Mad Man digging

July 30, 2013

“….. to get strength
for the things we have to do that frighten me
I go and dig my hands into the ground.”

Marge Piercy, from “The queen of pentacles”,

Along with the gravity of our precarious place on this earth, I also believe that a bit of levity can buoy the heaviness of our daily lives. Last week on FaceBook I, therefore, posted a bit of humour that was accompanied with a photo of my neighbour and I digging in the tennis court.


My neighbour Stan and I were digging in the tennis court yesterday when I turned to Stan and said: “Stan, I’m really feeling my age today. I just hurt all over, how are you feeling?”

Stan replied: “I feel just like a new born babe.”

I put my shovel down and looked at him startled: “A new born babe! Really?”

“Yep, I have no hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants.”

I was surprised when a friend left the comment: “Are you mad?” I know she meant to be kindly towards my aging body by questioning the wisdom of doing something so physically demanding.

But besides wanting to ask whether or not she found it funny, I also want to ask: “Are you not mad? If not, why not?”

Whether in our personal lives or around us locally/globally, there is every reason to be mad. Instead, we spend most of our time trying to be nice and don’t allow a flush of anger to be voiced when our boundaries are trampled upon.

At an Anger Expression workshop I attended over the weekend (not anger management workshop), these two quotes made a lot of sense:

“We can’t set a boundary and take care of someone else at the same time. It’s impossible.”

“Anger is a connection to our spirituality and creativity.”

A good anger acted upon
is beautiful as lightning
and swift with power.
A good anger swallowed,
a good anger swallowed
clots the blood
to slime.

Marge Piercy, from “A just anger”

Digging is an act of faith for me. Only when my body, soul and spirit are being soiled do I best understand the feral song of cock and cunt that is my/our animal birthright. A birthright I will defend with every tired sinew of my body. I refuse the comfort of a deadening “sensible” job and a life in a sterile world. Whenever the Machine attempts to seduce, silence and strangle the world and myself, I will dig in to maintain an anger necessary to do what, at times, does frighten me.

Paraphrasing the Finnish epic the Kalevala:
“Of what use are we artists…
If no fire spurts from our mouths…
… and no smoke from our words.”

Below is a short, funny video of one and a half hours digging reduced to 25 seconds. Enjoy.

Digging from Peter Adams on Vimeo.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara (Sulis) August 13, 2013 at 3:15 am

Love this!!! (including the graduated change of attire)

glenn August 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm

I liked this post of yours Peter

I would guess, to some degree, most of us in the industrialized world survive a deadening “sensible” job. And maybe at some point, we have the option of saying enough is enough.

It seems a difficult proposition to gain access to the benefits of the industrial system without having to participating in it to some degree. While at the same time living a fully wild human animal existence.

Maybe there need not be an either or? Maybe we have simply surrendered too much of our true selves, in exchange for a more comfortable life and need to claw back a little more of the good stuff.

Like getting ya gruds off in the wilds :-)

Rock on Pete.


Prue July 31, 2013 at 8:59 am

Haha luv it…. I thought the joke was funny mate I had a good laugh and I half expected youz to get nakid at the end ov that video…… great fun :)

Allan Moult July 30, 2013 at 10:43 am

Bloody brilliant, and I love the final frame.

Fine feral fun.

peter July 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm

We both are aware of each other’s medical history and the hardships incurred, so it was with great delight this morning when I heard your extended, heart felt belly laugh while you were viewing the video. Made all the hassles of putting the video on-line worth it.

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