Category Archives: Musings

Funny and serious personal essays about the new perspectives that come from considering the wonders of the world and the vagaries of everyday life.

Philosophy 101

What’s this?

A new subscription to my blog?  And from a stranger?  Hurray!

I knew I was doing something right.  If I just kept at it, it was only a matter of time until I started growing my audience.  Next stop?  Not fame and fortune, exactly, but maybe fame: Isabel, Geriatric Blogger.

What a warm validation of what I do.  Of who I am, really.

I am inspired to keep going.   Continue reading

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Filed under New Perspectives

The Although-Comma

Although, many of his photos are geological . . .
Wikipedia entry on John Tuzo Wilson
(pre-edited version)

“Although what?” I wonder.  Is this an incomplete segue from the previous sentence?  A glance back confirms my impression: No.

I think I know what’s happening here, but I scan ahead to be sure.

Although, many of his photos are geological—details of rocks and their structures or panoramas of large formations—the bulk of his photos are of the places, activities, and people that he saw on his travels.

Continue reading

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Filed under Language and Communication

Chop, Chop

Chop: Short, steep isolated waves caused by local winds
which give a small boat an uncomfortable action
The Dictionary of English Nautical Language

As my kayak plows into the next wave, water splashes over the pointy prow and catches me full in the face, adding to the uncomfortableness of the action of this particular small boat.  I’d make a pointy comment but I’m busy paddling hard against the wind and the aforementioned chop, progressing, albeit slowly, toward the small island ahead of me.   Continue reading

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Filed under New Perspectives

Very Inntsertieg

The great thing about the internet – and about blogging specifically – is the connections it offers with people you wouldn’t otherwise meet.  The conversations you wouldn’t otherwise have.

Blog Spammer: Fine with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

Dear Blog Spammer: You have my permission to subscribe via RSS feed, but please don’t grab it. I might need it for a forthcoming rewarding post.   Continue reading

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Filed under Wired

Dam Dandelion

This week’s theme appears to be dandelions. Who would have predicted that at the outset?  Not I.

It’s especially surprising because this week the Big Guy and I were on a trip through two national parks – Yellowstone and Grand Teton – where I had ample opportunity to try for the expected shot.  The amazing shot.  Even for the iconic shot. Some of those results will appear here before too long.

But I also had a chance to see other views.

Close-up of dandelion seed head with dam in background

Dandelion and Jackson Lake Dam

If I were, you know, a blogger, I could take this juxtaposition in more than one direction.

In a philosophical mood, I might be tempted by a riff on so-called intelligent design versus true intelligent design.

In a personal mood, I might muse on the unconscious patterns in my photography: as I look back, I find many shots of dandelions. Or I might consider emerging preoccupations: dams and bridges and dams that are bridges.

But this weekend, with friends and family, I will help to inter some of my mother’s ashes in the family plot alongside my father’s ashes, and next door, as it were, to my mother’s parents.  I will also help to scatter some of her ashes on the farm where she grew up, on the land that she loved.

So this weekend, my thoughts go more to permanence and transience: To the things that last, and the things that don’t.

The dam would seem to have it all over the dandelion in this respect.  I can’t damage the dam’s structural integrity no matter what I do, but I can dispatch the dandelion with a puff of breath.  What could be a better symbol of permanence than a dam, engineered to last for many decades?  What could be more transient than a dandelion, flourishing for just a few weeks?

And yet . . .

Eventually, the dam will crumble into nothingness, while the dandelion – through its offspring, and theirs, and theirs – will persist.  Will live forever, if you like.

Life lasts.  Love lasts.

Anything that looks otherwise is an illusion.  Anything that suggests otherwise is a lie.


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Filed under Mortality, Photos of Built Stuff, Photos of Flora