Yesterday morning, we found ourselves in a deep fog. Riding in a van, I grabbed a few images . . .
"I must down to the seas again for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and clear call that may not be denied,
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying."
Gerard Manley Hopkins:
"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring . . .
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same . . .
myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came."
"Contemplating the lace-like fabric of streams outspread over the mountains, we are reminded that everything is flowing—going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water. Thus the snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty—making glaciers and avalanches; the air in majestic floods carrying minerals, plant leaves, seeds, spores, with streams of music and fragrance; water streams carrying rocks both in solution and in the form of mud particles, sand, pebbles, and boulders. Rocks flow from volcanoes like water from springs, and animals flock together and flow in currents modified by stepping, leaping, gliding, flying, swimming, etc. While the stars go streaming through space pulsed on and on forever like blood globules in Nature's warm heart."
Hillsborough River State Park, Florida
Anonymous poem on a plaque near the park:
Moving metaphor below,
without one thought you flow
and I see
life's not hard like land at all
but a living river of possibility
wherever you might be.
Want the change. Be inspired by the flame
where everything shines as it disappears.
The artist, when sketching, loves nothing
as the curve of the body as it turns away.
What locks itself in sameness has con-
Is it safer to be gray and numb?
What turns hard becomes rigid
and is easily shattered.
Pour yourself out like a fountain.
Flow into the knowledge that what you are
finishes often at the start, and, with end-
Every happiness is the child of a separation
it did not think it could survive . . .
How surely gravity's law,
strong as an ocean current,
takes hold of even the smallest thing
and pulls it toward the heart of the world.
each stone, blossom, child--
is held in place.
Only we, in our arrogance,
push out beyond what we each belong to
for some empty freedom.
If we surrendered
to earth's intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.
Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.
So, like children, we begin again
to learn from the things . . .
John Muir: "You cannot feel yourself out of doors: plain, sky, and mountains ray beauty which you feel. You bathe in these spirit-beams, turning round and round, as if warming at a camp-fire. Presently you lose consciousness of your own separate existence: you blend with the landscape, and become part and parcel of nature."
This is a long one, so bear with me, please. I read this piece by Mark Meyer about photography and it is right on target, in my opinion.
"A photograph like the one above "says, show me your portraits of everyday life, your values, your wealth, and this landscape will dwarf them . . . this image . . . offers a buttress against hubris. It reminds us that almost everything we consider important in life is small and temporary. It wasn't here in the past and will be gone in the future. Our certain knowledge, our closely-held beliefs, our morality, our language, our medicine and science: none are permanent fixtures in this world; time has been, and will continue to be, merciless with the works of humankind . . . (they are) meaningless here where one can be snuffed out by a chill, a fall, or a bear . . . From within its framework we may think civilization has smothered the earth and exiled the wilderness to some tidy borders, but our cities are built on a fragile film of cement riding on a sea of magma swayed by the same tectonic forces that raised these mountains and will one day swallow them. Wilderness goes all the way to the core of this world and our human works merely dot the surface . . . Science has catalogued every fish . . . and packed the entire flora, right down to the lichen on these rocks, into a tidy taxonomic scheme, but as sensible as it all is, when you stand here with your feet in the water you can't help wondering if it is all rather beside the point--inadequate knowledge compared to the whole scene before you.."