Layered Grief

March 28, 2017.  I’m wrestling with the loss of our tabby a couple weeks back – just when I think I’ve gotten over it, I find myself in tears again.  Yesterday I watched the calico sitting in dappled shadows – I drifted deep into meditating on her focus in the moment, pondering her intuitive feline ways of adapting to this loss of companion.   I found more questions than answers, but also acceptance that I don’t get to choose when grief resolves.

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Roadside Puzzle

March 23, 2017.  We recently returned to Rancho Lomitas in lower Texas near the Rio Grande border – an area with birds and plants that just don’t come further north.  When there last fall, we took a photo of what we thought to be peyote growing along the roadside.  To everyone’s surprise, the proprietors pointed out the distinctions between peyote and our picture of a star cactus – an endangered cactus that Rancho Lomitas is helping propagate in their nursery but had never seen growing natively on the ranch. Wow!  This revelation came minutes before our departure, no time to revisit the star for more (better) pictures.

On this return trip, a high priority was finding that star cactus!  Oh, did we look and look and look – walking slowly, eyes trained on roadside edge, up and down the stretch of road where the tiny star “had to be”.  Well, maybe.  Hours of looking yielded no star, but did prompt a poem.  Afterward, a seasoned resident at Rancho Lomitas comforted us with the comment that rabbits do eat such (indeed the nursery samples are in wire cages) which leaves me eager to return again to photograph bunnies for an update to this collage. (Image note: fingers show a peyote the same size as the elusive star – star enlarged in center of collage – the two look alike to novice eyes.)

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Serious Trancing

March 8, 2017.  For those who ponder how poems materialize, today’s example (not exactly repeatable, but representative):   Morning routines are just that – routine …  Sketch begins trancing …  Gary pauses on way out the door to describe a scene he’d rather stay home with …  I tiptoe to peer at cat and experience a flash of envy …  Pen in hand first, I think of camera a little too late …  I rely on words to convey the scene.

The image is thus of resulting state rather than feline process of “getting gone”.

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Challenge

February 27, 2017.  I’m stepping back into 2007 for this image and poem, which feel appropriate given prevalent prickly agitation. This image was taken on Alamo Mountain, near El Paso, on a hike to view ancient rock art images left by a culture challenged daily with adversity.  Perhaps we, too, will learn to live with constant conflict.  But maybe we can bridge polarized opinions – it’s a challenge worth considering.

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Shadow Crossing

February 9, 2017.  My inner poet and inner photographer often trip over one another vying for best view of current circumstances.  Sometimes they work in cahoots.  This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge “Shadow” sent me scurrying through files for a specific cahoots – on Austin’s Town Lake Labyrinth, October 2007.  One of many savored labyrinth walks, this day pops instantly to mind periodically – a serious reminder to not take myself so seriously.

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Defy The Calendar

February 7, 2017.  Still weeks till Spring’s official arrival.  But given three definitive signs arriving in the span of mere hours, I am celebrating the distinct possibility that hard freezes are behind us.

The image below is a very startled young possum cowering on a shelf beneath the pet feeder after the Labrador and I discovered him – crouched in the food bowl munching happily, no doubt proud of his discovery of “easy” feeding – a perspective shattered by barking, lunging dog and camera flashes in the face.   (Too dark to see the visiting cat but I know well the source of those howls.  The robins didn’t stick around to pose.)

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Leaving

January 31, 2017.  Lately, a series of dreams have occurred driving solo in my Rav4, and while I puzzle over the varying symbols (a horse in the back seat, a bear hauling me and Rav4 up a huge tree) the constant of behind-the-wheel is perhaps of greater significance. Pondering if the Dream Maker is promoting solo travel, I found my way back to this poem.

My last big solo drive was January 2013, to Taos NM for a meditative intensive.  I was quite hyped about going, both for the experience once there and for the long hours driving.  Driving solo is a unique meditative experience in and of itself.

But going entails separation … this poem wrote itself between home and Taos.  While I have no photograph of the departure scene beyond the poem’s imagery, I do have the contrast view a few hours post arrival.  Parting words of caution rang in my ears as I skidded into Taos along with a major snow storm, icy roads, and much anxiety.   Nothing prettier than an undamaged car, blanketed down for a few idle days.

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