Defying the Doldrums (Soundtrack “Are You Going With Me” Pat Metheny)


When I was a kid we’d buy paper kites, they were relatively resilient but never intended to last—-their flimsy construction gave them the agility to fly but also made them vulnerable to a host of possible mishaps—they were as precious as they were mortal.  A poorly tied tether knot and all may be lost, or should an unexpected gust of wind blow her into branches, then she’s snared and marooned, left there forever dangling from the sky like a monument to someones carelessness.  I brought myself here, just like you did—-we’re all just holding on by a string, so I refuse to feel sorry for anybody—nobody!—except for maybe one of those kids with bald heads who haven’t been given much of a chance to survive the treatment, let alone the disease—I save my compassion for these cases.

Those mopey fuckers at the grocery stores asking me for spare change or the young dude with pleading eyes and his cardboard sign perched at the last stoplight before the climb to the freeway onramp, they piss me off—-they don’t seem to realize that we all have to make our own wind, running uphill like hell, never looking back until the string feels taunt, until god decides to lightly blow his breath on you, lifting your body above the ground into the void of space and torched stars, and below spins that beautiful blue ball of water and land—here in the ether, even the coldest of hearts will thaw.

I hand a crinkled dollar to a crumpled man, and for a solemn instance we are connected, we occupy the same moment, share the same world—-then without speaking I turn and walk away and return to my world—-as he returns to his—–

Kindest or cruelty—–which way will the wind blow

The older I get, the less I look into the mirror and the longer I stare at my hands

Naked Trees


It’s mid October and I’ve missed that brief one or two-day period when the Aspen leaves are at the brink of losing their last flash of Autumn’s dying beauty—-even death has its  display of pastel-ed glory, and then the wind sweeps all vanity away.  I am left with only stark branches like the bones of summer to carry me through the skeleton of another season passed.  At my feet the fallen leaves stir as I make my annual hike around Spooner lake.  This is the month of quiet contemplation and a time to face ones marauding ghosts that emerge from the shadows and are carried on falls chilly winds—-

Every season seems to have its emotional and psychological landscape.  I find myself missing spring in autumn and the freshness of winter in the heat of summer, I’m a discontented soul, always wanting what’s just out of my reach.  Here, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, each of the four seasons have dominion over their portion of the calendar. The seeds have been planted and the harvest is in, the metaphor of reaping what we sow is played out—–the nonbelievers burn off their barren fields.  A big orange moon reigns in the sky reminding me that the masks of Halloween will soon be donned.   I think of all my old friends and how time has changed our appearance, yet I know that their souls are the deep well from which I draw my sustenance.  A good song will always be a good song and the steps of a shared dance will never grow old, nor be forgotten.

I keep my hands warm, carrying them deep in my pockets.  I’m not sure where I am on this leaf strewn path, I’ve always been more lost then found.  A map and compass possess no value when my destination is between each footstep.  A low lying fog fingers its way through the tall pines, the branches sway and I listen to their whispering voices.   I think of my family and friends and mumble a prayer for the goodness of all.  A chicory squirrel stares at me and then giggles as he scurries across my trail—-he knows God’s plan better than I.

I take a seat on a log and plug my earphones into my iPod.  J. D. Souther comes on singing, “Silver Blue”.  The melody is a perfect sound track to this mystical vista of lake, aspens, pines and fog—what a sublime speck in time.

In all the chaos and madness of life, it can feel at times that people and events have no rhyme or reason, but in retrospect (when looking back after the fact) things come into focus and have a purpose and a reason for happening, maybe that’s faith—believing that the future will workout the way it is intended and that the things in the past have occurred for a greater purpose—-this is how I remember my Mom looking at life.  She always saw the positive in all things, even when things were not going as planned—-

I pull a smashed sandwich from my backpack and have a bite.  I take a sip of peach tea and have a  laugh at myself—

Tomorrow I’ll head south to Hope Valley and wander through those stands of Aspens—-all things change at their own pace.

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”  Albert Camus

Matthew 7:16—And Mixed Metaphors


I was in a bad mood yesterday.  I played horrible golf.  I don’t know if playing horrible golf is what put me in a bad mood or being in a bad mood is what made me play terrible golf.  The secret to playing good golf is course management.  The key to success is allowing your good shots to compensate for your not so good shots—-and so it goes for life management.

After golf, we went downtown to the Casino where I drank beer and lost forty bucks (imagine that!).  I don’t know if not winning kept me in a bad mood or being in a bad mood is what caused me to lose.  Winning at gambling doesn’t depend so much on the cards you’ve drawn, but more so on how you play the hand you’ve been given—-and so it goes for the game of life.

Now I was drunk, broke and in a worse mood—–Another doomed walk on the wild-side—(and the colored girls go)—-doot da doot— da doot—- da doot doo—- doot dat doot—da doot—- da doot doo).  Finding one’s way into the wild is always much easier than fighting one’s way back out, just consider the plight of Christopher Johnson and his ill-fated mis-adventure documented in the book—-“Into The Wild”.

When we got back home, I drank more beer>>>>>burp….  I became ornery and picked a fight with my girl—-At this point, I’m holding the entire world in contempt——————what a mess—I’m a mess—-everything’s a mess.  The committee of individuals who govern my personality have been overthrown by a kook—a madman, a creep and a weirdo.  The nice guys, the polite ones, the peace makers, the ones who give a shit about anything, have been run off and put on hiatus—–I fuckin did it–-again!  

I believe that we can’t separate who we are, from what we do——or what we do, from who we are. Jesus once said, “You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thorn-bushes or figs from thistles?”  Although, in this metaphor he’s referring to false prophets—–but for me, it’s a truth that speaks to us all.