Saturday, April 28, 2007

La vida es mas compleja de lo que parace

Another week over and the worm is dead,
My friend said.
Yes, enough of the sordidness and world sorrow
I need some beauty tomorrow.
So out to the fields I fled.

Camera in hand, Chayanne in the ear, what better place to flee for beauty but our Carlsbad Flower Fields, 50 acres of giant ranunculus overlooking the ocean and historic Highway 101 in North County San Diego, flowers farther than the eye can see.

Beautiful, delicate flowers with paper thin petals...

Twelve million flowers, but any San Diego fifth grader will tell you there are no bees and no butterflies. The flower has no nectar, no pollen, no fragrance for attraction.

Thousands come to the fields, especially on the weekend, most like myself with cameras hoping to "capture the moment".

It's not long, however, before reminders of the real world intrude.

San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, about a half mile from the fields... radiation levels 16 times higher than allowed in drinking water in the groundwater, security breaches, news the plant can withstand a small plane but not commercial jet - what would happen with a tsunami?

And, silently, seemingly invisible to the tourists, our Mexican brothers working the fields... life is more complicated than it appears.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Good help's hard to find...

What is there about cats that makes them get all frisky and friendly when I'm in the middle of rearranging the furniture in my bedroom?

Not to be outdone by Frogger, Seci crawled under the chest-of-drawers too, as if on cue.

Rock on

Kelly walks into my room after coming home from dance class.

"You rock, Mom."

"What'd I do?"

Her mouth full of yogurt, she points with her spoon at the yogurt cup that I had just brought home from the grocery store.

It doesn't take much to make some people happy, does it?

(Or was she implying that I don't grocery shop often enough?)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

One of the reasons I've not been blogging lately, Kath...

Kathie and the kids know I'm into making stuff - weird stuff, that is. Here is a blurry photo of my latest creation. (How do Pam and Heather get those beautiful photos?) It's a bunch of lampwork beads and Swarovski crystals strung on four strands of memory wire and hung around a recessed light over my dining table. Kind of a shabby chic chandelier, but much prettier than any chandeliers I've ever seen. You'll have to come on over and view it in person to see what I mean. Sparkly.

I guess it's no weirder than Craw...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Why Didn't I Think of That?

Serving jail time can be trying, particularly if it's a third, fourth, or more time around. In my jail it is not unusual to hear an inmate reflecting on their tribulations with "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". I've used that line on complaining grandchildren.

Paging through an old issue of Rolling Stone at the hair salon this evening an ad for Old Spice caught my eye (hm-m-m, wonder why?). Small print caption at the bottom: "What doesn't kill you makes you better looking."

I like this one.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Zen for Kappa No He

In commenting about last weekend’s Walking this Way in San Diego Patty wondered “about the Zen stuff” and I had to explain to her the peace and harmony of the two rocks in sand on the beach. Turns out she didn’t recognize the photo as sand and rocks but in the process I explained

“The peace and harmony of this pair of rocks, can't you see it? There is a famous Zen garden in Kyoto, a rectangle with sand and 13 rocks. No matter how you locate yourself, only 12 rocks can be seen at any one time. Everyone convinced they are the one who will see thirteen rocks spends hours looking at the garden from different angles. By that time, their arrogance has become peace and harmony.”

Kappa No He from Japan came back with

“Wow, I didn't know that about the Kyoto temple. Although I can totally see a bunch of monks from ancient times trying to make that. "Hey, Masuyuki! Stand over there, how many do you see now?!" I'll have to look that up.”

The garden is at the Ryoanji Temple, a World Heritage site, and I was wrong about the rocks. There are 15 rocks arranged such that only 14 can be seen at any one time, regardless of the angle viewed. Only with enlightenment can you see the last invisible stone in the mind's eye. The garden was created in the 15th century, and remains in its original simplicity. There have been interpretations the rocks represent islands in the ocean or tiger cubs crossing the ocean among others, but it is up to the viewer to find out for himself what the garden means. It is an experience much like watching the sun change angles at the Taj Mahal.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Walking This Way in San Diego

Used to be I could just put on my running shoes and go out the back door, through Torrey Pines Reserve and down to the beach. Life was simple. Nowadays, I take the iPod, cell phone, pager, and digital camera. Is that an age thing or have I unknowingly become part of Ted Kaczinski's runaway technology?

The usual San Diego trail workout begins with the requisite warning. Charleston has its copperheads and alligators (yes, ask Patty about the snake that was living under her sofa), San Diego has rattlesnakes and mountain lions. Torrey Pines Reserve just behind my house has the rattlers and coyotes but no lions. Mountain lion places are to be avoided since the big fire of 2003 wiped out much of their habitat. They're hungry guys these days.

Ellen Browning Scripps had the foresight to establish this preserve, one of only two locations in the world where the Torrey pine grows. The other is Catalina Island. Any first grader here can tell you a Torrey pine is identified by its five needle cluster. We are proud of our Torrey pines, until one blocks our view of the ocean.

Today the agave are blooming and, not to be outdone by Patty's wisteria, I have to take lots of pictures. Anyone who says San Diego doesn't have seasons is out of touch with the bloomings.

Patty says I'm the only person who can get lost in her own back yard. Today is no exception, what with all the talking on the phone and taking pictures while trying to run. Where did this trail come from? Never seen it before. Turn back? Keep going? Is there a life lesson here? Before long a bridge appears; unfortunately it looks as though the recent rains washed out about four feet between the cliff and the bridge. Keep going anyway with a running jump. Patty stays on the phone because she thinks I'm going to get myself done in back here.

Finally, the end of this trail - where was this sign when I needed it?

Coming to the beach. Patty says I'm on my own now - she's getting off the phone because she has better things to do than save me from myself. Change to the iPod. Nothing like Mana's Amar es Combatir (To Love is To Fight) to keep the pace up...

I take in some Zen...

Pass some other ladies in their outdoor gym...

Climb the trail to the other part of the Reserve...

I'm feeling ...

So home to make some 2" high biscuits... a very Charlestonian thing to do.