When I saw these wishers caught on this piece of resurrection plant in the wash, I found myself back in late summers as a child, picking the dandelions (who all the adults called weeds) out of the front lawn.  I made a sacred ceremony to think about one wish deeply, and then blow the fairy like seeds out into the world. Then I would forget about it and go play…often never noting whether I actually got my wish or not.


This summer I was fascinated by the thistle in particular and late in the season their prickly capsules were burst open with wishers.  I will not forget a morning when the osprey was floating on the wind overhead, my two eagles were witnessing from their favorite perches on the edges, the wind was howling, and I went out on one of the peninsulas that jut out into the lake (Horse Shoe Lake…isn’t a horseshoe a good luck charm?) and had the same sacred ceremony with the thistle.


All summer I had been wishing for rain for the precious desert, but we only got a measly 1.25 inches…sigh…then last Friday & Saturday we had a blessed storm that drizzled double the summer rainfall gently over several days.  I loved waking at night and hearing it pattering on the porch outside my bedroom door.  The mosses and ferns sprout from nothing overnight and shine their brilliant green hope from the north side of the washes. I often wish I had a movie camera in place to film how fast they must spout.  And the camera at the catchment tank (see previous posts) documented that it went from a dozen visits a day from thirsty desert critters to absolutely zero.  There are puddles everywhere, a brief reflection of abundance in the desert.

we call this a waterfall out here…hahaha 

Tomorrow (so appropriately Thanksgiving Day) we will know the fate of the comet ISON as it hurtles toward our sun.  It may get sucked in and become food for the sun, it may become an awesome fireworks display (our eye would not see this, but some of the specialized cameras poised on it will) and explode, or it may glide past, survive and become an awesome show for us on earth just after sunset during the month of December.  It almost seems to me that ISON is a wisher (wish upon a star, make a wish when you see a shooting star…).  Here is a link to learn more about it.


and a pic from APOD/

Babak Tafreshi


So what would you wish for? 


Me…the same thing I wished for on the thistle…more humans feeling and Knowing their connection to this unspeakably wondrous planet and the stars beyond!

Comment on dissipation

Glorious photos!!! I am so enjoying your website. I loved the note from you. At some point we will have to return to the casita to walk in the desert. ( We have a few more big trips to make before we lose the stamina for them. ) In the meantime, I love the photos you are taking and the thoughts you are sharing. I have many of the same thoughts….the artistic nature or the philosophical bent? Keep up the good work. Give the “pups” a rub for me.


I don’t quite know what is going on, but so many friends/family are checking out lately…we were at a funeral and burial yesterday and I can’t help but thinking more about and finding appreciation in death.


We love the cooler weather for several reasons, one being the fires we tend every morning starting in the dark, watching the transformation to light, and witnessing the sun rising. Since our outdoor fireplace faces east, I noticed something I had not before and was fascinated by it.  The wood casts a solid shadow on the back of the firebox as the sun comes up.  The smoke casts an undulating and ephemeral shadow.  But the fire, the spark, casts no shadow at all.  Well…it is light in itself.  It helps me understand what our spirit/souls must be, most like the fire/spark.


Death, dissipation, can be a slow process.  In the case of our departed Bonnie yesterday, we watched her personality, roles, and persona dissipate slowly first with the Alzheimer’s. Then the physical engagement dissipated, when the body lost function.  Then, at what we ‘call’ death, the heart stopped and the shared-with-all-the- world breathe dissipated. Now her water will slowly dissipate.  Her organic molecules will become food for tiny life forms and will dissipate into them.  Left will be the evidence of our relations to the stones in the minerals of the bones.  Even these will dissipate, given enough time. 


When in that process does the spirit actually dissipate?  Is it dissipating long before our definition of death and does a bit of it linger deep in the bones?


I found this cactus skeleton this morning, only the sticker/thorns left.  The pattern and form is awesome and leaves a sweet hint of what it was.


Deep appreciation for ALL of our dearly dissipated, yours and mine and everyone’s!


These somewhat rare iridescent lenticular clouds at sunset the other day seem appropriate to this wave of thought:


Lenticular clouds“… are good sources of iridescence because the droplets in them have very short lives and have no time to evolve into a range of different sizes..”



Comment on dissipation

The cactus skeleton reflects something that seems to be happening in me – a beginning sense of essence. A sense of what turned out to be the most important thing, after all – Faith. The beauty of this sunset reassures me that a turning is always occurring, and it can be beautiful if I let it in


Do we actually make choices or does our cultural programming, past experiences, genetic blueprint, and present scenario actually put us in a position where a particular choice will be made?  I often choose to watch the day arrive and go from dark to light.  Having taken a dozen awesome shots of the sunrise this morning, my walk started with this thought and of which picture I would choose for this post. 


Often I have done elaborate research and devised evaluation systems to make/calculate ‘big’ choices, but these days I prefer to stay open and wait for the unfolding.  What if it could be better than I even imagine, out of the band width I am considering/looking at? 


Most often the dogs wait, watching my gestures and body language closely, at any ‘crossroads’ along our routes where there is a choice of directions.  But some days one of them just takes off a way and that is how we go.  I like that, thinking they probably sense something about what is there today that makes it the ‘best’ choice.


Appropriate to this train of thought, just about everything I had chosen to do today unfolded into other great stuff and finally tonight I have a chance to make this post.  It feels awesome to ‘let go of the tiller’; maybe that is the feeling of freedom?


I could not choose one, so you get a half dozen instead…


sublime hiding in the MUNDANE

What would the Art of Sublime Appreciation look like?

The concept of Sublime has been explored and argued by many great minds beyond mine from as early as the first century.  They explain the experience of the Sublime as – release of the perceiver from the constraints of the human condition, self-forgetfulness where personal fear is replaced by a sense of well-being and security when confronted with an object exhibiting superior might, and taking pleasure in the immeasurable because it appears to contain so much more reality – the last my favorite.

Schopenhauer had a system of classifying levels of Sublime from the lowest level of the simple beauty perceived in an everyday object… through pleasure from perceiving objects that threaten to hurt or destroy the observer… to the pinnacle of knowledge of the observer’s nothingness and oneness with Nature… which, I believe, really just brings us back around to the ‘lowest’ level.   For Kant, one’s inability to grasp the enormity of a sublime event such as an earthquake, demonstrates the inadequacy of their sensibility and imagination.  But I say that the inability to grasp the sublime in the everyday may demonstrate the same inadequacy, lol Kant!

The only picture I got this morning was this lowly web that one might see as ugly; it is full of fuzz and dust and debris.  So it would be easy to say it was quite an unremarkable morning walk/celebration, but it felt quite solid & satisfying, maybe because it was not spectacular and was just plain and simple.  I think that this gets closer to the Art of Sublime Appreciation, whether the big time philosophers would say so or not…

 a few others from recent days