"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

19 February 2015

A Hymn for Snow

Although the meteorological prophet over at CAIC called the storm that rolled in Sunday, lasting through Monday, a return to winter, I felt the snow had more of the wet-paste spring snow countenance. Certainly, Tuesday was brisk as the wind blew Tibetan from the Roof of the World, whipping snowdevils this way and that, but the last two days have been a return to milder temperatures, which have characterized the last few weeks. There are patches of bare ground appearing around the house. Out snowshoeing in the Hollow, the snow varied from crust to dust to powder depending on how shaded the area was by virtue of trees and being on a north face.

Perhaps it is because of the angle of the sun climbing higher on its march to kiss the celestial equator-with tongue-for the equinox, or having that scent of mud in the air more and more in my nostrils, but I stand by my supposition of an early spring. Prophecy speaks of snow again, and a decent one, but I am skeptical. I am skeptical by nature. The jetstream has been such the big storms have been missing Colorado. Our statewide snowpack now stands at seventy-seven percent. Grotesque. However, we have it better than other locations in 'Merican Maghreb. Even if it does pan out to be a decent storm, I think it'll be more like a snow we'd see in March or April, which means heavy and wet and a lot of it will melt away once the storm passes and it warms up again.

Truthfully, I am hoping my skepticism is misplaced. Mostly for the snowpack, although, I'd like some nice fresh snow on which to shoe through. I do not prey unless it is in context of the food chain, but I am thinking of finding a chicken to sacrifice under the auspice of getting a little more moisture. A bit of sympathetic magic, and a chicken is more likely than finding a virgin.

12 February 2015

The Student, The Master, The Changes of Roles, and The Degrees of Cool

Thanksgiving, 1994; I had been twenty-two for two months and change. My daughter had been alive for a week. I only had one piercing, no tattoos, and had yet to sprout a gray hair...

For those just tuning in, I was not always the hoopy frood you know now. Very far from it. I was a rather awkward youth. Part of it was being an aberration; being too tall, too skinny, with eyes too big for the rest of my face. Another aspect was the bullying, which nurtured my solitary nature.

There were times I wanted to be someone-anyone-else so badly it physically hurt. Perhaps that is why I despise the concept of a persona so much now is during those ugly, painful, awkward years, I more than once tried to be something I wasn't. More than once, the results were disastrous. I have the metaphysical scars to prove it.

Once, when speaking of someone I admired to the point of idolization with my x-wife, I mentioned hoping to one day achieve their level of cool. My x-wife, the rebelling good Catholic girl who ended up with me to piss off her parents-to this day, I'd speculate-suggested instead of trying to aspire to someone else's level of coolness, perhaps I should aspire to my own. It was a backfist of perspective, which helped me ditch the idea of trying to be something I wasn't. Years later, I knew a cat who would speak of the importance of living one's own myth. Sometimes I wonder if his advice and my x-wife's are interconnected in queer way I've yet to fully understand.

When I first met Job, I thought he was so cool you could store cuts of meat inside him for a month. He was the master, and I, the eager student. We'd hang out at coffee and I'd devour his insights. His advice when I had a problem was invaluable. He was my guru. Me saying I was going to talk to Job was like the monks of old going to speak to the head of the order.

I think it was perhaps six months back I first noticed my conversations with Job had changed, and that was beyond the fact of his becoming born again. Certainly, we had, and still do, stimulating dialogues, but suddenly, I wasn't the one seeking advice. I was not the one thanking my friend for the insights.

We've known each other for twenty-one years and change now. He might be eleven years my senior, but I am no longer so wet behind the ears. Even back in the day, he appreciated what I had to say. Nowadays, it seems he treasures it even more.

I find myself queerly shocked...

During one of our conversations, he told me how he always looked forward to hanging out for my perspectives, because apparently not everyone sees things as I do. This is a good thing in my mind, because the world would be a really fucking boring place if that were the case. From his perspective, my passion was something he saw as a fire that burned hotter than a star, and like Hendrix, he wanted to stand next to it. He told me some of his acquaintances now think I'm his imaginary friend, because a cat like me shouldn't/couldn't exist. That many of those times I was going to his for insight and advice, he was taking from my perspective ways to, as he likes to put it, build a better mousetrap.

"I've always wanted to be Robbie Grey when I grew up," Job told me recently. I told him he gives me far too much credit.

I find myself wrestling with this. When did the student become the master? How did I ever get so cool as to win the borderline idolization of one of the coolest cats I've ever known? To me, this is shocking.

The man doesn't even drink, for fuck's sake, so I can't dismiss it so easily...

At one point, in recent years, I realized I truly do have back in the day stories. I know I've gotten where I have along this Tao of Chaos through a sense tenacity and perhaps a little-a lot?-of strange luck. Yet, when I talk to Job, I go into the conversation feeling like that wide-eyed whelp from years back. Nowadays, he talks to me as his guru and I don't know how to approach the subject.

Perhaps someone might say I've come into my own. It seems, were you to ask Job, I did that a very long time ago. Me, trying to work out this change in our metaphoric roles, thinks it's just a step along the way. Which one of us is right is purely conjecture.

January twenty-seventh, 2015. I've been forty-two for almost five months and my daughter is twenty. I have more piercings and tattoos. My hair's as thick and wavy as ever, although, there's a rather interesting blaze of gray along the right side. Just a few of the things that have changed...

10 February 2015

Thoughts on a Potentially Early Spring Day

I got out of bed to a brief blast of snow. Nary a dusting. I brewed lapsang souchong for the occasion, and, as the sun has come out to melt the fluff, I questioned if it was a waste of time. Stepping outdoors, it's cooler than it's been the last few days, but it doesn't feel like winter, instead early spring. That sense, the smell of mud, has been around for since the sun came back.

Is winter's back broken already?

Perhaps I should not be surprised. Autumn came early this year, so, it follows spring might too. It still snows in spring up here. Fuck, I've seen snow in summer. Remember; mountains. I don't mind the mild air, despite my layers to be out in pretty well anything. As long as we have a decent snowpack, I'll deal. There can be the deep snow for shoeing up higher-although, hopefully not cement and mashed potatoes-and snow not so deep I post-hole here closer to home. I could dig that.

Last week, it snowed six inches of heavy wet warm snow on what would've been a free day for me. Sabina went snowshoeing with one of her pals whilst I covered for Sempai at obligations whilst he engaged in a preservation conference. Professional capital, I rationalized. Besides, I got to have the Matron volunteer with me, which doesn't happen as much as it used to, and that's a treat. At times, she seems less able to suffer fools than I during a roadway closure.

After six days of straight professional obligations and nearly a fortnight from being out on walkabout, after sleeping until I got up, we hit the trail. Like an acquaintance of mine, we started out one destination in mind, but ended up bushwhacking to another.

Sabina was intentionally artistic whilst I was unintentionally rockstar...

We had been to the Snowdrift Mine about five years back. A couple of the buildings and the boiler are still in fairly decent shape. There was graffiti indicating that someone had been there a year ago, and a mark from a neighbor from 1997, which we intend to show him the photograph of the next time we see him. It was a lovely warm day for bushwhacking and scrabbling. When we finally got back down, we noted the local watering hole was open. I ran Milarepa home and we went for a shot and beer and loco camaraderie.

Recently, we had a city acquaintance asking for an afternoon hangout-on a Sunday!-and we had to decline. The practical reasons were twofold; my daughter's visiting, which is first and foremost, but also, during either ski or summer tourist season, driving east on a Sunday is an exercise in road rage and formidable patience. Besides, and I seriously think perhaps only Sabina and my daughter understand this, I left the city, and have worked very hard to insure the only reason I need to go down there is for familial obligations, which, ten times out of nine, I still try to get out of.  

Caustic of me? Oh, perhaps. Remember; misanthrope.

However, there are those I want to see the funk-because you gotta have the funk!-of our Sahel. To go on a walkabout or have a cocktail over at our little cantina, which, sometimes is only open because the proprietors decided they themselves wanted to have a drink, but, then, again, what better reason? Perhaps have a meal and listen to some music or sit outside to watch the sunset and the unfolding of the stars away from the light pollution of the greater metroplex.

Such are the thoughts that ricochet through my skull on what is potentially an early spring day. I finish my tea and start my breakfast before walkabout. My daughter will be up in a few days and I cannot wait to see her. I know it will snow again, but I question whether or not even a vicious blizzard would carry winter's harsh bite. Perhaps it doesn't matter, just as long as the snowpack is such we don't have to worry about wildfires come summer.