Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

visual surprises

I have been neglecting this blog. The truth be known, I started a Flickr account a few months ago and I like the instant visual stimulation and the flow of comments that I give and receive. If you want to see my Flickr photos, they are here. I will warn you though that often pictures make it onto my Flickr account much faster than on this blog. But, I still want to keep this blog up because it gives me a chance to write and reflect which I can’t really do on Flickr.

E and I went to to Lopez Island on the Washington coast this past weekend. It was so nice to get away and I just love the rugged coast. No smooth sandy beaches here! I took lots of photos and made rolos out of a bag of scraps that I brought with me. I’ll share the rolos in a future post. Today, I want to share some of the images that caught my eye:


There was something so eerie about this oil refinery and ship delivering oil in the fog.

One of the things I love about beaches here is that you often see driftwood shelters like this one along the beach perhaps to provide temporary respite from the wind.

You also sometimes see what I call “Detritus Castles” as opposed to “Sand Castles.” I love running across these pieces of ephemeral human creativity on the beach. They are special little surprises.

This small arrangement left on a piece of driftwood is in a category all of its own.

May we all be open to visual surprises…

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After awhile it comes down to a question
of life choices not a choice between you/or her
this sea town/or that bruising city
but about putting one foot in front of the other
and ending up somewhere
that looks like home.
-Cherrie Moraga

This is one of my favorite quotes. It helps me understand why, after all of my wandering, I’ve finally begun creating some roots.

Why do I live in such a cold climate? Obviously, I feel much more connected to extremely warm ones. A trip to Vashon Island and kayaking around seals was part of the decision; amongst others, including the knowledge that a friend that I care deeply for only lives five hours away, not to mention the fact that I have finally found a place where people wear the same shoes as me.

I found my balance. I live in the progressive state of Washington, in a small poor district that votes for Democrats, in a part of the state that predominately votes Republican. After my time in places like Texas, go figure!

Enough with politics. This is the real reason. Who could not bow down to the omnipresence of such sights as this?

I never saw such peaks until my late thirties. The ones in these photos are not even that impressive. I don’t have any high quality hiking gear and cannot withstand long hikes. And so, these are not REI catalog quality photos. And yet, look. This is what is within a drive if not closer. For me, who has grown up around sunshine, beaches, heat, and large expanses of water, I am impressed.

May nature always guide us,


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I’m a bit behind in returning mail. Big surprise. Life often supersedes postcard making. Well, postcard sending at least. I still make as often as I can. It centers me after a day of crisis calls at work.

Right now, I am taking an online class with Jane Davies on text and image in collage. It’s been fun to have the structure of the exercises to follow and to get me out of my comfort zone. I’ve also been trying to play with paint more; as paint is something that I have never been comfortable with.

Here are some of my experiments:

Obviously, I’m still thinking about my trip back to New Orleans that I referenced in the harmony and inspiration from one of my favorite cities in the world posts. I really love that place.

Here are some that I made before the class began, but that I really love. I just sent them off to two of my cousins. I hope they like them!

And in case you are wondering, those hanging things are banana blossoms. They bring back so many memories from New Orleans, Guatemala, South Texas,… I used to make paper out of banana tree bark. Ah nostalgia, now that I am in the cold yet geologically and ecologically awe inspiring Inland and Pacific Northwest!



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Here are a few inspired by my short trip to New Orleans:



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a big rock

My father is visiting from the East Coast of the U.S. On Saturday, we visited Steamboat Rock in Central Washington. Isn’t it amazing? I’ve been wanting to see it for long while now.

I’ve been making as usual. I sent a bunch out today. I’ll post some eventually.

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I love my partner. Our last day in British Columbia, the day we were heading back, she took the long way home and did all of the driving all so that I could ride the ferry across Kootenay Lake.

The last time I crossed this lake by ferry was a few years ago after I had been to a local ashram. I gave someone a ride and I remember her doing sun salutations on the ferry. Then when we arrived in Balfour, we stopped by the jewelry stand of a man from Quebec and we were all able to communicate in French. Not something I could even hope to experience just a few miles south.

This is why I love going north to Canada. It gives my world a needed dusting off shake.

I made a few postcards while traveling. I haven’t sent any out yet. I am not even sure who to send them to. Fun. I generally don’t do landscapes; but British Columbia and my out of the U.S. at least temporarily experience were enough to inspire me.

I am in awe of the views and perspectives of my mountain views as well as the depths both physical and otherwise.

I love you dear dear world.

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I have so many images that I want to share from our trip.

On the second day, we decided to visit Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. Our 16 km drive up a dirt road began with this sign.

After making it up, we were greeted with this porcupine warning.

Thankfully, there was a good supply of chicken wire, rocks, and sticks.

It was all worth it when we saw the views.

I’ve been making a few postcards that are inspired by these views. I should get to posting soon…

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