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Explore, Dream, Discover

Explore, Dream, Discover.

I enjoy Mark Twain. He had a way with words and wisdom. We live life to explore, dream, and discover. We can close our eyes and be transported to whatever place we want in the world, perhaps the banks of the Mississippi.

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Marcel Proust said that “the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Imagine opening your eyes and seeing the world afresh in each new experiencing. To see the extraordinary in the ordinary would be have new eyes, exploring and discovering the world anew. We should catch the trade winds and leave those safe harbours, if only in our imagination.

Logan’s Pass

Logan’s Pass includes the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. When I looked, the view was spectacular and breathtaking.  The park was named for the many glaciers that are part of the landscape and so visible through Logan’s Pass. The glaciers are slowly receding and some estimates suggest they may be gone by mid-Century.

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Looking straight across from the road, you can see the ice and snow almost at eye level and further out is Jackson Glacier. The road is dotted with short barriers and are not very wide.

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The Montana sky is a constant backdrop for the mountains, the ice and snow, and the green in the foreground.

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A person constantly feels like they are on the top of the world here. People refer to Glacier National Park as the Crown of the Continent and closeness to the tops of the mountains is a reason. Waterfalls are often in view.

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Here, there are no real barriers at the edge of the road.

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Kathy took this picture over her shoulder. It shows the switchbacks and curves in the road.

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I enjoy the contrast provided by the grey granite and the white snow and ice. There is stability and, at the same time, instability visible in nature. The granite looks like it forms a stairway to the top of the world.

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Glacier Park Mountains, Glaciers, and Logan’s Pass

Kathy took most of these pictures driving through Logan’s Pass. Glacier National Park is appropriately named. Most of the white spots in the pictures are glaciers or snow pack. There are about 37 glaciers left in the park and most of them are receding or shrinking in size.

We came through the park a later in the summer, but there we saw some of the wildflowers in bloom on the way up Looking Glass Hill overlooking Two Medicine Lake. The mountains and lake serve as a spectacular backdrop. We walked around the lake later.

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This is looking downstream from Running Eagle Falls or Trick Falls. The glacier on the mountain would likely be considered one of the 25 active glaciers in the park. An active glacier is one that is 25 acres or more. Over 90% of the park is wilderness.

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This is Jackson Glacier. Although it does not look very high, it is deceptive. The roads climb well up into the pass and travelers end up closer to the mountain tops.

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This is the tourist stop in Logan’s Pass with the mountains in the background. Parking is at a premium here so we did not get to stop.

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Most of the pictures we took going through the pass were from the car without stopping. Again, the peaks are not much above the road level.

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Waterfalls ribbon the mountainsides as they are constantly fed by the glaciers.

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If you look closely at the picture below, you can see about 3/4 of the way up the road on the left side. It is a slight darkening. The middle of the picture, below the background peak, is basically where the road reaches the summit of Logan’s Pass .

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The Seven of Pentacles

Marge Piercy wrote of the time it takes to create what is good in life. In a fast-paced, hectic world, it is nice to view life as an ecosystem. Good things in life, those things I cherish, were nurtured and took time to appear. They depend upon many things to grow.

In the rich ecosystem, there is mystery and wonder. I ask, “What happened” and expect no definitive answers. I grow to accept it is good and healthy there are no answers and questions lead me forward, slowly and gently into the newness of each moment.

I took the picture at the farm earlier this spring. The tree in the centre is a woodpecker’s roost and, when I look, I see holes in the tree. A trail wanders through the underbrush. I ask who or what else uses the path? Who or what else lives close by? What are the connections? The lifeless tree sustains the ecosystem. Everything is important. I only have to let it be so. When I slow down, questions emerge and sometimes answers, but only occasionally.

Under a sky the color of pea soup

she is looking at her work growing away there

actively, thickly like grapevines or pole beans

as things grow in the real world, slowly enough.

If you tend to them properly, if you mulch, if you water,

if you provide birds that eat the insects a home and winter food,

if the sun shines and you pick off caterpillars,

if the praying mantis comes and the ladybugs and bees,

then the plants flourish, but at their own internal clock.

Connections are made slowly. sometimes they grow underground.

You cannot tell always by looking what is happening.

More than a half a tree is spread out in the soil under your feet.

Penetrate quietly as the earthworms that blows no trumpet.

Fight persistently as the creeper that brings down the tree.

Spread like squash plant that overruns the garden.

Gnaw in the dark and use the sun to make sugar.

Weave real connections, create real nodes, build real houses.

Live a life you can endure: make love that is loving.

Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in,

a thicket and bramble wilderness to the outside but to us

interconnected with rabbit runs and burrows and lairs.

Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen:

reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in.

This is how we are going to live for a long time: not always,

for every gardener knows that after the digging, after

the planting,

after the long season of tending and growth, the harvest comes.

Summer 2013

Splendor

“More often than not splendor is the star we orbit without a second thought, especially as it arrives and departs.” Thomas Centolella offered that line in the poem Splendor. I stop occasionally and recall what is good about this life; family, a fulfilling vocation, and friends found along the journey. Most days, I travel this orbit rather mindlessly and I need a momentary and mindful pause which brings my world into sharper focus.

Be mindful, weary traveler, be mindful of what you have and hold it close while you can.

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One day it’s the clouds,
one day the mountains.
One day the latest bloom
of roses – the pure monochromes,
the dazzling hybrids – inspiration
for the cathedral’s round windows.
Every now and then
there’s the splendor
of thought: the singular
idea and its brilliant retinue -
words, cadence, point of view,
little gold arrows flitting
between the lines.
And too the splendor
of no thought at all:
hands lying calmly
in the lap, or swinging
a six iron with effortless
tempo.  More often than not
splendor is the star we orbit
without a second thought,
especially as it arrives
and departs.  One day
it’s the blue glassy bay,
one day the night
and its array of jewels,
visible and invisible.
Sometimes it’s the warm clarity
of a face that finds your face
and doesn’t turn away.
Sometimes a kindness, unexpected,
that will radiate farther
than you might imagine.
One day it’s the entire day
itself, each hour foregoing
its number and name,
its cumbersome clothes, a day
that says come as you are,
large enough for fear and doubt,
with room to spare: the most secret
wish, the deepest, the darkest,
turned inside out.

There is some of most of what the poet refers to in that picture.

Art and Haiku

We are artists the Fridays we attend. I am not an artist, but have the good fortune to have parents who contribute and are quite artistic. A number of the students are good artists as well. Our first artistic venture was Grid Art. I included a couple of pictures today with a little poetry along with images. I used my cell phone camera so I don’t think the pictures turned out well.

Bird 2

winged clouds above

contrasted against blueness

majestic in flight

Cosmos 2

Brilliant colour

Emerges from black richness

Ever expanding

Medicine Wheel

Medicine wheels are part of many First Nations’ cultures. They serve to connect people to the environment and reflect our interdependence with nature and each other. They signal the need for balance required in our lives and ground us with and in our world. I took the picture on Bowen Island and began to write the poem.

I feel welcomed–

At home,

I found my way–

Linked to the universe,

With each being

Inseparably bound–

I could not lose my way

A voice gently beckons,

“Cross the hearth.”

Bask in its warmth–

Refresh with its water–

Breathe its sweet air–

Let the earth ground–

Replenish here;

No magic–

Only magical.

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