"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 September 2017

Sixty-Six

You would've been sixty-six today. Seven years to the day, we gathered at that one bristle cone between the ruins of Waldorf and the bones of the Santiago Mill to scatter your ashes. Me, the heretic, reading the requiem I composed for you, playing preacher-man because of that zaniness with the Universal Life Church, but that's another story.

Nine months and nine days before that, your youngest, my brother, and I stood over your cooling body. The stench of the disease that devoured you was still heavy in the air. My brother did not understand why I asked for two coins to cover your half-lidded eyes, and, in the moment, I was not in the mood to deliver a mythology lesson.

It was that night I truly cast my lot to the winds of chaos and let's just roll them bones...

Seven years, nine months, and nine days later, I often dream of you. You're never sick then. There was a hoodoo-voodoo article about visitation dreams I came across recently, and, you know me; I get curious, I dissect well past the marrow, watching the worms beneath squirm with savage amusement. So, of course I read it, and none of those dime-store diagnostics fit.

Brass tacks and bedposts, mother, I miss you. Terribly.

27 August 2017

Double-Edge

Sometimes, when meditating upon the next phase of our adventures, I can get so restless I can all but taste the sea spray and hear the songs of whales...

Then I go for walk, whether it's about town or out in the bush. I take in my surroundings. The wind and weather, that interplay of light and shadow, those tiny details you can only really notice when moving at people speed. Sometimes, I run into a fellow walker, and, after I help them back up, we have one of those moments of simple human interaction that gets me to smile, to get me to have a little hope for my species instead of thinking we are merrily careening toward extinction.

It is then I catch myself feeling morose, as though I am being forced into exile...

An opportunity has been presented. A gift given, which is the metaphor of being handed a winning lottery ticket. What would you do? Turn it down? No, it's cool, I'll just hang here, thank you, though.

No, I don't think you would, and, though I ache, I cannot turn this away either...

Mei fei tsu. It's coming and there is little can or want to do to stop it. I stand upon a knife and my feet bite into both edges of the blade. So it goes.

18 May 2017

The Spurning

Yuki-Onna, the Snow Queen, the Goddess of Winter raged. Oh, how she raged. Snow fell heavily, snapping the branches of trees, freezing rivers and lakes, and burying bare ground. The cold cut through to the marrow and visibility was greatly reduced to a study in monochrome. As she raged, and the snow loaded, the roar of avalanches echoed her mutterings and musings.

"How can you even consider leaving me?!?" She roared.

I stood calmly, hands clasped tightly behind my back, something, which may have resembled a smirk played across my lips. When I first came here, I was chasing unfinished tales, but I then became a student. Of landscapes of weather. Of the sky and stars and clouds. Of ice and free-flowing water. Of the harshness and softness of a place that truly show indifference to its inhabitants.

Certainly, the Snow Queen had a strong influence here, but she was not my patron. I have never been one to prey, unless in the context of the food chain. What I would sometimes whisper to her on the cold night winds would hardly be considered a prayer, but perhaps a provocation. Then again, I never made any effort to hide my sense of heresy.

Yuki-Onna, Snow Queen and Goddess of Winter, hear me, and be without distraction; I fucked your mother last night. Well and repeatedly...

"I never bent my knee in worship to you," I said plainly. "That is submission, and submission is for dogs."

"I know how much this place fascinates you, and you live to be continually fascinated," she said. "Where do think you can go?"

"I intend to go where the world is sculpted by fire and water," I replied. "Where the world is still growing, by degrees, instead of being worn down."

Her cold eyes narrowed and gale of ice-barbed air struck me. I held my ground. Never once, no matter how much her cold countenance hurt me, had I backed down. It frustrated her, but it also won her grudging respect.

"Are you insane?!?" She exclaimed. "Do you really think you can thrive there?"

"Of course,"I said. "You adapt or die, that is the imperative and gospel of biology. Besides, it snows there too, so I can antagonize one of your incarnations, or perhaps cousins."

"Just like that, you're finished.? You've grown bored of here?"

"This place sings to me in ways that can fill me with endless longing. When the time comes, I know I'll miss it here, and the only other place I miss is where I spend my childhood, but that's another story."

Yuki-Onna, the Snow Queen, the Goddess of Winter, reached out to me. Her chilled fingers brushing my cheek. For the slightest of moments, she was almost tender. Almost seductive.

"Then why not stay? Stay with me?"

My gaze hardened and a low growl rebounded in the back of my throat. That, which lurks behind my eyes like some kind of ambush predator in a nameless African river, came a little closer to the surface. Quickly, she withdrew her hand, for fear of losing fingers, if not her whole hand.

"Because it is where my fascinations lead me," I replied, it was my turn to be cold and unforgiving. "It is an opportunity and a gift  of which would be folly to turn aside. There is nothing that can convince me otherwise, not even the adversarial acquaintance of a mercurial snow deity."

 Yuki-Onna, the Snow Queen, the Goddess of Winter turned away. Ours had never been an easy relationship. I heard her sigh heavily and noticed the snow lightening ever so slightly.

"You are one of the most relentless creatures I have ever met," she whispered. "Perhaps there was something to the guru telling you the only time you don't get what you want is when you decide you no longer want it."

"If you wish to give into such superstition," I said, not hiding my heresy.

"When will you go?"

"I don't know. It could be a season, it could be in a few years. Do you ever tell me exactly when you're coming or leaving?"

"Fair enough. I think I might miss you once you're gone."

"Doubtful, given I start my conversations with you by mentioning what I do to your mother."

Yuki-Onna, the Snow Queen, the Goddess of Winter chuckled. Oh, how she chuckled. A laugh of bitter sweetness and frost-covered mornings. And just like that, she disappeared into the snow. And just like that, with a sigh, I looked up at the breaking storm clouds to behold the setting of the sun and the rising of the moon.