As you well know, I am living in a yurt, with a kitchen in a barn, and a honey bucket outhouse. I don’t have the Internet and I don’t have cable or satellite. I’ve got my DVD player for some movies, and Glenn records our favorite Tivo season passes onto DVDs for me to watch. However, a good portion of my evenings have been spent reading.
For my birthday, Glenn bought me the entire Dark Tower series, by Stephen King. I read the first two books in high school, way back in the early 80’s. After that, like many of the Gunslinger’s fans, I eagerly awaited the next book in the series. To wit, it took Mr. King oh, over another decade in order to finish his life’s work, his magnum opus. As the rest of the series (a total of 7 books) started to come into publication, I decided that I would wait until the series completion to pick them up and start from the beginning.
That is what I’ve been immersed in for the past month. Cozied up in my warm yurt being buffeted by blustery gusts of fall wind I came to the conclusion of the Dark Tower yesterday, November 19th. (A significant number at play in the book, the number 19 is…’chassit’)
These seven books highlight the journey of a gunslinger to save the multiverse, a collection of worlds across different dimensions sharing magical doors between them, including present day earth, complete with Stephen King in it (he has this habit of making an appearance in all of his movies too). Very much the themes of karma, dogma, the cycle of life, etc. are spun together in this yarn (alpaca yarn, if you’ll allow).
What catches me the most is how impacting a book, especially a series, can have on your outlook. I found myself coining the phrases like "Thankee sai" and "palaver" into my everyday conversation. I even found that the path of the story was converging and crossing my path with several synchronicities that made me think "huh, that just happened to me today" or "I just read something like that in the book!"
So, my sanity through this construction process is given a wide margin of escape through the wonderful world of literature. As such, I am constantly reminded that things cross our path with intention all the time and it is up to us to derive meaning and make connections to the message they bring. I guess Freud would insert something here about my Id and Ego and some sort of uber-consciousness.
Now, if any of you out there have some other reading suggestions, please add a comment. I am getting to the end of my book pile and its looking like I’m going to have to hunker down for the entire winter in my lovely ski chalet of a yurt. (Yes, that means more pictures of the yurt in snow when/if snow arrives)
With Stephen King on my mind the other day, I was driving down the valley back toward the small town of Granite Falls. On my way, I pass what I’ve dubbed the Great Mountain Dog Altar. It was Mr. King’s voice, however, that spoke to me and made me stop. (Yes, specifically, it was his voice, or at least the memory of his voice, reading his short story "LT’s Theory of Pets". Glenn and I attending a reading of his a number of years ago.) I think he’d find a unique appreciation for this particular case.
On the roadside into town, there is a spot where an ancient mountain dog resides. He (and it could be she for all I know) has been there for many years. He is very shy with people and will generally disappear into the brush if people stop. I’ve seen this already numerous times as others have attempted some sort of commune with him/her. Recently, though, he has been recognizing my car, or at least the engine of my car, or something. He comes out when I come down the hill. So, of course, with Mr. King’s prodding, I stopped. If anything out of curiosity as to why this dog has started to appear with increasing frequency when I come down the hill, but also to check out the appearance of this "altar" and fill his water bowl. I mean, if he is going to show up for me, I might as well interact at some level, who knows what mountain spirit may well be embodied here; there are plenty of strange happenings on the Mountain Loop to inspire King, and while this could be more of Pet Cemetary or Cujo experience, I had my instincts (not Mr. King’s voice) telling me otherwise.
To my surprise, Mountain Dog held palaver with me. He didn’t disappear into the woods as I’ve seen before. No growling, no turf protecting, just an interesting look over. I believe I have been caught. So, on my grocery list are dog bones and some canned dog food. I will visit the Great Mountain Dog Altar and make my offering for peaceful passage along the Mountain Loop.
Who knows what kind of gatekeeping he may be doing? Just the other day, someone flipped their vehicle on this road while reaching for their cellphone. It happened just before our driveway and blocked our construction crew in the morning. When I heard this, a vision of the driver honking his horn and yelling some expletive at Mountain Dog as he passed, popped into my head not realizing that angering the Great Mountain Dog would have consequences. Ok, so THAT was the Stephen King voice in my head. Hmmmm, maybe I’m getting cabin fever. (Next I’ll be hunting for Sasquatch. Hey, he is up here ya know! 🙂 Oh sure, don’t believe me, well link over to this article. Apparently Snohomish County is a hotbed of Sasquatch activity! )