Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Art Project

I made an art project!
All by myself!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Luck With No Name, March 3, 2009

Here I am with these words again.

I can´t really think of much to say except that we´re damn lucky to be here.

Where exactly?

Well I could get specific about where I actually am, sitting on a sandy spit beside an unnamed lake in Chile, but really I just mean that we´re lucky to be anywhere at all.


I could get specific about the miracle of a life-supporting planet dangling like a thought through corkscrewing infiniti, but even that would only be a scratch on the surface.

You. Here.

We could talk at length about the miracle of your parents ever meeting. Or each of their parents for that matter. We could go on and on through the corkscrewing unlikelihood of it all, but why bother? It´s all too vast. Perfection is either all of it, or it doesn´t exist.


I don´t know. If it is luck it´s certainly not the type we humans ever talk about. It´s too big and it doesn´t involve sex or playing cards. Generally we´re not all that comfortable with the really big stuff.

We like to keep it manageable. If we always just stared off into the impossibility of it all we might just forget to do the laundry, feed the belly, punch the timecard.

But that´s all fine. There´s lots to be done on this particular freckle of the Milky Way. Lots to be done to keep our minds off of our unlikely lives, lest we begin to feel minute, even unimportant, which our evolution never would have allowed.

And if everything is perfectly how it is meant to be, which is beginning to feel more and more likely, than we can feel as lucky as we like. We can decide to look no further than:

Pretty sunset, a green bug on my arm, friends, a lake with no name, young man watching his thoughts roll in like the salty tide sitting in the Valdivian Rainforest who somehow still has a pair of dry socks on.

I must be the luckiest guy on this whole damn freckle.

Laguna Negra, Santuario El Cañi, Chile. Valentine´s Day

Dear Mom,

I saw mountains on the moon last night.

I was just about to drift off to sleep beside the shore of a Chilean Lake when that fat, old battlefield came peeking over the granite to the southeast.

The umbrella top of an ancient Araucaria Tree was silhouetted perfectly by the three quarter moon, and I reached into my pack for my binoculars, this certainly being an occasion deserving of a closer look.

I think it was more startling not to see the long neck and head of a Brontosaurus go drifting in front of the moon than if it had.

Once clear of that Jurassic Tree I could see fields of craters and long, shadowed valleys. On the upper left side, where the earth´s shadow had taken its bite, I saw a frozen range of silver mountains with a backdrop of infiniti.

It was like one earring in a set that I´ve always meant to give you. Finally a gift deserving of your love.

It was neither a holding nor a pouring moon, as you´ve told me about from your midwive´s folklore. No, it seemed postpartum if anything, still swollen with milk for the suckling heavens, or maybe for me, or at least for that night-black brontosaurus.

Momma, you who greet people at the gates of the world, I wanted to give you that moon with its sunlit mountains. Trouble is I couldn´t quite reach it, so instead I´ve written you this letter, and will probably continue giving you Earthly attempts at earrings that could never say enough.

South Like A Stone

Rio Gallegos. March 19, 2009

The Sierra Institute chapter of the journey is now behind me. I am no longer assisting any teaching other than my own. I have much to report about the entire second half of that incredible story, but for now, an update on my current whereabouts.

I left Bariloche the day before yesterday with my new friend Laura from the trip. After sinking like a stone southward for 28 hours we arrived in the small, off the map town of Rio Gallegos, and tomorrow morning early we will be back on a bus to travel another 12 hours to the southernmost city on Planet Earth, Ushuaia, in Tierra Del Fuego. South. The early morning´s phosphorescence was very predictably going to be out my left window, and when I awoke with my face smooshed against that very window it looked like a giant school of mackerel had broken the water´s fluidity and spangled the sky in tangerine tracers and apricot ripples. The southernmost city in the world. It´s a strange thought. We don´t have easternmost, and westernmost cities, but we do have northern and southernmost. Silly humans. It´s as if the rotation of the earth implies a continuum while the still poles are seemingly static, when in reality (reality?) we are just a sleepy waterball tangoing with a very lively fireball on a small node of the infinite corpus of the universe. Whoa. I seem to be especially fixed on thoughts of our miniscule little planet out there in the great drapes of space at this moment of my life, maybe because I can watch myself slide around on the surface of glossy maps, I don´t know.

So tomorrow we cross the Straight of Magellan, and in the evening we will arrive on the banks of the Beagle Channel, and when I have had a moment to grock Tierra Del Fuego, I´ll be sure to tell you all about it...Suerte.