August 11, 2018. Yesterday’s post from Robert Okaji set me to wondering what Hokusai would think of the modern prevalence of companion animals, and if he would have noted such an animal’s response to natural wonders. Reading about being above the storm, looking down, likely in solitude, stirred up an urge to contrast an experience last week near Cloudcroft NM. Different mountain. Different positioning of viewer to storm. Group of humans plus one exuberant Labrador. Admittedly, I was not thinking of Hokusai at the time – preoccupied with concern the hail might get bigger, become destructive. (Wish I had caught Buttercup’s romp with camera – this collage reflects both hail and happy dog.)
Hindsight? CONstructive: moistened dry earth, entertained dog, seeded poem.
Okaji’s “Thunderstorm Below The Mountain”: https://robertokaji.com/2018/08/11/thunderstorm-below-the-mountain-3/
August 9, 2018. We have come home from our two months of rolling east then west and back to central Texas. Good to be home in spite of the heat, in spite of the backlog of mail and chores! The collage reflects one of many moments that triggered poetic response – foggy morning in North Carolina, headed toward Max Patch on the Blue Ridge Parkway. No chance to capture with camera what my eyes zeroed in on – so I scribbled haikus to hold the memory. Later, walking up to Max Patch, on trail’s edge was one more solitary golden leaf – hurrah!
June 30, 2018. Another travels snapshot. You know you’ve slipped into full travel mode when afternoon coffee is followed with afternoon napping. Nothing like a downpour to encourage staying in, dry, reflective.
May 3, 2018. Yesterday afternoon I ventured out in weather that could not quite rain but refused to calm down … I had one of those moments of recall that brought me home to write down the memories. Searching through files, I found photos from 2017 of the same place, on a similar overcast day – which I’ve coupled with a closer view of the prickly poppies prevalent this time of the year. I go back once a year or so, preferably in the Spring. My aunt’s house is long gone, but the road remains pretty much the same – near Cheapside, 20 miles out from Cuero TX.
My memories are of the year I lived in the country with my aunt, who worked in town and got home a good 2 hours after the school bus dropped me at the front gate. I spent those 2 hours daily walking the country road, solo except for cows off in the pasture. I was in the 8th grade, a pivotal year, and I owe so much to those walks! One day in particular, the wind nearly knocked me down, but I charged into it rather than go inside to be “safe”.
January 18, 2018. Tuesday Austin Texas shut down due to iced roadways – schools, government offices, many businesses sent out alerts the night before: please stay off the roadways. This happens once every year or so, usually for one day. In colder places, cities take remedial action and keep roadways open. Here, we get a day off (except schools must take away a planned free day later in the calendar.)
I slept in, waking to the lure of chicken soup simmering, gave the day’s opportunity a few select thoughts, and pulled out a jigsaw puzzle. Not just any puzzle – I chose the greenhouse scene, plants thriving while “shut in” – like me. The collage hopefully conveys my sense of being in the greenhouse while working the puzzle.
January 11, 2018. It’s been a little over five years since I slipped my left wrist into the silicone band bearing the wisdom Celebrate What’s Right With The World – motto of Dewitt Jones, photographer and philosopher. I’d just spent a week “on Molokai time” recalibrating with Dewitt and others. I wondered how long the band might last. At least five years: the one I am retiring to my altar shows no wear until placed on top of a new one. Then I can see it has thinned, which explains sometimes slipping off.
2012 held a pair of life-changing encounters. A week with Mr. Poetic Medicine, John Fox, in Canyon De Chelly broke me open. Mother Nature delivered a Vision Quest where I’d anticipated just poetry and nature appreciation. I came home wobbly, at best. Within days, notice of a Dewitt Jones workshop on Molokai slid into view, and I signed up on the spot. I was a fan of Dewitt’s philosophy from videos in wisdom classes. With crossed fingers, I began another adventure. Getting to Molokai felt a lot like another Vision Quest, but the Island way and the people (once there!) were what I needed. I will never forget returning, standing outside the Austin airport waiting to be picked up, unable to contain my smiles, eager to say THANK YOU! to the one picking me up (the one who put up with me after Canyon de Chelly!)
October 11, 2017. On this clear October day, I went out to wander the backyard taking photos of fall-bloomers cultivated to attract butterflies. One butterfly posed for me, and lots of bees. But my eyes were primarily focused downward, trying not to trip over plants way beyond their beds. The pathway (what I could see of it) began to fascinate more than the bright blooms.