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~

Stories in tombstones

Cemetery markers

When I visit in the eastern part of the country, I love to visit old cemeteries. So many old stories are contained in the family plots!

This one interested me, in that all of the gravestones seemed to be tightly contained behind a walled barrier, as though saying, this is our plot, all ours, and don’t you intrude.

It reminded me of some Southern civil war cemeteries where the Southerners were buried in one section of the park, and the Northern “intruders” were buried in another.

It seems that even in death, it is difficult for some folks to acknowledge that we are more alike than different.

The only difference between a rut and a grave
are the dimensions.

~Ellen Glasgow~

 

 

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~ 

Low water crossing in SILENCE IN WEST FORK

One of the fun parts about writing the Pegasus Quincy mystery series is to revisit favorite haunts of mine in the Verde Valley. This low-water crossing is featured in the SILENCE OF WEST FORK.

Peg has just discovered that a possible witness to a murder lives in a hidden shack on the other side of this bridge. But it is a low-water crossing. That means she has to drive through water, hoping that her car won’t slip off either side before she reaches dry land on the other side.

Today, the water is low. When she returns, it may be impossible to cross.

Life is not risk-free, whether in fiction or in the real-life adventures we all face, every day.

Always present

Contrails in the sky

They crisscross the sky like a gigantic tic-tac-toe game, the contrails of the jets that are too high to see, but there just the same. Because the Verde Valley is right on the fly way, we get traffic from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor to points west such as Los Angeles and points east such as Chicago. That’s a lot of planes!

Although their absence was striking during the once-in-a-lifetime shutdown of all air traffic after the 9-11 tragedy, we don’t often look up and notice contrails. They are just there, visible proof of our busyness as individuals and our affluence as a nation.

Do we take the same approach with the loved ones in our life? Accepted in their continual presence, only noticed and missed when they are absent. Perhaps we need to appreciate more and take for granted less!

Mi taku oyasin
[translation: We are all related.]
~Lakota Sioux saying~

 

 

The power of gentleness

Flowers holding up posts

I took this photo at a remote Inn near Abiquiu because I loved the rich golden hues of the peeled cottonwood posts in the saturated New Mexican sunshine.

But then the flowers drew my attention. Appearing fragile, they stretch out, holding the posts apart.

I am reminded that life, in its very gentleness, can be intensely powerful.

What happens every day is what’s surprising.
The treasure’s never where I look to find it, but where I simply look–the sky, the wind, a sunrise,
a silver arc, the moment’s chance.

~Ursula le Guin~

Alive and Well in the Desert

Alive in the desert

I have a fascination with lichen, perhaps because it is so tenacious and tough. It thrives where there are few nutrients, and in the desert, where there is little moisture as well.

For example, notice this desert lichen, a little crackly about the edges, but still hanging in there.

It is hard to predict where life will take root, and how it will thrive under the most unexpected circumstances.

It’s like that for us, too. There is a vast difference between what we want versus what we need in order to build a life for ourselves. It is often not what we choose, but what we are given that allows us to grow into what we were meant to be.

~For every problem there is a solution
which is simple, clean,
and wrong.

~Henry Louis Mencken~

 

Growing older, cactus style

Picture of saguaro cactus

Isn’t this a great saguaro cactus? I found it in one of the mountainous parks in the middle of Phoenix. One of the marvelous things about that burg is that there are SEVEN mountain peaks you can climb, right within city limits. I’ve been up most of them, and they can be a tough scramble.

Back to the saguaro. Did you know they don’t even start putting out limbs until they are 50 years old? By that tally, I’d estimate this cactus is pushing a hundred–or more. Not moving, just standing there tough, watching the world go by. You’ve got to appreciate patience like that.

~Don’t give up!
Good things take time,
and you’re getting there.

~Anonymous~

Book review: Elliot Ackerman, WAITING FOR EDEN

Book cover: WAITING FOR EDEN

It is a short book, 173 smallish pages. And it is “serious” literary fiction. Why on earth would I pick up such a book, promising to be a hard read? Don’t know. But I did. And luckily I started it early in the evening, because I couldn’t put it down.

WAITING FOR EDEN, a finalist for the National Book Award, tells the story of Eden, a badly burned veteran who is not expected to live. It is also the story of his best friend, now a ghost, who waits to escort Eden to the Other Side, and the woman that they both loved.

How do you communicate when you can’t talk and can’t see? Eden finds a way, and it profoundly changes the lives of those around him, including his wife and the medic in the ICU ward. I found the tale to be raw and emotional, not sad but rather an uplifting tribute to the human spirit and the will to survive, whatever the cost.

From the nurse who cared for him on the night shift: “In his body she felt many things at once. Frozen soil. The bark of a tree. Baked sand. A handful of gravel. Glass, both shattered and whole. His textures were a mosaic of many, trapped in the inches of skin…In the space between them there was only her whispering:’If you want to go, go. But if you want to stay, sleep.'”

I felt replete when I finished reading this novel. I hope you will be, too.

The Cat Magician

cat in a bowl

The platter was small. The ceramic was hard and unbalanced. But my friend, Mackie, knew this bowl would make a perfect nest.

Who cared if it was hard? He has enough fur to line it himself. Who cared if it was tippy? A mere walk in the park for a determined cat with four sure feet and a balancing, furry tail.

Sometimes the nest adapts to us, and sometimes we adapt to the nest!

~Let’s begin by taking a smallish nap or two.~
~Winnie-the-Pooh~