Sun, Dec 29, 2013 - 12:53am

As I dismounted from my bike to walk around to the back porch to drop off the paper (as per the client’s instructions), a peculiar feeling came over me. It was almost as if time had somehow miraculously slowed down around me. The light changed, from a dreary and overcast grey to something quite difficult to describe: luminescent and softly bright. I could hear (and picture in my head) each rub of the cricket’s hind legs individually – and its sounds were short, tentative. The dragonfly buzzing in the garden seemed to slow to a hover. Birds, though visible in the surrounding trees, were both stationary and silent. The feeling was one of both serenity, but also of heightened awareness – each blade of grass and tuft of the dandelions stood out in sharp contrast. The plants and tree leaves glowed in a myriad distinct shades of green. It was as if everything had been dipped in glow-in-the-light pigment. The air around me had taken on a beautiful, golden hue. Not too much light, it felt like sunset in mid-afternoon – yet my surroundings stood out in sharper relief than if it had been high noon in the Caribbean on a cloudless day. It was as if I’d taken a drug enhancing sensory perception – even the smells and physical textures seemed more vibrant, easier to discern.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had just experienced my first (remembered) encounter with stormlight. The sky had been covered with leaden grey storm clouds above the entire town, but near the edge of the horizon, the late afternoon sun shone through under the clouds. I imagine the effect was both due to the refraction effect of coming at such an angle through the atmosphere, but also a result of the light-rays bouncing under the thick, impenetrable cloud cover. I marveled at the beauty of the phenomenon (which of course I can’t fully convey now) for too long – the pending thunderstorm caught me out long before I could get home from my paper route. As I poured out the water from my sneakers (at least there was no hail that time), I wondered why and how the world could look so fundamentally different just by virtue of the angle of lighting.

(photo credits: left - Thaddeus Roan: Storm Light at Sunset; right: Joseph Rossbach: September Sunrise)

That afternoon’s experience presented itself a few more times in my life – most recently earlier this week. But these days the experience is associated more with foreboding than beauty. I cannot help but be reminded of a feeling that the relative calm we are experiencing each day is merely the last bit of calm before the inevitable storm, that gathers more ferocity and size with each day that its arrival is delayed. All of the wonderful colors and textures that stand out in unparalleled contrast do little to prepare the observer for the fact or the intensity of the downpour and maelstrom that is to follow.

I often feel that the extent of the details we have collectively been able to unearth regarding how the world really works is in part due to the fact that this expectation of impending calamity is shared by millions, if not billions, across the world. Some people have already built, fortified and double-checked their shelters. Others go about their days without anything but the faintest subconscious inkling that anything out of the ordinary is happening. And some seem intent on flying a kite with antennae and/or a large key attached… But ultimately the potential energy being built up stretches the facades and stage sets, creates ripples, cracks and tears in the canvas. While we very much ‘see through the glass darkly’, we ARE afforded glimpses with ever increasing frequency of what is behind the scenes. Despite my innate sense of curiosity and desire to learn, I am becoming used to the idea that 'knowing it all' may not be possible.

The storm has been gathering apace for a while now, the half-life of crises ‘resolved’ has been just that – the time elapsed between major global economic upheaval and/or large-scale wars grows shorter with each go-around. Whether this next year truly IS the time for the heavens to open and the deluge to start is yet to be seen. But insofar as a next ‘trough’ seems inevitable to me, I’ve really stopped trying to follow and guess the daily gyrations of metals for a while now. The prices of gold and silver will be relevant when they become indicative of the depths of the waters around us, until then they are part of the scenery intended to shield our unprepared eyes from the reality. For the moment, I believe the time is to be right, and sit tight. There are now SO many situations that can be expected to tip over at any moment, that it hardly seems worthwhile to expend additional energy searching for and painstakingly exploring FURTHER black swan candidates.

(photo: Todd Stradford: Too Big for Beavers)

As this bold new year approaches, I will be spending more time focusing on the rest of the preps:

  • Skills that are marketable/useful under a variety of circumstances
  • Alternative revenue streams
  • Options for bug-out (route, conveyance, destination)
  • Self-sufficiency in terms of food and drink (LOTS of work still to do on that front)
  • Options for bug-in (suitable homestead, equipment, other heavy metals)
  • Network of like-minded, dependable and self-sufficient peers

My reasoning here is that there is no real way to truly anticipate the EXACT sequence of events and precise constellation of circumstances we may encounter. As many on this site have said before me, being flexible, adaptive and prepared for a variety of eventualities is a reasonable approach to a set of known uncertainties. Lacking the clarity of vision of a true oracle, my approach is to basically reduce my dependence on the current paradigm. If nothing else, I may gain a greater freedom and independence that I would value anyway. Whether next year brings a true TEOTGKE moment, or more of the grinding downward spiral, every day that the storm does not come is one which can be spent in preparation, and in enjoying the (potentially dangerous) beauty of the moments before the storm.

I hope everyone’s holidays were rewarding and peaceful, and I look forward to celebrating the coming New Year with all of you.

(photo: Ian Plant: Storm Light - Reynisdrangar, Iceland)

PS: I did not have a chance to read ZH today before posting this, but apparently the storm/water theme seems to be circulating in the collective unconscious today: Obama's Hawaiian vacation, and William Banzai's 2014 forecast.

There is also an intriguing article on the seats of global power and the pivot points between them -- as a preview from the latest Thunder Road Report. Last but not least, ZH appears to have picked up (and elaborated on) the Turkish petrogold story in light of recent government developments in Ankara (as we discussed here last week).

About the Author


Dec 29, 2013 - 1:00am


Now time to actually read the post!

Dec 29, 2013 - 1:03am

Little known fact: JP Morgan

Little known fact: JP Morgan avoided duty in Civil War by paying $300 to have another serve in his place. This was Legal, can't have the Elite's kids being blown to bits by bullets Daddy manufactured.

Dec 29, 2013 - 1:57am

I know the feeling

Quiet and still and the feeling of a perpetual moment. A chance to appreciate the beauty of nature with all senses.

It is a respite from daily worry and a reminder that we are actually at the mercy of the planet, no matter what the psychopaths are planning.

Dec 29, 2013 - 2:08am

Your opening paragraph

of temporal slowing and heightened awareness led me to expect a piece on hypomania.

But it turned out to contrast how we are conditioned to act toward our natural environment compared with planning to escape the follies of human predators.

Dec 29, 2013 - 2:19am


LOL... (Hypo)mania is a tricky topic and a very interesting survival mechanism in its own right. Perhaps another day - I don't quite have the thought/connection formulated just yet.

Bongo Jim
Dec 29, 2013 - 2:20am

Bending the light

Pink Floyd - Us and Them
Dec 29, 2013 - 3:02am

The Insiders Are Now Preparing For The Economic Collapse

The Insiders Are Now Preparing For The Economic Collapse -- Episode 244
Dec 29, 2013 - 4:35am

it's the vibes alright

Cascading lies, disinformation, media 'spin' and political psychopaths, that's our world mostly outside our family lives, but the false consciousness permeates even the family relationships.

The country is rotting. The 1%, do they have 2nd homes in Israel? The Banksters pay thousands of millions in penalties for law breaking but...but no one has to say they did anything, and no convictions and jail for any one!

Just where do you think you are? East Berlin in 1960? Ya probably close, but worse, much worse for the world at large....

...a neurotic nation run by psychopaths can ruin your day, make people feel in danger, like before a storm....

why do I even botherHammer
Dec 29, 2013 - 4:47am

Hammer ~ JP Morgan

I didn't know if you were already aware of these -

These crooks are absolutely cynical in their exploitation of everyone else's misery; following the denouement of Gaddafi's proposed gold-backed African Dinar and the mysterious disappearance of Libya's gold reserves there was also some concern raised in respect of French / AFRICOM motives in destabilising Chad, Mali and most recently South Sudan

There is stuff all we can do about it, but awareness of the join-the-dots connectivity between the Arab Spring, events in sub-Saharan Africa, Syria, Iran and now Turkey surely colours your opinion on whose version of events to trust. There have always been - and always will be - cheats, liars and despotic governments, but it helps to know who they are at any particular point in time.

It's also sobering to note that The West is by no means always The Good Guy: my prediction for 2014 is that (after consolidating their gains in Myanmar and succesfully removing Erdogan in Turkey) the CIA will continue to seek to destabilise China's western flank in Xinjiang by stirring up a hornets nest here

Dec 29, 2013 - 5:52am


JY, beautifully written and fantastic images. Great post to wake up to on a Sunday morning.

Heightened awareness; the wonder of being alive that raises us up.

Your list of actions make a lot of sense. Even if the wait is 10 years for the storm to hit, nothing you do will be wasted and you'll have the feeling of accomplishment of learning new skills, connecting with others and enjoying the freedom of greater independence.

Key Economic Events Week of 10/21

10/22 10:00 ET Existing home sales
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10/25 10:00 ET Consumer Sentiment

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Key Economic Events Week of 10/21

10/22 10:00 ET Existing home sales
10/24 8:30 ET Durable Goods
10/24 9:45 ET Markit flash PMIs
10/24 10:00 ET New home sales
10/25 10:00 ET Consumer Sentiment

Key Economic Events Week of 10/14

10/15 8:30 ET Empire State Fed MI
10/16 8:30 ET Retail Sales
10/16 10:00 ET Business Inventories
10/17 8:30 ET Housing Starts and Bldg Perms
10/17 8:30 ET Philly Fed MI
10/17 9:15 ET Cap Ute and Ind Prod
10/18 10:00 ET LEIII
10/18 Speeches from Goons Kaplan, George and Chlamydia

Key Economic Events Week of 10/7

10/8 8:30 ET Producer Price Index
10/9 10:00 ET Job Openings
10/9 10:00 ET Wholesale Inventories
10/9 2:00 ET September FOMC minutes
10/10 8:30 ET Consumer Price Index
10/11 10:00 ET Consumer Sentiment

Key Economic Events Week of 9/30

9/30 9:45 ET Chicago PMI
10/1 9:45 ET Markit Manu PMI
10/1 10:00 ET ISM Manu PMI
10/1 10:00 ET Construction Spending
10/2 China Golden Week Begins
10/2 8:15 ET ADP jobs report
10/3 9:45 ET Markit Service PMI
10/3 10:00 ET ISM Service PMI
10/3 10:00 ET Factory Orders
10/4 8:30 ET BLSBS
10/4 8:30 ET US Trade Deficit

Key Economic Events Week of 9/23

9/23 9:45 ET Markit flash PMIs
9/24 10:00 ET Consumer Confidence
9/26 8:30 ET Q2 GDP third guess
9/27 8:30 ET Durable Goods
9/27 8:30 ET Pers Inc and Cons Spend
9/27 8:30 ET Core Inflation

Key Economic Events Week of 9/16

9/17 9:15 ET Cap Ute & Ind Prod
9/18 8:30 ET Housing Starts & Bldg Perm.
9/18 2:00 ET Fedlines
9/18 2:30 ET CGP presser
9/19 8:30 ET Philly Fed
9/19 10:00 ET Existing Home Sales

Key Economic Events Week of 9/9

9/10 10:00 ET Job openings
9/11 8:30 ET PPI
9/11 10:00 ET Wholesale Inv.
9/12 8:30 ET CPI
9/13 8:30 ET Retail Sales
9/13 10:00 ET Consumer Sentiment
9/13 10:00 ET Business Inv.

Key Economic Events Week of 9/3

9/3 9:45 ET Markit Manu PMI
9/3 10:00 ET ISM Manu PMI
9/3 10:00 ET Construction Spending
9/4 8:30 ET Foreign Trade Deficit
9/5 9:45 ET Markit Svc PMI
9/5 10:00 ET ISM Svc PMI
9/5 10:00 ET Factory Orders
9/6 8:30 ET BLSBS

Key Economic Events Week of 8/26

8/26 8:30 ET Durable Goods
8/27 9:00 ET Case-Shiller Home Price Idx
8/27 10:00 ET Consumer Confidence
8/29 8:30 ET Q2 GDP 2nd guess
8/29 8:30 ET Advance Trade in Goods
8/30 8:30 ET Pers. Inc. and Cons. Spend.
8/30 8:30 ET Core Inflation
8/30 9:45 ET Chicago PMI

Key Economic Events Week of 8/19

8/21 10:00 ET Existing home sales
8/21 2:00 ET July FOMC minutes
8/22 9:45 ET Markit Manu and Svc PMIs
8/22 Jackson Holedown begins
8/23 10:00 ET Chief Goon Powell speaks

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