Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Mindful, Day 30, Happy Feet

Hiking yesterday in Indian Canyon, which runs for about 15 miles. Beautiful and varied landscape from up close and intimate with the stream and palm oasis,  to rocks, mountain ridges and views up into the high country where the mountains are covered in bright snow. The big rains a week ago left there mark on this canyon with a lot of erosion, tons of palm debris and lots of water. So much more to explore here. My feet are happy. They jsut came through the stream, got cooled off and are ready to move on!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mindful, Day 29, Immigration Thoughts

I am mindful today that we are ALL immigrants, that this country was built on the hopes of people who came here and still come here for a better life. I am sick about what our new president is doing to this country but heartened by what is being expressed by so many people - that this is NOT who we are, that this is NOT who we want to be, that we ARE going to stand up and speak out. I just read an article that speaks to this. Don't let the title stop you.

The link is here.

https://interruptingthesilence.com/2017/01/26/my-thank-you-note-to-president-trump



Sunday, January 29, 2017

Mindful, Day 28, Red and White

Who could resist a bite of these beautiful radishes? Makes me think of spring gardening at home while I am here in southern California.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Mindful, Day 27, Typewriters in the Desert

We went for a drive up to Pioneertown, outside of Yucca, CA to see what there was to see. We have been there before and one of the things I love is a "garden" that someone has created with cast off stuff. And in the garden there is an arrangment of old school desks and typewriters.  They make me smile.





Friday, January 27, 2017

Mindful, Day 26, Bedazzled

Hiking this morning, I am going up one side of the ridge just as the sun comes over the top and bedazzles me. A great way to start the day. A reminder that every thing can look new again every day.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mindful, Day 25, Time is Passing

On my walk today, I am glad that the sun is shining again after days of rain. We have been coming to Palm Desert for the past four years and have never had a time here with as much rain and cold  (relative cold form what it would be at home). But I am thrilled to see the sun again and be able to get out and move and see the blue sky and the mountains (now covered fairly far down with snow). Everything is bright and sharp and glittery.

I pass the sundial which shows clearly that the sun is doing it's job! It is also reminding me that our time here is passing and to take the time to enjoy it thoroughy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mindful, Day 24, Say Thank You

Two days after the Women's Marches I am mindful that one march is not going to change things. It is going to take concerted effort to keep the issues that matter front and forward. I am also mindful that I need to say thank you to all the women over the past 100 plus years who helped makde it possible for us to have the rights we have, and thank you to all those who marched to remind us of those rights. The excerpt below says it well.

From Sleep. Eat. Write. 

Say Thank You

Say thank you. Say thank you to the women who gave you a voice. Say thank you to the women who were arrested and imprisoned and beaten and gassed for you to have a voice. Say thank you to the women who refused to back down, to the women who fought tirelessly to give you a voice. Say thank you to the women who put their lives on hold, who –lucky for you — did not have “better things to do” than to march and protest and rally for your voice. So you don’t feel like a “second class citizen.” So you get to feel “equal.”
Thank Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul for your right to vote.
Thank Elizabeth Stanton for your right to work.
Thank Maud Wood Park for your prenatal care and your identity outside of your husband.
Thank Rose Schneiderman for your humane working conditions.
Thank Eleanor Roosevelt and Molly Dewson for your ability to work in politics and affect policy.
Thank Margaret Sanger for your legal birth control.
Thank Carol Downer for your reproductive healthcare rights.
Thank Sarah Muller for your equal education.
Thank Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Shannon Turner, Gloria Steinem, Zelda Kingoff Nordlinger, Rosa Parks, Angela Davis, Malika Saada Saar, Wagatwe Wanjuki, Ida B. Wells, Malala Yousafzai. Thank your mother, your grandmother, your great-grandmother who did not have half of the rights you have now.

https://medium.com/@dinachka82/about-your-poem-1f26a7585a6f#.pdihs0u05


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mindful, Day 23, Left, Right, Left

I think the way this cactus grows, alternating its new pads left, right, left is interesting. Why does it grow that way? Balance, maximum sun, more area exposed to predators? In any case, it feeds my need for pattern and symmetry today!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Mindful, Day 22, Less than Perfect


I am mindful today of this advice from the blog - Marc and Angel Hack Life
www.marcandangel.com

Let things be less than perfect. – Smile every chance you get; not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have, and all the problems you know you don’t have. You must accept the fact that life is not perfect, that people are not perfect, and that you are not perfect. And that’s okay, because the real world doesn’t reward perfection. It rewards people who get GOOD things done. And the only way to get GOOD things done is to be imperfect 99% of the time.




Sunday, January 22, 2017

Mindful, Day 21, Patternmaking Again

Still working my way through photos from LACMA (Los Angeles County Musem of Art). It is  interesting to look at the  indivdual photograph and the screen full of thumbnails on the computer and see the pattern of the patterns. I always gravitate to strong shapes, light and shadow and movement before anything else. This shot is up looking up at the ceiling through the giant metal sculpture that you walk under as you enter the building. I could spend hours just shooting the this one sculpture, the light and the patterns as they change and not go one step further.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Mindful, Day 20, The Goldfinch


I have been downloading photos of faces that I took while at LACMA and the Getty a few days ago. I ahve been working ona series of thread paintings called Beautiful Faces so I am always on the lookout for imagery that speaks to me. Among them is this statue of Mary holding the baby Jesus who is holding a goldfinch.  I loved the image of them both gently smiling but I wonder about the finch. And in doing some research I find that the finch is is a symbolic representation of the foreknowledge Jesus and Mary had of the sacrifice he would make on the Cross. And yet they smile. 

Be here now.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Mindful, Day 19, Labyrinth Thoughts


Although this is not a true labyrinth, when I saw it yesterday in the central garden at the Getty Musuem I was reminded of how walking a labyrinth is a mindful activity and helps you sort out your thoughts.  The slow and deliberate steps following a proscribed path allows your mind to meditate. And though you may walk into a labyrinth with a tangled knot of thoughts you often walk out with a clearer direction. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mindful, Day 18, Walking

I looked at some of the other images that I shot yesterday at LACMA and this one makes me laugh each time I see it. Going back to my original Mary Oliver poem -

Mindful –
Every Day I see and hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light. It is what I was born for – to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world – to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant- but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations. Oh good scholar, I day to myself, how can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these- the untrimmable light of the world, the oceans shine, the prayers that are made out of grass?

And in this case a photo of these feet walking by behind the sunscreen!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Mindful Day 17, The Rain Room

Today we went to LACMA, the Los Angeles County Art Museum, to see a variety of things, but most especially, the exhibit Rain Room. You enter in small groups and have limited time to be there. It is an entire room with falling water, going from a grid in ceiling to a grid in floor and the rain is UN- actiivated by your presence and movement through the room.  So wherever you walk it stops raining!  What fun to watch everyone walking around. The room is dark so the rain is so sparkly and white as it falls around you. The sound is so encompassing - like a big rainstorm but you can be in it and enjoy being surrounded on all sides by the water but not get wet (mostly). 

The other even more moving experience was the James Turrell installation piece called Breathing Light. (That alone is enough for me to stop and think). Breathing Light is one of the artist's Ganzfeld pieces: an installation designed to entirely eliminate the viewer's depth perception.We entered an environment where we were enveloped by color slowing changing like fog around us. And as you looked back thorugh the opening to the white wall beyond the complementary color builds and dissovles as the color you are part of slowly changes.  You could just fall into this and feel totally at peace and part of the color. No photos allowed and hard to describe but wonderful to experience.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

MIndful Day 16, Patternmaking

Late afternoon sun throws strong patterns against the wall. I like how the cacti and the shadows are interconnected and the movement that is created. Nothing like a late afternoon walk with the sun moving down the sky to see things in a new way.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mindful Day 15, Stone x Stone

A beautiful hike in Palm Canyon which runs for 15 miles through the Aqua Caliente reservation. What makes it special is the running water that has created a lush area of palm trees throughout the canyon. You walk down into the canyon and are greeted by cool air and the sound of running water. The recent rains have certainly made the stream bigger, you could see signs of what rushing water had done everywhere. As we reached the end of this part of the hike we took a different trail back that overlooked the canyon and you could also see for miles and miles in every direction. At the high point of the trail was a gathering of cairns - the perfect place to stop, look around and be thankful for the heart stopping beauty in the world.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mindful Day 14, Love in the Desert

I got out for a good long hike up on the trails in the mountains nearby, reversing the hike I took last week. When you reverse things look very different. Something I did not see going one direction jumped right out at me this time. Thirty or forty feet off the trail I got to see love in the desert. As ever, I can picture different scenarios for this photo. Was it done by a couple? Was it done in honor of someone, was it a way to leave a message for someone coming by later, was it to express happiness just about being out in the warm air and beautiful space? You could write a lot of stories!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mindful Day 13 Rain, Rain, Rain

video

The sound of rain in the desert. More rain today then has fallen all year. Even though we come here for the warmth and sun, we are as grateful as residents to see and hear this rain as we can see how badly it is needed.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Mindful, Day 12 First Bloom

The first agave bloom that I have seen this year. Others are just getting ready to pop. They are so ungainly but the bloom is large and beautiful when it opens. There have been several days with small (really small) amounts of rain so lots of things are starting to bloom and getting green in a hurry.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mindful, Day 11 Over the Rainbow

What a change one day can bring. This morning the sky is dark to the west over the mountains but there is the hint of a rainbow just barely there.  Yesterday the pink sky was intense, today's is dark and moody.  Beautiful in entirely different way.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mindful, Day 10 - Hot Pink

Some morning dawns are so incredibly beautiful there is nothing to be said.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mindful, Day 9 - The Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Today's observation had me laughing for a long time. I am sitting in my car in a parking lot talking on the phone when a small red car pulls in facing me. The next time I look up there is a cat sitting quite proudly on top of  the car thoroughly enjoying himself, looking at the tree, the sky and what is going on around the lot.  Once in awhile he does a short stroll around the top of the car but does not leave. A lady coming through the lot attempts to get him to come down and he is having none of it.  Eventually the car owner returns to be harangued by the other lady while the cat continues to enjoy his time on the roof.  Apparently he slithered out of the car through about a 3 inch gap. The owner picks him up, tosses him back in the car where he now takes up residence as a neck warmer across the back of the drivers headrest.  His nonchalance was fun to watch and reminded me to also stop and take a look around!



Monday, January 9, 2017

Mindful - Day 8 Lobsters and Wallpaper

This is a repeat of the poem by Mary Oliver  that is inspiring me to be more observant everyday followed by the interesting sign I saw.

Mindful –
Every Day I see and hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light. It is what I was born for – to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world – to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant- but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations. Oh good scholar, I day to myself, how can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these- the untrimmable light of the world, the oceans shine, the prayers that are made out of grass?

I see this sign along the street and any number of ideas pop into my head - are we talking about wallpaper with lobsters on it? do you get a live lobster when you buy wallpaper? is all the wallpaper about lobsters? are these 2 businesses sharing a space which seems really odd? or.... so on and so on. Sometimes you will never find out the answer, in this case, because the light changed, but it is good for the brain to have something different to think about.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Mindful Day 7 - Silence

Today I went for a long hike in the mountains nearby. I went up the Homestead Trail and connected to the Hopalong Cassidy Trail and the Gabby Hayes loop. (Don't you love the names?) When you first start up there are lots of people and dogs and people talking but gradually as people spread out or turn back or take a different trail you end up pretty much on your own. And once you drop back over the first set of hills the thing I find most surprising is... the silence. What a treat to not hear cars, trucks, sirens, and all the other nosies that we don't even know we are hearing.  So I started to name what I could hear -  my boots on the gravelly path, the rustle of my sleeve against my jacket, the touch of my walking pole each time it came down, the wheeze in my breathing, my heart beating  (on the uphill pulls), once the cry of a bird, the rattle of stones along the edge of the path, the sigh of  slight breeze. And the silence - which feels like it is vibrating around me.  What a treat - taking the time to just stand and feel it around me.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Mindful Day 6 Look Up

I took a walk up the hill behind us yesterday, It's a great walk, nice steady uphill climb past some beautiful homes and in the near distance the golf course, low mountains, interesting desert landscaping, blue, blue sky. And as I reach the top of the hill, sitting in the middle of a scrubby vacant lot, is this beat up yellow bench, psoitioned for a wonderful view of the mountains to the west. I try to imagine who has put the bench here - a nearby neighbor, a workman, someone buying the lot, someone who just likes the view from this spot? A small mystery to start the day. And a good reminder to turn around, sit down and look up!


Friday, January 6, 2017

Mindful - Day 5 Look Down

We went for a walking tour today through an older area of Palm Desert and saw many wonderful old homes where an assortment of celebrities have lived. You don't see a lot of details because of the walls and landscaping but the guide had great stories about the people who had lived in them at various times and you got to look up at the mountains, around at the trees and flowers and down at the pavement. One area really caught my eye because of the great pattern and range of grey tones.
So today I found joy in everything around me but most especially in what was at my feet!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Mindful - Day 4 Salvation Mountain

Today's response to the Mary Oliver poem, Mindful, came during a road trip we took today to see Salvation Mountain, out east of the Salton Sea in the desert of southern California. Salvation MOuntain was created by one man, Leonard Knight. Salvation Mountain is Leonard's tribute to God and his gift to the world with its simple yet powerful message: "God Is Love." I was taken by many of the sweet details in his artwork - when someone creates, over 30 years, a monumental 50 foot tall, 200 foot wide mountain of painted adobe art you don't expect to see such small details as well. I was taken by his focus, determination and sense of purpose. One of my favorite details are the blue birds of happiness (as I think of them) that cover many of the surfaces of the truck (and tires!)








 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I am going to try and respond each day to this moving poem by Mary Oliver as my daily practice for 2017.
Mindful –
Every Day I see and hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light. It is what I was born for – to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world – to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant- but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations. Oh good scholar, I day to myself, how can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these- the untrimmable light of the world, the oceans shine, the prayers that are made out of grass?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mindful Day 3 - At the car wash

I love going through the car wash especially those that have the swinging, sudsy worms that swish over your car! I can't capture the changing  patterns on the windshield from the water, soap and worms fast enough. In Mary Oliver's poem, Mindful,  she writes of finding joy even in the ordinary stuff of each day. I found it in the car wash.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017, A New Year, A New Attempt at Keeping My Blog Going!



Mindful 2017
I am going to try and respond each day to this moving poem by Mary Oliver as my daily practice for 2017.

Mindful –
Every Day I see and hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light. It is what I was born for – to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world – to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant- but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations. Oh good scholar, I day to myself, how can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these- the untrimmable light of the world, the oceans shine, the prayers that are made out of grass?

January 1
Sitting in the flickering sunshine under the oleander tree here in Palm Desert,  I hear the hummingbird buzzing mightily directly over my head – such a big sound from such a small bird. To believe that the year could start with the sight/sound of a hummingbird is not something I would ever have thought possible.

January 2
One of the things I most like to do while we are in Palm Desert is to hike and there is a trail that goes up to about 500 feet through the desert scrub to a lighted cross that overlooks the city. Because there has been so much drought here even the desert vegetation is suffering. But on my way up the trail today I see what looks like an extremely dead bush… Until I get very close and I see small red flowers beginning to emerge. Happy New Year. Happy new life for this bush.