October 6, 2018. Today the U.S. has taken a turn many of us deem disastrous. But why sit home and follow the predictable senate vote? Better to brave traffic tension, spend the hours with meditative peers. Not a word uttered about the politicians’ games. From the silence, I’ve come away determined to keep a beginner’s mind, to follow whatever comes next with curiosity, to remember that nothing happens in a vacuum, nothing escapes eventual change.
This verse formed in my head as I drove toward today’s gathering – an intention mantra of sorts. The image is yucca seeds, gathered temporarily before separating to spread yucca essence beyond original setting, mixing into varied landscapes.
December 21, 2017. As this year moves closer to closure, usual seasonal mood swings squeeze into limited interior space crowded with national tensions, frustrations way beyond individual control and impossible to expel. Thank you, Nature. Your cycles remind “this, too, will pass”. Optimistic fingers tightly crossed, I look toward 2018.
July 23, 2017. Traveling still, now in cooler temperatures and higher elevations. This afternoon’s rain kept us campsite-bound – an agreeable pace! I’ve encountered several times lately promotions for “forest bathing” – Japanese Shinrinyoku – preventive healthcare practice of getting oneself out among trees. Research proves its value. My experience here bears witness.
June 1, 2017. The last half of May was a bombardment of encounters – a piling on of understanding my own impermanence, connectedness, and choices. This poem has been finished multiple times, only to reopen given the next day’s encounter. Not all-inclusive, some pieces were trimmed to make space for others. I’m calling this complete now. (Though there could be a sequel!)
This began with breaking open during Jimmy LaFave’s final performance three days before his death – witnessing his choice to live his last year on his own terms, embracing life rather than fighting death. The wrap-up arrived as a scientific article on lichens.
References:  Poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s poem “Dear Christie”: https://ahundredfallingveils.com/2017/05/22/dear-christie/  Scientific American June 2017 issue, “The Meaning of Lichen”
Collage: Raven from Bryce Canyon, UT. Lichen from Red Corral Ranch, TX.
May 6, 2017. Our Mexican Sunflowers began blooming early this year, bright spots, especially in a windy drizzle. I noticed one bloom whipped by the wind, its petals all gone except for one – tenacious, flapping wildly like a kite unsure whether to soar or crash. I went inside for the camera, expecting it to be blown away when I returned. But no, still hanging on to its familiar center in spite of prevailing forces – seeming a model for fidelity to my core principles in the midst of a turbulent world.
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”.
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.