Ria - That somebody was me, the trees had just released their snow on my bonnet and in the semi darkness I looked huge. Tired of all the goings on I had gone for a walk, to collect my thoughts while humming 'I'm dreaming of a white Mulka". I thought it sounded cool so I let my voice swell and reached for the dark blue sky arms open. A big shoveling sound preceded the event. 'Thumb" it went and there was I, a snow hat on my head. "Well now," I said, mouth & chin frozen, "let's just cut to the chase." "Happy Mulka MaraMara! Happy Mulka All Climbers!"
Mara - "Hey Ria! who is that behind you?" As Ria turned I slowly pulled a loose end from my pocket. I tossed the lasso over the unicorn's horn. Of course it came off like a lizard's tail and the now hornless creature spread it's wings, and took off through the trees, making quite a racket. "With this horn we can triangulate." The horn dangled from the loose end, twisting one way and then the other. Everyone who was inside rushed out and gathered around. The horn finally stopped spinning and settled to point directly at...
Susan - Billy Ray who opened the trunk just as Bill slammed it shut. The arrow started to spin and spin wildly....stopping momentarily at each person before it stopped on................omg!!!!!
"Oh NOooooo! Burped the words out of his gills as Fish'N Boots turned a brighter shade of red as if that was possible! "is this "spin the horn!" as he tried to close his eternally opened eyes and placed a set of fins over his face!
December 17, 2011
Mara Thompson - Loaded Wagon
Mara - At that moment we heard a significant chattering as a scurry of squirrels descended from the twilight trees to check on our order for Mulka food. This year, guest chef "Blue Judy", a glamorous breed of Rifka Squirrel will be heading the cook wagons. Blue Judy pulled the clipboard from her fur and proceeded to read us the menu.
Rifka Squirrel (with permission of the artist - Judy Rifka)
Ria - Singing "I'm dreaming of a white MULKA", I heard everyone getting ready for the festivity meeting. "gad, no way I can make that," I thought. As they all chattered and planned away cheerfully while my voice was fading, I started looking around, found a time slit and sat down, legs over the edge.
I ate my grub in my trekker utensil, had a shot of 7 year old rum and let myself shoot down abyss like slit.
I arrived in a great clear dome of sorts.
A little old guy, he looked like a Buddhist monk, stared at me as I tried to get up elegantly.
I thought, "of course, a Buddhist on MA, that makes perfect sense to me ...."
"Hello," I said politely, "I have just entered this slit, please give me some guidance?"
The monk said, "Have you eaten your rice gruel?"
I replied,"Yes, I've just eaten."
The monk answered, "Then go wash your bowl."
I felt my heart opening in a warm big smile as I recognized the company of ............... another Spartan.
December 27, 2011
Lee - Looking back, everyone was heading off from the beach wedding when Mark pulled me aside. "What do you think about finally exploring those caves?" I noticed a timeslit just over that dune. We could check it out and be back before they get very far up the trail."
"Sounds like a plan to me, since we're the only ones that seem interested in what's below the surface here." I grabbed my back pack and followed Mark up the trail to the dunes. A couple of monkeys followed along chattering, "run run have some fun" over and over...I must remember to put this all down in my field notes.
As I slipped over the rise of the dune I saw a shimmer in front of me, also...no Mark. He must have gone ahead. The monkeys scampered past me and one by one disappeared with a POP!
"OK guys, wait for me," I mumbled, as I headed for the shimmering air just in front of me and felt a whosh as I moved into the slit.......
December 30, 2011
Mara - After receiving the remote transmission from Mark I was determined to locate him. We'd had our Mulka, and I wrapped up some leftovers to stash in my rucksack. I wasn't certain about Lee's state of mind, since I observed her several times holding an animated conversation with nobody. I stood and made the call, "Group Hug!"
January 6, 2012
Mark - As I climbed exhausted out of the tiny time slit which I could see, through the numbing freezing flurries high atop this mountain, closing behind me like a zipper, I sensed I was not alone. Indeed, I emerged into the middle of a loving group hug which had begun, I learned later, on the other side of the Mulka festivities in the previous year. Now only seconds later, but a lifetime in Gumby Hours, we were being catapulted forward in time via the back draft from the closing slit, into an unknown and unexpected future (unexpected by everyone but Mara). A dark skinned Rene Daumal shouted at us from the sky, "End it now! Complete the story!" and I realized he was the person we had been calling Sammy Davis Junior for quite some time. How could we not see it! It was our creator, Daumal, writing from the 25th or was it the 23rd Century, not Sammy. He had merely disguised himself as Sammy so that he could hide the peradam without incident. And hide it he did. The air was thin from the altitude but I pleaded with my colleagues and pointing upward I said, "Look. We are in the same place but a different time!" SUDDENLY A WHOOSHING SOUND MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR ALL BUT MARA TO HEAR. But Mara, delighted to finally understand what had happened to me, let alone find me, and completely devoid of any need TO hear, explained through the din that after receiving the remote transmission from me she was determined to locate me and had done the only thing she could do which had put us there: Initiate a group hug but first tell Susan "yes head into the future for the vibration unit in the 23rd century" (yes, where Damaul had left it on Mulka morning.) And with that she told me it was now time to connect with the others and then for Susan to get the hell out of there pronto. With that Mara stopped fussing with her costume the wind died down and somehow we all, like her, knew we would be blown to this particular time at this particular place. We took an enormous collective breath.
Susan - Stamping my boots on the snow, laughing hysterically at Mark and winking at Mara,,....thinking, grinning...staring at the sky....I said" I think its time of a leap of faith!"
Mara - Picking up a piece of Belgian chocolate, left over from the balloon drop on Mulka, I popped it in my mouth to savor while considering the options.
"Mark? Could you speak up.. speak up? I can't hear.. can't hear you." We both stood, gazing at the zenith. From afar, "Kali kali oxenfree!" We scampered off to find home base.
Lee - Watching the others, I reminded myself, no need to become restless over the ending of this adventure....as long as there are time slits and a fertile imagination , anywhere is possible, anytime, another collective breath ....and ....and....oohhhhh.....it feels like floating..................
January 7, 2012
Mark - I remembered that once upon a time when I looked at what Daumal had written in his distinct handwriting lying on the desk. It specifically said "I think its time of a leap of faith!" I said why "time of" rather than "time for"? He replied he did that on purpose so we would know when to leave. Susan listened closely. She knew he was talking to her.
Mara - Faith, the unicorn, landed lightly beside me. "I see your horn has grown back," I said somewhat nervously. Nodding her head, she indicated that I should leap onto her back. "It's the time of the leap second," she nickered. "Are we all going?" I asked Faith and everyone else, growing more nervous and wiping my sweaty palms on my pants.
Susan - I slowly rubbed my blue mukluks with my fingers and waited silently in deep meditation as I closed my eyes and listened. The blues was surrounding me once more. The winds started to pick up speed and music filled the spaces between the voices on the ground. The convergence of rich sounds and notes began to amplify and thicken the air leaving no room for chatter. First I felt the feverish steam heading my way. The air started to sweat and swirl with dripping flares of pastel colours. The world was ignited with brilliance before me. The blaze was coming closer and if not for my magical gloves could harm me. I waited courageously on the jutting edge of the rock, teetering on the abyss, contemplating that leap of faith. The leap into 2012, the leap year! Wow, how did Mark know? This was the most important moment in our climb. The noise was deafening. I put my hands to my ears to block out the thundering clamor. The Blues dragon slowed his progression to a slow and long beat, long enough so I could jump on. The year of the dragon on Mount Analogue had arrived.
Susan Shulman - Blues Dragon
Mara - If I get on the unicorn, Faith, where will I go? Will I be going along with the Blues dragon? I could see Susan, as if through the wrong end of binoculars, distant yet clear. Searching, as usual, starts and ends at home. Where is our home? Where is the island of questions? Where the heck are my gloves?
January 12, 2012
Mara - Well... I got on Faith. As the slopes faded below I leaned in and asked, "Are we going home?"
January 13, 2012
Mara - "Ask the others," was the response. I looked around me, in the dim light I saw eyes glowing. I opened my mouth to ask just as the clouds tore free of the moon. The eyes were, instead, peradams. I was alone in the wood with Faith.
Mark - I closed my eyes and leaped into the void. As I drifted in slow motion into the turbulent but flowing notestream, in the distance could see Lee and some monkeys entering the slit behind me. I knew we would meet Susan in the future thanks to Daumal but I did not the details of where and when.
Mara - Oddly, while I approached this climb looking for perspective to let me see my home in a clearer fashion, now I wanted to stay. Is this because I fear the new home I'll see? Is staying a sign of bravery or running from reality? Who am I avoiding? Apparently it is not my obsessive nature, it's still here with me. Ah HA! Well I'll be a rabbit track, I'll be here now... until I'm not. I filled Faith's saddle rucksacks full of the peradams sprang back on her and closing my eyes we rose upwards through the trees.
January 14, 2012
Mark - Giddyup!
Mara - All too suddenly the maudlin fairy tale involving rainbows, glitter, candy and dreams began to fade into a rising mist... my knees buckled as Faith turned to me and said, "Now you know why you were frightened, don't you little girl." Holding my head up I said, stoutly, "I'm no little girl either, there is no candy."
Mark Bloch - Pan
Pan, "Is the gold of fields forests and flocks and also madness and panic fear?"
Pan crooned, "I'm willing to overlook your past." I passed out.
Mark - How can I be in three places at once when I am not anywhere at all? Life lately seemed like a constant struggle to make sense of this or that weird time wrinkle when all I wanted to do was surrender and crawl back in my sleeping bag and get some rest before tomorrow's big climb. I knew eventually I would wake up from ONE of these dreams and I'd be back in the tent. MAYBE I ALREADY AM SLEEPING! How would I know? In my dream, or should I say Mara's dream, everything was sweetness and light and unicorns. Should I offer her one of those Dutch candies or, a bamboo comb to comb her horned horsey's pink mane? Or should I just go with the flow and turn into a devil may care Satyr type that she thinks she is dealing with even though I gave that up years ago? Her language was coming out all warped and distorted. That's how I knew it was a dream. Her dream. At first I was drawn into the story line, thinking my course of action actually mattered but then when I knew that it was all an illusion I knew I could just take the path of least resistance and get the hell out of there. It was a coin, lecherous and dark and full of desire on one side, illuminated and confident and serene on the other. Just like the mountain trail. Just like Daumal/Sammy had told us. So knowing I was either about to burst my own bubble or Mara's WITHIN mine, I took the risk and wrote in the snow "If we had any luck at all, the unicorn would be gone by then." I was leaving Mara time to escape. I had the 22nd century vibration unit stored in my backpack and Susan was looking at me funny in her Sammy Davis mask. There really was nothing that could go wrong, no matter what unfolded at this point.
Mara - The past nudges the present and the future relaxes in the supposition there is neither. Meanwhile, back at the Santa Barbara ranch, I scratch Faith between the ears and smile....
January 21, 2012
William - “Damnit….damnit…damnit,” the little voice in my head kept exclaiming. I tried to ignore it as I used my ice ax to hew another icy block for the sorry looking snow cave I was trying to build before I froze my ass off.
“Thin air…thin air…thin air.”
Oh what does it matter if I take a short break? Maybe lay here…. maybe take a nap?
“Go back…go back…go back!
I continued and made it just big enough for two because if all went well Fish would soon arrive with the provisions.
“Why go back”, I shouted to my voice, “I’ll just have to start again.”
I hacked at the ice until it resembled Fish. He offered me a chocolate.
William Evertson - Fish N' Boots
January 28, 2012
Susan - Or, I thought I could jump on before the sweet aroma of hot burning patchouli incense permeated my nostrils. I felt his breath steaming around my body. The dragon’s tail pounded me instantly, intertwining me as it gripped me tightly. The force knocked me off balance. As I momentarily tried to regain my footing, the creature lifted me into the sky. As I held onto the blue glowing spikes embossed from his iridescent scales, I braced myself for the unknown. Trying not to be fearful, and after many attempts at swinging my torso, I managed to lift my legs over and maneuver myself atop his lumpy tail. That lasted about one second before I felt the power of his jaw on the back of my roughed up red jacket.
In one swift movement, I was floating in space with my arms and legs flailing in the air like a Czech marionette as his teeth controlled my fate. I drew a deep breath, and gingerly looked down. I finally saw what was below me. The land was getting smaller. As nervous as I was, I felt somewhat secure I hoped. Talk about leap of faith Mark. I removed my retractable telescope from my pocket. I screamed as I say Bill directly below me digging in the snow. “Bill …yoo-hoo”, right before I saw him slice the ground exposing Fish ‘N Boots fin. “Careful, Bill!” I warned, but he could not hear me. He was unaware that Fish ‘N Boots was pointing up to me trying to get Bill to look up.
I grabbed some notes from my pocket and hurled them down at him, hoping he would see me. A B-flat and G clipped him, but he was oblivious, obviously more concentrated on his excavation. "Hard to sidetrack him when he is so focused" I laughed.
I heard music rising, colliding into my ears. It was the harp solo from “Born In Chicago”. I stared at some creature playing the instrument. Looked like a goat, but standing on 2 legs. The music was intoxicating and if not for my mode of current transportation I would have wanted to investigate and learn more. As I was carried higher and higher the air was thinning. My ears were getting blocked but I knew if I chewed some hemp gum I would be fine. I looked at the clouds zooming by me, morphing into wondrous shapes. I must be hallucinating from the lack of oxygen as my eyes began to burn and glaze over. My lids began to flutter rapidly. I was surrounded by a kaleidoscope of harmonious hues and tones of colours I had never experienced before. Images were revolving around me. I was on a carousel with green kangaroos, orange llamas and blue koala bears! I was getting mesmerized. Round and round and round as I heard the blues dragon in the distance suggest I count the creatures. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7…..!
Lee Goldberg - As the Dragon Flew Over Analogue
January 29, 2012
Mark - .......8,9,10,11,12,13,14
February 8, 2012
William - 18…there, I placed the eighteenth icy block in place on my makeshift ice hut. Another two or three blocks then Fish and I could crawl inside when a dark shadow passed over us. Fish shielded his lidless eyes and looked towards the sun.
“What was that? He pointed to something in the sky but I was ignoring him; completely focused on getting shelter from the winds that threatened to blow us clean off the mountain.
I heard a vibrating thrummmm, then something hit the shelter punching a bowling ball size hole through its side. Fish grabbed my sleeve and we started to run as icy black meteors rained from the sky.
William Evertson - B-flat Meteor Storm
February 11, 2012
Mara - "This isn't Santa Barbara." Picking twigs out of my hair I turned to face Faith as she continued, "We didn't make it past the force field around the island. In fact, I don't think I CAN go beyond the island, being a unicorn and all." Using a tube fit with peradams at each end I searched the mountain slopes for signs of activity. "I can see a supply wagon, but no sign of the others. There does seem to be quite a storm up further."
Mara Thompson - "Just Sayin'" Supply Wagon