IN THE OVEN

Along the river, on the morning run
YA) the heron in flight. Moving downstream.
A light snow on the trail, frozen leaves underfoot.

The next day,
YA) the bald eagle fishing, watching, still &
high above on bare cottonwood branches.




Later
Chopping the vegetables;
carrots, celery, onions, beets, turnips
&&& the spices

YA) roasting in the oven.

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ECCENTRICITY OF LIFE

The winter market on Saturdays has started up. It’s a short walk now to pick up our CSA share.


Saturday at the Senior Center: the Winter Market

In other news, Venus is visible in the morning . . . & the sun is lower on the northern hemisphere horizon, just in case you didn’t notice, and comes through the windows of the studio in a noticeably different angle. Daylight here at toMake™ studio is 9 hours and 29 minutes with the sun rising at 7:35am MST.


The sun transits at 12:20pm MST not at noon as you might imagine. Because we live so far west (6 minutes into the into the PST) in the Mountain Standard time zone our clocks are 36 minutes behind of sun time. Think of it like this; it takes 36 minutes after noon for the sun to be directly overhead in the south.


But that would mean that the transit (LMT) would occur at 12:36pm MST. The earth does not revolve around the sun in a circular orbit, but an elliptical one, sometimes going faster and sometimes slower around the sun . . . so the eccentricity of earth’s orbit means that the Equation of Time (EOT) is +15min 52sec fast today and this results in Local Time (LT) noon being at 12:20pm MST (12:00+ 36min - 16min =12:20).


An analemma is a diagram showing the variation of the position of the Sun in the sky over the course of a year, as viewed at a fixed time of day and from a fixed location on the Earth. The north–south component of the analemma is due to change of the Sun's declination caused by the tilt of the Earth's axis, and the east–west component is due to nonuniform rate of change of the Sun's right ascension, governed by combined effects of axial tilt and Earth's orbital eccentricity. The diagram has the form of a slender figure eight, and can often be found on globes of the Earth. WIKI.


Running now necessitates more cloths and careful footing on the frozen and often icy trails. Like this morning; a 6-8 knts headwind in the canyon made the 23˚F feel decidedly colder. The river remains open but most of the standing water along the trails is frozen now. Post-election recovery the bulletin board in the alleyway has returned to “normal.”

Out and about in downtown Missoula ? Stop in at The Runners Edge on Higgins a block north of Broadway and see “The Way Across”.


The Way Across: on display at the Runners Edge in downtown Missoula

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WHOLLY GRATUITOUS

A crisp autumn morning, just 35˚F but blue and beautiful along the river. I got the okay from the doctor yesterday to start running again and so I did just that this morning. Dancing along the river trail, up and down the side hill and then off-trail on the way back on the single track. New shoes to soften the landing . . . I feel so grateful that I am still doing this. And approaching my 69th trip around the sun next week. The Equinox arrives this Saturday evening; days and nights equal and the cold means the cat is sleeping close in between us all night long.



“So I think about the valley. And it occurs to me more and more that everything I have seen is wholly gratuitous. The giant water bug’s predations, the frog’s croak, the tree with the lights in it are not in any real sense necessary per se to the world or to its creator. Nor am I. The creation in the first place, being itself, is the only necessity, for which I would die, and I shall. The point about that being, as I know it here and see it, is that, as I think about it, it accumulates in my mind as an extravagance of minutiae. The sheer fringe and network of detail assumes primary importance. That there are so many details seems to be the most important and visible fact about the creation. If you can’t see the forest for the trees, then look at the trees; when you’ve looked at enough trees, you’ve seen a forest, you’ve got it. If the world is gratuitous, then the fringe of a goldfish’s fin is a million times more so. The first question—the one crucial one—of the creation of the universe and the existence of something as a sign and an affront to nothing, is a blank one. I can’t think about it. So it is to the fringe of that question that I affix my attention, the fringe of the fish’s fin, the intricacy of the world’s spotted and speckled detail.”

Annie Dillard : from “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

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A BUMP ON THE TRAIL

A lot of miles on trails. A lot of running over boulders and skree fields. And a tree root that didn’t move out of the way of my foot. A stress fracture on the ball of the left foot.


Sore Feet

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I GO FOR A RUN IN THE BOB

RATBOB or ‘Run Across the Bob’ is/was a two day run through the Bob Marshall Wilderness AreaThe wilderness, along with the adjoining Scapegoat and Great Bear wildernesses, make up the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex … all three wildernesses total 1,535,352 acres.” The complex straddles the continental divide and appears on my new edition “The Way Across” that is currently on display at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana. I was at once humbled, excited, sore and among the company of wonderful support persons, superb trail runners old and mostly young, male and female, and some dogs (not a big fan). I had anticipated retracing parts of my 1971 hike with Dave but this didn’t happen as we went north from Black Bear and did not go through Gorge Creek . . . and from Holland Lake we took the stock trail to Upper Holland Lake (which was frozen over & we walked across) because of the snow at the end of June then crossed into the Bob via Pendant Pass. Later that night a mountain lion followed us in the shadows along the river until we made camp.

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Circa 1971 on the long hike. Traveling much lighter now !
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RATBOB 2018: Napa Point Trail Head to Gorge Creek Camp (via Sunburst Lake) to Holland Lake Camp.
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Making our way to Sunburst Lake.
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Swim and Lunch at Sunburst Lake.
IMG_9308Sunburst Lake reminded me a lot of Avalanche Lake in Glacier N.P.
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The 2016 burn along Gorge Creek at the end of the days run.
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Gorge Creek.
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Tired feet at the end of the day.
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Gorge Creek Camp. . . dinner and stories.
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Night in the Bob, a full moon about to rise.
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Elevation gain to Holland Lookout !
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Holland Lookout. Downhill to the Lake and end of RATBOB2018.

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DANCING

Beaverhead Ultra-marathon run along the continental divide between Idaho and Montana. A twice now, in a life, dancing adventure that is stunningly challenging, difficult, beautiful and …. What a joyful experience; but a very difficult one to reach. To get an idea of what this course is like watch the video The Beaverhead Endurance Runs.


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Distance: 34 miles. Ascent/Descent: 5,900 ft/8,900 ft. Elevation: 10,047 ft, 5,500 ft, 8,500 ft. Terrain: 65% single track, 23% double track, 12% boulder/skree.

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The race starts at Lemhi Pass (12 miles east of Tendoy ID on Agency Creek Rd, 52 miles south west of Dillon MT on Lemhi Pass Rd). The course from the start to mile 18 is on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT). The CDT is on or very near the Continental Divide from the start to mile 18. The length of Continental Divide covered in this event also represents the boarder between Idaho and Montana. At mile 18, runners will leave the official CDT for the remainder of the course, but will continue along the true Continental Divide boarder. FYI, at mile 18 the CDT dips into Montana then turns parallel to the Continental Divide in-order to divert away from a section of hard to navigate terrain consisting of high mountains, skree, and cliffs. We as masochistic trial running RD’s think you should experience some of the beautiful skree fields but not the cliffs, so we will drop off the Continental Divide at mile 23 and descend into the head waters of Bohannon Creek and onto the finish line.

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EVERYTHING GOOD IS COSTLY

A long run this morning. 2,000ft elevation gain/loss and 13 miles on mostly single track trails. Despite drinking water I lost almost 5 lbs during the run; it’s hot today. I was tired, legs and body, by the time I got down to the river trail.

“Everything good is costly, and the development of the personality is one of the most costly of all things. It will cost you your innocence, your illusions, your certainty.”

C. J. Jung

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On the climb up, pausing in the forest.

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On Top, above the “M” on Mount Sentinel

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It was already getting hot at 8am.

IMG_9140 - 2018-07-06 at 08-48-54_wmTired feet on top, touching the earth. Joy, deLight and Gratitude.

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THE WILD GOD OF THE WORLD

Longest days, the Summer Solstice this past week, the Strawberry moon, and rain rain rain. Saturday a wet market CSA produce pickup.

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The past four weeks we have received 4.3 in. of rain. The river through town remains muddy, turbulent as it moves logs and rocks downstream and builds islands upstream . . . well above mean flow. We have had a high of 82˚F and a low of 36˚F. The cottonwood bloomed with the later second cresting of the river, sending their duff over the trails, and the hills are green.

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On my run last week I came upon a recently fallen hawk. Still warm and breathing I carried it off the trail and laid it in a bed of grasses. I stopped and sat with it . . . then carefully folded its wings and left it to die in quiet, undisturbed I guess. Suddenly it opened its eyes, large yellow eyes and looked at me, opened its talons. I placed some flowers over it and said a prayer, the hawk had more lifetime left, cut short by a power line. But, not unlike Jefffers hawk, was asking my help to die off the trail, in peace and solitude.
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Hurt Hawks

I
The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,
No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.
He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.
He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,
The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.
You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.

II
I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk;
but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bone too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.
We had fed him six weeks, I gave him freedom,
He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old
Implacable arrogance.
I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.
What fell was relaxed, Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers; but what
Soared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.

Robinson Jeffers | The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers: Poetry 1903-1920, Prose, and Unpublished Writings

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WOW! WHAT A RIDE!

I’m getting ready for the 2018 Beaverhead 55km Ultra in a couple of weeks. Actually I’ve been getting ready for some time already; ever since last years dance along the continental divide.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a ride!’”

Hunter S. Thompson

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GO FOR A RUN ANYWAY

Along the river trail this morning; cold (37.5˚F), fresh snow on the mountains, rainy, wet and ankle deep on muddy trails. Oh well, go for a run anyway.

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“Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our private world”

Arnold Newman

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THE DAY IS GOOD

Out for an early morning run on Global Running Day #globalrunningday . . . flowers, sky, earth, birds, deLight of being alive and breathing hard. The day is good, really good.

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GATHERING TOGETHER

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Freshly Green and a Local Dinner (Msla Grain & Veg)

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Trail Running Gathering at Marshall Mountain (Runners Edge and Run Wild Missoula)

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A BRIEF OPPORTUNITY

Seizing the opportunity to interact and experience the Other; the ‘living, ever-surprising world around us’ … a sweet 8 mile run today along the muddy river, food of a different sort.

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YA) The River
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Finishing the Blue Mountain 30K

“You can think of death bitterly or with resignation ... and take every possible measure to postpone it, … Or, more realistically, you can think of life as an interruption of an eternity of personal nonexistence, and seize it as a brief opportunity to observe and interact with the living, ever-surprising world around us.”

Barbara Ehrenreich | Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer

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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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NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR STRAVA TIME

SPRING INTO GOOD OPEN SPACE CONSERVATION LANDS PRACTICES

1. Be prepared for mud! Walkers/Runners - go through it down the center of the trail. This ensures our trails aren’t expanding and eroding conservation lands. Bikers – stay off muddy trails. Bikes leave ruts in the mud that will be there all season. Don’t want to get muddy – go in the morning when the ground is more solid or hit a trail in one of our parks
2. Be a responsible dog owner – spring means snow melt and lots of “presents” appear from the winter. Pick it up, toss it out. Bags on the side of the trail won’t walk themselves to the trash and are you really going to pick it up later?
3. Have awesome trail etiquette – hikers/runners and uphill traffic always have the right of way.

REALLY NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR STRAVA TIME BUT YOU.
Be aware – take an earbud out if you’re recreating with music. Look up, be alert, recreate in control, be kind, high five people on the trail. Our open space lands are our shared resource.

Missoula Parks & Recreation Open Space

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Missoula, Montana Open Space Lands

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TO THE FULLEST

Once again, I made Run Wild Missoula’s 1200 Mile Club, running more than 1500 miles last year.

“People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they'll go to any length to live longer. But don't think that's the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you're going to while away the years, it's far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that's the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me. . . I believe many runners would agree”

Haruki Murakami | What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

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My favorite shoes, moccasins, to touch the earth gently underfoot.

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Spring of 1968 48.9 440yds.

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Summer 2013 Lake Superior 50M Ultra.

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Autumn 2014 Blue Mountain 30K.

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GOING SLOWLY

Never mind the weather; get up, get dressed and go out for a run. It was wet (a light but steady rain making the trails icy), cold (29 ˚F) and windy (10 knts from the canyon). Going slowly, I got in a 10km run followed by a warm bath.

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

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The view from the east window into the canyon.

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CROSSING THE RIVER

Ten miles run and ten crossings of the Clark Fork River this morning. The challenge was to approach and cross each of the five bridges twice and from opposite directions with no backtracking. I had to make up a little plan prior to leaving. The only portion of this downtown run that I don’t care for is along West Broadway between Orange and California Streets. Otherwise three of the five bridges are foot bridges and most of the run is along riverfront trails. There are still icy sections and in the counting I did also cross a sixth bridge over Rattlesnake Creek. There are, or is, simpler route solutions but I wanted to get in ten miles!

“You must accept the fact that others don’t see what you do.”

Louise Bourgeois

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Crossing the River

Adding in Russell Street bridge is a possibility but the sidewalk there is narrow and close to fast traffic, still I might give it a try and make it six bridges and twelve crossings. I’ll have to redo the route plan not to backtrack across a bridge & cross each bridge from opposing directions. Here’s a possible plan:

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BEING GRATEFUL DOES NOT MEAN

I managed not to slip and fall today; making a challenging 9 mile loop around town, up into the north hills and along the river corridor. But winter running means cleats, keeping a watchful eye and a slower pace. Meena the Cat seems to be professional couch cat these days. I’m grateful for many things and many people these days; especially my wonderful wife, the cat, my feet . . . and a warm place to live and work.

“Being grateful does not mean that everything is necessarily good. It just means that you can accept it as a gift.”

Roy T. Bennett

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The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™ . . .

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Winter walking & running is dancing of a sorts.

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We take a cat nap together.

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TO SEE OUR OWN LIGHT

It wasn’t as cold this morning as had been, 8.1˚F with a light 3 knt wind, but there was a wonderful cover of fresh snow everywhere. Early light I ran slow along the river trail out and back six miles, the only tracks through the deep snow until . . . somewhere along the going a coyote and I made eye contact on the trail. YA) the animal leaving only tracks mingled with mine. Then it was Christmas.


“We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening. To use our own voice. To see our own light.”

Hildegard von Bingen l from Selected Writings

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Morning Piece

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Christmas Shirts and Ties

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SO THIS IS WINTER

This week is the Winter Solstice, longest nights of the year. And it is also the Fourth Sunday of Advent [Love] tomorrow. The Equation of Time is 4min 17sec fast. The 2018 Calendar from toMake™ is in the works. We found all this new snow this morning. Along the river, after a bit, mine were the only tracks beside the deer, the rabbits and other small peoples . . . quiet/hushed all the way out to the gate by the railroad tracks; a snowy eight miles. ‘So this is winter’ with the sun now rising at 8:15 MST and days 8hrs 32min. long. Just two more winter share markets, but then comes spring!


“So this is winter – and what remains of the world now that autumn has left us, gone underground with the once luminous grasses and the husks and seeds of all the left-behinds. This is the cold season. Learn to endure it.”

Laura Lush | “Winter,” The First Day of Winter


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INSIDE THE RIVER

It was just 15˚F with 5knts wind when I went out for a run along the Clark Fork this morning; eight miles wearing the lightweight Skora moccasin-like shoes so it was a nice quick pace. Then laundry, cleaning the floor, cleaning the cat box, emptying the recycling, etc. . . Saturday housekeeping. And, of course, picking up our winter vegetable share at the market, always a delight. After all that I had some time to work on the reassembly of the espresso machine. There was a tiny grain of the de-mineralizer that was clogging up the solenoid and . . . I hope I got everything back in the way it should. I kept looking at the inky black water of the river, the icy edges and the flows of ice moving downstream. So what stories inside the river remain untold and unsung ? Such things pass along absorbed into the cottonwoods and willows. This time of year a rawness, exposing stories too lost and fragmented to put back together. In this manner they hide from assembly unfinished.


“Inside the river there is an unfinishable story and you are somewhere in it and it will never end until all ends.”

Mary Oliver | “What Can I Say,” Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

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Sunrise Dance

For the past six years to get to the Easter Sunday sunrise service I have used my wonderful feet dancing about upon the earth. I’ve had this practice running every day during lent and ending with this six mile run, the last 2 miles of which is a long uphill. I leave at 5:30 and cross the Colville River before sunrise. This year under waters of a 100 year flooding in the valley. Early morning, it was just 20*F with fog in the hills and Venus rises, the waining gibbous moon setting, daylight & the earth turning, deer, silence. Everything in motion, turns, now.

Sunrise Run

Crossing the Chewelah - Colville River Valley before sunrise Easter Sunday

COlville River in Flood

Crossing the flooded Colville River sunrise Easter Sunday

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