up, based on eyebrow tweezing, indelible tattoos. It's a dream factory of sight and smell. Give me, to believe in. It's a group thing, a tangible trans-species thing, contagious like viral sex-fluenza to the point of pushing abundance and preaching a prosperity gospel in the frugal thorn scrub. 

            Where even if you're not sick with the bucks mating stupid rut you find yourself doing a virtue signal cough, scratch your head to check for velvet or antler rubs or while in silly mode, wrapped in the wet moist dream factory you offer your self to mountain lion as a kill, "Eat me.", just to prove you are alive and capable of reproductive flu, a nuanced dream to see a perfect drop of shiny blood, and let the pain subside. Touching, the flower of fire.

    Usually the blooming period is March-onward thru summer and the ocotillos are frequently leafed out. There can be no vicariously usual. Everything is just the way it needs to be, strung out and broken leaking, perfect. In their lush extravagant phase, green/flame/ the blooming often but not always combined with a tremendous show of flowering plants:bees, hummingbirds, ants- this lone solitary blooming ocotillo if not so exquisitely perfect would have brought nausea, vertigo, waves of fear, the frightening sense of ecstasy unrestrained. A contaminated order structure. Because, is it wrong to luxuriate orange beauty circle in monotone normalville? 

One thing fer sure, life happens regardless of conditions, even before the urgent clown hummingbirds decide, It's time, It's time. No, it's time now! "We are still doing Christmas." Say ocotillo. Blooming.Forever.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Dodonaea viscosa

Dodonaea viscosa and Bio-Actigeneration       

****Note: Before gathering any plant. Know and study that plant. Identify the plant!! Know that Dodonaea, hop tree has deadly look alike plants growing frequently, especially in urban environments, in the same habitat. That can easily be mistaken of one another. In other words don't gather or use this plant until you can tell the difference. The plant i am talking can kill- Until you can tell them apart, leave them alone.***     

Dodonaea viscosa is a ubiquitous plant. Ranked one of the top four most versatile herbs in any first aid kit. Top three herbs for liver restoration on the same level of Milk Thistle. And, and yes, a cool name for a baby if you're PG or heading that way, or plan to adopt- use it, for a name that is- be original. A power plant, an adaptogenist actualizer. Use the plant, use the name. No body cares what you do anyway. Nice baby name. Or legally change your name, or a new ... tattoo, I'm Dodonaea. The plant tells me, please use me. Don't pass me by. Please. 'Hey you!', 'Yeah you.', come on over. As you get older time speeds up, so don't wait. At a certain point there is a convergence that smells like adaptogenic activation across the board, in and out,
Up and down, inside outside, internal external - no need to go any further hop seed bush.

    Dodonaea, named for a 16th century Flemish botanist, named after a man living in the only place where it doesn't grow- go figure. Viscosa meaning the young leaves are sticky. Makes sense. Belonging to family Sapindaceae soap berry. Also known as hops bush by taste, though unrelated to Humulus. Kinda of resembles wild hops when it dries in that both are papery, the strobes of hops and the seeds of hop bush. Used by early Australian settlers for beer brewing, the same in Mexico-America because of it’s bitter hop-like flavor. Does it taste like hops? It is bitter with a little warming in there.
   It grows extensively in Arizona from the Superstitions through Phoenix, diagonally south into Tucson and then into the Sierra Madre south to Sonora. Stepping out of climate controlled box you’ll see it and say, ‘Oh yeah, I know that one.’ It’s also used as an urban landscape plant because it’s green all year, pretty and lush and drought tolerant. So you'll see it around town as a hedge along city streets. See it in the washes. See it on the rocky slopes. It's there, trust me. You can find people who say, invasive, others say native. Pan-global, as in everywhere. It's here and not going anywhere.

     It’s a perennial shrubby evergreen bushy shrub. Hard to miss as it’s 3feet to 7-8 feet high. So it's a big loud in your face plant. It doesn't hide, it's in the open. Dodonaea has come out, showing tattoos, doesn't need special soil or conditions. I take that back. It's a desert droughty plant that likes hot and drought. Got snow? You're out of the loop. OK? The leaves are striking green. Are the leaves pretty? Yes the leaves are pretty. They are sleek, long, thin like a acrobat or yogini clothes hanger model, with thick auburn hair who can bend backwards all the way down, smelling like a mix between patchouli, BO and youthful fertility. Leaves with lines long and thin with a single center prominent vein or simple, essentially sessile, linear to oblanceolate. The seeds are winged like a big saltbrush wing, 3-4 lobes not consistent, with a papery covering. It’s in washes and rocky slopes. Can you find it where I live? Probably. Maybe. I don't know where you live.                      

    I learned about this plant first from somebody special, an original and maybe the original bioregional herbalist who coined the term, which many tried then tried to steal unsuccessfully. this person often working out of teaching Tucson, Arizona and the sky islands. Please enjoy, play guess the herbalist here. ???
     Dodonaea viscosa is a rare pan-global native medicinal plant: native and prolific in Arizona SW, Australia, Africa, Tasmania, Hawaii, Asia. It’s hard to find a more plentiful underused plant than Dodonaea viscosa. The literature of research is extensive both from an ethnobotanical and scientific standpoint. When describing Dodonaea it literally sounds like many different plants. Scientific study reads like a mix up, a wish mash of several plants, partially because they are referring to the wholeplant outside of commercial standardized extract.  
     Where ever it grows whether Asia, Australia, Africa or the hot desert southwest of North America, native people have used it for basically similar uses. Everything. What native people? Everyone. Look don't talk native  a typical mongrel American who can only trace  pedigree back to my Mom, and she is dead, what do I know about native? Nothing. Please.

     What medicinal uses? Everything. Which again makes it hard to categorize. Imagine a plant for sprains, pin worms, tooth ache, soothing skin wash, GI ulcers. How about weight loss and orgasm? Sorry those are two things it doesn't do...but wait...In oil as a salve, water as a tea, alcohol as a tincture, direct as a poultice. What? 
     Movement. Relaxation. Liver protectant more protective than milk thistle. Respiratory. Anti-bacterial. Anti-fungal, inside, outside- plentiful, not at risk, attractive but no shaved head sides with bangs yet. Yet we may get that soon, hopefully. What?
    When reading the literature, then reviewing my hand written notes from JJ’s field school, I find myself saying, “Wait, did I mix it up with another plant?’, surely it can’t do all that? And I ask why would a plant with so many vital uses be virtually unused, unheard of, and unknown? 

   The only answer I have is that lives and information has grown so insulated and groupthink-affirming, fake-news that herbal info just snow balls into cliché sound bites of predictability. blah blah blah. He said. She said. I bought it from superfood Activator Snake oil tribe. Wow. Sorry. Can’t be bought. Can’t be sold. Can't buy it ha ha ha. 
      There are true informational walls based on how can I sell this? It’s difficult for many to use a plant that has no monetary value. Well you can use it and it is worthless. You can use it and explore what it does without attaching a dollar amount. You can use it without worrying about depleting it, cause it's everywhere and not going anywhere. If anything it has an expanding range. Is it native to North America? Experts say it is, do you believe experts? I do rarely sometimes.
    Few are going directly to the plants. Remember there is no U/you in few. So just do it. Step out of the box. Grab a couple handful of the new tender recent growth. Dry it. Taste it. Salve it. Tincture it. Try it. Check out Dodonaea If you’re a person who is going to the plants directly, way to go. Continue. Advice on use:I can tell you what not to do because I have failed so often. I can not tell what to do because I have succeeded so infrequently. 
     So please work on removing sound bite fake information: What? Hypericum St John’s wort = herbal prozac, skin sensitivity for blondes. Reishi: Adaptogen, activator, super food, cures cancer, female viagra. The tendency to description of plants with a price tag. Rarely refer to anything except money toilet tornadoes with slick predictively smooth sale pitch. Always pointing toward, ‘Who said it?’, rarely, “What did they say?” Frequently go to the plants find out from them what they are for. 
   Wait, going to the plants, "Sounds dangerous." It is dangerous. So use caution. Educate yourself because there are poisonous look alikes. Poisonous look alikes? Yes, Definitely. Yes deadly poisonous look alike also a landscape plant, Oleander. So if you can't ID it, don't gather. First educate yourself.
    Go dangerous, step out of the box. Fall on your face. Use Dodonea to nurse you're bruises and scrapes. Doesn't care about body arm pit hair or if you can be smelled from 25 feet away. Likes wind. Encourages movement.
     While reviewing my notes I kept saying, ‘C’mon Jay you’re making that up.’ At a certain point you got to make stuff up, it's about the plants. We’re a community of entertainers.

      Liver gall bladder stimulating and simultaneously relaxing. Relaxation sinew and ligament, spreading and softening, looser. Squeezing out bile, increased peristalsis. 

   Taste:YOU taste it, don’t let me typecast it for you. Acrid, pungent slight sweetness along with bitterness. Resembles Larrea tridenta in taste, not as sweet. Warming bitter, yes. The perfect bitter? Close.

Carminative- dispels gas

Antispasmodic- smooths out muscles similar to estafiate. Better than Silk Tassel, ho ho ho. You salivate, movement, relax. Wait did you say antispasmodic, like silk tassel, and pin worms parasites? wow, are we talking lyme yet? close.
Topically, in Sonora and world wide for scrapes, wounds, as a wash, fomentation, poultice for sprains.  Also to soothe skin. Is it anti-microbial on the skin? Yes. Helps healing with rashes abrasions? Yes.

Liver restorer: Silymarin milk thistle a standard against what other things are measured for liver. Liver enzymes to normal homeostasis. Enhanced detoxification of liver.  These hepatoprotective effects were better than the positive control silymarin. 

Respiratory and topical:Antifungal- chronic respiratory infections in SW from dust and soil born organisms, adjunct to Chillopsis. (Desert willow) Live in Arizona? Got a cough with athletes foot? Mixing up a batch of stinky kombuchu candida down below? You are good to go.
Internally: promising antiulcer activity. Also inhibited acid secretion to prevent ulcer aggravation. Would combine well with Canadian fleabane for GI gut health. Is it gluten free? Totallly.

Wound healing_ as a wash
Seeds- analgesic: toothe ache
Anti-inflammatory did I say anti-inflammatory? 

The antimicrobial activity inhibition of candida albicans in studies. three Gram negative bacteria: Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Both for toothache and candida, mouth issues immuno compromised HIV patients.

So what will you use it for? Probably better does it work for you? Or What can’t you use it for? Find it, use it, don't abuse it.

John Slattery:Tucson, AZ hand written Field Notes

Charles Kane, Medicinal Plants of American SouthWest, Lincoln Town Press 2011-2016

Siddiqui, A. A. 1998 Chemical and pharmacological evaluation of Dodonaea viscosa Asian Journal of Chemistry, 10, 14-16. 


A review on Dodonaea viscosa: A potential medicinal plant Prof Dr Ali Esmail Al-Snafi 
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Thi qar University, Iraq. 

Hautriwaic acid as one of the hepatoprotective constituent of Dodonaea viscosa

Medicinal Activity of Dodonaea viscosa —A preliminary study by Andrew Pengelly  2008 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Oplopanax in Gog Magog


     Yes Oplopanax was there just as I'd hoped. She's prickly and thorny and stood there yellow against the cedars green with moss on the northside. Whenever I saw the cedars standing in the water I thought of the blue River. This was autumn Oplopanax and I wasn't sure what she had to say.

 All I could feel was that I was grateful that she was there right in front of me. There was a spot of sadness in her yellow leaves. Yet there's something of coping in it, those yellow leaves will fall and  green in the spring. I had made some medicine from  Devils club and was taking it every day. It was doing some good. I was taking it every day along with Aralia nudicaulis, Hypericum and Angelica. I had the full array to fall back on. 

   I had aspen mountains of Nevada, Yaak river wild sarsaparilla, Hypericum from the tops of ridges and old logging roads. I was taking the mix every day. I know that they were helping me with the changes that were coming. So I could become more resilient. Some days I gave into despair but mainly I felt hopeful. I had work to do and I knew that I could not accomplish what I needed to do alone. 

    I knew I was sick and getting sicker all the time. I knew the sickness was inside of me. I knew it was all around me. I had to build a tripod of person, plant and place. I was missing valuable parts of the foundation. I kept hoping for a miracle. I had to reenter society someway. i couldn't do my work from the outside. I could see what she would look like. At one point she had full blue eyes long auburn strawberry blonde hair. Then she was gritty urban from Philadelphia with Italian Polish Lithuanian roots, dark hair, and edges. There had to be someway I could get inside. i had to get inside of her, it was an obligation and it was part of the work. I think that in many ways pussy is a promise. That man can exist and survive without is true, there has to be more than survival there has to be life and life require's praxis. It's part of the mix. Intimacy is relationship, without relationship there's very little work can be done. Even the most desperate characters have their Molly's, their Emily's and Jennifer's. It goes without saying it needs to be said. I was less than zero. I kept a T-shirt that belonged to Carolyn and another that belonged to Eileen I would sleep next to them so I could smell their body odor. They reminded me that there was something beautiful in life that only a woman could provide and I would find another woman. It was the same as a biblical promise, I put it on that level.

         It was survival protection and healing. It was about the wild plants and being dumped by everyone and everything. The plants becoming  prayers and protections. It was by lonely winters Phoenix, southwest, in Reserve. Through this past winter, i had morphed, fueled by Twitter and the internet, radicalized into a delusional alt-right superstar of my own mind. Yet no matter what I did the plants kept coming back and saying, "Hey Paul, what about us? Don't give up your focus. Come back to us, we are here for you. We are the plants God put us here, forgotten ones, part of the solution don't forget us. Remember and help them remember us. Be yourself. Be why you are here. That's why you heard us. Speak for us."

     I don't know any longer what it means to be an artist, if it ever met anything or if it means anything? Anything or Everything? Or as Mike Windsor used to say, "It's all or nothing." Everyone is an artist of some type.  I needed to write those songs in order to survive. In order to survive peacefully I needed to vent those dark emotions. So i wrote what i could as it came, about 17 songs roughly linked around the concept of an eternal transcendent Emily woman and the idea of white genocide. My own personal genocide struggle in Gog Magog. A kind of Altright rock musical. It was racial Identitarian stuff. It came from inside me and was all around me. It wasn't about hate. It was about pride in my identity. It was about a struggle for survival. Unfortunately, few shared my perspective and it came across as racist grandiose hateful delusions. It was a failed impossible proposition that led nowhere. Yet it had to come out. It wasn't healthy to deny that flow. I paid a price for speaking my truth.

       By February i was becoming done with Altright songwriting. It led nowhere it was a Fakebook Twitter internet distraction. It led further into the Internet in various conspiracies which no longer resonated with me. i was isolated and isolating led to further isolation. Rather than hate speech, hate was directed towards me. I wasn't interested in being hated. i became dissatisfied with being labeled a hater. It got no traction and the only benefit was, I was able to vent my hate and frustration into my songs and art. 

    For me it was a reflection of a specific distinct situation and the most direct way that I could voice my position. For that I'm grateful. I wanted to be, and it was beginning to press on my ability to move freely in a society that was difficult enough to negotiate as it is. I didn't like it. I wasn't a spokesman for anyone but my own dreams and failures. I couldn't buy into anti-Jewish anti-Semitic hatred of the Altright. Jesus was a Jew. I am a Christian. Somehow therefore I am a Jew, and I can't hate myself. After a while I didn't want to hate, or be hated , or be associated with anything resembling hate, especially a secondhand hate that wasn't my own. 
      I wanted to work with the plants, with people in relationship to the healing plants and that's all that I wanted to do. The politics was baggage that hindered what i needed to do with the people and plants. Politics became an obstacle. I was too old and ugly to resonate with beauty pageant politics, or to juggle the political correctness of the politicaly incorrect and how i should view issues. 
     I didn't want to view any political issues. I wanted to write songs. I wanted to get to the place where I could be with the plants where they grew that's all I wanted. Being in a place eventually comes back to being with people in a place.
      Pulsatilla, Anemone tuberosa woke me up to spring in the low desert around the superstitions. Blooming there with ocotillo and Larrea tridentata, brittle bush, towering saguaro. They were songs and stories there that spoke for themselves. These were the medicines for our bodies that God had placed there. I wanted to remember them just the way they were. I was so sick and needed to get well. When I say medicine I don't mean drugs or the allopathic model of medicine. Medicine is the all encompassing process by and through things become well balanced and harmonized and vital. 
Plants were part of that but plants have to be connected with place and people to work as medicine. The process of medicine is bridging the disconnect that has become endemic here on turtle Island. 
      So i would camp out for weeks waiting to see the first manzanita blossoms, jojoba and tiny Hypericum scouleri peek through the brown sedge grass next to horse tail. i would hike thru the snow to watch snow melt into waterfalls, the first Valeriana bloom. Up through the oaks and junipers. I loved those places.  It was a kind of Valerian Kiss. Someone said to me that it sounds like you're writing about having sex with the plants. It seems that whatever I wrote it was the wrong thing to write. Maybe that's true? I hadn't gotten laid in a long long time. I wanted to reown the culture narrative with new passion. I wanted people to love their way into creation. I didn't think I could do any kind of herbal medicine unless I got laid in a good way by a woman. I think that's what Jesus wanted. I don't think he died on the cross for endless suffering and stupidity. I had suffered enough.  I think now more than ever we need apostles of beauty. We need to hear the good news of the beautiful redeemed earth. I wanted to make the plants practical doorways into truths. So I allowed them to speak through me in the hope that others could hear them, hear their voices. I wanted people to be called back into balance. I knew there was a chance people would misinterpret my message, that they wouldn't hear the voices of the plants, that they would just see me as a clown. At a certain point I gave up wanting to be loved or respected there was better work to do. Muh'merica is a vast beauty pageant youth parade, dare to be old and ugly and risk the ultimate silence. The silence of not being seen, invisibility. People look directly at you and look right through you. It's the vast economic zone of beautiful commerce. To push up against that Gog Magog economic zone is to suffer and struggle alone isolated and broken. The first responders are always there to help you off center stage into invisibility, into the periphery, into the vast silence of the unseen masses don't show up on the radar of respectability. 
      i made a promise and vow to watch and understand spring time with the flowers. I also made a promise with people that I would bring these plants to them. I could not let anything jeopardize that especially my reputation. I needed to become politically neutral so that I would know their names. So I could use them to heal people as medicine. I knew there was a chance that I could never heal people because I had been rejected so thoroughly. So I put it in my part that someone else would hear this voice and carry on the healing message take it further than I could.            
     I searched and ran as far as I could always back to the plants. Always back to the place. It was always a struggle how to deal with the people of the place. Wherever I went wherever I could see, the people of the place owned the place and the places, and therefore limited my access to the plants. I needed to be on good terms with people, good terms with all people. My time is growing short and I couldn't afford to be blocked any longer. I needed to know where they grew, what they tasted like when they first emerged after the snow melted. I was saving my life as the earth, one dream at a time. I thought it was Gods work as much as mine. I saw Jesus Christ in the deer at the deer house. I carried a rosary with me. I prayed to the Virgin Mary to allow me to walk in this way to protect me.  I was often afraid of madness of crossing that line where a person can't come back. I had teachers and I'm grateful for them, John, Michael, Peggy, Melody, Ela, Heather- whoever I spent time with  the plants became my teachers. They were all my teachers. Often I didn't realize what they were teaching until years later when something that they said or the way that they called the flower resonated again in my mind and I said,"yes I remember now thank you." I was blessing and being blessed. I was following what I thought was the truth ever since I was 17 years old and camped in a thunderstorm alone atop Sugarloaf nob. I made a promise one day I would learn the name of the plants so I would no longer be a stranger on the earth. How does a person get dreams like that and goals? How does something like that get etched in your mind? so that no matter what you do you can't let go of it?it's the only thing you think of day or night.
     It's predestination. Predestination is a Christian term that means that this world as we are seeing it right now, is much broader, much deeper, and much more complex then our minds can grasp. Especially in relationship to the concept of time and personal volition and will. The mechanistic model of health of the world around us has only a few dimensions. The world itself is much more integrated in connections. We are not able to recall with our minds with one sweep all the connections that make up an event.  God calls us in different ways with different gifts. Knowing the plants intimately became my gospel. I don't think the plants ever denied Jesus Christ, Yahushua the Messiah as their savior. To know and understand God's creation, so to lessen suffering. To heal with plants, to dream with plants no matter how simplistic or naive it would seem. To heal and be healed by the power of God through the wild plants. People hated me for that. I went too far. You know at a certain point you don't care anymore what people think. Yet at the same time you have to care what they think with muh'merica police state reality. The work to be done with plants and people in place means that in some ways we must become impeccable and beyond reproach. It's such a difficult road to be shunned and shoah'd because the work with plants people and place stops and is halted. In that vacuum comes rushing in the muh'merica police state politics, the economic zone of mass consumption which is a vast disconnect of forgetting.

      I was camped along a fork of a black river in March for two weeks during the first thaw, when snow melting. It was an early thaw and it said something about the patterns of weather that would come later in the summer.  i watched day after day an osprey mating pair, build a nest high up in a Pondarosa snag. I did limpias. I prayed. i would go down to a blue river, deer house, Martilda canyon at the base of Sky island mountain. Meet up with Michael and crew rendezvous at Eden. Search for Indian root and pulsatilla. Write songs to a Virgin Mary princess Emily, write songs no one would hear,  record them, use them to make YouTube videos. And go out again to the woods and learn about the native plants growing the medicines. 
      I knew without a doubt I was missing the most fundamental aspect of this three fold equation. i was missing pussy. I am convinced now that without a community of people linked in love there is no possibility of healing. I was grasping plants and place, but I had lost the vital sense of people. There were no people in my world. There was no woman in my life.
     I tried to understand what happened and how I could be a human being yet have no connection with human community. Along black rivers I kept seeing animals like small herds of Rocky Mountain Southwest desert bighorn sheep. And there was no such thing as a solitary ewe, or a solitary ram. Sheep live together in absolute conviction. They have total solidarity for one another and their purpose. A lone ewe becomes rapidly a dead carcass for bear, wolves, buzzards and ravens. There is no forgiveness for this ultimate sin. So I would ponder the osprey pair building their nest and the herds of elk,  the herds of sheep, and no matter how I crunched the numbers I could not imagine a sheep deciding to be alone. There was no choice there because it was absolute death. If the sheep did decide to be alone it would decide to die. I did not decide to be alone. I was cast out. I was rejected. There is a difference although it eventually comes back to the same thing, your hindered in your work and can't get anything done. Eventually you give into despair and cut your throat, slit your wrists in some unique way that says fuck you to the universe. Never wanted to say fuck you to the universe. It was never my intention or plan and I never wanted to own that cultural narrative. If it was there it was placed on me and it did not come from my heart. i love life, period, end of story. If i was alone it was something that was taken from me and not something that I could ever condone. I kept waiting for redemption and how it would unfold and how I would welcome it when she said come inside. 
     So i went back-and-forth trying to figure out what I had done that made me absolutely alone. By my absolute aloneness I had made it impossible for me to accomplish my work. And my aloneness was disgusting and uncomfortable. I craved human companionship, so badly that I was having sex with ocotillo and saguaro. I imagined and wrote that there was a sheep ewe by the name of Emily. This sheep ewe was my celestial wife. I imagine that I was being kissed by the flowers of the Valerian. My fundamental work was with plants, people and place. If I left out any elements of that equation I was denying the work. Work could not be done. 
     So I had to come to terms with this brokenness of community. I wasn't the only human being on turtle island who was being sucked dry by aloneness in isolation and disconnect. I spent years in Phoenix and I saw the brokenness of a shattered community alongside the vitality of the new. It wasn't black and white, wasn't white and brown. It was a terrible zombie viral sickness that infected a significant portion of the community.

    What else is homelessness? It was vast and it was devastating. There were people eating themselves to death, so obese they could hardly move, diabetes and metabolic syndrome and heart disease and all sorts of problems connected with the simple fact of super abundance, of eating too much,  of dying of food. And it was transracial, transgender- it attacked Latinos Native Americans as much as whites. I remember going near the Indian hospital at Achan gathering plants and it looked like a war zone. So many Native Americans without legs,  lost to diabetes,  surgeries, amputation and  dialysis. The children look like round bouncing balls. The children look like over plump hormone fed water injected butterball turkeys. It wasn't just me who was broken and suffering it was systematic.

           i would see the first flowers peeking through the snow, candytuft, Noccacea fendleri, then drop down to the low desert to see spring at climax. In the sky island province everything hinges on elevation. You can stand in the same spot and lift up three,  four,  5000 feet and the seasons begin all over again. It can be winter, and springtime in the same place by going up or down the mountain. Then when you add in the reality of north and south facing slopes? Whether there is a creek or watercourse? The possibilities become endless, intersecting with an elevation change it may be 5000 feet within a few miles. That's why when you study a mountain you have to study in 4 directions up-and-down. Every year that you go on the mountain it's a different mountain depending on what the rains have done, whether they've come, or whether they decided not to come. So basically you have to stay put in one spot, and commit to seeing. You have to have an absolute commitment to seeing what there is to see depending on changing conditions. You have to be patient and able to see when there is nothing to be seen. 

       The Native Americans of the southwest have strong communities to this day. They were standing together in solidarity, waiting to have their legs hacked off, waiting to have there blood purified by giant dialysis machines. Because their kidneys were fried. They had companionship waiting there, they were not alone. Still it was something sick and stupid. It was an epidemic of death marching through their community hand-in-hand. 
     The difference was not in the presence or absence of sickness, the sickness was there just as much in the Native Americans and Latinos as in the whites. The difference was how it manifested in each group. In some it comes up as diabetes and metabolic syndrome, amputation and dialysis. In some groups it comes up as fractured families, impoverished single mothers, struggling to make ends meet their children neglected, schooled in government day care centers. I saw a billboard with a beautiful white baby and the caption said, "don't abandon your your baby! There is help for you." And you think what would have to occur that would have a mother want to abandon her own baby? What would compel someone to eat so much food that they can barely move? To the point where they have to amputate their legs and they move around in wheelchairs? What would create a situation where you had a literal army of people homeless without a place to live? When there are abandoned houses empty? They could live in those empty houses. But the police and first responders would not allow them to live in those houses? Question becomes what the fuck is going on? That's the sickness right there,  whatever it is, it manifests differently in different people,  in different places. It might be homelessness? It might be diabetes and obesity? It might be single-parent households barely able to survive? It might be drug addicted families? Crime poverty? Pornography, prostitutes and exotic dancers, sex workers?               
     Basically the truth is something is radically broken. Whatever was broken in them is broken in me. I am as sick as the legless Native American with a box of donuts getting in line for dialysis. I am as sick as the crystal meth head woman abandoning her child to do tricks for another hit of meth. Whatever is broken in them is broken in me, it just comes out differently. With me it comes out as a broken wobbling tripod, of plant, place and people missing the leg that includes the people. I was thinking of this as i took a pick up load of dried medicinal plants that I had wild harvested over the past two years to the dump in reserve New Mexico to be thrown away. I had sold the house and had to get rid of them. I couldn't take them with me. There was no one that I could pass them onto. It was the sickness again. I've met people that say that they have no regrets. I'm not one of those persons. I have many regrets. And this hauling of my herbal medicine legacy to the dump had to be one of my best regrets. At the same time I don't focus only on my regrets but it certainly is one of them. To have worked so hard, for so long for something just to throw it away was disgusting and ugly and toxic. Yet it is part of the legacy of my life. I can remember smashing and throwing away guitars. 

     i remember ripping to shreds a gallery show worth of paintings, murals, drawings. It's how the sickness manifests in me. It's something that I have to overcome.  That fear, that shunning and that shame. Especially with this new log cabin project. I feel like I just want to burn the logs once the snow falls rather than build a house that the Gog Magog bureaucratic muh'merica first responders will compel me to tear down. muh'zoning laws, muh'building code, muh'respectability and reputation. 
     Thru March and April, I explored Juan Miller creek, the Fritz homestead, as much as i could of the Blue. I found a stand of true Solomon seal. Would nibble on bitter hops and sharp biting clematis. i saw the wild plum thickets bloom for two or three days. I became intoxicated by their fragrance. I was a fool for whatever they would bring me and I had to make myself like a child so I could understand how it all fit together. 
       Thru March and April I kept hoping for miracle. I kept hoping that whatever that broken leg of isolation was that somehow it could be healed. I was deep in the Christian prayer now reading the Bible and connecting in my warped mind the thoughts of racism, Zionism, identity politics and plant medicine. I knew that I was cursed and someway like Cain from the Bible to wander this earth alone and it was dragging me down lower and lower and lower. I kept thinking that someone, somewhere would hear of something that I had written or could see what I was doing and would say, "I want to join you. I want to walk with you." I had never wanted to be without the companionship of a woman. Ever since the divorce of Eileen I felt filthy and dirty and ugly inside. Felt unwanted and unwantable. 

       That's how it is with these wildflowers they bloom for a few days and then they're gone you won't see them again until next year. So it literally takes years and years to learn where they are. Every year is different depending on the snow and rain, the weather the previous year what the flowers are going to do in the spring time. The flowers appear and disappear yet whether they were visible or invisible they were always based on love. After a while I could see the flowers even when no flowers were there. I could smell the ripe saguaro fruit in the yellow palo verde blossoms. Everything was there, it was not always visible often times it was hidden. It could be hidden for years and suddenly one spring time it would all happen at once. You had to be there during the drought when it wouldn't rain for an entire year to see the flowers after a wet spring.          

     On an impulse in April i bought an old mining claim with a hand dug ring well and a 10 x 10 cabin with a trailer addition in Northern Washington. It had a wood stove and windows, doors. Paradise. i bought it as far from New Mexico and Mexico as i could. Thirty miles from Canada. I wanted to buy it free and clear with cash so I wouldn't have a mortgage.  Not too far to Idaho, Montana and British Columbia. i was dreaming running away from the open southern border. Running away from an untenable unpleasant situation that was making me angry and sick. I never wanted to run alone, I always thought that eventually I would meet some one to travel with- i  believed with perfect faith that it was inevitable that we would go together. 
      A part of me hates that I left the Southwest. Not only because I traded one set of medicinal plants for another. So in that sense I was promiscuous, untrue, i cheated on my lover. I was married to those plants. they were my wife and I dumped them. I abandoned those plants in the Southwest. I didn't persever. I didn't fight. I ran away like a coward. I also traded one set of problems for another. There is no perfect place. Running away is never the answer. I was compelled by loneliness faith that if I kept true to my journey a friend would arise. It's hard being so terribly wrong when all you have is faith and you're faith is absolutely zero. 

      Today I went to see the Oplopanax. I need you to touch base with a friend. i needed to talk story and listen and hear something new that I couldn't see with my own eyes. I needed to see and I needed to be shown something. I got to the point where the only confirmation I needed to hear was the plants speaking to me in their own voices. I got to the point where I didn't really believe anything that I read about the plants anymore. I had to be with the plants as much as i could, or i would jump out of my skin. i craved their connection and I lost all track of time. I knew that a certain point I would become worthless for anything but I had to go that far. The popular name of Oplopanax is devil's club, which as a Christian I don't like that name. I don't want to use the name 'devil' for any plant because it's a powerful healing plant. Devil/satan is not a good name for a plant with thorns. I don't want to connect the name with the devil because there is already a lot of prejudice among Christians with herbal healing.  I visited the place where I camped for a couple of weeks during the summer along Sherman creek. Over the course of three months traveling back-and-forth from New Mexico to Washington state I camped along Sherman Creek probably a total of two or three weeks. I bathed every day in the ice cold water. Walked around from plant to plant trying to figure out their names, their uses, their essential qualities as medicine. It was good to touch base with the Cedars. I met them along creeks in Arizona, the Chiricahuas, along the blue, here they were again. Mixed with fir and birch, alder and ash.

      The first time I visited Sherman pass was June 5, still patches of snow on the north side of the canyon and the water just above freezing and frothy with rapids. I had driven up from New Mexico and revisited Dixie, southern Utah Paria. Seeing the red slickrock in the cottonwoods lining the canyons I was taken back to those days with eileen and Joshua. I would see a twist or turn in the road or reach down and squeeze the  needles of a Juniper and be back in that place. Smelling what we called root beer flowers or sand verbena growing on the dunes once again I could see slick oily skin of her body like water glistening in the sunshine. It seemed everywhere I went I was saying hello and goodbye. Seeing places i hadn't seen some of them in 39 years. i always imagined that if Carolyn and I would've had a child that's how old the child would be today 39 years old. Or Mary Gafney, with her blonde hair and holding a copy of Ralph Waldo Emerson's essays in self-reliance. It all came back sometimes in waves of tears or laughter. I asked the man in the store, if he remembered eileen? He said he thought he remembered her but wasn't sure, "the name sounds familiar." I asked him about Susan and Steve and the restaurant and he said that, "they stopped opening it on weekends. But they still own it." With every question it was like looking into a mirror and seeing your face, a face that you didn't recognize staring back at you and wondering who it was? who it used to be? 
     i was amazed by the lush of The Pacific Northwest in an extraordinarily wet spring. I was thinking of the coral root nearly waist high. The property owner had not yet moved off the property and I felt so disgusted and down. I almost had a wrestling match with him. I wasn't up for a fight. i can remember what my intention was, it was my property now and he needed to get off of my property. I also realize that he wasn't going to leave. it made me so angry. I didn't want to get into a violent confrontation. Just have to let it go and give him time to vacate the property. He eventually did about a month later. I realized I had to get the heck out of there immediately or  I was going to do something violent. I was going to do something I would regret. I had left New Mexico in a rage and now another rage. I was frightened I was going to lose control. I had to leave the new property and abandon it, until he was done with whatever he was doing. He was moving in slow motion. This all increased the rage factor. So back to the plants, back to the woods. 

 By June 14 i was back in the Whites around Alpine, Arizona. June 16 i was at Hannagan meadow Acher lake with Emmet D. We had some good talks and we had a great walk to the lake. It was about 9500 feet elevation, four or five miles each way and it totally wore me out. My body was deconditioned from months and months of inactivity living at reserve, New Mexico. It was vast, perfect warm bright blue sunshine and the feeling like anything is possible. It was a joyous day hiking. Emmet had a unique take on everything and I guess he was my counselor I told him my whole story my whole life story and all the events that happened. I showed him pictures of Heather. We ate one day lunch at the lodge for his birthday. And some old pioneer family dropped by, we talked about the ranch on the blue River. About how Fritz was attacked by a grizzly bear in 1911 and lived to tell the story. it was the same story, the way we used to live back then, but we don't live that way anymore. Yet I needed to live the way you lived back then so I could be with the plants. 
       i was out most of June in the Whites, watching oshà rise up, Jacob's ladder, elderberry, spikenard. Just saying the names of these plants brings shivers up my spine. I loved them and worshiped those plants as holy saints and angels that God has sent to heal us. Angels are messengers and these plants are messengers God sent to heal our bodies. That's how I looked at them. When I learned a new plant I was learning about the word of God he placed in the garden for us along with the tree knowledge of good and evil. 
    I would carry some times with me into the woods, a crucifix, a rosary and eggs. I performed what I called Limpia's, or cleansing. My plan was to bring back to life the old Catholic tradition of the healers, Who used the prayers of the Saints, Jesus and the Virgin Mary and these plants to heal people. I thought that there was some calling that I had. I thought that there was some path I was following that was sacred holy and  beautiful. I would take bundles of spikenard leaves, Poleo, or estafiate, or fir, pine, - whatever that was handy and fragrant. Whatever spoke to me and said yes Paul take us to use, use us to get better. Learn with us, we'll show you the way.  I would bathe in the ice cold water and say prayers and imagine that somehow things would change. That somehow I could walk forward and balance as a different person, a person more myself. I think I went for three years without ever able to tell a single person what I was doing or why. And if I did take the risk to tell a person what I was doing, it was met with silence and strange stares. 
      Although I love the Bible and the Christian Protestants, the Catholics were the only ones that had incense and candles. They had the fragrant resinous plants, the frankincense and the traditions of the Virgin Mary, the saints. They had rosary beads and a respect for history. 
     By June 20th, I was up at the camp on raspberry Creek and visiting with the pastor Franz, at the Baptist Church in Alpine. Pastor Franz was the turning point in that I gave my life back to Jesus. I begin to think of myself as a Christian. I began to ask God for a solution to the situation. I should've stayed where I was. At least I knew where the plants grew. I knew the mountains and I knew where there are springs and water, creeks, rivers. I let the situation in reserve get the best of me. I wasn't thinking clearly. Loneliness often buckles you down reduces you to nothing.
     On June 23 I wrote my last alternative right
 song, 'white sharia woman'. 

I wrote it along the blue River for my imaginary sweetheart, muse Emily. What I wrote sounded more like something that would be for the Virgin Mary rather than a doxxed shoah'd unemployable white nationalist peanut fender in Philadelphia.  It seemed like everything I was doing was the saying of good bye. i am still proud of the 15 songs i wrote. Not everything is beautiful and perfect and shining. Some things are dark and bizarre and imperfect, impossible. 
      i worked my way up the spine of turtle island, to revisit red slick rock. Following the Sevier river and Artemisia tridentata thick, lush, fruity, bitter and green. It's hard sometimes to use words like turtle Island, I get the feeling,  what would someone think about someone who calls the state of Utah,  the spine of turtle Island? At a certain point you don't care anymore what people think about you. The places have names and the names will change. The places have names and the names have changed. We need to have stories. We need to have dreams. We need to have conviction. I learned a few weeks ago that the word Lebanon means White Mountains. The White Mountains are the Sierra Blanca. The White Mountains are the White Mountains. The white mountains are Lebanon. These white mountains are promised lands. That's all I really wanted to say or tell anyone. Call them what you will but live by the promise of their beauty to transform your life into something strong and eternal. Spine of turtle Island, Lebanon, White Mountains, Sierra Blanca,  whatever these mountains are within them are healing places where a man's life can be healed. Within these mountains are springs and healing plants that God promised us from the beginning, from Genesis time, going back to the garden of Eden, these plants are good and they're here to heal us. Those aspen groves reaching down as deep as we can go, call us courageous. It's nice to stand there with a friend. Friendlessness given enough time will bring bitterness. It doesn't always have to be so sad. Rejection can be like a virus that infects everything. People know you're a leper. The can sense it and instinctively recoil away. 
      The first book that I read on healing plants was Return to Eden by Jethro Kloss. That's all that I'm really saying. The book was written in the early part of the 1900s. Then was resurrected, reprinted as a hippie Bible in the late 60s and 70s. Somehow God, prayer, plants and the gospel of Christ are all connected. I think that they have to be connected. Because if you disconnect them and just have the plants as resembling allopathic drugs. You have lost the essence of the healing modality. It has to do with resistance against the mechanistic culture of Gog and Magog. Rev 20:7-8 "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog..." these people are dispersed in every nation, and they are at the instigation of Satan let out to oppose all the good and beauty of the saints. I am often in battle against that bitterness. I have never wanted to be hated or labeled. I work hard to forgive everyone. It's always see the Lord's Prayer. 
      July 2nd I was back on the plane the little propeller plane goes from Silver city New Mexico. Back-and-forth from there and Sherman Creek and San Poil river. It was still green and felt tropical with long northern summer days. i found the loons of ferry lake, and the mosquitoes. 

July 7th at Ferry Lake listening to loons. In town watching log trucks go by saying, 'Those are my  logs for my cabin." Fields of fireweed and aconite. Mid July i had all these crazy hopes for renting a storefront and opening an herb shop on Main St., Republic, WA. Yet without a woman and a female partner I knew it was impossible. I couldn't take the stare down of small-town social reject outsider.  None of that ever happened. I never rented a storefront. I never opened an herb shop. I never even unpacked the boxes of herbal tinctures and herbs. I threw away a pickup truckload of dried herbs while I was in reserve. It was sad throwing all those herbs away. They were picked so lovingly and caring. Especially the ones from the deer house. Everything just thrown away. It felt a lot like murder or suicide to throw away my dreams.  All my tools and ladders and things that I had accumulated I just sold them at pennies on the dollar at the end while in Reserve. The people felt like buzzards over a dead elk carcass. Like cartoon characters stealing the last drops of blood from a dying man. I had prayed and prayed and prayed so I wouldn't hate them but I couldn't look them in the eye. 
     By July 19th I was back along the East Fork of the Black River, with Michael and the students. I felt at those times like I could do anything. I felt like I could become anyone. Everything seemed possible. There was a lot of power and strength with people in the group. I spent a lot of time hanging out with Gloria, and I had to confront all the racism. I promised myself that I would see her again but I never did. I hadn't laughed like that in a long while. So long that I had forgotten what it was like to laugh and be lighthearted and joyful. 
     By July 26 i was back on the Sevier river, then up to the slickrock country of Hite, Utah another goodbye hadn't been there since 1992. It had been 25 years. And I love it just as much 25 years later, as i did back then. I could almost see eileen in the slickrock and hear Joshua's voice. They were are all ghosts, no one was there just myself saying goodbye to a place that I never wanted to leave.    
       I found a lot of good plants in the mountains of Nevada. Everything was backwards, I never would've expected snow to be on the peaks mid July towards August. It was wet and rainy and cold and felt like it could snow. i was at lye creek, just saying goodbye to all the places that I wanted to remain. i saw Ligusticum grayi and Angelica in the aspen groves. Wet meadows with bog orchids, hillsides with balsam root, monardella, Agastache. It felt going home, then yanked away further. My search for connection with the earth and place has been decades of torture because I'm always cast out of the garden. Always not good enough, not strong enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not young enough, always lacking something with the result being, keep running, keep moving don't stop for a minute. It's disgusting how my life has been. I want to scream, I want to cry, I want to throw up and just stop running. 
      At the 45th parallel i found Redbirch and elderberry. Purple berries of Aralia nudicaulis, everywhere brothers and sisters of oshà. The medicine was thick and the days longer, the sun hangs low a long while with twilight. Thimble Berry and waist high coral root. Ocean spray, Poleo and bugle weed, wide rivers. The drought was coming on, the lightning was coming, smoke was starting to thicken. The amazing abundance of the lush Pacific Northwest had given into forest fires and smoke. Where the sun looked like a small red ball hanging on string barely giving light. Smoke stinging in your eyes,  in the morning phlegmy faint cough from breathing smoke all day and then it started all over again day after day. Smoky haze, clear cloudless nights with no stars. The blood red moon felt threatening, what's going to happen next.              
      Red Oplopanax berries, st Johns wort. The high northwest peaks had Pedicularis and moose tracks. The drought was continuing and the smoke was undeniable. Burning forest. Larch trees and fir. Wood betony and arnica, tishwoof, i was afraid to come home. i kept looking for Angelica, all i found was water hemlock, cow parsnip, poison hemlock, it felt like it was an omen. Whatever kind of abundance that I found it was gone. What i was looking for was gone. 
       i returned late August and decided to ditch the idea of an herb store, i was going to build a cabin with logs. On August 28 while excavation for the footing i found a buried trash dump on the only spot i could build. It took two weeks working every day hauling a pickup load every other day, sometimes twice a day. There is still more buried trash. I felt like a total fool. i I had purchased a trash dump. I went before the county commissioners and was going to tell them about the buried concealed trash dump. Before the meeting I was outside and talking to a few locals, who got wind of the purpose of the hearing. They didn't know that I was the person involved with the trash dump. One of them said, "Sounds like he's just looking for a handout another free ride." I quoted the book of Psalms 24:1 "The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." I realized at that point I made huge mistake coming here. This was the heart of Gog Magog, the police state bureaucrats, the last vestiges of Northwest. Too late. Everything was falling apart.             
     By September 30 i finally got a log truck load of logs. Pinus contorta, lodge pole pine. They were salvaged from a burn two years ago. I get huge fears and a horrible feeling i will never be able to satisfy the building codes here. i am scared shitless and want basically to die, because i am afraid the police state first responders of Gog Magog here in the Northwest will condemn my project on the property. i am at the lowest ebb. 
     it feels like every card is stacked against me. i began an undoable project. i don't want to go any further. Coming here was the hugest of impulsive mistakes. I'm done like never before- broken. i believed in a vision of God. I believed in a promise. The God I believed in would find a way for me to complete this, some kind of crazy miracle. Now it looks like folly. i had faith that i could build here in the Northwest. my faith has turned to absolute crippling fear. There's no freedom here anymore anyway. 
      I can't go against the zoning laws with my hand hewn log cabin and the TV'd airconditioned nightmare Box world of the dominant culture here in the Northwest. It's all about wealth and power and building pre-fab boxes. Whatever freedom there was here lasted into the early 2000's then gradually disappeared into a universal economic zone. It's dead. It's gone. Over. Done. 
     Against these tv'd truths I don't believe in myself anymore. I lost my dream with these zombie zoning regulations- freedom is dead in Americas northwest. Long live Gog Magog police state first responders! Muh'merica, Muh'First Responders. It's pointless. It's a bureaucratic nightmare. It's disgusting and lost. The only legitimate honest feeling i have is Either way it turns out bad. It sucks. 
     And so it goes on north of the 48th parallel in the Northwest, and wherever a people gather together to bless themselves and bless the world around them.. The spiritual rebirth of a nation in Jesus Christ evaporating into vapor.