Friday, August 30, 2013


The photo just below is Mount Sopris.  She is one of the most beautiful and often photographed peaks in the world.  South of Carbondale at the northwestern end of the Elk Mountain Range she is the pride of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, the jewel in the crown of the White Mountain National Forrest.   Majestically looking down upon the confluence of the Crystal and Roaring Fork Rivers she can be hiked or climbed, but no one no matter how rich or foolish will ever go sliding down her slopes on two sticks.

As one can see from looking at Mount Sopris drenched with afternoon light, dressed in ethereal indigo and faded, watercolor silver, the Mighty Rockies have a soul.  It was this soul that we Coloradoans protected years ago when we told the Olympic Committee to go to hell – the sight of children playing games in perpetuity was not justification for inflicting, as John Denver said, “More scars upon the land.”

In the dramatic granite canyons falling away sharply from the peaks one hears the Colorado River roaring through rapids and murmuring in placid meditation as she reflects the ruddy rocks that inspired the Spaniards to give my home the name Colorado or color red.  This is the voice of the High Country; a voice I hear often calling me out of the city to realize a new truth that can only come from the Earth.

The slopes and valleys glowing gold, green and terra cotta, splashed with every blush of wildflower in the light spectrum the human eye can perceive, are the heart of the immense boulder and clay barrier dividing the high planes from the high desert.  Such a heart with the nobility and graciousness that great artists, a Mozart or Monet, can only hope to approximate with note or brush beats inside of every pine and aspen. 

One cannot be in the bosom of the Colorado Mountains, listening to the voice of rivers and touching the soul of great summits without knowing the meaning of masterpiece.  We can appreciate it; under the influence of our darker angels we can destroy it, but for all our wretched arrogance and puerile greed we can never duplicate or achieve the magnificence that is my home – the Rocky Mountains.



Thursday, August 29, 2013

In the Presence of History

On my first night in Glenwood my friend who was suppose to come from Grand Junction couldn’t make it owing to a sustained cloud burst in the High Country that resulted in a mudslide along her route.  So, I found myself alone in the hotel that night. 

Hotel Colorado was built in 1893.  Constructed in the Italianate style around a lovely courtyard, many gardens and several elegant entrances, the Colorado sits adjacent to one of Glenwood’s famous hot springs.  Over the decades she has had a number of famous visitors; Presidents Taft and Hoover, Tom Mix, the Mayo Brothers and the man whose many visits the staff seems most proud of, President Theodore Roosevelt.  Indeed scatter throughout the halls and filling the coffee shop are dozens of Teddy bears which, of course, were named for our 26th President.  His busts and pictures proliferate on almost every floor. 

Glenwood Spring’s most picturesque hotel is also said to be haunted.  Some of you who have read my earlier posts might find it interesting to know that a man is often seen on the fifth floor, near the penthouse.  A little Victorian girl, playing with a ball; a lady who looks in on male guests; the frequently reported haunting of the two suites in the bell towers; an elevator that moves up and down on its own; strange smells and sounds often reported by guests and staff, all conspired to bring CCPI Paranormal Investigations out of Grand Junctions to the Colorado in 2006.  They found highly suspicious areas of electromagnetic energy outside of rooms 551 and 325.  My friend and I stayed in 321.

I fear very little in this world or the next.  I believe that all things are part of the Goddess, and being one with Her I have no reason to fear myself.  Thus, even if I had known these things at the beginning of my trip it wouldn’t have stopped me from roaming the halls, courtyard and entrances of the old hotel throughout most of the night that I spent alone. 

I didn’t see anything.  That isn’t my gift.  I am an intuitive and an empath.  I felt things, and I heard them – not with my ear but with my intuition.  All Witches have this ability. 

I can only surmise because a Witch was on the premises a fireplace in the lobby whispered, “He stood there.”  In the courtyard the fountain murmured, “They kissed here.”  A chair on the second floor wanted me to know that the doctors had been in the room down the hall, and that, “she would have bleed to death without them.”  In the near darkness a beautiful desk just outside of the elevator on the 5th floor furtively said, “Many strange and frightening things have happened just around the corner in 551.”  The wall leading to room 325 was shouting, “They walked past here.  You can catch them before they do it.  Look closely and perhaps you might see their shadows – but that isn’t your gift is it?”

Do our dead return to us?  Do they come to warn us of our folly or to teach about the world in which they lived years, decades, centuries before?  Is it just that they want us to know that the world is different, but still the same?  That reality is like energy, it can neither be created nor destroy.  It just changes form within predictable parameters.   Is that why we speak of a swinging pendulum gliding between polar opposites like peace and war; moral and immoral; good and bad; civil rights and disenfranchisement?  Can it all be like alive or dead – you’re either one or the other, there is no third option and the time in-between is just the swinging of the pendulum?  If that is true is there anything any of us can do about anything with the force of the pendulum, like that of life and death, out of our control?

I left Glenwood ill, not physically, but psychically.  I felt the way I had years before in circle with Crones who where Drawing Down the Moon, bringing the full force of the Goddess’ energy too close for a novice to handle.  I was overwhelmed; anxiety ridden and tormented by the idea that I hadn’t tried hard enough.  While I had learned some of it, I hadn’t learned it all and had missed something important.  I realized then that the only way to truly see the pendulum is to learn the lessons that inform its movement faster than it can move.  If we understand it, might we find a way to repeatedly send it back toward the things that promote life and not death?  Is that what the dead could be trying to tell us?








Thursday, August 22, 2013

I Have Never Been a Romantic

There seem to be, on any given day, a least ten thousand images of Johnny Depp staring out of elegantly made photographs looking sensual, virile and some say beautiful.  Whole news cycles are devoted to the royal uterus of the Duchess of Cambridge who seemingly produced the only live birth in the history of the human race.  Some antiquity in Rome waxes poetic about the plight of the poor – which is no more than he should do as the leader of a gigantic Christian sect – and the entire press establishment collapses in wide-eyed adoration, all crocodile tears and dewy morning; as if we don’t know that most of them are cynical corporate shills pimping for one partisan agenda or another under cover of sensationalized trivia and pseudo expertise.

Well, I have never been a romantic.  I have always been a cantankerous old curmudgeon who cannot understand value without meaning.  Accordingly, the cult of celebrity and the practice of religion born of cheap sentimentality leave me cold.  A firefighter walking out of a protest in support of his union handcuffed and in the custody of a cop who belongs to the same union, now that is beautiful.  A group of citizens showing up at a town hall meeting to raise hell with the buffoon, Ted Cruz,  as he attempts to the sell the gullible the idea that his vested interests in serving his corporate masters also serves the common good, now that is a display of regal authority.  A belief that the American People will sooner or later stand up under their flag, in true respect for their Constitution, and insist that the screamers, the wackjobs, the sleazy politicians engaged in legalize corruption, the mean spirited and the just plain stupid – both sides of the aisle – sit down and shut the hell up, now that is a faith worthy of devotion. 

The drivel, marzipan and tripe that is daily shoved our way via the media and other sources of “information” has the same affect on my consciousness as carbon monoxide would have on my respiratory system – suffocation.  In order to breathe again, I am taking a vacation at the end of this week – a welcome change of scene and a little rest.  It won’t be long.  It won’t be expensive or exotic.  I will be back soon enough – more is the pity I can hear some of you thinking.  Still this short respite is worth as much as my sanity. 

I will roll west on the California Zephyr heading into the Colorado High Country at 8:05 Friday morning.  The sun will climb the Hogback behind me dribbling lemon light into the indigo ravines of the mighty Gore Range.  In and out of lush valleys, over rocky passes, through the Moffat Tunnel and across the Great Divide we will go.  If I am very lucky somewhere between the tunnel's western mouth and the red canyon spilling into Glenwood Springs I will once again see a magnificent Mountain Lion, tawny and stealth, sitting high above the tracks on a craggy ledge.  Full of all the disgust and distain our species has earned from Nature, her green eyes will watch the silver serpent winding along its metal track.  Suddenly and smoothly stretching long in the warmth of a Rocky Mountain summer and closing her eyes, she will dismiss us from her reality without much effort.  This is beauty.  This is majesty.  This is a living liturgy, a life worthy of our deepest reverence.

Photo from

Monday, August 12, 2013

Being Liberal

Theodore Roosevelt was the first Progressive.  He was a Republican.  Now don’t get me wrong, he was a good, decent man who wouldn’t be allowed inside of the Republican National Headquarters today. 

Long about the Clinton era if memory serves, the Democrats began to call themselves Progressives.  It seems that this was done so as to become more credible to the Right - which is a bit like a man whose wife married against her parents’ wishes trying to become credible to his mother-in-law.  To me the label “Progressive” means that we have all become Roosevelt Republicans and not Roosevelt Democrats.

FDR was a Liberal.  JFK and RFK were Liberals.  Teddy was a Liberal, and Bernie Sanders is a Liberal.  That’s good enough for me. 

I have become totally outraged at this slide of hand, this hiding of the great Liberal Cause like soiled underwear behind a word we don’t own.  If in point of fact, we are to be altered, alienated and abridged by the Democratic Party machine then we should consider sliding on over to the Green Party.  Here endth the rant.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Whatever Happened to the First Amendment and Protected Political Speech?

My friend and sister Peno lives in Florida.  She recently wrote a letter to the editor of her local news paper regarding the state of Florida under Governor Scott, letter follows.  Although it was published, much of its power and thrust was deleted. According to the editor it was slanderous.  In a media culture where just about anybody can say just about anything about most anyone else, I find this vacuous and disingenuous.  In a country where the sanctity of political speech has been hauled out often to protect empty vessels and loose cannons like Bachmann and Palin, I find it offensive.  If you are in Florida and agree with Peno’s position, you might want to write to your local paper and see if your editor has any more respect for the First Amendment and protected political speech.

 i am a citizen of fla and rev jackson owes me no apology---rev jackson sees the wrong that is our current condition in fla and is calling for some common sense---medicaid expansion---gov scott says no----stand your ground---gov scott says it is just fine---low wages---gov scott says work a few jobs then-----gov scott is like gov george wallace blocking the doors----gov scott blocks the doors from the elderly--the sick---the unemployed--the under employed---gov scott forbids common sense from entering fla----gov scott stands firm in his right to invoke the fifth while denying millions health care----protected by his calvary--the fla legislators and the voters who elect them----gov scott stands his ground in the blood of the innocent killed by indifference

Identity Crisis

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I have been avoiding the news and will continue to do so.  The total inanity of political correctness that masks more times than not a palpable disrespect for other people and for the truth; the incivility and venom of people who believe that the anonymity of cyber space or a six figure salary grants them special license to act like an ass; and the Obama apologists who think he can do no wrong juxtaposed to the Rightwing harpies who think he can do no right has all conspired to make me more disgusted with much of what I find in the news than I can possibly articulate.  Still in all, I had a suspicion confirmed yesterday that is worth noting.  Many people seem to be confused about the fact that the government is not the country.  The country, America, is the American People.  This is particularly striking when seen in bold relief against the dark backdrop of a government that seems most days to be little more than a criminal conspiracy against the best interests of the American People.
I keep hearing this same sad song, albeit a different arrangement from years gone by, "my country right or wrong."  Horse crap, there isn't that kind of action in the world.  For instance, governments make war, not countries, not the people.  Governments usually stir up these shit storms in the embrace of some twisted dream of wealth, power or avarice that has little or nothing to do with the people - unless you take into consideration that the people suffer far more from war than any government ever has or will.  When a government turns its steel on its own people, particularly the most vulnerable, it cannot be right and no amount of patriotism or fevered nationalism can make it right. 
Anyone who believes that their government – president, member of Congress, et al. - can do no wrong or that it or they define this country is deluded, brainwashed by an overreaching, pompous, supercilious, impertinent culture of tawdry criminals who presume to rule rather than govern.