mindfulness

The Essence of Things

Many moons ago I was fascinated by the adventures of Everett Ruess, a young man, who traveled isolated deserts and canyons of the West about hundred years ago and then disappeared. Much has been written about him, including some biographies by W. L. Rusho and David Roberts and more recently a more fictional account of the young man by Robert Louis DeMayo: “Pledge to the Wind, the Legend of Everett Ruess”. That one is high on my “to read” list.


I have seen almost more beauty
than I can bear.”

Everett Ruess


Everett was an artist and he managed to support his journeys in part by painting. He also wrote a daily letter to his parents and kept a diary. I have not seen any of his watercolor work, but I have seen reproductions of his woodcuts. They are amazing. Woodcuts are a god’s end for minimalists. They capture the essence of a scene with a minimum of detail. Everett was a master at that.

I became interested in the technique. Since we are living in the 21st century, I decided to make my first woodcut on a computer. That’s not art, you say? You are right. It’s just a fun way to concentrate on the essence of an object. There is a wonderful tutorial by Cheryl Graham on the web and the robin in it has been treated and mistreated hundreds of times. Here is my version.

Robin_Woodcut

Since the nights here are getting shorter by around 6 minutes every day, there will be less chance for working on my woodcut skills, but the prints remind me to focus on the essence of things.

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One Man's Paradise

Rain, Mist, and Clouds – № 3

“So fine was the morning
except for a streak of wind here and there
that the sea and sky looked all one fabric,
as if sails were stuck high up in the sky,
or the clouds had dropped down into the sea.”

Virginia Woolf


Another beautiful morning in the Taiya Inlet. Despite the gloomy forecast we had some amazing days. Not all visitors may appreciate the mist and fog providing a mysterious backdrop to our mountains. I have never been to Misty Fjords, but I imagine that’s what this place could look like.

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Misty morning in the Taiya Inlet, Alaska

The rainy  weather has brought out the mushrooms in droves. More about that later.

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One Man's Paradise

World Photography Day

“The Earth is Art.

The Photographer is the Witness.”

Yann Arthus-Bertrand


It was 177 years ago that Louis Daguerre, originally a painter, found a way to fix images obtained with a camera obscura: Photography was born.

Did this change the world? You bet.

Do images today change the world? I am not sure.

I don’t want go into it today…

Let’s celebrate a great invention and hope that it will serve humanity well.

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Tutshi Lake, Yukon

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Rain, Mist, and Clouds – № 2

“The rain is falling all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.”

Robert Louis Stevenson


Normally cruise ships arrive quietly early in the morning, as to not wake up their passengers. Not so on days like this, when dense fog covers the Lynn Canal. Despite modern electronics, the captains still use the traditional fog horn to make their presence known.

They may sound like wounded animal searching for a safe harbor, but when the ships appear out of nowhere, they seem to find their dock with great precision and ease.

Robert Stevenson, a Scottish poet, writer, and traveler. His journey finally led him to Samoa, where he built a farm and bonded with the locals.

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Inside Out, Quote

Roots

“True morality consists not
in following the beaten track,
but in finding the true path for ourselves,
and fearlessly following it.”

Mahatma Gandhi


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Dyea, Alaska

One benefit of age is that you can look back, not to regret, just to reminisce. There were obstacles, detours, and dead ends. Did it matter? Not really. Life went on.

I hope that our future leaders choose paths of morality and ethics, not short term gains and fame.

 

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The beginning of July certainly was a color spectacle. Wild flowers galore. Blue skies, emerald lakes, and lush greens were the backdrops for daisies, clover, paintbrush, and so many more flowers.

Then morning mist, rain, and storm clouds moved in, much to the delight of black and white lovers.

If summer had a slow-motion mode I would push that button now.

No such button, sigh.

Then I just wait for the repeat next year.

On the Road

July 2016 – monochromatic

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