The Glorious Birds of the Boardwalk

Growing up in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona, I didn’t know a thing about the visual delight of the Bird of Paradise flower and plant. I’m not sure I even saw one until well after graduating from high school in 1970. My home was not exactly a cultural, nor botanical Mecca.

Several years later and influenced by my more worldly college friends, I started to frequent a popular sandwich shop, specializing in beers and wines from around the world. They also had a floral shop in one corner. Here I discovered not only…

Inspirational Quotes from Four Photographers

This glowing specimen of raw Selenite crystal brings to mind the guardian, the earth keeper, and the way-shower. The elemental knowing of the shaman. The one who not only shows, but also guides the way.

When thinking of ones that both show and guide the way, I often reflect on photographers and the quotes they have left along their own way. It is here I can find both inspiration and often a way forward. The refractions in the crystal above reflect both my belief, and my knowing.

Here are four quotes that touch on the…

Building New Images on Old Prints

Stacking Stones, like a mantra, like fingering beads on a Tibetan mala. It is a way of passing time, turning over pieces, and yes, so often the same pieces, one more time.

It is easy to point to similar practices. The many Tibetans who do not let a day go by, without spinning a prayer wheel at every opportunity offered.

And the apprentice potter in Japan, instructed by his master, to produce one hundred tea cups. The master inspects the freshly thrown cups and quietly slides them into the clay barrel. …

Momento Mori

The pods dropped their seeds weeks ago, with the ancient knowing of exactly when to do so. This elaborate womb like structure, created and formed for the express purpose of growing and nourishing the seed within. Each split open and drying pod knowing that its demise will blow in on the dry winds of winter. The burst open casings bearing witness that dust will soon become them. Their high desert destiny whispers softly, soon it will be time to return home.

Connecting Past and Present

Oh, I just love this sweet, intimate image. So many memories flow from the three separate pictures, layered to create one. The background print is from the mid ‘80’s. The Tibetan bracelet is older still.

The background is a gelatin silver print, a still life of arranged metal forms. Pieces collected from the salvage yard, with dreams of becoming a part of something larger. Whatever that might be. These forms recall many wonderful visits to the scrap yards of my youth.

The Polaroid print is of another still life. A piece of marbled paper creates a…

Winter in the High Desert

Chamisa is common in the high desert of New Mexico. The lower brush is a grayish tone growing fairly close to the ground. If it receives a small amount of rain there will be a profusion of small, bright yellow blossoms come Autumn.

This species is commonly known as Rubber Rabbitbrush or Gray Rabbitbrush. Oddly this shrub is a member of the sunflower family, blooming in late Summer into Fall.

Chamisa is an important source of food for game animals, and rabbits. …

Looking at the Ground, in the High Desert

A winterized anthill in the high desert. The small, scurrying insects have gone underground for the season. Do ants hibernate? And I wonder?

According to my 1987 vintage of Webster’s . . . Ants show highly developed social organization and complex behavioral patterns. All have well developed sense organs. That last sentence seems to add some credence to the notion of some form of hibernation.

In the Sonoran Desert where I grew up, the ants were active all year round. Maybe they slowed up a bit in the cooler temperatures of winter…

A Smile at the Heart of Things

As I went out walking . . . these words are so often the path to wondrous discoveries. This day was no different, as I wandered about this two and a half acre patch of earth I call home.

The remains of a knee high weed, so full of life and green wonder just months ago. Its skeletal structure stripped to the barest of elements. Resting atop the low-lying and dried underbrush, the tendrils of both species intertwining for protection, from the ghastly wind that seems to blow constantly this time of year.

. . . And Memories.

Standing outside this morning, looking out over the high desert, south of Santa Fe, the awareness of just how much my life had changed while I was away, settled to a deeper level.

My current tasks at hand included taking care of some loose ends. One of these was moving the last remnants of my old life, into longer term storage. Thinking about these remaining pieces, I could easily picture the dozen boxes and their contents.

And I played with this idea. What if I never saw or touched any of those things again?

Cowboy Buddha Saturdays were all we had.

Six year old mornings were easy
eyes wide at
the first wink of dawn.

I would sneak from bed
not waking a smaller brother
the breeze bouncing
blackbird harmonies
against the window.

My first dance on Saturday was tip-toed
scuffed cowboy boots in hand
to the television
that held the place of Buddha
in our living room.

Sitting Indian cross-legged style
on ancient carpet
I silently unfolded newspaper before me
to catch flecks of wax flung
from the worn and darkened toothbrush
as the picture machine warmed
to a glow from its sleep…

GE McKerrihan

Wandering in the Mystery, of Life’s Second Half. A grateful traveler.

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