December 26 (1976, 1979, 1989)
“The earth a tangled wave, we surf if we are brave”

[Written in top margin of this page: “the earth a tangled wave, we surf if we are brave”]
12/26/76  sun has dropped over osborne hill. the dead of winter. wren shack. bird pipe. all my crazy little creations. one of those times when a strange clarity exists for me. yet to write of what it is i feel such clarity in perceiving seems impossible. is it possible to be clearly foggy? or should i plug in my old tape of taking-the-world-at-large as an oracle; or rather, the condition of the terrain in which one is situated. then i would say: i am clearly a smoggy, partially-dissected, well forested mountain range in late afternoon winter sunlight, well scarred on my flanks by hundreds of roads.

speaking of which, my dad recently mentioned that he has been turning over in his mind the idea of getting in touch with the auburn land lawyer we ran into a couple of months ago on the green valley trail road, and offering to trade him access to his land on the river in exchange for some land on the river. dad says he's always dreamed of owning land along a mountain river. his idea horrified me, because green valley has as yet no roads going in; to make one would open up hundreds of acres of otherwise unsuitable ground to human exploitation, i.e., houses. the road would have to zig-zag down the serpentine belt on my dad's land. the serpentine belts offer areas of relatively easy river access from the ridge divides above due to their easily eroded, highly fractured condition, which tends to produce a relatively wide portion of the canyon, good examples being the south yuba at washington, the north american at green valley, where the canyon has mushroomed to the extent that it does more nearly comprise a valley then a canyon. but what a shame to open it up to people and their automobiles. who can i write about this?


suppose one were to compile all one's journals into one neatly typed volume. or two or three. then color-code the corners of the pages. say red will be examples of continuity in attitude or identity; blue, shifts in the same; or assign the whole spectrum to various moods. then crosscheck to astrological forecasts for the time span involved, or phases of the moon. i am sure that in myself there is much correlation between my moods and the seasons, the solar cycle. also sure that i could find correlation to lunar phases.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

12/26/79   dawn ~ clear skies after one of the most intense storms of the decade. five feet of snow fell in parts of the sierra ~ about a foot here, after several inches of rain. now the oaks look like sugar-plum trees with their globs of snow stuck at the ends of branches.

never found my gasoline yesterday ~ the power was out and arco couldn't pump. but i ran into dave and we drove the vw into town and met jon at the arnett's where we warmed up and dried off. i was going to go to colfax for gas but it began snowing heavily as i went through dutch flat […]

~ a strange day. brought gas back for the truck after getting the volkswagen stuck in the snow several times. the usual round with the sticky float ensued. then it started, but wouldn't go into four-wheel drive, so i put it in first, let out the clutch, a clank, and then nothing, with the clutch pedal waving back and forth freely. so i got in my volkswagen and it, of course, was stuck again. i was extremely angry. i directed my anger at jon, screaming into the wind my curses. three thousand dollars i paid for that truck and it's nothing but trouble and expense.


went gold-mining ~ crevicing ~ in the ravine down below sims' property. should call it jasper gulch or something. very interesting nodules of jasper abound in association with a complex of tertiary gravels, some of which may be pre-volcanic, some post-. did very well for just panning. i'm tempted to go back today. [...]

[Russell Towle's journal]

December 26, 1989

A morning when, after a brief flaring dawn, the sun is lost behind a band of high thin clouds, and a chill persists: something of an anomaly during this golden December of '89.

Janet and Gay are in the loft, a small fire chuckles, and the typewriter seems so very loud.


[Russell Towle's journal]

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