Morning Trip (301)

“Your mind, like all minds, tends to identify and label things automatically: tree, stranger, yellow. Without realizing it, you then begin to anticipate what you are going to see next based on what you know. When this happens, your awareness grows duller, as the lazy brain overlooks distinctions. People lose their unique identity and richness, and experiences are compared to what ‘was’ rather than being explored for what is now.

When you look at life without any labels or expectations, all the wonders of this precious moment reveal themselves.”

–Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.

Morning Trip (190)

“I stood willingly and gladly in the characters of everything – other people, trees, clouds. And this is what I learned, that the world’s otherness is antidote to confusion – that standing within this otherness – the beauty and the mystery of the world, out in the fields or deep inside books – can re-dignify the worst-stung heart.”
– Mary Oliver

Morning Trip (109) and Syria, Do Humans Ever Learn? –or, no no but my phallus is bigger than yours

“And so our Civil War raised questions that have been raised a number of times since: Can you force people to change their hearts and minds? Can you make them good by violence? Again and again human nature has replied no. Again and again, ignoring human nature and history, politicians have answered yes. And yet it seems true that Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers, by refusing to answer violence with violence, did more to alter racial attitudes in the South than was done by all the death and damage of the Civil War.”
–Wendell Berry, imagination in place

Amends, Thinking About Lessons, and To Whom It May Concern

I often fail to see the Grace in a thing
until after, sometimes still, long after.

I often fail to express the Grace in a thing
my heart and my mind just cannot pin it down, with words that carry my meaning.

I grieve to think
that my lack somehow, has not taught you to notice nor to feel Grace.

I smile to think
of the many times that I fell down and then I got back up, to feel Grace myself.

I cry a little
to think of the bumps and mistakes that you will have to make, from which I failed to save you.

I grin a little
to know that I would make such a glaring mistake, and keep you from your own Grace.

I watch, and I wait, and I hope for you a life of joy, of peace, and of a love that truly suits you.
With all of my being.

Foray into Photography of the Canine

sigh

I am working up to the photography of humans, I swear, I think…

I’m just not drawn to image them.
Well, not many, in any case.

The ones I AM drawn to, come out talking and sharing, like the landscapes and nature images.
What DOES that say anyway, if plants or trees, or stones talk more than the flat two dimensional people along the way?

I don’t photograph animals either. I like the special images of them. Not the ones one must pretend are special because they are of someone’s beloved pet and are thus special by default. The really interesting ones with light and shadow and, well…talking!

I have been getting some very nice feline images. I thought they were a fluke, until lately. With animals, I’m finding that I need to create a thought, an idea, and a setting before I get the shot. If I attempt candid shots that look like portraits, I have to take a LOT of images! I have been contrasting the images that I like and that I dislike with pet images of other folk and then of some more known photographers. I’m developing my idea or taste of what I think makes such an image contain character and feel attracting.

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This is Woody. He is two. He has unlearned his manners. That is another story for another time. I thought I would get a nice portrait of his alert face. (waits while some of you laugh, blink, or raise your eyebrows at the ridiculous owner of a sedate cat)

He, at present, doesn’t really get the stimulation required, and he is two. He LOVES it when I show up, as I have become the woman with the tennis ball. If I forget to come for a day he jumps up on me. His nose then reaches my forehead. He used to follow silent hand signals. Did I mention that he has lost his manners?

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I almost got one from the perspective that I wanted, as he paused his galloping to devour lick inhale taste investigate his ball. Had I not set out to get a shot of his warm brown eyes gazing at me from a sitting position, doing that thing he does when he wished to know what I have done with his beloved tennis ball, I would not have thought any of my first attempts at canine photography as an epic fail–my daughters in college use that phrase.

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This last one has me think of the Zen of Ball

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The black and whites weren’t too shabby either. I think, not so bad on my first try, expectations not expunged.

Creating Like a Winter Tree

This morning I am burbling along. This is good! I promise! Well, unless one is the stodgy sort and thinks that being stony is all that there is. But I will just giggle and flow right over that stone. Win win situation!

I haven’t been writing. I have been experiencing things for which there are no words. Or, more likely the expression is ‘stuck’. If I type that I listened to water, you cannot see it and hear it and smell it as I did in that one space. I want to share that moment and I want to take part in those moments of experience of others so that I see and feel the way of another. How do I know that water moving does not trigger energy flowing across ones skin? How do I know the why and how of one who does NOT feel such a thing, but smells it instead. (the energy, not the water itself)

How do I bypass a judgement of sorts, one of feeling sorry for those who cannot experience as I do? Are they missing something? Am I bored with simple and flat? Why? How can the other not seek these things out? Not notice what I term dead? Is it right of me to term it dead? Can a person’s spirit miss what it does not know what it has?
How will I know if I do not ask? Try on another skin? How do I get past this? I can tend to feel trapped or bored, I think, within a not-feeling, not expressing. How do I know when there is truly a nothing there? How will I notice those things outside of my own experience? I am quite sure that is a sure bet–that I am and will miss them too!

And then, the trees! (You thought I was off on an excited expressive tangent and that I hadn’t clearly pointed out the blogs relation to the title didn’t you?) I detest winter. still. shrugs.

The trees often do not even talk in the wind. Though, I did notice it this year, it just has a different tone and I have to shift state a bit to get it clearly. They are just there. One cannot tell which tree is dead and which will be in full leaf come spring and summer. Yesterday waaaaaaaaay up the trees were talking! And I listened and I had to reach because these were so tall and it was faint and I got there and…

Glorious purple buds!!! Glorious chartreuse buds!! I could seeeeeeeee the life with my eyes!!! I needed proof about this thing, in this way! This allowed me to notice tiny life alllllll around. A key in my lock! And I thought of ‘those people’ that I frown at for needing proof. Five steps back for every one forward. AND I AM ONE OF THEM!!! This made me very very happy! I can understand! Now, will it stick for longer than a minute (the other end of this issue, the stick of concept and experience long past an AH HA moment)

So, off I go to experience!