Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Sun on the Horizon

Sun glints on twigs in winter.

So: year’s end.

Whether you see a sunrise or a sunset in this image depends on which way you think you’re facing. Are you facing East or West? Are you dwelling on the past or looking toward the future?

Is this the close of a last chapter or the start of some new enterprise? Or somehow both?

I wish each of you a happy, healthy, prosperous, and intriguing New Year!

Two Years Ago: Finishing

Frost & Warmth

Frost-rimed perennials.

The weather’s been cold and sunny or cold and rainy, but I’ve had the pleasure of warm companionship through the holiday season. There has been much cooking and consuming of food. There have been visits from friends, old and new.

Where there have been disappointments and frustrations, this past year, there have also been delights and discoveries. It hasn’t been an easy year, but it has been a good one.

A Year Ago: Let Us Keep The Feast

Even though I’m spending Christmas on my own, I felt I needed to prepare something a little unusual or special to eat…
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Turtledoves in a Cherry Tree

Birds in tree.

I can’t even get the Christmas carol right.

The solstice finds me headachy, glum, and loath to be out and about. There are no shortage of errands and activities to hand, but I’m feeling sufficiently out of sorts that I think I’ll just stay in and hope that my cat stops trying to bite me.

A Year Ago: Tanks

Metal fuel silos.

These storage tanks do not inspire great confidencee…
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Lessons My Cat Has Taught Me: Number 6—Purr

Cat nestled into extended legs.

There are many things one can say in praise of cats: they are elegant, fearsome, independent, athletic, soft ‘n’ furry, warm, etc. But I will tell you that my very favorite thing about cats is that they purr.

The rumbling vibrations of a purring cat will pass into your body and fix what ails you. A contentedly purring cat is its own reward. I have rarely had less doubt of my value as a living being than when my petting and presence has caused a cat to commence to purr.

This is one of the things that human beings often fail to recognize: expressing pleasure so that another knows you are experiencing it is a great gift to the other. Lovers yearn to hear the ecstatic moans of their partners. Cooks love to hear contented grunts and mmmmms as their food is consumed. Writers love the gasp of enjoyment when a reader is blown over by a wonderful turn of phrase or twist of plot. Children live to hear that their behavior and accomplishments have brought delight and pride to their parents.

You made me happy.
That feels so good.
I’m having such a wonderful time with you.
Your gift is delightful.
Your thoughtfulness warms my heart.
This is great.
What a wonderful meal.

Simple words that, if spoken sincerely, are the purr that lets someone know they have brought us pleasure. And isn’t that what we all want? To know that we have made someone feel good?

Don’t make them guess whether their actions are pleasing. Purr!

A Year Ago: Kitteh Therapy

Wired Sheaf

Metal barge with winch.

Okay, this is the last of this series, I promise. The weather hasn’t been conducive to being out’n'about with the camera, but we’ve been promised sun in the next few days, so here’s hoping for some fresh photographic provisions.

A Year Ago: Asheville and the “Oh Wow” Sunset

Suset panorama, Asheville, NCI’ve certainly seen and even photographed my share…
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Weathered Winch

Weathered winch next to corroded barge.

I only posted this so I could say it was a weathered winch from a withered wench.

My work here is done.

Metal Beach

Barge interior.

There is a tide in the affairs of men…

A Year Ago: Existential Magic

Sun Frost

Frost and sun on small leaves of ground cover.

It’s astonishing how much more tolerable the cold is when the sun is out.

A Year Ago: Burning Bush

Bush with chinese-red bark, cement wall.I’m essentially living out of a couple of suitcases…
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Corroded barge with markings.

All I saw was the tasty corrosion and the artful strip of hanging metal. These things reliably catch my eye. Of course I’m going to take a picture.

It is always a delight, however, when I’m prepping an image for posting and I discover something about it I totally missed when I opened the shutter. In this case, it turns out that there is an inscription scratched into that dangling tongue of metal. It’s shallowly incised, upside down, and possibly incomplete. (Boyd Craig, Boyd Crain? Is that a faint lower-case “n” at the end?)

Here’s a crop, turned right side up (click to view larger):

I will never know who incised these letters, or why. But the impulse to mark, to leave an indication of one’s presence that persists after one moves on—this is an original human impulse. In fact, it’s probably an atavistic animal impulse, originating in territorial marking or advertising for a mate.

Kilroy was always and forever here.

A Year Ago: Quilt Garden

Arboretum, Asheville, NCIt turns out that Asheville has a lovely little arboretum…
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The Last Loop

Corroded metal hoop.

The signs of age seem universal: speckles, fissures, blotches. The varieties of mar are countless. One thing that can redeem those scars, that can restore the full measure of dignity to the object that bears them, is the patina of loving use.

A Year Ago: Menorah

Espaliered tree, Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NCHappy Hanukah, friends!…
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