Squaring the circle

Squaring the circle

Squaring the circle was an ancient Euclidean geometry problem that tried to construct a circle with the same area as a square. Mathematicians, being the type of people they are, thought this concept of perfection would be really cool to prove.

Alas, it proved to be impossible. They spent countless hours over several centuries coming close, but never reaching the ultimate goal.

It is one of our endearing qualities as human beings. We continually strive for the impossible. Our challenge, it seems to me, is to be able to recognize when “close enough” is “good enough.”

The thing about performance, even if it’s only an illusion, is that it is a celebration of the fact that we do contain within ourselves infinite possibilities.
~Daniel Day-Lewis~ 

Useful trials and errors

Gila Woodpecker Nest

I was walking one morning and discovered in an old sycamore snag, this entrance to a Gila woodpecker nest. The birds are opportunists and will dig out rotten bark to make a soft, protective nest for their young.

What struck me about this opening, though, were the number of false starts that surround it. The bird didn’t immediately say, ah, here, I will build my home. Instead, view the number of beginnings and first attempts that surround it.

Perhaps we should be more like the woodpecker. For each creative endeavor that we try, there will be several tentative jabs and pokes until we find our true stride!

Sculpture is the art of intelligence.
~Pablo Picasso

 

A cat is a cat, and that is that

Cat in sink

Leaf is a BIG cat, and barely fits into this bathroom sink.

But Leaf is also an intelligent cat. He knows after a meal, I’ll come here to brush my teeth, so he dashes into the bathroom and curls up here. He understands he’ll get scritches and soft words to coax him to leave.

His Momma didn’t raise any dumb kittens!

Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want.
~Joseph Wood Krutch~

 

The delight of winter water

Clear Creek at Flood Stage

Imagine standing by this water on a crisp winter day as the rush of cold breeze caresses your face.

This is the Verde Valley’s Clear Creek at flood stage. In a normal flow, water is half this volume, but the creek bed anticipates change. Over the millennia the water has hollowed out a wide swath of normally dry land, preparing for potential that only happens once or twice a season. The trees standing in water are patient, knowing the snow melt from the San Francisco Peaks will eventually pass.

For the desert, this ebb and flow of the water passage is as inevitable as breath itself.

We, too, breathe in and out, allowing room for the intake gasp of surprise and that deep outward sigh of satisfaction.

Snow, snow over the whole land
across all boundaries.

The candle burned on the table,
the candle burned.

~Boris Pasternak~

The texture of potential

Colored pencils in a cup

This picture is on my computer screen saver right now. It’s not an extraordinary photograph but it contains everything I like: a coaster for my coffee, a cup with cats on it, light for reading, and an image-within-an-image of sunshine.

When I view it, I enjoy its textures: the roughness of the sandstone block, the glossiness of the ceramic, the coolness of the stone lamp base, the deep smooth of the leather insert.

I taste the coffee on my tongue and relish the potential of the pen collection. What can I make today?

When we pay attention, pleasures do not need to be dramatic. Sometimes the commonplace suits, just fine!

I am neither an optimist nor pessimist,
but a possibilist.

~Max Lerner~

Come with me on a magical journey

Rowboat to Eliphante

Several years ago I was privileged to be part of a group that did volunteer gardening at a former artist’s home called Eliphante. It wasn’t easy to get to. Here you see us pulling across on a rope tow, from the little town of Cornville in Arizona.

For 28 years, Eliphante was the home  for artists Michael Kahn and Leda Levant. Together they created a magical village, now closed to the public. It is filled with hobbit-like houses, the most amazing art, and a wonderful fount of creativity. You can see some examples of the environment at the home website here. The site is now an official non-profit, so donations are welcome!

The experience has haunted me all of these years and finally today, I begin work on the new Pegasus Quincy novel set, in part, at Eliphante. The working title is Malice in Eliphante, or MIE for short.

Over the next several months I’ll be posting periodic reports on how I am doing with this new writing adventure. I invite you to follow me from start to finish as this new Pegasus Quincy mystery evolves and comes to life.

Welcome!