Taking a Mental Shower

A friend from a past life contacted me a few days ago. Catching up with old friends means honestly assessing yourself to report your standing in life. It forces us to confront head-on how the choices we make cast us in circumstances we never dreamed of.  I spend so much time agonizing over work, politics, world news, and Very Bad People that I often fail to see the beauty in the world. It didn’t take me long to realize that my self-appraisal revealed much more umbrage than peace, more plague than pleasure, more condemnation than concord.

As Darwin said: it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. So I looked for beauty, but no week would be complete without the sliding scale of angst. And where I land on that scale depends only on me.

We’re having some beautiful dark rainy days. This powerful sculpture was done by a local artist I have met and was impressed by. I don’t know if this metal female warrior is from mythology or the artist’s mind—but it’s absolutely stunning and even more so in the rain.

This is another part of the metal sculpture above. These figures perch high on a wall around a mountainside home. Spectacular.

These beautiful angel figures were made by Ben Dale who made the warrior figures above. The owner of this house commissioned this after 9/11. Note she flies the American flag, something we see little of here. It was raining when I took this picture.

Strange modified bus parked on Erie Street. I don’t know who owns it or what it’s for, but it’s pretty cool. I don’t know how they drive a bus so low to the ground though.

This hipster art is impressive only because it exists publicly. I don’t know what statement, if any, it’s trying to make.

I guess every town has to have its little Occupy movement. 

The beautiful Mule Mountains in the rain. So far nobody’s burned them down, though there have been a few attempts.

Some musicians playing in St. Elmo’s Bar parking lot a few days ago.

Desolation Row, what I think of every time I pass Coronado Nat’l Park, 30,000 acres burned over the summer. Roads are still closed up there from monsoon mudslide destruction.

I clean a house at the bottom of Carr Canyon, where the firefighters worked to save homes of people who live there. This customer has extensive bird feeders in her yard, and many animals come. This gorgeous little doe comes every day.

Goldfinches on feeder at house on Carr Canyon Road.

Saving the best for last—here’s Maxi, all ready to go for a ride. She truly is too cool for school.

30 responses to “Taking a Mental Shower

  1. Now you have me thinking. ‘The sliding scale of angst’, am not sure where one lands on that scale depends entirely on oneself. Events, situations happen that there is no control over. Finding the strength, the will to push it back and exist seems to be the job of living -finding a way and means towards balance. Adaption seems our only way to step out of mindsets and look for ways to be mindful. Still hard to do.

    The rain in the desert must work wonders on one’s spirit. I truly like the images. Maxi looks like a cool cat (ooops) meant kat. Waiting for something to happen.

    • Hi Hudson, if you listen to the new-agers they’ll tell you it’s all you. That it’s your attitude and actions that make a life. But yes, so much happens that we have no control over. I guess in that case it’s our reactions that count. I don’t have any answers. I like to think I’m adaptable because well, I’m here, right? But I’ll continue to bitch and moan!

      Rain in the desert is joy no matter what season. Soak it up, dear earth.

  2. Howdy Darlin –

    Great photos of your world! You’ve captured the essence of a small town. I believe your time would be much better spent looking at life through the lens of your camera instead of agonizing over work, politics, world news, and the not so nice people of the world.
    Life is going to be what it’s going to be, how we interact with that is indicative of who we become as a person.

    Nice post, I enjoyed looking at the photos and vicariously living in your little piece of the world…

    • Hi Cowboy, thanks. It’s that fine line between impassioned enough to care and try to do something and burning out and having meltdowns that’s so hard. I’ve been in meltdown-stage so long it’s all I know but I’m trying to recover! Thanks for comment.

  3. Loved this article. Take a mental shower. The animals and nature are pure. It is humankind that is defiled.

  4. Only one thing to say about your local “occupy” encampment; pathetic!

    • Hi Expat, ha ha! It reminds me of some rebellious children saying “if you don’t do what we want, we’ll hold our breath till we’re blue, then we’ll run away and live in a playground!” (Their “encampment” is in the town dog park!)

      • That’s fairly arrogant; depriving dogs of thier place to get some exercise and take care of “business”. Don’t think I’d want to pitch a tent in such a place. Wonder what would happen if this bunch decided to “occupy” say Red Square?

        • Well it’s just a small lot, with another little lot not shown, so they’re probably not in the way because these few tents were all I saw. Don’t know if there were more at the beginning, I’ll have to find out. More arrogant is Kay’s comment about them stopping traffic, etc. in her city. In fact, just about everything I read about them reveals nothing but disruption, filth, hypocrisy, and nonproductivity. No beauty here.

  5. Whew! Great post. I’ve been hoping you would stop rolling around on the porcupine long enough to see the good and beauty among all the crap and horror. The good stuff’s out there, and your photos display that in a wondrous way. Let’s hope 2012 will be better for all of us. Enjoy that “shower.”

    • Ann, you’re so funny. I always like it when you give me a good verbal slap, but I know you like the rants too! You’re living proof that we have the power to turn our lives around at any age. Thank you.

  6. You demonstrate here what many people feel these days. During tough times it is natural to focus on the not so positive. The irony is that this way of thought focus prevents us from experiencing the positive and moving forward with our lives. It takes considerable effort but is worth it. These are wonderful photos. I too love these sculptures, only wish I could see them live! Thanks for the very good post!

    • Hi Wild Bill, thank you. I know that the offenses against our planet affect you deeply yet you find beauty every single day, and that’s an inspiration. All times are tough times, but the effort to move forward is worth it. We won’t be any good to anyone if we’re wearing a strait jacket.

  7. I was barricaded into work one evening by a block-long Occupy parade consuming all four lanes on a downtown street during rush hour. I was on foot, but still didn’t want to cross through the mob. Several police cars followed them, then a traffic jam as far as the eye could see.

    They were wearing masks, carrying tents, chanting. And I thought, how ridiculous. All these people, all these minds, and what are they doing? They’re doing nothing but keeping hard working people who just want to go home and pick up their kids from daycare stuck in their cars. Why not do something that’s really going to change something? Because it’s boring work. It’s exciting to dress up in a mask and parade around and camp out in tents. It’s not exciting to go door to door, write letters, make phone calls.

    I couldn’t sympathize with their cause after that.

    I love that doe. She is a living breathing work of art. She makes the human artwork look like child’s play. 🙂

    • Brats. I can think of about a hundred organizations they could volunteer to help make the US a better place. You’re right, that’s boring. And it’s WORK! Imagine having that kind of time on your hands.

      Can you believe the glamorous eyelashes on that doe? What a beauty. She comes to snuffle up birdseed that falls to the ground—how they survive at all is amazing.

  8. I always look forward to reading a new post from you….You have an insight to things that I lack….
    Also enjoy your pictures…..
    And very timely to the reference of old friends….Yesterday sat and talked with an old friend who I had not seen in 46 years….
    Old memories flashed back as if it was yesterday……

    • Hi Alan, thank you. Isn’t it amazing how the exact words of conversations held so many years ago are stored on our hard drives.

      I looked up your YouTube videos and love your pet praying mantis. That was amazing.

  9. Forgot to add….The bus has air bags….when it sets the air leaks down, but after running awhile the bags refill with air and he is on his way….

  10. Thanks for the mantis comment…….he has since passed……………………..It’s for the ride…..you’ve heard of “air ride” for sure……….

  11. Yes, those words do make me think, especially so close to Christmas. I’ve been so wrapped up in UK government f***kups and such, that I forgot about what should really be important. If I didn’t get a wake up call like your beautiful photos, I just might plough through Xmas, New Year and not stop ruminating until the smoke cleared. However, I digress. Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all in the USA!

  12. Taken as a whole, your group of photos is a perfect metaphor for life: the beauty of the statues, the puzzlement of the bus, the ubiquity of the creative impulse, the aggravation of the occupiers, the pure fun of Maxi, the comfort of the goldfinch and doe.

    Every day, our senses are assaulted with it all – which we choose to focus on, and why, expresses who we are as individuals. And if we shift our focus a bit? Perhaps we can shape our lives.

    • Hi Shoreacres, thank you. It’s not easy to shift focus, is it, especially when you’re a natural-born cynic. BTW, I liked your recent comment at Wild Bill’s and left a note. You’re very wise.

  13. as usual with your blog , Ihave more today, tthan my fingers want To type.Ihave been atnti- APle fo years, but ended with this ipad!when I read yor rant with the first doe pic , I thot it was meant for Hillary..Themystery pi is wheel and tire from a modelT,before pneumatic tires.Sarcasm=passive-aggressive? When the most dangerous species becomes extinct, Earth will return.

  14. Do you know the name of the artist of the female warrior sculpture? Beautiful photos.

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