Category Archives: Observations

Ends of the Earth

Oregon Coast

“Watching a coast as it slips by the ship is like thinking about an enigma. There it is before you, smiling, frowning, inviting, grand, mean, insipid, or savage, and always mute with an air of whispering, ‘Come and find out’.”

~ Joseph Conrad

                                                                                    

The perspiration burning my eyes and rolling in tiny rivulets down my back seems to bother me little.  And the view in front of me justifies the 19 hour flight which began my journey to this small, remote beach facing westward from an island into endless seas beneath a glorious sunset.  I’ve yet to find the ends of this earth, or so I presume.  But I hope and trust what I discover there instills in me the tranquility and peace I’m feeling as I perch in the sand, observing the endless changes in color as the sun steadily slips behind the horizon.

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Transiently Indisposed

Point Reyes Lighthouse

Frustration can be a deceiving beast of burden.  This past year I’ve essentially put most of life – at least that which I was previously acquainted with – into a quintessential holding pattern.  And any transition, regardless of it’s pace or magnitude is, at some level, an uncomfortable undertaking.  However, as I once read by an author who’s name I’ve long since forgotten, it is the highs and lows of life which remind us we are alive.  Everything in between is just filler, time which summarizes material we scarcely, if ever remember.  Besides, every new experience presents us an opportunity to explore that which we would otherwise remain sheltered from.

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Random Pix ~ Time Reflecting on the YV

YV Tunnel 1 flower

                                                                                                                

Time has been clipping along at a frantic pace this year, and the prospects for slowing things down have so far appeared, well, essentially nullified.  I’ve recently begun to dream of a time, randomly swirling somewhere in the cosmos of the not-so-distant future, when a dearth of activity would reawaken the sleeping deans of boredom. Continue reading Random Pix ~ Time Reflecting on the YV

Indulgences

Shadow sticks

I found myself engaging in advice giving this afternoon.  It’s not an activity I frequently indulge in, being hesitant to consider most of us adequately prepared or in a position to provide advice while struggling with unresolved matters of our own.  I’m not suggesting we ignore the pleas for guidance or direction, particularly from those most in need of information that may alter a lifestyle precariously balanced on the thin line seperating success or failure.  Nevertheless, prior to assuming the role as advisor, we should humble ourselves with a dose of reality gleaned from an honest cursory review of our own successes and short-comings.

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Chillin’ – with the crowd – at Rick’s Cafe’

Sunset at Rick's

So I captured a few shots at Rick’s Café in Negril, Jamaica.  Yes, the sunsets are a few clicks beyond amazing.  So is diving from cliffs into emerald water so clear that attempting to explain it, well, just sounds cliché.  And to compare this all-too-well-known establishment to other areas of Jamaica doesn’t do the island true justice.  You see, Rick’s is not a representative sample of the country as a whole, but is instead the epitome of ‘tourist trap.’  This became all too evident as the crowds rolled in by the dozens in the count down which preceded a most spectacular Caribbean sunset.

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It’s just change ~ Welcome

Samoan Dancer

                                                                                                                                                        

It was the sound that first drew me in, entirely different and unique from anything else I would hear that day.  I was attending a heritage festival not far from my home this past weekend, wanting to find a distraction from the normal routine, to shift the paradigm, to quell rumblings of the mundane.  And though I wasn’t entirely successful, what I did confirm is that it’s time to distance myself from the comfort of what I’ve come to consider normal.  I’m not complaining.  It’s a good problem to have.

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Merced’s Homeless, Beyond the Veil

Homeless in park

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

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Homeless under MLK bridge

I was reminded of this admittedly ominous perspective while standing beside one of many dining tables within a large hall of the ‘D’ Street Homeless Shelter in Merced, California. Nearby, one of the volunteers looked across the room at those who opted to take shelter that evening. His comments suggested a slight annoyance at what he observed, and an attempt to reconcile what he considered contradictory behaviors. His running commentary reflected his thoughts, drifting between the activities of the shelter and an obvious deep-seated political philosophy. And as I’ve discovered over the course of these past several years, there is an ever-increasing movement in contemporary America to somehow link every situation and circumstance to a political philosophy. Typically used as a weapon for disparaging a political opponent or party, I fear the movement has left in its wake an obscuring of fact, evidence and reality. Consequently, we are slowly being paralyzed by an inability to be objective in our critical thinking.

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Hedging against Momentum

It is difficult to categorically measure change within the context of a lifetime.  Of course exceptions to this can be made, however for most of us the day-to-day business of living is entirely effective at obscuring any indication of time’s continuance to flow quietly through our fingers. Few things in life are so elusive.  Sometimes we need to clinch our fists and hold the moment, savor it, and reflect upon its significance before letting it slip from our grasp.

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All Hallows’, All Saints’, and the tale of jack-o-lanterns and boogey men

DSC_3898

“I don’t celebrate Halloween.” 

Haunted face

It’s a comment I’ve heard a few people make, and one that confuses me considering the origins of the holiday.  Celebrate, observe, participate, avoidance.  Word choice has a way of inflecting meaning and tone, often with intention.  I’ve always been fascinated by how people think, their motives, and the underpinnings of opinion, including those I disagree with – and perhaps even more-so when I disagree……  It is my humble opinion that anything which challenges us to think, to justify our beliefs, to dig just a little deeper into the psychi of those around us, is always a worthwhile pursuit.

Growing up in a household which typically avoided strong religious overtones, I enjoyed participating in Halloween without ever knowing the meaning or purpose of the holiday.  I simply enjoyed creating a cool costume – or what I thought was cool, anyway – and being with friends and cousins, roaming the darkened streets trying to maximize my take of the candy bounty.  It was simple being a kid.

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