Striking skies over Syracuse

Mark’s blog. Enjoy the images & the good post.

Mark Bialczak

As Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle and I worked our way back toward the Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood this half-and-half spring Sunday afternoon, we couldn’t help but note the sky above.

Part gray, part blue. Part gray, part blue.

April prepares to give itself up to May, and the see and the saw of this dance was somewhere in the middle of the fulcrum today. Temperature, 50s F. Grass, greening. Trees, some budding, others bare. Sky, blue and gray in some portions, gray and blue on others.

Enjoy the angles in this gallery surrounding our blue house. We certainly did.

Click on a photo for a description. Click on the bottom right photo for an enlarged slide show.

Is it totally one way or another where you live today, or a half-and-half day? Are you seeing more spring or more summer of late? Which photo is your favorite, and…

View original post 1 more word

Vikings … On My Mind

Vikings, on my mind, recently.

Germanic Norse seafarers.  Raiders and traders.  Radical warriors who hung out across the northern and the central parts of Europe, and parts of Russia.  Vikings ventured into the Mediterranean, and North Africa; the Middle East; Central Asia.  All of this happening in the latter 8th  century, extending  into the late 11th century.

http://www.wallpapervortex.com/tag-vikings.htm

Vikings were romanticized, mythologized, as noble savages … this spotlight of intrigue began in the 18th century; gained serious momentum during the 19th-century.  “Vikings, from historical theories, were at times quite violent, piratical heathens,  or as intrepid adventurers owe much to conflicting varieties of the modern Viking myth that had taken shape by the early 20th century.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vikings

So . . . 

Why the sudden interest  in the Vikings, emerging now … in the midst of a fairly peaceful transition from winter to spring?  Well, it’s like this.  When I went to high school, a few years ago, we had a mascot; and this is not uncommon.  Our mascot was, or were (to be more specific) the Vikings.  Someone drew an awesome picture of a Viking, before I came to be a high school student.  Although, there is much talk that Vikings did not really have helmets with horn.  But don’t despair, Viking fans: none of us really know, because … none of us were there.  But even though “we” were … and still are … the Vikings, why am I thinking of the Vikings right now?  Here is the answer.  I received a mysterious note from a guy I went to high school with, that there was some serious talk of a reunion coming up … as soon as October of this year.  This would be out of state for me.  In fact, I rarely get down there anymore, which is unquestionably a tragedy.  Now the matter has become less convoluted, yes?  It makes sense why Vikings are on my mind.  There is so much research done about different people groups from different eras, different regions.  I will always be skeptical when historians say Vikings were ” … at times quite violent, piratical heathens,  or as intrepid adventurers …”  I have no doubt that these guys lived in perilous times.  There were probably times when some mean people were coming this way, and it was a choice of either living or dying … and to live meant fighting.  Who knows what these guys were up against.  And maybe there was a wildman who figured out how to get a helmet, and attach some horns … and then he wore that wherever he went … especially at parties, and when he was riding in one of the longboats.  

In one source, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/a-viking-mystery-59648019/?no-ist, it was established that the Vikings were traders first … and when   economic times became bleak, they had give up trading … in the conventional sense.  

That is when they began going into different lands … And, yeah, things got a bit disruptive.  Well, I know this.  The folks I went to high school with were goodhearted people who were ready to fight for what was right, and they lived with zeal and vision.  The only complaint I have is that none of us ever received our helmets with the horns on the side.  Bummer.

http://www.bownet.org/vikingsexploration/FamousViking%20Explorers.htm

 

 

Arroyo

http://www.klosi.org/lyrics/search.html?a=1&c=Ozark+Mountain+Daredevils

From the heart and mind of the wilderman, the wilderman who frequents Rolling Creek Trail, a trail that allows a wilderness sojourner to hike beside Rolling Creek in Pike National Forest, somewhere southwest of Denver, CO … yes, from weathered heart and weathered mind of this wilderman, comes another daring effort to bring you into a little different place, from your place of today-and-tomorrow.  Ideally, this ongoing agenda has a positive outcome.

Today, I bring the Ozark Mountain Daredevils to the stage.  I do actually find a peaceful pleasure in hearing some of their music from time to time, having listened to the Ozark Mountain Daredevils for several decades.  Years ago I headed online and sent an EMAIL to the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, curious about the song “Arroyo”, and whether or not there was a story, there, connected to the song.  The musician who wrote Arroyo explained that the song was about his earlier years when he was doing foolish things and getting in trouble.    For me the song exudes a theme of life experience, specifically difficult experiences.  At the beginning of the song, one of the guys is speaking an odd combination of words; perhaps some of them are code, and some of them are expressions.  Then these guys wrap up the song in a similar fashion; words spoken that sound like a mixture of nonsense and someone’s ramble focused on being deep and profound.  Regardless, this is one of my favorite songs because it is so strange; something resonates.   So, from the band, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, the album “Men From Earth”, here are the lyrics to “Arroyo” / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgIMeMiJK1g.  I hope you will take time to listen to Arroyo by going to the link.

(words spoken at the beginning of the song)
…city street
hang out
thumbs in pocket
black jacket
black jack
dego-red
Manhattenized-Bohemia
of Southern California,
tough punk of
cool, futuristic Montana…

Ozark Mountain Daredevils band / http://www.ozarkdaredevilstabs.com/(sung)

(sung) well, have you ever been mixed up /
feel like you’re in a stick-up, a hold-up,
a robbery in progress? /
well, I have

well, have you ever been faked out /
feel like you’re in a stake-out,
a cook-out, barbecued chicken? /
well, I have

(chorus)

come on, mama, get on the yo-yo

we’re all givin up down in the arroyo

have you ever been stranded
feel like you never landed,
a bandit, a merchant of Venice?
well, I have
well, have you even been tumbled
feel like you’re in a jungle,
a jungle, a town in New Jersey?
well, I have

(chorus)

come on, mama, get on the yo-yo

we’re all givin up down in the arroyo

(SAX SOLO)

well have you ever been hungry
feel like you’re gettin’ ugly
ornery, and everybody’s greasy?
well, I have
well have you ever been zooey
feel like you’re David Bowie,
a truly unidentified person?
well, I have

come on, mama, get on the yo-yo

we’re all givin up down in the arroyo

http://www.randlechowning.com/?_escaped_fragment_=photos/c60z

(spoken)
…there is a possibility of …
something running parallel…
what something is, it might be called
something other than what could be the same thing,
but uh, what could be the right thing
in other words, it might be a contigent-pository,
if what you are doing at the same time
that you are doing something else…

… let’s take, for example, if you were born on LakeMichigan…

 

I will always appreciate the power of story, and respect the sacred substance of an individual’s story.  I am thankful to hear about journeys.  “Arroyo” strikes me as a story within a song, a sacred story, about some of the anguish that happened in one’s life … while at the same time these guys add some kind of humor to the piece.