"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

17 May 2014


Sabina found the perfect place to picnic on the shores the reservoir with musics of rushing water and the cries of ospreys for the backbeat. Fantastic. We had summer sausage, cheeses, crackers. bread, chocolate, and a old vine tempranillo. The landscape we had driven across reminded us of what a fantastic place we had come to call home. We discussed alternate routes to get to the Great Stupa for our yearly pilgrimage, which would involve not leaving the mountains at all.

"Bet when you gave me that paper wasp's nest you didn't think it'd play out like this," I said as we toasted. "Such a sweet thing."

"Sweeter than the acorn?" Sabina asked me and I nodded. She smiled her I-love-you smile. "I guess I had you at wasp's nest."

"If you had gotten me a tarantula, I might've swooned," I said.

Sabina, because she's a girl, shuddered. I've never gotten the fear of spiders given any human is hundreds of times bigger than any arachnid and their blood has no coagulants. Of course, my irrational animal fear is sharks, made even more irrational by the fact I live very far from any ocean. Any time someone chides me for that but shudders at the mention of how I once kept spiders, I chuckle at the absurdity. I also fondly remember how my daughter asked me for a tarantula for her sixth birthday.

Excuse me...there's some dust in the room...no! It's nothing! I'm fine!

Stop laughing...

Job called me from the desert that night to let me know he made it. I told him his new role as caregiver to the blind parents of a friend was a good thing. He was once a constable and even did security work. It seemed hardwired into him to serve and protect. Although we spoke of keeping in touch, the conversation had shades of goodbye, which depressed me, because, in my personal construct, goodbye means over and done with for forever and ever, amen. Because we've sometimes gone for long periods without talking, another part of me warns myself not to panic.

I have been meditating upon the concept of burnt bridges. Both unintentional and otherwise. Job's phone call somehow got me to remembering back to when we buried my father's mother. I'd not set foot in North Carolina in sixteen years at that time and hadn't felt bad about it, but it'd been over a year since I'd seen my father. Sure, we'd spoken on the phone once or twice, but not physically been in one another's presence for the time it takes the world to truck around the sun.

"You need to stop worrying about it, boy," my father said in his rich Carolina accent. "The road goes both ways."

That said, that remembered, was a nice little metaphoric backfist. A reminder that losing touch with some of the cats from high school I may have once considered friends, university chums, or even friends from my ten years in the metroplex, is not the end of the world-actually, the end of the world is the eastern border of our Sahel as far as I'm concerned and here be dragons. John and Paul-the Beatles, not the biblical prophets-may have summed it up best;

"Ob-la dee,
Ob-la da,
Life goes on...well,
life goes on..."

It's queer, but I've gotten funny looks and eye-rolls when I mention that bit of wisdom...

I do find it interesting the roads we've all taken. Sabina and I on the path of pine needles and smoothed river stones with our grand mountain adventure, Job with his sojourn into the deserts. Sabina's friend will be here in a day, his road down out Montana, to hopefully dance with the wolves. There is something to be said for the metaphor of the road going on forever, because, as far as I'm concerned, the day you reach the end it is the day it's lights out.

I can't speak for ya'll, even if I knew the language, but I'm far too busy for that...      


  1. It's a joy to have the kind of relationship it sounds like you have with an offspring, isn't it? I'm fortunate enough to have the same with my two girls. Somebody, maybe Bruce Springsteen?, coined it when he sang "...nothing feels better than blood with blood" though he was talking about siblings. And watching them become adults, moving on themselves....the times my three all in the same place brings me such a feeling of peace, or something. Seeing them interact, the care they share for each other. Hell, I even enjoy the occasional squabble.
    Spiders are another story, don't care for them, not one little bit. I'd rather keep rabid skunks.

    1. She's a geek and proud. Funny how when I was growing up being smart got you beaten in locker rooms. My daughter once told me she liked that I didn't talk down to her, but as a 'smart person'. Supposedly, she's visiting this week, and I can't wait. The details are being hammered out.

  2. Your picnic sounds like a great success.

    (And I'm not going to say one single word about your Beatles reference even though I owe you at least a dozen pithy (okay rude) remarks in retaliation for all of yours to me. One of us has to take the high ground...) ;D

  3. Retaliation? I know not of what you speak. And even if your baseless assertion had any semblance of fact to it, it would have to be noted that you, Mademoiselle, opened the metaphoric door and threw out the metaphoric welcome mat. What else would one do?

    Knock, knock, Avon calling...;p