Monthly Archives: February 2012

To recall we are small

If you look closely here, you might notice a person standing on a snow coated log in this photo. This person is waving myself and another member of the party to follow, to chance  this log suspended over an icy river of snow melt.

Almost immediately the risk was repaid with a view of glacial blue pools & the fluid dynamics of water shooting over boulders many times our height.

The weather cycled through rain, hail, sleet, and sun on our drive to this trail, but it held out for us on our hike, illuminating moss with sunlight. It only deigned to sprinkle us with dry snow crystals as we made our return trip to the trailhead.

This was just one small part of an enchanting journey through Fletcher Canyon. Many other joys and perils were shared; observing shelf fungi, gigantic Devil’s Club, lunch in a snowfort within a salmonberry thicket, and limping back down the trail clutching an alder branch after my knee decided to violently flair up in protest.

Not too many miles away from this trail, stands the world’s largest spruce tree. It is ~191′ tall, with a circumference of 58’11”. You can climb up its root system and lie down upon this ancient being. It is thought to be over 1,000 years old.


A Poet’s Garden

The past week has been feeling the strain of the growing season. I’ve done poetry performances 3 times in the past week, and I’m tired. Gratified. Challenged. Poetry plays the part of Himalayan Blackberries right now.  Invades my life with it’s fleshy thorns, takes root in the space I need for other pursuits, yet produces such tasty and abundant fruit.

I ventured down to Portland this past weekend, booked a bed in the Hostel on 18th and Glisan. Celebrated a friend’s birthday with that which is uplifting and thought provoking. I think the highlights were in the conversations I had around town, the affirmation that I am learning something in the way of subcellular biology and mycological trivia that I can share with those I cross paths with despite the fact I feel under accomplished. Perspective is valuable.

Also, I ventured into the Chinese Garden, I was told how poetry is one of the most revered arts for the Chinese scholars of past. Each part of the garden pays careful attention to symbolism and aesthetics, and it acts as quite a bit of a portal for shifting the mind about. (Thanks to The Lost Art of Hitchhiking, I was inspired to visit.)

plum blossoms on cracked ice

I am at a tired time, where feelings are getting dredged up from the depths, and my poetry is finally feeling welcomed into the world. It’s been chilly with transient sun before now, and there is still time before spring arrives. I’ve felt as if my veins were pumping poison, and perhaps as if I were inhaling ether or Carbon Dioxide (which was only the reality of Thursday’s benzoic acid synthesis). I simply am finally acknowledging the fact I’ve run into another sinus infection, and now it is time to pull inwards and heal myself with rest.

Washing Away Wonder

水に流す, mizu ni nagasu, wash away in water.

A turn of phase in the Japanese language which is often likened to the English saying “water under the bridge”. On the surface, these two phrases may seem similar, they talk of the same subject, Water.  “Water under the bridge”, however, implies that perhaps you are standing over a body of water. You are observing from a higher vantage point something that is a (likely) comfortable distance from getting you wet.

“mizu ni nagasu” is dramatically different. There are many ways in which water could physically manifest itself here, it is not confined to one locality…perhaps you are setting something out to drift on a strong current, or you are using the word water as a euphemism for tears. Perhaps you are using water to clean.

What are your thoughts?

I refer you to Kristen Allen Zito, Open up.

Blood rush, heart strings, banging drums

As the tips of my hair flee from its roots and blood rushes into my ears, I come to the realization that there is a small crowd of young men circled around me. Now not for an instant should you think that it is simply me upside down that is of interest. Modern day alchemists turn the world upside down too often for anyone to notice that. It’s the drumming, the guitar, the singing, and these odd aerial fabrics all juxtaposed into a walkway where these folks just happened to walk through.

I have been fever dreaming the past few nights of being airborne, dreaming of forgetting what few tricks I’ve learned on fabrics. Dreaming a trip to Mexico, dia de los muertos mourning with trapeze and sleuthing a week of locked away memory. On the waking side of life I have a fear of losing my strength. So when the sun circled into my life this morning with it’s fiery orb, and my musical friend rolled into town from the South I knew it was time to gratify the impulse once again.

The height between concrete and the top of my fabric is roughly 14 feet from the ground. The weather is just warm enough to be bare footed and not frozen. And as I am reveling in this moment, there is music traveling through the air of this corridor which has been co-opted as a studio. Those who are not armed with an instrument or standing behind SLR cameras unassumingly are simply trying to encode or extract a memory that is a bit out of their ordinary experience.

I feel favored by fortune as I begin to remember all that which I have forgotten.

The sunlight, the song, the dance.