Aug 15, 2016

so delicious, so unfriendly

Yesterday our neighbor drove his tractor up the road and mowed our far field. Every year he's done this, just because he wants to, no payment accepted. He waits until late summer, when the nesting birds and baby deer will be out of the tall weeds.
This year, a new glitch, he hand pulled each parsnip plant, they had gone to seed, and put them in his front scoop thing to take home to his burn pile.
I am so glad he did this! its such a scary plant, and is spreading everywhere. he said he once brushed against it and had weeks of pain and cortisone shots (more than one!).
But i did wonder about the burn pile idea, which you ought not do with poison ivy.  have to look that up.

Apr 10, 2016

mixing mind with miksang

My first miksaang experience, so far loving it, an online class taught by Miriam Hall.  Now we are at the lesson on space. And then on to dot in space.
Like Alexandra Horowitz in her book On Looking, i walk around my block that i've walked so many times, but now with each lesson i walk with new vision, or with new aspects calling to me. Colors, light and shadow, texture and pattern, noticed for themselves, not as an attribute of something else.
   Experiencing space and photographing it are two different things. The sky...easy!  And so seldom boring. A field -- not so easy. It becomes a photo of a tree, or of tufts of grass, or a hill. The road, looking down it, is still a busy picture of things. But looking straight down at it...there is space!  Is space in a photo just sameness?
   We're talking about what you see in the picture. I looked down AT the road at my feet and did not exactly experience spaciousness, but did experience not-thing, not-object, not-pattern. It is surface, but not texturey nor patterny. It is a dusting of powder and sand ground down from mountains and boulders by the miles high ice of the glacier over thousands of years and piled by our rivers and lakes to be dug out and spread on this dirt road. There's space for you! But is there someone who can show that in a photo?
   Still, the photo i take of the road is quite calm, easy on the eye, pleasant, even nice, a spacious experience.
   Ok i will try some more today. I only took 75 pics on my walk around the block yesterday (one mile half on dirt road and half on 2 lane paved road.
   Oh, and also, the idea in my mind of Dot in Space brought to my attention several astonishing things i had never noticed before on my block -- pictures that are not space nor dot in space really, but hmmm maybe in a way they are.

Mar 19, 2016

early morning with camera and without it

Not much gets me out of the house before breakfast, but this morning i wanted to try taking pix in the slanty morning light as part of the "light on objects, front, side, backlit" segment of the miksang class.  I actually was dressed and out the door (ok no earrings) by 8, wearing a hat with a brim (the better to see the camera screen) and gloves with bare fingertips. I took about 2 pictures and within 5 minutes was back in the house putting on heavy wool gloves, scarf, wool toque covering my was bright and sunny, but all of  25 degrees F.
I did go for a long walk, noticing all the flashes of perception and inspiration i could have tried to photograph if i'd been willing to take my hands out of my pockets.
Back at home i sat on the enclosed porch (60 degrees!) with coffee and english muffin and just drank in the sunlit trees woods and fields. It actually hurt to be so aware of the colors and the light on objects and on its own, the shapes and textures. No wonder people fiddle with phones and cameras and everything else. It's painful to live in open awareness.

Jan 10, 2016

Your child is perfect and you are a perfect mom!

Several conversations this week in which I pointed out that mothers always feel they could have/should have done a better job.  It seems to be part of being a mom that you always feel any problems your kids have are your fault or your lack in providing the parenting that would have maximized their potential.
This used to be believed as fact -- I worked at a psychiatric hospital on a children's ward, and there was a weekly therapy group meeting for the mothers, who were considered the source of most of the problems the kids had.
Now we know better, but don't actually believe better -- one conversation this week was about the parents of a teen who murdered some neighbors -- and why didn't the parents pick up on their child's murderous tendencies!
But murderers aside, I've been thinking about why moms feel regrets --
I've noticed how often very young children and grandchildren are considered to be brilliant and precocious, merely because from a crying feeding pooping critter, they miraculously and brilliantly learn all on their own to WALK and TALK and THINK!  It is always truly amazing to see this process!
So every child seems to have the potential to be brilliant, achieve great things, make lots of money, be happy.
But like the poem about kittens
(The trouble with a kitten is that
it eventually becomes a cat ((Ogden Nash of course))
and babies and toddlers eventually become PEOPLE
and we all know what PEOPLE are like.  Mostly not brilliant, successful, happy.
So mom has failed.

What's wrong with this picture?
By simply believing your child is perfect and your grown up child is perfect as they are (with of course always room for improvement) you can believe yourself a perfect parent!  It seems to me there are cultures that do believe in this way.

And BTW another reason Christmas is so great -- we celebrate the birth of a child.  The birth of a child is always cause for hope, every child is possibly our savior, the hope of the world.