tonight, my mother’s birthday (she would have been 88), we had homemade chocolate chip cookies – that was fitting. i don’t generally make a big deal out of such anniversaries, but i did remember this one – partly because the youngest of the family is turning eight tomorrow. now that’s a much bigger deal, when a kid picks up a year, and that will of course change the balance of power since now she’ll be jealous of them for an entire year, with the mild interruption of the holidays, until it’s her turn again. in a small cabin like this one, we become a little more familiar with the jealousies and tribulations that are part of life as a kid. and they don’t have a whole lot of other friends, yet, to dilute the passion.
for my walk at night I leave my cabin, at about 8900 feet, and walk straight uphill to the very top of the hill, which is probably 9200 or something, and it seems like there are more stars up there, but it could be that we’re just a little more out of the light up there. it’s a steep hill and it tests the degree that i’m out of shape. my knees, my ankles, my feet, all still sore from my barefoot-walking days. up at the inn, at the top of the hill, i simply turn around and walk down the hill on a gravel road that has a number of cabins tucked away in the forest – yet it’s a city street. it’s called “wren.”
on that road, which comes back into the center of town, where cabins are tucked away in the forest and many are dark and quiet, one woman (i think) has an unusual display – it’s like branches twisted around to make a kind of altar – and she has lights shining soft light on it. it’s like an altar, a crest, or a sign, all in one. kind of a wild place.
the town itself has less than a thousand – full time residents, anyway, probably a few more once summer gets started. people like us fill up the quiet and empty cabins, of which there are many, and also come up for the ski season. they refer to us as “texans” – which is generally what we are. the pressure is on for us to just move out here, so we can be normal, and never look back – which is kind of like what they do.
the other day the police shot an elk – it was a controversial incident, and made the papers in all the local towns. the problem was that she was a mother, and her baby disappeared, which was probably just as well for the baby. she was acting surly and threatening people who got anywhere near her baby – which was natural, if you think about it. the police felt bad about it, but it was kind of like the cincinnati zoo incident – people get a little too close to the animals, or even feed them, as the case may be, and bad things happen. their worlds don’t really go together.
i’m writing a story about that very concept, which you will see soon. I am also writing a quaker play about africa, redoing boxcars on walnut and finishing just passing through: true stories from out there, much of which appears on this blog. it’s a busy time, but I’m deluged by kids, and we’re also having an interlude in ability to get online. i’ll put this online in my little window of time online, and otherwise i’ll just stick to writing (one of my projects is copying my great-great-grandfather’s journal) – things i can do without getting online. on my little phone, i can still figure out that the cavs won, and the usual blather fills up the political arena. happy birthday, mom – it’s probably just as well, that you slipped away when you did.