Overcast skies cut down on the beach crowd yesterday, but I didn’t expect a “painter” to be the lone person on the sand. To be fair, there was one painter in the beach parking lot in his SUV. I’ve tried water colors in the past, concentrating on clowns–I don’t take myself seriously, But I’ve never tried going public with my limited talent. However, to be alone in a beautiful place like the beach facing Point Lobos, is a win-win, regardless of what art is produced. Hats off to solo painters on the sand.
The life message here is not to be restricted by what other people might think.
Here’s a photo that captures why sometimes I “feel old.” I was hiking, one step at a time, up a rocky trail when a woman ran by. By the time I got my camera out, she had stopped well ahead of me. I used to run up rocky trails…but she couldn’t hear me..
Morning dew on this California poppy in our backyard simply cries out to be touched, or at least photographed. I started planting poppies when my son was born in 1985 and continued this tradition on his February birthday every year since. This is one of those seedlings. Note: there were a few years when I substituted nasturtium seeds for poppies due to supply and demand.
If the arc of an orchid
Fails to hold
Life is not
I’ve rewritten this “poem” because it is never finished–it is always in my thoughts. We are surrounded by beauty, too often unnoticed when life is hectic, or overrun with suffering. Orchids are nice but they won’t stop violence. But if we lose the ability to slow down and recognize fragile beauty, we weaken ourselves in the daily struggle to instinctively recognize what is right in the world–we allow anger to the direct our thoughts. Do you find joy in watching parents guiding their young children safely across the street? Or, do you find the question far-fetched? Peace.
Cherish the time it takes
For footprints in the sand
To wash away.
The first time I saw someone slit his wrists, I was on the edge of a barracks bed about three feet away from the slow ooze of dark red blood. I was an Army draftee, June 1969, nearing the end of day one of basic training. I don’t remember his name. He was a soft looking guy with dark stubbles on his head and hallowed eyes that made him look unhealthy. His face went a ghoulish pale right in front of me.
The three sergeants who had been screaming at us for the past hour descended on the victim like hungry raptors. They took the razor, put a white t-shirt around his wrists—both were cut– and carried him out in seconds, as if they’d done this before. That’s what I remember best—that it was pro forma. This is war. Some of you will die. For what? We never got to that part.
This Pacheco Pass hillside has been softened up by a coating of new grass. There is much here, from a dirt road and electrical wires to the gnarled oaks that always look like they might be dying. This image captures the final words of an unpublished novel I wrote a few years ago: this thought passed like idle countryside viewed from a speeding car going no place important. Indeed, I took this shot from my car…