. . . & THANK YOU

A little letterpress piece fiun.

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Arrival in the mail. Delightful. Hand printed, ink on paper, delivered. . . this is Joy.

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A SENSE OF EXCITMENT

“If you're trying to be miserable, it's important you don't have any goals. No school goals, personal goals, family goals. Your only objective each day should be to inhale and exhale for sixteen hours before you go to bed again. Don't read anything informative, don't listen to anything useful, don't do anything productive. If you start achieving goals, you might start to feel a sense of excitement, then you might want to set another goal, and then your miserable mornings are through. To maintain your misery, the idea of crossing off your goals should never cross your mind.”

John Bytheway : How to Be Totally Miserable

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THE 45th PUPPET

Beautiful spring weather passing through the valley. . . time to change the bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™ with pages from The Nation. Stop by and say hello over a cup of tea of coffee. Or use the link on the right to buy me some beans.
In the upper left corner is a copy
Emory Douglas(The fiercest and baddest art director of all time is Emory Douglas, who as Minister of Culture and Revolutionary Artist for the Black Panther Party designed and illustrated the Black Panther newspaper from 1967-1980. His bold, provocative graphics and illustrations were a signature for the era, and with his designs for the party’s posters, buttons, banners, and publications he created one of the most memorable and lasting visual brands of all time.) cover for the September 21st 1974 issue of The Black Panther Newletter with Gerald Ford proclaiming ‘I Gerald Ford am the 38th Puppet of the United States.’ Remind you of somebody‽ Now our monopolies just have new names like Amazon, Face Book, Exxon Mobil, and Fox News.
I developed a deep appreciation, better understanding and respect for the Black Panthers during my tenure in Oakland.

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The Bulletin Board in the Alleyway at toMake™
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Emory Douglas 1974 Collage for The Black Panther Newsletter

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EARTH DAY

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First stop above the “M” before crossing the face of Mount Sentinel to the Pengelly Ridge climb.

Dancing on the hills, this morning a 12+ mile 2,100’ climb up Pengelly Ridge to Mount Sentinel and then down a very icy snow packed covered Smokejumper trail to the river corridor and back. What a joy, a deLight, breathing hard, legs tired, softly touching earth I wore the Sokra/moccasin shoes.

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Pausing on the climb up the ridge to Mount Sentinel.

The 1200’ ascent up the exposed Pengelly Ridge is the most challenging for me. I have to walk sections of the climb. I was reminded that today is Earth Day and that 48 years ago while a student at Oberlin College I invited Gary Snyder to speak for the first Earth Day, introducing him before I set off for Canada later that year. Those years we had such hope and held such vision for a “future to be possible.” A future not bleak or dark like the oil-gas-coporate dominated agenda today. . .but one where the #EarthToo is held in high regard, in reverence and in respect.

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The climb up Pengelly Ridge.

On the way I pass a startled deer, chickadees, buttercups and later on icy snow in the shadows. After the climb up the ridge and before you get to Mount Sentinel (which is actually lower that the ridge top) you pass through a quiet forest grove. I go slow here and listen to the pines and grasses and wind. . . and Gary Snyders poem dances past in the shadows.

Piute Creek

One granite ridge
A tree, would be enough
Or even a rock, a small creek,
A bark shred in a pool.
Hill beyond hill, folded and twisted   
Tough trees crammed
In thin stone fractures
A huge moon on it all, is too much.   
The mind wanders. A million
Summers, night air still and the rocks   
Warm.   Sky over endless mountains.   
All the junk that goes with being human   
Drops away, hard rock wavers
Even the heavy present seems to fail   
This bubble of a heart.
Words and books
Like a small creek off a high ledge   
Gone in the dry air.

A clear, attentive mind
Has no meaning but that
Which sees is truly seen.
No one loves rock, yet we are here.   
Night chills. A flick
In the moonlight
Slips into Juniper shadow:
Back there unseen
Cold proud eyes
Of Cougar or Coyote
Watch me rise and go.

©Gary Snyder, "Piute Creek" from Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems.

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Mount Sentinel above the Missoula Valley and just above the lake shores of Glacial Lake Missoua.

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PRACTICE RESURRECTION

Sunlight on the north hills open space trails; dancing on a run this morning. “I sing the body electric” indeed. Liberation on the hills. Resurrection.

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Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die. And you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery any more. Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer. When they want you to buy something they will call you. When they want you to die for profit they will let you know. So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it. Denounce the government and embrace the flag. Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands. Give your approval to all you cannot understand. Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed. Ask the questions that have no answers. Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias. Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest. Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold. Call that profit. Prophesy such returns. Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years. Listen to carrion — put your ear close, and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come. Expect the end of the world. Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts. So long as women do not go cheap for power, please women more than men. Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child? Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth? Go with your love to the fields. Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head in her lap. Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts. As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn’t go. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry

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WE HAVE TO START AGAIN

“Everything’s already been said, but since nobody was listening, we have to start again.”

André Gide

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My Grandfather made this, by his hand, from locally sourced renewable materials. Circa 1920 SE Iowa.

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THE PRESS OF MY FOOT

This past four weeks has seen that not-yet-spring | no-longer-winter weather come and go across the intermountain west. A high of 58˚F, low of 21˚F with a mean just below 40˚F day & night. The relative humidity has been about 74% more or less but that should change with daylight now more than 13½ hours. The trails are soft and muddy in places this time of year. It’s a new moon today. When was the last time your naked feet touched the earth ‽

“The press of my foot to the earth springs a hundred affections.”

Walt Whitman

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THE RIVER IS A STRONG BROWN GOD

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Eighteen seconds pouring 31.5 grams is too quick I do admit. Need to adjust the grind!


Over a freshly made cappuccino this rainy April day I thought of and reread T.S.Eliot’s masterpiece, the mystical poem Four Quartets. “Midwinter spring is its own season” (the opening lines of No.4 Part 1 of Little Gidding) . . . like today half spring, half winter.
But the excerpt below is from the first of the five sections of No.3 Part 1, The Dry Savages, where, I believe Eliot begins to address our human pain which is connected to the way we think of ourselves and act as goal-driven, greed-driven, self-obsessive individuals instead of as part of a larger whole, a much larger whole . . . letting go of our ego is a death, a small and continuous dying, a challenging process.

“The poem discusses the nature of time and what humanity's place is within time. Life is described metaphorically as traveling in a boat and humanity's fixation on science and future gain keeping the travelers from reaching their destination. Within the poem, Eliot invokes the image of Krishna to emphasize the need to follow the divine will instead of seeking personal gain. . . Krishna's and Arjuna's discussion from the Bhagavad-Gita on acting according to the divine will along with allusions to Dante's Paradiso, the philosophy of Heraclitus, and the Book of Common Prayer. In regards to these allusions, Eliot would mark up his own editions of the works to note where he used quotes or allusions to lines within his work. In particular, his edition of the Mahabharata included a page added which compared battle scenes with "The Dry Salvages.” Wiki.


I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god—sullen, untamed and intractable,
Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges.
The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten
By the dwellers in cities—ever, however, implacable.
Keeping his seasons and rages, destroyer, reminder
Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated
By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting.
His rhythm was present in the nursery bedroom,
In the rank ailanthus of the April dooryard,
In the smell of grapes on the autumn table,
And the evening circle in the winter gaslight.

The river is within us, the sea is all about us;
The sea is the land's edge also, the granite
Into which it reaches, the beaches where it tosses
Its hints of earlier and other creation:
The starfish, the horseshoe crab, the whale's backbone;
The pools where it offers to our curiosity
The more delicate algae and the sea anemone.
It tosses up our losses, the torn seine,
The shattered lobsterpot, the broken oar
And the gear of foreign dead men. The sea has many voices,
Many gods and many voices.
The salt is on the briar rose,
The fog is in the fir trees.
The sea howl
And the sea yelp, are different voices
Often together heard: the whine in the rigging,
The menace and caress of wave that breaks on water,
The distant rote in the granite teeth,
And the wailing warning from the approaching headland
Are all sea voices, and the heaving groaner
Rounded homewards, and the seagull:
And under the oppression of the silent fog
The tolling bell
Measures time not our time, rung by the unhurried
Ground swell, a time
Older than the time of chronometers, older
Than time counted by anxious worried women
Lying awake, calculating the future,
Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
And piece together the past and the future,
Between midnight and dawn, when the past is all deception,
The future futureless, before the morning watch
When time stops and time is never ending;
And the ground swell, that is and was from the beginning,
Clangs
The bell.

T. S. Eliot Four Quartets: The Dry Savages 1941

Eliot then goes on to end the poem with these lines:
And right action is freedom
From past and future also.
For most of us, this is the aim
Never here to be realised;
Who are only undefeated
Because we have gone on trying;
We, content at the last
If our temporal reversion nourish
(Not too far from the yew-tree)
The life of significant soil.
Give me call, text or eMail and stop by the shop to share a cup of coffee, tea or filtered water . . . and freshly shared conversation.

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