"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

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.


  1. March does bring on an introspective mood, if one is bent that way. 4 days ago it was 52, this morning 16 and snowing. The days themselves seem unable to decide wtf they are doing.

    In my younger days, when I was 30, 40 or 50 I had little room for introspection; it was either now or tomorrow, the past was just that, gone. Now March brings on a tentative hopefulness. Appears I've made it through the winter, and will have another Montana summer.

    When I retired, seems I went to hell in a hurry; not having that 'tomorrow', the new research project, the prospect of new challenges. Instead, introspection reared it's head, and I had to face the thoughts of what the hell it all meant. Is/was that it?? That was all, no more?
    I had no philosophy to shield me, no koan, no mantra.
    I still don't, some health issues have given me a seeming equanimity.....yeah, I think, that was it, that was, in fact, all.
    When I first left my profession there was a period of calls, visits, people telling me it wouldn't be the same without me.
    Turns out, they got along fine without me; the calls become less frequent, then stop. People move on fine without you.
    I'm still figuring it out, but at least the blackness has lifted.

    1. There are days when I think there are times of year, which bring introspection, be it those times of the seasons sloughing their linear skins, the cold white of deep winter, or the socially constructed holidays. Other times, I think it's just one's wiring. Some just do and some just don't.

      I do believe we're all still figuring it out. The day you stop figuring is when it's lights out and all fall down. Although I'd never dare to claim to be enlightened, I think an aspect of it is the acknowledgement that you don't know everything and never will.

      It's good you're blackness has lifted. My friend of which I was speaking is still struggling with his.