"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

06 February 2010


Both Sabina and I love to go clambering around the various ruins around our Kashmir. Exploring and finding the secrets therein. Sabina, especially, is fascinated with the history of this place. All of us, gathered like refugees within the shadow of the fallen civilization, come and gone, known as the mining days.

It was the snakeoil salesman who runs the Loop Railroad, knowing Sabina's interest in the names of all the mines, that first told her of the Morningstar. Supposedly, getting close to the Morocco depot, there is the spot of abandon railway cars, called the Morningstar. Rail workers radio from that locale. According to the snakeoil salesman, somewhere down Cemetery Hill, is the ruins of a miner's cabin and collapsed shaft.

And, of course, Sabina wanted to find this. Me, being Sabina's lifemate and more than willing to have a walkabout adventure, was more than willing to go. Besides, I once wanted to be an archaeologist. Ruins intrigue me. And I am always up for an adventure and the possibility of collecting the stories contained therein.

We scoured that hillside from one end to the other and found no miner's cabin. Sabina reminisced about the tales of the mythical Brigadoon. I found that strangely appropriate and could not help but wonder if, all in good fun, the snakeoil salesman had sent Sabina snipe hunting.

Oh, we found artifacts and bones and magic. I am convinced the rules of reality, if there are such things, are wildly different here. There was the intricate lean-to blind and Milarepa's kill-find. The cast of daylight on the mountainside was the same softness I often see in summer. Amazing.

We slogged through deep snow and up hillsides, not bothering with the trivialities of trails. It was exhausting, though we did not realize it at the time. There was the marvel of the river being sheathed in a coat of sapphire blue ice. At one point, we did a bit of exploring around the Loop Railroad's sanctioned ruins of the Lebanon Mine, before heading back for home.

Sabina wants to bitch-slap the snakeoil salesman and demand he take us to these purported ruins. She wants to make sure as to whether Brigadoon is reality or fancy. Not that I blame her. I'd hold him down for it if it would make my lifemate happy. Still, I do not consider the walkabout a miscarriage by any stretch of the imagination. After all, we still had an adventure.

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