Sunday, September 27, 2009

In case you were wondering...

...about the lack of posts at Turn Outward, the reasons are partly practical, partly spiritual. I've been very busy lately with writing assignments and the general business of life. I still find time to hike almost every day, but not much time to write about it, or even hunt down fun links about the flora, fauna and natural phenomena hereabouts.

The spiritual difficulty is hard to explain, but let's just say that a trail I thought was true and beautiful hit a dead end. It happens. Finding a new trail takes a lot of hunting and hacking through the brush. I have to do that psychic grunt work before I can let my mind wander and make up words.

Fortunately, the woods still offer me beauty and comfort, and I hope to get back to sharing them with you soon. Meanwhile, in honor of the orb weaver who's currently living in my car, I suggest you go here to see an amazing collaboration between people and spiders.

John the Baptist in the Wilderness, Geertgen tot Sint Jans, 1490-95

(J the B is not one of my heroes, but I love this image.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

No fight zone

As I type this, a brown thrasher, a cardinal and a goldfinch are hanging out together atop the chain link fence in my back yard. I've been watching them for a few minutes now, and they have been perfectly serene companions. Normally, the thrasher would make it his business to chase away any bird within chasing range, but he's just looking at the other two as if he's curious about what they might do. The cardinal seems happily tranquilized, like a guy halfway through his third beer after a long day. The goldfinch is rocking back and forth on the fence. He looks as if he's considering whether to make a comment on the weather.

I don't know if it's the unusual cool snap or some happy alignment of the stars, but for some reason, peace has broken out among the feathered residents here. No more mockingbird wars, no feeder raids--even the hummingbirds are making nice. I like it. I know potential conflict is always lurking in the background, as in Hicks' painting (click the image to enlarge it), but even a brief season of harmony is beautiful.

Peaceable Kingdom, Edward Hicks, c.1834.