So We Beat On.

Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes – a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.

>>F. Scott Fitzgerald

As for those vanished trees — I say good riddance.

I’ve lived in bucolic Vermont my whole life. As I write, the leaves on all them frikkin trees around here burst irrepressibly — irrepressibly as death itself — into whoop dee doo color. A local woodland transformed; it will be a brief leafy fireworks display. One people — we call them Leaf Peepers — come each year from all over the world to see.

Jaws will drop awed by the beauty.

Whatever.

I’ve lived among Vermont’s abundant forestry for the better part — well, let’s instead say the bulk — of my 36 years. Now I am dry heave sick of trees. I think they’re all retards.

And I sure don’t give a fart about no pretty leaves!

Shit these days every time I lay eyes on a tree all I see is a building waiting to happen. A real tall fucker. YES. Skyscraper! Lit up like a disco ball blown from a cannon.

That’s where the action is.

Good thing for the trees that I am human and thus essentially decent. At least — so goes the theory. I believe humans — one & all — are a good & worthwhile being.

Every human alive is good for something.

My friend paddymac points reassuringly out:

The fact is, anger and negativity are reported on often because they are news; they are not the norm.

I dig that way of thinking. I believe the human folk are genetically hard-wired for Goodness. We’re compelled to be Good. Because we want to live. And we’ll need cosmic jackpot-loads of essential goodness to side-step our species’ hard-looming self extermination problem. Self extermination is not good. Concur?

Goodness is the solution.

Hell I’ll go so far as to try to believe in the essential goodness of trees.That don’t mean I’m gonna hug the dumb looking things. But I respect trees. I won’t cut them down just because I don’t like their attitudes.

I know better.

I know better enough to know I am no better than a tree.

Come to think of it…I like trees.

My true beef is not with the trees themselves but with the scenery. I direly need a change of scenery.

Dig:

Nestled pristinely amidst the Bronx’s abundant green spaces (the borough is fully 25% City Park land) is a 50 acre tract, on the banks of the Bronx river, of deciduous forest — astonishingly untouched since precolonial days.

20523392.jpg

That’s so awesome it’s berserk.

Outside of the California Redwoods I’ve never personally seen a grove of original growth trees. Not in Vermont for certain. The state was entirely clearcut for timber. As — save precious few exceptions — were all early America’s vast Northeast woodlands. But down in the Bronx — the mo’frikkin Bad Newz Bronx! — some wizened soul had the foresight to finagle this miraculous preservation.

Just upriver from where Fitzgerald imagined a fresh, green breast of the New World — perhaps where her lips may be — an ancient forest lives. She lives! And whispers still.

A rare kind of gift; bequeathed to a stranger’s great grand children’s grand children. A gift from human kind to their own.

Evidence, I submit, of the categorically irrepressible goodness — or at least the randomly occasional good sense —– of people.

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6 Responses to “So We Beat On.”


  1. 1 jayherron September 26, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    ahhh,my friend up yonder in a car with this chick…MikeE,the dude iz on the cover…the Gonzo is there my man and I know you are striking out to find every issue…to share with your friends,dude…dude dude,the GONZO is on the cover!!
    hey,share thoughts with another old pal…a very responsible pal-www.thebear.org
    owlsley man…our guy from the good old days!
    toot toot!

  2. 2 leightoncooke September 28, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    Awesome! NYC is such a cool place. It belongs to us all somehow.

  3. 3 fatsavage September 29, 2007 at 9:04 am

    An up beat Mike E.?

    How totally irresponsible!

    Where are all of your depressed friends going to go when they are looking for a downer?

    😉

  4. 4 citizen j October 13, 2007 at 2:47 am

    Ahhh-deah! Way to swing for the rafters, MikE!! I’d heard tales of that grove, BTW…never believed ’em. Happy Autumn.

  5. 5 Sporz November 6, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Wow man, thats fly dopie. I would like to check that out one of these days..

  6. 6 rhea December 19, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    Aww. ‘The Great Gatsby’ is one of my favorite books.

    Did you know those glacier-marred boulders in Central Park traveled by way of the last ice age all the way from the north pole? They contain diamonds!! (Everyone: ohh! ahh!) The largest diamond deposit on earth is locked deep underground in the frozen arctic. Then again, that’s all according to my geology professor…and he’s kind of a screwball.

    I generally think humans dip the scale toward rotten, but you give me hope.


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