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. . .
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.
Oh, the summer night
Has a smile of light
And she sits on a sapphire throne.
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!
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.
[[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.
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
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.
To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie –
True Poems flee.
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
|titles=12 – Footprints In The Sand]
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?