“This is the most beautiful place on earth.
There are many such places. Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary. A houseboat in Kashmir, a view down Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, a gray gothic farmhouse two stories high at the end of a red dog road in the Allegheny Mountains, a cabin on the shore of a blue lake in spruce and fir country, a greasy alley near the Hoboken waterfront, or even, possibly, for those of a less demanding sensibility, the world seen from a comfortable apartment high in the tender, velvety smog of Manhattan, Chicago, Paris, Tokyo, Rio or Rome-there’s no limit to the human capacity for the homing sentiment. Theologians, sky pilots, astronauts have even felt the appeal of home calling them from up above, in the cold back outback of interstellar space.”-Edward Abbey
“I think everybody has a landscape they’re designed for, and if you’re lucky, you find it…”-Bill McKibben
"What drew you up here?" A traveler asked me once. The sun was setting. Anyone playing along at home knows I'm a sucker for sunsets, although I might just suck.
"A juxtaposition of geography and Tibetan prayer flags," I said finally, and with a soft sort of reverence in my tone that one might think was more fitting for whatever deity one chooses to worship or ignore, and, from someone like me, might be missed if my tone wasn't listened to close enough. It wasn't a lie.
"Do you ever get tired of it?" I was asked. You'd think he'd just confessed to raping ten year olds, with a cactus, for the look I gave him. But, at least, I didn't...accidentally...eviscerate him. That might have been awkward to explain.
...Well, Constable, it's a funny story, really; see, he asked me an addle-brained question, and I had my knife opened, and, well, it would seem his entrails suddenly just fell out. It wasn't my fault. Really. You believe me, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight?...
"No," I said with an accent of a feral growl. "Never. I'd want to be shot in the face, twice, if I even considered it."
It wasn't too long ago it was the anniversary of when we came up here on a lark. Ain't that always the way? The day I decided this was where I needed to be and Sabina decided we needed to figure a way up. This time of year, as summer rears its warm and gentle head, I catch myself thinking about that day, and that summer, when we ran for the hills at every opportunity, working up the escape velocity to get home.
I was seventeen and omnipotent when Cap'in Toke told us about the road to Kashmir. Perhaps it's a funny twist of fate-if there really is such a thing-that I took his stoned rant so dear to heart. There was that girl in the mask who spoke of us all having our own Africas. A similar concept. That one place in the whole of existence where you feel you belong. The one place, which is truly home.
Over the years and lifetimes, in the course of telling stories, I have invented more than one place. Some more fantastical than others. Growing up, I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, hearing the siren's song of places that never were or would never be. An escape, perhaps; the world of bullies and mundanities not being for me.
These days, I don't read a lot of fictions. I've caught myself being sucker by travel writers, what for the tales of their treks. Maybe it's because I've been close to more than one gypsy soul. There's been but one fiction that's been keeping my attention as of late, but I perhaps it's because I perceive it as a spider's web to unravel.
The demonic inference probably helps too...
I found myself wondering if when you live somewhere that's fucking magic that the need for the escape to other realms becomes irrelevant. All the magic you'll ever need happens before your eyes every heartbeat. That the mythical concept of a heaven ceases to be a goal to be achieved, because you're already there. It's where you live and love and work and play. Hell is all the places your Kashmir isn't. For me, it's where the land ain't all pointed-like.
Perhaps I am being melodramatic. My own confirmation bias. Or, perhaps, as absurd as it seems, this stretch of geography pulls at the soul I don't even know for sure I have in ways language fails to explain.
Summer is coming to my mountains. Leaves have finally popped, nay, exploded, upon the deciduous trees. Shorts, sandals, grilling, bonfires, and camping under a big sky with cool scent of warm-awakened evergreen as the incense. I sport the most wicked grin of joy as I think of the mantra of our neighbor, a former county dog-catcher-"animal-control officer, get it fucking right!"-in that gruff misanthropic Brooklyn Jewish accent of his;
"I'm livin' the dream!"
The man's my one of my latest heroes...