American Idyll

yes, the river knows

Monday, July 24, 2017

Drawing A Snake In The Air

Rachel Faro: Time Passes Slowly

Once a centenarian teacher
who had the body
of an adolescent
told me he had
studied martial arts.
Me, too, I answered.
We were in Notre Dame,
and he said, Attack me.
I put myself in a combat position,
and he moved his left hand
in such an incredibly beautiful way
that while I looked at it,
fascinated, he gave me a big slap.
Beauty is the most dangerous weapon, he warned.
It took me a long time
to understand.
He used a secret Chinese practice,
which consists of drawing
a snake in the air with your hand
to distract the enemy.
And that is how beauty is: the most awful weapon.
--Alejandro Jodorowsky

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Bring Me My Red Shirt

Game of Thrones; The Winds of Winter

Game of Thrones: Dragonstone

Salladhor Saan:
The lookout sees a pirate ship sailing their way. The captain shouts to his first mate, Bring me my red shirt. The first mate brings the red shirt and the captain puts it on, and when the pirates try to board, the brave captain leads his men to victory. (Davos comes into the bathhouse, overhears Salladhor, and heads towards him) A few days later, the lookout screams, Two pirate ships! The crew is shivering like scared mice. But the courageous captain hollers, Bring me my red shirt! After the battle, the first mate asks, Captain, why do you call for your red shirt before battle? The captain replies, So that if I am stabbed, you will not see me bleed. The next morning the lookout screams, Ten pirate ships! We are surrounded! The crew goes silent. They all look to their brave captain, waiting for his usual command. Calm as ever, the captain bellows—
Whores: [together]
Bring me my brown pants!! [laughing]
Davos Seaworth:
You think they ever met a pirate who didn't tell them that joke?

--Game of Thrones

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Merrily Merrily Merrily Merrily

Bob Marley: Small Axe

granite rapid

I will tell you
what I will do
and what I will not do.
I will not serve
that in which
I no longer believe,
whether it calls itself
my home, my fatherland,
or my church:
and I will try
to express myself
in some mode of life or art
as freely as I can
and as wholly as I can,
using for my defense
the only arms
I allow myself to use --
silence, exile, and cunning.

--James Joyce
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Reverberations Among The Cliffs

Robbie Robertson: Somewhere Down the Crazy River

There is an exquisite chasm in our ride today down this beautiful canyon. It gradually grows deeper with every mile of travel; the walls are symmetrically curved, and grandly arched; of a beautiful color, and reflected in the quiet waters in many places, so as to almost deceive the eye, and suggest the thought to the beholder, that he is looking into profound depths. We are all in fine spirits, and the badinage of the men is echoed from wall to wall. Now and then we whistle, or shout, or sdischarge a pistol, to listen to the reverberations among the cliffs.. At night we camp on the south side of the great Bow-knot, and as we eat our supper, which is spread on the beach, we name this Labyrinth Canyon.
--John Wesley Powell
journal entry for July 15, 1869

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

We Soon Approach Another Rapid

A short distance below camp we run a rapid, and, in doing so, break an oar, and then lose another, both belonging to the Emma Dean. So the pioneer boat has but two oars.
We see nothing of which oars can be made, so we conclude to run on to some point where it seems possible to climb out to the forests on the plateau, and there we will procure suitable timber from which to make new ones

Bruce Springsteen: The River

Bruce Springsteen: Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

We soon
approach another rapid.
Standing on deck,
I think it can be run,
and on we go.
Coming nearer,
I see that at the foot
it has a short turn to the left,
where the waves pile up
against the cliff.
Here we try to land,
but quickly discover that,
being in swift water,
above the fall,
we cannot reach shore,
crippled, as we are,
by the loss of two oars.
So the bow of the boat
is turned downstream.
We shoot by a big rock.
A reflex wave rolls over our little boat and fills her. I see the place is dangerous, and quickly signal to the other boats to land where they can. This is scarcely completed when another wave rolls our boat over, and I am thrown some distance into the water. I soon find that swimming is very easy, and I cannot sink. It is only necessary to ply strokes sufficient to keep my head out of the water, though now and then, when a breaker rolls over me, I close my mouth, and am carried through it. The boat is drifting ahead of me twenty or thirty feet, and when the great waves are passed, I overtake it, and find Sumner and Dunn clinging to her. As soon as we reach quiet water, we all swim to one side, and turn her over. In doing this, Dunn loses his hold and goes under. When he comes up, he is caught by Sumner and pulled to the boat. In the meantime we have drifted downstream some distance, and see another rapid below. How bad it may be we cannot tell, so we swim toward shore, pulling our boat with us with all the vigor possible, but are carried down much faster than distance to shore is gained. At last we reach a huge pile of driftwood. our rolls of blanket, two guns and a barometer were in the open compartment of the boat, and, when it went over, these were thrown out. The guns and barometer are lost, but I succeeded in catching one of the rolls of blankets, as it drifted by, when we were swimming to shore. The other two are lost, and sometimes hereafter we may sleep cold.
A huge fire is built on the bank, our clothing is spread to dry, and then from the drift logs we select one from which we think oars can be made. The remainder of the day is spent in sawing them out.
--John Wesley Powell
journal entry for July 11, 1869

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

And I Never Minded Standing In The Rain

There was not
a moving up
into vacated places;
there was simply
an anachronistic
staying on
a vanishing past
and an
incalculable future.

--F. Scott Fitzgerald

You Never Even Called Me By My Name


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Results Or Roses

Pentangle: Sally Go 'Round the Roses

The man who wants
a garden fair,
or small or very big,
with flowers growing
here and there,
must bend his back and dig.

The things are
mighty few on earth
that wishes can attain.
whate'er we want
of any worth
we've got to work to gain.

It matters not
what goal you seek,
iis secret here reposes:
you've got to dig
from week to week
to get Results or Roses.

--Edgar A. Guest

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Wings A Mile Long

a forty year old today Winterland Eyes of the World...6/8/77

A thing happens once
that has never
happened before.
Seeing it,
a man looks upon reality.
He cannot tell others
what he has seen.
Others wish to know, however,
so they question him saying,
What is it like,
this thing you have seen?

So he tries to tell them.
Perhaps he has seen
the very first fire
in the world.
He tells them,
It is red, like a poppy,
but through it
dance other colors.
It has no form,
like water, flowing everywhere.
It is warm, like the sun of summer, only warmer.
It exists for a time upon a piece of wood,
and then the wood is gone, as though it were eaten,
leaving behind that which is black and can be sifted like sand.
When the wood is gone, it too is gone.

Therefore, the hearers must think reality is like a poppy, like water,
like the sun, like that which eats and excretes.
They think it is like to anything that they are told it is like by the man who has known it. But they have not looked upon fire. They cannot really know it. They can only know of it. But fire comes again into the world, many times. More men look upon fire. After a time, fire is as common as grass and clouds and the air they breathe. They see that, while it is like a poppy, it is not a poppy, while it is like water, it is not water, while it is like the sun, it is not the sun, and while it is like that which eats and passes wastes, it is not that which eats and passes wastes, but something different from each of these apart or all of these together. So they look upon this new thing and they make a new word to call it.
They call it fire.
If they come upon one who still has not seen it and they speak to him of fire, he does not know what they mean. So they, in turn, fall back upon telling him what fire is like. As they do so, they know from their own experience that what they are telling him is not the truth, but only a part of it. They know that this man will never know reality from their words, though all the words in the world are theirs to use. He must look upon the fire, smell of it, warm his hands by it, stare into its heart, or remain forever ignorant. Therefore, fire does not matter, earth and air and water do not matter. I do not matter. No word matters. But man forgets reality and remembers words.

Roger Zelazny
Lord of Light

Grateful Dead: Brokedown Palace...6/8/77

brahma and zoroaster temples from plateau pt.
solomon temple with hance rapid
horn creek rapid and tower of set
sumner butte and colorado river
nomad beach graffiti below garnet canyon
monkey flowers in phantom creek

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Got To Keep The Loonies On The Path

Think of
how stupid
the average person is,
and then realize
half of them
are stupider than that.
--George Carlin

Dark Side of the Rainbow **: The Great Gig in the Sky / Money

A young man sees a terribly venomous snake in his small village. Nervous, he watches the snake carefully until it leaves.The young man follows the snake into the forest.
He clears the branches out of its path and helps it over obstacles. He even works to keep it fed. Many nights pass and still the young man continues to follow the snake. He even follows it into the sands of the great desert.
In the desert, the snake eventually grows hungry.
It turns and bites the young man, its poison quickly working its way into his system. Finally curious, the snake looks at the boy as he lays dying and asks, Why were you foolish enough to follow me all the way out into the desert? The boy looks back and replies, Did I follow you? I thought I was leading you away from everyone else... And then he died.
--Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Brain Damage / Eclipse **

I personally believe that U. S. Americans are unable to [locate the U. S. on a world map] because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our education, like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should—our education over here in the U. S. should help the U. S., uh, or, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our children.
--Caitlin Upton
Miss Teen USA contestant, 2007

Mit der dummheit kämpfen
götter selbst vergebens.

--Friedrich Schiller

Against stupidity
the very gods themselves
contend in vain.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Dance A Jig For Geordie

Steeleye Span

Cam ye o'er frae France? Cam ye down by Lunnon?
Saw ye Geordie Whelps and his bonny woman?
Were ye at the place ca'd the Kittle Housie?
Saw ye Geordie's grace riding on a goosie?
Geordie, he's a man there is little doubt o't;
He's done a' he can, wha can do without it?
Down there came a blade linkin' like my lordie;
He wad drive a trade at the loom o' Geordie.
Though the claith were bad, blythly may we niffer;
Gin we get a wab, it makes little differ.
We hae tint our plaid, bannet, belt and swordie,
Ha's and mailins braid—but we hae a Geordie!
Jocky's gane to France and Montgomery's lady;
There they'll learn to dance: Madam, are ye ready?
They'll be back belyve belted, brisk and lordly;
Brawly may they thrive to dance a jig wi' Geordie!
Hey for Sandy Don! Hey for Cockolorum!
Hey for Bobbing John and his Highland Quorum!
Mony a sword and lance swings at Highland hurdie;
How they'll skip and dance o'er the bum o' Geordie!
Cam ye o'er frae France? Cam ye down by Lunnon?
Saw ye Geordie Whelps and his bonny woman?
Were ye at the place ca'd the Kittle Housie?
Saw ye Geordie's grace riding on a goosie?

--Cam Ye O'er Frae France?

You are about to be told
one more time that you are
America's most valuable
natural resource.
Have you seen what they do
to valuable natural resources?!
Have you seen a strip mine?
Have you seen a clearcut
in the forest?
Have you seen a polluted river?
Don't ever let them call you
a valuable natural resource!
They're going to stripmine
your soul.
They're going to clearcut
your best thoughts
for the sake of profit
unless you learn to resist,
because the profit system
follows the path of least resistance
and following the path of least resistance
is what makes the river crooked!

--Utah Phillips

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