Cliff Crego's blog, whitebark—
Notes scratched into a stonepine snag, open to the light, clear air . . .

November 2010
    Dec »
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 10:42 pm

Ascolta me . . .

Il Giardino Harmonico, Cecilia Bartoli, Georg Friedlich Händel:

Voice, resonant acoustic string sound, *simplice* straight-
from-the-heart verse.

The beauty of steadfast pines, a spring which
keeps giving despite all the neglect and noise around

Rhythms that cycle slowly round and
round in 3’s, from earth to distant stars . . .

“Never was the shade of any plant sweeter,
dearer, more agreeable.”

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ENERGY iPod—Sine sole sileo (Without sun I am silent)
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 12:48 pm

Revised a piece in THE LITTLE CLAVIER.
More in line with my motto, I hope:
Strong, simple, bold, clear, lines . . .


Sine sole sileo
(Without sun I am silent)

Imagine a handy little device you could put in your
pocket, one that condenses and stores, instead
of an entire library’s worth of information,
an entire household’s worth of kilowatts.
Energy solely from the Sun. Is this possible?
Why not? If the whole of Shakespeare can be
condensed to the head of a pin, so might the
whole of Tesla or Einstein.

The only thing missing, it seems to me, is a clear
perception of necessity, of the ethical imperative
of a change of direction. Once we see with absolute
clarity that the current fossil fuel path is taking us
straight into a new dark age of shortages, pollution, climate
chaos, and resource wars, we will see that we have no
alternative but to resolutely change course, and follow the
way of the Sun. What could be more beautiful than that?

Page is at:

First day of new snow in Eagle Valley. Just a dusting here;
perhaps 40 cm. at 1600 m., tapering off by 30% or more
moving from South to North across the Wallowas.
Wind from North.


The Latin epigram above, Sine sole sileo (Without the
Sun I am silent), was used originally on sundials.

Now, it might make a good epigram for an entire

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Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 10:19 am

I’m down at my office in Eagle Valley, the South Wallowas. It
is snowing, and still fairly cold. I like to watch the snow fall
from a south-facing window. Since I was small boy growing
up in Ohio, snow means freedom. That’s because I can
remember fierce storms blowing down from Lake Erie with
enough cold & wind & snow to close down the schools for
days on end. So snow = school-free days = freedom. That
must be why I like snow so much.

I’ve been back from a 10-week bike / mountaineering trek
to Montana, and up to Glacier National Park for about four
weeks, now. Rode about 3000 k. Went out, and came back
by different routes.

Since I’ve been back in the South Wallowas, I’ve been
doing ‘office work,’ i.e., digital darkroom stuff developing photos,
working on new texts and poems (I write mostly long-hand
in the field, so I need to get them on the computer once
I’m down here, stage two of my normal 5-stage writing

(1) hand >>> (2) computer >>> (3) webpage >>>
(4) voice recording >>> (5) physical paperback book

I like this 5-stage process a lot.


I start working here early, about 4:00. Listen to a podcast
in German from
while making coffee. Much better than anything I know
in North America, other than DN! (I very much dislike NPR.
That’s because it seems very skewed to the right,
and boring — “equal time for the liar,” etc. — in
my view . . .) Anyway, I heard Obama talking at the
NATO conference. “Bring NATO into the 21st century!”
What utter rubbish. The NATO — instrument of American
hegemony, should have been dismantled instantly at
the moment 20 years ago when the Berlin wall fell. What
does Obama know of the cultural consequences of NATO
& his subtle strong-arming of once much more progressive
countries like the Netherlands back into his failed program
in Afghanistan? I would guess next to nothing.

I’d rather listen to Bach. Or watch the snow fall.


I took a surprise package to the little Richland Post Office
just before closing. Thank god the neo-libs have not yet
succeeded in destroying the public mail. For a small town
like this — basically a single road lost in the sagebrush
steppe — the post office is one of the few commons left,
the few social centers still active & alive. My package was
for my good friend in Alaska, Owenuma Blue Sky. I stuffed
it full of Evelyn’s brownies — from Annie’s Cafe here in town.
I add these as a kind of happy buffer to my poems and
Cds in the box. My ambition is to someday compose
something so good, that friends would go for the poems
before the sweets. I was chatting with Cassie, the woman
who works there on Fridays, about a NYTimes article I had
just read, about the remarkably rapid change of NETFLIX
from DVD-via-USmail content provider to web streaming.
(A loss of half a billion $$ for the US mail . . .)

“In a matter of months, the movie delivery company Netflix
has gone from being the fastest-growing first-class mail customer
of the United States Postal Service to the biggest source
of streaming Web traffic in North America during peak evening

It’s once thing for this to happen in a city of 7,000,000.
It’s something very different, however, in very-much
still physically — and culturally — isolated rural communities.

In the long view, and in general terms: if computers are meant
to share meaning & at the same time radically reduce physical
waste of materials and energy (paper + plastic + oil), then
streaming bits is the way to go, it seems to me.

One of my main projects I work on when I’m down
(660 m. canyon habitat vs. > 2000 m. alpine) at my
little Office, is THE THEATER OF THE NEW, a collection
of 100 progressive DVD theme projects. grouped in 10
sets of 10. (SEND suggestions!)

Obviously, if this whole project is available online
AND via streaming, that would be great. It might,
in a small way, help shake North American culture
out of its imperial sleep.

A sea of information? So what? What difference
does it make? Well, an American president still
lectures obsequious Europeans on the virtues
of War & Democray-by-non-democratic means.
If a young person would work through the documentaries
of the THEATER OF THE NEW, they would not accept
that kind of Orwellian double-think. Like Jefferson
said, ignorance and freedom don’t together.

I think he was right. They don’t.

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