Thursday, 24 September 2020

Hair

(This is an excerpt from a manuscript about an epic outbacking trek I took six years before I became a monk. As you can see in the photo at left, some things have changed.)

Shortly after 0700 I coasted down the long hill into Conconully, skirting its round, post-card reservoir. Motoring quietly through drowsing neighbourhoods, bright clapboard glowing like a remembered summer, I was struck, as often on the Gold Side, by a sense of place. Hometown, as few Puget Sound ones are anymore.

A regiment of impact sprinklers had swept the state campground's day use area as clear as a July schoolyard, but that suited me fine; its deserted parking lot was perfect for peeling off my Michelin Man layers.

So laying down in the bed of the truck, I shed my December kit by stratum, cool air sweet on my nakedness as the long underwear at last came off. Then I squirmed back into my trousers, grabbed my toilet kit, and scrambled back over the tailgate. While setting bath water from the nearest sprinkler on the stove, I caught my reflection in the canopy.

The trendiest salon in New York City couldn't have given me that hairstyle. It fractalled off in a hundred directions, licks and wisps corkscrewing out like an armoury fire. If I'd had a black turtleneck, I could have passed for the hippest artiste in all of Greenwich Village. But bare-chested in dirty jeans, I just looked like an extra from Deliverance.

I dipped my comb and started in, and was soon dripping like I'd dunked my head to the shoulders, but never really mastered the situation.

Buddhist monks say they shave their heads to free themselves from attachment. Bollocks. They do it to free themselves from their hair.

(Adapted from Rough Around the Edges: A Journey Around Washington's Borderlands, copyright RK Henderson.)

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

WW: Predator competence test

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(Can you spot the two sheep that, if you were a cougar, coyote, or bear, you would really not want to mess with?)

Appearing also on My Corner of the World.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Happy Days Teisho

Happy days 1976 fonzies apartment

"Sit on it."

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

WW: Summer 2017 vs. Summer 2020

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Thursday, 10 September 2020

Stuff I Thought Would Pass

Note to readers: I'm in the process of moving this blog to a new host. Please be alert for a URL change in the next weeks.

Dandelion clock Taraxacum
As a meditation on the unreliable nature of impermanence, I offer this week an incomprehensive list of dubious fads I assumed would long have returned to obscurity by now:

Bottled water
Right wing politics
Racism
Free market fundamentalism and "free" trade.
Wearing your trousers hanging off your arse
Evangelical Christianity
Obscenity-filled rap
Twitter
Wearing shorts year-round
Self-defeating copyright enforcement
Private healthcare schemes
Reality television
New Age malarkey
Proscription of ex-convicts
Man-hating feminism
Wearing beach thongs as actual footwear
Red-baiting (you know, now there's no Reds)
Misogyny
Liberal parties without platform or ideology
Churchie Zen
Undirected development and exploitation of land
The notion that sex is the worst thing that can happen to you
Hatred of foreigners

It's worth pointing out that a few positive things have also survived my scepticism. Wikipedia and Internet radio come to mind. 


(Photo courtesy of Andreas Trepte and Wikimedia Commons.)

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

WW: Chimes of fortune

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(I found these by the side of the road while riding my bike. They're meditation chimes. There's a small broken hanger on the lower end that may be implicated in the accident that put them, somewhat the worse for wear but otherwise intact, on the shoulder, but the rest remains a mystery. Another bicycling monk? Doesn't seem likely in my little town. But who knows?

Chalk it up to found dingstock and another Zen mystery.)


Appearing also on My Corner of the World.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

WW: Sun in the jungle

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Appearing also on My Corner of the World.