Tag Archives: Art

Chicory

Well, I’ve slowed down a little on my writing.  Time is a proportionate thing.  Right now I’m in training.  Training for my next adventure.

So as training time increases, time for everything decreases.

But since I’m out and about as part of my training, and since it’s Spring, it’s time for wildflowers and flowering trees.  I guess I’ll stick with the Photo Journal until the right combination of forces conspires to persuade me to tell another story.

Enjoy 🙂

LOGOz

Photo: Chicory – an amazing plant. You can use its roots as a coffee substitute.  And now for the close-up of the close-up . . . Hope you like the color Blue.

Chickory+C1

Hawthorn

It’s that time of year.  The flowering trees have started to bloom.  It usually begins with Wild Cherry and Plumb.   Then come the Redbuds and Magnolias.  Then Dogwoods, Catalpas, Buckeyes, and Mimosas.

There are a lot of trees in my area with small, white flowers.  Probably too many to know all of them.  But the other day, when I was out on the trail,  I spied this little beauty laying in the grass.  It only took a second to realize that it wasn’t a ground flower.  There was an entire blanket of these blooms lying under a tree.  The Hawthorn Tree.

This was the first time I took a close look at this particular blossom.  And it was quite a gift for the day 🙂

The center sort of looks like a creature with unfolding tentacles.  Perhaps a Sea Anemone.  Take in its beauty and use your imagination.  What do you see?

LOGOz

Missouri Hawthorne Tree Flower +C1

Fugitives From Ourselves

Ozark Cabin with John Gardner Quote

Yesterday, my post was about the need to get back out into Nature to promote both our physical and mental health.  What constituted the path to true happiness.  The outward journey to inner healing.

So I felt the need to balance that today with this quote about the inward journey.  This is the toughest journey of all.  And it’s something we often try to avoid.  It can be a scary trek, but it’s also the most rewarding.  Making contact with our spiritual selves.  Without all of the distractions from the external world.

The quote is spot on.  Sometimes people lose themselves.  They become automatons.  Traversing the same trails every day.  Speaking in clichés.  Allowing platitudes to fill the mind.  Avoiding self-examination.

A little time spent in quiet meditation every day is a step to getting back in touch with our real selves.  Unplug from the technological world.  Disconnect from the external illusion and find your authentic soul.

LOGOz

Photo: I chose this pic because this isolated cabin in the Ozark mountains is a good analogy to our inner selves.  Yes, in the material world it’s an external physical structure, but it can symbolically serve to represent our inner consciousness.  Our soul.  Our particle of awareness.  Our gift from the Source.

It is surrounded by a vast external world of distraction and illusion where we often flee.

Come home and relax for a spell.  Sit by the fireplace.  Reconnect with your spiritual self.  Expand your consciousness.

I actually stayed in this little cabin a few years back.  It was a great place to get back to Nature.  Away from the frenetic pace of modernity.  And away from our self-generated hubris.  Not only a place to heal in the outdoors, but a place to make that inward journey in peace and solitude.

In Metta

Happiness

I like this quote because it truly cuts to the heart of it.  We can not find happiness in the external world, or through ownership of material possessions.  True happiness is an internal state of mind and the mind can’t find its way there if it is living in the past, or focused on the future, or by thinking that something or someone else outside ourselves will somehow deliver it to us.  In a pretty package with a bow on top.

It can only be found in the moment with love and through grace in actually living.

I must say for me, travel, being in motion, taking in the real world around me with all of my senses, helps me to live in that moment of spiritual experience.  Just like the moment of this sunset 🙂

LOGOz

 

For Vera

Look closely.  What do you see?

About three years back, I was walking along the roadside and I saw Red Clover blooming in the ditch.  I bent over and snapped a picture, a close up, without even giving it much thought.

Later, back home.  I opened the pic up on the computer screen and my jaw dropped.  It was, is, absolutely stunning!  At least I think so.

What we often regard as single blooms are really composite flowers.  A cluster of miniature florets forming that glorious efflorescence.  And this is what I saw.

Red Clover+C1

A common plant.  So common that people don’t seem to notice it.  Just walk on by.

The Bumble Bees notice it , though.  It seems to be one of their favorites.

But just look at those tiny composite flowers.  The angle of the ones at the top produce the effect of looking at flames dancing in a fire.

But straight on, you can see the tiny detail of each independent bloom.  The red veins of each. Those vascular bundles of Xylem and Phloem that extend the entire length of the plant. The Pistil, holding the reproductive organs.  Each of these tiny flowers will become a seed . . . once the bees do their work.   It will transform and appear much like the head of a Dandelion, before the tiny umbrellas balloon its many children to their distant destinations.  To start the cycle anew.

And to the side and lower views, you see each of the microblooms’ petals.  What an intricate design.

Like a cluster of diminutive orchids.

So many focal points.  The camera can’t decide.  It zooms in on the tiny hairlike projections in between the hues of crimson.

Three years ago, with the snapping of a picture, I snapped back into life.  Back into the life that matters most.  Appreciating the real world and all its glory.  And this re-awaking was fueled by what some would call the commonplace.  Would scarcely give a glance to such a plant.  A wildflower.  An uncultivated beast.

After all, it’s not a Rose . . .

My friend Vera and I were talking about this in relation to my post Wildflowers yesterday.  The uniqueness, the beauty, the ability to recognize and appreciate it before it’s gone.  And I think she said it perfectly when she said:

“It’s funny how we are inclined to categorize things as common or rare, forgetting/ignoring the fact that each one is unique within their own kind. It takes wise reminders to be conscious of that. To have the capacity to appreciate beauty while it lasts, or indeed, transience, in general, demands high wisdom and appropriate temperament.”

And so I dedicate this post to her.  And if you really want to read some fine poetry, and by “fine” I mean amazing, you should check out her blog.  To Dad With Love Poetry.

Until the next wildflower . . .

LOGOz

 

Wildflowers

I captured this image when I was on one of my hikes in the Northwest.  High desert wildflowers were everywhere.

Many were flowers I had not seen before, like this one.  Many others seem to be common all over the states.

I always wonder what evolutionary adaptations these plants have made to thrive in the area where they live.  Is it the altitude, or the days’ photoperiods, or the temperature, or the elements in the soil, or the amount of precipitation?  All combining to produce something with just the right colors and the perfect perfume to attract the pollinators that will ensure their reproduction.

And they interlink in the complex fabric of life so they help ensure other species’ survival.  Even our own 🙂

High Desert Wildflower 4 + Retro

LOGOz

Busy Living

“I guess it comes down to a simple choice really, get busy living or get busy dying.”

– Andy talking with Red in The Shawshank Redemption.

I’ve always loved this quote.  It seems simple enough, but there’s a lot to it.  Some people say we are in the process of dying from the moment we are born.  That’s an organic process.  Can’t change it.  Can’t stop it.  But we can change what we’re doing when we’re alive.  While we’re still breathing.

Continue reading Busy Living

Dragon !

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles and postings on the Net lately about Millennials.  And a lot of it is very derogatory and carries an overall tone of blame.  Blame for what?  Apparently, there is a blame game now where if it looks like you’ll be delayed in reaching some of society’s dictated milestones, such as marriage, children, and owning a home, then you are defective.

In fact, people falling in this category are more than just defective.  They are downright utter failures.  And those in this generation acquiring a higher education are also called fools for racking up student loan debt.

Of course, if you visit the pages like LinkedIn, the general tone is that if you’re having difficulty achieving the American Dream, regardless of who you are but especially if you’re a Millennial, it’s because you are incompetent and lazy and simply haven’t learned to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.  It’s also assumed that you do not know how to prioritize your purchasing power and always spend beyond your means.

If you were only like the commentator who walked 20 miles to school each day, uphill, both ways, and forwent buying so much as a candy bar until they could afford to buy a falling apart car with the money they earned mowing lawns and doing other odd jobs until they became a self-made . . . blah, blah, blah . . . judgmental bigot?

I find such types of gross over-generalizations to be pretty ignorant.

Continue reading Dragon !

The Destination Was Her

It’s hard to describe,

truly meeting someone.

When eyes open,

Hearts synch.

 

A special soul,

To embrace,

Enfold, entwine.

 

But there were many separations.

Space-time matrices to traverse,

Miles,

Life Stages.

 

Two nurturing souls.

Playful,

Understanding.

 

Horizons expanded.

A mystical wonderland.

Alive and pulsating.

An endless flood of sensation.

 

Time shared.

Bonds forged.

 

Then a withering flame.

A magical land,

Turned landscape of loneliness.

The dichotomy of dissonance.

 

Beauty everywhere.

With heart-tie gone,

There could be no gravity.

 

The mark on the map

was never the journey’s end.

The geography was never Earthbound.

The destination was her . . .

Her heart.

 

LOGOz

 

Photo: From light years ago.  A special flame.

One of Those Days

It’s one of those days where the words should just be flowing, but they aren’t.  The idea list looks boring too.  And a fresh blanket of snow makes outdoor activities less probable.

A day of confusion.

Computer files aren’t compatible or won’t open.  It’s as if the desktop is having the same brain fog as I am.

Continue reading One of Those Days

What’s in a Name?

Those of you who follow my blog know I’m constantly remarking about how powerful and fun words are.  I love words.  And if you can tell a story and manage to raise the image you’re trying to paint in another person’s mind, well, that’s when storytelling becomes art.

I love it when words can be used in alternative tenses.  Past, present, and future.  But they can also be used in multiple fashions.  As a noun, adjective, and verb.  All three.

But have you ever seen a proper noun be used with such multiplicity?

Continue reading What’s in a Name?

Worlds and Eternities

Photo: Jenny Lake at Grand Teton National Park.  The Shoshones called this mountain range “Teewinot” – the many pinnacles.”

Every angle, every nuance of light and shadow, every frame in the mind’s eye – different worlds.  From the grains of sand on the shoreline, the wooded tails, the mountain peaks – all Universes within themselves.

As you look in the distance, the scene is not only majestic, it is infinite.  There are no borders, there is no time.

In fact, these are very young mountains in terms of geological time 🙂

***

 

Day Dreaming

I woke up to a chilly negative seven degrees this morning.  That cold, biting air dug into my consciousness and said, “Hey, snap out of it.”  But what was “it?”

“It” has been the brain fog I’ve been in now for over a week.

“It” has thoroughly slapped me around, kicked in my rib cage, pummeled my face, knocked me down, and thrown me off balance.

“It” has challenged my days and made it difficult to write.

Yeah, I know, excuses, excuses.  But fighting pollution has taken on a whole new meaning for me this past couple of years.  Those unseen flyspecks, minute assassins, bouncing around my home.  Laying in wait.  Invading my brain.  Committing molecular murder.

With malice aforethought, “it” extinguishes my memory.

Evil.

Industrial chemicals.  A toxic world.

How to fight back?  Drift into a day dream . . .

A deep, clear, midnight blue lake, stretching out on the horizon, lapping against the shores of lodge pole pines, mountains shadow down in the distance.  Mirror reflections.  A shimmering pool.  A sailboat to slide across this glass surface.  Sanguine, tranquil, serene.

A distant memory.  Unleashing endorphins.  Light dancing in my camera’s lens. Euphoric.

I crank up the music – Freddy Jones Band – In a Day Dream

Tuesday morning,
Never looked so good.
I’m already in,
In a daydream.

The sun is shining,
To wake me up.
No one around,
Just me and the sky.

I’m already in,
In a daydream.
I’m already in,
In a daydream.

The sky is calling,
Calling out my name.
Telling me just to stay,
Stay and don’t go away.

I’m already in,
In a daydream.
I’m already in,
In a daydream.

In a daydream…
In a daydream…
In a daydream…
Already in a daydream…

And so I begin anew, rising from the flames, oscillating between past travels, and future adventures.  The words come . . .

***

Photo: Day dreaming of the Grand Tetons.