"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

18 April 2015

Some Vignettes

This past Tuesday, after hiking the canyon down, I took myself out for enchiladas. The girl behind the bar recognized me and asked of my adventures. This got a stranger, a couple seats over, to start asking me about trails. The sort of questions I am often asked at obligations, because there is this ugly suspicion I am in the know about such things.

Often I have stated that work is the eight hours of inconvenience you put up with in order to do the things you truly enjoy. Then this shabby crap happens. Of course, I live in what is termed a resort area, and find myself dealing with tourists constantly, and not just in context of what I do for money.

It would certainly seem I live my fucking job...


Later that day, I went for a walk around my funky tiny town with a ginger beer in hand. I'd not had afternoon tea yet, so it wasn't near cocktail hour. One of my neighbors, who goes to Antarctica for rescue services and kicks, playing fetch with his dog, nearly brained me with a tennis ball.

How awkward. He apologized. To make up for the near catastrophic turn of events, he took some of my ginger beer-an apparent good mixer-and some Icelandic vodka to make me a Moscow mule.

What a town! What a time to be alive! I fucking love this place!


As a DJ for the community radio station, Sabina sometimes get sent free stuff. The latest CD was all the way from New York-New Your City?!? Git a rope!-and took us both back. Dark gothic tunes that echoed to past lives down below. We listened to the compilation as we daytripped it to Breckenridge, the irony of what we'd think of as city music being played being played up in the high mountains not being lost on either of us.

It doesn't seem goth has changed that much since I stopped hanging around the vampire caste. Those jams could've been the same from ten, twenty, even thirty years ago. At first I found this sensation of stagnation disheartening.

However, to be fair, listen to Americana, bluegrass, punk, or the blues, and there's not much change over the years. A genre gets a sound and sticks to it-if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Maybe there's nothing wrong with that. Perhaps someone with a more sensitive ear than I could tell me I'm full of shit.


Further debate and discussion on being mountain...

Sabina's friend, Pippin, got me a bumper sticker for Old Scratch that reads Jesus would slap the shit out of you. This is a sticker of wild popularity and uproarious laughter. Random strangers have taken pictures of my vehicle just for that sticker.

I told Job it was my jab at the Elmer Gantries of the world. The charlatan Christians who preach the word, but have no conception of the spirit. My thought is if said bumper sticker offends you, you need to look in the mirror. Job tells me he used that line in church.

As we walked out of whichever establishment in the environs of Breckenridge, we had someone asking if we were the ones who had Old Scratch. Said bumper sticker had given a good jolly laugh, for which we were thanked. I shook my head after the encounter.

"Do we fucking look like that was our car?" I asked rhetorically. Sabina shot me a look and a wry smile.

"Face it, you reek of mountain," she said.

I resented that. After all, I do bathe. Occasionally.


Announcing its presence with a authority, snow has returned to my mountains. A couple of heavy, wet, feet of spring snow fell. I sing my praises of thanksgiving to the shift in the jetstream.

Road closures were aplenty. I would've drank my treasured last infusion of Nepali black tea and snowshoed, but I had obligations to attend to. If I believed in it, I would say fate is not without a sense of irony.

A free day awaits with the rising of the sun. There is to be a dusting overnight, maybe even during the day ahead, and we mean to get out with the shoes for what may be the last time this season, although, obviously, you never know. This is Colorado. This is the mountains.

There are further chances of precipitation in the coming week. Nothing as powerful as this last storm, but something that'll help our snow pack. This past Tuesday, I wore a t-shirt whilst on walkabout and sandals after I got home. The last three days I've worn snowboots and wool socks. That's fine. We can use the water, and, I can do with at least one more snowshoe. Sandals can wait. After all, my patience is formidable.

14 April 2015

Owning Up

I have been known to say with a degree of flippancy, routines are for squares, sighting the banality of such a thing. There are times I will own up and say my hypocrisy knows no bounds, if, for no other case, than at least it's funny. Case in point; after waking and getting myself presentable, as it were, I fed Milarepa and started my tea water. Checked the stove for pellets and recorded the morning low. Let the dog out, answering that age-old metaphysical question, and lit some incense whilst I got my pack ready for my day's walkabout. Activities very indicative of a free-day morning. Despite my appreciation of chaos, I too, have a routine.

This is owning up...

Not too long ago, Sabina was asking me about her outfit. I told her she looked luscious as usual, and glibly asked about my look. When she said mountain, I found myself a little insulted. I abhorrer stereotypes, finding them boring. To be pigeon-holed in such a way was a bit of a metaphoric backfist.

See, I thought about it; the curse of self-awareness and a mind that never shuts off. I have longish-okay, long-hair. There's the beard. My raiment most of the time is of someone either leaving for or returning from a multi-day, multi-mile backbacking trip. I drive a Subaru. Nay, I drive an older Subaru with some mechanical...eccentricities...that's all but smothered in bumper stickers.

Mountain. Sometimes, you just gotta own up. I just hope that doesn't make me boring.

The last parting shot the jewel-eyed girl said to me in those moments of Machiavelli when the break-up got good and ugly was she'd rather stay home and sleep or watch Cartoon Network than hang out with me anyway. I was boring. It was a terrible thing to say, the kind of barb spoken in the tongues of pure hate one uses when they are absolutely not getting their way and really want to wound.

I did not rise to her bait. During that period after the glass broke, right before my birthday, and mid-October of that year, she tried that sort of thing a lot. Hateful asides whispered from dark corners, trying to get a reaction. I didn't feed that dragon, but endeavored to rise above. There were a couple of reasons I was still in places she could encounter me during that period, perhaps the most poignant was to show to her and her harpy of a sister, whom was much more Machiavelli at times, that she didn't break me.

However, I was bothered by being called boring. I can own up. Certainly, I found myself being entertained, but perhaps I had sank into stagnation and not realized it. I remember speaking with Jezebel on the subject.

"I've know you since you were nineteen, and, one thing I definitely know about you is you hate to be bored," Jezebel said. "It's almost like you're afraid it. If I really wanted to hurt your feelings, I do just as she did; call you boring to see if you'd wince."

Ergo, I found myself having to own up. Jezebel would go on to tell me she was proud that I didn't rise to jewel-eyed girl's bait and that I was still one of the most entertaining cats she's ever known. Sometimes, late at night, when the demons come for tea, I wonder if she was just saying that as a balm for my verbal shock. Other times, I remember it when I worry I am slipping into mundanity.

So, I own up; I have a routine. I am mountain, although, Sabina digs the term mountain bohemian, but that probably has to do with the artifacts and funk-because you gotta have the funk!-about the house and property. I loath being bored, even for perceived nanosecond.

My hypocrisy knows no bounds...

There are those I know who want to hear stories of my adventures. What meals I've cooked recently or what books I've read and my thoughts upon them. Maybe I am entertaining. Perhaps, when it comes down to brass tacks and bedposts, it only matters that own up to what I am and do not find myself banal because of it.

12 April 2015

Two Minds

When at obligations, if the sun is out, the temperature is above roughly thirty-five, and the wind's not howling, I tend to eat outside. The bench I sit at is referred to as the veranda. In my direct field of vision, is a tree, which, at this time has begun to leaf out. Even in town, six-hundred vertical up, I see evidence of the deciduous trees getting ready to sprout leaves. Insects dance in the lazy afternoon and early evening light, omens of warmer times.

The part of me that likes to spend late spring through early autumn living in shorts and sandals is excited by everything being flung a month ahead-even meteorological prophets are echoing this. The part of me that watches the state's snow pack and has found enjoyment in snowshoeing in a late-season blizzard through town to check the post knows it's too soon. I wonder about wildfires and worry about the river rafting season.

Over the last few weeks, the pattern has been warmth from the weekend through mid-week, then, weather comes in. At first, it is prophesied to be impressive, but as the storms get closer, they seem to fall apart, leaving just a dusting and a cool, breezy day in the afterglow. Once more, a storm is foretold, and it is supposed to be impressive. Part of me is cynical, but another aspect holds out hope. Whilst I am anxious to be able to go further into the Backcountry without snowshoes or fear of avalanches, I know those deep drifts are our world's water towers.

A few weeks ago, whilst day tripping to Leadville-at ten-thousand two-hundred-we were greeted with a rainy afternoon. I really do enjoy rain, whether it's a gentle shower or a powerful thunderstorm. At that moment, I felt the fear and loathing reserved for the characters in Lovecraft stories, knowing the rain is damaging to the snow pack.

Part of me looks forward to planting at the community garden and soaking my feet in the river after walkabout. Part of me wonders if there'll be enough river water to get my feet wet. Rain keeps the fire danger down, but does not do much for the water table. Whilst part of me is cynical about the coming weather, part of me waits with a glimmer of hope that it will help, rather than hurt.  

05 April 2015


Just as I spent a portion of my life wishing I could be someone else, there was a large part of my life spent wanting to be elsewhere. Perhaps it started innocently enough; the coffee table books about Africa in my great-grandmother's house that sits on one of my shelves to this very day, or her artifacts from China. I've always been a sucker for documentaries, even and especially about nature, so the far-flung locals that were featured captivated me. There was also the steady diet of sci-fi, fantasy, and comic books growing up, feeding an active-overactive?-imagination.

The bullying made somewhere, anywhere, a better option. Of course, one cannot outrun their monsters, and anyone who would try to tell you different is either daft or trying to sell something. Still, being an aberration, I've often felt like a bit of an outsider, which can be more bothersome than you might imagine. So, the idea of finding an elsewhere that it didn't matter how curious I was held its sway.

Whilst never possessed of the gypsy mojo of some of the cats I've known, that subconscious search was constant. It's perhaps the reason some teenage boy's ranting to a Led Zeppelin song when I was seventeen made such a lasting impression. The myth and magic of Kashmir. I had something to find.

You would think, having that feeling of outsiderishness, it would have been grand that I fell in with vampires for a bit. Not so much. As with any social caste, there is the strata, and with castes like the vampires or punks or artist-types or pagans or metalheads, there are the degrees of how alienated you've been to close ranks with whatever group. Whether you're just a tourist carousing in someone else's skin for a weekend and a thrill or the one who is so strange that you're alienated amongst the alienated. And, of course, there is the subtext of who keeps it the most real, those who try to give lessons on being the most outsiderie.

Fuck that noise...


I wasn't actively looking for Kashmir when we stumbled upon it. Ain't that always the way? Of course, I was thinking of elsewhere at the time. Sabina and I had extricated ourselves from the vampire caste and were exploring new avenues of things to do and reconnecting with either accidental or intentionally buried aspects of ourselves. The recent life changes made me restless.

To be trite, it was like falling in love; something I knew head, heart, and gut, and no one could tell me otherwise. Suddenly the somewhere else to be had a tangible location. Myth and magic made manifest. We had a goal, and we achieved it.


It's coming up on the anniversary of our taking possession of the House of Owls and Bats. Of coming home. I'd be stating the obvious to say this place still sings to me in esoteric tongues. A human lifetime is not enough to throughly explore the totality of it, which is part of the magic.

A human lifetime...too short. It is why I ache for the lifespan of a star; all the things I want to do might only be accomplished on a cosmic timespan. This is why I have decided not to die. I'm busy.

I no longer desire to be somewhere, anywhere else. Whilst being an aberration, I can still feel like a bit of an outsider, but I'm somewhere populated by other exiles and drop-outs. If there are those who would preen and posture over being more outsiderie than anyone else, and there probably are, I've either not met them, or dismissed them out of hand.

There is still the desire to travel. I still want to see Africa and Tibet. Alaska and Patagonia. Spain and Greece and Australia. Cambodia and Peru. To see whales and perhaps go into orbit, if not step off world to somewhere really alien. The thing is, now I have a basecamp to come back to and be contented to be back home.