Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sugar cones & ponderosa pines stand here. They run down the hill to the river, up another hill and along the ridge forever. More ridges with more conifers rise and fall, distant, purple, hazy.
Ravens tumble through the air in quiet play. When they quork from tree tops it echoes out until another raven in the distance takes up the call.
The trees grow straight and tall, with eccentric branches thrust out pell-mell. Many wear staghorn lichen – florescent green.
When the river swells small stones spin in place, wearing holes in the granite embankments. In summer they fill with warm, dirty water away from the flow. Eventually they dry out leaving yellow pollen rings around the smooth sloping edges.
The night is thick with chirruping bats and silent stars. A few meteors seem to fall each hour of darkness.
A fine congregation of beings gather here. Life manifests as pine martin, rainbow trout, and spotted owl: prowling endlessly on down muffled wings – as cicada, yellow jacket, and wolf spider who spins a three-dimensional dome web between low branches – as incense cedar, thimble berry, and manzanita whose seeds only germinate when touched by fire, or when cooked by the inner heat of bear’s belly.
Beings rise in a 100,000 more combinations of sunlight, soil, water, and consciousness, whose names and habits are yet unknown to me – in these mountains and foothills they do dwell. Truly, The Song of the Sierras is sung by a beautiful choir of citizens.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Last week a colony of sea lions moved in next door. A bull and his harem of five females reside on the small rock island off shore of our cliffside home. They fish all day and fuck all night. The females bark and bark, and the male grunts, snorts, and chuckles like a self satisfied halfwit. They keep me up much of the night, since the tent walls of our yurt admit sounds in and out freely. At times it even seems quieter outside.
This is the first time in my life that I find myself so close to wilderness that I am actually annoyed by it. It is curiously comforting because the annoyance seems to me a mile-stone in a relationship with the wild growing fuller. The mists of romance have cleared, or are clearing, and though my love of sea lion, stellar jay, and adolescent crow remain unconditional, I am not so smitten as to ignore their faults, follies, and intrusive calls.
We are a family after all, a family of animals, a family of living beings, and family members often wear upon each other’s last nerve. I pray nightly for a high tide to come and put the pinnipeds off their love-play, and sometimes other members of our family join in the exhausted campaign for peace and quiet. I’ve heard an otter mewing from the kelp bed over and over, perhaps saying: “I’m trying to sleep, I’m trying to sleep!” And even a bobcat shrieking from the cliffs: “I hunt with my ears, shut up, shut up!” It seems I am not the only fussy little brother in the clan.