Secrets of Eternal Youth is a Kerouacian road trip through the mental universe with a merry prankster at the wheel. Lloyd is Coyote, the Trickster, who brings us the fire of imagination that is able to see the quantum foam of the universe in the dancing of Jackson Pollack—that allows us to feel the wild excitement of being alive. Secrets is an explosion of metaphor that reprograms our synapses, stretches our minds, and reminds us that we are all youthful poets.
We hover dangerously low over shark’s teeth, seracs or ice pinnacles tilted askew above gaping crevasses, a jagged ice bound moonscape, terrifying and beautiful as death. There is no place to land, no way out if we have a mechanical failure. Our big A-Star chopper’s turbine whines menacingly. The rotor blades fight for lift ‘whistling Dixie’ in this gleaming blue white frozen graveyard. “Hold it, stop, backup, terrific,” I shout at Brent, our pilot. We fly too low and slow, the Dead Man’s Curve, kept alive by the spinning rotors.
I am out of body like an Olympic athlete high on winning a gold medal, in a state of mad euphoria, totally unaware of peril below. My camera fires repeatedly.I have no conscious volition; intuition and instinct rules as certainly as a martial eagle stoops and strikes its prey. It shoots!
Suddenly, my conscious mind recoils, scared as hell, I look down the gigantic Hubbard’s glacier’s snout studded with blue-white ‘teeth.’ Black crevasses gape at me a scant thirty feet below. Unstable seracs (ice towers) lean menacingly above us.I grab a freshly loaded camera from Shirlee. My intuitive, instinctive no-mind returns to making photographs.
of evolution, plate tectonics, mountain building, vulcanism, glaciation, the tranquillityof Zen, the TAO and Quanta. Those are the gifts to all of us from the genie and genes of evolution. This is the gladiator’s arena, the focus of life anywhere that danger entices, death beckons, and you will live forever. You or I stare down the devil and death,the dark crevasses, the blue ice and the fierce sun, Armageddon on the ice! Go for it!
For weeks we endured rain and scud in Alaska. Today, brilliant sunshine illuminates the glacier under a cloudless azure sky. The blue and white ship sparkles in the distance. Giddy and tired, satiated at last, crazier than hell. In a sudden clear moment of sanity,I hand a camera back to Shirlee and call out on the intercom,”Brent, what happens if we lose power here?”
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