Cabin Reflections

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“Penelope remembers having read that of all the liquids and fluids produced by the human body – sweat, semen, vaginal fluid, saliva – tears are the only one without any trace of DNA… Impossible to identify someone from their tears, we’re all identical when we weep despite the many different reasons we have for weeping, something like that.  Unlike unhappiness, tears don’t set us apart, they make us the same.”

Rodrigo Fresan, “The Invented Part”

Last week I spent with my four offspring at a cabin on the Pikes Peak Massif in Colorado.  Mostly I register grief and loss in my experience of living… but interestingly enough, the first entry of my vacation journal begins with the simple sentence “I’m happy.”  Unqualified, that’s it – myself + my offspring + a rich world reeking of “no service” and untellable beauty… “I’m happy.”  Here are some notes I made throughout the week:

Simple things innerheard during cabin stay:

The stars: “We can’t tell the difference: between light or dark, death or what remains.”

The streams: “Where have we come from, where are we going? / Where we have come from, where we are going.”

Growing things (grass, moss, wildflowers, mushrooms, wild berries, etc…): “Not yet, not yet.  Who knows?”

The rocks, the boulders: “Once upon a time.  Now.”

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The mountain(s): “Maybe.  May Be.”

The cabin:  “Us.  Here.  We.  With.  Hold.”

Phrases of my children:

  • “It’s good to live this way once in awhile.”
  • “Why do we leave here, ever?  I never want to.  What is have to?”
  • “Dad, everything here is your ‘favorite‘.

And me:

  • “Nothing is like this.  Nothing… Belonging, I belong.  Time changes, it’s different here.  As if there isn’t.  THIS PLACE IS ‘BEAUTY’ TO ME.  THIS PLACE IS WORTH MY LIFE.”
  • on climbing: “I’m a dad: we ALL make it, or none of us really do.”
  • on love: “If I say ‘I love you’ – please don’t hear it as worship, as inordinate.  In love we see the ‘too much‘ of the other – that which is always beyond our own reach, the ‘too much’ in each of us we struggle with, and seem to be unable to assimilate or observe in mirrors of our own.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons the conundrum we call ‘love’ exists?

Addresses to my children and loved ones:

  • To T: “Always beware of logic – our fabricated things.  What we may wish toward but doesn’t make matter.”
  • To A: “Recall.  There are differences.  Beware.  There are openings for more life.”
  • To I: “You have it.  You carry your own water.  Your own dreams.  Your own beginnings.”
  • To O: “Heroes also may shrink you, diminish, contain.  You are deeply your own.”
  • To H: “Never mind.  I am not the one who can conquer it in you.  I believe someone will.”
  • To ?: “I love you.  Like literature: the possible of life.  Impossible.”

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Thank you mountains, rocks, growing things, streams….

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The Return – the Quest continues

Pikes Peak

After a glorious week smushed together in an old log cabin without running water and an outhouse on the slopes of Pikes Peak Colorado, we have returned.  It was wonderful family time – hiking, kayaking, playing, reading, climbing and performing the necessary tasks of cabin-living.  Irreplacable.  One of our sons was reading “How to Read Literature like a Professor” for his summer reading assignments in the wee hours and pointed out that this type of vacation shared many qualifications of the Quest in literary themes.  That feels so right.  Life lived in relation to others always seems a quest – to know one another better, love one another better, hear one another better, express and differentiate and develop as persons-in-relation.  I have been immensely blessed with a mixed and quirky collective of children from whom I learn so much, and a spouse who cracks and opens me.  It is a particular pleasure when the world around us is also so splendid and obviously large as it is in the Rockies of Colorado, and when so many distractions are replaced with shared attentions – mushrooms, critters, rock formations, streams, decrepit mines, wild donkeys, and so on.  Priceless time.

Upon return it is easy to see how the quest goes on…kiddos heading back to school…classes starting again…and these packages opened in the pile of mail:

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the quest always beginning…

Random Idea

 

something like…while i’m doing a bit of this

you can just hit “random post” up under “manoftheword”

and visit stuff i can’t remember

something new will (hopefully) arise

in my journeys

and hopefully

you will find it interesting

but for now…

you guys keep working

so i stay inspired

upon return

Sneak Post

Hey everyone – this is basically what i’m looking at for the next 8 days (and climbing).  Happened in to town for groceries and water…and a cafe-created coffee (which happened to host wi-fi) – thanks for reading, for your comments and i’m sure your posts – i’ll get to as many of them as i can when i return next week for two days of Kansas’ hell-hot heat and then we’re off for another week until BOOM school/work/etc. starts!

I can tell you that thusfar feeling high-altitude breezes, looking at deer, marmots, chipmunks, rabbits, and an amazing variety of birds and flora – my mind is cruising into a calmly-breathing state I haven’t known in a very long time.  Hopefully much will soothe and settle and i’ll notice something interesting or beautiful to share upon my return.  For now, I’m resting, climbing, loving, and exploring these mountains 🙂

Thanks and happiness to all