“The Purpose of Time is to Prevent Everything From Happening at Once”

Suppose your life a folded telescope
Durationless, collapsed in just a flash
As from your mother’s womb you, bawling, drop
Into a nursing home. Suppose you crash
Your car, your marriage—toddler laying waste
A field of daisies, schoolkid, zit-faced teen
With lover zipping up your pants in haste
Hearing your parents’ tread downstairs—all one.

Einstein was right. That would be too intense.
You need a chance to preen, to give a dull
Recital before an indifferent audience
Equally slow in jeering you and clapping.
Time takes its time unraveling. But, still,
You’ll wonder when your life ends: Huh? What happened?

X. J. Kennedy
Corolla, North Carolina

Break Time

Above Hole In The Wall, Glacier National Park, Montana

In the past seven days, Whitefish has been covered with two feet of snow. As I’m sipping my coffee and starting the day the temperature stands at -6. I see another long boring treadmill run in my future. On days like this, let your mind turn to planning, and dreaming of the future. Allow your thoughts, the same consciousness that is the engine of thoughts filled negativity and darkness, to breath the promise of something different, something better.

Summer is coming, with every day the sun hesitates before setting. Soon our concerns will not be about how warm to dress but if the smoke from wildfires has made it unsafe to be outside. All things pass. Dream for summer adventures, stir dreams for future insight, dream for better days. Unfold those maps, let your fingers trace the countries of future memories.

Advance permits for backcountry backpacking in Glacier National Park can be submitted starting March 15.

I wish you so much more than luck

Denton, Montana

Countless times I’ve read, heard and been told that what David Foster Wallace said at the Kenyon College Graduation in 2005 is as close to perfection that words written and then spoken can achieve. For years I resisted reading them, when a fellow teacher showed the youtube audio of the speech I would hurry past, trying not to hear. And then one day, on a Friday, a trying Friday of a long week, you listen. And you realize that it was true, it is genius, beauty and undeniably true and not trite praise for a genius complexity of a man, gone, far too early, by suicide.

Maybe you too resisted, fearing it would disappoint. This time you should listen.

The Anxious Wait

Members of the Flathead Sheriff Mounted Posse wait nervously as a protest march led by thousands of Whitefish residents begins. Citizens demanded the tarring and feathering of infamous WF resident Richard Spencer, a reduction in water rates, affordable housing for the underpaid and overworked service industry workers, the creation of two elementary schools to bring relief to the overcrowded Muldown School, an explanation of what that creepy guy who wears latex gloves at Safeway is talking about and a $15 dollar per day per person tax for Canadian at Whitefish City Beach. Wait….my bad, a view from the Whitefish Winter Carnival Parade.

The One You Feed

A few springs ago, I was driving my family south from the Canadian Border to the Wurtz Forest Service Cabin on North Fork Road. As I slowed the rig down before the bridge at Whale Creek, a Grizzly Bear jumped out of the creek and onto the road. I slammed on the breaks and the bear eyed us wearily before walking across the bridge and then trotting down the burrow pit into the scrub pine.

I fumbled to get my DSLR camera set up and drove forward to get some pictures. I was excited and didn’t realize that the autofocus was getting the small trees in the foreground and not the bear. I was, of course, disappointed by such a missed opportunity and when I did come across those pictures always felt the pang of regret for not being a better photographer.

Winter is always a bit of a dark time for me. This winter no different. I have to make a conscious effort to focus on the things that keep my head above water. Yet, it’s a battle to do the boring things that keep me healthy and not wallow in depression, shame, and guilt.

A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at battle. 

One is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery, and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred, and fear.

The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”
The grandfather quietly replies, “The one you feed.”

That bear in the picture.

He’s always out there for me. Waiting to wreck my perception, attitude, creativity, judgment, destiny, emotion, decisions and determination. That picture, I’m glad the bear is a blur in the background. He’s out there, the good and bad bears, just like the good and bad wolves.

Back when I thought you were my fate

Chatham County Line, When The Crop Comes In

Don’t know how this masterpiece slipped past me all these years.

We’ve all been there. Stories old as time, fresh in verse, the truth that makes good music, poetry, fiction, connection. This song is on constant repeat in my brain. There are a lot of things that I can do to save myself. Listening to really good music is a good one.

Sweet Marie I can hardly wait
There’s gas in the tank tonight’s our fate
Let us not part sore by the porches light
Lets go out together into the night

She said her friend Peter had a steady wage
A home for two, numbers on the page
Well I thought for a while and that’s when she spoke
The words as they started I thought a joke …she said…

Come see me when the crop comes in
When the water’s high, you can afford to spend
I’m high on the cotton and my dress is fine
I’d spend it all – if you could be mine
I’m not the kid of woman that’s bound to lose
So don’t come around with your poor boy blues

Well she was sore from the moment she picked up
A plastic fork and a paper cup
But she laughed at the jokes and she sure could smile
Something cheap as love should last a while …she said…

Does a diamond really talk that loud
Does just love not make you proud?
When you’ve got all you can use
Don’t bore me with your rich girl blues

Well Sweet Marie I could hardly wait
Back when I thought you were my fate
A diamond told you to walk that aisle
Even though you could have been my style

Come see me when the crop comes in
When the water’s high, you can afford to spend
I’m high on the cotton and my dress is fine
… I wouldn’t spend it all – if you could be mine

Dave Wilson-Chatham County Line