..: Seat of My Pants :..

Friday, November 25, 2005

Ease in, ease in

There's a lot to be said for saying OK as things come along.

Miss a train home? Just say OK another will come along. Computer crash at work? Just say OK and realize that you can still breath and eat and drink and laugh and all the things that have nothing to do with computers. Get blisters the size of TWOONIES on your heels from handmade boots you just bought from Fluevog for $250? Just say OK and grit your teeth through a day or two and they won't hurt anymore. This is it. This is how to live your life. I really think so. Seems trite, but 'bend like a reed in the wind' is a tremendous maxim for a good quality of life. How? How the fark can you do this? Doesn't it mean ignoring others around you? In a sense, yes. I think of it as centering, pointing inwards. I run internal diagnostics so often that its become my character. How do my hands feel after falling asleep with them under my head? How does my gait feel walking uphill and can I improve and streamline it so its smoother and less stressful on my heel-strikes? Can I stand the bathwater that hot and is that good for me? I just snapped at someone and don't know why - what's the best way to resolve it and apologize? How do I feel about the conflict of Israeli agression and Palestinian extremism (Can I work beside nice Jewish people and yet detest the Israeli State? Can I have overwhelming sympathy for the Palestinian cause and yet utterly reject suicide bombings?). These sorts of diagnoses.

I once stood on a broken road in the small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan and could just pick out a tiny clutch of white-washed walls clinging to a cliff-side. Literally, there were clinging there. It was that day's destination for a hike; I and my mate Ron and my father, the three of us. We set off and a couple of hours into the hike were beat like old leeks. It didn't help that air really starts to thin out at 3,000 metres. But I realized that the journey had become a parable of Buddhist doctrine (as with any religion, its aspects may be realized in the minutest of daily details): the goal is always easy to see, but the journey there fraught with challenge. We eventually reached Taktsang, or The Tiger's Nest, monastery. And after a few minutes were granted an interview with a Guru there. He sat in a small room on the floor, his robes and girth spreading out around him like dark red water. He had a salt-and-pepper topknot and a large gold earring. He didn't say much - we spoke no Bhutanese and he no English. After a short while he snuck into a wry grin and tucked gently at his ear and then pointed to me and my earring. The grin became and quiet laugh and then he subsided back into himself. The 'interview' was over. Perhaps I read too much into that return hike and the first meeting I ever had with a guru (another, more lively one, came later at another monastery, but with a head lama), but I was thunderstruck by the gift of perception I was given that day. While that four-month trip to Bhutan was pivotal in my spiritual life, the photography I came to realize I could take, and my emotional stability, that day in particular will stay with me the rest of my life. After the 'interview' we spent some time in the monastery's library looking at buddhist scriptures and being gently guided by a helpful Bhutanese acolyte. The monastery burned down, off the cliff, several years later and I understand it has been rebuilt. It is the spiritual location of the reception of Buddhism in the Bhutan. The Guru PahdmaSambahva flew to that spot from Tibet on the back of a great flying tiger and brought the idea of enlightenment through meditation and rebirth fo that part of the Himalaya. I recall a large statue of him astride the tiger just inside the monastery's gates. I suppose that went in the fire and wonder if its been replaced? OK I say, its the idea of Buddhism that matters and not the physicality.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Uh, OK this is it for tonight

OK, I know in the previous post I said no images shot today, but I wondered whether I could include images created today, and concluded yes. This image started out as a simple image of a dandelion's shadow...

I received some final instructions from a freelance client on changes to the website I created for him and will implement those on the train ride in to work tomorrow morning. Those of you who've visited my own webpage will find a striking resemblance between the two. No accident. My own was seen and liked by a photographer at work and he asked for a similacrum for his own. It was relatively straightforward with a few tweaks here and there. Both sites are html, but flash-driven for the galleries using a clever little package from Airtight Interactive. There is a free version (somewhat hobbled) and a full version. I convinced the client to buy the full version, which is why the galleries run somewhat smoother on his site.

Fridge Magnets

No photo today. We spent the day in town at Sick Kids with O going over some behavioral stuff with a child psychologist. No big surprises and we will receive a report on observations at the end of this week.

Instead today, I thought I'd post some of the words I put up on our 'fridge cobbled together out of those little boxes of words and letters that are magnets:

1) bare delicate goddess whispers true love with gorgeous tongue

2) drunk drooly sea fall smoothly by loves breast

3) I smell the sun through blue water as diamonds sleep beneath a thousand summers

4) I did leave in shadow beauty raw only dreaming it would sing like a knife.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

tick tick tick tick tick

OK, so I had to stop hammering in the basement, putting up a framing wall, because my toddler daughter was sleeping upstairs. Jeeeez. Oh well. Whatcha gonna do? She is sooo sweet when she sleeps. So I swung out the macro lens and stepped out to pluck a couple of dried things from the garden, returning with a dried poppy, a spruce cone, dandelion fluff and a knobby thingy from some sort of balsam I think.

The poppy seemed most interesting and I worked away at it for awhile without really getting was I was after. Trouble is, if you don't really know what you're after from the get-go, the image will prolly reflect that. And so it does. But I thought I'd post it anyway. The other shots of the other items were simply delete-worthy, and so that's what became of them.

...apparently, Finney has just woken and so I am free to bang away in the basement once more, and so off I go.