the Light of August

the light today. the light felt right. there was something in the quality of the light. something magic in the light which gave the birds, the mountains, the green fishing boats heading home to harbor, the irises of the guests, the hanging flowers, the shopwindows a positive identifier : the green ships were aware of how perfect their green hulls flowed greenly through the reflective mountainous hemlock forests who, enjoying their participation in the scene, reflected on other stages in their growth, back before they allowed green ships to pass through their wavery watery underworld.

even the clouds seemed proudly unashamed of what blue skies they concealed. the blue skies, blissfully unaware for the moment of the infinite void of cold, soundless space only a few miles further away from them and the green ships and the hemlocks, seemed happy to engage in the harmony of light concentrated on this first day of August, 2017, albeit intermittent.

the lake was moody when the brilliant blue skies picked out patches of spruce tips and hugged their sharp branches with a golden light. I felt a ripple forming.

the red salmon. the sockeye. the mispronunciation that stuck to the history books. (sock-eye is a kind of onomatopoeia for a Coastal Salish word suk – kegh and the italics, of course, are a translation as well of a spoken-only language into the English alphabet).

the salmon seemed content in their retirement. their dehydrated red fins waving above the surface like flags of defeat. the swimming dead. the final phase change. the home stream. the magnetic influence. the biological impulse. the nutrients in the trees. the core samples. the this and the that about the salmon on this fine day. pick a metaphor and hold onto it.

the swimming dead. these fish fortunately are close to their home channel as they phase change and take on a negligent diet. however, once the circle is met, the spawning occurs, there is nothing in them to keep them alive. they must flip and flop around until death comes by claw or talon or net. their spirit warms the hibernation chambers of a female bear up above 3,000 feet, getting her ready for the birth of her litter of cubs. their spirit rides the thermals higher than the mountain peaks with an 8 times magnified binocular vision zooming in and out of the landscape and providing the energy to swoop in for another kill to feed the young. their spirit fuels a fistfight at the fisherman’s bar over a game of shuffleboard. beer spilled everywhere.

the light made everything aware of itself to me. everything seemed confident in it being what it was. today, the water and the mountains, the movements they make… occurred to me as a correspondence. a long, slow decision making process. the light opened a window into this exchange. the light led me astray in the perfect direction, the noted observations, the new realm of seeing, the opened mind in the light of its own opening, like an iris acutely aware of its height above the buttercups yet jealous of the yellow light emanating from them as reflected indirectly in the diffuse light of the jagged clouds. the clouds held the light back and handed it out liberally to everything I set my mind to today.

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train whistles and owls

Train whistles haunt the olympic mountains. From miles below, the good and godly seaside villages, the coastal ghost towns, the toothless grins of ferry workers, don’t I know someone who operates a ferry?

The only fatalities on the ferry system are self-imposed. People jump off and drown. Man at the ticket booth tells us.

“No way in hell. That’s cold water drowning. If I’m going to kill myself I’d rather take a 40 cent bullet to the skull, end it quick, or drown in Hawaii, for fuck’s sake. No reason to freeze to death while killing yourself.”

Promises made to all kinds of disparate voices and faces. Promises failed to the self, the liver, the morning death, the fresh air and the light waves passing through the strait of juan de fuca, oh glistening Victoria, the ferry ride away, the hour, the journey, the invitation to success, the wharf and the eroded-smooth rocks, the paper mill, Port Angeles, with it’s gastropub everyone talks about and the other pub, with Thursday night open mic and the awkward couch seating with the stares of evil eyes from all directions into the night, the outsiders, the city slickers, the college students, the toothsome grins of our drunken minds, the ravenous chewing on the rubber tire pills in the jubelale, the darker the beer the harder the morning, the tipsy day of birth of one of another, there was a heart attack warning, a pulsing in her arteries not quite right, the spasms, the electrodes, the fingers tingling, the head aching with waves, with mountain air, smashing against the surface of the skull, like internal tsunami, miss the call for fresh early coffee, left the light on all night, the lady at the motel, the clean motel, the walking distance to the bookshop, the chocolate shop, the water, the ferry to victoria, the decision we did not make because, we drank instead, we drank the last of my money from the bass cab, we drank more of her money, her heart, the shock of exposed veins when sleeping in the sleeper car of am abyss transport, the darkness above, below, over the sides, everything, us as a vessel passing through darkness, unaware of floating mines or other boats or anything that matters much, just a thousand impressions to coat the inside of our stomachs with.