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Sonntag, 21. August 2011

Aaaand another foraging ride... aaand another sore back....;-)

 So, the season is quite great over here and I set out to get myself some herbs and fruit for winter. I stopped first in a public rock garden, where in a neglected and abandoned part there grows salvia, marjoram (Huhu! ... und danke nochmal, Drui...;-)), and St. John´s wort (hypericum, in German: Johanniskraut), Thyme and Lavender. Thyme, I did not find (what is it about thyme, it´s always running short... or was that time?;-)), but then I do not know it, not altogether;-). 
 St. John´s wort...It´s good against winter depression. You can also make a concoction for external use. Take a handful of blossoms, put it in good olive oil, add a shot of rosemary oil and a twig of lavender. Put it in aclear glass jar, and let it rest in the sun for three weeks. When the oil has turned red, strain through a sieve, fill in a brown bottle, and use for massage. Relaxing for knotted muscles! Also for external use, take a handful of St. John´s flower, put in pure (95%) alcohol. Add one fresh pine cone and two twigs of lavender. Leave to dissolve in the sun for three days, then in the dark for three weeks. You can leave the herbs in. Use for external implications;-) only...;-)
Lavender still in blossom...
 I then rode on up the hill, and there, above a delf, grows a dense underbrush of blackthorn (prunus spinoza, in German: Schwarzdorn, Schlehe). It´s easily becoming one of my favourite plants with its dark and beautiful twigs and stems, its violent thorns and its beautiful wood and flowers in spring. There were also sloe fruit to boot, and I had a lot to carry again. Passers-by again gave me some funny looks again, and one old guy even raised his stick at me and angrily demanded to know what mischief I was up to, and the whole business was forbidden. If you ever come to Germany, chance is, you can get by with just two words: "AAAACHTUNNNKKKK!!!!" (never forget the exclamation marks, they are crucial;-)) and "FFFFÄÄÄÄRRRRBOOOOTTTHÄÄNNNNN!!!!(verboten)". I am kidding, of course, and I pretty well know what my rights are, and this belongs to them-fortunately. When I told him I wanted them for making jam and sloe brandy, he was cooling down, though, and we even had a nice chat about how his grandfather used to make brandy from sloe and pears. And I even learned a bit from him. But it´s always the same. People see  a relatively young person. He has some funny clothes on and rides a mountainbike, and he has a knife lying about to dress the herbs he has just collected, and they whoop for the attack. Sometimes I just think they do not have the balls to attack the real mischief-makers, hooded sweatshirt-bad-tattoos-impossible manners-and the like and aim for those in-betweens as me. Riding my bike head down, grunting and sweating like a hog in the slaughterhouse, eyes fixed on my pulse-watch or my speedometer, would be perfectly okay. Walking around with a bad parody of outdoor gear that currently is fashionable, would be fine also. But being dressed in normal sportive clothes, having a helmet lying nearby, but collecting flowers and fruit seems to be deviant and thusly offensive behavior. I sincerely pray they do not establish "deviant behaviour" as fineable by the law, for then I´ll be a criminal for collecting herbs for healing and fruit for taste. It´s all in the fear. Fear drives our society, and our civilisation, if you can still call it that name still. We fear not to belong. Out of this fear, we buy, and throw away, and buy anew. Without this fear, this degree of commercialisation could not be possible. This fear is induced by simple methods. First they tell you you might be deviant. If you are deviant, as a kid, you need a therapy (even if you do no harm to anyone) to function properly. I have worked with enough socially, mentally or psychologically "impaired" children to state that. In many cases, the only thing impairing them was their need for love and the Ritalin they got as a surrogative. Angry words, for certain, and kind of abbreviated, but then we are all adults, are we? Then, out of fear, you throw your dreams aside and settle for other surrogatives. TV, video, Hi - Fi, bluetooooooooth, yap, and internet, too. Sex, deodorants, cars, and yes, mountainbikes and knives and gear and all that stuff. You behave like a grown-up, finally.
Which means, we fear the almighty God Mammon-Pluto even more. Without him, we fear, we cannot live. Far-fetched? We indicate a sacral connection at any archaelogical find that might as well has been a toy or an everyday-use article (not that an artefact of everyday coherence might not have had a sacral meaning, mind you!). What, do you guess, will a post-modern culture (provided it can still be born after the mess we made from this planet already) indicate at the find of a bank bulding, all glass and polished metals and marble? Certainly not a smithy or a factory. Certainly no house for living, and no shithouse, either. Just asking....
And then there are people making things themselves, loving nature, even smiling ( I rode the bike lane this Sunday and pleased myself by counting frowns and smiles of hundred people. I wore a smile in the process to provoque smiling;-), plus, the sun was out, I had leisure time, and was riding my bike. Out of hundred people three smiled. They had leisure time, they rode their bikes, the sun was out, there were swans on the lake, and the birds were twittering. ten asked me, what my problem was "there a problem, scum?", or if anything was funny "anything to laugh at, fucker?"), collecting herbs and fruit and mushrooms and wood and what they can legally find. Don´t get me wrong, there are many people actually respecting what I (and what we) do, elderly people as well as younger ones, even kids.

But for the most part, I find they feel I pose a threat.

Oh, and I know that this actually is realistic. I DO pose a threat. Without violence, and by simply loving the green. By loving, and healing, and smiling. I fear a lot of things. I am afraid, no, I am scared as shit about next months´fees and taxes and the bills upon my mat "they feed and grow, then eat the cat" (Martin Walkyier from Skyclad: I´m just what nobody wanted). But there´s a limit to what I will do. And this makes me deviant. I forage for living, sometimes. I know, the more I know, the less I will have to buy. The more I love nature, the less I will need the appreciation of the mainstream-which I never had nonetheless.
And for these simple facts, I maybe will not change the world, for all that may be worth. But myself.

Steady, Fimbulmyrk;-), whoa, Nellie;-). Look into the green to calm down a bit, it´s a great season. For sloe as well as many other things. I am grateful for that. I find I am ever so much more bound into the ebb and flow of the years, and I treasure this feeling quite a lot. Everything is growing, and I feel I change with the tides and times of year myself. This year this feeling is even stronger than before. I feel it hard to believe in a supernatural person anymore, for it is so much bigger. Bigger than words, in any case. It is a power flowing through time, through space, through the green and the woods. It is alien to any concepts of man. Poetry nourishes on the fact that it cannot be described for its vastness and ambiguity. The description of a rose never can reach its actuality. If I set a sign in uttering the word "tree", I have not created a tree by it, but a sign, a symbol. In symbols it is where we put together the evidence of the actual, of actual life, and they can be powerful and inspiring, and yet they remain symbols: Manmade essays to anear actual life. I have a suspicion that the ancient druids of the Celts, eloquent speakers of Latin and Greek, so eloquent in fact, that one Diviciacus actually negotiated with Julius Caesar himself in Latin, forsook written words in favour of teaching as a Zen tutor would do nowadays. because words may have  a meaning, but the symbol loses in the process of conservation in written words. How long has this post become already? All to express one moment of feeling. Of onenness, which cannot be expressed by words. Of defiance, too, but it, too can not be expressed, for it´s not mine. The Blackthorn´s, maybe, or the humble St. John´s wort´s, or that of the birch tree I passed, shining golden bright in the late summer sun...

Autumn will come, with another power to fill my heart, and winter, with its clear and frosty nights under the stars and its snow and even the cold drizzle, and the ice, and the freezing cold, and the loneliness and melancholy, and even the depression. But now I am alive, and there is still summer. Even the rain is a summer´s rain, is a message to my soul. As is lightning, as is a grey day. Hard to express those feelings. 
 Found some lemon balm (melissa officinalis, in German: Zitronenmelisse), too and took it home as spice and tea. It´s calming and soothing for stressed-out nerves, and no, I did not drink a cuppa before püosting this;-)...

Oh, and I´ve heard, it might be good against witches, too...;-)
 I simply like this photo, and so I posted it.... St. John´s wort again. I simply like the colours... it just makes me happy just looking at it, can´t explain it and mustn´t;-).
 This is a pale and hairy, ugly shin with a bug on it (cicada)...
Punctured my shin some time ago by means of my pedals...
 Birchbark, anyone? This is another unlikely Fimbulmyrk tale, for someone right disposed of it along with some other garden trash near the roadside.
 Rowan berries by the cartload, too...;-). I think I´ll have a go at jam from them, and even some schnapps again... For that, deep-freeze them first for three days. Then make a vinegar essence solution (three tablespoons vinegar concentrate on 1 litre water) and let it rest for another day. Have to work out a recipe for them, still... I will keep you informed;-):
 Oh, the loot, oh, the loot, how he trillups on his flute, oh the loot of Tinfang erm Fimbulandyouknowho;-)...
Rest and reward;-)... I was all finished again from ranting, looting .. and no pillaging whatsoever....;-)


  1. Busy man ;) I know this problem...well, for me it's no problem, maybe for them- with those frightened people staring at you while you try to climb out of thorny a bush, laden with biiiiig bunches of dyeing plants such as meadowsweet, golden rod or mugwort. I try to get out of this bushes and people stay and stare. Ok, it might be a bit unusual to see a funny dressed redhead with a torc round her neck, carrying bunches of plants and baskets of berries and mushrooms jumping on your way while you go for your bourgeois sunday walk. I should take photos of those faces. would make a funny book. What i can't understand is that someone who throws away his cigar end seems to be more respected by this society than someone who tries to live with/in/from nature. Though I did never catch a nasty word from them, I thik they always were too shocked *g* Sometimes I even have a good chat with elderly women about herbs.
    And I absolutely must agree with you, this summer makes everything boast. Were rowan berries ever so shiny? It seems, Great Mother Nature dresses herself even more luxurious than ever. And she looks great ;)
    And thank for reminding me to look if my oil from st. john's wort has turned to red yet :D

  2. Hi, Drui, it´s polite of you posting in English;-)dankeschön;-).

    I´d like to see that... a bush is moving, someone is cursing in proto-Celtic, and out comes.... a witch!;-) I am aware that I might look a bit funny, too, even without a Torc (have to forge myself one, was intending to for years!), and yes, that would be hell of a funny book, I´ve thought so myself. Lucky you, to find elderly women to talk about herblore, it´s this way we learn... funny how my generation has forsaken learning from the elderly....

    Oh, and it makes me love her even more. No bother;-), I have yet to make some St. John´s oil myself...I tend to get depressive in winter;-).

    Really nice to have you around!


Now go on, discuss and rant and push my ego;-). As long as it´s a respectful message, every comment is welcome!

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