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January 11, 2009

The Colour Grey

See this photo? I think it's beautiful. Sort of. Except, when I look at it, the tone of it sums up the weekend I just had! It was as if someone blindfolded me, put earplugs in, put me in a padded cell and walked away. Okay. well, I exaggerate slightly. But, THIS (up there) is exactly the way it looked ALL weekend from every where. In the trees. Out my windows. In the park. In town.

Now I know that the woman who sells that jam in the Saturday Market in the summer that she calls "Stir Crazy" on Salt Spring wasn't kidding! Just wait til winter she said to me when I commented on the great name. And, she said it in a way that meant she wasn't kidding. I get it. I hear ya' sister!

Saturday was so bleak that I began to think that those of us who are single and live alone here in winter should get some sort of tax break on weekends like this. I mean, we can't even have sex to pass the time. No, instead we have to while away the hours renting videos, turning our photos into cards, KNITTING, eating pizza, drinking wine, and trying to recall past "good" sex and then trying to forget because it has been so long and anyway it's time to make a fire, again. I doubt that men find women chopping wood to be sexy!

Today, I awoke with renewed enthusiasm and all the projects I want to do this year racing around in my mind. Since it wasn't raining hard, I headed out to Duck Creek Park and spent two hours with the thing on the planet that I'm beginning to have my closest relationship with: My camera. (This is only partly true!:-)

Except for 3 people and 2 dogs, I didn't see anyone or talk to anyone in the park. I spent most of my time concentrated in one beautiful spot because I think it's a good exercise to just spend time in one natural place to see what you can see over time that you would never have noticed had you just walked through.

It was not the spot above which by the way is a good example of a piece of advice I got from David at the Ghost Ranch. If you're feeling frustrated he said and can't see anything you want to photograph, then just stop and look behind you. Amazingly enough I've found that it almost always works. It's as if God with a big smirk on his face is holding up a sign that says "Over here idiot. I'm right behind you where all the beauty is."

Where I was this morning past the tall evergreens there's another world on the other side. It's like a secret. If you walk down the middle of the park you wouldn't even know it was there. Trails in the trees lead down there and it's so vibrant with forest that when you first come upon it you hope beyond hope to find gnomes or forest fairies in beautiful gauzy crinolines and satin ballet shoes or better yet the secret World of Og.

It's so quiet except for the wooshing sound of green water slipping over the grey rocks in the creek. There are bright green mossy branches jutting this way and that, floating in mid-air like hairy muppet arms. Mushrooms cover a single log like a bouquet of thick, rubbery flower petals. The flat wood of logs has taken on a grey/blue sheen from all the water that has pooled in the surfaces. If you look closely you will see the white berries, hanging in clumps, tiny beads of water decorating the strands from a spider web. A yellow mushroom is pushing up against a maple leaf that's acting as a tent. Look. Look closer. Stand still. Listen.

And then amidst this wondrous woody and wet natural environment there's a bright man-made bench. Someone has left a photo of an elderly couple on it. Their last name was Marshall. The photo is in a red metallic frame that has hearts on it. Apparently the Marshalls liked to walk in the park says the plaque on the bench.

When I look at their photo it makes me feel happy for some reason. It makes me happy to think about how they would be happy watching me look at them. I wonder if they were happy with each other? It's really nice to think of them walking when they were alive and now all of us who walk this way too get to see them as they were in their earthly bodies.

This morning I got to imagine that they were sitting there watching me somewhat curiously, somewhat mystified about what would keep this middle aged woman, alone, here for such a long time. They were there in spirit. I could feel them.

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