Memorial Day weekend, Mike and I headed to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and I’m still processing some of the 1960 digi-captures. It was a trip of freezing cold nights some where we did not return from trails until close to midnight after riding 25 miles on EMPTY hoping gas stations were open in Grand Marais. Trillium blanketed hillsides. We hiked 20 plus trail miles in 3 days. The photo above is the backseat of our Blazer and it has notes (at Flickr) so you can view each item and what importance it might have. The photo below is a self portrait of me in the door of the West Bay Diner. We ate there on the way home. It was heavenly–I ordered the steak sandwich with grilled veggies and fries–it came with a malt in my choice of flavors, too! Be sure to check out the Flickr set of our trip for everything from super-macros on the forest floor to dune and beach vistas.
“Turn Out Your Pockets” like a small child showing treasures to mom. How do you fill the spaces around you. I have a basket filled with driftwood from my many beachwalks, a cermaic maroon-colored pasta bowl full of rocks and beach glass. The Christmas Cactus bloomed for Halloween and the Smiley-Face lamp bought second or third hand at St. Vinnies casts a cheerful yellow glow in the studio. My hope wavers sometimes. Then I try to open up with breath, with yoga, with faith in the space I fill. I try to extend that into the world of others.
Mike, mist, and the many layers of texture in our lives, that is a thought. Mike was sitting at the computer the other day looking at landscapes he had digitally captured and marveling at how many things we have seen. Together for only a brief blink in time (2004 to present), we have visited countless rivers, forests, and waterfalls. They add to the layers of our dreams and lives. It has been natural, magic, misty and gritty at times, but full of beauty always.
Making the time for beauty has progressed our relationship. As we pause to replenish our own personal reserves in nature, we also get to know each other deeper by observing each others interactions outside the relationship of lovers and inside a relationship with nature. The often mercurial, chaotic and ordinariness of daily interactions can weigh heavy on a couple. Maintaining the magic in a relationship has spawned many self-help books. But there is a certain Zen to my relationship with Mike. A haiku in a photograph, layers of meaning with few words. Awe. Connection. Current. Electric. Even in mist the reality is stark as in this digital image. Perhaps stark is too harsh a word. What I am getting at is the vividness and clarity even in a world that seems dull.
I have learned that even in darkness there is light, contrast, and cohesiveness that binds all around me. I am connected to Mike, as he is to me. At times, I am lost to the landscape, floating in mist, adrift, and then the mirror reflects the scene and I am home once more. I call this photo “Realtionship Mirror.” I was not sure which direction to take, what image to chase, this day of photos. This capture stopped me still, and later, on a bridge, electricity surrounded us both as if ball-lightening had descended–oh, it was just a kiss–not the phenomena of nature that I am talking about. But still, electric and shiny new. The waves crashing behind us out on Lake Superior and the Presque Isle River below the suspension bridge, below our feet, our hearts. Float.
Sometimes the Mist in our lives is ionic, positive, cleansing and brings us newly to each others arms. Sometimes the mist is like the white noise of electricity, TV, computer, radio, power plant, alarm clock jangly and loud. But there is a mirror we both know to open to. Observe. Welcome. Embrace.
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3 words on how I feel about this post: Romantic, Shocked at what came out today, Happy to break thru the sludgey feelings I have had.
“Scuba divers who go a little too deep sometimes report and odd dreamlike sensation called rapture of the deep or the martini effect. It is caused by too much nitrogen building up in the blood and it can cause diver to hallucinate.” (This is a found quote and I do not have the source at this moment.)
Rapture of the Deep or Martini Effect
The seasonal shift has occurred and I leave for work in the dark and teach into the second period with darkness. The sun sets earlier. I feel, already, like I am moving thru molasses trying to stay above the surface. The depression has started and I could use a bit of rapture of the deep or a martini effect. Maybe an artistic high?
Tonight, plans changed multiple times leaving me on my own for the evening. I headed out to Presque Isle (Marquette) to shoot some photos of the ore dock. But my batteries would shut down the digital camera after each click.
Having felt negative all day, the idea was to pursue those things that make me happy, bring awe or inspire. I walked the Moosewood Bog Walk at Presque Isle and met a woman and her golden retriever. I combed the beach for beach glass and came up with a few tiny shards. I continued attempts at taking one shot at a time with the digital camera. I followed the outing by eating at Border Grill Express.
Still no rapture of the deep. My bliss remained elusive.
The Golden lab was going blind. Nervous. Normally on their nightly walk they have the place to themselves. I was a blurry stranger on the path. The barks were not threatening, but cautioning. I stood still as they approached, talked friendly and petted the retriever after introductions. An old dog, happy to be out on a fall evening. And here I was still trying to tread the waters of my depression (blurry stranger on path)
I know if I allow this to pass it will. I got out of the house. I pursued art. I had physical exercise and nourished myself with fresh food. All the right things. But I came home and closed the bedroom door, needing solitude. Down time. Reflection.
Tomorrow promises of rain, more darkness, and I remind myself of the photos taken on the breakwall (Migraine Mania) the light in darkness and the magic of those scenes. So as I approach the Presque Isle Power Plant I take photos of the large coal piles stored for winter. On Lake Superior the shipping season closes down in winter forcing those who live around it’s boundaries to stockpile resources brought on Great Lake freighters. They off-load coal and take-on iron ore pellets. The power plants of Marquette bring us electricity to fend off our long winter days and nights. They allow our homes to glow. For a person who suffers from seasonal depressions each winter they become a beacon, of sorts.
Regardless how I feel about energy, coal, the environment, those two power plants with their twin smokestacks do aid me in my pursuit of light. Oddly enough, these ordinary images on the skyline of Marquette have become a favorite backdrop in photos–I don’t think many understand.
For more information on this Free Write Fling.
I Feel: Low-Energy, Lonesome, Depressed.
Migraine mania, the burst of creative energy that drives me. Writing. Painting. Photographs. Decorating. Cleaning the home in a whirlwind.
It is a burst of energy that leads to a tingle and buzzed feeling of contentment. This is followed occasionally by crankiness and the need to bury my head from all light.
Interestingly enough, lately, I can knock back a headache if I promise myself to first create. The shot I share here was taken looking at light or squinting at light not knowing quite what I was framing but trusting the buzz. If you get migraines you may understand.
I used to not be able to drive, function, think, talk. With odd deals bargained for with my inner self I am finding a way to create. The last headache started with an aura, a burst of energy, and ended today. Monday. That is a new record.
Today I noticed a lethargic feel, depression, and dullness followed the release of a migraine. So please excuse this free write. it is more an exploration of what I am trying to comprehend.
I was a substitute teacher today at a high school and the clouds out the window did not shift for 5 hours. I would walk down the center of the biology desks helping students, pause at the back window and see the same patch of clouds and tiny bit of blue sky. An in-limbo feel accentuated by repeating the lesson 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6th periods. Still the migraine passed early in the day around 3rd hour. The clouds did not.
For more information on this Free Write Fling.
I call this photo, Unreachable Launch. After heavy rains fishermen found this boat launch on the Ontonogan River (This link will bring up a photo of the river and marnina in the Village of Ontonogan), October 7, 2007, inaccessible.
Have you ever checked out Creative Health? Where I have fun with The Dailies, there is information on writing, poetry readings and Creative Inspirations. In fact, many of the inspriation topics have come from my explorations into nature. Trippin’ is good for creativity! My Creative Inspiration articles are now available to all in Health & Happiness.
I left part of myself back under a mushroom in the Porcupine Mountains, I am sure. I have been a bit off and lost, thinking of lush layers on the forest floor.
My partner, Mike took footage of a large mushroom cluster on the side of a hemlock tree as it spored. The wet days and humid weather and the sun that followed had mushrooms popping. I will be doing research into the different mushrooms we each photographed. It may take a while to post what I find–If you have knowledge on the discoveries please post below. Let me know of your own efforts on the forest floor.
This ghostly scene had me thinking of Sleepy Hollow and the Headless Horseman. That is fog in the background. The shrouded trunks created shadows and yet the mist could not totally dull colors in the wilderness of the Porcupine Mountains. It was a fairytale land, one imagined when spooky stories are shared in the darkness of night. But, oh how the light danced as we hiked! Keeping us alert to the next discovery among the musty leaves.
As I knelt to take photos, I was ready for a fright, to come across the spirit-being living under the umbrella of the toadstool.
As I climbed over a wooden fence, meant to keep those safe from the powerful waterfalls, I stopped to gaze upon a gray haired mother and her daughter of 20-something. Mom was sitting on a wooden bench listening to the falls, still as could be, mesmerized. The daughter’s head napping on mother’s lap. Both waiting for the spell to break. As I am still.