Monday, October 25, 2010

A Well Spent Weekend

Janiva Magness came to town again, so Saturday night my daughter and I were in a bar - again. Listening to Janiva and her band - again. We had a great time - again. This could become a habit...

Sunday, we rode the motorcycles to visit my son. It was an almost perfect day for riding - cool enough for a jacket but warm enough to be pleasant. The three of us scheduled the afternoon together to see the movie Jackass 3 in 3D. I have to say, if you are going to spend good money to watch those jackasses writhing on the ground, clutching their crotches, it should be in a college town surrounded by young men who find Johnny Knoxville and his crew of nitwits incredibly funny. I admit there were several scenes that had me laughing so hard, I could not catch my breath. There is not a single socially redeeming aspect to those Jackass movies, except two hours go by and not a single worrisome thing crosses your mind. As the credits rolled at the end, we were treated to photos of each of the men as little boys. There was no indication in any of those cute little faces of their destinies as America's most famous full grown idiots.

Now it is Monday morning and I am faced with the same old grind. Maybe Knoxville has it right after all....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Photos for The Handsome Earth post


Tall grass

Across the valley

The End of Sunflowers this year

The End

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Handsome Earth

Farewell to the summer of 2010. It was terrible weather for human beings and best to have that suffering behind us. Every warm blooded creature suffered, especially me, and all who had to listen to my complaining. The prairie plants surely considered it a great season, resplendent now in autumn colors and newly refreshed with last night's easy rain. It was mild thunder and half-hearted lightning as if even thunderstorms are worn out and tired.

The fall weather has been uncommonly gorgeous, a reward for surviving the brutal summer. The prairie is red and gold and russet. When I see the hills covered in these rich fall colors, the word that comes to mind is "handsome", in the way a very attractive woman sometimes deserves to be called handsome. It is a word for her entire bearing, not a reference only to a single attribute in her appearance. defines the the word 'handsome' as:
1. having an attractive, well-proportioned, and imposing appearance suggestive of health and strength; good looking.
2. having pleasing proportions, relationships, or arrangements, as of shapes, forms, or colors; attractive.
3. exhibiting skill, taste, and refinement; well made.
4. considerable, ample, or liberal in amount.
5. gracious; generous; flattering.
6. adroit and appealing; graceful.

The prairie is handsome in every aspect.

A woman falls in love with the spot upon the earth that provides her home, and that spot does not have to be beautiful, handsome, majestic, comfortable, safe, lovely, easy or extraordinary. We fall in love with the earth because it is our mother. We could not exist in physical bodies without the agreement of the earth to provide our bodies and all that is needed to sustain them.

If humanity had remained in matriarchal tribes, worshiping the feminine aspect of our existence, exalting the nurturing and abundant aspects of our great mother, every living thing would have fared better. Now we stand at the threshold of environmental apocalypse brought on by the greed and avarice of the worst of masculine attributes found in our collective human spirit.

In a singular act of aggression, humanity violated the moon in October last year, detonating a bomb on that utterly passive soil. Science was searching for water and claims the explosion was successful. Now science can proceed with its plan to colonize the moon.

I worry that when I reincarnate on earth in the future, the face of the moon will be defaced and desecrated by the same pollution, mining, greed and disregard with which humanity has ruined the earth. I see no redemption at hand for either the earth or the moon. There is certainly no redemption for the prairie. The remaining acres of untouched tall grass will soon be gone forever. I do not have to reincarnate to witness that tragedy.

For now, I love these handsome vistas, and give my heartfelt thanks for my chance here this time around.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Missed Opportunity

There have been a few times when I missed the chance at a great photograph because I did not have a camera. One memorable, regrettable instance passed on a beach in Hawaii. Visiting my daughter and her family for the Christmas holidays, one thing I wanted to do was spend the night beside the ocean. Thanks to my son in law's military service, we had access to a beautiful beach and camping area.

I was up with the sunrise in order to do some water painting, leaving everyone else asleep in the tents. For a while I had the entire beach to myself, but a few people arrived for an early morning swim. Even though I was comfortable with the cool morning, just coming from winter in Kansas, I would have had to toughen up to swim in the ocean that early in the morning!

A young woman arrived with her three small sons in tow. She had a surf board, and each boy had a small board. The woman was beautiful, Asian or Polynesian, with a mane of shining black hair. Her sons were in stair steps, about eight, six and four years old, each dressed in the short wet suits that surfers wear. Their little boards matched their suits in color - red, blue or yellow. No arguing or mistakes over which suit or board belonged to which boy.

The little family entered the water together, the boys as sleek and as playful as otters. Soon, the boys came out of the water, stuck their boards upright in the sand and sheltered behind them. They did this so their mother could swim out alone on her board. The brightly colored suits and boards, with the three beautiful children crouched together was the missed opportunity. I hurriedly sketched the scene with pencil, but I deeply regretted that my camera was lying uselessly back in the tent.

Those little boys were motionless and silent, their eyes fixed on their beautiful young mother enjoying her few minutes of freedom in the ocean. There was no question of the boys sneaking back into the water while their mother was swimming. This was something the four of them did routinely. They knew to wait patiently for their mother to return.

Perhaps it is better that I did not have a camera because the entire experience is firmly in my mind and not confined to a small photograph. I imagine that those boys now, about fifteen, thirteen, and eleven, are old enough that they do not wait on the beach but paddle out with their mother at sunrise in the gold and turquoise waters of Hawaii.

Visit the same beach here, at sunrise.