Archive for mountain

Magic Cabin

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2012 by javedbabar

The man was hungry, he had travelled for days. He had awoken, unknown and alone, atop a white mountain, climbed down to the valley, been welcomed to and then chased out of town, traversed cattle and horse farms, followed the black river, encountered bears and deer in the forest, and now came to this driveway.

It was barely discernible though in occasional use, as shown by the parallel tire tracks, between which grew tall thistles. He followed the tracks for a hundred metres and entered a clearing, also overgrown, but devoid of trees, except for two young maples growing side by side, and a clump of ghostly birch.

At the centre of the clearing was a strange rippled steel structure. He thought at first that it was a cargo container or a garage. Then he saw hidden windows, all shuttered, and a discreet door. Was it a bunker?

It seemed to have dropped from the sky, brought in by helicopter, or maybe it was a spaceship and had landed of its own accord. That would explain the circular clearing – it was a blast radius – but not the remaining maples; they weren’t fast growers, and cottonwoods would have risen before them. He couldn’t see the river, but heard it strongly washing by.

The door and windows seemed impenetrable. He wondered if it was waterproof, and if it would float. The valley stretching between the white mountain where he awoke, and the dark mountain that he was drawn to, was a floodplain. Its creators were rivers of water and of lava.

Something sparkling was nailed to both of the maple trees. When he drew closer, he saw that they were wooden signs set with diamonds. The sign on the straighter left tree said Love Thy Neighbour. The sign on the curly-trunked right tree said Strangers Welcome. How were they welcome, he wondered, in a place so remote and so sealed.

Then he thought, I haven’t actually tried to get in yet. He had just assumed it was locked. Pushing the door caused a click, and the door opened wide. Inside was a cosy lounge with a pair of dark sofas and a fireplace ready stacked. He stretched out on a sofa for a while and then wandered to the adjacent room, where he found a kitchen set for tea time. He boiled the kettle, brewed some black tea, and added powdered milk and sugar. He also raided the biscuit tin and found lemon shortbread. It was his favourite treat as a child; his grandma always kept some hidden.

A set of steep metal stairs led to a low bedroom with double bed, soft pillow and check blankets. Maybe he’d stay there tonight. In the far corner was a gunmetal writing desk maybe a hundred years old, from the1940’s. A book with maroon leather cover lay upon it. He opened it and read the handwritten title, “Diary of a Pioneer”.

It began, “I found myself atop Mt Alba, unknown and alone. How I got there I cannot say, only that I was blessed by God with the power of mind and strength of body, and also with a calling – to reach the dark mountain at the far end of the valley. It is a dangerous journey, with swamps and monsters to battle, both of the forest and of the mind, but I am beckoned and so must heed. I feel that I am the first of many. I have prepared this humble rest stop for those that come after me…”


The Pattern

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , on June 29, 2012 by javedbabar

Terry tumbled while climbing Mt Negra. Jen had told him not to climb it. “My dad was a mountaineer,” she’d said. “I know how fit you should be; how much training you need; how you should never climb alone.” He’d hoped that she wouldn’t go on about it but she had. “It’s great you want to do something special for your thirtieth birthday. If you‘d have thought of it last year, and we were well prepared, I’d say, ‘Woo! Let’s go there!’ But you thought of it last week. It’s stupid. It’s ridiculous! There’s no way I’m climbing that mountain, and neither should you.”

He’d said, “I told you already, babe. I’m going.”

“Well I’m not going to hang around, knowing you’re going to kill yourself. I’m pregnant. I don’t want the stress. I’m going to the city to visit my parents.”

He’d only made it half way up before he slipped on gravel and rolled down thirty feet. Thank God it was only that. If he’d fallen on the dark ledge further up, he would most likely have ended up as a corpse in the river. He’d suffered only aching bones and heavy bruising.

His bones needed hot baths, yet the bruising called for cold packs. Which would be better overall? He went for the full bath treatment, with classical music, mineral salts, and candles – like he’d seen Jen do. He should have told her about his accident, she’d have come back running, he knew; but it was his own stupid fault; let her enjoy getting spoiled by her folks.

Terry emerged from the bath and noticed that his veins were visible, like they are after vigorous exercise, but more so. The veins stayed raised all night. His skin looked like the underside of a gnarly blue leaf. Maybe his bath was too hot. Jen had told him often to cool down the water. He should listen to her more. It was hard to take her seriously though, like when she was talking about “bad energies”.

“What are those?” he’d asked her.

“Evil spirits and black curses,” she’d said. She should be more rational; they didn’t live in a fairy tale.

Next morning he seemed more tired than usual. He woke up late and wandered straight into the shower. When he emerged, the raised veins were still there. The shower was quicker and cooler than the bath, yet had caused the same effect, or had the veins never gone down?

He put on his glasses and looked himself over. The veins were raised all over his body. He looked like a rolled net, or a very old cheese. They could be map contours, or crazy etching. He was reminded of his visit to a surgical museum where he’d seen a baby’s corpse, its blood vessels were filled with red plastic, and all of the flesh removed. It was a curious exhibit, showing the flow of life but also its stagnation.

Terry’s blood vessels branched outwards from his heart as if reaching for life. But unlike the baby, all of them were blue. There was only used blood returning from everywhere; none of it being oxygenated, rejuvenated. The dark mountain at the end of the valley had coloured his blood and claimed him for her own. Was he now filled with bad energies?


Posted in Conceptual Art, Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , on May 1, 2012 by javedbabar

Was the mole always there? thought Dimpy, or had it appeared overnight? There was a black Knobby just above her top lip, to the right of her nose. It sat there quite well, like a dark jewel in a fine setting, but she knew she was no Madonna or Marilyn, just a plain-looking single mom living in a small town. The only Museum Director’s job going anywhere was in Lucerne Village so here she was, but she worried constantly about the Museum losing its funding and her losing her job.

The mole looked good though, and added interest to her face. In a world of models with unblemished skin, photoshopped to banality, here was her distinctive feature, like the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, or flawed beauty, where asymmetry is appreciated as the essence of natural change. This is derived from the Buddhist tradition of impermanence, revealing wisdom in natural simplicity.

“Little mole,” Dimpy said to herself, fingering her strange squashy tumour. “Where have you been hiding?” She’d had moles on her body since childhood but none on her face. Had this one appeared because of sun exposure, or age? Was it black, or dark brown? She moved closer to the mirror to see. It pushed out a few millimetres with an irregular border. She had a sudden horrible thought and held onto the sink with both hands. Could it be a melanoma? What if she had skin cancer?

Wabi originally implied the loneliness of living in nature. Over time its meaning mellowed to simplicity and freshness. Sabi meant chilled or lean, and evolved to mean the serenity that comes with age. So its meaning now was that of sad beauty.

What if it was cancer? She would die and her five year old daughter would become an orphan, and be sent for foster care, where she would suffer all kinds of abuse, and become mentally and emotionally unstable. It was unbearable.

There was scratching outside. Was it those jays nesting in her roof again? She was glad they’d found a home, like she had with her daughter Sasha, but did they have to get up so early? She didn’t like that their movements scared the hummingbirds away. She loved seeing their green and red flashes, little songs in the air.

The scratching wasn’t coming from the roof though; it was coming from the garden. It couldn’t be her landlord’s horses, as they’d been sold last month. Too much poo and too much trouble. Maybe a coyote? Dimpy peered outside. There was a molehill in the garden, right in the middle of the lawn. Damn that critter! There were plenty of areas that would benefit from digging, but the lawn wasn’t one of them!

Dimpy forgot about the molehill and went to work. When she got home it was dark. She was tired and went to sleep early.

In the middle of the night she heard scratching again, except now it sounded more like shovelling. As if large chunks of earth were being moved. Dimpy put on her dressing gown and went outside. Oh My God! The hill in the middle of her lawn was now taller than she was!

The shovelling sound became louder, and the dirt on the hill trembled and slipped. Had an earthquake caused this strange upheaval? thought Dimpy. She suspended thought as huge pink paws with foot long claws thrust from the top of the hole, to be followed by a pink, sniffing snout, and tiny eyes and ears. The giant mole Muldvarp “mud tosser” sat up in his hole and stared at her, blinking. Was this because the light was too strong, or to clear mud from his eyes? Dimpy turned and ran, but a message caught her mind.

“Don’t go,” said Muldvarp. “We need to talk.”

Dimpy felt speechless but managed to say, “What about?”

“You worry too much,” said Muldvarp. “You shouldn’t. What’s the point? What do you think would happen to me if I worried constantly? I mean, because of my tiny ears and eyes I can hardly hear or see. That means I must remain underground to stay safe from predators. But there’s not much oxygen down there so I make do by re-using what I inhaled above ground. There also isn’t any good food down there so I eat earthworms. They fall into my tunnels and I run to catch them. What if I’m hungry and there’s no worms? Well, I paralyse them with saliva whenever I catch them, and store them in underground larders. And what if I get grit in my teeth that ruins my meal? Well, I hold the worms carefully between my paws and squeeze out their dirt before dining. What if my tunnels collapse? It’s my duty to keep them clear. They keep the energy of ley lines, chi, and kundalini flowing, not to mention soil aeration. So you see I have plenty to worry about, but instead I just get on with things and everything works out.”

From where Dimpy stood, the molehill looked bigger than distant Mt. Negra. She realized then that it was all about perspective. As an art historian she should have known better. Her mole wasn’t malignant, and she wouldn’t lose her job, and her daughter wouldn’t be orphaned and become emotionally scarred.

Muldvarp waved a giant pink paw and eased back into his hole. The next morning Dimpy saw that the mole on her face had disappeared.

Nice Views

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, World Myths with tags , , , , , , on April 17, 2012 by javedbabar

It was a gorgeous day and the clients of Open Hearts seniors daycare centre sat outside. Whether they could or couldn’t be outside the centre’s “protected atmosphere” was a hazy area in the regulations. The centre was built to modern construction parameters and was completely airtight, making it highly energy-efficient. No air entered or left without being conditioned – pre-heated in winter, pre-cooled in summer, and something in between during spring and fall. Windows were never opened, and doors were double doors, regulating variations and tempering sounds. Floors were washed daily and walls wiped weekly. Insects and pets were forbidden. It was entirely spick and span.

None of this could be said for the great outdoors. Wild filthy nature was filled with birds and bees, richly-microbed soils, and every kind of allergen imaginable, including floating pollens, sneaky bacteria, communicable viruses, choky tree nuts, pointy oily seeds, five-bellied dairy producers, and gluten-filled grains. And of course there were all kinds of people not obeying rules and regulations, doing whatever they liked. The Authority discouraged the Centre’s clients from going outside. But as mentioned, it was a hazy area. The manager Mr. Amin took the view that culture must be tempered by nature. Today clients sat spread across the lawn – some in sun, some in shade – before Mt Alba, which rose up among the Valley’s swirling mists, as if to God.

Mr. Amin thought about Guru Baba’s great pilgrimage. It was both the highlight and the lowlight of his recent life. It had been a privilege to spend time in the company of such a great holy man. The residents of Lucerne had been shocked when this revered Master announced that he would retire to “that lovely little village with the white mountain above it.” The Authority had immediately offered him a mansion with acreage and horses, but he said that wasn’t necessary. He just wanted one of the “little houses” that he had seen there, meaning a seniors’ housing unit built by the local fraternal group The Tigers.

An empty unit was provided for Guru Baba and he moved right in. Nobody knew what happened to the Italian woman who had been living there already. Despite being over eighty – some claimed he was a hundred, even a thousand – Guru Baba was fit and strong, and led a hundred-person pilgrimage to the top of Mt. Alba. Mr. Amin’s knees had only allowed him as far as the base camp. It saddened him to have not attained the summit with Guru Baba, but upon his return, the sage gave him a holy rock upon which to dream.

Irene looked into the forests clothing Mt. Alba’s lower slopes. She wondered how the little girl who had become St. Sandrine had managed to ride her horse up there? Irene had once walked the forestry roads at its base, searching for crystals. Even those roads were overgrown and barely passable on foot. But Sandrine had ridden Thunder, her powerful charger, right to the summit. Stories of her horse having eight legs confused facts with legends. Odin’s horse Sleipnir had eight legs, not Thunder, who was just a working farm horse. He had a huge heart – which was what had drawn Sandrine to him – but the usual number of legs. Thunder’s owner, an Old Family farmer, had immediately seen the love between this young beauty and beast. He had also seen the holy light in her eyes. He had given the horse as a gift to Sandrine, and requested that she “ensure this fine beast accompanies you to heaven.” Sandrine had taken him literally, riding Alba’s trails with Thunder, and they died together at the top. This story of God’s creatures rising together had captured people’s hearts, and caused Sandrine’s elevation to Sainthood.

James too sat staring into the distance. Since his stroke he did little else. His thoughts however were as lucid as ever. People didn’t seem to understand that he may not be able to sing and dance, but that his mind ran free. In some ways it was stronger than ever, as there were fewer distractions, just flowing possibilities. He thought of diabetic amputee Safira climbing the mountain. How had she managed it without legs? She’d had a support team, of course, carrying food, water, camping and medical equipment, but the exertion had been all her own. The thought of her struggling up there with steel legs and canes was so inspiring that he often cried. People mistook those tears for sadness at his personal condition, but that was not true. He was resigned to the life that fate had delivered, and that was the thing – that Safira wasn’t. She had achieved the impossible. She was an amazing woman. An inspiration to all.

Gemma sat in the shade, knitting and purling. Tik-Tak-Tik-Tak-Tik-Tak-Tik-Tak. She wondered if Ozwald Melchizedek had really climbed Mt. Alba? He was her spiritual mentor – and occasional tormentor – but some of his stories did seem quite tall. He said that he’d climbed Mt. Alba in his mind, raising his level of consciousness “to the top of his Man-Head, and the bottom of the God-Head”. He had balanced his soul at the mountain top – which he referred to as the “pyramid point” – and at that moment, intersected with divinity in a “holy checking in” of transcendent involution.

They all stared at the holy mountain, knowing that soon they would be climbing it together. “Okay, time to go inside,” said Mr. Amin. “Last one in is a mountain goat!”

Valley Patroller

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , on March 4, 2012 by javedbabar

“Every life is priceless” was Lucerne Valley’s motto, and Jo’s job as Valley Patroller was to protect them all. In her five seasons working as VP here, she’d witnessed a huge amount of action. These people from the City just don’t think! Coming for a scheduled outing to the Lucerne Valley Leisure Zone was something they looked forward to. It was a rare opportunity to leave the City; get out of their rut; try something new. But why oh why did they insist on going so far out of their comfort zones?

Her Valley Controller said it was related to their playing too many video games; becoming so used to their avatars performing superhuman feats, having special powers, pausing whenever it suited them, finding energy boosts in their paths, and of course, the ability to die and instantly live again, that they had blurred the boundary between reality and fantasy. It was ironic that they came to LVLZ to escape their reality, and some were so careless that they escaped it forever.

This had been a good week though. She had made twelve successful rescues so far with no broken bones. There were scratches and cuts for sure, but as with sex, they were just part of the game.

The VC’s urgent voice by radio: “Upper Valley – Kalash Area – Water Trouble – Jo can you respond?”

“Yes, I’m on it! What’s the deal?”

“Some guys without Float-Suits. It seems they wanted to try swimming. Never done it before. One of them is in trouble. Head right over.”

Their location was 3 km from her Tech Base. Jo jumped on a jetski and was there in two minutes. A guy was in the icy, fast-flowing river clinging to tree roots on a sand bank. Her first mean thought was, “This is Evolution in Action; the dumbest ones don’t make it.” Then her VP training kicked in. It would be hard to pull him onto her jetski; the best thing would be to jump in herself and haul him out. She left him cold and gasping, but alive, on the river bank, with instructions to await medical personnel.

VC’s voice: “Upper Valley – Kalash Area – Forest Trouble – Jo can you respond?”

“Yes, I’m on it! What’s the deal?”

“A gang of bears has surrounded a tent. The E-Fencing is keeping them out right now, but they’re picking away. Head over before they’re through it.”

Bear gangs had been a nuisance of late. Smashing, trashing, taunting, and robbing people – where they had picked up their destructive habits was unknown. Her VC again blamed video games. Jo raced to the location on her ATV. She saw a blue tent near the spring, 0.5km off the road. The bears scattered as she approached. The E-Fencing was still good. She instructed the family to return to Main Base.

VC’s voice: “Upper Valley – Kalash Area – Mountain Trouble – Jo can you respond?”

“Yes, I’m on it! What’s the deal?”

“A family stuck on Camel Mountain’s humps. They say their Auto-Ropes are not working. Have you ever heard of Auto-Ropes not working? They probably don’t know how to use them. Head over there within the hour.”

Jo would have liked to rest awhile before responding. But losing a man last month had been expensive. It wasn’t her fault of course. He was an urban idiot, thinking that drinking and waterfalling mixed well. But he was in her Area so she took the hit. Every life is priceless. $10,000 was a lot off her annual salary, but his worth to the Authority was much greater. Adding up his DNA enhancement value, economic multiplier, consumer infomatics, his voting/lobbying rights, social networking dynamics, racial admixture, socio-demographic balancing, and population growth potential, must stretch into millions. Of course they couldn’t charge her the full amount, but a $10K hit was incentive enough to do everything in her power to keep visitors alive.

VC’s voice: “Upper Valley – Kalash Area – Snow Trouble – Jo can you respond?”

“Yes, I’m on it! What’s the deal?”

“A group nude-skiing. One of them has fallen into an ice hole. He’s freezing his balls off. Head over within fifteen minutes.” Evolution in Action again came to mind, but her role was to save, not to judge. She hauled him out with the winch on her snowmobile. Mr. Blue Balls.

VC’s voice: “Upper Valley – Kalash Area – Air Trouble – Jo can you respond?”

“Yes, I’m on it! What’s the deal?”

“Guy stuck up there and can’t get down. I think you know who it is. Take your time. Teach him a lesson.”

Jo spotted the blue parachute immediately. She drove to the low launch and took off from there. The wind was good and she was on him in two minutes. She flew in behind, hooked onto his back, collapsed his parachute, and flew him down on hers. Removing her helmet she said to him, “You have to stop doing this! I’m working. Something could happen to you!”

“But darling, you’re so sexy in action,” said her husband. “I can’t resist.”

He kissed her cold lips. She realized that she would save him anytime, anywhere. His life to her was priceless.


Posted in Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry with tags , , on February 13, 2012 by javedbabar

Daved liked company when climbing, but today he was alone. He’d planned the ascent as a two-day trip, though was prepared for four days in case of nasty weather; it could easily turn. He’d heard of someone going up and down in a day, but they must have been either a superhero or a liar. It was 9,000 feet of mountain, almost three kilometres up!

Mt. Alba stood at the near end of the Valley as a sentinel over Lucerne Village. 100 km away – at the far end of the Valley – was its darker twin Mt. Negra, which wasn’t visible from the Village because of a bend in the Valley. Daved wondered if it would be visible from Mt. Alba’s summit.

It was a tougher climb than expected. Clear cut patches had “grown back” as dense bush. They’d be okay in another 200 years, but calling this “sustainable” – are you kidding? Thank God for game tracks.

The rock was steady going with some pits of scree. Daved picked through them methodically. The snow near the summit made higher sections easier to navigate, and had a magnificent crunching sound. As Daved neared the top, he heard a miss-timed shuffling-scrunching. Was it his footsteps, echoing high above? It continued for too long afterwards though. He’d been pleased to see evidence of wildlife earlier, but now was much less so. He climbed the final section and saw the beast ahead. It looked like a man walking in circles. Daved rubbed his eyes. What on earth was he doing?

The man didn’t look at Daved or say hello or stop. He wore vintage climbing gear, a beaver fur cap, and boots that were clearly not fit for this purpose. He seemed to have walked out of – or should we say “be walking around in” – the 1920’s.

“Hello there!” Daved called out.

The man slowed momentarily, looked across at him and squinted. He gave a friendly wave, but otherwise continued as before, which Daved found annoying. He had braved a 9,000 ft mountain alone and met a fellow climber at the top. They should be sharing hearty slaps on the back, and whisky from their mickeys; but the guy had virtually ignored him.

Fortunately Daved was a reasonable fellow. He thought, maybe this guy has come here for solitude; he’s left the crazy world below to clear his head, and doesn’t want company. Maybe he’s practising walking meditation, or just keeping warm. But I have to engage him somehow; it is only good manners.

When Daved approached the man’s face lit up. He was about sixty, with a bushy grey moustache and piercing blue eyes. He seemed very friendly, which didn’t square with his ambivalence before. But he didn’t stop walking, so if Daved wished to converse, he had no option but to join him.

“So nice of you to come up, Sir,” said the man. “It’s been a while since I’ve had a visitor. What brings you to these parts? And will you be staying here long?”

“It’s always been there, right before my eyes,” said Daved, feeling at ease immediately with this possibly crazy guy. “But I’d never thought of climbing it before. I’m not sure why. It seemed more a backdrop than something real.”

“Few people notice what is square before them,” said the man. “But the day comes when they do.”

“What brought you up here?” said Daved. It was a deliberately broad question. He wasn’t sure whether to mention his antique climbing gear, and his walking in circles.

“I used to live a linear life,” said the man. “Always going from here to there, from there to somewhere else, and from somewhere else to who knows where? Climbing this mountain was no different. I was fiercely competitive when young, and the first time I climbed, I made it up and down in a day.” Daved’s face changed; was this the man he had heard about? He continued, “But then I realized how pointless that was. Why rush to the grave? We’re all going there soon enough, so why not take our time till then – taste the water, smell the forest, feel the rock, crunch the snow? So now I take my time. The world is different when you pay attention. It is yours.”

The ice was broken; Daved couldn’t help asking, “But why are you walking in circles?”

“Why are we walking in circles?” said the man. “You’re walking with me.”

“Ok, why are we walking in circles?”

“Do you know the meaning of the circle?” said the man.

“Of course,” said Daved, feeling insulted. “Who doesn’t? It symbolizes natural cycles; it means wholeness and completeness.”

“Yes it does. And that’s why we’re walking in circles. We’re making the world.”

“What do you mean, ‘making the world’?”

The man stopped suddenly. Daved did too. The man said, “Ok, do you want to try walking the other way? See what happens?” Daved nodded and they reversed their direction.

At the far end of the Valley – 100 km away – Daved saw the dark top of Mt. Negra glow orange, about to burst. He saw thunderclouds building along the Valley, filled with black rain. Snow slid to the edge of the icecap, about to rush down as an avalanche. Lightning caused a tree to ignite, its flames spreading to others. A vast landslide fell into the river, causing it to dam, building up a huge lake, ready to burst. A light rumble signalled earthquakes brewing.

“Stop!” shouted Daved. “What’s going on?”

“My friend, you have a choice with every step you take. You can either make, or unmake, the world. Which way shall we walk now?”

“The other way!” Daved shouted.

The man turned around and Daved joined him. They had plenty to talk about. He always liked company when walking.