|A HOPEFUL YEAR
|Time around 1999 seen through
This hope of a year started with a trip, and ended with another. Whole life seems to consist of trips,
we just do not always return to the places we started. And even though you may get robbed
on one of the rougher roads, you have certainly seen more. Unless you managed to sleep right
through it, or have kept your eyes shut.
We are small islands on a foggy shore. Hoping to be discovered, and united with the mainland of
friends and family, but time erodes the slopes, and thick cover of indifference lifts only for a moment,
to reveal our beautiful beaches.
You have to get up before sunrise. If you frown at that, you don't deserve the sky. The
grass is wet with dew and you don't mind wearing gloves at all. You enter the mystery of gases: some
you blow, some you burn, and with some you hold you breath. No seatbelts, no roaring engines,
no runway racing away beneath you. The moment, when you silently defeat
gravity, stirs a species-old knowledge inside. We were supposed to fly after all.
Years ago, I have fallen in love with Monterey Bay, and ever since I wanted to come back
and bring friends. I usually went alone, for those I'd love to take with me would not
seem to care for the magic, the exciting throb of heavy tourist boom, and just a few
steps away, a spot of perfect tranquility.
A friend of mine talked me into getting a better camera, and I'm thankful for that.
On this particular weekend, I borrowed his.
Winter months have spread gloom with their low clouds and teeth-rattling chill.
It rained, and I followed an urge to drive out and challenge the elements. It was the time of year when
Scottish and Irish weather came to the slopes of Southern Sierra Nevada. My desire
to go to the Isles would stay unfulfilled this year; what remains are wet memories of a
weekend near Tehachapi.
When you embark on a journey, you're looking for a quality that would not come
to you if you stayed in one place. There are mystic valleys in the midst of our populated world where
nobody goes. They are the crossroads of our hearts. And though you can fly high and see into the
distance, unless you have someone to walk by your side, you're lost.
Once a minor fiery hell, the volcanoes of Northern California are ready to
swallow you in their craters. You're likely to find other hikers there, but they won't be noisy
and it won't be a big crowd. Enjoy for a moment a tingling thought of
the earth gods reawakening, just this very instant.
There are few days and places you can climb the highest mountain just on
Crater Lake from about 8,900 feet altitude.
In some hidden valleys and canyons of California high desert,
it is freezing cold. Yet the earth will warm you up, if you know how (and where) to ask.
Wearing nothing but my camera, I had some difficulty wiping the fogged-over lens.
Don't be afraid, my little Christmas bunny! I know, this whole world seems to
be just one big rabbit trap, with hawks and foxes on the double.
No matter how much you run, no matter how much you hide,
if you're sad and empty, for your close ones stabbed you in your back,
it will follow you everywhere.
A new year 2000: Delicate Arch
reaches to the sky from the cold cold desert.
A lone tree in Eagle Canyon is weathered by thousand winds,
stretching its long long shadow to the northern horizon.
As this sparrow of Asilomar, I will continue searching for
grains of love and kindness. I learned patience, i learned to forgive.
Photography & Text Copyright © 2000 by Sid Paral. All rights reserved.