This is the first of more posts to come that contain content from my field notebooks.  These notebooks are just small moleskines in which I sketch, write my thoughts, my to-do lists, my fears, etc.  Some of it, I think, may be worth sharing.  I hope that by sharing notes from the field, I can integrate a little bit more of the field-mind into the city life and perhaps inspire in us both the quiet solidity of mind that comes from a simpler, harder life.

From Caribou Lake, North Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska – July 2010

It’s time to give things the attention that they deserve.

The marsh grasses root beneath the water, their tops rising from the small dimple that they leave on the pond’s polished surface.  The shadow of each cuts the reflected sky like a sharp, black brush stroke.  To look at the clouds resting on the pond’s surface is to see each blade connected to its shadow, a green sliver of life waving its dark partner at the sky.

Though the air is mostly still, subtle wafts move through the grass, stirring the blades and sending small bursts of ripples laughing across the silvery surface.  Farther out on the pond, the shadow of mountain blocks the sky from reflection, and the dark water is punctuated only by the glimmers  of where grass meets water.  The mountain, immovable on the horizon, is on the water tossed about and distorted, its edges chased like an elevator’s steps by the passing ripples.

The mountain’s solidity is the water’s jest, and the grass’s luminance in the sun is likewise mocked on the water’s surface.  Even the fullness of the sky is teased apart by the tiny water-strider, whose crooked path leads to nowhere, but centers somewhere.

From where I sit, I cannot see my own reflection, and beneath me is not water but mineral and soil.  Nevertheless, I know that like the grass and its shadow, so too is my form broadcast into the earth in a natural opposition.  Someday, perhaps as soon as tomorrow, life may lay me down to soil like grass to the water, light meeting dark in a final consolidation as my sleep eternity and by body takes another form.  Inspiration, I suppose.

Inevitability is both a curse and a certain sort of freedom.  Paths may lead away into the sky or the earth, to wherever they please, but always they return to the surface, meeting their reflection.  Ours is a path yet to be chosen.

It’s time to give things the attention that they deserve.

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