The Blue Farmhouse and God

Blue Farmhouse FAA

It’s actually a lot bluer when you’re standing in front of the actual thing than it is when you’re looking at the photograph. But even the actual thing as we see it before us is just a representation in our brains of what’s there, it’s not the thing itself.

A bat would have a completely different way of perceiving that farmhouse. More than likely, “blue” wouldn’t enter into it.

So what is reality exactly, that we are able to grasp it so differently? The photo is a real representation of the farmhouse, even after I’ve run it through my artistic software tweaks. It’s real enough that you could pick out the real thing after seeing the image, anyway. But a dog, say, probably wouldn’t connect the two dimensional image (which smells very different anyway) with the three dimensional house.

So. There’s something there, but we don’t know what it really is, do we? Our senses give us enough consistent information so that we can interact with our physical world, but as to what that physical world may actually be, we truly don’t have a clue.

Same with God. Let’s say the Methodist is a bat, the Buddhist a dog, the Cherokee an eagle, the atheist a fish. (A fish is probably never going to even be aware of the farmhouse. Just sayin’.) Each of these is just a way of trying to get a handle on some kind of something that’s ultimately incomprehensible, and there’s no point whatsoever in the fish arguing with the bat. Just leads to frustration.

Oh, man. All I wanted to do was take a pretty picture of a farmhouse, and I ended up in theology. See how one darn thing leads to another?

This image is from my gallery, Out Here in the Country — check it out when you get a chance because you’ll get to see the full resolution image in all its detail. Plus a little about how I go about creating these images. Just go here.

Red Machine in a Green Field

Red Machine in a Green Field FAA

I have no idea what this thing is. But it looks cool in the green field. It sat there all winter looking cool (ahem!) in the snow. It’s my next door neighbors’ field, so I guess I could ask them, but so far I haven’t…

Sometimes you don’t need to know everything about a thing to appreciate it. Sometimes knowing too much about something can even kill the enjoyment. Nothing against knowledge, but sometimes it’s good to just perceive what’s in front of you on its own terms, not as what it does, or what it’s for, just for what it is, and what it is, is just… that red thing in the green place.

And it’s cool. And that’s enough.

This image is from my gallery, Out Here in the Country — check it out when you get a chance because you’ll get to see the full resolution image in all its detail. Plus a little about how I go about creating these images. Just go here.

Thanks! Let’s have fun.

Sunset Silos

Sunset Silos FAA

It’s a magical time of day at the farm. It’s called the Golden Hour, but this gold shines as bright in the city or suburbs, the desert, the jungle or ocean.

There’s a unique beauty that hides beneath the bright daylight, as lovely as that can be. But that warm slanting light that comes in the last hours of the day is just magical. It’s transformative, it takes the ordinary and kisses it with a kind of love that reveals to us that behind that ordinariness, that everydayness, that ho-hum same ol’ same ol’, there’s a numinous reality that’s more magical than any fantasy.

Because this magic is real. This fantasy is not fantasy at all. It’s hiding in plain sight, teasing, enticing, inviting us to see deeply. And all it takes is a little change in the light to show us what’s there all the time.

Ho hum indeed.

This image is from my gallery, Out Here in the Country — check it out when you get a chance because you’ll get to see the full resolution image in all its detail. Just click here.

April Afternoon

April Afternoon FAA

No crops yet, but of course the cattle still need to be cared for. And it’s just about time to start plowing, which some of the farmers have already begun. Still, it’s a beautiful afternoon before the spring chores take over life.

Any way you look at it, farming is hard work. If you think your morning commute is rough, try slogging out to tend to the animals in the rain and mud or trudging through the wind and snow at zero dark thirty. Sure, it’s all romantic to think of the farmer close to nature, and the rhythms of the earth, and all that’s true, but being close to nature means being out in numbing cold, blistering heat, rain, wind or snow. For long hours. Doing hard physical labor.

Nature is beautiful, and humans do best when they’re close to nature, but mother earth is one tough momma, and she won’t let you get away with anything.

Just ask a farmer. Better yet, thank a farmer. That food didn’t just go poof and appear magically on the shelves in the supermarket.

This image is from my gallery, Out Here in the Country — check it out when you get a chance because you’ll get to see the full resolution image in all its detail. Just go here.

Spring Plowing Soon

Spring Plowing Soon SmallThe foreground stalks are what’s left of last year’s corn harvest. In a few weeks they’ll be plowed under and enrich the soil for the next harvest.

Seed.

Growth.

Harvest.

Repeat.

But it’s not quite as simple as a repeating cycle, just a circle going round and round, returning to the same place endlessly. It’s actually more like a spiral of life and growth that never does return to quite the same place as before. A farming cycle isn’t the same in 2016 as it was in 1916 or 1816.

So here’s the deal: a spiral seen from directly above looks like a plain two dimensional circle. But when seen from the side in three dimensions (a view those trapped in two dimensions can’t access), the evolving spiral can clearly be seen.

But — sometimes — it really can be seen by those of us on the spiral. Unless we’re just spinning our wheels.

This image is from my gallery, Out Here in the Country — check it out when you get a chance! To see a full resolution image of this digital artwork in full detail or to purchase a high quality print for your home of workplace, either framed or unframed, please click here.

Leave the Light on For Me

Leave the Light on For Me FAA SmallTwilight. The crack between worlds. A time of power when it’s neither day or night, but something in between. It’s a time when medicine people of many indigenous cultures slip more easily into the vast landscape of spirit.

But it’s a journey that sometimes risks danger, and so the traveler to those far lands does well to have something to call her and guide her back should she risk staying too long. The sound of a drum. Chanting.

A light.

To those who travel in the twilight: look for the drum, the song. Listen for the light.

This image is from my gallery, Out Here in the Country — check it out when you get a chance! To see a full resolution image of this digital artwork in full detail or to purchase a high quality print either framed or unframed, please go here

Snow Place Like Home

Snow Place Like Home FAA.jpg

It’s a small human family nest in a February snowstorm. Tiny, really, when contrasted with the massive forces of nature. But, like every other species of our fellow earthlings, we have evolved our own ways of surviving the terrifying, impersonal power within which we make our lives and keep our own species going.

And this is how we’ve done it for untold thousands of years. A small family shelter in the snow, or on the edge of a desert or deep in a jungle.

A home.

This image is from my gallery, Out Here in the Country — check it out when you get a chance! To see a full resolution image of this digital artwork in full detail or to purchase a high quality print either framed or unframed, please go here.

Sunset on the Farm

Sunset on the Farm FAA Small

The road and the farmhouse almost merge with the natural landscape. But the human homes are no less part of nature than the birds’ nests, the foxes’ dens, the soft hiding places of the deer and the bear that share our land. It’s a great reminder of living in harmony with nature, of which we are of course a part no less than our cousin earthlings of different species.

And then there’s that magnificent sky, with its clouds both protecting us and reminding us of how vast it is out there beyond our few acres of homes. I wonder if those clouds have some sort of transient group consciousness as they hover and travel above us and below the higher levels of our atmosphere?

Sometimes it’s just enough that they’re there, moving, breathing, delighting us.

This image is from my gallery, Out Here in the Country — check it out when you get a chance! To see a full resolution image of this digital artwork in full detail or to purchase a high quality print either framed or unframed, please go here.