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Year-end musings

winter mind

The winter mind.

It seems my mind is both full and empty.

I think about a time when my neck doesn’t hurt, and the tendons don’t grind – these days are both past and future.

I think about Big Cat, a cat the color of fallen oak leaves.

There is blank space where my mind struggles to find something to think.

I think about —- and his careful and attentive questions about my well-being.

I think about —–, how I will get the job there. How I will be if I haven’t gotten the job.

I think about the oaks and pines outside my window and the pieces of the sky I see through their bare branches and needles.

I try to think of something to write, and I see nothing.

oak leaves

A cat the color of fallen oak leaves.

 

I think about visible and unrecognizable, the words that chose me for 2017. I wonder what words 2018 will bring me. I don’t see them. My mind says I can’t see them. Maybe they will see me as 2017’s words did.

Enough comes to mind. As in, “I am enough,” or “I have enough,” or “This is enough.” I am content to let this sit for now. It is enough.

A more visceral part says to me, “No. All this is true. And I am more. I can do more. I can be more.”

Enough and more? Similarly contraindicated as visible and unrecognizable. Not opposites. Not opponents. Co-workers. Collaborators. Co-conspirators.

Becoming visible was an act that made me unrecognizable to many. Becoming unrecognizable allowed me to be visible to many more.

Being enough can allow me to be more. Being more offers enough to others.

Yes. Maybe these are the words I need.

I am enough. We are all enough.

I have always been enough. We all have always been enough.

I have more. I am more. I offer more. Striving for more opens me to…

I go back to the blank mind. There are pieces of thoughts, glimmers of ideas floating about in there. I can almost see them. I can’t quite feel them. Beyond the list of what to do today, tomorrow, and next week, there are much grander thoughts. They need to be let out. Hoarding them produces a feeling of scarcity – if I let this into the world, there will never be another, and I will be without grand ideas. No. That’s not right. Letting them out into the world brings them friends and community. It allows expansion, the ideas grow and multiply.

Here is an idea:

What if each of us believes that we are enough?

And,

What if each of us believes that every other person is also enough?

We would all have more.

 

2017– the year in review

The annual holiday photo roundup – it was an Oregon-centric year.

All the best for a spectacular 2018 full of love, joy, and peace.

With gratitude for all of your support and encouragement, generosity and graciousness,

xoxo T

 

Cape Lookout

Lava Lands

Summer Lake

Hobart Bluff

Emigrant Lake

Painted Hills

Avalanche Lily

Crater Lake

Painted Hills

Acorn Woodpecker

Christmas Valley

Summer Lake

Deschutes River

Antarctica melting away

Yesterday, I flew from Portland, Oregon, to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I read about the melting of Antarctica as I looked down on the Nevada canyons and desert.

It was a surreal juxtaposition of time and place and global dilemma – adding to my carbon footprint while judging Man for our follies.

Antarctica may look like Nevada sooner than we think.

Oops

Please forgive the previous completely random post… I was playing with new software and inadvertently published it.

That said, I am working on some new, fun things that I hope to show you soon. Stay tuned! xoxo T

 

I crack myself up

Last month, I registered The Road not Taken Enough as a Limited Liability Corporation with the state of Oregon. I’m not altogether sure what I will do with this designation but, as usual, I’ll make it up as I go.

The application had a series of questions that I immediately forgot after answering. I was looking through the paperwork yesterday and found this:

I mean, why be “Owner” or “President” when you can be so much more. A field tech long ago and far away gave me this title. Apparently, I see no reason to change it.

World Jellyfish Day

World Jellyfish Day

3 November

Kiss a jellyfish!

Oh, and it’s my birthday. I couldn’t be prouder to have it coincide with such cool, gelatinous, invertebrates.

Jellyfish shots all around.

Love, hugs, and gratitude,

Yours Truly,

 

 

 

More better language, importanter beer

sign

Beer is importanter

 

The misuse of “less” and “fewer” has long irked me.

The word “impactful” makes me gag. 

“Addicting” really wants to be “addictive.”

Despite my personal misgivings about these words, they are real. Misused, abused, and cringe-worthy as they may be, they are verifiable.

Last week, I heard “concepting.” I don’t even know where to begin with this. It pains me. It is more than just wrong.

Language must grow and change shapes to survive. Shifting words to new meanings is part of a living language. It doesn’t always make it sound more better, but it does keep it from becoming stagnant and dying.

Attempting to loosen the stodgy rules of language in my head, it seems that beer may be importanter than further education.

The new color of fall in the West

fire

Fire-killed standing forest on the flanks of Mt. Adams, Washington.

Another record year of heat. Another record year of wildfire.

The new colors of fall in the West: black, silver, and white.

Reds, yellows, and oranges are now the province of summer – in the form of fire.

I took this photo: Day 30

spiral of life

Symmetry/asymmetry

He spun the hoop in his right hand, the knuckles on his left were taped. The hoop was a solid metal pipe; it clattered heavily the one time it fell to the tile. He stepped in and out of it with no more difficulty than stepping off the curb. Stepping in and beginning a spin with the same motion, he adjusted his footing and his grasp as he turned. Sometimes moving both feet together and shifting his weight to create momentum, then redistributing his limbs and rolling on. No matter if he fell out when his feet were above his head, he flowed back into the hoop and spun off again.

I took this photo years ago in Paris. I have always loved it though I cannot explain why. The beauty and skill of the young man drew me in at first. The point at which the hoop and the shadow meet has strength and the joining creates the symbol for infinity. The shadow seems to be floating above the plaza tiles, not on the same plane as the hoop nor the tiles. And the shadow is not exactly a mirror image but has its own dynamic. The background umbrellas and the vendor’s roof repeat the circular theme.

Somehow all of these pieces fit together for me. They create a past, a present, and a future all in the same circle, all in the stopped motion of the hoop and the man in it.

In many native traditions the circle, and especially the spiral, are sacred shapes. They represent birth and rebirth. They are an invitation to dance. Similarly, symmetry and asymmetry are opposite sides of the same coin – as joy and sorrow, life and death.

This seems a lot of weight for a Parisian man in a hoop to bear. Finally, I realize it is not a burden. There is no weight, there are no edges, no corners, no divisions. There is simply a man in a hoop. And he is limitless.

Tape up your knuckles, step into the hoop, and become one with the motion. We are all limitless and it is time to dance.