"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

28 August 2020

 It's quite obvious that the sci-fi and disaster films are truly fiction. As good a mythology as that presented in a religious text. 


Humanity uniting in a time of crisis? Oh, how vvveeerrryyy droll...


Terrorist attack? Inside job! Clash of civilizations!


Pandemic? No worse than the flu! Biggest virus in over a century!


Civil unrest? Anarchy! Reckoning!


Climate change? A hoax! An extinction event!


And somewhere in the middle is truth, but we, as a species, are too solipsistic to notice or care...


Fuck all y'all. It's days like this and times like these I remind myself I all but gave up on the species when I was eight.

07 July 2020

Facetime

My parallel about what's going on in the world with the pestilence and what the powers that be asked us to do after 9/11 and the now almost twenty years of a surveillance state. When 9/11 first happened, more people were willing to just go along with what the powers that be deemed necessary for the greater good than not. In recent meditation, I think I may have come across a reason why; tangibly.

A terrorist has a face, a virus does not. You can hear, see, smell, taste, and feel a terrorist. A virus can seep straight through you and it's not real until you're actually sick. The virus is so much more of an abstract than the terrorist.

That's why some dismiss out of hand; it's not tangible. Just a story to frighten us. The powers that be cannot declare a military victory over it. Instead, focus on the faces. Focus on the economy.

Ever notice those pieces of paper are imbued with the tangibility of a face?

04 July 2020

Just think, if the insurrection of 1776CE had been crushed, such hoopy froods as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin would be remembered as traitors and the stars and stripes a symbol of treason.  This would be just another day.

Only in the US is a failed rebellion romanticized. That status were erected to venerate traitors to the union and a battle flag of treason is flown in certain places and at certain events. Only in the US is treason a virtue, and those who would champion this concept as virtue hypocritically call themselves patriots.

Isn't that something?

02 April 2020

I am more solitary by nature, so being away from my fellow hominids is not terrible. Towns are for social experience, trails are for reflection, meditation, and reverence. Out there is what some may call holy or profane. Perhaps. What I know is it does not play favorites.
However, Homo sapiens are social animals. With the exception of Orangutans, all of the Great Apes are. Not that I'd call humans great. Somewhere between okay and fair to middling, perhaps. From a zoological, anthropological, and sociological standpoint, I am very interested to see how this pestilence changes the way we, as a species, interact. The coming months are going to be very telling of how we adapt.

25 March 2020

A little over twenty-nine years back, but not quite thirty, I was helping a buddy with his photography final. It involved me standing by his Scout as he took double exposure photographs, my hair and duster blowing in the wind. It was phantasmal, and artsy, oh so rock and/or roll.
Things got to taking longer than expected and I phoned home to give an update. I got my little brother. So I gave him the scoop and went about my business.
At the photo studio, we got the news; Operation Desert Shield had morphed into Operation Desert Storm. War was upon us. Via conversations and hanging out, as eighteen year old immortals are wont to do, it was again later. So I called home again, this time getting my mother.
"Where the fuck have been?!?" She demanded. Such a sweet and compassionate soul, my mother. One who had such a sense of lyrical language that I often wondered why she didn't follow in her parents' political footsteps.
Well, she did ask me a question and I did tell her. The fact my brother fucked up and neglected to deliver my initial message was irrelevant. This was somehow all my fault.
"You didn't check in and dinner's almost ready!" She said. "And there's a war on, you know?"
It was my turn to ask what the fuck...
I don't know that there's a point to this tale another than it has been rattling around in my skull all day...

22 February 2020

I have written the first draft of my father's requiem. There is symmetry, twisted, in its countenance, that his death was within ten years and change of my mother's. In late summer, we scatter his ashes under the bristle cone where we left my mother ten years back.

So it goes...

16 June 2019

A Father's Day Tale

It was many years ago, I was perhaps ten or eleven, that we all sat down for a Sunday dinner. There was roast, potatoes, broccoli, and salad. My mother, at the start of the meal, mentioned she was going on a diet and not to be served too much. My father, the compassionate soul he is, was more than happy to oblige. After all, he deeply loved my mother.

He cut the thinnest sliver of roast. A single wedge of potato. The very smallest floret of broccoli. Then he paused to look upon his beloved.

"Would you care for salad, dear?"

By this time my mother was not much caring about the presence of her three young children as her middle fingers flew fast and liberally...

Years later, but a few years back from today, I recounted this tale to a couple of pals. At the end, one looked up at me and said;

"So you're telling me it's genetic."

To this day I have no idea what she meant...

15 January 2019

Winter Hymn

There comes a point in September, when the streets of our towns and backroads are chocked with all manner of vehicle, and slack-jawed rubes the wide-world over want to know where the best place to see aspens are-they're fucking leaves, people!-that I catch myself all but preying for and upon the first of October. See, by then, the only leaves left are defiant scraps of rust and faded saffron. The last of the summer tourists  have scuttled back to their homeplaces and lives they seek to escape from by means of vacation, gone until either the snows of winter and spinning lifts or when it is green and warm here once more.

October is when it supposed to slow down up here, but that is not really true. This is when the hunters come; camo drag and money spent out of guilt for family left back home. There are still tourists too; Europeans and cats who know some things might be closed or are getting ready to close for the coming winter, but it is not as crowded. Some of us travel during October.

Well, how about November? Around here, not so much. We host the Sheep Festival, honoring one of the biggest herds of bighorn in the state. The non-profit, which runs my professional obligations, hosts a volunteer party of some to-do that a good portion of the community shows up for at least a cocktail or two. And, of course, Thanksgiving, when we must once more reunite with further-flung family with gluttony and professional sports to properly kick off the drinking season.

December? Ha! I say. The first two weekends of that month up here are the Christmas Market. There is the attendant brain-damage of the holidays, and December houses some fourteen or fifteen of them, aside from Christmas. For someone of a more solitary nature, it can be a bit of a psychic maelstrom.

Then it is full on winter. January and February. Oh, fuck yes.

It is dark. It is cold. At professional obligations, time is suspended in agonizing amber. If one goes out, it is in layers-no bad weather, just the wrong clothes.

However , it is quiet...

This is when I wander the snow and ice sculptured landscape in meditative contemplation, recharging from the rigors of summer and autumn. I watch the winter stars with small smiles. The music I listen to has a more introspective countenance. As January ends, I watch the slow creep of direct sunlight back upon my house, telling me the Long Dark is over and it is now mid-winter.

Here and now, the dawning of direct sunlight is about two weeks away. I anxiously watch the far valley wall, as I do this time of year. At my professional obligations, Senpai complains about the state of things, but, if he didn't, I'd be digging a hole, or, at least contacting the paramedics. I wander, listening to the rhythms and rhymes of the cosmos. It is winter. Here and now, I rejuvenate.

23 December 2018

Mountain Moonlight

There is something about a full moon night in the mountains in winter; the silence, the way the refracted light illuminates in the countenance of diamonds in dragon's hoard. I stood out back to look at the moon. There was someone I once knew whom of which we'd excitedly call each other over the state of the moon we were seeing, but that was long, long ago. Another story for another time.
And perhaps a bottle of whiskey...
I looked at the moon through a set of ancient binoculars my father got for us to see Halley's Comet, back when I was thirteen, some fifteen hundred years back now. The view of the moon was as good as through my telescope without the time of set up, scope, and focus. Even here, away from city lights, there were few stars this night.
There was a breeze. Gales, up higher. Looking to the high peaks, glowing phantasmal in the moonlight, were the snow devils; their orographic bones being blown across the ridge lines. I smiled silently at the zen excellence of it all.
If you ever need to ask me why I love it here, you'll never know...

25 July 2018

Stand

So, let's talk about rock and/or roll...

Okay, maybe not. How about instead we talk about a sense of place? About that, which is intangible? About the price of admission? About lines in the sand?

It was not too long ago I spoke down from the mount about being presented with a grand opportunity. One, which would be outright folly to pass by. We opted to make it work. Word has gotten around. Here in the mountains, in these small places, secrets are a very hard thing to keep, and I am adept at keeping secrets. Like being both a masked vigilante and an esoteric porn star.

Oh! Did I just say too much?

The thing is the price of admission. Everything has a price. That is the very nature of the Deal. Only cheap things are purchased with bits of folding paper and jingling coins.

I have found myself afflicted with a crippling sense of grief. Look out my front door, I see a twelve-thousand two-hundred eighty-seven foot peak with no distinct trail that I have summited three times. Go out back, I spy, with my too-big-for-the-rest-of-my-face eyes, a twelve-thousand two-hundred-seventy-five foot peak that catches the first light of day, and, in its bosom, cradles the bones of an aerial tramway that operated in the early years of the twentieth century, which I have yet to get to. I live where others come to vacation.

When I first came here, I felt, head, heart, and gut I had found my place in the world. Though I am not given to the nuance of such things as romance, I find I can only describing it was when one first falls in love; you know what has happened, but trying to make logical sense of it, or, put it into coherent words, is another animal. Sometimes, I wonder if it is a similar sensation my sister-in-law gets when she steps into her megachurch and is delivered scripture.

A few days back, a preservationist of my acquaintance and admiration asked me when I was leaving. This was a practicality, in a sense, given my involvements in my community, one such thing is a land use commission with her. With a bit of flippancy, I told her I was sorry to disappoint, but it may be a bit. Sabina would say it's because we're in the throes of summer, and it's the sweet time when it's almost perfect here, but it's more than that.

As we spoke, the preservationist of my acquaintance and admiration mentioned she can go somewhere for months-of course because of who she is-and immerse herself in a place, but there is an intangible that draws her back and keeps her here. I totally get it. The intangibility has been the source of my bouts of melancholy.

I remember my youthful wish of wanting to live in either a nature reserve or a museum. Making the intangible tangible, I got that. A friend of mine once said Heaven grants all its gifts with a righteous fury. I do not believe in Heaven, unless I say that is what I have. Nor do I believe in righteous fury, because if you are right, there is no need for fury, and, if you are wrong, you cannot afford it. However, brass tacks and bedposts, I got that wish I made so many years and lifetimes ago. I know that down into my marrow.

How can I sacrifice this for that? I have meditated and agonized over it. In the end, I find I am unwilling to contemplate the option of all or nothing.

Will the opportunity be taken? Certainly. However, it will be on my terms and no one else's. Not the whims or pressures of friends, family, acquaintances, or even the Department of Transportation trying to manipulate travel routes to get more tourists to the resorts. Should you try, muster all the armies of the heavens, earth, and the hellscapes, but, make sure to pack your white flag of surrender lest I march through all of you, but not before taking out my ire upon three generations of all of your families, for I am possessed of glacial patience and a fertile imagination.

Be careful...

I figured out living in the middle of a city. I figured out the love and affection of a quirky blond x-goth/metal girl. I have figured out the mountains as they continue to surprise and amaze me. I will figure out this opportunity, but not at the sacrifice of somewhere I intangibly see as my place in the world.

This is my line in the sand. Here is where I will make my stand.