Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Personal View Of Winter

In 1983 the college newspaper accepted one of my journal articles on winter camping and I include it here:

"Can I handle a mild winter? To float in Chetola winter winds while most others remain in their homes near their hearths eating comfort(which melts)on a stick. Me? I've been through this: to walk on a mountain snowscape alone making trails through the woods while the others sit sippin' black crude through their pores, crying "We got to keep warm! We can't face the harsh cold!" Yet the true winter wilderness lives in their hearts and flows through their hands and into their homes and out to the streets where crude Middle East warmth becomes war, a war waged with self and a wind called the Wakan, their destiny's only debasement, defeat."

"Me, I've been through this once and have seen this stuff once and have drowned in my own waste and in others'. I have suffocated in red mud for a heat called warmth(make me secure, afraid of myself, all alone), but I'm younger now and I can't plead to ease up, to be gone. So I embrace the wind, the absurd, the broken hearts, the cold, and learn to live with my lessons. A student learns from his teacher and moves on. To observe is to learn. To surrender is to learn. To listen is to learn."

"But it can't happen here. They have got hands with long fingers squeezing the juice from their own fruit and draining themselves before rushing outloud through the darkness into the night, begging till the final hour for relief. But the Black only laughs without mercy for them. Me, I've been through this before and I know how the darkness confuses, know how the Shroud of Panic moves, know how to fall on my knees more than once kissing the Night, kissing surrender, admitting debasement, defeat."

"It has happened here, but the warrior moves on after learning and surviving the blows of his teachers. To give up is death. To argue is foolish. To escape is impossible. To confront is to live."

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