Falling Through the Rabbit Hole

January 9, 2016

I feel like I just came back from an Alice in Wonderland trip…..

I fell through the rabbit hole….into something so soo Soft…..

liquid silk is not the description…..

it is like I became a VERY VERy small person………………….

and fell into the downy soft ear of a bunny…and was allowed to smilingly cuddle there

only to be thrown out to Reality several hours later…….when Mr Rabbit perked up his ears..

 

I fell through the Looking Glass to land amid the  “Boozy Bunch”…

that I learned tonight….. Geoffrey with a “G” organized originally….

a Wonderful Wonderful man….

(when I brought his name up to my new doctor…he smiled and said “Oh Yes…Geoffrey with a “G”…what a Delicious sense of humor….”)

but tonight was the fraternal gathering of our clan…..as it was wonderful Richard’s birthday…

 

I Never was able to even think about joining a fraternity in college…but after hearing of the horrors of joining – the initiation rites…makes me glad I was not able to…

the reason I was not able to entertain the thought of a fraternity at Carleton College…was  due to my Father… years and years before… just before WWII… besides being the Captain of the Baseball, Football, Boxing teams was President of the Student Body…

his first act as President was to abolish ALL Fraternities on campus…..as he felt they were unjust……

 

I saw the Inarritu/Leonardo DiCaprio movie “Revenant” today…

it was a movie Father would have loved Totally…as he loved that part of our world…..and did drag all of us 5 kids (against mother’s wishes  and everyone else’s advice)…. up there on different canoe trips…where we had to be flown in by private pontoon plane….and left…..alone…that seemed like  Forever…..

 

after 30 days if we did not show up at our destination….. the Canadian Mounties would come looking for us (and this is pre-cell phones)

the mosquitoes,deer flies

constantly biting…so that you had to wear rubber bands at the end of your sleeves and pant legs….wear gloves…

try to brush your teeth through a mosquito headnet….

forget your dick or ass when you were trying to take a piss or a dump…..

one of our canoe trips could ONLY be done 6 weeks out of the year…as it was above the Arctic Circle…above the tree line…

otherwise the lakes would be frozen….(Father’s plan was to cross the North American continent by canoe…which you can only do in segments and not directly East to West….he followed primarily the Canadian Voyageur’s routes….he DID accomplish this ..and I of all my bros and sisters did the most trips…they were all 500 mile trips..30 days..)

as it was, we had to wear wet suits….. we encountered ice floes on the lakes..which forced us to detour away from the usual fastest route….

 

There is a scene in “Revenant”…that I identified with so strongly…as Leonardo….in the same treeless area that we experienced…(and try to have a fire with no wood around…only sage brush)

is gazing up at a hill and this Huge herd of Bison come thundering toward him..

(an aside..there are NO bison that I know of…. in this part of the world…only Caribou or Moose).

 

A herd of Caribou…hundreds and hundreds of them….migrating….with their young…came over a hill toward us..at first they were so far in the distance that they looked like a surreal army of ants…but when they got closer …we Realized….

.forcing us to run for our canoe and paddle out into the ice floes…..

 

then there was the afternoon when we reached the end of the lake…

were faced by the ice floes shooting down the falls and rapids out of the Lake..

we pulled ashore to camp and survey the rapids….

(and you have to realize on these canoe trips we NEVER encountered another human being…except in some of the old Native American settlements…maybe 10 people at most and only once…. one year)

but we had camped and out of nowhere appeared two Native Americans ..

…they did not speak English…only their native tongue

(gosh…the idea that we encountered some of the LAST True Natives….amazes me now that I think of it)

Father communicated with them in sign language…and somehow told them we were going to shoot down the rapids into the Falls below….

they motioned that we were TOTALLY Crazy……

they gathered brush and built a fire for us……and then departed back across the lake…dodging the ice floes…to God Knows where…they lived….

 

“Revenant” is AS Bloody as they say it is…and when you think there is no way it can get bloodier..it DOES….

and I Hate blood….use to faint when a doctor would take blood or give me a shot…..but somehow in this movie…it makes total sense…as What happened back then……well Happened…and still happens in so many countries…

Inarritu is a Genius…and all these actors that had to put up  filming with the Real elements of nature…they all deserve an Oscar…..especially Leonardo….

Inarritu …the way he films the Icy, Stark,…… severe Beauty of Nature….is so Real to me…..

his shots of looking up through the uplifting pine trees…makes me think of an Artist…..

my dear friend Catherine Johnson who captured the True majesty of the Pine Tree….in her “appeal to Heaven”

its a movie to see…well for me it was…as it brought back so many memories that have been frozen…in the far ice ages of my mind……

I can smell the smoke infused khaki (mosquitoes don’t like that color as much)…. clothes that we wore for the three plus weeks we were not able to bathe….

can see my father laughing at Life..when we were ensconced in the tent…as mosquitoes  thickly  droned on it like electric highwires …

in the land of the midnight sun…(the sun never sets…you can read a book …if one had that luxury…at 2 AM)

but we would all be in our thermal sleeping bags…and would be sooo soo tired…Father would say something that made us laugh ridiculously….

he had taken out his front false tooth..so would be laughing with this scarey gap in his mouth….

he lost the real one years before in his teens when he went swimming with a friend…a Native Canadian American…they both swam into a Falls…and Father’s tooth got lodged in the head of this guy…..so for the rest of his life  he wore this false one that fastened in with this silver prong on either side….

as a child it was horrifying to look up from the sink to see it resting in his medicine cabinet as he shaved in the morn

this made me look at Leonardo’s teeth…they seemed different in the beginning of the movie than when later on he stuck  his tongue out trying to grab a snowflake…..

 

I cannot tell you how Happy I was tonight….

Falling through the rabbit hole into the warm enveloping arms of the “Boozy Bunch” …

5 Responses to “Falling Through the Rabbit Hole”

  1. Donna Shindell said

    We (Richard & Donna) will be on an expedition this August doing the Northwest Passage from Alaska to New York. We(the regular people will be on Crystal) and the others will be professional expedition on a separate ship with a helicoptor that will take any fools who care to go into the deep tundra. Yikes!

  2. Richard said

    Good story, don’t know if I want to see the movie–I prefer “Sound of Music”–I love skipping down the hill singing at the top of my lungs. Thanks for the B’day wishes. R&R

  3. adelaidedonnelley said

    What memories this brings back!

  4. adelaidedonnelley said

    I wasn’t finished . . . what memories this brings back! I don’t think any of us, even father, wrote in such realistic detail. I’ve been reading about Revenant and about it’s making – and definitely want to see it. Sounds like another Apocalypse Now or Fitzcarraldo. A movie that you should see is “Youth” – in the footsteps of the great masters – Fellini etc. Thanks for this blog – hope all the siblings et al read it. xx D

  5. Catherine said

    Hi Rob,

    I enjoyed the pace of your story. I hear stories from your brother Rick about your Dad and his trips to the outer reaches of the north.

    Recently he told about his wild and risky choice of a route, with two of your boyhood friends. How your friends refused to camp with you after a particularly cold and frightening leg of the journey.

    This was an interesting time in our culture: bright people trying to figure out how to live within a rather circumscribed frame or social structure.
    Catherine, Seattle

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