Monday, July 16, 2007

throwing stones

since i've spent most of my life living in glass houses on the top of mountains, my view's definitely skewed. here's a page from my diary created in the 90's.


Nothing's right this morning. I've a crick in my neck. Even a pain-killer pill doesn't help. Hanging blankets to block the sun, I sprain my finger. I cry, "How will I support myself if I'm disabled" I shout, "Mama! Mama!" That's what happens when you make the organization your parent. Thirty-five years of paychecks have transformed me into a dependent, emotional cripple. I overhear an ad for my hometown radio-station, and I'm homesick for life in the Sacramento Valley.

Thunderheads loom in the southern part of the forest from Rainmaker Lake to Priam's Valley. Dry-lightning strikes outside the rain-shadow at Scott Summit. Flies tap at the window. Two red-tailed hawks circle in an updraft, mounting higher. Dispatch sends the recon-plane to canyons the lookouts cannot see.

Isabella Nigrido, my erstwhile psychic, maintained I'd been a Tibetan monk meditating on mountain-tops in a past life. Even today when a head lama succumbs, the remaining proselytes travel the land, peering into each newborn baby's eyes to discover the body into which the master has been reborn. As the chose tyke occupies the throne, does he feel like a fake, five thousand disciples falling to their knees, or does he feel ancient tears form in his eyes? I expect a bevy of anchorites to trudge up the road. Now, that would be an act of destiny, myself the head of monastery in the Himalayas! The question is: is that a job I would want?

Once at a youth hostel on the Island of Skye in the sixties, a fellow said, after I'd tendered a long-winded philosophical monologue, "Oh, no, not a child guru!" (I must have been all of twenty-five.) And concluding a class with Josephine Miles at Berkeley where I'd read a couple of poems, a professor's wife said, "You should publish a book." "Good God," I thought, 'you don't do that until you're past fifty." Now I'm fifty-nine, less capable, less knowledgable, than at nineteen. When I step up to the podium, I feel shallow, an imposter, ill-prepared. I've insights but no philosophy.

Silenced by my father as I squirmed in the front pew and disrupted his sermon, I've always gotten in trouble for talking - chastised in school as I played the class clown, easily embarrassed when overruled by a teacher. I prize my intellect above my heart, yet if someone thinks too much of me, I despise them. How can they be so wrong? Don't they see through me?

When Isabella explained I'm reluctant to accept a postion of authority, a scientist who once blew up Atlantis, I thought, "Whether actual or a metaphor, I find it only too true. Let those with thicker skins assume the savior role." So much for being the next Dali Lama!

have no fear, this manuscript "Cloud Watcher, a firelookout's book of days" remains unpublished.