Veggie Voyagers

Couple travelled 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces between 7/07 and 5/08 running their 1987 Ford truck on straight veggie oil. The blog continues with a focus on the natural world and energy politics from a personal perspective

Monday, April 7, 2008

Death Valley

We are in Panamint Valley but this first photo is of Badwater in Death Valley. Michael is processing veggie oil and we are a number of miles down a dirt road in the middle of a rocky flow leading to eroded gray hills with a wad of sand dunes beyond the rock field and a dried lake bed below. I know that it is farther than it looks so I won’t attempt to get to the sand dunes.
The sky has got a cataract of haze over it and there’s a flat stillness when the military jets aren’t rending the sky. (China Lake Naval Weapons Center and Fort Irwin National Training Center are both to the south of the park and they obviously use this valley as their own- the fighter jets are like an animal tearing and grinding as it works at what it is determined to have.)
My meditation was filled with half lost memories. Today Dr. King was killed. I was twenty and had hitch hiked with Milo Taxman from Missouri to New York for arraignment. I had been arrested at Whitehall Place Recruitment Station during a demonstration against the draft and the Vietnam War. I remember being against a wrought iron fence, a ways from where demonstrators were being billy-clubbed by New York’s finest. I was screaming. Suddenly a large male person jerked my arm up behind me very painfully and started lifting me by my bent up wing to a paddy wagon. I never saw him but did try to swing back at him but never could connect. This was my “resisting arrest” charge that brought be back to the scene of their crime. I stayed with friends in the city and remember just hating the soot that gathered on everything. I remember the judge reading the Daily News in an almost empty courtroom. Nothing much else. Except Dr. King was killed and the cities exploded. Another trip east and Bobby Kennedy was gone too as we drove through the night in Pennsylvania somewhere.
In meditation I am touched by the tale of the pillow fight Dr. King instigated with his friends just before he was shot on the balcony. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama come through my thoughts and my heart is warmed by the thought, “He is our child!” of Obama. A man who distills the dreams of our 60s culture even though I have no idea what kind of actual president he might make. He’s got Dr. King’s gift of words but Dr. King, in hindsight, was a prophet and a yogi of non-violence. Clinton is like many of us women, carrying her heavy luggage with as much feist and intelligence as she can, but unfortunately she hasn’t had time or space in her life to secure wisdom and would probably be a uneven administrator once in power. Turning my back on her is like turning my back on part of myself. There is a capricious element at play that makes for uneasiness, isn’t there?


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