But as a columnist and politico who’s lived in the county for almost 30 years now and who has resided in both Telluride and Placerville in the past, I figure my thoughts may be of use to some folks … So, as much as I think Stu Fraser has done an excellent job as a public official and is one of the most hard-working and caring local politicos, my nod for mayor has to go to Terry Tice. Terry’s one of the old guard, one of the founding elders of the New Telluride that made the transition from mining town to resort. I think we need him at this critical juncture in our developing future … As for council candidates, my nod goes to my birthday twin David Oyster (born the same day in the same year) and my Green Dem colleague, Thom Carnevale. Both of them have often been peace walkers with us on the 11th of each month, and that more than anything speaks to their commitment to the values that I share … I look forward to working with all three of them.
IRIS IN THAILAND … Some of you remember my oldest daughter, Iris Willos, who attended the Telluride School for a semester or two. She and her boyfriend are traveling in Thailand, where they are hoping to live for a year. Here’s a bit of her travelogue, with some juicy stories … “We left Bangkok in sleeper cars on a night train headed for Chiang Mai, which was surprisingly comfortable, as well as an affordable, way to travel to Thailand's second largest city. Chiang Mai definitely feels slower than Bangkok, which is a relief, but it is still bustlingly. It is a big tourist hub from which to explore northern Thailand [and] has almost as many temples (or wats) as Bangkok! We visited several of them, the coolest was Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, located on the mountain overlooking Chiang Mai – providing a great view of the city and an opportunity to watch the Thai’s prayer rituals involving offerings of flowers and incense … We went to another wat with a designated "monk chat" section, where we got to chat with a nice young Lao monk about his life as a monk, cell phones and money … I also had my second Thai massage – in a women’s prison! The prison has a program where the women give massages, sew goods and bake goodies and all the money is collected and given to them when they are released from prison to help them with a new start … My masseuse was Kat, a silly young Thai women from outside of Chiang Mai who ended up in prison for a drug related charge, but was set to be released in December. We laughed back and forth as we tried to converse in English with much of what both of us said not being understood, but it was very fun … Today, we traveled outside Chiang Mai by bus to the National Elephant Conservation Center where we got to see a baby Asian Elephant, the first artificially inseminated elephant in Asia! We also got to feed the mama corn and we even took a ride through the lush jungle – quite bumpy, but for their size, elephants are surprisingly agile. They had an elephant show with 15 elephants hauling logs, stacking logs, playing music and even painting! They also had an elephant dung paper making factory where we got to see the whole process.”
MEDITATION … Hilton Obenziner was a fellow poet in San Francisco (famous for his chapbook, The Day of the Exquisite Poet is Kaput) who worked with me at the Sunset Pre-School as an aide to the head teacher, Joanna McClure, Michael’s wife at the time. Obenziner has since gone on to teach at Stanford, and shares various meditations with a wide circle of friends. He gave me permission to share this one with you … “Peace comes to the world … Israelis and Palestinians are eager to share. No one gets killed in Jerusalem, no knives, no bombs, no soldiers, and everyone forgets that the holy shrines exist. Holy what? … All the looted artifacts and ancient Sumerian stone books wiggle their way back into the Baghdad Museum. Dick Cheney really does have a change of heart, not just a heart attack … Politics becomes a way to meet new people and make sense of the world, a kind of dating service and Department of Public Works in one. The suicide bomber walks into the marketplace, yanks the string. Candies shoot out in all directions. He’s become a suicide pinata, except he forgets to die in the explosion of sweets … Generals decide that the military’s job will be to watch the skies for dangerous asteroids that may hit us. In the meantime, they’ll clean up the planet, reverse global warming, and zap computer spam … Millions watch TV and walk away smarter. Oil is no longer needed. Machines run on dreams … Iraqis never do learn how to play baseball, and they are glad. Sri Lanka is no longer divided, Ireland is no longer divided, Kashmir is no longer divided, Cyprus is one … Koreans skip across the DMV. Palestinian refugees return to their homes, and their Israeli neighbors no longer know why they wanted them to leave … The LAPD snaps on soft handcuffs, the officers smiling and winking at suspects and TV cameras. No one is forced to give a blow job in a high school broom closet … Crack and heroin and speed no longer have any effect, and cocaine might as well be talcum powder. Addictions become old movies to laugh at … Indians shave off the faces of the presidents from Mt. Rushmore. Sex is re-invented nightly. Giant corporations hand over their profits to schools. Rivers flow with pure water. The president apologizes for slavery, and he actually weeps … Millions of Americans can speak fluent Chinese, Spanish, French, Arabic, at least one more language besides English. Millions finally do read Moby-Dick, and they even like it … No one sells their body for sex. Women drive convertibles in Saudi Arabia. No one is hungry … Jerry Falwell admits that he really does not understand life, he can’t imagine what he had in mind when he spoke about Hell, and he decides that sex is a healthy, ordinary and natural part of life. A woman president takes maternity leave. Racists really do get color blind. High schools are named after Lenny Bruce and Charlie Chaplin … The Thelonius Monk School of Spiritual Mathematics opens its doors, and Condeleeza Rice is the first to enroll … All these and more can I see in a flash – and then the vision passes, dies off. I do not make a habit of deluding myself. But on occasion it helps to remember that nothing has to be the way that it is. Sooner or later, history will kiss us on the lips.”
ROCKIES … OK, I give up. Who can’t root for the miracle team of the decade, the 2007 Colorado Rockies? … I make this announcement public. I am changing allegiance. Goodbye Giants of my Bay Area youth (Willy Mays had class, but Bobby Bonds was an embarrassment). From here on in, I’m a Rockies fan. Yes!!!
© 2007 Art Goodtimes
THE TALKING GOURD
I can hear you
runnin' around in the downtown
of my heart/soul/mind