• Category Archives The West
  • No Loyalty

    Spring and the Purim Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: My Lodgepole companion, Needles again covered with Snow. A cold Mountain morning. Remembering Andover (see header image). Being where you are. Wendel Berry. Regenerative Farming. Loving the place. Knowing the place. Where the Mule Deer come. Where the Creek blasts down the Mountain in Spring. Where the Dogwood blooms. Where Fawns and Calves move up and down the Mountains on wobbly legs.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Moisture on the Mountain and the Forest

    One brief shining: You know I looked out at the Snow yesterday, falling sometimes gently, sometimes vigorously, and I thought beautiful, then when I saw the same Snow coming down on my driveway I screamed enough, no more, we’ve had plenty thank you very much, however; I did not mean it, I meant bring as much moisture as long as you can and I will be grateful.


    Yes. Cabin fever time. That moment when what looked serene and beautiful a few short months ago now scrapes across the seasonal blackboard like bad chalk. Up here it produces a split personality. One tired of the cold, the Snow, driving on Ice, huddling up all about hygge. Wanting to run outside in a t-shirt, arms spread wide, soaking in Great Sol. The other remembering summers past when the Smokey the Bear sign pegged Extreme Fire Danger. Snow as far into April, hell, even May as you want. In fact, Snow until the Monsoons return. Please.

    I’m cutting a middle ground between these two. Gonna take off for San Francisco at the end of the month. See a lot of art, maybe a Redwood or two, visit my cousin in her native habitat. Eat. Sleep. Test my back in a safe environment.

    Of course. I would for sure wear Flowers in my hair if I had enough left. Gonna ride the Amtrak route between Denver and SFC. Really, Oakland, then a bus. Or, Diane. With a roomette. See the Rockies and the intermountain West without having to drive.

    A way to discover if I can travel, probably back to Korea again. Maybe to Israel if this war ever ends. Perhaps this year for both.


    Just a Moment: Caitlin Clark. Wow. 41 points. Final Four. Iowa! Once more, with feeling: Go, Hawkeyes! Iowa feels like Minnesota’s younger sister. Which would make Caitlin our niece? Always nice to see family doing well.

    45. His $175 million dollar bond. His legal peril. Or, from the MAGA perspective, the persecutions not prosecutions.

    Brother Mark asked if Trump won how would I be the loyal opposition?

    I wouldn’t. Be loyal. Though I would be in opposition. Loyal opposition as an idea implies mutuality, a framework in which political opponents serve as testers of ideas, as citizens of a shared form of government. A form of government which all sides agree has the best interests of a nation as its true purpose.

    Trump is not a politician in that sense. He is a politician though, one of the oldest kinds. A brute seeking total power. Power with which he can punish his enemies and reward his sycophants. Kings, Queen, Pharaohs, and Emperors, autocrats and dictators all are this sort of politician.

    Loyalty has as its sister virtue respect. No respect for pussy grabbers, for those who provide safe harbor for white supremacists, misogynists, anti-Semites. No respect for insurrectionists, for anti-constitutionalists. No respect for frauds, for payers of hush money, for election deniers. Therefore. Q.E.D. No loyalty.



  • New Identities

    Spring and the Purim Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Yet more Snow! Today. Blue Colorado Sky with scattered white Cumulus Clouds. The Ancient Brothers. Hafar. K.L. S.F. Maine. Minnesota. Jackie in Bailey. Aspen Roots. Kissing Frogs. Movies. Nights. Days. Resurrection. A new life. The Shema. Full days. Travel. Dogs. Marilyn and Irv. The Socrates Cafe. Meeting new people.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Questions

    One brief shining: Each month I drive eight minutes from Shadow Mountain to Aspen Park, going by the new bakery the Wicked Whisk and my old personal trainer at On the Move Fitness, past the physical therapists who got me through knee surgery, to the never in my time up here full suite of offices and business that contain the Pinball place, the massage folks, a live theater, Thai 202 which makes the wonderful Crying Tiger, and hop up the stairs to Aspen Roots where Jackie cuts my hair and tells me she loves me which I say back.


    Long enough now. Long enough for relationships to have come and gone. And for some to remain. My tenth year on Shadow Mountain, begun last Winter Solstice. This is where I live, a Coloradan, a Westerner, a Mountain dweller. All distinct identities created by geography and geology and the human imprint on both.

    As a Coloradan I inhabit a former red hate state, transitioning to a blue progressive state. As a Westerner, I have heeded Horace Greeley and gone west though not as a young man, but as an older one. Greeley, Colorado* is named after him. The Western identity has a good deal of complexity to it as does Mountain dweller.

    To be a Westerner means to enjoy the benefits of manifest destiny, of the push west of the frontier, the railroads, those seeking gold, those fleeing law or custom or poverty in the the East. Of those who slaughtered the bison and the indigenous populations who lived here before we arrived. Those who clear cut the Front Range to build Denver and the many, far too many, hard Rock mines that pollute the Creeks, Streams, and Rivers here. The Western U.S. We who arrived later are not innocent. Yet no one is innocent. Either here or there.

    What happens now. What we do today. Who we are in this moment matters, too. We are the stewards, the fellow travelers in this magical wide open place. We are responsible for what happens here as are the Wild Neighbors, the Forests and Streams. The descendants of all those who lived here long ago and all those who altered the landscape not so long ago. We must build the sustainable way for humans to live here for as long as human beings can live.

    The Mountain Dweller is the most personal of these three identities and the most narrow, representing that place where I live and love and have my becoming. Each day my eyes open to the top of Shadow Mountain, to the taller prominence of Black Mountain, to the Lodgepoles and Aspens that cover them both. My lungs take in the scarce air of 8,800 feet as I set aside my nighttime oxygen canula. Often Mule Deer will be around, hunting for grass.

    To go anywhere. To see Jackie at Aspen Roots. To get groceries at Safeway. To breakfast with friends. To the synagogue. To the doctor. I drive on Mountain roads. Two lanes, blind curves, sudden changes of altitude, vistas opening and disappearing.

    Mountains whose names I do not know rise on either side, the Streams that drain them flowing often near the road itself. Sometimes I am up high and able to see for miles, then I go down into constricted views of only Rock and Trees. All the while, not far off the road Wild Neighbors living their wild lives. Beavers damming Streams, their Ponds. The Mountain Lion on a rocky shelf waiting for Elk or Mule Deer to walk below. In my own way I appear and disappear from view around curves, into a valley, only to suddenly reappear in Evergreen.

    How have these three identities changed me from the sea level view of life that was my birthright as a Midwestern boy? I’ve become more of a spectator of life outside of the Mountains. Back east. Or on the coasts. They are not close to me, and their struggles seem far away. My world has become more focused. There are fewer people out here, less urbanization, less agriculture. In those senses the Colorado/Western/Mountain world was unfamiliar to me.

    I live within a smaller world altogether. My fourth new identity, that of a Jew, makes this world, this more narrow and circumscribed world, a friendly and friend full one. As has the nine years plus of living here, making connections like Jackie. And now the Socrates Cafe. This is important because, like most of us who live up here, going down the hill is not appealing. And that’s where the bon vivant of urban life plays out. Even for those things I enjoy I have to factor in a long drive in and a long drive back. Most often the positive gain is too weak to justify the hassle.

    For me. Today. This Colorado guy, this Western guy, this Mountain Man has found his spot and become one with it.



    *Greeley began as the Union Colony of Colorado, which was founded in 1869 by Nathan C. Meeker, an agricultural reporter for the New York Tribune as an experimental utopian farming community “based on temperance, religion, agriculture, education and family values,” with the backing of the Tribunes editor Horace Greeley, who popularized the phrase “Go West, young man”.[7][8][9] wiki

  • Mountain names and places

    Winter and the Winter Solstice Moon

    Shabbat gratefuls: Shabbat. Lighting the candles. Quiet. Rest. Irv. Marilyn. Tara. Ariane. Vincent. Eleanor, the all black Puppy and her white friend. Lots of kisses. Hebrew. My bar mitzvah aliyah, Exodus 19:25-20:2. Kilimanjaro. Annapurna. Zugspitz. Silverhorn. Jungfrau. All roads leading to Tara and Ariane’s house on Kilimanjaro. Apple and Peanut butter, an easy supper. Hearing aid. Oxygen concentrators. Oximeters. Living at altitude.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Friends

    One brief shining: Ariane, an engineer, has made 38 loaves of bread in his bread machine; he has a record of each loaf which includes machine settings, ingredients, and results; he held up a slice of his 38th loaf yesterday morning and told me that the bread inside the crust is called the crumb.


    The names up here. I’ve mentioned Troublesome Creek and Troublesome Gulch before. To get to Tara’s yesterday I took Shadow Mountain Drive to the Evergreen Road, turned right on North Turkey Creek, then left on Silverhorn to Jungfrau, Jungfrau to Kilimanjaro. I live on Black Mountain Drive which turns into Brook Forest Drive while passing through the Arapaho National Forest.

    Tara and Ariane live in an upslope house with a wonderful view. Yesterday Mt. Blue Sky and others near it were covered in Snow. Black Mountain is visible from their house, too. Just looked at a map and our homes are not that far apart in straight line distance, but there are no straight line roads here. Mountains in the way.

    When I drive down Shadow Mountain Drive, I follow North Turkey Creek along the flank of Shadow Mountain. Shadow Mountain itself is long and slopes down from the top where I live to the Evergreen Road. I can only see it from the parking lot of the Safeway several miles away otherwise I’m on it or too close to it to make out any of its features. An oddity of living in the Mountains.

    The road to Evergreen goes through a Valley, Evergreen Meadows, a long Valley that runs from Shadow Mountain Drive and Evergreen Road intersection for several miles. While driving through, I pass a couple of smaller Horse ranches, a suburban like development, and a still intact ranch with lots of Horses and a collection of pioneer cabins, all in disrepair.

    Closer to home Black Mountain, at 10,000 feet is 1,200 feet taller than Shadow Mountain and I can see it plainly. Right now. Great Sol has begun to light up the stands of Lodgepoles on it and a blue Colorado Sky. But the massif of Shadow Mountain, huge and over four miles from my house to the Evergreen Road? I live on it and see it as my land, my neighbor’s land, but its shape? Not visible to me.

    A good metaphor for the sacred. We live in it, see it when we can nearby, but its shape and expanse? Not visible to us.

    This is my place. The place from which I see the world most often. What I see are Mountains and Valleys, Mountain Streams and Wild Neighbors like the 8 point Elk bull I saw yesterday on Jungfrau while headed to Tara’s. It has become my home and I would like to stay here until I die.


  • Surrender Charlie

    Samain and the Winter Solstice Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: Heidi. The Dragonfly Sign. Colorado Supreme Court. Psilocybin. Nahuatl Gods and Mayan hieroglyphics. Surrender. Irv. Rider. Mt. Logan. Crooked Top Mountain. The Grandfather Tree. Park County 43. Buggy Whip Road. Hangman’s Road. Washington County Maine. Climate change. Shadow Mountain. The Rockies. The Front Range. Alan. Bastien’s Steak House. The Winter Solstice. Holimonth.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Colorado Supreme Court

    One brief shining: A cloth with Native American colors marking the four directions, circular, laid on it cut white Roses, small Pine Tree Branches, red Roses, Cinnamon, Coffee beans, Star Anise, Aspen Leaves arranged for a Peruvian gratitude ceremony in which I picked up a small Branch of Pine Needles, inhaled its essence three times and exhaled my love and gratitude before placing the needles gently in the center.


    OK, nation! See Colorado go. I loved living in Minnesota and in the Twin Cities for forty years. The North Woods. Wolves. Lake Superior. So many Lakes. Liberal to radical politics. Not perfect, no. Witness George Floyd. But no place is. And Minnesota seemed as close as they come while I lived there. Then Kate and I moved to Shadow Mountain.

    As the Dead said: What a long, strange trip it’s been. Many of you know my story over the now 9 years exactly since my buddy Tom and I drove straight through from the Twin Cities with Kepler, Vega, and Rigel in the back. And, yes, that story has its definite peaks and valleys. But that’s not my reference here.

    No where else in the country, this divided and often pitiful land of ours, could I have had a legal psychedelic journey on Crooked Top Mountain then come home to Shadow Mountain and read the wonderful news that the Colorado Supreme Court had called a crook a crook, an insurrectionist an insurrectionist and kicked Trump off our ballot. I mean, whoa! What a day.

    I shifted my inner identification a few years back from Minnesotan to Coloradan, my Mountain home become just that. Home. Yes, we elected a gay Governor. How bout that. And of course the wild Neighbors and the Mountain Streams and the Black Bears. The Snow and the spectacular Autumns with gold and green. Over the time I’ve lived here Colorado has shifted from red to blue. Not without some Western weirdness along the way, but that makes it interesting. All that’s true.

    But in one day to take a psilocybin journey with a good friend on property so evocative of a sixties commune and then learn we Coloradans had taken a firm stand, saying what all clear eyed non Trump bedazzled folks already know but somehow cannot communicate, that insurrectionists should not, in fact,cannot hold office. Well, I’m busting with state pride right now. Colorado is the California of the new Millennia. OK. Enough local chauvinism. Still, pretty damned cool. Gives this aging radical a boost.


    Short note on the psilocybin journey about which more later. Ate the mushroom after the gratitude ceremony. Mixed with a little lemon juice supposed to make it come on quicker and go sooner. Sat outside in the glass enclosed shelter where we held the gratitude ceremony, the others going inside. Watched the curved Snowy Bowl of Mt. Logan as my inner weather shifted under the power of the mushroom.

    Went inside and lay down on a heated pad. Soon Nahuatl Gods and Mayan hieroglyphics began to move across the ceiling. Sometimes two dimensional sometimes three almost down to my face. I love hallucinations. So fun. I told my guide I might be under utilizing the experience; it was so entertaining.

    Turned out no. I hadn’t. I had two intentions going in, the one I wrote about yesterday, how to live fully, and the second to continue my exploration of the sacred.

    During some brief conversation after being asked if we had any insights I said, yes, I had one. In living more fully I’ve pushed, thought about things to do, about acting in my life to live more fully. Answering Shakespeare, I have always chosen to take up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. Now I need to learn surrender.

    To live fully I need to open up, accept what’s coming. Greet the new year with arms spread wide for what it brings rather than what I can make happen. Well, not rather than. I mean, I’ll still take up arms, of course I will, but I learned yesterday that I have another option. To embrace, to wait, to listen, to let the world and its wonders come to me. As the Wicked Witch of the West might say, “Surrender, Charlie!”



  • “Pulvis et umbra sumus.”

    Fall and the Samain Moon

    Saturday gratefuls: Standard Time. My favorite. DST. Boo. Black Mountain, hidden again in the mist. Fog. Frosted Lodgepole Needles. Big Snow on the way. 10-12 inches. Ruth and Dazzle Jazz. Sunday night, I hope. Cell phones. The time before cell phones. Desktop. Laptop. Computers of all sorts. Batteries. EVs. Climate change. Sea level rise. Greenland and Antarctica. Israel. Gaza. Palestinians. Public opinion. Fingers and toes. Skin and nose. Heart and lungs. The Body. Amazing and wonderful. Kepler and Kate, my sweethearts.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Rigel

    One brief shining: The Lodgepoles have a flocked look as I drink my coffee, write, look up and gaze out the window toward Black Mountain, that ten-thousand footer obscured not so far away but invisible as the dew point matches the temperatures here on Shadow Mountain.


    We are but dust and shadow. “Pulvis et umbra sumus.” The Latin poet, Horace. Quoted in a poem sent out by buddy Tom Crane this morning. Brought to mind for me the Plaza del Toros in Mexico City where they sell tickets by sombra e sol. Shade or sun. I bought sombra. Worth it as the afternoon wore on and the dead bulls left the ring for donation to orphanages around the city.

    Spent some time a couple of weeks ago researching the ontological nature of shadows. Surprised that the consensus seemed to be that shadows have no ontological nature since they cannot interact with the world. So why then did I buy a ticket for sombra and not sol? Because sombra would be cooler! To me: Q.E.D.


    Here’s a sensation I forget each year only to have it delight me with its return. That feeling of expectation as the weather changes and big Snow is in the forecast. What will it be like, this Snow? How will it change the landscape? Of my yard? Of Shadow Mountain? of Black Mountain? How cold will it get? I can feel the Fire in my fireplace already. Perhaps some hot cocoa in my hand. Reading a book in one of my three favorite chairs. I suppose this is hygge, or the anticipation of hygge.

    What is hygge? Here’s an explanation:

    “Hygge is about cosiness and surrounding yourself with the things that make life good, like friendship, laughter and security, as well as more concrete things like warmth, light, seasonal food and drink.” scandinaviastandard

    How very Jewish of those Scandinavians. Joy as a religious obligation. Hygge as a facet of shabbat. Ah. The Snow has begun to fall. Crank up the hygge dial here on Shadow Mountain. My workout, then a fire and a book and a snack.


    Meanwhile the world flies Palestinians flags and students wear green bandanas in fealty to their notion of Hamas as a liberation front. While here at Shadow Mountain Home we fly the Stars and Strips and the blue and white flag of Israel. Which does NOT mean I do not care about Palestinian civilians. I do. The rules of war, remember? Proportionate response. Protect civilians. No justification with the why of war can erase these obligations.




  • Entheos

    Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

    Monday gratefuls: Curiosity. The Ancient Brothers. Mark and Dennis. Coming May 23rd. Yet more Rain. Even more swollen Streams. Ancientrails as a life project. Tom and his time with Charlie H. Bill and his time with Bella. Mark and his time at the gym. Anytime Fitness. My treadmill. Marilyn. Ginnie. Josh. Jane. Kat. A banker. Vulcan Centaur.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Rocket Scientists

    One brief shining: A beautiful woman with a long braid dangling over her t-shirt down to her space themed spandex had, on the back of the blue t-shirt an outline of the Vulcan Centaur rocket, on the front ULA and I asked, I’m too ignorant to know but is that a real rocket ship?


    Yes. She answered. And I was working on it until I quit my job a year and a half ago. What was your area of expertise? Vibration and acoustics. Oh. I see. Not sure why I keep running into engineers. But I do.

    CBE is amazing. All these smart people. This was at the Dismantling Racism class yesterday afternoon. Looked up the Vulcan Centaur and it’s been under development since 2014. Supposed to fly for the first time in July. Had a setback a month ago though with a second stage explosion during preparation for a launch.

    The class has gotten better. Taking a mussar approach to the work. I like it for the inner work though I chose an opponent for my practice this week. Four areas of possible practice each week: with HaShem (God), with Self, with a fellow, especially a victim of anti-black racism, or with an opponent.

    My practice involved an e-mail to a person with whom I’ve had long standing differences. Sent it last night and got a reply this morning. A sweet one. Maybe there’s something to this approach. The middah this week is kavod, or honor. Honoring self and other. The theological idea is the all made in God’s image trope. Said another way, we’re all human, all riding this blue spaceship our only home together with all the other critters and plants. Honor it all.


    During the Ancient Brothers session on curiosity I identified curiosity as my defining characteristic. And naming what I call the valedictory lifestyle. As a valedictorian myself I’ve occasionally become curious (see!) about what happens to others who graduate first in their class academically. Turns out usually nothing spectacular. Sure a lot go into academics. Some have successful careers in business or the sciences.

    But usually no stars. No one off achievements. No amazing inventions. Why? Because we’re generalists. We easily get sidetracked by something new and shiny. If purity of heart is to will one thing, we’re not at all pure.

    I call them enthusiasms. My enthusiasms can last a long time. Religion has turned out to be the longest lasting, but inside that broad category I’ve been all over the place. From existentialist atheist to Christian to Unitarian-Universalist to Pagan and wanderer with the tribe. There’s a piece of each of these, often substantial pieces that remain intact within me. All somehow glued together with Taoism.

    There’ve been many others. Art, my twelve years at the MIA. Politics, lasting almost as long as religion, but again all over the place in terms of action. Islam which I studied after 9/11. Horticulture. Cooking. Heating with wood. Beekeeping. Dogs. World travel. F1. Science. Tarot and Astrology. Cinema. Acting. Writing. Getting degrees. Tea. Korean and now Spanish. Oh, and one that actually has been lifelong, reading. Not sure when I learned but I’ve never ever stopped. Buying books, too. To feed the habit. I’ve dabbled in painting and sum-e.

    Enthusiasms in my life are more than dabbling but less than enough to gain full mastery. But I must admit it’s been, is being, a hell of lot of fun.





  • Psychedelic Seniors

    Imbolc and the Waiting to Cross Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: The Ancient Brothers. Jeddah Grand Prix today. Jen, Ruth, and Gabe. Final cleanout of Jon’s house. Probate nearing a wind down. Maybe another month. Kate, always Kate. Shiva Raja. Vishnu. Brahma. The One. Spinoza. Jane Bennett. CJ Box. That Mushroom quiche. Chai Latte. The Plant Magic Cafe. Keens. Taxes off. Going down the hill. And back up again.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Mushrooms


    What a day yesterday. Over to the post office where there was no line. Mailed my taxes off to my accountant. Told the clerk, clumsily, that though I may be one of the few I had no complaints about my mail. Mark, my mailman is excellent. I always have good experiences when I come in. Wish I hadn’t said I may be one of the few, though I know I am.

    On from there down 285. Getting cheaper gas in Lakewood at Stinkers. Gas is twenty to twenty-five cents a gallon cheaper in the city.

    Up Colorado Avenue to 1550. Dardano’s. An all things outdoors shoe store. Buying another pair of Keen’s. The same I’ve worn for years. This is my fourth pair.

    I’ve gotten to a point of simplifying my clothing choices. White socks. Keens most of the year. Winter boots of course. And hiking boots when on a trail. Blue jeans for pants. Just got two new pairs of Levi’s 511’s. In the winter flannel shirts and LL Bean vests. Summer, Hawai’ian shirts and a small number of lightweight plaid shirts.

    I’ve given away much of my clothes. All my suits and suit coats. Many shirts and other pants. Fancy shoes. Winter coats except for a couple. Feels good.


    Followed the nice lady’s voice from Dardano’s to 935 17th Ave. There are two large Amanita Muscari mushrooms out front. Taller than me and gaily painted. The Plant Magic Cafe. Ground zero for the proposition that made Psilocybin and other hallucinogens legal in Colorado.

    In the entry a big sign in book offered regular information about the cafe and its events including a column to leave a phone number for ceremonies. I left mine. There were items for sale in the hallway that led back to the spot where you ordered food. Tibetan and Hindu sacred objects. Selenite wands. A lovely beaded Elk. Buddha statues. Incense of various sorts. Lots of incense. Singing bowls.

    At the counter there was Mushroom quiche and a bacon and cheddar quiche along with pastries. Also a long list of teas and other drinks. I got a chai latte and a mushroom quiche.

    In conversation with the guy behind the counter who wore a Psilocybin t-shirt, white on black, I found out that the Plant Magic Cafe will soon open a psilocybin resource room. All things hallucinogenic out front and visible. With no law enforcement needed or wanted.

    Found it humorous that there were three women roughly my age at a center table with the rest filled with millennials and gen-z’ers. 60’s kids grown old and the new generation that will not understand the transgressive joy of taking LSD.

    Will keep you all tuned in as I work on becoming a psychedelic senior.

  • I can feel it emerging

    Imbolc and the Waiting To Cross Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Kep, struggling again. Gabe up for a Rockies afternoon game. Ruth for a night at Dazzle Jazz. Alan as Uncle Moishe in Ron Solomon’s Purim spiel. Monday night. Rich and his class. Luke and his new job. Mike and Kate coming up here sometime this month for barbecue: Campfire Grill in Evergreen. Rabbi Jamie’s ski trip. Race #1 of the new F1 season: Bahrain.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Ruth


    Reading Wes Jackson’s Becoming Native to This Place again. A radical thinker. At one point he writes about the Cartesian/Baconian advancement of science and the rational method of inquiry. Descartes says in his Discourse on Method that the more he sought to know, the more he realized he had  yet to know. Jackson makes this wry and insightful comment: “This statement would have been all right if he had stopped there. Unfortunately. Rather than regarding informed ignorance as the human condition, and the appropriate result of a good education, Descartes believed our ignorance to be correctable.”

    Jackson identifies this hubris of the scientific method as a root source of many of our current maladies. We believe we can extract the parts from the whole, understand them without regard to it, then act on that information. Turns out though if you do not understand, say, the nature of ancient energy and privilege it over contemporary energy sources like wind, solar, photosynthesis, you can do great harm to the whole. Change the climate, for example.

    He believes science and humility need to work together. In the instance of agriculture he tells the story of a man in Nebraska who developed seeds and sold them. But only to  farmers in his region. His seeds had characteristics that made them strong in that regional ecology. A local seed source rather than the abstracted seeds sold by Monsanto, Bayer. They did not need Roundup ready alterations because they already knew the soil and the other plants that grew there.

    What Jackson wants to create is a new rural life, a new localism predicated not on Cargill or Monsanto or John Deere, but upon perennial crops and a system of trade that could hook up a small Kansas town with a small North Dakota town, one that grew crops better suited for that local ecology. A new localism in which both flora and fauna were appropriate to their location, yet benefited all through trade without gigantic corporations in the way.

    This vision. A hard one. Only thing harder, probably? Continuing on the soil and region destroying path we are on.

    I’m beginning to see linkages between the Jackson’s and Wendell Berry’s and the fracturing nation in which we live. How their vision for a local agriculture, the base after all of civilization itself might contribute to a new politics. How the breakdown of the country might have a positive outcome. Especially when connected to the old neighborhood politics I know so well from my working days. And when bonded with the actions necessary to tip the climate change scales away from apocalyptic scenarios.

    There could be a path here. Needs more noodling, but I can feel it emerging.

  • Kepler. The New Right and the West.

    Imbolc and the Waiting to Cross Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Dr. Doverspike. A man of high energy. And, acupuncture. Kep, the confused. So much adulting this weekend. Dogs. Doverspike’s Mesa. Powder hounds. Alan and Cheri, tired. Very tired. That article from Vanity Fair that Diane sent me. Ukraine, a year in. Soul Food Cook Off. The New Right and the Far Right. Christian Nationalism. Back to blood and soil. A fermenting politics of imminent doom. Good news for Kep.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Kep’s pain management


    So. Much. To.

    Let’s start with the pain management and mobility vet, Dr. Doverspike. He drove up at 11am yesterday, a 13 year old German Shepherd in the backseat of his Audi. She goes with him on house calls. Glad she didn’t come in. I would like to have met her, but Kep. Not so much.

    He watched Kep move, take his slow way up the stairs from the lower level. When Kep finally got up, Doverspike took off his stethoscope. Listened. Pressed Kep’s back legs in several different spots.

    Not what I thought. Not torn cruciate ligaments. Muscle weakness. We can bring him to near 100 percent.

    We’ll see, but I want him to be right. He gave Kep an injection, a pregabbepetin capsule and inserted acupuncture needles along his spine and along his shoulder blades.

    He’s the nicest Akita I’ve ever met. I get that a lot. Well, it’s a testimony to you. (And, Joe and Kate)

    Dr. Doverspike has a multi-modal approach to pain. Acupuncture. Different meds. Physical therapy. I have to have Kep stand on the same soft blue plastic device I use for balance. Each back leg, five minutes. Every day.

    Doverspike will come weekly until Kep improves. Then monthly. Then maybe every three months. He does acupuncture each visit. A former Florida guy, but before that Colorado, he lives in Conifer now with his wife. His practice, Mesa pain management and mobility, gets its name from Mesa, his first German Shepherd. She went back country skiing with him. Including jumping off cornices. Often steep ones.

    If he succeeds in getting Kep’s back legs better, I’m sure Kep will live longer. So, go Dr. Doverspike. Not cheap, however.


    Cousin Diane found this article in Vanity Fair, Inside the New Right’s Next Frontier, the American West. It fits with this article from the Washington Post about northern Idaho, ‘Christian patriots’ are flocking from blue states to Idaho, and this one from the New York Times: How Montana Took a Hard Right Turn Toward Christian Nationalism.

    The Vanity Fair article focuses more on Wyoming while also taking a much broader look at the New Right. Including tech billionaires who want to build city-states and crypto countries. I plan to reread the Vanity Fair article and match it to some other reading I’ve been doing this year about the Far Right.

    Though anti-globalism features as one of the big ideas promoted by nearly all camps represented in the Vanity Fair article Diane points out the frequent references to Orban in Hungary, the new far right Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, and even Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, the Hindu nationalist. Anti-globalists, eh?

    Diane and I both agreed on the privileged nature of those seeking the right to exit. There are deep peculiarities and ironies here, too. Many who to seek to exit have an almost back to the land reverence for nature. Many are also anti-big corporation and all are definitely anti-establishment. There’s a lot to think  about, talk about. Something’s happening here, what it is is not exactly clear.



  • Colorado Plateau. Rotates!

    Imbolc and the Valentine Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Kristie. Kep. Sunseen. On the Lodgepoles. Through the Lodgepoles. Fresh Snow. Cold temps. A search for emet. Cancer. Diane. Her political astuteness. Our long connection. Family. Biden. Ukraine. The Democratic compromise. State of the Union, steadier. Luke. Rabbi Jamie. Tara. Our Land, this Land. The Rockies. Mind blown. The Deep. Love everlasting.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Science


    The Laramide orogeny. Mountain building seventy-five million years ago. A tectonic plate crashing into another right at a line followed by Hwy. 470 here in the Denver metro. The Plains crunched up at the Front Range. What I’ve read and believed since moving to Colorado. Those Hogbacks the remains of an ancient Mountain Range, the Laramides.

    Turns out. No. Not the case. The Colorado Rockies are around ten million years old! Wait. There’s more! The whole Colorado Plateau rotates clockwise! The Colorado Rockies still being pushed up higher! That’s right. The Rockies are a young Mountain Range created by a dynamic I’ve not fully grasped.

    I understand this much. The orogeny (Mountain building) pressure comes not from the east as in the old Laramide theory, but from the west. And that pressure, exerted by the same Faults that create Earthquakes in California, are dynamic, still at work. There may be some Vulcanology implicated too.

    As you can tell by the exclamation marks, I’m excited about this! Taking a new class on Colorado Glaciations. Glaciation is why the Rockies look so rugged. Also, according to Vince Matthews, another former director of the Colorado Geological Survey who’s teaching this course, none of the current Glaciers in Colorado are over 400 years old. Stopping with the exclamation marks. That’ed get silly.

    Not sure how to reconcile Vince Matthew’s comments about the Rockies being ten million years old and what you’ll see below, but it’s evident that this is work no one understands very well. Even geologists.

    Supposed to get a link to a video that shows how this works. I’ll post it when it arrives. The whole Colorado Plateau. Rotating. Wow. Here’s a bullet point list about what one author believes:

    The Colorado Plateau’s iconic landscapes were shaped during its 70-million-year, still-enigmatic, tectonic evolution characterized by uplift and erosion.
    Uplift of the Colorado Plateau from sea level took place in three episodes, the youngest of which has been ongoing for the past 20 million years.
    Tectonism across the Colorado Plateau’s nearest plate margin (the base of the plate!) is driving uplift and volcanism and enhancing its rugged landscapes.
    The bowl-shaped Colorado Plateau province is defined by ongoing uplift and an inboard sweep of magmatism around its margins.
    The keel of the Colorado Plateau is being thinned as the North American plate moves southwest through the underlying asthenosphere.