Oct 2, 2016

Little Black Mountain

Shrubbery and large rocky mountains extend for miles.

I enjoy the great fortune of being able to hike nearly whenever I choose.  I can walk out the door of my house and be on a hiking trail within minutes.  Seconds, if I move fast enough.  Black Mountain Open Space Park sits just north of this little town of Rancho Peñasquitos, a suburb of San Diego, and its primary denizen, Black Mountain itself, looms over the town and can be seen for dozens of miles. The park hosts many hiking trails and boasts all sorts of hidden treasures like an abandoned arsenic mine and a newly installed 'Trail for all People' that affords natural scenery and hiking for the disabled. 

I've been climbing (Little) Black Mountain for so many years now, I truly have no idea how many times I've reached its summit.  When I was a senior at Mt. Carmel High School, which literally sits at the foot of the mountain, my wrestling Coach demanded that all of us who really wanted 'to succeed' should climb the mountain every Friday before school as a morning workout. Later, I would climb it to prepare for the Pacific Crest Trail. These days I tend explore the parks less prominent, but no less interesting features. 

White guy sweat from hiking takes a selfie
Another Sweaty hiking Selfie

Black Mountain always seems to make its way onto the schedule whenever one of my more active friends comes to visit. The other day, a good friend of mine, LaLoba came back into town after spending the summer in Alaska, and of course, I managed to fit Black Mountain into our otherwise already full day of hiking. 

Vast fiends of shrubbery an mountains for miles in the distance.
Black Mountain looks out over Poway to the East.

Barb wire surrounds two large satellies dishes.
Microwave repeaters and Dishes stop Black Mountain. 

An expansive view of suburban southern California
Black Mountain's northwest face hosts a GliderPort

A woman looks out over the expansive stretch
Laloba's Lookout

Recently, I wrote a synopsis on Branding in the modern world and what made a successful Brand. The following passage is relevant regarding my relationship with Black Mountain:

"We allow this occur because we need to. In a transient world where almost no-one dies in the same place they grew up, our population no longer has roots. We move and we travel and migrate like never before, ever unsure of our physical place in the world. We are removed from the physical constructs and talismans that defined the familiar for our ancestors. We don’t have the mountains or rivers or physical places upon which to anchor ourselves, and define as 'home.'

It is this milieu that brands have the opportunity to become more than just senses and Ideas. In odd worlds of unknown faces Brands provide man a significant relief in the form of familiarity, and it is in those moments, when mankind may feel lost or insecure that Brands become 'magical.'

For myself, Little Black Mountain has become a familiar and central geographical talisman of sorts: a bit this earth to which I can still root my consciousness. The importance of such talismans, is beyond measure. They provide meaning to our lives and their destruction whether for natural or man-made reasons can be absolutely overwhelming to the soul.  

A good example of this would be the Twin Towers in New York. We called the towers things like iconic, symbolic, and they were, if nothing else, talismans of familiarity, progress, and power for the modern mind. Their destruction, presented so vividly and on such a numerically auspicious day, created an even more powerful talisman. 

Although it is not a subject I wish to examine in this blog post, I emphatically feel that no-one can or will understand what 9/11 was and will continue to be without first understanding the power of talismanic magic. Take that as you will.  

In an earlier post I discussed modern man's disconnect from celestial events such as the full moons. I believe that, in tandem with the separation we feel from our terrestrial surroundings, this disconnect augments the morass of 'self-full-ness,' that typical western thought tends toward. 

In essence we, as a species, are not 'grounded' the way we once were. I personally use Black Mountain Open Space Park as a Talisman to ground myself, and I appreciate it's presence in my life.  What physical Talismans are important in your life?  I would be very interested to hear about what you may use to ground yourself to the earth.  

- Justin

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