Sunday, July 23, 2017
Thursday, July 20, 2017
This is the back cover of the most amazing book I've come across this year - maybe this decade. It provoked (or should I say legitimized?) a kind of stream of consciousness experience that will most certainly affect this blog, and will likely affect a book I'm trying to put together (while badly afflicted with procrastination and distraction) but which I cannot write about further until after dinner. Hmmm, procrastination again?
There: I've had a bowl of granola with a banana, and now I can carry this story a little further. I discovered this book during my end-of-May drive to Pittsburgh, PA, to see my daughter, the art professor. This book, backside up, was on a table full of books and papers in her living room. The words "writing the unthinkable" caught my eye. I turned it over and saw the title: WHAT IT IS: The formless thing which gives things form. Some sort of paradox? It would have been easy to ignore this book because it looked so unconventional (euphemism for quirky?), but I already had a copy of Lynda Barry's Syllabus, so I was hooked. Since my mind is frequently racing all over the place, I am often told by others watching my work, my office, etc., that I need to get organized. Then I claim that I am organized, despite appearances. So, after another break - maybe even a good night's sleep - I will try to give form to the formless messages I got from this book. As I write this, my mind frequently flashes on another interesting book I found this past week: Kerri Majors' This Is Not a Writing Manual, which definitely is a writing manual. So, I do think I need some sleep before I can give form to it all. For one thing, a blog in this format is inherently linear, but the processes of thinking and writing I am alluding to definitely are not. Will I be able to fit a round peg into a square hole?
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Saturday, July 15, 2017
I still need to go back a post or two to finish my narrative about last weekend's trip to the coast. But today, I just had to escape the heat and go somewhere, like high altitude, where I wouldn't run into a crowd with the same goal. I made a lucky choice, and these two photos of Monkshood made the drive worthwhile, and I got lots more good photos which I'll post soon. The drive began at the road that leads up to Argentine Peak from the spot on Highway 70 across the road from Williams Loop. The first few miles were pretty dusty and bumpy and I was nervous about abusing my truck. I was looking forward to the first major stream crossing which has always been a good spot for wildflowers and the butterflies and moths that pollinate them. Several hopes were fulfilled, and others were exceeded. I saw blooming Washington Lilies, Leopard Lilies, and Corn Lilies, Pennyroyal and other members of the mint family, and some orchids and onions. But, the highlight was the Monkshood shown here. They belong to my favorite wildflower family, Ranunculaceae, to which the Crimson Columbine and Buttercups also belong.
The road was in rough shape and I wondered which damage was done by a hard winter and which was the result of aggressive logging. I wondered about a lot of things, but had time limits as usual, so some things I'll just have to keep on wondering about. I thought of Thoreau and what must have been on his mind when he wrote "Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in."
I titled this post "Spring is Back!" because going up in elevation feels like going back in time. The foothills are bone dry and most species of flowers have gone to seed long ago, but from 5,000 to 6,500' feet elevation where I explored today, lots of those same species are at their peak of blooming. Feels like spring again.
Friday, July 14, 2017
Then, on the trail back up to our parking space, I found a great specimen of Harvest Brodiaea that I overlooked on the way down. Again, the early morning light made this one especially beautiful. Onward to points south - coffee, chile relleno, and bookstores.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
So, the signs on the outskirts of Point Arena gave me mixed feelings. Click on each one if necessary to read them. I pretty much agreed with the sentiments which I considered a sign (pun) of an improved social climate compared to what I experienced when I taught there for a year back around 1979. I remember the town as a place of conflict between three main cultures - sheep ranchers and other agriculture traditionalists, Native Americans from the nearby Manchester rancheria, and more recently arrived New-Age types (AKA Hippies) moving up the coast from SF area. Interestingly, a popular book at the time by a local author was titled "Can You Survive Your Escape." Well, I'm happy to report that many people apparently did. There were several really nice new shops including an amazing bakery, the waterfront was interesting with shops and a relatively new pier, and practically no roadside litter. I plan to go back to Point Arena and spend more time in that area. Meanwhile, enjoy the signs.