Inside Out

Wild fires

I like to read local literature, books that play in my neighborhood. I like to relate to a place, and recognize place names in a book. It is helps understanding the movement of the actors and the plot background, at least with my limited fantasy. Whatever, I am enjoying reading local literature.

My first pick for this winter in New Mexico was “Fire Season” by Philip Connors, who left the Wall Street Journal for a seasonal job with the U.S. Forest Service. He spends the wildfire season on a lookout that has no road access. He gets to meet only a few dedicated hikers, friends and his wife. That leaves a lot of time to reflect on wilderness, solitude, and humanity. He comments on the management of wildfires, the purpose of wilderness, and the reintroduction of the Mexican wolf. If those topics are down your alley, this award-winning book will not disappoint.

Then came Edward Abbey’s “Black Sun”. Who knew that Ed did write a romance? In his own words: “Like most honest novels, Black Sun is partly autobiographical, mostly invention, and entirely true. The voice that speaks in this book is the passionate voice of the forest, the madness of desire, and the joy of love, and the anguish of final loss.”. Some may say this is not romance, just the sick fantasy of a middle-age man… You are probably right. Still, I liked the book.

And finally, “The Crossing” by Cormac McCarthy. This is the story of young boy on a mission to trap a wolf that has crossed into his father’s ranch. The story is set in the 30s, near the Mexican border. It describes the harshness and beauty of the desert landscape, along with the friendliness and hostility of the people who live there. Cormac writes about the connection between man and animal, an some of the most moving writing here is about wolves and horses.

Read on.

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Inside Out

Shake it off

There is a tree outside of our house still has leaves clinging to its branches. The leaves are dry and a dull brown, or bright orange in the right light. There have been winter advisories with high winds, freezing nights, rain and sunshine. Nothing has convinced the leaves to go on their final journey and return to the ground.

It’s a new year, 2023. I feel like this old tree. Can’t let go of the old. The new green is not there, yet.

I know.

“Hit the reset button. Whatever happened yesterday, forget about it. Get a new perspective. Today is a new day. Fresh start, begins now.”

Germany Kent

How is your start in the New Year?

Cheers

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Inside Out

Let’s Plant a Tree

The true meaning of life

is to plant trees,

under whose shade

you do not expect to sit.

Nelson Henderson


I am not pretending to know the meaning of life, but the quote by Nelson Henderson reminded me of recent acts of kindness that I have experienced. This post goes to all people that have opened their home, fed and supported me unselfishly.

More than ever, this is the time to think about and act having our less blessed neighbors, close by and far away, and future generations in mind. We indeed need to plant trees and take other measures to ensure the well-being of our Planet.

Nelson Henderson was a WWI veteran and a farmer in Manitoba. Apparently he was not a man of big words. Nevertheless, the above quote from his biography “UNDER WHOSE SHADE: A STORY OF A PIONEER IN THE SWAN RIVER VALLEY OF MANITOBA” by his son Wes Henderson speaks to us loud and clear.

One of my favorite books is “So let’s plant an apple tree. The time has come.” by Hoimar von Ditfurth. The author proposes humanity as incapable of recognizing its own behavior as the cause of the threat to our environment and of changing course. I tend to agree with the author, although I wish otherwise…

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Inside Out

Sympathy

My host family went to a celebration of life and came back with a remarkable quote.

If you want sympathy you can find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis.

Chris Zimmerman

How is that for tough love?

I was looking for some empathy today after dealing with frustrating bureaucratic issues. Couldn’t find it, neither in the dictionary nor in real life.

Life goes on.

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Inside Out

Nobel Prize Week

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

Carl Sagan

Yes, it’s that time again. Nobel Prize winners will be announced all week. I am not so sure about the Medicine Prize this year, but I have clue what the Physics Prize is about so that one must be ok.

I find science fascinating. No single human understands all aspects of science, but as a whole we, the human society, keep pushing the envelope.

Off course we also have lots of “experts” on social media, although none of them have been awarded a Nobel Prize, yet.

First snow, Finger Mountain
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Inside Out

Of seeds and deeds

Poppy

“Don’t judge each day

by the harvest you reap

but by the seeds that you plant.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

Just fishing here. I didn’t help an old lady across the street today and I didn’t plant any seeds today because it’s way too cold for that. Oh, that’s not what you meant, Bob?

Well, I am still very much in hiding. We are now talking about the fourth wave coming at us. What good deeds could I do in light of that? Haven’t moved my car in a month, brought my own shopping bags, walked to the grocery store and library, didn’t buy any chicken or red meat… Will it make a difference? No.

Those poppies in our front yard got me dressed the other day. First, the seedpods were covered in fresh snow, but I could not get a good shot of that. Over time the snow flakes bonded and formed crystals in and around the seed pods. The poppy pictured above looks to me like a blossom again.

Happy planting.

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Inside Out

One Day After Another

Good day.

Pandora played “One Day After Another” by Lou Doillon for me this morning. Oh did they hit the right note with this one. Rain all night, social distancing for months, approaching years…


Isn’t that strange, how one day follows another
Like rain drops on your panes,
Running out of time and running out of breath,
You drop your dreams one after the other

Lou Doillon

Leaving you with “Toolik Lake Research Mission”. First you couldn’t see the hand in front of your face. Then, the fog gradually lifted and we could see two scientists puttering around the lake. After all it turned into a most pleasant day.

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Inside Out

Déja Vu

Like yesteryear, the world is divided. Hurricanes batter the coast, wildfires torch the land. We have a pandemic, although this time we have vaccines that could prevent much hardship. We have believers and deniers…

Summer is on his way out in the Arctic. The mosquitoes are gone. We had a blockbuster blueberry crop, tundra colors a peaking. Cloudy skies, termination dust, hunting season…


“At some point, you will hit a plateau. If you keep doing same things you did to get to that point, make a change.”

J.R. Rim

I crave for change.

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Inside Out

Waiting for the Sun III

First light in the Arctic. It’s already noon when the sun brushes the mountain tops. The valleys remain in the shade where frost keeps accumulating on the occasional shrub. Not before long the sun will dip below horizon. Twilight for a few more hours. Then darkness, except for the sparkling stars. That’s the rhythm of winter.


“Besides, I’ve been feeling a little blue — just a pale, elusive azure. It isn’t serious enough for anything darker.”

L.M. Montgomery
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