"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 March 2014

Happy Birthday/yadhtribnU yppaH

It was a bit of small world the first time he volunteered for me. He spoke of being involved in the rule of law and somehow a particular jail was brought up. The one my grandmother and a few other county commissioners spent the night at before it opened. My favorite political cartoon of my grandmother comes from that event.

"What was her name?" The magistrate asked me, and I told him. He smiled broadly. "I knew your grandmother. I knew your grandfather."

Regularly, he'll mention how much he enjoys volunteering under me. That if my days of obligations ever changed, as would his days of volunteerism. He brings me issues of National Geographic because I no longer have a subscription. Because he knows I'll read them. One of the last times we interacted, we spoke of books from our childhood.

He popped by today, to remind me it was his birthday. The Matron was tossing a bit of gathering down at the local pizzeria to celebrate. He wanted to make sure I was coming by for at least a libation.

"Oh, and happy birthday," the magistrate said, handing me a book. "Even though it's not your birthday."

It was that book from my childhood I'd told him about; Everyone Knows What a Dragon looks Like. The book that made it possible for me to believe a friend of mine was possessed of dragon mojo. That dragons can frolic in the form of clouds. I was nearly rendered speechless. There was a lump in my throat, the same kind I had the day my daughter graduated high school.

"It's my unbirthday, Signore," I said finally, my voice just above a whisper. Then, I regained my composure-hou lian, hei tsin.  With a bit of smirk I said; "I'll be there. If anything, I owe you a drink. Or two."

25 March 2014

Winds of Change

It could best be described as spring fever, or perhaps seasonal burnout, my mental state as of late. I've been loath to don a jacket of any kind, and even a vest has been an imposition. There has been a deep-seated desire, bordering on a junkie's need, to go to the Alpine Garden Center. Never mind starts won't be available until early May and we've yet to renew our community garden plot, I want to go poking around. My rationalization to Sabina is perhaps we can at least acquire further ornamentation for the flower beds and around the property, to help with its sense of funk, because you gotta have the funk.

It's boggy mud and crusty dirty snow around town. More and more yard becomes visible. Daily, I find myself excavating evidence of the hounds from bygone blizzards. Something I dislike about this time of year, I admit, but waiting everything is fully thawed and melted is a sense of macabre I dare not even contemplate, and I'm a contemplative kind of guy, if you've not noticed.

The trails are studies in mud, ice, crusted snow, and bare rock. This is the time of year, when going on walkabout, sometimes you carry the snowshoes with you and perhaps end up not using them. Depending upon the face, skiers and boarders bitch about how the occasional fresh powder we get does little to cover the freeze-thaw crusts. The cast of light has shifted from winter's harsh and distant glare. It's so blissfully warm one day and snowing the next. The face of springtime in the Rockies.

The winds have howled through our Sahel, sculpting the snow in interesting ways. When going up the 730 the other day, I paused more than once to watch the snow devils dance across the high peaks. Phantasmal colossi, stretching into the jetstream, leaving their fragmented remains across the mountainsides. It is something I find fascinating.

Sabina mentioned a jones for sandals, and I do empathize. I'd like to wear shorts and ride my bicycle again. Of course, my bicycle is in our back folly and the door is behind what is easily a five foot drift of snow. So it goes. This gives me perspective; in order to get to my bicycle, or to gain access to the folly, I must be patient. The same can be said for wearing shorts and sandals.

My patience is formidable, not infinite, but formidable...

At the Cabin Fever Dance we spoke with some fellow drop-outs from down below. Cats we were acquainted with back in the greater metroplex, although, Sabina moreso than I, but she is more outgoing. We spoke of the differences between that urban existence and the pace of life up here.

I mentioned how I am not nearly as nocturnal as I once was. These days, midnight is late enough for me. Of course, I grew up in rural environments on a farm, my happy-waking-up-of-my-own-power time of nineish would be considered sleeping in, and, depending on what I'm doing with my day, I see it as such too. How things change.

Of course, any time I get too suckered into how much things have changed in the course of my forty-one and change years, I take a good long look in the mirror at the aberration staring back. Too tall, too skinny, with eyes too big for the rest of my face. Long, thick, wavy, bordering upon curly hair, tattoos and piercings. It's then I ask myself what really has changed.

Lots of things. A fair amount have stayed the same. Mei fei tsu. It's a matter of balance; light and shadow, fire and water, chocolate and peanut butter. One cannot exist without the other.

A warm breeze blows and our tiny world thaws every so slowly, changing from deep winter to early spring. Mud. Meteorological prophecy foretells snow, but that's the way of it. The cyclic wheel turns and I sit back, sipping my tea, listening to the rhythms and rhymes of the cosmos, content with my part in it. Soon enough, there will be shorts and sandals, I just need to be patient, but that's not a problem. After all, my patience is formidable.    

21 March 2014

A Clichéd Lesson

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a common place thing, but burn burn burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..."-Jack Kerouac

I have spoken before of the magic and madness, which is March. Sometimes, I feel it more than others. At times, whether through my own recollections or something from previous times being brought up, I find myself either smiling, perhaps bittersweetly, or being tired, emotional, and really wanting to eviscerate someone...with a spork. Depends on the day, the year, the hour. So it goes.

The last week has been a whirlwind of activities. My daughter was up for spring break and there was an extra bout of obligations. There was the historical society meeting and a daytrip of quietly shifting landscapes. We saw a bald eagle that day. At least I think we did. See, it was combing its feathers all to one side and shooting lascivious glances at other birds that were really not its type. It was really kind of vulgar. Coming up, a presentation on the Santiago Mill and the Cabin Fever Dance, which I always help do the clean up for, but at least there'll be whiskey and perhaps even rum.

I told Job I'd felt busier than a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest or a three peckered goat, depending on the cliché. Job is very found of clichés, stating they contain great cosmic truths therein. It took me a few years to spot on to what he meant. Over the years and lifetimes, I have had the pleasure to know many extraordinary people. Job is one of them, even if he thinks I give him too much credit.

We spoke of our lives as they moved apace; his perdition and my paradise. When I told him about feeling busy and a little tired, he reminded me to revel in it, enjoy being young, because, to his mind, I'm probably still in my roaring twenties. We spoke of living the passions and dreams. I have often felt that I have always been on a sort of path, be it concept of Kashmir, getting published, or just living like it's one big adventure. Something I've sometimes referred to as a Tao of Chaos. Job also believes he has been privileged to know some passionate extraordinary individuals. He says I am one of them and I tell him he gives me far too much credit.

"It's trite," he said, so I knew a well-worn phrase was next. "But once my minister told me if you have one foot in the past and the other in future, you're pissing on the present and the present is a gift."

Funny, I'd been wrestling with the urge to eviscerate over some memories from a March so very long ago now. That little cliché reminded me of where it was; the past. There was nothing I could do about it now and I have little time for regret. I'm far too busy reveling in the moment, that trite gift my friend pointed out, to feed the dragon.    

Our conversation did not last long after that. As always, we promised to speak again. Maybe even see one another. Although, his condition and circumstance makes a visit to the mountains difficult and my reasons for going down below diminish by the day-I'm sorry, you're sorry. So it goes.

"You take care of yourself and we'll talk to you," he said, hanging up.

"Of course, mon ami, and thank you," perhaps one day, if he asks, I tell him what I meant, but maybe, I don't need to.

12 March 2014

Lions and Lambs

For two days, we had the fifties. Y'know; beatniks, jazz, communist witch hunts, and early rock and/or roll. Okay, maybe not so much, but that was the way the mercury hung on the fahrenheit scale in quaint 'Merican degrees. It was fantastic. A romantic might say the air tasted of kisses with the promise of more to come. The next time I run into a romantic, after I help them up, I'll ask, as to confirm the hypothesis.

Yesterday, the ambient air temperature struggled to get above that of frozen water and the snow came. It was sloppy. There was enough fog and accidents and closures about that I took to saying the roads were broken and the mountains were closed. Not everyone got my use of humor to make light of the situation, and you'd think by now I'd be used to that. Yet the feeling of having to explain fire to an Australopithecus can qualify as frustrating.

Try it some time if you think I'm making it up...

The hounds and I woke to the sainted bluebird skies and the morning chill being chased away by Sol's radiation. We may see the forties. Y'know; swing, Nazis, and Casablanca. Okay, maybe not so much, but it might be where the mercury hangs  on the fahrenheit scale in quaint 'Merican degrees, and, congregation, let us prey.

In helping out a friend/fellow proletariat, obligations prevented me from going on walkabout yesterday, which vaguely sucked, because I wanted to see how far the avalanche down Cherokee Gulch really ran, but mei fei tsu. The necessities of laundry and going to souk prevent me from wandering into the bush today. I repeat myself in saying so it goes.

Still, we're hopping over the Roof of the World for errands and adventures amongst the resort towns. The sky is clear and sun is shining. It's supposed to be clear and warm for the next few days before the next shot of snow. My next free day promises to be a sainted bluebird and I'll go walking then. And because it's me and I refuse to bare my jugular to boredom, I'll still have adventures in between on these lion and lamb days, because I'd be checking to see if bullets were edible otherwise.  

09 March 2014

100 Words; First Grilling

It was a truly delicious day; that kind of turquoise blue sky and little breeze. The sun was wonderful, bordering upon warm, on my face. Perfect. Well, as perfect as it can get without getting boring.

We trekked to some ruins in the seductive sunlight. My vest has been my top layer for the last three days. It began to feel almost hot out.

No, it's not shorts and sandals weather...yet. However, we uncovered the grill and had steak and roasted peppers. Beer and wine chilled in the snowbank but a few feet away.

This is how we roll...

04 March 2014

Return of the Dragons and the Omens of Mud

I have spoken of the dragons before. More than once, in fact. My first encounter with a reference to the Long Wang was in my roaring twenties and I was looking up the names of various deities in various cultures, because, really, what else are you going to do on Thursday afternoon at some telecorp where one's a spin doctor propagandist for money? The description I read was the Lords of Rain and Funerals. Being in my roaring twenties, interested in the far, far east, and perhaps a little too impressed with my own intelligence, I was, quite naturally intrigued.

Deities? That are dragons? I saw nothing wrong with this formula.

Afterward, in a a classic example of Confirmation Bias, I started to see Chinese dragons in mist and cumulonimbus clouds. I've gone as far as to call them dragon clouds just because. Sometimes, I think of it sort of like the film Excalibur and Merlin's dragon. I've never felt bad about perceiving the dragons the way I do. It's not as though I expect them to answer my prayers, because, after all, I only prey in context of the food chain.


We were over at a neighbor's after a walkabout reading the bible and drinking lemonade. Seriously and stop fucking snickering. We'd already shared some white chilling in a snowbank. I had been sent back to the house to retrieve something when I noticed a certain type of cloud rearing over Leavenworth Mountain. Showing back up at the neighbor's, I wore the most wicked grin of joy.

"They're back," I told Sabina.

"Who?" She asked me.

"The dragons," I replied and she smirked.

"Dragons?" My neighbor seemed a little confused, and I had to tell him a tale, the one I just told you.


Seeing the dragons is one of those omens of warmer weather. It already seems to be the beginnings of High Country spring here, ready or not. Every day, there appears to be a new omen of the spinning of the cyclic wheel. The mud-slicked streets. Bits of yard begin to peek out from under the deep drifts, boggy in its countenance. The river flows freely. That sort of subtle humidity, which comes with the thawing and constant daytime melting of snow permeates the thin mountain air.

It is, indeed, mud season, and those official notations, the equinox and our annual Cabin Fever Dance, are just aspects of  window-dressing for those who need to be spoon-fed everything...

We look to go snowshoeing around Nederland in a day, hosted by a friend I've not seen and scarcely communicated with in a bit. A walkabout in territory we're not as familiar with, which is the spice of high adventure. There's supposed to be a fresh dusting, which, if true to the season, will be assimilated and half-melted by the time the sun climbs to mid-sky. It should be mostly clear, but I cannot help but wonder if I might see some of the first dragons slithering across the sky, watching, preparing to bring the rains.