Thursday, August 4, 2016

Not a politician in sight

     Suddenly, late Wednesday, I just couldn't process another syllable about Donald Trump, his latest jaw-dropping statement, the reaction to that statement, the election, or anything political. I thought about leaving you high and dry on Thursday. But I have made a commitment (every....goddamn., so I went through my camera roll, and found these shots taken last May, hiking in Eldorado State Park, outside of Boulder, Colorado.
     They'll serve, as a springboard for the situation at this particular moment. 
     The great thing about nature — one of the many great things about nature — is how it rolls along on its own, existing outside our petty daily concerns. It was here long, long before we showed up, sits patiently our entire lives, waiting to be noticed, and it'll be here, more or less unchanged, when we're gone. Whether Trump endorses Paul Ryan or not, the certainty that his shocking misstatement of this hour and the echoes and turbulence rolling off it will be replaced by one just as bad or worse the next, none of it matters. The sun and stars wheel around the heavens, the seasons cycle by, the rains fall and dry up and fall again. The scratch we make in the earth with our boots, well, "The mountains don't care," to quote my favorite park service sign, encouraging hikers to keep their wits about them, be responsible for their actions and their safety, and not to bumble oblivious into a bad situation.
     We in the United States have bumbled oblivious into a bad situation, with half the country so warped by marinating for 20 years in a pool of right wing bile that they just can't process information anymore, and so have embraced a madman as their champion who, surprise surprise, is behaving as you would expect a madman to behave....
     Oh wait, I'm back again, aren't I? It's very hard to tear your eyes from the ongoing disaster, a train wreck that somehow manages to wreck itself anew each day, seemingly each hour. It's like that M.C. Escher staircase that goes down and down yet somehow never reaches bottom. It...
     Trees, rock, blue skies, white clouds. Colorado. I see now how people flee there and stay. It was a lovely day, hiking up the Continental Divide Trail, with our cold water and our sandwiches for lunch. After a couple hours, we found a lovely bench, with this tremendous vista, miles and miles. Not a politician in sight. I think I have to get myself back there, right away, in mind if not in body.  The rest is just a passing shadow.


  1. Lest we be tempted to bow down before all that awesome majesty, we should keep in mind that these too will be ground down by elementary forces and made to submit to mother nature.


    1. Yes. As Ira and George put it in their last ever song:

      "The Rockies may tumble.
      Gibraltar may crumble.
      They're only made of clay."

      Tom Evans

  2. I went to Colorado this June for the first time and got some hiking in (not enough, never enough, but oh so wonderful) -- thank you for bringing me back today!

  3. We retired and moved to Colorado's Front Range area 2 years ago. We don't miss the Chicago area at all (other than an occasional desire for an Italian Beef and a Chicago style hot dog).

  4. The GOP hardliners want to enable drilling, grazing and hunting in national parks, including the Grand Canyon. Enjoy them while it's still possible.

    1. I did have that thought, and it is all too true. But as Eldorado is a state park, decided not to stretch to indict a group which can be condemned 100 different ways, no stretching necessary.


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