"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

22 December 2013


It was four years ago this past Tuesday that you went into the sickhouse and never came back out. You told me it wasn't your last rodeo and I spent longer than I'd like to admit being angry at you for unintentionally lying to me. Whenever I look up at the ridge of Leavenworth Mountain, toward the ruins of Waldorf on the other side of that ridge, where we scattered your immolated bones, I smile bittersweetly, thinking perhaps you're really not that far away after all.

When I saw her kneeling to snap a photograph, I saw you. Right down to the Carhartt ranch jacket. The same hair-before you got sick and the chemo shaved you bald-and the same smile. Even a similar lack of chin. I tried very hard not to stare.

With purposeful stride I put some distance between us. Once I rounded a corner, I caught myself trembling slightly. As with most any time I see a ghost of memory, I found myself rattled. There were so many things I wanted to ask and tell, but she wouldn't have understood. But part of me thinks I should be grateful for that doppelganger in the Carhartt ranch jacket that looked so disturbingly like you. If I allow myself a moment of superstition, I could theorize it was your way of letting me know you're really not that far away after all.


  1. Seems almost rude to intrude on this reverent piece by commenting, but I must anyway. Wonderfully written. In a cyber-wasteland of rather dull blogs, yours is one that is genuinely worth reading for the literary merit.

    Plus you're a struggling Buddhist, a lover of wilderness, and (apparently) a liberal in your politics. A kindred spirit, to be sure.


  2. Heretical Buddhist...no real struggle there ;p.

    Thank you for your kind words...

  3. Beautiful post...

    Ghost messages. The best part is that you recognize it when appear. No wonder they visit you...

    1. Thank you. Although, at first, I couldn't help but wonder if the universe was fucking with me.