When my son was a little boy, I thought I had to teach him how to fish, because every boy needs to know this. I knew nothing about the sport, but I went out anyway, and bought fishing equipment for our next big camping trip. Upon arrival, at dusk, in Maine somewhere, out to the dock we went. With his nifty fishing hat, dungaree vest, and fishing poll in hand, I told him to stand at the end of the dock, and cast the line. The next thing I knew, he had fallen into the lake, not sure how. I hope he learned a lesson, and that this is not the last time, he will ever fish.
The day is waiting! Dawn passed before I awoke, and the sun is getting too bright for comfort. Alas, one mustn’t begrudge the sunshine, though there is nothing like a rainy day to set thoughts in motion.
Having awakened with a clean slate, alongside one of many chores, and things to do, I ask, “Which will prevail? Meandering my way through unprescribed discovery, or following the rule of accomplishment, and purpose?” Balance is the prudent course.
To open the day, here is a poem by a Finnish artist, named Eeva Lisa Manner (1921-1995). The title, “ASSIMILATION”
Assimilation that I have travelled. I will show you a way that I have travelled. If you come If you come back some day searching for me do you see how everything shifts a little every moment and becomes less pretentious and more primitive (like pictures drawn by children or early forms of life: the soul’s alphabet) you will come to a warm region it is soft and hazy but then I will no longer be me, but the forest.
On the first day of spring,
another wintry day.
Yesterday in the afternoon,
and into the evening, too,
a soft dusting, covered the land,
and all the trees, through.
The deep green hemlocks,
blanketed in delicate snow.
Winter wants not, to go away.
When there’s nothing else to talk about, there’s always the weather. Weather is the essence of nature, and a metaphor for human behavior, not to mention how much it can influence our mood and outlook. Today is no exception. The morning was beautiful, as I drove to work. There was a light fog, the sun, at its normal place in the horizon for this time of day, was shining through the forest, making the dew drops hanging on the trees, glisten like crystal. What else could I ask for, except for my camera, which I decided to leave at home. So, I went to my pockets to find my iPhone, and stopped myself to say, “just enjoy it!” It’s the best advice I’ve given myself all day. If I had taken pictures of it, I probably wouldn’t be writing this down. Besides, I would have been late to work.
So back to the weather. We get fed up with winter, and the snow, but really, the temperatures are relatively more civilized now, than they were 2 years ago, when we were in the midst of a nor’easter. It was the month of March, coming in like a lion. This photograph, which I found archived and unpublished, is a testimony to that storm. Despite the teasing of more sunshine and nice temps, we are not out of the woods yet, though it seems we are turning an optimistic corner towards spring. I am looking forward to blossoms, and the fresh smell in the air. It will come! Today it’s over 50 degrees, so that’s a start. In future days, I will hopefully be out early enough to find more beautiful mornings, like I did today. Mornings of fog, mist, dew and hazy sunshine, and who knows, what else. It was Carpe Diem, at its best!
What brittle has fallen from tree to ground?
Sprigs in a white snowy sea as
Shadowy limbs face northeast.
Branches flounder and drift northwest.
Treading and losing breath
Wind spent and shipwrecked twigs, creaking and breaking
Submerging and reemerging, gasping for air
Like dolphins in a ghostly powdery wave where no one goes.
By Georgianna Marie
Photograph by Dave Dreimiller
Why do people chase down their ancestors, pouring through letters and documents with frayed edges, faded ink on sheets of paper which crumble in your hands and between your fingers? I guess the answer is in the question. As we strive for a paperless society, documents become exceedingly inaccessible, buried in forgotten computer files, the World Wide Web, the Cloud, or Google docs and PhotoShop. Our memory is also buried in these files – gone! – and the danger of obliterating the personal handwritten accounts which affirm the history of our ancestry, becomes more and more imminent. Long gone is the autograph book and rapidly disappearing is the hand written letter and journal as witnesses of times past. Whatever primary sources resurface in twenty-five, fifty or seventy five years, will certainly be an anomaly, if they exist at all.
Our pursuit of knowledge and wonder are no longer driven by hiking on trails through wooded hills, along running brooks, or on cobblestone streets in historic towns, villages and countries, but rather, through endless hours with our eyes pasted to a computer screen. Perhaps the advent of the iThis and iThat, and the capability to transmit and receive information instantly through time and space is our way of staying in tune as we are constantly on the move, whether it’s sitting in a chair in our living room or in the seat of a train. Yet we need not remember a thing, because all information is at our fingertips through technology, and although we are seemingly more cerebral and introverted in our social exchanges, we pursue, record and process information at a faster pace than we ever did before – only to be forgotten.
We are living in an era of heightened individualism and guarded privacy which has made us less sociable face to face, more suspicious, paranoid and worried about what one knows about us and if it is really an apt description of who we are. In this state of agitation we are unable to shift our consciousness into a true state of Carp Diem, or in other words, lose ourselves completely in a moment of time, in the beauty of a poem, the shapes and forms of a painting, or in the seconds at dusk and dawn when the buds of a flower open and close.
As the Age of Technology spins out of control what legacy will we be leaving for our children which our foremothers and fathers have left for us? I for one find myself sucked into this technology and forever striving to keep up and constantly learning how to use it – dependent on the keyboard for my social interaction and to satisfy my wonder and pursuit of information. Yet, I am weary and discerning of the lack of reality and authenticity of technology and unsatisfied with the information it has to offer. I am afraid the layers of facts, or facts posing as the truth which are deeply buried in my computer will be quickly forgotten when I turn off the switch. Yet I am happy to know that this information will never compare with the real photographs, authentic documents and letters which I hold in my hand. I consider myself fortunate and at the same time saddened to have these papers at my fingertips because I realize that their production is a thing of the past.