This guy landed on my camera at Paradise (Mount Rainier) early one morning.


"From there, after six days and seven nights, you arrive at Zobeide, the white city, well exposed to the moon, with streets wound about themselves as in a skein. They tell this tale of its foundation: men of various nations had an identical dream. They saw a woman running at night through an unknown city; she was seen from behind, with long hair, and she was naked. They dreamed of pursuing her. As they twisted and turned, each of them lost her. After the dream they set out in search of that city; they never found it, but they found one another; they decided to build a city like the one in the dream. In laying out the streets, each followed the course of his pursuit; at the spot where they had lost the fugitive's trail, they arranged spaces and walls differently from the dream, so she would be unable to escape again…

New men arrived from other lands, having had a dream like theirs, and in the city of Zobeide, they recognized something of the streets of the dream, and they changed the positions of arcades and stairways to resemble more closely the path of the pursued woman and so, at the spot where she had vanished, there would remain no avenue of escape.The first to arrive could not understand what drew these people to Zobeide, this ugly city, this trap.” Link

Storm in Gold Bar

Storm in Gold Bar, WA.




We decide our own truths, which we call “beliefs,” and knit them into a story, an internal narrative we repeat to ourselves endlessly, silently. A self-referential Möbius strip of perception. A closed loop. Then we empower these “beliefs” with an unjustified culturally referenced reverence.

We deceive and seduce ourselves in order to spare our ego, our fragile self-construct, from what feels like the imminent threat of complete destruction - a primal threat. A threat to survival.

But I didn’t die when my wife repeated to me, without any comic irony, something inappropriate I said at a party. Hearing my own words replayed out of context was suddenly embarrassing, but not fatal. And so I advance unmasked.

I struggle valiantly against truths about myself which are self evident to all onlookers as if these ideas were essential to life itself, when the actual truth is that to be disabused of illusions is a liberation that opens enormous possibility.

Unfortunately, most of these struggles occur below the waterline – deep in the unconscious – with the result that after an awakening, a comeuppance, a satori, a slapped face, I am often flabbergasted that I ever saw, and lived in, such a stilted, crippled world.

In this way, I am so typical, so unextraordinary, so pedestrian. But that takes me back to square one – it’s another variation of the same problem for the ego.

Our definitions of truth and beauty are determined by what we decide to value, and revolves around the need for recognition and validation.

The soul’s deepest need is to be understood.