One Man's Paradise

The Mess We’re In


“Status quo, you know,

is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’.”

Ronald Reagan

So what’s the status quo? Same as one year ago, same as two years ago? Almost. At least we have vaccines and a new president. That counts for something. Otherwise? I let you be the judge.

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Home by the Sea

Images of sorrow, pictures of delight

Things that go to make up a life

Endless days of summer,

longer nights of gloom

Waiting for the morning life

Scenes of unimportance,

photos in a frame

Things that go to make up a life

Genesis

Peace.

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One Man's Paradise

Surf’s Up

A winter storm advisory was in effect this weekend. Luckily it did not come with tornadoes. However, warning signs had been posted along the main highway: “Stay at home if possible”. Well, for some of us the opposite applies. A winter storm often brings a good swell to the ocean and that means surf is up. 5 foot swells were predicted and the forecast did not disappoint. Water temperature: 42 F, air temperature: 6 F. Does that mean the photographer was colder than the surfers? Not sure. It seems daring to me to jump into the ocean before sunrise, wait for a good wave to form, ride for 30 seconds or less knowing that you will eat it at the end. Anyways, great fun to watch.

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One Man's Paradise

50 Shades of Blue

The notion that there are 50 words for snow in the Inuit-Yupik languages has been discredited, although it makes complete sense to me to that language vocabulary reflects the speaker’s view of the World. Anyways, I think there should be 50 words for Blue, at least in the Arctic. On a sunny winter day the sky is reflected in the snow, which results in many hues of Blue.


“If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue.”

Paul Gauguin

At the same token, on overcast days, we get 50 shades of Gray (no pun intended).

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Unbearable, almost

“The answer may be found in the well-known refusal of human beings to accept reality at its face value, whether it be the fate of an individual, of a country, or of the whole of human society. Without this built-in defense mechanism, life would be unbearable.”

Rita Levi-Montalcini

Today I came across an article by Bob Goldstein describing the life of Rita Levi-Montalcini, an Italian scientist, who kept making discoveries during WWII under very difficult circumstances. What kept her going? Today we may call it resilience, she called it a refusal to accept reality at its face value. Thoughts?

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One Man's Paradise

Bluebird Days

Skiers refer to a bluebird day as a beautiful sunny day, often after an overnight snowfall. What did the bluebirds have to do with this? Bluebirds are a group of brightly colored birds in the thrush family, native to the Americas. Apparently the Iroquois believed their call could chase away Sawiskera, the spirit of winter.


“The bluebird carries the sky on his back.”

Henry David Thoreau

Anyways, bluebird days are always welcome in my books. And it is not even winter yet…

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One Man's Paradise

Koviashuvik №2

“Koviashuvik is not what it was when we first moved into the Wilderness of the Brooks Range. We did not know what to expect because we had never spent a winter alone in the Arctic. We thought we knew what to expect but there is a difference between knowing and knowing. Yes there is a difference between knowing that the temperature will drop to sixty degrees below zero on the Fahrenheit scale, and knowing there will be no direct sunlight for nearly three months, and knowing a steady fire is necessary in the Yukon stove to keep a 12 by 12 foot log cabin warm. This we knew, but we did not know how good it was the way we know now, which is why we call it Koviashuvik.”

Sam Wright

I can relate to that. I spent last winter in a small cabin in the Brooks Range, North of the Arctic Circle. It was indeed a time and place of joy. Not the loud, exuberant joy of the city, but more the quiet, powerful kind. Nature would dominate my days. Needed to gather snow and melt it for drinking water (and washing dishes), keep the furnace going so my cabin would be livable, catch every sun ray I could and wait for the Northern lights.

So simple. The picture above was taken on one of those nights. The moon was so bright it would cast shadows of the trees in the snow. The Northern lights were out, but they were muted by the moonlight. Nevertheless, they performed their silent dance.


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