A Stein of a Summer

Stein
Oh what another Big n’ Dandy one it’s been! The nonstop sunshine like honey on the tongue, a kiss on the lips, a warm glow of campfire. The music fests and starlit rests, the fin de semaine scrambles and solo photo ambles, and Oh the glorious alpine sights of the Stein!  Spellbound by lakes of cobalt and sapphire, chasing mountain-top sunsets of crimson and liquid amber…
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A quilted patchwork of gilded hours, days, weeks turned to months, years, threading together the fabric of our lives; the yarn of our memories like story-tethers, the canvas on which we paint our lives, the lines with which we connect our stars. All of us, ALive, beating our drums to the winds, wide-eyed witnesses to the unknowable, the Great Mystery of Being Here! Born upon a living rock of aching beauty, of unimaginable variation, of startling resilience and ceaseless cyclings. And to behold but one person’s lifetime, lived full and free – what joyful heights and burning passions, what canyon depths of sorrow and cavernous yearnings – what hidden imaginings in the contours of just one mind! How to even begin imagining that of 7 billion?! A story, a breath, a fleeting feeling for every star in the sky; a life lived, human or non, for every grain of sand.
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How is it that we don’t believe in Magic? No longer have Gods for every nook and cranny? That we slowly lose our childhood curiosity? Can become lost and alone in a world full of people looking for connection? How is it that we allow ourselves to collectively put to waste our only home? Do our comforts necessitate a numbing of our conscience? I personally know of no one pleased and fully at ease with the performance of humanity; the overwhelming consensus is one of irreversible consequences for the biosphere if we continue as we do for another decade or two. Thresholds will be crossed, we will exhaust and accost, quality of life will be lost but for the few not bossed, and they will be sure to tell us, “This is the Way of the World, this is Opportunity Cost…”  The same old split-tongued tale, told from the days of Babylon, of Sumer and Assyria – the metaphorical fall of Hesiod’s Golden Race, of Prometheus and Pandora’s jar…
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…and yet, all around us are individuals of the greatest graces, the profoundest love for life and all that it entails: people fighting the good fight, directing their rightful angers against our ails. For it’s as plain as white bread: nobody willingly shits their bed. Yet on all six inhabited continents, we can’t seem to kick our incontinence…
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Up past the Gates of Shangri-La, through hidden valleys of glacier-carved granite
Over panorama passes and the ice-bound summits of a pinnacled planet
Seven days to marvel in the last unadulterated watershed in southwestern B.C:
Oh the Stein Alpine, you wide-eyed bona fide beauty!
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Oh the Wandering Life! How our restlessness runs deep, Our Story one of migration
Our bones, our lonesome, aching most when sitting idyll and still – the reverberation
Of our first steps, our first songs, our first imaginings, entwined as one to the other,
From the sands of the Sahel to the spires of Tierra del Fuego, to the next horizon, then another…
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One step in front of the other, as our first ancestors did, walking and singing
the World into Being: Songlines stretching to every distant shore, bringing
with them memories of a time older than words – when we navigated
our feet, our sails to the enchantment of an entire Earth animated…
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Cloud shadows alight in the high country hills, abstract shapes of water in wind,
cumulus-charades in aquamarine; alpine ambles and sunset scrambles to remind
Us of how unbearable a loss Wilderness would be, an unforgivable tragedy
To see the whole world shaped in our image at the altar of our own vanity.
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And the Western lives we live – all by dumb chance and plum circumstance.
Our comforts born on the backs of those pillaged; our privilege a matter of skewed inheritance.
And so it is with this world we call Ours. To do with it as we please, as Master to Slave
And if any should act in serious objection, they’re put behind bars and told to behave.
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All of us here but for a blinding beautiful blink, so all the harder to think
That we could sour the Balance so fully; that we have to be put on the brink
Before we rise up as lambs to lions and cast our chains asunder – our collective catharsis
Needed to break this cycle of blunder to plunder, and give us guidance through the darkness…
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