• Category Archives Jefferson County
  • 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

  • The Very Deep End of the Pool

    Imbolc and the 77 Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Valentine’s Day. Alan. Joanne making me a tallit. Marilyn and all the fire. And, candles. Irv. That Cow Elk on the side of the road between two firetrucks. The smashed SUV. Mussar yesterday. Closing in on a new way of understanding the sacred. Torah study. Amber. Tom. Ellory. Wild Neighbors. Rabbi Jamie. Luke. Leo. My dreams last night. The world of dreams. Sleep last night.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The injured Cow Elk

    One brief shining: I came up the slope from Evergreen Lake, past the Conoco Station on my left, saw flashing lights, and with the usual curiosity wondered what had happened, oh, two firetrucks angled out into the right hand lane, cars alongside none damaged, then in a flash of sorrow between the two firetrucks, a Cow Elk lying on her side, still alive, but down, and beyond the second firetruck an SUV with its hood angled up toward the windshield. Oh.


    At mussar Ginny started crying as she recounted seeing the injured elk. I was upset and sad, too. Rabbi Jamie offered a prayer for the Elk, for all those others involved. Wild Neighbors lives matter.

    Seeing this healthy animal struck down gutted me. Senseless death. Elk cross the road all the way from Evergreen Lake to about the turn for the Hiwan Golf Course, a distance of maybe three miles or so. Evergreen puts up road signs to watch for Elk. And often has an LED caution sign about where this accident occurred.

    We tend to speed along this stretch of highway, too. Yes, I do it. Gonna stop. The slower speeds are for the Elk. If I think about it that way…

    When I’m on my better behavior, I remind myself that it’s a privilege to need to take care for our Wild Neighbors. I recently slowed down my speed on the Mountain roads for the same reason. Complacency and familiarity breed carelessness. Can breed carelessness and has for me. We moved in on those Animals. Not the other way around. We’re responsible.

    When you consider the interconnectedness and oneness of all things, the sacred nature of all things, life becomes more and more precious. For desert Pigeons, for Camels, for Monitor Lizards and Pythons, for Elk and Mule Deer and Mountain Lions. For us, too.


    Here’s the new way of thinking about the sacred that’s beginning to surface for me. Whitehead’s advance into novelty puts creativity at the very core of reality and could suggest that God emerges from the becoming with each instance of creativity. I’ve always felt that a process metaphysics makes the most sense, that is a metaphysics that honors as primary the necessity of ongoing change and creation, nothing just “is”, everything is always becoming something new.

    What’s new for me about the notion of the sacred adds a filigree, well, maybe more than a filigree to the notion of creativity as the primary descriptor for the motor behind a process metaphysics. I’m thinking of adding a Jungian notion to the engine of creativity, an impulse toward individuation, a creativity that drives each instantation of its impulse toward its highest and best possibility. In this way of understanding creativity is the motor for process, yes, but the sacred adds a direction to the change, one toward the rock being as good and sound a rock as a rock can be. For a daisy to be the most functional flower for the continuation of daisies that it can be. For a Cow Elk to be the best Mother and Elk she can for the furtherance of Elks as a species. For all of the diverse realities created and decaying to work together to create the best possible Mother Earth. The best Solar System.

    No, this is not Voltaire’s Candid. This does not mean that best of all possible worlds will emerge. It does mean that even war and climate devastation could work to further the creation of the best of all possible worlds. But might not either.




  • A day with texture

    Imbolc and the Cold Moon

    Shabbat gratefuls: New candle holders. Memorizing the prayer. Alan. Joe Mama’s. Rocket Bar. Wild Mountain Ranch. A dozen eggs and two beef tenderloins. New blinds. John Ellis. Evergreen Shutter and Blind. Shabbat. Parsha Yitro. Snow. Maybe in feet! Good sleeping. Israel. Hamas. U.S. Iran. Hezbollah. Saudi Arabia. Korea: South and North. Japan. Taiwan. Ukraine. Russia. U.S.A.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Wild Mountain Ranch, regenerative farming in Conifer

    One brief shining: Wouldn’t have found Joe Mama’s, again, if I hadn’t seen Alan sitting at a table near the window, and wouldn’t have thought it was a breakfast place anyhow since it had a pool table, not to mention the bar where three Wheatridge stalwarts sat each with a drink in front of them, one a yellow mug of beer, the others I couldn’t tell, at 9 am.


    Don’t usually go to bars. At all. Certainly not at 9 in the morning. But Joe Mama’s had moved from its ten foot wide spot on west Colfax to a new place in Wheatridge. Alan and I liked it, the food was good. We decided to try the new spot.

    They’ve become, I think, the kitchen staff for the Rocket Bar. A no frills spot which looks like the owner took over a small building that maybe housed a barbershop and a small bodega like grocery store. Four separate rooms. Pool table room. The room where Alan and I sat, larger and with tables, the bar room, a narrow area that might have been a wide hallway, and a fourth room with tables. The latter two rooms seemed to constitute the main working spaces for the Rocket Bar.

    Alan and I will not be going back. For one thing the politics of the place had a certain MAGA like feel. For another this alcoholic doesn’t like to eat breakfast while old guys belly up for their first shots of the day. Their choice, not disputing that. But my choice is not to be with them when they do that.

    Always good though to spend time with Alan. We discussed his and Cheri’s first in-home concert. Cheri floated after the morning. She loves music, loves playing, and arranging for others to hear music. And this time, at home. We also dissected the current state of Israel, Hamas, Gaza, the West Bank. Way complicated. But perhaps with a solid solution if Biden stays in office.


    Came home to be here when John Ellis, no apparent relation, came with my new blinds. They’re double honeycombed and have a slight green tint. The ones in my office will allow me to work in the morning without Great Sol in my face. The new blinds on the living room/kitchen floor improve on the faded ones that were there before. The blinds downstairs will reduce glare in the afternoons and early evening. It took John less than hour to install all of them. I paid him the balance due.


    After John finished, I hopped in Ruby to go find Wild Mountain Ranch, a local regenerative farm I discovered a week or so ago. Not an easy find. Had to turn left on a downhill slope of 285 onto a narrow dirt road. I needed to find Red Hawk Trail. Found it but it didn’t look like it went very far. Just behind Tucker’s horse training and riding facility. Drove past it, then noticed that it took a sharp right that I hadn’t seen. Turned around and went back. Down a steep slope on a muddy narrow road to the right hand turn.

    Drove a long ways on a one lane dirt road muddy from thawed Snow. All the while going up, a gentle rise. No signs for Wild Mountain Ranch. I had an address but I hadn’t paid attention since I imagined there would be a sign. The road ended in the driveway of the last house on Redhawk Trail. A man roughly my age came outside to see what I was up to. We chatted and he said,”Oh, yeah. You’re buying beef?” I nodded. “Turn around and go back down. It’s on the right and you’ll see some cattle, some big ones. A radical right hand turn.” Thanks, dude.

    Sure enough maybe a half mile further back from his small orange home I saw some Highland Cattle lounging in mud. I took a radical right turn, maybe 240 degrees, and found the parking lot. Rang the bell. Nothing happened. Rang it again. Still nothing. I went back to the car, found my phone and called. No answer. As I wondered what to do next, Brittany came out. “Have you been out here long?” No, not that long. She got my name went back in the house, got my dozen eggs and two tenderloins.

    Marketing and customer service are not Wild Mountain Ranch’s strong suit. At least not yet. I wanted to talk about their farm but Brittany seemed distracted. I’ll wait.

    Gonna go downstairs now and have a couple of their eggs before I workout.


  • 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.


  • Others

    Fall and the Samain Moon

    Saturday gratefuls: Lutheran Spine Center. Mary. Melody. Tara. RSV vaccine. Safeway. Israel. BA cancellation. Keshet. Conversion. Mikveh. Embracing the darkness as we move toward the Winter Solstice. Samain. The fallow time. Business mornings. Tuesdays. P.T. exercises. Workouts. Keeping up with it. My novels. The new one aborning. Kep, my sweet boy. Kate, always Kate. Seven Stones. Gabe. Ruth. Friendsgiving. Thanksgiving. Relationships. Family. My boy, Seoah, Murdoch. Friends. Deciding what comes next.

    Sparks  of Joy and Awe: Joann

    One brief shining: Once again confirming my medications, giving my date of birth, looking at my oxygenation, my blood pressure all fine as I prepare to meet yet another doctor, this time Melody, a p.a. physiatrist, who has me bend side to side and forward, who takes both of my legs and twists them this way and that, any pain, stops and says you have every reason to be hopeful as she left the room when we were done.


    Yes, my Korea experience still has me on the road for visits to physical therapy and then Lutheran Spine Center yesterday. Melody confirmed my conjecture that my recent neglect of resistance work probably led to my flare. Why did I do that? Not depressed. My best guess is. Got tired of it. Self care takes time. The older I get the more time it takes. Wanted to save a little time by not doing the resistance. Bad choice. Melody also made me feel good because she expressed surprise that I’d held off this back trouble for so long. Definitely your working out. And, she said, if you keep up your exercises you have every reason…

    I know these things to be true. I know. But. There’s a certain weariness that comes with repeating the same things over and over. Get on the treadmill. Do the squats. The chest presses. The lawnmowers. The dips. The bicep curls and the shoulder presses. The skullcrushers. Those core exercises. Now adding in physical therapy exercises for my back specifically. Guess I need an attitude adjustment. Working out keeps me able to do the things I want to do. Like travel. Go see friends and family. Take care of myself while living alone. Pretty important stuff.

    New attitude. Take the time. It’s worth it.

    Similar note. Got my RSV vaccine yesterday at Safeway. Still seems weird to me to go the grocery store for anything medical. Yet there you are. Some kerfuffle with my birthdate and my medicare card made me wait longer. Then a quick jab, a bandaid, thank you. Noticed while I was there that Safeway has renamed their aisles using local street names: Barkley Road and Shadow Mountain Drive, for instance.


    At breakfast with Tara yesterday I had an aha. At this point in my life relationships are what matter. Not even writing that new novel or finishing Jennie’s Dead. Not even traveling unless it includes building or deepening relationships. Hmm. That one may not be right. I still like to travel alone. Not even striking another blow for justice. I spend more time now having breakfast and lunch with friends, seeing Gabe and Ruth, my son and Seoah, than I do on anything other than taking care of myself. And it never gets old or repetitious. No, I’m not converting to extroversion. I still don’t like crowds or parties or too many people around. But one on one or with two or three others? Yes. That’s where the juice is in my life now.



  • Softball, Korea News

    Lughnasa and the Korea Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Labor Day weekend. My son has Friday and Monday off. The Minnesota State Fair. A not so faded remnant of the Lughnasa festivals of the old Gaeltacht. A Minnesota Fall. Brilliant colors, blue Waters, trips up North. A Rocky Mountain Fall. Aspens gold against Lodgepole Green on Black Mountain. Clear cool Skies. A Korean Fall. Will find out.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Seasons

    One brief shining: My son came home last night in a bright t-shirt with Aladdin 02 on the back and a Cobra on the front his left arm bruised at the bicep after he threw a pitch and a hard hit soft ball came right back to him full of joy at playing and having an injury.


    My son plays on his squadron’s soft ball team. The Cobra signifies their squadron. His first time up a few weeks ago he hit a homer. Now he’s hooked for the season. He’s an athlete, has been since middle school. Cross country in the fall. Ski racing in the winter and track in the spring. High school. He also raced on the UofM’s ski team.

    He and Seoah both have the athletic gene, now expressed most often in workouts and golf every weekend. Makes dad glad. Ha. Good for health and for their marriage.


    Used the apartment’s gym again yesterday. Feel better already. More limber and a regular dose of endorphins. The same three buff middle-aged Korean women were in the weight room. Seemed like chatting had as much to do with their reason for being there as the weight machines.

    Noticed, again, that I tilt to the left. Scoliosis. Polio. Beginning to have some soreness in my right hip and lower back. Not often, not always. Usually after a lot of time on my feet.

    Still not sure how it will affect my stamina when I get into serious sight-seeing. May be limited to mornings. Maybe less than that. Or, maybe rest at intervals will be enough. I’m sure to find out this weekend since we’re going to Seoul for the first time.


    Big news here. War games held for both North and South Korea. Every year a war game called Freedom Shield unites South Korean and U.S. militaries in a display of force designed as a response to a hypothetical North Korean invasion. Such exercises enhance the ability of two command structures to blend when faced with actual conflict.

    North Korea launched an unsuccessful spy satellite last Wednesday in response. Then two more short range ballistic missiles this week. Today North Korea announced military exercises simulating the occupation of all of South Korea. Tit for tat.

    This annual saber rattling makes both sides a bit nervous, jumpy. My son has had some extra work as a result.

    On the streets of Songtan this causes no reaction whatsoever as near I can tell. The taxis pick up passengers. Folks go into the coffee shops. Buy meals in restaurants. It’s not that people don’t care. All Koreans want unification. Just not through military means. It’s more that the specter of war hangs so heavy here that it has become a backdrop to daily life. Not ignored, but not engaged daily.

    Sort of like having cancer it just occurred to me. You can’t pretend it’s not there. And, yes, it could kill you. But, if it occupies your heart/mind all the time  you give up life. Which doesn’t make sense. So  you make an uneasy peace and go on about your day.

  • Verdant

    Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Mary on her way. Ruth getting her driver’s license. Coming up here tomorrow. Possibly bringing Mary. And Gabe. Cool, Rainy Nights continue. Mussar. God is Here. Monotheism. Boo. Animism and polytheism. Yay. Marilyn and Irv. Good friends. Ribeye steak. Potatoes. Mushrooms. Mixed Vegetables. Peaches. Verdant. The Mountains in June. Unusual and beautiful.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Green

    One brief shining: When I look out my window to the back, I see wet Lodgepoles, red bark standing out against green Bunch Grass pocked with yellow Dandelions, Kate’s Lilacs growing taller, the gray white Aspen with its chartreuse Leaves, Rocky Soil damp with the Rains, but no Elk Bulls, no Mule Deer, an occasional Rabbit and Chipmunk.


    In the eight and a half years I’ve been up here on Shadow Mountain the Mountains have never been so green. The Mountain Meadows have Grass in abundance, a buffet for our Wild Neighbors after a difficult, painful Winter. I’ve noticed for the first time that the chartreuse Leaves of the Aspen light up the Lodgepoles in Spring (or, Summer, not sure which is which) as they do in their gold clothing in the Fall. We’ve had cool, Rainy weather since late April. Not what other folks have experienced, I know. Glad for us though.

    All the Mountain Streams would have diminished by this time in a normal June, yet they remain full. Not raging like they did at the end of May but still sending heavy amounts of Water over their Rocks and Falls. Flooding down the hill at several locations though not as bad as 2012.


    I could, I know, spend the rest of my life following Mountain roads, visiting New Mexico, Utah and northern Arizona. There is so much to see so close to me. Places people come from all over the world to see. The many national parks in Utah, the four corners area, Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, Santa Fe, Taos, Dinosaur National Monument. Too many to point out. And perhaps I will spend a year focused on doing just that. But not this year. This year and at least part of the next I’m going overseas, seeing new parts of the World. Yay!


    The travelers coming to Shadow Mountain Home have changed schedules. Mary will be here tomorrow in the morning. BJ and Sarah won’t arrive until Sunday at the earliest. Mary leaves Sunday morning. Ruth will pick up Mary from her hotel near the airport after her midnight arrival. Ruth has her driver’s license! She’ll be coming up in her car. Ivory, our old Rav4. Which has no air conditioning. A good year for her to get used to it. A new era has begun. Ruth can drive on her own.


    Going over to Kittredge for breakfast with Alan. The Blackbird Cafe. In a place where an old favorite restaurant used to be. First time. Summer or its early Springlike equivalent makes driving so much easier up here. I need these times with my friends.


  • Silver threads

    Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Shirley waste. A solid workout, resistance & cardio. A weighted blanket. An electric shaver. Joe Pickett on TV. Mark’s new apartment. Psilocybin spores on the way. Reading the Rivers and Mountains poets of China. Finding my character. Cold Mountain. The Threshold ritual. Nights out. Booked flight to Israel. Oct. 25 thru Nov 10th. Excited. Getting some tips from a friend of Tom’s. Will probably buy Korea tickets this week or early next. On the road again.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Travel

    One brief shining: Violet who served me breakfast said my hat and my shirt made a nice outfit which I assured her was totally coincidental she laughed as if that were not possible and I’d made an attempt at modesty later she looked at my book, Birchers, and asked me what genre was my favorite hers she offered was love stories if the book doesn’t make me cry I don’t like it.


    Got hungry while writing, realized I had little I wanted in the house so I took myself to the Conifer Cafe. That’s three times including last Saturday. Unusual. Got to make a grocery order, get some breakfast variety available. Evening meals, I’m good.

    Was gonna go to the synagogue last night for Richard Levine and Rabbi Jamie’s conversation about gun violence. Didn’t. No good reason except I didn’t want to drive to Evergreen or get home late. Late being 9:30 or 10. Acting class on Tuesday found me hitting the bed at 10:10. Don’t like that.


    Finally cracked the code for booking my flight. Get in at midnight. Stay in Tel Aviv that night, then a taxi to the group hotel in Jerusalem the next day. A friend of Tom’s had recommended Eddie, a tour guide, but he’s booked. Not sure whether I need a guide or not, but he sounded worth exploring. Korea in late August will see me in the Far East. Israel the Near East. Asia is a big continent.


    How bout those Nuggets? Jokic and Murray both with triple-doubles. I’m taking the Nuggets in 5. Next Grand Prix is in Canada.


    I’ve been reading books like Fever in the Heartland, Why Liberalism Failed, Birchers, Christian Nationalism, Chosen Country: A Rebellion in the West so you don’t have to. Got Regime Change by Patrick Deneen in the mail yesterday. He also authored Why Liberalism Failed. Regime Change offers a road map to a post-liberal future. He says.

    Not in my lifetime. He believes liberalism has two Satanic horns one Democrat and one Republican but still festooning the head of his fiery majesty and moving in unison when he thrusts his pitchfork. In brief he believes both Democrats and Republicans are classical liberal parties bent on expanding the amount of space each individual has for self-expression. Republicans work toward economic freedom and international markets while Democrats expand social realms like sexuality, racial engagement in the demos, and programs for the poor.

    Deneen sees right through their often bitter electoral contests (academic x-ray vision) to focus on their mutual expansion of government as the guarantor of free markets here and abroad, human rights based on sexual and racial differences, leveling programs for those left behind economically.

    I imagine if woke wasn’t already taken, he’d be saying Wake Up America.

    There are many threads here. Beginning to come together. Later.

  • The Slow Crossing

    Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: The Mule Deer in the back. The merry, merry month of June. Tal. Joan. Lid. Rebecca. The Bacchae. The Iceman Cometh. Tennessee Williams. The Dybbuk. Phaedra. Racine. House of Leaves. Mark Adams. Tip of the Iceberg. Issa. Haiku. Theater. Acting. Building a character study, presenting it in a project. The gospel singing at CBE last night. The Great Sol is so so lit. Trains. Booking a flight to Tel Aviv. Mark in an apartment. In Hafar. Those two Elk along the road last night.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Visitation of the Mule Deer

    One brief shining: Those Elk the three one with only one antler come now to eat Dandelions instead this morning it was one Mule Deer inside my fence her buddies looking at her from outside it while my heart admitted mild disappointment wondering when those big Bulls would get here having come four years in a row I enjoy their visit.


    A definite shift, a threshold crossing under slow way. I’ve added go anywhere days to my calendar. Yesterday after a solo breakfast at Primo’s I turned onto 285 headed toward Bailey instead of back toward home. Took the first exit and turned left instead of right to Staunton State Park. S. Elk Creek Road. What a beautiful drive. Elk Creek meanders back and forth across the road doing ox bows in a large Meadow just off 285 then crosses to become a fast moving wide Stream creating white Water as it smashes itself against Rocks again and again.

    The homes on the first stretch had a similar style. They used the bark board cut at a saw mill when starting to mill a whole tree as siding. They perched on solid slabs of Rocky Mountain basalt (I think) looking down on the action generated by the Stream below. The Valley sides are exposed Rock in many spots. Tall Ponderosa Pine throw shade at the road. The road itself vacillates between asphalt, gravel, and graded rocky Soil. I had to turn around fifteen minutes into my drive because two county road levelers took up the whole of a barely two lane stretch of road.

    Elk Creek road is one of my new favorite places up here. That’s the way of the Mountains. You learn the roads you use a lot, the Mountains and Streams, the Valleys, the way homes arrange themselves down in the Valley and up in the Mountains. You begin to imagine that’s the way the Mountains are. But no. Only an exit away a totally different experience exists, one you would never know unless you turned down that road, drove along it for awhile.

    That’s true of Blue Creek Road which interests Brook Forest Drive. Maybe four miles toward Evergreen on a road I take several times a week. I turned up Blue Creek Road six months ago. Wow. Open meadows. Large horse farms. Big houses. Each road has its own character, a character defined by the different folds and peaks and Valleys and Streams that Mountains create.

    Learning, exploring. Even in my own smallish section of the Rockies. That’s part of the slow way of the crossing.


  • So it has been and so it shall be

    Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Rain. Rain. Rain. Floods. Full Creeks and Streams. The greening of the Mountains. Can allergies be far behind? Rebecca. Joann. Tal. Dismantling Racism from the Inside Out. Marilyn and Jamie. My son and his wife. Murdoch. Getting on a jet plane. For the Far East. Today. The World in all its distinctiveness and all its connectedness. All my relations.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Ancientrails

    One brief shining: Snow packs, Rains pound, from the top of Shadow Mountain, of Black Mountain, of Conifer Mountain, of Berrigan Mountain the Sun shines and melts the Snow, the Rain accelerates the melt and the Streams, Maxwell Creek, Cub Creek, Shadow Brook, North Turkey Creek, Kate’s Creek, flood spilling over into wetlands, high marsh grasses welcoming their abundance as they roll on into Bear Creek, widening its banks, carrying Soil and Pebbles and Rocks on their way to the North Fork of the South Platte and on to the great World Ocean.


    In media deluge. We’ve had Snow and we’ve had Rain. And the Rains will come again. Tonight. Tomorrow night. And the night after that. And the night after that. Keeping that Smoky the Bear sign pegged right where we want it: Low fire danger. Mostly good news. The not so good part is that Rain promotes greening. Grasses. Flowers. Shrubs. Plants considered out of place, i.e. Weeds. As long as they remain green. Fine. But once the Rains dry up and they turn brown.

    Driving down to Evergreen the other day I had trouble keeping my eyes on the road as I looked over to Maxwell Creek which drains the northwestern Slopes of Shadow Mountain. Muddy and full, it rippled and raged where it didn’t pool in grassy areas alongside it. The strange mix of culverts some concrete, some ribbed metal, some made of rock both hid and revealed the power of the water.

    Noticing a particular culvert, a one piece concrete structure with a rhomboid opening maybe 5 feet high, I saw Maxwell race through it in a torrent, spilling out of the opening in a manmade waterfall. The creek itself was only a foot deep at the most. The rest of the height serving to support a bridge for the property above it.

    At various points formerly dry Grasslands now served as basins for an expanded Creek. Functioning ecosystems taking some of the  Water’s power and distributing it over a wider area, taking also some of the particulates and building the Marsh. The unleashed force diminished for a bit.

    Orogeny. Geology speak for Mountain building. These Mountain Streams are its opposite. The deconstructive forces of Pachamama, sending nourishment to Deltas far away from our spot here on Shadow Mountain.

    Alan Watt wrote Tao: The Watercourse Way. Driving up here in these late Spring days the Tao is not invisible. It is palpable. The water goes where it can, goes where it must, and if blocked will work to unblock itself without losing hope or purpose.

    Taoism remains the most salient way of understanding our place in the World, this one life we get as this consciousness. For me. Our lives are Water Courses racing down the days and weeks and months and years toward the Collective Unconscious, the Ocean of All Souls. Along the way we go where we can, we go where we must and, if blocked we work to unblock ourselves.

    Each of us a Stream running down the Mountain that is this Reality in this spot of the Universe, taking bits and pieces of it along with us to enrich Deltas far away and out of sight. So it has been and so it shall be.