“You really are the Wizard of Monadnock!”
A friend of mine said that to me last week. Obviously, if I didn’t think so, this whole blog and podcast – now nearing five years old – would be a strange project indeed, but it’s still weird to hear it from someone else. I felt honored and humbled.
So I’ve been doing my usual summer wizard thing. For all ten of you that have stuck around for the last few years, this is pretty familiar. Summer, post-solstice particularly, I go off into the forest, my soul and often my body living along the trails and by the rivers and lakes and ponds and sometimes even gazing with feet on sand off toward the horizon of unknown seas. I fuckin’ love the summer. I stock up on sun and light, my skin darkens, my spirit sheds weight, my soul recharges.
The downside, of course, is that the hours I spend outside my day job doing “work” of any other kind takes something of a nosedive. Whatever, guys. I make up for it – or try to – the rest of the year. And anyway, it’s early August and just about time to wrap this season up. Just a couple more weeks until the light takes a corner, becomes gilded more with gold, feels older but also hugely pregnant with possibilities.
The harvest is yet to come, friends.
But anyway, this is me checking in and saying what’s up and tossing you a jumbled synopsis of what I’ve been up to and what’s to come. I hope things have been good for you, or at least interesting! On my side, there’s been a fair amount of relaxation and family time, no small measure of ADVENTURE, an above-average level of reading, and major time spent weekly in reflection and imagination.
Misc. Updates, in no particular order
- I’ve increased my rate of meditation by 47%.
- All right, that’s a made up figure, but the point is that I’m now doing some kind of meditation or breathwork like 5 days a week (almost). This has made a positive difference – although there’s still much more work to be done.
- They took off a tiny piece of my nose. I’m fine.
- I hate the Lord of the Rings movies less than I did. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t get into it just now.
- I got to attend a Boston Entheogenic Network Integration Session. It was awesome. Get with BEN.
- I had the good fortune to structure my summer so that there was at least a partial week of vacation each month for June, July, and August. It’s been great. And the longest one is still to come.
- I had the honor of being a podcast guest. Stay tuned for more on that one! It’s not out yet but will be soon.
- I got to hang out with some very dear friends, and will get to do some more of that before the summer’s out.
- I’ve seen a fair number of animals.
- They’re demolishing my high school. I don’t have anything to do with it, but I thought I should mention it.
- I haven’t hiked enough – in fact, just last week was my first trip up Monadnock itself, and before that I hadn’t even gone up one of the minor local mountains like Pack, not even by car.
- That’s okay, though. The experience last week was amazing and bears retelling in full, and fall’s the best time to hike. To be fair, the last several years I’ve hardly done any fall hiking, but I’m gonna make an effort this time around.
- I got some magic blueberries while I was up there no lie. They’re in the fridge right now.
- Peterborough’s quiet. I had a really busy, civic, community-oriented spring, and I loved it. But for one reason or another, I haven’t seen most of my favorite townfolk very much this summer.
- There’s also no church during the summer for UUs. I have to admit, I don’t prefer it this way.
- Hell, even my best buddy in town (a town luminary, no less), I haven’t seen that dude since around the Solstice. If you’re reading this, broseph, time to make up for lost time soon. We got chillin to do.
- I wrote lyrics for a song!
- I’ve been consuming a metric shitton of awesome podcasts. Between the magic and esoteric shows like Rune Soup and Aeon Byte and the outstanding psychedelic shows like Psychedelics Today and Psymposia’s Psychedelic Salon 2.0, people out there are really on point.
- I regret to not really be a part of this trend, but you can’t win em all. I’m still pumping out a show a month, which I consider an acceptable level. (Hopefully, you do, too.)
- The prophesies seem to be coming true (as usual, am I right).
- Game of Thrones.
Adventure – Now Available on Audio
I’m not gonna give you the whole story here, guys. It’s already out there – that link above takes you to the very special (aren’t they all?) WoM Radio Hour Episode 10. It’s called “A Midsummer Night’s Trip, Part 1” – and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Unlike any of my other podcast episodes, Episode 10 is structured like a true crime or other documentary podcast – my voiceover providing an intro and narration throughout the story interspersed heavily with recordings and documentation captured live and in the moment.
It’s the story of a Dead and Company concert at Fenway park on June 18 – hilarious, musical, sacred, religious, and entertaining as all hell. Not only that, but I forced all the real people who were there in real life to listen to the show, and every single one of them called my account and presentation not merely honest and accurate but said the episode really captured the spirit of the whole thing. If this isn’t something you’ve ever experienced firsthand, it’s especially in your interest to give this a listen. Things you’ve never seen might start to seem familiar.
Part 2 will have the same format, and will in turn tell the story of a subsequent Dead and Company show, two days later, in Saratoga Springs – with the same laughs and raw reality, but also very different, because, well, Saratoga was a lot different from Fenway. That’s all I can tell you.
As always, it’s taking longer to put together than I’ve planned, but Part 1 dropped on July 18 (or thereabouts) and I’m quite confident I’ll be able to crank out the exciting conclusion before we hit the one-month mark.
Now that I said that, I probably jinxed it completely.
Not only have I been forcing myself to make time to read some books, I’ve really been enjoying the hell out of what I’ve been reading. As might be expected, I now have about 10 in progress, which is far more than I’ve completed. Couple of highlights:
- I reread Dune earlier this summer for the third or fourth time. God damn, is that an amazing work – if I get started on it, I’ll end up tripling the word count of this already-overlong post. But I will say this – if there’s any Dune-lovers out there who’d want to talk about it on a podcast, GET AT ME! Let’s do that.
- I made the interesting and largely unintentional decision to begin reading Aldous Huxley’s Island at the same time as rereading Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. It was interesting because both take place on tropical islands, both have protagonists who are journalists but may have ulterior motives, both explore different ways of looking at and organizing society and life, and both depict their respective island cultures as actively under threat from the broader world. And they’re both great. Of course, they are also very different in tone, purpose, voice, and length, and while I completed Cat’s Cradle a couple weeks ago at this point, I still have a ways to go in Island – and much to say about both.
That’s probably enough.
For now. This check-in isn’t over, though. We’ve got more to talk about, so EXPECT ME, PILGRIMS!!
But hey, before you go….got extra cash you don’t know what to do with? A bill you don’t feel like paying this month? Or maybe you just like my style and wanna show a token amount of support and love quantifiable in currency – regardless of your situation we’ve got a plan for you. Pop on over to our Patreon and sign up for whatever you can toss my way. No lie (you can see for yourself), I don’t bring in very much per month, and 1/3 of what people give me, I turn around and give to support other people’s Patreons (I think you can see which ones, but if not, just ask and I’ll give you a list – they’re all worthy causes). Despite this, the couple of bucks I got from supporters yesterday actually helped us not overdraft this week. So it really makes a difference. And I’m also about to dump a bunch of cool bonus shit on there, so now’s the time to get in on it.