Sunday, January 20, 2013

I See God in Winter

Walney Park, Centerville VA
I see God in the winter, when the trees are bare and most people hide inside.  I like it that way. I like the silence, the not needing to say hello or move out of the way for joggers or have my head intruded upon by one more human being or sound other than the crunch my feet make, and even then, I sometimes resent my feet.  "Shut the fuck up, will you?  I'm trying to listen to God, here."

Same goes for the beach.  I prefer the beach in winter or in the rain.  Everyone leaves you alone with cold waves and freezing spray, and seagulls get a little more personal.  I don't have to hear anything but them and the water, the hugeness of God and souls residing in the vast liquid of life. 

When I was a kid, my father used to take us to an ocean-side bird sanctuary on Plum Island in winter, usually on a school day.  We lived up north, where the cold was very cold, and he taught me to love the solitude.  I'd walk off by myself, the wind cutting through the gaps in my hood, my lips freezing alongside the glorious moment of just feeling alive.  Sometimes (to my mother's horror), I'd take off my boots and socks. 

Colonial Beach, VA
Another place he used to take us was Horn Pond.  He liked to row his little boat or paddle a canoe and fish.  He didn't want a motor boat.  He said it disturbed the silence and scared the fish away.  I wanted to fish, too, but I annoyed him too much because I chattered and wiggled, and you know how sound and ripples carry across water.  So when I got older, I'd just wander off the path where there was no one else, or I'd head up the steep hill that lead to the city's reservoir.  Sometimes I'd pretend I was Native American stepping so softly in moccasins that no one and nothing could hear me.  I was one with the birds, bunnies and squirrels. 

As much as I try to love everyone and be patient and all that, I often resent people.  I want to be left alone, get away from this stupid society we've created, retreat from blabbing and words and ideas that make me want to cut off my own ears and sometimes my entire head.  The greater part of me is an introvert and a dreamer, and I sometimes have difficulty with what most people want to call "the real world." 

Walney Park
I am ambivalent about anything anyone defines as "real."  It's not that I don't see what others see, it's just that sometimes I see more, think more, process more, and it's too much for anyone, especially me.  And when people try to mess with my head, well, that is something just shameful.  I recognize there is "evil" in the world, that it has its place, but it needn't get that close.  And it really, really pisses me off when people mow down nature like it's nothing, because ultimately, that's the only "real world" we have.

Currently, I'm working on a book of poetry which I plan to accompany with my photos and artwork.  My goal is to get it out this year.  Some of the photos are (and will be) taken when I am alone, some when I am sharing glorious time with family in nature.  Whether or not it's a best seller isn't important. It's more about the experience of creating and synthesizing, sharing and leaving a legacy.  I'll have to depend on more "normal" work to make money, but that's how artists live.  And I really do want to live.       
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