"Satelite" by Robert Rauschenberb

Beware of fundamentalist-orthodox fanatics who say:

Peak. Ascent. Vista. View. Moderately easy. On a clear day. Just around the curve. We’re over half way there!

Which always translates as:

The bus will drop us in the parking lot.  It’s an easy trot to the head of the trail.  Beautiful view from the top! The rules are the rules. No deviations allowed. Never go into the woods alone. Are you a team player? There lies our path. Sanctification of the soles. Real climbers call this easy stuff bouldering. A snap for the children. Beautiful view from the top! The sunsets are spectacular. Slippery moss provides an exciting challenging. It’s often wet here even in the autumn. Gets steeper as we climb higher. Democracy as we know it.  We support the human rights initiative. Free will and all. Take the first path down if you’re a coward. Beautiful view from the top. Don’t mind the elevation. Dawn’ll be breaking soon. Taj Majah is on your left. St. Paul’s or Peter’s to the north. Can’t see them for the trees. It’s a long way down.

The leaves are slippery. Falling pieces of Berlin and Dresden are a danger. History is important. Not the Champ d’Elyse; that’s elitist crap! That long black line doesn’t mean it’s flat. Two dimensions don’t reveal what happens in the third. These large boulders were named for two heretics who died on them. Strong winds and wintry conditions like this are unusual for this time of year. Too bad we don’t have time to take a short break for gin martinis. Switchbacks make it easier on the very steepest slopes. This scramble-and-scree is tricky for the feet. Beats the hell out of those squalid little streets in St Petersburg. This was a trail for glove makers who had to cross the mountains for their wool. Real men back then.  And women, of course. Well, here we are. You could see four states from here. Too bad about the fog. You might be tempted to stay the night. Wolves haven’t been seen for over a year . . . Next time don’t wear those high heals and bring a jacket.

And why’d you lug all those books up here? Sorry, I meant to tell you “boots”.  My little Freudian slip. Ha! Ha! Descent takes as long as up but’s harder on the knees. Most obstacles can be sidestepped but not the waterfall. These steps were carved by the Romans for their armies.

Now wasn’t that great? Don’t you feel better? Freed of gluttony and sloth. Ready to do it again?

Note to self: Hiking is like cleaning out the chicken house only to have them shit in it again. But without the eggs.


Satellite” constructed by Robert Rauschenberg
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY USA