Saturday, December 30, 2017

Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge: A Gray Winter Day

It was a cold winter day. I wasn't sure if I had missed the Snow and Ross Geese that migrate through the park but I decided to take a chance. The ride up was a long misty gray highway and it seemed longer than usual.

I needed a bit of nature, even though my backyard is full of chickadees, kinglets, cardinals and bluejays, there are too many distractions. Too many things to do, the television and the daily life struggles, so I went up to Hagerman to escape for a little while.

I wrote this about the seemed like a long endless gray since Christmas

A Soft Morning, the winter breath of hungry ghosts
gnawing at my spine and cortex
it was as if we were both barely alive
me and this gray landscape
all colors given up
all light and character absent
we were both colorless forms

an old oak
shaking off the autumn
the wind rushed through
breaking limbs
leaving scars
but that's what winter does
it breaks us to the bones
leaving a shell that believes
in spring
that remembers color

A soft morning
awake and alive
but my soul asleep
in some gray lake
where the frost keeps the reeds
in winter all we have left
is our skeleton and a force of wind
our will

The Snow Geese were still there, not quite as many as previously, but just as loud and beautiful. They looked more like large white stones as they huddled in masses in the fields. Again they kept their distance but with less cars they all waddled closer to the road to get a drink. 

What I enjoyed the most was the sound of the constant chatter and a new chorus would begin as another ended. I got out of the car to a huge flog that covered the sky as they reshuffled the flock.

Besides the ducks there were many hawks including several kestrels, red-tailed and red shouldered hawks. As I was leaving I got a last glimpse of a hawk scanning a field outside the refuge. 

It was a very cold gray day but I enjoyed the needed escape. I also got some sketches for future paintings as well, so stay tuned. Let me know what  you thought of this post, more poetry? Less?
Did the photographs make you feel like you were there? I would love any input on this post. Have a happy New Year and get out there and enjoy nature.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Edge of Concrete: Escaping Gray

The light today was flat. An overwhelming gray that dumbed down the entire landscape. It was like a metaphor for my mood.
Amidst all the grays-the light jumps out of the obvious. I sat and listened, trying desperately to get lost in nature. This was a small moment of letting go and being peaceful.

The Edge of Concrete: Escaping Gray
It’s against my nature to not respond. I’m the student that explains to the teacher how much I’ve learned while the lesson is in progress.
It’s natural as a creative to respond, we explain things, we describe things. I get the distinct impression the class has just begun and I need to be silent to fully understand today’s lesson.

The woods are  insistent, both in voice and presence. The only comparison I can describe is sitting by a grave stone or in a tree stand hunting, both of these activities demand silence. We must surrender to the quiet, there is a purpose to it.
The voice is always the same, that constant breathing, the long inhale and that slow expelling of wind. The trees shake, the leaves fall and amidst the uncomfortable silence the lesson begins.

I sit on the ground. So many thoughts seem to be simultaneously shouting for description. I feel so much weight of everything but you never realize it until you sit down. Stop, for even just a moment.
I feel the ache of age, I wonder if the oak feels the groan and bending in the winter wind. I feel every ache and pain, the long walk has my heart rate accelerated, even while its cold outside, I’m overheating.

I remember yesterday the traffic jam, how intense we are in our own lives we don’t realize how life is changing and affecting so many families. Our main responsibility is to savor every moment but do we?
So in this moment as the ground is alive with bugs and tiny things moving around, I am having a hard time keeping my mind from wandering to things to do, chores, ideas, I am overwhelmed. 

It used to be a given that I would get lost in a place like this, but now it takes a bit of work. I struggle, the adult says look at the time, pay attention to strangers, make sure your hydrated. The child that got lost in fallen leaves and could lose himself in the shadows and ignore the thorns…where has he gone? I’m still searching, desperate to be calm…what a grand task it has become even here in the middle of the woods.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Back to the Discovery Gardens: Regroup, Revamp, Recharge

For the last ten months, I have embarked on a sort of deconstruction of Gordon.01. I've learned about sales, people, the ins-and-outs of social anxiety and the precarious side of finding and growing a business.

I've learned certain careers will devour any free time necessary to make them succeed. This is fine as long as the work is in line with your passion than you never truly work. I've learned about the tightrope and it's frightening and liberating ride that makes us aware of what truly living is all about.

I've also learned how tenacious one can be against all obstacles. When you don't think there is anything left in your tank, dig a little deeper and suddenly you're back and more excited than ever.

I also learned about how faith and following God can often be overshadowed by your daily work and often when times are hard is when we seek him the most.

"The tightrope is frightening and liberating, awareness of 
the absence of a net shows us what truly living looks like"

Silence, Motivational speaking and prayer have all become habits that have literally changed my whole scope of mental wellness. I've realized how much depression can be healed even if only for a period of time with the right activities.

After taking a time out from the career I took on, I've gotten back to the gym and know that it is an integral part of feeling good. Goals and direction, discipline and focus are all parts of a successful life and aid in healing depression.

A few days ago, I stopped everything and went to the Discovery Gardens. I found the passion and enjoyment that continues to be my calling. Nature in all its perfection is my secret weapon to keep myself grounded and connected to my faith.

When people are enjoying nature, they are at their best. I got to share stories with people about photography, traveling and art. I stopped and watched as colorful wings spiraled and danced among the beautiful foliage.

It was one of the best few hours I've spent in a while. It's hard to stop long enough to see what's around you and in a place where butterflies are everywhere in every color, shape and size, it really was a few hours well spent.

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