Adorable Unity


Ah! the unity of cause and effect is adorable!

~ Ṛk Ved (Rig Veda) 1.1.1

– translated by His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (c1917-2008),

August 20, 1970, Humboldt State University, California


Then, on realizing its significance, the blessed Buddha spoke this inspired utterance:
“When things become manifest to the ardent meditating brahmin, all doubts then vanish since one understands each thing along with its cause.”

~ Udāna 1.2 (Sutta Pitaka Khuddaka Nikaya)


The spirit of wonder, the recognition of life as power, as a mysterious, ubiquitous, concentrated form of non-material energy, of something loose about the world and contained in more or less condensed degree by every object, — that is the credo of the Pit River Indian.

~ Jaime de Angulo (1887-1950), “On the Religious Feeling Among the Indians of California” (1924)


It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the Earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility.

~ Rachel Carson (1907-1964)


An old saying, containing much truth:

In order to fall in love with someone (or something) you have to be endlessly fascinated by them (or it).”

And in order to be endlessly fascinated by someone or something, you may have to fall in love with them, or it. It works both ways: appreciative fascination leads to love, love leads to fascinated appreciation. Appreciation — that is, perception undistorted by ego-boundedness — is love; love is appreciation: “to know her is to love her”—another old saying, containing much of this same truth. . .

Closely related: “to know all is to forgive all.” Behavior is an active effect born of a specific cause, or causes—previously existing conditions. When we know enough about these preexisting causes, we can understand what lies behind the actions of others. Such insight engenders empathy and compassion. Again, conversely, to forgive all — to experience an unstinting empathetic compassion for others — qualifies us for gaining tremendous insightful knowledge about others’ motivating preconditions.

The ancient Yoga Sutras of Maharishi Patanjali teach that the special yogic accomplishment, or sidhi, of being able to clairvoyantly or psychically “know (read) the mind of others” always functions spontaneously, fully, and undistortedly only when one has achieved steadfast stability in the sidhi of universal empathetic compassion. Sometimes (even without knowing the Yoga Sutras!), lovers expect their partners to have this psychic ability, at least with regard to their own unspoken wishes: “Why didn’t you realize what I wanted? If you really loved me, you would know what I was thinking without my having to tell you!” This, of course, is a misunderstanding: loving one’s romantic partner doesn’t necessarily make one a mind-reader. But when we regularly and accurately find ourselves able to know and appropriately respond (rather than simply react) to the unexpressed wishes and thoughts of others, then it is a sign that some significant degree of empathetic compassion has stabilized in our own developmental process.

The more empathy and compassion grow in our character, the more we find ourselves spontaneously experiencing and acting upon (embodying and manifesting) the sidhis, or virtuous qualities, of loving-kindness and universal friendliness; the more these yogic sidhis or “unifying perfections” expand and stabilize in our life, the closer we come to experiencing unbroken, unrestricted unity with all of life, all of reality. Fully enlightened Unity consciousness, Brahmi-chetana, is the ultimate yogic sidhi, or attainment, the ultimate state of Yoga, or Unity.

~ Sky 


No hay mal que por el bien no venga.

There is no evil from which no good comes.



Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)


The world is a book and those who don’t travel read only a page.

~ St Augustine of Hippo (354-430)


Wherever we go in the mountains, or indeed in any of God’s wild fields, we find more than we seek.

~ John Muir (1838-1914)


You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!

~ Dr. Seuss



Sing it into actuality!

Dance—no one’s watching!

~ anonymous


We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

~ anonymous


Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.

~ Wendell Berry (b. 1934)


Hallelujah, anyway!

~ Kenneth Patchen (1911-1972)


Celebrate Everything!

~ Miles Furlong (1890-1994)


True happiness is to enjoy the present … to rest satisfied with what we have, for he that is so wants nothing.

~ Seneca (AD 4-65)


Silver Fox was the only living person. There was no earth. Only water. “What shall I do?” Fox asked. He began to sing. “I would like to meet someone,” he sang to the sky. Then he met Coyote.

Where are you going?” asked Coyote.

I’ve been traveling everywhere,” replied Fox, “looking for someone. I was getting worried.”

Well, it is better for two people to travel together,” said Coyote.

That’s what they always say,” agreed Fox.

Okay, But what should we do?” asked Coyote.

Let’s try and make the world,” said Fox.

How are we going to do that?” asked Coyote.

Sing!” said Fox. And with his thoughts he made a clod of earth….

De Angulo retells at least three Achumawi versions of “How the World was Made” on his Old Time Stories broadcasts for Pacifica Radio. One of them is from Wild Bill, one is based on an account from Jack Folsom. The lengthiest rendition he got from Istet Woiche, through C. Hart Merriam’s translation. Common to them all: it seems that thought can provide a raw lump, a clod of dirt. To make it into a world, you have to sing.

This is most interesting if you put de Angulo’s belief—that language is the form of thought—alongside his sense that Achumawi speech is “nothing but a song.” There is a metaphysic here, that thinking and singing and world creation are inseparable acts. This metaphysic might be 100,000 years old. A good study of culture, one that looks closely at lore stretching from India or China to Europe, then in the other direction to coastal California, then across the circumpolar north, might find something. I suspect here a trace of the stories—and beneath the stories, old belief systems—that have been repeated across Europe, Asia, and into the Americas since the last glaciation. Linguists in the past several decades, using computers to analyze related sound clusters, have proposed the existence of a language superfamily. They find evidence that this long-ago kin-group of languages was spoken in southern Europe during the Ice Age, that it reached northwards to Greenland, east across Europe and Asia, to coastal Western North America. It would include languages of Alaska.

Evidently it all began with Silver Fox and Coyote. They are the ones who applied the great metaphysic to that primordial clod of dirt. They did it by singing…

~ Andrew Schelling (1953), Tracks Along the Left Coast: Jaime de Angulo & Pacific Coast Culture. (2017)


Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was a simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy.

~ Terry Tempest Williams (b. 1955)


Wherever I am, the world comes after me. It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it. Now I understand why the old poets of China went so far and high into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.

~ Mary Oliver (b. 1935) #maryoliver


The greatest works of art are not found in a museum, but in the natural world outside our doors.

~ Sarah Duprey (b. 1994)


The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.

~ Carl Sagan (1934-1996)


May we live gently as we walk on this Earth,
And remember —
In each action
To consider
Not only our fellow man,
But also the brotherhood
Of the wilderness and the wild things.

~ Sarah Duprey (b. 1994)


AMY GOODMAN: How does it feel to be back to fiction? You’ve been writing now for years this book, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Talk about how you feel upon its publication.

ARUNDHATI ROY: Well, fiction was always, in reality as well as in my imagination, my real home. But this time it’s home with the roof blown off. You know, so, somehow, it’s always been the thing that absorbs every part of me—fiction. You know, every skill I may have is actually part of writing this. So, to me, I just feel that, you know, even if in a lifetime you had two opportunities to spend many years lavishing everything—all your brains and your toenails and your hair and your teeth and your gallbladder—on creating one thing, you know, it’s a grace that you should be happy for. Whatever the product is, you know, whatever comes out of it, is such a beautiful thing to have had the opportunity to do, for me.

AMY GOODMAN: You’ve called fiction writing the closest thing you know to prayer.



ARUNDHATI ROY: Because of this. You know? Because, to me, the idea of being able to concentrate on trying to—you see, the nonfiction that I’ve been writing, you know, these are all essays that I—I mean, were urgent interventions in situations that were closing down in India. Each time I wrote an essay, I would—you know, it would lead to so much trouble, I’d promise myself not to write another one. But I would. But they were arguments. You know, they were urgent. They were—they had a definite purpose, a worldly important purpose. But when you—when I write fiction, it’s, to me, the opposite of an argument. It’s like creating a universe. You know, it’s like doing everything you can to create a world in which you want people to wander, you know?

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, tell us about the title of the book, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, and also the dedication. It’s dedicated to “The Unconsoled.” Who are “The Unconsoled”?

ARUNDHATI ROY: All of us, in secret, even if we don’t show it. Some of us do, and some of us don’t. But I think the world is unconsoled right now. And the title is not—you know, though many think it’s a satirical title, it’s not a satirical title, because it’s a title that—for me, you know, I think, fundamentally, as a species right now, we need to redefine what is being defined for us as the path to happiness or to progress or to civilization. You know? And in this book, it is a specific story and people who understand that it’s a fragile thing. Happiness is not a building or an institution that is there forever. It’s fragile. And you enjoy it when you can, and you may find it in the most unexpected places.



Daily word food

Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who’s always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated. … To be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me.

~ Edward Abbey (1927-1989)


I’m a sucker for arms up in the air in beautiful places. Combination of “holy shit where am I?!” and the need to take in every ounce of life and love of this wild land. But no jumping….don’t you ever ask me to jump in a photo damnit.

~ Kalen Thorien


Fill your life with stories to tell, not stuff to show.

~ unknown


i weaved in real Indian stories…stories I was collecting in the field in connection with my work in Indian Linguistics — that’s how the whole thing started, and of cors friends of ours used to borrow the stories to tell them to their own children (and also in those days of the prohibition era when our house in Berkeley was sort of headquarters for all the young men and University students who were rebels — in those days we kept open house and there was always a crowd of ten to fifteen people sleeping it off here and there on the porch in the children’s room everywhere and arguing for those were good days (but too much drinking) and complete thoro sexual freedom they called it “Jaime’s gang” and I was accused of every crime all those stories about me only one-third were true and how the University hated me!

~ Jaime de Angulo (1887-1950), undated letter to Ezra Pound (1885-1972)


I was born to be wild. But only until like 9pm ish.

~ Jainee Dial (b.1981)


No matter how big or soft or warm your bed is you still have to get out of it.

~ Grace Slick (b. 1939)


Most of my life is spent looking forward to my next moment alone.

~ Sophia Amoruso (b. 1984)


People empty me. I have to get away to refill.

~Charles Bukowski (1920-1994)


Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

~ Mark Twain (1835-1910)


Going to the mountains is going home . . . The mountains offer endless strength; the forests, enduring peace. And here, in the heart of nature, I find myself.

~ Sarah Duprey (b. 1994)


I’m such an incredibly, stupidly sensitive person that everything that happens to me, I experience it really intensely. I feel everything very deeply. And when you feel things deeply and you think about things a lot and you think about how you feel, you learn a lot about yourself. And when you know yourself, you know life.

~ Fiona Apple (b. 1977) #FionaApple


You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover is wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.

~ Alan Alda (b. 1936)


Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.

~ Buddha






Book Angel pixilations

Two days ago, I wrote here about a couple of little co-inky-dinkies that had then just happened to me. (See my earlier post linked below:)

While I was typing the story of those episodes of synchronicity, another related episode took place:

A young mom and her 5 year old daughter had entered the café where I was writing, and had taken a table next to mine. We recognized each other from our having once met and briefly spoken to each other at the same café one day over two years ago. It was the only time I had seen them, until the day before yesterday. On that earlier occasion they also happened to have taken their seats at the table next to mine. Chatting with both of them again the day before yesterday, (let’s call the mother Joy-Anne and the daughter Gracy), they told me a little story about how their husband/father (let’s call him Alistair) likes to sing around the house and in the car, He sings very well but rather loudly. One day Gracy had asked her dad if he could please take a break and refrain from singing for a little while. When asked why, Gracy had said, “Because I seek peace.” Then Joy-Anne asked me, “And what is it you are working on here today with your computer and books?” “Oh My Gosh! funny you two should have just told me that story about Gracy seeking peace, because,—well, here,— I’d like to give you this booklet about seeking peace. It’s by a wonderful elderly woman I knew well for many years. Her name was Peace Pilgrim. I just found this copy of her booklet a couple of minutes ago in the book bin right outside there on the sidewalk. When I came back here and sat back down at my computer just before you guys came in and sat down, I found that someone had just visited my blogsite anonymously while I was out looking in the book bin. They had clicked on a post I had written months ago about Peace Pilgrim and my friendship with her. I was exactly Gracy’s age — five and a half years old, — when I first met Peace Pilgrim, and….” But before I could say more, Joy-Anne responded excitedly, “Oh, Peace Pilgrim! I read her book . . . many years ago! A friend of mine in Santa Fe had given it to me! Perhaps you know him? His name is ______.”

Oh my goodness! Actually, I have heard of him, but we’ve never met.”

Will you please sign the booklet for Gracy?”

Of course.” So I inscribed, “To Gracy, a fellow seeker of peace, from your friend Sky. June 20, 2017, ___ (city), (in the state of)___. ”

They stayed for a while longer, and we chatted of various things. I told them a bit more about how I had first met Peace when I was five years old. But soon then they had to go. It was a delightful, serendipitous visit with two lovely people I was happy to met again for a second time.

And that is the follow up chapter in this tale of just one of my little adventures the day before yesterday with that whimsically mysterious kismetic aspect of book-related magic connectivity.

I’ve known other folks who enjoy similar book-connectedness. My friend Thomas Merton recounted some of his own such adventures with what he called “this fondly respected grace,”of the special workings of his “Book Providence.” My friend Vinapani used to speak of the mysterious arrangements orchestrated by her “Guardian Book Angel.” Throughout my childhood I use to visit and play occasionally with friendly members of the elven folk, and so as a child I viewed and referred to such serendipitous book providence as the benign shenanigans and pishogues of my friendly Book Elf or Leprechaun.

These various references all pertain particularly to the angelic (and/or pixilated) magic of suddenly finding just the right book you’d been wishing for or needing, sometimes even before you’ve realized you were wishing for just such a volume. Perhaps you have been acutely on the hunt for some particular title you need (or believe you need) for some important personal “research” project, but having searched all the usual channels you simply cannot place your hands on a copy. Then, moving on to other concerns perhaps, you may happen to turn an unfamiliar corner, half-consciously wishing to take a possible new short-cut home, or to your favorite café, when suddenly there is a copy of your wished-for book, sitting alone on an empty bus bench, or staring at you from the window display of a second-hand store. A copy of the elusive volume you’ve almost despaired of ever finding. Or perhaps it suddenly appears in your faculty mailbox on campus, with no note attached. Or some odd person sitting across from you on a train turns and hands you a copy, saying “here, I think you may enjoy reading this—if not, pass it on.”

Or, as happened to my sweetheart, your cab driver on your first day in San Francisco reaches over the back of the driver’s seat with the volume in hand, and says, “my last passenger left this with me and asked me to give to you.”

Of course such happenings are not restricted to books! But there is a particularly mysterious benign/divine magic of this sort surrounding books—at least for those who love and respect books and still feel a need for them, and always try to make the best use of them for the good of all beings everywhere. I’m sure it’s some special grace arranged by Ma Saraswati, Goddess of Knowledge and Learning and Writing and Music and the Arts and Wisdom in general. And/or of the Elephant-headed Lord Ganesha, Scribe of the Vedas, remover of obstacles, finder of lost objects, and of lost loves in general, and patron of many other forms of goodness and divine providential intervention. And/or the work and play of some other equally august divine Personage, some Personification of the relevant laws of nature, of the relevant aspects of one’s own (universal) self-nature, a vortextual emanation of some relevant aspects of the cosmic Self-nature of Reality as a unified Whole.



What’s so funny about peace, love, and books?


Resistance is our courage.

~ Terry Tempest Williams (b. 1955)


Podrán cortar todas las flores,

pero no podrán detener la primavera

You can cut down all the flowers

but you cannot stop the spring

~ Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)


I have plenty of Marxism in me, I do. . .but Russia and China had their bloody revolutions and even while they were Communists, they had the same idea about generating wealth — tear it out of the bowels of the Earth. And now they have come out with the same idea in the end . . . you know, capitalism. But capitalism will fail, too. We need a new imagination. Until then, we’re all just out here . . . wandering.

Thousands of years of ideological, philosophical and practical decisions were made. They altered the surfaces of the Earth, the coordinates of our souls. For every one of those decisions made there’s a another decision that could have been made, should have been made . . . Can be made, of course.

I don’t have the Big Idea. I don’t have the arrogance to even want to have the Big Idea. But I believe the physics of resisting power is as old as the physics of accumulating power. That’s what keeps the balance in the universe. . .the refusal to obey. I mean what’s a nation-state? It’s just an administrative unit, a glorified municipality. Why do we imbue it with esoteric meaning and protect it with nuclear bombs? I can’t bow down to a municipality . . . it’s just not intelligent. The bastards will do what they have to do, and we’ll do what we have to do. Even if they annihilate us, we’ll go down on the other side.

~ Arundhati Roy (b. 1961), Things That Can and Cannot Be Said: Essays and Conversations [with John Cusack, Daniel Ellsberg, and Edward Snowden]. (2016)


The Eyes of the Future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time.

~ Terry Tempest Williams (b.1955)


Daniel Ellsberg: Fire is the main effect of thermonuclear weapons . . . to this day they do not calculate the fire. So they didn’t have to ask the question “What about the smoke?” Finally in 1983 somebody calculated the effect of just one of these things…what 150,000 tons of smoke and soot would cause, lofted into the stratosphere, reducing sunlight for a decade . . . Basically it’s nuclear famine…crops die, livestock dies, . . . everybody dies. With a small war between Indian and Pakistan, fifty Hiroshima-size bombs each, smoke would reduce sunlight enough to starve two billion people to death. . . In a US-Russian war — it’s nuclear winter. I never understand why we worry so much about climate change and not about nuclear war. Both have the potential of annihilating life on earth.

Arundhati Roy: Nuclear bombs are the logical corollary to the idea of the nation-state…no?

~in Arundhati Roy and John Cusack. Things That Can and Cannot Be Said: Essays and Conversations [with Arundhati Roy, John Cusack, Daniel Ellsberg, and Edward Snowden]. (2016)


Jaime de Angulo (1887-1950) undated letter to Ezra Pound (1885-1972):


Why does old Lao-Tsz inspire you with such VIOLENT feelings??

I am puzzled. . . . .


do you know yourself?


in Andrew  Schelling. Tracks Along the Left Coast: Jaime de Angulo & Pacific Coast Culture (2017).


Let us pause and listen and

gather our strength with grace

and move forward like water

in all its manifestation:

flat water, white water,

rapids and eddies,

and flood this country

with an integrity of purpose

and patience and persistence

capable of cracking stone.

This river, this mourning,

this moment —

May we be brave enough

to feel it deeply, and act.

~ Terry Tempest Williams (b.1955), from Erosion, November 2016







One Ko-Inky-Dinky-doo, Two Ko-Inky-Dinky-doo . . .

Yesterday, I sent a fanboy email to a celebrity I admire, mentioning that they strike me as being “Elizabeth Bennet meets Prue Sarn meets Jo March.” —But the address I have is uncertain, so I wondered if my note would be received, and if so, if my reference would click even if they did get the email. . . .  A few minutes later, I walked out to check the neighborhood free book bin (public sidewalk library), where a single item was sitting pretty, patiently resting sunny-side-up: a pristine vintage copy of Pride and Prejudice ! I took it as a “sign” that my message would be received and my reference duly appreciated. Of course I know skeptics will snicker that such co-inky-dinkies mean nothing. But I’ve never seen a copy of P and P in this or any other free book bin. And over the years that must have entailed a least a thousand visits to such bins over a great deal of territory. Take it for what it’s worth.

Later in the day, I walked by the book stall again, and this time the only item there was a copy of the little blue covered booklet, Steps to Inner Peace, by my old friend Peace Pilgrim (1908-1981)!  This was quite wonderful in itself, of course, but over the years I have stumbled unexpectedly upon numerous copies of this free, non-copyrighted booklet in various places across the country and indeed around the world. . . .  Now, sitting back down to my computer, I found that while I’d stepped out to the book bin the second time and back, my blogsite had received a single new visitor-ping:  someone had just linked anonymously to an entry about Peace Pilgrim, that I had posted there last September! That’s right: during the coupla minutes in which I left my seat, stepped outside to the book bin a second time, discovered Peace Pilgrim’s booklet which has just newly arrived there, and walked back to my table in the cafe, some anonymous person somewhere in the U.S. had visited my blog entry about Peace Pilgrim posted months ago….

Again, skeptics shall scoff, but I’m convinced that such co-incidences have subtle (woo-woo) meaning. Though I’m not yet sure just what either of these two particular little ping-backs of kismet synchronicity mean, I place the same value on them as being  meaningful signs of the intimately connective nature of reality as those contained and mapped in “the science of omens” preserved in the ancient Vedic cognitive sciences (which are also the source of Yoga and Non-dual Vedanta philosophy).

When my now-late belovéd wife was studying Ayurveda — Indian traditional medical science, — and other branches of Vedic science, under our teacher Maharishi and other enlightened masters working closely with His Holiness to restore the full knowledge of these traditional sciences, she made a good study of the ancient science of omens — auspicious and inauspicious “signs.” For instance:  the ancient Vedic rishis and maharishis cognized and noted that if a deer crosses your path from one direction,this is an auspicious sign that something good is on its way to happening soon for you; if a deer crosses your path from the opposite direction it is a sign that something good (but as yet unknown) already has just happened for you. I’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to tabulate from your own experiences with deer and with good luck which direction correlates with which auspices deer signify — something good but as yet still unknown having just transpired, or “something good this way comes.”



The stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are inaccessible; but all natural objects make a kindred impression, when the mind is open to their influence.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), “Nature”


If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.

When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.

Pure love is a willingness to give without a thought of receiving anything in return.

~ Peace Pilgrim


Everything is holy!

everybody’s holy!

Everywhere is holy!

every day is in eternity!

Every man’s an angel!

~ Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)


Science applies a finite rule to the infinite — & is what you can weigh & measure & bring away. Its sun no longer dazzles us and fills the universe with light.

~ Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), Journal, 1849


Negating boojy society

The creative life is the best life of all.

~ Chuck Close (b. 1940)


We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.

~ Dr Seuss (Theodor Geisel, 1904-1991)


You showed me how to say
Exactly what to say
In that very special way
Oh, it’s true
You fell for me too

And when I tried it
I could see you fall
And I decided
It’s not a trip at all

~ Gene Clark (1944-1991) and Jim (Roger) McGuinn (b. 1942), “You Showed Me” (1964)


People don’t take trips, trips take people.

~ John Steinbeck (1902-1968)


Who were we — we who formed the ‘Beat Generation’ of San Francisco and beyond? We knew nothing but the allure, the draw, the hope of safe haven, defiance, and the immediate utopia of resistance in zones of momentary freedom, negating boojy society.

~ David Meltzer (1937 – 2016)


You can have your funky world — See ya round!

~ Bob Seger (b. 1945), “Ramblin, Gamblin Man” (1969)


The past memories, present experiences, and future dreams of each person are inextricably linked to the objects that compromise his or her environment.

~ Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and Eugene Rochberg-Halton. The Meaning of Things: Domestic Symbols and the Self . 1981


plan, navigate, and share

~ (ad for digital map company, 2017)


Get lost in the right direction.

~ ad (2017)


Let’s get lost
Lost in each other’s arms
Let’s get lost
Let them send out alarms

And though they’ll think us rather rude
Let’s tell the world we’re in that crazy mood
Let’s defrost in a romantic mist
Let’s get crossed off everybody’s list
To celebrate this night we’ve found each other
Mm, let’s get lost

Let’s defrost in a romantic mist
Let’s get crossed off everybody’s list
To celebrate this night we’ve found each other
Mm, let’s get lost
Oh, let’s get lost

~ Frank Loesser (1910-1969) Jimmy McHugh (1894-1969), 1943


Adventure embraces uncertainty,

and it demands a departure from

the safe and timid road.

~ anon (2017)


There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried . . . . We but half express ourselves.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)


The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.

~ James Baldwin (1924-1987)


Even in doubt, be fearless.

~ anon (2017)


Life is all a big joke, but I’m afraid it is only the brave who get the point.

~ Miles Furlong (1890-1994)


Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

~ Roald Dahl (1916-1990)


Everything you can imagine is real.

~~ Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)


What will be your next adventure? See the world.

~ ad (2017)


I find inspiration in everything, but especially travel, movies, and art – as an art history major in college, it is a real passion. And at the end of the day, sometimes it’s just walking around NYC and seeing chic women with amazing individual style that can inspire.

The process is very organic – it sometimes starts as a mood or a feeling that I want to convey. Other times I’m inspired by an old textile or a mosaic from my travels.

It’s a love of work—but I never take for granted that I’m doing something I love and which makes me happy . . . . It’s not what it is about, it’s how it is about it.

~ Peter Som (b 1970 San Francisco) fashion designer


Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.

~~ William Shakespeare (1564–1616)


All the fun’s in how you say a thing.

~ Robert Frost (1874-1963)


Wander what is out there.

~ ad (2017)


Fly away.

~ ad (2017)


We came to LA for a better quality of life. It’s a much more human place to live and there’s a sense of freedom that is different from New York. Anything can happen in New York, but you can be anyone you want to be in LA. We don’t feel limitations here. There’s a lot of room to look inwardly, for exploration and reinvention.

We all have great libraries. Of course we all travel and that always informs our work, but books are our education and biggest source of inspiration. Also, it’s impossible not to be inspired by California: it’s physical beauty and openness and great tradition of frontiersmanship.

We admire the craftsman and artisan — the people who inject design with a soul through their expertise and the work they do with their hands. It’s our greatest desire to keep their tradition alive.

~ Roman Alonso and Steven Johankneckt, Partners, Commune Design


Collect Memories.

~ ad (2017)

I look at my photographic coverage as a narrative. It usually has a beginning, middle, and an end. It also employs specific details to further describe what I’m trying to illustrate. From a design standpoint, imagine how boring images would be if they were all taken from the same point of view, with the same lens, from the same perspective.

~ Jack Dykinga (b1943), A Photographer’s Life: A Journey from Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photojournalist to Celebrated Nature Photographer (2017)

My tastes exceed my talents.

~ anon (2017)


Work hard. Be nice. Don’t stop. Keep going. See more. Do more. Be prepared to fall on your sword. Be thankful.

My life is really my work and my work is my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve never understood how to keep them separate! I think you have to commit to that from the moment you start your own company.

~ Chris Benz (b. 1982), fashion designer




Omnia Causa Fiunt.

Omnia Causa Fiunt.

(Everything happens for a reason.)

~ Anonymous


Life is all a big joke, but I’m afraid it is only the brave who get the point.

~ Miles Furlong (1890-1994)

If you speak delusions, everything becomes a delusion;

If you speak the truth, everything becomes the truth.

Outside the truth there is no delusion,

But outside delusion there is no special truth.

Followers of the Buddha’s Way!

Why do you so earnestly seek the truth in distant places?

Look for delusion and truth in the bottom of your own hearts.

~ Ryōkan (1758-1831)


Now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.

~ John Steinbeck (1902-1968)


All the fun’s in how you say a thing.

~ Robert Frost (1874-1963)


Although the Dunning–Kruger effect was formulated in 1999, the cognitive bias of illusory superiority has been known throughout history:

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.  ~ Confucius (551–479 BCE)

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.    ~William Shakespeare (1564–1616), As You Like It, V. i.

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. ~ Charles Darwin (1809–1882)

One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision. ~ Bertrand Russell (1872–1970)



Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.

~ William Shakespeare (1564-1616)


When you’re in it, just keep riding the wave as long as you can.

~ anon, 2017


Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

~anon, 2017


Faith is not about finding meaning in the world, there may be no such thing — faith is the belief in our capacity to create meaningful lives.

~ Terry Tempest Williams (b. 1955)

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.

~ Wendell Berry (b. 1934)

The appropriate way to do anything is thoughtfully and gracefully—and with as much soul as you can pull around you.

~ Rina Swentzell (1939-2015)



Photo: Will Saunders/The Locals Project – Kalen Thorien’s “Library of Sophistication” from Outside Magazine online

One-shelf mobile library suggestions

Have greatly enjoyed viewing the new video of adventurer Kalen Thorien’s standing-room-only tour of her Bigfoot trailer home. . . (which I posted about here earlier

you can view the video here:

. . . And, as with an earlier photo from KT’s website from a year or two ago,

(which you can see/read about here: 

I was gratified and intrigued to see the choice of books composing her one shelf “Library of Sophistication” (Exception noted: those two fat books by the truly horrid Ayn Rand! for which I gave Kalen some shit!).

(You can see her bitchin lie-berry shelf here:

But the video made me think, again, of some additional/ alternative books she might like. So I drew up a list of tomes I’m suggesting to her (see below).

KT with her one bookshelf reminded me of my friend Artie, an ocean-going sailboat-dweller who lived alone aboard his tiny piratey old sloop which he continuously, slowly sailed back and forth between Hilo, Big Island, and San Diego Bay, spending part of every season harbored alternately in each town. Like KT, he was an avid reader, but also like her, his mobile berth-home had just one bookshelf. Artie’s seaworthy ledge held only about eight to twelve books, total — depending on how thick they were. In order to bring a single new book aboard, he had to give up a previously-adopted/resident one. It was a very big self-discipline for him. I would never have made it!

So, anyway, I’ve compiled a list of other books I think KT might enjoy, might wish to gradually/alternately add to her Bigfoot bookmobile’s Library of Sophistication.

Readers, you are most welcome to send me lists of whatever may be on your own favored shelf at this particular time. And/or a list of books you think I might enjoy and/or ones you think KT might enjoy. Of books and the making of lists of books there is no end, of course — there’s a bible verse that pointed that out long, long ago somewhere in Qoheleth. But still it’s gratifying to make lists sometimes, eh?


Kalen Thorien’s 41 volume “Library of Sophistication” (from recent video, numbered as seen shelved left to right) :

1 Ron Adkison. The Falcon Guides Hiking Grand Staircase-Escalante & the Glen Canyon Region: A Guide To 59 Of The Best Hiking Adventures In Southern Utah (Regional Hiking Series). 2011.

2 Jeannette Walls. The Glass Castle: A Memoir. 2006.

3 David Foster Wallace. Consider the Lobster and Other Essays. 2007.

4 Ralph Waldo Emerson. Nature and Selected Essays. (Penguin Classics) 2003.

5 Pico Iyer. The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere. 2014.

6 Mike Kelsey. Non-Technical Canyon Hiking Guide—Colorado Plateau. 201.1

7 Gary Chapman. The 5 Love Languages. (2004?)

8 Katie Lee. Glen Canyon Betrayed: A Sensuous Elegy. 2006.

9 Clare Bailey. Forbidden Knowledge Sex:101 Sensual Acts NOT Everyone Should Know How to Do. 2008.

10 Douglas Sproul. GeoBackcountry Rogers Pass: Uptracks, Bootpacks & Bushwhacks, The epic guidebook & map to backcountry skiing Rogers Pass. (no date).

11 Ayn Rand (title indiscernible)

12 Annie Proulx. Close Range: Wyoming Stories. 2000.

13 Henry David Thoreau. Walden & Civil Disobedience.

14 Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Love in the Time of Cholera. 1997.

15 Ryszard Kapuscinski. The Shadow of the Sun. 2002.

16 (indiscernible)

17 Marc Reisner. Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. 1987.

18 Tom Meade. Essential Fly Fishing. 1994.

19 Jon Turk. The Raven’s Gift: A Scientist, a Shaman, and Their Remarkable Journey Through the Siberian Wilderness. 2010.

20 Edward Abbey. Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness. 1968.

21 Ayn Rand (title indiscernible)

22 (indiscernible)

23 Wallace Stegner (title indiscernible)

24 Norman Maclean. A River Runs Through It and Other Stories. 1976.

25 Thomas Fleischner. Singing Stone. 1999.

26 Ralph Hopkins. Hiking the Southwest’s Geology: Four Corners Region. 2002.

27 David James Duncan. The River Why. 1983.

28 Kurt Vonnegut. Slaughterhouse Five. 1969.

29 Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals: North America (National Audubon Society Field Guides). 1979.

30 Michael Kelsey. Technical Slot Canyon Guide to the Colorado Plateau. 2008.

31 Anne Waldman and Allen Ginsberg. The Beat Book: Writings from the Beat Generation. 200.7

32 Craig Childs. House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest. 2008.

33 Staying Alive (author & complete title indiscernible, probably either:

Vandana Shiva. Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development. 2010

or: Michael Dorn. Staying Alive: How to Act Fast and Survive Deadly Encounters. 2014.)

34 The Chuting Gallery – A Guide to Steep Skiing in the Wasatch Mountains. DBA PawPrince Press. 1998.

35 (indiscernible)

36 Lester Bangs. Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung: The Work of a Legendary Critic: Rock’n’Roll as Literature and Literature as Rock ‘n’Roll. 1988.

37 Tanya Milligan and Bo Beck. Favorite Hikes In & Around Zion National Park. 2013.

38 The Mountaineers & Steven M. Cox. Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills. 2003.

39 Tom Jones. Zion: Canyoneering. 2006.

40 Steve Roper. Sierra High Route: Traversing Timberline Country. 1997 (2nd ed)

41 David Day. Utah’s Incredible Backcountry Trails. 2006.


Kalen’s Bigfoot bookshelf, from a photo posted on her website a year or two ago (with indiscernible titles left out):

6 Marc Reisner. Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. 1987.

8 Richard Lucas. Nature’s Medicines; the Folklore, Romance, and Value of Herbal Remedies. Fifth Edition 1966.

9 Tom Meade. Essential Fly Fishing. 1994.

10 Howard Zinn. A People’s History of the United States. 1980.

12 Joe Mitchell and Mike Coronella. The Hayduke Trail: A Guide to the Backcountry Hiking Trail on the Colorado Plateau. 2005.

13 Jon Turk. The Raven’s Gift: A Scientist, a Shaman, and Their Remarkable Journey Through the Siberian Wilderness. 2010.

14 Charles Bukowski. You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense. 1986.

15 Craig Childs. House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest. 2008.

16 David Day. Utah’s Incredible Backcountry Trails. 2006.

17 Kevin Fedarko. The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon. 2013.

18 Edward Abbey. Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness. 1968.

19 Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book). 1997.

20 Ayn Rand. Atlas Shrugged. 1957.

21 The Chuting Gallery – A Guide to Steep Skiing in the Wasatch Mountains. DBA PawPrince Press. 1998.

22 Anne Waldman & Allen Ginsberg. The Beat Book: Writings from the Beat Generation. 2007.

29 Mike Kelsey. Non-Technical Canyon Hiking Guide—Colorado Plateau. 2011.

30 Norman Maclean. A River Runs Through It and Other Stories. 1976.

31 David Foster Wallace. Consider the Lobster and Other Essays. 2007.


My List of Supplementary/Alternative Book suggestions for Kalen Thorien’s Library of Sophistication (one of many such possible supplementary/alternative lists!):

Ian Baker. The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet’s Lost Paradise. 2006.

Smoke Blanchard. Walking Up and Down in the World: Memories of a Mountain Rambler. 1984.

John Brandi. Reflections in a Lizard’s Eye: Notes from the High Desert. 2000.

Gui de Angulo. The Old Coyote of Big Sur: the Life of Jaime De Angulo. 1995

Jaime de Angulo. Home Among the Swinging Stars: Collected Poems of Jaime de Angulo. Stefan Hyner, ed. 2006.

Jaime de Angulo & Gui de Angulo. Jaime in Taos: The Taos Papers of Jaime de Angulo. 1985.

Kenneth Cox, ed. Frank Kingdon Ward’s Riddle of the Tsangpo Gorges. 2001.

Philip L. Fradkin. Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death, and Astonishing Afterlife. 2011.

Danny Goldberg. In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea. 2017.

Lama Anagarika Govinda. The Way of White Clouds: A Buddhist Pilgrim in Tibet. 1966.

Li Gotami Govinda. Tibet in Pictures: A Journey into the Past. 1979.

Jack Kerouac. The Dharma Bums. 1958.

Weston LaBurre. The Peyote Cult. 1938.

Gary Lawless, ed. Nanao or Never: Nanao Sakaki Walks Earth A. 2000.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz. Rolling in Ditches with Shamans: Jaime de Angulo and the Professionalization of American Anthropology (Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology). 2004.

Jack Loeffler. Adventures with Ed: A Portrait of Abbey. 2003.

Jack Loeffler and Meredith Davidson, ed. Voices of Counterculture in the Southwest. 2017.

Dipika Muhkerjee. Shambhala Junction. 2016.

Chiura Obata. Obata’s Yosemite: Art and Letters of Obata from His Trip to the High Sierra in 1927. 1993.

John P. O’Grady. Pilgrims to the Wild: Everett Ruess, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Clarence King, Mary Austin. 1993.

Sean Prentiss. Finding Abbey: The Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave. 2015.

Carrot Quinn. Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail: Ditching the city for the wilderness; walking from Mexico to Canada against all odds. 2015.

Kenneth Rexroth. In the Sierra: Mountain Writings. 2012.

David Roberts and Jon Krakauer. Finding Everett Ruess: The Life and Unsolved Disappearance of a Legendary Wilderness Explorer. 2012.

Doug Robinson. The Alchemy of Action. 2014.

Doug Robinson. A Night On the Ground A Day in the Open. 2004.

Arundhati Roy and John Cusack. Things That Can and Cannot Be Said: Essays and Conversations. 2016.

Everett Ruess and W. L. Rusho. The Wilderness Journals of Everett Ruess. 1998.

W. L. Rusho and Vicky Burgess. Everett Ruess: A Vagabond for Beauty. 1973.

Albert Saijo. The Backpacker. 1972.

Albert Saijo. OUTSPEAKS: a Rhapsody. 1997

Albert Saijo. Woodrat Flat. 2015

Nanao Sakaki. Break the Mirror. 1987.

Nanao Sakaki. How to Live on the Planet Earth: Collected Poems. 2013.

Andrew Schelling. Tracks Along the Left Coast: Jaime de Angulo & Pacific Coast Culture. 2017.

Claire Scobie. Last Seen in Lhasa: The True Story of an Extraordinary Friendship in Modern Tibet. 2006.

Gary Snyder. The Great Clod: Notes and Memoirs on Nature and History in East Asia. 2016.

Gary Snyder and Peter Goin. Dooby Lane: Also Known as Guru Road, A Testament Inscribed in Stone Tablets by DeWayne Williams. 2016.

Gary Snyder and Tom Killion. California’s Wild Edge. 2015.

Gary Snyder and Tom Killion. The High Sierra of California. 2002.

Gary Snyder and Tom Killion. Tamalpais Walking: Poetry, History, and Prints. 2009.

Harriet Steel. Becoming Lola. 2010 [“the true story” of Lola Montez, badass Victorian]

Robert Thurman and Tad Wise. Circling the Sacred Mountain : A Spiritual Adventure Through the Himalayas. 1999.

Albert The Writer. Stories of Love and Sex around the World: True stories. Part one. 2017.


Here’s wishing all y’all cold mountain summer streams in which to:

chill your beverage cans and bottles,

wash your word-polluted ears,

and soak your trail-tired dawgs.