The 10,000 Things

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What why when where who whither ten-thousand things? (H)o-keh, for me, it was twenty-thousand things.  20,000 instances and occurences this life I’d do over, if I could. I checked the Tao Te Ching again, and, apparently, my memory was faulty.  … Continue reading

THE END OF TIME WILL BE MARKED BY ACTS OF UNFATHOMABLE COMPASSION

(original post title):  no diss intended, but the thrill is gone … we’ll get to that.

Below: Venus & the Moon.  Not too long ago.

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The End of Time?  hey!  I needed a good post title, which I’ll try to bend and tweak and twist to make this latest chapter in the history of the Man Without a History … contiguous with the heading.  (Yeah … right.)

Where did that (the title) come from?

– I used to read.  A lot more than these past few years.  And … not only did I read Brothers Karamazov (and many other ponderous tomes) I also read lots of light-weight tomes.  Almost everything by Kurt Vonnegut.  And, one of the two books by Mr. V’s son, Mark.

In The Eden Express (an autobiographical chronicle of his experiences with schizophrenia) Mark describes an imagined (hallucinated) conversation with Dad.  They banter over the silliness, the un-profoundness of Kurt’s works, and Kurt suggests that Mark open the book he’s reading (Bros K-mazov) to any page, and read just any sentence.  Mark holds the Dostoyevsky by the cover, the book flips open, a sentence part-way down an exposed page stands out.  Hence the title of this essay.  I don’t remember it from Bros K but have always remembered it from The Eden Express.  I used that sentence, and attributed it (erroneously, though I didn’t know it at the time) to Dostoyevsky, as the introduction to a short story I wrote, Respite.

A few years ago, shortly after I penned Respite, I received an email from someone researching Kurt Vonnegut.  The “someone” was, I think, writing a paper which tried to make a connection between KV and Dostoyevsky.  After a few email exchanges, the other party and I concluded that the sentence was not in B K, and somehow materialized (“of it’s own accord”) in Mark V’s book.  My co-correspondent may have been Donald M. Fiene.  But then again, probably not.  He (or whoever (s)he was) approached me initially due to a ‘hit’ from an internet-search for that phrase.

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Every year, not only do Betty and I engage in playing music, we go to see other musicians.  This (so far) hasn’t been much of an active year in regards listening to others — friends and acquaintances (and ourselves) at a club in Fruita (Colorado) — the Cavalcade (or Cavalcade Fruita); Big Head Todd & the Monsters; Poke Squid; the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra; the Indigo Girls; and B B King.

The Girls were the bestest tightest intertwined interesting music we heard (so far) in 2014.  BB King was not.

As a fellow hockey enthusiast also in attendance at the local BB King ‘concert’ summarized:  “the thrill IS gone.”

This is not to say BB King is a (still, barely) living legend, but he should have retired already.  Last year.  Probably before that.  On the one hand, if we had an opportunity for tickets to “meet and greet” Mr. King, with or without the guise or proximity of any music, that’d be one thing.  But for an event to be billed as a musical performance?  That, in my humble opinion, was mostly untrue.

I conducted an internet search of recent reviews and discussions of BB King concerts, and contributed to one:

having seen BBK in Grand Junxion (Aug 18) i agree with all the negative reviews, and stopped to let the positives affect me too. yeah, you’re right: not too many blues legends are “still alive” — but on the other hand it was like a hall full of people there to merely meet&greet. i left early because i did not want to be there when he keeled over and died, which seemed more than remotely possible, particularly when he almost strangled himself trying to get the guitar strap over his head.

There were people present of the same opinion as myself, but also many of which were apparently the hazy-eyed “blues afficionadoes” who shouted WE LUV YEW and applauded everything and maybe this particular evening was the (never-ending) zenith of their existence.  you know, objectivity is probably over-rated. anyhow, a friend of mine had a 4-word summary: the thrill is gone.  my summary: the emperor has no clothes.

he should have retired long before this, and according to prior reviews, maybe 10+ years ago. yes, it was “cute” seeing him bask in attention and beam and be charismatic, but we weren’t there for “cute”, were we? The charisma was un-mistakable  but most of us thought we were going to A CONCERT!  not so.

BB should show up first thing in the show, talk (hopefully less than a 15 minute banter), introduce the band, leave, and let them rip!

and what certainly didn’t help at this occasion was a somewhat surly lout in a baseball cap outside the doors to the venue.  People were not exactly leaving in droves, but the early departures were increasing in frequency.  Betty and I were at the top of the stairs heading down to the parking lot.  This fellow was inquiring loudly to anyone nearby “what did you think?  why are you leaving?  Didn’t you enjoy the show?”

I knew better than to talk with him, but Betty apparently thought he wanted to engage in reasoned discourse.  We can only presume that he was a “roadie”, someone employed by the band, and not at all capable of objectivity and lacking in P R skills as well.  Trying to talk with such a person does nothing to undo whatever tarnish the evening’s experience already had.  I can only hope that if he is, indeed, affiliated with “the outfit,” they either let him go or give him a good talking to.

I mean and meant no “diss” to a living legend.  Remember him as he was …

hazy garfThe forest-fire haze shroud over Mt. Garfield and the Bookcliffs, as seen from much higher up, Land’s End on the Grand Mesa — about a month ago.

While i/we’re on the subject of politikill un/in-corerectnous, i heard on the ray-dee-oh recently that NYC had more heroin overdose deaths last year than in several prior years.  Which brings me to a solution to a problem ….  We’ve also been subjected to several media accounts and hand-wringing about Executions by Lethal Injection gone awry this year.   Wouldn’t you suppose that many (or most) police evidence and storage rooms have lots of heroin (and other fun stuff) seized from criminals?  More than enough to over-dose a lot of people?  Instead of trying to calculate just how much of whatever it is, and attempting precise combinations and mixtures of the former not-too-reliable killing potion — why not just a big old whallop of heroin?

Below, the view to the west across the northwest rim of The Mesa, with

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and without a dog in the foreground.

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another potential death march run, this one in the mountain lion’s territory –>

there were two (‘death march runs’):  one in an area which (many years ago) i had the only mtn-lyin-siting i’ve ever had.  i ran a trail on the north side of the Uncompahgre Plateau, adjoining Unaweep Canyon, and with two dogs scoutin’ the trees as we ran/stumbled along, i thought about the big cat(s), and

A few weeks back I ran along north Fravert Rim.  no, no mountain lyin’s, just millions of years of colorawdough river geologic history, peeled away beneath.  Like many (most?) runners — it’s something we do:  do the workout, but frequently go someplace where you can ponder whatcher runnin’ thru’.  Geology, in this case.  I could see across the Colorado River Valley, ten, a dozen miles perhaps, down to the ‘Wivver perhaps 600 or 700 feet below – many millions of years of cutting and swathing and bending and flooding and oxbows and back-and-forth, going ever deeper.  Heck:  a half-billion years or so, THIS will be THE Grand Canyawn.

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Betty has a problem with the NO FIREWERX.  “Let’s get lit up and RIDE”, she sez.  We’re near Waterdog Reservoirs, the Grand Mesa.

and, stop reading now while you can, a poem …

when tedium might set up and entrench,

i still find time to be amazed.

Might? it does. the layer of overlying tedium over the AY-MAY’ZD thickens. but …

maybe i’ve seen it all before, but i don’t remember, and if that’s so, it still looks new.

the sun shines through a hole in what seems an impermeable wall of clouds, brightly illuminating just a patch of hillside to the west. there’s a cloud-bank within a cloud-bank of cumulus just over the horizon which has an off-white/grey/creamy color which at first is barely discernible from the rest but on a second look stands out.

gittin’ old

what does that mean?

i do have to remember, that the body is separate from … the mind. the dharma. the continuum. if there really. is. a continuum. “it” (whuddever ‘it’ is) could itself be an illusion. it’s just now. continual now.

and thinkin’ about gittin’ older

oh yeah, that’s cheery, at my age, iddn’t it?

and the dawg pharts, a good solid full-bodied one, in answe(a)r.

we/i/you continue fillin’ in the spaces, between the
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PORTLAND ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE !

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We got out of there just in time! I was looking to buy a Portlandia DVD @ the airport “Portland items” gift shop, they didn’t have any, I bought Zombie postcards instead. I showed them to people sitting around us … Continue reading

RABBIT EARS bataan DEATH MARCH & other whimsies of recent

10k @ 10k , rabbit-ears

There are a LOT of unique trail-running races, and more are created every year.  The (Rabbit-Ears) “10k @ 10k” has been being run since at least 1988, when I first ran it.  It probably started a few years earlier.  The 1988 … Continue reading

not so much a(n) (l)anguish as perhaps an ant (or some other insect) icipation

nice.  typical.  typical nice sky.

  Mid June, dorgzeneye went further up Escalante Canyawn than i’ve ever been — above “the Forks.”  Below, the dogs of the forest, or, of the high desert … One of the rare straight and open stretches of the road … Continue reading

WHEN THE STILL SEA CONSPIRES AN ARMOR (Part 2 of “They fly toward grace”)

 

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Just as a character in Pynchon’s Against the Day advocated that the world ended in 1914, I too, had an equivalent epiphany. On December 5, 1971, sitting on a hill outside of Boulder, my perceptions and mind-set ‘aided’ by substances not then legitimized in Colorawdough, I not so much ‘saw’, but felt/intuited the “end,” right then. The faithful, the gross-one-thousand transcendent souls were transported to whatever adjoining but safe realm, and the remainder of us left to forage, continue, dream/night-mare on in a collective illusion.

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Sometimes, like today, I almost wake up. Driving to work, as I have done 4.5 times a week for the past 5+ years, I turned left and saw a rock outcrop above the river, superimposed on a checkerboard of alternating cliff-faces and passages in between. It clicked. The mental photograph stuck with me, much as the subsequent hillside of rock mounds and gullies yielded strong evidence (to me) of a not-impossible mathematical solution. It didn’t last long.

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A few miles later I considered that myself, as an excuse for a human soul — the same stuff as everybody — might choose not to enmesh with the underlying all-knowing oneness of the fundamental cosmic unity, but continue on in sansara. The whirled of illusion. Pursuing what to the cosmic are petty dalliances, but for the individual, what we may, in our ignorance, conceive to be worthwhile pursuits.

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Betty models the Stone (w)Ring of Doom.  The (w)Ring can suck in dog heads, and other semi-animate objects.

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Later during the commute, my mind shut down entirely. I couldn’t even listen to the blather on the radio. I thought about beer, girlfriends and wives and lovers I’d have in future lifetimes, with only occasional forays into what could I do to advance and promote … happiness for everybody.

“Fuck that!”

(No, I don’t really believe that. I hope … )

mesa spring blusteryness

So, when the still sea conspires an armor

& her sullen&aborted currents breed tiny monsters,

♪ TRUE SAILING IS DEAD !

awkward instant, and the 1st animal is jettisoned, legs furiously pumping, their stiff green gallop,

and heads bob up, poise, delicate, pause, consent.

In mute nostril agony, and sealed over !!

(with apologeez to GymMorrisun)

Poor equines.  But if you want to buy vintage blue jeans …

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Yeah, it only took me 3 (more?) years to finish Against the Day (by T. Pynchon).  Heck, remember, it only took FIFTY years for me to become, if not the “Big” man in the Locker Room, well — a Medium-sized one.  (Hint:  read BMITLR).  It has taken umpteen lifetimes to get to whatever point i am in the yooniversal mobius strip.  Reminds me … a former friend made a real nice mobius strip, painted, stiff construction paper, a gift to me, of the two polarity-opposite-extreme sayings i once envisioned on one of those ‘quests':  HANG ON, & LET GO.  Steve Boker.  He’s some sort of quasi-mystic whacko-psychology professor at the U of Virginia.  He (and enslaved grad students) has written learned? treatises on, among other things, how and why people dance to whatever it is they dance to.  I suppose I too, get paid for what may seem like esoteric pursuits…

My beautiful picture

THAT ROck is a weeurd one, eh? like overlaying gloves cumulatively of many many fingers — of course there is a geologic explanation. It’s a heavy sucker, otherwise we’d-a probably loaded it into the truck, and

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Rosco’s “totem animal(s)”. Seems they’re often close, watching me. Many’s the times I’m on a run or bike workout and the shadows sweep overhead, across my path.

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Betty adopted Georgia (“JaJa”) in late February. We CAN’T be just a one-dog family!

 

THEY FLY TOWARD GRACE (Part 1 of When the still sea conspires an armour)

cloud of doom @ sunrise

The Inconvenience (the dirigible which appears and is a frequent part of Against the Day) is constantly having her engineering updated. As a result of advances in relativity theory, light is incorporated as a source of motive power — though … Continue reading

A volleybawl game about the ages, or of the ages?

wintry mtn w/summery trees near ouray

wintry mtn w/summery trees near ouray

Many years ago (probably more than 20) my family and my sister’s family were soaking in the Ouray Hot Springs Pool on a stormy summer afternoon. I have done a few soaks in that venue over the past 30 or so years, but that afternoon stands out.

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No, it doesn’t stand out ’cause of familial accord or anything like that. In fact, my family (and that of my sister and her husband’s slacker trust-fund friend and his dysfunctional family) were not part of the … special-ness.

Like I said, it was mid-summer, and mid-summer in the high mountains runs the weather gamut from bone-dry parchingly hot to glimpses of the inevitable return of winter. And this afternoon had hints of the later. Ominous menacing glowering thunderheads of impending doom over the jagged mountain-tops. Perfect time to be in a 100-degree-plus body of water. And there was a volleyball game.

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My sibling’s and my respective families preferred that day to cluster, or huddle, in the hottest pool at Ouray Hot Springs.  Which is what I like to do — but back then I liked a mix of activity interspersed with interludes of hard-core slothfulness. And so

I rolled over the concrete wall between the hottest part of the pool and the much-cooler section where the volleyball game was in progress. No invitation necessary — it seemed anybody who wanted to participate was welcome. You know, you can tell, this was not a group of people from just one family, or same town, or same club. It was obvious — the vibe transcended such limitations.

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At one end of the playing area were four or so teenagers from Saudi Arabia. Three middle-aged slightly corpulent ladies from Germany were on the other side of the net. A couple from Canada. An intense fellow from France — who had to swim off every 5 or 10 minutes for another cigarette. And Americans of an age range from 10 to older than me, from many parts of the country and not just caucasian ethnocentricity. Possibly the best player out there was a woman of African ancestry who must have been a college athlete (in some sport other than volleyball). And the worst player was a Asian Californian who had to have been the consummate computer geek — how else could you explain such enthusiasm coupled with an almost complete lack of athletic aptitude?

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After one somewhat lopsided game, I suggested that the one Saudi who apparently took this game seriously switch sides. And the one German woman who displayed more than a slight athletic ability also go to the other side of the net, replacing (?) the other side’s best player.

Games were much closer after that. We’d play to 21, most everyone was cold and scrambled over the wall to the hot pool … after a few minutes a couple or three teenagers would start lobbing the ball back-and-forth and everyone who had been playing before would be out there and the next game started.

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With swirling storm clouds hiding the tops of the peaks, the occasional sun peaking through patches of brilliant blue sky, we’d enthusiastically play each point — high fives on the winning-point side (frequent high-fives for a valiant losing effort), good-natured derogatory punches for a futile dive, there was camaraderie all around.

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I have joined in (or occasionally started) pick-up volleyball games from time to time since the early 1970’s. Why, I (and everyone else involved) had a heckuva lotta fun in Hana, island of Maui, Hawaii in 1988 or so. My family stopped at a beach, kids were young, doing beach stuff. I saw a single fellow down by the ocean at a net, just tapping and hitting a ball up into the air. I wandered on over, soon we were casually hitting it over the net, before long another couple guys joined in, I think we ended up at four per side. Many games. Group dunks in the drink when we got hot. ‘Twas a good time.

So was this. I didn’t dwell on the international relations aspect of this experience at the time, but heck. This was great. Everyone focused on fun, laughing, jumping, splashing, interacting … from a half-dozen countries and from four racial backgrounds.

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If this could serendipitously happen in, of all places, Ouray Colorado, how wonderful it would be if volleyball games like this occurred all over the world, all the time.

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Coasta Wreeka: Buscando por La Paz

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Villas la Paz, ConchalCostaRica.com In a sense, I have been searching for La Paz (español for “peace”) all my life. Haven’t we all? Oh, and perhaps I have been searching for the Villas de la Paz for many years. Innocence? Oh, yes. … Continue reading

Volcan Rincòn Parque Nacìonal (Costa Rica)

Volcan Rincon (or one of the other 4 craters!) serenely poses as a backdrop to the Rincon de la Vieja Mountain Lodge

This past February, we spent two days in the vicinity of Volcan Rincon de la Vieja National Park in Costa Rica.  Highly recommended.  An interesting, educational, somewhat nearby interlude from what would have been a ‘strictly’ beachside sojourn. Costa Rica … Continue reading