Tashtun. Old Women

I continued on to Tashtun, where I ran into Mischa, building a dam of rock and soil in the small river; he was directing the water into a large tube that would power his mill. I took off my shoes, hiked up my pant legs, and jumped in to throw large clumps of sod into the pile. I saw ‘fool’s gold’ there, and the cool flowing river and slippery rocks reminded me of my favorite swimming hole back home. Set deep in the forests of the Cascade Mountain Range, I also found ‘fool’s gold’ there.

We came down to find a small stone building where the water was powering a stone wheat grinder that was old, heavy, natural, and beautiful, its heavy parts and loud sounds grinding the wheat with a ton of round stone. I left the old barn to continue up into the village, where I met a very old lady who was spinning chunks of wool into yarn. She was old, fragile, short with an even shorter fuse, and she was charming. I could tell she was beautiful when she was younger, and she still had a fiery spirit. She was sitting on her knees, and hand spinning wool; it is an art that she learned when she got married, and she has been doing it ever since. The art will probably die with her. None of her children or grandchildren plan to continue the work; they have better things to do than make thick socks for their relatives.
And now I’m writing this blog at 11:30 pm, in the village’s mayor’s office; he’s given us the keys after interviewing him. We need to use the internet and empty our hard drives. We’ve been here for 3 hours when suddenly a large truck, blasting Zurna music, pulls up. He comes out, clearly drunk, cut-off sleeves, strong arms, looking 20 years older than he actually is. He is Ando, the son of the miller, and he wants to have a drink with us. We tell him about our plans to climb up with horses. He says, ”You are going with that idiot Ando from Lichk? So, that’s why he took my horse…” It’s a small of corner the world.