• Category Archives Reimagine. Reconstruct. Reenchant.
  • Election 2024: the Novel. Another Twist.

    The Mountain Summer Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: The novelist has thrown yet another Big Twist into this election year. Trump’s ear. Oh, my. Red Flag warning today. Red Flag in the day, attention must pay. Numbers. Zornberg’s Bewilderment. Reading. Mitch Rapp. Another week of 150 plus minutes exercise. Radiation consult this Thursday. My son. Seoah. Murdoch. Hawai’i.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: My son

    One brief shining: Handed in my Powerball ticket, a big winner, over a quarter of a billion dollars, Tom’s challenge, what are those first moments like, how do I feel, what do I do, the Ancient Brothers topic for this morning, an American, so American, fantasy, yet one with a Rorschach template for our real values.


    Gotta admit. I didn’t see a registered Republican recent high school student using his no doubt legally obtained AR-15 assault rifle to fire eight shots at 45. That one photograph with blood around his mouth. I thought to myself, no way this can get any weirder. Wrong, so wrong. Gobsmacked. Forehead slapped. Mind scrambled.

    No thriller writer would have this much chutzpah. The irony way too obvious. The twist, after the debate and the Supreme Court ruling on immunity, and the felony convictions, and the money damages in the cover up trial and the E. Jean Carroll verdict. Too much. I mean, come on. Is that believable?

    It is a page turner though. What will happen next? Russian interference? Chinese interference? Maybe a black hole selectively absorbing only those citizens with way more red than necessary in their fashion statements? Each day a different aspect of the democratic process comes under attack from those seemingly interested in a quasi-king instead of a head of the third equal branch of our Federal Government.

    At 77 this is almost more excitement than I can handle. Normally a bit breathless here at 8,800 feet, now I’m attached to an oxygen concentrator.

    There are as well all those polls showing the orange one ahead in the swing states, the battleground states, while kind Old Joe dithers. And Kamala Harris runs without running. Democrats dither along with Joe. Somebody has to show decisiveness. Let’s turn this damned election upside down and inside out. Elect a Democrat.


    Just a moment: Here’s the thing. Revelation. A musty old idea. Communication from the other side, eh? Or, maybe from this or that multiverse? Could be God? Always, and I want to lean on this hard, Always, human mediated. Even miracles only become miraculous when reported and confirmed by some human who experienced them. The implication? All of our religious reveries, our sacred writings, our tales of Jesus and Moses and Zoroaster and Shiva and Lao Tze, all within the human experience. What is resurrection but a tale told by a human?

    No, this is not a definitive argument against revelation per se. All I can confidently say is that we don’t know it unless someone told us or we experienced it and are the ones doing the telling. Same thing could be said, I suppose, for science. Only the results of experiments by humans, evaluated and reported by humans.


  • The Jurupa Oak

    The Mountain Summer Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Churros and xocolate. Ham and creamed cheese. Mandarin oranges. The Mediterranean diet. Aspirational. Coffee. Bunn High Altitude Coffee Maker. Espresso roast beans. Veronica’s bat mitzvah party. Rabbi Jamie. Parsha Korach. Numbers. Aviva Zornberg’s Bewilderment. Reading. Plant hormones: cytokinin, auxin, gibberellin.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Evolution

    One brief shining: Pulled back the blue wrapper on the bar of xocolate from La Tienda, put chunks from it in a small pan with some milk after I placed the churros in my toaster oven, hit the induction button and pressed it up to six slowly stirring with a fork as the milk turned first light brown, then a deep chocolate as it thickened, the churros finished with an appliance ding, I poured the xocalate in a wide coffee cup and began dipping the churros.


    One thing tasted like I hoped. Churros and melted chocolate. Definitely an only on rare occasions treat. But yum. The Spanish serve it at breakfast and as a dessert. This is something that will stay on my broad menu. Though I admit it doesn’t bring me closer to the fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish my inner dietitian recommends.


    Spent shabbat reading and watching TV. Napping. Relaxing after a rigorous workout week. Eating good food. At least good tasting food. Tarot cards. Working the subconscious through Woodland Guardians and the Wildwood deck. Reading parsha Korach and Aviva Zornberg’s commentary. Which also works the subconscious.

    The inner world equivalent of those deep submersibles. Scrunching myself up in the five of vessels, diving with the archetype of a dancing anima holding a Baccahanalian thysrus, twirling among candles. How low can I go? Or following the lost generation of Jews and their trust/distrust of the power that led them out of Egypt only to wander in the desert. The bee and the pomegranate taking me back to the Andover bee hives, the evenings with seeds encased in red. Thinking of Persephone.

    Shabbat. Friends. Food. Learning. Relaxing. Reinforcing my Jewish identity.


    iNature page on the Jurupa Oak

    Just a moment: the Jurupa Oak*. I’d never heard of it until cousin Diane sent me an article about it. This tree has lived for 13,000 years. California’s housing crisis could doom it. WP, July 5, Shannon Osaka.

    It is a clonal colony like the more well known Pando, a colony of Aspen in Utah, estimated to be 14,000 years old.

    Trees and their lives. Bristlecones and Sequoias and Coastal Redwoods and Lodgepoles and Aspen. Maples. Oaks. Wollemi Pines. Dogwood. Ash. Elm. Ironwood. Willows. Ponderosa. Douglas Fir. Colorado Blue Spruce.

    We live such short lives though we may travel far. The Tree stays rooted, lets the world travel around it, dancing and reaching for the Sky.


    *The Jurupa Oak, or Hurungna Oak,[1][2] is a clonal colony of Quercus palmeri (Palmer’s oak) trees in the Jurupa Mountains in Crestmore Heights, Riverside County, California. The colony has survived an estimated 13,000 years through clonal reproduction,[3][4][5] making it one of the world’s oldest living trees.[5] Wiki


  • Transitioned

    Summer and the Mountain Summer Moon

    Shabbat gratefuls: Lengthening nights. Warm days. Spanish food for the Fourth. Judy Sherman. Kate. All those who suffer, yet are strong. Resilience. Workout yesterday. Joanne. Responsibility. Seeing, being responsive. Kavod. Honor. Teshuvah. Botany. Cambium. Phloem and xylem. Heartwood. Photosynthesis. Carbon Dioxide in. Oxygen out. Creating food for us all.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Energy into matter

    One brief shining: Got a thick cardboard box, heavy, filled first with crenelated paper, opened the larger box inside and removed the slices of acorn fed Iberian Jamon ham, of chorizo, of other ham slices, churros and xocalate, then the smaller box which contained Olives, grilled Peppers, nuts greeting my Fourth of July feast.


    Every once in a bit. I’ll see some food offering. In a grocery store, especially one like Tony’s. Or, online, maybe Wild Alaska or at the Spanish food site, La Tienda. The Store. My imagination gets caught by the marketer’s guile and visions of a scrumptious meal dance before my inner eye. Not real often. But on occasion.

    Less often, my eye’s dance, my inner tongue tastes the delicacies on offer and I reach for my money. The anticipation never matches the reality. Oh, if it only could. Sure the Jamon ham is tasty, but not in a lift off, send me to the moon way. The Olives are good as are the Peppers. Good, not amazing. I know. You’d think at 77 I would have learned. And mostly I have. But on occasion…


    Still no word from Rocky Mountain Cancer Care. Not sure why getting in to see these radiation oncologists is taking so long. Kristie put me on the Orgovyx to tamp down the cancer while I wait to get in, but it’s been almost three weeks and I don’t even have an appointment. I’ve jiggled Kristie and Rocky Mountain. Nada. I’m a bit frustrated. Ready to have these metastases radiated.

    I’m assertive about my care. In general and especially so with cancer, yet moving medical bureaucracies is no easier than moving corporate or governmental bureaucracies. Sometimes you have to wait.


    Back to the tarot deck. Pulling cards each day. Tarot tickles my inner compass, puts a probe down below my consciousness. Yesterday from the Wildwood Deck I turned over a five of vessels for the second time in three days. Ecstasy. Happiness. Realization of a dream. And from the Woodland Guardian deck, the Bee and the Pomegranate. Productivity. Hard work.

    Herme’s Pilgrimage has legs. Learning botany basics in a Coursera class from Tel Aviv University. Finished the Tree communication class from the New York Botanical Garden. Am reading my way through a book on Tree myths and one on old growth forests. Did a Google arts and culture search on Trees and got thousands of hits. This pilgrimage has a wandering path with Trees as a lodestar. For now. Plants, too.

    I have transitioned from the days of learning for my conversion and bar mitzvah to a new field of knowledge.





  • I’m Into Something Good. Oh, yeah…

    Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Cool night. Elk. Mule Deer. Fox. Great Sol. The Great Wheel. The Great Work. The Jewish Year. Wild Trees. Ancient Forests. Sequoias. Coastal Redwoods. Bristlecone Pines. Kabbalah. Shekinah. The Sabbath Bride. Emergence. Lodgepoles. Aspens. Jewitches. Love. Justice. Compassion. A direction, a purpose. A way to live.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Emergence

    One brief shining: Before the closing of the door and before I even open it, I stand hand over my eyes repeating the shema, declaring that I, god-wrestler, find the one to be all and the all to be one, which we might call god or not, but we can call it for sure the interdependent web of all things, all becoming things, everywhere there is a where, stretching from me in front of my bedroom door to the other reaches of this universe, passing by the Crab Nebula and the Horse Head Nebula on its way to a boundary where there can be no boundary.


    I’m into something good.* Said this this morning during the Ancient Brothers. An exciting burst of serendipity, synchronicity, plain old enthusiasm. Heading toward eudaimonia. Wow. Sounds manic as I write it. Has some of that flavor. The shovel that uncovered this new path? A dream. And the Dreamers’ response to it.

    And… Here we go. I’m going back to Wabash College. At least that place I was when I was there. Serendipity note: the Herman’s Hermits song below was released in 1964, the summer before my last year of high school, and before my mother’s death in October. Another serendipity note: Herman’s Hermits.

    When I went to Wabash, I had competing emotions, both so very strong. The first. Grief. Unresolved, not understood, in no way dealt with. Mom was dead. I left home to go to this school, at the time highly competitive, and bare my small town intellect to so many others so much smarter than me. Grief and uncertainty. Toxic at best.

    The second. Finally! A liberal arts education. A chance to get into the cultural deposit of the West. (It would be many, many years before Asia showed up in my life.) Philosophy. History. English Literature. Languages. A chance to grow beyond my autodidact years, guided by professors and stimulated by fellow students. Hard to convey the excitement, even relief, I felt at starting college.

    Then German happened. I wanted to read Hegel, Nietzsche, Kant in the original. So I signed up. And floundered. Bad. Got c’s and d’s on quizzes and tests. Where this headed was clear. Abject failure. I did not do the brave and movie worthy thing. Face up to it and overcome. No. I dropped German like a hot potato masher hand grenade.

    At the end of the year summer jobs were hard to find and Wabash was expensive. I decided to go further. Leave Wabash altogether. I’m not big on regret, but this is one of them for me.

    The dream. Said. Go back. Be who you intended to be. The one that got lost along the way. So who was I going to be, the 18 year old version of this 77 year old. I wasn’t sure of anything but my desire to dive headlong into the deep waters of the liberal arts. Where would I come out? No idea. Didn’t want to know. I only wanted the journey. No destination.

    I’ve made a journey, but got off the path of liberal arts, shunted aside by politics and religion. By alcohol and women. By travel and jobs. All ok, all good. Yet not where I wanted to be.

    Now. The tarot card, the Hermit, hangs rendered in neon over my breakfast table. Herman’s Hermits remind me of the year before college, feelings accelerating, ground speed increasing. I’m also reminded of my first response to Kate’s death. I’m going to be a hermit. Hence, the neon. Last year I wrote a one-act play introducing Herme, the Hermit, and Cold Mountain’s poetry. And the dream says, go. Teshuvah. Return to the highest and best you.

    A semi-hermit, a sometime recluse, a happy loner. But one with the permission to study, to write. To go back into the liberal arts and see if, as Israel: God-Wrestler, I can add to the world my own learnings.  About the Great Wheel, the Jewish liturgical year, trees and plants, about process metaphysics, about religion, about poetry and literature, about transformation and metamorphosis. These are the lenses through which I have learned to see the world.

    Next. Organizing my days, weeks, months, years around this Fool’s Journey. After that. On to the diving board, spring up and down. Out into thin air.


  • Cookin’

    Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Irv. Tom. The Ancient Brothers. Rabbi Jamie. The hidden me. Great Sol ablaze in morning glory. Kate, always Kate. Her Creek and her Valley. Kep, my sweet boy. The Redwoods. Bechira points. A long Pause. This Jewish life. Tara. Luke. Rebecca. Ginny and Janice. Back among my peeps. Alan and Joan this morning. Friendships. Music.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: a Pause

    One brief shining: Driving down the hill toward Evergreen, Black Mountain Drive becomes Brook Forest Drive, a couple of miles after what used to be the Brook Forest Inn a shallow cutout, good for maybe two or three vehicles, provides parking for a short Valley with a small Mountain Stream carving its way through, White Pines and Ponderosas, Wild Rose and Wild Strawberry and Wild Raspberry grown along its banks and up the steep Valley sides, this is Kate’s Creek running through Kate’s Valley, where her last physical remains began their journey to the World Ocean.


    Yesterday was session ten of ten conversion sessions with Rabbi Jamie. I will miss these. My Rabbi. There’s a phrase I would not have expected to come out of my mouth. Ever. Yet now I can’t imagine life without Rabbi Jamie in it. He’s a backstop. A validator. A friend. A guide.

    He opened me up again yesterday. I shared my guilt. Jewish guilt? About being a hermit by preference these days. Not wanting to engage politically. Or in any way really that’s not personal. As he often does, he went to what appeared to be tangent.

    “I researched creativity a couple of years ago. Prepping for a Kabbalah Experience class. I learned then that a creative block, or Pause, can be long. And you never know how long.”

    I had used a string of phrases: Not over, Not finished, Not complete, Not done to describe how I felt about my life. While affirming my joy at being alone within a crowd of friends.

    Slowly. Oh. I see. Kate’s illness intensifying in mid-2019. Her long, slow decline. Covid. Her death. Grief. Going this way into redecorating the house, that way into moving to Hawai’i, over there to empty the house of stuff, adjusting to my son and Seoah living so far away, taking the plunge into the mikveh and my year of living Jewishly. The trip to Korea and my back’s emergence as a limit. Feeling overtaken, if not overwhelmed, by all the learning, the focus required for conversion and my bar mitzvah. The trip to San Francisco.

    Like a caterpillar in its chrysalis, an imaginal self reorganizes for renewal, reemergence. Its container the years of a   whole life-lived experience, vital nutrient for a transformed nefesh. This paused version of me lives day to day. Happy. Joyful. Yet unfocused. Unlike the Great Southern Brood I have no 13 year clock ticking; the timing is uncertain. This Pause. A moment. Now five years or so in length.

    So freeing. So liberating. As Rabbi Shapiro said (I think.), “It’s all about freedom.”



  • Cabin Fever Trip

    Spring and the Moon of Liberation

    Tuesday gratefuls: Great Sol. Brightening our day. Counting the Omer. Begins tonight. Traveling readiness day. Delayed, but happening today. Diane’s great work on setting up an itinerary. Museums, as Ode says, temples of creativity. The Artist’s Way. My Jewish immersion. The Three Body Problem trilogy. Fall Out on Prime Video. High quality television. Kindle.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Artists-painters, writers, playwrights, musicians, poets, actors, sculptors, architects, composers

    One brief shining: With awakening I’m in a new life, a multiverse reality based on the day before yet new as the dew on a spring ephemeral, in that day my many breaths each constitute life breathed out and back in, new lives each breath, how can I keep from singing?


    Feeling the welcoming breath of a travel day exhaling from the end of the week toward me. Inspiring my activities today. Finalize packing. Stop mail. Get a pedicure. Collect myself for a journey.

    This is mostly a cabin fever trip. A way of escaping a place I love because the snow and the cold stayed a bit too long. And for most folks I’ve talked to. A way to refresh the joys of home by vacating its presence for a bit. Enjoy the graces and beauties of San Francisco, see Diane. Live in a hotel for 7 nights, 2 nights in a sleeping car there and back. Write. Read. See the Rockies, the intermountain West, the Sierra Nevadas, canyons and deserts.

    I’ve missed seeing good art on a regular basis. I’ve not found the Denver art scene at all comparable to the Twin Cities and I’ve let that attitude, plus the drive, keep me from seeing much at all. That’s on me. This trip will allow me to visit at least three of the country’s great collections: The Legion of Honor, the De Young, and the Asian Art museum. I plan to see them slowly. Taking as much time as I need. Reenter the world of Zhou and Han, Song and Tang, Picasso and Hokusai, Rodin and Giacometti.

    Yes. You could say of me. Religion, politics, and art. The subjective, the debatable, the aesthetic, the aspects of culture not manageable by STEM. Sure I like a good scientific discovery as much as the next nerd, but to examine an ancient text for the message it carries down the millennia to this day, to stand in the street and face down an oppressive economy, to join the conversation of those for whom shape, color, and language create whole worlds and dizzying perspectives, yes. That’s my journey.

    That and one other thing. The wild spots outside my door, up the flank of Black Mountain. Here on Shadow Mountain I can integrate the seeker, the advocate, and the artist with the world around me. My Lodgepole Companion and I see each other each morning. I said hello yesterday to those Mule Deer Does munching grass along Black Mountain Drive. Within them lie the same message as the Torah portion I will read on June 12th, the same spirit of over against oppressive structures, and an equivalent beauty to the best of Monet.


  • A person of…

    Spring and the Moon of Liberation

    Shabbat gratefuls: The Morning Service. Bar Mitzvah. Snow. Cold. Moisture. Water. Air. Fire. Earth. Old physics. Physics. String theory. Twine theory. Thread theory. Quilts and quilting. Sewing. Matilda, Kate’s dress dummy. Kate in my dreams. Ancientrails. Diane. Art. In person. Judaism. My year of living Jewishlly. Outside my comfort zone. A lot.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Trains

    One brief shining: I looked out my window today, oh my, and there on the ground lay Snow, on the Branches of the Lodgepoles Snow, on the driveway Snow, and my Snow and Cold loving self looked at it and sighed, the calendar showing in less than two weeks, the fire holiday of Beltane, start of the growing season.


    Looking at myself. Some people. A man of money. Of power. Of racing. A woman of medicine. Of writing. Of the 100 meter dash. Of acting. Of music. Of whatever occupies prime location in an individual’s life story. I have to look at my story and be honest. I am a man of religion. Both small r and Big R. Individual and institutional. Can’t say I would have predicted this for me. Nor much of the time been aware of it.

    Yet. The deep questions of our species. Our search for meaning. For how to position ourselves in this, this whatever all this is. The folks and traditions who have explored these questions. My turf. Where I’ve lived much of my life. Oh, yes, their have been other enthusiasms: politics, art, writing, gardening, But somehow I always bounce back to the prayers, the songs, the sacred books. Not as a supplicant but always as a lover, one who presses his hand to the heart of it. Leans his head in and enjoys a quiet afternoon learning of the Greek Orthodox theological framework of reception. The Taoist wu wei. The Jewish Morning Service. Why Jesus prayed at Gethsemane. The Potawatomi writing habit of capitalizing the names of living things.

    One who rides through the Mountains looking for signs. Who walks down Mountain Valleys hearing the voices of the Creek, the Magpies, the wild Strawberries. Seeing in the gentle run of a Mountain Stream swollen by Spring Snows the path of all living things carried by this mystery, vitality. A man who cannot absent himself from the quest for what and why and where.

    Perhaps you, too? Do you read the sacred books and know their definite humanity, yet find within them the human desire to grasp the interconnectedness of things? Feel inspired to have your own moments of revelation? Perhaps, eh? That splash of color. That child’s laugh. The sudden sense that an injustice needs redress. The kisses of a small furry puppy or a three-year old child. A wondering about Buddha nature? About chi? About teshuvah? About Ramadan?

    You see my conviction is this. We are all people of religion. All born with wonder, imbued with awe, fascinated with the mysterious. Sure, some of us make a life of it, but all of us question. All of us see values and linkages. See them and need them. Yes, your path may be all of your own making, yet it can be informed by those who have chosen to retain the paths of their ancestors. As your path, your ancientrail, can inform theirs.

  • In the Weeds. Skip if not interested

    Spring and the Moon of Liberation

    Wednesday gratefuls: Marilyn and Irv. Spinal stenosis. Pain. Writing. Art date. Morning pages. Great Sol blasting us with fusion energy. Green Lodgepole Needles. Black Mountain. Blue Sky. Shadow Mountain strong. Our lives and the challenges we face, the moments that define us. Our favorite places. Earth. Our orbit around Great Sol.  Yod Heh Vav Heh. The ineffable. The unutterable. The necessary name. I was. I am. I will be. YHWH is one.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: the tetragrammaton

    One brief shining: There is a moment, an eternal moment, one still entrained in the vast sweep of eternity, when we find ourselves, know who we were, who we are, and who we will become, in that moment we instantiate the four letter name of God, we are godly, god corporeal, god within the world, god as hands and feet and heart for justice, mercy, and love, this moment is always and long, extending over your whole life.


    Feeling theological today. Here’s my torah portion in English:

    19:25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.

    20:1 Then God spoke all these words:
    2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery

    I can now say this in Hebrew, pronouncing it from the Torah text which as I said a few days back has no vowels and no punctuation.

    Will also have to write a brief dvar Torah. An interpretation of these verses. Look forward to that. Going to concentrate on the word translated Lord here, the yod-heh-vav-heh name, YHWH, and which by long custom is usually pronounced in Jewish readings as either Adonai, Lord, or Hashem, the name.

    Plan to refer to Rabbi Arthur Green, Rabbi Jamie’s mentor and former President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He suggested a version of the Shema in which the word Adonai is said aloud while picturing YHWH in the mind. Jamie told me about this. This is now and has been my practice since I learned about it. Not sure what Green’s notion is, but here’s what I get from doing it over and over.

     Adonai and Hashem are sort like cover bands for the tetragrammaton. They show a certain level of respect for YHWH, but in fact obscure it and its power. The true name of God, in Jewish tradition, is unpronounceable and unwriteable. Therefore, as Ludwig Wittgenstein once said, or almost said, “Of it we cannot speak.” YHWH can be pronounced and written. Its meaning may be obscure. Rabbi Jamie teaches that it is a mashup of verbs, not a noun, and many agree with this reading. Including me.

    If we follow the verbal idea, the name means something like I was, I am, I will be. Sorta makes sense as a description of the one, the unity that is all things according to Jewish theology. How I view this “name” lies not in its identification purpose-this is God’s name-rather in its process and metaphysical claim. What was, what is, and what will be is in fact the source of Torah, the claim that an interconnected, interdependent whole best expresses the reality in which live, and move, and have our becoming.

    We are bound up in the pastness, the presentness, and the futureness of reality. Inextricable from it, contributing to it, having to interact with it. If we enter into a covenant with reality, saying that we will not separate ourselves from each other or from the world around us, then we act consciously and creatively to advance the whole, not pretending that certain people are different and therefore bad, not pretending that the world outside our homes and offices is not also our home, not pretending that we have a way to wall ourselves off from each other through towers of wealth or knowledge or power.

    Humility and awe. That’s the what all this suggests to me. Live with humility and awe.

  • Eternal Life

    Spring and the Moon of Liberation

    Shabbat gratefuls: Morning pages. The Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron. The Socrates Cafe. The Morning Service. Bar Mitzvah prep today at CBE. Parsha Tazria. Lighting the candles. Saying the blessing. Learning my Torah portion. My son and Seoah’s 8th anniversary! Wowzer. Their meal yesterday. I have pictures. Murdoch at the Dog park. Honeybee rides. Scheduled for April 24th. Which, as it happens, is the wrong date. Sigh. I played with different dates. Didn’t check.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Torii

    One brief shining: I look through the Torii that is my back door, seeing the deck and garage beyond, my gaze goes up, to the left and sees the mezuzah placed there by Rabbi Jamie not long after the Hamas raid into Israel, but this day I remember the Shema, that most prayed of all Jewish prayers: Shema Israel, Adonai eloheinu, Adonai echad, Hear O Israel, Our God, Our God is one, tucked into the mezuzah on a kosher scroll and that the mezuzah blesses each going out and coming in as sacred acts so I can look through my own back door from the inside and see a sacred outside, and through it from the outside and see a sacred inside, knowing then that all is one and all is sacred in this moment and in all others.


    On this calendar Tom sent me. It is eternity now. Oh, well. That’s true. By definition. We don’t have to wait for our time in eternity. My Lodgepole companion and I exist in eternity, as do the brilliant rays of Great Sol shining on us both. As do all three mezuzahs here on Shadow Mountain. As does Shadow Mountain itself. And Black Mountain, too. All cohabiting in eternity.

    Eternal life is this life, these fingers, this heart beating right now. Will my life as I am go on further into eternity’s vast expanse? Hell if I know. Yet I’ve participated in, been part of eternal life. So, maybe? A little bit of head scratching definitional play here. Sure. But, hey! We created the words and the ideas which they express. We might know more than we think we do. In fact I’m confident we do. Hope this eternal idea is one of those things in which we intuit more than we can express.


    Just a moment: Biden creeping up on Trump. Oh be still my political heart. All we need to do is thump this orange tumor clothed in baggy blue with too long red ties. Thump him and his at the ballot box. Then we can get back to politics as forever changed, but perhaps not ushering in the American Empire quite yet.

    Trump is no Caesar. On the basis of competence alone. I doubt he measures up to even Mussolini and Hitler. An inferior autocrat. That’s what he is. And he’s come along when a certain demographic felt hopeless. When all would be dictators arise. Tell me a story, a story in which I’m better than those other guys. Or those other women. Or those others. And I’ll vote for you. Always.


  • SEE

    Spring and the Moon of Liberation

    Thursday gratefuls: Poetry. Rodger Kamenetz. Jewish poetry. Irish poetry. U.S. poetry. Resident scholars at CBE. On dreams tonight. At our mussar today. Morning pages. Julie Cameron’s Artist’s Way. Have to claim it. So, here. I’m an artist, a writer. Artist’s date. A cleared out freezer. 13 bean soup with ham hock. Thanks, Tom. The eclipse. Such a peculiar event.

    Sparks of joy and awe: The size of the Moon and the distance of Great Sol

    One brief shining: The Japanese know about gates, about Torii, marking the transition from the mundane to the sacred, those red and orange Wooden portals so familiar from photographs, Shinto saying beyond here the realm transmutes, and yet if you look through a Torii the view beyond it is a continuation of the one in which you stand, like the rain on the night I saw that Elk Bull on the Forest’s edge, he was not in a different realm, yet he could have been a red and orange Wooden portal because what began at his presence was the sacred realm, revealed in all its glory and majesty as nothing more than the stone path leading to the temple, but, and this is crucially important, nothing less.


    You see. We all see. But do you see? Do you see what you’re looking at? In all of its mundane grittiness? That ragged line of cloth, where the old coat has begun to fray. The too pitted asphalt of the road, its shoulders cracked. The place on the Lodgepole where the Bark peeled away? Those solar lights now lying on the ground, tipped over by a season’s worth of snow pushed and pushed again by plows and road graders. The all too many Trees, too close together, not a natural Forest, but a clear cut of long ago now replaced with thinner, weaker individuals.

    Do you know that gritty look is a mask, a persona for the world? The road will disintegrate, disaggregrate. The solar lights will get re-placed. The coat will go to a tailor. And the Forest? Well, it will burn, thin itself and the two-leggeds who live within its boundaries.

    Nothing stays as it is in this moment though in this moment, this eternal moment, it is unnecessary to know this.

    And yet if you can see tomorrow through the lens of right now, then you can see the stone path, the one that passes through Torii gate, revealed as sacred on both sides of the gate. The gate’s true purpose. To reveal, to remind, to reconstruct the natures of the mundane and the sacred. Both the same, yet different. The incarnation, yes. That’s it. The capture of the sacred reality in the most mundane, the most gritty of all things. Like Black Mountain Drive. A Forest of thin Trees. A wet and staring Elk Bull. Even, and yes, please hear this as well as see it, even in that hand that types, that clicks the keys and sends these pixels out, these sacred pixels, to you.