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Relay For Life will open with cancer survivors of all ages walking the first lap around the track. Survivors may then invite their caregivers to walk with them to thank them for all they have done. Awards will be given to the oldest, college choice, and people choice for the cars, and first and second place best paint for motorcycles. Following the opening ceremony the committee invites all who attend to stay and enjoy the day.
Entertainment will be held all day and evening with the following scheduled to take place: Randy Hulse Band of One from p. In addition, Relay For Life teams will have fundraisers lining the track. People can purchase raffle tickets, baked goods, bracelets, food, a chance to ride a mechanical bull, cancer awareness items, face painting and other activities. Vendors will also be selling items. A hairdresser will be set up in the education tent beginning at noon for anyone who wants to donate eight inches or more of hair.
Hair must be clean and dry and made into multiple ponytails. A highlight of the evening will be the luminaria service, a candlelight vigil held at p. People may purchase luminarias until 5 p.
For more information, visit www. Delaware Opportunities Inc. It is important to remember that Delaware Opportunities does not open until 8 a. The distribution will take place in the parking lot behind Delaware Opportunities headquarters located at State Highway 10 in Hamden. The type of food available will not be known until the day of distribution. Proof of income is not required ; however, information on the number of children and adults in each household receiving donated food will be requested.
Households must appear in person to receive food. No notes will be accepted for this distribution. This distribution is limited to Delaware County residents. People should dress for the weather as there is no indoor space available for those waiting for food. The store is owned by and operates under the auspices of BHS. The organization seeks a candidate who can articulate—via a written business plan—a vision for the store that is creative, ambitious, and realistic. A candidate must also demonstrate conscientiousness in the financial responsibilities of running a business.
Not least, a viable candidate must be the kind of person who enjoys being involved in, and contributing to, the wholesome spirit of a town like Bovina. Many patrons have likened visiting it to stepping into a Norman Rockwell painting. Individuals who are interested should contact Briana Riera at bovinahistoricalsociety gmail. By Rosie Cunningham The opportunity began with a letter. DuMond, he made his first arSee On Patrol page 7 rest.
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After 47 years in radio, Galley announced his plans to retire on Nov. He will miss the excitement, the unexpected nature of not knowing what someone is going to say and the ever-changing nature of the profession. One thing that has not changed since he entered the studio in , is his work ethic, his values and his respect for people. The key to his longevity in the profession, he said, is his passion for the work.
He got comfortable, he. There is not a lot of money to be made as a program host in small, local radio. In addition to his on-air job, he works for The Arc of Delaware County, as a custodian at the United Presbyterian Church in Walton and as a freelance writer. Complaints from Galley are non-existent. He is a devote parishioner, deeply grounded in his faith; which, he said, has been a guiding force in his life. There have been innovations.
Gone are the days of playing music on turntables - there used to be three in the studio - with vinyl records. It was their best finish at the NY State Championships since The boys also finished third as a team, which was their best final placing in the history of Delhi Cross Country, which stretches back to the s. While we struggled some with serving, especially in the first game, overall we played well. Erica Selfridge tallied three aces, seven assists and an impressive match-high, 12 kills.
Last year the volleyball team earned B-G their first state championship. This win was important in preparing us for this coming weekend. They are all a little nervous for next weekend and eager to perfect things they might be struggling with. Tomorrow we travel to Owego to scrimmage. They won the Class B state tournament last year when we won Class D. Lakeland is the nine-time defending state champion and the Crimson Knights held their own.
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We welcome all who knit, crochet, quilt, do needlepoint, tatting, crewel, embroidery, etc. We will offer help and encouragement while you work on your own projects. Community welcome. Walton Lighthouse Assembly. Morning refreshments provided, but bring your own lunch. We are a group of community members, both men and women, who meet for service to the community and fellowship. Route 23, Harpersfield NY. Andes Public Library. Dish to pass dinner, followed by dancing to DJ or live band. Sidney VFW. For more information, contact Grant LaBarr glabarr stny.
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I rousted about and got a lot of little pieces of wood to make kindling for the fire and then I went around gathering bigger pieces and finally I was hunting out huge logs, easy to find all over the place. We had a fire that Morley must have seen from five miles away, except we were way up behind the cliff face, cut off from his view.
It cast mighty blasts of heat against our cliff, the cliff absorbed it and threw it back, we were in a hot room except that the ends of our noses were nippy from sticking them out of that area to get firewood and water. Japhy put the bulgur in the pot with water and started. He also brewed a fresh pot of tea.
Then he whipped out his double set of chopsticks and pretty soon we had our supper ready and laughed over it. It was the most delicious supper of all time. Up out of the orange glow of our fire you could see immense systems of uncountable stars, either as individual blazers, or in low Venus droppers, or vast Milky Ways incommensurate with human understanding, all cold, blue, silver, but our food and our fire was pink and goodies.
Gospel: Essays for a Sacred Secular World
And true to what Japhy had predicted, I had absolutely not a jot of appetite for alco- hol, I'd forgotten all about it, the altitude was too high, the ex- ercise too heavy, the air too brisk, the air itself was enough to get your drunk ass drunk. It was a tremendous supper, food is always better eaten in doleful little pinchfuls off the ends of chopsticks, no gobbling, the reason why Darwin's law of sur-vival applies best to China: if you don't know how to handle a chopstick and stick it in that family pot with the best of 'em, you'll starve. I ended up flupping it all up with my forefinger anyhow.
Supper done, Japhy assiduously got to scraping the pots with a wire scraper and got me to bring water, which I did dipping a leftover can from other campers into the fire pool of stars, and came back with a snowball to boot, and Japhy washed the dishes in preboiled water. I don't feel like takin out my star map and seein what the lay of the pack is tonight. That houndsapack up there more un- countable than all your favorite Surangamy sutries, boy. You know what I like about you, Ray, you've woke me up to the true language of this country which is the language of the working men, railroad men, loggers.
D'yever hear them guys talk? I had a guy, an oil rig driver, truck, picked me up in Houston Texas one night round about midnight after some little faggot who owned some motel courts called of all things and rather appropriately my dear, Dandy Courts, had left me off and said if you can't get a ride come on in sleep on my floor, so I wait about an hour in the empty road and here comes this rig and it's driven by a Cherokee he said he was but his name was Johnson or Ally Reynolds or some damn thing and as he talked starting in with a speech like 'Well boy I left my mammy's cabin before you knew the smell of the river and came west to drive myself mad in the East Texas oilfield' and all kinds of rhythmic talk and with every bang of rhythm he'd ram at his clutch and his various gears and pop up the truck and had her roaring down the road about seventy miles an hour with momentum only when his story got rolling with him, magnificent, that's what I call poetry.
You oughta hear old Burnie Byers talk up that talk up in the Skagit country, Ray you just gotta go up there. Japhy, kneeling there studying his star map, leaning for- ward slightly to peek up through the overhanging gnarled old rock country trees, with his goatee and all, looked, with that mighty grawfaced rock behind him, like, exactly like the vision I had of the old Zen Masters of China out in the wilderness. He was leaning forward on his knees, upward looking, as if with a holy sutra in his hands.
Pretty soon he went to the snowbank and brought back the chocolate pudding which was now ice cold and absolutely delicious beyond words. We ate it all up. For a while I went on a little walk by myself, out by the shallow iced creek, and sat meditat ing against a stump of dirt and the huge mountain walls on both sides of our valley were silent masses.
Too cold to do this more than a minute. As I came back our orange fire casting its glow on the big rock, and Japhy kneeling and peering up at the sky, and all of it ten thousand feet above the gnashing world, was a picture of peace and good sense. There was an- other aspect of Japhy that amazed me: his tremendous and tender sense of charity. He was always giving things, always practicing what the Buddhists call the Paramita of Dana, the perfection of charity.
Now when I came back and sat down by the fire he said "Well Smith it's about time you owned a set of juju beads you can have these," and he handed me the brown wood beads run together over a strong string with the string, black. Smith that prayer you gave me tonight is worth that set of juju beads, but you can have it anyway. Then when he laid boughs over the rock of our clearing and the poncho over that he made sure his sleeping bag was far- ther away from the fire than mine so I would sure to be warm.
He was always practicing charity. In fact he taught me, and a week later I was giving him nice new undershirts I'd dis-covered in the Goodwill store. He'd turn right around and make me a gift of a plastic container to keep food in. For a joke I'd give him a gift of a huge flower from Alvah's yard.
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Solemnly a day later he'd bring me a little bouquet of flowers picked in the street plots of Berkeley. We rolled into our sleeping bags, it was freezing cold now, about eleven o'clock, and talked a while more before one of us just didn't answer from the pillow and pretty soon we were asleep. While he snored I woke up and just lay flat back with my eyes to the stars and thanked God I'd come on this moun-. My legs felt better, my whole body felt strong. The crack of the dying logs was like Japhy making little com- ments on my happiness.
I looked at him, his head was buried way under inside his duck-down bag. His little huddled form was the only thing I could see for miles of darkness that was so packed and concentrated with eager desire to be good. I thought, "What a strange thing is man. This poor kid ten years younger than I am is making me look like a fool forgetting all the ideals and joys I knew before, in my recent years of drinking and disappointment, what does he care if he hasn't got any money: he doesn't need any money, all he needs is his rucksack with those little plastic bags of dried food and a good pair of shoes and off he goes and enjoys the privileges of a millionaire in surroundings like this.
And what gouty millionaire could get up this rock anyhow? It took us all day to climb. My breath was coming out in steams. I rolled over to the other ribs and slept more: my dreams were pure cold dreams like ice water, happy dreams, no nightmares. When I woke up again and the sunlight was a pristine orange pouring through the crags to the east and down through our fragrant pine boughs, I felt like I did when I was a boy and it was time to get up and go play all day Saturday, in overalls.
Japhy was already up singing and blowing on his hands at a. White frost was on the ground. He rushed out a way and yelled out "Yodelayhee" and by God we heard it come right back at us from Morley, closer than the night before. Wake up Smith and have a hot cupa tea, do you good! The shallow creek was iced over except in the middle where a rill of gurgles rolled like tinkly tinkly.
I fell down on my belly and took a deep drink,'wetting my face. There's no feeling in the world like washing your face in cold water on a mountain morning. Then I went back and Japhy was heating up the remains of last night's supper and it was still good. Then we went out on the edge of the cliff and Hooed at Morley, and suddenly we could see him, a tiny figure two miles down the valley of boulders moving like a little animate being in the immense void.
In about two hours Morley was within talking distance of us and started right in talking as he negotiated the final boulders, to where we were sitting in the now warm sun on a rock wait- ing. You think they'll in- vestigate the source of that recent trouble in the Mid-East, or learn appreciate coffee better. I should think with a couple of literary gentlemen like you two they should learn to mind their manners. At about noon we started out, leaving our big packs at the camp where nobody was likely to be till next year any- way, and went up the scree valley with just some food and first-aid kits.
The valley was longer than it looked. In no time at all it was two o'clock in the afternoon and the sun was get- ting that later more golden look and a wind was rising and I began to think "By gosh how we ever gonna climb that moun-tain, tonight? I put it up to Japhy who said: "You're right, we'll have to hurry.
And at the top end it got very steep and I began to be a little afraid of falling down, the rocks were small and it got slippery and my ankles were in pain from yesterday's muscle strain any-way. But Morley kept walking and talking and I noticed his tremendous endurance. Japhy took his pants off so he could. Morley came second, about fifty yards ahead of me all the way. I was in no hurry. Then as it got later afternoon I went faster and decided to pass Morley and join Japhy. Now we were at about eleven thousand feet and it was cold and there was a lot of snow and to the east we could see immense snowcapped ranges and whooee levels of valleyland below them, we were already practically on top of California.
At one point I had to scramble, like the others, on a narrow ledge, around a butte of rock, and it really scared me: the fall was a hundred feet, enough to break your neck, with another little ledge letting you bounce a minute preparatory to a nice goodbye one-thousand-foot drop. The wind was whipping now. Yet that whole afternoon, even more than the other, was filled with old premonitions or memories, as though I'd been there before, scrambling on these rocks, for other purposes more ancient, more serious, more simple.
We finally got to the foot of Matterhorn where there was a most beautiful small lake unknown to the eyes of most men in this world, seen by only a handful of mountain-climbers, a small lake at eleven thousand some odd feet with snow on the edges of it and beautiful flowers and a beautiful meadow, an alpine meadow, flat and dreamy, upon which I im- mediately threw myself and took my shoes off.
Japhy'd been there a half-hour when I made it, and it was cold now and his clothes were on again. Morley came up behind us smiling. We sat there looking up at the imminent steep scree slope of the final crag of Matterhorn. Do you realize that's a thousand feet more? I'll wait here. Japhy took a small pack of peanuts and raisins and said "This'll be our gasoline, boy. You ready Ray to make a dou- ble-time run? What would I say to the boys in The Place if I came all this way only to give up at the last minute? Scree is long landslides of rocks and sand, very difficult to scramble through, always little avalanches going on.
At every few steps we took it seemed we were going higher and higher on a terrifying el-evator, I gulped when I turned around to look back and see all of the state of California it would seem stretching out in three. It was terrifying to look down and see Morley a dreaming spot by the little lake waiting for us. I now began to be afraid to go any higher from sheer fear of being too high. I began to be afraid of being blown away by the wind. Also with every twenty steps we took upward we both became completely exhausted. Then sat down again, panting, sweating in the cold wind, high on top of the world our noses sniffling like the noses of little boys playing late Saturday afternoon their final little games in winter.
Now the wind began to howl like the wind in movies about the Shroud of Tibet. The steepness began to be too much for me; I was afraid now to look back any more; I peeked: I couldn't even make out Morley by the tiny lake. It was right there, I'd be there in five minutes. I didn't believe it. In five minutes of scrambling angrily upward I fell down and looked up and it was still just as far away.
What I didn't like about that peak-top was that the clouds of all the world were blowing right through it like fog. He didn't sit down any more. Soon he was a whole football field, a hundred yards ahead of me, getting smaller. I looked back and like Lot's wife that did it. He didn't hear me. I raced a few more feet up and fell exhausted on my belly, slipping back just a little.
I was really scared. Supposing I'd start to slip back for good, these screes might start sliding any time anyway.
That damn moun-tain goat Japhy, I could see him jumping through the foggy air up ahead from rock to rock, up, up, just the flash of his boot bottoms. Finally I came to a kind of ledge where I could sit at a level angle instead of having to cling not to slip, and I nudged my whole body inside the ledge just to hold me there tight, so the wind would not dislodge me, and I looked down and around and I had had it.
Another Visit with John Burroughs at Slabsides | Bruce Byers Consulting
I only got a hundred feet to go! It's too high! He said nothing and went on. I saw him collapse and pant and get up and make his run again. I nudged myself closer into the ledge and closed my eyes and thought "Oh what a life this is, why do we have to be born in the first place, and only so we can have our poor gentle flesh laid out to such impossible horrors as huge mountains and rock and empty space," and with horror I remembered the famous Zen saying, "When you get to the top of a moun-.
Now it was enough to make my heart pound and my heart bleed for being born at all. Well this old philosopher is staying right here," and I closed my eyes. It was funny, too, up here on the not-so-funny top of Cal-ifornia and in all that rushing fog. But I had to hand it to him, the guts, the endurance, the sweat, and now the crazy human singing: whipped cream on top of ice cream. I didn't have enough strength to answer his yodel. He ran around up there and went out of sight to investigate the little flat top of some kind he said that ran a few feet west and then dropped sheer back down maybe as far as I care to the sawdust floors of Virginia City.
It was insane. I could hear him yelling at me but I just nudged farther in my protective nook, trembling. I looked down at the small lake where Morley was lying on his back with a blade of grass in his mouth and said out loud "Now there's the karma of these three men here: Japhy Ryder gets to his triumphant mountaintop and makes it, I almost make it and have to give up and huddle in a bloody cave, but the smartest of them all is that poet's poet lyin down there with his knees crossed to the sky chewing on a flower dreaming by a gurgling plage, goddammit they'll never get me up here again.
I really was amazed by the wisdom of Morley now: "Him with all his goddamn pictures of snowcapped Swiss Alps" I thought. In fact with one of my greatest leaps and loudest screams of joy I came flying right down to the. Japhy was already taking his shoes off and pouring sand and pebbles out. It was great. I took off my sneakers and poured out a couple of buckets of lava dust and said "Ah Japhy you taught me the final lesson of them all, you can't fall off a mountain.
I wish I'd a had a tape recorder to take it down. But when I looked up and saw you running down that mountain I suddenly understood everything. Now I'm ashamed of myself because now that I know how to come down a moun- tain I know how to go up and that I can't fall off, but now. Do you realize that this is the first time you've been mountainclimbin and you left old veteran Morley here way behind you? I was a Tiger. Now when I went around that ledge that had scared me it was just fun and a lark, I just skipped and jumped and danced along and I had really learned that you can't fall off a mountain.
Whether you can fall off a mountain or not I don't know, but I had learned that you can't. That was the way it struck me. It was a joy, though, to get down into the valley and lose sight of all that open sky space underneath everything and finally, as it got graying five o'clock, about a hundred yards from the other boys and walking alone, to just pick my way singing and thinking along the little black cruds of a deer trail through the rocks, no call to think or look ahead or worry, just follow the little balls of deer crud with your eyes cast down and enjoy life.
At one point I looked and saw crazy Japhy who'd climbed for fun to the top of a snow slope and skied right down to the bottom, about a hundred yards, on his boots and the final few yards on his back, yippeeing and glad. Not only that but he'd taken off his pants again and wrapped them around his neck. This pants bit of his was simply he said for comfort, which is true, besides nobody around to see him anyway, though I figured that when he went mountainclimb-. I could hear Morley talking to him in the great lonely valley: even across the rocks you could tell it was his voice. Finally I fol- lowed my deer trail so assiduously I was by myself going along ridges and down across creekbottoms completely out of sight of them, though I could hear them, but I trusted the instinct of my sweet little millennial deer and true enough, just as it was getting dark their ancient trail took me right to the edges of the familiar shallow creek where they stopped to drink for the last five thousand years and there was the glow of Japhy's bonfire making the side of the big rock orange and gay.
The moon was bright high in the sky. We ate a little and drank a lot of tea and arranged all our stuff. I had never had a happier moment in my life than those lonely moments coming down that little deer trace and when we hiked off with our packs I turned to take a final look up that way, it was dark now, hoping to see a few dear little deer, nothing in sight, and I thanked everything up that way.
We got to the cliff and started down the five-mile valley of boulders, in clear moonlight now, it was quite easy to dance down from boulder to boulder, the boulders were snow white, with patches of deep black shadow. Everything was cleanly whitely beautiful in the moonlight. Sometimes you could see the silver flash of the creek. Far down were the pines of the meadow park and the pool of the pond.
At this point my feet were unable to go on. I called Japhy and apologized. I couldn't take any more jumps. There were blisters not only on the bottoms but on the sides of my feet, from there having been no protection all yesterday and today. So Japhy swapped and let me wear his boots. With these big lightweight protective boots on I knew I could go on fine.
It was a great new feeling to be able to jump from rock to rock without having to feel the pain through the thin sneakers. On the other hand, for Japhy, it was also a relief to be suddenly lightfooted and he enjoyed it. We made double-time down the valley. But every step was getting us bent, now, we were all really tired. With the heavy packs it was difficult to control those thigh muscles that you need to go down a mountain, which is sometimes harder than going up.
And there were all those boulders to surmount, for some- times we'd be walking in sand awhile and our path would be blocked by boulders and we had to climb them and jump from one to the other then suddenly no more boulders and we had to jump down to the sand. Then we'd be trapped in impassable thickets and had to go around them or try to crash through and sometimes I'd get stuck in a thicket with my ruck- sack, standing there cursing in the impossible moonlight. I was angry too because Japhy and Morley were afraid to stop and rest, they said it was dangerous at this point to stop.
My legs can't take it. But they never rested long enough to suit me and it seemed to me they were getting hysterical. I even began to curse them and at one point I even gave Japhy hell: "What's the sense of killing yourself like this, you call this fun? A little weariness'll change a lot of things. Eternities of moonlight rock and thickets and boulders and ducks and that horrifying valley with the two rim walls and finally it seemed we were almost out of there, but nope, not quite yet, and my legs screaming to stop, and me cursing and smashing at twigs and throwing myself on the ground to rest a minute.
But I have joy. When we got to the alpine meadow I stretched out on my belly and drank water and enjoyed myself peacefully in silence while they talked and worried about getting down the rest of the trail in time. Drink some water and lie down here for about five even ten minutes, everything takes care of itself. In fact Japhy agreed with me and we rested peacefully. That good long rest assured my bones I could make it down to the lake okay.
The moonlight poured through thick foliage and made dapples on the backs of Morley and Japhy as they walked in front of me. With our packs we got into a good rhythmic walk and enjoying going "Hup hup" as we came to switchbacks and swiveled around, always down, down, the pleasant downgoing swinging rhythm trail. And that roar- ing creek was a beauty by moonlight, those flashes of flying moon water, that snow white foam, those black-as-pitch trees, regular elfin paradises of shadow and moon.
The air began to get warmer and nicer and in fact I thought I could begin to smell people again. We could smell the nice raunchy tide- smell of the lake water, and flowers, and softer dust of down below. Everything up there had smelled of ice and snow and heartless spine rock. Here there was the smell of sun-heated wood, sunny dust resting in the moonlight, lake mud, flowers, straw, all those good things of the earth.
The trail was fun coming down and yet at one point I was as tired as ever, more than in that endless valley of boulders, but you could see the lake lodge down below now, a sweet little lamp of light and so it didn't matter. Morley and Japhy were talking a blue streak and all we had to do was roll on down to the car. In fact suddenly, as in a happy dream, with the suddenness of waking up from an endless nightmare and it's all over, we were striding across the road and there were houses and there were automobiles parked under trees and Morley's car was sitting right there.
But we didn't care. We were famished. I said "Let's go to Bridgeport and go in one of those lunchcarts there boy and eat hamburg and potatoes and hot coffee. Poor Japhy, it was here finally I found out his Achilles heel. This little tough guy who wasn't afraid of anything and could ramble around mountains for weeks alone and run down mountains, was afraid of going into a restaurant because the people in it were too well dressed.
Morley and I laughed and said "What's the difference? We'll just go in and eat. We went in there and it was a desultory place with lazy waitresses letting us sit there five minutes without even bringing a menu. I got mad and said "Let's go to that other place. What you afraid of, Japhy, what's the difference? You may know all about mountains but I know about where to eat. But he came to the other place, which was the better restaurant of the two, with a bar on one side, many hunters drinking in the dim cocktail-lounge light, and the restaurant itself a long counter and a lot of tables with whole gay families eating from a very considerable selec-tion.
The menu was huge and good: mountain trout and every- thing. Japhy, I found, was also afraid of spending ten cents more for a good dinner. I went to the bar and bought a glass of port and brought it to our stool seats at the counter Japhy:. He felt better now. What difference does it make? Comparisons are odious. I'll buy 'em. We were so honestly hungry it wasn't funny and it was honest.
After dinner we went into a liquor store where I bought a bottle of muscatel and the old proprietor and his old fat buddy looked at us and said "Where you boys been? They only stared at us, gaping. But I felt great and bought a cigar and lit up and said "Twelve thousand feet and we come down outa there with such an appetite and feelin so good that now this wine is gonna hit us just right. We were all sunburned and dirty and wildlooking, too. They didn't say anything. They thought we were crazy.
We got in the car and drove back to San Francisco drinking and laughing and telling long stories and Morley really drove beautifully that night and wheeled us silently through the graying dawn streets of Berkeley as Japhy and I slept dead to the world in the seats. At some point or other I woke up like a little child and was told I was home and staggered out of the car and went across the grass into the cottage and opened my.
When I woke up the next day the veins in my feet were all cleared. I had worked the blood clots right out of existence. I felt very happy. When I got up the next day I couldn't help smiling thinking of Japhy standing huddled in the night outside the fancy restaurant wondering if we would be let in or not. It was the first time I'd ever seen him afraid of anything. I planned to tell him about such things, that night, when he'd be coming over. But that night everything happened. First, Alvah left and went out for a few hours and I was alone reading when suddenly I heard a bike in the yard and I looked and it was.
We went down to the corner gas station pay phone, and she said she'd be home in two hours, and as we walked back along the sidewalk I put my arm around her waist but way around with my fingers digging into her belly and she said "Oooh, I. We rushed to the cottage where she spent an hour literally spinning in my arms and Alvah walked in right in the middle of our final ministra- tions of the Bodhisattva.
We took our usual bath together. It was great sitting in the hot tub chatting and soaping each other's backs. Poor Princess, she meant every word she said. I really felt good about her, and compassionate, and even warned her: "Now don't go wild and get into orgies with fifteen guys on a mountaintop. Japhy came after she left, and then Coughlin came and sud- denly we had wine a mad party began in the cottage.
It started off with Coughlin and me, drunk now, walking arm in arm down the main drag of town carrying huge, almost im-possibly huge flowers of some kind we'd found in a garden, and a new jug of wine, shouting haikus and hoos and satoris at everybody we saw in the street and everybody was smiling at us. We went to visit some professor of the English Department at U. Then barefooted with our huge flowers and jugs we went back to the cottage it was now about ten. I had just gotten some money in the mail that day, a fellowship of three hundred bucks, so I said to Japhy "Well I've learned every-thing now, I'm ready.
How about driving me to Oakland. It was a great night of talk. First Japhy started telling his later life story, like when he was a merchant seaman in New York port and went around with a dagger on his hip, , which surprised Alvah and me, and then about the girl he was in love with who lived in Cal- ifornia: "I had a hardon for her three thousand miles long, goodness! Instantly Japhy said "Great Plum Zen Master was asked what the great meaning of Buddhism was, and he said rush flowers, willow catkins, bamboo needles, linen thread, in other words hang on boy, the ecstasy's general, 's what he means, ecstasy of the mind, the world is nothing but mind and what is the mind?
The mind is nothing but the world, goddammit. Then Horse Ancestor said 'This mind is Buddha. Pain or love or danger makes you real again, ain't that right Ray like when you were scared on that ledge? They're constantly on the alert in the realness which might as well be real as un- real, what difference does it make, Diamond Sutra says 'Make no formed conceptions about the realness of existence nor about the unrealness of existence," or words like that. Hand- cuffs will get soft and billy clubs will topple over, let's go on being free anyhow.
Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to ap- pear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures, that's what I like about you Goldbook and Smith, you two guys from the East Coast which I thought was dead.
Why, do you realize the Jurassic pure granite of Sierra Nevada with the straggling high conifers of the last ice age and lakes we just saw is one of the greatest expressions on this earth, just think how truly great and wise America will be, with all this energy and exuberance and space focused into the Dharma. Boys, sez he, the Dharma is a door. Let's see Boys, I say the keys, cause there's lotsa keys, but only one door, one hive for the bees.
For you good boys, with wine-soaked teeth, that can't understand these words on a heath, I'll make it simpler, like a bottle of wine, and a good woodfire, under stars divine. Now listen to me, and when you have learned the Dharma of the Buddhas of old and yearned, to sit down with the truth, under a lonesome tree, in Yuma Arizony,. Who's to say the cops of America and the Republicans and Democrats are gonna tell everybody what to do? I wanta swim in rivers and drink goatmilk and talk with priests and just read Chinese books and amble around the valleys talking to farmers and their children.
We've got to have mind-collecting weeks in our zendos where your mind tries to fly off like a Tinker Toy and like a good soldier you put it back together with your eyes. D'y'hear my latest poem Goldbook? What else? Face of Glory! Universe chawed and swallowed! Whatever the reason for the request to pray, it seemed a silent presence was the best we could do-it was good. Chants by Native Americans and Buddhists. Scriptures from Muslims and Christians.
Wisdom from Jews and Wiccans. Songs and stories from unhoused people. Be with people, hear them, feel them, hear their wings beating against windows and doors, hoping to be free in the fresh air and sunlight. Can we sit silently with someone, let them know we care enough just to be there? Or do we have to say something, speak to Someone else, to let them hear our words, our beliefs? Chris Highland served as a Protestant minister and interfaith chaplain for nearly 30 years.
He is a teacher, writer, freethinker and humanist celebrant.