The Artwork of Michael Divine

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A Vacation of Sorts

July 31st, 2007

Sitting in hot springs at in the early morning sun, drinking tea and feeling myself release into miles away. Dunking into the cold rushing river and then reclining then back into the heat. Millions of particles of mental acquisition suddenly and with great force get blown away by the great shiver which runs through the body as sinking into the tub turns into full submersion.

After a time a few other people arrive and break some of the reverie of quiet solitude with river and air, rocks and heat. Two hippies, girl and boy in wavy fuzzy world. I stay in my space, a solitary tub, big enough for one person. they choose a different tub.

Another fellow shows up. Older guy. Not harming anyone. Chooses a spot. My mind starts considering leaving but it is early yet, the river and water so nice.

A short time later a tall guy shows up. Older. Tight grey mustache. Chiseled facial features but weathered. Styrofoam cup of coffee in one hand, cigarette in other. Knows other guy. Locals.

Guy going on about how he took the day off from work. Is he a fireman? What is this dream I am having? White water rafting rafter float by, ogling the naked people in the hot springs. Hippie dude gives peace symbol. Hippie girl smiles.

Eyes closing again. Difficult to keep open. To say anything. Another sip of tea.

Dude with cigarette bitching and moaning and moaning and bitching. He’d rather complain than enjoy the day. Layers to shed. Voices fading. Then arising.

Guy in hot spring tub talking to him: Yeah, you make sheds? Where do you sell them?

Oh you probably seen them at the Ace in town. Those’re my sheds.

Do you make greenhouses too?

Nah, but it’s not hard.

A greenhouse would be great. I’ve got a great garden.

With the right plans, I could make a greenhouse easy.

Well, since I retired I’ve got a wonderful garden growing. Growing my own food, no pesticides or fertilizers. It’s great. I just planted a cherry tree. You should see the amount of birds in my yard. I think I’m feeding half the birds in the county! They’re beautiful.

Yah should hang some of them spinning reflective things. It’ll scare em away.

Ah, it’s great. The garden, all the birds.

Yeah, spinning reflective things. That’ll get rid of them.

Dude never hears the bit about the birds being beautiful. Still stuck in mental anguish. Perhaps been stuck there most of his life. Makes me consider the moments I get stuck in my own mental anguish and forget about the beauty that surrounds me. The opportunities for growth, love, enlightenment, illumination.

After a bit of time, I take to leave. Wander down river a ways, climbing over rocks, taking leaps and steps like the mountain goat that, some say, is in my blood. Up and over giant boulders, marveling at tiny flowers. Laying on hot rock. More rafters. Watching eddies of water. Thinking about friend whose house burned to ground in Tahoe fires. About my sister and some of her current trials. About my fortune for bringing myself to this place. In this now.

Hungry. Turning around. Making way back along river. More leaps along boulders, over logs and mossy out-croppings, ledges of scrub and over hangings somewhat precarious but invigorating. I consider one more dip in the spring but hunger beguiles so I wind my way back to parking area up above. Eat at car and watch white mini-van with mag wheels pull in and three overweight rednecks get out, with coolers, and descend upon springs.

I decide my time here is through…

Somewhat light-headed. Driving not impossible. Turn ignition.

Winding along back road to spaced out Sun Electric. Classic album. Til I get to highway and it leaves me too slow for acceleration. Put on OK Computer and come back to life. Finally end up with DE9 Closer to the Edit (Richie Hawtin) and feel it tapping against my inner axis. Winding twisting roads through desert scrub, mountains, up up up and down down down up up down up down and out and around and flying.

Up the 395 and wondering what I’ll do before the FMG. I have more than a few hours. Hot. Dry. Maybe would like to swim. Where the hell am i anyway? Nothing for miles. Wide open Owens Valley. Til I get to Lone Pine. Stop to get gas. Looking at map. Kinda come back to life. So hot. And see: Mt. Whitney Portal.

A-ha!

So I am headed for Mt. Whitney. A left out of town at the one light and driving through martian like landscape then up up up and finally the air is getting cooler, mountains looming, trees growing, giant douglas firs, huge bark and I park at the end where dozens of campers, vacationers the like have all descended for their summer vacations. Fishing in stocked pond. Oh what they are missing as I hike up along side water fall. Giant roaring rushing snow melt waters.

I hike up trail to Lone Pine Lake which is at the edge of the wilderness area. I only have a few hours. A six mile round trip hike is good. I take pictures. I breathe deep. I relish the air and the coolness. I relish the alone time and mystical and mental acuity with which I understand these behemoths of stone. Their great grey faces. Their tall trees and delicate flowers. A marmot stares at me for a bit. I take some pictures. Never seen a marmot before.

I go higher up and finally arrive at Lake. Base of trail into higher regions. Lake is a cold mirror reflecting high up sky. Traversing around edge, dancing along rock tips onto wide open granite bald sloping down at angles I dare not test so that the world rolls away from me along wide planar rock face. A tree, alone, twists, gnarled and weathered, but golden now in the sun, it’s grain a million stories of nature and it’s love of and for itself. Stretching arms wide, sitting for a moment. Marveling. Breathing. Laughing. Smiling. This is why I came here. To be reminded. Of what, there are no words. To remember… this deeper region of me. The rocks and earth and trees and winds which are so much my soul. My spirit.

This spirit. One spirit in union with itself. Continuously. One long line of continuity. No coming or becoming. No going away. Changing but never changing. Evolving but always now. Nothing to attain and no heights to reach but always a new moment, always a new realization. This dance.

The sun lowered under the highest ridge, signaling awareness of time and daylight hours. Descending from mountain heights. Sometimes running along trail. High. Mighty. Drawn Upwards. And pulled… back downwards.

Back at car, no bears broke in (signs reading: Cars with food inside will be towed.) Eat a bit and long downward winding road rocking out and feeling alive.

Have dinner in town and then up the road, up near independence, where many of my friends, and so many others are gathering for out Full Moon union.

For the next couple of days:
long hot wonderful day of seeing old friends i’ve not seen in so long…
gorgeous sunset across the mountains and valley…
to hypnotic sounds…
late night hard raging techno…
super funky morning breaks…
and on and on and on…

The Artwork of Michael Divine

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