This is clearly not Bend, Oregon. If people carry the soul of a particular animal then I am a hummingbird, a restless creature that can not sit still. Consequently I felt the need to flit off and fortunately Tapirgal was eager to spend a few days in Maui to celebrate her birthday, so off we flew. Exhausted, but happy after the 6 hour flight, we found our way along a busy winding island road to the condo I had booked hastily.
The above photo taken from the patio depicts the soothing atmosphere of tranquility which is so characteristic of Hawaii. I am not sure I can ever get my wings to stop beating so rapidly or slow my heart rate down. I am what I am. In the meantime I hope to relax, take some pictures and experience the ease in the breeze. We'll see. A turtle I'm not.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
This morning I stopped at the Backporch Coffee Shop in Bend, Oregon, as part of my commitment to break my morning Starbucks habit. As I ordered my java I spied the pastries pictured above in the glass case below the cash register. Most fascinating, sitting alongside some highly unusual donuts were three glazed maple bars topped with strips of bacon.
For those of you that enjoy a sugar high, I have included the upper third of a pile of one of mountains of sugar I photographed at the Fromme Sugarcane Plant storage building last month in Jamaica. Not to spoil the sweetness of your day, I have included a few statistics I found about sugar consumption from Wikipedia. The average American consumes between 3 and 5 pounds of added sugar a week, meaning up to 200+ pounds of added sugar a year per person.
Now I am not going to harangue about the despicable amount of calories or fat or carbs or sugar there is in most diets, since this is the fodder of much New Age conversation. I also have seen how sugar cane production has been terrible in so many ways for underdeveloped countries in the Carribean and South America, but that is a subject for another time. I just feel letting pictures today whet your appetite for some serious consideration.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
A few weeks ago while visiting the Navajo Nation, my host took me to see the dinosaur tracks near Tuba City, Arizona. I had been skeptical from the moment I saw the sign that I was about to bilked out of a few dollars in order to see some carnival attraction made out of plastic.
A dirt road off the main highway took me to a few stands where Navajos were selling jewelry.
There I was greeted by a boy who offered to take me into the desert and who immediately began pointing out the many large bird-like tracks encased in the mud. He told me they were from a dilophosaurus, a plant-eating dinosaur the size of a horse. There were also larger tracks than the ones pictured above, plus skeletons, petrified eggs, scat, and allegedly the remains of a tyranosaurus claw. It then was not hard to imagine the wet fertile green swamp that once was home to these creatures that roamed 200 million years ago during the Jurassic Period.
To me, these imprints were like ancient starlight shining brightly still from a once living source that had burnt out many years before. In that quiet desert setting, the presence of the footprints of these long vanished animals evoked such a genuine, authentic quality, much stronger for me than reconstructed bones in a museum. The dinosaurs were real and they walked here. Naturally, I suddenly scanned the horizon hoping to still catch a glimpse of one that might have been left over. You never know!
To think there are people who don't recognize that these creatures existed at all and cling to biblical interpretations of creation or who believe God put these tracks in the ground like artwork to confuse humans. So much for having advanced beyond the Age of Dinosaurs!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
It has been over a week since I returned to Bend, Oregon, after completing my Amizade adventure. A few of you have written and wondered why I hadn't posted and were concerned about my well-being.
I have to admit it has been emotionally difficult to adjust to "normal"life, which is devoid of novelty and excitement which characterized the last four months. Also I find myself now strangely reticent and reluctant to express to others my Amizade experiences, which, predictably, seem to now be slowly enveloped in a mental fog as time elapses. What I have learned now feels strangely personal and is not easily translated. Of course I have lots of photos that will help remind me of the trip. I will eventually find a language to share these pictures so that they may inspire others to learn, serve and understand. That is for later. In any event I have decided to post in order to return to a positive activity and which may help me through what has been called by some a "transitional period".
The first photo of the shut metal gate at the home where I stayed in Jamaica serves as the closing picture of my adventure. Standing behind it is Ms. Dorothy, who represents a different race, national origin, generation, and culture and serves for me today as an archetype for the many people I met. She knew I was an unusual guest and tolerated my rants. She listened to my words and showed me great kindness and seemed to have remarkable understanding although she was of humble background and had never been off the island. Today I must declare my trip is over and the door is closed. I have lots of photos and memories to carry me from that time into the future.
The second photo taken at the Rose Garden in Washington Park in Portland, Oregon, of a raven cawing at me, even when I snapped it, felt strangely ominous. Influenced of course from my recent experiences at the Navajo Nation where there is a strong belief in the messages from animals, it put me in touch with a deep feeling of alienation and disorientation although I was now within the fabric of my own kind. After having been out wandering all over the world, now, at home, I felt more lost.
I chose the third photo of a soon to open rhododendron bud as a positive expression that, like it, I am eager to blossom in some new refreshing way. Today I am swaying quietly in the wind, so to speak, but I am eagerly open for a new challenge. I have no idea how it will relate to where I've just been physically or spiritually or when I will find it. I hope ardently to feel again the exhilaration of bursting growth. That's all I ask.
I intend to change the title of this blog to Lee's Daily Adventure and post pictures of wherever I am, including Bend, Oregon. You will be able to find me right here without changing the url. I hope you'll stay with me and keep in touch via e-mail and comments.