Monthly Archives: October 2013

Fresh fuel for the sodium flares.

I feel very out of touch with people outside of my immediate family group. I know that the way to fix that is to start more conversations, comment more, reach out to other people more, and so on. It’s been difficult because I’ve been uprooted and so much is in flux; I’m sitting on a bed in a house where I have nothing I own but a couple of outfits and I’m generally afraid of the people who live here.

Trying to acquire housing has been more difficult than I expected it would be, even when I anticipated that it would be difficult. We’ve sent so many emails, made so many phone calls, done so much, and only had a few responses.

We were turned down, one place was rented out from under us, one person hasn’t spoken to us again about anything, either yes or no, and we’re waiting to hear about the most recent place, which we want to live in very badly and are worried that something like being on disability, even though we make plenty of money to pay for the rent (rent is ~1/3 our total income), is going to get us shafted again.

People in general seem to assume being on Disability = Welfare Queens, and so forth.

Ah. The night passed and I saw that the apartment had been reposted to Craig’s List yesterday morning, which was also when she emailed us back to say they were still processing our application. I don’t know what to make of that, and I feel frustrated and tired.

Since I don’t have my things, I’ve been doing rune readings with an app. If anyone is available and willing to do a reading for us about our housing situation (rune/tarot/anything), please email me at shannon dot kotono at gmail.

I don’t understand why we seem to be being blocked constantly.

All good thoughts appreciated.

We are going to see another apartment today. This time, in the city. Very convenient to a grocery that accepts food stamps and a bus route that, with one transfer, will get us to/from the train station, that also serves as the place MegaBus runs between Albany and NYC (often less than half the price of the train, with the trade-off that you have to stand around waiting on the sidewalk in NYC for it).

Similarly, the same bus plus one transfer will take me to the Albany location of the main Buddhist center I’ve been associated with.

Also, the bus costs $0.75 for disabled people, though it doesn’t seem like they do free transfers. I could be wrong. Even if they don’t, a two-bus trip would be $1.50 and it’s $1.25 in NYC for two buses and/or one bus and infinite trains.

But the bus doesn’t have a Metrocard sort of thing that you can pre-pay for trips on unless you’re buying weekly or monthly passes, and definitely not the version where you can have your Metrocard ding your bank account for each trip and never have to refill your card. Which is terribly convenient, I must say. But an extremely minor annoyance when the rent is literally half of a one bedroom in NYC ($650 versus an average of $1200). Farther away from Albany, you can get two or three bedrooms for $550-$650, no problem. In NYC, you can’t typically get a bedroom in a shared apartment for less than $800.

I’m very tired and this has been very hard, and been very hard to be firmly optimistic that something will work out and everything that matters to us won’t be lost, somehow. Brand is much better at that sort of thing, because if it won’t work, he will make it work, and we will have a safe fucking place to live if I have to build it myself sort of thing.

But I am clinging to my beloved, who is hope and light and fulfillment.


Sarenth Odinsson

He waits within the natturhaus

Toasty and warm

His mug filled with cool water

From the offering-well topped off once more


They bow and pray in thanks

For the mighty timber that supports them

For the warmth that surrounds them

For the comfort of a loving home


Sometimes they bring him recels

Sweet and strong by turns

Sometimes they bring him food

Steak and potato, carrot and milk, honey and bread


Each keeps well theirs and the other’s home

Each caring for the other together

This is the way of things

So both live well

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15 acres of forest

In the (early) morning, we will go to the place that we want to live and talk to the owners. The space will be extremely conducive to so many things, and the trade-off of quite a bit of travel for appointments (and having to learn to drive) seems increasingly small. 15 acres of forest.

15 acres of forest.

15 acres of forest.

Prayers and so forth are most, most, most appreciated.

I want to get settled and get into my studies, get deep into my meditation, commune with my Beloved, speak to other gods, learn the spirits of the land…

I want to go home.

I may be going very far away.

Up north roughly around Albany and then off to the right to nuzzle against Vermont, in a very rural area (about half an hour from a city, and forty-five minutes from Albany), after living here in New York City for close to ten years, and prior to that, still almost always in a city or somewhere urbanized enough that there was a grocery store chain (chains are important, because smaller places generally do not take food stamps, though there are exceptions) within a mile.

We found a place on a heavily forested piece of land shared with the owners in their own attached house, who practice sustainable living, gardening, and do as much off the grid as possible. It’s inexpensive — only $25 more than what we had been paying here, with minimal utility costs, aside from DSL (very strange to think of having DSL again, but at least it’s not dial-up!).

We’ll be adjusting things, I imagine, to try to conserve energy, so we can get as much from the solar panels alone and the solar hot water without needing much from the grid. The stove runs on LPG – propane, basically, which I think I read is something like 50% more environmentally friendly than grid electricity.

I think we’d be doing laundry by hand. Maybe setting up one of those methods with a large bucket and a plunger of some sort, which people say actually works incredibly well and gets their clothes cleaner than a washing machine with much less detergent. Wringers are expensive, but I know we can’t wring things by hand (we are the family of no hand strength or hand disabilities galore).

I would be able to garden to my heart’s content, and also have access to a greenhouse. I would be drowning in trees. There’s a good-sized lake four miles away.

It would be quiet.

There are drawbacks. Various ones. Mainly involving health care, both mental and physical. Though I am wondering if we would all have such a drop in depression and misery that we’d need a lot less therapy, one way or another. Then it’s basically access to medicines, and wondering if I’d need to change my insurance, or do something else to have access to local urgent care or local prescription refills, and standard things in NYC.

If anyone has thoughts, I would appreciate hearing them. This is a major life change, even if it is one we have been talking about for a long time — the ultimate future dream — and there are benefits to being disabled in a city that you don’t have in the country.

I’d especially enjoy hearing from people who have lived a similar lifestyle, if there is anyone.