Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ripple effect

What she remembers is the scent of roses and the ripples of petals swaying gently in the wind as they lay in the grass, watching to see what new shapes the clouds would create.

And soon, they forgot about the clouds, and all else around them.

And later she told him his hair smelled like grass, and he laughed and gave her a single pink rose and a kiss, promised he’d be back soon…

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Another way to look at things,
the form beneath the shape
the skeleton beneath the skin
the shadow cast across the path

Another way to learn,
to hear, to speak, to choose
a blade, a strand of wire,
words, a pen, a vision,
an opportunity

another way


We happened to see this mother and her babies at the MK Nature Center, which provides habitat for wild ducks, geese, birds, fish, and other creatures. MK engineers created a set of waterfalls, a beaver dam, and pond/wetlands park on a piece of property in the city. Idaho Fish and Game put in nesting platforms, bat houses, brush piles, and other items to give animals needed habitat. We watched the mallard hen lead the ducklings around the pond, showing them how to forage for food, then take them back to a nesting platform so they could sit, dry out and rest.

MK, or Morrison-Knudson, later became Washington Group International, which now has been bought out by URS Corp. The nature center was built back when MK and its founders were more of a local presence.

Whether it’s for animals, people, or both, it shows integrity when a corporation gives a gift like this to its hometown.

> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >

Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath
--Michael Caine

Monday, May 28, 2007

In honor and memory...

In honor of my grandfather, who fought in World War I,
but later advocated for peace.

In remembrance of all who have died because of war.

Photo by C. Gabel

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cacti and contrasts

The flowers on this cactus have delicate tissue-like petals; intriguing contrast against their prickly stems. Similar to other opposites: bittersweet, sweet sour, icy-hot, baked Alaska, tears and laughter, the good with the bad. Kind of a metaphor for life…

Cacti grow well here, even with freezing temps in the winter. Because, even with the trees, green lawns, and parks, this is still a desert. One look at the foothills, and you see sage and scrub and brown.

Several years ago C and I saw a haunting exhibit of photos taken in a small deserted town in the Namibian desert. In the 1920s, German men involved in diamond mining built fine houses and moved their families there. Now, the houses still stand, but are filled with sand drifts. Blowing sand blasted the paint, wore away the stenciled flowers and designs on the walls, "sandwashed" the furniture, bore holes into the verigated steel that was hammered over the doors and windows—to keep the sand and weather out. Bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, hallways filled with waves of sand.

Fortunately, the desert here is not nearly so harsh, and we don’t have blowing sand, although in summer, we often have dry thunderstorms, and the wind blows gray with dust. Yet, a river also runs through town, a river that hosts cottonwoods and willows, places for ducks and geese to nest, and a cool, wet reprieve for people who tube it during summer months.

A desert with a river running through it. But still, a desert.

% % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % %

You should not see the desert simply as some faraway place of little rain. There are many forms of thirst.
-- William Langewiesche

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Friday, May 25, 2007

Daisy Indigo

At least I think this is some type of daisy. The indigo center intrigues me.

Daisies are hardy flowers, enjoy full sunlight, grow naturally in open fields. Simple and direct.
Used as a predictor of true love: "He loves me; he loves me not…"
as you pluck the petals for each phrase.

According to Wikipedia, the name "daisy" may have come from "day’s eye," because the flowers opened in the morning sun; it was called "eye of the day" in Chaucer’s writings.

A goal: To start each morning with an "eye of the day" for opportunity, learning, love--and have many nights of stars.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Those fields of daisies we landed on, and dusty fields and desert stretches. Memories of many skies and earths beneath us - many days, many nights of stars.
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Thursday, May 24, 2007


A march of stripes, a quilt, slants, glowing slats, optical illusion, a two-step with sun and shadow, porch of a neighborhood zebra.

What you can discover by breaking a daily pattern…

= + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + =

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.
--Edward de Bono

Life forms illogical patterns. It is haphazard and full of beauties which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return?
--Margot Fonteyn

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Shadow with Cat

A day off. Perfect morning for capturing photos; forms, shapes, colors that catch my eye.
Later, sit on the deck of the local coffee shop with C, sipping good coffee, pretending we are at a side street café in Paris.

Absolutely wonderful not to be at work today! I buy a Powerball ticket, hoping for positive synchronicity with the Lottery Gods.

And a cat inserted himself in my shadows today, joining me as I photo’d roses. A gray cat, a friendly whisper of good luck, who rolled on the sidewalk, purring. Who followed me for a short distance, intrigued with my antics, until a butterfly caught his attention and it was time to head back home…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

To understand a cat, you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality.
~ Lillian Jackson Braun

Dendrites and fishing nets

These are my dendrites after too much work and too little wine.

But I now have several days off, so hopefully my brain will recover...

Enjoyed seeing photos of a co-worker’s trip to Spain. She is Basque, her parents were born in Lekeitio, and she and her family visited the village and their extended family. Lekeitio is a coastal town on the Bay of Biscay. She told me that when she visited over 30 years ago, she saw women of the town sitting near the docks, repairing fishing nets. Today, they no longer do that, but there is a large mural in the town that recalls that time.

Perhaps instead of dendrites, I can see my photo as a kind of fishing net, bringing in the day’s catch. Some to keep, some to throw back. Some to be repaired. But hopefully, much of value.

Monday, May 21, 2007

After the rain

Rainy and cool today, reminds me of days on the Oregon coast. And a cedar deck, filled with flowers, just after the rain. Flowers that need extra moisture, the morning dew, mist and fog to grow, to thrive.

Last night I dreamed of receiving a card from a woman. Upon opening the card, multi-colored, magical confetti sprang out, floated in the air like tiny kites. "It’s a special gift," she told me.

And today, the colors of newly blooming roses glowed in the rain.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Life is like a rainbow. You need both the sun and the rain to make its colors appear.
~ Unknown

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
~ Langston Hughes

Sunday, May 20, 2007

From a cat's eye...

In a dream of trees
and the view from above
she watches us
jog past
on our way
to another

She stretches, purrs,
soon curled, asleep
a cat’s grin

for some, it’s always
the weekend

Stars and Roses

Spent last night reading the story of Le Petit Prince and his love for his rose. And on my shelf is the Smithsonian book of stars. It tells of star colors, distances, clusters, types, names, numbers, planets, meteors, and has maps of the sky as we know it.

And I recall nights in summer of gazing up at the star-freckled sky, watching the color shifts of Mars and other planets, listening to the night chorus of frogs, crickets. Imagining star sounds—the resonance of light refractions, light waves traveling at such high speeds that it creates music of its own.

Music like bells of laughter or the trembling of tears. Symphony to a rose.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Old songs about roses:

* Bring Me A Rose, 1918
* For You A Rose, 1917
* The Rose That Made Me Happy Is The Rose That Made Me Sad, 1913
* When You Look In The Heart Of A Rose, 1918
* In The Heart Of A Rose, 1912
* Blue Rose, 1917
* Roses Bring Memories Of You, 1919
* Roses Bring Dreams Of You, 1907
* My Little Rose of Romany, 1919
* Woodland Rose, 1918
* Sunshine and Roses, 1913
* When The Twilight Comes To Kiss The Rose "Good-Night", 1918

A rose is a rose is a rose.
~ Gertrude Stein

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Iris II

Another view of iris…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I said to myself -- I'll paint what I see -- what the flower is to me but I'll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it -- I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.

To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.

--Georgia O’Keeffe

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Irises are blooming; many colors and varieties.

According to Wikipedia, the name, iris, is from the Greek word for rainbow. When certain types of irises are dried, steamed, and distilled, the process creates a fragrant substance used to create perfume called iris butter.

Iris butter; such a delicious sound.

Vincent Van Gogh painted irises, as did Georgia O’Keeffe. Van Gogh studied them from afar; O’Keeffe, up close, probing them through her paintings.

And here is another view…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.
~Claude Monet

Perfumes are the feelings of flowers.
~Heinrich Heine

How can one help shivering with delight when one's hot fingers close around the stem of a live flower, cool from the shade and stiff with newborn vigor!

Monday, May 14, 2007


The subtle color variations of this tree fascinate me. And shadows flitting across it enhance the colors.
Don’t know what kind of tree this is; it’s alongside the yard of a nice house that belongs to a 30-something Republican bicyclist. During the last presidential election, he kept putting up a Bush-Cheney yard sign, and it was either stolen or desecrated each time. So he finally gave up and put a small sign in the window, safely inside his house. Lest you think Idaho is teeming with rabid Democrats, the part of town where we live is the only place where the Democrats (a rare breed here) seem to have a den.

The tree is large, sturdy, substantial. Reassuring in its solidity; something I needed today. Last night, dreamed I’d moved to a different house and was arranging the furniture, decorating the walls. Went outside, and when I looked back at it, was shocked to discover that it was not sitting on a foundation. It had been "uprooted." The whole structure was balanced on one large iron beam—and corners of the house were beginning to sag.

C gave a well-attended talk tonight about Ernest Hemingway and the beginnings of Jazz. The audience really got into the music he played (12th Street Rag, Castle House Rag, Singin’ the Blues, Doctor Jazz Stomp). Many there had danced to this kind of music when they were young. And the evening swelled into variations of history, rhythm, music, joy. Subtle colors of memories. Perhaps I’ll sleep better tonight.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

It is difficult to realize how great a part of all that is cheerful and delightful in the recollections of our own life is associated with trees.
~Wilson Flagg

A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible.
~Welsh Proverb

We can learn a lot from trees: they're always grounded but never stop reaching heavenward.
~Everett Mámor

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Many paths

Turned in my entries for the art exhibition. Here’s to luck and good fortune…

Spent the day purging, tossing, clearing, ripping up old documents. Time for cleaning things out. Also purged old clothes from the closet. On the stereo: French café music, swirl of accordion, musette pipes, guitar, violin.
There they are, crowded in the small space amid cigarette smoke, sweat, perfume, wine, beer. They dance, they fight, they kiss, they love—oh, how they love…

Reading a novel about a young woman who makes a spontaneous first-time trip to Paris after she’s resigned her hateful job and left her moron boss. She meets a handsome guy at a dance club who takes her on a nighttime tour of Paris on his motorbike. While they look out over the grand city from the grounds of the Sacre Coeur, the eastern horizon glows with sunrise. I sit and read this and glance every so often at the Ernst Haas print of the view of Paris from Notre Dame.

C returns from teaching a day-long seminar; we discuss what has changed and how we’ve changed over the last few years. More talk of spirit and spirituality. And I’ve begun reading "Le Petit Prince" after many years, this time in French.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

There are many paths to enlightenment. Be sure to take one with a heart.
--Lao Tzu

So we follow our wandering paths, and the very darkness acts as our guide and our doubts serve to reassure us.
--Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lifted out into light

Some nights stay up till dawn,
as the moon sometimes does for the sun.
Be a full bucket pulled up the dark way
of a well, then lifted out into light.
~ Rumi

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Poetics of photography

A photo in honor of the poetic photography of Ernst Haas.

We received a new addition today, a print of a view of Paris from Notre Dame, taken during a cloudy sunset by Ernst Haas. He shot the original on January 1, 1954 and called it "Cloudy Paris."

Haas took photos of major cities around the world, did a book of images depicting the creation of the world, experimented in fascinating ways with color film. Some of his images include reflections in pools, streets, and store front windows; shadows; florals; street signs; "motion" shots; portraits of the famous; abstracts; and people from many cultures.

He thought of photographs as poems – and his photos "read" like poems. Follow this link to his website and you will find further links to galleries of his images:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In every artist there is poetry. In every human being there is the poetic element. We know, we feel, we believe…

The artist must express the summation of his feeling, knowing, and believing through the unity of his life and work. One cannot photograph art. One can only live it in the unity of his vision, as well as in the breadth of his humanity, vitality and understanding…

There is no formula – only man with his conscience speaking, writing, and singing in the new hieroglyphic language of light and time.

~ Ernst Haas

Monday, May 07, 2007

Seeking the lovely

Something lovely for today…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Faith sees a beautiful blossom in a bulb, a lovely garden in a seed, and a giant oak in an acorn.
~ William Arthur Ward

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sense of direction

Though our paths
are convoluted and we
hop from one latitude
to another
there comes a time
when out of shadows
an arrow points

which doesn’t mean backwards but
instead to that deep heartbeat
within ourselves
that familiar rhythm
that drumbeats us
into a new

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Bee-ing philosophical

On a Saturday in spring...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.
--James Russell Lowell

Three things must epigrams, like bees, have all - A sting and honey and a body small.
--Latin proverb

Birds do it, bees do it,
even educated fleas do it.
Let's do it,
let's fall in love.

--Cole Porter

Friday, May 04, 2007

A day in the zoo

Today was a day the animals roamed.
Odd phone calls, irascible people, strange situations, computer gremlins, mechanical difficulties; someone left the gate open of the zoo.

But maybe it isn’t fair to the animals to compare them with bizarre incidents. Maybe it’s a full moon instead. Or a new moon. Or an asteroid interfering with the earth’s magnetic field. Maybe it’s mood swings, lack of proper medication, human quirks, foibles.
Or just the animal in us coming out.


If we could talk to the animals, just imagine it
Chatting to a chimp in chimpanzee
Imagine talking to a tiger, chatting to a cheetah
What a neat achievement that would be

If we could talk to the animals, learn their languages
Maybe take an animal degree
We'd study elephant and eagle, buffalo and beagle
Alligator, guinea pig, and flea

We would converse in polar bear and python
And we could curse in fluent kangaroo
If people asked us, "Can you speak in rhinoceros?"
We'd say, "Of courserous, can't you?"

-- Leslie Bricusse

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Shadow play

A lyre, a ladder, a set of ribs, a boardwalk, a shelf, a slide, a ripple, a song

An arch, a visual trick, a painting, an ink drawing, a set of balustrades, a harp, a deck, a dock

The curve of a dancing woman’s hips, a footbridge swaying in the wind, the beginning of a story, a poem, a shrine

A shadow, a moment, a glimpse


your turn…

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The life of squirrels

Squirrels ripple as they run through a yard, up a tree. They can sit on a tiny branch at treetop, bouncing in the wind without falling. Did the idea for Donald Duck’s voice come from someone hearing an angry squirrel? They gallop across rooftops like small horses. Chase each other and tumble. Love to tease dogs in fenced back yards, throw nutshells onto people walking below. Quickly figure out how to get to the birdseed in a protected birdfeeder.

One of my co-workers once trained a squirrel to come into the back door, down the hallway, into our office, climb up a chair, onto a desk, over an arrangement of books, and then onto a stuffed pig, where it would be rewarded with peanuts. She named the squirrel Gladys. Unfortunately, one day Gladys didn’t look both ways before she crossed the street.

But even though they aren’t aware of the danger of cars, they have astounding memories. A research team at UC Berkley studied how squirrels keep track of their food stashes. They bury nuts singly, but in hundreds of different sites, to protect their food supply from others. Somehow they remember where it all is hidden.

Maybe I need to hire one as a personal assistant to sort through the stacks on my desk, help me remember what's there…