Monday, July 24, 2006

The Student And The Sage...

"I wish to be more than I am", said the student.

"You must embrace both sides of yourself, to be twice of what you are. Birds do not just sing in the light. Flowers do not stop blooming at night."

Friday, July 21, 2006

A Valid Question, Sometimes: 'Who Cares?'

It's easy to do. I do it myself. Turn on any TV newscast, or read headlines on a newspaper, or on the internet, and it's easy to become kinda jaded.

Terrorism here.
Disasters there.

Newscasts are made up of almost entirely negative things. Sometimes even awful and grisly things. After 58 minutes of making us depressed and/or scared to death, they throw in a little, 2 minute segment at the end: Man saves cat. Dog saves drowing boy. Kids raise money for victims. That sort of story, which is supposed to make us leave the newscast feeling good about life. But, not surprisingly, that 2 minute blurb at the end gets totally lost under the previous avalanche of depressing stories. Afterwards, it becomes all too easy for us (me) to shake our heads & say: 'Who Cares?'

Natalie Merchant had a really great song on her first solo CD, "Tiger Lily". The song was entitled 'Where I Go'. It was a simple, soft, acoustic-laiden song. Natalie's beautiful & extremely recognizeable voice is a perfect compliment to the positive beat and lyrics. The song is about getting away from everything, and going to a river, and letting go of all of the daily burdens that we become buried under.

'Well, I go to the river to soothe my mind,
ponder over the crazy days of my life,
to sit & watch the river flow...'

Last wk, on vacation, I had a chance to do just that -- go to the river. I used to get there quite often, especially in the fall and spring. It's the perfect, peaceful place to go and just watch clouds, or birds, or listen to the river flowing by. I hadn't been down there for almost a yr, and probably longer. That simple thing that I loved so much, somehow got lost in the bombardment of blinking lites and technology that I immerse myself in -- much in the same way in which that 2 minute segment at the end of the newscast gets lost.

Those of you who have been faithful readers of this blog, will no doubt realize that I think that the John Huston film, 'Moby Dick' (with Gregory Peck as Capt. Ahab) is the best film ever -- or, at least, my favorite film. I think this is the 3rd blog where that film has made some sort of appearance or reference. Anyway, the great tale begins with one of the most famous introductions in literature, spoken by the voice of the story's teller:

"Call me.... Ishmael. Some years ago, having little or no money,
I thought I'd sail about, and see the oceans of the world.
Whenever I feel grim & spleenful,
whenever I feel like knocking people's hats off in the street,
whenever it's a damp, drizzly November in my soul,
I know it's high time to get to sea again.

Choose.... any path you please,
and ten to one it carries you down to water.
There's a magic in water that draws all men from the land,
leads them over hills,
down creeks & streams & rivers
to the sea...

... The sea -- where each man, as in a mirror -- finds...
... himself.

There's alot of truth in that. I was grateful for the opportunity last wk to go to my aquatic refuge -- the river. It was just what the Dr. ordered, and I was reminded of how much I had missed that simple get-away.

So now, fully a week back into the old grind of work, I'm trying not to throw my hands up in the air, and say 'Who Cares?'. The next time my soul feels it's own damp, drizzly November, I'll try to make a conscious effort to escape down to the river 'to soothe my mind'. Unlike my dirty reflection in the anonymous message, scrawled by someone's finger on the dusty window of an empty building -- I'll look into the clear reflection of a crisp, clean river. And maybe, once again, as in a mirror, I'll find...

... myself.

(Here is a link to a great song/music video by R.E.M., called "Find The River").

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sunrise, Sunset...

As the lazy days of summer have become just that -- lazy -- I managed to get off of the sofa, put down the bowl of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, and snap off this shot of the day gone by.

I previously said that I prefer sunrises as the best part of the day, but sunsets can be pretty good, too!

I'm enjoying a much needed de-compression this wk, and have actually been quite active... well, for me. I've gotten alot done, but still am managing to catch up on my sleep, as well. All in all, a pretty good wk. I'm looking forward to an actual trip that I'm taking in the fall, which should yield a great bounty of colorful blog pix. But this wk, I'm staying close to home, relaxing, getting some things done, and then relaxing some more. Summer's soft light lingers less n less on the blooms n buds, all too soon to be replaced. But even the foliage seems lazy under the evening light.

Who knows, tonite, I might just go see a movie...

...while I'm inside the movieplex, watching either 'Pirates' or 'Superman', outside will be a sunset quite similar to the one above. As always, click on the pics to enlarge.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Double Rainbow Blog...

I was out n about yesterday afternoon, when we had a short, sudden cloudburst. It was raining steadily, but the sun was still shining. And as a result, one of those rare & awesome double rainbows! Caught without my trusty digital camera, but not having time to go back home & get it (I didn't want to miss the moment), I resorted to using the camera on my cell phone.

I wish I had my good digital camera with me to capture the vibrant colors. But, I was glad that I didn't miss it entirely. The double rainbow is preserved here, stitching together 3 seperate pics taken from my cell phone.

BTW, though the rainbow ended only about a block or two from where I took the pictures, no pot of gold was found.... but enjoy this tiny nugget of good luck.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

'Tis A Mild, Mild Day, Starbuck... A Mild Looking Sky...

Everywhere has it's own unique beauty about it. Even the most remote places have their hidden charms. In most places, the very best times of day are at sunrise and
sunset. Even tho I can gaze under blue skies for 50 miles or more on any given day, (even in the winter time), I still think that sunrise is the best time -- especially when there are whispy clouds on the horizon where the sun comes up.

I'll share one particular sunrise w you. This is one blog where clicking the pics to enlarge will pay off nicely.

But, 'tis a mild, mild day... and a mild looking sky.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, America...

July 4, 2006 Fireworks WMV

Well, we've reached yet another July 4th -- America's Independance Day! The wisdom of the Founding Fathers, as put forth so brilliantly by Thomas Jefferson in The Declaration Of Independance, continues to be a beacon for all who love freedom. Despite her shortcomings and failings, America continues to be what Abraham Lincoln described her as: the last, best hope of mankind.

230 yrs isnt a very long time to be a nation, as far as nations go. But here's to ya, America -- may you never lose faith in those values that gave you birth. And a special thanks to everyone past & present, who has served or is serving in our country's military. Be safe. Be strong. And be proud. We're proud of you.

Click on the "July 4, 2006 Fireworks WMV" link, above, for a short video I took of tonite's fireworks. This Windows Media video should load very quickly, and play in it's own pop-up window. And, as always, click on the pics to enlarge.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

What Do They Do?...

I was wondering, in this time of yr when vacations come about... where do people in the great vacation spots go for a great vacation? I mean, do people in Hawaii, for example, ever get fed up with endless days of beautiful beaches, tropical scenery, and idyllic sunrises & sunsets? Do they ever think: 'Gawd, I gotta get outta here. I need to go some place nice?'

I suppose that people everywhere always tend to think that the grass is greener just over the horizon.... more peaceful.... restful. Do people in the tropics dream of snowy getaways? When the snow outside my door is 4 feet deep, and the wind is blowing 60 miles per hour, am I imagining myself on the same soft, sandy beach that they are wanting to leave far behind? And when they see my weather forecast, of several days of several feet of snow, are they thinking: 'Those people there are SOOO lucky! They must be skiing, snowboarding, huddled up with hot cocoa or a hot toddie, and soaking in the warmth from a roaring fireplace!!'

So, again, it really is about perception. Personally, I don't much care if the grass is greener beyond the horizon, or if the snow is purer -- just so long as I don't have to mow or shovel either one when I get there.

Enjoy the mix of tropical pics taken when I was in Hawaii, and some various
mainland pics from other vacations. Do the tropical Toucan birds ever wish they could trade places with the hearty, not-for-wimps birds where I am? Hmmm...

Click on the pics to enlarge. Some are panoramic! Enjoy.