photo block

Sunday, February 22, 2015

men to match my mountains

I was standing at my bus stop this afternoon. Standing because it was raining and the bench was wet. I was well dressed for the occasion with boots and jacket and umbrella. Still a bit wet, though. It seems I can never really hide from the rain - some people seem to have a knack for it - not me - I'm always a wet rat. 

I stood there for 25 minutes. In the rain. Waiting for my bus. One came by and stopped but the driver said it was "discharge only" and that he was sorry but he couldn't pick me up in the pouring rain - I get it - same thing happened to me last time except the driver was like all "Hey, Baby, I 'm supposed to be discharge only, but just hop in and let's go…" Thank you, Bitchin' Bus driver lady. You're so cool.

But today, no. More rain. And, that's fine. As I said, I was prepared. But I just really wanted to make it to the pub quick because my window of availability was closing fast… I need my 90 minutes of Sunday relaxation, you know… 

Eventually I made it and everything was really just fine and cool. 50 minutes total. 25 minutes standing in the rain under an umbrella. Biking would have taken me 30 minutes but I'd have been soaked soaked soaked so maybe okay - maybe just great. 

But as I was standing at my bus stop in the rain I was thinking about my friend. My dead friend. And I was like, he would love to be able to be standing right next to me in this rain watching the cars drive buy - it really was a nice rain shower… And so I felt humbled and better… "we" would make it there in time.. no place else to be…

But I also got to thinking about a poem by Snyder, Gary - one of my favorites. The title is "Left Out in the Rain" - or is that just the book title? Which led, after reading his, to a poem of my own. It's in that compilation I put together a while back. (I'm sure you've all ordered it!)

But that night that I read Snyder's poem a dozen plus years ago - that night, that poem, that solitude on the eastern edge of the High Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in that little town that holds fort at the only eastern entrance to one of the most celebrated National Parks in the country/world - that little unassuming town called Lee Vining at the junction of Highway 120 sparked a dream within. Where, actually, as I keeping digging through my memory is home to so much more - where I became an Indian through deep eye-soul connection with the saddest last real Indian I ever saw (and I use this word because of the times then and because you just have to - he was a Native American, of course, but he was also an Indian - as he would have called himself) - I was maybe 6-years old - he was about a million - he became one of my grandfathers - maybe me only because there was no one else that loved him anymore. It was sad and tragic and yet such a beautiful moment that those mountains rising up to the sunset never left me - us. 

And so I still dream about someday riding that road all the way through those mountains - starting in LV and taking the 18-mile-ish steep climb up through the thin air and sketchy RV squeezing-out-the-lane traffic and then descend all the way down and down and down and around and through all the way to The Valley on the other side and then prop my feet up and enjoy a nice beverage at The Ahwahnee bar. 

And then just keep on riding and riding and riding on…

Thursday, February 5, 2015