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My Astonishment

Stop’d while traveling east along Mont. highway 200 beside the river Flathead, watershed of the Columbia. Intentional stop to see, and observe and to experience my own astonishment; #34. Leonardo pinhole camera and weather gauge, RVP 4x5 in. iso100 film exposed 2 seconds f/250 up and down stream.

Flathead Stop
Flathead Pinhole

“You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment. “The most demanding part of living a lifetime as an artist is the strict discipline of forcing oneself to work steadfastly along the nerve of one’s own most intimate sensitivity.” Anne Truitt, the sculptor, said this. Thoreau said it another way: know your own bone. “Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your life… Know your own bone: gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw at it still.” Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case.”

Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

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Live or Die

Every Event is a GIFT … however some events are challenging, difficult, involve suffering; most, perhaps. Get up, do my practice, run 10 miles in the early deLight, respond to a blank sheet of paper … take action, and live. Ann Sexton (1928-1974), in her most celebrated collection of poetry, Live or Die (1966), a fictionalized memoir of her recovery from mental illness, ends the sequence of poems with Live. I heard her read from ‘Live or Die’ and ‘Love Poems’ in the autumn of 1969 in Cleveland OH. This is what we need to do; live … but don’t poison everything.

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“With one long breath, caught and held
in his chest, he fought his sadness over
his solitary life. Don’t cry, you idiot!
Live or die, but don’t poison everything . . .”

from an early draft of Herzog by Saul Bellow

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seeking interstellar space

As Lent approaches this week I’ve been considering what to give up and what to take on. I’ve often given up all sugars but since I’ve already done this what now …. I’m seeking the interstellar space behind the skin YA). So I’m putting together a practice that I might experience such without LSD. When you get to the base of the trail ascending Siyeh Pass in the Preston Park Valley of Glacier-Waterton International Peace Parks there are some lakes just off-trail. Only a few people venture here, most are en-route up or down the pass. I like to stop here; STOPing. The grizzles like this place. We call these the “O My God” lakes. It’s the absolute end of the valley. A steep glacier cut of newly exposed rock rises before you and this is life beginning, starting right from this rock, water, dirt, sun, snow, sky … the great JOY, and I’ll say that glorious skin that veils ’interstellar space’. The image is a lensless one taken nearby the upper lake looking down Preston Park towards the Going-to-the-Sun access at Siyeh Bend.


“Scrape the surface of language, and you will behold interstellar space and the skin that encloses it.”
Velimir Khlebnikov

O My God Lakes

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