Walking with my Dog Louie, twice daily, through the wooded trails here at Jubilee, and at Tolmie State park is a great pleasure, and and a great healing, for me.
As a person with a “photographer’s eye” I see beauty that many people miss. Having my Iphone camera with me makes it easy to capture some of that beauty, crop it, edit it, and now share it with you. It rains a lot here 🙂 but the raindrops on fallen Pacific Madrone leaves is spectacularly beautiful.
Poem and and reading and photographs By Dan Windisch 2018
For 69 years I grew up in, lived in, perceived in, And will, in the not too distant future, die in, a land of mist, reflections, shades of rain, and fog.
I grew up in lands of tall evergreen trees; Spruce, Douglas fir, and Cedar. Trees formed, from fog, and rain, and days of occasional sunshine.
I grew up surrounded by Mountains that exist only in days of glorious sunshine. Even huge, magnificent, 14,408 foot, snow-covered, even in August, Mount Rainier. She often disappears, stops existing, between the mists and clouds that covers us all, Then, surprising us all, bursts out glorious, and brightly snow covered, in sunshine; for a few days, then disappears, again, As if, never having existed, back into the mist. Was she always there? Are we always here?
I live in lands of rolling hills, covered by thick tall green trees, and dense underbrush, and wet dripping leaves,
and those marvelous Madrona (Mad Rona’s) trees with their shining when wet, bright red skins, and red berries, and regally red peeling bark (do you see her face in the bark? I do).
I live in Western Washington; Puyallup, Olympia, Lacey, Dupont, Tacoma. Don’t ask me for exact descriptions of people, places, and things. All adjectives and nouns slide into, and out of the fog, the mist, the varying shades of gray.
The joys of living in a land of mist, reflections, shades of rain, and fog? No sharp stabbing reality.
The best aspect? Sliding, mystical shape shifting Beauty, and a reality, that slides from sunshine, to mist, to rain. I hold, cherish, then let go, of everything, even me, back into the mist.
Yet, part of the my most beautiful, my most connected, are the people, and moments of beauty and gratitude, that I so love, They always remain in my soul, even when I forget. Even when they are hidden from memory by the fog, and the rain, and the mist. Like a dream, forgotten, but still there, Until I too slide back into the mist.
Currently, in this short moment in the long history of this land, Currently in 2018, ours is a haunted land, full of Walmarts, Costcos, strip malls, streets, freeways full of cars and frustrated, frightened, angry, confused, lonely people, glued to iphones, in hurried goings and doings, to buy, and store, and throw away, and hoard, more and more.
Fearful people. Yet also many kind, and good, and caring people.
Yet many of those that have more than their ancestors could ever have imagined, Are so full of fear of losing it all. People unconsciously fearing Homelessness, which, realistically, For most of them, is just a job loss, and a few months away. Scary thoughts, not thought about, but constantly there.
I live in a land of homeless people, with cats and dogs, And too many clothes on hot days, and needles on the ground, and murmurings, and shoutings,
The pain? No deep anything. Everything passes into, and out of, the mist.
Mist often leads me to, the Mystical.
and those with signs on too many street corners, ignored.
Veterans, beggars, Moms, down on their luck, or lazy? “I need Help. Anything will do.” “Why aren’t they working? Will they steal from me?” Anger that they do nothing, while I work hard. But do they need help? I’m sure some do. What do I do?
I’m both lucky and damned. If I lost my job I would not lose it all. I’m retired, have Social Security. Yet I suffer from back pain, am blind in one eye, and hurt most of the time.
Yet I am so grateful.
I still have a time, Just a little, (we die too soon) before I die, To cherish the mist, reflections, occasional sunshine, and the mystical.
I will dance (if only in my soul) in the rain, and sun, Reflect, Stomp in the mud puddles, Slide into and out of the mist, and shades of rain, And cherish our grandbabies, as they marvel in the growing glory of it all.
Photo Audio and Poem from Dan Windisch’s “Alpha Martin and Omega Steed” available on Amazon.
I saw her in prayer.
And, sensing, in an instant, that sacred light, and posture, and place, and time, I respectfully, and slowly, and quietly, raised my camera to my eye, and gently pressed the shutter release, allowing the light to reflect onto my camera’s sensors, this mystical moment, of Her and God’s beauty, blending, melding, meeting, co-mingling, communing, in prayer, in a moment, sacred.
I love The dazzling white light pouring through the three (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) windows, That brilliant light reflecting on the altar, the tiled floor, her white Wimpled Coifed head cover.
I love That brilliant Light resting, on Her shoulder leaning slightly-to-the-left, bent-in-prayer.
I love That subtle light and shadow on her puddled, circled robe, on the floor, like rings of a pond wave, moving inward.
I love that holy light gently touching the red and white tiled floor, and softly reflecting on Those thoughtfully shaped, centuries old, columns, upholding it all.
I love The tilt of her head In contemplation and prayer.
I love The red lit candle on the altar.
I love That she is solitary, in prayer, With her God.
I love The carefree, and gorgeous flow, and shape, of her headdress, As it wanders from her head, to her neck, and down her back.
I love The flowing to the right Of her white Robe.
I love How she kneels on that hard floor Lost to everything, but God.
I love, How in this moment, She, I, God, that red candle, that light, that place, all of us, are One, in contemplation and communion.
I love how each white petal tip is uniquely beautiful, curved and pointed,
I love the orange yellow center, with their gorgeous geometric shapes,
I love the backlit whiteness,
I love the 2 companion daisies at the bottom of the photo,
I love the darkness contrast of the background.
The photo also reminds me of HAL in 2001 A space odyssey,
where he sings “Daisy” as he is being dismantled by Dave.
“I’m scared Dave… will I dream?”
“Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do
I’m half crazy all for the love of you
It won’t be a stylish marriage
I can’t afford a carriage, but you’ll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two.”
Below is the original photograph, and the final edited photograph of the lily.
I wanted to emphasize the gorgeous nature of the Lily, eliminate the distraction of the background, eliminate the orange of the stigma, and make the background black. What remains is the awe-inspiring shapes, curves, and texture of this amazing flower!
The place itself I love. It is the Hollyhock Retreat center on Cortes Island in British Columbia, a beautiful, remote, and Magical, Transformative place, especially in the summertime. I first went there in 1978 And attended a 13 week long Resident fellow program with a different workshop each week. I attended a dream workshop where I learned that I was Dan, Dan, The rainbow man, a healer and a teacher. And for the last 45 years, I’ve lived being a Healer and a teacher. I learned about Quan Yen (or Kuan Yin),The bodhisattva of compassion. I learned it from John Blofeld, that Very British China convert, Who wrote so beautifully about Quan Yen (or Kuan Yin), and also translated the I Ching. John Blofeld so enjoyed his afternoon tea :). I learned about the I Ching, and Tarot cards. And I learned from the wind, the trees, low and high tides, I learned from the lapping of the water, BJ, Whiskey and orange juice, early morning sunshine, the wonderful gardens, and even more wonderful vegetarian meals. I learned by working with Bill Glackman, now a lifetime friend, doing handyman work around the then COld Mountain Institute.
But what do I love about this picture! I love the early morning light, with the side-light and long shadows. I love the empty chair and the empty boat, both waiting for us/me/you.
I can feel myself sitting in that chair, with my eyes closed, warm, with the sunshine on my face and arms in the cool morning, and ever so gently, I feel a slight breeze. With each breath, I breathe in the light, salty smells of the sea. I hear the gentle lapping of water on the beach. I hear the bird calls of morning, welcoming the new day. That chair is a place to simply be, mindfully and appreciatively.
The empty boat, red and white and waiting, Is not about mindfulness. The empty boatis about adventure awaiting! Come,Let us row away to adventure! Morning is the time for both contemplation and beginning of adventures! I love that in this photograph.
I love the colors, the greens of the grass and the tree. I love the shades of blues in the sea, and in the mountains across the sea. I love the bands of lighter color blue on the water.
I love how small I am in that early morning light, And how big that quiet sea is, and how the shrouded mountains are at the top the photograph.
I love the lines of the small waves, lapping towards the shore.
I love the juxtaposition of the living Green tree, the stump, and the wooden chair. Three stages of existence?
I love the variations between the rocky shore, The tidal zone with it’s small rocks and mud , and the two big rocks In the nearby shallow water.
When I look at this picture, I feel gratitude, the hopes of a new morning, The beckoning of mindfulness and adventure, and the sheer beauty of it all: colors, bands of blue and green, and waves, sea, trees, shore, chair, boat, and distant mountains… and ME!