Our earthly monuments stand regardless of whether we are out there to see them. Dream with me a little while and we’ll find ourselves back out there on the horizon.
At times, the twists and turns that lie ahead are masked by fog, disorienting us and leaving us uncertain of the best course to set…While the water vapor obscures our view, it defines the terrain around us, illuminating the irregular and imperfect hollows and valleys with its snowy white lines of joinery to create a wabi-sabi aesthetic greater than the solitary beauty of the mountains…in these moments we see the whole of this place and witness the interplay between earth, water, and air.
In the air we find excitement and a satisfaction of our wanderlust…we enjoy the gift of flight, drifting on the breeze as if man’s ability to fly were perfectly natural and routine… We have made it seem routine, but as it is the nexus between nature, art, and science, flight can be a magical and emotional experience when we pay attention to the details and revel in our movement through space. This is a tough time for people…uncertainty, illness, rational fears of infection…and yet, today I found inspiration. A young boy with wide eyes, a huge smile, and a glow in the dark dinosaur tee shirt approached me in the Memphis terminal exclaiming, “I’m going to get your autograph!” I squatted down to eye level as he began telling me about his trip, his family, his airplane logbook, his special shirt, his airplane, and his detailed observations of the airport. He told me that he was “this many,” holding up five fingers. He was electric. Every detail of the day excited him and he shared his wonder. As I had been focusing on washing my hands, distancing myself from strangers, and worrying about my disrupted flight schedule, my little friend brought the magic back to my experience, if only for a little while. This will continue to be a tough time and it will get tougher, but I’ll keep thinking of the joy and excitement of my young friend as I dream of our collective return to the sky. Be well.
We gather in iconic places for iconic views, but the view from the outside, the less iconic view, is every bit as spectacular. Many of us are staring at photos and dreaming of places to explore when apparent risks of travel abate, while others of us keep the skies open for business and gaze upon these sights, wishing we could share it with more of you. Be well and come back soon, we miss you.
In a swirl of rocks and color, we are lost in the details and complexities of our planet, our Earth, our world…as earth pushes mountains skyward and carves canyons out of river beds, we build bridges over rivers and highways across the skies…and when things seem to fall into entropic confusion, there is comfort in knowing that a rock garden lies beneath the horizon to captivate our imaginations, raked by wind and water, beautiful and elemental, awaiting a new perspective to recognize the enduring beauty of the natural order.
Out of the darkness and into the storm…we travel along the edge of chaos and negotiate the challenges that fate casts our way. We are never without storms…we see and avoid their flaring tempers in the night sky, but when we see them in the light of day, we better understand their movement and hazards, asserting control, we navigate toward calmer skies.
Earth and water tightly intertwined in salt flats and wetlands, neither yielding in their grasp of the other…the hydra hovering in a stop-action pose, dramatic and exaggerated. I keep coming back to this place in my mind…what at once appears static and elemental comes alive as we engage in our abstract perspective.