NOTE: another “passed from the blast” — appears to have been conjecturated ~ Later Nov., 2010.
P A L L I A T I O N
& other distraxions
One could (or even two, or more) look at all activities as palliation, of sorts.
The first big freeze of the season came early. Ran in it. Continue to run in it, besides residual leaf-raking and the Sisyphusian shoveling and re-location of horsie and doggie poo-poo. And other re-distributions. Create? Destroy? Physics elucidates that matter/energy cannot be “destroyed” nor can anything be “created” — just transformed. Or moved to another location. That’s basically all I do, and not very well at that. Sigh. Tell that to my aching back!
An acquaintance, a local weather-scientist, tells me that six years ago was much colder, and, yes, it was. Still, it’s cold now, mostly due to everybody having been somewhat spoiled until mid-November.
Ah yes, a change of scenery. I ran from Ben/Rachel’s house a coupla weeks back. It’s a strength-sapping vitality-draining brutal uphill. But honest. In retrospect, I love it. (Don’t we all have our love/hate affairs?) One can trot for a mile-and-a-half to the hilltop, the roar (not of the ocean currents but) of the Interstate. Then back down. I got disoriented (“it wasn’t a BAD thing”) each time, still arriving back at their house not too lost, thereby able to cash in the chips for a more-decadent recumbent hedonistic rest of the day. And then …
Ben and Raytsch took, pulled, left me on a slorshy foggy forest path along the upper Clackamas. (I KNOW I would have been much much more apprehensive and attentive to my parents under such circumstances!) In spite of frequent reminders of the movie “Romancing the Stone” where our hero(in)es slip-and-fall down a hill thru’ the sheet-flood-rainy hillsides almost to the river below, fortunately I did not slide thru’ the sharp rocks and broken ends of stumps and branches into the 33-degree rushing Clackamas. It was highly possible, verging on probable, however. A good scary adventure and workout. Followed by a verging-on-extradimensional soak in a large hot-tub adjoining a wilderness area further up in the mountains.
Snow was falling. The adjustable inlet into the hot tub was (by my calibrated and practiced calculation) 112° F. The joy of the adjacency of the immanency of death-by-frostbite and so-hot-your-corpse-will actually cook. We luxuriated for an hour.
If one looks at the intersections of any group of people’s favorite relaxing past-times, and the more-active group’s favorite group outdoor activity, and that outcast not-so-normal collection (such people are in such short supply that they rarely are a “group” but perhaps a thin … collection) of humans’ preferred indulgence, then the group-soak in a high-mountain hot springs bears few challengers.
I don’t know about the Oregon residents, but for the refugees from the arid high-desert climes, this was an extra-worldly immersion. Fortunately, the air temperatures were such that after having exited the sauna-world, we walked and exerting any effort beyond the zomboid-corporeal, we’d stay warm. But we kind of had to hurry, no tarrying.
And the following run … two days later. I had never been to Forest Park, world-renowned if one lives in Portland and adjoining areas — “the largest city park in the world.” Rumors circulate that there are tree-house villages more than a generation of longevity, of almost self-sufficient communities, some of whom venture out of the woods once every two weeks — to pick up general-delivery mail (tap into the wireless network), buy supplies, shower? doctor visits, cappuccinos and other dietary esoterica, and disappear back into the forest.
So we ran there. We met Wade, whom none of us had seen for months and months as he had just returned from New Zealand at a sort of pass or high point in the Park. Ben’s brother and his wife, who had journeyed down from northern Warschington to join all of us for an early Thanksgiving, were part of the crewe. Ben’s sister-in-law and Betty were to walk the dogs while the rest of us ran.
Wade was not comfortable with the pace the others trotted off at, so I followed him. We ran, occasionally talking for about two miles. We encountered a dozen or two other runners, all running the opposite direction. I wondered if the Park had an unofficial rule that everyone runs the trail one direction one day, and the other direction the next. If so, we were swimming upstream.
Wade apparently knew another way back and we parted ways. Its fortunate that the others were waiting a mile or so further, otherwise I might still be wandering in Forest Park. An appetite-building group tonic. Two daze later Betty and I were re-immersed in the familiar scenery of the “high desert.”
We spent the actual Thanksgiving with Tom at his house. We drove over the night before on ice-and-snow-packed roads, watching the outside temp (as indicated by the car’s thermometer) creep down, and down … to about seventeen below when we reached our destination.
Tom’s mental health appears to be above average. Hockey helps. I think hockey would “help” me, too. (Darn).
However, life for me, in general, could be summarized as “the view of the inside of the toilet bowl as i/we swirl about in it, just before (the) … ” And I’ve been having some rather vivid and intense sojourns in various dream-worlds of recent. A return to, if not Narnia, Sierra Moreno. “It’s there.”
Still, while so-called awake, I also frequently marvel. At the interplay of the first light of the day on distant hillsides, the underside of clouds — as if one could pluck the edge of a very large fabric and the whole thing would ripple, and of such things as horses racing across a field or the baby desert bighorn sheep gamboling about on the clifftops or something as seemingly mundane and ordinary as the ever-present crows sitting atop power poles keeping watch on us.
I know the BBITS* has aspirations, or, if not exactly aspirations, a probably unrealistic perfect-world-scenario expectation of us to GET SOMETHING DONE in this life. Sigh, it could be the life after next for me. At this rate. Yawn. Dizzyingly, can’t stand up, won’t speak up, retreat to the back of the room, the dream fades, continued entropy.
*big-bulbous-in-the-sky. Do you call it jesus? allah? the moronic angel atop the steak center? The noon-time siren going off at the courthouses of small towns all over amerika? and canada too? making the dogs howl. small wonder. we should all howl too. if only we knew. the thin lying betwixt being swept along with time, and being able to FORD THE STREAM and, finally, dripping wet, but alive, looking around, taking stock of the possibilities, you are on THE OTHER SIGHED.