Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dawn patrol

How the British cornered the market on thermal units, I'll never know, and while Paul Revere may have squawked "The British are coming!" there is no doubt the thermal units are here, a solid week of temperatures in the mid-90's F.  Down in the Evil Ditch, aka Bakersfield, the mercury has given up, cooked into submission.  Whatever substantial outdoor exercise we get comes early.  This morning, it was Django and me on boys-only dawn patrol, a stiff hike up the "Kim Chee Trail," named by us in honor of the fine Korean gentleman who put it up, taking a few simple hand tools and cutting a sweet little single track through oaks and granite outcrops.  We hike it frequently for a quick escape and exercise.  I snapped the photo above on the descent, already sweating heavily.  I spend afternoons slapping words together, slinging them against the screen to see what sticks.  Can I stand the smell?  Sometimes.  How to bring the journey to life, to make it sing?  Our oldest stories are about journeys, Homer's Odyssey, Moses leading the mob.  Homer spoke of "rosy fingered dawn."  The old blind poet had that right.  Although over 2,500 years have passed since he sang that epic, we still recite it.  I am no Homer, but we all live by these tales, our own shared with others', others' connecting to our own.  The telling makes us who we are, makes us human.  Perhaps the whales' song is about their great oceanic journeys.  We can never know.  The physical struggle of the Continental Divide is over; now it is the spiritual, intellectual side of the trek that pushes back.  Is it any good?  Does it stick?  Do the words speak?  Like any journey, we step into it and navigate as best we can, starting early, before first light.

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