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Sifting

Lightning in a bottle.

It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.

~ George Harrison

There is the past, and there is the future. The present is never more than the single second dividing one from the other. We live poised on that second as it’s hurtling forward—toward what?

~ Laini Taylor, Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Cat TV.

I’ve been listening again.  To people, to birds, to the wind that comes from different directions and in various forms (a whisper, a puff, a gentle breeze, a cooling sea breeze, sometimes a gusting, blustering, howling and moaning stormy wind), to the trees, to the cats who live with us, to the sounds of the huge farm equipment somewhere nearby doing whatever it is they’re doing this time of year, to the stars and moon at night, to the flowers and weeds in the garden, to the cicadas and frogs, to my grandsons, to the sun and humidity of summer, to the rain on its rare visits, to the sounds of prepping and cooking food, to music, to sound bites and whole lectures, to the hum of appliances and the computer, to family who have come to visit, to airplanes flying overhead, to everything that comes within earshot.

Softness gone to ground.

I’ve been watching.  The summer flowers blossoming and going to seed, Women’s World Cup Soccer/Football, my grandsons swimming and playing and doing the things that little boys do, sunrises and sunsets, waves coming to shore, the landscape browning during periods of drought and greening after a good rain, the moon in the daytime sky, the moon in the nighttime sky, corn growing in the farm fields, people at the farmers market, the fruits and veggies of summer coming and going, litter on the roadsides and ditches and beaches, water coming in and going out with the tides, and everything that comes within sight.

Waiting on the beach.

I’ve been avoiding the national news, thereby avoiding getting caught up in the cycles of drama and disgust and hatred.  Father Richard Rohr, in an interview with Oprah (thank you to Carrie for suggesting the interview), said he stopped watching the news because it was like drinking poison.  I’m paraphrasing because I don’t remember his exact words, but you get the gist.  He’s right.  I limit myself to watching the local news so that I can keep informed of what’s happening around here.  Yesterday I learned (from the local news) that a man arrested for armed robbery had escaped from a detention center located not far from here.  He slipped away from a guard the night before.  With handcuffs on, he ran into the woods.  It’s probably pretty easy to escape and get lost in some of the woods around here.  Because we live close (within 10 miles) to a prison and detention center, we’re supposed to get notifications via phone when a prisoner escapes.  I suppose they didn’t think this was worth an alert.  The man got about eighteen hours of freedom from his run.  He was found yesterday afternoon, having made it to the Maryland/Delaware line (I’m not sure which side of the line since the town he was found in straddles it and exists in both states).  They found him in a car with a friend.  He still had his handcuffs on.  I imagine that made it easy to identify him.

Sand ripples.

There is, however, one news event I did watch.  Megan Rapinoe’s speech at the celebration of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team and their winning of the World Cup.  Did you watch it?  Or perhaps read what she said?  This! is what we need to hear more of, voices raised in love.  I think it might be the only way to drown out the hate.  In case you missed it, here’s part of it:

I think I’ll just end with this.  This is my charge to everyone. We have to be better. We have to love more, hate less. We got to listen more, and talk less. We got to know this is everybody’s responsibility, every single person here. Every single person who is not here. Every single person who doesn’t want to be here. Every single person who agrees and doesn’t agree. It is our responsibility to make this world a better place. I think this team does an incredible job of taking that on our shoulders and understanding the position that we have and the platform we have within this world.

Yes we play sports. Yes we play soccer. Yes we’re female athletes but we’re so much more than that. You’re so much more than that. You’re more than a fan. You’re more than someone who just supports sport. You’re more than someone who tunes in every four years. You’re someone who walks these streets every single day. You interact with your community every single day. How do you make your community better? How do you make the people around you better? Your family? Your closest friends? The 10 closest people to you? The 20 closest people to you? The most 100 closest people to you? It’s every single person’s responsibility.

There’s been so much contention in these last years. I’ve been a victim of that. I’ve been a perpetrator of that.

… But it’s time to come together. This conversation is at the next step. We have to collaborate. It’s takes everybody. This is my charge to everybody, ‘Do what you can. Do what you have to do. Step outside of yourself. Be more. Be better. Be bigger than you’ve ever been before. If this team is any representation of what you can be, when you do that please take this as an example. This group is incredible. We took so much on our shoulders to be here today, to celebrate with you today. And we did it with a smile. So do the same for us. Please, I ask you.

~ Megan Rapinoe

Doing beach-y things.

I’ve been doing summer things.  Swimming, walking, weeding, mowing, enjoying the foods of summer (melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet corn, zucchini, ice cream, and more).  Our grandsons came for a visit last week.  We had five days of joy and wonder and play and exhaustion.  Because running around with toddlers is very tiring!  The Little Wookie is in the Why stage of toddlerhood.  The Little Peanut is in the No stage.  Fun stuff.  Truly it is.  Little Wookie reminds me to be and remain curious.  Little Peanut reminds me to say yes.

A day at the beach.

I’ve been reading the words of others with no desire to write my own until now.  Even now, I’m not sure it’s desire.  Need, perhaps, for my own voice to be exercised and heard.  Or maybe I just wanted to share a little of summer with you.

Time to boogie.

I’ve been sifting through old photos, a thing that has to be done occasionally before I can upload the new photos because I’ve run out of space.  It was time to back things up, to sort and delete, to upload a few to my RedBubble shop where I don’t sell much, but I figure the few who buy might want to see something new occasionally.

You’re probably wondering where the color is in some of the photos.  I’ve been playing with black and white (and other effects) as I sift and sort.

Dancing on the beach.

We are into the sticky days of summer now.  This week we’ll enter our third heatwave of the season.  I think they define a heatwave as three or more days above 90 degrees (F).  It all kind of runs together for me and often feels like it’s been hot forever.  Heat and more heat.  Humidity and more humidity.  And then… a cool front moves through, the temperature drops into the low or mid 80’s, the air becomes drier, and I am once again amazed at how delightful the 80’s can feel.  It’s all relative, isn’t it?

On the water. (M took his boat out yesterday and I went out with him for a little while to explore the creek we live on. It’s the first time I’ve seen parts of the creek and marsh because you can only see them if you’re out on the water.)

That’s about it from me on this very warm, very humid Thursday.  Thank you so much for stopping by.  I hope you’re having a fine summer (or winter, for those in the Southern Hemisphere), that you’re spending time with family, friends, and community, and that you’re spreading your own message of love in whatever way you can.

Be good, be kind, be love.

Peaceful and beautiful.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,096)  The infinite combinations and possibilities of family, friends, and community.  1,097)  The expansion and evolution of the heart, and a way of listening through the heart rather than the mind.  1,098)  Voices lifted in love.  1,099)  The daily chores, and the good fortune of having daily chores and the ability to do them.  1,100)  People who inspire, uplift, and help us move towards something better.

Heading towards Tangier Sound.

Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

33 thoughts on “Sifting

  1. Thank you for the break. Enjoy doing summer things! I haven’t had much of a chance lately. We were supposed to go to “vino and vibes” but it’s thunder storming. . .again.
    Beautiful photos, as always. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, and thank you, Merril. 🙂 It’s been an interesting summer, especially the weather. A lot of the storms that come your way have missed us, but that pattern appears to be changing. We’ll start getting rain from tropical systems, too, fairly soon. Our weather guy seems to think we’ll get some rain from Barry. He’s frequently wrong this far out. We’ll just have to wait and see.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am often amazed/amused at how we mirror each other Robin. Thank you for once again putting out into the world your thoughts. I don’t know anything much about American sports, but that young woman sounds impressive. A good thing to share!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, and thank you, Pauline. 🙂 A little backstory for you: The American women won the FIFA World Cup this year and Megan Rapinoe (she of the purple hair, although sometimes it’s pink) is the co-captain of the U.S. team. When they returned home from the France (where the women’s World Cup was held), they were given a ticker-tape parade in New York City. Ms. Rapinoe made the speech I quoted there. During the World Cup, she sparred with the Idiot in the White House (whose name I refuse to use) when she stated in a video clip, “I’m not going to the f*cking White House.” She’s sparked plenty of controversy by kneeling during the national anthem (in solidarity with others protesting social injustice) and she calls herself “a walking protest when it comes to the T***p administration.” She is, indeed, impressive.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Frank. 🙂 I’ll be emailing you soon. I didn’t forget. We had a week of happy chaos and now I’m just enjoying a week of happy quiet. I’ve been keeping you in mind as I sort through the photos.

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  3. Glad you’re having a good summer. It’s my favorite time of year. And that cat picture at the top is fabulous as a B&W. Lovely detail and focus and the light–as with the picture of little Wookie–is amazingly caught.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Lisa. 🙂 I thought the picture of Bella (cat) made a good B&W, too. It was surprising because I liked the greens in the background of the color version. There’s more texture, I think, to the B&W version.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 🙏🏻 Robin, this wonderful post is full of sensory beauty. I felt and appreciated ALL of it! So glad you enjoyed the podcast with Richard Rohr and Oprah. I did watch the remarks by Megan Rapinoe and enjoyed every word. She’s right. Thank you for posting her remarks here. Reading what I heard and saw provided an opportunity to engage the feelings from another of my senses. Awesome. Like I said, this post is full of sensory beauty…and I bow in gratitude for that gift. 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deep thanks to you, Carrie. 🙂 I heard her speech first, too, and enjoyed going over the transcript. It was nice to see that I heard what I thought I heard (lol! that sounds kind of funny to me for some reason).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the George Harrison quote, Robin. (I hope you don’t mind if I use it on my blog sometime!) He was my favorite Beatle and the way he embraced ideas from many different spiritual practices always resonated with me.

    The pictures of your grandsons by the water are beautiful! They bring back happy memories of long summer days at the beach with my own little boys.

    I agree with you about the news. For me, there’s always the struggle between wanting to be informed (especially when an election approaches) and wanting it all to go away. Sometimes that old bumper sticker saying comes to mind, think globally, act locally. These days concentrating on reducing our use of single-use plastics. No more cling wrap in our house!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Barbara. 🙂 I don’t mind at all. I stole it from George, after all. He’s my favorite, too. We watched a documentary about him not too long ago. I can’t remember the name of it, but it was very good.

      I’m working on the single-use plastics too. I keep coming back to something I read recently. It’s a long article in the Guardian about mindfulness, but within the article is some stuff about how neoliberalism has individualized all social phenomena and the author of the article used recycling campaigns as a good example. Here’s a quote:

      “At face value, these efforts seem benevolent, but they obscure the real problem, which is the role that corporate polluters play in the plastic problem. This clever misdirection has led journalist and author Heather Rogers to describe Keep America Beautiful as the first corporate greenwashing front, as it has helped shift the public focus to consumer recycling behaviour and thwarted legislation that would increase extended producer responsibility for waste management.

      We are repeatedly sold the same message: that individual action is the only real way to solve social problems, so we should take responsibility. We are trapped in a neoliberal trance by what the education scholar Henry Giroux calls a “disimagination machine”, because it stifles critical and radical thinking. We are admonished to look inward, and to manage ourselves. Disimagination impels us to abandon creative ideas about new possibilities. Instead of seeking to dismantle capitalism, or rein in its excesses, we should accept its demands and use self-discipline to be more effective in the market. To change the world, we are told to work on ourselves — to change our minds by being more mindful, nonjudgmental, and accepting of circumstances.”

      The full article is here: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jun/14/the-mindfulness-conspiracy-capitalist-spirituality

      It was a very interesting take on the idea of personal responsibility. Not that we shouldn’t take responsibility and recycle (or stop using things like cling wrap), but how the corporations causing the problems have put the onus back on us to supposedly solve it (when, in fact, they could do the solving by not creating the problems in the first place).

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      1. I’ve seen a documentary about George, too, but I cannot remember how long ago. There might be more than one.

        Thanks for the link to the very interesting article, Robin. The argument makes so much sense. Connecticut just passed a law phasing out single-use plastic shopping bags, first by charging us 10 cents for each one, and then by banning them completely. As with so many things, laws, especially ones that reign in corporate greed, will do more to change society than individual mindfulness.

        After Sandy Hook, Connecticut passed some of the toughest gun laws in the US. And several gun manufacturers have left or are in the process of leaving the state because those laws are making things difficult for them. Which, to my way of thinking, is why we need federal laws to make it harder for them everywhere.

        Another example of how the focus has been shifted from corporate responsibility to individual behaviors… Experts tell us it is our lifestyle choices that increase our risk of getting cancer, rather than focusing on the hundreds of carcinogens corporations are allowed to pollute the environment with. The beluga whales dying of cancer in the St. Lawrence River didn’t make lifestyle choices. Their environment is polluted.

        We do need laws to make the corporations fix the problems they created in the first place.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree with you, Barbara. Without some laws in place, corporations are not inclined to do the right thing. Conservatives, especially Republicans, often say that corporations should be allowed to police themselves, as if it’s okay to let the fox guard the hen house. We’ve learned that lesson several times over on a local level with solar and wind farm scams. Even so, our county commissioners and planning committee still have to have us in there protesting and telling them what needs to be included in the zoning if they’re going to allow companies from Italy to come in here and tear up the place, reducing the beauty, damaging the roads, half installing their projects, and not doing what they say they will do (because they don’t have to — there are no laws or anything in place to make them do what they say they will do).

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  6. I love your black and white photos!
    You begin with a quote from Harrison that is so important. So often people are focused on the future or even the past that they forget to live in the present. And it is experiencing the now that makes our lives worth living.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Colline. 🙂 That’s very true, and something that it can be difficult to remember when we’re planning or looking back with nostalgia.

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  7. This was just beautiful and a welcome break from my city experience right now as we settle into Washington DC and get ready to welcome families to our conference tomorrow. There are a sobering number of new families coming. I feel such a responsibility to make sure they are welcomed and supported as they begin this journey. Trying not to stress.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice to see your post, Robin. It sounds and looks like you’re having a great summer so far. The wee ones seem happy on the beach (who isn’t?). 😉 You’re fortunate to have every-day access to the beach, it’s a two hour drive for us and we usually make the trek only once a year in August. I could easily live there, but probably couldn’t afford it around here, where a week’s rental is the equivalent to a monthly mortgage payment.
    How’s your garden going? Mine is coming into peak and what a joy that is. I wish I could just hit the pause button to hold onto summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re about 40 minutes from the ocean, Eliza, but the Chesapeake Bay is practically in our backyard. I’d like to live closer to the ocean. It is, as you mentioned, expensive to do so although it’s possible here to find something affordable now and then. Usually because it needs a lot of work (like our house and property did), and sometimes because of taxes not being paid (so they put it up for auction).

      The flower garden is overrun with weeds, as usual, but the flowers don’t seem to mind. There are lots of butterflies, hummingbirds, and hummingbird moths out there so they don’t seem to mind the weeds, either. The vegetable garden, which we hoped would do better this year with the infusion of dirt from when we had the pond sloped (just the topsoil from the outer edges, not the stuff from the pond itself since the water is brackish), is doing okay. Not great. We’re going to plant a cover crop (oats, maybe) this year, maybe get a truck load of new soil next year, and till in the new stuff and the cover crop. If that doesn’t work, we will probably give up on growing vegetables out there. Maybe just have some tomatoes and peppers in pots on the deck or something.

      Liked by 1 person

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