New Music

Some recent music, delving into new music and artists, as well as favorites, including a release by Hildur Gudnadottir, one of my favorite Icelandic musicians.

  1. Seven Lions – Worlds Apart (2014)
  2. Seven Lions – The Throes of Winter (2015)
  3. Celldweller – End of an Empire (Chapter 03: Dreams) (2015)
  4. Celldweller – Transmissions: Volume 01 (2014)
  5. Porter Robinson – Worlds (2014)
  6. Hildur Gudnadottir – Saman (2014)
  7. Shigeto – No Better Time Than Now (2013)
  8. Eraldo Bernocchi, Harold Budd, Robin Guthrie – Winter Garden (2011)
  9. Animattronic – Pirates of the Galaxy (2015)

Poem – The Mountains Voice We See and Do Not Hear

Mountain of snow against the darkening sky drifts from vision and becomes the lost peak of legend.

Mountain shadow swallows the valley, consuming trees and river, the last drops of light.

What secrets does the mountain take from the day into the night?

When the ravens fall silent, when the wind scatters, returning to its mysterious beginning, the mountain voice emerges from cracks and fissures, from the very earth that turns raw molten materials into the giants reaching to the heavens.

An ancient voice calls across time in the space we cannot hear, in the dreams we see when we reach beyond the death zone and what we think becomes irrelevant and what we desire spiritually, the things that have no name, become tangible, become the vision floating across the horizon.

The Dream That is the Big Lake

Testing out some new gear and setting up a tent in preparation for the next trip to Alaska.  Of course, being on the big lake and my need to be close to the water, I always get wet and nothing like the sun to take care of the drying.

Another beautiful fall day on the lake with constant waves crashing on the pebble and rocky shoreline. We spent hours combing for rocks to take home. In the end it usually turns into a competition for the largest agate. I am on a 3-year losing streak for that one.

Time always seems to slip by quickly and before we know it we emerge from the dream here and it is time to return home. On the last evening, we made a bonfire under the blanket of stars and paid homage to nature and all of its wonders.

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Poem – Random Thoughts #2

Oak holds up the changing sky.

What is beyond insanity?
At what point do we lose
the essence of self, cascading
into another state of being,
plunged into the darkness
that is nothing and

And with each turn
the city of industry
hides, changes, destroys
what I previously knew
and where I came from.

Poem – Deconstructed, part 1

The sea laps at empty

Rocks cast empty shadows.

Tree leaves fall through empty space.

Ground swells erupt across empty fields.

The faceless moon speaks of empty origins
the billion year story.

Wheat and corn stalks gather snow flakes
from an empty blue sky.

Where is this?

A cylindrical vessel floats off
the coast hitting a large rock with
each rolling wave.

The size of a city bus
I see the setting sun
through the other side.

And nothing within.
No seat, no lights, no buttons –
no one.

The surface feels like glass
or carbon fiber.

Warm to the touch, it is
silent and still.

Further out basking
in the rising sun’s light path
pink cubes rest just
above the surface.

I look around, down the coast,
up the path, at the ground beneath
my feet.

Is this a dream?

Dream or reality

Dream or reality?

Dreams: Our Reality

Dreams: Path or Reality

What will it take to trust this path? How many more years will I take the steps carefully, always watchful, before I finally give in and trust, not only this direction, but more importantly, myself?

Dreams far beyond my physical reach are an integral part of each day. I have read many adventure and outdoor books about expeditions to every corner of this world, but what captivates my attention more than anything, are snow covered peaks – above tree-lines with a reduced level of oxygen dotting the globe and touching heaven, while overlooking snow filled valleys and glaciers.

Reinhold Messner  is a fascinating character and legend in mountain climbing with a few records in his honor, and many firsts (first to summit all fourteen 8000 meter peaks, and the first to climb Mt Everest solo without oxygen). He has written extensively about these almost unbelievable feats and the accompanying visions in several books: in very poetic language filled with images and brutal honesty, each step taken on the way to summit Mt. Everest is told with amazing detail and candor in “The Crystal Horizon”. What Reinhold accomplishes is for him, as he pushes through many obstacles, but with the goal and dream within his reach, he will do whatever it takes to reach them.

Lofty goals and dreams are vital to the human spirit, as they grant us a sense of purpose and when we find ourselves stuck and mired with emotional baggage and the weight of the life we are living at that moment, they give a reasons to get up each day. We have more energy and a clearer head to face the oncoming events, regardless of what happened to get us to that moment.

At some point, the dreams and all the energy they require and consume, will have to be released in one of two ways: 1) in the direction that pushes the dreamer into a new reality, or 2) pushes dreams into the minds archive to redefine the current reality.

I dream to summit a couple of the highest peaks – Mt. Elbrus, Mt. Rainier, Mt Kilimanjaro – but I recently let go of my dream to scale Mt Everest physically. That has not dampened any of my spirit, and I am still jazzed by real stories and people setting off on an expedition, and intrigued by the brutal environment, mystery, and tragedy. By letting this one go, it has allowed me to refocus and move the energy elsewhere, into other dreams and projects.

At this moment I hear, see, and feel the distant traffic as a rushing, swollen, and murky Alaskan river.

As years pass and I become more aware of my true passions, I have to keep in mind the reality I have already chosen, stemming from my decisions and experience. I have no energy left for some paths. They have become dead-ends after transforming and merging with other dreams. Besides learning about Reinhold Messner, I have taken the formed images from my mind and created pieces and essays about the spiritual and mythical landscapes surrounding mountain peaks, here and elsewhere. If I cannot get to them, I will bring them to me.

There is something spiritual about winter in general, and snow and cold specifically. The air is singular, full of meaning, simple, known, with no mysteries or things hiding – just answers and questions to the questions and answers that you already have. The suns light is magnified and blinding, and we retreat inward for warmth. The challenge is opening yourself up, and becoming ready what waits.

Winter is the season of awareness as we become more dependent on what we carry, the tools and resources we are born with and have been developing. From this space of knowing we can manage what is outside of us.

Late in the evening and what was a struggle to write, and the intention of this essay, has become a bit of soul searching about dreams and the path created and the path taken. While listening to Alva Noto, I let myself slip away so I may get out of my own way, and allow an honest assessment of my actions, thoughts, inward and outward energy and the place within this.

Dreams are an integral part of growing spiritually as an individual and within a community. What is a community in this context? A community consists of other things, people, in a person’s sphere of influence; obviously family and parents are included, but also people we may meet at the grocery store, in the coffee line at Starbucks, or in passing on a freeway. The more interaction of two bodies, no matter the distance, the more they will exert some influence on each other. So, our dreams and the energy we expend affects ourselves and the community; a neighborhood, city, state, country, global, or the universe as a whole, this and others we have not seen yet.

Alva Noto becomes BioSphere and I trace contoured lines on a map of Alaska and concentrate on lands north of the Arctic Circle. This dream of years ago became reality and changed the path I walk forever. Not a day goes by that I do not feel the land, or taste the sea.

Find, define, and chase the dreams you can and they become passions for life, forever altering your reality and existence. The dreams we cannot or choose to not pursue blend with this reality and provide creative juice and an opportunity to learn more, expand our consciousness, and then they will come to life through thoughts and writings.

The perfect saying here, for writers and the way to improve our work, is to write what you know. Even if a piece is fiction, knowledge of your subject matter, real landscapes, for example, add authenticity to writing and credibility to the writer. Your audience can taste the dirt, feel the salt water burning open eyes, or see the glorious setting sun from across the sea.

Reading an unrelated news article, and a photo of a mountain catches my wandering eye. I am quickly taken from here, beyond the city of industry, and transplanted upon its peak, and given an opportunity to experience one of nature’s gifts.  It has taken me some time to be at peace with having to let one dream go, but with this open mindedness, and self-awareness, another has quickly taken its place.

In the end, each person’s reality is defined by choices, experience, dreams, passions, and learning to balance all of these, and make the life that works for us, within the community we have chosen to live within.

Poem – Black Horse

In scattered dreams I am
Visited at sunrise
Across the sea
By the black horse
Of myths and legend.

Appearing from nowhere
It arrives everywhere
The echo of heavy hoofs
Filling the woodlands.

Its presence intimidating
Its stare daunting, until
You approach and this
Gift from god bows
Its head at your touch.

Poem – Recurring Dream

This poem was started after a friend of mine lost his life in the Boundary Waters of northern, MN a few years ago. Since then, it has taken a more internal tone as we look to ourselves and examine what is within.

A spirit enters the café
The mind of nature, of being
Walked through the door
Peace overcomes wayward thought

That which we dreamed of comes
True in the moment of truth
Of whom we think we are and our natural
Stripped-selves, naked in the night

A window

What is truth? In whose eyes
Is the truth defined?

The door closes
Sprawled upon concrete, shattered, torn
Million little pieces strewn forth
The fractures indistinguishable from another
A puzzle with no directions
Black upon black with crimson streaks
A laugh emerges from the depths


When disconnected
Forced into our own space
What thoughts pass?
What electrical impulses fire and where does this take us?

Forced to look within when asked the
Hard questions, the basic motivation behind everything

Even in the dark hours each crevasse has a bottom
Questioning how long it will take to reach

When fractured, what is left behind?

Dreams, part 1

I do not often remember dreams, but when the occasion presents itself, they are one of two things: a repeat of a previous dream from years ago, or something freaky or scary.  This morning’s dream involved one of the creatures from either Predator or Pitch Black.  It was dark on some desolate planet.  Three of us emerged from a building and ventured away from the lights in search of what was causing screeching sounds.  The other two people continued into the void and left me there, searching for something else.  I saw something move and I fired small grenades, continuously.  I realized that something was after my dog Leroy, and this further elevated my emotions.  I then felt a larger presence surrounding me, and woke up yelling help.

Maybe I should have no more caffeine after 8:00 PM.

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