journeying on

July 31, 2010

Life can be, rather literally, quite a ride.  Over the past 4 days I have rolled past 10 different “Welcome to ___ ” state signs.  I have lived largely out of my car, but enjoyed the hospitality of some kind friends and loyal family members along the way.  This has also, incidentally, meant sleeping in a different state, a different bed [or air mattress or futon, depending upon the locale] for each of the past 4 nights.  And tomorrow will be a new state.  I have toured home renovations in progress, teasing one friend mercilessly about her Seinfeld-ish fixation with the size of their new shower stall.  I have helped another friend frantically work through the night to prepare for the next day’s move.  Mind you, I do not think I was that much of a help, considering my oddly-timed visit.  At one point, having pulled up all the duct tape I could see on the floor, I requested that she give me a new task.  “Just talk to me,” she said.  Her reasoning at the time was that the immediate jobs were easier for her to just do than to explain, so it was more helpful for me to provide some sort of entertainment as she did [you should perhaps know that it was about midnight at the time].  But I had to laugh, seeing my gifts, as a general rule, to decidedly not include the gift of gab.  I summoned up my inner gabby-ness, however, and stood up to the task at hand.  Thankfully, she soon realized there was a practical job I could assist with, so I gratefully busied myself with cleaning doggy nose spots from window panes.  Then, one room done, I happily conked out on my futon while she continued well into the wee hours of the morning.  This photo is of the final stages of said room [before I abandoned her].  Looking at it afterwards, I smiled.  She is, you see, a strikingly lovely woman.  So even in the throes of her stressed work, she carried an aura of beauty about her, don’t you think? :-)

And the journey continues . . .

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on the road again

July 28, 2010

So the goodbye’s have been said at one place, at least: my home and work for the past year.  And I’m on the road again.  But, for a solo road trip, all things considered, I can’t complain: to get to linger with friends and family along the way; to spend time on a swing set, with a sister-in-law and a niece . . . not a bad way to travel, if you ask me :-)

in picture & in word

July 21, 2010

For the past week I have been noticing this sailboat that recently made its appearance on the lake.  But only today was I quick enough with my camera to capture its lovely stillness in the morning light.

Once I had done so, and considered the result, it seemed rather fitting that I would have this today, on a Poetry Wednesday.  For the image seemed to be, in itself, a poem . . . a perfect word picture, if I’ve ever seen one.

That said, I will go ahead and share a poem of the wordy variety as well, a rondeau that fits the photo’s theme I think, even if it is not yet Autumn :-)

A Rowing Rondeau

In front of me two boats I see,

Kayakers paddling merrily.

Near these two, three, in a canoe,

Row, row their boat, to catch the two,

So all can like a dream-life be.

Me, I observe it all closely,

Thinking of how time slips past me.

For soon Fall’s chill will cause to “shoo,”

These boats I see, in front of me.

Yet I envision this not sadly,

But with a certain Autumn glee.

For how could one grow glum and blue

When all’s awash with brilliant hue?

With Nature shining vibrantly,

I sure won’t miss these boats I see!

creative analyses

July 14, 2010

Upon our arrival at the lakehouse, we wasted no time diving into our intended job of the Art of Doing Nothing this past weekend.  One of the things on our spontaneous to-do list was the construction of a miniature, 3-person Rock Sculpture Garden [it would have been a 4-person structure were it not for the fact that my niece was not to be disturbed from her own Art of Hammock-Napping project].

As I had gotten a bit of a late start, having to finish project Float-Paddling before collecting rocks, mine was the last to be completed.  Once it was, my sister-in-law commented that we had quite an interesting mixture, looking at the varied ways in which we had gone about building.  I continued that thought, after examining their differences, by venturing that we could probably do a fair bit of personality analysis based upon each of our completed creations.  My brother had ended up with what had the air of a highly-planned, mathematically-correct engineering.  My sister-in-law’s was artfully-designed, with unexpected elements and color-coordination [my brother teased her about “cheating” with a 2-stone base, but I disagreed, seeing it as a very effective element of visual surprise].  My own creation was, as I saw it, off-kilter and highly precarious :-)

about that heat

July 9, 2010

I think it’s a pretty safe bet that the growth of fungi in an indoor plant indicates some significant weather-related issues.  Once my friend and I had arrived at her place from our respective workplaces yesterday evening, she began her usual tending to the plants.  In mid shelling-of-a-pea, I was pulled over by her chuckle and, “Would you look at that?  I know those weren’t there yesterday!”  It seems that in the span of a hot and humid day, her house plant had determined that it was no longer abiding in an apartment but, apparently, in a wet woodland.  We both agreed that they were an awfully fine little family of fungi, mind you :-)

of heat & light

July 7, 2010

I have always been awed by the way weather changes things.  At the same time, however, I used to laugh off this reality.  Possibly, this can be attributed to my dislike of small talk in general, which so often seems to revolve around the ins and outs of weather-related concerns.  I felt it was silly to think that weather had as much significance as, say, relational issues.  That was one of the humdrum things of life that, in my youth, I thought unimportant in the grand scheme of it all.

So I must be getting old.   Well, I know I’m getting old :-)

But one way in which I have noticed the passage of years I have, er, weathered [;-)], is that those things I used to think insignificant don’t seem so insignificant any longer.  Like the weather.

For several days now, many parts of the world have been in the throes of a major heat wave.  And for those of us in areas not so accustomed to the heat, it has thrown us all for quite a loop.  I joke about how my “African blood” doesn’t mind it much, which is, in large part, true.  I dislike air conditioning, for instance.  And I find that even when I am sweating my way through a day, it is in a relatively good-natured, bemused sort of way.  Cold, mind you, I do not handle so well.  But that’s for another day, another musing . . .

What I intended to say, today, is that I have been noticing the ways in which the weather changes all things about a day in the life of, well, anyone.  In my own, this has meant, for one, some difficult interactions with those in my daily work and family life.  It has also led to a different lens through which I view the world: a slowing down; an ok-ness with getting less done in any given day; a nature even more prone to contemplation and intentionality than usual.

Along those lines, I post this photo.  Usually I am significantly neurotic about creative endeavors, tending to publish photos immediately.  I’m afraid I can also be a bit of a recluse when in the creative spirit, anxiously carving out time for solitude so that I can put pen to paper or, as it more often is, fingers to the keyboard.

But this particular photo has been “sitting” there for 2 days now.  I have gone about my work, made lesson plans, driven 2 hours round trip for a particular ice cream hankering with a friend–all without touching my photos.

Yet tonight I am suddenly ready to post a belatedly celebratory shot.  This documents the Fourth of July festivities in which I partook.  Sure, there were fireworks as well.  And I actually watched them.  But I must admit to being rather disinterested in fireworks.  So I did not even argue with myself long enough to bother taking any photos of them [blame it on that heat-induced laziness!].  Instead, I focused on this silhouetted sailboat, and was content to capture the loveliness of a sunset.  Nature’s “light show” seems to me to be far more lovely than any man-made variety :-)

chasing rainbows

July 2, 2010

As I neared home, driving back from Mom’s this evening, I had a growing sense of anticipation as I peered up at the glowing sky, iridescent with the evening sun.  I knew I had to try to capture the loveliness of it, so I began pulling over every few yards or so to step out with my camera and point it up at the treetops and at the sky . . . doubting as I did that I would be able to show the world what it looked like to my own eyes.  So then, when I came over the top of a hill, I laughed at the irony of the double rainbow that suddenly shone in front of me; it just seemed too fitting that I had been ready to capture something and then, there in front of me, that photo op just “dropped form heaven,” as it were :-)