Ktaadn

Seven years ago
Then Now
And yet still to come
These parallel universes exist
Time and Space
Their illusion can make one grow old
With a falsity of living
Of dying
Not understanding that we are all one
Misperceiving our true selves
Overlooking our indestructible consciousness
Going about daily life sleepwalking insane
Instead of dreaming to awake
Instead of deliberately living
Instead of meaningfully being
Distracted with distractions, entertainment
Feasting, drinking until drunking, dosing until drugging
We count followers, likes, digital bank balances,
Material things as successes
Modern day silver platters and goblets of gold
But they remain the common clay
Misguided
Meaningless
Trite
An inglorious Way
Of discounting self, others,
The grass under our feet
Birds, trees, water, sky, earth
The deer running through the woods
The blooming plankton floating in sea
The stars twinkling above in the night sky
Why communicate when we can
Dictate and mandate
And why love when we can
Hate, twist, stir, disassociate
Hanging on
Holding on
Arrested by desire
Suffering
We trapped in our prison of unrealistic expectations
This prison of our fixed thinking
A prison of our own fears
A screen for others to play on
A stage for created drama
Someone’s written script
A sign in today’s newspaper horoscope
This is how false friends take you for a fool
This is how people make themselves
For fools
This is how false thoughts within oneself arise
This is the cave.
Be a mirror
Be a shining light
Be a tiny spring flower
Be a spring-fed mountain stream
Be a cloud
Be the horizon
Be (t)here
Be the architect of your own design
Be love
Be-lieve you are everything
And nothing …
Seven years ago
Then Now
And yet still to come
These parallel universes exist
Time and Space
I am misty blue and green above below
Standing atop a hunted jagged peak
Holding love in my arms
The Klondike stretched out before us
Cold wind buffeting
Cold sun shining blinding
Warming hearts tender embrace
Casting away the mind’s abyss
As my heart crosses the divide

@nicholehastings

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Edward Abbey on Life

“To make the distinction unmistakably clear: Civilization is the vital force in human history; culture is that inert mass of institutions and organizations which accumulate around and tend to drag down the advance of life; Civilization is Giordano Bruno facing death by fire; culture is the Cardinal Bellarmino, after ten years of inquisition, sending Bruno to the stake in the Campo di Fiori; Civilization is Sartre; culture Cocteau; Civilization is mutual aid and self-defense; culture is the judge, the lawbook and the forces of Law & Ordure (sic); Civilization is uprising, insurrection, revolution; culture is the war of state against state, or of machines against people, as in Hungary and Vietnam; Civilization is tolerance, detachment and humor, or passion, anger, revenge; culture is the entrance examination, the gas chamber, the doctoral dissertation and the electric chair; Civilization is the Ukrainian peasant Nestor Makhno fighting the Germans, then the Reds, then the Whites, then the Reds again; culture is Stalin and the Fatherland; Civilization is Jesus turning water into wine; culture is Christ walking on the waves; Civilization is a youth with a Molotov cocktail in his hand; culture is the Soviet tank or the L.A. cop that guns him down; Civilization is the wild river; culture, 592,000 tons of cement; Civilization flows; culture thickens and coagulates, like tired, sick, stifled blood.”

  • “Episodes and Visions”, p. 308

“The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called an “equalizer.” Egalite implies liberte. And always will. Let us hope our weapons are never needed — but do not forget what the common people of this nation knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny.”

  • Abbey’s Road (1979)

My loyalties will not be bound by national borders, or confined in time by one nation’s history, or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language and culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.

  • Confessions of a Barbarian: Selections from the Journals of Edward Abbey, 1951-1989 (1994) p. 92

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast… a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

  • From a speech to environmentalists in Missoula, Montana, and in Colorado, which was published in High Country News, (24 September 1976), under the title “Joy, Shipmates, Joy!”, as quoted in Saving Nature’s Legacy : Protecting and Restoring Biodiversity(1994) by Reed F. Noss, Allen Y. Cooperrider, and Rodger Schlickeisen, p. 338 ISBN 1559632488

Mother Nature Speaks: August 24, 2011

And Sends Jitters Through Valley

By Sarah Brubeck and John P. Gregg
Valley News Staff Writers

Lebanon — Yesterday’s big earthquake may have been centered nearly 600 miles away in Virginia, but it shook an art gallery, sloshed standing water and rattled residents throughout the Upper Valley.

Norwich resident Nichole Hastings was visiting a friend with a third-floor studio in the AVA Gallery in downtown Lebanon yesterday when glass jewelry cases started rattling and the mirror started swinging back and forth.

“It was amazing,” said Hastings, who said it lasted between 30 and 50 seconds. “I was sitting in a chair and I just felt the building moving, and I started seeing objects around the room reacting and moving as well, like swaying.”

George Loveland was sitting in his Norwich home — the Butternut Lane Bed and Breakfast not far from Interstate 91 on a bluff overlooking the Connecticut River — when things started rocking

“There was a cyclical sound, almost like it was a wheel, but elliptical,” he said. “I looked out the window, and the water was slopping out of the birdbath. I stood up, and thought I was dizzy, but I wasn’t. The house was moving.”

Nicky Corrao felt the quake on her home on Tucker Hill Road in Thetford Center.

“I was sitting at my kitchen table eating lunch, and all of a sudden I felt my house start shaking. All my plants, the leaves were shaking back and forth, and I thought, Oh my gosh, it’s an earthquake,” said Corrao, who went outside as a precaution.

Tim Savage, a sales representative at Young’s Propane in Springfield, Vt., said he and several office mates felt the temblor at Springfield Plaza, and it reminded him of an amusement park ride.

“They told me to sit down. The whole chair was shaking back and forth,” he said. “There was a rumbling — it felt like being on a ride at Six Flags.”

Over in Canaan, Andrew Musz said he watched as the plants in his office, which is in the old post office building, swayed back and forth for several seconds. Once the wooden building stopped moving, he quickly went online to see what happened.

“It felt like we had a really strong gust of wind,” Musz said. “If it would have continued, it would have been nauseating.”

Officials in Hartford, Lebanon and Hanover didn’t receive any calls reporting damage, but it was felt at Centerra office and shopping park, the Dartmouth College campus and in the five-story main building of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

“There was no damage, no evacuations, no disruptions in service, but people did feel and report the shaking,” said DHMC spokesman Rick Adams.

Eric Hartling, owner of Tuckerbox in White River Junction, had just finished serving the lunch hour crowd when he felt the quake in the cafe’s basement. He saw the lights hanging from the ceiling swing back and forth and noticed his coffee cup move.

“It got a little stronger and a little longer,” Hartling said. “It lasted about 30 seconds, which was long enough for me to grab my keys and phone and say ‘I’m out of this basement.’ ”

When Hartling went upstairs, he asked his employees if they felt the building shake, but nobody had. Others accused him of being crazy or drinking too much coffee that morning.

In Claremont, Rae Schmertz was sitting at a table in the library of Stevens High School with a few other teachers when the table began to shake. At first she thought someone was just kicking the table. Pretty soon, she was swaying in her chair.

“It was gentle but significant. It was a gradual build and then it subsided,” said Schmertz, a Lebanon resident.

Down at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, Vt., Entergy spokesman Larry Smith said the plant was “unaffected by the earthquake.”

“The plant’s seismic monitor did not have any indication. The plant continues to operate normally,” Smith said in an email.

John P. Gregg can be reached at jgregg@vnews.com. Sarah Brubeck can be reached at sbrubeck@vnews.com.

*

Reference:

Valley News: And Sends Jitters Through Valley

 

Journal Entry: June 7, 2010 – 100 Mile Wilderness

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 9

A  bitterly cold 6:30 a.m.

I knew I needed to get up and get moving.  A hot breakfast was in order to make sure I had plenty of calories to start off the day.  I wanted to finish White Cap, cross the Hay and beyond Gulf Hagas to reach the West Branch Pleasant River and tent there. Trout had described the decline past Gulf Hagas as being ‘gentle’ so I figured the eleven miles would be well worth it and a reasonable goal.

The sun broke through about 8 a.m.

Took my time to keep my heart rate low.  To keep the number of calories being burned to a minimum.  I continuously reminded myself, ‘an economy of movement.’ and any time I started to break a sweat I would stop or slow my pace.

As for the gentle decline…I guess.

With the brain fog of the past two days gone, I did a lot of thinking throughout the day.  The suddenly pleasant weather.  The Zen of movement.  Why I was doing this hike.  My family.  My plans and hopes for the future.

My conclusions…well…I concluded I’m doing this hike to be away from others and Society’s expectations.  Here, I only have my own expectations to live up to day-to-day.

I am only subject to my schedule.  I rise in the morning when I want to.  I eat when I am hungry.  It’s a relief to not be concerned with what others may think of my appearance, my actions and how I am going about it.  I set my goals for the day and make adjustments when I want and need to.  I love that my instincts have been spot on…for me.  No commentary.  No criticism.  No pressure to do or say or be…other than for me.

Taking the break yesterday gave my body much needed rest.  I had enjoyed a 360 degree panoramic view at 3500-ft.  Can a day get better than that?

I thought about how individuals need to learn to be less dependent upon their jobs and living such set routine schedules.  Crazy.  All kinds of people work at all different paces utilizing all different methods.  Continuously trying to ‘standardize’, to ‘regulate’ everything…what a mistake.  Resenting others for working ‘their way’ and in ‘their time frames’…a gross error.  It’s just petty jealousy.  People ought to stop worrying so much about what other people are doing and focus on themselves.

I ponder those living their lives in fear.  Afraid of themselves, others, living.  Constantly defining and limiting themselves.  Fearing if they don’t ‘label’ themselves they and others won’t know who they are.  In fear of being ‘fired’ from their jobs if they don’t comply or meet others’ expectations.  It’s sick.  The way some try and control others in this manner.  And for what?  The bottom line?  More productivity?  More money?    What is money?  So much value on something so worthless.  Simply the means, to a way, to control.  You can’t control what others do, only what you do.

I thought about my family and wondered if they wonder where I am at this very moment.  It’s funny.  Hilarious really.  Being estranged and adopted.  My life is so very full of conundrums.  All because of my life circumstances and ‘poor’ choices.  The silent treatment.  Criticism of my actions and choices.  Suddenly being treated and spoken to as though I was five years old all over again and incapable of making intelligent decisions.  A subtle, yet not so subtle form of passive aggressive control.  An emotional manipulation.

I want love.  I want support.  I want understanding.  I want them to think about the results of their actions and words.  To think about how it is hurting, not helping.

I thought about my hopes.  My plans for the future.  A pleasant day-dream.

A little farm where I can self-sustain sounds nice.  Free-range chickens for eggs, a vegetable and herb garden, canning food for the winter.  Hunting wild game.

Visions of my youth flitted before my eyes.  Played across my memory.  Haying.  Sweating under the blaze of the Autumn sun.  Everyone standing, chatting, around my uncle’s pick-up.  Drinking ice-cold beers after off-loading the bales to the conveyor to the hayloft.  The same loft I had asked my grandfather to put a swing in as a child.

‘Why?’, he’d asked.

My reply, ‘Every hayloft needs a rope swing.’

Most of my friends are married with children, divorced with children or in the process of one of the two.  Very few are single with none.  Like me.  When I had been married I had longed for motherhood.  Sometimes I still feel that twinge.  Whenever I mentioned that thought to my friends with kids, they looked at me like I had grown two crazy heads.  Maybe I feel that twinge because I miss my childhood.  Maybe that’s why I think about having children from time-to-time.  Maybe I tried to submit to expectations.  Everyone else was doing it.  Thank god, that travesty never came to be.  A blessing in disguise.

Tangent upon tangent upon tangent thought.

Just past the Sydney Tent Site I was passed by a girl.  I caught up with her at the Carl A. Newhall Lean-to.  She, Eli and Crawford were there.  They had just finished eating and were prepping to head out soon.  My stop was brief.  I left before the girl did.  Although she caught up with me at the West Branch Pleasant River.  A fifty foot wide stretch of knee-deep round rocky river.

I sat down and stripped off my foot gear, my usual routine, for water crossings.  She stood at the river’s edge silent and still.  It seemed like she was thinking.  Or listening to the rushing water.  Then suddenly she went for it.  She strode forward and crossed removing nothing.

After she reached the far bank, three men appeared, packless.  I stood up, grabbed a stick to help support myself and slung everything over my shoulders, my pants rolled up to mid-thigh and barefoot.  I stepped carefully, slowly made my way over slimy slippery rocks and through the rushing current.  The four of them stood and watched as I laboured and Maxie swam for it.

It seemed an eternity.  Several times my feet slipped and I thought I might topple.  Their presence, their watching, a test of my mindfulness and focus on the task at hand.  I cut them out of my thoughts.

I walked on to shore, past them, to a grassy spot to put my socks, boots and gators back on.  I asked one of the boys, they were all young men, high school or college aged, if there was a place to tent nearby.  They all shrugged and then turned and walked away down another trail.  I guessed that they must have a car nearby.  They didn’t look or move like thru-hikers.

The girl and I walked together following the white blazes.  We came upon a flat gravel area next to the water.  Not an ideal location but it would do.  It was convenient to have water close at hand but the mosquitos and black flies were thirsty and thick.  I decided to tent there for the night.  The girl decided to keep going.

I strung up line to hang wet clothing taking advantage of the breeze.  The girl re-appeared and asked if she could share the spot with me.  I asked her if she had anything she wanted to hang to dry.  She declined.  Other than that there was little conversation between the two of us as we set up camp.  A welcome relief.  She, like I, quickly prepared dinner and then headed to bed soon afterwards.

Distance: about 11.5-miles

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Copyright 2011 The Truth Will Set You Free

Content on this site may not be sold or reproduced without permission.


Photo Memory: “A Point in the Right Direction” photographed by Nichole Hastings

“I concluded I’m doing this hike to be away from others and Society’s expectations.  Here, I only have my own expectations to live up to day-to-day.”

 

A Point in the Right Direction photographed by Nichole Hastings

 

 

Copyright 2011 The Truth Will Set You Free

Content on this site may not be sold or reproduced without permission.