Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Events of August 12th to January 12th - Chapter 33

August 18, 2014

Lee Goldberg - ©A Nice Brunch 2014

Lee -  it was a great pleasure for us all to be together again , thanks to Mara creating such a nice brunch at the foot of a note tree..also the entertainment by Bibi & Jane made even the monkeys dance...altho Susan was right about the feeling of danger (snakes!) Mara thought holding ti by the tail would be enough,,me? not so much-the farther away from snakes the better --it's monkeys for me.

Susan Shulmann - Who is the Ring Leader © 2014

Susan - I was taking a nap after partaking in that ginormous gastronomical feast Lee Goldberg had prepared and was dreaming of pink flamingos when my heart started to beat so hard, I thought a vein was going to explode and I awoke abruptly. My ears were pounding and throbbing as I noticed rocks and dirt lifting and spiraling up, flying around only to pound down hard inches away, barely missing us and lifting up high again. I picked up Mel. (Note: Short for chameleon, they let me keep it after I begged them), and started running toward the beach.

The drumming and thundering sound was getting louder and bushes were collapsing before my eyes as shock waves travelled beneath my soles. I screamed to everyone, Run for cover, I think it’s the end of the world; an avalanche or earthquake is about to happen. William Evertson blew the shofar to warn the others and said we should head for the elevator. Trees were being uprooted in rapid succession before our eyes as the monkeys were screeching, swinging from one branch to another. “I hope those snakes don’t get any ideas,” Bill was complaining. “They don’t bode well under stress!” A wall of debris assembled rapidly in our path as seawater funneled around trapping us like a moat. As the dust settled, they appeared. It was a scene out of Jungle Book. Except instead of Mowgli, it was a girl bunny riding the elephant. And, they were breaking the ground, galloping straight for us. “We came as fast as we could, to try out for “Cirque de Analogue and who’s the ringleader?” she asked. Shrugging my shoulders I put my buds back on my ears and looked down at Mel.

August 21, 2014
Lee -  'Problem solved' Susan purred...who'd have thought the monkeys were masterful snake charmers. Susan Shulman Mara Thompson sat resplendent in their velvet dresses. Mara's with embroidered blue squirrels- Susan's with lovely white owls . Mark Bloch & William Evertson donned colorful horse head masks to play a game of 'what's next on Analogue'....a cross between tarot & go fish...everyone was anxious to know where elusive herd of dwarf pink elephants were hidden, Susan had her scouts on the lookout ,but the gentlemen thought the cards would tell all. I was much more comfortable now that the monkeys were in charge of the snakes...the mysteries continue.

Lee Goldberg - Masterful Snake Charmers ©2014

Susan - “This is how you perform Fish! I will make you a star and bring you to Tokyo on my next gig. You just have to take the plunge! See, I am holding you tightly. You don’t have to be afraid. I have you by the scales. You can be the first aquatic creature who can swim and recite poetry to the audience at the same time. Me, I mean you, will make a killing. Let’s leave this island with Ellie. It has the wrong demographics and I really don’t see many spectators here. No room for growth, just a bunch of docile monkeys!” The Blues Bunny was training all the creatures that she prevented from attending Lee’s Grandes Bouffe earlier today. “I gave up my music career to come to Mount Analogue to find Nirvana under the big top and I now see a lot of potential with you FISH! While gritting and grinding his teeth tightly together to prevent the water from entering his mouth, a high-pitched nasal sound escaped his gills and Fish hoped Bill would come to his rescue shortly.

Susan Shulman - Performance with Fish ©2014
September 7, 2014

Mark - At that precise moment, who should be seen storming down the mountain with an army of monkeys and tortoise elephants and elephant tortoises surrounding him but me--Mark, the unlikely rescuer, still dressed as the Goat God or maybe a Satyr and here at last to save the day as predicted in some prophecy somewhere no doubt or maybe the Gumby Chronicles. His (my) first act was to rip the horse head off the creature everyone thought was me. Bill was still wearing his. "That horse is an impostor!!"I shouted and everybody gasped as I threw the horse head over the side of the mountain and we all took a moment to watch it fly away some 800 feet below. Time stood still. "Bloody Hell!" said one of the monkeys. The unmasked guy who looked exactly like me then pulled Ria's bike out from under her and with some twisting and gyrating, looking like he was a jester twisting balloons at a kid's birthday party, fashioned a goat shaped wheelchair out of Ria's bike wheels, the handle bars of her bent bike frame, the snakes near Susan's feet, a few of the keys off the Corona typewriter (the W, the T, the K, the quote key and the right arrow) and donning a package of camper's waffles he pinched from under Lee's hat and using Fish as the seat cushion on which he now sat, took off down the mountain, almost tipping over he sped by the horrified climbing party and making a narrow getaway down the thin mountain path. I reached out to grab him as he sped by me since I was positioned below everybody else and able to use one of the tortoise elephants for leverage, but he held the waffles in front of his face and would not let me get a look at him and I was so confused because he looked like me only moments before, now he took off down the mountain and I jumped back as if powerless over an involuntary spasm that shot through my body. It reminded me of the back pain I had experienced. That's when I remembered what I was supposed to do. It was the delirious hut dream coming back to me but now this was real life! I tossed all the campers the bees I had been carrying in my pocket ever since the sheep dip was being served during my convalescence in the hut and told them to hop on. Each climber jumped aboard a bee and they all took off toward a cloud hovering on the side of the mountain. This was better than any Olympics. They were flying through the air like synchronized swimmers. Meanwhile I headed after the wheel chair clinging to my monkey host and two of the larger elephants, happy to have saved the day. My last task was to toss Susan a mellow yellow marshmellow and tell the gang, "See you all on the snowy peak next to Time Slit 24! You know what to do!!!" They didn't but they sped off gleefully anyway and I don't know why but my mission now was to get that seat cushion Fish and have a good look at the doppelganger perched atop it hiding behind a waffle like the Weak Bunny Vixen in the Tale of the Twelve Belgian Cowards.

Mara - Glad for my time with the Jamacian bobsled team I gripped the bee securely with my knees while searching my rucksack blindly for something to document the explosion of activity. "Damn, WHERE have you been Mark? We thought the kitchen was closed". I smelled smoke.

Mark - Suddenly the plump cloud hovering beside the mountain that the bees flew toward began to cover the valley below with a blanket of snow as the mountainside we all had just left burst into flames. My discarded bike with square wheels was all that remained where we had all just been standing. The sound of a haunting blues number could be heard faintly in the distance...

September 16, 2014

Susan - The sounds of horns were blowing in the distance. They flowed in and out increasing in octaves and loudness, weaving a beautiful chorus of New Orleans Blues cascading down and around the hills, fading into the caverns and blasting back down reverberating and echoing off the rocks squealing one last time before they smashed into the sea. “Mon Dieu, I don’t know what the hell you are going on about Mark “Jean-Paul Satyr screamed! “Wake up; you’re having one of your Day-mares again. You are obsessed with my philosophies and it has to stop. You know I am equipped for this hike up the north side better than Fish or Bill. Next time you slip off the ledge the bees might not be there to save you and stop wearing that mask. It doesn’t behoove me!” And, pass me a nice squishy marshmallow Susan will you!

Susan Shulman - John Paul Satyr ©2014
Mara - The heat was pressing in and I doubted my ability to drive the wagon. I caught my mind wandering off again so I stopped right where I was and dismounted. My mind was not moving too fast so easily I caught up. "Hey, let's try that time slit for a week before Mulka? Just for a breather?"

October 24, 2014

Cathy - Last night I talked in my sleep. 
"We have to get off this mountain!"
"Who are you?"

"WHO Are yoU?
and them some mumbling....

William - The hummm was deafening. Ommmmmn..... I thought I must be getting closer to the summit. I turned to Fish and said ‘We must be close’
The lidless eyes blinked..rapidly.
The Ommmmn grew louder as we advanced on our rope.

‘I think we’re going around in circles’, Fish exclaimed.
‘Damn’, you’re right’
Fish went on, “Freaking Holy Herrings, we’re back where we’re cached Ria’s Mind; truly we need it now more than ever”
I bent to my knees. After four years of thinking I was ascending I realized that I was still going in a serpentine route that only lead to mid slope at best.
Fish began dismantling the cairn. He said, “perhaps we need to dig deeper”
For once I agreed’d with my slippery companion.

William Evertson - Found Photo (unattributed)

October 25, 2014

William - I dug deep into Ría's cairn. Damn hard work; pulling the stones apart. The deeper I dug the louder the sound. Suddenly Fish closed flippers along side his head. "I'm seeing the mountain as it once was, way below the sea, pushing up on the spines of whales; I'm hearing the songs of whales."
For once I saw his wisdom, because I had that dream as well.

William Evertson - Whale Mountain ©2014

October 30, 2014

Mara - Having caught back up with my mind I began to enumerate just how many conveyances we'd tried.... boats, dirigibles, balloons.... wagons, time slits, ropes and loose ends. It was as if we'd become magnetized to the island. My mind said, "Either your eyes are playing tricks on me or that's Nick Tesla hovering behind you."

Mara Thompson -  We Tried All Manner of Conveyances © 2014
November 20, 2014

Susan - Hey, they are finally coming back this way. It
only took them 4 years. I don’t
have much time left to swing before I morph. Do you see how strong my arms have

gotten Puff? I can flip and twirl all around the branches and my wings aren’t
even fully developed or reached its final span. I heard they brought the circus
with them. Maybe I could star! I love you Puff, but you sure don’t give much in
the way of conversation. Only so many peeps and growls I can take. It has been
lonely hanging here so long. I think I will write a song about you. …Puff the
magic Puffin……lived by the sea! …good start I would say. 
Fly over to that motley crew and guide them
here. No! Don’t eat that fish!

Susan Shulman - Magic Puffin ©2014

Mark - I am so glad to be climbing this mountain. I want to give up I want to 
turn back. I keep climbing and climbing. "Don't give up before the 
miracle," they tell me but I want to give up. I want to chuck it all. I 

want to hang out in a cave and never come out. But no I move up up up 
forward forward forward. I persevere with patience and fortitude. "Give 
up!!!" my weaker parts scream and then I hear the inner and outer 
miracle workers, like angels, like wise old owls, saying "No, don't turn
back now!!!"

Susan -  Never give up.............HOPE

December 15, 2014

William - “If everything in the universe is made of the same stuff,” Fish asks, “does this mean everything in the universe is dead or that everything in the universe is alive? That it’s just a question of complexity? Does this mean we can never die, because we were never alive in the first place? Is life and death an irrelevant question and we just haven’t noticed it yet?”
I had no answer until in my imagination I saw a humming bird emerge from Fortuna's Wheel. Susan fell on her back and roared with laughter and said, "Now we're making some progress," I repeated someones famous words from some fucked up idea of heroism and clutched Mara's map tighter..Damn the torpedoes..full speed ahead. Everyone stared over the top of our meager fire at hut 19....I realized I hadn't spoken in 3 months!

William Evertson - Escape from Fortuna's Wheel ©2014
December 18, 2014

Susan - Why is he always contemplating the meaning of life? Dead or Alive, sounds like a wanted poster.
What’s it all about William?. Its osmosis, the universe, oneness with creation,
symbiotic ultraviolet codependency. Like as I was telling Fish the o
ther day in
hut 14. “Look man, I mean Fish. man…just chill out. Soon you will make it to number
15. You stress too much. Be mellow yellow like moi, Scat-cat Man-do-little. I
know climbing is your thing. Reaching the peak of your performance. But you act
like you have cat scratch fever. You are way off the planet. Just look at Marky
Mark over there counting the salt crystals from the ocean. Whoa, Hey, don’t
look backwards or you will be frozen like a statue! William, can you pluck
another of those pretty pink buttons growing around that patch of weeds for me
and pass it up to me!” ‘Like I said, it’s the circle of life man…slow down and
listen to the blues!”
Susan Shulman - Cat Scratch Fever ©2014

January 10, 2015

Susan - “Put me down,” yelled Fish. “Calm down you slippery little thang. It will just take a moment to screw
these strings. Won’t hurt a bit. Its just in your imagination remember!” We all
stared at the bear holding Fish.

I looked at Lee and asked
if he was a friend of her monkeys? “Nope don’t look at us!” I strutted closer
to this fanged creature wearing a rusty broken chain on its hairy ankle. I
wasn’t sure if it was smiling or ready to eat us. I grabbed William and pushed
him ahead of me since he was taller and would make a good distraction if
anything went wrong!
The bear sang as it
stroked Fish’s Neck with one of his scales he plucked from it using it as a
pick. He was playing the blues on his 3 strings Fish Guitar. 
“My name is Boris
I play them blues for
I escaped from the Russian
Chained as a dancing bear
My momma’s gone
My papa too
I am so blue
And I play them blues for
Don’t send me back
I got no where else
I got your postcard in
that bottle Susan
And swam here to stay
Cause you blues me away”
William glared at me,
sternly, and said, “Figures and I thought we were trying to get off the damn
island. Wait until Mark hears about this!”
Ok Boogie on Boris

Susan Shulman - 3 string Fish Guitar ©2015 
January 12, 2015

Lee - "hey lady, that's my dinner you're playing with there"
Susan shook her golden curls and played on. she thought entertainment was the best distraction. Bill agreed.
Lee kept her distance with the goat hoping to not be noticed.she knew if there were 2 bears & Goldie locks there must be another bear close by. maybe they're not hungry...Mara needs to make more there does seem to be more fish than usual'.

Lee Goldberg - More Fish than Usual ©2015

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Events of March 27th to August 11th - Chapter 32

March 27, 2014

Ria - Fish decided to swim off while the others (us) were caught on a ridge in the Goat God dilemma. 'Humans,' he thought blowing water bubbles, 'don't they know you gotta go with the flooooow.' The water surface was bright and clear. Fish could see the sun reflect in the calm waves. He decided to surface to catch a breath of morning air through his gills. As he got closer to the surface the reflection partitioned in two, but Fish knew that water could break the light easy so he swirled up, beak and fins contrasting the splashes of white foam ...... It took Fish a while to gain his senses---well, those he had---but by then his penny dropped just before he fainted, a trick he'd learned from the Belgian..... He 'd mistakenly taken the bright circle-like blue surface reflections with the blue (!) eyes of the Blochdreaded, notorious, mythical blue (!) eyed MA cat~~~~~

©Susan Shulman - Frog with Cherry Fingers

Susan - It started to rain cherries. What kind of crazy land was this? Fish was staring into the water, fixated as usual. He was such a deep thinker. Sometimes I wondered if he was just fooling us all. Looking like the sophisticated Edwardian aqua-gent but in reality I do believe he waited just long enough between pauses until one of the other climbers would come up with a solution that he would indubitably take credit for! Before I could finish observing his stillness, a frog jumped from the rock and in one split second, she chopped her hands into a frenzy of acrobatic moves swooping all the downpour of fruit and balanced them gently on her fingertips all the while smiling! Fish looked up! “Huh” he said.

March 28, 2014

Mark - I heard Cathy Nolan Vinčević say "Okay, the goat won't move and we are stuck on this cliff!" I had to rescue my friends. They were stuck. "We are spiritually incapacitated" I sent them in morse code. "Which is exactly what you are describing. Can't go left, can't go right. Cannot shimmy down. Can't pull up. Can't lay there. Can't stand up. I would say religious negotiations with the Goat Gods is the way to go." I knew this because i had been flat on my back for over two years.

Thus did I find myself digging toward the Belgian's house with the soul purpose of finally tryin to get off the island when I pulled my back out. So when I finally reached them and they looked surprised to see me, I told them I'd been in traction for over a year with the elephant tortoises looking after me in hut 8.

After I told them I'd been laid up with the worst pain of my life, spiritual OR physical, and they realized it really WAS me who had ripped the time slit in Rias garden, Mara said "Elephant tortoises? There are no Elephant tortoises. In hut 8 or anywhere else." Then who was waiting on me hand and foot? I asked her.

Meanwhile the Elephant Tortoise walked through the rain with his mouth wide open, glad that Mark had escaped from the Hut to save his friends. It had been raining frogs earlier in the season and he longingly watched THAT downpour out the window but now it was raining cherries and he was free as a bird so Aganesh didn't mind if his face or lips or even the back of his throat got pelted, he tilted his enormous head toward the heavens and it was worth it when one of the plump seedless red belly bombs landed on his tongue and he could bite down and chew to his heart's content.

©Mark Bloch - Psychic Pain Squared

Mara - I wondered, "was Mark incapacitated by the physical and psychic pain or covering up for his stubborn use of the square wheeled bike?"

March 29, 2014

William - Fish glared at me from under his umbrella and grumbled, “The forecast sounded like fair weather; I thought it was promising for a summit attempt.” Fat plump cherries bounced lightly off our fabric cones of protection and continued to roll down the mountain. Indeed, the last mamara wagon had left only an hour before after delivering the daily climbing forecast. “Fish, you forget the forecasts are predictions and predictions are sometimes wishful thinking.” I glanced at the scrap of bark in my hand and re-read the words; Life is a bowl of cherries. Protect yourself with essential geometries. I added, “These forecasts of our ability to summit are as impenetrable as a zen koan. Here, have a cherry and mind the pits.”

©William Evertson - Life is a Bowl of Cherries

Susan - “Looks pretty sunny now to me.” I yelled up to the climbers. “I smell spring just around the corner. What a glorious day to ascend.”
I heard this garbled grumbled rumbling from someplace?” I wasn’t sure if a volcano was going to erupt or, oh ya, it had to be finicky Fish. “What’s up with you Fish?”
He pointed arrogantly with his fin. Look what the rain-washed up on the shore! She was whistling through her long and elongated proboscis and swung her diving mask towards Fish. “Hummm, Hey matey, seems I just found me some buried treasure! You can call me Steampunk Rosie!”

©Susan Shulman - Steampunk Rosie

March 30, 2014

Mara - I wondered, "Have both Mark and Susan gone bonkers in the thin air? Is this the when the claustrophobic paranoid dreams of escape takes it's dark turn?" Across the Springtime mists I hollered, "Is that a fish in your slicker or just a cheap suit!" That got their attention, especially fish's. Momentarily shocked but he recovered with a rather snooty and somewhat injured tone, "Please meet Ms err Steampunk Rosie". We bowed, everyone bowed all around. "Now, let's break for brunch".

William - "Sounds like a great plan", I said as I collapsed my umbrella. I turned to where Mara was laying out a small buffet when I felt a wet slap across the back of my neck. Thinking it was Fish up to his usual pranks I took another step when it happened again. I turned and saw that my umbrella had come alive and was about to give me another wet slap with a very long tongue. "No more mischief", I shouted in my sternest voice because when a mountain spirit inhabits an inanimate object they become very hard of hearing. Looking chastised the umbrella hopped on a single leg and followed me over to Mara's blanket. I offered her a bowl of soup. Luckily Mara had warmed up the Don't believe What You Think variety. The umbrella stood and noisily slurped the soup while rolling her one large eye like she hadn't eaten in 100 years.

©William Evertson - Umbrella Monster

Mark - Cherries were bouncing off my noggin and I had to wonder, was it raining all over the island or just locally? And were they having the same effect on everyone that they were having on me? I felt woozy and so I clung tightly to the rope and shimmied along the narrow path on the mountain's edge my square bicycle wheels slam slam slamming into the mud as they rotated. All this drama was very upsetting to me and it didn't help that my back was sore and I felt like I had a fever coming on but I rode on diligently. My mission was clear, rescue my friends and get them "brunch" on the other side of the mountain ASAP. I had yanked the bike with the square wheels from beside Ria's house somewhere in Belgium, popped back into the time slit at the bottom of a construction site and now I was only a few meters from my traveling companions who, if I wasn't mistaken, I hadn't seen since over two Mulka's ago. The dirigible Harmony had been dug out of the snow, there were fireworks and monkeys and pigs and Smelly... all signaling that something was gonna give. But as I lie on my back recovering from the lower back trauma with the tortoises serving me hot sheepdip seemingly by the quart and round the clock. Susan had asked "Oh no, Mark…are these mellow yellow Marshmallows?" close to a year ago but other than that I had not had contact with anyone more like two years. Susan morphed into a dragonfly and I had been on my own ever since. I watched as orange blurry stripes expanded and contracted like a force field around her and i shouted after her, no it's not the marshmallows, it's sheep dip but I knew that it would be the last contact I had for quite some time and she probably had not heard me. 

Blue’s herd of sheep had provided the most hallucinogenic sheepdip this side of the mountain if not the world and the Mulka Fields were the perfect place to drift off into reverie. I was digging out the troll, who was arguing with a fox over whose hat was whose. I was one with the mountain when suddenly something like an electrical current surged through my coccyx and up my spine. I lunged backwards and as I tumbled into a 720 degree back flip, imagining I was at the Mountain Olympics, overhead I could see Mara in an air ship hopelessly tangled in gum trees. My co-workers trying to help me get the troll out of the ground immediately switched course and joined together in an attempt to free the ropes from the gums. But somehow everyone stopped suddenly as my backflip rolled to an end and looked at me. I didn't realize it but I had let out a deafening roar. When they heard that and saw the electrical current shooting up my spine, they all ran away in horror.

So that of course is how I turned into Pan, half goat half man. Was I Pan or just a regular satyr, It didn't matter, all i knew my legs were gone and been replaced with goat extremities. It was making it even harder now to ride this rectangular bike than it would normally be and that was plenty tough already.

But I was scooped up off the ground by an odd collection of ne'er do well blind monkeys, owls with broken wings and dazed limping squirrels working together and they are the ones who delivered me, flat on my back and unable to move, to the Elephant Tortoises in Hut 8. I explained to the head tortoise, Aganesh, I had just had a particularly odd dream. I was watching Mara in an air ship stuck in the Gum Trees when suddenly I had been transported to a cave with drawings on the walls.... the drawings are marching and suddenly I see a turtle, no a fish, fly off the wall and recognized it was Fish.

Fish decided to fly off while everyone in the climbing party except me had been caught on a ridge in a great Goat God dilemma. "That's when I woke up" I said. And I knew I had to go. "You just got here," said Aganesh and you aren't going anywhere. He called some of his lackeys to carry me off and the sheepdip treatments continued for the next two years. Over and over again I relived the various things that had happened on the island. I kept coming back to the time Bill quickly hosed down Fish ‘N Boots causing smoke to billow as letters began to form our names on all the outreached bands magnifying beyond our dimension: Susan, Ria, William, Mara, Lee, Mark, Christopher, Angela, Jane, Cathy, Kathleen, Bibiana. Fish ‘N Boots asked Bill “ So, are you still wondering who is actually creating the story here?

Somehow I knew I had a memory that had not yet occurred to tell Susan to squeeze back through a time slit somewhere, grab a machine and return in time to catch the blimp which is just then passing overhead allowing us to make our exit. But how would I know when this event was supposed to happen? It didn't make any sense but as I relived our life on the mountain it kept coming back to that. And to Born in Chicago a strange blues song I didn't even like that much. Weird.

It was a Thursday when I awoke and explained to Aganesh, as I had so many times before that once again I had just had a particularly odd dream. I was watching Mara in an air ship stuck in the Gum Trees when suddenly I had been transported to a cave with drawings on the walls.... the drawings are marching and suddenly I see a turtle, no a fish, fly off the wall and recognized it was Fish.

Fish decided to fly off while everyone in the climbing party except me had been caught on a ridge in a great Goat God dilemma. "That's when I woke up" I said. And I knew I had to go. "Then Go!" Aganesh shouted, "There is no time to waste!" What about my back I asked him but he assured me it was still recovering but he was sure I'd be OK. Follow the fish he said. 

And so I did. I dove into a shadow next to a coral reef that revealed itself outside the hut. "Ria, William and Mara in scuba gear are under the water holding on to the same long red rope" he said but it was a lie. I followed him anyway. Fish swam for what seemed like an hour and then got closer to the surface as the reflection partitioned in two, with Fish sure that water could break the light easy so he swirled up, beak and fins contrasting the splashes of white foam ...... .... He 'd mistakenly taken the bright circle-like blue surface reflections with the blue (!) eyes of a notorious, mythical blue eyed MA cat and so I knew this was my jumping off point. I leapt into the time slit, grabbed the bike with the square wheels and then spotted the Rowboats with the climbers aboard peering down into the water as I turned a corner. But Ria, William and Mara were not in scuba gear under the water holding on to a long red rope. They were stranded on the side of the mountain with no where to turn. Danger was all around them. They were nervously peering off the side of the mountain and vertigo was setting in. That's when Cathy made me aware I had to switch places with that rigid old goat and rescue them or their waffles on the other side of the mountain would get cold. And no one no one likes cold waffles, least of all this bunch. And I was not going to be the one to tell Ria, cat or no cat.

April 10, 2014

Susan - “Awwww”. I was relaxing in this secret “CENOTES” I accidentally found in the cave while I was collecting those cherries to make some pies. I carelessly floated inside the crater of teal blue foamy salt water full of musical notes. John Lee Hooker “blue notes” were echoing and reverberating between amber stalagmites. It was a religious experience! What a trip, lost in an ocean of nirvana.
Then I was startled. I started to notice eddy waves surfacing and swirling from some disturbance in my sea of calm. What the hell is going up there? It sounded like thunderous hooves crashing, galloping up and down the crackling rocks above me. The vibration was causing formations to fall around me. I better find the others and get out of here pronto. I think the kraken has awakened.

©Susan Shulman - Kraken

May 11, 2014

William - As Fish and I rounded the stoney outcrop partially interrupting the narrow trail it became obvious that we weren’t the first to explore the western face. Clinging to the steep slope like a mud wasp nest was a hut; or at least a facade built to protect a small niche in the mountain from the wind and weather. We shouted a greeting but only an echo returned our call. Fish pushed his way inside and we found a rock wall chamber not larger than a monks cell. Furnished simply with straw mats on two wooden bed frames, a chair and a table. But on the table was an amazing sight; an ancient Corona typewriter. The thought of someone carrying a typewriter this high on the mountain could only mean that a very serious author had spent time in this hut. 
Fish squinted at the machine and asked, “What does it do?”
I replied, “it’s a typewriter; you press hard on those keys and letters are stamped onto paper.”
He blinked his lidless several times and said, “it’s like that skinny cylinder I see you pressing onto paper and making squiggles with?”
I blinked back, “you mean my pencil? And those aren’t squiggles, those are my thoughts, my observations, a recording of our travels.”
“You’re pulling my fin! Those black scratches I see you making mean something?”
I banged my head on the table a bit then replied, “It’s like when we talk, only more permanent; it helps us to remember things or to communicate with someone who isn’t present. What did you think I was doing all this time?
He put his fin to his mouth, made a few gulping noises then said, “well, you spend so much time doing it I just assumed it had something to do with your reproductive cycle.”
Fish continued, “show me how this word picture machine works, I have some things in my head that you should see.”

©William Evertson - Machine #15

May 14, 2014

Susan - There was a lot of laughing, giggling, banging and gargling permeating into the stillness of the serious zen-like cave. While Bill was banging his head on the table like he was at a rave, a flurry of multicoloured feathers were flying into the cave entrance. They blew onto the protruding tips of the letters and gathering along the front of the delicate black and red banded ribbon. They plugged up the spools and prevented the keys from sticking to the inked strips. "Bill started screaming, what the bloody hell is going on here" A huge head with two large sunny side-up eyes ran inside the cave screeching to a halt and ogled at Fish. A bunny with RED BOOTS hollered."Did you miss me…I'm back!"

©Susan Shulman - Red Boots
May 17, 2014

William - I blinked through the settling cloud of feathers at Susan. I couldn’t think of what to say so I said, “You rode an ostrich into the hut.” It was one of those obvious statements we blurt out when the spell of making elaborate word pictures fails us. Susan, whose passion aside from art was evolutionary biology has investigated some of the more extreme examples of animal adaption to high elevation. 
Susan said, “isn’t he remarkable? The Analogue ostrich is as sure footed as the mountain goat and many are capable of carrying loads of up to 65 kilograms.” The large bird bobbed it’s head this way and that, then banged the picture machine so hard the Sisyphus key flew off through the window and started rolling down the hill. “Sorry about that,” Susan said, “their eyes are bigger than their brains and they can be a bit ill- tempered.”

“Curious adaptation”, Fish said, as he eyed the bird well out of range of it’s undulating neck, but I’ve never really understood flightless birds. “I mean if you’re a bird without flight you’d almost think you’ve devolved. Who wants to grow up to be someones sherpa bird when you could soar to the summit?” 
I glared at Fish since on more than one occasion he’d wandered off leaving me to haul his kit up a difficult pitch.
Never one to leave well enough alone Fish plunged on, “What next Susan? The discovery of Cirque du Soleil birds walking tightropes and swinging on trapezes.”

Susan looked miffed and said, “it’s difficult to predict the characteristics of as yet unobserved phenomena, but given the variety of terrain we’ve encountered that specific set of phenomena seems likely”

©William Evertson - Bird on a Wire

May 28, 2014

Susan - "Man, what's all the fuss about…Just chill" the pink fish spouted as it bobbed gently, moving gracefully along with the swishing waves towards the beach. "You all gonna split a vein the way you keep banging your brains" I looked at the creature weaving the foam of the warm azure sea. It was the most calming sight I had seen in a while.

©Susan Shulman - Pink Fish

May 30, 2014

Susan - Springtime had finally come to the Mountain and we all watched as the King Bees were coming back to the island!

©Susan Shulman - King Bee

May 31, 2014

Mara - I spend quite a lot of time wondering here. What is it about this place that brings a sharp focus to every little thing? Slowly I repacked the remains of our lunch while keeping an eye out for the monkeys dressed in silk.

June 3, 2014

Susan - While Mara was packing I contemplated “Living On The Edge”. That’s what the Mountain was to me. Living on the edge of insanity, the edge of learning, the edge of loneliness, the edge of completeness, the edge of beautify, the edge of despair, the edge of inspiration, the edge of illumination, the edge of creation, the edge of miracles, the edge of the edge of the edge, the edge of …if only I could see just a little beyond the cliff, just a little bit more, I would know. Then Fish said, “Susan, can you just lighten up and let me down”

©Susan Shulman - Lighten Up Susan

June 4, 2014

Mara - Fondly I let my hand trail over the Corona's keyboard then slowly pulled it's cover down snug. Sorry old friend, can't take you along. You were on loan and must leave everything the way I found it or I'll have to leave the island permanently. Per instructions I dropped the typewriter over the side and watched as it hit the center of the target, the slippery slope that led directly to the Writer's Westside Hut.

June 24, 2014

Mara - I turned to the path and began to walk, without perceiving it consciously the way became narrower and narrower stopping abruptly at a large boulder firmly lodged in the way. I couldn't go over it or around, nothing left to do but move the obstacle. I moved off a little way and sat down facing the dull grey roundness. Shrugging off my rucksack I fished inside and found what was needed, the collapsable crow bar. Arranging a fulcrum and digging out a bit from the bottom edge I roughly jiggled the the crow bar firmly into place. Recalling the recent dream instructions I pushed down on the tool rhythmically. Slowly slowly the boulder began to rock and "POP" gave up to roll out of the way. I heard startling high pitched bitching and sputtering from the vacancy underneath. I had uncovered a creature. This was the mooch I'd heard scuttling about, jabbing and tripping me during long tiring trail hauls. Here was my chance to rid myself of the pest. I sent it packing, because once truly seen the bratty creature has no more power to annoy. "That," I thought, "is that." Finally on to new vistas!

©Mara Thompson - The Bratty Creature

July 26, 2014

Susan -  I was deep within myself. Lost in TM. It had been so long since I had thought about when the Maharishi gave me my mantra in the agency days. You never forget that secret word. Never. I was contemplating life on the edge of nothingness when a loud screech abruptly shocked my chakras. It took me a few minutes to adjust and realign my body and my blurred eyes to the vague shadows dancing in the pitch-black sky outside the entrance. Screams were echoing from one cave to another. What the hell was going on tonight? One is never supposed to be shocked out of a meditation. I crashed down with such force from my float that even the rug and sand did not prevent my fall and subsequent sore derriere. Bibiana's voice came into tune. “We are being invaded on the mountain, hurry everyone.” 
"William and Mara,what do we do?'
The roar of laughter filled the air.
“Bibi…………it’s a FIREFLY…haven’t you ever seen one before”

©Susan Shulman - Firefly

August 11, 2014

Susan - The jagged rocks were slick from the dew and I lost by balance. I slipped on something slimy and sticky, like a squishy banana peel which I knew was impossible unless Lee’s monkeys were back. That was always trouble. A rope whipped around my waist stopping me from tumbling. Hummm, must be Mara or Bibi from one of the caves above. I regained my composure and looked behind me. There was nothing. I heard a low hissing noise and every nerve in my body was terror stricken, waiting to explode as I attempted to keep still, afraid to breath. I had heard there were snakes here but had never seen one. I was frozen, fearing for my life. The last time I encountered slithering reptiles was in the swamps. The time I drove into some secluded town in Louisiana thinking I was going to some Woodstock-esque music festival! What I encountered were some down home creepy crawling soul-sucking bluesmen that brought the swamp down to its knees with deep grinding haunting tunes. Ya Halleluiah. I was never more scared in my life… but the music, ya was rich!!!
I snapped out of that revelry as it spun me around. I came face to face with the sound. Not sure what it was, because it looked a bit like a chameleon, but it smiled at me and showed me its big teeth. I put my hand down and let it lick my fingers. The blood started to circulate back to my heart. I wondered if the climbers will let me keep it.

©Susan Shulman - Chameleon