Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Events of 11/27 - 11/29 - Chapter 10

November 27, 2010

William  - I was peaceful and content so I let the conversations flow around me without the need to elaborate. How could I? There really wasn't much more understanding to add and the days happenings had left me drained and in need of some down time.
Ria's gift of Flight Time was both revelation and miracle. I could still see the tiny red filaments that attached me to my friends. Those small barely perceptible connections of common goal. Common mind and humanity; shared hopes for each others wakefulness.
Perhaps undefinable in words so I let it be. Instead my mind returned to the last sight I saw before Ria "oopsed" and I came to rest.

**I make a mental note to try and sketch a picture of her with the singing bowl atop her head. I hope to do it justice although I don't believe I've ever sketched a bicycle.**

But the sight of the small blue dipping it's tail in the frothing Mark and scurrying to the waterfall cliff had reminded me of Mara's quest to help the blues before we press on.
I glance at GUMBY and know the bit of mischief caused by the blue is somehow a guide for our next set of actions. Most likely an easily solved problem although GUMBY is clearly not happy tonight.
Lee's arrival with her news of green monkey sightings has also caused a bit of a stir and several theories as to their connection to the blues have been advanced.

I let their words flow around me and I don't feel the need to speculate the way I'm often prone to do. The Flight Time has slowed and calmed my usually frantic thoughts
I, for one, don't mind the delays. Mindful of Daumal's admonitions to properly prepare each camp for future travelers before departing, our disruption of the waterfall has to be set right.

Besides Mara has rigged the ropes into a potentially serviceable solution to the squirrels water problem.

Lee - Well, that was a strange beginning...it seems I've joined a group of explorers that must partake of the Island mushroom...tho whilst sailing, it was hard to believe my eyes - sighting a large pack of flying, no less, green monkeys heading towards shore a bit farther up the coast made me doubt my own sanity until I heard some of the bizarre happenings the travelers have already encountered.
...blue squirrels, indeed.
..and flying about at will..and what's with the twins? Really? What have I gotten my self into? At my age, I guess it's time to stir the pot.
Maybe I'll just sleep on it...that fire is so comforting...
And they are charming people.
-what's the worst that could happen?

 What have I gotten myself into? - Lee Goldberg

Susan - I gawked over to the depression in the sand still steaming with green smoke and moved my eyes quickly over to view Mark nonchalantly sitting there, near the campfire tossing some nuts into the cracking fire seemingly unaware of the past events. I was relieved I still wore my red string bracelet on my left wrist. I had offered the others this Kabalistic talisman and insisted they should wear this to defend them from any negative energy but as usual no one took me seriously except Ria and Mara. Of course they did not want to scare the other climbers when we first packed all the gear. They secretly braided together yards of red twine to form the thick protective climbing ropes.

I recalled the past few days and now wonder if it was only one long night of chaos, too much drink or spoiled food. I discreetly scanned around the quiet campfire. No one was really saying much. A few grunts and moans. Mark remarked on how the sparks flying out of the fire looked like Tinkerbell and then started to sing “When you wish upon a star.” Immediately, Bill turned towards the sky and stood up declaring with a loud “Shazaam” that it was the ideal night to use his pop out telescope to view the constellation of Ratatosk (gnaw-tooth) – the squirrel constellation. He glanced at each one of us with his finger pointing over his head and continued. “Ratatosk consisted of the main stars in Cassiopeia, with one star for its head, one for each foot, one for its body, and two for its tail.

Ratatosk constellation

Bill went on to enlighten us ”According to Norse mythology, Ratatoskr (Old Norse, generally considered "drill-tooth" or "bore-tooth" is a squirrel who runs up and down the world tree Yggdrasil to carry messages between the unnamed eagle, perched atop Yggdrasil, and the wyrm Níðhöggr, who dwells beneath one of the three roots of the tree. Ergo, you all must now admit with this evidence how critical our success is based on the Blues here on Mount Analogue!”

I lay down on my back mesmerized by the twinkling stars above and bewildered at Bill’s vast knowledge once again. I wondered what the impact of the intertwining of many mythologies has on our journey. Also, how serendipitous everything has become. I know I am trying to figure out how my own strings in my life will weave with the others. I know something fascinating is about to happen to all of us. The greatest adventure is yet to come.

November 28

Jane  - Jane, Cathy, Angela, and Bibiana each receive a mysterious package from a mysterious unknown and unknowable source disguised as a collage fluxus mail art piece - when we each independently reshape and refold to reveal a map and a one way boat ticket from our various locations to an unnamed location in the South Pacific along with a box of crackerjacks.
Through facebook, we discover that we have received exactly the same packages and decide what the hell, let's all go to this place in the South Pacific. We make arrangements to be away for about two years, leave and arrive at the base of Mount Analogue.
Once there, we each open our box of crackerjacks, consume the contents and each take out a different "prize" which we realize we need to fit together in some strange convoluted way...
Therein we discover our first instructions on how to reach the next camp safely and rapidly make our way to said camp where we find four more boxes of crackerjacks awaiting us with each of our names on them...

A glimpse of Mrs. Vanden Eynde with her singing bowl as she caches provisions - William Evertson

Mark  - I knew no one would join in on my song. They just sat there staring at me. Thank God Bill broke the tension with that Yggdrasil stuff he started droning on about. It was stupid of me to think that by singing a sappy song from a Disney movie I could get the group to forgive me for not believing in unicorns. I have been thinking that separating from the group made things worse not better. I should never have made that crack about the unicorns. I think I pissed off Susan.

I feel like everyone is mad at me. Or maybe suspicious. Perhaps it is time to admit that the story I told them about my childhood wasn't entirely true. Hanging that left on the trail so long ago has made me feel very guilty. No matter what happens from now on, I am not going to lag behind. And those mushrooms make me paranoid. Maybe no one is mad at me and I just think they are. Maybe I am the suspicious one and I am just projecting. Maybe that worm Níðhöggr Bill mentioned is eating my brain.

November 29

Cathy  - I slipped behind the trees to watch this grouping of people from a safe distance.
Cathy Enters the Grove - Shulman
Who are these people and why are they all wearing tin-foil hats?
They seem happy...Dare I enter the grove?

Lee  - Sitting on the cool sand thinking back on that conversation with Mara, so many weeks ago.
She had decided to off on a journey to somewhere on the other side of the world, that might not even exist.
"You should come", she said, surely knowing I'd say no.  Which I did without a second thought. We left it at that and went on to speak of other things.
I kept remembering her words, "you should come."
Later, I opened the battered briefcase that I'd shoved under a bed years ago.  It belonged to my father and contained bits and scraps of his life...his very short life.
Contents - Goldberg
I'd not known him well, hardly at all, really.   He was always at sea..or living far away.  The little time spent with him yielded wonderful mysterious stories of far away places and people. 
Now going through this case again brought back memories by way of a handful of photos, match books, a compass and an assortment of yellowed clippings in an old note book.  A hand drawn map was tucked into a corner; it was very hard to read.  From the notes in the book I realized the map was the very place Mara and her group were attempting to find.
Of course they'd already left days ago....but the words echoed again and again.
"You should come!"

"What the hell."  I have the map, the notebook, the old compass and Dad's stories.
"I should go!!!!!!!"
Now, here I am....... what do I do now????

William  -  Putting away the telescope I notice Ria folding tin-foil into party hats. "For the bonfire?"
"Yes, I'm starting early getting things ready for Mukla. Like em?"
"A little Wizard of Oz look to them - In a good way"
We try them on and break out into laughter.
"Beep..beep I'm pulling in a signal," I manage.
"Great, tune in some music, anything but When you wish upon a Star."
"Hey, where's Mark?" I look over to where he was sitting not eight minutes ago.

Mara  - Re-packing my rucksack I am reminded, "Hey Susan, did you end up with the first glove, or did I? I'm thinking we need to look at them together, I've an idea what they're about, and I hope it's wrong."

Susan  - Both our eyes, wide open, stopped blinking as we focused at each other’s faces with the same realization at that identical moment. I forgot to breath and was gasping for air because I was so excited. "Yes, Mara, the gloves contain the clue.... We need to place them finger to finger to form the directional compass. The map has been at our fingertips all this time!” I chucked. I hastily stood up and searched frantically inside one of my many deep pockets for the mystical glove. At that precise moment a green florescent spark caught the corner of my eye and seemed to shimmer and twinkle flying up in the sky vanishing into the starlit darkness. Was it my imagination going wonky encore? Did Mark just fly into the sky! 

Mara  - It may be some residual effect from the nuts... "HEY, MARK, DO YOU NEED SOME HELP?" I shouted as I looked up, along with Susan. 
"Well, I've got the 2nd glove, let me get my field notes book and double check to see if I've got the first one or did you end up with it in your hair."

 Mount Analogue Glove Liner Notes - Mara Thompson

William  - Ria stifles a snicker. "Cut it out, you're distracting them."
My little bits of tin foil are causing some amusing green flashes in the campfire.
I've been in unusually good humor since my Flight Time at the end of Ria's red rope; my concerns about our lack of progress have evaporated and I feel content to let the mood of Analogue guide our progress.
"Just one more."

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