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.

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