Saturday, August 09, 2014

Insult to Injury

I've been bad about this blog.  Haven't posted a damned thing all summer.

So here's a poem I wrote this afternoon!

I'd like to offer some unrequited sage advice
From a weary half-souled dimwit
If modesty must account my pretentious credit
To the wanderers, preachers, doctors and men of vice
And in a tale I'll tell of it

Tossing turning across a parade of mattresses
My Viking conscience felt a pea
That was not Is not my dearth bed, Authenticity
Pride and Meaning, cunts and countries, novel mistresses
A Claustrophobic duality

I could not, would not whore a mind to fill a wallet
Feather beds and money fetters
Eating steaks, and filling page with endless empty letters
Aching urging, crying, leaking life, draining goblet
Lust escape the fate of my betters

But truth be told and Truth not sold, I was full of shit
It was only that my Viking conscience felt a pea
That was not Is not my dearth bed, Authenticity
It was not what I was missing; no, that was not it
Nor was it what I thought that I could see

No doom or battle lurked upon the rise
Nor was it futile, seeking meaning in a standard life
There was no One right way to live, but only that theirs was not for me.
And there is no Goddamned psychic prize
In adventure, wealth or fucking wife

But let not nihilism knock and creep and overwhelm!
Unravel claustrophobic duality
Do what thou wilt! shouts Crowley his profane profundity
Then I carved those blood sweet words into my helm
And yet my Viking conscience felt a pea

And today I think, if only for a single day
That this pea has herself a name
Boredom the bane of each every Viking heart the same
Boredom.  Can we not keep this tiresome bitch at bay?
Boredom.  And Novelty's to blame.

Off to Lindisfarne! But treat the symptoms? Treat the core?
To plunder lands of novel chart
Is but to treat symptom and miss the core and miss the heart
Oh! The novel fuck-sweet violence we deep adore!
But to take and take one must take more.

Then on it rides and on it fades into weariness
And in the smoke of bridges burned
A vast horizon explored yet earth below unturned
The preaching wanderer shivers in his loneliness
And does not see.
And cannot see.
The buxom, warm and fecund mysteryess.
And her ten thousand layers to undress.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The 23 Enigma

This is just a quick post to plug my new side project blog.

Koan 23

It seems to me that everything one finds on the 23 enigma on-line seems to recycle the same crap.  So I thought it'd be worth putting together a blog to drop 23s into as they pop up.  Most of the sites out there that discuss the enigma are just shitty hand written circa 1996-1999 Geocities style sites with nothing more than a text list loaded with inaccuracies and no useful or interesting context or philosophy.

I won't get into it here, but...

Anyway, if you want to go down that rabbit-hole, stop by once in a while and see what I've dumped there for your amusement and bemusement.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Laying Foundations...

I missed March... posting I mean.  And am well into April now!

Well, the only thing of note last month was landing a new job.  This summer I'll be the trails foreman at Crater Lake National Park.  It's a 2 pay grade jump, though still not a permanent position.

Realistically I'll probably make the same amount of money, maybe even less on account of missing out on Sunday differential, Holiday pay, Field Per Diem, overtime, fire hours etc...  but I'll be close to my land, and close-er to Portland. and having that grade 7 on the resume may in few years do a great deal to help make the leap into a better permanent position.  I could, at best, land a 5 now...

Anyway, I'm looking forward to something different and being out of the damned sagebrush to which I am brutally allergic for a change.

In the meantime, I'm just back and forth from here and my land to dabble in la cabaƱita project.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Magic from Limitation

This month my interest in avoiding the awkward and often ill-received communication that comes with trying to say or write ...anything... during a mercury-retrograde has come into conflict with my ongoing desire to post at least once a month.  But I'm sticking to the latter will, despite the risk.

It is also a difficult time of year as this is the time of year when I am yet to discover what it is that I will be doing in the way of work-for-money through the spring, summer and months of fall.  It adds a, smaller this year than in others but still palpable, layer of stress to everything.  This uncertainty is part of the cost I bear for the benefits of what has been a beautiful and interesting way of living.  A magical way of living.  Walking free among the mountains, wolves and bears and being paid for the privilege.

One must, it seems, accept certain limitations or costs in order to free one's time, mobility, energy, money, passion, etc to conjure that sort of beauty in one's life.  The more narrow the opening of the geyser, the more explosive and beautiful its eruption.  That is what is meant by catch phrases like "channeling one's energy" it means you must make choices to neglect, forgo or destroy other options, in order to direct energy into one or a few.  Barring physical obstructions and cruelties of fate the results for those committed to that endeavor are often indeed powerful, often surprisingly so to the point of what a reasonable non-positivist-materialist non-anti-spiritualist, nihilistic asshole, might call magic.  And on its flip side that phenomenon of channeling can explain why the vast number of choices today's liberal world presents often leaves people feeling confused and unmotivated.  The energy is diffused and thus can create no magic, no beauty.

That of course is in itself no condemnation of the liberal world, only of the failure of culture to keep up with it.  There is no widespread understanding of the virtue of choosing one's limitations.  Evolution creates options, but it is only within the presence of constraints that magic emerges from nature.  Man was created slow and weak of arm and ear and sight and all senses, and every other niche being taken by fitter creatures he grew explosively, magically into the niche of thinking, problem solving, tool and weapon making.  And the rest was history.  But without the presence of our constraints directing our growth into the niche of the mind it would never have happened.  We were born of chaos, a random series of things thrown to the proving grounds of a harsh Earth, and an unlikely but real coincidence of order, the limitations we happened to receive, channeled the path of our forebears toward the explosive magical result for which we sometimes find ourselves so unique as to feel obligated to create myths to explain that magic.  Things like God and Scientology and endless other piles of bullshit.

Whether by coincidence or collusion or deliberate creation, it matters not.  Our birth as a species set forth a very workable demonstration of how magic works. And we certainly have the ability to wield it within the bounds of hard reality.  The last seven years of my life are proof of it.

The danger of magic of course is that if it is not aligned with your true will then the results may not be to your liking.  For example someone channeling their energy to produce money when what their true will desired was actually security may in time find himself wealthy but in other ways less secure and having wasted enormous time and energy.  So it takes a hell of a lot of soul searching to know how to chose one's limitations, how to direct one's energy lest one risk cutting off more important options when the happiness doesn't manifest.

That's why I don't like this time of year.  It is a choke point for important decisions, decisions that must be based on choosing limitations that don't compromise the desire of my true will.  And the options do not all lie out before me at once for comparison.  They come in one at a time in the form of job offers that must be accepted or rejected bearing a thousand things in mind.  How will it affect my career?  The relationship with my woman?  Relationships with friends?  The goal of crafting a cabin?  The desire for hearth and home?  The desire for a sense of independence?  My health (I'm allergic to the environment I work in, but otherwise love now).  Time and position for recreation?  My desire to hunt this fall?  The lifetime commitment to the written word.  And the balance of time and money which interweaves all those things.  All these hang in the balance, and I must be prepared to make a decision that will affect them all dramatically on a moments notice.  And then there is the ever quest.  Are these things even representative of my true will?

So as I bore into my heart to answer that question under the duress of a ticking clock that will soon chime the start of at least another year and in all truth on the rest of my life, it is inevitable that some blood will spurt forth from that soul auger in the form of a restlessness that looks to the untrained eye as aggression.  Ground cannot be lost now.  The self cannot be abdicated, because true will must guide my channeling at this critical juncture.  ARG!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

A Wish

Typically I am posting more heavily this time of year.  For a variety of reasons this time I am not.

The snow melted off the mountain, so snow camping ended up not happening (yet!).  In the downtime I've been studying up on my primitive / natural materials building skills.  Getting a tiny little cabin with a wood-stove, a bed and a reading table built has moved substantially up my priorities list.

It's not from any sense of impending doom, or illusion about homesteading that I want to do this.  I simply want to feel like I've accomplished something, that I've gained a modicum of mastery in anything.  The written word will be, it seems, a lifelong endeavor and, I have resolved, one that is yet perhaps a decade or so in coming before I can truly produce humbly insightful and eloquent works of word worthy of sharing.  My commitment to that end is unwavering, I have but altered my expectations to cut stress out of the equation.

Stress, more than anything, stands in opposition to creativity.  It trammels the mind and shackles the soul.  And within its captivity there can be no playful freedom; the Great Mystery and its fruits cannot be touched.

My life is that of a half-willing nomad.  The Fates refuse to allow one place to be my home.  But perhaps they will allow me a permanent camp as way-point and retreat.  That is my wish for the next year and a half.

Everything else is gravy.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mike Tyson and Nietzsche

Why lie?  Right now I'm mostly playing video games and spending a lot of time getting ready for winter camping expeditions.

It's self actualizing.  I'm writing a little here and there, but not trying to force it.  It can be emotionally draining to write, when you do it well.  And I'm waiting for a few things to settle out before I'm willing to go full bore into it again.  I don't feel the impending doom urgency about it like I did last time.  Which is good because last time my life burst open like an alien egg-sack on the exact day I feared it would.  And no one writes well with a deadline.

That intuition has always been amazing, in one way or another; it's just been my analysis that sucks.

Today I ran across an article mentioning what Mike Tyson has been reading lately.  Very interesting.  Mike's going for hipster cred.  Or maybe he's experiencing some (premature?) enlightenment.  Who knows.  But Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Virginia Woolf, Napoleon's letters to Josephine.  Anyway I dig it.  And I'm thinking today that maybe old Jocks are the guys one ought to listen to.  They tend to have the most humility about their ideas.  People who have been nerds, or at least told that they were smart their whole lives tend to have an inappropriate certainty, an arrogant fundamentalism to their ideas.  I know, I've been one.  But old Jocks? These guys haven't been damaged like that.  And when they decide to seek a deeper meaning in their lives at an advanced age, they're not going to be doing it to impress women or intimidate men.

Sit by a fire and talk about life with an old cowboy who's "been good for nothin'" but driving cattle, throwing hay, and mending fences his whole life, and you'll find a sort of humble sincere and insightful metaphysics that may be tainted by obvious things but exudes a sense of peace that seems right when no idea itself ever really can be.

They've learned to let the Tao flow through them and they've learned to float its lazy river.  Maybe Ear-munchin' Thug-ass Mike Tyson has learned that too.  And maybe, if he's got enough unpummeled gray matter left to put together a few complete sentences, maybe we ought to listen to him.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gear Update: Osprey Stratos 34

In April I bought a new daypack.  Today I returned it to REI.  So a little update is in order.

Here's what I said about it in April:

I bought a new daypack this year too which I'm very excited about.  The model is an Osprey Stratos 34.  Osprey makes the best backpacks, period.  They think EVERYTHING out.  The only question is if the model you're looking at had what you intend to do with it in mind.  I'm not 100% sure this one does, but Osprey guarantees everything 100% no questions asked forever, and so does REI where I bought it with my annual membership coupon.  This thing is replacing my smaller, less comfortable, overbuilt, less intelligently designed Maxpedition "pygmy falcon" pack, which was tough and had nice water bottle pockets, but... well that's about it.  The Osprey, while more delicate, has a taught suspended mesh backpanel which keeps you much, much cooler and drier when hauling ass up a hill in the Sierra sun.  And it has a good waist belt to put the weight on my hips where it's not going to F-up my back... that and a whole bunch off other things that Osprey does right.

Unfortunately it didn't pan out as well as I'd thought.  The primary problem was that the wire frame dug into my hips / lovehandles (I'm 5'10" 155lbs so it's not really a fatness issue)...  No amount of adjusting would really fix that.  The design was curved too much I think.  Sure my back didn't get too sweaty, but it put the weight too far back and too low in the pack so it ended up torquing the load (read frame wires) into my hips, to the point I'd often come home from big mile hikes bleeding.  It's probably fine for people running lighter loads, but I carry tools and survival supplies for work and so anything over about 12lbs started to suck.

It was also a bit difficult to load and organize.  The outside pocket intruded onto the interior space as you loaded it rather than expanding outward, the top wallet and keys pocket was always in the way when accessing the main compartment and the heavily curved space of the main pocket which was further intruded upon by the outside pocket made it a royal pain in the ass to find anything.  Plus it just didn't open very wide.

The buckles on the iceaxe holder were also flimsy... way not strong enough to hold larger tools, ie. axe, pick-mattock etc. Nor was it adjustable.

Also the pack cover it came with was bright fricking red.  I bought the neutral "slate" color for a reason.  Though I suppose that cover would be useful in an emergency for signaling or marking an LZ.  Maybe Osprey ought to look into two-sided different color rain covers.  Black on the outside, bright red or yellow on the inside for signaling.

I like Osprey, I have and love 2 other packs from them, but this one's a stinker (for me).

So I've stacked up black friday sales and coupon codes and ordered a Mountain Hardwear "Splitter 38".  It's a cragging pack so it focuses on organization. My back's going to be sweaty, but at least I can organize the living shit out of the load.  It's also a bit bigger.  That Osprey probably would have been big enough but the space was just not that usable.  I seriously considered the Gregory Z30 as it solves a lot of my needs and doesn't have the "brain" that I don't want, and still has a suspended mesh, but it's a hair small, and I didn't like some things about the organization system in there.  Most people carry clothes, food, water and a first aid kit.  I have tons of other stuff and I'm in and out of my pack a lot so I guess I'm going to pass on the suspended mesh for now.  Shame, because I love it in my Osprey Exos 46 ultralight (but fragile) backpacking pack.  Anyway I'll try to give an update on the new one after I get some field time with it.

Right now I'm getting really antsy to do some winter camping and get my system for snow dialed.  But it's been pretty slushy up on hood still.  SOON!!!!