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Archive for the ‘World’ Category

Visions of SF

Visions of SF

 

In the cloak of night I drove through the streets of San Francisco.  A friend, a lover, the city speaks to me in so many languages.  I hear her call to me in my dreams.

I saw a band June 6 night. I did not know what to expect and I was left breathless.  Once more the city delivered.  Trumpet call, bass rhythm, the keys dancing.  Heartbeat of the drums and pure soulful cries while blowing into the harmonica.

It’s been a long time since my soul danced. Since I last saw the symphony.  Learning to differentiate sound as Beethoven continues to teach me.

In the music, I close my eyes and fly…. Fly on the wings of the sounds and soar above the city and the sea.

And I am reminded of the poem that spoke to me Friday night:

It was passed from one bird to another,
the whole gift of the day.
The day went from flute to flute,
went dressed in vegetation,
in flights which opened a tunnel
through the wind would pass
to where birds were breaking open
the dense blue air –
and there, night came in.

When I returned from so many journeys,
I stayed suspended and green
between sun and geography –
I saw how wings worked,
how perfumes are transmitted
by feathery telegraph,
and from above I saw the path,
the springs and the roof tiles,
the fishermen at their trades,
the trousers of the foam;
I saw it all from my green sky.
I had no more alphabet
than the swallows in their courses,
the tiny, shining water
of the small bird on fire
which dances out of the pollen.

Pablo Neruda

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The Lessons of Fate

Image

In Life I have often been misled, opened wrong doors and seduced short term pleasures.  The adversity that follows can leave devastating tracks on our life path.

Many times, I thought it was FATE, the negativity that resulted from poor decision making. Now, older and hopefully wiser. It was not always FATE, it was me.

 

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ImageWILD and UNTAMED

I face the churning sea and know I am looking into the mirror of my soul.  Volatile and simmering with possibility.  I can feel the power in the moist air, droplets of mist cover me. MAYA, and her veil of illusion keep me tied to hope.  I keep coming back, yet each time my armour is pierced and I live with the scars.  The Earth is a beautiful and terrifying place.  Wars are waged and people are dying all over Her offering searching for freedom and truth.

I live in the United States of America, and despite any quarrels Americans have with their government, we are so very lucky, so very lucky.

Welcome Back

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Hidden Jungle Hawk

Hidden Jungle Hawk

On the island two weeks after the northern summer solstice, gray clouds hover in the sky.  The birds had finished building their nests during April and May, while the sky gave hints of rain with brief scattered showers.  The parched soil soaks up the water and different colors pop up in the jungle.  Bright colors are prevalent in tropical forests like bejeweled pins in the thick jungle of the Mother Nature’s hair.  Dark green, fire engine red and vivid orange fruits growing on the numerous trees greeted the month of my birth, inviting animals to eat them and disperse their seeds.  Usually, bright colors betoken either sex in birds, as when a dazzling turquoise, bright red and black Lance Tailed Manakin male seeks a lemon green female for a mate before and during the spring equinox.  A brilliant pink or purple blaze of flowers try to seduce pollinators, the several species of bees, which symbolize fertility and the honey of life or the hummingbirds, which symbolize tireless joy and the nectar of life, with their sweet smells and colors.  The forest is blessed with numerous species of hummingbirds and several varieties of stingless and stinging bees.  The rains bring forth another world to the jungle.  Each flower species, the one that blooms before the rains or the one that blooms after the onset of the dry season signals to a particular insect or bird to visit.  Twice a year, as I walk under the canopy, Mother Nature offers me a carpet of fallen flowers and petals to tread for my initiation back into Her real world.

I am surrounded by unusual sounds that change throughout the year, the mating calls of birds in the wet spring or the falling of leaves and branches in the dry winter.  I am consumed by the changing of unusual smells,  the sickly pungent of decaying leaves in the ceaseless rains or the sharp musk of beach soil baking in the sun and I know I am changing too.  Away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world I have space for centered thoughts, deep breathing, and appreciation of my jumbled past.  I am able to recognize and acknowledge the Divine’s presence throughout the meandering course the river of my life has taken.  The island and also our earth are home to countless distinct organisms with individual traits that define its role in the overall system.  I watch the comings and goings of my neighbors the leaf cutter ants and their endless paths through the forest, harvesting leaves in the day time between the summer solstice and fall equinox when birds are most likely to forage for insects in order to have enough energy to lay eggs and after sunset between winter solstice and spring equinox when they can regenerate their numbers. Ants symbolize industriousness, order, and discipline.  Mother Nature provides a variety of ways of living, which together make the forest function as a whole.  The same with our lives, we awaken, become mature and are ready to accept our gifts in the right season, the Divine’s plan for the natural world.

Bare wings

Bare wings

Wings to fly...

Wings to fly...

Fly forward..

Fly forward..

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Excalibur 2009

Excalibur 2009

There are some fates one cannot escape.  I once had dreams of living on a sailboat or an RV, traveling with my home.  I don’t know if I really expected it to become reality, but now it has.  I have made a conscious decision by purchasing this boat, that a part of my life will now revolve, flow, exist with the ocean.  A path forged, sown so long ago, beginning in my childhood has fruited many, many years later.  I played with the idea before, when I owned a 27 foot Catalina.  But now, I am playing with the big fishes…or whales, a 46 footer with a steel hull.  Blue water passages, here I come.

Near the mouth of the Panama Canal

Near the mouth of the Panama Canal

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Traid

Traid

Peace is experienced in a variety of ways.  Happiness is called by many names.  The language of numbers is definite.

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Tracking

Tracking

I spent five days at the UNESCO world heritage site, Coiba Island National Park assisting with bird tracking research. The island is 46 miles offshore encompassing 150 miles of unspoiled beaches. It is the largest island in Central America, about the size of Barbados. Coiba island is also one of the last places in Central America where the Scarlet Macaw (Ara Macao) can be found in the wild and in large numbers. The sight of a flock of Macaws flying overhead was humbling, I was stunned, paralyzed and unfortunately was unable to fish out my camera fast enough. The island has three endemic subspecies, the Coiba Mantled Howler monkey (Alouatta Coibensis), the Coiba Agouti (Dasyprocta Coibae), a short tailed, plant eating large rodent, the size of a domestic cat. Finally, a bird species I helped the ornithologists to track, the Coiba SpineTail (Cranioleuca Dissita).

Greeting the morning sun from Coiba Island

Greeting the morning sun from Coiba Island

We woke up every morning at 5AM groggily fixing snacks and bottling cold water for our trip and arrived onshore  to meet a boat that took us to a remote area Coiba where we spent about 5 hours hiking through dense jungle along a marked transect.

Vine Portal

Vine Portal

The path was hacked with a machete through the vegetation, an almost impenetrable tangle of vines and bushes and marked with colored markers tied to small trees or branches. We walked steadily through the jungle, grabbing onto vines for hand holds, using roots, rocks, and small trees to steady us as we meandered up and down inclines following the Spinetail and Ruddybacked dove calls and searching for nests.

Knots

Knots

The ground was packed with leaves and rotting foliage in certain areas, careful not to slip, each step measured for reliability. It was intense, and I loved it. With each deep breath, I filled my lungs with a variety of smells, sweet and fragrant from the newly blossoming flowers, since the rains began just a day or two ago.

Hungry Honeybee

Hungry Honeybee

Yet, as the day progressed the humidity and heat rose so our clothes were drenched,we sweat as much as the water we drank. Invigorated as we neared the end of the transect we sat in a clear patch to eat a snack, comparing our observations.

I learned so much on this journey, met some brilliant ornithologists and feel closer to the natural world around me.

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