Sunday we had a visit from Melanie (our grand-one) and Drew (her fiancé). I guess the visit put me into a wistful mood. They are such great young people. “Kid’s”, I’d say, except that’s not in fashion in 2016… sigh. But, by comparison they are; and seeing them whilst they are in the wedding-planning-mode brought back a lot of memories and a lot of happy thoughts.
Today’s feature photo has nothing to do with grandkids, nor does it have anything to do with RV’ing. These glass wine containers were sitting in a little alcove, out of the way, off the beaten path, in a small town in France. One of those, “oh I like that” moments. And it seems that lately I’ve been changing mental lenses and thinking different thoughts. Being here every day — that’s a good thing — means we notice little changes; the kind of changes that aren’t apparent if you aren’t intimate with a locale. Daily there are new delights, and quiet surprises.
I’ve been thinking about this Ansel Adams quotation; about the giving and taking of beauty; about layers of life and layers of reality; about inter-relationships and habit.
Sunday evening as we did our evening rounds we saw our first owl of the season. We can hear them in the forest but those little buggers are hard to find and observe. This one I saw in flight — otherwise I’d never have realized he was there.
Art is both the taking and giving of beauty;
the turning out to the light the inner
folds of the awareness of the spirit.
It is the recreation on another plane
of the realities of the world; the
tragic and wonderful realities
of earth and men, and of all
the inter-relations of these.
Recently there was a Public Television broadcast about Owls. (might have been NOVA) Part of the presentation concerned itself with prowess in hunting and we saw footage of scientific testing of how quietly an owl flies. They tested owls against pigeons (noisy flyers) and falcons (not so noisy). The owls were absolutely silent. Their wings are shaped for stealth, their flapping pattern reduces noise even further: they are silent flying hunting machines. And was we watched that one Sunday evening I swear we couldn’t hear a thing. Amazing. As creatures we are all equipped for the lives we lead. Not, perhaps, for the lives we want, but for the lives we are designed to live. But design isn’t everything. For humans, “Will” is a larger part of life and we choose — we will — the earth to change at our command.
As humans we all like to think we’re unique. We are. Yet… OVER TIME our experiences are quite common to many other humans in like conditions. I was reminded of this while listening to our Grand-One talking about wedding plans. Surely every marrying couple shares many of the same ideas, concerns, problems no matter their location or their place in time. We go through life thinking we’re solving problems — but those problems have been solved millions of times before. We think we are making unique decisions and yet those decisions have been made countless times ago. It’s important for those individuals making the decisions to go through the process; it’s important for those who have made them in days gone by to be still and allow them that process of growth and maturation that comes of making your own way in the world. It’s a great mystery; it’s a wonderful reality; and we are a very self-absorbed species. 😀
As for myself, I have been spending a lot of my off time paying attention to what I can see and hear. For me, every visit to Highland Ridge is an exercise in changing my perspective. The nature of the campground is it’s closed in. There aren’t many expansive views. But by nature I’m a big picture guy. A lot of my landscape images are about panoramas — every time we come here I am forced to think about what I’m seeing. I rarely shoot extreme closeups, I don’t think in terms of closeups. I see lines, patterns and contours. But when we’re here I have to force myself to look at the micro world and see differently.
To me, that image of the glass wine containers is about thinking differently. I would not be putting wine in large glass jars. Seems a risky place to store wine. But if glass was more available than other storage containers and you can tint the glass to minimize the effect of light on the product then why not? For me it’s about looking at what’s here and how I would shoot it. It’s a ‘problem.’ Not a real problem, just something to exercise my mind about. Even when I’m not shooting images my brain is still thinking about shooting. So, as we take our walks, in our quiet off-duty times I’m doing the work of shooting even when there’s no camera in my hands. And in doing so I notice things I don’t usually see at all. When you get down to the bottom line… I’ve been doing more taking from art lately, than giving. But that’s part of the ebb and flow of life.
We’ve been here two weeks. We’ve hardly been in the car during that entire time. Compared to most of our campground stops I’m happy just being here. We’re getting in our regular walks. Not a lot of miles but I was in pretty sad cardio shape when we arrived and each day I can feel a little improvement. So far, just doing that is mostly all the moving around I feel I need to do. I’m not compelled to sight see. That’s not a very common occurrence for a restless soul like me.
Thanks for stopping by, I’ll be here tomorrow.