Friday, May 30, 2014

blossom path

Oh beauty before me,
Beauty behind me,
Beauty to the right of me,
Beauty to the left of me,
Beauty above me
Beauty below me,
I am on the pollen path.

This is a Navajo saying, that I first came across in Joseph Campbell's writings years ago. 

It's not easy staying on the pollen path, the blossom path. Sounds easy, though, doesn't it? Perhaps in the spring it's a plausible endeavour. 

Joseph Campbell also wrote about the balance between / the difference between making a living and making your art. "Your art is what I would call your work. Your employment is your job." He talks about a point when you're doing well at your job, and you're asked to move into a higher position. "My advice," he says, "don't accept the promotion. "

This is something I've pretty much always taken to heart.

At My Desk

by Linda Pastan

      To William Stafford

How many times
I have sat this way
with the poem's intractable silence
between me and the world,
with the tree outside the window
refusing translation:
my leaves are more than syllables
it seems to say.

I think of you
miles west
floating on the tide of language
so easily, giving only
a scissor kick now and then,
coming to shore
some unexpected
but hospitable place.

Still we share between us
a certain stubbornness,
rising each morning
to the blank page,
climbing the ladder of light
at the window all day,
listening, both of us,
as hard as we can.


The thing is - beauty is awfully difficult to translate, to get down on the page. The trees refuse translation and the blossoms, too. I love the Pastan poem, because she gets at both the loneliness and the difficulty of writing, but also the potential community. We are alone together, many of us. What would we do without our writer friends?

From yesterday's walk:

Still smiling, in spite of a light, misty drizzle:

I'm grateful to those who plant trees near the fence so that the branches drape gracefully over.

The same shot, give or take, with a little Ace-bokeh. (Ace-keh).

And lastly, circling back to home, the Korean lilacs in my backyard:


  1. Such hope in these images and what beautiful bokeh (Ace-keh)! Everything looks so lovely in that misty drizzle. Nothing is lost in translation here, you do a wonderful job...both words and photos.

  2. you know me . . .
    ANY post with ace. well.
    and when he's laughing. my heart smiles.
    joseph campbell is right. but then he is wrong too.
    perhaps in a perfect world where you have two incomes. albeit small . . . and you have each other to offer mutual support . . . i'd say his words are wise.
    but. if i had not taken the promotions as they came . . . losing bob so early. being a young widow that started back into the workforce at minimum wage . . . i could not be living now. they averaged my last three highest salaries to set my retirement pension.
    that and what bob paid into social security are what i live on now.
    what i live very frugally on now! LOL.
    the pictures in the mist . . .
    and that is worth far more than plebian discussions of money!
    so sorry! xoxo

    1. I hear you - it always comes back to money, the creative life, sadly. We need to be able to live. So so true.

  3. glorious quiet photos..thank you ..


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