a tangled web…

Seclusion Retreat … 14th day

Mud splattered window

Pollen-laden window screen

Riot of crows’ caw

Oh! What A Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice To Deceive

~Walter Scott, Marmion

Nikon D750 … f/1.8 1/320s 35mm 200 ISO

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

~Abraham Lincoln

“… to abstain from false speech is found in the position that people connect with one another within an atmosphere of mutual trust, where each draws upon the belief that the other will speak the truth.  It is suggested therefore that families and societies will fall into chaos as one untruth shatters trust, as it is the nature of lies to proliferate through attempts to weave a harmonious tapestry of reality.

“When I reflect upon those times in which I experience an intense urge to say other than what I believe is true, I know it is fed by the anxiety intrinsic to uncertainty, and inherent with the aloneness of expulsion. At other times, the drive seems to come from a sense of nothingness that seeks validation through inclusion with others or continuity within mangled and haphazard memories. It feels as though it is an act that preserves or ensures a sense of control, power, or protection.

“What this force blinds me to is the powerlessness that coincides with the telling of an untruth, as well as the emotional separation that overlaps the fear of discovery.  It also creates the need for another story to support the one prior.  Therefore, the beliefs that compel me to lie are but a layer of lies within a lie. …” (cited: B C Koeford, A Meditative Journey with Saldage.)

Oh hell…let’s just get up and shake out those negative toxins with Fleetwood Mac – “Little Lies” from the 1987 album “Tango In The Night”. The new Fleetwood Mac collection ’50 Years – Don’t Stop

now hiring driver

Nikon D750 … f/1.8 1/50s 35mm 200 ISO

Seclusion Retreat … 13th day

Given that we can live only a small part of what there is in us–what happens with the rest?

Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon

In this lodging

that no one visits,

where no one comes to call

from the moon in the trees

beans of light come poking in

~Saigyō (cited: Trans: B Watson, Poems of a Mountain Home)

“Of the thousand experiences we have, we find language for one at most and even this one merely by chance and without the care it deserves. Buried under all the mute experiences are those unseen ones that give our life its form, its color, and its melody. Then when we turn to these treasures, as archaeologists of the soul, we discover how confusing they are. The object of contemplation refuses to stand still, the words bounce off the experience and in the end, pure contradictions stand on the paper. For a long time, I thought it was a defect, something to be overcome. Today I think it is different: that recognition of the confusion is the ideal path to understanding these intimate yet enigmatic expertises. That sounds strange, even bizarre, I know. But ever since I have seen the issue in this light I have the feeling of being really awake and alive for the first time.”

~Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon. pg 17

I think this is a good time to pull away from the computer, close our eyes, and open ourselves to “Clarinet Concerto in A, K. 622: II. Adagio”.

Please be safe

drinking tea alone…

Nikon D750 … f/1.8 1/200 35mm 200 ISO

Seclusion Retreat … 12th day

drinking tea alone–
every day the butterfly
stops by
~Issa (cited: http://www.haikuguy.com)

“Even after decades as a successful artist…if I choose an object [to draw], fear becomes a goblin holding me back–fear of failure, of not measuring up, or of just being banal, but mostly fear of my drawing looking weird. Drawing makes me vulnerable. Doubt has a role in holding back the sheer joy of expression … the strongest initial resistance to drawing, for me, comes from the inner critic–the judgmental voice in my head. I imagine I hear people judging my work, devaluing my efforts, or comparing my sketch unfavorably to someone else’s finished work, and I just don’t want to face that!

“The great twentieth-century painter Philip Guston, known to work long hours in the studio, once repeated something the composer and artist John Cage had told him: ‘When you start working, everybody is in your studio–the past, your friends, your enemies, the art world, and above all, your ideas–all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you are lucky, even you leave.’ Guston and Cage before him, were articulating the reality that dealing with internal resistance, with the inner critic, is an integral part of an ongoing creative practice…” (cited: J F Simon, Drawing your own Path)

Let’s take a break, make a cup of tea, and listen to the Colorado Symphony’s Digital Ode to Joy

Please be safe

marcescence

Solitude Retreat … 9th day

In the Hida Mountains

the village pawnshop is closed –

a winter evening

~Buson (cited: Y Sawa & E M Shiffert, Haiku Master Buson

Nikon D750 f/1.8 1/1600 35mm 200 ISO

you just can’t go and ask a tree

“Fall is so wonderful because of the change in the colors of the leaves, and [during the autumn months], the deciduous trees pretty much shed their leaves and become bare—well, most of those trees. …

“The process of shedding leaves is really interesting and shows the intricate evolution of nature as a way to survive through all seasons. When the days grow shorter and the amount of sunshine available to leaves decreases, the process that makes food for the trees ends. Chlorophyll begins to break down, the green color disappears, and we get those splendid colors of the fall before most trees drop their leaves.

“The process of leaf drop is also a neat little trick of nature. At the base of their stem (referred to as the petiole), leaves have a zone called the abscission layer, located near the branch to which they are attached.

“The word abscission (sounds like scissors) comes from the Latin ‘to cut away’. The abscission zone has special cells that act like scissors, cutting the leaf off from the main part of the tree in autumn. The part of the leaf stem, or petiole, nearer the leaf contains a separation layer of thin-walled cells that break readily, allowing the leaf to drop. On the branch or twig side of the petiole, there’s another special layer of cells that have a corky structure, which forms a protective layer on the tree, neatly closing up the break to prevent injury or disease. So, the cold of winter gets sealed out, while precious water that the tree continues to use through the winter is sealed in. When spring finally arrives, the return to rapid growth from the trees limbs makes leaf buds expand and swell, and the old leaves finally break off if they haven’t already. Nature is so cool!

“Most, but not all, deciduous trees go through the abscission process. But there are a number of species that exhibit marcescence, or the retention of their leaves, to some degree through the winter months. That’s what you may see when you walk through the forest in the winter. Marcescence is most common by far in the beech, followed by many species of oak as well as hornbeam

“Scientists have not established the exact reason why certain trees exhibit marcescence—you just can’t go and ask a tree. However, there are some common theories. A few of those theories are based on the observation that marcescent leaves are found most often on younger or smaller trees or on the lower limbs of bigger trees.

“One theory suggests trees may keep their leaves to deter deer and other browsing animals from eating the nutrient-rich twigs. The leaves may conceal sumptuous new buds. In fact, researchers have found that the dried leaves are less nutritious than the twigs, and that characteristic might keep the animal from trying to munch on the lower twigs of trees.

Nikon D750 f/1.8 1/1600 35mm 200 ISO

“Researchers suggest another possibility for trees holding their leaves through the winter. It relates to the availability of nutrients for trees as they head into the growing season in the spring. When leaves drop in the fall, the nutrients from those leaves that accumulate on the forest floor are pretty much gone by the next spring when the tree needs food to kick off the growing season. This mulch layer would also hold in precious moisture for the trees. If the tree holds its leaves until spring, then releases them to the ground below, they may act as quick-start nutrients as the growing season begins, and this is most important for the smaller trees under much of the canopy from larger trees.

“On a related note, in some years, rapid onset of early frosts or freezes may halt the abscission process and cause many other deciduous trees to hold their leaves into part of the winter season. This would include varieties of maples and other species, but as the winter wears on most of these trees finally do lose their leaves.

“There’s no debate that the muted browns and yellows of marcescent leaves provide a beautiful backdrop in the bare forests of the winter. In addition, one benefit of trees like the beech, which keep most of their leaf canopy during the winter, is for birds who can seek shelter from the cold winter temperatures and winds among those clumps of leaves.

“For those who choose to take that wonderful saunter through a forest path during the winter, you now know why there are trees who choose “not to go naked” during the season, but wait to complete a quick change as nature’s spring fashion season swings into full gear.”

cited: Weather Underground,Tom Niziol. Marcescence: why some trees keep their leaves in winter, January 22, 2020

cee's b&w photo challenge: fences and gates

spring peace–
a mountain monk peeks
through a fence

~Issa (cited: www.haikuguy.com)

Nikon D750 f/1.8 1/4000s 35mm 200 ISO

“Life may be brimming over with experiences, but somewhere, deep inside, all of us carry a vast and fruitful loneliness wherever we go. And sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes.”

~ Etty Hilleson, Trans: A Pomerans, In Interrupted Life The Diaries of Etty Hillesum. pg. 78

the silence after a snowstorm

Solitude Retreat… 8th day (Snow showers and Waning Crescent moon)

melting the big snow
with a spoon…
a child

~Issa (cited: www.haikuguy.com)

Nikon D750 f/1.8 1/2500s 35mm 200 ISO

“The silence after a snowstorm isn’t just your imagination — all those tiny flakes actually trap the sounds of your surroundings. 

Chris Bianchi, a meteorologist at Weather Nation, described the phenomenon as a sort of citywide cup of tea: After a big storm, we can take a few minutes to relax and take in the quiet.

“The science behind that quiet comes down to how sound waves travel (or, more accurately, don’t travel) through snowflakes.

“‘Snowflakes, when they’re spaced further apart, there’s little gaps, obviously invisible to the naked human eye,’ Bianchi said. ‘But there are these little gaps within the snow and those are very efficient at absorbing sound.’ 

“The sound waves from cars, buildings and people get trapped in those small places between the snowflakes. 

“Not just any snow can trap noise. It has to be the freshly fallen, light and fluffy. Wet and heavy snow doesn’t leave those spaces for sound to be trapped. 

“One study found a couple of inches of snow can absorb as much as 60 percent of sound. Snow can act as a commercial sound-absorbing foam when it’s in that fluffy, freshly fallen state. 

“As the snow starts to melt, those little sound-catching spaces start to go away too.

“(When snow melts) it compacts, and that compaction reduces the amount of little crevices and nooks and crannies that sound is able to be trapped in,” Bianchi said.

“So, for at least a few hours or even a day after a snowstorm, we can get some reprieve from all that noise around us.

“‘It’s calming, it’s relaxing, it’s tranquil,’ Bianchi said. ‘Life is kind of forced in a sense to slow down.'”

cited: CPR News, Claire Cleveland and Andrea Dukakis, “Yes, it really is quieter when it snows. Here’s the science behind the calm after the storm. February 4, 2020.

seclusion retreat – 6th day

secluded house–
even here, crowd-sick
spring mountain

~Issa (cited: www.haiku.guy)

Rewatching:

The Story of Ming Lan (English Subtitles)

The Story of Ming Lan, based on the novel written by Guan Xin Ze Luan, follows the concubine-born 6th child of the Sheng household from her childhood into adulthood. Ming Lan first meets Gu Ting Ye, the 2nd son of the Gu Family, as his rival in a game of Touhu, but when she encounters him again in a time of need he goes to great lengths to help her. This dynamic plays out on a grander scale when they meet again as adults. Both Ming Lan and Ting Ye are unfavored children who suffer as a result of internal scheming in their households. Ming Lan adapts by learning to hide her talents, spirit, and intelligence, while Ting Ye, long painted as a scoundrel, decides to live recklessly. Yet they each have a rare gift of foresight. Through cunning schemes and daring endeavors, they both rise in position and work to obtain justice from those that have wronged them. Together they shape the new Emperor’s regime and work to sow and harvest a bright future

Editing photographs

Continuing with 30 day project, same lens camera wide open, that was included in an educational Thorsten von Overgaard Photography webinar.

Nikon D750 f/1.8 1/4000s 35mm 200 ISO

Exercising and meditating

How are you taking care of yourself during this time of the COVID-19 virus in which we are all encouraged to socially isolate and by doing so we are also caring for others?

Solitude… Frederick Leighton

on the water…

horsetooth reservoir winterwalk

on the water

a clear image of blossoms

death close by*

~Katsura Nobuko

Cited: Makoto Ueda, Far Beyond the Field

*’Death is close by, because the mirror image of the cherry blossoms, clearer than the actual flowers, will disappear with the slightest breath of wind.

Nikon D750 f/5 1/2000s 85mm 200 ISO