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Showing posts with the label religion&ideology

Children of a Lesser God

I come through southern Nevada every autumn, it seems, and pay homage to a couple eccentricities of the land. There is a pseudo-cliff dwelling that I drove to, at the beginning of my RVing career. It is still here. The dry wash is loose gravel, so it is surprising that I made it with the van and trailer, way back then. But today I used the mountain bike.

Back then, my "discovery" was unplanned, so I fluttered my eyelashes over it, and honored it by building a fire, and watching the shadows of my hand walk around the ceiling of the "cliff dwelling."

By then, I had decided that cliff dwellings of the Native Americans bored me to death, when they were made into a tourist trap. That was part of the reason why is was so surprising to enjoy "my" cliff dwelling.

How lucky I was to experience something like this hole in the cliff! I was in the last generation to be able to do so. Today a newbie RVer would expect to be told exactly where it is and everything about i…

When a Book is Beautiful

Whenever a certain RV friend visits the area, I feel inspired to simplify my rig. In the past, that urge has had pretty important consequences. So I tried to get in the mood again, this year.

It had been awhile since I had made use of the 20 dead-tree books that I carry in my tow vehicle. So it seemed like a good idea to reread them, and try harder to replace them with the eBook version.

The first book was "The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth Century Philosophers," by Carl Becker. It is tempting to try to explain why I have always loved this book, but maybe analyzing the book will kill its beauty!

Aw hell, I'll do it anyway: the book is about a fundamental topic; it is short; although written by a professor, it is enjoyable to read; it doesn't let the trees get in the way of the forest; and it is full of imaginative warmth. 

Therefore it is a good book to practice the consummate skill of trying to 'rip the book's heart out', that is, extracting the book's…

Our Eponymous Wildflower

Many people like to look at wildflowers. Over the years one flower in particular has caught my eye.

I see this mostly white flower in high sagebrush or alpine meadows.

With all the rain we have had this year, flowers abound, including this mostly white flower. After doing a little homework, I was delighted to find that it is our eponymous "beautiful grass" flower.

It is popping out all over, in our 8100 foot sagebrush.

The other photos were taken in northern New Mexico. Here is the local product:

I love using large camera apertures to photograph flowers, so that the background is blurry.

So what is the point to this useless prettiness? It actually gave me great satisfaction to learn that the wildflower was named for the local area and, indeed, grows in the local area.

Was this essentially the same satisfaction that ancient pagans got from worshiping their smaller gods, such as hearth gods? Similarly Catholic peasants in the early days loved their smaller saints.

The Big and the Small in the Outdoors

I sat on my rocky ridge and looked down on the main dirt road coming into the recreation area. There was a half dozen runners coming uphill. Tall, tan, and quite fast. Why wasn't it easier to admire them? After all, I had done a little bit of running in my life. That should have made it easier to appreciate these runners.

A raven glided by, just about at my altitude. He was playing with ridge lift, to parallel the rocky ridge, without much effort. The human runners were completely forgotten, but I couldn't get my eye off the ridge-running raven. The muscles in my chest started to feel tired.

Sometimes inanimate objects grab the eye, such as the rocky islands set amidst the 'sagebrush sea,' around here. Yes, I know: the land use agency needs a new prose stylist. 'Sagebrush sea' has become a cliche.

But the cliche starts to inspire when I look at the little rocky islands, so forlorn and lonely, set in the middle of t…