Sometimes life feels like it is passing by too fast. And my garden such as it is reminds of the cycle of life. Bursts of spectacular blooms like this one demonstrate just how amazing life can be. This is a new addition to my collection of plumerias, a birthday gift from Kerry and Vintage Green Farms in Hawaii. It is called California Sunset.
As July ends, and we are well into the second half of 2019, I am also reminded that the time is now. Life waits for no one.
There I am, in my father's arms, not long after my birth in 1951. My parents look so happy, so proud. My life a blank slate. It was good time I imagine. Obviously I don't remember much. I do know that when I found this picture the first time...and several times after that, it surprised me that I was being held by my dad. I don't recall a lot of affection from him. Yet I somehow knew he did care. There was never any doubt on my mother's love for me.
Anyway, on this the day after my birthday, I thought about this pic. It was my beginning. My mother smiling. My dad holding me. I do remember the aloha shirt. Wish I still had it. It was a different time to be sure. And sometimes I wonder if I had it to do over, would I? My only regret is that I didn't see this picture every day. It reminds me of what it is to loved and what it was probably like to begin to write on that clean slate.
Fine china and porcelain speak of another day and age. I look at them and imagine a different time and place where gentility and manners mattered. These days these type of items are looked at as relics of the past. Paper plates and plastic utensils will do. Lovely to look at, delightful to hold. But destined for museums and curio cabinets. Not for real life as it exists today.
This is Surf, California, a small community west of Lompoc, on the northern boundary of Vandenberg Air Force Base. There a two stop a day Amtrak station here. Otherwise, it is pretty isolated. It is a perfect spot to contemplate the vastness of the Pacific, perhaps some universal truths and of course hear your own thoughts. Perfect when, as William Wordsworth once said, the world is too much with us. I do feel a bit better for having visited.
During my stay in Berkley CA recently, I slept in the former playroom of the children of our hosts. One of the unusual things that hung on the wall was this paper mask of Medusa. So I slept with this and other delights watching over me.
To be honest, I couldn't remember the actual myth which I include below. It appears that victims of sexual crimes were punished much like those today. Of course the curse of hair becoming snakes is reserved for the gods. Not much comfort though.
In later myths (mainly in Ovid) Medusa was the only Gorgon to possess snake locks, because they were a punishment from Athena. Accordingly, Ovid relates that the once beautiful mortal was punished by Athena with a hideous appearance and loathsome snakes for hair for having been raped in Athena's temple by Poseidon.Aug 20, 2013Medusa - Ancient History Encyclopediahttps://www.ancient.eu/Medusa/
Walls can have such character. These walls were along a recent walk in Berkley California last week. Different types for different homes along the way. I always wonder if they are walling the world out or walling themselves in. Probably both.
In any case, old walls speak volumes about the neighborhood's history and about those who built them. And if you tune in and listen, you can hear what they are saying.
It sometimes pays to take a picture of something for your memory book. I was inventorying a house for a sale, taking pictures, and I captured this fun pot, about three feet tall. I thought I might make an offer. I walked away and the next thing I knew, the owner, our client, decided to move it. You guessed it. Shattered beyond repair. And I didn't dare take an after pic. Sometimes a memory lasts longer than the original thing, at least in photographs.
A few years ago, I wrote: "I am thankful for waking up freer than most in a country that has more rights than most and may not be perfect, but is my home and we can agree to disagree."
Most of it is still true. As I raised my flag this year, I hesitated. But I realized if I didn't hoist up Old Glory, I was giving in. It is my flag, too. It is my country, too. We cannot let the forces of darkness win. So I may not celebrate as joyously this year, but I still claim my rights as a citizen and am thankful for what the flag has always stood for... "with liberty and justice for all."
A while back while exploring near the Salton Sea here in the inland desert of So Cal, I came across this painting inside an abandoned house. Spoke to me then. Speaks to me now. And I wonder why I spend so much time doing things i don't want to do. Life is indeed short.