Tag Archives: cave art

Time is Slow-Eternity is Long



Five hundred miles later I arrived in Ajo, Arizona pitching my tent first- answering questions later.

My RV pull-through host didn’t disappoint packing a small sidearm while collecting my site use fee.

“You’ll want to pack the tent and be out of here by 8.” His tone of voice allowed me to crawl inside my own personal spaghetti western.

Sizing the hombre up I met his bid. “Partner, if I’m still here likely you best call the sheriff. Tell him another camper didn’t survive the night.”

He almost smiled, almost.

I found a town crawling with tarantulas, sun faded storefronts and bargain made in the basement tacos. I found much to recommend or not.

There exists in this frontier outpost an accelerant, a built into the equation escape velocity only to be impeded by highways blocked by checkpoints manned by Border Patrol Agents urging me to exercise my mother tongue before reluctantly waving the native born liberal mercenary through.

From the spoils of this southern quagmire I rolled into the Santa Catalina Mountains where at 8000’ I’d go hike by day and hole up in a cabin by night squaring a few circles with a stubborn yet still quirky open-minded friend.

The circumstances of my being on sabbatical and quarantine were mostly prose-induced and ‘civilization closing in on me’ fed. You heard of Eat-Sleep-Pray, this was more akin to Drink-Brag-Bray.

Fresh air and cheap whiskey possess medicinal qualities. My doctor urged me not put a lot of faith in one half of that equation.

In some quarters even possessing half a heart is better than none. I mean by shopworn insincerity you are in worse shape than me if that sorry half-heart is a winning hand.

But, whether I vent my spleen, spit out a lung, or bust my ass sometimes even the better of us mixed in with the rest of the rot have to belly up and fight off the demon slothful misery of self-pity and get back to the barricades.

If you are not feeling the vital juices of rejuvenation too damn bad, we are all on aching notice from the ticking clock that time goes slow and that soon enough we’ll all learn that eternity is long.


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Caving into Change

Primordial marbles for brains

Petroglyphs in the American Southwest, cave paintings in the South of France, the stunning piece of ochre discovered in the Blombos Caves in Africa dating back some 77,000 years suggest our ancestor’s minds had developed profound new emergent skills in both language and symbolism. It wasn’t our good looks, our sex appeal, our standing on two feet, our thumbs, but instead in the discovery of these artifacts is evidence of our greatest achievement. We celebrate celebrity, fame, wealth, sexuality, power and physical beauty. Much less attention is given to our minds, our wisdom; the power we have to solve problems. In the digital age we mark our moments here with our 0’s and 1’s in
soon to be obsolete storage devices where our ancestors etched into stone or stained onto cave walls markings that remain tens of thousands of years later articulate, evocative, revelatory examples of what concerns they faced in their brief moment of being here. Imagine being dropped off in Nevada and then marching off into the wilderness, trying to remain alive long enough to mark on stone or draw in a cave a message that might weather the onslaught of yet more tens of thousands of years and still be there for future humans to find, to discover, that might move them to wonder about the majesty of your consciousness. Our earliest ancestors are dated back by two or three million of years, but in just
the last 110,000 of those years something changed, something in our minds abilities changed. Now we can not just solve problems with our minds, but it turns out we can also make problems. This paradox has a way of capturing both our brilliance and our stupidity and the challenges we face in not just using our minds, but in changing the way we use our minds, so that we might leave to the universe through our wisdom more than what we found when we arrived.

Highway Home      The Novel

 Here swept out before Noel the boundless Great Basin Desert of the American West. Sagebrush
saturated the land. Horizons stretched wide, and the contours of ridges, rims,
and hills squatted low, shaved by ice, wind, and time. Here, east of Burns, at
first appeared wasteland and despair. It reminded Noel of how he felt within
his heart. At the same time there was a solitude to this place of a kind that
was rare.