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.

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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.

Attack of the Killer Dandelions

Attack of the Killer Daisies FAA

Look out! They’re coming to prettify your lawn!

Ah, but then they turn white and all those little puffy things go all over, and most people don’t think that’s so pretty.

But wait! — then after that there’s more pretty dandelions!

Oh my, what are we to make of this cycle of pretty, not so pretty, and back again?

Well, we could defend our lawn and attack it with powerful lawn mowing tractors. Or with killing chemicals. Both of which are what’s usually done.

Defend our lawns from nature’s pretty patrol?

What’s wrong with us two-leggeds anyway?

Where’s the balance between the human need to tidy up nature and nature’s persistent efforts to be extravagantly beautiful?

I don’t know, but I don’t think the answer lies in tractors that pollute the air and poisoning the soil for our children and grandchildren.

I know. The neighborhood association isn’t going to like my attitude.

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.

Hard Rock, Soft Grass

Hard Rock, Soft Grass FAA

No, not rock and roll and drugs!

More like yin and yang.

Hard and soft, fast and slow. The grass has a fast life, the rock a slow life. I know. Most of us think of the grass as alive, and the rock as not. An understandable misconception, though.

The rock lives its life very slowly, so incredibly slowly that we don’t, or can’t, notice it. And to be fair, mineral life is a very different kind of life, after all. Doesn’t meet the current scientific definition of life, but it does meet the understanding of many indigenous peoples.

So… hard and soft, fast and slow, vegetable and mineral — and humans to observe and ponder and try to figure it all out.

Fun, isn’t it?

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.

Into the Sun

Into the Sun FAA

An old dry stream bed, a few of last autumn’s leaves still clinging to some branches, debris from the winter storms littering the ground, and early spring grasses poking through the whole mess and yet…

All it takes is a dramatic light source down low where we can’t ignore it like we can when the sun is high up in the sky, when we so often take what we see for granted as if it were just ordinary.

But then once the sun drops into our line of sight so that we have to flip the visors on our windshields down, or put up our hands to shield our eyes, everything takes on an ethereal glow like we just walked into a realm of spirit.

Which of course we have.

But there’s nothing there that wasn’t there before the light changed. So do we really want to wait until the day we walk into the light to appreciate the magic that’s right in front of us right now?

Just another one of Nature’s helpful hints hiding in ordinariness.

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   

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.

Tiny Deer

Tiny Deer FAA

I’m not at all sure what kind of deer these are. But cute. definitely cute.

Which is not to minimize the magnificent beings that they are. Just because they look all cuddly (which they’re actually not!), don’t weigh in with the mass of an elephant, or command fear like the big jungle cats, does not mean they are not awesome creatures.

Hmm. A lot of negatives in that last sentence, so let me try to put it another way.

These little guys are living out their existence according to the place they have on our planet, same as all us earthlings are. And they are worthy of exactly the same degree of respect as every other magnificent and cute and cuddly (OK, some not so much) living creature. Including you. (Whoa, snuck that right in, didn’t I?)

But they’re still ridiculously cute.

Maybe like someone you met in the mirror this morning?

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.

Almost Spring

Almost Spring FAA

Still waiting…

Maybe a better way to phrase it would be to say Preparing rather than Waiting. Those trees that look so dead and frozen are all abuzz and atwitter with excitement as they make the final preparations for the tiny buds that we’ll see in just a few more days.

They don’t just pop out of nowhere, you know. There’s a whole lot of gestatin’ going’ on in them tall ones.

So. What’s the point here?

Maybe it looks like nothing is happening in your love life, your business, your sales, your whatever. Everything looks just as dead and frozen as it did yesterday and the day before and the day before that.

But you can’t go by Looks Like. If you haven’t given up, if you’re still working at what you’re working at, there’s stuff happening, there’s energy moving in the universe, and you don’t — and can’t — know what’s gestatin’ in there.

But springtime’s a-coming, and it’ll be here at just the right time, so hang in there. I didn’t say your time. I said the right time. As determined by stuff that’s way above my pay grade to understand.

So don’t ask, you’re on your own with this one.

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

Cold Pond

Cold Pond FAA

Brrrr…

But it’s not frozen over. This is a normal part of the transition. Cold, warm, snow, warm again, fierce cold winds, gentle soft breezes.

The trees didn’t give up and fall over because it snowed after a few lovely warm days. OK, they turned blue with the cold, but they’ll get over it. It’s  just how things happen when you’re moving from one season to another. Yeah, it can be smooth and easy and gradual, but life’s more likely bumpy and lumpy. Like real mashed potatoes (not the flakes that come in a box!).

Two steps forward, one step back. Or three or four or five back. But eventually, the forward momentum can’t be stopped. It’s the nature of… well, nature.

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