Seth Braverman, a Poet
Rocky Mountain National Park
the father’s voice: did you see it? at the beach, did you see what I took you to see?
the son’s eyes fill with water.
as surely as we get the Y chromosome from our fathers, so we also get the I chromosome from our fathers, or, rather, the eye chromosome. it is through our fathers we are given the gift of sight, and in so seeing, our own identity, our I, is formed. they are given then the task of teaching us how to see, to show us many great and baffling things with which to learn to look. they take us to discover the ocean or a sunrise, so beautiful that we go dumb and nearly blind. and when we do regain our speech, we simply say, “help me to see,” realizing all we’ve yet to learn, that endless sea. and sight still baffles our fathers, or they are no longer fit to teach. or they are dead or dying. if that time comes, as for some it surely will, it is we who must then take our fathers by their age-ed, hardened hands to discover, once again, the mysteries of light in the hush before dawn.
For the past two years my brother and I have organized a group of men who travel into the [somewhat] wilderness to spend four days in communion with nature and each other. These trips originated out of a desire to organize a non-traditional bachelor party as well as an intention to foster some of the most important relationships in our lives (i.e., friends, family, nature) during the days we would otherwise be caught up in the parade of life. The trips usually coincide with the late summer, hurry-up-and-do-this-before-everyone-goes-back-to-school heat wave that hits the western-midwest. The reaches of the Rocky Mountains have been our destinations, and this year will be no different.
Last year we made a trek strait west from Colorado Springs near the Southpark region of Colorado. (See posts from last year’s trip here and here and here and some photos from the 2007 Mantrip here.) In fact upon summitting one foreboding peak range we could see the miles and miles across Southpark as well as back east towards Pike’s Peak. This year’s trip will venture further north into the Estes Park area and will include several confirmed veteran participants from the last few years as well as a number of friends who I’m excited will be joining us for the first time. This is an open invitation to anyone who may be in the area or may want to travel the weekend of Labor Day. (email me if interested) There are only a few stipulations, beginning with the following rules:
First, stop shaving your beard. Right now. Until you return home. The only shaving allowed from now until then is that which is done with a bowie knife.
Second, plan on leaving your cell phone and/or computer at home.
Third, bring your tobacco pipe or cigars.
Fourth, girls are welcome if they too can grow beards.
I sincerely hope you all can come along.