"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

14 October 2014

Pair 'O Dimes

Seasonal mole stout beer, something that makes autumn grand...

The seasonal paradigm has led to thermals under t-shirts, instead of flannels over them. At some point, come deep winter, there'll be times when the regiment is thermal, t-shirt, then flannel, or even a sweater. Layers are never put away here, just rotated throughout the closet. So it goes.

A few days back, the snowline was at ten-thousand, and it was a rather definite line. Down at ninety-one sixty, it was flurries that at the heaviest point left a dusting upon windshields. We made a big pot of chili.

In those past lives I remember, but you do not, down below, in the badlands of eastern Colorado, or within the borders of the greater metroplex, a big pot of chili and snow, even if it was just flurries, meant holing up. Perhaps watching a film, or several, or perhaps grooving it out to some Mozart and/or jazz.

We went for a walkabout. These days, even when it's sub-zero out, I can only make through about two hours of streaming documentaries before I get restless. I have the ways and means and live somewhere that playing outside is a holy sacrament. It seems madness to waste the whole day indoors.

I catch myself fascinated by the myriad of mentalities. Country and city. Destination/resort and office. My siblings are both quite happy in their suburban enclaves with their respective families, thinking their elder brother is strange, bordering on crazy, for being a mounting man. Yet, I'd rather shoot myself in the face-twice, in case I missed the first time-than live in a land of perceived tickie-tackie.

Neither of us are in the wrong, it's just we have different paradigms. Simple as that. Things would be rather fucking boring if we all saw it the same way. It's something I have to remember when I encounter the traveler who looks at me funny for saying there's no bad weather on a blizzard day in mid-February, or the couple from California, heading to Vail, who gaze down their snouts at anyone they see as lesser than themselves. I don't always do the best job of it, but at least I can acknowledge that.

It is interesting to think of the shifts in paradigms. What was important once verses what has become so in the present. For instance, how I enjoyed reading Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg so much down below, and these days groove on Edward Abbey and Aldo Leopold. I find myself rather grateful for this, actually, seeing it as a way of rounding me out.

Certainly, I have regrets; I've yet to be to Brazil, the only language I have full fluency or literacy in is English, and other than bitch, I've never rode a motorcycle. Horrible. However, any time I might get the delusion my life has been boring-if looking at the pointed things I'm surrounded by doesn't shock me out of apathy-it seems something comes up in conversation; like the Sub Genius conspiracy theorist I once knew, the time at an artist's loft where I ended up with my own bottle of Spanish red because the hostess ran out of glasses and I'm not proud, or bushwhacking up some rockface for kicks reminds me that I've had, and, continue to have, a good time.

This meditation-brought to you by the First Syllable Om-coalesced as I wandered the canyon in the early morning hours. Old Scratch required some maintenance-baby needs a new pair of shoes-and I wasn't about to waste part of the day by going back home to cat nap. Time was I would have. That time is not now.

At the Lair of the Boogieman...

The Boogieman in question. What? Did you think I make this shit up?

The paradigm these days is I can find zen bliss in an early morning walkabout as the sun first starts to paint the valley walls of our Sahel with golden brilliance. There is silence and the air is pleasantly crisp. It's sublime. My morning tea had a new mysticism to it when I got home. I have found when you ride the currents of your shifting paradigms like that of a cosmic river, you find yourself having more adventures than if you planned them, which is good, because the quickest way to make a deity laugh is to make a plan.


  1. What the hell is carved into that aspen? Although now writing that I remmeber there's a tree in New Hampsire that has 'Kim-Mike" carved into it. But nevermind that.
    But you've reminded me of what I like about winter here, now. It's that looking out the big window in the living room, seeing the 10" of new snow on the truck and unshoveled sidewalk. On the back porch seeing the thermometer at -20. Knowing it's a good day to torch some hatch chili's, get some ground beef from the fridge, make a chili.
    Was a time I'd do what you do, go out and frolic. I remember being in snowshoes, old, wood and tendon Alaska type, 4' long. Going up the valley from Portage glacier for the night, -35 at noon.
    Now it's fine, sitting inside in my slippers, watching the students go by. One just need to adapt expectations, and realize what you got.

    1. It reads;

      "Keep out or die!"


      I'd love to have a pair of snowshoes like you describe. Although, part of me might want to use them only for yard/house funk, but you gotta have the funk. I might have told you, on my last jeeping trip I had occasion to be with a man of eighty-one who has been all over these mountains and a few others. He hucked it up to the thirteen-thousand summit of Mount McCellan with the deftness of a mountain goat. I want to be like him if I grow up.

  2. I actually prefer a sub-zero hike to a warm hike. I went on several snowy hikes this past winter (though I live in the Appalachians - a far cry from the mountains that you scale). Invigorating!

    1. I think they both have their merits, certainly. I don't ever remember hearing of the Appalachians getting below zero when I lived in North Carolina, but I was also a teenager living on the Piedmont at the time.