“Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
Far off the major highways, in deep woods and high mountain forests, lie some of my favorite back country roads.
Paved roads in remote places in the American West lead to canyons and deserts where the human population is minimal and natural landscapes stand out.
Sometimes a back country road is a little more than your vehicle can handle. Use caution!
My very favorite back country road is the gravel lane where my mailbox stands. I’m grateful to have a home far from the heavy thoroughfares where noise and stress oppress the environment.
Thank you to the Lens-Artists guest hosts this week, Wandering Dawgs, for inviting us to share our back road adventures. Happy travelling, all, and safe home again!
“God is watching us…from a distance.” ― Julie Gold
Tina is our host for this week’s photo challenge, and she takes up an appropriate theme: Distance, using quotes from a song by Julie Gold. Tina mentions that Bette Midler made the song famous, but my favorite version was recorded by Nanci Griffith. She sings it like an activist, as a protest song. It puts the responsibility for wars, poverty, disease, and hunger squarely on us. When you look at planet Earth from a distance, you don’t see these things. They are human inventions.
You may argue with me about disease being a human invention. My point is simply that a virus or a bacteria is another organism in Nature. The value judgment on it is our concept.
That being said, what I’m thinking about distance right now is that it’s difficult. Last night, through the technology of Zoom, I spent two hours with my kids, my sister, and my niece who live a couple of thousand miles away on the West Coast. Yesterday was my middle daughter’s birthday; today is my niece’s; tomorrow is my daughter-in-law’s. We were trying to celebrate our life connection while social distancing. My plane tickets for the West Coast must be converted to credit, and I will miss seeing them for an indefinite time.
Distance, however, is just distance. It is part of the perspective of life and allows us to understand connection and proximity. I am hoping that we learn many valuable things during this time. I am hoping that I learn to appreciate and accept distance even while I long for closeness.
Here is a gallery of photos of my “Safer At Home” housemate. We’ve always sought out open spaces.
And here’s a gallery of my West Coast kids, to whom I’m working on getting closer. My plan is to move to Oregon at the end of June.
As you navigate the space of this interesting situation, may you be safe and well, holding close what you deem most dear while appreciating the vastness of this wonderful world.
“I believe everyone should have a broad picture of how the universe operates and our place in it. It is a basic human desire. And it also puts our worries in perspective.” ― Stephen Hawking
“Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.” ― Steven Wright
“Distance lends enchantment to the view.” ― Mark Twain
“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is — infinite.” ― William Blake
“Look at everything as though you are seeing it either for the first or last time, then your time on earth will be filled with glory.” ― Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Thank you, Patti, for challenging us this week to change our perspective as we photograph our subjects and for reminding us that Ansel Adams said,
“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”
This week’s challenge host, Tina, says,
Leading lines carry our eye through a photograph. They help to tell a story, to place emphasis, and to draw a connection between objects. They create a visual journey from one part of an image to another and can be helpful for creating depth as well.
I’ve never had any formal instruction in photography, but I think I have a pretty good natural eye for composition…sometimes. Let’s see if I’ve intuitively used Leading Lines in any of my pictures.
Okay, wow. That one was obvious. You could argue that Lake Shore Drive and the street lights all lead to the Chicago skyline in that shot.
These two seem like they follow a reverse leading line…a receding line, or a vanishing point.
I think these last three are my favorites, though. They draw my eye to the horizon, which I long to explore.
Anyone want to come with me?
Tina at Travels and Trifles hosts this week’s challenge with an invitation for us to pick a place to which we’ve traveled and feature it in our post.
I have not traveled abroad since the death of my husband 11 years ago, but I have done a bit of traveling throughout the western portion of the United States. I am particularly fascinated by canyon country, places where the geology of the place takes center stage an overwhelms the senses, leaving you awestruck.
“When your spirit cries for peace, come to a world of canyons deep in the old land, feel the exultation of high plateaus, the strength of moving waters, the simplicity of sand and grass, the silence of growth.” — August Frugé
“Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.” —
“Beauty in front of me, Beauty behind me,
Beauty Above me, Beauty below me,
Beauty all around me,
I walk in Beauty…” — Navaho prayer
I will just say that this place called Earth is my favorite and my home, and I will defend her to my dying day. I will take her as a whole and not state a preference for certain parts. She is a mosaic of interdependent cells, a Being of utter complexity and uniqueness.
Ever since I was a young girl, I have been enamored of “rolling hills” and farmland. My third grade class studied farm machinery and went out to the plains of Illinois to see a farm. It was nice, but when I caught a glimpse of Kentucky and Iowa on a family trip that summer, I raved about the “rolling hills”. Now I am living up in Wisconsin, where ice age glaciers left deposits across most of the state in landforms known as moraines, kames, drumlins, and eskers. I am in heaven when I venture west from the city of Milwaukee and wind my way around farms nestled between these ancient hills. I am planning to aim toward this horizon more intentionally in the future. Steve & I are hoping to move next year to a more rural village and live a simpler, slower life. May we all reach our desired horizons before the darkness comes!
P.S. to enjoy this horizon in a wider view, just click on the picture!