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Saturday, January 17, 2015



Ground cover snow fell night before last, a dry snow with enough wet to stick where it fell. Years ago I saw somewhere the Lakota language has twenty-eight, or so, words for snow, differentiating the many textures. Possibly laplanders have more. I've lived intimately with snow in the mountains, noting such a variety of snows that I no longer see it just snow. I feel like when I mention snow it requires enough description to give a sense of the kind of snow it is. The Lakota people lived far more intimately with snow than I do. Some snow is so dry, tiny ice crystals, it can be kicked like sand, doesn't stick to tree limbs. Some snow is so wet it sticks to everything, will stand an inch or two high on a wire fence, will stick to limbs and weigh so heavily the snow breaks limbs and electrical lines. Wet and dry are the parentheses all other snows fall between. Since I've learned to pay attention to the various snows, I don't recall any two the same. It happens, the variety is limited, but seldom. No two winters in my experience have been the same. Our language having one word for snow suggests civilization has been moving away from the physical world inward toward mind. For multiple thousands of years humans lived outdoors. Now we live indoors. With the age of reason, we are moving inward, emphasis shifting from body to mind. How we value body and mind shows in the pay scale. Physical work pays the least. The harder the work, the less the pay. Mental work pays more by degrees, until the highest paid work is entirely mental, accomplished in a golf cart. The snow melted through the course of the day until snow remained only in places shaded from the sun. I carried this morning's donkey hay into the meadow to a place the sun lights up first. Cold mornings I'll see the donkeys standing still at the far end of the meadow, the place they know is warmed by morning sunlight first.

jenny at the mineral block

Early humans worshiped the sun as God, life giving, sustaining, destroying. I prefer to call them early instead of primitive. Primitive means first, but popularly is taken for backward. Winter mornings the donkeys stand quietly soaking up the sun's rays in a stillness easily taken for reverence by human interpretation. It is a kind of reverence; it feels extra good. We humans exhibit reverence for whatever makes us feel good, inebriants, money, sex, on one level, and the spirit on another. People new to the mountains know nothing about mountain culture and don't want to, but mention the word, moonshine, and they're all ears, laughing and talking, "Can you get me some?" No. I avoid the word with someone new to the mountains. With hillbillies, we never use the word, moonshine. We call it "white," "shine," and several other names. I bring this up as an example of reverence. I've seen people, both men and women, wax embarrassingly foolish over the idea of moonshine. I'm reminded of a Southern Baptist in New York City without supervision. A reverence for feel-good unto foolishness, similar to a reverence for God in some religions unto foolishness. Killing somebody who shames your feel-good is the ultimate foolishness. All it got the Charlie Hebdo assassins was dead same day or next, whichever it was. They certainly had no peace of mind from the moment of the event onward until flying lead found them too. No matter how many virgins (feel-good) await them, there comes a time none of the virgins are virgin anymore. Even in their heaven, feel-good amounts to a limited time in eternity. Two months or less for seventy however many feel-goods. Honeymoon over, back to the same-o, same-o. Some of the most valuable advice of my life came from Meher Baba, "Don't take anything seriously, not even God." I take it to have something to do with being conscious about reverence. Remember reverence is about feel-good. Don't get stuck in it. The sun moves. The spot that feels good early on a cold morning will shift by midday to a spread of insulating hay someplace else to lie down on, soak up the rays and eat later.

snowbird tracks

It's a tall order to take nothing, not even God, seriously. As a remedy to quiet monkey mind, I can't think of a better way. Taking things seriously charges the mind, makes it race. The more I take seriously, the more I engage runaway mind. For someone not on the path, it doesn't matter. To open self to spirit, mind needs quieting, not swept away, but still as a lake with no wind. The Charlie Hebdo assassinations came out of taking God (Allah), by way of the Prophet, way too seriously. There, again, like freedom of speech, all things in conscious moderation. I learned early to take the candy of good liquor in moderation from the examples of people around me who did not. I wanted to be able to taste good liquor all my life, not have to quit by age 40 or die. I have some easily within reach, but haven't touched it in probably two weeks, and then only a sip for the taste. I've forgotten the last three times in town to stop at the liquor store for some Wild Turkey Rye 101. It's the only bonded liquor I've found to satisfy my palate. Haitian rum is almost equal satisfaction, but I have to go to a city to get it. I can't drink socially anymore for the need to drive home, and hangover avoidance. I like the George Thorogood song, I Drink Alone. I don't like to get out of control and let my inner stupid act out. Not many people can handle riding the bull named Stupid. I know I don't even qualify to sit on him, and him penned up. I sit in the grandstands and learn, watch other people, who thought they were up to the challenge, get trampled. Some people say, Ya gotta have some fun. Trampled by a bull is not my idea of fun. Fun involves feel-good in my dictionary. Like what kind of fun can wrecking a motorcycle be? For masculine credibility it's the ultimate feel-good. I've never been one to need every day of my life to prove I'm not a girl. Can't help but take it for obvious, what of it?


It's a sight how freeing it can be to let go of serious thinking. I don't mean to imply I'm there. I've been conscious of letting go of being serious about one thing or another, especially art making, just enough to have something like a peephole experience. I've seen the good sense in it enough to check myself when taken over by serious mind, to back off and say, this isn't going anywhere, it isn't working, it's not in alignment with the flow. Here again, I see other people acting out serious and it makes me want no more to do with it. It's all about peace of mind. It's unimportant to someone who does not value peace of mind. I confess to some reservation about not taking God seriously at first. Whatever it is we call God isn't even close. If we can imagine it, it's not God. If we can name it, it's not God. Mind is not able to comprehend God. Serious has to do with mind. Mind is limited. The spirit is famous for lightness. Serious is famous for heaviness. We are well trained in the serious, especially in the realms of religion and politics. We leave God out of it, the great unknown we can't even put a handle on, even quicker to run between our fingers than water. I take it for sound counsel to avoid being serious about something I know nothing about, am unable to know about. I believe it is so, if someone were to see God as God really is, it would take one out of the body. While I'm involved with a body on earth, the best I know to do is enjoy being in God's dream. To take it seriously would be like Peter who walked on the water til he thought about it. He took it seriously and got wet. It gives me insight into Jesus mind. He was in the mind of not taking it seriously all the time, not just when he walked on water. He walked on land the same. Remembering when he saw Moses and Elijah on the mountain, I think it was Peter who wanted to build a shrine on the site, take it seriously. Jesus said to let it rest, it was for the moment only. 



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