Monday, September 2, 2013

On Babble Mountain

When I was younger, if I saw something that really fascinated me, I just had to share it. If the "thing" had a fee attached and the person I wanted to share it with couldn't or even wouldn't pay it, I would. I would provide transport, I would do almost anything to "give" my experience to another human, presuming, and no doubt "hoping" they would be moved just as I was by the adventure.

I use the phrase "when I was younger", but honestly it's never stopped. While I've become more reclusive at times over the years since my 20s, I've always had this great "need" to "bestow cool stuff" to others.

This is why I write, why I post in public, why I give away what many would counsel me to monetize (probably rightfully so).

I have these visuals in my head, pictures, paintings, what have you that have imbedded themselves into a part of my brain I call the Rolodex. Anytime I'm not forced to concentrate on something, like driving or working with knives in dinner's preparation, the Rolodex is flipping and I'm transported to, say Northern Arizona at the crest of the Tonto National Forest, or into the second floor bedroom of my great grandparent's home, or under the water of the great Salmon river as I'm being bashed against the rocks again and again.

Sure, everyone has experiences and most of mine are nothing special, but some are, or at least seem to be to me. I've known for decades that I had the ability to pen rhyming nonsense but not since I was in high school had I tried to translate the images I'd see when I closed my eyes. It was an epiphany; one day I was prodded to explain something in detail, and I jotted down what I knew. But being aware that I am prone to speak as an "insider", as if everyone understands "X" in the same way I do, I spent more time making the piece as visual as possible so as to make mud, clear as a mountain stream. I succeeded, and I marveled at how well I'd painted that picture. I had a talent apparently, and I knew just what I could use it on.

All that crap that was in my Rolodex, that just kept distracting me day after day, that was pretty fascinating to me and so, might be to others but had never seen the light of day for wont of a transportation device, had just found a clown car to ride in. I could actually share what I'd seen, what I'd lived, who I'd loved with as many people as might be remotely interested. And lo and behold there have been a few; a dozen or so I spose, maybe a few more, but real living, breathing human beings.

So I translated pictures into words and that got me to translate pictures into rhymey words and that got me to dream some weird pictures and translate them and, on and on it went.

This is where it feels like I've said this before, because it's a little deja vu-ish.

I was once on a solo motorcycle excursion, riding south to see my "old man" who'd moved 1500 miles from me. It was cold, like 40 degrees cold in the mountains, so I'd stop for a hot beverage whenever I felt hypothermic.

I happened upon this spot in mid-Colorado that was mostly high desert, but for one huge stone explosion; as if the earth's core had been chewing on this fried chicken meal and suddenly he hit this granite bone a few dozen miles across and a mile deep, and he broke a tooth on it, and that pissed him off so much that he took that giant granite chicken bone shard and he THRUST the damn thing up over his head and right through the earth's crust... where I was waiting to have something to stare at in awe while I drank some lukewarm but perfectly shitty convenience store coffee.

And as I stared at the thing and held my breath for about a month, I thought. DAMMIT!!! I WISH I had someone to share this with!!!! That's what the writing thing is about.

As for the commercial aspect, I care about money; I'm just irresponsible enough that I don't let it drive me, even though I'm now a prideless member of the poverty patrol. I did write good stuff when I wrote lyric on demand, but it was not "important stuff", "meaningful stuff". It was as shallow as a baby's bathtub, I could have taught a monkey to do what I did. In fact I'm not sure why no one tried that idea so they could lower their overhead by a few thousand bananas per song. Beyond that I must admit I hate failure. I can't even get the majority of my family and friends to be interested in what I'm doing here, I honestly can't envision turning writing into a career.

So that's the deal. I'm showing you a slide show of my summer vacation. I'm sticking my favorite drawings all over your refrigerator. I'm sharing what I've been witness to, both the amazingly beautiful and the maliciously ugly; because everything is more enlightening, more uplifting, more deeply experienced, when it's shared.

So says the Rongod, King of Babble Mountain.

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