Central Virginia Trailblazers / One Year Anniversary

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Let me plunge into a wandering post. It is time. I’ve not been posting much because there has been so much activity in these warm days of May and June. But let’s try to catch up. First, there was the problem with hiking those extra miles and dragging oneself to the finish line. We did some boulder climbing on Old Rag Mountain a week ago and I really didn’t think I would be able to get OFF the mountain after reaching the top. But it’s all about hydration. That seems to be the problem. Someone recommending drinking extra water for several days before the hike. And then you should always read the directions regarding the number of Nunn tablets to put in your water! I was only using 50 percent of the recommended amount. Why? Because, as I have said before, I am an idiot.

But, unless you make at least one mistake PER day, you are not really trying. And so, because I’m an unrepentant and incurable optimist, we will try again. So what else is happening? Well, I am actually enjoying my hiking companions more and more these days. My heart is opening up to these folks who are trying to have adventures in the wild while they are working jobs, raising children and dealing with all the garbage our government is sending their way. Last weekend was my one year anniversary in the Central Virginia Trailblazer group and around this time I realized that I really cared about these smelly guys and girls.

We hike in all kinds of weather. Sometimes it’s very hot and we are soaked with our own sweat. Sometimes we bleed. One of our own was bitten by a tick and came down with Lyme’s Disease. We pray for his complete recovery. Soon! But there are beautiful moments as well and beautiful people too. Some of the women make me feel thirty years younger when they smile or laugh. But then I watch the young men with their strength and good looks take them away. And I remind myself that I have been there and done these things. Perhaps I should watch the sun as it sets while the clouds glow. And take a photo.

I recently took one photo on a kayaking trip that pretty much sums up my love for these adventures and the people who make them possible. Here it is. . .
a kayaker at caledon state park


I’m not sure I can express the subtle emotions that accompanied this evening on the Potomac River. It was about the peaceful breezes and beauty around us. There was one cloud on the horizon and it worked in perfect concert with the setting sun. I felt that if life brought me to this point there must be some benevolent power behind it. Riding home, alone in my car with Cousin Brucey and the 60’s on 6, the GPS lady telling me what to do and the cruise control on 55 I tried to sort it all out. And, only because I’ve been down so many roads was I able to make sense of it. It’s all about the setting sun and moments in time. Don’t grasp at things. And I remembered a quote I often read as a young man. It bothered me then. I couldn’t accept it.

Now I can accept it.
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingèd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.

~William Blake

Are We Ready For The Summer Heat? / John Steinbeck / William Carlos Williams

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Oh, the summer night
Has a smile of light
And she sits on a sapphire throne.
~Barry Cornwall


In summer, the song sings itself. ~William Carlos Williams


What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness. ~John Steinbeck


Today is the first day of summer and it is supposed to be a hot one! Are we ready for this?


Though outwardly a gloomy shroud,
The inner half of every cloud
Is bright and shining:
I therefore turn my clouds about
And always wear them inside out
To show the lining.
~Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler


It is true that our most difficult times often lead to moments of great joy. Clouds do have silver linings. So it might make sense to actually deal with adversity in a relaxed and relatively upbeat manner. I’m not saying it’s easy to do this. But, if you’ve been around long enough to see it happen a few times, it ought to be possible.

Following this line of thought it may mean that we can see the struggles of humanity in a different light. While certainly being empathetic to the suffering that is going on we are actually involved spectators in a process that is taking this planet and its inhabitants to a higher level. What is that higher level you might ask? Well, I don’t know. But if we stick around we may find out!

Wear The Clouds Inside Out / Ellen Thorneycroft

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Scenic Sunday / Washington DC Spring Tulips

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The tulip and the butterfly
Appear in gayer coats than I:
Let me be dressed fine as I will,
Flies, worms, and flowers exceed me still.
~Isaac Watts


[[wiki:Isaac Watts]] was a theologian and a philosopher.  My reason for liking him is that he led the way for inclusion of new songs in the Protestant worship service.   New poetry, in fact, put to music.  And, he wrote about logic.  A contemporary of John Locke, Watts was later a subject of C.S. Peirce, the American philosopher and originator of Pragmatism here in the U.S.

I’m reading about the history of Pragmatism and actually tried to write about it a few weeks ago in a post about Jonathan Edwards.  So my line of characters now runs from Isaac Watts to Wallace Stevens.  That should keep the blogger busy for awhile.


Scenic Sunday

Photo Theme For Thursday / Spring / Charles Dickens / Mark Twain / Percy Bysshe Shelley

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It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”

Families / The Good, The Bad And The Ugly/ My Dreams Of Jennifer Lopez/ Emily Dickinson/ Edgar Allen Poe

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To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.
~Emily Dickinson, Poems

The strongest nation on earth is your imagi-nation. ~Matt Furey

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. ~Edgar Allan Poe, “Eleonora”

Here is a photo I took some time ago over at the botanical gardens. It’s all about a busy bee doing what bees do best. . . being a bee. And I admire the little guy for simply going about his business without worrying about anything at all. When I walk I try to do the same thing. Just walk. Forget about the world. Forget about all the things going on in our lives, Betsy and myself. We are surrounded by many people who are doing the best they can to deal with this world. Only a few resort to treachery and causing others pain.
But I seldom think about them. I’m mostly at peace with life and for some reason have a great deal of time to use my imagination. I never have bad dreams or nightmares. Last night, for example, I dreamed about [[wiki:Jennifer Lopez]]. For some reason, once again inexplicable, she had the hots for me. I used to dream about Charlize Theron but apparently she has moved on. No problem. It’s fun having Jennifer around. In some ways it’s even nicer because she has a softer personality. I’m still amazed at how the singer on American Idol who was finally kicked off last week worked her to last as long as he did. He was a blubbering mass of insecurities and she was very protective of him. But then, America voted him off and they made her tell him he had to go.

Life can be cruel, can’t it Jen? But it goes on and we go on too. And we do better if we imagine a better place where  serious mischief makers do not go. It actually is better to be robbed or manipulated than to do either of these things. It’s better to be at peace with yourself. It’s better to be hated than to hate someone if you have tried to make amends. And it’s not like you have to wait to pass away in order to find “heaven”. It’s right here. Maybe it becomes more visible at a later date. Maybe heavenly architecture does exist somewhere but it’s not really very important. Because the true peace arrives more quickly and it is invisible to those who cannot see.

It’s in our hearts and souls. It animates the imagination with delightful dreams both day and night.  We can go here now!  And it sorts out our families and takes us all where we will fit in most perfectly and BE the most happy in the end as well.

Virginia Beach Morning

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To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie –
True Poems flee.
~Emily Dickinson

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die….
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Cloud”



Leona Lewis  Footprints In The Sand

[audio:http://www.virginiaphotos.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/12-Footprints-In-The-Sand.mp3|titles=12 – Footprints In The Sand]


Great Smokey Mountain Ride/ Huge Motorcycle/ Hunter Thompson/ James Dickey

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Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death. ~Hunter Thompson

And I to my motorcycle
Parked like the soul of the junkyard
Restored, a bicycle fleshed
With power, and tore off
Up Highway 106, continually
Drunk on the wind in my mouth,
Wringing the handlebar for speed,
Wild to be wreckage forever.~James Dickey,

William Blake/ The Tiger

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TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy heart began to beat,

What dread hand and what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?

What the anvil? What dread grasp

Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,

Did He smile His work to see?

Did He who made the lamb make thee?
Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake

Waves That Break/ ee cummings/ Robert Montgomery

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, originally uploaded by Davidlind.

Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The sea pronounces something, over and over, in a hoarse whisper; I cannot quite make it out. ~Annie Dillard

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always our self we find in the sea.
~e.e. cummings

And thou, vast ocean! on whose awful face
Time’s iron feet can print no ruin-trace.
~Robert Montgomery, The Omnipresence of the Deity

Sleep and Early Morning

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, originally uploaded by Davidlind.

And if tonight my soul may find her peace
in sleep, and sink in good oblivion,
and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower
then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created.
~D.H. Lawrence

Sleep: a poor substitute for caffeine. ~Author Unknown

Even thus last night, and two nights more I lay,
And could not win thee, Sleep, by any stealth:
So do not let me wear to-night away.
Without thee what is all the morning’s wealth?
Come, blessed barrier between day and day,
Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health!
~William Wordsworth, “To Sleep”

The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more. ~Wilson Mizener