Archive | July, 2018


19 Jul


fullsizeoutput_1337Today will be spectacular.

For reasons that haven’t even occurred to me
yet, but for one that is especially powerful,
today will be Strawberries and Cream at
Wembledon or the Yellow Jersey at the
Tour de France or Cooper’s Bar-b-que in
Llano, Texas.  Because today, when I’m
occupied with this or that, I will turn
around and there it will be.
A Celestial Slideshow.
A Painting In Progress.
And I will think, “Grab the camera!”
but maybe I’ll just sit down and
watch the artist apply shades of
color, depth and dimension as only
the Artist can do.
I make a motion that we change
the designation of the season from
Monsoon to
Is there a second?




Finding Beauty

16 Jul

There are days when sanity and stable mental health join forces and issue
a declaration:  If you want us to hang around, get off the usual path for a time
and explore, wander, get lost on purpose, put your map away, turn off the
GPS.   When you ask yourself “where am I?”, you are there.

The beauty of wandering off the path is that you discover beauty.

Yesterday I picked up my camera, left the desert path I know so well, and wandered into a rugged showroom of nature’s most astounding features.  The path always tells me where I’m going, that’s its job.  Follow me and I’ll get you there, wherever “there” is.  But climbing the pathless hill, walking along the unmarked ridge line was an experience both thrilling and treacherous.

I have found that abandoning the familiar path in search of beauty almost always pays off.  You find it.  Or, it finds you.  The Vermillion Flycatcher proved my theory yesterday.  She dropped out of the sky, sat on the tree limb in several poses, head this way, left profile then right.  And, as if on cue, this beautiful creature lifted off, circled once and vanished into the afternoon sunlight.

But even the momentary glimpse of the brilliant red and the graceful flight of a small bird is enough to confirm my suspicion.  When you look for beauty in the world, you’ll find it.  It is there.  It is always there.

Look Deep

11 Jul



One of life’s little jokes is getting old and losing the visual clarity of youth.  It’s no joke and I’m not laughing.  I wear trifocal glasses in order to keep the world in focus.  The top part of the lens is for distance, the middle section for reading things at an arm’s length away, and the third is to read the newspaper up close.  Or my electronic device on which I’m typing at this moment.

Sometimes I look like one of those dolls with a wobbly head.  I bob and weave until I get the object in focus.  Stepping off the curb was an adventure when I first got them.  Reading the fine print on a loaf of bread is still a show stopper at the grocery store.

But glasses don’t create the stunning landscape or the mountains that glow in the sunset or the wonder of waves crashing against huge boulders on the Oregon coast.  They make it possible for me to see beauty clearly, but my trifocals and I are merely observers, appreciative travelers.  We are grateful to the Light that shines beauty along the path and paints the yellow flowers and wires together minds that can create trifocal lenses.

One more unsolicited observation.  Look deep.  That’s where the real beauty lives.

Sky Canvas

10 Jul

Most of us who live in the desert can’t wait for the rainy season, Monsoon Season we call it. Then, of course, when the heavy rains come, as they did today, we complain because roads are closed, washes barricaded, trees toppled, and the standing water at intersections gets my car all dirty!  Logically we know that rains are absolutely necessary in this extremely dry climate, and we know that when the Monsoon comes it produces beautiful wildflowers, green mountains, and the needed reserve for drier days.

We can’t have those things unless the rain falls.  But there is something else that I think is extraordinary as the result of downpours.  The bright, clear sky of the desert is lovely through the year, but if you want to see SKY it comes with the rains.  Many times during the year we get to witness wonderful sunsets, but nothing like the spectacular sky show that happens when the giant, puffy clouds during the rainy season are electrified by the evening’s setting sun.  It is breathtaking.  My camera and I love this time of year when dark and light come together, painted with a golden paintbrush, and displayed across the heavens for all to enjoy.

I guess the point I’m making is this…if it weren’t for the dark, stormy days, we would never stand on the corner with our mouths open and gasp with delight when the sun explodes on the cloud canvas in the sky.  You are welcome to draw any other moral or spiritual conclusions you like.  I’m just delighted to welcome the storm for all the good reasons…and then look up and be thoroughly amazed when Light meets cloud.