Quotes to like or puzzle over: “There comes a time when you realize that everything is a dream, and only those things preserved in writing have any possibility of being real.” ― James Salter, All That Is
The Woods and Words Today. While we continue to wait for official election results. Covid 19 end days. The next turn around the corner.
Female Northern Flicker. Came upon this neglected shot I made a few years ago. I was alerted by a neighbor that the flickers were migrating through the area. Lying on my belly in my small blind (set up overnight on her property), I was able to capture a few shots of these beautiful ground feeders. Thanks Melissa Starbuck. And thanks, David Moynahan.
So many artists of all ilks, writers, painters, poets, dreamers, have all sung of the powers that live in the woods. Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” gives us the Faeire Queene that came from Spencer. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote of a world containing evil in the darkness of the great forests, or at least in the mixing of medicines from the herbs and flowers gathered there. There are the robed monks that wander the wonderland, working their magic, white and black. Today’s writers of horror stories continue the tradition, (e.g., “The Cabin in the Woods” along with others). Even children’s songs: “Don’t go down to the woods today…the day the teddy bears have their picnic…” (A mixed message, that.)
Father Christmas—much older than our Santa Claus, came from an old English folklore, and didn’t he walk through the woods? Originate there?
And the Tree! Our beautiful, green, pinetree, cut from the forest and brought into our homes. That tree of Pagan origin, symbolizing everything grown and come to life from the forest deep—is brought to us by the woodman through snow and dreams.
Pagan & Christian, White & Black—through the woods.
A sweet and peaceful pathway through the wood. And see, how lovely glows the light.
So much, so little, such is time. A friend came to rescue me as apparently I had gone a wee bit delirious with fever. Short story: emergency, hospital & treatment, home again. Home just soon enough to watch the Packers tie (tie? yes, tie 29-29) and the Browns tied last week and took a win on Thursday night football. Indeed, it must be the end of time. End times upon us.
I’m still not 100% but close enough—enough to know that there is a settling in of self, only noticeable when distanced from same. And now for the catching up of writing en media res and photos with notes, and thoughts beginning to scramble through once again. Rather like tossing a football about when sleep not only eludes but tires the soul.
And autumn and hikes and cool sweet days must surely lie ahead.
With dreams of seats that swing and rivers that flow. When I was young the family visions of our neighborhood were a cabin in the woods on the river. Two of the neighbors on our block had cabins. One of them, living right next door, had children my age and so I was invited from time to time to join them. How golden it was there.
During those times it was nothing for children to swim in the river unwatched. Admonishments were few but consistent: watch out for the current! Be careful of undertows! Undertows were the closest we had to river monsters. I don’t know (and didn’t know then) what they were supposed to do but they did strike us as fearsome things meant for our destruction. If you felt one slightly with your body, the challenge was to put a leg or arm into the underwater tornado while keeping the rest of the body safe. It was indeed tempting to throw the whole of self into that fast moving undercurrent, but none of us did. A challenge unmet, we swam unwatched, and unharmed.