Here We Go Again!

Not much of a post here today — kinda busy enjoying a fantastic weekend in Boulder, seeing old friends, Dead & Company, with a whole host of old — and new! —friends singing & dancing out in audience.

Way too much fun last night and today to write much for ths blog here. Here’s a post about my first Dead show at Folsom Field way back in 1980, when they played their 15th Anniversary shows there.

And here I am, 38 years later, with Albert & Rebecca before last night’s show — we get another dose of the fun tonight, and as the song says:

Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile!

me & Rebecca & Albert waiting to go into FOlso Field for Dead & Company show, jul 13, 2018

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East Texas Farming

G.M.C. Massey

My grandfather, G.M.C. Massey, took pride in his farming efforts in East Texas as well as his horse trading and teaching.

If I knew that I could make it interesting to you readers I would like to take you with me to a story of How I built up a field once, to the place that it produced three or four times as much as it did the last year before I moved on the place.

Well I think that I am going to tell it anyway now; as I like to think of it, and I have told it so much to anxious listeners, That I believe that some of you readers will enjoy it any way.

I had one 30-acre field that was so poor that My father-in-law told me when I moved there; that I had as well turn that field out to the pasture; for it would not pay a man to work it. That he had been there all the time, and he had, never seen that 30 acres make over 6 bales of cotton or 4 loads of corn. And I took time to tell him just what I aimed to do; And he said that looks good on paper but that it would not work out that way.

Of course I was going to teach that winter for 4 months, and the next summer 2 months, as all the Patrons were Farmers and they all needed their children during the making of the crops, and also in the gathering of the crops, and that give me the opportunity to farm too. So that winter I hired an old man, Wife’s uncle to help me through the year, And as soon as the crops were gathered, I put him to cleaning out the corners of the fence and throwing the dirt and the trash back as far as he could very well fo it and then when all that was done he went to breaking up the whole Field and he broke it up with an old iron Beamed turning plow about 4 inches in depth and he flat done it as well as I had ever seen done; Then when the 20th of March came I was loose to help him, and we layed off the rows 7 feet apart and WE planted it in corn: Then about the 20th of April I planted a row of peas in between the rows of corn and worked it well and when we wanted to lay the corn by in June it was dry and we waited a week so that we might have a rain to lay it by on, But it did not come and we had to do it any way, but not as we would have done if we had had the rain that we waited for but we took 24 inch heel sweeps and run the middles out and planted a row of peas in between the peas that was growing and the corn as I did not believe the corn was going to make anything, and I had a chance if it rained as it always did in September I could surely make a lot of peas; And sure enough it rained a lot in September And the peas wrapped the corn field up.

We picked the peas twice and filled 2 14 foot cribs full of peas and turned my hogs in there and they sure did well. But I only got 3 loads of corn, but the peas would have thrashed out 5 or 6 hundred bushels. But as soon as the stock got the run of the peas, I sowed the whole field in oats, and the next spring after I had pastured the Oats all the winter I took the stock off and let the Pats mature and mowed them and baled them, and put them away I guess about 2000 bales, and then turned around and sowed Peas, and the peas made a wonderful crop and I mowed, and baled them, and got several thousand bales of Pea hay.

Then we broke up the field, and the next year I planted half of it in cotton and half of it in corn, now listen:— in the mean time I had scraped up all the fertilizer that could be gotten at the Horse lot, and the cow lot as well as the wood pile and at the hog lot, I guess about 200 wagon loads, and had scattered it all over the poorest of the land And we made 25 bushels of corn to the acre and we made a bale of cotton to the acre, and we had only been on the place, that was our fourth year. So my father-in-law said you done it But I didn’t think that it could be.

You see what I mean:— Agriculture was a new subject in our schools and, the old people that came up in the past generation had the Idea that you learned from observation, and experience all the in’s and out’s of farming, And the Idea of a book telling us of the best plans and handing us new ideas and opinions was putting it In short words, SO “Somebody with wise ideas trying to tell somebody of experience how to farm” He said to me You cannot apply your book learning to experience and make it Work. It just cannot be done. But after this event in his life and his experience: He was an avowed believer in the experience of others, as he had watched this thing till it had proved itself to him. Many people are not progressing; because they are unlearned But they are willing to take TEACHING if DEMONSTRATED.

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Let’s Talk About Grief

Grief: a teardropDeath is inevitable. So is grief.

Yet, we avoid discussing either, rendering ourselves unable to talk about the associated feelings — we do not have the words nor have we practiced how to talk about our feelings surrounding death, loss, and grieving.

It can be difficult to share our feelings when so many preconceptions and presumptions about how we “should” grieve are out there. Nothing could be further from the truth — no one can tell you how to grieve.

Here are a few articles about grief:

How We Stifle Grief in the West

I’m here to say that the West has the concept of grieving all wrong.
I’d like to point out that we are a culture of emotionally stunted individuals who are scared of our mortality and have mastered the concept of stuffing our pain. Western society has created a neat little “grief box” where we place the grieving and wait for them to emerge fixed and whole again. The grief box is small and compact, and it comes full of expectations like that range from time frames to physical appearance.

5 things I didn’t want to hear when I was grieving and 1 thing that helped

On June 23, 2013, I gave birth to my triplets, more than four months premature.
My daughter, Abigail, passed away that same day; my son, Parker, died just shy of 2 months old. Before then, I didn’t know much about child loss; it was uncharted territory. Like most people, I wouldn’t know how to respond or what to say if a friend’s child passed away.

Telephoning the Dead

The so-called ‘wind phone’ (kaze no denwa) is comprised of a simple disconnected rotary phone which is located in a white phone booth that overlooks the Pacific ocean.

How to Speak Grief

We both lost parents as young adults. Loss is messy, melancholic and often darkly hilarious. It also lingers forever. Here’s a glossary that takes all that into account.

Grieving for a Best Friend

Recovering from the loss of a best friend can be thorny, complicated and difficult in ways that are different than the death of a spouse or parent. The death of a best friend strikes one’s mortality, making you realize that death is unavoidable and inevitable. Moreover, there’s no accepted way to recover from the loss of a best friend, and there are few support groups or grief circles offering assistance.

Old Man’s Analogy for Grief

I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.
I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances.

Finally, a closing thought on the impact of time on grief

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“Road of Roses” — Songs of Will T. Massey

A follow-up to my recent posting of Will’s song, “The Great Beyond Near,” about Glynda Cox, co-owner with partner Peg Miller of the old Chicago House: “Road of Roses” was a crowd favorite from those days, lending a lyric as the title of Will’s second self-released cassette.

On the road of roses,
I will ride.

Well, his years counted 90,
But his stories numbered more.
He’d tell ’em from an old oak rocking chair
On the porch of the country store.
They were all about his horses,
And the trail rides  that he loved.
When I asked him
Why they never saddened him,
He told me it’s because,

“There’s a road of roses
Where this world’s worries end.
On the road of roses,
I will ride.
In a land free of sin,
I’ll be a good old hand again
When my Savior saddles up by my side.”

Well, his cough was growing harsher,
And his eyes were dimming more.
But he would not see a doctor,
He said, “I never have before.”
But I’d stop and visit,
I’d sit at the side of his bed.
And he’d toss his Bible to me,
And tell me while I read,

“There’s a road of roses
Where this world’s worries end.
On the road of roses,
I will ride.
In a land free of sin,
I’ll be a good old hand again
When my Savior saddles up by my side.”

Welll, the preacher’s voice was somber,
And there were tears in many eyes.
But as I lay his spurs beside him,
I couldn’t help but smile.
‘Cause there were roses by the coffin,
But they were only there for us —
The Lord & him were on a road of them,
Kickin’ up dust.

On the road of roses,
Where this world’s worries end.
On the road of roses,
They ride.
In a land free of sin,
He’s a damned good hand again
With the Savior saddled up by his side.

Repeat final chorus

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Unk Returns

He’s back!

Unk returns: "Never mind 'Where have I been?' Where have YOU been?"

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Links about Depression

Recent celebrity suicides — Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain — shine a light on something our society generally avoids discussing: depression. In fact, we avoid talking about any sort of mental health issue as if it were the result of a personal shortcoming or failure, rather than a health condition impacting a bodily organ. The only difference is, in this instance, the bodily organ in question is the brain. We no longer shame epileptics. We accept people’s limitations due to diabetes or a debilitating stroke. We should approach mental health issues that same way. We must seek to understand what we do not know, not avoid any discussion of it at all.

To that end, here’s a handful of links to articles about depression.

Depression isn’t sadness — suicide is not a cry for help

Depression is exhausting. And it’s cruel. It tells you terrible things about yourself. That’s why Ms. Spade and Mr. Bourdain died. I can’t speak for their experiences, but I can speak for my own and what I know to be true from many other patients with depression: our minds become ruthless bullies. They tell us the meanest things about ourselves. They stockpile ammunition and open fire. And we have to sit there and take it because, well, it’s coming from our own brains.

Four numbers that help tell the story of depression

15.7 million adults in America, ages 18 and older, had faced at least one major depressive episode during the past year…
…1 in 3 Veterans visiting primary care clinics in 2008 had some symptoms of depression…
…11 percent of Veterans had elevated rates of depression…
…40 percent higher risk for a heart attack…

22 Things People Do That Actually Mean ‘I’m Depressed’

Just because someone isn’t crying all the time doesn’t mean they’re not depressed, and it can be hard to explain that sudden anger or even overworking is actually a sign you’re not doing well.

What happens when I forget to take my anti-depressants

Every person who struggles with depression fights a different battle and knowing what I go through, especially when I forget my medication, I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone who has worse depression than I do. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be battling this curse alone.

Pill shaming must end

Having a mental illness is hard enough as it is without the pill shaming stigma that floats among those struggling. There is so much misinformation out there about antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs — that they’re addictive or that you’re weak for taking them.

An experiment to experience depression

A lot of people have asked me what depression feels like. They earnestly seem to not know, as if depression were some sort of unfathomable specter.

This is what depression feels like…everything good has all drained out, leaving you cold and naked and alone.

I hope you found these articles informative, and, rather than depressing, uplifting instead, in the sense of understanding what people with depression may be undergoing in their lives.

In case you or someone you know might need it:
If you are in a mental health crisis, you can contact the Crisis Text Line (in the U.S.) by texting “HOME” to 741-741.
The Suicide Prevention Hotline phone number is 1-800-273-8255.


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Onward Through the Blog…

a doodle for my 400th post from Buller’s Back Porch…

doodle: 400

Posted in Austin, brain, doodle, G.M.C. Massey, Instructional design, music, songs, Texas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment