Redención 11–¿Y dondé van; y los pajaros?

It is my intention to complete 14 Redención posts.  This is, as you might note from the title, Redención 11.  I do not know whether I am continuing under the title redemption because I expect at some point to be redeemed–and though it hasn’t happened yet, it will at some point.  Or…more likely, I am reminding myself of what I was asking for and what I can expect.   A lowering of expectations or of not having them or defiant insistance on acting as if one is already free which is, as David Graeber claims, revolutionary action.

What does this mean?

Becoming “awake” involves seeing our confusion more clearly.

I think that is what I am trying to do–awaken.

A specter is haunting


In the wind of I-5 through the Central Valley  the wing of a dead bird, species unknown, flapped into the wind and a white tailed kite Elanus leucurus struck something in the dry grass.  I passed a sign for Quail Lake–a place I have the sneaking suspicion within which no quail actually reside.  In my notes I have written crow…? and fabric caught on barbed wire and Western grebe, black necked stilt, green heron, belted kingfisher, Western kingbird feeding fledglings.

Aechmophorus occidentalis, Himantopus mexicanus, Butorides virescens, Megaceryle alcyon, Tyrannus verticalus

At a rest stop, near Williams (formerly Central), north of Sacramento, the dog and I saw four people heading to a white van.  Three of the people were shackled together–two men in orange jumpsuits and a woman in street clothes. Their hands and feet were chained and they shuffled.  The fourth person was an extradition officer (I know this because my little dog…but also it was written on his shirt).

is there always/something wrong/something between two

They didn’t look up and their hair was greasy–a girl with short dark hair, a boy with longer light brown hair.  He was smaller and thin.  She was wearing jeans.  The other boy…I’m not sure…I don’t remember.  I say they are boys and girl because they were so young.

tomorrow when I wake if I wake

Though that idea of young may be me thinking of myself and of them.   Sometimes things happen and then you are old inside in some ways and everyone around seems so much younger.

and the dream

and wherever they might be now.  And whatever takes us to where we are going.

comes singing toward me 

I realized today that the boy with long hair, the man, young man, accused felon? convict? fugative? reminded me a tiny bit of Kurt Cobain and yes I was a fan of Nirvana once though I remember seeing them in concert a few months before he shot himself and he had nothing in it anymore.  It was almost 20 years ago and maybe that is why I felt so old.

Under California’s “Uniform Criminal Extradition Act” and California Penal Code Section 50.34, in both of these cases, the authorities may issue a warrant for extradition (known as a Governor’s Warrant), and the fugitive can be arrested. An arrested individual is then required to return to the wanting state to face criminal charges.

Extradition typically involves felonies serious enough to warrant the effort and cost of tracking down and moving fugitives.  When we see this sort of thing we feel a rift–or I do.  What I thought was normalcy of free movement, of certain ideas of how we live our lives within the confines of society is broken.  I think that makes me naive, perhaps.  I’ve been in other places though, where things are broken and I was, in some ways part of those broken people.  Where we can look at what is normal life and it seems like we are peering through a dirty glass.

I know why you will not give it to me./You are terrified.

Sometimes I think I am very old and also very young and never quite the age I am supposed to be.

Load up on guns, bring your friends

The trees of the mind are black

The confusions here have not been mine alone.

The light is blue


Later, I will return to the Central Valley because it is central.

a hologram that dematerializes as I drove through it

But now I’m thinking of a point of interest I’ve mentioned before.  One that is more connected to the birds and this is, after all, the diaries with quail as the pivot point and, though they are part of the central valley, their populations were being decimated in that region about the same time my family was farming there.

Many men must fail, times must be hard, state finances disordered

On the site in San Diego, there used to be farms surrounding the contiguous patch of soft and hard chaparral.   These were what became financially unsustainable in the 1990’s and were therefore developed.

You were meant, if you were a Californian, to know how to lash together a corral with bark…you were meant to show spirit…keep moving.

The farms were maintained by the men from the large camp of undocumented workers that lived in this contiguous patch of chaparral.  In these hills were brothels and restaurants.  In the fallow field to the east, where Target now lives, there was an annual rodeo.  The water tower had installed nearby a shower that the workers used to wash themselves.

The work, you know, comes upon you 

for what exactly, and at what cost, had one been redeemed?

Despite the suggestion by some folks working with me that I carry a gun “just in case” the only problem I ever had was someone cutting the ropes tied to the poles that I would leave out for my mist nets.  Not the nets, just the poles and ropes and stakes so that I could come out alone and stand the poles up and attach the nets and try to net quail without assistance.

you will answer our taut hearts

Not that mistnetting quail is particularly effective though I did catch one bird by his toe.  Another bird was killed when, right after she hit the net, a red-tailed hawk came screaming in and knocked the entire thing down, breaking her neck.

my heart I miss her so

you own the stars you own the thunder but you have to shut it off

The undocumented workers that walked through the hills and showered up by the water tower and worked the fields are gone–I knew many of them and I do not know where they are now.  The shower is no longer available and anyway, there are only two small farms left–hectares and hectares are gone to houses, the golf course and the shopping centers.

We make homes where ever we find them. That is why the hills are still filled with cans and old pots, and with ghosts.

Though from whence comes my nostalgia I cannot say.  Farming is not always a kind master to either the workers or to the land.

I have had enough

there is no scent of resin/in this place

Remember the notebook? Left in the brush–only to be revealed by the escape route cut by the firefighters. Remember Littleton and the dead baby?  And the fact that once I was contacted by someone who recognized the names but never contacted me again.

We live these lives and then we disappear

The notebook was an oddity– unlike the scraps of clothing and old shoes that are all over the brush–indeed are all over the lands near the border. North of Nogales near abandoned water bottles and elsewhere.

The clothes and foot prints, and abandoned shoes and the water bottles and casette tapes and old records and knives and tents and spam cans and butane cans and old lighters, these are what the border brings, these and the fences and the minutemen with their sad pathetic weapons, and the corpses in the desert.

Quotes are by Inger Christensen, Karl Marx, Sylvia Plath, Joan Didion, Los Angeles Criminal Attorney Website, Edward Dickinson, William H. Brewer, HD, Nirvana, The Bowerbirds, Chögyam Trungpa


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