for the love of climbing trees

I like trees. I like what they contribute to me and to this planet.  I like that they are home to so many creatures.  When they eventually die, they rot their nutrients into the ground enhancing and making fertile a womb for even newer growth.  I like how they entangle themselves into each other so that they remind me of how a brain grows, sprouting dendrites and attaching here and there in the most random of order.

They purify the air and they are such fun to climb.

They are a part of me and i am a part of them…it saddens me to see them treated callously as if they have no life and are an endless resources for man to exploit.  Finally, they are a thing of beauty and as a cluster they form a kind of chapel in the wildwood.

trees

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I Wonder as I Wander….Quebec, Canada

roo

roof-tops, quebec, ca

Ahhhh! but the beauty,
the provincial character,
the politeness that is part of everyday life,
the calm and the enchantment that the french have —
i wanted to live there, I wanted to be young— your age;
and have it to do again, not to do it over, but, to do again,
to be here and let the magic of consciousness
be my guide.

“yes,” i said “but quebec was so, so wonderful….”

pastel roofs against the slate-blue, grey, green river,
the snow that falls even as the sun shines,
the clumsy steps, each leading to a new wonder,
a new vista, a new thing of beauty to gaze upon,
a new star on which to hitch my wagon and let
myself be dragged through the consciousness of the universe.

“but,” i thought, “if i choose quebec there are many,
many wonders that I can not choose.”
“choosing you means not choosing all the other wonders,
the ones i have not yet dared to dream—
those sights and sounds and smells that i have yet to meet.

“will my dust be conscious of the green, green, grass of home?”
I paused and thought for a minute—Some secrets are
better kept forever unrevealed?”

I move closer to the glimpse that I had of you
loving me back the way quebec did.”
The blue bites at my unshaved beard freezing the whiskers up to my chin…the green, grass
mingles with salt and snow….
the white fades into a rising fog as I bundled up my neck
against the wind,
unable to keep my feet and hands from the wet chill of melting ice.

leaning against the rail, the ancient city below calmed my inner yearnings.
i was home for the one moment in all eternal time that counts, I was here.
I was here now.
i was here now together with you.

i can never be dissuaded from what i find as beauty.

It is the process that is beautiful, not the outcome

The shift in paradigm and the use of color are connected for me in the unconscious.  I remember a color that triggers a feeling or I remember a feeling that triggers a color.  AppleMark

In this watercolor the structures were added as a reason or a place in which to insert color.  It is an early summer painting of a scene that did not exist until it was constructed on canvas.  There is no town that looks like this and there is no colors that exist in exactly this combination.  The purpose of the painting was not artistic.  The purpose of any of my work from psychoanalysis to art is meditative.

It is not out of humility that I say I do not find this painting beautiful, I found the process of creating this painting to be beautiful.

Lately I have been arriving at a new conclusion.  Joy is not what we are waking towards.  It is beauty that speak to us in a way that never betrays us.  What I find beautiful, I can not be dissuaded from.  I know beauty when I see it and I can not be talked out of what I find beautiful.  In a way it is beauty that leads to truth for me.  My aesthetics are the most informed aspect of my character, and I never set out to have that be the case.  It happened along the way.

Summer’s Last Hour, Summer’s Last Flowers

watchaug october iphotoimpressions

 

When October goes the snow appears.  Or so it seems.  The transition of a simple moment, one minute it is Indian Summer and the next it is New England dropping leaves and acorns and the skies turning a darker shade of grey and the wind and cold are coming over the lake with a vengeance.

Nonetheless, October remains one of my very favorite months.  I love how it comes in radiant in color and brilliant in shades of of yellow and reds and russets. I love the smell of the fallen pine needles and I am reminded that life is a cycle and a very short one at that.  If we are given one chance, how lucky we are to have had consciousness, and if we are given a second chance how special we must feel for not having lost it–yet.

October is about aging it is about having all the energy of June just older and wiser and a bit more crunchy.

October is a lesson a preparation for the eventual final winter that will one day arrive in the night and be the thief it has always been portrayed to be.  October is alive, but it echoes with a call from the wilderness that is unmistakable.

 

In the short amount of time that I am here, I am glad when October reminds me to appreciate the vestiges of summer’s last hours and summer’s last flowers.

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.

 

 

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 .

The Happy Accident in Art

This one had a very ominous beginning. It was a mis-conception, a birth unwanted and unplanned that yielded a happy accident of colors, shapes and by some fluke of nature looks like a statue of liberty. 

Its very birth is an indication of liberty. it says that anything goes, we can think outside the box, we can live with no agenda and we can allow the universe to show itself to us in any manner that it chooses. Art emerges from a creative impulse. Each artist renders his/her own manner of treating the theme of liberty. Some are tight, small squiggles that become a section of a pen & ink rendering that may have taken hours or days to execute. Others are slow, meandering creatures that move from one task to another the way a turtle finds its way back to the sea. Others yet, proclaim their right to nude, pornographic images depicting scenes from a random bed-room one among many that constitutes the red light district of towns that tolerate such activity. Image