"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

13 May 2021

Over Browned Onoins

It starts with browning onions. Once, when passing through Mumbai, I spent the night with a woman who said the sign of a good wife was how well she browned onions. I never learned about her cooking skills, but I never had any intention of marrying her. Part of the magic of cooking is you can travel the world without leaving your kitchen. I've never been to Fiji. However, I had a better traveled dinner guest tell me I cook like a native. Does that make me a chef? Hardly! Of course, I believe the second you go calling yourself something, you're definitely not. You're just trying too hard. Because of this, I had a buddy say I was a philosopher. He stopped after I punched him in the throat and told him to stop calling me names.

18 November 2020

Looking at the Moon

It's been ten years. Technically, your recorded death date is four days from now. That's when your family pulled you from the machinery. However, I was there that night after your rollover, looking upon you battered and bloodied frame. Your body spasmodically working to push out your unborn son who would die in your mother's arms. My experience in transplant helped me recognize the obviousness of your situation; the lights might have been on, but you were not home. You were not so much my friend as family. Oh, how you could piss me off to the point of wanting to spit coffin nails. To throttle you and never speak to you again. Yet when things came down, if I needed you, you were there with a fury and without hesitation. When my mother was diagnosed terminal, when, a year and change later, she died, you were one of the few to call. An online comment, a text, would have been too impersonal, you said. When I announced I was done with city life and heading to the mountains with that woman I'd been running around with, you were one of the few who thought I hadn't totally lost my mind. Although I know it is vanity to second-guess the dead, I like to think you'd be behind me on this zany scheme we've concocted involving a tropical island. Your dying inspired a mantra I still use when things go pear-shaped; it's not okay. It's not going to be okay. It just going to be, and what will be is not what any of us expected. Perhaps that was your last lesson to teach me... It's been ten years. You were far more family than my friend. Like family I have lost, you do occasionally show up in my dreams. Like them, you are missed more than all the words in all the languages could ever describe.

28 August 2020

 It's quite obvious that the sci-fi and disaster films are truly fiction. As good a mythology as that presented in a religious text. 


Humanity uniting in a time of crisis? Oh, how vvveeerrryyy droll...


Terrorist attack? Inside job! Clash of civilizations!


Pandemic? No worse than the flu! Biggest virus in over a century!


Civil unrest? Anarchy! Reckoning!


Climate change? A hoax! An extinction event!


And somewhere in the middle is truth, but we, as a species, are too solipsistic to notice or care...


Fuck all y'all. It's days like this and times like these I remind myself I all but gave up on the species when I was eight.

07 July 2020

Facetime

My parallel about what's going on in the world with the pestilence and what the powers that be asked us to do after 9/11 and the now almost twenty years of a surveillance state. When 9/11 first happened, more people were willing to just go along with what the powers that be deemed necessary for the greater good than not. In recent meditation, I think I may have come across a reason why; tangibly.

A terrorist has a face, a virus does not. You can hear, see, smell, taste, and feel a terrorist. A virus can seep straight through you and it's not real until you're actually sick. The virus is so much more of an abstract than the terrorist.

That's why some dismiss out of hand; it's not tangible. Just a story to frighten us. The powers that be cannot declare a military victory over it. Instead, focus on the faces. Focus on the economy.

Ever notice those pieces of paper are imbued with the tangibility of a face?

04 July 2020

Just think, if the insurrection of 1776CE had been crushed, such hoopy froods as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin would be remembered as traitors and the stars and stripes a symbol of treason.  This would be just another day.

Only in the US is a failed rebellion romanticized. That status were erected to venerate traitors to the union and a battle flag of treason is flown in certain places and at certain events. Only in the US is treason a virtue, and those who would champion this concept as virtue hypocritically call themselves patriots.

Isn't that something?

02 April 2020

I am more solitary by nature, so being away from my fellow hominids is not terrible. Towns are for social experience, trails are for reflection, meditation, and reverence. Out there is what some may call holy or profane. Perhaps. What I know is it does not play favorites.
However, Homo sapiens are social animals. With the exception of Orangutans, all of the Great Apes are. Not that I'd call humans great. Somewhere between okay and fair to middling, perhaps. From a zoological, anthropological, and sociological standpoint, I am very interested to see how this pestilence changes the way we, as a species, interact. The coming months are going to be very telling of how we adapt.

25 March 2020

A little over twenty-nine years back, but not quite thirty, I was helping a buddy with his photography final. It involved me standing by his Scout as he took double exposure photographs, my hair and duster blowing in the wind. It was phantasmal, and artsy, oh so rock and/or roll.
Things got to taking longer than expected and I phoned home to give an update. I got my little brother. So I gave him the scoop and went about my business.
At the photo studio, we got the news; Operation Desert Shield had morphed into Operation Desert Storm. War was upon us. Via conversations and hanging out, as eighteen year old immortals are wont to do, it was again later. So I called home again, this time getting my mother.
"Where the fuck have been?!?" She demanded. Such a sweet and compassionate soul, my mother. One who had such a sense of lyrical language that I often wondered why she didn't follow in her parents' political footsteps.
Well, she did ask me a question and I did tell her. The fact my brother fucked up and neglected to deliver my initial message was irrelevant. This was somehow all my fault.
"You didn't check in and dinner's almost ready!" She said. "And there's a war on, you know?"
It was my turn to ask what the fuck...
I don't know that there's a point to this tale another than it has been rattling around in my skull all day...

22 February 2020

I have written the first draft of my father's requiem. There is symmetry, twisted, in its countenance, that his death was within ten years and change of my mother's. In late summer, we scatter his ashes under the bristle cone where we left my mother ten years back.

So it goes...

16 June 2019

A Father's Day Tale

It was many years ago, I was perhaps ten or eleven, that we all sat down for a Sunday dinner. There was roast, potatoes, broccoli, and salad. My mother, at the start of the meal, mentioned she was going on a diet and not to be served too much. My father, the compassionate soul he is, was more than happy to oblige. After all, he deeply loved my mother.

He cut the thinnest sliver of roast. A single wedge of potato. The very smallest floret of broccoli. Then he paused to look upon his beloved.

"Would you care for salad, dear?"

By this time my mother was not much caring about the presence of her three young children as her middle fingers flew fast and liberally...

Years later, but a few years back from today, I recounted this tale to a couple of pals. At the end, one looked up at me and said;

"So you're telling me it's genetic."

To this day I have no idea what she meant...

15 January 2019

Winter Hymn

There comes a point in September, when the streets of our towns and backroads are chocked with all manner of vehicle, and slack-jawed rubes the wide-world over want to know where the best place to see aspens are-they're fucking leaves, people!-that I catch myself all but preying for and upon the first of October. See, by then, the only leaves left are defiant scraps of rust and faded saffron. The last of the summer tourists  have scuttled back to their homeplaces and lives they seek to escape from by means of vacation, gone until either the snows of winter and spinning lifts or when it is green and warm here once more.

October is when it supposed to slow down up here, but that is not really true. This is when the hunters come; camo drag and money spent out of guilt for family left back home. There are still tourists too; Europeans and cats who know some things might be closed or are getting ready to close for the coming winter, but it is not as crowded. Some of us travel during October.

Well, how about November? Around here, not so much. We host the Sheep Festival, honoring one of the biggest herds of bighorn in the state. The non-profit, which runs my professional obligations, hosts a volunteer party of some to-do that a good portion of the community shows up for at least a cocktail or two. And, of course, Thanksgiving, when we must once more reunite with further-flung family with gluttony and professional sports to properly kick off the drinking season.

December? Ha! I say. The first two weekends of that month up here are the Christmas Market. There is the attendant brain-damage of the holidays, and December houses some fourteen or fifteen of them, aside from Christmas. For someone of a more solitary nature, it can be a bit of a psychic maelstrom.

Then it is full on winter. January and February. Oh, fuck yes.

It is dark. It is cold. At professional obligations, time is suspended in agonizing amber. If one goes out, it is in layers-no bad weather, just the wrong clothes.

However , it is quiet...

This is when I wander the snow and ice sculptured landscape in meditative contemplation, recharging from the rigors of summer and autumn. I watch the winter stars with small smiles. The music I listen to has a more introspective countenance. As January ends, I watch the slow creep of direct sunlight back upon my house, telling me the Long Dark is over and it is now mid-winter.

Here and now, the dawning of direct sunlight is about two weeks away. I anxiously watch the far valley wall, as I do this time of year. At my professional obligations, Senpai complains about the state of things, but, if he didn't, I'd be digging a hole, or, at least contacting the paramedics. I wander, listening to the rhythms and rhymes of the cosmos. It is winter. Here and now, I rejuvenate.