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Daily archives for February 27th, 2018

A First Colorado Nocturne

Imbolc                                                                            New Life Moon

Haven’t done a nocturne since I got to Colorado, if I recall correctly. However, driving home tonight with the waxing new life moon shining through the lodgepole pines and Orion high in southwestern sky I wanted to write one.

I’m re-reading an old book, 1974, by a theologian named David Miller, The New Polytheism. It is, in a way, a counterpoint to H. Richard Niebhur’s important essay, “Radical Monotheism and Western Culture.”

The moon and Orion both represent, and are themselves, forces in our culture. Orion, the hunter and warrior. The moon, our light in the darkness, the periodicity most familiar to us after night and day. I could feel them both tonight on the drive up Brook Forest, these old friends, 71 years of nights, 49 since my time in the guard shack in Muncie when Orion and I became friends.

I find polytheism, multiple centers of value in H. Richard Niebhur’s conceptual framework, a much more sensible approach to the diverse and plural world in which we live, and which lives in us.

Night makes this clearer to me, cleans up the distractions of the day. My mind ranges further, makes unusual connections, feels old threads linking now and then, now and tomorrow. Time for bed now. Good night.

The Inner. The Outer.

Imbolc                                                                                  New Life Moon

visual_field_testGlaucoma stable. Did a visual field exam yesterday, space invaders with a clicker and dots of light flashing off and on, testing peripheral vision.

Kate went with me so we could go to the Village Gourmet and buy a carving knife and a better potato masher. Turns out what I thought of as a carving knife was a filleting knife, a boning knife. What I wanted in spite of its different purpose. It’s in the knife rack now awaiting the time I have to cut up more chunks of beef or a chicken or a capon. Remember the capon saga around Thanksgiving? Found a potato masher, too. With a horizontal grip, easier on old hands.

My birthday present is to change out my wardrobe. That is, get rid of the old work related shirts and suits and shoes and pants and replace them. It’s been a long, long time since I had to show up at the office or appear in a tie, so this is not a sudden decision.

No. Not cowboy boots and shirts with triangle shaped pockets, pearl snaps. Not cowboy hats and big belt buckles. Just not me. But. Part of the motivation is to dress as the Coloradan I now feel myself to be. I’m no cowboy, nor are most of the folks who wear Western style clothing either. My Colorado is more mountains than ranches, more forests and streams than ski slopes. And, in that, my Colorado has definite affinities with my other favorite places, northern Minnesota with its clear lakes and thick forests, Lake Superior, especially its western and true northern shore, and northern Anoka County in Minnesota.

flannelSo. More flannels and plaids. Fleece vests. Another pair or two of blue jeans. Some new hat, though I don’t have a particular one in mind right now. There is a tiny part of me that relates to loggers, lumberjacks. Not the whole lumberjack look that spread out from Minnesota a few years back. That’s not still a thing, is it? But related to it. With all the chainsaw work I’ve done over my lifetime I feel I’ve earned some of that.

Mussar puts a significant inflection on changing outward behavior to change inner attitudes. As part of a strategy for self work, this makes sense to me though it conflicts sharply with my understanding of authenticity. In the case of defining a new look it feels appropriate.

What I want is my costuming, my outer look, to reflect my inner attitude, my changing sense of the place to which I belong. It’s definitely no longer oxford cloth shirts and polished wool pants, silk ties and Cole Haan shoes. Finished with that. For good.

A more comfortable, rumpled, casual look. One with a north woods, mountain feel. We went to a thrift shop yesterday after the Village Gourmet and I found two flannel shirts and a brown fleece vest. $16. I’ve gotten started. My plan is that for each new (new to me) shirt or accessory I buy, I’ll put an existing shirt or pair of pants in a box for the Mountain Resource Center.

This feels of a part with the melancholic turn, not a symptom of the melancholy, but of the inner change struggling to express itself. The who am I now question that has me stalled for the moment. And that’s ok. Maybe when I put on that new(er) Clear Creek Outfitter flannel shirt a piece of this journey will come into focus.

 

 

 

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