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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OTHERWISE . . . THOUGHT CONTROL

Mr. President, I would like to speak briefly and simply about a serious national condition . . .

It is high time we stopped thinking politically as Republicans and Democrats about elections and started thinking patriotically as Americans about national security based on individual freedom.

It is high time that we all stopped being tools and victims of totalitarian techniques—techniques that, if continued here unchecked, will surely end what we have come to cherish as the American way of life.

Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism in making character assassinations are all too frequently those who, by our own words and acts, ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism-
The right to criticize.
The right to hold unpopular beliefs.
The right to protest.
The right of independent thought.

The exercise of these rights should not cost one single American citizen his reputation or his right to a livelihood nor should he be in danger of losing his reputation or livelihood merely because he happens to know someone who holds unpopular beliefs. Who of us does not? Otherwise none of us could call our souls our own. Otherwise thought control would have set in.

I condemn a Republican Fascist just as much as I condemn a Democrat Communist.
I condemn a Democrat Fascist just as much as I condemn a Republican Communist.
They are equally dangerous to you and me and to our country.

Margaret Chase Smith, U.S.Senator, “Declaration of Conscience” U.S. Senate on 1 June 1, 1950


Saint Francis of Assisi (c. 1182 – October 3 1226)

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WET LEAVES, WET FEET

A wet November walking out and about. And returning back to a cozy warm and dry studio.


November wet


Understory/Overstory by Cathy Weber; a site specific work at the Missoula Art Museum

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THIS IS WHY I GET UP

Leaves are a brown-yellow, damp
Fallen and Still on the soft river trail
Now the season is darker
The early mornings quiet
This is why I get up.


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MY SONG SINGING

I spent this past week in Norfolk VA attending the annual North American Cartographic & Information Society #nacis meeting. I was there with the help & generosity of several individuals. My presentation & talk ‘But What About the Place’ should eventually find its way online should you be interested. It is not easy to sing your song as an artist when it runs perpendicular to the nature of maps and mapping but I did and am happy to have done so. This is my practice after all.



Morning breakfast and talk preparation at Cure, right around the corner from where I was staying

I put my feet firm on the earth and with clarity and determination sung my voice and spoke from my heart


Ten Percent Tithe the two matrix print on circa 1960 Missoula County Plat Book pages that I distributed to conference attendees


Conference closing dinner. A wonderful gathering of map makers, friends and maps.

The looming presence of power and violence; Wisconsin 64

I was not impressed, I was disturbed. . . the largest Navy base in the world


My poster-map contribution to the conference; “Put Earth First” and “Because Loving Her, Tithe


A visit to the local Art Museum; Felipe Jesus Consalvos’s “The American System”

A visit to the local Art Museum; South African Ubuhle Women ”Beading From The Soul

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SIXTY-NINE TRIPS

I set off late in the day for a climb up Mount Sentinel. Birth Day practice now for many years. Wind, weather and a steep climb to the top and back. So good to be alive. This makes sixty-nine rides around the sun, turning dancing and returning back.



Steps down to the river trail.

Stopping and writing just above the “M”.

Looking upstream through Helgate Canyon. Just above the high water mark of Glacial Lake Missoula.



Mount Sentinel looking out over the Missoula valley, sunset September 28th.

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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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HURRICAN FLORENCE

Hurricane Florence; water, weather, wind, energy, the earth in motion. Beautiful.









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B.1991 - D.2018

Our much appreciated, much loved locally owned independent weekly died this week . . . sold off to and subsequently murdered this week by Lee Enterprises so as to maintain a monopoly on the news and print advertising. A sad day for us. It was a good run. Thank you folks for being there every week.


“About five years ago I saw a mockingbird make a straight vertical descent from the roof gutter of a four-story building. It was an act as careless and spontaneous as the curl of a stem or the kindling of a star. The mockingbird took a single step into the air and dropped. His wings were still folded against his sides as though he were singing from a limb and not falling, accelerating thirty-two feet per second per second, through empty air. Just a breath before he would have been dashed to the ground, he unfurled his wings with exact, deliberate care, revealing the broad bars of white, spread his elegant, white-banded tail, and so floated onto the grass. I had just rounded a corner when his insouciant step caught my eye; there was no one else in sight. The fact of his free fall was like the old philosophical conundrum about the tree that falls in the forest. The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will sense them.
The least we can do is try to be there.”

Annie Dillard : Pilgrim at Tinker Creek



The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™


First Friday in downtown Missoula

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THE LITTLE I KNOW

“The photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”

Diane Arbus



On the Rose Creek trail to Otokomi Lake in Waterton-Glacier N.P.


Lunch stop on Rose Creek in Waterton-Glacier N.P.


Rose Creek Canyon in Waterton-Glacier N.P.


Crossing at the ancient Ponderay Crossing on the Dearborn River.


Eastern Front; Bob Marshall, Great Bear and Scapegoat Wilderness and the Blackfeet Reservation


The Eastern Front and Front Range, Montana


Stopping at the Lincoln, Mont. Sculpture in the Wild :: Hill and Valley


Sculpture in the Wild :: East West Passage


Sculpture in the Wild :: Stringer


Sculpture in the Wild :: Bat Beacon


Sculpture in the Wild :: Ponderosa Whirlpool


Sculpture in the Wild :: Tree Circus

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AN HONEST EXPRESSION

A new cup from the Wild Geese Studios at the Roots Festival Faire.


‘Lots of students get trapped in the effort to be original. After fifty million paintings have been painted you can see that it is impossible to be highly original. There is always precedent. Who would want to be that original anyway? A better intent is to see that one’s work is truly one’s own — an honest expression of deep personal feelings’

Fletcher Martin

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BESIDE THE LAKE

Three lensless images taken back in 2015 on the south shore of Lake Pend Oreille at Camp N-SID-SEN.

“I am molten matter returned from the core of earth to tell you interior things—”

Anne Carson, from “XVIII. She,” Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse






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LIVE BUTTERED POPCORN

We saw Eighth Grade, and it was pretty good [thumbs up] . . . we liked it (it felt genuine, and the dad was caring) more than An Education [thumbs down] which, although entertaining wasn’t as good (glamorous and all but the boyfriend was evil and the heroine was too much for a 16 year-old). Both are coming of age dramas, the first focusing on a contemporary 13 year-old and the later on a 16 year-old in 1960’s England. It just might be that since I had live buttered organic popcorn at The Roxy for Eighth Grade I liked it best! I spent 7th-8th+9th grades at Fairview Junior H.S. I had a miserable time, a very miserable time. Not much went right at school but outside of school I experienced wilderness canoe tripping in the Canadian north. That was very right and very wonderful.




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SATURDAY AT THE MARKET

OMG . . . All this colour and the smells and the Joy juice of life and shape . . . and then there was the basil and corn and lettuce(s) and tomatoes and the most wonderful farmers in the world.





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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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FIRST REFORMED

First Reformed :: Thumbs UP :: Go see it.

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First Reformed is a 2017 American drama film written and directed by Paul Schrader. It stars Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, and Cedric Kyles, and follows a Protestant minister faced with questions of faith and morality while serving as pastor of a dwindling historical church.

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YA) HIGH VIBR-ATIONS

High Vibrations
Market CSA Love :: Real Food, Real People, Real High

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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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LISTENING TO THAT WHICH WANTS

"Being creative is not so much the desire to do something as the listening to that which wants to be done: the dictation of materials."

Anni Albers

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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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THE VERY LOCAL HARVEST

The weekly delivery from our CSA … this is the harvest from which we are preparing, cooking, and eating this week (and the other bike-full).

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YA) Really Organic: locally grown, organic farming practice, in-season. Missoula Grain & Vegetable

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THE OPTIONS

In other news worth noting . . . writing in the journal Science, Guy Midgley of Stellenbosch University in South Africa warned that the options for humanity are becoming severely restricted. . .”Habitat loss may soon mean half the world’s insects, and many plants and animals as well, could find themselves without their familiar home ranges.

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We’re going the wrong way.
Human race is just 0.01% of all life but has destroyed over 80% of wild mammals

“Humans depend on plants, insects and other animals to deliver water quality, soil conservation, flood prevention, crop pollination and natural pest control. All this is now threatened, not just by the clearing of forests and the growth of the cities, but by the profligate use of fossil fuels which release greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, to drive global warming. Researchers know, through a detailed study of the geological past, what higher concentrations of carbon dioxide can do to global climate . . . There is way too much debate about the issue of climate change and whether or not it is real. What we really need to be doing is debating how we solve this problem . . . Those very high CO2 concentrations could well change the ecosystems of the world irrevocably. If we increase CO2 to over a thousand parts per million, over the next fifty to sixty years, which we are quite capable of doing if we fail to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, we could literally move the world back 20 to 30 million years in the space of a century. It is like moving ecosystems backwards in time at the speed of light.”

Professor Guy Midgley | Climate News Network

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WHERE ARE YOU GOING ?

I cannot begin to address the near complete dysfunction of the airline industry. Spending the night with the cleaners on the hard floor at Gate B95 in Denver.

Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Photo on 5-14-18 at 10.55 PM

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Moving up in the world of air travel // stopping

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SLOW TIME

Visiting Brother Bruce and my Dad. Yesterday, Mothers Day, visiting/stopping/remembering/flowers at Lakewood where Sister Ann (mother to Adrian and Nathan) and my Mother’s ashes are placed.

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Dad and Me, Father at 96, Son at 68


IMG_8767Lakewood Cemetery

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Bruce, Bob and Me

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LIGHT SURROUNDS IN MYSTERY

Speechless beneath . . . .

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Entering
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Inside
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Site Specific work Sky Pesher 2005 by James Turrell at the Walker Art Center.

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HIGH WATER

Warm weather and rain and above average snow pack = lots of water rushing down the river corridor. 25,000 cfs of muddy brown water with debris, mud and the burnt logs from last summers fires. The Clark Fork reached flood stage this week racing past between the dikes below our place. What a marvelous thing; water alive, water in motion, water free and water wet.


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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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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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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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SPRING EQUINOX

This morning was the spring equinox; day and night being equal . . . now daylight is longer than night and my snow piles are melting away.

“I’m so scared. I’m so scared of dying without ever being really seen. Can you understand?”

David Foster Wallace | Infinite Jest

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Spring Melt in the Alleyway at toMAKE™
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Morning Piece

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EVERYTHING IS A MIRACLE

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Albert Einstein | Unconfirmed
“Geographer Gilbert F. White, according to his biographer in Living with Nature’s Extremes (2006), attributed this to Einstein in his Journal of France and Germany in 1942. Maybe so; but all he does is invoke “Albert Einstein said”. He says nothing about how he knows this, when or where it might have been said, whether he heard it directly or through a friend, or what the context may have been. With the preponderance of misattributions to Einstein being as large as it is, this is not a good sign. There is no striking reason to assert that Einstein couldn’t have said this; but there is also no striking reason to assert that he did.”

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Spring flow on Heron’s Island :: Clark’s Fork of the Columbia :: Downtown Missoula, Montana

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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 BE ALIVE

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”

Alan Watts

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AS LONG AS YOU'RE DANCING

This being ‘The Weather Report’ I thought I should address the weather in the toMake™ Missoula valley. During the past 12 months we saw a high of 100˚F and a low of -7.1˚F, approx. 20 in. of precipitation and some peak winds of 30+ knts. The most interesting was the summer; hot dry and smoky. There was 12 weeks where the weather was dominated by cloudless, but smokey (from nearby fires), noticeably low humidity, little change in the barometric pressure, and little or no rainfall. Remember to dance if you want to break the rules.

Three Things To Remember
As long as you’re dancing, you can break the rules.
Sometimes breaking the rules is just extending the rules.
Sometimes there are no rules.

Mary Oliver

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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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THINGS THAT ARE UNKNOWN

“In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.”

Ray Manzarek | often attributed to Aldous Huxley

If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is: infinite.

William Blake | The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

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Old Man Lake [from the Dawson-Pitamakan loop trail] in the Dry Creek Valley headwaters, Two Medicine drainage
Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park

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A STILLNESS IN THE MIDST OF CHAOS

I stop’d in at the Missoula Art Museum and did a walkabout. . . there was no boring art [“I will not make any more boring art”] that I could find therein or out.

“I feel that art has something to do with achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm…”

Saul Bellow

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The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™

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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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THE TREASURES THAT ARE HIDDEN


“So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”

Elizabeth Gilbert | Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

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Sunrise run along the ancient Glacier Lake Missoula shoreline above Missoula.

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WINTER IN MISSOULA

Our life in the studio is cozy and sweet so, even tho it is winter in Missoula, we spend time out and about ! This is good; we all come back to our little black cat and cuddle up on the bed together.

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

Pablo Picasso

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out and about by the railroad tracks

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our Christmas tree this year

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THE REASON THAT ART IS VALUABLE

It’s cold today -9˚F with a headwind, and it was cold on my run along the steaming river. Upstairs we note just one more winter share market until spring. While downstairs work on the lithograph “The Island” goes slow. We’re listening to carols today, Christmas Eve Day and wrapping a few last minute gifts for each other.

“The reason that art (writing, engaging, and all of it) is valuable is precisely why I can’t tell you how to do it. If there were a map, there’d be no art, because art is the act of navigating without a map.”

Seth Godin

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Water Tusche on Stone Lithograph; inked and etched but not editioned

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Meena the Cat goes for the sun and goes out

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At the Saturday Winter Market; from our winter share



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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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LONG NIGHTS

It was nice to see the ‘Made Faire’ with all the local vendors but I didn’t get anything, too cold and I was much the more interested in the Christmas Concert at the University Congregational Church with Judith in the choir. The two major attractions (inner story of the dark season and light, and the outer hustle of consumerism and appearances) here side by side. At church I do get a bit tired of the same readers all the time, making it appear that the church is more of a Junior HS in-group than it is in reality. And I shouldn’t complain because it was really nice concert with choir, orchestra and bells. I just feel more and more an outsider these days with so little success as an artist, declined entry in shows and residencies, and clearly excluded from the local art and environmental organizations . . . . Perhaps things will be different, passing through this dark season into that opportunity and presence the abundance of the world of Joy and Beauty brings to us. I like Advent, and this week marks the days of the Long Night Moon (days just 8hrs and 34min long) and the Earliest Sun Sets (4:47pm Missoula).


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THE WORKING CLASS

December’s market share … better we do not wait for our (white male 1% leadership) to pass universal health care, gun control, environmental-wilderness-open space protection, a fair electoral congress system, social and sexual equality and protection, infrastructure investment, medicare-social security . . . .


“The emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves."

Karl Marx | 1864 Preamble to General rules of the International Working Men's Association (aka: First International) or Communist Manifesto


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INTIMACY

“Intimacy requires courage because risk is inescapable. We cannot know at the outset how the relationship will affect us. Like a chemical mixture, if one of us is changed, both of us will be. Will we grow in self-actualization, or will it destroy us? The one thing we can be certain of is that if we let ourselves fully into the relationship for good or evil, we will not come out unaffected.”

Rollo May | The Courage to Create


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SATURDAY at the MARKET

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LOVE ALL GODs CREATION

I just fill with joy and deLIGHT when I go to the market. Our winter market started yesterday, and it’s only a couple of blocks away, … and a nice walk to pick up our ‘winter share’ of weekly vegetables right from the hands of the growers! I just feel such gratitude for the growers, the seeds, the water and the earth.

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“Love all God’s creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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'the blue of the always unpublished sky'

the 68th birthDAY trip . . . ‘my heart went to a church whose location it doesn't know’

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I'm writing on a Sunday, late morning, on a day filled with soft light, on which, above the rooftops of the interrupted city, the blue of the always unpublished sky closes the mysterious existence of stars in oblivion . . .
It's Sunday inside me as well . . . My heart is also going to a church whose location it doesn't know, and it goes dressed in a child's velveteen outfit, with its face red from the first impressions of smiling without sad eyes over its oversized collar.


Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) | The Book of Disquiet #68 [n.d.; after 1923]

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SUNDAY BESIDE THE CREEK

We took our Sunday walk along the Rattlesnake Creek and it was slow, quiet, enveloping, the present moment ours. We had to stop and said nothing or what we said was forgotten in the creek corridor being washed downstream with the leaves and the rocks and the wind. On the way back it was cold in the early evening shade, days are shorter now; less than 11 hours of daylight and growing shorter every day.

“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.” Alan Watts


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YA) the river

Monday, after Easter, I journey east with Meena the Cat, along that blue highway 200 and stop again along the Flathead River. For only a short time, put feet on the soft earth and walk off the highway down a small path overlooking the river. And for a moment everything stops and I stop and enter the place itSELF. YA) and all this disturbance, all that is unsettled and set in motion … is just. I move downstream with the river.

Flathead River April 17 2017
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The Creek is Flooding

All this muddy rushing water in my (our) life right now. I know the cottonwoods thrive on this nutrient rich high water, likewise the flooded fields. Just look at the deLight in the colors dancing beside the creek I ran past earlier today. Stop’d to admire the flow. Our lives are rushing past, swept up in an inquisition of petty and malicious gossip, the true smallness of a small town. But all this water, a flooding in the basement, ruined books and the stench of mildew and mold … and the cottonwoods and willows dancing along the creeks’ high waters. YA) water; I am carried by this beauty. I fear not the smallness of this town, but it hurts nevertheless.

I am searching fragments of an old poem about a flood on the Mississippi River . . . but all I can recover are some missing water soaked pages from the book caught in the flooding.


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self and other

Snow, rain, hail and the wonders of weather blowing past greeted Meena the Cat and me as we made our way west along the beautiful Flathead River yesterday. Birds and swirling patterns of green water and the ubiquitous trash were in abundance.

“At root, there is simply no way of separating self from other, self-love from other-love. All knowledge of self is knowledge of other, and all knowledge of other knowledge of self. I begin to see that self and other, the familiar and the strange, the internal and the external, the predictable and the unpredictable imply each other. One is seek and the other is hide, and the more I become aware of their implying each other, the more I feel them to be one with each other.”
Alan Watts, The Joyous Cosmology

Flathead at Perma

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Stop Acting So Small

When the snows melt and the temperatures warm the alley comes awake. Talking with neighbors becomes all the more frequent and out & about small delights emerge hidden all winter. I passed this small display today; the welcoming of smiles and perspectives made me stop and remember I am a participant in the great ecstatic motion.


“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” Rumi (b. 1207)

Many Many Buddhas

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