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.

The Only Things

Stay home.  Go out.
Sit still.  Exercise.
Tolerate clutter.  Tidy up.
Stay awake.  Sleep soundly.

These are the things, the only things.

Walk smartly.  Drive safely.
Read a book.  Write a blog.
Plan a meal.  Choose take-out.
Talk freely.  Keep quiet.

These are the things, the only things.

Think without drifting.
Talk without babbling.
Laugh without crying.
Breathe without aching.

These are the things, the only things
That I can’t do while my mother is dying.


Marjorie Mae Gibson died 10 June 2017.

 

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Filed under Mortality

What It Is

At age 12, I was mildly startled to learn that French-speaking animals can make different noises than English-speaking ones.  While cows sound about the same in both of Canada’s Official Languages, Francophone mice don’t make a (perfectly reasonable) squeak, they make a (perfectly ridiculous) wee, wee, wee noise.

What, I wondered, was with that?   Continue reading

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Filed under Language and Communication

The All-Aboutness of Art

Art is all about spontaneity, right?

It’s mid-February and I’m resting on a bench helpfully placed about 3/4 of the way through one of my regular walks in Gilbert, AZ.  (Helpfully, if puzzlingly.  I mean, how did they know? )

Looking up, I see striking bare branches against a background of last year’s harvest of leaves, now yellow and brown.

I play with depth of field a little bit in the field, as it were. At my winter rental home, I play with cropping and filters a little bit, and ta da! A masterpiece is born.  Or at least a photograph.   Continue reading

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Filed under New Perspectives, Photos of Flora

Defining the Desert

Desert:

  1. arid land with usually sparse vegetation
  2. an area of water apparently devoid of life
  3. a desolate or forbidding area:  lost in a desert of doubt
  4. any area in which few forms of life can exist because of lack of water, permanent frost, or absence of soil
  5. any place lacking in something:  The town was a cultural desert.

Synonyms: wasteland, barren wilderness.

– Sources: Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com

As I click through this past winter’s ton o’ photos of the Sonoran Desert, I realize how much my experience of the desert surpasses what I might have expected based on these definitions.

Certainly I have shots that evoke a sere, unforgiving environment.

Two dried seed pods against deep-blue sky.

Single blade of prickly pear with thorns

But I have other shots that invite a different understanding.

Desert: an area of lush prickliness

Close-up of thorns on rounded cactus

Desert: an area of soft prickliness

Single lavender fairy duster bloom

 Desert: an area of unexpected colour

Yellow fruit on cholla cactus

Bright yellow daisy-like flowers against bright-blue sky.

Orange globe mallow buds

Desert: an area of fuzziness, nay, even fluffiness

Red and green new leaves.

White seed fluff with green seed pods

Desert: a land of welcome shade

Yellow daisy-like flower in shade of tree

Desert: a land of life-giving water

Yellow grass reflected in water

 If a barren wilderness can so surpass its definition, surprising and delighting me, surely anything and everything can.

 

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Filed under New Perspectives, Photos of Flora, Through Space

Lowell, Arizona

Wikipedia says that Lowell is “a populated place” in Cochise County. I appreciate them clearing that up.  Other sites list Lowell as a ghost town.   Continue reading

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Filed under Day-to-Day Encounters, Photos of Built Stuff