Monday, April 30, 2007

That is Bill Murray, above, in his prior occupation as pizza chef. He had hamburgers at my brother's house last night. That is my brush with fame. Wait. I wasn't there. Bastards. My younger brother burst in the front door, not knowing there was company. The man by the sink held out his hand, said "I'm Bill."

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Mesa County, Sundown

Colorado, heading in to Utah. I had so much on my mind that Fall day, and I remember looking up, finally noticing everything before me, and breathing one of those deep, life-full inhales. All was well.

If we can just make ourselves understand the calmness that is without, perhaps we could live with a more tranquil peace. I know this is all very out of character, but I mean it.

Friday, April 27, 2007

from E. Dickinson, "875"

I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my Feet the Sea.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tuolumne County, West Sierra

If everything around here doesn't totally unravel, then I will be staring down the valley toward half-dome in two weeks time. And this time, I will travel with bear mace.

I am looking for meadow alpines, among others. I may end up bogged in scrub chaparral, but as long as I am out there, it will be adventure.

Maybe I will find Muir atop an inner tube, beer in hand, floating the Merced River.

Friday, April 20, 2007

It is Friday. I am off to Charleston in a little while, which is a good thing. The breeze is always nice there, and my friend has this dog named Max. Max is the best dog I have ever met. I am going to walk old Max down by the ocean and ruminate on the wisdom of canines.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Old Joy

Comment on, with respect to the recent story about Google
acquiring DoubleClick for billions of dollars:

"Whenever I read stories such as this, I wish I could go back in time
ten years ago to high school and actually done something with my life
rather than run off and drink in the hills and fire shotguns at

By the way, has anyone seen this film besides me? Best of the decade, I think. And that Oldham has a wonderful new album out.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Missoula, MT 1978

My best friend just passed away. After college, I traveled out west with my girlfriend at his urging. He told us to save $500 and just drive around, see what we could find. I remember calling him from a pay phone in Arches National Park, Utah, and going on about the sublime beauty and the sunset and the great stretch of land. "John," he growled from his trailer in the mountains, "I already told you, that is where America and Ed Abbey finally agree." Indeed they do.

And though my friend's life was cut short, his spirit will linger out there, where the wind cuts across the plain, where he kept his heart.

I have posted this so many times my keyboard is wearing out. But anyway, it deserves another round.

from a speech by Edward Abbey, Missoula MT 1978

"Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am. A reluctant enthusiast and part-time crusader. A hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the West. It is even more important to enjoy it while you can, while it's still there. So go out there, hunt, fish, mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the griz, climb a mountain, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet elusive air. Sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness of the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves. Keep your brain in your head and your head frimly attached to the body, the body active and alive. And I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound people with their hearts in safe deposit boxes and their eyes hypnotized by their desk calculators. I promise you this: You will outlive the bastards."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The End of Fifty

Death Valley, 1849

A man named Robinson left this note tucked in a hymn book, discovered in a cave in 1998:

"My dear Edwin, Knowed now we should have gone arowned but am thankful to not be sick the agir cause others are worse ofen me. My last ox falled in his checks afor morn and I caint carry down the steep. The locket was your mahs. The boles and the wagon shrod were the preachers wife. I toted her youngen. If you shoulddove already seen my Lydia, tell her my heart beats with hers. Kindly leave me a half stake and my short gun. Ifen I dont raturn by end of fifty I wont never come. Lord be precious to your soul. William"

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Sailor cannot see the North,
but knows the Needle can.

-E. Dickenson, 1862

Tuesday, April 3, 2007