Drawn by a giant

Drawn by a giant

The constantly changing perspective of Alice in Wonderland delights me. First she is tiny and the world is huge. All of a sudden she grows immense and everything around her has shrunk.

Her image has stuck with me as I take pictures, and it sometimes creates dizzying shifts of perspective. As I viewed this desert cliff side, I thought of her possible Southwestern counterpart.

Imagine, if you will, a gigantic artist, coloring this desert scene. He settles carefully into a cross-legged position in the arroyo, trying to fit in amongst the cottonwoods and alder trees.

Out of an immense pencil box he picks up a piece of charcoal and carefully smudges the vermilion cliffs with desert varnish. Then he selects a white pen and limns the outlines of the Octotillo, as it waits for the summer rains…

Imagination must be visited constantly,

or elseĀ it begins to become restless and

emits strange bellows at embarrassing moments. Ignoring it only makes it grow larger and noisier.
~Patricia McKillip~

What if time is fluid?

ancient ollas

Even with parts missing where the light shines through, the inherent beauty and grace of these ancient ollas, or water jars, is unforgettable. They are a reminder of our past as a human species. Our yesterday.

But they could be part of our future as well. A new physics theory asserts that time may be fluid, allowing the past, present, and future to exist simultaneously.

If that is true, somewhere, a thousand years from now, an archaeologist is fitting together broken teacups and barbecue platters, wondering what our civilization must have been like! Our tomorrow.

A people without history is like
wind through buffalo grass.

~Teton Sioux proverb~

Sometimes what you see is not there

Not a dead owl

At first glance, this appeared to be a tragedy: soft downy fuzz, longer tail feathers. Had an owl met its match with a bobcat? Oh, no!

And then I took a second look. Not tail feathers at all, but rather, Eucalyptus leaves. Not down but cottonwood tree cotton. Whew!

I like owls. And I like bobcats. I’m glad they didn’t meet here.

Silence is the absolute balance
of body, mind and spirit.
Silence is the cornerstone of character
and its fruits are
self-control, true courage, endurance, patience, dignity and reverence.

~Ohiyesa, Santee Sioux

Using what lies in front of you

Picture of Agave cactus

My parents and their parents were children of the Depression. They saved string, wore hand-me-down clothes, and ate left-overs–ALL of them! A favorite expression was “Making Do.”

Native American families before the age of supermarkets and department stores did the same thing. In this picture you’ll see, on the right, a healthy agave cactus. Vivid green, with sharp spines at the end of the stalks.

But on the left, you’ll see something even more important. Notice those beautiful fibers that remain when the plant dies? They can be used to make sandals, weave baskets, line baby cradles. Making do.

Because of our routines,
we sometimes forget that life is a
an ongoing adventure.
~Maya Angelou~

Who ever said life would be easy?

Agathla Rock

I’d looked forward to seeing the immense rock on the Navajo Reservation near Kayenta, Arizona. I wasn’t disappointed. This volcanic monolith rises over 1500 feet, straight up.

Agaathla Peak, meaning “much wool” in the Navajo language, is so named because of the tufts of deer and sheep wool caught in its sharp rock edges and deep crevices. In the summer with the thunderheads building, there is nothing more beautiful. The eagle was lagniappe.

Then I got to wondering. Had ever anyone climbed to the very top? If I asked a Navajo wise man, he would probably look at me as though I’d lost what few brains I had left and shake his head. “Bilagaana,” he’d mutter.

You’re probably on the right track if it’s uphill.
~ Anonymous ~