Current Conditions, Fall Walk on Mount Tabor

For this Fall walk on Mount Tabor, I took the same paths, photographing the same trees and views, as I did on a walk in Spring of last year.

This week’s Rolling Stone magazine sports a good psych-brain article on the difference between fear and anxiety. One difference is that fear appears to be a kind of GPS (Global Positioning System), constantly mapping our current conditions, while anxiety plays out what we’re thinking might happen to us at some point in the future. The angle of the RS article is the effect of so-called fear manipulation infusing the current election campaigns and resulting media coverage.

“No reason to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke
“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too…

Bob Dylan, “All Along the Watchtower

But I’m not always sure what comes first, the campaign or the media coverage, Dylan’s thief or his joker. It’s not fear but anxiety that’s being manipulated. Fear is immediate, warning and response: take cover; not here, not now, not me; play dead; run for the hills. The problem with anxiety is there is no response, only a warning. We’re incapacitated, not with fear, but with not knowing which way to turn. Fear draws a map; anxiety is a riptide we can feel but can’t see, “no direction home.”

Fall suggests to some only a warning winter is coming. Anxiety prevents us from feeling the truth of our current conditions. That is why in literature, Winter is the season of irony and satire, Fall the season of tragedy (Summer of romance, Spring of comedy). And our current conditions usually change slowly. Yes, the leaves are changing color and falling and Winter is icummen in, but an endless summer is impossible; it will take time to finish the new novel – I’m thinking Spring, 2017, before another book launch, but I’m not anxious about it, and certainly not afraid of it. When I’m writing, I feel no anxiety, like a walk in the park in Fall.


  1. bristlehound says:

    Each day has a night, yet over a week only days are registered.
    Years are measured in numbers.
    Visual and emotional awareness appears concurrent with media-fed initiating. Night and day continue alongside seasons and years, while decades slowly evaporate before us.
    Bob Dylan suggests a sense of awareness to clear and present dangers and I wonder if the watchtowers were built higher, there may be a wholesale difference in the country perspective.B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joe Linker says:

      They say ev’rything can be replaced
      Yet ev’ry distance is not near
      So I remember ev’ry face
      Of ev’ry man who put me here
      I see my light come shining
      From the west unto the east
      Any day now, any day now
      I shall be released

      They say ev’ry man needs protection
      They say ev’ry man must fall
      Yet I swear I see my reflection
      Some place so high above this wall
      I see my light come shining
      From the west unto the east
      Any day now, any day now
      I shall be released

      Standing next to me in this lonely crowd
      Is a man who swears he’s not to blame
      All day long I hear him shout so loud
      Crying out that he was framed
      I see my light come shining
      From the west unto the east
      Any day now, any day now
      I shall be released

      Bob Dylan, I Shall Be Released


      1. bristlehound says:

        A worthy recipient to a Nobel Prize – such a broad view of time and motion.
        Thanks Joe.B

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Joe Linker says:

          Thx B. Time and motion = ocean wave surfing!


  2. Mt Tabor looks as wonderful in autumn as it does in spring.
    While the media is manipulating fear on both sides of the big pond, it’s good to have a creative focus. The muse can soothe us through crazy times. Yours reminds of this and inspires :)
    … When I’m writing, I feel no anxiety, like a walk in the park in Fall …


    1. Joe Linker says:

      October By Robert Frost

      O hushed October morning mild,
      Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
      Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
      Should waste them all.
      The crows above the forest call;
      Tomorrow they may form and go.
      O hushed October morning mild,
      Begin the hours of this day slow.
      Make the day seem to us less brief.
      Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
      Beguile us in the way you know.
      Release one leaf at break of day;
      At noon release another leaf;
      One from our trees, one far away.
      Retard the sun with gentle mist;
      Enchant the land with amethyst.
      Slow, slow!
      For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
      Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
      Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
      For the grapes’ sake along the wall.


      1. Thanks for sharing Frost’s poem.
        It captures the full moon atmosphere of this last week here. A gentle, slow release of leaves, one by one, red, amber and yellow, formed a carpet of jewels so exquisite I dare not touch it. This morning the garden is eerily enchanted. Nothing moves.

        Liked by 1 person

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