I don't know how many of you read my journals, but I thought I would check back in here and reconnect with this site and some artists. I have been inactive here for quite a long while; not submitting, collecting, or admiring art. Since last time I wrote much has happened, and perhaps it can explain my absence. I had a Cancer scare (which went on many months) caused, as it was learned after many tests, from a benign tumor in my neck. The tumor may present problems down the road, but I should live, so I am grateful. What followed next could be a long story, but I will keep is short.
I lost my job, but I wanted to move on anyway (so no worries), but with a few weeks off, I decided to go hiking in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York with my brother and a friend. We hiked all day up to Table mountain's summit, and - due to circumstances, decided to sleep under the stars and pines on the summit. We were bedding down at dusk when I heard something through the trees not far off. The flashlight came out, and what followed next must have been God's answer to my question the previous night at the campfire-"anyone know any good ghost stories?". I found myself staring into two very large, round eyes, that burned white hot under the glare of my flashlight. It held its stare- unblinking, despite the fact that I alerted my brother and my friend to an "unidentifiable" prescence that lurked nearby through the trees.
The others placed their lights on it, and I speculated out loud- unable to discern any form that held up those large front set eyes, "Is that a coyote?" "A deer?" ..... (oh shit) "is that a bear?". I began to circle to the right, trying to obtain a better vantage point for my flashlight to penetrate the dark. I lost sight of the eyes, but my brother found them quite easily where he was. He would later claim that they glowed red, and stayed fixed upon his movements. We took no chances, and began to make a racquet, hoping to dislodge this watcher from the dark, taking turns to pack up our gear as two stood watch with large bowie knives drawn at the ready.
What could it have been? I have seen many deer at night, as they froze in the headlights of my car- and their eyes might flash white for a moment, but more often they were green. Besides, I have never seen a deer stick around for so long with such opposition in glaring light and noise. Coyote were in the area, but the eyes were high off the ground- or so it seemed? A mountain lion? Highly unlikely, but later, as I recounted my story, a woman told me her father lived in the area, and did come face to face with one- those large, front set, perfectly round looking pupils, so intent...could it be? The Jersey Devil? A Pukwudgie? I was beginning to think- or prefer rather, to err on the side of caution that it was possibly something real, like a Black Bear.
We headed down the mountain, loud and riotous like a parade of lost spirits, or merry makers in an ancient bacchanal. We hoped that it would discourage whatever was behind those eyes from following. Perhaps it did, but over 10 miles down a rocky and treacherous mountain path in the pitch darkness, in a woods that was full of life and sounds was what awaited. We eventually found an enclosure that resembled an "L" shaped alley, and barricaded either end, and bedded down. The wind haunted us for a while, and we endured the light rain that fell over us until it began to pour which forced us to attempt to reach our base camp at the bottom of the mountain. In the first rays of dawn, we would almost make back, but fate intervened.
My foot slipped forward a bit on a rain slicked boulder stone, and what would have been a slight stumble became twisted by a reaching root. My foot twisted the wrong way, and I fell on my back to avoid going forward. It didn't hurt much, but my ankle felt like it was floating out of joint. I knew something was wrong. I can only conclude this story with its anticlimactic end. I would thank my brother and friend for aiding me in those moments attempt to fashion a crutch, and to then get help- as I could not walk, and the cold soaking rain was depleting what was left of my strength Many strangers, who were camping nearby, lent their aid as well. I had to crawl, exhausted, through the mud, and eventually wait for a few hours in my tent for the Forest rangers to come to my rescue. I still had to crawl and hobble some on my way out, but the rangers and the others worked very hard- and carrying a full grown man who weighs 235 pounds up a very rocky mountain path made me feel sorry for them and not myself. Thank you one an all for that, I am in their debt.
We never found out what confronted us on the mountain that night. It reminded me of Mr. Barlowe from the old 'Salem's Lot' movie, with those fixed glowing eyes - an image that is still a bit spooky. I am just now able to walk again after a plate and 6 screws were installed into my ankle to allow my fibular bone to heal, and I had to spend most of my summer immobile- and unable to drive (as it was my right ankle that was broken) as well. It sucked, and still sucks to limp, but such is life. Perhaps it gave me the time out from a busy schedule to reevaluate my life, and at least it was just a broken ankle. I hope I can run again- maybe. Anyway, I will post more art very soon, and I am eager to catch up with things here. If I didn't bore you by the time you have reached these line, thanks for reading, and enjoy the Fall that is just beginning.
Listening to: The ringing in my ear...
Reading: My bad prose...
Watching: This screen...
Eating: Trying not to...
Drinking: Trying not to...