Patterns, Rivulets, the Sea and Impermanence

Another aspect of St. Augustine that is delightful in most any season is the very wide sea-shore, that seemingly ever expansive view that runs from Jacksonville to Daytona and beyond. The beaches here are very wide, so wide in fact that at the far end of the shore cars can drive on the heavily patted down beach sand that acts more like clay than it does like sand.

rippled sands

 

What I most recall about my love for the ocean was a phrase that I used to describe my relationship to it.  I called it my constant factor.  I think that I observe it much in the way that a child observes God.  I look straight into its face and feel as if I can see beyond the horizon.  The ebb and flow of the tides, the strength or calmness of the waves, the force of the moon and the pull that it has on the water, these are all aspects of the sea that fell in love with.

sand & seaReturning to the sea is a kind of returning home.  It reminds me of Catholic school conversion experiences.  It was the case that the nuns of the Presentation of Mary like to run miracles in the class room–like bringing a nearly dead plant back to life.  It is how I feel about the sea, or maybe any large body of water. It functions to bring me back to life.

But especially the sea.

I am drawn to the consistency that it shows me.  Be it a storm, a clear day, heavy clouds, or bright sun, the water ebbs and flows with a rhythm that reminds me of my heart and the manner that it beats through my storms and my clear days with regularity.

Of course, I can not compare this vision with a vision of permanence.  Even the ocean will have its own cycle of a birth to death experience.  It will be sometimes into the future I suspect.  But eventually everything dies and there is not always a catholic school nun to revive it.  Miracles are more subtle than that.

The colors and patterns of the shore line are so like the rivulets and channels that connect the insides of my head to other parts of the insides of my head.  A long flowing stream of salt water meandering back to the shore line after a particularly high tide, is a lot like my mind wandering back to that place where I  forgot my soul.

rivulets

 

As I wander on the beach, often times with a deep sense of nostalgia that boders on a sadness, I am remind that the sadness is just another expression of love.  To the extent that I love life is the extent to which I do not want to lose it.  I do not want to let it go in the hopes that an afterlife will be better…This is good enough for me.  I like it here and I am not ready to make a journey past the horizon.

I appreciate the patterns that life applies to me, the patterns that I adopt as I look at the universe and determine for myself what it is that I like and what it is that I do not like.  That central condition of desire emanates just as graciously from the soul as it does from the psyche, or as we call it the ego.

patternsReturning home for me is often a process of stopping completely, clearing all my thought and letting in only the beauty of a moment of existence–however brief.  This still-point is the God particle.  This still-point is the center of where I think from and where I feel from.  But it is also the center of my existence and I have to deliberately return myself to that point in order to enjoy a moment of freedom from the thoughts and allow in the majesty that is the universe–God made or not.

 

 

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Passion and Fire

passion-fire

passion fire

This is an acrylic, a quick sketch of reds and colds.  This is a digital image because although it started as an acrylic painting it was finished in a photoshop program where it was edited with digital paint brushes…..

Red and Black have influenced art and humanity forever.  The novel by that name written by Stendhal stands out as a fiery piece of literature.  The church, the army…warriors in each camp surviving and planning where to find the seat of power.

Like an atomic bomb, the fiery passions of young men display themselves in a variety of postures.  In the end men seem to be looking to be taken care of and wishing for a beautiful young thing to fall madly after them despite the fact that the wish continues long after we are old and fat and bald and shrinking.

The Desire Drive is filled with longing and projectiles forward.  It has little to do with the satisfied, growing old men who hang on the porch of a dusty town country store playing checkers.  This man has missed the boat.  This man has probably elected to do it the way he was told to do it.  This man has become use to responsibility and obligation.  He probably has not know much else.  His father married at the age of 20 and moved from his mothers house to his new wife’s apartment.  Neither of these are really his home, rather they belong to her and he is to finance the rent, the food and whatever other household bill arises.

He drinks whisky so as to continue forgetting that he missed the boat and never found passion in the sensual avenues of an enflamed romance.  It’s O.K. he thinks to himself.  It is O.K. because by never acknowledging the throbbing impulses, he can coast his way to death.  All that happened is a dash between two numbers.

1920 – 1999  May He Rest in Peace.

 

Images of Galleon in St. Augustine

Galleion

As I mentioned in the previous post, I pass by this 17th century Spanish War Ship each day that I cross from Anastasia Island to Cathedral Square.  I want to post a few more photo-impressionisms of this glorious work of art.  It is both beautiful and an architectural wonder.  Yet, we can not forget its purpose.  It was build to be a massively destructive war ship…so much for the fusion of desire and aggression.

But desire and aggression are not the issue this morning blog.  This ship is the center-fold.  Please enjoy a few more digitally crafted images of the Spanish Galleon.

250px-Spanish_Galleon

The above image is from a dictionary definition of Galleon, a ship built for war.  Don’t you just love the art of pen & ink.  I do, a precise, clean, black and white and grey rendition of the world.

Speaking of black & white this is a photo taken at sunset looking west over the town.

Image 3

Here she is, as if ready for a sun set cruise.  What must it have been like to live on one of these or to be and Oar-man on one of these.  The world must have appeared very small and dirty.  Yet with the sun setting on her bow, she looks pretty as a princess ready for a ball.

IMG_4358I could post more shots of this ship and when I board her to get a close up, I am sure that I will add details.

The Galleon: between eternity and impermanence

The galleon is a 17th century type of sailing vessel from Spain.  One is docked in St. Augustine at the moment.  St Augustine is its home port when the ship in in this hemisphere.  I can not help but want to photograph this piece of ancient history that fits in so well with the ancient city ambience that St. Augustine offers residents and visitors alike.  I walk past the ship each time I walk to or from the town.  The Bridge of Lions connects Anastasia Island with the mainland of northern Florida.  From the island it drops you directly in the center of Cathedral-Basillica square.

Galleion

I feel blessed each time I make this pilgrimage and when I look at the vessel docked in the St. John river I wonder for a moment–how many people have set forth into the world looking for themselves, finding all kinds of treasures and objects of affection in the process.

THE PROCESS:  between eternity & impermanence

The process is always the answer, because there is no avoiding the present moment.  The process is always present and though we may make a project out of finding it; truly, it always is and it always is, what it is.  Nothing can change that.  We are caught between eternity and impermanence and the only spirit that we can discern is the spirit of the moment as it passes from just a moment ago to now and eventually to what is not-yet-occurring .