Trip Like I Do—Palouse Falls, June 28

Getting here was incredibly rough on our poor little hybrid sedan; the road into the park is grooved like sawtooth, which is great for winter visits, I guess, but absolutely bone rattling for city slickers in a ten-year-old car like ours. I genuinely expected parts to start falling off the chassis like some Hannah-Barbara cartoon. But we made it and were greeted by the most incredible lunch spot and view. Palouse is the official state waterfall and is significant to me mostly for what isn’t here; I love that Wikipedia even includes a whole section about it: “In 1984, the … Continue reading “Trip Like I Do—Palouse Falls, June 28”

Trip Like I Do—Priest Rapids Dam, June 28

The genesis of this whole itinerary was my reading about Smohalla, a spiritual leader of the Wanapum people and prophet of the Washani (Dreamer) religion. After yesterday’s extended quote from Eugene Smalley, I want to share a little of what Smohalla had to say: “The work of the white man hardens soul and body. Nor is it right to tear up and mutilate the earth as white men do. … We simply take the gifts that are freely offered. We no more harm the earth than would an infant’s fingers harm its mother’s breast. But the white man tears up large tracts … Continue reading “Trip Like I Do—Priest Rapids Dam, June 28”

Trip Like I Do—Hanford Works, June 28

Somewhere past this barrier is the B Reactor, where plutonium was manufactured for more than a quarter of a century and was used “in the first nuclear bomb, tested at the Trinity site, and in ‘Fat Man,’ the atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan.” By 1966, the N Reactor came on and this death factory started to produce electricity, so up until that moment, the massive amount of energy produced here through the splitting of atoms and collision of neutrons “served no social purpose,” as Richard White so poignantly puts it. He goes on: “Everything at Hanford seemed … Continue reading “Trip Like I Do—Hanford Works, June 28”

Trip Like I Do—Sunland, June 28

Someone asked me some time ago why my username points to the Columbia River—why not the coordinates of Seattle itself? I said something about my fascination with dislocation & slippery identities; it’s that “catch me if you can” kinda vibe that’s very “on brand.” And all of that is true; I do indeed prefer to be pinned down &/or mapped out with at least some effort—quite literally miss me with that noise, as the kids might say. But there’s another dimension to my choice of this particularly off-centered coordinate. Before I ever read a thing about Nch’i-Wàna, a.k.a. the Columbia, itself, … Continue reading “Trip Like I Do—Sunland, June 28”

The Meaning of Six Six Six

And what spot does X mark? X is you and I, the coming together of diagonals—an intersection and ideal symbol for the very search for meaning. X can mean the unknown variable or the buried loot at the center of a treasure map; X is both a placeholder and a destination—a deliberate holding pattern, or, perhaps, a refusal to land on familiar terms. In our cultural consciousness, we have Generation X, The X-Files, and Malcom X. Let your eyes shift back & forth between these correspondences. Contemplate their polarities—if strange patterns emerge, what you are now experiencing is what Umberto … Continue reading “The Meaning of Six Six Six”

All-In-One

Today, the Full Moon is in Pisces and I’m thinking about how not that many lunations ago, I would not have known nor cared about what that signified. I’m less concerned with what this time might mean for me and more in awe with how a couple of conversations could cascade into a whole new comportment towards vast webs of signification—stimulating ideas, for sure, but also, whole communities of practice. I’ve stumbled onto a wholly foreign shore and have realized that millions of people have been here all along. It really doesn’t matter what I end up getting out of … Continue reading “All-In-One”

A Note on Climate

It’s been three birthdays since my last in Beirut. I’ve been away before—to and fro, on and off—but never for this long of a stretch. This dislocation was heightened this week as rising heat mimicked foreign climates and a dearth of AC units recalled a life of daily power cuts back home. What’s new over there, since I left, is the bottom seemingly falling out from under our national resilience, with crisis after crisis accumulating on the backs of my friends and family. The latest indignity is the now regular scene of lines of cars waiting to fill up on … Continue reading “A Note on Climate”

Threads To The Naked Eye

The other night, I shared the hyperlink to an interview about a book on ecology. In it, the author gushes about the affect he hopes his work will have on the reader’s way of perceiving the world: “To go and see something like a bunch of gulls swarming, [before you’re like] ‘Oh, they’re just gulls swarming,’ but then realize, ‘Wow, no, directly underneath them there could be thousands of herring.’ I mean, how cool is that? And I just think, wow, I want to be able to see that. I want others to be able to see that and make … Continue reading “Threads To The Naked Eye”