Today (September 10th) we walked down to Dexter to visit the Pot Shop. I was looking for a balm to help ameliorate the pain from arthritis in my right shoulder. We were carded as soon as we entered the store. I thought that this was strange. The little store was full of items related to the ingestion of hemp and marijuana in all its forms and manifestations. Hookahs, bongs, herbal vaporizers, dab rigs, creams, tinctures and hundreds of concentrates with names like Grease Monkey, Blue Dream and Hindu Skunk. I was helped by a young woman who, as soon as I explained what I was looking for, immediately presented me with several options. I chose a product called Wildflower CBD “cool stick” topical salve, which is applied to the skin like a ball deodorant. The bottom twists making the ointment rise. It contains coconut oil, hemp oil, shea butter, beeswax, ecosoya, vitamin E, arnica, full spectrum CBD oil and wintergreen and has a strong but pleasant smell. Very minty.
I applied some after a run. It is advised to apply the product after a hot shower when the pores of the skin are open and more permeable. Within twenty minutes or so I felt a cooling effect and could move my right arm with less pain. The pain didn’t go away completely but was noticeably diminished. I noticed the improvement most when, after a spaghetti dinner, I put the parmesan cheese away high on an uppermost shelf in a cupboard and had no pain at all in my right arm. Normally, I would barely be able to lift it, the pain would be so acute.
I also felt very relaxed. It’s as though the balm had entered my general being and filled me with a soothing alleviation.
September 11th. 12:22 p.m. I watch a YouTube video in which Hambone Littletail, the persona of a passionate chronicler of the end times named Sam Mitchell, a Texan who lives outside Austin, drives a highway into the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia for a blue grass festival and encounters a terrific rain storm, lightning flashes on the road ahead, his wipers going rhythmically back and forth, as he recounts once again his miserable time in Scranton, Pennsylvania trying to find a gas station and how glad he feels to be crossing the Mason-Dixon line into the land where his southern accent fits in and he doesn’t have to listen to Yankee accents anymore. He titles this nine-minute episode “Virginia Tornado Is Welcome Sight For Survivor of Scranton, Pennsylvania.”
September 14th. 11:22 a.m. Florence has come ashore and begun wreaking havoc on the southeastern coast. Catastrophic weather events like this are becoming increasingly common. People like to deny them by saying “this is the new normal.” Like the photo that accompanied the text for an article published online by a local TV news show last August of a thirty-something jubilant dad lifting a toddler into the air with a celebratory grin with the Seattle skyline in the background shrouded in ugly haze from the many wildfires blazing in British Columbia and east of the Cascades. The level of cognitive dissonance so fully evident in this photo was breathtaking. There is nothing normal about these disasters. It is abrupt anthropogenic climate change. And it’s disrupting lives and costing billions.
The anxiety and despair I feel with regard to this situation is chronic. I don’t know what other people are feeling. But if I try to gauge what they might be feeling according to the normalcy of their behavior, my guess would be that they’re either utterly ignorant of the crisis we’re in, particularly the ones with babies and toddlers, or they’re aware of what’s going on but have chosen to adopt an attitude of stoic acceptance and hope for the best. Whatever “the best” could possibly be achieved when everything – already clearly unsustainable – goes tits up.
I’ve never been successful at stoicism. Its ultimate iconic image would be that of the long-suffering cowboy biting the proverbial bullet as a bullet or arrow is removed from his body, or the grim look of the pilots in WWII movies trying to pilot a seriously damaged bomber back to an airfield in England, maintaining attitudes of poise and determination, or the women attending to the gravely ill or wounded in incredible conditions in foreign lands persevering with solicitous care and equanimity and tact. I usually explode into rants and tempests of molten language.
Strategies for adaptation are mapped, contemplated, dangled. I keep wondering what action I would take the day there is no electricity or internet or running water and come up blank. Nada. Nothing enters my brain as a possible remedial expedient for navigating the end times. How does one envision such a future? There have been detailed predictions of various dystopias presented in science fiction. But that was always, you know, science fiction. The Twilight Zone. Outer Limits. The Walking Dead. What we’re facing is as real as the hurricane presently sweeping over North and South Carolina, dropping wind and rain in catastrophic biblical buckets, over half a million people already without power.
“You sit here for days saying, this is a strange business. You're the strange business. You have the energy of the sun in you, but you keep knotting it up at the base of your spine,” observed the Persian poet Rumi.
Yesterday R and I went to a marijuana dispensary in Fremont, on Stone Way, to get a couple of packets of Deeper Sleep capsules containing 45 mgs of cannabidiol and 75 mgs of tetrahydrocannabinol (Indica cannabis concentrate oil). It also contains myrcene and linalool terpenes, ashwagandha, theanine, passion flower, white peony, magnolia bark, and chamomile.
I had difficulty sleeping and so I got up and took one. Within an hour, I was feeling quite relaxed, my whole body felt deliciously sedated. I had an overall sense of well-being. I enjoyed a few vivid images that emerged and disappeared from consciousness as I entered a pleasant hypnagogic state and eventually fell asleep.