Sunday, January 22, 2017
I woke up about an hour ago...can't sleep...

I've got this awful feeling inside, but I'm scared if I voice it, it'll come true...

But probably I just need sleep, which you all should know by now I don't get very much of...

Writing a Little Tonight

Friday, January 20, 2017
Although not specifically about the chase, this "little" piece I wrote tonight was inspired by SB 164.

Perspective of Persephone

Of all the places where I might wish to be;
It might be the sylvan fields of gentle Persephone
Alone, I’d bend to bowers in pearly seas of green
and dream the dreams of things yet unseen—

The forest hides the elysian blue of moonlit pool
Where blind Narcissus stares like a frozen fool
Walking on tips of toes, I tread silently, so quietly, by,
And pause—just slightly—as I imagine his sigh.

A rumbling, of thunder, or perhaps Etna’s distant fury
But nothing in this vale has yet made my heart worry
So Iowering my eyes once again to the flowers,
I smile as I anticipate the life-bringing showers.

Soon the rumbling is covered by Pan’s whimsical flute;
I laugh in delight as I hear Apollo’s lyre refute—
Who is sitting as judge in their contest of skill?
Midas again, or has his new ears had their fill?

Or will Aura dance in with her teasing light breeze?
To playfully arouse, she’s so eager to please—
But is it her wrath I hear, growing ever more near?
Her warring with Artemis was surely something to fear.

The corner of my eye catches the sun dip in cloud
As if it were desperately seeking the safety of shroud
The hairs on my arms prickle at some unheard sound;
I freeze, listen, and ready the edge of my gown.

My feet begin to tremble on the rattling ground,
And even the stout trees seem to shrink down—
As I look all around and try to find the source of the din
I shake my head, no— it cannot be. It comes from within. 

Then, the black moment, when the black coursers appear;
With the promise to steal everything I ever held dear;
And the charioteer, just a glimpse, and I know— 
That he hails from death, from the earth deep below.

Suddenly beneath me the ground I’ve loved crumbles,
And his triumphant shout is almost drowned in the rumbles—
I stumble—and within a hair’s breath of time;
His strong vise of a hand entirely closes around mine.

The scent of the marsh hangs strong in the air
And I’m afraid I shall wither if my eyes chance to dare
At the powerful presence urging his frothing dark stallions 
Their eyes are terrible, crimson-flaming medallions.

The landscape swims, my vision dims, as I struggle to breathe, 
Hades’ grip tightens as I remember to scream.
I turn, reach back and catch a tear-wrenching sight—
My mother, Demeter, her face a pallid mask of pure fright.

“Mother!” I cry, stretching, reaching as far back as I can— 
Tears flowing freely, a bitter sea that sickens my land—
Desperate Demeter begins chase with an agonized roar—
And suddenly…a jarring descent— I see her no more.

The wispy, whispering sky of my Elysian youth disappears;
And I feel I’ve aged an aching ten thousand years—
The charioteer’s rugged visage then appears for my eyes;
And I try, but fail, to hide my surprise—

My captor’s Aegean eyes speak strength in their mercy;
I stand frozen, bewitched as if enthralled by Circe—
But no moly-laden draught had I consumed in this place
And never could I, if I hoped to escape this damp space.

For many a day, I resolved to speak not a word,
Trying to ignore the gentle ministrations of Hades I heard—
Finally failing to stifle the passion pulling me apart;
I resolved to bravely surrender my heart.

And so began a friendship, a royal romance of the ages
But often wondered what would result from Mother’s rages—
I knew she would eternally search, forever a martyr,
And would punish the world—especially Zeus, my father.

My visions were realized when heartbroken Hades, one day,
Relented to Zeus, and said he had to send me away—
I could return to the world above—green grass and bright sun—
But why did I feel no victory was won?

Before I ventured to reunite with my overjoyed mother,
Hades offered me one last gift like no other—
Four tiny Pomegranate seeds, not enough for a meal,
And would not violate the underworld’s no eating deal. 

So, I took the seeds, slipped them under my tongue
And immediately realized the grave mistake I had done—
My youthful heart slowed, my lungs stuttered in breath,
Then an eternal pause between life and my death.

The agony of betrayal flared white hot as hell’s fire
But was a flicker of flame compared to Mother’s ire—
She withered the crops until nearly all mortal men died;
Ignoring their pleas, and turning away as they cried.

Tormented with the guilt of his deadly mistake 
Hades pleaded on behalf of Man’s sake—
And agreed to lift the stifling veil of my doom,
Allowing me to return home at time of Spring’s bloom.

And so the seasons were born with that fateful scene—
Winters I’d spend as the underworld’s dread queen,
Returning in Spring with an endeavor to nourish;
My presence beckoning the grass and grain to flourish.

So passed I from blissful youth to wise goddess,
Aware of mortality when winter heart stilled my bodice,
The pages of time will ever remember my history,

As the day Hades abducted gentle Persephone.

Busting Boundaries

Thursday, January 19, 2017
Well, it's set. James is moving to FL next week. I'll meet him in Tucson on Friday, and we'll head toward FL, making a stop in Santa Fe along the way, and a few other stops at points of interest. We won't have time to search, but will try to enjoy the scenery as we drive through. It'll be fun, I think.

The other X-ray tech is out at work for a while using up her remaining vacation time from last year, so I'm doing X-rays for the next however many days. Today looks like it'll be busy, busy, busy.

I wanted to add something to my analysis yesterday. First, another term used in shipwrecks is "capsized." And the first poem in the SB is written in all caps...

Second,  I've long thought the poem from TTotC has a mythological theme, and a couple of my spots in the past were named for Greek mythology. I've been reading the different mythology books (the Bullfinch's Mythology I got for Christmas and other books like The Iliad and Odyssey). I'm also reading more about Norse mythology.

I think F has a King Midas/Pan thing going, and many of his stories reflect aspects of those myths. For example, look into how King Midas kept his secret, and why he had to keep killing his barber. :)

Here's the mountain tomb of the historical King Midas, Tumulus MM:

Anyway, there is a Greek goddess who fits the terms of "throbbing," "breeze," "saline door," "screaming," "shrouded," "war," "wild," and "dreams" -- all words found or implied in the stanza that describes "throbbing Ann."

There is another goddess it could also fit, Persephone, who is often portrayed wearing a "shroud" or a "veil." (I posted a pic yesterday of a sculpture of Persephone and her veil)

Persephone, while innocently picking flowers in the meadow, was abducted by love-maddened god of the underworld, Hades.

Persephone's mom, heard Persephone's screams as shows being dragged by Hades through a "door" to the underworld. This "door" has been described as being in different places, and one of these places is at the edge of the Western Sea. I can picture her "reaching back" as the meadows and flowers and fields she loved disappeared behind her.

Anyway, Demeter, her mom, searched the world looking for her, and finally that ass, Zeus, told Demeter he had given Persephone to Hades. Man, She was ticked.

I would not to be Zeus right about then. Woowhee, Demeter coulda skinned that guy god alive, and she raised hell (so to speak), cursing the land so that  nothing would grow until she got her daughter back. People began to starve as crops failed, and basically the world was miserable without Persephone.

When Zeus saw that Demeter wasn't going to just let it go, he agreed to persuade Hades to let Persephone return. Hades reluctantly agreed, but tricked Persephone into eating a number of pomegranate seeds before she left. Apparently, if you eat anything in Hades, you're doomed to remain there forever. That wily Hades! I'm surprised Demeter didn't bust her way through the ground like a Herculean mole to wring his neck.

Just eat's...candy.
In the end, they worked out a deal where Persephone would stay in Hades as a dead goddess, the "dread queen of the dead," for the winter months, and return to the surface in the spring. And that's why we have the seasons, because the flowers and trees and grass and crops literally rejoice when she's back in their presence.

But I'm more convinced that F is referring to another goddess as "throbbing Ann," and that one is easy enough to find if you plug in the keywords I used above.

It's all so interesting to me. And, as a side note, E.A. Poe's poems are heavily laden with references to mythology, if that is the Poe to which Forrest thanks for the favor.

But still, there's something that I'm quickly finding fruition in, and I'm not too distracted by this SB. The poem and TTotC work together, and the captions are key. One day soon I will show you why, but the last answers are coming to quickly now to reveal. Just look to the trees...and stuff. Read the poem, read the book--the whole book--where the captions are equally important as the words and drawings and photos. It's the big picture, the whole story (or as much of the whole story as F will tell), and the blaze/map/trail.

I will also say the word "mark" is important. What did F drop to mark the enemy's in the dense Vietnam jungle below? Bombs with white phosphorus. Google it, and you'll see a distinct way these bombs marked a spot...

Scrapbook 164 Hoopla

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
I'm going to try and condense what I'm thinking about with this Scrapbook, but it's going to be hard. Last night, when I got home from work, I looked closer at the photos, and did some experimenting with a few areas of interest on my photo-editing program on my Mac. I did notice some similarities between a couple spots on the picture and shapes colored in on pictures in the book...

However, I have to concede they might be coincidence. When I tried several different methods to detect tampering, the only definite ones I could find were around the edges and some of the black shading in certain interior spots. To me, the "paring" of the picture was more sloppily done than what F usually would normally allow to pass. It wasn't nearly as "subtle" as things hidden in photos in the past. So, I have to wonder if this was F just playing around, knowing the attention the photos would get.

But, then again, he did ask a question at the end of the SB, and I've always believed that when F asks a question, it's important to try to answer it. He asked, "...what else does it know?"

I remember the several references in TTotC that tell you what knows--the trees know, the grass knows, etc. So, this piece of driftwood may also know a secret for us to discover.

I didn't spend a lot of time on it last night, but I found this interesting...

Or could even be from this page on TTotC (a page which specifically gives a hint to look at the trees) :

Which also looks like this on the driftwood (darker swan or duck shaped shadow):

And this looks like Camel Rock, a little:

And this little guy looks like he's losing his hat as he heads quickly downstream in his canoe:

Then there's this half shaded square in the dark part of this view (the black edge to the right also looks like an outline of a landscape):

Then there's this lion:

I've found a few more oddities, but I'll save those for later, because I want to talk about the words in this SB, too. I feel that the words and the photos are in cooperation with each other, so you can't examine one without the other. I'll try and concentrate on things people haven't already mentioned on hoD or CC. If it's already been mentioned by someone else, forgive me...I don't have time to read every single comment ever posted on the blogs.

First, the author of the poem says that he believes the only part the driftwood art plays is that of an "olden sailing ship." He confirms it with the definitive statement, "and nothing more." 

But as he turns the piece and looks at it from various angles, other possibilities occur to him. He considers whether it could be a "desperate soul," standing upon a sodden knoll, wet from tears or rain, searching for his missing "Candy Ann." He said she lately had departed a distant port, and that "no one was there to pay her toll." 

This just oozes mythology. The rivers Styx, Acheron, Lethe, and Cocytus all converge at the center of the underworld on a great marsh (sodden knoll?). The river Styx was said to be the boundary between the underworld and Earth. The ferryman, Charon, required a toll from the newly dead (departed) to cross the river to gain entrance into the underworld. If the soul did not pay the toll, they could not cross the river. It was up to the relatives of the deceased (departed) to place a toll in the mouth of the corpse. So, Candy Ann died alone, without family to place the toll for Charon in her mouth. 

So, the question is, was the "desperate soul" already dead and waiting for Candy Ann, who couldn't pay the toll and was therefore stuck on the wrong side of the river? 

Much of the rest of the poem has already been talked about on the blogs, but the last stanza wraps everything up by the author realizing that the driftwood plays many different parts, depending on the "wanderings" of his mind. It revealed a new and wondrously different secret every time he looked at it, and that's just the way it was. He couldn't control his imagination, which took him on new journeys  at every turn.

Then the poem of a different font begins, and some words/phrases stand out. There are two uses of the word "bare." Another interesting word is "vestige," which means "mark." There are the words "paragon" and "pare." 

"Paragon" means "a person or thing regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality." In this case, it is a "paragon of expression." However, the etymology of "paragon" originally came from the Italian word paragone, which meant "touchstone to test gold." And that word came from paragonare, which meant "to test on a touchstone, compare," which came from the Greek word parakonan, which meant "to sharpen, whet," which comes from "para"--"on the side" and "akone"--"to be sharp, pointed."

There's the phrase, "...the forces of oceanic turbulence combined..." meaning "more than one oceanic force." Maybe that's a gentle push to Google what those forces might be? 

Is any of this useful? That, I cannot say, because I'm focusing on something else. 

Meeting Moses at Journey's End

Tuesday, January 17, 2017
On one of our recent trips to NM, James and I found an interesting "treasure" off the main road, and a little hidden from view. You wouldn't see it unless you were looking for it, or happened to take a wrong turn that turned out to be a right turn. You might not see it if you were distracted by the "main attraction" at this spot.

Which I'll tell you about, because I don't *think* it'll lead you closer to the treasure.  And because I've thoroughly worked the place over. Lol.

The place I'm referring to is the very large "Journey's End" bronze sculpture practically across the street from Forrest's house. I'd seen the sculpture online, and a theory that was forming in my head solidified even more.

I'll try to explain. It's not a hard concept, but maybe difficult to illustrate the points.

"Journey's End" is a sculpture by Sonny Rivera (I'm unsure of any relation to Joe), and the description found on websites about the bronze is:

"In 2002, Reynaldo "Sonny" Rivera planted Journey's End, his massive bronze sculpture, at the entrance to Museum Hill off Old Santa Fe Trail. It captures a scene made familiar by repetition over a period of almost 60 years. In this sculpture, six tired mules struggle to pull a heavy wagon up a hill. One of the mules has stumbled. The muleskinner leans down to help the animal as it struggles to regain its footing. Passing the trail, a Puebloan woman looks on, while a boy waves at the lead wagon as he and his dog have run out from town to greet them. At this moment the trail boss points toward the end of the trail on the Santa Fe Plaza. So they will enter the plaza soon, marking the end of a long and difficult journey." (I highlighted some key points for emphasis)

So, these tired mules, after a long hard journey, are so close to nearing the end of the trail...but they never get there, because they're frozen in time on Museum Hill. For that wagon, the end is ever drawing nigh...

James and I searched that wagon and surrounding area for at least a couple hours on two separate trips. The sculpture is bordered by Camino Lejo. Lejo means "far away, distant" in Spanish. "Not far, but too far to walk?" 

Anyway, the sculpture had a lot of interesting features. The little boy to the right, for example, has a hole in his frayed hat. 

When researching the Old Santa Fe Trail, I learned that to enter the Santa Fe Plaza at the end of the journey was to experience "great joy." The trail was difficult and extremely hazardous, and the relative safety of Santa Fe was undoubtedly a welcome sight. 

But this poor wagon will never reach the's frozen in a moment. 

There was this weird ceramic-tiled rectangle thing by the sculpture of the boy. I think it covers up electrical equipment, but I still poked around it...

We checked the wagon wheels, feeling all the seams:

We checked mule's and horse's hooves because of F's frequent mention of horseshoes...and in one of the Santa Fe videos on Dal's, the phalanges on a horse's leg is circled, but my eyes drifted down to the hoof, which is called a "coffin bone."

We even checked the animal's "private parts." I'll spare you those pics. Lol. After thoroughly searching the statue, we checked the trees, boulders, and....everything.

One rock looked like it had been sealed over. It reminded me of the way the San Lazaro Pueblo indians would hide important things in the walls. 

Although I was tempted, I didn't take it apart. The last thing I wanted was to be arrested for vandalism. 

We did find an interesting spot, with some obvious attempted camouflage, though...

I removed the rocks, and my breath caught as I pulled a peanut butter jar out of the shade. I immediately thought of Skippy, and F's frequent mentions of "plastic containers."

So, I excitedly unscrewed the lid, and found...a little notebook with a whole bunch of stamps. It turns out we found the cache of another treasure hunt you can find online.

But some of the stamps did remind me of the chase and the many rabbit holes one can explore.

There was even a unicorn!

After having completely scoured every inch of the sculpture and surrounding landscape, we decided to head toward where the guy on the horse was pointing. But first, we drove back farther on Museum Hill and were delighted to find...MOSES!

When I saw the tall statue, I was captivated by how much it reminded me of F's Vignette, "Well, Here's Moses."

Yes, that's me checking out the base and peering under Moses's robe. I'm glad no one was around as I turned on my flashlight and looked into his hollow body.

There were a bunch of little Moses-like wooden sculptures at a church in Santa Fe, by the way...

But Moses didn't hold anything but spiderwebs, so we continued our journey, and found joy wherever we ended up. That's it, right? Fun is where it's at, and imagination is more fun than knowledge. And we had a great time in New Mexico following wherever our imaginations took us.

More Weekend, Please

Monday, January 16, 2017
First of all, I don't usually post on the weekends, but I did yesterday, so scroll down to see the videos of my ice bucket thing.

Yesterday, James went home and I went home and read a little of my new book. I love this book! It has a preface by the ever-colorful Buffalo Bill, and Henry Inman also has a similar dramatic and often witty writing style that makes you smile as you read.

Anyway, I wanted to share a passage with you that I found interesting. It's about the word "cache."

"Caching" is from the French word meaning "to hide." The cache is made by digging a hole in the ground, somewhat in the shape of a jug, which is lined with dry sticks, grass, or anything else that will protect it's contents from the dampness of the earth... In caching, a great deal of skill is often required to leave no sign... To this end, the excavated earth is carried some distance and carefully concealed , or thrown into a stream....

"The place selected for a cache is usually some rolling point, sufficiently elevated to be secure from inundation. If it be well set with grass, a solid piece of turf is cut out large enough for its entrance. The turf is afterward laid back, and taking root, in a short time, no signs remain of its ever being molested. However, as every locality does not afford a turfy site, the camp-fire is sometimes built upon the place, or the animals are penned over it, which effectually destroys all traces.

"The word cache still lingers...if a man is out hunting and desires to secret himself from approaching game, he will say 'I am going to cache behind that rock, etc.'"  Or in Forrest's case, behind a tree. :)

Interesting, huh? Makes me think of a little bit of wordplay: The Cacher in the Rye. Lol.

Anyway, I've only read about 100 pages and already the information I've found has been very useful.

And, I'm running late, so gotta get going!

I Did IT

Sunday, January 15, 2017
I was where warm waters halt and heavy loads and water high and up the creek without a paddle and brave and no place for the meek, all in one spot last night.

James and I met Will and NMTI in Tampa, and we had a nice dinner where we each tried to talk about as much of our chase experiences as we could cram into a short time.

Then, it was time to do it...the ice bucket pour I had promised if we made the $2000 mark in the gofundme campaign for Chris.

I knew I was in trouble when NTMI texted me a picture of the bucket earlier that day:


Anyway, here are the videos we took last night...hope you all enjoy!

Afterwards, James and I forgot where we parked (we still needed to get our bags and check into the hotel), and for a few panicky minutes, we thought my car was stolen. I think I was more concerned with having to remain wet for who knew how long than I was about the loss of the car. Lol.

But, we found it and checked into the room, and while I was changing out of my wet clothes, James took this video:

And then, just before we went to sleep, we recorded one more video to assure everyone that all the money does, in fact, go to Chris:

Anyway, it was a great night with some wonderful new friends!