Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Sunday, we drove to Cohasset, California, 15 miles northeast of Chico on top of a forested ridge with canyons on both the east and west sides. Originally used by the Maidu Indians in the summer, it also had occasional visits by the Yana, Yahi, and Wintun Indians until the 1800’s when the European invasion of trappers, gold seekers, and lumbermen blew through with the typical results. Prize winning apple orchards made a brief claim to fame in the early 1900’s but as the soil and water was depleted, farming and people moved on. Today, 750 people reside in a slowly declining community. The store, gas station, fire station, and school all have been closed, and the only remaining business is an antique store, the site of this gas pump. The owners' granddaughter said she thought the gas station was active when her grandmother bought it in 1966, and long before it was built. a stage coach station, but she wasn’t sure. It’s California, always changing, never still, always changing.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Spring in Northern California is always unpredictable and uncertain. Last week, I was wearing sweaters, this week, shorts, you never know about the next week. What is certain is how beautiful everything is outside, the spring flowers, the orchards blooming, everything so green and lush, not yet the summer browns that are coming soon. Words seem inadequate. I’ll show some photographs I’ve recently taken.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I’ve just finished reading The Tao of Pooh. The last chapter is called, “Nowhere and Nothing” where the author, Benjamin Hoff attempts to illustrate the concept of the “empty mind” . He describes through the Pooh characters the art of doing nothing. Christopher Robin says in answer to Pooh’s question how do you do nothing? “Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, What are you going to do, and you say, Oh, nothing, and then you go and do it....it means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” Hoff uses the books of Pooh to explain Lao-tse’s writings in the Tao Te Ching. He goes on to quote the forty-eighth chapter of The Tao Te Ching, “To attain knowledge, add things every day, to attain wisdom, remove things every day.” Every day I hear people, including myself, complain about how much they forget, how many times they can’t remember the names of people, places and things. We are a nation of people frantic about their forgetting, yet it’s in our forgetting that we have a chance to clear our minds, and just be. Do nothing. Sit in the sun, look into the eyes of a loved one, do nothing. When I pick up my camera, it's a way of reminding myself, by the things I focus on, to just be, and although I often times click the shutter, I often don't .