"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

24 March 2015

More Springtime Dispatches

Trail booty! I've been hunting for one of these for years... 

I show my amore for Sabina by collecting her interesting rocks whilst on walkabout. She does so for me by finding me bits of skeleton. Other couples might tarry about with jewels and cards and candies and all that other romantic yotz. We trade bones; the bones of Gaia, the bones of other species. That's true love.


The historical society has been holding the Cabin Fever Dance for six years now. Many of the attendees have known me for longer. Yet, everymuthafuckingyear the question of why I don't dance is raised.

"Well, you see, I have this horrific genetic condition," I reply. "And I don't mean my connective-tissue disorder."

"Oh? What's that?" It is asked.

"Caucasian," I say.

Dancing at a vampire den is not rocket science; just move with the music and relax in the knowledge you probably can't look half as ridiculous as some of the other tossers out on the floor. In fact, if you want to see something funny, watch a group of vampires dance. Better yet, film it and play it back at slightly faster speed, seeing as that caste likes to do everything on a dance floor in slow motion.

Dancing all punk-rock like-e.g. moshing-is basically a street fight you don't have to worry about getting thrown in jail for. Just know when to duck and hope you don't get too banged up. So I've heard.

The concept of town-dance dancing is neither my cup of tea nor glass of water. Better luck asking me to write a sonnet and mean it. Ergo, my remarking of genetic issues and watching from dark corners with my wine.

This, however, did not stop the matron from dragging me out on the dance floor. Something about loosening me up. I get any looser, I might whistle when I walk. Although I hugged her after the fact, I still called her cantankerous.

"Hey, it's me," she said completely unapologetically.


I broke out a pair of sandals for the first time in months. We had a chiminea that night. Everything seems a month ahead in terms of seasonal changes and temperatures. One meteorological prophet suggested that perhaps the state's snow pack has already peaked. I told a traveler the other day I've not snowshoed since the beginning of the month what for the quality of snow. When we've wandered, it's been south faces with gaiters. We check for ticks.

A few inches of snow fell overnight, mostly melted away by noon. I was wandering the Bull's Head, searching for a particular artifact. It is either still buried under the snow on the backside of the rock formation or it has been moved. If moved, I have a pretty good idea of where and just might come calling.

There was a breeze and bright sun. More snow is foretold for overnight, but a repeat of last night's in terms of accumulation. Then warm again for many days. A musician of my acquaintance greeted me with happy sprung! the other night. Thus is the cycle.

Out in the bush is where I hear the rhythms and rhymes of the cosmos, and, if I could, might dance to it. Coming out from the backside of the Bull's Head by the Diamond Mine, I looked at a slice of rock I like to scrabble. Most of its ice and snow has melted from it and I felt the itch to climb. This got me to smile.

"Soon enough," I whispered.

17 March 2015

Dynamic, A Hymn

An iced-over waterfall up what we call Mosquito Gulch, two days back. The ice is far too rotten to be climbed, and I lack the equipment and knowledge to do so. For now...

Something moved in overnight, which brought a cloak of heavy gray to the first light of morning. I am a sucker for the shades of Grey. The mist gave a damp chill, an illusion to how cold it really was. I grabbed extra layers in case. Best to be prepared.

It was not even early morning when the sun first tore through the murk. By ten, I was seeing blue above. The clouds slithered and danced along the mountainsides in the countenance of Chinese dragons. I marveled as they faded away like dreamtime phantasms in golden light. By noon, one had to wrinkle and squint and give a benefit of a doubt to find even the faintest suggestion of a cloud across the turquoise sky. The air was warm.

When describing the aspects of Byzantium that are the tiny towns, which dot our Sahel, Sempai will wax Norman Rockwell. I find this funny, given his big city-Atlanta-sensitivities and very open homosexuality. Some of the volunteers say things don't change much 'round here. I find myself thinking yes, but no.

Within the borders of the municipalities, one can find a certain sense of stasis. This is a given in small towns, be it rural North Carolina or a ranching station out on the far-flung badlands of eastern Colorado. Rural is rural in that regard.

And yet, this place is ever-changing. I watch-I like to watch-the sculpting of freeze of thaw. Of wind and snow. The changes wrought by rain and rockfall. Nothing is stays exactly the same.

I own up that I am not as well-traveled as I'd like. There are cats of whom I'm acquainted that have lived in far more places than me. Be that as it may, I believe I have found my place in the world, and, of all the places I have lived, this environment is, by far, the most dynamic.

15 March 2015

Springtime Distpatches

The Peacock Pavilion at the House of Owls and Bats, where we shall be cocktail houring after walkabout...

A day of rest in the middle of what is shaping up to be a busy couple of weeks. The craziness started with Sabina's nephew getting married a week ago upstate. I find increasingly going down below for anything is a chore. Strange memories, good, bad, and indifferent, are stirred up like black mud in deep puddles, blurring my vision of the present. As I look back west toward my mountains, I feel as though I am in exile. It is only when I climb to the thinner atmosphere once again I find I can breathe.

My daughter was there for the ceremony and came up to the house afterward. We had mussels with a lovely South African wine for one meal and grilled beer brats for another. There was a walkabout involved at one point. The only one I've had in a week.

The time change always fucks with my already wonky sleep patterns. Forward or back does not matter. I spend days feeling torn and tired and murdered. Between a friend/comrade-in-limbs being on her annual Florida pilgrimage and covering a half day for Sempai it was another six-day stint of obligations. By yesterday I was slap-happy exhausted and all but begging for the opportunity to stab someone in the gallbladder. With a spork. Twice.

There was a birthday party for a neighbor at the local watering hole. A round and civilities. For not even catching a buzz, I remember little of it. As a new calendar week dawns, the mundanity of what I do for money not withstanding, I find myself again a busy man. There is the historical society meeting and the beginning of season orientation meet for the community garden. A historical talk and the annual Cabin Fever Dance, of which I always do the clean up at. Somewhere in there is Sabina's radio show and a daytime roadtrip to Leadville for something to do, and, I suppose I should try to sleep some.

It's funny, for all I consider myself misanthropic and solitary I certainly do have a lot going on, and pretty much all of it involves interaction with my fellow primates. Once upon a time, I had an online handle of Paradoxical Misanthrope as a nod to going monkey watching in crowded places like the Sixteenth Street Mall and juke joints. That was long ago. A time when I could deal with crowds much better than I do now.

After a somewhat decent snow Friday, it has once more warmed up. I've been wearing t-shirts without layers more often than not the last week. Snow recedes around the house. Stay dry is the neighborly greeting recited like a mantra when walking around town and the scent of muddy thaw is thick in the mountane air. There has been grilling.

It's been a week since I've been out into the bush. This, of course, will not do. I look out my parlor window at the far side of the valley, the south faces, knowing where I'll be wandering. I need to get out for I have been busy and need to breathe again.

03 March 2015

Scenes From a Tuesday Morning

Shot of the altar. Much more reflective of our views these days...

I pad about the house with an infusion of jasmine tea. Mozart is my jam. Outside is overcast with light flurries. Meteorological prophecy portents of snow later in the day and into this evening, but I remain hopefully cynical about the amounts, seeing as it hasn't dumped much more than six inches on us over the last few storms. However, the statewide snow pack is closer to ninety percent of average than it had been, and, our particular river drainage is over one-hundred percent, thus, the reason behind me being hopeful.

Incense perfumes the house, as always. The levels of profundity of my burning incense has waxed and waned throughout the years. I can admit, in some contexts, it can be as automatic as turning a light switch. Other times, I watch the mysteries of the cosmos unfurl within the tendrils of scented smoke. Sabina once told me one of her favorite mental images of me is lighting a stick, watching the smoke, and placing it in the burner upon the altar. Some such silliness about the look of contemplation and reverence.

Both of us get complimented on the way we smell. Being glib, I mention the marvel of bathing. It elicits a chuckle, and then incense is brought up. We burn it constantly, to the point that unless a stick is burning, like a smoker with a lit cigarette, we hardly notice the underlying scent that hangs about us like an aura. I have had someone reach over and breathe deep. I've had someone reach out and touch my hair because there is so much of it. Depending on how misanthropic I feel dictates how deeply I growl or don't.

You'd think someone who is nearly six and a half feet tall, lithe-a nice way of say emaciated-pierced, tattooed, and bedecked in one or two trinkets would be used to such things. It'd probably elicit a chuckle or an of course with some baseless reference to paradoxical nature I've supposedly nurtured if I said I don't like to draw a lot of attention to myself. Oh sure, I don't really want to be another brick in the metaphoric wall, but I've met those cats who go out of their way to make sure they're noticed, and, observed insecurities aside, it seems like a lot of fucking effort. Even and especially when you're just going to a corner store for a soda and a candy bar.

Such are some of my muses and meditations on a Tuesday morning with Mozart as my jam...

I try to decide how to spend my day. There are no professional obligations. I have books to return to the library and the trash should be dealt with. A new coffeehouse is opening in space of the one that shut down back in late January, and a cha'i could potentially be in order. After all, it is across the street from the library. If Miguel Loco's about I could pick his brain from information about a trek I'd like to do through Herman's Gulch, up around to Dry Gulch come summer. The world is my metaphoric oyster, or some other savory mollusk.

Tomorrow, I convinced Sabina to snowshoe Dry Gulch with me. During the winter, part of the trailhead is snowed in, and one must walk from the foot of Loveland Pass; dirty, crusty snow and scent of diesel fumes for about a quarter mile. Understandably not enjoyable, but once you round that curve and pass the Boneyard to first look into the gulch itself, it's like a kiss from the Divine. With tongue.

This is the time of year when the snow starts to shift its countenance. There's still a bit of shoeing to be had, some even in just a t-shirt. I am looking forward to our trek, partially because I've not been up Dry Gulch since early autumn. We'll be roasting a chicken for supper, and, when we return home from walkabout, there'll be relaxing with a cocktail or three, because that's how we roll.

A scene from a recent cocktail hour at the House of Owls and Bats. My glass had lemonade in it. Seriously. You believe me riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight?