On the Concept of Growth and Regrowth. And Cake I Can’t Eat.

Hello, lovely bluebirds!

Yesterday I did seven hours worth of sojourning–that is, I was traveling by myself with the goal of eventually ending up in Pocatello to spend Easter with my family. I decided to go through Salmon instead of the traditionally [boring] way. It was gorgeous the entire way. Snowcapped peaks punctuated endless undulations of sandy plains and sagebrush. Even at night the entire corridor is beautiful because the light lasts forever and as you are driving southeast, the color of the light (which resembles that of a blood orange) lasts forever and tends to make silhouettes that you can see until about 10 p.m. The Salmon-Challis is one of my favorite areas I’ve ever been to or worked in. I don’t know why I ever go the other way. I stopped at the brewery (visit http://bertramsbrewery.com) and had a brown ale 
and talked with some folks in Salmon proper and walked up to the top of one of the steep hills to look at the town and the river; the river brings life, energy, and rejuvenation to everything within the reach of its swift fingertips. I love the places I get to live in and explore. I haven’t been out sojourning in awhile and I just remembered how much a part of me it is. Introverted yet exploratory. It’s really fun to get to know the people who live in all these small towns…to form relationships with them; it makes me really happy when I come through little towns and see that they are doing okay and smiling at the bakery, espresso shop, the market, the breweries, the bookstores, the gas stations, and the various other locales I meet them in. And what is remarkable is that they know my name; that’s why I will never leave this area of the country. I am in love with all the characters and the landscape they play in. That’s the story of a little girl living and existing and flitting around in Southeast Idaho and Montana. 

Check out these snowcapped beauties. They’re like marshmallow peeps that fell in the dirt or dollops of whipped cream on an Oreo/Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream cake or, more befittingly to what I’ve consumed today, black mud coffee with a trickle of coconut milk in it: 

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See the resemblance? 

Today, since it is Easter, I wanted to write about the concept of growth and regrowth–and the distinction between the two. This kaleidoscope we live in is so rich–so multilayered. And the ideas of death, revolution, tragedy, heartbreak, individuation–those things are all part of a masterpiece that only uses them to perpetuate itself. Mountains will always rise and fall, rivers and oceans change the landscape, horses make dust with their hooves as they run from one place to another, and even the slow process of a Ponderosa pine growing changes the soil underneath it. And so it is with every step we take, every word we say, everything we do–it all resonates in the world around us. And it all flows in some way or another. Do things because they feel right…like you are part of something bigger. Don’t succumb to the things that seem average or because you feel obligated to do them or pressured to conform to what everyone else deems to be normal. Be in love with something–yourself, others, the place you live, or all of those things–and that love will find its way back to you in some way or another (perhaps in the form of an Oreo/Mocha Almond Fudge cake…just kidding…but not really). 

It’s funny that I’ve ranted about this specific cake because I A) haven’t had it in years B) My mom never makes it…it was a specialty of my ex-boyfriend’s mom, and C) I am horribly allergic to everything in it, and finally, D) I am diametrically opposed to consuming processed cookies and ice cream in the same dosage. But this post wasn’t supposed to be a diatribe against calorie-ridden and fattening Easter culinary compositions. 

Today I am thankful for my family, the desert, and the beautiful road ride I am going on in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. My parents are moving up by the ski hill, so I am going to go see their new house and get some sunshine and time on the Madone (miss riding and running every day all day in the summers!). Then later it’ll be time at the red cowgate with Juno and some tea (I’m horrendously sick) and dinner with my lovely family. And–ah!–hopefully I will see some mountain bluebirds. I worship them in a totemic sort of way. Hopefully some beautiful photos to share with you! 

Happy Easter, happy growth, happy regrowth! Have fun eating cake I am allergic to and I will try not to be angry at you. 

I love you, bluebirds! 

The Lyoness

 

A Missoula Afternoon + Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Today I painted. I’ll post the finished product later!

“[…] we shall find countless examples of constantly generating melody emitting sparks of images which, in their brilliance, their sudden transitions, their headlong rush, reveal a power that is utterly alien to epic illusion and its peaceful flow…”
(Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, page 33)

Reasons to Be Loyal to the Place We Call Home.

The story is efficient and elegant…parsed out like a grid system.

LOYALTY IS FALLING IN LOVE WITH WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE. 

I found this article from the LA Times about a book I am reading (and loving), Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir, by D.J. Waldie:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2011/07/reading-la-d-j-waldie-holy-land.html

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It’s this:

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versus this, the place I live:

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From the LA Times review:

“He is also defending suburban living and its architecture against the familiar charge that it is fundamentally about escapism and materialism. “The critics later said that all suburban places were about excess,” he writes. “But they were wrong.” The houses in Lakewood — most around 1,100 square feet — instead gave their owners just “enough space to reinvent themselves.” Waldie’s house, which predates most of those in Lakewood, is even smaller, at 957 square feet.

And later: “The grid limited our choices, exactly as urban planners said it would. But the limits weren’t paralyzing. The design of this suburb compelled a conviviality that people got used to and made into a substitute for choices, including not choosing at all.”

In other ways the book and Waldie’s personal story cut against the grain of typical suburban history. If the suburbs — and Los Angeles in a larger sense — have been defined by restlessness and reinvention, and by a willingness to scrub the past clean when it’s convenient, Waldie is deeply reflective and unusually settled; there is a rooted constancy to his life and to his writing.”

Mountains aren’t better. They’re different. 

And as much as I love living in the mountains, I recognize the nobility in crafting a meaningful existence out of grid living. There is an equal amount of materialism in mountain towns, ski towns, etc. that has evolved out of the popularity associated with mountain sports…the need to get out of town and escape. The way you craft your own moral imagination comes from your delegation of the principles of greed, escapism, materialism, and privacy to your respective home.

I think all the moral indicators above exist both in cities and rural living arrangements…the point indicated in both the book’s title and its articulation. Biblical allusions and elaborations and moral imaginations exist in any human living conditions.

Los Angeles 

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Missoula

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We’re all people creating livelihoods in communities. Fall in love with the place you live and the people in it. That’s ethical, loyal, and indicative of a vivid moral imagination. Elitism associated with place is something this country needs to be disloyal to…needs to abandon.

Loyalty is falling in love with what you have.

J. Bird

I Guess I Live in One of These.

 

 

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“The Panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century. The concept of the design is to allow a watchman to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) inmates of an institution without them being able to tell whether or not they are being watched.

The design consists of a circular structure with an “inspection house” at its centre, from which the managers or staff of the institution are able to watch the inmates, who are stationed around the perimeter. Bentham conceived the basic plan as being equally applicable to hospitals, schools, sanatoriums, daycares, and asylums, but he devoted most of his efforts to developing a design for a Panopticon prison, and it is his prison which is most widely understood by the term.

Bentham himself described the Panopticon as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.” Elsewhere, he described the Panopticon prison as “a mill for grinding rogues honest”.”

(Wikipedia, “Panopticon”)