Photo: A Bluebell somewhere in Wyoming.
Photo: A Bluebell somewhere in Wyoming.
I think I’m going to start a new tradition on Word Press.
It’s obviously the beginning of November and this is the time of year when those of us who live in areas with decreasing sunshine are afflicted with Seasonal Affective Disorder. “SAD” – what a cute acronym.
SAD has become more of an issue for me after my days spent in Arizona where there seemed to be an unlimited supply of Sunshine – even during the monsoon season.
Well, I wrote a piece about these “Gray Days” a while back, and I re-posted it last year, and so now the tradition has solidified. This time, I’ll just put the link below (and above) as opposed to re-posting the blog. If you have the desire to read further, click away.
If not, well you’re missing out 🙂
It crossed my mind, when I re-read my post today, that I was in a highly creative state of mind when I originally wrote it, as well as the posts surrounding that time in general. You see, I was in love then, and the creative juices always flow more when I’m in love.
I might have been in love with a person, a place, or even a passing idea – a newly formed and beautiful image in my mind. A dream.
But love, regardless of its source, is all powerful. And while it’s difficult, we writers do try to express such feelings with words.
I read a great post from my blogging friend Cristian Mahai today that began with a beautiful quote from Faulkner. Check it out for a little inspiration about the writer’s duty and about beauty. I think this fulfills my duty for the day. And read on, if you wish, about how even the grayest of days can be colorful and inspiring!
Here’s the link, again, to – Gray Days.
Photo: Even the most gray, rainy, and cold days can be very beautiful – like this image I captured in the Rocky Mountains.
I’ve been having fun kicking out the blog posts the past few days and digging into other blogs searching for those words that make my brain light up with joy. And one of the themes that keeps swirling around that I’ve noticed on some of the other blogs has to do with whether you’re a success.
How on Earth are you going to gauge that one?
Success in whose terms? Or in what way? Or is it all a numbers game?
I have to admit, I stole this quote from Victoria Ray. She included in one of her posts recently, but I absolutely loved the words. And I played and played on the photo editor to try to get them to stand out on the background pic, so here is the quote in case you’re having a hard time reading it:
“Because when I read, I don’t really read… I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel.” Bohumil Hrabal
The lilies, by the way, were growing wild along the trail – an astonishing lush forest in an arid, high desert climate. Amazing !
I guess I was a little stubborn about my choice in pictures for this post as I could have picked another to contrast the text better, but I loved the symbolism here – beautiful lush flowers, lush forest, in the high desert – not what one expects to find. But there are so many wonderful surprises in this life. Not being predictable makes life so much more interesting, wouldn’t you say?
If you’ve read many of the posts on my blog, you know that I talk about hiking in Nature a lot. This is part of my spiritual practice, to get out in the Natural World. But a friend asked a reasonable question not long ago, so I decided to think about it and write something on it. They asked:
“What’s the difference between hiking and walking?”
It turns out that is a bit more profound than it seems, because we, as humans, like to define and differentiate things. To the extreme. 😊
Do you prefer yellow or red 🙂
To say it was a slow burn would be inaccurate. It was just plain a bonfire. Sparks to high flying flames. Embers floating upward on newly created thermals, warm and glowing, a continual burn. That was this past summer as I traveled about taking in new sights. Hiking in Nature.
That collective place, that I call the “Real World,” where I feel at home.
There was a crescendo, however. You might say. A peak. Not a turning point, and it wasn’t like things diminished in anyway afterwards, but it was a stand out moment. The day I did the Green Lakes hike.
You see I had been building toward this adventure for a while. Slowing increasing my hiking distances. Acclimating to the higher altitudes. And while the trail markers seemed to indicate a shorter distance, they were wrong. I knew it by what maps revealed and planned accordingly.
This hike, while longer, reminded me of one I did in Montana. To Avalanche Lake. That hike was shorter in distance, but it similarly ended in a spectacular view. A total sense-flooding awe. A take-your-breath-away moment.
This new mission built from the Douglas Fir forest, to the many waterfalls, to the rainbow of wildflowers, to the lakes and surrounding mountains.
A sort of reach out and touch God journey.
Scents were fragrantly permeating the air as I strolled through the forest. And I was reflecting on words. Words to describe my senses.
My senses other than sight.
We depend on sight over all of our other senses. And while our brains are processing each moment in a billion different ways, we usually think in terms of what we see. Whether things are light or dark. Colors and shapes. Whether things are bleary or brilliant or dazzling or dingy. Radiant, shimmering, flashy, glistening, streaked or tarnished. So many descriptors.
An exception seems to come with Autumn. When Fall arrives people often speak of the smells of the season. Those scents which bring comfort and warm feelings inside. That internal warmth that seems to compensate for the decreasing temperatures as Helios shifts its radiant energy to the southern hemisphere.
But as I think about my other senses, I find myself struggling for the words to describe fragrances.
Back around the turn of the century, there was a famous Orloy Trotter Horse in Germany who was acclaimed for being able to perform arithmetic and other intellectual feats. The horse’s name was Clever Hans.
After a formal investigation into his skills, a psychologist claimed the horse was smart, but only in the sense that it paid attention to the reactions and body language of his trainer. The trainer, it was said, had no idea the horse was eyeing him for the cues on how to respond to the ongoing tests.
Well, this story is not about Clever Hans.
Warning: I have a bit of a sarcastic, sardonic, and cynical sense of humor. I think a lot of people do, but some don’t, and they may not get my attempts to poke fun at things. That’s ok, but I just wanted to warn the reader that’s where we’re headed today, down sarcastic, cynical lane. 😊
Disclaimer: And while I’m poking fun at a business conference below, understand that I’m not really trying to belittle the people who made their presentations. They were all very nice people and some were incredibly smart folks. That doesn’t mean we can’t have a sense of humor about the topics being presented and the terminology they used.
Ok, so yesterday I was having a little fun with some new words and phrases coming out of the business sector. And I ended that post by mentioning something else I did once at a work conference. Something I thought was rather amusing, and you can do this too the next time you’re at one of those oh-so-boring meetings.
Or maybe I should say, old school style with modern outfitters . . .
As the gorge narrowed the wind picked up, and the air temperature noticeably dropped. The calming frequency of the soft rush of the water shifted timbre. Now cascading, surging ever faster downward, as the amplitude of the waves, both in size and pitch, increased to a deafening roar.
We hung on tight with both hands as the V-shaped bow and rigid hull sliced into the first wave, but the second was much larger. And the small vessel skirted straight up its crest, reminiscent of a mighty ocean sailing ship in a surging Atlantic storm, but in miniature.
At the oarsman’s skillful command, the boat shifted sideways as it rolled down into the trough in time for the next wave to crest high above our heads. Crashing down, completely drenching us, the flare of the hull offering no protection. Filling the open compartments to the frame’s brim.
Our laughter could be heard above the roar of the rapids as we bailed.
Well, I’m back. Sort of. And momentarily.
The launchpad. The place I always leave from 🙂
The summer travels are complete and planning is on the way for the next round. Hopefully some more before winter sets in. And definitely more on the distant horizon of 2020.
If I had my choice, I’d never land. I’d stay in perpetual motion.
For the moment, that is not meant to be.