Eternal Student: literature, poetry, history, art, and philosophy. English Teacher. Writer & painter. Traveller & skier (when there's $$$). I'm young enough to be foolish, yet old enough to know better. Lover of dark & beautiful things.
Guinea Pigs on the High Seas
Captain Chuffy, of the HMS Parsnip, surveyed the view across his ship, sails fluttering gently in the breeze. He stood up on his hind paws and sniffed the salty air, his round, beady eyes fixed to the West. Somewhere, beyond the sea, somewhere, waiting for him, was a strange new (old) world. The land his forefathers had come from, generations before, was out there. And today, he would leave this green and pleasant shore to set sail for parts unknown.
Lunchtime: Bread & Meat
[ An excerpt from a novel that's been in-progess for a while] On my lunch break from teaching. Strolling along industrial avenues, smelling, though never glimpsing, the (not so great) Salt Lake. Occasional gusts of wind blow dust from high-mountain desserts or smoke from a wildfire somewhere into the valley, which mixes with vehicular emissions to form the haze that those who live in the valley are asthmatically accustomed to. Nothing but fast food outlets, car dealerships, pawn shops, as parking lots —lots of parking lots— as far as the eye can see (through the haze anyway).
Mythological memories of my father
I was talked to, so I began to talk, and I was read to, so I began to read. Infinite cycles of sleeping and waking, that eventually coalesced into day and night, months and seasons. Feeding and growing, playing with family and friendly beasts: M-O-M and D-A-D, C-A-T-S and D-O-G-S. Our home was protected by the sign of the bear, and there lived Father, Mother, and Baby bear. My first book was "Little Tiger Goes To Bed,” and Father read the story to me until I fell asleep. I had many stuffed beasts to cuddle and hold, like lions tigers, and bears. Oh, my favorite was the snow leopard, though. I celebrated the changing seasons, and played happily on the grass, or in the snow, with the great hounds who guarded our hearth. Winters were warmed by a roaring fire, with a plentiful pantry stocked for the long winter: a fortress of canned goods, bottled summer peaches, Freyja’s homemade apple pie, powdered hot chocolate, smoked-ham, and all kinds of dried foodstuffs. Long hours spent lying in a heap with the giant friendly dogs and cats on the warm rug in front of the radiant, flaming pine logs. When the storms were bad, it was sometimes quite a long time before the roads were clear again, and the wind would howl in the gables like Fenriswulf. But winter always gave way eventually to spring and summer. The woodlands, creeks, and fields became my vast kindergarten under the watchful eyes of EarthMother and Skygods. The Kami-- the spiritual forces dwelling in great trees, and stones, and mountains-- sent their vibes out across the meadow-plains and river valleys. I knew that giants and dragons lay buried under the mountains, but they had gone to sleep long ago.
[For my late father: there was no one quite like you Dad] I grew up in quiet, rural valley of the American mountain west. It was called Summitville, so named because the town was originally built on the steep summit of the nearby mountain, but slid into the valley below during a particularly bad winter when the heavy snow pushed the whole town down into the valley. Folks decided it was too much work to haul the town back up to the top of the mountain in the snow, so Summitville stayed in the valley where the snow left it in the spring. There were fields of hay and alfalfa that cattle grazed in, surrounded by rocky mountains so tall the clouds got stuck on the tops of them. Our town was filled with farmers, cowboys, and free spirits.