END OF THE YORE … At least in the Christian calendar, as modified by Pope Gregory the Thirteenth (lucky us) from the Julian fasti memores of the Roman Empire’s Pax Romana, the year is over on Wednesday the thirty-first … For those of us earth pagans, the solstice’s changing of the heavens is a sacred time – a wheel far older than our civilization. And tribes of the species H. sapiens (or ludens, as I prefer) have always noticed the Sun standing still on its southern swing on the dusk horizon (at least in the northern hemisphere). That held true even among the most rural of peasants of the land [ecce: paganus, Latin for “county people”]. This same sacred time was designated by early Church Councils as the birthday of Jesus of Bethlehem, the Anointed One (Chrystos, in the Koine Greek of the early New Testament) … Of course, the pun on year by a cognate, yore, has an interesting etymology – Middle English from the Old English ge’ara, the possessive form of ge’ar “ HYPERLINK "http://www.yourdictionary.com/year" year.” These days yore is an anachronism used, almost exclusively, in literary works to mean “long ago” or “in earlier times” … Personally, I prefer a more indigenous Turtle Island calendar of 15 millennia (instead of two) tying my measurement of the passing of time to when archaeologists most conservatively estimate that our kind first set foot and began to inhabit this wild continent, what Europe knew as the New World (tossing in an extra thousand years or so, for mystery and good measure) … But human minds rarely leap from the known to the unknown with the ease of a trapeze artist. I realize innovators need to weave a bit of the old together with the new to initially mesh the two. Which is why I’ve settled on the upcoming year as 15,009 in my North American keeping of the dates – a nod to the Holy Roman Empire and Egypt and even Mesopotamia (our civilization of yore) yoked to the first coming of human hunters among the mastodons and saber-tooth tigers – our “birth” in this place … (And a happy birthday to the auspiciously born Lindamarie Luna on the first day of the new!)
HEROES OF THE HIGHWAYS … It’s weather storm slams like the last couple back-to-backs that make you appreciate the men and women who run the snowplows and graders and keep the roads open in our watershed … The county had its annual employee lunch last Thursday, but most of the Road and Bridge crews missed the party, because they were too busy keeping the county roads open after the last couple dumps. The same dedication to public service characterizes the CDOT road shops in Norwood and Deep Creek … Like San Miguel County’s dedicated sheriff’s department deputies and dispatch, our Road and Bridge crews work round the clock, doing shifts if they have to, to keep the roads clear. The sheriff couldn’t patrol or staff the jail or do emergency rescues without the winter plowing of our main county roads, done both by county crews and private operators working for mesa homeowner associations, under county permit … Holiday blessings to all those good folks!
PET BOAST … Any cake made by Telluride chocolatier Jean-Louis Capelli.
PET PEEVES … Cars and trucks that pass you on the highway and then cut directly (less-than-a-car-length) in front of you, spraying mag chloride and iced sand pellets into your windshield. I try to keep two or three car-lengths (at least) between where I pass a car and where I re-enter the right-side lane of the road. But only a few drivers exercise that kind of courtesy (mostly locals) … Oh, and let’s add cars and trucks that go 10 miles under the speed limit (snow or no snow) and don’t pull over in the one signed highway turnout, just past Sawpit coming up to Telluride on Highway 145 – in spite of leading a train of five or more vehicles. The State Patrol ought to be giving tickets to those kind of inconsiderate road-hawgs.
WEEKLY QUOTA … “The source of today’s pain is the same as it was in America’s previous financial collapses: the unbridled greed of economic elites, enabled by their political courtesans in Washington. This unbridling has been the long-sought goal of a cabal of deregulation ideologues who dwell in laissez-fairyland. During the past two decades, they have relentlessly pushed their economic fantasies into law. Their theory was that (to use Ronald Reagan’s simple construct) ‘the magic of the marketplace’ would create an eternal rainbow of prosperity though financial ‘innovation’ – if only the market was unshackled from any pesky public regulations. What the dereg theorists missed, however, is that magicians don’t perform magic. They perform illusions.” -Jim Hightower
IRIS IN BORNEO #4 … “Semporna, to my disappointment was a rather bleak, dusty town. Instead of a beach, the locals opted to build out over the ocean on stilts. Tourists visit this town for one reason – diving. It is the jumping off point for world class diving sites on the island of Sipadan. I spent three nights in Semporna. On the first day I tried diving for the first time on an island called Sibuan, which was absolutely amazing! I went on three dives, to a maximum depth of 12 meters (about 40 feet). I had a super nice scuba instructor who taught me a few of the basics before we dove in. We saw tons of giant sea turtles, two eels, a moray eel with its mouth open, crabs, pretty coral, and tons of colorful fish. The island itself was beautiful too, with white sand beaches rimmed with palm trees and clear aqua water splashing up on the shores.
THE TALKING GOURD
What You Miss
Without even trying
Do you know what you miss?
What seems to be so normal
Could truly be such an individual on its own
Just listen to your morning
Such a simple routine
Your bed sheets
Like large stones off cliffs
When your feet hit the floor
A start of a new day
Sometimes like a snail
Others like a cheetah hunting prey
Turning on the lights
As extravagant as the lights on Broadway
When your door creeps open
And old man walking to dance
Thinking it is a door that will never fail
Your feet against the cold floor
A giant rock with tiny water droplets hitting it
in the rain
The sound of your water boiling
A car stopping
For the deer in its headlights
When you open your drawer
The one time it gets stuck
And then it opens like new
Once you open your front door
To the light crisp morning air
You have already heard so much
And to think…
This is just the start.
from With Out Doors
(Telluride Mountain School Literary & Arts Journal)