Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Shade and Shadow

Saturdays, holidays, easy afternoons
Lazy days, sunny days, nothing much to do.
Rainy days are better days for hangin’ out in-side
Grainy days and city ways make me want to hide
Someplace cool an’ green an’ shady.

Find yourself a piece of grassy ground,
Lay down close your eyes.
Find yourself and maybe lose yourself
While your free spirit flies.
— John Denver

It’s early June, and already there have been days of record high temperatures here in Oregon as well as other parts of the U.S. My adults kids live in apartments without air conditioning…who would have thought you’d need it in the northern part of the country? The fear of another summer of wildfires is palpable. We seek out shade and water while we live in the shadow of hubris-driven climate instability.

Light and shadow are opposite sides of the same coin.
We can illuminate our paths or darken our way.
It is a matter of choice.
— Maya Angelou

Thanks to Ann-Christine for hosting this week’s Lens Artists challenge. Stay cool and kind and be safe!

Happy Interdependence!

And under this costume is, of course, the corset.

The Corset


We survived the festivities at Old World Wisconsin in 104 degree heat!  I wore a very special costume that had only been worn once before.  It was silk and “tropical weight” wool with beautiful accents of military buttons and lapels and florets. 

I was interviewed by Fox 6 News about my experience wearing 19th century clothing in the heat.  I relayed information about what I was wearing and how it felt and then said that I thought people in the 19th century lived more closely in harmony with their environment instead of trying to manipulate or change it.   Therefore, they get used to variations in temperature and become more resilient….or something like that.  Then I went into the church and played a few hymns on the pump organ while the assembly sang.  Then another interpreter took over and I sang descants along to some more hymns.  When that concluded…

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Too Darn Hot

I have been given the day off from my job at Old World Wisconsin.  When the heat index is over 100 degrees, we expect few visitors to the outdoor living history museum.  With my time, I imagine accomplishing all kinds of things, but in truth, I am simply sitting in front of a fan in the living room, drinking cold water.  I am surrounded by books.  “Savor” by Thich Nhat Hahn is right at hand, bringing mindfulness into my view, but what I am mindful of is the sun beating down on the roof next door, angling through the windows despite the mini-blinds, heating the air so that any breeze coming in feels like the blow-dryer set on High.  I imagine all the sweet corn that I want to be eating next month shriveling up in the fields.  The loss of that treat – roasted in the husk, dripping in fresh butter and seasoned with salt and pepper – is probably not as devastating as the loss of an entire crop to a farmer.  Dust Bowl conditions may be just around the corner at this rate.  We are all connected to the changes and conditions on this planet.  How can we be mindful and act compassionately as a community?  How can we become “solid, peaceful, whole, and well” and improve the well-being of the world through collective compassion?  And can we cause a sea change on the planet before our brains are so baked that we can’t think at all?  I retreat into distraction and immediately think of this song…

Drops of sweat tap dance down my trunk…

Conscientiousness melts into individual survival…

When will the healing rain fall?