Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chameleons, Clouds & Clarity...

(Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)
Today I felt a pull.  The marsh was calling, asking why I hadn't visited in awhile. After all, it's right there on the other side of the far buildings.

At that point in the day I wasn't feeling 100%.  What started as a spate of sleepless nights that began over a year ago, has turned into a continual stretch that disappears into the spent months that fall behind me.  I have started getting some sleep lately.  Welcome?  Yes, but my body has been expressing its demands during the day.  Not a conducive situation for accomplishing much during daylight hours.

(Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)
Forcing myself to stay awake until the night seemed the next logical course of action, but it was proving fruitless. When my system is ready to go into 'sleep mode' these days, there is no delaying it. I literally pass out.  Have I gone through similar spells before? Yes. However, these oases of rest don't last long, the longer stretches of sleeplessness holding dominant sway. *sigh*

I was sleepy and I could feel my need for sleep rapidly growing , but I became determined to get out into the air.  Take some photographs, breath some fresh air, even absorb some sun (and I don't get along with the all).

Camera in my hand.  Headphones on with "What Does Anything Mean? Basically" by The Chameleons ready in the CD player.  Leopard print kicks on my feet.  Sunglasses perched on my nose.  I was ready to meet the outside world.

To say it was hot here on the marsh would be a gross understatement.  I think it was somewhere in the 80's, but with the suffocating humidity the south is known for, it felt like it was at least 100 degrees out there.  Thankfully, I had a companion during my trek.  A breeze.  Without it tagging along, I don't think I would have stayed out as long as I did.

The dock remains continue to decay.  I have no idea at what stage the plans are at in replacing it with the new dock (it's supposed to stretch from our marsh bank to the edge of the river), but what is there of the old dock is crumbling, tilting, and sinking.  It kind of reminds me of the old decaying bones of a large animal,  sinking into the bog to meld with the earth.  I hope the plans for the replacement are moving along.  Having a walkway to navigate above the grass covered marsh would open me up to a wealth of new things to photograph.

(Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)
A large portion of the marsh grasses are forming a swirled dry mat against the mud.  Over by the dock remnants and back into the tidal creek behind our building, the mat continues.  A chaotic collection of swirl patterns cover the surface looking like the aftermath of a wild night of mini-crop circle making. Actually, I wonder if the wide field of dry grass is testament to our low rainfall this year?  We are well below where we should be.

It's interesting how negating the sounds of everyday life, and replacing them with music, can alter an experience.  The haunting music of the Chameleons UK, coupled with the natural setting spreading out in front of me...sublime. Truly.  Once I got around the corner of the end building by the dock and started up the marsh bank, I noticed an increase in the breezes.  Extremely welcome. I had been expecting an onslaught of buzzing mosquitoes when I made it over that far to the banks of the expanse, but I don't think I encountered a one. Maneuvering the ethereal quality of the wind currents was keeping them at bay. My advance up the partially shaded bank was slow.  I just observed. Absorbed.  

Closer to the banks of the river the green of the grass continued, the channel of water obviously keeping them well supplied with moisture.  The deep blue glassy surface of the Bull River cut a jagged band through the marsh, and past the yacht club by the bridge.  I could see a few motor boats and a Jet Ski or two cutting it's surface, the blooms of white crests kicking up behind them.  

(Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)
"Brother can you hear my voice
Every second that you cling to life
You have to feel alive"

~ from "Intrigue In Tangiers" by The Chameleons UK
Lyrics:  Mark Burgess

I have been feeling a tad cerebral lately.  Spending some quality time with my inner thoughts.  A byproduct of my sleep deprivation?  Possible.  I think it's tied more to the fact that I have been a tad restless for awhile.  I have ambitions. Dreams.  I've been feeling my age creeping up on me.  I'm in my 40's and in the grand scheme I know that's not "old".  Not by today's standards anyway. People live longer.  But do they live 'fuller'?  In so many ways I need to start again.  I'm more than ready to.  I have been hanging in limbo, my hopes and dreams lazily floating on a stagnant pond that threatens to absorb them.  To make them hopes mislaid and dreams forgotten.

There have been certain factors over the last several years that have complicated things, making it difficult to embark on these new adventures as soon as I would have liked.  Sometimes things are not as cut and dried as we would like them to be.  My stagnant period coming to an end is going to start transitioning for the better.  Things I have waited on are coming to fruition.  A key to moving forward?  Yes, some locks are about to be opened.  Soon.  The bindings that I truly need to release are self sealed.

(Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)
I need to clear away all of the mental flotsam.  Those annoying bits of clutter that make me second guess my self, and confuse my thought processes by throwing a stream of 'what ifs' into the mix.  Over the long haul, it's kind of like snapping out of a somnambulists state where years have passed by.  Years that should have been spent doing things.  Creative things.  Fulfilling things.  

Standing on the sunlight and shade dappled marsh bank, the Chameleons music filling my ears, I looked out at the world.  It's so difficult to articulate the intangible, especially when it pertains to the inner workings of the human...self. After weeks of telling myself that it's time for a change in perspective.  Starting again.  The past is history, and it is in the past.  It is by no means over.  Not in the lesson sense.  The actual events may be over, historical, and unchangeable.  I may have let go of a lot, but what is still with me is what I learned in the process.  I hadn't felt the empowering strength that comes with life lessons.  In that moment on the bank...I began to.

I have always been a big believer in the inner power each individual on this planet possesses. In a spiritual sense everyone has their own belief of what's going to get them through the day. An image, a book, a building. For me that's just an exercise in the mundane. Putting one's hopes and dreams somewhere else, with someone or something else. For me things are more metaphysical, more abstract. In our individual selves, we are each housing the energy to shape and mold our individual lives. Yes, outside forces can have their effect, but it starts with us. 

(Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)
Buddhists believe that all living things are connected. Collective energy. Today, looking out at the pale blue sky, and the white puffs of clouds...watching the distant boats cut through the water, and the band of shoreline cat tails bow in the that moment I did feel connected.  Connected to life.  More importantly connected within myself. Do I think it's that simple? It never seems to be, but I think most times it is.  As Laozi said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." I took that step today.

It has been awhile since I have written one of my more 'personal' posts. Shared some of my photographs with accompanying prose about the depicted walk or beach outing.  That was my aim initially when I embarked on my picture taking stroll.  But something else happened out there. Something more. Surrounded by nature, by the world, I was imbued with a serenity of mind that allowed me to get out of my own way.  My mental chaos slowed, and I was able to achieve some focus. "Every second that you cling to life, you have to feel alive."

So true.

So very true.
(Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)

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