Wanderers

“Because those green hills are not highland hills
Or the island hills
They’re not my land’s hills
And, fair as these green foreign hills may be
They are not the hills of home”

The deepest of greens can stir our hearts and though we may not possess the Blarney of our cousins across the Irish Sea, we seek to express ourselves and share the feelings that the sight of rich green hills can evoke….We are all island people, driven from the hills and destined to wander the seas and the skies, unwittingly (sometimes wittingly) searching for something lost centuries ago…all the time wearing the earthen toned fabrics of our heritage proudly and dreaming the dreams of lost poets, warriors, and mystics. When all other words escape us, we feel the thrum of “loss” creeping up our throats and into our silent songs. Old worlds cannot be restored, but the warmth of the embrace of a kindred spirit can do wonders for the soul…May we embrace all those who long for home, providing them shelter and protection from their oppressors and all those who would drive them to the sea.

Grandeur in Absence

A visual inflection point on a dramatic vertical landscape, a thinning veil of cloud draws our attention to the Black Canyon. Its light limiting depths and the contrast of raw stone edges against the snow speckled terrain convey the grandeur of its massive inverted facade. We notice it for what is missing from the landscape and we revel in the details of it’s emptiness as though remembering a loved one whose absence multiplies the intensity of their effect upon our lives.

Blueridge Snow

Contoured waves of white and blue define the southward flowing ridges of the Appalachian Mountains as they stretch through Virginia. The Shenandoah Valley, trapping snow just as it traps time, creates an adjacent but wholly different world in the shadow of our small blue mountains.

Obstacles Repeated

Looking deeply into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a sequence of tightly spaced ridges repeats as though echoing the challenges presented by each snow covered peak. Far below our plane of concern, the mountains provide a source of reflection, a rhythmic visual harmony of granite edifices and vacuous chasms bound together by ice, snow, and clouds. For most of our days, our journeys. are unimpeded, such that the slightest disruption of our travel seems a calamitous violation of our right of free passage and we vent and fume in clouds of angst and icy shards of frustration…but the rhythm of the landscape tells a story of regularity and order in the midst of chaos. This is the way home and the obstacles to our sense of peace lie in how we choose to perceive them.

Appalachian Flow

Following Appalachian ridges as they flow to the south. The recent snowfall defines the valleys etched by glaciers in another era, adding greater dimension to our often soft and hazy perspective.

Into The Night

Along the ragged edges of the day, we find a celestial splendor that softens the rigidity of our perception and draws us into the night.

Lifting the Shade

Experiencing the joy of looking out the small window of an airplane at a big world made smaller by the experience. The upside to deadheading…

As a metaphor for how we live our lives…opening the window shade is a conscious choice we make to engage with the outside world, to broaden our view of the world by letting in a little light and looking beyond the limits of our place and our possessions. to recognize that examining the world through a different lens can lead to a new perspective…we begin to enjoy the ride and revel in the patterns of the world beneath us. Lift the shade and delight in the view.

The Where and the Wow

We wander the skies intent on our work…We focus on the technical details and weigh the ever-changing relationship between our ship’s performance and its movement through the fluid atmosphere that surrounds us as we seek a sense of physical harmony and efficiency. We think of the space we occupy in terms of numbers on a chart, conveyed by electronic signals from satellites orbiting overhead. We are enamored with our machines and they, in turn, consume our attention and distract our senses from the world outside…until a momentary flash of light excites the atmosphere, releasing an effusion of color and warmth, drawing our attention toward the aerial horizon and a singular moment that reminds us that where we are is somehow less important than the wow of this moment and that we are here. The dual blessing of science and technology is that they allows us to experience these mystical moments that satisfy the human spirit and bring us joy in the midst of our motion.

Lost and Found

Deadheading between airports to pick up an airplane, I randomly thumbed through my copy of the Tao Te Ching, pondering the words I chanced upon…A priceless time of reflection in what would otherwise be a time of listless boredom. Guilty of a short attention span, I moved on to other things, stowing my books in the seat back, and began looking at weather and plans for my coming flight. Only after leaving the airplane and walking the length of the terminal did I realize that I had failed to follow my own advice to never leave anything in the seat back pockets…my book was lost. Hours later, as the evening progressed, I found myself mesmerized by a distant thunderstorm and reflecting on the experience of my lost book…I did not lament the loss, instead, I came to the understanding that I had merely cast it off along the way for some incomprehensible and serendipitous purpose…perhaps someone picked it up and randomly read a verse that helped them, in turn, to reflect on their journey and approach to the world…perhaps it is not lost, but rather found…perhaps in the jetsam of my travels, there is a redeeming value in randomly sharing unuttered thoughts with a stranger by means of a lost book falling open to a well thumbed page. Who knows what is lost and what is found?

Solitude in the Vanishing Light

The remnants of brooding storms, their latent energy fizzling into ripples of disturbed air, rising in the night sky. We cruise toward the horizon, tangent to the day, and relish the deepening silence in our moment of solitude.

A Storm-tossed Sea

Riding the echoes of the sea, we slide effortlessly through a trough, gently rolling as we watch the cresting waves send chaos rippling into the atmosphere above…as we steer our ship among the tumult, the wisps of vapor escaping the clouds harken memories of sea spray escaping waves on a windswept sea.

Runway Behind Us

Runway behind us is only useful as a memory. The TWA Hotel presents a series of memories that anyone can inhabit for a while…60s pop culture, whimsical architecture, a little aviation history, and a travel experience to remember.

Dreams of Flight

As we drift along the leading edge of the day in a dreamlike splendor, awash in the soft light of dawn, it is a marvel to think that before a twelve second flight on this day in 1903…a mere 118 years ago…all of this was truly a dream of flight…We are blessed to live in an age where, thanks to pioneering dreamers like the Montgolfier brothers in their balloons and the Wright brothers in their fixed wing air machines, we can spend our lives floating through the heavens experiencing the dream of flight.

A Narrow Gap

Rolling earth beneath and rolling sky above, the light of day emerges along a narrow gap, illuminating the heavens in an homage to the graceful wave motion of a sea hidden beneath the deep shadows of night…the perceptual upside down of space. Gradually, the landscape is revealed and dawn’s contrast diminishes, our thoughts returning to the reality of a day briefly lit.

Awake

A somber awakening…as we approach the Navel of the Earth, rocky forms slowly emerge from the dust shrouded desert floor beneath us and we feel the looming presence of the peaks massing in the distance. As the features of this holy place are slowly revealed by the rising sun, we gain a sense of moving toward the center of things…we break from our narrow view of travel along our southern border, along the rough edge of our world…and we recognize the larger perspective of life on earth…that there are no rough edges on a round planet, that the center of our world is not defined by national boundaries, and that we are all elements of this earth, awakening to a new day.

Beyond the Darkness

When the night reaches its darkest peak, we may feel alone in a void of space…in our raft of solitude, the darkness takes hold of us and we become another element of space…until we roll over the aerial horizon, it’s vagueness defined by the light seeping into the void, illuminating our world, if only a small part of it…in that electric moment we see that there is joy on the horizon and we fly into another day filled with hope for what is to come.

Time and Travel

When we go from point A to point B, we set out upon a direct path, but our velocity meets our environment and we are compelled by the force of our spinning planet to twist and turn along a meandering path…we plan for straight lines, because the reality of our meanderings are far too complex for our feeble minds to envision..but in our seemingly spoiled plans is the dual gift of time and intrigue, as each twist and turn slows our traverse and fills the added time with interest, adding worth to our travels.

Over the River…

As we venture out, over the river and through the woods, we look forward to the happy reunions at the end of our travels…The effort behind the journey reminds us of the value we place on togetherness…we go to great expense and travel great distances to share a feast with people we love in places that contain warm memories of past times…we drive forward into the night or the dawn of a new day with the end in mind, yet along the way we collect memories that add worth to our journey…over breakfast at an airport diner with our copilot, leaning against the window of the cabin staring out at a luminous sunrise, or simply contemplating the blessings of being born into a place and a time that allows us to meander in and out of each other’s lives and soar through the heavens as if living in a dream. Happy Thanksgiving and Safe Travels.

Advancing

When we gaze into an advancing landscape, forgetting about the rest of what surrounds us, we become lost in its features, coming to life as though it were climbing out of a hazy abyss, momentarily alive in its relative motion, its features expressing detail and meaning in the shifting shadows…we come to know the earth at a personal level…what stands out to me; what stands out to you…we view the same thing while seeing things differently…respecting the subject, we embed the vision in our memories and leave room for our own interpretations and meditations.

Racing Reflections

Watching the signs slide by on the highway…unlike the ones normal people see…we sense shifting colors on vaporous canvas, subtle yet silent motion, amorphous, brilliant, ghostly…suddenly, as though bursting forth in a sudden surge of energy, our reflection appears, riding on the tip of our shadow as it pierces the clouds beneath us.

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