The Green Suede Cap…

TAO TE CHING – Chapter 64. Care at the Beginning & Care at the End

a. Care at the Beginning
What lies still is easy to grasp;
What lies far off is easy to anticipate;
What is brittle is easy to shatter;
What is small is easy to disperse.

Yet a tree broader than a man can embrace is born of a tiny shoot;
A dam greater than a river can overflow starts with a clod of earth;
A journey of a thousand miles begins at the spot under one’s feet.

Therefore deal with things before they happen;
Create order before there is confusion.

b. Care at the End
He who acts, spoils;
He who grasps, loses.
People often fail on the verge of success;
Take care at the end as at the beginning,
So that you may avoid failure.

The sage desires no-desire,
Values no-value,
Learns no-learning,
And returns to the places that people have forgotten;
He would help all people to become natural,
But then he would not be natural.
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It’s been busy hectic here in Portland. My apologies for not being here as often as I have been. Lots of projects on the fire, Art work and editing. I am trying to organize my self out of the wet paper bag! With that said, I hope you enjoy this edition of Turfing!

Gwyllm
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On The Menu:
Invisible College 6h Edition Released!
The Green Suede Cap…
You are the one (feat. Devendra Banhart)
Aleksandr Blok, Revolutionary Poet
Devendra Banhart “Sight to behold” (Live)

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The Invisible College Magazine 6th Edition Released!

So… The Invisible College Magazine 6th Edition is now out! You can see it at IC.Earthrites.org
I think it is a nice bit of collaborative work. Please take a look at the site, and if you feel so moved, please pick up a copy! New lower price as we have found another place to publish, and there is some brilliant work in this edition. From a great interview with Jim Fadiman by Diane Darling, another visit with Lyterphotos and his series, to the poetry of Bryce Milligan and Yahia Lababidi… from the art of Jim Harter, Chuck St. John, and Oleg Korolev and much more! This is a pivotal issue. Not to be missed!
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The Green Suede Cap…

(Without the cap, with the jacket…)

I first met “The Cap” when I had just turned 17. It was a sight to behold, sitting on top of a wooden head in “The Leather Shoppe”, just off of Mt. Shasta Blvd next to Red Adams Realty in Mt. Shasta California (lovely place that). I walked into the store for the first time, and there it was. Green suede, yellow corduroy inner band. It was pretty snappy, and I desired it. The only problem was it was 9.00 dollars, and that was a lot of money back when the minimum wage was 98 cents per hour.

I got to know the owners of The Leather Shoppe, Sandie and Jim Sellers. They were up from Big Sur, and at that time in their mid 30′s, ex-beats now uber-hippies. I had sort of a crush on Sandie, she had long blond flowing hair to her waist, and soft Nordic features with extremely blue eyes. Jim was kind, thinnish with hair tied back. Both of them were sweet, and allowed me to hang out in their shop when I was in town. I would hang out and talk, and generally learn something new every time I went in.

Months past and that hat sat there unsold. I never lost my desire for it. I would make a bee-line for it every time I visited with Sandie and Jim. I had no idea about business, economics or what it took to keep a small shop open in a remote town. Slowly but surely the Sellers were losing it with their choice of location. I think the strain of it all was working against them. Still, they were kindness personified. A month before they closed up shop and left for Oregon, Sandie said to me when I came in the shop, “This is yours”, as she handed me the green suede cap. I was speechless, and then I thanked them profusely. They were absolutely beaming and laughing when I left the shop.

That cap went with me everywhere. About that time I had acquired a used dark brown leather jacket from the 1930′s, which in combination (to my eyes) were a very stylish set. With my little red book, and Mao pin in my label, I looked and felt the part of a young ardent revolutionary. (at least in style!) Whether I was hitchhiking up to Portland, or down to San Francisco via Highway 1, that cap went with me. When I went to Santa Cruz to hang, there it went, or to L.A. or Reno…

As the years went by, I would put it up on the shelf in the closest for months or years at a time. It traveled down to L.A. with me, and up to the Bay area. It sat in storage with friends when I went to Hawaii. A year later, it went with me to Europe, (along the way I had lost the leather jacket, and now had an old rain coat). The cap didn’t mind, it adapted easily. I wore it as I traveled the rails of Europe, from the Isle of Dogs, to the Hash bars along the canals of Amsterdam, to the cobbled stone streets of Freiburg and was with me when I first drank Absinthe. It crossed the Rhine with me and dallied awhile among the avenues of the Alsace Loraine. It was with me as I traveled back to Calaise, then across the Channel to Dover where in London I met Mary one Friday night.

It flew back to L.A. with us a year later, and landed eventually on a shelf where it stayed off and on for years. I nearly gave it away a couple of times, and nearly threw it away as I was going through changes and wanted to leave my past behind. Yet something stayed my hand. It went back to Europe with us, and wore it on lovely walks in Highgate Cemetery , in Wiltshire to Avebury and up Silbury Hill, and then on to the South Downs where I saw the Leylines stretching across the land illuminated like fire one dark afternoon. I wore it when I drove our Anglia out to the Devon, and up the moors to Bowden Farm.

We came back to California, and after a couple of years moved north to Washington. I was happy to have it that very cold winter, and eventually the cap made it back to Mt. Shasta when we moved south again. During the years, Sandie Sellers had moved back to Mt. Shasta, and we became friends again. She laughed when she saw the hat on me. It was a nice return. Sandie died a year later, and shortly after Jim passed in the Applegate in Southern Oregon. That year, Rowan was born. Life indeed had gone full circle. We left Mt. Shasta, never to come back except to visit. Doors do indeed close. I see Sandie still, laughing. The years have streamed by, but she is still there inside of me.

This old cap has seen wonders, drudgeries, debaucheries and moments of great beauty. It was with me in times of innocence, and times of hard scrabble. I wore it up to this last winter, where I went to get it, and it was gone. Not lost, but Rowan had borrowed it. This went on for a month or two, and I finally asked him if he wanted it. “Yes, I do” was his reply. I see him now leaving in the morning, an ardent young film-maker and general all around gentleman. I think it fits him better than it ever fit me.

There is a time for holding on, and a time for letting go. Everything has it’s time and everything eventually passes. I see the cap almost everyday. It kinda winks as it goes by. (to be continued…)

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You are the one (feat. Devendra Banhart)

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Aleksandr Blok, Revolutionary Poet

A Girl Sang a Song

A girl sang a song in the temple’s chorus,
About men, tired in alien lands,
About the ships that left native shores,
And all who forgot their joy to the end.

Thus sang her clean voice, and flew up to the highness,
And sunbeams shined on her shoulder’s white —
And everyone saw and heard from the darkness
The white and airy gown, singing in the light.

And all of them were sure, that joy would burst out:
The ships have arrived at their beach,
The people, in the land of the aliens tired,
Regaining their bearing, are happy and reach.

And sweet was her voice and the sun’s beams around….
And only, by Caesar’s Gates — high on the vault,
The baby, versed into mysteries, mourned,
Because none of them will be ever returned.

Gamajun, the Prophetic Bird

On waters, spread without end,
Dressed with the sunset so purple,
It sings and prophesies for land,
Unable to lift the smashed wings’ couple…
The charge of Tartars’ hordes it claims,
And bloody set of executions,
Earthquake, and hunger and the flames,
The death of justice, crime’s intrusion…
And caught with fear, cold and smooth,
The fair face flames as one of lovers’,
But sound with prophetic truth
The lips that the bloody foam covers!…

He, who was born

He, who was born in stagnant year
Does not remember own way.
We, kids of Russia’s years of fear,
Remember every night and day.

Years that burned everything to ashes!
Do you bring madness or grace?
The war’s and freedom’s fire flashes
Left bloody light on every face.

We are struck dumb: the toxsin’s pressure
Has made us tightly close lips.
In living hearts, once full of pleasure,
The fateful desert now sleeps.

And let the crying ravens soar
Right over our death-bed,
May those who were striving more,
O God, behold Thy Kingdom’s Great!

The Stranger

The restaurants on hot spring evenings
Lie under a dense and savage air.
Foul drafts and hoots from dunken revelers
Contaminate the thoroughfare.
Above the dusty lanes of suburbia
Above the tedium of bungalows
A pretzel sign begilds a bakery
And children screech fortissimo.

And every evening beyond the barriers
Gentlemen of practiced wit and charm
Go strolling beside the drainage ditches —
A tilted derby and a lady at the arm.

The squeak of oarlocks comes over the lake water
A woman’s shriek assaults the ear
While above, in the sky, inured to everything,
The moon looks on with a mindless leer.

And every evening my one companion
Sits here, reflected in my glass.
Like me, he has drunk of bitter mysteries.
Like me, he is broken, dulled, downcast.

The sleepy lackeys stand beside tables
Waiting for the night to pass
And tipplers with the eyes of rabbits
Cry out: “In vino veritas!”

And every evening (or am I imagining?)
Exactly at the appointed time
A girl’s slim figure, silk raimented,
Glides past the window’s mist and grime.

And slowly passing throught the revelers,
Unaccompanied, always alone,
Exuding mists and secret fragrances,
She sits at the table that is her own.

Something ancient, something legendary
Surrounds her presence in the room,
Her narrow hand, her silk, her bracelets,
Her hat, the rings, the ostrich plume.

Entranced by her presence, near and enigmatic,
I gaze through the dark of her lowered veil
And I behold an enchanted shoreline
And enchanted distances, far and pale.

I am made a guardian of the higher mysteries,
Someone’s sun is entrusted to my control.
Tart wine has pierced the last convolution
of my labyrinthine soul.

And now the drooping plumes of ostriches
Asway in my brain droop slowly lower
And two eyes, limpid, blue, and fathomless
Are blooming on a distant shore.

Inside my soul a treasure is buried.
The key is mine and only mine.
How right you are, you drunken monster!
I know: the truth is in the wine.

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Devendra Banhart “Sight to behold” (Live)

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