Saturday, August 29, 2009

Summer reflections

Hard to believe September is just around the corner, and soon Christmas will follow. August at least the end of it has seen grief especially for one of my best friends and her family; I cry with them. To me it extended the time that comes around every year and each year is different; not always better, not always worse but different. I've been going through my vastness of photographs and made cd's for Gayle and Karen of the two times we explored together. You saw some of the Zion photographs now to reflect on the July 4th parade in Prescott, AZ (pronounced like 'biscuit'):

Never thought I'd see the Shriner's with out the little cars.

That is something I'd thought I would only see in the North East.

Now I feel more at home

This was by no means 'the end'after all isn't life a parade..

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Letting go...

Familar vignettes
The comforting old grudges
Time to let them go

2 years ago today...

I along with my sister Susan embarked on recreating life as we know it. I've been looking around and thinking "wow, how much has really changed?"

When we arrived we arrived with a couple of suit cases and carry on's. Life in a suitcase. Of course there were surprises and disappointments - those disappointments are expectations we brought on ourselves. I became my old boss' hero when I told her we had shipped a box of shoes to ourselves because we didn't have room in the luggage. Halarious to think of, considering most were the wrong kind of shoes - believe me you don't wear heels at the canyon except maybe once a year at the Christmas party. But the cowboy boots purchased in Georgia was the best investment to this day. I love them. Along with the suede/fleece coat.

Now I have an apartment, granted where I live on the outside front reminds me of section 8 houseing; but the sliding glass doors open to a forest where animals of all sizes; ranges and elements roam; including human but not many of those. Then there is the canyon, what I call my official 'backyard'. Beats the hell out of buying yard art! It even changes with the seasons; so no having to bring in the seasonal pieces makes it more enjoyable. But my apartment is comfortable; with the help of a friend with a car I have collected some interesting and beautiful pieces; including what I call my 'bordello bedroom' because almost everything is in red tones. I just can't bring myself to put the purple area rugs in there - that would truely confirm it. But is that re-creating a past life? Lord knows enough people took my picture at the front desk and out by the canyon as though I had been a part of a time capsule.

There are a lot of things I miss; my car - just for pure freedom, my friends, Publix and their higher-then-other-stores-but-the-quality-is-worth-it, what I have in storage in Florida, Ross and Marshall's and I know there are other things as well. But to look up and see the milky way - not the candy bar but the 'stairway to life' is pretty amazing. Watching the movement of the stars and every once in a while seeing a few fall deciding what to wish for (world peace). The 'lawnboys' with their racks munching grass outside my door. There were a lot of babies this year, a lot more then last year. They may be 'smaller' but they're still plenty big. The different people I've met from all over the globe; no where I have been would have offered this smorgasboard of personalities.

I have learned a lot; on the professional level I've done what some consider 'management training' with weeks spent in different departments (front desk, accounting, human resources, and now group sales). This last one is the longest I've held since coming here, a year next month. I'm learning a little more just how obscure being a 'concessionaire' in a national park is. On a personal level I've learned to love, be loved, be un-loved, and most important I'm still in the process of being true to myself. But I think that is an on-going education we all have and perfect in each of our own ways. Selfish? Maybe, but honey you only have one life; YOURS and no one, I repeat, NO ONE is responsible for your misery or happiness but YOU. Yes I get lonely, but like anything else including good luck, happiness or money it passes. Sometimes like a long winded stinky fart; sometimes like a gentle breeze. Part of the process.

So it's taken two years for me to go into another 'resolution' for myself. I discovered last year when I got restless to walk down into the canyon; it's almost time - probably Sunday - Mada's day. I feel as though I've moved away from some of the traits I liked about myself when I came here. Is it time to be more aware of those traits and not conform to expectation of others? Yes. Will I be more alone? Maybe, maybe not the future is a blank canvas on which I will express with color; me. I do want to get a good vehicle, so that'll keep me here for a while; which means I will realign myself to utilizing my benefits for what they are, start hiking again to relieve my inner restlessness, draw more even if it's a little doodle, and being kind, not just to others but to myself as well.

Monday, August 17, 2009

North Rim and Zion

Gayle asked on the spur of the moment last week if I'd like to get out of the park and go see the North Rim and Zion. Well, like any person who doesn't have many opportunities to get out I jumped at the chance. Once we made the preparations she asked Karen to come along too; so it turned into a girls weekend much like July 4th.

Stayed at a cabin at Jacob's lake, the North Rim is so different and smaller but higher in altitude so there are a lot of Aspen - my favorite trees.

After shopping - and they do have a great gift shop, we headed to Zion in Utah. I've never wanted to visit Utah, though I've heard time and again how beautiful it is. Traveling between towns is more and more desert; time and again I've questioned myself as to why am I in the desert? I know I chose it, was it subconciously to dry the tears? Or rediscover the basics of life and finding it in the most unlikely places such as the rich colored sands, the vastness of harsh beauty. The sand kept getting redder the further we traveled north. I wanted to scoop some up to take with me (which I did on the way home), because the color is so vibrant and rich; it's absolute pure minerals.

I drew a little in the back seat; some three second pictures in my little sketchbook, but soon picked up the camera and gave new meaning to 'drive by shooting'. I think I'm getting pretty darn good taking photos from a moving vehicle and I don't even have an IS (image stablizing) lens.

Utah is called the 'beehive' state; maybe because some of the rock formations look like bee hives. Frankly I thought they looked like a mixed swirled ice cream. But then I would.

It seemed like every turn was a new oasis of color and beauty. When we stopped for all of us to take a photo I got out of the car and had tears in my eyes for the magnificence of beauty.

Now we're further inside the park, we stopped at the Human Museum (and no I didn't go in there - there's too much outside for the limited time I had) and took the shuttle. It is one of the cleanest parks I have ever seen - and the town out side is calling my name to explore more. So put on some soothing music - something that touches deep inside and look at more:

We sat down in front of Zion Lodge at the bottom of the canyon and sniffed the air like doggies; we could smell the green in the grass. I wanted to be a dog at that moment and roll around in it. But it was refreshing to the eyes just to see the green.

The next day we went back after staying in a b&b. Parked at the same place and took the shuttle beyond the lodge to the last stop. Walked the mile river walk - that is where you see the hanging gardens, there's bogs with cat tails, and big red dragon flies. The Western Swallowtails fluttered above peoples heads; it was crowded but everyone was absorbing the beauty of it. Once we reached the end of the trail we went into the river; oh it felt so good! 60 degree water in 80 something heat - the sun was hot and boy did I want to load my back pack with the river rocks but knew better. That and the fact I was trying not to lose my footing - didn't want to get the camera wet. I would've gone further into the narrows, I still want to but the footing was not the greatest and I didn't have hiking poles.

Gayle continued on and went into the narrows eventually I will go there myself.

I was amazed and dazed at the natural colors; it felt like I was walking into a Thomas Cole painting from the late 1800's - Hudson Valley School of Art, I felt rather a little shamed how my camera couldn't do it justice, much less my art. Though I have enough fodder to try and try again.

It was almost disappointing to get back home though I was tired; it takes 5 hours to drive from there and we started out late because we didn't want to leave.

I can only imagine it in winter....