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How One Regards a Plum

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We finally made it to a friend’s to pick the last of the plums. She’d had her fill but didn’t want any to go to waste. We should have been a week earlier; the plums quite literally exploding with ripeness. We lost a few on the 10 minute drive home. The rest went immediately into the dehydrator. They are pure sweetness !

Earlier in the morning I had read this (from brainpickings):

 

I consider a tree.

I can look on it as a picture: stiff column in a shock of light, or splash of green shot with the delicate blue and silver of the background.

I can perceive it as movement: flowing veins on clinging, pressing pith, suck of the roots, breathing of the leaves, ceaseless commerce with earth and air—and the obscure growth itself.

I can classify it in a species and study it as a type in its structure and mode of life.

I can subdue its actual presence and form so sternly that I recognise it only as an expression of law — of the laws in accordance with which a constant opposition of forces is continually adjusted, or of those in accordance with which the component substances mingle and separate.

I can dissipate it and perpetuate it in number, in pure numerical relation.

In all this the tree remains my object, occupies space and time, and has its nature and constitution.

It can, however, also come about, if I have both will and grace, that in considering the tree I become bound up in relation to it. The tree is now no longer It. I have been seized by the power of exclusiveness.

To effect this it is not necessary for me to give up any of the ways in which I consider the tree. There is nothing from which I would have to turn my eyes away in order to see, and no knowledge that I would have to forget. Rather is everything, picture and movement, species and type, law and number, indivisibly united in this event.

Everything belonging to the tree is in this: its form and structure, its colours and chemical composition, its intercourse with the elements and with the stars, are all present in a single whole.

The tree is no impression, no play of my imagination, no value depending on my mood; but it is bodied over against me and has to do with me, as I with it — only in a different way.

Let no attempt be made to sap the strength from the meaning of the relation: relation is mutual. 

– Martin Buber

 

Today I’m considering it again. My relation with the plums in my belly being quite clear.

 

 

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A Whole New World

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There has been no rain to speak of for the last two months.

Today, today it finally arrived; the air smells of earth and ash and cedar.

All is forgiven.

Lately

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I haven’t disappeared; I’m just camouflaged.

Anna’s hummingbird on nest. Victoria, BC.

Good Omens

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The last day of the year 2017. After a week of rain the sun finally showed its face this morning; the birds running riot in the yard. In addition to the usual feeder visitors (chickadees, sparrows, finches, juncos), we had a flock of robins in search of the final cotoneaster berries. They pulled a few cedar waxwings along with them too.  The more unusual sight was the small gang of Steller’s jays. Given their size, I find it comical how timid they are, like a bunch of nervous gunslingers. Gulls, cormorants and crows on the wing completed the picture. I’ll take them all as good omens !

What These Ithakas Mean

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Esquimalt Lagoon

 

Not so much writing this fall. It was full of doing.

Sailing through the holidays, through the dark, to the New Year.

Ithaka

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.     – CP Cavafy

The Ocean Again

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We are here.

The journey

was both too fast

and too slow.

Car travel still being

fast enough to leave you

a little unsettled

at the ever later

setting of the sun

but too slow

to by-pass the occasional tedium

of 4500 kilometers in a van.

We passed over

ancient rocks

and walked by

a Sleeping Giant

clothed in Boreal trees.

Hit the Prairies flying

and stopped for Pelicans

and other birds in salty locales.

The Mountains were the stars

despite the heat and haze of smoke.

Well, stars until we found the Ocean again.

Still smells like home.

Ontario

 

The Prairies

 

The Mountains

 

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