Not on a burned tortilla, grilled-cheese sandwich, or even in the faded paint on the side of an old weathered barn…but walking among us…sleeping under our same roof for almost 20 years…who knew…?
It was Tuesday morning after an anxious Monday…stressful months.
So many things have happened so far in this year of 2020…
…lies revealed, viruses emerged, taxes not filed, bountied soldiers’ lives not acknowledged, quarantines served…
…promises broken, tallies marked, masks unworn, lives lost, children caged, families torn, secrets revealed…
alliances broken, and real heroes scorned.
Sometimes it hurts to pay attention.
My morning commute down quiet streets, following taillights…
…watching the eastern sky gray into dawn, encountering silhouette cityscapes of buildings…
power lines, and ubiquitous palm trees.
Others heading in the same direction, south on Central Avenue…the light rail…bicyclers…
…a far off desert “mountain” that defines the lower edge of the Valley of the Sun.
Art museum, opera, loft apartments, pharmacies, coffee shops, attorney general office, city athletic club…parking meters…
…cameras watching to see who steals through a light….
Heading east now and ever approaching my destination, passing charter schools, groceries, fast food, temp agencies…
…ever present construction zones…and hospitals.
My bride and I ate lunch at this city park decades ago…when our children were little and life was difficult, though less complicated….
I could go straight and then left and reach the office…or I could get on the freeway and go somewhere else…head west, then north and away.
When I found a pedestrian bridge on an evening walk in Utah, a local spray-can artist had adorned the walkway with “Seek Life.”
Looking west from the bridge…contemplating the day…desiring that it fulfills hopes…that more ballots are cast for my guy than the other….
An overhead ornament on the bridge…a simple thing in a complicated time. Breathe….
One from the archives…November, 2018…looking east along the Walking Jim Trail…Lake Pleasant in the distance…and the rolling desert hills in between here and there.
sometimes my daydreams are really thoughts about the things of which i would be dreaming, the words that describe what i would see or have seen, words i would use to tell you of the things i remember or wish to see again, so it might be appropriate to share those things in the black and white of words on paper, things which might be able to be described on the whole or in their collected parts, yet they are things which are beyond mere words when contemplated in the mixture of their richest essence, or in my experience, here
I visited an old friend when I was in Salt Lake City a couple of months ago…
You might remember it from the first posting here…
There is something particularly alluring about the bridge and its location…something that makes me want to return again and again….
On one side of the blown fence, it’s county park property, on the other side, it’s state trust land…land set aside for the state to use for its various institutions.
On one side, you drive through a gate with an attendant and pay $7 to access the park property for a day, and on the other you pay $15 to access it for a year, unless you’re a hunter, and then you only have to pay for the hunter’s license.
I parked outside of the gate on the trust side, stepped over the mangled fence, and went wandering through land that had single and double-track trails leading all over the desert, went past old watering ponds and tanks that had been marked with graffiti, stepped over spent shotgun and other shells, shattered clay pigeons, and beyond the other marks of man searching for more ancient trails of creatures that care nothing for trespassing signs and fences.
There were small and larger dry waterways with footprints of birds, mice, rabbits, lizards, and coyotes; tracks worn into the desert floor that were likely created by cattle heading toward the watering ponds from those past eras when the land was (more?) open and access was simply granted by desire; and tracks of time’s passing in the already parched desert grasses and wildflowers, the new buds on trees still waking in middle Spring, and various sizes of cacti in their growing, thriving, and dying.
Should I be concerned that I will be arrested for stealing the intellectual property contained in the images I made while trespassing on State land…..?
smoke from california’s november wildfires drifted across the desert and found a temporary home in the sonoran desert north of phoenix…lake pleasant under haze…as seen from the distant end of the walkin’ jim trail
A sunrise hike with one of my sons last weekend brought some spectacular desert views….
…with perspectives elevated above the fray that exists between here and there…
…treasures of an Arizona desert morning….
She was a “rescue cat”‘ when we got her from a shelter a few years ago…tiny as could be, and she has remained so…has remained a rescue cat and has remained tiny. I wasn’t at the shelter with my wife and son to adopt her, but I’m told that she climbed up into my son’s lap and would then have nothing to do with anybody else…and that is a condition that has remained, as well. Unless I’m doing something in the kitchen with turkey or ham, she won’t have a thing to do with me…I’m lucky if she lets me touch her with a finger tip. Whenever family members come over to the house, the cat is gone and hiding under a bed or in a closet somewhere.
This image was made from nearly 20 feet away with a little bit of zoom action….
My son originally named her something like “Gray Stripe,” or “Bat Cat,” or some other such thing, but the name was changed to “Puff” after a few days. The cat hid under the bed anytime my wife or I entered my son’s room and would not come out for any kind of coaxing, gentle talking, or offering of treats, etc. The only thing that brought her out was when my wife started singing “Puff the Magic Dragon.” Whether it was a familiar tune or simply my wife’s melodic voice, the little feline slowly walked out from under the bed and hopped up on top of it and approached my wife. When she stopped singing, the cat disappeared under the bed again…when she started singing, out came the cat again…stopped singing, there she went again.
There are occasions, when traveling in Arizona, that it feels like one is journeying through time as well as distance.
iPhone image made on 4/11/2018 just south of Wickenburg, Arizona.
Another image made from outside of the Cougar Park Nature Preserve in West Jordan, Utah…facing west with the near-setting sun lighting the rails and providing shadow-forms for the posts. The evening’s walk provided an array of subject matter for photography, so I had to return to the house to retrieve my camera. I have been out of the habit of taking it with me on my infrequent walks through my Arizona neighborhood, but found it to be a welcome companion again as I ventured out into another sweet, Utah evening.
I had driven past these ruins (?) at least two dozen times over the last several years…and finally made the stop on my next to last trip before moving out of the state. The third and fourth images are from a second set of buildings just a little further down the road….
There were a couple of out-buildings, corrals, and a stable further up the hill and toward the left of these first two images.
These two building didn’t appear to be as old as the ones in first two photos…there were more “modern” pieces of junk and rubber-wheeled trailer parts on the property.
There was even a cement-stooled outhouse with a plastic seat about 20-30 yards uphill from the buildings. I hope there was also a cement septic tank to prevent the contents from leaching downhill toward the houses…if that’s what they were.
And lastly, here’s a color rendition of the first photo in the set. It was a pretty, mid-May afternoon in middle Utah, about six miles (or 15?) south of Panguitch, just off of Highway 89….
Revisiting an earlier subject that you can find in its full-color rendition by clicking right here.
“Between the wish and the thing, the world lies waiting.”
– Cormac McCarthy