Competing Thoughts

May 29, 2018.  The school year wraps up this week, setting my teacher partner free to travel.  He has been prepping our Airstream, and I have been busily tweaking reservations along the path we’re targeting this summer.  Some returns, some new locations.  All of it flexible should we change our minds!  Our minds are crammed full … no question we are overlooking something (to be further tweaked down the line).

In our yard, every day something new blooms … bringing regrets that we must miss this to venture toward the other.  This collage blends purple coneflowers with datura, both prolific bloomers frequented by bees.

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Prim Trim

April 30, 2018.   April brings beautiful wildflowers to Central Texas.  My favorite is the pink evening primrose, Oenothera.  My first April here (1987) the median strip between walk and street proved to be primrose territory.  A bonus the realtor never mentioned.  Thereafter, I was careful not to mow until after the blooming!  Until … in 2011 a new neighbor on the block (from out of state) created a stink about my “weeds” and sent a cop out to read me the rules.  I had multiple cats and zero doubts that no rats lived in my median strip.  But: rules are rules and fury is fury.  I made sure I’d never be asked to mow that strip again – paved it with sandstone slabs and spite.

Now, every April, I wish I hadn’t.  This year, I offer a poem to honor the missing pink  and a collage to convey imagined petals – petals much larger in proportion to walkway than any Texan’s bragging might suggest; but hey, my imagination knows no limits!

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Exploring The Tangle

April 7, 2018.  I’ve been playing with a new macro photography lens, happily excited by some of the “captures”.  I am far from professional equipment, but now closer to a shareable visual of details that attracted my imagination.  This image is a passion flower vine tendril dangling mid air, tangling onto itself for lack of anything else to grasp.  These grow on a trellis by our front gate – leave town for a few weeks, and the gate will be laced shut on return.  Had I stood still a couple of hours, this one might well have grabbed more than my imagination.

I considered collaging in a ladybug … but will leave that to your imagination ….

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Persistence

March 31, 2018.  March blows Spring into Central Texas – bringing wildflowers and fresh leaves.  And in the garden, poppies!  We planted seeds once and now we collect seeds to give away – our poppies keep popping back year to year.  They are a mix of red and pink, big and small, and they are prolific.  But each bloom is brief.  And each worthy a portrait, my excuse to frequently indulge my photography urges.

I lucked onto one “about to pop” and caught the sequence.  Apart from borders and the  stand-in downward bud, all images are of the same poppy.  All but the full bloom, in the span of about 5 minutes.  The fully opened bloom is an hour or so later.

A delight to watch the unfolding!

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Pause

March 25, 2018.  This is messy time of year in Central Texas – live oaks drop all their leaves and then immediately begin “blooming” and dusting everything with their yellow pollen.   Might as well wait for it to finish before trying to clean up.

Today I found this green anole on the hood of our black truck – perhaps drawn to the hue of the pollen? Perhaps struck by the reflection surrounding him?  The perfect icon for Central Texas Spring, and decidedly in an extended pause.  Perhaps contemplating source?

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Zen In Hand

March 16, 2018.  This poem emerged while studying Zen poets – mostly male, but one female poet made the syllabus.  Otagaki Rengetsu (1791–1875) became a Japanese Buddhist nun and one of the country’s most respected female artists – combining her poetry, calligraphy, and pottery.  She learned from Kyoto potters and decorated her rough and rugged bowls, cups, and other vessels with her poetry, either painted on or scored into the clay in flowing calligraphy. Orders from tea masters and others kept her very busy.  This collage of found images shows both her pottery and calligraphy styles.

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Snag Presence

March 10, 2018.  I spent February studying Zen poetry – reading many of the classics and writing to suggested prompts.  Lorraine “Bird” Mejia is a skilled online teacher and manages to pull things from me I did not expect.  True with the Zen writing, for sure.  But one of the exercises took me a bit off-prompt, smack dab back to the New Mexico mountain where we camp every August – specifically, back to the “snag” (a tree dead but standing, top broken off) where I sit in solitude.  I posted about that snag in 2015, and here I repeat that earlier poem followed by my “Zenish” perception.   One snag, two takes.

Who knows? There could be more snag poems to emerge …

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