Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: California Picks

 

“There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California.”
— Edward Abbey

For this week’s photo challenge, Tina invites us each to pick our own theme. Having just returned from three months in California journeying with my family of origin through my mother’s hospice care and death, I have new photos to share and a complex perspective.

A jewel in the sparkling allure of California to me is my siblings who live there. I reconnected with them in an intense situation and discovered that they are exceptional human beings…and they really do like me, after all!Our days together were full of the poignant joys of life: memories, change, and resilience. We hiked the mountains, beaches, and urban green spaces to keep a grounded perspective. The natural surroundings in California are breathtaking, but the impact of humans is often completely overwhelming. While I was there, record-breaking temperatures, catastrophic wildfires, and the Covid-19 virus often prohibited us from leaving the confines of our protective shelters. How ironic that the things that make California a popular place to live also create the populations that make California unlivable. Finding a sustainable balance is the never-ending challenge here.

“It was a splendid population – for all the slow, sleepy, sluggish-brained sloths stayed at home – you never find that sort of people among pioneers – you cannot build pioneers out of that sort of material. It was that population that gave to California a name for getting up astounding enterprises and rushing them through with a magnificent dash and daring and a recklessness of cost or consequences, which she bears unto this day – and when she projects a new surprise the grave world smiles as usual and says, “Well, that is California all over.”
― Mark Twain

How to live gracefully on this planet, in a human body, with all the complex interactions going on all around me, continues to be the challenge that I strive to meet. Grace is an attitude of balance and mercy, I think…but I’m still pondering it. 

22 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: California Picks

  1. An excellent topic for the week Priscilla, I loved your choice and your images. Glad you were able to reconnect with family and to enjoy their company despite difficult circumstance. And oh so true about California – your pondering are spot on.

  2. Love that Twain qui
    Let about California – – it really is a special (beautiful and diverse) state with a history that is unique and I enjoyed your post.
    Sorry for your loss and glad that good fruits are unfolding from the three months in Cali

  3. Thank you, Priscilla — Your postings mean so much to me. They keep my connection to my beloved sister alive. Keep up the great work!!!love, Aunt Sandy

  4. Wonderful post, Priscilla–quotes, images, thoughts–all of it! I am sorry about your mother’s death. It’s so difficult to lose those we love, but I’m so glad you were there to help her through the last weeks of her illness. Your siblings sound so supportive of you and each other. That’s wonderful. I love how you said this: “How to live gracefully on this planet, in a human body, with all the complex interactions going on all around me, continues to be the challenge that I strive to meet. Grace is an attitude of balance and mercy, I think…but I’m still pondering it. ” That’s the question for all of us, I think–right here, right now. Take care and stay well, too.

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