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Entries in Will (17)


The Magic Number

Gratitude project: Day 6Everyone tells me three is worse than two, if you're using terribles as the unit of measurement.  It's true, sometimes.  But oh my, when it's good, this three-year-old thing is really good.

So grateful this weekend for

giant cardboard boxes that turn into weekend-long mural projects

the miracle of crossing the potty training threshold

balance bikes

the fact that he finally, finally speaks the English language

the discovery that, like his mama, Ez is a lyrics person.  (thump, thump)

Also, while I'm on the magic of three, let me say just how comfortable it feels to be a family of three.  And how grateful I am to finally feel that clarity.  Here we are, a small, sturdy love triangle, ready to take on the world.


Long Memory

347.365 200mm f8 1/500 ISO 200My childhood friend, Rainy, came to Colorado this weekend for the first time in well over a decade.  I spent the weekend showing her around some of my favorite places in the high country, places so very different from where we grew up in North Carolina, but which evoke a certain familiar nostalgia for the rural children we were way back then.

Rainy remembers everything.  I mean everything.  She could probably tell you exactly what I was wearing on the day we met.  When we were four.

I, on the other hand, have a selective memory.  But what I do remember is now bathed in a warm golden light like it was captured on a roll of film from 1970-something, or like it has that fleeting melancholy feel of an Indian summer day.

348.365 38mm f5 1/80 ISO 400Old friend.  Long memories.  Golden light.  I like it that way.

photo courtesy of Will, and no, we haven't changed much since we were four


The Want To

There are things that you do because you have to, regardless of how you feel about them.  And then there are things that you do because you want to, because they make you feel alive.  Because they make you a better person.  Because they feed you.

333.365 38mm f5 1/250 ISO 200Watching Will in his garden gives me an appreciation for that.  He just loves to dig the dirt.  Loves to tend to seedlings.  Loves to hang out in there.  You can tell by the way the garden responds that love and chicken shit and photosynthesis can do amazing things.  How else could you explain that 10-foot tomato plant behind him?

I started this photo project eleven months ago when I needed to do something because I wanted to.  I needed one outlet in my life that I did, not out of duty or under duress, but because it fed me.  And while individual days or weeks have been challenging, overall this project has had an intensely positive impact on my life, in ways I never would have imagined.  It even made the parts of my life that I do because I have to, seem more like want to, pleasure, nourishment

It has been so effective in shaping my experience of my life in the past almost-year that I started to think about dialing it back.  Tending to it less.  In favor of the have to.

But I got a reminder last night that the have to is no substitute for the want to.  So what I wanted more than anything was to return to this space.  Changes are coming here, and I don't know exactly what form they will take.  But who knows?  Maybe with a little bit of tending this Bird can be 10-feet tall and dripping with tangy, sweet goodness.

Thanks for being here with me.  Let's explore the want to some more.


Things That Are Not Interesting

There are things which are not interesting to talk about.  Like how busy you are.  Or how, after being yanked out of your semi-organized life to go to New Jersey for a work trip, all the precariously fit-together trappings of your routine - like your morning runs, or your nightly blogging - take a while to fit again.  Or that's the story I tell myself.

326.365 26mm f5 1/50 ISO 200It is possible, likely even, that you are witnessing a demonstration of one of my least favorite things about myself: difficulty finishing things.  It doesn't matter whether those things are going well or not.  In fact, it seems the better they are going the less likely I am to put a graceful button on them.  (See also: last year's half-marathon, my unfulfilled intention to return to Burning Man this year, the myriad almost-completely-used bottles and tubes of expensive skin or haire care products on my bathroom shelf, etc. etc. etc.)  It is not a charming characteristic.

Also it is probably not interesting, unless you are my shrink or my mother.  If you are my mother you probably want to have a coaching session with me after you read this.

327.365 35mm (+12mm mac tube) f7.1 1/125 ISO 200Then there are things which are not really interesting to talk about, but which are interesting to observe.  For me the change of seasons falls into this category.  We spent the long Labor Day weekend in the mountains and all my senses were alive with the notice of change.  Brisk morning and evening air, long shadows, grasses gone to seed, the brittle sound of fall plant life brushing your legs on the trail.

A farmer in Alaska once asked me if I thought it would make you smarter to climb a different mountain every day, or to climb the same mountain every day.  Having spent most of my life as an avowed wanderer the answer was obvious to me at the time.  He disagreed with me.

But this trail, which I first saw at the height of wildflower season this summer, has me thinking that there's something to be said for returning to the same place over and over.  I walked along noticing all the millions of subtle little changes and the wisdom ingrained in the natural cycle of this place as each individual organism prepares for winter, prepares to put a graceful button on this year's project.

Also, we had a lot of fun.  So much so that it was hard to sit down at my computer in the midst of it all.

328.365 18mm f5.6 1/20 ISO 200

329.365 50mm f2.5 1/640 ISO 200So bear with me please.  I'm not giving up on Bird.  I'm just trying to find my way back to the routine.


Where The Sidewalk Ends

263.365 50mm f3.5 1/100 ISO 200There are some places where, upon arrival, a sense of peace washes over me immediately.  Certain spots in the Rockies induce a visceral sensation that my heart is opening in order to absorb the vastness of the beauty around me.

264.365 18mm f3.5 1/320 ISO 200And sometimes when I come to a place for the first time I get the immediate sense that this place will be in my life for a long time.  There's a sense of anticipation, kind of like a really successful first date, knowing that me and this place are going to get along juuuuuust fine. 

Like a new love, I know there are layers and layers of things to learn about these mountains, and I hope I have a long lifetime to explore them.