A number of days past, I made a post titled Wildflowers where I pondered the evolutionary adaptations of plants. How their beauty, shape, and the perfume of their flowers attract certain pollinators to ensure the propagation of their species.
Naturally, I simply enjoy their beauty, regardless of how it came to be. 😊
Then yesterday, I stumbled upon an article discussing the theories of “adaptive adornment” versus “arbitrary beauty.”* And I must admit, those terms are much more scientific and deliberately descriptive than my own ponderings.
It seems that Darwin had a second theory apart from natural selection – sexual selection.
Continue reading Beauty – Adaptive or Arbitrary
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.
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.
I’ve been doing a lot of stumbling lately.
I really like that word. Its main definition is about walking in an unsteady manner, being clumsy, to almost fall, or to make an error. Blunder. But I like the other definition, that of unexpectantly coming upon something – like truth.
Now that’s no error. That’s magic.
Continue reading Call of the Wild*
“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
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 !
It’s hard to describe,
truly meeting someone.
When eyes open,
A special soul,
But there were many separations.
Space-time matrices to traverse,
Two nurturing souls.
A mystical wonderland.
Alive and pulsating.
An endless flood of sensation.
Then a withering flame.
A magical land,
Turned landscape of loneliness.
The dichotomy of dissonance.
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 . . .
Photo: From light years ago. A special flame.
A couple of days ago my coffee pot died. It happens. Machines reach the end of their productive years just like us living, breathing beings. Usually sooner though. Entropy. That eternal state of decay.
Of course, when a machine bites the dust one of the things we think of is, “Did I get my money’s worth?” How many years did I get out of that coffee maker? Well, that sparked some memories. Not all that pleasant. And they began with the why.
Why did I get that coffee maker?
Continue reading Coffee
I dislike beginning another blog with a chant about being absent for a while, but there it is. I’ve not been here. I’ve been elsewhere.
But where is “elsewhere?”
I kind of like that word. In fact, if I ever incorporated a township, that’s what I’d name it – Elsewhere. And everyone would be invited to go there and take a mental vacation. And better yet, while you were there you could conjure up any type of reality you desired. The only limits would be the boundaries of your imagination.
Actually, I think we are all in Elsewhere every day.
Continue reading Elsewhere
Well the old brain is clicking along today. Somewhat dazed, but the ramblings in my head don’t go away – except maybe when I meditate.
It’s funny we go through life trying to find meaning, to discover an identity for ourselves, and yet try as we might, we, as beings, are kind of hard to define. And if we can’t even define ourselves, then how can we elucidate a purpose for this existence.
As I was listening to a song this morning the lyrics kind of hit home when I heard, “I don’t even need a name anymore, when no one calls it out, it kind of vanishes away.”
Continue reading Brain Games
We all misplace things from time-to-time. Car keys, your cell phone, a pair of glasses, a pen. Perhaps a favorite shirt. Of course, there is also the void. A vortex. That place where a single sock or the lids to our plastic containers seem to just vanish. To be swallowed up. Leaving behind the sad, unmatched partner, only to be discarded at a future date.
Their usefulness now lost . . .
And sometimes I think the spirits are messing with me. Because I search and search, retrace my steps, look in the same place multiple times, and there it is, my quarry, sitting in one of the same spots I’ve searched three times over. Only now it’s so obvious I can’t miss it if I tried.
I wonder ???
Over the years, I’ve tried to keep a copy of everything I’ve had published. It’s nice to have an electronic copy, but even better to have a hard copy. Something tangible. Something I can hold in my hands. Feel the texture of the paper. Smell the ink. Visualize the word placement. Hear the words as I read through them.
There’s something about the whole sensory experience that makes it more magical.
Continue reading A Worthy Trade
Photo: Most people who have visited Glacier National Park in Montana have probably captured this very photo as you are coming in from the east entrance to the park along the Going To The Sun Road. The tiny island is Wild Goose Island sitting in the middle of St. Mary Lake.
The mountain peaks on the south side of the lake (left in photo) include Red Eagle Mountain, Mahtotopa Mountain, Little Chief Mountain, Dusty Star Mountain and Citadel Mountain. Gunsight Mountain and Fusillade Mountain are at the far end of the lake. And on the north side, (to the right) not really captured in the photo are Goat Mountain and Going-to-The-Sun Mountain.
Not much further down this road was where I had my first encounter with Grizzly Bears. A pair strolling along up on one of the mountain slopes. It was an amazing sight to behold. A gift.
I chose this pick for the quote, because it’s when we overcome our doubts and fears that we will experience the greatest adventures, encounter the greatest beauty, replace our ignorance with knowledge, and have our ego put in its place, having seen what a tiny speck we are in such an infinite Universe.
My grandfather, who I was named after, was born in Indiana in 1896. After fighting in the “Great War,” he returned to Indiana where he ran several businesses and raised his family. Rumors were that he had two families.
The clan had its share of characters back in the day.
At some point along his journey he acquired a watch. An Elgin pocket watch. A railroad watch. No one seems to know the exact story surrounding of how he came by this watch. He could have bought it or he could have taken it in trade for some of the many cigars he sold in his “City Club.”
Although it was gold-filled, it wasn’t one of those fancy watches used to mark social status. The ornate ones with jewels that weren’t part of the mechanism. No special engraving. No hand-painted or enamel designs. No animated scenes or characters turning in coordination with the hands.
No, this watch was used to tell time.
When my dad graduated high school, granddad sat my father down and explained that dad had reached a point in his life where he earned some recognition. He was now old enough and responsible enough to receive a precious gift. A timepiece to mark a rite of passage.
And so the watch was passed on to its first successor guardian.
Continue reading My Granddad’s Watch – Finis
It was a colder winter than usual in northern Arizona back in ‘78. When my brother and I pulled into Flagstaff there was no way to make a left-hand turn. Some three feet of snow had been plowed into the middle of the roads to be trucked away later. A crystalline white bulwark separating the oncoming traffic.
We had a few more miles to go to find a campsite among the Ponderosa Pines. Once there, I eased the ‘70 Plymouth Satellite off the park road where the snow was the lightest and drove deeper into the forest. The snow being an incredible insulator, as soon as I shut the engine off it was dead quiet.
The beauty surrounding us was as breathtaking as the air was frigid.
In the distance, the towering San Francisco Peaks were covered in clouds. It looked like they were tethered to the mountains with the surrounding sky perfectly clear and blue. When those clouds cleared there would be an additional layer of snow on those holy Peaks.
Respect Mother Earth and the native traditions and you’ll live longer in this wilderness.
Continue reading My Granddad’s Watch