Category Archives: Poetry

Pan and the modern world

There is a thing called character and it would seem that we are born with it. The character is something that continues to develops through the actions that are learnt from parents, friends, and peers. The path of the strong is to take control of this process and escape the limitations placed upon the development of character by society. To remake oneself can be one of the greatest and most pleasurable tasks in life. An artist of artists molding a persona as if it were mud or clay. For most of history only kings had access to the self-consciousness necessary to make these kinds of changes. Gradually the task of self-creation has pervaded many layers of society and now most have been given this responsibility of consciousness. Where we take the ability of self-creation is up to everyone individually and in this paper, I lay out what I feel captures an essential part of what humanity must become and in so doing give the individual an additional tool for the creation of the self.

The Greek god Pan was born of the union between the trickster god Hermes and a wood nymph. At seeing the half man, half goat creator his mother fled back into the forest out of fear. Pan was then brought to Mount Olympus where the gods were delighted by his outrageous form and charming laughter. Pan lords over the mountains, the woodland forests, the gently-flowing streams, and the open pastures of the countryside and in this way, stands in opposition to developed society. His paradoxical nature of being a fierce hunter along with a gifted musician and nimble dancer add to his charm and seductive power.

One of the few gods to die, his death is associated in time with the death and rebirth of Christ. In this sense the death of Pan implies the rejoicing of the greater light of Christianity and the mourning of the passing and separation from societies of more primal instincts. Ultimately Pan became associated with the image of Satan with his semi-bestial appearance, unabashed sexuality, and profound relationship to the world of nature and animal instinctually. Representing a fear of a primal way of life, Pan was demonized and a connection with the grace of nature was forgotten.

The natural world is something of great power that man has feared and fought throughout existence. Today it seems that we have almost won the war for total domination over the environment but in so doing we have lost the way. Focused intently on victory it seems that we have overlooked many of the consequences and now find ourselves naked once again in spite of our garments and articles of clothing.

To revel again in Dionysian ecstasy at the coming of spring. To re-learn the inborn sensitivity to ecosystem that surrounds us. Now is time for the rebirth of Pan and a reunion of the old values in rustic innocence and our most deeply felt passions in the natural world. We need Pan now more than ever. To some this will look like the coming of the Anti-Christ and great societal challenges await his rebirth, but the magic of Pan is that he does not walk where society has set its roads. His way is near the outskirts in the trees and rivers where no set paths have yet been laid. To create from the spirit of dance something alluring with such strength as to sway the foundations of the modern mechanical way of life. What he urges is for us to fully reawaken to the animate qualities of the natural world, thereby reestablishing our relatedness to both nature and our instinctual soul. Pan is far from dead for he keeps on being reborn in all kinds of strange ways.

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The Life of a Lifty

There isn’t much to being a lifty. You have to groom the loading and unloading zones where customers enter and exit the lift, which is done with a small snow rake that helps push the snow around in order to get things even and level for everybody. If someone falls off the lift or is having trouble getting on, then it’s the lefties job to stop or slow the lift for smooth operations. The one other thing that lifties are responsible for is closing and opening of the lift. So, what I am really trying to say is that it is one of the easiest jobs anyone other than a computer is responsible for. It’s the part that is not in the job description that really makes the kicker.

Today I got about 5 runs down the mountain while I was working. These runs take me deep into the powder country where I dodge trees as I make my way down some of the sickest stuff I have ever hit. Powder language new to me and I am working on learning how to speak in this strange dialect so that I can resend it to my readers through the interwebs. (stay tuned here for more!)

I have notices that there is a progression of moods that happen throughout the day. In the morning I am usually better than your average groggy mofo who just woke up and is ready to get bent by the slightest challenge that comes at him in the morning hours. I am more the guy that is rocking out to his ipod on the bus in the morning just trying to trick my brain into waking up. It’s the late morning/early afternoon part of the day that really grinds my gears. It feels like there is nothing worthwhile going, and no way to make things interesting. At this part of the day I am forcing myself to talk to people with manors that take true grit to get off the tongue. I am also taking runs down the groomed trails just wasting my time. It was when afternoon hit that things really started to get ramped up.

I had a desire to hit Lefties Canyon today which is a bit of a hike from the top of the lift I operate. After I got my boots strapped in and cut left of the groomed trails it becomes a time of weaving through trees in fresh powder deep enough make you lean back less you get caught up to your waste in white, sticky, wet, snow. There was a moment where I was sliding along, not going fast, just seeing how long my glide would last before I would have to start pushing by foot. I took a slow moment to realize how little effort I had to spend in order to move. I hardly even need to try and stay standing up. It was at this moment that I noticed all the trees rolling by and the wind blowing through the forest. It was so much peace that I had to laugh. Astonished with the bliss that I had found I took my time carving through the canyon and from that moment on my day/life got much better.

Now I write from a coffee shop. I have made far less money than I could have if I decided to work at a job that makes money. Instead I trade cash for the feeling that is had after hanging out on a mountain all day. We could try and put a price on this feeling and short term it wouldn’t be all that valuable. It’s after this feeling gets embedded into the soul and when the feeling is not something of a passing moment but a way of life. I am new to this lifty business but if I were to put a price on the embedding of that feeling I would then have to shoot myself for defiling such a serine moment with something as tragic and boring as economics. Instead I will remain hopelessly star struck and completely in awe of the little bit of heaven that I have found and will continue working on making it a permanent part of my life.

Cultivating an unstoppable attitude

I write this post from my couch where I do not have the unstoppable attitude. Like most, I am afraid letting my worst judgement get the best of me. Unlike most I have a drive for truth that I may ride from these depths I have fallen into, all the way to whatever bastion of sunlight I desire. From here I make a stand to change and escape the fear common amongst sheep. Ride with me if you want and we can explore the depth of the indolent.

I’m talking about the whip and the ability to tell yourself no. No do not eat that cupcake cupcake, no do not play video games when you know that you should be outside making friends and playing in the sun. The real surprising thing is that I am not naturally drawn to these types of activities. Like most, I am drawn to junk food and television and must put in effort to bring myself to the activities the produce natural good feels. I often ask myself why do I prefer boring darkness when there is such excitement in the world. Only in the dreary do I let the world pass by.

What I mean by better judgment would be the moralistic character or the affinity to do good. Whatever good may be is another thing altogether. The ability to do good is something knowable at any given moment. At times close decisions involving cataclysmic moments in life can make determining the good challenging at times but what I would like to focus on is the ability to do good with all of the small things in life. Eating is the best example that I can think of because what is good to eat is generally staring us in the face and hardly ever gets accomplished perfectly on a long term scale.

All writing above this line has been to achieve something different than the status quo. If I take an honest look at my life I find that I am fairly satisfied. I have had and seized the opportunity for adventure on most turns and now find myself in a world of possibility. Most of what I am upset about is that these things don’t come easy to me, but I could just as easily accept the challenges in life and begin to love the struggle.

In the self-improvement section of any bookstore you will find two types of books. Books that will offer information on how to improve in life, and books on how to accept any shortcomings we might have. While both are important to living a fulfilling life, I have always sided with improving rather than accepting, and so fully self aware I cast myself back into a agonizing pit of striving for self-fulfillment. Sometimes it’s easy, other times I can’t get myself to get out of bed. Here in this blog is where I pour myself and my misery hoping that through writing and self-expression that I might find the keys to this universal mystery.

Must we first come up with a question before we can begin to look for answers or might solutions spontaneously appear even when direction is lost. I can truthfully say that I feel good now, almost bulletproof even. Hoping that I may evade all traps and pitfalls, I still sit here and wait my next down-going.

For the strength to persevere through hard times, to cultivate discipline to direct action towards any goal, growing the courage to set higher goals, wielding wisdom to avoid traps and pitfall, and my the thirst that has yet to be quenched grow deeper and unsatiated everyday. This is an unstoppable attitude. This is something to embody and live each and everyday.

Reconnecting with nature

I have wondered why people find it so interesting to go to scenic places in nature. The connection to the earth doesn’t seem to get to me in the way that others have explained it and the prestige that comes with the pictures doesn’t make sense in and of itself. The only way to give meaning to finding scenic views is the exercise to get there and the possibly the people that join you on the journey. The group can have a quasi meaningful mission that can work as a bonding experience and productive and this gives meaning over something that is meaningless in and of itself. 

Perhaps people, and a deep level understand that these places will not be around for much longer. What we are actually doing is saying our last words to a dying friend and that this is what it really means to connect with nature. To stand in realization to the impermanence of beauty and almost mournfully watch the moments destroy themselves for the creating of the new. 

The past is beautiful and it is something to be missed. No one knows what the future will bring but we can say that it will look different than now. For better or worse it doesn’t really matter. All we are is a striving for a more complete perspective. 

The wise man knows he’s a fool

It was fun to party on the beech with the Lahina kids. We had even worked out a method that could take us to exactly where we wanted to be. Fred could stick a bottle of liquor between his belt and belly and must have walked away with over 15 bottles the week I was there. We would then walk down the shore to where the resort beaches where located and we would party.   
It was an idealistic way to fuck around on the beech from the beech bum position, but there was no trust between friends and the group was constantly turning on the weakest member of the group. It was draining spiritually and I knew when I started that I would be usurped of my stamina within a short amount of time. 

Having been drained I decided to sell my jeep and move back to New Orleans. Many people were inquiring about the sale and my schedule was full. If the jeep would have sold I would have moved to Nola immediately; and then I met Joesyia. 

Joesyia was man I had known from the island for a long time. I was a big fan of his brothers and hung out with his brother as much as I could without becoming attached. Joesyia came to look at my jeep. He didn’t end up buying the jeep but he did end up offering me a job and a house to live in. I moved in that same day and training began.

  
The first three days were dedicated to healing my mind and body. I didn’t eat food and everyday we would put colloidal silver on my ankle to heal a staff infection I had developed. After I had healed we knocked doors for solar sales and things became somewhat normal besides the ohms in public places. I would wake up and exercise, meditate, and read. It was progressive and I was loving life. Training eventually came to an end and I had to leave the house. I went into the woods. 

  
I drove the jeep out past Hanna where I knew if an ahowaska ceremony that took place every month. The jeep could only go so far and the walk was long and wet. Showing up dripping I found Anti to ask if I could participate in the ceremony. She told me that there they were already overbooked and could not fit me in, I should have called to get on the list. Leaving I was sad that I had came so far to be turned away so easily. Right as I was about to leave one of the farm workers found me. He told me that if I could find some work to be done around the farm and kept my head down I might be able to get in. One of the girls needed help picking flowers and we went skipping through the fields to pick. Later I asked Anti if there had been any cancelations. She looked at me and said “I am going to go ahead and say no. There is just not enough room. Remember to get on the list next time and, try not to take it personally.”

I took it personally and made for the long walk home. My jeep broke down on the road home and after spending the night in the back seat I packed up and hitched my way out of Hanna leaving the jeep behind. 

  
I write this passage from an old and run down bus that has been refashioned to be a lounge for the workers of the farm. We wake up early and work until sunset two days a week. Most of what we build is for the party in October and I am working on sleeping in the dome but first it must be built. 

It feels right here. The people are far out and more real than anything I have found this far. This chapter of my life will look and feel like a fairy tail and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds. 

Out of fire

It was shortly after the first acid trip that life began to spin violently out of control. I can not pin down the exact moment when the spin began but it happened sometime on the Fourth of July when Jayson, the girl and I took acid in the city of Lahina. If I told you we tore shit up it would mean little. 
The Son and I woke up on the beech with the intent to hustle and everything was going our way. Hitch hiking from Paia to Lahina may have taken more time if we drove. The time it takes to start a car and get out of a parking lot would have been a greater amount of time than the time we spent with our thumbs out on the side of the road. After we got to Lahina we made friends with homegirl and spent our day at that 5 star hotel on the beach. We bring up the idea of homegirl taking acid with us and soon after we are sucking paper under the banyan tree. 
Heavy dose of reality, a whirlwind of faces, insights, conversation, and street theatre staring the three amigos. Power trippin hard was I. Nothing was beyond my grasp. It was at the end of the night that we stumbled into old aunties Fourth of July party. After our hostess filled our plates with stale chips and cold ribs I found myself berated by a cackle of drunken aunties. The conquering attitude of which I walked into the party with was taken from me as I said farewell. It was in the last section of our walk did I make a move to kiss homegirl only to find my balls swiftly smashed, figuratively. The deep rooted jolt to my personal security began to express itself and sour the night. Homegirl left. Jayson and I were agitated with each other but in that strange way we had become brothers. We fought and made up and fought only to find that our mental fortitude had been utterly sapped by the events of the night. In the morning I left Jayson asleep under the bush that we passed out beneath. 

 
A feeble attempt at rebuilding took place over the next week. A seemingly impactful experience with a warrior guru and a trip into the junk food sections of the super market. The downward spiral had begun and a blind eye I had turned. 
A night that I had nothing to do Jayson had no trouble convincing me to head to Lahina for round two. Again we sat under the banyan tree keeping the handshake under our tongues. This time was different. This time was strange and I was unprepared for a disturbed reality. I watched helplessly as my friend grew in stature to take the lead. Knowing the rules of engagement I followed the brave fool throughout the town knowing that for this man there were no limits and that jail was a real possibility, however he had something that I did not, he had strength. It was a wild blur of a night climaxing as we borrowed a canoe and attempted to take on the ocean only to tip ten feet from shore. 
Back at my jeep, all of our stuff wet, Jayson’s phone unable to turn on, as the sun was rising we finally had rest. Tired as we were it was here that we made our fatal mistake. We left Jayson’s backpack leaning on the outside of the car. All of his possessions were in that pack. When we awoke it was gone. He was destroyed. 

I can be cold and even crewel at times but for a true friend I will sacrifice body and mind. Buying lunch was nothing. I invited him along as I did daily errands to keep him company as he went through his darkest moments. “Now everything must be take” I remember him saying. We traveled across the island to an old job to pickup a moped I had left in their possession. As I exchanged pleasantries with my ex coworkers Jayson invaded the lunchroom. Behind their backs I saw him go through backpacks and empty wallets. I excused myself and addressed Jay about the theft in private. “Put it back or walk from here” I told him. He walked. I was left to deal with my coworkers. At this time most of them still won’t talk to me, some of them want to fight me, and never did I get the moped back. 
The word broken is when one should be angry but due to fatigue or even hopelessness the anger is not present. 
I slept in the back seat of my jeep that night. The next morning was tour guide training and the team was meeting up to hike the legendary Haleakala creator. Seeing the team I forgot all about the nights before. We split into two groups. The boss’ group started from the top to hike down the mountain while my group started from the bottom to hike up the mountain. The idea was to meet in the middle so that we could exchange car keys and meet back up at the end, but we never saw the other group. Near the end of our hike I decided to sprint ahead with the keys so that I could hitch down the mountain to the car and bring the car to the top to pick up my friends. I did all of this before they finished their hike. Once we had all joined forces in the car we then needed to decide what to do about boss. I convinced my friends that because we had no idea if the boss was even on the mountain that we should go to the nearest bar and wait for him to call us over a beer. No one said no and I had the keys so we went. Half way to the bar we get a call from the boss. I whip a shitty and drag race to pick him up. It still took about 20 minutes. Pulling into the parking lot I can see he is mad. As I get closer I can see that he is beyond mad. My mind takes control and I go cold and rational. 
Boss- Where the fuck have you shits been, and why are you driving?! (Pointing at me)

Me- I’m sorry boss, we didn’t know where you were. 

Boss- You are so fucking stupid I can’t even believe and you know what, YOUR FIRED!

Me- In that case you owe me 140 dollars. 

Boss- I don’t owe you shit, get out of the front seat. 

I slip into the back seat as he gets I front. 

Me- Technically and legally you do. 

Boss- Don’t fuck with me, I will kill you. 

Me- You don’t have the balls. 

Boss- Get out of the car!

Me- No

He gets out and attempts to open my door while I hold down the lock. He runs to the other side of the car, grabs my backpack and whips it into the street. I still do t get out. He starts the car and drives over my back pack and as we are about to leave the parking I open the door to leave. As I get out of the car I front kick his tail light (my one slip from sagacity).

Boss- have a nice ride asshole.

  
I am left in the parking lot on top of a mountain with nothing but my backpack. 
Flash forward to a dream of a boy working on a great Roman war ship. The boy and a crew of men are commissioned to draw in a statue of the general which has been placed on the bow of the boat. The men pull the rope as one while the boy pulls whimsically. The boat is getting closer to shore and the statue is in danger of breaking on the rocks. Moments before the statue is smashed the boy gives a great pull in a show of strength that outdoes all other men and statue is safe. One of the men in the crew takes the boy aside and with a club smashes the boys skull in. 
Flash forward, I walk somberly down the mountain. With my thumb I asked passing cars for a ride down the mountain. It was not long before a man pulled to the side and I got in. We exchange the basics and soon I relate the story of the enraged boss who left me on top of the mountain. It was here, through the man who drove me down the mountain that I learnt to climb once again and the downward spiral was stopped. 
The man who drove me down the mountain turned out to be a master in Kung Fu and even offered classes (much to expensive for me) on self defense. Kung Fu, he explained, is about avoiding negative energy. Not only negative energy in the form of a fist flying at your face but also other sorts of negative energy such as a vengeful ex girlfriend or whatever. It’s all about redirection and reflection which is less tiring what with not having to take on everything that comes your way. There are times when you will be cornered he said, and these are the times when we do what we were born to do. These are the times to kill he explained. 
I left his car and returned to my jeep. I decided then that it was time to start a different kind of life on the other side of the island in Lahina. It was in Lahina that I met Fred. 

The road to Hana 

 
This is a picture from the road to Hana on the island of Maui in Hawaii. The road to Hana is not for the faint of stomach. It bends up and down the east side of Haleakala mountain and visitors will need to slow down, speed up, dodge oncoming cars, and drive next to cliffs of which a fall is certain death of which there have been many. Despite this hundreds of people drive the road everyday. Most of these people rent a car and drive strait through, maybe they listen to a audio tour if they’re astute. There is a better way than what the tourists think and I will tell you exactly the best way it can be done. 

On Friday morning you will need to create a group of two girls and one guy from the people of Paia. This shouldn’t be too hard or take too long as the people of Paia are extremely friendly and half of them are willing to drop all responsibilities on a dime if it means going for a worthy adventure. After you have made your group you will want to start to hitch hike down the Hana highway. This is far superior than driving because you will meet amazing people hitching and, who the fuck has the balls to hitch?

After a few hours you should reach Hana. This is where you will spend the night so it’s time to get comfortable. Go for a walk, talk with locals. Redsand beech is around the corner but good luck finding it without a guide.  Redsand is rather spooky to be honest as if it’s a valley of the gods and mortals do not belong. Probably a good spot to camp. 


It’s now Saturday morning. Your mission is to get to the bamboo forest and Seven Sacred Pools. If your thrifty and invite enough strangers your group will have grown to a party and you can now march up the mountain and into the bamboo forest leading an entourage of able bodied adventurers.  


After your party has reached the surprise at the top and you head back down the mountain set up camp at Seven Sacred Pools campground. When the night time comes some one in your group is going to have a guitar and someone else is going to have alcohol. Use these tools to attract other campers in the area and expand the party. If you are both loud and belligerent others will come.Maybe you will meet a farm boy that lives near and you can have a bonfire on the cliffs. 

Sunday morning comes and it’s time to make your way to Cafe Attitude. Get there early and you can sauna all day. At night the cafe does dinner and a talent show. This is the time to get socially ambitious. There are brilliant and famous people at caffee attitude. I’m talking millionaires, rock stars, and possibly even a model or two. Find them, get to know them, and do whatever it takes to party with them. 

From this point onwards the party is out of control and you will be on an unpredictable adventure of a lifetime. You will be with the coolest people in the world in the coolest place in the world. Everywhere you go there is a waterfall, go skinny dipping. A mountain side, have a picknick. A cow pasture, pick mushrooms or maybe go swimming in a billionaires to pool.