Showing posts with label rainbow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rainbow. Show all posts

Sunday, July 19, 2020

A Remarkable Road

In the United States of America, Colorado and New Mexico border each other. I like to think of them as “cousins”. The two states share qualities and each is unique. So when folks from Colorado want to make a quick vacation, they often come to New Mexico, and especially Santa Fe. I have sold much of my art to people from Colorado. In fact, I just finished two large paintings for a physician couple (he is a high-school friend) that live in Snowmass, near Aspen. Now due to the pandemic, my art gallery is practically shut down  so I decided to hand deliver the art and make a 5 day mini-vacation with Amy. 

My van transports artwork, but also can be used as a glorified tent! 

Our first sojourn, we drove three hours north to the magical town of Crestone, Colorado. I have been numerous times and like it enough that I wanted Amy to visit. The Crestone area, with only a few hundred habitants, is a spiritual center with several world religions represented, including: a Hindu temple, a Zen center, Carmelite monastery, several Tibetan Buddhist centers, and miscellaneous New Age happenings. The bed&breakfast was perfect, and we enjoyed being at the foot of 14,000 foot mountains in absolute quiet.

The next day we continued north and climbed uphill to stop at Independence Pass,12,095 ft. the second highest paved Colorado state highway and closed during winter. We arrived at Snowmass late afternoon and my friend Russell gave us a quick tour of the area, which is especially famous for world-class skiing, but also expensive homes. Russell is a pediatrician who now sees patients mostly remotely, using Zoom. HIs wife Mary is an epidemiologist. They both love the paintings that newly adorn the walls of their home. We shared dinner on their deck which has grand views all around the valley and mountains nearby. I have another painting to make for them—which will go in their Virginia home. 

That night, we slept in our van, nestled in the forest by a stream. Then left for our next destination; Glenwood Springs, located at the confluence of the Roaring Fork River and the Colorado River, threading together the Roaring Fork Valley and a series of smaller towns up and down the Colorado River. Amy and I have new friends living there who invited us to stay. They bought a painting from me last winter. Our initial meeting is a special story! They live on a thousand acre ranch in superb settings. We all shared meals and good conversation, getting to know one another better. We slept in our van by a pond the first night, and then in a cabin on the property high up a mountainside the next. Aspen trees are everywhere around and we hope to return in the fall when they turn golden.

After fond farewells, we left to go to Crested Butte, our last stop before returning home. 

The GPS took us on a remarkable road that was unpaved much of the way, meandering at the foot of towering mountains a winding over hill and dale through aspen forests and along streams and rivers. It started lightly raining as we approached Crested Butte—and that is OK since the region has been in a drought which has contributed to a big die-off of fir trees.

I have been to Crested Butte many times and enjoy its frontier vibe. It is a destination for skiing, mountain biking, and a variety of other outdoor activities. Amy has never been. We stayed in a hotel I like at the foot of a ski area. That night, after dinner in town, as we drove back to our hotel, a marvelous rainbow unfurled itself before our astonished eyes. One end was at the top of Mt. Crested Butte! 

The next morning we drove along the Slate River nearby and stopped to wade in a crystal clear stream. After coffee at a great little local bistro, we made our five hour journey home. Along the way we stopped occasionally. I got a great photo of a rainstorm, sweeping across the plains at the borderline.

A good sojourn for five days!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Two Doves

We all knew it was a message of love coming from heaven above. A once in a lifetime display never to be seen again. It’s been nineteen years since it happened but is still mentioned and makes me think how SPIRIT can use all creation to communicate to humans. Moreover, beings in the next world can give us physical signs that write indelible language upon our souls.

Someone recently read my memoir of my daughter Naomi called, A Heart Traced In Sand, Reflections On A Daughter’s Struggle For Life, and he mentioned the event. The story concludes the book. It demonstrates how life is interwoven through many realms; visible and invisible.

Naomi died of cancer in 1999 at age nineteen after a heroic battle to stay in the world she loved. One year later a group of devoted friends gathered at our home to remember her life. A woman who had been Naomi’s teacher brought materials to make a cord that we all could hold. Small pouches holding sacred objects like rose petals and each person’s note to Naomi were tied to the cord. We all went outside to a lawn and garden then stood together in a circle holding the cord and our prayer bags. One by one we read our remembrance and prayer. The sky had been cloudy and now it rained lightly in a mist. This was unusual because we had been in a drought. A dazzling rainbow appeared beside us. When the last person had read, we all stood together in unity. Suddenly two doves appeared directly above our circle, hovered for a second then dove spiraling downward so closely that their wings almost touched. Down they flew with rapidly beating wings and in perfect precision flew upward again, only to spiral down in place and rise again. The beating wings and precision of their spirals was joyous. It was apparent they came to bring a message of love to us. Then they flew away. One young person burst out, exclaiming, “I hope she keeps sending us messages like that, letting us know everything is okay!”

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Something Enchanting About A Road

Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. -Robert Frost

There is something enchanting about a road that starts under my feet and leads out toward a horizon and disappears. My earliest memories of drawings are doodles I made in school when I put pencil to paper and drew a horizontal line in the middle and then two lines begun on either side of the page that ran side by side together vertically—getting closer until they disappeared at the horizontal horizon. How magical that something under foot can continue forward and disappear even as you stand upon it. It beckons curiosity. And sometimes, as on a long journey, it continues extending in front, offering surprising panoramas along the way.

Any environment that stops me, including tangled jungles, cities with dead-end streets, subdivisions that curl in on themselves, labyrinths, jail cells, will make me uncomfortable. I notice I get uneasy at the ocean after awhile. There is no road into it! It is impassable and stops me in my tracks. Perhaps the great ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, (French: 11 June 1910 – 25 June 1997) would take exception and say, ah, but there is a way in, but no road!

I am not easily confined. Maybe I've inherited tendencies from my ancestor, the famous American explorer and outdoorsman Daniel Boone, (November 2, 1734 – September 26, 1820). If you see the only known portrait of him, we look alike!

In my work I also break confines. Frequently I will make something entirely new and out of character. When people come in my gallery, a common remark is surprise how one person has made such a variety of art.

I have started upon the imaginary road I drew as a child and kept going—traveling completely around the globe twice now.  Moving in one direction, I arrive back to where I started, and that is magic.

Roads and paths continue to show up in my art and photography. In some ways, my writing too.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Sky Above, The Earth Below

The sky above, the earth below. So is human existence given reference and meaning by nature.

The sky represents limitless possibility, spirituality, constant change, and by the succession of light and darkness—advancement, retrograde, and the struggle for progress. The earth represents nature, sustenance, and the cycle of life and death.

How potent is the combination of earth and sky! In between is a horizon where the two meet.

Two days ago, the autumn winds blew chilly air over Santa Fe, and marked the end of summer. The skies grew dark with clouds and hail fell down with a rat-a-tat-tat sound. My gallery closed at five o'clock, and I knew by the battle going on above, with glinting light darting down through the moving holes in the clashing clouds, that I must find a place to watch and photograph the drama unfold. I asked Heidi Of The Mountains if she wanted to go with me, but she declined and said she would meet me at a friend’s house on the outskirts of town where we are house sitting.

I drove to a park that overlooks Santa Fe, and walked in the cold, blowing rain. Not a soul was around as I looked toward the sun, blocked by clouds in the west—but the view was a grey one. Nevertheless, I knew the potential existed for a fantastic sight because everything was changing rapidly. Cold, I got in my car and began driving to the house.

When I reached a two-lane highway going out of town, the sky was changing drastically. The setting sun was shooting rays of light low on the horizon and an ethereal color permeated the pregnant air. When I saw a rainbow, I pulled over to find a vantage point to capture it. I climbed a hill, but was stopped by a barbed-wire fence. Looking behind in the opposite direction I saw the plains and mountains veiled in supernal light. By now my artistic soul was completely enamored and excited. I had to find the perfect vantage to take pictures, even though I had no coat and was wet and shivering. Then my cell phone rang with Heidi complaining she was lost. I was only partly hearing her because my attention was focused on the sunset. Frustrated, she shouted in exasperation. I was torn, because the grand moment was about to disappear. I tried giving her instructions that she barely understood, and hung up. Turning once again to the drama unfolding, to my dismay, just then my camera battery gave out! Heidi called again, and I began driving back toward town to meet her. Along the way, I saw one of the most fantastic sunsets I have ever witnessed, and felt awe but also was chagrined that I could not photograph.
When it was all over and we safely arrived in the dark at the house on a mountainside, I felt something special had occurred, and while I “captured” some of it, the wild performance of earth and sky let me play along but could never agree to stop and wait.

Click to see more artistic photography.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ineffable And Awesome

Each morning, when Heidi Of The Mountains and I go to our car that is parked outside our bungalow in a tropical forest, a fresh flower has arrived on the hood or windshield. It is as if a wind fairy has thought to pluck it from a tree to delight us. Outside our back door is a fresh water stream that laughs as it runs over the rock and earth amid trees that drop flowers into it on its way to the nearby ocean. Ah, the ocean! What a marvelous, ineffable, and awesome presence. It informs all of life here on Kauai, Hawaii. As the ocean goes, so goes the island.

It is easy to be transported into fairyland here. The temperature does not fluctuate out of the comfort zone, gentle breezes play continually, the rain comes and goes and the sun arrives bringing rainbows, the volcanic earth is fertile and provides abundance, delicious fresh fish are always ready for the dinner plate, and the ocean is near enough to jump into.
If there is a downside to all of this, it is that it feels like being a kid at summer camp. You have tons of fun, but eventually you will get bored with the limited opportunities and want to go outside the boundaries. Meanwhile, the surrounding ocean is a formidable restraint and says, “My kingdom is vast, ferocious and uninhabitable, so do not venture here.”

It is remarkable, and one of the great mysteries of the greatness of human spirit that many years before modern times, people on crude rafts or by canoe ever arrived here at all.