Sunday, September 27, 2009

a stubborn stone

this was taken on our cross-country trip in 2007. i think it is called haystack rock, on the beautiful oregon coast. we ate a delicious fish and chips dinner and enjoyed the pub's own brew while watching the sunset.

there's something about that rock, as i look at it right now, that looks to me like a thought, looming large in the landscape of the mind. it's a difficult thought, one that the waves crash against over and over again, with little change. i'm not sure what one can do with such a thought, except maybe to accept it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


from the archives

in 2007, adam & i drove cross country together. i never got any prints from that trip, partly because when i looked at the images, i felt that these pictures couldn't really compare to the memories of the trip anyway. during the 23 day experience, we aquired a huge collection of anecdotes, and formed our own shared history, a library of strange and fun stories to draw from.

before the trip, we had dated for about 4 months. after the trip, the volume of our shared experience had become much larger. somehow, the fact that we didn't drive each other crazy, that we survived the adventure together, gave our relationship weight and solidity. i guess that's what they mean when they talk about a "make or break" situation.

this picture i'm guessing was taken from the car window somewhere in south dakota.

about a year later, just after we were married, the computer that had these files on it died, and it wasn't until a year after that that i managed to get someone to retrieve all our files off of it. now i'm revisiting them and appreciating them, after a long separation.

maybe i'll post a few more in the next few days.


I saw this in a shop recently. I think we already do many of these things and they make our lives richer.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Sometimes I think of this blog as a scrapbook, and I like take a page and glue related scraps that I come across in life. Tonight's page is themed Joy.

I picked up Rolling Stone magazine the other day, because it had a picture of Stephen Colbert on the cover looking humorously like a homeless guy.

(I didn't notice until just now that the article is titled "The Joy of Stephen Colbert".)

Anyway somewhere in the interview he says that he calls his show "the joy machine". And he also says that if there is joy, God must be present. It's an interesting position for a practicing Roman Catholic whose irreverent humor will go just about anywhere.

But when I read what he said about joy (I wish I'd copied the actual quote), I realized that I believed him, that somehow God is present in his show. There is something really profound, more than just silly, in his grin.


The morning after I read that article, Adam was playing some music on the computer, which it turns out was from a new Phish album, "JOY".


Later that morning I read the following in Anna Deavere Smith's book, "Letters to a Young Artist":

I think that tapping into the sheer joy of whatever it is that you do--that is, when I go onstage, when you enter the studio to paint, when your cousin goes to a ballet class--the sheer joy is what liberates us, opens the senses, the heart, the arteries, so that we feel that strong will to communicate that is greater than any chains we may have.


There is something deep and strong and pure in real joy. C. S. Lewis wrote about this elusive experience that was a strange blend of longing and bliss. He wrote:

"The very nature of Joy makes nonsense of our common distinction between having and wanting."
--Surprised by Joy

"All joy...emphasizes our pilgrim status; always reminds, beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings are wantings."
--from an unknown letter

"Joy is the serious business of Heaven."
--Letters to Malcolm

It seems to me that following one's bliss (advice from Joseph Campbell) or joy isn't really about a life of self-indulgence.

Reflecting on this seems to be teaching me about being truthful with myself and my nature, stripping away unnecessary activities, and sincerely following what I was created to be.

Almost like searching to find a clear cold stream in a forest, then following it to the source.