since you’ve had a friend
wind you up in a swing
and then let go
and you spin so fast
that suddenly you are staying in one spot
but the world is spinning
in a widening circle around you
and you are breathless with delight?
The swings are still there.
It is the greatest shot of adrenaline to be doing
what you’ve wanted to do so badly.
You almost feel like you could
fly without the plane. ~Charles Lindberg~
One of the true joys of photography is that it refreshes the mind’s eye with things half-remembered, yet totally true.
This picture of an aspen grove was taken one hot summer morning. The hiker and her dog ahead of me are enjoying the beautiful summer weather with me, a light breeze blowing, the heat on our shoulders. It reminds me that although winter is with us, it won’t last forever.
It seems to me that our minds travel in a straight-line projection of the future most of the time. If things are good, they’ll be that way forever, our imagination insists. Or worse, if they are BAD, they will only get worse. That’s the way it always happens.
Or does it?
In addition to a “Gratitude Journal” I sometimes keep an anxiety list to review from time to time. What I have discovered is that the things I worry about most rarely come to pass.
What a waste of good brain cells, to worry so!
Things are getting faster and faster
and stranger and stranger
and it’s almost comforting to think that
some sort of crystal moment will arrive
and a new order will snap out
everything will be different. ~William Gibson, science fiction author~
I love that exact moment when a wild creature acknowledges my existence. They look at me, and for a moment time is suspended and one species recognizes the other.
Trees, of course, are also aware of our being. Mere plants as well.
Okay, then, what about the rocks. Do the rocks know I exist? Can they speed up their slow lifespan to mine for just an instant to say, oh, there’s another one of those human things? Or are they just too busy in their rock world to care?
My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim,
no meaning, and yet I’m happy.
I can’t figure it out.
What am I doing right? ~Charles Schultz, cartoonist~
Because I like both mysteries and nature writing, I’ve always been drawn to the books by Nevada Barr. Her work features strong women who go against the odds, and win. Her heroine, Anna Pidgeon, a park ranger, has been trapped in a desert sinkhole, underwater in the Dry Tortugas, and on an island in the middle of Lake Superior hunted by winter wolves. Her novels are not for the faint of heart.
So, when I encountered her book of essays entitled Seeking Enlightenment, I expected an unblinking journey through thoughtful questions demanding exact answers. I wasn’t disappointed. Although sometimes I found the author raised more questions in the process.
Here you can find her thoughts on Vanity: “The rewards for being pretty are enormous. Pretty people earn more, have more friends, get called on more often in class and, yes even get better grades.” And what happens to the rest of us? Ah, there lies the reward of her essay.
Or what three things never fail a girl? For Barr these are old Levi jackets, flip-flops, and girlfriends. And she proceeds to tell you why.
In an essay on fear, the author starts out by saying, “Fear is my least-favorite emotion, worse even than despair. At least, when in despair I can watch old black-and-white movies and each chocolate. Fear renders me unable to taste, swallow, focus or sleep. Fear jangles through the cells of my body like a cold electrical current short-circuiting the natural flow of life.” Read on, as she explains what caused her fear, and how she has learned to live with it.
The essay topics occasionally center on spirituality, but often veer wide into topics such as do animals have souls, pain, and taking a sh*t. I think you’ll like it!
I spotted this old stable door on a recent walk. I wish I could have known the horse that lived here.
I could tell a lot from the evidence left behind, though.
Note the owner’s cement reinforced foundation, the reinforcing bolts on the lower edges of the stable door, the double lock on the middle, and it that weren’t enough, two additional locks at the top and a metal reinforcing bar securing the top brace.
And as rebuttal left by the occupant, the determined chews on the side and top of the half-door.
I wish I could have painted the door bubblegum flavor, for this horse so determined to leave and the owner so determined to keep him there!
Did they like each other, I wonder, these two so intertwined in the battle for control?
I am not eccentric.
It’s just that I am more alive than most people.
I am an unpopular electric eel
set in a pond of goldfish. ~Dame Edith Sitwell~