Thursday, 14 September 2017

Gold Side Gothic

These Okanogan Forest Service roads were punctuated by the weathered husks of farmhouses, glass and paint long departed, their Norman Rockwell profiles inclining in iron sickness.

But not rot; that wants rain, and the only moisture that ever flowed freely in this country was the blood, sweat, piss, and tears of homesteaders.

When even that ran out, families surrendered.

Standing by those vacant windows, you can feel the handshake, smell the wash, taste the bacon, and in the keening of a wind-blown hinge, touch a sorrow full as deep as it was four generations ago.

(Adapted from Rough Around the Edges: A Journey Around Washington's Borderlands, copyright RK Henderson. Photo of Douglas County derelict courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and a generous photographer.)

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

WW: Summer shore

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Automobile Maintenance

As summer reached its apogee, and the 100 Days their last weeks, my mind settled into a comfortable hum. More than acceptance, not quite joy; just, home.

But oh, the poor rolling stock! From its battered chassis, to engine problems, to electrical glitches, this truck was trailing. Sitting on my zafu, I watched systems check in like idiot lights: joints, muscles, organs; blood and bile and brains.

Yet my body has been such sangha. My eccentric lifestyle has only been possible because the crow meat was on board. Others may disparage it – too short, too skinny, too crooked; hell, just too. But, like my Toyota truck and my MSR hiking stove, my body is top of the line. And like them, it has served well-above and far-beyond, for far too long. If my tools can't run forever on damp air and bad fuel, that's hardly their fault.

Because hermitry is a job for a younger man. But as there were none around, I simply had to become one.

(Adapted from 100 Days on the Mountain, copyright RK Henderson.)

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

WW: Silver-spotted tiger moth caterpillar

(Lophocampa argentata.)

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Founding Theory of Zen

Coprolites with Inclusions If you chew on anything long enough, you can swallow it and poop it back out again.

(Photo of Oligocene coprolites courtesy of the Poozeum and Wikimedia Commons.)

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

WW: Headbone

(Cow skull found in pasture and hung on barn wall. A visceral human response I've commented on before.)

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Self-Knowledge Kyôsaku

Stone Buddha covered in tree roots

"If you want to know what you are, go ask a tree."

Seung Sahn

(Photo courtesy of Mufaddal Abdul Hussain and Wikimedia Commons.)
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