Dangerous Compassions

keeping the x in Ventura

keeping the x in Ventura

Hey, thought you might like to see me doing my best, keeping the x in Ventura.

It was a great day.  This artist friend I barely know for many years and her newish boyfriend came to visit us.  We gathered at the farmers market.  I got some delicious foods, like persimmon walnut candy, green olive tapenade, and dried apple bits.  Ming got peaches, grapes, and lettuce.

Our friends were house sitting for some famous people and harvested from that garden.  They gave us sweet small plums and two kinds of grapes.  Wow!

We gave them the two latest zines and a tour of the farm where we’re staying.  The boyfriend told us how one of the plants growing around the farm is very invasive.  Ming knew the plant, having worked with it in primitive skills, and those two talked about local mountains, plants, activism they have in common.


I’d made cabbage in the morning for breakfast, and it was tasty over quinoa.  It was food bank cabbage.  Thank goodness for the food bank!  Isn’t it pretty?


I also made some soup with red lentils, carrots, poblano chiles I roasted on the stove, onions, garlic, coriander, salt, and water.  It was very easy and tasty in the rice cooker!  Oh and I put some olive oil at the end.  It needed some fat.


This is a dal I made, with urad dal, carrots, onion, cabbage, salt, garlic, and tahini at the end for creamy deliciousness.


naked ladies

I took more pics of the naked lady flowers.  This one shows a bee visiting.

naked ladies

Here are the naked ladies in the context of the growing pomegranates.  Omg, I spelled it right!  Even a stopped clock is correct twice a day, as my dad used to say.

keeping the x in pomegranates

beach pain

Our visiting friends needed to leave for a family thing.  Then Ming and I hopped in the car and drove to Ventura.  Ojai was supposed to be extra hot that day, so we wanted to rest in coolness.  It’s about half an hour away?  A little less.  We went to the beach.  I had a wild health experience there.

I walked out to wade in the water–it was terribly cold.  Wow, why was it so cold?  Kids and adults were playing in the waves like nothing.  I was only in the water for a minute, my feet and ankles.

Back on dry land, I sat down and noticed intense pain in my right foot.  Holy crap.  First I thought I’d stepped on a piece of glass.  Then I thought a jellyfish stung me.  It was very intense pain.  I started to heeheehooheehoohoo kind of like Lamaze breathing, to keep from screaming.  I was getting delirious from pain.

Then we thought maybe a bee stung me, as Ming noticed a bee was stumbling around.  Ming kicked the bee away and helped investigate my foot.  We poured water on my foot to get the sand off and take a better look.

Hmm, there was no wound of any kind.  He took a credit card and scraped the bottom on my foot, to remove a stinger, but there was none.

My pain was up to an 8.5.  Wow, it was an altered state.  I stood up, and the pain was mostly in the arch of my foot.  Yes, like a foot cramp.  Wow, but the worst, most long lasting foot cramp of my life.

cold creek memory

Then I had a powerful memory of the time I hiked to Pt Conception lighthouse, a longer walk than I was used to, when I was in college.  I was around 21 years old, with a young man who was a good friend who I adored.  We hiked at least eight miles.

My friend brought a bag of oranges he’d picked from a neighbor’s tree as our hiking snack.  They were sweet and delicious.  We entered the lighthouse illegally–it was condemned.  It was amazing to look around.  So glad we didn’t fall through the floor or otherwise die in that wreck of a lighthouse.

After the hike, my feet were super sore.  The next day, they hurt like heck.  I was by a cold creek on my lunch break, when I worked at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.  The creek was probably in Rattlesnake Canyon.  I decided to take my shoes off and stick them in the creek–I thought that would be helpful, like ice.

Wow, poor choice.  My feet hurt so bad from the freezing cold creek water, I was in exquisite pain.  I could barely get my shoes back on and hobble to my car.

complexifying post script

Yeah, it was a similar intense pain.  What the heck was that all about.  It resolved, and I was very grateful.

Later I went to dinner with Ming and my right thumb was cramping up.  I drank a lot of water in case dehydration was at play.

But I wanted to tell you.  I met a kind farmer during the middle of me and Ming’s homelessness.  When I asked him where he was from, he told me he had lived in that lighthouse at Pt Conception.  His dad was employed by the Navy.  It was amazing to think his legit home was this place I broke into as a young person some decades before, recklessly.

I imagined me and this farmer, in the same lighthouse at different times.  We could have been ghosts, for one another.  The world seemed too strange and wonderful.

Yes, I have some weird health things.  Intense muscle cramps are no fun.  But the rest of the day was wonderful, and I enjoy learning.  Thank Mother God that I can go about at all.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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