Monday, July 17, 2006

From Wide Angle to Close Up

On this fine early sunny morning when the temperatures are already hovering in the mid-nineties, I offer you this cool green thistle with its magenta bud. The projected temperature for this day is 109 humid degrees, and we are already well on our way to it. Living in a sub-arctic climate zone has pronounced ups and downs.

What's with this blog's affinity for close ups and small things, with the careful attention lavished on thistles, birds, butterflies, bees, flower heads, leaves and stones? From day to day, I'm aware of it in a tangential or peripheral way, but I seldom think about assigning provenance to the focus or hanging a name on it.

Perhaps the origin is simply this. I've spent most of this life dwelling in the realms of the corporate and the scientific, but without ever having the time to give them much real thought or to consider the elemental wonders of the world around us, of the Old Wild Mother's own splendid natural creations. Life has been a flurry of activity — reams of paper concerning litigation, patent specifications and other legal matters of one sort of another, plus all the other "stuff" like meals, dishes, lawn mowing, dusting and taxes. The details vary somewhat from person to person, but that is true for most of us. There was never enough time to stop and listen to the humming of the bees in the western field, to look closely at flowers, read the life stories of the trees that are written in their leaves or understand the myriad patterns and portents woven into the sky at sunrise or sunset.

In one sense, these blog entries contain the essence of matters mundane, prosaic and commonplace (not to mention as boring as anything can ever be). In another sense, the little tableaux, wanderings and written wonderings here are random scraps of thought which hold the true essence of things, and they probably contain most (but not all) of what is important. Yes, I am passionate about great waters, trees, mountains and tundra, and I write about them all here, but the state of small is also great — it is elegant, thoughtful, and alight with essential indwelling grace and generosity which know no bounds.

In Lanark a few days ago, I had one of those small random knowings which surface suddenly from time to time, and I realized that I had been pining for small for years. When such epiphanies show up in a balloon, I wonder if I will ever learn, if I will ever manage to get it all together — I suppose that in Ursula Kroeber LeGuin's lovely words, "I am a slow unlearner, but I love my unteachers." All one can do in the circumstances methinks, is laugh and carry on. Emaho. . .


Kim Antieau said...

Lovely, just lovely. Take care of yourself in this heat.

Pam in Tucson said...

I, too, love details. Often I look at photos taken quickly, even carelessly, under pressure of time and find precious jewels in them. I marvel at this.