Monday, March 11, 2019

#342 • Route 27 Through Those Moody Mountains

Years ago I was working with a Buddhist practitioner who wisely concluded that I was, among other things, a dysfunctional workaholic. My first assignment was to find five things I like to do other than work, and then go out and actually do them. Whoa - tough one!

I put hiking on the list because I was surrounded by mountains and miles and miles of hiking trails including the Appalachian.  I bought myself some decent leather Raichle boots, figuring that if I spent a goodly amount of money I would be forced to carry out the assignment and like it, whether I liked it or not.

I struck out on my inaugural solo-soul-searching-sojourn up in to Avery Peak - one of those bumps in the background of this painting that make up the Longfellow Range in Carrabassett Valley. Sauntering along, I'd periodically stop and ask myself if I liked this hiking thing. I honestly didn't know, so I just kept putting one expensive boot in front of the other, asking, climbing, asking, and climbing until I eventually, and to my surprise, summited.

Looking west along the spine of the range, I was riding a gigantic sea serpent cutting through an ocean of undulating green swells that were the many ridges below. The stunted trees were like druids riding along, grooming the patches of pale green, blue and lavender moss growing in and around the bold rock that was the mighty beast's hide. And then I sat down and smoked a cigarette. It was heaven.

I got hooked on hiking and eventually unhooked from smoking, and continued to solo up into those mountains over many many years. I witnessed the mountains morph from green and lush in the summer, to colorful show offs in the fall, and then hauntingly dark and moody in the winter. At some point I realized I did the same thing. It was a hard-earned Zen truistic-mystical-moment.

Those Moody Mountains • 10" or so x 8" acrylic framed to whatever • $250

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