Read The Tsar's Dwarf (Hawthorne Books)

Read The Tsar's Dwarf (Hawthorne Books)
"A curious and wonderful work of great human value by a Danish master." Sebastian Barry, Man Booker finalist (Click on the picture to go to the book's Amazon page)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Did You Know That Mount Hood in Oregon Is the Only Transgender Volcano in the World?

Mount Hood is our local volcano in Portland, Oregon. It's less than two hours away and when it isn't cloudy or smoggy we can see it from downtown. We just talked recently, Mount Hood and I, and Mount Hood has promised me it won't erupt until May 2108. At that time there will be an iPod museum in Pioneer Square and Arsenal will have won the Premier League.

Mount Hood in Oregon is solid, stoic, and gorgeous. It's the home of bob cats, bears, and hipsters with snowboards. You can swim in great waterholes like Lake Trillium and Lake Timothy, and it's fun to body shame the locals who'd rather die than get a sun tan. We're all very pale here. The tattoos look so much better that way.

And Mount Hood is always watching you in Oregon, always! If you don't recycle your banana peels, Mount Hood knows. When you steal medical marijuana from senior citizens on NW 23, Mount Hood calls the cops. You may fool Mount Everest, Matterhorn, and the Andes, but you don't fool Mount Hood.

By the way, you may not know this, but Mount Hood is also the only transgender volcano in the world, so if that bothers you, you should visit South Carolina instead!

Here are some pretty pictures from my adopted home. You're welcome.

Lake Trillium and Mount Hood. A small, gorgeous lake an hour and 15 minutes from Portland. 

Lake Timothy is a gorgeous place except for Saturdays and Sundays during summer where you have two thousand campers shouting at their toddlers.

The annual meet-up for Basset hounds in Cannon Beach, Oregon?  I fell in love with all six of them, that's for sure.

The Oregon Coast may be the most beautiful coastline in the US. If you're from California or Washington you may disagree but that's only because you don't know any better.

Typical sign in SE Portland, but before you laugh that evil Starbucks laughter of yours, just know that we value life in Oregon. Even rattlesnakes and Republicans are welcome.

The biggest public library in Portland. It gets crowded on Fridays.

Portland is the biggest cycling city in America. To the left you see one of our daily commuters. She may look a little skinny but that's what happens to you when you don't wear a helmet.

Breitenbush Hot Springs about ten miles from small Detroit and two hours from Portland. This is Oregon's finest hippie retreat, perfect for inner reflection and organic tofu. Welcome back to 1972, folks. You may walk naked around in the forest and scare the squirrels, or you can meditate on your nipples in one of the meditations yurts.
PS. You're not allowed into Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat unless you bring your Tarot cards or can prove that you have at least three planets in your twelfth house.

Copyright, Peter H. Fogtdal, Danish Accent.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

In an Ancient Forest in Oregon (Where Nirvana Is Just a Short Cut Away)

I love the silence that falls from trees. I'm not sure I can live without this majestic void where everything is possible, and where the sound of the world is crucified and everything dissolves, reincarnates, breathes.

Suddenly you hear the sound of wings, a symphony of ants marching through the grass; a squirrel staring at you through the leaves followed by stillness. It's two seconds of Paradise you want to hold on to, so you can forget your mind monsters - doctor appointments, the vapid insults from September, 2002, those mails you shouldn't have written yesterday. Now an inner voice cuts through the white noise, descending from angels and devas, or perhaps it's just another podcast trapped in your subconscious?

Then silence again, this eternal stillness where nothing and everything matter. You can hear your heart beat through your T-shirt - and the world's heart, too, as if you and everything were part of it, and you are, we all are.

You slowly close your eyes and the world disappears. Your breath goes deeper into your lungs, chest, and stomach, into the ocean that's the ancient you. You're with the gods now, Nirvana is just a short cut away, Enlightenment appears as a gentle breeze that's about to engulf you; then a sudden longing for gelato and blow jobs, and you want them now, they can't wait ... but those longings disappear as well in the sagebrush, the wild bleeding hearts, and into the secret forest you thought belonged to fairy tales and nursery rhymes.

Dusk breaks through the maple trees. Every branch becomes golden, as if it's lit up from within. Goosebumps travel up your legs because everything is so holy and sacred that you want to cry - the light blue sky, the joy that rises out of bird song, the cravings that spice up your life. On your way out of the forest, you run into a family with a pitbull that smiles at you. You're alive.