In the mountains, there you feel free.
I've been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract. No brush, no paint, no canvas, I just think about it.
In Valley Forge National Park—best known for George Washington’s troops eating bark and freezing their asses off in the long winter of 1776—a couple of hills are home to what I like to call the allegorical hike. First, I walk up the soft, grassy slope of Mount Joy. Then, after a pleasant jaunt among the rabbits and deer, I come down, cross the road and creek, and begin to climb a steep colonial ruin-lined trail to the top of Mount Misery, following a noose-shaped course before going back the way I came, again reaching the heights of Mount Joy, descending to my car, and driving home. Deep, isn’t it?
I thought of you as my mountaintop, I thought of you as my peak
I thought of you as everything I had but couldn’t keep...
There’ve been times I’ve been hopelessly infatuated with someone I didn’t know well at all. Looking back, after things have gone bad, or didn’t happen at all, I’ve wondered how I could’ve been so wrong, or what the hell it was all about in the first place. The trouble, I think, has generally been that I saw a projection of something I’ve always wanted, or needed, or lost, not another person at all. There’s this movie called An American Crime—young Ellen Page gets left with Catherine Keener who turns out to be a psychopath and tortures her to death, with the help of her children and their friends—based on a true story—the kind of movie that’s well-made with strong performances, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to subject yourself to it. Shortly after seeing that, I was reading about David Pelzer, who’s written a bunch of books about the abuse he suffered at the hands of his deranged mother. “How could they do that to an innocent child?” is a valid question, certainly. But I wonder if they see that innocent child at all, rather than a malevolent symbol, or some part of themselves they hate. Maybe it’s similar to the way depression causes a person to see nothing but itself, and mistake it for the world.
In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg'd manacles I hear.