So it has been and so it shall be

Written By: Charles - May• 14•23

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.

The Resistance

Written By: Charles - May• 13•23

Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

Saturday gratefuls: Aspen Perks. A sunny Morning. Yet more Rain last night. Flood warnings. The merry, merry month of May. Mary’s end of semester Bark Day complete with food delivering robots. Mark’s good experience in Saudi Arabia. Alan. Parkside. 4 hours plus of workouts this week. Resistance back on. Pruning and art and bills today.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Breakfast this morning at Aspen Perks

One brief shining: Old enthusiasms never realized (so far) include hiking the Appalachian Trail, visiting the Rub Al-Kahli, exploring the Olduvai Gorge, seeing places remote and mysterious like the Amazon, the Veldt, the Outback, Shark’s Bay where the Stromatolites still live, Bhutan, places where humanity has to realize its place in the vast blooming, buzzing reality of wild nature.


Speaking up for the resistance. Resistance workouts. Now two weeks into my Anytime Fitness solution to resisting resistance. Feel better. Much better. With only two weeks!

Though I originally went with the idea of working my way back to my own equipment, I find the gym is another connection point with people. Brief and not deep, but real nonetheless. Dave, the manage. Doug Doverspike, the vet who took care of Kep. The recovering alcoholic. Over time I’ll see regulars, too. May keep going there at least until the winter. Then I might pick up on my own again. Anytime is ten minutes from home.


Breakfast with Alan at the Parkside. He’s currently acting in Zorro! The director recruited him for his role as the deposed Alcalde of 1809 Los Angeles. I admire his chutzpah, taking up the theater at 68. Voice lessons. Acting lessons. Directing lessons. He’s focused on acting though he does other things, too. Rotary and general tech and finance guy for CBE. Alan and I have a strong bond now. An essential part of my Mountain life. As with Marilyn and Irv. Tara. Rebecca. CBE. Jamie and Ron and Susan.

Speaking of acting. I’m returning to Tal’s acting classes which start this next week. This time it’s character study. Joann Greenberg will be in the class. Alan might join. I still have little interest in acting in a production, but I love the classes. They challenge me, make me work a different part of my heart-brain. Plus I meet new people.


This is my son and his wife’s last weekend on Oahu. Monday they crate up Murdoch and head to Inouye International for a flight to Incheon. Four years. I’m happy he’s got a command position and that she will be closer to family. We’ll use zoom and I’ll visit them. Murdoch will be close to genetic home ground, too.


How bout those Nuggets, eh? Jokic is the real deal. One of the all time greats. I’ve gotta get down the hill to see him play before his career is over. They could win the NBA this year. We’ll see. Western Finals are next.


Also, how bout that default? Playing chicken with the U.S. economy. Add this to Trump’s outstandingly awful, yet consistent, performance on CNN and the GOP should be on its last legs. Should be. Who knows what happens next year.



Calligraphic Therapy

Written By: Charles - May• 12•23

Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

Friday gratefuls: Alan. Good sleeping. A cool night. A not so great day. Psilocybin mistake. Diane. Ecuador. Rom-coms. My son and his wife, their last days in Hawai’i. For now. Snow! Crazy Rich Asians, second viewing. Anytime Fitness. Lowering my bpm. The Thousand Nights and One Nights. A reread.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Learning from mistakes

One brief shining: Drove home in the rain Wednesday night, memories of the humid Midwest splashed up, an uncommon Colorado experience which the next morning turned to big, fat flakes of oh no Snow, tired of the Snow and the cold, unusual for me, watered down my mood.


Calligraphic therapy. My favorite mode these days. And, a good one. There it was, in that sentence. I allowed the Snow, which I cherish, to give me a hit, a slap of too much as if Pachamama had decided to make me feel bad by adding one more day of Snow when I wanted warm weather. I doubled down on the disgruntlement when I took a microdose of psilocybin. Set and setting.

Not my intention, but certainly the result. As the day went on I went more inward, didn’t engage my usual coping skills. I could have, for example, done a couple of rounds of how do I feel? Instead I went on a sleepy sad path for about half of the day. Including a two hour nap. Not a joyful morning or early afternoon.

Felt especially sheepish about this since I’d had the wonderful experience Wednesday focusing on joy. I mean, gee…

A lesson. Set and setting. Are as important as the Michael Pollan book, How To Change Your Mind, suggests. I will not take psilocybin unless the set and setting offer the promise of a fruitful and joyful journey. Not blaming the mushrooms. My choice, made with insufficient awareness.

Also Thursday is not an exercise day. MWF. No mood lifter there. No people since I slept through Thursday mussar. Altogether a rum day.


Friday morning, this morning. Resurrected. A new life for this soul. Ready to take a drive to Evergreen for breakfast with Alan. Pick up some more bread. Maybe shop at the Evergreen Market. Come back and hit the treadmill, then over to Anytime Fitness. I’m up to 10 reps on all the machines, lower and upper body. Next week, two sets.

I now see each day as a new life. A rebirth after a passage through the small death of sleep. Not an original idea. But one of recent lodging in my psyche.

We only ever have this day, this hour, this minute, this second. This is the first time I’ve been alive on Friday May 12th 2023 at 7:43 am. What will I do with this one wild and precious day?

Not wallow in yesterday. Not reach for Saturday. Instead I’ll enjoy this session of writing Ancientrails. Get dressed for breakfast with Alan. Let the day flow. Perhaps some spontaneity. Who knows?

How do I feel? Overslept. How do I feel? Bemused. How do I feel? Sad. How do I feel? Like laughing. How do I feel? Ready. For this day. This life. This moment.






Joy. Joy. Joy.

Written By: Charles - May• 11•23

Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

Thursday gratefuls: MVP. Simcha. Joy. The laughter and learning around the table last night. Going to one more CBE event this month. Snow! 33 degrees. Heavy rain last night. A solid workout yesterday. Cardio and resistance. Feeling good, in my body. Connection. Relationships. Nature. Self. Dogs. Animals. Citrus salad. Mark’s desert Pigeon. The real true desert outside his hotel window.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Joy. Joy. Joy.

One brief shining: Sometimes, once in a while, if the fates are kind, an evening turns from ordinary learning into a festival, a celebration of what it means to be human, to see into each other’s lives and learn in real time what throbs in the heart of another.


Last night was such a night at CBE. It was my turn to lead the MVP group, a monthly mussar evening. Simcha was the middah, the character trait we focused on both in MVP and the congregation as a whole. Simcha means joy.

I asked everybody to find two or three photographs that evoked joy for them. We wrote five minutes about them, then dove into what everyone wanted. Adult show and tell.

Pictures of siblings. Pictures of children at play. Pictures outside in the Mountains. Pictures of Dogs. Of family meals, of ourselves as children. Of parents being happy. Of survival.

We laughed. Smiled. Nodded. I asked how the photographs evoked joy. The connections. With our past. With relationships that held and hold deep meaning. A moment of being one with the Mountains. The profound love of Dogs. At a breast cancer walk. The Self in a moment of ecstasy. A life transforming moment. Play.

We pulled out of them connections, relationships, nature, and play as core components of what evoked joy for us in these pictures.

Then we moved on, as we do each month, to defining a practice. A practice is a measurable way we can increase the middah of the month in our life. One of us will set the sweet picture of young grandchildren on the ledge beside her computer and see it everyday. Another made a joy folder out of pictures from his favorites, set it to music and had the photo app sift through 25 or so in a creative way. He plans to see it first thing in the morning. Another will find joy in the moment instead of looking for a future time when joy will come. Yet another chose to remind herself of her natural, joyful reaction to events in her life and not let other emotions dominate that. I acknowledged finding joy with others and will attend one more event at CBE over the next month. (No, I am not turning in my introvert merit badge. I’ve earned it. I am saying yes to the joy I feel in the presence of others as well.)

I added something, something joyful, to folks lives last night. Felt really good. There’s life in this old man yet. What I mean by that is that I felt some of the juice from days of yesteryear. Leading by consensus, taking a group from one place to another and having everyone part of the movement. And feeling good about it.

The Good Boy

Written By: Charles - May• 10•23

Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

Wednesday gratefuls: Shirley Waste. Trash bags. Cardboard. Coffee. Water. My phone alarm. Erleada. Orgovyx. Each machine at Anytime Fitness. Bunch Grass. Aspen Buds. All the little Allergens getting ready to burst forth. A Mountain Morning, cool and bright. Recycling. Blizzaks. Off. Synthetic oil. In. New battery. New cabin air filter. Brakes still good. All seasons on. Charlie, the chocolate Lab.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Jackie, my hair stylist

One brief, shining: Jackie, curly hair tall in her cowgirl boots smiles when I come around the corner and can see her through her Aspen Roots picture window, working on someone’s hair, yet able to pause for a greeting which makes me feel warm, loved.


Been trying to tap into my inner critic, the Judge. Always ready to evaluate, parse, deliver a verdict. On just about everything. That jerk who pulled in front of me. My mistake when matching Korean Hangul with its English equivalents. When I overcook or undercook. When I forget something I know I know. That damned neighbor who lets their trash blow into my yard.

You probably have one, too. Da Judge. Almighty. Black robe. Big gavel. Stentorian voice. Brooks no challenge. In my instance I first thought after interrogating myself that the Judge had my father’s voice. That was an intellectual conclusion. I mean, it must have been him, right?


It was the Good Boy. Woah. Didn’t see that one coming. Here’s how I tumbled to him. When I’m late for an appointment, any appointment, I will drive a bit more recklessly. Go around curves a bit faster. Speed. Some. I feel a tension, a sense that I’m making a mistake, one that I have to avoid if at all possible. I’m not crazy then, I still try to drive carefully, just faster. And, it often works.

Yet I don’t feel safe. Or, I realized in an aha, legal. Hmm. Who was behind this? He popped up like a whack-a-mole. Not visible in my inner world for long. So I waited. Yep, he came up again when I saw I would almost make my 8:30 appointment at Stevenson Toyota. 8:33. Yes. He paused for a big fist pump. That’s when I caught him.

The Good Boy. I’d named him a few weeks back when I was somewhere I can’t recall, but I had remarked to an older woman that I was just trying to be a good boy. Oh she smiled-I remember that-and said, you are a good boy.

How silly I remember musing. Wanting to be a good boy at 76. Hair all white. Collagen skipped out. Boyhood long, long, long past.

But no. The Good Boy in me and the Judge are the same person. Sometimes, like in the driving instance, the Good Boy finds himself in tension between Good Boy rules: Show up on time. It’s respectful. Says something about you. And. Follow the traffic laws. They’re there so driving is not chaos, dangerous. For our common good. Also why I’m mad when somebody drives dangerously. He or She SHOULD NOT endanger me for their own selfish reasons.

I made a list of Good Boy rules:

A Good Boy takes care of those he loves.

A Good Boy always does preventive maintenance.

A Good Boy takes care of the dogs in his life.

A Good Boy does not kill the dogs in his life

A Good Boy keeps a clean house.

A Good Boy obeys traffic laws.

A Good Boy takes care of his health.

A Good Boy does not eat fast food.

A Good Boy eats well.

A Good Boy reads a lot. Always learning.

A Good Boy only watches television in the evening.

A Good Boy works out.

A Good Boy uses time well.

A Good Boy fights for justice always.

A Good Boy protects Pacha Mama, mother earth.

A Good Boy hikes.

A Good Boy does not criticize others except gently.

I’m sure there are many more Good Boy rules I haven’t tumbled too yet. It’s been a long life. These rules constitute an internal deontological ethic. A rule based way of determining if something is good or bad. If the Good Boy does not hike, he’s being bad. If the Good Boy works on Dismantling Racism, he’s being good.

A big problem with rule based ethics is that they can and often do develop rules that come into conflict with one another. Show up on time. Yet follow traffic laws. A Good Boy works out. Except when he can’t. A Good Boy doesn’t make mistakes when studying. Except he does if he wants to learn. A Good Boy wants to be a gentle and forgiving critic of others. Except when the other violates a Good Boy rule. All the exceptions produce tension.

In the instance of euthanizing Kep I stood over him when Dr. Doverspike came in the room. Those syringes. Oh. I loved Kep. I care for him. I can’t be the one who kills him. I want to be with him. I can’t kill him. Unresolvable.

My conscious ethics are not deontological. I’m more of a situational ethicist though I have a strong touch of the teleological when it comes to matters of justice. Not gonna go into this because I’ve gone on too long today.

The Self. Our Selves participate in a unity that is bounded by our body, yet each self is a distinct and unique part of us, too. Like all the universe. My situational ethicist Self knows and embraces without judgment the tension I felt over Kep’s final illness. He also knows and often overrules Good Boy rules.

But when I’m acting from the below the shadow line of consciousness the Good Boy often steps in and makes decisions. Whether I’m ok with them or not.


Travelin’ Man

Written By: Charles - May• 09•23

Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

Tuesday gratefuls: Stevenson Toyota. Ruby. Ivory. Driving. RJ at Bond and Devick. A sweet man. Kate’s IRA. This sacred house. This sacred Mountain. This sacred life. The realm of mystery, of the unseen. The Arabian Nights. Saudi Arabia. Mark, who lives there. Mary, still teaching. Kate, whose memory has become a blessing. And all of our dogs of blessed memory, too.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: My son and his wife

One brief, shining: Travel came with the gene pool, Mom spent her WWII years as a WAC in Signals Intelligence visiting Algeria, Capri, Rome, England, while after college at Oklahoma State University Dad wanted to buy a boat, sail the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and write about his journey, later on Mary and Mark, my sister and brother, would spend more of their lives in Asia and Arabia than in the U.S.


And now that itch, less dominant in me, has begun to assert itself. If my health continues and my money managers figure out the financial piece, I’m outta here. First to Korea to visit my son and his daughter. A month or so. My Korean advances, though slowly. Then in late October and early November Israel and Jordan. My Hebrew even slower. Then in the midst of a Colorado Mountain Winter, Ecuador. Yes, I’m working on Spanish. Coming a bit faster than I expected.

Excited about the prospect of seeing Korea as a tourist. Having the time to wander through the Land of the Morning Calm. It’s a different place than Japan or China though it has similar Buddhist and Confucian and Shamanistic inflections. I’ve found the Koreans I’ve met engaging, easy to talk to, interested in the world beyond Korea.

Israel has been in my  head as a destination ever since seminary. Christianity shares with Judaism sites and history in this small country. The Sea of Galilee. Gethsemane. Masada. Gaza. Dome of the Rock. The walls of the second temple. Nazareth. Caperanum. Jericho. The streets of Jerusalem where Pontius Pilate condemned Jesus. The tomb. Just to see these sites, even though their sacred lustre long ago dimmed for me, will be worth the trip.

I plan to spend some time in Jordan, too. Perhaps in a Bedouin encampment, certainly at Petra.

Ecuador. Another matter. A little bit of Snow Bird, a lot of curiosity. The biodiversity in Ecuador has no rivals. Cotacachi is in the Andes where the serranos, Mountain people or highlanders, live. As opposed to the costenos who live near the ocean in Manta and Guayaquil. The two have an ongoing and longstanding political conflict since Quito, the capital, is in the Mountains and Guayaquil, the business and finance center, is on the coast.

Can’t escape politics.

Not sure what I hope to accomplish, probably nothing, in going to Ecuador for a couple of months. Briefly live the expat life my brother and sister made their lives. See the Volcanoes, make it to the Galapagos and down to the Amazon. Check out the nature preserves. Spend some time with Diane. Hang out. More than enough. Probably too much. We’ll see.



Written By: Charles - May• 08•23

Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

Monday gratefuls: Miami Grand Prix. Sacred objects. The Most Ancient and Proud Brothers. Psilocybin. CBE. Dismantling Racism. Depth. This time. Anger/Patience. K’ass and Savlanut. Simcha. Joy. Ed Brill. Comedian. Laughing. Ginnie. Ron. Alan. Cheri. Tara. Suzy and Pete. Josh. Those Mountain Streams, full. The Ponderosa Pines lower down. Their beautiful Bark and Branches. Tall.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Community

One brief, shining: Took another microdose of psilocybin yesterday and it moved into me with subtlety and power, creating a slight aura of light and deepening my vision, especially into the Trees, the silent gentle guardians of our Mountain World, and as I considered them my feet became Roots, spreading like Rhyzomes into the Soil beneath my feet, my spine and upper torso lengthened as I reached toward the Sky, feeling minute movements in the Air around me, feeling a Squirrel run up my Trunk, and a Robin land on one of my Branches, until I stopped growing for a moment, standing there knowing why I had chosen this spot for my eternal home.


Psilocybin is so gentle. Each time I’ve used it. It feels like an inner deep massage, muscles relaxing while sensory input sharpens. And it attunes me to plant life. Set and setting, I suppose. Timothy O’Leary’s contribution to the field of psychedelic research.* Plants have been and still are so important to me. These friends. Wild neighbors, too.

The Lodgepoles and Aspens that line my every drive whether to Evergreen or to Aspen Park. Corridors defined by and watched by Trees. The Lodgepoles and Aspens add to their number Ponderosa Pines, Colorado Blue Spruce, White Pine, Willows, Red Osier Dogwood as the Mountain Valleys descend from the top of Shadow Mountain.

The Trees observe, feel our passing. Shade us. Breathe out Oxygen, take in our  CO2. Yet we treat them as things. To cut. To remove. To use in building our homes and places of work. It occurred to me that every tree is Shel Silverstein’s Giving Tree. Giving of itself to us until we take all from it. Yet growing again, and again, and again.

I stand with them. Plant Trees. Love them and they will love you back.


Agnostic.** Pagan. In relation to ideas of God in any religion, I am agnostic. In relation to where I find divinity and sacredness, I am pagan. As I demonstrated above. My sense of God is the inner divinity to whom I bow when I say namaste. In that sense I am a polytheist with 7,942,645,085 other Gods in my pantheon. I could easily increase that number by each Tree on Earth. Each Elephant. Each Dog. Each Mackerel and Krill. Each drop of Water, each tongue of Fire, each inch of Soil, and all of the Sky. Yet I am no pantheist.

Why? While I believe in an ultimate unity of all things, I do not believe in an homogenization of all things by using any concept as inherent in everything. In fact I believe that God, in the sense I’m using it, creates, emphasizes, celebrates uniqueness. The great mystery is the powerful, the wonderful combinatory affect of all this uniqueness into one pulsing living whole.

Nothing is outside it. Nothing is rejected. Everything is held in its sacredness, in its true divinity without sacrificing its own distinctiveness. Matter is energy. Energy is matter. When one shifts to the other, the divinity, the sacredness it carries is not lost but transferred. How could it not be? Therefore the distinctiveness which it has created remains as it shifts in form and kind.

I suppose I could argue, maybe I am arguing that this proves a life beyond death. Maybe. Who knows? Kate. Kep. Dad. Mom. Regina. They know.




*Set and setting respectively refer to the internal and external factors that influence your psychedelic experience. “Set” is a reflection of your inner climate—your mood, personality, beliefs, perceptions, and so on. “Setting” refers to all that’s going on outside, such as the people around you and their behaviors, the music playing, the smells and weather in the air, even the cultural forces that aren’t as readily visible. Bailey Elyse, Double Blind, Oct. 2, 2020


**agnostic (n.)

1870, “one who professes that the existence of a First Cause and the essential nature of things are not and cannot be known” [Klein]; coined by T.H. Huxley, supposedly in September 1869, from Greek agnostos “unknown, unknowable,” from a- “not” (see a- (3)) + gnōstos “(to be) known” (from PIE root *gno- “to know”). The coinage is sometimes said to be a reference to Paul’s mention of the altar to “the Unknown God” in Acts, but according to Huxley it was a reference to the early Church movement known as Gnosticism (see Gnostic). The adjective also is from 1870.

I … invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of ‘agnostic,’ … antithetic to the ‘Gnostic’ of Church history who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. [T.H. Huxley, “Science and Christian Tradition,” 1889]

The agnostic does not simply say, “I do not know.” He goes another step, and he says, with great emphasis, that you do not know. [Robert G. Ingersoll, “Reply to Dr. Lyman Abbott,” 1890]  etymonline


Ideas. And. King Charles

Written By: Charles - May• 07•23

Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

Sunday gratefuls: F1 qualifying in Miami. Sergio Perez. Checo. Confidence. Moving my art. Resting. Writing. Urku in Cotacachi, Ecuador. The Echo Maker by Richard Powers. Cranes and the Crane. Patrick Deneen.  Why Liberalism Failed. An important read. Mark in Saudi Arabia. Mary in Eau Claire. Diane headed to Indiana later this month. My Panama hat.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: My body

One brief, shining moment: Ideas race into the mind, turning corners at apex speed, traveling fast down the straights of agreement, slowing when doubts begin to occur, or new evidence marshals against them, maybe forcing them into the wall of rejection, more likely requiring a modification in the pits of reason before mounting the podium of acceptance.


The history of ideas has been a favorite pursuit of mine since college. Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed has kicked my interest in it up a notch. That’s usually what happens. I read something and wonder, where did that come from? Is that true? What do other folks think of that? Then it’s down the rabbit hole of philosophy, history, or research into a particular discipline.

Over time I’ve investigated Islam, the Enlightenment, the Renaissance, Taoism, Chinese history, Art history, the Far Right today, Quantum theory, various authors like Richard Powers, Herman Hesse, Goethe, Tolstoy, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Rainer Marie Rilke and many others. At some point I stop, either having got enough to satisfy my curiosity or having gotten tired of a topic or having been engaged by a new topic or sloth.

A bit of an intellectual gadfly I’ve never settled in one spot long enough to become an expert, never had the ambition to do so. Sometimes I regret this jumping from rock to rock in the vast stream of human knowledge. Other times I think it’s my particular gift. Getting just enough information and then moving on. At 76 I’d have to say I’ve chosen curiosity as a lifestyle.

Right now I’m focused on the Far Right. What’s going on? Who’s doing it? Why? Where did their ideas come from? How might the radical right affect the future of the U.S. Side currents in my reading right now include Richard Powers, the Arabian nights, and gathering information about Korea, Israel, and Ecuador.


The coronation of King Charles. Only looked at pictures and a couple of videos.

Gosh. Those big crowns look ridiculous. The Anglican archbishop putting them on looked like a dressed up clerk at a costume store trying hats on some customers for Halloween. Though. The orb and the sceptre were cool. Until I heard the words that put the whole globe under the Christian church and by implication, given history and the immediate context, of Great Britain. I mean, come on guys.

Loved the carriage. But even in the carriage those crowns still looked silly. IMHO.

On the other hand. Ritual is powerful. The congregation singing God Save the King. The footmen in fancy livery. The horses. The ride from the palace to the Cathedral.

The passing of power (much diminished from the time of King Edward) from one monarch to another. In days of olde the equivalent of free and fair elections, a means of ensuring a stable transfer of power.

Not now. Not sure if there any monarchies outside the Middle East where the royals have real power. Anyhow, fun for the glitter and the glam.


Friends and Acquaintances

Written By: Charles - May• 06•23

Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

Saturday gratefuls: Joann. Rebecca. Terry. Coal Mine Chinese Restaurant. Evergreen, my Mountain town. Grieving. Alan. The Wildflower Cafe. Anytime Fitness. Doug Doverspike, bit in the face by a Catahoula. Dave. Urku. Catacachi, Ecuador. Rabbi Jamie. Tal. Character Study class. Kate. Her Creek running full into Maxwell Creek. Daffodils. Red Tips on the Aspen Branches.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Friends

One brief, shining moment: A blossoming time for me, a Beltane aspect of my Winter years, friends becoming richer and more available, travel prospects offering themselves, workouts back to resistance as well as cardio, a hobby with F1 and motorsports for diversion, feels like coming out of Plato’s Cave.


Small groups like mussar, mvp, dining out with friends either one-to-one or maybe four at most. Yes. Needed. Appreciated. Loved. More than that? Draining. Exhausting. So. I don’t do those hardly ever.

Last night out with Joann Greenberg, Rebecca Martin, and Terry, Rebecca’s partner. The Coal Mine Chinese Restaurant in Evergreen. They all knew the owner and all the owner’s kids. Lots of Evergreen years among those three. A thick culture. And with Rebecca and Joann even more years as friends. Back before CBE. Both at its beginning. 50 years ago. Felt privileged to be included.


In the morning yesterday breakfast with Alan at the Wildflower Cafe. Sitting at at their outside tables on the Evergreen boardwalk. Breakfast nachos with carne asada, cheese, red sauce, Avocado’s. Coffee. Alan shaved his beard! For my craft, he said. He’s in a play that required him to play a younger character. Only the third time since 1977 he’s shaved. Grows back in about a month. No big deal. That’s Alan. He takes what comes and smiles about it.

After he left, I spent a little time wandering around the shops. I rarely do this because this part of Evergreen is touristy. Went into two places geared to separating the visitor from their money. Not interesting. However, the longtime shoe repair had a going out of business sale and I picked up a couple of pocket knives, nice ones, for $30.


Worked out for the second time at Anytime Fitness. Cardio at home, then 10 minutes over there. Swipe my fob. Hit the machines. Legs and upper body. What I needed. Not having to think about form. I already feel the pleasant exhaustion in my muscles afterward. Not sure how long I’ll use the machines because I’m used to using my own equipment. Though. Right now I need the ease of using the machines to get some strength back.

I did run into Dr. Doverspike there. He got bit by a Catahoula. And had the healing scars to prove it. The Dog launched himself at Doug’s face. Did not puncture his skull. But could have. Yikes!


Beltane celebrates the start of the growing season after the first renewal of Spring. Hand fasting marriages contracted for a year and a day. Farm labor hired. Sympathetic magic. Sex in the fields to encourage the union of the Maid and the Green Man. Jumping over fires for fertility. The May Pole.

I feel right in synch with the season. And it feels good.


Pacha Mama

Written By: Charles - May• 05•23

Beltane and the full Mesa View Moon

Friday gratefuls: The Mesa View. The threshold. Liminal spaces. Dawn. The Omer. Day 29. Dismantling racism. Diane and Ecuador. Marilyn and Irv. At Primo. Sally. Thursday mussar. The tribe. BJ and Schecky under the huppa. Smashing a glass. At Sarah and Jerry’s in North Carolina. The cake with the wonderful floral display. A full day.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The huppa woven of large branches by Jerry

One brief, shining moment: There are too few words in English, too many instances of this beauty, the Lodgepoles bathed in the Sunlight of early Dawn capture me every morning, standing gentle and upright, Branches swooping toward the Earth, the Light filtered through the stand catching this Tree, this Branch, and changing its touch as the Earth turns, presenting Shadow Mountain at new angles to the motionless Sun.


Talked to Diane yesterday. We might head out to Ecuador after the first of the year. For a couple of months. Early days but Sally, who’s already down there, has gotten excited and sent me a bunch of material. Marilyn visited Cotacachi, too, and has some great connections she plans to share.

When I told Marilyn, a traveler of note herself, of my plans to visit Joe and Seoah in Korea, then Israel in November, and Ecuador early next year, she said, “Seeing how many continents you can touch?” Hadn’t thought of it that way. But, yeah.

When Kate and I went on our circumnavigation of Latin America cruise after she retired, we visited two cities in Ecuador, Manta and Guayaquil. I remember distinctly the Iguanas in the town square of Manta, the friendly Ecuadorian who took Kate to some pharmacy so she could buy medicine, and the wonderful market where I bought my Alpaca coat and small, but detailed paintings that I later gave out as gifts to the Woollys.

In Guayaquil we drove past the white city, a huge cemetery with many white tombs on our way to a Cacao plantation. Kate and I met the friendliest pit bull ever there. Also tasted a drink made from the Cacao pulp that was extraordinary.

Ecuador, which means equator in Spanish, was the first country in the world to give legal rights to its environment in their constitution. Here is the clause:

Article 71.

Nature, or Pacha Mama, where life is reproduced and occurs, has the right to integral respect for its existence and for the maintenance and regeneration of its life cycles, structure, functions and evolutionary processes.

Gotta love a country that gives rights to Nature. What would you think about a country that privileges gun ownership in its constitution? Or does according to some interpretations of our second amendment.


BJ and Schecky married themselves underneath a huppa made of large Branches woven together by Jerry. I attended via zoom. Bellews Creek, North Carolina. They will be moving this fall to Driggs, Idaho. Leaving their almost fifty year rent controlled home in the Beacon Hotel on Broadway in New York City. It was close to Julliard, which they both attended.